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This movie is pretty much a MOA for both Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios. Now, onto specific moments:

NOTE TO TROPERS: We are not interested in whether your theater cheered, because by now we know they all did, pretty much through the entire movie. Let's leave it at that instead of adding natter.

  • Loki's introduction proves he not only Took a Level In Badass, but now he definitely poses a big enough threat to have SHIELD bring the Avengers together
  • Nick Fury willing to stall Loki so that the portal created by the Tesseract will cause the whole SHIELD facility above to bury this new threat and him along with it.
  • Black Widow's opening scene, after Coulson tells her they've been compromised. She kicks her interrogator's asses easily without effort; impressive in of itself. The real impressive part though is that she did half that Curb Stomp Battle while bound to a chair.
    • Also, kicking ass with no shoes on. And she just walks off afterward like she's in no pain.
    • Coulson's threat deserves credit. The man calls up the bad guy, threatens to blow up the entire block if he tries to run, and makes him put Black Widow on the phone. When Coulson's on the case, shit gets done.
  • Bruce Banner actually trolls Black Widow. "I'm sorry, that was mean. I just wanted to see what you'd do. (Grin.)"
  • The old German gentleman who decides he'd rather die than kneel to a guy like Loki. Bonus points for his Shut UP, Hannibal one-liner.

 Cap: "Last time I was in Germany there was another guy making out he was better than everyone else. We ended up disagreeing."

  • Natasha tries to talk Captain America out of following Thor (who has freed Loki) by saying he's a god. The Captain's response? "Ma'am, there's only one God, and I'm pretty sure He doesn't dress like that." Cue jumping out of a plane to hunt them down.
    • This requires some elaboration. Cap had earlier got his ass handed to him by Loki. Now there's ANOTHER guy who's even stronger, and Tony went after the two half-cocked. Steve goes anyway.
  • Iron Man and Thor's fight in the woods:
    • After soaking up Thor's lightning for five seconds, Jarvis tells Iron Man: "Power at 400% capacity". To be specific, the final number is 475% capacity. "How about that", says Tony, and then blasts Thor backwards.
      • Thor quickly recovers, and lands on his feet.
    • Iron Man headbutts Thor, he wobbles backwards; Thor headbutts Iron Man, HE GOES FLYING.
      • It's "blink and you'll miss it", but afterwards, Iron Man's helmet has a noticeable dent on the forehead.
  • Captain America, during Thor and Iron Man's fight in the woods, orders both men to stand down harshly. Thor doesn't do so, and when Cap tells him to drop his hammer, the big guy takes this badly. As the god of thunder leaps and prepares to smack Cap down with Mjolnir, Cap's shield blocks it and WRECKS the surrounding area. When the dust settles, Cap's no worse for wear.
    • And then, calm and steady as you like, walks up to Thor and asks:
  • Black Widow tricks Loki into revealing his intention to unleash the Hulk inside the Helicarrier and thanks him for his cooperation -- in other words, the best spy on Earth manages to fool the God of Lies. She walked in to talk to the Trickster God in a battle of wits with no real cards to play except for Loki's anger and confidence, and she walked out with exactly what she wanted. What's more, she did this even though Loki was fully-informed on her thanks to Hawkeye, who's undoubtedly familiar with her method of choice.
    • Of course, Loki still got what he intended in the end, so it's also an MOA for him.
  • Cap slaps away a grenade thrown by one of Loki's mooks while jumping.
  • How fast is this Hulk? The pilot who "distracted" him by firing off bullets at the green giant tries to get out of Dodge by ejecting himself once The Hulk latches onto his jet... only for Hulk to immediately catch him and hurl him away himself.
  • Black Widow is in a state of shock after having nearly been killed by the Hulk. She's in a corner hugging her legs like a little girl, which is probably the last time this woman that's been trained as an assassin since childhood was so terrified. She hears from Fury on her comlink that the still mind-controlled Hawkeye is on board the Helicarrier. Still shaking, she quickly pulls herself together to go stop him.
  • Badly injured and unable to even stand, Agent Coulson lures Loki in close with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, then blasts him with a BFG that blows the Trickster God through at least one wall.

 Coulson: "...you lack conviction."

    • And also, let's not forget that Coulson readily accepted his final fate, as it would give the Avengers an extra push needed in order to gel as a team.
  • Thor's fight with the Hulk. The Hulk pretty much curb stomps every fight he has in this movie, from Black Widow all the way up to the alien Leviathans. Thor is the only one in the entire film who puts up anything like an equal fight against the Hulk.
    • Not only that, but the fight ends in a draw!
  • Tony's speech to Loki.
  • Nick Fury showing why he's the Director of SHIELD during the attack on the Helicarrier bridge, easily taking out a few fully armed men storming in. We waited to see him kick ass ever since Samuel L. Jackson took the role, we got it, and it was awesome.
  • And don't forget the launch of the Helicarrier. Such mechanical elegance and grace and raw power.
    • At first, it's just an awesome aircraft carrier. Then it turns into a flying aircraft carrier, then it cloaks itself (from the bottom view at least).
    • If anything, it really gives off the vibe that Marvel Cinematic Universe Earth has indeed Taken A Level In Badass since the last films.
  • Captain America talks down a SHIELD agent trying to stop him by virtue of just being Captain America. Doubles as a funny moment like many of the other moments on this page.
  • During the argument between Steve and Tony that almost escalates into a full-blown fight, Steve tells Tony "Put on the suit, let's go a few rounds." To clarify, Steve Rogers will only consider this fight fair if his opponent has a suit of high-tech, fully loaded with weapons, Powered Armor.
  • Although she's a minor character, Maria Hill proves herself to be among the more effective agents in SHIELD, from the Chase Scene against both Loki and Hawkeye to defending the bridge of the Helicarrier with Fury just after getting knocked back by a grenade at the start.

From this point on, we'll be discussing the last half-hour of the film, where every major character in the film gets at least one Awesome Moment. Marvel saved their best stuff for this film, and it damn well shows:

  • A subtle one right at the start. Tony is the first man to make it back to Stark Tower, in his heavily damaged armor, and sees Loki is waiting for him. Now, Tony's highly capable as Iron Man, but without his armor, he's just a civilian with a bad heart. But he doesn't even hesitate to walk straight into the building, take off his suit, and confront a god all by himself. Without his armor.
  • Loki is able to Mind Control people by touching his scepter to their hearts. Then he tries it on Tony Stark and we hear a little tink as it bounces off his arc reactor...
    • And they both stand there looking at it for a Beat - and then he tries it again. At which point Tony starts consoling Loki over his "performance issues".
  • Tony suits up in the Mark 7 suit while falling to the ground.

 Iron Man: I forgot one more guy that you pissed off. His name is Phil. (Iron Man then zaps Loki with a repulsor blast)

  • The Hulk joining the climactic battle.

 Captain America: Doc... I think now would be a very good time for you to get angry.

Bruce Banner: (turning and smiling) That's my secret, Captain: I'm always angry. (Hulks out and takes out an alien Leviathan in one punch.)

    • I think that is Bruce Banner's most Badass Boast since "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry"
    • This really warrants elaboration. The Leviathan is the thing chasing Tony when he says he's "bringing the party to you." It's a giant, armored, whale of a monster that's shrugged off everything Stark has thrown at it. The Hulk doesn't just One-Hit Kill it, he stops it cold with one punch.
    • Banner's Reaction Shot warrants a mention. Every other Avengers has a major "Oh Crap" reaction when they see a giant flying-whale-serpent tearing down Park Avenue, but Banner just looks at the Leviathan, looks at the rest of the group, and starts walking towards the Leviathan with this wordless expression on his face that says "Chill, guys. I got this."
  • The Oner that follows each of the Avengers in the final battle.
  • Hawkeye casually takes down one of the Chitauri flyers without even looking, and with a smirk on his face. Then he tells Iron Man the Chitauri "can't bank worth a damn," so he should find some tight corners.
  • Captain America saves a room full of innocent civilians from the Chitauri by himself.
    • On a TV report after the battle, one of the women Cap saved thanks him for his heroics. She was also shown having seen his bare face before, so she'd be able to recognize his alter-ego.
  • Fury telling the World Security Council exactly where they can stick their orders to nuke New York City.

 WSC: Fury, the Council has made its decision!

Fury: I understand that the Council has made a decision, but as it's a stupid-ass decision, I have chosen to ignore it.

    • Fury then stops one of the planes from flying with a rocket launcher. And even more impressively, he's such a good shot that the pilot survives. It doesn't take with the second plane, but still.
      • It gets better; Fury made that shot despite only having one eye. No depth perception and a limited vision field, and he still pulled it off. BAD. ASS.
    • Iron Man catches the nuclear missile and tosses it into the aliens' spaceship. Even better when you consider he spent his first two movies giving the middle finger to the arms industry and the government. Talk about a nuclear deterrent.
  • Black Widow not only kicks her fair share of Chitauri ass, she also gets to close the portal.
    • Her jumping off of Cap's shield and catching a ride on a speeding Chitauri glider. By stabbing a couple of knives into the pilot and perching on his back. Then she drives the Chitauri glider with the pilot she just stabbed.
  • In the final battle, Captain America gets a great moment, when he commands the cops to rescue the citizens, but one cop asks why they should be taking orders from him. Cap then responds by taking out several attacking Chitauri by himself
    • I would also cite the cops themselves: outnumbered by an advanced alien armada, they still stand their ground, pull out their sidearms, and open fire. New York's finest indeed.
    • The fact that Cap was able to figure out precisely what needed to be done right down to the exact street he needed the perimeter to extend to is an MOA for Cap himself. Even with the distraction that is fighting off an alien army Cap was still able to put together a plan.
      • Fridge Brilliance: Cap's a native New Yorker. He might not know the modern city, but the grid was in place when he was around, including Grand Central. He knows the terrain.
  • During the final battle, Hulk confronts Loki, who goes into a fit of rage over how he is superior to all of them and refuses to let them win. Or, he would have said that; let us just say that Hulk cares not for his little speech.
    • And then Hulk snarls "Puny god." at Loki before running off to kick more ass.
    • The sight of Loki embedded in the floor afterwards is what makes this moment. He's just left staring silently up with this great shocked/terrified, 'What the flying hell just happened?' look on his face.
      • And then he whimpers.
      • And he's not just whimpering, either. He's trying to breathe after getting the wind knocked out of him, and his lungs aren't fully cooperating with him yet.
    • The moment gets even more awesome when you remember how Loki had singled out Banner on the Helicarrier, taunting him in earshot of everyone as "the beast who makes play he's still a man," and reminding Banner who the cage was really made for. It's extra fitting that "the beast" is the one to give Loki a faceful of karmic comeuppance.
  • Hulk saves Iron Man as he helplessly plummets back to Earth after flying a nuke through the portal the Chitauri were coming from, his suit out of energy.
  • How about The Stinger? Who honestly thought they'd go into the theater and ever expect to see Thanos, the Mad Titan? Definitely an awesome moment for Marvel.
  • Back to the battle, the Lock and Load Montage of all the heroes (save Bruce Banner) before they head out to save the world
  • It was spoiled by the trailers, but the money shot of the heroes as the camera was circling around them was nothing but a thing of beauty.
    • The mere image of all of these characters on screen together, now a unified team ready to kick some ass, the first legitimate comics crossover in the history of the big screen.
    • The shot was already awesome in the trailer. Hearing it with Alan Silvestri's main theme? Awesome times ten.
      • And as Silvestri's main theme is heard in bits and pieces throughout the film but not given its fullest treatment until now, this also counts as an M of A for him.
      • Especially better as in the trailer with a different theme, the scene felt anxious and uneasy. With the main theme playing in the movie proper, it's a complete "fuck yeah" moment.
  • There was just something about seeing Hulk smashing his way through the Chitauri, especially at one point when an alien Leviathan is headed for an office building full of people. The camera pans inside and hear stomping as the Hulk makes his way through. Everyone gets the heck out of the way before he smashes through the window and onto the beast.
    • And when he is on the Leviathan, he manages to make it turn away from the building at the last second. How? By hanging onto the side of its mouth and pulling at one of its teeth. The icing on the cake is the visual of a tiny green speck on the corner of this massive monster's mouth like a cold sore.
  • A very subtle one, but before the awesome shot showing all the Avengers as the camera circles around them, we see the Chitauri all stop to growl and snarl at them after Hulk starts his awesome campaign. This is a hardened alien army that exists just to exterminate life without a second thought, and they've all stopped to turn their attention to SIX PEOPLE. You know the Avengers are officially getting started when they've proven themselves a threat to such a force.
  • Doesn't top the Hulk one, but Thor gets his chance when he and Loki are tussling. For a moment it seems like Loki might actually be swayed to the side of good... and then he goes and tries to stab Thor in the side, thinking Thor's sentiment makes him weak. Thor's response is to come right back at him with some hefty blows before dropping him face-first into the ground, then taking out the knife. It hardly even slows him down either.
  • There's something just amazing about Iron Man letting Cap do what he does best, as we see the Captain rallying his team and giving each Avenger their orders to save the day.
  • Iron Man is having trouble getting through a Leviathan's shell, so he comes up with an alternative strategy:

 Iron Man: "Ever hear the story of Jonah?"

JARVIS: "I wouldn't consider him a role model, sir."

  • Thor bottlenecks the portal. How? he latches onto the Chrysler Building, summons a thunderstorm, uses it as a lightning rod, and pumps a building-sized column of lightning into the portal so powerful it blows up several of the dragons outright.
  • Thor and Hulk going Back-to-Back Badasses on one of the alien dragons, ripping apart alien warriors and tag-teaming the dragon itself, with Hulk ripping a chunk of the dragon's own armor off, shoving it into the alien's back, and then Thor hammering it into the thing's brain.
  • That one moment in the movie where Iron Man shoots at Cap's shield to reflect the shot off and into an alien ala Marvel Ultimate Alliance was awesome. Just the teamwork between the two.
  • Tony's epic verbal sparring match with Loki as he casually offers him a drink, and is his general snarktastic self.

 Loki: What have I to fear?

Tony: (nonchantly pouring himself a drink) The Avengers. (seeing Loki's puzzled reaction) It's what we call ourselves. "Earth's mightiest heroes" type thing.

Loki: (smirking) Yes. I've met them.

Tony: (smirking back) Yeah. Takes us a while to get any traction, I'll give ya that. But, let's do a headcount here: Your brother, the demigod; a super-solder, a living legend who kind of lives up to the legend; a man with breathtaking anger management issues; a couple of master assassins -- and you, big fella, you've managed to piss off every single one of 'em.

Loki: That was the plan.

Tony: Not a great plan. When they come - and they will - they'll come for you.

Loki: I have an army.

Tony: We have a Hulk.

Loki: Oh, I thought the beast had wandered off...?

Tony: No, you're missing the point - there is no throne. There is no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes, and maybe it's too much for us, but it's all on you. Cause if we can't protect the Earth, you can be damn well sure we'll avenge it.

  • Selvig gets a quiet but crucially important moment: despite the fact he was under Loki's mind control, he still subconciously managed to fight back enough to put a backdoor sabotage into the portal device. Without that, they would never have been able to close the portal - plus, it just shows his sheer strength of will.

Other film-related moments:

  • This isn't a story-relevant MoA but...just look at the film's amazing opening week gross of $207,438,708 and behold.
    • It's now the fastest movie to date to make $250mil, grossing that in just 6 days (for perspective, the movie's budget was $220mil). Keep in mind that this only accounts for domestic gross; by the time it hit that record, it had already grossed $500mil in international markets thanks to the slightly earlier launch.
      • It was also the fastest to reach $100mil (2 days), $150mil (2 days), $200mil (3 days), $250mil (6 days), $300mil (9 days), $350mil (10 days), $400mil (14 days), $450mil (17 days), and $500mil (23 days) . And it's still on track to take down every domestic box-office record in its path.
        • And the movies it has topped are certainly no box office slouches. The following movies lost their North American box office records to The Avengers: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (opening weekend for any film; summer opening weekend; opening weekend, adjusted for inflation; IMAX gross during opening weekend; and days to reach $100, $150 million), The Dark Knight (opening week for any film; opening weekend, adjusted for ticket pricing; and days to reach $200, $250, $300, $350, $400, $450 million), Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert (theater average - wide release), Alice in Wonderland (3D gross during opening weekend), Avatar (second weekend for any film and days to reach $500, $550 million) and Spider-Man (highest monthly share of domestic earnings). To put those marks in perspective, it took the records of four films that are in the Top 12 in the worldwide all-time box office, one of the highest-grossing concert films of all time and the opening to one of the highest-grossing superhero film series ever.
        • It's made a BILLION globally in just 19 days. This means that it has made back it's budget, AND the budget of every single other film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well! Again, in 19 days!
        • Not only that, but in doing so, it TIED with Avatar and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 for fastest-to-billion. That's huge, regardless of it's final gross in the future.
    • Another sign of how big a hit it was? Shawarma sales apparently shot way up after the film's release because of the post-climactic scene of Tony rambling about wanting to try some of it after he almost dies chucking the nuke through the wormhole, and the post-post-credits stinger of the exhausted Avengers chowing down on it in a trashed restaurant after the fight.
  • Also not story related, but Method Studios deserves high praise for the pre-stinger credits. Especially when combined with Silvestri's score... damn.
  • Can we say this is an MoA for Mark Ruffalo? Originally expected to be the worst part of the film due to previous lackluster Hulk movies, widely hated as a Replacement Scrappy for Edward Norton, mocked roundly whenever promotional pictures came out... and then the actual movie was released, and his performance pretty much shut everybody the hell up. His success overlaps with Heartwarming if you're aware of the personal traumas (face-paralyzing brain tumor, murder of his brother) that have nearly ended Ruffalo's career twice in the last decade - and that Ruffalo's survived them while maintaining a reputation as one of the most professional and genuinely nice people in Hollywood.
    • Not only that. Before the Avengers movie came out, there was no plans on a Hulk movie, based on previous movies being lackluster. After Avengers came out, a Hulk movie is talked about with Mark Ruffalo.
  • Loki lets a kid ride on his shoulders.
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