Published February 14, 2020

16 Times We Really Felt the Love in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Our most loved pairings and groups just in time for Valentine's Day.

You might think the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have any lovey-dovey moments, but think again. Around here, we don’t say “I love you,” we say “I love you 3000.” 

If you take a look back at the last 23 movies in the MCU, there have actually been a lot of moments of pure, unconditional love between our Super Heroes, and their family and friends. It’s not like anyone had a real traditional “meet cute” and fell head-over-heels for someone while trying to stop Thanos, but you can’t argue that all the Avengers grew closer together — and yes, some of them lead to romantic relationships! 

But that’s not the only kind of love we’ve seen in the MCU. Just as much as Tony Stark loves Pepper Potts, we know he also loves Peter Parker, too — not in the same way as his wife, but the way he mentors and cares for Peter is a type of love just the same. 

As we head into Valentine’s Day, now is a perfect time to celebrate the different kinds of love there is out there, whether it be between romantic partners, family members, or even friends. Let’s take a look at all the times we could really feel the affection and fondness between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

scott and cassie

Scott and Cassie Lang

At the end of every day, Scott Lang has one thing on his mind: how can he spend more time with his daughter, Cassie? While Scott’s got a lot of things going on in his life, his love for Cassie is what motivates him above everything else. And in return, the little peanut will do anything for her dad, like how in Marvel Studios' Ant-Man and The Wasp she lies about him being violently sick in the bathroom in order to stop him from going back to jail.

steve and peggy

Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter 

Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter’s love story has spanned decades, death, time travel, and Hydra. Steve carries with him a pocket watch with Peggy’s picture in it, and Peggy has Steve’s picture on her S.H.I.E.L.D. desk. Considering the odds, you’d think these two were simply ships passing in the night, but leave it to Captain America to figure out a way to be with his best girl in the end — they finally get their first dance.

sam and bucky

Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes

Can you pinpoint the exact moment Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes’ friendship blossomed? It’s probably when, after being taken down by Spider-Man in Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War, Sam tells Bucky, “I hate you.” Clearly, they’ve only grown stronger as a duo from there. Maybe “I hate you” is just their own term of endearment. 


Rocket and Groot 

Though Rocket is not someone to admit his affections out loud, it's clear how he feels about Groot at the end of Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy. After Groot sacrifices himself to save the rest of the Guardians, Rocket is left with only a small twig from his former friend. But you know what they say — all things grow with love, including a brand new Groot. Though he might be a young seedling again, the two will always follow each other to the ends of the universe, including a detour to Nidavellir in Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War. They’ve been together through thick and thin, getting a star up and running again is nothing for this duo.


Thor and Frigga 

A mother’s love is unconditional, even if you’re a mighty God of Thunder. Remember when Thor had to hold back tears seeing his mother again in Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame? There might have been some tears on our end, too, especially when Thor mentions that he wishes they had more time, with Frigga responding, “this was a gift.” It’s such a loving mom thing to say and Frigga’s impact on Thor will not soon be forgotten.


T'Challa and Shuri 

As the current king and princess of Wakanda, T’Challa and Shuri have some pretty big roles to fill. However, that doesn’t stop them from having real, relatable big brother/little sister moments throughout Marvel Studios’ Black Panther. Their banter back and forth is incredibly relatable for anyone with a sibling, right down to the fact that they love to pick on one another. Sure, they might be in charge of an entire kingdom, but that’s not going to stop Shuri from making fun of T’Challa’s shoes.


Peter Quill and Gamora 

During Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Drax says to Gamora, “There are two types of beings in the universe: those who dance and those who do not." Gamora really struggles with this, especially in terms when it comes to her relationship with Peter Quill. He dances, she doesn’t. However, in the end, sometimes opposite dance partners attract.


Bruce Banner and Science 

During Marvel Studios' Avengers: Age of Ultron, we saw Bruce Banner entertain the idea of a relationship with Natasha Romanoff (they even shared a kiss — though it was probably more to wake up the Hulk). However, we all know where Bruce’s heart lies. It lies with science! Like how you get butterflies in your stomach when you see your crush. Bruce feels that way when he’s allowed to attempt something scientific in order to solve a problem.


Wanda and Pietro Maximoff

As we quickly learn in Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Age of Ultron, twins Wanda and Pietro Maximoff work best together as a team. That makes it all the more heartbreaking when the two are separated (after Pietro sacrifices himself to save others) which later leads Wanda to literally rip Ultron’s metal heart right out of his frame — because that’s how she feels herself. It’s one of the sadder instances of love we’ve seen in the MCU, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful.


Nick Fury and Goose

It’s not every day we get to see Nick Fury experience sheer joy, but he absolutely radiates it when he first meets Goose the Cat, who immediately takes a liking to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. The two certainly have their ups and downs (and you know, the whole eye thing…) but Fury cares enough about the orange tabby/Flerken to give him a home in his office. And Fury just doesn’t let anyone into his inner circle like that.


Nebula and Gamora 

Do Gamora and Nebula hate each other? Yes. Do they want the other dead? Sometimes yes. Do they also realize that their shared past as Thanos’ daughters that brings them closer together? Absolutely. They’ve been through horrible situations together and should resent one another, but in the end, it’s also what saves them. Let’s not forget that it’s Gamora who defends Nebula in Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame during one of her lowest moments.


Natasha and The Avengers 

Natasha Romanoff says it herself during Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame. She didn’t have anything until she found her family with the Avengers. Being among the rest of the Super Heroes she feels most herself and most at home, and isn’t that a perfect definition of love? She’d literally do anything for them, and in the end, she does.


Hank and Janet Pym (and Hope) 

We all know the Quantum Realm is a dangerous place, but Hank Pym probably would have gone in dozens of times if it meant saving his long-lost wife, Janet. Not only that, but Hank spent years of his life, and risked his own safety alongside his daughter Hope, to try and bring Janet home. Once free, Hank and Janet pick up their life together as if no time has passed between them. Guess the family who conquers the Quantum Realm together, stays together.


Carol Danvers, Monica and Maria Rambeau 

The MCU is made up of so many found families, and it’s okay to say you got a little teary-eyed watching Carol Danvers reunite with Maria Rambeau and her daughter, Monica. Not only that, this mother-daughter duo will follow Carol anywhere — on Earth or beyond! — to help save the day. You’ve heard of a nuclear family, but this just might be a binary one.


Loki and his Thirst for Power 

Let’s be honest. The only thing Loki loves is himself. But, if we had to pick something for Loki to love that’s not his reflection, Loki loves his constant quest for the utmost power in the galaxy. Is Loki’s constant agenda to be all-powerful the greatest love story in the MCU considering it’s carried over through multiple films? Maybe! Hey, the heart wants what the heart wants.


Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, and Morgan Stark

Across the MCU, there are dozens of precious moments between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts. But if we can only talk about one defining moment, it’s got to be the last one. After defeating Thanos in Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, Pepper reassures Tony that they’ll be okay without him shortly before he passes away. This is also what leads us to “I love you 3000,” as it’s Tony’s sign off to his daughter, Morgan. It’s not your typical happy ending for Valentine’s Day, but the way Tony’s love continues to resonate with his family and friends after he’s gone is perfect.


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