Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What Only Comic Book Fans Know About Aunt May's Big Line In Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spoiler Warning: This article contains major plot points from "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

There were plenty of moments in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" that would make any longtime Spidey fan gasp with delight. Seeing Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire reprise their iconic roles as Peter Parker was enough to make any Marvel fan tear up from joy, not to mention the thrill of watching Willem Dafoe transform into the Green Goblin again. Another moment occurred, though, that was more poignant than the rest. Shortly before Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) dies due to injuries sustained by the Green Goblin glider, she finally tells Peter (Tom Holland) that iconic line: "With great power, there must come great responsibility." 

We've heard it in Spider-Man films before. In Sam Raimi's 2002 "Spider-Man," Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) tells Maguire's Peter, "With great power comes great responsibility." In 2012's "The Amazing Spider-Man," Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) conveys the same message again, though it's through the lens of comparing Peter to his late father: "He believed that if you could do good things for other people, you had a moral obligation to do those things! That's what's at stake here. Not choice. Responsibility," he tells Garfield's Peter.

"No Way Home," however, is the first time Peter has been told this character-defining line in the MCU. For fans of the original "Spider-Man" comics, too, Aunt May's delivery here holds some extra weight.

Aunt May's line comes directly from the comics

Aunt May's delivery of the line in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is actually the most comic-version accurate seen in film so far. "With great power, there must come great responsibility" appears word-for-word in the last panel of 1962 Spider-Man comic "Amazing Fantasy #15," though as a caption, not spoken dialogue.

It feels fitting that Marvel and Sony opted to return to the comic book origins of the line for "No Way Home," as the film brings together nearly 20 years of Spider-Man in movies. Watching Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire's versions of Spider-Man share they had both been taught that same lesson by their Uncle Ben just before he died, too, makes it even more emotional that Aunt May shared this with Peter shortly before her own death. 

Aunt May's commitment to helping others is what inspired Peter to help all the multiversal villains in the film. It's clear her philosophy of generosity and sacrifice will stay with Peter as he embarks on this next chapter all alone, determined to help as many as he can as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.