Summary

  • The MCU has received criticism for sometimes leaning too far into comedy, but the franchise has gotten it right several times.
  • The best comedic moments build on well-established character traits and don’t seem to come out of nowhere.
  • Crossover movies often provide wonderful opportunities for comedy as new heroes and franchises mix for the first time.

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had its fair share of comedic moments, and sometimes, the lighthearted tone shift is just what the film needed. Though the MCU has never been an outright family franchise, it has prided itself in being films that the whole family can enjoy. Adding in moments of well-written comedy appeals to audiences of all ages, with comedy even taking the forefront in projects like the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise or Thor: Ragnarok.

Unfortunately for Marvel, comedic timing has become a big point of MCU criticism among audiences for feeling too forced or cheesy. Characters like MODOK in Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania are clearly there solely for comedic relief, while arcs like Fat Thor in Avengers: Endgame undermine what could’ve been a serious storyline for a joke. However, despite the failures, the MCU as a whole still has some excellent comedic moments that not only feel deserving of a laugh but also help make the film better.

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10 Loki Faces Hulk’s Wrath

The Avengers (2012)

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) looks shocked after Hulk throws him in the Avengers

The Avengers

Release Date
May 4, 2012

Cast
Chris Hemsworth , Mark Ruffalo , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Samuel L. Jackson , Stellan Skarsgård , Clark Gregg , Paul Bettany , Cobie Smulders , Tom Hiddleston , Jeremy Renner , gwyneth paltrow , Chris Evans

The Avengers was a monumental film for the MCU as it was the franchise’s first large-scale superhero crossover project, as well as the culmination of Phase 1. The film has produced plenty of iconic moments, such as the hero shot of the Avengers assembling for the first time or Tony’s sacrifice against the Chitauri that foreshadows his eventual MCU arc. Though there were plenty of funny moments, the Hulk was clearly the main comedic relief out of the six original Avengers.

The early MCU’s Bruce Banner was working against his Hulk persona rather than with him, and the Hulk was primarily called in when something needed pure brute force smashing. Amid the Battle of New York, Loki attempts to intimidate Hulk with a speech when they come face-to-face. Unfortunately for the God of Mischief, Hulk picks him up and throws him around effortlessly, leaving Loki winded and speechless. After Loki spent the whole film as a menacing villain, Hulk’s remark of him being a “puny God” proved just how strong the Avengers were.

9 Thor Meets The Guardians For The First Time

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) meet for the first time in Avengers Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War

Release Date
April 27, 2018

Cast
Chris Hemsworth , Anthony Mackie , Elizabeth Olsen , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Mark Ruffalo , Sebastian Stan , Paul Rudd , Chadwick Boseman , Don Cheadle , Samuel L. Jackson , Josh Brolin , Tom Holland , Evangeline Lilly , Paul Bettany , Chris Evans , Jeremy Renner

The stakes of Avengers: Infinity War were incredibly high, but that didn’t mean that there weren’t still moments for some lightheartedness. Infinity War introduced a partnership between Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Up until the two-part finale of the Infinity Saga, the Guardians were a pretty self-contained team that hadn’t had many interactions with the greater MCU. Making the group’s first introduction to the core Avengers group through Thor made complete sense as they both function primarily in space.

When the Guardians stop to take in an unconscious Thor amid the wreckage of the Asgardian ship, they immediately stop to admire the God of Thunder’s physical physique, much to Quill’s dismay. It brings on some hilarious dialogue among the Guardians that continues when Thor awakens. Not trying to be outshined on his own ship, Star-Lord does everything he can to one-up Thor and take his command back, which includes lowering his voice to match the god’s. The interactions between Star-Lord and Thor were completely in character for them, making the comedy feel natural in Infinity War.

8 Luis Summarizes The Story Of Ant-Man

Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018)

Luis (Michael Pena) under the truth serum in Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Release Date
July 6, 2018

Cast
Laurence Fishburne , Michelle Pfeiffer , Evangeline Lilly , David Dastmalchian , Judy Greer , Randall Park , Michael Douglas , Paul Rudd , Hannah John-Kamen , Michael Pena , Bobby Cannavale

Director
Peyton Reed

Ant-Man was introduced to the MCU in 2015, and it was immediately clear that Scott Lang would be the franchise’s go-to comedic relief. With credit to how actor Paul Rudd portrayed the character, audiences fell in love with the bumbling ex-convict who just wanted to make his daughter proud. As the Ant-Man trilogy went on, Scott would have to get much more serious as he took on more responsibility as Ant-Man. However, the charming family comedy energy of the franchise has never disappeared.

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Some of the MCU’s funniest side characters come from the Ant-Man franchise, most notably Scott’s best friend and former cellmate Luis. He has proven to be incredibly loyal to his friends, but he understandably can’t control himself when injected with a truth serum by Sonny Burch. Luis explains Scott’s whole life story to the enemy, resulting in a hilarious re-telling of the first Ant-Man movie, complete with the main cast featured in an exaggerated skit. Not only was it funny, but the summary was definitely helpful for audiences to keep track of the franchise thus far.

7 Mantis Exposes Star-Lord’s Feelings

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Release Date
April 19, 2017

Cast
Dave Bautista , ​Chris Pratt2 , Chris Sullivan , Vin Diesel , Kurt Russell , Zoe Saldana , Karen Gillan , Elizabeth Debicki , Sylvester Stallone , Glenn Close , Sean Gunn , Nathan Fillion , Tommy Flanagan , Michael Rooker , Pom Klementieff , Bradley Cooper

As if the Guardians’ dynamic wasn’t funny enough in Guardians of the Galaxy, they meet a new character in Vol. 2 who would eventually become a beloved member of the team. Mantis was raised by Ego, using her emotional manipulation powers to help the Celestial. Since she hadn’t had much exposure outside of Ego’s home, Mantis is incredibly naive and socially unaware. Paired with Drax’s straightforwardness, the two immediately made for a funny duo, which eventually helped her bond with the Guardians and find her place among the team.

Part of Mantis’ powers include being able to read others’ emotions, which she immediately showcases moments after the Guardians board Ego’s ship. While getting to know the team, she demonstrated her abilities as an Empath by reading Peter’s emotions. She’s quick to sense Peter’s romantic attraction for Gamora, who, unfortunately for Peter, is in the room when Mantis exposes him. The mix of reactions between Star-Lord’s embarrassment, Gamora’s bafflement, and Drax’s uncontrollable laughter is one of the best shows of the Guardian’s comedic chemistry.

6 Peter Parker’s School Does A Touching Tribute

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Jason Ionello (Jorge Lendeborg Jr) and Betty Brant (Angourie Rice) present the In Memorium tribute in Spider-Man Far From Home

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Release Date
July 2, 2019

Cast
Michael Keaton , Tom Holland , Jacob Batalon , Jon Favreau , Zendaya , Samuel L. Jackson , Martin Starr , Marisa Tomei , Cobie Smulders , Jake Gyllenhaal , Tony Revolori , Angourie Rice

Director
Jon Watts

Though Peter Parker’s ultimate goal was to become an Avenger, he was always still a teenager at heart. One of the highlights of the MCU’s rebooted Spider-Man franchise has been how it has portrayed the awkwardness of Peter’s high school life. Despite being a superhero, Peter deals with grades, crushes, and growing pains just like any other teenager. Keeping this in mind, it puts into perspective just how heavy the trauma of Avengers: Endgame truly was for Peter by the time of Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Going back to school after the Battle of Earth, Peter obviously has much more knowledge about what went down than any of his classmates. His classmates’ knowledge is limited to what they get from the news, which is just that certain Avengers have died in the battle. Spider-Man: Far From Home opens with a student-made tribute to the fallen Avengers, complete with stock images, PowerPoint transitions, and Comic Sans font. It was a risk by Marvel to put Endgame’s tragic events in such a comedic light, but it was truly what fans needed after such heavy films.

5 Drax Asks Why Is Gamora

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War

Release Date
April 27, 2018

Cast
Chris Hemsworth , Anthony Mackie , Elizabeth Olsen , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Mark Ruffalo , Sebastian Stan , Paul Rudd , Chadwick Boseman , Don Cheadle , Samuel L. Jackson , Josh Brolin , Tom Holland , Evangeline Lilly , Paul Bettany , Chris Evans , Jeremy Renner

The highlight of the MCU is when heroes and villains from different franchises get to cross paths, which is what makes the Avengers films so highly anticipated. The MCU’s roster of heroes grew way beyond the original six by the time of Infinity War and Endgame, meaning that the possibilities were endless for which heroes would interact with each other. Though every hero comes with their own ego, they ultimately had to be put aside to focus on the looming threat that Thanos’ posed over the universe.

When Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man crash on Titan in Avengers: Infinity War, they’re met with hostile Guardians who think they are threats. Thinking that the Earth trio knows where Gamora is, Quill begins to interrogate the group about her whereabouts, to which Tony questions who Gamora even is. Not wanting to be left out, Drax chimes in with a simple “why is Gamora?” Though it’s an incredibly quick moment, the line has become one of the most memorable from Infinity War because of Drax’s lack of social awareness.

4 The Avengers Test Out Time Travel

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame

Release Date
April 26, 2019

Cast
Chris Hemsworth , Anthony Mackie , Paul Rudd , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Mark Ruffalo , Evangeline Lilly , Sebastian Stan , Josh Brolin , Elizabeth Olsen , Tom Holland , Don Cheadle , Samuel L. Jackson , Bradley Cooper , Karen Gillan , Brie Larson , Paul Bettany , Chris Evans , Jeremy Renner , Chadwick Boseman

Avengers: Endgame is undoubtedly the MCU’s most ambitious film to date, not just because of the scale but because the characters covered the idea of time travel. Time travel is always a hard topic to nail as there are so many rules that go into it, which even the Avengers point out by listing other time travel films. However, the Avengers aren’t Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for nothing, and the team is able to figure out a way to safely time travel in order to get the Infinity Stones back.

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With such an experimental process comes plenty of trial and error, and Endgame makes Ant-Man the test subject of the Avengers’ time travel plan. Scott is the perfect person to put up to the task because of his bumbling nature and the fact that he’s sometimes a bit too eager to help out the team. At the insistence of Professor Hulk that everything will be fine, Scott time travels through his life from infancy to old age. Body gags can be hit or miss in the MCU, but this Endgame’s joke was funny while still making sense for the context.

3 The Guardians Save The Day Through Dance

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) dancing for the Soul Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

Release Date
July 30, 2014

Cast
Zoe Saldana , Karen Gillan , Vin Diesel , Michael Rooker , Djimon Hounsou , Lee Pace , Benicio Del Toro , Glenn Close , Dave Bautista , ​Chris Pratt2 , Bradley Cooper , John C. Reilly

Guardians of the Galaxy changed how the MCU was perceived among casual fans because it showed that the franchise could explore different genres while still being tied together. The first Guardians movie was the first at the time to go for a more lighthearted, comedic route. Though the Guardians still have their serious moments, the team has become notorious for their jokes and banter.

It’s fitting that of all the ways the Guardians could try to get the Soul Stone from Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy, a dance battle is what ends up working. It’s well in character as Star-Lord’s love for music and dance is a huge part of his story, and the sudden pause for comedy in a serious situation lines up with the tone that the rest of the film has already set. It’s still one of the MCU’s most iconic moments to this day and solidified the Guardians as a goofy, fun-loving superhero team.

2 Thor And Loki Play A Childhood Game

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in an elevator in Thor Ragnarok

Despite the MCU being about superhumans and otherworldly beings, family dynamics are still at the core of many interactions. Thor and Loki have become the MCU’s most infamous brother duo after their chaotic introduction in Thor. The two have constantly had an unstable relationship throughout the MCU, sometimes being allies while other times turning on each other. However, it’s clear that they do care about each other at the end of the day.

When Thor and Loki need an escape plan in Thor: Ragnarok, Thor reminisces on their childhood game “Get Help.” Despite Loki’s protest that it’s silly and humiliating, the scene immediately cuts to the two putting the plan into action. Not only is the following body gag of Loki being thrown at the enemies hilarious, but their brotherly relationship is truly put on display as Thor manages to get Loki on board in the short duration of the elevator ride. The two may bicker and disagree, but they’ll always come around for the other.

1 Captain America Fights Himself

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) fights 2012 Captain America in Avengers Endgame

Avengers: Endgame

Release Date
April 26, 2019

Cast
Chris Hemsworth , Anthony Mackie , Paul Rudd , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Mark Ruffalo , Evangeline Lilly , Sebastian Stan , Josh Brolin , Elizabeth Olsen , Tom Holland , Don Cheadle , Samuel L. Jackson , Bradley Cooper , Karen Gillan , Brie Larson , Paul Bettany , Chris Evans , Jeremy Renner , Chadwick Boseman

Captain America is one of the heroes sent back to the Battle of New York in Avengers: Endgame’s Time Heist. All of the original six Avengers are obviously present, but Steve is the only one to come face-to-face with his future self. The concept of Steve having to fight himself is naturally funny, but this Endgame moment is made even better by adding in little examples of Captain America’s character growth. His exhausted response to 2012 Captain America’s enthusiastic “I can do this all day” shows just how jaded Steve has become after years on the job.

The MCU has prided itself on becoming a franchise that can juggle several tones and genres. While some of Marvel’s comedic writing as of late has been pretty hit or miss, that doesn’t change the fact that the franchise has produced some incredibly funny moments over the years. These moments were thought through and not put in for the sake of a laugh, always making sense within the context of the film. Though the MCU’s comedic tone has become a point of criticism, the studio has proved that comedy can still actually improve a movie.

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