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Tony Stark / Iron Man
"The truth is... I am Iron Man."
Click here  to see the Iron Man MK XLIII suit

Birth Name: Anthony Edward Stark

Known Alias: Iron Man

Species: Human

Portrayed By: Robert Downey, Jr., Davin Ransom (young)

Voiced By: Idzi Dutkiewicz (Latin-American Spanish dub), Juan Antonio Bernal (European Spanish dub), Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese dub), Bernard Gabay (European French dub since Phase 1 + Canadian French dub since Phase 2), Daniel Picard [Phase 1] (Canadian French dub)

Appearances: Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk | Iron Man 2 | The Avengers | The Consultant | Iron Man 3 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Captain America: Civil War | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Avengers: Infinity War

"You want my property? You can't have it. But I did you a big favor: I have successfully privatized world peace."

A brilliant engineer and CEO of Stark Industries with his own self-designed Powered Armor. After being held hostage by terrorists and escaping only with the help of Yinsen, his worldview and philosophy changes, leading to him shutting down the weapons manufacturing division of his company and becoming the hero Iron Man. Despite various interpersonal clashes, Tony finds himself called in to join the Avengers and proves a vital asset to them as The Team Benefactor, particularly during the conflict with Ultron. However, Tony's increasing desire to protect the world and his friends, culminating from the Survivor's Guilt accumulated through each successive film he's made an appearance in, inspires him to make some pretty catastrophic decisions that begin to cause a rift between him and his friends - particularly Steve Rogers.
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  • 10-Minute Retirement:
    • He quits being Iron Man at the end of Iron Man 3, even blowing up all his armors to reinforce this point, but he's back into action in a shiny new armor in Age of Ultron.
    • Happens a second time, with the end of Age of Ultron once more implying that he's done, but Civil War brings him once more out of retirement.
  • Accidental Misnaming: When he reveals to Peter he knows his identity.
    Tony: So you're the Spider...ling? Crime-Fighting Spider? Spider-Boy?
    Peter: ...S-Spider-Man.
  • Achilles' Heel: As powerful as his armor is, it becomes completely useless if something prevents the arc reactor from powering it. Steve and Bucky spend most of their fight against him in Civil War trying to disable it, with Steve eventually succeeding by bringing his Vibranium shield down on it.
  • Action Hero: Fighting terrorists, alien invaders and other villains to keep people safe.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Captain America: Civil War portrays him much more sympathetically than the comics do, where he made many more morally gray and sometimes outright villainous decisions, alienating much of his fanbase. In the film, he goes along with the Accords out of guilt over the deaths he believes he caused and to make amends. His conflict with the Anti-Reg side also isn't simply because they won't sign, but because Cap is breaking the law to protect Bucky (a wanted criminal) and Tony sees himself as the responsible one trying to ease tensions, whereas Cap's actions, however noble, only further inflame them.
  • Adult Fear: Tony spends most of Spider-Man: Homecoming terrified that Peter will end up seriously injured or killed by taking on bad guys without proper training and, quite simply, being too young to be putting himself in harm's way.
  • The Alcoholic: Since this is a universe where the Demon in a Bottle arc never happened, many scenes involve alcohol. In Iron Man 2, he gets plastered while wearing the suit.
  • Always Second Best: Fears he'll never be as brilliant as his father or as goodhearted as Steve. Is literally second-best in Captain America: Civil War when Steve chooses Bucky over him.
    Stark, regarding his father: Been dead for 20 years... still taking me to school.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: After The Avengers, Tony is shown to have a form of anxiety disorder (most likely PTSD, the signs can apply to other anxiety disorders as well). He has panic attacks during Iron Man 3 coupled with nightmares. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, while the panic part seems to be under control, he does show signs of obsessive worrying. In Captain America: Civil War, he shows excess guilt over what happened. There have also been links between anxiety and impulsive behavior, as Tony displays frequently.
  • Anti-Hero: He's one of the good guys, but he has a lot of character flaws. Lampshaded by Tony and everyone around him at least once per film.
    Tony: Apparently, I'm volatile, self-obsessed, and don't play well with others.
    Pepper: That I did know.
  • Anti-Role Model: In Spider-Man: Homecoming, he wants Spider-Man to be better than him and not do what he would do.
  • Appropriated Appellation: The press comes up with "Iron Man", and he decides to go with it. In the Novelization, Tony even imitates Ozzy Osbourne's "I AM IRON MAN!" when reading the news.
  • Arc Words: "I am Iron Man" becomes this throughout his movies.
  • Arm Cannon: Several of Iron Man's weapons are mounted on his forearms, such as the Mark III's anti-tank missile and the Mark VI's lasers.
  • The Atoner:
    • Initially, he really didn't give much of a crap about who was blowing up what with his toys, but after being held hostage by terrorists armed with weapons made by his company, he vows to undo his destructive legacy.
    • The later films partially revisit and correct this, with Tony Stark still being plagued and haunted by his past even after he has tried to correct and atone for it, bringing home the fact that his actions still have consequences which he has to live with. Examples include Aldrich Killian, Adrian Toomes, and the Maximoff twins for whom his actions are not Easily Forgiven in the slightest. Strays a little into Contrived Coincidence at times.
    • It's also criticized in that Tony's desire to atone becomes something of a Fatal Flaw in that it leads him to overcorrect to make up for it in a grand gesture. It leads him to work on Ultron with Bruce, and then it leads him to support the Sokovian Accords simply because of his need to make up for his guilt.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Tony's eccentric nature and constantly active brain makes him prone to zoning out of what he's supposed to be doing.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Tony loves him some AC/DC and Black Sabbath. He loves to blast AC/DC's "Shoot To Thrill" whenever he's making a big entrance and was seen throughout much of The Avengers wearing a Black Sabbath T-shirt.
  • Bad Dreams: By Iron Man 3, his experiences during The Avengers have shaken him up and given him these, resulting in a hard time sleeping in general.
  • Badass Beard: More distinctive than his comic book counterpart's.
  • Badass Boast: His response to Steve in The Avengers when called out on his seemingly egotistical exterior.
    Steve: Big man in a suit of armor. Take that off, what are you?
    Tony: Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.
  • Badass Bookworm: Incredibly intelligent, and a badass with and without the "Iron Man" armor.
  • Badass Mustache: He's notably one of the few mainstream heroes in comics or movies that regularly sports a mustache.
  • Badass Normal: Whenever he's out of his suit, he's like James Bond, but making his own gadgets.
    • Tony does well against Iron Monger during the end of Iron Man while stuck in an offline armor.
    • In Iron Man 2 he is able to do well against Vanko without his armor during the raceway attack, fending off Whiplash using a combination of Deadly Dodging and Car Fu.
    • When without a suit in Iron Man 3, he shows he's been practicing martial arts, and even manages to kill the super-powered Ellen Brandt with some improvised explosives. He also storms the Mandarin's hideout with a few improvised weapons he cobbled together from materials he bought at a hardware store.
    • And he even tries his luck with some success against the Winter Soldier in Captain America: Civil War with an incapacitating device he deploys on his hand.
  • Bigger Stick: Claims to be America's Big Stick in Iron Man 2, and stopping others from abusing his sticks is a recurring problem for him.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The Mark XXIII has a retractable arm blade.
  • Brainy Brunette: He has his trademark, jet-black hair and is a robotics genius.
  • Breakout Character: Perhaps the character most helped by the MCU.
    • Before the movies came out, Iron Man /Tony Stark was the Lesser Star of Marvel comics: not as smart as Reed Richards, not as popular or beloved as Spider-Man, not as socially relevant as X-Men, and boasting the least interesting supporting cast and Rogues Gallery of major heroes. Then the movies came out, and suddenly Iron Man is one of the biggest things ever — to the point that he rivals Spider-Man in popularity as a brand these days, and thanks to the rights issues of Fantastic Four, has taken over Reed Richards' role as the main genius with Dr. Doom and Norman Osborn transplanted to his storylines and titles.
    • Iron Man wasn't well-known globally among Marvel titles compared to Spider-Man, the X-Men, or the Fantastic Four (the fact that those three titles were first sold to rival studios by Marvel to bail themselves out of bankruptcy, and made into movies is a major clue as to what were their most valuable properties). He didn't benefit from Pop-Cultural Osmosis, either, and wasn't known to people who don't read Marvel comics or know who the Avengers are. But thanks to the movies, and especially Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man is an A-Lister now.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Implied to be this pre-Character Development in the first film. He sure built that arc reactor pretty quickly once he needed it, and was said by Obadiah Stane to be more of an "idea man". He's more hardworking, but quite hedonistic.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Partway through the third movie, he loses a lot of his technology. Then he proves he doesn't need it. He is Iron Man.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Played for Drama. He's utterly horrified to find out that Killian was some random guy whom he played a cruel joke on years ago.
  • Byronic Hero: Every single characteristic save for the brooding—unless you catch him in a downbeat moment.
  • The Cameo: Has one at the end of The Incredible Hulk.
  • The Casanova: Is known as such in Iron Man and Iron Man 2. By the time of The Avengers however, he's in a monogamous relationship with Pepper.
    Soldier: Is it true that you went twelve-for-twelve with last year's Maxim cover models?
    Tony Stark: That is an excellent question. Yes and no. March and I had a scheduling conflict, but fortunately the Christmas cover was twins.
  • The Cassandra: All of Tony's motivations post-Avengers 1 is about preparing for the day the aliens come back and attack earth once more. None of the Avengers take Tony's fear seriously and Natasha even rolls her eyes. Bruce Banner when hearing about his plan for Ultron notes that it doesn't take into account human threats from Earth, which later films, and Ultron itself, proves would not truly go away.
  • Character Development:
    • Aside from the obvious "becoming less of a dick" aspects, in the first movie he's basically helpless to manage his affairs without Pepper, but by the third he's apparently secreted caches of money he can access while still remaining off the grid. And may have been carrying quarters, just in case he came across a payphone.
    • He really gets to show how far he's come in Spider-Man: Homecoming, where he now takes up the role of a responsible Parental Substitute for Peter Parker. He tries to mentor Peter into being responsible. He scolds Peter like a father would, after the younger hero acts recklessly with his technology and endangers civilian lives, and ends with him confiscating the suit which he later says was an act of Tough Love. At the end of the film, after seeing Peter being more responsible on his end and how much Peter has matured, he even has a So Proud of You moment with the boy.
  • Character Title: Of his own films.
  • Chest Blaster: It drains more power than the palm blasters, so he mainly uses it as a backup weapon (unless he's blowing stuff up for laughs while hammered).
  • Child Prodigy: A former one. It's mentioned he built his first AI at the age of seven.
  • Child Soldiers: Bringing Spider-Man (who is fifteen years old at the time) into the registration conflict effectively makes Tony an enabler of this trope, even if Peter does have superpowers and was told to steer clear of any violent confrontation. He realizes his mistake, and makes sure to be more cautious with Spider-Man's training in Homecoming. He still has a slot in the Avengers prepped for Peter at the film's end, however, although Peter turns down the offer.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: A downplayed example, but he REALLY has a hard time giving up being Iron Man. At the end of Iron Man 3, he initiates a self-destruct sequence on all of his suits, has surgery to remove the shrapnel in his chest so he no longer needs the arc reactor, and tells Pepper that he no longer needs the suit, as he considers it a cocoon from which he's emerged, a new man. Yet by Age of Ultron he's back in the fight, flying the suit for the opening action sequence. In Captain America: Civil War, he admits to himself that he doesn't want to stop.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: His powers come from his various Powered Armor, that allow him to rival gods and monsters. But the trope itself is actually defied; Iron Man 3 showed that Tony's Gadgeteer Genius is his greatest weapon, and Spider-Man: Homecoming practically had him spell it out.
    Tony Stark: If you are nothing without the suit, then you don't deserve to have it.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He certainly has some rather...eccentric behaviors.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: After his switch to The Atoner, Tony is perfectly willing to wield the power of his money, fame, and genius for the greater good.
  • Comically Missing the Point: A few times, he does this and mostly on purpose. For instance, his thoughts on being called "the Da Vinci of our time"...
    Tony: Absolutely ridiculous, I don't paint.
  • Composite Character:
    • This version of Tony Stark blends the serious demeanor of his 616 counterpart with the more playful billionaire personality of his Ultimate universe counterpart. He also replaces Hank Pym as the one who builds Ultron.
    • More generally he takes the role of Reed Richards in being the great representative genius of the MCU, whereas before Tony Stark was seen as a skilled inventor and engineer but not as good a theoretical physicist as Reed. This is Lampshaded in The Avengers where Tony has to learn thermonuclear astrophysics overnight and proves a very quick study.
    • His mentoring of Peter Parker, being his backer and handler is analogous to Ultimate Fury in Ultimate Spider-Man. Samuel L. Jackson was originally supposed to reprise that mentor role in Homecoming but MCU decided to go with Tony instead.
  • Control Freak: This becomes part of his characterization from Iron Man 3 onwards. His exposure to the wormhole and trauma of surviving a cosmic threat in The Avengers has definitely unbalanced him, to the point that he starts overtinkering with his suits and then in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he and Bruce Banner decide to build an AI that can supplant and replace the Avengers to put a "suit of armour around the world" and in Captain America : Civil War, his controlling behaviour bristles with the rest, whether it's putting Wanda under house arrest for her own good (and without telling her or explaining to her), then drafting Spider-Man to fight on his team, and in Homecoming tethering Peter to serve with a disinterested handler and then brushing him off when he does something stupid (which obviously Tony never did, not even once).
    Hawkeye: The futurist, gentleman! The futurist is here! He sees all. He knows what’s best for you, whether you like it or not.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Played with. It's demonstrated that Tony builds his suits with contingencies in mind, and newer versions improve on the flaws of the last model; The Mk 42 would've been a Lightning Bruiser if it worked right. Yet, Tony seems unable to simply have spares of important equipment when he needs it.note  The only exception is The Avengers where not only has the Mk 6 been upgraded to have more weapons, but he had the Mk 7 to replace the Mk 6.
    • By the third film, he's hidden stashes of money he can get to while remaining off the grid, and memorized how to access them, as well as learning the basics of how to shoot and hand-to-hand combat.
    • The Hulkbuster system in Age of Ultron includes lots of spare parts up to full on limbs, correctly anticipating the Hulk tearing them off. On the other hand, he doesn't anticipate that Hulk would start tearing up the delivery system.
  • Create Your Own Villain: The fact that he keeps ending up having a hand in the villains he fights clearly begins to wear on him over time, burdening him with guilt that drives his character arc:
    • Tony admits to doing this in the opening narration of Iron Man 3. Specifically, it's his cruel joke back in 1999 that sets Killian on his Start of Darkness.
    • He's also Ultron's main creator. Likewise, the initial reason why Pietro and Wanda worked for HYDRA was that they blamed him for the death of their parents and the destruction of their home when his missiles was used by enemy combatants over Sokovia. Helmut Zemo also blamed Ultron's destruction of Sokovia as his Freudian Excuse in Civil War though he blames all the Avengers rather than Tony in particular, even if Tony created Ultron.
    • He even does this for other heroes' villains. Spider-Man: Homecoming shows that his continuing efforts to atone for his days as a weapons manufacturer drove Adrian Toomes out of business and led him to become The Vulture.
  • Cursed with Awesome:
    • By The Avengers, this is how Tony Stark has come to view the electromagnet and the miniature arc reactor that are plugged into his chest 24/7 and are the only things keeping him alive. He spends a good deal of the film trying to convince Bruce Banner that the Hulk is a similarly awesome curse.
      Tony: It's a terrible... privilege.
    • This is proven true later in The Avengers when it's shown that the reactor basically makes Tony the only person unable to be controlled by Loki's scepter because it cuts direct access to his heart.
  • Cutting the Knot: When challenged by Steve Rogers in The Avengers over his worldview and his unwillingness to make the sacrifice play when the chips are down, he defends himself thusly.
  • Cyborg: First, we have his Arc Reactor pacemaker. Following The Avengers, Tony's PTSD leads him to build subdermal implants in his arm allowing him to control his suit remotely piece-by-piece to pull them to him or put them on another user. While he has surgery to remove the "walking death" shrapnel from his chest, throws his reactor into the ocean and blows up the entire Iron Legion of his remaining armors (which could be controlled by J.A.R.V.I.S.) at the end of Iron Man 3, Age of Ultron shows that he didn't get rid of the implants.
  • The Cynic: His main front he puts in the public, to hid how emotionally affected he really is, such as his reaction to Natasha's assessment of him regarding the Avengers Initiative, finding Steve Rogers' "outdated and irrelevant idealism" annoying, or feebly trying to dismiss Coulson as an idiot for taking on a god and getting killed for his efforts. The mask falls apart in the finale of Civil War when he finds out that Winter Soldier killed his parents while brainwashed, resulting in him lashing out furiously and painfully at Captain America.
  • Daddy Issues: Where to begin? Between Howard Stark's constant idolizing of Captain America and berating Tony for not doing more with his gifts, plus the mild abuse makes Tony much more fond of his mother.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: While an argument can be made about Tony's less than caring upbringing, the true darkness that influences his character is when he was abducted, tortured, and enslaved for three months in Afghanistan.
  • Deadpan Snarker: About ninety-eight percent of his dialogue is sarcasm.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In Civil War, Tony starts out as a Tritagonist overlapping with Hero Antagonist and Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist, however, when Zemo plays the tape that shows the death of his parents at Bucky's mind-controlled hand, Tony, while still counting as the film's Hero Antagonist, becomes a vengeful Inspector Javert Final Boss who battles both Steve and Bucky to the death to avenge the deaths of Howard and Maria Stark.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Downplayed in Iron Man 2, where Tony's response to his looming demise is to give up all pretense and make a scene of himself at his own birthday party. Even Rhodey fighting him and stealing the War Machine suit isn't enough to snap him out of it. Ultimately subverted when Nick Fury clues him in to the fact that all hope is not lost, according to Howard Stark.
    • Comes reeeeaaaally close to it in Iron Man 3, after Pepper apparently dies. He can't even emote properly. Thankfully, she lives.
    • Invoked in Age of Ultron where Scarlet Witch uses a vision of Tony's greatest fears to drive him into self-destructive mania and, ultimately, to creating Ultron.
  • Deuteragonist: Of the general MCU. While he initially was the protagonist of Phase 1; starting with The Avengers, the focus slowly shifted towards Captain America. He remains the character with the most face-time taking in account all movies, but given that the storylines involving him (notably all of his movies, save minor sections of the first two) tend to be self-contained while Cap's have a greater impact in the general universe, he could either be considered this in general, a supporting protagonist at best, or a hero antagonist (such as in Civil War) at worst.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Tony's "run before you can walk" philosophy has mixed results. His first flight test nearly kills him, though confronting the icing problem helps against Iron Monger's untested suit. Telling the Mandarin "here's my home address, come and have a go" was a bit much even for him. It reaches its ultimate endpoint when his desire to protect the world and save everyone causes him to jump without any real plan or even talking things out with his teammates besides Bruce, leading to the creation of Ultron.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Offered Loki, an alien god, a drink in The Avengers.
  • Disability Superpower: The arc reactor that powers Tony's Powered Armor is installed in Tony's chest in the first place as (to oversimplify) a very fancy pacemaker. Remove the arc reactor and Tony's heart will very quickly give out. He finally gets the shrapnel removed in Iron Man 3.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While captured in Iron Man 3, he taunts a guard with this after the guard breaks his borrowed "deluxe Dora the Explorer" watch. "Just for that, I'm going to kill you first."
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: He has a very bad habit of violating this, the creation of Ultron being the most egregious example.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The Iron Man 1 novelization implied that Tony had a healthy relationship with his father. Subsequent films establish that Tony's relationship with Howard was strained at best and abusive at worst.
  • Easily Forgiven: Turns out spending most of your adolescent and adult life as a hedonistic nihilistic Insufferable Genius will create consequences long after you start becoming The Atoner:
    • No matter what he does as Iron Man, he still runs into people formed by his actions, such as the Maximoff Twins in Sokovia, Aldrich Killian and Maya Hansen, people he insulted and discarded years ago, and after making Ultron, the mother of one of his victims who rebukes him for his irresponsibility.
    • He doesn't seem to face any legal consequences after the Ultron disaster, although no one hesitates to call him out on his role in this, but many of Ulton's victims fault him with moral responsibility, which Tony doesn't back away from. He works hard to fix his mistakes and this becomes another Fatal Flaw of his, his tendency to overcorrect.
    • At the climax of Civil War, Tony tries to flat-out murder Bucky for revenge, and nearly does the same to Steve when he tries to defend his friend, even angrily declaring Steve's shield doesn't belong to him. In the aftermath, Steve says that if Tony calls for help, Steve will come. This may be because Steve recognized that his keeping the truth from Tony was a betrayal in itself.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: As of Civil War, as far as Rhodey is concerned, his name is now "Tony Stank".
  • Everyone Has Standards: In a bit of Adaptational Heroism from the comic which Captain America: Civil War is loosely based on, he's unsettled by the prison conditions that the anti-accords Avengers are placed under.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Creating Vision in Age of Ultron is a move of desperation that almost everyone thinks is a terrible idea, but Stark is ultimately proven correct that the Avengers aren't beating Ultron by themselves and Vision is critical to victory and that his hopes about an AI Superhero protector were ultimately vindicated.
    Thor: Stark is right.
    Bruce Banner: Oh, it's definitely the end times!
  • Fanboy: To Bruce Banner as seen in their first meet in The Avengers. He's a fan of Bruce Banner's scientific work and also the way he loses control and turns into enormous green rage monster.
    Bruce Banner: ...Thanks.
  • A Father to His Men: As one of the co-leaders of the Avengers, especially towards Peter Parker in Civil War when he sends him off early in the middle of battle to make sure he does not get hurt. Then in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he continues to look out for Peter while acting as a Parental Substitute.
  • The Fettered: Tony Stark before his kidnapping by the ten rings was The Unfettered. After returning from his experiences a changed man he realizes he has been "comfortable with a system of zero accountability" and creates a new legacy of responsibility, which becomes a major theme for Iron Man throughout the franchise.
  • Fiction 500:
    • Forget the private jet that turns into a nightclub with flight attendants who double as exotic dancers. He has the personal resources and completely automated production facility to build a fully functional Iron Man suit in five hours in his garage.
    • As of Iron Man 2, said garage now contains a miniature, personal Hadron Collider.
    • The Avengers has him kicking it up a notch, having bought the MetLife building and given it some drastic upgrades: he completely cut it off from the city's electrical grid, equipped it with 10 stories of R&D, gave it the capability to both manufacture the Iron Man armor and remove it from Tony while he enters his apartment, and chopped the top off to rebuild it as what can only be described as a fantastic display of ego.
    • In 2012, Mr. Tony Stark ranks #5 on Forbes' Fictional 15, with a net worth of $9.3 billion.
  • Final Boss: Steve's final opponent in Civil War is not Baron Zemo nor the other Winter Soldiers that are in hibernation. It's Tony because Tony tries to kill Bucky to avenge his mother.
  • Foil: To Steve Rogers, playing the seemingly selfish cynic to Steve's old-fashioned idealist. For example, when both are shown to be darlings of the public (featured at big show events complete with dancing girls), Steve is made visibly uncomfortable with the spotlight while Tony seems to relish in it.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: A mainstay of the armor's weapon systems, starting from the Mark VI, where it's a one-off, last-ditch weapon. By the time of Avengers, he's upgraded the mechanisms so he can use it more than once with the Mark VII.
  • Friend to All Children: Tony seems to have an affinity for kids. There's a throwaway gag where he helps a kid in Iron Man 2, he bonds with Harley Keener in Iron Man 3 and he's a mentor for a teenage Peter Parker. Notably he's more patient and less acerbic around kids.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Except with Rhodey, Bruce Banner, and Spider-Man, he's not very popular among the superhero community. The other Avengers find him irritating or selfish, Scarlet Witch still has a grudge against him about his past as a weapons manufacturer, Hank Pym dislikes him because of his father Howard, and passed the prejudice on to Scott Lang and Black Panther is indifferent to him. Black Widow reacts with Teeth-Clenched Teamwork. More generally, Tony is burdened with the fact that many people will never see past his adolescent and adult past of a Jerkass weapons dealer with a reputation for hedonism. Ironically enough, Captain America, despite a negative first impression actually starts liking him and is vaguely apologetic after Civil War about hiding Bucky's involvement in the deaths of Howard and Maria Stark.
  • Flying Brick: His armor lets him fly at supersonic speeds and shoot various energy blasts (from particle beams to lasers), while also making him nigh-immune to small arms fire and granting him strength sufficient to pick up a car over his head and out-muscle Captain America.

  • The Gadfly: Depends on what mood you catch him in.
    • Tony has an unfortunate habit of using sarcastic humor as an icebreaker in interpersonal relationships, most tellingly in his tendency to give everybody goofy nicknames and being absolutely fine about openly and lightly discussing personal trauma, such as with Captain America's 70 year freeze and how he's a fan of the way Bruce Banner "turns into an enormous green rage-monster."
    • Him poking Bruce with a cattle prod stands out as a fine example, but Bruce found it funny. They're both scientists; little lab pranks like that happen all the time.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: When pushed, he can revolutionize Arc Reactor technology IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!, as well as build his own personal Hadron Collider by seemingly nothing more than rewiring his own home.
  • Generation Xerox: Of his father, Howard Stark. Genius inventor in the arms industry that gets involved in a war and becomes cynical and aloof as a result. Probably the real reason for their estranged relationship was that they were too similar to each other.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Yes, he's willing to work hard to keep the world safe, and his heart is in the right place, but he's also abrasive and not good at endearing himself to his teammates.
  • Guilt Complex: Tony has a lot of stuff to feel genuinely guilt about, namely his past as an Arms Dealer, but this guilt leads him to overcompensate. This comes back to haunt him in Civil War, where his guilt over the events of Age of Ultron lead to him giving his complete support to the Sokovia Accords, and trying to convince the other Avengers to do the same. He disregards the concerns of the other Avengers over not just the Accords, but other matters and attempts to appease the government by any means necessary, all of which eventually result in fracturing the team, the very thing that Tony was trying to prevent. Of the events depicted in the movie in support of the Accords (New York, Washington D.C., Sokovia, and Lagos), only one (Sokovia) can be blamed on the Avengers in any real capacity — the rest were the result of the actions of enemy forces, and the Avengers were the ones trying to respond to these disasters in order to stop these enemy forces and minimize the collateral damage. However, Tony's overwhelming guilt causes him to disregard that and try to find a way to submit to a higher authority and prevent him from doing any more wrong. In short, he feels like he has to atone for the things he did to atone for other things.
  • Has a Type: We've seen three women he slept with; Christine Everhart, Maya Hansen, and Pepper Potts. All of them are smart, capable, professional women who are willing to challenge him. Black Widow used the archetype as her cover identity. Tony also hires Maria Hill to help run the Avengers.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Even though he's just doing his duty to support the Accords, Captain America: Civil War seems to depict Tony going down this route as he increasingly becomes real enemies with Steve, allowing Revenge Before Reason to be in the front wheel of his morale during his battle against Steve, especially after his friend Rhodes gets injured in a skirmish. Once he finds out HYDRA used Bucky to kill his parents, Tony goes ballistic and doesn't even attempt to capture the former anymore and instead actively tries to hurt him.
  • Hero Antagonist: In Captain America: Civil War, he is in direct opposition to Cap even though he isn't evil. While Helmut Zemo is the true Big Bad and the one responsible for the events of the movie, Tony and his group are actively trying to capture Steve and Bucky while ignoring Zemo's plan to unleash five HYDRA Super Soldiers from suspended animation. He officially takes this spot in the film's final act once he finds out HYDRA used Bucky to kill his parents and actively tries to murder Bucky himself.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: After Age of Ultron, for co-creating Ultron, he has more than a few haters in-universe (although he's still popular among young people as seen in Homecoming). It is this bad publicity that leads him to support the Accords and become more responsible.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: His first girlfriend, as opposed to one-night-stand, is redheaded Pepper.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He makes "the sacrifice play" or attempts to in The Avengers by directing a nuclear warhead away from Manhattan and into the wormhole towards the mother-ship. He had no expectation or hope of surviving in the deep vacuum of space, in another part of the universe and he survived by falling back into the wormhole just in time and having his fall stopped by the Hulk.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation:
    • As of Iron Man 3, he's very aware of how flawed he is. Hilariously so.
      Pepper: Well now I see why you work with the suits so much...god, what am I going to complain about now?
      Tony: It's me, there's always something to complain about.
    • And:
      Pepper: I am gonna be okay?
      Tony: You're in a relationship with me, everything will never be okay.
    • This theme continues in Spider-Man: Homecoming where he makes it clear that he doesn't consider himself a superhero role model. He tells Peter "don't do anything I would do" and later, when Peter says he was trying to be a hero like him, he replies, "I wanted you to be better."
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Rhodey; he's one of two people that he trusts.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Oh, he cares about people and wants to make the world a better place, no doubt. Just don't expect him to ever admit it.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: After he returned from Afghanistan and refused to allow his product to fall into evil hands.
  • Horrible Judge of Character:
    • Tony Stark met with Ulysses Klaue –- a gangster -– prior to repurposing his company, but he waves it away as just a meeting and that he never actually did business with Klaue.
    • Tony assumes that if Banner was around, he'd be on the pro-registration side. Considering that the man in charge of the Accords is Secretary Ross, the man who is responsible for causing Banner to get his powers and ruined his life, Natasha questions Tony's judgment on this.
    • Later on, Tony assumes that with the new evidence that exonerates Barnes and proves Zemo was responsible for the attack, Ross will help him out. Not so much.
  • Hot Scientist: There's a reason there are several scenes of him in tank tops, such as during his lab work.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He believes that superheroes need to be put in check... but has absolutely no problem enlisting an unregistered up-and-coming underage superhero (Spider-Man) to further his goals. It doesn't look like he asked the U.N. panel for permission to do that. Or the hero's guardian.
    • Tony wants to contain Scarlet Witch for one encounter where her powers caused collateral damage (in an attempt to prevent even more damage), yet in his own movies Tony has fought in crowded streets and an entire convention center, causing far more damage, not to mention the fallout from creating Ultron. Furthermore, one of his missiles falling into the wrong hands is what led to Wanda to join HYDRA at the start of Avengers: Age of Ultron. The only difference is the bad press.
    • Early on, Tony accuses Steve of letting his emotions cloud his reasoning. Tony's reaction to the Sokovia Accords is nothing but Tony letting his guilt override any potential issues with the situation. Then Tony lets his emotions throw reason out the window in the final act as he tries to kill Bucky over something Bucky had no control over.
    • Tony had a distant relationship with his own father, which he regretted. When he starts mentoring Peter, he's distant in much the same way his dad was. He eventually catches on, however, and tries to open up, but it's already too late.
  • Immune to Bullets: His suits are at least immune to rifle fire. However, they have limits. In the first movie, the Mark III has its repulsors cut out and gets scuffing and scratches to its millimeters-thick armor from a single shot from an anti-aircraft gun (not a tank, as is commonly believed). Later, the same suit suffers damage from two 20mm cannon shots, and Tony's panic definitely implies that he'd be in critical danger if F-22s landed any more hits. In Iron Man 3, four of the suits are blown up by a single hit from an ATGM, launched by one of the Mandarin's helicopters.
  • Improvised Weapon User: Tony dismantles Bucky's gun and tries to use the slide to bludgeon him when armorless in Civil War.
  • Incoming Ham: His arrival at the Stark Expo in the second movie, and appearing in Germany with guns blazing and hijacking S.H.I.E.L.D.'s audio systems to play AC/DC in The Avengers.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Tony agrees with Killian that he doesn't deserve someone like Pepper, which is in complete compliance with his self-loathing nature.
  • In-Series Nickname: Almost always referred to as just "Tony".
  • Insistent Terminology: During a senate hearing, he states that he doesn't see the Iron Man armour as a weapon, but a hi-tech prosthesis.
  • Insufferable Genius:
    • Snubs an award ceremony for technological brilliance and then gives away the award like it's junk. This also colors a lot of his interpersonal interactions, but it's hilarious.
    • He kept the Ultron project a secret from the other Avengers (sans Bruce) because he didn't want to be given the whole "man must not meddle" lecture. When called on it afterward, he just angrily bites back that everyone else "doesn't get" what he was trying to do.
    • In general, when Tony's at his worst (or lowest), this becomes a serious issue for him, as he'll absolutely refuse to accept the possibility he might be wrong about something, or refuse to budge on an issue. For example, throughout Iron Man 2, he believes that since he's looked for every possible means of curing palladium poisoning, there isn't one at all, and needs encouragement from Fury to find one (and never mind the problem was caused by having a chunk of palladium in his chest in the first place, something that 3 demonstrates could have been solved by Tony just hiring a bunch of doctors to get the shrapnel out of his chest). Hawkeye calls him on it during Civil War.
  • Intergenerational Friendship:
    • He briefly becomes friends with the much older Yinsen in Iron Man.
    • He also befriends a boy named Harley in Iron Man 3 who proves to be quite a useful Kid Sidekick.
    • He becomes something of a mentor to Peter Parker from Captain America: Civil War onwards.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Self-centeredness has long been a character trait of Tony Stark but initially it was portrayed more an endearing/annoying factor than a true flaw. Such as when he bought a giant tower in order to put his name on it in big letters. As he says, "It's like Christmas but with"
    • While Tony does think supporting the Accords is the right thing, he's perfectly willing to ignore his teammates' feelings on the matter and go behind their backs to do it. Eventually, Black Widow and Hawkeye call out Tony on making the issue all about himself and his personal guilt.
    Black Widow: Are you incapable of letting your ego go for one goddamn second?
    • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, when he rips Peter a new one after the ferry disaster he seems to care more about how Peter's actions could affect him.
    Tony: If you died, that's on me. I don't need that on my conscience.
  • It's All My Fault: Deconstructed. He's a textbook case of how fine a line there is between this and It's All About Me, and how they can be equally destructive; he constantly attempts to assuage his guilt and self-loathing with superheroism, only for his altruism to be scorned as his self-gratification, and his efforts to assuage his guilt. As of Civil War, Pepper has left him because being Iron Man has consumed his life to the point of leaving no room left for self-indulgent romance. This continues in Spiderman: Homecoming where he tries to be a responsible mentor for Peter Parker so the kid stays out of trouble that he can't handle and grows into a better superhero than he himself, but at times it sounds like he is trying to vicariously fix his own troubled relationship with his deceased father.
  • It's Personal: Tony's puts aside any rational or political motivations he has in Civil War after he learns that that Bucky killed his parents.
  • Jerk Ass:
  • Jerkass Façade: Uses sarcasm and obnoxious humour to hide any insecurity or fear.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Sure, Tony’s an uncouth lout, but his Hidden Heart of Gold and reputation as The Smart Guy around allows him to make painfully correct arguments time after time. An example of this is when he proves that the Hulk isn't inherently dangerous and a part of Banner rather than a different being.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While Tony can be a bit of a showoff, his heart's in the right place and he works hard to make the world better. By The Avengers, he's also indulging in shockingly open and extravagant displays of compassion and thoughtfulness in between smug, self-aggrandizing quips. Age of Ultron reveals that Tony's greatest fear is the other Avengers (whom he fully considers his friends by now) dying and Earth being destroyed because Tony didn't do enough.
  • Jet Pack: Starting with his Mark VII armor in The Avengers, to allow him to use both of his repulsors without having to use one to stay aloft in flight. It falls off into two engines into space at the climax of The Avengers, but he can probably just replace it. From Iron Man 3 onward, the jet pack is just two small slits on the back of his torso.
  • Jumped at the Call: Tony may be living proof that becoming a hero can still be a lot of fun.
  • Karma Houdini: Played With. He created Ultron yet doesn't face any consequences for the property damage and deaths that his Ax-Crazy A.I. caused. That said, he is haunted by his mistakes and is willing to atone for his actions in Civil War.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Tony marinates daily in cynicism and sarcasm before setting forth to bring world peace, protect the innocent, and mock the stupid.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Although the Iron Man armors can withstand things ranging from small arms fire to Thor's lightning, they are susceptible to heat intense enough to melt through them. This is why any of the Extremis fighters can almost fight on even ground with Tony.
  • Ladykiller in Love: The first and second movies made it obvious that for all his Casanova tendencies, Tony was clearly in love with his long time Beleaguered Assistant Pepper Potts. Since Iron Man 2, he has been monogamous.
  • The Lancer: In The Avengers as a direct foil to The Leader and Ideal Hero Captain America, and an obnoxious Ace that always has a plan different to Steve's. He's also listed as the official Number Two (to Cap) of the team.
  • Large Ham: As a man who believes the spotlight is always trained on him, it's a required trait.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Lampshades this in his narration of Iron Man 3, as his act of spurning Killian in 1999 bites him back in the ass.
    Tony: We create our own demons.
  • The Last Dance: In Iron Man 2 until he finds a replacement element for the palladium core of his arc reactor that was poisoning him.
  • Leitmotif: Many of his scenes involve AC/DC songs.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Many people, both foes and allies, have assumed that Tony's Cloud Cuckoolander irreverence and Obfuscating Stupidity mean he's an Upper-Class Twit who can't take anything seriously, let alone pose a threat. These people were very wrong.
  • Like Father, Like Son: As the MCU has expanded, we've learned that Tony is extremely similar to his father in many ways such as sense of humor and a desire to help people.
  • Locking Macgyver In The Store Cupboard: How he built the Mark I Iron Man armor. It's a Invoked Trope; the Ten Rings asked him what he needed to build a Jericho Missile and Tony told them exactly what he needed.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: He had no friends growing up in his swank boarding school. Later, he grew up to be a Millionaire Playboy enjoying swank parties and seducing reporters, although it's shown that this is a very shallow existence and his only true friends are Rhodey, Pepper, Happy, and his robots.
  • Luxurious Liquor: In several films, he is seen drinking scotch to match his narcissistic rich boy persona. In the first Avengers film, he even prepares one for Loki when they're exchanging words at Stark Tower and as an excuse to go behind the bar to get his Iron Man suit attachment bracelets in preparation for needing to jump out the windows — though this could well be exploiting the theory behind the trope to prevent the trickster from questioning his movement. In the first Iron Man film, he even throws in a portable alcohol station for the troops in the Middle East who buy his weapons.
    Tony Stark: Give me a scotch, I'm starving.

  • MacGyvering: His main ability when he's not inside his Iron Man suit. Other than building a Powered Armor with just scraps of metal, he can come up with weapons using whatever he has access to at the time.
  • Mad Scientist: Proudly calls himself one in Age of Ultron. You gotta own up to it, you know?
  • Manchild:
    • At times Stark looks more like a child building with legos than an adult saving the world. Considering that he built his first AI at just seven, he really hasn't grown out of revolutionising technology by playing with toys!
    • He'll often start behaving childishly even in serious situations, like during his Senate hearing, where his antics earn him a disapproving look from Pepper. In fact, most of Iron Man 2 involves him struggling with these tendencies.
  • Married to the Job: See his Chronic Hero Syndrome entry. By Civil War, his devotion to the Iron Man role is damaging his relationship with Pepper. He's obviously realized this flaw in Homecoming, where Tony tells Peter that if he truly needs the suit to be a superhero and good person, then he doesn't deserve it.
  • The Mentor: A Big Brother Mentor and father-figure to Spider-Man in Homecoming.
  • Metal Head: As punny as it might seem... huge fan of both Black Sabbath (having a song eponymous to his codename helps!) and AC/DC.
  • Meta Casting: Given Downey Jr.'s history with partying and drugs—plus snarky characters—he was made for the role ...except for his height. The comic book version of Tony Stark is 6 inches taller than him, and Downey is shorter than everyone in the MCU aside from Scarlett Johansson (hence the visual tricks done to make him look taller). It memed.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Tony often updates Iron Man suits mid-movie, either because the previous one became trashed or because it's become outdated.
  • Motor Mouth: The man never shuts up. Pepper has the singular ability to hold a conversation with him by talking right over him without pause and listening at the same time, otherwise she'd never get a word in edgewise.
  • Narcissist: "Textbook...narcissism?" (sees Fury's expression) "Agreed."
  • Never My Fault:
    • Tony goes along with the Accords and does his best to repair the public image of the Avengers, ignoring that keeping Wanda under house arrest is a bit much even for PR.
    • When Clint holds Tony responsible for imprisoning most of Team Cap, Tony tries to deflect blame by telling him they're the ones who decided to break the law and he didn't write it. Of course, Tony is ignoring the fact that Ross was initially going to send a SWAT team to go after them (which Team Cap probably would've easily beaten) until Tony convinced him to let him and the other Pro-Reg heroes do it.
    • Tony rips Peter a new one after the ferry incident in Spider-Man: Homecoming, ignoring that it was his aloofness and dismissiveness towards Peter that spurred him to try to take on the Vulture himself in the first place.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Despite Wanda's role in mind-raping Tony to exploit all his fears, and Bruce helping him out with drafting the original plans, Tony is the one who ultimately gets blamed for creating Ultron (though this is mostly because Bruce admitted it was a bad idea and apologized while Tony kept trying to justify it). Despite them being 'nowhere near an interface' and Ultron spontaneously gaining consciousness via the Mind Stone. This is the defining event that causes the UN to draft the Sokovia Accords in Civil War, which splits up the Avengers, of which both Tony and Steve are responsible for. Where as Steve is at fault for being unwilling to compromise and keeping the secret of what really happened to Tony's parents, Tony is at fault for allowing his guilt to dictate his judgement, causing him to try to compromise with the government by any means.
  • The Nicknamer: One of the indicators of his generally flippant attitude is his tendency to toss off casual and frequently pop-culture-laden nicknames for people and objects — "Old Man" and "Capsicle" for Captain America, "Point Break" for Thor, "Legolas" for Hawkeye, "Reindeer Games" (due to the horns on his helmet) and "Rock of Ages" for Loki, and "Glowstick of Destiny" for Loki's scepter, plus many more for people whose names he either doesn't know or doesn't care about (such as calling a random henchman "Ponytail Express" in Iron Man 3). In Civil War, he dubs Spider-Man "Underoos" and at one point calls Bucky "Manchurian Candidate."
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: He is, in his own words, a "genius billionaire playboy philanthropist" with a suit of Powered Armor.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: He favors this for his combat tactics also the case with the arc reactor in his chest. 3 Gigajoules per second is a power output roughly on par with a nuclear power plant, and he essentially made it to power a pacemaker. Keep in mind that's the prototype, and he has upgraded it at least twice.
  • No-Sell: Thanks to the reactor cutting off direct access to his heart, Loki cannot mind control him.
  • Not So Different: To Loki in The Avengers, much to his chagrin.
    Tony: ...And Loki, he's a full-tilt diva! He wants flowers, he wants parades, he wants a monument built to the skies with his name plastered—
    [realises he's describing Stark Tower and in turn, himself]
    Tony: Sonofabitch.
    • To Wanda/Scarlet Witch herself. They both believe (or believed, in Tony's case) in the safest hands being their own, and had their lives changed by a stray STARK missile. They also both get blinded by Revenge due to the the deaths of their parents.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Young Tony may be The Pornomancer, but he fears the morning after something fierce. In the first film, he dispatches Pepper to get rid of Christine Everhart while hiding in his basement garage. He also does it in a flashback from the third film.
    Tony: How'd she take it?
    Pepper: Like a champ.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He often acts absentminded, easily-distracted, and excessively self-obsessed and arrogant, but is shown to be incredibly brilliant socially and technically, delivering sarcastic putdowns to people who irritate him and building incredible machines out of whatever he has on hand. After one night of study, he becomes enough of an expert in thermonuclear astrophysics to discuss the specifics of the Tesseract with Bruce Banner.
  • Odd Friendship: With Bruce Banner in The Avengers, due to them being the resident science geeks.
    Tony: Finally, somebody who speaks English!
  • Offscreen Breakup: With Pepper after Iron Man 3. They get back together at the end of Homecoming.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist:
    • He seems to be an expert at high-energy physics, materials science, and aerospace engineering all at the same time. His in-universe nickname was "the Da Vinci of our time" but Tony doesn't think so because he doesn't paint. Granted, he does have an AI to help him.
    • He's a quick study. After spending a night reading S.H.I.E.L.D.'s briefing packet, he can converse fluently with Nick Fury, Bruce Banner and the rest of the Avengers about the technical details of the Tesseract.
    • He also glances at Maya Hansen's life's work, immediately understands it, invents the breakthrough equation that makes Extremis work, and scribbles most of it on the back of his name-tag, while too drunk to remember doing it.
    • Averted in Age of Ultron where he outright defers to Banner in Vision's creation due to Banner knowing bio-organics far better than he does. He even says that the knowledge needed to stabilize Vision's body is outside of his field of expertise.
  • Once an Episode: Tony's introductory scenes are accompanied by an AC/DC song: "Back in Black" in the first film, "Shoot to Thrill" in Iron Man 2 as well as The Avengers, and "Let There Be Rock" in the Fury's Big Week comic.
  • Parental Abandonment: Tony complains that his dad was cold, never around for him, and he seriously doubted that his father even loved him at all. This is eventually shown not to be the case.
  • Parental Substitute: Tony acts as this for Peter Parker in Spiderman: Homecoming. He becomes his mentor for all things superhero, giving him his supersuit and saving him when he gets in trouble. Even though Tony is emotionally stunted he attempts to give Peter encouragement and "break the cycle of shame" that he had to endure with his own father.
  • Parting Words Regret: When he's demonstrating his new technology to reframe old memories, he expresses a wish that the happy memory of his last moments with his parents was how it had really happened.
  • Pet the Dog: In Civil War. While he does bring Spider-Man in to help out his side, he is aware Peter's just a kid and wants him to keep his distance from the actual battle so he doesn't get hurt. After Spidey gets knocked out by Ant-Man, Tony sends him home so nothing worse will happen.
  • Playful Hacker: Among other things, he enjoys hacking other people's sound systems to play appropriate music for his dramatic entrances. In 2 he gleefully hacks a live senate broadcast and several military satellites just to prove a point. Also offhandedly mentions that he cracked the Pentagon security net in high school on a dare in Age of Ultron.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Tony's not very good at talking to other people about his problems, which leaves everyone around him confused and irritated by his strange behavior while he does things like build a suit of Powered Armor in his basement or slowly die of palladium poisoning. However, by the time of the third film he's getting much better, coming right out and telling Pepper that he's got problems when they start to affect her directly. He's also pretty open to Harley about anxiety attacks.
    • He's back at it twice in Age of Ultron, the first time played straight after Scarlet Witch uses a vision of Earth being destroyed and the Avengers dying because Tony didn't do enough to save them to drive him to self-destructive isolation and a rabid need to do something, anything to protect the world.
    • Even when he's trying to be better by taking a mentor role for Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming, this bites him. While he does take what Peter has to say very seriously, his inability to express this leads Peter to believe that he has to go much farther than he actually needs to in order to prove himself, putting himself and others in danger.
  • The Pornomancer: He's the page image for a reason (12 for 13 on a yearly cover model list) but he stops becoming this by the time he's in a committed relationship with Pepper Potts.
  • Powered Armor: Has made 47 of them by Spider-Man: Homecoming, in addition to one or two modifications on the War Machine suit for Rhodey.
  • Power Palms: Repulsors, his main weapons, are fired from the palms of his armor's gauntlets.
  • Pragmatic Hero: "I think I would just cut the wire."
  • Primary-Color Champion: His main Iron Man suit is one with both red and yellow colored armor.
  • Properly Paranoid: He's possibly the only person on the planet who believes that the Chitauri and their mysterious master will return one day, and kick the Avengers' asses. He's not wrong. Some of his behaviour like building endless suits and upgrades in Iron Man 3, then Ultron, supporting the Sokovia Accords to Knight Templar levels and then in Spider-Man Homecoming giving Peter a suit with endless upgrades and an Insta-Kill mode suggests someone becoming a Crazy Survivalist, and his paranoia has arguably made things worse, since there isn't a fully formed Avengers unit on standby after Civil War, and if he wants Spider-Man to be a future Avenger in time to defend Earth against upcoming threats, he's not taking an active enough role in training him either.
    Tony: A hostile alien army came charging through a hole in space — we're standing 300 feet below it. We're the Avengers. We can bust arms dealers all the livelong day, but that up there? That's the endgame. How were you guys planning on beating that?
  • The Protagonist: Of his own series of films, but one of two main contenders for this for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole, the other being Captain America. His film was the one that kick-started the MCU, and he continues to have a major role and Character Development through The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming as well as cameos and mentions in the others. Even when he's not personally present, his family's influence is felt through the different films (i.e. Howard Stark in The First Avenger, the Insight Repulsors or Hank Pym hating Howard Stark).
  • Really Gets Around: There's Maya Hansen, Christine Everhart, and Pepper, plus the offscreen twelve models. That we know of... Thankfully, he cools it down a lot after the first film and even more after joining the Avengers.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Tony gives one to Loki in The Avengers, telling him that there's no way there's any scenario that ends with him victorious, because he pissed off a bunch of people who'll fight until the end to beat him.
    • Tony gives one of these to Maya in Iron Man 3, calling her out on compromising her moral integrity for progress.
  • Red Oni: To Steve Rogers's Blue Oni. Boy, does it show between these two. Heck, the colors of their suits themselves can be a good literal/visual example of this.
  • Relationship Upgrade: To Official Couple with Pepper as of the end of Iron Man 2. Broke up with each other sometime between Iron Man 3 and Civil War, due to Tony breaking his promise to retire as Iron Man, but are back together by the events of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
    • It's heavily implied they went through another Relationship Upgrade at the end of Homecoming. When Peter backs out of the press conference they had planned at the last minute, Pepper pressures Tony as to what they are going to tell the 50 reporters they had gathered in the next room, to which Tony and Happy produce an engagement ring they had been carrying since 2008.
  • Retired Badass:
    • By the end of Iron Man 3, Tony decides that being with Pepper is more important than being Iron Man, going so far as to blow up his entire arsenal of armored suits.
    • In Age of Ultron, Tony leaves the Avengers at the end, deciding that he's done enough damage.
  • Revenge Before Reason: During the climax of Captain America: Civil War, Tony lets Zemo escape after the latter reveals that Bucky was responsible for killing Tony's parents. Despite knowing that Zemo was the manipulator of all the events in the film, Tony instead focuses on trying to kill Bucky. Additionally, he knew that Bucky was brainwashed while under HYDRA and wasn't in control of his actions.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: In his case it's more of Rich Idiot with a day job, but he still flaunts and abuses his rich boy status to have as much fun as he can. By the end of his first film he reveals his secret identity to the world, and his "real" day job becomes clear.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Is uncharacteristically quiet when pursuing Bucky at the end of Civil War, and refuses to quit his hunt even as his armor's functions are reduced one by one. It takes Steve needing to shut down his armor completely to have him halt.
  • Robo Family: Tony builds a number of AIs that join the "family business" so to speak. DUMM-E, J.A.R.V.I.S., F.R.I.D.A.Y., and partially (as in, partial credit for creation), the Vision either help him in Stark Industries and/or in Avenging. In fact, Avengers: Age of Ultron plays out like a teenager rebelling against his father and Tony even jokes that Ultron is "breaking your old man's heart".
  • Robot Master: Tony was always an engineering whiz in the comics, but this version makes him a genius at the programming side as well.
  • Running Gag:
    • Does not like being handed things.
      • Works literally and as a Stealth Pun about his character, as well: his father's success could have left him phenomenally rich and spoiled, but he nevertheless proved himself to be a prodigy and went on to earn a rightful place among the greatest minds of the planet.
    • He's technically not an Avenger. He's a consultant.

  • Sad Clown: At the end of Avengers, he laughs off his near death experience and starts babbling about the Kiss of Life and shawarma. By 3, the adrenaline's worn off and he's suffering from PTSD due to the events of Avengers. By the time that Civil War has rolled around a combination of his guilt over Ultron's actions the pressures of trying to keep the Avengers together from the Sokovia Accords, his Offscreen Breakup with Pepper, and the Trauma Conga Line he suffers throughout said movie leave Tony a shell of his former self who barely jokes or snarks at all.
  • The Scapegoat: Well he does a lot of questionable actions in either case but on account of his great public profile, celebrity and general hogging off the camera, Tony also gets heat for stuff where the blame should be shared and for which he is not fully responsible:
    • In the case of Iron Man 2, Vanko blames Tony for the actions of his father Howard Stark for the impoverishment and downfall of himself and his father. Howard Stark saw to deport Ivan's dad when the latter sought to use the Arc Reactor technology for weapons. Likewise, Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3 chose to make AIM into the company built out of exploiting and weaponizing veterans on his own, all to get back at Tony for insulting him at a party.
    • In the case of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, the latter blame Tony personally for the weapons used in a Sokovian Civil War, when the full responsibility belongs to one of the factions of the Civil War that actually used the weapons, and while Tony should shoulder some of the blame (if only in the sense of the company-man insisting that "the buck stops here") it's not like he himself personally bombed and targeted their home.
    • Likewise, while Ultron was a concept that he and Bruce Banner had planned before the HYDRA raid when Tony came in contact with the Scepter, it's a fact that the Scarlet Witch bewitched him with traumatic visions, and it's not clear that he was acting in his right mind when he and Banner worked on the AI. Ultron's actions and rampage, are as much Wanda and Pietro's responsibility, as Wanda herself admits to Hawkeye during the attack at Sokovia.
    • In the case of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Adrian Toomes has every right to be upset that Damage Control canceled his contract without compensation for his massive investment. The movie makes it clear that Damage Control is a joint venture created by both Stark Industries and the Federal Government and that the agency was operating under an Executive Order which would imply the government was directing its actions regarding Toomes' worksite. However, Toomes fixates on Stark because of his high public image.
  • Science Hero: He makes powered armor and then he kicks evil ass wearing it. It's particularly prevalent in Iron Man 3, where even without his suit he can hold his own using improvised weapons he made from materials brought from a hardware store.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: His near-death experience at the end of The Avengers has caused him nightmares, anxiety attacks, and a case of PTSD in Iron Man 3. Wanda playing to his fears of this event and what hinged on it is what sets in motion the events of Age of Ultron.
  • Shipper on Deck: After his Relationship Upgrade with Pepper he apparently wants to see everyone else happily paired off as well; in The Avengers, when he offers Agent Coulson the use of his private jet to go and visit his girlfriend, who's just moved to a new city. "You gotta keep the love alive."
  • Signature Move: The double palm repulsor blast, followed by the arm missile.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: His "mentoring" of Spider-Man consists of just giving Peter a high tech suit and letting him patrol the streets of New York with no supervision or training. The only regular contact between them is Peter sending Happy reports of his activities which are then given to Tony and the only times Tony ever personally gets involved are to chew Peter out and punish him when he screws up, or save his bacon. He did try and turn it into something constructive, but circumstances interrupted him.
  • Sins of Our Fathers:
    • In Iron Man 2, Vanko (A.K.A. Whiplash) was actually Howard's fault, not Tony's, but Tony was the one who had to deal with him.
    • In Ant-Man, Hank Pym outright refuses to call the Avengers for aid on the grounds that he'd spent too long trying to keep the Pym particle from Howard to just hand it over to Tony despite there having been no indication that Tony and Pym have ever met or that Tony even knows Hank exists.
  • The Smart Guy: Zig-zagged. Although Stark is the world's premier technologist and engineer, Tony himself acknowledges that Dr. Banner is generally smarter and defers to Bruce as the leading authority in other fields like radiation and biology. However, whenever the Hulk gets called in, Stark (or J.A.R.V.I.S. depending on how you look at it) is relied on to analyze the situation and come up with scientific solutions on the fly.
  • Smart People Build Robots: He's created one incredibly advanced AI, JARVIS, and at least one other robot —Dummy— who makes up in loyalty and charm what it may lack in sophistication. All of Tony's bots have personality.
  • Space Is Cold: As Tony discovers at the end of The Avengers. It has made him appreciate this small vulnerable blue one a great deal and he tries to convince Bruce to build Ultron to better protect it:
    Tony Stark: What if next time aliens roll up to the club, and they will, they couldn’t get past the bouncer?
  • Super Strength: Granted to him by his armor. Promotional material for Iron Man 2 gives the limit of his early "regular" suits as being able to lift 3 tons, which roughly matches the climax of his first movie where lifting an SUV over his head causes him to double over and seriously stretches the suit's capabilities to their limits. The Mark VII he uses in The Avengers had enough strength to push back one of the Helicarriers engines and even trade blows with Thor for a bit ( although Thor was weakened from his trip to Earth, while Iron Man's armor was supercharged). His various specialty suits vary in strength. The Mark 42 has a maximum lift capacity of 900 pounds per a Freeze-Frame Bonus (see 0:24), while Hulkbuster is as strong as the Hulk before the Hulk eventually overpowered him.
  • Super Speed: His reflexes are those of a normal human's, but his suit is fast enough to reach Mach 2.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: In Captain America: Civil War, Tony is committed to fulfilling his role in the Pro-Accords side due to his guilt over the collateral damage caused by all of the Avengers' fights; however, he still cares about his friends and wants the Avengers to sign the Accords in order to protect them. He starts to swing into Inspector Javert mode during the second half of the movie as he refuses to listen to Steve about the possibility that Bucky may be telling the truth about Zemo trying to unleash a group of Super Soldiers and assumes that Steve is delusional, going to more extreme lengths to end the conflict, which isn't really helped by the fact that he has an extremely small deadline to bring Steve and Bucky in before the authorities take over completely. He eventually becomes a full on antagonist (though a sympathetic one) when he finds out Bucky killed his parents, doing his best to kill Bucky and ignoring all of Cap's attempts to talk him down.
  • The Team Benefactor: He becomes this for the Avengers; Steve is the leader, while he provides the expensive tech and a skyscraper headquarters.
    Maria Hill: All set up, boss.
    Tony Stark: Actually, [Steve]'s the boss. I just pay for everything and design everything and... make everyone look cooler.
  • Team Dad: Chris Hemsworth (Thor) describes him as "the godfather of the Avengers" because of how closely he works with S.H.I.E.L.D. to get the team together, as seen in The Stinger of The Incredible Hulk. This would explain why Tony always clashes with The Leader Captain America over how to "raise the kids," so to speak.
  • Technological Pacifist:
    • Tony gradually becomes one through the first movie and is firmly seated in this trope by the end of it. He really does not want the government or military to get a hold of his technology by Iron Man 2, specifically because he believes far more lives will be saved if his suits are never mass-manufactured or used in wars.
    • This continues in Avengers, where he is livid that S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to create weapons based on the Tesseract, and in Iron Man 3, where Pepper's reasoning for turning down Killian is that Tony would not approve of how easily the technology could be weaponized.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Tony doesn't like Steve, at all, but there's nothing like a battle to forge a friendship. Black Widow even calls them out on their Ho Yay in Age of Ultron.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Between The Avengers and Iron Man 3 Tony seems to have taken Captain America's question about what he is without his armor seriously, since he can now handle himself in a fight without the armor and pulls off a successful infiltration of the Mandarin's mansion through McGyver'ed gadgets made out of things he found at a home supply store. Although he may have gotten a start on this in Iron Man 2, where it's implied that he's at least dabbling in some informal martial-arts training with his head of security. By Captain America: Civil War, he's able to briefly hold his own against the Winter Soldier without a suit.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After his experience in Afghanistan, he realizes how important he is to the rest of the world. It should be noted that as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, he's still obnoxious.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • His default response when he gets angry. He doesn't shout, nor does he scream, instead keeping a calm demeanor while tripling the effort to take the target of his ire down or failing that, explosively remove his opponent's face.
    • This is averted in Iron Man 3, when he unexpectedly starts screaming at Trevor to tell him where the Mandarin is while pointing a gun at him.
    • In Civil War once Tony finds out that Bucky murdered his parents as the Winter Soldier and that Steve knew about it he drops his usual snarker routine and becomes single-minded in his desire to see Bucky dead.
  • Trickster Mentor: To Bruce Banner in The Avengers. He pokes him with a cattle-prod to test how he'd react, then comments that Bruce is wrong to deny the part of him that is the Hulk, noting that the amount of gamma radiation exposure he endured would have killed anyone else. Much like Yinsen stopping the shrapnel from reaching his own heart, he believes that Bruce was kept alive for a reason.
  • Uncle Pennybags: We're looking at the guy who gave $100 to a guy for a small box of strawberries in 2, and told the aforementioned strawberry salesman to keep the change.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A major running theme of the MCU is the damage caused by Tony's actions. This continues even after he fives up arms manufacturing and becomes Iron Man, which was a deliberate attempt to avoid this.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: His primary weapon, the repulsor, wasn't designed to be a weapon, but rather a flight stabilizer. When he realized it worked as a weapon at full power, he incorporated it.
    Pepper: I thought you said you were done making weapons?
    Tony: This is a flight stabilizer. It's completely harmless. [boom] I didn't expect that.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Tony's relationship with his father was strained at best, abusive at worst. This extends to his relationship with Captain America, whom Howard Stark talked about a lot, making Cap into the big brother Tony could never hope to live up to.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He is willing to rush narrowly-focused into a plan that might be better done if he discusses it with others. This helps create Ultron and Vision.
  • The Wonka: CEO of Stark Industries that has rather strange behavior, such as building AIs that snark back at him. It's easy to see how Pepper and Rhodes get exasperated with him.
  • Worf Had the Flu: In the final fight of Civil War, he's trapped in an enclosed area limiting the destructive potential of his heavier weapons such as his missiles or lasers forcing him to rely on his fists and basic repulsors. Still doesn't explain why Steven didn't break his own fists punching Tony's titanium armor though.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: Gives one at the end of Iron Man 3.
    Tony Stark: So if I were to wrap this up tight with a bow or whatever, I guess I'd say my armor, it was never a distraction or a hobby, it was a cocoon. And now, I'm a changed man. You can take away my house, all my tricks and toys. One thing you can't take away...I am Iron Man.
  • Workaholic: If it wasn't for Pepper, Jarvis, and Rhodey, Tony would've starved, blown himself up, or overdosed on caffeine down in his workshop years ago. This goes Up to 11 in Iron Man 3, where he spends more and more time in his lab to cope with his PTSD and Bad Dreams. He's apparently completed at least 30 different Iron Man weapons in the space of six months.
  • You Killed My Father: Once Zemo reveals that a brainwashed Bucky killed Tony's parents in 1991 towards the end of Captain America Civil War, the only thing he wants is Bucky's death.