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Spoilers for all works set prior to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are unmarked.

Agent Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
"The truth is a matter of circumstances; it's not all things to all people."

Click here to see her before Infinity War 
Click here to see her in Infinity War 

Birth Name: Natalia Alianovna Romanova

Species: Human

Citizenship: American (formerly Soviet-Russian)

Affiliation(s): KGB, S.H.I.E.L.D., STRIKE, Hammer Industries, Stark Industries, Avengers

Portrayed By: Scarlett Johansson

Voiced By: Rosalba Sotelo (Latin-American Spanish dub), Joël Mulachs (European Spanish dub), Ryoko Yonekura (Japanese dub), Julia Vaidis-Bogard (European French dub), Camille Cyr-Desmarais (Canadian French dub), Fernanda Baronne (Brazilian Portuguese dub)

Appearances: Iron Man 2 | The Avengers | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Captain America: Civil War | Thor: Ragnarok note  | Avengers: Infinity War | Captain Marvel note  | Avengers: Endgame | Black Widow


"I used to have nothing. And then I got this. This job — this family. And I was better because of it."

A key agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and initially the only female Avenger. She kept surveillance on everyone from Iron Man to the Hulk, and is an extraordinary close-quarters fighter, but her determination to do good seems to come from the aftermath of an amoral past.

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    A to K 
  • The Ace: She was part of a program designed to make women into perfect killing machines, and this is reflected at her being one of the best spies/martial artists in the world. Heavily implied to be S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best agent. When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to establish a new character as especially competent, someone will say "X is the best since Romanov".
  • Affectionate Nickname: Clint calls her "Nat" in The Avengers, a sign of their more intimate relationship. Steve does it at least once in The Winter Soldier, showing they've formed a close friendship. By the time of Endgame, even General Okoye is comfortable calling her "Nat".
  • Affirmative Action Girl: She joins Pepper Potts as the second plot-relevant female in Iron Man 2.
  • Age Lift: Winter Soldier states she was born in the 1984, whereas in the comics Nat is one of the few superheroes not bound by Comic-Book Time, being upward of fifty thanks to a longevity-inducing serum.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It is not explained how she was part of the KGB as the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, when she would've been seven years old and Age of Ultron reveals she graduated from the Red Room in her late teens. The two possibilities are that either she was artificially aged or the Soviet Union lasted longer in the MCU.
  • Animal Motifs: Downplayed. Besides her alias, the only things referencing black widows are her weapon "Widow's Bite" and the red hourglass symbol in her belt.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Of the Animal Alias variety; "The famous Black Widow".
  • Anti-Hero: Especially prominent in The Winter Soldier, where she contrasts with Steve. She has a lot of red in her ledger that she's trying to wipe out by being an amoral spy.
  • Apologetic Attacker: In Civil War, to the point where she goes out of her way to confirm that she and Clint are still friends while they're in the middle of a fight.
    Nat: We're still friends, right?
    Clint: Depends on how hard you hit me.
  • The Atoner: Hinted at in The Avengers and made all the more evident in Winter Soldier. One of her main motivations for doing what she does is to make up for her past as an assassin ("wipe the red from my ledger", as she puts it) by doing good. Despite her often amoral actions, she feels her work for S.H.I.E.L.D. and for the Avengers is accomplishing that. She's legitimately distraught when she discovers that instead of doing good, she had been doing HYDRA's dirty work all this time instead, though in the end it shows serious character development that she's willing to make every bit of her tainted past public knowledge to stop HYDRA.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Of the original six Avengers, but it's heavily downplayed. If one were to look at their chronological birth years in the MCU, Thor is obviously the oldest, having been born sometime around 964-965 A.D., followed by Steve (1918), Bruce (1969), Tony (1970), Clint (1971), then Nat (1984). However, with Steve having gone into the ice for almost seventy years, this puts Nat as the second-youngest instead, what with Steve being younger than her physiologically.
  • Badass Biker: In Age of Ultron, she sports a motorcycle and uses it quite proficiently.
  • Badass Bookworm: A spy who can not only mow through dozens of Hammer security in a whirlwind of acrobatic martial arts in the time it takes Hogan to finally beat down one guy, but also speaks several languages—including Latin, despite there being no practical reason to know how to speak it—and can easily hack through Ivan Vanko's re-programming job on the Hammeroids in minutes, shutting them down without breaking a sweat.
    "The person who developed this is slightly smarter than me. Slightly."
  • Badass Normal: A former assassin with gadgets, guns, good aim, and even better close combat skills. That's still enough to qualify her as an Avenger even though everyone else on the team has superhuman abilities or super technology. She takes out her fair share of Chitauri and Ultron sentries, nearly throttles the Winter Soldier, can hold her own against the size-shifting Ant-Man, and can land hits on members of the Black Order, who give even superpowered individuals a run for their money.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: As a former bad guy, she's more open to performing morally ambiguous actions. For instance, when conducting a High-Altitude Interrogation, their captive scoffs at the possibility of Captain America throwing him off the edge. Cap admits it isn't his style ... it's Black Widow's.
  • Belated Backstory: Most of her origin wasn't discussed until the Avengers movies, and her origin film didn't even come out until after she died in Endgame.
  • Better as Friends: Her romantic subplot with Bruce is quietly dropped after Age of Ultron, and their interactions are completely platonic throughout Endgame, likely because their lives have gone in such different directions post Time Skip — she's Mission Control for a new team of Avengers, and he's reconciled the Hulk to himself and returned to his research.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Clint Barton because they're both assassins.
  • Boobs of Steel: She's a tough fighter even without superhuman strength, and her costumes are cut in ways to make her chest look nice and shapely. She's also one of the more busty women of the MCU, along with Peggy Carter and Carol Danvers.
  • Broken Pedestal: How she feels towards S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. She had initially joined them thinking that it would help her redeem some of the bad things she did in the past. The revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. was an Unwitting Pawn and front for HYDRA's own operations shatters that completely.
  • Captured on Purpose: For her first scene in The Avengers, she's being held captive by a bunch of Russian thugs, but only because she's letting them do so. As soon as she has the information she needs, Nat whups all their butts to hell and back in record time without so much as a hair out of place.
  • Character Development: She's introduced as a cold, straight-laced assassin (partly because she's posing as a covert spy under Tony Stark's employ in Iron Man 2 and since she doesn't like him, feels no reason to open up) but her time with the Avengers (particularly Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner) exposes more of her vulnerabilities. Over time, her desires to be part of a family and to protect that family become more central to her character.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: She’s just a normal human with no superpowers, but the training of the Red Room allows her to keep up with a super soldier.
  • The Chick: As part of the Avengers. Next to Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner (most of the time), she's the most levelheaded and put together of the team, and is constantly trying to encourage them to work together. She becomes this further in Age of Ultron as she's responsible for using empathy and friendship to manage The Hulk. Later she's the Token Girl of the Token Trio of Steve and Sam operating underground during Infinity War. She finally takes on a leadership role as the Team Mom of the Avengers post-Decimation, seeing them as the family she could never have.
  • Child Soldier: Started working as a spy from a very young age. Nat would've been only 6 or 7 when the KGB was dissolved, if the MCU goes by real time. Agent Carter reveals there was an entire school dedicated to training young girls as agents; it was even called the Black Widow Training Ground.
    Banner: And your actress buddy, is she a spy too? Do they start that young?
    Romanoff: I did.
  • Code Name: "Black Widow", though it's used only a couple of times.
  • Color Character: Black Widow.
  • Color Motif: Red and black are the colors usually associated with her. However, she did a brief stint as the yellow to Cap's blue and Falcon's red in Infinity War when she dyed her hair blonde.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
  • Composite Character: It's more composite and decomposite roles, than characters, in Captain America: Civil War, in regards to Spider-Man. She is the one that ultimately changes sides during the conflict, while Peter stays on the same side but is Demoted to Extra. In contrast, in the comic the movie takes its name from, Spider-Man is basically the protagonist and changes from Iron Man's side to Cap's.
  • Consummate Liar:
    • When Nick Fury commissioned his own lie detector, he specifically wanted one Black Widow couldn't beat. Whether that actually happened, he isn't saying.
    • In a deleted scene from Civil War, Black Panther actually suggests that she may be so good at lying that she can't recognize genuine honesty anymore.
      T'Challa: You are not used to the truth, are you?
  • Contralto of Danger: Has a deep voice that matches her no-nonsense personality.
  • Cool Aunt: To Clint's children, who are as excited to see her as they would be with their father.
  • Cool Big Sis: Aside from being physiologically older than Captain Rogers, Natasha is the mature voice of realism and calm reason to pull her "little brother" back to ground, should his idealism be incompatible to the grim realities at hand.
  • Cunning Linguist: Fluent in English, Russian, French, German, Chinese, Italian, Latin, and various other languages, according to Iron Man 2 and The Avengers.
  • The Cynic: In diametric contrast to Steve Rogers' Wide-Eyed Idealist. She has seen far too much of how ugly the world can be since childhood, and refuses to see the silver lining of any black cloud. Played for tragic laughs five years after the Snap, when she half-jokingly tells Steve "If you're about to tell me to look on the bright side, I'm about to hit you in the head with a peanut butter sandwich" when he tries to reassure her that the environment is starting to improve after the disappearance of half of Earth's population.
  • Damsel out of Distress: In The Avengers, she is seemingly captured by three gun-wielding goons. Seconds later, one of the goons receives a phone call from Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D, telling him to give the phone to a rather-annoyed Natasha, who tells him that she's working. When he reveals that Clint has been compromised, she then proceeds to knock out all three of her kidnappers — while still tied up.
  • Dance Battler: If flashbacks in Age of Ultron indicates anything, the Tykebombs from the Red Room were trained in classical ballet. This is supported in Agent Carter where the 1940s Black Widow mentioned that she's a ballerina.
  • Dark Action Girl: She used to be an assassin for the Soviets prior to doing her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Loki hints at a number of awful things in her past and says that her ledger is 'gushing red'.
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, it's also revealed that she's sterilized as a final ceremony to complete her training as "Black Widow", so as to avoid any distractions and focus solely on her missions, something she deeply regretted later on her life.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: She is a hero who wears an all-black sneaking suit.
  • Deader Than Dead: To get the Soul Stone before Thanos could in Avengers: Endgame, she sacrifices her soul at Vormir so Clint could collect the Stone. It's outright stated that in spite of the stones' collective power, this exchange was irreversible, with Hulk even saying that as hard as he tried to bring her back in the Unsnap, he was unable to.
  • Deadpan Snarker: There's a lot of emphasis on the deadpan part throughout the movies.
    Romanoff: [after tricking Loki into revealing his plan] Thank you for your cooperation.
  • Deliberately Distressed Damsel: In her introduction scene in The Avengers. As Joss Whedon commented, "This is my entire career in one scene: Look, she's helpless! No, she's kicking their asses!"
  • Designated Girl Fight: In Infinity War, she fights with Okoye and Wanda against Proxima Midnight.
  • Determinator: As Thanos slowly walks towards Vision and Wanda during the Final Battle in Infinity War, Cap and Okoye can at least rely on their vibranium shield and spear, but Natasha rushes at him with a taser.
    • On a larger scale, Natasha never gives up. She's the only member of the Avengers to be a constant member of the team from its' first incarnation all the way through the five years post-Snap to Endgame (at least if we count Cap's team in the break between CW and IW).
  • Deuteragonist: Of Winter Soldier next to Captain America, the guy in the title.
  • Disappeared Dad: When Red Skull calls her "Daughter of Ivan" in Avengers: Endgame, she admits to Clint that the reason she believes him so easily is because she never even knew her father's name. This could mean two things: either he left before she was born, or she was inducted into the Red Room at such a young age that she couldn't even remember.
  • Dual Tonfas: Uses these in Civil War, as opposed to the robot-killing stun batons from her previous appearance.
  • Dual Wielding: Nat does this with most of her weapons, be it guns, electrified batons, or tonfas.
  • Dude Magnet: Natasha gains a number of male admirers. Tony thought she was attractive, Happy couldn't keep his eyes off her while she was undressing, Steve seemed appreciative of their Fake-Out Make-Out, Bruce had Unresolved Sexual Tension with her, and Word of God confirmed Sam has (or had) a small crush on her.
  • Dye or Die: Sports blonde hair in Infinity War in order to better hide from the authorities. In Endgame, she lets her natural red grow back during the Time Skip, resulting in mostly red hair but with a blonde tinge halfway through.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Even though she did not die in battle, this is a woman who unhesitatingly gave her life for the Soul Stone so that trillions may live once more. Natasha Romanoff may believe herself to be damned by the weight of her sins, but the sheer bravery of this selfless sacrifice makes her more than worthy of a place in the MCU's afterlife for heroes, just like Tony Stark.
  • Endearingly Dorky: In The Winter Soldier, she growls "Shall we play a game?" and begins to explain the reference to Steve (who, amusingly enough, already understood it). She also sends work-related text messages with smileys, and her flirting/gushing about Bruce in Age of Ultron has to be seen to be believed.
  • Fake American: In-Universe, as explained in The Avengers.
    Romanoff: I'm Russian, or I used to be.
  • Famous-Named Foreigner: The House Romanoff was a big deal.
  • Fear Is the Appropriate Response: Natasha is the poster child of grace under pressure and calm in the face of danger. It could be a mission on a boat with terrorists, a city being invaded by aliens, or being hunted by HYDRA, and she'll still find the time to bust out Casual Danger Dialogue while trying to find Steve a date. The only time this vernier of unshakability comes off is the first time she met and had to deal with the Hulk. She's petrified of being in the same room with Banner in the beginning, and after a near-death experience facing the green giant is left quaking in a Troubled Fetal Position in a corner of the Helicarrier. Given that the Hulk is "an enormous green rage monster" that's The Juggernaut with mountain-breaking levels of Super Strength, this is absolutely justified.
  • Fiery Redhead: Though she is usually calm, she is still a rather aggressive fighter.
  • Fingerless Gloves: She wears the badass kind as part of her spy uniform.
  • Foil: To Steve Rogers. She lies for a living and he can't tell a lie to save his life, but their partnership in The Winter Soldier shows that they're still both agents with issues adjusting to their current lives.
  • Foreshadowing: Her conversation with Loki in The Avengers is massively prophetic for the events of Civil War and Avengers: Endgame:
    • "I've got red in my ledger, I'd like to wipe it out." Natasha will do anything for redemption and to do the right thing, even if that means she's not alive to see the consequences of her actions.
    • "You lie and kill in the service of liars and killers." While at the time this foreshadowed S.H.I.E.L.D and HYDRA's infiltration, each of these sinners corresponds with the dark sides of Steve and Tony in Captain America: Civil War. The service of killers is Tony's team, related to Tony's dark past as a weapons manufacturer. The service of liars is Steve's team, related to Steve hiding the secret of the deaths of Tony's parents. In the film, Natasha is on both sides at different points.
    • "Your ledger is gushing red, and you think saving a man no more virtuous than yourself will change that?" Clint does end up proving to be no more virtuous than herself when he goes on a killing rampage after the death of his wife and kids in Endgame, and she sacrifices her life to save him rather than let him die for his sins as Ronin.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Her bodysuits are tailored to show her curves.
  • Gainaxing: Usually subverted when she's in her Form-Fitting Wardrobe, but there is quite a bit of bounce during her fight scene with her interrogators in The Avengers.
  • Good Is Not Nice: In Iron Man 2 and in regards to Tony in general, with a tendency to try and make people back down when she thinks she ought to be dealing with something herself, seemingly more or less because Tony requires a more forceful personality around to keep him in check.
  • Good Is Not Soft: In The Avengers, she's rather respectful and polite to the people she has to work with — even Tony — and shows her lighter side more often, especially to Banner who she is assigned to keep tabs on. However, she's still extremely ruthless when it comes to doing what needs to be done, make no mistake. In the comic book prequel to Iron Man 2, it's revealed that she got the job at Stark Industries in the first place by (non-fatally) poisoning one of the candidates.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Natasha has a wrist-mounted grappling hook that she can rapidly shoot at anchor points to stop her falls.
  • Gratuitous Russian: In The Avengers, she speaks decent Russian (although not like the native she's supposed to be) while working undercover and being interrogated by a Russian general. At the end of that scene, she exclaims "Bozhe moi!" ("My God!") after finding out that Coulson wants her to bring in Bruce Banner (the only person that terrifies her).
  • Guile Hero: Her primary interrogation method is manipulating the egos of her targets to make them think they have her in a state of weakness, so they are more free while gloating. Just ask Loki.
  • Guns Akimbo: Ever since her first appearance in Iron Man II, Natasha has had a preference for using two pistols and shooting them together. In Iron Man II, it was a combination of Walther PPK/S and Hechler & Koch USP Compact, then a pair of Glock 26 in subsequent movies.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot:
    • An inversion, at least when compared with Hawkeye. Natasha is a crack shot, but she's an even better martial artist.
    • Played straight with Hulk in Age of Ultron as he loves smashing things (his canonical Signature Move being "Hulk Smash" even) while Natasha herself prefers gunning her opponents.
    • She and Steve Rogers also fit this trope whenever they're together, seeing as his Weapon of Choice is his legendary shield, while Nat—as mentioned above—prefers guns.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: In Civil War she's Team Iron Man at first, but switches sides to hold off Black Panther and allow Cap and Bucky to escape and complete their mission. Given both sides are heroes, it's difficult to tell if she was a heel or a face or neither before or after.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: During Iron Man 2, Happy almost crashed because he was watching her getting changed into her Spy Catsuit in the rear view mirror.
  • The Heart: Not in the same way as Hawkeye, but an important part of her job on the Avengers is managing the personalities of the superpowered members. In Ultron, her role has evolved into calming down the Hulk when the battle is over.
  • Heel–Face Turn: She used to be an assassin, but changed her ways after Hawkeye chose not to kill her when on a mission to do so.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: She is quite fond of leather gear.
  • Hero Antagonist: Reluctantly towards Captain America and the Anti-Registration team in Captain America: Civil War.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Endgame, Natasha travels in time with Clint to get the Soul Stone on Vormir. Faced with the same dilemma as Thanos in Infinity War, she jumps down the cliff on her own volition despite Clint's best efforts to prevent her from killing herself. Clint tearfully gets the Soul Stone afterward, allowing the Avengers to complete their own Gauntlet.
  • Heroic Suicide: As mentioned above, she willingly lets herself fall to her own doom to ensure that Hawkeye can take the Soul Stone back to their timeline.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Her M.O. Her interrogation techniques rely not on questioning someone, but on making them feel in control and letting them do their own talking. Her fights usually involve using something of her opponent's (the chair they tied her to, their own weapons, even their shadow) to make her moves.
  • Honorary Aunt: To Hawkeye's kids. Hawkeye and Laura even end up naming their third-born Nathaniel. It would have been Natasha, but Nat turned out to be a boy.
  • Hourglass Plot: Her entire relationship with Hawkeye in the Avengers movies of the Infinity Saga. In the beginning, he saves her (an assassin) instead of killing her because he believes in her, and tells her that she's not beyond redemption in spite of her past crimes. By Endgame, he's committed several crimes of his own as a vigilante, but she sacrifices her life for him because she believes that he's got enough time to make up for it, as he believed in her all those years ago.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Bruce Banner if he's in Hulk form. They work closely together in Age of Ultron.
  • It's All About Me: Much like Tony, it can be argued that all her attempts at heroism or clearing "the red in her ledger" can ultimately be dismissed as just her need to make amends or ease her conscience.
  • Improvised Weapon User:
    • From beating down her captors with the chair they tied her to, to working out how to fire a Chitauri blast lance just by grabbing one. There's a theme here…
    • In the beginning of Civil War, Widow manages to beat a terrorist by assaulting him with a basket she picked up around the marketplace.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Nat" or "'Tasha", by Clint, Steve, Fury, and Laura. It eventually extends to the other members of the team by the time Endgame starts.
  • I Owe You My Life:
    • To Hawkeye since he chose to spare her.
    • Becomes this with Steve Rogers as well, when in Captain America: The Winter Soldier he saved her from the old S.H.I.E.L.D. base when it was targeted by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents after the two of them went rogue.
  • Killed Off for Real: Fought with Clint Barton over who should be the sacrifice in exchange for the Soul Stone. She won and killed herself, allowing Clint to obtain the Soul Stone. Bruce Banner stated that he had attempted to use the completed Infinity Gauntlet to resurrect Natasha, but couldn't. The writers and directors have since stated that the nature of obtaining the Soul Stone means that her death is final, and she will not be coming back. However, in a universe with Quantum Time Travel, the possibility of retrieving an Alternate Timeline version of her from the past remains open.
    L to Z 
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: In Age of Ultron, she tearfully reveals to Bruce that the Red Room sterilizes their alumnae during "graduation day". However much she might want to have her own children, she can't.
  • Legacy Character: Agent Carter reveals there was a Black Widow school where young girls were trained to become agents as early as the 1930s.
  • Like Brother and Sister: How the directors have described her relationship with Steve. She'll tease him and is generally an Anti Heroic foil to Captain America, but they care for each other deeply. She comforts him at Peggy's funeral, and he works to support her in her new post-Decimation role as the new leader of the Avengers.
  • Lovely Angels: Goes up against the Winter Soldier with Sharon Carter. Does it again against Proxima Midnight with Okoye.
  • Made of Iron:
    • In The Winter Soldier the titular assassin shoots her in the shoulder with an assault rifle but she was still able to operate rocket laucher, and was bleeding for quite some time before the wound started bothering her. She was unbothered being blown away by an RPG explosion. She also took being thrown against a car by the Winter Soldier's metal arm without any complaint. Falcon (without his suit) and Sharon Carter were instantly knocked out by the same move.
    • Takes a backhanded blow to the abs by the Hulk and gets up once her fear and shock wears off, with a limp for only a short period of time. Then again, this could easily be pure determination at work.
    • Wanda throws her back-first into a shipping crate and she hits her spine on it in Civil War. She's up and about in no time
    • Also in Civil War, she gets choked by Bucky's concrete crushing metal arm, complete with the whirring noises that indicate he's really putting an effort into it. She's comes off without even a mark and was even able to talk through it. Even Super Soldier Captain America showed far more discomfort. She was also able to walk off a grenade explosion by just keeping a mook between her and the grenade.
  • Male Gaze: Her rear gets a lot of camera shots, especially in The Avengers.
  • Meaningful Name: Meta-example. The redheaded Natasha is played by Scarlett Johansson.
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., she is the go-to example of badassery in the Secret Agent department, just like Melinda May is for combat expertise.
  • Mission Control: Briefly during Tony and Rhodey's battle against the drones and Vanko in Iron Man 2. In Endgame when the remnants of the Avengers are trying to keep the Earth and other planets from falling apart - she's the commander at Avengers HQ who organizes and advises the rest of the dispersed team through hologram projection.
  • More Hero Than Thou: In Endgame, she and Clint fight to sacrifice themselves for the Soul Stone first in order to spare the other. In the end, she "wins".
  • Ms. Fanservice: Downplayed. Her scenes in her first film, Iron Man 2, were so filled with fanservice that some reviewers continued to dismiss her as nothing but eye candy for two or three more films, despite the fact that it was significantly reduced from The Avengers on. She does get a Bare Your Midriff moment in The Winter Soldier. Despite this, she quips that the bullet scar on her navel means "bye-bye bikinis"; Steve lampshades back "Yeah, I bet you look terrible in them now."
  • Multicolored Hair: After the Snap, Nat has grown her hair out, so the top part is her natural red while the bottom part is the blonde she dyed it while on the run.
  • Murderous Thighs: Her Signature Move. She uses thigh chokes in combat at least Once per Episode and sometimes more. She has yet to use them as a killing move, though—when she's facing multiple opponents she uses it as a quick way to knock people down, and when she's only facing one they tend to be superhuman.
  • Nice Girl: While she can be a cynical Anti-Hero, she's a very loyal and supportive friend to her teammates especially Steve, Clint, and Bruce.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever it was that happened in Budapest — which was first mentioned in The Avengers — remains a total mystery to anyone but her and Hawkeye. The two apparently remember it differently.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Scarlett Johansson is playing a Russian spy, but you wouldn't get that from her distinctly American accent. Justified in the sense that, as a Russian spy, she was instructed to learn how to disguise her voice to sound American and she later just made that her default accent.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Her run-in with the Hulk makes her lapse into a brief state of terror and she's shown sweating and trembling in fear more than any other member of the team. She admits to Hawkeye that "magic and monsters" are not something either of them were trained to cope with.
    • She also cries in Captain America: The Winter Soldier when she thinks Fury is dead. In a lighter example, she seems to have warmed to Steve by the end of that film, as she cracks a few jokes and makes film references.
    • She also freaks out a bit when Ultron rips his old form apart mid-sentence. Of course, that's exactly the reaction he was trying for.
    • She's visibly shaken at the end of Avengers: Infinity War when she realizes that half of the universe has just been killed.
    • She spends nearly every moment in Endgame distraught, tired, and mournful because of the Decimation and fighting against Hawkeye to perform the Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Number Two: Becomes this to Steve in the New Avengers at the end of Age of Ultron as the only returning veteran after Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, and Iron Man all depart for different reasons.
  • Odd Friendship: With Steve Rogers by The Winter Soldier. She's a chameleon-like spy and he's a straightforward soldier. They make it work.
  • Oh, Crap!: In The Avengers, when Bruce slowly starts to lose control and transform into the Hulk while her foot is trapped under debris. Especially when the target of Bruce's rage at the moment is her.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • After seeing her combat skills in Iron Man 2 and early in The Avengers, her constantly controlled terror in the presence of Bruce Banner establishes just how dangerous the Hulk is.
    • Also in The Winter Soldier with the eponymous antagonist. With an out of control Hulk, she at least fires a few bullets before running. When she comes up against the Winter Soldier, she just runs.
    • Steve is pleased to see how open she is around Bruce, noting she must really have it bad for Bruce considering she's not the most open person in the world.
  • Platonic Life-Partners:
    • Hawkeye is her closest confidant and best friend. Loki sneeringly asks if it's love and she shoots down the idea. In Age of Ultron she's shown to be good friends with his wife and kids, whom the other Avengers didn't even know existed. Endgame reveals that they care for each other so much that they qualify as each other’s “that which you love” sacrifices needed to obtain the Soul Stone.
    • She later develops a close friendship with Steve.
      • During The Winter Soldier, they open up emotionally to each other and end up as close friends.
      • Throughout Age of Ultron their strong dynamic is often emphasized to the point of them leading up the new Avengers lineup together by the end.
      • In Civil War, while she sides with Tony, she still considers Captain America her true friend and repeatedly advises him to work with Tony, and eventually defects and helps Captain America and Winter Soldier escape in the Airport at Leipzig.
      • By Infinity War, the two of them and Sam have been vigilante fugitives for some time. As a team, they work seamlessly together.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: This is part of her MO. In The Avengers, she's tied to a chair in a warehouse, being slapped around by Russian thugs who want to know what she knows, when Coulson calls and tells her that Hawkeye has been compromised. She objects that she's performing a successful interrogation, then puts him on hold, beats the tar out of her captors while still tied to that chair, and easily escapes.
  • Professional Killer: Before joining S.H.I.E.L.D., she is an assassin. After joining S.H.I.E.L.D., she tries to be something more.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: She has has little interaction with Bruce Banner in the comics, but becomes his love interest in Age of Ultron. This is partially because Bucky Barnes and Daredevil, Widow's two major love interests in the comics, have no real connection to her in the MCU continuity.
  • Red Baron: According to The Avengers, she is "the famous Black Widow" to post-Soviet Union countries.
  • Redemption Equals Death: In a way. She expresses a desire throughout the Infinity Saga to atone for her past and "wipe the red from my ledger" as she puts it. In Endgame her sacrifice directly allows the reversal of the Decimation and bringing trillions back from the dead, so one can interpret this as her final redemptive act.
  • Redheaded Hero: Red hair for an Avenger, though she temporarily becomes blonde while on the run.
  • Scars Are Forever: In Winter Solider, Steve asks her how she knows so much about the Winter Soldier. She shows him a bullet scar on her gut.
  • Seen It All: In Endgame, Natasha notes that after she's reached the point of getting e-mails from a talking raccoon, there's not much left to impress her. At the same time, she's still awed she gets to travel through space.
  • Sensual Slavs: She "used to be" Russian but when she does speak in Russian, it's very seductive as per the character.
  • Sexy Secretary: As part of her Stark Industries cover, she becomes the latest secretary at the company and she knows that Tony Has a Type. She's first hired as Tony's personal assistant, and later becomes Pepper's, as she is the new CEO of the company.
  • She-Fu: Utilizes a lot of flips and slides in her fighting style, though she does also use other kinds of close combat.
  • Shipper on Deck: She spends a lot of Captain America: The Winter Soldier casually suggesting people Steve should ask out on a date, even during less-than-opportune moments. There is an emphasis on Sharon/Agent 13. In Avengers: Endgame, she switches track to Cap and his old flame Peggy Carter, as she gets a big smile on her face when she sees that Cap still has Peggy’s picture.
  • Ship Tease: As the only girl on a team of straight dudes, she gets teased with Steve, Tony, Clint, and most especially with Bruce. However most end up becoming Platonic Life-Partners (see above).
  • Signature Move: Strangling or throwing someone to the ground by wrapping her legs around their neck/upper torso. Courtesy of Scarlett Johansson's usual stunt double, Heidi Moneymaker, and appropriate for a character named after a spider. Agent Carter reveals this move was part of the training program. Bucky is the only person in the entire series who it doesn't work on.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: In The Avengers, Loki tries to lecture her on it. Not that she needed any lecturing in the first place:
    Natasha: Love is for children. I owe him a debt.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: With Bruce.
    Natasha: All my friends are fighters. I've never met a man before who avoids the fight because he knows he'll win.
  • Slave to PR: Why Natasha supported the Accords in Civil War. Not that she agrees wholeheartedly, but she feels that if the Avengers show they are willing to compromise and co-operate then they could reduce some of their bad press, and likewise stave off even worse fetters on their activities.
  • Smart People Know Latin: One of the many languages she speaks, as she proves to Stark in Iron Man 2.
    Romanoff: Fallaces sunt rerum species.note 
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only female Avenger at first. She loses this status in Age of Ultron when Scarlet Witch joins The Team.
  • Spy Catsuit: This is her "work outfit" so to speak because she is a spy.
  • The Stoic: Has a generally dour, serious demeanor.
  • Stun Guns: Natasha has wrist-mounted stun guns that generate a high amount of voltage or can shoot electrified discs, allowing her to shock people up close and afar. They're aptly called Widow's Bite.
  • Superhero Packing Heat: Has a pair of handguns on her, for when hand-to-hand is not sufficient (which, for her skills, shows how tough the threat has to be).
  • Super Wrist-Gadget: "Widow's Bite", two prototype electricity weapons that fire from her wrists. She uses these several times to take down Chitauri foot soldiers.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: In Captain America: Civil War, she tried to warn Steve to not get involved and, despite fighting him and the Anti-Registration Avengers, at the end of the brawl she deliberately allows Steve and Bucky to escape by incapacitating a pursuing Black Panther as the two board the Quinjet.
  • Team Mom: Interestingly, she seems to fall into this role for Avengers more often than not. She's quite the emotional support to Hawkeye, Cap, and even Tony especially in The Avengers and Captain America: Civil War. At one point in Avengers: Age of Ultron Natasha even complains about having to pick up after "the boys" like they’re a bunch of kids and she's the babysitter. It comes to a head in Avengers: Endgame where she is literally keeping tabs on everyone and treats the Avengers like they're her family, so when Nat dies the original Avengers become absolutely distraught.
  • Territorial Smurfette: Subverted. Tony Stark expects this to happen with her and Pepper, but the two of them get along fine. Pepper takes it as a sign of Tony's arrogance that he'd assume another Love Triangle would form over him.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Has this with Wanda Maximoff. Whereas Natasha is a calm but aggressive hand-to-hand fighter who dresses in all black and is One of the Guys, Wanda is more emotional and wears a dress, jewelry and long hair into battle.
  • Tron Lines: Her costume in Age of Ultron has blue accents in it, which are reflective so they glow when lit the right way.
  • Undercover as Lovers: In Winter Soldier, while on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. and doing some hacking in a mall, Cap and Natasha pretend to be fiances looking up honeymoon sites.
  • Underhanded Hero: She fits this trope to a tee. She's an assassin trained by Leviathan, the Russian equivalent of HYDRA, before eventually turning on her comrades and joining S.H.I.E.L.D..
  • Undying Loyalty: Despite being a morally ambiguous spy, she has immense loyalty to Nick Fury and later, to Captain America: best demonstrated with her willingness to make all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secrets public — including the atrocities in her own past — to destroy HYDRA because that was Steve's plan.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The information she leaks to the internet on S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA is used by Zemo to enact his plans in Civil War to drive the Avengers apart.
  • Use Your Head: During her interrogation scene in the first Avengers movie, she takes a russian weapons dealer with a headbutt. Later, during the same fight, she hits one of his henchmen with the back of her head.
  • Waif-Fu: In Iron Man 2, she blows through a building with a combination of non-lethal weaponry and improbable martial arts — all in the time it takes Happy Hogan to take down one guard with conventional boxing technique.
  • Weakness Turns Her On: What does the sexy Natasha Romanoff see in the nebbish scruffy Bruce Banner? Why, it's his weak, vulnerable, and scared soft center. Precisely, Bruce being Willfully Weak because he's scared of hurting others.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: She basically disappears from the rest of Captain America: Civil War after she tells off Tony after the airport brawl to go into hiding. The next time we see her in Infinity War, she's caught up with the rest of the renegade Avengers and is fighting alongside Steve and Sam.
    • Her solo movie, Black Widow (2021), which is yet to be released, will apparently show what happened in-between Civil War and Infinity War.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Noticeably terrified of the Hulk, which gives her an uncharacteristic lack of composure in his presence. This is something Banner picks up on immediately. Worse still, Natasha's fears come true when she finds an enraged Hulk rampaging directly at her and it's as scary as you'd imagine. No one would really hold this against her.
    • Ends up fighting the Winter Soldier while clearly terrified, since the last time they met he nearly killed her, and did kill the person she was protecting.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Downplayed but she falls victim to this against The Winter Soldier as she spends their entire fight running away from him, though she does sucker punch him several times. She is shown under much greater stress against him than she ever was against Loki or the Chitauri. This is justified, as the Chitauri were so threatening because of their strength in numbers, and while they possessed enhanced strength like Captain America and the Winter Soldier, but had such terrible close combat skills that they make the Hulk look like a martial artist. She also never had to physically fight Loki (who is even stronger than Captain America), and instead engaged him in a battle of wits, an arena in which they are much more evenly matched.
    • She also does this emotionally; as the most unflappable member of the Avengers, something's gone horribly wrong if she's, well, flapped. Such as a portal spewing alien armies into New York — or the Winter Soldier. Which is, admittedly, a perfectly sensible precaution.
  • Workaholic: In Endgame, Natasha buries herself in work to forget the Decimation. It doesn't work at all, with her trying to address an underwater earthquake before being shot down by Okoye so that she doesn't have to think about Thanos' genocide.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: In both Iron Man 2 and The Avengers, she frequently employs the Frankensteiner (headscissors takedown with a backflip) to battle opponents. This is actually based on the real Russian Martial art called Sambo. She just added some American-style moves to complement her high agility.
  • You Just Told Me: Her favored means of interrogation is getting someone else to interrogate her, and their questions reveal their intentions and/or plans. She pulls this on the Russian smuggler and on Loki. Just to reiterate: she tricked the Norse god of mischief.


Video Example(s):


Natasha to get the "Big Guy"

Black Widow learns SHIELD has asked her to bring in Bruce Banner/The Hulk.

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