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The Real Story Behind Black Widow's Funniest Line

Contains spoilers for "Black Widow"

Natasha Romanoff's (Scarlett Johansson) long-awaited solo movie "Black Widow" has a number of tricks up its sleeve. Though it includes much of the awesome action fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have come to expect from franchise installments, the movie's heart is Natasha's begrudging reconnection with her dysfunctional spy "family." One by one, the super-spy's quest to finally put an end to the Red Room program introduces us to the closest thing she has to an actual family unit: fellow Black Widows Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weitz) and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), as well as the disgraced Russian super-soldier Alexei Shostakov, aka Red Guardian (David Harbour). 

Each of the four characters carry their share of baggage, and the fumbling interaction between them is the heart and soul of the movie. Natasha's relationship Yelena in particular almost immediately picks up a big-sister-little-sister dynamic that often belies the fact that they are are some of the deadliest people in the world. As such, it's hardly a surprise that the two also provide the most hilarious moment in the entire movie. 

Let's take a look at the real story behind the funniest line in "Black Widow."

Black Widow deconstructs Natasha's classic fighting pose

Ever since she made her MCU debut in 2010's "Iron Man 2," Natasha Romanoff has incorporated a very specific variation of the "superhero three-point landing" as her default combat pose. Over the years, the cool but obviously rather impractical stance has apparently become rather well known in-universe, and in a short moment of sisterly banter in "Black Widow," Yelena absolutely destroys the entire concept. 

"Why do you always do that thing? That thing you do when you're fighting?" Yelena asks while painstakingly twisting herself to an approximation of Natasha's iconic pose, liberally parodying the limb placement and hair flips involved in the process. "With the arm and the hair, when you do like a fighting pose. It's a fighting pose. You're a total poser." 

In response, Natasha can only feebly counter, "I'm not a poser." 

The hilarious exchange sows the seeds of the audience just waiting for the stance to make an appearance later down the line. The payoff ultimately comes when Yelena reflexively strikes the pose herself, to her extreme annoyance.

A last-minute addition based on a real exchange

As funny as Yelena's vocal dislike of Natasha's iconic superhero pose is, the line almost didn't make it in the movie. In fact, Florence Pugh told the Hollywood Reporter that the exchange was added in after writer Eric Pearson found out about the actress' own, real-life views about unergonomic posturing. 

"I remember the stunt team was like, 'So Florence, what are we going to do about your pose?'" Pugh said. "And I was like, 'Oh God, I have to think about a pose?!' And they were like, 'Yeah, because you know Scarlett's is this.' And I was like, 'I know! Who would actually land like that? That's ridiculous!' And they were like, 'Well, yeah. If she actually landed like that, she would have broken her spine.' And I remember I was just teasing [Scarlett] for it, and Eric, the writer, was on set and was like, 'Yep, that's going in the script!'"

It's great to see Yelena tease the usually unflappable Natasha about one of her most iconic MCU visuals, and knowing that Pugh was also doing that to Johansson behind the scenes just adds to the entertainment. 

"Black Widow" is now playing in theaters and streaming on Disney+ with Premier Access.