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"War is a universal language. I know a renegade soldier when I see one. Never occurred to me that one might come from above."
Nick Fury
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Captain Marvel is a 2019 superhero film, and the twenty-first film entry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (It's Kind of a Funny Story) and co-written by them and Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider). note 

Set in 1995, the film centers on Vers (Brie Larson), who is introduced as a member of Starforce, an elite special-ops squad within the forces of the Kree, the militaristic alien race previously seen in Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In the course of a war between the Kree and the Skrulls, a race of shapeshifting aliens, she finds herself on Earth, and discovers that the Skrull leader Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) has set his sights on Earth for unknown reasons. But Talos isn't the only one who develops an interest in our planet...

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Also appearing in the film are Jude Law as Yon-Rogg, Carol's mentor and the commander of Starforce, Lashana Lynch as her human friend Maria Rambeau (mother of Monica Rambeau), Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Algenis Perez Soto as Att-Lass, Rune Temte as Bron-Char, and Mckenna Grace as young Carol, as well as Annette Bening as a woman from Carol's memories. Returning actors include Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson (reprising his role in the movies for the first time since The Avengers), while Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou reprise their respective roles as Ronan the Accuser and Korath from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Not to be confused with the former Captain Marvel of DC Comics, who also got his own film (SHAZAM!) in 2019, less than a month after Carol. It's a long story about trademarks.

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Captain Marvel provides examples of:

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    Tropes # to E 
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Carol unlocks her binary state during her Heroic Second Wind as she resists the Supreme Intelligence, when she realizes her true friends are on Earth and the Kree are villains.
  • The '90s: Carol (in her Kree suit) crash-lands in a Blockbuster video rental store. Blockbuster had carved out quite a pop culture niche during the 1990s, but has been out-competed since then. She is immediately directed to a Radio Shack, which has since suffered a similar fate. Other indicators of the 1990s are the bands referred to, like with the Nine Inch Nails shirt that Carol wears. We also see hallmarks of the '90s like cyber-cafes (before the much more widespread use of laptops and smartphones), paper maps, pagers, and more.
  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: Invoked when Carol tries to correct Fury, who keeps saying "Marvel" rather than "Mar-Vell." Fury's response is that he just thinks "Marvel" sounds better.
  • Ace Custom: All the Kree uniforms have mohawk-like ridges on the helmets. Carol's is unique, however, in that it's formed from her actual hair instead of being part of the suit (this is a reference to an armor design from the comics).
  • Ace Pilot: Carol and her friend Maria Rambeau are both brilliant military fighter pilots in the 1980s US Air Force. Though they are not technically aces because Air Force regulations of the time prohibited women from flying combat missions, which meant they had no aerial victories to their names and no opportunity to acquire any.
  • Action Heroine: Carol's a former Air Force pilot and a qualified Kree warrior, and has the skills and powers necessary to take out several enemy combatants at once on her own.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • The car interior shot of Coulson and Fury as they follow Vers is framed similarly to scenes where Vincent and Jules go on a drive, with Samuel L. Jackson in the driver's seat in both films (and a smiling passenger beside him).
    • Another Pulp Fiction allusion: at one point, Talos greets the heroes (among them Nick Fury) by deliberately taking a long sip from one of their sodas.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: During their unsteady truce, Monica and Fury ask Talos if he can change into a cat, a file cabinet or a Venus flytrap. Fury with amusement says he'll give Talos fifty dollars to become a Venus flytrap. Talos despite himself looks amused.
  • Adaptational Heroism: While they were a peaceful mercantile race at first, the Skrulls in the comics are themselves ruthless conquerors, and the conflict between them and the Kree is a case of Evil vs. Evil. In the movie, the Skrulls aren't nearly as bad as they are said to be and are being systematically sought out and slaughtered by the Kree for no other reason than they won't submit to Kree rule. That said, Talos and his men tried to kill Fury a number of times and generally seem uninterested about civilian deaths during their battles, so they maintain some of the edgier elements of their comic counterparts.
  • Adaptational Job Change:
    • Maria Rambeau, a seamstress in the comics, is an Air Force pilot.
    • Minn-Erva is a Kree sniper as opposed to a scientist.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Yon-Rogg, relatively speaking. In the comics, he was a jealous, backstabbing officer who tried to sabotage Mar-Vell's mission for personal gain, and he even became a traitor against the Kree eventually. In the film, he's still a villain Carol has personal reasons to dislike, but apparently a sincere Kree nationalist who really does want what is best for his people, as opposed to a Straw Hypocrite. He also shows some affection for Carol, though it's hard to tell how genuine it is sometimes (he spars with her when she wakes him up because she was having nightmares, prevents Ronan from attacking Earth while Carol's there, seems genuinely concerned when he arrives on Earth to find a Skrull disguised as her, and tells Carol he's proud of her at the end). According to Jonathan Schwartz, their relationship is "tender." According to the actor playing Yon-Rogg, he is attracted to Carol's humanity and finds her irresistible.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the comics that inspired the film's story, the dynamics of the alien empires were a little different than in the film. There, the Skrulls were a wealthy free-trading Evil Colonialist monarchy of shrewd shapeshifters (a little like an exaggerated bad guy version of the British Empire in space), and the Kree a former dependency of theirs which had revolted and since turned into a paranoid and militaristic garrison state that fanatically hated its old masters. In the movie, the Kree are simply space Nazis without the elements of sympathetic backstory from the comics, persecuting the innocent and defenseless Skrulls for no reason except bigotry, imperialism, and a refusal to submit to Kree rule.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The movie's plot mixes together several plot elements from comic book stories, including Carol's origin story, forgetting her life as a human, the Skrulls invading Earth, and the Kree "warrior heroes" from Operation Galactic Storm. The specific comics are Carol's origin story, the "The Enemy Within" story arc, and The Kree/Skrull War (Skrull vs. Kree with Earth caught in the middle).
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel in the comics, was a fairly young officer with either straw blond or very light platinum blond hair, depending on the time period. In the movie, the female Mar-Vell character is older and has gray hair. However, this is only when the Supreme Intelligence assumes her form, and she is blond when seen alive and in person.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Chewie is renamed Goose.
    • Carol's callsign is changed from "Cheeseburger" to "Avenger".
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • In the original comics, Captain Mar-Vell was a heroic and noble but nationalistic Kree soldier who reluctantly accepted the necessity of war and hated the evil Skrulls with a cold fury. In the movie, the female Kree character Mar-Vell who replaces him hides oppressed Skrull refugees in her spacecraft and tries to save them from the fascist Kree regime, although she implies that she willingly worked as a soldier for the Kree until she decided that they were wrong.
    • Likewise, in the source material the Kree character Minn-Erva was originally a scientist who was anti-war in a Pragmatic Evil way and actually against the new Kree-Skrull war that was brewing when she was introduced, thinking the Kree would be better off developing and improving their own civilization than warring with others. Here, she is military and not obviously pacifistically inclined in any way.
    • Carol Danvers herself is noticeably more assertive and aggressive than she used to be in the comics, at least around the time of her origin and early career (which would correspond roughly to the period the movie covers). Though to be fair, there is a lot of Retcon and Depending on the Writer here, too, and the movie's characterization draws mostly from the more recent comics.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Carol's best friend is a fellow Air Force pilot named Maria Rambeau. In the comics, the two have little to no history with one another, and it's actually Maria's daughter Monica who is Carol's ally.
  • Adapted Out:
    • All of Carol's Ms. Marvel backstory is absent, as well as a rework of how she got her powers with the only thing kept was that she gained them via an explosion.
    • Michael Rossi's role in the comics as Carol's fellow officer and close friend in her Air Force days is largely given to the new character Maria Rambeau instead.
    • The original Captain Marvel's girlfriend Una, a Kree military physician who helped Mar-Vell against Yon-Rogg's intrigues, and was also the Betty to Carol Danvers' Veronica in a Love Triangle with him as the Archie. While the film has a character named Mar-Vell, she is very different from the original hero, as is her relationship with Carol, and Una makes no appearance here.
    • Maria's husband Frank. In the comics she was married to retired fireman Frank Rambeau and raising their daughter together with him as a happy family. In the film, she is a working single mother who raises her daughter without a man; in fact, the name of Monica's father is not even mentioned.
  • Adorable Abomination: Talos treats Goose the kitty as a terrifying monster, something that the human characters, particularly Fury, find funny. She demonstrates that she's more than just a cat by extruding tentacles from her mouth and swallowing the Tesseract without issue and later grabbing and devouring a bunch of Kree soldiers.
  • Adult Fear:
    • During one scene, Maria looks out a window to see a Skrull disguised as her talking to her daughter. While it's quickly revealed that the Skrulls are not evil, and so the chances of anything actually happening to Monica were low to nil, her fear is still palpable.
    • Maria's reaction to Carol's return also shows a superhero's origin from the outside. Her best friend just disappeared, presumed dead, and when she returns is an entirely different person.
    • Carol's own reaction when she realizes that someone she trusted kidnapped her, brainwashed her, and lied to her about everything—something that has happened in real life, without the science fiction. As she puts it, the Kree stole her life from her and made her complicit in war crimes.
    • And of course, there's the Skrulls themselves. They're essentially suffering through a genocide and are now War Refugees struggling to survive. Suffice to say, their position in the film is something that many real-world minority groups can (sadly) emphasize with.
  • Advertised Extra: Despite the fanfare surrounding the return of Agent Coulson, Ronan the Accuser and Korath the Pursuer, they don't have much screen time. It's particularly apparent with Ronan; he only appears in two scenes, in which he doesn't do much of anything except say a couple of lines.
  • Aerial Canyon Chase: Minn-Erva pursues Maria Rambeau through a canyon in a high-speed chase. Maria wins when she maneuvers around Minn-Erva and shoots her out of the sky.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Dr. Lawson calls Carol "Ace".
    • Carol calls Monica "Lieutenant Trouble".
  • Age Lift: In the comics, Monica Rambeau is the same age as Carol and an established superhero. Here, she's Maria's eleven-year-old daughter.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated:
    • Talos takes a liking to a S.H.I.E.L.D. blazer, even wearing it in his natural appearance.
    • Implied with Dr. Lawson, who apparently liked Top Gun enough to name her Flerken after one of the characters.
    • Aboard Mar-Vell's lab, there are various pop culture memorabilia, from a "The Fonz" lunchbox to a Space Invaders pinball game, that the Skrull refugees have as entertainment. They're also dressed in human clothing.
    • The Supreme Intelligence admires and even dances briefly to a Nirvana song in Carol's subconscious.
  • Alien Autopsy: The body of a Skrull, who had earlier transformed himself into Coulson and died in a crash in Fury's car, gets examined by S.H.I.E.L.D. According to the coroner, the Skrull's body is not composed of carbon.
  • Alien Blood: Carol's blue-green blood, which she got from a Superhuman Transfusion from the alien Kree.
    • The Kree have blue blood.
    • The Skrulls bleed purple.
  • Alien Invasion: As the Supreme Intelligence reminds Vers during their morning meeting, the Kree have been at war with the Skrulls, vicious terrorists with shapeshifting abilities who invade and take over planets by destabilizing their leadership.
  • Aliens of London: Talos maintains Ben Mendelsohn's natural Australian accent whenever taking his natural form or indicating to the characters that it's him in disguise. A number of accents appear amongst the Kree ranging from American to British to Korath maintaining Djimon Hounsou's distinctive Beninese accent. This could be explained by Starforce members possessing Universal Translators, and Carol, being from Earth, could be hearing Earth dialects.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: Completely averted with the Kree. Vers directly explains the situation to Fury, and is not dissuaded in the slightest when she realizes Earth has no contact with the galaxy at large. And then there's being open to carpet bombing the entire planet as a last resort.
  • Aliens Speaking English: The alien and human characters can understand each other fine, explained by the Skrulls and Kree all having Translator Microbes on them.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Kree propaganda refers to the Skrulls as a race of vicious terrorists. In fact, Ronan states that one Skrull anywhere is a threat to Kree everywhere because they won't know if the person they're talking to is an evil imposter. This is subverted. The Skrulls portrayed in the movie are working to end the war, and have lives and families outside it. In fact, the Kree fall into this, as they are once again shown to be an unsympathetic, tyrannical force hunting the innocent Skrulls.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Skrulls naturally have light green striped skin. Kree usually have blue skin, though there's a subset with human-like skin tones, which allows the Kree to convince Carol that she is a Kree as well.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Carol talks about how she can't remember anything before meeting the Kree, but she finds evidence of a life she lived on Earth before then. She has flashes of memories, but she doesn't know if they're real.
  • Anachronic Order:
    • There's an occurrence of this trope in-universe, when the Skrulls prod through Carol's memories, trying to find a lead on the FTL engine technology. Talos can be heard complaining about how the events they're seeing are out of order and confusing, and at a few points, they reverse too far through the "footage" and see Carol's memories as a child.
    • The mid-credits scene takes place after a Time Skip of 24 years, to following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, only for the final post-credits scene to jump back to a period after the end of the film proper, but before at least the events of the post-credits scene of Thor.
    • For the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole — this is the 21st film of the MCU, but takes place before all of them except for the fifth film, Captain America: The First Avenger.
  • And Starring: With Annette Bening, with Clark Gregg, and Jude Lawnote .
  • Animalistic Abomination: Goose appears to be nothing more than an ordinary cat, but is referred to as a Flerken — which initially seems to be a case of Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp"... until she extrudes tentacles from her mouth and eats the Tesseract. She also has a Black Hole Belly, devouring several Kree soldiers at once without leaving a single trace behind.
  • Artificial Gravity: When the Quadjet enters orbit, we get a few seconds of floating before Carol switches the gravity on. The alien ships have it on all the time.
  • Artistic License – Biology: According to the S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist, Skrull biology is based on something "not on the periodic table" instead of carbon. Which brings up a great number of questions about how this works. For example, an element so crucial to their biochemistry would need to be abundant in their diet or through another form of intake, and by extension it needs to be easily available in any environment they inhabit for a long time, which in turn would mean it could not possibly be so exotic as claimed.
  • Artistic License – Engineering:
    • Barring the Kree Accuser Warships, none of the aircraft in the movie appear to have missiles or any other beyond visual range weapons of any kind yet still have a target lock system. Especially glaring seeing as two of these vehicles are Air Force prototypes which probably would have never left the drawing board in real life for this reason.
    • Despite the Kree Accuser Warships having beyond visual range weapons, they don't seem to be armed with anything else. No cannons for engaging similarly sized ships let alone point defense for enemy fighters or an 11th-Hour Superpower-boosted Carol Danvers.
    • The Quadjet doesn't even have any auto-cannons either. Instead its armament consists of wing-mounted machine guns, something that hasn't been on any American aircraft since WWII. note 
  • Artistic License – Military: Women weren't able to serve as fighter pilots until 1993, so Carol and Maria wouldn't be able to fly around in fighter jets in 1989. They would be flying in tankers. The film Hand Waves this by saying they never actually flew in combat, and that testing Dr.Lawson/Mar-Vell's prototype is the only reason they even had a chance of flying at all.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • In previous MCU films, Nick Fury's role tends to be limited to a distant supporting role. Here he's front and center in all the action and story alongside Carol. This is showcased more in the credits where Samuel L. Jackson is the second one to be listed among the cast as opposed to him just appearing during the "also Starring" segment.
    • The badass black female fighter pilot Maria Rambeau, who is Carol's best friend and a strong working single mother. She was not quite created for the movie, in that a black woman with this name exists in the comics. But there she is only a Muggle extra as the completely unremarkable mother of superhero Monica Rambeau—neither an important friend to Carol nor an elite military Ace Pilot like in the movie. The much more significant role Maria plays here is more like that of Colonel Michael Rossi, who was Major Carol Danvers' friend and military mentor in the comics.
  • As Himself: Stan Lee on the tram, rehearsing his lines for his cameo in Mallrats. This is the first time in a Marvel film that he has definitively appeared as himselfnote .
  • Ass Shove: Played for Laughs. Maria Rambeau reacts to being called a young lady by Talos by offering to "shove [her] foot somewhere it doesn't belong."
    Talos: Am I just supposed to guess where that is?
    Maria, Fury, and Carol: Your ass!
  • As You Know: During Vers's meeting with the Supreme Intelligence, she's reminded (and shown) that the Skrulls are shapeshifters who invade and take over planets, something Vers has heard many times but is done for the audience's sake.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Once Carol gets her full powers unleashed, she beats up her old squad as No Doubt's "Just a Girl" plays in the background.
  • Badass Adorable: What ferocious creature is capable of giving Nick Fury his iconic scars? It’s Goose, the Flerken who looks exactly like an adorable housecat.
  • Badass Boast:
    • In the trailers, Carol gives an ominous warning; "I'm not gonna fight your war... I'm gonna end it."
    • Near the end, Carol blasts Yon-Rogg mid-speech rather than humor him with a hand-to-hand fight.
      Carol: I have nothing to prove to you.
  • Badass Bystander: Played for Laughs when a bunch of random citizens on the train dogpile Carol and restrain her to keep this random crazy woman from beating the shit out of a helpless old lady, not realizing said old lady is actually a disguised Skrull.
  • Badass Creed: This film establishes the Kree Empire has one: "For the good of all Kree!"
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Since Fury maintains in The Winter Soldier that he lost an eye to "someone he trusted", you'd think this happened when a Skrull disguised itself as Coulson and attacked him in a car. Fury does get wounded here... just above his left eye, but the eye itself isn't damaged. He still loses his eye, though — to the cat-like alien he adored.
    • At one point, Fury attempts to have Goose attack two Kree soldiers, but suddenly she appears to change sides when she affectionately approaches one of the Kree. It turns out said Kree is actually a disguised Talos.
    • Carol is suspicious to Maria's neighbor and outright accuses and calls him Talos, much to the neighbor's confusion. Maria solves the situation and sends him away after telling him she's busy and she'll visit him tomorrow before promptly closing the door. Cue Talos appearing behind them on the other side of the living room.
  • Barefoot Captives: When Carol wakes up restrained on the Skrull ship, she sees that her boots have been removed, and she's now barefoot. She breaks free and fights her way past the Skrulls in her bare feet, eventually managing to find and recover her boots, just before getting off the ship.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Carol at full power no longer needs her suit's oxygen mask to survive in space. By the end of the film, she doesn't even need to wear her helmet.
  • Battlecry: Once the locals on Torfa are discovered to be disguised Skrulls, they all transform back and howl in unison, preparing to fight Starforce.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Carol vs. the Supreme Intelligence takes place in her sub-conscious because that is the only way anyone can interact with it. The battle is the Supreme Intelligence twisting the "world" around her and shoving dispiriting memories in her face. The result reminds Carol of her determination through life in the face of overwhelming odds and unlocks her binary mode.
  • Big Bad: Talos is the leader of the Skrull terrorists and the one that Carol is fighting against to prevent him from attacking the Kree homeworld of Hala. This isn't true. He (along with the rest of his species) is presented as a terrorist by the Kree, but he is actually friendly, down-to-earth, and selfless. He serves as the film's Tritagonist to Fury and Carol after The Reveal that the Skrulls are refugees looking for a home. The real Big Bad is the Supreme Intelligence. All it wants is to expand the Kree Empire and exterminate the Skrulls.
  • Big Eater: Played for laughs with Goose, who sprouts enormous tentacles from her mouth to eat things much bigger than her. A brief Mook Horror Show plays out as she grabs and devours several Kree at once, and she's able to swallow the Tesseract without trouble.
  • Black and Gray Morality: While it's stated the Skrulls have done a number of morally questionable things, with Talos admitting his hands are far from clean, they are ultimately refugees trying to survive against the imperialistic and genocidal Kree.
  • Black Box: Once again, the Tesseract continues to baffle all who study it. Dr. Lawson had better luck researching it and applying her knowledge thanks to being a scientist from a Higher-Tech Species, though we never find out if she was ultimately successful because the Kree murder her before she could test her Light Speed Engine.
  • Black Site: Carol and Fury visit one early on in the movie to investigate Carol's past, with access granted thanks to the latter's S.H.I.E.L.D. security clearance.
  • Blown Across the Room: Along with the thermal damage it can do, Carol's photon blasts do this to their target as well. Once she breaks the inhibitor implant, they are so forceful that the law of action and reaction make her blow herself across the room in recoil. As her newfound freedom from the inhibitor progresses, she figures out flight, using the blast as thrust.
  • Bluff the Impostor: Suspecting his boss has been replaced by a Skrull, Fury suggests a course of action similar to an old campaign they ran together; when Talos doesn't recognise that the campaign never happened, Fury’s fears are confirmed. It's actually inverted later on when a disguised Talos mentions that same (nonexistent) campaign to Fury, thus outing himself as an ally to Fury, but not the other Kree whose ranks he's infiltrated.
  • Book-Ends: Carol's first and last fight with Yon-Rogg ends with her blasting him away with her powers. The first time, it's because he bested her in hand-to-hand combat, and she reflexively escalated to photon-blasting him even after being chided that she'd be reprimanded with a lecture from the Supreme Intelligence over it. The last time is when she is unleashed from the Kree, and utterly apathetic to proving herself to Yon-Rogg anymore, essentially casually swatting him aside as inconsequential.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Nick Fury gets past a thumbprint scanner door by lifting an officer's thumbprint with tape.
  • Bound and Gagged: During the discussion about where the Skrull refugees should go, Fury remarks to the others that Talos left the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. tied up somewhere so he could impersonate him.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Carol's sarcastic response to Yon-Rogg's request for a mission report ("I'm fine, thanks for asking.") is returned by Yon-Rogg later in the movie when he confronts Carol's Skrull impersonator in Maria's shack.
    • Fury's use of "Havana" to sniff out Talos in the bunker and later Talos using "Havana" to send a hint to Fury of his disguise as a Kree on the ship.
  • Buffy Speak: Talos asks Fury about the whereabouts of the "thing", referring to the Tesseract. He knows what it's called, since Carol named it earlier.
  • But Now I Must Go: The movie ends with Carol and the Skrull refugees setting out to space to help the scattered Skrull survivors. Carol also plans to wage a war with the Kree Empire and its Supreme Intelligence.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • In his limited screentime, not only is Coulson repeatedly being called "rookie" and "new guy", but he also gets accidentally left behind in the Blockbuster store, much to his bewilderment (though it's justified, as he's been replaced by a Skrull who leaves with Fury).
    • Nick Fury, of all people, also falls into this category. He crashes his car after being attacked by a Skrull who was disguised as Coulson, gets Overshadowed by Awesome when Carol nonchalantly blasts a door lock right he's about to use the security guard's fingerprint in his scotch tape, gets curb-stomped and framed by Talos, gets scanned by the Kree and his threat level deemed "low-to-none", and finally gets his left eye clawed by an alien cat.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • The characters refer to the Skrulls impersonating someone else as "simming" (presumably short for "simulating") their target.
    • The Skrull characters react badly to Goose, referring to her in their language as a "Flerken", seemingly their word for "cat", as they don't know what "cat" means. Subverted when she turns out to really be an alien creature verging on an Eldritch Abomination, which just looks like a cat, and which can swallow the Tesseract and several Kree soldiers in one gulp.
  • Call-Back:
    • One within the film, as Carol's Badass Boast from the trailers is really something she learned from Dr. Lawson.
      "This is not about fighting wars. It's about ending them."
    • When she and Carol first talk, Maria refers to a time Carol won a motorcycle race by taking a short-cut. In the Aerial Canyon Chase, Maria gets the upper hand on Minn-Erva by taking a short-cut and doubling back.
    • Maria also mentions that Carol used to wake her up by banging on the door at the break of day and instigating a race competition, which Carol won by cheating (in a manner Carol doesn’t recognise as cheating). At the start of the film, she did the exact same thing to Yon-Rogg, albeit with combat instead of a race.
  • Call-Forward:
    • It won't be the last time Nick Fury crashes his car. From the same movie he mentions he lost an eye the last time he trusted someone, and we see that Goose was the someone in question. Also, S.H.I.E.L.D. is once again infiltrated by hostile outsiders, though HYDRA would probably turn green with envy if they saw how fast and easily the Skrulls climbed up S.H.I.E.L.D.'s chain of command.
    • A character gets wounded just as the jet's door is closing. Unlike Lash, however, Talos survives.
    • Project PEGASUS was the research into the Tesseract Dr. Selvig was heading way back in The Avengers. Now we get to see its origins.
    • During the autopsy of the Skrull, Fury dryly remarks that it looks like he isn't from around here. He uses the same words in The Avengers, when he briefs Steve Rogers, who doesn't know about the existence of aliens yet, about Loki and the Tesseract.
    • Carol was saved with Kree blood and had her memory wiped in the process. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury revives Coulson the same way (in fact, that series established that Kree blood can revive humans).
    • Countless Kree writings are present in Lawson's effects, akin to the coordinates to the Kree labyrinth with the Diviner from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season two.
    • The basic layout of the Kree Accuser warships is the same as the Dark Aster, only in a single solid block and far more heavily armed.
    • The power limiter affixed to her neck that Carol has for most of the movie is quite similar to the one that Daisy/Quake gets for a good part of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5. It's also similar in design to the obedience disks from Thor: Ragnarok.
    • There are some Troll dolls lying around in Mar-Vell's spaceship. Seems Yondu was not the only alien we met to love these dolls.
    • Fury uses a two-way pager to communicate with his S.H.I.E.L.D. superiors. This is later modified by Carol to be the one seen during the stinger of Avengers: Infinity War.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: When Vers frees herself aboard the the Skrull ship, Talos prevents his men from just shooting her, as they need the information buried in her subconscious.
  • Cats Are Mean: Lovable as Goose is towards the Main Characters, she does get tired of Fury's doting near the end of the film, scratching his eye and forcing him to adopt his iconic eyepatch. She also eats Kree soldiers with abandon. Though she's not actually a cat, she's a Flerken.
  • Ceiling Smash: During the subway fight, Carol slams a Skrull into the ceiling of the train car.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
  • Chekhov's Gun: Ronan fires one... and misses. Early in the movie, he plans to carpet-bomb the planet Torfa as an extreme way to flush out the Skrulls there. He then plans to do it again to C-53 (a.k.a. Earth) to eliminate the Skrulls that fled there, but Captain Marvel thwarts his bombing run singlehandedly.
  • Collapsible Helmet: Kree body armor can manifest a helmet at will, allowing the suit to serve as a life-support system underwater or in space. The titular heroine has one of these, just like her design in the comics.
  • Combat Pragmatist: After Carol has unlocked her full powers and sent Ronan fleeing, Yon-Rogg challenges her to "put away the light show" and finally prove she can beat him in hand-to-hand combat, a call-back to a sparring scene early in the movie. She responds by hitting him right in the chest with an energy blast, then tells him, "I don't have to prove anything to you."
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: In no instance is Carol ever called "Captain Marvel" — save for one potential reference when she and Nick play around with Kree names (particularly the late Mar-Vell).
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Tesseract appears as the power core that the Skrulls and Kree are after.
    • Fury refuses to touch the Tesseract with his bare hands. Given what happened to the Red Skull, he probably made the right call.
    • The transport that Fury and Carol ride is revealed to be called the "Quadjet", a precursor to the Quinjets used by the Avengers.
  • Cover Identity Anomaly: Talos outs himself through a pair of Brick Jokes by first calling Nick Fury "Nicholas" when getting on the elevator (as it had been established at that time no one ever used his first name for anything) and then later mentioning "Havana" as a previous op that they had worked on (Fury said he stuck to places that start with a 'B' because they rhyme well).
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: As Talos prepares to kill two Kree guards, he asks his wife not to let their daughter see the violence. The kid sneaks a peek anyway, and later she seems quite proud of what a badass her father is.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Stan Lee appears as himself aboard the train, rehearsing his lines for Mallrats. Carol, looking for a disguised Skrull, looks at him, gives him a smile, and continues on her way.
    • Kelly Sue DeConnick appears as a bystander on the train station who walks past Carol while giving her a very confused look.
  • Cross-Cast Role: While Goose is female in the MCU, she is portrayed by four male cats, since a vast majority of orange cats are males.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Talos catches up to Fury in the S.H.I.E.L.D. base's basement, and though Fury is able to disarm him, he's no match for Talos in hand-to-hand combat and is soon on the ground.
    • The space battle against Ronan's fleet. Just as Kevin Feige promised, Carol is indeed the most powerful hero of all, and trashes the enemy with almost contemptuous ease, destroying them like a force of nature and sending even an established badass villain like Ronan scurrying away with his tail between his legs.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The one thing that can shake the unflappable Nick Fury is Goose the cat. His fawning over Goose is a Running Gag.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Maria enumerates all the dangers and difficulties Carol will face near the climax of the film, explaining why she won't accompany her and will instead stay behind to look after her daughter. Little Monica Rambeau counters that yes, it will be incredibly dangerous, but also unspeakably badass, and that's exactly why her mom should go. When Maria is still hesitant, Monica fights dirty by asking her to think of the kind of example Maria is setting for her daughter by staying behind.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Carol's personality is based more on her snarky and irreverent depiction from later comics than the Spirited Young Lady she was in her early adventures. Not even S.H.I.E.L.D. escapes her snark.
    Carol: Does announcing your identity on clothing help with the "covert" part of your job?
  • Death by Origin Story: Similar to the comics, Carol gets her powers in an explosion involving Mar-Vell and the villainous Yon-Rogg. Unlike the comics, Mar-Vell doesn't survive the initial attack.
  • Death from Above: The Accusers are called upon whenever orbital carpet-bombing is needed by the Kree Starforce, and unleash warheads on planets to eliminate any Skrull presence in the least subtle way... and they don't care about collateral damage (i.e., the devastation of the worlds the Skrulls hide in).
  • Decoy Getaway: Norex, Talos's "science guy", stays behind on Earth to lure Yon-Rogg away, impersonating Carol so the party can reach Mar-Vell's lab unimpeded.
  • Defector from Decadence: Mar-Vell is the only sympathetic Kree we encounter in the film, seeking the Tesseract to provide a means of the Skrulls escaping from her people who are intent on committing genocide on the rather helpless shapeshifters. Upon hearing the truth, Carol does the same.
  • Defensive "What?": Twice with Fury regarding his pager. The first time, Carol silently demands the pager with a hand out, and he gives a "What?" She verbally demands it, saying he can't be trusted with it, and confiscates it. Later, Carol's about to hand him the modified pager with her contact on it but pulls it away as Fury reaches to take it. He gives another "What!?" while asking her if she thinks he's going to call her willy-nilly, after which she emphatically reminds him it's for emergencies only.
  • Determinator: Carol just keeps going and going, and none of her enemies can bring her down, no matter what nasty tricks they use or how tired she gets. Even the Supreme Intelligence can't crack her, as she draws upon her own inner strength to overcome the depression It throws at her. Exemplified by a montage showing all the times in her life Carol, failed, fell, got knocked down, accompanied by statements about how she's only human, the Kree made her strong, and without them she's weak. Then Carol remembers what comes next... every time she fell, she got back up again.
  • Diegetic Switch: The music playing when Carol rides to Pancho's Beer becomes the music playing within the bar.
  • Digital De Aging: Clark Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson are nearly flawlessly de-aged to appear as they did in the 1990s. Notably, unlike previous examples like Ant-Man, it is done throughout the film rather than in just one or two scenes.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Carol asks Fury to tell her something so bizarre that a Skrull wouldn't be able to make it up on the spot, and he answers that he refuses to eat toast that is cut diagonally.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Inverted. When The Tesseract pops up and Carol tells Fury to take it he flatly refuses. While he can't know for certain it would kill him, he's too savvy to pick up a glowing energy cube of unknown origin with his bare hands.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Talos meets Goose's presence with revulsion, calling the cat a Flerken and advising the Main Characters to keep an eye on the creature. The Kree later scan the cat and identify her as a Flerken, which is classified as a highly dangerous creature. They're right to do so, seeing as the little cat is actually a miniature Eldritch Abomination capable of launching horrific tentacles from its mouth to engulf its prey in its black hole belly. She's also capable of eating an Infinity Stone, the Tesseract, completely unaffected.
    • Carol blows up a bunch of Kree warheads that were deployed to bomb Earth, annihilates Ronan's entire fighter screen, and destroys an Accuser battleship with ease by flying through it. Seeing this, Ronan decides to flee, and despite knowing Earth has no planetary defense system (other than Carol), the Kree have not tried to attack it since.
  • Due to the Dead: The Skrull infiltrator imitating the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes a moment to honor a fallen comrade who's been subjected to an Alien Autopsy, even though it risks his cover. It's an early hint that the Skrulls are not the problem here.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Non-human example with the Starforce, the Kree elite unit Carol is part of. It also exists in the comics, but she is not a member there, nor were Mar-Vell and Yon-Rogg, who were instead officers in the regular Kree Navy.
  • Emergency Transformation: We're told that the Kree found Carol after a near-fatal incident and injected her with Kree blood in order to save her life, and to make her more like them.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: When Talos infiltrates the Rambeau household, he helps himself to one of their soft drinks, slurping away on the straw when he announces his presence. Though, as plot developments moments later reveal, he's not the true enemy, and is actually an ally. Also doubles as an Actor Allusion to Samuel L. Jackson, alluding to a scene where his character in Pulp Fiction does the same.
  • Escape Pod: Vers and the Skrulls evacuate their exploding ship and travel to Earth through small ships that eject from it. Carol's is damaged by Talos as she escapes.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Talos is seen telling a fallen Skrull he planned to finish their mission while disguised as the Shield director. He also shows up unexpectedly at Maria's house after they assume one of her neighbors was a Skrull in disguise. However, though he implied it, he doesn't hurt nor put Maria in a dangerous situation, and all he asks is that they listen to a black box recording he recovered. Said black box reveals Yon-Rogg actually shot down the test ship Mar-Vell and Carol were in, and that she was secretly helping to save the Skrull. From that point on he is seen in a sympathetic light, later embracing his wife and daughter after they find Mar-Vell's cloaked ship which some Skrull refugees were hiding in.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Yon-Rogg is Carol's major direct antagonist who has no problem with lying to and manipulating her for years, but even he thinks Ronan (and the other Accusers) bombing enemies indiscriminately is taking things too far.
  • Evil Gloating: After Talos leaves Fury downed, he takes a moment to gloat and comment on Keller's glasses. Then as he begins to brush his hands off, he's hit with a photon blast by Carol, who has just arrived on the scene.
  • Exotic Equipment: Implied, when, after an autopsy is performed on the slain Skrull, Fury and his boss lift the sheet to glance at what lies down below, and they look at each other. Fury then walks away awkwardly.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In The Stinger, Carol sports longer hair, considering it takes place decades after the events of the movie, following Avengers: Infinity War.
  • Eye Scream: Downplayed for laughs. Fury's eye gets damaged because a Flerken scratched it. Coulson later asks if he got it due to torture by the Kree, which Fury neither confirms nor denies.

    Tropes F to O 
  • Fake Memories: The fear of this is an important element in the movie — Vers has a repeating dream that may or may not be from her past, and after the Skrulls use a mind-reading machine to try to dig into her past and she goes to Earth, she begins to remember more and more of a past as Carol Danvers... but she isn't certain what she remembers is real, contributing to her identity crisis. The dream is false, although it isn't clear if it was deliberately faked or simply shifted around as dreams are wont to do — she later remembers what actually happened, which is almost exactly the same... except her blood is red, and it wasn't a Skrull that menaced her, it was Yon-Rogg.
  • Fake Shemp: Stan Lee couldn't shoot his customary cameo for this film. Instead, his cameo is pieced together through the use of a body double, digital head replacement, and recycled audio.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: Carol distracts her former teammates by carrying a lunchbox that they think the Tesseract is inside.
  • Family of Choice: Carol doesn't get along with her parents, which is why she's closer to the Rambeaus who treat her as their own. In return, Carol supports Maria as pilot and single mother.
  • Fanservice Extra: The surfer girl whom Talos impersonates. She wears a form-fitting scuba suit and swimming trunks that expose her legs. Her bare upper chest and backside are also briefly seen when Talos is in the middle of transforming into her.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: The Skrulls are searching for Dr. Lawson because she was developing a faster-than-light engine, which would allow them to escape the galaxy and outside the Kree's reach. Presumably, the interstellar jump technology used by spacefaring races is limited to the jump points and everywhere within range. Yon-Rogg notes they're 22 hours away from the nearest jump point when Vers calls them for backup, thus they sit out the bulk of the film's action traveling at sublight speeds. A true FTL drive might be able to take the Skrulls somewhere far enough from established jump points that following them is effectively impossible. It is then revealed that Lawson's experiment involved using the Tesseract, a.k.a. the Space Stone, which makes it possible for one to travel anywhere in the universe.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: The Skrulls' motivation for standing against the Kree and searching for Lawson's energy core stems from want of a place where the Kree can't track and hunt them down.
  • Final Battle: Carol and her friends face off Starforce and Ronan's fleet in orbit, with a brief dogfight between Maria and Minn-Erva also taking place in a canyon.
  • Final Solution: The Kree Empire and its dictator, the Supreme Intelligence, is trying to exterminate the shapeshifting Skrulls — every single one of them. It justifies itself by calling them a dangerous threat, and even terrorists, but Carol doesn't think they are really that dangerous after Talos calls for a truce.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • Carol reveals her powers by heating up Maria's teakettle. In previous cases, she would blast a hole through objects. This is the first hint that she recognizes Maria as a friend, and the house was once her home.
    • In the last vision that reveals Carol's true past, the unknown spacecraft that is pursuing Carol and Dr. Lawson's plane is a Kree fighter, which is a clear giveaway to the identity of the mysterious gunman that appears in Carol's previous dreams and flashbacks before it's shortly revealed later that it was Yon-Rogg.
    • On board Mar-Vell's lab, Maria asks why there is so much human memorabilia such as the Fonzie lunchbox. Carol and Maria then notice a still-warm mug on the table and realize that the place isn't deserted. Seconds later, Talos calls the Skrull refugees out of hiding, including children.
    • Goose appearing to switch sides and show affection to one of the Kree soldiers is a momentary hint that the Kree she's rubbing herself against is Talos in disguise.
    • Nick Fury stating to Goose that he's trusting her not to eat him after seeing her true nature as a Flerken pretty much guarantees that he'll lose his eye to her in light of Fury's story about losing an eye to someone he trusted in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That story plays out immediately after the battle is over.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Goose the cat is treated as a menace by every alien that sees her. Quite rightfully so.
  • Flying Brick: Much like Superman. Carol shoots energy beams, but she also has enough Super Strength and Super Toughness to smash her way right through the Kree fleet, seemingly effortlessly, and send Ronan fearfully running away when she demolishes a big battleship.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • We know that the Tesseract will end up in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody by the time Thor rolls around. It just takes Goose a while to cough the thing up.
    • Obviously, the Kree aren't going to successfully carpet bomb the planet in the climax.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The movie starts with Vers', who has been adopted by the Kree, viewpoint. If you've watched the first Guardians of the Galaxy, you'll know that the Kree are the antagonistic faction, thus hinting who the real bad guys are.
    • One that's easy to miss: when Carol first lands inside the Blockbuster, she takes a moment to examine a copy of The Right Stuff, which is a film about test pilots and astronauts. Carol herself is a test pilot turned astronaut.
    • There are a number of hints that the Tesseract is the artifact the Kree and the Skrulls are looking for:
      • It holds the secret for a new form of faster-than-light engine that provides access to places that regular FTL can't reach. The Tesseract contains the Space Stone, the Infinity Stone that grants access to anywhere in the universe.
      • The flashbacks show that the energy involved is a bright blue. This is the signature color of the Tesseract and the Space Stone.
      • Dr. Lawson was involved with Project Pegasus, the very same project that was studying the Tesseract in The Avengers.
    • Minn-Erva offhandedly remarks that she's been to Earth once before, and that it's "a shithole". Turns out she was with Yon-Rogg when he killed Mar-Vell and captured Carol.
    • The Skrull whom Carol chases to the train actually gives a polite smile to the old lady (whom he later impersonates) when she gets off the train. While it might be that he's just being pragmatic by blending in with the humans, it's a nice clue that the Skrulls aren't as bad as they seemed to be.
    • While not unprecedented for a bad guy, a disguised Talos almost blowing his cover to pay his last respects to one of his fallen soldiers is a good hint that he's not as bad as he appears. In fact, he's not a bad guy at all.
    • There's a very curiously significant closeup of Goose carefully watching Nick Fury long before we learn that she's more than just a cat.
    • When Fury asks if Talos is scared of cats, the Skrull asks what a cat is. Meaning there is an alien species that looks exactly like an Earth cat that is extremely deadly. A species that Goose is a part of.
    • The nature of the climax is foreshadowed by the prominence of the Space Invaders arcade game. Much like that game the battle between Carol in her Binary form and Ronan's world-killers involves a single small figure (Carol) rising up from the ground to fire at wide, alien crafts firing downward that always fall to a One-Hit Kill from the lone fighter.
    • Upon finding the Tesseract, Goose paws at it, directly touching it with no ill effect, showing she’s more than just a cat.
    • When the Kree put a muzzle on Goose, Fury incredulously says, "It's a cat, not Hannibal Lecter!" True, but both of them do eat people.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With:
    • The Supreme Intelligence is said to be so unknowable that it appears to any person who perceives it as the being whom they hold in the highest regard. It appears to Carol as Mar-Vell, the Kree who served as her mentor on Earth.
    • Goose arguably fits into this trope. To Nick Fury and the other Earthlings, she's just a pretty harmless cat and mostly acts as such. However, the alien species are all understandably afraid of it, which is later shown when Goose first eats the Tesseract, and later some Kree soldiers that blocked Nick, Monica, and the Skrull refugees from escaping.
  • Formally Named Pet: Fury previously owned a pet cat named Mr. Snoofers.
  • Freak Lab Accident: While initially presented as being a gift from the Kree, it's eventually revealed Carol's superpower came about due to Mar-Vell's experiments with the Tesseract. Not wanting the Kree to capture the energy cell, Carol shot it and her body was infused with the Tesseract's energy during the ensuing explosion.
  • Friend to All Children: While Carol tends to be snarky and dismissive with other adults, she gets along very well with kids, being close friends with Maria's daughter Monica, and quickly earning the respect of the Skrull children at Mar-Vell's lab.
  • The Gadfly: When Carol and Fury are locked in a room, Fury uses tape to transfer a fingerprint to the fingerprint scanner, unlocking the door and allowing them out. They reach another locked door, and when Fury is ready to use the piece of tape again, Carol simply blasts the door. Fury grumbles about Carol watching him do the tape thing when she had a faster solution, and she responds, "I didn't want to steal your thunder" with an amused look.
  • Gadgeteer Genius:
    • Within hours of landing on Earth, Carol is able to salvage communications equipment from Radio Shack and use the parts to modify a pay phone so she can communicate with Starforce. Later, she also modifies Fury's pager so he can contact her, saying it has a range of a couple of galaxies at least.
    • Talos's "science guy" spends a night modifying a Quadjet so it can be flown into space, including adding an Artificial Gravity switch to the cockpit.
  • Gamer Chick: One of Carol's memories is her playing Street Fighter II in Pancho's Beer.note 
  • Gaslighting: Yon-Rogg and the Supreme Intelligence try to convince "Vers" that she's always been a Kree and that the Skrulls are insidious terrorists that need to be wiped out. They both know perfectly well that neither of those things are true, and Carol herself is, to put it mildly, not pleased to find out the truth.
  • Gender Flip:
    • Mar-Vell is a woman this time around. Namely Carol's mentor on Earth, Dr. Wendy Lawson.
    • The Kree Supreme Intelligence appears to Carol as a woman. This is more of A Form You Are Comfortable With than an actual flip; everyone is said to perceive the Supreme Intelligence differently, but even so the Supreme Intelligence is male in the comics, and never appears as anything else.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Yon-Rogg is not a fan of the Accusers and their "nuke it from orbit" operating procedure, and tries to keep them away from Earth. Then he realizes that Carol is getting her memories back. Knowing how powerful she could be and how royally pissed she will be once she figures out what's going on, he calls Ronan and tells him to hit Earth, fast and hard.
  • Going Native: Talos takes a liking to Terran culture and cuisine after being on the planet for less than a day. The Skrull refugees Mar-Vell brought to Earth have gone even further, as they all wear Terran clothing, play pinball games and watch US television shows.
  • Golden Super Mode: Carol's binary mode, where she is surrounded by a golden glow and her eyes turn golden as well.
    Fury: Do you know you're glowing?
  • Good All Along: The Skrulls are actually just people who are trying to survive and find a place where they can live in peace. The Kree are the bad guys.
  • Good Costume Switch: When Carol learns the true nature of the Kree and Skrulls, she decides she's done wearing the Kree colors and alters the uniform to her red, blue, and yellow scheme based off an Air Force logo on Monica's clothing.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Talos's "science guy" Norex stays back at Maria's property to distract Yon-Rogg so the others can fly to Mar-Vell's ship without interference. After his disguise is blown and he's fatally shot by Yon-Rogg, he smiles while taunting Yon-Rogg that he's too late.
  • Government Conspiracy: Project Pegasus a.k.a. Dr. Lawson and her work on the Light Speed Engine is so highly classified that even a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative like Fury who can get into a Black Site with no red tape gets detained for asking about it. It turns out the military is covering up several things about it: the project was a failure thanks to Kree interference, Dr. Lawson was a Kree scientist in disguise, the test pilot Carol wasn't killed but rather kidnapped by the Kree, and most importantly the government was creating technology based on researching the Tesseract.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: When Carol breaks free from the Skrulls' mind-reading machine, she throws Talos at his mooks, knocking them down.
  • Grin of Audacity: Carol unlocking her binary state causes the power on Mar-Vell's ship to go haywire and cut out, including extinguishing the force field bars of the jail cell where the Skrulls are all being held. Cue Talos grinning as he prepares to fight their captors.
  • Groin Attack: During the fight in the records room, Talos delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle to Fury, which includes throwing him against a shelf and kicking him in the groin, which leaves Fury curled up in pain.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: According to the Kree, if they don't stop the Skrulls, then they will infiltrate and overrun the entire galaxy, and to that end, they must be destroyed. Turns out this is far from the truth; the Kree have essentially already defeated the Skrulls, and the few that remain are refugees desperately trying to escape the Kree.
  • Hairball Humor: Parodied in the stinger which has Goose, a catlike alien, coughing up the Tesseract.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Carol's human DNA was augmented with Kree DNA, making her more like the Kree. Usually hybrids are made from interspecies romance, but this was from an Emergency Transformation. Or at least this is what the Kree have told her. The truth is that she got her cosmic powers from a power cell explosion, but as Yon-Rogg exclaims, she still did undergo a blood transfusion. Her conventional abilities, such as superior healing factor, strength, agility, longevity, endurance, and so on, derive from the blood transfusion and potential genetic meddling by the Kree (in order for the blood supply to replenish itself they had to alter her DNA at the very least). This is witnessed by the fact that even without her cosmic powers, Carol Danvers can still hold up against Kree warriors, while not being significantly more powerful than them.
  • Hallway Fight: A few fights occur in the halls of Mar-Vell's ship. One gunfight becomes one-sided as Goose the Flerken simply picks up the enemies, who have nowhere to run, and devours them.
  • Handy Feet: While escaping from a Skrull ship with her hands restrained, Carol uses her bare foot to open a door.
  • Headbutt of Love: Talos presses his forehead against his wife and daughter's when he is reunited with them on Mar-Vell's ship.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Carol performs one after discovering the truth about her origins and the Kree-Skrull War.
    • As explained in Carol's flashback, Mar-Vell originally fought the war on the side of the Kree, but she turned against them and decided to help the Skrulls.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: We do see Carol in Mar-Vell's iconic helmet from the comics now and then, but even in her uniform she's more likely to be shown without it.
  • Heroic BSoD: Carol doesn't react well when she learns that Yon-Rogg lied to her, kidnapped her, and turned her into a weapon to serve the Kree and wipe out the Skrull.
  • Heroic Resolve: The Supreme Intelligence attempts to break Carol by showing her memories of her failures, but she is reminded in each instance she fell that she was able to persevere and get up again. Carol destroys the Power Limiter implant placed on her, allowing her to access her full powers, and blasts out of Supreme Intelligence's hold.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Norex, Talos's "science guy", impersonates Carol and remains on Earth so the real Carol and Fury, Maria, and Talos can search for Mar-Vell's lab without Starforce interfering. This costs him his life when his cover is blown.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: A biker makes fun of Carol's uniform, then makes a pass at her. When she ignores him, he calls her a freak, then steps into a store. Carol steals some local clothes and then steals the man's motorcycle.
  • He Went That Way: Fury sarcastically asks Vers if she's seen a lady dressed for laser tag who crashed through the roof of the Blockbuster store. She halfheartedly points in some direction and tries to walk away.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: "Motherflerken!" Although this might be a case of Last-Second Word Swap, given there are children nearby.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: When Carol throws down with her former comrades from the Kree Starforce, she is still not used to her photon blasts being unleashed from the control implant, and the law of action and reaction sends her flying backwards when she lets rip on her foes.
  • Human Aliens: Most of the Kree look like humans with blue skin, but some such as Korath and Yon-Rogg have skin tones identical to those of Earth's humans. This seems to build on the comics, where the Kree were Nordic-looking human aliens originally and became blue only later (possibly even through a coloration mistake at first). The discrepancy was eventually resolved through the Retcon that there are two distinct Kree subspecies, the completely human-looking White Kree (sometimes called "Pink Kree" as a term of abuse) and the Blue Kree that moviegoers will be more familiar with. In the movie, this is used to conceal from Carol that she is actually a white human who looks like a White Kree, and for Mar-Vell to disguise that she is a White Kree pretending to be a white human.
  • Identity Amnesia: Carol explains to Maria that she gets flashes of memory about a life on Earth, and doesn't know if those memories are real or not.
    Maria: So, you don't remember anything?
    Carol Danvers: It's hard to explain. I keep having these memories. I see flashes. I think I had a life here, but I can't tell if it's real.
  • I Have Your Wife: Implied when Talos meets with Carol, Maria and Fury. He then draws their attention to a Skrull impersonating Maria, who's standing with her daughter.
  • Impostor Forgot One Detail: Since Skrulls can only access their targets' recent memories, this is a way to Spot the Impostor. Talos, impersonating Director Keller, gives himself away when he calls Fury "Nicholas" instead of Fury.
  • Improvised Weapon: When Carol faces her old squad aboard Mar-Vell's cruiser, Bron-Char picks up an arcade cabinet and hurls it downward at Carol. She blasts through it, sending Bron-Char flying as well.
  • Insult Backfire: Carol is on the receiving end of one that backfires so spectacularly it triggers her Heroic Second Wind:
    Supreme Intelligence: On Hala, you were reborn. Without us, you are only human.
    Carol: You are right. [sees flashes of her past] I am human.
  • Internal Reveal: We all know that "Vers" is originally from Earth and that her real name is Carol Danvers. However, Vers herself doesn't know this and learning the truth about her own origin halfway through the movie gives her quite a surprise, and she began to find out more about her past from that point on.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Within the Kree military, it's clear that the Starforce and the Accusers don't see eye to eye, as Ronan wastes no time pinning the blame for the failure of the Torfa mission on Yon-Rogg's team, while Yon-Rogg has nothing but open contempt for the Accusers' habit of solving every problem with Orbital Bombardment.
  • Invincible Hero: Per the producers, Carol is the most powerful hero in the Marvel movies, and this is brilliantly confirmed in her own movie. For most of the movie, she is not this because of the Power Limiter on her neck, being captured or defeat through trickery or force of arms. Then, after her final confrontation with the Supreme Intelligence, her enemies just have nothing left that can credibly threaten her in any way, and she proceeds to rain down a complete Curb-Stomp Battle on an Accuser cruiser and all the ships it can muster , forcing even Ronan the Accuser to run away in fear from her.
  • Isn't It Ironic?:
    • While Hole's "Celebrity Skin" was probably picked for the play-out music simply because it's a badass-sounding nineties rock song with a female singer, the extremely dark lyrics (mostly about being a washout) are a very bad fit for Carol being triumphant at the end of the film.note 
    • Averted (and in fact, actually enhancing the original irony) with the usage of No Doubt's "Just a Girl", as the already sarcastic lyrics go one step further when verses such as "I'm just a girl, all pretty and petite" are heard as Carol is beating up an entire squad, all by herself.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: The Supreme Intelligence is the Big Bad, but Carol's final conflict is with Yon-Rogg, who shot her down, killed her mentor and then abducted her to be a soldier for the Kree.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: In the fight in the record vault, Fury manages to take Talos's gun and attempts to shoot him, only to realize too late that Talos was able to drop the clip and clear the chamber during the struggle.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: During the flashback to the Go Kart race, a young Carol is very patronizingly told to slow down by her older brother. Carol smirks and speeds up... and because she is going too fast around a corner she ends up crashing into a hay bale and hurting herself.
  • Killer Rabbit: Goose is not a regular house cat. She's a Flerken, which are widely acknowledged as some of the most dangerous creatures in the galaxy, even capable of eating an Infinity Stone unharmed, though she did spit it back out after a while.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover:
    • Who would have thought that the no-nonsense hardass founder of the Avengers once melted into a sweet goofball at the sight of a fluffy kitty cat back in the 1990s?
    • Another cat lover is Goose's original owner, Mar-Vell, the most kindhearted Kree we've ever seen in the MCU.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • After witnessing Carol single-handedly neutralize his Orbital Bombardment, annihilate his entire fighter screen and destroy an entire battlecruiser simply by flying through it, Ronan wisely decides to order the rest of his fleet to jump the hell away from Earth orbit.
    • Yon-Rogg's attempt to convince Carol to fight without her powers just gets him blasted several meters into the rubble behind him. He understands he's far outclassed, so when Carol extends her hand, he wisely takes it.
  • Last-Name Basis: Fury claims that everyone, including his mother, calls him Fury. This becomes a Chekhov's Gun as Talos calling him "Nicholas" while masquerading as his boss is the first thing that tips off Fury.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When the Skrulls are piecing through Carol's memories, Talos's comments are basically indirectly referring to the editing of the film itself, complaining about how confusing everything is and ordering them to start at the beginning.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Yon-Rogg attempts this with Carol, throwing down his weapons and suggesting they go hand-to-hand, telling her that when she can beat him without her photon powers, she'll truly be "ready". Carol just blasts him into a nearby rock, telling him that she doesn't need to prove herself to him.
  • Light 'em Up: Carol's powers are thematically based around this due to her being able to emit plasma bolts in combat.
  • Lima Syndrome: Though Yon-Rogg is responsible for abducting Carol and gaslighting her for six years to fight for the Kree Empire, he's developed some affection for her. He donated his blood to save her life, and he lies to Ronan and prevents him from bombing Earth while she's on it. He is ready to ease her mind after nightmares, whatever the hour, and also defends her to other Starforce members, claiming "She is stronger than you think!" (the exact opposite his character says in the trailer), indicating having genuine faith in Carol.
  • Line-of-Sight Name:
    • Carol got the name "Vers" (pronounced "Veers") among the Kree after they found half of her broken dogtag only showing the last "vers" in "Danvers".
    • Nick Fury renames his PROTECTOR Initiative when he sees Carol's combat nickname on her fighter to Avengers.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: There's an Overly Long Gag of Carol, Maria, Fury, Talos, and "science guy" waiting for the black box recording to load on Maria's Windows 95 PC. Maria and Fury are used to it, while Carol is confused by the wait.
  • Logo Joke: In remembrance of the late Stan Lee, the opening montage that typically shows Marvel characters instead features an assortment of Lee's cameo appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Lost in Transmission: During the assignment on Torfa to rescue Soh-larr, Starforce splits into two groups, Minn-Erva and At-Lass in one and the rest in the other. Yon-Rogg tries to communicate instructions to Minn-Erva, but his voice dissolves into static, and she can't make out what her orders are. Both groups go on with the mission and eventually meet up again once fighting breaks out.
  • MacGuffin: Two for the price of one: the Light Speed Engine developed by Dr. Lawson and the energy core that powers it. The Skrulls and Kree are very interested in the former and latter respectively, the Skrulls because they want to use the engine to escape the Kree's genocidal onslaught and the Kree because the energy core is the Tesseract, one of the Infinity Stones. The titular character ultimately derives her powers from the Space Stone thanks to her destroying the engine and absorbing the energy stored within.
  • Major Injury Underreaction:
    • When Mar-Vell was mortally wounded —
      Carol: Your blood... it's blue!
      Mar-Vell: Yes, but how's my hair?
    • Fury seems more annoyed than pained after Goose claws out his left eye, unaware that it won't heal. It's possible that it really was "just a scratch" that got infected.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Fury is cornered by some aggressors, one of them says to him, "just like Havana." This is the same phrase Fury used to trick Talos earlier, cluing him in that this "Kree" is actually Talos.
  • Meaningful Name: It was revealed at the denouement of the film that Carol's Air Force callsign was "Avenger" — which gives Fury the idea for his lifelong defense plan: "The Avengers Initiative."
  • Men Like Dogs, Women Like Cats: Inverted. Carol and Fury run into a cat named Goose at Project Pegasus. Carol doesn't pay any attention to it, but Fury loves it. Somewhat less so after it's revealed it's really a SPACE MONSTER CAT that destroys his eye.
  • Meta Origin: The engine that gave Carol her powers is revealed to have been powered by the energy of the Tesseract, which Mar-Vell was studying. This means that Carol's powers ultimately originate in one of the Infinity Stones, namely the Space Stone.
  • Metaphorically True:
    • Nick Fury's claim in The Winter Soldier about how he lost his eye to someone he trusted is not entirely wrong. He did adore the cat who clawed said eye and had previously said he trusted her not to eat him.
    • Yon-Rogg and Supreme Intelligence keep telling "Vers" that "what's given can be taken away", supposedly referencing her cosmic powers. What they actually gave to her is the Power Limiter, which indeed can be taken away.
  • Military Maverick: Discussed by Fury. En route to the base where Project Pegasus was headquartered, Vers claims that she's on Earth to stop the Skrulls. Fury doesn't buy it, saying that war is a universal language and he recognizes a rogue soldier when he sees one. Later, after Coulson covers their escape, Fury speaks admiringly about Coulson's disobedience and ability to judge when to do the right thing.
  • Minor Major Character: The S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Keller is mostly Out of Focus due to being compromised and impersonated by Talos.
  • Mistaken for an Imposter: Carol assumes Maria's neighbor Tom is Talos in disguise and speaks to him as such. After Maria asks her confused neighbor to come back tomorrow and closes the door, they find out that Talos is actually standing behind them in the living room, and he chides Carol for not being kinder to her neighbors.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Implied. The way Maria's neighbor Tom stutters and looks at Maria and Carol, the latter of which acts somewhat like a Clingy Jealous Girl (Carol thought the neighbor was a disguised Talos), suggests that he feels awkward for being a Moment Killer of some sort.
  • Mistakes Are Not the End of the World: When Carol's former mentor (the Supreme Intelligence) tries to imply that she's inferior due to falling down whenever she first put her mind at doing anything as a kid, Carol retorts that this does not make her inferior because she would always get up and try again after falling.
  • Mook Horror Show:
    • A short one plays out as Fury and Maria are pursued by enemies and Maria runs out of ammo. As the Starforce soldiers close in on them, Goose sprouts a bunch of giant tentacles from her mouth and grabs all the Kree. Cut to a shot from an adjacent hallway, where the waving tentacles pull them out of sight, and screaming and slurping are heard as they get eaten.
    • The way that Carol tears through the Kree Accuser fleet looks a lot like a supervillain in a space-themed anime destroying the Redshirt Army fleet before the mecha-jock or Ace Pilot hero enters play, down to the worried expressions of Ronan and his officer aboard their command ship.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: In the climax, when Yon-Rogg challenges Carol to a fistfight, an impressive piece of music starts playing.... and abruptly stops as soon as Carol blasts him away effortlessly.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Upon seeing the Skrull refugees, including Talos's family, aboard Mar-Vell's cruiser, Carol momentarily breaks down and apologizes for her actions against the Skrulls. Talos makes it clear that he doesn't hold anything against her.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: Carol's costume isn't just a bold fashion choice. It's Kree Starforce military armor, so probably includes some kind of protective quality, as well as built-in sensors, communications, universal translator, collapsible helmet to provide life support in vacuum, and the ability to change color.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The scene where Carol changes her uniform's colors features several nods to various Captain Marvel costumes (and their wearers) over the years, as well as DC's Shazam — who originally went by Captain Marvel himself.
    • The alias that Mar-Vell uses on Earth is "Dr. W. Lawson" (Wendy instead of Walter). The version from the Ultimate Marvel comics also worked on a faster-than-light engine, betraying the Kree to save their intended alien victims by allowing them to have interstellar travel as well (in that case, it was the human race).
    • In the Comics, Monica Rambeau is another superhero (and occasional Avenger) who has also used the name "Captain Marvel"note . Her mother Maria's pilot call sign is shown to be "Photon", a name Monica used after setting aside the Marvel name.
    • The Lawson that the Supreme Intelligence uses as an avatar to show itself to Carol is a white-haired Mar-Vell, while the real one that had turned against the Kree and wanted to protect others was blonde. In the comics, the honorable but relentless Kree soldier Mar-Vell had silvery white hair; when he achieved Cosmic Awareness and enlightenment that transformed him into a protector and universal hero, his hair turned gold.
    • Jim Starlin's run of Captain Marvel introduced the Cosmic Cube as the instrument of Thanos' ascent to godhood. This film reconnects the Captain Marvel mythos with this iconic item.
    • Carol's nickname for Monica, Lieutenant Trouble, was originally for Katherine Renner, one of Carol's biggest fangirls in the comics.
    • In the second stinger, Goose hacks up the Tesseract like a hairball. In the comics, an Inhuman named Barf is able to vomit up anything he visualizes, including a piece of the Cosmic Cube.
    • Soh-Larr is a Kree spy investigating the Skrulls. In the comics, he was the father of the first Kree-Skrull hybrid, Dorrek Supreme.
    • Yon-Rogg tells Carol that he's training her because he wants her to be the best she can be. The final trade of Carol's 2005 series was titled Best You Can Be (as a Bookend to the first one, Best of the Best).
    • Before Carol leaves for space, Monica talks about wishing she could visit her, even travelling halfway if necessary. In the comics, given Monica's powers, travelling into space is a cinch for her.
    • In Talos' ship, some of the Skrull techs are noticeably shorter, with bigger eyes and less human-like features than the regular Skrulls, resembling the Skrulls' look in their very first appearance in the comics.
    • Secret Invasion also featured an Alien Autopsy of a Skrull, as a proof of an alien infiltration (in that comic, it meant that they could now infiltrate with higher ease than before, in the film it's the proof of their existence). And, also like in the comic, one of the people overseeing the autopsy is also a Skrull in disguise.
    • Carol is shown playing Street Fighter II in a flashback. It's not Carol's first time interacting with Ryu and co.
    • When Fury's hesitant to handle the Tesseract, Carol sarcastically asks if he wants an oven mitt, referencing Loot Crate's infamous Infinity Gauntlet oven mitt.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • After learning more about Project Pegasus, Fury calls for backup to meet him at the Nevada base. What he doesn't know is that Director Keller is actually a Skrull in disguise.
    • Carol's decision to leave the Tesseract on Earth at the end of the film will ultimately cause no end of trouble for the planet in the long run.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • For the Kree, taking Carol to Hala and hiding the truth about her origins, instead of leaving her behind on Earth. Because it is not as if she would turn against Kree Empire once she found out the truth about her past...
    • The Supreme Intelligence tries to break Carol's will by showing her memories of her past failures and telling her that without the Kree she is "only human". This has the exact opposite effect as it only reminds Carol that she has always been a determinator, and she proceeds to overload the Power Limiter they put on her.
  • No Name Given:
    • The Skrull techie who accompanies Talos to New Orleans is named Norex, but no one refers to him by name in the film. Talos calls him his "science guy".
    • Talos's wife and daughter are not named in the film. In the credits, his wife is given the name Soren, while their daughter is still unnamed.
  • Noodle Implements: After impressing Carol by using scotch tape to lift the print a guard left behind on his S.H.I.E.L.D. badge holder and then using it to open the door, Fury adds she should've seen what he could do with paperclips.
  • Noodle Incident: Minn-Erva apparently visited C-53 (Earth) once and all she can say is that the planet is a "shithole". She is seen during the flashback where Yon-Rogg abducts Carol, so the comment refers to that mission.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Lampshaded by Carol; the Skrulls reveal that they are refugees, and Talos is searching for his wife and daughter, and that's why he wanted Carol's memories. They make a bad first impression on her by kidnapping her, investigating her mind, then appearing on Earth and shooting at her to kill. While it's justified in that Carol was told to kill Skrulls on sight, they also simply could have talked to her, as they do later. They also try to kill Fury after he leads them to Carol. It's not until Talos offers the black box that triggers Carol's real memories that she believes their story.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: When he's scratched by Goose, Fury says his actor's favorite F-bomb... but not quite. He says "mother-Flerken" likely because there are children present.
  • Not So Stoic: Yon-Rogg keeps telling "Vers" that she needs to control her emotions, they're making her weak and compromising her control over her powers. In battle, Carol can be plenty hot-headed and reactionary, and apparently the Kree ideal is for Vulcan-like emotional control at all times in all situations. See The Stoic.
  • Nothing but Hits: Top-charters like Nirvana, No Doubt, and R.E.M. fill the 90's air.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Maria Rambeau fills the role, being Carol's best friend, with Carol serving as Honorary Aunt to Maria's daughter (whose father is never even mentioned), along with some subtext. Maria's neighbor also seems to mistake them for a couple.
  • Not Worth Killing: While she had others reasons to spare him as well, there seems to be a clear aspect of this to how Carol handles Yon-Rogg in the end. That she can treat him with such relative indifference is both a great moral victory for her, and a demonstration of how far her own powers now surpass his.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: At the Rambeau household, Talos reveals that he has the contents of the black box with recordings of the incident in 1989. Maria, surprised, says that the government claimed the device was destroyed in the crash and asks how he got it, and he just answers that (as a Skrull) he can get into places he shouldn't be.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Yon-Rogg has a brief one when "Vers" told him she's on C-53. It's an earlier clue that he and the Kree are not "noble warrior heroes" as they appear to be.
    • Some of the Skrulls when Nick Fury gets his eye scratched out by a Flerken, since they're already familiar with what'll happen to him.
    • Ronan and his second in command get progressively more apprehensive as they watch Carol carve her way through the Kree Accusers' fleet. Ronan's second in command in particular looks one step away from a total freak-out.
  • Older Than They Look: The Stinger directly leading to Avengers: Endgame shows Carol finally back on Earth and meeting The Remnant of the Avengers. Save messy hair, she has not visibly aged a day from the last 20 years.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The film opens with Carol having a nightmare where she and another woman are attacked by a Skrull. We later get to see the full scene, except they're not attacked by a Skrull, but Yon-Rogg.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Fury doesn't seem too bothered that a Flerkin scratched his eye, and he believes it'll heal up soon.
  • Only One Name:
    • Goose the cat (as well as the four cats who played her: Reggie, Archie, Rizzo and Gonzo).
    • Briefly discussed, when Carol is surprised that Fury has three names, since Kree only have one name.
    • Carol herself as Vers is this to the Kree, having a single-syllable non-hyphenated name in contrast to her teammates Yon-Rogg, Minn-Erva, etc.
  • Orbital Bombardment: Done by the Accusers fleet on Torfa early in the film to wipe out the Skrull colony on the planet and create distraction for the Starforce to infiltrate the planet and find their spy Soh-Larr. Later, they attempt to do it on Earth, but they're foiled by Carol.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Talos accidentally blows his cover by calling Fury "Nicholas", which no one does.
  • Overly Long Gag: The scene where Carol, Maria, Fury, and Talos and his "science guy" are waiting for the black box's recording to load in Maria's 90s computer.

    Tropes P to Z 
  • Palette Swap: Once Carol decides she'll no longer fight for the Kree, she undergoes a Good Costume Switch with Monica's help. The design of the uniform remains the same, but the green and silver is turned to red, blue, and yellow.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Done with a Skrull tapping on Carol's forehead, of all things, with Talos even telling the guy who did it "that did something, do it again" like they're working with a glitchy old television.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Carol is so badass that she can take on the whole planet-wrecking Kree battlecruiser and scare even Ronan with her power.
  • Perspective Flip: This film is the first time in the MCU where the Kree are not portrayed as outright villains as they were in Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Carol is shown explaining to Agent Nick Fury that the Kree are a bunch of "warrior heroes" defending the galaxy from the Skrulls. The Kree are eventually revealed to be the same aggressively expansionist supremacists we've come to know and hate.
  • Pet the Dog: Talos almost blows his cover to pay his last respects to a fallen Skrull soldier. Of course, it's only a "pet the dog" moment until we learn he's not actually a bad guy.
  • Phlebotinum-Handling Equipment: While everyone wonders how to keep the Tesseract safe and out of reach from the villains, since Fury refuses to touch it with his bare hands, Goose provides the solution by swallowing it. She's unaffected by it, and people can just carry her instead of handling the cube itself.
  • Planet Terra: When Earth first appears on-screen, the Title In refers to it by its Kree designation (Planet C-53) and as "Terran Homeworld".
  • Portal Network: Once again, conventional FTL travel is shown to work this way in the MCU. The drawbacks of such system are shown when one of the factions is forced to sit out the bulk of the movie because they have to spend 22 hours moving at sublight speed to get them to a jump point that will get them to Earth.
  • Power Limiter: Carol spends most of the movie with a small disc on her neck that the Kree said was there to help her control her power. It is actually there to control her by controlling her power, so she can't use it to rebel against the Kree, and to keep her from accessing the full potential of her abilities to keep her reliant on the other Starforce members, and the Kree in general.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The Skrulls do not harm the people they impersonate. Even Keller is left tied up somewhere rather than killed. This serves to highlight that they're not evil like the Main Characters believed them to be but also because, as Talos later says, killing people complicates their mission.
  • Precision F-Strike: Hilariously subverted when Fury says "Motherflerken!" when Goose claws his left eye.
  • Prequel: The movie takes place during The '90s, which predate the events of Iron Man, the first movie set in the MCU, but after Captain America: The First Avenger, an earlier prequel.
  • Protagonist Title: This film is simply titled "Captain Marvel" after the heroine (though she isn't referred as such at any point).
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Kree in general are full of themselves. Carol has this mindset, too, confidently describing the Kree as "noble warrior heroes" to Fury. Once she learns about her past and the nature of the Kree and Skrull conflict, she changes her mind, vowing to destroy the Supreme Intelligence and defend Earth and the Skrulls from the Kree.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When the Kree capture Carol and force her to commune with the Supreme Intelligence, she growls "Let. Me. Out."
  • Puny Earthlings: When a Kree scans Fury, the scanner says that his threat level is "low-to-none". Minn-Erva doesn't seem to think very highly of Earth's civilization, either, if her pithy comment on it is anything to go by.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Talos, impersonating S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Keller, comments to Fury that he doesn't actually need the glasses, but he likes them and they complete the look.
  • Race Lift: The Starforce has been rendered as more ethnically diverse than in the source material, as several of the supporting characters who are blue-skinned but otherwise completely European-looking in the comics are played by people of color in the film. Specific examples include:
    • Korath the Pursuer, here played by Djimon Honsou (Black).
    • Att-Lass, played by Algenis Perez Soto (Afro-Latino).
    • Minn-Erva, played by Gemma Chan (Asian).
  • Recoil Boost: When Carol blows a hole in the Skrulls' ship, she's nearly hurled into space. She photon-blasts outward, and the recoil sends her back into the ship. Later, after unlocking her full powers, she figures out flight in the same way.
  • Recoiled Across The Room: Carol discovers after unlocking her binary state that her blasts are strong enough to blow enemies across the room and herself in the other direction. The first time she blasts someone, she's hurled backwards into an arcade cabinet.
  • Recurring Dreams: At the beginning of the film, Carol wakes up from one of her recurring nightmares involving a fiery crash and a woman she doesn't recognize. She refuses to go back to sleep and instead convinces Yon-Rogg to spar with her. The dream is actually a recurring flashback, albeit with some details differing from the actual event, such as her bleeding blue instead of red.
  • Red Baron: Maria and Carol's Air Force call signs are "Photon" and "Avenger", respectively.
  • Reforged into a Minion: Carol was an ordinary human pilot until she destroyed an engine powered by the Tesseract and absorbed some of its power in the ensuing blast. Rather than kill her, the Kree abducted her so they could use her as a soldier.
  • Remember the New Guy?: The Skrulls were known to S.H.I.E.L.D. since the mid-nineties and have interacted with Captain Marvel. The Captain herself has been doing superhero work since about the same time, yet the Skrulls aren't referenced until their debut in this film, and Carol only receives a mention in the stinger of Avengers: Infinity War. This is because the Skrulls simply have been trying to hide from the genocidal Kree, and Carol left Earth to defend them and other planets from the Kree.
  • Restraining Bolt: Played with. The chip on Vers's neck grants her power but can also be deactivated to take the power away if she goes against Kree orders. It's actually a straight example of the trope as Carol's powers are solely hers. The Kree attached the chip to limit how much power she could use and suppress it entirely if needed. It can also debilitate her enough to make capturing her easy.
  • Retraux: The official website is in a 90s style to reflect the setting of the film.
  • The Reveal: Several, for both the film and the MCU as a whole.
    • It was Yon-Rogg and the Kree who shot down Carol and Lawson, not the Skrulls.
    • Dr. Lawson was a Kree scientist named Mar-Vell.
    • Fury lost his eye to Goose the cat (or Flerken).
    • Fury got the name for the Avenger(s) Initiative from Carol's callsign, Avenger.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • After The Reveal that the Skrulls are mostly benevolent and are simply refugees who didn't want to submit to Kree rule, the scenes where they are beaten by Carol and Starforce become a bit more horrific/tragic to watch now that it's clear they're just innocent people desperate to find a home for their families.
    • On a more comedic note, Nick Fury's constantly fussing over Goose the cat during the first act of the film becomes even more hilarious after it's revealed that Goose would be responsible for Fury's left eye getting ruined.
  • Riddle for the Ages: We never find out who Yon-Rogg sees when he communes with the Supreme Intelligence.note 
  • Running Gag: Fury repeatedly coddling Goose and scaring the hell out of Talos with her.
  • Saved by Canon: This film being a Prequel means that Fury, Coulson, Ronan, and Korath (who all appear in chronologically later movies) all have to obviously survive the events of it. As does the Captain herself, as the The Stinger from Avengers: Infinity War shows Fury paging her for help just before his death from Thanos's fingersnap.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: After crashing to Earth into a Blockbuster video store, Carol glimpses a True Lies standee of Arnold Schwarzenegger. As it's a standee that plays this trope straight and she doesn't realize it's cardboard, she shoots it back with a photon blast.
  • Sequel Hook: Leaving aside the Stingers, there's a moment as Ronan exits the film with a gleam in his eye, saying he'll be back for Carol.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: Skrulls are green, wrinkled and pointy-eared. Except for when they choose not to be.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: The Skrulls don't simulate clothes when taking on a new form, as shown in the sequence on the beach where they assume the form of surfers. In Talos's case, his clothes retreat into a device implanted in his shoulder and then form as the yellow scuba top and pink shorts of his human target.
  • Shoot the Television: A variant where the televised program is someone's memories. After escaping the Skrulls' mind-reading machine and fighting her captors, Carol's attention is drawn to the still-working display showing her memory of a smug Air Force jock saying, "You do know why it's called a cockpit, right?" She blasts the screen before leaving the room.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Independence Day, which given that it's an iconic movie from The '90s, seems even more fitting:
      • The Grand Canyon chase has a similar feel to the one in the aforementioned film, since it takes place in the exact same spots, uses very similar shots and camera angles and pulls off all its maneuvers.
      • The shot of the deployment of Ronan's warheads on Earth is very similar to the one when the alien mothership deploys its city destroyers.
      • There is also the scene of Carol walking through the desert and dragging an alien behind her, which is a very similar situation that Will Smith's character faces in the aforementioned film.
    • To Pulp Fiction:
      • When Fury and new guy Coulson, both clad in dark suits, get into a car to chase down Vers, it's shot similarly to Jules and Vincent Vega's driving scenes, with Samuel L. Jackson in the driver's seat in both sequences.
      • When Talos shows up at Maria's house, he's drinking a milkshake from a cup with the exact same design as the cups from Big Kahuna.
    • When she crashes into the Blockbuster video store, Carol, a former NASA/USAF test pilot who has been to space, picks up a copy of The Right Stuff. Pancho's Beer appears to be an expy of the bar owned by pioneer aviatrix Pancho Barnes in the same movie as a hangout for Air Force pilots.
    • Instants earlier, she had blasted through the head of a cardboard cutout of True Lies' Arnold Schwarzenegger.
    • One of the pieces of communication equipment that Carol salvages for parts is a Nintendo Game Boy.
    • The train chase sequence is an extended one to The French Connection.
    • During Talos's Due to the Dead moment, he whispers to his comrade's corpse that he will finish what they started. Bonus point for Talos being portrayed by Ben Mendelsohn who previously had a Star Wars role.
    • Realizing she sticks out like a sore thumb in her Starforce outfit while she hunts down the Skrulls, Carol takes a page from The Terminator's book and steals a motorcycle and a set of clothes to blend in. Included in the outfit she stole was a Nine Inch Nails T-shirt, which she wears for half of the movie. (NIN in turn made a shirt featuring the heroine's star symbol... perhaps as a compromise for how the one in the movie is clearly a bootleg)
    • One of Carol's memories is her playing Street Fighter II at Pancho's Beer. It appears to be the Champion Edition, since it shows Sagat vs. Dhalsim in the latter's stage. This is in conflict with the timeline as Street Fighter II wasn't released until 1991, and her memories are from 1989.
    • When Carol asks Fury for something that would identify him and prove he's not a Skrull, he offers his AOL password.
    • Goose is named after Maverick's hot-shot co-pilot from Top Gun. In the comics she was called Chewie.
    • In the scene where Carol changes her uniform's colors, the first color combination she tries is red and gold.
    • Upon learning that Talos is frightened by Goose's very appearance, Fury holds her up in front of him to scare Talos, just like how Rick O'Connell holds up a cat to scare Imhotep in The Mummy (1999).
    • Monica thinks her mom should help Carol instead of hanging back to watch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
    • The words "I'm only human" are used in regards to a human surrounded by aliens. This might be a reference to the ill-fated Green Lantern, where Hal Jordan used the same expression to prove a point.
    • The pinball machine that one of the Skrull children has been mastering for the last six years is Bally/Midway's Space Invaders.
    • A Fonz-themed Happy Days lunchbox makes for a very handy and safe container for the Tesseract.
    • When the Kree put a muzzle on Goose, Fury tells them that it's just a cat, not Hannibal Lecter.
    • Carol catches one of the Kree missiles and detonates it in mid-air. All the other missiles stream into the explosion and are destroyed. It's a familiar sight to anyone who's played Missile Command.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: At the climax, Yon-Rogg tries to goad Carol into Let's Fight Like Gentlemen. She cuts him off mid-rant by blowing him into a mountain of rubble with an energy blast.
  • Sigil Spam: When she gets a hat with the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo, Carol calls out S.H.I.E.L.D.'s tendency to put their logo on everything.
    Carol Danvers: Does announcing your identity on clothing help with the covert part of your job?
  • Significant Double Casting: Invoked by the Supreme Intelligence which takes the form of whomever you admire the most. Thus, Annette Bening plays both the most positive and most negative influences on Carol's life.
  • Signs of Disrepair: The name the Kree gave Carol Danvers, "Vers", comes from her broken dogtag — Maria has the rest of it.
  • Silicon-Based Life: The Skrulls are not carbon-based, according to the S.H.I.E.L.D. examiner who performs an autopsy on one.
  • Single Tear: A tear runs down Carol's cheek when she exclaims "My name is Carol!" after the Supreme Intelligence keeps calling her "Vers" in the climax.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: This movie doesn't stray from the MCU being a World of Snark. And when Carol, whom Korath complains about being too much of a jokester, and Nick Fury, who in the other movies is a certified smartass, get together, the barbs fly with ease.
    Fury: You look like someone's disgruntled niece. Put this on.
    Carol: [looking confused at S.H.I.E.L.D. hat] What's this?
    Fury: It's the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo.
    Carol: Does announcing your identity on clothing help with the covert part of your job?
    Fury: Says the Space Soldier who was wearing a rubber suit.
  • Something Only They Would Say: This is the only way to figure out if someone is being impersonated by a Skrull, as they only retain a stolen identity's most recent memories.
    • Starforce members identify themselves by code numbers when they meet up, since only they would know their given codes. This backfires when Talos, disguised as the Kree spy Soh-Larr, knew Soh-Larr's and was able to bring Starforce to Torfa and kidnap Vers. Later, when Yon-Rogg finds Carol on Earth, he questions her instead, recognizing that the codes didn't work before.
    • Fury figures out Talos has impersonated his boss when he calls him "Nicholas" despite it being established that nobody — not even his mother — would call him anything other than "Fury". This gets a call-back when a Kree soldier appears to be taking Fury, Maria and Skrull prisoners to be ejected out an airlock. Leaning in to Fury, the Kree says "Just go with it... like Havana." Fury realizes this is actually Talos using Fury's own Bluff the Imposter move from earlier to reveal himself.
  • So Proud of You: Yon-Rogg tells Carol this at the end to get her to drop her guard. It fails horribly — and hilariously.
  • Space Plane: The Quadjet can fly into space after Skrull technology is incorporated into it.
  • Spare a Messenger: The only reason Yon-Rogg survives the movie is because Carol needs someone to send back to Hala with a message for the Supreme Intelligence that Carol is coming for it.
  • Special Edition Title: As this is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film released after Stan Lee's death, the Marvel logo, usually showing characters from the MCU, instead features images of Lee's cameos and publicity images and is followed by a message: "Thank you, Stan."
  • Spiritual Successor: Given the high amounts of Genre Roulette that have occurred in Phase 3 of the MCU, this film could largely be seen as more in line with the Phase 1 films, especially Iron Man, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. Like those three films this one features an Origin Story for the title character who is a Military Superhero (Captain America) with a Black Best Friend (Iron Man) who arrives from another realm of the cosmos changing the political sphere forever (Thor), features S.H.I.E.L.D. in a significant role for the first time since Captain America: The Winter Soldier, uses the Tesseract as its main MacGuffin and culminates with a tease for the Avengers Initiative, which is revealed to be named for Carol's callsign by Fury after she's left Earth. If one were to do a chronological viewing of the MCU, Captain Marvel would take place between Captain America: The First Avenger and Iron Man, fitting in with them almost seamlessly.
  • Spot the Imposter: Where the Imposter Forgot One Detail. Obviously, with the Skrulls around, this comes up a lot.
    • In the opening, Minn-Erva is aiming at some refugees when Att-Lass comes up to tell her they're not a threat. When Minn-Erva sees the real Att-Lass down on the ground, she realizes she's dealing with a Skrull.
    • Fury and Coulson are chasing Carol who's on a train chasing a Skrull. Fury doesn't believe in this crazy lady's story... until Coulson suddenly calls him from the site of the Blockbuster store, wondering where Fury went. Cue "Coulson" attacking Fury.
    • Fury makes it clear that everyone, even his own mother, only calls him by his last name. So when Keller calls him "Nicholas", he knows something's up. He then tells Keller about "doing a pincer move like in Havana." When Keller agrees to this mission that never happened, Fury knows he's a disguised Skrull.
    • Yon-Rogg meets with Carol as they start questioning each other to see who's a Skrull. Carol is correct in that Yon-Rogg never tells anyone who the Supreme Intelligence appears to him as. But Yon-Rogg asks who gave Carol her blue blood transfusion on Hala, and her pause makes him realize this is a Skrull distracting him from the real Carol. In this case, however, Carol actually gave her impostor the correct answers, so either she didn't realize Yon-Rogg would get so detailed, or the poor guy blanked under pressure.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • After lecturing Carol that everyone calls him Fury, and absolutely no-one calls him anything else, Fury is on high alert when his boss calls him "Nicholas". Carol is also able to track another Skrull onto a train when they assume the form of an old woman... whom Carol had run into by accident getting off of the train just before getting on the train herself.
    • A double-whammy when Yon-Rogg confronts Carol near the end of the movie: "Carol" answers his questions perfectly until he presses for more detail and "she" slips up. This both clues him in to "Carol" being a Skrull, and to "Vers" having turned on him.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: In the mid-credits Stinger, Carol is suddenly right behind Black Widow without ever having made a sound, or any of the other Avengers seeing her come in.
  • Stealth in Space: Kree Imperial Cruisers come equipped with a cloaking device that renders them completely invisible. Mar-Vell's Laboratory is such a ship, and it spends several years parked in Earth orbit without anyone being the wiser.
  • The Stinger: Two. One in the middle of the credits, and one after the credits are over.
    • The first one is directly connected to Avengers: Endgame. The surviving Avengers are mourning the casualties caused by Thanos's universe-thinning Snap. They then turn their attention to the modified pager that Fury left behind, which suddenly turns off. As they are contemplating how to turn it back on, Carol suddenly appears behind them and asks where Fury is.
    • The second one is Goose jumping on Fury's desk in his office before coughing out the Tesseract.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Although by the end of the film Carol discovers that Yon-Rogg is the one who abducted her and killed her mentor figure on Earth, Mar-Vell, and although she puts an end to their twisted ordeal, she still seems to harbour some affection towards him, presumably because he saved her life post-explosion through a blood transfusion and because over 6 years on Hala they grow close. She subtly flirts with Yon-Rogg in the beginning of the film, suggesting it is her he must be seeing as the Supreme Intelligence, trusts him a lot (goes to him after her nightmares), is personally very distraught at the thought of him having hidden things from her, jokes with him even to the very end, and ultimately spares Yon-Rogg's life on Earth..
  • The Stoic: Almost nothing can upset Carol's equilibrium. She maintains her cool throughout the movie, reacting to all but the greatest crisis with only the smallest of gestures and keeping her focused expression. Lampshaded when an unsympathetic bystander complains about how she ought to smile more. In retaliation, she steals his bike. Justified, as Carol's a trained fighter pilot; the ability to keep a cool head in messy situations would have been drilled into her, something that isn't easy to shake off, even in the face of Kree brainwashing. Kree training also seems to emphasize emotional control, see Not So Stoic.
  • Stomach of Holding: Goose the Flerken can swallow things a lot bigger than she is, including several Kree soldiers in one gulp. She also acts as Phlebotinum-Handling Equipment after she swallows the Tesseract.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Perinvoked Word of God, Captain Marvel is the most powerful hero in the universe. This ends up being why it takes until the end of Avengers: Infinity War, when Nick Fury's back-up plan fails, for Fury to call upon her help — with her power, the conflicts of the other movies would be over way too quickly. From a narrative standpoint, she is imbued with power from the explosion of an engine created for FTL Travel reverse engineered from the Tesseract itself. This gives her the ability to conduct photon blasts from her body, which itself allows her super strength, flight (and faster-than-light speed), along with no indication that she ever needs to recharge her powers.
  • Stripping the Scarecrow: Realizing how much her uniform stands out on Earth, Carol steals some local clothing from a store mannequin.
  • Stylistic Suck: The movie's webpage is deliberately made in the style of '90s websites. Complete with Comic Sans.
  • Subspace Ansible: Vers finds it fairly easy to modify Earth phones and pagers to let her communicate with people in other galaxies.
  • Super Dickery: An early trailer briefly shows Carol seemingly punching an old woman without any context. Turns out that the old woman was actually a Skrull... not that Carol took the time to explain that to any of the other passengers, who intervene to stop Carol from beating up a seemingly helpless old lady. Even as the old lady is acrobatically spinning, jumping and kicking Carol.
  • Super Hero Origin: The story starts In Medias Res and shows Carol's origin as a superhero largely through Flashbacks — she is an Amnesiac Hero trying to discover her past.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: The movie provides an explanation for why Carol isn't around to help with previous Earth crises. She is busy helping the Skrulls and fighting the Kree Empire. She gives a pager to Fury but warns him to call her "for emergencies only." This is the main reason Fury feels the needs for the Avengers Initiative.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Coulson asks if Fury lost his eye to Kree torture for refusing to give up the Tesseract. Fury neither confirms nor denies it, especially since the real reason he lost use of it is rather... mundane.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: When Carol communes with the Supreme Intelligence after remembering her real identity, the Supreme Intelligence is dancing to Nirvana's "Come as You Are", which she pulled from Carol's head and includes the lyrics... "Come as you are, as you were | As I want you to be".
  • Swallowed Whole: The Flerken species can swallow pretty much anything. Goose devours a squad of Kree and the Tesseract, the latter of which she eventually coughs back up.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: Subverted when Talos gets shot right as the door is closing on his escape spaceship, but he ultimately survives his wounds.
  • Take That!:
    • Unintentional, but Carol stealing a motorbike from the dickhead who tells her to smile for him feels like a shot at all the critics of the trailers who said Carol should smile more. The fact that those trolls used such a tired, lame line that it was already being mocked in the movie is more of a meta-Take That.
    • Carol crashlanding into a Blockbuster Video near the film's beginning can be seen as a swipe at the company's infamous Humiliation Conga that it suffered over the Turn of the Millennium and eventual bankruptcy.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Though two of these examples eventually develop into Fire-Forged Friends.
    • Pretty much anyone Carol teams up with over the course of the film undergoes this with her, but she warms up to them all eventually, and they to her.
    • Fury has this dynamic with Talos, and he bluntly warns the person in question that their alliance is tenuous at best. He loosens up after meeting with Talos's family and people and Talos himself engineering their escape from the Kree. When Talos gets shot, Fury takes his hand and even calls him "friend." However, he does not want him as his boss.
  • That Man Is Dead: Used to awesome effect when Carol fights back against the Supreme Intelligence, who keeps referring to her by her Kree name of "Vers".
    "My name is Carol."
  • Theme Tune Cameo:
    • Listen carefully during the scene where Vers searches the train and you'll hear a variation of the opening logo fanfare. Fittingly enough, this is the scene where Stan Lee shows up.
    • At the end, when Fury is typing up his proposal for what was then "The Protector Initiative", he looks back at the photograph of Carol in the Air Force and sees her call sign was "Avenger". And right on cue, we hear Alan Silvestri's The Avengers theme.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Accusers are all about this trope, as their predilection for solving every problem by liberal use of Orbital Bombardment clearly shows.
  • This Was His True Form: When a Skrull impersonating someone is killed, they revert to their natural form.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock:
    • Vers is able to free herself from the shackles preventing her from using her photon blasts while fighting the Skrulls aboard their ship. In doing so, she blows a large hole through the ship's hull, which spaces a lot of her captors and nearly Vers as well.
    • Yon-Rogg's forces overwhelm the heroes aboard Mar-Vell's ship, and they intend to bring Goose with them while throwing everyone else (Maria, Fury, and the Skrulls) out of the airlock.
  • Timeshifted Actor: Mckenna Grace and London Fuller play a younger Carol in flashbacks.
  • Title In: The film uses place labels, followed by a blurb and some coordinates, to introduce viewers to a new location. Earth is called C-53 with the subtitle "Terran Homeworld".
  • Token Heroic Orc: Though it takes a while before it's made clear, as of the movie's release, Mar-Vell is one of exactly two Kree presented in the entire MCU who is capable of empathizing with members of other races, and spent the last years of her life trying to give the Skrull refugees a home.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Played for Laughs when Goose swallows the Tesseract whole, only to cough it up like a hairball later.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Zig-zagged. Vers believes she's a Kree and has blue Kree blood, and she's told that she was given photon abilities by the Kree. She later learns that her powers are derived from the Tesseract and are entirely her own. However, she really does have Kree blood running through her system, since Yon-Rogg donated his blood to save her life.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Maria kept a piece of Carol's dog tag, which was apparently the only thing that survived the crash that killed Carol and her mentor.
  • Translator Microbes: As in Guardians of the Galaxy, this is handwaved when Carol mentions her universal translator the first time she talks to a human. Presumably, the Kree are really speaking their own alien language when among themselves, like with Ronan in Guardians.
  • Trespassing to Talk: Talos sneaks into Maria's house and reveals himself after Carol mistakes neighbor Tom for Talos. Carol and Fury are ready to shoot him, but he puts his hands up, saying he only wants to talk and further indicating he's being being truthful by coming to them in his natural form.
  • Tron Lines: While experimenting with the suit's ability to change colors, Monica briefly gives Carol multicolored glowing lines. Which inspires a "No. Just... No" Reaction for the both of them.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Carol's wise best friend as a human, Maria Rambeau (played by Lashana Lynch), is a female black US Air Force fighter pilot as well as a strong working single mother.
  • Two Girls to a Team: The Kree Starforce has Vers and Minn-Erva, while the other four members are men.
  • Uncertain Doom: It is unknown if Talos and his family, other Skrull refugees, Yon-Rogg, the Kree Starforce, Keller (though he left S.H.I.E.L.D. a long time ago), or the Rambeaus are still alive after Thanos's Snap.
  • The Un-Reveal: Near the beginning of the film, Carol and Yon-Rogg emphasize how no-one has seen the true form of the Supreme Intelligence. By the end of the film, that's still the case (probably because it would be tough to show this in live-action and not have it look silly).
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Aboard a train, Carol punches a Skrull disguised as an old lady. Other passengers grab and restrain Carol to stop her from beating what appears to be a helpless old woman, having failed to notice that the "old woman" is growling, spin-kicking, and putting up a really good fight for someone her age.
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface:
    • The movie makes it apparent that our heroes are waiting for an audio CD to load by having the computer display a slow progress bar; this doesn't usually happen for audio CDs.
    • The Windows 95 CD Player in the movie shows a waveform of the black box recording where a time counter would be in the real program.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Ronan sees Carol destroy all of his missiles, the fighters deployed to kill her, and one of the big ships. Then as she's prepared to attack Ronan's ship too, he orders a retreat but hopes to come back for her someday.
  • Villainous Valor: Despite clearly being hopelessly out of their league, the members of Starforce still put up an impressive fight against Carol.
  • Vocal Dissonance: While taking the form of a surfer girl, Talos talks to his allies in his usual guttural voice.
  • Voices Are Not Mental: Played with: Skrulls are able to assume the forms of their targets down to the DNA level. However, they may choose to use their original voices when there's nobody around to fool. Talos, disguised as Director Keller, speaks with the latter's American accent, but once he knows his disguise is blown and there's no one else around to hear him, he speaks to Fury with his normal accent.
  • War Is Hell: This is the basis for Talos's rationale for so easily forgiving Carol for her part in the extermination of Skrulls. War brings out the worst in people and it can lead them to commit terrible actions. He also saw her horrified admission that she never knew.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Talos. It turns out he's trying to find his family and some other survivors, which is admirable, but even if you can take his word for it that the Skrull-terrorist is all propaganda spread by the Kree, he still ordered to have Fury killed while in disguise, just because Fury started working with Carol in earnest. He also admits that his hands are filthy with the war.
  • Wham Shot:
    • As Carol remembers (thanks to a black box recording) what really happened when Lawson's ship crashes, we see Lawson shot down, her attacker slowly coming forward... but instead of a Skrull, it's Yon-Rogg. A viewer might be able to tell something is off about this scene even earlier, as Carol's nosebleed is red, instead of blue like in her memories at the start of the film, which hints that the first version was a lie.
    • Aboard Lawson's space vessel, Carol and company enter the ship's core room, and we see what is powering it: the Tesseract.
    • Two-fer within the same scene: Black Widow, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, and James Rhodes appear in the mid-credits Stinger and are a surprising sight due to the scarce plot details given in Endgame's marketing. Carol then appears behind them, as it's revealed she survived the snap and was able to sneak up on them without any of them noticing.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!:
    • The more we see of the Skrulls' sympathetic motives, the more the camera focuses on their wide, dark, expressive eyes, subtly enforcing this on the viewer's perspective.
    • At the end, when the Skrull refugees are considering living as humans on Earth, Talos mentions that he liked wearing Director Keller's "pretty blue eyes". Monica Rambeau replies that she likes the Skrulls' eyes as they are, and asks Talos's daughter to never change hers.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Most of Yon-Rogg's team vanish after the climax, having been left on Mar-Vell's space station. Yon-Rogg himself was sent back to Hala and Minn-Erva was shot down by Maria, but the fate of the rest is unclear. At least we know Korath was Saved by Canon.
    • The real S.H.I.E.L.D. director, Keller, whom Talos assumed the identity of, never shows up again for the rest of the movie. Talos claims that he was just knocked out, but he's not mentioned again otherwise.
    • Soh-Larr, the Kree spy on Torfa, never actually appears. The one time he seems to, it's actually a disguised Talos.
    • Four Skrulls make it to Earth and arrive on the beach: Talos, Norex (the "science guy"), and two others. We know the fates of Talos, Norex, and the Skrull who impersonated Coulson, but the fourth one (the one who attacked Carol and then gave her the slip at the Metrolink) never appears again.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Done very cleverly. Even a viewer who knows nothing about the villainous role the Skrulls have played in the comics for years would naturally assume that the scary-looking, Orc-like, shapeshifting aliens who dress in black are the bad guys, which makes it a genuine shock to learn that it's actually the Kree.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Fury acts as The Conscience towards Carol, who appears on Earth after crashing into a Blockbuster, raiding a Radio Shack for communication parts. He tries to arrest her on charges of property damage and burglary at first.
    • Carol criticizes Fury calling for backup without telling her, since it leads the Skrulls to them. She confiscates his pager, only to upgrade it and return it at the end of the film, so that he can call her in case of emergency.
    • In-Universe: Regular citizens understandably try to stop Vers from punching out the lights of what they think is just an old woman (really a Skrull in disguised).
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Yon-Rogg dislikes how the Accusers like to subject planets to Orbital Bombardment. He refuses to allow Ronan to carpet-bomb the Earth, telling him there are more discreet solutions.
  • Wild Card: Lampshaded by Fury when Goose switches allegiance by refusing to eat the Kree about to capture Fury and Maria. She recognizes that the Kree is actually a disguised Talos.
    Fury: Damn it, Goose! Pick a side!
  • "Will Return" Caption: After the first stinger, the screen displays: "Captain Marvel will return in Avengers: Endgame."
  • With My Hands Tied: Carol gets captured early on and ends up with huge metal restraints on her hands that she can't just photon-blast off... so she starts pummeling the Skrulls with them.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Played for laughs. Nick Fury's lost eye is a result of Goose the Flerken scratching him, and evidently Flerken scratches don't heal up.
  • Wrong Side All Along: It's revealed late in the movie that the Skrulls are actually innocent refugees being hunted to extinction by the genocidal, imperialistic Kree, and that Carol and her human allies have been duped into supporting space Nazis.
  • Xenafication: Not really Carol herself, who is a superheroine in the comics too. However, it's played straight with:
    • Maria Rambeau, who was a peaceful seamstress in the comics. In the film, she's a badass female black fighter pilot.
    • Minn-Erva, the Kree woman. In the comics, she was a scientist, and even an anti-war advocate originally, and while she did get into fights occasionally, that was not really her thing. For the movie, Gemma Chan's character is apparently a career military Action Girl.
  • You Go, Girl!: Carol and her friend Maria fight against the sexism and condescension of 80s America and the military. The old boys think Carol isn't good enough, because she's a woman, but over the course of the movie she proves that she is a better pilot (and greater hero) than any of them.
  • You're Nothing Without Your Phlebotinum: Yon-Rogg tries to goad Carol into proving that she can fight him hand-to-hand without her "light show". She dismissively blasts him mid-rant.


Alternative Title(s): Captain Marvel

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