When it comes to shipping, fans have many pairings they will put together. Some of these are canon, while others include characters who have never interacted. Some pairings are much more popular than others, however, whether they actually become canon or not. Steve and Bucky, commonly known as Stucky, is one of these ships. While it never became officially canon, there were so many things that happened in the MCU that made it seem like they would.
The popularity of the ship is so far-reaching, it’s even made it beyond fandom circles to be talked about by most major pop culture and entertainment sites. Many fans felt that the ship would have been romantic and become canon if one of them was a woman. While the MCU might have ended Steve Roger’s story by sending him back in time with Peggy, there are many moments that made Steve and Bucky seem like they could be the real endgame ship.
Here are the top ten times Stucky was practically canon.
10 How Steve Reacted When Rumlow Said Bucky
In Captain America: Civil War, Bucky has escaped HYDRA but is on the run. When Steve and some of the other Avengers encounter Brock Rumlow, who had been involved with Bucky during his time as a HYDRA weapon, Rumlow uses knowledge of Bucky to distract Steve by saying, “your pal, your buddy, your Bucky.” Steve later tells Scarlet Witch, “Rumlow said ‘Bucky’ and all of a sudden I was a 16-year-old kid again in Brooklyn.” The fact that Rumlow knew that Bucky was Steve’s weak spot to the point to call him “your Bucky,” indicated to many fans that their relationship could be deeper than friendship.
9 “No, Not Without You!”
Since Steve Rogers is a main character in the MCU, many of the moments that fans point to as nearly canon have to do with Steve’s actions towards Bucky. However, there are quite a few moments where it’s clear Bucky cares just as deeply for Steve.
After Steve rescues Bucky from HYDRA and they are confronted by Red Skull, Steve tells Buck to leave to safety. Bucky refuses, quite intensely, to leave unless Steve is with him. It’s clear that Bucky also has strong feelings for Steve and wants to keep him safe.
8 Steve Being Willing To Walk To Azzano To Rescue Bucky
When fans meet Steve and Bucky in Captain America: The First Avenger, it’s set up right away that these two are best friends. Bucky clearly defends and looks out for Steve when he gets into trouble, and they have each other’s backs. This is why it’s no wonder that Steve is so distraught about learning Bucky is either dead or captured. He is willing to do whatever it takes to save him, including walking into enemy territory. While this is something that one might do for a close friend, given the intensity of his emotions some fans felt the love there was deeper.
7 The Hug In Infinity War
Many fans have felt frustrated over the years by the fact that the story has kept Steve and Bucky apart from each other physically. Even though Bucky is used as a big motivator in Steve’s life, a role that many fans feel functions similarly to a typical superhero’s girlfriend role, Bucky is rarely ever in Steve’s presence. One of the few times we see these two together and actually happy is when they see each other in Avengers: Infinity War. While this reunion isn’t their first time meeting again, they are really excited to see each other and both genuinely smiling.
6 Steve's Trilogy Arc Being Driven Mainly By Bucky
This point has been referenced here many times already, but it’s worth diving into deeper. As far as Steve’s standalone trilogy is concerned, Bucky is continually one of the driving forces. He often functions as almost a damsel that Steve needs to save.
He continually loses Bucky in ways that spur action. First of all, Bucky dies in The First Avenger. Then, finding and helping Bucky is one of the central conflicts in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Then, once again in Captain America: Civil War, stopping and saving Bucky is one of the main reasons Steve breaks the Avengers apart.
5 “But You're Keeping The Outfit, Right?”
Many fans have noted that some of the dialogue between these two characters can be read as flirtatious. While it’s clear they know each other well and like to tease each other, these lines can just as easily be read as flirty.
When Bucky asks Steve this question in the bar in The First Avenger, it’s somewhat of a joke, but there is an undertone of tension to it. Given the intensity of this scene between them before, and the fact that Bucky says he will basically follow Steve anywhere, reading this line romantically is valid.
4 Bucky's Jealousy Of Peggy
This is a point that might be somewhat debatable depending on how you read certain scenes. When Bucky first meets Peggy, it’s right after Steve has rescued him. He seems rather bothered by the exchange between Steve and Peggy. Then, in the bar scene in the same movie, he also seems frustrated or jealous by the flirty exchange between Steve and Peggy. While it could be seen that Bucky is just jealous of Steve getting attention for once, this reading seems largely out of character. It’s more likely that Bucky isn’t pleased by the attention Steve is giving Peggy.
3 “Even When I Had Nothing I Had Bucky”
Throughout the Captain America trilogy, Steve has moments where he reflects on his past and how Bucky helped him. There are flashbacks and moments of dialogue where he talks about how Bucky was the only person that was there for him before he was Captain America.
This quote is the most direct of these. It reminds viewers of the close relationship these two have had.
2 Steve Dropping The Shield For Bucky
For fans of this ship, this moment is one of the most telling evidence that these two have deep feelings for one another. For Steve Rogers, the shield is hugely symbolic. His role as a hero and someone who always strives to do the right thing means a lot to him. His willingness to let go of his identity and the new home he has found in the Avengers in order to save Bucky is a huge deal. There are two times when Steve drops the shield. Once in Winter Soldier when he refuses to fight Bucky, and then again after the fight with Tony in Civil War.
1 “Till The End Of The Line”
This line is said multiple times between the two of them throughout the Captain America trilogy. It’s easy to read this line as some sort of promise and declaration of affection. Plus, it’s literally Steve saying these words that break Bucky of his brainwashing and brings him back to himself. This is the type of thing that is commonly seen in romance stories. While it might not be them saying “I love you,” it’s similar in impact.