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In Avengers: Endgame, after everyone is resurrected by the Blip, we find out that the plan worked when Hawkeye gets a call from his wife Laura.

Presumably her phone was resurrected along with her, but why was her phone able to make this call? Had Clint been paying her phone bill for five years after her death?

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    You’re not supposed to think about it. It’s meant to be an emotional moment, joyous moment. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 19 at 20:28
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    I wouldn't be surprised if many people kept paying the phone bills, hoping that if/when their loved ones would return, they would be informed and be able to immediately speak to them (especially Hawkeye, who was traveling around the world and wouldn't be able to contact Laura) – MBEllis Jul 19 at 20:29
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    Did Ronin Hawkeye look like he was spending much time going through his bank statements and cancelling old direct debits? I feel like he left his passion for domestic admin on the floor with half of his hair. – Paul D. Waite Jul 19 at 20:29
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    Also: “Presumably her phone was resurrected along with her” — I don’t think Thanos included phones in the Snap. Nick Fury’s pager certainly survived. – Paul D. Waite Jul 19 at 20:30
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    I love the fact that time travel is seen as less fantastical than someone in 2024 having a land-line. – Valorum Jul 19 at 20:39
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The film's writers addressed this point in an interview with HuffPo. In brief, Hawkeye kept paying for the phone and had it on charge because turning it off and cancelling the billing would be tantamount to admitting (to himself) that his wife was dead and gone for good.

Markus suggested Hawkeye was keeping the service running and cellphone charged in “the same way you can’t always throw out your dead spouse’s clothes.”

McFeely agreed, joking that the phone was ready to go “even while he was off murdering bad guys.”

Avengers: Endgame' Writers Clear Up Lingering Questions

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    Great answer. I would add another caveat. Why would you assume that Hawkeye, one of the avengers, or his family, would be connected to a regular phone network service that has a monthly bill. It would be feasible for Stark to have set up a more secure network for all of them to use. Phone networks by default are unencrypted, so surely Stark would want to help secure conversations between the Avengers and their friends / family - given they would be such a huge target. – Chris S Jul 20 at 10:54
  • @ChrisS - given the Clint is under government lock and key, it is far more likely that his phone is being monitored by SHIELD and the World Council, but that he is paying for it himself – Valorum Jul 20 at 11:06
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    I wouldn't be surprised if there were no bills, anyway. What's thee cost to the phone company of maintaining the line that isn't used? Near zero. I wouldn't be at all surprised if in a situation like that the vanished lines would be left active, but no bill unless the line gets used. – Loren Pechtel Jul 20 at 15:03
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    Cancelling all the Blip'ed people's phones would certainly have resolved the problem in the US of running out of phone numbers... – FreeMan Jul 21 at 16:15
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    @FreeMan - "The children born since have known nothing but full bellies and exceptional availability of mobile phone numbers. It's a paradise" – Valorum Jul 21 at 17:14
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In addition to Valorum's answer, it's actually quite common that people don't review their bills and what they're paying for. I remember my grandfather was still paying for a telephone "rental" fee for his landline phone (the physical unit), even though he owned all the phones in his house. This lady had the same problem

Many older people, including Strogen, weren't quite clear on the business arrangement, and continued leasing, at the exorbitant rate of $29.10 per month, say her granddaughters, who recently found out about the arrangment and canceled it.
They figured that over the time their grandmother rented the phones, she spent $14,000 in rental fees.

In more modern days, it's easy to set autopay and forget it, especially if you're depressed about half the world (including your entire family) being dead.

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    The other possibility along those lines is it's just a prepaid phone that only charges you based on how much you use it - my mom still uses one of those. Since Laura clearly hasn't used her phone for 5 years, it could still have some minutes left on it. – Darrel Hoffman Jul 20 at 17:44
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    What about just the fact that Barton was an S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, couldn't the phones just be hacked phones that are on a secret connection that doesn't require payment? – Villan Jul 20 at 19:05
  • Both are plausible, I just wanted to offer to the incredulous that, yes, people sometimes pay bills (for years!) without checking them first. Which is hard if you're on a world-wide bad-guy murder spree. – Machavity Jul 20 at 19:19
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Since Laura was dusted within a few yards of the Barton residence, she would have reappeared in the same place.

If her phone had WiFi calling, and her phone snapped back into existence with her, it would have immediately reconnected to the home wireless network. Even if her wireless plan had been cancelled, unless Clint had changed the password on his home router, she would have been able to place calls.

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In-universe explanation:

The Time Heist was a plan. They knew in advance they would be bringing people back. Since New York's sidewalks weren't covered with cell phones, they knew that cell phones went with the disappeared, and would presumably come back with them.

At the very least, they would need to reactivate communication services for team members who had disappeared, such as Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Sam Wilson, Wanda Maximoff, etc. so they could be summoned ASAP if needed.

So it wouldn't be far out of their way to do it for Friends and Family also.

No doubt it was one of numerous administrivia details that Black Widow either did, or delegated to Stark staff.

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    Can you back up this bold conjecture with any evidence? – Valorum Jul 21 at 20:51
  • @valorum in what way is it bold? Are you proposing that someting else is more likely? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 21 at 23:33
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    Challenging people to post evidence-based answers (instead of allowing them to just post whatever wild mass guessing crosses their mind) is something that I see as a key strength of this site. It's also something that marks us as different from, say, Yahoo Answers – Valorum Jul 22 at 0:08
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    @PaulD.Waite I suspect that the only reason Fury's pager survived is he had the presence (or possibly absence) of mind to drop it before he was completely dusted. If it was in his pocket, it'd probably be gone along with him. – Darrel Hoffman 2 days ago
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    @DarrelHoffman: no clear visual on cellphones, but trombones seem to be part of the universal balance Thanos was so keen to achieve. – Paul D. Waite 2 days ago

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