Out of the six core Avengers, there are three key partnerships. Black Widow and Hawkeye bond over not having superpowers and their history with S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America and Thor bond over being battle-hardened warriors, and Tony Stark and Bruce Banner bond over being the smartest guys in the group; the go-to scientists of the team. It’s the latter partnership that really struck a chord with MCU fans, who even gave them an affectionate nickname: “Science Bros.”
The pair may have created Ultron, but they also created Vision to kill Ultron. Science! Here are the 10 Best Tony Stark/Bruce Banner moments in the MCU.
10 “Finally, someone who speaks English.”
This is the moment in The Avengers that the “Science Bros.” were born. Tony Stark has a very low tolerance for people who aren’t as smart as him, so when he met someone who did live up to his high standards for intelligence, he was thrilled. They didn’t instantly hit it off, but the first stages of a timeless bond were there.
Speaking about Loki’s plan on the Helicarrier, Bruce said, “He could achieve heavy ion fusion at any reactor on the planet,” to which Tony quipped, “Finally, someone who speaks English.” It was a nice reversal of the “In English, Professor!” trope used by dumb people in movies. As we all know, the rest is history; it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
9 Tony admiring all of Bruce’s scientific achievements
While the people at S.H.I.E.L.D. only see Bruce Banner as the guy who turns into the Hulk, Steve Rogers appreciates him for his intellect. When Steve met Bruce, he said, “Word is you can find the Cube.” Bruce asked, “Is that the only word on me?” and Steve smiled and said, “Only word I care about.”
Tony Stark took a different approach. He appreciated both sides of Banner: “It’s good to meet you, Dr. Banner. Your work on anti-electron collisions is unparalleled. And I’m a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster.”
8 Rocket spooking Tony and Bruce as they build the Iron Gauntlet
In Avengers: Endgame, Earth’s mightiest heroes get their groove back when Ant-Man gives them hope that they can save everyone that Thanos turned to dust. They undergo a daring “Time Heist” by traveling around the spacetime continuum to collect the Infinity Stones, and then Tony, Bruce, and Rocket put their heads together to build the Iron Gauntlet with robotic arms behind a protective screen.
As they carefully place the Stones into their newly built Gauntlet and the plan comes to a head, Rocket yells out, “Boo!” scaring the heck out of Tony and Bruce, who aren’t too impressed as Rocket laughs at them.
7 Their heartfelt reunion at Sanctum Sanctorum
At the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, Heimdall sends the Hulk to the Sanctum Sanctorum to warn Doctor Strange about Thanos. Strange teleports to the park to bring Tony Stark back to the Sanctum to talk strategy. There, he has a heartwarming reunion with Bruce Banner.
At this point, Tony and Bruce haven’t seen each other in years. The last time Tony saw Bruce, the Hulk had taken over his body and disappeared in the Quinjet, so it’s quite an emotional moment when they see each other again. This is their first and last scene together in Infinity War, but it’s still a doozy.
6 Tony trying to turn Bruce into the Hulk on the Helicarrier
When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner first met in The Avengers, it didn’t take too long for the Science Bros. to be in full swing. They got a lab on the Helicarrier and started working on figuring out what was going on with Loki’s scepter. And the whole time, Tony was teasing Banner, trying to get him to turn into the Hulk.
It was an insane idea, because they were in an enclosed space. Steve Rogers was the least impressed of all (“Hey! Are you nuts?”), because it cemented his view of Tony as a reckless, selfish, no-good modern man.
5 “Only when I’ve created a murder-bot.”
When Ultron first becomes sentient and attacks the Avengers before vowing to dominate the world and taking off, Earth’s mightiest heroes are naturally pretty peeved with Tony and Bruce for creating him. Bruce is the only one of the two who is at all apologetic and Tony reprimands him for it: “Really? That’s it? You just roll over, show your belly, every time somebody snarls?” Bruce replies, “Only when I’ve created a murder-bot.”
It’s a fair point. Bruce isn’t showing weakness when he apologizes to the other Avengers for taking part in the creation of a homicidal artificial intelligence that exists outside of physical being; he’s simply owning up to his mistake.
4 The Hulk catching Iron Man as he falls from the wormhole
This moment has become one of those “Still a better love story than Twilight” memes. At the end of The Avengers, Tony proves Cap wrong about him not being a guy to “make the sacrifice play” when he grabs the nuke that’s headed to New York, flies it through the wormhole, and sends it hurtling towards the Chitauri’s ship, effectively winning the battle for Earth’s mightiest heroes.
Then he passes out, falls back through the wormhole, and would’ve died if he hadn’t been caught and resuscitated by the Hulk. And then, Tony casually suggests that the team go out and try shawarma.
3 Creating a new A.I. to destroy their previous A.I.
A lot of MCU fans rag on Avengers: Age of Ultron for feeling more like a bridge between other movies than a movie itself, and for not living up to the tremendous achievement that was the first Avengers film. However, it had a strong hook. It’s a Frankenstein story involving Tony Stark playing God, creating an artificial intelligence to protect the world that becomes sentient and instead threatens the world.
Bruce Banner helps him to do it, and he regrets it, and they fix their mistake by creating another A.I. that would be capable of destroying the A.I. they created before.
2 “We have a Hulk!”
Every good movie needs a calm-before-the-storm scene at the end of the second act. In Jaws, this was the scene where the guys compare scars. In The Avengers, it was when Tony Stark and Loki square off at the top of Stark Tower before the Battle of New York. They’re arguing about which side has a better chance.
Loki says, “I have an army,” and Tony quips back, “We have a Hulk!” This line gets bonus points for the fact that Loki repeats it in Avengers: Infinity War when Thanos attacks the surviving Asgardians’ ship in the film’s opening scene.
1 Both of their world-saving finger-snaps
Avengers: Infinity War introduced the idea that someone powerful enough could don the Infinity Gauntlet with all the Infinity Stones in it, snap their fingers, and alter the universe. In that movie, Thanos used it to wipe out half of all life in existence. In Avengers: Endgame, Earth’s mightiest heroes spend the whole second act trying to collect all the Infinity Stones in order to reverse that. The Hulk uses the Stones to bring everybody back, but then Thanos arrives from the past, determined to regain the Stones and wipe out everyone this time.
However, Iron Man stops him, and uses the Stones to wipe out Thanos and his armies, sacrificing his life. As the final “Science Bros.” moment, this is pretty great.