After a total of 19 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), there has been plenty of iconic moments, including Peggy Carter knocking a sexist to the ground, Shuri recording T’challa being blown backwards by his own suit, the entirety of Thor: Ragnarok... the list goes on.
Today, we’re choosing to focus on one of Marvel’s originals, who might finally be getting her own movie…
Yeah, we’re talking about Natasha Romanoff. Let the countdown commence for (some of) her most badass and iconic moments!
6. Natasha v. Clint (Avengers)
No one can deny the first Avengers movie was brutal for Natasha. Between the death of her friend and handler, Phil Coulson, being taunted, belittled, and threatened by Loki, finding out her best friend had been brainwashed, and nearly killed by the Hulk, one could definitely add the subtitle “Natasha and the Horrible, No Good, Awful, Bad Day” to the film’s title.
This moment happens right after almost being killed by an enraged Hulk: while allowing herself a moment to gather her wits, Natasha overhears on the comms that Clint Barton – currently brainwashed by Loki – is still aboard the helicarrier. Even while shaking, and curled in a corner, Natasha offers to personally confront her best friend and partner.
The fight that follows is the film’s most brutal; between two best friends, who know each other’s moves as well as their own. After a lot of near stabbing, some hair pulling and biting, Natasha finally gains the upper hand and slams Barton’s head into a steel pole. The Tesseract spell fades momentarily, and for good measure, Natasha knocks him out with another blow to the head, effectively bringing Clint back to his senses.
After all, what are friends for?
5. The Hallway Fight (Iron Man 2)
At Stark Expo, Ivan Vanko takes control of Justin Hammer’s drones – including the suit Rhodey happens to be inside – leading to a lot of destruction (and a cute moment between one day mentor/mentee, Tony and Peter).
In an effort to find and stop Vanko, Natasha orders Happy Hogan to drive her to Hammer Industries. Despite her orders for him to stay in the car, he refuses, and engages with a security guard in the lobby, as Natasha moves further into the building.
The scene is graceful, badass, and the perfect first real fight scene we could’ve had for such an iconic character. The scene cuts back and forth between Happy getting the ever loving crap beat out of him as he attempts to take out one guard, and Natasha effortlessly and gracefully taking down an entire group of guards with her tools, and her skills.
Although Vanko escaped before Natasha arrived, she was able to regain control to Rhodey’s suit, just in the nick of time.
4. Letting Cap and Bucky Escape (Civil War)
Civil War was the source of great contention between the Avengers (and the fandom), and while Natasha might have been ready to sign the Sokovia Accords, she wasn’t splitting into fractions.
Yes, she did join Team Iron Man. Yes, she fought Team Cap. But you can’t deny her methods were more diplomatic than others, and that she tried to keep solid ground between the people that mattered most to her.
After escaping from the rest of Team Iron Man, Steve and Bucky are ready to hightail it to Siberian to stop Zemo from unfreezing the other Winter Soldiers, but Natasha stands between them and the Quinjet.
After a moment of indecision, she lets them escape, and holds back T’challa until the Quinjet has safely escaped, choosing her friends over the law.
While her actions caused her to become a fugitive by the end of the film, it solidified the fact that Natasha is the glue between Team Iron Man and Team Captain America, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
3. Did I step on your moment? (Winter Soldier)
In an effort to stop Project Insight, Natasha disguises herself as a Council member, and slips right into Alexander Pierce’s office, as part of her and Team Cap’s plan to stop Hydra.
Things quickly go south, and the strike team prepare to kill Singh, one of the Council Members. Immediately, Natasha moves into action, quickly taking out the Hydra agents before they ever knew what hit them, before pulling a gun on Pierce himself, and supplying one of her most iconic one-liners:
“I’m sorry, did I step on your moment?”
It’s undoubtedly one of the most iconic Natasha Romanoff scenes, a feat considering Winter Soldier is a movie full of them.
2. You’re right. It’s hers. (Winter Soldier)
Agent Sitwell definitely has the worst luck – if it wasn’t for the fact that he was Hydra, I’d feel sorry for him.
Only a few weeks after being knocked out with an I.C.E.R (then called the Night Night Pistols, imagine telling the infirmary that) by a panicked Jemma Simmons attempting to do bad girl shenanigans, Agent Sitwell is kidnapped by Team Cap in an effort to find out more information on Project Insight and what Hydra intends to use it for.
When it becomes clear that Sitwell isn’t going to talk, Steve threatens to throw him clean off the building, but Sitwell isn’t worried. After all, that’s not Steve’s style. But as Steve reminds him, brushing off the sleeves of Sitwell’s suit with a smug smile, it’s Natasha’s.
On cue, Natasha kicks him over the edge of the building, presumably to fall to his death. As he falls, Natasha and Steve pick up their conversation about who Steve should ask to go out with, until Sam flies up and throws a very shaken and chatty Sitwell back onto the building.
Unfortunately, Sitwell’s day only got worse from there (killed by the hand of the Winter Soldier), but his sacrifice wasn’t in vain – we got another badass Natasha scene.
1. The Interrogation Scene (Avengers)
Natasha’s introduction in the first Avengers film is another interrogation. Wearing a party dress and no heels, Natasha is tied to a chair, and being threatened by a corrupt Russian General, who has no idea that while he tries to scare her with the idea of shoving her down a pit, she is gathering all the information she needs from him about his operation for selling illegal weapons.
However, Natasha’s subtle interrogation is cut short by a phone call from Coulson, who informs her that Clint has been compromised, and that they need her now.
Natasha puts him on hold, and brutally takes down the men holding her, using everything she can, including the chair she’s strapped to. It’s undoubtedly one of her best fight scenes, and the most humorous, as it takes a moment to briefly cut back to Coulson, still on hold, bouncing on the heels of his feet as he listens to the merry tune of Natasha kicking ass.
In a splendid case of karma, Nat straps a chain around the General’s leg, and throws him over the pit he threatened to shove her over. Poetic justice amiright?