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YMMV / The Avengers (2012)

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  • Adorkable:
    • The normally stoic Agent Coulson due to being a Closet Geek for Captain America. Near-mint condition trading cards are involved.
      Natasha: He's very proud of them.
    • Also Captain America, mainly thanks to still being a Fish out of Temporal Water.
      Nick Fury: I'd like to know what Loki did to turn two of the sharpest men I know into his personal flying monkeys.
      Thor: Flying monkeys? I do not understand.
      Steve Rogers: I do! ...I understood that reference.
      Tony: [rolls eyes]
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    • Also, Doctor Banner, in all his slightly snarky, but still clearly shaken by authority glory. He keeps his head constantly averted from anyone with a gun or in a uniform and only becomes comfortable once he's in his lab. Notable especially, in the scene where he and Cap are first exploring the Helicarrier, he sees guards on the door and inconspicuously turns back around like they're going to lock him up if he so much as looks at them wrong.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Between Thor and this movie, Loki's tactics change from "Silvertongue" to "ranting villain with an army". That and some of his dialogue with Erik Selvig about their experiences with the Tesseract could be read as him also being under coercion from the Tesseract/Staff, if one wanted to do so (moreso since it's revealed in Age of Ultron that Loki's scepter contains another Infinity Stone). He also looks quite intimidated by the threats Thanos sends him through the Other and seems to genuinely believe that Thor was responsible for him falling into the abyss at the end of Thor. Additionally, the trickster was kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place with Thanos, not really having the option to reject the deal but having no reason to believe the titan would keep his word. Many of the cases of Idiot Ball could very reasonably have been him unconsciously or even consciously trying to lose. And resolves the complete breaking of suspension of disbelief where the random scientist inserted a complex backdoor into the security of a device he didn't really understand, too; he didn't break the mind control at all. The person responsible for assembling the Avengers and defeating Loki might be... Loki. Albeit, not from the goodness of his heart, more to give Thanos something else to worry about and because he lives in this universe too, respectively.
    Phil Coulson: You're going to lose. [...] You lack... conviction.
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  • Anti-Climax Boss: Years of superhero movies have taught viewers to expect that a final battle between The Avengers and Loki would happen towards the end of the movie. In reality, Loki is taken out in less than 10 seconds and in a very humiliating way: The Hulk interrupts his Evil Gloating and subjects him to Metronomic Man Mashing until he loses consciousness. Puny god.
  • Award Snub:
    • Neither Disney nor Paramount created a For Your Consideration... Oscar campaign. As a result, no one from the cast and crew received nominations, except for the visual effects artists. The victory of Life of Pi in Visual Effects left the Avengers ultimately empty-handed.
    • Surprisingly, Marvel didn't want to try for an Oscar campaign, even though Disney offered to fund it.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Black Widow is beloved by part of the fandom for being a Badass Normal Action Girl capable of outsmarting even Loki, and for being the only non-White Male Lead on the team. On the other hand others find her boring or have questioned her inclusion, due to her lacking superpowers and the reason for her choice over other more prominent female Avengers like the Wasp or Ms. Marvel. She is criticized by others for only being there as Ms. Fanservice, which is an ironic accusation considering Joss Whedon's claim to fame is in averting or subverting this trope.
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  • Broken Base: Fans of Captain America in his solo films are mixed on Whedon's portrayal of him. Some find his lines Out of Character to the point of Lawful Stupid when the other films and comics characterize him as a much more rebellious figure, or are irritated that he is so severely Overshadowed by Awesome when he's supposed to be the team's leader. Others feel that the Rule of Funny is an acceptable override, that his contradictory behavior can be justified from a Watsonian standpoint as a result of the shock from just having woke up from the ice, or that it's balanced out by Cap also being the Only Sane Man, the Comically Serious and the only person capable of serving as the leader that the team needs so badly.
  • Catharsis Factor: The Hulk smacking Loki around. After seeing the latter spend the entire movie being a bastard — and especially his callous murder of Agent Coulson — this was quite satisfying.
  • Cliché Storm: It wasn't lost on some critics and movie goers that The Avengers, for all of its praise, hardly broke new ground in superhero movie storytelling (especially compared to The Dark Knight and Watchmen). It's more than a bit predictable, and every convenient plot twist unfolded in the way most people would expect after viewing one too many superhero flicks. Of course that's why the film works, it makes what was once considered unthinkable, a cross-over super-team adventure, look and feel like it was easy to do, making the group dynamic of characters who are wildly different and weird into a believable coherent group dynamic, and this is an exceptional case of Tropes Are Not Bad for many.
  • Continuity Lockout: A mild case. Thor, oddly enough, is by far the most vital of the preceding films, otherwise there's a lot of stuff about Thor's and Loki's backstories that you won't understand. It also helps to have watched Captain America: The First Avenger, just to get more background details on the Captain himself and the Tesseract.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Search for Loki on Tumblr. The fangirls have gone nuts about Loki ever since the first Thor film, to the point that some have said, without a single trace of irony or sarcasm, that he's the real good guy and all his misdeeds should be automatically forgiven. Yes, this includes his attempted conquest and subjugation of humanity. It's a character interpretation shared by Tom Hiddleston, incidentally. He thinks Loki needs a big hug.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Evil Is Sexy: Loki. Just ask his millions of fangirls.
  • Fan-Preferred Cut Content: Several deleted scenes from the Battle of New York focus on a waitress Cap befriended in an earlier deleted scene, a Badass Normal cop whom Cap gives an alien weapon, and the arrival of military reinforcements. Many fans wish that some or all of those scenes had been included, as they have a powerful The Real Heroes feel and showcase the wider effects of the battle.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Due to box-office competition, Batman fans (especially fans of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy). This can also be attributed to the fact that the two are perfect Foils. Dark Knight Rises is bittersweet, theme-driven, introspective, gritty and realistic, while The Avengers is triumphant, runs on action scenes and Rule of Cool, and fully embraces the Magitek fantastical world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This means that which film is objectively "better" is a very tricky question to answer because they are so entirely different.
  • Fight Scene Failure: The early fight between Captain America and Loki looks very stilted, awkward and obviously staged, especially when compared to the very impressive fight choreography Cap would later be given in Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron and Civil War.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Many of the tropes and cliches often looked down upon in later Marvel films (and superhero/comic-book films in general) note  were present and played straight in this movie, which is often considered one of the best superhero films of the current times. However, seeing that the other films most likely included these tropes in an attempt to copy The Avengers, they may be judged on simple lack of originality rather than the quality of execution in the tropes themselves.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • This exchange from Steve and Tony is Played for Laughs, only for the plot of Iron Man 3 to be about Tony having to confront this question head-on.
      Steve: Big man in a suit of armor, take that off and what are you?
      Tony: Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.
    • It's mentioned that Steve Rogers is on a S.H.I.E.L.D. watchlist as a potential threat. Though Played for Laughs here, it's not as funny once you watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier and find out that HYDRA has been active inside S.H.I.E.L.D. for years. Steve Rogers is their old enemy. Odds are good that HYDRA put him on that watchlist.
    • Stark tries to get Coulson to leave by saying he is the Life Model Decoy (LMD) of Tony Stark. Coulson and his S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents would later battle LMDs for half a season.
    • Out in the real world, Bruce's "Last time I was in New York I kind of broke... Harlem" comment is less clever now that a film production directed by erstwhile Hulk Edward Norton has been deemed responsible for a fatal fire in that neighborhood.
    • When Tony regains consciousness after nearly dying, Steve tells him, "We won." The fact that they're surrounded by wreckage makes this a funny moment. The humor level drops fast after seeing Tony's actual death in Avengers: Endgame, where Spider-Man tearfully tells him the same thing to comfort him.
    • During the Battle of New York, there is a subtle display of Tony and Steve's budding friendship when the two cooperate to blast several Chitauri at once by bouncing Iron Man's energy beam off Captain America's shield. In Captain America: Civil War, the bond they shared is shattered, which is visually represented by the film's Signature Scene: a grief-stricken Tony opening fire on Steve while the latter desperately struggles to repel the blast with his shield.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Selvig says he needs iridium for the portal device, and describes it as "it's found in meteorites, forms antiprotons. Very hard to get a hold of". Every word of that is accurate.
    • When Tony and Bruce discuss Selvig's plan to create a portal using the Tesseract, Bruce says that he'll have to heat the Tesseract to a hundred and twenty million Kelvin in order to break through the Coulomb barrier, and Tony brings up the possibility that Selvig could stabilize the Quantum tunneling effect, which Bruce says would mean he could achieve ion fusion at any reactor on the planet. The Coulomb Barrier is the barrier two nuclei need to overcome to get close enough to achieve nuclear fusion, which normally requires them to be at extremely high temperatures (hotter than most stars, even), but the quantum tunneling effect allows a nuclei to be inside the Coulomb Barrier without actually passing through it. The problem with achieving that is it requires a large amount of energy and the nature of quantum mechanics itself is tricky and confusing, but if you could figure out how do it consistently, the Coulomb Barrier is irrelevant and thus there's no need to heat the Tesseract so high to achieve fusion. We still aren't told enough to figure out how the portal device actually works, but Bruce and Tony aren't just throwing around Technobabble.
    • Early in the film we see signage identifying the S.H.I.E.L.D./NASA facility where the Tesseract is being worked on as part of the Joint Dark Energy Mission, as well as mentioning other projects such as the Dark Energy Space Telescope. Despite the comic-book sounding name, the Joint Dark Energy Mission was a very real thingnote  dedicated to probing the edge of relativistic physics as we know it.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The line after where Steve challenges Tony to put on the suit and go a few rounds becomes much harsher after the brutal fight between Steve, Bucky and Tony in Captain America: Civil War.
    • The World Security Council's decision to launch nuclear strike becomes this after Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. revealed that the one played by Powers Boothe is a HYDRA mole.
    • It's shown that NYPD cops helped evacuating citizens in the middle of Chitauri invasion. After the battle, many areas in New York are devastated, and one important thing at the end of the movie is that humans learned that they are not alone in this universe. Survivors, including the cops, are pretty much traumatized by the incident. There's a strong implication that this is the reason why, by the time of Daredevil, there's a fair number of cops working for Wilson Fisk. In Luke Cage, Scarfe talks about having seen the Incident up close...and Scarfe himself is on Cottonmouth's payrollnote .
    • Let's be real, the iconic scene where Captain America tells Hulk to "smash", a big crowd-pleaser in this movie, becomes a lot less pleasant when Civil War reveals several people were hit by the rubble caused by the ensuing fight.
    • "Your world in the balance, and you bargain for one man?" Come Avengers: Infinity War, Loki finds himself in that exact situation and pays for it with his life.
    • "Because if we can't protect the Earth, you can be damn well sure we'll avenge it." In light of Thanos succeeding in killing off half of all sentient life in the universe in Avengers: Infinity War, it seems that the Avengers (or rather what's left of them) will have to make good on that claim. They do at the start of Avengers: Endgame, but since killing Thanos doesn't bring back the countless people he's killed, their vengeance is also a lot more hollow than Tony makes it seem in this scene.
    • When Loki is talking to the Other via astral projection, it looks as if the Other is snapping the neck of Loki's illusion when he dismisses him after threatening him with Thanos's wrath should he fail to deliver the Tesseract. The Other will die by broken neck from Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy, and in Infinity War, Loki eventually gets his neck broken by Thanos as a punishment for his failure and dies.
    • Cap tells Tony, "You're not the guy to make the sacrifice play". It becomes harsher both after his sacrifice this movie and his sacrifice in Endgame which does truly kill him.
      • Most of Cap's lines to Tony are harsher in hindsight. "Stop pretending to be the hero". What's the track that plays during Tony's funeral in Endgame? "The Real Hero".
    • Tony's line to Loki "there is no version of this where you come out on top" also becomes a lot sadder after Avengers: Endgame, where it's revealed Tony had to die in the one winning timeline, otherwise everybody, including him, would die anyway. Looks like Endgame had no version where Tony would come out on top.
    • Tony's declaration mentioned above becomes even more ironic after What If...? gives us an alternate timeline where Loki does come out on top, which happens after Hank Pym kills Tony and the other Avengers before they can properly assemble. This allows the God of Mischief to conquer the Earth in a single day with little resistance.
    • Loki's speeches about The Evils of Free Will are much more foreboding after his own show establishes the existence of the Time Variance Authority, a bureaucracy whose entire purpose is to prevent people from making choices that stray from the "Sacred Timeline" that everyone in the MCU must follow lest they or their timeline become purged. In other words, there is no free will whatsoever and everything that has happened in the Infinity Saga is predetermined by the TVA.
    • Loki's speech to break Natasha has him alluding to her past in the Red Room, asking her, "Can you wipe out that much red? Dreykov's daughter? Sao Paulo? The hospital fire? Barton told me everything." Black Widow then reveals that actually, Antonia Dreykov isn't dead at all, she's the Taskmaster. Alexei's reunion speech with Natasha and Yelena even incorporates the same "ledger-dripping-with-red" metaphor Natasha and Loki discuss here.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Fury's unwavering belief in the Avengers Initiative becomes more meaningful once Captain Marvel (2019) showed that it was Carol Danvers' heroics that inspired him to put the team together. The fact he named the entire initiative after Carol's old callsign showed that he truly wanted the Avengers to honor the legacy she had left behind.
    • Tony says to Cap that "Everything special about you came out of a bottle", while Cap says Tony is "Never the guy to make the sacrifice play." Endgame proved them both wrong.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In-universe, when Loki says to Thor, "The human think of us as immortal. Shall we test that?" The Hulk does so later.
    • "Are you a big guy who gets all little, or a little guy that sometimes blows up large?"
    • Much like Tony trolling Senator Stern in Iron Man 2, Fury sassing the World Security Council gets even funnier knowing one of them is a HYDRA agent. Crosses over into Harsher in Hindsight when you realize that said HYDRA agent is probably the one who convinced them to go ahead and launch the nuke into New York; destroying one of America's major cities as well as potentially getting rid of the Avengers before they could become a major force, all with a plausible excuse of necessity, probably fits well with HYDRA's goals.
    • Tony's line about Fury "He is THE Spy. His secrets have secrets" can be both this (thanks to the events of Captain Marvel which proves that Fury oversold his naivete and lack of awareness about alien beings) and Harsher in Hindsight considering the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Not only was the secret Project Insight not what Fury thought it was but his entire organization was being secretly controlled by HYDRA.
    • Thor: Ragnarok reveals that Loki has been stabbing Thor as a practical joke since they were children, making the scene here where Loki stabs Thor after the latter attempts to convince him that they can stop the invasion together less of a betrayal/rejection and more Loki slipping into old habits.
    • In this film, Banner remarks that his relationship with Hulk leaving him exposed like a nerve, ultimately meaning that he doesn't get a suit of armor while fighting against enemies. In Avengers: Infinity War, Banner is forced to use the Hulkbuster to fight Thanos and the Outriders during the assault on Wakanda due to Hulk's refusal to cooperate.
    • When talking to Natasha about the Tesseract, Banner dryly ask her if Fury wants him to swallow it. In Captain Marvel, which takes place before Avengers, Goose swallows the Tesseract, and thus the Kree cannot take it away from Fury.
    • The line "Everything special about you came from a bottle" from Tony to Steve becomes this when Steve is able to wield Mjolnir properly and is considered worthy by the hammer in Endgame.
    • A Deleted Scene from Endgame makes the entire battle scene this. According to Rocket, "the Chitauri are the suckiest army in the galaxy" and he asks the Avengers why they didn't just blow up the mothership, bursting out laughing when Steve replies that they didn't know that was an option. So, when Iron Man does that by throwing the missile through the portal, he basically saved New York and destroyed the army by accident.
    • Realizing that no weapons can pierce the Leviathan's thick skin, Tony allows himself to be swallowed so he can kill the creature from the inside. In the opening to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the heroes are faced with a similar dilemma during the opening fight, leading to Drax jumping into a monster's mouth in order to attempt the exact same strategy. When it fails, the other Guardians immediately point out what a ridiculous plan that was.
    • Before the climax, Tony retorts to Loki that there is "no version of [the film's events] where you come on top". It seems that Tony's words are to be proven right in Avengers: Endgame, where an alternate Loki ends up escaping custody before he can be imprisoned on Asgard...only to end up in the custody of the significantly worse Time Variance Authority instead. Whoops.
    • Similarly, Loki calling Captain America "the man out of time", to which Cap responds, "I'm not the one out of time." is pretty amusing now, since Variant Loki literally gets taken outside the timeline after the events of this film.
    • The comparisons that are drawn between Loki and Hitler are much more amusing in light of Marvel's later decision to make Loki an LGBT character.
  • Ho Yay: In this page.
  • Hype Backlash: Avengers was released to very positive reviews, with many critics labeling it as one of the most revolutionary superhero films of all time. However, a significant portion of the audience didn't share the sentiment and concluded that the film loses much of its impact if the viewer is not familiar with Marvel's previous works, which also led to criticisms about the writing and the plot's lack of depth. When Los Angeles Times tasked readers to vote for the most overrated film of 2012, The Avengers won by a landslide, amassing 85% of the votes.
  • It Was His Sled: Loki is actually working for Thanos.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Much of Manhattan is wrecked in the climactic fight. Though only bad guys are shown dying, the death toll is probably in the thousands, and a memorial is briefly shown in a news report afterwards. We see the aftermath in the Netflix shows:
    • Daredevil: One of the New York Bulletin headline photos in Ben Urich's office (later Karen Page's office from the end of season 2 onwards) reads "BATTLE OF NY: Buildings Leveled, Hundreds Killed in Midtown Battle". Likewise, Wilson Fisk attains a stronghold in Hell's Kitchen's organized crime. Leland Owlsley notes that gang-owned construction work has become incredibly profitable in light of both the damaged caused by the Chitauri invasion and the damage from the superheroics that stopped them. Matt and Foggy are said to be getting their office space for Nelson & Murdock on the cheap because their building was relatively untouched by the invasion.
    • Jessica Jones shows that some people who survived the invasion have taken up a hatred against superhumans, as shown by one client who tries to kill Jessica as a preventative measure against gifted/powered people, as her mother was killed in the Chitauri invasion. Apparently, downplaying the event as just "The Incident" lets her conveniently ignore the fact there was an alien invasion happening at the time, and that the Chitauri were targeting everyone in sight until the Avengers arrived to draw their attention from wiping out innocent bystanders.
    • Luke Cage: Alien metal has been taken by Hammer Industries and used as the base for their Judas bullet.
    • Iron Fist: Children orphaned in the Incident got taken in by Bakuto and turned into soldiers for The Hand.
    • Captain America: Civil War has Ross invoke the deaths from the battle (74 in total, Retconned from the hundreds implied by Daredevil and Jessica Jones) as a plot point to justify reining the Avengers in.
    • Spider-Man: Homecoming reveals that the all of the alien tech and debris resulted in a thriving black market for weapons created from it, giving criminals more firepower than they could ever have dreamed of.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • Few people really believed that Iron Man was going to kick it.
    • As well as Hawkeye shooting Fury in the first 5 minutes.
    • Both of these overlap with Interface Spoiler: thanks to the Internet we know that these actors were contracted for one more movie and four more movies respectively, and you do not relegate Samuel L. Jackson to flashbacks for four whole movies.
  • Memetic Badass: Agent Coulson has risen to this. Some examples here and here.
  • Memetic Mutation: Now with its own page
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Loki calling Black Widow a "mewling quim" ("whimpering c**t" in more modern vernacular) is supposed to establish that he's a nasty, unpleasant, misogynist villain. Either because the language was too dated and silly-sounding, or because fangirls will forgive anything if the guy is hot, that didn't happen.
    • Many fans put up a meme of the bit where Loki talks to an old man in Germany and end with him saying "there are no men like me." This clearly is meant to push how awesome Tom Hiddleston is and how fun Loki can be. This totally misses the point of the scene, summed up by the old man's line "there are always men like you." The scene is not meant to show Loki as a great figure but nothing more than another would-be tyrant who will always be opposed and eventually defeated by those he tries to rule.
  • Mis-blamed: Coulson's death was actually one of the conditions Marvel gave to Joss Whedon. Upon which he promptly had an Oh, Crap! moment, knowing that no one would believe it wasn't his idea given his track record of killing off his most popular characters.
  • Money-Making Shot: In the commentary, Whedon calls out the Epic Tracking Shot in the climax as one.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: When Thor strikes Cap's shield with Mjolnir, the strike resonates like a deep church bell as the impact dissipates.
  • Music to Invade Poland To: Technically, Loki's invading Germany, and only as a distraction. Still, two seconds after he starts a buttkicking rampage set to the tunes of Franz Schubert.
  • Older Than They Think: Although some complained about Loki being the antagonist of this film, he was indeed the villain of Avengers issue #1 and the impetus for the formation of the Avengers, making his inclusion here canon accurate.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Harry Dean Stanton as the security guard. "Son, you've got a condition."
    • The old German man who stands up to Loki.
    • Thanos. One non-speaking appearance in The Stinger, but to some comic fans, he's one of the most memorable parts of the movie.
    • The Galaga-playing S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, despite only appearing for five short seconds. He thought we wouldn't notice, but we did.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: The Hulk. Two previous attempts to bring the character to the cinema screen proved somewhat lackluster, the role got recast once again, and the character had already developed a reputation of being the most boring of the team. However, a combination of clever screenwriting, Mark Ruffalo's interpretation of the character of Bruce Banner as a normal guy who's got issues instead of the emotionally-stunted, severely repressed individual of the previous films who was constantly scared that he'd flip out over everything, and that his version of the Hulk isn't a barely controlled rage monster; his casual Offhand Backhand of Thor after they brought down a Chitauri Leviathan and his smackdown of Loki shows us that the Hulk is really just an irritable jerk (albeit with a heart of gold) who just happens to have superpowers (and the hilariously awesome "Puny God" scene), turned the Hulk into an unexpected favorite of the movie; it might be one of the fastest turnaround times for this ever.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Surprisingly, there are two Naughty Dog alumni in this movie.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Steve is continuously demonized by Tony fangirls as a cruel bully. Both characters are impatient and antagonistic toward the other, but Steve's particular point of contention is Tony's insistence in allowing Bruce to let the Hulk out, possibly risking lives. To Tony's credit, he turns out to be right about Bruce.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Due to the large Slash fandom and heaps of Ho Yay, pretty much every Avenger or S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the film has being attacked for being in the way of a pairing with one of the others.
    • Due to the Platonic Life-Partners relationship between Hawkeye and Black Widow, and the very Ship Tease like moments between the two, comic book fans that ship Hawkeye with his ex wife Mockingbird have gotten fairly aggressive towards Widow. Likewise, fans of Widow and Hawkeye have been tossing unending heaps of hate towards Mockingbird for the crime of the two breaking up.
      • On the Natasha side of things, comic fans who are invested in her current relationship with Bucky Barnes are also bitterly against the movie fandom shippers of Clint and Natasha. This heated rivalry exploded with the announcement that the next Captain America movie will be Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and will feature both Bucky and Natasha, with no news of Clint being involved.
      • The tangle did not get any neater after it was announced that Mockingbird would be appearing in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with a number of Clint and Natasha shippers deciding that they will be fine with Mockingbird existing as long as she and Clint never meet.
    • And then Age of Ultron goes and reveals that Clint has been married this whole time, instantly causing all other ships involving him to transform into No Yay. Given that Black Widow ends up with Bruce Banner, of all people, in the same movie, one almost gets the feeling that Joss Whedon specifically set things up to troll the shippers, as he has been known to do.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: A few fans seemed to favour Ashley Johnson's character (the blonde woman who appears several times during the Chitauri invasion) as a potential love interest for Captain America.
    • In a deleted scene, she was the waitress that served Steve when he was at the cafe near Stark Tower (Stan Lee urged him to ask for her phone number.) The camera lingered on her during the invasion so the audience would recognize her as "Hey, there's that waitress from before." This is also why, after Steve saves the group she is in from the bank, she looks at him with recognition.
  • Shocking Moments: Hulk punching out a Leviathan and stopping it dead in its tracks.
  • Signature Scene: The group shot pose in the Chitauri attack, and above all, Hulk smashing Loki like a ragdoll.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: At the time, the movie was considered a huge deal for successfully pulling off the big crossover movie and having all these disparate characters together in a coherent way. However, as time has gone by that novelty has worn away and some people have become more critical, claiming that other Marvel films since then have had better writing, character handling, and just been more meaningful. The general backlash against Joss Whedon post-Age of Ultron has probably contributed to this as well.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The film was such a hit at the time for breaking records and rich storytelling, it can be easy to forget that the first 45 minutes are kind of forgettable compared to everything else that happens after that. Honest Trailers even points this out in their episode.
  • So Bad, It's Good: A tie-in for the film made for Wyndham Resort hotels features the Avengers fighting Ultron, then splitting up to go on vacation. The writing is lackluster and cliché, reading like a bad 60's comic book but with modern artwork. This makes it unbelievably funny. Also worth mentioning is Tony, in Iron Man armor, eating at a buffet and what can only be called Bored Hulk.
  • Special Effects Failure: During the New York battle, it's sometimes rather obvious when actors are performing in front of a greenscreen explosion effect; their images are sharper and stand out distinctly from the background, making it jarringly clear that they were composited in.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The audience is probably supposed to share the team's disgust at the revelation that SHIELD is using the Tesseract to create high-powered weapons. But Fury makes some perfectly reasonable points about the necessity of providing Earth with weapons capable of fighting off new alien threats.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • It's shown that when Thor hits Iron Man's suit with lightning, it supercharges his suit and allows him to do a super powerful blast. After they discover this, neither Tony nor Thor suggest using this during any other fight in this movie or the sequel.
      • During Avengers: Endgame Thor does finally supercharge Tony's armor to glorious effect.
    • In Thor, Eric Selvig mentions that he actually knew Bruce Banner and was even implied to have been good friends with him, to the point that one of the reasons he distrusts S.H.I.E.L.D. is because he believes they are responsible for his disappearance. While Eric Selvig and Bruce Banner both appear in this film, they never interact and the fact that they know each other is never even acknowledged. Natasha didn't even bring it up when she tries to recruit Bruce, even though saving his old friend from Loki could have been a good extra motivation for him.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Thor's quip about Loki being adopted offended a number of people on the grounds that it was an Adoption Diss. Though others didn't mind it because it was the sort of joke they made in their own adopted families, or because they felt it was Thor and not Loki who was the butt of the joke (for having to make a Verbal Backspace).
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: A movie about a superhero team required an equally awesome team of visual effect studios to get right, with ILM and WETA spearheading the effort. This video gives a tiny breakdown of what ILM did for the movie.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Loki arrives on Earth and brainwashes Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye), Eric Selvig, and another agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury is the only person in the room that is not brainwashed, and Loki wants the Tesseract.
      You'd Think: Loki would find value in Nick Fury and brainwash him as well, since he is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. He can then have Fury as his puppet and manipulate S.H.I.E.L.D. so that he can get away with his plans. And then the Avengers would never have been assembled. If he eventually thinks Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. are no longer valuable, he could then pull off a "You Have Outlived Your Usefulness" on both SHIELD and Fury.
      Instead: He doesn't value Fury at all, only viewing him as an ant. He only takes the briefcase, leaving Hawkeye to kill Fury.
      Result: Hawkeye fails to do so, and Fury survives to lead the fight against Loki.
    • Thor also arrives, intent on bringing Loki home. He and Asgard thought that his brother was dead and had mourned him. Even though he's been cut off from Earth, he's heard "whispers" of what his brother has done.
      You'd Expect: Thor would signal his intentions to arrive peacefully. After all, a year ago, when Thor was banished to Earth, Loki sent a Destroyer after him that would have killed dozens. So Asgardians haven't exactly made a good first impression.
      Instead: Thor rips open the Avengers jet and steals Loki away.
      The Result: Iron Man gets angry and attacks Thor, telling him, "Then don't steal my stuff." He and Thor engage in a brawl, as a smirking Loki watches. Captain America has to talk them down, after Thor levels a forest.
  • Win the Crowd: This movie pretty much put the fears of everyone who thought Disney would ruin Marvel to rest.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Captain America's costume in this film is frequently mocked. In contrast to his WWII outfit, which was praised for looking very practical and era-appropriate while being true to the comics, his Avengers outfit is mocked for looking awkward, cartoonish and cheaply made. And even Mr. Fanservice Chris Evans couldn't wear it well, since, without anything to add definition to his chin and jaw, his face just looks pudgy. It's even been compared to the intentionally bad outfit Cap wore back in his propaganda show days. However it has its share of fans who consider it So Bad, It's Good, and point to the fact that it was designed in-universe by Promoted Fanboy Phil Coulson as justification. Thankfully his costumes improved considerably in his later films.
    • Spider-Man: Homecoming runs with this sentiment and lampoons the outfit by having Steve show up in a series of public service announcements wearing the suit and acting like a total cornball, obviously playing off the way people saw the outfit in The Avengers. He dons it again during the events of Avengers: Endgame as he's trying to blend in while time traveling back to the events of this film, where Tony and Scott Lang argue about whether or not it flatters his ass.


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