Out of all the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Captain America releases tend to have the biggest impact for the franchise as a hole. In The Winter Soldier, the HYDRA reveal happened and the Avengers broke apart because of what happened in Civil War. Even the Tesseract came into the play in the very first Captain America movie back in 2011. Honestly, as a whole, these movies tend to have the biggest connections to the greater universe at large. They tend to provide much needed elements and turning points, which have reverberations that are still being felt to this day.
Even though the MCU does thrive on continuity, sometimes things can go awry. A film set is a very chaotic place and meticulous attention to detail can not always be paid. There can still be flubs from time to time. In something as massively intricate as this franchise, it’s no surprise that there are such things that slip by. Whether it be due to logic fails, time constraints, or any of the other hundred little yet important things that come with making films of this scale, we can’t say.
Even if we can’t speculate why these little snafus sneak past the radar, we can definitely point them out. It’s time to look back on the Captain America films and see what makes sense and what doesn’t. Some of these mistakes are glaring. Some of them only the truest fans have heard about.
Here are 20 Mistakes Fans Completely Missed In Captain America Movies.
20 Mysterious Drying Clothes
Shortly after his super serum infusion, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) had to witness the assassination of Doctor Abrham Erksine (Stanley Tucci) by Heinz (Richard Armitage), a sleeper HYDRA operative. Following this, both Steve and the audience get to see how much his body has changed as he changes Heinz barefoot through the streets of New York. At some point, Heinz tries to escaped in a small personal submarine. Steve, however, jumps in and beats through the glass in order to get him.
Now, obviously, they come out of the water wet. This is how the world tends to works, after all. In the next cut, however, their hair is wet but both are substantially drier than they should have been.
19 Steve Forgot His Cover In The First Avenger
Military protocol is something that has to be followed stringently. Director Joe Johnston and the production team behind Captain America: The First Avenger really must be commended on their attention to detail. Apparently, firms in Hollywood can be hired that handle that sort of thing, which makes sense. Still, that doesn’t prevent hat little lapses of protocol don’t happen from time to time.
Mostly, the actors who play these characters were not soldiers.
During the scene where Steve awkwardly flirts with Peggy (Hayley Atwell) on the way to Project Rebirth, he is not wearing his cover, aka his hat. That is in line with military protocol. What isn’t, however, is when Steve doesn’t put on his cover again until they’re inside the Strategic Science Reserve building.
18 Wrong Flag In Civil War Flashback
This may be for the sharper-eyed fans who appreciate historical continuity in films. Still it’s a pretty big deal all around. The 1991 flashbacks in Captain America: Civil War definitely set up the rest of the film in big ways. It shows the brutal treatment that Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) suffered while under mind control. Plus, it’s also a nice nod to his comic origins where he spent time under Russian control.
As these flashbacks took place in 1991, the important thing to look at is the flags that the soldiers are wearing.
These flags are the modern day Russia Federation flags, not for the USSR or the Soviet Union. Yet, the USSR fell in December 1991, but that doesn’t mean the new flags would have be commissioned that fast.
17 T’Chaka’s Pulse
After the bombing at the UN meeting in Vienna during Captain America: Civil War, we get a heartbreaking scene of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) desperately checking the pulse of his father King T’Chaka (John Kani). It’s definitely one of the most tear-jerking scenes in the movie, and showed that Boseman would be a standout of an admittedly star-studded film.
Here’s the thing, though: the way T’Challa checked T’Chaka’s pulse wasn’t right. He checked it by using his thumb. As anyone with basic first-aid training will tell you, you can’t check a pulse with your thumb. Why? Your thumb as its own pulse, which can interfere with your reading. You need to use your other fingers to feel for a pulse.
16 Steve's changing clearance level
S.H.I.E.L.D. is pretty much an organization that thrives on protocol. Sure, this was before that it was revealed there was a HYDRA infestation and a massive overhaul had to happen. Still the point stands, there were clearance levels and no one really knew who knew what. It was even a joke in pilot episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
You'd think that the HYDRA operative who turned down a Nobel Peace Prize and became the Secretary of State would know two Avengers' clearance levels. Earlier in the film, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) had to use an override as Steve Rogers only had a Level Eight security clearance. Later in The Winter Soldier, Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) mentioned that he had a Level Six clearance.
15 Super Serum Pants
A running joke amongst most Marvel fans is that the Hulk must have some kind of magic pants. Given the massive height and weight difference between Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and the Hulk, the theories are valid. Otherwise, anything with the Hulk in it would have a very different rating.
A more minor yet still puzzling variation on this is from The First Avenger, Steve Rogers walks in with perfectly fitting pants, and he's still in the same pants in the chamber.
Despite a sizable height and weight difference between his pre-and-post serum selves, he comes out of the chamber with the pants still fitting perfectly!
Look at him when he’s running, he’s not even showing ankle.
14 Crossbones' escalator switch
For the most part, keeping everything perfectly the same on a film or TV set is a near impossible job. It’s doubly true if you’re trying to keep people in the same or similar place during a shot. You can rarely keep perfect continuity. One instance of this comes from The Winter Soldier. During the search of the mall, Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) boards an escalator.
The little error here is that the person in front Rumlow changes between the two shots. First, he’s behind a woman as he searches for Steve and Natasha (Scarlett Johansson). Then, when they switch to a front facing view, he’s behind a man. It's a minor error, but definitely an annoying one.
13 Sam’s Shrinking Sweat
Fans across the world have never related to a character running like they did when Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) got repeatedly lapped by Steve Rogers. In the opening of The Winter Soldier, Sam was going for his morning run and Steve kept lapping him. It eventually leads to Sam snapping and attempting to outrun the literal super-soldier.
At the end of his workout, Sam has a pretty large sweat stain around the collar of his shirt.
Moments later, however, when Natasha arrives to pick Steve up and Steve helps Sam off the ground. Sam’s sweat stain has shrunk in size pretty significantly.
12 S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Founding
This one encompasses multiple MCU films rather than just the Captain America films. Way back in 2008, in the first Iron Man film, Coulson (Clark Gregg) introduces himself to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) with S.H.I.E.L.D’s full name: Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. When Stark comments on what a mouthful it is, Coulson says that they’re working on it.
Yet in The Winter Soldier, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the “Agent Carter” short, S.H.I.E.L.D. was supposedly founded sometime in the 1950s. Either no one really thought of the acronym S.H.I.E.L.D. for 50 years, Coulson was messing with Tony, or there was a major timeline snafu when writing subsequent films.
11 Tony’s Arm Injury in Civil War
At lot of things happen very, very quickly at the end of Civil War. Tony learns the consequences to breaking the Accords, then learns that the Winter Soldier eliminated his parents, and then there is a fight between Bucky, Steve, and Tony because of it. It’s all very dramatic and shows Zemo’s (Daniel Bruhl) plan working perfectly: the Avengers are destroyed. Something frustrating happens between the Raft and Tony showing up in Siberia.
Following the airport fight, Tony’s arm is in a sling and injured.
He takes off the sling in the plane to Siberia. Yet the injury is not aggravated during the fight. In the post-scenes, we see Tony helping Rhodey sans injury. Why even have it if you’re not going to use it?
10 Zemo’s Plan
Zemo’s plan succeeded in that the Avengers are irrevocably broken at the end of Civil War. Yet, looking through the continuity of the film, it just doesn’t make sense. How did he know about the Sokovia Accords beforehand? Or hide the body so easily for however many days he’s been there? Why did he know that Tony’s parents were eliminated by the Winter Soldier?
There’s no rhyme or reason to the plan-- except that it took a lot of coincidence. Not to mention, we don’t know how Zemo learned of this information. At the very least, he should have learned about Tony’s parents onscreen to set up the payoff for later.
9 Steve’s No Parachute Jump
Honestly, if you need to find a scene that kind of perfectly encapsulates Steve Rogers, then look no further than the Lemurian Star parachute jump. Or, rather, his no-parachute jump from the S.H.I.E.L.D. transport into a stormy season. That’s pretty much Steve in a nutshell. What’s baffling about the infamous no-parachute jump, however, is the transition. Steve Rogers jumps into what appears to be a stormy sea.
When he lands on the Lumerian Star, things are so calm that there isn’t a breeze to ruffle his hair.
Now either Thor (Chris Hemsworth) exerted some serious pull with the weather on Midgard or there was a failure to communicate.
8 How Old Is Howard Stark?
As comic fans can tell you, character ages often don’t add up. Batman, for example, stayed in his mid-30s for decades. Film doesn’t quite have that luxury. Actors age, after all. What doesn’t add, however, is how old Howard Stark is. In order to show the passage of time, Stark is played by two different actors: Dominic Cooper as young Howard and John Slatterly as older Howard.
The thing is, Howard’s age doesn’t really add up. Granted, we don’t know how old he is at the time of The First Avenger, but’s just assume, somewhere in his twenties, at the youngest.
Why does he still look like he’s in his fifties in the '90s?
It really doesn’t make a huge amount of sense.
7 Spider-Man’s Disappearing Webbing
Tom Holland has only been a part of the MCU for a couple of years, but it’s clear that he’s made a big impact. He’s pretty much the perfect balance between snarky, adorable, and nerdy for Spider-Man. Even so, there is a pretty glaring error in a fairly iconic scene. As we all know, when we officially see Spidey in the MCU, he webs Cap’s shield and lands. The issue is that the webbing disappears in the next shot.
As Peter said in Spider-Man: Homecoming, the webbing lasts about two hours. While it can be cut open, as Steve showed in Civil War, it seems weird that in between webbing the shield and landing on the car, Peter would've removed the web.
6 Natasha’s Shoe Situation
The superhero vs superhero airport fight in Captain America: Civil War is one of best moments of the MCU. The whole thing remains just so darn cool to watch from start to finish. What some eagle-eyed fans noticed, however, is Natasha’s shoes tended to change. Now while she wasn’t running around in Bryce Dallas Howard's Jurassic World heels, the shoes she was wearing did have a bit of a heel to them.
Those heels would intermittently vanish during the sequence to be replaced with flats.
Perhaps this was to keep Johansson and stunt women at the same height or for safety.
5 The Birth Year of Bucky Barnes
Steve and Bucky’s ages can get a bit murky due to their time spent frozen for various reasons. Fans know from freeze frame bonuses and the comics that Steve was born on July 4th, 1918. Bucky’s birth year, however, gets a little more unclear thanks to The Winter Soldier. When Steve goes to visit his own exhibition, we get a nice long look at the Bucky part of the exhibit.
The placard gives two birth years: 1917 and 1916.
Someone clearly didn’t get the memo about it. Since then, most fans have pretty much declared it to be 1917. Still it’s a weird case of not double checking your production design. It’s pretty much two different parts of the same prop.
4 Civil War Throws The Entire MCU Timeline Into Chaos
Discovering Steve at the bottom of the Arctic ocean, the events of Thor, Iron Man 2, and the Incredible Hulk reportedly all seem to have taken place in the same week span. At the time of Civil War, the events of the MCU have taken place over the same five-and-a-half-year span between 2010 and 2016.
Then Vision (Paul Bettany) had to open his mouth in Civil War and screw up the math. He said that the events have been going on for eight years. That little line totally messes up the timeline and throws the entire continuity into chaos, which has also been pushed along in Spider-Man: Homecoming. That is a pretty spectacular mistake.
3 Steve’s Pre-Serum Head
Marvel has done some amazing things with CGI in order to make the movies look as amazing as possible. A lot of it, even the stuff that is a decade old, still looks pretty amazing. For the most part, Steve Rogers’ pre-serum body remains largely in the "still looks pretty awesome" category.
Still, however, instances of uncanny valley can sneak in anywhere. Since pre-serum Steve is a mostly CGI character, there are some instances when his head doesn’t look right. At times, it just looks too big for his body, like they didn’t resize Evans’ head correctly in relation. It just looks off.
2 The Shield’s Paint Job
One of those unforgettable shots in the MCU is the shot of Steve Roger’s shield, encased in ice, at the beginning of The First Avenger. Not only does it serve as a present-day bookend, but it also shows such an iconic shield brought to life. It also, as many fans note, has a pristine paint job.
Apparently cold can preserve both super-soldiers and paint from the 1940s. Who knew?
During the film that follows, that paint job gets put through the ringer. During the fight with Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), he even noticeably dings it. Yet in the present, it’s perfectly painted.
1 Steve’s Filmography
One of the most interesting things about The First Avenger is the fact that Captain America was the product of wartime propaganda. There were comics, a stage show, and films to help rally the American spirit and raise money for the cause. What’s a bit baffling, however, is that it’s not mentioned about the sequence. Yes, Agent Carter has that radio drama and Spider-Man: Homecoming has that PSA, but they don’t come up again in the context of Steve’s story. There are also the infamous trading cards.
Even though it’s something he was embarrassed by in the films, it still is part of his myth. It’s baffling that, outside of those minor instances, we don’t really see anything come up in other properties or in the Captain America movies. Not even Tony poking the bear by playing “Star-Spangled Man”.
What other mistakes did you noticed in the Captain America movies? Let us know in the comments!