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Film / Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

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Spoilers for all Marvel Cinematic Universe works preceding this one, particularly Avengers: Endgame and Loki, will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
"I'm just a man who's lost a lot of time, like you. But we can help each other with that. Someone stole something from me. And you're the only one who can steal it back."
Kang the Conqueror

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is a 2023 Science Fiction superhero film directed by Peyton Reed and written by Jeff Loveness (Judas), based on the Marvel Comics characters of the same name. It is the 31st feature film and 41st overall installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the first feature film of Phase 5, and a sequel to 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp.

The film again follows official Avenger Scott Lang / Ant Man (Paul Rudd) who, alongside his partner Hope (Evangeline Lilly) is reaping the benefits of saving the universe at large. But, discontent to rest on their laurels for long, Scott's daughter, Cassie (Kathryn Newton) creates a device which functions as a communicator with / portal to the Quantum Realm.

But things quickly go awry when the device activates, dragging Scott, Hope, Cassie, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) into the Quantum Realm. Now trapped in a mysterious, dangerous realm, the family must confront Janet's mysterious past, as well as face their greatest adversary yet: Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), who, if released from this prison, could wreak untold destruction upon the Multiverse.

Returning cast members include Gregg Turkington as Dale, Scott's former Baskin Robbins manager, and Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo. Corey Stoll returns as Darren Cross, who has transformed into M.O.D.O.K.. David Dastmalchian, who played Kurt in the first two films, plays a new character named Veb. The film also stars Bill Murray and William Jackson Harper.

The film was released on February 17th, 2023.

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

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Ant-Man and the Wasp had a side-plot regarding Scott building a new company with the Wombats while under house arrest. Not only is that completely dropped here, but Luis, Kurt and Dave are completely absent from this movie, even after Scott helped save the world.
  • Accidental Misnaming: While picking up a coffee, the owner of the café refers to Scott as "Spider-Man". To his credit, he does realize his mistake at the end of the movie when Scott comes in for another coffee; he can't recall his actual superhero name, but does remember that he's the hero who grows and shrinks.
  • Advertised Extra: Bill Murray is heavily advertised as part of the main cast due to being a comedy icon, but he only has one sequence that ultimately doesn't do too much for the plot.
  • Alliance of Alternates: As a side-effect of Kang's energy core (which allows for multiversal travel), millions of Scott Langs representing 'every decision he could take' start appearing. They eventually gather together like an ant army to push the original onto the core. Kang's alternate selves also have one, which is responsible for banishing him to the Quantum Realm.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Whether or not Kang truly is a Well-Intentioned Extremist; Kang himself— who during the film, proves that his word might not be worth much— claims that the other variants of himself are ruining the multiverse and that only he has the vision to stop it, using this argument to justify having destroyed entire timelines. However, Kang is also clearly a dyed-in-the-wool tyrant, boasting of burning worlds, killing Avengers, and putting down revolutions, and he only speaks of getting revenge against those who exiled him, not of bringing them to justice. Even when The Stinger shows the Council of Kangs, nothing is confirmed one way or another; while it's shown that Kang wasn't lying about them exiling him, and he was clearly unpopular, the only explicit threat to anyone comes from the Council being concerned that someone from the main MCU timeline proved capable of defeating a Kang, rather than any plans they already had.
  • Ambiguously Human: Some of the residents of the Quantum Realm look human. Hank decides to ask Krylar about it, who responds by saying he's not human but lasciviously adds he's human in all the ways that matter.
  • And I Must Scream: Invoked. Kang coerces Scott's help in retrieving the core by threatening to murder Cassie and force Scott to relive the moment for eternity in an endless loop.
  • Arc Welding: While continuing the Infinity Saga's Ant-Man/Quantum Realm narrative, the sequel's also picking up and merging story threads from Season 1 of Loki (namely how Kang has been interfering with space and time and pruning universes that are a threat to him; Loki and Mobius even appear in The Stinger looking for Kang).
  • Ascended Meme: During the promotion of Avengers: Endgame, Paul Rudd, on multiple occasions jokingly compared his physique to Chris Hemsworth's. At one point in this movie, Kang asks Scott if he is the Avenger with the hammer, and Scott snarks after correcting him that people often confuse him with Thor because they have similar body types.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Kang definitely fits the bill here, given his ability and willingness to wipe out anyone/anything in his way right up to entire multiverses in order to satisfy his thirst for more power.
    • Additionally, Darren Cross was already this by the end of the first Ant-Man. Getting exiled to the Quantum Realm and horrifically mutated into M.O.D.O.K. (on top of now being Kang's lackey) hasn't helped.
  • Back for the Dead: Darren Cross is revealed to be alive in this film, after shrinking down into nothingness back in the first Ant-Man film. Though he spends much of the film as Kang's attack dog (being turned into M.O.D.O.K. will do that to you), he ends up performing a Heroic Sacrifice to save the Pym-Van Dyne-Lang family, dying for good by the film's end.
  • Battle Couple: Hope and Scott already qualified in previous movies, but they're now an Official Couple who are better than ever at working as a team and coming up with plans together on the fly.
  • Big Bad: Kang the Conqueror finally takes centre stage as the chief antagonist of a Marvel movie.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Hank Pym's ants are this in the Quantum Realm, ranging from human-sized to absolutely massive.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Once Kang joins the final battle, he immediately turns the tide in his favor, instantly vaporizing so many rebels that they call a retreat. Hank then arrives with his army of technologically advanced ants, defeating Kang's army immediately and severely damaging Kang just enough to give Scott a chance.
    • Kang and Scott end up duking it hand-to-hand; Scott does his damndest and lasts an impressively long time against the multiversal conqueror, but is simply no match for him. But as Kang prepares to leap through the portal back to Earth and leave Scott there, Hope emerges from it, guns a-blazing, and keeps him on the ropes long enough for Scott to get up so they can defeat him together.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: In the Quantum Realm, a lot of the flora and fauna, and even some of the humanoid inhabitants, happen to be bioluminescent in various pastel colors. One jellyfish-like floating predator is even mistaken for the sun by Cassie.
  • Bittersweet Ending: A minor example, as it's mostly "sweet" with a Surprisingly Happy Ending. Kang is defeated and seemingly killed, freeing the Quantum Realm from his tyranny. Having been prepared to strand themselves to stop him, Scott and Hope are able to return home with the aid and ingenuity of Cassie. But the defeat of Kang's Conqueror variant has not gone unnoticed in the larger Multiverse. The Council of Kangs, who've been keeping tabs on the MCU's universe, have now concluded its heroes are a threat to their plans for Multiversal domination and must be dealt with.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Cassie appears to sport this when she and Scott are reunited after being captured by refugees in the Quantum Realm. Turns out to be a Red Herring as she wasn't actually roughed up, but just made to drink some red ooze that lets everyone understand each other.
  • Body Horror: Getting shrunk by the damaged Yellowjacket suit was not kind to Darren Cross, now M.O.D.O.K. His head is now far larger than his limbs, requiring him to make use of a floating chair to get around.
  • Bookends:
    • At the beginning and end of the movie, Scott walks along the San Francisco streets giving narration on how weird his life got when he became a hero.
    • As with the first Ant-Man, part of the catalyst for Quantumania's conflict stems from one of the Pyms once again withholding information from Hope and it backfiring spectacularly. Last time, it was Hank concealing the circumstances of how Janet had "died" to protect his daughter (a move which led to a bitter Hope ousting her father from his own company and put Darren Cross in a position to weaponize the Pym technology). This time, it's Janet's refusal to discuss her time in the Quantum Realm (and with it, her knowledge of Kang and why going back down there is a bad idea).
    • Darren Cross was Scott's and Hope's first major antagonist, and now he makes a surprise return for their third movie. In both the first movie and this one, Cross also attempts to kill Cassie Lang, although the latter is more than capable of fighting back this time around.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Scott and Cassie are divided over the former's decision to retire from heroics following the events of Endgame. Scott is content that he helped save the universe from its greatest threat and, after all of the adventures he's had, just wants to spend the rest of his days enjoying life and spending time with his loved ones. Cassie argues that, even though he and the other Avengers defeated Thanos, there are still other problems in the world and the ones who are suffering could use their help.
  • Broken Faceplate: During their hand-to-hand brawl at the climax, Kang destroys Scott's helmet with multiple kicks to the face, demonstrating just how physically powerful he is in contrast to Ant-Man.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Darren Cross returns to the MCU for the first time since the original Ant-Man film, this time as the MCU incarnation of M.O.D.O.K.
    • The Baskin-Robbins manager who fired Scott once he found out he had a criminal record also appears.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: One that partially serves as an understated Badass Boast from Kang:
    Scott: You've made a big mistake. I'm an Avenger.
    Kang: You're an Avenger? Have I killed you before?
    Scott: What?
    Kang: They all blur together after a while.
  • Call-Back: Some maybe more deliberate than others:
    • When they land in the Quantum realm, Scott starts worrying about the flow of time, since the last time an accident left him stranded there he was stuck for five years.
    • Scott, Cassie, and Darren all remember Yellowjacket's attempt on Cassie's life in the first film.
    • Cassie puts a blue disk into her regulator to grow, like her father did in his first movie, in the climax. She then starts feeling peckish for citrus-related (lime, to be precise) nutrients. Scott mentions that sort of thing happens after being huge for a while, calling back to Captain America: Civil War, where Scott also craved something citrus after going big for a while.
    • When Scott sees Cassie go big for the first time, he proudly exclaims "You're huge!" before giving her a hug. This resembles him commenting on how big she's gotten in Avengers: Endgame.
    • The visual representation of the multiverse, as seen in Loki, makes another appearance. (As light streams circling around things, with some protruding "up" and "down" relative to the center, to show they diverged from an unspecified "prime" timeline.)
  • The Cameo:
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Scott chides Cassie for not using the proper technique to take out Kang's mooks. Cassie scoffs that she knows how to change size, but Scott reiterates his point before effortlessly performing the explanation ("Jump and tap!") on three mooks and then asks if she understands. Cassie retorts that he was too small to see.
  • The Cavalry: During the final battle, after Kang joins the fight personally and quickly turns the tide in his own favor, Hank arrives with an army of technologically advanced ants that he uses to overpower him.
  • Central Theme: The Needs of the Many vs Always Save the Girl, and how both relate to Bystander Syndrome and Chronic Hero Syndrome. Scott, who is happily retired from heroics, is pitted in contrast to both Cassie, who's become a political activist, and Hope, who has turned her father's company into a foundation and is now a world-renowned philanthropist. Similarly, Scott puts Cassie's safety above everything else and other people's conflicts are deemed to be less important to him; Cassie for her part, calls him out for this, but simultaneously recognizes that the whole family was put in danger because of her. Finally, multiple times the characters are faced with the choice between saving a loved one vs letting Kang escape the quantum realm at the risk of trillions of lives, with the choice being one sometimes and the other some others, and either usually having both good and bad ramifications.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Scott once again brings up his experience of fighting alongside Captain America in Captain America: Civil War. During the assault on Kang's citadel, Scott, as Giant-Man, takes a page out of Cap's book and uses the circular top of a building as a shield.
  • Chummy Commies: Played for laughs. Hank's ants grew intelligent enough to build a civilization far surpassing humanity on the Kardashev scale, including mastery of Dyson sphere technology — and formed a collectivist society in the process, because that's second nature to an ant.
    Hank: I mean, I know "socialism" is a charged word, but we can learn a lot from these —
    Hope: [interrupting] Dad.
  • Collapsible Helmet:
    • As in the previous Ant-Man movie, the Pym super-suits feature collapsing helmets (including Cassie's). They use it any time there's a pause in the action to show their faces.
    • Kang the Conqueror also has a Power Armor including a helmet that comes and goes, with a face shield that give his face the comic-accurate blue color.
    • As well as M.O.D.O.K., who has a large helmet instantly covering or revealing his giant head. (Well, it ain't like he could remove it with his tiny arms anyway.)
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each size-changing suit has a different colour scheme: red for Scott's, yellow for Hope's, and purple for Cassie's.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: While Cassie does get her own suit, she never goes by Stature or Stinger in the film.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Scott is named "Employee of the Century" at the Baskin Robbins franchise he was fired from in Ant-Man.
    • A section in Scott's book briefly references the time he was turned into a baby thanks to the botched time machine and his encounter with Rocket Raccoon.
    • Cassie hands back a shrunken cop car when being released from jail, echoing the numerous shrunken cars from the previous films.
    • Scott has a few to Ant-Man's MCU appearances. When Cassie mentions going to Germany to fight Captain America, he makes sure to correct it was with Captain America, not against him.
    • Scott repeatedly mentioning how he helped save the universe, and the exasperated, eye-rolling reactions of the Pyms and his own daughter mirrors Tony Stark continually bringing up the time he flew a nuke through a wormhole (and the similarly fed-up reactions from Rhodey and the rest of the Avengers) during Avengers: Age of Ultron.
    • After being captured by Kang, Scott muses that this is his fourth time in jail, referencing both Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War.
    • Darren Cross' serious backstory about him becoming M.O.D.O.K. is interrupted by Scott Lang, who realizes that "M.O.D.O.K." is an acronym and what it stands for. However, this wasn't the first time an Ant-Man villain gets interrupted during the middle of their dramatic backstory exposition.
    • In another possible nod to Civil War, Darren's reaction to seeing Scott-as-Giant Man ("Holy shit, that's big!") mirrors Spider-Man's similar reaction during the airport battle.
    • After growing giant for the first time, Cassie remarks that she really wants some limes, referring back to when Scott asked for orange slices after the Berlin airport battle in Civil War.
    • Jimmy Woo is shown clearly enjoying himself during his lunch with Scott, after he'd shown more than a little interest in the prospect of going to dinner with him at the end of the second film. Scott also does the card trick the two discussed in that film with his credit card.
  • Costume Evolution: Hope's new suit is now black with yellow patterning, noticeably looking much more like Wasp's outfit in the comics than her previous suit. Scott's suit also gets some slight changes.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Kang is simultaneously shrunken and merged with his energy core. However, the "death" part is downplayed given how ambiguous his fate was.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: During Scott's climactic brawl with Kang, Scott is clearly both out-muscled and outmatched by the Conqueror. However, he manages to hold his own for a decent amount of time, and, as Scott himself points out, he doesn't need to beat Kang, just stall him long enough to prevent Kang from being able to escape the Quantum Realm.
  • Damsel out of Distress: First Cassie and then later Janet are captured by Kang. Both of them separately fight back and escape from his underlings at different times while the man himself is otherwise occupied.
  • Darker and Edgier: The film, while it still has moments of levity, is much thinner on humor compared to the previous movies. There's a greater sense of urgency, comical characters are reduced to momentary cameos or outright don't show up in the film, and Kang, though Faux Affably Evil, is an unrelenting, genocidal threat. Considering the fact that Kang is being built up to be the next Greater-Scope Villain for the MCU, the tonal change makes perfect sense — though introducing him in an Ant-Man movie was an interesting choice.
  • Devoured by the Horde: Subverted; when Hank's ants arrive to turn the tide of the final battle, the ants manage to overwhelm and swarm Kang, dragging the screaming Conqueror off to his presumed death. However, Kang turns up later, injured and with his armor heavily damaged, but alive and still perfectly able to give Scott the beating of a lifetime.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When Cassie rescues Jentorra from her cell, Jentorra asks what their next step is. Cassie sheepishly admits that rescuing her was her plan, and admits she was hoping that Jentorra would be able to come up with something once she was set free.
  • Dirty Cop: What got Cassie in the slammer when Scott and Hope come to pick her up at the beginning was retaliating when cops started shooting tear gas at peaceful protesters. As payback, Cassie shrunk one of their cars with Pym Particles.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Krylar encourages Hank, Janet, and Hope to try a drink that includes a live, squid-like creatures. The creatures react in fear at the prospect of being consumed. Before leaving the bar, Hank pulls out a blue Pym-particle disk and throws it at one of the creatures, which grows and proceeds to attack Krylar, Kang's goons, and other patrons.
  • Dramatic Irony: In the ending, Scott fears that by defeating Kang, he's doomed everyone to the mysterious threats the Conqueror alluded to earlier in the film. Scott brushes his concerns aside, but not only is he immediately proven wrong with the mid-credits appearance of the Council of Kangs, but only the audience is aware that Scott was already an Unwitting Instigator of Doom thanks to Endgame. The exiled Kang and the Council of Kangs only (retroactively) exist because of the chain of events Scott set in motion by proposing the Time Heist (a chain of events which continued into Loki and culminated with the murder of He Who Remains and the breaking of the Sacred Timeline).
  • The Dreaded:
    • While we already knew Kang was this to He Who Remains and eventually Loki, Janet has a massive Oh, Crap! when she realizes Cassie is sending a signal down to the Quantum Realm, and La Résistance is clearly barely staying alive against his power and never mentions his name. When Hope asks Janet (who, it turns out, has actually glimpsed the inside of Kang's mind) what she's so afraid of, we then immediately cut to Kang.
      Janet: He can rewrite existence... and shatter timelines.
    • After being reconstructed into M.O.D.O.K., Darren Cross becomes Kang's "Hunter" that hunts members of La Résistance. Jentorra even becomes frightened when she realizes that M.O.D.O.K. has found them thanks to Scott and Cassie's presence.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The Quantum Realm contains a very varied fauna and flora, including sentient houses or flying manta-like things and also includes the occasional breach to the laws of physics. The newcomers (the Langs and the Pyms minus Janet) spend some time being befuddled by what they see.
    • The area near Kang's power core is even worse. Not only is the geometry there truly alien, it is also housing a "probability storm" which causes people venturing there to be split into an infinity of alternate selves.
  • Evil Overlooker: In one of the official Teaser Posters, Kang is depicted as staring down on our heroes, who are merely tiny insignificant pricks on a single finger, creating a truly intimidating image.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Krylar was once Janet's lover and comrade against Kang, but after she left, he eventually fell in under Kang, claiming he was very persuasive.
  • Faceless Goons: It's not clear if Kang's army of Mooks are robots, a quantum realm race who have willingly submitted to his rule, or what, but they wear or are built with blank faceplates.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Janet gets Hank to pilot Krylar's ship. While initially squicked out at the ambiguously organic nature of the controls, he quickly gets a hang of things.
  • Family of Choice: Through Scott's and Hope's romantic relationship and Hank being Scott's mentor, the Pym/Van Dynes and the Langs openly consider each other family at this point and refer to each other as such several times throughout the movie. Hank and Janet are basically Scott's in-laws and Cassie's step-grandparents by now (and she actually does call Hank "grandpa" a couple of times), and Hope seems to have a solid stepmom-like relationship with her.
  • Fan Disservice: When we learn about how Darren Cross became M.O.D.O.K, we briefly get a shot of him naked from the back as he's being put into the suit. It's not a pretty sight.
  • Fastball Special: In order to break the forcefield into Kang's citadel, Wasp throws Ant-Man in his shrunken form towards the forcefield, who then grows into Giant-Man. The momentum and strength allow Scott to breach the forcefield.
  • Final Battle: Scott and Hope Storm the Castle to rescue Janet and Cassie from Kang's clutches. Cassie inspires a rebellion amongst the conquered peoples of the Quantum Realm, against Kang's forces. All hope seems to be lost until Hank brings The Cavalry in the form of technologically advanced giant ants. Kang is severely damaged and ends up in one last one-on-one fistfight against Scott.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: When Janet greets Krylar, she notices he's dressed very regal. He then states he's a Lord now. However, he's supposed to be a freedom fighter, so why is he now a lord in his enemy's domain? Sure enough, it's revealed shortly later that Krylar pulled a Face–Heel Turn at some point and is working for Kang.
  • Food Eats You: Krylar offers Hank, Janet, and Hope drinks each containing a little tentacled creature that reacts in fear to getting eaten. They decline, while Krylar gulps one down. Before leaving the bar, Hank throws a disk at one of the remaining drink creatures, which enlarges and starts attacking Kang's minions and other patrons. Krylar is last seen held in its tentacles and getting pulled towards it.
  • Forced to Watch: Kang threatens Scott with having to repeatedly watch him torture Cassie to death unless Scott helps him repair his ship's energy core.
  • For Great Justice: Cassie has grown rebellious about wanting to help those in need, even if it means getting arrested or in harm's way.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Darren Cross is alive in the Quantum Realm and now serves Kang as M.O.D.O.K., explaining he's a Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing. Scott interrupts him to say that he really should be "MODOFK".
  • Genre Shift: While the first two Ant-Man movies can be described as superhero heist movies with some science-fiction elements, Quantumania is a sci-fi epic adventure film.
  • Genre Throwback: Very reminiscent of the old school high-concept sci-fi adventure films Disney made in the '70s-'80s, like TRON or The Black Hole.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: In the climax, Scott attacks Kang's citadel as Giant Man and it takes Kang's entire army to subdue him, and they barely even scratch him.
  • Glass Cannon: Kang's Mooks carry dangerous energy weapons, and have the advantages of mindless courage and sheer numbers, but despite possibly appearing to be armored, they tend to go down to one good hit from any of the heroes or members of La Résistance.
  • A God Am I: Kang is never so crass as to use the word, but his stated ambitions put him in this league, and when Scott accuses him of wanting to be a god, the remark slides straight off him.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Kang has two scars on his face that protrude from his eyes, making him appear to have Facial Markings.
  • Good-Times Montage: During the Bookends of the film:
    • The beginning shows Scott being recognized as an Avenger regularly while walking down the street, with people smiling and waving, asking him to take pictures with them, being named "Employee of the Century" at the Baskin-Robbins he was fired from, and being given free coffee at a café; has him meeting up for lunch with Jimmy Woo; reveals that Hope has taken over and rebuilt her father's company (which now carries the Pym and Van Dyne names) and is using Pym technology to improve life for everyone, especially people in need; shows Scott and Hope regularly attending events and spending time together in a happy, healthy relationship; and makes it clear that Hank and Janet are living together happily as well, and regularly have Scott and Cassie over for dinner with them and Hope. Scott has also become a bestselling author after writing his memoir, which he is shown reading for a crowd at a bookstore.
    • At the ending, Scott once again receives greetings on the street from strangers who recognize him, and this time, the café owner correctly remembers which superhero he is. He also receives a birthday cake for Cassie at Baskin-Robbins, before greeting her with it at dinner at a fancy restaurant, also attended by Hope, Hank, and Janet, as they all sing "Happy Birthday" to her. (Amusingly, it's not even her birthday; Scott's just doing it to make up for other birthdays he missed during the five-year Time Skip in Endgame.)
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We are not given to see exactly what happens to the Scott duplicates who try to access the energy core by themselves, only that conveniently out-of-focus body parts seem to be raining after they failed. One seems to be cut into ribbons much like Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Council of Kangs, who exiled the main Kang seen in the movie — and who are planning some kind of response to his apparent demise.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Due to all of the action taking place within the Quantum Realm, the Bookends heavily imply that nothing that transpired has really affected our heroes' daily lives and the greater MCU as a whole — at least, not yet.
  • Hero Killer: Kang boasts that he has killed Avengers before in battle, including Thor.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel have shown that Scott has now completely averted this. We now see this through his own perspective. We're treated to a montage of people singing the praises of Ant-Man, high-fiving him as he walks through the streets, his former job giving him the Employee of the Century award and shop owners personally thanking him for undoing the Snap... even if they mistake him for Spider-Man.
  • Honorary Uncle: Or rather, honorary grandparents. Offscreen between movies, Cassie has apparently grown close enough to the Pym/Van Dyne family (which is reasonable, since Hope is pretty much her stepmom at this point) that she calls Hank "Grandpa", and presumably calls Janet "Grandma" as well. For their part, Hope and Hank have been helping Cassie with her Quantum Realm research, made her her own size-changing suit, and are aware of some instances of her getting in trouble and being thrown in lockdown that Scott didn't know about.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: After capturing the Langs, Kang forces Scott to enter his expanded power core that Janet destroyed and shrink it down for him so it's usable again, under threat of not only murdering Cassie in front of him if he refuses but then forcing him to relive the moment over and over. Cassie tries to tell her dad not to do it, but once Kang starts hurting both of them with his power, Scott relents.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Darren Cross has gone from the Big Bad of the first Ant-Man — a titan of industry and Hank Pym's heir apparent — to a mutated lackey of a multiversal conqueror.
    [Screenwriter] Jeff Loveness: [M.O.D.O.K. is] this really put-upon, selfish, entitled but then also deeply sad, insecure man who knows that he got a shit deal in life and is trying to make the best of it.
  • Hypocrite: After condemning Janet for leaving her comrades behind, she is quick to point out that Krylar, being a freedom fighter himself, quickly sold out to Kang when given the title of aristocracy. Though he implies that other methods of 'persuasion' were also involved.
  • If Only You Knew: At the end, Scott is enjoying the good life after defeating Kang until he remembers Kang's words about an incoming crisis involving more hims. Scott briefly wonders if he's actually doomed Earth, but then brushes it off. The mid-credits stinger reveals that yes, things are going to get hairy.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Once he's able to understand and communicate with the residents of the Quantum Realm, the first thing Hank does is ask for a beverage that will get him drunk. The multi-limbed bartender politely obliges.
  • Instant Armor: The new Ant-Man and Wasp suits are contained in pocket-sized modules. Scott and Hope deploy them simply by pressing the modules against their chests and the suits form over their clothing. Cassie's suit presumably works the same way as well. Given that this feature was already in the suits used during the Time Heist and the latter Iron Man suits, it's likely that Hank created the new suits using Tony's technology.
  • Instant Expert: Zig-zagged. Cassie doesn't know how to control her strength and time her strikes while shrunken so she ineffectively bounces off opponents. Scott has to coach her through the technique and it takes some practice before she's effective in that form. But when she grows herself, she's able to use immediately the abilities that it brings without any issue, aside from experiencing the exhaustion that her father also endures.
  • It's All My Fault: As Scott prepares to retrieve Kang's core for him thanks to the latter using Cassie as a bargaining chip, she hugs her dad and tearfully whispers, "This is all my fault," for getting the family stuck in the Quantum Realm. Scott, however, assures her that it's not.
  • Just Between You and Me: When she's brought to his command center, Kang notes that he and Janet never did talk about what she saw when she made contact with his memories, then explains what the Council of Kangs was doing to the multiverse.
  • Killed Off for Real: Darren Cross, a.k.a. M.O.D.O.K., dies via Redemption Equals Death at the climax, after dealing a huge blow to Kang — said blow ends up fatally wounding Darren since he faceplanted onto Kang's force-shield.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Darren meets Cassie for the first time in 10 years and notes how he barely recognizes her. This is a joke as to the number of times Cassie's actress has changed since then.
  • Let Them Die Happy: Played for Laughs. Scott and his family's response to Darren/M.O.D.O.K.'s claims that he and Scott were like brothers effectively has them go Sure, Let's Go with That after brief looks of bewilderment, despite there being nothing even remotely indicating this in any of their past interactions (most of which involved Darren trying to kill him). They seem to be a little more willing to let him consider himself an honorary Avenger for helping defeat Kang, although it's similarly presented as a comedic moment.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Janet and Scott were both unaware Hank and Hope were helping Cassie research the Quantum Realm. When Janet confronts them, an exasperated Hope points out her mother locked herself out of the loop; she refused to discuss the Quantum Realm and her experiences no matter how many times Hope tried to bring it up.
    • Scott also was kept in the dark about the fact that Cassie has been arrested and thrown in lockup multiple times (which Hope and Hank both apparently knew about), as well as the fact that she now has her own suit.
  • A Million is a Statistic: In Kang's case, a trillion. When Janet discovers his intentions and calls him out on the death toll of his conquering exploits, the villain mournfully admits it doesn't matter to him.
    Janet: You'd be wiping out entire timelines, murdering trillions of people.
    Kang: I wish that mattered, Janet.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: It's implied that part of the reason why M.O.D.O.K. turns on Kang is because Kang was abusive towards him.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Early on we see that Janet was keeping what look to be snail/horse hybrids at her Quantum Realm abode.
  • Moody Trailer Cover Song: The first trailer is set to a version of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John with heavy percussion and synthesizers, complementing the surreal visuals.
  • Mooks: Kang has an army of Faceless Goons; it's not clear if they are robots or a subservient subject race, but when he declares that he will be taking them with him when he escapes the quantum realm, it amounts to plans for a full-scale invasion of Earth.
  • Mundane Utility: During a family dinner, Hank uses Pym Particles to enlarge a small pizza he bought so he could save money by not having to buy the larger size.
  • Mutual Kill: Attempted by Scott in his one-on-one against Kang at the end. Despite losing most of his tech, Kang still dominates the fight and is nearing victory. The only reason he loses is because Scott opts to destroy Kang's time engine and deny him his chance to escape, while dooming himself in the process. It's only because of Hope's intervention that Kang is defeated.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Scott reflects on this for a moment, after remembering Kang saying that if he was stopped, something far worse would happen. Scott wonders inwardly if he has doomed everyone on Earth to death, but then shrugs it off.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: "My name is Darren, AND I! AM NOT! A DIIIIIIIIIIICK!"
  • Mysterious Past: Janet is very hesitant to open up about her experiences in the Quantum Realm, even after they all get sucked in. It's not until late in the second act that she reveals she originally met Kang when he was stranded there, they became friends, and she helped him repair the power core for his ship so they could leave... only to discover right after doing so that he was a multiversal conqueror who has killed trillions of people and destroyed entire timelines. Janet destroyed the core to keep Kang from escaping (at the cost of remaining trapped down there herself), but by then, he had still gotten his Power Armor and most of his abilities back, and set about conquering the Quantum Realm. She spent the rest of her time there on the run from him, wracked with guilt about unwittingly giving him the means to rise to power and inspiring rebellions against him among the people there, until she was eventually rescued by Hank in the second movie.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Kang's facial scars resemble the markings on his mask from the comics. His face shield also makes his face appear blue.
    • Hope's Wasp suit is looking closer to the comic version than ever before. Her shorter hair also brings one of Janet's most iconic looks from the comics to mind.
    • Likewise, Scott's Ant-Man suit has been altered to include the classic chest pattern from the comics.
    • Kang angrily smashes Scott's helmet with with a roundhouse kick. This reflects a comics panel where he executes a similar move against Spider-Man.
    • M.O.D.O.K.'s helmet visually evokes his comic book appearance, primarily with its wide, toothy sneer and Glowing Eyes of Doom.
    • Plenty of the weapons in M.O.D.O.K.'s Hyperspace Arsenal harken back to his playable appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, particularly the plasma cannons and buzzsaws.
    • The minor alien Broccoli Guy might be a D'bari, the race of aliens whose home world was famously destroyed during The Dark Phoenix Saga.
    • Kang's New Era Speech before Cassie and Jentorra hijack it, is a shortened version of his speech to Immortus in Avengers Forever.
    • In The Stinger, The Reveal of the Council of Kangs is a shot-for-shot recreation of their first panel in the comics. In addition, two of the three noticeably distinct Kangs who arrange the meeting are based on Immortus and Rama-Tut. The third has a costume with elements of Scarlet Centurion, Iron Lad, and possibly the first Nathaniel Richards, Reed's father.
    • In the second stinger, Victorian scientist Kang "Victor Timely" shares a name with an incarnation of Kang who settled in 1901 in the comics, who in turn was named after Marvel's old name of Timely Comics.
    • When Janet is explaining why the Quantum Realm didn't look like this last time, she briefly uses the phrase "Sub-Atomica", which in the comics is either a specific system in the Microverse visited by the Fantastic Four or simply Reed's name for the Microverse.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Kang easily swats aside all the heroes in his way at first. It is not until Hank arrives with The Cavalry, consisting of thousands of technologically advanced giant ants, that they are able to severely damage him enough to give themselves a chance. Nevertheless, Kang still defeats Scott in their final confrontation and it takes a combination of Scott destroying the power core with Pym Particles and Hope arriving to help, to prevent his escape from the Quantum Realm.
  • Never My Fault: When Kang's forces attack the refugee camp, Jentorra glares at Scott and Cassie, even giving the standard "You led them right to us!" line, refusing to acknowledge that her own group were the ones who captured the Langs and brought them to the camp by force.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The second trailer implies that Kang will initially act friendly to Scott to trick/convince him to help him by promising to give back some of the time that Scott lost with Cassie in return, only to betray him afterwards. In the movie itself, it's Janet rather than Scott who received this treatment in the backstory, except that she turned on him instead when she found out what kind of person he really is. Scott, meanwhile, can quite clearly tell that Kang is Obviously Evil and refuses to work with him right from the start, so Kang resorts to threatening Cassie's life to force him to comply. The "We had a deal!" line from Scott is instead an example of You Said You Would Let Them Go, and Kang's line from the trailer about how he can give them back lost time is actually addressed to Janet during the flashbacks with him referring to her having lost time with Hope during her imprisonment in the Quantum Realm.
  • New Era Speech: Kang gives one of these to his troops (and by extension his whole realm) at the climax, boasting how they will now escape the Quantum Realm and conquer the Multiverse... only for his broadcast to get hijacked by Cassie, who uses it to give a Rousing Speech that inspires the general population of the Quantum Realm to join La Résistance in an uprising against Kang, kicking off the Final Battle.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Cassie, with help from Hank and Hope, builds a device to send and receive signals to and from the Quantum Realm. Unfortunately, the one to pick them up is M.O.D.O.K., Kang's Dragon, who then uses it to pull the whole family into the Realm, putting them in serious danger from Kang. M.O.D.O.K. even gloats about this to Cassie by telling her he couldn't have done it without her, and she later gets an It's All My Fault moment when talking to Scott. In complete fairness to her, though, she had no way of knowing that there were malevolent people in the Quantum Realm who might use her signal for this purpose, as Janet had kept everyone Locked Out of the Loop.
    • Janet herself did this in the backstory. She met and befriended Kang as another person stranded in the Quantum Realm like herself, and as they worked to repair his ship so they could leave, he promised to return her home to her family. It was only after fixing the power core that it gave her a telepathic link to him, through which she discovered he was purposely exiled there due to being a conqueror and mass-murderer who had destroyed many entire timelines. Though she quickly destroyed the core to keep him from leaving and wreaking more havoc in the multiverse, he had by then gotten enough energy from it to regain his powers, which he used to build a new empire in the Quantum Realm. She had to become a fugitive for the rest of her time there, feeling horribly guilty about inadvertently enabling him to cause such pain and suffering for the people living there.
    • Scott, Hope, Cassie and their allies succeed in defeating and possibly destroying Kang but put a target on their planet and possibly the MCU universe itself since these actions don't go unnoticed by the Council of Kangs, who then decide that if Earth-199999 can produce individuals who can do what they could not, then it might become an even greater threat to them than Kang the Conqueror was and needs to be dealt with.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Kang goes back on his agreement with Scott to return Cassie to him in exchange for the power core, and then captures Janet too on top of that, which ends up biting him in the ass in multiple ways. For one thing, both women are Damsels Out of Distress who escape from his underlings to bring him down from the inside, with Cassie freeing several other prisoners and inspiring a rebellion, while Janet messes with the power core to open a portal so the family can escape back to Earth. For another, Scott, Hope, and Hank are furious and go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Kang, Storming the Castle with the rebels and Hank's ants. All of which, together, results in Kang's defeat.
  • Noodle Incident: Kang's aforementioned Hero Killer moments with alternate Avengers. He also boasts of putting down countless rebellions during his conquests.
  • Not Quite Dead: Darren Cross actually didn't die at the end of the first Ant-Man film as audiences (and the characters alike) assumed. He's been alive in the Quantum Realm this whole time — although considering what's happened to him in the interim, death might have been preferable.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Kang observes he and Scott are both alike in one respect: Both men have lost a lot of time and both want to get it back.
  • Official Couple: After their Relationship Revolving Door in previous movies, Scott and Hope are very clearly together in this one. Once they've defeated Kang together in the climax, the two of them declare their love for each other.
  • Oh, Crap!: Janet has an understated, personal Oh, Crap! moment when she realizes Cassie has been sending a signal to the Quantum Realm where powers like Kang can intercept it.
  • One-Man Army: To show how big of a threat Kang is, he singlehandedly takes on the entire revolutionary army, Ant-Man, Wasp, and Cassie without breaking a sweat. It takes the arrival of Hank's technologically advanced ants and M.O.D.O.K. turning against him to even the odds.
  • Out of Focus: While Hope does get in some cool fight scenes and rescues in this film, and is shown in the Good-Times Montage at the beginning to have become head of her own company and a world-famous philanthropist, she's the only main character who doesn't have a unique story arc during the plot of the movie itself, as most of her activity in the film revolves around supporting her parents and helping Scott.
  • Papa Wolf: Scott, as always. He only cooperates with Kang at all to save Cassie from being killed by him, and then once Kang reneges on their agreement and keeps her prisoner anyway, Scott becomes Giant-Man and literally storms his fortress to get her back, shouting that he'll pay for taking his daughter.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Hope learns that both of her parents had relationships with other people in their 30 years apart, and reacts with a Big "OMG!"
  • Pet the Dog: Despite Kang being a merciless conqueror, he does have a few moments of fleeting compassion:
    • When Janet helped him repair his chair, Kang was sincerely willing to return her home to her family and even spare her world... while still wreaking untold destruction across the rest of the multiverse.
    • When Darren landed in the Quantum Realm, Kang went to the effort of recovering him and rebuilding him into M.O.D.O.K., albeit mostly to use him as a henchman.
    • When Cassie breaks free from one of Kang's troops to hug Scott, Kang doesn't allow the guard to shoot her, giving Cassie a moment with her father.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: One of the sentient houses of the rebels can be briefly seen holding another one like this when Kang's forces successfully subdue the first wave of attackers.
  • Phrase Catcher: A Say My Name version; when meeting Darren Cross again as M.O.D.O.K. for the first time, the first thing that Scott, Hank, and Hope each say is "Darren?!" in the exact same incredulous, disbelieving tone.
  • Police Brutality: Cassie has started fighting back against this, which has gotten her in jail. The particular instance in this film is in retaliation for when the officers shot tear gas into a crowd.
  • Polyamory: Janet and Hank have always been Happily Married and never stopped loving each other during the time they were forcibly separated. However, both had flings with other people in that 30 years and understand that their spouse had needs when neither was sure a reunion was possible. Hank, for his part, says that his heart wasn't really in it as no-one could come close to matching Janet. Hope, meanwhile, is grossed out over the frank discussion.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Janet becomes fearful upon hearing Cassie has built a device that sends signals to the Quantum Realm. She demands that Cassie switch it off, but then the family are all sucked into it. When asked what she's afraid of, Janet admits she should have told her family the truth.
    • Hank not filling Hope in on what happened to Janet in the first film indirectly leads to Darren Cross becoming M.O.D.O.K. here. The trope also lives up to the "kills" part of its name in Darren's case thanks to Redemption Equals Death.
  • Prison Dimension: It turns out that the Council of Kangs used the quantum realm as an ad hoc prison for one of their alternate selves who sought to eliminate the rest of them.
  • Put on a Bus: Nearly all of the supporting cast members of the first two Ant-Man movies are cut out of this one. Scott and Cassie mention the latter's mom a few times, but neither Maggie nor Paxton actually appear, and, in a case of Shoo Out the Clowns, all three of the Wombats are also absent. Justified by Peyton Reed, who felt that given the Quantum Realm focus and the size of the sequel's case, there regretfully was no room for them.
  • Redemption Equals Death: After M.O.D.O.K. is beaten by Cassie, she tells him it's not too late to stop being a dick. So he attacks Kang and is injured enough to die afterwards. Notably, this is somewhat Played for Laughs, as Darren is significantly sappier about it than the protagonists, who just end up feeling rather awkward as a result.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Scott's opening narration mentions how Hope is attempting to avert this and use Pym Particles to improve the lives of those in need.
  • La Résistance: Kang's empire in the Quantum Realm has inevitably inspired a resistance movement — though their main concern when Cassie and Scott encounter them seems to be avoiding Kang's attention. There are hints that the movement was stronger during Janet's time in the Realm, but many members have since been killed or turned. As Kang explains to Scott, he has had a lot of experience in the business of being a conqueror.
  • Revenge: Kang and Darren's shared motive. Kang wants to escape the Quantum Realm to get revenge on his Variants who exiled him there while Darren wants revenge on the Pyms and Langs (especially Scott) for defeating him, stranding him there, and leaving him deformed back in the first film.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • The flashbacks reveal Janet faced one after learning Kang's true colors. Despite this, he still offered to send her back to the point in time she'd entered the Quantum Realm as he'd promised. So, Janet could accept his offer and go home to her loved ones... which would then doom countless timelines and trillions to Kang once he followed her out and resumed his conquests. If Janet chose to sabotage Kang's Chair, neither of them would be getting out of the Quantum Realm — thereby removing what she thought was the only way home and ensuring she'd never see Hank or Hope again. She chose the latter — though of course, her sacrifice was ultimately averted once Hank and Scott found the way to safely enter and exit the Quantum Realm in the Present Day.
    • Kang gives Scott one after capturing him and Cassie. Scott doesn't know exactly what Kang is actually capable of, but can certainly see that he's very bad news, and knows that he's "the conqueror" who attacked the rebels, built an empire in the Quantum Realm, and is an enemy of Janet; as such, Scott naturally wants nothing to do with Kang and is not interested in helping him get back his core that Janet destroyed. Scott is then forced to cooperate with this very evil guy when Kang threatens to brutally murder his daughter in front of him and force him to watch it — repeatedly — if he refuses.
  • Say My Name: Scott yells Kang's name when he storms his base in giant size.
  • Scenery Porn: The first trailer makes sure to show off the Quantum Realm in all its beautifully psychedelic glory.
  • Seduction-Proof Marriage: Played With. The Happily Married Hank and Janet both had relationships with other people while Janet was trapped in the Quantum Realm, because both assumed they'd never see the other again, but each of them is also completely understanding about this when discussing it and don't really seem to mind, indicating that there's a lot of trust between them. Hank assures Janet that his newfound relationship didn't feel right because... it wasn't Janet.
  • Self-Duplication: Near the core of the size-increased power source to Kang's ship, Scott multiplies into millions of alternate selves, which are explained as different possibilities of him for every choice he has made. When Hope comes to Scott's aid, she also generates alternates.
  • Serial Escalation: In the first Ant-Man movie, only Scott enters the Quantum Realm in a dire situation in the climax, and only for a brief moment before he manages to escape. Then Ant-Man and the Wasp has Hank, Hope, and Scott attempting to save Janet from the Quantum Realm as the main plot of the movie, and Hank succeeds in traveling there in the third act and finding Janet before they both come back to the real world. Here, all five main characters — Scott, Hope, Cassie, Hank, and Janet — accidentally get themselves pulled down in the Quantum Realm near the beginning, and spend the entire movie there until the denouement.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns:
    • The Wombats, Scott's friends who have been the primary source of Plucky Comic Relief within the Ant-Man movies, are nowhere to be seen throughout Quantumania. In turn, this emphasizes just how big the stakes are for Scott this time around. However, David Dastmalchian, who played Kurt, still appears in the film, albeit as a different character.
    • When Kang arrives, M.O.D.O.K. tries to continue his jokes. Kang instantly and casually flings him against a far wall, and he's forgotten for the rest of the scene.
      Kang: Do not speak in my presence.
  • Shout-Out:
    • According to screenwriter Jeff Loveness, the MCU incarnation of M.O.D.O.K. was influenced by Kevin Kline's portrayal of Otto from A Fish Called Wanda and Frank Grimes from the classic The Simpsons episode "Homer's Enemy".
    • Veb forms a giant mouth and defeats some mooks by inhaling them whole; being a round, pink little alien, he looks an awful lot like Kirby.
    • Peyton Reed has confirmed that the Pym-Lang Family Dinner (with the particle-enlarged Pizza) is a personal homage to the Dehydrated Pizza scene from Back to the Future Part II (as Reed shot behind-the-scenes footage for those sequels).
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: After listening to Kang's Motive Rant, Janet immediately calls him out on it, and also adds that he's just obfuscating the fact that he's just mad he lost and was exiled.
  • Sixth Ranger: Cassie officially joins the main cast as the third Sizeshifter hero in the present-day, after merely being a Tagalong Kid in the first two movies.
  • The Sociopath: Kang is ruthless, sophisticated and without mercy. He will destroy anyone who gets in his way, even entire worlds and timelines.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Thanks to time dilation, Hank's colony of intelligent ants have not only evolved to sentience but established a system of government entirely on their own. And it's a relatively peaceful one.
  • The Stinger: A two-fer this time around:
    • Mid-credits: A HUMONGOUS army of Kang variants meets together in an undisclosed location, being led by three specific variants of Kang (specifically, Rama-Tut, Immortus, and Mister Gryphon). Given they assume that their exiled variant (that being the original Kang) is dead, they are now ready to launch a full-on Multiversal War against everyone, everything... and every time. Their main target? Earth-199999, which has proved to the council of Kangs that they are an immense threat, given they are starting to get a grip on the Multiverse the Kangs so desire to conquer.
    • Post-credits: We see yet another zany variant of Kang named Victor Timely, located in Victorian Era England, who has gathered an audience to explain his time-related invention. And guess who's part of said audience? L1130 Loki and the Mobius variant seen at the Loki series' first season finale. Essentially, this scene is all but a taste of the show's second season, and the continuation of Kang's storyline...
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: As Darren dies, he says that he's always thought of himself and Scott as brothers and is glad to die as an Avenger. Though clearly confused by this take, Scott indulges him in his last minutes and agrees.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: Just when it looks like it might end as a Bittersweet Ending with Scott and Hope trapped in the Quantum Realm, Cassie was able to quickly create a portal to bring them back home and, aside from Scott's (justified) anxiety regarding Kang's alternates, it becomes a happy ending because of it.
  • Taking You with Me: In his fistfight with Kang in the climax, Scott is willing to pull a heroic example of one of these. Thankfully, Hope comes back through the portal to rescue him, and together, they defeat Kang.
    Kang: You thought you could win?
    Scott: I don't have to win. We both just have to lose.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In the climax Kang mocks Scott, saying that he has an empire, and Scott just talks to ants. Cue Hank and an army of thousands of giant, highly-evolved, intelligent, technologically advanced ants to literally trample over Kang's empire.
    • At the end of the movie, Scott hopes Kang is dead and they won't have to worry about him again. However, the end of the end credits warns Kang will return, alongside his gargantuan army of variants.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Kang refers to Hope as "Jellybean", Janet's Affectionate Nickname for her, upon meeting her, to indicate that he knows who Hope is (Implied Death Threat attached).
  • That Came Out Wrong: During an argument with her father after getting bailed out of jail, Cassie impulsively snarks that she knows how to take care of herself and she's pretty used to it by now. Scott is visibly hurt by this reminder of the years of his daughter's life he missed thanks to the Snap and being stranded in the Quantum Realm — circumstances which he had no control over. To her credit, Cassie instantly realizes this was the wrong thing to say and apologizes (though the remainder of the conversation understandably remains strained because of this outburst).
  • That Man Is Dead: Darren only refers to himself as M.O.D.O.K. now, angrily insisting that Darren Cross died when Scott sent him to the Quantum Realm. At one point, when Scott tries to talk to him over the radio and addresses him as "Darren" repeatedly, he doesn't answer, but as soon as he switches to "M.O.D.O.K.", the latter responds immediately. Averted after his heart-to-heart with Cassie and subsequent Heel–Face Turn, where he charges at Kang yelling "My name is Darren, and I am NOT A DICK!!!"
  • That's No Moon: As Scott and Cassie are first wandering inside the Quantum Realm, Cassie wonders if the sun here is moving especially fast... until they realize that's no sun, it's a large, spherical, bioluminescent predator that tries to eat them with its Combat Tentacles.
  • Time-Passage Beard: Jimmy Woo's brief cameo at the beginning of the film has him sporting a Perma-Stubble, indicating his appearance here is set much later than his last outing in the franchise.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Having grown much older since Ant-Man and the Wasp, Cassie is much more active in this movie and gets to become a superheroine in her own right. She not only is able to build a machine that analyzes Quantum energy, but also participates in action scenes with her dad and the the Pym-Van Dyne family in a super-suit of her own. She's also gained a bit of a rebellious streak, getting thrown in lockup in jail For Great Justice because she stood up to some Police Brutality.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: After the events of the last two movies and Endgame — during which she repaired her relationship with her dad, was reunited with her mom, and helped save the world, and now she is also in a loving relationship, has a great bond with her stepdaughter, and heads her own company — Hope is possibly the happiest she's ever been in her life in this movie. She's shown working diligently to share PymTech with the world to help benefit society and graciously accepting an award for her humanitarian work; later, she gleefully throws on her Wasp suit and sneaks out of her office to share a romantic moment with Scott and a six pack of beer on the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Though certainly still snarky, Hank seems to have mellowed out from the very Grumpy Old Man he was in the previous two films, possibly as a result of having Janet back. Not only is he completely fine with Hope's relationship with Scott (whereas before he was at least rather snarky about it), he treats both Langs like family, regularly having them over for dinner and taking a grandfatherly role to Cassie (complete with her literally calling him "Grandpa") by giving her a suit and helping her with her research. He's also openly nicer to Scott as opposed to his gruff exterior prior, and reveals that he read Scott's entire book after quoting a line from it.
  • Translator Microbes: An ooze excreted out of Veb allows one to understand every language being spoken in the Quantum Realm. It's force-fed to Cassie (off-screen) and Scott, while elsewhere, Janet orders it as drinks at a bar for Hope and Hank as well.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The Pyms and the Langs are split in the Quantum Realm. Even when the storylines merge, things still end up divided once Cassie and then Janet are kidnapped by Kang.
  • Uncertain Doom: Kang ends up being dissolved by the size-changing discs and disappearing into nothing, leaving everyone fairly certain that he's dead. Scott reassures himself that Kang is definitely dead... probably. Albeit even if the Alliance of Alternates of Kang says he's dead, who knows if they can find a way to bring that one back before The Kang Dynasty.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Cassie setting up the Quantum Realm Transmitter kicks off the plot, by having everyone in the room get sucked into the Realm when it malfunctions. Or rather, the signal from her transmitter allowed Darren or M.O.D.O.K. to find the heroes and suck them all in so Kang could launch his plan to escape.
    • Cassie's experiments with the Transmitter only happen because of Janet's repeated refusals to discuss her experiences down in the Quantum Realm (which is what leads Hank and Hope to secretly pitch in and help Cassie's research).
    • While it's not stated in the film itself, those who've watched Loki know that Scott's indirectly responsible for Kang's presence in the Quantum Realm thanks to his actions during Endgame. By telling the Avengers about the Quantum Realm and pitching the "Time Heist" idea to undo the Snap, Scott unwittingly set off a chain of events that created 2012 Loki's Temporal Variant. This in turn resulted in Variant Loki setting off another chain of events which ultimately broke the Sacred Timeline and restored He Who Remains' Variants — including the Conqueror Variant seen here.
  • Villain Ball: Kang doesn't really have a given reason for going back on his word by keeping Cassie in his captivity after Scott lives up to his end of the bargain, driving Scott to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and for Cassie to devise an escape and rally the others to lead an assault on his base, aside from possibly being paranoid about Scott's reluctance to work with him, and him likely making an assumption that the others would betray him after they reunited. Ultimately, this causes the climactic battle, which he probably could have avoided if he had just reunited the family and sent them away from the Quantum Realm long enough to stay out of his way. Because of his actions, Scott, Cassie, and the others are able to stop his invasion before it can begin.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Kang indicates he finds Scott interesting, though he's doubtless more interested in his powers since they're the same as Janet's, and he wants to use them to get his power core back. In any case, he's an experienced manipulator; he may just be trying to get Scott to trust him a little by seeming friendly there.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: All the Scotts in the probability storm are busy arguing over who is the real one, trying to run away or attempting to grab the power core — but the moment they hear Cassie beg him to come back, they immediately band together to get closer to the core.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kang claims to be this, explaining that everything he's doing, which involves destroying entire realities, is to prevent something far worse from happening. Although his defeat means we can't know what his actual plans were, what we see of the Council of Kangs in The Stinger tends to hint he was at least right on the "something worse" part.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Janet and Kang bonded during their time together while trying to find a way out of the Quantum Realm. It all came crashing down when she discovered the truth about him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Janet gets chewed out by a few characters in this movie:
    • Hope gives her an earful for refusing to discuss her time in the Quantum Realm. She has a point, for the events that happen wouldn't have happened if Janet had come clean about her experience.
    • Krylar is initially jovial and happily reminiscing with Janet. He then proceeds to bitterly tell Hank and Hope that Janet was a freedom fighter, but bailed on her teammates to return to Earth.
    • The last scene in turn moves to Krylar turning out to have betrayed the heroes, which causes Janet to throw something of a What the Hell, Hero? at him; after all, he used to be involved with the Resistance and close to Janet.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Despite Janet learning Kang's true nature, he's still willing to take her home and even spare her world from his multiversal rampage. Kang explicitly points out that Hope would never need to know what her mother did in order to come home to her. Despite this temptation, Janet refuses to allow Kang to escape to wreak havoc, destroying his chair's power source and condemning them both to remain in the Quantum Realm.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: A signal sent between dimensions causes the hero(s) to be unwillingly beamed into another realm where a dictator needs to acquire a technology from them which will enable said dictator to take his massive ship and army with him to other worlds to conquer, and the dictator delivers a speech to his army just before preparing to depart. Consciously or not, Quantumania has an awful lot in common with TRON: Legacy.
  • "Will Return" Caption: After the post-credits scene showing L1130 Loki and Mobius watching a Kang variant presenting his invention, "KANG WILL RETURN" appears on the screen.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Downplayed since Cassie's around 16 in this installment, but Kang has no qualms about destroying her along with anyone else daring to rebel against him, and at one point threatens to murder her in front of Scott — demonstration torture included — and force him to watch it over and over again if he doesn't assist Kang in retrieving the core to his ship. He clearly didn't go out of his way to spare any children from the destruction he wrought before getting stranded in the Quantum Realm either.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Cassie tells Darren/M.O.D.O.K. this after she defeats him in a fight, telling him that it's not too late to stop being a dick. He takes this to heart.
  • You Monster!: After Janet reads Kang's mind and learns how he has erased countless timelines and killed many, many people — and will kill trillions more if he escapes the Quantum Realm — she considers him to be a monster for his actions, and later outright tells him so.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Janet points out this exact distinction when telling Hank about the times she and Krylar were freedom fighters against Kang during their decades in the Quantum Realm, only to add that they would also be called terrorists from another person's point of view.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Scott is coerced into retrieving Kang's power core for him, under threat of the latter murdering Cassie if he refuses. Once Scott does get the core and Kang arrives to take it from him, though, not only does he not give Cassie back, but also abducts Janet, after M.O.D.O.K. causes Hank's ship to crash, too. This enrages Scott, Hope, and Hank into Storming the Castle to get them back.



Video Example(s):


Grown Up Differently

MatPat snarks on how Cassie from Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania grew up into a completely different person, literally as he shows an article of how she was recast.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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Main / TheOtherDarrin

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