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Is This the Origin of Avengers: Endgame’s “I Love You 3000”?

bruce tony hug avengers infinity war

**Spoilers for Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame because my heart hurts.**

Hi guys, I did the math! So, if you’re like me, you probably cried over the line “I love you 3000” from Avengers: Endgame for the last week. It’s a wonderfully touching line that ties parts of the film together, but it seemed as if it was only a reference to itself in Endgame. However, some incredibly dedicated fans may have found another connection.

In Endgame, Tony Stark has a little girl named Morgan, a callback to a dream he had back in Avengers: Infinity War that he tells Pepper about before Bruce Banner comes to take him away. While it might seem like a cute little moment between a father and a daughter, “I love you 3000” became a heart-wrenching quote from the film.

(I’d like to personally thank Tumblr for breaking me repeatedly and giving my friends these gifs to torment me with.)

So, that should be it with our emotions, right? Just crying over Tony and Morgan Stark? Wrong! And here’s where the math comes in. If you add up the runtime of every film in Marvel’s phases 1-3, it equals to roughly 3,000 minutes, meaning that Tony Stark saying “I love you 3,000” isn’t just for his daughter.

With every solo film in the MCU running roughly 2 hours each, and with the big team-up films running anywhere from 2 hours and 30 minutes to the whopping 3 hours and 2 minutes that is Avengers: Endgame, the entire series (including Spider-Man: Far From Home) equals 3,052 minutes.

[Update: Many sources are reporting that the line may have nothing to do with the past Marvel movies at all and is, instead, something that Robert Downey Jr.’s actual children say to him. The source of the information is reportedly a Chinese outlet and difficult to track down, but Stephen McFeely had apparently stated that the line was supposed to be “I love you tons” until they found out that Downey’s real-life children tell him “I love you 3000,” and the line was adjusted accordingly. Either way, I’m crying in public every day thinking about it, so the effect was worth it, whether it’s from Downey’s kids or a reference to the entire MCU.]

Anyway, here. If I have to cry over this, so do you.

Was Tony Stark telling us all that he loves us? Was this a message to the fans, the series, and everything that Iron Man helped to build? Who knows? What I do know is that my heart hurts, and I just want to stop crying.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.