So far, there have been three complete trilogies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Iron Man movies basically started it all and the Thor series was a mixed bag that really improved by the end. The most consistent of those trilogies is widely considered to be the ones with Captain America at the center.
His movies not only introduced the world to characters like Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson but they also debuted T’Challa and Peter Parker in the MCU, while featuring the likes of Natasha Romanoff and Nick Fury. Each of these characters managed to get at least one shining moment.
10 Sharon Carter – Standing Up To Rumlow
When Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) first appeared in the MCU, she was Steve Rogers’s nurse neighbor and nothing more. She quickly revealed that she was Agent 13 and a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. who was then seen at headquarters when Steve was labeled a fugitive.
You could tell that Sharon disagreed with this mindset but did her job. When Steve returned to save the day near the end of the film, Sharon was the first person to step up and challenge Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) and the rest of the Hydra agents. It showcased her loyalty and bravery.
9 Red Skull – Revealing His True Face
Of any set of movies in the MCU, the Captain America franchise has the least notable villains. 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger had the only true baddie in the form of Johann Schmidt/Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) since Bucky Barnes became a hero and the third installment was about good guys fighting each other.
Red Skull did several heinous things throughout the movie but his most iconic moment had to be when he showed what he truly looked like. Standing across from Steve and Bucky, Schmidt reached down and removed his human face to reveal a much more terrifying sight.
8 Various Superheroes – The Airport Fight
It’s hard to nail down every main character in these movies because so many were involved in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) first appearance as the Black Panther or Spider-Man (Tom Holland) stealing Captain America’s shield could be mentioned.
However, that’s why bringing up the airport fight is ideal. This battle includes so many past and future Avengers on opposite sides. There were trilogy stars like Bucky, Sam, and Natasha but also old favorites like War Machine (Don Cheadle), Wanda Maxmioff (Elizabeth Olsen), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Each of them got a standout moment during this legendary fight.
7 Nick Fury – “You Need To Keep Both Eyes Open”
He made a small appearance at the end of the first film but Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) got much more screen time in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. From his conversation with Steve in the elevator to fighting off Hydra in the streets, he was a star from the start.
While those scenes are indeed great, Fury’s most legendary moment came a little bit later on. He returned from his faked death and faced off with Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford). Knowing a retinal scan was required, Fury removed his iconic eyepatch to finally show what was under it as he uttered this line.
6 Tony Stark – Fighting Steve & Bucky
Baron Zemo’s (Daniel Brühl) plan to tear apart the Avengers mostly worked but they still came together in the end. The ace up his sleeve was the footage of Bucky killing Howard and Maria Stark, which sent Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) over the edge for good.
Tony went into a rage, fighting Bucky and Steve, who admitted that he knew the truth about Tony’s parents. Watching Iron Man fight two other heroes in such a serious manner was harrowing, especially when Bucky’s arm got blown off. Tony’s line of, “So was I” when Steve said Bucky was his friend is still heartbreaking.
5 Peggy Carter – Saying Goodbye To Steve
One of the first people to truly see Steve Rogers for who he is was Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). The SSR officer was a key part in the experiment that turned Steve into a super soldier and the two formed a romantic relationship of sorts due to Steve’s pure heart.
Peggy has had plenty of standout moments throughout the MCU, especially from her own Agent Carter TV series. In the first film, her shining scene came right at the end when she spoke with Steve over communications as he sacrificed himself to save the world. Knowing it was over for him, she still agreed to tearfully plan a date with him.
4 Sam Wilson – Showing Off His Wings For The First Time
Like Nick Fury, the addition of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) to the story in The Winter Soldier was a welcome one. He became Steve’s best friend in the modern age as they bonded over things like their military past. When Steve and Natasha needed help, Sam jumped at the opportunity.
As Steve and Natasha nabbed Jasper Sitwell for information, Natasha kicked him off of a roof and Sam made the last second save, displaying the wings that would turn him into Falcon. It was a great introduction for the hero, showcased his abilities, and set the tone for a partnership that would lead to Sam getting the coveted shield.
3 Natasha Romanoff – Letting Steve & Bucky Go Free
His best male friends might be Bucky and Sam but Steve’s best female friend is Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). The two were the stars of the adventure in the 2014 sequel, continued to strengthen their relationship in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and were at the forefront again in Civil War.
Interestingly, Natasha was on the opposite side of Steve, which was different for the pair. It was during the airport fight that Natasha chose to change sides and agree with Steve. With a chance to stop him and Bucky, she instead shot T’Challa, allowing them to escape and cementing herself as Team Cap to the very end.
2 Bucky Barnes – Saving Steve Rogers
The relationship between Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Steve Rogers is arguably the strongest in the entire MCU, whether as a friendship or as a romance. Bucky was there for Steve before anyone else and his death crushed Steve. So, when Cap found out that Bucky was still alive, albeit as the Winter Soldier, he did everything in his power to get him back.
That included choosing not to fight Bucky and remain with him “until the end of the line.” When the two came crashing down into the river together, Steve was seemingly a goner. However, he was rescued by Bucky, showing that he was able to fight through the brainwashing somewhat and save his friend.
1 Steve Rogers – “I Can Do This All Day”
One of the very first scenes involving Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) saw him fight a much larger guy in an alley. Despite taking a beating, he kept getting up and said, “I can do this all day.” He repeated the line again when he was beaten up by Red Skull.
Although those are memorable, the final callback to the line (in the trilogy at least) was the highlight. Tony Stark was in the midst of besting both Steve and Bucky. He demanded that Steve stay down, to which Cap got to his feet and let out one more, “I can do this all day,” before finishing the fight. It’s a line indicative of the kind of person Steve is, as he refuses to quit.