Spider-Man: No Way Home delves into the Multiverse, bringing together different versions of villains from various iterations of Spider-Man. I'm only tangentially aware of the current crop of Marvel TV shows (WandaVision, Loki, What If...? and Hawkeye), but I know that at least some of these touch on alternate realities as well.

Are any of them required to make sense of the Spider-Man: No Way Home plotline?

2 Answers 2


No. As your question suggests, the story does involve alternate realities, but you really only need to be familiar with the general principle of a multiverse. I didn't notice any significant references to the Phase Four TV shows, beyond the mere acknowledgement that a multiverse exists.

As long as you've seen the following MCU movies...

  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

... and the following Sony Pictures movies...

  • Spider-Man (2002)
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004)
  • Spider-Man 3 (2007)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
  • Venom (2018)
  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)

... you should be fine. Even some of these (like the two Venom films) aren't necessarily essential viewing, but I would consider them recommended viewing, if you want to fully 'get' the major references and nods in this film.

Tricky to go into much more detail without spoiling the movie and/or the Phase Four TV shows.

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    The post-credits scene will seem more familiar if you've seen What If...?, particularly episode 4. Dec 17, 2021 at 15:51
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    I suppose, but that was technically a trailer for a future film, rather than a 'scene' as such. I would recommend watching What If...? episode 4 before that film comes out, but I don't think it's necessary for this one. I doubt it'll even be essential viewing for that film, actually, but it'd be a bonus. Dec 17, 2021 at 16:21
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    You don't need all of those to understand the plotline. The essentials are all laid out in the film itself, especially if you have basic cultural knowledge of major Spider-Man stories. I haven't seen the ASMs or Venom movies and the only confusion I felt was in the mid-credits scene. Any other references I missed were unessential. The only who-was-that? reference my non-comics-wonk wife asked for clarification on was not from the shows listed here.
    – Arcy
    Dec 17, 2021 at 18:38
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    Having seen NWH without having seen everything on the list and not feeling left out, I'd call that a suggested list not a required one. NWH does a great job of setting things up itself without requiring (though rewarding) pre-knowledge. The big ASM2 event hit very well without seeing ASM2. I knew the backstory from general Spidey-knowledge. My wife caught it from the film without any explanation of who-was-who or why that scene was significant beyond what was on screen. I wouldn't recommend seeing NWH before the other MCU Spider-Man movies and maybe Doctor Strange. The rest are bonus.
    – Arcy
    Dec 18, 2021 at 4:24
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    @Arcy - You may not have felt left out, but that doesn't mean you fully 'got' everything. I can't really explain what you've might've missed without spoiling the movie. I did however edit my answer to clarify that some of these films can be considered recommended viewing, rather than required viewing. The question wasn't strictly asking about which films were required or recommended viewing anyway. I provided a recommended list as a bonus. Dec 18, 2021 at 6:13

There is no minimum required viewing. You can watch Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) by itself and understand the main plot. The film explains everything very clearly for the casual viewer who has not seen any other comic book movie. However, this viewer would be missing out greatly! You will only get full enjoyment if you are familiar with the entire Spider-Man film franchise, as it is primarily designed for such fans.

Here is what I consider recommended viewing to truly appreciate the film, feel the emotional scenes and understand the audience's cheering:

The film also has content to appeal to "superfans". Here is what I consider optional viewing if you want to understand absolutely everything, including all references, jokes, easter eggs, cameos and mid/post-credits scenes: (potential spoilers)

  • 1
    Too scared to click the spoiler block, but thank you for this. As soon as I get to watch the movie, I will see about moving the tick.
    – Jontia
    Dec 18, 2021 at 22:22
  • The spoiler block is just a list of movies, so there's not really much to fear by clicking it
    – Dúthomhas
    Dec 19, 2021 at 4:30
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    "Superfans", pfhht. Where is my Nicholas Hammond cameo. Dec 19, 2021 at 11:51
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    @TransparentBlue Good answer Dec 23, 2021 at 2:18

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