In Avengers: Endgame, Captain America's butt finally receives the acknowledgement it deserves. For its part, Avengers: Endgame operates as both a culmination and as a love letter to everything that came before, and to the fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Avengers: Endgame wraps up the story of the MCU thus far, bringing the Infinity Saga to an end, and concluding the character arcs of certain heroes along with it. Tony Stark aka. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers aka. Captain America (Chris Evans) have been arguably the two most important figures in the MCU so far, and they each received an ending to their stories in Endgame.
While fans may be sad - even devastated - to see Iron Man and Captain America go, both characters receive many fun and/or special moments in the movie. Now instead of discussing the more serious aspects of Avengers: Endgame, we're going to focus one of the sillier fan service bits: Captain America's butt.
When the team of Tony, Steve and Scott Lang aka. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) travel back in time to 2012, at the time of The Avengers, Tony makes a comment about Steve's old Captain America suit not doing anything for his butt. Scott chimes in that he think's Steve's butt looks good, saying, "That's America's ass." Later on, after Steve fights and disarms his past self, he looks down at his own butt and says, "That is America's ass." The Avengers: Endgame writers explained the "America's ass" joke origin as being a meta nod to Evans' own dislike of the costume, but it plays more as a nod to the fans - specifically, the fans who've thirsted over Captain America's butt since The Avengers.
The Avengers marked a major turning point for the MCU, solidifying Marvel Studios' shared universe experiment as a viable way of building up a Hollywood franchise for blockbuster success. But while The Avengers had a major effect on Hollywood as a whole, the fans chose to interact with it in all manner of ways, ranging from serious to silly. One meme in particular likened Steve Rogers to a Dorito chip, but fans also took notice of Captain America's butt, which is arguably featured quite a bit in the movie and in other MCU films. GIFs and memes of Captain America's butt flooded social media sites and have stuck around ever since.
Unlike other heroes in the MCU, Captain America's attractiveness isn't directly discussed very often; when it is, it's usually in a wholesome manner, like Black Widow trying to set him up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or Steve's undying love for Peggy Carter. Once in Captain America: The First Avenger, an unnamed female character (played by Natalie Dormer) throws herself at Steve, but aside from that scene and Peggy's initial reaction to Steve following his transformation, Captain America's physicality is rarely referenced in regard to attractiveness. In the MCU, Steve Rogers is framed as a humble, salt of the earth kind of character, which is key to his Captain America persona, and the franchise achieves this by rarely viewing him through the perspective that, actually, he's super hot.
But that eliminates the perspective of many MCU fans who, actually, do find Captain America to be super hot. Obviously, all the stars of the MCU are attractive - they're Hollywood actors after all. And the constant debate about which Chris is the best MCU Chris is continually pitting the three men against each other in looks among other things like personality. Still, the MCU has often catered much more to the male gaze, than the female gaze, with overly sexualized female characters in many of its movies and a seemingly fundamental misunderstanding of what straight women actually find attractive. It says quite a bit about the female gaze that Captain America's butt gets more attention than Scott Lang, Star-Lord and Doctor Strange's abs put together.
However, the fans' focus on Captain America's butt in the years since The Avengers adds an extra layer to the meta joke about America's ass in Avengers: Endgame. Not only does the bit allow Evans' Steve Rogers to acknowledge his own attractiveness, it comes across as Evans and the filmmakers acknowledging the fans' thirst for Captain America and his butt. They not only acknowledge it, they validate it with Cap's final comment of "That is America's ass." In a movie like Endgame, which is itself a love letter to all the MCU fans, the America's ass bit is a fun fan service moment in Steve Rogers final movie that also validates all the the fans who have thirsted for Captain America's butt over the years. It also means Captain America's butt finally gets the attention in Avengers: Endgame that MCU fans always knew it deserved.
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