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Bloopers that make us love The Avengers even more

Saving the world time and time again is hard work—even for actors who are only pretending to be superheroes preventing the Earth's destruction. Working on a big-budget Marvel movie involves long days and lots of technical stuff, and the actors can get a little stir-crazy after all those weeks of cooling their heels in the trailer between hours spent in the makeup chair or pretending to fight bad guys in front of a green screen. The result: outtakes of scenes ruined by faulty props, costumes gone awry, lines that won't come out right, and performers who can't stop laughing. They might be Earth's mightiest heroes, but they aren't too tough to goof up on camera every now and then. Here are some super bloopers from The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well as from the standalone movies about the individual Avengers, such as the Captain America films, the Thor movies, and the Iron Man trilogy.

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Thor experiences a hammer fail

In the realm of superheroes, especially Norse mythology-derived superheroes, you're only as good as your accessories. Thor has lots, like his long red cape, his long blond hair, and Mjolnir, otherwise known as Thor's mighty hammer. It's said to be so powerful that (pretty much) only Thor is worthy to lift it … except that movies are make-believe. In this blooper, Thor's hammer breaks about as easily as a hammer Chris Hemsworth could've picked up at the dollar store on his way to the set.

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Captain America experiences a shield fail

As Thor battles with his hammer, Captain America has his trusty red, white, and blue shield. It's supposed to be just as powerful as a living, breathing superhero, which is why this scene was written to have Chris Evans use it to smash open a lock. But once again, the audience gets an amusing reminder that Captain America isn't real, or at least his shield isn't. Try as he might, Evans just can't bust that lock open with Captain America's signature tool.

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The scientist can't say scientific words

Bruce Banner is a very good scientist—after all, he was privy to all that gamma radiation that turned him into the Incredible Hulk. It's easy for the comic book version of Banner to just rattle off scientific term after scientific term because an artist just writes them into a speech bubble. It's a bit harder for actors sometimes because actor Mark Ruffalo just can't deliver what's clearly a mouthful of technical mumbo-jumbo.

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Trevor tries out some voices

After Trevor Slattery successfully passes himself off as a Russian over the phone, Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) asks him to try out a number of other voices. It's really just a chance for Academy Award-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley to display his acting ability and dialect talent because he can handle every suggestion Cheadle throws his way. Well, almost every suggestion.

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Nothing spoils a romantic moment quite like the giggles

It's supposed to be a tender, romantic moment—a big kiss between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts! But before the boss and employee can violate what's certainly a Stark Industries human resources policy, the kiss doesn't go down. Neither Robert Downey Jr. nor Gwyneth Paltrow can keep the laughter from coming out of their mouths.

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Hulk no smash, Hulk run

Rather than stare down and stand up and fight against encroaching evil, Mark Ruffalo, as Bruce Banner, takes another approach—and hoofs it the heck out of there, leaving the other Avengers to save the day. It's obviously just Ruffalo goofing around on set, but it actually works with his character. Ruffalo hasn't hulked out into Hulk at this point, and while Hulk would stay and Hulk-smash, Bruce Banner is a mild-mannered scientist and is far more likely to turn and run and back to the lab.

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Vision can't get his lines out

Paul Bettany used to have to just provide the voice of JARVIS in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but now he's using his whole self to play Vision. He's barely recognizable under all that red paint, and the lines are just as difficult. Technical terms? Stay cool and stoic? That's a tall order, and Bettany wryly catches himself flubbing a couple of times.

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Coulson dies, Maria is beside herself

Spoiler alert: in The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Agent Coulson dies at the hands of Loki. (Don't worry—it's not permanent, as evidenced by actor Clark Gregg's starring role on ABC's long-running Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) Still, it's a shocking and emotional moment in the film when Coulson croaks. Cobie Smulders, who plays his cohort Maria Hill, takes her grief to an absurd level, one that reminds us that Smulders was very funny for so long on How I Met Your Mother.

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Keeping things dramatic just isn't automatic

Why do film actors get paid such huge salaries to wear funny costumes and play make believe? Because they can emote (or at least make it look like they're emoting) on command. That's not easy to do; one moment, they're standing around on set, eating snacks off the craft services table and chatting with their fellow members of the beautiful Hollywood elite, and then, when the scene is finally set up by the director and crew members, they jump into their character and convincingly convey what they're feeling in that moment. Then the director calls cut, and they're themselves again. Actors must turn personalities off and on like a light switch, and that could reasonably lead to the occasional disconnect. While filming this straight-from-the-pages-of-a-comic-book tableau, a lineup of stern, determined-looking heroes for Avengers: Infinity War, Benedict Wong just couldn't keep the steely resolve of his character, Wong, on his face for more than a few seconds.

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The only bigger star than a Panther is a goat

While the various Avengers movies and standalone films focusing on various members of the superhero squad enjoy a lot of cast overlap, Black Panther came out of nowhere to introduce many fantastic characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe… and make huge stars out of the actors and actresses who portrayed them. Chadwick Boseman had attained some fame after playing Jackie Robinson and James Brown in 42 and Get On Up, respectively, while Lupita Nyong'o achieved her breakthrough with 12 Years a Slave; they're now A-listers thanks to their roles at the top of the cast of this superhero action blockbuster. Dalai Gurira established a big-screen career for herself beyond her role as the katana-wielding Michonne on The Walking Dead, but in this blooper, she's quickly and effectively upstaged by yet another breakout star of the Black Panther cast. Be on the lookout for more movies starring this random goat, who was supposed to be an extra during a Wakanda-set scene. But the kid just wanted to be in pictures, and brayed all day about it.

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Sorry to bug you, Avengers

Film productions are often subject to lockdowns. It's an attempt to keep secret all details about a highly-anticipated film, like, say, Avengers: Infinity War, a Marvel Cinematic Universe installment that features the tantalizing concept of somewhere in the neighborhood of three dozen famous superheroes fighting alongside one another. After all, leaked details means fans disappointed by spoilers, not to mention the potential loss of box office revenue. But try as a studio might to protect a film with security guards, closed set protocols, and signed non-disclosure agreements for cast and crew, they can't control everything. The unfortunate result: a seemingly consistently bugged set of Avengers: Infinity War. No, but really, the making of the superhero film was cursed by bugs — as in insects. Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Downey again, and Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts) all had to break character and start scenes over when various flying nuisances wouldn't leave them alone.

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A hot tip from Captain America

Spider-Man: Homecoming served many important housekeeping purposes for the MCU. It marked Marvel timesharing with Sony the rights to make movies starring the teen webslinger, unveiled superstar in the making Tom Holland in the title role, and also brought Spider-Man, a.k.a. Peter Parker, into the Avengers fold. Some core members of Marvel's version of the Justice League are all over this movie, particularly Iron Man/Tony Stark — Homecoming is like a buddy movie mixed with a father/son movie mixed with special effects. Just to make sure audiences are fully on board for this first-ever non-solo Spider-Man big-screen outing, other Avengers pop by, including a memorable appearance from Chris Evans as Captain America. 

At school one day, Peter Parker watches a brief educational film extolling the virtues and nutritional values of eating a hot lunch each day. Maybe it's because his character is so square-jawed (and square), or maybe it's because "hot lunch" is one of those phrases that sounds dirty but is completely innocuous. For whatever reason, Evans cannot keep Captain America's composure for long.

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Stan the man

The Marvel Cinematic Universe, and comic books in general, couldn't have asked for a better ambassador than Stan Lee. The one-time chief editorial mind at Marvel Comics created or co-created virtually a bunch of major Marvel superheroes, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Panther, the X-Men, and Ant-Man. Lee was a gregarious guy who seemingly never turned down the chance to appear on camera, and when his characters started to appear in TV shows and movies, filmmakers often included a Lee cameo. (For example, he and Lou Ferrigno, TV's Hulk, play security guards in 2003's Hulk, and he appears as a beauty pageant judge in Iron Man 3.

One of the last appearances he shot before his death in 2018 was for Ant-Man and the Wasp. As Ant-Man, the Wasp, and their associates battle bad guys through the twisty streets of San Francisco, Lee shows up as a guy whose car gets shrunk by Ant-Man's signature technology. "Well, the '60s were fun, but now I'm paying for it," he quips. It turns out that's just the take filmmakers decided on; they had Lee go through a huge list of funny possibilities.

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Plenty of room to vroom

Ant-Man and the Wasp must have set some kind of obscure record for "film that has the most car chase sequences that also uses the phrase 'Quantum Realm' a hundred times." The film reunites Rudd's Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man, with Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) as they search for their fellow shrinking tech researcher/explorer Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), lost for decades in the sub-microscopic world. Out in the big world, that involves an attempt by the nefarious Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) to steal the incredible lab necessary for all that science to happen. That means lots of car chases through San Francisco, a city full of steep hills, big curves, and tons of traffic. In this blooper, Rudd gets into character as he prepares to shoot one of these sequences (against a greenscreen), mimicking the sounds speeding cars tend to make. Okay, fine, it's just goofy Rudd making "vroom!" noises.

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There must be something in the water

The Ant-Man movies are the funniest of all the Avengers standalone movies. Star and co-writer Paul Rudd and director Peyton Reed are well aware of the objective silliness of the films — adult man grows to building size and shrinks to bug size thanks to a science-suit — and they embrace it, creating a couple of crackling, highly entertaining films. The casts of both Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp are filled by performers with a knack for comedy, including Walton Goggins (Sonny Burch), Michael Peña (Luis), Randall Park (Jimmy Woo), and Judy Greer (Maggie). Even so, it's a pleasant surprise for viewers to suddenly encounter Tim Heidecker, a comedy innovator known for his bizarre, boundary-pushing work on cult TV favorites like Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! In Ant-Man and the Wasp, he plays the leader of a San Francisco Bay boat tour guide. His usual pointing out of things gets interrupted by Ant-Man's shenanigans, and he rolls with it — particularly because the filmmakers wisely let Heidecker riff and say whatever was on his mind.

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Wakanda forever… provided everyone can pronounce it correctly

Black Panther is a crowning achievement in filmmaking, a startling and fresh take on superhero movies that showed the genre is capable of tremendous heights. It piled up an astounding $700 million at the domestic box office (more than any Avengers movie) and even earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture… something a comic book-based movie had never achieved before. 

It also gave the world one of the all-time great movie catchphrases in "Wakanda forever!," a rallying cry for the denizens and warriors of the remote utopia from whence Black Panther and his allies came. Since the film's release in early 2018, millions have flashed each other the crossed-arms Wakanda salute, emphasized with a spoken "Wakanda forever!" At this point, everyone knows how to say "Wakanda" correctly, but during the film's production, a few cast members had trouble getting it down. In this clip, neither Martin Freeman (Everett K. Ross) or Danai Gurira (Okoye) are confident in their ability.

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A bunch of Strange dancing

Doctor Strange was a harder sell than your typical superhero movie. Rather than using a bow and arrow, mighty hammer, or a "Hulk Smash" to fight enemies, the good Doctor Stephen Strange's powers stem from an ability to connect with the worlds of mysticism and magic. To effectively ground that in reality (and the Marvel Cinematic Universe), filmmakers required the services of an extra-good actor, one with extensive classical training and an impressive résumé full of award-winning dramatic roles. That actor: Benedict Cumberbatch, who earned widespread acclaim for his work in Sherlock and The Imitation Game.

But who knew that Cumberbatch could be so silly? Underneath all the pomp and circumstance, he's just as goofy on set as a wacky comic actor. Judging from this blooper reel, he's especially down to get down, breaking into dance routines while filming his scenes. (It's apparently contagious, because co-star Tilda Swinton's just gotta dance, too.)

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Asgard's funniest home videos

ABC has enjoyed one of television's longest-running hits with America's Funniest Home Videos. Playing on the then-popular fad of camcorder-captured amateur movies when it debuted in 1990, this long-running series has delighted the masses with miles of poorly-shot and grainy footage of grown men getting hit in the private parts. Countless victims have taken a hit to the wedding tackle in the name of entertainment — and a chance to win a cash prize — enduring bats, balls, and other objects.

ABC is now home to Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and it would seem that America's Funniest Home Videos resides in the same universe as that Avengers-tangential drama and the Avengers films proper. The proof: on-set footage from the making of Thor: Ragnarok. Cate Blanchett crunches the crotch of Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth… and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) gets hit twice.

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Comedy Gold(blum)

There are lots of weird actors in film history, but they mostly wind up playing supporting roles. Only a few have risen to the ranks of leading man status despite their notable quirkiness — including Christopher Walken, Nicolas Cage, and arguably the greatest of them all, Jeff Goldblum. In the '80s and '90s, he brought a disarming charm and off-center sensibility to his roles in otherwise straightforward movies like Jurassic Park, The Fly, and Independence Day, and in doing so made them much better than the forgettable genre pictures they could've been. Likewise, when director Taika Waititi took the Thor movies in a wild cosmic and comedic direction with Thor: Ragnarok, the production wisely brought Goldblum in for an ideal role: Grandmaster, the most hedonistic of all the Elders of the Universe. The actor brings his trademark looseness and an almost jazz-like approach to the movie, which is noticeable even when he's goofing off between takes. Fun fact: Jeff Goldblum can wiggle his ears and lure Tom Hiddleston into a beat-box session.

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When the cape can't cope

Much of the common knowledge about Thor, the Norse god of thunder, comes from how he's played by Chris Hemsworth in the Avengers films and the character's own wild trilogy. Basically, we know three things: Until relatively recently, he had a long, luxurious mane of dirty blond hair, he was the master of Mjolnir, otherwise known as Thor's mighty to the point of immovable hammer, and he wears a red cape that flows through the wind behind him as he walks. It behaves like his hair did, only it's made of cloth and it's far less tamable. For while Thor is firmly in control of his hammer, he doesn't seem to have any say whatsoever in what his cape does. On the set of Thor: The Dark World, Hemsworth tries his best to act, but he has trouble due to a temperamental and unpredictable co-star: His cape. It flies all over the place, seemingly at random. At one point, it even slaps Hemsworth, a big-time movie star, right in the face. Hey, that is no way to treat the first name on the call sheet, cape.

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It didn't suit him

Science fiction films and superhero movies are both rife with mythology, backstory, and their own sets of rules. Iron Man 3 is a sci-fi film as well as a superhero movie, and it's got a lot specific words and jargon its actors need to clearly and slowly spout off so the action around them makes sense. That's a delicate balance, to nail the terminology that's been part of a comic or cinematic universe for years, so that it satisfies both hardcore fans and newbies alike. But that's why Marvel and its filmmakers hire top-notch talent to deliver the written lines: people like Robert Downey Jr. have the training, skill, and talent necessary to talk the technical talk in a believable way. Still, it's hard to get those words out, because even for an actor of Downey's caliber, there's a lot to remember. In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark (Downey) must call into his service his various super-suits. There are a lot of them, and in this blooper, Downey needs the assistance of the Heartbreaker armor to help out the armor whose… name escapes him. All he can do is mug and hope the name "Red Snapper" pops into his head.