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The 19 Most Popular MCU Couples, Ranked From Worst to Best

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen in WandaVision

As Phase 4 of the MCU comes to an end, now seems like a good time to go through the main MCU movie couples. While Marvel is best known for its action and lore than its quieter relationship beats, there are some fantastic couples across the franchise we root for (and some that we actively root against—Liz, girl, you DESERVE BETTER). These are the biggest couples in the MCU, ranked by how much we ship them.

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Note: I’m very sorry about how straight this list is going to be, don’t blame me, I’m just trying to stick to canon relationships between main movie characters—I wish that more of these couples were queer too, folks.

19. Steve/Sharon

Steve Rogers and Sharon being cute but sadly we have to watch
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

There are three words that push this one to the very bottom of the barrel, for me: SHE’S HIS NIECE (by marriage but STILL).

But HE MADE OUT WITH HIS NIECE. CANONICALLY. AND THEY NEVER ADDRESS THAT POST ENDGAME. I DO NOT LIKE THAT. I DO NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL.

18. Nat/Bruce:

Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff kiss Age of Ultron
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

Seriously though, I will never understand why this was a thing. It gives their dynamic in the Avengers gross undertones and the whole implication of “not being able to have kids made it easier for me to be a monster” is just, no, Joss, no. Made worse is that it’s addressed in every movie that features Nat and/or Bruce that follows, despite them having only kissed once (he kissed Betty Ross more than he kissed Natasha).

17. Peter/Liz

Peter Parker and Liz in Spiderman Homecoming
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney/Sony

Liz deserved better and I’m still so confused why she agreed to go to the dance with Peter in the first place, considering how much of a flake he is with no visible reason. Then, he ditches her with no explanation to go fight her dad (which is more her dad’s fault than Peter’s but still, at least give an excuse!). 0/6 infinity stones

16. Stephen Strange/Christine Palmer

Strange and Christine embrace.
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

I don’t understand the emphasis on this ship in both What If and Multiverse of Madness, considering he was a jerk to her at most every turn in the first movie. I did like how they addressed the issue of fridging in What If?, but the relationship itself feels like it went from 0 to 100. (Dude, you weren’t even dating during Infinity War, yet you’re gonna claim you love her when she’s getting married?) There’s a reason that this relationship doesn’t work out in any universe.

15. Sersi/Ikaris

Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Ikaris (Richard Madden) in Eternals
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

Boring. I wasn’t a big fan of the Eternals movie and these two were a main part of it; almost everyone else seemed more interesting and they weren’t much better together than they were apart.

14. Sersi/Dane

Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Dane Whitman (Kit Harrington)
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

Much cuter and healthier IMO. Still, not a lot to say about them so, eh.

13. Scott Lang/Hope Van Dyne

Ant-Man and The Wasp post-credits scene
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

I legit forgot to include them in the previous version of this list, that’s how forgettable they are to me.

12. Pepper/Tony

Pepper Potts and Tony Stark in Iron Man 2
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

Codependent is how I would categorize them; every time Pepper is not around, Tony spirals and does something stupid that nearly gets himself or others killed. Also, Tony should have gotten a therapist a long time ago instead of using her, and later his daughter, as some kind of therapy/coping mechanism. That being said, fine, they’re cute and he clearly respects her and she takes none of his BS.

11. Thor/Stormbreaker

Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

Jealousy is not a good look on you, Stormbreaker. I understand the frustration, staying with Thor even as he was using you to open beer bottles, only for him to want to go back to greener pastures, but honestly, seeing both of his exes together had to bring back memories. Hope you have a better partnership with Gor’s daughter

10. Clint/Laura

Linda Cardellini and Jeremy Renner in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

I will admit I was a Nat/Clint shipper in Phase 1. Laura and Clint are cute when together, but Laura basically exists to be his wife and the mother of his kids. Even the reveal that she used to be a SHIELD agent ultimately serves as a reason for Hawkeye to stay in NYC to make sure her cover hasn’t been compromised. (Also, she has never had a scene outside of the Barton homestead. Are we sure she’s not the one under house arrest?)

9. Wanda/Vision

wandavision six hours of this
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

Another co-dependent relationship. Either Wanda is holding small towns hostage to fulfill her sitcom marriage fantasy or Vision is feeding survivors of the zombie apocalypse to Zombie Wanda. At the same time, though, Wanda’s genuine grief for him and the tenderness of their goodbyes makes it hard not to root for them. Obviously, we don’t know if/when their characters will return or what universe they will be from when they do, but maybe some other Wanda and Vision will find a happier, healthier timeline.

8. Loki/Sylvie

Loki and Sylvie sit and chat on Lamentis.
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

It’s a weird ship because they are variants, (and so, sort of the same person?) but Sylvie is very much her own person and it doesn’t seem like DNA is what makes a Loki, (considering the massive variation in physical appearance) so it wouldn’t be like having sex with your twin/clone. And the fact that Sylvie is so different makes it feel less like Loki’s narcissism and more like him learning to prioritize someone else. But at the same time, the two lack chemistry (which is weird since they’re both Loki) and this ship in general is a weird thing to think about. (And it’s cool that they’re both bi but I’d much rather actually see it than be told it).

7. Thor/Jane

natalie portman jane foster chris hemsworth thor dark world
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

Originally, they were kind of a middling couple who seemed thrown together. I liked Jane’s scenes with his family arguably more than her scenes with him. They do make each other better and I do like when they smile at each other, but I think that’s more due to the individual actors’ charisma than combined chemistry.

But after Thor: Love and Thunder, they’re much more tragic, starting out as a couple that grew apart due to their demanding careers and then as a couple that only got a little more time together when they were finally on the same page.

6. Thor/Mjölnir 

Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

The OG power couple, their partnership was lightning in a bottle. No one is more devoted than Mjölnir, a hammer that would travel much more than 500 miles for its partner. Mjölnir is so devoted, it even protects Thor’s ex after they break up because he enchanted it to always protect her. Now that’s love.

5. Bruce/Betty

Bruce Banner and Betty Ross in Incredible Hulk
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

Probably the most forgotten couple in the most forgotten Marvel movie. I actually liked them and the adorkable dynamic they have. I would love for her to come back.

4. Peter/MJ

Peter Parker and MJ in Spider-Man No Way Home
Via Marvel Entertainment/Sony/Disney

While MJ is not the Mary Jane character some fans expect, her and Peter’s relationship is as strong as ever, helped by the fact that she guesses his identity early on. I sometimes wish she had more to do in the plots and I do hope they bring her back since she’s still wearing the black dahlia necklace Peter gave her.

3. Steve/Peggy

Steve and Peggy dance in Marvel's Avengers: Endgame.
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

This relationship started amazing as the love that never had a chance. But it was made more problematic as time went on; Steve canonically kissed Peggy’s niece days after her funeral and then was retconned into being Peggy’s husband, which arguably undercuts Peggy’s own arc in Agent Carter. Still, I will admit I cried over the fact that Endgame literally made them endgame and they are just as cute in Marvel’s What If?.

2. Gamora/Peter

zoe saldana Gamora chris pratt peter quill
Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

Despite this relationship being built on a lot of cliches, I did enjoy it because they were both damaged people who were trying to learn to love in a healthy way. Gamora does have trouble letting people in for obvious reasons, and Peter has a hard time being patient with both her and himself. At the same time, I appreciate how they had to grow as people before they started dating and no, I will never forgive Infinity War for killing main timeline Gamora. My hope for the next Guardians movie is that it will be about Peter learning that the 2014 Gamora is not his and learning to let her go, but it’s hard to say.

1. T’Challa/Nakia

Via Marvel Entertainment/Disney

The vibranium standard of relationships. We are all T’challa, struggling to speak when faced with the majesty of Lupita Nyong’o. No cliche secret identity nonsense or “not allowed to marry below his station” BS. Just two people who love each other, challenge each other, and make each other better. I wish Nakia had been in Infinity War and Endgame and I hope she will be in future movies to make up for her absence.

As of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, they explain Nakia’s absence in the last few Avengers movies as due to her being pregnant with and then raising T’Challa’s son. While I have mixed feelings about this reveal (especially the part where Shuri wasn’t told until after his death), the fact that their love lives on in their son and Nakia is now officially part of the family is very satisfying.

What are your favorite Marvel couples (movies, TV, comics, or otherwise)? What’s your favorite Marvel ship, canon or non-canon?

(featured image: Disney/Marvel)

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Author

Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.

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