This page covers the 20052007 film series. For the 2015 film, see Fantastic Four (2015).
Fantastic Four (2005)
Johnny Storm: Is that a trick question?
The result was a $100 million film directed by Tim Story and starring Ioan Gruffudd as Reed Richards, Jessica Alba as Susan Storm, Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm, and Chris Evans as Johnny Storm forming the titular Fantastic Four. The movie explored their origin story and the subsequent battle with Victor Von Doom.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
The sequel had the wedding of Reed and Sue being canceled by the arrival of more urgent matters: the arrival of the Silver Surfer the "herald" for the planet-consuming being Galactus, who in this movie is a giant planet-eating cloud. Loosely based on the Ultimate Marvel Ultimate Galactus Trilogy written by Warren Ellis.
Incidentally, the movie brought to light a What Could Have Been story behind the story; that of the 1992 short film featuring the Silver Surfer, which broke every rule in Hollywood's book to even exist, and which was also the first film to utilize the CGI software which would later be made famous for creating the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park.
The two films in this version of the franchise provide examples of:
- Action Girl: Sue, of course. Also Cpt. Frankie Raye, Nova from the comic books.
- Actionized Adaptation: The novelization of the movie included deleted action scenes that were in the trailers but not the film.
- Adapted Out: The friendship between Alicia Masters and the Silver Surfer from the comics. It was changed with Sue Storm.
- Adaptation Origin Connection: Victor von Doom is with the others during the cosmic ray storm that empowers them because he is Reed Richards's backer, giving him powers of his own and setting up his status as Big Bad.
- Adaptational Badass: In the comics, Doctor Doom is depicted as using Powered Armor to fight the Fantastic Four. Here, he gains superpowers from the same accident that created them.
- Adaptational Intelligence:
- The film Ben Grimm (also known as The Thing) is a lot smarter than his comic book counterpart (though even in the comic book some writers have explained that Ben employs Obfuscating Stupidity). For example in Rise of the Silver Surfer he instantly deduces that a picture taken of Silver Surfer arriving in Earth's atmosphere isn't a comet because "the trail is wrong". This is quite apt considering that Ben, like the rest of the Four, is a trained astronaut.
- Johnny also gets some upgrading from the books by making him a qualified NASA astronaut (that got kicked out of NASA for a stunt with some supermodels and a simulator). In the original comics, he was a teenage hipster that had even less reason to be on the flight than Susan.
- Adaptational Superpower Change: Doom gets powers in the same accident that empowered the Four, his body is transformed into metal, giving him lightning powers. In the comics, he has no innate powers but wears Powered Armor and has vast knowledge in sorcery.
- Adaptational Wimp: This Doom's metal skin and electric powers don't come anywhere near how dangerous he is in the comics incarnation, who is a wielder of both magic and superscience while wearing Powered Armor on par with Iron Man and possessing the resources of a small nation - all of which he gained through pure work and intellect.
- Affectionate Nickname: Ben calls Reed "Egghead" in an endearing manner.
- A God Am I: Victor starts thinking this way once he embraces his powers. Sue notes that he always thought of himself as above others, though.Sue: Victor, you always thought you were a god.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version of the first film uses "Kirikirimai" by Orange Range as its theme song, which interestingly is also on the American soundtrack.
- All Your Powers Combined: Johnny becomes able to absorb the other's powers in the second film. due to exposure from the Silver Surfer. After being a screw up due to his unstable form for most of the movie he uses it to his advantage at the end during the final battle.
- Always Need What You Gave Up: Ben Grimm's transformation into the Thing is reversed just in time for von Doom to reveal his villainy.
- And I Must Scream: At the end of the first movie Doom is fully transformed into living metal. His body is heated up and then rapidly cooled, resulting in a crystallization process that leaves him unable to move, and everyone to believe he is dead. Unfortunately for him, he is still fully conscious. He escapes at the start of the sequel.
- Applied Phlebotinum: "Unstable Molecules" are used to explain all the extraordinary things that happen.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Ben in the second movie is initially incredulous when Johnny claims to have seen a "Silver Surfer", despite the fact that most of the people in the room have superpowers and his body has been transformed into pure rock?!
- Armor-Piercing Question: Sue left Reed when he wouldn't take the next step in their relationship. Sue asked Reed if he felt anything when she walked out, but Johnny interrupted them before he could give an answer.
- Artistic License Geography: Near the end of the second film, General Hager brings the captured Surfer to a US military base in Siberia, without even implying the Russians are co-operating with them on with this.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: As Victor is about to propose to Sue on the space station, he says he has four words that could change their lives forever. Reed rushes to the scene to declare, "the cloud has accelerated!"
- As You Know: General Hager says this when giving Reed exposition about the unusual occurrences around the world.
- Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Surprisingly averted in the sequel. The director actually stated that he didn't want to pepper the film because he was happy with its PG rating. It helps that the FF's adventures and tone have almost always been rather family-friendly.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Reed, in a Call-Back to Victor's speech while freezing him with liquid nitrogen: "What happens when you rapidly cool hot metal?"
- Badass Boast: Reed, and it was taken almost word-for-word from the Warren Ellis comic book:General Hager: Let me make it clear for you and your band of freaks here; I'm the quarterback. You're on my team. Got it? But I guess you never played football in high school, did you, Richards?
Reed: No, you're right. I didn't. I stayed in and studied like a good little nerd. And fifteen years later, I'm one of the greatest minds of the 21st century; I'm engaged to the hottest girl on the planet; and the big jock who played quarterback in high school? He's standing in front of me asking for my help. And I say he's not gonna get a damn thing, unless he does exactly what I tell him, and starts treating me and my friends with a little respect.
General Hager: ...Give him what he wants.
- Barrier Warrior: Susan Storm who has the powers to create force fields. In the sequel she threatens to create one inside Victor and expand it until he explodes.
- Battle Couple: Susan Storm and Reed Richards. They end up marrying at the end of the second film.
- Beast and Beauty: Ben and Alicia, though the fact that she's blind helps.
- Beta Couple: Ben and Alicia, Johnny and Frankie.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Doom and Galactus in Rise Of Silver Surfer.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Deleted scenes reveal that since his transformation Ben no longer sweats, he gets dusty.
- Blasphemous Boast: Johnny says Victor has "More money than God."
- Blind and the Beast: Ben and Alicia at first. She does soon touch his face and learn the truth, which averts the trope a bit.
- Bouquet Toss: Johnny shoots it in midair when it looked like Frankie would catch it.Johnny: Sorry, reflex.
- Brain Bleach: Johnny's reaction to his sister Sue stripping down at the bridge. Even worse when she turns visible again while in her underwear.Johnny: "I'm gonna need therapy."
- Brick Joke: Johnny jokes that Silver Surfer must have saved Sue from the missile because he thinks she's cute. When being interrogated, Silver Surfer explained he did it because Sue reminds him of his love interest back on his home world, indicating Sue somewhat resembles her.
- Cabin Fever: The Four are forced to remain inside the Baxter Building while Reed works on the cure for their powers. Reed and especially Sue have to keep reminding an anxious Johnny they can't leave and stresses they have to get along. They soon begin to drive themselves crazy.
- Captain Obvious: In the sequel when Reed caught sight of Sue with Johnny's powers.Sue: I'M ON FIRE!
Reed: You're on fire!
Sue: YOU THINK?!
- Car Fu: Ben chucks a car at Doom during their fight.Ben: I'm gonna need to borrow your car.
Car Driver: The transmission sticks!
Ben: Not gonna be a problem. (accentuating the last word with a toss)
- The Casanova: Johnny.
- Celebrity Paradox: Stan Lee is BOTH Willie Lumpkin and... well, Stan Lee. Unless in the second movie, that was supposed to be Willy Lumpkin trying to pass as Stan Lee. After all, when he says he is Stan Lee, nobody believes him.
- Chase Scene: A flying chase scene in the sequel, between Silver Surfer and Johnny.
- Chekhov's Skill: Johnny going "Supernova" is forbidden by Reed on the grounds of being dangerous, but is later used at the end of the first movie to defeat Doom.
- Chrome Champion: More like Chrome Creep with Victor Von Doom. The Silver Surfer later plays it pretty straight, though.
- Clothing Damage: Constantly since only their uniforms are immune to their powers. Both Played for Laughs and for Fanservice.
- Ben's shirt is shredded from his transformation and he becomes a Walking Shirtless Scene when he's The Thing. When he swaps powers with Johnny in the sequel he burns minor holes in the jersey he's wearing, notably one of the few times he wears clothes.
- Johnny clothes are incinerated when he activates his powers. The first time it happens while he's skiing in the mountains he crashes into the snow creating an impromptu jacuzzi. In the sequel when Silver Surfer crashes the wedding he complains about having to ruin his tuxedo before flaming on and giving chase. He was wearing his uniform beneath the tux, though.
- When Susan accidentally swaps powers with the Johnny, she immediately lights up in flame, burning off her non-fireproof clothes, leaving her in the buff on a crowded street.
- Completely averted with Reed, whose clothes seem to stretch along with him perfectly fine.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In Rise, after Victor steals the Surfer's board, it changes from silver to black.
- Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames:
- Doctor Doom is largely referred to as "Victor".
- The Four themselves are only very rarely called by their codenames, Ben in particular because calling him "The Thing" is seen as unnecessarily cruel.
- Sue also takes offense to being called the Invisible Girl.
- Commitment Issues: Reed, he originally broke up with Sue when she suggested they move in together.
- Cool Car: The Fantasticar from Rise of the Silver Surfer.Johnny: [sees the "Dodge" logo on the front] Hemi?
Reed: Of course!
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Victor who was planning of screwing over Reed from the start.
- Creator Cameo: Stan Lee appears in the first film as the Baxter Building's mailman Willie Lumpkin and in the second film unsuccessfully trying to get into Reed and Sue's wedding.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Super-powered Johnny versus Doctor Doom in Rise. Doctor Doom acquires the Surfboard of the Silver Surfer- which allows him to fire stupidly powerful energy blasts- and to combat that, Johnny grabs the powers of the entire team to take him down. Doom never even gets a single shot off.
- Deadly Force Field: Sue threatens Dr. Doom by informing him she has the ability to create a force field inside of someone and then expand it until the person explodes (an ability well within the range of her comic counterpart).
- Deadpan Snarker: Both Johnny and Ben.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Captain Frankie Raye is very cold to Johnny at first, but warms up to him through the movie.
- Demoted to Extra: In the comics, Alica Masters (Ben's blind girlfriend) was the one who appealed to the Surfer's "humanity" and convinced him to save the world from Galactus. Here, Sue is given that job, and Alicia is only given two scenes in the sequel, around the same amount of scenes as in the first movie, so while it's a demotion from the comics, it's a pretty consistent (if minor) role in the films.
- Desperate Object Catch: How Reed's power first manifests, by letting him stretch his arm to catch a bottle Sue knocks off a table.
- Die or Fly: Johnny doesn't get the hang of flight until Doom fires a heat-seeking missile at him and Sue, at which point he jumps off the building to force himself to fly and draw it away.Johnny: Come on. Come on! Come on! FLAME ON!
- Disney Death: In the sequel, Sue is wounded by the now cosmic-powered Doom while she is protecting the weakened Surfer. She succumbs to her wound after Doom is defeated, but with his own powers restored the Surfer quickly heals her.
- Disposable Superhero Maker: Played With; The cosmic storm is a once-in-millennia event but Reed manages to recreate it in his lab (yeah) and... well, we don't know what exactly he did with the machine, 'cause it's never revealed in the movie.
- Doomed New Clothes: Johnny is frustrated that he must destroy his new suit to chase the Silver Surfer. One wonders why Reed didn't make an unstable molecule tuxedo.
- Dramatic Irony: The scene shot from Ben Grimm's POV, when he wakes up after being hit by the cosmic storm. Everyone watching the film knows he turns into the Thing, so when Johnny Storm says, "Everyone else is fine." we think we know what's wrong with Ben. Then it turns out that Johnny is making fun of Ben's human looks.Johnny Storm: Unfortunately, the doctors just couldn't do anything to fix your face.
- Dumbass Has a Point: In the first film, Johnny tells Reed he always think but never act, and that they were given their powers for a reason and they should just accept them (and enjoy them). Later, he tells off Sue to either go out in the world where the public loves them or stay locked up inside the Baxter Building to futilely search for a "cure".Johnny: By the way, the people do love me!
(Sue shakes her head in disapproval)
- Dysfunction Junction: At least in the comics they never came into actually trying to hurt each other...
- Eating the Eye Candy:
Reed: Wow, you've been working out.Sue: Shut up!
- When Johnny ends up naked and forming a jacuzzi in the snow, the nurse who he went skiing with is clearly checking him out.
- When Sue's invisibility has worn off and she's standing in middle of the bridge in her underwear, Reed can't help but stare.
- Eldritch Abomination: Galactus (called Gah Lak Tus here) the Planet Eater who is a gigantic nebulous cloud of destruction in this adaptation.
- Enemy Mine: The titular band of heroes team up with Dr. Doom in the sequel to get the Silver Surfer. To absolutely no one's surprise, Doom ends up betraying them.
- Establishing Character Moment: Johnny kisses a chick while riding his motorcycle, and she drives her car.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Johnny to Reed after his speech to Hager.Sue: [to Reed] I am so hot for you right now...
Johnny: Me too!
- Even the Girls Want Her: In the second movie, when Sue is exposed nude to townspeople after all her clothes were burnt off by touching Johnny, one of the civilians smiling and eagerly taking pictures of her is a woman.
- Every Helicopter Is a Huey: In the sequel, as the team are flown over the Thames in a pair of Hueys. Since the US military long since phased out the Huey and the British military never used them at all, it's anyone's guess where on Earth they even got the things unless they raided an air museum.
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Sue Richards wants to be seen.
- Expy: General Hager from Rise of the Silver Surfer was originally supposed to be Nick Fury, but this had to be changed at the last minute due to rights issues (Fox owns film rights to the FF, while Marvel Studios has rights to Fury). It's especially obvious since one of Hager's conversations with Mr. Fantastic is taken almost word-for-word from a conversation between Mr. Fantastic and Nick Fury in Ultimate Extinction.
- Fakeout Escape: There's a sequence in Rise of the Silver Surfer (imported from the original comics) where Sue turns invisible when government officials come to check on her, then runs out the doorway during their confusion.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Doom is responsible for this in two instances:
- In the first film, he blasts a hole in a character.
- In the sequel, Doom actually blasts apart one whole side of a military officer's body. Sure, it turns to ash and there's no blood and gore, but it's in a PG-rated film.
- Fanservice: Both Storm siblings show a lot of skin in both movies due to Wardrobe Malfunction shenanigans involving their powers with Clothing Damage and Invisible Streaker. Not to mention the skintight uniform they wear. And they are played by the gorgeous Jessica Alba and the handsome Chris Evans.
- The Fatalist: Silver Surfer expresses fatalistic views claiming that Galactus is inescapable.
- Faustian Rebellion: The Silver Surfer somehow has enough power to defeat Galactus with a Heroic Sacrifice, even though Galactus gave him his power. And The Stinger reveals he didn't even die.
- Fingore: When Doom captures Reed by freezing him in ice, he sadistically bends his fingers the other way. Luckily, they don't snap off, but Reed groans in agony.
- The First Cut Is the Deepest: Victor makes it quite clear that he "hates all of you," while staring directly at Susan.
- Flaming Emblem: At the end of the second film, the team forms the "4" logo out of the exhaust from their jets with Johnny putting the finishing touches on it.
- Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: In the first movie Johnny does this after recreating the team's Chest Insignia in the sky.
- Flying Firepower: Johnny Storm, the human torch can fly when he "flames on". When Sue accidentally swaps power with him in the sequel, she can't control him and sends herself flying into the air.
- Genius Bruiser: One of the few versions where Ben Grimm (The Thing) is just as clever and savvy as you'd expect from a former test pilot and astronaut. Even Book Dumb is averted with him. This is best seen in RotSS when Reed is given photos of a 'comet' (actually the Silver Surfer) that's entered the Earth's atmosphere. Reed immediately hands the photos to Ben, who points out that the object can't be a comet because "the trail's all wrong". A subtle but brilliant nod to Ben's astronaut career.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
Johnny: I'd hate to wake up one morning and find out she was killed in a rockslide.
- In the sequel, when Sue gets the Human Torch's powers, her clothes burn off, which means for a short period of time, she was naked. But that also means she was naked while on fire, and you can clearly see her breasts bouncing about during that time.
- Then there's the very suggestive question Reed gets asked by a reporter: "Is it true what they say about him, that he can expand any part of his anatomy?" And all the girls around go "Whooooooo"...
- Johnny rather bluntly asks what Ben and Alicia's sex life is like.
- Then there's the scene where Johnny does nothing but ride the elevator up and down all day, causing the temperature to heat up whenever a hot girl gets on so she has to take more and more layers of clothing off.
- A God Am I: Doom. Even before he gotten his powers, he always sees himself as "larger than life".Doom: Do you really think fate turned us into gods so we can refuse these gifts?
Sue: You always thought you were a god!
- Gratuitous Russian: In a wild example of As Long as It Sounds Foreign, the name of the Latverian ship in the Sequel Hook. "Головка пальца ноги" stands for "Head of toe" and made the scene obscenely yet understandably hilarious for Russian viewers.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Victor hates Reed for being smarter, and for "stealing" Sue from him.
- Hand-or-Object Underwear:
- The first time Johnny flames on, he vaporizes all of his and later when he finds Reed and Sue he spends a considerable amount of time awkwardly prancing around naked with his ski partner's pink jacket wrapped around his waist.
- On the bridge, when Susan is invisible and stripping off her clothes so she can cross the bridge undetected, her powers suddenly fail and she's suddenly standing in her underwear in the middle of a crowd. She immediately freaks out and tries covering herself with her hands then uses a towel.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: In the second movie, General Hager while shooting at Dr. Doom gets parts of himself blasted away by Doom. His resultant state after he dies is hard to describe in words.
- Homoerotic Subtext: In the sequel, after he confronts an egotistical military guy, Sue seductively tells Reed "I'm so hot for you right now." Johnny comes up behind Reed, gives him a hug, and remarks "Me too!" Reed laughs it off.
- Hospital Hottie: The nurse in charge of Johnny after the accident. She's even credited as "Sexy Nurse".
- Hot Scientist: Susan, although the scientist part is something of a Informed Ability.
- How Do I Shot Web?: Reed and Ben don't have much difficulty figuring out their powers but Sue and Johnny have a some trouble with it at first. This is the rare franchise to manage this again in the sequel with the four struggling to use each other's powers. Though Ben still seems to get the hang of Johnny's powers when they first switch. Justified with Ben as his powers learning curve largely centre around controlling his own strength. Reed to a lesser degree as his mainly involves extending his reach and not any form of energy projection.
- I Did What I Had to Do: When being chastised by Sue for serving Galactus, Silver Surfer defends that his actions which have doomed hundreds of planets filled with life to keep his master satisfied to spare his own home world.
- I Just Want to Be Special:Reed: This isn't permanent. We need to be careful until we're normal again.
Johnny: What if I don't want to be normal?! (gestures towards the Thing) I didn't turned into a monster!
[Thing was about to punch him, but stopped himself.]
- I Warned You: Ben gleefully rubs it in when he rescues Reed from Doom's liquid-nitrogen trap.Ben Grimm: Victor ain't that bad, huh? He's just a little larger than life, right? Maybe next time you'll listen to me before (the lights go out and Doom tackles Ben)
- I Will Show You X: When Johnny and Ben discuss Ben's sex life.Johnny: I've been wondering. How do you and Alicia... (clicks his tongue in lieu of finishing the sentence)
Ben: That's none of your business!
Johnny: Okay, okay! I'm just concerned, that's all. I don't want to wake up one morning and find out she was killed in a rockslide!
Ben: I'll show you a rockslide!
- Incredibly Lame Pun: In the second film, when Doom-in-the-Surfer-board whips up a tornado for the Fantastic Four.Doom: Let's all go... FOR A SPIN!
- Idiot Ball: General Hager in Rise of the Silver Surfer. It's one thing when the military does not trust superheroes. It is another thing when that same general agrees to work with the guy who is not only WORSE than what you believe, but also took all of the Fantastic Four to defeat him in the previous film. Nice judgement, Hager.
- Insistent Terminology: Alicia believes God is a she.
- Intangibility: Silver Surfer can do this due to his manipulation of molecules. During his introductory chase scene he phases through buildings, cars, the Human Torch, and even his own board. He can even do it to Sue's force fields.
- Interrupted Suicide: Ben stops a man from jumping off the bridge with just one line:Ben: You think you got problems?! You take a good look, pal!
- Invisibility: Sue's powers let her turn invisible. It doesn't work on clothes with the exception of the uniform she was wearing when she got her powers. It's tied to her emotional state, causing it to fail at times. By the time of the sequel, she's skilled enough with it she can turn only a zit on her face invisible just by just concentrating on it.
- Invisible Streaker:
- During Sue's first attempt to use her invisibility to sneak past a crowd, she finds her clothes don't cloak with her and reluctantly starts stripping down. Unfortunately, she's not yet in full control of her powers and they wear off while she's down to her underwear... and still in said crowd. She promptly freaks out and tries to cover herself. When gets angry she turns invisible again and fully strips.
- Later when she's being chased by annoying reporters she starts stripping and when they round the corner, find only a pile of her shed clothing.
- Ironic Echo:Doom to Reed: What happens to rubber when it's super-cooled?
Reed to Doom: Time for your lesson - Chem 101. What happens when you rapidly cool hot metal?
Sue: You could be killed!
- In the second movie, when the press asks Johnny for a statement regarding Reed and Sue's impending wedding, he jokingly quips, "Please, let's not make this all about me." Later, he offers to take on the combined powers of his teammates to take on Doctor Doom.
Johnny: Please, Sue, let's not make this all about me.
- Johnny's over enthusiasm could be explained for himself, but his joking at and exploitation of Ben honestly makes you wish you could smash up his pretty car too. In the second movie he falls squarely into Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory as it becomes apparent that some of his antics mask his own insecurities.
- Ben's fiancee Deb in the first film counts as well. Not only does she scream and run upon seeing what he's been turned into without even giving him a chance to explain himself— despite how he was genuinely trying to assure her the whole time it was still him, so she didn't have the excuse of mistaking him for a potential attacker (The initial scream is forgivable, shock, but it should have been followed by tears, hugs, and cries of 'Who did this to you? I'll kill him!"). But then she shows up later on in a later scene where he saves a fire truck and its crew from falling off a bridge. Surely that'd be a good time for her to see that he's still Ben and a hero deep down despite his fearsome appearance? Nope. She just goes to the front of the crowd to make sure she sees him, stares at him, wordlessly breaks up with him, and just leaves— taking off and throwing her engagement ring at his feet as well just to really rub salt into the wound. Almost makes you wonder what he ever saw in her in the first place. Admittedly she's crying at the time so she probably isn't very happy with herself either.
- Victor, but frankly, would anyone expect anything else from him?
- Likewise, Ned Cecil never liked Victor even before the cosmic storm incident.
- Jerkass Realization: The film novelisation gives Johnny a moment of this between him leaving the Baxter Building after his argument with Sue and returning to find Ben powerless (where in the movie he just runs back on his own after seeing the power surge from the top of the Baxter Building); while out walking, Johnny runs into a woman he recognises from a magazine and only realises after he's hit on her that he recognises her because she's someone's girlfriend, and she then calls him out on how he's only using his powers for his own benefit and she might actually try to do something for other people in his position.
- Jumped at the Call: The Human Torch, but only because there was no higher calling than getting girls and making money in his view.
- Kill It with Ice: Doom tries to kill Reed by freezing him.Victor: Reed. Time for your lesson on Chemistry 101. What happens to rubber when supercooled?
- Laser-Guided Karma: Whilst it doesn't last long, Johnny accidentally switching powers with Ben and becoming the Thing after all the crap he puts Ben through. Ben clearly enjoyed it.
- Layman's Terms:Reed: If we're going to identify the source of the mutation, we need to isolate your recombinant DNA so we can activate positional genomes.
Sue: We need to do a physical in order to see what got zapped.
Ben: Oh. Why didn't you say so?
- Lighter and Softer: Both movies, although the first in particular, are more light-hearted and comedy focused than other superhero movies at the time, which tended to be more dramatic and had more action in them.
- Literal Metaphor: Johnny's powers first manifest while skiing, and his partner notices before he does."You're on fire!"
"Thanks, you're pretty good too!"
"No, you're ON FIRE! Look!"
- Leader Wannabe: When the Four's powers are first revealed to the world, Johnny tries to claim the leader position when a cop asks which of them it is. The cop quickly laughs him off and Reed steps up.
- Lethal Harmless Powers: Force Fields, only threatened though.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Thing retains this status from his comic book version. No mean feat, considering Mike Chiklis is weighed down by several kilograms of makeup. In the second movie, the makeup had improved to be lighter and allow Chiklis more freedom (in the first movie he couldn't even sit down while wearing the full costume and makeup). This means that he gets even faster and more dangerously agile in the sequel.
- Logo Joke: The two movies—released by 20th Century Fox—featured the TCF logo segue into the page-flipping Marvel logo. The Marvel logo also has a logo joke of its own, featuring only Fantastic Four panels and making the background behind "MARVEL" blue (like the F4 outfits) instead of the traditional red. Sadly, the extended cut of the 2005 movie removes the segue between the logos.
- Look Ma, No Plane!: In the second movie, the Human Torch flies next to the plane in which the rest of the Fantastic Four is flying, annoying the Thing. He doesn't fly coach!
- Misguided Missile: Johnny does this.
- Mistaken for Gay: The second film had a deleted scene where Johnny Storm was photographed by paparazzi while holding a bouquet and kneeling in front of Ben Grimm.
- Modesty Towel:
- Reed gets an Accidental Pervert moment as he accidentally walks in on Sue when she's about to get into the shower. She responds by clutching the towel to her and simultaneously turning invisible... you'd think one of the two would be enough, but maybe it was just reflex.
- In the sequel, where Johnny comes out a shower room wrapped in a towel and is accosted by Frankie. Johnny insists she was waiting there on purpose to catch him in towel. He even turns up the heat and evaporates all the water still on his skin for effect. She ignores him and walks away.
- Moment Killer: When Victor is proposing to Sue in the space station. Which is a good thing since she doesn't really love Victor and eventually sees his true colors.Victor: I have four words. Four little words that can change our lives forever...
Reed: THE CLOUD IS ACCELERATING!
- Movie Superheroes Wear Black: The FF are in much darker blue than the comics, but it's still definitely blue. Likewise, Dr. Doom wears much a much darker green cloak, and the gold bits are also much darker.
- Mr. Fanservice: Johnny Storm who ends up destroying his clothes and ends up with only his nurse's jacket wrapped at his waist to cover himself.
- Ms. Fanservice: Susan Storm played by Jessica Alba. If she's not wearing her skintight suit she's stripping so she can be invisible which conveniently fades at the worst possible times. She also gets all her clothes burned off when she and Johnny switch powers in the sequel and she ends up naked when they switch back. In front of a whole load of people. At least in the first movie she still has her underwear. Alba even reports that her death scene in the second movie was reshot with the direction to die sexier.
- Mundane Utility: Johnny makes popcorn using his powers. Ben uses Thing-strength to squeeze orange juice. Reed uses his stretching to write on blackboards far away from him, and to retrieve toilet paper from another room. The Four's uniforms are modified from the underclothes they wore on the space station.
- My Suit Is Also Super: Due to being what they were wearing when the incident that gave them their powers happened, uniforms gained "unstable molecules" that allowed them to be immune to their own powers.
- Mythology Gag:
Johnny: That's the Invisible Girl!
- An exchange between Johnny and Sue references that in the comics the Invisible Woman used to be called the Invisible Girl:
- Stan Lee's cameo doubles for this in the second movie; in the film, he was turned away from Reed and Sue's wedding, just as he (and Jack Kirby) were for the wedding in the comic.
- Johnny getting the powers of all his teammates makes him very similar to FF nemesis Super Skrull. He even hits Doom with a stretchy rock covered flaming fist.
- The Puppetmaster, Alicia's stepfather, is given a brief mention in one of the deleted scenes.
- The cloud of Galactus features a brief shadow of his helmet as shown here◊
- During an examination, Ben mentions that he used to smoke. The Thing used to smoke cigars in the comics, until Joe Quesada became editor-in-chief in the mid-nineties, and issued a mandate banning all images of smoking across all Marvel Comics publications.
- In the extended version there's a scene (right before he's "cured" by Doom) of Ben on a bench with his hand to his mouth that makes it look like he's smoking. Turns out it's just cold.
- Victor Von Doom's mask was a gift from the people of Latveria, the country he rules in the comics.
- A robot resembling H.E.R.B.I.E. can be seen among Reed's discarded inventions.
- Naked People Are Funny: Susan and Johnny's naked shenanigans are Played for Laughs as much as they are for Fanservice.
- Naked Freak-Out:
- Sue in the bridge sequence, when her invisibility fails her while she's stripping down, she freaks out at being half naked in middle of a gawking crowd.
- In the sequel, she swaps powers with Johnny and ends up incinerating her clothes and flying into the air. When they swap back, she drops to the floor in the buff surrounded hundreds of flashing cameras, before Reed brings attention to her nudity and she promptly turns invisible, mortified.
- Nice Girl: Ben's girlfriend Alicia Masters, who likes him for who accepts him for the person he is.
- No One Gets Left Behind: The reason Sue leaves the safety of the shields to help the others.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: Sue walks into the room wearing a skintight spandex spacesuit. It looks for a second like Reed is checking her out, but then...Reed: Wow! Fantastic! Material made from self-regulating unstable molecules!
- Not His Sled: Frankie Raye in a film involving Galactus? Surely she will become his herald Nova... or not. She remains as a normal human throughout the movie.
- Not Quite Back to Normal: Doom is healed of his metallic scars on his skin after the Silver Surfer lands an energy blast on him. Even so, his electricity powers from the first movie is retained.
- The Notable Numeral: 4. Written on the sky, in case you missed in on their chests.
- Oh, Crap!: The 4's reaction to Victor reappearing before them in the flesh in the sequel.
- Outgrowing the Childish Name: Johnny professionally changes his persona to "John Storm". This is due to keeping his persona as a Lady Killer so that no potential romantic interests will be put off from his Friend to All Children side.
- Pedestrian Crushes Car: The Thing clobbers a semi-truck to save someone.
- Personal Arcade: A Hydro Thunder sit-down game appears in the Baxter Building in the second movie, but no indication which of the team actually plays it.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: One of the most common criticisms of the first movie. Barring the final fight scene and a rescue scene in the middle (the latter being for an incident they caused, mind you), the Fantastic Four really don't do that much, well, fantastic stuff.
- Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Victor caused a riff between Ben and Reed when he tells him he's more concern with rekindling his relationship with Sue rather than working "to his last breath" to find a cure for them.
- Power Perversion Potential:
- A reporter asking Johnny about Reed's powers: "Is it true what they say about him, that he can expand ''any'' part of his anatomy?" Cue "Oooooooh"s from the girls standing around.
- To say nothing of Johnny riding the elevator on the Baxter Building up and down all day, and raising the temperature whenever a hot chick stepped in so that she wound up taking her clothes off.
- Powers as Programs:
- In the first movie, Reed figures out how to remove and restore their powers, which gives Ben Grimm a chance to quickly get over his angst.
- In the second movie, This arises as a temporary side effect of the Silver Surfer's energy aura on Johnny, making him unstable. Whenever Johnny touches one of the other heroes, they swap powers with him (this somehow even includes instantly transforming Ben back into his human form). Near the end, Johnny ends up copying all their powers to face down Doctor Doom with their combined might.
- Psychic Nosebleed: Susan suffers a nosebleed when she forms a force field around the ensuing "supernova" Johnny creates to defeat Dr. Doom. It also happened on the Brooklyn Bridge, when she first discovered her force field abilities by containing another (unrelated) fire. In the DVD cast commentary, Jessica Alba mentioned that she liked the idea, since it shows how much she's pushing herself.
- Psycho Electro: Victor becomes much more psychotic once he gains his electric powers.
- Race Lift: Alicia Masters was white in the comic books, and it's played by black actress Kerry Washington in this move.
- Reality Ensues: One of the many indignities that Ben has to suffer after the accident is having to take the stairs because he's too heavy for the elevator's maximum weight limit.
- Re-Cut: The Extended Edition, which adds in scenes fleshing out Ben and Alicia's romance as well as a different title sequence that provides some backstory.
- Recycled Soundtrack: "Fantastic Proposal," the music John Ottman wrote for the final scene of the first film (not counting The Stinger), is tracked into the scene where Reed and Sue finally get married in Japan in the sequel (Ottman's original piece can be heard on the soundtrack album).
- Reed Richards Is Useless: Possibly averted, as Reed wanted to use his research to benefit the handicapped and the sick, but it wouldn't work as stated.
- Reluctant Fanservice Girl: Susan isn't pleased whenever she has to strip down to use her invisibility. At the sequel when she burns off her clothes and she lies naked in the sidewalk in the middle of a crowd of reporters, she laments while turning invisible "Why does this always happens to me?"Reed: Wow, you've been working out.
Sue: Shut up!
- Reluctant Hero: The Fantastic Four, except for Johnny of course.Johnny: Am I the only one who thinks this is cool?
- Returning the Wedding Ring: When Ben's fiancee Debbie sees Ben's Thing form, she shakes her head at him, takes off her engagement ring and leaves it on the blacktop before walking off. And just to rub salt in the wound, Ben can't even pick it up with his stone fingers.
- Rubber Man: Reed's power, which also him to stretch any part of his body.
- Sacrificial Planet: In Rise of the Silver Surfer, after the Surfer inadvertently interrupts Richard and Sue's wedding and nearly causes a helicopter crash, Richard discovers energy signatures in the cosmos matching the Surfer that correlate to destroyed planets.
- Samaritan Syndrome: The Four feel compelled to use their powers for good... often at the cost of their personal lives and relationships, as seen in the wedding opening of the second movie.
- Satellite Love Interest: Debbie. We don't know anything about her and she is never heard of again after she dumps Ben. This was completely intentional though.
- Scenery Censor: When Susan's clothing is burnt from her body and she ends naked on the floor only the strategically placed leg of a reporter preserves her modesty.
- Sequel Hook: Both endings, conspicuously.
- Shipper on Deck: Ben to Reed and Sue.Ben: Do I have to do everything myself?
- Shout-Out: Johnny calls Thing "Pebbles", and moments later the Thing calls Johnny "Tinkerbell".
- Skip to the End: Played humorously in the end when Sue and Reed's marriage is interrupted yet again.
- Skunk Stripe: The movie shows how Reed got his, part cosmic radiation, part obsessive guilt over the accident that caused their powers.
- Snow Means Cold: Subverted when the Surfer's passage causes snow to fall on the Great Sphinx outside Giza, Egypt... without a corresponding drop in temperature.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Victor. He only raises his voice once over the course of the two movies, during a point when he was more desperately angry than evil. Everywhere else it's smooth, softspoken sinister sliminess.
- Starring Special Effects
- Stock Scream: The Wilhelm Scream is heard twice during the final battle of the first film.
- Taking the Bullet: In the second movie, Sue takes the spear that Doom aimed at Norrin Radd (the Surfer). Sue's act of compassion convinces Norrin to stop Galactus from devouring Earth.
- Tempting Fate/Ironic Echo: "A few days in space. It'll be great. What's the worst that could happen?"
- Token Evil Teammate: Victor Von Doom. Notably in the second movie, where he's already an established villain and later betrays the group again.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- In the second film, the General repeatedly trusts Doom over Richards, even giving him access to study the Surfer's board. Likely due to their mutual dislike of Richards. He even has the audacity to appear surprised when Victor inevitably screws everyone over and steals the board for himself!
- Victor also qualifies in the second film. He becomes so self-absorbed with power by stealing the Surfer's Board (Beacon) that even when Galactus arrives to the point you can hear it and see it in the sky, Doom is adamant to keep the board for himself. Doom was very much willing to get eaten just to play with a stolen toy for a few more minutes.
- Twofer Token Minority: Alica Masters is a blind, black female.
- Ultimate Evil: Gah Lak Tus is a prominent presence in the film who isn't physically seen.
- The Un-Reveal: First scene in the hospital after the radiation cloud hits, features Johnny sorrowfully explaining to Ben that the doctors did "everything humanly possible." Filmed entirely from Ben's point-of-view, audience is led to believe Ben's become the Thing, only to discover that Johnny is just messing with him when he looks in a mirror. He changes a few scenes later.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Reed and Sue, even though they broke up. Though she never any feelings for Victor besides a working relationship, which is also why Sue was reluctant to accept Victor's proposal. She lost any feelings for him when he showed his true colors.
- Vanity License Plate: Johnny Storm's car has tags that read TORCH'D.
- Villain Exclusivity Clause: Dr. Doom is the villain in both movies (albeit with a temporary Enemy Mine situation in the second).
- Villainous Crush: Doom and Sue briefly dated while she worked for him, but Sue never had any feelings for Doom. He was about to propose to her while in the space station, until the warnings of the cosmic storm interrupted him. He looked displeased when Sue stayed at the Baxter Building, where she and Reed rekindled their romance. At the climax, Sue fights him when he descend to villainy. Doom tells her she's fired and retaliates, and renounce his feelings for her. In the sequel, he's appears to still be bitter about their break-up, as he stares at her specifically when he tells the Fantastic 4 he hates them all.Doom: To think, I was about to share my life with you.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Ben and Johnny, as always.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Ben as The Thing since no clothes fit him.
- We Can Rule Together: Doom makes this offer to the Silver Surfer. It gets turned down, but at least in the following struggle Doom's body ends up restored.
- Weddings in Japan: This is where Reed and Sue get married in the end of the film.
- Wedding Smashers: The Silver Surfers arrives during Sue and Reed's wedding.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Dr. Doom falls into the ocean near the end of the sequel, and is never seen again. Did he drown? Did he make it back to shore? We don't know. Another sequel would have answered that question.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
Johnny: (after the Thing walked away in anger) He started it!
- Johnny left the Baxter Building to go an extreme stunt bike show, after being confined in it for too long while Richards tries to find a cure for their powers, and for painting them as superheroes. Which led to a brief fight between him and the Thing.
Sue: I don't care who started it! Goddamnit, Johnny!
- "All I've seen is a guy who almost got his team killed."
- With Catlike Tread: In Rise of the Silver Surfer, they decide that the only way to get the Silver Surfer's board back from Dr. Doom is to use The Human Torch's new "powers" to combine all their abilities to allow him to fly, but also be as strong as The Thing, and be invisible so he can sneak up on Doom. It works perfectly and he gets to within 2 feet of Doom. But rather than just knock him out, he has to say "To quote a friend, It's clobbering time." thus blowing the cover and starting a drawn-out battle...all while the Earth is about to be destroyed. Albeit in fairness to Johnny Storm, Doom had just killed his sister.
- Working with the Ex: In the first film, Reed and Sue had once dated and broken up, only to meet up again when Victor brings his chief genetics researcher (and girlfriend) along to the space station, causing some tension and old feelings to arise.
- Wreathed in Flames: Johnny's powers manifest with him being covered in flames and is immune to his own fire. Sue also becomes this in the sequel briefly, when she switches powers with Johnny.
- You Remind Me of X: The Silver Surfer tells Sue she reminds him of the one he loves, although Shalla-Bal is not named.Silver Surfer: My service spares my world, and the one I love.Sue: Why did you try to protect me?Silver Surfer: Because you remind me of her.