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Tear Jerker / Avengers: Infinity War

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/avengersiw_tj.jpg
Mantis: He is in anguish!
Peter Quill: Good.
Mantis: He... he mourns!
Drax: What does this monster have to mourn?!
Nebula: Gamora.
Peter Quill: What?
Nebula: He took her to Vormir. He came back with the Soul Stone. She didn't.
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Without a doubt, Avengers: Infinity War is the saddest film in the MCU, with many a Character Death, emotional turmoils and traumas plaguing many characters; and the single biggest Downer Ending with a Tragic Villain at the helm.


  • At the start of the film, at least half of everyone who escaped the destruction of Asgard aboard the Statesman has been killed by Thanos and the Black Order. The brief attempt to fight back against Thanos is quelled quickly and just before Thanos murders the Hulk, Heimdall steps in and sends Hulk to Earth and is killed by Thanos in his place. Loki then emerges to attempt to trick Thanos into thinking he's loyal so he can kill him to no avail and Thanos proceeds to crush his neck, killing him. The worst part of all this is that Thor is restrained and cannot help but watch all of this happen, screaming for his brother behind a gag made of the remnants of his half-destroyed refugee ship.
    • Worse, before Loki's failed attempt at assassinating Thanos, the trickster finally admits, once more, that he is "Loki Odinson." And he does this by giving Thor a look that implies he knows his trick is a long shot and he hopes at least his brother knows he's truly on his side. You can see the fear in Loki's eyes right before he attempts to stab Thanos, and it becomes clear that he absolutely knew that he wouldn't make it out of this situation alive.
      • Keep in mind that though the first time was a suicide attempt that didn't work and the second time was a ruse, this is the third time Thor has watched Loki die and each time was only more painful for him. It crosses over with heartwarming, but after everything Loki has done, Thor still loves his brother so much, meaning he watched the person he most likely loves the most in the universe brutally murdered for real. It's very telling that killing Loki pretty much reverted Thor to the Hot-Blooded impulsive person he was in the first Thor movie, leading to the mistake he eventually makes.
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    • Before teleporting the Hulk away, Heimdall quietly and contently requests for the "Allfathers" to allow their dark magic to flow through him "one last time." He knew that what he was about to do was a death sentence, but went through with it knowing that he could save the Hulk and get some kind of warning to the Avengers.
    • Thanos forcing Loki to give him the Tesseract by torturing Thor with the Power Stone. Loki tries to bluff and tells Thanos to go ahead and kill Thor, but eventually Thor's agonized screams get more and more piercing, and Loki tearfully gives in.
    • He never actually meant it, but Thor's frustrated reaction when Loki reveals that he took the Tesseract from Asgard is the last thing Thor says to Loki, since Thor gets gagged by Ebony Maw shortly after.
      Thor: You really are the worst, brother.
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    • The look of utter dread on Thor's face when he sees the hidden dagger appearing in Loki's hand. He has seen what Thanos is capable of, so he knows that Loki's chance at success is extremely slim. But he cannot show a too strong reaction and try to communicate to Loki to refrain from doing it for fear that Thanos will notice and eliminate all last glimmer of hope for his little brother.
    • The moment Thanos breaks Loki's neck and Thor's reaction really clinches it as Thor sobs "No!" in anguish over the gag on his mouth.
    • Just the way Thor cries over his little brother's body is truly heartwrenching. As soon as Thanos and his children depart, Thor's bindings fall off him and he drags himself to his brother's fallen body, sobs his name and then just drops his head on top of his body, looking utterly devastated, while the Statesman and the bodies of his people burn around him. It's very likely that a part of Thor hopes to perish with his brother and people as he notably makes no attempt to escape.
      • Fridge Sadness kicks in when you realize that the attack happened in the middle of outer space, and Thanos destroyed the Statesman with the Power Stone immediately after the assault, leaving the ship in flames. Meaning, even if Thor were somehow to make it back to the remains of the ship someday, he might not be able to properly lay many of his people to rest (assuming Burial in Space is not considered respectful), particularly Loki and Heimdall.
      • Even if he could retrieve them someday, he still couldn't give them a proper send-off. With Asgard destroyed, it's no longer possible to send them over the falls in funeral ships as was done for Frigga, and holding a Viking Funeral would not be legal on Earth.
    • Then there's Thor's attitude throughout the rest of the film. We all see Thor as this great warrior who is always up to a fight with a smile. But the entire time he's on the Benatar, his voice keeps breaking as he holds back his grief. Then he finally lets out some tears when talking to Rocket and we realize all he has been through during these last films. Most likely as a Norse/Asgardian warrior and future king, he was taught to hide his feelings to not show weakness, but he's king of nothing now, so it's heartbreaking when we see him delivering the line below:
      Rocket: And what if you're wrong?
      Thor: Well, if I'm wrong, then... what more could I lose?
      • During Rocket's conversation with Thor, Thor mentions that his best friend was "stabbed through the heart". While Word of God confirmed he was referring to Heimdall, the tear kicks in when you realize that, with the exception of Sif, all of Thor's best friends were killed by being stabbed through the heart: Fandral and Volstagg were killed by Hela while guarding the Bifrost while Hogun was killed during a desperate Last Stand against her.
      • Coulson, too (Thor does not know he got better).
    • Mantis telling the other Guardians what Thor is feeling after they save him, even while he's unconscious: He feels immense loss, anger, and guilt (probably from being aware of the last words he gave to Loki earlier, added with what he feels for being unable to save the remaining people of Asgard, Heimdall, and his brother's own life).
    • The way he menaces Gamora when her relation to Thanos is revealed. While he doesn't hold it against her, it sure comes across like it occurred to him that he could. It brings to mind how Drax reacted to Gamora when it's revealed she served Ronan.
    • You can put his sheer determination to get a new weapon, regardless of anything or anyone in his way, down to his anger at Thanos, and then there's almost dying holding open the gate to let the power of the star out to fuel the forge: A near-suicidal move by a man who has lost everything. And when he finally gets a blow in on Thanos, his anger is terrifying. No wonder he aimed for the torso instead of the head.
    • Also, the opening basically makes the entirety of Thor: Ragnarok a "Shaggy Dog" Story. The only reason Asgard was destroyed is because Hela got her power from it and without it she couldn't enslave/kill the Asgardians. Come this movie and half of the Asgardians are dead (and another quarter is finished off by Thanos's Snap). This is especially bitter if one remembers the Arc Words from that movie: "Asgard is not a place; it's the people".
    • There's also the fact that the Avengers will now never see the reformed Loki.
    • And to top it all off, Thor is STILL unaware of the events of Captain America: Civil War. Hearing him confidently state that the Avengers can handle the threats to Earth together feels like a punch to the gut.
    • A meta example: The Asgardian distress call you hear? That's Kenneth Branagh, the director of Thor's debut film. It seems tragically fitting that the man who directed the first adventure of the God of Thunder in the MCU would be there at the end. Whether his character survived or not is up in the air.
  • Bruce immediately falls into Tony's arms when he sees him again for the first time after three years. Tony's shocked and concerned look says it all; he clearly senses that Bruce must have witnessed something terrible.
  • A brief one, but while telling Tony the details about Thanos, Bruce states in a broken voice "Tony, Thor's gone." Although it's later proven wrong, the look of shock on Tony's face at this news is very wrenching, particularly since the last time Tony saw Thor was after the Battle of Sokovia. Tony seems both stunned that the Prince of Asgard is dead and regretful he never had a chance to say goodbye to a brother in arms.
    • It's also tearjerking from Bruce's perspective as well. Previously, he had seen the God of Thunder as nothing more than a fellow teammate who he didn't even get to see in action all that much due to letting the Hulk emerge to participate in most of the Avengers' battles. However, Bruce had actually managed to form a solid friendship with Thor during the events of Thor: Ragnarok, willingly coming along to battle Hela, while still recovering from the angst of Hulk controlling him for two years. For all he knows now, the teammate that he had just gotten to know as a friend is now dead at the hands of a monster that he knows could destroy the world with a snap of his fingers. Granted, he's ecstatic once he sees Thor return for the Battle of Wakanda, but it's still depressing for Bruce in the moment.
    • Not only this, but with Hulk refusing to emerge and Thor thought dead, Tony knows that the Avengers have lost their two most powerful members and it's going to be even more difficult to beat Thanos.
  • Pepper's heartbreaking reaction after she finds out that Tony is on Ebony Maw's ship. She's tearfully begging Tony to come back while Tony himself is struggling to comfort her... before the signal slowly disconnects in a dark Call-Back to the climax of the first Avengers movie (while losing contact with F.R.I.D.A.Y. as well).
    • The kicker? In their prior scene together, Tony and Pepper were discussing about possibly raising a child... then Doctor Strange appears to collect Tony, dooming any chance of a peaceful life for them.
    • And while Tony is still standing at the end of Infinity War, nothing shown in the movie so far guarantees that Pepper wasn't the part of the unlucky half of the universe.
  • It's quick, but when Thor goes through all of the Infinity Stone locations with the Guardians, he mentions that Thanos had taken the Power Stone a week ago when he devastated Xandar. It's still unclear how badly Thanos destroyed Xandar (whether he left half the Xandarians alive or wiped them all out like he once promised Ronan), but it is clear that, when Thor tells the Guardians this, they had no idea. Quill exchanges a look with the others as they find out too late that the place they fought so hard to defend in their first adventure together fell, anyways. All their efforts only delayed Xandar's destruction by a couple years.
    • A big helping of Fridge Sadness kicks in; not only was Xandar the site of their first adventure, it's also the homeworld of Peter's adopted brother, Kraglin, who is conspicuously absent from Infinity War.
      • Speaking of Kraglin, this guy lost his captain, all his friends, and most of his ship just few years ago. Now his homeworld was destroyed. And in the end of Infinity War, he also lost his adopted brother Peter Quill.
      • And the fact that Yondu's Heroic Sacrifice gave Quill just four years more to live.
  • Gamora breaking down sobbing when she thinks that she killed Thanos. Partly out of relief, partly out of grief, since she was raised by that man after all. And then it is revealed that this was just an illusion generated by the Reality Stone and Knowhere has already fallen...
  • Thanos has Gamora in hand, and Gamora had made Quill promise to kill her if she was about to be captured. Both of them are in absolute agony, and Quill is struggling with acting out her request. And he does try it! His shots turn to bubbles, but it's absolute stellar acting from Chris Pratt with how heartbroken he is.
    • When Thanos captures her, Quill angrily exclaims that he told her to go right. Then Gamora sobbingly reminds Quill of his promise, and he repeats those words as he points the gun at her, but this time he sounds absolutely miserable.
    • The last words they said to each other? "I love you." And that sadly isn't the only Dying Declaration of Love in the film.
  • Bruce reuniting with the other earthbound Avengers at the Avengers Facility is heartwarming at first... then he and Natasha directly meet for the first time since he fled Earth as the Hulk. Bruce starts by complimenting Natasha on her looks, and Natasha actually does get a brief resurgence of happiness when she sees her old flame... but the happiness dies down, as Bruce realizes that Natasha has moved on from him. He didn't get the chance to, since Hulk had been in control since Age of Ultron, but his words from that movie have indeed come to pass: "Looks like we missed our window." This exchange barely lasts a minute, and only consists of three words between the two ("Hey, Bruce" and "Nat"), and while the pairing wasn't popular with audiences and fans, it's still saddening that the pair lost their chance at happiness with each other.
  • Watch Bucky's face as T'Challa approaches him with the vibranium arm. He looks so tired and resigned, and simply asks where the fight is. And T'Challa clearly doesn't want to disrupt Bucky's newfound peace, but knows that anyone who can fight has to for any chance of Wakanda's, and the world's, survival.
  • Nebula, when Thanos briefly pauses her torture, desperately tries to stop Gamora from telling him where the Soul Stone is. She's in incredible pain, almost completely immobilized and unable to speak, but she shakes her head "no" as vigorously as she can, and the look on her face is sheer terror. She's so afraid of Thanos getting the stone that it overrides everything else for her. She's right to be.
    • Just the sight of Nebula being tortured will do it. We know her backstory and how Thanos replaced nearly every part of her body with cybernetics. We know Thanos tortured both her and Gamora, but Nebula especially; it's another thing to see it in action and imagine Nebula suffering years of this. And it is a very visual reminder of how Nebula is The Un-Favourite in Thanos' eyes.
    • Gamora starts sobbing as Thanos tortures Nebula. She knows it will have devastating consequences if Thanos gets all the Stones, but she just cannot bear watching her sister suffering. Consider that Nebula's lifelong torture at Thanos's hands was the result of Gamora besting her in sparring. Gamora knows she's caused her sister so much pain, and, even at the threat of the universe, cannot allow herself to do that again, even as Nebula tries her best to keep Gamora from saying anything.
    • The capper is after Gamora's death, when Nebula joins the heroes and finally fights back against her hated father. She warns him that he should have killed her when he had the chance. Thanos hatefully spits that it would have been "a waste of parts". Any sympathy you may have for Thanos goes down the toilet after that.
  • When Thor, Rocket, and Groot make it to a deserted Nidavellir, they discover Eitri, the lone dwarf left. He relates that, when Thanos came, Eitri made him the Infinity Gauntlet to spare the lives of the other 300 workers. As soon as the Gauntlet was done, Thanos killed them all anyway and then ruined Eitri's hands to prevent any further weapon-smithing. The dwarf is clearly overwhelmed by the guilt of losing so many friends and his own part in Thanos' quest.
    Eitri: You were supposed to protect us! Asgard was supposed to protect us!
    • And then there's the look on his face when Thor tells him Asgard was destroyed. You can see the shock, horror, and sadness on his face, and he instantly calms down as he realizes that Thor just went through the exact same pain he had on a far larger scale.
      • There's also the Fridge Horror that sinks in when the chain of events becomes clear—the reason the Asgardians couldn't stop Thanos from killing all the dwarves was because they were busy fighting and being slaughtered by Hela. She was free because Odin died. So on the one hand, the results of that death were even more catastrophic than we knew; on the other hand, it just grinds in even more just how much of Asgard and everything/one connected to it has now been destroyed. In one way or another, the Allfather really did hold everything together.
    • In Norse Mythology, Eitri and his brother Brokkr forged Mjölnir. Assuming that this carried over into the MCU, Eitri probably had to watch his brother die.
  • While he most certainly deserved it, one could still pity the Red Skull and his ultimate fate; the Space Stone/Tesseract could detect his corrupt and power-hungry nature from his touch, and was so repulsed by him that it tossed him to Vormir, in front of the Soul Stone; but never able to achieve it, considering that he would have to sacrifice something he loved to take it. Since he was sealed alone, and that he showed no affection to anyone and anything other than himself, he was therefore banished to Vormir for 70 years since The First Avenger. Even if he were to return to Earth after Thanos gets the stone, he would never be the same person he was before; he would still remain hollow, broken, and powerless, and his defunct agency HYDRA would still be beyond recovery. He has lost everything - and any chance at a normal life - from a single strike of Laser-Guided Karma, to the point where getting dusted seems like a Mercy Kill for him.
    • Watching The First Avenger and this back-to-back, his personality changes are very noticeable: since his banishment to Vormir, Red Skull's gotten much more humble, without even a shred of the old sadistic mind he once bore. All that's left is an amoral, apathetic, but harmless deity. While it is very deeply satisfying seeing the bastard being reduced to such a miserably low state, it is also very pitiful to see such a powerful villain drop so deeply.
  • Gamora's death. To get the Soul Stone, Thanos must sacrifice a loved one. Gamora has the upper ground, believing that the abusive Thanos holds no love for her. She's utterly wrong, as we see Thanos crying, and the horror of the situation finally hits her. So she tries to end her own life first by stabbing herself, but the dagger she was holding is revealed to have changed into bubbles, due to Thanos using the Reality Stone. And how does he kill her, you ask? By throwing her off a cliff, as we see a silent clip of Gamora screaming as she falls to her death, then, one camera cut later, her lifeless corpse on the ground, a halo of blood around her head. And in place of that impact, we get an equally silent close up of Thanos's face, as he winces and closes his eyes when he clearly hears the sound of her hitting the stone, and her screams stop.
    • When it hits her that Thanos is about to sacrifice her, Gamora exclaims in horror, "No... this isn't love!" That line will affect anyone who has ever been in a relationship, whether familial or romantic, with an abuser. An abuser claiming to feel love for their victim feels like an utter violation to the victim, that the abuser can "love" their victim and still harm them repeatedly.
    • It's at this very moment that we see the vulnerable side of our Big Bad. Thanos is an absolutely terrifying force who wiped out trillions of innocent lives (including a good number of our heroes), and yet, seeing this enormous monster cry his eyes out and mourn the daughter that he just murdered... it really hits you hard.
    • It's made even worse by the fact that, when Quill learns that she's dead, he gets so angry he undoes the effort to temporarily subdue Thanos and remove the glove from him, just moments before it was successful.
      • To add to this, Quill doesn't instantly snap the way he did when he learned that Ego had murdered his mother, shooting at him in cold, efficient rage. This time, he stares at Thanos in horror and disbelief, near tears and anger simultaneously, and as it hits him that Gamora is dead, he screams, "Asshole!" The others grow more urgent as they tell him to hold it together, but no one can hold Quill back because they're too busy subduing Thanos. And finally Quill snaps and lets loose, hitting Thanos. And the audience can see it coming and know exactly what Quill will do.
        Quill: Tell me she's lying... ASSHOLE! Tell me you didn't do it!
        Thanos: I... had to...
        Quill: No, you didn't... no you didn't... [then proceeds to beat Thanos] NO! YOU DIDN'T!
      • If you pay attention, Quill loses it so bad that he actually hits Mantis' hands, making her lose her grip on Thanos.
      • Immediately after this, Thanos breaks free; and one could see out of his motions that he himself is in a state of raw fury; enough to toss an entire moon at the heroes. After losing more and more as the film goes on, he has entered one of the most lethal Villainous Breakdowns in film, and it is as tragic as it is terrifying. He may have killed Gamora for the sake of powering up the Gauntlet, but heaven be damned if he didn't regret it much.
      • Some have been harsh on Quill for his Tragic Mistake, but imagine how Tony would have reacted if Thanos had killed Pepper? Or remember Drax's determination to avenge his wife and daughter when he drunk-dialed Ronan (hell, he nearly did the same thing that Peter did earlier in the film when the Guardians confronted Thanos on Knowhere before Mantis put him to sleep). Or everything Steve went through in Civil War to protect Bucky. Quill's mistake was deeply tragic and, in part, it cost the universe half their lives — but it's that his reaction is so understandable that makes it worse. It makes you wonder if anywhere in those 14 million scenarios, did Strange ever see Quill reacting any differently?
      • The fact that Quill saw his mother die, killed his father, and then saw his father figure sacrifice himself to save him, you can definitely understand why losing Gamora would have Quill lose it. The man may be a goofball that nobody gives respect for, but he's got his share of personal tragic moments that really makes you want to comfort him.
    • Tony trying desperately to talk Quill down. He's only known this man for hours, not particularly been a fan, but he knows this rage all too well. He burned men alive after losing Yinsen, blew up Killian for threatening Pepper (not his fault it didn't take), and tried to kill Bucky to avenge his parents, putting him in near-lethal combat with Steve. Tony knows all about losing it in the clutch, so his noble attempt to keep Quill from the same is devastating in its failure.
      • One thing that adds to this, is the fact that this isn't the first time Tony has had to beg someone to 'stick to the plan'. However, unlike Yinsen, who paid for it with his own life, Quill was going to pay for it with not just his own life, but trillions more.
    • When Mantis subdues Thanos, Quill demands to know where Gamora is. Thanos mumbles in a very broken voice: "My Gamora?"
    • Nebula openly crying when she realizes what has happened to her sister. It's possible she is blaming herself for her sister's death. Gamora had warned her about going up against Thanos, Nebula hadn't listened, and so Thanos was able to use Nebula as leverage to force Gamora to reveal the location of the Soul Stone. Even more so if Nebula ever thought that Gamora would choose keeping the Soul Stone's secret over her sister's wellbeing. Instead, Gamora confirmed for Nebula that she really did love her.
    • This is revisited right after Thanos erases half the universe's population; he finds himself in an ethereal realm (likely within the Soul Stone), and sees Gamora as a child. The exchange is small, but powerful.
      Thanos: Daughter?
      Gamora: Did you do it?
      Thanos: Yes.
      Gamora: What did it cost?
      Thanos: ...Everything.
  • Thanos himself can be seen this way, especially considering the above examples. Going to his backstory in which Titan faced an Overpopulation Crisis. He offered a solution where half of the citizens would die to make sure there was enough resources for the remainder. They rejected his idea, called him "mad" and, predictably, fell to ruin. Thanos probably didn't even care if he negotiated less than half, included himself, anything to save his people and planet, and he ends up as the sole survivor. In the end, he sacrificed everything to obtain the Infinity Stones and carry out his will.
    • Based on his actions and tragic backstory, it's heavily implied Thanos doesn't altogether like what he's doing but legitimately considers it for the good of the universe, which makes this line have a deeper meaning than a simple boast.
      Thanos: I know what it's like to lose. To feel so desperately that you're right... yet to fail nonetheless.
    • A low-key indication of this is the scene where Thanos arrives on Titan. He stands for a moment looking around the ruins of Titan... then his shoulders sag and his head looks down glumly. The exact thought process is hard to pin down, although it's likely close to, "No matter what happens next, everyone I ever cared about on this planet is DEAD, including my family." He doesn't cry, but he's clearly hurting.
    • Before his battle with the Avengers/Guardians on Titan began, Thanos remarked to Doctor Strange that his presence there (and by extension, the Time Stone) meant Ebony Maw succeeded in his mission (even if he got killed in process). Prior to this, Ebony Maw adamantly feels that if he doesn't pry off the Stone from Strange before reaching Titan, "there will be judgment" for him. The fact that Thanos's reaction to his death is different suggests that despite Maw's own perfectionist insecurities, Thanos does value his service after all. The fact that he lost Maw (his nearest aide and "son") just immediately after being forced to murder Gamora does explain why he sees their sequential loss as "the day extract[ing] a heavy toll."
  • Thanos impaling and almost killing Tony Stark. Especially since most people assumed that he’d be the one to die in this film, it really felt like the end.
  • A minor one, that's something of a follow up to a tearjerker mentioned on the tearjerker page for Doctor Strange's own film. Two years later... and Strange still has tremors in his hands, as seen in the scene where he relinquishes the Time Stone.
  • The MCU seems to make it its job to make Wanda Maximoff's life more miserable in each installment she appears. After being separated with Vision in Captain America: Civil War, she manages to have some sort of stability in her life, which comes crashing down when Thanos' children target Vision for the Mind Stone. Despite Vision's insistence for her to leave him for her own safety, Wanda doesn't want that to happen and keeps insisting to stay by his side. Eventually, she realizes that in order to stop Thanos, she has to destroy the Mind Stone, and Vision with it. Throughout the process of her destroying the Stone, you can clearly see Wanda tearing up to no end to do what must be done, and then the deed is done. After losing her parents and then her twin brother, this is yet another beloved person who left Wanda forever... but then Thanos uses the Time Stone to reform Vision just to tear the Mind Stone out of him, killing him and giving him an even more horrible death right in front of Wanda. And then as stated above, Wanda is one of the heroes disintegrated by Thanos, cradling Vision's grayed-out, lifeless, and torn body. Though, after all she went through, you may start thinking that disintegration was a Mercy Kill...
    • As Wanda uses her powers to destroy the Mind Stone, Vision is on his knees and screaming in pure agony. Before the stone shatters, he is able to look Wanda in the eye and tell her one last thing before he finally dies:
      • And before that: "You could never hurt me. I just feel you."
    • Unlike the others, as Wanda disintegrates, she has a face of relief before she passes. After her franchise-long Trauma Conga Line, can you really blame her?
    • With Vision dead, that means the last remaining remnant of J.A.R.V.I.S. (and, by extension, the man himself, Edwin Jarvis) is gone for good.
    • Poor Vision's death was bad enough the first time, having to talk his girlfriend into sacrificing him even though he knows how much it will hurt her, but at least he got to die thinking he was giving his friends a fighting chance at winning the day. His second death, however, had no such silver lining. Instead he gets Thanos ripping his head open as he struggles in terror, his last thoughts likely being that he had failed and how everyone he was leaving was now in even more danger than before.
      • On that note, Vision is the only fallen Avenger whose body remains intact due to already being dead. The bodies of his other dead teammates physically cannot be retrieved.
  • Tony's big fear, as established in Avengers: Age of Ultron, wasn't as simple as the fear of an alien invasion, but the fear of Survivor Guilt — in his visions, he would survive while everyone else died. By the end of the movie he finally manages to comfort himself with the knowledge that if they do go down, they will all do so together by fighting — Tony wouldn't have to survive alone, but could die together with his friends. At the end of Infinity War, purely by sheer (bad) luck, his worst fear comes into fruition as he gets to witness his friends dying while he alone survives, stranded on an alien planet, unaware of how many of his friends survived on Earth. Sure, Nebula is with him to keep him company, but they had only just met minutes ago during their confrontation with Thanos. For all Tony knows, he's the last Avenger standing.
    • They may not be on speaking terms, but after Thanos wiped out half the universe, they're still going to spend that time wondering what happened to the other — Steve probably thinks Tony died either in battle or by being wiped away from existence, and Tony probably assumes the same thing of Steve. Now their reunion (if they get one) isn't going to be a warm one either — out of all the things Steve did that were reckless, including the breakup of the Avengers, making Tony think he's dead is going to be at the top of that list, and it won't erase all those years of torment that will follow.
    • Now, Tony and Nebula may have each other for company, but they'll be stranded on Titan long enough to lose any hope of rescue. Nebula's a wanted criminal and a former assassin of Thanos, so no one's gonna come and rescue her. As for Tony, he's not only stranded, but he's lost his team due to the Civil War, he had to watch his entire party, especially Peter Parker die, the world already thinks he's dead, so he's got the short end of the stick.
  • Speaking of Nebula — her reaction to everything may be the worst of all. From her very first appearance in the MCU Nebula has been an almost unmatched Determinator. From the intensity of her fights with Gamora, to acquiring a spaceship so she could fly halfway across the galaxy to challenge Gamora, to nearly assassinating Thanos herself, to breaking free to join Tony's team confronting him on Titan, she's never been one to give up. Yet all she can do after the finger snap is silently watch as most of the others disappear before simply saying to herself as much as Tony "He did it." She sounds utterly broken.
  • The entire scene where half the universe's population fades away into ash. Untold billions on Earth alone die, along with nearly every character who was not part of the original Avengers (War Machine, Rocket, Okoye, M'Baku, and Nebula being the exceptions). This also includes Nick Fury and Maria Hill, as seen in The Stinger. The despair and pain on their faces due to seeing their closest allies disintegrate is absolutely gut-wrenching.
    • Just before that scene, and right after Thanos snaps his fingers, Thor, who currently has Thanos impaled on his weapon, just manages to say horrified "What did you do?". Remember, he was on Benatar when Gamora explained what this finger snap would do, so he knows something is going to turn very wrong soon, even if in that moment nothing is yet happening. You know how bad this will be if someone who recently lost his mother, father, (adopted) brother, best friend, homeland, half of his people, his hammer, and his eye, is still horrified about what is to come. Earlier in discussion with Rocket he says he has nothing to lose. Turns out he was wrong.
    • When Thanos taunts Thor over his mistake of not "going for the head", he slowly raises the Gauntlet up, ready to do the Snap. At first, the viewer can tell that Thor doesn't know what the Titan meant, but then looks at the Gauntlet and slowly realizes what's going to happen...and then, just when Thanos snaps his fingers, all Thor can say is a quick Big "NO!", as a last-second plead for Thanos to spare the universe. But, it was already too late.
    • Captain Steve Rogers, who was willing to start a literal Civil War between heroes for Sergeant Barnes, his final tenuous link to his happy past life in the 1940's, gazes on in horror as Bucky, gasping his friend's and brother's name one last time, crumbles into the wind to join Peggy in the literal ashes of time. Now truly the last relic to remain from an age of fading, forgotten glories, the Star-Spangled Man With a Plan who gave everything to save the world crumbles into an emotionally hollow husk, so broken he could not even shed tears, much less weep for the beloved big brother who was always with him since boyhood.
      • There's something else about this scene that's heartbreaking: throughout the MCU, Cap was the Determinator, refusing to succumb to despair or believe that they would ever lose. But with Bucky's death, Steve Rogers finally gives into despair, at the time the Avengers need him the most. Thanos managed to do what the Red Skull, Loki, Alexander Pierce, Ultron, and Helmut Zemo never managed to do: he broke the spirit of Captain America.
        Steve: Oh God.
      • The above quote also is uttered when Steve realizes that people are disintegrating on a universal scope. This gets worse when you realize the main character trait of Captain America throughout the previous films: he will stop at nothing to save as many lives as possible. He alone went back to rescue the captured prisoners of war from a heavily guarded HYDRA camp in World War II and he refused to leave the people in Sokovia behind even if it means the end of the world. He will be the first to run straight into a suicidal battle so others can live another day. But this time, despite giving his all, he failed to save half the universe and his teammates from dying. He failed the one mission he dedicated his whole life doing. Losing his best friend in front of him is just rubbing the salt in the already big wound. And if that wasn't bad enough, he loses his other best friend, Sam Wilson, several moments later, but he doesn't know this. The second haymaker hasn't hit him yet.
      • Even before the clincher cliffhanger, Steve's appearance is depressing. Gone are any symbols or motifs of his home country that he loves so much on this costume, and gone is his iconic American flag shield. Cap feels so disgraced at all of his actions that he can't even associate himself with the country that he grew up in and fought for. The Beard of Sorrow doesn't help make his appearance anymore cheerful.
    • Sam disintegrates in the long grass, out of sight of Rhodey, who is calling out his name but doesn't get there in time to see Sam disintegrate... so he just keeps looking. Which is worse — dying while your best friend can do nothing but watch, or Dying Alone with no one to see you go?
      • Some Fridge Horror as both Rhodey and Sam are former United States Air Force Airmen. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Sam told Steve that he lost Riley, his wingman back in the day. Here, Rhodey loses Sam, his wingman in this fight.
    • Special mention goes to Peter Parker/Spider-Man's disintegration. There is no speech of bravado or determination to encourage Tony to stop Thanos. Oh no, he is utterly terrified, as he repeatedly apologizes and pleads for Tony to stay with him, as he is completely terrified of dying. This comes to show, just like Spider-Man: Homecoming, that he is nothing more than a sixteen-year-old boy brought into a war bigger than he had ever thought. After he has finally disappeared, all Tony can do is silently grieve for him, and all his lost heroes, all while Nebula sadly looks on.
      Peter: Mister Stark? I don't feel so good...
      Tony: You're alright.
      Peter: I don't know what's- I don't- I don't know what's happening! [Peter falls into Tony's arms, clutching him tight and crying] I don't wanna go, I don't wanna go, Mister Stark, please. Please, I don't wanna go. I don't wanna go... I'm sorry. [Peter disintegrates into ashes]
    • Made even worse, the other characters didn't really catch on to what's going on, and we know from Drax that more durable characters take longer to go, so Peter, who processes information so much faster than the others, probably realized that not only was it inevitable, but he suffered through every second of it.
      • "Mr. Stark? I don't feel so good..." Because his Spider-Sense is going off, possibly much more powerfully than ever before, as it is now reacting to a threat on a universal level. Peter knows he's in danger... and can't do anything about it.
    • It was revealed that his disintegration took the longest because he was using his super-strength to hold himself together, trying to fight the Snap as hard as he could, only to fail in doing so.
    • In a doubly-heartbreaking Ironic Echo to Spider-Man: Homecoming, when Tony rebuffs Peter's attempts to affectionately hug him with a cold "No, we're not there yet," all Tony does is hug the crying boy so he could be loved and comforted in his final moments.
      • Speaking of Spider-Man: Homecoming, there is also this line: "And if you died... I feel like that's on me. I don't need that on my conscience."
      • Even if Tony had left Peter behind, he would have still died anyways because of Thanos' snap killing indiscriminately. So what is better: have the kid die in his arms or die on Earth with Tony having no way of knowing?
      • While he's holding him, Tony frantically says that "[he's] alright" as if to reassure himself as much as Peter.
      • Mixed with Fridge Horror, Tony starts Infinity War dreaming of fatherhood and ends up losing the closest thing he has to a son after the movie dedicated good chunk of their screentime to playing their bond up. It's worse if you subscribe to the theory that Tony sees his AIs and Vision as his kids. The fact Thanos succeeded means Vision at least must also be dead. All this on top of losing J.A.R.V.I.S. in Age of Ultron.
    • Like Steve, Tony has always been the Determinator. Be it through his arrogance, overconfidence, or his Heroic Spirit, Stark has never been one to lose hope in a situation. Peter's death, just like Bucky's death for Steve, utterly breaks Tony’s will to go on fighting.
    • The way Tony just sits and throws his hands up afterward says more about his emotional state at that moment than words possibly can.
      • Not just that. If you pay attention, Tony brushes dust off his hands after Spider-Man dies. He seems very nonchalant, but regardless of whether or not he realizes it (though he probably does), that dust used to be Peter Parker. And he immediately stops when he realizes what he is doing. In the end, he just holds his left hand (covered by his blood and Peter's ashes) near his mouth. It almost looks like he is trying hold all what is left of Peter as near as possible.
      • There's also the fact that, as Spidey was wearing his costume as he went, Karen (the A.I. inside Peter's suit) is also gone as well.
    • It becomes even worse when one remembers his nightmare in Avengers: Age of Ultron. While partially inaccurate, the point still stands that Tony has lost many of his friends to an extremely dangerous threat.
      • Look closely at the moment immediately after Peter's body disintegrates into ashes. Tony slowly looks at his own hand, before the camera cuts to his saddened expression. It's not just shock from seeing Peter crumble into dust that Tony is experiencing. Tony was waiting for himself to be the next one to disintegrate, and since he didn't, he basically has a Fate Worse than Death.
      • Just a second before Peter disintegrates, if one looks closely at his hand (which falls apart first), it's resting on Tony's shoulder. He was trying to comfort Tony.
      • And then you hear that that scene wasn't scripted. Tom Holland was told to develop his own death scene, and the results were... ugh.
      • Given that Strange specifically bargained for Tony's life and Nebula is Thanos' adopted daughter, it's entirely possible they might be thinking they're the only people left alive in the universe. While Nebula is fully aware of Thanos's plan and Tony was told half of Earth would still be alive, they won't know what truly happened until they get off-world and until, then, their imaginations will almost certainly be working against them.
    • Unlike the other heroes' confusion or fear, Doctor Strange quietly accepts his death, assuring Tony that this was the only way to defeat Thanos.
      • Furthermore, since everyone's clothes disappeared with them and Dr. Strange didn't take off the Cloak of Levitation when he got disintegrated, that means the Cloak — which has has a mind of its own and its own quirky, sassy personality — is also dead.
    • Before Mantis disappears, she seems to sense the emotional turmoil of the trillions of lives being affected across the cosmos, the psychic reverberations so hard to comprehend that she can only utter "something... is happening...".
    • Drax's comic relief status is thoroughly revoked as he dies. There are no jokes. No punchlines. Just Drax sounding horribly confused and afraid as he says "Quill?" before he and Mantis vaporize. Likewise, Quill doesn't go out with any quips, just a shell-shocked "Aw, man."
      • Possibly even worse for Quill, that "Aw, man" is probably his small way of admitting that he fucked up, considering that his rage basically cost them their only chance to take off the Gauntlet from Thanos and, by extension, the universe's survival. And if Thanos still would've broken free, even without Quill's rage, he's still gonna be kicking himself for realizing too late that that could've been their only chance, and he screwed it up.
    • T'Challa sees Okoye injured and rushes to help her up, only to disintegrate right before her very eyes. Okoye can do nothing but stare in shock and anguish. She has lost her king yet again, and this time for real.
      T'Challa: Up, General. Up. This is no place to die.
      • Made even more tragic by the aforementioned quote. T'Challa literally says that they won't die here, but he still dies.
    • Moments after Sam Wilson disintegrates, we cut back to Okoye, alone and looking around frantically, presumably having realized what's happening. Okoye has always been a cool, calm and collected warrior driven by fierce loyalty to her king. Seeing her look as terrified as she does is genuinely heartbreaking.
    • Okoye's screams at her beloved king's death rip into you and you still hear them in the background as the film cuts to the Avengers left standing.
    • The real kicker? Everyone else's Famous Last Words are either of confusion or shock. T'Challa's were optimistic, determined, and encouraging. Everyone clearly felt their deaths coming, but T'Challa ignored the weird feeling to get his friend and confidant back on her feet so they could continue their work.
    • When Okoye and T'Challa are planning for the battle and T'Challa asks of the status of the Border Tribe, Okoye stoically replies "what's left of them". Among the absences of other characters introduced in Black Panther, W'Kabi is one of them. Okoye may have lost her king and her husband in a short timeline.
    • It's Harsher in Hindsight if you've seen Black Panther (2018). In that film, when they all believed T'Challa was killed, Shuri mourned that "we didn't even get to bury him." He turned out to be alive then. This time, no, he really is gone, and there's nothing left of his body but dust in the wind. Okoye (and Shuri, Ramonda, and Nakia, if they survived) will have to go through this grief again, and this time they'll know it's for real.
      • Worse: when Killmonger overtook Wakanda, he burned the Garden of the Heart-Shaped Herb, which grants the Black Panthers their superhuman abilities. The last Heart-Shaped Herb was used to save T’Challa’s life, effectively making him the last mystically-empowered Black Panther. We’ve no evidence that Wakandan scientists have found a way to restore the Herb, and with No Body Left Behind, they likely never will. The proud, centuries-long legacy of the Black Panther is finished.
      • Even worse: According to the trailer for Avengers: Endgame and the "Avenge the Fallen" posters, Shuri is counted among the dead. Wakanda has lost both of its heirs.
    • M'Baku witnesses his tribesmen and fellow people turning to ash en masse, no longer letting out the war cry of his people, but instead in utter stunned silence.
      • Blink and you'll miss it, but the very few surviving tribesmen of the Wakandan army behind M'Baku can only stand around as everyone disintegrates, looking horrified.
    • Rocket has lost Groot for the second time. And he still doesn't know that Quill, Gamora, Drax, and Mantis are dead, too. Just imagine when Nebula and Tony eventually manage to get to Earth...
      • Rocket Raccoon. The Last Guardian. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: there, poor Rocket tearfully admitted why he considered the Guardians his family: no matter how abrasive and horrible his temper was, no matter how much his temper made everything harder for everyone around him, the Guardians never let him down, and never left him alone. Until now, and only because they died, and all at once. All he's got now are the Avengers.
      • Making matters worse, Groot's last words, addressed to Rocket, translated to "Dad..."
      • It's been confirmed the younger Groot isn't Groot, but Groot's son. Meaning Rocket hasn't just lost his best friend a second time. He failed to protect the last reminder of his already dead friend. Poor guy needs more than one hug...
      • Early in the movie, when Thor asks what more he could lose, Rocket quietly says to himself that he, personally, could lose a lot. And he loses everything.
      • On the Marvel wiki, under the page for the MCU Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket is listed as the only active member.
    • And what makes all of this worse? The entire scene takes place in complete, utter silence. Aside from ambient sounds and character dialogues, there is no background music at all until the event has passed and the reality of what just happened starts to kick in. Makes it all even more impactful.
    • It all ends with a long, held shot of our very few surviving heroes standing around the gruesome remains of the Vision. Nobody is weeping uncontrollably or screaming in rage. They're just staring in numb, horrified shock, expressions no doubt mirrored by the audience. And the one who seems to be taking it the hardest? Black Widow. Natasha is pale as a ghost, her eyes dilated, and she's on the verge of hyperventilating. The deadliest member of the Avengers, the one who has a grim, professional attitude towards death, who believes that after enduring the Red Room, nothing could ever scare her again. She's trembling with terror.
    • Like a few other characters, her Exact Words have come back to haunt her: "This is monsters and magic and nothing we were ever trained for."
    • An interview between Huffington Post and the Russos revealed a list of film characters who may or may not have turned to dust. Amongst the offscreen casualties — Betty Ross and Lady Sif.
    • Speaking of Ross, her father may have been a Jerkass and even tried to withhold the Avengers' attempt to save the Earth in vain, but he still was a loving father towards her even though his methods to earn her love in The Incredible Hulk were wrong and destroyed their relationship. Who know's what's going on in Ross' mind once he finds out his daughter is one of the casualties of Thanos' Badass Fingersnap and it's left in the open if her death would wake him up to have a major Jerkass Realization or, given his shortsightedness, make him blame the Avengers for her death along with the deaths of others and using his position as State Secretary to disgrace them for their failure to protect the Earth and turn what's left of the public against them After the End.
    • Another offscreen death confirmed by the Russos: The Galaga Guy. And what was he doing when he got turned to dust? He was in the middle of a game, mere seconds from beating the high score.
  • The final shot of the movie, not counting The Stinger, is one showing Thanos. But he's not maniacally laughing or celebrating his victory — he's just reflecting upon what he's just done, contently, with a hint of melancholy at the thought of having sacrificed everything he cared about to achieve his goal. And in many ways, this is actually more upsetting than if Thanos were a Card-Carrying Villain. It would be so easy to hate Thanos if he was cackling madly at his triumph, but no, he was simply a Well-Intentioned Extremist who regrets that he did what he feels he had to do. You know you have a bleak ending on your hands when not only does the bad guy win, but even the bad guy isn't happy about it.
  • The damn credits end up being this. Instead of a flashy credit sequence we see in previous movies, these credits are over a black background with melancholic music playing, letting what just happened to finally sink in to the audience. Then it finally shows the movie's title... before it disintegrates, acting like a Kick the Dog to all the viewers. And this is when the Avengers' theme plays quietly on a piano. Every time we hear Alan Silvestri's Avengers leitmotif, it doubles as a Theme Music Power-Up / Power Up Motif for the heroes. This time, it emphasizes just how badly and soundly all of them were defeated.
    • One can compare the entire credits to a memorial, especially after seeing the names of the actors playing the characters.
    • And to nail it even further? Even Nick Fury himself isn't spared. In the film's only Stinger, he and Maria Hill are just driving along in a city when they hear the news about Wakanda being attacked. The next thing they know, Hill starts to vaporize. Nick watches the chaos around him unfold, and by chaos, we mean cars and airplanes are crashing and stopping awkwardly because the people operating them disintegrated as well. That's when he realizes, to his horror, that he's starting to disintegrate as well. That a message is sent to Captain Marvel is the only thing that gives this movie a Ray of Hope Ending.
    • And just to drive the knife in further, who do we get confirmation on returning next movie? Not the Avengers, not any hero; Thanos will return.
  • The outcome of the heroes' battle with Thanos makes for a retroactive tearjerker when you remember Tony's exchange with Steve in Age of Ultron. Tony says that if they aren't prepared for the oncoming threat, they'll lose. Steve tells him that in that case, they'll lose together. Except when it actually happens in this film they aren't together at all; the Avengers have broken up, and they are literal worlds apart from each other.
  • The fact that in the end, no one gained or earned anything. Everyone lost. Sure, Thanos did achieve his goal in halving the universe, but at the cost of his entire army and his Children (although he won't need either in his retirement), and Gamora, the one daughter he genuinely loved, and can only reflect on his deeds with a heartbroken smile on his face, knowing that his journey ended with him having lost absolutely everything he had. On the other hand, the Avengers have suffered their first complete loss. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Steve proclaims that the team will fight together, even if they lose. But in the end, the team has been divided in this film's ending, separated planets apart with no knowledge of who died or who lived. The surviving heroes are left broken, hopeless and silently mourning their losses, as the reality of the situation impacts them and breaks their spirits. This film is not just heroes versus a villain. It's a montage of so many people suffering and losing what they loved and protected, and culminating in quite possibly the largest kill count of any superhero film. Trillions upon trillions of lifeforms and entities from so many different planets and galaxies, all dead in ashes. A decade in the making, and it all turns out to be the single, most soul-crushing Downer Ending in any comic book film, that hardly any viewer would have seen coming.



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