- The opening scene can really hit home for people who have had to take care of their dying parent and that itself is another tearjerker.
- Subtle Bilingual Bonus with Ivan at the start of the scene. Anton calls his name a few times. Ivan ignores him. Anton uses Ivan's diminutive name (the one more associated with his youth): Vanya. Ivan pays attention.
- Anton is watching Tony's speech on TV and declares to Ivan it should be him, apologizing for not giving him a better life, only knowledge. Ivan tells him to ignore the TV, so it's obvious he doesn't blame or resent his father for their crappy lives and loves him dearly. It's when Anton dies that Ivan really loses it. You can see it in his eyes: It's likely that, through his whole life, he didn't put that much thought to what could have been if Howard Stark hadn't deported his father, more concerned with making ends meet rather than wallow in anger like his father. Now his father died, Tony is a billionaire superhero, and Ivan is all alone with seemingly no social life or career of his own, nor even perspective of a better life. It all reached a breaking point and Ivan simply snapped. Tragic Villain doesn't begin to describe Ivan Vanko. Were Tony a villainous character, Ivan could have very well been considered a Hero Antagonist.
- The message that Howard Stark left for Tony at the end of the Stark Expo film. "What is and always will be my greatest creation... is you."
- The whole speech is one huge Tearjerker.
- "Everything...is achievable...through technology."
- Ivan crying in the corner for his dying father.
- A Fridge Tearjerker when Tony is in his Iron Man suit, munching on a donut, sitting in a giant donut, wearing shades. Although this scene is Played for Laughs, when you subtract the amusing background music used in the scene and the inherently funny nature of Iron Man sitting inside a donut, this is a really depressing scene. He had just gotten into a fight with Rhodey, whose response was to take his Mark II suit to the Air Force, trashing both their friendship and Tony's desire to keep his tech private. His palladium poisoning was getting critical, leaving him with mere days to live (less than 72 hours, according to the tie-in comics), especially if he kept on accelerating it by using his armor. And after an attempted night of over-the-top partying was crashed by his best friend, Tony was so desperate to spend the last days of his life enjoying himself in new ways that he was reduced to sitting there on top of a donut store while wearing his armor and eating some donuts. Good thing Nick Fury showed up.
- The fight between Rhodey and Tony. It's pretty badass at first, but then they start talking to each other. Take it from each end. Rhodey is desperately trying to save his friend from self-destruction, while Tony is coping (terribly) with the certainty of his death.
- It's brought up in such a way that we're meant to find funny, but the revelation that Tony is giving away priceless belongings to charities. In addition to his increasingly reckless behavior, it's classic suicide warning behavior from somebody who expects to die soon, and because of how emotionally isolated he usually is, nobody (except Nick Fury) picks up on it.
- Furthering the Tear Jerker aspect of Tony's believed imminent death, as he's getting ready for that ill-fated party, he asks "Ms. Rushman" the hypothetical question of what she would do if it was her last birthday party. It gets worse if—rewatching this years later after Avengers: Endgame—you know exactly what happens specifically to these two, the very first Avengers to meet/work together.
Tear Jerker / Iron Man 2