BANNER: Are you here to kill me, Ms. Romanoff? ’Cause that’s not going to work out for everyone.

NATASHA: No, no. Of course not. I’m here on behalf of SHIELD.

Please tell me what Banner's line exactly means.

"Because that is not going to work out for everyone"

Let me know if my guess is right. I guess it means "It is certain that everyone else would no doubt fail to kill him (Hulk) so Romanoff herself visited him".

Am I right? What does "work out" mean in this sentence?

3 Answers 3


The following is the original line from BANNER:

Are you here to kill me, Ms.Romanoff?
’Cause that’s not going to work out for everyone.

I'm only going to focus on the second line. This is a comedic line. Banner is not absolutely invincible, but from experience, he knows he's not likely to get hurt. Here's the original and the paraphrase, with phrases marked in brackets to correlate the two:

  • 1[’Cause] 2[that’s not] going to 3[work out] 4[for everyone].
  • 1[Because] 2[trying to kill me is not] going to 3[end nicely] 4[because either you'll succeed and that won't be so good for me, or I'll turn into the Hulk and create all kind of havoc, damage, and possibly harm, which won't be good for you. But I don't really think you'll be able to kill me; more than likely, the 2nd scenario will occur].

Here are some language notes:

  • The informal word 'Cause, coming right after the perfectly formal question prior (Complete with formal address "Ms.") creates an (ultimately comedic) tension between the seriousness of the question and the calm informality of the statement to follow.

  • The word combination "work out" is a "phrasal verb" that in this case means to be successful or end nicely. Also, this usage of "work out" is a more informal register which adds to the formal vs informal tension.

  • Saying one thing and meaning another is often the basis of humor. It's somewhat idiomatic to say something optimistic like, "I hope this works out (for me; for both of us; for all of us)" or "Don't worry, it's all going to work out (for you; for both of us; for all of us)". So to say, "that's not going to work out for everyone" is pessimistic in the usual sense, but Banner is using the phrase as (mostly) optimistic for himself, which adds to the humor of the statement.

  • As @DamkerngT noted, "That's not going to end nicely for everyone" also has a double meaning. Let's take a more simple sentence "It's not going to be fun for everyone" means "at least one person will not have fun" but it also implies the possibility that "nobody will have fun". So there is also the sense that even though Banner doesn't believe he'll be killed, it would also not work out for him since he doesn't want to turn into the hulk. In a way, this too is humorous. The manner in which it won't "work out" for Banner is not that he-would-be-killed but rather, that it would make him very "upset".

Compare to a hypothetical scene from a Batman comic where Batman is surrounded by four thugs carrying sticks, chains and knives, and Batman says, "I think you boys should put away your toys and go home before someone gets hurt."

  • Your answer really helped me understand this line. By the way, why Banner used "Because"? That conjunction made me not understanding. If "You had better not do that" was inserted between "Are you here to kill me?" and "’Cause that’s not going to work out for everyone", then I think it would make sense better. Do you understand my point? I mean "Are you here to kill me, Ms.Romanoff?" and "Because ~" don't match. Could you explain this, please? I am really thankful for your detailed explanation.
    – Bunch Son
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 15:40
  • 1
    The reason it seems like "something is missing" is because actually something is missing. This is known as an elliptical construction. Consider "QuestionA? Because StatementB." = "QuestionA? The reason I asked is because StatementB." "Are you hungry? Because I have extra food" = "Are you hungry? The reason I asked is because I have extra food." Note another ellipsis "and you can have it if you want." This filling-in can continue indefinitely: "and I am talking to you, the person I'm facing, and you don't have to pay me back, etc." Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 10:10

work [out] (definition #2) - Have a good or specified result: things don’t always work out that way

Thus, Banner's...

Cause that’s not going to work out for everyone.

...could be paraphrased as...

Because not everyone will think that [you killing me] leads to a good result
...or more naturally, perhaps,...
Because that will create problems for some people

Note that although the dictionary defines it as a two-word "phrasal verb", the word out is often omitted.

  • 1
    I think the phrase "work out" was chosen to convey double meanings. Besides knowing that he can't be killed (so trying to kill him won't work out), Banner also doesn't want to kill anyone (which will definitely happen if anyone attempts to kill him); and that's not going to work out for him because he wants to lead a peaceful life. Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 12:42
  • 1
    @Damkerng: Well, I suppose it's fairly obvious that being killed wouldn't "work [out]" for Banner, so you could say he's including himself among those who are "not everyone". But in this particular context it would make absolutely no difference to the meaning (or indeed, "register") if we discard the word "out". Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 12:55

If Natasha tries to kill banner, this will invoke the hulk.

Banner states in another part of the movie that he once tried to kill himself with a bullet to the mouth and the hulk came out and spit the bullet right out. If Natasha invokes the hulk, the hulk might actually kill Natasha and all the guys outside, thus it won't work out for them. It won't work out for Banner because he now has to live with the fact that he killed all those people.

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