The study tried to explore the role of sugar-residues and mechanisms of phenolic phenylpropanoid antioxidants. Acteoside, along with its apioside forsythoside B and rhamnoside poliumoside, were comparatively investigated using various antioxidant assays. In three electron-transfer (ET)-based assays (FRAP, CUPRAC, PTIO center dot-scavenging at pH 4.5), the relative antioxidant levels roughly ruled as: acteoside >forsythoside B > poliumoside. Such order was also observed in H+-transfer-involved PTIO center dot-scavenging assay at pH 7.4, and in three multiple-pathway-involved radical-scavenging assays, i.e., ABTS(+)center dot-scavenging, DPPH center dot-scavenging, and center dot O-2(-)-scavenging. In UV-vis spectra, each of them displayed a red-shift at 335 -> 364 nm and two weak peaks (480 and 719 nm), when mixed with Fe2+; however, acteoside gave the weakest absorption. In Ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-Q-TOF-MS/MS) analysis, no radical-adduct-formation (RAF) peak was found. MTT assay revealed that poliumoside exhibited the highest viability of oxidative-stressed bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. In conclusion, acteoside, forsythoside B, and poliumoside may be involved in multiple-pathways to exert the antioxidant action, including ET, H+-transfer, or Fe2+-chelating, but not RAF. The ET and H+-transfer may be hindered by rhamnosyl and apiosyl moieties; however, the Fe2+-chelating potential can be enhanced by two sugar-residues (especially rhamnosyl moiety). The general effect of rhamnosyl and apiosyl moieties is to improve the antioxidant or cytoprotective effects.