Top 10 Marvel Moments That Will Make You Cry
Top 10 Marvel Moments That Will Make You Cry

Top 10 Marvel Moments That Will Make You Cry

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Few superhero franchises blend action and emotion as seamlessly as the MCU. For this list, we'll be going over the moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that are the most likely to elicit tears. Our countdown includes Groot's Sacrifice, Killmonger's Death, Scott Lang's return, and more!

Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 10 Marvel Moments That Will Make You Cry

Crying is inevitable! Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 MCU moments that will make you cry.

For this list, we’ll be going over the moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that are the most likely to elicit tears. They aren’t necessarily sad moments, though most of them will be. Also, there will be a LOT of spoilers ahead.

#10: Scott Returns

“Avengers: Endgame” (2019)

Following the events of “Avengers: Infinity War,” the world undergoes a massive change – after all, half of humanity is just gone! While “Endgame” features several scenes in this bleak new world, the one that hits home the most happens after Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man, returns from the Quantum Realm. Seeing him walk through the devastated and somber streets is rough, as is him seeing his own name on a list of the dead, but what really gets the waterworks going is when he reunites with his daughter Cassie, now five years older than when he left. Some of the tears are happy, but we can imagine how devastating it must be for him to overnight have lost so many years with his daughter.

#9: Howard’s Message to Tony

“Iron Man 2” (2010)

It was hardly surprising to anyone that the hard-drinking, womanizing Tony Stark had issues with his similar father, Howard. The elder Stark had difficulty expressing his emotions to his son, to the point where Tony doubts his own father’s love for him. However, an old film reel gives Tony another look at his dad. While looking into Howard’s research, Tony watches an old outtakes reel of Howard displaying a model. At the reel’s end, Howard speaks directly to Tony, telling his son that he’s left a message in the model for him to discover, since he’s limited by the technology of his time, and that of all his inventions, Tony is his greatest. While it isn’t quite “I love you,” it still has us tearing up, especially in light of…

#8: Tony’s Last Moments with His Parents

“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

As we’ve seen, Tony Stark did not have the best relationship with his father. This distant and complicated dynamic was further complicated by the fact that both his father and mother died fairly young, when Tony was 21. At the beginning of this film, we see a holographic recreation of Tony’s final moments with them, and how he and his father argue. Although Tony is able to alter the memory to say how he really feels to his dad in the recording, he never got that chance in real life…at least not then. This moment is made even more heartbreaking by the revelation of what happened to them later on in the movie.

#7: Killmonger’s Death

“Black Panther” (2018)

Erik Killmonger is a complex villain. While the assassin turned challenger to the throne of Wakanda may be utterly ruthless and power hungry, his goal to free oppressed people of African descent is an admirable one. So when Killmonger is defeated in battle and heavily wounded, we’re still pretty sad that he chooses to die rather than live in imprisonment. Despite their different outlooks, it’s encouraging to see he and T’Challa enjoy the sunset together, as well as the fact that T’Challa took Killmonger’s message, if not his methods, to heart.

#6: Steve & Peggy’s Dance

“Avengers: Endgame” (2019)

Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter have to be one of the most star-crossed couples in the MCU! Following their heartbreaking separation (more on that later!), Steve returns many years later, only for Peggy not to even recognize him, due to old age, and she then passes away. As tragic as that is, what made us cry more is when they finally got their second chance! At the end of “Endgame,” we see that after Cap traveled back in time to restore all the Infinity Stones, he remained there, as Bucky and Sam meet an elderly version of him. The film’s closing moments reveal that Steve finally got that long-awaited dance with Peggy. It was certainly worth the wait and had us crying tears of joy.

#5: Yondu’s Death

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017)

Peter Quill didn’t exactly have the most traditional upbringing. Kidnapped by the Ravagers with the intent to deliver him to his Celestial father, Ego, Yondu decided to raise Quill as his own once he found out Ego was killing his offspring. After Quill and the Guardians succeed in killing Ego, with the planet collapsing around them, Yondu manages to rescue Quill, but with only one rocket pack and one air shield, he gives the air to Quill; sacrificing his own life for his adopted son, and proving to be a far-from-perfect, though still worthy daddy after all. Even Rocket manages to get choked up at his funeral, and we’re crying right along with him.

#4: Steve Goes In

“Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)

Captain America’s first time saving the world, or at least his country, occurs back in 1945. With Red Skull flying a plane full of deadly weapons towards the USA, Cap manages to board it and battle his foe. Although Red Skull is neutralized, the plane isn’t safe to land, so Steve decides to crash it in the water. His last conversation with Peggy Carter over the radio as they make plans for a date they both know will not happen is absolutely heartbreaking. We’ve already discussed Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter’s ill-fated romance, but this moment, when it seems to end before it begins, still makes us tear up the most.

#3: Groot’s Sacrifice

“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)

The first “Guardians of the Galaxy” film has its share of sad moments – heck, it starts off with the gut punch of watching Peter Quill’s mother die of cancer! But there’s a death that happens later in the film that hits even harder. During the final battle over Xandar, the Guardians find themselves struggling against the villain Ronan, but they manage to damage his ship enough that it crashes – unfortunately with them inside it. To protect his friends from the impact, Groot grows his plant-like limbs to shield them, at the cost of his own life. We never thought a talking tree and raccoon could make us bawl our eyes out, but this movie proved us wrong!

#2: Peter Turns to Dust

“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)

There are a number of sad moments in this massive “Avengers” movie and most of them are because of Thanos. The purple conqueror’s quest to wipe out half of life in the universe is shockingly successful, and with a snap of his fingers, tons of our favorite characters are dissolved into dust. Arguably the most tear-inducing though, is that of Peter Parker. The youngest and most innocent Avenger can feel what’s happening to him, and his panicked pleas to Tony Stark that he doesn’t want to die are absolutely gut-wrenching, for Tony and for the audience.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Frigga’s Death
“Thor: The Dark World” (2013)

Quicksilver Saves Hawkeye
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

Steve & Tony Fight
“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

The Ancient One Dies
“Doctor Strange” (2016)

Zemo’s Backstory
“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

#1: Tony Stark Dies

“Avengers: Endgame” (2019)

The sequel to “Infinity War” raised the emotional stakes to new heights, and the MCU hit “peak sad” with this moment. In the final battle against Thanos, Tony Stark manages to get the Infinity Stones away from Thanos, delivering a snap of his own; while reaffirming his identity. “And I…am…Iron Man!” While he’s able to destroy Thanos and his armies, the strain of using the stones is too much for Tony, and he dies, with Pepper, Peter, and Rhodey bidding him farewell. While the funeral paying tribute to Tony also got us teary eyed, there isn’t a dry eye to be found during the moment of Tony’s death.