Over the course of more than 30 films and TV shows, Marvel has lodged a number of truly iconic pieces of dialogue into all of our brains. Some of the best quotes in the MCU stand up with the all-time great lines of dialogue from the world of blockbuster movies.
- 5. ‘You should have gone for the head’ — Thanos, Avengers: Infinity War
- 4. ‘Is this your king?’ — Erik Killmonger, Black Panther
- 3. ‘I can do this all day’ — Steve Rogers, Captain America: The First Avenger
- 2. ‘He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn’t your daddy’ — Yondu, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
- 1.”I am Iron Man’ — Tony Stark, Iron Man, Avengers: Endgame
These lines can be funny, profound, or both, and what makes them endure is not just their brilliance, but the role they play in evolving what the MCU would ultimately become.
The darkest moment in Infinity War comes at the very end, when it seems like Thor has finally triumphed over Thanos. He buries his ax deep in Thanos’ chest, only to hear the aspiring mass murderer joke that Thor should have gone for the head.
With what seems like his last breath, Thanos manages to snap his fingers and turn half of the world’s population into dust. It’s a moment that Thor will carry with him into the next film, and one that will forever remain one of the darkest in MCU history.
In a movie filled with memorable lines, “Is this your king?” stands out for its sheer brutality. During Black Panther‘s climactic duel between Killmonger and T’Challa, we see T’Challa almost immediately overwhelmed by Erik and his power as a fighter.
As T’Challa scrambles in increasingly desperate fashion to regain any sort of advantage, Erik begins to taunt not just T’Challa but all of the people who once believed in him. It’s the kind of crushing defeat that is especially rare in the MCU.
It’s become something of a joke in the years since The First Avenger, but part of what made Steve Rogers so worthy of the job in the first place is the fact that his odds of winning a fight had very little to do with the amount of fight in him.
“I can do this all day,” which is what Steve says as he’s getting his butt handed to him in an alleyway, is a quintessential part of who Steve is. He may be losing, but giving up is just not in Captain America‘s vocabulary.
2. ‘He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn’t your daddy’ — Yondu, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
Perhaps the most shocking thing about Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 is how genuinely emotional it is, and much of that emotion comes from Yondu. As Peter Quill discovers who his father actually is, we also see how much Yondu truly cares for him.
All of that is summed up in a single line, which comes as Yondu prepares to sacrifice himself to save his son. Yondu was a screw-up, a liar, and a thief, but he cared for his boy, and in the end, was willing to do anything for him.
The line that bookended the Infinity saga, “I am Iron Man” is initially a signal that Tony Stark is not like Batman or Spider-Man. He’s willing to let the mask be him, and vice versa.
It was a fitting way to launch the MCU, and one that feels all the more poignant 11 years later when Tony says it as he finally takes care of Thanos once and for all. Tony may not always act heroically, but he is a true hero, and his willingness to make that ultimate sacrifice is what defined the first 11 years of the MCU.
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