40 Best Marvel Cinematic Universe Moments of 2021

By Julia Delbel Posted:
MCU best scenes moments

Marvel Studios had quite the year in 2021, with nine projects released overall and new content premiering nearly every month. The studio released a record number of movies at four, including Black WidowShang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten RingsEternals, and Spider-Man: Far From Home, the latter of which quickly became the most financially successful film of the pandemic thus far.

Not only that, but Marvel Studios also debuted its first five Disney+ original series: WandaVisionThe Falcon and the Winter Soldier, LokiWhat If...?, and Hawkeye.

Here are 40 of the best moments that came from Marvel Studios in 2021.

WandaVision: “No”

WandaVision No

It was already clear something wasn't quite right in Westview, but Wanda sent chills down spines across the world when she uttered a single word and rewound time, changing the narrative to fit her own perfect life scenario.

WandaVision: Monica's Return in The Blip

Avengers: Endgame doesn't show anyone returning from The Blip, which is why it was so chilling to see Monica Rambeau come back into existence in WandaVision's fourth episode...only to learn her mother, who she had just learned was recovering from cancer, died of the disease in the interim.

WandaVision: Wanda Steps Out of the Hex

WandaVision Leaves Hex

Perhaps the scariest moment of all in WandaVision was the moment when Wanda stepped out of the Hex in full superhero garb, ready to threaten SWORD as she threw their drone right back at them.

WandaVision: Wanda Rolls Credits & Pietro Returns

In what was the best example of WandaVision's ability to weave sitcom tropes into its superhero story, Wanda literally rolled the credits on Vision to end his confrontation about her control of Westview, though that wasn't enough to prevent an explosive argument between the two in the living room.

Soon after, Evan Peters made his grand return to Marvel by showing up at the door, causing fans to ask the same question as Darcy Lewis, "[Wanda] recast Pietro?"

WandaVision: "Agatha All Along"

WandaVision Agatha All Along

To tie the reveal of Agatha Harkness to the sitcom theme of WandaVision, it came in the form of a song inspired by the theme song for The Munsters and ended up becoming a hit in its own right.

WandaVision: Ship of Theseus

It was only natural that a battle between two Visions was resolved via a philosophical discussion, concluding in the relenting of one (and later, the dissolving of the other).

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Helicopter Fight

Falcon and Winter Soldier Helicopter Fight

The helicopter fight at the beginning of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's first episode was a great way to start the series off with some high energy and allow the audience to see what Sam Wilson was up to after the events of Avengers: Endgame.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Highway Fight

The second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier saw a fast-paced highway battle between Sam and Bucky, the Flag Smashers, and John Walker and Lamar Hoskins. It set up the main conflict of the series and saw the new Captain America in action for the first time.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Bucky in Wakanda

Falcon and Winter Soldier Bucky Wakanda

One of the most emotional Marvel moments of 2021 came in the form of a flashback to Bucky's time in Wakanda. Viewers got to witness the moment when he realized he was finally free from the infamous Winter Soldier trigger words, and the huge level of relief and weight off of his chest was evident.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: John Walker vs the Dora Milaje

The juxtaposition of the American vs. Wakandan fighting styles was on full display in this wild fight in Zemo's apartment, and the removal of Bucky's Wakandan-made vibranium arm was a gut-punch.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: John Walker Kills a Flag Smasher

John Walker MCU

The darkest moment of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is unquestionably when, after Lamar Hoskins is killed, John Walker beats a Flag Smasher to death with the Captain America shield in broad daylight for the world to see.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Sam's Finale Speech

After everything he has learned over the course of the series, particularly from Isaiah Bradley and Karli Morganthau, Sam makes an iconic speech that is broadcast live across the world and proves why he is the perfect choice for the next Captain America.

Loki: Loki's Breakdown

Loki crying

Loki allowed viewers to see a whole bunch of new sides to the notorious God of Mischief, starting with this breakdown in which he admits the pain he has caused others is an act "conjured by the weak to inspire fear."

Loki: Mobius Admits Loki Was Right About the TVA

In a turning of the tables, Episode 4 of Loki sees Mobius as the one whose reality is crashing down around him, leading to a heartwarming scene where he admits Loki was right about the TVA from the beginning and that he can be whoever he wants to be, "even someone good."

Of course, this turns to heartbreaking just seconds later, when the two are confronted by Ravonna Renslayer and some TVA hunters who prune Mobius right in front of Loki.

Loki: Battle in the Timekeepers Room

Loki timekeeper fight

It was Loki and Sylvie vs Ravonna and the TVA hunters at the end of Loki Episode 4, culminating in the reveal that the notorious Time-Keepers were nothing but robots all along, and there was still a big bad out there to find.

Loki: Loki Variants vs Alioth

It took the combined powers of Loki, Sylvie, and Classic Loki to take down Alioth in the Void, but they managed to do it, and Classic Loki finally found his "glorious purpose" in doing so.

Loki: Sylvie Betrays Loki & Kills He Who Remains

Loki He Who Remains

Sylvie finally managed to successfully complete her goal of killing the one who took away her entire world as a child, but in doing so, she had to abandon Loki and may have created a new Multiversal War.

Loki: Statue of Kang in the TVA

At the end of the first season of his series, Loki comes to the horrifying realization that the TVA Sylvie has sent him back to is not the one he knows, culminating in a shot of a statue of Kang in place of one of the Time-Keepers which had been seen throughout the season.

Black Widow: Red Guardian & Yelena's Heart-to-Heart

Yelena Red Guardian

At its core, Black Widow is a family drama, and nothing embodied that more than this touching scene between the Red Guardian and Yelena in which they talked through their feelings and sang "American Pie," just like they used to do when the latter was a little girl.

Black Widow: Post-Credits Scene

This post-credits scene not only showed Yelena at Natasha's grave with the dog she always wanted but previewed Hawkeye with the return of Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine to set her up for her next mission: killing Clint Barton.

What If...?: End of Episode 2 in Wakanda

What If Wakanda

The T'Challa Star-Lord episode of What If...? was one of the best ways the show gave fans the opportunity to see different versions of characters interact together, especially during this end scene of T'Challa back in Wakanda along with all the friends he made on his adventures in space.

What If...?: The Watcher Interferes

The Doctor Strange-centric installment of What If...? marked a turning point for the series, as The Watcher interfered with the events he is observing for the first - but not the last - time.

What If...?: Vision Protects Zombie Wanda

What If Vision Wanda

WandaVision showed how desperate Wanda was to keep Vision around, but the Marvel Zombies-inspired episode of What If...? proved that Vision is just as far gone for Wanda, going to such lengths as capturing people to feed her in order to keep her alive as a zombie.

What If...?: Party Thor's Shocking Ending

The Party Thor episode of What If...? was a fun time, but the tone took a sudden shift at the end when even The Watcher was surprised to see an Ultron Variant who not only had Vision's face but all six Infinity Stones.

What If...?: Natasha Finds a New Place to Belong

What If Natasha ending

The Natasha Romanoff who was left all alone in her universe during What If...?'s eighth episode got a new lease on life thanks to being given the chance to become part of the Avengers team that was left desperately needing members after five of the original six were killed before they could fight Loki in Episode 3.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Bus Fight

While Shang-Chi is all about magic, the bus fight at the beginning of the movie is just a straight-up cool action scene without all the fancy bells and whistles.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Abomination vs Wong

Abomination Wong

The Incredible Hulk doesn't tend to be referenced all that often by Marvel Studios, which is why it was surprising to see the return of Abomination. Even more surprising was seeing his face-off with Wong in an underground fight club.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: Final Battle

The last battle between Shang-Chi and Wenwu was both epic and emotional, as Wenwu learned his lesson about trying to bring back his late wife and Shang-Chi took control of the Ten Rings.

Eternals: Ikaris' True Intentions Revealed


The reveal of Ikaris' true plan in Eternals stung both the characters and audience members, especially the revelation that he was the one who killed Ajak.

Eternals: Eternals Stop Celestial Birth

Several of the Eternals worked together and managed to prevent the Celestial growing within Earth from being born, thus saving the planet from destruction. This means that there is now a giant Celestial hand reaching out of the ocean, which made for a beautiful shot in the movie but is sure to complicate matters in the MCU itself.

Eternals: Black Knight Post-Credits Reveal

Eternals Black Knight

Dane Whitman didn't get a lot of screen time in Eternals, but the post-credits scene was all about him being Black Knight, with the voice of Mahershala Ali's Blade thrown in for good measure.

Hawkeye: Opening 2012 Sequence

It's fun to see the perspective of different characters when it comes to various iconic moments in the MCU, and at the beginning of Hawkeye, fans got to witness Kate Bishop's reaction to the Battle of New York as well as the moment Hawkeye became her personal hero.

Hawkeye: Car Chase With Trick Arrows Fight

Hawkeye car scene

The third episode of Hawkeye contained an epic warehouse fight that soon turned into a high-speed car chase featuring tons of cool trick arrows.

Hawkeye: Clint’s Call With Nathaniel

Hawkeye dealt with Clint's hearing loss a few times throughout the show, but the most memorable was his call with Nathaniel when his hearing aid was broken, leading Kate to translate his son's words for him so he could respond accordingly.

Hawkeye: Yelena's Disappearance & Return in The Blip

Yelena Blip

MCU fans had seen people disappear and return from The Blip, but it wasn't until Episode 5 of Hawkeye that the whole experience from the point of view of one of the snapped was unveiled. What resulted was a truly eerie scene, punctuated by Yelena's desperation to let Natasha - who, unbeknownst to her, had died - know she was okay once she returned from the Blip.

Hawkeye: Clint Tells Yelena the Truth

Yelena was out to kill Clint throughout her time on Hawkeye, but finally relented - and broke down - when he managed to get her to listen to him as he revealed what really happened to Natasha.

Spider-Man: No Way Home: Spider-Man vs Doctor Strange in the Mirror Dimension

Doctor Strange Spider-Man

Spider-Man and Doctor Strange went head-to-head in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and while it was fascinating to see Peter in the Mirror Dimension, the best part just might have been him using geometry to get out of it.

Spider-Man: No Way Home: Andrew & Tobey Step Through the Portals

Just as all hope felt lost after Aunt May's death, Ned managed to pull not one but two Peter Parker Variants through portals to help out. Of course, this meant the return of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire's iterations of Spider-Man to the delight of fans around the world.

Spider-Man: No Way Home: Spider-Men Swinging Together

Maguire Garfield Holland

For Spider-Man fans, seeing all three live-action iterations of the character swinging around and doing battle together was definitely one of the biggest highlights of 2021.

Spider-Man: No Way Home: Andrew Garfield's Peter Saves Zendaya's MJ

In a callback to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker finally manages to save a woman as she's falling dozens of stories down to her death. This was an emotional moment not only for this Peter but for those who followed his journey throughout his franchise and now the MCU.

Prepare for the MCU's 2022

2022 MCU movies

All in all, it's safe to say that the MCU outdid itself in 2021. Now, it's only a matter of time to see how many memorable make the list this time next year when Marvel Studios attempts to outshine itself in 2022. 

Release Date
September 03, 2021
- About The Author: Julia Delbel
Julia Delbel joined The Direct when the website launched in 2020. She is primarily a features writer for the Marvel section of the site, though she has also dabbled in the DC Universe. Besides these, Julia covers other major franchise content, particularly those under the Disney banner.