Spoilers for "Captain America: Civil War" and "Spider-Man: Homecoming".

In the first part of "Captain America: Civil War", Tony Stark tells Steve Rogers that

Pepper Potts left him (I assumed that the real reason was that Gwyneth Paltrow was sick of the MCU).

Later in the film, he meets

Peter Parker's Aunt May and starts openly flirting with her.

In the beginning of "Spider-Man: Homecoming", he constantly comments to Peter about how attractive he finds Aunt May, and I got the impression that they were planning on going somewhere with the May/Tony story, especially since he explicitly said that he saw himself as a father figure to Peter.

Then the May/Tony thread is dropped, and in the final scene of the movie

Pepper Potts suddenly pops out of nowhere, and Tony indirectly proposes to her by asking Happy to give her the ring he has been carrying since 2008.

Did I miss something?

Some of the commenters pointed out that Tony flirting with May is just Tony being Tony. Taken on its own, maybe, but there's also the fact that:

Tony mentions during one of the phone calls that he is trying to be a good father figure to Peter. Something along the line of "I'm trying to give you positive feedback, my father never gave me any..." or something similar (I can't find the exact quote)

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    Flirty is pretty much Iron Man's thing... Jul 11, 2017 at 7:34
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    You are not allowed to edit out the content of the question if the system does not allow you to delete it.
    – Null
    Jul 11, 2017 at 14:50
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    @AlexKinman You've received both upvotes and downvotes, so not everyone thinks your question is bad. Wait a bit and you might even see it get a positive score.
    – Null
    Jul 11, 2017 at 14:59
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    @AlexKinman If you receive or see rude comments, feel free to flag them; moderators are here to delete inappropriate content. (I've cleaned up the comments on this question.)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jul 11, 2017 at 16:23
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    What I find astounding is that given the number of people who thought that the "Shoddy writing" comment was not a good one to make, not one of them actually thought to improve the question by removing it. The question is quite reasonable as it stands. There is a large shift in the stark/potts relationship off screen. I personally think the Aunt May and father figure stuff is distraction (particularly since you don't need to actually be somebody's father to be a father figure) if the focus is meant to be on the stark/potts relationship.
    – Chris
    Jul 11, 2017 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


Tony Stark is a flirt (see Christine Everhart and Pepper herself in Iron Man, Natalie Rushman in Iron Man 2, and Maya Hansen in Iron Man 3, among others), like his father before him (see Peggy Carter in Captain America, and various women in Agent Carter).

You’re spot on about him wanting to be something of a father figure to Peter, but judging from the movie, it’s apparently at the level of wanting to maybe talk to the kid every few months and delegate most of the actual guidance to Happy Hogan, rather than wanting to start a romantic relationship with Peter’s legal guardian and become his actual step-dad.

As such, we never see any contact between Tony and May after that Civil War scene. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, he makes one reference to Aunt May’s attractiveness (in the ‘alibi video’ he makes with Peter), but immediately corrects himself as behaving inappropriately. Given his general level of flirtiness, this doesn’t seem contradictory to the later revelation that he and Pepper have worked things out post-Civil War.

The thread isn’t May/Tony; it’s “Aunt May is attractive”, and may have been a reference to the fan reaction at Marisa Tomei’s casting.

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    * Romanoff Jul 11, 2017 at 7:40
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    @Gallifreyan: Romanon, Romanoff. Jul 11, 2017 at 8:37
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    @AlexKinman: if you thought the film was interesting enough to ask about, why did you insult the writers in the question? Jul 11, 2017 at 14:45
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    That isn't even remotely what a plot hole is.
    – phantom42
    Jul 11, 2017 at 15:01
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    @DCOPTimDowd thanks for the upvote. I realize that I am coming off as pretty thin skinnked. In the Philosophy SE, where I spend most of my time, when someone downvotes a question, they are presented with message reminding them to tell user how to improve it. If the question is so far off the mark, then we simply vote to close it, as opposed to downvoting. I guess I was frustrated by how things seem to work differently here. Jul 11, 2017 at 17:08

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