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Nice Job Breaking It Hero / Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Bruce: Tony, maybe this might not be the time...
Tony: Really? That's it? You just roll over and show your belly, every time somebody snarls?
Bruce: Only when I've created a murder-bot.
— Tony Stark and Bruce Banner on creating Ultron, Avengers: Age of Ultron

As brought up in Captain America: Civil War, Superheroes, individually or as in a group, tend to directly or indirectly cause an amount of the conflict they themselves have to fix later on. This can be attributed to toying with things they don't understand to not sticking around to personally supervise or help with the clean up.


Spoiler Warning: lots of unmarked spoilers below, with some of them being It Was His Sled by this point.

Major Characters.

These characters end up breaking a lot of things, due to 1) the scale of the thing (such as Odin Banishing Thor) and/or 2) Frequently causing little things over time, that build up to something big.

Due to the interconnections of the franchise, many things in one work can spill into others.


  • Everything that happened in Black Panther could be blamed on King T'Chaka. When confronting his brother N'Jobu over stolen Vibranium, T'Chaka killed him to protect Zuri and abandoned N'Jobu's son in the slums of Oakland to preserve the secrecy of Wakanda. Said child would grow up to become the super-terrorist Killmonger who would start a civil war in Wakanda to avenge the death of his father.

Odin Borson

  • Odin's banishing of Thor helps show Nick Fury that the Earth is not ready, and indirectly helps him become more paranoid, leading to many of his experiments.
  • Long ago, Odin banished his daughter Hela to an unknown dimension; after his death, because he had never told anyone else alive about Hela, she was able to escape and conquer Asgard, forcing Thor to destroy his own kingdom to stop his sister.
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  • Odin's biggest mistake was how he treated Loki. Lying to Loki his entire life leads to Loki's actions in Thor, which directly leads to his actions in The Avengers.

Nick Fury

  • Nick Fury's experiments -
    • Literally opened the door for Loki and others, saying that the Earth was ready for interstellar war.
      • This also causes power shifts in areas like Hell's Kitchen, leading to the rise of The Kingpin.
    • Him forming the Avengers to fight for Earth, enables Earth to defend itself, but also makes it interesting to Thanos, a galactic conqueror.

Thor Odinson

  • Giving Malekith the Aether might have been the only way to stop him (though, let it be said, he was warned by his father, grieving and bloodthirsty as he was), but in doing so:
    • Helped put Loki in charge of Asgard (again).
    • Forces Agent Coulson (noticing a pattern?) to do a cleanup crew in London.

Steve Rogers

  • Captain America' bringing down S.H.I.E.L.D. due to HYDRA infestation, also:
    • Put Agent Coulson's team through much difficulty, making fugitives from the law.
    • As part of the Cap's plan to bring down HYDRA, Black Widow leaked all of HYDRA's files onto the internet. Helmut Zemo was able to find valuable secrets among the documents, which enabled him to enact his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Avengers.
  • Steve Rogers' standing up for Bucky Barnes divided the Avengers worse than ever before, effectively making most of the team fugitives as well. His actions in Romania because of this likely killed or seriously injured several people and he nearly kills Tony in Siberia.
    • By withholding the truth about Howard and Maria Stark's murders for over two years, Steve destroys all trust that Tony ever placed in him and ruins their friendship.
  • It's the fault of the whole team, not just Cap, but the "time heist" in Avengers: Endgame very nearly gave Thanos everything he wanted. The Avengers travel back in time to recover the infinity stones from earlier in their timelines, in order to undo the snap. It all goes off without a hitch, until 2014 Thanos discovers the time-traveling Avengers, and captures Nebula, allowing him to travel back to the present, where the Avengers have already assembled an Infinity Gauntlet for him, essentially stopping just short of gift-wrapping it. Even worse, when Thanos learns to what lengths the Avengers have gone to in order to undo the snap, he realizes that leaving half of the universe alive was a mistake because the half that remained would always remember what they lost and resent Thanos for it. As a result, Thanos resolves to use the gauntlet to destroy the ENTIRE universe time, and create a new one where everyone worships him. That's right, Endgame is the movie where the Avengers not only turn Thanos into an Omnicidal Maniac, but also nearly give him all the tools he needs to put his beliefs into action!

Tony Stark

  • Tony Stark revealing himself as Iron Man in Iron Man allows Ivan Vanko to come after him directly in Iron Man 2.
  • Iron Man films:
    • In Iron Man, Iron Man unintentionally causes the destruction of an Air Force F-22 that attempted to intercept him (before they knew he was a good guy). In his defense, he made sure that the pilot's ejection suit worked properly.
  • Tony, under the influence of Wanda's vision and with the help of Bruce Banner, used the Mind Stone in order to create Ultron - an AI which should've ensured the survival of Earth. Then Ultron turned against Avengers.

Wanda Maximoff

  • Wanda gives Tony a nightmarish vision which scares him so badly that he rushes to create his ULTRON project, allowing the Mind Stone to warp it.
  • She then gives all of the avengers (apart from Clint) nightmarish visions, including the Hulk, driving him into a rampage through Johannesburg

Peter Quill

  • In Avengers: Infinity War, Iron Man, Dr Strange, and Peter come up with a plan to ambush Thanos and get the Infinity Gauntlet away from him, ending the threat he poses. The plan is going off without a hitch when Peter discovers that Thanos murdered Gamora and, instead of helping the others, he instead angrily strikes Thanos. This forces Iron Man to stop trying to remove the gauntlet and causes Thanos to snap out of the trance Mantis put him in. Spider-Man had just succeeded in getting the gauntlet off of Thanos's hand but him waking up when he did meant that he was able to reclaim it. Thanos was then able to get the Time Stone from Dr Strange, then go to Earth to get the Mind Stone from Vision and with all six stones kill half the universe.

Minor Characters

Unlike the above, the people mentioned here have a lot smaller breakings, due to smaller scale, intent or frequency.

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • In the penultimate episode of season 1, Fitz - knowing that he and Simmons are about to be executed regardless of what they do - uses an EMP pulse to disable The Clairvoyant's life support system, nearly killing him. Unfortunately, this leaves Raina to inject her dying leader with an unstable, untested cocktail of drugs she was halfway through preparing for him... which makes him super-strong and extremely insane.
    • In the season 2 premiere, we learn that Simmons left S.H.I.E.L.D. because she thought Fitz's recovery from the brain damage he sustained would progress better if he didn't become dependent on her. Unfortunately, this backfires hard: Fitz is literally unable to cope with her leaving, having a complete breakdown that ends with him hallucinating a version of Simmons that he relies on for companionship, support and assistance. Oh, and the effects of his brain damage - already more severe than he realizes - are getting worse as well, possibly because of his breakdown, possibly because Simmons was also his medic and there doesn't seem to be anyone else working towards his recovery. This is later subverted when it turns out Simmons was actually infiltrating HYDRA and Coulson did not want to risk revealing this information to anyone else.
    • In the mid-season finale of season 3, Coulson defeats Ward, the HYDRA agent who betrayed Coulson and his team, became a major adversary of Coulson's, killed numerous S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, tortured and seriously injured Bobbi, tried to have May's ex-husband Dr. Garner assassinated, and murdered Rosalind Price, the woman Coulson was in love with. Faced with the option of abandoning him to an almost certain death on a barren planet or killing him right then and there, he choses the latter. This allows Hive, an Inhuman so dangerous, his own kind banished him to another planet, to assimilate Ward's corpse and return to Earth, as well as accomplishing HYDRA's primary objective of bringing Hive back.
  • Jessica Jones:
    • Jessica Jones tries very hard to ensure Kilgrave is arrested and tried to allow Hope to get exonerated. In doing so, due to Killgrave's powers and connections, many people end up dead or their lives shattered. She does come out better for it, but had she killed him from the outset, she and Hope would have been in jail, but a lot of innocent lives would not have been taken in the process.

Example of: