Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame BELOW:
Avengers: Endgame brought 11 years of storytelling to a close with a bang... and a snap that was heard around the world. Between the trips down memory lane and the heartwarming character reunions, Marvel's grand finale was an ode to superhero films, a celebration of everything fans have loved about the franchise throughout the years. Dozens of characters introduced over the course of 21 films united during the film's third act, assembling to battle Thanos and demonstrate the full extent of the awe-inspiring universe Marvel created during the past decade.
But at its core, Avengers: Endgame was a farewell. Since it began, the MCU has expanded to unprecedented proportions, but it all started back in 2008 with the sound of clanging metal. In Marvel's epic conclusion, we had to say goodbye to the original six Avengers who laid the groundwork for what Marvel has become— and Tony Stark, the man at the heart of it all. Here are the ten best quotes from Avengers: Endgame.
10 "This is the fight of our lives. We are going to win. Whatever it takes."
Steve Rogers had some words for the Avengers right before they went back in time to get the Infinity Stones, and they perfectly encapsulated the spirit of the team. Back in 2012, the Avengers were willing to fight until the very end to prevent Loki's alien army from invading the Earth, and in 2015, they almost died atop a floating city trying to defeat Ultron.
Although going back in time meant risking their lives and the everything they'd gained after the Snap, the Avengers were willing to to do whatever it took to put an end to Thanos's dark legacy.
9 "Part of the journey is the end."
We all heard this line in the trailer, but most of us thought Iron Man was talking about the proverbial end of an era— not the end of his life. A pre-recorded Tony Stark giving the keynote speech at his own funeral was: a) a very Tony Stark thing to do, and b) the perfect way to say goodbye to a character beloved by millions.
As images of other heroes reuniting with their families play onscreen, Tony talks about happy endings, accepting that he might not get one. Throughout his MCU journey, his entire story arc centered around self-improvement— he eschewed the narcissistic tendencies of his past, striving to become a man who readily put the greater good ahead of his own self-interest. In the end, he sacrificed his own happy ending to save trillions, proving with utter finality that it wasn't the Iron Man suit that made him a hero, but the man underneath. It was the perfect ending for Tony Stark— no matter how many tissues I had to steal from the lady sitting next to me.
8 "No amount of money ever bought a second of time."
In an interesting twist of fate, Tony Stark runs into his father during his visit to the 1970s, and, given that Howard Stark has no idea he's talking to his own future son, the two exchange tidbits of wisdom on parenting.
Despite the difficult relationship he had with his father, Tony accepts that Howard did the best he could and is able to finally tell him this, something he never got to do in his own timeline because of Howard's premature death. To close the heartwarming interaction, Tony shares a pearl of wisdom with his father—one shared with him by the future Howard Stark— no amount of money ever bought a second of time.
7 "I don't judge people by their worst mistakes."
In her final moments, Black Widow offers one last pearl of wisdom before she makes the ultimate sacrifice to secure the Soul Stone. Throughout her MCU journey, she has been haunted by the mistakes of her past, but dealing with this shame bred a unique type of empathy within her.
More than familiar with the weight of a guilty conscience, she is quick to forgive others for their missteps. Even when Hawkeye becomes a violent vigilante in Avengers: Endgame, she refuses to judge him by his worst mistakes, because she knows its not our failures that define us, but how we choose to learn from them.
6 "Some people move on. But not us."
And that's what makes them the Avengers. Within every member of the team is an intrinsic drive to help others no matter the personal risk. That's why Black Widow sacrificed herself for the Soul Stone, why Captain America fought Thanos until he could barely stand, why Thor wanted to wear the Infinity Gauntlet despite the likelihood of death.
It's why Hawkeye offered to be the time travel guinea pug, why Bruce Banner risked his life to use the Infinity Stones, why Tony Stark gave up everything to defeat Thanos. The Avengers are unable to rest, unable to move on, until they've done everything in their power to protect the Earth— or avenge it.
5 "Everyone fails at who they're supposed to be, Thor. A measure of a person, of a hero, is how well they succeed at being who they are."
In life, we often strive to be a version of ourselves that others want us to be. For Thor, people always expected him to lead his people— to be a King like his father— so he begrudgingly took the throne in Thor: Ragnarok after Odin died.
But Thor never wanted this for himself, and after consulting with his mother in Endgame— the self-proclaimed wisest person in Asgard— he realizes that it's no sin to fail at being someone you're not. True success is embracing who you are and doing what you want to do, which, in Thor's case, is apparently joining the Guardians of the Galaxy.
4 "Turns out, resentment is corrosive and I hate it."
At the start of Endgame, it becomes obvious that Tony Stark still houses deep anger towards Steve Rogers. But five years later, having been humbled by fatherhood, Tony comes to realize how toxic resentment is, for both those it's directed at and those who feel it.
When an opportunity arises that could bring back the fallen, Tony quickly repairs his relationship with Steve Rogers, building him a new shield as a peace offering. The two then pair off to go back in time together and we get to watch their friendship thrive one last time before the end. #StonyForever.
3 "Avengers! Assemble!"
This moment was 11 years in the making. During the climax of the film, with the assistance of Doctor Strange's portals, every hero introduced over the course of the past decade joins the original six Avengers in the battle against Thanos.
But before the action starts, we get to see Steve Rogers show the world exactly why he's Captain America. With every hero lined up alongside him, from Shuri to Mantis to Spider-Man, from Doctor Strange to Ant-Man to Falcon, Steve Rogers puts his arm to the sky and shouts for everyone to hear, "Avengers! Assemble!" Then, he leads all the characters we've come to love over the past years into battle one last time.
2 "And I am Iron Man."
From the very beginning, it was clear that Tony Stark was a superhero unlike any other. While most heroes keep their identities a secret, Tony declared his for the world to hear at the end of Iron Man, owning his actions and wearing the badge of superhero with pride. And at the close of Iron Man 3, he says it again: "I am Iron Man." But this time, it's to himself rather than the press, as he reflects on the fact that it's the man beneath the suit— not his tech, not his money— that makes him a hero.
So it's fitting that Tony Stark's journey in the MCU should end the way it began. Believing himself to be wielding the Infinity Stones, Thanos confronts Tony and declares, "I am inevitable." But when his snap fails to bring about universal destruction as planned, Thanos realizes that he, just like so many villains before, has been bested by Tony Stark. Revealing an Iron Man gauntlet studded with the Stones he swiped from Thanos, Tony utters the phrase that has defined his time as a superhero one last time before he snaps his fingers and sacrifices himself to save everyone else: "I am Iron Man."
1 "I love you 3000."
Tony Stark's daughter says this to him near the beginning of the film, and although it's spoken with levity, it symbolizes just how far Tony has come since Iron Man— not just as a hero, but as a man. When he was being held that cave so many years ago, Tony was told by Yinsen not to waste his life, but Yinsen meant this in more ways than one. Not only did he want Tony to start using his talents for good, but he also hoped that Tony would build something more meaningful than any Iron Man suit could ever be— a family.
In Avengers: Endgame, Tony does just this, becoming a husband and a father— a man with a lot to live for. So when this line returns at the end of the film after he's died, with a prerecorded Tony Stark telling his daughter he loves her one last time, it reminds us just how much Tony sacrificed when he snapped his fingers. A rich future awaited him, one filled with a family and love, but gave up his happy ending for the greater good. And for that, we love you 3000, Tony Stark. We always will.