The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of larger-than-life figures doing the impossible. The fate of entire worlds often depend on the Avengers. And sometimes the entire universe does. But Earth’s greatest heroes aren’t just mighty, they’re also really freaking funny. From the very first MCU movie, the franchise has made us laugh. But which one stands as the most hilarious? Here’s every film ranked, from the unfunniest to the most hysterical.
23. 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 Cap repeatedly passes 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 laugh riot. If anything, the fact it doesn’t need a ton of comic relief is a testament to how good the movie is.
22. 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 bigger problem than my own sense of humor though is that qualifies as one of the few times the movie manages to conjure any chuckles. Bruce Banner jumping out of the plane and not immediately transforming into the Hulk is a great sight gag. But even that is improved upon in the Thor: Ragnarok callback. Of the many issues this film has, one of its biggest is how unfunny it is. Which is weird since its main character is a giant green rage monster. (At least they eventually figured that out.)
21. 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. It’s not what you would describe as funny though. Even Cap’s unfortunate pageant montage isn’t great comic relief, because it’s pathetic the Army turned their greatest soldier into a propaganda tool.
20. Thor: The Dark World
The second Thor movie, often listed 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 an unhinged Dr. Selvig running through Stonehenge naked is an obvious winner. 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. Okay, maybe a little pun intended.
19. Captain Marvel
A young, more trusting Nick Fury interacting with a “cat” deserves special recognition. As does Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos, one of the funniest characters in the entire franchise. And we’ll always enjoy watching Carol Danvers destroy everyone to a great ’90s soundtrack. But while Captain Marvel has plenty of charm, comparatively speaking it’s just not as funny as most MCU movies.
18. 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 always makes us laugh though.
17. Doctor Strange
Surprised by this low ranking considering Stephen Strange is basically magic’s answer to House? Don’t be. 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. Not exactly vintage Chris Rock, you know? Meanwhile, Dr. Strange’s hilarious second MCU appearance in Infinity War shows just how much funnier he could have been here.
Old-school 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 foreign world. One of the movie’s strengths is how it embraces its inherently ridiculous nature, which is based on an actual god showing up on Earth. As a result there are plenty of funny moments throughout. None better than the diner scene where Thor discovers coffee. Plenty of characters get to shine as well, including Darcy. (I’m #TeamDarcy. Always have been and always will be. WandaVision showed why.) As well as 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.)
15. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Marvel cast James Spader as a sarcastic, mad genius robot who hates Tony Stark. 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 everyone 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.
14. The Avengers
Marvel’s first big team-up still ranks as one of the studio’s very best. Not because it’s especially funny though. 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 maintain the movie’s energy throughout. It’s consistently clever and full of great one-liners. But it’s not loaded with as much pure laugh-out-loud comedy the way many later films in the franchise are.
13. Iron Man 3
Unlike in Iron Man 2, Tony is once again likable in Iron Man 3. As a result he’s inherently much 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. (Well, at least to non-comic readers.) This might be War Machine’s most comical performance too, which is really saying something since he’s always funny.
12. Black Panther
The delightful Shuri steals the comedy spotlight, with her new “sneaker” invention ranking as the most hilarious 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.
11. 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 often as you feel terrible. 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. We love hearing “I hate you.”
Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang is as sharp and funny as Tony Stark, while also being as charming and lovable as Steve Rogers. That combo 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 Luis—it’s hard to believe this doesn’t rank higher.
9. Iron Man
The MCU’s first movie really set the template for the entire franchise. It gave 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 Marvel’s funniest twosomes. And Gwyneth Paltrow never gets enough credit for how consistently hilarious Pepper Potts is too.
8. Spider-Man: Far from Home
Peter Parker’s second solo MCU movie dealt with some pretty heavy issues about grief and responsibility. That didn’t stop the film from being hysterical though. It features Ned’s brief vacation fling, Peter’s awkward attempts at romance (and accidental attempt at a drone strike), literally everything Zendaya’s MJ does or says, and Happy becoming an overwhelmed de facto dad. Not to mention all of the humor of dusted teenagers returned from the Snap, or the two teachers who took them to Europe a few months later. I mean, this movie has J.B. Smoove, and he’s maybe the fifth or sixth funniest character. And we didn’t even mention Samuel L. Jackson playing Talos pretending to be Nick Fury.
7. Ant-Man and the Wasp
Even funnier than the first Ant-Man, this sequel boasts even better visuals that maximize the potential silliness of Hank Pym’s technology. And any film that stars Paul Rudd as a charming hero is going to make us laugh. But let’s be honest, Michael Peña’s Luis alone is enough to get into the top 10. We’d watch an entire movie of him recapping all the other movies.
6. 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.
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
One complaint about previous live-action Spider-Man movies is 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 hilarious, as is his friend Ned, Zendaya’s Michelle, his debate team coach, Hannibal Buress’ gym coach, and, of course, Happy Hogan and Tony Stark. Plus the school PSAs from that familiar “war criminal” are truly amazing. (Oh, so you forgot about Captain America’s cameo, did you?)
4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
As weird as it sounds, there might be too much comedy in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. That’s about as nit-picky as you can get, we know. Especially because if you think about what you might cut it’s some of the funniest scenes in the film. There are so many great bits and characters here, including the naïve newcomer Mantis and Baby Groot that this would rank in the top five if we only judged it based on Drax.
3. Avengers: Endgame
Endgame is intense, hopeful, epic, and sad. But the movie also packs an incredible comedic punch. There’s “Lebowski” Thor. Professor Hulk and his tacos, selfies, and dispirited fake smashing. Scott Lang’s confusion over how time travel works in movies is meta perfection. As is all of the inherent comedy of the time heist. You doesn’t love seeing that “idiot” Peter Quill dancing without hearing his music? “That is America’s ass” will always make us laugh. As will hearing Cap whisper, “Hail Hydra.”
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 great gags, jokes, and scenes 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 hilarious an MCU film can be.
1. Thor: Ragnarok
Korg, Miek, Hulk acting like a big baby, Valkyrie, and Jeff Goldblum as the demented 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. It will take one truly hysterical MCU film to knock it out of the top spot.
Well, unless they give Darryl his own movie.
Featured Image: Marvel
This post originally published July 9, 2018. It was updated April 12, 2021.