Despite essentially being gone from the MCU since his death in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ – not counting minor references in subsequent films – Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, remains one of the most beloved MCU characters to date. The snarky, sarcastic, brilliant playboy always had a flare for emphasizing he’s the smartest guy in the room. Apart from that, he always had a flare for coming up with absolutely hilarious nicknames for other MCU characters. At one point in the first ‘Avengers’ film, Thor got his own silly Tony nickname – Point Break. But what does that mean, and why does Tony call Thor ‘Point Break’? Here’s everything you need to know.
Tony Stark and nicknames
Tony Stark was introduced at the very beginning of the MCU in 2008’s ‘Iron Man.’ And, ever since that very first appearance, he’s known for giving out incredibly hilarious nicknames for those around him.
It stems from Tony’s brilliance but also a dash of arrogance. He knows he’s usually the smartest person in the room, and he somewhat looks down on his peers. Of course, over time, Tony evolves into a much more compassionate, kinder person – but he never loses that famous Stark snark.
The first guy to get a Tony nickname – or nicknames, if you will – is James Rhodes, aka Rhodey, who later went on to become War Machine. In the first ‘Iron Man’ film, Rhodey often serves as a ‘babysitter’ for the eccentric Tony, trying to talk sense into him and keep him in check by being the voice of reason.
Tony called Rhodey all kinds of ‘pet names’ in the film, like Platypus or Honey Bear, but my favorite was Sour Patch. For those who don’t know, Sour Patch is a sweet-and-sour gummy candy that was super popular in the early 2000s and is still sold to this day.
Tony often uses these kinds of pop-cultural references for mocky nicknames that he gives to other MCU characters. Rhodey was ‘sour’ at some of Tony’s antics – hence, Sour Patch.
Enter Point Break.
Why does Tony call Thor ‘Point Break’?
In 2012’s ‘The Avengers,’ the team is freshly assembled to fight Loki and his Chitauri army. Thor – Loki’s brother – is with the team, and he’s trying to give his insight into Loki’s mindset and actions while trying to get him back to Asgard – unharmed, if possible.
The first time they met, Thor and Iron Man fought over Loki in a forest, during which Tony calls Thor ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ and mocks his cape and costume. And then, once the guys know each other a bit better, Tony refers to Thor as ‘Point Break’ – much to the God of Thunder’s confusion.
Of course, Thor was confused – the Asgardian wasn’t around during the 90s when ‘Point Break’ was a thing.
You see, ‘Point Break’ was a 1991 action thriller starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze in the lead roles. In the film, a group of surfers masked themselves as a gang known as Ex-Presidents due to the rubber masks of former US presidents they wore while committing a series of bank heists.
Reeves plays an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates the group to take them down but is then smitten by a female member of the gang, and he becomes great friends with Swayze’s character, Bodhi, who’s also the gang’s leader.
Now, why would Tony call Thor ‘Point Break’? Well, it was a reference to Patrick Swayze’s lush, long blonde hairstyle in the film that was so cool in the early 90s but looked kind of ridiculous by today’s standards. At the time, Thor still had his signature long blonde hair, so the nickname was a subtle jab from Tony directed at Thor – much like the ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ reference before.
Although it came from a place of mockery, it kind of became a running gag and a heartfelt joke among the Avengers that stuck all the way to ‘Thor: Ragnarok.’
Thor entered the Quinjet and needed to activate it via voice commands. He tried numerous voice passwords, such as ‘the Mightiest Avenger’ or ‘the God of Thunder,’ but eventually, he realized that Tony had set Thor’s Quinjet voice command activation password to – you guessed it – ‘Point Break.’
Thor says ‘Damn you, Stark’ under his breath – firstly because the joke was still standing, and secondly, because Thor actually lost his signature long blonde hair in that very same movie after he and Loki landed on Sakaar.
It was a hilarious moment, and Thor clearly loved his long blonde hair, as he returned to that particular hairstyle in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and ‘Thor: Love and Thunder.’
Best nicknames Tony gave to other MCU characters
While ‘Point Break’ was quite a clever and funny nickname, it’s not the best one Tony has ever given to other MCU characters. Stark spits out these nicknames for both the heroes and the villains, and each one is more hilarious than the other.
For instance, in ‘Iron Man 2,’ Nick Fury was pitching the idea of the Avengers Initiative to Tony throughout the film, but Stark wanted to hear none of it. He called Fury’s project the ‘Super Secret Boy Band,’ which is now all you’ll be able to think of when you hear about the Avengers.
One of the most well-known nicknames Tony has ever given, though, is ‘Capsicle’ – referring to Captain America being frozen as a popsicle for about six or seven decades. Then you had ‘Legolas’ for Hawkeye, which was absolutely brilliant, but one of my favorites had to be ‘Squidward’ for Ebony Maw in ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’
The pop-cultural references in Tony’s nicknames always made them that much more hilarious. For instance, he called Bucky Barnes the ‘Manchurian Candidate,’ referring to R. Condon’s novel of the same name, where the government brainwashes its citizens.
Drax was called ‘Mr. Clean’ due to his uncanny resemblance to the bald brand mascot, and Peter Quill was called ‘Flash Gordon,’ which I found utterly brilliant. Then there was ‘Build-A-Bear’ for Rocket, ‘Lebowski’ for Thor when he got fat, ‘Jolly Green’ for the Hulk, or ‘Thumbelina’ and ‘Stuart Little’ for Ant-Man.
Man, do we miss Tony in the MCU or what?
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