Though the MCU is famous for its action and spectacle, the relationships at its center are extremely important as well. Whether its romantic or family relationships, the heroes of this universe are defined by the people in their lives. And those relationships aren't always healthy.
These toxic relationships are not necessarily doomed or misguided, but they have had some rough patches that needed to be dealt with. Some managed to recover, others are still trying to recover and some just had to end. Here are the most toxic relationships in the MCU.
10 Rocket And Groot
Rocket and Groot are introduced as partners in crime. They seem to be a great match as Rocket is the fiery brains of the duo and Groot is the kinder muscle. However, as perfect a team as they seem, it's very clear early on that there is an unhealthy dynamic between these two.
Rocket is always insulting Groot and calling him dumb. Groot honestly isn't the brightest creature in the universe and doesn't seem to mind the put-downs, but that doesn't make it right. When Groot sacrifices himself to save Rocket and the others, Rocket finally feels guilty for the way he treated him.
9 Jane And Thor
The romance between Jane Foster and Thor was always meant to be some epic Shakespearean love between a god and a mortal. Unfortunately, the movies never figured out how to make that work and the romance just sort of fizzled out. But even before it ended, it was never the best relationship.
Thor and Jane get together quickly, but the only commonality between them seems to be that they find each other attractive. The relationship suffers as Thor keeps leaving Earth without telling her and things finally end. Perhaps Thor: Love and Thunder will see the relationship finally take off.
8 Scott And Hope
Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne might be the most random couple in the MCU. When they meet, Scott is immediately intimidated by her and Hope finds him to be totally unimpressive as a potential hero. They gradually gain respect and affection for each other and end up romantically involved.
Given their relationship in the first film, their romance really seems to come out of nowhere. By the time Ant-Man and the Wasp comes along, they are back to their old bickering ways. Though it's fine for a couple to squabble at times, it's just hard to imagine these two actually getting along.
7 Gamora And Peter
As Peter Quill points out in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, he and Gamora have one of those classic will-they-won't-they sitcom relationships. For the first two films, these two seem to always be on the edge of romance, but neither is quite ready to make the leap.
Like most of those sitcom relationships, Gamora and Peter's flirting only makes for an unstable relationship. They seem to enjoy the pursuit of romance more than the romance itself. Whenever they share a tender moment, it is immediately followed by them screaming at each other.
6 Tony And Pepper
Tony Stark was introduced at the start of the MCU as a pretty vain and arrogant guy who didn't seem to have a lot of respect for women. His playboy attitude extended to his loyal assistant Pepper Potts, whom he constantly flirted with despite being her boss.
The inappropriate workplace relationship did eventually lead to a romance, but that too had a lot of issues. Despite seemingly wanting a stable relationship, Tony was always lying about quitting his heroic escapades and his army of Iron Men.
5 Hope And Hank
Father and daughter relationships are rarely explored in the MCU. Hank Pym and his daughter Hope are one of the most central relationships of this kind and one of the most complex. Though they work together and seem to have common goals, Hank is always holding Hope back.
After losing his wife, the original Wasp, Hank is unwilling to risk the same thing happening to Hope. Despite the reasoning, it never seems convincing that Hank would choose Scott Lang as his predecessor and leave Hope on the sidelines.
4 Steve And Sharon
Maybe the most popular romance in the MCU is the one between Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter. Their tragic relationship was heartbreaking but ultimately played a pivotal role in closing out Captain America's arc. So to have Steve also begin a relationship with Peggy's niece, Sharon Carter, was an odd choice.
Of course, Steve Rogers is a perfect gentleman, but this relationship, albeit brief, was very creepy. Not only did Steve find out about Sharon and Peggy's connection at Peggy's funeral, but the fact that Steve goes back in time and marries Peggy opens up a lot of uncomfortable questions.
3 Stephen And Christine
Like Tony Stark, Stephen Strange did not start off as the noblest of men. His talents as a surgeon led to him developing a massive ego which would cause him to lash out at people he viewed as lesser them him. That included his sometimes-girlfriend, Christine Palmer.
After an accident leaves him unable to use his hands, Stephen searches for a way to heal himself, closing off the outside world. Christine is the only one who stays by his side, but Stephen continues to be cruel and hurtful in response to her kindness.
2 Yondu And Peter
Peter Quill has some serious father issues. He barely had a relationship with his real father, Ego, before he found out he was a psychotic Celestial who killed Peter's mother. Though he discovers his true father figure was always Yondu, their relationship wasn't great either.
Yondu was not someone who let his emotions shine through, so he hid his love for Peter. However, that resulted in years of verbal and psychological abuse. Regardless of whether or not Yondu saw Peter as a son, this was a terrible way to treat him.
1 Carol And Yon-Rogg
The role of mentor and mentee has been explored many times in the MCU and one of the most interesting instances was in Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers is a Kree warrior who is trained by Yon-Rogg to be the best while remaining a level-headed soldier. However, we soon find out that Yon-Rogg has been lying to Carol all this time and his teachings take on a whole new context.
Yon-Rogg is revealed to be a manipulative individual who wants to keep Carol from realizing her full potential so that he can control her.