The popular meme got its start in Endgame, where a time-traveling Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) offers commentary on Captain America’s form-fitting costume. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) defends Cap’s 2012 costume with a salute, saying “that’s America’s ass.”
The gag surfaces again when 2023 Captain America beats his past self in battle, looking down at his defeated past self and remarking, “That is America’s ass.”
“It’s a little meta,” co-writer Stephen McFeely told the Los Angeles Times.
“Chris Evans has never been comfortable with that outfit from the first Avengers movie. And so in the rearview, it’s a little way to wink at how that was then, and this is now. And then it sort of just built from there. By the time we got to the fight scene where he defeated himself, his butt is on the ground and he was just sitting there for a callback.”
It was later learned Cap’s remark on his own ass was recorded during Evans’ final scene on Endgame after the star revealed the last line he delivered as the star-spangled Avenger was “really stupid.”
“Well, you know, it was reshoots, so you’re doing these little picks and pops, and it’s just little things that they need,” Evans said during an October convention. “It might have been a line to Paul Rudd. He wasn’t there, but it was a stupid line. The line wasn’t memorable to me [laughs]. The day was more memorable than the line.”
Avengers: Endgame is available to own on Digital HD July 30 and on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray August 13.