While Bucky Barnes might not have been given a lot of screen time or even dialogue in the MCU, the times he has been on screen have made a big impact. Bucky has been a fan-favorite for years, especially after he showed up on the screen as the Winter Soldier. The character has been a narrative motivation for Captain America throughout the Captain America trilogy, too. And, now that Bucky is getting his own television series alongside Sam Wilson, it’s especially worth looking back on the best and most key moments he has had so far in the MCU.
Here are 10 of Bucky’s best scenes and moments in the franchise.
10 LET’S HEAR IT FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA!
When we first meet Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger, he’s a handsome guy living in Brooklyn who spends a lot of time looking out for his scrawny best friend. After Steve Rogers receives the super soldier serum and ends up rescuing Bucky and other soldiers from HYDRA, Bucky is there to be Steve’s hype man. This quote is a memorable one and shows Bucky’s commitment to his best friend even as their roles have largely shifted at this moment.
9 FIGHTING ALONGSIDE CAPTAIN AMERICA IN WORLD WAR 2
While Bucky might have been the bigger, stronger of the two before Steve gets the serum, he doesn’t let this get to him or stop him from having Steve’s back. Steve and the Howling Commandos make it their mission to take out HYDRA bases across Europe, and Bucky is right by Steve’s side the entire time.
He follows Steve into dangerous battles and shows off his skills as a sniper many times. Unfortunately, his loyalty leads to his untimely “death” after he falls off the train.
8 SEEING JUST HOW DEADLY HE WAS AS THE WINTER SOLDIER
When Bucky Barnes shows up again in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, fans were definitely thrilled. The Winter Soldier is a killing machine who has been brainwashed and tortured by HYDRA. This fate is a tragic one, but seeing the Winter Soldier fight Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon on the highway scene was definitely dramatic. The choreography of this fight scene was brutal and intense, and it’s clear Bucky has been turned into something very different than his core self.
7 WHEN HE PULLED STEVE ROGERS FROM THE RIVER
After Steve Rogers learns that Bucky survived and became the Winter Soldier, he is determined to save his friend while also saving the world. After destroying the helicarriers, Steve refuses to fight Bucky, reminding Bucky that, he’s with him until the end of the line. This clearly jogs some memories in Bucky because after they both fall into the Potomac, Bucky saves Steve by pulling him from the river. This marks the beginning of Bucky’s journey to find himself again and try to undo all the damage that HYDRA did to him and made him do.
6 BUYING PLUMS IN ROMANIA
One of the Bucky moments that fans loved the most was quite a simple one. At the beginning of Captain America: Civil War, Bucky is on the run from HYDRA and all on his own. He is living in Romania trying to make a life again, and we see him buying plums from a seller on the sidewalk. Sadly, Bucky’s attempt at living a normal life is cut short when he is blamed for the attack on the U.N. But, many fans loved this quiet moment that showed a broken man trying to recover from what happened to him.
5 HIS SCENES WITH FALCON IN CIVIL WAR
Civil War is the first time that we see Bucky and Sam Wilson team up together on screen. Their interactions together are pretty hilarious, and fans loved seeing them try to get used to one another.
There is clearly a little jealousy there as they try to figure out who is Captain America’s real best friend. The scenes where Sam and Bucky fight Spider-Man were particularly charming, and the scene where Bucky asks Sam to move his seat up in the getaway car is also endearing.
4 TRYING TO PROTECT CAPTAIN AMERICA FROM IRON MAN IN CIVIL WAR
The ending of Captain America: Civil War is a tragic one for many characters. Tony Stark is left reeling after he learns what really happened to his parents, and the fight between Tony, Steve, and Bucky leaves them all a wreck.
While it is sad that this rift is created between Tony and Steve, it was also a star moment for Bucky as he showed how loyal he still is to Steve. Bucky many times tries to protect Steve from Tony. In the end, however, this fight leaves them all fractured and broken.
3 FINDING SOME PEACE AND PROTECTION IN WAKANDA
At the end of Civil War, we see that T’Challa brings Bucky and Steve to Wakanda where they can find refuge. Then, in the post-credits scene of Black Panther, Bucky talks to Shuri and thanks her for helping heal him. It was definitely rewarding to see Bucky Barnes somewhere safe and calm where he could live a more normal life again.
2 WHEN HE WENT UP AGAINST THANOS’ ARMY WITH ONLY A GUN
In Avengers: Infinity War, many of the heroes as well as the Wakandan army go up against Thanos' army. While many of the heroes have superpowers or technology to help them, and the Wakandans have their advanced weapons, Bucky shows up with a regular old machine gun and a knife. Luckily, he does have a version of the super soldier serum to help him out if he runs out of bullets. While he definitely wasn’t the most prepared for that battle, he’s never one to not be at Steve Roger’s side.
1 JOINING THE FINAL BATTLE IN ENDGAME
One of the best moments of Avengers: Endgame was seeing all of the previously snapped characters show up on the battlefield and join the fight. While he isn’t featured much in this scene, Bucky does join the battle with his trusty gun yet again. While many fans were disappointed that there wasn’t much of Bucky in this movie, there are likely many more Winter Soldier/Bucky moments to look forward to in this upcoming series.