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Film / Ant-Man

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Scott Lang: My days of breaking into places and stealing shit are done. What do you want me to do?
Hank Pym: I want you to break into a place and steal some shit.

Ant-Man is a 2015 film directed by Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Yes-Man) and written by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay and Paul Rudd, based on the comic book property of the same name. It marks the twelfth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the last entry in the MCU's Phase 2 slate.

Its story follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a recently-released burglar who is struggling to make an honest living when he is recruited by retired inventor Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) for One Last Job: steal Pym's research from his former company, before it can be abused by the firm's new owner Darren Cross (Corey Stoll). To accomplish this, Pym outfits Lang with the "Ant-Man" suit, a piece of technology with the ability to both increase the wearer's strength and shrink them down to the size of an ant.

Other cast members include Michael Peña as Luis, T.I. as Dave, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Judy Greer as Scott's ex-wife Maggie, Wood Harris as Gale, John Slattery as Howard Stark, and Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter.

Scott Lang next makes a guest appearance in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, while the sequel to the film, Ant-Man and the Wasp, was released on July 6, 2018. Peyton Reed returned to direct, while Rudd, Douglas, Lilly, and Peña also return. Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Hannah John-Kamen also appear as Bill Foster, Janet Van Dyne, and Ghost respectively. The main cast also puts in appearances in Avengers: Endgame and a third film, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which was released on February 17, 2023.

Previews: Ant-Sized Teaser, Human-Sized Teaser, Trailer 1, Trailer 2

Ant-Man provides examples of:

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    Tropes # to E 
  • The '80s: The intro, which takes place in 1989 and featuring both an aging Peggy Carter and Howard Stark. As well as Hank's last mission with his wife in 1987.
  • Aborted Arc: HYDRA leader and one of the only survivors, what with their fairly comprehensive destruction by the fifth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Mitchell Carson escapes with a vial of Cross's bootleg Pym Particles. This set up the possibility of more villainous shrinkers, but hasn't even been hinted at in the years since, with HYDRA having been phased out of the MCU, though they could still return.
  • Acid-Trip Dimension: The Quantum Realm. From what little we see of it during Scott's tenure there, it's a place full of crazy shapes, creatures, and other Alien Geometries.
  • Action Girl:
    • Hope, to the point that she's actually the one who teaches Scott how to fight.
      Scott: You're going to show me how to punch? [holds up hand as a target] Show me how to—
      [Hope punches him in the face]
      Hope: That's how you punch.
    • Hank Pym's wife Janet used to be the Wasp, before she sacrificed herself by going sub-atomic to stop a Soviet ICBM.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Hank Pym's first line in the modern day is a sardonic, "Yes, I'm still alive." This feels like a nod to Michael Douglas's terminal cancer diagnosis and his amazing survival years after he was expected to succumb.
    • Garrett Morris is the man in the car that Scott lands on in his initial test. Morris also played Ant-Man in the "Superman's Birthday" sketch on Saturday Night Live, making him the first person to ever play the character in live-action.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The Yellowjacket costume is often thought to look rather silly in the comics, especially with the shoulder fins. The film redesign looks more modern and threatening, with a number of fans commenting that they were surprised someone had managed to make Yellowjacket look badass.
    • It's played for laughs with Baskin-Robbins, which is elevated to a Big Brother level organization. "Baskin-Robbins always finds out."
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • In the Marvel Comics 2 comics, Hope Pym/Hope van Dyne was an Ax-Crazy villain called Red Queen. Although she has strained relations with her father in the film due to her mother's death years ago, she's on the side of good here.
    • Thanks to the restructuring of the timeline, Hank Pym in the MCU was not responsible for creating Ultron. Without that burden he seems to have avoided the more serious psychoses of his comic book counterpart. He never became a supervillain or accidentally struck his wife Janet. At worst he's paranoid and arrogant.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In most adaptations, Yellowjacket is one of Hank Pym's many identities, although it tends to be used when he's being a big jerkass. Here, it's the identity of the film's villain.
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • In the comics, Hank Pym's history is... complex, with various name and power changes. Like other MCU films, Ant-Man cherry-picks elements from various comics, changes others, and creates completely new ones, in order to build a streamlined backstory that's easy to comprehend and fits in with the rest of the canon.
    • The movie itself is a loose modern retelling of Scott's debut storyline, To Steal an Ant-Man. Like the comic, Darren Cross is the villain, Scott is an ex-criminal tasked with stealing the Ant-Man suit, and Cassie Lang is a major motivation for him becoming a hero (though she's not an ill girl here). However, like many things, the story is expanded, changed, and as mentioned, modernized to fit the MCU.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Scott's daughter Cassie is a brunette rather than a blonde.
    • Lang himself is a redhead in the comic, and black-haired in the film.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Lang's wife is called "Peggy" in the comics and "Maggie" in the film, probably to avoid confusion with Peggy Carter. Justifiable though since both names are derived from "Margaret".
    • Maggie Lang's new husband is named James "Jim" Paxton. In the comics, his name is Blake Burdick.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In the film, Darren Cross is made the former protégé of Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man), and later becomes Yellowjacket, the Evil Counterpart of Scott Lang (the new Ant-Man). Edgar Wright cited the use of this trope in Iron Man as a major inspiration, arguing that the hero and villain getting their powers from the same source makes for a simpler and more coherent story.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: The Yellowjacket suit is designed to look more modern than the Ant-Man suit with gratuitous hexagonal designs on the yellow parts.
  • Age Lift: Hank Pym, a contemporary of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in the comics, is depicted as a retired superhero from the 1970s and '80s, and knows Howard Stark much better than his son. The same can be said of his wife Janet.
  • Air Vent Infiltration: Naturally, Ant-Man finds this easier than others, but a Properly Paranoid Cross has put micromesh across the ventilators, so he has to get inside the building first by going Down the Drain.
  • Alien Geometries: The sub-atomic Quantum Realm has to be seen to be believed. The closest comparison is that it is akin to a reality that looks like a kaleidoscope.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: The ant that gets enlarged to nearly human size is mistaken for a really ugly dog by the bystanders (it's dark out) and later, it's seen hiding under the dinner table while Cassie feeds it scraps from her plate when her parents aren't looking. There's also the crazy ant that Scott first encounters the first time he trains his ant-control powers, which appears to sniff his hand like a dog, then happily tackles him and starts cuddling. It's actually adorable, then the rest of the crazy ants want to cuddle too.
  • The Alleged Car: Averted. Luis's dilapidated old van looks like a setup for this trope, but it goes through the film without giving the team a lick of trouble, especially since wheelman Dave is shown tuning up the van in preparation for the Pym safe heist. (If only he had done something about that distinctive car horn, though...)
  • Ambiguous Situation: Regarding Janet van Dyne, the movie doesn't make it completely clear if she actually died or if she's simply missing, although she's out of the picture for almost all of the movie's plot beyond the flashback sequence.
  • An Aesop: The fact that Darren, based on nothing more than the rumor of the Ant-Man, almost recreated his discoveries and now the world definitely knows about Pym Particles and the Ant-Man leads Hank to the realization that you can't destroy power. You have to make sure it's in the right hands. So he hands his wife's prototype Wasp suit over to Hope.
  • And I Must Scream: Anyone who turns off the suit's regulator and goes to sub-atomic levels will continue to shrink and shrink until they reach a state of existence that is beyond the boundaries of time and space, and are doomed to remain there forever— though Scott manages to find a way out of this.
  • And Starring: "And Michael Douglas as Hank Pym."
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing:
    • Ant-Man wears a costume that looks a bit like a red ant and has the power to shrink to the size of an ant. Another of Pym's inventions allows him to communicate with ants, which Hope says is his greatest power.
    • Yellowjacket wears a black and yellow variant designed to evoke the image of a wasp.
    • Janet van Dyne as the Wasp. In the mid-credits stinger, Hope van Dyne is presented with a prototype version of the Wasp suit.
    • Falcon wears a winged suit that allows him to fly like his namesake animal.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Played for laughs In-Universe with Luis. His girl left him, his ma died, and his dad got deported... but he got the van!
  • Answer Cut: Pym tells Hope that he thinks he's found somebody who can operate the Ant-Man suit for them, and she asks who; cut to a new scene centered on Scott Lang, who we later learn is the man Pym has his eye on.
  • Ant Assault: Unsurprisingly since one of Ant-Man's powers is to control ants. Just when Darren Cross is about to shoot the heroes, an army of ants crawls onto his hand and starts biting it.
  • Anti Climax Cut: We see Ant-Man and Yellowjacket, while miniaturized, about to be flattened by a train. Right before it hits, we cut back to a normal human scale, where the collision just looks like a toy train falling over.
  • Anti-Hero: Scott is a former thief trying to go straight by helping Hank Pym. This, of course, turns out to involve committing another heist, albeit one that will save lives. Although he has his record, several people admire him for robbing a company that robbed others, including Hank.
  • The Anticipator: Ant-Man gets all the way to his target only to find the Yellowjacket snatched away and himself Lured into a Trap by a smug Cross, who's not only figured that Hank had a suit stashed away, but also that Scott Lang is the man that he recruited to wear it. However Cross assumes that they're just intending to steal the suit, and the destruction of his entire research facility takes him by surprise.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Scott when his opponent is Avenger Sam Wilson, the Falcon.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Hank Pym's scientific discovery, the "Pym Particles", are what allow Ant-Man and Yellowjacket to change their sizes and somehow alter their weight and mass separately from one another.
  • Arc Words:
    • A wink and a nod to the heist nature of the film.
      Hank Pym/The Falcon: I know a guy...
    • Also "become the hero that she already thinks you are."
    • "Go Subatomic."
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • The ants in the movie were deliberately designed to appear less menacing and disgusting than actual ants do up-close.
    • Ants have no lungs, only hollow breathing holes, so in real life a dog-sized ant would immediately suffocate.
    • For the sake of comedy, "Ant-thony"'s wings sound almost exactly like helicopter propellers.
    • "Ant-thony" is clearly a winged queen, yet everyone refers to Ant-thony with male pronouns.note  However, according to this, Ant-thony is indeed female.
  • Artistic License – Engineering:
    • During the climax of the movie, the eyes on the Bachmann Thomas the Tank Engine toy move constantly throughout the scene. In reality, the eyes only move when the toy itself moves.
    • Speaking of Thomas, when the toy hits the window, it makes a sound as if it were made of plastic. Bachmann models are actually made of metal.
    • During the struggle in the vault at Pym Tech, the ants are shown blocking the hammer on Cross' handgun. The handgun shown is a Glock 17, which lacks an external hammer entirely.
    • During the infiltration of Pym Technologies, it's decided to go through the water main because the pressure would be too high for Cross to implement his additional security features. However, Ant-Man and his ants are shown travelling through a storm drain, not the water main, which is not kept under high pressure because storm drains are open to the air. Made doubly infuriating when Ant-Man emerges from the faucet in a bathroom (which is connected to the main) instead of from the drain 6 inches below (which would be connected to a sewer, not a storm drain, unless Pym Technologies is in an older city where the two lines are run together).
  • Artistic License – Law Enforcement: Following reports of a helicopter crash and a fight between two individuals in a family's home, Detective Jim Paxton and his partner Gale arrive to find their former prisoner Scott Lang in his Ant-Man uniform. As Lang tries to explain what happened and make the confused Paxton understand the situation, Paxton ignores him and instead pulls out a taser and shocks him, knocking him out and putting him in the police car to be taken back to jail. In reality, a cop would be fired for excessive use of force if they tased someone mid-sentence. Tasers are part of the force continuum. They are not the first thing a cop would use encountering someone. Tasers are not apprehension devices — they are designed to overcome aggression and resistance.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Pym Particles are somehow able to alter mass and energy transfer properties separate from weight, shrink multiple atoms down to smaller than a single atom can even be, and other things completely impossible in the real world— sometimes for drama, sometimes for comedy.
    • In the final battle, Scott throws what appears to be a massive train at Yellowjacket, only to zoom way back to show that he's getting a toy train thrown at him, which in no way affects the rest of the table despite Yellowjacket being afraid that it'll crush him.
    • Hank claims in a moment of Unscientific Science that Pym Particles are meant to shrink the distance between atoms, yet they can also be used to shrink a macro sized object down to the Quantum Realm, which is smaller than atoms. However, if this was true, not only should atomic fission occur at some point, but Scott should've eventually approached the density of a highly unstable black hole and released enough energy in the form of Hawking Radiation to utterly annihilate planet Earth.
    • Hope claims that Scott retains his mass when he's ant-sized, hence why his punches still hurt. Normally, however, this would mean that he would still weigh as much as a human, and thus crush any ant that he'd try to ride on. And yet Scott clearly becomes lighter.
    • Similarly, instead of losing density when they grow, which would make the giant Thomas the Tank Engine too light to crush a police car, things that Scott uses his size-increasing discs on seem to gain additional mass entirely from some effect of the Pym Particles.
    • Even the first scene where Scott shrinks is inconsistent. He smashes tiles, breaks through ceilings and dents cars when he jumps or falls, and yet is also light enough that he is thrown around by water droplets and can be knocked onto a vinyl record without breaking it.
    • Hank and Hope grow a T-34/85 tank that Hank had disguised as a charm on a keychain, which similar to Scott lost weight when shrunk, weighing the same as a normal keychain charm.
    • In the Sub-Atomic Realm, Scott shouldn't be able to hear his daughter's cries for him, and yet he does. He might have heard her cry out earlier and remembered it later when summoning up the Heroic Willpower to reverse the sub-atomic shrinking.
    • It is never explained why titanium should be so problematic for Ant-Man to deal with— more likely this is a case of the writers making use of the common misconception that titanium is a supermetal with amazing properties. Fortunately, this gets addressed in Ant-Man and the Wasp, where instead of pointing out that certain objects are built with titanium, they are simply too thick for Ant-Man and Wasp's wrist lasers to cut through while shrunk.
  • Ascended Meme: A common complaint in the fanbase for Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier was "Why doesn't the hero call in the Avengers to deal with that big of a problem?" This time, when the big problem is explained and Pym and Lang discuss how to solve it, Lang finally asks why they don't call the Avengers. It's a bit of a pride thing for Pym (he hated Howard and doesn't trust Tony), and a bit of a "the Avengers have even bigger problems" thing.
  • Astronomic Zoom: The Creative Closing Credits feature such a zoom (although we only see bright red 3D outlines) starting from low Earth orbit, zooming toward San Francisco, reaching the ground, going to various microscopic levels, and finally ending sub-atomic.
  • Atrocious Alias: Although none of the gags from the trailers make it into the finished product, Darren Cross has a laugh at the name when he first introduces the technology to his team early in the film. Scott himself pokes fun at it numerous times throughout the aforementioned trailers.
    Scott: One question: is it too late to change the name?

    Scott: I'm Ant-Man.
    Yellowjacket: [aside glance]
    Scott: ...I know. Wasn't my idea.
  • Ax-Crazy: Darren Cross is a subdued version that gets scarily worse over the course of the movie. Hank suggests it to be from exposure to the Pym Particle, and Darren was already unstable to begin with before he began to work at replicating his mentor's technology. After being electrocuted to death by a fly trap and then also resurrected by it, he becomes even more berserk.
  • Back for the Finale: The finale, in this case, referring to the end of Phase 2.
  • Backpack Cannon: The Yellowjacket suit can fire powerful laser beams from the stingers that are mounted on the back.
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • Scott Lang has a Master's in Electrical Engineering and beats people up as the superhero Ant-Man.
    • Hope van Dyne is the daughter of a genius scientist, senior board member of Pym Technologies, and trains Scott in martial arts.
    • Hank Pym is the aforementioned genius scientist and was a Cold-War-era superhero.
    • Darren Cross was Hank's protégé, successfully recreates Hank's technology with only incomplete blueprints of a prototype to start from, and becomes Yellowjacket.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The prison fight at the start. Scott punches Peaches with a good hit in the face... and instead of getting beaten up, it's revealed that it's a ritual for anyone getting out of prison, and all the other inmates hug him for it.
  • Bald of Evil: Darren Cross has a shaved head.
  • Bastardly Speech: The narrator on the company promo for the Yellowjacket pontificates on how their product will make the world safe for peace and democracy through warfare, espionage, and assassination.
  • Batman Gambit: Hank's plan for recruiting Scott relies entirely on Scott sticking to form by flaking under pressure and reverting to crime as a way out. Scott also has to successfully infiltrate Pym's home, locate the suit, take the suit home with him, try it on, and activate the shrinking technology.
  • Battle Couple: Hank and Janet were this back in the day. Their successors, Scott and Hope, will be this in the upcoming films.
  • The Beastmaster: Leading and controlling various species of ants is one of Hank's developments as the first Ant-Man, and Hope and (naturally) Scott also use the technology. It consists of mentally projecting the task that the wielder wants the ants to accomplish.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Pym warned Lang that if he ever goes subatomic, he would shrink forever, and would never be able to grow back to full size. At one point, he took the risk anyway, to save his daughter. Yet, he managed to grow up again thanks to one of the growing disks that he was given by Pym himself.
  • Big Bad: Corrupt Corporate Executive Darren Cross is the reason that Scott is recruited to steal the prototype Yellowjacket armor. The world will be a darker place if anyone with enough money can purchase tiny flying assassins.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Played for Laughs when Dale, Scott's boss at his retail job, uncovers his criminal record.
    Dale: Baskin-Robbins always finds out.
  • Billed Above the Title: Ant-Man is unusual among MCU films in that Paul Rudd's name comes before the title in the credit sequence.
  • Blatant Lies: When Hank catches Hope and Scott kissing, Scott tries to claim that Hope came on to him, and that he'd had nothing to do with said kissing. Hank doesn't buy it.
    Hank: Scott!
    Scott: Yeah?
    Hank: You're full of shit.
    Scott: Oh yeah.
  • Body Horror:
    • Cross's failed attempts to replicate Hank's success generally result in living subjects being turned into blobs of pinkish tissue, albeit minuscule ones.
    • Cross's demise is no treat to think about too hard, either. What does happen to a human body when parts of it aren't the right relative size any more?
  • Bookends: After an interlude with Baskin-Robbins and daughter's birthdays, the actual story begins with a convoluted chain of "I know someone who knows someone" that leads to the theft of the Ant-Man suit. At the end of the film, we have another convoluted chain of "I know someone who knows someone" that leads to the reveal that the Falcon is trying to locate Ant-Man.
  • Boxed Crook: Scott Lang, former burglar, is offered by Hank a means of making child support to see his daughter again; become Ant-Man and use his thieving talents to steal technology that poses a threat to world peace.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Scott has a suit that not only shrinks but gives him superhuman strength and speed, but Hope still has to teach him how to punch. The explanation given is that it's more about controlling his punches (too hard and he can kill a person, too soft and nothing happens).
  • Breather Episode: For the MCU, being a Lighter and Softer movie coming in between the more serious films Age of Ultron and Civil War.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Luis helps Scott out later on in the film, but is always a lovable ditz.
  • Burger Fool: Scott's criminal record makes it hard to find a legit job, and he ends up working the counter at an ice cream shop. Complete with quirky boss and clueless customers.
  • Call-Back:
    • Thanks to the complete revelation of all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secrets at the end of Winter Soldier, Darren Cross has access to their records of Hank Pym's career as Ant-Man I.
    • One of Scott's missions is to steal a piece of tech from one of Howard Stark's old storage facilities. This facility turns out to be the New Avengers headquarters introduced in the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. He then gets in a fight with Falcon, who was established as one of the new Avengers at the end of Age of Ultron.
    • Darren Cross' master plan is to sell the Yellowjacket suit to HYDRA, and bill them for his version of the Pym Particles to fuel the suit.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Hope calls her father Hank throughout, stemming from her long-seated resentment toward him.
  • The Cameo:
    • Tom Kenny voices the ugly rabbit doll that Scott gives Cassie.
    • At the end of the scene where Scott first dons the Ant-Man suit, he crashes onto the car of comedian Garrett Morris. Morris was the first live-action actor to play Ant-Man, during a 1979 Saturday Night Live sketch called "Superhero Party".
    • Anna Akana appears in the ending scene where the Falcon is looking for Scott to recruit him.
    • Stan Lee gets his traditional cameo: He's one of the people seen lip-synching to Luis's story at the end of the film.
    • Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan, as Steve Rogers and Bucky respectively, appear in The Stinger (well, the second one anyway), setting up the next film.
  • Canon Foreigner: Most of the supporting cast, including Scott's prison cellmates.
  • The Caper: Was described as a "heist movie" by Edgar Wright when he was still set to direct. In the comics, Scott Lang stole the Ant-Man suit in hopes of pulling off enough heists to save his sick daughter. This time around, though, it's Hank who wants Scott to use the Ant-Man technology to pull off a heist. And initially, tricks Scott into stealing the Ant-Man suit from him as a test of his skills.
  • Car Cushion: Played with. Scott lands on a taxi at the end of his first outing with the Ant-Man suit, but since he's miniaturized at the time, it only causes a small dent. And then he returns to normal size, puzzling the driver.
  • Cassandra Truth: The S.H.I.E.L.D. footage that Darren Cross shows early on of Hank killing communists and other threats to US national security during the Cold War is handwaved by Hank (and initially believed by Cross himself) as being tall tales and propaganda. Except it all happened, and then some.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action:
    • Some ants bring the Ant-Man suit to Scott Lang's jail cell and signal that he has ten seconds before the guard comes back. Scott manages to put on the majority of the suit (unitard, boots, belt, gloves) in six seconds, spends four seconds fiddling with the helmet, and shrinks down right as the guard walks by his cell.
    • Near the climax, Cross goes from wearing business attire to donning the full Yellowjacket suit at a moment's notice while Scott is busy pulling himself into the helicopter where he is.
  • Character Tics: If Darren Cross gets uncomfortably close to you and affectionately puts his hand on your shoulder during a conversation, chances are you're doomed.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The shrink/grow throwing disks. Scott uses a grow disk to break out of the Yellowjacket display, and then uses another grow disk to reverse his unregulated shrinking to the quantum world.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The "La Cucaracha" novelty horn in Luis's van is used in the beginning to make Cassie laugh, within Paxton's hearing. It gets honked at the worst possible time near the end when Paxton goes to Pym Technologies during the climatic heist, searching for Scott after the latter's "prison break." He's about to leave when one of Scott's friends accidentally honks the horn, alerting Paxton to Scott's presence.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The T-34/85 medium tank key chain. It wasn't always that small... Note that in the Cold War film clips when Hank is wreaking havoc in Communist-bloc countries, there's a T-34 in the foreground of one shot. It'd be just like Hank to miniaturize it so he could have it around if he ever needed a tank.
    • Cross reveals he figured out Hank's plan during the middle of the heist, that he'd spotted Scott and learned his identity. That's why Cross knows where to find Scott's daughter.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Luis mentions that he's the only guy who ever managed to knock out "Peaches" in the San Quentin departure ritual. He's not kidding; his right cross later turns out to be devastating.
    • Scott's inventiveness is showcased during the burglary of the Pym household as he improvises methods for getting past both a fingerprint scanner and a Carbondale safe using household tools. He also does some tinkering with the Ant-Man suit before Hank warns him off. Towards the end, he figures a way out of the Quantum Realm using a spare enlarging disk that he had in his pocket.
    • Scott has a master's degree in electrical engineering. During the Training Montage, he spends time working on the suit's wiring. His mastery of its internal workings allows him to travel to and escape from the Quantum Realm.
    • During the Training Montage, Hope frequently uses a Sankaku Jime (a Judo choke more popularly known as a Triangle choke) on Scott. He uses that technique himself on The Falcon (much to Hope's pride) and some mook during the climactic heist.note 
  • Choke Holds: As noted just above, Hope teaches Scott a judo choke that he later successfully uses several times.
  • Clothes Make the Superman:
    • Both Ant-Men, Yellowjacket, and both Wasps get their powers from special suits that dispense Pym Particles.
    • Falcon wears his updated wing suit from Age of Ultron.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Shrinking Pym Particles are red, and growth Pym Particles are blue. Yellowjacket's knockoff Pym Particles are yellow, and don't seem to make a distinction between growth and shrinking.
  • Colossus Climb: One battle between Scott and Cross has a miniaturized Scott rushing a normal-sized Cross as he fires lasers at Scott in his mechanized Yellowjacket suit.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Zig-zagged. Hank Pym tells Scott that he needs him to "become the Ant-Man," but everyone still refers to him as Scott, even when suited up. When Scott is discovered attempting to break into Avengers HQ, he introduces himself to Falcon (who Scott does refer to by his codename) by saying "Hi, I'm Scott" (much to Hope and Hank's disbelief). Seconds later, however, Falcon asks him who he is, and his reply is "I'm Ant-Man." Darren Cross is never referred to as "Yellowjacket," either— only the suit itself has that name.
  • Company Cross References: In the same vein as Zazu, Luis whistles the song from "it's a small world".
  • Composite Character:
    • Janet disappeared after helping invent the Ant-Man gear, making her a mix of comics Janet and Pym's first wife, Maria.
    • In a combo of Composite and Decomposite Character, film Yellowjacket is Darren Cross, a completely separate character in the comics. The Yellowjacket suit also has mechanical legs like the Ant-Man suit worn by Eric O'Grady. And while Ultron already exists as a separate character in the MCU, Cross takes on many traits of Ultron's comic counterpart, being a "son" of sorts to Pym with serious daddy issues.
    • Hope sports her mother Janet's trademark bob hairstyle, and by the end of the movie fulfills her mother's role as both Ant-Man's love interest and the new Wasp.
    • Hank's action of lending the mantle "Ant-Man" to Scott is from his Earth-616 counterpart, but his age, the fact that he has a daughter named Hope who had a Face–Heel Turn and his missing wife is Janet instead of Maria is astonishingly similar to his Marvel Comics 2 counterpart.
  • Confronting Your Imposter: A variation; when Luis tries to convince a security guard to leave because the boss said so, the guard replies that he is the boss.
  • Continuity Cameo:
    • Peggy Carter and Howard Stark appear in the prologue.
    • The Falcon appears in two scenes, while Captain America and Bucky Barnes both appear in The Stinger.
  • Continuity Nod: Has its own page.
  • Creator Cameo: Stan Lee, creator of Ant-Man and the Wasp, cameos as a bartender that Luis's cousin Ignacio met while on a date.
    Ignacio: Look at the girl I'm with, you know what I'm saying? She's crazy stupid fine, right?
    Stan Lee: [in Luis's voice] Yeah, crazy stupid fine!
  • Creepy Doll: Scott gives his daughter a stuffed rabbit doll for her birthday, one that looks as if it devours souls instead of carrots. Surprisingly, she proclaims her love for it while commenting on how ugly it is, and all attempts to dissuade her from keeping it fail. (One notes that Cassie was losing her baby teeth, and the doll had a rather unorthodox grin, so she might have loved it out of camaraderie and not solely out of love of scary things. But she certainly loved her new "dog", too!)
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Even without the ability to shrink organic matter, the Yellowjacket suit is basically a discount Iron Man suit without needing an Arc Reactor, and Cross's incomplete Pym particles could revolutionize just about any industry you could name, from transport to medicine to space travel, but he is mentally unstable and obsessed with surpassing Hank. Hell, HYDRA would pay him a fortune for his incomplete version, given how it makes Disposing of a Body a snap.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Before the third act, Hope tells Scott he's kind of okay.
    Hope: I'm just glad that you might have a slight chance of maybe pulling this off.
    Scott: Hey, thank you, you know, for that pep talk.
    Hope: You know, the honest truth is I went from despising you to almost liking you.
    Scott: You really should write poetry.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Deactivating the regulator and allowing the Pym particles to take you subatomic. It's a one-way trip unless you have something to replace the regulator's internals.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Hank Pym does this to Scott Lang when they first meet for real, and during his training when Scott doubts himself:
    Hank Pym: Second chances don't come along all that often. So the next time you see one, be sure you take a real close look at it.
    Hank Pym: This is your chance to earn that look in your daughter's eyes, to become the hero that she already thinks you are. It's not about saving our world. It's about saving theirs.
  • Deadly Euphemism: The Yellowjacket promotional video is dripping with these, as it makes it clear that Cross sees the suit as perfect for assassination, amongst other unsavory things, while using the most neutral language possible for it. Which also foreshadows his dealings with HYDRA.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Both Hank and Scott have very dry senses of humor.
      Scott: My days of breaking into places and stealing shit are done. So what do you want me to do?
      Hank: I want you to break into a place and steal some shit.
    • Paxton combines this with Stealth Insult:
      Paxton: He didn't get an invitation. And he came anyway!
  • Decomposite Character: Yellowjacket is the villain of the film, though he is Darren Cross instead of Hank Pym.
  • Deconstructed Trope: A lot of the film's action comes from demonstrating what would actually happen if a human were able to shrink in size while retaining their original strength and speed. It also shows all the Required Secondary Powers that someone with shrinking ability would need; these are provided by the suit.
  • Deducing the Secret Identity: Just as it appears Scott is about to successfully steal the Yellowjacket suit, Darren Cross not only reveals that he is prepared for the new Ant-Man, but he has already figured out Scott's identity due doing research on him as the kind of man who Hank would seek out, a man who lost everything including his family for doing the right thing, and the fact that Scott disappeared from jail without a trace despite having no money to his name.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Played with; in the second stinger, set some time after his encounter with Ant-Man, Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers find the whereabouts of Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier. When Steve claims that Tony Stark can't help them and that they are on their own, Sam answers, "Maybe not. I know a guy..."
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Hope goes from actively despising Scott, to reluctantly liking him, to necking with him by the end of the film...
  • Demoted to Extra: Hank Pym, the first Ant-Man in the comics, is a supporting character. The movie focuses on Scott Lang instead. Though Pym is still the first Ant-Man, he only dons the suit in flashbacks.
  • Dénouement Episode: In addition to being a Breather Episode, this is the last film of "Phase Two". Following the big crossover in Age of Ultron, this is a fairly low-stakes heist movie that both introduces a new cast of characters and fills in more of the setting's backstory.
  • Destroy the Product Placement:
    • Averted when Ant-Man is fighting Yellowjacket by throwing toy train cars at him but only throws generic, off-brand ones rather than Thomas the Tank Engine's actual coaches Annie and Clarabel. Inverted when Thomas gets enlarged to the size of a real engine, causing a lot of destruction in the process.
    • There's also the Lifesaver hard candies. When Ant-Man and Yellowjacket fight inside the briefcase falling through the sky, one of the green candies gets obliterated by Yellowjacket's lasers.
  • Destruction Porn: Thoroughly skewered in the final battle. While fighting aboard Cassie's Thomas the Tank Engine train set, Ant-Man and Yellowjacket are flinging train cars at one another in the sort of spectacularly destructive display that one would expect from a superhero movie. And then the camera pulls out to show a bunch of toy train pieces clattering impotently across the room, no danger to anyone.
  • Didn't Think This Through: As part of their plan to steal the Yellowjacket suit, Pym needs Lang to steal a piece of Stark tech which is housed in one of Howard Stark's old storage facilities about 20 years ago. Pym didn't think about getting current photos of the facilities, and this becomes a problem because Lang finds out that it's now the new Avengers HQ.
  • Digital De Aging: A particularly striking example in the opening scene, where Michael Douglas is seamlessly de-aged into how he appeared to be in Wall Street.
  • Disappeared Dad: Hank became this to Hope in his grief and guilt over what happened to Janet. He was so absent from her life for so long that it took him getting shot for her to call him Dad instead of "Hank".
  • Disposing of a Body: Cross figured out real fast that his lethal-to-organics knockoff of Pym Particles is great for this — one shot will reduce a target to what's basically a booger, enabling him to do it with toilet paper.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Cross kills a potential investor for questioning whether the Yellowjacket project is safe.
  • Distant Prologue: The movie opens in 1989, with Hank Pym breaking with S.H.I.E.L.D. after they try to duplicate his work behind his back. It then skips forward about twenty-five years, to what a caption informs us is "The Present Day".
  • Distant Reaction Shot: Repeatedly played for laughs, especially in the climax, where the small-scale action is revealed to look pretty unremarkable at normal size.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Hope doesn't like Scott much in the beginning. That doesn't stop her from checking out his abs though.
  • The Ditz: The young customer in Baskin-Robbins who keeps ordering things impossible to find in the store seemingly has no idea what Baskin-Robbins is.note 
  • Do-Anything Robot: Much like Groot, the ants resemble a biological version of this trope. Seeing them in action is akin to watching a nanite swarm.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Janet stopped a missile from reaching its target by cranking up her suit's ability to shrink, allowing her to get into the missile and disable it from inside, but causing her to irreversibly shrink to subatomic size in the process.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: During their training, Hope briefly glances at Scott's abs while he treats an injury.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Although his house is by no means small, Hank Pym's basement is repeatedly revealed to be larger than it appears, containing multiple safes, vaults, a research and monitoring station, and a decent-sized personal gym.
  • Eldritch Location: The Quantum Realm, where concepts like time and space become meaningless. Anyone unlucky enough to get caught in there will spend all eternity shrinking into increasingly smaller sizes as they become nonexistent.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Luis gets a good one when he picks Scott up from prison. Scott asks how Luis's girlfriend is doing, to which Luis responds that his girlfriend left him, his mom died, and his dad got deported, and then cheerily reminds Scott that he's still got the van. And he says all of this with a humongous smile on his face.
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: The Ant-Man suit was invented decades ago and looks rather rough. In contrast, the Yellowjacket suit has been described as looking like "Apple made an Ant-Man suit."
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: What Scott learns when he shrinks for the first time and is not ready for the environment: he is almost drowned by a bathtub and chased by a rat, literally falls through the cracks of his apartment floor, almost gets cut in half by the needle of a rotating phonograph, and has to dodge the feet of dancers on a dance floor.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Darren Cross to Scott Lang, who he counts as a foil to. While Scott is an ex-con who uses the Ant-Man suit for noble purposes, Cross is the powerful CEO of Pym Technologies and uses the Yellowjacket suit for power and destruction.
    • He kinda counts as one to Hope as well. Both hold a grudge against Hank Pym by the start of the movie. But while Hope manages to reconcile with Hank, Cross does not and wants to prove himself better than Hank at any cost.
  • The Ex's New Jerkass: Scott Lang is upset when he finds out his wife has been dating Detective Paxton, not just because the latter arrested him, but also because he's "an asshat". Somewhat justified on Paxton's part considering Scott is a criminal. Fortunately, Paxton turns out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and he and Scott have a much friendlier relationship in the sequel.

    Tropes F to L 
  • Failed a Spot Check: The break-in at the Stark Industries storage facility in upstate New York. Hank's so focused on planning the break-in and using it as the finale of Scott's training that he doesn't think to check up on the current status of said facility. Had Hank done so, he would've realized that it's now serving as Avengers HQ after the events of Age of Ultron.
  • Failure Montage: Scott training to jump through a keyhole and interact with ants.
  • Family Theme Naming:
    • Hank and his daughter Hope.
    • Scott's ex-wife Maggie and their daughter Cassie. For additional bonus, both ladies have same letters before their similar ones.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • Frank's. Not only is he literally turned into a red goo on screen, Cross cleans him off with a paper wipe and flushes him down the toilet afterwards. It works surprisingly well at showing how unhinged Cross really is.
    • Adorable Little White Lamb #1. Once again, Cross gives no fucks whatsoever, while Hope is horrified.
    • Darren Cross' death, where he is agonizingly crushed inside his own suit as it uncontrollably shrinks down to subatomic level thanks to Scott sabotaging its regulator.
  • Fanservice Extra: Emily the housekeeper, who provides generous Male Gaze during Luis's storytelling and how Luis mentions that her large breasts are the first Luis ever touched.
  • Fate Worse than Death: What awaits anyone who turns off the suit's regulator and goes to subatomic. The presumed fate of the original Wasp. This almost happens to Scott himself.
  • Fauxshadow: In the opening flashback, Hank says S.H.I.E.L.D. can get his Pym Particles over his dead body, and acts as the mentor to Scott though the film. In the climax he gets shot and it seems like he's going to be trapped when a bomb that's planted goes off, but he ends up living though the film.
  • Flashback: A portion of the film takes place when Hank Pym was the Ant-Man, Janet van Dyne was the Wasp, and when S.H.I.E.L.D. was still run by Howard Stark and Peggy Carter.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Paxton and Scott strongly dislike each other due to the former being a cop (and the new man in the latter's family), while the latter is an ex-con, but they quickly put all of that aside and work together to protect Cassie from Cross/Yellowjacket. Afterward, Paxton pulls some strings to get Scott's charges cleared so he can have a decent life while supporting his daughter.
  • First-Name Basis: Hope refers to her father as "Hank." Near the end of the film (and after they've "Broken down walls" as Scott said), when he's shot, she starts to call him "Dad."
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The guard outside the Pym building is surprised when Dr. Pym drives up and the guard inside doesn't even recognize him (despite the portrait hanging behind him). Pym's company has been taken from him by Darren and Hope. Darren is even planning on changing the name to Cross Technologies.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: "Peaches," a burly, intimidating fellow convict at San Quentin that Scott has to land a punch on as part of an ex-con hazing ritual. Peachy is quickly shown to be good-natured and a fair sport when Scott actually does land a hit, but that punch still required medical attention.
  • Foil: Darren Cross is an emotionally unstable business executive desperate for Pym's approval and holds stark similarities to him, in contrast to Scott, who's the criminal disciple of Pym, but is less similar and holds much greater emotional maturity. There is also a sharp contrast between the Ant-Man suit and the Yellowjacket suit. Hank emphasizes the Ant-Man suit carries no weaponry, with Scott utilizing size-changing discs and his ant buddies in combat, while the Yellowjacket is chock full of deadly weapons. There's also the fact the Ant-Man suit is designed for infiltration and camouflage, while the Yellowjacket is bright and let enemies know its presence.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Maggie tells Scott that he's a hero to Cassie and asks him to "be the person she thinks he is." He not only becomes a superhero after donning the Pym suit, he also solidifies himself as a hero to Cassie by saving her from Cross.
    • The apparent fight scene in the prison at the beginning is a minimalist version of every battle in the movie: first Scott tries a direct attack, which doesn't get him anywhere, then he does something sneaky, which does.
    • When Hank tells Scott about the regulator on his belt and what will happen if he disengages it, you know exactly what will happen in the film's climax.
    • Hank shoots down Scott's suggestion to bring the Avengers into this and snarkily makes reference to the destruction of Sokovia. This establishes this film is taking place right after the events of Age of Ultron and Hank was paying attention to the news. Hank, however, wasn't paying that much attention, as it'll later turn out he was unaware the Avengers had relocated to the former Stark Industries compound until Scott stages his break-in.
    • Scott beats the Falcon by shrinking down and sabotaging his flight pack from the inside, and is later warned about the dangers (and necessity) of going sub-atomic. To defeat Yellowjacket, Scott has to go sub-atomic and sabotage his suit from the inside.
    • The tank Hank uses to escape Pym Technologies in the climax can be seen at full size in the Ant-Man "propaganda" footage Cross shows potential buyers early in the film.
    • When Hank tells Hope and Scott what happened to Janet, he says regular shrinking didn't work because the rocket he and Janet were trying to disable was made of titanium. Scott faces the same problem when fighting the Yellowjacket, whose suit is also made of titanium.
    • An unintentional onenote : In the ending, a journalist mentions "We got a guy who jumps. We got a guy who swings. We got a guy who crawls up the walls. You gotta be more specific!", referencing the appearance of Marvel's resident wall-crawler in Captain America: Civil War.
    • Similarly, a San Francisco Chronicle front page is seen headlined, "Who Is Responsible For Sokovia?" foreshadows the premise of Civil War.
    • Early in the movie, Luis reminds Scott that of all the guys to go through the "goodbye punch" ritual with Peaches, he alone was the only one to knock Peaches out cold. Seems like mere boasting, until the final heist when we see how much ass Luis can whoop when he has to.
    • In several scenes, Cross wears a necktie with yellow hexagonal patterns not unlike those seen on the Yellowjacket suit.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Ant-Man approaches the Avengers compound from the air, it's just barely possible to see the burn mark left when Thor left Earth via the Bifrost at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. By the time of this film, the spot has mostly regrown but not quite all the way.
    • It takes a sharp eye to spot, but there was something else in the Quantum Realm with Scott. It's most certainly the "clue" Peyton Reed said in an interview that was left in the Quantum Realm for the fans establishing that Janet is still alive.
    • As explained here, a subheading in the news reads "Stark Industries announces new scholarship for promising students from urban city schools", foreshadowing the appearance of Spider-Man in the MCU starting with Captain America: Civil War.
  • Freudian Excuse: The reason why Hope is so good at martial arts and is overly-violent when training Scott; she resented how her father pushed her away in the wake of her mother's death and turned to fighting as an outlet for her grief and anger and is currently resentful of how she was passed over in putting on the Ant-Man suit.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Hank, mission oriented (Superego, bordering on Ego).
    • Scott, mission oriented like Hank but not afraid to speak his mind like Hope (Ego, bordering on Id).
    • Hope, assertive and blunt (Id, bordering on Superego).
  • Friend on the Force: Paxton becomes this toward the end. After Scott helps save Cassie from Yellowjacket, Paxton fudges the records regarding Scott's escape from custody so he won't face jail time, and invites him to dinner with Cassie.
  • Friendship Moment: Paxton fixes it so Scott won't go back to prison.
    Paxton: Can't be sending Cassie's dad back to jail, now can I?
    Scott: Wow, thank you Paxton. Thanks for everything you do for Cassie.
    Paxton: Well, that's my pleasure, but this one I did for you.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Scott builds his own tools for his heists, and was jailed after breaking into a company with impossible-to-bypass security.
  • Gambit Roulette: Scott knows Luis, who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone (etc, etc) who knows about a retired millionaire that is out of home and had a safe at his house. Thus, Scott Lang goes into that millionaire's house, to steal the content of the safe. That way, he got the Ant-Man suit. Yet, Hank Pym claims that he had all that chain of "know someone" under control, specifically meant to reach Scott Lang and lead him to the suit.
  • Genius Ditz: Luis at first appears to be an chatty, dorky ex-con with a penchant for making waffles, but it turns out he's surprisingly cultured as well. He likes to go wine-tasting with his cousin (complaining that the tasting was dominated by reds when he prefers whites, but saying that a rosé saved the day for him), and also spends time at the art museum (he confesses to being more into Neo-Cubism than the abstract expressionist pieces which were being exhibited at the time, but found himself intrigued by a Rothko). He still remains a Bumbling Sidekick throughout the film.
  • Gilligan Cut: Both types!
    • The Contrary Cut after Scott is released from prison.
      Scott: I have a master's degree in electrical engineering. I'll be fine.
      Scott: Welcome to Baskin-Robbins.
    • The Order Cut comes in traditional heist flick style because they run into complications at the last minute...
      Scott: So we expand our team. What do we need? A fake security guard on the inside to de-pressurize the water system, somebody else to hack into the power supply and kill the laser grid, and a getaway guy.
      Hank: No, no. No, no, no, not those three wombats! No way.
      Luis: Thank you for the coffee, ma'am! It's not too often that you rob a place and get welcomed back. I mean, we just robbed you!
  • Godzilla Threshold: Scott goes subatomic to finish off Cross because it's the only way to save his daughter.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Falcon's goggles have magnification technology powerful enough to enable him to see Ant-Man.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Hank is very good at doing this, both with his protégé Darren and the suit technology. He says that he chose Darren because they were not so different, and pushed him away for the same reason; Darren as a result is an embittered "Well Done, Son" Guy. The suit technology in the meantime is viable as a weapon but it killed Janet due to a Heroic Sacrifice, takes a toll on the body, and threatens to destroy the world.
  • Good Feels Good: Luis realizes he and his crew are on the side of good, and he likes it.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Although he acquires an assault rifle from a guard, Luis spends the final action scene punching people. He discards the gun as soon as the action starts. He's one of "the good guys" after all, so he can't go killing innocent bystanders.
  • Good Versus Good: Scott Lang (Ant-Man) vs. Samuel Wilson (The Falcon). One is an anti-hero looking to get some tech to save the world, and the other is an Avenger defending a superhero base from would-be thieves.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The first trailer takes the "My days of breaking into places and stealing shit are over" line (as well as Pym's echoing response) and replaces the word "shit" with "stuff."
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While Cross is the main antagonist of the film, he turns out to be working with HYDRA, specifically Mitchell Carson.
  • Guile Hero: While the Ant-Man suit does give the wearer the ability to knock out regular people with ease, the key to Ant-Man — and the quality that Hank saw in Scott — is the ability to fight smarter and with ingenuity, not necessarily force. We see this early on when Scott dismantles Hank's various safes and locks, and it really shows when, in Scott's fights with Falcon and Yellowjacket, he ultimately fails in fighting directly and succeeds when infiltrating and dismantling their weapons.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: During a Mexican standoff, several characters can be heard cocking the hammer of their handguns... all of which are Glocks (which have no hammer). Extra egregious: One of the Glocks in this scene is used to threaten Ant-Man. A CGI shot shows ants blocking the hammer of a gun, stopping it from firing. The hammer then ceases to exist immediately afterwards.
  • Gypsy Curse: When Scott demonstrates the Ant-Man suit to his friends, Kurt panics and exclaims it's the work of gypsies.
  • Happily Married: In contrast to the comics, where their relationship is all kinds of messed up, Hank and Janet were very happy and loving together.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    • Although mocked by many (including in-universe), the movie scratches the surface of what a truly menacing and revolutionary power size-shrinking is. Hank Pym dismisses Tony Stark's armors as being tame in comparison.
    • Summoning ants can also be very helpful, with different breeds of ants serving useful functions from debilitating opponents to forming constructs, even frying of electronics. As Hank notes, he can put a hidden camera anywhere by shrinking it down and having an ant carry it — and those aren't the only things they can carry.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Hank Pym quit being the Ant-Man after his wife was lost in action and dedicated him non-stop to his resarch in the hope of bringing her back. He's never stopped mourning her loss and refuses to let Hope carry on her legacy until the end of the movie.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Paxton, although he's more an Anti-Villain Hero Antagonist, when Yellowjacket holds Cassie hostage and Scott rescues her. He wasn't a bad guy per se, but he finally sees the good in Scott.
  • Heist Episode: For the MCU as a whole. Unlike other films in the series, this one is a straight-up caper, involving ex-con Scott Lang trying to steal back the Pyms' research.
  • Hero Antagonist:
    • It's only for one scene, but Sam Wilson — a.k.a. The Falcon, a.k.a. one of Captain America's closest friends — plays the antagonist to Ant-Man for the sole reason that Scott needs to steal something kept at Avengers HQ, which Wilson is guarding. Both are still unambiguously heroic characters but they happen to be at cross-purposes in this film.
    • Jim Paxton is an officer of the SFPD and the stepfather of Cassie Lang who believes that her father is a petty criminal who will never be able to support his family financially. They come to blows for a good chunk of the film, but eventually put their differences aside after Scott saves Cassie from Yellowjacket.
  • Heroic Build: Paul Rudd has a slender but muscular build, fitting his past as a convicted felon and his training with Hope.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Faced with a rogue nuke and only one way to stop it, Janet doesn't hesitate to push her suit to the limit to get inside and destroy it. Which works, but leaves her eternally shrinking beyond time and space. It's unclear whether or not this has killed her, but she's far beyond anyone's help now.
    • Later, Scott attempts to make a similar sacrifice, but after shrinking down past the point of no return, he uses one of the throwing disks to reverse it and return to normal size.
  • Hero of Another Story: Only the last minute of Hank and Janet's career as Ant-Man and Wasp is shown, leaving many adventures (and the rest of that particular one, specifically what wrecked Hank's regulator) left to the imagination.
  • Hidden Depths: Played for all sorts of laughs. Luis goes off on a tangent describing his nights at fancy wine tasting and his enjoyment of fine art (particularily neo-cubism, though he knows to enjoy abstract expressionism).
  • High-Tech Hexagons: In keeping with Yellowjacket's honeycomb/wasp nest motif, there are yellow hexagonal patterns on the suit as well as hexagons all over the walls of the lab where Cross tests his shrinking technology. (Perhaps also a Shout-Out to Fantastic Voyage?)
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Played with. You really don't want to shrink down too far and get stuck in the Quantum Realm.
  • I Can't Hear You: Luis uses this excuse to avoid complying with Paxton's demand that he and his cohorts stop trying to escape.
    Luis: It's too loud! There's a tank! Can't hear you! [slams van door]
  • I Have Your Wife: Cross grabs Cassie at her house after his battle with Scott is interrupted by the cops, reasoning it would bring Scott to him. It works, but Scott is quick to hit him with a shrink disc so the fighting is between them.
  • Ignored Epiphany: There are a few times where Darren Cross is a little unsure of himself. After killing Frank, he stares at himself in the mirror. He later shows some vulnerability by asking Hank why he was pushed away. Cross was also conflicted about killing Hope, and had to engineer a situation where he seemingly had no choice to be 'ready'. Finally, he is a little affected when Cassie asks him if he's a monster. Of course, whenever he comes close to showing an inkling of morality, he swerves hard in the other direction.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Everyone that takes a shot at Scott while he's ant-sized gets really, really, really close to hitting him. Darren actually gets so close he manages to hit the ant Scott was riding, but still miss him.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: What happens to the accidentally enlarged ant at the end of the film. Cassie keeps it as a pet!
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Ant-Man's superpower is shrinking to the size of an ant.
  • Inevitably Broken Rule: Hank Pym tells Scott to never mess with the regulator in his suit that prevents him from shrinking under one inch in size, as shrinking beyond that becomes irreversible and/or could cause him to shrink forever. In fact, this is how Hank lost his beloved wife Janet. At the climax, Scott breaks his regulator to save his daughter, and shrinks to sub-atomic size before managing to save himself with another gadget, returning to normal size and provoking Hank's suspicions that Janet could be saved from her fate.
  • In Medias Res: In a first for the MCU, the Ant-Man has been around for quite a while at the time the film starts and we're only seeing a new person take up the mantle. Hank and Hope also know full well about Cross' villainy right from the start and Hope has already infiltrated his operation.
  • Insistent Terminology: Scott insists that his old crimes are "burglaries", not "robberies", since he never assaulted anyone. This is in fact correct: robbery = theft + the use or threat of force. Burglary = entering property with the intent to commit a felony (such as theft).
  • Irony:
    • Scott gets fired from Baskin-Robbins for omitting his criminal background. In real life, Baskin-Robbins does accept ex-criminals for hiring, provided that they reveal it during their application or run the risk of losing their job for lying.
    • Scott eagerly takes up Pym on his offer to become Ant-Man because he's tired of being a thief and wants to keep his freedom. Pym then reveals that his new "job" will involve him stealing stuff. He winds up spending a good portion of the film planning and committing acts of thievery under Pym's employ and very nearly gets re-incarcerated for it.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Scott runs into the Falcon on the roof of the new Avengers compound.
    Scott: It's okay, he can't see me.
    Falcon: I can see you.
    Scott: Oh crap, he can see me.
  • It's Personal: After Cross kills Ant-thony by shooting him, and, even though he doesn't say it, even more so when he goes for Cassie.
    Scott: You're gonna regret that.
  • I Will Show You X!:
    Mitchell Carson: If only you'd protected Janet with such ferocity, Dr. Pym.
    [Hank takes a moment to control himself before he slams Carson's head into the desk]
    Hank Pym: You mention my wife again, and I'll show you ferocity.
    Howard Stark: [as Carson looks at him helplessly] Don't look at me, you said it.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In relation to his Kick the Dog moment mentioned below. As douchey as it is for Cross to experiment on lambs, what is the difference between experimenting on them and mice? They're both feeling creatures.
  • Job Title: Well, the film emphasizes that being Ant-Man (and also a Legacy Character to it) is a "job" — both as a profession and The Caper.
  • Just in Time: Kurt deactivates the laser grid so Scott can get through at literally the last possible second, while being detained by police no less.
  • Just Think of the Potential!: Cross markets the Pym Particles' military applications as such. Hank had previously quit S.H.I.E.L.D. because they had this attitude towards his research.
  • Karmic Death: Darren's weapon of choice before donning his suit is a Pym Particle device that causes people to turn inside-out as they shrink. Scott sabotages his suit during their final battle, causing Darren to slowly and painfully implode in a similar process.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • In the prologue, Mitchell Carson mocks Hank's dead wife, which causes Howard Stark to close his eyes in disgust and leads Hank to smash his head on the table before being restrained by Peggy.
    • Darren Cross decides to start using adorable little white lambs as the test subjects for his lethal Pym Particle experiments for no good reason, instead of adult mice or rabbits. Everybody in the lab is utterly disturbed, and it serves to make Cross look like an even bigger bastard then we already knew he was. For good measure, when he finally succeeds in shrinking a lamb without killing it, he knocks it over by flicking the jar it's in just because he can.
      Hope: I thought we were using mice?
      Cross: What's the difference?
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Ant-Man reacts in this way, along with Oh, Crap!, when Falcon spots him on the roof of the new Avengers headquarters. Sam's reaction shows that he is getting used to being an Avenger.
    Scott: First off, I'm a big fan.
    Sam: Appreciate it.
  • Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: Luis gives out tips which inevitably play out in this fashion. All the characters in question are voiced by him for added hilarity.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Since this film is the Season Finale for Phase 2, then technically everyone in this film sans Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Stan Lee, the Falcon, Captain America and Bucky Barnes are this.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: Scott and Hope, much to Hank's shock and dismay.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Hope says "It's about damn time" after being presented with the Wasp suit. Marvel fans have long been complaining about the lack of the Wasp in the MCU, with the closest she'd come to appearing previously being Joss Whedon's early plans to include her in The Avengers.
    • In the trailers (but not in the final film), a lot of characters don't take the name "Ant-Man" seriously, just like most audiences would. In one of the trailers Scott even asks if they can change the name, which has happened a little too excessively in the comics.
  • Legacy Character:
    • Scott Lang is the second person to take the role of Ant-Man, following Hank Pym.
    • Hope becomes the new Wasp in the first stinger (no pun intended).
  • Leitmotif: Flighty strings start playing whenever Luis is about to launch into a story, symbolizing how his mind jumps from one thought to another with the barest of hints as to how they're connected.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Ant-Man gets into an unexpected fight with the Falcon, and wins.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After a rather unexpected defeat to a man who can inexplicably change size, Falcon insists that Captain America never be told of the incident.
  • Lighter and Softer: This movie has a lot more humor and comedy than most of the MCU films (though all of them have plenty of comedic moments), similarly to Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
  • Literal Surveillance Bug: Unsurprisingly, Hank Pym uses ants carrying micro-cameras to spy on Scott (before recruiting him as Ant-Man) and to follow him on missions (afterward).
  • Literally Falling Through the Cracks: Not long after discovering the suit's powers and shrinking himself down to the size of an ant, Scott Lang ends up not only falling through a crack in his bathroom floor but also getting accidentally kicked through an air vent grating.
  • The Lopsided Arm of the Law: When Scott meets Maggie's new fiancé, a cop named Paxton, he presents himself as a reasonable man who's reasonably annoyed that his girlfriend's ex-con-ex is unreasonably hanging around his house. However, once the comic-book science starts flying around, one could be forgiven for believing he's on Cross' payroll; despite non-stop weirdness involving malfunctioning cameras, disappearing inmates, oddly-behaving ants, and finally a building first hatching a WWII-era Soviet tank and then imploding to nothing, his first thought upon seeing Scott is to tase him and call him a lunatic fantasizing he's a superhero rather than further investigate a poolside barbecue that was apparently blasted with Frickin' Laser Beams. He even leaves Scott handcuffed in his cruiser while Yellowjacket breaks into his house to assault Cassie. Though in the end, he does acknowledge that Scott isn't the waste of space he thought he was, and decides to just sweep the whole thing under the rug as a computer malfunction.

    Tropes M to R 
  • MacGyvering: When breaking into Hank Pym's house, Scott gets past two very different security systems from two different centuries with some basic appliances and materials.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Hope van Dyne, who is estranged from her father Hank after the death of her mother.
  • Magic Countdown: When Scott awaits in a jail cell, Hank sends in his ants to deliver the Ant-Man suit while miniaturized to him. The ants use their bodies to form the numbers of a ten-second countdown, signifying how long he has before the cop arrives. We see it at nine before he stands up to get changed, yet somehow has the entire suit zipped up and on with only the helmet needed by the time four seconds are left.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Unintentional variation: a man being stung by bullet ants would react with a lot more than a startled "Ah!"
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The secondary MacGuffin is, as Pym calls it, "currently collecting dust in one of Howard Stark's old storage facilities in upstate New York." Hank thinks retrieving it "Should be a piece of cake", and thus declares it the final phase of Scott's training. Cue a cool little sequence of Scott "parachuting" from a passing plane on the backs of flying ants, but then everyone has a reason to panic.
    Scott: Uh, guys? We might have a problem. Hank, didn't you say this was, "some old warehouse"? It's not! [cue clouds parting to reveal a state-of-the-art facility with a giant A insignia on the roof—the new Avengers headquarters.] YOU SON OF A BITCH!
  • Mathematician's Answer: Scott asks Hank how he makes the ants carry sugar cubes to him. Instead of explaining how he controls the ants, he goes over the well-known fact that ants can carry heavy objects relative to their weight.
  • The Mentor: Hank is the "old guard mentor" to Scott, but the "almost always dies" part is subverted. During the standoff with Cross inside the holding chamber for the Yellowjacket suit, Hank takes a shot to his arm and it's set up to look like he's going to be trapped when the bomb Scott planted goes off. However he came prepared for such a situation and reveals his tank keychain is in fact a shrunken real tank, which he uses to evacuate himself and his daughter just before the place gets disintegrated.
  • Mexican Standoff: Near the end of the film when Hope, Cross and his guards are all training guns at each other. Lamp Shaded by Carson who moves backwards out of the firing line.
    Carson: And here we go.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Sam's Falcon gear has received some minor updates. Aside from the new armor and additional red highlights seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Sam now has goggles that integrate a heads up display (with a zoom function that lets him track a shrunken Scott) and secondary thrusters added to the calf sections of his leg armor.
  • Missing Mom: Janet Van Dyne. Made worse by Hope being well aware that "she died in a car crash" is a lie.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Scott's relationship and interactions with his ex-wife's new fiancé Paxton is integral to the plot (Paxton's a cop, Scott's an ex-con... it's tense). Things get a lot better in the sequel.
  • Moment Killer:
    • Almost immediately after Hank reveals the truth about his wife's death/disappearance to Hope and they reconcile, Scott has to open his big fat mouth.
    • Happens a second time when Hank walks in on Hope and Scott making out.
  • Morality Pet: Hope for Darren Cross. He treats her with courtesy and listens to her opinions, especially in how they're the same over how Hank has treated them and teamed up to kick Hank out of the company. If she hadn't been at Hank's house, albeit hidden, Darren would have killed her father. By the end of this movie Darren stops thinking of her this way when she pulls a gun on him to save Hank.
  • More Expendable Than You: Hank's reason for wanting Scott, a professional criminal they have to train, to use the suit, rather than Hope, who knows how to use the suit, is an equal-if-not-superior fighter, knows the facility, and has an in with Cross. After what happened to Janet, there's no way Hank would put his daughter in that kind of danger. The fact that this isn't obvious to Hope speaks volumes about their estrangement. Scott, to his credit, picked it up right away, which makes sense as he's a father himself.
  • Motor Mouth: Luis loves to tell rapid-fire convoluted stories about his friends' friends' friends who know something that may potentially possibly lead to a heist/score.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black:
    • The Ant-Man costume is a lot darker than the one from the comics, but still has red in the chest area. The black leather is so prominent that Lang initially mistakes the costume for motorcycle gear.
    • The Yellowjacket suit is primarily black, but with bright yellow highlights. Makes sense, since this is the exact coloration of its namesake, both in the comics and real life.
    • The Wasp costume is black and yellow.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Luis gets into Pym Tech disguised as a low-level security guard, then mugs another security guard outside the server room for his suit and gun.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Given it deals with really small perspectives, many things seem awesome and/or menacing when you're insect-sized. For instance, Ant-Man running through a building model that is being shot seems on the same class as the Avengers on a crumbling building.
    • Ant-Man and Yellowjacket have what appears to them to be an epic miniature battle on a train set, which at normal size just looks like a bunch of plastic toys being knocked over.
    • Not that Pym Particles are mundane, but what do you do when you're trapped in a building that is locked down, surrounded by cops and about to explode? Embiggen the tank you shrank down and disguised as a key chain to bulldoze through the walls.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Hank and Hope make liberal use of the ant-controlling tech for things like putting sugar in tea.
    • Scott uses his superpowers to sneak into his daughter's bedroom to see her one last time before the big heist.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Downplayed, but Hope has a brief moment of regret when she realises that by calling the cops on Scott she's risked sending him back to prison and damaging his relationship with his daughter in the process. Particularly since the main reason she did it was out of pique at not being selected to wear the Ant-Man suit herself.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Hope van Dyne sports a short bob hairstyle, much like the one her mother Janet wore in the comics.
    • The Yellowjacket suit looks similar to the G.I. Ant-Man armor from the short-lived Irredeemable Ant-Man series.
    • Lang suggests changing the "Ant-Man" name. Pym is prone to changing his superhero name a lot.
    • Ant-Man deals with a couple of mooks in a similar manner to the 2012 Edgar Wright test footage.
    • Scott mentions that Hank should try calling the Avengers for help. Well, he was one of the founding members of the team in the comics...
    • Scott lives at the Milgrom Hotel, named for Marvel artist Al Milgrom.
    • Hank's past exploits are jokingly called "Tales to Astonish" after the comic where Ant-Man first debuted.
    • In the ending, the journalist Luis's cousin went on a date with mentions "We got a guy who jumps. We got a guy who swings. We got a guy who crawls up the walls. You gotta be more specific!"
    • The "Quantum Realm". In the comics, as far back as Fantastic Four #16 in 1963 it was established that if one shrinks down enough, one can enter a realm variously known as Sub-Atomica or the Microverse, with myriad adventures set there.
    • Hank says he saw too much of himself in Darren Cross, who later adopts the Yellowjacket identity. Yellowjacket is one of Hank's many superhero identities in the comics.
    • Janet's Wasp costume resembles a female version of the Ant-Man suit, which could be a reference to her original red outfit from the comics.
    • Hank claims Janet "was born to it" when describing their superhero career together. In the Ultimate Marvel line of comics, Janet was a mutant and her powers greatly helped Hank expand on the Pym Particle's capabilities.
    • The new Wasp costume from the end looks very similar to the one from Uncanny Avengers, while the mask and lenses recall the Wasp's helmet from The Avengers: United They Stand.
    • Ant-thony is initially called "Ant 247," a nod to Marvel Premier #47, the issue that introduced Scott Lang, and Tales to Astonish #27, the issue that introduced Hank Pym.
    • Janet's Heroic Sacrifice is one to Captain America and Bucky from the comics, oddly enough. Two heroes on a bomb, with one hero dying while it goes down (although for Bucky it blew up as it was meant to kill the pair), and the survivor being haunted with guilt over the loss of a partner.
    • The shrinking pistol that Darren Cross uses to kill Frank is very similar to the one wielded by Yellowjacket in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
    • Scott's method of escaping the Quantum Realm (attaching an enlarging disk to the suit's belt and activating it to make himself bigger) resembles the mechanism that Pym uses to become Giant-Man in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
    • During Scott's fight with Falcon, Scott's opponent is able to easily spot him right away, thanks to his specialized goggles; in the comics, the character has a mask granting him telescopic, night, and infrared vision.
    • Hank is a retired superhero who is mostly around as an inventor and Mission Control. He also has a shrunken tank in his pocket, which he can use in a pinch as a weapon by growing it out. This status reflects a similar status while in the West Coast Avengers. He was retired during this period, acted as The Smart Guy, and often contained items and weapons in his pocket which were infused with Pym particles, allowing him to grow and shrink them depending on what he needed. He even had a tank.
    • Among the other Shrunken things, in Hank's House, is a small Scarlet Chair which looks like it comes from a Doll House. In Tales to Astonish #27, Hank first tests his Size Changing Potion on a Scarlet Chair.
    • While working at Baskin-Robbins, Scott uses the name "Jack", which could either be a reference to Jack Kirby or a visual reference to the Marvel hero Jack of Hearts (as the "Jack" nametag is placed roughly over Scott's heart), who, in the comics, accidentally killed Scott Lang.
    • Merchandising example, but the action figure line for the movie that was released by Hasbro featured Ultron as a Build-A-Figure, even though Ultron doesn't appear in the film. In the comics, Hank Pym is the one who built Ultron.
    • Scott isn't the first hero in the MCU to be taken down by a Taser.
    • Scott is in jail, and Hank helps him to escape and clear his name by providing access to the size reduction items. A similar event took place, with the roles reversed, in Avengers #244; but Pym refused the help.
      Henry Pym: I've had my share of screw-ups! I'm not setting myself up as an escaped convict to boot!
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • One of the earliest trailers altered the background behind Yellowjacket to make it appear that he was the one reacting to Scott's "I'm Ant-Man" line. Likely to hide the fact that he's speaking to Falcon instead. Ruined by Trailers Always Spoil, see below.
    • A few pieces of merchandise depicted an Ant-Man suit with darker colors, including a black helmet. The LEGO set mentioned below depicts it as being worn by Hank Pym. Not only does Pym never wear that version of the suit, it doesn't appear at all.
    • None of the jokes about the "Ant-Man" name being dumb or silly are in the film.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • When Scott storms Avengers HQ for Stark tech, he accidentally runs into Falcon and what should've been a covert theft turns into a superhero battle. When he gets back, Hank lays into him for ruining the operation, but Scott counters that since he got the technology it doesn't matter. However, we later learn that news of the break-in and fight is what clued Cross into Hank's plan and allowed him to prepare for it, for which Cross mockingly rubs Scott's lack of carefulness in his face. Not only that, but it served as a demonstration of what a suit like that could do for HYDRA.
    • Dave accidentally hits Luis's novelty "La Cucaracha" car horn, while Paxton is looking for Lang, alerting Paxton to Lang's presence at Pym Technologies.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Cross gloating that the Yellowjacket suit is made of titanium (as Lang is struggling to get into the Yellowjacket suit) turned out to his undoing. Lang then shrinks to subatomic (knowing full well how Pym's wife was lost) in order to save his daughter, killing Cross in the process.
  • Nice Mean And In Between:
    • Scott is nice, always trying to be friendly and do the right thing, Hope is mean, angry at her father and resentful of Scott's presence, and Hank is in-between, trying to be supportive of Scott but still a bit standoffish with a slight air of superiority.
    • In the opening flashback, Peggy is nice, fully supportive of Hank's position, Mitchell Carson is mean, being a complete Jerkass and secretly HYDRA, and Howard Stark is in-between, firmly against Hank but being reasonable while also being confrontational.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Scott gets arrested by the police and jailed again for breaking onto Hank Pym's property... when he was trying to return the stolen Ant-Man suit.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Either justified or averted.
    • Hank Pym has only one Ant-Man suit, but this is because he only trusts himself and Scott to use it. Cross manages to build his own suit based on partial Pym blueprints that were locked away. The Stinger reveals Hank has a second more advanced Wasp suit in storage as well.
    • There is only one Yellowjacket suit currently made, but the plans for it are backed up on Pym Technologies' servers. Part of the heist involves damaging these servers too badly to let info be recovered from them and imploding the entire facility into nothing to boot, so that Cross can't just build another Yellowjacket after his suit is stolen. Cross himself has his own motive for not making too many Yellowjackets at once: he wants to monopolize the tech so that HYDRA can't just kill him to build their own but instead keep buying from him.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Darren Cross is pretty much an evil, unstable parody of Steve Jobs, complete with him doing meditation and making sleek promo videos.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Darren Cross has a disturbing tendency to get very close to people he's dealing with, especially Hank and Hope.
  • Nom de Mom: Hank Pym's daughter Hope van Dyne goes by her mother's maiden name instead of her birth surname, due to her estrangement from her father.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When the police detains Scott, after he broke into Pym's house to return the suit.
    Scott: Wait, I didn't steal anything! I was returning something I stole! [realizes what he just said and makes an "Oh, Crap!" expression before surrendering]
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Invoked by Luis, who asks if he can whistle when he has to infiltrate Pym Technologies as a security guard. Despite being told not to, he does it anyway, and attracts the suspicious attention of another security guard who he might otherwise have been able to pass unnoticed.
  • Obviously Evil: Cross basically oozes callousness from his second onscreen appearance where he casually murders a skeptical investor with an imperfect miniaturizer and then flushing what little remains of him down the toilet.
  • Odd Name Out: Scott, Janet and Paxton all do not fit to the aforementioned Family Theme Naming (see above). This makes it doubly true for Scott when he started working with Hank and his daughter Hope.
  • Off on a Technicality: At the end of the film, the police "lose" some of the paperwork connected to Scott's most recent arrest, tainting the case against him and making him once again a free man.
  • Off to Boarding School: Part of the estrangement between Hank and Hope comes from the fact he sent her to a boarding school after her mother died.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • In the opening of the film, when Hank is pissed about S.H.I.E.L.D. "obtaining" some of his Pym Particles, one of the men he's complaining to, Mitchell Carson, comments, "If only you'd protected Janet with such ferocity, Dr. Pym," to which Howard Stark just closes his eyes and looks away, knowing what's about to happen.
    • Moments after the Mass "Oh, Crap!" mentioned above, our hero finds himself up against Falcon, who has goggles enabling him to see Ant-Man even when he's small.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Scott Lang was once a criminal, who was captured and jailed. By the start of the film, he has served his time in prison, and he's ready to start again. He gets a job at Baskin-Robbins, but gets fired when his employers find about his past. With no jobs to take, he accepts to take part in a theft with his friends. Eventually, he ends working with Henry Pym, the original Ant-Man, who gave him his suit. Now he is a superhero, and his first job is... to steal something.
  • One-Hit Kill: Luis packs a mean right hook. He lays out the head of security and another security guard with one punch each.
  • One-Steve Limit: With Peggy Carter having become such a popular character in the MCU, Scott's ex-wife Margaret is instead known as Maggie.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • You do NOT threaten Cassie without Scott kicking the crap out of you.
    • Turns out, Paxton is one to Cassie too, albeit as a stepdad.
    • Hank is a lot more protective of Hope than you might think. It's the main reason why he refuses to let her use the Ant-Man/Wasp suit. He can't lose her the way he lost his wife.
    • He's none too thrilled with how Hope has ultimately warmed up to Scott, either.
  • Parental Abandonment: Scott towards his daughter, due to his incarceration. He's regretful and still clearly loves her very much.
  • Parental Neglect: Hope bitterly recounts how her dad sent her to boarding school after her mother died when she was seven, and shut himself up in his lab. She says she had to deal with the grief alone, as a child.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Darren saw Hank as one, until Hank pushed him away.
    • Paxton towards his future stepdaughter, Cassie. Despite being an antagonist (until his Heel–Face Turn at the end of the film), he appears to be an excellent caregiver for her. He even acts civil towards Scott when Cassie's around even though he absolutely hates Scott's guts.
  • Le Parkour: It's part of Scott's skill set as a thief, and why he is chosen to don the Ant-Man suit.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Pym gives Scott one:
    Dr. Pym: Scott, I've been watching you for a while, now. You're different. Now, don't let anyone tell you that you have nothing to offer. Second chances don't come around all that often. I suggest you take a really close look at it. This is your chanceto earn that look in your daughter's eyes. To become the hero that she already thinks you are. It's not about saving our world; it's about saving theirs. Scott, I need you... to be the Ant-Man.
    Scott: Wow. That's a good speech.
  • Pet the Dog: After firing him from Baskin-Robbins, Scott's now-former boss says he'll look the other way if he wants to help himself to a smoothie on his way out. Scott takes him up on that offer.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Scott gains super-human strength when he shrinks down to the size of an ant, as in the comics. Although here its ambiguous as whether he really does gain super-human strength, or he maintains his strength and it's relatively super, since he's so small.
  • Plot Hole: The super-science behind Hank's ability is described as manipulating the space between atoms. This establishes two things: 1) mass is conserved (the only change is density) and 2) there is an absolute lower limit to his shrinking ability. The movie forgets these facts when it's convenient, allowing Scott Lang to punch people without shredding flesh and bone when he should be hitting like a bullet, ride ants when he should still have his normal weight, and shrink down to near Planck length at the climax of the film when he explicitly should not. The ant and Thomas the Tank Engine toy that get hit with size-increasing weapons should have floated away, having become far lighter than air, and Hank Pym walks around with a T-34 on his keychain like it doesn't still weigh twenty-five tons.
  • Police Are Useless: Played with the SFPD along with Paxton and his partner Gale, as they mostly appear as Inspector Javert Hero Antagonists trying to arrest Scott Lang while being mostly oblivious to Darren Cross's crooked dealings that threatens the world which Scott and the gang are trying to put a stop to. The only time they play a role in stopping Cross is in the climax when Cross attempts to harm Cassie at Paxton's home, resulting in Paxton and Scott, whom he just arrested in the back of his squad car, arriving in time to stop Cross and save Cassie.
  • Politeness Judo: Subverted. Scott tries this when Falcon catches him at Avengers headquarters, introducing himself and explaining he needs to borrow a device for a few days. Falcon immediately tries to take him into custody, which leads to Let's You and Him Fight.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Trust them to put this overused line in the one movie where it'd make sense.
    Scott: [when Darren as Yellowjacket tries to kidnap Cassie] Why don't you pick on someone your own size?
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Once Scott sees the supposedly abandoned building Hank ordered him to raid is the new Avengers HQ, his reaction is "You son of a bitch!"
    • When Hank catches Scott and Hope making out, and Scott is quickly trying to explain it, Hank simply says "Scott, you're full of shit."
  • Product Placement:
    • Upon getting out of jail, Scott gets a job at Baskin-Robbins.
    • An iPod and Siri pop up in the climax for a gag.
      Yellowjacket: I'm going to disintegrate you!
      Siri: Now playing Disintegration by The Cure.
    • Thomas the Tank Engine features prominently—and hilariously—in the climax.
    • A police officer drops an empty container of Yakult when he sees Scott is gone. Which explains the very confusing ads Yakult had.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Since inventing the Pym Particle, Hank refuses to let anybody research it, including S.H.I.E.L.D., as he fears the technology would fall into the wrong hands. As Winter Soldier proves, Hank was entirely justified in his paranoia, considering that the S.H.I.E.L.D. official who wanted the Pym Particle is actually a HYDRA agent.
    • Despite constant denials from Hank that the Ant-Man suit even exists, Cross has security measures designed to thwart it.
    • Averted when Cross simply walks into Hank's house because he left the door unlocked. Scott is also able to just get into Hope's car because she left the door unlocked. Apparently it runs in the family.
  • Protagonist Title: Ant-Man.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Hope to Scott after Darren shoots Hank and escapes with the Yellow Jacket suit:
    Hope: Go. Get. That Suit!
  • Pushy Gun-Toting Villain: Subverted in that he doesn't just do it with a gun, but with the Yellowjacket suit as well; Darren Cross sets a trap for Scott Lang in the chamber holding the Yellowjacket suit, then berates Hank Pym for being distrusting of him, where he motions for his henchmen to pull guns on Hank. Hope, Hank's daughter, tries to plead with Cross, as he's been mentally destabilized by the knockoff Pym particles he's synthesized. Later, after a microscopic fight with Scott, Cross takes Scott's daughter hostage at home, ready to use the Yellowjacket's weapons on her.
  • Ramming Always Works: Especially when you have a real tank on a keychain you can unshrink at moment's notice.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: In the middle of his Villainous Breakdown, Darren Cross is so desperate to kill Scott that he starts firing a gun inside of a helicopter while it's in flight. This is even called out on by the guards he's with, who are yelling at him to stop shooting the entire time he's trying to shoot Scott. This continues after he puts on the Yellowjacket suit, to the point that he's firing his lasers so wildly that he kills the pilots and causes the helicopter to start spiraling out of control.
  • Recycled Premise: Once more, a Marvel superhero in his first MCU movie must fight an enemy that has a newer, more powerful version of his own powers, like in Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: The Pym particle, with this power to shrink or enlarge things, would have the potential to make an unprecedented revolution at almost all the scientific and industrial fields. Pym would deserve the Nobel Prize, just to begin with. The manipulation of insects, although not so amazing in comparison, would also be a huge scientific achievement. Yet, Pym keeps all that in a superhero suit getting dust inside his safe: he thinks that it would be too dangerous if that science falls into the wrong hands. Cross also works in it and may be more willing to exploit it, but he's too focused on being better than Pym and getting a functional reduction of living things to notice the advantages of what he had already achieved.
  • Remake Cameo: Garrett Morris makes a cameo as a man sitting in a car that Scott lands on while testing out the Ant-Man suit for the first time. Morris had previously portrayed Ant-Man way back in 1979, being the first iteration of the character to appear onscreen at the time.
  • The Resenter: Hope spends the movie angry at Hank for never telling her the truth about her mother or trusting her with his tech. Cross likewise resented Hank for never sharing his research. They both voted to kick him out of Pym's company.
  • Required Secondary Powers: The Ant-Man suit is sealed to prevent the user from breathing unshrunk oxygen molecules, as well as preventing the user from imploding during the shrinking itself. Its helmet also protects the user from the radiation of the Pym Particles, which can cause permanent brain damage. Finally, the suit's belt has a shrinking regulator which prevents the user from accidentally shrinking themselves past a certain size.
  • Retired Badass: Hank Pym is now a retired superhero who operated in The '60s up until The '80s.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Hank Pym decides to leave S.H.I.E.L.D out of spite and disgust after discovering that Howard Stark had authorized the recreation of his Pym Particles for their own usage, despite Hank being adamant that only he would be allowed to manufacture and use the particles. By this point, S.H.I.E.L.D had long been corrupted by HYDRA, and were unable to use anything close to the actual formula for decades because of Hank's decision to leave.
  • Right in Front of Me: When a security guard demands to know what Luis (dressed as a security guard) is doing in the pump room, Luis says that his boss sent him to secure the area. Unfortunately he's talking to the security chief
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: The mouse Scott encounters during his perilous first experience being shrunken is normal-sized, but it certainly looks like this trope to him. The moreso when it chases him, apparently mistaking him for an edible bug.
  • Rule of Cool: Suit designer Ivo Coveney admits that the tubes on the helmet are Awesome, but Impractical, since it'd be easy for an enemy to tear them off and kill Scott instantly (since the outside air molecules would be too big for his lungs). Despite this, he said the design team opted to leave them in, since they felt the tubes made the suit look cooler.
  • Running Gag:
    • People constantly being underwhelmed by the name "Ant-Man" in the trailers.
      The Falcon: "Ant-Man"?
      Ant-Man: "Iron Man" was taken.
    • People getting suckerpunched.

    Tropes S to Z 
  • Safecracking: Hank Pym keeps the Ant-Man suit in a very old safe, one that Scott knows how to break into.
  • Sanity Slippage: Darren Cross wasn't all that stable to begin with, and a combination of the Pym particles and his own insecurities cause him to grow more ruthless and psychotically paranoid over the course of the film. Getting his plans ruined by Ant-Man and Hank only makes his state worse.
  • Scale Model Destruction: The model plaza gets destroyed in an Outrunning the Fireball parody.
  • Schizo Tech: Hank Pym's lab is a mix of modern technology and vintage Cold War equipment more reminiscent of The '70s and The '80s, as well as a turn-of-the-20th-century safe that wouldn't be out of place on the Titanic. Which give away Hank's more action-oriented past.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Luis shows up to help Scott in his final battle against the Yellowjacket...and then backs the van up and leaves when he sees the house is surrounded by cops.
  • Season Finale: This is the final film of the MCU's Phase Two, instead of Age of Ultron, despite the first Avengers being the finale to Phase One.
  • Second Love: After her and Scott's divorce, Maggie settles down with Paxton. Scott himself moves on with his life with Hope at the end of the film.
  • Secret Identity: Pym had one: it was not just his identity as Ant-Man which was a secret, but also Ant-Man's very existence. Same goes for Janet van Dyne, the Wasp. Scott Lang has one as well, but does not play it straight.
    Hope: Did he just say, "Hi, I'm Scott."?
  • Secret Test of Thieving Skill: After Scott breaks into Hank's mansion and the safe containing the Ant-Man suit, Hank reveals he planted the rumor that led Scott to the safe so that he could see Scott in action.
  • Seen It All: Falcon reacts to a man the size of an ant growing back to full size like it's an everyday occurance.
  • Self-Deprecation: The trailer contains this line in reference to the Ant-Man moniker:
    Scott: One question. Is it too late to change the name?
  • Self-Parody: The film takes advantage of the hero and villain's literal smaller scale to good-naturedly poke fun at standard superhero movie tropes. Such as the climactic bedroom fight showing how epic-scale destructive battles between good and evil ultimately don't have much of an impact on the world at large.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The two stingers set up Hope becoming the new Wasp in future Marvel movies, and Scott appearing as Ant-Man in Captain America: Civil War.
    • HYDRA agent Mitchell Carson manages to escape with a tube of the Yellowjacket shrinking particle (but not the suit itself).
    • Since Scott just proved that it is possible to get back from the quantum abyss alive, Hank wonders briefly if it's still possible that Janet might still be out there.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Hank Pym and Darren Cross. Cross prefers sharp cuts that emphasize his height and physique, implying that he is concerned with projecting a strong impression, whereas Pym favors a softer style with bright colors that shows that he's stylish and comfortable in his own skin.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Said nearly verbatim by Scott when Luis refers to Hope as such. At the end of the movie it's revealed they are in a relationship, and it's rather ambiguous as to exactly when it started.
  • She's a Man in Japan: The French dub changes all references to the ants as female (guys to girls, Ant-thony to Antoinette) since the word for ant is feminine, and in real life, nearly all ants are female.
  • Shooting the Swarm: When Ant-Man and his swarm of flying ants attack Dr. Darren Cross and his henchmen, who are about to escape in a helicopter, Cross grabs a gun and fires at the approaching swarm. He only manages to hit a few ants, including Anthony, the ant that Ant-Man was riding.
  • Shooting Superman: While not quite as impractical as shooting a man who is literally impervious to bullets, trying to shoot a man the size of an insect would be a poor use of ammo anyway. Shockingly, it's surprisingly effective because the first time it's attempted, it kicks up enough debris to menace Scott, and the second time, it nearly works by taking out the exact ant he was riding on (which was out of a swarm of hundreds).
  • Shout-Out: Collected in their own subpage for this movie.
  • Shown Their Work: In the Quantum Realm, when Scott tries to replace the now broken regulator on his belt with an enlarger disc, he loses grasp of said disc and it floats a short distance away from him, where he has to try several times (despite it still being well within reach and he being trained in martial arts at this point) to grab it. From a physics point of view, this makes perfect sense — at the quantum level, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is in full effect. Where you see an object may not actually be where it is.
  • Shrink Ray:
    • Cross hasn't perfected the technology to successfully shrink a person and survive the process, so he uses a handgun-like prototype to commit murder and dispose of the body, now a small puddle of Ludicrous Gibs which he flushes down the toilet.
    • The Ant-Man suit doesn't have weapons, but Hank develops small devices that can shrink objects or enlarge them to enormous size.
  • Single Tear: Hope sheds one while Hank tells her the story of how her mother died.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Anthony Mackie as the Falcon, serving a semi-major role, and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, only appearing in The Stinger.
  • Sizeshifter: The Ant-Man suit allows its wearer to shrink in size, yet gain far more strength than they have at normal size.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Scott confronts Falcon at what used to be the old Stark warehouse, Hank has a moment of panic because Scott is in danger of losing... the suit. Hope snaps back that he's in rather more danger of losing his life. Hank at least has the decency to look suitably chided (to be fair, people don't normally think of the Avengers as killers).
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Done quite literally between Hope and Scott who slap each other during sparing and kiss at the end.
  • Sliding Scale of Antagonist Vileness: Darren Cross clearly isn't a nice person (see Obviously Evil above), but for what it's worth, it's mentioned numerous times that at least part of the reason for his villainy may be exposure to the Pym Particles damaging his brain. Hope even mentions at the end that Cross is "sick" (as in unwell) and that she can help him.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Sam Wilson's extended cameo (and the fight with Scott) during the Avengers Compound break-in is a retroactive, if complicated example. While it has no further impact on the first film's plot, the closing scene does reveal Sam is looking for Scott and is interested in recruiting him for the Avengers. This ends up having massive repercussions for the Ant-Man corner of the MCU going into Phase Three and the climax of the Infinity Saga.
  • Something We Forgot: So, the big fight is over. Do you remember about the enlarged Thomas the Tank Engine that destroyed some police cars? Or the ant that was enlarged to the size of a dog? Don't worry, they are still there.
  • So Much for Stealth: Dave creates a diversion by stealing an unmarked police car, then retreats back to his getaway van and celebrates, but accidentally activates the "La cucaracha" car horn, alerting the officers who owned the stolen cruiser.
  • Square-Cube Law: Zig-zagged. Pym Particles can turn a normal-sized human into the size of an ant while retaining his original strength and his mass drops accordingly, however they don't die from heat loss or their increased metabolism making them starve to death or asphyxiate from having too little oxygen (the oxygen part is visually handwaved by making the helmet look like it has attached breathing equipment). Likewise, an ant gets enlarged to dog-sized proportions and seems to gain mass, but it isn't crushed under its own weight the way an enlarged ant really would be.
  • Spinoff Sendoff: Arguable example with the cameos by Howard Stark and Peggy Carter in the prologue and then the Falcon's apperance in the Avengers Compound heist sequence. With so much riding on such a then-unusual MCU film, it makes sense that it would lean into the MCU connective tissue while establishing itself.
  • Spotting the Thread: Paxton knows Hank is involved with Scott's escape, so he tries to detain him at Pym Tech during the climax. Kurt distracts him by briefly stealing his car, only for Paxton to recognize his van. He doesn't know what's going on, but he knows there's something.
  • Stating the Simple Solution:
    • Scott asks Hank why not go to the Avengers for help. Hank says that it's because he doesn't trust any Starks, father or son, and quips that the Avengers are probably too busy dropping cities out of the sky. Plus, the whole operation would be outside the law.
    • Hope asks why she can't wear the suit, since she has the know-how and combat training that Scott is gaining over weeks. Hank says it's because she needs to be The Mole to Darren Cross, and he doesn't want to lose her the way he lost her mother.
    • When confronting Falcon, Scott attempts Politeness Judo to obtain the gadget Hank needs, unmasking himself and being completely honest. Falcon doesn't believe him and tries to take Scott into custody.
  • Stealth Insult:
    • Paxton combines this with Deadpan Snarker when referring to Scott:
      Paxton: He didn't get an invitation. And he came anyway!
    • This little piece of Double Meaning dialogue.
      Hope: You're a success story, Darren. You deserve everything coming to you.
  • Stealth Pun: Hank Pym uses ants as Literal Surveillance Bugs.
  • The Stinger:
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: "Baskin-Robbins always finds out."
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Parodied. Scott suggests that Hank should try calling the Avengers to deal with the problem at hand, possibly jokingly, but Hank refuses, primarily to keep his shrinking technology out of Tony Stark's hands. It is also implied in later dialogue that the film is taking place very shortly after the events of Age of Ultron, going by Hank mentioning the Avengers being busy with a "falling city."
  • Synchronized Swarming: Hank uses his ants to form swarms shaped like numbers to alert Scott of how long he has to change into the suit.
  • Tagline: "Heroes don't get any bigger."
  • Take That!: In a Deleted Scene from Baskin-Robbins, Scott asks Dale if there's anything he can say so he can keep his job. Dale says the only thing he could say would be that he bought out Baskin-Robbins and the stores are now hiring known criminals. Scott says, "Yeah, I'd expect that kinda *** from Cold Stone Creamery." Explanation 
  • A Tale Told by an Idiot: Luis tends to explain things in a fast-paced, rambling way that frequently switches perspective or goes on strange tangents, making it hard for Scott to tell what he's saying.
  • Tank Goodness: the T-34/85 tank on Hank's keychain isn't just a novelty, it's actually a shrunk-down fully functional tank that Hank can un-shrink at a moment's notice.
  • Terminal Transformation:
    • Darren Cross's first attempts to replicate Hank Pym's shrinking technology are so imperfect they result in the test subject being reduced to a shrunken pile of goop. However, while trying to perfect the shrinking process, he also weaponizes the faulty tech to murder a troublesome co-worker... then mops up the victim's remains with a tissue and flushes the mess down the toilet.
    • In the finale, Cross dons the Yellowjacket suit for a sizeshifting battle with Scott, leaving the new Ant-Man on the backfoot for a good chunk of the fight. However, when Cross opens fire on Scott's daughter, Scott goes subatomic so he can sabotage the suit from within, resulting in different parts of Cross's body shrinking at once - crumpling him up like a ball of paper.
  • This Is What the Building Will Look Like: A model of the future Cross Technologies plaza is prominently featured in Darren Cross's presentations. It gets destroyed by gunfire when Ant-Man tries fleeing through it.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Luis knocks out a security guard near the end of the film, and when the building is about to explode, he goes out of his way to make sure said security guard gets out and receives medical attention.
  • Three-Point Landing: When Scott jumps from his flying ant mount, he lands on his legs and one arm.
  • Thrown from the Zeppelin: When Cross is giving the pitch for the Yellowjacket to the government, one man objects that given what has already happened in the MCU, the weapon could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Cross shuts him down and promises to talk about it later. In true Bond villain fashion, Cross then follows him into a restroom and uses an unstable shrinking ray to do away with him.
  • Time-Passage Beard: A realistic version. Hank Pym has a beard in most of the film, but is clean-shaven in the prologue set twenty-five years earlier.
  • Token Trio: Luis (hispanic), Kurt (white/Eastern European) and Dave (black), Scott's friends from prison.
  • Too Much Information: When Luis starts saying that he Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy, he usually falls into this territory, instead of keeping focused on the actual stuff he should be telling.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Scott was already a badass burglar with a master's degree in electrical engineering, but his training with Hank and Hope turn him into a badass fighter capable of going toe to toe with an Avenger and winning without killing him.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • Hank first opens up to his estranged daughter and repairs the damage he did to his relationship by pushing her away and dedicating himself to his research after her mother died, then he finally warms up to Scott when the latter successfully fights an Avenger, infiltrates the compound, and steals the tech they need to get into Pym Tech and steal the Yellowjacket suit.
    Hank: Good job.
    Scott: Did he just compliment me?
    Hope: I think he just did.
    • Hero Antagonist Paxton doesn't like Scott at first, thinking he's a deadbeat dad and a felon, but he accepts him and welcomes him back has part of the family when Scott saves Cassie's life from the Yellowjacket.
  • Toxic Phlebotinum: Exposure to Pym Particles damages the brain without proper protection. Hank Pym also notes that he can no longer use the suit despite wanting to, suggesting that prolonged exposure even with a proper suit has its drawbacks. Either that or earlier versions of the suit lacked proper protection and now Hank is too sensitive to Pym Particles for the protection to work for him anymore. Though Captain America: Civil War implies that modern technology finally let them step around it (and then some!)
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • A LEGO set that was leaked before the release of the movie revealed that Hank Pym dons the original Ant-Man suit. This only happens in flashbacks.
    • A more concrete one was the Freeze-Frame Bonus from one of the TV spots which confirmed that Falcon does appear in the movie.
  • Training Montage: Scott's training as Ant-Man takes place in one.
  • Traintop Battle: Befitting with the size-changing gimmick, part of a battle between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket is a toy traintop battle. On Thomas the Tank Engine, no less.
  • Trespassing to Talk: Darren Cross surprises Hank Pym at his home to talk with him. He was going to commit murder but Hope was there and he didn't want to do it in front of her at the time.
  • Uncommon Time: One of the main themes of the film is in 7/4.
  • Underhanded Hero: Scott is a former burglar, fresh out of prison. He's trying to turn over a new leaf and leave his old life behind. It turns out, however, that the skills he perfected as a thief are exactly what Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, needs to stop a powerful villain.
    Scott Lang: My days of breaking into places and stealing shit are over. What do you want me to do?
    Hank Pym: I want you to break into a place and steal some shit.
    Scott Lang: ...Makes sense.
  • Undressing the Unconscious: One scene goes from Scott falling to his apparently death to him waking up in Hank Pym's house, watched over by Hope and an army of ants. He's wearing the same sort of shirt/pajama pants combo that many men would wear to bed, but when he asks who they belong to he isn't given an answer.
  • Unknown Rival: Played with but ultimately averted with Scott Lang and Darren Cross. Hank gives Scott very little information about Cross, and Scott and Cross never meet until the finale. It's crucial to the heist that Cross knows nothing about Scott or Hank's association with him but it turns out Cross has known everything from the start.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Almost all the fight scenes done in microscopic scale have the entire dramatic nature of them sucked out of them the moment it pans out, and the real-world scale of the fight is literally infinitesimal. Even the dramatic showdown between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket has several moments where you see a dramatic heave... then it pans out to show the real distance of that dramatic throw.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Scott. Hank Pym allowed him and his team to break into the safe that contained the Ant-Man suit. Dave tries to claim otherwise:
    Dave: We broke into this spooky-ass house, didn't we?
    Hank: I let you.
    Dave: Well... one could say that I let you let me.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Scott Lang in the original, 50+ year old Ant-Man suit, versus Darren Cross in the brand new, top-of-the-line Yellowjacket suit. It's downplayed however, if not even averted, since the years in between were spent trying to replicate the technology that made the original suit work (the only effective innovation added on it being the lasers). It's been shown that the Ant-Man suit was at least taken care of and repaired (at least by Scott) after it was dusted off and Hank developed two new weapons to use with the suit (one of which is used against Yellowjacket effectively), and the Yellowjacket suit is a prototype that was never even tested before the fight, while the Ant-Man suit went through a lot of testing and Scott took his time training himself to properly use it.
  • Verbal Backspace: When Scott is discovered by Sam Wilson (The Falcon):
    Hank: Abort, Scott! Abort now!
    Scott: It's okay. He can't see me.
    Sam: I can see you.
    Scott: He can see me.
  • Verbal Salt in the Wound: When Hank Pym sees Mitchell Carson, he mockingly asks him "How is your face?", since he broke his nose the last time they met years ago.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cross has one, a long time coming. He feels not appreciated by his mentor, and apparently being exposed to Pym Particles for a longer period of time has an effect, which in Cross' case seems to be worsened due to the Pym Particles that he uses being an imperfect knock-off. He nearly goes full Bond villain before Pym Technologies gets blown up. Then he puts on the Yellowjacket suit and he just goes full vengeance on Scott for being the nearest proximity for his rage.
  • Virtual Assistant Blunder: As Ant-Man and Darren Cross (inside of the Yellowjacket armor) wage a Free-Fall Fight inside of a briefcase, the two of them bump with Cross' iPhone and Yellowjacket hollers out "I'm going to disintegrate you!", which Siri takes as a request to play The Cure's "Disintegration".
  • Weapons That Suck: A combination of C4 explosive and the compression technology is used to utterly destroy the Pym Industries building and any research material that might be inside, without collateral damage to the staff that've just been evacuated.
  • We Need a Distraction: Dave provides one for Hank Pym by stealing a police car and doing donuts to distract the police who are about to arrest Pym.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Cross wanted nothing more than to make Hank proud of him. When he can't get that, he's willing to settle for stealing his company and corrupting his legacy.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Daren Cross believes he's advancing scientific progress by spreading the Pym Particle technology. Though the "well-intentioned" part slips away along with his sanity from prolonged unprotected exposure to Pym Particles.
    Cross: Did you think you could stop the future!?
  • Wham Line:
    • To close out the film too:
      Luis: [referring to the Falcon looking for Scott to offer him a place on the Avengers] He said yes!
    • "It was never just a heist!"
    • Hank Pym gets a good one with "It's not a keychain," revealing the tiny tank on his key ring to be the real deal, just revert to its original size, keyring and all.
    • Downplayed example, but Hank shooting down Scott's suggestion to bring the Avengers into this and his snarky reference to the destruction of Sokovia. If you missed the San Francisco Chronichle headline during Scott's escape from jail, this explicitly confirms Ant-Man is chronologically set right after the events of Age of Ultron. This also means the Avengers have relocated to the compound Upstate New York, something that becomes very important during the break-in.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The damaged helicopter is never mentioned again after Scott and Darren fall out of it while in the briefcase.
  • What Is Going On?: Scott's very understandable reaction when he finally meets Hank and Hope face-to-face.
    Scott: Who are you, who is she, what the hell is going on here, and can I go back to jail now?
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Generally played straight, but in one scene Luis specifically goes out of his way to rescue a knocked out henchman they'd left locked in a room.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?:
    • Hope and everybody else at Pym Tech is horrified by the fact that Cross is horribly killing absurdly adorable lambs in his experiments to successfully shrink live subjects, but they apparently wouldn't have a problem if he was using mice.
    • The film itself has no problem showing several ants (which have, by now, been portrayed as loyal and almost doglike in their personality) being disintegrated onscreen. Inverted with Ant-thony, who's the only ant that Scott's shown to form a distinct bond with, and receives an onscreen demise, complete with sad music.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: This string is played pretty heavily when Ant-thony, Scott's personal favorite carpenter ant, gets shot dead in the final battle. The camera takes time to linger on its fallen wing.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Cross's research was imperfect and it warped his mind and personality, and was already a dick to start with.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Hank is horrified to see that, having gotten confirmation that the Ant-Man was real, Cross nearly recreates the technology. Unfortunately, Cross was incautious with his experimentation and it took a toll on his sanity. At the end of the film, he hands the Wasp suit over to Hope, having realized that you can't destroy power, just make sure it's in the right hands.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Perhaps due to the relative obscurity of the character, a large part of the marketing push for the movie has involved playing up Ant-Man's connections to The Avengers.
    • The members of the team appear in one of the TV spots, reusing footage from The Avengers and their various solo films.
    • A trio of humorous posters for the movie show Ant-Man standing on Captain America's shield, Thor's hammer, and Iron Man's shoulder.
    • The synopsis for the film also makes sure to mention that Ant-Man was a founding member of the Avengers in the comics.
    • One of the official taglines for the movie is "No shield. No armor. No hammer. No problem."
    • Falcon, one of the Avengers, actually makes an appearance. Captain America and Bucky then appear alongside Falcon in one of the Stingers.
    • Not only did they spoil the above appearance, but they later released another TV spot which shows the character again, as well as a scene of Luis excitedly saying "He works for the Avengers!"
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Darren Cross was Hank Pym's protegé, and clearly looked up to him as a father figure. Even when he visits Hank with murderous intentions, he is still obviously emotional and upset by the rejection he feels from his once-trusted mentor. And his ultimate expression of this angst? He sells HYDRA a technology that could actually destroy the world, purely to spite Hank Pym.
  • Would Not Hit a Girl: Scott and Hope spar and she puts him through the wringer but it's implied that he's pulling his punches and trying not to hurt her (since he's already demonstrated that he can hit hard enough to stagger someone a lot bigger than him, much less someone bigger than Hope). The one time he lands a solid blow, he's immediately apologetic (although somewhat sarcastically).
  • Wrong Restaurant: In one scene, a guy is at a Baskin-Robbins (which serves ice cream) and tries to order a burger, then a pretzel, and finally, "whatever's hot and fresh."
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Hope screaming "DAD!" when Hank is shot by Cross counts, given that by her and his earlier admissions, Hope hasn't referred to her father by that word since she was a child.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Scott doesn't remember any specific details from his visit in the Microverse.
  • You No Take Candle: The Eastern-European Kurt speaks like this, starting with his first line:
    Kurt: Nice meet you.
  • Your Door Was Open: Cross uses this exact excuse while Trespassing to Talk. It's rather unlikely.


Marvel's Ant-Man Prelude provides examples of:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: A bit more practical when you can shrink down to the size of an ant.
  • Call-Back:
    • Peggy once again fires a sidearm at someone to prove a point, causing them to use some fancy tech to avoid the danger. Leading to this exchange:
      Hank: What do you think?
      Peggy: I think it works.
    • The brainwashing tech that Hank would uncover in Berlin would later turn up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
  • Cold War: HYDRA is making trouble in their old stomping grounds of the now divided Berlin.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Part of Hank's mission is crossing the infamous "Death Strip" of the Berlin Wall undetected.
  • Indy Ploy: Peggy's best advice for the ill-experienced lab tech on his first solo mission in the field? When in doubt of what to do, improvise.
  • Megaton Punch: One of Ant-Man's powers put to full effect. Sneak up beside somebody's face and deck 'em with full-sized human strength... but focused at a pinpoint spot. Ouch.
  • The Only One I Trust: With the technology of the Pym Particle, Hank only trusts himself to prevent it falling into the wrong hands, so he won't let any other S.H.I.E.L.D. agent wear his suit. Which means he has to go out into the field if it's absolutely required.
  • Teleport Spam: In a close-quarters room, Hank can effectively do this, appearing at full-size, then shrinking out of view, back and forth very quickly. It's very unsettling.

Marvel's Ant-Man – Scott Lang: Small Time provides examples of:

  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Scott's former boss at Vistacorp is an overcharging crook. His corruption is why Scott had to do a Robin Hood act.
  • Forensic Accounting: By accident, Scott stumbled on the glaring over-charging of customers his former employers were involved in. Beware the IT guy with access to everything.
  • Gang Initiation Fight: The opening shows Scott's getting the crap kicked out him in prison. The ending reveals it's early in his stay and this is an arranged fight by Scott's cellmate, Luis.
  • How We Got Here: Scott's already in prison at San Quentin when the story opens. The rest of the comic is about what happened to lead him there.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: With access to Vistacorp's bank accounts, Scott decides a little redistribution of wealth is in order.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Try to whistleblow on a corrupt executive? Fired. (This with a "Whistleblower: Know Your Rights" poster in the background.)
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Stealing the money back wasn't enough for Scott; he got the bright idea to rub things in by taking the boss's car and driving it into his pool. Taking the time to do this is what gets him caught.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: When Scott tries to reveal his company is illegally overcharging customers, they run a smear campaign that they're just a hardworking company and he's just a disgruntled "former employee" trying to extort them.

The WHiH viral news segments provides examples of:

  • The Bus Came Back: The segments star Christine Everhart, the intrepid reporter who hasn't been seen since Iron Man 3.
  • Continuity Nod: Christine mentions that she reported on Tony Stark in Gulmira, which occurred in Iron Man.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Carried over from the Small Time comic, a video showing security footage of Scott's robbery shows that the boss's car has a "ONEPR¢R" ("one-percenter") Vanity License Plate.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • There is a brief bit in the news crawl that mentions that the countries attacked by Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron are now demanding accountability from the Avengers.
    • More ominously, there's mention of parties trying to recover the remains of Ultron's various bodies, and that components from the destroyed robots are already fetching huge sums on the black market.
    • An earthquake in Wakanda has also been mentioned. Even if the quake never never plays into the movies, the mere mention of Wakanda helps set up Black Panther.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The news segments' credits show that WHiH World News is a property of Vistacorp, Scott Lang's former employer; before Christine flat-out states it in the interest of full disclosure when she interviews Lang.
  • Show Within a Show: WHiH acts as this, as a news broadcast within a film about events within the film universe.
  • Stealth Pun: The events in Sokovia are called "earth-shattering".
  • Strawman News Media: As revealed during the interview with Scott (or earlier if you noticed the Freeze-Frame Bonus), WHiH is owned by Scott's former employers. Scott assumes they're out to continue slandering him and makes sarcastic remarks about it at every opportunity.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: As explained under Foreshadowing, the thousands of Ultron drones left after the Battle of Sokovia are being taken in and resold on the black market for their highly advanced technology similar to that of an Iron Man suit. Similarly, said battle and its preceding conflicts' damage and loss of life are being blamed on the Avengers, rather than giving them Hero Insurance.
  • Take That!:
    Christine Everhart: I reported on Tony Stark in Gulmira, and believe me, you're no Tony Stark.
    Scott Lang: Thank God.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: During Scott's interview, he gets so worked up that the nearby guard tasers him, ending the interview then and there.

Alternative Title(s): Ant Man


Stan Lee [Ant-Man]

Stan Lee cameos as a bartender.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheCameo

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