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26 Times Captain America Was Way Too Wholesome For Modern Times

A hero out of time.

For the majority of his time in the MCU, Steve Rogers – aka Captain America – was a man out of time. A WWII soldier recruited by America to tackle Hitler and the Nazis, Captain America ended up frozen in a block of ice, then thawed in modern time with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) needed him for the Avengers Initiative. Marvel made a lot of jokes and references to Cap being too wholesome, too pure, and too good for our modern age. Here are some of our favorite times Captain America shined with nobility in the various Marvel movies.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap asks Tony to watch his language in the middle of a battle.

They are the polar opposite leaders of the Avengers. Tony Stark is brash, arrogant, and (at times) foul mouthed. Whereas our fearless Captain America is a clean-cut boy scout who sometimes embarrasses himself by asking Tony to mind his language. It’s as wholesome as can be, and we love Cap for it.

(Marvel Studios)
Mid battle, Captain America pauses long enough to properly introduce himself to Thor’s new friend, Groot.

In Captain America’s defense here, not a lot of people outside of the Guardians of the Galaxy understand what “I am Groot” means. So when Cap hears it in Avengers: Infinity War, he assumes it’s an introduction. And he replies in the most wholesome way possible.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap dives on a grenade, to save his fellow military recruits.

Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) complains that wars aren’t won with niceness. They are won with courage, and guts, and instincts. He takes a live grenade and throws it in the middle of a platoon. While all of the heroes scatter, Rogers jumps on it. It was a test. He passed.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap moves Mjolnir a centimeter, shocking Thor by proving he’s worthy.

Only the worthy can wield Mjolnir. So the Avengers are told. While hanging around the Tower one night, they all give it a go to see if they can lift Thor’s hammer. Only one manages to move it a smidge… the honorable and wholesome Steve Rogers, a human god.

(Marvel Studios)
Eventually, in one of the MCU’s greatest payoffs, Captain America wields Mjolnir against Thanos.

What was set up in Avengers: Age of Ultron pays off in Avengers: Endgame. Thanos has the upper hand on Thor, and someone summons the hammer of the gods. Only, it’s Captain America, proving to the MCU that he’s been worthy enough this entire time. If you watched this movie in a crowded theater, there’s an excellent chance everyone around you roared at this moment.

(Marvel Studios)
“There’s only one God, ma’am. And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”

In the original Avengers movie, Steve Rogers was still figuring out a lot of things. He went into the ice in 1945, and woke up to a world filled with tech billionaires, government spy agencies, and gods. As he reminds Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), though, his idea of God doesn’t wear a cape and wield a hammer.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap politely gives his adversaries time to “get out” of the elevator before he takes down the entire strike force.

Easily one of the best Captain America scenes in the MCU. Cap is stuck in an elevator with a gaggle of heavy hitters – led by Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) – all tasked with taking him out. Before the melee begins, Captain America gives each man a chance to exit, and avoid a beating. What a gentleman.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap tells Loki about the last time he was in Germany.

Cap doesn’t lean too heavily on the fact that he’s a real American hero. He leads by example, and tries his best to choose the upstanding path. So when he stands before Loki (Tom Hiddleston), he reminds him that the last time he was in Germany, he faced a similar dictator and didn’t agree with him, so we stand up and take notice.

(Marvel Studios)
Though clearly defeated at the hands of Thanos and his massive army, Steve tightens the buckle on what is left of his shield and prepares for battle… only to get rescued by the complete Marvel universe.

This is the quintessential component of Captain America, the attitude that makes him the wholesome hero we adore in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If there’s evil to the vanquished, he won’t quit. As he has been saying from the very beginning, he can do this all day… no matter how stacked the odds are against him. Thankfully, in Avengers: Endgame, the portals opened and brought Steve all sorts of reinforcements.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap keeps a list of things he missed out on, including, 'Disco.'

When Cap meets Sam Wilson in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they hit it off. They are men of service, soldiers who are loyal to the cause. And Sam wants to help Steve catch up on all of the cool things he missed since being in the ice… including Star Wars, and disco.

(Marvel Studios)
Steve tries to line up with the soldier’s reflection, is too short.

Since the very beginning, Steve Rogers has been characterized by two things: his unfailing patriotism, and; his underdog status. When the MCU stops to remind us of either of them, it usually hits a nerve. Our hearts collectively break when the young man who dreams of serving his country tries to see himself in the reflection of a soldier’s uniform, only to realize he’s too short. For now.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap understands that reference.

Steve Rogers is a man out of time. In The Avengers, he’s really lost most of the time, as Science Bros. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner swap theories, and Thor battles a Hulk. But when Nick Fury jokes about “personal flying monkeys,” it’s a Wizard of Oz reference that’s directly from Steve Rogers’ time. He gets it! And he’s so wholesome as he lets the team know he understood that one.

(Marvel Studios)
Steve has to admit to Rocket that, no, the soldier who has been frozen in a block of ice for decades has not been to space before.

There are a lot of things Steve Rogers does when he wakes up from the ice block he never could have expected. Going to space has to rank pretty high. We’re reminded just how out of time Steve is when Rocket asks which Avengers have never been to space, and Rogers raises his hand like a fourth grader.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap can’t lie, even when it’s telling his friend Tony Stark the worst possible truth.

There is a dark secret at the heart of Captain America: Civil War. Bucky, who Cap has spent the whole movie defending, killed Tony Stark’s parents. He was the Winter Soldier at the time, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Tony finds out, and asks Steve if he knew this whole time. Cap can’t lie. He tells Tony that he did know. The team officially divides, and doesn’t mend again until Avengers: Endgame.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap listens to Wanda and Vision arguing about destroying the Mind Stone, and laments all that he has had to sacrifice.

Captain America frequently acts as the moral compass for the Avengers. Sometimes that puts him at odds with his government. And sometimes it puts him at odds with his teammates. When he listens to lovers Vision and Wanda argue about destroying the Mind Stone, Cap intervenes. “We don’t trade lives.” Eventually, though, they will have to.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap hears about his new uniform, and fears that the Stars and Stripes might be a little old fashion.

Throughout The Avengers, Cap is trying to get his feet underneath him. He argues to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) that he missed a lot, but he’s not ready to explore the new world just yet. Sop when Agent Coulson tells him about his new uniform, Captain America fears it might be too on the nose. But Coulson swears that these days, that might be what people need.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap does what he feels is the right thing, opposes Tony Stark and the Sokovia Accords.

This is one of those times when Captain America takes the more difficult path, because he adheres to his personal belief system. He doesn’t think heroes should have to register themselves to the U.S. government. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) disagree. It’s a wedge that tears the team apart for longer than they needed to be.

(Marvel Studios)
Steve pauses mid fight to tell Spider-Man he has heart, asks him where he’s from.

It’s a great joke that I heard following Captain America: Civil War. How do you know the film is realistic? Because Peter (Tom Holland) and Steve can’t get through their fight without bragging about where in New York they are from. The Avengers know their fighting for the right reasons, so Cap doesn’t want to destroy Spidey. When he tells him he has heart, it’s a sweet mentor moment that makes their first fight memorable.

(Marvel Studios)
While fighting himself during a time travel mission, Cap pulls his punches, and eventually subdues himself by saying that Bucky, their collective best friend, is still alive.

Who would win in a fight between Captain America and Captain America? We may never know, because without wanting to physically injure… himself (?), Cap distracts himself by telling himself that Bucky is still alive. It’s a compassionate way to end a battle, a wholesome solution to a complicated situation.

(Marvel Studios)
Steve tells Nick Fury he had a date.

Terrific last line. As Steve Rogers was dive bombing into the ice, sacrificing himself to save thousands, he made a date with his life-long love, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). When he wakes up in the future, he realizes he missed it. Temporarily.

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Steve travels through time to finally keep that date!

Terrific ending for Steve and Peggy. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, we see that Cap returned all of the Infinity Stones to their locations, but then stayed in the past so he could live out his existence with Peggy. The sweetest resolution for the MCU’s sweetest couple.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap refuses to fight Bucky on the exploding SHIELD carrier, because it’s his best friend.

There are so many times that Cap could have made his life easier if he just took Bucky (Sebastian Stan) out. But Captain America viewed Bucky as a brother, even when he was under the influence of Hydra, and operating as The Winter Soldier. So it’s noble when Steve drops his shield and refuses to fight Buck anymore. And he pays the price for that decision.

(Marvel Studios)
Steve turns a trash can lid into a shield, tells a bully he 'can do this all day.'

It’s the origin moment for Steve Rogers, the visualization that he can one day become Captain America. He doesn’t know it at the time. He’s just trying to get into the military, and stand up to a bully. He can do this all day. Once he’s enhanced, it will become even easier.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap leads a support group for Snap survivors.

Following Thanos’s Snap, half of the world’s population is gone. The remaining members of the Avengers help however they can. And it’s no surprise that, for Steve Rogers, that means lending an ear – and whatever advice he can muster – as the leader of a survivor’s support group. It’s the noble, wholesome, and quietly human side of Steve shining through.

(Marvel Studios)
Cap agrees to sign Agent Phil Coulson’s “near mint” vintage trading cards.

Steve will always be a hero. He was the stuff of legend, and Agent Coulson hovers around him like a fanboy. Because Cap is so wholesome, he caters to Coulson’s fanboy needs, and even agrees to sign his “near mint” trading cards. They will become very important to the formation of the Avengers team by the end of that movie.

(Marvel Studios)
Steve whispers to the museum kid, asks him to maintain his secret identity.

This is exactly how the wholesome Steve Rogers would handle this situation. He’s on the run from his corrupt government, and sneaking around the Smithsonian exhibit based on his life. He gets spotted by, of all people, a young kid. And Steve just asks the kid to keep quiet, and keep his secret. Aye aye, Captain.

(Marvel Studios)

Captain America remains the most wholesome hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.