10 Most Meta MCU Moments Ever
When Marvel dared to peel back the fourth wall.
Meta storytelling is at an unprecedented height of popularity right now: once upon a time, studios were extremely anxious about going too far with the wink-wink self-aware stuff, given the potential for mainstream audiences to get confused or feel left out of the joke.
But meta humour and narratives are basically everywhere in media now, with the likes of Deadpool helping popularise self-regarding media to a majorly mainstream degree.
And so, it follows that the Marvel Cinematic Universe - one of the biggest media empires the world has ever seen - would get in on the fun, especially given the inherently meta nature of the multiverse introduced in recent years.
With Marvel Studios having such a die-hard fanbase these days, they're evidently a lot less anxious about getting weird and taking risks, and so we've seen a major uptick in meta stories and gags over the last few years - and especially in recent months.
Not all of these moments ended up hitting for everybody, but each nevertheless saw Kevin Feige willingly peel back the veil of reality and tip his baseball cap to long-time fans...
10. "She Recast Pietro!?"
Few MCU moments have ever caused a social media meltdown quite like WandaVision's fifth episode, "On a Very Special Episode...," which concluded with a shock cameo appearance from Wanda's (Elizabeth Olsen) dead brother Pietro.
Except, those understandably expecting to see Aaron Taylor-Johnson reprising his role from Avengers: Age of Ultron were left with their jaws on the floor when the part was instead played by Evan Peters - who played the character in Fox's X-Men movies.
To hammer the shock home, we even then hear Darcy (Kat Dennings) exclaim, "She recast Pietro!?"
Though WandaVision as a whole is a relatively self-aware show about the nature of television itself, pulling an outrageous bait-and-switch by swapping Taylor-Johnson out for Peters was on a whole other level.
Even though the ultimate outcome - that "Pietro" was actually a Westview resident possessed by Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) - rubbed many fans the wrong way, there's no denying the Internet-breaking brilliance of that fourth wall-obliterating reveal. Genius.