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17 Saddest Moments In The MCU That Can Make You Cry

Marvel Studios has kept us entertained for over a decade by adapting one of the most popular comic universes into a cinematic adventure full of apocalyptic action and family-friendly humor. The Marvel Cinematic Universe contains interdimensional tales and one-of-a-kind characters that come together in a way that no other film series has managed to do. There are certain to be hardships and tribulations – and more than a few tragic moments – whenever the mighty powers of darkness and light collide.

While the MCU is known for its action-packed adventures, it has also effectively translated somber comic book scenes for the big screen. From Yondu’s emotional sacrifice to Agent Coulson’s death at the hands of the famed trickster god, Marvel films are as dramatic as they are thrilling, and even the most hardened fans have shed tears at the MCU’s darkest moments.

1. ‘You Can Rest Now’

Source: Marvel Studio

After utilizing the Infinity Stones to resolve the fight between Thanos and the Avengers, Tony Stark is seriously injured. His deeds rescue the whole world, and his wife Pepper Potts informs him as he slips out of consciousness, “We’re going to make it. You may now relax.”

The sequence is a throwback to an earlier moment in the film when Pepper warns Tony that if he doesn’t strive to resurrect those who have died, he would never be satisfied. Tony fought his entire life for the family he only got to see in Endgame, and Robert Downey Jr.’s departure from the character adds to the sadness of the story’s dramatic conclusion.

2. ‘I Don’t Want To Go’

Source: Marvel Studio

The “dusting” of so many of our heroes after Infinity War was heartbreaking to witness, but the death of Peter Parker was certainly the most devastating. Peter passionately clings to his mentor and father figure, Tony Stark, in his last moments, pleading for his life as he begins to shatter.

Tony’s grief over Peter’s death becomes a driving force behind his actions in Endgame.

3. He Hands Star-Lord The Last Space Suit

Source: Marvel Studio

Though their relationship deteriorates after Peter Quill refuses to give his adoptive father Yondu the Power Stone, the two reconcile when Yondu confesses that he merely abducted Peter as a child to protect him from his biological father, Ego the Living Planet. Yondu launches Peter to safety and hands him the remaining space suit as bombs are dispatched to kill Ego.

Yondu sacrifices himself in the process, but he’s pleased with the knowledge that he made at least one positive contribution to the world.

4. Black Widow Sacrifices Herself For The Soul Stone

Source: Marvel Studio

Five years after Thanos snapped his fingers and wiped off half of all life, including Nat’s sole family, the Avengers, Natasha “Nat” Romanoff, AKA Black Widow, is spearheading the quest for the Infinity Stones.

She sacrifices herself for the Soul Stone, leaving Clint alone on Vormir to deal with his grief, desperate to do whatever it takes to bring them back and owing a duty to Clint Barton. Her death has shocked the Avengers, especially since their efforts to resurrect her have failed. Clint and Bruce Banner, who had a more intimate relationship with Nat, are especially distressed.

5. ‘We Are Groot’

Source: Marvel Studio

Groot’s characteristic statement is “I am Groot,” the only three words the sentient tree can speak. When Rocket asks Groot why he would give himself to save the Guardians, Groot modifies the pronoun to “we” to express the bond he shares with his team.

Groot wraps his branches around the Guardians’ spacecraft as it plummets to the ground in a heartbreaking gesture of self-sacrifice.

6. He Tries Himself To Save His Brother, And… Die

Source: Marvel Studio

Despite his destructive nature, Thor’s adoptive brother Loki has always been a likable and attractive villain. Loki is prepared to die to defend his new home from his sister Hela, despite usurping the throne of Asgard by impersonating Odin.

Loki exchanges the Tesseract for Thor’s life after being attacked by Thanos and his offspring and then pursues Thanos. The strike fails, and Thanos slowly suffocates Loki before tossing him at Thor’s feet. Loki will not be revived this time, Thanos jokes.

7. He Can Talk To His Mom Again

Source: Marvel Studio

Thor’s confidence erodes in the years after the snap because of his inability to defeat Thanos when he had the opportunity. Thor is a ghost of his former self as he sees his mother Frigga again, hiding his guilt and concealing his anguish with video games and alcohol. Frigga provides a teary-eyed Thor with the kind of motivation he needs to continue with his life.

The real kicker is that Thor is well aware that she would meet her demise at the hands of Malekith’s henchman Kurse only seconds later.

8. Steve Asks Peggy For A Raincheck

Source: Marvel Studio

Steve Rogers decides to pilot the Red Skull’s doomsday weapon into the freezing waters of the Atlantic to prevent it from wiping out New York City after finally discovering his purpose as Captain America and his soulmate in Margaret “Peggy” Carter.

Before the plane crashes into the ocean, he makes one more radio contact with Peggy, asking for a rain check on their date.

9. Clint’s Family Is Wiped Out

Source: Marvel Studio

The heroes that survived the dusting after Avengers: Infinity War were devastated. Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, was under house arrest during the last encounter. However, the producers didn’t want spectators to miss out on the photograph’s impact on his family.

At the start of Endgame, we see Clint go through the same despair and desperation that many other spouses, wives, and parents went through when their loved ones vanished.

10. Steve Says Goodbye To Bucky And Sam

Source: Marvel Studio

Steve Rogers keeps quiet about the fact that he won’t be returning the Infinity Stones after his mission. On the other hand, Capitan America’s longest buddy Bucky understands his best comrade better than that. Even though the mission is only intended to take a few seconds, Bucky informs Steve that he will miss him.

Steve returns on time, but he is now an elderly man who has come to say his goodbyes to Sam Wilson and pass the Capitan America mantle on to the next generation.

11. Thanos Sacrifices Gamora For The Soul Stone

Source: Marvel Studio

Gamora reveals the location of the Soul Stone on the planet Vormir to prevent her father, Thanos from killing her sister Nebula. Gamora, who is accompanying her father to the desert world, is delighted when the guardian of the Soul Stone tells her that to receive the stone, one must give the thing they love the most.

She believes her father loves nothing and discovers too late that she is the only thing in the world that he cares about outside his goal. Thanos tosses her down the cliff, prompting an enraged, bereft Peter Quill to strike out, thwarting the heroes’ well-coordinated onslaught.

12. Steve Loses Peggy Again

Source: Marvel Studio

During WWII, when Steve Rogers is shot down over the Atlantic, his final thoughts are of Margaret “Peggy” Carter and the dance they will never enjoy. After being resurrected, Steve eventually hunts up Peggy, only to discover that she suffers from Alzheimer’s.

Steve loses Peggy for the second time in his life when she dies away, and he is completely alone in the present (until Bucky returns, that is).

13. When Loki Stabs Agent Coulson In The Back

Source: Marvel Studio

Agent Phil Coulson was the point man for superhuman contact, having assisted Nick Fury in tracking down and recruiting remarkable people to create the Avengers since the introduction of Captain Marvel in the 1990s. When Coulson learns that Loki is plotting to kill Thor, he confronts the god of mischief.

However, he underestimates Loki’s brutality and is fooled by an illusion while the actual Loki approaches from behind and assaults him with the wand carrying the Mind Stone.

14. Quicksilver Sacrifices Himself

Source: Marvel Studio

Quicksilver utilizes his lightning speed to shelter Hawkeye and a small kid as Ultron takes control of the Avengers’ Quinjet and fires on them. He dies instantly, making him one of the Avengers’ first big casualties.

Hawkeye names his baby after the speedster in recognition of his sacrifice.

15. Thanos Take The Mind Stone Out Of Vision’s Head

Source: Marvel Studio

To prevent Thanos from obtaining the Mind Stone, which lends Vision awareness, Vision understands he must sacrifice himself. Because she is powerful by the Reality Stone, he informs his love Wanda, AKA Scarlett Witch, that she is the only one who can finish him.

Wanda kills the stone and Vision with it in an emotional moment of desperation, only to have their triumph revoked when Thanos uses the Time Stone to resurrect the sentient android. Thanos then removes the stone from Vision’s skull, killing him for the second time.

16. Tony Discovers Bucky Took Out His Parents

Source: Marvel Studio

Already at odds with Captain America over the Sokovia Accords, Tony Stark begins to doubt Captain America’s allegiances when he constantly supports Bucky Barnes, even after learning that Bucky is the mastermind behind the huge attack in Vienna that killed Black Panther’s father, King T’Chaka.

When Tony discovers that the brainwashed Winter Soldier is partly to blame for the deaths of his mother and father, he explodes and assaults both heroes. Tony’s armor is damaged after fierce combat, and Steve walks away from the Avengers.

17. Ho Yinsen Sacrifices Himself for Tony

Source: Marvel Studio

Doctor and engineer Ho Yinsen helps Tony Stark build a tiny arc reactor and his first suit of armor in the underground jail where they are forced to manufacture technology for the enemy after being captured by the Ten Rings.

Yinsen makes the ultimate sacrifice for Tony’s armor to charge and the future hero to escape. Tony is inspired to become Iron Man by Yinsen’s selflessness.

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