It’s no secret that Marvel Studios has churned out some of the meatiest movie quotes in recent cinematic memory. For a franchise that already boasts many of the biggest names in Hollywood ⏤ not to mention some of the highest box office numbers of all time ⏤ these well-chosen words are like the icing on top of a delectable, ever-expanding cake.
Some of the quotes have come straight from the comics (“With great power comes great responsibility”) while others (“What is grief, if not love persevering?”) have sprung from fresh Marvel innovations. These quotes are made all the more powerful by the characters who speak them, and it’s this fusion of dynamic dialogue and masterful delivery that has made us laugh, gasp, swoon, clutch our pearls, and casually sob our eyes out.
While there’s no shortage of chill-inducing exchanges in Marvel’s vast compendium, a curious pattern emerges when attempting to determine which ones are the cream of the crop. As it turns out, some of the very best MCU quotes of all time are only a few words long, yet pack more punch than the Hulk on steroids. Whether they’re helping advance a film’s plot or inspiring viewers to leap out of their seats in ecstasy, these words have given Marvel fans some of the most memorable movie moments of the last 14 years.
Here are 15 of the best quotes Marvel has ever given us in five words or less, all of which we love 3000.
“Fine, I’ll do it myself.” – Thanos, Avengers: Age of Ultron mid-credits scene
Um, chilling much? This mid-credits scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron offered a haunting hint of who and what the Avengers would be up against in just a few short films. Fans of course had no idea just how destructive Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet would turn out to be, but they certainly knew that this particular pairing of purple and gold couldn’t be good. These five words set the stage for the end of the Infinity Saga as well as the most gripping villain arc in the MCU to date. Even if things didn’t ultimately go the way Thanos planned, there was a moment in time when they did, making his initial declaration all the more unsettling.
“Hail HYDRA!” – Various HYDRA agents, Captain America, Avengers: Endgame
Speaking of unsettling, how about this sinister catchphrase uttered by members of Marvel’s leading terrorist organization? Part pledge of allegiance and part battle cry, this phrase has been snaking its way through the MCU (much like the organization itself) ever since Captain America: The First Avenger. It rose to particular prominence in Captain America: The Winter Soldier when Senator Stern whispered it in Jasper Sitwell’s ear, confirming just how far HYDRA’s tentacles reached.
While its constant presence in the MCU drove home the existence of an anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. faction hell-bent on global domination, the phrase also served a glorious new purpose in Avengers: Endgame when Cap uttered it to Sitwell on the elevator during the time heist. Cap’s knowledge that Sitwell, Rumlow, and the other men on the elevator were all HYDRA agents helped him avoid the fight that was about to ensue and, more importantly, allowed him to obtain the Mind Stone housed in Loki’s scepter. Cap’s ironic use of the line wasn’t just hilarious, it was ingenious, and ultimately helped the Avengers succeed with their time-hopping mission.
“Underoos!” – Tony Stark, Captain America: Civil War
A single word, and boom ⏤ the MCU had Spider-Man. We didn’t know it at the time, but nothing would ever be the same after Tony Stark brought Peter Parker into the fold as the youngest Avenger-in-training. Though he started his run as the resident class clown, Peter’s impressive abilities and welcome wit helped make the iconic Civil War airport fight one of the best (and friendliest) in the entire MCU. The moment marked a major milestone for both Marvel and Sony and was a risk for both companies given the shaky ground the character was on at the time.
As we now know, it was a gamble that paid off in spades, particularly for instant star Tom Holland, who would go on to become an MCU mainstay and eventually lead the sixth highest-grossing film of all time, Spider-Man: No Way Home. Spidey’s MCU debut gave fans a lot to look forward to in the ever-growing franchise, and “Underoos!” gave us a glimpse of the humorous and tender relationship that was about to unfold between Parker and Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming and beyond.
“Dormammu, I’ve come to bargain.” – Doctor Strange, Doctor Strange
If there was ever any doubt about Doctor Strange’s intellect or abilities, it faded the moment he uttered these words ⏤ again and again and again. Though we may not have found the repetition as tedious as Dormammu himself, it did reveal something crucial about the former surgeon, namely that he’s a freaking genius who can get himself and others out of incredibly harrowing situations, even if it means dying repeatedly.
The moment marked how far Strange had come since his first meeting with The Ancient One at Kamar-Taj when he uttered the words “Teach me” (another succinct and memorable quote from the film). Trapping Dormammu in a time loop demonstrated Strange’s ability to apply his sorcery education to real-world situations and completed his character arc, which established him as unapologetically selfish at the outset of the film. He went from caring only for himself to saving countless lives simply because it was the right thing to do, marking the first time that Strange would use his brilliant mind to put the safety of others before his own, but thankfully, not the last.
“I am Groot” / “We are Groot” – Groot, Guardians of the Galaxy
As we’ll find, some of Marvel’s best short-but-sweets are simply characters revealing who they are. In this case, the most lovable tree-like humanoid in the multiverse uses his signature three-word catchphrase to introduce himself and also say, well, everything else. Though Rocket Raccoon and Thor might be the only two other MCU characters to date who can understand Groot, these three words were all fans needed to hear to fall head over heels in love with the character. In Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket explains that Groot “don’t know talkin’ good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to ‘I’ and ‘am’ and ‘Groot’ ⏤ exclusively in that order.” While this could have been a cheesy gimmick that quickly grew old, Groot’s limited vocabulary somehow made us love him even more.
Groot’s assertion that “We are Groot” at the end of Guardians ⏤ seconds before sacrificing himself to save his friends ⏤ demonstrated the size of his heart and the scope of his power. His sacrifice allowed the remaining Guardians to defeat Ronan, save the galaxy, and go on to fight future battles with the tiny sapling who would eventually grow into Baby Groot. As crabby as he might have been initially, Teenage Groot then went on to chop his own arm off to supply the handle for Thor’s enchanted axe Stormbreaker in Avengers: Infinity War. There’s basically no understating Groot’s importance in the MCU, nor his willingness to turn that “I” into “we,” and it’s little wonder why his upcoming show on Disney Plus will bear the same name as his signature catchphrase.
“Bring me Thanos!” – Thor, Avengers: Infinity War
This might not seem like one of Thor’s most quotable moments at first blush, but hear us out. Moments before uttering this line, he’s near death on Nidavellir after taking the full force of a star while attempting to forge the battle axe Stormbreaker. On Wakanda, the Outriders are grossly outnumbering the Avengers, nearly ripping Bucky, Cap, T’Challa, Rhodey, and a Hulkbustered Bruce Banner to shreds. Just when it seems like all hope is lost, a blast of dimensional energy hits the ground and in flies Stormbreaker, knocking every beastie off of the Avengers before firmly landing in Thor’s very-much-alive grasp.
Thor honestly wouldn’t need to say anything in this moment to make it one of the most powerful in all of Infinity War (and the MCU proper). The fact that he’s alive, with Rocket and Groot by his side, and has arrived just in time to save his friends and even the playing field against Thanos’ army, speaks volumes. Of course that doesn’t stop him from yelling “Bring me Thanos!” just as it doesn’t stop Banner from exuberantly informing the enemy that they are “so screwed now!” What follows ranks among the greatest Thor moments of all time: the god himself running toward the invading army, leaping into the air, and ⏤ positively buzzing with blue lightning ⏤ slamming Stormbreaker into the ground, blasting every Outrider in sight to smithereens. It’s a moment that made audiences all over the world leap out of their chairs and scream their heads off and immediately cemented Thor as the GOAT, the BAMF, and the MVP all at once. For this author, it ranks among the best movie moments of all time, period.
“Wakanda forever!” – T’Challa and Wakandans, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War
The Wakandan battle cry has become so much more than a quote from a film or the title of its sequel. “Wakanda forever” is a phrase that has resonated greatly with the Black community, giving its members much-needed heroes to root for in T’Challa and the dynamic women who fight alongside him, fiercely inhabited by Danai Gurira (Okoye), Letitia Wright (Shuri), and Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia). In the face of unimaginable tragedy, the phrase has also become a comforting homage to Chadwick Boseman, the actor who fearlessly brought T’Challa to life and will be forever remembered as the King he was both on and off screen. While there’s still no telling where Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will take audiences when it arrives in late 2022, one thing is certain: this most popular salute to a game-changing character and film will continue to live in our hearts and on movie theater screens as we lovingly return to Wakanda as many times as Marvel is willing to take us there.
“We’re in the endgame now.” – Doctor Strange, Avengers: Infinity War
Back before we had two distinct titles for Avengers 3 and 4, they were called Avengers: Infinity War Part I and Part II. Around the time that Infinity War blew our collective minds, it was teased that the follow-up film would have its own standalone title. Eagle-eyed fans (and certain authors who shall remain nameless) guessed that a particular line uttered by Doctor Strange in Infinity War held a vital clue, and it turns out that they were correct. When Doctor Strange peeked into the future and saw only one outcome in which the Avengers won the war against Thanos, he was the only person who knew how things had to unfold in order for that outcome to be achieved. This is why he gave Thanos the Time Stone in exchange for Tony Stark’s life; it had to happen in order for Thanos to win, the Avengers to lose, and ultimately the tables to be turned in Infinity War’s sequel, eventually titled Endgame. The title made perfect sense in the wake of Strange’s famous five-word line, rivaled only by his response when Tony inquires about the number of outcomes in which the Avengers win.
“You took everything from me.” / “You will.” – Wanda Maximoff, Avengers: Endgame
One of the most electric moments in the Endgame battle occurs when a fiery Wanda Maximoff lands between Thanos and the fallen Infinity Gauntlet. Looking up at Thanos with murder in her eyes, Wanda utters two incredible sentences back-to-back, starting with, “You took everything from me.” Since she’s not speaking to the same Thanos who viciously murdered the love of her life right in front of her ⏤ twice ⏤ this Thanos responds by saying, “I don’t even know who you are.” Wanda then utters the two fiercest words she’s ever spoken: “You will.”
What follows is a game-changing demonstration of Wanda’s abilities that illustrates just how powerful she really is (something Doctor Strange probably wished he’d noticed prior to the events of Multiverse of Madness). Wanda is not only able to hold her own against Thanos, hurling mounds of debris and blasts of energy at him and preventing him from slicing her in half with his double-edged sword (which she breaks!), but she actually gains the upper hand, lifts Thanos into the air, and begins ripping off his armor. Can you say FEROCITY? Had Thanos not directed his army to “rain fire” on the battlefield ⏤ a cowardly move if ever there was one ⏤ Wanda would have finished him off right then and there. After losing Vision, Pietro, and her parents, Wanda’s words are a promise to both Thanos and the audience that no one who crosses her will go unpunished. As we now know following her turns in WandaVision and Madness, it’s a promise she clearly intends to keep.
“Don’t worry. She’s got help.” – Wanda Maximoff and Okoye, Avengers: Endgame
Wanda’s dance with Thanos wasn’t her only scream-worthy battle moment. After Peter Parker tells Captain Marvel that he has no idea how she’s going to get through Thanos’ incoming army, Wanda lands next to him and says, “Don’t worry,” to which Okoye adds, “She’s got help,” echoing a moment the two characters shared with Black Widow in Infinity War. Immediately following the exchange is what can best be described as Marvel at the height of its inclusive gorgeousness. One by one, all of the female Avengers assemble next to Captain Marvel, ready to take on every screeching alien in their path ⏤ together.
For a franchise that has historically prioritized male heroes over female ones, this moment was as monumental as it was groundbreaking. It was literally Marvel saying, “Women are amazing, our women are amazing, and if you’ve been paying attention, Wanda was just seconds away from ripping Thanos in half and Captain Marvel just took out his entire ship. Women are here, they’re here to stay, and it’s time we start giving them the credit they deserve.” CAN WE GET AN AMEN?! Even though most of us already know that women do next to everything better than men, Marvel took advantage of its opportunity to show how much it values its female characters, and gurl, did their epic fusion evoke raucous cheers from fans. It was clear that from that point on, women would be playing a much bigger role in the MCU, a promise that Marvel has upheld in projects like Black Widow, Shang-Chi, and WandaVision and will continue with Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and The Marvels.
“I am inevitable.” – Thanos, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame
This isn’t just Thanos’ personal credo ⏤ it’s his entire worldview summarized in three words. His egotistical belief that he’s going to succeed in wiping out half of the universe regardless of the cost drives his every move, and he certainly doesn’t shy away from reminding us at every turn. As mortifyingly accurate as the statement is by the end of Infinity War, when he utters it a final time in Endgame, the phrase thankfully reveals that the Mad Titan’s overestimation of his own abilities is what ultimately leads to his demise. There’s no denying that Thanos is an incredibly intelligent force to be reckoned with, but his overwhelming arrogance ultimately (and ironically) makes him quite fallible.
“And I am Iron Man.” – Tony Stark, Avengers: Endgame
Of course we can’t mention Thanos’ demise without highlighting the man who brings him down, saving the lives of billions and sacrificing himself in the process. As it turns out, Tony Stark wasn’t just a billionaire playboy philanthropist, but he certainly was a genius. When Doctor Strange told him in Infinity War that there was only one outcome in which the Avengers would defeat Thanos, Stark likely had no idea that it would come down to him to do the deed himself. In Endgame, however, a single trembling finger from Strange was all it took for Stark to understand that he was the one play the Avengers had if they wanted to win. Without thinking twice, Stark leapt into action, snuck the Infinity Stones from Thanos’ Gauntlet onto his own, and responded to Thanos’ overconfident assertion of inevitability by returning with the very words that launched the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe to begin with: “And I am Iron Man.”
It goes without saying that Stark’s act of selflessness is the single most heroic moment in the entire Infinity Saga. When he saw Strange raise that finger, he knew that he’d be losing Pepper, Morgan, Happy, Peter, and the rest of the Avengers in order to save them along with the rest of the world. Unlike Thanos, Stark’s words did not brim with the same arrogance they did when he first uttered them at the end of 2008’s Iron Man. This time, they echoed with wisdom and heroism, two things Stark did not fully possess in his first solo film. The words brought him full circle, marking him as the most important character in the MCU and the sole hero who could make the ultimate sacrifice.
“I love you 3000.” – Morgan and Tony Stark, Avengers: Endgame
The line that broke hearts and souls everywhere, “I love you 3000” came to us late in the (end)game. Many of us likely never expected Tony Stark to have children, especially not after he spent his early years as Iron Man traipsing around like he owned the world (although, to be fair, he kind of did). After the Blip, however, “family” took on a whole new meaning for Stark, especially after he watched Peter Parker literally turn to dust right in front of him. Tony’s decision to have a child with Pepper proved that he did have a heart after all, and one that Morgan not only loved, but loved 3000.
These four simple words carried weight not just because they were spoken from a daughter to her father, but because by the film’s end, Morgan would lose him and he would speak them right back to her, making them the last words she would ever hear him say. The fact that Tony had such a loving family made his sacrifice that much more difficult, but they’re the very people he made it for. The moment before Tony snapped his fingers, it likely wasn’t the entire world he was thinking about saving, but his daughter. It was his love for Morgan and Pepper that drove him to make the ultimate sacrifice, which is why his death at the end of Endgame made us all cry 3000 in the movie theater and still makes us cry to this day.
“On your left.” – Steve Rogers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Falcon, Avengers: Endgame
There’s no way around it: This quote can and will make you go into the ugly cry. Coming full circle from the first time it was said at the beginning of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, “On your left” perfectly encapsulates the friendship between Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson. Unlike Bucky, who after becoming the Winter Soldier went on to make a variety of questionable decisions ⏤ including trying to kill Steve multiple times ⏤ Sam has had Steve’s back since day one, rising to every occasion in the name of helping his friend. He’s always been on Cap’s left, which is exactly why Cap chooses Sam to become the next Captain America instead of Bucky. Steve knows that Sam has a heart of gold and, just like him, will do whatever it takes to protect innocent lives and keep evil at bay.
Almost more heart-wrenching than the words themselves is the fact that, seconds before Cap hears Sam’s voice in his ear, he was prepared to take on Thanos’ army single-handedly, and with a broken shield, no less. It’s no wonder why he was able to wield Mjolnir ⏤ the man quite literally won’t give up for anything. That’s why hearing Sam’s voice is such a relief to both Cap and the audience. Not only does it mean that nearly everyone we lost at the end of Infinity War has been snapped back (RIP, Vision), but it also means that they’ll be able to help Cap take on Thanos’ army, immensely evening the playing field. When three short words totaling ten letters have the power to bring a storyline full circle, save the day, and evoke copious waterworks, you know that Marvel has done something extraordinary.
“Avengers! Assemble.” – Captain America, Avengers: Endgame
It was only fitting that the ultimate Marvel quote would appear just in time for the ultimate Marvel battle sequence. Literally try to watch the above audience reaction without tearing up. Spoiler alert: It’s damn near impossible. Seeing almost every hero we’ve come to know and love in the first four phases of the MCU not only return after being snapped away, but come together to fight Thanos’ army, is bar none the most touching display of heroism and fan service Marvel could have ever given us. The epic Avengers reunion was a cinematic achievement the likes of which fans could only dream of and which Marvel will have a thoroughly difficult time matching in the future.
Captain America is the only hero who could have spoken these uniting words, which are made all the more powerful by the fact that he was literally about to lay down his life seconds before his heroic pals arrived. The look on his face when T’Challa, Okoye, and Shuri appear in the first portal is one of utter relief, but the look T’Challa gives him back ⏤ a shining example of Chadwick Boseman’s masterful acting ⏤ is one that says, “You were about to face this entire army alone. You are a hero.” Thankfully, Cap isn’t alone, and his triumphant outcry of “Avengers! Assemble” was the perfect way to kickstart the biggest battle sequence in MCU history and one of the best ever committed to film.
If you think these are the only incredible quotes that Marvel has managed to churn out in five words or less, you’re sorely mistaken. There are quite simply too many good ones in this particular multiverse to give each a dissertation-level analysis of each one (though believe us, the temptation is there). That said, here are 25 more that deserve mention, if for no other reason than they make us shiver, laugh, and squeal with giddy glee every time we hear them. (Except for, you know, the ones that just give us chills.)
- “Yeah, I can fly.” – Tony Stark, Iron Man
- “Next time, baby.” – Rhodey, Iron Man
- “Higher, further, faster, baby.” – Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel
- “We have a Hulk.” – Tony Stark to Loki, The Avengers and Loki to Thanos, Avengers: Infinity War
- “Oh yeah.” – Rocket Raccoon, Guardians of the Galaxy
- “You didn’t see that coming?” – Quicksilver, Avengers: Age of Ultron
- “Well, I was born yesterday.” – Vision, Avengers: Age of Ultron
- “Mission report. December 16, 1991.” – Baron Zemo, Captain America: Civil War
- “Who’s speaking?” – Tony Stark to Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War
- “Go for Ned.” – Ned, Spider-Man: Homecoming
- “I’m looking at….porn.” – Ned, Spider-Man: Homecoming
- “What the f⏤!” – Aunt May, Spider-Man: Homecoming
- “For Wakanda? Without question.” – Okoye to W’Kabi, Black Panther
- “Teach me.” – Stephen Strange, Doctor Strange
- “He’s a friend from work!” – Thor, Thor: Ragnarok
- “I am Steve Rogers.” – Steve Rogers to Groot, Avengers: Infinity War
- “One.” – Doctor Strange to Tony Stark, Avengers: Infinity War
- “Where’s Fury?” – Captain Marvel, Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene
- “I went for the head.” – Thor, Avengers: Endgame
- “Whatever it takes.” – Captain America, Avengers: Endgame
- “What, you wanted more?” – Wong to Doctor Strange, Avengers: Endgame
- “Activate Instant Kill!” – Spider-Man, Avengers: Endgame
- “Hey, Peter Parker.” – Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame
- “Hello, Peter.” – Otto Octavius, Spider-Man: No Way Home
- “Are you in a band?” – Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker, Spider-Man: No Way Home
Thankfully, you don’t need a Time Stone to go back and enjoy these memorable movie moments all over again. Minus the Spider-Man flicks, you can binge all of the Marvel movies right now on Disney Plus. For a true MCU fan, there is no purpose more glorious.