20 Best Thanos Quotes From The MCU

Marvel’s Thanos has become one of the biggest villains in cinema in the past few years. But what are the very best Thanos quotes from the MCU?


  • Thanos is a complex villain who combines power, philosophy, and a unique moral compass.
  • His iconic lines, such as “Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe,” add depth to his character.
  • Despite his intimidating presence, Thanos respects and acknowledges the strength and sacrifices of his adversaries.



The version of Thanos found in the MCU is one of very few superhero movie villains to earn a truly infamous and iconic reputation for their on-screen performance. While Marvel’s prior roster of antagonists had some strong showings, none were so frightening yet so complex as Thanos the Mad Titan, a world-conquering cosmic being defined by his own moral compass and rules of conduct. Indeed, one of the biggest issues the MCU faces in the wake of Thanos’ defeat is just who can replace him, and match both the franchise-defining moments and quotes the intimidating Avengers opponent provided.

Throughout Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Thanos’ MCU powers and motives saw himpresent himself as both an intergalactic tyrant and a philosophical warrior. This resulted in a true range of interactions with his allies and enemies, each of which tended to contain at least one line that both perfectly defined the character, and proved him more and more fascinating. Proving to be the most iconic villain in MCU history, Thanos will be remembered best for his iconic lines, even if his plan was eventually and thankfully undone by the end of his stint as the main villain in the MCU timeline.

Updated on December 3rd, 2021 by Kayleena Pierce-Bohen: With the rise of new content on Disney+ like WandaVision, Loki, and Hawkeye, the MCU’s stories are only continuing to build on the foundation set by the Infinity Stones saga. There’s never been a better time to revisit one of the most iconic villains to shape its narrative. The best Thanos quotes have a signature delivery that manage to combine both paralyzing fear and poignancy.

Related: How Thanos Beat Hulk So Easily Without Any Infinity Stones

Thanos Likes To Put Things In Perspective

“You’re Strong, But I Could Snap My Fingers And You’d All Cease To Exist.”

Thanos Snaps his fingers in Avengers Infinity War

A powerful harbinger of the pain that would come in Avengers: Endgame, this quote from Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War shows that the Mad Titan is not one to mince words. In one phrase, he both acknowledges the might of the Avengers, and that their combined power is nothing in comparison to the power of the Infinity Gauntlet in Thanos’s hand. Infinity War ended with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and all their allies, from Doctor Strange to T’Challa and all his Wakandan forces, facing down the mighty Thanos and finding themselves falling victim to his use of the Infinity Gauntlet. He snapped his fingers, and half the Earth’s population vanished almost instantly.

Thanos’ Idea Of Fun

“Fun Isn’t Something One Considers When Balancing The Universe. But This… Does Put A Smile On My Face.”

Thanos smiling in Infinity War

As Avengers: Infinity War explored, Thanos was hellbent on his mission. Though he could have been written off as a two-dimensional superhero antagonist, he was a villain that was driven by a complex purpose. While most saw him as a destroyer of worlds, he saw himself as their creator and redeemer. He leveled entire planets believing that they could rise anew out of the ashes, societies with a chance at more with far fewer inhabitants competing for resources. This line is only spoken in the Infinity War trailer, but still serves as a notable precursor to other similar lines that Thanos would utter in his final showdown with the Avengers in Endgame, added a sense of pathos to his overall villain arc.

Thanos Is A Big Fan Of Balance

“Perfectly Balanced, As All Things Should Be.”

Thanos holds out a knife for young Gamora in Infinity War

While striving for balance can be considered a noble objective, when it comes out of the voice of Thanos it just sounds chilling and disturbing. Seeing Thanos discus how his mindset and ideas will bring balance to the world was thus a very memorable moment, especially given the symbolism of the scene and what it meant for both Thanos and Gamora, and their warped familial relationship. The biggest impact of the scene and quote is how it conveys that all of Thanos’ ideas come from a place of twisted morality. He doesn’t truly believe any of his actions are evil, and showing Gamora all about balance as a child was his creepy way of trying to convince others that his way was correct as well.

In Memory Of Tony Stark

“You Have My Respect, Stark. When I’m Done, Half Of Humanity Will Still Be Alive. I Hope They Remember You.”

Thanos holding Tony Stark's head in Infinity War

No matter if viewers loved or hated Thanos, most can agree he wasn’t a typical villain. He was driven by his own sense of morality, and his own code of conduct. As such, when Iron Man engages him in hand-to-hand combat for what will be the last time, he’s no match for the Mad Titan, who stabs him in the chest. Thanos’ line, which could just as easily have included, “…when I’m done, half of humanity will die”, instead saw him chose to give Tony hope that the people of Earth would move on. The respectful but ominous phrase about them remembering Tony provides eerie foreshadowing to Tony’s sacrifice in Endgame.

Thanos’ Curse

“You’re Not The Only One Cursed With Knowledge.”

Thanos facing Iron Man in Infinity War

Continuig Thanos’ interaction with Iron-Man in Avengers: Infinity War, another great piece of Thanos’ dialogue is, “You’re not the only one cursed with knowledge.” This Thanos quote comes when Iron Man and Thanos first cross paths, and it becomes clear that they already know each other’s names. It’s an interesting take that Thanos immediately tries to gain sympathy from Tony Stark and his issues, as he demonstrates an unusual respect for the hero from the offset. It’s also unusual because it sees Thanos almost refer to his own self-ascribed calling as a bad thing, suggesting his motivation wasn’t as simply as it may have outwardly looked.

Thanos Knows Failure

“I Know What It’s Like To Lose. To Feel So Desperately That You’re Right, Yet To Fail Nonetheless… Dread It. Run From It. Destiny Arrives All The Same. And Now It’s Here. Or Should I Say, I Am.”

Thanos at the beginning of Infinity War

Thanos addressing the Asgardians in Infinity War with commentary on failure seems strange given the context of being a Titan, a race of eternal cosmic beings. While it may be hard to imagine Thanos feeling desperate, the statement is profoundly poignant in how Thanos tries to relate to the heroes before destroying them, and echoes sides of his character revealed in comics like The Death of Captain Marvel or Thanos Rising.

After Thanos uses the Infinity Gauntlet to make half of Earth’s population disappear, the Avengers seem to do exactly as he describes against the Asgardians; run from their failure to have stopped him. But whereas he proclaims himself the “destiny” that their future is made of, they decide to use their desperation as strength, a symbol of never giving up, and forge a new destiny in Avengers: Endgame.

The “Mercy” Of Thanos

“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.”

Avengers Infinity War - Thanos in armor

During a particularly heartfelt moment between Gamora and Thanos, he carefully describes the way that, in his eyes, he plucked her from obscurity and poverty by taking her from her home planet, a planet he stripped of its population. Where she saw a vibrant world full of happy inhabitants, he saw a planet in denial of the socioeconomic and political problems that brought about its inevitable ruination through scarcity of resources. By removing most of the population, Thanos states there was enough food to go around and access to resources previously fought over, encouraging him to amp up to worse atrocities later down the line.

What Did It Cost You?


Thanos and Gamora in Avengers Infinity War

The storyline between Thanos and Gamora is one of the most interesting and emotional throughout the entire MCU. In Avengers: Infinity Wars that moment comes to a boiling point when he sacrifices her in order to retrieve the soul stone. He then sees a baby version of his daughter and she asks him what it cost him to get what he wanted. Thanos gives a simple, one-word answer, “Everything.” It might not be a long line or a thought-provoking quote, but that one word shows the vulnerable side to him and just how much he truly did care for Gamora.

RELATED: 10 Things Avengers: Endgame Does Better Than Infinity War

It’s Lonely At The Top

“The Hardest Choices Require The Strongest Wills.”

Thanos grimacing and preparing to strike with the Infinity Gauntlet

Thanos never came across as a wholly impulsive being. Every decision he made was carefully thought out, its repercussions measured, and its outcomes weighed. He knew for every action there was a consequence, and on cosmic scales that the Avengers and people of Earth at this point in the MCU timeline seemingly didn’t even know about. Therefore, when he set out to destroy planets, he knew he would need the resolve to do it, or the guilt that came with empathizing with their populations could be too much to bear.

Thanos had strong willpower, but the Avengers’ resolve was stronger. Though he destroyed the Infinity Stones, they pooled their resources and came up with a way to get them back. At every turn, their resolve was equal to his, which he ultimately respected.

Thanos Brings Out A Magic Eraser

“I Thought That By Eliminating Half Of Life, The Other Half Would Thrive. But You Have Shown Me… That’s Impossible.”

Thanos' armor and helmet gleaming in Avengers: Endgame

After Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to snap his fingers and erase half of the Earth’s population, he fled to a paradise he had created for himself to live in peace. His peace didn’t last long, and the Avengers tracked him to the refuge with Nebula’s help. He waxed poetic about what he’d done, and why what had worked on other planets failed to work on Earth. Where he had destroyed entire worlds before and rebuilt them as thriving civilizations, eliminating half of Earth didn’t work because the remaining half didn’t go on to thrive. Resistant to change, they remained stagnant, unable to progress because they were so crippled with grief and loss.

Thanos Carries On

“I’m A Survivor”

Thanos grabbing Doctor Strange by the neck

Thanos’ exchange with Dr. Strange is one of the most terrifying moments in MCU history; bringing together two powerful minds as Thanos reveals what he did to his planet, making the decision to wipe out half of its existence. The duo have an amazing back and forth conversation, which leads to several brilliant quotes.

However, the best Thanos quote occurs when villain tells Strange that what he predicted came to pass. Strange quickly bites back by congratulating him for being a prophet, but the Mad Titan doesn’t want that crown, saying simply instead, “I’m a survivor.” In that one line, fans get a clear look at the ethos of Thanos, and also at how different he is to the conventional power-hungry MCU antagonist.

Thanos’ Will Is Constant

“I am…Inevitable.”

Thanos Prepares To Snap Wearing Iron Man's Infinity Gauntlet

On several occasions, Thanos uttering a set of chilling words that would become permanently associated with him: “I am inevitable.” Thanos knew the most crushing blow to his opponents would be the thought that no matter what they did or didn’t do, his damage to the human race would be a certitude. This is clearest when the Avengers locate him after he’s used the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half the Earth’s population. He explains that after he used the stones on Earth, he used their power to destroy the artifacts. Doing so nearly killed him, but worked to finalize his destructive purpose, and made the damage he caused irreversible.

Thanos Wants A Grateful Universe

“I Will Shred This Universe Down To Its Last Atom And Then, With The Stones You’ve Collected For Me, Create A New One. It Is Not What Is Lost But Only What Is Given… A Grateful Universe.”

Thanos in his armor arriving in 2014 in Avengers Endgame

Though Thanos had destroyed the original Infinity Stones after using the Infinity Gauntlet to kill half of Earth, the Avengers had combined Pym Particles with Time Travel to locate each stone again. What they didn’t count on was a Thanos from the past following them back to their present and trying to take the stones again. Where Thanos took half the population previously, he decided to take all of it at this point, perhaps realizing he’d never truly win over the survivors of the Snap. Instead, he was going to tear apart the very universe Earth resided in so that he could create a new one with inhabitants who knew nothing of what he’d done to create it, only that it was by his idyllic design.

Thanos Gives Some Useful Advice

“You Should Have Gone For The Head.”

Avengers Infinity War - Thor Stabs Thanos

This isn’t just one of Thanos’ most iconic lines, but it has become one of the most iconic quotes in the entire MCU. The Thanos quote comes right at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, and leads to the Snap actually taking place, wiping out half of the universe’s popular. At this point in the film, it seems like Thor has saved the day, killing Thanos just in time. Unfortunately, one of Thor’s worst decisions was to attack the wrong body part, as Thanos smartly and somewhat smugly tells him, “you should have gone for the head,” proving he is still alive and able to click his fingers before disappearing, in a move that changed everything for the MCU.

Full Circle

“You Could Not Live With Your Own Failure, And Where Did That Bring You? Back To Me.”

Thanos staring intently with a serious expression on his face

The period of time after Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet is a bleak one for everyone on Earth, but life becomes especially hard on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The average citizen wasn’t aware of the cost of Thanos succeeding in getting all the Infinity Stones, but the Avengers were, and they felt the failure of their mission more keenly because they hadn’t been able to stop him. Dealing with the consequences of failure is a theme that ripples through the entirety of Endgame, as is the concept of destiny. To Thanos, they are one and the same for the Avengers, who he feels cannot progress when their expectations of themselves are shattered. His gloating comments spur them into finding a way to rectify the damage and loss he caused.

Thanos Is A Realist

“Reality Is Often Disappointing.”

Thanos with Gamora in Knowhere in Infinity War

Where the Avengers were (for the most part) an optimistic group, Thanos was decidedly more of a pessimist, hence his harrowing MCU plans. However, the steps of Thanos’ plan suggested he knew that he couldn’t expect perfection, but he strove for excellence in his ambitions because he knew they were achievable provided he kept his expectations grounded in what was possible. By his definition life was always going to be disappointing, so he had to strive for something better – a perspective that arguably was at the root of his absolute worst MCU acts.

The Avengers being forced to see Thanos’ perspective of the world was also arguably what led to the team falling apart after Thanos snapped his fingers – their boundless can-do sense of determinism had been effectively broken, and they were forced to look at the stark reality of their situation. Ironically, Thanos had to re-evaluate his own reality too, as the pessimistic aftermath was an outcome he seemingly didn’t entirely anticipate.

Thanos Is Looking For Cosmic Harmony

“Tipped The Cosmic Scales To Balance.”

Thanos wields his gauntlet in Avengers: Infinity War.

The MCU’s most powerful cosmic characters (including the Eternals) operate on a scale almost inconceivable to most of the superheroes that dwell on Earth. When Thanos became the primary villain for the Avengers, they were dealing with someone who perceived cause and effect in a way that had real repercussions throughout the galaxy and beyond.

When Thanos discusses tipping “the cosmic scales into balance“, it’s not a lyrical turn of phrase; it’s the perspective of an omnipresent being and intergalactic conqueror who knows the weight of sacrifice involved in trying to stabilize a chaotic universe. This Thanos quote also serves to tie him closer to his comic counterpart – specifically the plot involving Thanos attempting to court the personfication of death with his brutality, which also saw him focused on the nature of the universe and his effect on it.

Thanos Has A Sense Of Humor

“I Imagine It’s Like Breathing For You.”

Thanos stands on The Collector's chest in Infinity War

Few would dare try to cheat the Mad Titan out of something he wants, but The Collector does just that when he claims to have sold the Reality Stone. When Thanos doesn’t believe him, he coyly asks, “Why would I lie?” to which Thanos replies, “I imagine it’s like breathing for you.” This Thanos quote demonstrates the dry humor Thanos is capable of, especially given that the villain appears to know that the Collector is indeed not telling him the truth. As it swiftly revealed, The Collector did in fact have the stone, and knew exactly what it is, proving Thanos an astute judge of character.

Thanos Forgets People

“I Don’t Even Know Who You Are.”

Wanda looks angry and uses her powers against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame

Thanos often didn’t even need the Infinity Gauntlet to disarm an opponent; he could do it simply by stripping away all of their confidence and make them question their reality. In short, Thanos played psychological games, often getting inside the heads of those who would attack him, like Scarlett Witch, from whom he “took everything.

When she informs him of this fact, the Thanos line “I don’t even know who you are” completely invalidates her pain, making her feel small and inconsequential. The moment is effective in showing the scope of Thanos’ machinations, as some of his most passionate enemies are figures he doesn’t really know anything about. It also adds a sense of perspective for the MCU’s heroes, as Thanos repeatedly shows that he does not hate them or hold any true malice for them for most of his villain arc, showing he murdered countless people in cold blood without even personally disliking them.

Thanos Understands Human Nature

“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.”

Chris Evans as Captain America and Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers Infinity War

After Thanos snaps his fingers and plunges the world into chaos, the Avengers have a hard time reconciling the pain of their shared loss, and they find it difficult to keep a fragmented world together when they can’t even do the same. Even Captain America, ordinarily the one Avenger who maintains his optimism, finds it difficult to keep collected. However, Thanos’ own quote shows he regards this as one of the biggest threats to him – and further proves how able to understand others he is despite it all, as Avengers: Endgame proves he is totally correct when he says those who refuse to accept things for what they are will resist against them.

People like Cap, who refuse to give up and give in to the new world around them are the ones to fight and rail against Thanos and his objectives. Normally, people refusing to adopt progress and change would be considered as clinging to the past, but in the cases of Steve Rogers and the MCU’s other grieving Avengers, it meant keeping alive the memories of those they’ve lost to spite Thanos and his master plan. Their act of defiant grief turns out to be one of the strongest defenses against him that they have.

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