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The Best Hulk Lines In The MCU

Just a few years ago, an article on a live-action Hulk's best lines would have been very short. The classic Hulk, played by bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno, was mute throughout "The Incredible Hulk" TV show that ran in the 1970s and 1980s, and the Hulk created for Ang Lee's 2003 film "Hulk" was similarly non-verbal (although he did have a few memorable lines in dream sequences).

But that all began to change when the Hulk made it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Suddenly the Green Goliath had actual dialogue that reflected his personality and allowed him to deliver some trademark catchphrases from the comics. While his initial lines were brief and delivered between his usual roars and snarls, he increasingly became more articulate, displaying a progression from savage beast to laid-back scientist accepting of both sides of his personality.

Here are the best Hulk lines from the MCU, which trace the journey of Bruce Banner's alter ego from "The Incredible Hulk" (2008) to "Avengers: Endgame" (2019).

"Leave me alone"

Hulk's very first line in an MCU movie was delivered so subtly some audience members missed it. It happened in 2008's "The Incredible Hulk," when Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) was chased by the military and a gang of thugs into a soda bottling factory. Desperately attempting to slow down his rapidly accelerating heartbeat, he realizes her was just delaying the inevitable — and when his captors close in, he transforms into the Hulk.

At first, the film gave off the appearance audiences would be getting the same savage, mute Hulk from previous TV shows and movies. But then, Hulk hurled Banner's tormentors away with brutal efficiency, charging through enough military fire to obliterate a small army. All the while, he sticks to the shadows, emerging only briefly to growl at the soldiers and throw large objects at them.

When one of the men lobs a flash grenade at the Hulk, briefly illuminating his massive outline before hiding him in shadow again, we hear a single fury-filled line delivered in a low, guttural voice:

"Leave me alone."

It's a stunning twist, as the audience realizes it's getting a Hulk who can speak and express his hurt and anger in a more articulate way. While Hulk abandons any additional attempts to reason with the soldiers as he throws a forklift through a wall and escapes, MCU fans know this Hulk is a very different beast from those encountered before.

"Hulk! Smash!"

Hulk may only want to be left alone, but there's one other thing he loves doing — and he finally gets a chance to deliver his most famous catchphrase during the climactic scene of "The Incredible Hulk."

After facing off against the powerful Abomination (Tim Roth), Hulk seems like he's finally met his match. Abomination is easily Hulk's physical superior — capable of shrugging off Hulk's normally devastating attacks while dishing out some unbelievably brutal punishment of his own. By the time the two end up fighting in the wreckage of a downed military helicopter carrying General Ross (William Hurt) and Banner's girlfriend Betty Ross (Liv Tyler), it seems like the Abomination could beat the Hulk to death.

But the Abomination doesn't know Hulk's greatest secret: The angrier he gets, the stronger he gets. When his enemy arrogantly turns away from the downed Hulk to attack General Ross and Betty with giant chains and sadistically ask them, "Any last words?" there's only one appropriate response.

"Hulk! Smash!

The Green Goliath roars — and then proceeds to do just that to the roof of the building they're standing on, destroying the Abomination's sure footing. With his enemy off balance, Hulk then snatches the chains himself and nearly strangles his foe to death. It's a violent, brutal scene that shows everyone you do not want to mess with the Hulk.


Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) may describe the Hulk as an "enormous green rage monster," but the Green Goliath is capable of much more than anger and violence. Hulk represents all of the emotions Bruce Banner keeps locked inside of him — and sometimes something other than rage slips through.

Shortly after Hulk definitively beats the Abomination in "The Incredible Hulk," he's left to deal with the uncomfortable aftermath of a crowd of civilians gathered around the carnage, as the army attempts to decide whether to turn their guns onto the now-heroic Hulk. Amid the chaos, Betty Ross manages to reach the Hulk, who wipes away her tears and utters a single word:


It's a powerful moment of affirmation for the beauty to Banner's beast, who insisted earlier that the Hulk could recognize her and that Bruce was still somewhere in the beast when he transformed. Unfortunately, their moment of peace can't last and the Hulk leaps away, unable to be with Betty any longer.

"I'm always angry."

By the time we catch up with Banner (now Mark Ruffalo) in "The Avengers" (2012), he seems to have attained some control over his transformations as he hasn't had a Hulk episode in almost a year. However, the chances of a "Hulk Out" become higher when Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansson) recruits Banner to help S.H.I.E.L.D. track down the Tesseract and find Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

Surprisingly, Banner agrees — and many of the Avengers are caught off guard by how well the scientist handles stressful situations. Tony Stark even speculates that Banner uses a bag of weed to keep his alter ego in check. Banner does indicate he has a "secret" for not Hulking out, but doesn't share it with anyone until the movie's climax.

Realizing the world finally needs a giant green rage monster to deal with an alien invasion, Banner joins the rest of the team just as a giant warship zeroes in on the Avengers. In response, Banner calmly walks toward the oncoming catastrophe and Captain America (Chris Evans) suggests he might want to get angry.

"Oh, that's my secret, Captain," Banner replies as he intentionally morphs into the Hulk. "I'm always angry."

While this line is technically voiced by Banner, it also reveals how he's accepted that the Hulk is a part of him — and the only way to manage his other persona is by keeping him as close as possible so he can call upon his power when the Hulk is needed.

"Puny god."

Hulk's rampages are usually catastrophic events, but during the Battle of New York, Captain America himself orders Hulk to smash — and the Green Goliath is only too happy to comply. Warships, attacking Chitauri soldiers, and even a few massive explosions can't slow him down as the Hulk tears through all of their defenses like tissue paper.

Then Hulk tracks down a different target — Loki, the God of Mischief, who attempted to brainwash him earlier into battling the Avengers. While Loki arrogantly claims a "dull creature" like the Hulk is beneath a god like him, the Hulk quickly disabuses him of that notion when he snatches Loki by the leg and begins smashing him repeatedly against the ground. Luckily, Loki's Frost Giant physiology keeps him from being pounded into jelly, but the trauma of being pounded into submission stays with him — as does the Hulk's final taunt:

"Puny god."

"Take the stairs! Hate the stairs!"

This next quote isn't heard until 2019's "Avengers: Endgame," but it's still an iconic Hulk phrase that shows how much the Green Goliath has grown personality-wise. After the Avengers win the Battle of New York and take Loki into custody, Hulk tries to join his teammates in the elevator only to be told by Tony Stark that "maximum occupancy has been reached."

"Take the stairs," Thor suggests.

Furious, Hulk dents the closing elevator doors and repeats Thor's words in his trademark grumpy tone: "Take the stairs! Hate the stairs!"

Surprisingly, however, Hulk actually goes down the stairs instead of just jumping through a window or tearing up the floors. While he's completely livid after descending "so many stairs!" the fact remains that this Hulk is willing to cooperate and be somewhat gentler on property. It's a small step (pun intended), but it shows the Hulk is gradually becoming more civilized.

"No Banner! Only Hulk!"

Hulk remains curiously mute throughout "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015), but when he shows up next in "Thor: Ragnarok" (2017), he's more verbal than ever. After flying off in the Avengers Quinjet, Hulk goes through a wormhole and lands on the alien planet of Sakaar, where people are forced to scavenge or fight in gladiator matches. Unsurprisingly, Hulk thrives as a gladiator and rises to become Sakaar's reigning champion fighter.

However, since Sakaar isn't exactly a hospitable planet for Bruce Banner, Hulk ends up staying big and green for two years, allowing him to develop much more in the personality and relationship department. While still angry and ill-tempered, he enjoys a genuine friendship with Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), whom he nicknames "Angry Girl." By the time Thor travels to Sakaar, Hulk has come into his own, as he reveals to the Thunder God when Thor tries to call him "Banner."

"No Banner!" Hulk roars, brandishing his oversized weapons. "Only Hulk!"

With this, audiences know the status quo has been changed as Hulk — not Banner — is now the dominant personality and has finally carved out a life for himself.

"Hulk like raging fire. Thor like smoldering fire."

Hulk and Thor's reunion in "Thor: Ragnarok" may have begun with a brutal fight, but the two get some downtime later in Hulk's quarters, where Thor gets to know the new, more talkative Hulk, who acknowledges he has anger management issues.

"We're the same, you and I," Thor tells him. "Just a couple of hot-headed fools."

Hulk agrees — and then begins to wax philosophical about how Thor is like water while he is like fire. When Thor tries to correct his fellow Avenger by stating they are both "like fire," Hulk proceeds to show just how eloquent he's become over the last two years.

"But Hulk like real fire," Hulk insists, continuing to push the comparison. "Hulk like raging fire. Thor like smoldering fire."

The fact that Hulk — whose vocabulary once consisted of grunts, growls, and monosyllabic words — now enjoys using similes and adjectives shows how far he's come. Even better, he's now capable of using his words to strike at Thor's ego, which is a lot more sophisticated than the time he just sucker punched the God of Thunder in "The Avengers."

"... Big monster!"

In most of his initial appearances, Hulk got into fights to save Banner from whatever street thugs, soldiers, or mutated creatures are after him. However, his final big fight in "Thor: Ragnarok" showed that he could be motivated to fight for a completely different reason: fun.

Shortly after defeating the giant wolf Fenris and surviving being swept away off the edge of Asgard, Hulk returned to see the fire giant Surtur wreaking havoc and smashing Asgard's palace. Overjoyed, Hulk leapt into the air and began pummeling Surtur — who simply flicked him away like an annoying insect.

After Thor said to Hulk: "For once in your life, don't smash!" He petulantly looked at the fire giant, whining "Big monster!

While the Green Goliath begrudgingly abandoned the fight to let Surtur cause Ragnarok and destroy Asgard and Hela (Cate Blanchett), one can't help but feel bad for the big guy. Smashing is one of the main joys of his life, after all.


Banner may have been afraid that Hulk had become so powerful that his own personality could be swallowed inside the monster, but by "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018), their relationship experienced another surprising twist when Thanos beat up the Hulk in the opening scenes, causing him to revert to Banner when he went back to Earth.

To his surprise, Banner found he could no longer access the Hulk's power because the Hulk ... didn't want to come out. When Banner tried talking to his green alter ego and triggering another transformation, the Hulk made his feelings on the matter quite clear with a single word:


This single line made fans speculate about why the Hulk didn't want to emerge. Many suspected the Hulk was scared of Thanos after being so easily defeated. However, "Infinity War" directors Joe and Anthony Russo stated the Hulk was simply tired of emerging whenever Banner needed someone else to take hits for him and chose to sit out the remainder of the movie.

This change in the status quo meant Banner had to deal with not having the Hulk in his corner — which forced him to don a suit of Hulkbuster armor and fight alongside the Avengers as himself.

"We worked it out."

Bruce Banner's appearance as the "Smart Hulk" in "Avengers: Endgame" came as a shock to many audiences — but that reveal could have happened a lot earlier. In some footage shot for "Avengers: Infinity War," Mark Ruffalo is shown having an impassioned argument with his green alter ego who's still refusing to come out as Banner is being attacked by Thanos' Black Order soldiers.

Complaining that Banner hates him and only wants him for fighting, Hulk insists he just wants to live. Agreeing that they both deserve a chance at life, Banner offers to "live and let live," triggering his transformation into the Smart Hulk. Shocked that the exchange between his two personas has finally ended his years-long conflict, Banner/Hulk utters his first words:

"We worked it out."

A later scene also shows Smart Hulk explaining the new situation to Black Widow, but the back-and-forth between Banner and the Hulk is clearly superior in showing how the tortured conflict between scientist and monster has finally ended. While the alternate scene ended up on the cutting room floor, the fact that the multiverse has returned to the MCU means this exchange did happen — somewhere.

"Go for Hulk."

"Avengers: Endgame" proved to be such a major hit that Marvel decided to re-release it in theaters with some new footage, including an additional scene with the "Smart Hulk" that had some unfinished CGI. In the scene, Hulk comes across a major fire and manages to evacuate the civilians by loading them all into a satellite dish and carrying them to safety. Pausing to give the fire chief some advice on how to stop the inferno, Banner then gets a call on his very large (and apparently fireproof) cell phone.

"Go for Hulk," Banner answers, and then adds in a snarky tone, "Steve who?"

Meant as "Endgame's" introduction to the Smart Hulk, the action-packed scene was replaced with a diner scene that shows Hulk posing for a photo with some kids. Both scenes, however, showcase the laid-back attitude of this new Hulk and reveal he's finally become the cool, level-headed hero he always wanted to be.

"I put the brains and the brawn together. And now look at me. Best of both worlds."

Smart Hulk's "official" reveal in "Avengers: Endgame" proved to be one of the film's most lighthearted and gratifying moments. While most of the Avengers slipped into various forms of depression following their loss against Thanos, Banner chose to go another route by accepting the Hulk as a "cure" and finding a way to merge his mind with Hulk's body. Explaining that it took "18 months in the gamma lab," Banner glorifies in the results:

"I put the brains and the brawn together. And now look at me. Best of both worlds."

Choosing to have Banner — who's spent most of life living with depression and anxiety — be one of the few people who came out of "The Snap" in a more mentally healthy state is an inspired decision and shows how everyone deals with grief differently. Some people may prefer the more dramatic exchange from the "Infinity War" deleted scene where Hulk and Banner merge on the battlefield, but this scene is also effective for being so low-key.

"I think it's gratuitous, but whatever..."

Many people get embarrassed when they look back at their old high school yearbooks and see how silly their old hairstyle looked, but Hulk had it worse when the Avengers traveled back to 2012 in "Avengers: Endgame" and the now-Smart Hulk catches a glimpse of his savage incarnation smashing Chitauri soldiers and stomping on cars. As Steve Rogers suggests Banner might need to smash a few things to pose as his old alter ego, Smart Hulk rips off his shirt and sighs:

"I think it's gratuitous, but whatever..."

Banner then tries to slip back into his old smashing ways — but he's become so civilized that his efforts are hilariously lackluster. He dents a taxicab by tapping it on the roof and then tosses a motorcycle out of the way with all the enthusiasm of someone taking out the garbage. He's a far cry from the rampaging monster we first saw in "The Incredible Hulk," but at least he got to experience a significant character arc.

"It's like I was made for this."

Way back in the original "Avengers" film, Tony Stark suggested to Bruce Banner that becoming the Hulk saved Banner's life for a purpose. Banner remained skeptical and asked what purpose he was saved for, but he kept Tony's words in mind — and years later he would find the answer to his question.

After traversing multiple timelines to scavenge Infinity Stones and construct their own Infinity Gauntlet, the Avengers were preparing in "Engdgame" to use the glove to reverse Thanos' original Snap. Only one question: Who's strong enough to wear the gauntlet, which generates enough power to light up a country, without dying? While Thor, still guilt-ridden for not killing Thanos before the Snap, tries to volunteer, Banner quickly steps up. According to him, most of the Gauntlet's radiation is gamma — the very energy that empowers the Hulk.

"It's like I was made for this," Hulk states as he dons the glove and snaps the missing half of the universe back into existence. While this heroic act fries his arm, Hulk — once a being synonymous with death and destruction — is now responsible for bringing back trillions of lives. While his story is far from over, this scene truly shows how this former rampaging beast is now one of the universe's greatest heroes.