One of the most interesting (and hilarious) characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man. From his first appearance, he showed the many complex layers of a man trying to do good for himself and his daughter and be a hero to her whenever he can. It’s both relatable and endearing to see such a powerful character humanized in this way. However, he is also incredibly relatable due to his constant desire to snack on food, whatever it is. But the reason behind this subtle gag actually has an interesting scientific explanation.
Scott’s fondness for snacks was first teased Captain America: Civil War when, after backing down from being Giant-Man, he asked if anyone had any orange slices. The moment offered a few laughs but was followed up a few years later when Scott appeared in Avengers: Endgame munching on sandwiches and ice cream again. While the scenes were during humor or exposition, they help give audiences insight into how Pym Particles work and why they’re such an appetite among their users.
Pym Particles are a serum created by Hank Pym that is apparently aerosolized when used with a shrink suit. When inhaled, body cells acquire the ability to shrink and expand at will without negative effect on the user. However, while the repercussions are not bad, they are not inherently safe. Indeed, they require a lot of energy from the user. So, of course, it is the most dangerous when growing.
After Ant-Man shrunk back into the Quantum Realm, he emerged largely unscathed. However, during his trips to the Avengers Compound, his anxiety reached an all-time high and he was forced to eat Natasha’s sandwich. But another factor is that after years of inhaling the particles, Scott’s internal structure could have completely changed. As a result, even though he ate because he was anxious, he could have been hungry because his metabolism is now burning at a higher rate, like the Flash.
While reduction offers its own unique requirements, growth is far more dangerous. Since the body has more mass to support, it’s much easier to weaken, like Scott did when he became Giant-Man. He asked for orange slices because oranges provide an excellent source of energy to fight fatigue. But these conditions could also be battled, as Scott had become so adept at growing and shrinking that his body didn’t fatigue during the battle for Earth.
Scott Lang was a unique example of how Pym Particles could negatively affect the user over time. He is also a strong advocate of healthy eating and conditioning the body for any stress it may encounter. Also, compared to Hope, who likely inherited the genes to make up for the particles, it shows just how hard Scott has worked over the years to be Ant-Man. But with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania On the horizon, there could be even more surprises and expansion in the Pym Particle lore.