Warning: This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame
The end of April saw the world mourn, to the point where you’d think some great influential figure had passed away. Well, he was just that, except he was also fictional. Iron Man’s demise in Avengers: Endgame definitely left worldwide fans in grief, but after some time processing it, we’re at the point where we can appreciate how he made us feel.
With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at those sayings of Tony Stark that hit closest to the bone. These aren’t necessarily motivational or inspiring quotes, but those musings of Tony that reminded us how he was both a larger-than-life figure and grounded in reality enough that we all felt like Iron Man.
10 And I Wanted You To Be Better
Tony got a lot of flak for being immature and people would agree he wasn’t fit to be a dad. But if anything we’ve learned about him from the MCU, it’s that he was excellent with children. We saw him be a mentor to Harley in Iron Man 3, before taking up the role of a surrogate father for Spider-Man.
This quote sealed it that, in his heart, Tony always wanted his children to be more than him – billionaire, playboy, philanthropist titles were superficial. He wanted Peter to be a hero, not from his gadgets, but from his heart. This appeals to the viewer, too, since those who have children know they don’t want their kids to repeat the mistakes they made.
9 9 What's the point of owning a race car if you can't drive it?
Out of all the Avengers we’ve seen, Tony Stark was the one who actually enjoyed the life he had. You can’t fault a man for spending the money has, especially when he’s a genius as well. We all need something to enjoy in our lives that we use, rather than just having it and leaving it idle.
For this reason, Tony entering the race he was sponsoring was appropriate. He thought he would be dying soon due to the arc reactor effectively poisoning him, and his way to cope with it was to enjoy the time he had. We’ve been blessed with healthy lives, and we should relish the time and resources we have to the best of our ability. So, if you’ve got a sports car – then hop in!
8 Finally! Someone Who Speaks English
Those people who are cocky but generally the most useful when it comes to being in groups will know how it feels to be the only person there with an idea of the matter at hand. You can dislike people like these all you want, but they do achieve results.
Tony Stark was one such individual, as he ended the Avengers’ confusion over Loki’s use of the Scepter as soon as he walked in the Heli-Carrier. When Bruce Banner was the first person who kept up with Tony’s science-y words, Tony’s relief was expressed in this quote. We’ve all been there at some point where things that are clear to us, aren’t clear to everyone else, and we latch onto the first person who speaks like us.
7 You Couldn't Afford Me
The entirety of Iron Man 2 saw Nick Fury bemused at Tony’s actions, but also treat him as if he was trying to recruit him for a boy band that Tony had to jump through hoops for. After some time, it’s understandable why Tony got annoyed and turned down joining the Avengers – because Fury “couldn’t afford (him)”.
In real life, we’re aware of how it is to be talked down when we don’t deserve to be treated that way. A genius like Tony at most wouldn’t like being spoken to like he was a kid, and we can understand why he opted to keep his self-respect rather than be a puppet.
6 I Have Successfully Privatized World Peace
Okay, none of us has ever gone as far as privatizing world peace, but we all would like to be acknowledged for our accomplishments, not admonished for them. Iron Man 2 had the government (the leading head being secretly affiliated with HYDRA) attempt to wrest the Iron Man technology from Tony, arguing it was dangerous.
However, Tony countered by showing how he’d made a bigger difference in the world rather than the government, and ended it with raucous cheers by claiming world peace was now privatized. It was an effortless display of proving his worth and not letting the higher-ups bully him. We’d all like to be appreciated for what we’ve achieved, and not have it twisted into something it’s not. Thanks for the Peace Out lesson, Tony!
5 If We Can't Protect The World, You Can Be Damn Sure We'll Avenge It
This one can’t really apply to a real-world setting in a literal sense (since we don’t generally go around fighting aliens from space), but just the inspiring words of Iron Man had us all firmly in his corner. It wasn’t just that he openly threatened the God of Mischief, but that it was done when Tony took off his armor and faced Loki like a man.
Up until then, we had only an idea of the Avengers, but Tony gave a picture to what they represented – they were Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and they would protect it. If a loss was inevitable, then they would never stop until they’d avenged it. With these words, we knew that the day would be saved. Iron Man had spoken.
4 I Love You 3000
By the time Avengers: Endgame rolled into theaters, Marvel could’ve pulled catchphrases out of thin air. People eat whatever Marvel feeds them now, but there was certain depth in Tony’s love here that just could never be manufactured.
He spoke not from the heart (although we had proof he did have one), but from the soul when addressing his daughter. Not even the full force of the Soul Stone could separate the love Tony had in his core for little Morgan, and every person who’s watched that scene will agree it was 100% genuine. For parents out there, “I Love You 3000”, is exactly how they’d convey their affection to their children.
3 You Complete Me
Not many people have seen this interaction between Pepper and Tony, but the sheer quality behind it makes it worth a spot on this list. Almost everyone knows the feeling of wanting to be with someone, but having hurdles and complications along the way.
Tony wanted to tell Pepper he loved her, but his ego usually didn’t allow him. In this deleted scene, we saw Pepper urge Tony to fly into the Expo and make his entrance. When he wasn’t budging, she kissed the Iron Man helmet and tossed it out the plane, prompting Tony to retrieve it and go through with the Expo. Before he did so, he told Pepper she completed him. It was only during death-defying moments that Tony could confess what he felt, even though he masked it with his usual style.
2 I Want One
Old habits die hard, and Tony couldn’t shake his playboy tendencies even if he tried. You know how it is when you find someone very attractive, and have the resources and the game to attain them, but can’t because it’s not allowed.
This was the same dilemma Tony felt when he found himself attracted to an undercover Natasha Romanoff, and assumed he could have her (little did he know, right?). He was aware it would be a potential harassment lawsuit, but his smallest defiance asked Pepper if could have “one”, a request swiftly denied. It was Classic Tony, and since we haven’t seen this playboy side of him in a decade, this line ranks up there.
1 I Am Iron Man
Ah yes, the moment that really made the MCU. Superhero films before Iron Man were always filled with angst from the protagonist, so when Tony proudly said “I am Iron Man”, the whole platform the superhero genre rested on was shifted. This allowed the MCU to take liberties with their films, and now we’ve just seen the end of the 22-film arc that Iron Man began.
It was these three words that made all of us crazy fans of Tony Stark, and we’ve all been Iron Man in spirit ever since this moment. It was three words – and a gentle act of defiance – that made the MCU a mammoth brand, capturing all of us for infinity.