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"Human?? Why should I want to be human?!?"

"HULK SMASH!"
Hulk
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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 "The 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 "The 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.

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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.

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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


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The Incredible Hulk provides examples of:

In General

    Tropes - # to E 
  • Abusive Parents: There's Bruce Banner's father, Brian. He'd been abused by his father, leading Brian to believe his father was a monster, that he had inherited the 'monster gene', and that any children he had would be monsters too. Brian initially chose to ignore Bruce, believing him to be a monster in the making. When it became apparent Bruce was a child genius, Brian saw his worst fears confirmed, and started beating both Bruce and his mother, Rebecca. After several years of abuse, Rebecca attempted to escape with Bruce, but Brian killed her and intimidated Bruce into saying Brian hadn't done anything to them. The truth only came out when Brian got drunk and boasted about what he'd done. Brian was locked up in a mental institution, dying shortly after release. End result? Bruce developed multiple personality syndrome - and after a certain accident with a gamma bomb, his personalities became the various Hulks. Bruce (accidentally) killed him. In a subsequent story, Banner himself admits it might not have been accidental. He came back from the dead and in Devil Hulk form in the Chaos War tie-in, but the Hulk sent him to Hell... only to return as a body-hopping spirit to confront his son in Immortal Hulk.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: Bruce Banner has this attitude about the Hulk, also a possible interpretation of Hulk's quote from World War Hulk
    Hulk: "I'll hate you forever. Almost as much as I hate myself."
  • After the End: Two stories written by Peter David focus on the Hulk in post-apocalyptic futures with very different approaches. The first, Hulk: 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, Hulk: The End, 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.
  • Alien Blood: The Hulk very often bleeds a dark green. Red Hulk has glowing yellow blood.
  • Alliterative Name: Bruce Banner/The Hulk''. (The alliteration didn't save Stan from calling him "Bob Banner" in an early story, thus enshrining in canon the full name of "Robert Bruce Banner".) on TV 
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: The Hulk has this effect on women much like Herc does. Just ask Caiera. And Thundra. And Umar.
  • Almost Famous Name: Xemnu the Titan is a kinda interesting example; he was referred to as "a Hulk" before the Hulk existed, but he called himself Xemnu.note  After the Hulk was created, Xemnu has come back a few times mostly as a Hulk foe, feuding over the name.
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: Zigzagged as there have been periods when Bruce Banner cannot remember anything about what happened when he was the Hulk (and vice versa) times when the memories are kind of fuzzy, and other times when one or both of them remember the other's actions clearly.
    • 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.
    • She-Hulk experienced this twice: First, during the "The Cosmic Squish Principle" arc, when her savage Grey form first manifested. And later, during the Avengers arc "The Search for She-Hulk", as the exposure to fellow Avenger Jack of Hearts (who can manipulate radiation, although he isn't always able to do this consciously) caused Jennifer to lose control of her She-Hulk form. In both cases, she returned to normal a while after.
    • This happened to Amadeus Cho in Totally Awesome Hulk whenever his Dark Hulk persona took control of their Hulk form.
  • 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.
  • Always Someone Better: Bruce Banner has been shown to resent Tony Stark because of how beloved and successful Tony's inventions have made him, while Bruce's invention turned him into an out of control freak.
    • Meanwhile the Hulk serves as this to Ben Grimm, the ever lovin blue eyed Thing. Ben is an accomplished fighter and one of the physically strongest heroes on Earth but the Hulk is just plain stronger and tougher than Ben ever is at his best. The Thing can put up a good fight through a Weak, but Skilled approach that takes advantage of his skill as a fighter rather than his power but most of their battles are usually in Hulk's favor by the end and any clear cut victories on Ben's end come from drastically different circumstances than they normally work under, such as one instance when Ben had received a significant power boost and the Hulk was locked into his weaker Grey Hulk form.
  • Angrish: The Hulk would seem to be the living distillation of this trope. Whenever Bruce Banner gets angry enough, he manifests as the incarnation of Angrish. "RRAAAAARRGH! HULK SMASH! AAAARRRGH!"
  • 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.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: The Hulk had issues with his son, Skaar, who came to Earth and waited around for Bruce Banner to return to being the Hulk so he could kill him. He eventually mellowed and got along with his father. His other son, Hiro-Kala, hates Bruce and the Hulk, and tried to wipe out Earth in his rage, using brainwashed slaves to do his dirty work; it takes Bruce and Skaar to take him down.
  • Anti-Hero: The Hulk, while always up to stop a bad guy and capable of empathy and loyalty, frequently leaves a trail of destruction on his path (though Marvel claims it's usually without victims) and clashes with other heroes. Considering, however, 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:
    • Bruce Banner: Varies Depending on the Writer, anywhere from a pure hero to Classical Anti-Hero, Knight in Sour Armor, or Pragmatic Hero, with Greg Pak playing him as the last category by lying to those close to him into getting his way. Not to mention putting innocent people including his own son in harm's way for his personal gain.
    • 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, "the greatest love of his life" Queen Jarella) gives him a comprehensible direction. Basically the most pure-hearted and genuinely heroic version, 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 still has as much a hot temper as any other Hulk, is prone to cynicism and also tends to do his own thing just like them.
    • 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 Savage Hulk. 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 despite his Roaring Rampage of Revenge casuing very inconsiderate property damage, he is still less bloodthirsty than the majority of pragmatic heroes.
    • Devil Hulk: Terror Hero and Well-Intentioned Extremist. He isn't called "Devil Hulk" for anything, as he dispenses justice in his own brutal way. Case in point, after Banner gets shot in the head by an obviously-terrified gunman trying to rob a convenience store to pay his debts, Hulk awakens in the dead of night and chases after him. We don't see what happens to the guy, but we cut back to him after the fact and his body is so destroyed that if he ever wakes up, he'll never walk again.
      • Hulk’s allies and family aren’t much better. His cousin She-Hulk was this originally before becoming nicer but is still terrifying on a rampage, his wife Betty Ross once a sweet young woman is now violent and bitter Dark Action Girl, his son Skaar is a bloodthirsty sword wielding savage who joins the Dark Avengers and his best friend and former Kid Sidekick Rick Jones becomes a destructive monster before being cured, getting killed, and resurrected as a creepy yellow-eyed gamma zombie.
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: The Hulk has both subverted and played this trope straight at the same time. After World War Hulk, with the Hulk imprisoned by the army, his series was taken over by Hercules and a new series was launched with a mysterious Red Hulk as the central character. The Incredible Hercules subverted the trope quickly, proving he's anything but an Anti-Hero, while Red Hulk played it straight, acting like a total dick and making Hulk lose his powers.
    • Earlier on in the '80s this trope popped up, with the normal destructive but rarely malicious green Hulk being replaced by an amoral jerkass grey Hulk named Joe Fixit. Green Hulk is an anti-hero to begin with but the trope still stands as Joe Fixit is several notches down the scale. The twist is Joe Fixit is just another of Bruce Banner's repressed personalities.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Artistic License – Military: General Ross pretty much embodies the Armies Are Evil Trope in one man. It not only takes Artistic License but a lot of Suspension of Disbelief on the part of Marvel fans to assume the U.S. Air Force wouldn't have court martialed him, reduced him in rank, and sentenced him to life in Leavenworth after the property damage and civilian casualties his obsession with the Hulk has caused.
    • Another issue is that Ross is repeatedly shown sending infantry and tanks after the Hulk (for all the good it does), when he's an Air Force General. He would have no operational control over ground units beyond Air Force Security Forces or Air Force Special Operations personnel, neither of which would have heavy tanks or infantry. He'd have to have these forces placed under his command by the Secretary of Defense (likely over the strenuous objections of the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff). Extremely unlikely. Possible if the President backed Ross, but unlikely.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Gamma radiation is depicted as lethal to most any Innocent Bystander, unless you happen to be the one lucky enough to survive, and survivors do not generally suffer from high amounts of radiation exposure. Gamma rays do not seem to penetrate through matter or the Earth to cause damage and destruction to any and all lifeforms, as such a detonation on the Earth's surface would likely do.
  • Asshole Victims: He's killed a few people in his time, but they usually really had it coming.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The Hulk's been the king of a surprising number of worlds, most notably Sakaar in Planet Hulk. He was also the president of Australia in House of M.
  • Atlas Pose: The cover to The Incredible Hulk Special #1, homaged many times since.
  • BFG: Hulk himself succumbed to this trope during the Dark Age, when he spent a story arc running around with a huge energy cannon in each hand. Thankfully, that story tends to be ignored these days.
  • Back from the Dead: Subverted in Fall of the Hulk, when it appears Glenn Talbot has come back. Eventually, Red Hulk reveals he's just a LMD. The real Talbot is still very much dead.
  • Badass Boast:
    • While "I'm the strongest one there is" is the Hulk's catch phrase boast, recently he's simplified it. When told he can't do something, or asked how he thinks he can do something thought impossible, he responds "Sure I can/Easy, I'm The Hulk."
    • In his first fight with Namor:
      Namor: No one has ever broken thru my whirlpool trap before!
      Hulk: No one else- is Hulk!
    • Bruce Banner once forced Wolverine and Daken to back down when he explained to them what it means to be one of the smartest people in the world and be dangerously unstable.
      Maybe the real reason I became the Hulk... was to protect the world from Banner.
    • In Season One, Bruce Banner gets one himself, against Hulk, and finished it off with a punch that knocks Hulk down.
      Bruce: You're passion, Hulk. But I'm will. You said it yourself. I've bottled you up for years. Why stop now? You underestimated me, Hulk. Don't feel bad. Most do. What he put me through as a kid — you don't survive that by being weak. I'm the strongest there is.
    • In The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect, the Maestro had this excellent villainous version;
      Maestro: 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.
      • He also had this to say about what he did to all the heroes in his time.
      No, by beating them to death, and it all went so quickly that I'm sorry I didn't prolong it.
  • Badass Bookworm: Bruce Banner is the Badass Bookworm you wouldn't want to make angry! Perhaps not 100% applicable because the Hulk is a different personality, but overall they're the same person, and can certainly scrap any of the others.
    • 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.
    • Not so long ago Bruce lost his powers (again) because of Red Hulk. Every sign on heaven or earth shows that Bruce is so Badass Bookworm that taking away his Hulk persona can make him even more dangerous. It's easy to forget he turned into The Hulk to begin with because he had a career building super-weapons for the government, which as Banner, he's intelligent enough to use and improve upon.
    Bruce: You know, it just now occurs to me that maybe the real reason I became the Hulk... was to protect the world from Banner.
  • Badass Family: The Banner family. Including, but not limited to, Bruce Banner/The Hulk, his cousin/stand-in sister She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters; wife Red She-Hulk/Betty Ross Banner; children Skaar, Hiro-Kala, and Lyra; and father-in-law Red Hulk/Thunderbolt Ross.
    • At one point they formed an official team along with close family friends Rick Jones/A-Bomb and Korg.
    • It's also been heavily implied, though never confirmed, that Carmilla Black, the current Scorpion and daughter of Monica Rappaccini (the head of AIM), is also Bruce's daughter.
    • 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.
  • Badass Fingersnap:
    • Played for laughs when Professor Hulk has a "Eureka!" Moment, he snapped his fingers, sending others around him reeling.
    • Immortal Hulk uses this, with his severed hand. to shatter the glass jars his different body parts were kept.
  • Badass Longcoat: Joe Fixit often wore a purple trenchcoat, especially during the period of time where he was still repressing the Bruce Banner persona and exposure to sunlight weakened him.
  • Bad Future:
    • In The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect, the Hulk was once pulled into a bad future where, after a global nuclear war killed most of the world's superheroes, the Hulk himself, having renamed himself the Maestro, had taken over, having gone insane due to the massive amounts of radiation he absorbed during the war.
    • Immortal Hulk features a particularly dark one: Billions of years into the future, the Hulk (utterly controlled by the One Below All after fully eating away Bruce and Devil Hulk) kills off Franklin Richards and Mr. Immortal to take the role of Galactus's successor. Becoming a true Breaker of Worlds, in issue #25 it succeeds in destroying all life in the next universe, leaving a dark, dead, utterly broken abyss where it resides entirely alone. The last living being in that universe tries to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and avert this timeline... except they may only have created a Stable Time Loop.
  • Bag of Holding: Bruce Banner built himself one of these, though unusually for this trope, it actually connects to his lab in the same dimension. Amadeus Cho once defeated an Eldritch Abomination by stuffing it inside. Since this meant said abomination was now running around his lab, Banner was annoyed.
  • Bambification: Depending on the Writer, the Hulk is quite fond of deer. He even calls them Bambi! One memorable issue had him stumble upon some hunters killing deer, and he reacted pretty much exactly how you'd expect him to.
    Hulk: Men killed Bambi's mother!
  • Barbarian Hero:
    • Most versions of the Hulk often has shades of this, especially the Green Scar incarnation, but this is particularly noticable when he was on the sub atomic planet K'ai and the alien world of Sakaar.
    • His son Skaar is a proud example of this, even getting nicknamed "Conan" when he arrives on Earth.
    • Kronen is a Conan parody featured in a Hulk story. He's one-eyed, cruel, and possesses an amulet with a smile demon.
  • 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.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The Hulk's Marvel NOW! costume, which is a suit of armor that shows off his abs when transformed.
  • Baseball Episode: The Hulk, while incognito, got a gig playing outfield for a minor league team. The gig ended when he had a fight with the Rhino, who was playing catcher for a rival minor league team. Foul-tempered, mutated superbehemoths playing baseball? Shocking.
  • 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 Cry: "HULK SMASH!"
  • Battle Strip: The Hulk is a common example. No fanservice involved. Unless...note 
  • Beardness Protection Program: Bruce Banner has tried once shaving his head, and another time growing a beard, to disguise himself from the authorities pursuing him. Consequently, we got to see a bald Hulk and a fuzzy-faced Hulk.
  • 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...
    • The 2011 "Heart of the Monster" arc in The Incredible Hulks is built around this trope - Hulk and his team encounter a Wishing Well. Everyone involved knows what it will twist every wish it grants. What they don't know is the intentions of the Red She-Hulk, who used it to wish doom on her ex-husband.... if she meant it, his circumstances are going to improve, but if she liked him... As it turns out, she hated him at the time, meaning all of his dreams briefly came true.
    • The beginning of Immortal Hulk introduces Jackie McGee, a young reporter who wants to become a Hulk to express her rage at systemic racism. She doesn't quite realize what a horror-show the Hulk has made out of Bruce Banner's life until she meets him in person.
    • The Alternate Universe story Hulk: The End, 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.
  • Because I'm Good At It: Occasionally Bruce Banner is called out on the fact that, despite having an intellect on par with Reed Richards or Tony Stark, before becoming the Hulk he devoted his life to making bombs. His explanation? He was good at it. And indeed, he made the most destructive bomb ever; one that never stops exploding. The Hulk.
  • Beneath Notice: This is how Bruce Banner gets into labs generally speaking. He needs the equipment or access to machinery, he dresses up as a janitor. Plus it's the added bonus of being there after hours.
  • Berserk Button: The Hulk is generally a Berserker anyway, but anything or anyone that reminds him of his father is definitely in for a world of hurt.
    • Funny: The Hulk and The Thing were up against a single powerful alien fighter, so Thing tries to piss Hulk off.
    The Thing: He called you a commie, a pinko!
    The Hulk: No! Hulk GREEN!
    • One surefire way to make Hulk even angrier than usual is comparing him to Bruce Banner, and if it's the Gray Hulk (Joe Fixit), comparing him to the classic Savage Hulk or saying he's not as strong as that version.
      • As well as claiming to be stronger than The Hulk, especially if you've just knocked him down.
  • The Berserker: The Hulk is practically rage incarnate.
  • Betty and Veronica: Bruce Banner as the Betty and Glenn Talbot as the Veronica for Betty Ross.
    • Chaos War would also have Jarella as the Betty and Red She-Hulk as the Veronica for the Hulk.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Bruce Banner is usually a pretty nice guy. Just don't get him angry. You won't like him when he's angry.
    • Bruce Banner himself isn't exactly helpless either. Word of God confirms that his intelligence is on par with Tony Stark or Reed Richards; he's been able to avoid the authorities countless times and was able to hold his own in a few fights without turning into the Hulk. If you are dumb enough to piss him off, he WILL smash you. In one of the Avengers vs. X-Men issues he proves that he is smarter than Stark, humming afterwards "Banner is the smartest one there is."
    • All the above is explored in the 'Banner & Son' storyline, which sees Banner temporarily unable to transform into the Hulk. He still manages to take down villains like Juggernaut and the Harpy by being a Gadgeteer Genius (and with a little help from Skaar). In fact, Norman Osborn considers Banner to be a far greater threat to him than the Hulk ("The Hulk is purely reactive... Banner thinks he's some sort of hero") and exposes Banner to a substance which will accelerate the reacquisition of his Hulk powers. During this time, he also muses whether the Hulk is there to protect him from the world or to protect the world from Banner.
    • Hulk himself actually quite a timid guy... if you leave him alone. Sadly, the usual response is... well, doing what the Hulk does.
    • Part of Bruce's backstory is that he killed his own abusive murderous father in a fit of rage (in self-defense) long before he was hit by the gamma-bomb. He's always been dangerous. The gamma rays just gave his rage a form.
  • Big Brother Instinct: It’s a usually Downplayed Trope but Bruce Banner aka the Hulk still cares for his cousin Jennifer Walters especially in his Smart Hulk transformation in the John Bryne era. Hell Bruce saved Jennifer’s life with a blood donation when she got shot and unintentionally made her incredibly badass. Case in point, Banner Hulk was getting his ass kicked by the Killer Robot Arsenal who had previously required an entire team of Avengers to subdue. Jennnifer rushes in to help her cousin only get swiftly knocked out. Cue the Hulk's signature Unstoppable Rage fuelled No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
    • There’s also the inverse: Shulkie tends to believe she’s the only one who can reach her cousin when he’s on a Unstoppable Rage. The quickest way to piss She-Hulk off is to hurt her cousin especially when he’s in his weaker Bruce Banner form.
    • Besides Jen, Hulk does share the same sentiment with his sidekick Rick Jones and surprisingly Spider-Man, who he even lets take a ride on his shoulders and will get very, very mad if “Bug Man” is hurt around him.
  • 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.
  • Blade Reflection: The famous cover of Hulk #340 (1988) has Wolverine with his claws popped and Joe Fixit being reflected in them as he's about to unleash the Smash.
    • This image (along with a number of other covers relating to one or both of these characters) is replicated in the animated Hulk Vs Wolverine.
    • Wolverine also uses his claws to reflect The Gorgon's stone gaze back on him. You'd think a guy who calls himself The Gorgon would've read the legend of Perseus.
  • Blessed with Suck: Here it might be more justified as a lot of people do hate and hound the Hulk, (especially the army), and having multiple personalities is never fun. All that, and his wives keep on dying.
  • Blood from the Mouth: During the fight between Zeus and the Hulk, Zeus punches the Hulk in the stomach and he vomits up a mass of green blood.
  • Blood Knight: While 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.
    • The earliest version of the Hulk, before his character settled into what most people are familiar with, was always looking for a fight, and didn't particularly care who it was with.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: The Hulk often takes this role when forced on a team; the Joe Fixit incarnation is practically the avatar of this trope.
  • Boisterous Weakling: Normally, getting angry turns the scrawny geek Dr. Banner into the savage brute called the Hulk. When he becomes the Genius Bruiser Professor Hulk, getting too angry changes him into a savage Banner. He has all of the Hulk's usual aggression, but he's back to being a scrawny geek.
  • Boldly Coming: Two of the Hulk's three wives have been aliens.
  • 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 and Brawn: Bruce Banner himself and his various alters also act as this to each other as an actual dynamic: when he's more cooperative with his alters, Bruce takes on the role of Brain to their Brawn, and a moral compass as well. At times, Bruce has even been suggested to be working in Hulk's mind to direct all his actions to ensure there are no casualties. Joe Fixit (while also a Hulk and bruiser in his own right) sometimes has this dynamic compared to the more powerful but less streetwise Hulks, since he's more willing to think smart and strategically.
    • This is also Rick Jones dynamic with the Hulk, with Rick generally being the smarter one of the two, directing the Hulk what exactly he needs to smash.
  • Brains Versus Brawn: The Hulk (big, green, Dumb Muscle, The Big Guy) has this relationship with one of his main archnemeses, The Leader, (tiny, green, Evil Genius), as The Leader 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.
  • Brawn Hilda:
    • Ogress was a frustrated defense attorney exposed to gamma radiation by the Leader. She gained massive super strength, but unlike that other gamma powered lady lawyer did not keep her attractiveness.
    • She-Hulk's gamma form has become larger and more muscular to reflect her inner turmoil after being put in a coma and her cousin being killed in Civil War II.
  • Breakout Character: Wolverine got started as a character created to be a Canadian hero sent to fight the Hulk.
  • Break the Badass: The only villain that the Hulk will admit to being scared of is The Sentry's evil alter ego, the Void.
  • Briefer Than They Think:
    • Ask any moderate comics fan who the core members of The Defenders are, and you'll immediately hear "The Hulk, Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer, and Namor the Sub-Mariner." Sometimes they'll add Nighthawk, or maybe Valkyrie. While Strange and Hulk have been on most versions of the Defenders, with Strange usually being the de facto leader, Namor and Surfer quit after just a few issues. People familiar with the original run will tell you that the Defenders never had a consistent lineup, and variously included nearly every hero and some villains active at the time. This is part of the reason that modern revivals of the team tend to get cancelled quickly. As it turns out, not many writers can make the "classic" lineup work, since all the characters involved are grotesquely overpowered and relative loners, but they assume that it has to work because the original comic made it work, right?
    • Similarly, nearly every adaptation of The Avengers either mentions the Hulk or makes heavy use of him: see The Ultimates, the movie, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, etc. How many issues of the comic was Hulk a part of the team (not counting guest spots like his brief stint as an Avengers reservist in an Evolutionary War annual)? Two. He rejoined the team in Avengers vs. X-Men, to capitalize on the movie, but that was a comic written in 2012, and that was the first time he'd ever officially rejoined. Flip open a comic from the '60s or '70s, and you're much more likely to see Black Knight, The Vision, Beast, The Incredible Hercules, or Moondragon, none of whom have managed Hulk's prominence on the Avengers in other media. Even Red Hulk was on the team longer by the time he rejoined!
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: The Hulk has been known to cuddle kittens and bunnies, and as seen in the page image, is also good with other animals and children, Depending on the Writer. Notably, one of SHIELD's plans to calm him down is putting him in the same room with a bunch of puppies. Even Hulk at his worst still has shade of this, as in World War Hulk he battles the Earth Mightiest Heroes in New York but was still holding back so civilians wouldn't get hurt.
  • 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: Happens to the Hulk all the time. Most of his rampages could have been avoided had they just backed off a bit. Considering his Catchphrase (apart from "Hulk Smash!") is usually a variation of him bellowing "LEAVE HULK ALONE!" you'd think the denizens of the Marvel Universe would have cottoned on, but then you remember this is the Marvel Universe, where Dragon-bullying (and bitching about the results afterwards) is a widely accepted pastime.
    • This was once lampshaded by Doc Samson, in discussion with General Ross:
      Samson: The Hulk keeps yelling at you to leave him alone. So my advice is to leave Hulk alone. Watch him by satellite. If he gets near a populated area, send out Hulk alerts the way we send out weather alerts.
      Ross: And if America's enemies get hold of him?
      Samson: Send condolence cards to America's enemies.
    • This was deliberately done by Deadpool when he wanted to die: as his Regenerative Factor allowed him to survive or even to resuscitate from things that would have killed Wolverine, he decided that being reduced to subatomic particles was his best bet, and pissing off Hulk by nuking him twice was the chosen method. Sadly, by the time he managed to get punched Hulk had calmed down enough that Deadpool was merely liquified, and was back in one piece in five days...
    • Happens in this variant cover which is actually about bullying. The jocks can clearly see that Hulk is glaring at them with murderous intentions and yet continue to laugh and bully the kid.
    • Happened to his cousin She-Hulk once too, and Played for Laughs. After the Stamford disaster, an angry mob of anti-superhero protestors had formed outside of the courthouse where she — as Jennifer — was defending two surviving members of the New Warriors. One guy recognized her and grabbed her, shouting "I've got She-Hulk!" Then she turned into her large, hulked-out size, and said, "Okay, you've got She-Hulk. Now what?"
  • Burning with Anger: If Red Hulk gets mad, he starts emitting heat.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • In Vol. 2, #269-287, the Rampaging Hulk stories were retconned into being techno-art movies by the Krylorian Bereet.
    • During Peter David's "Tempest Fugit" storyline, one line discontinuitized the entirety of previous writer Bruce Jones' 42-issue run.
  • Can't Stay Normal:
    • Bruce Banner has been "permanently cured of being the Hulk" on several occasions, only to have to reHulkify himself to solve some crisis. Why they don't use the same deHulkifier on him again after the crisis is resolved is rarely if ever explained.
    • In Hulk (2008), the Red Hulk depowered the Hulk by absorbing all his gamma radiation, saying that Bruce Banner would never become the Hulk again. Banner was smart enough to know that eventually he'd reHulkify and spent his time preparing for that day.
    • Also happened in the TV series. And the new movie. And the 90's cartoon. Twice.
    • A fairly Anvilicious example in the 1980s cartoon: Bruce cures himself and then a computer tells him that the Hulk is the only thing that could possibly deal with the Monster of the Week. And of course, he can't cure himself again afterwards.
    • The comic eventually established that one of the Hulk's talents is always making a comeback, no matter how impossible it should be. Shoot him into space? He'll come back. Send him to a dimensional crossroads? He'll come back. Completely eliminate Bruce's physical capacity to make use of gamma radiation? He'll come back. Kill Bruce? He'll come back. You'd think separating Bruce and the Hulk might get around this, but as it turns out, nope, they'll always rejoin.
    • Immortal Hulk deconstructs this as we learn not even death is something that is for Banner. Though it turns out it's because the gamma radiation that lets him become the Hulk comes from none other than the the One-Below-All. Additionally, the Hulks are the result of Bruce's disassociatve identity disorder being given physical shape by his transformation and influenced by the One-Below-All (hence why many gamma tranmutation are monstrous and or destructive, it's because of the inherent corruptive nature.) Banner is unable to stay normal partially out of the mechinations of this entity, but also because the Hulks were born from Bruce and they are different sides of him. After all, it was his rage that led to him killing his father before the gamma incident.
  • Can't Stay Normal: Betty Ross is almost as much of a victim of this as Bruce himself, being transformed multiple times over the series into Harpy, Red She-Hulk, and Red Harpy.
    • And then there's Rick Jones. He started as merely Hulk's human companion, then after accidentally helping found the Avengers became Cap's replacement Bucky, palled around with Rom Spaceknight, and then started sharing a body with Captain Marvel. And he's had superpowers more than once. He could almost be Marvel's answer to Jimmy Olsen.
  • Can't Un-Hear It:
  • The Casanova: The Hulk. No, really! Have you seen how many children he has with multiple women? Three, so far, with a suspected fourth running around. As Red She-Hulk who is actually Betty Ross Banner commented after learning the Hulk had been married to not one, but two hot alien warrior queens;
    Red She-Hulk: You really got around, huh?
  • Casually Powerful Giant: This happens sometimes, usually to show off how much more powerful he is than normal people. At one point, Dr. Octopus fought Joe Fixit only to lose when Joe casually flicked him away with one finger and broke most of the bones in his body.
  • Catchphrase: Several.
    • HULK SMASH!!!
    • HULK! IS! STRONGEST! THERE IS!
    • You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
    • On one occasion, as his smarter and more-amoral "Joe Fixit" persona:
      "Rest assured, gentlemen—Hulk will smash."
    • His true self, The Devil Hulk, has a catchphrase of his own that he utters from time to time:
      "The night is my time."
  • Central Theme:
  • Censor Shadow: Used heavily on Ultimate Hulk, who lacks Magic Pants.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The series became very dark during the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk storylines, becoming Conan the Barbarian IN SPACE!, but the following Jeph Loeb run was much Lighter and Softer. When Planet Hulk's writer Greg Pak returned, he tried to restore the previous tone. The result was the Fall of the Hulks storyline, where Pak and Loeb tried to combine their styles, which didn't end well. Following that we had an increased number of more optimistic stories by Pak and then Mark Waid (and Jason Aaron's run in-between leaning into pulp action as Hulk clashed with an antagonistic Banner), only for it to end on Gerry Duggan's run, where Hulk's new personality, Doc Green, was a clear Villain Protagonist.
    • And what followed that? Pak's Totally Awesome Hulk, where Amadeus Cho took the Hulk curse from Banner and tried to show the world a more optimistic, heroic Hulk in fun-loving stories...only for it to get dark when Banner was killed in Civil War II. The tone then went up for a few stories only to get progresively darker, until a Bittersweet Ending. And then Banner returned in Al Ewing's Immortal Hulk, which is straight out a horror story.
  • Chained to a Rock: The Hulk had this done to him by Marvel's Zeus, like Prometheus, but instead of eagles, it's vultures, cause he's worth less.
  • Chaotic Good: The Hulk practically embodies this trope; he is a force for good at almost all times, but is almost completely unpredictable and wants to be left alone. (Depending on the Writer, though, he sometimes enters Chaotic Neutral territory.)
  • Chaotic Neutral: The Hulk arguably fits in here. Sure, he'll go Ax-Crazy if you make him mad, and he'll cause tremendous amounts of damage in the process, but a lot of the time he does go crazy, it's because one of his enemies pushed him too far. He's capable of showing a certain amount of empathy and friendship in rare cases, and rarely seeks to hurt people or try and use his power for personal gain... but God help you if you provoke him.
  • Character Development: All personalities get with this.
  • Characterization Marches On: In several of the early comics, the Hulk was slightly more intelligent and could talk better, barely even referring to himself in the 3rd person. Then eventually this paved way to the more popular dumb beast that always spouted "Puny human make Hulk angry! Hulk smash!" Though later retcons would establish that this behavior was still canon. The Hulk has multiple personalities, with some of them being quite intelligent while others are just mindless, screaming monsters.
  • The Chess Master: Bruce Banner is this, at least under Greg Pak's pen.
  • Chick Magnet: The Hulk, surprisingly enough. A lot of women, both human and non human, seem to fall for him. To date he has been married at least three times (two now dead and one partially insane) and bedded many more. Bruce Banner on the other hand... Well, at least he has Betty.
  • 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-Coded Eyes: The Hulk is often shown with green eyes, which are more of a reflection of the gamma radiation that turned his hair and skin green too. In the past, they've been red for the associations of danger. Bruce Banner, on the other hand, is more often shown with brown (muggle mode indicator) or blue eyes (more gentle than his alter ego), with the change to green being the signal that running might be a good idea.
  • Color Contrast: The Hulk, in his most iconic form, is green with purple pants.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Hulk is sometimes portrayed as this.
  • Combo Platter Powers: The Hulk has Super Strength, is Nigh Invulnerable, can create a stunning sonic boom with his hands, regenerates, okay, all fit sort of with the "unstoppable force of rage" idea. However, some of his other, lesser-known powers include seeing, and HITTING, ghosts and astral projections, and homing in on the site where the gamma bomb that created him went off. And supermath, the ability to automatically reduce collateral damage when levelling down entire cities. Officially, this is explained as Bruce being a 'hypermind', able to analyze and predict the consequences of his actions near-instantaneously (after all, he was a brilliant scientist before being turned into the Hulk). Hulk is also highly resistant to telepathy and mind control (it's mentioned that he was the only one who wasn't affected by the Cosmic Retcon that wiped out everyone's memory of the Sentry, and neither Professor X nor Emma Frost can Mind Rape him), occasionally capable of absorbing radiation, and has limited reactive adaptation. He's shown adapting to being able to breathe underwater and survive for a fairly considerable time in the vacuum of space (while still needing to breathe eventually). Ultimate Hulk takes it a step further, adapting to the atmospheres of Mars and Venus after limited exposure. Then Avengers: No Surrender adds Resurrective Immortality (again, fitting with "unstoppable force of rage"), which is followed by Living Lie Detector in Immortal Hulk.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: The Ultimates redesigned Bruce Banner after the likeness of Steve Buscemi.
  • Companion Cube: In his childhood, Bruce had a stuffed doll which served as a makeshift guardian (between his abusive dad and an abusive nanny, and burgeoning D.I.D., there wasn't a lot of love in the Banner household). Years later, Bruce's mind uses an anthropomorphization of the doll as a guardian entity.
  • Complete Immortality: According to Hulk: Future Imperfect and Hulk: The End in combination he only ages up to a point, and according to The Incredible Hulk 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.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: Bruce Banner, better known as the Hulk, forces himself not to react to the dangerous situations he finds himself in out of fear of Hulking Out, justified since as the Hulk he's Nigh-Invulnerable so the only thing he's really worried about is what's gonna happen to the enemy. This trait is carried over to his TV and film counterparts.
  • Conqueror from the Future: The Maestro (who is actually an evil future incarnation of the Hulk himself) has become this when various incarnations of him have found their way from the "Future Imperfect" he rules over and into the present day.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Hulk can spend an entire comic battling one superhero or villain, but when faced with the entire army of them then he takes them out like flies. Conversely if Hulk is on a team, he never seems to pull out quite the same levels of power/rage. Perhaps justified as Hulk's rage would increase if he felt bullied by a large group of people as opposed to facing a single opponent, thus producing more rage, which would increase his strength accordingly.
  • Contagious Powers: Happens a lot to the nearest and dearest of Bruce Banner. Even if one discounts those who gained their powers from the same gamma blast that created the Hulk, or inherited gamma powers as his children, there's still Betty Ross, who was briefly turned into the Harpy, then became Red She-Hulk, then had the two combine to become the 'Red Harpy'; Doc Samson, who used the Hulk's own gamma energy to gain super strength; Bruce's cousin Jennifer Walters, who became She-Hulk due to a blood transfusion; Rick Jones, who time-shared his body with Genis-Vell's Captain Marvel, was briefly a Hulk himself, then became A-Bomb, a blue version of the Abomination; Amadeus Cho, who absorbed the Hulk from Bruce to become yet another Hulk, then became Brawn; and Thunderbolt Ross, who became the first Red Hulk.
    • Rick Jones's wife Marlo became a second Harpy, the Hulk's old enemy Elliot "The Clown" Franklin is the Griffin, Brian Talbot (brother of Bruce's rival Glenn) is Grey, Gideon Wilson (the father of Bruce's friend Jim) is Mister Gideon... At this point it's as though everyone he knows somehow develops powers eventually, because you may find this to be his entire supporting cast plus interest.
      • An attempt at invoking this was rejected when Jim Wilson, Hulk's sidekick from The '70s, was dying of AIDS and asked the Hulk (at the time with Banner's intelligence) for a transfusion to keep him alive, like he had done for his cousin Jen. Hulk refused.
  • Conveniently-Empty Building: Some writers take this to absurd lengths. The Hulk could be a speck in a full-page of city-wide devastation, yet someone will maintain that no one was killed in the conveniently empty 20 city block radius.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Betty Ross got hit with this one due to Executive Meddling; writer Peter David had the story of the birth already plotted out, but editorial vetoed the Hulk having kids. He refused to write the miscarriage himself, and a fill-in author had to do the job instead, having Nightmare kill her and Bruce's unborn baby.
  • Cooldown Hug:
    • Betty Ross can do this when the Hulk is especially irate. If she's not available, the next most likely candidates are Rick Jones and She-Hulk. Jim Wilson, Jarella are also both close to the Hulk so they can sometimes do this too.
    • Subverted during Betty's time as the Red She-Hulk. Since the Red She-Hulk form is Betty's repressed anger and inhibitions, it releases those years of frustrations she has towards the Hulk. In her own words, she only makes him ''crazier''.
    • 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.
  • Crater Power: The Hulk in general, when he lands after one of his quarter-mile leaps.
  • Creative Sterility: The Shaper of Worlds is a Reality Warper with nearly unlimited power and one huge limitation: he absolutely lacks imagination. He can only create by copying the desires of others.
  • Creator Cameo: Writer Peter David cameos as the priest who officiates the wedding of the Hulk's friend Rick Jones to Marlo Chandler.
  • 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.
  • Curtains Match the Window: The Hulk usually has green eyes to match his hair and skin.
  • Cut Apart: At the end of John Byrne's brief run, Bruce Banner and Betty Ross are getting married in a small ceremony in a small church. At the same time Doc Samson and Hulk are beating the crap out of each other in the desert (Hulk and Banner were physically separated at this point). It so just happens that there is a small church near them... Eventually a hit from Hulk sends Samson flying right towards the church, and he crashes through it - revealing it's been abandoned for years. Meanwhile, the wedding continues elsewhere completely unaffected by the battle.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Rick Jones was this from his first appearance, in which he stupidly drove out into an active military testing site, causeing Bruce Banner being subjected to Gamma radiation while saving him, turning him into the Hulk. This tendancy tends to annoy the Hulk, especially during his grey, intelligent phases, and is lampshaded by Rick himself in one issue where he manages to beat his captor and escape on his own.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Hulk is a terrifying green rage monster, feared and hated by most of the MU for being a Person of Mass Destruction. In actuality, Hulk is a big Bruiser with a Soft Center and has helped saved the world from multiple massive threats like Onslaught and Xemnu.
    • Grey Hulk aka Joe Fixit (a persona of Hulk's Split Personality). A malcious, scummy, tommy gun totting professional Las Vegas mob enforcer and who while smart is pretty much The Brute. Except Joe has served on the second Fantastic Four and in Immortal Hulk series Took a Level in Kindness and helps saves the day from General Ripper Fortean and the One Below All while still being somewhat of a sleazy mobster. The same comic expains Joe comes from Bruce watching a Film Noir as a kid after getting beaten by his father and created Joe as his idea of an adult, someone talks tough and cracks wise but will kick the ass of anyone who deserves it.
    • Devil Hulk is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. A demonic creepy Hulk persona that only comes out at night, has creepy glowing eyes, weaponised Body Horror and does plan to end the entire world. Though it's shown he's really a Terror Hero who does care about innocent life, growling at a bystander woman during his fight with Abomination "Well what are you waiting for? A third monster move it lady!". Devil Hulk also genuinely loves Bruce and Green Savage Hulk and is fiercly protective of them, being the subconscious caring father figure Bruce always wanted.
    • Betty Ross has become this of late, namely in her Red She-Hulk and Red Harpy forms. She has red skin, wears black, has a cruel and violent temperament. When she first appeared as Red She-Hulk and her idenity was a mystery she was a straight up Dark Action Girl, in later comics Betty becomes an Anti-Hero and as Red Harpy she's a Creepy Good Humanoid Abomination like Devil Hulk who protects her husband from Conflict Ball Avengers.
    • Downplayed with Red Hulk aka Thaddeus Ross, he's a big red bully with a chip on his shoulder but redgardless he still fufills The Big Guy postion among the Avengers during Bendis's run and at his best becomes a case of Affably Evil. Even he's Red Venom Ghost Rider, Ross is still technically a hero since his opponent at the time was Blackheart.
    • Skaar, Hulk's son has long black mattered hair, black jagged torso markings and wields a nasty looking sword. He even starts off as a villain before reconciling with his father Bruce and becomes The Mole and Token Good Teammate of the Dark Avengers.
    • Amazingly both Carl “Crusher” Creel Absorbing Man and his wife Mary MacPherran aka Titania become this Gamma Flight, despite spending the previous decades as major thorns in the sides of Marvel’s heroes and working for Doctor Doom. They turn over a new leaf in Immortal Hulk upon coming to the conclusion being Good Feels Good and actually help Hulk fight against his Complete Monster father Brian Banner who is the avatar of One Below All as well as save world from Dario Agger’s Eldritch Abominations. They’re still brutish and jerky, but firmly on the side on the angels.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: One of the best-known cases in the Marvel Universe is Bruce Banner and his long-time love interest Betty Ross. Her father, General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, didn't approve of the relationship when Banner was just a nebbish scientist. Then the Hulk happened and Ross went General Ripper, determined to either kill the Hulk or use his power for his own benefit. He blames everyone except himself for what this did to his relationship with his daughter.
  • Dead Man's Switch: When Bruce Banner starts working for S.H.I.E.L.D., he first sets up one of these in case they decide to just kill him to neutralize the threat presented by the Hulk. Prior to his initial meeting with Maria Hill, he steals highly classified information — implied to be damning enough to bring down the whole organization if released — and gives it to a contact (who turns out to be Daredevil) along with instructions to release it if Banner doesn't check in with him on a regular basis.
  • Dead Sidekick: In the early 90s, the Hulk had a sidekick named Jim Wilson, a homeless kid with HIV. Eventually he died of AIDS in a Very Special Episode.
  • Death Is Cheap:
    • General Ross died from fighting Zzzax, but his body was stolen by The Leader and resurrected by the Troyjan.
  • Death Is Cheap: Betty Ross died of radiation poisoning, but she didn't really die. She washed up on a beach, was experimented on by Thaddeus Ross, became Red She-Hulk, lost her She-Hulk powers, got shot & died again and came back with her Harpy powers.
    • And lampshaded again in another issue during Nick Fury's funeral, where his friends laugh and crack jokes, saying things like "What d'ya think it is this time, aliens?" By the end of the story they realize that he's not coming back, and look genuinely mournful. Of course, as we all know, he did come back anyway.
    • Someone even called Marvel out on their frequent use of comic book death in the letters pages of that very same issue, to which the response was "Okay, okay, we won't kill Nick Fur—Oops."
    • This is explained in the Immortal Hulk series when it comes to Gamma Beasts as there is a strange green door that can be crossed, bringing Gamma Beasts back from the dead. For Banner, he's more than happy to just die, but it's suggested one of his Hulk identities charges back through.
    • One story in She-Hulk's run had her move to have a dead man's ghost testify in his wrongful death case against the company he worked for. When the other side objected, Shulkie called Ben Grimm to testify about how he came back from the dead. When counsel objected the dead person in this case was an ordinary human and not a super-being, she then asked by a show of hands how many people in the courtroom had been resurrected from some cataclysmic event. About half the people in the room (including one of the other defense attorneys) raised their hand.
  • 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.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Bruce Banner was introduced without a family. Eventually it was revealed that his mental troubles partly derive from his mother being killed by his abusive father. Bruce's longtime love-interest (and, for a time, wife) Betty Ross was introduced having lost her mother. The Hulk's occasional side-kick Rick Jones has been an orphan from the start.
  • Deconstruction: Bruce Banner turned into the super strong Hulk thanks to a gamma bomb explosion, endowing him with the strength and stamina to battle threats that even some other super strong heroes may struggle with, but Bruce has little to no control over the Hulk, which often results in a lot of property damage and turning Bruce into a fugitive hunted all over the world by the army.
    • Immortal Hulk: The series deconstructs several elements of the Hulk mythos as well as some from super-hero comics in general. Since this is a horror series, many of these tread into Nightmare Fuel territory.
      • Death Is Cheap is horrifically deconstructed when it's learned that the reason the Hulk and gamma mutates keep coming back is because death has a metaphorical revolving door for them to keep walking out of. Made worse is the fact that it's due to an Eldritch Abomination that is The Anti-God, which is only bringing them back so it has pawns it can use to enact its own plans. There's also the trauma of having to experience death in all of it's pain and terror only to come back repeatedly and realize it's going to keep happening again and again and that you may end up surviving thousands of years past the ends of your friends, loved ones and everything you ever held to be important.
      • I Did What I Had to Do is also given a harsh look from various angles and sides. The Avengers try to bring in Bruce and end up tangling with the Hulk. They can ultimately only win when they use a Kill Sat to hit him with a superbeam of solar energy which ends up not only killing Bruce (again), but destroys what's left of the town they were fighting in. Later, the opposite side is looked at with General Fortean, who believes he is absolutely justified in doing anything to fight the Hulk, while acting like a Knight Templar. However, it turns out that Reggie is actually mentally disturbed and everything he says it just an excuse to bring order to his world at any cost. It's only at the end when he's in the Below-Place that he realize the horrible mistake he made in pursuing Gamma-based weapon research, which ends up damning himself for all time.
  • Depending on the Artist: Of all the Marvel characters, the Hulk has probably the greatest variety of appearances. He started out looking like an 8-foot beefed up version of Frankenstein's monster (probably not accidentally, as Universal's Frankenstein film was one of the inspirations for the character), but now varies tremendously from artist to artist: facial features resembling anything from a human brute through to a full-on caveman, how muscular he is, how big he is, his hairstyle, the amount of veins visible,the length of his limbs in relation to each other, the length and color of his shredded pants, etc. And that's just the Savage (green) Hulk, never mind his other personas...
    • What's more, the Hulk's appearance will vary with the same artist. Each artist will usually keep the face consistant, but his overall size and proportions will vary from panel to panel.
    • Other variables; Hulk's eyes. Green or red? Blood; green or red? His third wife Caiera and their son Skaar also have variable eye colors, from blue to green.
    • Of course, since the Peter David years, it's been established that the Hulk's appearance and personality are a direct reflection of Banner's subconscious mental state, so many of the artists' different approaches to him could probably be put down to Banner's frequently-shifting psychological troubles.
    • In the early Silver Age, the Hulk didn't even need different artists to get inconsistent. Jack Kirby was particularly variable on how many toes the Hulk had, drawing him with three, four, or five toes per foot virtually at random. Contemporary artists use this as a Shout-Out opportunity, and flashbacks to the early Silver Age (like Hulk's brief tenure on the Avengers) often show him with three toes.
    • There’s also Bruce Banner himself as artists make him a beanpole nerd so that the Hulking Out is more visually effective. While other artists give Bruce a rugged look which is fitting given his drifter-like lifestyle.
  • Depending on the Writer: The Hulk has numerous factors of his character that vary between writers; Whether he's a dumb brute that can only speak in Hulk Speak, a completely mindless monster who can't talk at all, or someone with a fairly average intellect with a somewhat odd speech pattern. Also depending on the writer is the Hulk's power level; while it is in a state of flux depending on his emotional state, some writers have him being knocked out by an average python choking him for less than a minute, and dying from being impaled by a trident when he's previously survived wounds that make that seem like a papercut by comparison. Another significantly variable thing is how goodnatured the Hulk is; he can be basically heroic but bad-tempered, amoral and mostly wanting to be left alone, or a monster ruled by pure id who has done far worse than kill people. Greg Pak's Hulk, for a particular outlier, is a flat-out Technical Pacifist who subconsciously avoids killing people even in the midst of a rampage. This is somewhat justified by Banner having multiple personality syndrome and there being thousands of Hulks in his mind, but many of these traits have been ascribed to the iconic "Savage" Hulk personality alone.
  • Destructive Saviour:
    • His sons are also this. In fact, they may well be more dangerous than their father, because while the Hulk typically tries not to kill other people, his sons have no such compunction.
  • Determinator: This is the Hulk to a T, especially when his loved ones are in danger. Regular Bruce Banner as well, he tries to save the day even when he can't turn into the Hulk. With just his brain and his wits.
  • Deus Angst Machina: The series evetually got to the point where it more or less became a parody of itself for half a decade during the Dark Age because the writers were sick of the endless angst (probably).
  • Devil, but No God:
    • A good example is when an old flame allows Bruce Banner to see all his inner personalities (each a different Hulk), one of whom takes the form of a monstrous reptilian devil. Devil Hulk tells Bruce "There's a little bit of God and the Devil in everyone", but the comics have yet to get around to that God part. We do get to see that an incarnation of the Beast lives in Bruce's head as well.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Hulk often invokes this trope, whether he's smacking around Thor and Hercules, or smashing some multiversal threat with the Defenders.
    • In the 1970s, veteran scribes Marv Wolfman and Len Wein wrote The Incredible Hulk: Stalker From the Stars, wherein the Hulk crosses paths with an Eldritch Abomination attempting to escape its prison beneath the Earth so it could conquer and enslave humanity. In this case, the Hulk doesn't punch Cthulhu out so much as rip him to pieces and burn him alive. Ouch.
    • One early foe of his was the Galaxy Master, whose most common form was a huge gaping maw hanging in the middle of space and destroys planets to consume them as food. Hulk's answer? Jump inside it and smash it from within.
    • 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.
    • Other feats include the Hulk handling the infinite power from the singularity of the core of a black hole and ripping apart a weapon designed to withstand and kill the Celestials.
    • Onslaught was a powerful fusion of Professor X and Magneto's conscious into a Psychic Entity who had the power of other Omega-Level mutants such as Franklin Richards and Nate Gray and could create a sun from nothing. A Invincible Villain for Marvel's heroes... until Jean Grey removed Bruce Banner's conscious from Hulk - que one very, very, very angry Megaton Punch and Onslaught's physical form is destroyed. Unfortunatly, this also had the side effect of opening a dimensional rift.
    • In one Hulk book, Red Hulk punched The Watcher, then went on to punch an Elder of the Universe to death. Justified in that Red Hulk's energy-absorbing powers basically mean that the stronger his opponent is, the stronger he is.
    • In the Immortal Hulk, the Jolly Green Giant is up against The One Below All the exact opposite of The Above All aka God basically an Eldritch Abomination so powerful even Mephisto (who’s fought Galactus) is scared of it. But after a Heroic Second Wind Hulk does a Shockwave Clap that literally blows the One Below All away. Hulk admits afterward he only bought them a minute breathing room to escape the Lovecraftian nightmare, but that doesn't make it any less awesome. Made even more awesome retrospective with the revelation that One Below All is really the Superpowered Evil Side of the One Above All, but Hulk still clapped him anyway. Justified though since Hulk is apparently the child of One Above All and the counterbalance to creation by being a force of destruction itself.
  • Disability-Negating Superpower: In one storyline, Bruce Banner is shot in the head while turning into the Hulk. With the Hulk's Healing Factor, he survives (and even manages to remain in control of it) but, since the bullet remains lodged in his brain, has to refrain from turning back into Banner at all costs or die immediately. This continues until the Leader manages to remove the bullet.
  • Disappeared Dad: Bruce Banner had once realized that he himself became one, as two or more of his Hulk personas have made children under contrived situations; Bruce in one self-introspecting moment felt he should be responsible for them, awkwardly attempting to connect with his estranged children. It didn’t quite work as none of them felt a connection to Bruce Banner and he didn’t try to push things much further, just accepting it as one of the many things that never works out in his life.
  • 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.
  • Distant Finale: Peter David set the final issue of his 12-year-run 10 years after the previous issue. A Daily Bugle interview with Rick Jones serves as a fitting end to both David's tenure on the title and the Hulk mythos in general.
  • 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": This seems to be a recurring theme with Gamma mutates.
    • Calling The Hulk "Bruce" is a good way to end up on the receiving end of the worst beat down of your life. Justified, though, as they really are separate personalities inhabiting the same body. And they do not like each other.
    • In the same vein, Joe Fixit doesn't like to be called "Hulk", and neither does the Doc Omega personality, who sees the name Hulk as something pushed on him. And the Maestro hates to called Hulk or Banner.
      Maestro: I'm sorry, Banner can't hear you right now. Please leave your message at the sound of a thousand cracking femurs.
    • Just narrowly averted in Immortal Hulk, when someone calls that Hulk Banner and he just asks "are you trying to piss me off?"
  • Does Not Like Shoes:
    • The Hulk, as his feet are not only too big, but change in size with the rest of him depending on his anger level.
    • Zigzagged with his cousin, She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters. During her earlier appearances Shulkie was always barefoot. Nowadays, spending more time as her super-powered alter-ego Shulkie usually wears some sort of footwear, unless she’s forced to transform back into Jennifer (for whom Shulkie’s shoes are too big), or she’s caught into action while carrying out professional duties (she’s a lawyer).
    • Both The Professor and Joe Fixit, however, wear appropriate footwear (generally patent leather formal shoes and workboots, respectively. The Professor even once wore bunny slippers!).
  • Double Jump: In a very early issue, the Hulk somehow does this by flexing to avoid face planting into the side of a bridge.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Averted. In Hulk: 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 Dragon: The Leader also sometimes used Rock and Redeemer as Dragons.
  • The Dreaded: The Hulk scares the hell out of the rest of the Marvel Universe. The most powerful heroes - even knowing full well that he's Not Evil, Just Misunderstood - take his arrival as seriously as that of someone like Doctor Doom, if not more. Given what a rampaging Hulk can do, it's not without reason. He could get angry, you see. And you wouldn't like him when he's angry. In everything from trading cards to the actual comic books, other heroes are shown to be very reluctant to confront him.
    • In Greg Pak's run, people start to wonder if Banner is actually the more dangerous one. He is.
    • Deadpool had a memorable meltdown when he found out that he had to get a blood sample from the big green galoot in an attempt to cure his currently-failing Healing Factor. His reaction was to talk him up using the lyrics of his old cartoon theme song ("Ain't he unglamorous").
    • Subverted with Captain America. He not only holds immense respect for Hulk in either form (he bitched out the Illuminati for sending Hulk into space) but it has been said by numerous characters that the only thing Cap would need to do to stop a rampaging Hulk would be to stand in front of him.
    • The new Hulk personality introduced in Immortal Hulk terrifies even Thor, he refers to him as a Devil.
  • Dumb Is Good: The Hulk is usually The Hero or at least an Anti-Hero. However, Depending on the Writer, he is near mindless or at least has a childlike mentality. 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. His main villain is an Evil Genius named The Leader who has super intelligence. Likewise in Ultimate Marvel, Hulk defeats Abomination because the latter "thinks too much."
  • Dynamic Akimbo: Hulk himself rarely does this, but the Merged "Professor" Hulk took the pose often, and was one of the more confident, handsome and intelligent forms of the character.
  • 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. It takes them awhile before the character is associated with anger, around his first visit with The Inhumans where they establish that his strength increases with his rage.
      • The situation with the Hulk's intelligence was lampshaded in an issue of Mark Waid's The Avengers run, where the Silver Age Hulk doesn't understand why the present-day Spider-Man keeps trying to use Hulk Speak to communicate with him.
    • 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.
    • The later Immortal Hulk series intentionally went back to the character's roots, with the Hulk depicted as a far more intelligent and overtly malicious figure than most fans were generally used to. The series also revives some of the Hulk's original mechanics, with "the night is his time" being a repeated theme-phrase. The way the "Immortal" part works is that if Bruce Banner is killed, the Hulk will rise as soon as night falls on his corpse.
    • Hulk also had an ever-changing number of toes. When he first appeared, he had five toes. When his book was cancelled and he resurfaced in Fantastic Four, he now had three. When he joined the Avengers, he then had four, but went back to three by the second issue, only for this number to vary wildly in each subsequent appearance before the artists finally settled on five in Tales to Astonish. This was the subject in a Mythology Gag in Ultron Forever, where the Hulk transported from the past still had three toes.
    • Originally, the Hulk could also fly, but this ability was quickly dropped (retconned into super jumps that could be mistaken for flight by witnesses).
    • The Hulk being a founding member of The Avengers. It didn't take Stan Lee long to figure out that the Hulk wasn't exactly a team player, such that by the third issue of the series he's actually fighting against the others in full-on supervillain mode. Later comics have dealt with his on-again, off-again membership in all manner of ways as his intelligence has fluctuated.
  • Eat Me: The Hulk let the Galaxy Master eat him, so that he can smash it from the inside.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: The Hulk has defeated some of his opponents this way, such as by spraying the villainess Vapor with oxygen when she had transformed herself into hydrogen, effectively turning her into water (which should have required burning it), or by beating X-Ray (a living field of radiation) with a lead pipe, which disrupts his radioactive body.
    • This is much more more fun if you realize that pure oxygen and pure hydrogen tend to explode when combined.
    • Vapor and X-Ray were both members of the U-Foes, a group of villains who tried to get superpowers by copying Reed Richards' flawed space flight. They ended up as direct analogues of the Fantastic Four (but evil, and therefore punchable), making them Elementals twice removed.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The Hulk's "Worldbreaker" form basically counts as this. Hulk's basic power is that the angrier he gets, the stronger he gets, seemingly without an upper limit. The "Worldbreaker" form is when he gets so angry that his strength is enough to break a planet.
  • 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.
      • 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...
  • Emotional Bruiser: Naturally, the Hulk has this going for him a good deal. While he's mostly associated with anger, he often displays other intense emotions in combat; such as extreme sadness or fear. Hulk in most versions represents raw, unfettered emotion free from intellect or reason, so it's expected.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: This is a central core of the franchise. Bruce Banner lived much of his life as a stoic scientist who avoided clear display of emotion. When exposed to gamma rays though, he tends to transform into The Hulk, who's basically raw, unprocessed emotion in its purest form. Writers will play around with the concept; Banner is a scientist and helpful, but some writers will point out he was building weapons of mass destruction before being transformed, or otherwise portray him like an asshole. The Hulk is a Gentle Giant who ultimately doesn't go out and start fights, but at the same time is incredibly destructive and impossible to control once he gets going. Neither personality particularly likes the other.
  • Escapist Character: The Hulk is a mix between This Loser Is You and this. Most people can relate to feeling like poor, downtrodden Bruce Banner at least once in their life and he can provide wish fulfillment by turning into an unstoppable rage monster that can curbstomp almost anything that pisses him off. Less so in later storylines, as his Hulk persona wrecked his personal and professional life.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Oddly enough, Hulk's Rogues Gallery also includes someone else's Evil Counterparts. The U-Foes are a group of four villains whose origin, powers, and personalities are all extremely similar to those of the Fantastic Four. Strangely, they have never faced the FF despite all of the characters being Marvel Comics characters.
    • Brian Banner is the evil counterpart to Bruce both are nuclear scientists with hidden rage inside them, difference is Bruce as a man or The Hulk always at least has some conscience and innate goodness (thanks to his mom) while Brian is immoral, horrifically abusive and serves an Eldritch Abomination. In Bruce's mind Brian is represented as a giant demonic snake-like hulk.
    • The Maestro, an evil future version of the Hulk who acts as the ruler of a Bad Future caused by nuclear wars.
    • The Red Hulk, who is even more violent, almost sociopathic, and trigger-happy then the Hulk.
  • Evil Overlord: The Hulk's evil alternate self the Maestro in The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect who ruled as a brutal despot in a post-apocalyptic society with an iron fist and lives off as a hedonist that surrounds himself with concubines. He is still a dangerous foe, since he has Banner's intellect, the Hulk's strength augmented several times and absolutely no moral inhibitions.
  • Expy: Bruce Banner and Hulk began as expies of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, respectively.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: The Hulk's son, Skaar, said this when he first met his father on Earth.
  • 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.
  • Extra-ore-dinary:
    • Michael Steel aka Ironclad of the U-Foes was transformed into a creature of organic metal when he and his associates attempted to replicate the accident that gave the Fantastic Four their powers.

    Tropes - F to O 
  • Fallen Hero: Among one of the Hulk's most dangerous foes is a future version of himself, the Maestro, an insane, hedonistic, sadistic tyrant.
  • False Utopia: In one of the comics, Bruce Banner has a dream where all his biggest wishes are true: married to Betty, friend to her father and other former enemies... This is an illusion from his inner monster, the Devil Hulk, in which Bruce could be trapped if he let the devil take over his body. Bruce turned down the offer.
  • Fantastic Measurement System: When Amadeus Cho studies magical phenomena, he measures the reality-warping field strength in "hercs", one herc being equal to the field strength of his friend Hercules. It sounds like "hertz" so it's pretty natural to tack on SI prefixes like megahercs or gigahercs, but most of the measurements he gives are between zero and five hercs.
  • 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.
  • Fashion Dissonance: The comics of course started off with plenty of this with Rick Jones’s checkered jacket, Betty Ross’s Jacqueline Kennedy outfit and Bruce Banner’s iconic purple pants which wouldn’t have been seen as so garish back then as it is today. Interestingly later Hulk comics such as Immortal Hulk when flashing back to early days unlike other comics deliberately don’t bother modernizing the outfits, no matter how much it jars with the modern characterization of the cast, such as Betty who wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a pillow box nowadays.
  • 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.
  • Fearsome Foot: The series and its adaptations often emphasize the Hulk's massive size and strength by showing his feet tear apart Banner's footwear, or stomp on something.
  • 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 World War Hulk, 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.
  • Finger Poke of Doom:
    • During the Mr. Fixit storyline, the Grey Hulk (almost as strong as green, as smart as Banner, and totally amoral) gave a human opponent (Doctor Octopus, see below) "da Finger". A finger thump to the forehead, knocking him out.
    • While it happened off-panel, later during the Merged Hulk period he says to the Punisher, "If I had used two fingers instead of one, you'd still be out cold."
  • Flanderization: The Hulk's raw power has been greatly exaggerated. In his first appearance, Hulk was perfectly capable of fluent speech and clear-minded reasoning. Over the years the "dumb" part of Dumb Muscle got amplified along with the "muscle", until we reach the iconic "HULK SMASH!" levels. Then, Peter David got the idea of explaining this as two different facets of Bruce Banner's fractured mind manifesting in different types of Hulk. How his level of strength tends to be inversely proportional to his intelligence has been explained by that his ability to reason tends to put limits to how much pure rage he can build up. An alternate universe supervillain, the Maestro, was even created out of the idea of "what if the Hulk stopped caring about holding back, then lived for a hundred years?"
    • Contemporary Marvel writers have some fun with this when time-travel shenanigans bring later characters in contact with early Silver Age Hulk. Heroes (and villains) expecting the monosyllabic rage-monster are shocked to meet a gruff, clever Hulk who is functionally equivalent to a stronger, tougher, more devious Ben Grimm.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: The relationship between Bruce Banner and The Hulk is permanently changed. Maybe Hulk is the one in charge now. Maybe it's Banner. Maybe they're separate. Maybe one side is Darker and Edgier, and one side is completely gone.
  • Flight, Strength, Heart: The Hulk has super-strength and durability... and the ability to see astral forms. Which is more useful than you might think, but not that much more useful. To be even more obscure, he can also always sense his location relative to the place he was "born" in the gamma bomb.
  • Flip-Flop of God: Marvel goes back and forth over whether or not the Hulk has ever accidentally killed someone during his city destroying rampages. This led to a notable Retcon at least once; the Hulk was sent into space for the Planet Hulk storyline because a fight between him and the Thing inadvertently caused the deaths of over twenty people. This was later retconned into severe injuries, which made the whole "shoot him into space" thing into retroactive Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Foil:
    • The Hulk and She-Hulk
      • Bruce is rarely the one in control of his Hulk form, which is more often than not being used by one of his many, many split personalities. Jennifer is almost always in control of her She-Hulk form.
      • Bruce wants more than anything to be normal. Jennifer has in the past done whatever it takes to remain She-Hulk permanently.
      • Hulk represents everything Bruce represses about himself. She-Hulk is everything that Jennifer ever wanted to let out.
  • 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.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: The Hulk has had an ever-changing number of toes. When he first appeared, he had five toes. When his book was cancelled and he resurfaced in Fantastic Four, he now had three. When he joined the Avengers, he then had four, but went back to three by the second issue, only for this number to vary wildly in each subsequent appearance before the artists finally settled on five in Tales to Astonish. This was the subject in a Mythology Gag in Ultron Forever, where the Hulk transported from the past still had three toes.
  • Four-Star Badass: General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: The Hulk used to pal around with a group of super-powered do-gooders called The Pantheon. Except Paris wasn't quite the do-gooder they thought. In addition to causing outright chaos, he speaks to the reader, is aware when the end of the book is coming up and at one point, turns the book OFF. Creepy.
  • Freudian Trio: In the early 90s, writer Peter David had psychologist Doc Samson use hypnosis to the integrate the Hulk's different personalities which he described as:
    • Id: The savage, green Hulk,
    • Ego: The cunning grey Hulk aka "Joe Fixit", and
    • Superego: Bruce Banner, and combine them into one new Hulk.
  • 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.
  • From a Single Cell: The Hulk's future incarnation, the Maestro, was capable of regenerating from dust.
  • 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-Circle Revolution: One story has Professor Hulk taken to a planet where a green race was enslaved by a red race. Professor Hulk helped the green people overthrow the rulers and before leaving asked them to live peacefully together. Looking through a telescope as he was getting far off he saw the red people enslaved by the green ones and wept.
  • 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.
    • One comic from the 90's, where right after beating the hell out of Captain America, the savage Hulk had a particularly brutal fight with Thor, all while completely naked. The Hulk won.
  • Future Me Scares Me: The Hulk once had to overthrow his tyrannical future self, the Maestro. Ever since then, Bruce has had a fear of becoming the Maestro, one way or another.
  • 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 harassing the Pantheon, and the other was later killed in trial by combat with the Hulk. He swore vengeance, but got all of one appearance until well over a decade later. 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 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.
  • General Ripper:
    • General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross is obsessed with stopping the Hulk at any cost, often interfering with Bruce Banner's attempts to cure himself in the process. Which one he actually hates can get blurry — he once tried to shoot a de-Hulked Bruce Banner on the day Bruce married his daughter. He's even willing to Hulkify himself (and his daughter, in addition to brainwashing her) if it means stopping the Hulk (he became the Red one).
    • There's also Ross's expy General Ryker.
    • The Red Hulk has his own General Ripper nemesis in General Fortean, Ross's former apprentice, who blames him for Ross's death. Of course, Red Hulk is Ross. The irony is not lost on him. Fortean returns in Immortal Hulk, which showcases some of the differences between them - Ross has some humanizing elements, and the occasional standard. Fortean does not, and will do absolutely anything to destroy his enemies, including ignoring the chain of command, forcing everyone under him to go along with his insane vendetta.
    • Part of it is due to Ross' secret envy of Banner's power. Deep down Ross wanted to be the Hulk.
  • General Failure: General Ross' lifelong goal (some would say obsession) with bringing the Hulk to justice has obviously caused more casualties and property damage than he ever could have prevented, and cost the U.S. Army a fortune, all without results. This probably has something to do with the fact he keeps insisting on taking on the guy who turns into a giant, super-strong, bulletproof monster when under stress... by shooting him on sight. And it only gets worse; Ross proves himself the worst hypocrite imaginable when he becomes the Red Hulk, becoming just as much a menace as the one he tries to bring down.
  • Generational Saga: Interestingly, generation is a bit of a fluid thing here. The first generation is Bruce Banner, Jen Walters, and their supporting casts, then we get the second generation with Skaar and Lyra, the Hulk's son and daughter, as well as members of the first generation becoming Hulks themselves.
  • 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!"
    • He started out as brilliant physicist Dr. Bruce Banner, before the radiation accident that turned him into the Hulk. Different personalities, including that of Dr. Banner himself, took control of the Hulk's body at different points and showed varying levels of brains and brawn, depending on which one was currently running things. They would occasionally borrow each others' skills, with Banner lending Joe Fixit his memories and computer skills when Fixit needed to figure out who had poisoned the Hulk and who was about to kill them. It Makes Sense in Context.
    • At the start of the "Secret Wars" arc, the heroes are teleported to a remote corner of the universe, Reed Richards immediately announced what has happened and how it must have been done, and Hulk, who currently possesses Banner's mind, only snarls "That's obvious, Richards!" while The Thing and Johnny Storm are still trying to catch up with what Reed just said.
    • Merged Hulk, A.K.A "The Professor," is a Split-Personality Merge of the three main personas that retains Banner's intelligence. This form is perhaps best remembered as the one used in the early Marvel vs. Capcom games.
    • In Ultimate Marvel, The Abomination is just as strong as Hulk, but retains his genius IQ.
    • Also, numerous writers have taken note that innocents are never hurt during Hulk's violent rampage, and have since implied that even when he's a neanderthal-like monster, Bruce Banner's mind is constantly doing calculations to ensure that his actions never cause anything but collateral damage to buildings. Somewhat confirmed in Greg Pak's Hulk run, in which while fighting his son Skaar, the Hulk slammed the ground as if to attack, but was really aiming to pile up sand to shore up a collapsing building.
    • Ultimate Hulk reveals that he retains his genius-level intellect in his fight with Abomination.
    • Also demonstrated in Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine (which took place before that fight but due to delays wasn't finished until considerably afterward) where Ultimate Hulk is shown relaxing casually, offering Logan some hot cocoa.
    • Hulk's cousin, Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, is both a super-strong super-heroine and a practicing lawyer.
  • Genre Turning Point: The Hulk got a lot of attention as an ambiguous hero who was neither entirely a superhero nor entirely a monster, and his series pushed the boundaries of the Comics Code Authority by depicting the United States military as antagonists (the Code stipulated that comic books couldn't portray respected organizations in a negative light). With his anger, his inherently flawed nature, and his troubled relationship with authority figures, he also went on to become a counterculture icon, showing the potential for superheroes to act as a voice for the youth.
  • 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.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: Reprints of earlier stories would change the Hulk from gray to green, but this is no longer necessary as the gray Hulk form is now established in continuity.
  • The Glasses Come Off: When Bruce Banner gets angry, the glasses come off. If he plans on getting angry, he'll take the glasses off ahead of time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Good Bad Girl: Marlo Chandler, spouse of Rick Jones and former lover of Mister Fixit (aka the Hulk).
  • Good Is Not Nice: Depending on the Writer, the Hulk can be this; he causes a lot of collateral damage and can be an out and out Jerkass at times, but he'll go out of his way to save innocent lives and make sure no one dies during his rampages, and he's got one of the higher "save the world" count among the Marvel heroes.
    • Even Hulk's more recent “Devil Hulk” transformation in spite of his world conquering ideas, still cares for innocents. Growling a bystander during his fight with Abomination “Well you waiting for a third monster? MOVE IT LADY!”
    • Joe Fixit aka Grey Hulk is definitely a Jerkass and mobster compared to his mild manner alter ego Bruce. But he’s still willingly to save others and in Immortal Hulk journey into hell to save Bruce from the Leader.
  • The Good King:
    • After becoming king of the Planet Sakaar in Planet Hulk, the Hulk actively worked to rebuild his new kingdom, maintain peace with the resident Starfish Aliens, and was more than willing to spend the rest of his life ruling Sakaar peacefully. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for Sakaar to be destroyed by an outside source.
    • Hulk in House of M, where he becomes ruler of Australia after overthrowing the mutant government there, turning it into one of the last free bastions of human society in Magneto's mutant dominated world.
  • Good with Numbers: Teen Genius Amadeus Cho can do advanced physics in his head, complete with glowing diagrams around him. He's claimed to be good enough that he can use math to stop a charging rhino with a grape seed, and proved it when he fought the freaking Hulk.
  • Grandfather Clause: As the Hulk's origin involves exposure to gamma radiation, gamma radiation is always going to be the cause of his transformation, even though the trope has been disproven.
  • Green Rocks: Gamma radiation often has a completely random effect on the individual exposed, usually something to do with their psychological makeup, although this effect is often completely arbitrary. This is the way they explained gamma radiation turning Hulk into a id-like monster, She-Hulk into a fun-loving Amazon, Doc Samson into a musclebound superhero type, and the Abomination into what you'd expect.
    • It's also been revealed that most people would just die horribly when exposed to such large amounts of gamma radiation (which is a rather more plausible result), and the people who got superpowers from it did so because the radiation interacted in some pseudoscientific way with random genetic anomalies they already had. It was explained once that everyone who got a positive mutation from gamma exposure had a single common genetic ancestor somewhere back in the mists of history. No one else has that funny genetic quirk. This was demonstrated when the Leader dropped a gamma bomb on a town of about ten thousand people or so; everyone died, except five individuals who mutated. One of the Leader's main goals is perfecting gene therapy to allow anyone to achieve powers from gamma radiation.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Bruce Banner's little Recordasphere assistant fell in love with him, up to the point of feeling bitter jealousy over the human woman Banner himself was falling for. When Banner realizes this, he says in amazement, "You've exceeded your programming!"
  • Ground Pound: The Hulk uses this a lot, to the point that not only is this a staple of his in the comics, animations, and the most recent movie, but every game adaptation has him able to do it.
  • Ground Punch: This was in Hulk's arsenal of moves for quite a long time, but hasn't been seen in several years.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing: The Hulk often uses this as an attack.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: The Hulk in all his incarnations. He is, after all, the Trope Namer of the related trope Hulking Out.
  • Guns Are Worthless: The Hulk is impervious to most forms of damage, including gunfire.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: Minor slasher villain Speed Freek tries this on the Hulk once. The Hulk has no problem holding his guts in, but then his skin heals over his hand...
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The Hulk's entire existence basically hinges on this concept. 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. Even if you do manage to get him to a calm state, he often assumes that someone is stealth insulting him or trying to tell him what to do, which either causes him to leave in a huff or just attempt to smash your ass. Or some dumbass will come along and provoke him again. While he's not exactly a bad guy, this is the reason he tends to get into so many battles with other superheroes.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Skaar and Hiro-Kala.
  • Harping on About Harpies:
    • In World War Hulk's "Gamma Corps", the Hulk's old enemy the Clown was turned into the Griffin with Gamma technology, specifically based on Betty as the Harpy.
  • Hates Being Touched: The Hulk occasionally exhibits this, as people touching him when he’s either The Hulk or Banner will often cause a strong reaction. Not too surprisingly given Bruce was terribly abused by his father Brian and developed the Hulk identity to cope with the trauma, he especially hates Brian touching him as an adult as seen in comics and Hulk (2003) where he literally curls up defensively at his dad entering his personal space. Hulk doesn’t have a problem with his friends and loved ones (such as Betty Ross) touching him though, he also lets Spider-Man climb on his back and take a ride on his shoulders.
  • Headbutting Heroes: The Hulk REALLY has this in spades. He has loads of characters he'll never get along with. Amongst them, Thor is the one with whom he has the biggest rivalry. The Juggernaut, Wolverine and The Thing are also common rivals.
    • As far as the Hulk goes, he and Thor will occasionally get along perfectly well until one sets the other off, and a fight breaks out. Hulk and Ben also have mutual respect for each other. That being said, the Hulk does have a few heroes he absolutely hates, especially after the Planet Hulk / World War Hulk incidents. Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and Professor X being among them. Wolverine and Juggernaut, on the other hand, are purely antagonistic with the Hulk.
  • Healing Factor: The Hulk has been at various times shown to have a healing factor that makes Wolverine's pale in comparison at times. (Including having all his skin ripped off and regrown in seconds — partly justified in that drawing mass and energy from another dimension is explicitly part of his powers.) More specifically, the Hulk's healing factor is much like his strength level in that it's tied into his emotional state. The Hulk not only gets stronger as he gets angrier, he also heals faster. Apparently, Hulk's healing is so fast that it took years for anybody to even notice it existed. He regenerates so quickly that nobody could tell that attacks could actually damage him to begin with.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Due to his simple and unstable psyche and tendency to go into blind rages, the Hulk has gone from hero to villain and back again his entire existence. For instance, Hulk will save a city one minute, then someone (typically his nemesis General Ross) will piss him off and he'll start ripping apart the city he just saved. In the end though, Hulk will usually end up doing the right thing, even if it's just by accident.
    • Speaking of Ross, he himself tends to go through the door over and over depending on how obsessive and what lengths he's willing to go to bring down Hulk that issue. Sometimes Ross is willing to help Banner be cured of the Hulk or leave him be for the moment if he does something good, other times he's been out to straight up murder Banner from the outset and nothing will deter him from it. He eventually joined The Avengers as Red Hulk, but left to form the new Thunderbolts after becoming dissatisfied with their methods.
  • Henshin Hero: The Hulk is theoretically this; in human form Bruce Banner is just a regular guy (though fairly smart), while in Hulk form he's extremely strong and tough, but he's also really stupid (usually). Because the comic is called The Incredible Hulk instead of The Average Banner, he tends to spend about 90% of the time as the Hulk, with the writers before the 00s reverting him to human form to have him angst for a while. Since Planet Hulk and its follow up stories, Banner has been given more control/a partnership with Hulk's personality that allows them to transform back and forth at will, with Green Hulk taking on a more intelligent form of speech, making them more a classical version of the trope, though both still see each other as the "other guy" to some extent.
  • Hero Antagonist: The U.S. military usually genuinely believe that the Hulk is a dangerous monster that they need to stop. Stan Lee commented in an interview that portraying them that way allowed him to get around The Comics Code's insistence that authority figures always be portrayed positively. Afterwards this changed, and there emerged a trend to portray General Ross, who usually commands the anti-Hulk military forces, as a General Ripper.
  • 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, due to the damage he's caused in his career, it would be very hard to find someone in the Marvel Universe with worse publicity who could still be considered a hero. But you really can't blame anyone.
  • Heroic Build: Bruce Banner is not particularly muscular or defined as himself (Bill Bixby, who played Banner in the TV show, was widely regarded as having the proper physique); how sculpted he becomes when he Hulks out depends on the artist.
  • Heroic Neutral: The most iconic incarnation of the Hulk is the simple-minded green version; although he's quick to anger, left to his own devices both he and Banner just seek isolation, possibly making friends along the way. There's a reason "HULK JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE!" is one of the character's catchphrases. But if anything happens to either of their friends, the Hulk really gets angry, and whoever is at fault will get the worst of the rampage.
  • Heroic RRoD:
    • The madder Red Hulk gets, the hotter he gets, until he overheats.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: This happens with the Hulk a lot, due to the fact that both his strength and his rate of recovery speed up the more he's angered. When he's down and seemingly out for the count he'll usually get mad enough to get his second wind. In the 2008 movie, he has a few just from seeing Betty Ross in danger (or apparent danger).
  • He Who Fights Monsters: General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross. This is made especially clear in Hulk Gray, where many parallels between Ross and the Hulk are drawn and Ross grows more and more fanatical in his pursuit of the Hulk as time goes on. Eventually, in his pursuit to defeat him, he became what he hunted: a Hulk. He even lampshades it.
  • Hey, You!: During the "Merged Hulk" period, in which the Hulk had Banner's psyche, he was a member of a group called "The Pantheon" whose other members were all related and were all named after Greek heroes. One (Paris) was an insufferable jerk who insisted on calling Doctor Robert Bruce Banner (who went by Hulk, Bruce, or Dr. Banner) "Bobby."
  • Hoax Hogan: The Hulk easily defeated a wrestler who claimed to be the one, true Hulk and was a clear Expy of Hulk Hogan in Marvel Comics Presents #45.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The U-Foes seem to kill themselves off like this the first time they turn up — their newly gained powers are strong enough to potentially take down the Big Green Machine, but Power Incontinence kicks in. Vapour can turn herself into any gas... but soon cannot keep her molecules together. Ironclad can increase his mass... which keeps increasing so he cannot move and sinks into the ground. And their leader Vector, just like Unus above, can repel things — eventually he repels the air around him so he suffocates, then he repels Earth itself and shoots out into space. X-Ray's ability to manipulate radiation very nearly causes him to explode from absorbing too much energy. They come back.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: In one issue, Hulk does this to She-Hulk.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Thor and the Hulk have clashed many times through the years, with the majority of their fights ending in draws. Just before a memorable clash in Peter David's The Incredible Hulk run, Thor revealed that he had intentionally held back during all of those past encounters, as he was worried unleashing his full strength would cause him to lose control.
  • Home-Run Hitter: Occurs in a standalone mini-series, where Doc Samson dares Hulk to hit him, offering him the first punch. The path his flying body describes could best be called a projectile arc...
  • Hot-Blooded: There's a reason his catchphrase is "HULK SMASH!"
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The Hulk with basically any human-sized love interest. Even his Amazonian Beauty cousin She-Hulk (6'7) is only chest height to him. Some artist's renditions of the Hulk are capable and actually have held love interests clasped between his hands.
    • Part of the problem with the Hulk is that his size is incredibly inconsistent, to the point where it'll vary between panels on the same page. His third wife, Caiera (7'0"), was a hot amazon with similar proportions to his cousin. Some panels had them standing next to each other with only a few inches difference in height, while others have him absolutely dwarfing her. The Hulk's official height is less than eight feet tall, however some panels will have him pushing fifteen feet for dramatic effect.
    • This is not so much artist variation as an effect of his powers, part of his ability to get stronger as he gets madder is an increase in size, up to a maximum of twelve feet.
    • The size-changing thing is a handwave that may or may not be used Depending on the Writer. Most writers have his size remain consistent, though the artwork usually won't reflect this for dramatic purposes. This is why the Hulk won't always just get bigger as he gets angrier, he'll vary in either direction from one panel to another (even if they show the same moment in time or are separated by a matter of seconds).
    • Originally, Bruce Banner became the Hulk by saving an irresponsible teenager (5'9) from being caught in an atomic bomb blast and that said teenager became hulk's companion, which would make it another trope altogether.
    • Ultimate Hulk can be worse. Typically only around the 2.4 meter (7'10) mark, there's one storyline where he's somewhere in the neighborhood of six meters (19'8) tall and has a harem of dozens of normal-sized women.
  • Hulk Speak: Obviously. Only the animated version and the "savage" version from the comics however. In the movies, Hulk only roars, with a single line in the first three (2003 movie version has him saying "Puny human" in Bruce Banner's dream sequence; in the 2008 movie, Hulk said "HULK... SMASH!" during the final fight scene with Abomination — because it had to be said at least once — and in The Avengers, given Loki called himself a god before being beaten, Hulk walks away saying "Puny God..."). For the most part, however, he speaks correct, if terse, English. In Thor: Ragnarok he finally starts talking extensively in classic Hulk speak.
    • The Hulk says "HULK SMASH!" pretty often in the comics, even in his more intelligent incarnations that are pretty smart and can actually speak perfectly fluent English. Then there was a partial subversion in Peter David's apocalyptic far-future Hulk story The Last Titan; the Hulk was given ample space for his thoughts, which while being in Hulk speak, were well-constructed and reasonable, though also mostly misanthropic and relating to various forms of violence.
    • This is a case of Characterization Marches On, as in the Hulk's earliest appearances, he was much smarter and had better grammar. Even when he did refer to himself in the third person, it was still usually in longer, complete sentences. Later writers retconned this smarter incarnation into one of several alternate personalities within the Hulk, explaining the inconsistency.
    • The Bixby/Ferrigno The Incredible Hulk TV series from the 1970s likewise averts this trope. Lou Ferrigno mostly stands there while he flexes, and Ted Cassidy provides voice-over growls.
    • Writing Hulk-related reviews or previews as if the hero did them occurs at times — and is mostly hilarious. You can also check out how it looks when Hulk wrote his own article in this very wiki.
    • This was averted in the early Marvel vs. Capcom games (Marvel Super Heroes, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom and Marvel vs. Capcom 2), where the Hulk used complete sentences and spoke in the first person. This is because all of the MVC games prior to Marvel vs. Capcom 3 used the Hulk's Merged Hulk/"The Professor" incarnation from The '90s, rather than his more well known Savage Hulk personality. When he did use Hulk Speak, it was usually as a joke:
    Hulk: HULK SMASH!!! Sorry. I just had to say it.
    • Deadpool showed up in the Hulk books with his thought narration written in Hulk speak.
    • Parody obviously has a field day, for example Marvel "What The" having a fight between Hulk and Thor, which essentially reduces to a fight Hulk Speak vs. Flowery Elizabethan English.
    • Immortal Hulk has a newer persona, who does not speak like this, unless pushed very far (or badly injured). It's just not smash he tends to say.
      Immortal Hulk: Hulk kill. Hulk kill EVERYTHING!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hunk: Bruce Banner averts it, being short and skinny. His alter ego doesn't fare much better, as he is generally drawn as extremely muscular but troll-faced. However, during the 1990s, Bruce Banner and the Hulk were merged into a single persona and this new incarnation was drawn with the Hulk's body and Banner's face, creating a (green) hunk. Also, while Banner was initially skinny, he was vey fit, and the physical exertion caused by being years of being on the run caused him to develop muscle mass, leading to several comments on it.
  • Husky Russkie: Mongu (Boris Monguski) subverted the stereotype by actually being a smaller man inside a set of Powered Armor that looked like a barbaric giant, which was ultimately trashed by the Hulk. Years later an actual barbarian named Mongu would show up, though as he hailed from another dimension he had no ties to Russia.
  • Hypocrite:
    • General Ross' ultimate goal - and some would say obsession - is to bring the Hulk to justice, believing him a dangerous threat. While this view isn't uncommon, his eventual solution after years of failure is hypocrisy at its worst: He becomes the Red Hulk, a monster who, in many ways, is just as destructive as his foe is, possibly more so.
    • General Fortean, Ross’s protégé from Immortal Hulk is just as bad when it comes to hypocrisy if not even more so. He and his cronies at Shadow Base hunt Bruce/Hulk relentlessly as he blames him for every Hulk-related tragedy as well as the death of Ross, but while pursuing vengeance commits a ton of atrocities and causes heaps of destruction which he and his people write off as collateral damage. Not only does Fortean get his mentor’s daughter Betty Ross shot in the head (she gets better) while attempting to assassinate Bruce but he also weaponises gamma mutation himself and before the end lets himself get turned into the monstrous Abomination. Also when Fortean accidentally kills some of his men with his new powers, he manically rambles that it was their fault for not clearing the area at which his Number Two relieved him of command and then Hulk put him down.
      • The supreme irony is that Fortean even to the very end was blissfully unaware that Ross was Red Hulk meaning he was serving a Broken Pedestal the whole time. Then it is revealed Fortean did know Red Hulk's true identity and simply choose to ignore the truth but continued to blame Banner anyway which makes his actions in Immortal Hulk even more hypocritical.
    • In the same run, the Avengers themselves thanks to being the Conflict Ball against Hulk, are staggering hypocrites in issues 6#, 7# and 47#. Carol despite having painstaking learned in Civil War II that attacking people based on mere potential threat is wrong, still tries to forcibly arrest Bruce with the obvious result of Hulking Out, later Carol actually advises Iron Man against using a Kill Sat when things go out of control even though she instigated the conflict in the first place. Tony himself despite fighting so hard against Carol using Ulysses in Civil War II and the immorality of targeting people before they’ve committed crimes — still attacks Hulk for just resisting arrest and fries him with a laser. Cap himself has a moment of this in 47# when arguing with McGee as to why Hulk needs to be captured, reasoning that he causes too much damage and “it’s a tough call but he has to be contained” is the exact same Super Registration Act spiel Steve strove against back in Civil War.
  • I Got a Rock: In one issue, Professor Hulk studies his officially licensed Avengers action figure. He comments that while everybody else has some cool accessory (Captain America's shield, etc.), but "I got a rock."
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk, a destructive monster, and (usually) has no control over his own actions when he does so. Even worse, thanks to retcons, there are several Hulks inside him, all fighting with him and between themselves to take control. When he gets back to normal, he can be in the middle of nowhere, unsure of what he did while Hulked out, if he destroyed something or killed someone, with his clothes ravaged by the change... And even if he manages to avoid turning into the Hulk for some time, he would still have to live on the run, with the military on his back trying to capture him, kill him, clone him, experiment with him and kill him again. The very idea of being "normal" is just a far away vague dream.
  • 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 See Dead People: The Hulk, although given some of the revelations of the Immortal Hulk run, perhaps it's not that surprising.
  • I Warned You: Far too many fools to count have heard "Leave Hulk alone" or "Hulk just wants to be left alone" and decided not to listen, continuing to mess with him until he inevitably got angry.
  • I Work Alone: ...he constantly tries to convince himself that he's better off without them.
  • Iconic Outfit: The Hulk's most usual clothing, purple pants (that resist everything!).
  • I'm Going to Disney World!: Speedfreek, upon his introduction, used various football metaphors left and right, and threw in the line about Disneyland as he was congratulating himself for killing a mobster.
  • Immune to Bullets: He is immune to bullets, and grenades, and everything short of a nuke, as the military, General Ross and others seem to forget in most portrayals. Though even special rounds don't do much either, Ross once shot an Adamantium Bullet straight into Hulk's eye and it did little more than piss off the Jolly Green Giant.
  • Immune to Mind Control: The Hulk normally can't be mind-controlled due to the abundance of rage within him. The multiple personality disorder he suffers from has also helped. For this reason, his "Professor" incarnation, originally touted as a "merger" of all the other minds and lacking the others' rage, was vulnerable to mind control for these very reasons. In its quest to codify the Hulk's alternate personality system, Immortal Hulk has implied that the Savage Hulk — the raging brute who speaks in broken sentences — is the only alter that's fully immune to mind control.
  • 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 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.
  • Improbably High I.Q.: Bruce Banner actually averts this. His IQ is stated by a school psychiatrist in a flashback as being "too high to measure", which is quite possible as standard IQ tests aren't very helpful when measuring superintelligent people.
  • 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. He is stated to be able to leap 3 miles, typically in an arc so low that it often looks like he's flying in transit in some panels. But then, the guy can also throw tanks.
    • Hulk can also jump to the moon.
      • Given that Hulk's super leaping is a simple application of his strength, and his strength is inherently variable based on how angry he is at the moment, piss him off enough and he can jump as far as he feels like.
      • Which is quite clever if you think about it. The further Hulk gets from the thing that makes him angry, the calmer he'll be. So he'll be jumping less and less distance each time. Then the army or SHIELD or whoever is chasing him will catch up, piss him off again, and the whole cycle repeats.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Although the Hulk is ostensibly a hero, many of his Unstoppable Rage rampages have caused enormous and widespread destruction, which raises the question of exactly how many innocents have lost their lives as collateral damage. As it stands, only a single Hulk rampage (Incredible Hulk #300, which in Hulk's defense, was the result of Hulk being Mind Raped by Nightmare, and all of Earth's heroes knew this) led to deaths (the number varies but as of Civil War, the count is 26 dead men and women and one dog). Lampshading this is Amadeus Cho hypothesizing that the lack of carnage in every other Hulk rampage save the one from Hulk #300 is because underneath it all, the Hulk still retains Banner's super-math skills, maybe even to a greater degree than Banner, and so he's able to predict the trajectory of all the debris he sends flying and make sure it never hits anybody (Cho himself has a similar ability to instantly calculate trajectories). Even so, the Hulk's rampages still ruin people's lives, as shown by Jackie McGee's backstory in Immortal Hulk — her father worked himself to death trying to rebuild their lives after the Hulk destroyed their neighborhood. How many more like Jackie's father the Hulk's left in his wake is unknown, and probably unknowable.
  • Informed Judaism: During his long run as writer on the series, Peter David decided that long-time supporting character Doc Samson is Jewish, although it had never been mentioned before. He may have been influenced by the fact that the name "Samson" is rarely used by anyone but Jews these days (and even then pretty rarely), despite it being an In-Series Nickname.
  • Inspiration Nod:
    • Writer Peter David called these his Pink Bunny Slippers after an example of one of his storylines. He realised that there are parallels between between his The Incredible Hulk story line and this other movie, Real Genius. There are similar plot points, so he makes a reference to it that doesn't involve using any more of the pre-existing connection but just throws in this shot of pink bunny slippers (as worn by both the University President and Val Kilmer in the movie) to lampshade it to anyone else who might have also spotted the similarities.
    • The Incredible Hulk vs Fin Fang Foom story "The Fin From Outer Space!" is about the titular dragon creature possessing the members of an Antarctic research team and and leaving corpses behind, creating a paranoid atmosphere. The team leader is called Dr Campbell, the first victim is called Dr Carpenter, and one of the other researchers has the first name Howard. Another scientist snaps "Who Goes There?" at Bruce Banner. There's also a poster for The Thing from Another World on the wall of the base in one scene.
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: Bruce Banner built a robot assistant called the Recordasphere that looked like a little flying silver sphere. He never expected it to be fully sentient, but she turned out that way, fell in love with him, and became homicidally jealous of his girlfriend. Nonetheless, the Recordasphere did die heroically to save Bruce's life.
  • 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:
  • Interpretative Character: The series is all over this: is the Hulk an aspect of Banner's psyche brought to life? A completely separate individual? A psychological child (emotionally innocent but easily angered)? Really kind of dumb, of at least average intelligence using Hulk Speak as a verbal tic, or using it to deliberately downplay his intelligence? All of these have been used. Adding to the fun is the fact that the Hulk sometimes manifests as a Genius Bruiser with a ponytail, a Barbarian Hero, or a grey-skinned, morally flexible thug, and the same or similar questions play out.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Bruce 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.
  • Interspecies Romance: The Hulk (gamma-irradiated human) with Jarella (from K'ai) and Caiera (Shadow Person). He had two sons from his relationship with Caiera.
  • Invisible to Normals:
    • Hulk foe Mercy's whimsical explanation of her Invisibility.
      Mercy: Give it up, Doctor. I can only be seen by people subjected to gamma rays. Or by people subjected to any intense radiation. Or by the nearly dead. Or those who are very sick. Or... anyone I feel like seeing me, really.
    • The Hulk also has the ability to see astral forms.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Bruce Banner is the poster child (and Trope Namer) for Hulking Out, due to his transformations being involuntarily triggered by anger or stress. At a couple of different points he becomes more stable, either locked into a particular form for a stretch or able to take control over his emotions to the point that he can mostly suppress or evoke the change as desired. Initially his transformation occurred at night, and later he would transform into his Grey Hulk (AKA Mr. Fixit) form at night, as well.
  • Iron Woobie: Bruce Banner was abused as a child, turned into a green monster, endured the death of three wives, chased around the world by the Army, shot into space, enslaved by an alien empire, loses the empire once he conquers it, has his Roaring Rampage of Revenge crushed by a Heel Realization, and fails to save one of his troubled sons. Man it SUCKS'' to be a big green badass.
    • How bad does Banner's life suck? In Immortal Hulk one issue of the series draws direct parallels between Bruce and Job. You know, the guy in The Bible whose life God absolutely and completely destroyed (Home destroyed, livelihood destroyed, family destroyed, riddled with ailments, etc.) as a test proposed by Satan to prove Job's loyalty to God was not bought. Yes, Bruce's life is so awful and absolutely f*#@ed that he can be compared to a guy who is the posterchild for human misery and being a Cosmic Chew Toy.
    • And, oddly enough, the Hulk himself, as depicted in Hulk: The End.
      Hulk: For years... forever... Hulk has listened to Banner, and Banner's friends, talking about how Hulk ruined Banner's life! Hulk made Banner's life! Banner was nothing before Hulk... nothing!...Hulk doesn't want friends, because friends will hurt him. Everyone hurts him. Everyone hurts Hulk.
  • Irrational Hatred: General Ross's initial obsession with hunting down The Hulk. His motivations are a combination of his overprotectiveness of his daughter Betty, and a deep down envy of Hulk's might and power.
  • 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: A 2003 storyline in focused on Bruce Banner learning that he was suffering from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which would leave him forced to remain the Hulk once his body became so badly afflicted by the disease that he couldn't continue as Banner, until he eventually received a cure from the Leader. However, this cure was only possible with gene sequences taken from the corpse of Brian Banner (Bruce's long-dead father) 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.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Bruce Banner and his more famous dark side the Hulk. This has been played with many times over the years, with Hulk varying from a brutal monster to an innocent savage. For a while between World War Hulk and Indestructible Hulk, Banner was portrayed as Hulk's dark side, since unlike Hulk, he'd actually killed someone. And in the Marvel 1602 Elseworld, David Banner gets transformed into the Incredible Hulk. Lord Banner works as an enforcer for James VI of Scotland and I of England, and is evil, sadistic and altogether not a nice bloke at all. Follow-ups reveal that the Hulk, on the other hand, is noble and intelligent. (And his influence eventually redeems Banner.)
  • 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.
  • The Juggernaut:
    • The Hulk can go into Juggernaut mode if you really piss him off.
    • Immortal Hulk introduces The Breaker-Apart, a Bad Future version of The Hulk that takes Hulk's unlimited capacity for rage and becoming bigger and stronger to its logical extreme. This Hulk is a Cosmic Entity in his own right that breaks apart entire universes. He's even able to kill beings with Complete Immortality like Mr. Immortal. Nothing can stop this Hulk from destroying everything in existence. Even worse, all traces of Bruce Banner and the Hulks were consumed and replaced by Marvel's resident Antigod The-One-Below-All, meaning the Breaker-Apart wants to destroy everything.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Practically all of the people the Hulk beats up typically brought their fates on themselves.
  • Kind Restraints: This happens to the Hulk from time to time. In early stories, Bruce Banner had a bunker under the sea which he had Rick Jones lock him into at night for when he turned into the Hulk.
  • Klaatu Barada Nikto: Klaatu was named after Klaatu from The Day the Earth Stood Still.
  • 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. However, if he gets too angry his metabolism will dispel it completely.
  • Knotty Tentacles:
    • Hulk has at least once defeated Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four by tying him in knots.
    • He also tied Doc Ock's arms into knots in retaliation for the beating he received in a Sinister Six storyline.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: The Metal Master has the psychic power to control any metal, but he suffers a Villainous BSoD if he comes to believe his powers are failing him. The Hulk (during one of his early "smart" incarnations) tricked him with a huge wooden gun painted to look like metal; while the villain panicked, the Hulk finally got close enough to grab him. Metal Master suffered an even bigger emotional breakdown when he realized Rom Spaceknight's armor was made of an alien metal he legitimately couldn't control.
  • Kung-Fu Sonic Boom:
    • The Hulk has been known to do this deliberately to stun or deafen weak or evasive enemies, by slapping his own hands together.
    • More than once, the Hulk has collided with an enemy possessing a comparable level of strength with enough force to wreck surrounding buildings. Notable instances include him clashing with Iron Man (wearing a Hulkbuster suit) in mid-air, blowing out the windows in every building for blocks in the World War Hulk storyline and a fight against Red She-Hulk that was causing tremors for miles around.
    • Also from World War Hulk, Green Scar vs the Sentry. The impacts destroyed most of the surrounding buildings. And indeed, about half of Manhattan.
    • Perhaps the most glorious post-WWH example is in Immortal Hulk where the eponymous rage monster produces a Shockwave Clap so powerful it blows away his Archnemesis Dad and The One Below All.
  • Kung-Shui: Anything happening in the same county with the Hulk. The understatedly-powerful Ferrigno version busted a lot of barrooms. The comics, movie and video game versions bust a lot of buildings and military equipment.
  • 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".
  • Last-Second Word Swap: In a special issue of Peter David's run, the moment where a frustrated Hulk shouts "Aw, sh-" is interrupted by another scene; when we get back to him he ends his exclamation with "-oot!"
  • The Law of Power Proportionate to Effort: The Hulk's power typically comes from his lack of control. As the epitome of Unstoppable Rage, the more berserk the Hulk is, the stronger he is. There have been times in which he's gained a greater "base strength" while in controlnote , but even then getting angrier makes him scarier. Other characters have attempted to control the Hulk Out and keep their mental faculties, such as the Abomination, Red Hulk, She-Hulk, and Amadeus Cho, but they've all hit a limit to their strength—except when the latter two get mad.
  • Leave Me Alone!: Inverted numerous times when the Hulk, and later Banner, tell the other heroes to leave him alone, and it turns out that they should have left him alone. Doc Samson even told them "The Hulk keeps telling you to leave him alone. I suggest you do exactly that." It's a given that if the Hulk was left to his own devices, he'd wander into a wilderness area far from any human encroachment and just stay there.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The series can usually pull these off repeatedly due to the Hulk's unstable mental nature. One day he's a giant with the mind of Bruce Banner, the next an unthinking ball of green rage. Getting these fights to stop usually involves a Cool-Down Hug and the inevitable Hulk's Cooldown Hug Corollary to avoid a change in the Status Quo. 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 by the Hulk (in Smart/Banner/Merged Hulk form at the time) during the Marvel Knights crossover storyline, when he accidentally bumps into Ghost Rider while strolling through the park at knight. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for the reader, Ghost Rider, currently fully possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance and only seeing the (accidental, collateral) pain Hulk has caused, is not having any of it and doesn't go along with the plan.
    Hulk: Alright, I get it. This is the obligatory "good guy meets good guy, they have an obligatory fight based on misunderstanding, then team up to fight the REAL bad guy. Can we just skip it?"
    • Wolverine got started as a character created to be a Canadian hero sent to fight the Hulk.
  • Lie Detector: In one story, General Ross tried to get Doc Sampson to take a lie detector test regarding his knowledge of the Hulk's whereabouts, forgetting that as a psychologist, Sampson would be perfectly capable of deceiving it. Sampson's response was to threaten to cram it into one of Ross's orifices.
  • Lighter and Softer: For roughly half of the 90s.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Hulk is not only the strongest one there is and nigh-invulnerable, but he's also extremely fast.
    • Hulk’s cousin She-Hulk is no slouch herself being to toss dinosaurs around, lift greater weights than the Thing can, move fast enough to dodge Iron Man’s attacks and tank getting smashed through entire cities and even attacks from her bigger cousin Bruce. Shulkie’s Arch-Enemy Titania is of similar mold being strong, fast and tough enough to give Jen a hard time and sometimes beat her outright.
    • A lot of Hulk’s villains and allies such as Abomination, Red Hulk, Doc Samson, A-Bomb and Skaar (his son) can move and react at high speeds despite their massive sizes as well as match Hulk in strength and toughness.
    • Lyra who despite lacking the muscle mass of the aforementioned Hulk characters, is still incredibly strong, incredibly fast and incredibly tough. She once gracefully dodged Ares (a Physical God)'s axe attack and brought him down with a single backhand punch.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With She-Hulk. They're cousins, but they treat each other as siblings, and they're pretty protective of each other.
  • Literal Split Personality:
    • This has happened to the Hulk on occasion, usually separating Bruce Banner and the Savage Hulk, commonly reducing the Hulk to a rampaging 'beast' without Banner's intellect to keep him in check. Paul Jenkins' run saw a number of journeys into Banner's mind with various Hulks showing up representing different aspects of Banner's psyche.
    • Jason Aaron's run on The Incredible Hulk (2011) kicks off with the Green Scar Hulk (a smarter version of the Savage) getting himself split from Banner. Banner doesn't take it at all well, to the point that Banner irradiates an entire island trying to turn himself back into a Hulk.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Rick Jones to the Hulk. Also Betty Banner and (on a good day) Doc Samson.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Look Behind You: Used during a "inside Bruce Banner's brain" sequence, as the gray Hulk distracts the green Hulk by saying, "Look! It's Lou Ferrigno!" before locking that aspect of Banner's mind away again.
    • Subverted in another issue of Hulk saw the eponymous hero facing down his arch nemesis The Leader, only for the villain to warn him, "Rock's heading your way." This of course is met with extreme skepticism by the Hulk, who doesn't turn, and is summarily skewered by The Rock, once of the Leader's henchmen wearing a powerful shapeshifting battlesuit.
  • The Lost Lenore: Betty Ross becomes this to her husband Bruce Banner until she's Back from the Dead. There's also Jarella and Caiera.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine:
    • In an attempt to take control of his body and manifest in the real world, the Devil Hulk once traps Bruce Banner in a perfect fantasy land that exists only in his head. Bruce is married to Betty, has kids and is best friends with his father and General Ross.
    • During Fall of the Hulks, the Intelligencia traps Bruce — and the other seven smartest men in the world — in a Lotus-Eater Machine in order to drain their intellects. Not all that surprisingly, Bruce is married to Betty, has kids, and has killed the Hulk.
  • Love Transcends Spacetime: Jarella
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Happens to the Hulk, believe it or not. Betty preferred Bruce Banner, Jarella preferred Hulk and Caiera loves both.
    • That Betty loved the integrated Hulk shows her consistency; she loved him for his mind rather than his body in all incarnations.
  • Ludicrous Precision:
    • Greg Pak likes to demonstrate Bruce Banner's intelligence by having him spout random math problems and ridiculously precise probabilities in his speech.
      Banner: From the beginning, I figured there was an 83.7 percent chance that during the course of the battle, I'd turn back into the Hulk.
    • Amadeus Cho always talks like that. The one thing he can do is work out the exact probability of pretty much anything, so he likes to do so. He can also use said ability for Improbable Aiming Skills by calculating in an instant bullet ricochet, etc. During the Chaos War crossover, when almost the entire population of Earth was put into trance, Cho warned that at least 32451 people could die due to things such as being in speeding vehicles or in the middle of surgery.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Hiro-Kala knew that he was the son of the Hulk. He didn't know that Bruce Banner was the Hulk. So when they first met, the following exchange happened:
    Hiro-Kala: Who are you?
    Banner: Your... your father.
    Hiro-Kala: Hmp. I don't think so.
    Banner: Yeah, I'm not too happy about it either.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: The Hulk has his son Skaar, who was still in his mother's womb when she died, as well as Lyra, his daughter by Thundra from a divergent future. There's also Skaar's twin, Hiro-Kala. Carmilla Black, the new Scorpion, is the daughter of villainess Monica Rappaccini, and the supposed daughter of Brucer Banner.
  • The Mafia: Joe Fixit worked for a mafioso casino owner at one point, serving as his bouncer and all-around enforcer.
  • Mad Scientist: Bruce Banner usually isn’t this, but without the Hulk as an outlet, he can start to lose it as all his anger and darker impulses build up.
  • Magic Pants: The most obvious example is the Hulk, who seems to always wind up wearing those purple pants regardless of what Banner was wearing before the transformation:
    • In the live-action series, Ferrigno usually wound up wearing the same kind of pants that Bixby had on when he "Hulked Out". This led to amusing scenes in which the transformation would shred shirts, destroy heavy leather work boots, and even, in one case, crack open a motorcycle helmet — and yet those Magic Pants remained intact. One speculates that this was why the Hulk was so angry.
    • In contrast, the 1980s Incredible Hulk animated series had not only magic pants, but an entire magic outfit that was virtually the only thing Banner ever wore (with the occasional addition of a lab coat), presumably so that the same Stock Footage transformation sequences could be used in every situation. No matter how many times that khaki shirt and red tie were torn off and the patent leather shoes burst apart during transformations (as well as the tearing of the obligatory purple pants, though tinted much closer to red in this version), the bare-chested, barefoot Hulk would always revert to a fully-dressed Bruce Banner.
    • One issue of The Ultimates, an Alternate Continuity version of The Avengers, plays on this, claiming that the Hulk, who was out of control, "murdered a fat guy and stole his pants" off screen after he transformed. Much of the time, he's just naked with Scenery Censor.
    • In Hulk Vs., the Hulk is separated from Banner at one point, and both of them wind up with the Hulk's purple pants (the ones on Banner properly fitting him.) Huh?
    • Stan Lee once commented that he liked to work "science" (read: Technobabble) into all of his stories, and that Hulk's pants were the only time he never had a clue how the exact science behind it worked.
      • Another time he said that Mr. Fantastic (see below) gave Banner a pair of super-stretchy pants.
    • Also used in She-Hulk comics: magic pants and a magic top, although this was probably to escape the censors.
      • During the John Byrne run of She-Hulk, it was established that Jen's underwear never shreds during her transformations and fights because they were tagged approved by the comic book code (thanks to the No Fourth Wall nature of Byrne's take on the character). So no wardrobe malfunctions allowed here!
      • In the early She-Hulk comics, her top was apparently extra-magical. It would tear and get all tattered (but not fall off) when she hulked out... and then magically repair itself when she transformed back into Jennifer!
    • This even led Deadpool to believe there was some sort of power in the Hulk's pants, calling out "HULK PANTS, ACTIVATE!" while being held aloft by the Rhino. But, then again, Deadpool is a Cloud Cuckoolander.
    • Parodied in a billboard in Alan Moore's Top 10. "Super Stretchy Gamma Pants. You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Naked."
    • A possible parody is the giant green dragon Fin Fang Foom, also in the Marvel universe, who wears purple pants.
    • However, this is subverted in the Ang Lee film, where there does come a point (after several stacking annoyances to Mr. Banner) where the Hulk is apparently completely naked. However, by this time he is largely shadow-clad.
    • In The Incredible Hulk film, Bruce Banner is shown buying extremely stretchy pants several sizes too big. Presumably he has quite a collection of belts.
      • In The Avengers, Banner is shown naked after transforming back into his human form note  A kindly old night watchman ends up providing him with a new set of threads.
      • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Banner is explicitly shown to wear specially designed pants that can stretch to fit his Hulk physique. Naturally, they're purple.
      • In Thor: Ragnarok, Banner has to make do with a pair of pants that belong to Tony Stark, which are way too tight for Banner's liking, and he spends many of his scenes struggling to walk in them, or adjusting the pants in an unseemly way. Despite this, they still stretch when he transforms into Hulk, subtly poking fun at the concept.
    • During Peter David's Hulk run, there was a gag where Banner found a line of purple pants similar to those worn by the Hulk. The clerk at the store mentioned that the pants were very popular with the obese due to their stretchy fabric.
    • Also lampshaded in an early issue of Wolverine. Hulk, in his "Joe Fixit" gray Hulk persona, has shown up in Madripoor. Wolverine, being a longtime foe of the Hulk, recognizes him immediately. In an attempt to scare Hulk off and play a gag on him, Wolverine breaks into Hulk's hotel room, steals his expensive custom-made Hulk-sized Mafia suits, and replaces them with many, many pairs of large, ripped up, purple pants. (Hulk then goes to a tailor he knows who does excellent rush work, and shows up at Wolverine's place fully decked-out in a white linen three-piece suit.)
    • Lampshaded and averted simultaneously in the Crisis Crossover The Infinity Crusade. Due to experiencing atmospheric re-entry, all of the Hulk's clothes burn off, plus he passes out due to the stress (though being Nigh-Invulnerable, he was otherwise unharmed). After he lands on an opponent, a new hero unfamiliar with the Hulk wonders "if he always goes into battle in such a... natural state."
    • The Hulk's son Skaar has a magic loincloth, which shrinks to fit his human alter-ego.
    • Hulk's pants have been destroyed on rare occasion. In one instance revealing that he wore orange and yellow boxers that were apparently even more invulnerable.
    • One assumes the reason Bruce keeps buying this same brand of hideous purple pants is that they're so stretchy. Though why, in all these years, he's never asked Reed for some unstable molecule trousers is anybody's guess.
      • He did get a full tuxedo made of unstable molecules for a 2011 storyline that parodied about as many spy tropes as possible. The tux was destroyed by the end of the storyline.
      • In another comic set in the Ultimate Marvel universe (which usually averts this trope), Tony Stark gives Bruce Banner an unstable molecule suit in preparation for some experiments on the Hulk. When Bruce hulks out, the top half rips off entirely while the pants only tatter a bit, acting just like Bruce's normal clothes in the main universe. In yet another storyline, Reed Richards gives Banner an unstable molecule suit that grows and expands around his body whenever he transforms.
    • According to Al Ewing's Immortal Hulk, Bruce started buying these pants long before he ever became the Hulk — in college he bought ten identical suits, which all came with purple pants, in the expectation they'd only become more fashionable.
  • Magikarp Power: In human form, Bruce Banner's just a nerdy human scientist with no obvious special abilities and a near phobia of losing his temper... and with good reason.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Really, Bruce 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. That way, Banner could have kept an eye on the detonation process and held it until the guards and trespasser was clear.
  • Mall Santa: In issue #378 (by Peter David), Rhino (a supervillain) becomes a Mall Santa. He gives this advice to kids: "Give! Give! Give! You want everything handed to you! Why not do what I do? Take stuff! See it? Want it? Take it!"
  • Mama Bear: Bruce's mother Rebecca Banner was this to Bruce she even died attempting to free her son and herself from her abusive subhuman scumbag husband Brian. In Chaos War Rebecca reppears and reuintes with her son - still trying to protect him - despite him being a 8-foot green powerhouse at this point, naturally the roles are switched with Bruce protecting from her Brian in his snake-like Devil Hulk form.
  • Manchild: The Savage Hulk in usual appearances is childlike and innocent. He is prone to violent fits of rage and causes lots of collateral damage when someone attacks him, but all he wants is to have friends and be liked. Painfully justified since the Hulk was born from the trumatic childhood Bruce Banner endured at the hands of his scumbag dad. Contrast this to how She-Hulk is with Jennifer Walters, who was born from the latter's desire to be confident and outgoing as a young adult.
  • Man of Kryptonite: X-Ray of the U-Foes can shoot off "anti-gamma radiation", which can depower or outright kill the Hulk. Fortunately, X-Ray's not terribly bright, so he doesn't have much of a chance to utilize this.
  • The Master: It's not the exact name, but The Leader has pretty much the same vibe. And in his appearance in the Dan Slott She-Hulk series, he was drawn as Roger Delgado with hydrocephalus.
  • May Contain Evil: In Annual #18, "Spelling Made Easy" is a best-selling book about necromancy aimed at the layman. Reading it aloud turns you into a demon.
  • Mayfly–December Friendship: The Hulk and all his various friendships if Hulk: The End is to be believed. He is the last sentient being on the entire planet Earth. Even Banner dies, and the Hulk is finally alone, as he has always requested.
  • Merchandise-Driven: One issue featured mattresses from Sleepy's.
  • Middle Name Basis: The Secret Identity of the Hulk is Robert Bruce Banner, known exclusively to everyone who knows him as "Bruce" (unless he goes by an alias to hide). This is a result of Serendipity Writes the Plot, as Stan Lee often used to forget the character's name and alternated between calling him "Bruce Banner" and "Bob Banner". After realizing the mistake, the name we know as was established as his real full name.
  • Mirror Scare:
  • Mirthless Laughter: In issue #159, after learning from the Hulk that he spent two years in a coma before his Healing Factor restored him from their last fight, when he fell to Earth from orbit, the Abomination begins alternatively ranting about the situation and laughing at it. The Hulk tells him to stop laughing, because it sounds all wrong, and then finally sucker-punches the Abomination to leave him out cold and stop the laughter.
    Abomination: A-ha! Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha haaaaa! "Nothing can hurt the Abomination", I said! Not even falling out of space! It may put me in a coma — but when I wake up, I don't even know know about it! ''How wonderful to be a freak! I can lose whole sections of my life! Isn't that funny, Hulk? Isn't that just hilarious?! Ha ha ha ha haaaa
    Hulk: Do not laugh! Hulk does not like your laugh! Sounds like crying.
  • Misaimed Marketing: A children's book series has Hulk going around making friends and helping people. He's never angry and always huge and green. A sweet, silent guy.
  • Misblamed: In-Universe, the Hulk is frequently blamed for the damage his fights cause, even though he's rarely the one who started it.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Most of the Gamma Corps hunted the Hulk because they wrongly believed he was responsible for their personal tragedies. To their credit, they stop hunting the Hulk once they realize this.
    • Mess' child was killed during a battle between the Hulk and the Abomination and she was led to believe that the Hulk threw the bus that killed him. It was actually the Abomination who did it, which was even more galling to Mess because she let the government alter the left half of her body to be Abomination-like.
    • Gideon blamed the Hulk for his son Jim Wilson's death just because Jim was a friend of the Hulk's when he died. Jim actually died of AIDS (which, to be clear, he did not contract from the Hulk). The Hulk pointed this out to Gideon. The Hulk then mentioned that Jim never told him his father was still alive, and he asked Gideon why Jim was a runaway pretending to be an orphan in the first place.
    • Prodigy's parents claimed that he suffered birth defects because of the Hulk. Prodigy became a Leader-like Gamma mutant and joined the Corps for payback. He later discovered that his parents blamed the Hulk to hide the real reason for his birth defects- their heroin addiction.
    • The only members who don't fit this are Grey and Griffin. Grey actually hated his brother Glenn Talbot and just wants to prove himself more capable than his brother by beating the Hulk. Griffin just wants someone to hate.
  • Momma's Boy'': Bruce Banner was this to his mother Rebecca due to Brian Banner being a psychotic abusive asshole as while Brian hated his son, Rebecca adored Bruce and lost her life protecting him from Brian. In a Battle in the Center of the Mind, Rebecca again tries defend her son but Bruce, being the goddamn Hulk, assures his dear mom that nothing can hurt him now.
  • Monster Modesty: Hulk is the main offender but many of his enemies (Abomination) or his allies (Skaar) utilize this trope.
  • 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.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: The Abomination plays this straight.
  • 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.
  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • The Hulk has Wrath down pat—without it, he's just a scientist, rather than a superhero.
    • The Joe Fixit, or Gray Hulk, personality is a straighter example of this, he wears fine, personally tailored suits, eats the finest food (and a lot of it), and of course, heaping helpings of pleasurable company, but is shown to have a certain honor, mostly taught to him by his former employer, Mr. Berengetti.
    • Recent interpretations of the character have indicated that Banner is just as much Wrath as the Hulk. The difference is that Banner's is much more focused, and therefore even more dangerous, with characters thinking that of the two Banner is the more dangerous. This gets backed up by the fact that the Hulk is scariest when he's closest to Banner in personality and intellect.
    • 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: Naturally, this has happened to Bruce Banner a few times, as 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.
    • In one instance the Grey Hulk was nearly mugged, which is odd considering he's taller than most people and almost as wide.
    • The moment where Bruce Banner is nearly raped by two men in the shower of the YMCA takes the cake. It's an aversion, though, as when Banner threatens to turn into the Hulk, they doubt him but decide not to risk it.
  • Multiple Head Case: Bi-Beast. Justified, since he's an android.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: This is almost the entire plot for the Hulk, as any character's superpower can be easily identified by which body part is the largest (The Leader, the Abomination, etc.) The Hulk is among the strongest individuals in the Marvel Universe, and is ripped as hell.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless:
    • In Planet Hulk, Hulk's wife Caiera is a slim alien woman (smaller than both Green and Red She-Hulks) yet thanks to the Old Power she can enough channel super strength to lift well over 100 tons match her husband in strength.
    • Hulk himself dips into this in Immortal Hulk as he one point gets his muscles taken away by Absorbing Man and loses barely a margin of his strength. At another point, he’s changed back into Bruce Banner but has Joe Fixit (Grey Hulk)’s persona and is still strong enough to overpower Psycho for Hire Bushwhacker. Although it’s still made clear he is far stronger with his Hulk-physique.
  • My Brain Is Big:
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: It's revealed in a flashback in Skaar Son Of Hulk that Caiera's obedience disk was removed when she was still a child; her oath to be the tyrannical Red King's shadow was all that bound her to his service.
  • My Real Daddy: Peter David gets this with the Hulk, adding a lot of depth and characterization to Bruce Banner and other supporting characters.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: In his first appearance, The Leader was after an Ultimate Machine containing all the knowledge in the Universe. When he obtained it and downloaded the information into his mind, this proved too much even for his super brain and killed him. Seemingly.
  • 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.
  • Naked People Are Funny: During Peter David's run, the Leader shoots the Hulk with a BFG, seriously injuring him and incinerating his clothes. The Hulk regenerates almost immediately, but his clothes don't. The Leader requests, (more or less) "Dr. Banner, please! There are ladies present... And you're making some of us men feel inadequate."
  • Named by Democracy: The Hulk was an example of this trope but it's since been retconned away.
  • Names to Run Away From:
    • The Hulk.
    • The Maestro, an evil alternate universe version of the Hulk.
  • 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.
  • Nephewism: The only known relative of Rick Jones is his aunt. Also, although she is rarely brought up, a few stories and adaptations mention Bruce being partially raised by his aunt after his father kills his mother (and eventually gets arrested for it.)
  • Never Gets Drunk: The Hulk is immune to alcohol.
    • Ultimate Hulk, however, might not be. During his New York rampage he was described as "drinking the contents of an entire beer truck." Unfortunately for Betty and the other people in New York, Hulk is a mean drunk.
    • His cousin She-Hulk can't either due to her size and metabolism. This doesn't apply to her human form though, and should she revert back into Jennifer Walters all the alcohol She-Hulk drank will affect her instantly.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: The Hulk is like this. He may rage to high heaven and destroy an entire city, but he has never killed anyone deliberately... or even accidentally! Best not to think about the latter too much. Ultimate Hulk is, quite graphically, as far from this as you can get. Then came the "Heart of the Monster" story arc in Incredible Hulks when he wound up in the Dark Dimension. Where no one is innocent. And his ex-wife and his worst enemies were there too.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Brian Banner was all over this one. His horrific abuse of his wife and son is his dad's fault, for being abusive, or little Bruce's fault for being born super-smart. His eventual murder of his wife? Bruce's fault, for being born at all. Even in Immortal Hulk, when he's been dragged down to Hell itself for his actions, twice, he still refuses to acknowledge that the situation might possibly in any way be his own fault.
    • General Reginald Fortean, through Immortal Hulk. He constantly shifts any responsibility for his actions onto other people, when he's the one forcing them to do those things, especially when anyone tries calling him out on his deeds.
  • Never Live It Down: Umar will, understandably, never live down the fact she once raped the Hulk. It doesn't help that this instance was played for laughs when Hulk had been the victim of both an attempted and a successful rape before, and they were rightfully shown to be the horrible, traumatizing events they were.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Whenever Hulk ventures into Man-Thing's swamp, he is attacked by alligators.
  • New Old Flame: A while back, Bruce Banner of all people had an incredibly hot girlfriend in college, but dumped her because he was a neurotic twit. She's now an evil scientist, and still bitter about the breakup.
  • Nice Guy: Bruce Banner is a kind-hearted, well-intentioned, self-sacrificing person as long as you don't piss him off. The Hulk can also be considered one although he leans more towards a Gentle Giant and a Bruiser with a Soft Center.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: General Ross has unwittingly and sometimes deliberately stopped Banner from curing himself of the Hulk many many times, not to mention acting as the catalyst for pissing off Banner and thus transforming him into the Hulk even more often. Ross' attempts to stop the Hulk only tend to make things even worse. Whether an incident falls under Nice Job Breaking It, Hero or Nice Job Fixing It, Villain depends on which side of the Face–Heel Revolving Door one considers Ross to be at the time.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • The Hulk's raison d'être: if you're going to kill him, at least try to make him happy about it. This makes Ultimate Nick Fury pretty smart since he did JUST THAT. Pity Loki intervened.
    • The Onslaught saga springs to mind... "And Hulk is ANGRY!!!!"
  • The Nicknamer: The 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. For The Defenders, Doctor Strange became "Dumb Magician", Valkyrie became "Sword Girl" and Nighthawk became "Bird Nose". For The Avengers, Iron Man is usually "Metal Man" or "Tin Man" (or Tin Head), Thor is usually "Blondie" or "Goldilocks" or "Red Cape", Spider-Man was "Bug-Eyes" or "Bug Man", The 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: The Hulk is an extreme example; he is both super tough, invulnerable to all conventional weapons, and has an extremely fast healing factor, so fast that it was not discovered in the continuity until he was wounded while he was slowed down because he was Joe Fixit. Basically, he has shrugged off point blank heavy nuclear weaponry, planet-splitting impacts, solar temperatures, strikes from cosmic entities, has healed within seconds from having over 80% of his flesh repelled off of his body, and one incarnation eventually managed to restore itself from being blown to powder. 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.
    • Lampshaded in "The Last Titan" wherein the immortal Hulk just keeps on going alone in the wasteland after the rest of humanity destroys itself. (The alien empires were said to host an enormous celebration.)
    • When Amadeus Cho accused Reed Richards of killing the Hulk, Richards maintained that was impossible, "Because the Hulk doesn't die."
  • No-Dialogue Episode: Issue #35 was a completely dialogue-free one-shot about Bruce Banner being spotted in a diner by federal agents.
  • No Endor Holocaust: The Hulk can go a long way without killing anyone during his rampages. Hulk's buddy, Amadeus Cho, tries to explain this by suggesting that the Hulk is amazingly gifted, doing math to know exactly where every chunk of debris he creates will fall.
    • At least during The Hulk and Superman's bout in DC Vs. Marvel, they were teleported to the Grand Canyon, where Superman lampshades that it would be one place they wouldn't hurt anyone collaterally.
    • Averted in Banner, where the plot involves testing The Hulk as a Weapon of Mass Destruction by repeatedly dropping him in populated areas where he wakes up to find entire square city blocks leveled, complete with strewn body parts.
    • Taken to its logical conclusion in The Immortal Hulk, where the lack of victims in his rampages is used to show how NOT mindless his rampages must be, instead being highly, scarily calculated acts.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Bruce Banner pays an even more personal cost for saving Rick Jones.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Hulk himself has been handing these out like candy for years, giving these to anyone foolish enough to fight him. Especially during World War Hulk.
    • He still receives them here and there, namely from Zeus, who left him crippled for days. The beatdown was bad enough that only Hulk's Healing Factor keeps him alive long enough to be rescued.
  • No-Sell: Whenever Bruce Banner Hulks out, standard military procedure is to order armored columns, and air and artillery strikes against him, with predictable results.
  • 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.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: The Leader. He may be a mutate, but his only power is Super Intelligence, and he's got the physique of a string bean.
  • Not Quite Flight: The Hulk can use his powerful leg muscles to leap miles and miles at a time.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: This Hulk cover.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The threat of the Hulk can be more terrifying than his actual presence.
  • 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.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • The majority of Hulk Gray consisted of Bruce coming to realise that he had a surprising amount in common with his long-time enemy General Ross. Naturally, this being a Hulk comic, he didn't take it well.
    • In Immortal Hulk, the Devil Hulk gets the upper hand in a duel with She-Hulk by pointing out how she's recently gone from being a bubbly, much-beloved Amazonian Beauty into a disfigured, muscle-bound, rage-fueled brute that everybody distrusts, just like her "savage" cousin. She-Hulk is so horrified and busy protesting it gives the Devil Hulk the opportunity to Megaton Punch her away from the battlefield.
  • Now Do It Again, Backwards: Kate Waynesboro gets dumped into some wacky gizmo and comes out the other end as an evil, female version of M.O.D.O.K., complete with giant head and hoverchair. Naturally, sending her through the machine again backwards returns her to normal.
  • Official Couple: Bruce Banner and Betty Ross. They're currently on the outs, in the wake of Betty returning from being Mostly Dead.
  • Offing the Offspring:
    • The Hulk's Green Scar persona - that is, the one that first appeared during Planet Hulk and World War Hulk - really, really, really wants to kill his son Skaar as he blames Skaar for feeding his mother's spirit to Galactus, killing her off for real (it looks like, anyway). Skaar is equally intent on killing him for abandoning him on a savage planet (Hulk thought he was dead). In the end, they manage to settle things without killing each other.
    • Bruce's father Brian was a nasty piece of work who murdered Bruce's mom and tried to kill him too — while they were visiting her grave no less. Bruce killed him in self-defense. Brian would later briefly come back from the dead in the form of Guilt Hulk — the worst of Bruce's various Hulk personas — to try again. The Greenscar being reminded of Brian during his decisive fight with Skaar, realizing that he's acting no different from his awful father is what causes Green Scar to stop fighting.
  • Oh, Crap!: Is the Hulk coming your way? Is he angry? Then it's too late to run. Let's just save some time and say damn near everyone who's ever made [[Bruce Banner]] angry. has had this reaction.
  • One-Man Army: The Hulk obviously fares well against hordes of mooks, or even Elite Mooks, due to Nigh-Invulnerability and Super Strength. He has spent large part of his publication history annihilating literal armies and goes up against several beings considered Physical Gods, and on more than one occasion beats the stuffing out of them.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Hulk himself is known mainly by his moniker since Savage Hulk insists on it and actually gets pissed when people call him (puny) Banner or Bruce. Likewise Bruce himself doesn't like being called Hulk and as he normally would rather treat his big green alter ego as a seperate entity altogether.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    • Skaar has this for his father the Hulk, and it's why he protects Banner while he waits for the Hulk's return. Granted, Skaar isn't a bad guy (He's mainly angry because he thinks he abandoned him) and Banner is training him for when the Hulk returns.
    • The Leader has this for the Hulk as well. He even got a bit depressed when he found out Hulk was shot into space.
  • Opaque Nerd Glasses: Bruce Banner's most recognizable appearance is that of a short, scrawny, lab-coat-wearing geek with completely opaque nerd glasses.
  • Out of the Inferno: The Hulk does this. A lot.

    Tropes - P to Z 
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: The Hulk, believe it not was this, complete with bunny slippers while strapped to the brim with ammo and a BFG, no less.
  • 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.
    • The Hulk zigzags this as he usually lacks the mental stablity to be a good father, however while having a Duel to the Death with his son Skaar, he stops mid-rageout remembering his own father's abuse and reverts back into Banner to give Skaar a Cool-Down Hug. Played straighter later Doctor Doom is about cut Skaar down with his own sword, Bruce bursts in (not even as the Hulk) to protect his son and even calls Doom a "jackass" while he does it. Hulk depending on the mood, plays straight with other characters whom he is close to such as: his sidekick Rick Jones who he saved from a nuclear blast and protected from the military, his cousin She-Hulk whom he gave his blood to so she wouldn't die from a gunshot, and even Spider-Man (no really). He is a Bruiser with a Soft Center at his very best and will protect anyone who he cares about, and seeing them get hurt makes him very, very angry.
    • Played with and then deconstructed with General Thaddeus Ross, he loves his daughter Betty Ross deeply and devoted his entire life to protecting her from the Hulk/Bruce whom she loves. But Ross is such a bitter Overprotective Dad that his extreme efforts to “look after“ Betty did far more harm than good and eventually turned her against him.
    • Immortal Hulk has a strange example in the Devil Hulk persona, who explicitly cares for Bruce and Savage/Child Hulk and seeing them get hurt, royally pisses him off. This even extends to loved ones like Betty Ross who hurt Child Hulk while in her Red Harpy form, Devil Hulk warns her once she’s not allowed to hurt “the kid” again. It’s theorised in-universe Devil Hulk is Banner subconsciously creating a caring father figure that he sorely lacked in his childhood.
    Devil Hulk [to Bruce]: I know you locked me away for years. I know I scare you. What I do. What I am. But before any of the others... I was there protecting you. I always protect you... ‘cause I love you stupid kid. Somebody had to. Come on home [holding his hand out to Bruce, who takes it].
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Doctor Strange has served as this for the Hulk's simple and childlike Savage Hulk incarnation, providing him with occasional sanctuary and regular advice.
    • The Joe Fixit incarnation identified Michael Berengetti, the Mob boss he worked for in his Vegas thug days as a father figure.
    • When Bruce Banner’s father killed his mother and was institutionalized, he was taken in by his Aunt Susan, his father’s estranged sister, who, being a child of abuse herself, did everything she could to protect him and lavished him with all the care and attention she could. Subverted in that Bruce’s trauma, repressed emotions and vastly superior intelligence meant he could never really bond with her no matter how much she tried.
    • Immortal Hulk reveals that, of all the Hulk-sonas, the Devil Hulk, the one Bruce is most afraid of, was born of Baby Bruce's desire for a loving dad. But since Bruce "didn't know what love was", Devil's affection comes out in the form of wanting to kill Bruce's actual dad, and Bruce's fear warps his perceptions of what the Devil Hulk was trying to say into him being creepy and sinister, something he's put out about.
  • Pedestrian Crushes Car: The Hulk is a giant green behemoth, yet people seem to think he can be taken out by cars that are smaller than him! The opposite tends to happen. Then again, due to his Nigh-Invulnerable body, buses, trucks, tanks, even planes and train end up getting destroyed crashing into him.
  • 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 Hulk: 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.
  • Perpetual-Motion Monster: The Hulk cannot be stopped except by being calmed down by a close friend or loved one. Trying to subdue him by physical means only makes him angrier and his strength is proportional to his anger and has no upper limit.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The Hulk is one of the earliest examples. Like Godzilla, he was created by a bomb, and some adaptations literally compare him to the atomic weapon that spawned him; for example, the shockwaves he creates from smashing things are compared to the blast wave of a nuke. Later on this tendency was dropped, but the Hulk remained as one of these since his power increases the angrier he gets and he doesn't seem to have an upper limit.
  • Personal Hate Before Common Goals: In "The Evil that Men Do", this happens to the titular protagonist. The dark side of a man that presents himself in 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 tearing apart those weaker than them. When the Stalker tries this first with a teenage girl, Hulk refuses. 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 nothing about them. No. He is going to do it simply because he doesn't like him.
Hulk: Okay. You talked me into it.
The Stalker: I never doubted I could. Wh—? Wait! Not me, you fool!
Hulk: Yeah, you. 'Cause I don't care about that guy. I didn't even care about the girl much. But I don't... like... YOU!!
  • Phlebotinum Bomb: In the Marvel Adventures version, the gamma bomb is apparently supposed to be the anti-Neutron Bomb — destroy inanimate material, leave living things aside. That's not quite what happens, but you can say this about the end product — he doesn't specifically go after civilians, and can be persuaded to try and save them. Indeed, a recent story claimed that the Hulk's rampages have never killed an innocent person. Yes, even when he knocks over entire buildings.
  • Physical God: The Hulk qualifies, seeing as how he has potentially infinite strength, even managing to defeat Onslaught, who had easily overpowered the Juggernaut. The Beyonder says the Hulk's power has no limitations.
    • There was an evil Bad Future version of the Hulk named Maestro who was even stronger.
  • Pitiful Worms: The first issue had the Hulk swat aside Rick Jones while exclaiming "Get out of my way, insect!"
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: In #398-399, the Hulk has his clothing, along with a significant amount of flesh, blasted off of his body (one of the few times the Hulk's Magic Pants clause is subverted). Hulk's insane Healing Factor allows him to regenerate the injury almost instantly, but without a pair of purple pants handy, Hulk's state of undress causes the Big Bad of the moment, The Leader, to invoke this trope, not only for the sake of modesty, but to prevent giving the other men present an inferiority complex. The Dark Action Girl present, Atalanta clearly doesn't mind.
    Atalanta: [staring closely at Hulk's hindquarters] Don't hurry on my account.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A Silver Age example can be found in #165: To Become A God'': a Mad Scientist who has founded a mobile deep sea colony is at war with his born-below son, who wants to see the surface world that his father abandoned, but his father refuses to take him and the other youths topside. With the Hulk's help, the son leads a rebellion and leads the youths to the surface... where they all die horribly due to being adapted for the high-pressure underwater environment. Apparently, daddy dearest never bothered to simply tell his son that his mutations would make him burst in the low-pressure atmosphere above the waves.
  • Posthumous Character: Bruce Banner's mother, who was later revealed to have been murdered by her husband.
  • 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. His rage and anger is shown to be so powerful that not only does it cause Unstoppable Rage but also gives him immunity to mind control and other telepathic attacks, often showing him simply shrugging it off. 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.
    • Gamma radiation based powers seem to work like this in general. Gamma radiation brings out everything people suppress (assuming it doesn't just kill them like real radiation poisoning). Depending on what they are suppressing, the resulting transformations can be...unpleasant.
  • Power Incontinence:
    • Bruce Banner transforms into the Hulk whenever someone makes him too angry, and once he's in that form, he has no control over his actions (depending on which personality is in control).
    • Joe Fixit (a smaller, gray-skinned variant) had a brief storyline where he always came out at night and generally did things Bruce did not approve of. (This is in fact what the Hulk was always like in the very earliest issues. This new storyline tweaked the original Gray Hulk a bit, taking him from Early-Installment Weirdness to a different manifestation of his powers.)
  • 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.
  • Powerup Full Color Change: When Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk, his body changes color to green, or sometimes gray. Jen Walters' She-Hulk turns green as well (and has occasionally gone gray), while Rick Jones as A-Bomb turns blue, Hulk's son Skaar turns into a gray shade of green (so he is often gray or green, depending on the colorist), and Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk turn red.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In one issue, two perverts in the showers at the local YMCA are planning to rape Bruce Banner until he warns them about his having superpowers; they decide not to see whether he's bluffing. Moreover, in the future depicted in Spider-Girl's comics, several bands of assassins made it a policy only to subdue cops who got in their way and never to kill them, since the various law enforcement agencies involved tend to retaliate swiftly and brutally against cop-killers. A couple of petty burglars caught in the act by a superhero also surrender immediately rather than risk the near-certainty of being pounded into the pavement for fighting or fleeing.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    • "You're making me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry."
    • Hulk's "Hulk SMASH!" catchprase usually preceeds a brutal beatdown on whoever has pissed him off.
  • Prescience by Analysis: This is stated to be the "power/talent" of Amadeus Cho, the smartest kid in the world. He possesses a "hypermind" capable of making a seemingly endless number of calculations in his head within seconds, predicting what's going to happen. Visually, it appears as numbers and formulas floating in mid-air. Later, we learn that it runs in the family as his sister Maddie can do the same thing. In Chaos War, this was Played With, as Cho and other super-intelligent characters (such as Galactus) accept that the Big Bad Mikaboshi is unbeatable, but Hercules refuses to accept it.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Inverted with the Hulk, who is usually green with purple pants, highlighting how the character is more monstrous than the usual hero. Also inverted with Red Hulk, where the primary-colored character is the villain, while the secondary-colored character (the original Hulk) is the hero.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Red She-Hulk a.k.a. Betty Ross. One of the Hulk's wives finally doesn't stay dead, and this happens. It later turns out to be a case of brainwashing, though this isn't to say their relationship gets much better without it. Just less murder-y.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Doc Samson turns into this due to the Intelligencia, though this involves turning him into a Superpowered Evil Side.
  • Puny Earthlings: Although the Hulk is an Earthling himself, "HULK SMASH PUNY HUMANS!"
  • Race for Your Love: One issue had Betty Ross leaving on a train to be in a convent, and naturally one of Bruce's enemies shows up on his way to the station. They battle it out and Bruce sees the train leave just as he gets there, and falls to the ground defeated... and then hears Betty standing behind him with a suitcase.
  • Radiation-Induced Superpowers: 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.
  • Radiation-Immune Mutants: The Hulk and his Rogues Gallery.
  • Rage-Breaking Point: Ultimately, what created the Hulk. Bruce Banner, as a child, repressed many of his emotions, particularly concerning his father, and thus built up a lot of fury that the Hulk personality latched on to, and thus that anger burst out in a big way, as he now could no longer keep it under control.
  • Rampage from a Nail: This wasn't an actual nail, but there was a Superman/Hulk crossover story where Hulk is on a rampage and Superman discovers a tiny little machine is emitting a sound that is driving Hulk crazy. Superman destroys it and soon after Hulk begins to calm down.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Both Bruce Banner and the Hulk love meat.
  • 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).
  • Red Baron: The Hulk lives and breathes these, since his name itself is always an example. He has gained other epithets in the recent past, such as "Indestructible" and "Immortal". His traditional Stan Lee-given kennings are "Jade Giant" and "Green Goliath". His cousin, meanwhile, is the Green Glamazon and is usually accompanied by the adjective "Sensational". Hulk's Mini Marvels counterpart is the Jade Juvenile.
  • Red/Green Contrast: The Hulk, in an inversion of the usual heroic color schemes, is bright green, while his opponents — villains like Madman, Red Hulk and Juggernaut — are often red.
    • Jennifer Walters, the original She-Hulk, is green while Betty Ross is the Red She-Hulk. Betty as the Red She-Hulk was originally an antagonist and even after her Heel–Face Turn was still less pleasant than the green She-Hulk.
  • Redemption Equals Death:
    • In the Hulk's very first appearance, he was captured by Yuri Topolov, the Gargoyle, a Soviet scientist who had been mutated into a big-headed dwarf. However, when the Gargoyle found that the Hulk had reverted to Bruce Banner, he lamented the loss of his own normalcy. Banner decided to use his own genius to cure Topolov, who responded by ensuring Banner's safe return to America while destroying his own base, taking himself and his Soviet handlers out in the process. Unfortunately, his son Kondrati took the wrong lesson from Yuri's sacrifice, deciding to blame the Hulk and the State for his father's death.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless:
    • Indestructible Hulk Lampshaded and perhaps averted this, with Bruce Banner lamenting the fact that all the years he spent trying to cure himself of the Hulk could have been used to fight problems like famine and disease. He then agrees to join S.H.I.E.L.D. on the condition that they give him funding to work towards bettering mankind while not in his Hulk form.
    • Immortal Hulk begins to address this around Issue #25: After Bruce/Hulk takes over the organization meant to kill him, he begins formulating a new sort of plan, one that he gives some of the basics to Amadeus Cho. Namely, in that he declares war against the "world's leaders" or more specifically, the individuals and groups such as Dario Agger, the CEO of Roxxon (and a minotaur). According to Bruce, the reason people like Reed, Tony and Adam Brashear (Blue Marvel) have failed to make an impact is because of powerful people like Agger manipulating the world and thus Bruce takes it upon himself to tear down the establishment with the hopes of entrusting the younger folk to fix it. Put simply, "I can't build what needs to be built, but I can smash what needs to be smashed.".
  • Reforged into a Minion: Back in The '90s the Leader used the dead body and mostly dead brain of Thunderbolt Ross to power the Redeemer armor.
  • 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.
  • Ret-Canon:
  • RetCon:
    • The Rampaging Hulk stories were initially far out stories featuring the Hulk. In The Incredible Hulk #269-287, it is revealed the stories were created as techno-art movies by Bereet the Krylorian. Similarly, an unpublished story by Steve Gerber would have retconned the Howard the Duck stories not written by Gerber as art made by the Krylorian Chireep.
    • Immortal Hulk has a few:
      • Quite a few regarding the first appearance of the Hulk. Firstly, Bruce's Resurrective Immortality was first activiated in the accident that turned him into the Hulk as he was originally actually killed in the gamma bomb explosion. Additionally, it undoes the Canon Discontinuity Peter David gave to the Devil Hulk by revealing he was real: he's actually the Immortal Hulk and thus, his actual true form resembles a traditional green Hulk. And that the Immortal/Devil Hulk is in fact the Hulk seen in Bruce's first few adventures.
      • Brian Banner, Bruce's father, is also shown to have feared the existence of offspring from him would break a spell instead of a fear of something wrong with his genetics, and he'd previously dealt with the Green Door.
      • The Hulk seen in Secret Empire is really a new personality.
  • The Rival: The Hulk has several.
    • 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. Whether it's a friendly rivalry or a hostile one depends on what mood the Hulk is in (or whose side he's on). 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 the Sub-Mariner and the Hulk were both mainly used as obstacles for heroes in early comics, which may be why writers decided to pit them against each other. Hulk hates Namor's rudeness and arrogance and Namor hates Hulk's childish behavior and stupidity. The rivalry remained even when they were on the same team. Admittedly thanks to their time on the Defenders they act more like squabbling siblings as opposed to actually trying to kill each other.
    • The Thing also has a bit of this going on, with the Thing's durability and sheer tenacity meaning he's commonly used for slugfests with the Hulk.
    • Wolverine is also seen as Hulk's rival. That's probably because Wolverine debuted in Hulk's book.
    • The Juggernaut is also shown to have a rivalry with the Hulk, and a noticeably bitter one at that. Like most rivalries between Hulk and another character, both believe themselves to be the strongest and want to prove'' it.
    • In crossovers with DC, the Hulk always gets in a fight with Superman.
  • Rock Beats Laser: It's a fairly common tactic for the Hulk to use a blunt object against technologically advanced foes. This is presuming that he can't simply tear them metal limb from metal limb with his bare hands (which he usually can). Granted, the Hulk pretty much applies this tactic to any foe, regardless of the level of technology at their disposal. This is quite in line with real world physics; you can destroy anything in the universe, ANYTHING at all... if you hit it hard enough. And who could possibly hit harder than an enraged Hulk? .
  • Rogues Gallery: The Hulk has a really big one. Most of the Hulk's enemies are other super-strong bruisers who can actually go a few rounds with the Big Green Machine without immediately getting turned into roadkill, like the Abomination, Red Hulk, Absorbing Man, Mister Hyde, Madman, the Glob, Bi-Beast, and the Wendigo. Not everyone fits the bill however, such as the Leader, a Mad Scientist and Evil Genius who has as much brains as the Hulk does brawn; the U-Foes, a collective Evil Counterpart to the Fantastic Four with a similar origin and powers, although they never actually met the Four; Zzzax, a sentient electrical field; Mercy, a fragile-looking and wayward Dark Magical Girl; the Gamma Corps, a collection of other gamma-mutated humans who serve the Leader; Rock and Redeemer, one of whom is a sentient shapeshifting boulder and the other who wears a suit of deadly power armor; and others such as Speedfreek, Constrictor, Boomerang, and Piecemeal. The Hulk has even battled a couple of Eldritch Abominations, like the Crawling Unknown (a giant, cancerlike growth that mutated out of control), and Sh'mballah, an Expy of Cthulhu who tried to conquer the Earth, messed with the Hulk, and didn't live to regret it. The Hulk is also a popular choice for villains who fight someone besides their traditional enemies, as he's tangled with the likes of Sandman and the Rhino, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and the Juggernaut. The Hulk is also one of the few Marvel characters who has other heroes in his rogues gallery, regularly slugging it out with Thor, Wolverine, and The Thing.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant:
    • Some of the Hulk's recurring enemies, like the Juggernaut, Mister Hyde, 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.
    • Zig-Zagging Trope with Gremlin. Gremlin uses the name and the armor of the Titanium Man, an Iron Man foe who goes way back, but Gremlin himself is primarily a Hulk villain, first appearing in issue #163.
    • Wolverine started out as a foe of the Hulk before becoming primarily associated with the X-Men.
    • The contract killer Boomerang, who uses deadly gimmick boomerangs as his weapons, originally started out fighting the Hulk, before he moved on to become a semi-regular Spider-Man villain after writers realized that trick boomerangs versus the most powerful creature on Earth was a bit of a mismatch. Boomerang even appears in the Uncanny X-Men Nintendo game by LJN even though he's neither a X-Men enemy nor a mutant.
  • Say My Name:
    • In one story Bruce Banner makes this comment to a screaming Doctor Doom right after helping to take him down.
    • Doom had been fighting a Hulk robot that was screaming "DOOOM" as it pummeled him. As Doom turned the tables on the robot, he said "Once more… with feeling… say my name!" The above example is an Ironic Echo of this scene.
      • Of course there is Doom's famous semi-catchphrase from the Silver Age ""RRRRRRICHAAAAARRRRRDDDSS!!!""
  • Science Hero: Bruce Banner is a great example, especially in the run-up to Fall of the Hulks where he spent a good while Hulkless. The man does such things as manufacturing his own super-tech mini-computer out of an old iPod and while men like Reed Richards and Tony Stark consider themselves smarter than him overall, they at least know when to bow to him as the eminent scientist in the field of nuclear radiation and its mutating effects on biology.
  • Screaming Warrior: The series ties the Hulk with the trope. Even more in the movies, where he barely speaks (the comics still give him short Badass Boast or Trash Talk sentences every now and then).
  • Secret Identity Change Trick: Since Bruce Banner is usually not in control of his transformations into the Hulk, he can't really orchestrate one of these tricks. It's thus pretty convenient for the writers that his secret identity was outed very early in his career.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: 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.
  • Self-Made Orphan:
    • A rare heroic example: Before Bruce Banner became the Hulk, he semi-accidentally killed his abusive father, Brian. In their final confrontation, his father was trying to kill him and he had killed Banner's mother; Bruce lashed out as Brian got ready to attack him, sending Brian crashing into the gravestone of Bruce's mother and cracking his skull.
    • Narrowly averted with Betty Ross. She almost killed the Red Hulk, only to realize he was her father and stop in time.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot:
    • The Hulk was originally colored grey. However, the printing technology of the time kept turning him green. Over time, Stan Lee decided to keep green as the Hulk's signature color.
    • Early in the Hulk's adventures, Lee would frequently alternate between calling the Hulk's Secret Identity "Bob Banner" and "Bruce Banner". When informed of this mistake by fans, Lee decided to establish that Banner's full name was Robert Bruce Banner.
    • As noted above, when Hulk was first introduced in 1962, the writers at Marvel Comics struggled with many aspects of his characterization and visual appearance before eventually settling on his now-iconic portrayal as a misunderstood green-skinned monster with child-like intelligence who appears whenever Bruce Banner gets angry. As a result, in his earliest appearances, the Hulk was a brutish grey-skinned monster with roughly normal intelligence who appeared when the sun went down. Years down the line, the writers decided to explain the discrepancy by retroactively declaring that the "Grey Hulk" was actually a different character from the more iconic "Savage Hulk", and his consciousness came from a different aspect of Bruce Banner's shattered psyche. Later, other writers further explored this aspect of the character by toying with the idea that there are even more incarnations of the Hulk, each with its own slightly different personality. This resulted in some of the most popular and acclaimed stories in the character's history, like Planet Hulk (starring his "Green Scar" persona) and Immortal Hulk (starring his "Devil Hulk" persona).
  • Serial Escalation: The Hulk often uses this trope to a lesser or greater extent depending upon the author. Just how mad/strong can he become?
    • The Red Hulk. How many popular characters can he effortlessly beat? How many ways can he violate the rules of the Marvel Universe just for something that looks cool?
  • Series Continuity Error: Stan Lee wasn't good at remembering names. In some early issues that he wrote, the protagonist Bruce Banner was suddenly called "Bob Banner". Lee handwaved the error by revealing that his full name is Robert Bruce Banner.
    • This one is better remembered than it should be because subsequent Marvel writers, particularly in the editorial Audience-Alienating Era of the 70s, liked to cite it as a "nobody's perfect" precedent when fan letters called them out on their own heinous continuity errors. Marv Wolfman was probably the worst about this; he pre-emptively invoked it in an editor's note attached to a Dracula comic that he knew was going to tie the timeline of The Tomb of Dracula into a Gordian Knot.
  • Sexy Silhouette: In issue #633, Hulk and Umar are shown are black silhouettes while in bed having sex.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Happens to the Hulk on occasion. Whether this is good or bad depends on the form he's stuck as. Hulk would love to be mode-locked and never turn into Banner again. Banner would love to be free of the Hulk, but at this point knows better. Both absolutely hate the idea of being mode-locked as the other.
    • Unlike the Hulk, the Abomination is completely incapable of returning to his original human form. He's none too happy about that.
  • Sharing a Body: The Hulk has been retconned to be something similar with the Hulk being either a manifestation of Bruce's repressed psyche or a being created whole cloth by the Gamma bomb, this also goes for the various other personalities like Joe Fixit, the classic grey hulk & Doc Green, a newer personality that hates Bruce and Hulk. Peter David during the 80s experimented with fusing these like Firestorm for different sub personalities and narrative twist.
  • Shirtless Scene: Bruce Banner always has his clothes conveniently ripped away when he transforms into the Hulk, meaning that when he turns back into Bruce we get lovely scenes of him wearing nothing except for a pair of baggy purple shorts which he has to hold up to stop them falling down. Of course, his trousers never tear off completely.
    • Well, sometimes they do, especially in the Ultimate universe.
  • Shockwave Clap: A trademark move of the Hulk, where it's named the "Gamma Clap".
  • Shooting Superman:
    • The Hulk's adversary General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross considers this standard operating procedure. Every time he finds Dr. Banner, he orders his battalion to open fire on his raging indestructible foe, conveniently forgetting the previous hundred or so times where this only served to piss him off. He made a grand return in World War Hulk and proceeded to... shoot the Hulk. It doesn't really work, even with adamantium bullets.
    • There is one story where a policeman shoots at him — Banner is in control of Hulk at the time and he hasn't done anything, but the policeman panicked — and Hulk disarms him and berates him because bullets bounce off him and there are lots of people around — the ricochets can easily kill them. Besides, if he has been his old self, bullets would have done nothing, as noted above.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • In Hulk: Future Imperfect, 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.
  • Sibling Team: The Hulk and She-Hulk are cousins and have often fought side by side.
  • Signature Move: The Hulk's Thunderclap it's so strong the force can snuff out the Human Torch's fire, wreck foes like Gladiator and Red Hulk cancel out Songbird sonic scream, and it's especially painful for foes with sensitive super senses like Spider-Man and Wolverine. In his Crowning Moment of Awesome during Immortal Hulk he uses thunderclap to blow away the One Below All itself.
  • Silent Scapegoat: The Hulk does this to thwart Omnibus's scheme to ignite World War III in the "Ghosts of the Future" storyline, though it's somewhat of a Subversion in that it's strongly implied that this act will start him on the road to becoming the genuinely and monstrously villainous Maestro.
  • Single-Power Superheroes: The Hulk was originally just a very big, very strong behemoth. Soon, he gained an assortment of powers, some which were logical in relation to increased muscle ability, such as super-leaping, Nigh-Invulnerability, Super Speed and Super Reflexes. Then, over time, things just got crazy, and he gained other abilities such as immunity to mind control, ability to see supernatural creatures, ability to absorb radiation, a Healing Factor that rivals Wolverine's, a gland that lets him breathe underwater, and sometimes the ability to create new personalities as needed (each with their own power set).
  • 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...
  • Slave Race: In Annual 12, the Hulk (with Banner's brain) visits a world where the Red people have enslaved the Green people. Hulk helps the greens to liberation, and before he leaves advises them to show mercy to the reds, otherwise they (greens) will be as bad as them (reds). After returning to Earth Hulk looks in his telescope and discovers that the greens have indeed enslaved the reds.
  • 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."
  • Smart People Build Robots: Bruce Banner once built a nifty little flying assistant robot named the Recordasphere. It tagged along on a couple of adventures... and then fell in love with him, tried to kill his girlfriend in a jealous rage, and then sacrificed itself to save his life. Because that's just the way Bruce's life goes.
  • Smoke Shield: Happens to the Hulk quite a bit. In World War Hulk it happens at least twice; the first time, Tony Stark injects the Hulk with something meant to neutralize his healing factor, then launches a pair of missiles at him, which only reminded Hulk of the explosion that killed his wife. The second time, Storm and The Human Torch combined a lightning bolt and a massive fireball to blast the Hulk. Didn't work out so well.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: In one Bronze Age story, the Hulk encountered a force field Tyrannus had set up to protect some evil machine he was using, and the Hulk got so mad he actually physically grabbed hold of the force field and ripped through it. The captions even lampshade that this should be physically impossible, but Tyrannus had just gotten the Hulk that mad!
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: In one issue, the Leader's time machine is programmed by playing a piano keyboard.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Hulk once witnessed a gigantic extraterrestrial energy beast materializing. Not knowing how to react, and being himself, he attempted to smash it and temporarily drove it away, thus preventing a properly equipped professional hunter from taking it down.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: During John Byrne's run, Bruce Banner and Betty Ross get their wedding interrupted at this point by Betty's father, General Ross — who's armed with a gun. He then shoots Rick Jones, but Betty tells him the only way he could prevent her from marrying Bruce is to kill her — and he stands down. Rick, meanwhile, not only survives, but refuses to be taken to the hospital immediately:
    Rick: Mr. Priest, take some 30 seconds and get this couple married at long last, and let's go to the hospital after that.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": You might notice most times it's "The Hulk".
  • Split Personality: One of the most famous in history.
    • Dr. Bruce Banner is a different person when transformed into the Hulk. The comics take it to extremes, with different versions of the Hulk with different personalities: in addition to the traditional "Savage Hulk", there also developed a sneaky, amoral version called Joe Fixit (who was grey, like in the Hulk's first appearance). Eventually, the personalities were integrated into the "Merged Hulk", but this was retconned to be just another personality, the Professor (who had Banner's brainpower, Fixit's cunning, and most of Savage Hulk's strength).note  Some sources have interpreted these personas as representing different stages of Banner's life; the Savage Hulk is the immature child who wanted to be strong enough to protect Bruce's mother from his abusive father, Fixit is the moody teenager Bruce never let himself be, and the Professor represents the adult amalgamation of all his other experiences.
      • Two other personalities in Bruce's lineup are the Devil Hulk, a reptilian creature that lacks any sense of guilt, and the Green Scar, who combines Fixit's cunning with the Savage's strength, and over time develops to become possibly the strongest Hulk incarnation of all.
      • Some have theorized that the Hulk is — and always has been — an embodiment of pent-up rage and aggression that Banner had felt all his life prior to the accident, mostly stemming from the abuse he and his mother suffered at the hands of his father. Who Bruce killed by accident, but later admitted it might have not been an accident. In short, Banner and the Hulk may be more alike than Banner is willing to admit.
    • The Hulk's son Skaar also has a split personality; "normal" Skaar is a Conan-style barbarian, while "puny" Skaar is an adolescent boy who hates his other self for his savage deeds.
    • Betty Ross as Red She-Hulk. The degree to which she retains control over Red She-Hulk varies a lot. Sometimes it's just an angrier Betty, while at others it is an entirely different persona whom she fears losing control over.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Doc Samson once pretended to have done this to the Hulk and Bruce Banner, via Epiphany Therapy. But eventually the change in premise became too much of a problem for the Hulk's title, and the writers made use of the fact that Therapy Does Not Work That Way to establish that Samson had really just created a new, if more stable, alternate. Tossing out the fact that Doc Samson wasn't really in control of the process and didn't fully understand what was happening at the time. Since there are three "main" Hulk personalities (Savage Hulk, Child Hulk and Gray Hulk) and several secondary ones like Devil Hulk and the aforementioned Professor Hulk, it's a topic they have explored several times since, sometimes without including Banner in the merger at all.
  • Split-Personality Switch Trigger: Some, but not all, of Bruce Banner's alters can only come out at night. This includes Joe Fixit and Immortal Hulk. In the latter's own series, it's said to be associated with how much Banner fears and distrusts that particular personality: As they start cooperating more, Joe flips to only being able to come out by day, and Immortal Hulk is shown becoming more and more resistant to the daylight...note  The regular 'Jade Giant' version of the character has the more popular trigger of 'anger'.
  • Split-Personality Takeover:
    • Betty Ross was in constant risk of this when she was Red She-Hulk.
    • The Hulk himself would like nothing more than to rid himself of "puny" Bruce Banner once and for all, as much as Bruce Banner wants to rid himself of the Hulk. Several iterations have tried, particularly Joe Fixit, and succeeded for extended periods of time, but one way or another Bruce Banner always resurfaces eventually.
    • Inverted, to some extent, with the Hulk's son Skaar, where the weaker, more vulnerable personality ('puny' Skaar) has recently managed to escape Skaar's suppression of him in their shared mind.
    • The events of Immortal Hulk come about from one of these. After Bruce's repeated deaths over the previous few years, a new Hulk personality appeared... at which point the titular Hulk of this series got lose, tore that one into shreds and took over control over the whole thing. To protect Bruce. Later on it turns out the other alters are only allowed out on his say-so (or in the case of the Savage Hulk, if he loses control enough). It's partway through the series it turns out this newer Hulk is the Devil Hulk.
    • Has happened to the evil future version of the Hulk called the Maestro. There's no more Banner, no more Hulk, or Joe, or any of the others. It's just the Maestro now.
  • Square-Cube Law: The Hulk is known to get stronger and larger as he gets angrier (maximum height is roughly twelve feet); this might be justified, though, as his relative muscle (and presumably bone) mass increases as well as his height. Furthermore, Hulk is generally not depicted as merely scaling up; in most depictions, the cross-sections of his arms and legs increase out of proportion, which would balance things out some.
    • It's been implied that he draws his strength from outside of his own body, and therefore muscle mass would be irrelevant.
    • The size changing as he gets angrier and stronger thing is depending on the writer and the artist; some have his height stay consistent once he transforms, though this itself can be an informed ability as an artist will alter his height between panels for various reasons. Officially the Hulk's transformed height is just under eight feet tall. He'll often be shown as over ten, but that's usually stylistic or for dramatic effect.
    • Where Hulk comics fail to justify or avert is in that we frequently see him standing on floors that should not be able to support what his weight must be. Hard wood would splinter under him, for example, as he probably weighs about as much as a four-door car. Floors would take an even greater beating when you realize that all that weight is being concentrated on two relatively small areas.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Bruce Banner and Betty Ross. His uncontrollable transformations into the Hulk have made him a fugitive wanted by the United States military. Not to mention Betty's father, General "Thunderbolt" Ross, harbors an intense hatred of him.
  • Starter Villain: The Hulk's starter villain was The Gargoyle, the spy who arranged the sabotage of the gamma bomb test that turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk.
  • Statuesque Stunner: The Hulk's ill-fated wife Caiera from the Planet Hulk arc is approximately 2 meters tall. When side-by-side with her husband, she's shown to be only about a head shorter than the Hulk (who on his worst days is between 7' and 8').
  • Status Quo Is God: Poor Bruce Banner will always be the Hulk. He will never find a permanent cure, and because of that, he and Betty Ross will most likely always be Star-Crossed Lovers. Things might have changed with Betty Ross becoming the Red She-Hulk, but she permanently lost her powers.
  • Stealth Pun: Death from The Sandman made a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo during Peter David's run. She visited Marlo Chandler's wedding and gave her a brush as a wedding present. Marlo had recently died and come back to life. Get it? She had a brush with death.
  • Stripped to the Bone: The Hulk has done it on occasion.
  • Strong and Skilled:
    • Hulk himself becomes this in Planet Hulk. Partaking in the Gladiator Games on Sakaar, he soon understands strength alone is not enough to make it by and quickly becomes more crafty to ensure his victories, especially since he was suffering from Drama-Preserving Handicap. Cut to World Breaker Hulk and Hulk is outwitting as well as overpowering his opponents on Earth, like exploiting The Juggernaut's inability to stop and explaining to Wolverine that taking Hulk-punches to his Adamantium skull isn't healthy for his poor rattling brain. Other Hulk forms such as Grey Hulk, The Professor, and Immortal Hulk also have skill and smarts to back up inestimable strength.
    • His cousin She-Hulk also qualifies. She has received combat training from Captain America and Gamora and even in her human form has enough skill to dispatch several would be muggers. After being defeated by the Champion of the Universe, She-Hulk exercised for several months in her Jennifer Walters form, resulting in a significant gain in strength and muscle mass in her She-Hulk form and allowing her to soundly defeat the Champion in a rematch. She defeats Abomination in her Heroic Rematch with pressure point attacks and nerve strikes.
    • Caiera, the Hulk's wife in Planet Hulk. She was a trained martial artist, swordswoman and knife fighter. She also possessed the Old Power, an energy force native to her home planet, which granted her super strength, speed and stamina and control over tectonic energies. This power was passed on to the Shadow Priest Hiriom and alter Skaar, the son of Caiera and Hulk. Both are well-trained combatants just like Caiera.
    • Lyra, Hulk and Thundra's daughter from another timeline. She has received training in battle since she was a child and has super strength just like her parents.
  • 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. 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.
    • 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 Marvel.com, 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!.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: The Hulk is the canonical super-Hyde. The Hulk, over time, has been softened down from "evil" to "pure id". Not that that stops him from racking up the damage bill every time he shows up.
    • Banner does have the Devil Hulk personality inside him, which is pure evil... possibly. Immortal Hulk makes it a little ambiguous, with the Devil Hulk (an Appropriated Appellation) hating the human world, but being genuinely protective of Bruce and the classic, Savage Hulk, and being downright horrified by the One-Below-All.
    • As well as Gray Hulk and Guilt Hulk — though Grey Hulk isn't really "evil"; he's another closer to "id".
    • Bruce Banner's wife Betty Ross was once transformed into the villainous Harpy. Later she became Red She-Hulk, who's more The Atoner, and currently is the Red Harpy, whose looks and mentality are a mix of the former two.
  • Superpower Lottery: The Hulk has unlimited strength, accelerated healing, the ability to breathe underwater, dynamic durability, and the ability to leap as high as Superman, and unlike Supes he has a high resistance to Mind Control. He also has a number of minor abilities like absorbing gamma radiation and seeing ghosts and astral forms. As a bonus, Bruce Banner is one of the smartest men in the Marvel Universe, to the point where Norman Osborn decided he preferred fighting the Hulk. Come Immortal Hulk, he adds Resurrective Immortality to the list. Note that most of these powers are directly proportional to his anger level, which will normally steadily increase over the course of a fight. The standard rule of thumb when fighting the Hulk is to hit him with everything you've got immediately and hope you can end the fight before it starts, because his powers will increase with every passing second that the fight continues.
    • The Red Hulk had a very similar power set to the green Hulk as well as the ability to absorb any type of energy such as cosmic rays. When he was infected by Cable's techno-organic virus, he was able to control his body heat to burn the virus out of his system. He also does not revert to human form when rendered unconscious unlike the green Hulk.
    • Skaar and Hiro-Kala, the sons of Caiera and Hulk, inherited their father's gamma mutate powers and their mother's ability to control rock, known as the Old Power to the people of Sakaar. Hiro-Kala took it to even more absurd levels, being able to fire energy blasts, project force fields and manifest a water-like substance. Eventually, Skaar had his Hulk powers taken from him by his father in his Doc Green persona and Hiro-Kala has since forsaken the Old Power in favor of using his Hulk form.
  • Super Prototype:
    • In a way, the Hulk is this for the other gamma mutates. While created by accident, Hulk was the first gamma mutant, and most following gamma beings (The Leader, The Abomination, Madman, Ravage, Red Hulk, etc) were created either by recreating that accident or copying his DNA. While some (Abomination and Ravage) have higher base-line strength than the Hulk, and most other gamma beings retain their higher intelligence (though not necessarily their full personality) while transformed, whereas the Hulk is most often shown to be a savage, which could be considered improvements, the Hulk's potential strength (increasing with anger) and secondary powers (Healing Factor, psychic resistance), 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.
    • Another factor in the Hulk's Super Prototype-ness is the fact that Bruce Banner's psyche is so damaged, because of abuse he suffered as a kid, that it allows him to do whatever he wishes. Becoming a gamma beast meant unleashing a particular repressed trait. The reason the Hulk is stronger than the others? Because they're not as screwed up as Banner!
    • Although in Hulk (2014) 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 Immortal Hulk 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 Reflexes: Apparently, unmeasurable Super Strength isn't enough for the Hulk, since he has incredible speed and reflexes too. In modern comics, he's caught RPG rounds in mid air, and even in the early comics, Hulk could someone as fast as Quicksilver.
  • 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 Smoke: U-Foes member Vapor can transform into any known gas, usually the most lethally poisonous she can imagine while invading an opponent's body. Vapor can transform into her fully human state for only brief periods, and is vulnerable to having her gaseous form scattered by strong winds or explosive force.
  • Super Speed: While he may not look like he can, the Hulk is able to travel at Super Speeds as S.H.I.E.L.D found out the hard way, also like Thor he can also catch missiles with Super Reflexes.
  • Super Strength: The Hulk is the standard to which other Super Strength wielders are compared in the Marvel Universe, and he only gets stronger as he gets angrier however, he's only the strongest in theory. In practice, because his strength is never the same at any given moment, there are tons of people whose physical strength can far exceed Hulk's own at the time, as Zeus demonstrates while at other times he can easily overcome people who are explicitly stronger than those who previously handed him his ass, like Juggernaut, Thor, or Zeus' own son, Hercules. Marvel guidebooks and people In-Universe label Hulk's strength "incalculable"
  • Super Strength: In World War Hulk after he loses his family and despairs Hulk gives nearly every Marvel Hero on Earth a beating (while still holding back so he won't hurt civilians). When he turns into Green Scar Hulk nearly destroyed the eastern seaboard with a couple of footsteps, but most impressively at the peak of his anger, Green Scar Hulk literally shatters a planet in the dark dimension when clashing with his former love Betty Ross aka Red She-Hulk.
  • 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 Hulk: Future Imperfect, this mentality eventually led to him becoming The Maestro, a superhuman despot.
  • Super Toughness: The Hulk is famously durable, as are many of his gamma-irradiated allies and foes. Helped by the fact that like his strenght, his durability increases with his anger. One time Hulk and Fantastic Four's The Thing were having an arm wrestle and got nuked by the military and weren't even slightly bothered.
  • 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.
  • Superheroes Stay Single: The Hulk ran on this for decades. Even after he was married in the early 1980s, most of the time he was estranged/separated from his wife (and then she died). But now he's got a whole family of Hulks.
  • Superhuman Transfusion: How Jennifer Walters got her powers, from a transfusion of Bruce's blood.
  • Superpower Russian Roulette: The Leader (who is also gamma irradiated, but his power is a highly developed mind) once set off a gamma bomb in a small city, in order to make more Hulks and Leaders, but 99.99% of the population just died of radiation poisoning. This is because only people who possess a certain genetic trigger inherited from a single common ancestor (or copied the trigger) can become gamma mutates.
  • Superpowered Alter Ego: The series centers around a human who transforms into the powerful Hulk. The Hulk is portrayed as being an independent entity, and the extent to which Hulk and Banner share perceptions and experiences changes depending on the author. Some authors depict Banner as being aware of the Hulk's actions, but others do not. Some authors, such as Peter David, have attempted to combine Hulk's various personalities but these never last long. More recently, there were "team ups" between Hulk and Banner where their mental perspectives aligned for various reason, letting Hulk and Banner switch at will of the one "driving" but not combining.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: The Hulk's kids are an interesting case. His son, Skaar, inherited both his parents' power sets — giving him the power to control the earth in addition to the Hulk's powers. His twin brother Hiro-Kala only got the tectonic powers. His daughter Lyra, created via genetic engineering, got only a measure of the Hulk's superstrength; instead, she developed the ability to attune herself to gamma radiation — in combat, she can almost always position herself exactly where she needs to be. Unfortunately, thanks to deliberate tampering in her creation, the angrier Lyra gets, the weaker she gets.
    • It's later revealed that Hiro-Kala is a Hulk as well, but has never hulked out. And his transformation is triggered by love. Also, his tectonic abilities are absurdly powerful by his race's standards.
    • And it turns out all Gamma mutates are descended from a single common ancestor who had the latent genetic trigger that causes gamma radiation to grant superpowers as opposed to nasty radiation sickness.
      • Not all; Bruce Banner's mentor, Professor Gregory Crawford, who discovered said genetic trigger while examining Bruce's blood, found a way to copy it through genetic manipulation, which he used to turn himself into the Gamma mutate Ravage. It's also suggested that the Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk didn't have the genetic marker themselves, and were only created and stabilized after significant genetic modification.
      • Betty Ross (Red She-Hulk) has the genetic marker, as Modok had previously turned her into the gamma-mutate the Harpy to use her against the classic Green Hulk (her Red She-Hulk status being a result of combined gamma and cosmic ray exposure).
  • Sweetheart Sipping: Indulged in by Bruce Banner/The Hulk and Jarella (a Green-Skinned Space Babe from a subatomic world) in issue #205.
  • Swiss-Army Tears: One story (Incredible Hulk #302-303) has the heroic monster stuck in what appears to be a typical Fairy Tale world: an evil ruler holds a princess (whose tears create flowers) hostage while his minions enslave the populace. Not only is Hulk completely helpless in this world (it is never explained why) but the princess realizes she can use her tears to create plant monsters... and uses them to massacre the bad guys.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: One issue features Doc Samson dealing with the vigilante Crazy Eight/Leslie Anne Shappe, who has been sentenced to the electric chair after murdering a senator. Not until after she has been executed, does Samson discover the motive for the murder. She killed the man because he had been beating his wife, who was an old friend of Crazy Eight from high school. The wife actually killed (or helped kill) her husband, the vigilante actually took the blame and died in her place, knowing it was unlikely that the wife would get a fair trial given her husband's position of power and the powerful friends he had that helped cover up the abuse. Crazy Eight sacrificed her life for her friend.
  • Synchronization: A What If? issue had Bruce fail to push Rick into the ditch to save him from the gamma bomb. Instead the blast was effectively filtered through Bruce's body before irradiating Rick, which telepathically bonded the latter to the former in both his egos. When General Ross tries to exploit their connection to entrap the Hulk, he neglects to treat Rick's radiation poisoning until it's too late and Rick dies. This drives the Hulk murderously insane, and he ends up killing the Fantastic Four and Iron Man in his rampage before Thor can finally put him down.
  • Take That!: During the nineties period, somebody gave the Hulk a fin to wear on his head that resembled The Savage Dragon's. Hulk pointed out that despite this "ingenious disguise" everyone who saw him would think, "Hey there goes Hulk with a fin on his head."
    • There was also the ongoing feud between Peter David and Erik Larsen. In the 90's, Larsen wrote a Sinister Six story where Doctor Octopus beat the fuck out of the Hulk without even trying, which pissed off David. David responded by writing a story where the Hulk subjected Doc Ock to a Curb-Stomp Battle and effortlessly humiliated him without even trying. Hulk then explained that last time they fought, he only lost because he was holding back. The issue also mocked Larsen and the other Marvel creators who left to form Image Comics.
      Hulk: Last time we met, Doctor, I feel I was robbed. Petty larceny, as it were.
      • Bruce Banner, who was walking around big and green and smart, was in a quandary. His friend was dying of AIDS and wanted a Hulk-blood transfusion in order to get Hulk-healing powers. Bruce, afraid of Hulk 2.0 smashing up crapnote , declined. The same plot happened in Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon, but the Dragon said yes, saying, paraphrased, only an idiot would say no to the possibility. The friend who received Dragon's blood then exploded. So...um. Yeah.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: This is a favored tactic of Dr. Leonard Samson who, as a licensed psychologist, often has insight into the inner workings of the Hulk's mind and rage. He's also used this to talk down other monsters and villains, usually while punching them at the same time.
  • Tame His Anger: The Hulk tries this a lot. It doesn't work very often. Usually because his enemies won't 'leave Hulk alone'.
  • Tanks for Nothing: Tanks are nothing more than a convenient projectile to Hulk.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: The Hulk is practically a poster child of this trope. There's a reason why You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry! exists, after all. Well, at least he looks angry. Always. (Until Corrupt Corporate Executives meddle with the franchise: does this look angry to you?) Hulk can be forgiven for Hulk's constant reminders of Hulk's current mood. Hulk's mood very important to know for people around Hulk. Furthermore, Hulk not very articulate.
  • There Was a Door:
    • During Peter David's run, when he had the brains of Banner in the Hulk's body, he decides to sneak out the back way by creating a back way. Subverted in a later punch up with Captain America, where despite being inside a fragile house, nothing is damaged. He's thrown cleanly out the front door thanks to Cap's judo skills.
    • Broken subversion in Earth X: Bruce Banner (separated from the Hulk) appears to be telling Hulk to be careful with Dr. Strange's walls. But he tells Hulk "We don't need to use a door here", apparently a typo for "We need to use a door" or "We don't need to make a door". Hulk use door anyway.
  • Teach Him Anger: Bruce Banner has Aesop Amnesia about this. The Hulk, of course, doesn't need to be taught anger. But the Hulk is usually considered a product of Banner's repressed rage, childhood abuse, and generally screwed-up psyche. Trying to control or get rid of the Hulk usually involves helping him with those issues, often meaning not bottling things up so much. Sometimes this results in fewer Hulk episodes, sometimes it results in a smarter Hulk, and at least once it resulted in a Banner with the Hulk's strength.note 
  • Terse Talker: Surprisingly to modern audiences, the Hulk originally talked like this prior to the rising popularity of the Savage Hulk personality, speaking perfectly legible English but very gruffly. In most of his more intelligent personas, particularly the Green Scar, he often speaks like this.
  • Terrible Trio: Gamma Corps: Black, a team made of three Distaff Counterparts of Hulk villains Abomination, Zzazz and Glob; Aberration, Axon and Morras respectively.
  • That Man Is Dead: The more verbal versions of the Hulk will respond to people calling him Dr. Banner with "The doctor is out."
  • They Do: Bruce Banner and Betty Ross had a solid marriage despite everything they went through. It took her death and resurrection as Red She-Hulk to break them up. Betty was earlier married to and divorced Glenn Talbot, who was even more rabid about going after Hulk than General Ross.
  • Third-Person Person: The Hulk often refers to himself in the third person. Depending on the Writer, this is either simply primitive Hulk Speak, the Hulk being arrogant ("Hulk is strongest one there is!") or a mixture of the two. Although, this was lampshaded in the four-part story "Countdown" (when he was the Grey Hulk) and he was fighting the Leader's henchmen, one of whom talked like this. "How come these bozos always talk in third person?" he mused.
  • This Was His True Form: The Hulk rarely (if ever) gets his ass kicked. Or at least takes a hit powerful enough to bring him down in one go. When he does however, occasionally it depicts him transforming back into Bruce Banner.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: With the exceptions of truly mindless incarnations of the character, the Hulk rarely kills anyone intentionally. Most deaths caused by his rampages are accidental and the result of property damage, that — to be perfectly fair — could result from most superhero battles (admittedly, the Hulk tends to cause more damage than most superheroes). Even then, deaths are fairly rare.
    • The Hulk does 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.
    • In one issue, where Bruce Banner admits to murdering his abusive father and making it look like an accident while defending himself, he stated that as the Hulk, he had leveled entire cities without killing a single person. All of this being said, it isn't clear just how much of this is intentional and how much is coincidental; in some cases the Hulk clearly intends to kill an enemy, with them happening to meet a Karmic Death during the course of the battle.
    • This is averted when it comes to the Immortal Hulk, who has no issue killing his enemies, having killed Arc Villain Fortean (twice).
  • Throwing Off the Disability: In one story, Bruce Banner gets ALS and is eventually cured by Reed Richards using a complex procedure involving DNA samples taken from Brian Banner's corpse and infused into his damaged genetic structure by Ant-Man, the Hulk's transformation back into Banner infusing the new DNA into his system and healing his disease. (The issue ends with Banner Breaking the Fourth Wall, saying it's Just A Story and there's no real cure for ALS, encouraging people to donate to the research to Find A Cure.)
  • Tin-Can Robot: The Leader seem to prefer using Organic Technology, but he still sometimes build metal robots, which always come out looking like this.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The tendency for everybody in the entire Marvel Universe to go out of the way to antagonize the Hulk. Despite it being common knowledge that he is basically invincible and has unlimited strength triggered by rage everybody from dime a dozen rent a cops with pistols to the military to even a irate fruit truck driver armed with nothing more than pepper spray whose truck the Hulk just knocked over for food decides it's a good idea to attack him with everything they've got on a near constant basis. This idiocy drives Hulk into his classic rages causing easily preventable massive destruction to everything in his path over and over until he decides to just take off somewhere until the next time it happens.
    • Banner became the Hulk by rescuing Rick Jones from the gamma bomb testing site. What was he doing there? He was there on a bet and ignored his warning to leave.
    • Whenever a superhero needs to put down the Hulk, they almost always resort to trying to out-punch him rather than using the powers Hulk can't as easily counter. Examples include Thor prioritizing slug fests over lightning, Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor mostly being very melee-focused, and Dr. Strange using the nearly infinite power of Zom to wrestle the Hulk.
  • Too Happy to Live: The Hulk is not the Hulk unless he's upset. Therefore it's kind of a Foregone Conclusion that any happy relationship he is currently in will end poorly at some point in the near future.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Bruce Banner, following his loss of the Hulk, in Greg Pak's run.
    • For that matter, the members of the Intelligencia all took one. The members? Red Ghost, M.O.D.O.K., Leader, Mad Thinker, and Wizard. The fact that these guys (who apart from the Leader, have become jokes in recent times) have become credible threats and being able of capturing Doom, Black Panther, Hank Pym, Beast and Reed Richards is nothing short of impressive.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Nearly every incarnation of the Hulk goes through periods where he goes from Woobie to Jerkass Woobie to just plain Jerkass. Then again, it's The Hulk. His different personalities have different levels of jerkass. The most notable one was his Grey Hulk phase, or Mr. Fixit as he called himself. This Hulk enjoyed beating people a bit too much and even accepted to work as an enforcer in Vegas so he could earn money for punching people all day. His newfound intelligence allowed him to be much crueler with his foes than the classic Green Hulk ever was. For example, when attacked by the Rock and Redeemer, he took advantage of the Rock's spinning spikes attack, smashing Redeemer against said spikes and effectively killing him.
  • Tragic Monster: Even at his most savage, all the Hulk wants is to be left alone.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • Lyra, who is the daughter of the Hulk from a future timeline, becomes weaker as she becomes angrier, in contrast to her father. She is at her strongest when she is calm and collected.
    • One Hulk persona, "The Professor", worked on the same principle that Lyra did as a failsafe, growing weaker to the point where he'd become "The Savage Banner", a Bruce Banner with the Savage Hulk's rage and (lack of) self-control, but none of Hulk's strength or Banner's intelligence.
  • 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.
  • True Love Is Boring: Bruce and any of his wives.
    • Bruce and Betty just can't be happy for long. Peter David did a worthy job of averting this for a while, as his wife said Betty was her favorite character, and he swore never to break them up or kill her off. After a very messy divorce between the Real Life couple however, guess what he did. He later regretted that decision. Furthermore, Betty has subsequently come Back from the Dead and become an Evil/Distaff for Hulk and She-Hulk. Their reunion is still ironing out some wrinkles.
    • There is also the matter of The Hulk's other wives and love interests. Caiera, Jarella, Kate Waynesboro, etc. Kate Waynesboro is the only one that hasn't died at least.
    • Gray Hulk (aka Joe Fixit) had his own "love interest" (though more like a Friend with Benefits) in Marlo Chandler. Any romance between the two ended after Marlo disapproved of Joe's brutality and cruelty, and she later married Hulk's on-again-off-again sidekick Rick Jones. This relationship started off on the wrong foot, as the feature at Rick's bachelor party was a softcore nude film Marlo had done in the past. They got married anyway, but would often separate for brief periods of time before getting together again. And then... the real weirdness started. First, Marlo began having an affair with Moondragon and briefly left Rick before Moondragon realized she'd always be second to Rick in Marlo's eyes. After that, Marlo disappeared and was transformed into the Harpy while Rick was transformed into A-Bomb. They've rarely been seen since then, but maybe now Marlo and Rick finally have a solid relationship.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Bruce Banner's trauma conga line is more like trauma conga life. He went from a traumatic, abused, isolated childhood right into an even more traumatic, abused, isolated adulthood, and has suffered through pretty much every misfortune and tragedy that life can throw at a person. On the rare occasions he does find a measure of peace or happiness, it never lasts and gets ripped away in the most brutal manner possible. Oh, and as of Avengers: No Surrender it's confirmed not even death will bring him peace.
  • True Companions:
    • Any crew that includes The Hulk is doomed (The Defenders, The Pantheon). True companions that fight him fare better, which may be why The Avengers outlasted his membership in it.
  • 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.
  • Undying Loyalty: To his friends.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Rick Jones, sidekick to the Marvel Universe. In his time, he's been partnered with the Hulk, Captain America, two Captain Marvel's, and The Avengers as a whole, and throughout most of it he's had no powers.
  • Unexplained Recovery:
    • Betty Ross died of radiation poisoning from a blood transfusion by the Abomination, but her death was an illusion by Nightmare. She really washed up on a beach and was brought back to health by General Ross, but if the previous events never happened, it doesn't explain what she was recovering from.
  • The Unfettered:
    • The Ultimate Marvel version of the Hulk. In every way that Banner represses and limits himself; emotionally, sexually, socially, the Hulk has a complete lack of inhibition or limits. His only goal? Torment Banner. Banner refuses to eat meat. Hulk eats people. Banner doesn't act on his attraction to Betty Ross. Hulk keeps a harem of concubines.
    • In the mainline Marvel Universe, we have the Grey Hulk, an amoral hedonist who had no qualms about working as an enforcer for the mob. Then there's the Maestro, a Bad Future version of the Hulk who dedicated himself to becoming the monster that people feared the Hulk was. And ironically enough, Bruce Banner turned into this during a time he was separated from the Hulk, becoming willing to do anything to get the Hulk back.
  • Uniqueness Decay: Over the years, many other gamma-powered powerhouses have appeared to rival the Jade Giant, including She-Hulk, Doc Samson, The Abomination, Red Hulk, Red She-Hulk, A-Bomb, Skaar, Cosmic Hulk, and the Totally Awesome Hulk. You know, just to name a few. Worth noting, however, is that except for brief stints with The Worf Effect, the Hulk hasn't been unseated as World's Strongest Man by any of them, mostly due to his uniquely-unstable mentality, which gamma power feeds from.
  • Unlikely Hero: Rick Jones has elements of this. He is more of an Unlikely Sidekick, though. He's just a normal guy who has ended up being the sidekick to a number of heroes from the Hulk to Captain America to Captain Marvel, usually because he stumbled onto the wrong place at the wrong time.
    • Then he becomes a superhero of his own right as A-Bomb.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: The Hulk is massively strong but unskilled; after all, who needs skill when you can lift mountains?
    • Hulk's skill level fluctuates almost as much as his strength. His strength is dependent on how angry he is, while his skill level is largely dependent on which of his many multiple personalities is active at the moment. His default 'Hulk Smash' persona generally isn't intellectually capable of any kind of combat strategy beyond hitting things but is strong enough that it's basically futile for anything else to try and stop him in a straight fight, the grey 'Joe Fixit' Hulk compensates for his slightly lesser strength with better tactics even if he's a brawler rather than a martial artist, the Professor is more intelligent but has to restrain his anger and so could theoretically be overpowered as he can't let rip like the other Hulks, and the Green Scar of Sakaar is generally the most technically skilled fighter but isn't often released due to his other personal issues.
    • In addition to his strength, the Hulk is often shown making up for his relative lack of skill with raw pragmatism. More particularly, while he's not exactly known for his finesse, the Hulk has gained a tremendous amount of experience in knowing just how to use his strength for best effect, including against those enemies he can't just smash.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: In issue #272, the Hulk and Sasquatch ram Wendigo using downed trees, with Wendigo in the middle.
    The Wendigo becomes the immovable force between two irresistable objects.
    • This phrase is more overused in The Hulk than anywhere else. Whenever the writers want belabor to impress that an opponent is a serious physical challenge to Hulk, they will be one of these, and Hulk will be the other.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The Hulk is the poster boy in every incarnation and medium, as his strength is fueled by rage. "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.
    • Beneath her calmer exterior, Betty is nearly as repressed as her husband. When she turns into Red She-Hulk all that rage finally gets an outlet.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Hulk and Red Hulk (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 point of sleeping with him in one notable Giffen / DeMatteis Defenders miniseries. In this case Hulk... enjoyed himself so much that not only did he revert to puny Banner, but Umar couldn't torture Banner into turning back. In a later issue, she appears to scoop up an out-of-control Hulk, super-charged by a reality-warping device, for an inter-dimensional booty-call. When the Red She-Hulk objected, Umar brought her along as well. Apparently, she thought that level of power, and the extra partner, would give them enough stamina to make for an interesting evening (by comparison, she wiped out the Hulk in their first encounter in under six minutes). She saved the Earth, unintentionally, in the pursuit of really vigorous sex.
  • Villainous Friendship: The Leader and The Abomination, who became friends through their mutual hatred of the Hulk. The Leader was even upset when the Red Hulk killed The Abomination.
  • 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.
  • Villain Team-Up:
    • A 1960's comic had the Mandarin team up with the Sandman. It ended with Mandarin sending the Sandman into a molten vat turning him to glass.
    • There is the Intelligencia, a super villain team made of Mad Scientists. So far they've managed to avoid infighting. In fact, they've been able to work perfectly as a unit. Not only that, but they apparently worked together for years, and various instances when they fought each other were retconned to be set-up so nobody would suspect a thing.
  • Villainous Crush: Umar, Doctor Strange villainess and sister to Dormammu has a huge crush on the Hulk. She actually kept him as her love-slave for a while, but why don't we just pretend that was fanfiction? They've been reunited since.
  • 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.
    • The Hulk and Spider-Man. Their team-ups always start off as hostile, Hulk often finds Spider-Man very annoying, and Spidey obviously doesn't approve of Hulk smashing up New York. But after many encounters, they warm to each and Hulk starts saying "Bug-Man is Hulk's Friend", in Secret Wars (1984). In other comics, Hulk even lets Spider-Man take a ride on his shoulders.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Hulk developed the ability to do this at one point in the early 1980s when Bruce Banner had taken complete control of the Hulk's form. While he normally stayed in his basic human body, Banner could transform himself into the Hulk at will and retained full control of his body while doing so. The emotionally reserved Banner couldn't get as angry as any of the actual Hulk personalities and so wasn't as strong, but he made up for it by using his scientific smarts to fight as a Genius Bruiser.
    • There is also his "Joe Fixit" personality, where he would be Bruce Banner by day, and "Mr. Fixit" Hulk by night.
    • The later "integrated" version of the Hulk (originally intended to be all of Banner/Hulk's personae combined into a functional whole, later retconned to yet another split personality) reversed this to a degree. Having control over his emotions and physical power, he stayed as the Hulk full-time, not reverting to "normal" even when sleeping or knocked out. However, when his mental control eventually began to slip, and the savage, destructive Hulk persona re-emerged, he would revert to human form as a sort of "safety valve", with the rampaging Hulk's mind stuck in the body of Bruce Banner and thus incapable of large-scale destruction.
    • Both She-Hulk and Red Hulk are typically able to control their transformations.
  • Walking Disaster Area: The Hulk's basically the equivalent of dropping a nuke wherever he transforms. Obviously most of the time it's not his fault and the military are also to blame for some of the destruction, but it's nevertheless not a good idea to be near Hulk. Especially if you're the one who pissed him off.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The Hulk. Not Bruce Banner, though.
  • The Wall Around the World: The Hulk occasionally visited the Keystone Quadrant in his old comic-book series... basically a solar-system (possibly more than one) which was somehow 'walled off' from the rest of the universe, it could only be entered and exited through various types of teleportation. It was basically a Sugar Bowl without the sugar - populated by funny talking animals and hilariously incompetent Keystone Kops... and caught up in a long war between a Mad Scientist tortoise and his cybernetically-enhanced Black Bunny Brigade (not to mention a small army of robotic Monster Clowns), and the heroic Animal Resistance, led by a fast-talking Raccoon space-captain.
  • Warrior Therapist: Dr. Leonard Samson, who treats Bruce Banner, X-Factor and the Thunderbolts, and is gamma-powered himself without turning into a mindless freak.
    • Since Talking Is a Free Action in comic books his fights with the Hulk are multiple-page slugfests with psychological analysis often being spouted the whole time.
  • Watching the Reflection Undress: In one of the Hulk Magazine comics, a wandering Bruce Banner is accidentally splashed with water by a woman. She apologizes and makes him come inside and gives him some clothes to change into. Since he is in a hurry, she tells him that he can change in the room, and that she won't peek. She turns around and then secretly pulls out a hand-mirror, clearly enjoying the show.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • Hideko Takata was a member of the Hulkbusters in the late 1980s. She's a normal, overweight, middle-aged woman, who managed to throw the Hulk to the ground, by expert use of judo.
    • A variation of this applies to the "Professor" incarnation of the Hulk; one of Bruce Banner's many split personalities, the Professor Hulk is essentially Bruce Banner's mind in control of the Hulk's body. In terms of his raw strength, the Professor has the greatest base level strength of any of the Hulks, but due to psychic failsafes created after he became active, if he gets angry he will revert to "Savage Banner", a persona where the enraged mind of the Savage Hulk is in control of Bruce Banner's body. As a result, while the Professor is the smarter known Hulk persona, he lacks the Hulk's ability to get stronger as he gets angrier, putting a limit on how strong he actually is.
  • Weaponized Landmark: A 1971 story had The Sphinx being left behind by aliens as a weapon.
  • Weirdness Magnet: The 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.
  • Wham Line:
    • The Incredible Hulk #600: "The Good Doctor is out. The Bad Doctor is in."
    • Immortal Hulk #16: "I ain't Bruce." It's Joe.
  • 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?
  • Wild Card: Kind of played with in the case of the Hulk, as he genuinely is a good guy, but whether you're a good guy or a bad guy, if you do something he views as a betrayal or an attempt to hurt or hound him, it doesn't end well.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The gamma bomb gave Bruce Banner huge power and exacerbated his multiple personality syndrome. Plus, the madder he gets, the stronger he becomes.
    • Interestingly for gamma ray mutants, what happens to the subject's mind depends on what part of their personality they had dissociated themselves from. Banner suppressed the rage that came from being abused as a child, She-Hulk suppressed her sexuality, Doc Samson suppressed his desire to be a hero,
  • 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."
  • Woobie: Bruce Banner has to be one of the most unfortunate people ever born, even before the gamma bomb accident. His father was a physically and verbally abusive alcoholic who was convinced that he was a "monster" just because he was so intelligent, from an early age, eventually murdered his mother right before his eyes by repeatedly smashing her head on the ground, and then browbeat him into not testifying against him in court otherwise he would go to hell; he repressed his emotions in order to avoid being like his father, which caused him to develop Multiple Personality Disorder; he was picked on and beaten up in school, he took his father in after he was released from a mental institution, only to end up accidentally killing him in self-defence when dear ol' dad reverted to type (he repressed the memory of this for years), and the father of the woman he was falling in love with considered him a milksop. Since becoming the Hulk, he's been constantly harassed and hounded by the military, superheroes, and supervillains, accused of treason, imprisoned, tortured, exploited, and had to spend years on the run from the authorities. Whenever things look like they're looking up for him, his world always gets ripped apart. Brutally. And people wonder what the Hulk's problem is...
  • World's Strongest Man: The Hulk's potential strength is theoretically unlimited, making him the Marvel Universe's strongest character. Green Scar in particular is the strongest version of the Hulk. Word of God is that the Green Scar Hulk is "stronger than any mortal and most immortals in the Marvel Universe." So he is literally the strongest man; anyone stronger than him is at least a Physical God, and he's stronger than most of those as the only heroes who were able to challenge the Hulk in Green Scar form were the Sentry (see below), The Mighty Thor (in a "What If?" when he beat the Sentry to New York) and Ghost Rider (who only came to reason with the Hulk and never attacked since Hulk was not guilty). Devil Hulk (the Hulk incarnation who stars in Immortal Hulk) is on the cusp of this trope now, given he defeated The One Below All (the counterpart to The One Above All) with one Shockwave Clap, though he admitted it only bought the protagonists a minute's breathing space to escape it. The last issue in the run outright confirms Hulk as the strongest character in Marvel as it turns out he's actually a direct creation/"child" of The One Above All meant the serve as the "counterweight" to creation by being the embodiment of destruction. Likewise, the reveal that The One Below All is actually the Superpowered Evil Side to The One Above All makes Hulk's aforementioned thunderclapping of the deity even more impressive given he essentially blow away the creator of everything.
  • 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.
  • You Are Too Late: The "Ground Zero" storyline of Peter David's run. Hulk finds a Gamma Bomb planted in the middle of a small town by the Leader. He fights off the Leader's guards, and is about to disable the bomb—when it blows up.
  • You No Take Candle: The Hulk, though he doesn't do as much talking as most other incarnations. Count on at least one of the people he's trying to "Hulk Smash" at the moment to tell him third-person speaking is a sign of conceit.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: Parodied in one issue, when Amadeus Cho solves a logic puzzle involving this trope by replying that if there is "nothing in the room" then he is not in the room either.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: The Trope Namer. Bruce Banner uses this line to warn people of his Hulking Out ability. It doesn't always work.
  • Younger than They Look: Skaar, The Hulk's son. He looks like an adult in Hulk form, a teenager when in 'human' form, but in actual fact is only a couple of years old, thanks in part to his mother being an alien with an accelerated aging rate. His twin, Hiro-Kala, looks like a young teen.
  • Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb: Bruce Banner became the Hulk because Rick Jones accepted a dare to drive onto a nuclear testing site. To his credit, Rick has spent a good chunk of the rest of his life trying to make it up to Bruce as best he can.

Hulk original and ongoing series

    The Incredible Hulk Vol. 1 

    Tales to Astonish 

    The Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 

    Annuals 
  • Fat Bastard: In The Incredible Hulk 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.
  • Water Source Tampering: The Incredible Hulk Annual #11 focused on the Leader trying to turn all of Earth into gamma beings.

    Hulk Vol. 1 

    Hulk Vol. 2 

    The Incredible Hulks 

    The Incredible Hulk Vol. 3 

    Indestructible Hulk 

    Hulk Vol. 3 

    The Totally Awesome Hulk 

    Hulk Vol. 4 

    The Immortal Hulk 

    Hulk Vol. 5 

    Skaar: Son of Hulk 
  • Anti-Villain: Axeman Bone may be a brutal warrior but, as he makes a point of expressing, at least he knows what he's doing (trying to unite his people and re-establish formal society on Sakaar) and when to stop, unlike the aimless and animalistic Skaar.

    Batman vs The Incredible Hulk 
  • Blind and the Beast: An old blind tramp who looks a lot like Stan Lee advises the Hulk that maybe puny humans would stop trying to hurt him if he showed a little kindness. Hulk thinks he's right. Subverted when the tramp is actually a disguised Batman, who needs the Hulk to go with the Joker (long story).
  • Boring Insult: The Shaper of Worlds gives Joker some of his power, allowing Joker to re-shape the world with his imagination. Batman soon accuses Joker of being uncreative, to which Joker begins re-shaping the world in more chaotic ways, eventually straining his mind to the breaking point.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Shaper of Worlds makes one with The Joker.
  • Insult of Endearment: Pointy Ears for Batman
  • Knockout Gas: Batman uses knockout gas on Ol' Greenskin.
  • Unexpected Character: The Shaper of Worlds, a Reality Warper born from a Skrull Cosmic Cube, is the villian of the crossover.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Bruce Banner actually pulls this on Commissioner Gordon. Gordon seems to inspire this from everyone.

     The Incredible Hulk vs Superman 


Hulk... tired...

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

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

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