Film: Ant-Man

Scott Lang: My days of breaking into places and stealing shit are over. What do you want me to do?
Hank Pym: I want you to break into a place and steal some shit.
Scott Lang: ...Makes sense.

Ant-Man is a 2015 film directed by Peyton Reed and written by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay and Paul Rudd, based on the comic book property of the same name. It marks the twelfth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the last entry in the MCU's Phase 2 slate.

Its story follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), an incarcerated burglar who is bailed out of prison by retired inventor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) for One Last Job: with the help of his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), steal Pym's research from his former company, before it can be abused by the firm's new owner Darren Cross (Corey Stoll). To accomplish this, Pym outfits Lang with the "Ant-Man" suit, a piece of technology with the ability to both increase the wearer's strength and shrink them down to the size of an ant.

Other cast members include Michael Peña as Luis, T.I. as Dave, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Judy Greer as Scott's ex-wife Maggie, Wood Harris as Gale, John Slattery as Howard Stark, and Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter.

A sequel to the film, Ant-Man and the Wasp, has been announced for July 6, 2018. Peyton Reed will be returning to direct, while Rudd and Lilly are also set to return.

Previews: Ant-Sized Teaser, Human-Sized Teaser, Trailer 1, Trailer 2

Ant-Man includes examples of:

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  • The '80s: The intro, which takes place in 1989 and featuring both an aging Peggy Carter and Howard Stark. As well as Hank's last mission with his wife in 1987.
  • Acid-Trip Dimension: The Quantum Realm.
  • Action Girl:
    • Hope, to the point that she's actually the one who teaches Scott how to fight.
      Scott: You're going to show me how to punch? [holds up hand as a target] Show me how to—
      [Hope punches him in the face]
      Hope: That's how you punch.
    • Hank Pym's wife Janet used to be the Wasp, before she sacrificed herself by going sub-atomic to stop a Soviet ICBM.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Scott's daughter Cassie is a brunette rather than a blonde.
    • Lang himself is a redhead in the comic, and black-haired in the film.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Lang's wife is called "Peggy" in the comics and "Maggie" in the film, probably to avoid confusion with Peggy Carter. Justifiable though since both names are derived from "Margaret".
    • Maggie Lang's new husband is named Paxton. In the comics, his name is Blake Burdick.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In the film, Darren Cross is made the former protégé of Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man), and later becomes Yellowjacket, the Evil Counterpart of Scott Lang (the new Ant-Man). Edgar Wright cited the use of this trope in Iron Man as a major inspiration, arguing that the hero and villain getting their powers from the same source makes for a simpler and more coherent story.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • In the comic, Ant-Man is stated to merely retain his regular human strength when small, hence why he appears to be super-strong compared to his size; in the film, this is expanded on: His strength does not change, but neither does his mass, meaning when he punches someone while shrunk, it's kind of like having a human fist driven by human strength focused into a quarter-inch of area. He's stated to have to take extreme care not to kill with his attacks, as he is "like a bullet."
    • The Yellowjacket costume is often thought to look rather silly in the comics, especially with the shoulder fins. The film redesign looks more modern and threatening, with a number of fans commenting that they were surprised someone had managed to make Yellowjacket look badass.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • In the Marvel Comics 2 comics, Hope Pym/Hope van Dyne was an Ax-Crazy villain called Red Queen. Although she has strained relations with her father in the film due to her mother's death years ago, she's on the side of good here.
    • Thanks to the restructuring of the timeline, Hank Pym in the MCU was not responsible for creating Ultron. Without that burden he seems to have avoided the more serious psychoses of his comic book counterpart. He never became a supervillain or struck his wife Janet. At worst he's paranoid and arrogant.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In most adaptations, Yellowjacket is one of Hank Pym's many identities, although it tends to be used when he's being a big jerkass. Here, it's the identity of the film's villain.
  • Adaptation Distillation: In the comics, Hank Pym's history is... complex, with various name and power changes. Like other MCU films, Ant-Man cherry-picks elements from various comics, changes others, and creates completely new ones, in order to build a streamlined backstory that's easy to comprehend and fits in with the rest of the canon.
  • Adult Fear: There's an armed lunatic with a grudge against you in your daughter's bedroom, and you can't get to her. Alternately, there's an armed lunatic with a grudge against your stepdaughter's biological father in her room, despite your best efforts to keep her safe. Or still worse, there's an armed lunatic with a grudge against your ex in your daughter's bedroom, both the men you care about are in there desperately fighting said lunatic, and all you can see of what's happening to all three of them is that weird giant junk and laser beams keep bursting out of the walls.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: The Yellowjacket suit is designed to look more modern than the Ant-Man suit with gratuitous hexagonal designs on the yellow parts.
  • Age Lift: Hank Pym, a contemporary of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in the comics, is depicted as a retired superhero from the 1970's and '80s, and knows Howard Stark much better than his son. The same can be said to his wife Janet.
  • Alien Geometries: The sub-atomic Quantum Realm has to be seen to be believed. The closest comparison is that it is akin to a reality that looks like a kaleidoscope.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: The ant that gets enlarged to nearly human size is mistaken for a really ugly dog by the bystanders (it's dark out) and later it's seen hiding under the dinner table while Cassie feeds it scraps from her plate when her parents aren't looking. There's also the crazy ant that Scott first encounters the first time he trains his ant control powers, that appears to sniff his hand like a dog, then happily tackles him and starts cuddling. It's actually adorable, then the rest of the crazy ants want to cuddle too.
  • The Alleged Car: Averted. Luis' dilapidated old van looks like a setup for this trope, but it goes through the film without giving the team a lick of trouble, especially since wheelman Dave is shown tuning up the van in preparation for the Pym safe heist. (If only he had done something about that distinctive car horn, though...)
  • Alliterative Family/Family Theme Naming:
    • Hank and his daughter Hope.
    • Scott's ex-wife Maggie and their daughter Cassie. For additional bonus, both ladies have same letters before their similar ones.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Regarding Janet van Dyne, the movie doesn't make it completely clear if she actually died or if she's simply missing, although she's out of the picture for almost all of the movie's plot beyond the flashback sequence. Hank mentions that time and space don't work the same in the Quantum Realm and Scott says he can't remember what happened, which seems to push the idea that if Janet does come back she will be the exact same age as when she left.
  • And I Must Scream: Anyone who turns off the suit's regulator and goes to sub-atomic levels will continue to shrink and shrink until they reach a state of existence that is beyond the boundaries of time and space, and are doomed to remain there forever — though Scott manages to find a way out of this.
  • And Starring: "And Michael Douglas as Hank Pym."
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing:
    • Ant-Man wears a costume that looks a bit like a red ant and has the power to shrink to the size of an ant. Another of Pym's inventions allows him to communicate with ants, which Hope says is his greatest power.
    • Yellowjacket wears a black and yellow variant designed to evoke the image of a wasp.
    • Janet van Dyne as the Wasp. In the mid-credits stinger, Hope van Dyne is presented with a prototype version of the Wasp suit.
    • Falcon wears a winged suit that allows him to fly like his namesake animal.
  • Anti-Hero: Scott is a former thief trying to go straight by helping Hank Pym. This, of course, turns out to involve committing another heist, albeit one that will save lives.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Scott when his opponent is Avenger Sam Wilson, the Falcon.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Hank Pym's scientific discovery, the "Pym Particles", are what allows Ant-Man and Yellowjacket to change their sizes.
  • Arc Words/Ironic Echo:
    Hank Pym/The Falcon: I know a guy...
    • Also "become the hero that she already thinks you are."
    • "Go Subatomic."
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • The ants in the movie were deliberately designed to appear less menacing and disgusting than actual ants do up-close.
    • Ants have no lungs, only hollow breathing holes, so in real life a dog-sized ant would immediately suffocate.
    • Inversely, humans would be unable to breathe at such small sizes; the lungs would only take in a fraction of air that the brain needs, and at subatomic size, oxygen molecules would be bigger than the person. This is partly Hand Waved at least by the suit's breathing gear.
    • For the sake of comedy, "Antony"'s wings sound almost exactly like helicopter propellers.
    • "Antony" is clearly a winged queen, yet everyone refers to Antony with male pronouns.note 
  • Artistic License – Physics: There are a number of inconsistencies presented in the way mass, energy, and density work relative to a shrunken object's size - sometimes for drama, sometimes for comedy. The movie frequently uses gags where Scott is in a serious fight of his life, only to zoom way back to show that he's getting a toy train thrown at him or whatever. Clearly, the Pym Particle is too complicated for laymen to understand.
    • Pym Particles are meant to shrink the distance between atoms, yet they can be used to shrink a macro sized object down to the Quantum Realm, which is smaller than atoms. This inconsistency isn't ever addressed.
    • Scott is said to retain his mass when he's ant-sized, hence why his punches still hurt. This would mean, though, that he would still weigh as much as human and thus crush any ant he'd try to ride on.
    • If Scott retains his mass when he's small, then wouldn't the inverse also be true and that the giant Thomas the Tank Engine would be too light to crush a police car?
    • Before that, even, Hank and Hope grow a tank that Hank had disguised as a charm on a keychain, and apparently only weighed the same as a charm on a keychain.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: During the climax of the movie the eyes on the Bachmann Thomas the Tank Engine toy move constantly throughout the scene. In reality, the eyes only move when the toy itself moves.
    • Speaking of Thomas, when the toy hits the window, it makes a sound as if it were made of plastic. Bachmann models are actually made of metal.
  • Ascended Meme: A common complaint in the fanbase for Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier was "why doesn't the hero call in the Avengers to deal with that big problem?" This time, when the big problem is explained and Pym and Lang discuss how to solve it, Lang asks the question, which was discussed on-screen.
  • Atrocious Alias: Scott appears to think this of "Ant-Man" in the trailers.
    Scott: One question: is it too late to change the name?
  • Back for the Finale: The finale, in this case, referring to the end of Phase 2.
  • Bait and Switch: The prison fight at the start. Scott punches Peaches with a good hit in the face... and instead of getting beaten up, it's revealed that it's a ritual for anyone getting out of prison and all the other inmates hug him for it.
  • Bald of Evil: Darren Cross has a shaved head.
  • Batman Gambit: Hank's plan for recruiting Scott relied entirely on Scott sticking to form by flaking under pressure and reverting to crime as a way out.
  • Battle Couple: Hank and Janet were this back in the day. Their successors, Scott and Hope, will be this in the upcoming films.
  • The Beastmaster: Leading and controlling various species of ants is one of Hank's developments as the first Ant-Man, and Hope and (naturally) Scott also use the technology. It consists of mentally projecting the task the wielder wants the ants to accomplish.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Pym warned Lang that if he ever goes subatomic, he would shrink forever, and would never be able to grow back to full size. At one point, he took the risk anyway, to save his daughter. Yet, he managed to grow up again thanks to one of the growing disks he was given by Pym himself.
  • Big Bad: Corrupt Corporate Executive Darren Cross is the reason that Scott is recruited to steal the prototype Yellowjacket armor. The world will be a darker place if anyone with enough money can purchase tiny flying assassins.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Played for Laughs when Scott's boss at his retail job uncovers his criminal record.
    Manager: Baskin-Robbins always finds out.
  • Blatant Lies: When Hank catches Hope and Scott kissing, Scott tries to claim that Hope came on to him, and that he'd had nothing to do with said kissing. Hank doesn't buy it.
    Hank: Scott!
    Scott: Yeah.
    Hank: You're full of shit.
    Scott: Oh yeah.
  • Body Horror:
    • Cross's failed attempts to replicate Hank's success generally result in living subjects being turned into blobs of pinkish tissue, albeit miniscule ones.
    • Cross's demise is no treat to think about too hard, either. What does happen to a human body when parts of it aren't the right relative size any more?...
  • Book Ends: After an interlude with Baskin-Robbins and daughter's birthdays, the actual story begins with a convoluted chain of "I know someone who knows someone" that leads to the theft of the Ant-Man suit. At the end of the film, we have another convoluted chain of "I know someone who knows someone" that leads to the reveal that the Falcon is trying to locate Ant-Man.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Scott has a suit that not only shrinks but gives him superhuman strength and speed, but Hope still has to teach him how to punch. The explanation given is that it's more about controlling his punches (too hard and he can kill a person, too soft and nothing happens).
  • Breather Episode: For the MCU, being a Lighter and Softer movie coming in between the more serious films Age of Ultron and Civil War.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Luis helps Scott out later on in the film, but is always an adorkable ditz.
  • California Doubling: Inverted. Atlanta, Georgia is doubling for San Francisco and Silicon Valley in California.
  • Call Back: Cross has a habit of getting into people's personal space and putting a hand on their shoulder, much like Stane did in the first Iron Man.
  • The Cameo:
    • At the end of the scene where Scott first dons the Ant-Man suit, he crashes onto the car of comedian Garrett Morris. Morris was the first live-action actor to play Ant-Man, during a 1979 Saturday Night Live sketch called "Superhero Party".
    • Anna Akana appears in the ending scene where the Falcon is looking for Scott to recruit him.
    • Stan Lee gets his traditional cameo: He's one of the people seen lip-synching to Luis' story at the end of the film.
  • Canon Foreigner: Most of the supporting cast, including Scott's prison cellmates.
  • The Caper: Was described as a "heist movie" by Edgar Wright when he was still set to direct. In the comics, Scott Lang stole the Ant-Man suit in hopes of pulling off enough heists to save his sick daughter. This time around though, it's Hank who wants Scott to use the Ant-Man technology to pull off a heist. And initially, tricks Scott into stealing the Ant-Man suit from him as a test of his skills.
  • Cassandra Truth: The S.H.I.E.L.D. footage Darren Cross shows early on of Hank beating up Communists and insurgents in the Cold War is handwaved by Hank (and initially believed by Cross himself) as being tall tales and propaganda. Except it all happened, and then some.
  • Celebrity Paradox: An episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. referred to Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, a film that featured Paul Rudd. Additionally, Scott's friends discussed Leonardo DiCaprio and his film Titanic (1997) during the initial heist on Pym's house. Bill Paxton, who played the Big Bad of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, played a key character in that film. Additionally, Rudd and DiCaprio were both on William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The shrink/grow throwing disks. Scott uses a grow disk to break out of the Yellowjacket display, and then uses another grow disk to reverse his unregulated shrinking to the quantum world.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The "La Cucaracha" novelty horn in Luis's van is used in the beginning to make Cassie laugh, within Paxton's hearing. It gets honked at the worst possible time near the end when Paxton goes to Pym Technologies during the climatic heist, searching for Scott after the latter's "prison break". He's about to leave when one of Scott's friends accidentally honks the horn, alerting Paxton to Scott's presence.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The T-34 tank key chain. It wasn't always that small...
    • Note that in the Cold War film clips when Hank is wreaking havoc in Communist-bloc countries, there's a T-34 in the foreground of one shot. It'd be just like Hank to miniaturize it so he could have it around if he ever needed a tank.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Luis mentions that he's the only guy who ever managed to knock out "Peaches" in the San Quentin departure ritual. He's not kidding; his right cross later turns out to be devastating.
    • Scott's inventiveness is showcased during the burglary of the Pym household as he improvises methods for getting past both a fingerprint scanner and a Carbondale safe using household tools. He also does some tinkering with the Ant-Man suit before Hank warns him off. Towards the end he figures a way out of the Quantum Realm using a spare enlarging disk he had in his pocket.
    • During the Training Montage, Hope frequently uses an arm lock takedown on Scott. He uses that technique himself on The Falcon (much to Hope's pride) and some mook during the climatic heist.
  • Clothes Make the Superman:
    • Both Ant-Men, Yellowjacket, and both Wasps get their powers from special suits that dispense Pym Particles.
    • Falcon wears his updated wing suit from Age of Ultron.
  • Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Averted, albeit not without lampshading.
    Scott: Is it too late to change the name?
  • Composite Character:
    • Janet disappeared after helping invent the Ant-Man gear, making her a mix of comics Janet and Pym's first wife, Maria.
    • In a combo of Composite and Decomposite Character, film Yellowjacket is Darren Cross, a completely separate character in the comics. The Yellowjacket suit also has mechanical legs like the Ant-Man suit worn by Eric O'Grady. And while Ultron already exists as a separate character in the MCU, Cross takes on many traits of Ultron's comic counterpart, being a "son" of sorts to Pym with serious daddy issues.
    • Hope sports her mother's, Janet, trademark bob hairstyle, and by the end of the movie fulfills her mother's role as both Ant-Man's love interest and the new Wasp.
    • Hank's action of lending the mantle "Ant-Man" to Scott is from his Earth-616 counterpart, but his age, the fact that he has a daughter named Hope who had a Face-Heel Turn and his missing wife is Janet instead of Maria is astonishingly similar to his Marvel Comics 2 counterpart.
  • Confronting Your Imposter: A variation; when Luis tries to convince a security guard to leave because the boss said so, the guard replies he is the boss.
  • Continuity Cameo:
    • Peggy Carter and Howard Stark appear in the prologue.
    • The Falcon appears in two scenes, while Captain America and Bucky Barnes both appear in The Stinger.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A character in the film has a Ten Rings tattoo on his neck.
    • Ads for Pingo Doce, the Brazilian soda from the factory where Bruce Banner worked in The Incredible Hulk, can be seen in the background.
    • While describing the Ant-Man suit, Pym says it's not "some cute technology like the Iron Man suit."
    • A newspaper headline references what happened in Sokovia.
    • Upon Hank telling him the danger posed by Cross, Scott says they should just call the Avengers. Hank in turn responds by mockingly mentioning the incident where Ultron tried to drop a city onto the Earth, which Hank blames on the Avengers.
    • One of Scott's missions is to steal a piece of tech from one of Howard Stark's old storage facilities. This facility turns out to be the New Avengers headquarters introduced in the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. He then gets in a fight with Falcon, who was established as one of the new Avengers at the end of Age of Ultron.
    • Darren Cross' master plan is to sell the Yellowjacket suit to HYDRA, and bilk them for his version of the Pym Particles to fuel the suit.
    • The Triskelion appears in the opening scene set in 1989, with the construction only halfway finished but already in use as S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. Said scene features an aged Peggy Carter, and the elder Howard Stark seen in Iron Man 2.
    • A building at the end explodes in a manner similar to that caused by the nitramene explosive invented by Howard Stark (even though the technologies are most likely unrelated).
    • Falcon says he relates to Scott, as he too once stole tech in order to save the world. He is referring to the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he had to steal his old EXO-7 Falcon suit from the military in order to assist Cap and Black Widow in stopping HYDRA.
  • Cool Pet: The ant that gets enlarged ends up becoming Cassie's pet.
  • Creator Cameo: Stan Lee, creator of Ant-Man and the Wasp, cameos as a bartender Luis' cousin Ignacio met while on a date.
    Ignacio: Look at the girl I'm with, you know what I'm saying? She's crazy stupid fine, right?
    Stan Lee (in Luis' voice): Yeah, crazy stupid fine!
  • Creepy Doll: Scott gives his daughter a stuffed rabbit doll for her birthday, one that looks as if it devours souls instead of carrots. Surprisingly, she proclaims her love for it while commenting on how ugly it is, and all attempts to dissuade her from keeping it fail.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Despite Scott's suit giving him far more physics defying power in comparison, Falcon's experience and combat prowess allow him to counter most of his attacks and beat him into dust for most of their fight, until Scott is forced to lead him into an ambush and get inside his suit.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Even without the ability to shrink organic matter, the Yellowjacket suit is basically a discount Iron Man suit without needing an Arc Reactor, and Cross's incomplete Pym particles could revolutionize just about any industry you could name, from transport to medicine to space travel, but he is mentally unstable and obsessed with surpassing Hank. Hell, HYDRA would pay him a fortune for his incomplete version, given how it makes Disposing of a Body a snap.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Removing the regulator and going subatomic. It's a one-way trip unless you have something to replace it.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Hank Pym does this to Scott Lang when they first meet for real, and during his training when Scott doubts himself:
    Hank Pym: Second chances don’t come along all that often. So the next time you see one, be sure you take a real close look at it.
    Hank Pym: This is your chance to earn that look in your daughter's eyes, to become the hero that she already thinks you are. It's not about saving our world. It's about saving their's.
  • Deadly Euphemism: The Yellowjacket promotional video is dripping with these, as it makes it clear that Cross sees the suit as perfect for assassination, amongst other unsavory things, while using the most neutral language possible for it. Which also foreshadows his dealings with HYDRA.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Hank and Scott have very dry senses of humor.
    Scott: My days of breaking into places and stealing shit are done. So what do you want me to do?
    Hank: I want you to break into a place and steal some shit.
  • Decomposite Character: Yellowjacket is the villain of the film, though he is Darren Cross instead of Hank Pym.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Played with; In the second stinger, set sometime after his encounter with Ant-Man, Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers find the whereabouts of Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier. When Steve claims that Tony Stark can't help them and that they are on their own, Sam answers, "Maybe not. I know someone..."
  • Demoted to Extra: Hank Pym, the first Ant-Man in the comics, is a supporting character. The movie focuses on Scott Lang instead. Though Pym is still the first Ant-Man, he only dons the suit in flashbacks.
  • Destroy the Product Placement:
    • Notably averted when Ant-Man is fighting Yellowjacket by throwing toy train cars at him but only throws generic off brand ones rather than Thomas the Tank Engine's actual coaches Annie and Clarabelle. Inverted when Thomas gets enlarged to the size of a real train, causing a lot of destruction in the process.
    • There's also the Lifesavers gummies. When Ant-Man and Yellowjacket fight inside the briefcase falling through the sky one of the green gummies gets obliterated by Yellowjacket's lasers.
  • Didn't Think This Through: As part of their plan to steal the Yellowjacket suit, Pym needs Lang to steal a piece of Stark tech which is housed in one of Howard Stark's old storage facilities about 20 years ago. Pym didn't think about getting current photos of the facilities, and this becomes a problem because Lang finds out it's now the new Avengers HQ.
  • Disposing of a Body: Cross figured out real fast that his lethal-to-organics knockoff of Pym Particles is great for this - one shot will reduce a target to a booger, enabling him to do it with toilet paper.
  • Distant Reaction Shot: Repeatedly played for laughs, especially in the climax, where the small-scale action is revealed to look pretty unremarkable at normal size.
  • Do-Anything Robot: Much like Groot, the ants resemble a biological version of this trope. Seeing them in action is akin to watching a nanite swarm.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Janet stopped a missile from reaching its target by cranking up her suit's ability to shrink, allowing her to get into the missile and disable it from inside, but causing her to irreversibly shrink to subatomic size in the process.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: During their training, Hope briefly glances at Scott's abs while he treats an injury.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Although his house is by no means small, Hank Pym's basement is repeatedly revealed to be larger than it appears, containing multiple safes, vaults, a research and monitoring station, and a decent-sized personal gym.
  • Eldritch Location: The Quantum Realm, where concepts like time and space become meaningless. Anyone unlucky enough to get caught in there will spend all eternity shrinking into increasingly smaller sizes as they become nonexistent.
  • Enemy Mine/Fire-Forged Friends: Paxton and Scott strongly dislike each other due to the former being a cop (and the new man in the latter's family), while the latter is an ex-con, but they quickly put all of that aside and work together to protect Cassie from Cross/Yellowjacket. Afterward, Paxton pulls some strings to get Scott's charges cleared so he can have a decent life while supporting his daughter.
  • Evil Counterpart: Yellowjacket, to Ant-Man. Something of a Phase 1 throwback, in that, like Hulk and Iron Man, Ant-Man must fight a newer and more powerful enemy with the same powers as he has.
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: The Ant-Man suit was invented decades ago and looks rather rough. In contrast, the Yellowjacket suit has been described as looking like "Apple made an Ant-Man suit."
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: What Scott learns when he shrinks for the first time and is not ready for the environment: he is almost drowned by a bathtub and chased by a rat, literally falls through the cracks of his apartment floor, almost gets cut in half by the needle of a rotating phonograph, and has to dodge the feet of dancers on a dance floor.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • Frank's. Not only is he literally turned into a red goo on screen, Cross cleans him off with a paper wipe and flushes him down the toilet afterwards. It works surprisingly well at showing how unhinged Cross really is.
    • Adorable Little White Lamb #1.
    • Darren Cross' death, where he is agonizingly crushed inside his own suit as it uncontrollably shrinks down to subatomic level thanks to Scott sabotaging its regulator.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: What awaits anyone who turns off the suit's regulator and goes to subatomic. The presumed fate of the original Wasp. This almost happens to Scott himself.
  • Fauxshadow: In the opening flashback, Pym says S.H.I.E.L.D. can get his Pym Particles over his dead body, and acts as The Obi-Wan to Scott though the film. In the climax he gets shot and it seems like he's going to be trapped when a bomb that's planted goes off, but he ends up living though the film.
  • Flashback: A portion of the film takes place when Hank Pym was the Ant-Man, Janet van Dyne was the Wasp, and when S.H.I.E.L.D. was still run by Howard Stark and Peggy Carter.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: "Peaches", a burly, intimidating fellow convict at San Quentin that Scott has to land a punch on as part of an ex-con hazing ritual. (Subverted somewhat, as Peachy is shown to be good-natured and a fair sport when Scott actually does it.)
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The tank Hank uses to escape Pym Technologies in the climax can be seen at full size in the Ant-Man "propaganda" footage Cross shows potential buyers early in the film.
    • When Hank tells Hope and Scott what happened to Janet, he says regular shrinking didn't work because the rocket he and Janet were trying to disable was made of titanium. Scott would face the same problem when fighting the Yellowjacket, whose suit is also made of titanium.
    • In the ending, a journalist mentions "We got a guy who jumps. We got a guy who swings. We got a guy who crawls up walls. You gotta be more specific!" Referencing the appearance of Marvel's resident wall-crawler in Captain America: Civil War.
    • Early in the movie, Luis reminds Scott that of all the guys to go through the "goodbye punch" ritual with Peach, he alone was the only one to knock Peach out cold. Seems like mere boasting, until the final heist when we see how much ass Luis can whoop when he has to.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: It takes a sharp eye to spot, but there was something else in the Quantum Realm with Scott. It's most certainly the "clue" Peyton Reed said in an interview that was left in the Quantum Realm for the fans.
  • Freudian Excuse: The reason why Hope is so good at martial arts and is overly-violent when training Scott. She resented how her father pushed her away in the wake of her mother's death and turned to fighting as an outlet for her grief and anger and is currently resentful of how she was passed over in putting on the Ant-Man suit.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Hank, mission oriented (Superego, bordering on Ego).
    • Scott, mission oriented like Hank but not afraid to speak his mind like Hope (Ego, bordering on Id).
    • Hope, assertive and blunt (Id, bordering on Superego).
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: The Yellowjacket suit can fire powerful laser beams from the stingers.
  • Friend on the Force: Paxton becomes this toward the end. After Scott helps save Cassie from Yellowjacket, Paxton fudges the records regarding Scott's escape from custody so he won't face jail time, and invites him to dinner with Cassie.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Scott builds his own tools for his heists, and was jailed after breaking into a previously unbreakable company.
  • Gambit Roulette: Scott know Luis, who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone (etc, etc) who knows about a retired millionaire that is out of home and had a safe at his house. Thus, Scott Lang goes into that millionaire's house, to steal the content of the safe. That way, he got the Ant-Man suit. And yet, Henry Pym claims that he had all that chain of "know someone" under control, specifically meant to reach Scott Lang and lead him to the suit.
  • Genius Bruiser:
    • Scott Lang has a Master's in Electrical Engineering and beats people up as the superhero Ant-Man.
    • Hope van Dyne is the daughter of a genius scientist, senior board member of Pym Technologies, and trains Scott in martial arts.
    • Hank Pym is the aforementioned genius scientist and was a Cold War era superhero.
    • Darren Cross was Hank's protégé, successfully recreates Hank's technology with only incomplete blueprints of a prototype to start from, and becomes Yellowjacket.
  • Genius Ditz: Luis at first appears to be an adorkable ex-con with a penchant for making waffles, but it turns out he's surprisingly cultured as well. He likes to go wine-tasting with his cousin (complaining that the tasting was dominated by reds when he prefers whites, but saying that a rose saved the day for him), and also spends time at the art museum (he confesses to being more into Neo-Cubism than the abstract pieces which were being exhibited at the time, but found himself intrigued by a Rothko). He still remains a Bumbling Sidekick throughout the film.
  • Gilligan Cut: Used to hilarious effect over Pym's objections:
    Scott: We're going to have to expand our team.
    Hank: No no no no, not those three wombats!
    Luis: Thank you for the coffee ma'm! It's not too often that you rob a place and get welcomed back. I mean, we just robbed you!
    • And earlier when he's released from prison.
    Scott: I have a degree in electrical engineering. I'll be fine.
    Scott: Welcome to Baskin-Robbins.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Scott goes subatomic to finish off Cross because it's the only way to save his daughter.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Falcon's goggles have magnification technology powerful enough to enable him to see Ant-Man.
  • Good Feels Good: Luis realizes he and his crew are on the side of good, and he likes it.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Although he acquires an assault rifle from a guard, Luis spends the final action scene punching people. He discards the gun as soon as the action starts. He's one of "the good guys" after all, so he can't go killing innocent bystanders.
  • Greater Scope Villain: While Cross is the main antagonist of the film, he turns out to be working with HYDRA.
  • Guile Hero: While the Ant-Man suit does give the wearer the ability to knock out regular people with ease, the key to Ant-Man — and the quality that Hank saw in Scott — is the ability to fight smarter and with ingenuity, not necessarily force. We see this early on when Scott dismantles Hank's various safes and locks, and it really shows when, in Scott's fights with Falcon and Yellowjacket, he ultimately fails in fighting directly and succeeds when infiltrating and dismantling their weapons.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: During a Mexican standoff, several characters can be heard cocking the hammer of their handguns... all of which are Glocks (which have no hammer). Extra egregious: One of the Glocks in this scene is used to threaten Ant-Man. A CGI shot shows ants blocking the hammer of a gun, stopping it from firing. The hammer then ceases to exist immediately afterwards.
  • Gypsy Curse: When Scott demonstrates the Ant-Man suit to his friends, Kurt panics and exclaims it's the work of gypsies.
  • Happily Married: In contrast to the comics, where their relationship is all kinds of messed up, Hank and Janet were very happy and loving together.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    • Although mocked by many (including in-universe), the movie scratches the surface of what a truly menacing and revolutionary power size-shrinking is. Hank Pym dismisses Tony Stark's armors as being tame in comparison.
    • Summoning ants can also be very helpful, with different breeds of ants serving useful functions from debilitating opponents to forming constructs. And as Hank notes, he can put a hidden camera anywhere by shrinking it down and having an ant carry it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Faced with a rogue nuke and only one way to stop it, Janet doesn't hesitate to push her suit to the limit to get inside and destroy it. Which works, but leaves her eternally shrinking beyond time and space. It's unclear whether or not this has killed her, but she's far beyond anyone's help now.
    • Later, Scott attempts to make a similar sacrifice, but after shrinking down past the point of no return, he uses one of the throwing disks to reverse it and return to normal size.
  • Hero of Another Story: Only the last minute of Hank and Janet's career as Ant-Man and Wasp is shown, leaving many adventures (and the rest of that particular one) left to the imagination.
  • Humongous Mecha: Played with. One battle between Scott and Cross has a miniaturized Scott rushing a normal-sized Cross as he fires lasers at Scott in his mechanized Yellowjacket suit.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Played with. You really don't want to shrink down too far and get stuck in the Quantum Realm.
  • I Have Your Wife: Cross grabs Cassie at her house after his battle with Scott is interrupted by the cops, reasoning it would bring Scott to him. It works, but Scott is quick to hit him with a shrink disc so the fighting is between them.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Everyone that takes a shot at Scott while he's ant-sized gets really, really, really close to hitting him. Darren actually gets so close he manages to hit the ant Scott was riding, but still miss him.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: What happens to the accidentally enlarged ant at the end of the film. Cassie keeps it as a pet!
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Basically the entire point of Ant-Man.
  • In Medias Res: In a first for the MCU, the Ant-Man has been around for quite a while at the time the film starts and we're only seeing a new person take up the mantle. Hank and Hope also know full well about Cross' villainy right from the start and Hope has already infiltrated his operation.
  • Insistent Terminology: Scott insists that his old crimes are "burglaries", not "robberies", since he never assaulted anyone. This is in fact correct: robbery = theft + the use or threat of force. Burglary = entering property with the intent to commit a felony (such as theft).
  • Irony: Scott got fired at Baskin-Robbins for his criminal background. In real life, Baskin-Robbins does accept ex-criminals for hiring.
  • Job Title: Well, the film emphasizes that being Ant-Man (and also a Legacy Character to it) is a job.
  • Just Think of the Potential: Cross markets the Pym Particle's military applications as such. Hank had previously quit S.H.I.E.L.D. because they had this attitude towards his research.
  • Kick the Dog: Darren Cross decides to start using adorable little white lambs as the test subjects for his lethal Pym Particle experiments for no good reason.
    Hope: I thought we were using mice?
    Cross: What's the difference?note 
    • Everybody in the lab is utterly disturbed, and it serves to make Cross look like an even bigger bastard then we already knew he was. And for good measure, when he finally succeeds in shrinking a lamb without killing it, he knocks it over by flicking the jar it's in just because he can.
  • Knows A Guy Who Knows A Guy: Luis gives out tips which inevitably play out in this fashion. All the characters in question are voiced by him for added hilarity.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Since this film is the Season Finale for Phase 2, then technically everyone in this film sans Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Stan Lee, the Falcon, Captain America and Bucky Barnes are this.
  • Last Minute Hookup: Scott and Hope, much to Hank's shock and dismay.
  • Le Parkour: It's part of Scott's skill set as a thief, and why he is chosen to don the Ant-Man suit.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Hope says "It's about damn time" after being presented with the Wasp suit. Marvel fans have long been complaining about the lack of the Wasp in the MCU, with the closest she'd come to appearing previously being Joss Whedon's early plans to include her in The Avengers.
    • In the trailers (but not in the final film), a lot of characters don't take the name "Ant-Man" seriously, just like most audiences would. In one of the trailers Scott even asks if they can change the name, which has happened a little too excessively in the comics.
  • Legacy Character:
    • Scott Lang is the second person to take the role of Ant-Man, following Hank Pym.
    • Hope becomes the new Wasp in the first stinger (no pun intended).
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Ant-Man gets into an unexpected fight with the Falcon, and wins.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After a rather unexpected defeat to a man who can inexplicably change size, Falcon insists that Captain America never be told of the incident.
  • Lighter and Softer: This movie has a lot more humor and comedy than most of the MCU films (though all of them have plenty of comedic moments), similarly to Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: When Scott meets Maggie's new fiancee, a cop named Paxton, he presents himself as a reasonable man who's reasonably annoyed that his girlfriend's ex-con-ex is unreasonably hanging around his house. However, once the comic-book science starts flying around, one could be forgiven for believing he's on Cross' payroll; despite non-stop weirdness involving malfunctioning cameras, disappearing inmates, oddly-behaving ants, and finally a building first hatching a Russian tank and then imploding to nothing, his first thought upon seeing Scott is to tase him and call him a lunatic fantasizing he's a superhero rather than further investigate a poolside barbeque that was apparently blasted with Frickin' Laser Beams. He even leaves Scott handcuffed in his cruiser while Yellowjacket breaks into his house to assault Cassie. Though in the end, he does acknowledge that Scott isn't the waste of space he thought he was, and decides to just sweep the whole thing under the rug as a computer malfunction.
  • MacGyvering: When breaking into Hank Pym's house, Scott gets past two very different security systems from two different centuries with some basic appliances and materials.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Hope van Dyne, who is estranged from her father Hank after the death of her mother.
  • Magic Countdown: When Scott awaits in a jail cell, Hank sends in his ants to deliver the Ant-Man suit while miniaturized to him. The ants form a countdown of ten seconds to signify how long he has before the cop arrives. We see it at nine before he stands up to get changed, yet somehow has the entire suit zipped up and on with only the helmet needed by the time four seconds are left.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Unintentional variation: a man being stung by bullet ants would react with a lot more than a startled "Ah!"
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The whole team upon realizing that "one of Howard Stark's old storage facilities in upstate New York" they believed would be "a piece of cake" to steal a piece of tech from is now a state-of-the-art facility with a giant A insignia on the roof - the new Avengers headquarters. Scott takes it well. He doesn't bust Hank's eardrums yelling at him, he just gives the auditory equivalent of a Death Glare.
    Scott: Uh, guys? We might have a problem. Hank, didn't you say this was "some old warehouse?" It's not. YOU SON OF A BITCH.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Scott's relationship and interactions with his ex-wife's new fiancee Paxton is actually integral to the plot.
  • Moment Killer:
    • Almost immediately after Hank reveals the truth about his wife's death/disappearance to Hope and they reconcile, Scott has to open his big fat mouth.
    • Happens a second time when Hank walks in on Hope and Scott making out.
  • More Expendable Than You: Hank's reason for wanting Scott, a professional criminal they have to train, to use the suit, rather than Hope, who knows how to use the suit, is an equal-if-not-superior fighter, knows the facility, and has an in with Cross. After what happened to Janet, there's no way Hank would put his daughter in that kind of danger. The fact that this isn't obvious to Hope speaks volumes about their estrangement. Scott, to his credit, picked it up right away, which makes sense as he's a father himself.
  • Motor Mouth: Luis loves to tell convoluted stories about his friends' friends' friends who know something that may potentially possibly lead to a heist/score.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black:
    • The costume is a lot darker than the one from the comics, but still has red in the chest area. The black leather is so prominent that Lang initially mistakes the costume for motorcycle gear.
    • The Yellowjacket suit is also darker, being black with yellow Tron Lines.
    • The Wasp costume is black and yellow.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Given it deals with really small perspectives, many things seem awesome and/or menacing when you're insect-sized. For instance, Ant-Man running through a building model that is being shot seems on the same class as the Avengers on a crumbling building.
    • Ant-Man and Yellowjacket have what appears to them to be an epic miniature battle on a train set, which at normal size just looks like a bunch of plastic toys being knocked over.
    • Not that Pym Particles are mundane, but what do you do when you're trapped in a building that is locked down, surrounded by cops and about to explode? Embiggen the tank you shrank down and disguised as a key chain to bulldoze through the walls.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Hank and Hope make liberal use of the ant-controlling tech for things like putting sugar in coffee.
    • Scott uses his superpowers to sneak into his daughter's bedroom to see her one last time before the big heist.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Hope van Dyne sports a short bob hairstyle, much like the one her mother Janet wore in the comics.
    • The Yellowjacket suit looks similar to the G.I. Ant-Man armor from the short-lived Irredeemable Ant-Man series.
    • Lang suggests changing the "Ant-Man" name. Pym is prone to changing his superhero name a lot.
    • Ant-Man deals with a couple of mooks in a similar manner to the 2012 Edgar Wright test footage.
    • Scott mentions that Hank should try calling the Avengers for help. Well, he was one of the founding members of the team in the comics...
    • Scott lives at the Milgrom Hotel, named for Marvel artist Al Milgrom.
    • Hank's past exploits are jokingly called "Tales to Astonish" after the comic where Ant-Man first debuted.
    • In the ending, the journalist Luis' cousin went on a date with mentions "We got a guy who jumps. We got a guy who swings. We got a guy who crawls up the walls. You gotta be more specific!"
    • The "Quantum Realm" In the comics, as far back as Fantastic Four #16 in 1963 it was established that if one shrinks down enough, one can enter a realm variously known as Sub-Atomica or the Microverse, with myriad adventures set there.
    • Hank says he saw too much of himself in Darren Cross, who later adopts the Yellowjacket identity. Yellowjacket is one of Hank's many superhero identities in the comics.
    • Janet's Wasp costume resembles a female version of the Ant-Man suit, which could be a reference to her original red outfit from the comics.
    • Hank claims Janet "was born to it" when describing their superhero career together. In the Ultimate Marvel line of comics, Janet was a mutant and her powers greatly helped Hank expand on the Pym Particle's capabilities.
    • The new Wasp costume from the end looks very similar to the one from Uncanny Avengers, while the mask and lenses recall the Wasp's helmet from The Avengers: United They Stand.
    • Antony is initially called "Ant 247," a nod to Marvel Premier #47, the issue that introduced Scott Lang, and Tales to Astonish #27, the issue that introduced Hank Pym.
    • Janet's Heroic Sacrifice is one to Captain America and Bucky from the comics, oddly enough. Two heroes on a bomb, with one hero dying while it goes down (although for Bucky it blew up as it was meant to kill the pair), and the survivor being haunted with guilt over the loss of a partner.
    • The shrinking pistol that Darren Cross uses to kill Frank is very similar to the one wielded by Yellowjacket in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!.
    • Scott's method of escaping the Quantum Realm (attaching an enlarging disk to the suit's belt and activating it to make himself bigger) resembles the mechanism that Pym uses to become Giant-Man in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!
    • During Scott's fight with Falcon, Scott's opponent is able to easily spot him right away, thanks to his specialized goggles; in the comics, the character has a mask granting him telescopic, night, and infrared vision.
    • Hank is a retired superhero who is mostly around as an inventor and Mission Control. He also has a shrunken tank in his pocket, which he can use in a pinch as a weapon by growing it out. This status reflects a similar status while in the West Coast Avengers. He was retired during this period, acted as the team's Smart Guy, and often contained items and weapons in his pocket which were infused with pym particles, allowing him to grow and shrink them depending on what eh needed. He even had a tank.
    • While working at Baskin Robbins, Scott uses the name "Jack", which could either be a reference to Jack Kirby or a visual refrence to the Marvel hero Jack of Hearts (as the "Jack" nametag is placed roughly over Scott's heart), who, in the comics, accidentally killed Scott Lang.
    • Merchandising example, but the action figure line for the movie that was released by Hasbro featured Ultron as a Build-A-Figure, even though Ultron doesn't appear in the film. In the comics, Hank Pym is the one who built Ultron.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • One of the earliest trailers altered the background behind Yellowjacket to make it appear that he was the one reacting to Scott's "I'm Ant-Man" line. Likely to hide the fact that he's speaking to Falcon instead. Ruined by Trailers Always Spoil, see below.
    • A few pieces of merchandise depicted an Ant-Man suit with darker colors, including a black helmet. The LEGO set mentioned below depicts it as being worn by Hank Pym. Not only does Pym never wear that version of the suit, it doesn't appear at all.
    • None of the jokes about the "Ant-Man" name being dumb or silly are in the film.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Either justified or averted.
    • Hank Pym has only one Ant-Man suit, but this is because he only trusts himself and Scott to use it. Cross manages to build his own suit based on partial Pym blueprints that were locked away. The Stinger reveals Hank has a second more advanced Wasp suit in storage as well.
    • There is only one Yellowjacket suit currently made, but the plans for it are backed up on Pym Technologies' servers. Part of the heist involves damaging these servers too badly to let info be recovered from them and imploding the entire facility into nothing to boot, so that Cross can't just build another Yellowjacket after his suit is stolen. Cross himself has his own motive for not making too many Yellowjackets at once: he wants to monopolize the tech so that HYDRA can't just kill him to build their own but instead keep buying from him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • When Scott storms Avengers HQ for Stark tech, he accidentally runs into Falcon and what should've been a covert theft turns into a superhero battle. When he gets back, Hank lays into him for ruining the operation, but Scott counters that since he got the technology it doesn't matter. However, we later learn that news of the break-in and fight is what clued Cross into Hank's plan and allowed him to prepare for it, for which Cross mockingly rubs Scott's lack of carefulness in his face. Not only that, but it served as a demonstration of what a suit like that could do for HYDRA.
    • Dave accidentally hits Luis' novelty "La Cucaracha" car horn, while Paxton is looking for Lang, alerting Paxton to Lang's presence at Pym Technologies.
    • While Darren is visiting Hank, Scott uses the ant control device to roll up the plans of the heist. This is probably how Darren deduced Hope was at the house.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Cross gloating that the Yellowjacket suit is made of titanium (as Lang is struggling to get into the Yellowjacket suit) turned out to his undoing. Lang then shrinks to subatomic (knowing full well how Pym's wife was lost) in order to save his daughter, killing Cross in the process.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Scott gets arrested by the police and jailed again for breaking onto Hank Pym's property... when he was trying to return the stolen Ant-Man suit.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Darren Cross has a disturbing tendency to get very close to people he's dealing with, especially Hank and Hope.
  • Nom de Mom: Hank Pym's daughter Hope van Dyne goes by her mother's maiden name instead of her birth surname, due to her estrangement from her father.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When the police detained Scott, after he broke into Pym's house to return the suit.
    Scott Lang: Wait, I didn't steal anything! I was returning something I stole! [realizes what he just said and makes an "Oh Crap!" expression]
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Invoked by Luis, who asks if he can whistle when he has to infiltrate Pym Technologies as a security guard. Despite being told not to, he does it anyway. It ends up not mattering in the slightest.
  • The Obi-Wan: Hank is this to Scott, but the "almost always dies" part is subverted. During the standoff with Cross inside the holding chamber for the Yellowjacket suit, Hank takes a shot to his arm and it's set up to look like he's going to be trapped when the bomb Scott planted goes off. However he came prepared for such a situation and reveals his tank keychain is in fact a shrunken real tank, which he uses to evacuate himself and his daughter just before the place gets disintegrated.
  • Obviously Evil: Cross basically oozes callousness from his second onscreen appearance where he casually murders a skeptical investor with an imperfect miniaturizer and tosses what little remains of him in the toilet.
  • Odd Name Out: Scott, Janet and Paxton all do not fit to the aforementioned Family Theme Naming (see above). This makes it doubly true for Scott when he started working with Hank and his daughter Hope.
  • One Steve Limit: With Peggy Carter having become such a popular character in the MCU, Scott's ex-wife Margaret is instead known as Maggie.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • You do NOT threaten Cassie without Scott kicking the crap out of you.
    • Turns out, Paxton is one to Cassie too, albeit as a stepdad.
    • Hank is a lot more protective of Hope than you might think. It's the main reason why he refuses to let her use the Ant-Man/Wasp suit.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Pym gives Scott one:
    Dr. Pym: Scott, I've been watching you for a while, now. You're different. Now, don't let anyone tell you that you have nothing to offer. Second chances don't come around all that often. I suggest you take a really close look at it. This is your chanceto earn that look in your daughter's eyes. To become the hero that she already thinks you are. It's not about saving our world; it's about saving theirs. Scott, I need you... to be the Ant-Man.
    Scott: Wow. That's a good speech.
  • Pet the Dog: After firing him from Baskin-Robbins, Scott's now-former boss says he'll look the other way if he wants to help himself to a smoothie on his way out. Scott takes him up on that offer.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Scott gains super-human strength when he shrinks down to the size of an ant, as in the comics. Although here its ambiguous as whether he really does gain super human strength, or he maintains his strength and it's relatively super, since he's so small.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Once Scott sees the supposedly abandoned building Hank ordered him to raid is the new Avengers HQ, his reaction is "You son of a bitch!".
    • When Hank catches Scott and Hope making out, and Scott is quickly trying to explain it, Hank simply says "Scott, you're full of shit."
  • Product Placement:
    • Upon getting out of jail, Scott gets a job at Baskin-Robbins.
    • An iPod and Siri pop up in the climax for a gag.
      Yellowjacket: I'm going to disintegrate you!
      Siri: Now playing Disintegration by The Cure.
    • Thomas the Tank Engine features prominently — and hilariously — in the climax.
    • A police officer drops an empty container of Yakult when he sees Scott is gone. Which explains the very confusing ads Yakult had.
  • Properly Paranoid: Since inventing the Pym Particle, Hank refuses to let anybody research it, including S.H.I.E.L.D., as he fears the technology would fall into the wrong hands. And as Winter Soldier proves, Hank was entirely justified in his paranoia, considering that the S.H.I.E.L.D. official who wanted the Pym Particle is actually a HYDRA agent.
  • Ramming Always Works: Especially when you have a real tank on a keychain you can unshrink at moment's notice.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Scott's criminal record means that he finds it nigh-on impossible to find a steady job, and when he hides it to get a retail gig and the company finds out, he's fired immediately despite his boss's sympathy.
    • Scott and his divorced wife haven't even discussed custody rights yet, and she refuses to consider the matter unless he can find and hold down that impossible job, to pay off his child-support debt.
  • Recycled Premise: Once more, a Marvel superhero in his first MCU movie must fight an enemy that has a newer, more powerful version of his own powers, like in Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: In the middle of his Villainous Breakdown, Darren Cross is so desperate to kill Scott that he starts firing a gun inside of a helicopter while it's in flight. This is even called out on by the guards he's with, who are yelling at him to stop shooting the entire time he's trying to shoot Scott. This continues after he puts on the Yellowjacket suit, to the point that he's firing his lasers so wildly that he kills the pilots and causes the helicopter to start spiraling out of control.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: The Pym particle, with this power to shrink or enlarge things, would have the potential to make an umprecedented revolution at almost all the scientific and industrial fields. Pym would deserve the Nobel Prize, just to begin with. The manipulation of insects, although not so amazing in comparison, would also be a huge scientific achivement. And yet, Pym keeps all that in a superhero suit getting dust inside his safe: he thinks that it would be too dangerous if that science falls into the wrong hands. Cross also works in it and may be more willing to exploit it, but he's too focused on being better than Pym and getting a functional reduction of living things to notice the advantages of what he had already achieved.
  • Retired Badass: Hank Pym is now a retired superhero who operated in The Sixties up until The '80s.
  • Required Secondary Powers: The Ant-Man suit is sealed to prevent the user from breathing unshrunk oxygen molecules, as well as preventing the user from imploding during the shrinking itself. Its helmet also protects the user from the radiation of the Pym Particles, which can cause permanent brain damage. Finally, the suit's belt has a shrinking regulator which prevents the user from accidentally shrinking themselves past a certain size.
  • Rule of Cool: Suit designer Ivo Coveney admits that the tubes on the helmet are Awesome, but Impractical, since it'd be easy for an enemy to tear them off and kill Scott instantly (since the outside air molecules would be too big for his lungs). Despite this, he said the design team opted to leave them in, since they felt the tubes made the suit look cooler.
  • Running Gag: People constantly being underwhelmed by the name "Ant-Man."
    The Falcon: "Ant-Man?"
    Ant-Man: "Iron Man" was taken.
  • Safecracking: Hank Pym keeps the Ant Man suit in a very old safe, one that Scott knows how to break into.
  • Sanity Slippage: Darren Cross, after overexposure to Pym Particles without the protective helmet.
  • Scale Model Destruction: The model plaza gets destroyed in an Outrunning the Fireball parody.
  • Schizo Tech: Hank Pym's lab is a mix of modern technology and vintage Cold War equipment more reminiscent of The '70s and The '80s, as well as a turn-of-the-20th-century safe that wouldn't be out of place on the Titanic. Which give away Hank's more action-oriented past.
  • Season Finale: The film is the final film of the MCU's Phase Two, instead of Age of Ultron, despite the first Avengers being the finale to Phase One.
  • Second Love: After her and Scott's divorce, Maggie settles down with Paxton. Scott himself moves on with his life with Hope at the end of the film.
  • Secret Identity: Pym had a very huge one: it was not just his identity as Ant-Man which was a secret, but also Ant-Man's very existence. Same goes for Janet van Dyne, the Wasp. Scott Lang has one as well, but does not play it very straight.
    Hope: Did he just say "Hi, I'm Scott."?
  • Seen It All: Falcon reacts to a man the size of an ant growing back to full size like it's an every day occurance.
  • Self-Deprecation: The trailer contains this line in reference to the Ant-Man moniker:
    Scott Lang: One question. Is it too late to change the name?
  • Self-Parody: The film takes advantage of the hero and villain's literal smaller scale to good-naturedly poke fun at standard superhero movie tropes. Such as the climactic bedroom fight showing how epic-scale destructive battles between good and evil ultimately don't have much of an impact on the world at large.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The two stingers set up Hope becoming the new Wasp in future Marvel movies, and Scott appearing as Ant-Man in Captain America: Civil War.
    • The HYDRA agents manage to escape with a tube of the Yellowjacket shrinking particle (but not the suit itself).
    • Since Scott just proved that it is possible to get back from the quantum abyss alive, Hank wonders briefly if it's still possible that Janet might still be out there.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Hank Pym and Darren Cross. Cross prefers sharp cuts that emphasize his height and physique, implying that he is concerned with projecting a strong impression, whereas Pym favors a softer style with bright colors that shows that he's stylish and comfortable in his own skin.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Said nearly verbatim by Scott when Luis refers to Hope as such.
  • She's a Man in Japan: The French dub changes all references to the ants as female (guys to girls, Antony to Antoinette) since the word for ant is feminine, and in real life, nearly all ants are female.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Yellowjacket and Ant-Man battle at one point on a Thomas the Tank Engine toy set.
    • Scott and his crew segue into a discussion about Titanic as Scott is breaking into a vault made out of the same metal as the real RMS Titanic.
    • Cassie has a plush toy of Flounder in her room.
    • Shout-out to Marvel Studios' corporate owner, Disney: While disguised as a security guard, Luis nonchalantly whistles the theme song of "It's a Small World".
    • The suit being decades old and increasing the wearer's strength, Hank's medical condition meaning he can't use it anymore, the banter between Scott and Hank as Mission Control, and the plot involving an aging superhero trying to stop crime at his old company who's new CEO is a younger Corrupt Corporate Executive, bring to mind Batman Beyond.
    • Alongside the fact that the Ant-Man suit resembles a Raygun Gothic version of Kamen Rider, the red-and-silver color scheme is similar to Ultraman, another famous Japanese superhero. And the colors of Hope's new Wasp suit look rather like Ultraman Tiga's.
    • If you listen carefully, Yellowjacket's lasers appear to use the sounds of the AT-AT walkers from The Empire Strikes Back, most evident during the train sequence.
    • Cross's mooks shooting at Ant-Man while he is running through Cross' miniature model of the building is an allusion to Zoolander. The title for this section of the score? "Center for Ants". And then, the first trailer for Zoolander 2 played before some US screenings of Ant-Man.
    • The bond between Scott and Antony the ant and the latter's heroic but saddening demise calls Honey, I Shrunk the Kids to mind.
  • Shooting Superman: While not quite as impractical as shooting a man who is literally impervious to bullets, trying to shoot the man the size of an insect would be a poor use of ammo anyway. Shockingly it's surprisingly effective because the first time it's attempted it kicks up enough debris to menace Scott and the second time it nearly works by taking out the exact ant he was riding on (which was out of a swarm of thousands).
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Anthony Mackie as the Falcon, serving a semi-major role, and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, only appearing in The Stinger.
  • Size Shifter: The Ant-Man suit allows its wearer to shrink in size, yet gain far more strength than they have at normal size.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Done quite literally between Hope and Scott.
  • Something We Forgot: So, the big fight is over. Do you remember about the enlarged Thomas The Tank Engine that destroyed some cop cars? Or the ant that was enlarged to the size of a dog? Don't worry, they are still there.
  • Spot of Tea: Tea is the go-to drink for the film's characters. Scott even says that he's going to go make a pot after realizing that he ruined a tender father-daughter moment between Hank and Hope.
  • Square/Cube Law: Zig-Zagged. Pym Particles can turn a normal sized human into the size of an ant while retaining his original strength and his mass drops accordingly, however they don't die from heat loss or their increased metabolism making them starve to death or asphyxiate from having too little oxygen. Likewise, an ant gets enlarged to dog-sized proportions and seems to gain mass, but it isn't crushed under its own weight the way an enlarged ant really would be.
  • The Stinger:
    • In the first stinger, Hope is given an updated model of her mother's suit, becoming the new Wasp.
    • In the second, Captain America and Falcon have tracked down an incapacitated Winter Soldier. Falcon then mentions he knows a guy who can help them move Bucky, setting up Ant-Man's involvement in Captain America: Civil War.
  • Superman Stays out of Gotham: Parodied. Scott suggests that Hank should try calling the Avengers to deal with the problem at hand, possibly jokingly, but Hank refuses, primarily to keep his shrinking technology out of Tony Stark's hands. It is also implied in later dialogue that the film is taking place very shortly after the events of Age of Ultron, going by Hank mentioning the Avengers being busy with a "falling city."
  • Synchronized Swarming: Hank uses his ants to form swarms shaped like numbers to alert Scott of how long he has to change into the suit.
  • Tagline: "Heroes don't get any bigger."
  • Tank Goodness: The T-34/85 tank on Hank's keychain isn't just a novelty, it's actually a shrunk down fully functional tank that Hank can un-shrink at a moment's notice.
  • This Is What the Building Will Look Like: A model of the future Cross Technologies plaza is prominently featured in Darren Cross' presentations.
  • Three-Point Landing: When Scott shrinks in a bathtub, he lands on his legs and one arm.
  • Thrown from the Zeppelin: When Cross is giving the pitch for the Yellowjacket to the government, one man objects that given what has already happened in the MCU, the weapon could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Cross shuts him down and promises to talk about it later. In true Bond villain fashion, Cross then follows him into a restroom and uses an unstable shrinking ray to do away with him.
  • Token Trio: Luis (hispanic), Kurt (white/Eastern European) and Dave (black), Scott's friends from prison.
  • Too Much Information: When Luis starts saying that he Knows A Guy Who Knows A Guy, he usually falls into this territory, instead of keeping focused on the actual stuff he should be telling.
  • Toxic Phlebotinum: Exposure to Pym Particles damages the brain without proper protection. Hank Pym also notes that he can no longer use the suit despite wanting to, suggesting that prolonged exposure even with a proper suit has its drawbacks.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • A lego set that was leaked before the release of the movie revealed that Hank Pym dons the original Ant-Man suit. This only happens in flashbacks.
    • A more concrete one was the Freeze-Frame Bonus from one of the TV spots which confirmed that Falcon does appear in the movie.
  • Training Montage: Scott's training as Ant-Man takes place in one.
  • Traintop Battle: Befitting with the size changing gimmick, part of a battle between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket is a toy traintop battle. On Thomas the Tank Engine, no less.
  • Trespassing to Talk: Darren Cross does this to Hank Pym.
  • Uncommon Time: One of the main themes of the film is in 7/4.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Few were expecting the Ant-Man movie to get off the ground after years of Development Hell; by the time it arrived, the superhero was considered an unexpected pick for the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the Avengers were formed without him.
    • In the film itself there's Hope van Dyne, who goes by Red Queen (Hope Pym) in the Marvel Comics 2 universe.
    • The use of Darren Cross, a character who appeared in one issue before dying, as the Big Bad.
    • Falcon appears late into the film.
    • Actor-wise, John Slattery reprising as Howard Stark from Iron Man 2, after the audience has grown accustomed to Dominic Cooper.
    • More so an organization than a person, but equally unexpected, HYDRA's involvement with Cross being revealed dramatically increases the stakes of the movie.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Scott Lang in the original, 50+ year old Ant-Man suit, versus Darren Cross in the brand new, top-of-the-line Yellowjacket suit. Downplayed however, if not even averted, since the years in between were spent trying to replicate the technology that made the original suit work (the only effective innovation added on it being the lasers), it's been shown that the Ant-Man suit was at least taken care of and repaired (at least by Scott) after it was dusted off, Hank developed two new weapons to use with the suit (one of which is used against Yellowjacket effectively), and the Yellowjacket suit is a prototype that was never even tested before the fight, while the Ant-Man suit went through a lot of testing and Scott took his time training himself to properly use it.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Scott is told very clearly by Hank not to play with the suit's regulator, as he could cause himself to "go sub-atomic": shrinking forever with no way back. Later, Hank tells his daughter (and the audience) that by "going sub-atomic", Hank's wife saved the United States from a Russian nuke but was lost forever in the process. When Scott is forced to "go sub-atomic" in the final battle, Hank's monologue from earlier replays over the entire scene. Really, only the "Don't play with the regulator!" line needed to be used to get the point across.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cross has one, a long time coming. He feels not appreciated by his mentor, and apparently being exposed to Pym Particles for a longer period of time has an effect, which in Cross' case seems to be worsened due to the Pym Particles that he uses being an imperfected knock-off. He nearly goes full Bond villain before Pym Technologies gets blown up. Then he puts on the Yellowjacket suit and he just goes full vengeance on Scott for being the nearest proximity for his rage.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Daren Cross believes he's advancing scientific progress by spreading the Pym Particle technology. Though the "well-intentioned" part slips away along with his sanity from prolonged unprotected exposure to Pym Particles.
    Cross: Did you think you could stop the future!?
  • We Need a Distraction: Dave provides one for Hank Pym by stealing a police car and doing donuts to distract the police who are about to arrest Pym.
  • Wham Line: And to close out the film too:
    Luis: He said yes! [referring to the Falcon looking for Scott to offer him a place on the Avengers.]
    • "It was never just a heist!"
    • Hank Pym gets a good one with "It's not a keychain," revealing the tiny tank on his key ring to be the real deal, just revert to its original size, keyring and all.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The damaged helicopter is never mentioned again after Scott and Darren fall out of it while in the briefcase.
  • What Is Going On?: Scott's very understandable reaction when he finally meets Hank and Hope face-to-face.
    "Who are you, who is she, what the hell is going on here, and can I go back to jail now?"
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Generally played straight, but in one scene Luis specifically goes out of his way to rescue a knocked out henchman they'd left locked in a room. The fact that all the others Luis and Scott knocked out were likely killed when the building imploded - along with any other bystanders who didn't get out in time - is ignored. To be fair, the mook Luis locked up never actually attacked him.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Hope and everybody else at Pym Tech is horrified by the fact that Cross is horribly killing absurdly adorable lambs in his experiments to successfully shrink live subjects, but they apparently wouldn't have a problem if he was using mice.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: This string is played pretty heavily when Antony, Scott's personal favorite carpenter ant, gets shot dead in the final battle. The camera takes time to linger on his fallen wing.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Perhaps due to the relative obscurity of the character, a large part of the marketing push for the movie has involved playing up Ant-Man's connections to The Avengers.
    • The members of the team appear in one of the TV spots, reusing footage from The Avengers and their various solo films.
    • A trio of humorous posters for the movie show Ant-Man standing on Captain America's shield, Thor's hammer, and Iron Man's shoulder.
    • The synopsis for the film also makes sure to mention that Ant-Man was a founding member of the Avengers in the comics.
    • One of the official taglines for the movie is "No shield. No armor. No hammer. No problem."
    • Falcon, one of the Avengers, actually makes an appearance. Captain America and Bucky then appear alongside Falcon in one of the Stingers.
    • Not only did they spoil the above appearance, but they later released another TV spot which shows the character again, as well as a scene of Luis excitedly saying "He works for the Avengers!"
  • Would Hit a Girl: Averted. Scott and Hope spar and she puts him through the wringer but it's implied that he's pulling his punches and trying not to hurt her (since he's already demonstrated that he can hit hard enough to stagger someone much bigger than him). The one time he lands a solid blow, he's immediately apologetic.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Scott doesn't remember any specific details from his visit in the Microverse.


Marvel's Ant-Man Prelude contains the following tropes:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: A bit more practical when you can shrink down to the size of an ant.
  • Call Back: Peggy once again fires a sidearm at someone to prove a point, causing them to use some fancy tech to avoid the danger. Leading to this exchange:
    Hank: What do you think?
    Peggy: I think it works.
  • Cold War: HYDRA is making trouble in their old stomping grounds of the now divided Berlin.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Part of Hank's mission is crossing the infamous "Death Strip" of the Berlin Wall undetected.
  • Indy Ploy: Peggy's best advice for the ill-experienced lab tech on his first solo mission in the field? When in doubt of what to do, improvise.
  • Megaton Punch: One of Ant-Man's powers put to full effect. Sneak up beside somebody's face and deck 'em with full-sized human strength... but focused at a pinpoint spot. Ouch.
  • Teleport Spam: In a close-quarters room, Hank can effectively do this, appearing at full-size, then shrinking out of view, back and forth very quickly. It's very unsettling.
  • The Only One I Trust: With the technology of the Pym Particle, Hank only trusts himself to prevent it falling into the wrong hands, so he won't let any other S.H.I.E.L.D. agent wear his suit. Which means he has to go out into the field if it's absolutely required.

Marvel's Ant-Man – Scott Lang: Small Time contains the following tropes:

  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Scott's former boss at Vistacorp is an overcharging crook. His corruption is why Scott had to do a Robin Hood act.
  • Forensic Accounting: By accident, Scott stumbled on the glaring over-charging of customers his former employers were involved in. Beware the IT guy with access to everything.
  • Gang Initiation Fight: The opening shows Scott's getting the crap kicked out him in prison. The ending reveals it's early in his stay and this is an arranged fight by Scott's cellmate, Luis.
  • How We Got Here: Scott's already in prison at San Quentin when the story opens. The rest of the comic is about what happened to lead him there.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: With access to Vistacorp's bank accounts, Scott decides a little redistribution of wealth is in order.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Try to whistleblow on a corrupt executive? Fired. (This with a "Whistleblower: Know Your Rights" poster in the background).
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Stealing the money back wasn't enough for Scott; he got the bright idea to rub things in by taking the boss' car and driving it into his pool. Taking the time to do this is what gets him caught.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: When Scott tries to reveal his company is illegally overcharging customers, they run a smear campaign that they're just a hardworking company and he's just a disgruntled "former employee" trying to extort them.

The WHiH viral news segments contain the following tropes:

  • The Bus Came Back: The segments star Christine Everhart, the intrepid reporter who hasn't been seen since Iron Man 3.
  • Continuity Nod: Christine mentions that she reported on Tony Stark in Gulmira, which occurred in Iron Man.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Carried over from the Small Time comic, a video showing security footage of Scott's robbery shows that the boss' car has a "ONEPR¢R" ("one-percenter") Vanity License Plate.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • There is a brief bit in the news crawl that mentions that the countries attacked by Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron are now demanding accountability from the Avengers.
    • More ominously, there's mention of parties trying to recover the remains of Ultron's various bodies, and that components from the destroyed robots are already fetching huge sums on the black market.
    • An earthquake in Wakanda has also been mentioned. Even if the quake never never plays into the movies, the mere mention of Wakanda helps set up Black Panther.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The news segments' credits show that WHiH World News is a property of Vistacorp, Scott Lang's former employer; before Christine flat-out states it in the interest of full disclosure when she interviews Lang.
  • Reality Ensues: As explained under Foreshadowing, the thousands of Ultron drones left after the Battle of Sokovia are being taken in and resold on the black market for their highly advanced technology similar to that of an Iron Man suit. Similarly, said battle and its preceding conflicts' damage and loss of life are being blamed on the Avengers, rather than giving them Hero Insurance.
  • Show Within a Show: WHiH acts as this, as a news broadcast within a film about events within the film universe.
  • Stealth Pun: The events in Sokovia are called "earth-shattering."
  • Strawman News Media: As revealed during the interview with Scott (or earlier if you noticed the Freeze-Frame Bonus), WHiH is owned by Scott's former employers. Scott assumes they're out to continue slandering him and makes sarcastic remarks about it at every opportunity.
  • Take That:
    Christine Everhart: I reported on Tony Stark in Gulmira, and believe me, you're no Tony Stark.
    Scott Lang: Thank God.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: During Scott's interview, he gets so worked up that the nearby guard tasers him, ending the interview then and there.

"So, I asked Ignacio, did the badass tell the stupid fine writer chick to tell you to tell me, because I'm tight with Ant-Man, that he's looking for him?"
"And? What'd he say?"
"He said yes!"