10 Things Fans Love About Black Widow And Captain America’s Relationship (And 10 They Don’t)

Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) and Natasha Romanov (aka Black Widow) are two of the founding members of the Avengers, who manage to still be strong members of the team, even without the flashy powers of their allies. And over the course of the MCU, their unlikely friendship has actually grown into one of the most consistent and enjoyable relationships in the entire saga.

But when one looks at their bond more closely, there are lots of little levels to their friendship that go above and beyond what we initially assumed upon seeing on screen. There is more to these two and their relationship than meets the eye. Their relationship is quite complex, and is one of the most important elements of all of the films in the MCU.

In some regards, this bond has proven to be one of the most engaging and true relationships in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, while in others, it’s proven to be a surprisingly mean-spirited and cavalier. Here are 12things we love about the friendship between Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanov, and 12 things we can’t stand about it.

20 Steve And Natasha Both Lost Their Homes

There’s a good deal of empathy between Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanov, despite the obvious conflict coming from their home countries being famed enemies. But while their proclaimed nations of origin might have been established enemies, these two found a real connection, despite all that. Their home nations have been irrevocably changed from how they once knew it (Steve’s America of the early 1940’s, and Natasha’s Russia of the early 1990’s), and they didn’t feel at home, even in the places they’ve been almost rebuilt from the ground up to symbolize.

That feeling of not being able to go home again proves to be a strong connective tissue between the two, and at least gives them both someone to connect with when they might otherwise have no one else who could even understand what they’re going through. Like, that’s a very specific thing to go through, and at least these two have each other to help the other through it. It forms the core of their friendship. They understand each other in an implicit way that no one else on the planet ever would be able to, and it gives them the chance to bond in a way that none of the other Avengers have been able to.

19 Steve And Natasha Are Just Buddies

That’s probably the sweetest thing about their relationship throughout the movies, and something that audiences have really been drawn to about their friendship is that it’s just a pure unadulterated friendship. Most other franchises would have pushed the two together into a romantic relationship, or, at least, teased it out throughout the movies. But instead, the two have managed to bond on a purely platonic level that we love. As a result, their banter is much friendlier and less flirty than the relationship could otherwise be.

The two of them are able to tease each other without ever letting things get out of hand, and both of them just want what’s best for the other.

Just look at Natasha trying to set up Steve on a date. She’s been ribbing on him for the whole movie, but she’s consistently just trying to help him figure out what he wants and how to be happier with life. Their connection is adorable during all the movies they appear together, and with the upcoming Avengers 4 probably being the last appearance of Chris Evans as Captain America, he’s hoping we at least get some scenes of their friendship before the final moments with them.

18 Steve And Natasha Are Comrades In Arms

Among the Avengers, the personalities that bounce off one another tend to come up as part of the drama of the story. It’s why seeing someone like Captain America (a sweet-natured guy from a poor home who has unshakable morals) and Iron Man (a brilliant but snarky jerk who’s spent multiple movies trying to learn how not to be a horrible guy) bouncing off one another in the Avengers movies. Their different worldviews and ideas about life make for compelling drama and force the heroes to grow together and around one another.

But of the original six Avengers, Steve and Natasha probably have one of the most innate, kind connections in the story and a lot of that comes from how similar they are.

Both of them are soldiers who managed to outlast the wars they were groomed to fight in. They both have been to war, but they’ve decided to use those skills to try and protect the world around them. They know this about one another, and they know they can depend on one another in difficult situations. They’re both soldiers, and that connection lets them understand one another in a way the others don’t.

17 Steve And Natasha Push Each Other Up

Just like everyone, Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanov have had difficult times over the last few years. Sure, their difficult times are slightly bigger than what most people end up going through, what with stuff like having to bring down the Hydra conspiracy to bring down the US government from within inside the super-secret agent organization, S.H.I.E.L.D.

There are still plenty of little things that weigh on both of them as people, even within the otherwise absurd world of the Marvel universe around them. And when either of them is being pushed down or brown beat, they do their best to lift the other back up.

These two friends support one another in a really sweet, realistic way. Just look at how, even though the two are already disagreeing about how they’ll respond to the accords that force the events of Civil War, Black Widow still made sure to come to the funeral of Peggy Carter because she knew that Steve was going to need someone to lean on. That hug she gives him is easily one of the nicest moments in almost the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it shows is just how good their bond really is.

16 Steve Keeps Natasha Honest

That’s the thing about Natasha Romanov. She’s been so used to being a pragmatic spy for various organizations (the Soviet Union, then S.H.I.E.L.D., and then even the Avengers to an extent), that it’s not surprising to learn that she has that kind of mindset almost permanently. But then she meets Steve. And Steve Rogers is defined by his refusal to look at things pragmatically. He understands the point people like Nick Fury and Tony Stark are trying to make when they say preemptive justice is the best route. However, that also betrays the morals he knows they have to follow and he absolutely will not allow that to taint him or his actions.

That inspirational aspect of his character rubs off on Natasha, prompting her to ignore her better judgment and trust her morals instead.

It’s why she lets Captain America and Bucky escape the airport during Civil War, despite how she knows she’s going to end up having to go on the run as a result of her actions. Steve makes Natasha bring out her heroic, honest side and that’s just what she needs to try and become a better person after all the terrible things she’s had done to her and to others.

15 Natasha Keeps Steve Going

Seriously, there have been more than a couple times when Steve Rogers has hit a wall. Whether it was discovering S.H.I.E.L.D. was not the organization that he ever knew it to be, his relationship with Tony Stark fraying as a result of their disagreements over the Sokovia Accords, the passing of Peggy Carter, and even having to go on the run from his home country, Steve Rogers has taken about eighteen hundred things straight to emotional core and kept going.

A big part of that is because of the kind of support that Natasha gives him in difficult situations.

She’s a rock that Steve can lean on in difficult times, and has consistently proven to be one of the best friends he’s had since waking up. And unlike Falcon (who is more of a straight up buddy) and Bucky (who’s his childhood best friend), Natasha is the one he has the dramatic conversations with when he’s pushed to the edge of his limits, and reminds him what is in his heart, and why he (and she, and also pretty much everyone else in the world) put so much trust into his impulses and honesty. She’s the one that reminds him why he’s Captain America, and we love that.

14 They Give Each Other A Shoulder To Lean On

One of the most important things about a friendship is how it stands in the face of adversity. It’s easy to be buddies when things are going great, but how does that relationship stand up to more difficult times? That’s when friendship matters the most. And in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, perhaps the strongest of those friendships is the one shared between Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanov. The two of them have had each other’s backs in every situation, even when the whole rest of the world considers them enemies of the state.

Steve has proven to be perhaps the only person she trusts implicitly enough to let get away from justice (taking her good name down with it).

And Steve returns that devotion, making sure to bring her along for every team he ends up creating over the course of the movies. It forms the basis of a very sweet relationship that has seen the two go to the ends of the earth to back up the other. Seriously, if a friendship can survive attacks upon hundreds of thousands of people AND that time they were fighting against one another at an airport, then you know it can handle almost anything.

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13 They Just Want The Other To Be Happy

Seriously, this might be the best response to people who try to argue that this pair should hook up and nothing more. It would be easy to assume these two very beautiful people would get together at the end of the movie, but that would defeat a lot of the purpose of their relationship. No, their friendship is an inherently more important thing to the both of them. And as a part of that friendship, they try to push each other into happiness with other people.

A running gag throughout Captain America: Winter Soldier is Natasha trying to think of someone at S.H.I.E.L.D. that might be a good date for Steve. The two kiss during the movie (as part of their cover to escape HYDRA) but it’s not treated as some epiphany. Instead, it’s just them teasing each other about it on the drive away. Natasha doesn’t want to be with him, she just wants him to be happy.

The same goes for Steve, who sees how Natasha is with Bruce Banner in Avengers: Age of Ultron and immediately is on board with it. He’s so happy! And he makes sure to tell Bruce that she really likes him because he just wants his buddies to find the right relationship. Trying to set up your friend is such a common practice in real life, but it’s nice to see that element of a friendship brought to the usually otherwise insane world of the Marvel Universe.

12 Neither Of Them Has A Family To Go To

Much like how neither of these heroes really have a home to go to, both Natasha and Steve don’t have the familial connections that most people are able to rely on. And it’s not just the time skip that Steve suffered through or the fact that Natasha can’t ever really go back to Russia that took away their families. Even before he received his abilities, Steve was almost completely alone in the world. His parents were dead, and Bucky was all he had left (which goes a long way to explain his devotion to Bucky in the present day).

Likewise, Natasha didn’t have parents or siblings to rely on while she was being conditioned into the Black Widow by the Red Room, as revealed by this deleted scene from Civil War. And while Bucky has proven to be an invaluable part of his life, Steve didn’t have him when he was first thawed. Instead, he had the other members of the Avengers.

It’s no coincidence that he and Natasha seemed drawn to one another personality wise. While they may annoy one another at times, they also proved to be a very good team. In a world where neither of them had anyone, they became a surrogate brother and sister to the other, making for one of the best friendships in action film history.

11 They’re Both Heroes At Heart

With many of our best friends, there’s an implicit connection in our hearts and minds. They’re usually the only people who seem to completely understand how we act and think and feel. And that goes for the fictional friendships too. Many of the best ones are about these seemingly different people finding real common ground, and connecting over it. And Steve and Natasha might seem very different on the outside (what with the whole “good ol’ American New Yorker with a heart of gold” and “aloof and sultry Russian ex-spy), they are incredibly similar.

We’ve gone over a lot of those connections already, but the one at the very core of their being that we appreciate the most is how they are both heroes, through and through. They jump at the chance to be Avengers, not because they want the fame or they want to make up for past mistakes, but because they both just want to do good by the world.

They’re both throwing themselves at danger with no real powers and going against alien armadas on the regular to protect just a few people, and they’ll never stop doing that. They are both heroes, and that bonds them together more than anything else. They can count on each other to do the right thing, and that kind of trust is so good you guys. It’s so good.

10 Steve And Natasha Keep Secrets From One Another Constantly

So, for a pair of otherwise close friends, these two sure do seem to keep secrets from one another. Like, a lot. Natasha especially doesn’t keep Steve in the loop about all her choices and actions, which has even jeopardized their lives before while they have been on a mission together. When you’re attacking a ship full of armed soldiers, Nat, you should probably keep the super soldier informed of the full plan so you guys don’t get grenades lobbed at you.

But Steve isn’t exactly innocent of this either, keeping his plans in Civil War a secret from her and straight breaking promises to keep things from getting out of hand. While they are loyal to one another, they aren’t afraid to throw the other under the bus for others (like Nick Fury for Natasha, or Bucky for Steve). The two always forgive one another for it and that’s a nice indicator of how much they like one another, but these actions all add up. And it shows that while the two may be bonded, they also don’t completely trust one another like one would hope they would. And one of these days, that inability to distrust the other is going to come back to bite them.

9 Steve And Natasha Encourage Each Other’s Worse Impulses

Seriously! These two are supposed to be straight up heroes, right? But despite that, they end up doing some morally questionable things over the years. And it’s usually because the two end up encouraging the other to follow their worst impulses. Natasha is supposed to be trying to make up for her time as an agent of the Red Room by becoming a more straightforward hero. But Steve ends up encouraging her to be more overt in her anger and annoyance with authority.

It’s probably the right thing to do, sure, but it also erases a lot of the work she’s done to be more accepted by the rest of the American government and their extensions. Likewise, Steve ends up learning a lot of lessons from Natasha. Primarily, he learns just how easy it is to just tell authority to go away and leave him alone, which is a good part of the reason why the Avengers end up losing their government connections and have to go on the run. And, yeah, it makes things a bit more difficult for our heroes in the long run, especially in Infinity War when the Wakandan army could have used some real backup against Thanos and his forces.

8 Natasha Liking Steve So Much Clouds Her Judgement

Natasha was raised as a pragmatic secret agent and was taught how to contend with any problem with a well-placed knife in the back or whisper in the ear. By all accounts, she might be the smartest member of the Avengers, at least, in terms of getting whatever mission they’re on done with. It’s a worthwhile ability in a difficult world, especially when the rest of the team is more blatantly going to stick to the obvious good guy mission.

Her friendship with Steve has kept her from following those impulses, even when it could probably save the day.

The influence that Steve has had on Natasha has led her to abandon her impulses and do the “right thing.” And sure, a lot of the time it is the right thing to do. But it also means she isn’t able to finish the mission the way she intends to and gets people killed along the way for her trouble. Her actions have landed other heroes in prison, and even gotten her kicked out of the country. Her well-meaning reluctance to do what she needs to do even directly leads to the end of the Steve Rogers/Tony Stark friendship in Civil War, which we’ll get more into in a moment.

7 Natasha Pushes All His Buttons On Purpose

Natasha is a bit of a troll if we’re being completely honest about her character. It’s a long-standing aspect of her character, being a consistent attribute since her first appearance in Iron Man 2. But unlike pretty much everyone else (who get made fun of by the spy), she seems to take particular fun in egging Steve on. There are times when that seems like a nice touch of their relationship, sure. But there are plenty of times where she maybe overstepped boundaries and openly mocked him in times of crisis.

While Steve can take a joke most of the time, there have been times where that trolling has not been what he needed to hear.

Look at Avengers: Age of Ultron. While hiding at (ugh) Hawkeyes’ farm, the team is discussing their predicament. But Natasha keeps needling Steve, which pushes an already furious Steve to angrily remind reprimand her. There have been plenty of moments where Natasha has gone out of her way to anger him and annoy him for a laugh, and look. When a robot hellbent on destroying humanity that was created by your friends goes all out and forces you into hiding, it’s probably not the best time to be mocking your leader while he’s that stressed.

6 Natasha Is Crazy Manipulative

It comes with the territory of being a super spy we imagine, but it’s kind of less becoming in a genuine friendship when one half of the partnership has gone out of their way to manipulate the other with an objective. But that’s Natasha, trying to push and point Steve in the direction she thinks he needs to go. She pushes him into fights that he might otherwise not need to take part in, especially when S.H.I.E.L.D. was still a major force in both of their lives.

While her attempts to find him a date can be seen as incredibly well-meaning, she’s still trying to force someone who has expressed that he’s just not ready for a relationship into one before he feels ready to get back into the dating pool.

She tries to keep the heroes from getting out of hand but has a tendency to try and make even the rest of the team try to follow her very specific outlook on how they should act and what they should do. She turns them against one another or tries to influence them whenever she wants them too, regardless of how they actually feel about any given situation. And Natasha, that is not what a friend does.

5 Steve Holds Her To A Ridiculous Standard

Steve Rogers is sort of the perfect guy. He’s the one guy you’d want to be king, precisely because he would never want to be king. But here’s the thing about literally everyone else in the world— we’re not that good. But Steve still holds people up to his standard, especially Natasha. He regularly judges her for being a spy (you know, doing her job), and has given her plenty of lectures about why her actions need to be redeemed.

And it’s clear that the judgment has had an impact on her and her outlook, as it corresponds with a decrease in her pragmatic decisions and a noted rise in her tendency to do the right (i.e. short-sighted) thing. Steve shouldn’t be trying to force her to adhere to his ideas but that thought never occurs to him. He’s too busy being perfect and expecting everyone else on the planet to follow through on that same level of credibility. We should all try to aspire to be like Steve Rogers, but it should be our choice. We shouldn’t have to get guilt-tripped into being a hero, which is how it seems sometimes with the way Steve reprimands her about being a spy instead of being a straight-up hero.

4 Steve Endangers Her Constantly Because Of Bucky

This applies to pretty much every other member of the Avengers as well, and by extension the entire planet that these heroes have to try and work together to save. But Natasha specifically has had to deal with the repercussions of Bucky more than almost any other character. Seriously, she has gotten messed UP helping Steve try to save his old buddy, and not just once. Steve’s mission to save Bucky has gotten Natasha shot, electrocuted, slammed through a wall, straight beat up by her friends, and magic-ed into a wall.

She’s even ended up on the run from the law because of her association with Steve and, by extension, Bucky, and all because of her loyalty to her friend who keeps reminding her how less than nice she’s been to others.

It’s not an ideal situation, to be sure. And you’ve got to think that it hurts her hearing how Steve is perfectly willing to risk her life just for the chance to bring back his brainwashed friend from the 1940’s. That’s got to sting, especially when you consider just how much Steve means to Natasha and how much it must annoy her to see him risking her for even just the chance to save another buddy.

3 It’s Kept Us From Getting More Of The Hawkeye/Black Widow Dynamic

It’s been hinted at in various movies, but we’ve never really gotten a good exploration of the relationship between Hawkeye and Black Widow. It’s strong enough that Natasha was willing to just straight drop her otherwise important mission so she could head back to America to try and save him. It’s been established that he saved her from her life as a killer spy, and he’s even gone so far to name his third child in honor to her.

These two and their friendship are fascinating, and something worth exploring. And nope! We haven’t gotten almost anything about them and their connection beyond some brief scenes of conversation and a few moments of levity in times of crisis. Instead, the films have spent more time focusing instead on the friendship between Steve and Natasha, even at times where they don’t seem to even care for one another all that much.

We’re not saying we dislike the friendship between Steve and Natasha, we just wish there was room to see how she and Clint became so close, or for a better exploration of their friendship than “they are close buddies, trust us on this.” With talks of an upcoming Black Widow prequel coming down the pipeline for phase four, here’s hoping we get that.

2 They Keep Making Things Tough For Everyone Else

So, remember when we mentioned how Black Widow is sort of directly responsible for Steve Rogers and Tony Stark going head to head in Civil War? Well, here’s the thing. That fight escalates to the point that it does because Iron Man finds out that a brainwashed Bucky was responsible for the deaths of his parents. It’s something that Steve learned during the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier, during his meeting with his old (and now computerized) enemy Armin Zola.

He didn’t tell anyone else, which in retrospect was a bad move on his part. But you know who else was in the room with Steve when he found that out? Natasha!

Who probably could and should have given Tony a quick call to inform him that his parents were targeted and taken out by HYDRA. They are all supposed to be friends after all, and the pragmatic Natasha should have seen the potential problems that could come about by Tony not knowing that info. Instead, she keeps it a secret alongside Steve, and as a result, the Avengers end up going to war with one another. And the final nail in that coffin is the revelation in the heat of the moment to Tony. Not great, you guys. Not great.

1 For The Shippers: They Just Don’t Get Together

For those who don’t know, the term “shipping” stands for when fans of a series argue in favor of their chosen characters beginning a romantic relationship. If you watch say, Harry Potter, and you wanted Harry and Hermione to end up in a relationship together by the end of the story, then you are considered a Harry/Hermione shipper. And while we may not be the biggest fans of the idea, we’ll make this case for all the people who do ship Steve and Natasha, because there has been so much stuff set up for them to hook up, and they never do.

In the comics, the two have been an item in the past, and there have been plenty of flirty moments between the two. It could even account for her teasing nature but her desire to live up to his ideals.

And it could go a long way to explaining how she’s able to help him relax and just hang out. But there’s never been any real hint of their relationship ever advancing past that point, despite the fact that they have way more chemistry together than Steve has had with anyone not named Peggy Carter. And for Steve/Natasha shippers, that aspect of their relationship is just infuriating.

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