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The Most Heartbreaking Non-Death Moments In MCU Movies

July 7, 2021 5k votes 708 voters 75.4k views14 items

List RulesVote up the MCU moments that hit hard even though no one died.

The MCU is known for its light tone and constant barrage of jokes, but the most emotional moments in the MCU rival those of practically any other movie, let alone other comic book movies. The MCU is good at comedy because the directors and creators are masters of timing and emotion. So, it's very easy for the filmmakers to set their dials in the opposite direction and hit the audience with a barrage of tears. 

There's a reason the sad clown has become such a cliche. Oftentimes, those who joke are doing so to deflect from the real emotion they're facing. Characters like Rocket and Drax may appear like they're all fun and games, but in reality, a wealth of emotional turmoil is boiling up inside their irregular bodies (some would say these characters could use a good hug). These characters have enough depth that they've delivered jokes to make audiences laugh and then followed those jokes up with some of the all-time saddest MCU lines. 

The MCU is good enough at tugging on heartstrings that the filmmakers don't even need to rely on death to bring out the tears. Instead, audiences can cry along as the characters have their dreams shattered and tragic backstories revealed.

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    Wanda Said Goodbye To A Version Of Vision Before Bringing Down The Hex On Westview

    Photo: WandaVision / Disney+

    At its core, WandaVision is the story of trauma and heartbreak. After returning from the snap, Wanda finds herself completely unable to cope with the demise of the Vision. So, she uses her powers to create a completely new world - a world where her love is still alive. 

    Regrettably, part of this world's existence means Wanda has to virtually enslave all the citizens of a town so she can use them as pieces in her perfect life. This obviously isn't okay, and at the end of the series, Wanda eventually sees the error of her ways and realizes she needs to end the charade. Sadly, part of letting go means she needs to say goodbye to the Vision she created. The two lovers embrace each other up until the very end. Both are hopeful they'll be able to say hello to each other again. But, for now, they have to say goodbye once again, and Wanda has to walk away from the perfect life she made for herself. 

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  • 2

    Loki Had To Watch His Life And Failures Play Out

    Photo: Loki / Disney+

    After being pulled away from the timeline for being a variant, Loki has to watch how the rest of his life should have played out. This is agonizing for Loki, who has to watch a lifetime full of failures and mistakes. He's a character who rarely shows emotions other than anger or frustration, so it's hard to watch this character who has won the audience over succumbing to emotional turmoil. 

    Loki then has to answer the question for himself of "What now?" What does someone do after seeing that they turn out to be a failure? 

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  • Photo: Thor / Paramount Pictures

    Loki always felt like he was living in his brother's shadow, and he always suspected his brother was his parents' favorite. This feeling of unworthiness was a deep insecurity in Loki, and he never even knew the real reason why he was treated like he was. Sure, Thor was the golden boy and destined to take the crown. But Loki felt out of place in a deeper sense. 

    In Thor, Loki decides to prove himself to his father, and he hatches an attempt to make Thor look bad and turn himself into the hero of Asgard. Along the way, Loki confronts Odin about his true heritage. Loki discovers he's really a Frost Giant prince, and this confirmation of his worst fears causes him to freak out. Loki begins to scream at his father, from whom he really just wants love. Loki screams about feeling second to Thor all his life and how he's nothing more than a stolen relic locked away until his so-called father has use for him. 

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  • Photo: Guardians of the Galaxy / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Sometimes a scene is so powerful, it fully warps how an audience sees a character forever. Guardians of the Galaxy had such a scene that flipped the audience's perspective of Rocket. This lovable raccoon is known for his bravado and prickly exterior, but this scene lets audiences in on why he didn't want to let anybody in. 

    The scene in Guardians begins with Gamora rushing into a bar to find Drax fighting Groot and Rocket. Gamora holds Drax back, but Rocket is still standing with his massive weapon, ready to end Drax or anyone else in the bar who wants to throw an insult his way. Rocket then drunkenly goes into how he feels like everyone's always laughing at him and that he didn't ask to get made. He reveals how he was experimented on by getting torn apart and put back together again over and over. He now feels like a monster and resents that everyone thinks of him as an animal. It's a depressing peek into the psyche of a character that typically serves as comic relief, now being laid bare as the psychologically messed-up survivor he really is. 

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