A few years ago, it seemed like a long shot that Spider-Man would ever appear in the MCU (thanks to some legal mumbo jumbo with Sony), but now, it’s impossible to picture the franchise without him. Part of Marvel’s negotiation with Sony was that another Avenger had to have a supporting role in the first Spidey solo movie, so Iron Man was added as a mentor out of legal obligation.
Then, something magical happened: the two developed an adorable father-son relationship that became the beating heart of the MCU. Here are some of the most heart-warming moments they shared together. Watch out for spoiler if you aren't up to date with the movies!
10 Tony recruits Peter to join the fight in Civil War
When Tony recruits Peter to join the airport battle in Captain America: Civil War, they sit in Peter’s bedroom and talk about the motives of superheroes. Tony asks, “Why are you doing this? I gotta know. What’s your M.O.? What gets you out of that twin bed in the morning?”
Peter explains, “When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things happen, they happen because of you.” The look Tony gives Peter after he says this tells us everything we need to know about their relationship. He loves his attitude, but he’ll also sacrifice himself to protect him.
9 Tony gives Peter a new suit
When Queens’ friendly neighborhood Spider-Man first comes onto Tony Stark’s radar, he’s wearing a homemade suit that’s basically just red and blue clothes. Tony updates his suit with a bunch of tech, including a parachute, webbed semi-wings, adjustable eye lenses (which are really just a dramatic tool to show emotion when he’s in the suit), and an artificial intelligence named Karen.
Peter couldn’t be more excited when he receives it: “Look at this thing! Look. Look at the eyes! It’s like – it’s like a skin-tight Iron Man suit.” This is the superhero version of getting a cool new toy from your dad when you’re a kid.
8 Tony goes for the door and Peter goes in for a hug
At the beginning of Spider-Man: Homecoming, we pick up exactly where Peter Parker’s Civil War arc left off, with Happy Hogan flying him back to Queens from Berlin and Tony Stark dropping him off at Aunt May’s apartment. When they arrive at the building, Tony reaches for the door and Peter mistakenly thinks he’s going in for a hug.
Tony tells him, “we’re not there yet.” The sweet thing is that, in a couple of movies’ time, they would be there. The unfortunate thing, though, is that they’d have to watch each other die – on separate occasions – to get there.
7 “If you’re nothing without that suit, then you shouldn't have it.”
When Peter ignores Tony’s wishes to leave the case of the Vulture’s arms-dealing ring to the FBI, Tony asks for the Spider-Man suit back. Peter says, “You don’t understand, I’m nothing without this suit!” and Tony tells him, “If you’re nothing without that suit, then you shouldn't have it,” before dropping the mic.
Tony later realizes that this was an important moment in the development of their father-son relationship and says, “Sorry I took your suit. I mean, you had it coming. Actually, it turns out it was the perfect sort of tough love moment that you needed, to urge you on, right?”
6 Tony invites Peter to join the Avengers
All throughout Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter disobeys Tony and goes after the bad guys he’s onto against Tony’s wishes. On a few occasions, Tony is disappointed in him and Peter pushes their relationship to the breaking point. However, in the end, he proves himself.
Without the Spidey suit Tony gave him, he still manages to bring the Vulture to justice and save people in the process. Tony eventually invites Peter to join the Avengers, but Peter turns him down. Tony pretends it was a test, but he actually does have a bunch of reporters in a press conference waiting for him to announce the newest Avenger.
5 Tony tries to stop Peter from coming to space
When Thanos’ armies turn up in New York, Peter hops off his school bus and heads over to Sanctum Sanctorum to join the fight. But Tony wants him to stay safe, so he tells him to go home to Aunt May as he and Doctor Strange board the Q-Ship as it departs for Titan.
As he often does, Peter ignores Tony’s wishes and slings his way onto the Q-Ship anyway. When Tony realizes he can’t supress his surrogate son’s need to answer the call to action, he deploys the Iron Spider armor so that he can breathe in space and join the battle.
4 “Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.”
Audiences across the globe were stunned when Thanos snapped his fingers at the end of Avengers: Infinity War and all our favorite characters started turning to dust. We’d seen 19 movies in this franchise and this was the first time that the bad guys won. It was a shocking twist.
Spider-Man’s “dusting” was more elongated than the rest, because the Russo brothers saw an opportunity to wring some extra emotion out of the scene and asked Tom Holland and Robert Downey, Jr. to improvise a little. From that improvisation, we got this immortal line: “Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.”
3 A framed picture of Peter inspires Tony to invent time travel
When Scott Lang comes out of the Quantum Realm in Endgame and comes to terms with what’s happened to the universe, he has the idea to go back in time and fix everything. So, he takes the idea to the other Avengers, who present it to Tony Stark, who... dismisses it immediately.
Not only does he think it’s a long shot, he doesn’t want to risk losing the family life he’s found in the five years since Thanos’ cataclysmic finger-snap. But then he sees a framed picture of Peter Parker and he can’t bear the thought of not even trying to bring him back. It’s really sweet.
2 Peter comes back to life and Tony is delighted
Fans waited a whole year to see what happened to all the characters who turned to dust at the end of Infinity War, and we got an explanation courtesy of Spider-Man when they all returned to join the Avengers’ fight in Endgame.
He ran up to Iron Man and said, “You will not believe what’s been going on. Do you remember when we were in space? And I got all dusty? I must’ve passed out, ‘cause I woke up, and you were gone. But Doctor Strange was there, right? He was like, ‘It’s been five years. Come on, they need us!’ And then he started doing the yellow sparkly thing that he does all the time...” And the whole time Peter’s saying this, we can just see that Tony’s over the moon that he’s alive.
1 Tony’s Uncle Ben moment in Endgame
Since the MCU made the wise decision to skip Spidey’s origin story and jump right into the action, we never got to see Uncle Ben’s death and his “With great power comes great responsibility” moment. However, in Endgame, we did get a very similar moment with Tony Stark.
He grabbed the Infinity Stones out of Thanos’ hand, put them into the Iron Gauntlet, and snapped his fingers, sacrificing himself to save the world. A few characters joined his side to share one final moment with him, but it was Peter Parker whose farewell was the most heartbreaking.