The Most Heartbreaking Non-Death Moments In MCU Movies

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Vote 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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    1,075 VOTES

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

    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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    1,047 VOTES

    Loki Had To Watch His Life And Failures Play Out

    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? 

  • Loki Realized He Was 'Another Stolen Relic' When Odin Told Him His True Heritage
    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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  • Rocket Revealed He 'Didn't Ask To Get Made' In An Argument With Drax
    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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  • Captain America Visited Peggy Carter While She's Suffering From Alzheimer's
    Photo: Captain America: The Winter Soldier / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    After waking up in the present, Captain America goes on to become one of the best modern-day heroes. Without him, Earth would have been wiped out or conquered multiple times over. Yet, the very fact he's out of time remains the great tragedy of the character, namely because of his lost love, Peggy Carter. While Captain America's plane goes down in The First Avenger, he's speaking to the love of his life. He tells her he'll make their next date, and they'll get to have their dance. Then, he wakes up decades in the future. 

    In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers is finally shown talking to Peggy in the present. In a way, it's beautiful the two get to reunite at all. But it's naturally hard for Steve to see Peggy lived a life without him. Even worse, Peggy is suffering from memory loss, so their conversation ends with her becoming confused and reliving the pain of seeing Steve again for the first time. She's happy to see him but also remembers the tragedy of their parting and how it's been "so long" since she's seen him. Even apart from this scene specifically, this memory loss reveals the larger implication that it will be much harder for Steve to maintain a friendship with Peggy, even though they've finally been reunited. 

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    670 VOTES

    Captain America Let Bucky Barnes Brutally Pound On Him Until He Remembered Who He Was

    Captain America Let Bucky Barnes Brutally Pound On Him Until He Remembered Who He Was
    Photo: Captain America: The Winter Soldier / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Bucky Barnes's life is even more of a tragedy than Steve Rogers's. Sure, Steve has been kept away from the love of his life for decades. But at least Steve got to have a life and be a hero in the present. Bucky is taken by Hydra agents, experimented on, and turned into an assassin that's only let out of cryosleep for long enough to eliminate his targets. 

    Even with all that baggage, Steve has an unconditional love for his friend, which he proves during his final brawl with Bucky in Winter Soldier. Steve decides to stop fighting, believing there's still some good in Bucky. So, Bucky knocks Steve to the ground and continuously punches his face. But Steve doesn't fight back.