Ant-Man and the Wasp isn’t just a great palate cleanser for viewers still reeling from the shocking ending to Avengers: Infinity War—it’s a hysterical movie from start to finish.
The film’s consistently hilarious jokes, gags, and characters make it one of the funniest entries in the MCU. But is it the funniest? If not, which movie is? And which movie cracked us up the least? To answer that, we’re ranking the laugh factor of all 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe films to date.
20. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
You’re already mad, but you shouldn’t be! While this might be a fan favorite, that’s not because it makes you laugh. The most humorous moment comes at the very beginning of the movie, when we see Cap repeatedly pass Sam during a run together. It’s a great first meeting between the two characters, and it’s definitely a great bit, but when that’s your funniest scene, your movie isn’t exactly a riot. If anything, that it doesn’t need a ton of comic relief is a testament to how good the movie is.
19. The Incredible Hulk
Maybe I’m a bad person for saying this, but I laugh every time Hulk kicks Tim Roth around that tree. The problem is, that’s one of the few times the movie manages to do conjure any chuckles. Bruce Banner jumping out of the plane and not immediately transforming into the Hulk is a great sight gag—one that is improved upon in Thor: Ragnarok—but of the many issues this film has, one of its biggest is how unfunny it is even though its main character is a giant green rage monster.
18. Captain America: The First Avenger
Between tiny Steve Rogers, young Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, and confusion over fondue, this might be the most charming movie in the MCU, but it’s not what you would describe as funny. Even Cap’s unfortunate pageant montage isn’t traditional comic relief, because it’s pathetic that the Army made their greatest soldier into a propaganda tool.
17. Thor: The Dark World
The second Thor movie, often listed at or near the bottom of MCU movie rankings, is definitely funnier than people remember. As always, Thor has some good lines, Darcy is still around, and a crazed Dr. Selvig running around Stonehenge naked is a win. But overall, this film, with its super serious and super lame villain, isn’t exactly a howler. Way too often, it veers—no pun intended—too dark.
16. Iron Man 2
It’s impossible to have Iron Man around and not laugh some of the time. Plus, Sam Rockwell is hilarious in all of his scenes, and we always love having Happy on board. That said, most of this film is about Tony Stark being a raging a-hole because he’s dying. No other MCU movie makes us dislike its hero more, which limits how much we can enjoy him when he’s attempting to be humorous. Whiplash’s obsession with his bird does make us laugh, though.
15. Doctor Strange
Surprised by this ranking so low considering Stephen Strange is basically “Magical House”? Well, the movie is pretty light on laugh-out-loud moments. Most of the humor comes from clever quips and misunderstandings (Mads Mikkelsen gets the biggest laugh when he gets Strange’s name wrong). Meanwhile, the character’s second, hilarious appearance in Infinity War really shows just how much more humorous he could have been here.
Dumb Thor is always funny, and he was never dumber than in his first film, when he got to play an oblivious stranger in a strange place. One of the movie’s strengths is how it embraces its inherently ridiculous nature (an actual god shows up on Earth) with plenty of funny moments, none better than the diner scene where Thor discovers coffee. Plenty of other characters get to shine as well, including Darcy (yes, I’m fully #TeamDarcy, fight me), Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, and the always great Dr. Selvig. (Note: No bonus points for Chris Hemsworth’s blonde eyebrows—only intentionally funny things count for this list.)
13. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Marvel cast James Spader as a sarcastic, mad genius robot who hates Tony Stark, and we should really appreciate that much more than we do. The second Avengers movie might not have matched its predecessor overall, but it was still full of humorous lines and scenes, including one of the most memorable in the entire franchise: When the other heroes tried picking up Thor’s hammer. The God of Thunder’s fear as Captain America gave it a go is still one of the funniest moments of the MCU. Plus, this movie gave us the classic “language” bit.
12. The Avengers
Marvel’s first big team-up still ranks as one of the studio’s very best, but it’s not because it’s especially funny. Yes, Cap’s “I understood that reference” is a highlight, as is Hulk’s “fight” with Loki. And with so many funny characters, many interactions are imbued with a lightheartedness that helps keep the movie’s energy going throughout. It’s consistently clever and full of great one-liners, but it’s not loaded with pure laugh-out-loud comedy the way many later films in the franchise are.
11. Iron Man 3
Unlike in Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 Tony is likable once more, making him inherently funnier; his interactions with his unlikely kid partner are all great. Plus, Happy’s new job as head of security lets him be extra ridiculous at the start, and the payoff to the Mandarin is among the most humorous surprises in the MCU. This might be War Machine’s most comical performance too, which is really saying something since he’s always funny.
10. Black Panther
The delightful Shuri steals the comedy spotlight (with her new “sneaker” invention ranking as a favorite line), but she’s not the only funny part of the movie. M’Baku and the Jabari Tribe barking at Everett Ross is genuinely amazing, the jokes about T’Challa freezing all land perfectly, and every scene with Andy Serkis’ madman Klaw makes us smile. No one would say this movie is funnier than it is dramatic, but that’s a testament to how well it pulled off both elements.
9. Captain America: Civil War
This might be the only movie in the entire MCU that qualifies as a tragedy, but it has so much comic relief you laugh just as much as you feel terrible for the way the Avengers are being torn apart. Why is the big fight at the airport arguably the single best sequence in the franchise? Because in addition to being an amazing action set piece, it has more than a dozen genuinely hilarious moments. Spider-Man and Ant-Man alone would be enough to make this film one of the funniest, and yet our favorite interactions might be the animosity Sam has for Bucky. Case in point: “I hate you.”
8. Iron Man
The MCU’s first movie really set the template for the entire franchise by giving us a hero who manages to be hilarious while also kicking ass. This original Iron Man balances its very serious dramatic elements, which includes the beginning of Tony’s PTSD, without sacrificing humor. Happy and Tony are still one of the funniest twosomes Marvel has given us, and Gwyneth Paltrow never gets enough credit for how consistently hilarious Pepper Potts is too.
Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang is as sharp and funny as Tony Stark while also being as charming and lovable as Steve Rogers, which makes him one of the most endearing heroes in the franchise. When you combine him with the great visuals of epic battles taking place on a wooden toy train set, sincere interactions with ants, and the kookiest sidekicks around—led by the long-winded storyteller Luis—it’s hard to believe this doesn’t rank higher.
6. Spider-Man: Homecoming
If there was one complaint about previous Spider-Man movies it’s that they didn’t really capture how freaking funny Peter Parker really is. But that’s not a problem in Homecoming. Tom Holland’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is incredibly funny, as is his friend Ned, Zendaya’s Michelle, his debate team coach, Hannibal Buress’s gym coach, and, of course, Happy Hogan and Tony Stark. Plus the school PSAs from that familiar war criminal are truly amazing.
5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
As weird as it sounds there, might be too much comedy in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but that’s about as nitpicky as you can get. Especially because if you think about what you could cut out it’s usually some of the funniest scenes in the film. There are so many great bits and characters here, including the naïve newcomer Mantis and Baby freaking Groot! This would rank in the top five if we only judged it based on Drax.
4. Avengers: Infinity War
You’d think watching half of the MCU’s heroes fade to literal dust would be too much of a downer to land Infinity War so high on a funny list, but when you start considering how often you laughed during the most ambitious crossover ever, it’s impossible to deny it’s genuinely hysterical. The Guardians are at their funniest interacting with Thor, while Doctor Strange, Tony Stark, and Peter Parker form the best improv group in the universe, and Bruce Banner has the worst case of performance anxiety ever. Plus, in the midst of the biggest fight in MCU history, we get Captain America and Groot exchanging pleasantries.
3. Ant-Man and the Wasp
Could this be recency bias? Maybe, but maybe not. Ant-Man is basically amazing comic relief for most of the movie, and yet he isn’t even the funniest character. That goes to Luis, who is somehow even better here than he was in the first movie. And on top of consistently hilarious characters and one-liners, this might be the funniest MCU movie visually as it maximizes the inherent silliness in being able to shrink and enlarge any object you want.
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
Try to list the five funniest moments from Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s impossible. So is attempting to list the 10 funniest. In fact, you probably need 30 spots before you’d feel okay leaving something off the list, that’s how many hilarious gags it packs. This is one of the funniest action or superhero movies ever made, and in many ways it reset the standard for just how funny an MCU movie can be.
1. Thor: Ragnarok
Korg, Miek, Hulk acting like a big baby, Valkyrie, and Jeff Goldblum as the lunatic Grandmaster are just some of the many reasons the movie is relentlessly and absolutely hysterical from start to finish. Thor: Ragnarok isn’t just the funniest Marvel movie; it’s one of the funniest films of the 21st century. Even if they make another 20 of these we’ll still bet this will remain the comedy king of the MCU.
Well, unless they give Darryl his own movie.
What does your list look like though? What did we get right? What did we get wrong? Tell us which movies cracked you up the most in the comments below.
Featured Image: Marvel