Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark Avengers in front of yellow to red diagonal gradient background

Screen Moments/YouTube Remix by Caterina Cox

Robert Downey Jr. and the enduring success of Tony Stark memes


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Jan 21, 2024   Updated on Jan 20, 2024, 6:08 pm CST

The Robert Downey Jr. that Marvel fans know today wasn’t always as successful as his character Tony Stark. In the early parts of his acting career, he struggled with substance abuse, went to rehab multiple times, and spent almost a year in jail.

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His first big commercial success after years of hardship was Iron Man, the actor’s induction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And his continued success on-screen and online is exemplified in all the memes he stars in.

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Relieved Tony Stark

Many of Downey Jr.’s most popular memes come from his work in Marvel movies as Stark. One that shows the actor with his eyes closed, his mouth open, and his hand on his chest has come to signify relief and comfort online. 

“When you think you’ve overslept but realize it’s the weekend,” a meme reads.

“When you’ve had a terrible gd day and you finally get to put on your gaming headphones for the night,” another says.

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via Imgflip

“When you’ve had a terrible gd day and you finally get to put on your gaming headphones for the night,” another says.

Tony Stark rolling eyes

Another Stark moment has been meme-orialized in the Tony Stark rolling eyes meme. The meme is pretty self explanatory: In it, Downey Jr. is seen rolling his eyes and many have applied it to situations they feel are eye-roll-worthy.

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“My mom telling me I have to go to school,” one meme reads.

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“Fast food workers when I have the gall to tell them part of my order is missing,” another says.

Tony Stark success

Yet another Stark meme has been created by netizens to signify success. The Tony Stark success meme shows Downey Jr. standing in front of a vibrant background wearing a suit with his arms outstretched. 

via Imgflip
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“Made first instapot dish,” a meme reads. “Nothing exploded. House is still standing.”

“When you being your water bottle thru TSA unnoticed,” another says.

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*First Published: Jan 21, 2024, 3:00 am CST
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