Peter Parker and MJ

The 3 Best Love Stories in the MCU (and 3 That Make No Sense)

Not all love stories are created equal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here’s a look at three MCU couples who took our breath away and three mismatched pairs.

The 3 Best Love Stories in the MCU (and 3 That Make No Sense)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has given us superhero action galore, but it’s also tried its hand at romance. While some pairings feel earned, others leave audiences scratching their heads. Here are 3 of the best and 3 of the most baffling MCU movie love stories.

Best: Wanda Maximoff and Vision (Captain America: Civil War, Avengers Films, WandaVision)

Despite starting as reluctant allies, Wanda and Vision develop a surprisingly tender bond over their shared sense of alienation and duty. What begins as mutual respect in Captain America: Civil War blossoms into affection, as Vision comforts the grieving Wanda and they open up about their inhuman abilities. Their unlikely care for each other amidst global chaos lays the foundation for a deeper connection. 

By Avengers: Infinity War, they share a devoted intimacy that tragically ends with Vision’s sacrifice. Their story continues in WandaVision, which beautifully explores their suburban coupledom and Wanda’s all-consuming grief. For all its travails, Wanda and Vision’s love story remains one of the MCU’s most unlikely yet effective pairings.

Worst: Thor and Jane Foster (Thor, Thor: The Dark World

The god of thunder falls head over heels for a human scientist he’s only just met on Earth in Thor. But the sparks viewers expect to see between Thor and Jane Foster just aren’t there. Their whirlwind romance lacks the authentic chemistry and emotional connection that would make it feel believable and earned.

Unfortunately, this forced relationship quietly fizzles out off-screen before the events of Thor: The Dark World. The former flames reconnect in Thor: Love and Thunder.  But for all its potential, the Thor-Jane love story never quite achieves the depth and impact such an epic pairing should have had. Their arc serves as another example of Marvel struggling to convincingly weave romantic subplots into its action-packed superhero narratives.

Best: Peter Parker and MJ (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Far From Home, No Way Home)

Peter Parker and whip-smart classmate MJ’s friendship-turned-romance is one of the MCU’s most endearing. What begins as playful banter and a mutual understanding of being outsiders in Spider-Man: Homecoming gradually gives way to affection. By Far From Home, their feelings deepen during a fateful school trip abroad. Though MJ plays it cool, she clearly cares for and anchors Peter amidst overwhelming chaos.

Their chemistry finally culminates into a full-blown romance in No Way Home. While still new and facing obstacles, Peter and MJ’s intellectual rapport and authentic teen dynamic make their pairing feel fresh and full of promise. 

Worst:  Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff (Avengers Films)

Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff’s romance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) left many fans scratching their heads and questioning its authenticity. The usually reserved Natasha suddenly becomes infatuated with Bruce, despite barely interacting with him previously. Their flirtations feel forced and unearned, including cringeworthy moments like Natasha calling herself a “monster” too or randomly kissing Bruce mid-mission. 

Clearly opposites, Natasha the calm assassin, and Bruce the awkward scientist have zero chemistry. Unlike many great MCU pairings that complement each other, Natasha and Bruce highlight the other’s flaws. Perhaps their only connection is both feeling like outsiders, but even that tenuous thread snaps when their affair ends as abruptly as it began. Their entire relationship contrivance was clearly a misstep.  

Best: Captain America and Peggy Carter (Captain America, Avengers: Endgame

Captain America and Peggy Carter’s romance stands out as one of the most well-crafted love stories in the MCU, though the comics achieve their World War II relationship even more poignantly through substantive adventures and quiet moments together. Their deep emotional connection transcends time and circumstance. Despite the challenges of World War II, and Steve Rogers’ transformation into a super-soldier, their unwavering bond remains at the heart of the Captain America storyline.

Peggy’s strength and intelligence complement Steve’s integrity and heroism perfectly, and their palpable chemistry, more fully explored in the comics, is evident on-screen. Their love story unfolds with a genuine sense of longing, sacrifice, and duty, and it leaves a lasting impact on both characters (as well as the audience), even more so in the comics where we see their romance fully bloom. Even after being separated by decades due to Steve’s time-traveling adventures, their reunion in Avengers: Endgame was a heartwarming, emotionally resonant moment.

Worst: Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Hope Van Dyne/Wasp (Ant-Man Films) 

While Scott and Hope brought humor and excitement to the Ant-Man films, the romantic aspect of their relationship felt underdeveloped. After initially distrusting the ex-con Scott, Hope suddenly warms up to him enough for a kiss at the end of the first Ant-Man, but without much foundation. Their dynamic in Ant-Man and the Wasp explores a stilted, on-again-off-again relationship without properly evolving Hope and Scott as a compelling romantic pairing. We get banter and teamwork but little real connection. 

Unlike the MCU’s best couples, Scott and Hope lack relationship-building scenes to make their attraction and affection feel earned. Their romance seems to exist only because the plot dictates they should end up together, not because two characters with chemistry naturally come together. In a universe filled with epic and complex love stories, Scott and Hope’s romance feels like an afterthought, making it one of the more baffling of the MCU’s romantic entanglements.