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The Avengers / Tropes A to D

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The Avengers provides examples of the following tropes:

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WARNING: Spoilers from the earlier films are unmarked.


  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: Tony Stark pronounces "Galaga" wrong: you should stress the middle syllable, not the first.note 
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: After the chaotic Helicarrier battle, Fury talks to Steve and Tony about what he really wanted out of the Avengers, and Black Widow talks with Hawkeye as he "shakes off" Loki's control, solidifying their relationship for viewers.
  • Action Girl: Black Widow and Maria Hill are high-level S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
  • Action Prologue: Right away, the film starts off with Loki breaking into S.H.I.E.L.D. and stealing the Tesseract.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • Bruce laughs at Tony's prank with the electrified probe. Cap, on the other hand, reacts differently.
    • The fact that Tony Stark has this attitude towards life in general causes a major clash with the old-fashioned, by-the-book Steve Rogers, and establishes the contrast between their personalities:
      Steve Rogers: [after probe incident] Hey! Are you nuts?!
      Tony Stark: Jury's out.
      Steve Rogers: Is everything a joke to you?
      Tony Stark: Funny things are.
  • Ad Hominem: Nick Fury uses the "Tu quoque" (hypocrite) version of this while arguing with Stark.
    Nick Fury: [Thor] forced our hand. We had to come up with something to
    Tony Stark: A nuclear deterrent. Because that always calms everything right down.
    Nick Fury: Remind me again how you made your fortune, Stark.
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • Hawkeye and Black Widow are agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and dress like their Ultimate incarnations, but act more like their 616 counterparts. Hawkeye (in his first major film role) spends the entire first half of the movie Brainwashed and Crazy under Loki's spell. Meanwhile, in her conversation with Loki, Black Widow's dark past is alluded to (with references to someone's daughter and a hospital fire which suggest her past was very dark). Both of these could be homages to the fact that in the comics, both Hawkeye and Black Widow started out as villians (they were even partnered together!) before undergoing separate Heel Face Turns.
    • Nick Fury is played by Samuel L. Jackson. His 616 counterpart is an old white guy, but the Ultimate Universe gave him a Race Lift and later artists drew him to resemble Jackson. In fact, they specifically asked for likeness rights from Jackson for the comic which he grantednote , which made his later casting as Fury a no-brainernote .
    • Captain America's costume resembles his Ultimate counterpart's, but he acts like the original 616 character.
    • Thor's costume takes elements from the Ultimate line, his original costume, and his contemporary comic book outfit.
    • The team is formed by S.H.I.E.L.D. (The Ultimates and technically Heroes Reborn) in response to a threat by Loki (616) and the Chitauri (back to The Ultimates).
  • Adapted Out: Founding Avengers Ant-Man and The Wasp do not appear (yet), though the Wasp was present in earlier drafts of the script and can even be seen in some of the storyboards.
  • Adoption Diss: Played for Laughs where Thor is at first defending Loki, then promptly does a Verbal Backspace:
    Bruce Banner: I don't think we should be focusing on Loki. That guy's brain is a bag full of cats. You can smell crazy on him.
    Thor: Have care how you speak. Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard and he is my brother.
    Black Widow: He killed eighty people in two days.
    Thor: He's adopted.
  • Aerial Canyon Chase: Iron Man takes out many of the invading flying charioteers by getting them to chase him through the streets of New York after Hawkeye notes that they aren't as maneuverable as he is.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Asgard and Chitauri weaponry/engineering tends toward the sleek and shiny, while modern human technology favors functionality, though with clear embellishments like Cap's uniform and shield and the Iron Man armors. Form does not, however, follow function, as S.H.I.E.L.D. shows with their boxy, gunmetal-black "Thorbuster" gun based on the remains of the Destroyer, an Asgard weapon.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, as usual. It's even invisible from underneath!
  • Alien Invasion: Loki calls in a Chitauri army to conquer Earth.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Loki and the Chitauri. In the comics it's explained that Loki speaks the "All-Tongue", which is understood by anyone as their native language.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Loki manages it three times:
    • He infiltrates the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, kills or subjugates the agents present, steals the Tesseract and leaves before the facility collapses in on itself due to an explosion caused by the Stone
    • Then his Brainwashed and Crazy soldiers assault the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier, taking down one of its engines, pushing Banner over the edge and releasing Loki, who kills Coulson and sends Thor falling down inside a Glassy Prison
    • Finally, he takes over the Stark Tower to open the portal for the Chitauri army from its rooftop. It is becoming predictable, and Tony Stark guesses his plan:
      Tony: He made it personal. [...] That's Loki's point. He hit us all right where we live. [...] He wants to beat us, he wants to be seen doing it.
  • All There in the Manual: War Machine's absence in the film isn't explained or even alluded to. The comic book prequel to Iron Man 3 ends up explaining where he was during the Chitauri invasion.
  • Alpha Strike: The Chitauri eventually resort to this when fighting the Hulk, surrounding him and swamping him with laser fire. It's the first thing in the battle that even slows him down.
  • America Saves the Day: Downplayed, but the symbolism is there. When the old man in Germany stands up to Loki, none of his fellow Germans stand with him. It's Captain America who drops in to protect him at the last second and goes on to capture Loki with backup from Stark, the face of the American military-industrial complex.
  • AM/FM Characterization: Tony Stark hacks the PA system to blare AC/DC's "Shoot to Thrill" as he arrives in Germany, showing his need to create a spectacle wherever he goes.
  • Amusing Injuries: Loki, poor Loki. During the battle near the end, he tells the Hulk about how poorly he thinks of him. Hulk doesn't like it, and proceeds to smash him around, turn around and call him "puny God". Bonus points for Loki waking shortly thereafter, captured but instantly alert and snarky, in a Loki-shaped depression in the floor.
  • And I Must Scream: Hawkeye's description of what it's like to be brainwashed by Loki. "You ever had someone take your brain and play? Pull you out, stuff something else in? Do you know what it's like to be unmade?" Natasha, who started spy/assassin training as a child, responds, "You know that I do."
  • And Mission Control Rejoiced: The controllers on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier cheer when Tony Stark captures the nuke bound for New York and instead sends it through the portal.
  • Androcles' Lion: Tony's kindness towards Bruce and acceptance of the Hulk pays off when the Hulk saves his life at the film's end.
  • And Starring
  • And This Is for...: Combined with It's Personal.
    Tony Stark: And there's one other person you pissed off. His name is Phil.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Zigzagged by Loki for extra sadism during his confrontation with Black Widow.
    Loki: I won't touch Barton. Not until I make him kill you, slowly, intimately, in every way he knows you fear. And then he’ll wake just long enough to see his good work. And when he screams, I’ll split his skull.
  • And Your Reward Is Edible: Blink and you miss this gem in the Helicarrier lab between Stark and Banner. Banner brings up Loki's earlier words ("a warm light for all mankind") and guesses correctly that this was aimed at Stark. Tony holds his bag of blueberries out for Bruce, as if that is his prize for getting the answer right. The gesture has clear overtones of tossing a treat to a pet (maybe to the Hulk inside Banner?) after doing a trick, which Bruce obviously gets, since he hesitates before taking a blueberry. (Rogers refuses one moments later, but then again he disapproves of the seemingly flippant way Stark is treating the whole situation and Dr. Banner as well. Accepting the blueberry symbolically puts Banner on Stark's side.) This was all ad-libbed: Robert Downey Jr. was hungry and pulled out a snack. Everyone just ran with it.
  • Annoying Arrows:
    • Averted with the brainwashing of Hawkeye. He retains his full destructive capability while doing his best to bring S.H.I.E.L.D. down, and he causes a lot of damage before he regains his senses. He also does quite a lot of damage to the invading Chitauri army.
    • Played with when Hawkeye takes a shot at Loki — Loki just snatches the arrow out of the air before giving viewers a long-suffering expression. And then the arrow blows up in his face.
    • Played absolutely straight with Maria Hill and a grenade that goes off right in front of her. Less than a minute after the explosion she's back up with little more than a scrape on the head. Her uniform isn't even ruffled.
  • Answer Cut: Loki has just brainwashed S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives, claimed the Tesseract, and escaped. Agent Coulson asks "What do we do now?" Nick Fury doesn't have an answer, but cue title card: The Avengers. Made even cooler in the UK release as the title there is "Avengers Assemble."
  • Anti-Air: Hulk's response to the pilot who tries to eject from the jet.
  • Anti-Hero: The Avengers are all over the sliding scale.
    • Bruce Banner is a Type I — he's a meek scientist who just wants to be left alone but is willing to risk his freedom and being put in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s cage to help protect the world. The Hulk starts as a Type IV, not hesitating to kill anyone who tries to put him in a cage, or worse, but still avoiding innocent people, and ends up as a Type III, a textbook example of Destructive Savior, and not hesitating to beat the Chitauri to death, but still willing to help humans, even those who tried to put him in a cage.
    • Tony Stark and Thor are both Type II — they're snarky, arrogant, and mostly involved with the conflict for their own reasons (Tony because of his ego, Thor to retrieve his adoptive brother), but the former is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and the latter is a pampered person who comes around to being a team player easily enough.
    • Hawkeye (when he's not under Loki's control, anyway) is a Type III or IV, depending on the situation he's in. If he's spotting, he's perfectly cool and collected, but get him out on the battlefield and he's lethal.
    • Black Widow is all over the scale herself, formerly a Nominal Hero before she came to meet Clint Barton, she works as an Unscrupulous Hero spy for S.H.I.E.L.D, and ends up being more of an Extreme Pragmatic Anti-Hero by the time the movie ends.
    • Averted with Captain America. He's the only one who's a straight-up hero. Although unlike the classic Cape he is willing to kill, it's strictly by necessity — he prefers to knock enemies out. This actually doesn't make him any better a team player than anyone else early on, due to his problems dealing with the numerous Anti-heroes on his team.
    • Nick Fury, much like the other members of S.H.I.E.L.D., is a Type V that may have slid down to a type IV by the end of the movie. He's a Manipulative Bastard that keeps secrets from the team and tried to use alien tech to build a WMD, but ultimately he just wants to protect the Earth, and even he has limits on that, doing everything he can to stop the World Security Council's nuclear missile destroying New York.
  • Apocalypse How: Loki attempts a Class 1, meaning a lot of people are going to die, but civilization is still surviving in a reduced state.
  • Arc Words: "Old-fashioned", "war", "suit up", "sentiment" and "Phase Two".
  • Arrogant God vs. Raging Monster:
    • Loki causes Hulk to go on a rampage on board the Helicarrier, and Thor is the only one around who can fight him. It is left undetermined who would have won since Hulk's attention is eventually drawn toward a fighter jet, and he leaps out of the Helicarrier. Later, while the Avengers fight off the Chitauri invasion, Hulk can't resist to give Thor one final punch.
    • Whilst Thor's brother Loki doesn't fit the martial warrior part of the trope, the dialogue when he meets Hulk during the Chitauri invasion sums up the trope perfectly. Loki starts a speech with the words "Enough! You are, all of you, beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature! And I will not be bullied by–", only to be interrupted by Hulk repeatedly smashing him against the floor saying "Puny god."
  • Arrow Cam: The camera follows the arrow that Hawkeye shoots at Loki.
  • Arrow Catch: Loki catches an arrow fired at him by Hawkeye, and smirks. Then the arrow explodes in front of his face.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Nick Fury, after being a cameo character to Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger and a supporting character in Iron Man 2, becomes the Deuteragonist of the film and the Team Dad to the Avengers.
    • The blonde waitress, Beth, that has many reaction shots, seems to recognize Steve as Captain America when his mask off, and even has an interview during the Wrap-up montage, was in several deleted scenes that didn't make it into the final cut:
      • First, a scene includes her serving Steve Rogers near Stark Tower at the beginning of the movie, with Stan Lee urging him to ask for her number.
      • Beth is given several additional scenes during the Final Battle. She watches the battle outside as she and others flee from the coffee shop, explores the wreckage of the battle outside, meets a police officer with a Chitauri gun who is shot and killed trying to rescue her, and is captured by the Chitauri and herded into a bank with several other people, where she discovers the Chituari had previously killed an entire group of hostages by vaporizing them with a grenade.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Agent Coulson, who turns out to be a Closet Geek for Captain America, gets the opportunity to work with his idol.
  • Ascended Meme: Science Bros, a name fans used to describe Bruce and Tony, is now the subtitle for the second volume of the Avengers Assemble comic, which features the two, and others. Given that its writer is on Tumblr, this makes sense.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: On the bridge of the hovercarrier, Tony Stark stands between two rows of monitors and covers his left eye, simulating Nick Fury's eye patch, then points to the monitors to his left.
    Tony Stark: How does Fury even see these?
    Agent Hill: He turns.
    Tony Stark: Sounds exhausting.
  • As Long as There Is One Man: When Loki attacks Stuttgart, Germany, and orders the people to bow to him, one elderly German (old enough to have either lived through World War II or been born soon after) refuses and proclaims that there will always be people who will stand up to petty tyrants like him. Loki gets ready to fry the old man when Captain America arrives.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Played for laughs during the Final Battle. The NYPD won't listen to Cap's orders to evacuate the civilians and set up a perimeter until Cap takes out a couple of Chitauri in front of the officers, at which point the Sergeant there starts giving his men the exact same orders Cap gave a second ago.
  • Ass-Kicking Pose: The entire team as they stand prepared to fight against the enemy.
  • Astral Projection: Loki either uses the power of his magical scepter or his own illusion powers to project his consciousness across light-years of space to the distant lair of the Chitauri army. Despite physically being on a different planet, Loki is still scared enough of his alien master to flinch when he "approaches" him.
  • Ate His Gun: Bruce Banner mentions that he once tried to commit suicide this way, only for "the other guy" to spit out the bullet.
  • The Atoner:
    • Black Widow has "red in her ledger" (i.e. a debt to pay, but also These Hands Have Killed) that she wants to wipe out.
    • Hawkeye also shows some shades of this. After being freed from Loki's brainwashing, the first thing he wants to know is how many of their fellow agents he's killed while under Loki's control.
    • Though not overly prevalent in this installment of the universe, Tony Stark's role as Iron Man and his participating in the battle at all can all be attributed to him trying to make up for all the years that he manufactured weapons and that Obadiah Stane was selling them under the table to terrorist organizations.
  • Attack Backfire: Thor's lightning strike against Tony supercharges the Iron Man suit's power to 475%.
  • Attack Reflector: Captain America's shield, once again.
    • Cap redirects Loki's bolt when Loki tries to kill the old man who refused to bow.
    • Thor's overhead strike on Cap's shield causes a backlash that flattens Cap, Thor, Iron Man, and several hundred feet of surrounding forest.
    • Later, Cap and Iron Man use Cap's shield to reflect a repulsor beam blast into a squad of Chitauri behind Tony, à la Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2.
  • Attention Whore:
    • Tony Stark, good god. He's partly doing it to break the ice (and at one point, to implant a computer virus into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s network to find out what they're hiding from the Avengers), but he's also clearly reveling in his captive audience in order to show off and crack jokes nonstop.
    • Loki also seems to delight in doing this. Tony's not amused when he realises the similarities between them.
  • Audible Sharpness: Played with. Arrows and bladed scepters don't have audible sharpness. However, shields and hammers have audible bluntness.
  • Audience Surrogate: Captain America, being a Fish out of Temporal Water, regularly needs to be brought up to speed on the new world around him.
  • Author Tract: Averted with writer/director Joss Whedon having newly awake Steve Rogers (Captain America) giving his views (which were Whedon's own) on what was wrong with modern society, then cutting the scene out himself due to pacing.
    Joss Whedon: One of the best scenes that I wrote was the beautiful and poignant scene between Steve and Peggy [Carter] that takes place in the present. And I was the one who was like, Guys, we need to lose this. It was killing the rhythm of the thing. And we did have a lot of Cap, because he really was the in for me. I really do feel a sense of loss about what's happening in our culture, loss of the idea of community, loss of health care and welfare and all sorts of things. I was spending a lot of time having him say it, and then I cut that.
    • Also when Joss Whedon (a noted atheist) gives Cap the line "There's only one God, ma'am, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't dress like that." Never in a million years something Joss Whedon would say, but absolutely something Cap would say.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Invoked. When Iron Man arrives in Stuttgart to back up Captain America, he first hacks the nearest sound system — the PA system of Black Widow's quinjet — to blast AC/DC's "Shoot to Thrill" during the fight. This also serves as a Call-Back to Iron Man 2, where he enters the Stark Expo with the same song.
  • Avengers, Assemble!: Naturally. Though the line itself is only used in a begrudging sarcastic tone by Stark, as seen in the preview. It's used as the actual title of the movie in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Steve still dresses and wears his hair like he's in the 1940s. It becomes a Discussed Trope when Steve worries that a jaded public might not receive his star-spangled, patriotic uniform as well as the World War II generation, worrying that it might be seen as old-fashioned, to which Agent Coulson assures him that "Maybe we need some old-fashioned."
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Chitauri leviathans serve as this, having no weapons of their own their role is to transport troops around and crash into things.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: The S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. Banner even lampshades it. It takes tons of Tony Stark's arc reactor technology to keep it afloat and is likely astronomically expensive. And if two of the turbines are taken out, you have a Colony Drop on your hands.
  • Ax-Crazy: Crossed with Came Back Wrong. According to Tom Hiddleston, Loki's unprotected fall through the cosmos has led him to "see things". He's forsaken his family and is determined to destroy the Earth and hand the Tesseract over to those who would use its power to subjugate the entire universe just to spite his brother.

  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Cap and Thor, Cap and Iron Man, Cap and Black Widow, Black Widow and Hawkeye, Thor and the Hulk... it's a popular tactic. The shot of all of them in a circle during the climax is a Money Shot featured in the trailer.
  • Badass Army: Loki's secret master thought the Chitauri were one. Obviously not badass enough.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Tony makes several in a conversation with Loki.
      Stark: You're missing the point — there's no throne, there is no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes, and maybe it's too much for us, but it's all on you... 'Cause if we can't protect the Earth, you can be damn well sure we'll avenge it.
    • Loki himself gives one complete with an A God Am I line. Unfortunately he just had to do it to the Hulk. That didn't end well.
    • At the end, Nick Fury suggests that he orchestrated much of what happened in the film as a big Badass Boast on behalf of the planet Earth, a way of declaring to all those Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and would-be invaders "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!" The Chitauri themselves acknowledge this at the end. Their master Thanos, however, takes it as a challenge.
      WSC member: Was that the point of all this? A statement?
      Nick Fury: A promise.
  • Badass Bystander: The old man who refuses to kneel to Loki. He knows what Loki is about, and he knows what is going to happen to him if he doesn't comply with the villain's wishes, because he's seen this sort of tyrant before. Yet he still delivers a Kirk Summation with his head held high.
  • Badass Crew: The idea behind the Avengers Initiative was to invoke this trope. It wasn't the crew Fury planned on, but it all worked out in the end.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit
    • Loki, while not wearing Asgardian attire, looks dressed for the opera. He has to catch an act after all (and someone's eye).
    • Agent Coulson and most (male) S.H.I.E.L.D. agents also wear suits.
  • Badass Longcoat:
    • Nick Fury wears a fairly modern trench-coat.
    • Loki has a long coat as part of his Asgardian apparel and at the museum gala.
  • Badass Normal: Nick Fury, Agent Coulson and Maria Hill contribute to the fight using S.H.I.E.L.D. weapons, tactics and leadership. Hawkeye and Black Widow fight side-by-side with the four "powered" characters.
  • Bald, Black Leader Guy: Nick Fury heads up The Team.
  • Ballroom Blitz: Loki disrupts a very formal party in Germany in order to use one of the guests' eyeballs to allow the corrupted Barton to break in and steal something.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Captain America catches the blade of a Chitauri polearm/rifle-bayonet during the battle in Manhattan.
  • Bash Brothers: Several team ups, the most notable pairings being Iron Man and Captain America, Thor and the Hulk, and Black Widow and Hawkeye. Though Cap and Widow have their moments too.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space:
    • The Chitauri don't seem to have any apparatus other than their (possibly ornamental) metal masks while riding their sleds in outer space. Of course, they may come from a dimension where the laws of physics are a bit different or their strange cyborg bodies may not need air.
    • Steve provides a lesser example. When they're outside the Helicarrier up in the air, everyone else wears breather masks. Steve doesn't need to. This could be his Super Soldier nature, but there's not really any reason a Super Soldier would be able to breathe thinner air (if anything, his enhanced, high-metabolism body should need more oxygen than other people).
  • Batman Gambit: Loki's plans. All of them rely on pressing the heroes' buttons to provoke reactions that he thinks will help him. Largely works in the second act. Doesn't work at all on the Hulk.
  • Beam Spam: Late in the final battle a group of Chitauri aircraft manage to corner the Hulk and start blasting the bejeezus out of him, though even that doesn't do any lasting damage.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: A solid blow to the head seems to reverse the mind control caused by Loki's staff, at least in the cases of Hawkeye and Dr. Selvig. Black Widow, not wanting to take the risk that the trope isn't in effect, knocks Hawkeye out cold just to be safe.
    Black Widow: Cognitive recalibration. [pause] I hit you really hard on the head.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Played for laughs rather than for romance, when Captain America hears the following from his biggest fanboy, Agent Coulson:
    Coulson: I watched you while you were sleeping. [beat] I mean, I was present when you were unconscious from the ice.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Maria Hill gets small cuts on her cheek and forehead, though it notably stays there for the rest of the movie. Black Widow takes an accidental backhand from the Hulk and it doesn't even smudge her makeup, let alone pulverize her ribcage.
  • Behind the Black: Hulk's hilarious smack-down of Loki involves this: Loki is looking straight at the Hulk as he begins his "A God Am I" speech. There is enough distance between them that Loki would be able to see the Hulk's whole figure (so Hulk couldn't make any move without it being seen). But Loki is the only one in shot, and doesn't react until Hulk has already snatched his feet from under him mid-sentence so he can can whip him around like a ragdoll.
  • Bench Breaker: Black Widow does a flip while tied to a chair, shattering it on impact and freeing herself.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Thor — despite the Character Development in his last film — still isn't fond of being told to lay down his arms.
    • The Hulk regards existence in general as one, but he responds particularly badly to Thor calling him "Banner" and to Loki beginning a monologue.
  • BFG: Coulson retrieves one based on the Destroyer's remains from the Helicarrier armory to face Loki.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Dr. Banner, obviously; "enormous green rage monster" inside the meek scientist.
    • Agent Phil Coulson also counts: barring Captain Rogers, Coulson is probably the kindest and most polite character in the cast, and yet he's one of the top agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and one of Nick Fury's trustees, a position you do not get if you're not hard-core when it counts.
  • Big Applesauce: The climactic fight sequence occurs in Manhattan. For once this is fully justified; it is explicitly stated that Loki is trying to show off and make a spectacle of his Evil Plan, so it makes sense that he'd deliberately choose New York. Captain America tells the Avengers to try to contain the Chitauri in Midtown around Stark Tower (in Real Life the site of the Met Life Building), and within three blocks of the Park Avenue Viaduct in front of Grand Central Terminal.
  • Big Bad: Loki is the main threat and the one who needs to be stopped, but Thanos is the one directly behind the events of the film.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Loki is this, too. Oh sure, he's got the Chitauri backing him up and he puts on a big show, but in the end he's nothing more than a self-absorbed pawn to Thanos. In the Evil Plan, Loki will get Earth, but Thanos will get the Infinity Stones and pretty much the whole universe.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Thor towards Loki. Even after all the scheming and attempted murder and genocide, he's still looking out for his little brother.
    • Subverted though in this exchange:
      Bruce: I don’t think we should be focusing on Loki. That guy’s brain is a bag full of cats. You can smell crazy on him.
      Thor: Have care how you speak! Loki is beyond reason, but is of Asgard and he is my brother.
      Natasha: He killed eighty people in two days.
      Thor: He’s adopted.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Marvel Comics and Joss Whedon both love using this trope.
    • An elderly German man defiantly stands against Loki in Stuttgart. As Loki is about to kill him, Cap bursts in, blocks the blast with his shield, and fights.
    • Then, when Loki has Cap on the ropes, Iron Man arrives to provide backup.
    • Later, Thor saves Black Widow from Hulk on the Helicarrier.
    • Later still, the Avengers Assemble to stop the invasion from destroying New York.
    • Played for laughs when Bruce does this... by slowly chugging into Manhattan and up to the badly-outmatched heroes on an ancient, ridiculous-looking, tiny little motorcycle with the oh-so-inspiring comment "Well, this all looks... horrible."
    • When one of the leviathans is closing in on an office building and the people inside can only watch with horror, here comes... the Hulk, storming through cubicles to the rescue.
    • Set up for Captain America when a squad of Chitauri have collected a number of civilians in the foyer of an office building, and are preparing an explosive device with a countdown that's just long enough for him to come and rescue everybody before it goes off.
    • Hulk leaping to catch Iron Man as he falls helplessly from the portal.
    • And of course, there's Iron Man sacrificing himself by carrying a nuke into the Chitauri spaceship.
  • Big Entrance:
    • Loki's first appearance: a portal to the other side of the universe opens up in a crackle of blue lightning, and suddenly Loki is standing there in front of several stunned S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Whom he promptly starts attacking.
    • Tony makes his by hacking the Quinjet's stereo to blast AC/DC's "Shoot to Thrill", blasting Loki, and then making his Three-Point Landing. "Make a move, Reindeer Games."
    • Averted and played with when Banner arrives for the final battle riding an ancient motorcycle, with a bad muffler to boot.
  • Bigger Stick: S.H.I.E.L.D.'s true plans for the cube. The consequence of the dawning age of superheroes is to make better weapons.
  • Big Good: Nick Fury, considering he (nominally) commands all of the heroes and everyone who outranks him is a Knight Templar jerk. In actual battle, it's good ol' Cap, who's the most natural leader.
  • Big Guy Rodeo: At one point, Thor hops on Hulk's back and starts choking him with his hammer.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Thor does one when Loki's illusion seems to escape the cage on the Helicarrier.
    • Thor does another when Loki stabs Coulson in the back.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • At the gala in Stuttgart, there are banners saying "Eroberung und Opferung" ("conquest and sacrifice").
    • The address of the location is on the "Königsstraße" ("king's road").
  • Black-Tie Infiltration: Loki takes on the illusion of a tuxedo-wearing partygoer to infiltrate the museum gala and obtain the eye of a museum official to bypass the security system around a meteorite of rare metal.
  • Blade on a Stick: Loki gets one from the Chitauri. But it has other powers besides stabbing, such as shooting energy bolts and mind control.
  • Blatant Lies: When Tony Stark, still trying to get Coulson to leave him alone, tells him that official consulting hours are between eight and five every other Thursday. You can even hear a tiny pause before "Thursday" where he's making sure he doesn't actually use the current day of the week.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Agent Coulson has this after he's stabbed in the back by Loki. Fury tells everyone that he's dead afterwards.
  • Bloodless Carnage: In the American release, there is no blood in the Final Battle. In the UK 3D release alien gore splatters out onto the audience.
    • The entire Chitauri invasion goes like this. While there are plenty of Slow Lasers, Stuff Blowing Up, and general mayhem, not a single human casualty is depicted on screen, despite the fact that a news ticker displays the phrase "Hundreds Confirmed Dead", and a framed Bulletin front page in Ben Urich's office in Daredevil (2015) also says hundreds of people were killed.
      • Averted quite a bit in the deleted scenes, which show a lot more carnage in the Final Battle. A police officer and a National Guard soldier are shown being killed, several civilians are lying dead in the streets, a civilian at Beth's coffee shop is shot by the Chitauri (though he may have survived, as he is shown moving afterwards) and Beth finds a watch and a pair of glasses when she is captured and taken hostage at the bank, suggesting the Chituari had already killed an entire group of hostages by vaporizing them with a grenade. It's implied that children may also have been amongst the group of vaporized civilians as well, as there are children in the next group they are about to execute before Captain America saves them.
  • Blood-Stained Letter: After Coulson is killed, Nick Fury presents his beloved collection of Captain America collector's cards to the team, still wet with his blood. After the team has gone to face Loki, Agent Hill says the cards were in Coulson's locker, at which point Fury admits he needed something to motivate them.
  • Blunt "Yes": Loki responds this way when Thor asks him if he considers himself above the humans.
  • Bond One-Liner: The Hulk, of all people, gets one after thrashing Loki.
    Hulk: Puny god.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: A rare heroic example: Fury shows Loki the controls that will drop his holding cage out of the Helicarrier to (supposedly) certain doom; Loki uses the same controls to drop Thor overboard after he escapes and tricks Thor into the cell.
  • Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Black Widow does this in some posters, Iron Man does it in others.
  • Bookends: The movie begins and ends with Loki leaving with the Tesseract, albeit under vastly different circumstances.
  • Boring, but Practical
    • The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents all use conventional firearms. Even Nick Fury's RPG launcher fits here.
    • During one of his Insufferable Genius monologues, Tony wonders aloud how Fury can see the monitors stationed to his left when he's missing an eye. Maria tells him as bluntly as possible "... he turns." Tony finds this solution to be woefully inefficient.
    • When Fury wants to move the crippled Helicarrier south, the helmsman remarks that navigation systems are offline. Fury's response:
      Nick Fury: Is the sun coming up?
      Helmsman: ...Yes, sir.
      Nick Fury: Then put it on the left!
    • When Tony uploads a computer virus to unlock all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s files to find out what they're really doing with the Cube, Cap decides it's taking too long. So he just breaks into the armory, steals a captured HYDRA gun, and dumps it on the table in front of the team.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Loki and his minions use a fancy piece of stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. tech that lets them scan someone's eye and turn it into a hologram good enough to fool a retina scanner. Loki probably didn't have to jam it right into the poor man's eye socket though...
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Captain America borrows the Hulk's catchphrase: "Hulk? Smash."
  • Bottomless Magazines: Played with.
    • Captain America and the Elite Mook he fights at the Helicarrier never seem to run out of ammo in their rifles.
    • Averted when Hawkeye runs out of arrows when dealing with an alien horde. Toward the start of the battle, he can be seen retrieving some of the ones he's already fired and putting them back in his quiver.
    • Also averted by Black Widow, who is seen reloading one of her guns and scavenging alien weaponry.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Hawkeye, Selvig, and some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are all mind-controlled by Loki.
  • Brawler Lock: Iron Man throws two punches at Thor but he catches them and starts slowly crushing his gauntlets. Tony stops the lock by using his Power Palms and headbutting the demigod. Unfortunately, Thor returns the favor.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: Part of Loki's Evil Plan early in the film, by causing Bruce Banner to turn into the Hulk and help break the Avengers group apart so they'd be out of his way while he summons the Chitauri to Earth. It nearly works.
  • Break the Cutie: Black Widow to a certain degree. She is chased by the Hulk in the Helicarrier and is nearly smashed by him, causing her considerable distress. She also confesses to Hawkeye that she's been "compromised" by Loki's Hannibal Lecture in spite of playing a Wounded Gazelle Gambit to trick him.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • Loki loves doing this — with obvious relish — every chance he gets. Which is presumably why he's muzzled at the end.
    • Tony is this to a lesser extent — compared to everyone else's, his verbal remarks were the cruelest and most debilitating. He particularly seemed to have it out for Cap in this installment.
      Steve: [to Tony] You know, you may not be a threat, but you better stop pretending to be a hero.
      Tony: A hero? Like you? You're a laboratory experiment, Rodgers. Everything special about you came out of a bottle.
  • Brick Joke: Used repeatedly, mercilessly, and at every opportunity.
    • During their first scene, Tony tells Pepper to take "some of the credit" for Stark Tower, eventually settling on 12%. Her reaction prompts him to respond "I'm gonna pay for that later, aren't I?" When Coulson shows up with some S.H.I.E.L.D. intel for Tony to look at, Tony tries to get Pepper to send him away, saying "I thought we were having a moment." She responds "I was having 12% of a moment."
    • Steve Rogers tells Nick Fury that he isn't out exploring the wonders of the 21st century because "I doubt anything could surprise me any more." Fury replies "Ten bucks says you're wrong." This just appears to be a figure of speech, until S.H.I.E.L.D.'s aircraft carrier takes off into the sky and turns invisible. Rogers appears on the bridge, and wordlessly passes Fury $10.
    • Agent Coulson's Captain America trading cards are mentioned to Steve and that he'll probably childishly ask him to sign them. The second time the two are together Coulson sheepishly asks if he will sign them. After Coulson's death, the cards appear again in a much darker context.
    • A rather heartwarming one occurs when Pepper asks Phil Coulson about his girlfriend, only to be informed that they broke up when she moved back to Portland. Later, when Tony arrives on the Helicarrier, he's shown offering to fly him out to see her on his private jet.
    • After Banner rattles off some Techno Babble (it's real science disguised as such), Tony says, "Finally! Someone who speaks English," to which Steve wonders bemusedly, "Is that what just happened?" Later, Tony attempts to explain to Steve what to do while they make some repairs, but does it in such a way that Steve has to tell him "Speak English!"
    • Tony says they should all eat at a shawarma joint he saw. In the second stinger added to the U.S. version, they do. Everyone, except Tony and Bruce, is in full costume, and the place is still messed up from the attack. There's almost no way anyone would notice it on the first viewing, but Tony bounces past a shawarma joint when he crash-lands after his "Jonah maneuver" through one of the Leviathans. It's a blink-and-you-miss-it sort of thing, and is kind of amusing if you consider what it says about Tony.
    • Tony calls an employee of S.H.I.E.L.D. out on playing Galaga instead of working. It sounds like he's just holding the floor as a distraction, so he can plant his virus bug to break into S.H.I.E.L.D's mainframe. Cue the end of the scene where we see a S.H.I.E.L.D. grunt sheepishly switch windows and go back to playing Galaga.
    • Ant. Boot. First it's said by Loki to Fury and then by Fury to Loki.
    • Before Loki brainwashes Barton his comment is "You have heart." Later in the movie when he tries to brainwash Tony Stark his attempt is blocked by the arc reactor. Ironic when you consider that all the way back in Iron Man Pepper's birthday gift to Tony is his original arc reactor, as "Proof that Tony Stark has a heart."
    • Hawkeye commenting that he'd like to put an arrow in Loki's eye. It comes back twice: Once in Manhattan, he fires an arrow at Loki's eye, Loki catches it, and it explodes. The second return is at the end of the battle, when Loki crawls out of his Hulk Smash hole. The Avengers are all circled around him, and Hawkeye is front-and-center, with an arrow pointed at Loki's face (presumably aimed for the eye).
    • Tony offers Loki a drink. He declines at first, but later he ends up needing one.
    • Several characters, most notably Natasha and Tony, express curiosity about Banner's "secret" for how he's managed to avoid getting angry and keep the Hulk from emerging for so long — Natasha speculates about yoga, while Tony's guesses include "Mellow jazz? Bongo drums? Big bag of weed?" Just before joining in the final battle, Bruce reveals it: "That's my secret. I'm always angry."
  • Broad Strokes: The approach taken with Bruce Banner/Hulk. Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America have multiple characters and/or plot elements from their films play into this film, Banner/Hulk is the only one to show up from his film, and outside of brief glimpses of footage and a joke reference, his film is never really alluded to at all. In addition to being re-cast, the characterization of Banner and Hulk are quite different from in The Incredible Hulk. That film is the only Pre-Avengers film you could miss completely, as Banner/Hulk are effectively re-introduced in this film.
  • Buffy Speak: Inevitable, with the Trope Namer on board.
    Tony Stark: ...enormous green rage-monster.
  • Building of Adventure: Stark Tower is a somewhat mundane example that's just focused around awesome Iron Man stuff. But a Freeze-Frame Bonus at the end reveals that he plans to give the building a substantial upgrade that includes a hangar for a Quinjet as well as giving the various members personalized floors of their own.
  • Bulletproof Vest:
    • After getting shot, Fury makes it a point to extract the bullet from the vest and show it to the camera as per trope tradition.
    • Cap also gets shot during the battle, but survives thanks to his armor.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • How Steve sees Tony shocking Bruce Banner mid-conversation with a miniature cattle-prod. Tony's intent is to show he trusts Bruce to control The Hulk, which Bruce recognizes.
    • Tony invokes this towards Loki, casually pointing out that he's met some of the most dangerous people on the planet and pissed off "every single one of them".
    • Yes, Loki, you are a god, but that doesn't mean you should try to push the Hulk around.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Despite being the Big Bad, Loki has this status, especially towards the end of the film. Every Avenger gets his goat oncenote . Even Phil Coulson gets in a good shot.
    • Poor Thor. He gets beat up by Iron Man, Cap (sort of), and the Hulk.
    • Tony Stark. A great deal of the humor in the various action sequences involve him first being genuinely badass, but then casually getting the shit kicked out of him (once by an inanimate propeller) because he a) is incredibly smart-alecky and boastful, and getting smacked around stops him from coming off as annoying, and b) wears a suit of Powered Armor, so getting the shit kicked out of him doesn't actually hurt anything but his pride.

  • Cain and Abel: Loki and Thor themselves as usual. Loki tries to outright murder his brother Thor when he was safely imprisoned (although it's very questionable whether he thought the trap would kill Thor). Thor later makes one last bid to talk Loki down during the climactic battle. Loki's response is to pull out a knife and stab him.
  • Call-Back: Stark scoffs at Fury's plans to use the Tesseract as a "nuclear deterrent". This mirrors Stark calling himself America's nuclear deterrent in Iron Man 2, before finding out he actually wasn't the only one who could duplicate Arc Reactor technology.
  • The Cameo:
    • Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts from the Iron Man films.
    • Stan Lee, creator of the Avengers, stating "Superheroes? In New York? Gimme a break!" in a news report at the end.
    • NY1 news anchor Pat Kiernan, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, and then-White House press secretary Jay Carney all make brief appearances As Themselves during the montage of news reports at the end of the film. For Pat Kiernan, it would be the first of several MCU appearances.
  • Camera Abuse: The camera lens gets splattered with gore multiple times.
  • The Cape: Captain America, who's definitely the most upstanding guy around. He's worried a bit that some may view this as old-fashioned in the cynical 21st century, but Coulson tells him that right now we may need his brand of "old-fashioned."
  • The Captain: Captain America (duh). During the final battle he quickly gets everyone playing to their strengths for maximum benefit: Hawkeye being the team spotter, himself and Black Widow evacuating people on the ground, Stark and Thor taking out enemies in the air, and Hulk... smashing stuff.
  • Captain Obvious: When asked to inspect an electrical panel full of wires, fiber optic cables, circuit boards, and assorted other electronic gizmos, all Captain America can report is a distinctly sarcastic, "It seems to run on some form of electricity."
    Tony Stark: Well... you're not wrong.
  • Captured on Purpose:
    • At the start of the film, Black Widow is implied to have allowed herself to be captured so she can hear the bad guy's plans.
    • Loki's capture and imprisonment on the helicarrier was part of his plan all along, to cripple S.H.I.E.L.D. and eliminate the only threat to his plans.
  • Car Cushion:
    • Cap gets this treatment. It helps that he only fell about one story on to his shield and is empowered by the Super Soldier Serum. He still takes at least a couple of minutes to get going again; it really hurt.
    • The Hulk crushes the hood end of a wrecked car when he slams into the ground after saving Stark. Being the Hulk, of course, he probably didn't even notice.
  • Car Fu: Thor takes out a few mooks with a car using a swing of his hammer.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue:
    • Coulson and Black Widow's very casual phone conversation while she was being held hostage and tied to a chair. She then showed she wasn't really in danger by knocking out the guys holding her hostage while Coulson was still on the phone, as if the sound of Natasha kicking the shit out of several bad guys is nothing more than hold music.
    • A dying Coulson shoots Loki with an experimental weapon:
      Coulson: So that's what it does.
    • During the final battle in New York:
      Tony: I'm bringing the party to you.
      [Tony appears, chased by a Leviathan]
      Natasha: I... I don't see how that's a party.
    • Also, when she and Hawkeye are standing side-to-side once again against heavy opposition, Black Widow with her handgun and Hawkeye with his bow and arrow:
      [fighting cyborg alien invaders]
      Black Widow: It's like Budapest all over again.
      Hawkeye: You and I remember Budapest very differently.
  • Catch a Falling Star: Towards the end of the movie, Iron Man is falling from low earth orbit, unconscious and with no power in his suit. The Hulk leaps by, catches him, drags down a nearby building with his hand to slow both of them to an Iron Man-safe velocity, then cushions Tony with his own body for the final 20 feet or so to the pavement.
  • Catchphrase: Averted: nobody says "Avengers assemble!" Depending on which scene they tried to work it into, it was deemed too cheesy or redundant of a line. However, there is the UK title, and cast members reportedly texted one another the phrase before gathering socially in their off-hours.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Just as Senator Stern in Iron Man 2 was "revealed" to be a member of HYDRA in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings back the World Security Councilman played by Powers Boothe and makes him one of HYDRA's leaders. It's not clear if his support of a nuclear strike on Manhattan was intended to somehow serve an agenda or if he and the rest of the Council honestly thought that this was the best call in a tough situation; but his pressure on Fury to adopt the "Phase Two" Tesseract weaponry definitely takes on a darker subtext.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Black Widow beats up criminals with a chair and she doesn't even have to get up from it. Which was a useful ability, since she was tied to it.
  • Chair Reveal: Played with. During the mid-credits sequence that reveals Thanos as the Greater-Scope Villain, rather than turning around in a spinning chair, he gets up and looks over his shoulder.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Bruce Banner reluctantly lets himself get recruited for his scientific skills, and makes it clear that he's only there to help find the Tesseract and won't be sticking around once the fighting starts. After he leaves, Tony Stark is confident he'll decide to come back and help, but everybody else assumes he's gone for good. Tony turns out to be right.
  • Character Development:
    • Loki's personality has changed a lot. In his prior film he was a Tragic Villain: here he's unbalanced, and his mastery of manipulation continues to unravel. Something's clearly wrong, but the heroes don't look much further than the immediate threat (though Thor seems to be aware something is more wrong than usual with Loki). Tom Hiddleston described Loki in this film as having "seen things" while falling through the void, saying that getting tossed through a wormhole of his own making has really affected his psyche and his development as a villain.
    • Tony Stark starts out the snarky anti-hero of previous films, but when Cap calls him out on the selfish, lone wolf approach he's taken to superheroics, Tony realizes what it really means to be part of a team and to put his life on the line for someone else. It helps that Agent Coulson, someone that Tony knew personally, does exactly this.
    • Bruce Banner continues his arc from the previous film: Tony offers him some words about being Cursed With Awesome. Banner takes another step toward accepting that the Hulk is a part of him, for good or ill.
    • Captain America goes from being confused about his place in the present and wondering if Good Is Old-Fashioned in the present, to realizing that his inherent goodness and idealism are even more necessary in an age of cynicism and a team full of cynics.
    • Thor arrives on Earth confident that he'll (once again) be the only one able to save the day, and determined to redeem his brother. He comes to realize that his "tiny" teammates have much to contribute, and that it will be his burden to be his brother's jailor, not his savior.
  • Characterization Marches On: Agent Coulson, the Fanboy? Hard to imagine that he threatened to taser Tony in Iron Man 2 after he gave him lip.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Black Widow quips it's only a matter of time before Coulson begs Steve Rogers to sign his trading cards. This quickly turns out to be the case. When we see the cards in question, they're still wet with Coulson's (fake) blood.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Much is made early on of the newly-launched Stark Tower, which runs on its own arc reactor, and how it could be interpreted as a giant monument to Tony's ego. Later, Steve and Tony figure out that Loki needs access to a big power source to activate the Tesseract, and that Loki wants the invasion to be a monument to his own ego.
    • Cap berates Tony for his inability to be heroic, especially when it comes to making sacrifices. Naturally, Tony makes a Heroic Sacrifice at the end. He suffocates, but survives.
    • Nick Fury's description of Loki's jail cell is a classic example: as soon as he mentions it's designed to be dropped out of the Helicarrier and will fall 30,000 feet, you know that capability is getting put to use somehow.
    • Cap says that Loki's staff looks like HYDRA technology, which was powered by the Tesseract. S.H.I.E.L.D. too was designing HYDRA-inspired weapons powered by the Tesseract. And at the end, Loki's scepter is the only thing that can pierce the Tesseract's energy barrier.
    • In the scene where The Other is threatening Loki, one of the Leviathans "swims" by in the background.
    • Averted with Thor's lightning providing Stark's armor with a 475% overcharge, as demonstrated accidentally during their forest skirmish. Although a potentially useful if self-destructive tactic (the armor didn't come out of it unscathed), this is never used during the final battle against the Chitauri. It does however, come back in Avengers: Endgame, where Tony has put in a system specifically designed to help perform this move more safely.
    • Averted with the shockwave produced by Thor's hammer interacting with the Captain's shield. Despite being a classic setup for the maneuver's reuse during the final battle, it does not appear again. Perhaps if the final battle hadn't been in an un-evacuated city... Although this particular gun finally goes off in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor and Cap having weaponized the technique.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Black Widow's Wounded Gazelle Gambit used in the beginning is used on Loki later on.
    • Early on Tony is introduced while totally underwater, revealing that his suits are totally airtight and temporarily life-sustaining without an outside source of oxygen. This comes in handy when he needs to survive in the vacuum of space for a while during the climax.
  • The Chessmaster: Played with.
    • Nick Fury is doing his best to be one, but unfortunately he is trying to manipulate two of the smartest people on Earth, a proud and reckless demigod and a Knight in Shining Armor. The first two don't buy his bullshit, they spill the beans to the other two, who don't take it nicely. Fury has to give up, apologize and play, oh, just a bit straighter... but he's still The Spymaster and a Manipulative Bastard.
    • Loki begins the movie forced into a faustian bargain with a much higher weight-class of god than himself where his life depends on giving that god a power the latter explicitly intends to use to murder most of the sentient life in the universe, with little more than the verbal assurance that an eldritch horror from beyond space will leave him and his conquered planet (which he didn't really want in his previous appearance, rather he wanted Asgard). Basically, he's up a foul-smelling creek with no paddle and holding the Marvel equivalent of a Gigaton nuke. One series of "blunders" and increasingly-less-subtle hints to the rather dim heroes later, plus a bit of puppy-kicking to get them moving and "overlooking" a technician under his complete mental control building an easy backdoor into his wormhole, he's "foiled", the universe that he lives in too is safe from the Omnicidal Maniac, and Loki is safely ensconced in one of the few places his former boss can't get to him and back in Asgard, from which he'd previously been banished. Skip to Dark World and he is in a comfy cell with all the books he can read and regular communication with his beloved mother.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: The Hulk, in one of the most awesome (and hilarious) moments of the whole film.
    Steve: [finishes giving everyone else orders] And Hulk?
    Hulk: [looks at Steve]
    Steve: ... smash.
    Hulk: [grins widely before happily smashing lots and lots and lots of aliens]
  • Chest Blaster: After getting supercharged by a lightning bolt from Thor, Iron Man uses this in conjunction with a double repulsor attack to blast Thor in retaliation.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Loki gets his moments in the cell tearing into Black Widow and trying to do the same to Hulk.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: As per usual, Tony Stark:
    • The very first scene of him includes him giving Pepper a random 12% credit for Stark Tower and calling Agent Coulson a "security breach" when Phil uses the elevator to enter the tower.
    • Taken Up to Eleven when Tony first boards the Helicarrier; he goes from discussing thermonuclear astrophysics to mocking Thor to ordering around staff to complaining about computer monitors to accusing someone of playing Galaga to discussing thermonuclear astrophysics again to fanboying over Bruce Banner all in the space of about a minute and a half. It understandably leaves everyone else in the room confused.
  • Cold Sniper: Hawkeye, with his bow. The trope is particularly in effect during the first half of the film while he's under Loki's Mind-Control Device.
  • Colony Drop: Part of Loki's plan involves having the Hulk wreck up the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, thus distracting everyone from the brainwashed Agents sabotaging the engines until it drops like a stone out of the sky.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Every single S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinjet we see throughout the film is painted grey on top, except for the one that delivers Barton and his mercenaries to the helicarrier. Barton, or Loki, or somebody, took the time to have this particular Quinjet painted... black. That should have tipped off the Hovercarrier air traffic controller, even if the whole "unscheduled arms and munitions" business didn't. Then during the assault, the loudspeaker announces that the intruders are wearing S.H.I.E.L.D. gear, which inverts this trope and makes them harder to take out.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • The Hulk has a style that consists of bashing, smashing, and using whatever is nearby. It is most obvious in his fight with Thor, who is a seasoned warrior with a much more refined style.
    • Black Widow, a highly-trained martial artist, is not above resorting to groin kicks and biting, although usually only when a fight turns in her opponent's favor.
    • Hawkeye is a talented archer, but the first weapon he uses in the film is his handgun. In his second combat sequence, he also carries a handgun and a knife as backup for his bow. He also resorts to hair-pulling in his fight with Natasha.
    • When Hawkeye and Black Widow fight each other, there's a noticeable amount of biting, scratching, and hair-pulling among the fancy martial arts moves.
    • As in his own film, Cap relies on his shield because of its powerful symbolic value but he'll still use a gun or any other weapon that's handy if the need arises, cuz ya know, there's a war on out there.
  • Combination Attack: Iron Man shoots his laser at Cap's shield which he uses to reflect the laser into the Chitauri.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Per the course of their previous appearances, their superhero names are only mentioned a few times:
    • Banner goes out of his way to avoid saying "Hulk", instead referring to his alter-ego as "the other guy" — justified in his case by his deep-seated shame and guilt about "the other guy's" very existence. Other characters use the name, however, and he slips at least once.
    • Natasha directly calls Clint "Hawkeye" when she's riding a Chitauri hovercraft on piggyback because it's his radio callsign. Dr. Selvig also refers to him as "the Hawk" in the first scene. Otherwise, people refer to him as Clint or Barton.
    • Whilst being interrogated, Natasha Romanoff is referred to as "the famous Black Widow", but this is the only time her codename is used. Nick Fury typically refers to her as "Agent Romanoff". Clint refers to her as Natasha or Nat.
    • Tony is once again never referred to as "Iron Man" during the film, with closest being Thor calling him "Metal Man" and a reporter making the clear distinction of "Tony Stark's Iron Man" during one of the reports on the battle in Manhattan.
    • A mention is made of Captain America trading cards and Banner mutters the name once. A civilian bystander also refers to him as Captain America in an interview on the news during the epilogue. He's usually called just "Steve" or "Rogers". He is also called "Cap" and "Captain" too, which may be an aversion, or may be in reference to his army rank. It's not clear.
  • Comically Serious: Captain America to an extent, the way his more serious and determined approach towards his work clashes with the Deadpan Snarker Tony Stark and Boisterous Bruiser Thor.
  • Composite Character: Of the object variety. The Tesseract is a composite of the Cosmic Cube and the Space Gem of the Infinity Stones.
  • Concealment Equals Cover:
    • Amusingly, aside from Captain America's shield, the material best-suited to harmlessly absorbing Chitauri energy blasts is an office desk. Maybe they don't have wood on Chitaur.
    • Also as they destroy the Leviathan. When it explodes, Captain America's shield protects him and Natasha, but Hawkeye is left to scurry and duck behind a car.
  • Concepts Are Cheap: Loki's words about The Evils of Free Will hardly come up except a few times in the beginning, and hardly matter (except to briefly compare him to Hitler).
  • Conflict Ball: Loki gleefully gets captured just so he can toss one into the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier amongst the would-be Avengers. The crux of this is to draw out the Hulk from Banner. The ball also seems to be a literal object, as Loki's staff is implied to be either causing the dissonance between the members, or at least amplifying what's already there.
  • Consequence Combo: Loki is playing for rulership of Earth... but it's made very clear by the Chitauri that failure is not an option, and things will go very, very badly for him if they don't get what they want. When Thor tries to talk him into abandoning his scheme, he takes one look at the portal, looks genuinely terrified, and claims that it's too late to back out now even if he wanted to.
  • Consummate Liar:
    • Black Widow is a spy. It's her job.
    • Nick Fury. Talked about later in the movie concerning where he found Coulson's Captain America trading cards.
      Tony Stark: He's a spy. He's the spy. His secrets have secrets.
  • Consummate Professional: "Put on the suit." Cap can be in the middle of a Testosterone Poisoning fueled argument with a rival hero that's quickly escalating its way towards an all-out super-brawl, but put the people around him in danger and he instantly switches to being all business and treating Tony as a teammate.
  • Continuity Nod: Has its own page.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: The climactic Battle of New York takes place in Midtown, one of the busiest parts of the city. On a few occasions we see Hulk rampage through occupied buildings, but the flying Leviathan creatures seem to crash through empty buildings, one brought down personally by Hulk and Thor.
  • Cool Old Guy: When Loki intimidates a crowd of people and forces them to kneel, an elderly man defies him.
  • Cool Plane: The Avengers' Quinjet is almost as fast as Iron Man and has a machine gun.
  • Cool Shades:
    • Phil Coulson sports a pair when greeting Fury at the start of the movie.
    • Hawkeye has these in the promo material but only wears them at the very end of the film itself.
  • Cool Ship:
    • The Helicarrier for S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • The Leviathans are biological troop-transports for the Chitauri.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Just about any of the fights in this movie.
  • Corpsing: Everyone was on the verge of laughing during the final stinger; Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson in particular look about five seconds away from cracking up.
  • Cosmopolitan Council: The World Security Council consists of American, British, Chinese and Russian members.
  • Country Matters: Loki calls The Black Widow a "mewling quim" (which in modern English would be "whining cunt").
  • Covers Always Lie: The poster shows Nick Fury in the ground battle in New York. Fury was on the Helicarrier during this time.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Tony out-Batman's Batman for designing a suit that can deploy and attach itself to him while he's falling out a building. Justified, as Tony is a tinkerer, and figuring out a faster, more convenient way of suiting up is one of the first things he'd do while upgrading his suit(s).
    • Hawkeye has exploding arrowheads, hacking arrowheads, super-heating arrowheads, shrapnel arrowheads, grappling hook arrowheads, exploding arrowheads disguising to look like normal arrowheads so on the off chance the target has the Super Reflexes to catch the arrow they won't recognize it as an exploding arrowhead...
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits show up next to the Avengers' costumes and weapons. Once the actors come, the heroes get Video Credits of sorts. (Robert Downey Jr.: Iron Man helmet; Chris Evans: Captain America's suit; Mark Ruffalo: Bruce Banner's glasses and shirt; Chris Hemsworth: Mjolnir; Scarlett Johansson: Black Widow's gauntlet; Jeremy Renner: Hawkeye's quiver; Samuel L. Jackson: a handgun)
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Loki has these, especially notable in his first scene, to empathise his Big Bad Slippage between Thor and The Avengers. Completed with a Kubrick Stare.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Tony gets one at the climax. After sacrificing himself to fly the nuke into space, he loses consciousness in the vacuum and slowly falls backwards, arms outstretched and head hanging limp. And for a double-whammy of symbolism, he hauls the nuke up through the portal while carrying it on his back. He also sacrifices himself not while defeating the enemy, but while saving the WSC (who qualifies as a council of state officials) from the sin of murdering millions of civilians, skims over water to catch the nuke, carries it on his back and over one shoulder through the city while watched by thousands of bystanders and news-viewers, ascends into the heavens, suffocates and dies (temporarily) high above the city and all alone, and then returns to earth, where his limp body is caught and lowered to the ground and surrounded by his teammates before he then comes back to life and greets them. And the way the repulsor ports in his palms look while he's falling is pretty noticeable as well. The only thing missing from the allegory was a bit of Pietà Plagiarism.
  • Cultural Translation:
    • The Castillian Spanish dub pulls a few with Tony's pop culture references. Instead of "Reindeer Games", he calls Loki "Bambi's dad", and simply "rock star" instead of "Rock of Ages". His reference to Bodhi when talking with Thor is also omitted.
    • Tony Stark at one point refers to the fact that Steve Rogers alias Captain America has been frozen for 70 years by calling him a "Capcicle", a pun on the superhero's name and either icicle or Popsicle (an American brand of ice pop that has become a generalized trademark). It seems that the creators of the German dub have chosen the latter interpretation, even though this brand is unknown in Germany. So, Tony calls Steve "Captain/Käpt’n Iglo" in the dub instead, after the mascot of a brand of frozen food. This even serves as yet another one of those pop-culture references which are going straight over Steve's head, due to to Käpt'n Iglo having been introduced as late as 1985, as opposed to Popsicles, which have been existing by that name since The Roaring '20s.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • You know the gigantic biomechanical Leviathan the trailer builds up as a grave threat? After roughly five minutes of being unstoppable, the Hulk stops the first one with a single punch to the face, setting it up to be blasted by Iron Man.
    • At the climax, Loki loses his cool and yells at the Hulk. This is exactly as bad of an idea as it sounds.
  • Cursed With Awesome: This is how Tony Stark has come to view the electromagnet and the miniature arc reactor plugged into his chest 24/7 and are the only things keeping him alive. He spends a good deal of the film trying to convince Bruce Banner that the Hulk is a similarly awesome curse. For Tony, the "awesome" part kicks in when Loki tries to brainwash him, but he can't, because his heart is protected by the arc reactor.
  • Curse of the Ancients: Loki's notorious "mewling quim" insult to Black Widow.
  • Cutting the Knot:
    • While Tony is trying to hack into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secret computer files, Steve decides it's taking too long and simply breaks into a locked room and physically finds what they're hiding.
    • During their argument, Steve accuses Tony of not being the sort of man to lie on a wire to let a comrade crawl over him. Tony remarks that he'd rather just cut the wire.
  • The Cynic:
    • Tony Stark is still more than a little self-absorbed and doubtful of the competence and intelligence of anyone but himself, though throughout the film we see this change.
    • Bruce is hugely cynical throughout most of the movie, with notable lines like: "Well, this is all horrible," and "Oh no, this is much worse." In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a positive word leaving that guy's mouth. He is, after all, always angry.

  • Damage Control: Iron Man and Captain America have to do repairs on the Airborne Aircraft Carrier at 30,000 feet after Hawkeye attacks and blows up one of its engines. Meanwhile Nick Fury and the bridge crew are trying to maneuver the ship to a safe place to put her down in case the repairs are unsuccessful.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Right after Nick Fury uses an RPG to take out the Quinjet carrying the nuke that the WSC ordered against New York, a second jet takes off from a different catapult. Without thinking about it, he whips out his sidearm before realizing the bullets would do as much damage as a spitball from that distance.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • Loki calls Fury on it.
      Loki: How desperate are you, that you call upon such lost creatures to defend you?
    • Invoked for the team at large following the Helicarrier siege. Loki breaks it down again:
      Loki: Your heroes are scattered, your floating fortress falls from the sky. Where is my disadvantage?
  • Dark Messiah: Loki presents himself to the people of Earth as one but they'll stand for none of that crap.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Nick Fury, who rallies the Avengers.
  • Daylight Horror: The Chitauri invade New York in the middle of a bright and sunny afternoon, giving the audience a clear picture of their hideousness.
  • The Dead Have Names: "His name was Phil."
  • Deadpan Snarker: All of the Avengers (sans Thor and for the most part, Cap) as well as Loki and Fury have their moments:
    • When Fury comes to recruit Steve:
      Nick Fury: Is there anything you can tell us about the Tesseract that we ought to know now?
      Steve: You should have left it in the ocean.
    • The entire scene between Phil, Tony, and Pepper:
      Phil: [over the phone] Mr. Stark, we need to talk.
      Tony: [picks up the phone] Hello. You have reached the life model decoy of Tony Stark. Please leave a message.
      Phil: [exasperated] This is urgent.
      Tony: [deadpan] Then leave it urgently.
      [he closes the phone, just as the elevator opens to reveal Phil. Tony and Pepper turn to face him.]
      Tony: [theatrically] Security breach!
      Phil: Mr. Stark —
      Tony: [to Pepper] [accusingly] That's on you.
      [Pepper ignores him and goes to greet Phil]
      Pepper: [warmly] Phil! Come in!
      Phil: I can't stay —
      Tony: [confused] 'Phil'? His first name is Agent.
      [Pepper ignores him]
      Pepper: [to Phil] We're celebrating.
      Tony: Which is why he can't stay.
    • After Thor snatches Loki from the quinjet and attempts to talk him into abandoning his plan:
      Thor: You listen well, brother. I — [gets bowled over by Iron Man, completely removing him from the picture]
      Loki: [amused and unmoving, standing there as if Thor is still present] I'm listening.
    • Tony's first encounter with Thor:
      Thor: You have no idea what you are dealing with!
      Tony: [looks around] Uh, Shakespeare in the park? [he strikes a Shakespearean pose, adopts an Old English accent] Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?
      • Also:
        Thor: Do not touch me again!
        Tony: Then don't take my stuff.
    • The beginning of the Avengers' first major argument has a few good ones.
      Tony: Wait, how is this now about me?
      Steve: I'm sorry, isn't everything?
      • Then Tony gets him back:
        Bruce: Wait, Captain America is on the threat list?
        Tony: [to Cap] Wait, you're on that list? Are you above or below angry bees?
        Steve: Stark, I swear, you make one more wisecrack...
    • Loki tries to brainwash Stark with the scepter, only to be blocked by the arc reactor:
      Loki: [confused] ...This usually works.
      Tony: [in an understanding tone] Well, performance issues. It's not uncommon. One out of five —
      [Loki grabs him by the throat and throws him out the window]
    • After he learns that S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to invoke the Godzilla Threshold trope on New York City:
      Fury: [through gritted teeth] I recognize the Council has made a decision, but given that it's a stupid-ass decision, I've elected to ignore it.
  • Death Glare: Thor gives one to Loki after the latter kills Coulson.
  • A Death in the Limelight: In as much as it's possible in an ensemble cast. Coulson gets a lot more character development here and in the tie-in comics, including that he has/had a romantic relationship with someone who may have been a cellist, and that he's a giant Captain America fanboy.
  • Death Is Dramatic: Despite numerous casualties suffered by both attackers and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents on the Helicarrier the only one that any time is spent dwelling on is Coulson. Barton does ask how many died because of him but he seems more angry that he was responsible rather than mourning their deaths.
  • Decoy Damsel: Black Widow's introduction scene. As Joss Whedon commented, "This is my entire career in one scene: Look, she's helpless! No, she's kicking their asses!"
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After Thor spends a couple minutes beating the crap out of him before the two of them figure out they're on the same side, Tony brushes it off with a merry "No hard feelings, Point Break, you've got a mean swing" and cheerfully claps him on the arm.
  • Defence Mechanism Superpower: The Hulk takes this a step further, emerging not only when Banner is angry enough, but whenever his life is significantly threatened. As Banner learned the hard way, this includes self-inflicted injury.
  • Defiant Stone Throw: The old German man, with words.
  • Defiant to the End:
    • The old German man who refuses to kneel before Loki.
    • Agent Coulson, who shows no fear when confronting Loki.
  • Definite Article Title: The Avengers.
  • Delayed "Oh, Crap!": Played for Laughs during an exchange between Steve and Tony after Coulson is killed, when they are discussing how Loki was planning to finish off the Avengers. Tony theorizes that Loki not only wanted to defeat them, he wanted to defeat them with the entire world watching....and immediately realizes that Loki was going to enact his plan at Stark Tower.
    Tony: He made it personal.
    Steve: That's not the point.
    Tony: That is the point. That's Loki's point. He hit us all right where we live. Why?
    Steve: To tear us apart.
    Tony: Yeah, divide and conquer is great, but he knows he has to take us out to win, right? That's what he wants. He wants to beat us, he wants to be seen doing it – he wants an audience.
    Steve: Right. I caught his act in Stuttgart.
    Tony: Yeah, but that's just previews. This is opening night. And Loki, he's a full-tilt diva. He wants flowers, he wants parades, he wants a monument built to the sky with his name on....SONOFABITCH!
  • Demoted to Extra: A number of important supporting characters from the previous films receive much less screentime in this film:
    • Gwyneth Paltrow reprises her role from Iron Man, but in a minor capacity. Robert Downey Jr. asked for her to be included as a way of exploring the Potts/Stark relationship that was established at the end of Iron Man 2. Whedon agreed, because "you should always, given the opportunity, put a Gwyneth on-screen."
    • Dr. Selvig also returns from Thor, in a role that's more plot-important but doesn't necessarily get any more screentime.
  • Deprogram: Black Widow mentions that Hawkeye was in charge of deprogramming her. She later returns the favor by helping him break free of Loki's brainwashing.
  • Destination Defenestration:
  • Determinator: Much of the cast.
    • Cap especially seems this way, especially after the point where he gets flung out of a building by a bomb, is clearly worn down, and yet he gets up and keeps fighting.
    • Black Widow, especially where Hawkeye is concerned. On the Helicarrier, she takes a full-on hit from the Hulk and is obviously rattled and injured, to the point of a mini-BSOD. When she hears Hawkeye is in the complex? She gets right up and takes the fight to him.
    • Hulk, naturally. It's in his character, after all: he'll just keep fighting. Nothing you throw at him will stop him.
    • Thor when it comes to Loki and Earth. It's implied that he had his father use a lot of dark energy to send him back to Earth, and when he gets there he seeks out Loki with almost single-minded drive.
    • Coulson takes a spear through the back and still manages to give Loki a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and blast him through a wall as he's bleeding out.
    • Tony probably takes more punishment and damage than everyone else combined (the Mark VI armor is one good tap away from falling to pieces by the end of the second act) and still keeps going, making hasty repairs on the fly and pushing his servos to the limit when trying to restart the Helicarrier's engines.
    • Maria Hill in the pre-credits sequence, when she furiously chases down Loki, Clint, and Selvig in a Jeep through the rapidly-collapsing base, shaking off multiple crashes, gunfire, and falling debris. It takes an entire tunnel caving in on top of her and crushing her engine flat to finally stymie her.
    • The NYPD officers in the final battle. There's a wormhole to the other side of the galaxy gaping open above Manhattan, aliens with futuristic weapons and giant mechanical whales are pouring in and swarming the city, and yet New York's Finest are still out in the streets, keeping order, directing the evacuation, and trying to form a defense.
  • Deus ex Machina: On the DVD Commentary, Joss Whedon calls the Incredible Hulk a "Deus Ex Hulkina", showing up out of nowhere to help out the others at least twice in the movie. He justifies it by pointing out that if they showed every second of what the Hulk was doing, the movie would have gone far over budget.
  • Deus ex Nukina: As the Avengers were not defeating the invasion, the Council decided to Nuke 'em. Then, once the nuclear missile was in the air, the Deus ex Nukina comes into play: Iron Manages to grab it in flight, change its path, take it through the portal, and let fly straight to the alien mothership. When it was destroyed, all the invading army died immediately. Happy ending, time for some Shawarma!
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • Hulk putting a smackdown on Loki.
    • Coulson gives a demonstration of why not to talk smack to a downed opponent.
    • Hulk rolling through an office to jump out the window and literally punch out a Leviathan.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: The Black Widow, talking with Loki. A mere mortal that tricked the trickster.
  • Dies Wide Open: Coulson keeps his eyes on Fury, as ordered, even when the light goes out of them.
  • Disability Immunity: The arc reactor in Tony's chest that keeps his heart beating also makes Tony immune to Loki's brainwashing technique.
  • Disney Death: Iron Man is apparently dead after coming out of the worm hole but turns out he was only unconscious. Quite appropriate, since this was Disney's first Marvel movie.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Loki's plot to take control of Earth is largely driven by jealousy and resentment towards his adoptive brother Thor, as well as rage at being deceived about his true ancestry. He wants to subjugate the entire population of Earth — a planet which Thor treasures and protects — thereby wiping out many of the people that Thor cares about. In addition, Loki feels that he was cheated out of his rightful place as the ruler of Asgard.
      Thor: So you take the world I love as recompense for your imagined slights?
    • A somewhat smaller-scale example, but no less disproportionate, is when Thor first meets Cap. Cap tries to defuse the situation between him and Stark, and tells Thor to put down the hammer. Thor responds with utter rage and lethal force to this simple request — if not for the shield (which Thor knew nothing about), he would have turned perhaps the most heroic and incorruptible character in the MCU into paste.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Bruce Banner is pretty unshakable, facing down terrifying monsters with the full assurance that he's capable of getting way scarier than they are. And note the Hulk's expression during his Curb-Stomp Battle against Loki. Whedon wanted his relatively calm face to communicate the idea that this wasn't a big deal for him.
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    • Meta-example: Before the movie was released, Whedon and co. repeatedly denied that the Skrulls would be in the movie. The Chitauri are actually Ultimate Universe versions of the Skrulls (this distinction would become far more legitimate when the Skrulls show up in Captain Marvel (2019), establishing that in the MCU, the Skrulls and Chitauri are separate species).
    • Tony certainly isn't stalling for time while talking to Loki (and waiting for the Mark Seven to be deployed). He's threatening him.
  • Divide and Conquer: This is Loki's plan for dealing with the Avengers; he targets Bruce in particular. He succeeds for a while even after they realize what he's up to.
  • Divided We Fall: Happens quite brutally, with tragic consequences, during Act II. Because the Avengers are fighting each other while arguing with Fury, Brainwashed!Hawkeye sneaks in and kills a bunch of people, like Coulson.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • A more comedic moment: when Loki fails to brainwash Tony with his staff, he looks taken aback and says this has never happened to him before. Tony makes an idle comment about performance issues.
    • Massive damage to New York ensues after a surprise attack. The ending with post-strike reports just screams 9/11. Also, you will find few Americans who remember that day vividly and who empathized with the office workers who weren't reminded of it in the scene when the office workers look out the window to see, not a plane, but an equally impossible to imagine giant bug creature. (None who didn't feel a slight sense of satisfaction in seeing the Hulk racing through the cubicles to the rescue.)
    • At one point, a Leviathan exits from a building and you can see the building begin to fall behind it in a fashion similar to the World Trade Center towers.
    • When Iron Man lets go of the nuke, it does a fair job of being the Space Shuttle separating from its external fuel tank. Though it's the shoulder jets from the Iron Man armor falling off, the imagery is there.
    • Loki's surprise entrance at the Joint Dark Energy Mission Facility via the Tesseract looks very similar to travel via Stargate. Hawkeye even says that the prevailing theory is that the Tesseract is a doorway to the other end of space, and points out that doors can be opened from both sides.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Even as Coulson is wounded by Loki, he still gets the chance to blast Loki with the weapon he was going to use against him.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Loki's attempt to intimidate the Hulk ends just as well as you can imagine.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Loki creates multiple illusions of himself to intimidate and encircle the crowd of people in Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Downer Beginning: The film opens with Loki killing over a dozen people, brainwashing one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s top agents along with a renowned scientist, and escaping with the Tesseract as an entire S.H.I.E.L.D. base is destroyed and Nick Fury escapes by the skin of his teeth. Cue title card.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap:
    • Inverted for Iron Man. Whereas in his own movies he's been forced to go into the final showdown with some kind of handicap (the older, inefficient Arc Reactor in the first movie, having already used his biggest gun in the second), Tony Stark puts on a brand-spanking new, and much improved, armor just for the big climactic battle after putting his previous suit through the wringer.
    • Played straight with Captain America. Take a shot whenever he has to fight without his shield.
  • The Dreaded: Even his own team members are afraid of the Hulk. Natasha hasn't shown fear of anything else before. Tony flip-flops on this — intellectually he knows that the Hulk is an unstoppable One-Man Army, but he shows simple faith that Banner is The Kid with the Leash.
  • Dream Team: Nick Fury pulled together a group of extraordinary people for to become a team that could do what no one else could.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Banner reveals that he once tried to commit suicide, but the Hulk took control and spat the bullet out, which happened in a comic AU miniseries, and was a deleted scene from The Incredible Hulk.
    • Subverted with Selvig. After he wakes up from Loki's brainwashing, Natasha finds him looking over the edge of Stark Tower's roof, like he's thinking about jumping. Natasha tries to talk him down, only for him to reveal that he's not looking at the ground; he's looking at Loki's scepter a few stories down, which is the key to closing the portal.
  • Dropping the Bombshell: Banner reveals he knew all along that S.H.I.E.L.D. had a contingency plan to kill him in case the Hulk got out of control — and then he tells them he knows the plan won't work because he's already tried to kill himself.
  • Drop Ship: The Chitauri ground troops were transported to Earth by Leviathans which combine this trope with Living Ship.
  • Drop the Hammer: This trope pops up whenever Thor is around, but this movie has a particularly interesting example since Thor drops his hammer on Cap's shield, in response to Cap's request that he put down the weapon.
  • Dutch Angle: Used several times throughout the film. Very heavily in Black Widow's establishing scene.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Agent Phil Coulson gets stabbed. Despite this, he gives Loki a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and blasts him through a wall with a BFG, complete with a Bond One-Liner. He tells Fury he's okay with going out this way, because it will give the Avengers — specifically Tony and Cap — the push they need to work together as a team.
    Coulson: So that's what it does.
  • Dynamic Entry: When Stark flies in to aid Cap, he swoops in and blasts Loki with both repulsors before he's close enough for Loki to see Stark clearly.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Thor and Loki have a rather rocky reunion. Hemsworth has noted that Thor's attitude in this movie is a mix between anger, disappointment, and protectiveness towards his little brother.
    Thor: He is of Asgard and he is my brother.
    Black Widow: He killed eighty people in two days.
    Thor: [beat] ...He's adopted.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Take your pick:
    • The ex-Lonely Rich Kid orphan whose replacement-father figure tried to murder him and steal his company and became a supervillain?
    • The Shell-Shocked Veteran who was preserved in ice since 1945 and woke up to find that the war he was made to fight was over and everyone he knew was dead?
    • The guy being chased around the world by his ex-girlfriend's father who is literally out for his blood due to his, uh, personality disorder? Banner deserves a special mention because he probably has PTSD, and almost definitely has dissociative identity disorder, which is generally believed to develop as a defense mechanism against childhood trauma.
    • The Russian assassin who was stolen from her parents and trained from childhood to be a cold-blooded killer?
    • The former orphan of an archer whose emotions get destroyed so thoroughly and will definitely blame himself worse than Spider-Man if the invasion succeeds?
    • Or to top all of them put together, the crown prince of a godlike alien dimension whose little brother is a throne-grabbing, world-conquering, Daddy Issues-plagued, fratricidal, patricidal, genocidal maniac from a completely different species than him and has a case of Sibling Rivalry so intense a squabble over daddy's approval between the two of them leveled a town?
    • The correct answer is, of course, all of the above! Furthermore, all the egos visible from space having to exist together in a single room. These issues have a very strong effect on the characters' volatile, overly-developed, wildly divergent, intra- and inter-personal conflict-ridden Type-A personalities and actions, too. In the words of WSC, they are "isolated and unstable". In the words of Loki, they are "lost creatures". In the words of Bruce Banner:
      Banner: What are we, a team? No, no, we're a chemical mixture that makes chaos. We're a time bomb.


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