Marvel fans waited a long, long time for Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to have that Avengers: Endgame dance. It was first teased starting when they met in Captain America: The First Avenger, and continued being teased in several movies since then -- whether you noticed that subtle easter egg song in The Winter Soldier or not. The build-up culminated in Endgame, as Captain America went back in time for his dance with Peggy to their World War II song, "It's Been a Long, Long Time."
Steve and Peggy did more than dance, they lived a happy life together in their own new timeline/branch reality/whatever makes sense to you. Let's review all the ways Marvel teased Cap and Peggy's song and dance endgame.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
The first hint to Steve and Peggy's dance aired before he became Captain America. It showed that Peggy cared about Steve when he was just Steve and not a muscled super-soldier. During their car ride, Steve told Peggy that was the longest conversation he'd ever had with a woman.
Steve: Women aren't exactly lining up to dance with a guy they might step on.
Peggy: You must've danced.
Steve: Well, asking a woman to dance always seemed so terrifying. And the past few years it just didn't seem to matter that much. Figured I'd wait.
Peggy: For what?
Steve: The right partner.
Watch their scene:
At the end of The First Avenger, Steve sacrificed himself by crashing his plane into the Arctic -- but not before saying goodbye to Peggy via one last dance conversation:
Steve: I'm gonna need a raincheck on that dance.
Peggy: All right. A week next Saturday at the Stork Club.
Steve: You got it.
Peggy: 8 o'clock on the dot. Don't you dare be late. Understood?
Steve: You know I still don't know how to dance.
Peggy: I'll show you how. Just be there.
Steve: We'll have the band play something slow. I'd hate to step on your [static].
It was a heartbreaker of an ending.
As we know, Steve lived and was just re-awakened almost 70 years later. He definitely missed the dance, but fans kept hoping Steve and Peggy would still get the chance someday.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Cap's sequel to The First Avenger introduced S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter as Steve's potential new love interest -- who also happened to be Peggy's great-niece, which is a bit disturbing. But not all fans may have noticed the song playing in the background when Nick Fury surprised Steve in Steve's own apartment. Yep, it's Steve and Peggy's song:
Some MCU fans already noticed this song as a through-line for Cap and Peggy's endgame dance. But for those who missed, it's just more proof that the dance was always part of his entire story.
Also in Winter Soldier, Steve visits the Smithsonian to catch up on his own history, along with what happened to Bucky and Peggy. Steve watches a video back from Peggy's 1953 interview, with Peggy talking about Steve's heroism. He saved over a thousand men, including the man who would become her husband "as it turned out." While she said that, Steve was shown looking at his compass photo of her.
After that, the still-young Steve went to visit the now much older and now ill Peggy. She even had a little nod to their song, saying it's been "so long, so long." Steve replied, "Well, I couldn't leave my best girl, not when she still owes me a dance."
We do see photos of Peggy's two children, which is interesting to think about now, since Steve went back in time in Avengers: Endgame and started a new family. But if he created a new timeline, then those kids should still exist in a separate timeline. Unless they always been Cap's kids the whole time?
Agent Carter Season 1 Finale (2015)
At some point, Peggy Carter did move on with her life, in the timeline when Steve didn't return and was only re-awakened far in the future. Marvel's Agent Carter gave Peggy closure in the Season 1 finale, "Valediction." She had to help Howard Stark snap out of a trance by convincing them both that Steve was gone and not coming back and they had to move on. She dumped the vial of Steve's blood in the East River, crying and saying, "Goodbye, my darling."
Also, at one point in the episode, Daniel Sousa asked Peggy on a date and she smiled and took a raincheck.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Cap finally seemed to get to the Stork Club in Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, it was a Scarlet Witch-induced nightmare sequence of the dance, with Peggy telling him the war was over and he could go home.
It was a sad way to see a version of that long-awaited dance, but at least that's not how the story ended.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Peggy Carter died, and her funeral played out in Captain America: Civil War, with Steve as a pallbearer. That's how Steve learned Sharon Carter knew S.H.I.E.L.D. co-founder Margaret Carter as Aunt Peggy.
Steve also spoke to Natasha about Peggy after the funeral, keeping her storyline closely tied to his for his third solo movie. There's even a theory, co-signed by one of the Avengers: Endgame writers, that maybe Old Man Cap was actually at Peggy's funeral. That might clash with what the Russos have said about Steve's new timeline, but let's not get bogged down by time travel debates. There are enough places for that.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Steve Rogers and Tony Stark traveled back to 1970 to obtain the Space Stone; while there, Tony had a bittersweet meeting with his father Howard, and Steve looked wistfully at Peggy, but could never approach her. Peggy even still had a photo of Steve on her desk, just like Steve always carried Peggy's photo in his compass. Apparently that Steve/Peggy scene wasn't included in the first draft of Endgame, but the writers agreed it was "lovely" and they're glad they added it.
At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Steve Rogers returned the Infinity Stones to their original timelines, but he confused his fellow Avengers when he didn't seem to come back. Then Sam and Bucky noticed the old man who happened to be sitting on a bench nearby. It was older Steve, who decided to stay in the past to finally have that dance with Peggy, and live a long happy life with her. Steve didn't die, as many feared he would, and he instead passed Cap's shield on to Sam. The camera later panned into a home and we finally saw Steve and Peggy dance to their song:
Don't ask me -- or Chris Evans -- about the timeline continuity, but apparently the Russo Brothers did say Steve created "a branch reality" when he went back to be with Peggy. He would exist in that reality with a second Cap who was frozen in ice. So no one was erased. But really, the time travel stuff is too messy and contradictory to dig too deep into. The important thing is that Cap and Peggy finally got that dance -- and it wasn't even in some cheesy version of the afterlife.
The Steve and Peggy dance saga managed to cross over from Captain America movies to Avengers films, and even the MCU TV shows like Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I would argue they have the most beautiful love story in the MCU, even beyond Tony and Pepper. It's truly amazing that this comic book blockbuster franchise managed to tell such a pure love story across multiple action movies. Somehow, through dozens of characters and movies and storylines, Cap and Peggy still got their perfect endgame.