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Zemo“It is a masterpiece, James. Complete. Comprehensive. It captures the African-American experience.”
Sam“He's out of line, but he's right.”
— Zemo and Sam to Bucky on the song "Trouble Man"

SamBuckyZemo is the poly ship between Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes and Helmut Zemo from the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom.


The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Power Broker

Bucky and Sam were on a mission to track down an anti-nationalist organization called the Flag Smashers, being aware that someone had been recreating the super soldier serum. Bucky had an idea to ask for Zemo’s assistance as he assumed that it had something to do with HYDRA, and Zemo had been studying them obsessively. Sam was opposed to the idea of breaking Zemo out of jail, only to find out that it had been done by Bucky. Sam insisted Zemo to go back to the jail, but Bucky managed to convince him to let Zemo stay by asking him to make another sacrifice like he had done for him before. Zemo was finally allowed to join the mission on condition that he didn’t make any move without their permission.

They went on a flight to Madripoor using Zemo's private jet. The three of them ended up bickering over the singer Marvin Gaye. Sam cornered Bucky over his musical taste and was backed up by Zemo. After they arrived in Madripoor, Zemo chose the roles of their disguises where Bucky was the Winter Soldier, Zemo was his handler, and Sam was the Smiling Tiger. After causing a ruckus in a bar, the trio was gained a permission to meet Selby - the person who had the key to the one who had been recreating the super soldier serum. Selby eventually agreed to give them the information, but before they could receive further explanation, their covers were blown.

The Whole World is Watching

After the encounter with the Flag Smashers, John Walker and Lemar Hoskins came to Zemo's residence in order to bring him back to prison. Sam was defending Zemo from John Walker when Dora Milaje finally arrived to take him as well. The conflict concerning who were in charge of taking Zemo resulted in a fight between Dora Milaje and John Walker. While Sam and Bucky were trying to break up the fight, Zemo escaped through a hidden hole in the bathroom.


Bucky went to Sokovian Memorial to meet Zemo. Zemo explained to Bucky that he had warned Sam about how dangerous Karli was, but Sam wouldn't listen to him. Suggesting that Bucky was different from Sam, Zemo advised him to kill Karli. Bucky claimed that he appreciated the advice, but he and Sam were going to solve it in their own way. Zemo acknowledged the decision and eventually was taken by Dora Milaje to be imprisoned in the Raft. Sam and Bucky then continued their mission without him.


Sam“I know where you're going with this, no.”
Bucky“He knows all of HYDRA's secrets. Don't you remember Siberia?”
Sam“So you're just gonna go sit in a room with this guy?”
Sam“Okay, then. We're gonna go see Zemo.”
— The Star-Spangled Man
Bucky“I'm gonna go in alone.”
Bucky“'Cause you're an Avenger. You know how he feels about that.”
Sam“Look, it's not like you two were known for frolickin' in the sun together.”
Bucky“He was obsessed with HYDRA. We have a history together. Trust me. I got it.”
— Power Broker
Zemo“I really think I'm invaluable...”
Sam“Shut up. Okay. If we do this, you don't make a move without our permission.”
Sam“Okay, Zemo, where do we start?”
— Power Broker

Behind the Scenes

“I like the way that Sam and Bucky react to it [Zemo's dance], being truly annoyed. I thought for Zemo, his tactic is the more noticeable you are in that moment, the less suspicion that you arouse. But, I think Sam and Bucky clearly see that differently.”
— Daniel Brüh (Zemo)[1]
“Something that was one of the big joys of making the show that we had to keep hidden was the fact that Zemo, Sam, and Bucky end up becoming the Three Musketeers.”
— Zoie Nagelhout, Co-Executive Producer of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier [2]
“I still cannot think of a good name for that boy band. Actually, when I see [publicity] pictures of the three of them… maybe ‘Supercharge.’”
— Daniel Brühl[2]
“Oh, my gosh. The three of them [Anthony, Sebastian, and Daniel] together are at times so hilarious, I have to kind of pull them all back and remind them, 'Wait a sec. We can't be having this much fun'.”
— Kari Skogland, Director of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier[3]
“From the beginning I wanted to find a space where they could go and we could just see them as characters - right - just have down time with them, because I was also diving into Zemo's character a little bit in terms of humanizing him and understanding where he was coming from, that he wasn't just a black and white evil guy, and so... um the three of them together, you know, the three musketeers of it, i suppose - on their little adventure - gave us that opportunity to see them as just regular guys and then even more so in a regular environment where you know there's dancing and there's this kind of weird art thing going on.”
— Kari Skogland[4]
“There was time for these three to listen to each other and get to know each other a bit better with all the ongoing conflicts that they have and different perception and prejudice. Sometimes they get to a point in which, actually, they understand each other a bit better and realize that they even share some thoughts one way or the other. I guess that Zemo looks at these two guys at the end of that journey in a very different way. [...] I'm very glad that I myself could add a bit of salt and pepper to the great combo. The characters need each other and they don't like [my character] being with them, even though Zemo actually enjoys himself with them!”
— Daniel Brühl[5]
“So this [Zemo] is a character who is somewhat softened because he feels like, in a way, he did accomplish what he set out to do in Marvel Studio's Captain America: Civil War. So, when Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes find Baron Zemo, mentally he's in a completely different space and, in a fun twist, they need him in a way that even he doesn't understand.”
— Nate Moore, Executive Producer of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier[5]


People hadn't expected that Sam, Bucky, and Zemo would team up together as they had assumed that Zemo would be the villain of the series, but three of them became many general fans' favorite trio of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier series once Episode 3 aired. The scene where Sam, Bucky, and Zemo were bickering over Marvin Gaye became a viral meme in Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom. Even months after the series ended, some fans still wish to see the trio back together.

Many fans have joked about Zemo being Sam and Bucky's sugar daddy, noting that Zemo had taken them on expensive private jet, bought them expensive clothes, and let them stay at his lavish residence. Some fans pointed out that Zemo might treat Sam and Bucky nicely because he missed his family and was projecting it on them; though some fans suggest that it was how Zemo had always treated his guests - politely, while some others assume that Zemo was just trying to gain their trust.

The book that Zemo was reading in Berlin prison cell was titled Fortune is a River: Leonardo Da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli's Magnificent Dream to Change the Course of Florentine History. It wasn't a book written by Machiavelli, rather it was a story about Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci who teamed up to end the war with Pisa. During time, Leonardo strayed away to his other projects which included a legendary flying machine.[6] Fans believe that this book foreshadowed how Sam, Bucky, and Zemo would be teaming up to bring down the Flag Smashers. Later in the series, Zemo was shown in the Raft with the same book. After he found out that the Flag Smashers had been defeated, he closed the book. This might symbolize how their mission was accomplished.

In Fanworks, Sam is mostly portrayed as the wisest out of the three. Sam, unlike Bucky who is often enraged by Zemo's behavior, is able to see past it and calmly handle the situation. The type of setup when Zemo has to be out of the Raft to help Sam and Bucky work on their mission is called "Nebulous Zemo Parole Universe".[7]



Bucky/Sam/Zemo tag on AO3
Bucky & Sam & Zemo tag on AO3


  • The soundtrack that is playing at the time the trio team up is titled "A Marriage of Convenience".[8]
  • On Marvel official site, Sam is listed as Bucky's ally and Zemo's enemy, Bucky is listed as both Sam and Zemo's ally, while Zemo is listed as Sam's enemy and both Bucky's enemy and ally.[9][10][11]
  • In Marvel Future Fight game, a team consisting of Zemo, Bucky, and Sam is named "The Worst Enemy".


The Falcon and The Winter Soldier


Madrifour refers to the ship between Sharon Carter, Sam, Bucky and Zemo
SamBucky refers to the ship between Sam and Bucky
SamZemo refers to the ship between Sam and Zemo
WinterBaron refers to the ship between Bucky and Zemo



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