The Transformations of the Hulk (also known as "Hulk-outs") are one of the main features of stories dealing with the Hulk. They are found in the comics, movies, or television series. They can also be found in special appearances like in TV commercials or spoofs and parodies.
- 1 The Marvel Super Heroes (1966)
- 2 TV series (1978–1982)
- 3 Hulk (2003)
- 4 The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- 5 The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! (2010–12)
- 6 The Avengers (2012)
- 7 Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- 8 Thor Ragnarok (2017)
- 9 Television Commercials
- 10 TV Show Parodies
The Marvel Super Heroes (1966)
The first Hulk-out outside of the comics occurred in the opening to the Incredible Hulk segments of this animated series. It begins with green circles radiating out of "Doc Bruce Banner". In pain, he turns away from the viewers, clutching his chest. After the circles disappear, Banner becomes so green and bulky that his shoes disappear, and his shirt rips apart. Finally, the scene cuts to the Hulk's "unglamorous" and unhappy face.
TV series (1978–1982)
In the television series The Incredible Hulk, when Dr. David Banner's eyes turn greenish-white (see photo), Banner begins his metamorphosis into the Hulk (which almost always happens twice per episode). During this metamorphosis Banner's shirt is torn open. Often, his shirt splits open along his back. Accompanying Banner's torn shirt is often torn shoes, and ripped pants. Usually, during the metamorphosis, the lower half of Banner's pants are ripped. Then when the transformation is complete, the Hulk sometimes removes the ripped shirt, and aggressively thrusts it at the ground.
In later interviews, producer Kenneth Johnson explained that the white eyes were partly intended as a work around to the limited special effects technology available at the time; showing Banner with the white eyes allowed the writers to signal the metamorphosis to the audience without having to show it in its entirety. Over the course of the series there were many examples where the white eye effect would be shown immediately before Banner was thrown into an enclosed space, only for the Hulk to break free moments later.
After various failed attempts at creating the effect of Banner's clothes tearing during the Hulk-out, Kenneth Johnson settled on putting shirts that were too small onto Lou Ferrigno, which were scored with a razor blade along the seams so that when he flexed his muscles they would rip open.
On many occasions, Ferrigno's body/stunt double, Manny Perry (fellow bodybuilder), would rip open the shirts instead of Ferrigno himself.
YouTubers "Sniper Is Spy" and "Zac's Hulk Page" coined a phrase for the Hulk's transformations back to Banner as "reformations".
Bruce Banner stumbles down the hallway tripping over a bucket. He uses the wall for support as he continues to stumble and grow in frustration. His eyes begin to turn green and he screams. His Rolex breaks off of his wrist, and he stumbles onto the opposite wall. The left back pocket on his pants rips, showing a part of his underwear, and his wallet falls out landing by his left shoe. Bruce's feet begin to grow wider stretching his shoes, and then they enlarge in length, destroying his shoes, while also revealing his toes. He then stomps his right overgrown foot on the ground. His bones and veins wiggle and his ankles widen, as both his feet turn green. He tries to walk while his entire body is growing and his torso becomes so large that he tears his shirt leaving him completely shirtless. His arm scrapes the wall and he roars.
After Banner becomes enraged, he grabs Talbot's hand and begins to squeeze. Banner's face begins to turn green, shocking Talbot, who is then thrown onto the living room couch. Banner looks at him and grunts and groans as his face becomes greener and his head expands. He pounds the floor with his fists, then his right arm and hand enlarges, tearing the sleeve and his right pant leg rips. The Hulk stands up and sees his left arm growing. Roaring, he flexes his biceps as his abs pop, ripping his shirt as well as his pants. A minute later, he bursts through the house and continues to grow, tearing the left sock that was left during the initial transformation.
Bruce Banner wakes up inside a water tank from a nightmare, triggering his transformation. His eyes and face start to turn Green. All of his skin turns green. His body and muscle are growing. His mask pops off and the straps on his legs, body, and arms rip. He becomes so big he bursts out of the water tank.
His eyes and face turn green. One of his arms breaks free from handcuffs. His body grows, causing his shirt to break and shred.
Transformation 5 (end scene)
Banner's eyes turn green, and his pupils shrink. The camera turns above his head, then it zooms out above the rainforest. The screen fades to green and the Hulk roars.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Bruce transforms in the shadows after running from Ross's men. His heart monitor watch pops off his wrist as his eyes turn green and clothing rips.
After fleeing Ross a second time he is hit with tear gas in the glass walkway. He slams his right palm into the glass as it turns green and grows. He then slams his right fist into the ground as his feet burst out of his shoes and rip the low part of his pants rip as well as his shirt before smashing out of the walkway as the Hulk.
Bruce, in an attempt to cure himself, transforms on a medical table. It starts with Dr. Sterns shocking Bruce’s head after securing him on a table for the experiment. Bruce begins to have muscle spasms and breathe heavily as his eyes turn green. Large green veins expand over Bruce’s body. He spits out the mouthpiece and shrieks in agony, as the bones in his body begin to shift around and muscles begin to grow larger. Bruce lets out another scream as his pectoral and abdominal muscles begin to enlarge. After this, Bruce begins to growl while his body grows larger and stronger. The restraints used to secure Bruce on the table rip apart, setting the Hulk free. The table begins to collapse as the Hulk breaks free and roars.
Bruce jumps out of the helicopter to confront the Abomination and transforms after hitting the ground.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! (2010–12)
In the season one intro, a Hulk-Out occurs on the line of the theme song that goes, "Tormented and attacked". It begins with a close-up of Banner's eyes becoming green and bloodshot. The camera zooms out and rotates around him, as he screams, crouches, and changes. Once the transformation completes, the Hulk rises and gives a roar. Among all 52 EMH episodes, five actually show Banner becoming the Hulk (through animation differing from the intro), while four show the Hulk reverting.
The Avengers (2012)
After a hypnotized Hawkeye attacks the Hellicarrier, with Banner and various other crime fighters inside, Banner struggles to remain calm. Black Widow tries to repress his anger by swearing on her life that she will get him to safety, but he calls out, "Your life?!" in a monstrous tone. Banner winces as his chest and arms turn green, and rip apart his shirt. As he continues to transform, he falls to lower ground and groans. He gives a worried glance at Widow, before he completely changes both physically and mentally into the savage Hulk.
As the Leviathan chases Iron Man, Captain America encourages Banner to "get angry". Banner boasts to Cap that he is "always angry". He proceeds to make a quick transformation (with the usual skin turning green, height and muscle size increasing, and clothes ripping away), then slow down the Leviathan with a punch.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
The first transformation Banner makes in this movie gives a rare look at him changing back from the Hulk. Black Widow calms Hulk down, then he stumbles around until he shrinks back into Banner.
Banner's first Hulk-Out in this movie occurs off-screen, after Scarlet Witch brainwashes him.
Black Widow makes Banner transform again by throwing him into a chasm. As he falls, he changes off-screen once more, then jumps back up as the Hulk.
Thor Ragnarok (2017)
When the Hulk sees a clip of Natasha Romanoff it makes him stumble around the quinjet breaking the walls and shrinking back to Banner.
In a Tylenol commercial, a man on a computer starts transforming into the Hulk as the spokesperson narrates. He destroys his computer and keyboard.
In a Fruitella commercial, a man in an office makes a similar transformation to the one in the 1970s show, but he turns red, then he goes to the middle of the office and roars.
TV Show Parodies
In the 1980s TV show The Young Ones, there is one episode where Neil gets angry at the fact that no one likes him. At that point, he, you guessed it, turns into the Hulk and beats everyone up. By the next few seconds he is normal again.
Saturday Night Live had a recurring series of sketches called "The Rock Obama", in which President Barack Obama becomes Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and attacks any politicians who make him angry. The transformation consists of stock footage of The Rock's muscular and tattooed back ripping through a white dress shirt, his left foot tearing through a leather shoe, his chest splitting open the front of the shirt, and finally him rising up and roaring. The third of these sketches also has First Lady Michelle Obama become "She-Rock Obama". Her transformation has her grow so big that her dress rips, her feet tear out of her high-heeled shoes, and her neck pops apart her pearl necklace, before she also gives a roar.