In Avengers: Endgame, during the brainstorming session with all the surviving Avengers, there is a scene where Nebula recalls that Thanos went to Vormir with Gamora, retrieved the Soul stone, and came back without Gamora. Then Scott Lang (Ant-Man) says "Not it" awkwardly.

What did it mean? Why did he say "Not it" in that conversation?

According to Urban Dictionary

"Not it" exempts a person from performing a deed provided he or she is not the last person to call "not it"

As an example, if your mom asks you to open the door and you say not it, you don't have to open the door. At least that's what I gather from UD.

Nebula didn't ask for a deed, she was just telling the story. Why did Ant-Man use "not it" in this conversation?

  • 2
    Wonder why this received 2 downvotes. I didn't understand a slang, so decided to do a cursory Google search, put up the research in the question & asked the question because I still didn't understand the context of the phrase. I can understand no votes as others might have understood the slang but 2 downvotes without any explanation. Hmm... May 29, 2019 at 15:37
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    If it helps you understand "not it" better, it would be more applicable in a situation where your mom asks you and your siblings to open the door. Assuming you play by the rules of not it, whichever sibling says it last is the one who has to open the door. If your mom just asks you to open the door and you say "not it", she'll probably still make you open it anyway.
    – Ben Sutton
    May 29, 2019 at 19:34
  • @KharoBangdo it's 5 downs now, anyway, I didn't downvoted it. but it's possible that downvotes because some may think this is about just the phrase not it, while you're asking phrase in context which AFAIK, not off topic
    – Vishwa
    May 30, 2019 at 4:02
  • There's nothing Marvel-specific about this, it's a common English idiom, familiar to anyone who was a child and played "tag". As such, English Language & Usage or English Language Learners would be better places to ask.
    – Barmar
    May 31, 2019 at 14:58
  • @Barmar I am from India & believe me, that was the first time I heard that phrase. If I were to ask on ELL, I would have to provide the mcu context because I wanted its meaning for this specific context only May 31, 2019 at 15:58

3 Answers 3


Nebula didn't ask for a deed, she was just telling the story. Why did Ant-Man use "not it" in this conversation?

He's saying..."Don't choose me to go there"

Scott knows they have to go there to get the Soul Stone and he's making the deliberate statement that he doesn't want to be the one selected.

Would you?

NEBULA: "A dominion of death, at the very center of Celestial existence"

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    ...and this is a humorous line, because nobody was really implying he should be the one to go, but he still spoke up and said he didn't want to because he was so scared he might be picked, and that's an endearing and relateable aspect of his personality.
    – MGOwen
    May 30, 2019 at 1:15
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    Not to mention, Gamora, one of the most deadly capable people in the galaxy, didn't survive. If she couldn't survive there, would you want to take your chances?
    – Kevin
    May 31, 2019 at 14:20

One of the ways to start a game of 'tag' is for participants to shout "Not it!". The last one to say it must chase the others (i.e. he or she "is it") until someone else is 'tagged', at which moment that other person "is it".

Scott was thus expressing his reluctance to volunteer for the mission.

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    This is the real answer, i.e. the true origin of the phrase "not it".
    – Lee Mosher
    May 30, 2019 at 18:37

It's called inference. Nebula says that Thanos went to Vormir with Gamora and came back without Gamora. The inference is that something happened to Gamora, and that in turn leads to the inference that there is something dangerous about Vormir: based on the information that Thanos and Gamora went to Vormir, and only Thanos came back, there's a 50% survival rate of people the Avengers know coming back from Vormir.

Nebula didn't ask for a deed, she was just telling the story.

She didn't directly ask Ant-Man to do anything, but she mentioned this in the context of them discussing their plans for retrieving the stones. Thus, again, there was an implied task throughout the discussion of retrieving the stones.. The purpose of the discussion was to decide how they would get the stones, and deciding who would get which stones was an implied part of that. Ant-Man called "not-it" on going to Vormir and retrieving the Soul Stone.

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