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* DunceCap: "Dummy" is wearing a pointed white paper hat with "Dunce" on it while sweeping up Tony's lab.

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* DunceCap: "Dummy" is wearing a pointed white paper hat with "Dunce" on it while sweeping up Tony's lab. Tony says that Dummy "earned" it.


* PragmaticAdaptation: The Mandarin. YellowPeril wouldn't fly, especially with Chinese investors, so Kingsley is cast as an AmbiguouslyBrown bad guy with JustAStupidAccent, and a little twist in his back-story. [[spoiler:Namely, he's actually not the Mandarin at all. This wound up backfiring; while most fans didn't mind the initial RaceLift, more than a few felt insulted at the twist and the attempt to make Aldrich Killian the real Mandarin. Whether or not ''All Hail the King'' was made to placate them, it ''has'' left the door open for a more traditional Mandarin to appear later.]]

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* PragmaticAdaptation: The Mandarin. YellowPeril wouldn't fly, especially with Chinese investors, so Kingsley is cast as an AmbiguouslyBrown bad guy with JustAStupidAccent, and a little twist in his back-story. [[spoiler:Namely, he's actually not the Mandarin at all. This wound up backfiring; while most fans didn't mind the initial RaceLift, more than a few felt insulted at the twist and the attempt to make Aldrich Killian the real Mandarin. Whether or not ''All Hail the King'' was made to placate them, it ''has'' left the door open for a more traditional Mandarin to appear later.]] As such, the Mandarin will be the BigBad in ''Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings'' where he will joust against Marvel's greatest Asian superhero, ComicBook/ShangChi, and thus neatly avoid any YellowPeril implications]]


* CelebrityParadox: When Stark is signing an autograph for two kids, he points out that one of them looks like [[Film/AChristmasStory Ralphie Parker]]. The actor that played Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, also produced the first two ''Iron Man'' films and had a minor role in the first one (and later in Film/SpiderManFarFromHome).

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* CelebrityParadox: When Stark is signing an autograph for two kids, he points out that one of them looks like [[Film/AChristmasStory Ralphie Parker]]. The actor that played Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, also produced the first two ''Iron Man'' films and had a minor role in the first one (and later in Film/SpiderManFarFromHome).''Film/SpiderManFarFromHome'').


* TheWarOnTerror: The story revolves around a series of terrorist attacks using operatives enhanced with the Extremis virus.


* CelebrityParadox: When Stark is signing an autograph for two kids, he points out that one of them looks like [[Film/AChristmasStory Ralphie Parker]]. The actor that played Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, also produced the first two ''Iron Man'' films.

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* CelebrityParadox: When Stark is signing an autograph for two kids, he points out that one of them looks like [[Film/AChristmasStory Ralphie Parker]]. The actor that played Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, also produced the first two ''Iron Man'' films.films and had a minor role in the first one (and later in Film/SpiderManFarFromHome).

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* CorporateConspiracy: Aldrich Killian and his AIM company are the center of a conspiracy involving [[spoiler:an actor impersonating a terrorist, the Vice President of the United States and army veterans augmented with a SuperSerum, all so that he can [[PlayingBothSides manipulate both sides]] of UsefulNotes/TheWarOnTerror]].


* TookALevelInBadass: Pepper. In the first film she was Tony's PA, in the second she was promoted to CEO, in ''The Avengers'' she designed Stark Tower in New York, and now she's getting in on the action scenes, [[spoiler:especially at the end]].

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* TookALevelInBadass: TookALevelInBadass:
**
Pepper. In the first film she was Tony's PA, in the second she was promoted to CEO, in ''The Avengers'' she designed Stark Tower in New York, and now she's getting in on the action scenes, [[spoiler:especially at the end]].end]].
** Tony is shown practicing martial arts and takes out several mooks without his armor.


* SequelHook: The title card after the credits reads "Tony Stark Will Return." And it has been confirmed that Creator/RobertDowneyJr has signed on for two more ''Avengers'' films.

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* SequelAdaptationIconicVillain: After the first two films focused on less famous villains, the third film brought in Tony's ArchEnemy from the comics, The Mandarin. [[spoiler:Though subverted with TheReveal he wasn't the ''real'' Mandarin.]]
* SequelHook: The title card after the credits reads "Tony Stark Will Return." And it has been confirmed that Creator/RobertDowneyJr has signed on returned for two more ''Avengers'' films and eventually the ''Spider-Man'' films.


** Very hard to notice, but Creator/WilliamSadler, who played President Ellis, at one point attempted to defend himself with a Secret Service Agent's Glock 17 from Eric Savin, Sadler himself had previously played a BigBad character who's personal sidearm was a Glock 17 in ''Film/DieHard2'' (which was notably at the time one of the first films to feature the gun). Sadler's character in the ''Franchise/DieHard'' installment notably uses the gun in one scene to threatened a {{Mook}} (played by [[Film/WilliamShakespearesRomeoAndJuliet Vondie Curtis-Hall]], who himself would later play Ben Urich in another Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse property ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'') for his [[YouHaveFailedMe failure]], only revealed as a warning for failing the next time, "the chamber won't be empty."

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** Very hard to notice, but Creator/WilliamSadler, who played President Ellis, at one point attempted to defend himself with a Secret Service Agent's Glock 17 from Eric Savin, Sadler himself had previously played a BigBad character who's whose personal sidearm was a Glock 17 in ''Film/DieHard2'' (which was notably at the time one of the first films to feature the gun). Sadler's character in the ''Franchise/DieHard'' installment notably uses the gun in one scene to threatened threaten a {{Mook}} (played by [[Film/WilliamShakespearesRomeoAndJuliet Vondie Curtis-Hall]], who himself would later play Ben Urich in another Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse property ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'') for his [[YouHaveFailedMe failure]], only revealed as a warning for failing the next time, "the chamber won't be empty."

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* FiveSecondForeshadowing: "Guys? Do we need to worry about that?"


* VillainHasAPoint: When President Ellis is informed by [[spoiler:Killian]] that he's going to be executed for helping to ensure that no-one faced justice for what's implied to be an oil-related environmental disaster on the scale of the ''Exxon Valdez'', Ellis doesn't bother to dispute this accusation, only showing surprise that [[spoiler:Killian actually doesn't care one way or the other about the spill, let alone want to kill him for it, and is just using it as a plausible reason why the Mandarin would want to have Eliis killed]].

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* VillainHasAPoint: When President Ellis is informed by [[spoiler:Killian]] that he's going to be executed for helping to ensure that no-one faced justice for what's implied to be an oil-related environmental disaster on the scale of the ''Exxon Valdez'', Ellis doesn't bother to dispute this accusation, only showing surprise that [[spoiler:Killian actually doesn't care one way or the other about the spill, let alone want to kill him for it, and is just using it as a plausible reason why the Mandarin would want to have Eliis Ellis killed]].

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* VillainHasAPoint: When President Ellis is informed by [[spoiler:Killian]] that he's going to be executed for helping to ensure that no-one faced justice for what's implied to be an oil-related environmental disaster on the scale of the ''Exxon Valdez'', Ellis doesn't bother to dispute this accusation, only showing surprise that [[spoiler:Killian actually doesn't care one way or the other about the spill, let alone want to kill him for it, and is just using it as a plausible reason why the Mandarin would want to have Eliis killed]].

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* CelebrityParadox: When Stark is signing an autograph for two kids, he points out that one of them looks like [[Film/AChristmasStory Ralphie Parker]]. The actor that played Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, also produced the first two ''Iron Man'' films.

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* DeathlyDiesIrae: ''Dies Irae'' is heard as Happy is spying on one of the Manchurian's agents making a drop at the Chinese Theatre, right before there's a massive explosion that nearly kills him there.


* BaitAndSwitchBoss: [[spoiler:All the buildup to fighting Killian is thrown out the window when Tony breaks into the Mandarin's hideout, skipping the middleman and going straight for the top. However, it's revealed "the Mandarin" is just an actor playing a fictional terrorist to keep the good guys distracted. Killian ''is'' the real DiabolicalMastermind and BigBad]].



* BigBadDuumvirate: Subverted. [[spoiler:At the beginning of the third film, it's not clear how much Killian is working with the Mandarin, but they clearly both have the same general "destroy Tony Stark" goal. In reality, while the Mandarin does exist (as revealed in ''All Hail the King''), the one we see here is a fake, and Killian is behind the whole thing, using the fake Mandarin to cover-up his illegal experiments]].



* CoolShades: In some of the Mandarin's videos, he wears sunglasses that make him look like an eccentric warlord in the vein of Muammar Gaddafi. [[spoiler:The poster of him reclining with them on looks a lot more hilarious after TheReveal, at which point it just looks like Trevor had too much fun the night before and was still a bit high or drunk when he came in to pose for the photo]].



** Aldrich Killian's [[spoiler:StartOfDarkness, which stems from being snubbed and forgotten by Tony Stark some 13 years before the story began. He turned that slight into the drive he needed to become the movie's BigBad]].

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** Aldrich Killian's [[spoiler:StartOfDarkness, which stems from being snubbed and forgotten by Tony [[spoiler:whole vendetta is because Stark some 13 blew him off once thirteen years before ago. His real crime spree is more of a combined cover-up for the story began. He turned that slight failures of AIM's Extremis technology and scam/racket to create demand for the super-soldiers AIM can supply. Tony's decision to investigate and openly oppose him brings him even more directly into the drive he needed to become the movie's BigBad]].line of fire]].



* EvilCounterpart: [[spoiler:Killian is a brilliant and arrogant weapon designer like Tony Stark, who is attracted to Pepper and has experimented on his own body. However, he uses his creations for evil instead of atoning for past mistakes. Also in contrast, Killian was insecure and fragile, whereas Tony was just a jerk and so full of himself that he didn't notice his glaring problems]].



* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:Aldrich Killian, the founder of A.I.M. and the true mastermind behind the Extremis terror attacks. However, his ego leaves him not especially good at hiding the fact.]]

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* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:Aldrich Killian, Killian has been preparing for this role for years, ever since Tony snubbed him. His ego means it's pretty clear from the founder of A.I.M. and the true mastermind start that he's behind some of the Extremis terror attacks. However, his ego leaves him things happening to Tony. In fact, he's the real BigBad behind all of the things that happen to Tony and assumes the mantle of the Mandarin at the climax (though he's actually not especially good at hiding the fact.]]real one). The apparent Mandarin is just an actor he hired]].



** A Mandarin was a Chinese official, described in the movie as "an adviser to the king". [[spoiler:Killian talks frequently of being "the power behind the throne", which is probably why he stole the Mandarin's mantle for his own purposes.]]

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** A Mandarin was a the name for an ancient Chinese official, described in the movie as "an adviser "advisor to the king". [[spoiler:Killian talks frequently of being King". [[spoiler:As "the power behind the throne", which is probably why he stole this makes the Mandarin's mantle name sort of fitting for his own purposes.]]Killian, even though he turns out in ''All Hail the King'' to have merely stolen it from the real Mandarin. He was likely aware of the meaning behind the name and decided that it suited him well]].



* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: The Mandarin has the name of an imperial Chinese official, a samurai-style haircut, a Middle Eastern-looking beard, brown skin, wears East Asian clothing, wields modern weapons, and talks like a Baptist preacher. Apparently, his tactics are a mishmash of Chinese Art of War, South American guerillas, and Middle-Eastern terrorism, essentially being a hybrid of all of America's enemies in modern history. [[spoiler:This is because, as an actor, he's taking cues from various movies]].



* NotThatKindOfDoctor: Invoked word-for-word in TheStinger. [[spoiler:Bruce Banner is not a therapist.]]

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* NotThatKindOfDoctor: NotThatKindOfDoctor:
** While she is a scientist, Maya is referred to as a botanist, due to her work being using plants to experiment on. She doesn't mind the term being used, mainly because her actual job is quite a mouthful: a biological DNA coder running a team of 40 out of a privately funded think-tank.
**
Invoked word-for-word in TheStinger. [[spoiler:Bruce Banner is not a therapist.]]



* OlderThanTheyLook: Maya Hansen's age is never given, but unless she is supposed to be a TeenGenius in the 1999 scenes, she is presumably [[VagueAge at least a few years older]] than Rebecca Hall.

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* OlderThanTheyLook: Maya Hansen's age is never given, says her age, but unless she is supposed to be a TeenGenius Teen Genius in the 1999 scenes, flashback, she is presumably [[VagueAge has to be at least a few five to six years older]] older than Rebecca Hall.Creator/RebeccaHall (Hall was born in May of 1982, and would have been 17 at the time of the 1999 flashback scene; and was 30 years old at the time of filming for the movie).



* TheSociopath: Aldich Killian is the only clear-cut one in the Iron Man series. Charming? Check, though in a superficial, FauxAffablyEvil way. Manipulative? Check. Lack of morals or empathy? Double check just look what he did to poor Maya. Grandiose sense of self-worth? The guy was trying to own the War on Terror and in a sense thought himself a god. Poor impulse control? He had that largely under control until Tony kinda blew him up then again, poor Maya.



* StopOrIShootMyself: [[spoiler:Maya Hansen threatens to kill herself if Killian doesn't let go of Tony, reasoning that he still needs her expertise on Extremis. [[WrongGenreSavvy She's wrong]], and he just shoots her himself.]]

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* StopOrIShootMyself: [[spoiler:Maya Hansen [[spoiler:When Maya makes her HeelFaceTurn, she threatens to kill inject herself if with a fatal overdose of Extremis unless Killian doesn't let go lets Tony and Pepper go. Unfortunately, Maya had already reached the limits of Tony, reasoning that he still needs her expertise on Extremis. [[WrongGenreSavvy She's wrong]], own ability to improve Extremis and needed Tony to make any more progress. Killian was aware of this, and since he now already had Tony as his prisoner, he just shoots her himself.]]Maya himself]].

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