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Mark Ruffalo Was The Only Avenger That Didn't Get A Matching Tattoo. Here's Why

Ever since they assembled for the first time back in 1963, Marvel's Avengers have appeared in countless comics, blockbuster movies and most other forms of media that people consume. Their time-hopping, universe-traversing escapades have seen them take on dangerous threats such as alien invaders, fascist overlords, and any other villainous tyrant who poses problems for the galaxy. They've also become major pop culture influencers in the process, helping Marvel build a media empire that's taken over the world.

It's the characters and stories that audiences keep coming back for, and it goes without saying that the Avengers make quite a formidable team. This idea of unity is further evidenced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which the gang — Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, et al — have defended the universe from the likes of Loki and Thanos while capturing the hearts of mainstream audiences. Granted, the superheroes had their fair share of squabbles and civil wars in that time, but they still managed to put those differences aside and make amends. That's what true friendship is all about.

There are many reasons for buying the MCU's most popular heroes as a close-knit group, but chemistry and evident real-life friendships between the cast members have only bolstered the notion that their bond is strong. When it comes to close friendships, nothing screams loyalty and unity quite like matching tattoos.

The Avengers got matching tattoos to celebrate their friendship

Knowing that their time together was coming to an end following the release of "Avengers: Infinity War," five of the original six Avengers — Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) — each got matching ink to commemorate their memorable journey in the MCU.

Robert Downey Jr. broke the news of their decision back in 2018, taking to Twitter to share a video of him posing with his friends and colleagues, revealing how the ink signified their eternal bond. While they still had their bandages on at the time, it was later revealed that their matching tattoos comprised of the number six entwined in an Avengers logo, which Downey Jr. later showed off in an Instagram video.

Not every actor was on board with the decision, though. Despite being an integral part of Marvel's super six, Mark Ruffalo — who plays the un-jolly green giant Hulk — couldn't bring himself to get inked up with his co-stars. However, it wasn't because he didn't cherish the significance of how far the actors had come as part of the MCU.

Mark Ruffalo had valid reasons for not getting an Avengers tattoo

Mark Ruffalo might not have indulged his co-stars wishes by getting ink done, but his reasons for not joining in the tattoo studio them were simple — and very understandable. In fact, the actor was in good spirits when he came clean about the situation on an episode of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" back in 2018.

According to Ruffalo, he opted out for two reasons. The main one, he claimed, was due to his fear of needles. His other reason was more personal, however, as he explained that he has a contrarian nature. Despite loving his co-stars, he wasn't prepared to compromise his beliefs just to be part of the in-crowd. "I've kinda got a punk rock soul," he stated during the interview. "And I felt like, 'dude everyone has tattoos. I'm gonna be punk rock and not get the tattoo." Ruffalo went on to say that his decision made him feel "rebellious."

The Avengers brought in a honorary member to replace Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo's co-stars respected his decision, but any tattoo that's so intrinsically linked to the number six was always going to need a sixth person to get it on their body. Fortunately for the cast, they were able to find a willing — and fitting — participant to get in on the action with them. With the Hulk actor definitely out of the equation, they offered his spot to Josh Lord, their tattoo artist.

Furthermore, the actors all contributed toward Lord's tattoo. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Robert Downey Jr. recalled how the five of them became tattoo artists in their own right for the occasion. "Each one of us drew a line on the artist with his own tattoo gun and it was a total massacre. Each of us contributed to giving the tattoo artist the sixth tattoo that he designed for us."

Downey Jr. also stated that the matching tattoos were all Scarlett Johannsson's idea and that Ruffalo wasn't the only person who was initially resistant to the idea. According to the Iron Man veteran, Chris Hemsworth had to be "bullied" into it, but he at least caved to their peer pressure at the end of the day. Much like the green monster he plays on the screen, Ruffalo stood his ground and couldn't be convinced.