James Rhodes isn’t many fans’ favorite Avenger, mainly because he hasn’t been a huge part of any of the movies, but he has been enjoying a very interesting character arc since his introduction in the franchise’s earliest installment. What happened between Marvel and Terrence Howard after the release of Iron Man was a shame, but Don Cheadle has really made the role his own since taking over the duties of playing him.
He developed strong chemistry with Nebula most recently in Avengers: Endgame, and due to his sarcastic wit, he’s amassed a number of memorable lines. So, here are War Machine’s 10 Most Quotable MCU Lines.
10 “This lone gunslinger act is unnecessary. You don’t have to do this alone!”
This early line from way back in Iron Man 2 laid some of the groundwork for Tony Stark’s character development. He starts off fighting solo. Then, Nick Fury tells him there are other superheroes out there. At first, Stark resists taking part in the “Avengers Initiative,” because he “doesn’t play well with others.”
With this line, Rhodey brings Stark one step closer to embracing teamwork and allowing himself to trust other people to help him win his battles. He would ultimately save the universe singlehandedly, sacrificing himself in the process, but he couldn’t have done it without everyone else’s contributions.
9 “Cheez Whiz?”
When it comes to deciding which of the Avengers should don the Iron Gauntlet and be the one to snap their fingers and bring everybody back from the dead, Thor is desperate to do it. He feels that because he is the God of Thunder, he should be able to withstand the Infinity Stones’ gamma radiation.
The Norse deity tells everyone present, “Do you know what is coursing through my veins right now?” Rhodey suggests, “Cheez Whiz?” The joke undermines the emotional anguish that Thor is going through. He lost and he couldn’t handle it, so now, he’ll do anything to win.
8 “OK, tiny dude is big now. He’s big now.”
Ant-Man didn’t technically become Giant-Man in Captain America: Civil War, but he did enlarge himself and looked exactly like Giant-Man. War Machine is the first to point it out to everybody during the airport battle at the midpoint of the movie.
If there’s one thing that most clearly sets the MCU apart from most other blockbuster franchises, it would be its uncanny ability to keep action sequences engaging while filling them with little character moments like this one. The line is also quite meta. War Machine didn’t even learn Ant-Man’s name – he just calls him “tiny dude.”
7 “When you break into a place called ‘the Temple of the Power Stone,’ there’s usually a bunch of booby traps.”
Everything that James Rhodes does in Avengers: Endgame is informed by pop culture and not by actual knowledge. He’s sort of the surrogate for the audience, along with Scott Lang, as someone who doesn’t understand all the quantum physics and is just going off the rules of other movies.
He lists a bunch of time travel movies to rebut the Hulk’s theory about the relativity of time and he fears that the Temple of the Power Stone will be filled with booby traps because that’s what happens in movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark. Nebula is not impressed.
6 “Now, this is going to be a good story!”
War Machine doesn’t have much of a tangible story arc in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but he sets something up in an early scene that he pays off in the final battle. During the somewhat inconsistent sequel’s first act, Rhodey is telling a War Machine story at a party, but Tony Stark and Thor are less than impressed by it because they’ve been to space and literally saved the world a few times.
At the end of the movie, when Rhodey arrives at Sokovia to help fight Ultron’s robot army, he declares that it will finally give him a good War Machine story.
5 “WAR MACHINE ROX,’ with an ‘X.’ All caps.”
While Iron Man 3 is thought to be the black sheep of the MCU, due to its unconventional story structure and disappointing plot twist that reduces an ominous and iconic villain from the comics to a laughing stock, it gives Don Cheadle’s War Machine one of his most prominent roles in the franchise.
When Tony Stark finds himself in a snowy suburban town with broken tech, he has to hack into Rhodey’s government login. At first, Rhodey is reluctant to give Tony his password, because he has to reset it every time he lets Tony use it, but then we discover he’s actually just embarrassed by it.
4 “So...he’s an idiot?”
A few classic new MCU duos were created in Avengers: Endgame, mostly from the teams chosen to carry out the “Time Heist.” One of those duos was War Machine and Nebula, who bonded over the fact they’d been given cybernetic body parts and are both very cynical and sarcastic.
When they traveled back to Morag in 2014, they saw Peter Quill dancing to Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love,” although they couldn’t hear the song, so they just saw a guy singing into a little lizard-like creature. This is War Machine’s first encounter with Star-Lord and he sums him up in four words.
3 “Table for one, Mr. Stank. Please, by the bathroom.”
This is an important line in War Machine’s character development. After he was severely injured by the Falcon during the Avengers’ battle amongst themselves at the airport in Berlin, things weren’t looking good for Rhodey. He had to be fitted with technology just to be able to walk again.
The fact that he can joke about Tony’s name being listed as “Tony Stank” on a FedEx package shows that despite going through a life-changing injury, he still hasn’t lost his sense of humor. It’s a heartfelt moment that we can all relate to and be inspired by in some way.
2 “That’s cute. Thanos has a retirement plan.”
Most moviegoers – especially the passive audience members who aren’t diehard MCU followers – went into Avengers: Endgame with the expectation that Thanos would be the primary villain. So, it was a shocking albeit brilliant surprise when Thor beheaded him within the first 20 minutes of the movie.
It was a terrific payoff for the “You should’ve gone for the head” moment from Infinity War and it also left audiences with the thrill of not being able to predict where the movie would go next. This is what James Rhodes says when he first hears about Thanos’ plan to go to “the garden” after completing his evil plan.
1 “If you want this suit, you’re going to have to pry my cold dead body out of it.”
War Machine isn’t taken very seriously as an Avenger or a superhero, because he’s more of a sidekick to Iron Man than the leader of his own narrative. However, now that Tony Stark is dead and James Rhodes is finally growing on audiences, he might take up the “Iron Man” mantle or continue to use the “War Machine” mantle with a more important role in the story.
We already know that Rhodes is a decorated war hero with a strong grasp of how to use Stark’s tech. He loves being War Machine and he’s become one with that suit of armor.