I've kept up to date with the movies from the MCU, but I am grossly out of date with the TV series, of which I think there is only Agent Carter (not as relevant for the movies I think, besides that scene in Captain America 2), and S.H.I.E.L.D. (which from what I've seen seems more relevant, with Inhumans coming in phase 3).

I've gained what I can from this answer. But I can't tell which of the episodes listed are relevant to the movies (clearly, it seems that none are essential), and which movies are relevant to the episodes.

So which episodes are related?

  • What kind of relationship are you looking for? Are you wanting episodes where events affect the plot of the movies or just episodes that are affected by or reference something that happened in the movies? There are tons of the latter but virtually none of the former.
    – aleppke
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 22:26
  • @aleppke I'm looking for episodes where the understanding of the movies are affected by the events episodes, as well as where the episode references the movies in a relevant way (not just name dropping).
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 22:43
  • Things shown on Movies are referenced in the TV episodes, like the New York attack and stuff but Things shown in TV Episode doesn't have any reference/relation on the Movie, like Hive coming back etc etc.....When asked about if Coulson would ever make it back in the movie, the producers have said that the Movies and TV are completely different and have no relation, so as far as concerned Coulson is dead in the movie universe
    – j4rey
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 5:21
  • @j4rey89 feel free to add an answer, but I fear everything you've posted had already been said.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 6:44
  • Agent Carter was, for the record, the first (and before the Disney Plus era, the only) show to introduce a character who later appeared in a movie. Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 2:16

5 Answers 5


Agents of SHIELD

  • Phil Coulson is introduced in Iron Man; he also appears in Iron Man 2, Thor, and:
  • The Avengers, where we learn why Grant Ward is so surprised to learn he's alive
  • Iron Man 3 introduced us to Extremis; a refinement of Extremis, referred to as Centipede, is the major plot element for the first half of season 1
  • Thor introduces Lady Sif, who appears in the season 1 episode "Yes Men" and the season 2 episode "Who You Really Are"1
    • Both episodes, as well as the season 1 episode "Berserker", deal with Asgardians and their influence on Earth's pre-history, a concept first explored in Thor
  • The season 1 episode "The Well" opens with the team cleaning up after the climax of Thor: The Dark World
  • The season 1 episode "Turn, Turn, Turn" sets up the fall of SHIELD, which is rather important to Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • The season 2 episode "The Dirty Half Dozen" sets up the opening scene of Age of Ultron, by revealing how the Avengers learned the location of Loki's Scepter2
  • The season 2 episode "Scars" explains where Nick Fury got the helicarrier for the climax of Age of Ultron, and also references the events of the film
  • Although not directly tied to the film, similar concepts to those explored in Civil War have been explored in the show late in season 3, particularly the question of what place powered individuals (particularly Inhumans) have in human society
  • A subplot in the season 3 episode "Emancipation" involves General Talbot putting pressure on Coulson to register the Secret Warriors Inhumans after the events of Civil War; the events of that film are also referenced several times
  • The Sokovia Accords are mentioned repeatedly in the first few episodes of season 4; the events of Civil War are significant in the reorganization of SHIELD that took place off-screen between seasons 3 and 4
  • Though there was no explicit connection, Doctor Strange introduced magic and the idea of multiple dimensions, both important concepts in season 4
  • In something very close to an explicit connection, effects similar to the sling ring portals from Doctor Strange have been used in the latter half of season 4; a notable example is in the finale, where Ghost Rider creates one
  • While not plot-important, the first half of season five owes a great deal of its worldbuilding to the Guardians of the Galaxy series. The Agents of SHIELD showrunners discussed with ScreenRant in a 2017 set visit that they leaned heavily on the aesthetic of those films:

    Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon: Aesthetically, I think there are there are certain nods to Guardians aesthetic.

    Jed Whedon: I mean it helps to be able to say this scene just look at Guardians. This scene from Guardians, or you know, just we're playing in that same universe so we weren’t totally inventing it. You know, we could there were at least rails there where you could say they've established different colored people, they've established certain things. Certain looks that you can use a touchstone and a jumping off point, so to say.

    There are also a few explicit references in the season 5 episode "Fun and Games":

    • Fitz makes a reference to "units", the galactic currency introduced in those films
    • Senator Ponarian brings a "Xandarian snail" to Kasius' feast; presumably this delicacy hails from the planet Xandar, one of the principal locations of the first film
  • The season 5 episode "The One Who Will Save Us All" reveals that the events of Infinity War (or, more accurately, the threat of those events) were driving much of the plot of the latter half of season five; the threat of Thanos' invasion is what drove General Hale to negotiate with the Confederacy, in the hope that they would protect Earth

Agent Carter

  • Captain America: The First Avenger sets up Peggy Carter (the main character), Howard Stark (recurring character and plot driver), and Dum-Dum Dugan and the Howling Commandos (occasional guest characters)
  • Although not plot-important, the Black Widow program is introduced in this series. Natasha Romanoff has flashbacks to her time in this program in Age of Ultron

Netflix shows

I'm grouping them together because there are few film references in any of them, and the ones they do have are fairly similar

  • The "Battle of New York", the climax of The Avengers, is often referenced. It's most important in season 1 of Daredevil, where the fallout from that battle gives the main villain a foothold
  • Though not plot-important, New York's Metro-General Hospital was introduced in Daredevil, and is occasionally visited by characters in the other shows; it is the former workplace of both Claire Temple (recurring character in the Netflix shows) and Doctor Stephen Strange (of Doctor Strange)
  • Most of the technology that is used effectively against Luke Cage - the Judas bullets and Diamondback's power suit - are said to have been developed from Hammer Industries technology. Justin Hammer and his company were antagonists of Iron Man 2, and the man himself was last seen in prison in the Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King
  • In particular, the initial Judas bullets we see bear a striking resemblance to the "Ex-Wife" missile, Hammer's self-described "Rachmaninoff's Third" of weapons tech. Except, of course, the Judas actually works
  • The Judas bullets are also implied to have been made from Chitauri metals found after "The Incident":

    Shades: The rounds are a composite, invisible to metal detectors. And they incinerate forensic evidence, so they are untraceable.

    Cottonmouth: What kind of metal does that?

    Shades: Nothing from this Earth.

    Cottonmouth: The Incident?

    Shades: That's what I hear.

    Luke Cage Season 1 Episode 5: "Just to Get a Rep"

  • Season 2 of Jessica Jones makes a few references to "The Raft", a prison specially-designed to hold powered people. The Raft was introduced in Captain America: Civil War, where it's used to hold the Avengers (and allies) who violate the Sokovia Accords

1 Thanks to Rogue Jedi for reminding me of Sif's second appearance

2 Thanks to aleppke in comments for reminding me of this

  • 1
    I like this answer.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 22:43
  • 5
    Agent Carter presents the inspiration for Tony's J.A.R.V.I.S. Sif also appears in the season 2 episode, Who You Really Are.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 1:06
  • Could you please explain the second point in Agents of SHIELD section? I didn't see any reference to Agent Grand Ward in The Avengers film.
    – RogUE
    Commented Jun 22, 2018 at 15:45
  • @RogUE: I'm pretty sure the point is just that Coulson seemingly dies in The Avengers, which is why Ward is surprised to find that he's alive. Though that should perhaps be reworded to state the point that Coulson dying in The Avengers basically sets up the entirety of the first season's subplot revolving around "Tahiti" and Coulson being brought back.
    – V2Blast
    Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 18:13
  • 1
    If it counts, the Agents of SHIELD team briefly traverse the Quantum Realm in season 7 in order to get back to their timeline.
    – user25730
    Commented Nov 21, 2023 at 3:13

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - episodes that directly relate to the MCU (characters, people mentioned, events referenced). On the assumption you've watched The Avengers:

Coulson dies at the end of the movie.

  • Pilot - Avengers
  • The Well - Asgard / Thor 2
  • The Bridge - Captain America
  • The Magical Place - Avengers
  • Yes Men - Asgard / Thor, Thor 2
  • Turn Turn Turn - Captain America 2
  • The Only Light in the Darkness - Avengers
  • Nothing Personal - Captain America 2
  • Who Are You Really - Asgard / Thor
  • Love in the Time of Hydra - Captain America, The Incredible Hulk
  • The Dirty Half Dozen - Age of Ultron
  • Scars - Age of Ultron
  • S.O.S. Part 1 & 2 - Age of Ultron (helicarrier)
  • Purpose in the Machine - Age of Ultron

Agent Carter - Every episode mentions or makes reference to Captain America.

  • The Iron Ceiling - Black Widow / Age of Ultron

Netflix Daredevil - They only make passing references to the Battle of New York (Avengers).

Jessica Jones - They make passing references to the Battle of New York (Avengers) and those participants, including Captain America, and The Hulk.


Officially, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, and Inhumans aren't considered part of the main MCU timeline (also known as “616” or the “Sacred Timeline”). 

This applies to all Marvel Television productions, with the exception of the Marvel Netflix series (Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s The Punisher, etc.).

There are two official sources confirming this separation:

  • Disney+ MCU Timeline List: Similar to the book, this list excludes Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter (the series, not the one-shot film), and Inhumans.

With the release of Echo in January 2024, the Marvel Netflix series—including fan favorites like Marvel’s Daredevil and Marvel’s The Punisher—has officially been incorporated into the MCU. You can now find them listed on the Disney+ MCU timeline.

The shows produced by Marvel Studios, such as WandaVision and Loki, are part of the MCU. They're included in both the Official Timeline book (until She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, as of the book’s October 2023 publication date) and the Disney+ MCU timeline list.

Official list (in timeline order) of MCU movies and TV shows (updated February 8, 2024) (source: Marvel.com):

MCU Complete Timeline from Marvel.com


Jason Baker answered this very thoroughly. The only show we could say didn't directly show any impact would probably be The Inhumans. I can't speak for Cloak & Dagger, but Agents of SHIELD is a direct spin-off, considering it has Agent Coleson, as is Peggy Carter's show [she was introduced to the Marvel universe via the MCU Captain America films].

Added Tidbit: The Ultimate Spiderman cartoon implied it happened in the same universe, again via Agent Coleson's presence on the show, as well as the connection to SHIELD and the Avengers. Then again, this could be purely cosmetic; the two subsequent Avengers cartoon series of the early 2010s were made to resemble the characters now being shown in the MCU movies, but that could just mean they hoped to keep the same visual aesthetic, not that they wanted total MCU consistency. After all, events that happened in those shows are [seemingly] not cannon with the films. Loki, for instance, was a main antagonist in one series, and bore a striking resemblance to Tom Hiddleson's portrayal.... but he was noted as "lost" after Thor and was a prisoner after Avengers.

  • "again via Agent Coleson's presence on the show". Not necessarily. Since 2012 (four years after the first Iron Man film in which he appeared), Agent Coulson has been part of Earth-616 (the main comic book universe). He's now just as much a mainstay as Spider-Man, Thor, or anybody else. Commented May 5, 2019 at 2:51
  • This is true. However, the mere fact is Coleson wouldn't even be present had it not been for the films. He was made canon to the comic book world much in the same way Harley Quinn was, but what we are speaking of her are the implications his presence and capacity infer due to it serving as a link to the MCU's established time-line and factual basis. You are right that it doesn't establish it as a certainty, but it does lend further validity to the idea that there may have been at least a nominal attempt to link these worlds/series to the MCU to at least some degree.
    – Russhiro
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 18:53

It has been revealed by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (the writers of Captain America: Civil War) that the events of the last episode of Agent Carter Season 1 impact the film. In it, Howard Stark says something along the lines of Steve Rogers was the greatest thing that he ever created, which creates a rivalry between Captain America and Iron Man. The reveal is one various websites if you want to know more.

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