- "Jarvis, sometimes you gotta run before you can walk." And then Tony Stark and his brand new Mark II suit don't walk or run.....he FLIES!
- "Yeah. I can fly."
- Tony Stark, where he hero-dodges a tank shot and returns fire with a miniature rocket launched from his forearm. It hits the tank and makes a tiny "clang" sound, seemingly doing nothing. Tony turns around and starts to walk away. Then the tank explodes. A whole new level of movie Super Hero awesomeness!
- This moment was perhaps better in the trailer, as it had Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" playing as he walked, his steps in time with the opening riff.
- Yinsen's Heroic Sacrifice, along with Tony Stark's ability to build the Mark 1 suit and a miracle power source IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!
- After Tony has been captured and is moping (understandably) that he'll probably be dead in a week no matter what, Yinsen has a very quiet CMOA: "Well, then this is a very important week for you." In one line, he helps Tony find his inner hero.
- Stark's introductory speech for the Jericho Missile:
Tony Stark: Is it better to be feared, or respected? I say: "Is it too much to ask for both?" With that in mind, I humbly present the crown jewel of Stark Industries' Freedom Line. It's the first missile system to incorporate our proprietary Repulsor Technology. They say the best weapon is one you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree; I prefer... the weapon you only need to fire once. That's how Dad did it, that's how America does it... and it's worked out pretty well so far. Find an excuse to let one of these off the chain, and I personally guarantee you the bad guys won't even wanna come out of their caves.(Gestures to the operator to launch one of the missiles. As the missile begins to dive to Earth, it fragments into many smaller rockets)Tony: For your consideration... the Jericho. (The mountainside behind him explodes)
- Made even more awesome by the fact that Robert Downey, Jr. ad-libbed that entire sequence.
- Pepper Potts gets her moment when she verbally serves Christine Everheart, after she joins the list of the many, many women Stark has slept with and subsequently dumped.
Christine: After all these years, Tony still has you picking up the drycleaning?
Pepper Potts: I do anything and everything Mr. Stark requires. Including, occasionally, taking out the trash. Will that be all?
- She gets a better one later on Obadiah Stane, when he walks in on her as she's uncovering all the incriminating evidence against him in his laptop. She keeps her cool, smoothly covers up what she's been doing (clicking off the screen she was on, casually draping that day's newspaper over the device she's been using to hack his files), pretends to go along with his conversation, than walks out the room with the memory stick carrying the incriminating files in her pocket. By the time Stane realizes what she was up to (just seconds later), she's talking to Coulson and telling him everything.
- Tony survives the Ten Rings guys shooting up his crude Mark I suit when leaving the terrorist hideout. He waits until they stops firing, and then says, "My turn." And breaks out the flamethrower.
- When Obadiah Stane is trying to get his scientists to miniaturize the arc reactor in order to power his Iron Monger suit. All but one of them immediately leave when they see him enter the room, leaving the last one to try to explain their failure to do what he wanted. The lone scientist eventually tells Stane to his face that miniaturizing the reactor is impossible.
Scientist: Well, I'm sorry. I'm not Tony Stark.
- The entire village rescue scene: Stark suits up, flies halfway around the world, then defeats all of the terrorists in under a minute. This is what you call a Curbstomp Battle.
- Making it more awesome, is that this is Tony first Big Damn Heroes: While tinkering with a forearm from his armor, Stark is watching an international news report on a town ravaged by the black-market trade in his company's weapons. As the on-screen scenes get more and more disturbing, the palm repulsor brightens a bit while Tony's face darkens. Just after Stark suits up in the Mark III for the first time, he flies to the besieged town of Gulmira. Meanwhile, the Ten Rings terrorists are rounding up the village's men and generally being violently disruptive assholes, when one innocent man refuses to go any farther with them. This dude is about to catch a bullet for his trouble, right in front of his horrified, screaming wife and kids, when the boy suddenly hears a roaring sound overhead. Cue Iron Man's Dynamic Entry THUD.
- Iron Man gut-punching some idiot stupid enough to fire a gun at him. When he's reached a point wherein he has to risk killing a bunch of women-and-children hostages in order to get at the terrorists, he targets each one and collectively shoots them in the heads without touching a hair on the hostages' heads. The terrorist leader couldn't hide from him for long. After taking on the terrorist group, Tony throws Raza's right hand man to the refugees stating "he's all yours." No doubt they beat him to death afterwards.
- The best part? Yinsen had mentioned earlier that Gulmira is his hometown. Tony curbstomping the invaders could be seen as a Roaring Rampage of Revenge on his behalf.
- Luring Obadiah Stane into high altitude where the suit freezes and falls. Especially because Stane is so sure of Tony's inevitable destruction given the tone of his ranting, Tony's response is said in such a condescending I-know-something-you-don't-know tone that you can't help but laugh:
- Also, Samuel L. Jackson's appearance as Nick Fury, Director of SHIELD in The Stinger. Then he says: "I'd like to talk to you about the "Avenger Initiative".
- He also deactivates JARVIS, which trivial as it is, demonstrates something important about SHIELD; as brilliant and smug as Stark is, SHIELD still has his number.
- The final scene before the credits, where Tony is shoved onstage by SHIELD to make an excuse for who Iron Man is... and then just outright decides that instead of going along with SHIELD's lies, he'll tell the truth: he is Iron Man. The reporters all go insane. Cue the Black Sabbath!
- Even more awesome when you realize that is in there just to cue the song. More awesomeness ensues.
- A very subtle Crowning Moment of Awesome also goes to the reporter Tony formerly dumped, Christine Everheart, who asks the question that spurs Tony to his decision. Watch closely as the reporters all leap to their feet: she is the only one who stays seated in exactly the same position, as if to say, "Yeah — I Knew It."
- The part where Tony realizes just how effective his repulsors are as weapons by blowing out the glass in his workshop with them. It goes something like this: After being enraged by the deaths caused by the terrorist group that captured him, he accidentally blows out a window in his workshop. He's surprised, then gets serious again as he proceeds to blow out every window in turn.
- When escaping the terrorists' hideout, one of them goes up to shoot Stark in the head. However, Stark's armor deflects the bullet back into the shooter's head.
- Downey Jr. sums up the movie, his portrayal of Tony Stark, and what he'll be (to us) for the rest of his life, in one simple quote:
- I am Iron Man.
- The majority of the preceding examples fall into the category of Moment of Awesome for Tony Stark, Hero. THE Crowning Moment of Awesome for Tony Stark, Smartass Genius Playboy, occurs when it turns out that the flight attendants on his plane are strippers...complete with a brass pole that rises out of the floor.
- Making it even more awesome is that this is taking place while Tony is having a deep, heart-to-heart conversation with a drunk Jimmy Rhodes, who in the previous scene was not only absolutely infuriated by something Tony did, but was completely refusing to drink anything.
- Obadiah goes into a tent, leaving his guards standing in the center of the cars he just came in, surrounded by terrorists. Then he
killsparalyses the terrorist leader, and comes outside, to reveal that his guards have captured and disarmed all of the terrorists-who had them in a perfect crossfire-without firing a shot.
This is the only gift you'll receive.
- The way Obadiah paralyses the terrorist leader deserves mention. When the leader makes his proposal, Obadiah puts his hand on his shoulder in the same "jolly old uncle" manner he has acted as throughout the film, flips out the device, and when the leader is immobilised, he tells him coldly:
- The novelization of the film included a moment for Tony: At the climax of the final battle, after Pepper has hit all the buttons and launched the EMP, freezing both Tony and Stane and collapsing the roof, Stane begins to fall into the reactor, but has enough time to give a speech rife with Contemplate Our Navels:
Stane: I guess this is a draw. The genie is out of the bottle. We've done our part. We've brought a great gift to the world and now it is time to go. That is the law of nature, Tony.Stane falls into the reactor. Tony watches him, feeling nothing.
- Casting Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark. Pure and simple.
- The fighter pilot who looks like he's about to not appear in Iron Man 2..but then; Stark catches the falling pilot and unjams his parachute. Made. Of. Win.
- In a deleted scene, Rhodes saves Stark by ramming his car into Stane, who flies into a bus and explodes. Quite awesome. Not as awesome as Stane's death scene WITHIN the movie, but still.
- Another deleted scene that was still pretty awesome: during the opening ambush, Tony Stark actually picked up a weapon and returned fire on the ambushers. I can understand why it would be removed - to better show how Tony Took a Level in Badass later on after being captured - but still, that was pretty damn badass that a spoiled, irresponsible playboy had enough wits about him to at least shoot back.
- Not that he didn't have a pair before, but this is the moment where you know
Pepper: Tony, you know that I would help you with anything, but I cannot help you if you're going to start all this again.Tony: There is nothing except this. There's no art opening, no charity, nothing to sign. There's the next mission, and nothing else.Pepper: Is that so? Well, then I quit.Tony: You stood by my side all these years while I reaped the benefits of destruction. Now that I'm trying to protect the people I've put in harm's way, you're going to walk out?Pepper: You're going to kill yourself, Tony. I'm not going to be a part of it.
- The Mark II test-flight scene, specifically the part where a gung-ho Stark takes the suit higher than it can go, and it ices over and shorts out. Tony plunges back to the ground, but after Stark manually opens the flaps and cuts the ice, suddenly the suit wakes up and promptly ignites its rockets and Tony soars again. And it's so close he scrapes the damn pavement.
- And all while the Awesome Music track "Driving With The Top Down" by composer Ramin Djawadi is blasting in the background.
- Iron Man vs. Iron Monger. One of the best superhero vs. supervillain fight scenes ever. Even if the beginning is Stane giving Tony a No Holds Barred Beat Down (Which is one hell of a Awesome Moment for Stane), both Iron Man and Iron Monger show us how undeniably badass they truly are.
- When the Mk I suit comes to life. All the lights go out, and all you can hear is the suit powering up and taking its first step.
- "Just call us S.H.I.E.L.D." And the big reveal after the credits made it even better.
- How about the reporter lady, coming up to Tony at the party and showing him photographic proof of Obadiah's double-dealing? What makes this better is that she put aside her spontaneous one-night stand with him to tell him that.
- Tony using the Mk 1 to break down a solid steel door. the look on the terrorists faces says it all.
- Tony Stark's press conference immediately after he was rescued from Afghanistan. The hero kicking the crap out of the guys that captured and tortured him? Been there, done that. The hero publicly admitting that everything he's done up to that point was wrong and he's going to shut down his company's bread and butter to atone for everything they've done? Bad Ass.
- It's a sweet moment, Tony takes off one repulsor only for Stane to not be down and out. Stane swings at Tony, Tony ducks and tries to shoot the repulsor he just took off. So he uses his remaining one to jump up and slug Stane across the face plate.
- A meta example: Plasma arc reactor technology is currently a theory, which details how to build the big one seen at Stark industries. See here for details: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARC_fusion_reactor
- Another meta example: as noted on the YMMV page, the movie was taking many risks that could've led to disaster. Instead, it was successful enough to kickstart an entire cinematic universe.