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YMMV: X-Men: First Class
  • Actor Shipping: Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy. Their banter in interviews and James' tendency to talk about how their characters should have had sex and gotten married did not help one bit.
    • James McAvoy has even made ship names of his own ("BoyVander", "McAbender" and suggesting the already widely-used "FassAvoy") — in the same interview wherein he claims to have had sex with Michael Fassbender FOUR times. And when the interviewer asks him if Fassbender is a tender lover, he hilariously replies that he's "left to take care of [himself] after." He also frequently acknowledges the "sexy" quality to Fassbender's portrayal of Magneto in the film: in one infamous interview, he amends "not that I'm drawn to that," and Fassbender jumps in with "a little bit," and McAvoy agrees "a little bit, on Tuesdays." Cut to the Tumblr fangirls celebrating every single Tuesday with zesty vigor. It's "McFassy."
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Is Magneto actually right? All of his predictions that humans will turn on the mutants end up being correct; the only people he kills or attempts to kill are Nazis and people who are directly attacking him; he saved the life of everyone on that beach when the military attacked them; and he's the only one to stand up for the right of mutants to be themselves rather than hiding/assimilating.
    • When Erik shot the coin through Shaw's head, was he aware that it was causing Charles incredible pain as he was telepathically connected to Shaw at the time or was Erik so consumed by his need for revenge that he forgot that detail? Or did he just have absolutely no way to know it, not understanding psychic powers as such? Erik may have caused Charles such pain on purpose. After all, Erik lived through the Holocaust, and Raven can't go out as herself without revealing what she is. Charles, on the other hand, is A) a mutant who looks normal and can hide in plain sight, B) never suffered or faced persecution the way Erik and Raven have, and C) keeps lecturing other, less fortunate mutants on morality and the "proper" way to do things. Erik may have decided to teach Charles a lesson in pain.
    • The HISHE parody of X-Men First Class has a unique interpretation of Erik as a complete dick. Not even a heroic dick, like in the film, but just a dick full stop. Their reasoning is pretty convincing, pointing out how Erik is wearing the helmet of the man who killed his mother, who he spent his entire life trying to avenge, and even adopting his life philosophy and motivations.
    • Is Charles the righteous hero or hopeless idealist? Did he really accept Raven for how she looked, or did he prefer it when she was in her human disguise? Maybe he didn't mind her natural form (with cultural preference for clothing) but found the human disguise more attractive?
    • Hank himself is subject to this, mainly in his scene where he rejects Raven's true mutant appearance. Simply an Out-of-Character Moment where his own insecurity manifests? Or is he a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who is so concerned about appearance, that he took a serum (without properly testing it) because his feet were too big? Or was he just caught off guard and not sure how to react?
  • Complete Monster: Klaus Schmidt, AKA Sebastian Shaw, is a Mutant supremacist who believes humans to be inferior to mutants. As a Nazi Mad Scientist, he used his position to try to find 'gifted' mutants, and upon finding a younger Erik Lensherr, he killed his mother after Erik failed to impress him with his powers, solely to motivate him, before subjecting Erik to horrible experiments. After the War, he adopts the Shaw identity and ingratiates himself to high ranking members of the government with his Hellfire Club, manipulating Russia and America alike. Shaw assaults a CIA facility, murdering every agent within, and when one of the young mutants stands up to him, Shaw, despite his creed of 'not harming his own kind,' murders him without hesitation and barely concealed enjoyment. Shaw's ultimate goal was to push Russia and America into nuclear war, allowing mutant-kind to thrive in the aftermath and creating a kingdom of mutants that he himself would rule. Even when thwarted, Shaw planned to absorb all the nuclear radiation in his atomic sub and unleash it upon Cuba to destroy it personally and trigger atomic war.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Angel is actually an aversion of this trope. She has some of the attributes down, such as good looks, sympathetic motives and leathery attire (seriously, it's almost like the film-makers were trying to deliberately evoke this trope). But she's not very well liked by the fandom though the fact that she joined Shaw and stayed with him even after he killed Darwin could account for that.
    • Played completely straight with Magneto himself. He's just more charismatic than Xavier.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Azazel is also a rather popular character, due to being, basically, Nightcrawler with red skin. Sure beats his really lame comic version.
  • Evil Is Cool: What else did you expect with villains that seem to have just got out of a Bond movie?
  • Evil Is Sexy: Emma Frost, Angel and Mystique (the Ms. Fanservice trio). For some, Azazel counts too.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Erik/Charles is the official pairing, even according to certain screenwriters and actors. It's incorporated even in fics that involve the younger X-Men (by having them act as parents), and those who do ship Erik/Raven or Charles/Moira are a small minority.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Let's face it, the helmet that Shaw wears and Erik takes to block telepathy is a little ridiculous looking. Lampshaded by Shaw when he invades the CIA building where Xavier's team is staying, and on learning Xavier isn't present quips, "Well, at least I can take this silly thing off." And as silly as it looks with Shaw, it's even worse when Erik has it repainted into the same color scheme as the comic book and adds the horns to the front.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In First Class Xavier brings up Agent Stryker's "son William, whom you were thinking about, which is very nice". Considering how William Stryker treats his own son...
    • When Charles and Erik attempt to recruit the man who would become Wolverine he turns them down. Had he not done this, he may have found haven and thus avoided his memory wipe at the hands of William Stryker. What's even more tragic is that the only people who could remember that incident at all would be Professor X or Magneto, but who can remember some guy they met 40 years ago briefly in a bar?
    • The scenes with Charles happily running with Hank and training with Erik. Those would be the last chances he'd ever have to use his legs...
    • Possibly the biggest Harsher in Hindsight moment is when Hank McCoy finally finishes work on his appearance-changing serum, calling it "the cure."
    • After the revelation in this film that the young Xavier taught Lehnsherr how to achieve greater control over his power by finding the point between rage and serenity—the latter requires a happy memory—Magneto's line of "Charles always wanted to build bridges" in The Last Stand as he's moving a large section of the Golden Gate Bridge seems to indicate that he's thinking about his old friend instead of his mother in order to attain serenity. And like his mother, Xavier—whom he loved as a brother—is now dead, so happy memories from their brief friendship in 1962 is all Magneto has left of him.
    • Now that we know how Erik's mother died and how Charles became a paraplegic, Magneto's contempt towards guns in X-Men makes perfect sense.
    • It initially seems odd that Charles wouldn't encourage Raven to pursue a formal education (she sardonically responds to Amy's "What do you study?" with "Waitressing"), but when you recall what Mystique had said to Senator Kelly in the first movie ("People like you were the reason I was afraid to go to school as a child"), then it becomes very clear that she and Charles were extremely fearful about the possibility that she might lose control of her power while in class.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Considering that Xavier can easily use Magneto as a marionette as long as the latter doesn't wear the telepathy-blocking helmet in X-Men: Days of Future Past, his words of encouragement in this movie ("When you can access all of that, you will possess a power no one can match. Not even me") now sounds rather hollow. It comes off as a little white lie that he made up on the spot in order to try to help Erik achieve the correct point between rage and serenity. In their natural state, Charles' ability is stronger than Erik's, no ifs, ands or buts about it.
    • Jennifer Lawrence plays a younger version of Rebecca Romijn. Lawrence later admitted to "stalking" Romijn's ex-husband John Stamos at a party.
    • After Darwin dies, Erik suggests they avenge him. Guess what came out the following year?
  • Ho Yay:
    • Oh, dear lord, Charles and Erik. Deep heart-to-heart talks, chess games, intimate mind-linking, Erik cradling Charles's injured body and trying to kill the person responsible, the list goes on. There were numerous reviews pointing out how their bromance could be read as a closeted homosexual relationship. Half the time they're at a strip club they spend looking into each other's eyes, not on the half-naked women. This exchange in the ending practically makes it canon:
    Emma: Where's your telepath friend?
    Erik: Gone. Left a bit of a gap in my life, if I'm to be honest. I was rather hoping you would fill it.
    • Worthy mention: the sheer number of times these two cry for each other.
    • "It is a little bit of a mini-tragedy that him and Magneto don't, you know, have sex and become married and become best friends." This is coming from James McAvoy, one of the ACTORS. Hell, he and Michael Fassbender play off of each other so much in interviews for the movie that James even started trolling by saying that he and Michael were in love. The fandom EXPLODED. Lord knows that when the sequel comes out in 2014, people will be placing bets on whether they'll kiss.
    • Erik, who has known Charles for only two days at this point, basically admits that he thinks the telepath is cute when he calls him "an adorable lab rat." Seriously, when was the last time you saw Magneto playfully tease another male character in this manner?
    • In a deleted scene, Charles projects Erik in drag (yes, you read that correctly) and remarks, "You've never looked more beautiful, darling." There are a million other things Charles could've conjured with his mind to make Angel giggle, and creating an image of his best friend in make-up, with a ginger wig, dressed in a sparkly blue miniskirt, fishnet stockings and go-go boots is, uh... unusually kinky.
      • The "It's good isn't it?" just beforehand. Technically, he's talking about his telepathy, but really Charles, you do seem a bit too pleased with yourself.
    • When Erik magnetizes himself to the hull of the Blackbird to protect Charles as the plane is spinning out of the control... well, their bodies are right on top of each other and they're both screaming, plus Charles is gripping very tightly to Erik's wrist...
    • The beach scene. There's a video combining the visuals with the audio of another notably homoerotic duo: the Master's death in the Doctor Who episode "Last of the Time Lords". It works eerily well.
    • In the truck where Charles mentally renders the soldiers invisible, Erik's hand is on the inside of his thigh.
    • Darwin and Alex (Havoc) have their little moments. There is a scene where Darwin places his hand on Alex's stomach, and just a few seconds before Darwin dies, who does he reach out to? Alex.
    • Hank and Alex is a pretty popular pairing in the fandom, too.
    • On the villainous side, Azazel and Riptide. Their pairing is just as popular as Azazel/Mystique.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Erik may be the Anti-Hero/Anti-Villain, but he really has gone through some terrible events in his life. It doesn't help that his argument against the humans holds some validity.
    • YMMV on whether or not he counts as a Jerkass or a Woobie, but Hank to a certain degree. He rejects Raven's true mutant form and decides to take the serum to fix himself. He not only transforms into a much more mutated form, but he also loses Raven to Magneto.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Sebastian Shaw. He is a well reputed businessman, masterfully manipulating America and Russia against each other to further his goals even improvising every single odd situation into his favour without losing his cool at all. He would have actually succeeded in his goal had he not killed Erik's mother all those years before hence forcing Erik to go on a literal roaring rampage of revenge
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "__ was never an option."
    • Also, young Magneto is a shark.
    • "Perfection."
  • Moe: The film managed to make Mystique seem Moe.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Any semblance of sympathy you had for Klaus Schmidt (alias Sebastian Shaw) was gassed and incinerated when he killed Magneto's mother before his first scene was over.
  • Obvious Judas: Magneto. Conflicting views with Charles and his traumatic experiences at the hands of the Nazis makes it obvious even to those who don't know the entire X-Men story that he has a major chip on his shoulder towards humanity and will eventually betray Xavier. Although a good reason for this is more that the movie is a prequel, making the split between himself and Charles a Foregone Conclusion.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Wolverine shows up in one scene. His appearance lasts twelve seconds, in which he says a grand total of three words. It is possibly one of the most hilarious moments of the film. Rebecca Romijn, who equally cameos as a Call Forward, admitted she wanted his line.
  • Ron the Death Eater: As a side effect of Magneto being a Draco in Leather Pants, there was a large backlash from his fangirls against Moira McTaggart, blaming her for Charles being crippled and the bromance breaking up. The irony of course is that Charles explicitly holds Magneto accountable for both offenses.
  • Signature Scene: The Cuba showdown.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Magneto is right, in that his prediction that the US government will eventually turn on the mutants comes true, and his intention to wipe out the US and Soviet fleets that launched a full barrage at them—overcoming decades of tension in just a few minutes to do so—comes off as surprisingly understandable despite its extremism. Xavier, mistakenly, tries to stop him using the "just following orders" defense. Ironically, Magneto's interrupted counter "proved" that mutants in general are a threat. He could've just dumped the barrage he "caught" into the ocean.
  • Surprisingly Improved Prequel: The film saved the X-Men franchise after the disappointing critical and commercial response to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Darwin, who was shown to have useful powers and a fair amount of character potential, falls victim to Black Dude Dies First in a relatively minor conflict well before the final showdown. Despite the fact that his power is specifically that he can't die and there is literally no reason given for why he did.
    • Riptide and Azazel, two of Shaw's minions who join Magneto after he kills Shaw, are quite popular among the fans, some of whom even ship them. Even their actors were interested in their return in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Alex Gonzalez saying in an interview that he'd "really like to be in the sequel" and explore more of Riptide's powers, and having signed on to play him in one or two more films, while Jason Flemyng said he was interested in exploring the origins of Azazel's son, Nightcrawler. Yet plans for the Hellfire Club's return were dropped when the writers chose the Days of Future Past storyline, Riptide gets a glorified cameo and Azazel gets killed in-between movies.
  • Unfortunate Implications: It's been pointed out a number of times that this is a movie that tries to use the Civil Rights Era as a backdrop for the emerging mutant struggle... and then kills off one of its leads of color (whose superpower is Adaptive Ability) and has the other turn evil, leaving the face of mutant liberation to be nothing but white people.
  • What an Idiot:
    • After successfully preventing the Cuban Missile Crisis from escalating into a full-out nuclear war due to the meddling of a psychotic mutant, mutants are now known to both the Russian and U.S. governments as a powerful force capable of causing hurricanes, flying, blasting people, and lifting an entire submarine out of the ocean.
      You'd Think: Both sides would see the potential for using these people in combat, especially given that they prevented a full-on nuclear war since the CIA was well-aware of the role that the mutants played in the incident. Or at the very least, acknowledging that these are the last people you'd want to provoke and make angry!
      Instead: Both sides just see the potential threat presented by these powerful individuals and try to blow them up with missiles. After just seeing one of the mutants lift a submarine with his power!
    • Moira is fighting against Erik, a guy who she knows can control metal with his mind.
      You'd Expect: That she wouldn't fire a gun at him, given that guns shoot metal bullets. Hell, with the power Erik possesses, he could probably shoot them back at her!
      Instead: He deflects the bullets easily, and one of them hits a bystander.
      Even Worse: Even after Moira sees him deflect the first bullet, she keeps shooting, accomplishing fuck-all.
    • Charles Xavier knows everything about Erik Lehnsherr, having read his mind and spoken to him numerous times about the future of mutants and humankind. Erik, being a Holocaust survivor, constantly voiced the view that humans and mutants could not coexist, and that the U.S. government would eventually treat the mutants like the Nazis treated Jews. Then the U.S. and Russian battleships attempt to indiscriminately destroy the mutants with missiles, which Erik catches with his powers and sends back.
      You'd Think: Charles would remember Erik's views on mutant and humankind, especially his past as a persecuted minority, and try to phrase his arguments for not declaring war on humanity to the effect of a.) they were outnumbered and vulnerable and b.) Erik was becoming just like his former enemies in his extremism.
      Instead: He says, "They were Just Following Orders." To a Holocaust survivor. Who is now a member of yet another persecuted and threatened minority.
  • What The Hell Costuming Department: Played straight with the costume Erik wears in the last scene of the film. He has a bright purple cape and modified the helmet so that it's magenta and has little horns, which are straight out of the comics, as seen here. The rationale for the costume in-universe is that humans think mutants are spawn of the Devil, so Magneto plays up to it with a red horned costume. In real life, the color scheme was probably chosen because the artists had an extremely limited palette to work with and needed something that contrasted with the X-Men's blue and yellow outfits.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Not many liked X-Men: The Last Stand. Even fewer liked X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Just about everybody liked this movie.
  • The Woobie:
    • Charles, Raven, and especially Erik.
    • Hank McCoy; he gets "outed" as a mutant in the most awkward way possible in front of his boss, is teased and disrespected by his fellow mutants even when his inventions help them improve their powers, loses his potential love interest when he can't accept her for her true appearance, and then accidentally enhances his mutation to the point where it becomes impossible for him to hide it!
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?:
    • Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw? This crisis was averted, though; with Bacon becoming the physical incarnation of Evil Is Cool.
    • January Jones as Emma Frost has also been a polarizing casting choice.

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