SPOILER WARNING: Come back after seeing Avengers: Infinity War!
The Avengers is one of the highest grossing movies ever made, and it largely comes from the fact that people love seeing these individual characters collide, their colorful personalities creating sparks and laughs in equal measure. This is pretty much the backbone of the MCU, and the comic chemistry shows off its full, all-consuming power in Avengers: Infinity War. Characters who've never met before finally meet, giving fanboys and girls the pairings of their dreams -- and ones they didn't even realize they desperately needed. This movie works like gangbusters in this department, getting a huge supply of energy from all the different personalities bouncing off each other.
Some of these pairings spend the whole movie together. Others just say one line to each other, but that one line is just so much fun, that it deserves an entry on this list. Obviously, everyone will have their own favorites and opinions on these, so feel free to share them in the comments below! But these were my personal favorite pairings in the movie, ranked.
Maybe this one shouldn't be treated as a pairing seeing as how Bruce Banner and Shuri spend maybe a total of 20 seconds together, but this was a pairing I've been waiting for since Black Panther came out (which, admittedly, didn't make for much of a wait). Shuri is one of the smartest people, if not THE smartest person, on the planet and I desperately wanted this teenage girl to undermine Banner or Tony Stark like they were a couple of dummies. And I got it! Shuri's the only one who can repair Vision and she teased Banner for not having built Vision this way instead of that way. It's a cute moment and helps demonstrate how smart Shuri is when compared to the rest of the world.
Again, these two have barely any screen time together, but they get one of the best jokes of the movie. Worlds collide on the battlefield of Wakanda and Steve Rogers FINALLY meets Groot, here introduced as Thor's friend, Tree. Groot, who has three Outriders impaled on his limb, greets Rogers with an "I am Groot." The ever-earnest Captain America replies, "I am Steve Rogers." It always gets a satisfying laugh out of me, and it's such an odd pairing that I just want to see more of it if only to see Captain America sets that rude teenager straight.
This one was a weirdly requested pairing by the fan-base, but it's still such a delight in the film. Both Rocket and Bucky (or Bucket as the internet likes to call them) are gun-toting heroes and they stand back-to-back in Wakanda blasting Outriders to kingdom come. It might be the most comic book-y thing in the movie and it's great, like the fact that Bucky doesn't seem to question at all why he's fighting with a talking raccoon. But let's be real here: the main reason people wanted these two together is so Rocket could ask for Bucky's robot arm, and he totally does. Never let it be said that the Russo Brothers don't give people what they want.
The ladies of the MCU don't get a lot of time to interact with each other, but Black Widow, Okoye, and Scarlet Witch do get to take part in a memorable fight scene against Proxima Midnight. The three of them work together to beat the Child of Thanos, with Black Widow getting an especially cool moment that kick-starts the fight. I will say though, that this is not higher on the list because all the women teaming up to fight the one woman villain is something of a trope. I've seen some criticism of this moment and while I don't think it was forced, I do remember thinking of the trope during my screening. It also shines a light on how few female heroes there actually are in the MCU, but I still found the fight entertaining.
This pairing is not nearly as fun (it's not fun at all, really) as the rest on this list, but it's a pairing nonetheless and one that's especially worth discussing. Thanos can be described as the main character of Infinity War and a lot of the movie is dedicated to his relationship with Gamora. Fleshing this relationship out is a key priority of the movie, and I would say they pull it off. Thanos obviously makes Gamora sick to her stomach, but one can at least see why Thanos thinks that he saved her and gave her a better life. It's a very interesting insight into abusive relationships and while the movie doesn't have all the time in the world to devote to it, I would say that it successfully pulls it off with a crushing payoff.
The first example of franchises coming together in the movie, and it starts with the easiest pill to swallow: the space people meeting each other. Thor winds up meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy and as you can expect, it plays off great. While the rest of the Guardians are obsessed with Thor's manly pirate-angel physique, Star-Lord is feeling self-conscious and acts out by mimicking Thor and undercutting how handsome he is. It's a pretty hilarious sequence, especially because this is a post-Ragnarok Thor, so now he can actively get in on the laughs while bulldozing Quill's authority.
Best romance in the MCU? Cap and Peggy shippers would likely disagree, but Wanda and Vision certainly top the list of Most Tragic Lovers by a long shot. Wanda and Vision have progressed their relationship even further since we last saw them in Captain America: Civil War. The two have become the MCU's Romeo and Juliet, stealing small moments with each other before returning to their respective feuding teams. Wanda sees the humanity in Vision, while Wanda makes Vision feel human. It's really beautiful, which only makes their ultimate fate all the more brutal. The fact that Wanda had to kill the love of her life, watch him get resurrected, and then killed immediately is tragic, and I wager this is something she won't easily get over in Phase 4 (assuming she's in Phase 4).
One of the most requested pairings by fans for Infinity War was to have Iron Man meet Star-Lord, two personalities that would surely cause big screen magic. Those fans got their wish, and the two heroes share some of the best laughs of the entire movie with their constant sarcasm. It isn't often that Tony meets someone who's sassier and more immature than he is, but he absolutely met his match in Peter Quill. Star-Lord makes Iron Man look like Captain America by comparison, and he does force Tony to take a position of authority and try to wrangle their team of heroes together.
While we're on the topic of big screen magic, it doesn't get much bigger than Doctor Strange, and Infinity War gains great mileage out of pairing him with Tony Stark for almost the entire movie. While it may seem odd to pair two characters who are so similar, this actually works extremely well. Other characters rarely challenge Tony Stark, but Doctor Strange doesn't take any of that crap and throws it right back at him. The two are at odds from the moment they meet and it creates a great dynamic to watch whether it's Stark blaming Strange for not getting rid of the Time Stone, or Strange calling Stark a douchebag. Plus, they have Spider-Man tagging along, which is always fun.
The pairing that no one was expecting but everyone is glad happened. Who would have ever thought of just how well Thor and Rocket work together. Groot is mostly along for the ride, but he makes some key contributions as well. I can't really put my finger on why it does work so well, but it does! It helps that the two of them are hilarious together ("Sweet Rabbit"), but there's real heart, too. Rocket being the captain and trying to help Thor work through his emotional stress is surprisingly touching, especially considering how Rocket used to push people away. But here he is trying to help Thor process his trauma, even going as far as to give him one of his precious robotic body parts. Sure, it was up his ass, but it's the thought that counts. I really hope Avengers 4 gives us more of this, especially now that Rocket has lost just as much as Thor.