Headscratchers / Men in Black

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     Flashy-thing using without adding new memories 
  • There are a couple moments where they'll neuralyze someone, and then.... walk off without giving the person a new memory (such as what K does to Laura near the start of the first film after she meets J in the interrogation room). So what happens to the person who gets neuralyzed, but isn't given a new memory? Do they just think, "What the hell was I doing? How'd I get here?"
    • Probably. That happens to humans all the time—you've never walked into a room then gone completely blank on why you were going there in the first place?
    • Cue Fridge Horror
    • There's also the teams that show up after the agents flash them. The first use of the Neuralizer seems pretty short term (preventing someone from pulling out a gun or causing undue panic) so that it's easier for the follow-up crew to do its damage control

    Why doesn't the Edgar-suit split open? 
  • I can (sort of) see the Edgar bug stuffing himself inside a metal spaceship that's less than half his size. But how does he keep his skin-suit from splitting apart in a nice gory mess? Worse yet, it's shown to be a loose fit when he stretches his face. The hell?
    • The book chalks this up to him folding himself into an appropriate size, and specific mention is made as to how he prepares the skin suit so he doesn't destroy it instantly.
    • He's a space bug- Bizarre Alien Biology is definitely in effect.
    • Also, skin stretches far more than people think it does. It's loose because it isn't a perfect fit, and our skin is attached to us via various means, his skinsuit isn't.
    • A somewhat offcolor pair of examples being someone with extreme weight issues and someone who hasn't aged well. Same amount of skin, but in the first case, the skin has been stretched alot and in the second case, skin has lost its elasticity.
    • In the scene where he tears the disguise off, several dramatic seconds explicitly show the bug unfolding.
    • In said scene, it's also apparent that he excretes some kind of slime that might make the skin more resilient or lubricate his body to fold in on itself easier.

    Going mute upon shedding the suit 
  • Why does Edgar stop talking once he's in bug form? We've already seen that he can talk ("Place... projectile weapon... on the ground"), so why is he suddenly mute? Did they think him talking would make him less scary?
    • I don't remember him ever talking in bug form, so I was guessing he needs a larynx to make a voice. It doesn't work when you take in consideration the other bugs in the series, though. Maybe there was a change in script but they forgot to update the previous scenes?
    • He does when he first crash-lands. We don't see it, but we hear it. And all he took from Edgar was his skin, not his larynx or any other organs.
    • When he crash lands and starts talking with Edgar, he sounds hesitant, like he's speaking a language not native to his own. So when they're having the fight at the end of the movie, he's probably not going to speak Human because he consciously has to think about it. (Don't ask how he's much more fluent while wearing the Edgar-Suit.)
    • It's some kind of translator he's using at the start. He gets a better grasp of the language later.
    • Also, he has a tongue and teeth while in the Edgar suit. It's hard to speak English clearly if all you have is a gullet.
    • "Did they think him talking would make him less scary?" Maybe. In the script he actually had lines; he said "Like this?" after pulling his Edgar suit off, and "Stop it!" to J when he started mashing roaches.
    • Rick Baker apparently suggested that the Bug should continue to wear Edgar's face in order to speak...
    • The novelization actually clarifies both of these things. Originally his translator is, ahem, buggy... he actually says something along the lines of "Drop the gun, dumbass" and the translator renders it into "Place projectile weapon on ground". He spends a few moments jimmying with it once the real Edgar's not bothering him. He can also fold himself partially into another dimension, so it's basically hyperspace. And in the book at the end he does continue to talk, and... honestly it does sort of make him less intimidating. When Jay starts stomping cockroaches, instead of the horrified, angry expression and the slow, furious advance, he keeps shouting "Don't do that!" and it's sort of lame.
    • By this point, the bug is really, really pissed off. He's probably in the mood of "fuck talking, just move," and talking to J would serve no real purpose at that point. He's already established he prefers to kill rather than waste much time taunting people (the morgue clerk, the two aliens at the diner, the tow truck guy) so he probably wouldn't bother yelling at J when he can just, you know, eat him.

    Centaurian time 
  • Other than Rule of Funny, what logical reason is there for the Twins to keep everyone on a 36-hour day? The planet belongs to the humans, not them. And as it's stated that there's a pretty good chance of having a psychotic episode due to the awkward day/night cycle, it just seems more logical to go by the native species normal pattern. Better safe than sorry, after all.
    • It might be for the twin's benefit somehow, but as to why they do this isn't mentioned. In fact, aside from mentioning that they are on 36 hours and that it might make you go crazy they don't really go into it at all.
    • The twins probably put forth a proposal that a 36 hour schedule was more efficient for work somehow. Plus it probably works out well for the agents, whose charges would be up to shenanigans at all different hours... a 36 hour work schedule might allow them to have proper agents on call at all the best times.
    • Also might be because the aliens that MIB is supposed to watch don't necessarily stick to Earth time. Maybe a 36-hour day is better to work with the aliens they're watching over.

    Why burn off the fingerprints? 
  • It's all well and good that MIB agents have to get their fingertips burned off, but haven't these people ever heard of gloves? Even better, the movie very explicitly states that all trace of the agents' former lives is erased; shouldn't that include fingerprint records?
    • More practical than gloves. Gloves can be taken off, damaged or simply slip out (and who knows whether you'll have one around to replace it). Not having fingerprints at all is just... a more surefire way of preventing that, though it raises the question of how agents that are "erased" get them back to return to their normal life. And even if fingerprint records are erased, leaving the same fingerprints around various suspicious locations would definitely ring a bell with someone.
    • But even if they leave a million fingerprints, it doesn't matter if they're not on file. They won't lead back to anyone, so at worst the police will simply think they've got an unknown suspect. Hardly worth the effort of burning off their fingerprints.
    • The original fingerprints may not be on file, but the "new" ones would be put on file. They'd keep finding them in places, and possibly track the agents through them. Much tidier not to leave any fingerprints at all.
    • They can collect all the blank fingerprints they want. The MIB have shown that they can wipe those files with a few keystrokes. They have the capacity and authority to do so, and is shown explicitly when they're wiping Jay's identity.
    • So what about eyelashes, skin flakes, and any of the countless other traces that the agents must leave behind? Genetic evidence is every bit as dangerous as fingerprint evidence, and obviously they can't do anything about that. So the question is still, why bother?
    • All that stuff is much, much harder to use to track someone than CSI would have you believe. Not to mention harder to find and isolate unless you've got a quarantined crime scene.
    • To put it in perspective, 90% of dust is human sheddings (hair, skin, etc). So while, yes, it'd be possible to get something from such things, the time and effort required to do so in an average crime scene would be horrendously costly for the benefit.
    • Yeah, this is a case of The CSI Effect in full swing here. the kind of meticulous CSI-style studies are only going to happen at high-profile crime scenes, which are invariably going to have MIB agents there with mind-wiping tech and clean-up teams to eliminate evidence anyway.
    • As for getting them back when they leave, I think fingerprints actually grow back naturally if they're burnt off. Fingertips have fairly impressive regenerative abilities, so they probably have to go through the 'burn off your fingertips' thing periodically.
    • If i remember from the book, there's something about how they have to get their fingerprints removed yearly as they were burned off and the prints would start to return at about that time (which, as i've burned myself repeatedly.. fingerprints will start to come back if the burn isn't bad enough)
    • Redundancy, the way I took it. MIB is pretty hardcore about keeping that outfit anonymous, physically removing prints is likely among the easier things they can do to protect themselves.
    • Okay, forget gloves. Surely the MIB have access to some sort of ultra-thin polymer or something that adheres to your skin so you don't have to get your fingertips painfully burned off every so often? Then again, this is veering dangerously close to Wild Mass Guessing territory...
    • Occam's Razor, the simplest solution is usually the best. They have a device that burns off your finger prints. No need to worry about gloves getting damaged, lost, lifted from an agent, or being identifiable in and of themselves (if leather). They can wipe prints from databases, and perhaps the machine that burns them off also takes a record of them and scans databases to automatically delete them, so that if the agent misses his yearly burn, the police won't get a lead.
    • What a lot of people don't realize is that actually having no fingerprints is worse. Here is a link to a guy who tried that in real life before the days of DNA testing. How did the police catch him? by looking for one of the only guys in the world without fingerprints.
    • In that case however they were aware of and searching for said person who had less resources than they. MIB isn't something that's known and they actively use all their technological upper hands to prevent that sort of thing.
    • That man also had literally smooth palms. Lots of people lack fingerprints, either through burns, genetic disorder or just day to day wear and tear.
    • Also for the most part the mundane authorities wouldn't have any reason to look for them. They'll only investigate a crime scene, and if the MIB are involved, they've likely already erased any evidence of their presence. Nothing to see here, move along.
  • What about palmprints?

     Alien race omitted 
  • This one comes up as a result of some stuff that came about in the film's post-production phase. Originally (the novelization backs this up, if memory serves, because novelizations of movies are usually based on early screenplay drafts) there were supposed to be two alien ships looming over the Earth, demanding the galaxy: an Arquillian ship (as seen in the final film) and a Baltian ship. Rosenberg (the little green man) was originally a Baltian. The Baltians and Arquillians had been at war, and were making peace by having Rosenberg deliver the galaxy to the Arquillian ambassador. And then the Bug came along. But anyhoo, the whole bit with the Baltians was omitted, and after some post-production work (namely dubbing the aliens' conversation into alienspeak), Rosenberg became an Arquillian. Thing is, the tall alien ambassador is listed in the end credits as "Arquillian" which means that there should be a tiny green man inside his head, shouldn't there? I know, I know, I should really just relax... a minor but maddening quibble...
    • The DVD contains 3 scenes that were cut which dramatically shifted that part of the plot, the studio execs wanted a streamlined plot and the director found he just needed to redub two scenes and while third mostly needed a different CGI shot on the computer screen to remove the whole peace conference plot into a simpler theft and assassination. They pretty much missed that error as the change was very last minute for a big budget blockbuster, apparently some of the main actors themselves had no idea that lot had been changed and were surprised at the final version.
    • Also, we only saw the coroner examining Rosenberg. The other guy probably did have an alien in his head but they didn't show it.
    • We didn't see her examine the other guy but we know she did examine him. When the Agents arrive she shows Jay the tall man's body and remarks that he has a very weird bone structure. And when she goes to show him Rosenberg's body she makes no mention of weird bones, only missing organs. If Rosenberg and the tall man were both tiny green men in human-sized mechas then they should have pretty much the same innards, shouldn't they?
    • Driving different models?
    • Perhaps they're two different races that unified themselves via diplomacy to the point that they both consider themselves Arquillians.
    • They're both members of species that are part of the Arquillian Empire. Just as the Roman Empire contained Romans, Greeks, Gauls, Jews, Egyptians and so on.
    • Or, you know, like America. A nation of immigrants (and some aliens of its own). Could be the Arquillian Empire's also a star system (?) of immigrants.

    Kay misses a Spot Check 
  • In Men in Black II, how does Kay (okay, Kevin) not notice the smell of cigarette smoke coming from the sorting machine? Unless it's airtight, which I doubt, he ought to smell something; cigarette smoke is notoriously pungent. Given how he reacts to a coffee spill, I can't see him not doing something if he suspects someone's smoking inside a government building, which is a big no-no. Plus, they must open it from time to time to load more mail into it. (For that matter, the alien inside is lucky he never set the mail on fire...)
    • Maybe the other aliens cover for the guy.
    • Maybe Kevin thought the machine just gave off really bad exhaust.
    • The guy is an alien, so it might not be tobacco he's smoking. No, that's not a weed reference, he could be smoking an alien plant that is less smelly.
    • Or maybe it's one of those electronic cigarettes.
    • More importantly, why can't his very loud music be heard from that big slot he's throwing mail through?
    • MIB has technology for that. Same reason the little aliens in the locker can make noise without being heard, although Grand Central Station would ostensibly be much louder.

    Why no Website/Deviant Art? 
  • Where's the DeviantArt fan art? Most of it is of characters dressed up as MIBs, rather than fanart of the franchise proper. Come on, guys!
    • If you think about it, it's quite fitting. No fanart for a movie about an organization that leaves no trace of its presence whatsoever.

    Mi B naming conventions 
  • I'm sure there is one, so what's the official explanation behind the whole... "your codename is your first initial and there are more than 26 agents" thing?
    • Dunno if it helps, but in the series, there's one former member who's known as "Alpha," so maybe they go into other alphabets.
    • It's been a while since I saw the movies, but do we know if they actually have more than 26 agents? Also, Zed's name isn't Z, so it is possible they just give the lone letter to the first person with that name and resort to other codenames starting with said letter from then on.
    • They probably have a system of letters and numbers in various languages. Zed may not be his name. In many countries, Zed means zero. You can hear it in Stargate Atlantis when McKay sometimes refers to ZPMs (Zero Point Modules) as Zed PMs.
    • McKay doesn't say "Zed PM" because it represents Zero, but because the initial is Z.
    • Zed is how Brits (and presumably Canadians and so on) pronounce Z, so Zed is sticking to the single letter codename thing (why he's using British english, I have no idea). This just brings us back to the core problem of limited codenames, of course.
    • Zed sounds much, much cooler than Zee
    • And Zed is the boss, so he can pronounce it however the hell he wants.
    • RIP Mr. Torn — Zed's Dead, Baby. Zed's dead.
    • It's possible that not all who work at MIB are called agents. The agents, who get code letters, are just a specific set of field operatives, while there's a much larger support staff with a different naming scheme.
    • If I recall from the novel that's set between the first and second film, they start using slight variations, probably based off of initials or the first few letters of a name.
    • The third movie gives us Agent AA, showing that an agent can have more than one letter.

    Weaponized memory loss 
  • Why don't they use the neuralyzers as weapons? Every skirmish would be over pretty quickly if they went into battle with sunglasses and wiped every hostile's memory.
    • It probably works only on humans due to biological differences.
    • Or perhaps because, since you have to be looking at the neuralyzer for it to work, using it in a melee would be too inefficient.
    • That and eyes.
    • "only works on humans" is confirmed in the animated version.

    Original Men in Black 
  • In the Animated Series Alpha is repeatedly referred to as one of the original Men in Black and Z's predecessor as head of the organisation, as well as having trained K. However in Season One's The Head Trip Syndrome, the five later six original Men in Black are stated to be D, T, H, Q and K and Moffitt. It's unlikely Moffitt became A(lpha) given his first initial does not match nor does he look anything like Alpha's human form, nor does there appear to be more than maybe a decade between Moffitt and K, when there was a sizeable age gap between the latter and A and the two did not meet until after the MIB was established.
    • My interpretation is that Alpha was head of the predecessor organization that became MIB after the official first contact. That organization sent D, T, H, and Q to where they were fairly sure that aliens would land to ensure future good relations. The "founding agents" are a somewhat symbolic distinction, as they consider MIB as they know it to have been founded at the moment of first contact, even though the precursor organization basically changed into the modern MIB immediately (with one new member). The non-symbolic distinction being that if those five hadn't been there, first contact would never have happened, and the precursor organization would've been disbanded before they had another chance. It's still full of holes, but that's my personal canon.
    • Makes sense, or at least as much sense as MIB's fluctuating canon will allow. Perhaps Moffitt went on to become Z and that changed up the timeline a bit as well. Dude had to go somewhere.

    Noisy Cricket trouble 
  • Why did K give J a deceptively powerful weapon on his first mission? That's just asking for trouble. It seems like nothing but an invocation of the Rule of Funny.
    • Caution. Given that most of the people they come across are tougher than humans, making sure your new recruit will survive is probably a good thing. At least until they have the savvy to handle aliens in other fashions.
    • Still begs the question of why they didn't demonstrate the power of the Noisy Cricket for Jay. Seriously, how many innocent civilians could he have vaporized if his aim had been off the first time he fired it?
    • The MIB aren't terribly good at training new field agents, judging by how they handle J. They don't explain to him that he's not supposed to discharge his weapon in public either. The impression I get is that all the field agents are very old men and they haven't trained any new agents in decades, so they're getting rusty.
    • Jay already has training as a policeman and, as seen with the alien couple, it's probable being a MIB agent isn't a lot different than a simple police officer, he just needed experience, not training.
    • No, he needed training. The MIB is a very different beast from the NYPD. Jay was being asked to operate under a completely different set of regs and use weapons he was totally unfamiliar with. At the absolute least he should have received many hours of range training until he knew how to competently handle his standard sidearm.
    • I always thought that since they assumed he was a police officer, that he would know not to open fire randomly in the middle of a crowd to stop a perp. They were wrong.
    • J seemed to be using it as he would a regular pistol. He fired upon a fleeing criminal that he believed was deemed "armed and dangerous." I also thought he was admonished for firing alien tech in view of the public, not for endangering people. He also was still under the normal belief that recoil and power is directly related to size. MIB needs to add training to all their other overly thought out protocols; they have pretty extensive recruitment process and protocols it seems.
    • Also, I read somewhere (I forget where) that the Noisy Cricket is the training weapon for new recruits.
    • I've always gone with the theory that giving the Noisy Cricket to a new recruit is an intiation rite or hazing.
    • Both are right. It's a training weapon for new recruits, but, ratcheting up its power so that it sends the shooter flying is also a prank pulled on those same recruits.
    • To be specific, in the West End Games MIB Pen And Paper RPG, it's designed to break Trigger Happy newbies of the habit of pulling guns and shooting things in public. In real life, every time a police officer discharges his weapon outside the range, he has to fill out paperwork defending the use of his sidearm - an incredible hassle meant to discourage reckless shooting. When a MIB fires off a ray gun, all civilians present have to be neuralized, and that's an incredible hassle for the rest of the agency. Hence giving the newbie a gun that feels like getting kicked by a mule every time it's used - no paperwork, but you are going to carry that wrist-snapper until you learn some restraint. We're not running an intergalactic kegger here.

    Why did the Arquillian prince die? 
  • Exactly how did Edgar kill the Arquillian prince? We see his stinger go right through the Arquillian's neck, but that's not his real neck. It's a human-sized power armor for an action figure-sized alien. So how did the sting kill him?
    • It looks like it damaged whatever life-support system he had inside his robo-body. Kind of how if you pierced the oxygen tanks on the Space Shuttle, you can kill the astronauts on board without ever touching them directly.

    Why does K retire? 
  • Why does K retire from MIB? Unlike the old geezer in the beginning of the movie, he didn't lose his touch, and if the reason was his extremely traumatic experience inside the roach's gullet, why didn't he just erase that particular memory? In fact, the same can be said about all the "hundreds of memories" he wanted to forget. Fair enough, so why doesn't he?
    • He does erase those memories. Problem is, neuralizers aren't selective. They wipe out entire blocks of memories. The only way to forget all the horrible things he's seen as an MIB agent is to wipe out his entire experience as an MIB agent.
    • Lolwut? They use the neuralizers to erase short scopes of memory all the time! That's what the dials are for - they determine how far in the past will the memory be erased. So, what I meant was neuralizing himself after each traumatic event, including the one with the roach.
    • Yes, because an agent regularly erasing large blocks of their own memory—useful memory on how to fight the things he's going to be up against every day—is a really good habit to build up.
    • So you're suggesting he wipe out all of his combat experience after every encounter, therefore making it impossible for him to remember what he's learned in combat? Brilliant!
    • Record the necessary information beforehand, then playback it. Experiencing those traumatic events second-hand wouldn't be so bad.
    • Which makes a better agent: one with PTSD, one who occasionally erases his own memory, or an ex-agent that completely erased his knowledge of the MIB and now works in a post office?
    • Also, that was what happened in the sequel. He'd neuralized himself after the whole 'Light of Zarthon' incident and those memories didn't come back after he was de-neuralized until he put together the clues he left. So it makes sense to only neuralize himself once, just in case he needs to be brought back quickly.
    • He still pined for his old girl and his old life. He is shown spying on her at one point. Getting eaten was just the tipping point.
    • This one's pretty much been done to death but I also think he probably didn't want to get to the point where he retired old and bumbling. He probably wanted to get out while he was a) still alive and b) had some good years left.
    • I think the biggest unanswered question is why does he retire on J's second day? couldn't he wait at least a month? there is a ton of stuff he doesn't know!
    • There's also the implication that being continuously neuralized can adversely affect your mental health, as J points out it's probably the reason for L's quirkiness.

    Was Laura K's kid? 
  • So...in the second movie, was Laura K's kid with the alien princess? It's never explicitly stated, but I was kind of getting that vibe. Especially at the end where he's convincing her to leave Earth.
    • Yep. That's why she looks like a human but has emotions that affect the weather.
  • Whatever happened to K's girlfriend during MIB and MIB II? She's suddenly forgotten and we get a (sort of) alien relationship out of nowhere.
    • Listen to the dialogue when J first goes to get K back. He says exactly what happened.

    Firing your own partner? 
  • Does anyone else find it odd that MIB agents are apparently empowered to fire their partners from the service and then neuralyze them to forget what they know? Both J and K are seen doing so unilaterally and on the spur of the moment, and the only time Zed (their nominal boss) says boo about it is when he razzes J for doing it to too many of his partners in a row. This seems to me to be a disturbingly loose way to handle severance from an organization that prides itself on only allowing in the elite (and which therefore will always be very small in size), and that's not even getting into what could happen if an agent went rogue and just decided to neuralyze his partner every time they stumbled onto his crimes.
    • I haven't seen either film in a while, but I don't recall seeing both agents in a pair holding a neuralyzer. Maybe Zed decides which agents actually get to carry the mind-effer based on how experienced they are or how unlikely they are to screw up and/or misuse it. The first agent we see neuralyzed is K's partner, who's barely capable of staying in the game.
    • Which, BTW, raises another question. How did they allow such a whiner into their ranks in the first place?
    • If you mean J's partner at the start of 2, presumably he was more gung-ho about it when recruited and it was the reality of the job that got him.
    • What do you mean "whiner"? The dude was old. I'm sure he was a fine agent in his prime, but that was obviously a long time ago. All that happened was he ran face-first into the realization that he was too old to do his job anymore. That's bound to make anyone a mite depressed.
    • Here's a possible explanation: The whole "They're beautiful, aren't they? The stars" thing is a kind of Spy Speak code for "It's time for me to go." It's a protocol thing—you can only dismiss your partner when he or she specifically says this phrase and means it.
    • Maintaining the Masquerade of non-awareness of alien life is the most important thing to the MIB. Everything else is secondary, from the lives of MIB operatives to Earth itself.

    Only one witness to the UFO at the baseball game? 
  • How the heck does nobody but the outfielder notice the alien spaceship flying over Shea Stadium? You'd think, at the very least, some of the other players would have also been looking at the ball and seen the ship behind it.
    • The same reason why nobody but a small minority of people noticed a Tyrannosaurus rex walking around San Diego in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. In other words, Weirdness Censor.
    • The outfielder only seemed to notice the ship when the ball passed right in front of it from his perspective. Maybe the ship has some sort of cloaking field that only allows it to be seen by someone looking directly at it.
    • Focus. It's a pretty big game; most of the players and spectators would be totally laser-focused on the game.

    Newer neuralyzer model? 
  • Why do they change the colour of the neuralyzer from red to blue? are we just supposed to forget that the bulb used to look completely different for no reason?
    • Newer model?
    • Yes. *FLASH*

    Why is J neuralized? 
  • Why does K neuralize J after meeting him for the first time if he was just going to recruit him the next day?
    • The other recruits were probably not neuralized when they were recruited. They were probably chosen because they were the at the top of their respective fields. Edwards, on the other hand, is a different story. He had a close encounter with an extraterrestrial and K took him to Jeebs to identify the weapon the ET was going to use to assassinate the Arquillian prince. K neuralized Edwards after that to erase the memory of aliens, alien weaponry and protect MIB secrets. But he may have decided later that Edwards would make a good replacement and had him tested with the other recruits whereupon he'd have to subject him to a second reveal regarding extraterrestrials.
    • It was probably standard procedure. Plus J already having knowledge of aliens would give him an unfair advantage over the other candidates.
    • Based on the events of the first movie (granted, they would not have known this at the time if making the first), it may have been that K didn't know when or how J would become MIB or when J would become aware of K as a part of his life so he was making absolutely sure J would remain 'pure' until needed. As for the delay in doing so, well... same reason - K would have been spending a decent chunk of his life raising J (such as it is) even if J didn't know it. Times like this would be a rare opportunity to interact.
    • K was planning on trying to recruit J the next day. That is no guarantee that he would succeed, or that J wouldn't, say, run to the nearest news outlet to tell the story of the regenerating alien who sells offworld hardware to the world-at-large. J wasn't an agent of Mi B yet, so any knowledge of extraterrestrial activity he possessed still constitutes a security risk.
    • A lot of what makes a good MIB agent seems to be the ability to adjust to weird situations. Neuralizing J lets him demonstrate to Zed just how well he handles weird. K almost certainly already planned to recruit J, but it's all part of a test.

    Only one branch of MIB? 
  • Does the US branch of MIB control all the Agents in the world or are there other branches? A London office, for example.
    • Don't be silly. London already has Torchwood...
    • Well, had.
    • K does state that most Earth-based aliens reside in Manhattan.
    • Earth is a relatively low tech neutral zone. Not many aliens come to Earth for the purpose of living, and those that do can find a place in the Us (mostly Manhattan, as K stated). Most aliens come to visit or to have a politically neutral area for a deal, both of which can also be done in or near the Manhattan branch. No real need for "the neutral planet" to have more than one in and out area for aliens.

    Not the last suit you'll ever wear? 
  • So if the MIB suit is the last suit you'll ever wear... why is J wearing some kind of Oriental inspired number with a white polo neck underneath during the final seconds of the first movie? hasn't he just broken one of the main tenets of the entire organization? And why isn't he customizing his outfit in the sequels?
    • You seem to be taking the suit line a tad too literally.
    • The line is supposed to mean that the MIB suit is the last "uniform" you'll be wearing, not literally "you only get this one suit ever." I doubt that many former MIB agents go on to be lawyers or professional business men after they leave the organization. Of course, this is kind of messed up after K leaves, since as a postal worker he does wear a uniform, even if it's not a suit. But aside from K leaving early and J neuralizing all of his replacement agents, it seems that most agents stay in MIB until they die or simply cannot physically handle the job anymore, like in the case of K's partner before he recruited J. As for why J doesn't have special suits in the later movies, it's never really explained, but I always just kind of figured that at the end of MIB 1, J is still a VERY young agent and is eager to imprint his own style into the job, in much the same way he probably did with the NYPD. By MIB 2 and 3, he's a much more seasoned agent and doesn't need to compensate for his lack of experience with "hip" new styles. Also, it's much easier to remember someone in a unique Asianesque suit and forget someone in a boring black one. J probably realized that the traditional MIB suit wasn't just for simplicity, it was also the smartest thing he could wear so he would never really be noticed.
    • Last suit you'll ever wear is hyperbole, a way of driving home that the new agent's life has been changed dramatically.
    • J's 'fashionable' suit at the end seems to be a way of saying that J is an innovator type, and as he's trying to find his place in Mi B, he straetches the rules to find himself and take mental charge of his new life. His huge confidence and assuredness when he talks,about Rodman. By the next movie he's back to the standard Mi B suit because he's matured a bit - he's much more no-nonsense about the mission than proving himself (he's likely beyond the insecure 'don't call me Sport' phase, so also doesn't feel the need to stand out among other Agenst with his clothing either.)

    Where'd the guns go? 
  • What happened to K's futuristic handgun and J's Cricket during the final battle against the Bug? Were they stupid enough to leave their sidearms behind? Sure, those laser cannons they keep in the trunk were cool and all but, as they both proved quite conclusively, if you happen to lose them during the battle to save the entire Earth you are left with nothing to attack with except for a few rocks. Your back-up battle strategy shouldn't consist of Hell, if something happens I can always let it swallow me whole...
    • They were probably just picked up by the cleaner team that would inevitably arrive.
    • K's handgun might not even scratch the bug. The Noisy Cricket could probably do the job, but it might also destroy the Galaxy in the bug's stomach. Since the Galaxy is said to be an absurdly powerful energy source, this could be really bad.

     K really gets around 
  • Each film reveals that Kay had a different Love Interest, all of them from his past. Is it just me or does it seem like he's uncharacteristically...loose?
    • Could be another explanation for why he's so stoic and strict now. Also it may depict Kay as having to try and get over "losing" his wife after recruiting with Mi B.
    • Considering K's age, I don't think being with three different women would classify him as "loose." There's his first girlfriend, whom he had to leave once he became an MIB agent. He's shown to have never really gotten over her, and that's understandable considering that he simply had to give her up and watch her live her life without any memory of him. Then there's Agent O, to whom he was obviously attracted but their relationship never really went anywhere. It seems to me more of a case of continuous attraction due to being in each other's presence all the time. As for the alien, K seemed to really love her, but that was a doomed relationship from the beginning. If K has a woman problem, it's that he keeps falling in love with women he can't have, and can't seem to ever get over any of them, not that he's a player. The pain of all these broken relationships would only add to his stoicism, which IS very in character.

     A long translation process 
  • What sort of eleven word phrase would take several hours to translate?
    • The sort that's buried under tons and tons and tons of subtle wording nuances that can flip the meaning of every word on its head. Look into Chinese sometime. Or Japanese. Or Entish.
    • Makes even less sense considering K showed J a universal translator earlier in the film.
      • Earth isn't supposed to have that tech. Using it to quickly translate the message would tip the aliens off about it and cause even more problems.

    Is MIB a government organization or not? 
  • In Men In Black I, K says that MIB is not part of the government as they ask too many questions. In the third movie, J says that MIB is a government organization.
    • K never says that MIB isn't part of the government. He just says that they don't answer to any other branches of the government or government departments. Big difference.
    • Every time someone refers to MIB as a "secret government organization" they're explaining it to the uninitiated (and half the time someone they're planning on neuralizing shortly anyway). They probably say it that way because it flows better and is easier to understand than "a secret formerly government and currently underground organization".

    Why are the Boglodites still alive? 
  • Men In Black 3: Griff says the Boglodites died out in the main timeline because the ArcNet prevented them from eating Earth, and they starved to death. In the timeline where K dies, the ArcNet never goes up, but he somehow drives off the Boglodites anyway, preventing them from eating Earth. So why are they still alive?
    • Perhaps the Boglodites were convinced to change their invasion timing by Boris, because Boris wasn't certain as to whether it was safe to assault Earth at that time.

    K can't put up the Arc Net? 
  • When Griffin says that the ArcNet has to be sent outside the atmosphere, why does young K seem like he has no idea how to do that? If there are aliens on Earth in the 60's, then MIB should have access to plenty of ships that could easily get outside the atmosphere.
    • Mi B is set up as a refuge spot on Earth for all of those other visiting aliens. It's probably strongly frowned upon by policy to get them involved in the politics of Mi B and other races.
    • You'd think that said involvement being meant to protect said refuge spot from total annihilation would've upturned that frown, no?
    • K was helping J behind his superiors' backs. He probably wouldn't have had the clearance to use an alien ship, but the jetpacks weren't monitored.

    Boris' girlfriend 
  • Why was Boris' girlfriend even allowed to have knowledge of him, let alone write him letters and travel to the moon?
    • Possibly some sort of galactic regulation that prisoners be allowed to have access to mail, no matter what they're convicted of. Plus Boris' imprisonment is not a secret, he's just insanely dangerous.
    • Why wouldn't it be a secret? He's an alien. Aren't all aliens supposed to be a secret to the Earth public?
    • Maybe she wasn't human? It's been established that several types of aliens can pass for human, and if she was another alien, they wouldn't need to neuralize her. Alternately, the MIB has not been shown to have power outside the U.S.A., IIRC. Maybe she's from a country with less-strict laws?
  • Boris was apparently pen-pals with the woman who helped him escape from prison. How did he write to her if one of his arms was blown off and the other was permanently encased in that device?
    • He dictated them to a guard who either drew the short straw or pissed the bosses off. This also meant they knew what was in those letters.

    Lethal Force on the Firing Range 
  • I'm surprised (and kinda ashamed) that this didn't raise my flags earlier. Why in the name of Khorne allmerciful would J, a policeman', shoot an 8-year old girl? No, I don't mean "shoot her rather than the monsters". I mean why would he shoot her at all?! Just because she was suspicious? That's... "police brutality" doesn't even begin to cover this! Hell, his only explanation was that she was carrying some books on quantum physics. So freaking what?! She could've been returning those books to the library for her colledge student brother! I know I'm reading way too deep into a joke, but still, what kind of psychopath J is? Did he feel he would lose his manly credentials, if he didn't shoot something? Or was the task specifically to shoot something? Doesn't seem to be that way.
    • At midnight?
    • So what? The Lenin's library in Moscow has a night service, I don't see why some others wouldn't. Not that it matters, of course, it was just an example.
    • The room is a fancy shooting gallery. The task was to shoot the threats. She was the most threatening thing in the room. The task was not, "Put the gun down and go have a conversation with the cardboard cutout". In a live situation, he probably wouldn't shoot her the second he saw her, but this wasn't a live situation, it was a test of judgment and observational skills.
    • Nobody says he should've talked with the cutout. But how was shooting it a good judgement? Acting suspicious doesn't make you an immediate threat.
    • That's the joke. Jay only shot her because he got that none of the rest were actually doing anything worth shooting and he might as well shoot the odd one out to explain his reasonig. He just shot her because he knows a recruiting test when he sees one and has no interest in following along with the rest of the boring soldiers.
    • I think, in his own way, Jay was trying to illustrate the complete absurdity of the shooting test. Based on this scene, apparently the MIB puts potential recruits in a shooting gallery with absolutely no preparation whatsoever for what they're supposed to be shooting at. Which makes the test completely useless at screening recruits. Of course the other recruits fired wildly at the alien cutouts. They've never seen an alien before. From their perspective these things look like Eldritch Abominations from the deepest pits of Hell and everything about the way they're posed suggests "threat". And of course Jay only fired at Little Tiffany. He was so taken aback by the utterly bizarre alien cutouts that he froze up. I don't believe for a second that Jay actually assessed each target and concluded none of them except Tiffany was a threat. That was just a line of BS he made up on the spot. Putting a bullet through Tiffany's brainpan was just his way of calling attention to that fact.
    • Which was the entire point. Part of MIB's job isn't just shooting any alien that shows up on Earth, the same way cops don't shoot anyone that shows up in a city. The test wasn't about marksmanship, despite what the other recruits thought. It was about learning how to assess the situation and when to hold fire - which made the only cop in the group the best-qualified candidate. Of course, Jay has that little problem with authority, so...
    • Like the other tests, it's a Secret Test of Character to gauge a prospective agent's ability to think outside the box and accurately assess threats. To which J responded by capping an eight-year-old girl rather than, say, conclude that nothing he was presented with was a threat and hold fire. AND HE PASSES.
    • It was about assessing threats, you've got that right; it was about thinking outside the box, high marks again; but you are wrong about one thing: 'eight-year-old girl'. Supplementary information reveals that Tiffany actually IS a threat and eliminating her is the only correct response.

    Who called the exterminator? 
  • Who called the exterminator to Edgar's farm? According to Beatrice, she was unconscious when "Edgar" disappeared, and considering how much Edgar hates people who kill bugs, it seems unlikely that he called him.
    • I consider it likely that the exterminator was called by the real Edgar some time before the movie, and the appointment for the extermination just happened to be just after Bug Edger ate the real Edger. The Bug Edger just killed the guy and took advantage of his truck to get around and bring his ship with him.

    Cape Canaveral 
  • So what happened at Cape Canaveral in the original timeline? I expected something traumatic, something, well, worse than having to neuralyze a kid you'd end up working with later (talk about a retcon), especially since the one change seems to be not arresting Boris. Future!Boris and J's presences canceled each other out as far as interfering with the Boris-K fight went, so, what was it that happened to K (and O) that it's so classified?
    • I think only J was locked out of the information, it was not really classified for other Mi B agents. The whole "it's above your paygrade" excuse seemed far-fetched, and J himself gave a very good counter-argument to it. So, K probably asked for the agency to explicitly keep J from getting information about what happened that day, to avoid having him know the conditions in which his father had died.
    • It's actually not so far fetched, because K would consider the Colonel's death to be his fault. He shut himself off emotionally so he wouldn't have to suffer through that pain again.

    Shutting down giant neuralyzer 

  • Also, why did "When you meet the guy you're after tomorrow, kill him, don't arrest him?" prompt K to shut down the giant neuralyzer?
    • Theory: J is banking on K's suspicion and intuition from describing an event that J has knowledge of, yet K doesn't. J, of course, correctly predicted that K would be too curious and spare J from the neuralyzer.

    Temporal device and fighting Boris 

  • How did J know that the temporal device could be switched to Mental Time Travel and why didn't it leave Boris just as prescient as J himself?
    • Presumably it was quick thinking on J's part, something he's known for.
    • The device may only send one person - the one who presses the button - back, regardless of who else is with them.
    • Remember, it was some sort of DNA laser, so yeah, it would make sense it only sends back the person who pushes it.

    Boris' girlfriend 

  • What's the deal with Boris' unnamed girlfriend? Past!Boris is never seen with her, and though it's mentioned the two have been sending each other letters, how does that relationship get to the point where she had his name tattooed on her back?
    • Perhaps she just came across stories of his crimes and became obsessed with him. It wouldn't be the first time convicted killers picked up fans and copycats after their arrest.
    • Richard Ramirez is a pretty famous American serial killer that actually married one of his "fans" after he had been convicted of murdering multiple victims and given the death penalty, so it's not ridiculous to assume that Boris's girlfriend got his name tattooed on her back purely because she fell in love with his crimes. The real question is how she got into contact with him to begin with.

    Alien Fish 

  • Maybe this is Bizarre Alien Biology with a smidge of Rule of Funny, but J deals with the giant alien fish by pulling its heart out. It collapses, quite obviously out of commission if not outright dead. A scene or so later, the fish is seen strapped to a truck, flopping around vigorously. Wha happa? Did its heart grow back? Did an agent put its heart back? Did it have a spare kick in after the original was removed?

    Lunar-Max Guards 

  • Why are the guards at Lunar-Max so Too Dumb to Live? Among their many idiocies:
    • Their scanners are as specific as "ceramic confectionery", but not more than "organic matter"...which encompasses everything from poisons to viruses, both of which would be invalubale in a prison escape.
    • They have weapons that can breach the wall of an airtight space station...in an airtight space station.
    • When they have an item that they have reason to believe contains harmful substances, they...stick their finger in it.
    • Seriously, MIB. The bad guys are the ones who are supposed to need the Evil Overlord List, not the good guys.
    • Basically, bad writing. The writers clearly wanted to do a "stupid hick Southern prison guards" series of jokes so they had MIB be incompetent for the sake of their "hilarious" gags and a lazy way to kick off the plot.

    Getting to space 

  • In MIB 3 near the end J&K have to get a macguffin into space in order to save the Earth. The headscratcher comes from the fact that they had to use 1969 moon launch to get it up there. Seriously? You're telling me that out of the dozens of perfectly docile aliens that we see in the movie and the probably countless others on the planet there's not a single one anywhere that has a spaceship they could have used instead?!?
    • Because Earth is not a transportation hub, it's the universe's equivalent to a refugee camp. The majority of the trips there were probably one way, and the MIB itself is an earthbound organization, so they have little reason for leaving the planet.
    • Still, it's hard to believe that there isn't a functional spaceship anywhere within easy reach, either from the Alien refugees, confiscated from hostile aliens, or built one THEMSELVES. In fact, the first MIB movie gives us the world fair flying saucers too, which were there prior to 1969.
    • Because it would arouse too much suspicion. Anyone who saw the saucers flying would have to be neuralyzed, and tracking down each witness would be a huge hassle. Using a rocket that everyone knows is going up into space is the better choice.
    • It could be one of the actions they had to take in order to succeed. Remember when Griffin told J and K that the only way they would get to the rocket was to tell the truth? Maybe if they used some other method it wouldn't work.
    • This is a glaring issue that they should have at least alluded to and explained in the film, but didn't. You can WMG at possibilities, but they didn't stop and explain it. It probably can be explained away by that the timeline has to somewhat follow the way it actually happened - so if they used a spaceship they would have to launch said spacecraft from Cape Canaveral at the same time, with all they eyes of the world on them. HOWEVER this really should have been brought up in dialogue if it was the case.
    • Another, very simple explanation, that was probably cut in editing to trim the fat, is that Mi B can't drum up a spacecraft in under 6 hours.

    The Colonel 

  • The colonel is one giant example of a headscratcher. Why, on the day of the launch of the lunar mission, did he bring his son along in the family car and park on the beach near a lift-off site, which, as we see, is vulnerable to being hit by the blast from lift-off. Granted, the blast is non-lethal, but why where they there in the first place? To watch the lift off from a dangerous spot where they could be injured? Now, it's possible that he had to drive out there to see the intruders for some reason, but why bring along his son? Furthermore, while he saw how important it was to help K and J accomplish their mission, the Colonel could have asked one of the guards to drive his son to safety. As it's presented, the idea that young J was patiently waiting inside the car the entire time during the final fight, liftoff, and his father's death seems downright silly.
    • Or perhaps the vision Griffin showed him told him to leave things that way.

    Time Travel Logbook 

  • After Boris goes to the past and defeats K, why is his visit still listed in Jeffrey Price's logbook? Why would he ask to time-travel to 1969 in a timeline where he had already won?
    • Since Jeffrey apparently still retains his memories of the previous timeline, perhaps his store is somehow shielded from timeline fractures. Plus, this obviously was not the first time he let others use the time travel devices.


  • The ending of third film involves a pretty big unspoken Temporal Paradox because K kills past!Boris in the past. Since Boris is dead in the present he can't travel to the past to kill K and give J a reason to go to the past. But since that logically means J would never tell K to kill him Boris would have survived in that timeline. This means he would have gone back in time to kill K but then J would have... My brain hurts.
    • past!Boris killing the colonel, past!Boris's death, past!K's acknowledgment of past!J as a child and events that follow on create a Timeline C (the "Good Guys Win, Someone's Dad Dies" timeline) that erases Timeline A (the original starting from 1969) and Timeline B (the "Boris Wins" timeline). So the paradox mentioned above is erased, unless there is evidence to the contrary.
    • It was established at the beginning of the film that J's memory is protected from the timeline change because he was present for the event that changed; specifically, Cape Canaveral, when he was a boy. This sets a precedent for J's memory to be preserved; he traveled back in time because the timeline was different when he traveled, he returned to the fixed present, and then he went about his business.

    Disappearing from the timeline 

  • Since Agent K disappeared from the modern timeline, he would thus have never recruited Agent J in the first place. The timeline should have reset to have Agent J be in the NYPD or some other non-MIB employment. J should not still be an MIB agent if K doesn't even make it to the 1990's. That does not preclude another MIB agent to recruit Agent J, but that affects other events as well. It's possible that the other agent would be J's partner and not Agent K. There is also the possibility that J would be recruited by someone else and then *assigned* to K, but that contradicts the loose recruiting and trainer/mentor model that MIB uses.
    • Timey-Wimey Ball. Seriously that is really the only answer you need.
    • There's a lot of Timey-Wimey Ball in the movie, but it isn't necessary for that. K had nothing to do with the Bug's plan in MiB, so in either timeline, J runs down a Cephalapod on foot as an NYPD officer, and an Agent gets assigned to investigate. J is legitimately Men In Black material, so it's no stretch to assume that whoever was assigned to his case decided to give him a shot, and he aces the test on his own.
    • If K doesn't exist now, why wasn't Earth destroyed in MIB 2?
    • Simple answer here: Mi B 2 has the Light of Zartha arrive on Earth in '78. Most likely, D, O, or Zed handled the situation; remember Zed says, "I gave it to my best agent" - not just, "I gave it to K." In fact, it's more likely that the Light left Earth in '78 without an agent getting emotionally compromised.

    J's birthdate 

  • In the first film, K was about to assume that J "wasn't even alive in 1968" before the Bug nearly eats them both. But the third film shows that K clearly knew J was born before 1968. Did the writers just forget this little detail?
    • Yes. Because it was a throwaway line, possibly one improvised by Tommy Lee Jones.
    • Or he's playing dumb to cover his own ass.
    • OR K just didn't recognize J at this point. There's no indication that he kept a particularly close eye on J personally, and "James Edwards" isn't a particularly unusual name.
    • Or this happened back in the original unaltered timeline, and the one where K meets young J didn't exist yet.


    Time reverse 

  • Speaking of time warps, when Boris travels back in time there are two Borises; J travels back in time a few seconds so he can avoid Boris's projectiles. So why aren't there three Js - present J, his 1969 self we see shortly afterwards, and the time-travelling J?
    • Maybe the time warp device has a time reverse function?
    • Or maybe the device only sends one person back?
    • Might be a locational thing. If you try to go back to a moment when you were already standing on or near the point that you'll land on, you replace yourself; J in that instance traveled back to when he was on the same girder, whereas when Boris traveled back, he was across town.
    • It could also be that the duplication (or whatever) happens only if you aren't currently time jumping yourself. You're essentialy 'displaced' and not actually a part of the timeline just interacting with it.

    Frank photo 

  • Why does J have a giant photo of Frank (or at least Frank's disguise, depending on if thats what he really looks like or not) over his bed?
    • His first mark.
    • It was a way to get Frank into the film. If you want an in-universe explanation, maybe Frank gave it to J as a present... and had MIB requisitions go in and install it while J was out. J probably just hasn't waded through the paperwork to have it removed.

    Ripple Effect Proof Memory 

  • If there are only two recently-invented time machines in existence, and they're so classified that not even senior agents know about them, how do they have the samples or researchers to know that Ripple Effect-Proof Memory gives you headaches and a craving for chocolatized dairy products?
    • Take a look at the logbook when J's finding out what time Boris traveled to. There are a ton of entries in it, suggesting that this particular time machine has had plenty of customers.

    Shape of the World 

  • So what is the real shape (for lack of a better word) of our world? Are we part of an alien kid's super-marble? Are we sitting in the locker of an alien rail station (or so)? Both at the same time?? How does that work?
    • As stupid as it sounds it appears as if we are sitting in an alien locker sitting in an alien marble. Remember that it is the Earth that is meant to be in a locker at a terminal just like the aliens who guard K's wristwatch whilst it is the Milky Way that some kid is playing with somewhere in the multiverse.
    • To be more precise, we are sitting in an alien locker sitting in an alien marble in a timeline where Kay remembered to leave a tip.

    The Masquerade 

  • So what, exactly, is the MIB doing with its keep aliens secret from everybody else rule? Is there some sort of plan in place to allow them to safely reveal the presence of aliens to the world? Or are they just going to run around neuralizing people until the end of time?
    • Logically speaking, they'll probably reveal things once our technology is advanced enough, and advance it as fast as they can without either drawing attention or causing social upheaval. The reason for waiting for technology is, of course, that we're a neutral zone; when the secret, because people are "dumb, panicky animals" that tend to act before thinking, we WILL ruin that neutral status in short order once we find out we're not alone. So, they're probably intentionally keeping it a secret until our technology is advanced enough to keep us Leeroy Jenkins-ing it the moment the veil is lifted.
    • Wouldn't that just mean that everybody would not only be Leeroy Jenkinsing later instead of sooner, but have the technology to REALLY do some damage? Besides, wouldn't everybody be really pissed at the aliens and the MIB for keeping aliens a secret?
    • Better than the alternative, which is to say declaring a hostile status towards some evil empire next-door and getting instantly vaporized. If they wait long enough, we'll have the shields (Arcnet is good, but increasingly outdated and specialized, so it can't be relied on) and starfighters to actually survive declaring a cessation of neutrality.
    • Would cessation of neutrality really be a good thing, though? Right now, Earth has it pretty good. Sure, there's plenty of threats to the safety of the Earth floating around, but there's no indication that would change if Earth became a sovereign party in galactic politics. If anything, it seems that it would get worse; there doesn't seem to be any united galactic government, and all we ever see of intergalactic politics is war, war, war. Most of the time, threats to the Earth are indirect; the Arkillians are going to destroy the Earth to prevent the Galaxy from falling into the hands of their enemy and powering a war engine that would destroy their civilization. Sure, there's the occasional invasion, like the Boglodites, but there are also other alien civilizations stepping in to lend a hand, that may be less inclined to do so if Earth seemed like a legitimate threat in its own right, rather than everyone's favorite party town. That's not to mention the free technological advancements that Earth receives by simply holding the right to any and all confiscated tech. It's explicitly stated in the first film that a lot of Earth's tech advancements in the last century have been the result of reverse-engineering alien hardware. This isn't hardware that we had to bargain for or make economic deals for, it's all free tech that was confiscated from criminals. All in all, not having to worry about galactic wars and politics and only having to pick up the criminals here and there that enter our jurisdiction while getting free tech upgrades and cultural exposure to everything that's happening, Earth actually has a pretty sweet gig going for it.
    • Precisely. But, the thing is, it may not be entirely morally defensible; there are almost certainly horrifically corrupt and evil (by human moral standards) powers that get free reign to vacation in NYC because of the neutrality (as that is, really, what neutrality means). While that doesn't change the equation at all, there are nevertheless more than enough governments on Earth that would end up eliminating neutrality anyway for the sake of not having what we would consider war criminals coming here for fun - to do otherwise with the secret known would be to invite massive public outcry, and the public reactions to some of the migrants from such powers would likely lead to breakdown of neutrality regardless of political intent - lynchings, outspoken protests, etc. Thus, until the benefits of it going public and chances of surviving the inevitable breakdown of neutrality become considerably better, it would be both stupid and suicidal to reveal things, as revelation=cessation of neutrality as almost a certainty.
    • So do they have something planned to make humanity more accepting to the existence of aliens when it's inevitably revealed so that it doesn't blow up in their faces? Maybe a way to keep the neutrality after The Reveal?
    • Doubtful. Welcome to international politics, Galaxy edition. There are no easy answers, only a careful dance of threats, military showings, trade sanctions, and international treaties. Look at the real world- countries can only stay neutral in the long run if they're of no consequence at all (i.e., effectively third world nations without any interesting resources who haven't managed to offend anybody), if they're strong enough to scare off aggressors, or if angering them would mean a cutoff of vital trade. In this case, they're waiting in the first of those three categories (with the "not offending anybody" being the part necessitating the hiding thing) until we have the military to get into the second category or an economy sufficient to get into the third.
    • With regards to the point about war criminals, the Mi B do regulate who comes to Earth, what they do, etc. and there does seem to be some parties not invited to the open bar, so to speak. When Agents J and K started their investigation of the Bug in the Edgar Suit, K reported in to Zed, "We have a Bug," and ended his call. He didn't have to say anything beyond "Bug", implying that simply having a Bug on Earth was sufficient enough cause to pursue and apprehend. The suggestion here is that Bugs are not welcome on Earth at any point for any reason. We can speculate all manner of reason as to why, but the why is irrelevant; the important point here is that it demonstrates that as much as Earth is a big neutral party town, the Mi B still hold the right to refuse service to anyone.
    • Part of the plan may simply be to wait for a time when humanity seems mentally/socially prepared for alien life. That is, when their first reaction isn't "Shoot first, ask questions later." or like J in the first movie, poke everything (potentially causing a lot of unnecessary violence out of ignorance). If nothing else, look at what happened to other species that were overly aggressive (bugs and bogladians) - they got wiped out and MIB kind of has a vested interest in not allowing humanity to be wiped out.
    • There's actually an explanation in the first movie for why "Bug" is enough of an explanation and clearance to pursue: They're never "neutral", they literally live to make war and exterminate other species.

    The Noisy Cricket 

  • In the first movie, why exactly did Kay give Jay, an untrained and new recruit, the Noisy Cricket as his sidearm? Despite its diminutive size it's destructive power rivals even the biggest guns used in the movie, and Kay didn't even warn him about it.
    • His boss Zed told him to "Give the kid a weapon", and the Noisy Cricket was the least dangerous/destructive weapon available.
    • Fridge Brilliance! One of the clues Frank the pug passes along is "When will you humans realize that just because something is small doesn't mean it's not powerful"!

    Exploding Aliens 

  • Whenever aliens are fatally shot, they seem to inevitably explode into a fine blue mist. Is this because of the natural properties of the aliens (unlikely, since all species seem to do this), or some inherent function of the guns used (in order to minimize physical evidence later)?
    • I assume it's a consequence of the caliber and/or type of weapons being used; all the guns we see the Men in Black wielding are extremely powerful, with even the Noisy Cricket blowing a hole the size of a truck through a semi with a recoil that hurls J through the air. It's not so much that the weapons are programmed to cause things to explode into a blue mist upon death, it's that the weapons are powerful enough to vaporize any living thing they hit.

    Noticing on Apollo 11 

  • It doesn't matter how far away the Apollo 11 launch assembly is in the long shots, someone would have surely noticed the four beings fighting on the gantries, and falling off.
    • Neuralize 'em.
    • The launch was broadcast live throughout a large portion of the world. That's a lot of people to neuralize.
    • 1960s TVs were not known for picture quality. And besides, not all broadcasts would give a clear view of the agents and the Borises.
    • All the people watching would've seen was four people fighting on the gantry, and two of them falling (presumably to their deaths). Nothing there that proves the existence of aliens.

    Personal Prison 

  • Why did Boris get his own moon prison? Sure, as the lead-up to an alien invasion, he is a massive threat. However, after that invasion, he was just a guy who could learn to throw spikes. Sure, he was a good shot, but that's not exactly a global threat that requires billions of dollars to contain.
    • He is part of a race of Planet Looters, that's a danger to the universe even if they're supposedly extinct. Besides, more people might be on Lunar MAX.
    • There are other prisoners in LunarMax. We see a wide shot of a hallway full of cells, and we know that Jeffrey's father (forgot his name) is there.

    Griffon's ability 

  • Just how does Griffin's ability work? Also, how did his race (its name escapes me right now) ever manage to be almost driven to extinction if they have such an ability? As it's described in MIB 3, his race has the ability to see all possible timelines at once. How then, is Griffin able to predict anything? From what we see, he asks about or looks at random objects and uses that to figure out what timeline he's actually in, for instance he asks for J to show him his watch, and by that he's able to figure out that he'll be kidnapped by Boris in a few seconds, but that doesn't make sense. The reason is there is an infinite number of possiblities at any given time, there would be a timeline where J would have the watch, and have everything else Griffin can see around him be exactly the same, but Griffin would not be kidnapped as soon, or earlier, even by mere seconds, or even not be kidnapped at all. Similarly, if Griffin's race is ever in danger, they'd be able to see timelines where Griffin's race avoids the danger somehow, and thus would be able to act the same as in whatever timeline they chose to follow to avoid that danger, thus there shouldn't be any reason they'd EVER be in actual danger as a result.
    • It obviously doesn't work very well, or else they wouldn't all be dead. Maybe Griffin was just abnormally skilled. Presumably, they see everything, but can't absorb it all, so they only focus on the most likely top million or so, in which case Griffin's skill would be being able to assimilate data from a higher number of probability-states.
    • Griffin pretty much states that he has to be paying attention to a certain future in order to dodge danger, from the way he was kidnapped by Boris at the ballpark. So it's possible that the Arcanians, not suspecting the destruction of their world, weren't paying attention. It is also possible that the Boglodites simply had far superior technology, and thus there was literally nothing the Arcanians could've done, and were destroyed in every possible future. In that case, the Arcnet would've been designed in reaction to the Boglodite attack, and they never got the chance to deploy it.
    • And being able to predict the future doesn't mean that you are capable of doing anything about it. Griffin is, physically speaking, not very capable. He might be an outlier, or it might be that his whole species are just terribly lazy and incapable on a physical level because—being able to see every timeline and avoid danger—they've never needed to be.


  • In the second film, Zed accuses J of basically being a workaholic. But what exactly are MIB agents supposed to do, aside from work all day? They can't have families. No friends either, aside from work relations. Aside from videogames and movies all day, there's nothing to do. If I was MIB, I'd be a workaholic out of sheer boredom.
    • Video games and movies all day doesn't sound that bad to me.
    • There seem to be plenty of diverse people and beings working at MIB, plenty of people to make friends with... it's even implied that Jay occasionally hangs out with the Worms. But they can do plenty of things... go to the theater (live or movies), go out to eat, go get a massage, even take a vacation and go on a cruise. Basically they'd just have to live like single people without a terribly active social life at worst, which is not a fate worse than death despite what tropes might say.
    • "Sleep late, watch the Weather Channel."
    • In the third movie, Jay says he's the MIB's league champ in bowling, so clearly there's activities and stuff organized, probably by the agents themselves.
    • There's the other angle to being a workaholic - you wind up keeping the other people in the organization from doing as much work as they might need to. Sure, J's an excellent agent, but he might be preventing other agents from getting the experience they need to be excellent as well. Especially with how he's implied to be a little trigger-happy with his neuralizer.

    Shooting non-human ships 

  • In the first movie, when the Arquillians threatened to destroy the Earth if the MIB didn't secure the Galaxy by their arbitrary deadline why didn't the MIB call them back and suggest they just sit tight in orbit and fire on any non-human ship attempting to leave the planet?
    • Because that would mean that they would destroy most any ship that left the planet, and since there are aliens abandoning Earth in droves at the time, that would mean a LOT of dead aliens. Also, if the the Bug managed to leave and Arquillians actually managed to destroy it's ship, it would probably destroy the galaxy in the process, and the Arquillians wouldn't want to risk that.
    • Actually, K (or Z) mentioned that the Arquillians are prepared to destroy the galaxy, rather than let it fall into bugs' claws. I think the true reason was that Arquillians basically declared war on Earth ("Arquillian war custom: a preemptory shot and one standard galaxy week for a response"). MIB were in no position to demand anything.

    Warning shot 

  • Speaking of the Arquillians, that "warning shot" was about the size of a country...
    • I thought it was a subtle gag about the hole in the ozone layer.

     How do they fit? 
  • So after Serleena eats that guy alive she barfs him up and takes his clothes since she's just running around in a bra and panties at the moment, but how the heck do they wind up fitting her? Better yet how does this big bulky dude's clothes wind up so form fitting?
    • She's forming the clothes herself. Jay vaporizes her at one point and she regenerates, clothes and all.
    • Then why does she take the mugger's clothes in the first place? And before getting vaporized she seems to be wearing his clothes. You can even see her wearing the same rings he had on when he tried to mug her; rings she didn't have on until after she ate him and barfed him out.
    • It might be something like the T-1000 where she can't shapeshift into something she hasn't at least seen or touched. Or she put on the clothes, then absorbed them.

    Reason for memory 

  • Is there ever a reason given for J's Ripple Effect-Proof Memory in the third film?
    • Yeah, he was there (as a child) at the timeline divergence point in 1969 at the launch, which apparently grants immunity to any timeline changes from that particular divergence according to MIB timetravel rules.
    • Then why was the guy in the shop who owned the time travel device also not affected?
    • The guy MAKES and SELLS them! He would have to be pretty stupid not to throw in some tech to protect his own memory and existence in the event somebody changed history.

     Just eat him 
  • Why doesn't Serleena just eat J or K when they got in her way? We've seen that she can swallow people whole with no effort, so why not just take care of them that way?
    • Remember what happened to the last guy who tried to swallow K whole?
    • Seems like a nitpick, but K did have a BFG in there with him. He didn't when facing Serleena.
    • Noisy Cricket. The gun doesn't have to be big to be powerful, and Serleena would be foolish to assume that just because she didn't see a big honking space gun, the MIB didn't have weapons on them. Especially since K had already been proven to be carrying a grenade on him when he was fighting that heavily-armed trash can.

    The hole in K's speech 
  • K argues against revealing the existence of aliens to humans, and frankly his speech is a load of bull. He points to people's reactions to not seeing that the Earth was the center of the universe and not realizing the Earth was flat. Ignoring the historical inaccuracies of his comment, he's pointing to realizations that were important parts in the development of human civilization. He can't honestly think learning the Earth revolves around the sun was a bad thing can he? Also, why doesn't he just give the much better reason that is ironically given as a joke, that The World Is Always Doomed and society really wouldn't be able to function if normal people knew that?

    Fate of Retired MIB Agents 
  • So the MIB states they remove any record of their agents' former lives when they join. So what happens to them when they retire? The movie shows us their memories of MIB are erased and covers nothing else. Does the MIB really just abandon it's former agents to return to a normal live where as far as the rest of the world is concerned, they don't even exist?

    Young Boris/Old Boris argument 
  • When Old Boris meets Young Boris, he calls YB "every mistake I ever made just waiting to happen". Since they have happened to OB but not yet to YB, shouldn't that have been the other way around?