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  • Accidental Aesop: Scott's difficulties in getting a job after leaving prison, the unhelpful attitudes of his ex-wife and her new boyfriend and him subsequently resorting to doing One Last Job can be interpreted as a condemnation of the American Criminal Justice System, which puts almost no effort into rehabilitating and reforming the people in its prisons, as well as the thoughtlessly counterproductive stigma that society puts on criminals who otherwise did their time.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The film and its characters aren't entirely sure what Scott Lang's problem actually is.
      • The crime he's actually guilty of (after a failed whistleblowing attempt cost him his job, he decided to take matters into his own hands Just Like Robin Hood — aaand took a punitive heist a little too far) would suggest he's noble but impulsive and has a taste for frat-boy hijinks. This element of his personality is consistent: in Captain America: Civil War he gets involved in the airport fight just so he can shake hands with Captain America, while Ant-Man and the Wasp, he defends his actions by claiming he was told Cap needed help and subsequently Jumped at the Call.
      • His ex-wife and her new boyfriend have come to the conclusion that he's a merely "a crook," have completely cut ties with him, and offer him and his plight responses that border on No Sympathy. The film is ambiguous about whether they have any genuine interest in seeing him reform; Maggie encourages him to be the hero his daughter already sees him as, but she and Paxton don't offer him any way to help with that, which is what drives him back to crime and puts him on course to burgling Hank's house. That being said, they do accept him into their and Cassie's lives after he saves her from Yellowjacket.
      • Luis is convinced he's a big-shot burglar who enjoys targeting anyone who happens to be wealthy but pretends otherwise. This is mostly because Luis runs a team of small-time burglars who enjoy targeting anyone who happens to be wealthy — and he believes Scott's talents are their ticket to the big leagues.
      • Finally, Hank is implied to have the most in-depth knowledge of Scott, having surveilled him for years; He believes Scott is an inherently noble man with great skills who keeps doing stupid Robin Hood crap because he's too impatient to let the system work — and the entire reason he picks Scott as his successor is because he agrees that the system can be corrupt or simply act too slowly. He still thinks Scott is waaay too impulsive, however.
      • And lastly, Scott himself seems to think he's the most expendable man on the planet. In addition to his Robin Hood hijinks he repeatedly puts himself in the most danger possible just to give others even half a chance. He doesn't even question that the world would be better off without him.
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    • Hank Pym's reasons not to want Hope to wear a shrinking suit. Was he really just worried that he'd lose her like he lost Janet or was he also afraid she'd give the suit and the Pym particles to Cross like she gave Pym Industries?
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: The film was expected to be the MCU's first ever critical and/or box office failure, mostly due to its infamously Troubled Production, the character's obscurity and hard-to-sell concept, Peyton Reed's mixed track record with previous films, and concerns over Paul Rudd's ability to draw crowds since a few films he starred in prior either underperformed or flopped. It was revealed later that the movie was considered such a long shot even within Marvel Studios that they didn't bother to sign Michael Douglas to a multi-picture contract (as is standard with Marvel actors), and it took several more months after the film's release to get him to do so. Once again though, doomsayers' predictions didn't come to pass, and the film was well received when it came out — while its opening weekend is the second-lowest for an MCU movie (behind The Incredible Hulk), it made its budget back very fast, being the #1 film at the U.S. box office over its first two weeks (beating out Minions on its second weekend and Pixels on its first) and staying strong worldwide for a total gross of $519 million. The movie was successful enough to get a sequel in Phase Three, namely Ant-Man and the Wasp. Between Guardians of the Galaxy and this, it just proves what comic fans have known for decades: never bet against Marvel.
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  • Anvilicious: The Yellowjacket promo presented by Cross is extremely unsubtle about its potential as a weapon of terror for sabotage and assassination, even showing the targets to be within Western cities, and criticize how modern surveillance restricts such acts. Justified as one of the invited prospective buyers was a representative for HYDRA.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Early on, people were confused by the fact that someone as old as Michael Douglas was cast as Hank Pym, and that Scott Lang seemingly was the first person to don the Ant-Man suit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film later confirms that Hank was the original Ant-Man in the MCU back in the '60s through the '80s, and that he was a founding member of the early Avengers Initiative with Janet. He's been given an Age Lift in contrast to the Avengers' generation, and is now retired; givng a good in-story reason for Scott to succeed him.
    • Early on there were fears that Wasp would be left out of the movie, due to early promotional materials simply listing Janet as believed dead. This turned out to not be the case and it was confirmed that Janet was the Wasp back in the '60s through the '80s. Kevin Feige mended this further by confirming that Wasp will appear in the movie and will be seen in the future MCU movies after Evangeline Lilly signed a multi-picture contract with Marvel.
    • Those who complained about Falcon being underused in Avengers: Age of Ultron were fairly pleased to see him appear in this movie and get into a skirmish with the title hero.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The movie's main theme by Christophe Beck, which plays in the film's end credits, is surprisingly amazing and apt for the pint-sized hero. Some even consider it to be one of the best ones in the MCU, up there with the likes of Iron Man and The Avengers.
    • "Tales to Astonish!" is a goofy, high-energy surf rock rendition of the main theme.
  • Creepy Cute: The sharp-toothed teddy bear Scott gives his daughter for her birthday early in the film. Amusingly, she's FAR more enthusiastic about the "Creepy" part.
    Cassie: He's sooo ugly... I LOVE HIM! [squees]
  • Crosses the Line Twice: This hilariously dark line from Luis after he picks up Scott from prison, with a wide smile plastered on his face the whole time:
    Scott: Hey, how's your girl, man?
    Luis: Uh, she left me.
    Scott: Oh.
    Luis: Yeah, my mom died, too. And my dad got deported. [brightly] But I got the van!
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Michael Peña's performance as Luis has been one of the most heavily lauded by critics, even the ones that didn't particularly enjoy the movie.
      Kristy Puchko: You want proof that opening up Marvel movies to diversity makes for better movies? Look no further than the casting of Peña as a very atypical thief, who has equal enthusiasm for stealing smoothie machines as he does Belgian waffles, wine tastings and abstract art.
    • Ant #247, nicknamed "Ant-thony." More than a few people were sad when she was killed.
    • Fans are also rather fond of Cassie for being an utterly adorable little Nightmare Fetishist, and for her potential to grow up into Stature.
    • Dave, for his funny expressions, great lines, and being played by T.I.
  • Evil Is Cool: Darren Cross AKA Yellowjacket certainly is this in just appearance alone, with a badass-looking suit that rivals even the one used by Ant-Man. Being played by Corey Stoll helps as well. While Cross was never a big-name villain in the comics, this portrayal of the character (an Evil Counterpart to Ant-Man in the original Yellowjacket suit) became so well-received that Marvel started incorporating this version's costume and character traits into the comics version.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Hank's escapades as the original Ant-Man are largely left to our imaginations.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • A bizarrely one-sided one with fans of Black Widow. Widow's fans desperately wanted her to have a solo movie in the MCU and chose Ant-Man as a designated punching bag for the crime of not being Black Widow (which was exacerbated when Edgar Wright left the project and the search for a new director began, whereas Widow didn't have a movie), despite the fact this film was in works before they even introduced Black Widow.
    • And now there's one with Captain Marvel, which got pushed back to make room for Ant-Man and the Wasp. Fans looking forward to the MCU's first female superhero (and who were already mad that her debut film had been pushed back for Spider-Man: Homecoming) were incensed that her film was being pushed back again to accommodate this film's sequel.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Both the character and the sub-franchise in general sometimes get nicknamed ANTS for short, after a memetically popular promotional video for the movie.
    • Luis's ability to knock out anyone in one hit has led to him being called Juan Punch Man.
    • Luis, Dave and Kurt are collectively referred to as "the Three Wombats" after Hank's derisive name for them.
  • Fan-Preferred Cut Content: While the film was mostly well-received, there are many who would have much rather seen Edgar Wright's version.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • During the briefcase fight scene, Darren accidentally causes an iPhone to play "Disintegration" by The Cure when he makes a threat to disintegrate Scott. Cue the films Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp, where the former has Thanos using a Badass Fingersnap with the Infinity Gauntlet to turn half of all lifeforms into ash, and the latter revealing in its stinger that Hank, Hope and a recently rescued Janet were some of those unfortunate victims.
    • Inverted in the mobile game Marvel Strike Force. In the film, going subatomic is treated as a very serious situation and nearly impossible to undo. In the game however, Ant-Man can shrink his opponents out of existence for a Finishing Move.
  • Genius Bonus: Longtime comic book fans will probably realize that the Quantum Realm that Scott enters when he shrinks to a vanishing point as the Wasp did is also known as the Microverse in the comics. Shrinking is the primary method of entering the Microverse. This means that there is a very good chance that Wasp is still alive and that a sequel might feature an appearance by certain characters from this particular Marvel comic.
    • Only the first theory is proven true during Ant-Man and the Wasp when Hank shrinks into the Quantum Realm and finds his wife Janet still alive after 30 years trapped there. However, no Micronauts as of yet.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While moderately successful in the U.S. compared to other Marvel movies, it was huge in China, having the second biggest opening weekend there for a Disney and Marvel movie, helping it cross the $500 million mark in global box office.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Scott confiding in Hope that he feels Hank is sending him (rather than her) on a dangerous mission because Hank is unwilling to risk the lives of his own family. Come The Stinger of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott winds up surviving the Badass Fingersnap at the climax of Avengers: Infinity War (while on a dangerous mission into the Quantum Realm, no less) while the entire Pym/Van Dyne family perishes, Hope included.
    • In this film's 1989 prologue, Hank Pym remarks that Howard Stark's attempt to replicate his Pym Particles was incredibly poor and that no one will get the formula for them so long as he lives. In Avengers: Endgame, a past version of Thanos is able to get his hands on the Pym Particles through capturing Nebula, and successfully reverse-engineers them to get himself to the future and nearly wipe out the whole universe. This also all happens after Hank had already been dusted by the current version of Thanos.
    • Scott explaining to Hope why Hank chose him to be the Ant-Man in the Pym Technologies heist in this film becomes much more meaningful after What If...? shows exactly what would've happened to Hank had he lost both Hope and Janet. Namely, he goes on a psychotic rampage during the Infinity Saga's first phase and kills five out of the six original Avengers to get revenge on S.H.I.E.L.D and Fury, which results in Loki being able to take over the Earth with little resistance.
    • Related to the above example, Howard Stark states that Hank Pym "isn't a danger to anyone unless [S.H.I.E.L.D] makes him one" early in this film. What If...? shows that Howard was entirely on the ball with that remark, as S.H.I.E.L.D recruiting Hope in the third episode not only causes Hope's death, but also causes Hank to kill Howard's son and his would-be teammates years later in retaliation, and isn't able to be stopped until it's far too late.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks!: A bizarre case where the movie wasn't even panned, as childhood Marvel fanboy George R. R. Martin got quite a few people on his case for saying he'd long since gotten bored of superheroes and villains having the same powers, despite otherwise loving the film (and he'd earlier complained about Ant-Man not being a founding Avengers member like in the comics). It can be read here.
  • He's Just Hiding!: The news that Janet would be depicted as The Lost Lenore for Hank has prompted some fan theories that she's alive and stuck in the Microverse or something similar, like what happened to her in the comics. This turns out to be the case, and Scott ends up in a similar situation and manages to get out (before which, there's a blink-and-you-miss-it shot of what appears to be a female silhouette with bug-like wings as Scott falls through the Quantum Realm), prompting Hank to continue looking for ways to save her. The sequel follows up on Hank and Hope's attempts to find out if this is true, and lo and behold...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • There is a reference to Spider-Man in the dialogue. While many interpreted it as being a lead-in to the character in the same way that Doctor Strange was mentioned in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Kevin Feige asserts that the line was written before Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures worked out a deal to include the character. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had a similar reference in its pilot, long before Spider-Man could appear in the MCU.
    • Cross's mooks shooting at Ant-Man while he is running through Cross' miniature model of the building feels like a Zoolander reference. The title for this section of the score? "Center For Ants." And then, the first trailer for Zoolander 2 played in front of some US screenings of Ant-Man
    • Someone with advanced tech who has an animal-themed alias and a grudge against Tony Stark played by an actor named Michael Douglas... are we talking about Hank Pym/the first Ant Man, or Adrian Toomes/The Vulturenote ?
    • At one point while being tossed around while shrunken down for the first time, Scott ends up encountering a rat that nearly ends him seconds after falling through the floorboards. Rodents would later end up saving Scott's life in Avengers: Endgame, as he only makes it out of the Quantum Realm because a different rat ends up hitting the right buttons to reactivate the Quantum Tunnel in his van where he was stuck.
    • Luis' Establishing Character Moment has him tell Scott that despite the break-up with his girlfriend, the death of his mother, and the deportation of his father, he still had his van. Cue Avengers: Endgame, where the Final Battle has Thanos throws a double-edged sword at the Quantum Realm teleporter housed inside that van, blowing the vehicle up. Could also be seen as "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.
    • In the climax, Darren Cross asks Scott “Did think you could stop the future WITH A HEIST?!”. In Avengers: Endgame Scott (and the Avengers) do a time heist to get Infinity Stones.
    • This is not the first time Paul Rudd has acted in a movie where a down on his luck father is trying to keep seeing his children while their mother has remarried, and has an antagonistic relationship with the stepfather. This time however he gets to be the father instead of the stepfather.
    • Back in House of Cards (US), Corey Stoll played Peter Russo, a US Congressman that Frank Underwood kills as part of Frank's plans to become Vice-President. Here, Darren Cross (Stoll) kills a character named Frank. It's a fair trade.
    • Since The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ends with Sam Wilson taking up the Captain America mantle, many fans were quick to note that Scott's boast after defeating Sam here ("Can we just talk about the fact that I fought an Avenger and didn't die?") is more of an understatement than anything.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Cross' question to Hank of "Why did you push me away?" sounds more like a spurned lover than a fired assistant.
    • When Cassie says, "I want my daddy!", Cross answers, "I want your daddy too."
  • Informed Wrongness: Hank Pym reacts to Howard Stark’s attempt to create his own Pym particles as a horrible betrayal, and it seems that the film wants the audience to agree. Right off the bat, it’s hard to imagine a scientist like Howard Stark would learn that such a feat is possible and not attempt to pull it off himself. But more than that, Janet had already been lost, so if the same thing happened to Hank, S.H.I.E.L.D. would have lost an invaluable resource, and worse, if a rogue nation or terrorist group managed to recreate it first, it would have been disastrous. Hank may have had valid reasons for wanting to keep the technology to himself, but Howard Stark had equally valid reasons for wanting to replicate it.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: One of the biggest criticisms of the movie was how similar it feels to past Marvel films, with many critics comparing it to the first Iron Man. As a result, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange (2016) are frequently used as the go-to examples whenever detractors talk about how formulaic many of the MCU films supposedly are.
  • Jerkass Woobie: As much of a jerk as Cross/Yellowjacket is, the movie outright states that he's slowly being driven mad by overexposure to Pym Particles, which may be causing his villainous turn.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • People who aren't sold on the idea of a film starring Ant-Man are at least interested seeing what Peggy Carter and Falcon will be doing in the movie.
    • Others are also interested in watching the movie just for the The Stinger after rumors came out that it would feature Captain America and/or Bucky.
    • Thirdly, some are interested in the film for being the first in the MCU to reference Spider-Man, albeit indirectly.
    • After it was confirmed that the film sets up Hope to become the new Wasp in future movies, some fans of Wasp expressed a renewed desire to see the movie. And, for those who don't like the idea of Hope becoming Wasp and want Janet instead, the fact Janet might still be savable, and this being a topic that the director is interested in exploring, definitely helps matters.
    • Many fans of the Young Avengers were only interested for the MCU introduction of Cassie Lang, AKA Stature.
  • Memetic Badass: Baskin-Robbins. They always find out.
  • Memetic Mutation: See here.
  • Mis-blamed: When Edgar Wright left the project, response from fans was that this movie could only fail now. When three actors left the production, fans suggested they were somehow "standing with Wright" in protest (of which there is zero proof). Once the trailers hit, and especially once the film was released, several nay-sayers both claimed the film wasn't nearly as funny as it would have been had Wright's script been used, and also claimed that any scene that did succeed as being funny must have been pulled from the script written by Wright. In fact, quite a bit of Wright's script remained intact, meaning that most of the "not-funny" stuff was actually his idea, not to mention that not all of the actually funny stuff credited to Wright, such as Luis's rambling description of his burglary tips, actually came from him (Luis's tips were written by Peyton Reed and screenwriter Adam McKay).
    • Fans blamed Kevin Feige for the Executive Meddling of the film that resulted in Wright leaving the film. In actual fact, it was Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter and the Creative Committee (Joe Quesada, Alan Fine, Dan Buckley and Brian Michael Bendis) who were responsible for the meddling.
    • Feige is also often blamed for what happened to Janet Van Dyne, with her Demoted to Extra status compared to the larger MCU being blamed largely on him by her fans. This is despite the fact that she was initially slated to be part of the original Avengers line-up (which obviously he would have selected or approved of), and it was actually Edgar Wright who requested she get pulled (alongside Hank Pym) because he wanted to be the one to introduce the Ant-Man family. Reportedly, he didn't actually plan to use Janet, but just didn't want her being in the Avengers as it would conflict with his plans for Hank and Hope's backstory. The end-result, with Janet appearing in a flashback, were actually attempts by Peyton Reed to mitigate this by giving her a larger role than what was planned by Wright.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Darren Cross intending to sell his Yellowjacket suits to HYDRA. While he was already a Bad Boss and has no qualms of killing his men to get Scott, the fact that Cross is going to sell his technology to a high-profile terrorist organization that attempted to murder millions of people shows that he crossed it. Even before this, it's clear there's no redeeming him after he murders a guy and flushes his shrunken remains down the toilet. This shows just how dangerous his reach can be.
  • Narm: See here.
  • Narm Charm:
    • So much should be narm but ends up charming. The villain laughing over his tiny lamb? Engaging. An ant hit by a bullet? A bit heart pully. Using an old shrunk down tank to escape an imploding building? Badass.
    • Adding sugar to coffee has rarely been so gripping.
    • This movie had the gall to actually use "why don't you pick on someone your own size?" as a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner. But not only is it highly appropriate for an Ant-Man movie, it's also being spoken in an already self-aware superhero comedy and precedes a pretty damn awesome and creative final fight scene.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Many people assumed that Hope Pym is a Canon Foreigner. In actuality, the character originates from the Marvel Comics 2 universe.
    • Also the idea of Hank Pym being a widower; in the mainstream continuity he lost his first wife during the Cold War.
    • A lot of people are complaining that Wasp's costume in the flashback is basically Ant-Man's costume with wings. Her original costume has many similarities to Ant-Man's original costume, including the color scheme, spare Pym Particles on her belt, and a bug-like helmet. In fact, given the inverted colors on the Ant-Man suit in the movie, Wasp's costume in the movie looks even more like her original than his!
    • This is not the first time the Yellowjacket identity was used by someone other than Pym, or even by a criminal. In the comics a woman named Rita DeMara stole Pym's suit and became a member of the Masters of Evil.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Peggy Carter and Howard Stark, who appear in the opening scene set in 1989.
    • The Falcon, for his memorable and hilarious fight scene with Scott
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • At the beginning of the movie, Cross shows his associates a virtual simulation of what the Yellowjacket could be used for as a weapon. Some examples shown in the simulation include using the suit to sabotage vehicles from the inside, or assassinating people by sending a single Yellowjacket hidden inside a wallet.
    • Parodied with Baskin-Robbins: They always find out.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: This is perhaps Hank Pym's best media portrayal since The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!. While his age lift was a concern for some, his portrayal as a subtle Retired Badass has won people over and that his usual negative portrayal is either downplayed (his difficulty with people is more of a sympathetic flaw rather than making him a jerkass) or entirely non-existent (there is no mention of his rather infamous moment at all). It helps that he was portrayed by Michael Douglas as well.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: The heist scene at Pym Tech is probably the closest thing we get to a live-action Pikmin movie.
  • Spiritual Sequel: An action-comedy about a war over shrinking technology? Could work as a sequel/remake for Innerspace.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Scott and Hope's make-out session at the end comes a bit out of nowhere. Since they had no romantic build up through the movie and only began to respect each other towards the end, it felt very much in the vein of "They're the lead male and female, and that's the law." Hank even lampshades the out-of-nowhere nature of their make out session when he walks in on them.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Possibly the reason behind the use of Pym's Yellowjacket alias for a villain. Considering the identity is infamous as the one he was using when he hit his wife in the comics, and the point where his character Took a Level in Jerkass in Earth's Mightiest Heroes, it's hard to believe this choice was a coincidence.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • There are a lot of fans outraged over the fact the movie is about Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man, and not Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man. The fans were also not pleased towards the fact that Pym appeared in the movie with a massive Age Lift.
    • A lot of fans are displeased with how the Wasp suit used by Janet van Dyne in the flashbacks looks essentially like the Ant-Man one except with wings. Although with the new Wasp suit shown during the mid-credits scene being different, some people are more forgiving about it. It also is the original Wasp costume.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: A common criticism of the film is that it plays out a little too similarly to the first Iron Man film for its own good. We have a hero with a potentially world-changing suit of armor which he uses for his own missions but refuses to share, and an old associate of his whose goal is to build his own, more heavily armed version of the suit and sell copies to a terrorist organization. Both villains are bald, break into their enemy's homes to attempt to murder them, and end up being defeated because they don't understand how to properly utilize the technology that they steal or replicate. This was noted by Honest Trailers in their Honest Trailer for the film, even nicknaming it "Tiny Iron Man".
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Janet, a founding member of the Avengers in the comics, apparently has a Death by Adaptation in a flashback. Needless to say fans of her were not happy. The sequel managed to bring her back.
    • It's near universally agreed that casting an actress like Judy Greer in such a tiny role as Scott's ex-wife was a criminal waste of her talents. Not helping matters was that it was the third 2015 blockbuster - along with Jurassic World and Tomorrowland - to cast her in the role of 'concerned, insignificant mother'.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A few fans disliked Scott's Just Like Robin Hood backstory, finding it an easy way to present him in an unambiguously positive light, casting aside his disregard for law. Characterising Scott simply as a former thief, without further moral claims, would have made his Redemption Quest much more endearing.
  • Ugly Cute: All of the ants, especially Ant-thony. Also, the giant ant Cassie gets as a pet in the end.
    • Also, the toy bunny Scott gives to Cassie as a birthday gift, which honestly looks like that guy in the Easter Bunny costume you see in the Accidental Nightmare Fuel page.
      Cassie: He's so ugly! I love him!
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Few were expecting the movie to get off the ground after years of Development Hell; by the time it arrived, the superhero was considered an unexpected pick for the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the Avengers were formed without him.
    • Furthermore, the choice of which Ant-Man would star definitely caught some people off-guard. Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, who is a long-serving Avenger with a rich historical background in the comics, is a supporting character and a mentor here to Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man. While less controversial, Scott was also a lot less famous and involved with the comic book universe than Hank, at least before this movie.
    • In the film itself there's Hope van Dyne, who goes by Red Queen (Hope Pym) in the Marvel Comics 2 universe.
    • The use of Darren Cross, a character who appeared in one issue before dying, as the Big Bad.
    • Falcon appears late into the film.
    • Actor-wise, John Slattery reprising as Howard Stark from Iron Man 2, after the audience has grown accustomed to Dominic Cooper (if a fan of Agent Carter).
    • More so an organization than a person, but equally unexpected, HYDRA's involvement with Cross dramatically increases the stakes of the movie.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Hope Pym comes under this, by resenting her father for keeping her from lethal technology. Marvel has a record of fractured families and Hank Pym was too busy grieving to care for his daughter, but still to not see your scientist dad's point about the dangers of tech he pioneered is high-rate stubbornness.
    • Doctor Pym can be seen as this in the first half of the movie due to the above. He abandoned his daughter for two weeks after his wife died even though Hope was also grieving and she was only seven, then promptly shipped her off to boarding school, refused to tell her how her mother died, and shut her out of his life. While Hope was wrong to side with Cross and vote him out of his own company, when she realized her mistake she came back to help him make things right, only for him to once again shut her out and ignore her obvious qualifications in order to mentor a barely qualified stranger. And then he had gall to complain that his daughter no longer sees him as a hero when he's given her no reason to see him that way. (Not helped is the fact that he openly admits he only mentored people like Darren and Scott is because he saw himself in them, and he can come across as more self-centered than the filmmakers intended.)
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The digital de-aging of Michael Douglas to look like he did in 1989 is very impressive - it almost looks like he came off of the set of Wall Street to film a scene for a movie that wouldn't be finished for another 25 years. You can read about the impressive process used to de-age him here in this article.
    • Near the end of the movie, the Quantum Realm sequence.
    • The film's awesome looking Yellowjacket suit? It doesn't actually exist, it's completely CGI. The sheer number of people who thought it was a real costume speaks volumes of how impressive it is.
    • The depiction of Ant Man's size-changing looks insanely cool at times.
  • Wangst: Hope's attitude towards her father throughout the film (up until the very ending) could come across as such.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • At first it seems that Scott lying to Baskin-Robbins and getting fired would be a perfect example since he just got out of prison and needs a job to pay child support. But it's actually a subversion. Scott said no one else would hire him, meaning he applied to other jobs honestly or applied to jobs that did background checks, but either way was turned down for his criminal record. Hence why he was desperate enough to lie to Baskin-Robbins.
    • Hank Pym has profiled Scott as a potential thief to use the Ant-Man suit in a heist, to keep the Pym technology out of corporate hands. This is because Scott went to jail for exposing white collar crime. Scott in the meantime is trying to avoid going back to the criminal life, because he wants to go straight for his daughter's sake.
      You'd Expect: That Hank would call up Scott for an interview, and give him a test: break into his house and steal a valuable suitcase, or do some other sort of audition. If he succeeds, Scott gets the job. If he fails, Scott technically hasn't committed a crime and would keep his mouth shut because he is against white collar crime, and people using dangerous technology.
      Instead: Hank pays several people to spread a rumor that reaches Scott's ears, about a valuable safe in his house. Scott breaks in, tries on the Ant-Man suit, and he gets arrested when he breaks in again to return it. Hank helps bust him out, while posing as his lawyer, but it means that Scott is pretty much forced into the position and remains in hiding as a fugitive from the law and from his daughter's stepfather Paxton. When they do the heist, a suspicious Paxton recognizes Hank and nearly thwarts the whole deal. Paxton also arrests Scott later when the latter fights the Yellowjacket.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Hope's Sci-Fi Bob Haircut is accurate to the comics, but unfortunately doesn't do Evangeline Lily's face any favors - particularly the thick bangs (which look better on the page). By the sequel, she's grown her hair out a bit and fans were more receptive to the ponytail she wears when in the Wasp suit.