In the climatic battle of The Avengers, we see the full might of our heroes teaming up to protect the world.

However, one scene during this battle, while hilarious on it's own right, does not make much sense to me.

While battling the Chitauri together, Thor and Hulk eliminate what appears to be a small force residing in a building. While catching their breath, Hulk all of a sudden punches Thor with great force away from him.

But why does he do this?

The theories swirling in my head point to either a revenge punch for their fight in the Helicarrier. Or a brofist for beating a pack of Chitauri, taken a bit too far.

Is there any official wording on why this happened and Thor seemed to think nothing of it?

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    I think The Hulk had ran out of things to punch, but was too angry to stop. Commented May 9, 2012 at 15:51
  • 1
    We may have to wait for the DVD commentary. I took it as your first theory; especially since Thor hit him in the face with his hammer (even for the Hulk...YE-OUCH!) Maybe Hulk was even a little jealous since he could not pick up Thor's hammer earlier.
    – ray
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 17:44
  • @ray023 I have this same feeling. Similar to Banner's hint of a Hulk deleted scene where he tries to kill himself and it implies that it emerges Capt.'s plane from the ice.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 17:45
  • @TylerShads The suicide scene sounds an awful lot like what the original opening was going to be for The Incredible Hulk.
    – user209
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 18:05
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    I have no solid answer as I have been digging around for something official, and there is nothing out there. Perhaps when the script becomes freely available to read (without dodgy downloads) that might shed more light (doubtful though) - however, pretty much every site and personal blog I've read seem to come to the same conclusion that I had. Hulk was just finishing their initial fight.
    – Nobby
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 23:39

6 Answers 6


Although I have nothing to back this up, I am a writer and one of my characters parallels the Hulk fairly closely. In my mind, there's little doubt why he did it. He loves to hit things, he just got through having an aggressive fight, Thor is still upright, and he knows that Thor won't be hurt by it. It's like punching your teammate on the shoulder pads after he makes the game-winning touchdown, only sized up to Superhero proportion.

  • 1
    My brofist theory came of this as it seems something that could happen, good point in backing it up though :)
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 10, 2012 at 0:34
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    This is what it seemed like to me, too, plus a hint of "he is my puny little brother so I am allowed to mess with him and no one else is" (even though they aren't actually brothers).
    – hairboat
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 0:16

It was obviously a case of Hulk having the last laugh, so to speak and was intended to make people smile or laugh.

I highly doubt that there is any "official" reasoning available for such a minor thing which is clearly intended for the viewers to make what they will of it, with the implication that it was in relation to their (Hulk & Thor's) earlier battle with one another.


Official wording? The answer is because Hulk is chaotic and unpredictable and loves to punch things. He's always been that way.

  • 2
    While this is true. Official wording was more of a point of "if you have an answer, show me a source or give me a well rounded educated guess." Though this is a somewhat valid point, Banner is shown being able to summon Hulk at his own will and control him properly, hence being able to take orders from the Capt.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 21:30
  • I thought Hulk normally punched things because he was angry, not because he enjoyed it.
    – tshepang
    Commented Jun 9, 2012 at 17:10
  • @Tshepang Hulk is a straight troll that enjoys punching things in most mediums. Look at the EMH cartoon.
    – cde
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 22:58

That's just a bit of character development actually. They want people to like Hulk so they're showing that he actually has a personality and a sense of humor (though a wicked one) and can show respect to a compatriot, in his own unique way of course. Gleefully arm-punching a buddy he's learned to respect and just fought shoulder to shoulder with shows that he's growing as a person.


I think the Hulk is a bit of an a-hole in the movie, not out of character for him or anyone who knows their power is unmatched. He undoubtedly remembers their battle in S.H.I.E.L.D.s' carrier and remembers he could not lift Mjolnir, Thor's hammer. He has a bit of contempt for demigods. Something Loki found out first-hand after announcing himself as a god and in the same breath insulting a Hulk that is much more in touch with his internal Banner! "Puny god!"


Hulk hates competition, and was still angry of the fact that Thor stood up to him.

  • 1
    Do you have any basis for the claim that 'Hulk hates competition?'
    – stevvve
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 13:48

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