I have seen this question addressed on another site, but I read all the postings for the-hulk tag and the-incredible-hulk tag on stackexchange, and could not find this question expressed so plainly on stackexchange:

Why is the Hulk so angry?

Can someone please give a thorough, well-researched answer to this question? The answer does not only have to do with what Hulk meant when he said in the first Avengers movie that he "is always angry". And the answer is deeper than the idea from the 2008 Hulk film that Hulk appears when Banner's heart rate goes above 200 beats per minute. For example, if the Hulk transformation was triggered solely by heart rate, then Romanov's lullaby approach in The Age of Ultron would not work because the erotic component of Romanov's touch would at least sometimes likely increase Banner/Hulk's heart rate instead of slowing it down. The answer is also more than just a gamma radiation experiment. And the answer might be deeper than saying that Banner was the son of an alcoholic who deeply hated him.

Perhaps there is no consistent answer. Perhaps different answers/back-stories have been given in different reboots of the Hulk story over the decades. But this question is important enough that stack exchange deserves a well researched explanation of the history of the explanations for Hulk's intense and perpetual anger.

  • 12
    Like the frog said, "It's not easy being green".
    – Boelabaal
    Jun 5, 2015 at 7:26
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    “the erotic component of Romanov's touch would at least sometimes likely increase Banner/Hulk's heart rate instead of slowing it down” — we’re going to need a source for that. Jun 5, 2015 at 8:51
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    @PaulD.Waite - dude its ScarlettJohansson, one touch is enough to get anyone's heart racing like a mustang.. Jun 5, 2015 at 9:15
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    Mamma said he an'ry coz he got all dem teef, and no toofbrush
    – elf337
    Jun 5, 2015 at 9:16
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    @RicoRicochet: eye of the beholder, my dear chap. Jun 5, 2015 at 9:19

3 Answers 3


My knowledge of the comics is spotty at best (they've been going for over 50 years after all), but I can attempt to answer this from a perspective rooted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I do not know if this will match the way that The Hulk is seen in the comics or not. This answer will contain spoilers for both The Avengers/Avengers Assemble and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Bruce Banners transformation into The Hulk within the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been triggered in multiple ways, the most reliable and frequent being injury, anger or extreme stress. In short, we have only ever seen Bruce Baner turn into The Hulk when his fight or flight response is triggered.

The Hulk as an entity is near invulnerable to damage, incredibly strong and more than capable (and willing) to handle himself in a fight. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is worth noting that The Hulk can be directed or distracted - as if his target is whatever he perceives to be the greatest threat to him at the time. We see this in action in The Avengers/Avengers Assemble during the Helicarrier scene - his intial target is Black Widow, who was threatening him when he picked up the Scepter just moments earlier, but he switches targets to Thor and then a fighter plane whenever a new target seems to be a larger threat. His ability to prioritise threats and deal with them appropriately is the ideal action when the fight or flight response is activated.

We see in multiple occasions that between the time of the threat being neutralized and his transformation back into Bruce Banner, The Hulk is often nearly as calm as those around him, again showcased in The Avengers/Avengers Assemble when he is able to catch Iron Man from falling and thereby saving his life. A few moments later, he accompanies the rest of The Avengers to go and confront the defeated Loki - and he does this without attacking him. Likewise, at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron we see him quite calmly sitting on a Quinjet, seemingly unhappy or regretful - but not angry.

Which leads me to believe that The Hulk as an entity isn't as angry as everyone thinks. Bruce Banner's transformation into The Hulk may be triggered by anger (amongst other things) and that emotion carries over into The Hulk, but left to his own devices we can clearly see that he will calm down after a period. Unfortunatley, his initial anger can cause a looping effect when people begin to see him as a threat and attack him, making him angrier and more destructive, which makes more people attack him which makes him angrier and more destructive which makes more people attack him...

In short, throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe we have been shown that The Hulk is no less capable of calmness than anyone else - it's just that when The Hulk does show up, it's often during a time when anger is a very appropriate response, which can in turn make him angrier.

It's probably also worth mentioning that in the comics I have read (such as Planet Hulk), The Hulk is again just as capable of not being angry as any else would be.

  • Well, a conceptually viable answer, specially the part - "it's just that when he does show up, .... ...." suggestion - plz bolden that sentence. Jun 5, 2015 at 9:17
  • But anger isn't equivalent to out-of-control rage. You're right that he can become calm, but that says nothing about his anger. Jun 5, 2015 at 13:26
  • @curiousdannii If The Hulk has no way of expressing anger other than through destruction, we can conclude if he isn't smashing, then he isn't angry. If he can express anger in other ways, then we haven't seen them in his moments of calmness and can conclude he isn't angry. Either way, we don't know much about The Hulks feelings, so we can only speculate based on evidence, which I have done. Jun 5, 2015 at 13:46
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    @DrRDizzle Based on the evidence you presented clearly he is capable of self-control to a large extent. The question is whether he's still angry. Calmness != lack of anger! Jun 5, 2015 at 13:50
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    That's fine and understood. My point is that the actions you attribute to the Hulk not being so angry is what others attribute to Banner accepting his situation (the fact that he's always angry) more readily which appears to give him more self control over his transformation/actions. The Hulk is very likely sad in the Quinjet as it flies off at the end of Avengers 2, but he's still angry.
    – Ellesedil
    Jun 5, 2015 at 14:42

Banner/Hulk's anger is triggered by the emotional stress. Over the course of his life he has had many stressful incidents - the death of his mother, his abusive father, his relationship with Betty, his inability to cure himself of the Hulk/Banner, the deaths of his wives Jarella and Caiera etc, etc anything that would normally cause a person stress, anger or frustration, these are what he draws on, these are triggers.

Banner has deep depression and suffers from dissociative identity disorder. He is a complex character.


The Hulk initially is characterized as a separate entity from Bruce Banner, a distillation of his human anger that gradually develops its own personality and memories separate from Banner's. Banner suffers from "Dissociative Identity Disorder", which stems from the abuse he suffered as a child. The Hulk has many incarnations, each representing a different aspect of Banner's psyche; there are hundreds or possibly thousands of other Hulk personalities, but only a few major versions have been seen to date.


Hulk is angry for a reason. This is that Hulk is a sort of embodiment of Banner’s rage and as such is always angry. At one point, Banner finds out that each Hulk is the embodiment of part of Banners mind. E.G : Devil Hulk is all his hate and spite, Guilt Hulk ( who I think is really underrated and underused ) is his regret and guilt and normal Hulk is all his anger.

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