- When talking about his family, Yinsen asks if Tony has anyone to return home to. Tony silently indicates the negative. Yinsen then marvels that Tony is a man who has everything, yet nothing.
- Yinsen's death.Yinsen: My family is dead. I'm going to see them now... Don't waste your life, Stark...
- When, after Tony's escape from the Ten Rings, Rhodey finds him stumbling around in the desert and sarcastically asks "How was the Funvee"? It's funny...until you realize that that Tony mentioned the Funvee once in a throw-away quip, three months ago in movie time. Just imagine how many times Rhodey has replayed that conversation in his head, thinking about how he might never see Tony again.Rhodey: Next time, you ride with me, all right?
- While Rhodey hugs him, Tony just sort of collapses against him and doesn't even hug back. He's that exhausted.
- The press conference that Tony holds after getting back from Afghanistan when he first talks about never saying a proper goodbye to his father before he died.
- "I shouldn't be alive, unless it was for a reason. I'm not crazy, Pepper. I just finally know...what I have to do...and I know in my heart, it's right."
- Tony, not long after discovering that Stane has screwed him over, blasts apart pretty much every glass surface in his workshop after seeing his reflection in one of them.
- On the newscast in the background, it is said that an Afghan child is asking, "Where are my mother and father?" Given his Parental Abandonment, Tony had likely asked that exact question years ago.
- In the opening scene, three soldiers that Tony gets to know whilst in the "Fun-Vee" get slaughtered when the Ten Rings attack the convoy. Even worse is Jimmy, the youngest soldier, who seems incredibly nervous around Tony but has the most Adorkable grin on his face when Tony says it's cool if he takes a picture with him... especially when he's allowed to do the peace sign. He arguably gets the more horrific death of the three, being riddled with machine gun fire.
- This gets even worse when you think about how Tony always makes the peace sign in the future when taking pictures, because of this one soldier who never even got his picture.
- "I saw young Americans killed by the very weapons I'd designed to defend and protect them." Tony was never just in this for the money; he honestly believed his weapons were saving lives, lives that would have been lost without his weapons to end conflicts decisively. Now he's seen that's not the case, and is utterly heartbroken (literally and figuratively).
- The scene where the terrorists capture Afghan civilians in Gulmira and separate the women and children from their men and fathers. A little boy refuses to let his father go and the terrorist drag them away from each other and prepare to shoot the man in the head in front of his family. Thank goodness Iron Man comes right in time to save them. The hug the son and the father give each other after that is just Heartwarming.
Tear Jerker / Iron Man