Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / The Incredible Hulk

Go To
Doctor Banner when he's angry. If you made him angry, there's a fair chance you won't like him at the moment.



The Green Goliath. The Jade Giant. Ol' Jade Jaws. The Creature. The Big Guy. The Worldbreaker.

The Jekyll & Hyde Superhero. The Unstoppable Rage Superhero. The Hulking Out Superhero.

The Strongest One There Is.

The Incredible Hulk is a Marvel Comics character, the embodiment of Super Strength, Unstoppable Rage and, of course, You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!. Emotionally-repressed scientific genius Dr. Bruce Banner, while employed as a weapons designer for the US Army, is exposed to a massive dose of gamma radiation in the process of saving teenager Rick Jones from a bomb test, and as a result now changes into a gigantic green musclebound personification of his own agitated emotional state whenever he loses his cool.

He first appeared in "Incredible Hulk" Vol. 1 #1 (May, 1962), created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. This original series was unsuccessful and was cancelled by issue #6 (March, 1963), but by then Lee had taken a shine to the character and he was used as a guest star in various series for the next few years. The Hulk got his second chance at solo stardom as one of the two features of "Tales to Astonish", issues #60-101 (October, 1964-March, 1968). The title was then renamed to "Incredible Hulk" Vol. 2. He appeared in issues #102-474 (April, 1968-March, 1999). Since then he has starred in several relatively short-lived titles.


The premise has undergone some considerable tweaking over the years, but the basic idea is simple enough: Hulk is to begin with super-strong, and his strength and durability increase exponentially the angrier he gets, making his power potentially limitless. He has handled the core of a black hole, held apart spheres of matter and anti-matter (never mind that Hulk himself is made of matter...), held together a collapsing planet, punched through barriers of spatial or temporal dimensions and occasionally overpowered cosmic entities.

Needless to say, all this complicates Dr. Banner's life quite a bit — it sure doesn't help that his great love Betty is the daughter of the Hulk's premier nemesis, General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross — and writers have generally run with that, famously playing with the idea of the Super Hero to great dramatic effect. While Banner is a good and conscientious man, the Hulk (in the iconic incarnation) is a creature of pure emotion who lacks his alter-ego's finer reasoning skills and thus cannot consciously choose to side with either good or evil, only recognize and defend those who've befriended him in turn. Thus while he gets into a lot of very violent fights, in the process running up the biggest Hero Insurance bill in the whole Marvel Universe, most of the people he beats up had it coming or otherwise made the mistake of provoking him. He doesn't actively seek out trouble, but the Marvel Universe being the Crapsack World that it is, trouble often finds him, for which he is inevitably mis-blamed. This doesn't do much to improve his disposition, as you might expect.


As probably the most physically powerful hero in the Marvel universe, the Hulk is normally matched up against Superman in Marvel/DC crossover events as he's one of the few Marvel characters who can go toe to toe with him on an even footing.

Other powers include:

  • Healing Factor
  • Resistance to telepathy — like his physical strength, corresponding roughly to his level of rage
  • Ability to see ghosts, astral forms, etc.
  • The ability to sense the exact spot where he was irradiated, and unerringly find his way back to the area. This was later revealed to be the Hulk sensing the corpse of his evil future self, the Maestro, who, in a clash between modern-day Hulk and Maestro, was sent back through time to the instant of the original gamma bomb detonation in a last-ditch effort to kill him.
  • Bruce Banner is the premier human expert on radiation - specifically, gamma radiation - in the entire Marvel U, with Reed Richards, Doctor Octopus and even Doctor freaking Doom admitting his superiority in that field. Not a power, as such but still pretty impressive, given that Richards discovers new universes regularly and Doom invented time travel. Bruce invented a time machine by accident, back when he was still employed as a weapons designer. One of the places his intelligence is taken advantage of is in the Lighter and Softer Marvel Adventures continuity, where he and Tony Stark are the scientific minds of the Avengers. It has also been emphasized during Greg Pak's Hulk run where Banner (temporarily) lost the ability to transform and made up for it with a bag full of gadgets.
    • This is often pointed out at a time where Banner is not available. "We need Banner." "Banner not home, can Hulk take message?"
    • The Indestructible Hulk series uses this as its driving plot point — accepting that the Hulk is just a part of his life, like a chronic condition, Banner is using his newfound time to work as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and develop new technologies.

Usually, Betty Ross, Rick Jones, or his cousin Jennifer can pull off a Cooldown Hug to calm him down. However, it's more often the case that General Ross attacks before he returns to his human form. This is so common, it has a trope of its own on this wiki that was previously named Hulk's Cooldown Hug Corollary.
The Hulk rarely teams up, but whenever he does he always plays the role of The Big Guy as he did on both The Avengers and The Defenders, though later with The Pantheon and his Warbound, Hulk got promoted to The Hero, with Ajax and living stone alien Korg taking over the roles of the big guy in their respective teams.
Many of the modern characteristics of the Hulk were created by writer Peter David during his ten-year-long stint on the title. For instance, Banner's abusive father and multiple-personality disorder were explored in greater depth during PAD's run (elements that were originally introduced in a Bill Mantlo story), which also elevated Rick Jones from perpetual sidekick to a Crazy-Prepared Badass Normal.

The two-year-long epic Planet Hulk by Greg Pak was a major game-changer. A secret superhuman council called The Illuminati decide to send the Hulk away, to a planet with no sentient life but plenty of plant and animal life. The Hulk is tricked into boarding a spaceship that will automatically travel to, and crash-land on, this place of exile. However, the ship goes off-course, and the planet he lands on is most decidedly not devoid of sentient life. It is a savage world, where slavery is common: the Hulk is put to work as a gladiator. With this as his jumping-off point, he soon ends up ruling the world, with a group of fellow freaks and exiles at his side and a beautiful warrior woman as his queen. However, this is Marvel - and even more so, the Hulk: happiness is transitory. Soon after his victory, the ship that brought him to the world self-destructs, killing the Hulk's wife and causing widespread ecological damage that will destroy the planet's ecosystem. Unknown to the Hulk, his unborn son survives (and his wife manages to come back from the dead for a while). The enraged Hulk and his surviving allies prepare another spaceship - intending to return to Earth to destroy the Illuminati. This part of the story is called Planet Hulk, and took place during the Civil War (conveniently leaving the Hulk out of the registration debate.)

The stage is set for the next major Hulk story: World War Hulk, where the Hulk arrives on Earth with a mind to punish the Illuminati for not only sending him away, not only miscalculating and screwing up their own plan, but through their incompetence, ruining him and his adopted world even after he'd found some peace and done so much good. He learned a lot while on his world, and his rage was possibly the most perfect it's ever been, with even the mightiest telepaths unable to affect him. The promise of this setup led to an Internet meme, taken from one for Civil War where fans could declare which side they were on: "Civil War: You're all fucked when Hulk gets back." In the end, however, Hulk's destruction was largely confined to New York City, and he didn't end up killing anyone, "just" causing a few billion in property damage and beating up some of the more prominent superheroes in the area. Which is hardly a "World War Hulk"; for the Hulk, that's... Tuesday.

This eventually led to Banner taking a level in Badass and the next event — Fall of The Hulks. Afterwards, inspired by the positive reception of the character in The Avengers, the Hulk was given a new, more heroic direction in Indestructible Hulk, working for S.H.I.E.L.D. in exchange for using his Hulk persona to attack enemies, and once again a member of the Avengers. It ended on a cliffhanger with Banner getting shot in the head, leading into the next relaunch, Hulk, as Tony Stark's attempt to cure Banner resulted in the creation of a new Hulk incarnation, Doc Green, intent on "curing" the other Hulks, whether they wanted it or not.

For the 2015 All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative Hulk was relaunched again as Totally Awesome Hulk, with Amadeus Cho taking on the role of his favorite hero following Banner's death in Civil War II.

However, Hulk/Banner's deaths never stick... and it turns out there's a reason for that beyond just the Healing Factor. Banner returned in Avengers: No Surrender with a new dimension to his eternal curse, and a new ongoing spinning out of the event, The Immortal Hulk.

One of Marvel's most iconic characters, the Hulk has appeared in a number of adaptations in various media. He is perhaps best remembered for the 70's live-action series The Incredible Hulk (1977), which starred Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk.

See the franchise page for more details on the adaptations

    open/close all folders 

The Incredible Hulk provides examples of:

    Tropes - # to E 
  • After the End: Two stories written by Peter David focus on the Hulk in post-apocalyptic futures with very different approaches. The first, "Future Imperfect," has him transported to a future time about 100 years in the future where society has fallen into a new Medieval-like setting ruled by the Hulk's future self, the Maestro. The second, "The Last Titan," which was part of Marvel's The End series, has Bruce Banner as the last man on Earth, having survived for more than two centuries after nuclear war wiped out mankind. In the end, Hulk gets his wish, and he lives to regret it. Al Ewing takes this to the next level in Immortal Hulk, showing a future wherein the Hulk is the last thing left alive at the end of the universe because he murdered all the rest while possessed by the One-Below-All.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: As Doc Green he downloaded his brain into an A.I which then betrayed him and tried to kill all the gamma-mutants instead of just depowering them.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: Just ask Caiera and Thundra. And Umar.
  • All Just a Dream: Most of Bruce Jones' run on the series was retconned as being a dream induced by Nightmare. Although the story introducing this twist left ambiguous what had been real or not, most future writers considered that none of it happened.
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: Changes, but usually Hulk and Banner do not share memories. Invoked in an issue of Secret Avengers: Banner is dropped onto a squadron of rampaging Iron Patriot drones, and when he reverts to Banner, he's arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D. as part of a plot to recapture the Patriots. He doesn't remember being recruited or fighting. This is partly due to the usual amnesia and partially because S.H.I.E.L.D. has memory-altering technology.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: He might be Earth's strongest superhuman, but in most cases he can't match cosmic entities - as Gaea, the Phoenix Force, Dormammu, Galactus, and most prominently Zeus have proven. It does work both ways, though: many super-strong aliens and even gods have arrived on Earth only to find that there's a Bigger Fish right here.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In the Tempest Fugit arc, it was revealed that the Hulk was originally an imaginary friend of Bruce Banner's, and implied that the Hulk was really an alternate personality. One day after Bruce was bullied at school, the Hulk took over his body and planted a bomb at his school. Bruce stopped the bomb but was expelled from school. Thaddeus Ross, impressed with how advanced the bomb was, offered to guide Bruce through his education. The end of the arc revealed Nightmare has been plaguing the Hulk for years with hallucinations, misdirections, and manipulations of reality. It is thus left ambiguous on whether the flashback we saw was real or fake.
  • Animated Adaptation: The first came in 1966, as part of The Marvel Super Heroes. He's had two TV series dedicated to him (one in the 80's and one in the 90's) both Cut Short, though both series retain small but faithful fanbases. Since then, he has had multiple appearances in DTVs and other Marvel TV series since then, most prominently Hulk Vs., Planet Hulk, and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!. The most recent one, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., aired on Disney XD and ran for 2 seasons.
  • Anti-Hero: Considering that the Hulk has a very "Hollywood version" of Multiple Personality Disorder, with a heavy dose of Depending on the Writer on top, it shifts wildly from incarnation to incarnation, individual interpretations thereof, and even deliberate Character Development. However, roughly speaking, the incarnations go as follow:
    • Original Hulk: Unscrupulous Hero. A grumpy outsider looking for a fight and responding violently when attacked, but staying out of people's way beyond that.
    • Savage Hulk: Knight in Sour Armor or Pragmatic Hero. Extremely noble, well-intended, loyal, heroic, constantly persecuted without understanding why, only wants to be loved and have friends, but cannot understand the society around him, protector of all oppressed peoples around the universe, will be inconsolable after watching Bambi or seeing a dead bunny, and strictly a force for good as long as somebody (like his former father figure Doctor Strange, or own, as opposed to Banner's, "greatest love of his life" queen Jarella) gives him a comprehensible direction. Basically the most pure-hearted and genuinely heroic version, and seen in The Super Hero Squad Show, but non-constructively constantly hunted like an animal due to his sheer scale of power without the maturity to handle it properly. Nowadays, tends to usually be treated more kindly by other heroes when he shows up .
    • Mindless Hulk in the crossroads: Unscrupulous Hero. A wild animal, but not inherently malevolent, and capable of instinctive loyalty or empathy.
    • Joe Fixit: Nominal Hero and Noble Demon. A largely amoral and hedonistic mob enforcer Villain Protagonist who mainly fought other villains, much like plenty of others within this trope. He also grew some conscience, such as grudgingly helping some children celebrate Christmas, turned loyal and protective of his friends, and towards the end apparently avoided using excessive force against army officers or similar attackers.
    • Merged Hulk: Knight In Sour Armor or Pragmatic Hero. Possibly the most well-adjusted incarnation, and genuinely proactively well-intended, actively dedicating himself to helping the world, without going to murderous extremes, and playing reasonably well with others. However, he had a What the Hell, Hero? Wolverine-style psychotic rage episode in issue 400, wherein he accidentally killed the Leader, supposedly the leftover "truly mindless Hulk", which briefly bumped him to type IV.
    • Bannerless Hulk: Unscrupulous Hero. Part of his mind was split from his body, and he started to largely act as the first Hulk did, although to a greater extreme, such as taking over an island for no particular purpose, although without harming anybody. Still, the army colonel pursuing him got wise on that this particular Hulk was different from the previous versions, was simply looking for attention, and caused less damage if the army stopped attacking him, so she told him off to his face, "left him alone" as he didn't really wish, and it worked out pretty well.
    • Green Scar: Roughly a Pragmatic Hero on Sakaar/basically a more responsible version of the original. Views are split about whether he was provoked into Unscrupulous Hero or Nominal Hero during World War Hulk (compare a sovereign nation being annihilated, and then strictly retaliating by going after those responsible, without any Hiroshima or civilian casualties involved), although due to extremes of very inconsiderate property damage, and still less bloodthirsty than the majority of pragmatic heroes.
  • Arch-Enemy: A toss up between the Leader, Abomination, Maestro, Brian Banner and Nightmare.
  • Arrogant God vs. Raging Monster: Every fight between the Hulk and The Mighty Thor is basically this. While most of them end inconclusively, and the question of who is strongest is left unanswered on purpose, the sometimes arrogant Thor can't stand how the child-brained Hulk keeps on proclaiming himself to be the strongest, and neither can the Hulk stand the idea of not being able to lift Thor's hammer. While it is true Thor possesses a greater variety of powers, the Hulk's ever increasing strength through rage keeps proving to make him more than a match for Thor.
    • The Hulk also gets this subverted with Zeus, Top God of the Greek pantheon (and thus a literal arrogant god). Despite warnings from Hercules, Hulk decides to mouth off to Zeus and give him an ultimatum: help his suffering family, or else. Zeus is so enraged by the insult that he converts his massive cosmic power into raw muscle just to humiliate the Hulk with brute force. The result is a Curb-Stomp Battle that leaves the Hulk broken, bloody and completely beaten.
    • Subverted depending on what version of the Hulk is fighting. As Bruce Banner has DDI and many alters, each Hulk has different traits. Joe Fixit is Weak, but Skilled compared to the other hulk as he's a cunning and dirty fighter, The Professor is a Jack-of-All-Stats while retaining Bruce's intellect, World Breaker Hulk is easily strong enough to best most gods but his power tends to be uncontrollable and dangerous to everyone around him, of course then there's... The Devil/Immortal Hulk. The Immortal Hulk is more like a god or a demon in that he has explicitly mystical qualities, has resurrective immortality, can be dismembered and still move his bits and pieces which will rejoin if free and close together, can see into souls and smell the lies on people, and is so strong he can crack Thor's skull and beat him with one punch. Then again it may not be a Subverted Trope in the immortal Hulk's case as he is very intelligent and enjoys Break Them by Talking along with being a Soft-Spoken Sadist to his enemies.
  • Asshole Victims: He's killed a few people in his time, but they usually really had it coming.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He's been the king of a surprising number of worlds. He was also the president of Australia in House of M.
  • At the Crossroads: The Incredible Hulk was banished to "The Crossroads" by Doctor Strange when he was "mindless" to a) get him away from Earth and b) let him choose where he wanted to live; but he never found a place he liked and eventually he was brought back to Earth.
  • Back from the Dead: Subverted during the Fall of the Hulk storyline, when it appears Glenn Talbot has come back. Eventually, Rulk reveals he's just a LMD. The real Talbot is still very much dead.
  • Badass Bookworm: Although there are plenty of people smarter than him, most famously Reed Richards and Doctor Doom, Banner is one of the most brilliant people on the planet, and in his primary area of expertise, radiation, he is totally unsurpassed on Earth, with even Dr. Doom admitting that he doesn't know as much as Banner does on the topic. When he sets his mind to it very little can get in Banner's way.
  • Badass Family: Hulk, his cousin/stand-in sister She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters; wife Red She-Hulk/Betty Ross Banner; children Skaar, Hiro-Kala, Lyra, and Scorpion; and father-in-law Red Hulk/Thunderbolt Ross.
    • At one point it was announced that several of them would officially become a team. Plus his friends Rick Jones (aka A-bomb) and Korg.
    • In addition his past serious committed relationships Jarella and Caiera were warrior-women (as was Thundra, but that was not even an affair). Umar the Unrelenting, queen of the Dark Dimension, made him her consort on two occasions. He also had a college fling with the AIM Scientist Supreme Monica Rappaccini, which means that he and M.O.D.O.K. were romantic rivals...
    • Betty also has a daughter, the benevolent mystical entity Daydream, due to being raped by Nightmare, but although the demon keeps up his creepy "children fathered through rape" tendency with Trauma and Dreamqueen, nobody has had an interest in reintroducing her yet.
  • Barbarian Hero: Most especially the Green Scar incarnation, but most versions of Hulk have shades of this at least.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: The Hulk is so big and strong that his fists are all the weapons he needs. He'd shatter or crumple his own weapon at the first swing, in most cases.
  • Battle Aura: Introduced with the Worldbreaker level of Hulk's strength.
  • Battle Couple: Hulk and Caeira. Occasionally Hulk and Red She-Hulk (Betty Ross).
  • Battle Strip: Tends to be reduced to tattered rags a lot. See Magic Pants.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: ...especially if you wish to die, because if you do, Mercy is never far! Fortunately, The Hulk never truly wished to die...
    • This trope is used in a few Hulk stories, like Hulk: The End, which shows the Hulk finally getting what he always wished for: to be left alone. Completely alone, not even Banner nagging in the back of his mind. He almost immediately begins to regret it.
    • The "Heart of the Monster" arc played this for all it was worth. It also pointed out that an enemy's wishes would rebound to Hulk's advantage.
  • Berserk Button: The big one is that due to the issues with his dad, both Hulk and Banner really don't like abusive parents, or bullies in general. The Joe Fixit Hulk also hates when someone compares him to the Savage Hulk, as the Blob found out to his sorrow.
  • The Berserker: The Hulk is practically rage incarnate.
  • Betty and Veronica: Bruce and Talbot. Chaos War would have Jarella and Red She-Hulk.
  • The Big Guy: The 1990s Animated Adaptation sometimes portrayed him as a type 2; Joe Fixit was a type 3, while in some of his more intelligent incarnations he qualifies as a type 5.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family/Dysfunction Junction: As badass as they may be, most of the core family members featured of late still have some serious psychological issues. Especially Betty.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Umar turned the Hulk into her personal sex slave in a Defenders miniseries. She was too much for him at the time, and the encounter left Banner without the necessary... enthusiasm... to Hulk Out. When they met again, he was in full Worldbreaker mode and equal to the challenge.
  • Blood Knight: An increasingly commonly applied character trait, the Hulk was originally an aversion. He held pretty true to the "just wants to be left alone" claim, not caring about the fights he got into. Later writers play the "left alone" as more of a hollow statement, with Hulk enjoying company, and extremely enjoying combat.
    • Highlighted in Heart of the Monster, where, confronted by Fin Fang Foom, giant dragon (who also happens to be green with purple pants...) who crushes the giant fish monster that Hulk, She-Hulk, and A-Bomb were struggling with moments before, the following exchange occurs;
      Fin Fang Foom: Who Dares? disturb the slumber of Him whose limbs shatter the mountains and whose back scrapes the sun?
      Hulk: Hah! Is it my birthday?
  • Book Dumb: Even though he lacks Banner's intelligence, the Hulk can show a lot of cunning when he needs to. And for a supposedly mindless berserker, the Hulk can still come up with some fairly creative tactics when he's in a tight spot. It has occasionally been noted that the Savage Hulk often emerges victorious simply because he's too dumb to quit. During a period where Banner was in control of the Hulk (not to be confused with the Merged Hulk—this was the separate, rational Banner persona able to change at will and control the Hulk form), the Leader tested this new incarnation of his foe and discovered that Banner-Hulk could be psychologically convinced that he would eventually be defeated and give up, and compared this to his Savage incarnation, who would have simply kept fighting with everything he had until physically restrained or rendered unconscious.
  • Brains Versus Brawn: The titular (Savage) Hulk (big, green, Dumb Muscle, The Big Guy) and one of his main archnemeses, The Leader, (tiny, green, Evil Genius), as he is a deliberate Evil Counterpart to the Hulk. The Hulk's true identity, Bruce Banner, is a skinny scientist who gains Super Strength from gamma rays whereas The Leader, Samuel Sterns, was a borderline mentally handicapped janitor who gains Super Intelligence from gamma rays.
    • The Hulk as Bruce Banner's Split Personality also qualifies since he is contrasted with Bruce Banner, who is an Insufferable Genius in the running for World's Smartest Man. You could say that all of the different personalities Banner has plays with this trope to some degree. Though all of them are, relative to the average person, far closer to Strength than Intelligence due to their shared Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability, some personalities (Merged Hulk, Grey Hulk) skew closer to the center of the spectrum, inheriting Banner's Book Smarts or developing Street Smarts, and others (Devil Hulk) lean even further into The Hulk's strength.
  • Brain with a Manual Control: One Jason Aaron issue shows the villain trying to take over the Hulk's mind. The Hulk's mind consists of a control console with a keyboard for Bruce Banner on one side, and on the other side a Hulk-sized Big Red Button labeled "SMASH!"
  • Breakout Character:
  • Briefer Than They Think: Despite nearly every adaptation of The Avengers prominently using him, Hulk was a member of Earth's Mightiest for only the first two issues back in the '60s, and never again until 2012 to capitalize on the movie.
  • Bully Hunter: As mentioned elsewhere, he really doesn't like them for obvious reasons... except for Joe Fixit who is one himself.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Are the people who pick on Banner or Hulk tired of living? Doesn't even make sense when the Hulk is disguised. Even Joe Fixit, the smallest Hulk incarnation, is over six feet and the other over seven. And every one of those incarnations are extremely muscular. So people pester a gigantic guy with bulging muscles whose done them just because..
  • Catchphrase: Hulk will smash puny catchphrase thing! Hulk smash! Also "Hulk is strongest one there is," "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry," and "Hulk hates puny Banner!"
  • Censor Shadow: Used heavily on Ultimate Hulk, who lacks Magic Pants.
  • Character Development: All personalities get with this.
  • The Chess Master: The Leader and Greg Pak's Hulkless Banner.
  • Clothing Damage: If you are a Hulk, you will suffer this indignity. Though depending on your fanbase, it may not be that much of an indignity.
  • Color Contrast: The Hulk, in his most iconic form, is green with purple pants.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Hulk is sometimes portrayed as this.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: The Ultimates redesigned Bruce Banner after the likeness of Steve Buscemi.
  • Complete Immortality: According to "Future Imperfect" and "The Last Titan" in combination he only ages up to a point, and according to issue #460 he will eventually be capable of regenerating even from atomisation. According to Immortal Hulk, even killing Banner won't work, as the Hulk will simply rise from the dead at night, and turn into Banner again come sunup.
  • Cooldown Hug:
    • Rick Jones, Jim Wilson, Jarella and Betty Ross can do this when the Hulk is especially irate.
    • Betty later lost the ability to do this when she became the Red She-Hulk. The Red She-Hulk form is Betty's repressed anger and inhibitions, and so releases those years of frustrations she has towards the Hulk. In her own words, she only makes him crazier. She later got it back after the Red She-Hulk form was cured.
    • Superman did this in the second Superman/Spider-Man comic, first by letting Hulk pound him in a Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object moment, after which Superman removed the sound-emitting bug that was giving Hulk an Unstoppable Rage, then reassured Hulk that he only wanted to help him - which Hulk believed.
  • Crapsack World: And how... Noticeably the Hulk was living in a Crapsack World version of the MU long before it became that for everyone else.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: During the Planet Hulk story arc, many of the natives of Sakaar believed that the Hulk was their Crystal Dragon Jesus, the Sakaarson. Then again, just as many thought he was their Crystal Dragon Antichrist, the Worldbreaker. After the Hulk left the planet, both of his sons were subject to the same debate. Considering that in Fear Itself Hulk becomes Nul, the Breaker of Worlds, it seems there is truth in both. Also, Adam Warlock's crucifixion and resurrection on Counter-Earth actually took place in a Hulk title.
  • Deadly Dodging: The Hulk's pulled this trick a couple of times, most notably against the Constrictor and the Absorbing Man. The first one was electrocuted when his metal whips struck an electric streetlight, and the second one shorted out when he was charged with electricity and the Hulk goaded him into hitting a large pool of water.
  • Debate and Switch:
    • Thus far, every attempt to separate Hulk and Banner into different entities has ended disastrously. On one occasion, it was determined that the physical split made Banner physically ill and that he couldn't live unless he combined with the Hulk again. On another, Doctor Doom performed surgery on his brain and cloned a body allowing Banner to exist as a separate physical person, which failed when the cloned Banner died. But far more often, it's argued that for all its faults, the Hulk and Banner make each other "better" people than either would be separately. In either case, the concept of whether or not separating the two would ever "free" Banner is almost always rendered moot.
    • Zigzagged with the Planet Hulk arc, which raises the ethical concerns of exiling a person to another planet (even an unstable Person of Mass Destruction), and especially doing so without any sort of trial or due process. The goal was to send the Hulk to a "paradise" world where no one would ever hurt him, he'd finally be alone as he always wanted, and have plenty of food. In the main timeline, the Hulk ended up on the wrong planet and the new personality that emerged (the Green Scar) developed a preference for that sort of Death World. Then that planet blew up, ending the debate of whether or not the Hulk/Banner would have been happier there. The What If? for Planet Hulk shows the Hulk's original destination would've been a good place to live, but Banner would still have done his best to signal for rescue. In the end, he would have decided to stay because of a unanticipated factor - namely, discovering a species that was on the road to developing full consciousness, and deciding to serve as their hidden protector as they evolved into humanoid form. However, it doesn't address the initial question of whether it was right to exile the Hulk in the first place.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: It happens every now and then. Some examples:
    • Hulk overpowered and punched Crisis Crossover Big Bad Onslaught (at the time on a level with a Cosmic Entity) so hard that it destroyed his physical body and caused a dimensional rift.
    • During World War Hulk, he also managed to beat Zom, arguably the most powerful known demon in the Marvel Universe, although later issues somewhat retconned this by stating that Doctor Strange was holding it back.
    • Hulk also ripped the galactic threat the Galaxy Master into pieces from within; and on another occasion handled the infinite power from the singularity of the core of a black hole; and on yet another ripped apart a weapon designed to withstand and kill the Celestials.
    • Then there is the time he blew out the mystical flames composing Dormammu's head by smacking his palms together. Dormammu wasn't out for the 10-count though.
    • He also on one occasion nearly cancelled out the power of the Order-Half of the In-Betweener, who can give Galactus a fight.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Bruce Banner inadvertently created the She-Hulk when he provided a blood transfusion for his cousin Jennifer. Partly due to not having multiple personalities she handles the transition much better than he did. There's also his daughter Lyra.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe:
    • Bruce Banner smoked a pipe in his first appearance, in The Incredible Hulk #1. In The '90s when Hulk had Bruce Banner's brain he also smoked a normal sized pipe, which for him was very tiny.
    • A one-shot character in the Hulk series was a brainy college student based very loosely on Richard Loeb; he smoked a pipe as part of his "smartest guy in the room" persona.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": The Hulk hates being called Bruce. Though, it's justified in that they are separate entities inhabiting the same body. This seems to be a recurring theme with Gamma mutates. The Leader also hates it when people call him Samuel Sterns.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. In Future Imperfect, one of the Maestro's slave girls has sex with the temporarily paralyzed (and unwilling) Merged Hulk. It's not made a big deal, and the word "rape" is never used, but Banner regards it very seriously, and mentions how helpless and out of control it made him feel. When talking about it with Doc Samson, he has trouble even articulating what happened, and it's not because he's embarrassed.
  • The Dreaded: While not a villain, the Hulk is typically treated as being as every bit as much a threat as any of the Marvel universe's major villains when heroes clash with him.
  • Dumb Is Good: Depending on the story. Many of the times Hulk clashes with the heroes is due to some misunderstanding or someone fooling him into thinking one of the good guys did him wrong.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The day-one Hulk wasn't just different from the Savage Hulk, he wasn't even much like the Gray Hulk is portrayed these days. He was Banner by day and Hulk by night regardless of his anger level - no Hulking Out at noon no matter how angry, no staying himself past dusk no matter how calm. As the Hulk he was similar to Frankenstein's Monster, whom he more closely resembled in the old days — he could be outright malevolent, though you could see how he was driven to it. He once nearly deployed a doomsday device he invented just because he'd had it with puny humans. (Yes, invented, as Hulk. Loss of intelligence meant things got harder, but he was still brilliant. With this Hulk's misanthropy, that's very bad.) Thankfully, Rick Jones, being close to the site of the disaster, gained a mental link with Banner that allows him to influence the Hulk. The world would literally have ended by issue three at Hulk's hands otherwise. He was less the hero and more Banner's Enemy Within, with tremendous (but not at current levels) strength, most of his intelligence, and a belief that those rotten humans did not deserve to exist. It was all Rick Jones could do to keep him aimed at the people chasing Banner, and bad guys they encountered, instead of... everyone.
    • The Hulk was also originally gray. According to Stan Lee, "Well, my first choice was gray 'cause he was a monster, he was supposed to be scary and I figured gray might be a scary color. But there was a problem. When the book was printed, the printer had trouble keeping the color consistent. So I had to use a different color and I figured green, no superhero I knew wore green at the time. So I said, 'Okay, let's color him green.' It was as casual as that."
    • The jump to Tales to Astonish changed the transformation trigger to extreme stress or elevated heartrate, not specifically anger. Also different early on was the trigger worked both ways. Hulk getting too emotionally worked-up would make him transform back into Banner.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Immortal Hulk introduced the One-Below-All, a thing so incomprehensible it has to take A Form You Are Comfortable With, and which Mephisto said was a fouler - and more powerful - being than even himself.
  • Embodiment of Vice:
    • The Hulk himself is wrath, of course, but there are more subtle examples in his various personalities - Banner classically dealing with issues of self-loathing and fatalism, for instance. Many of his classic foes have also been examples of the trope; for instance the Abomination is typically portrayed as an embodiment of hubris.
    • Peter David characterized the savage Green Hulk like a child prone to tantrums. Grey Hulk on the other hand would be the embodiment of pubescent desires. As Joe Fixit he worked as mafia muscle and led a hedonist lifestyle in Las Vegas: snappy dresses, fine meals, parties and booze, sleeping with beautiful women...
  • Emerald Power: Most victims of gamma radiation turn green on top of gaining superpowers - Hulk himself, She-Hulk, The Leader...
  • Enemy Mine: The Red Hulk storyline sees Rulk and Bruce teaming up to stop the Intelligencia's plot. Even more so when it turns out Rulk is General Ross.
  • Epiphany Therapy/Split-Personality Merge: Doc Samson uses this with Bruce to create The Merged Hulk. Ultimately averted, as Samson insists on following up with regular therapy sessions, and Hulk keeps skipping those. It might have stuck if he had followed the doctor's advice.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Abomination is another gamma-mutated monstrosity whose baseline strength was originally greater than the Hulk's (not true anymore for a long time). He was replaced by the much more dangerous Red Hulk. There are also Madman, The Maestro, possibly the Leader, and tangentially on rare occasion Mister Hyde.
  • Expy: Bruce Banner and Hulk began as expies of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, respectively.
  • Expository Theme Tune: from the 1960s cartoon, "Doc Bruce Banner, belted by gam-ma rays, turned into the Hulk..." As opposed to the Opening Narration to the live action TV series.

    Tropes - F to O 
  • Fanservice Pack: Hulk met Rick Jones and Jim Wilson while they were in their teens, but more than a decade passed and they grew into handsome, ripped young men.
  • Fantastic Medicinal Bodily Product: In a 1990s story, Jim Wilson, a former teen sidekick of the Hulk, asks him for a transfusion because he's dying of AIDS and thinks that the Hulk's blood will cure him, much like it made Bruce Banner's cousin Jennifer into the She-Hulk. He refuses.
  • Faster Than They Look: Characters often assume that the giant mass of muscle would move rather slowly. They have a tendency to be surprised and terrified when they see just how quickly he can carry all that bulk.
  • Fat Bastard: In Annual #14, the villain of the story is St John Hubert, a rich man so morbidly obese he needs crutches to walk. He's been stalking the Hulk and experimenting with gamma mutation in a vain attempt to improve his health. He succeeds in inducing a gamma mutation but just becomes an even larger blob of man so heavy he dents the hull of the ship he's standing on. He also ends up dying anyway, like the rest of his test subjects.
  • The Fettered: Hulk's full power is as good as always greatly restrained by Banner, as otherwise his slightest movement would destroy the world around him. This nearly happened at the end of WWH, and he is constantly trying to manage the destructive potential within him, so nobody comes to harm. In contrast, the Ultimate Marvel version of the Hulk is a downright scary version of The Unfettered. In every way that Ultimate Banner restrains or represses himself (which is every way), the Hulk cuts loose. For instance, Ultimate Banner is a vegetarian. Ultimate Hulk is a humanitarian.
  • Formula with a Twist: Hulk was the first major attempt to create a flawed costumed superhero. After learning that the monstrous The Thing was the most popular member of the Fantastic Four, Stan Lee decided to take the idea up to eleven and make a monster and less than a perfect hero.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The Savage Hulk. No, really. We've seen him get along with children and small animals and such. You won't like him when he's angry, but bad guys (and General Ross) just keep insisting on making him angry. Convince him you're not like them, or failing that, listen when he says "leave Hulk alone," and nothing has to get smashed.
  • Fugitive Arc: Given his penchant for massive destruction and poor publicity, a frequent story arc is Banner Walking the Earth on the run from authorities who want to capture the Hulk.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Occasionally his Magic Pants fail him and he's forced to battle in the nude; this is generally reserved for the more savage incarnations of the Hulk, especially when he's the threat, not one of the protagonists.
  • Future Me Scares Me: The Maestro.
  • Galactic Conqueror: Arm'Chedon, also known as Armageddon, leader of the Troyjan Empire and foe of the Hulk during his days with the Pantheon. Arm'Chedon was so busy conquering planets that he literally did not notice that he had two sons until one of them died on earth(the other was later killed in combat with the Hulk). Interestingly, his relative obscureness might have worked in his favor, as there's no sign that his empire suffered the massive amounts of destruction that Marvel's other galactic empires (The Kree, Skrulls, and Shi'ar) have in recent years.
  • Gathering Steam: Bruce Banner is an ordinary human and needs to be pissed off to even trigger his transformation into the Incredible Hulk, but even once he has transformed, the Hulk is unable to bring his full strength to bear right away, as it is directly correlated to his anger. The angrier he gets, the stronger he gets, and thus with every injury he takes, he gathers more and more steam.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: In Ultimate Marvel, the Hulk is created as a result of Banner's attempts to replicate the effects of the Super Serum that created Captain America, rather than radiation. It almost works perfectly; beyond the fact Ultimate Hulk is uncontrollable and, as Banner describes him in the Ultimate Hulk/Ultimate Iron Man crossover, a moron (he was supposed to have been as smart as he is strong), Ultimate Hulk is everything Banner set out to make him. He has Super Strength, a Healing Factor, Nigh-Invulnerability, and he can even subconsciously mutate to match requirements of his environment — this is most dramatically portrayed in the aforementioned Hulk/Iron Man crossover, where in the span of seconds he transforms himself to be capable of surviving on Venus.
  • Genius Bruiser:
    • The amount of genius varies on which personality is in control, although they have been known to borrow one another's skills if necessary. Even the Savage Hulk is a Combat Pragmatist who can use the environment to his advantage, and despite declarations, he is not just "HULK SMASH!"
    • It's on full display in the 1999 Roger Stern Hulk/Superman crossover, when Hulk quickly adapts to the fact that Superman is a) invulnerable and b) can fly, and uses various tactics that don't involve brute strength (such as spitting cactus needles at supersonic speed to bring him down.)
  • Gentle Giant: Sorta. In the regular comic stories, he's shown to (at times) be at least a Bruiser with a Soft Center. However, in many of the cartoons, especially the ones aimed toward the pre-teen or younger demographic, he's usually this.
  • A Girl in Every Port: Hulk has had many different lovers and wives, and he's fathered children with some of them. The main reason why he's had so many is Bruce Banner's constant need to stay on the run and find a place where he and the Hulk won't cause trouble or hurt anyone, but he still cannot avoid falling in love with a local. Also, a lot of Hulk's separate personalities consider themselves entirely different people, often disagreeing on which woman they consider their One True Love (if any). Gray Hulk, for instance, moved to Las Vegas and worked as a pimp and a bouncer, acquiring a harem of women in the process. On another occasion, Savage Hulk entered the sub-atomic kingdom K'ai and, after magically having the Bruce Banner personality become dominant in Hulk's mind, fell in love with princess Jarella, The Green Scar was forced off-world by The Illuminati and found a happy life on the planet Sakaar, along with his new wife, Caiera. On yet another occasion, an otherworldly deity named Umar took an enraged Hulk back to her dimension to make him her consort. Feeling there was nothing left for him back on Earth, Hulk allowed her to, although his ex-wife, Betty Ross, resented it and eventually followed Hulk to that world.
  • God Guise: In Incredible Hulk #384, the Hulk has been turned into an inch tall. He secretly perches on the Abomination's shoulder and pretends to be God to stop him from kidnapping his wife.
  • Godzilla Threshold: On a scale of one to ten, things have to be... really, really bad for "send in the Hulk" to be the plan you're down to. Sometimes in other characters' series or team comics, he's brought in because things are just that bad.
  • The Good King: During his time as the ruler of Sakaar. Also during his time as King of Australia during the House of M storyline, where he overthrew the mutant government and turned it into one of the last bastions of human freedom.
  • Ground Punch: This was in Hulk's arsenal of moves for quite a long time, but hasn't been seen in several years.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: While he's not exactly a bad guy, this is the reason he tends to get into so many battles with other superheroes. It takes very little to piss him off, so you're basically walking on eggshells when he's in your presence for the entire time.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Skaar and Hiro-Kala.
  • Healing Factor: As mentioned above and it's another power that increases in intensity with his rage.
  • Hero Insurance: The Hulk causes more property damage per capita than any other hero in the Marvel Universe, bar none. Oddly, he never causes casualties; the going theory in-universe is that Bruce's hyper-intelligence is subconsciously at work to ensure this.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: In fact, it would be very hard to find anyone in the Marvel Universe with worse publicity who could still be considered a hero. But you really can't blame anyone.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: At one time, the Hulk was hypnotized by the Ringmaster.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: In Incredible Hulk #142, Valkyrie holds the Hulk over her head.
    Every Male Chauvinist Pig in the world will Tremble...when he sees the Hulk hurled to his Death — by a Woman!
    • In one issue, Hulk does this to She-Hulk.
  • Hot-Blooded: There's a reason his catchphrase is "HULK SMASH!"
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Hulk and any human-sized love interest.
  • Hulk Speak: Hulk Trope Namer for Hulk Speak!
  • Hulking Out: Trope Namer again, any time Bruce's stress level gets too high. Hulk SMASH!
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Abomination received an upgrade, and turned into one of these. From Planet Hulk on, the Hulk himself has been slipping ever closer to this as he develops more mystical and metaphysical strength.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: A running theme in the franchise is how the only forces worse than the Hulk are those who are hunting him and/or the people who wish to exploit his destructive power such as Ross.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: It's obvious that the Hulk honestly does in a way want people he can call friend, it's just that he's been betrayed or seemingly betrayed so many times...
  • I Love Nuclear Power: This is how Banner became the Hulk in the first place. Immortal Hulk suggests one reason gamma radiation can spawn things like the Hulk is that in the Marvel universe, gamma radiation operates just as much by magical principles as it does by scientific ones, turning people into metaphors for their psychological issues.
  • I Work Alone: ...he constantly tries to convince himself that he's better off without them.
  • Immunity Disability: In one storyline, the Hulk gets poisoned and has to give a blood sample; however, the needles can't penetrate his tough skin. He resorts to hitting himself over and over again till he bleeds out enough to fill a test tube.
  • Improbable Weapon User: While his fists serve him perfectly well, the Hulk can and will use any number of handy tools to help him in a fight:
    • Construction girders;
    • Tree trunks;
    • Really big rocks;
    • A car as boxing gloves.
  • In a Single Bound: The Hulk's primary method of getting from place to place is using his immense strength to leap miles at at time through the air.
  • Insufferable Genius: As Doc Green.
  • Insult of Endearment: As The Nicknamer, Hulk tends to do this with his enemies-who-become-friends when in his Hulk Speak mode. Examples:
  • Interrupted Suicide: Banner's tried to kill himself a few times in the past; Hulk will always force a transformation to prevent it, however. Even when Banner finally manages to arrange a successful mercy kill in Civil War II, he still gets brought back again and again... and then discovers he'll always come back.
  • It Can Think: The greatest folly one can have when facing Hulk is to assume that he's completely mindless and dumb. He really, really is not, and can be quite cunning when facing against an opponent he can't immediately pulverize.
  • It Only Works Once: During a 2003 storyline where Bruce learned that he was suffering from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, he eventually received a cure from the Leader. However, this cure was only possible with gene sequences taken from Brian Banner and inserted into the Hulk's genetic structure by Scott Lang under the direction of Reed Richards, these new genes being integrated into Banner's physiology during the energy surge when the Hulk returned to Banner, making it clear that this cure would only work for Banner.
  • It's Personal: The Hulk is usually one of the Marvel heroes most averse to killing anybody. HOWEVER,
    • The demon Nightmare, however, is an exception. What did the villain do you ask? Well, in order, he drove Hulk mad and exiled him from humanity after finally being accepted; later killed his unborn child and raped his wife; later still turned his existence into nightmarish reality-distortions for years. Hulk's response? He ripped off Nightmare's head and stuck it on a spear.
    • There was no long lost love between Hulk and Abomination, but once Emil killed Betty, the two fights that occurred between them has Hulk literally caving his face in.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Hulk has this trope all over, but the relationship between Joe and Bruce has much more in common with the original tale.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Again, this varies from personality to personality, but at the least the Savage Hulk is usually gentle, helpful, and compassionate when not provoked, and won't bother you if you don't bother him. Joe Fixit is the exception, being a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Practically all of the people the Hulk beats up typically brought their fates on themselves.
  • Killer Robot: At one point, the Leader made a robot to kill the Hulk, which he titled... Hulk-Killer. Spoiler alert: It did not kill the Hulk.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: This is really highlighted in his Chaos War tie in, when Doctor Strange tells him that the world needs his help;
    Hulk: The world'll get it. Like it always does. But you can go to hell.
  • Knockout Gas:
    • One of the most consistent ways of defeating the Hulk, at least on those occasions when he doesn't remember that he can hold his breath for hours. As the Hulk isn't all that bright, this is not infrequent.
    • Jeph Loeb's run had Bruce put in a prison where if he ever tried escaping, his room would flood with gas. What the people who made the cell didn't count on was Bruce being able to hold his breath long enough to hulk out.
    • However, if he gets too angry his metabolism will dispel it completely.
  • Last-Name Basis: With more intelligent versions of the Hulk, he tends to be on this with people he doesn't nickname. This is especially common with The Thing, who he calls Grimm, and General Ross, his own father-in-law. In World War Hulk, he was on Last-Name Basis with everybody except the Sentry. He also generally calls Wolverine "Logan".
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Various heroes have been unlucky enough to cross the Hulk's path, including Spider-Man, Daredevil, Iron Man and the heroes who make up part of his regular rogues' gallery (see below). It's not an experience any of the other guys would care to repeat.
    • Lampshaded during the Marvel Knights crossover storyline, where Hulk (in Smart/Banner/Merged Hulk form at the time) accidentally bumps into Ghost Rider while strolling through the park at knight. Hulk outright says "Let me guess, this is one of those times two heroes meet, there's a misunderstanding, and they end up fighting before they realize there's a bigger threat and should work together, right? How about we just skip to the end?" Ghost Rider, fully possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance and only seeing the (accidental, collateral) pain Hulk has caused, doesn't go along with the plan.
    • Wolverine got started as a character created to be a Canadian hero sent to fight the Hulk.
    • Hulk Vol. 3 begins with a particularly forced example. Iron Man, She-Hulk and Doc Samson are investigating the Abomination's murder when the Winter Guard shows up and tell them to buzz off. She-Hulk, a trained lawyer, starts a fight for no real reason. Only the fact that a little girl shows up to distract both parties stops Jennifer from starting a potential international incident.
  • Lighter and Softer: For roughly half of the 90s.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Hulk's not just huge, he's fast. This is the first mistake most new enemies of his make when they meet him.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With She-Hulk. They're cousins, but they treat each other as siblings. They're pretty protective of each other.
  • Logical Weakness: Many.
    • Averted in terms of being a Mighty Glacier. Despite the extra size and mass of the Hulk's body, his muscle and physical tissues over-compensate for it, meaning that he gets faster and his overall body performance improves regardless of how much more muscle and power he gains.
    • Hulking out does increase his weight, which is a weakness that can be exploited if one can compromise his physical power, which otherwise compensates for the increased mass.
    • The Hulk's abilities are based on body performance, which means that anything which disrupts this (cutting off his oxygen, paralysis, major injury, etc.) can defeat him. However, there's a two-fold problem with this. First, the amount of dosage or time needed to exploit such a weakness is on a scale that isn't easy to implement. Second, Hulk's body heals and adapts to such problems, meaning that any injury sufficient to hurt him will disappear in seconds and any gas which worked only minutes ago likely won't work a second time.
    • Since Hulk's powers are fueled by mood, adrenaline and radiation, removing any one of these fuels will rapidly deplete his power levels.
  • The Lost Lenore: Jarella (and Betty, until she came Back from the Dead).
  • Loners Are Freaks: Played with in the cases of both Bruce and the Hulk. Both personalities are loners who feel they're best left to their own devices, but for different reasons. While they do have friends in the Marvel-verse, many characters consider them both freaks of nature and ostracize them.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: Being in love with the emotionally withdrawn Bruce Banner is tough enough already, but his onetime wife Betty Ross was often driven away by his Hulk alter ego.
  • Love Transcends Spacetime: Jarella
  • The Mafia: Joe Fixit worked for a mafioso casino owner at one point, serving as his bouncer and all-around enforcer.
  • Magic Pants: Quite possibly the Trope Codifier.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Really, Banner's troubles with his Hulk condition could have been avoided from the beginning if he simply sent guards at the base to get Rick Jones out of the Gamma Bomb blast zone in the first place instead of going himself.
  • Merry Christmas in Gotham: An issue dealt with Rhino and Hulk teaming up to be Mall Santa and Helper.
  • Misblamed: In-Universe, the Hulk is frequently blamed for the damage his fights cause, even though he's rarely the one who started it.
  • Modesty Towel: In Hulk Vol. 2, minor villainess Sandra Verdugo gets to wear a towel several times, one time she even threw it at her partner's face while teaching him about how her The Vamp routine works.
  • Monster Modesty: Hulk is the main offender but many of his enemies (Abomination) or his allies (Skaar) utilize this trope.
  • Monster-Shaped Mountain: In #261 Hulk battles the Absorbing Man on Easter Island. The Absorbing Man absorbs the Earth itself, but then Hulk bashes him into the sea, where he becomes a small, man-shaped island.
  • The Most Wanted: The Hulk usually becomes the most wanted, especially in his beginnings when he was an uncontrollable monster that only made havoc and before he converted into a superhero by joining The Avengers and other hero groups.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Well, the Hulk is a large, super muscular male prone to running around shirtless.
    • The Merged/Professor Hulk and Bruce Banner especially, since the Hulk's attractiveness always depends on the artist, but these two personas are always drawn as considerably good-looking and in good shape, with Banner being left shirtless due to the transformations. Banner has been acknowledged in-universe to be quite attractive by several woman, and the Hulk has has multiple admirers in alien worlds.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Joe Fixit enjoys fine clothes, fine food, and even fine women.
    • A side trait of Ultimate Hulk as well, due to his Banner's unrestrained Id. Most notably, when Wolverine tracks him down in Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk, he's surrounded by a huge harem of scantily-clad Tibetan women and makes it obvious he's been having sex with them.
  • Mugging the Monster: Sometimes the Asshole Victims don't recognize Bruce Banner until it's too late...
    • And as many found out to their misery, Bruce Banner isn't helpless either.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: The Hulk is among the strongest individuals in the Marvel Universe, and is ripped as hell.
  • Mythology Gag: In Ultimate Marvel, Betty Ross becoming the Ultimate She-Hulk could be seen as this, given Betty had a brief stint as a gamma-powered monster called the Harpy before her Comic Book Death and is now the Red She-Hulk in the mainstream universe.
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: Michael Bertinelli, the Mafia-tied casino owner who employed the Hulk as a bouncer, wasn't particularly amoral for being a gangster. In discussions with a rival gangster who wanted to muscle in on his territory, Bertinelli alluded to the "friendly understanding" with the local police, wherein they agreed to leave him alone in exchange for his not stepping beyond an accepted limit of behavior. Bertinelli even prevented the Hulk from killing the rival gangster after he'd been kidnapped, drawing the line at murder.
  • Never My Fault: The epilogue of "Heart of the Monster" has Bruce realize to himself that one of the reasons the various Hulk personas exist is to shift blame to one-another. For example, Hulk blames Bruce for being too weak to save their mother from their abusive father, as well as the numerous times he's screwed things up with science. Bruce blames the Hulk for acting out Banner's most destructive thoughts and feelings (especially since each Hulk acts out different feelings). Thanks to these transformations, all of them can continue shifting blame to one-another rather than accept that they're all the same person and thus the failings are shared amongst them all.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Whenever Hulk ventures into Man-Thing's swamp, he is attacked by alligators.
  • The Nicknamer: Hulk's generally not good with names, depending on the incarnation. Sometimes it's out of lack of intelligence, others out of lack of respect, and others it's a sign of affection. Iron Man is usually Metal Man or Tin Man (or Tin Head), Thor is usually Blondie or Goldilocks, Sentry is Golden Man.
  • Nighttime Transformation: In his first few appearances and in his Joe Fixit and Immortal personas. It got changed to anger-induced after his appearance in Tales to Astonish, but every so often, it comes back. However, Joe has managed to manifest by day in Banner's body, and the Immortal Hulk seems to be gaining more and more resistance to the light of day...
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Shrugs off ground zero nuclear explosions, planet-splitting impacts, or solar temperatures, and swiftly heals virtually any damage beyond that point. This even extends to extreme resistance to mind-control or molecular manipulation of his body, and some adaptive evolution to build greater immunity or adapt to hostile environments. Even on those occasions when he is vulnerable enough to have a body part removed, he can either regenerate it or reattach it.
    • Hulk is resistant to magical attacks as well. The various Ghost Riders using Hellfire on him is nothing but an annoyance. To even make him register damage, the Ghost Rider spirit needed to take over.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Zeus vs. the Hulk. The god wins, enough so that only Hulk's Healing Factor keeps him alive long enough to be rescued. Hulk himself has been handing these out like candy for years.
  • Nominal Hero: The Hulk is frequently one of this, most notably in his Savage and Joe Fixit versions. While they (generally) fight villains who piss them off (and also fight other heroes who do this too), their doing so still often does a world of good by thwarting the villains' plans.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The threat of the Hulk can be more terrifying than his actual presence. Issue #34 (from 2002, despite the low number), written by Bruce Jones, does a masterful job of this. We see Banner, but never the Hulk, other than Banner's eyes turning green as he's about to change. The results of the Hulk's actions, seen afterwards, have far more impact than seeing him in action.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Originally, Banner's Hulk condition was a secret and all the US Military suspected was that Banner was somehow a compatriot of the monster. Unfortunately, Rick Jones later mistakenly thought Banner was dead and told Col. Glenn Talbot everything. With that, Banner's life really goes to hell with him becoming a fugitive.
    • Jason Aaron's run on the book decided it had to one up all earlier status quo changes by separating the Hulk and Banner into two separate entities, driving Banner to do anything he can to be one with the Hulk again to the point that he basically becomes a mad scientist figure and makes a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Odd Friendship: Bruce develops one with Maria Hill in Indestructible Hulk. Although they disagree on most things, he likes that she always gets him back whenever he messed with her. Might cross over into Unresolved Sexual Tension.
  • Offing the Offspring: The Green Scar persona is initially extremely angry with his son Skaar, for causing the death of his mother Caiera. In contrast, Skaar's initial motivation was to become a Patricide. They both mellowed out eventually.
  • Oh, Crap!: Is Hulk coming your way? Is he angry? Then it's too late to run.

    Tropes - P to Z 
  • Papa Wolf: May there be mercy upon you if you injure or threaten anyone the Hulk considers a friend. This also goes for anyone who harms his son. To the point where Bruce - not the Hulk, but Bruce - promised to kill Steve Rogers if he killed his son Hiro-Kala, who for the record was trying to crash a Mars-sized planet into Earth at the time.
  • Parental Substitute: Doctor Strange tends to provide the Hulk with occasional sanctuary and regular advice.
  • Pedestrian Crushes Car: You'd have to be pretty dumb to think the Hulk can be taken out by cars that are smaller than him, yet characters still try.
  • Perma-Shave: Hulk no grow puny facial hair! Hulk punch scruff and beard!
    • Averted in Peace in our Time, right before Planet Hulk. Living in the wilderness Banner sports a long beard so Hulk has one as well.
    • Indeed, Hulk sported stubble throughout Planet Hulk, and has had a fair bit on and off since then. The merged Hulk would occasionally go unshaven during the nineties, and the Maestro had a full on Beard of Evil.
    • In The End Banner mentions that he bothers with shaving just so that with his greyed hair he wouldn't have Maestro staring back at him from every reflection as Hulk.
    • His Doc Green persona grew a beard after dreaming of becoming a Maestro, and when he turned back into Banner he still had the beard.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: So very, very much.
  • Personal Hate Before Common Goals: In the story "The Evil that Men Do", this happens to our titular protagonist. The dark side of a man that presents himself on a Mr. Hyde manner called the Stalker, tries to convince the Hulk that they are the same, and that like him, he should try to also experience the joy of peaking apart those weaker than them. When the Stalker tries this first with a teenage girl, Hulk refuses. But later, when he tries the same with a bunch of criminals that had eluded punishment for their crimes, the Stalker seems to have convinced him. Only for the grey goliath to turn on him, saying the Stalker is the one he wants to tear apart. Not because he cared about the thugs. Not even because he cared about the girl. He cared little to none about them. No. He is going to do it, simply because he doesn't like him.
  • Post-Mortem Comeback: After the Leader died (circa #345) and before he came Back from the Dead, he implanted his memories into a loyal follower who had a similar gamma-induced mutation to him.
  • Power Born of Madness: What the Hulk runs on, and heavily implied to be the reason that Banner not only survived the detonation of the gamma bomb, but why the Hulk is so much more powerful than most, if not all of the gamma mutates that have come before or since. His already fractured psyche created a monster based on the trauma he received as a child, and the personae emerged from different stages of his life that Banner denied himself the person he wanted to be (Savage-the angry child; Joe Fixit-the late adolescent, etc.). Adding to this, his long-suppressed rage gives the Hulk the ability to get stronger when he gets madder. Also explains his more varied abilities, like being able to see ghosts, as Banner always feared his long-dead abusive father would come back to torment him again.
  • Power Limiter: Almost always strongly on, except against certain high-level Cosmic Entity characters, as otherwise he could accidentally ignite reality-spanning destruction. He even once did just that, when in the Crossroads dimension. He might have done a lesser variant when in Umar's Dark Dimension as well.
  • The Power of Love: It turns out that since Hulk's power is emotion-based and quasi-mystical in nature, the love he felt for Jarella makes her even more powerful after dying than his father's spirit turned from his rage. His mother also said that she by far preferred his more moral wife Jarella to his other wife, the Blood Knight Red She-Hulk.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: The Hulk and several of his friends and enemies.
  • Radiation-Immune Mutants: The Hulk and his Rogues Gallery.
  • Really Gets Around: Although far less than his cousin, Hulk does get more affairs than expected for a giant, hulking ball of pain. From Betty, Meriam (a siren), Jarella, Bereet, Kate Waynesboro, Marlo, Caiera, and the college girlfriend that he saved from being unlawfully contained in an Amnesty International condemned US prison; to being desired by Thundra, the other college fling Monica Rappaccini and Umar (TWICE)... Not to mention Joe Fixit who probably had ten times as much sex as all the other incarnations put together. Lampshaded by Red She-Hulk, in those Exact Words. He even has a couple of kids as a result of this (at least Jen uses birth control, it seems).
  • Resist the Beast: Banner, especially in cases where Hulk is portrayed the most destructively and as a huge detriment on his life, does so regularly.
  • The Rival: Thor will always be the big one, as they are Marvel's two heaviest "Big Name" hitters, and sometimes one of them wins, sometimes the other, but usually it somehow ends up as a draw. Basically Hulk has a lot more raw power and durability, so he should have the edge in pure close combat, despite a considerable skill disadvantage, but if Thor ever started to use all of his myriad powers in ways Hulk couldn't counter then there wouldn't be much that Hulk could do about it. Still, the thing is that Thor and Hulk get along swell with each other when not fighting, or when watching each other's back, starting back in Secret Wars (1984).
    • Namor has a personally perceived rivalry with the Hulk, but while he has been able to knock out the Hulk underwater in older stories, nowadays he is just vastly out of his league. Wolverine and the Thing also have a bit of this going on, but both of them are technically vastly overpowered. The Thing's durability and sheer tenacity mean he's still commonly used for slugfests with the Hulk, though. If you count villains, then Red Hulk and The Juggernaut also fit this role.
    • In crossovers with DC, the Hulk always gets in a fight with Superman.
  • Rogues Gallery: The Hulk has a really big one, including the Leader, the U-Foes, the Abomination, the Glob, the Rhino, Speedfreek, the Bi-Beast, Rock, Redeemer, the Gamma Corps, Constrictor, Boomerang, Madman, the Wendigo, Piecemeal, Absorbing Man, the Juggernaut, Mercy, Mister Hyde, Red Hulk, and ZZZAX. The Hulk also stands out in that he regularly clashes with a number of other heroes, including Thor, Wolverine, and The Thing.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant:
    • Some of the Hulk's recurring enemies, like the Juggernaut, and Absorbing Man, originally started out fighting other foes (and those two still do on a regular basis). The Big Green Machine also tangles with other heroes' enemies every now and again, even if they don't become permanent fixtures.
    • Ever since The Defenders introduced Umar (a Doctor Strange villain) as a Stalker with a Crush for the Hulk, she's been added to his list of foes and romantic interests.
  • Second Super-Identity: Early in Peter David's run, the Hulk is caught in the middle of a gamma bomb explosion and presumed dead, but he ends up hiding out in Las Vegas as a mob enforcer calling himself Joe Fixit. This ends up being the gray Hulk's all-but-official name.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: The Alternate Future story "Hulk: The End" concludes with the Banner part of the Hulk dead and the savage personality trapped alone on a nuclear-ravaged Earth with nothing to look forward to except wandering aimlessly and being daily devoured by gigantic mutant cockroaches from which he always heals. Hulk could have died with Banner or die at any time by reverting to Banner. But the Hulk's own stubbornness at admitting weakness ever, viewing dying as a form of defeat or weakness, the idea he needs someone else, or being anything less than the "strongest one there is" would in his mind mean his old, dead enemies triumphant over him means he is trapped in a hell he could escape at any time.
  • Shockwave Clap
  • Shooting Superman: Hulk gets this even more than Superman does, most often from General Ross.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • During the Future Imperfect storyline, during the final showdown between the Hulk (in his "Professor" incarnation) and the Maestro, the Maestro insists that he knows every move that the Hulk can make. The Hulk simply says "Sing soprano, motor mouth!" and punches Maestro in the groin.
    • During the first Red Hulk storyline, the Red Hulk berates the Savage Hulk as a "brainless coward" who doesn't have what it takes to beat a ruthless opponent who will stop at nothing to win. The Hulk bites back with this:
      Hulk: Red Hulk thinks Hulk is stupid. Red Hulk hurts everybody. Red Hulk likes to kill. Red Hulk is bad Hulk. Green Hulk stops Red Hulk here!
  • Single-Power Superheroes: The Hulk's potential levels of physics-defying sheer strength are unmatched among other superheroes; but it is also his only offensive power. Some readers think of the Hulk's victories over characters with a much wider powerset, such as Thor, the Sentry, and Gladiator, as Plot-Induced Stupidity.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: According to one source, Hulk's ideal relationship is a hillbilly Masochism Tango with a woman so strong that he won't hurt her from beating her up, and vice versa...
  • Sliding Scale of Antagonist Vileness: The Maestro: Social Darwinist: "How did you get to be in charge Maestro? By talking your opponents to death?" "No, by beating them to death, and it all went so quickly that I'm sorry I didn't prolong it." "You're fighting the inevitable, Hulk. I'm simply the final product of natural selection. The strong survive. I'm the strongest. I survived. When you go against me, you go against the laws of nature."
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: The Leader's time machine.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": You might notice most times it's "The Hulk".
  • Stalker with a Crush: Madman, in an Ax-Crazy vaguely-romantic fashion, which is why he isn't seen much.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Dr. Banner actually pulls this on Commissioner Gordon in the Hulk/Batman crossover. Gordon seems to inspire this from everyone.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Hulk basically has this ability as an actual power. In one moment he's punching out a cosmic entity, and the next he has trouble with Captain America or Wolverine.
    • In at least one encounter with Cap, the star-spangled Avenger himself notes (via Inner Monologue) that, though Cap is thoroughly outclassed in sheer strength, the Hulk still has all the weak spots and vulnerable pressure points inherent in a human body, and Cap is just strong enough to be able to strike those with enough force to affect the Hulk. It should be noted though, Hulk laughed off his attempt. Other much more powerful opponents like Temugin, Valkyrie and Black Bolt have had much better luck doing so.
    • Memorably displayed during Marvel's Secret Wars (1984) limited series, when the heroes are trapped under a mountain range with the Hulk (barely) keeping them from being crushed. As the Hulk starts to weaken, Reed Richards begins insulting him for being useless Dumb Muscle, which irritates the Hulk to become stronger. Of course, considering that he nowadays (somehow... look he can punch through reality, just go with it) holds together collapsing planets even when calm...
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: According to his profile on, the Hulk has a gland in his lungs that requires very little oxygen to function. This is not only why he can hold his breath for a long time in space (in fact, he can TALK in space when he needs to), but he can also extract enough oxygen from water to breathe under the water's surface!.
  • Super Prototype:
    • In a way, the Hulk is this for the other gamma mutates. Hulk is the first, even though he was created by accident. The others (Leader, Abomination, Madman, Ravage, Red Hulk) were created either by recreating that accident or copying his DNA. Some, such as Abomination and Ravage, have higher base-line strength than the Hulk, and most other gamma beings retain their intelligence(though not necessarily their full personality) while transformed, which could be considered improvements, but the Hulk's potential strength and secondary powers, as well as a somewhat intangible quality that makes the Hulk seemingly impossible to permanently cure, has shown that the Hulk, while flawed, is the most powerful gamma being created.
    • Although Doc Green (yet another Hulk persona) once stated that She-Hulk is the Hulk's Superior Successor. The rest of the gamma crew are all a mess in one way or another, with their power and potential squandered by their psychological issues. But Jennifer has proven to be the most stable and heroic of them, which is why she is the only one he doesn't De-Power.
    • It's hinted in Al Ewing's run that the Hulk may hold a different position vis-a-vis gamma radiation than the mutates who came afterwards, being associated with the idea of the keeper of the gamma door.
  • Super Rug-Pull: This is one of his special moves in any Capcom fighting game he's in. He actually did that once in a comic to a battalion of tanks.
  • Super Strength: The only time his upper limit was measured, by the Beyonder, it literally rated as having "no finite limit" by 3-dimensional standards, after which the entity stated that he considered Hulk as a fellow infinite being.
    • Ties in with Strong as They Need to Be. If Hulk needs to be X strong to lift Y object or punch Z bad guy, he magically is because he just happens to be that angry.
    • One memorable occasion was in issue #440, when he pushed a 10x stronger than normal, warrior's madness-enhanced, completely berserk/definitely not holding back Thor, towards the ground by using a single arm.
    • Other occasions include destroying the Stranger's force-field, which was able to move the orbit of a planet, destroying the Dark-Crawler's pocket universe, repeatedly destroying a self-healing planet in the Dark Dimension, breaking free from a power-draining machine which the Silver Surfer and Doctor Strange couldn't escape from, or even supporting the weight of a star during the Infinity event.
  • Super Supremacist: In his more aggressive or villainous forms, Hulk himself is this trope, as the "Banner" portion of his mind is typically portrayed as the side that drives him to save and protect humans. When absent of Banner, Hulk often hates humans (and many other species, such as Human Aliens) and finds them puny and not worth his time. In the Bad Future of Future Imperfect, this mentality eventually led to him becoming The Maestro, a superhuman despot.
  • Super Weight: Level 5, but when ridiculously angry, in much the same manner that Dragon Ball Z was level 5 towards the end. In terms of infinite potential upper limits of raw power only he is a level 6.
  • Superhuman Transfusion: How Jennifer Walters got her powers, from a transfusion of Bruce's blood.
  • Tame His Anger: He tries. But it doesn't work.
  • Tanks for Nothing: Tanks are nothing more than a convenient projectile to Hulk.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Not an absolute version, and he makes exceptions for any thoroughly malevolent Eldritch Abomination, Omnicidal Maniac, and such, or as a very last option if too many other lives depend on it, but contrary to popular belief (due to that he loves to rumble and smashing inanimate objects), and similarly to Spider-Man, the most heroic Hulk incarnations (including Banner, Savage Hulk, the merged version, and likely the Green Scar), are as close as the Marvel Universe gets, or at the very least far more so than the majority of the heroes. He really, really hates to kill, and has repeatedly gone into a panic or been brought to tears at times when he hasn't been able to save bystanders. It takes ridiculous extremes to get him to that point. Lampshaded by his son Skaar who considers him extremely "weak" in this respect. Of course, Joe Fixit doesn't have that problem, although he seemed to avoid using lethal force during the Dale Keown run/towards the end. The Immortal Hulk likewise doesn't, being more than willing to kill if he feels it deserved.
  • Token Black Friend:
    • One of the Hulk's sidekicks in the 1970's was black teenager Jim Wilson, who like the Hulk felt estranged from society. They were reunited during the Peter David years in the 90's, when Jim was dying of AIDS.
    • Although he was only actually around for one issue before dying, old homeless man Crackajack Jackson made a huge impression on the Hulk in the 70's by teaching him to read a little bit, and just by being a genuinely loving and nonjudgmental friend. The Hulk mourned his passing for years afterward. When the Shaper of Worlds briefly created a perfect world for the Hulk, one of the most heartwarming parts is the Hulk's sheer joy that Crackajack is there.
  • Too Broken to Break: In an early 1980s issue the Hulk is leaping around the world and lands in Afghanistan at a time when, in real life, the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan was still going on. He drops right in front of an Afghani who barely even notices the Hulk and walks on with the same shocked expression he had had before the Hulk landed. What was going on in his vicinity is so horrific that the arrival of the Hulk doesn't even register.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Bruce Banner, following his loss of the Hulk, in Greg Pak's run.
  • The Topic of Cancer: One story (probably an annual) had a wealthy cancer patient come up with a convoluted plan to get the Hulk's gamma-irradiated blood in the hopes that this would make his normal cells superpowered and able to overcome the cancer. Instead, the cancer cells were the ones that became super-powered, with nightmarish results. There was a callback to this years later when Hulk learned that one of his old friends was dying of AIDS and refused to donate his blood for fear something similar would happen.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: How long it takes Bruce to become the Hulk varies depending on the medium, writer and situation. Usually it takes minutes, but in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was able to become the Hulk in seconds to spit out a bullet he had fired into his own mouth. It's entirely possible that the transformation speed itself depends on his anger level.
    • At its most egregious, once Banner was shot in the mouth by a high caliber sniper rifle, ''but he transforms fast enough to catch the bullet with his teeth after the bullet hit him.
  • Translation Punctuation: Averted for one word in an issue of Incredible Hulk which is focusing on the villains of the story, who are all Soviet agents. The standard < > is in use except for one Establishing Shot of the capital city, which is captioned "Moscova" along with a Note From Ed saying (paraphrased) "I know we're doing the Translation Convention thing, but it's their capital."
  • True Love Is Boring: Bruce and any of his wives.
  • A True Hero: Amadeus Cho has always said that he considers Hulk to be the truest hero in the Marvel Universe, because he has the most destructive, limitless power of them all and yet he somehow manages to control himself and protect innocent people despite the fact that everyone, even his fellow heroes, misunderstand him at best or hate him at worst.
  • Underside Ride: In an 80s era Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner clings to the axle of a van as it rolls away. His suit and back get torn up as a result.
  • Undying Loyalty: To his friends.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: The iconic Dumb Muscle Green Hulk, to the point he's the page image.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The poster boy. "The longer Hulk fight, the madder Hulk get! The madder Hulk get, the stronger Hulk get!" Subverted in that, again partially due to the issues with his dad, both Hulk and Banner are constantly terrified of accidentally hurting any innocent or defenseless "little people", especially children. Being put in a situation wherein he has to, or does so unintentionally, as with Hiro-Kala, is one of the worst things that can happen to him. Inanimate objects and seriously evil people who can take the punishment, on the other hand, are perfectly fair go.
    • His daughter Lyra, on the other hand, is an inversion. The angrier she gets, the weaker she gets. This issue is later resolved with a nanomachine treatment that Bruce gives her.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Hulk and Rulk (and Ultimate Hulk vs. Ultimate Abomination): Both are supposed to be 'improved' versions of The Hulk (among other things because they retain their full personality while Hulk is his typical "Hulk Smash!" self). Unfortunately, all of those improvements cannot really factor in that Hulk is just gonna get madder and more dogged to win such a situation... and eventually he's gonna get mad enough to be able to smash them flat, superior intelligence, battle tactics and powers be damned.
    Ultimate Hulk as he rips Ultimate Abomination's head off: "You think too much!"
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: Umar considers the Hulk extremely attractive to the degree that the Hulk got exhausted from the effort... although at least that sort of thing has happened more frequently to Thor.
  • Villain Protagonist: Truly Mindless Byrne Hulk, physically separated from Banner: An unconsciously mass-murdering force of destruction, with only the body remaining, and the Hulk himself literally not responsible for its actions. Joe Fixit probably also qualified for a while.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Although his friendships with other Marvel heroes come and go depending on who's blaming who for what at that point in time, this is as tolerant as he gets with anyone he views as a friend. Rick Jones and Betty Ross/Banner are about the only exceptions.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: At one point Banner had taken complete control of the Hulk's powers, and was able to shift between his basic human form and that of the Hulk at will. There is also his "Joe Fixit" personality, where he would be Bruce Banner by day, and "Mr. Fixit" Hulk by night.
  • Water Source Tampering: One of the annuals focused on the Leader trying to turn all of Earth into gamma beings.
  • Weirdness Magnet: The Incredible Hulk is this, especially in the Silver and Bronze Ages. Even when he had successfully eluded the military and anyone else who might be chasing him, he would inevitably just blunder into a landing alien spaceship, or try to take a nap in a cave and discover it's a supervillain's hideout, or try to find privacy on a desert island only to find it's full of monsters, etc... when all the poor lug really wants is some peace and quiet.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist. The "merged Hulk" was an extremely light version, with the best of dedicated altruistic aims, kept relatively very clean and non-extreme in his methods, and having much greater positive than negative effects, to the degree that it is highly arguable whether he was in the right or not. A major story arc during the era involved him joining (and eventually leading) the Pantheon, an organization of good-will that spent their time researching cancer cures and invading countries to depose cruel dictators. During this period, the Hulk got into conflict with other heroes not just because of his anger issues, but also because of conflicting moral outlooks.
    • The Leader also falls under this; his goals are usually to take over the world and use his genius to create a utopia. At the expense of a hell of a lot of lives, that is.
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: There was the Pantheon, a group that used Greek-themes names (such as Ulysses, Ajax or Atalanta). One of them, who was nigh invulnerable, called himself "Achilles". Then he met Hulk, and discovered that he was vulnerable to low-level Gamma Radiation, which makes him loose his invulnerability. He was very pissed off at the idea of having a weakness. Who would have ever thought about Achilles having a weak point?
  • The "Why Wait?" Combatant: never been one to stand on ceremony. Once the Hulk determines that someone is an adversary, the closest he comes to hesitation is to deliver his Battle Cry "Hulk smash!" before pounding the bejesus out of his opponent. The Tao of Hulk is essentially "Hitting solves everything."
  • The Worf Effect: The first issue of Vol. 3 has a particularly egregious version, wherein the Abomination is shot to death by the new Red Hulk to establish how dangerous it is.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Your gender doesn't matter to the Hulk. If you're presenting yourself as an opponent or if you piss him off, you'll get what's coming to you. Just ask Vapor, Moonstone, Mercy, or Animus! There are times when even She-Hulk has found out the hard way.
    • Subverted against Selene. The Black Queen offered him to join the Hellfire Club in her service. And even though the Hulk could have just smacked her away (a supremely powerful immortal like Selene wouldn't have suffered much), after a brief battle, he just pulled a mix of Shameful Strip and Defeat by Modesty by removing her cape to turn the offer down.
  • Writer on Board: Peter David's divorce led to him killing off Betty Banner. This however, led to one of the best depictions of grief ever seen in comics; the issue following her death encompassed an entire year-and-change of Bruce's depression as told to Peter Parker by a forty-year-old Rick Jones.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: The Trope Namer.

Hulk... tired...

* "The Lonely Man" begins playing as Banner starts hitchhiking on the road*

Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Hulk, The Hulk, Incredible Hulk



The long waited clash between the Incredible Hulk and the Legendary Super Saiyan Broly, starts with the former not even feeling the attacks of the later.

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoSell

Media sources: