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

Dr. Stephen Strange
"Pain's an old friend."

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation: Metro-General Hospital, Masters of the Mystic Arts

Portrayed By: Benedict Cumberbatch

Voiced By: Beto Castillo (Latin-American Spanish dub), Iván Muelas (European Spanish dub), Jérémie Covillault (French dub), Tristan Harvey (Canadian French dub), Satoshi Mikami (Japanese dub), Fábio Azevedo (Brazilian Portuguese dub)


Appearances: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (mentioned) | Doctor Strange | Thor: Ragnarok | Avengers: Infinity War | Avengers: Endgame | What If...? | Spider-Man: No Way Home | Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

"When I became a doctor, I swore an oath to do no harm. And I have just killed a man! I'm not doing that again. I became a doctor to save lives, not take them!"

An expert neurosurgeon whose career ended abruptly when an injury sustained during a car crash destroyed the nerves in his hands. He eventually sought out the Ancient One in search of a cure for his condition, only to become her latest disciple in the Mystic Arts. Strange eventually becomes master of the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, one of three seals that protects Earth from magical and extra-dimensional threats.


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    Dr. Strange: A-L 
  • The Ace: By the time of Infinity War and Endgame, Doctor Strange is easily the top dog of the Marvel universe. Master of the Mystic Arts, lord of the Sanctum Sanctorum, and seemingly having fully adjusted to life after the loss of his surgical career. He treats Thor and Loki like particularly annoying houseguests, he's the only Avenger capable of going toe-to-toe with Thanos on Titan, and he's the one who manipulates the events to ensure that Thanos is ultimately defeated. The only human superheroes who even come close to matching him in terms of ability to fight Thanos single-handedly are Captain Marvel and Scarlet Witch, and their powers come from Infinity Stones - Stephen Strange is just that good.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Though he is an Insufferable Genius from the start, Dr. Strange in the beginning of his film seems much more approachable than his comics counterpart, even letting a patient's relative hug him. In the comics, he made it clear that he didn't care about his patients once they were cured. He doesn't properly start acting like Doctor Strange until after his accident.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Downplayed, as he's no pushover, but his comic book counterpart is noticeably more powerful as a winner of the Superpower Lottery. Here, he wins battles more often by trickery than raw power. He also lacks his other iconic relics aside from the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation (Wand of Watoomb, Orb of Agamotto, Book of the Vishanti etc...) and the ability to perform divine invocations. That said, this can be explained by his relative inexperience, and may grow into that level of power later on as he gains more knowledge in the arts.
  • Alliterative Name: Stephen Strange.
  • Almighty Janitor: He was still a relative novice in the magical arts when he saved the world from a group of rogue mages, and scammed the resident Satanic Archetype into aiding him in said saving.
  • Always Someone Better: Thor: Ragnarok shows him as a living lesson in humility for Loki as a magic-user. Strange easily manhandling the self-proclaimed God of Mischief through his use of portals. On the receiving end by Dormammu, whose power proves too much for Strange. Fortunately, Strange takes this into account and finds a way to turn the tables.
  • Amicable Exes: Strange and Christine used to be lovers, and their break-up has apparently led to Christine deciding never to date her colleagues again (going by the fact that she calls this the "Strange Policy"). Despite that, they're on good terms at work and she tries to support him during his spiral into depression after the accident.
  • Anti-Hero: He starts off as an arrogant and self-centered glory hound who wouldn't do anything too difficult for fear of staining his perfect record. When his Character Development kicks in, he becomes selfless enough to sacrifice his life, even becoming willing to use forbidden unnatural magic to save the day, just like the Ancient One.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: By Avengers: Infinity War, he uses formal phrases like "hitherto undreamt of" that earn him mockery from more vulgar heroes like Iron Man.
  • Astral Projection: In keeping with his comic counterpart, one of his key abilities is projecting an astral form out of his body. He uses it to fight enemies as well as a way to rest his body while continuing to study outside the boundaries of the physical plane (he can also project his astral self back into the real world, which he uses to guide Christine on what needs to be done to save his physical body while he's dying, even making his skin translucent for her so she can see where to aim a needle to stimulate his heart).
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • Dr. Strange boasts a photographic memory as per his words and can pick up and assimilate knowledge at a very fast rate.
    • The film doesn't draw attention to it, but he displays a consistent ability to diagnose the specifics of serious injuries without needing diagnostic equipment.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Peter Parker even assumes it's just his superhero name when they introduce themselves.
  • Badass Baritone: Strange has a powerful and deep voice, courtesy of Benedict Cumberbatch. So does Dormammu — interestingly, also courtesy of Cumberbatch, though his voice was digitally blended with that of another, unnamed, deep-voiced actor.
  • Badass Boast: Gives an excellent, succinct one to Dormammu.
    Strange: Pain's an old friend.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's able to kick enough ass to protect the magical world because he knows so much about it. Sorcery requires "study and practice; years of it" and he spends a lot of his time with his nose in a book. He even manages to find a workaround for needing sleep by using his astral form to read while his body rests. Strange mentions offhand that his Photographic Memory allowed him to work towards multiple degrees at once.
  • Badass in Distress: In Infinity War, he gets kidnapped and tortured by Ebony Maw in an attempt to steal the Time Stone from him, and has to be rescued by Iron Man and Spider-Man.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Even before becoming a sorcerer, Zola's algorithm classified him as such a serious threat that Jasper Sitwell mentioned him by name in the same breath as Bruce Banner. Since an award seen in Doctor Strange dates the film as taking place in 2016, this particular mention happened while Strange was a normal surgeon.
    • Although he's obviously no longer normal by the time of Infinity War, Thanos specifically calls him out on the fact that Strange never used his greatest weapon, the Time Stone, during their Wizard Duel. Thanos had to use all of the Stones he had in his gauntlet at the time against Strange to win - without using a single Infinity Stone, Doctor Strange is just that good.
  • Badass Pacifist:
    • Strange really, really doesn't want to kill anyone. He doesn't even want to hurt anyone; he's a doctor and that's against the Hippocratic Oath. However, he's facing down people who wish to sacrifice the world to a dimension-devouring Eldritch Abomination. How does he finally win? By annoying Dormammu into submission. With time on an infinite loop, he's able to stop Dormammu from killing anyone but him, and all he's doing is asking for bargaining rights. He doesn't have to kill Kaecillius, either; he just lets Dormammu take him.
    • In Thor: Ragnarok, he easily defeats the Sufficiently Advanced Alien god Loki non-violently with use of portals, dropping him into a bottomless pit for half an hour and then dumping him in Norway before Loki can even touch him.
      Loki: Handle me? Who are you? You think you're some kind of sorcerer? Don't think for one minute, you second-rate...
      Dr. Strange: Alright, bye bye. [portals Loki and Thor away]
  • Bastard Boyfriend: An implied example. Strange was in a relationship with Christine but they broke up with the exact reason(s) untouched upon. However, due to Strange's ego, selfishness, and Kick the Dog moments, it's hinted that Strange wasn't a an attentive or emotionally thoughtful boyfriend.
  • Batman Gambit: His entire arc between Infinity War and Endgame is performing a major one on both Thanos and Tony Stark.
    • In Infinity War, he sees one possible future where the Avengers can defeat Thanos, and it involves surrendering the Time Stone to Thanos in exchange for sparing Tony's life, playing on Thanos' bizarre sense of honor and self-deluding nobility. After giving Thanos the Time Stone, and after the Titan snaps his fingers, he just looks at Tony and tells him there was no other way, addressing him personally, with Tony being burdened with the task that somehow it's his destiny to undo Thanos' victory. In Endgame, this leads to Tony building a time machine to transport the Avengers to recoup the Infinity Stones and build a new gauntlet with his Iron Man tech that allows the Avengers to undo the snap when Hulk wields it. But that only turns out to be Part 1.
    • Upon reuniting with Tony in Endgame, Tony initially asks out of camaraderie if this was the one in 14 million-plus chance that everything works out, but Strange still refuses to confirm, stating that saying otherwise would alter the outcome. When Thanos wields the Infinity Gauntlet that Tony made and is about to put the Power Stone back in the Gauntlet, Tony, who had just regained consciousness, looks at Strange who raises his index finger signifying that yes, the one timeline with Thanos' defeat depends on Tony's Heroic Sacrifice, which Strange knew all along that Tony would do.
  • Beard of Sorrow: After his hands are crippled, he is no more capable of using a mechanical razor than a scalpel, and thus lets his facial hair grow in a disheveled manner. However, once he gets some traction in his magical studies, he uses an electric razor to trim it into a dignified Badass Beard, signifying he has his confidence back.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: A benevolent example; once he takes control of New York's Sanctum Sanctorum he dedicates himself to be constantly on the look out for anything from other worlds that land on Earth and do it harm... and that includes people like Loki.
  • Big Good: After his debut movie, he's essentially this for the MCU, even though he's not yet the Sorcerer Supreme; Since then, he's decided to keep watch on any potential threats to earth, not just from other dimensions, so that he can summon and direct heroes to deal with it. Plus, he's had to take serious time to learn about the infinity stones to allow him to help other heroes deal with the impending threat Thanos poses to the universe by the time of Infinity War, and then enacted the big plan to ensure the one outcome where the heroes win, which means allowing himself to perish during the Snap. By the time he gets unsnapped in Endgame, he continues to ensure Tony sticks to the plan.
  • Break the Haughty: He goes through one of these over the course of the movie. At the beginning, Strange is an insufferable man who likes to show off during operation procedures, and who dismisses cases he deems to not be worth his time or have a risk of failure that could taint his reputation. After a car accident that ruins his hands and his career, as well as having several characters calling him out for his Jerkass behavior, he begins to mature up, admit to his flaws and care about people other than himself.
  • Brought Down to Badass: By the end of Endgame, he's lost the Eye of Agamotto and the Time Stone within, but he is still a capable wizard.
  • The Cameo: He had a brief appearance in Thor: Ragnarok in a sequence that integrated the after-credits scene from his own movie.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Stephen Strange's exemplary career in surgery is ended due to a car accident damaging the nerves in his hands. His search to cure this leads Strange to the Ancient One who leads him down a very different career path.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
    • In Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers' list shows Star Trek, meaning that if Star Trek Into Darkness exists, then Doctor Strange is Khan. In the UK version of Winter Soldier said list also included the BBC series Sherlock, whose star is Benedict Cumberbatch.
    • A possible example; in The Avengers, Tony Stark calls Clint Barton "Legolas," implying that The Lord of the Rings exists. note  If The Hobbit also exists and was filmed, Cumberbatch played Smaug and the Necromancer/Sauron in it.
  • Chain Pain: Frequently manifests his magic as a chain of energy.
  • Character Development: Starts out as a self-centered glory hound who wouldn't do anything too difficult for fear of staining his perfect record to a selfless champion who is willing to endlessly lose against Dormammu in obscurity to spare Earth and the rest of the Multiverse from the fiend.
  • Charm Person: A subtle demonstration is done by Doctor Strange in Ragnarok when Thor visits the Sanctum Sanctorum. Thor has seen Loki kidnapped and has yet to meet Doctor Strange. When he first appears Thor raises his hammer (disguised as an umbrella) in defense. However, Doctor Strange greets him with "Thor Odinson... God of Thunder... You can put down the umbrella" and surprisingly Thor complies. Strange then immediately teleports them to another location to temporarily separate him from Mjölnir while they talk.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • In keeping with his comic-counterpart, Strange wins many of his battles, not through skill or strength, but by using his wits and whatever resources he has on hand. Best demonstrated when he forces an Eldritch Abomination — one he has no hope of fighting — into a conditional surrender.
    • Hinted at in Infinity War where he gazes through over 14 million possible futures to find only a single way to beat Thanos. After battling the Mad Titan, which ultimately ends with Strange handing over the Time Stone in order to save Tony Stark's life, he then tells Tony that they've reached the endgame. Later, before fading away to dust from Thanos's universal genocide, he also tells Stark "there was no other way." All this heavily implies that giving the Time Stone and insuring Stark's survival are key to ultimately defeating Thanos, as Strange foresaw. This comes to a head in Endgame which sees the Avengers gathering the Infinity Stones in the past thanks to Stark's assistance, the Ancient One willingly give the Time Stone away upon learning of Strange doing the same, and finally where Stark gains the Infinity Stones to defeat Thanos by Heroic Sacrifice. Just as Strange was counting on.
  • The Chosen One: Played with. The Ancient One states in the trailer: "I've spent so many years, peering through time... looking for you." However, the film itself plays a bit coy with this, merely remarking at points that Strange has an in born gift for the Mystic Arts, but he isn't yet the most powerful or skilled sorcerer, winning through luck, guile and sheer stubbornness and at the end of the film the position of Sorcerer Supreme is left open. It's essentially a magical version of Falling into the Cockpit; he only keeps the Eye of Agamotto on because the Masters are interrupted before he can take it off, and being knocked into the New York Sanctum is what gets him the Cloak of Levitation. During the events of Endgame, it is revealed that the Ancient One knew Strange would become the greatest Master of the Mystic Arts as far back as the first Avengers movie, as all that Banner needs to convince her to give him the Time Stone is to tell her that Strange had set everything up for him to reach her in his timeline.
  • Cincinnatus: He can control the Eye of Agamotto, giving him an almost godlike power, yet he returns it to its place after he's done with it, and doesn't claim the position of the Sorcerer Supreme.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The Cloak of Levitation, an enchanted red cloak that protects Strange, lets him levitate and responds to his mental commands. It can also move on its own and is sentient to some extent. In fact, comparing their respective performances in their first fight against Kaecilius, the Cloak was actually more badass than Strange when they first met!
  • Color Motif: Both his surgeon scrubs and sorcerer robes are dark blue.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Obviously not while studying on a Himalayan mountain or being a superhero, but the scenes from Strange's pre-accident life show he had a very high taste for luxury. In only a few minutes we're shown a large New York highrise apartment, a souped-up Cool Car, and what appears to be a cabinet full of high-end luxury watches. The result of this is that he is basically broke in only a few months after he can no longer work as a high-paid neurosurgeon.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Gets on the receiving end of this against Dormammu, multiple times. Subverted in the fact that getting subjected to this was his goal all along, by trapping Dormammu in a "Groundhog Day" Loop until he gives into Strange's bargain.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Per the Marvel norm, he has quite the haughty and wry persona in regards to things he finds... off.
  • Deal with the Devil: Subverted. After the revelation that sorcerers make deals with Dormammu for power, he goes to the Dark Dimension and offers to "bargain" — but it's not for something he wants from Dormammu, but rather something he's going to make Dormammu want from him.
  • Death Is the Only Option: In Infinity War, after looking through 14 million versions of future to find the one where the heroes win, he trades Tony Stark's life for the Time Stone and dies as a result. With his last words, he claims that there was no other way.
  • Determinator:
    • As he puts it, "Pain's an old friend."
    • It extends to more than just being able to take a beating. He spends five hours straight pleading and begging at the Ancient One's doorstep after she kicks him out for being disrespectful.
    • There's no telling how long he and Dormammu were trapped in the time loop, dying and coming back again and again and again...director commentary confirms that it is a lot longer than what is shown. He remembers all of it. Not once did he lose his resolve or break his spell.
    • He's the only person to fight on roughly equal terms against Thanos in single combat without using the powers of an Infinity Stone. Not only that, but Infinity War makes it exceedingly clear that there is nothing Strange won't do to keep the universe safe. Even when he's being turned to dust by the Snapture, Strange doesn't even flinch.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Towards the end of Doctor Strange, Christine eventually turns him down after the Ancient One dies. Despite Strange apologizing to her and becoming a better person, the damage Strange had done was already too much for their relationship to continue. Before Christine leaves, she gives Strange a Last Kiss on the cheek.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In Ragnarok, he sends Loki to a dimension where he's forever falling... and there's nothing Loki can do about it. And when Loki tries to charge him with knives drawn, Strange quickly intercepts him with another portal.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Coerces Dormammu into an incredibly one-sided deal in exchange for freeing him from the time loop.
  • Die or Fly: Strange is subject to this treatment in his first film. The Ancient One strands him on Mount Everest to force him to figure out how to open a portal to get back. He nearly freezes to death before he manages it.
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Even though Christine is incredibly supportive, Stephen treats her horribly after the accident destroys his hands.
    Christine: This isn't the end, there are other things that can give your life meaning.
    Stephen: [derisive] Like what? Like you?
    Christine: ... and this is the part where you apologize.
    Stephen: This is the part where you leave.
  • Ditzy Genius: Doctor Strange makes Tony Stark look like a mildly talented mechanic who occasionally spills his ice cream.
    • Despite his obvious intelligence, he wasn't smart enough to realize that texting while driving at night, in the rain, on a mountain road, is a VERY bad idea. While he survives, he suffers the Career-Ending Injury that starts his Trauma Conga Line; blowing his fortune trying to find any way to repair his hands.
    • Better yet, he manages to use the Eye of Agamotto (AKA Infinity Stone of Time) to pseudo-repair a Tome of Eldritch Lore and start performing an obscenely dangerous ritual. Wong and Mordo are torn between awe that a man with only a few months of training was brilliant enough to rewind time and rage that he was dumb enough to nearly summon Dormammu.
  • Dr. Jerk: Pre-Character Development, Strange is a selfish and condescending gloryhog that dismisses patients unless they can help his reputation and lords himself above his co-workers.
  • Domain Holder: In Thor Ragnarok, he is implied to have attained this kind of mastery over the Sanctum Sanctorum, as he can warp and weave Thor and himself in and out of multiple rooms and spaces at will, without Thor's awareness. Of course, that doesn't mean the Domain isn't vulnerable to external attacks such as Mjolnir inside it, or a falling Bruce Banner that tumbles across the galaxy into his staircase.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Gets pretty ticked off when people refer to him as "Mister," "Master," etc. instead of "Doctor".
  • Don't Think, Feel: Played With in that Strange initially has trouble with the precise movements required for the spells he's trying to cast due to his hand tremors, only to be shown by Master Hamir that the motions are less important than the intent behind them. However, Strange still has to process a lot of knowledge of the Mystic Arts in order to learn how to make his intent manifest as spells
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: After the car accident, Strange has too much pride to welcome sympathy from Christine and openly refuses to be one of her "sob stories". He regrets this later.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Has mastered this by Infinity War, as he attacks Thanos with multiple clones of himself, each of them restraining Thanos with a magical chain. In the comics this is a spell called the Images of Ikonn.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Passes on blind turns, at night, in the rain, while speeding and talking on the phone. This results in a horrific accident and crippling injuries to his hands.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Of a sort — Jasper Sitwell mentions him as being one of Project Insight targets in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
  • Eastward Endeavor: In his first film, seeking a cure for his hands, he goes east and is deeply changed by his experience there. His Jerkass tendencies are washed away by his training with the Ancient One, and he eventually realizes he doesn't need perfect hands to practice magic.
  • Embarrassing Last Name: While not exactly embarrassed, he shows a level of frustration by his inability to have a surgical technique named after him.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: He visits a monastery in Nepal in order to heal his damaged hands and has to spend months learning introspection and opening his mind before he can even attempt proper magic. His mentor finally just drops him off on Mount Everest so that he will learn to open a portal before he freezes to death. It works.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His first moments on screen is performing a surgery like it's a game... only to hand it over to another doctor to save the life of a patient in the ER who's dying due to a bullet in the brain showing the audience his arrogance and compassion at the same time.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: He grows longer hair and a messy Beard of Sorrow after his hands are ruined in an accident. He cuts his shaggy hair and trims his beard to a well-kept goatee after finding new purpose as a disciple of The Ancient One.
  • Face Death with Dignity: In Infinity War, everyone else who gets snapped by Thanos, aside from Wanda, dies with varying degrees of pain, horror, and confusion on their faces. Except Strange, who simply locks eyes with Tony and calmly tells him "There was no other way." Justified, because he had already seen this as well as his resurrection in the future scenario where the heroes emerged victorious and he trusted Tony would guide them there.
  • Failure Gambit: Out of all the Avengers, Strange perhaps best knows the value of losing the battle to win the war.
    • In his first film, he traps Dormammu and himself in a Stable Time Loop where Dormammu can kill him thousands of times...but never for good, nor can Dormammu escape, and ultimately forces the Eldritch Abomination to leave Earth in exchange for nothing more than him letting Dormammu go.
      Dormammu: You will never win!
      Strange: No. But I can lose again... and again... and again... and again, forever. And that makes you my prisoner.
    • In Infinity War, having seen the only version of future out of 14 million where the heroes win, Doctor Strange gives Thanos the Time Stone and thus enables him to wipe out half the universe, including Doctor Strange himself. In Endgame, circumstances align so that the Avengers can reverse the effects of the Decimation five years later.
  • Fingore: Strange's hands are crushed in his car accident, which costs him his medical career. He has rather prominent scars on the backs of his fingers from where orthopedic surgeons had to operate and then drill in splints to immobilize his hands.
  • First-Name Basis: When Strange meets Wong, he asks the latter to call him by his first name.
  • Foil:
    • To Tony Stark: they both start out as being self-centered, reckless men who care about pleasure and success until a life-changing accident brings them down a few pegs; they also both have adjectives for surnames. The difference is Tony (as Iron Man) uses technology while Strange uses Magic. Additionally, Stark gets the chance to stroke his own ego for good by becoming a beloved superhero, while Strange learns humility by fighting battles kept away from the public eye. By the time of their meeting and enforced partnership during Infinity War, they are effectively each other's Red Oni (Stark) and Blue Oni (Strange), which their costumes reflect: Stark's Iron Man armour being "hot rod red" with gold accents; and Strange's robes being blue against the red Cloak of Levitation.
    • To Thor: they both started as arrogant hedonists who suffer a fall from grace caused by their own actions. They find a new calling as magical/mystical heroes for Earth. The difference? Thor is a Norse deity who lives to uphold Asgard's Proud Warrior Race Guy customs until he gets banished to Earth to learn humility. Strange, on the other hand, is an ordinary mortal man who trained as a doctor (a saver of lives) and then learns about the existence of powerful, magical creatures outside of his dimension. Strange himself Lampshades this when he meets Thor himself in Ragnarok.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Subverted in Infinity War. He doesn't use the Eye of Agamotto at all during the fight against Thanos on Titan — but this is because he removed the Time Stone from it beforehand. Because he saw the future with the Eye, he figured that the Time Stone wouldn't do him any good (much like how in The Avengers, one Infinity Stone-powered artifact was capable of negating another, and Thanos has four at this point), and considering the Failure Gambit he's playing, he likely removed the Time Stone to nudge the timestream towards the one possibility where the heroes win.
  • The Gadfly: In Thor: Ragnarok, he uses his powers to mess with Thor and Loki.
  • The Gift:
    • Strange has a knack for the Mystic Arts, and it's not just his photographic memory, he picks it up effortlessly.
    • Do you know how all of the wielders of the Infinity Stones have a horrible fate? Strange somehow manages to use the Time Stone without any ill effect, or at least not yet anyway; as Mordo is adamant that manipulating time will have dire consequences.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Originally, he opted to leave the Eye of Agamotto because he wasn't ready to properly wield it, and he felt it was too dangerous. But after recognizing the coming threat to the Universe and Thanos' crusade for the stones, things were too dire for him not to have it with him as a potential last resort even though he never uses it against Thanos.
  • Glory Hound: A downplayed example, as the most questionable thing he does to keep his perfect record and reputation is refusing to treat patients he believes he won't be able to heal, who probably get transferred to other available doctors.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: He is a hero and wears a goatee that indicates his mysterious nature.
  • Guile Hero: Doctor Strange's style of world-saving. His reluctance at outright killing people because of his Hippocratic Oath, the generally more proficient and powerful enemies he's faced, and the many, many options the mystic arts offer, give Strange the option and a big incentive to outsmart his opponents through unconventional tactics and intelligent plays instead of overpowering them. He never threatens Dormammu, but uses time magic over which the former has control over to simply annoy him enough to make a deal, and his greatest action against Thanos in Infinity War is to give him the Time Stone in expectation of a later gambit.
  • Hand Blast: In Infinity War, Doctor Strange is briefly shown summoning a snake of energy from his hand that bounces off from some rocks to attack Thanos. It may be an unnamed Bolts of Balthakk spell Strange is using.
  • Handicapped Badass: Despite his original goal being to fix his hands, he never actually accomplishes that during the movie. But his magic doesn't require steady hands (or technically hands at all) so he still remains a badass.
  • Headbutting Heroes: With Iron Man in Infinity War over disagreements on how to fight Thanos, though their similar personalities certainly don't help. Strange makes it clear to Stark that if he had to choose between saving him, Spider-Man and the Time Stone, he would pick the latter over the two. Subverted at the end, when Strange sacrifices the Time Stone to save Stark. Double Subverted in Endgame when hit turns out that Strange needed him alive so that Tony could sacrifice himself to kill Thanos.
  • Heroic BSoD: He suffers a minor one when he had no choice but to kill one of Kaecillius's mooks, snapping at the Ancient One and Mordo. Strange may (mostly) be an egotistical and abrasive jackass, but he takes his oath as a doctor very seriously, and sure enough, he doesn't take a single life in all subsequent appearances, relying on his expertise as a Guile Hero to get things done.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Subjects himself to an infinite one to imprison Dormammu in a time loop that will only end if he gives up or if the villain agrees to his bargain. Strange wins. Whereas before he was afraid of doing anything that would jeopardize his record, he's willing to die in order to stop Dormammu.
    • Does it again in Infinity War. Having used the Time Stone to see only one future out of millions of possibilities where the heroes are victorious over Thanos, he willingly hands over the Time Stone to Thanos, stating that it was the only way they could win. Strange is then one of the casualties when Thanos uses the completed Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half the universe, something he knew of when looking into the future.
  • Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: In Infinity War, he comments on how he doesn't get anything for regularly saving the world from magical threats, to the point where he can barely afford to go out and buy sandwiches from the deli.
  • Hidden Depths: An Exploited Trope. As mentioned above, HYDRA saw him as capable of becoming a potential threat back when he was only a surgeon, and they would have killed him ahead of time with Project Insight had it not been for Captain America's efforts. Years later, Mordo suspects that he is a natural at Mystic Arts.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Insufferable glory hound he was, Strange was still a doctor who desired to help people even if his own ego got in the way.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Strange dips into this trope during his conversation with the Ancient One by gratuiotusly describing humanity as a series of chemical processes on a floating globe in a cold, uncaring universe while she's trying to convince him magic exists. The Big Bad later echoes this view of the world later just to rub it in.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: When Stark questions him as to why he surrendered the Time Stone to Thanos, Strange replies that it is the only way to defeat him. This takes on a darker meaning in Endgame where it's revealed that Strange knew all along that Tony would have to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to ultimately stop Thanos. In any case, it came at the cost of him failing his oath to protect the Time Stone, which is no more as of Endgame.
  • Idiot Ball: Despite being otherwise clever and vastly intelligent, Strange has two moments of this in the film:
    • While driving down a mountain road, Strange speeds in a terrible weather condition and is generally more focused on his clients rather than looking at the road. The result: Strange crashes his car, breaks his fingers, and ruins his career as a surgeon.
    • In Nepal, when three thugs corner him and demand his watch, he responds by punching one of them with his injured hands. It does him no good.
  • I Hate Past Me: Strange is not proud of his insensitive and jerkass behavior from before he began to study the mystic arts. He sincerely apologizes to those he's wronged and is determined to be a better man.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • In his first film, he is stabbed by Kaecilius's magical spear in the New York Sanctum and has to teleport to Christine for emergency surgery.
    • Later in the same film, one of the many, many ways Dormammu kills him is by throwing a volley of spears through his body.
  • Important Haircut: The clean-shaven Strange grows a messy Beard of Sorrow after his accident, and he loses his ability to wield a scalpel let alone a straight razor. He trims it back to a well-kept goatee after finding new purpose as a sorcerer.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: According to the Ancient One, fear of failure is what drives him to excel.
  • Incompletely Trained: Strange has to save the world and take a position guarding one of its two remaining Cosmic Keystones while still nothing but a talented beginner. In fact, he only demonstrates six magical techniques over the course of the movie; his Sling Ring, Astral Projection, a whip made of concussive light, sigils that act as shields/brass knuckles (which he flubs half the time), accessing the Mirror Dimension and using the Eye of Agamotto to screw with time — and the last is really cheating as it's the Infinity Stone of Time. Though admittedly everyone is freaked out that he's brilliant enough to use it so skillfully while still being inexperienced enough not to know that the dire warnings are written in books after the rituals no-one should perform.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • It's Doctor Strange. This is Lampshaded; Interestingly he only insists on his title when he feels he's due some measure of respect. Strange is even more of an arrogant ass than Stark, but he genuinely loves being a doctor, considers the Hippocratic Oath to be sacred, and is traumatized by killing one of Kaecilius' goons in self-defense. After he begins his studies with the Ancient One, he allows her to call him "Mister Strange" and with Wong he instead asks to be called "Stephen."
    • It is "Master of the Mystic Arts", not "wizard", thank you very much.
  • Instant Expert: Played With, Strange does struggle a lot at first, but when he does finally get the basics he progresses extremely quickly. This is explained in that he is an incredibly smart man with a perfect memory, it is also shown that one of the first things he learned after mastering the basics was to astral project so that he could study even while he slept.
  • Instant Costume Change: By Infinity War, he's capable of shifting immediately from street clothes to robes at a moment's notice, with the Cloak flying in to complete the transition.
  • Instant Knots: Against Thanos, Strange summons bright red bands that instantly go grab and wrap themselves around Thanos' gauntlet. It may be an unnamed version of the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak spell.
  • Instant Runes: He creates glowing symbols in geometric patterns as a focusing mechanism for his spells.
  • Insufferable Genius: Strange starts off as a brilliant surgeon who also happens to be arrogant, pompous and stubborn. He would show off in the operating theatre and decline cases he considered uninteresting or that were too likely to be failures and damage his reputation. He later grew out of it due to being dealt a heavy dose of Break the Haughty.
  • It's All About Me: He had a colossal ego and the Ancient One even tells him at one point that the simplest lesson he needs to learn is that it's not about him. As with his Insufferable Genius tendencies, he developed out of it, to the point he's willing to die over and over in order to save Earth. Christine says this almost word for word when accusing Strange of this mindset. She's very much correct at this point.
    The Ancient One: Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all.
    Dr Strange: Which is?
    The Ancient One: It's not about you.
  • It Was a Gift: In his first film, he wears watches — a gift from his Old Flame, Christine Palmer. The inscription on the back side of the watches says: "Time will tell how much I love you, Christine". His refusal to give up the watches to attackers in Kathmandu leads to him meeting Mordo, who introduces him to the Ancient One.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Before becoming a superhero, Stephen was incredibly arrogant and insufferable — even more than Tony Stark. Even when he starts his training, it takes time for him to drop his condescending attitude. By the end of the film, however, he puts all of his pride behind him to do what's right and even apologizes for being an ass to Christine.
  • Keeping the Handicap: Initially, Strange intends to learn magic to heal his permanently damaged hands and work as a surgeon again, just like Jonathan Pangborn who used his magic to walk again despite a complete spinal chord injury. However, in the end, Strange decides against it and leaves his hands as they are.
  • Levitating Lotus Position: The usual variation. On Titan, Doctor Strange is seen floating cross-legged (not in the lotus position, though) while he's using the Eye of Agamotto to peer into the different possible futures.
  • Logical Weakness: While the Ancient One showed Strange that using magic does not necessarily rely on his hands, it requires making flourished sweeps of the arms, thus stopping and restraining Strange's limbs prevents him from using magic as Ebony Maw achieved with telekineticly manipulated cables.
  • Ludicrous Precision: In Infinity War, he looks through 14,000,605 versions of the future in a few minutes time, somehow kept exact count, and gleaned enough information from them to know which single future to act on. It makes sense, though, when you remember that Strange has a photographic memory and was manipulating the Time Stone, so the time it would've taken to view that many outcomes would've been condensed to a few minutes.

    Dr. Strange: M-Z 
  • Made of Iron: He gets beaten up by the Zealots, stabbed practically right in the heart by Kaecilius, has to undergo defibrillation after his heart stops, willingly undergoes it again to beat his opponent in astral combat, gets sewn up... and all this before the actual climax.
  • Manly Tears: He cries after the Ancient One dies and he says goodbye to Christine.
  • The Many Deaths of You:
    • In his first film, Strange is killed by Dormammu countless times with an energy blast, impaling, meteors, tentacles, etc. In the end, Dormammu gets sick of it and agrees to leave Earth alone.
    • In Infinity War, Strange finds a new and exciting way to die when he turns into dust.
  • Me's a Crowd: In Infinity War, Strange demonstrates an ability to create many doubles, all of which attack and tie up Thanos. This may be an unnamed use of the Images of Ikonn.
  • Military Maverick: Stephen Strange has developed a streak of bending or flat-out breaking the rules during his stay as an apprentice at Kamar-Taj. He uses a sling-ring to steal books from the library so that he could learn astral projection way before he was supposed to (earning a Promotion, Not Punishment moment from the Ancient One) and then later makes off with the Eye of Agamotto and tries using it in an experimental bit of sorcery. He is harshly scolded by Wong and Mordo for this, as using time-based sorcery is in direct violation of natural law, the very thing that the Masters of the Mystic Arts are meant to enforce. Later on, Stephen does this twice, both times working in their favor. The first time he uses it to reverse the Hong Kong Sanctum's destruction, and the second time he uses it to trap Dormammu in a "Groundhog Day" Loop until he concedes defeat.
  • Mind over Matter: Has displayed a level of telekinesis in Infinity War by dispersing a giant dust cloud that Ebony's ship caused over the streets in New York and again upon his return in Endgame he spends most of the final battle with Thanos forces mystically redirecting a river threatening to flood the battlefield.
  • Minored in Ass-Kicking: Strange's greatest strength is his mind, but it isn't just his intelligence. It's his will, determination, analytical ability, his ability to learn quickly, his hardworking mind, his patience, and his ability to hold onto his sanity. These go a long way to defeating opponents he would otherwise lose to. Not only does this allow him to win in his intro movie, but in Infinity War, he manages the patience and determination to live through over 14 million timelines without going insane and he holds on to his rationality. Hell, even the fact that he managed to keep count of all of them is impressive all by itself.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In his first film, Strange is shirtless for no apparent reason when he shaves off his Beard of Sorrow.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: With actions such as: keeping the broken wristwatch, his adherence to the Hippocratic Oath even when an enemy tried to kill him and his overall growing heroism as a Sorcerer, Stephen was always a good person deep down. However, his pride and arrogance have hindered him a lot early on: thinking about his next high-profile patient took his attention away from the road and led to the car crash. Dismissing the Ancient One's teachings as pseudoscience gets her to kick him out of the temple. Getting angry at Christine for pitying him damages their relationship too much, and they don't get together again.
  • Multiple-Choice Future: He uses the Eye of Agamotto to peer into the future to find an outcome where they come out winning against Thanos, sifting through over fourteen million probable futures and only finding one with such an outcome.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • He uses his Sling Ring to steal books from Kamar-Taj's library, and in The Stinger, uses magic to refill Thor's drink.
    • A line in Infinity War suggests he occasionally uses magic just to move his hair about (assuming he's not being snarky).
  • Nerves of Steel: Well, minus the ones in his hands of course. Doctor Strange might not be the strongest person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he is almost certainly the bravest.
    • As a surgeon, he can calmly extract a bullet lodged between a person's skull and spine with his own two hands and no mechanical assistance. As a sorcerer, he enters the Dark Dimension and proceeds to outwit the nigh-omnipotent tyrant of that realm. And how does he do that? By setting himself up to be killed over and over again for the rest of time if that's what it takes.
    • Facing down the Mad Titan himself, Thanos, (who, at that point in time, had four Infinity Stones in the Gauntlet) in a one-on-one. Even while turning to dust, Strange just calmly gives Tony some words of advice. After dying thousands of times at the hands of Dormammu, being turned to dust is probably the equivalent of a mild flu.
    • Endgame reveals that back in 2012, he continued to perform surgery even though his hospital was in the middle of the battle zone of the Chitauri invasion.
  • Never My Fault: After his accident, he blames the doctors for ruining him, apparently not even bothering with the fact that he himself is the very reason he ended up being hospitalized in the first place.
  • No Body Left Behind: Is disintegrated along with half the universe after Thanos completes the Infinity Gauntlet.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Strange takes great pains to remind people that he very much is that kind of doctor and has several different degrees to prove it. His most well-known and accomplished specialty is neurosurgery, but it's implied by the movie his talent, skill, and knowledge base allows him to handle a wide-range of techniques and disciplines.
  • Not What I Signed on For: His initial reaction after the Ancient One tries to title him "Master" of the New York sanctum. He rejects the title calling himself "Doctor" and cites the Hippocratic Oath. He realizes that the title carries the expectation of him defending the sanctum at all costs and he flat out says he's not going to do that again. Earlier Strange had even stated that he merely wanted to heal his hands, not save the world against mystic threats.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: In Infinity War, when he is about to disintegrate into dust, he uses his last breaths to calmly reassure Tony Stark that "there was no other way".
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When Endgame revisits the Battle of New York, Professor Hulk goes looking for Doctor Strange. The Ancient One reveals that he's in the middle of surgery. During the Chitauri invasion.
    • During the roughly 15 minutes between Hulk’s Badass Fingersnap (and his offscreen revival) and Black Panther first appearing through the portal, Strange would’ve had to coordinate his forces on Titan, the forces in Wakanda, the sorcerers of Kamar-Taj, the Asgardian army, the Wasp, and the Ravagers to have them all appear on the battlefield at the same time for their Big Damn Heroes moment. Again, 15 minutes.
  • Older Than They Look: Physically, he's only in his 40's. However, he's lived through countless time loops and traveled forward and backwards in time many millions of times over, meaning he's actually lived thousands, possibly millions of years.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Strange and Tony spend most of Infinity War trading insults, one-upping each other and barely working together. However after Strange looks into the future, he becomes notably friendlier to Tony even calling him by his first name. It's the earliest foreshadowing of Tony's fate, as Strange likely grew to respect Tony after seeing him perform his Heroic Sacrifice
  • Out of Job, Into the Plot: His origin story starts with him being no longer able to perform his job due to severe hand injury. He finds a new occupation for himself shortly after.
  • Outside-Context Problem: In Ragnarok, he briefly becomes one for both Loki and Thor, who were not expecting any powerful sorcerers on Earth. He traps Loki in a pocket dimension and takes his time to mess around with Thor.
  • The Perfectionist: A major part of his early jerkassery is his drive to keep a perfect medical record and a flawless reputation. It gets to the point that he refuses to treat patients if he believes he won't be able to cure them. The Ancient One even lampshades his fear of failure and how it drives him to excel.
  • Pet the Dog: A deleted scene has him bandage up a dog's broken leg on his way to Kamar-Taj.
  • Photographic Memory: Offhandedly mentions having it, which explains how quickly he learns stuff and get multiple degrees at once.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Strange is a big music lover, making a game out of identifying songs by their artist and year of release during surgery and naming a long list of singers with Only One Name while talking with Wong.
  • Pride Before a Fall: He was driving distracted because he was filtering his potential patients on his phone by "what would make me look good". This gets him into a car crash which ends his career.
  • Primary-Color Champion: His apprentice outfit is blue, the Cloak of Levitation is red and the Eye of Agamotto is gold. Add on the yellow gloves he is seen wearing in Thor: Ragnarok (like in the comics) and you have all three colors.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Tries this multiple times against the Ancient One, but only manages to succeed after he finds out where her immortality and much of her great power comes from.
  • Reality Warper: Against Thanos, Strange transforms a deadly black hole into harmless butterflies.
  • Real Joke Name: Strange isn't necessarily the best surname to have, and he at one point laments that he'll never be able to have a medical procedure named after him because of it. Also, when he meets Peter Parker in Avengers: Infinity War, Peter assumes that "Dr. Strange" is just his superhero name rather than his being a doctor (in the medical sense) with the last name 'Strange'.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Beating Dormammu by allowing the ageless Eldritch Abomination to kill him so many times that Dormammu gets bored, then desperate, and eventually begs him to be freed.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: According to Christine, he spends money as soon as he earns it. The fact he has a dozen luxury watches — and the fancy self-winding drawer to put them in — in his big, fancy luxury apartment in a New York City are where renting can be thousands of bucks at the low end. He quickly blows through his savings for treatment after futile treatment to fix his hands and, once his funds are gone, tries to put together a "small loan" of 200 thousand dollars for yet another treatment.
  • Riches to Rags:
    • As a successful surgeon, Steve leads an exceptionally cozy life, but he also has a reputation for spending money as quickly as he makes it. After the accident, he burns through his money quickly trying to find something that will completely fix his hands, and is seen trying to get a loan to fund yet another experimental (and therefore uninsured) treatment from Japan; as Christine says, he's spending money he doesn't have. By the time he arrives at Kamar-Taj, he is completely ruined, which is driven home when all he has to offer the muggers Mordo saves him from is the watch he's wearing. After that, he at least gains a sanctum of his own, which is still quite fancy on it's own, and very much loaded.
    • Continued in Infinity War where Strange and Wong are introduced arguing about how they don't even have enough money to buy lunch. Being a pseudo-religious order of sorcerers dedicated to protecting the world in secret evidently doesn't gain much income, though the fact that Stephen exasperatedly offers to pay for Wong's sandwich means that he's not completely broke and he still has enough to provide for himself and others. And we do see in Endgame he can afford a nice suit again.
  • The Rival: At first, he and Tony Stark had some kind of rivalry—same ego, but on the polar ends of Magic Versus Science, and he was willing to let Tony Stark die to protect the Time Stone. Later on, he went out of his way to give up the Time Stone in exchange for Iron Man's life, essentially entrusting Tony to finish things from there after he gets dusted from existence.
  • Sarcastic Confession: In his first film, Strange delivers a true while absurdly outlandish sounding summary of events to Christine at the hospital. She refuses to believe him.
    Strange: Well, a powerful sorcerer who gave himself over to an ancient entity who can bend the very laws of physics, tried very hard to kill me. But I left him chained up in Greenwich Village, and the quickest way back there is through a dimensional gateway that I opened up in the mop closet.
  • Scars Are Forever: A close shot of his bare hands in Infinity War as he hands the Time Stone over to Thanos shows that the scars from the numerous surgeries to repair his hands are still very prominent despite several years of healing.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Tries to leave Kamar-Taj twice in the middle of the movie. The first time when he realizes that he may actually have to fight the horrific interdimensional threats the Ancient One talked about and the second after he kills one of the Zealots and learns the truth about the Ancient One's immortality.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: At the end of the film, he sets himself up to do this to Dormammu: as long as they're trapped in a time loop in the Dark Dimension, Earth is safe (even if Strange is being repeatedly killed). Luckily for him, Dormammu is easily bored.
  • Seen It All: Having been violently killed by Dormammu hundreds if not thousands of times means that Strange barely flinches at cosmic-level threats that would drive any other Avenger to madness. He seems almost bored when dealing with Thor and Loki, and he's practically condescending when talking to Thanos (who has four Infinity Stones at the time) in Infinity War.
  • Skeptic No Longer: Strange quickly comes around to the "magic is real" camp after The Ancient One shows him a thing or two.
    Strange: Teach me...
  • Sleep Learning: He uses his Astral Projection to read books when he's sleeping.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He only has one scene in Thor: Ragnarok, but he led Thor and Loki to where Odin was, kicking off the rest of the plot.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: In Infinity War, engages in quite a few of them with Tony Stark.
    Strange: [Thanos] could destroy life on a scale hitherto undreamt of.
    Stark: Did you seriously just say "hitherto undreamt of"?
    Strange: Are you seriously leaning on the Cauldron of the Cosmos?
    Stark: [still leaning] Is that what this—
    [the Cloak of Levitation slaps Stark]
    Stark: [puzzled] I'm going to allow that.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: The most basic spells Strange have learned allow him to conjure undisclosed magic and solid light which he can shape into shields, whip towels, a scimitar and whatnot.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Stephen Strange, is a surgeon (until a forced retirement), and constantly insists that others refer to him as Doctor Strange, rejecting being called Mister or even Master Strange.
  • Story-Breaker Power: He's a Person of Mass Destruction who can fight against Thanos the Mad Titan on even footing after the latter had acquired four Infinity Stones. He ends up getting dusted out of existence by the Snap, but had he not then Endgame would have occurred very differently with much more ease.
  • Strategy Schmategy: He lasts quite a while in his first fight with Kaecilius simply by having no idea what the hell he's doing with the various artifacts that get involved.
  • The Stoic: By the time of Infinity War, Strange is on a level of power and scope so far above the other heroes that absolutely nothing phases him, tossing Thor and Loki, the gods of Asgard, around like they're unruly houseguests and even having a one-on-one conversation with Thanos himself. Even while being disintegrated, he doesn't flinch, yell, or beg.
  • Straw Nihilist: Strange dips into this trope during his conversation with The Ancient One by describing humanity as a series of chemical processes on a floating globe in a cold, uncaring universe while she's trying to convince him magic exists. The Big Bad later echoes this view of the world just to rub it in.
  • Take a Third Option: If there are two choices, Stephen can be relied upon to at least try to find a third one. His lateral thinking is arguably his greatest skill and what makes him so dangerous as an opponent. Interestingly, it is something he has to learn through Doctor Strange, as he ignores or doesn't think of other ways of applying his vast surgical knowledge after his hands are injured, like going into teaching.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: 6 feet tall, dark-haired, and possesses one of the biggest sarcastic streaks in the MCU.
  • Taught by Experience: While he received his basic training at Kamar-Taj, a majority of Strange's growth comes through fending off Kaecilius and eventually Dormammu. Notably, during his many loops with Dormammu, Strange lasts a fraction of a second longer with each loop.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In Infinity War, he and Tony Stark regularly argue on how to go about defeating Thanos. Much of the conflict comes from their similarities causing them to butt heads with one another.
  • Tempting Apple: When he learns about the Time Stone from the book he was not supposed to read, he tests in on an apple. Mordo and Wong arrive shortly after to reprimand him for attempting to break the space-time continuum and the laws of nature.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Implied in Infinity War, where he tells Tony that allowing Thanos to kill half of the universe, himself included, is "the only way", implying that this was the only outcome he saw where Thanos would be defeated. By Endgame, it's confirmed that this was the case.
  • These Hands Have Killed: After he's forced to kill a Zealot in self-defense, he suffers a minor Heroic BSoD.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: Strange insists that he is called Doctor rather than Mister. Played for Laughs with Kaecilius, who asks his name by saying "Mister...?" to which he corrects Kaecilius by saying "Doctor" leading the latter to mistake that for his surname and addresses him as "Mister Doctor". Strange tries again to amend the mistake with "It's Strange!" but that makes it all the more confusing when Kaecilius misinterprets him saying it was a strange name.
  • Thinking Up Portals: His Sling Ring is capable of opening portals to any point on Earth; a key tool of sorcerers in the MCU.
    • In his first film, he has so much trouble just getting started that the Ancient One abandons him on Mount Everest so he can Die or Fly. However, he gets really good at it really fast;
    • Within days he's skilled enough in its use to open portals with enough precision to swipe books from Kamar-Taj's library right under Wong's nose.
    • In Thor: Ragnarok, he's graduated to opening portals between points he's not even present at; Loki falls through a street corner into a dimension where he falls endlessly until Strange drops him into the lobby of the New York Sanctum. When the little troll god (who unleashed an army on New York) gets pissy at this treatment, Strange throws one at him with a casual "Bye-bye!"
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, he's able to LARP Portal, casually opening them so Spider-Man can Teleport Spam his attacks.
    • Upon being brought back in Avengers: Endgame, he creates several portals of varying sizes and locations to the Avengers' headquarters, including all the way from Titan where he's personally located, to bring nearly the entire universe's heroes to participate in the final battle with Thanos.
  • This Is the Part Where...: In his first film, he doesn't cope well with the loss of fine motor function in his hands, and lashes out at his former girlfriend Christine when she argues that he should stop chasing after a miracle cure and accept his disability.
    Christine: This is the part where you apologize.
    Strange: This is the part where you leave.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Claims this to the Ancient One and Mordo after being forced to kill a Zealot, angrily citing his Hippocratic Oath, saying he became a doctor to save lives, not take them. Neither is especially sympathetic, with the Ancient One claiming that it's his towering ego and desire to save himself that made him become a doctor, while Mordo simply calls him a coward for not having the spine to do what must be done. Strange maintains that it is possible to Take a Third Option and accuses Mordo of lacking imagination. By the end of his first film, he does not kill Kaecilius, nor Dormammu.
  • Time Abyss: Between dying countless times to Dormammu after weaponizing the "Groundhog Day" Loop, and living through millions of timelines where the Avengers fail to defeat Thanos, Strange has been around for a very, very long time. And those are just the time-stretching shenanigans that we know about.
  • Time Master: Thanks to learning how to harness the Eye of Agamotto, Strange gains the ability to control time, capable of rewinding it, pausing it, or creating an infinite loop. By the time we see him in Thor: Ragnarok, he's offhandly compressing time on the fly to speed his dealings with the Asgardians up, much to Thor's confusion.
  • Title Drop: In Infinity War, he drops the title for the sequel, much like his Foil Tony Stark did in the previous Avengers movie:
    Doctor Strange: We're in the endgame now.
  • Token Wizard: Doctor Strange is the only hero in the MCU's line-up who is versed in magic and sorcery, the closest thing beforehand being Thor, a Human Alien that uses a magical weapon (Mjolnir) and draws power from magic forces to enhanced his natural Super Strength. In Avengers: Infinity War, he is the only member of his group with any magical associations, the others either being Science Heroes (Tony and Peter) or aliens (Quill, Mantis, Drax and Nebula).
  • Took a Level in Badass: He's become very proficient in the Mystic Arts in less than two years, likely due to the fact that he can learn even when he's sleeping due to his Astral Projection.
    • In Ragnarok, he's much more proficient than he was in his debut film — he's able to get the drop on Loki, God of Mischief and someone with at least a thousand years worth of experience. He's even able to spontaneously transport people to different locations just like the Ancient One did with him. (Word of God notes that about a year has passed between the end of Strange's dispatch of Dormammu and his meeting with Thor.)
    • Infinity War showcases the full extent of the magical knowledge he's gained over the past two years during his fight with Thanos, who at this point has four of the six Infinity Stones. He can now partially summon the Mirror Dimension as a shield to protect him, turn miniature black holes into butterflies, create multiple copies of himself, and even summon what appears to be the film's version of the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. Moreover, while the likes of Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Drax, and Mantis kept Thanos from concentrating by using sneak attacks, it was Strange and Stark that were doing the heavy lifting. This is especially impressive considering that Stark had far more experience in fighting than Strange.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: As he trains with the Ancient One, he begins to lose his arrogance, becomes open to everyone and selflessly willing to die many times by Dormammu's hands to save Earth from being devoured.
  • Too Much Alike: He and Tony Stark share a strong mutual dislike of the other primarily because they're both Insufferable Geniuses and Deadpan Snarkers who are evenly matched in both capacities.
  • The Trickster:
    • In Doctor Strange, he defeats superior sorcerers by outwitting them and bending the rules of magic rather than overpowering them. The way he traps Dormammu, and smirks when he says, "Dormammu, I've come to bargain" when he can tell Dormammu is close to giving in, really cements it.
    • In the entirety of his appearance in Thor: Ragnarok, he spends the whole time trolling Thor and Loki. He teleports himself and Thor all over the Sanctum and causing the Asgardian to repeatedly fall over and crash into various things. As for Loki, he had him falling through a portal into another dimension as soon as he noticed his presence, returning him when Thor asked.
      Loki: I have been falling for thirty minutes!
    • In Infinity War, he openly wears the Eye of Agamotto around his neck for anyone to snatch it away, only to be revealed that it has a protective spell that burns Ebony Maw when he tries to take it by force. Later, Thanos successfully takes the Eye, only to smash it and reveal that it was just an illusion all along and that Doctor Strange had the actual Time Stone mystically hidden away in a pocket dimension.
  • Troll: By the time of Ragnarok and Infinity War, he's fully graduated to this, teleporting Loki into a bottomless pit and disorient Thor by teleporting him around the Sanctum Sanctorum. He even messes with Thanos - at one point during their duel on Titan, Thanos tosses a black hole at him, which Strange then promptly transmutes and tosses back in Thanos' face as a swarm of harmless butterflies.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • After waking up in the hospital, he only blames the doctors for ruining his hands instead of, y'know, thanking somebody for saving his life after a horrible accident he himself caused. Also, considering the amount of damage his hands sustained in the crash you'd think he'd be happy just to still have them, as amputation was a real possibility.
    • He possesses shades of this in Infinity War when Iron-Man and Spider-Man save him from Ebony Maw. His reaction is to accuse them of almost throwing him into space.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Hinted at in Infinity War. He never explains what his exact plan to defeat Thanos is, offering only vague reassurances that things will work out ("We're in the endgame now" and "There was no other way") when he hands the Time Stone to Thanos in exchange for Tony's life and they realize Thanos has won when people around them, including Strange himself, die by fading to ashes. Invoked and retroactively justified in Endgame. After he and other victims of Thanos's Snap return from the dead and join the final battle, he flat-out tells Tony what was only implied in Infinity War — that any version of events where he explained his plan to Tony and/or the others ended with it failing.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In terms of sheer power level, Strange isn't as strong as the other heavy hitters like Thanos, Captain Marvel, or Thor, but he doesn't really need to be. His Wizard Duel with Thanos in Infinity War in particular is a masterclass in watching a weaker sorcerer constantly adjusting his strategy and tactics to target the weaknesses and diminish the strengths of a more powerful one.
  • Weapon of Choice: As with the other sorcerers in the film, Strange has his own despite still being a relative novice. When battling Kaecilius and the Zealots throughout the film (as well as in his training scene with Mordo), Strange conjures some sort of weapon manifesting itself similar to a bath towel whip (at least in the way he uses it), while in the New York Sanctum, Strange briefly conjures twin shields with engraved shapes (emphasis on briefly). Of course, in the second half of the movie he uses the Eye of Agamotto as well as the below-mentioned Cloak of Levitation, which make him fare far better.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Invoked, in order to force an Eldritch Abomination to give up his plan of consuming the Earth.
    Strange: Dormammu, I've come to bargain.
  • What You Are in the Dark: At the very end of the film, Strange's hand hovers over his broken watch, the same one given to him by Christine, and contemplates using magic to repair it or possibly even turn back time to before his accident which would not only give him back his old life but a second chance with Christine. In the end however, he realizes using magic for such petty reasons wouldn't be worth the consequences and decides to leave it as is.
  • Whip It Good: Sometimes uses his magic to manifest an energy whip.
  • You Are in Command Now: While he doesn't become the Sorcerer Supreme he does become the Master of the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City.
  • You Are Not Ready: Does this to himself when he leaves the position of Sorcerer Supreme vacant, even though he has the potential for it.


The Cloak of Levitation

Appearances: Doctor Strange | Thor: Ragnarok | Avengers: Infinity War | Avengers: Endgame | What If...? | Spider-Man: No Way Home | Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Karl Mordo: The Cloak of Levitation... it came to [Strange].
The Ancient One: No minor feat, it's a fickle thing.

A cloak that enables its user to levitate. It possesses a mind of its own, and proves less of a tool, and more of an ally to Strange.

    The Cloak of Levitation 
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Cloak has always been associated with Doctor Strange, but it never had sentience and a cheeky personality of its own.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The Cloak is certainly sentient but it's still a piece of cloth, however magical. So it's unclear if it fades to dust along with Strange when Thanos snaps his fingers because it was on Strange's person at the time (when people are dusted their clothes go with them) or if it's considered its own living thing and just happened to be one of Thanos' victims.
  • Ancient Artifact: Like all relics, it's rather old.
  • Badass Cape: Literally. The Cloak is a bright red cape that can stylishly flow regardless of physics, and neatly wraps itself on Strange's shoulder. It is just as if not more badass than Strange, really — during its introductory fight, it deals with his enemies better than he does.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Strange originally acquires the Cloak by being thrown through its glass case.
  • Cloth Fu: In this case, the cloth is sentient and can attack on its own. Notably slapping them or wrapping itself around them to hinder them.
  • Dancing Pants: Capable of moving about without (and sometimes in contradiction to) Strange's will.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: When Strange is exploring the New York Sanctum, he passes it by as it lies crumpled in the corner of the room, and it flies up as if he piqued its interest.
  • Empathic Weapon: It's sentient, smart and very expressive despite having no human qualities.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a cloak that lets you levitate.
  • Expy: The Visual Effect Supervisor of Doctor Strange stated that the team looked at the Carpet from Aladdin, another magical highly-sentient floating piece of cloth, when hashing out the characterization of the Cloak and its relationship to Strange.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: The cloak hangs from the left shoulder, which is also where the bands of quilting on the back radiate from, leaving the right arm free for spellcasting.
  • Funny Background Event: While Strange is drawing a portal to the hospital, it can be seen in the background smacking around Kaecilius' goon.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: It can block close-range attacks with impressive speed, can detach itself from its user to protect them, has a working knowledge of the New York Sanctum's artifacts, and if it weren't for its seemingly mundane gift of flight, Strange would have died a few minutes into the Mirror Dimension chase.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, the cloak gives Ebony Maw more trouble than Doctor Strange himself, not to mention Wong, Iron Man, or Spider-Man. It even single-handedly prevented Thanos from using the Infinity Gauntlet.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: After Strange has a few tears after Christine ends their relationship and gives him a Last Kiss, it wipes them off his face.
  • Just in Time: Does it twice, each time saving Strange from death in the nick of time.
  • Killer Rabbit: How dangerous could a floating piece of clothing be? Just ask that Zealot how he was beaten into the floorboards for over a minute, or ask Drax how he was humiliated by it.
  • Living Clothes: The cape has a mind of its own, which is occasionally showcased and put to good use. Strange has basically a partner in battle who can assist him unexpectedly because almost no one can predict that a cloak could be sentient. For instance in Infinity War, the Cloak stalls Ebony Maw by making the unconscious Dr. Strange fly away with it, at least allowing Spider-Man to lend a hand.
  • Mundane Utility: It doesn't need any stand, and it puts itself on.
  • Mystical High Collar: A red one is part of the cloak.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: It can easily block Kaecilius' blade of magic, and has powers of its own.
  • No Body Left Behind: It disintegrates along with Stephen after Thanos snaps his fingers.
  • Not Quite Flight: It lets the wearer levitate.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: It clearly knows it, and rather than arrest the fall completely, it simply slows Strange's fall.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: It's rather picky, and Strange can only wear it because it agrees to it.
  • Power Floats: The cloak allows Strange to float in the air.
  • Sapient Steed: The writers have compared Strange's relationship with the Cloak to an inexperienced rider and an experienced horse: the rider may be the one nominally in charge, but the horse is the one who knows what's up.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: Was just sitting around in a display case until Strange showed up.
  • Silent Snarker:
    • It's clearly exasperated with Strange's undertraining-caused antics, and expresses it very well despite being unable to speak.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, the cloak is clearly annoyed at Tony Stark and Peter Parker, even shrugging in a huff and practically sighing when they become too engrossed in a personal argument.
  • The Speechless: As a cloak, it's unable to speak.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Occasionally upstages Strange himself. Several fans have come away noting that their favorite character from the movie actually turned out to be a piece of fabric.
  • Tranquil Fury: Gives this impression when beating one of Kaecilius's henchmen due to the whole "lack of a face and voice" thing.
  • Tsundere: If Strange is doing something stupid, it's quick to let him know of its disapproval and even physically restrain him (by the neck, of course, given how it's attached). But when he's upset, the Cloak can be surprisingly gentle and affectionate.
  • Undying Loyalty: As soon as its glass casing is shattered, it sticks by Strange through thick and thin. It even accompanies him into the Dark Dimension and endures repeated destruction at Dormammu's hands to help Strange enact his gambit.
    Tony Stark: Wow, you are a seriously loyal piece of outerwear, aren't you?


Video Example(s):


Doctor Strange - Astral Projection

Doctor Strange meeting The Ancient One for the first time and thinking she is full of it, he tries to call her out when she takes control of the situation by projecting him out of his physical form.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / AstralProjection

Media sources:

Main / AstralProjection