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The Most Iconic Scene From Every MCU Movie

The MCU is a special gift to mankind. It doesn't matter if you're looking for a hearty laugh, a good cry, or a chance to stand up and start cheering, Marvel's ever-increasing cinematic universe has got you covered. With so many classic scenes constantly being added to the on-screen canon, though, it's getting hard to keep track of all of the different moments that have moved us in the past.

With that in mind, we decided to sit down and comb over each and every film in the Infinity Saga in order to come up with what we thought was the best moment from each movie. Of course, such a highly speculative endeavor is always going to lead to some disagreement, but we've assembled what we believe to be, hands-down, some of the best superhero content to ever reach the silver screen. Some of these moments are quick and clever shots while others are longer scenes that slowly work the audience up into a highly emotional state. Regardless, though, all of them are freaking amazing.

So, without further ado, we present to you Looper's official list of the most iconic scenes from each and every film. We're presenting them in our own authoritative order to watch the MCU, from the inception of Iron Man to the epic showdown with Thanos and beyond.

Iron Man – 'I am Iron Man'

It's hard to imagine the MCU being what it is without Iron Man perfectly teeing things up right from the get-go. The tongue-in-cheek humor mixed with serious, superhero overtones was the perfect mix to set the tone for the entire universe that followed. And the best part? The first installment of Tony Stark's franchise still holds up over a decade after it debuted. From witnessing the Starkster cobble together the Mark I suit to watching his initial transformation from playboy to hero, the movie has a lot of moments to remember.

There's one scene that stands out above all of the rest, though, and it comes in at the very end of the film. As the movie wraps up, Mr. Stark chooses to reveal his identity to the press, blurting out the gem, "The truth is, I am Iron Man." This is followed by a smirk forming on the billionaire's face as the scene cuts and the credits roll. What better way to wrap up the first foray into the MCU than with a brazen rejection of the classic superhero secret identity trope? It boldly announced to the world that the MCU was going where no universe had gone before, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

Iron Man 2 – Black Widow is unleashed on the MCU

In his quickly released sequel, Tony Stark's story was propelled forward as the mortal man struggled with the threat of the shrapnel in his chest and, oh yeah, a pair of lackluster villains in the form of Ivan Vanko (aka Whiplash) and Justin Hammer. While the film admittedly took a bit of a step back from its stellar predecessor, there's one scene in the story that absolutely can't be overlooked. Yeah, we're talking about Natasha Romanoff's invasion of Hammer Industries Headquarters.

While Romanoff manages to make it through the entire Infinity Saga without her own movie (something that was finally remedied after the fact), she still racks up a robust eight different appearances in other films, the first of which takes place in Iron Man 2, and it's a treat. While she factors in throughout the plot, as the story moves towards its climax, Agent Romanoff shows off her true colors in a brazen, single-handed assault on Justin Hammer's company headquarters. Okay, Happy's there to help her too, but does that really need to be pointed out? The scene is intense, and immediately demonstrates why the former Red Room trainee warrants a coveted spot among the overpowered ranks of the future Avengers.

The Incredible Hulk – Tussling in Harlem

The Incredible Hulk is the bastard child of the MCU. For one thing, it features one of the very few major actor replacements in the universe's long history, with Edward Norton eventually being given the boot in favor of Mark Ruffalo. Its depressing tone also varies dramatically from the spunky attitude of the rest of the MCU.

Nevertheless, there are still a few moments that are worth digging up. For example, there's the end battle between Hulk and Abomination. Why is this scene so intriguing? One simple word: smash. The MCU Hulk's persona has always been synonymous with mindless and epic destruction, something that's on full display in the final moments of his own film.

As Hulk and Abomination crash through Harlem, they upend cars, destroy streets, and damage buildings. The scene is nothing short of catastrophic. And the thing is, it's also freaking great to watch, especially since it brings a splash of frenzied fun to an otherwise slow-moving plot.

Thor – Thor becomes worthy

By the end of the Infinity Saga, Thor has been put through the wringer. The god of thunder loses his mother, his father, his brother, and his best friend. He parts ways with his hammer and one of his eyes and has to defeat his own sister in combat. He becomes king only to lose his home planet to Ragnarok and then half of his people to Thanos. After that, he doesn't go for the head and then gets depressed and gains a ton of weight. Nuff said?

The point is, with the son of Odin going through so many traumatic experiences, it's easy to forget that the dude started off as a cocky jerk. In Thor, he sparks an interplanetary war and is exiled to Earth where he has to learn his lesson the hard way. That's why, when he finally sacrifices his own ego and does what's right, it leads to the best scene in the movie. After being nearly beaten by the Destroyer, the Asgardian finally becomes worthy to wield Mjolnir once again, and it's enough to get any fan up out of their seat cheering him on. If only he knew what the future had in store.

Captain America: The First Avenger – Cap waking up

If you're watching the MCU in strict chronological order, the bulk of Captain America's first titular film should be among the first items on your viewing list. However, for all of the World War II heroics, it ends up being the very last scene of the film — which takes place in the modern day — that truly hits home.

When Cap wakes up from his 70-year-long doze, he finds himself in the present day — in the year of Our Lord 2011, to be precise. As he looks about, bewildered, he realizes that everything isn't what it seems. Dashing out into the streets, he's confronted by Nick Fury, who informs him that he's been in an icy tomb for nearly three-quarters of a century. The dramatic revelation leaves the hero reeling, but all he can find words for is the simple sentence, "I had a date." Considering Cap's long, lonely journey through the rest of the Infinity Saga (not to mention his long-awaited happy ending in Endgame), can you think of a better way to pull on everyone's heartstrings? We sure can't.

The Avengers – The big hero shot

The Avengers is the first time we get to see the entire team suit up — or in Hulk's case, suit down — together. The raucous event follows the various heroes as they inevitably come together and gradually form a bond under the watchful eye of Nick Fury. The movie has plenty of memorable moments, from Thor and Iron Man duking it out in a forest to everyone coming together to fix the Helicarrier to Hulk sending Loki careening into the floor of Stark Tower.

However, there's no doubt that one scene stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that's the first time the entire team is shown together, in their full colors, grouped up in the streets of the Big Apple. Standing together as they're surrounded by hoards of Chitauri soldiers — with a slowly circling camera shot, to boot — the scene is about as epic as they get. It's one of those moments that's instantly etched into the mind of every Marvelite who witnesses it.

Captain America: Winter Soldier – The elevator fight

When Captain America is brought up, there's typically one scene that stands out. We're talking, of course, about the elevator fight scene in Captain America: Winter Soldier. Simple and down-to-earth compared to many of the flashier scenes, the sheer intensity of the elevator squabble is enough to sweep viewers and Hydra agents alike right off their feet.

Often seen as the strategy guy, the charismatic heart of the team, the one who brings everyone together, and the dude who chooses to fight with nothing but a shield, Cap's intimidatingly formidable battlefield prowess is often easily overlooked. However, there are a few moments where he's fully let off the leash, and the elevator brawl is one of those moments. Seriously outnumbered, lacking proper weaponry, and given little-to-no breathing room to stretch his legs, Steve Rogers still manages to make short work of his opponents, reminding everyone who's watching that he's all that and a bag of chips.

Thor: The Dark World – Frigga's death scene

Thor: The Dark World often ends up at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to ranking movies within the MCU. However, its critical role in the Endgame time-travel storyline gave it new importance, particularly breathing life into what was already one of the film's better scenes. 

In the middle of the movie, Malekith arrives with a squadron of soldiers right in the heart of Asgard, searching for the Aether, which currently resides inside of Jane Foster. However, he's confronted by Thor's subtly skilled mother, Frigga, who shows up as Jane's lone defender. Frigga creates a hologram of Foster, which successfully tricks the Dark Elf, but the Queen Mother is killed in the ensuing fight. The scene is moving all on its own, but now that we know about the conversation that she has moments beforehand with her future son during Endgame, it boosts Frigga onto another level of heroics entirely and only makes the moment that much better.

Iron Man 3 – Stark infiltrates the Mandarin's lair

Tony Stark has a lot of money. He has a lot of cars. Heck, he has a lot of stuff in general. He also has an endless line of ever-improving Iron Man suits. And yet, for all the frills, it's when the genius is left to operate without his tech that he truly shines. That's why, when it comes to Iron Man 3, the best scene of the bunch has to be when Stark infiltrates the Mandarin's lair with nothing but a grab bag full of improvised weapons.

The sequence is exhilarating, as one misstep or a stray bullet could stop the armorless hero dead in his tracks. And yet, his ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, even without his armor, just reinforces why everyone loves the guy so much. Whether he's building the Mark I out of scrap armor in a cave in Afghanistan, desperately fixing the Benatar with Nebula in deep space, or taking out the fake Mandarin without his suit after his home has been blown to kingdom come, Tony Stark always finds a way to cut that wire.

Guardians of the Galaxy – 'We are Groot'

Ah, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the MCU franchise that just keeps on giving. Ever since the group's arrival in the MCU back in 2014, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot have become synonymous with sarcastic yet effective heroism. While every single member of this gang of misfits is lovable in their own way, though, there's one member of the team that's always received the most affection: Groot. Ever loyal, willing to sacrifice, and always ready to take a bullet for his friends, Groot has remained a faithful part of the Guardians' storyline, no matter what form he's taken.

Of course, that form has shifted from a potted plant to a spunky child to a rebellious teenager primarily due to the fact that he literally did sacrifice himself for his friends — and in the best scene of the franchise's first movie, no less. Giving his own life by growing a living cocoon around his friends as they hurdled through the air over Xandar, Groot's final words deviated ever so slightly from his regularl "I am Groot" verbiage to a heartbreaking "we are Groot" that left the audience in tears for the selfless arboreal protagonist.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – 'I'll do it myself'

In spite of its lackluster popularity, Avengers: Age of Ultron still delivers a lot of fantastic stuff. We meet great characters like Ulysses Klaue and Vision for the first time, the Maximoff twins are redeemed and join the Avengers, and of course, we witness the dramatic rise and fall (quite literally as far as Sokovia is concerned) of Ultron.

And yet, for all the excitement during the film, it ends up being the mid-credit scene that sticks in the minds of viewers more than anything else. Why? Because it showcases Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet for the first time. As the dust is still settling from the battle with Ultron, the credits fade in on the Mad Titan putting on a stoneless gauntlet and announcing, "Fine. I'll do it myself." The scene ends with the villain grinning, and at the time of the film's release, it left fans out of their minds with anticipation for the approaching conflict, easily making it the most iconic scene from the entire film.

Ant-Man – The Quantum Realm enters the MCU

Scott Lang's movies are fun in and of themselves. However, they always felt a bit disconnected from the greater universe ... until Endgame came along, that is. When Lang rolled up to Avengers HQ with the Quantum van in tow, it completely rewrote the importance of Ant-Man's role in the MCU, and it made one already iconic scene from his first movie particularly important — the moment when Lang purposefully shrinks into the Quantum Realm.

Desperate to take out Yellowjacket before he hurts Lang's daughter, Cassie, Ant-Man attacks him in a Janet van Dyne-esque move in which he shrinks between the molecules, sabotaging his opponent's suit before Lang shrinks away into near-nothingness. A moment later, he finds himself facing an eternity of lonely existence in the Quantum Realm before he messes with his regulator and manages to escape in the nick of time. The scene isn't just iconic due to its heroic nature. It also gives us our first glimpse into a world that would ultimately be pivotal in saving half of the universe.

Captain America: Civil War – The airport battle

Captain America: Civil War could pretty much be renamed Avengers 2.5. After all, it has a massive selection of crossover appearances, including most of the Avengers (sans a few big names, like Hulk and Thor). With the focus throughout the film clearly on "the group" rather than on Cap himself, it only makes sense that the most iconic scene would be one that involves everyone at once ... in the same place ...at each other's throats.

One of the few times with so many heroes suited up on the same battlefield and the only time so many heroes duked it out with each other, the battle stands as a tragic yet epic moment in a film that is chock-full of them. From Hawkeye "pulling his punches" with Black Widow to Spidey violently bonding with Cap over their childhood homes to Rhodie nearly dying due to Vision's misfire, the airport battle isn't just a great scene in a stellar movie, it's one of the most iconic moments in the entire history of the MCU.

Black Panther – Killmonger's final words

When T'Challa made his first appearance in Civil War, it turned heads. Everyone was excited to see the king of Wakanda on the battlefield with the Avengers. When Black Pather's first franchise movie finally released, though, it wasn't the man in the vibranium suit who soaked up the most attention.

Once T'Challa's cousin, Killmonger, arrives on the scene, all eyes are fixed on the antagonist. Brutal, strong, and possessing a tragic backstory, Killmonger quickly becomes one of the most popular villains in all of the MCU. He manages to wrestle power from T'Challa only to lose it in an epic combat deep in the mines of Wakanda. The duel ends with Killmonger defeated, but T'Challa, graceful in victory, brings him out to witness the beauty of Wakanda. At that point, the best scene of the movie takes place. Rejecting charity, Killmonger chooses to bleed out, telling his cousin to bury him in the ocean "with [his] ancestors that jumped from the ships because they knew death was better than bondage." The moving scene is, by far, the best ending moments for a villain in all of the MCU.

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Stark lectures Peter

The MCU reboot of Spider-Man has been a hit from the moment Peter Parker first swung onto the scene in Civil War. And with his own pair of films, in particular, he's managed to make a good impression in the Infinity Saga. The first movie, Homecoming, perfectly balances the carefree, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man schtick while also expertly continuing to weave Parker into the greater MCU story. This is never on better display than when Parker is confronted by Tony Stark on a rooftop high over New York City.

In the scene, Stark makes a personal appearance in his suit, chastising Peter for his reckless behavior and clearly demonstrating his own ongoing struggle with the Sokovia Accords. Eventually, he informs his young protégé that things aren't working out, and he'll need to return his suit. When Peter blurts that he's nothing without his apparel, Stark emotionally replies, "If you're nothing without this suit, then you shouldn't have it," leaving Parker crushed. Can anyone pass the tissues, please?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Yondu's funeral

The most iconic scene from the second installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has to be Yondu's funeral. The space pirate iteration of Mary Poppins slowly makes a 180-degree turn throughout the film, shifting from Quill's estranged, rough-and-tumble adopted daddy to a bona fide member of the team. However, his time as a Guardian is short-lived, as soon after helping Quill and company take down Ego, he gives himself up in order to save his adopted son from suffocating in space.

This is followed by a splendiferous funeral scene in which other Ravager factions arrive unexpectedly to celebrate their rehabilitated member's sacrifice and honor his memory. Several of the faction leaders are shown giving farewell addresses, and space fireworks are fired off in plenty. The iconic scene is a fitting testament to Yondu's impact on the Guardians' storyline and a colorfully moving way to end a spunky movie.

Doctor Strange – Strange vs. Dormammu

The character of Doctor Strange is a bit of an outlier in the MCU canon. While he's gotten entangled in multiple crossovers, if the Master of the Mystic Arts has shown one thing throughout his various run-ins with other heroes, it's that he's a loner that tends to operate on his own (much larger) playing field.

While heroes like the Avengers and the Guardians are busy saving the physical universe from disaster, Strange tends to stay busy combing through both time and space to ensure that the infinite iterations and versions of the multiverse are safe and secure, which leads us to the most iconic scene in his first film — his confrontation with Dormammu.

There are plenty of other candidates for "most iconic scene" in the mind-bending movie. However, Strange's selfless duel with the being from the Dark Dimension — in which he keeps Dormammu in a time loop by dying who knows how many times — takes the cake if only because it's the perfect demonstration of how dramatically different Strange's heroics look as he guards so many worlds from imminent disaster.

Thor: Ragnarok – Gladiator Hulk vs. Thor

Thor: Ragnarok is a smorgasbord of amazing scenes, all of which deserve mention. However, if you had to pick one that stands out from the pack, it would have to be the scene where Thor is pitted against the Grandmaster's champion ... who happens to be Hulk. The scene opens with Thor joyfully shouting, "He's a friend from work," an instant classic that was brainstormed on the spot by a kid from the Make-A-Wish Foundation who was visiting the set while they were filming.

From there, the two Avengers tumble around the arena in a rowdy free-for-all that leaves the audience thoroughly entertained. Each hero gains the upper hand at various points in the conflict until the Grandmaster puts a stop to things by zapping Sparkles in the neck. From the genius reintroduction of Hulk — who'd been missing from the MCU for two years at this point — to the over-the-top gladiator setting, the entire scene was instantly the most memorable part of the movie, no questions asked.

Avengers: Infinity War – The Snap

From start to finish, Avengers: Infinity War is congested with heroes and stuffed with excitement. Throughout all of the desperate action, the hilarious one-liners, and the incredible team-ups, though, there's one scene that undoubtedly deserves the prize of "most iconic." We're talking, of course, about the Snap.

The entire plot of Infinity War revolves around the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy doing their level best to stop Thanos from pulling off his mad crusade of collecting the Infinity Stones and wiping out half of the universe with a snap of his fingers. The stressful situation only serves to highlight the finale that much more when the Mad Titan actually succeeds in his quest, killing multiple heroes in the process. As half of life in the universe fades away, it's difficult to remember little else apart from the cold, hard truth that — in the words of Nebula — he did it.

Ant-Man and the Wasp – Scott gets trapped in the Quantum Realm

Seriously, the Ant-Man franchise is really fun. It's quirky, exciting, and full of a healthy dose of Paul Rudd humor. And yet, we can't help but think, for all the different aspects of Lang's story, it's the Quantum Realm moments that truly stick in your memory. In the case of Ant-Man and the Wasp, it isn't even the numerous trips down to the Quantum Realm during the main film that truly stand out — it's the end-credit scene.

With the movie coming squarely between Infinity War and Endgame, the question on everyone's mind is how and where it all fits in to the larger Thanos/Snappening situation. The question is left unaddressed until the credit begin to roll. Then, we get a quick, two-minute scene in which Lang heads down to the Quantum Realm to harvest some healing particles for his new ghost friend. It turns out that this is the exact moment that the Snap is taking place, inadvertently leaving Lang stuck behind in the Quantum Realm and immediately shoving the less memorable moments of the movie out of mind as all eyes turn towards Endgame.

Captain Marvel – Danvers finds her full power

Carol Danvers' first movie has a bit of a different flare for a few reasons. First, it comes between Infinity War — which directly alluded to the hero in its end-credit scene — and Endgame. In addition, the movie backs up a few decades, mostly taking place in the late 20th century. On top of that, the story is largely told out of order, with Danvers' origin remaining shrouded in an amnestic blur that isn't resolved until later in the film.

All of this makes for a fun ride as Carol embarks on a journey that slowly leads to her taking up the mantle as a genuine superhero. The climax of that journey comes as Carol, blown off of Yon-Rogg's ship, hurtles through the atmosphere, plummeting towards the ground below. With seconds until impact, the heroine shuts her eyes, digs deep, and finally unleashes her full power — a power that continues to come in handy for the rest of the movie and into Endgame, too.

Avengers: Endgame – Avengers, assemble

Much like Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame is overly stuffed with memorable moments. We've got Steve Rogers wielding Mjolnir, Black Widow's death, Iron Man's death, the second Snap, and the entire third act. Do we need to keep going? The point is, it's hard to even choose a favorite. If you had to pick a single moment that truly summed up "the best of Endgame," though, there's one scene that manages to nudge above the rest — Captain America's "Avengers, assemble" line.

Hinted at throughout the Avengers franchise, the line was most directly alluded to in the final moment of Avengers: Age of Ultron. The film literally ends with Steve Rogers surveying the new team and announcing, "Avengers..." The unfinished phrase left diehard Marvel fans in a tizzy until Endgame finally soothed their pain. As the climactic end battle kicks off and the Avengers and their allies pour through portals all over the battlefield, Cap makes a resounding declaration to the unified group, finally declaring "Avengers, assemble." Spine tingles, anyone?

Spider-Man: Far From Home – J.K. Simmons shows up in the MCU

Finally, we have the final film in the Infinity Saga. With the Thanos narrative in the rearview mirror, the MCU came back down to earth to wrap things up with a little overseas trip. The movie served as a fitting coda to a massive story arc as it simultaneously showed Peter Parker process the loss of his mentor, Tony Stark, and eventually learn to move on to the next adventure.

Once again, though, it's the final moments of the film that overshadow the entire plot that preceded it. As he swings through the Big Apple on a date with MJ, Parker is suddenly confronted with a news report that reveals his secret identity (one of the few remaining ones in the entire MCU at this point, we might add). The kicker, though? The report is brought to you buy none other than J. Jonah Jameson, played by a universe-hopping J.K. Simmons. The implications of the same actor from Sam Raimi's trilogy reprising his role in the MCU remains to be fleshed out, but regardless, the unexpected twist instantly made Simmons' cameo the most iconic part of the entire movie.