The relationship between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes is one of the most complicated and storied in the MCU. Their friendship and lives have been full of a lot of tragedy and loss, but the bond they formed in their childhoods is strong enough that they’ve had each other’s backs through it all.
Many fans have found this relationship particularly compelling given what these two characters have gone through.
While much of the Steve and Bucky moments are bittersweet, they are usually always emotionally resonant. Here are the 10 best Steve and Bucky moments in the MCU.
10 BUCKY SAVING STEVE FROM A BULLY
When we are first introduced to Bucky and Steve in Captain America: The First Avenger, Bucky has Steve’s back by fighting off a bully targetting the future Captain America. This establishes that these two are close friends while showing the relationship's power dynamic.
Bucky has always been there for the sickly and fragile Steve, to help him finish fights or provide protection from bullies. It’s clear that their friendship is strong and that they’ve known each other for years.
9 STEVE SAVING BUCKY FROM HYDRA
After Steve Rogers gets the super soldier serum and becomes Captain America, the roles between Steve and Bucky switch. It’s now Steve who is the stronger of the two. When Bucky is captured by HYDRA, it’s now Steve who has to come to rescue him from some truly evil bullies.
This reversal shows that these two are both willing to stick their necks out for each other and do what they can to keep the other safe.
8 BUCKY HELPS STEVE AFTER HIS MOM’S FUNERAL
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, there is a flashback scene which shows Steve coming home after his mother’s funeral. Bucky is there, and he knows where the spare key is kept. It’s clear that these two were close to each other and to each others' families.
Bucky offers to let Steve stay with him, and he talks about being with Steve until the end of the line. This is a scene that further shows how they have always been there for each other. It is not just about fighting off bullies and enemies, Bucky and Steve are each other's confidants.
7 THEIR FIGHT SCENE AT THE END OF THE WINTER SOLDIER
When Bucky and Steve meet again in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it’s emotionally resonant. Bucky is no longer Bucky but the Winter Soldier. At the end of this film, the fight scene between the two of them is well choreographed and captures Steve’s conflicted emotions as he has to fight Bucky to save the world.
In the end, he’d rather die than keep fighting or kill Bucky. This is a powerful scene where the strength of their past connection is able to reach through Bucky’s brainwashing.
6 “I’M WITH YOU TILL' THE END OF THE LINE”
During the fight scene in The Winter Soldier, Steve repeats the line that they have clearly said to each other more than once. It’s this quote that seems to really pull Bucky to the surface.
Steve and Bucky say this line a few different times in the MCU, so it is clearly something that means a lot to both characters.
5 BUCKY PULLING STEVE FROM THE RIVER AND SAVING HIS LIFE
There are many times in the MCU when these two have to save the other from certain doom. It seems like they are always losing each other before - miraculously - being reunited once again.
After they both fall from the Helicarrier, Bucky pulls Steve from the river and keeps him from dying. While the Winter Soldier doesn’t stick around, given everything HYDRA had done to brainwash him, the fact Bucky saved Steve was definitely a powerful moment.
4 “BUT YOU’RE KEEPING THE OUTFIT, RIGHT?”
While many of the best moments between Steve and Bucky ones are more tragic or bittersweet than anything else, this is a lighthearted and funny one. In The First Avenger, Steve and Bucky get drinks in a bar, and Bucky teases him about his new Captain America outfit.
Plus, the two talk about the war and Bucky says he trusts Steve enough to follow him into battle. It’s a good moment that shows these two exceptional heroes just hanging out rather than in dire life-and-death situations.
3 STEVE LAYING DOWN HIS SHIELD IN ORDER TO PROTECT BUCKY
In Captain America: Civil War, one of the defining things for Steve’s character arc in the story is trying to save Bucky. Captain America's loyalty to Bucky is a big reason why he fights IronMan at the end of the film.
This tragic fight is definitely horrible for all three of them. After the fight, when Tony asks Steve to give back the shield because he doesn't deserve it, Steve does so. It’s clear that keeping Bucky safe is essential for him.
2 THEIR REUNION HUG IN INFINITY WAR
In another of the few happy moments these two get in the MCU, we finally get to see the two share a hug. The first one since the '40s. Bucky has been freed of his brainwashing in Wakanda and has clearly done a lot of healing.
Both of them look happy to see each other, and it’s definitely a heartwarming situation. While the creators confirmed this wasn’t the first time they’d seen each other since Bucky went into cryo in Wakanda, it was nice to get one mini-reunion moment on screen.
1 ALL THE TIMES THEY FOUGHT IN BATTLES TOGETHER
When Steve visits the Smithsonian museum in The Winter Soldier, a voiceover says, “Best friends since childhood, Bucky Barnes and Steven Rogers were inseparable on both schoolyard and battlefield." This quote is definitely one that defines their relationship.
There are many times throughout the MCU when they go into battle together and have each other’s backs, leading to some of the most memorable scenes from in Captain America: First Avenger, Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War.