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Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers: the best of pals in the MCU, and star-crossed, forbidden lovers across every fanfiction piece imaginable. From the quite revealing illustrations alluding to sexual chemistry on Tumblr to the posts on Twitter discussing the bond between the two soldiers, fans have been drawn to their dynamic since the Winter Soldier’s first appearance alongside Captain America.

Captain America actor Chris Evans and Bucky Barnes actor Sebastian Stan
Chris Evan and Sebastian Stan (Captain America and Bucky Barnes) | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

While Marvel Studios makes clear that Rogers is in love with Peggy Carter throughout the series (and especially during Endgame), many fans still insist that an attraction exists. However, the question is: is the attraction strictly platonic? 

The Russo Brothers, in various interviews over the last few months, have discussed Captain America and Bucky Barnes in great detail, often when asked to explain why Falcon was chosen to take Cap’s mantle. While the Russo Brothers do not hint at any unrequited love, they do explain the nature of Bucky and Cap’s “attraction.”

The Russo Brothers talk Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes

Captain America and Bucky Barnes have faced similar hurdles, and have been victims of similar treatment; however, they have wound up in vastly divergent places mentally. Joe Russo, when discussing Rogers and Bucky’s relationship (and why Falcon was chosen as the next Captain America), explained the following to SiriusXM radio:

I think the real attraction between Cap and Bucky is that their relationship — they started more as opposites, and that’s how they complemented each other. Whereas I feel like Sam and Cap are more kindred spirits.


According to Joe Russo, Captain America and Bucky Barnes are a classic case of opposites attract. However, for all of you hoping that the attraction would reach the “next level,” it looks like these two never yearned to exit the friend-zone.  Though great friends, and forever connected to one another through struggle and war, Rogers’ heart always belonged to someone else.

Why people began shipping Bucky and Captain America in the first place

Shipping Bucky and Rogers as a will-they-won’t-they romantic duo goes all the way back to the comics. In the Marvel comics, Steve Rogers often focused on the distress he faced at having lost Bucky, and the uncertainty surrounding his death. Come movie time, the screenwriters and directors capitalized on this narrative arc, bringing the actors very close. 

On-screen and in the comics, Bucky and Cap’s relationship is very tender — supportive touching is common. They are the furthest thing from broey, as their heart-to-heart conversations gear away from stereotypical male friendships when it comes to Tinseltown. 

From affectionate comments like, “Don’t do anything stupid until I get back” faced with the reply,  “How can I? You’re taking all the stupid with you?,” many fans deemed their dynamic simply too cute for friendship, as The Mary Sue explains.

When it comes to Bucky and Steve, viewers didn’t pull the chemistry from thin air, they sensed it materialize in the movies, and ran with it. They sensed the love and compassion, and they took it one step further. Could you blame fans? Look at Stan and Evans. And there you have it, the simplifies origin of their endless shipping.