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Most Memorable Thanos Quotes In The MCU

When the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off in 2008 with "Iron Man," it introduced us to the first chapter in the sprawling "Infinity Saga" – the overarching storyline of the 23 films under this banner that focus largely on the Infinity Stones and Thanos' quest to find them.

First seen in the mid-credits scene of 2012's "The Avengers," Thanos had been a looming presence for many years, with his full intentions memorably teased at the end of "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Initially played (in an uncredited role) by Damion Poitier and later by Josh Brolin, it wouldn't be long until Thanos made his mark in the story. While there have been multiple villains across the MCU, all paths led to Thanos, and his big moment finally came in "Avengers: Infinity War," where his terrifying plan is realized.

As well as being a physically imposing character, Thanos also has a certain way with words, delivering harrowing monologues and memorable lines across his MCU appearances. These are just some of the most unforgettable lines from the iconic villain.

"Fine, I'll do it myself."

While "The Avengers" is the first time we meet Thanos, it isn't until 2014's "Guardians of the Galaxy" that we really get our first taste of the Mad Titan's intentions. In this film, Thanos is still a background player, enlisting Ronan the Accuser and his daughter Nebula to recover the power stone for him. However, they don't succeed, and the Guardians manage to recover the stone, storing it safely on Xandar. With his associates failing him, Thanos decides to take matters into his own hands, and in this mid-credits scene from "Avengers: Age of Ultron," we see Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet making his intentions crystal clear.

"Fun isn't something one considers when balancing the universe. But this ... does put a smile on my face."

Unfortunately, this memorable line from Thanos didn't make it any further than the "Avengers: Infinity War" trailer. However, it certainly served its purpose in getting fans extremely excited for his appearance in the film. This line seemed to suggest a villain who would revel in causing pain and do it all with a smile on his face, which is what we have seen of Thanos so far at this point in the MCU. However, the version of Thanos we get in "Infinity War" is actually a little more complex. He seems to hold a genuine belief that what he is doing is for the good of humanity — something that this line doesn't necessarily support.

"I know what it's like to lose. To feel so desperately that you're right, yet to fail nonetheless. It's frightening."

One of the first quotes we get from Thanos in "Infinity War" suggests that Thanos has already lost a great deal, and this is something that he holds with him. As we have seen throughout the MCU so far, Thanos has been working in the background to try and find the stones. His failure could be referring to Loki's failed Chitauri invasion of New York (which Thanos was behind), and at this point, he is onboard the Asgardian ship with Loki. Whatever the meaning behind this statement, it seems to suggest a certain degree of humanity to Thanos, and this is something that is explored throughout the film.

"Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives. And now it's here. Or should I say, I am."

While onboard the Asgardian ship, Thanos says what is about to happen is "destiny," and he backs this up with his later statements about inevitability. It also suggests a high degree of hubris from the character, believing that he is humanity's savior. The final two words also have godly connotations — perhaps carefully chosen, as he is currently addressing two gods, Thor and Loki.

"Perfectly balanced, as all things should be."

The relationship between Thanos and his adoptive daughter, Gamora, is one of the key components of "Infinity War," with particularly devastating consequences. In this flashback scene, we see Thanos and his armies destroying Gamora's home. When she is separated from her mother, he takes her under his wing and shows her a double-edged blade, describing it as "perfectly balanced, as all things should be." The significance of this phrase is that it acts as the perfect metaphor for Thanos' plans about restoring balance to the universe by wiping out half the population.

"Reality is often disappointing. That is, it was. Now, reality can be whatever I want."

The first part of this quote is one that can certainly be used outside the context of the film, fitting for any situation where you're feeling particularly aggrieved by your current circumstances. In "Infinity War," it comes just as Thanos has taken the reality stone from the Collector on Knowhere. Thanos warps the reality around him, tricking the Guardians into believing he hasn't yet obtained it as a ruse to capture Gamora. The extra layer of meaning behind the line also suggests that Thanos can enact his plans and create his own ideal world with the stone.

"You were going to bed hungry, scrounging for scraps. Your planet was on the brink of collapse. I'm the one who stopped that. You know what's happened since then? The children born have known nothing but full bellies and clear skies. It's a paradise."

One of the key things about Thanos is his perspective, as he consistently believes that what he is doing is helping people — even though they see a very different story. This line, spoken to Gamora after he has taken her, indicates that she may have been happy in her home before he destroyed it, but Thanos sees something she didn't. He draws her attention to the suffering that she may have been blind to, going on to describe the severity of destroying half the population as "a small price to pay for salvation."

"I ignored my destiny once, I can not do that again. Even for you. I'm sorry, little one."

In one of the most emotional scenes in "Infinity War," we see Thanos taking Gamora to the planet Vormir, where the soul stone is kept. It soon becomes clear that something very bad is about to happen as Red Skull says that to obtain the stone, Thanos must "lose that which you love ... a soul for a soul". Gamora laughs initially, believing that her father is incapable of love, but then we see Thanos welling up, it becomes clear he does love someone — her. The idea of "destiny" is a recurring motif for Thanos, and him calling her "little one" as he did when she was a child makes this line even more potent.

"I could simply snap my fingers and they would all cease to exist."

If you've seen the films, you know this is exactly what happens, so this quote has a terrible sense of foreboding to it. When he arrives on Titan, Thanos speaks to Doctor Strange about what his home used to be like and how — after expressing his solution to the people there — he was branded as a "madman." Strange interrogates the idea, calling it "genocide," and Thanos continues to insist that it is an act of "mercy." The idea that everything could be taken away with just a snap of his fingers is chilling, as Thanos demonstrates how quickly he could make this happen if he had the power to do so.

"The hardest choices require the strongest wills."

As he continues to speak with Doctor Strange, Thanos shows a brief moment of humanity, reflecting on how difficult his path to getting the stones has been, particularly with what he had to do to Gamora. With Thanos briefly letting down his guard, Iron-Man, Spider-Man, and the remaining Guardians launch their attack to try and get the gauntlet from him. There are only a few moments of genuine humanity that we see from Thanos — this being one of them — and the connection between the majority of them is usually Gamora.

"You're not the only one cursed with knowledge."

In the middle of the fight between the heroes and Thanos on Titan, Tony Stark is surprised to find that Thanos knows who he is. Thanos responds with this line, something that is particularly relevant to Stark. While the two are on very different paths, both are incredibly knowledgeable, and this line seems to suggest there is a possible connection between the two (which we see play out towards the conclusion of "Endgame"). Of course, Tony being Tony has the perfect riposte, saying, "My only curse is you."

"You should have gone for the head."

With the battle now in Wakanda, the heroes are desperately trying to hold off Thanos' invasion long enough for Shuri to remove the mind stone from Vision so Wanda can destroy it. With Wanda forced to destroy the stone — and the man she loves — it seems as if they have succeeded and prevented Thanos from taking the final stone. However, with the power of the time stone, Thanos reverses this by killing Vision himself and taking the stone. Thor arrives and plunges Stormbreaker into Thanos' chest, which proves to be a costly mistake, as Thanos points out with this line. With the ability to still snap his fingers, Thanos finally succeeds.

"What did it cost? Everything."

Prior to discovering the devastating consequences of the snap — and with Thanos finally achieving what he set out to do — we see this strange scene where Thanos speaks with young Gamora in an ethereal orange landscape. Now without the gauntlet, Thanos approaches his "little one," who asks him if he succeeded and what it cost. In response, Thanos says, "Everything." The placement of this scene is particularly interesting as it allows us again to see the great sacrifice Thanos made and the implications it has for him. It suggests a very human side to the character, giving him considerably more depth than most villains.

"I am ... inevitable."

At the beginning of "Avengers: Endgame," we see the remaining heroes — now joined by Captain Marvel — channeling their grief and devastation into finding Thanos. When they do find him, they discover the stones have been destroyed, and with them, their chance of bringing everyone back has been obliterated. Now weakened and far from the villain we saw in "Infinity War," Thanos utters these immortal words, suggesting that there is nothing they can do to undo what has been done, and this was always humanity's destiny. These words are repeated several times by Thanos, with their appearance in the climactic scene of "Endgame," making for one of the saga's best moments.

"I found them all. I won. Tipped the cosmic scales to balance."

When the heroes discover that their final hope lies in using time travel to go back and get the stones for themselves, they decide to divide and conquer and head out across space and time to find them. Nebula and War Machine are tasked with heading to the planet Mora to intercept Star-Lord when he first finds the power stone. With another Nebula already there, their memories and thoughts start to overlap, and Thanos taps into this to discover that the future version of him does succeed in finding all the stones. This moment of realization is particularly significant, as it gives this version of Thanos the confidence in knowing that if he succeeded once, he can again.

"You could not live with your own failure, and where did that bring you? Back to me."

The version of Thanos that we see in "Endgame" is very different from the one in "Infinity War." The 2014 Thanos has not yet known the same degree of failure that his future self has, and rather than having to find the stones himself, he has a clear path to victory with the stones already collected by the heroes. Having now undone the snap, they're faced with Thanos once again, who backs up his previous claims of his inevitability through this quote.

"As long as there are those that remember what was, there will always be those, that are unable to accept what can be. They will resist."

Addressing Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, this memorable quote from Thanos is directly targeted at their inability to move on from what happened and accept that his proposed fate for the universe was the correct one. Thanos suggests that because they have been unable to move on from the snap and have been so focused on bringing back what they had before, they have not been able to see any alternative future or viewpoint. Thanos still believes his actions were the right ones, and now he is back to teach the Avengers what happens to those who refuse to accept it.

"I will shred this universe down to its last atom, and then, with the stones you collected for me, create a new one teeming with life that knows not what it has lost but only what it has been given. A grateful universe."

As seen in this part of his speech, this version of Thanos is angry and bitter. Having not experienced the same personal sacrifice that the other version of Thanos did in sacrificing Gamora, he sees that the universe is ungrateful for what he did without really seeing the cost of his actions at all. This somehow makes him even more twisted, as now he wants to destroy everything and start again, wiping out all the remnants of those who knew what life was like before.

"What I'm about to do to your stubborn, annoying little planet, I'm gonna enjoy it, very, very much."

In "Infinity War," Thanos rebuffs Doctor Strange's suggestion that what he's doing is genocide because his plan is always to act in a way that is "random, dispassionate, fair to rich and poor alike." This implies that what he is choosing to do isn't personal but for the good of humanity. However, this line from "Endgame" suggests something very different. It evokes the Thanos from the "Infinity War" trailer — a villain who is going to enjoy wreaking havoc and devastation. And this time around, having seen through Nebula's memories that they succeed in killing him, there is a sense of this being a vendetta rather than a duty.

"I don't even know who you are."

In "Infinity War," Wanda experiences immense heartbreak from killing the person she loves in order to destroy a stone, only to see him killed again by Thanos, who takes the stone for himself. When Wanda meets Thanos on the battlefield, she is incandescent with rage, telling him, "You took everything from me." Thanos then responds with this memorable line, which is undeniably callous. But this is, of course, the past version of Thanos, who doesn't know who she is, as they've never met. Fortunately, our hero still has the final word as she tells him, "You will," before launching her attack.