Film / X-Men Film Series
aka: X Men
"Mutant and proud."

"Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward."
Professor Charles Xavier

A long-running series of adaptations of the X-Men comic book franchise to the silver screen, which (alongside the Spider-Man Trilogy) revived superhero movies for the 2000s—while Iron Man kicked off the MCU, and The Dark Knight Trilogy proved conclusively that superhero movies could be "serious" cinema, the former in particular probably never would have happened without these films (along with the Spider-Man Trilogy).

It holds to the original premise of the discovery of mutants, humans who possess unusual abilities and superpowers through genetic mutations and are feared by the rest of the world. The heroes are the X-Men, a team organized by powerful telepath Charles Xavier who hopes to establish peace between mutants and regular people, with a school dedicated to helping mutants, understanding and harnessing their powers for good. Various others oppose them, some normal human militants hoping to kill them and, most prominently, Xavier's former friend Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto, who leads a counter-team who are trying to establish complete mutant domination.

The franchise is owned by 20th Century Fox, and therefore it is not part of Paramount/Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The original trilogy consists of:

  • X-Men (2000) - New recruits Wolverine and Rogue join Professor X's mutant team to stop Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants from using a devastating weapon that can mutate normal humans with disastrous side effects.
  • X2: X-Men United (2003) - The X-Men reluctantly team up with Magneto to rescue Professor X and the students of Xavier's School from Wolverine's old enemy Colonel William Stryker, who is fully intent on mutant genocide.
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) - An antibody for the mutant gene has been developed, prompting the X-Men to defend those who produce it from Magneto's growing army.

Rather than continuing the series chronologically from there, FOX decided to film a series of spin-offs and prequels. In the case of the latter, the First Class Trilogy essentially rewrites the continuity that was set by the first trilogy into an Alternate Timeline. It consists of:

Due to his popularity, Breakout Character Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) got his own set of movies which include:

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) - A prequel spin-off detailing Wolverine's Mysterious Past as a mercenary for William Stryker's Team X who went rogue.
  • The Wolverine (2013) - A solo Wolverine spin-off set after X-Men: The Last Stand, following Logan's adventures in Japan and based upon Frank Miller's acclaimed miniseries.
  • Logan (2017) - Jackman's final performance as Wolverine; the film also stars Patrick Stewart. It borrows elements of Old Man Logan.

Following Deadpool's unique introduction in Origins, the character got his own series of movies that were much more faithful to his comic book self, including:

  • Deadpool (2016) - A spin-off focusing on "The Merc with a Mouth," a.k.a. Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, with Ryan Reynolds reprising the title role.
  • Deadpool 2 (TBD) - Deadpool's psychotic misadventures continue as Cable is brought into the mix.

Other spin-offs include:
  • The New Mutants (TBD) - Written and directed by Josh Boone.
  • X-Force (TBD) - Based upon the X-Men's black ops squad, few details of this project have been revealed so far.
  • Gambit (TBD) - Based on Gambit, the film was greenlit and was supposed to star Channing Tatum as the titular character. It has since been removed from Fox's releases schedule and currently is in Development Hell.

After a year-long period of negotiation, Fox struck a deal with Marvel Studios to co-produce live-action television series based on the X-Men. The current projects are as follows:

  • Legion (2017) — Based on the eponymous mutant, the show follows a mentally-unstable individual prone to schizophrenic episodes. However, after an encounter with another patient, he discovers that he has latent abilities that would explain his mysterious condition. While show was originally said to not exist in innately in the X-Men Film Universe the shows staff have hinted that this could change.
  • Untitled: The story will follow a pair of ordinary parents who, after discovering their children are mutants, join an underground network of mutants to hide from the government.

The shows are also completely unconnected to the MCU in spite of the involvement of Marvel Studios. Nonetheless, Disney still retains the rights for Mutants to appear on live-action television (hence why a Marvel Studios deal was necessary), while Fox retains the film rights to the characters.

You can vote for your favorite film here.

The series in general provides examples of:

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  • The Gadfly:
    • While hosting guests or defeating enemies, Quicksilver loves to annoy them during his bursts of super speed.
    • X-Men: Professor X telepathically guides an anxious Logan—the latter has no idea where he is or why he's there, or why he's hearing a strange male voice inside his head, and because Dr. Jean Grey wanted to take a blood sample, Wolverine assumes that he's being experimented on—from the school's infirmary to Xavier's office, where Charles greets his guest with a polite "Good morning, Logan." Professor X is aware of the traumas that Wolverine had experienced, and it's a bit disconcerting that the former took advantage of the latter's paranoia for a little bit of fun, even if it was only for a short time.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: After Scott accidentally damages Professor X's most beloved tree on the estate, the latter, strictly speaking, didn't have to say anything about the tree being planted by his grandfather (especially when Charles had already made up his mind that he'll accept Scott as a new student), yet he did so anyway just to provoke a reaction from the teen. Scott doesn't want to be at the school (and thus one would assume that he would prefer to be rejected), yet he becomes extremely apprehensive over the possibility that Xavier is furious at him for ruining a priceless family heirloom. It should be noted that Scott is blindfolded, so he can't see Charles' facial expression to judge the latter's emotional state. Alex most likely informed his brother that Xavier is a very powerful telepath, and warned Scott (who has a tendency to be rude) that he should behave himself in front of the Professor. Scott obviously failed spectacularly in that regard, and Charles then teased the young man by making him wince for a moment.
      Charles: My grandfather planted that tree when he was five years old. I used to swing from the branches of it myself. [tree finishes falling apart] I think that was probably my favourite tree.
      Scott: (worried) Does that mean I'm-I'm expelled?
      Charles: (smiles) On the contrary. You're enrolled.
  • Gene Hunting: In X-Men: Apocalypse, Quicksilver seeks out his estranged father Magneto, but Peter chooses not to disclose to Erik that they're related.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Professor X is well-educated (he has a doctorate in genetics) and carries some characteristics of a Quintessential British Gentleman. X-Men: First Class affirms that he's half-British through his mother, and she had raised him to behave and speak like a proper upper-class English gentleman.
  • Gentleman Snarker: Xavier has shades of this in X-Men: First Class. He's from an extremely wealthy family, attends Oxford and possesses an absolutely brilliant mind—but he prefers to use his mind-reading abilities and genius knowledge of genetics to seduce women, and seems more interested in drinking than helping mankind. Even when he starts the team, he still possesses a keen wit and sense of fun (which is not to say he is in any way flippant about his beliefs). Only towards the end, when his friendship with Erik is destroyed and he is left paralyzed, does he truly become the mentor and leader we would come to know and love.
  • Glamour Failure:
    • X-Men:
      • Mystique's shapeshifting isn't quite perfect. Her eyes flare yellow if she loses her concentration, and she can't quite mimic the scent of others (making her particularly vulnerable to Wolverine's sense of smell).
      • After "Bobby Drake" convinces Rogue that she should leave the school, his eyes turn yellow, revealing that it was Mystique in disguise. This occurs again with a Statue of Liberty sculpture and Senator Kelly at the end of the movie.
    • X2: X-Men United: Mystique can't seem to hide the scars Wolverine left behind on her. Likewise, Stryker isn't fooled when she masquerades as Wolverine. One thing he knows better than anyone is his own work.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Mystique's irises briefly become yellow when she assumes the identity of a Secret Service agent and Major Stryker. Moreover, when she duplicates Bolivar Trask, she doesn't get his face quite right.
  • Glass Cannon: The ultimate example is Professor X, who is basically the mutant equivalent of a Squishy Wizard. His psychic abilities are unrivaled, but he's slight in stature, a Non-Action Guy, and a spinal cord injury has turned him into a paraplegic.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Professor X is the second-most powerful mutant (third after Jean accesses her Phoenix Force), and the story even makes a point about how a "god" is incomplete without his psychic ability ("To be everywhere, to be everyone"). But because his telepathy is ineffective against Apocalypse's Psychic Block Defense, Charles is totally defenseless; as he's paralyzed from the waist down, he can't even try to run away from his captor.
      • Quicksilver's Super Speed, which normally gives him a huge advantage over his foes in combat (Apocalypse is flying through the air when Peter is punching him), is nullified after Apocalypse traps his foot into the ground and breaks his leg. In the vicious hands of the god-like mutant, Maximoff is as fragile as a toy.
  • A God Am I:
    • Bryan Singer acknowledges that Professor X "...could go inside Cerebro and rule the world, but he chooses not to." That being said, as much as he pushes for the equality of mutants and humans, Xavier is arrogant and he believes that he always knows what's best for someone and/or for the greater good, which leads to him occasionally abusing his psychic powers. He has no qualms briefly taking away an individual's free will with his Jedi Mind Tricks or "borrowing" them as a People Puppet, and he often reads the thoughts of others without asking for permission. Charles' ambition doesn't include turning the world into his personal playground, but his behaviour does prove that he "plays god" whenever the situation suits him.
    • X2: X-Men United: Invoked by Magneto, who is a mutant supremacist, when he informs the impressionable Pyro, "You're a god among insects. Never let anyone tell you different."
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Inverted; En Sabah Nur claims that the various deities worshipped throughout history were just different names for him. Apocalypse is so powerful that Hank essentially acknowledges that the former might as well be a supernatural being ("It's all of us against a god"). Singer clarifies Apocalypse's "divine" status.
      "He's kind of more the God of the Old Testament, the vengeful God who wants the world in a certain order and wants to be worshipped—but he's also forgiving."
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • The Sentinels were programmed to hunt and destroy mutants among the non-mutant populace and they proved extremely effective in this task. However, they soon began targeting people who could potentially have mutant children and then those who might have mutant grandchildren. Eventually, they began wiping out the entire human race to fulfill their purpose.
      • Bolivar Trask wanted to make the Sentinels to create peace, and got it, in the form of the apocalypse. The peace of the grave.
      • Played for Laughs in the film's ending, where it's revealed that as a result of Wolverine's timeline meddling, Jean Grey no longer died in this new version of history. Unfortunately for Wolverine, this also means that Cyclops didn't die.
    • Deadpool: Ajax's experiments on Wade succeed in creating a mutation that grants him a powerful Healing Factor, which is exactly what allows Wade to survive everything thrown at him while hunting Ajax down.
  • Good Flaws, Bad Flaws:
    • Wolverine's fondness for cigars is part of his macho image.
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Although the writers wanted to present Xavier as a very different person when he was young man, they can't give him too many negative traits because the character is still the Big Good of the franchise, so one of his "good" flaws includes being a womanizer.
      • Hank McCoy, who we learn in X-Men: The Last Stand is one of Charles' closest friends (and therefore his personality can't be changed too drastically), gets lack of self-confidence as one of his primary faults.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Past Xavier is no longer a cad like we saw in First Class, but he has developed additional "good" flaws such as alcoholism, drug addiction, cynicism, and cussing. The guy is utterly messed up, but the writer was careful not to make the character too "bad" (Charles has to eventually become an All-Loving Hero, after all).
  • Gotta Get Your Head Together:
  • Groin Attack:
    • X-Men: Mystique to Wolverine during their duel.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Wolverine to another healing mutant ("Grow those back").
    • Deadpool:
      • Deadpool punches Colossus in the crotch, only to break his hand trying.
        Deadpool: Cock-shot! [CLANG!] OW! [grabbing his hand, which is now limp and broken at the wrist] Your poor wife!
      • Then he tries again with his other hand.
        Deadpool: [holding up his limp hands] All the dinosaurs feared the T. rex...
      • Executed successfully by Vanessa on "Fat Gandalf" for being rude to her.
      • Executed successfully by Angel Dust after she takes advantage of Colossus's modesty to sucker-punch him.
  • Guile Hero:
    • Professor X's manipulative side is hinted in X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand, where Magneto and the Phoenix suggest that Xavier has been doing whatever he can to keep Wolverine at the school. Magneto even directly asks him this, something Charles never directly refutes, instead changing the topic.
      Professor X: I've put him on the path. Logan's mind is still fragile.
      Magneto: Is it? Or are you just afraid of losing one of your precious X-Men?
      • This is the Phoenix's observation:
        Phoenix: What, you think [the Professor's] not in your head, too? Look at you, Logan. He's tamed you.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Xavier's psychic powers are useless against En Sabah Nur's mental shields, so the former exercises his smarts to undermine and delay the latter's Evil Plan as much as possible. Apocalypse's New Era Speech was intended to stir planet-wide panic, but Charles mitigates this somewhat by altering the last sentence with a slightly hopeful note, and it no doubt saves some lives. Meanwhile, he stealthily embeds a telepathic message for Jean so that the X-Men know where to find him. When Apocalypse imposes a Sadistic Choice on his escaped prisoner, Professor X Takes a Third Option by diverting his foe's attention with a psychic duel, and he thus avoids having to sacrifice the world or Mystique and Quicksilver. Xavier knows that he can't win the fight on the astral plane, but what ultimately secures his victory is his emotional connection to his daughter figure Jean. He learns from his mistake in the original timeline, and he understands that the only way the Phoenix can be "tamed" is for him to love Jean for all that she is—and not fear what she's capable of by locking away a part of her mind—so that she develops the confidence to accept herself and her abilities. What Charles lacks in raw power in comparison to Apocalypse, he makes up for it with his psychological insight and exploiting The Power of Love.
  • Happy Flashback:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: 1973 Charles briefly reminisces about the first time he met Raven, which was a much happier and more innocent period of his life than his current state of abject misery and self-destruction. One notable difference between his memory of the event and what we saw in X-Men: First Class is that Charles as a kid didn't say, "And that's a promise" right after he told Raven that she would never have to steal again.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Magneto recalls a couple of cherished moments that he had shared with Charles in 1962. One line which wasn't featured in First Class is Xavier telling him, "And it needs you, Erik."
      • When Charles restores the memories that he took away from Moira, there's greater emphasis on the cheerful times they had spent together.
  • Hate at First Sight:
    • X-Men: Wolverine and Cyclops show an immediate disdain for one-another before even a single line of dialogue is spoken.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Judging by the harsh glare the younger Magneto gives to Logan just before he walks away from the Pentagon kitchen, he plainly dislikes the clawed mutant even though the latter hasn't done or said anything negative. It seems highly unlikely that Erik would remember a rude stranger that he once tried to recruit in a bar 11 years prior, and even if he did, his behaviour is rather antagonistic for such a minor insult.
  • The Heart:
    • Professor X is this in X-Men: First Class and in all the other team films to a lesser extent. The X-Men obey him because his warmheartedness is the glue that keeps the team unified even when there are internal disagreements, such as between Beast and Havok or Cyclops and Wolverine.
    • Wolverine in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Ironically, it's his major role in the film, with very few fight scenes. He's more there to galvanize the young Charles Xavier into action.
  • The Hedonist:
    • As an Oxford graduate student, Charles Xavier had a large appetite for bedding lovely co-eds and for liquor, and the latter becomes debilitating after he falls prey to alcoholism. It's part of his psychological maturation to gradually discard his selfish pursuit of sensual gratification and replace it with a selfless For Happiness perspective.
    • The Wolverine: Noburo Mori likes to indulge in drugs and prostitutes.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Storm is initially one of Apocalypse's Horsemen, but she switches sides during the battle once she sees Apocalypse nearly killing her idol, Mystique.
      • Magneto also decides to go against Apocalypse thanks to a combination of a speech about family, courtesy of Mystique and Quicksilver, and remembering that Apocalypse's current target was ultimately his best friend.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather:
    • Wolverine is the best example as besides the X-Men body suit, he often wears a leather jacket.
    • In the original trilogy, Cyclops is frequently seen with a black leather jacket.
    • X2: X-Men United: Mystique has a black leather jacket while seducing a guard.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Past Xavier owns a brown leather jacket.
      • Quicksilver is fond of his silver leather jacket.
    • Deadpool: Negasonic Teenage Warhead's signature look includes a black leather jacket or long coat.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Both Raven and Warren are dressed in a studded black leather jacket.
      • Scott's leather jacket is mostly artichoke green with some blue on the front.
      • Kurt's Thriller jacket is made out of red leather.
      • Peter sports silver leather pants and a silver leather jacket with black sections.
  • The Hero: Among the three main protagonists of the film series (Wolverine, Professor X and Magneto), Professor X is the most noble of the bunch. Logan is occasionally an Anti-Hero, and Erik is mostly a villain. The First Class trilogy explores three fundamental aspects of Charles Xavier: peace, hope and love. In X-Men: First Class, he represents serenity (which is a synonym for peace), and he averts World War III. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, his younger self is a lost soul who gradually finds hope again, and this prevents a future where mutantkind is exterminated by Sentinels. In X-Men: Apocalypse, he wields an ability which is just as powerful (if not more so) than his telepathy—The Power of Love; he vanquishes a Destroyer Deity with it.
  • Heroic Resolve: Professor X finds strength that he didn't know he had when Apocalypse threatens to suffocate Mystique if Xavier doesn't surrender. Charles had already been cruelly victimized and had nearly died from Apocalypse's Grand Theft Me attempt, yet despite his weakened condition, Xavier is able to enter his enemy's mind and attack him on the astral plane.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • X-Men: First Class: Considering that Charles' and Erik's friendship only lasted a few months, it was unusually intimate on an emotional level.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Played straight with the elderly Magneto and Professor X (the moment where they're holding hands is the closest that we've seen them since First Class), but averted with their younger selves. In 1973, Charles never once calls Erik "friend" (although Erik uses the endearment twice), which goes to show how broken their relationship is.
      • Hank and Charles are each other's Only Friend in between 1963 and 1973, so it's inevitable that they would develop a very close bond. There are moments of non-verbal (and non-telepathic) communication between the two men, like when Xavier gently taps Beast on the chest after he mutters to Logan, "I think I'd like to wake up now." McCoy immediately understands that the gesture means, "You can calm down now, our visitor is not a threat," and he reverts back to his human form.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Charles and Hank retain their close friendship from Days of Future Past, and it's a lot healthier now because McCoy is no longer Xavier's enabler, and they've ceased to be codependent. They also behave more like peers, as Hank is a teacher, and he has grown out of being needy of his former mentor's approval.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • X-Men: With regards to Magneto, director Bryan Singer explains in the September 2000 issue of SFX:
      "...the paradox in Magneto's character is that he was the victim and then becomes the aggressor. It's like he's slowly become these people who persecuted him and murdered his family right in front of him. He became embittered. You get angry enough and you start forgetting."
    • X-Men: First Class: Erik Lehnsherr hates Sebastian Shaw and wants to kill him, but he eventually embraces Shaw's beliefs about mutant supremacy. It's even spelled out through the villain wearing the same helmet that Magneto is associated with. At the crucial moment, he separates revenge from his ideals, which is why he's able to complement Shaw's vision while still hating the man to his core. Shaw-the-man wronged him terribly, but Shaw-the-visionary is inspirational.
  • Hidden Depths: Archery is Jean's hobby, and she practices it in X-Men: Apocalypse.
  • Hide Your Otherness:
    • X-Men: Professor X informs Logan that "Anonymity is a mutant's first chance against the world's hostility."
    • X2: X-Men United:
      • After Artie sticks out his dark, forked tongue at a girl who is eating ice cream, Storm chides him with "Not here."
      • At the museum's food court, Xavier admonishes Pyro for activating his fire-enhancing ability to play a prank on a rude young man.
        Professor X: The next time you feel like showing off, don't.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: The film starts with a little Angel who tries to cut off his own wings in his desperation to be normal. Considering that he did successfully remove them, but he still has the wings as an adult, they must have kept growing back.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: A young Victor Creed folds his arms behind his back to hide his claw-like nails from John Howlett.
    • X-Men: First Class: Fearful of humanity's negative reaction to mutants, Charles and Hank firmly live by this philosophy. Raven was initially influenced by her foster brother, but she has already grown frustrated with concealing her blue form in public when we first see her as an adult. Professor X tells Moira, "For us, anonymity will be the first line of defense."
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: 1973 Magneto invokes this as he's shouting at Xavier, "Hiding, you and Hank, pretending to be something you're not!" Beast in particular is very uncomfortable with his blue, furry form, and he creates a serum which temporarily suppresses his mutation so that he can appear human.
  • Hollywood Evolution: In this universe, the concept of evolution is that people who are born with the X-gene will develop a random super(natural) power when they hit puberty or experience a very emotional event.
  • Hollywood Nerd:
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Averted with Dr. Charles Xavier, who is stunningly attractive... and is aware of it. In fact, in his first scene as a grown man, he is seen using nerd-talk to pick up coeds at an Oxford pub.
      • Played straight with Dr. Hank McCoy, who is like an introverted version of Charles. All the brilliance, all the attractiveness, but none of his telepathic gift with people.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: In his human form, McCoy is quite the Pretty Boy when he loses his Nerd Glasses near the end of the movie. This is further accentuated in The Rogue Cut when Raven removes Hank's eyewear in order to see his face more clearly, and she kisses him shortly afterwards.
  • Homoerotic Subtext:
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • According to co-screenwriters Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz in the "Second Genesis" featurette (which was included on the DVD/Blu-Ray release), this movie is essentially a love story between Charles and Erik, with Raven and Hank being the Beta Couple:
      Miller: The story between Charles and Erik is on some level this tragic romance. You gotta arrange the other elements in that way, too.
      Stentz: Yeah, in this case you have Hank and you have Raven who end up being kind of the B-story version of the same thing you're seeing playing out with Charles and Erik. It's the making and breaking of a relationship.
      • In the rare "Magneto the Survivor" featurette, First Class producer Simon Kinberg refers to Professor X's and Magneto's separation as a divorce when he discusses their older counterparts.
      "What I love between Ian [McKellen] and Patrick [Stewart] in X1, 2, 3 is the sense that they're disappointed in each other. They actually wish that the other one would just come back to them, come back to their side, you know, 'we could be so great together.' It really is a post-divorce story. Understanding the origin of their conflict was the thing that was most interesting to me in this film. Understanding the beginning of their political fissure and their emotional fissure."
      • James McAvoy called the movie a "love story" between Xavier and Magneto, even though, when pressed for clarification, he admitted they were not gay. The film certainly concentrated heavily on the two's relationship, and the final scene, in which the two split and their surrogate children chose sides, played out like a couple's divorce.
      McAvoy: It is a little bit of a mini-tragedy that [Xavier] and Magneto don't, you know, have sex and become married and become best friends.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Simon Kinberg has said that Apocalypse is the third chapter of a love story between Magneto and Professor X.
        "If First Class was Erik's story and Days of Future Past is Charles' story, then Apocalypse will be both of their stories. The first movie was about Erik becoming empowered. That's the origin story of a man's power. Days of Future Past is about a guy who is a mess, masterminding the end of this massive movie. So they are both at their peak powers at the start of Apocalypse, so Apocalypse for me is the culmination of that three-act love story."
      • Kinberg later adds that when Erik calls Charles by his professor title for the first time in the movie series, it's a sign of respect and love which is greater than "old friend" because in the Alternate Timeline, Xavier is less pacifistic than in the original timeline.
        Simon Kinberg: 'I feel a great swell of pity for the poor soul looking for trouble.' The way that James said that line, to me, it's almost a Magneto delivery. It's a threat. And there's a response from Fassbender where he gives a little smile. And the little smile to me, that I read that smile and Michael and I talked about that smile, the smile was Magneto understanding Charles has learnt my lesson. That's a militant Charles Xavier. Erik says, 'Good luck, professor.' It's the first time he ever called Charles 'professor.' And it sort of shows respect that I found it really beautiful that Michael said it subtly loving.
      • While promoting Apocalypse at SDCC, James McAvoy summarized his charater's love-hate relationship with Erik (and Michael Fassbender agrees).
        McAvoy: It's that thing in a love story where you don't always like the person you're in love with, but you still love them. Charles and Erik always hated the way [the other] approached things. It's like, "Argh, he's always wanting to kill the humans! He's always going about the same old shit," and yet I just love the guy. I can't kill him, I don't want to mind-control him, I love him.
        Fassbender: That's right.
  • Horny Scientist: Subverted in X-Men: First Class. When Agent Moira MacTaggert has to find an expert on genetic mutation (specifically one who has researched the possible manifestation of superpowers in humans), she ends up meeting Charles Xavier on the day he is awarded his PhD in genetics. Dr. Xavier is horny alright, and he uses his geeky pick-up lines on Moira the instant he sees her. But instead of being undesirable, Charles is a gorgeous, charming, well-dressed academic—he's even a womanizer to boot. Although Moira brushes off his amorous advances at first to focus on her investigation of the Hellfire Club, she does become Xavier's Implied Love Interest by the finale.
  • Hospital Hottie:
    • X-Men: Dr. Jean Grey is a medical doctor who is engaged to Scott Summers, and this doesn't dissuade Logan in the slightest from pursuing her.
    • The Wolverine: Dr. Green (a.k.a. Viper) is this according to Logan, who congratulates Yashida upon finding out she's his oncologist.
  • Hot Scientist:
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Dr. Charles Xavier, a geneticist, is a rare male version of the trope. He shamelessly uses his charm, good looks and expertise in his chosen field to pick up women at Oxford.
      • Raven Darkholme initially harbours a crush on her foster brother Charles, but her affections are quickly transferred to Dr. Hank McCoy, an engineer and biologist.
  • Hot Teacher:
  • Hotter and Sexier:
    • X-Men: First Class: Who knew that Charles Xavier was a charming, Pretty Boy cad or that Erik Lenhnsherr was a brooding, Tall, Dark and Handsome "bad boy" during their youth? This film also provides the most scantily-clad females in the entire franchise.
    • Deadpool: With its R-rating, it contains a lot more nudity and sexual situations than any other X-Men film.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Played with as a motif for the series. The humans for the most part are shown to be intolerant and hateful of mutants (with some like Col. Stryker going that extra mile to make things a living hell for mutants), wishing they could eradicate their kind, while mutants themselves don't want to harm anyone and just live peacefully among humans. Professor X tries to bridge this gap and be a goodwill ambassador on behalf of mutantkind, hoping humanity will lower their guard and learn tolerance while Magneto loathes humanity and wants mutants to use their higher abilities to step over these hateful beings and become the one true inheritor of the planet. However, his methods are often excessive and definitely give good pause to humankind's fear and shunning of mutants, so he's not helping his case. And of course, there are those mutants like Sebastian Shaw who genuinely are evil and destructive, caring not for humans or even fellow mutants (regardless of what rhetoric they try to convey).
  • Hunk:
    • Colossus is the largest of the X-Men.
    • William Stryker was quite buff as a younger man.
  • Hurting Hero: The younger Charles in X-Men: Days of Future Past has completely fallen apart at the seams, haunted by the hardships he had suffered during the Cuban Missile Crisis and losing most of his students and staff to The Vietnam War.
  • Hypocrite:
    • X-Men: Magneto is willing to sacrifice Rogue, but not himself in the advancement of his cause. Beautifully called out by Wolverine, who tells him: "You're so full of shit. If you were really so righteous, it would be you up in that thing." The biggest irony of that is, if he had been willing to sacrifice himself, the plan would have worked.
    • X-Men: First Class: Despite claiming to be out-and-proud about all mutations, Raven doesn't want her brother reading or touching her mind in any way, even if that means just innately brushing up against it. Mutations are fine, so long as they're not telepathy or any other mind/emotion-reading gift. Her objection juxtaposes Hank's attitude, who never once tells Xavier not to read his mind even though McCoy had met Charles 18 years after Raven.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • At the climax, Magneto's past self has his most blatant moment of hypocrisy in the entire film series. After all the bravado both before and after about protecting mutantkind, he deliberately pits a Sentinel against Wolverine and Beast, ordering it to "do what you were made for."
      • In the plane, Erik calls Xavier out for abandoning the mutants out there to be killed or experimented on. Given how First Class ends, Xavier can reasonably say that Beast, Havok, Banshee and himself (who was newly shot in the spine) could have easily ended up as guinea pigs for either the US or the Soviet Union because Magneto left them stranded in Cuba with no transportation.
  • I Am a Monster:
    • In one of the TV spots for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Sabretooth utters this chilling line.
      "I'm not your friend... I'm an animal who dreamed he was a man. But the dream is over... and the beast is awake. And I will come for you, because it's my nature."
      • This is either a Shout-Out or a ripoff of Seth Brundle's "insect politics" speech, which itself is an homage to the Japanese poem, "I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?"
    • X-Men: First Class: Erik Lehnsherr calls himself Frankenstein's Monster, believing that it was Sebastian Shaw's (whom he views as his "creator") experiments which turned him into a freak of nature.
  • I Am Very British: X-Men: First Class attempts to explain why Xavier (who is American in the comics) has a Received Pronunciation accent. He is half-British, half-American,note  and his speech pattern was influenced by his posh English mother. It was later reinforced when he studied at the University of Oxford.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal:
    • X-Men: Rogue. In a deleted scene, she asks Storm if Xavier can "cure" her. She takes the cure to become human in X-Men: The Last Stand.
    • X-Men: First Class: Hank's and initially Raven's reaction to their mutant forms.
      "I'd give anything to just be normal."
  • I Was Quite a Looker:
  • Icy Blue Eyes:
    • Magneto's eyes are quite a striking blue, which is a good match for his rather cold-hearted view on things.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Professor X's steely gaze when he looks directly at the camera is the very last shot of the movie. It's unique and significant for the character because James McAvoy's iteration either has Innocent Blue Eyes or expresses that he's in excruciating pain due to a Break the Cutie ordeal or being a Broken Bird. It hints that McAvoy's Xavier is tougher than Patrick Stewart's in the original timeline because the former had undergone horrific torture by Apocalypse, and is nearly murdered by him, and what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Charles had already fallen apart at the seams once before, and he refuses to do this again even though the hell he was forced to endure in this film is much worse, so the fierce determination in his eyes is a warning that no one should mess with him or his X-Men.
  • Ideal Hero:
  • Implied Love Interest:
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • The relationship between Magneto and Mystique is a little vague.
      • Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost; his term of endearment for her is "love," and he calls her "the most exquisite thing I've ever seen in my life." There's also this line:
        Emma Frost: If that telepath gets inside your head, he won't be as much fun as I am.
      • Charles and Moira may have developed a romance while he was recovering from his injury because he kisses her at the end.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Much like The Last Stand, it's left rather vague whether or not Bobby and Kitty had anything going on. The Rogue Cut makes it explicit because they kiss twice. Come Cosmic Retcon, Bobby is back to being in a relationship with Rogue. Kitty and Colossus co-teaching a class may mean something between them as well.
      • Erik and Raven. When she's holding a spike to his throat, he just quips, "It's been a while since we were this close." There is also a hint when Charles asks Erik for the second time, "How is she [Raven]?", and Charles' facial expression when he hears the answer reads, "Oh, god, he has slept with my sister."
      Erik: She was... we were... I could see why she meant so much to you.
      • In the "Double Take: Xavier & Magneto" featurette on the Blu-Ray release, Michael Fassbender mentions that his character is "...very close to Mystique, he has very strong feelings for her." On one of the commentaries of The Rogue Cut, Bryan Singer states matter-of-factly that Erik was Mystique's lover.
  • In Love with Your Carnage:
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Sebastian Shaw bursts into laughter and shouts stuff like "Wonderful!" and "Excellent!" when Erik Lehnsherr as a boy slaughters all of Shaw's men and trashes his office. Later, they meet when Erik is an adult, and Shaw honestly compliments him on how powerful he has become, even calling him his son.
      • It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but Charles' face glows with delight when he witnesses Erik using the anchor of Shaw's boat as a destructive tool.
  • In-Name-Only:
    • While deviations are to be expected in adaptations, certain characters (especially in The Last Stand) are absolutely nothing like their comic book counterparts. Callisto, Kid Omega, Psylocke, Agent Zero, and Origin's version of Deadpool are among the most drastic examples.
    • First Class does little better. While at least keeping the powers of most of the cast and a few elements of their personality, most of the mutants bare little resemblance to their comic counterparts. Havoknote , Angel Salvadorenote , Azazelnote , and even Mystiquenote , despite being in the previous movies, are probably the best examples.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes:
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles' bright blue irises represent his goodness and naïvety. After the events of the film, he is still as idealistic, but has been rather blind-sided by reality and is much more cautious and reserved.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Since this movie partly recycles Xavier's arc from First Class, his radiant blue eyes are once more a symbol of him being too idealistic for his own good.
  • Internal Homage:
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Charles Xavier scores high on androgynous personality traits because he possesses qualities from all of this trope's five broad categories: Lack of Athleticism (especially after he becomes wheelchair-bound), Lack of Aggression (he prefers negotiation over violence to resolve problems), An Open, Emotional Personality (he's the epitome of a Sensitive Guy), Typically Feminine Interests (he's a teacher, which is considered to be a "nurturing" profession), and Effeminate or Non-Masculine Appearance (he's a shorter-than-average Pretty Boy). In X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, one of his button-front shirts are periwinkle and pink, respectively, plus he has a lilac sweater in X-Men: Apocalypse; they are not considered to be masculine colours, and they reflect his androgynous temperament. In the latter film, Charles' tenderness is one of his greatest strengths because it allows him to wield The Power of Love, which in turn makes him a more successful leader than the titular Big Bad.
  • Informed Fantastic Racism: Government-related parts aside (that being a common thing for the superhero genre), it honestly feels like the first two movies spend more time talking about how much normal humans hate and fear mutants than actually showing it. This is somewhat remedied in The Last Stand, but still nothing like the comics.
  • Jedi Mind Trick:
    • Xavier employs this "magic trick" on the Man in Black, Soviet border guards and a security guard at the White House so that he and his allies can reach their destination without any additional hindrance.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: When Stryker's soldiers search for more mutants and pass where Jean, Scott and Kurt are hiding, Jean uses her powers to conceal them from sight. She keeps using it to board the helicopter and to go around the military base, staying undetected.
  • Jerk Jock:
    • X-Men: First Class: Havok is a downplayed example because he's not as bad as what this trope is normally associated with, but he's verbally abusive towards the geeky Hank, and Alex even fits the blond stereotype.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Scott is bullied by one who threatens to kick his ass for winking at the guy's girlfriend.
  • Junior Counterpart: In certain respects, Jean Grey is a younger female version of her father figure Charles. She's a Nice Girl with a Friendless Background who is tormented by her telepathy because she has difficulty blocking out the thoughts of others, and she suffers from Bad Dreams, which makes the two of them Birds of a Feather. Jean becomes a source of emotional support to Scott after his brother dies, which mirrors how Xavier comforts her when she's distressed. Jean is compassionate towards a dehumanized Wolverine even after she had witnessed him butcher all of Stryker's soldiers, just as Charles is forgiving of Magneto's mass murder because he can still sense the goodness in his old friend. Jean adopts the Pstandard Psychic Pstance that her mentor no longer uses, which reinforces the idea that she's a surrogate variant of Daddy's Girl (see the trope's entry). Their sameness is also displayed visually because Jean wears a 3/4-sleeve blazer which is similar to the Professor's (albeit in a different colour), and conveniently, they're both beautiful in a feminine way (Xavier is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy).
  • Katanas Are Just Better:
    • Deadpool uses a pair of Japanese swords.
    • Psylocke prefers to harm her enemies with a katana and a psionic blade.
  • Kill All Humans:
    • X2: X-Men United: Stryker wants to Kill All Mutants, then Magneto changes plans to Kill All Humans.
    • X-Men: First Class: Shaw plots the extinction of humans so that mutants can replace them as the dominant species.
  • Kill the Ones You Love:
    • X-Men: The Last Stand:
      • Jean Grey as the Phoenix kills both Charles and Scott.
      • Wolverine is forced to kill Jean to stop her murderous Phoenix alter-ego from destroying everything.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Wolverine gets a lot of screen time, just like in the comics. Magneto likes to point this out in the original trilogy: "Once again, you think it's all about you."
  • Large Ham:
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Erik cries out at the top of his lungs, "IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT FROM ME?! IS THIS WHAT I AM?!"
      • En Sabah Nur is a goldmine of these, to the point where it almost seems like he has been ripped straight out of the '90s cartoon:
      • "No more stones. No more spears. No more slings. No more swords! NO MORE WEAPONS! NO MORE SYSTEMS!! NO MORE... No more superpowers."
      • "Charles, I know you can hear me. We're still connected. CHARLES! SHOW YOURSELF! CHAAAAAARLES!!! SHOW YOURSELF!!!"
      • It's Played for Laughs with Quicksilver, who is exasperated from being interrogated by Stryker on a subject he knows absolutely nothing about: "WE DON'T KNOW, BRO!!"
      • Xavier hollers in the astral plane, "UNLEASH YOUR POWER! LET GO, JEAN!! JEAN, LET GO!!!"
  • Leitmotif:
    • In the original trilogy, Mystique has a particularly exotic one that lets you know when it's really her.
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Erik has a brooding guitar theme. If you've made an enemy of him and it kicks in, things are about to get unpleasant for you.
      • When listening to the complete score on the Blu-Ray release, Charles is associated with a simple orchestral violin melody which gradually evolves into the X-Men: First Class theme. This makes perfect sense because he's the leader of the group. "Rage and Serenity" is actually a combination of Charles' and Erik's themes.
      • Raven's scenes are usually accompanied by a piano tune.
      • Schmidt/Shaw plays a record of Edith Piaf singing La vie en rose as an establishing motif in 1944 and 1962.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Composer John Ottman elaborates on Professor X's theme in this interview.
        Radio host: We talked about Xavier's theme which almost acts as the central theme for the film because his story is so important, and it hovers around him. Since the film is about hope, and his character is about hope and rediscovering his hope, kind of a lost soul, where did you really draw the music from [...]?
        John Ottman: [...] I knew what the character's challenge was, what the film was about, so I tried to create a piece of music or a theme that could play both sides, sort of despondent and tortured, but also be designed so that it can be hopeful as it evolves later in the movie. I started sketching on an electric piano, and it sounded so cool and vintage [...]. Early in the movie, when it's just very subtly underscoring him, it's a lot of electric piano within the strings.
      • In this featurette, Ottman brings up Magneto's theme.
        John Ottman: Magneto's theme is a very simple "baauum baaaaw." That's basically it, it's so simple you can identify with it and feel it. [...] When he does his stuff at the end and you hear that big sound, it's bigger than it ever was before, and it ties things together.
  • The Leader:
    • Professor X is primarily the Charismatic type. He's The Heart of the X-Men; the love, admiration and respect that his students and friends feel for him are what mainly holds the team together.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Bryan Singer has said many times that Apocalypse's greatest non-superpower skill is persuasion, so he falls under the Charismatic category.
      • Mystique is a reluctant field leader of the X-Men because she's used to working on her own, and she's of the Headstrong variety. She's outspoken, determined and courageous.
      • Scott takes the initiative when he, Jean and Kurt decide that they should try to save Hank, Raven, Peter and Moira from Stryker. Cyclops is the Levelheaded type because he's always thinking about the best strategy to circumvent whatever obstacles they encounter.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Deadpool: Although Weasel isn't aware he's in a film like Wade post-mutation, he still comments at one point "Deadpool, sounds like a fucking franchise." He also earlier states, when referring Wade to the Recruiter, "You should talk to him, it might advance the plot."
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: The passage from The Once and Future King that Professor X reads to his class is: "The past must be obliterated and the new start made. Let us now start fresh without remembrance rather than live forward and backward at the same time." For the audience, the underlying message is that we should ignore the Ret Gone original timeline of the X-Men movie series and focus on its Alternate Timeline.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Xavier invokes this trope when speaking to Logan in X-Men: The Last Stand with regards to the psychic blocks he placed over the Phoenix without Jean Grey's knowledge or consent.
    Professor X: I had a terrible choice to make; I chose the lesser of two evils.
  • Like Brother and Sister:
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles and Raven grew up together as foster siblings for 18 years, and he introduces her as his sister to Amy. He later cites this when Raven, feeling insecure about her looks, asks if he would date her... although it falls a little flat coming right after he's answered the question with "of course" in reference to her human form, before she clarifies that she means in her real form.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Lampshaded by the older Professor X when he mentions that Mystique was like a sister to him. It's later alluded to when a nurse wonders if the blue, scaly woman at the Paris Peace Accords has a family, and Raven replies, "Yes, she does." On the plane ride to Paris, Charles argues that he had raised Raven to be something better than a killer. Erik is quick to point out that Charles didn't raise Raven, they grew up together. This is what it takes for Xavier to realize that Raven is not his to control.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Mystique tells Magneto, "I'm going to go fight for what I have left," which specifically refers to her foster brother Charles.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Adamantium blades, such as Wolverine vs. Lady Deathstrike and Wolverine vs. Deadpool.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: Although Charles grew up resenting his mother's Parental Neglect, he nevertheless shares some traits in common with her. He picked up her posh English accent, her genteel mannerisms, her vanity, and he's so proud of his English heritage that he had spent several years studying at Oxford University. His heavy drinking in X-Men: Days of Future Past is a Mythology Gag to Sharon Xavier's alcoholism in the comics.
  • Little "No":
    • X-Men: First Class: To avert World War III, Charles forces the Russians to fire on their own transport ship; neither side knows that the crew is already dead. Azazel is at the helm and lets out a short "nyet" before teleporting away just before the missile hits.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • When Charles senses Peter's and Raven's imminent executions at Apocalypse's hands, and especially the latter's suffocation, he sobs one when Moira tells him he can't sacrifice himself for them without dooming the world as well.
      • Erik also murmurs several of these while holding his wife and daughter after they are accidentally killed by a Polish policeman.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Hank is this to the dispirited Charles; the latter is so desperate to escape from his mental pain that he would most likely have died from alcohol poisoning if McCoy wasn't around to supervise him. But it works the other way around, too, as the approval-seeking Hank has voluntarily suppressed his individuality (i.e. he has no career, hobby, or social life) just to attend to Xavier's needs 24/7, and is thus defining himself exclusively through his dutiful service to his ex-mentor. These are strong indicators that they are both trapped in an unhealthy codependent relationship.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: In X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse.
  • Logo Joke: The original trilogy features the "X" in the 20th Century Fox logo fading out a fraction of a second later than the rest of the logo.
  • London England Syndrome:
    • X-Men: We have a vaguely-defined province, country example with "Northern Alberta, Canada."
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine:
      • A variation with territory and country listed occurs in the case of "Northwest Territories, Canada." The American writers clearly didn't do their research because a portion of this region didn't enter the Canadian Confederation until 1870 (and the other sections were later divided up into separate provinces and territories over the next few decades), so in 1845, it should've been referred to as "North-Western Territory, British North America." James Howlett and Victor Creed were therefore born as British citizens (although presumably it would've been easy for them to obtain Canadian citizenship after the Dominion of Canada was founded in 1867).
      • "Lagos, Nigeria."
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • "Geneva, Switzerland," "Villa Gesell, Argentina" and "Moscow, Russia." (In 1962, it should have been called "Moscow, USSR," as Russia was only a Republic within the Soviet Union.)
      • A variation which features a specific location and country is "Oxford University, England" (the correct term is the formal "University of Oxford").
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Surprisingly averted. The cities of "Moscow," "Saigon" and "Paris" are listed without the corresponding country.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • "Pruszków, Poland"; "Cairo, Egypt."
      • Averted with "East Berlin."
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: The lovely Charles proudly styles his luscious tresses into a feathered mullet. In essence, he combines his prettiness from X-Men: First Class with his long, wavy mane from X-Men: Days of Future Past (but updated to an '80s hairdo). This is the character at his most vain because he revels in being beautiful and flaunts it. Apocalypse also plays up Xavier's nurturing qualities, so long hair (which is generally associated with femininity) denotes his androgynous mindset. His lips are a deep magenta instead of cherry-red like in First Class, and their rosy shade matches with his lilac shirt. For viewers who had never seen an X-Men movie before, there is absolutely no doubt that Professor X is In Touch with His Feminine Side based on his physical appearance.
  • Loser Protagonist: In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Past Xavier is the central figure, and he has been a totally unproductive member of society in between 1963 and 1973 because he's clinically depressed. He's a heavy drinker and substance abuser.

  • MacGuffin Super Person:
    • X2: X-Men United: William Stryker kidnaps Professor X in order to force the latter to commit genocide against mutants. Once Magneto gains the upper-hand, he modifies the settings of Dark Cerebro so that it targets humans instead.
    • X-Men: First Class: Sebastian Shaw wants Xavier to join the Hellfire Club because the latter is a more advanced telepath than Shaw's Dragon Emma Frost.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: The titular villain desires Charles' ability for his own because it's "the answer" to Apocalypse's quest for divinity.
      Apocalypse: For the first time in a thousand lifetimes, I have you. For all my gifts, I have yet to possess the one I needed most. To be everywhere. To be everyone.
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong: The core message of X-Men: Apocalypse is that ruling through love (as represented by Professor X) is more effective than ruling through fear (as personified by Apocalypse) because the former inspires loyalty while the latter encourages betrayal. The X-Men win the Final Battle because they're united, unlike Apocalypse, who has no one on his side in the end. This even forms the basis of Charles' Badass Boast when Apocalypse is about to "crush" his mind.
    Xavier: You will never win.
    Apocalypse: And why is that?
    Xavier: Because you're alone, and I am NOT!
  • Made of Iron: Made of adamantium to be exact in the case of Wolverine. Also, the Juggernaut and Mystique are really hard to kill.
  • Magic Pants:
    • Averted with Mystique, who does all her shapeshifting nude and forms the clothing of her disguises with her body.
    • Played straight with Wolverine as Phoenix's attacks destroy all the rest of his clothes, as well as skin and muscle, but his pants remain. The same thing happens in The Wolverine when he shields Ichiro after the atomic bomb is dropped.
  • Magnetic Hero: Professor X is exceptionally charismatic because he's gifted with the uncanny skill to influence people (without the use of his psychic ability) who hardly know him to risk their lives for him and/or uphold his philosophy against his enemies. In the time span of no more than a year (with some breaks, as Logan was digging around for his past at Alkali Lake, and later was "passing through"), Wolverine goes from mocking the Professor's paraplegia ("What do they call you, Wheels?") to being "tamed" by him. In X-Men: First Class, Charles is a very attentive and earnest coach who is able to shape the adolescent Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that he has recruited into an effective paramilitary group within a short period of time, and his new team is strong enough to withstand the more experienced Hellfire Club. In X-Men: Apocalypse, Cyclops, Quicksilver and Nightcrawler endanger themselves to rescue Xavier, whom they had only met once (or in the case of Kurt, he didn't even get the chance to talk to the Professor before the latter was captured), and they all elect to become full-fledged members of the X-Men.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: An Xavier student in X2 (implied to be Siryn), and Banshee (who is Siryn's father in the comics) in First Class.
  • Male Gaze: In X-Men: Apocalypse, the way the camera moves when we first see Mystique in her cleavage-exposing dress evokes this.
  • Man Child:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: The younger Charles rejects all adult responsibilities after he succumbs to depression, and McCoy has to look after him.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: At the age of 27, Quicksilver still isn't an independent adult because he continues to reside in his mother's basement, although his living space is a lot less cluttered than it was in Days of Future Past, which implies that his kleptomania has toned down in the past decade. He cracks a joke about his mother wanting him to get out of the house, and Peter acknowledges his Basement-Dweller status on the X-Jet.
  • Manly Tears:
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Both Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr do this in a rather touching scene where the latter is learning to control his powers through something other than rage. By telepathically finding one of Erik's happiest childhood memories, Charles helps him to see that true focus lies between "rage and serenity." Cue the tears as they both experience a bittersweet memory of Erik's long-dead mother on welcoming in their Sabbath.
      • After Charles gets shot, there is a particularly heartbreaking moment when he has to tell Erik that no, they do not want the same things when it comes to mutants and humans. Cue the Manly Tears on his part. It's an indicator of how the two men have grown apart that Erik's face just blanks of emotion in response.
  • Marquee Alter Ego:
    • Mystique's default normal human form in the original trilogy is... Rebecca Romijn.
    • In First Class, it's Jennifer Lawrence. But when Magneto says he might sleep with her "in a few years," she briefly becomes Romijn.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: A foster siblings variation with Raven and Charles in X-Men: Apocalypse. Both are mutant activists, but they use different approaches when saving the world one mutant life at a time—the sister is more "active" and the brother is more "passive." Mystique is a forthright Action Girl who travels around the globe and regularly employs violence to free mutants who are in physical danger; she tells Caliban that she doesn't care what they do with their newfound liberty. Professor Xavier, on the other hand, is a sweet Non-Action Guy who remains at his home/school and coaches his mutant students on how to master their inherently hazardous abilities so that they're no longer a threat to themselves or to others, while at the same time nurturing them as individuals. In the final scene, Raven assumes a stern, no-nonsense approach when training the X-Men for combat, whereas Charles will continue to educate their minds and provide emotional support.
  • Meaningful Echo: Between two movies, highlighting the difference between the Xavier School and Magneto's views on mutants. In a deleted scene from the first movie, Bobby asks Rogue her name, she says "Rogue," and he says "What's your real name?" She tells him "Marie." Then in X2, on the plane, Magneto has a conversation with Pyro:
    Magneto: What's your name?
    Pyro: John.
    Magneto: What's your real name, John?
    Pyro: Pyro.
  • Meaningful Look:
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Charles and Erik exchange numerous glances throughout the movie, which are indicative of their closeness.
      • After Raven insinuates that Alex's manhood may be small in response to the latter's mocking of Hank's feet, Raven and Hank look at each other; the former silently says, "I'm on your side," while the latter quietly expresses his gratitude.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Kitty Pryde and Bobby Drake share one as they cross paths during their battle against the Sentinels, and this may allude to them being in a relationship.
      • Mystique, disguised as a colonel, winks at Alex in a reassuring manner which says, "Don't worry, I'll get you out of this." Alex is unaware that the colonel is his former friend, though, so the wink confuses him.
      • Hank and Charles exchange an amused "Why am I not surprised?" glance (the former even adds a raised eyebrow) after Peter Maximoff asks them, "I saw your flight plan in the cockpit; why are you going to Paris?"
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Alex, who is mortified by his ex-mentor's prolonged ogling of Moira, calls out to the Professor and silently conveys with his eyes, "You're here to ask her about Cairo, remember?", which finally snaps Charles out of his reverie.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Wolverine was born as James Howlett; his surname is a nod to his animalistic nature.
    • Professor X's middle name and surname form the name of a saint (Francis Xavier), so they hint at the character's "saintly" personality.
    • Erik means "ruler" and Lehnsherr can be roughly translated as "feudal lord" (lehn = fief, herr = master). Magneto's birth name betrays his ambition to rule over humans.
    • Raven Darkholme. When de-powered in X-Men: The Last Stand, she's seen with Raven Hair, Ivory Skin.
    • William Stryker "strikes" at mutants.
    • Warren Worthington III's code name Angel refers to his angelic looks, which include large, white wings and blond curls. (This applies to both Ben Foster's and Ben Hardy's portrayals.) In the case of the latter, he becomes Apocalypse's "angel of death" in X-Men: Apocalypse.
      Ben Hardy: Angel is pretty angry, and he casts a shadow of death across the land.
    • Remy must be handsome, because his last name (LeBeau) directly translates as the masculine form of "The beautiful."
    • Emma Frost has a frosty temperament, as her surname suggests.
    • Viper's alias as Yashida's doctor is "Green," and she frequently wears green clothing. "Viper" also alludes to the classic fable "The Farmer and the Viper", which perfectly describes Logan's relationship with her master.
    • In Real Life, En Sabah Nur means "The morning light" (he represents the dawn of mutantkind), but the comics translate it as "The first one."
    • It's no accident that Jubilee's given name is Jubilation because she carries a sunny disposition.
  • Mentor Archetype:
  • Messianic Archetype: Professor X's role in the movie-verse is somewhat reminiscent of Christ. Xavier is an All-Loving Hero who suffers greatly to be a savior of mutants and humans alike, even though the latter persecute him. He is the leader of his True Companions, who live by and defend his philosophy, and he is betrayed by one his followers.note  Charles is literally resurrected in The Stinger of X-Men: The Last Stand. This association also extends to imagery, where he takes Jesus' position in a Pietà Plagiarism (X-Men: First Class), is briefly given a Background Halo and a Crucified Hero Shot (X-Men: Days of Future Past). When he has a beard and lets his hair grow long, he even Looks Like Jesus. For X-Men: Apocalypse (which deals directly with religious themes), Bryan Singer has made a reference to a figurative resurrection in this snapshot by calling it "Xavier reborn." The director explicitly says that Professor X is analogous to Christ in the franchise.
    "I've gotten to explore Professor X when he was an older, bald, wise man, when he's insecure, when he's defenseless, when he's powerful. He's more of a Christ figure. He chooses to be a teacher. He could go inside Cerebro and rule the world, but he chooses not to. He chooses to teach and preach and hope that people follow his message: peace and unity. And I've gotten to see him as a drug addict and a loser, and in this movie, you're going to get to see him prosperous and almost blindly optimistic, and how he changes."
    • James McAvoy was asked in this interview to boil down his character to only three essential elements, and the actor answered, "Empathetic, generous, and slightly suffering from a messianic complex. [...] He thinks he's the Second Coming of Christ, he thinks he's gonna save the world."
  • Mess of Woe: In 1973, Charles' neglect of his mansion is a reflection of how utterly forlorn he is. His bedroom and study are extremely cluttered, plus the grass on his estate is overgrown. Hank does his best to clean up some of the mess that Xavier carelessly leaves behind (at one point we see McCoy picking up empty liquor bottles).
  • Messy Hair: 1973 Charles doesn't bother with his grooming because he's too depressed to care.
  • Metal Detector Checkpoint:
    • X-Men: The characters pass through one of these entering a museum. Wolverine, naturally, sets it off, and then destroys it.
    • The Wolverine:
      • When Logan is scanned by Ichirō's security guards, he explains away the constant beeping of their devices as his hip replacement.
      • Logan requests a pat-down rather than have to deal with the inevitable difficulties that would arise from trying to go through one of these at the airport.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: There is one on the White House lawn; it beeps when Xavier passes through because of his wheelchair, and when it's Wolverine's turn... nothing happens because his 1973 body is adamantium-free.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: When Charles was in between 9 and 12 years old, he was Hearing Voices and wasn't aware that he was telepathic, so he had assumed that he was going mad from an acute mental illness. His past self in is so broken that it's torture for him to be bombarded by the thoughts of others, and he uses a serum designed by Hank to block out the ceaseless "chatter" in his head. In order to visit his future self, Xavier has to go through Wolverine's mind, which is full of traumatic memories; it's a pretty shocking experience for him. Likewise, when he attempts to use Cerebro, all he can sense is people crying out all over the world in loneliness and pain.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Jean loathes being "trapped inside [her] own head" because of her telepathy, and Xavier understands her anguish because he was also haunted by other people's suffering, pain and secrets in the past. When Scott asks Jean, "How do you know what [Alex] felt?", her face is somber when she gloomily replies, "I know how everybody feels." Professor X momentarily stuns Apocalypse on the astral plane by letting his enemy hear the inner voices of hundreds of minds that are within Charles' psychic range.
  • Mind Over Manners:
    • Jean Grey has similar rules as Professor X because he's her mentor.
    • X-Men: First Class: The much younger, less disciplined Xavier had no problem using his powers on anyone whenever it was convenient for him. That being said, he did promise Raven that he wouldn't read her mind, and he did ask for Erik's permission before searching for the brightest corner of his friend's memory system.
  • A Minor Kidroduction:
    • X-Men starts with Magneto as a boy in a concentration camp.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand begins with a middle-aged Professor X and Magneto visiting Jean Grey as a child.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine starts with Wolverine and Sabretooth as children.
    • X-Men: First Class begins with Charles Xavier and Raven Darkholme as children, and recaps a young Erik Lehnsherr in the concentration camp.
  • Misery Builds Character:
    • This is Charles' journey throughout the First Class trilogy; he must suffer a great deal in order to gain the necessary experience and wisdom to become an effective leader of mutants. When his life runs smoothly for too long, he can get complacent and fail to recognize that he's being harmfully paternalistic (such as his overprotectiveness towards Raven), or he doesn't anticipate a looming threat before it's too late (despite Hank's insistence, Xavier doesn't believe that the X-Men is required after the events of 1973). Because the hardships he had to endure in the Alternate Timeline are different than in the original timeline, his Icy Blue Eyes at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse indicate that James McAvoy's Professor X will be more resilient and proactive.
    • Deadpool: Negasonic Teenage Warhead asks her mentor Colossus what the perks of being with the X-Men are, considering the mansion gets completely destroyed every couple of years. Colossus then cheerfully responds that "House blowing up builds character."
  • Mission Control:
    • X-Men: First Class: When the proto X-Men clash against the Hellfire Club, Charles stays by the wreckage of the Blackbird and orders Raven to guard him. He's the only mutant who can restrain Sebastian Shaw (psychically or otherwise), so it's imperative for the mission that Xavier survives. He also gives instructions to Erik as the latter searches for their target.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: In The Rogue Cut, the older Professor X telepathically guides Magneto and Iceman through the mansion's secret corridors from the relative safety of the X-Jet.
  • Monster Progenitor: En Sabah Nur is the world's first mutant and the most powerful one. Over the millennia, he accumulates the abilities of all of his mutant hosts, so he's virtually god-like.
  • Monumental Damage: The Statue of Liberty in the original, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island in The Last Stand, Three Mile Island in X-Men Origins, and both RFK Stadium and the White House in Days of Future Past.
  • The Morality/Mortality Equation:
    • X-Men: First Class opens with Erik losing his parents in the Holocaust while Charles gains a foster sister in his comfy estate.
    • By X-Men: Days of Future Past, Magneto has lost four members of his Brotherhood to Dr. Bolivar Trask's medical experiments and ends up stuck in jail, while Xavier has lost only one student to Trask and still maintains his mansion.
    • Played for Drama in X-Men: Apocalypse, where after Erik's wife and daughter are killed while Professor X teaches at his prosperous school, Lehnsherr screams towards the heavens in agony, asking God why He always seems to take the people he's closest to. The X-Men suffers one casualty.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black:
    • X-Men: Producer Tom DeSanto thought about the original costumes, but eventually decided they would look silly and changed to leather ones (something Stan Lee and Chris Claremont approved). Lauren Shuler Donner added that the costumes helped the X-Men "blend into the night."
    • X-Men: First Class: Averted; the 1960s founding members of the team wear blue and yellow combat uniforms which are similar to their first appearance in the '60s comics.
    • The Wolverine: There were plans for Wolverine's yellow costume and mask to make a Cameo appearance, but this was scrapped. The scene can be seen in the alternate ending on the Blu-Ray.
    • Averted in Deadpool. The title character wears his trademark red costume from the comics, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead wears a yellow X-Men uniform that looks like a modernized take on the outfits from First Class. The two main villains are even mocked for playing this straight.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Played straight with the X-Men, who don battle versions of the original trilogy's black outfits. Ditto for Storm, whose Horseman armour is mostly black with a few silver highlights. Later averted with the second set of uniforms, which still contain some black, but it's no longer the primary colour.
      • Averted with Magneto, Archangel and Psylocke, who wear red, silver/grey and purple respectively; the latter's outfit in particular is quite similar to the comics.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The most objectified male character in the franchise is Wolverine, who is briefly naked in a few movies and has numerous Shirtless Scenes.
    • X2: X-Men United: Colossus spends most of his screen time running around shirtless.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Warren is bare-chested in one scene.
    • The Wolverine:
      • Logan reluctantly takes a bath as he is vigorously scrubbed by two female attendants, so much of his skin is on display.
      • Noburo Mori is in nice shape and gets an underwear scene.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past provides a nude Wolverine and a shirtless young Magneto.
    • Deadpool: Before Wade is disfigured, he's naked eye candy during his bed scenes.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Oscar Isaac is covered only in a loincloth when he's lying on a slab during an Ancient Egyptian ceremony.
      • Angel is shirtless when Apocalypse tries to recruit him.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The most objectified female character in the franchise is Mystique, who is nude when she's in her natural blue form.
    • X-Men: First Class: All of the women (Mystique, Angel, Emma and Moira) get at least one scene where they're wearing little or nothing. For Emma and Angel, it's their regular attire.
    • The Wolverine:
      • Viper's wardrobe is made up solely of skin-tight garments.
      • Jean Grey is only seen in a low-cut silk nightgown.
    • Deadpool: Vanessa is naked during her bed scenes with Wade, and she wears a skimpy outfit while working as a waitress at a strip club.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
  • Mundane Utility:
    • X2: X-Men United: When Logan wants a cold drink, he gives a Dr. Pepper to Bobby "Iceman," who uses his powers to chill it.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Bradley, who can power electrics, has a job as a carney after he quits Team X.
      "Turn the light off, get a prize. Three tries for a buck."
    • X-Men: First Class: Shaw orders Emma Frost to use her ability to turn into a diamond to chip off an ice cube for his drink.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Quicksilver uses his super speed to play ping-pong with himself.
      • Magneto uses his metal-controlling powers to stitch his head wound and to raise the volume control knob on the television set.
  • My Beloved Smother:
    • Although Charles is Raven's foster brother in X-Men: First Class, he tends to behave more like her Parental Substitute (this is confirmed in X-Men: Days of Future Past when he tells Erik that he had "raised" her). Xavier is so overprotective of his sister that it had stifled Raven's psychological growth as an adult, and she resents his pushiness to the point where they become estranged. Erik reminds Charles that the latter "...grew up with her. She couldn't stay a little girl forever, that's why she left." By the end of Days of Future Past, Xavier finally accepts that Raven is her own person and stops trying to influence her.
    • In a more general sense, Professor X doesn't encourage those who are closest to him to be fully independent as adults. Although most of his students eventually leave the school after graduation and assimilate into human society, those who are part of the X-Men never "leave the nest," so to speak. They stay together as a surrogate family while living under Xavier's roof, working as teachers, and Charles continues to exert his paternal authority over them even when they're roughly 57 years old (as shown with Jean Grey, Cyclops and Storm in the Alternate Timeline 2023 scene of Days of Future Past—heck, Beast would be around 80!).
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Although Xavier is wiser in the Alternate Timeline and knows that he shouldn't "cage the beast" when it comes to the Phoenix, he still keeps his daughter figure Jean on a tight leash by the way he nurtures her. His goal is to placate as much as possible the "fire" within her before it consumes everything and everyone in its path. To borrow a theme from First Class, Charles carefully molds the emotional comfort he offers to Jean as the "serenity" which can quell to some degree the "rage" of her wild "flames." His manipulation of her is so well-crafted that he dictates when the Phoenix—a force of nature—is free to spread its wings. Jean is now a "goddess" in comparison to Professor X, yet she remains subservient to her surrogate father, and it's implied that they're closer in the new timeline than in the old one. While there's no denying that he controls her with love, it does bring about the best outcome Xavier can hope for in terms of Jean being wholly in charge of the Phoenix, and not vice-versa. In this instance, his coddling is portrayed as having a positive impact on her psychological maturation. Bryan Singer outlines in his commentary the sway Charles has over Jean:
      Singer: 'It was just a dream' [...] He lies to her. Because he knows, because he's such a powerful psychic, [...] the power of Phoenix is growing inside her, and it's going to become out of control. And she's terrified of it, but doesn't understand it. And he does understand it. And he can't let on to her that he understands it because it would be too frightening, and she would run away. So this scene is all about control. All about keeping that power, and keeping it all under control. And only at the end of the movie does he give her permission [...] to explore her power.
  • Mystical White Hair:
    • Storm is a white-haired woman with weather manipulation/summoning powers.
    • Silver hair in Quicksilver's case. And while he is fond of breaking the law, he's not much of a White Hair, Black Heart like in the comics.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • X-Men:
      • Wolverine complains about the uniforms; Cyclops then asks, "What would you prefer, yellow Spandex?"
      • The explanation for how Rogue acquired the signature strands of white hair.
      • Allusions to Wolverine's past.
    • X2: X-Men United:
      • Magneto says "When will these people learn to fly?", referring to the fact that some of the X-men can fly in the comics.
      • There is a brief exchange between Nightcrawler and Mystique, who are mother and son in the comics.
      • The way Mystique approaches Wolverine disguised as Storm–-and how he identified her–-is very similar to a scene from The Dark Phoenix Saga, where a Skrull named Raksor, also impersonating Storm, tried the same trick on Logan, with a similar result.
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Banshee's wings are striped only to resemble the comics counterpart.
      • The uniforms are yellow and blue bodysuits, and Havok's reaction is "Do we really have to wear these?"
      • The helmet Erik seizes from Shaw and the repainted version in the final scene of the film resemble his helmet in the comics much more than the helmet worn by Ian McKellen.
      • Given that the movie is set in 1962, Xavier opened his school the following year... when the actual comic first debuted in 1963.
  • Nerd Glasses: McCoy wears the horn-rimmed variety in the First Class trilogy, which in his case is a visual cue that he's a geeky academic.
  • New Era Speech:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: 1973 Magneto proclaims a new era of mutant supremacy to the American leadership and the entire world. However, as he does, the audience is treated to the future scene of Sentinels wiping out the last of the Free Mutants, showing the fate his new era truly leads to.
      Magneto: You built these weapons to destroy us. Why? Because you are afraid of our gifts. Because we are different. Humanity has always feared that which is different. Well, I'm here to tell you, to tell the world: you're right to fear us. We are the future! We are the ones who will inherit this Earth! And anyone who stands in our way will suffer the same fate as these men you see before you. Today was meant to be a display of your power. Instead, I give you a glimpse of the devastation my race can unleash upon yours. Let this be a warning to the world, and to my mutant brothers and sisters out there, I say this: no more hiding. No more suffering. You have lived in the shadows in shame and fear for too long. Come out! Join me! Fight together in a Brotherhood of our kind. A new tomorrow... that starts today.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Thanks to Xavier's powers, Apocalypse sends his own to all the people in the world about how he'll tear down everything that humanity has ever built in order to usher in a new world order. Charles changes the ending to "those with the greatest power, protect those without."
        Hear me, inhabitants of this world. This is a message, a message to every man, woman and mutant. You have lost your way, but I have returned. The day of reckoning is here. All your buildings, all of your towers and temples will fall. And the dawn of a new age will rise, for there is nothing you can do to stop what is coming. This message is for one reason alone: to tell the strongest among you, those with the greatest power, this Earth will be yours.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Professor X opens his heart and his home to mutants who feel persecuted by the outside world.
      Logan: There's not many people that will understand what you're going through, but I think this guy Xavier is one of them. He seems to genuinely want to help you, and that's a rare thing for people like us.
    • Hank McCoy is very friendly, prefers to avoid conflict, and truly comes out of his shell when in his comfort zones, such as discussing science or assisting with the other students.
    • Darwin is polite, friendly, and when things get rough he can be seen immediately moving to make himself a human shield for the other kids.
    • Colossus is easily the most polite character in Deadpool, trying to encourage the title character to become a hero and acting as a Parental Substitute to Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Angel Dust responds to his gentlemanly behaviour towards her with, "Aww, how sweet."
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • When Scott unintentionally wreaks Professor X's favourite tree on the estate—an irreplaceable family heirloom because it was planted by Xavier's grandfather when he was five years old—the teen assumes that he must have pissed off Charles and is worried that he'll be kicked out. Instead, the Professor chuckles and warmly welcomes Scott to his school. Jean, who had witnessed the entire event, smiles at Xavier's benevolence and forgiveness.
      • Played with in Scott Summers' case, who is initially rude and snarky to everyone around him. After his brother Alex dies, he veers towards his classic characterization of a "boy scout."
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent:
    • Xavier keeps Patrick Stewart's English accent. James McAvoy tries to copy it, but at times the actor's Scottishness slips through.
    • Gambit doesn't sound remotely Cajun (in fact, he almost sounds like he's from Texas).
      • Somewhat justified in Gambit's case, as Louisiana and Texas, being right next to each other, share a significant degree of dialect between them.
    • While Halle Berry attempts some sort of accent in the first film, by the third she's not even trying anymore.
    • Same with Anna Paquin and Rogue, who has a slight Mississippi accent in the first movie which disappears in the sequels. Somewhat justified with Rogue as she's a teenager and growing to fit in with her classmates.
    • The North Albertan bartender in X-Men Origins: Wolverine seems to be from Tennessee for some reason.
    • First Class de-accentizes Banshee and Moira (though the latter goes from Scottish to American).
      • Basically, if you're not Nightcrawler, you WILL lose your trademark speech pattern in the movieverse. (However, it's less glaring than you think in some cases—in the original comics, after being taught English telepathically, the X-Men are noted on-panel to have no accents. It's just that we hear that once ever, characters' talk is positively filled with random words from their own languages, and every adaptation ever keeps the accent.)
  • Nothing But Hits:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: All your favorite tunes from the The '70s. The first thing Wolverine hears in 1973 is Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"; Quicksilver listens to Alice Cooper's "Hello Hooray" and Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle"; the disco in Paris is playing Claude Francois's French '70s hit "Stop au nom de l'amour."
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: The song selection leaves no doubt that the story is set in The '80s. Metallica's "Four Horsemen" plays when Archangel is "born," and the Eurythmics' most famous song, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," is heard during Quicksilver's rescue of Xavier's students. Both were released in 1983. An Egyptian cover of A Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran (So Far Away)," a smash hit in 1982, is blaring from a boombox at the Cairo market. Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance," another classic from that year, accompanies the deleted mall scene.
  • Novelization: The second and third films have novelizations by Chris Claremont; the one for the third film shows a lot more of what's going on in Jean's head than the movie is able to, appropriate from the man who wrote the Dark Phoenix Saga.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: X2: X-Men United is the only X-Men film which has a number in its title.
  • Official Couple:
    • X-Men: While not explicitly mentioned in the movie, Jean Grey and Scott Summers are described as each other's fiancé(e) in promotional materials.
    • X2: X-Men United: Rogue and Bobby Drake are in the early stages of a romantic relationship, and their challenge is dealing with her mutant ability, as she can kill someone with a prolonged touch.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Iceman and Kitty Pryde in The Rogue Cut. In the Alternate Timeline, that seems to have been erased because Bobby is with Rogue again, and Kitty is presumably with Colossus.
    • Deadpool: Wade Wilson and Vanessa Carlysle are engaged.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Erik and Magda are married.
  • Offing the Offspring:
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Mystique vehemently tells the FBI interrogator that her parents tried to murder her.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Thomas Logan nearly shoots his son James Howlett when the kid is charging at him with newly sprouted bone claws, but Elizabeth Howlett manages to grab the hunting rifle before Thomas could do so.
    • The Wolverine: Shingen planned to kill his daughter so that he would inherit his father's company.
  • Old Flame:
    • In The Rogue Cut, Mystique and Beast definitely still have feelings for each other despite being separated for over a decade. Mystique was even romantically involved with Magneto before he was incarcerated, but her first choice back in 1962 was Hank.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Charles and Hank still carry torches for Moira and Raven, respectively.
  • Old Money:
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Judging by the refined manners of John Howlett and the grandeur of the mansion, James Howlett was born into wealth. However, he learns when he was around 13 years old that his mother Elizabeth had an affair with Thomas Logan, his family's groundskeeper, and is their illegitimate child. After the death of both his legal father and biological father, James runs away from home, and he has been scratching a living ever since.
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles Xavier was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He lives in a very Big Fancy House, there are servants (a maid is mentioned), and his mother is a snobby British Socialite who thinks so highly of herself that she never enters the kitchen of her own home. Charles' taste in material goods is often expressed in classic, Simple Yet Opulent ways, in contrast to the gaudy Conspicuous Consumption that we normally associate with the Nouveau Riche.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Past Charles can afford not to work for a decade because he can simply mooch off his inherited wealth. The Xavier family crest on the tail of his personal plane, his plane's elegantly decorated interior, and even the design of the chess set he brings along for the trip are a visual cue to the audience that he is this trope, and not the tacky (or so the stereotype goes) Nouveau Riche.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: This detailed look at Xavier's mansion practically screams this trope. The narrator introduces it as, "In its near 300 years of service, this estate has been the primary residence for New York's elite society." She later adds, "...every effort has been made to preserve its historical and architectural integrity of the above-ground structure." It is estimated to be worth $75,850,000 USD (2016)! Charles owns a collection of beautiful vintage cars which are in pristine working condition, and that takes a lot of coin to maintain.
  • Once per Episode:
    • Magneto always has one big scene featuring him lifting/moving an extremely large object with his powers.
  • One of the Kids:
    • X2: X-Men United: Nightcrawler was excluded from the planning session along with the younger X-Men.
    • X-Men: First Class: Raven would rather hang out with the adolescent mutants than with Charles and Erik even though her age is much closer to the two men's.
  • One Steve Limit: There are a few aversions.
  • Only Friend:
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Near the beginning, Raven points out to Charles that she is his only friend. Presumably an affable fellow like Xavier would have numerous acquaintances, but his sister figure is only person he fully trusts.
      • Charles becomes this to Erik.
    • The Wolverine: While Logan is hiding out in the Yukon woods, his sole companion is a grizzly bear that lives nearby.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: After Past Charles isolates himself from the outside world due to his severe depression, Hank becomes his sole companion. Hank also doesn't seem to have a social circle, as he has taken it upon himself to be Charles' caretaker, which appears to be something of a full-time job.
  • Only in It for the Money:
    • The Wolverine:
      • Shingen Yashida's big objective is to gain his father's inheritance.
      • Viper describes herself as a capitalist.
      • Noburo Mori is only marrying Mariko for the power and money that comes with such a connection to Shingen.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Mystique accuses Caliban of caring only about money.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Ororo Munroe is regularly referred to as Storm.
    • Everyone calls Rogue by her code name. Marie is only used twice in the entire franchise.
    • Jubilation Lee goes by her nickname Jubilee.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Before X-Men: Apocalypse, Professor X had never condoned the slaying of a Big Bad. The worst it ever got was when he reluctantly became an accessory to murder in X-Men: First Class; he had held Sebastian Shaw motionless with his telepathy while pleading with Erik not to kill the man. When Charles is in a Battle in the Center of the Mind with Apocalypse, he isn't strong enough to subdue the god-like mutant, so he implores Jean Grey to summon her Phoenix powers, knowing full well that she will annihilate his enemy. In the Alternate Timeline, Xavier is a touch more aggressive, and this marks a major change for his character going forwards.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • Occasionally Hugh Jackman simply can't hide that he's Australian.
    • Michael Fassbender also lapses into his Irish origins in First Class.
      • It's somewhat unavoidably noticeable if he was speaking German the moment before and he's meant to be from the Eastern bloc.
      • Handwaveable with Magneto as he's spent years living all over Europe and learned at least four whole languages (Polish, German, French and English). It's quite possible he spent some time in the Emerald Isle and picked up a few tics.
    • James McAvoy's English accent is very good, but he reverts to his native Scottish whenever he shouts or cries.
    • The English Nicholas Hoult's American accent is consistent, but he frequently messes up on the word "professor."
  • Opening Monologue: All are voiced by Professor X.
    • X-Men: "Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years. But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward."
    • X2: X-Men United: "Mutants. Since their discovery, they have been regarded with fear, suspicion, even hatred. Across the planet, debate rages. Are mutants the next link in the evolutionary chain, or simply a new species of humanity, fighting for their share of the world? Either way, it is an historical fact: sharing the world has never been humanity's defining attribute."
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: "The future: a dark, desolate world, a world of war, suffering, loss on both sides. Mutants, and the humans who dared to help them, fighting an enemy we cannot defeat. Are we destined down this path, destined to destroy ourselves like so many species before us? Or can we evolve fast enough to change ourselves, change our fate? Is the future truly set?"
      • It's paired with a closing monologue: "The past: a new and uncertain world, a world of endless possibilities and infinite outcomes. Countless choices define our fate; each choice, each moment, a ripple in the river of time. Enough ripples, and you change the tide, for the future is never truly set."
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: "Mutants, born with extraordinary abilities, and yet still, they are children, stumbling in the dark, searching for guidance. A gift can often be a curse. Give someone wings, and they may fly too close to the sun. Give them the power of prophecy, and they may live in fear of the future. Give them the greatest gift of all, powers beyond imagination, and they may think they are meant to rule the world."
  • Opposed Mentors: Pyro in the second X-Men movie had the choice between Magneto or Xavier. This is often the case with some characters in the comics too.
  • Organic Bra: When not shapeshifted, Mystique has scaly parts over her naughty bits.
  • Origins Episode:
    • The title X-Men Origins: Wolverine is self-evident.
    • X-Men: First Class is specifically for Magneto, Professor X, Mystique and Beast. This adventure is before the X-Men, before the Brotherhood, before the world at large knew about mutants. This is where it all started.
    • Deadpool explores Wade Wilson's transformation into the titular character.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse delves into the lives of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm and Nightcrawler in the Alternate Timeline before they became members of the X-Men.
  • Out-of-Character Alert:
    • X-Men: For the audience at least, "Bobby Drake's" stern demeanour when he tells Rogue that she should go is at odds with his introduction as a Nice Guy. As it turns out, Mystique had impersonated him.
    • X-Men: First Class: How kid Xavier pierces kid Raven's disguise at the beginning of the film. She looks like his mother, but acts nothing like her. He confirms it with telepathy.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Dr. Bolivar Trask's secretary is surprised when he compliments her scarf, which is something he doesn't normally do. We learn a few seconds later that "Trask" was actually Mystique, who hasn't quite mastered gender roles yet.

  • Pacifist: Professor X is a conditional pacifist. He abhors violence and avoids it as much as possible (by his own admission, he isn't very good at it), but he recognizes that there are circumstances when it must be utilized to defend people's lives and his ideals. Xavier has proactively engaged in aggressive behaviour only thrice. In X-Men: First Class, he tackles Magneto to distract the latter from slaughtering the American and Soviet fleets with their own missiles. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Charles punches Erik in the face for betraying, abandoning and crippling him 11 years prior—note that the use of force in this case stems purely from a personal grudge, and it doesn't help Xavier's mission in any way. In X-Men: Apocalypse, he instigates a Battle in the Center of the Mind against the eponymous villain to save Mystique and Quicksilver, whom Apocalypse had threatened to murder. Earlier in the movie, Hank mentions that the Professor had turned down his request to restart the X-Men, and Raven remarks that "Charles wants students, not soldiers," but after their confrontation with Apocalypse, Xavier accepts that it's no longer sufficient for him to simply be a teacher. He retakes his position as the commander of his paramilitary group and ensures that his protégés will be combat-ready for the next big threat.
  • Palette Swap:
    • Magneto always had some red and/or purple colour on his outfit, but in 2023, his uniform is completely black and grey, signifying that he's now part of the X-Men.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past costume designer Louise Mingenbach described Past Xavier's switch from his brown-and-pink casual wear to his more formal blues and greys that is typically associated with the character in the other movies.
      "At the beginning of the film, Charles is medicating, and very possibly on hallucinogens, so we had that come through in his shirt. As he pulls himself together, he wears a nice blue oxford like all good, put-together men—a progression from that psychedelic Cat Stevens-wear."
  • Parental Abandonment:
  • Parental Favoritism: Downplayed with Professor X since he never neglects any of his students whether as a teacher or as a Parental Substitute, but he is closer to those who are Birds of a Feather, like Hank in X-Men: First Class and Jean in X-Men: Apocalypse. Hank and Jean do receive a bit more of his time and care.
  • Parental Neglect:
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles' mother is hinted to be emotionally distant towards her son, which is why Raven's maternal act backfires spectacularly.
      Charles: (telepathically communicates to Raven disguised as Mrs. Xavier) My mother has never set foot in this kitchen in her life, and she certainly never made me hot chocolate, unless you count ordering the maid to do it.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Ben Hardy suggests that a lack of parental nurturing is a major factor in Warren turning to the dark side.
      "People who don't get looked after enough can end up being very angry and I feel like this is where Angel's anger comes from and maybe that gives him the potential to transform and become one of the villains."
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Charles Xavier plays this role to all of the X-Men, but it's most notable in X-Men: First Class with a young Hank and the teenaged Alex and Sean, all of whom remain loyal to him before and after Cuba. The mere mention of Sean's death in X-Men: Days of Future Past makes Charles visibly distraught, which is in direct contrast to all of the other names that Erik throws at him. Being a father figure to Jean is explored in more detail in X-Men: Apocalypse, and Quicksilver decides to stay with the Professor instead of getting to know his estranged father.
    • There is one exception. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Charles claims he raised Raven, and Erik corrects him—they grew up together. He is not her father. This ties into the end of the film, when he stops trying to control her and lets her make her own choice.
    • Downplayed in the scene where 1973 Xavier interacts with Peter Maximoff before the former departs for Paris. Charles instinctually behaves in a paternal manner when he's around a young mutant, especially one who doesn't have much of a direction in his life (in Quicksilver's case, he's a juvenile delinquent who grew up without a father). Peter's smile at the end indicates that he appreciates the sentiment.
    • X-Men:
      • Wolverine promises that he'll take of Rogue.
      • Scott Summers invokes this while Professor X is in a coma.
        "You taught me everything in my life that was ever worth knowing."
    • The Wolverine: Ichirō Yashida for Mariko, as Shingen, her actual parent, is not a nice man.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • McCoy is a teacher at the school, and he has a paternal relationship with the younger mutants. He begins to form a bond with Scott.
      • Apocalypse serves this role to his Horsemen. He also invokes this trope when he asserts that "You are all my children, and you're lost because you follow blind leaders." He also tends to call mutants "my child."
  • Patrick Stewart Speech:
    • Given who plays Professor X, not surprising. Given who he is, also not surprising. Xavier's core message requires having such a speech at hand and ready to give at a moment's notice (as true here as it was in the source material). The capacity to give such a speech is the only thing that he and Magneto are feuding over.
    • In X-Men: First Class, where he is played by James McAvoy, he gives such a speech to Erik Lehnsherr. During their chess game, he attempts to convince Erik that human beings are capable of great understanding, and that mutants should be patient, as "we have it in us to be the better men." Erik skeptically replies, "We already are."
    • An even more epic example occurs in X-Men: Days of Future Past, where his older self gives one to his younger self, convincing the latter to "hope again," and that despite what happens (or in 1973 Xavier's case, will happen) to mutants, humanity can still be shown "a better path."
  • People Puppets:
    • X-Men: Professor X briefly takes control of Toad and Sabretooth and attempts to rescue Rogue from Magneto.
    • X2: X-Men United:
      • Professor X freezes hundreds of people in a large museum.
      • During the finale, Jean Grey is able to use Xavier (a fellow psychic) as a conduit to communicate with Scott.
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Charles immobilizes everyone except for Moira at the CIA Headquarters so that he can have a private telepathic conversation with her.
      • Charles mentally forces a Soviet officer to fire on the Aral Sea, thus single-handedly preventing World War III.
    • The Wolverine: In The Stinger, Logan notices that everyone at the airport besides himself and Magneto has suddenly stopped dead in their tracks. Only one mutant in the franchise has been shown to possess this ability...
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Xavier possesses various people around Mystique at the airport to talk to her in a casual display of how creepy his power can be when he gets creative. He temporarily prevents Mystique's body from moving once he determines that she's pretending to be a secret service agent, although he still permits her to speak. President Nixon, his cabinet and Trask are put on "pause" when Charles tells Raven he won't push her anymore and that she's free to decide Trask's fate. After the climax, he also controls Magneto when Mystique knocks the latter's helmet off to free himself from the metal debris that fell on him earlier.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Professor X "insists" with his mind-control abilities that everyone at the CIA building "take a break" so that he and Havok can visit Agent MacTaggert without having to deal with security.
  • Period Piece:
    • The Cold War is the setting for the First Class trilogy. First Class dealt with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the 1973 portion of Days of Future Past included the Paris Peace Accords (which marked the end of the The Vietnam War), and Apocalypse takes place 1983.
    • There is some uncertainty over the timeline for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but it's somewhere around The '70s and/or The '80s.
  • Perma-Stubble:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Hank has light stubble throughout the movie which is meant to make him look older than his clean-shaven appearance in First Class.
      • Sunspot sports a 5 o'clock shadow.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Charles has faint stubble instead of being clean-shaven (which is his regular look in the franchise), and at first, it seems to convey to the audience that he hasn't fully reclaimed his heroic Professor X identity. He's a relaxed, content principal, teacher, and low-key mutant activist, not a commander of a paramilitary group like in X-Men: First Class. However, once he decides that it's necessary for him to step up his role as a leader of mutants, he still keeps the extra facial hair—this illustrates that James McAvoy's character is "rougher-around-the-edges" than Patrick Stewart's in the original timeline. Xavier's stubble is also a Shout-Out to Detective James "Sonny" Crockett from Miami Vice.note 
  • Person of Mass Destruction:
  • Playing Gertrude:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were given ageing make-up because their characters are roughly fifteen years older than they are.
      • The viral website states the events of X-Men: The Last Stand occurred in 2006 when Kitty Pryde appeared to be, at the most, in her mid-teens. The Bad Future is said to occur in or very close to 2023, putting Kitty in her early 30s even though the films were released just 8 years apart and Ellen Page was 26 during filming.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • During filming, James McAvoy and Rose Byrne were 36 years old while Michael Fassbender was 38, but their characters are in their late forties/early fifties in 1983.
      • Nicholas Hoult was 25 years old during principal photography, but if we assume that his character was around 20 in 1962, then in 1983 Beast is pushing 40.
      • Lucas Till is 8 months younger than Hoult, and Havok is only a couple of years younger than Beast. Alex Summers is roughly two decades older than his brother Scott, but Tye Sheridan is just 6 years Till's junior.
  • Plucky Comic Relief:
    • Nightcrawler provides some of the more amusing moments in X2: X-Men United and X-Men: Apocalypse.
    • Banshee is the most fun character in X-Men: First Class.
    • Quicksilver is a source of comedy in X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse.
    • As referenced by the opening credits of Deadpool, Weasel's narrative purpose is comedy.
    • Downplayed with Professor X in X-Men: Apocalypse because he's predominantly a dramatic character, but writer Simon Kinberg reveals in his commentary that Charles was deliberately used to lighten up the mood of the first act.
      Kinberg: I tried to get a lot of humour into the movie whenever it was appropriate, and James [McAvoy] is a really good comedic actor, so there was a lot of good Xavier moments.
  • P.O.V. Cam:
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • We get a glimpse of what the world looks like through the ruby quartz lenses of Scott's sunglasses when he puts them on for the first time.
      • After Apocalypse notices Xavier's presence through the latter's telepathic link with Erik, Apocalypse stares straight at the camera (so we're seeing him through the Professor's perspective) with his glowing white eyes as he ominously states, "Thank you for letting me in."
  • Power Incontinence:
    • X-Men: First Class: Alex Summers can emit powerful energy blasts, but he can't control their direction. This problem is solved by a special harness, which he even refers to as his "energy diaper" in a deleted scene.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Erik nearly crashes the plane when he's yelling at Charles. Charles subjected himself to a Power Nullifier because he was losing control over his powers.
  • The Power of Love:
    • X-Men: First Class: When Charles is helping all of the mutants train, the most effective memory to focus Erik's powers is Hanukkah with his mother.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: If Charles has a secondary mutation, it would be this—he has the ability to "transform" the people around him into better versions of themselves. His unwavering love and support for his daughter figure Jean allows her to overcome her fears about her Phoenix power, and she fries Apocalypse with deadly efficiency, saving the world and the Professor's life in the process. Magneto pulls a Heel–Face Turn when he realizes that his love for Xavier is stronger than his hate towards human society, which has murdered his family twice over. Peter could've easily returned to his mother's basement and continue wasting his potential after the Final Battle (especially considering that he had decided to withhold from Erik that he's his son), but it's implied that Maximoff was touched by Charles' worry for his well-being when Xavier had created a telepathic link between them while Quicksilver was fighting Apocalypse. It should be noted that Charles hadn't spoken to Peter in a decade, but the former's capacity for love is so great that he had opened his mind to a young mutant whom he barely knows, and he sincerely cared about whether Maximoff got hurt or not. The self-described "total loser" Quicksilver is now a member of the X-Men who can make a positive difference in the world.
  • Power Perversion Potential:
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Xavier uses his telepathy to "guess" the drink orders of the women he flirts with. Executive producer Tarquin Pack lampshades this specific example in the rare "Extraordinary Abilities" featurette. (See the Bonus Material entry.)
        "If I had the ability to read minds, and I was at university, and I could influence people through my mental powers, I would probably also be a bit of a Lothario. (laughs) Who wouldn't be?"
      • Raven jokingly insinuates that Hank's large, ape-like feet might be an indication that he has a massive penis.
      • Emma Frost seduces a Russian general by projecting a mental image of herself so he thinks she's having sex with him, when she's in fact sitting a distance away looking bored.
      • Raven shapeshifts from her teenaged form into a more mature woman (Rebecca Romijn in a cameo) in the belief that Erik would prefer her that way. Magneto is not impressed because he wanted "the real Raven." It took her two tries to realize that he wanted her natural blue form.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Charles and Alex discuss this as they're heading towards Moira's office.
        Alex: So you really haven't see her in all these years? You never looked her up? Not even in Cerebro?
        Charles: Alex, what do you take me for, some kind of pervert? Yes, I looked her up once, twice. But not in a long time, alright?
      • Quicksilver's flirtation with Moira in Bullet Time is so brief that she doesn't even know it happened! Peter also employs his Super Speed in this commercial and attempts to impress a young woman so that he can earn a date with her.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • X-Men: First Class: During a montage of Charles and Erik finding and recruiting other mutants, their search brings them into a small, dingy bar where Wolverine has no interest in their offer: "Go fuck yourself."
    • The Wolverine: All are spoken by Logan.
      • "Go fuck yourself, pretty boy."
      • The extended cut adds two more: "Too many fucking wars," and "Talk or I'll throw you out that fucking window!"
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Charles Xavier, of all people, tells Wolverine to "Fuck off" in a Call Back to their first encounter.
      • The Rogue Cut has President Nixon grumpily utter, "Fuck me" after watching news footage of the Paris Peace Accords.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Magneto has the honour this time around when he comes face-to-face with Apocalypse and his then-three Horsemen. ("Who the fuck are you?")
  • Prematurely Bald: Averted in Professor X's case; the First Class trilogy reveals that he doesn't lose his hair until he's around 50 years old.
  • Pretentious Latin Motto: If you do a Freeze-Frame Bonus on the Xavier coat of arms, located on the tail of Charles' personal plane in X-Men: Days of Future Past, the family motto reads, "Fratrem tuum adjuva," which means "Help your brother." Not only does this fit Professor X's compassionate personality to a tee, but it also suggests that his Old Money ancestors on his father's side were philanthropists. Assisting those who are less fortunate must have been regarded as a sacred duty, as those Latin words supposedly designate what the Xavier family values the most.
  • Pretty Boy: The movie series contains more examples of this trope than one would normally expect for a superhero property (which typically promotes a more traditional ideal of the masculine form). Honest Trailers even poked fun at this by saying that the X-Men franchise starred a lot of twinks.note 
    • Bobby Drake's dainty facial features quickly communicate to the audience that he's a good-hearted person. This is especially true in the first movie, where he was only a minor character, but viewers were able to tell right away that "the cute guy" is sincere when trying to befriend Rogue. Moroever, being forced to abandon his family in the second film is more painful when his expression is very much like a puppy dog who has just been kicked.
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Appearance-wise, Dr. Charles Xavier is strongly defined by his boyishness: he has a soft, round face, baby blue eyes, cherry-red lips (the colour is so deep at times that it almost looks like he's wearing lipstick), and is of shorter-than-average height. It's symbolic of his sensitive, nice guy qualities. Erik Lehnsherr even calls him "adorable" when Charles tries the Cerebro machine for the first time. With his fair complexion, the young telepath resembles a living porcelain doll, and his fragility becomes evident when he "breaks" physically and emotionally during the climax.
      • Dr. Hank McCoy is quite similar to Xavier (just younger and a lot more insecure), and while this may be a coincidence, it's nevertheless convenient that he shares some facial features with his mentor, like pale skin, blue eyes and thick reddish lips. The one big physical difference between them is that Hank is a lot taller.
    • The Wolverine: Wolverine invokes this when he confronts Harada, presumably as an attempt to deride the latter's masculinity. Harada has an elegant face, a slim build, and is an agile ninja, in contrast to the macho bruiser Logan.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Peter Maximoff is baby-faced with reddish lips and cute in an impish way. It's a visual cue to the audience that he's an immature prankster who doesn't take life seriously.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Professor X is around 50 years old, yet before he loses his hair, he's still gorgeous and youthful-looking for his age (he can pass for a man in his early 30s)—in fact, he doesn't appear all that different from his graduate student days in First Class. This alludes to him embracing his former naïvety again, and it makes him look much more helpless and vulnerable when he becomes Apocalypse's prisoner. Being boyishly beautiful also emphasizes Charles' status as a victim when he's Mind Raped by Apocalypse, which is a metaphor for sexual assault. Because Beauty Equals Goodness for James McAvoy's Xavier, maintaining his dainty appearance even when he's being viciously battered, bloodied and bruised on the astral plane connotes that he's a person with a tenderhearted soul who's dying.
      • Repeating a theme from First Class is Hank being a mirror image of Charles with a few key differences. McCoy remains pretty and boyish in a similar way to Xavier, but despite being a decade younger, he is much more cautious and realistic than his ex-mentor, and he makes plans to ensure that the X-Men have everything they need when (and not if) the peace between mutants and humans is shattered.
      • Warren Worthington III is beautiful, and it's meant to be ironic that an angelic-looking youth is actually quite ruthless and deadly.
      • Although Nightcrawler falls more on the "cute" side, he is extremely attractive with his elfin features (particularly larger, more prominent ears) which are further enhanced by his adolescent development. They reflect his Adorkable personality, and even with the scars on his face, the impression Kurt Wagner leaves on viewers is that he's a lovely blue elf rather than a freaky blue demon.
      • Quicksilver is affirmed to be Magneto's son, so Peter's softer, delicate features juxtapose his father's Villainous Cheekbones. Quicksilver fights for the heroic team, and Magneto sides with the Big Bad. Maximoff's puckish looks also mark him as a Man Child and a Basement-Dweller. During his confrontation with Apocalypse, Quicksilver moves gracefully as a Fragile Speedster, and once Apocalypse takes away his Super Speed advantage, Peter is wholly defenseless. Because Maximoff's face exudes an aura of innocence, it evokes the imagery of a "lamb to the slaughter" when Apocalypse offers his bare neck to Psylocke for execution.
  • The Professor: Dr. Charles Xavier earned his "Professor of Genetics" title from the University of Oxford. Even before he became a paraplegic, he was considerably less action-oriented than the other mutants on his team, and is often protected by a combatant (e.g. Cyclops, Beast, Havok). Professor X serves as the Team Dad for the X-Men.
  • The Promise:
    • X-Men: Wolverine keeps his vow to Rogue by nearly dying trying to save her life in the climax.
      Logan: I'll take care of you.
      Rogue: You promise?
      Logan: Yeah, I promise.
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles managed to uphold his promise not to use his telepathy on Raven for 18 years until the shock and pain of a bullet in his spine became too much for him to bear, compromising his concentration.
      Raven: You promised me you would never read my mind.
      Charles: I know. I promised you a great many things, I'm afraid. I'm sorry.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Wolverine requests that the younger Xavier form the X-Men regardless of the outcome of their mission.
      Logan: Whatever happens today, I need you to promise me something. [...] The X-Men, promise me you'll find us. Use your power, bring us together. Guide us, lead us. [...]
      1973 Charles: I'll... do my best.
      • And later:
      Logan: It's good to see you, Charles. It's good to see everyone.
      Professor X: (smiles warmly) Well, I had a promise to keep.
  • Protectorate:
    • X-Men: Scott tells a comatose Professor X that he will protect the students.
      "If anything happens, I'll take care of them."
    • X-Men: First Class: Raven is this to Charles, although she finds his concern for her safety utterly suffocating.
  • The Protagonist: When analyzing the First Class trilogy as a whole, Xavier the most prominent character because he receives the most Character Development, and the climax of each entry is directly connected to a significant relationship in his life. In X-Men: First Class, he and his Heterosexual Life-Partner Erik are "divorced." In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Charles makes amends with his estranged foster sister Raven. In X-Men: Apocalypse, he strengthens his bond with his surrogate daughter Jean. The Alternate Timeline turns out to be an opportunity for Professor X to rectify two grave errors that he had committed in the original timeline. By arranging the original trilogy and the First Class trilogy as one big saga, Bryan Singer designates that Charles is the most important figure (even if he doesn't necessarily have the most screen time) by having him open and close the hexalogy. In-Universe, the X-Men wouldn't exist without Xavier.
  • Proud Beauty:
    • X-Men: First Class: Dr. Charles Xavier is a Hot Scientist who unabashedly exploits his gorgeousness (along with his charm) to proposition coeds at Oxford. Charles is so fond of his hair that he immediately dismisses Hank's suggestion that he shave it off before he tests Cerebro. It's costume designer Sammy Sheldon's intention to make the character as stylish as possible within a conservative academic setting.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Professor X is a Hot Teacher who doesn't seem to be concerned in the slightest that his translucent white shirt would be deemed inappropriate in any other school with teenagers and children. His sunglasses are the most flashy of the film because of their gradient lenses, and they enhance his sex appeal while also giving him the air of a fashion model. Xavier runs his hand through his luscious locks (which is his equivalent of a peacock's tail) to tame some wayward strands before he meets Moira to ensure that he's at his most attractive. Even after he goes bald, he conjures a mental projection of himself which still proudly has a feathered mullet on its head when he faces a life-and-death struggle with Apocalypse. It's The End of the World as We Know It if the Professor fails, but even if he's doomed, he'll at least look fabulous on the astral plane (heck, he still manages to be pretty even when he's soaked in his own blood). Make no mistake, folks; Charles is vain.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance:
    • Charles had frequently used this gesture as a crutch when he was younger, but he lets go of the habit when he's around 50 years old, as displayed in X-Men: Apocalypse.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Jean performs this gesture when she uses her telepathy. She must have learned it from Xavier.
  • Psychic Block Defense:
    • Magneto's helmet blocks out Professor X's and Jason Stryker's psychic abilities.
    • Emma Frost can protect herself from Xavier's mind-reading powers when she activates her secondary mutation and covers herself in a diamond-like skin.
    • Apocalypse can shield himself and his Horsemen from Professor X's telepathy.
  • Psychic Powers: Kitty Pryde describes Professor X as "the most powerful brain in the world," and Stryker similarly calls him "the world's most powerful psychic." Sebastian Shaw is so impressed by the strength of Xavier's telepathy that he tries to recruit Charles even though Shaw already has a formidable psychic as his second-in-command. (This indicates that Shaw considers Xavier's mutation to be more potent than Emma Frost's.) Professor X's gift is why Apocalypse covets his "extraordinary" abilities—the best that he has encountered in "a thousand lifetimes"—and selects him to be his next mutant host.
  • Psychic Radar: Professor X can detect people around himself, amplified greatly with Cerebro to find almost anyone in the world. In X2: X-Men United, he uses it to mentally track a mutant who can teleport, and it's further revealed that he can sense the location of every mutant or every human on the planet. Concentrating hard enough will give them all a really serious Psychic Nosebleed... followed by death.
  • Psychologist Teacher: In James McAvoy's words, Professor X is a social worker in addition to being a principal and a teacher. Charles cherishes everyone under his care, so he invests a substantial amount of his effort to aid his students in coping with their psychological issues (especially the ones caused—or at least exacerbated—by their mutations), and when possible, to find solutions for them. As a telepath, he can employ his empathy to ascertain what kind of nurturing works best on a particular youngster. By catering to their individual needs, Xavier steadily wins their affections, and he also becomes their paternal figure.
  • Punch Catch: Apocalypse does this to both Quicksilver and Professor X in the physical world and on the astral plane, respectively. Apocalypse then twists Peter's arm, and he crushes Xavier's fist.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: In X-Men: Apocalypse, Quicksilver uses his Super Speed against Apocalypse, and the former gets in some good hits before the latter compensates for Peter's ability, which leaves the speedster helpless. Xavier, who had generated a psychic connection between himself and Maximoff, copies the young mutant's idea and initiates a Battle in the Center of the Mind against Apocalypse on his own terms. Professor X also delivers several punches before Apocalypse gets around Charles' telepathy as well.
  • Purple Is Powerful:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • The 1973-era Sentinels; they are programmed to eliminate mutants.
      • Blink's Battle Aura and Facial Markings. She's either the second-to-last or the last mutant left standing when the X-Men and the Free Mutants directly confront the Future Sentinels.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • In his natural gaseous form, the god-like Apocalypse is purple, and his teleportation "bubble" also has a purple tint. The walls of Cerebro glow purple when Xavier is possessed by him.
      • The highlights in Psylocke's hair, her Horseman leotard and her psionic blade are purple, and she's very dangerous.
      • Mystique's risqué dress is shiny and purple, and she's the most effective combatant at the cage match.
      • The wormhole produced by Nightcrawler's teleportation ability is a luminous purple.
      • In a shot of Jean Grey screaming in the astral plane, a purple filter was used over her face, and it's a sign that her Phoenix powers are being unleashed.
      • Inverted with Professor X, who is wearing a lilac (which is a pale shade of purple) shirt when he's Apocalypse's prisoner, and he's weaker than the god-like mutant.
  • The Quiet One:
    • X-Men: The Brotherhood members almost never speak. Mystique is silent but for one line early on, except when she's disguised. It's quite effective and adds to her, well, mystique. Sabretooth has two lines, Toad has three.
    • X2: X-Men United: Lady Deathstrike gets a single line of dialogue.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand:
      • Colossus utters one line.
      • Multiple-Man has a total of two lines.
    • X-Men: First Class: Azazel only says a few lines.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Colossus' speaking part consists of a single word.
    • Deadpool: Although Colossus finally averts this trope, Angel Dust plays it straight, letting Ajax do most of the talking for the bad guys.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Psylocke and Angel utter about five lines each.
  • Race Lift:
    • Bolivar Trask is black in The Last Stand.
      • Now subverted in Days of Future Past, where Trask has been retconned as a different person altogether.
    • Blink is played by Chinese actress Fan Bingbing in Days of Future Past.
  • Radiation-Immune Mutants:
    • X-Men: Mutants are naturally immune to radiation, which makes Magneto's mutation device harmless to them (but lethal to humans).
    • X-Men: First Class: It's part of Shaw's plan because mutants would live just fine despite an atomic war's fallout.
  • Red Herring:
    • X-Men: Magneto looks at Wolverine's dogtags before asking Sabretooth, "Where is the mutant now?" This is to mislead the audience into the same line of thinking as the heroes, that Magneto is after Wolverine, instead of his true target Rogue.
    • The Wolverine: Will Yun Lee (Harada) was promoted to have rigorous sword training, but most of his action scenes involved archery. If you're familiar with the comics character, one might be surprised that in this film, Harada is NOT the Silver Samurai.
    • X-Men: First Class: There are two incidents which fooled some audience members into believing that this would be the moment where Xavier would become crippled: the first was when the Blackbird crashed, and the other was when Charles experienced the trauma of Shaw's death telepathically. Afterwards, these viewers then assumed that Xavier's disability will be dealt with in a sequel, but then he is accidentally wounded by Magneto.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: The Blackbird, along with all the various equipment that is kept underground at the school, seem to foreshadow their use later on in the film. Their only purpose is to cause the explosion that destroys the entire school and kills Havok.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
  • Red Shirt:
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Most of the mutants in Magneto's army and the human soldiers deployed to Alcatraz Island were quickly obliterated by the Phoenix.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Warpath, Blink, Bishop, Sunspot and Colossus are glorified extras whose main purpose in the story is to serve as cannon fodder for the 2023-era Sentinels.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • X-Men: First Class: Xavier is very confident about his ability to seduce women.
      Charles: Heterochromia was in reference to your eyes, which I have to say are stunning. One green, one blue. It's a mutation, it's a very groovy mutation. I've got news for you, Amy. You are a mutant.
      Amy: First you proposition a girl, and then you call her deformed. How is that seduction technique working for you?
      Charles: I'll tell you in the morning.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Quicksilver blatantly uses his super speed when he first meets Wolverine, Professor X and Beast because he knows no one would believe what they said about him. It's implied this is how he gets away with everything he does.
  • Ret Canon: The movies inspired a number of elements that made their way into the comics and the various cartoons:
    • During Grant Morrison's run, the X-Men adopted black leather outfits in order to better match their movie counterparts. This lasted up until Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run, where the team started wearing colorful outfits again in order to seem less threatening.
    • For a time, Mystique adopted her scaled, reptilian appearance from the comics.
    • Magneto's plastic prison was used by The Ultimates in Ultimate X-Men.
    • Ultimate X-Men also used a version of William Stryker directly inspired by his role in X-2 (in the original comics, Stryker was just a bigoted preacher).
    • Toad adopted his Adaptational Badass qualities from the movies for a while, before reverting back to being a massive loser.
    • The movie introduced the idea of Iceman being significantly younger than the original X-Men, which was used in Ultimate X-Men, X-Men: Evolution, and Wolverine and the X-Men.
    • The depiction of the Xavier Institute as an actual school for mutants was also taken from the first movie. Prior to that, the school aspect was just a cover, and the only real "students" were the X-Men themselves.
  • Retcon: At least one character per movie: Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Juggernaut and Deadpool.
    • Considering the way the movies have changed around some of the comic book characters' generations, there's likely to be more in the future if more movies are going to be made based somewhat on the comics.
    • First Class retcons certain elements of The Last Stand, notably the fact that Charles and Erik were still shown to be working together while middle-aged during the flashback sequences in the latter film.
      • Days of Future Past goes even further by using time-travel to completely erase the events of Last Stand out of existence.
  • Ronin: In The Wolverine, Ichirō Yashida invokes this to describe Wolverine metaphorically. The latter's "lack of a master" translates to "a lack of purpose," and this turns him into an immortal drifter. note  This doubles as Fridge Brilliance because Logan's strong reaction to Professor X's supposed death in X-Men: The Last Stand, the post-credits airport scene (where Wolverine only cares about what Xavier has to say, not Magneto), and the 2023 portion of X-Men: Days of Future Past prove that Charles is essentially his "master."
  • Rule of Sexy:
    • X-Men: In the comics, Mystique wears clothing even when she's in her natural form. Her movie counterpart, however, is stark naked.
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Most (if not all) fans expected the young Professor X to be bald, but the studio wanted James McAvoy to keep his hair in order to retain the actor's sex appeal.
      James McAvoy: I had showed up on the first day of X-Men: First Class, and I had shaved my head because I wanted to check what it looked like about a month before we started shooting—and it looked quite good—and they were like, "No, no, no, no, we want you to have long hair."
      • After Emma Frost uses her psychic ability to fool the Soviet general into believing that he has engaged in foreplay with her, she decides to remain in her lingerie (instead of putting her dress back on) while she snacks on crackers.
      • There is absolutely no practical reason for Mystique to be exposing her cleavage when she's dressed in the combat uniform. Costume designer Sammy Sheldon admits in the "Suiting Up" featurette on the Blu-Ray release that her goal with that outfit was "to make [Mystique] look sexy."
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: In the March 2014 issue of Empire magazine, the actor states that he was more than willing to get rid of his luxurious locks, but once again the producers nixed the idea.
      James McAvoy: I wanted to go bald in this one, [...] but they didn't go for it. I was gutted.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Professor X retains his thick, wavy mane for most of the movie instead of being bald for its entirety. Justified in this case because Xavier didn't display any signs of male-pattern baldness in Days of Future Past, so the hair loss which occurs later on is not natural.
      • The actors in their 30s who play characters who are in their late 40s/early 50s (McAvoy, Fassbender and Byrne) were not given any ageing make-up, and there is very little grey in their hair. This is especially jarring with Professor X (at least when he's not bald), who should appear at least 30 years older than Jean Grey and Scott Summers, but James McAvoy's youthful features make him look like he's only about 15 years their senior.
      • Psylocke's revealing uniform isn't sensible for a battle, but it does provide Fanservice. It's actually sexier in the movie-verse than in the comics because of the addition of a boob window. Louise Mingenbach (the costume designer) confesses on the "Clan of Akkaba: Apocalypse and his Horsemen" documentary on the Blu-Ray that a Los Angeles sex shop had created the latex suit.
      • The semi-transparent vertical "stripes" on Charles' white shirt. It even seems out-of-character for him to put on a garment which could potentially be distracting to some of his students as he had never been overtly objectified in the franchise before. (Another way to look at it is if a female teacher had worn the same shirt, it would be considered inappropriate.) This was clearly done by the costume designer to exploit James McAvoy's desirability before his character loses his hair and becomes more serious. Xavier's lilac shirt is also mildly erotic because depending on his movements or body position, the outline of his pecs is sometimes well-defined, and there are a few blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments where the shape of his nipples is visible through the thin fabric.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: the presence (or at least the desire to have it) or absence of Magneto's telepathy-blocking helmet is a fairly good gauge of how unhealthy or healthy his relationship with Professor X is. As Simon Kinberg puts it, the finale marks the beginning of the characters' Friendly Enemy dynamic:
      "At the end of the movie, [Magneto] flies away without his helmet, with the implication that he'll go off and continue to be Magneto in some form, but not be able to hide it from Charles, who'll be able to read his mind and track him. There's a truce of some kind between Charles and Magneto, but there's a part of Magneto that will always be the Magneto we know from the comics."
      • This article has made the following observation about the elderly Erik:
        "From the photos, we see that Ian McKellen's older Magneto has no need for his iconic helmet that protects him from mutant telepaths since he's once again allied with old friend Charles Xavier."
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • The Four Horsemen represent four different aspects of a cult's power to attract and recruit new members.
        Bryan Singer: It has a political faction, and I'd always felt Magneto could fill those shoes. It always has a military faction, so Archangel could fill those shoes as the guardian. There's also a youth faction. Those that you're trying to seduce and grow into your cult—the young, whose minds are malleable [such as Storm]. And lastly, the sexual component, because cult leaders tend to sexualize their position and have sex with half the people in their cult. And the Psylocke character, who was a very bright character in the comic, but is always looking for guidance and leadership, always trying to find the right guy, so she ends up with Apocalypse in this one.
      • There are bookends in Charles' study which are shaped like the mythological figure Atlas, and they symbolize his heavy burden of trying to save the world.
        We look around Xavier's school some more, exploring every nook and cranny of Prof. X's office. We spot a couple of Atlas-themed book-ends, with two muscular men carrying planets on their backs. It makes us flashback to that dark room, where we saw McAvoy cry. If ever there was a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, it's James McAvoy's Professor X.
      • Charles and Erik have at least one costume which was strongly influenced by Miami Vice, and they are basically dressed as Detective Crockett and Detective Tubbs, respectively. Like Crockett and Tubbs, Xavier and Lehnsherr are Heterosexual Life-Partners.
      • An In-Universe version when Magneto signals his Heel–Face Turn by slamming down two huge girders in Apocalypse's path in the form of an X.
  • The Runaway:
    • X-Men: Rogue runs away from home after her power manifests while kissing her boyfriend, which causes him to have a seizure and fall into a coma for three weeks.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: A young James Howlett and Victor Creed flee from home together after James stabs and kills Thomas Logan for murdering his father, then finds out that Thomas was his real father.
  • Satellite Character:
    • In the original trilogy, we know very little about Mystique as an individual outside of her Undying Loyalty to Magneto.
    • Despite receiving a fair amount of screentime in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Hank doesn't undergo any proper character development, as his existence completely revolves around Charles.
  • Save This Person, Save the World:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Wolverine time travels from 2023 to 1973 to team up with the younger Xavier and Beast in order to stop Mystique from assassinating Dr. Bolivar Trask. If Trask is murdered, it will set off a chain of events which will lead to the extinction of mutantkind.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse could've been titled Save Charles Xavier, Save the World. If Apocalypse succeeds in possessing Professor X's body, the former gains the latter's telepathy. Apocalypse can then combine it with his Super Empowering skill to put the entire planet under Mass Hypnosis, kill off anyone he deems to be weak with a thought, and everyone else becomes his mindless slave. This will cause The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Say My Name:
    • X2: X-Men United: Professor X desperately yells "SCOTT!!!" when he realizes that Stryker has set up a trap for him.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • In 1973, Xavier angrily screams "ERIIIIIIIIK!!!" when Sentinels begin shooting at the crowd that has gathered at the White House. Although Magneto (who is wearing a telepathy-blocking helmet) has not yet appeared in his line of vision, Charles just knows that no one else would be causing this mayhem.
      • Logan hollers "CHARLES!" to warn his ally (who is wheelchair-bound) that he's about to be hit by a large chunk of the stadium.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Xavier yells "JEEEEEEAN!!!" to snap her out of her visions of the world's end.
      • An alarmed Raven shouts "CHARLES!!!" when her unconscious foster brother is kidnapped by Magneto.
      • Apocalypse bellows Charles' name several times at Large Ham levels while searching for his escaped prisoner.
      • Desperate for help, Cyclops yells "HANK!!!" twice as Apocalypse partially fuses Scott into a wall.
  • Screaming Warrior:
    • Wolverine usually lets out a battle cry when taking down foes.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: When Jean Grey attacks En Sabah Nur with her Phoenix Force, she lets out a mighty, otherworldly-sounding screech.
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes:
    • X-Men: Professor X uses his psychic ability to experience Senator Kelly's memory of being exposed to Magneto's machine.
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles can "eavesdrop" on a conversation that Emma Frost has with a Soviet general by telepathically inhabiting a nearby soldier.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Past Xaavier is able to figure out where Raven is heading because when he had temporarily "possessed" a stewardess who had bumped into his foster sister, the stewardess had picked up Raven's plane ticket from the floor, and he can read its contents from the stewardess' field of vision. In The Rogue Cut, Future Professor X can view the mansion through Magneto's and Iceman's minds, and he gives them instructions as they walk in hidden passageways towards the Cerebro room.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Charles sees Jean's visions of planet-wide destruction as if they were his own.
  • Seers:
    • X2: X-Men United: After being briefly overwhelmed by her telepathy, Jean Grey tells Scott that "something bad is supposed to happen."
    • The Wolverine: Yukio knows when, where and how a person will die.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Jean's precognitive ability expresses itself as a terrible dream full of death and mass destruction.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
    • X2: X-Men United: The rule-abiding, Nice Guy Iceman juxtaposes the rebellious, Jerkass Pyro. At the museum's food court, John is being rude to a young man who asks to borrow his lighter, and Bobby tells his friend to knock it off, plainly disapproving of John's annoying behaviour. When the police order the mutants to get on the ground, Drake immediately obeys, but Allerdyce attacks the officers with giant fire balls.
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles Xavier is the Sensitive Guy to Erik Lehnsherr's Manly Man. They display this dynamic in their personalities (All-Loving Hero vs. Anti-Hero) and physique (Pretty Boy vs. Tall, Dark and Handsome) as well as their philosophies and methods (Wide-Eyed Idealist vs. Pay Evil unto Evil).
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Charles in 1973 is more accurately an Overly Sensitive Guy with Wolverine taking over the Manly Man role. Logan has to act as the "glue" which barely holds the emotionally fragile Xavier together in order to complete their mission. Their opposite natures are most directly contrasted in the Pentagon kitchen scene, where Charles attempts to persuade the guards that he and his partner have a valid reason to be there, while Wolverine just knocks them out with a frying pan.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • Each film in the original trilogy was bigger/more expensive than the previous one, which is why Fox started spin-offs instead of making an X4.
    • The scope of the First Class trilogy gradually increased with each subsequent entry, but the production budget of X-Men: Apocalypse ($178 million) is $22 million lower than X-Men: Days of Future Past ($200 million).
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: Mystique uses this several times in the films.
    • X2: X-Men United: She seduces a guard by taking the form of a hot blonde so she can use him in Magneto's escape from prison. She later utilizes it on Logan by trying to seduce him in the form of Jean Grey. Logan catches her, and she goes through several other forms, including Storm, Rogue and even Stryker, but he tells her to leave.
    • X-Men: First Class: She upgrades her age by about 15 years to please Erik, which doesn't really work for her until he tells Raven that he prefers her without the shapeshifted appearance.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Mystique does a sultry variation of her Raven form and pretends to be a disco-loving interpreter to gain access to a Vietnamese general's hotel room in order to steal his invitation to the Paris Peace Accords.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Her electric purple ensemble is quite revealing, and it's meant to be a distraction to the big, burly guards at the fight club venue; one underestimates her by calling her "little mouse."
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class and in his elderly years is always well-dressed as befitting a professor and principal. Costume designer Louise Mingenbach refers to Professor X as "Mr. Fancy Pants" in the "United Colors of X" featurette on the X2: X-Men United DVD, and Sammy Sheldon has stated in the "Suiting Up" documentary on the First Class Blu-Ray that she made Charles' attire as stylish as she could while keeping him "honest, real, studious." On the "Two Worlds, Two Battles" segment of The Rogue Cut, Patrick Stewart says that his character "has been seen as something of a peacock over all these years. Quite exotic-looking suits."
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Averted with both the past and future Xavier. The former is clothed like a hippie or a vagrant, and the latter is only seen in battle gear. However, in the Alternate Timeline, his elderly self continues to don his traditional three-piece suit.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Played with in Professor X's case. His Miami Vice-inspired wardrobe is relatively casual compared to the more formal suits that were iconic to his character in the original trilogy (and X-Men: First Class to a lesser extent). However, he adopts his classic look after he loses his hair.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine took this to an extreme, much to the delight of Hugh Jackman fangirls. During a dramatic escape scene, not only does he erupt from a tank of water completely shirtless (and indeed naked, muscles + dripping water...), but he then proceeds to escape, running and fighting his way out of the building. Viewers get a lovable full-body shot (in which censorship is barely provided by his leg from a mostly-side-shot) when he jumps off a waterfall.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: The younger Magneto is bare-chested when he's analyzing the Sentinel schematics.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • The body Apocalypse is transferring himself into at the beginning of the film is wearing nothing but a loincloth.
      • Angel's torso is bare when Apocalypse transforms him into Archangel.
      • Wolverine is seen shirtless when he escapes the Weapon X facility.
  • Shock and Awe: Storm.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Eleven years after X-Men: First Class, Charles and Raven have not only become estranged, but also polar opposites in almost every way, especially in regards to ideology and diplomacy. Her sparing of Trask and the president shows that she isn't quite as far gone as originally believed, though.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Although Charles and Raven are on better terms than in X-Men: Days of Future Past, they still strongly disagree over how humans in general treat mutants. He believes the world is gradually becoming more tolerant of their kind, but she has seen with her own eyes that there's still a lot of oppression. This article uses the metaphor of Xavier being a peaceful dove and Mystique is an aggressive hawk.
      Charles: I have plans for this place. I mean to turn it into a real campus, a university. Not just for mutants, either; for humans, too. Living and working, growing together.
      Raven: You know, I really believed that once. I really believed we can change them.
      Charles: We did.
      Raven: Just because there's not a war, doesn't mean there's peace. You wanna teach your kids something, teach them that, teach them to fight, otherwise they might as well live in this house for the rest of their lives.
  • Simple Yet Opulent: Professor X's signature aesthetic (whether it's his clothing, vehicles or other material possessions) is to be immaculate and graceful. His taste is plain, yet sophisticated, and it's a measure of his old-world affluence.
  • Single Tear:
    • X2: X-Men United: The wheelchair-bound Professor X sheds a single tear of joy when he's able to stand again on his own—but then he quickly realizes that he's in a Lotus-Eater Machine and tries to resist Jason's ability.
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Charles wipes a single tear from his cheek after he uncovers a happy memory from Erik's childhood involving the latter's mother with his telepathy. Despite living a much more comfortable and privileged life than his friend, the one beautiful thing that Charles never got to experience is a mother's warm affection.
      • In the same scene, a visible tear falls down Erik's face because he didn't know he still carried that cherished memory of his mother.
      • After Charles gets shot, he only sheds one noticeable tear which is partly because of his injury, but mostly because he is forced to tell Erik that no, they really do not want the same thing, and knows that this realisation will push his friend away for good.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Magneto sheds a lone tear when he remembers the close friendship he once had with Charles.
  • Skyward Scream:
    • X2: X-Men United: Logan does this in a flashback where he wakes up in a tank of water with no memories and metal claws shoot out of his hands.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Wolverine does this after reluctantly killing Jean Grey/Phoenix.
    • This was done three times in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
    • X-Men: First Class: Xavier does this right after a bullet enters his spine.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Blink lets out a small cry towards the heavens after being stabbed by three Sentinels.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Magneto, whose powers have been boosted by Apocalypse, does this as he disintegrates the Auschwitz concentration camp.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps:
    • Wolverine is often seen wearing a tank top.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Colossus' uniform is sleeveless, showing off his muscles and more of his transformation when using his power.
    • X-Men: First Class: During the training scene, everyone gets matching grey tracksuits, but inexplicably, Havok's doesn't have sleeves.
    • ''X-Men: Apocalypse': Unlike their male teammates, Storm's and Psylocke's Horsemen apparel expose their arms.
  • Sliding Scale of Leadership Responsibility: Previous films had established that Professor X is typically The Hammond on this scale, but during the Final Battle in X-Men: Apocalypse, he moves up two steps and briefly becomes The Superman. When Apocalypse gives Charles a Sadistic Choice—surrender, or Mystique and Quicksilver will die—Beast and Cyclops volunteer to rescue their teammates, but Xavier stops them because he would rather sacrifice himself than see anyone he cares about get hurt. This turns out to be an unacceptable option because Charles is the Earth's Barrier Maiden (and he obviously doesn't want to put billions of lives at risk), but he then challenges Apocalypse to a mind duel, which creates a much-needed distraction. Xavier gets pummeled on the astral plane, and he only asks Jean Grey—whom he loves like a daughter and is naturally protective of her—to intervene when he knows he's dying.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Xavier and Magneto in the first film, First Class and Days of Future Past, and alluded to again in The Last Stand at the very end where Erik is at a park with a chess board... The chess motif is there to establish the attitudes of both men as The Chessmaster, and it's a metaphor for their struggle over the future of mutantkind.
    • And subverted in real life. Everyone on the set naturally assumed that the erudite Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart knew how to play chess, but neither of them did. As Stewart explained, he was always too busy with his career. They had to be taught by a world champion; Stewart said it was "like learning to drive with Michael Schumacher".
    • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, it was more like discussing with a chess table between Charles and Erik, without playing much. The lack of play and banter almost seems to symbolize the extreme distance and hostility (perhaps the worst in the series) between them, including Erik's violent outburst just minutes earlier.
  • Smart People Speak The Queen's English: Justified in the case of Professor X, who is half-British through his mother's side, and his posh accent was further refined after living for several years in Oxford, England, where he had earned his doctorate in genetics.
  • Soft Glass:
    • X-Men: The Last Stand:
      • Angel is able to jump through a skyscaper window without obtaining so much as a scratch, shirtless.
      • And then there's Storm, whose face is slammed through a glass table during a fight scene, yet she doesn't suffer from any cuts.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: A glass ceiling that has been cracked into a thousand pieces falls right on top of Erik, and he doesn't get a single scratch. In Real Life, the stunt double suffered from mild injuries, according to Bryan Singer's commentary, because real glass was used for that scene.
  • Something Completely Different:
    • Deadpool:
      • It's the first entry in the franchise which doesn't feature Wolverine or Professor X either as major characters or as cameos.
      • This is also the first X-Men film to be rated R in the USA, with much more graphic violence, profanity and sexual content than usual.
  • Spandex, Latex, or Leather: Black leather. First Class has them wear spandexy-Kevlar and denim (modelled after real life battle fatigues), and DOFP has kevlar plates mixed with spandex and regular pants.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Unlike her comic book counterpart, Negasonic Teenage Warhead doesn't die in her first appearance in the movie-verse.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • Wolverine is by far the most guilty of this. He is the main protagonist of six films (the original trilogy and his spin-offs), the Supporting Protagonist of one, and he has a cameo in two.
    • Professor X is a close runner-up; he was an important secondary character in the original trilogy, a main character in the First Class trilogy, has two cameos, a confirmed role in Logan and is expected to appear in New Mutants.
    • Magneto is a major character in the original trilogy and the First Class trilogy, and he has a cameo in one movie.
  • Standardized Leader: Played straight with Professor X in the original trilogy, where he's a Static Character who doesn't really get to be more than The Mentor to the X-Men. It's averted with the First Class trilogy, where he's upgraded to the Hero Protagonist and becomes a Rounded Character.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: In X-Men: Apocalypse, immediately after Xavier accomplishes a Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? by modifying the final sentence of Apocalypse's planet-wide New Era Speech, Charles brazenly glares at his captor, unflinching and undaunted by any punishment that may befall him. It proves that Professor X will oppose Apocalypse with every fiber of his being, no matter how futile it is.
  • Static Character: Although Beast is ostensibly one of the main characters of the the First Class trilogy, his personality and outlook don't change all that much over a time span of 21 years.
  • Statuesque Stunner:
  • The Stinger:
  • Story-Breaker Power:
    • Professor X's Telepathy is such that most of the movies would be over very, very quickly if he did not frequently get incapacitated or rendered powerless in some way.
    • Quicksilver gets Put on a Bus after the Pentagon raid because, as that raid shows, he is downright unstoppable. While moving at Super Speed, simply tapping a person is the practical equivalent of getting hit by a heavyweight boxer, and he can take out an entire room of armed guards so quickly that their bullets weren't even able to reach the people they had shot at when he started.
  • String Theory:
  • Stuffed into the Fridge:
  • Superhero School: Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters is both an educational institution for young mutants and the secret base for the X-Men.
  • Super Team:
    • X2: X-Men United: Jean Grey and Storm willingly ally with Wolverine and Nightcrawler, plus Magneto and Mystique (relunctantly) to stop Styker from committing mutant genocide.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Colonel Stryker assembles Team X which features James Howlett, Victor Creed, John Wraith, Agent Zero, Christopher Bradley, Wade Wilson and Fred Dukes. Some of them don't get along very well.
    • X-Men: First Class: Professor X, Magneto, Beast, Mystique, Havok and Banshee form the proto X-Men. Charles Xavier's primary goal is to avert World War III, while the other members are seeking Revenge against Sebastian Shaw for murdering someone they cared about.
    • Deadpool: The eponymous character teams up with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead to take down Ajax, Angel Dust and their mooks.
  • Super Weight:
    • Type -1: Xavier if his mutant powers are blocked or inactive (Type 0 before getting paralyzed).
    • Type 0: Regular humans, Depowered mutants.note 
    • Type 1: William Stryker (at least when he was younger), Agent Moira MacTaggert, Mariko Yashida, Kenuichio Harada, Shingen Yashida, Vanessa Carlysle.
    • Type 2: Leech, Quill, Yukio, Warpath.
    • Type 3: Wolverine, Cyclops, Rogue, Mystique, Sabretooth, Toad, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Pyro, Lady Deathstrike, Colossus, Jason Stryker, Beast, Kitty Pryde, Callisto, the Juggernaut, Angel/Archangel, Multiple Man, Arclight, Gambit, Kestrel, Agent Zero, Bolt, Emma Frost, Havok, Banshee, Darwin, Angel Salvadore, Azazel, Riptide, Weapon XI (Wade Wilson), Viper, Silver Samurai, Bishop, Blink, Sunspot, Past Sentinels, Deadpool, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Ajax, Angel Dust, Psylocke.
    • Type 4: Professor X, Magneto, Stormnote , Jean Grey (after exposure to Magneto's machine), Sebastian Shaw, Quicksilver, Kitty Pryde (after she gains the ability to perform Mental Time Travel), Future Sentinels, Apocalypse.
    • Type 5: Professor X (while connected to Cerebro or empowered by Apocalypse), the Phoenix, Magneto (empowered by Apocalypse, which gives him the ability to manipulate the Earth's magnetic fields).
  • Swapped Roles:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Professor X was Wolverine's mentor in the original trilogy, but in 1973, Logan has to try to motivate and counsel an emotionally damaged Xavier.
        Professor X: Logan, you're going to have to do for me what I once did for you. Lead me, guide me.
      • Not surprisingly, the abrasive Wolverine isn't very good at this task, and it's lampshaded in the following exchange:
        Past Charles: I'm sorry Logan, but they sent back the wrong man.
        Logan: You're right, I am. Actually, it was supposed to be you, but I was the only one who could physically make the trip.
      • This also applies to Charles and Hank. In X-Men: First Class, Xavier acted as a big brother figure to McCoy (they're about a decade apart in age), but after 1963, Hank becomes responsible for Charles. Although McCoy certainly prevents his friend from doing anything too self-destructive, he inadvertently becomes Xavier's enabler by inventing an addictive telepathy-blocking serum. Considering that Hank was probably only around 21 years old when he suddenly found himself in the position of being Charles' long-term caregiver (plus he has no experience looking after someone who is mentally ill), it's understandable that he couldn't help his former mentor as well as he would've liked.
  • Sweet Tooth:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Peter Maximoff is seen eating an orange Popsicle, and the basement is stacked with boxes of snack cakes, presumably so he can quickly replenish the vast amounts of calories he burns through. During the Pentagon raid, he takes a moment to taste a sauce that was flung airborne by Magneto.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Quicksilver is eating a Twinkie when he arrives at the X-Mansion, and during his rescue of Xavier's students, he takes a sip from a floating (from his Bullet Time perspective) soft drink before leaving the can in mid-air again. He also chews bubblegum.

  • Tall, Dark and Handsome:
    • Hugh Jackman's portrayal of Wolverine certainly qualifies, although the comic book did not depict him this way. He's dark, broody, dangerous, and mysterious.
    • Colossus is the tallest X-Man, and he also happens to be a brunet and good-looking.
    • Magneto as a younger man when played by Michael Fassbender in the First Class trilogy.
  • Take a Third Option:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Erik asks Mystique, "Are you still Charles' Raven... or are you Mystique?" (What Magneto is truly referring to with the latter is if she's still his soldier.) In the end, she chooses her own path. She doesn't adhere to her foster brother's pacifism, and she rejects her former lover's warmongering.
    • Deadpool: When Wade pegs Negasonic as an angsty teenager, he predicts she'll either stick to sullen silence or make a mean comment. She thinks for a moment, and says he's really "got [her] in a box here," to Wade's delight.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Apocalypse offers Professor X a Sadistic Choice: if Charles immediately surrenders (which would fulfill Apocalypse's plan for world domination), then the lives of the "weaklings" (Mystique and Quicksilver) will be spared, or if he continues to hide, then Apocalypse will murder both mutants, and it's only matter of time before Apocalypse finds out where Xavier is. Professor X decides to initiate a Battle in the Center of the Mind instead, which distracts Apocalypse, and thus Mystique's and Quicksilver's executions are delayed.
  • Team Dad:
    • Professor Charles Xavier. Best shown in X-Men: The Last Stand during his funeral, where a massive amount of his students cried during it. His tombstone reads, "Father, Teacher, Friend", and naturally "Father" is listed first because he was viewed by the youngsters (especially those who are orphans or have been disowned by their families) as primarily a paternal figure.
    • X-Men: First Class: Erik Lehnsherr has a "tough love" approach with the young mutants (Sean Cassidy learns this the hard way). Charles might qualify as well, but he tends to act more like the nurturing Team Mom. Insert witty commentary here.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: James McAvoy stresses in the June 2016 issue of F*** magazine that Professor X, for all of his kindness and altruism, has a profound psychological need to be the "king of the castle," so to speak. Xavier genuinely loves his friends and his students and he cares deeply about them, but it's also very important to him to hold a certain amount of authority over them.
      McAvoy: That's partly why he's building a school and he wants that family that he never really had, and he wants to be the father. He's got that slight... he's a good man, but he's got a little bit of a god complex as well. He wants to be at the head of the table. It's a good thing, but it's his flaw as well.
  • Team Mom:
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • As a man with an androgynous personality, Professor X is a father figure to his surrogate family who also has a prominent "motherly" side. Xavier had already exhibited strong nurturing tendencies in X-Men: First Class, and here, he calls his students "my darlings" when he sends them off to bed, and he even uses a Mary Poppins reference (the joke being that he behaves slightly like a "governess" around the younger children). He is very gentle and caring when he soothes Jean's fears about her death-filled "nightmare" and her telepathy. After Raven becomes his Number Two within the X-Men, Charles' "maternal" approach appears more pronounced because Mystique is the drill sergeant who molds the team into soldiers, and he's the one who takes charge of their academic education and their emotional well-being.
      • Ororo is the matriarch of her small band of street urchins. She steals to feed them, and they obey her when she shoos them off so that she can have a private conversation with Apocalypse.
  • Telepathy: Professor X's mutation grants him many psychic-related skills. He can read and communicate with other minds (in their native language, no less), access, suppress and restore memories, apply Mind Manipulation (People Puppets are his specialty and he knows a few Jedi Mind Tricks) along with Seeing Through Another's Eyes, generate mental blocks around a mutant's subconscious to reduce the full magnitude of their ability, induce sleep, summon a projection of himself, kill someone with sufficient concentration, and he can even transfer his consciousness into another body.
  • Teleport Spam: Nightcrawler, Wraith, Weapon XI and Azazel all do this.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • X-Men: First Class: "Gentlemen, this is why the CIA is no place for a woman." Cue a huge crash as Emma Frost is busted out of her cell.
    • Deadpool: Wade bets Francis that things can't get worse from "round-the-clock torture." Oh, how wrong he is.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: After Cyclops, Jean and Nightcrawler free Wolverine from the Weapon X facility, Cyclops states that he hopes to never see Logan again.
  • Tender Tears:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: A huge part of 1973 Charles' character development is centered around his huge capacity for empathy, and how he needs to learn to move past his own pain for the benefit of others, so he spends a good percentage of the film either on the verge of tears or outright crying.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: There's a lot of focus in this story on Xavier's sensitivity, and he's either close to tears, shedding a few of them, or openly weeping when someone he cares about is in pain.
  • That Man Is Dead:
    • X-Men: First Class ends with Erik outright proclaiming that he prefers his new moniker: Magneto.
    • The Wolverine: When Yukio tells Logan it's an honour to meet the Wolverine, he mutters, "That's not who I am anymore."
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • When Hank tells Logan that "the Professor isn't here," Xavier is still living at his estate, only he has lost his powers and the will to lead mutants, thus dissociating himself from his identity as Professor X. It doubles as a Call Back to First Class when he insisted that "You don't get to be called a 'professor' until you actually have a teaching position."
      • In Saigon, Mystique tells Alex that Raven isn't her name anymore. Given how the film ends, it's ambiguous if she still feels this way.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Charles pleads with Erik not to join Apocalypse, but Lehnsherr has already reclaimed his Magneto persona.
      Xavier: Erik, don't join them.
      Magneto: Whatever it is you think you saw in me, I buried it with my family.
  • There Are No Therapists: In X-Men: Days of Future Past, you'd think that Hank would try to get a therapist to help Charles with his depression and substance abuse, yet it doesn't happen. It could be justified that Xavier wants to avoid mental health professionals because it's suggested that he was treated like a schizophrenic patient as a child, and considering how a few psychiatric practices of the 1940's are viewed as unethical today, Charles has no desire to risk a repeat of his past experience.
  • They're Called Personal Issues for a Reason: In X-Men: First Class, there's a hint that Charles had an unhappy childhood, but he simply chooses not to speak of it. After Erik makes a snide remark about his friend's wealth, Xavier's expression is a mixture of annoyance with a little bit of hurt, and Raven steps in between two men as if to "shield" her brother from Erik's not-so-nice comment. Although she says, "It was a hardship softened by me" in a light tone, there is no sarcasm in her voice, and Charles kisses her on the cheek as a quiet "thank you" for her support and understanding in what is a very sensitive matter to him.
  • This Means War Paint:
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: This is the hallmark of Professor X for most of the X-Men hexalogy;note  he detests violence and firmly objects to the notion that deadly force is required to subdue evildoers. A grey area occurs in X-Men: First Class, where Magneto's insatiable desire for revenge corners Charles into a moral bind—if he releases Sebastian Shaw from his psychic grip, then Shaw will eliminate Erik, but if he maintains the mental hold, then Magneto will kill their target, and Xavier becomes an accessory to murder; Charles opts for the latter. In X-Men: Apocalypse, he breaks his one inviolable rule when his own life, the lives of his team and billions of others are at stake: he's unable to take down Apocalypse on his lonesome, so he commands Jean Grey to immolate his adversary with her Phoenix Force.
  • Time Skip: There can be fairly long gaps of time within the individual stories and in between some movies.
  • Token Human: Moira is the only non-mutant ally of the X-Men in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Apocalypse.
  • Trekkie: In X-Men: Days of Future Past, it's hinted that Hank is a fan of Star Trek: The Original Series (an episode is playing on one of his TVs), which is fitting considering that he's Adorkable and a Hollywood Nerd. He describes Peter's mutation as "fascinating," which is a reference to Spock. Bryan Singer's favourite fandom is Star Trek, so it's natural that he would want to bestow that quality on the character (who, coincidentally, can be called Dr. McCoy). His Trekkie-ness is more obvious in The Rogue Cut because Beast is enjoying the episode while sipping a beverage.
  • Uncle Pennybags:
    • X-Men: Xavier mentions that most of his students were runaways, so his school isn't just a centre for education, but also a safe haven for a lot of the youngsters who don't have a home.
    • X-Men: First Class: His generous nature is alluded to in this exchange:
      Sean Cassidy: (in awe of Xavier's mansion) This is yours.
      Charles: (smiles) No, it's ours.
    • The Wolverine: Ichirō Yashida was apparently a very benign and kind CEO, always helping the poor.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Before the events of this movie, Charles wasn't interested in reinstating the X-Men, yet he still allocated a ton of cash to Hank so that the latter can create a new model of the Blackbird. There's no logical reason for Xavier to do this other than it being a very expensive way for him to assuage McCoy's worries that humanity might turn against mutantkind in the near future. Charles' attitude seems to be something along the lines of, "Hank, I think your fears are unfounded, but I'll let you build a war plane if it makes you feel better." Professor X is an extremely indulgent friend!
  • Understatement:
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine:
      • Logan's response when asked how his execution by firing squad went.
      • Also this exchange:
      Farmer: Had a rough night?
      Wolverine: You could say that.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Wolverine reminds Professor X that "Patience isn't my strongest suit."
      • Kitty Pryde warns Logan that her power "might sting a little"; he then screams at the top of his lungs when she activates it.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Most definitely applies when Wolverine is involved. The "little help" was basically doing all the killing for them.
      Raven: Well, you've been busy.
      Scott: We had a... little help.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • There are plenty of other things that Hank could do with his time, yet he chooses to take care of Charles during the latter's decade-long Heroic B.S.O.D.. Hank may even be a little too loyal because he serves as an enabler by providing a serum which worsens his friend's already bad case of substance abuse.
      • Wolverine has developed this for Xavier during the Time Skip after the post-credits scene of The Wolverine. Although both Magneto and Professor X are co-leaders of the remaining X-Men in 2023, Logan only defers to Charles' authority. When Erik tells him that, "You'll need me as well [in the past]," Wolverine is wholly against the idea, but he reluctantly agrees after Xavier nods in approval.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Although Havok was under Professor X's tutelage for no more than a year when he was a teen,note  he remains grateful for the help that Charles gave to him. Havok is the first one to run after the Professor and try to rescue him when his ex-mentor is seized by Magneto.
      • Apocalypse's original crew were all willing to defend their master until their last breath.
  • Unreliable Expositor:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: According to Erik, he curved the bullet in an attempt to save JFK, since the President was actually a mutant, but he failed when he was apprehended by Secret Service agents. We don't know for sure either way.
    • The Wolverine: There's definitely a whiff of this with regards to how Logan over-romanticizes his relationship with Jean Grey when she appears in his dreams/visions. In the first two X-Men movies, their interactions didn't really go beyond some flirting and a kiss (we're excluding his make-out session with the Phoenix).
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Deadpool: A man in an office watches in an unconcerned manner while Deadpool beats his coworker to death with a cabinet door.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Nobody bats an eye at Nightcrawler's blue-skinned, devil-like appearance when he comes out of the theater with Jean, Scott, and Jubilee, even though many other people clearly saw him when they walked by. Kurt makes no effort to hide his appearance in the first place. This shows that society was beginning to accept mutants.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Mystique's plan was simply to avenge a number of dead mutants by murdering the man who had abducted them and experimented with their corpses. That man had projects, rejected by the Congress, to build powerful robots to kill mutants. His death proved his point, that mutants were an actual menace, and so his projects were restored and continued. The Sentinels would prove so deadly and effective that they would cause the apocalyptic future seen at the beginning of the story. Of course, Mystique had never intended any of that; all she wanted was plain revenge.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: After mutants became public knowledge in 1973, a cult was formed to worship En Sabah Nur, and Agent Moira MacTaggert's investigation inadvertently awakens him because his followers always cover up the entrance to his resting place, but she had left it exposed to sunlight, which reanimates him.
  • Vanity Is Feminine:
    • Downplayed with Professor X, as his habit of always being dapper isn't treated as a negative trait In-Universe. However, the attention he pays to his appearance does subtly distinguish his brand of androgynous masculinity from the other two male leads in the franchise (namely the macho Wolverine and the manly Magneto).
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Vanity, thy name is Charles Xavier. Although his preoccupation with his looks is an aspect of his androgyny, unlike most other male examples, it's not presented as being demeaning to his character. Professor X's feminine side is his most valuable asset in the story, and because Beauty Equals Goodness applies in his case, taking pride in his attractiveness is an extension of him being thoroughly at ease and joyful with his inborn empathy.
      • Quicksilver checks his hair and teeth in the mirror of this commercial, and he's a Man Child. When Evan Peters was asked in this interview to describe his character in only three words, the actor replied, "Fast, cheeky, stylish," so preening is important to Peter Maximoff.
  • Villain Corner: In the first two films, Professor X seemed to be a paragon of virtue, but in X-Men: The Last Stand, a dark side is introduced when Wolverine discovers that Charles had tampered with Jean's mind without her knowledge or consent in order to contain the most dangerous part of her powers. This was very unpopular among non-comic book fans because it was wholly incongruous to Xavier's previous characterization, so X-Men: First Class recontextualized his unethical behaviour as a manifestation of his acute control issues, a Fatal Flaw which occurs whenever he lets fear (instead of trust) guide his decisions. In retrospect, his mistreatment of Jean is not so much because he's a little bit "evil"; it's a shortcoming of a well-meaning, but arrogant person who doesn't foresee that good intentions can still bring ruin.
  • Villain Override: Inverted with Professor X because he's a heroic character. He can hijack people's bodies, and unless they're another psychic or using a Psychic Block Defense, none has been shown to be able to resist. When using Cerebro, he can hijack anyone across the globe as he sees fit.
  • Villain Teleportation:
  • The Voiceless:
  • Voice of the Legion: Apocalypse sometimes sounds like he speaks with multiple voices, and Bryan Singer has explained that this is the result of the character absorbing many "souls" throughout his lifetime.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: As with the comics, as mutant powers are seemingly random, some students at the school have powers are rather... unthreatening, although these characters are pushed to the background because, frankly, people don't want to watch a film about characters whose power is being mute and having a lizard tongue. It helps to humanize mutants as a whole, as it shows that, while some mutants are fairly dangerous and so it makes sense to be weary, they're just as likely to be harmless, and so hunting them down and treating mutants as a whole as inherently dangerous beings is rather unfair. Because of this, mutants are fairly similar to people with mental and social disorders, who are similarly just as likely to be harmless and/or benevolent despite their condition, despite being perceived as dangerous by nature.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Professor X frequently wears one with his elegant suits, and it adds a little extra flair to his aura of academic professionalism while also being an indicator of his upper-class status.
    • X-Men: First Class: Xavier's waistcoats as a graduate student and as a newly minted professor of genetics are a touch less formal than in the original trilogy. This subtly conveys to viewers that Charles was more relaxed and carefree during his youth.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: James McAvoy's Professor X hasn't been seen in one since First Class, and the vest he has near the end of film is more polished-looking than the tweed-preppy style of his Oxford days, which signifies that he's now embodying Patrick Stewart's character.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Magneto sincerely believes he is valiantly championing a righteous cause—at least as far as mutants are concerned.
    • As far as we can tell, Dr. Bolivar Trask was really just trying to unite humanity against a common enemy, unlike Stryker, who's beef with mutants is more personal and vengeful.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!:
    • Nightcrawler's irises were yellow in X2: X-Men United, but they are rimmed with red in X-Men: Apocalypse.
    • X-Men: First Class: After Charles is shot in the spine, the glare of the Cuban sunshine shrinks his pupils, which makes his irises appear very large, and they are a stunning shade of vibrant blue, especially in close-up. His Innocent Blue Eyes are shiny and wet with tears due to the intense physical and emotional pain, and it marks the character's Break the Cutie moment.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • 1973 Xavier collapses after the serum wears off, and there are a few close-ups of his eyes. The colour of his irises is quite vivid, and they fully express his mental anguish and vulnerability in that scene. It's a stark contrast from his hopeful and confident Innocent Blue Eyes in First Class.
      • Blink's irises are a weird aqua, complete with a Sickly Green Glow.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Just before Professor X enters Apocalypse's mind, the camera zooms in on the former's right eye. It's so blue that it's practically glowing, and it's wracked with pain and fear because of the grisly abuse that Apocalypse has put him through, but Charles' iris also exudes his defiance, and he's determined to fight his adversary to the bitter end.
  • What You Are in the Dark: During the climax of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Hank urges Charles to put Mystique out of commission so she won't kick-start the Bad Future. However, Xavier refuses to do this because Mystique has spent her life being influenced by others, so instead, he tells her that he will do nothing to stop her, but hopes that she will see there is a better way. She agrees and stands down.
  • The White House:
    • X2: X-Men United: Nightcrawler breaches security at the White House and comes within an inch of stabbing the president before being winged by a Secret Service agent, allowing Nightcrawler to break free of his mind control.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: The 1973 section of the climax occurs on the lawn in front of the White House, which culminates in Magneto's attempt to assassinate President Nixon and his cabinet.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist:
    • X-Men: First Class: While Charles isn't exactly naïve, his idealism is accentuated by the fact that everyone else seems to have a far more pessimistic approach to mutant-human relations. It's suggested that this is at least partly because he hasn't faced persecution in the same way. It sets up a nice contrast with his portrayal in the previous films, where he remains idealistic, but is a lot more cautious about it now that he's had personal experience.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Xavier has regained most of his cheery optimism from First Class, and Word of God even says that he has too much hope at the beginning of the story. By the end of the movie, he becomes The Idealist, i.e. he is no longer "wide-eyed," but he doesn't give up hope for peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans.
  • Winged Humanoid: Warren Wortingthon III has bird wings; Angel Salvatore has dragonfly wings.
  • Wolverine Publicity:
    • Wolverine, as portrayed by actor Hugh Jackman, is one of only two characters (the other being Professor X, who has been played by both Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy at different points in his life) to be in all the eight X-Men live action movies minus Deadpool (which only mentions both characters, and has the title character wearing a Hugh Jackman mask—this Deadpool advert even pokes fun at Wolverine's and Professor X's Spotlight-Stealing Squad status). A third Wolverine spin-off has been green-lit (which also stars Stewart, so it solidifies Xavier's position as the second-most prominent figure in the franchise), so that will make nine films where Jackman has portrayed Wolverine, more than any other actor in a superhero role.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Although Hugh Jackman does have the most screen time of any single actor, the central character of the story is the younger Xavier, but James McAvoy takes up a meager amount of space on the official poster. Jennifer Lawrence is more famous than McAvoy, so Mystique's prominence on the poster is equal to Wolverine's despite her role being smaller than Charles'. Moreover, McAvoy is absent from the Blu-Ray/DVD cover for The Rogue Cut, which has Michael Fassbender's Magneto (who also is a bigger star than McAvoy) as its largest figure.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • X-Men: First Class: Downplayed with regards to how Shaw views Xavier. They never have a face-to-face confrontation, but Sebastian recognizes that Charles is a formidable foe, hence Shaw's commission of the telepathy-blocking helmet and his hope to recruit Xavier when he infiltrates the CIA facility. Moreover, after Charles mind-controls a Soviet officer to fire upon the Aral Sea to avert World War III, Sebastian utters in admiration, "That telepath is powerful," which implies that Emma Frost's psychic ability isn't as sophisticated as Xavier's.
    • The Wolverine: Viper is rather impressed by Logan.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • X-Men:
      • Magneto places Rogue into his machine, knowing full well that she will die from its effects.
      • Considering that Mystique is trying to kill Wolverine, he fights her as viciously as he would any man.
      • Toad has no qualms attacking Jean Grey and Storm.
      • Sabretooth wanted to cause Storm enough pain so that she would scream, but he failed twice.
    • X2: X-Men United:
      • After Lady Deathstrike attempts to sedate Cyclops, he hits her with an optic blast, but she recovers quickly due to her Healing Factor.
      • Pyro has no problem throwing a fireball at a female cop who has him at gunpoint.
      • The brutal confrontation between Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike is one of the most violent duels in the franchise.
      • With his Master of Illusion ability, Jason tricked his mother into committing suicide with a power-drill to her temple.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand:
      • Juggernaut is willing to murder Kitty Pryde.
      • Wolverine has no choice but to slay the Phoenix in order to end her catastrophic rampage.
      • Quill gives a Deadly Hug to Dr. Kavita Rao.
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Sebastian Shaw heartlessly shoots Erik's mother dead in front of the boy's eyes.
      • Lehnsherr cracks Emma Frost's crystalline neck after she refuses to cooperate.
      • Angel Salvadore attacks Havok and Banshee with her highly acidic spit balls, so once they land safely on a beach, Alex Summers unleashes his power and burns her wings.
      • Magneto nearly strangles Agent Moira MacTaggert to death with her own military dog tags, although Xavier manages to talk him out of it.
    • The Wolverine:
      • Shingen slaps his daughter Mariko in the face when they get into an argument.
      • Shingen attacks Yukio and a katana duel ensues. He is about to stab her after he knocks her unconscious, but a revived Logan stops Shingen in the nick of time.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
      • Major Stryker successfully tasered Mystique, but he failed to shoot her in Saigon and inside The White House's underground bunker.
      • Magneto would have murdered Mystique if it weren't for Beast's timely intervention.
    • Deadpool:
      • While on the hunt for Ajax, Deadpool tracks down and assaults two women, wondering aloud whether not hitting them would be more sexist after one tried to attack him. He does so, while clearly preparing to shoot them at point blank.
      • Colossus doesn't hesitate fighting Angel Dust once she shows that she's as strong as he is.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Apocalypse chokes Mystique while lifting her off the ground.
      • Beast performs a Catch and Return with a car that Storm had launched at the X-Men, and he goes on the offensive when the homicidal Psylocke fights him.
      • Cyclops attempts to target Storm with his Eye Beam, and she barely manages to get out of the way.
  • Wowing Cthulhu: In X-Men: Apocalypse, En Sabah Nur has accumulated countless mutant abilities over the millennia, and Professor X's sole superpower is Telepathy, yet the former's face is filled with wonder when he first perceives the latter's gift while Charles is mentally communicating with Magneto. It speaks volumes that a near-invincible, practically immortal "god" can be wowed by Xavier's skill.
    Apocalypse: Extraordinary.
    Archangel: What do you see?
    Apocalypse: The answer.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles Xavier seems to think he's in a Silver Age Science Fiction story that will easily be resolved once he and his friends defeat Shaw. Actually, he's part of a larger conflict between humans and mutants, and he and his best friend are destined to become reluctant arch-enemies in the oncoming war.
    • Deadpool: Colossus. He's extremely nice, principled and honorable, and in a standard superhero movie, he'd be right at home, and his The Cape approach would probably function. What keeps tripping him up is that this is not a regular superhero movie, so the unabashed violence and vulgarity of the setting keeps blindsiding him.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • X-Men: First Class: It has a repeated line where Charles urges Erik to "be the better man" and work for more than just revenge. Erik interprets this somewhat differently than Charles intended.
      Charles: There is so much more to you than you know. Not just pain and anger. There is good, too. I felt it. When you can access all of that, you will possess a power no one can match. Not even me.
    • Deadpool: Colossus keeps handing out speeches to this effect almost every time he speaks to Deadpool throughout the movie, but Deadpool is having none of it.
  • You Can't Go Home Again:
    • X2: X-Men United: After Stryker's raid on the school, Bobby, Rogue, Logan and Pyro stop by the Drake family house in hopes of regrouping, which in the process reveals Bobby's mutant abilities to his parents. His own brother calls the police and reports them as a threat despite the mutants not harbouring any ill intentions. After Pyro stupidly attacks the officers in the standoff that follows, Bobby is forced to flee with the others knowing he can never come back.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Invoked by a young Victor Creed after James Howlett kills his family's groundskeeper. The boys are being pursued by lawmen and search dogs.
      Jimmy: I want to go home.
      Victor: We can't.
  • You Monster!:
  • Younger and Hipper:
    • X-Men: First Class explores the younger (and more groovy) versions of Professor X, Magneto, Mystique and Beast with new actors playing the familiar roles.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse features Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm and Nightcrawler as adolescents.
  • Younger Than They Look: In X-Men: First Class, Erik is around the same age as Charles (late twenties/early thirties), but the former appears considerably older because Michael Fassbender looks older than his actual age (he has a lot of lines on his face) while the baby-faced James McAvoy looks younger despite there being a only two-year age gap between the two actors. This can be Handwaved as Erik ageing prematurely because of the trauma he experienced during World War II.

Alternative Title(s): X-Men, X Men Film Series, X Men