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12 Times Tony Stark Was Outsmarted In The MCU

List RulesVote up the MCU moments that prove Tony Stark wasn't perfect.

Arguably, no one in the MCU is smarter than Tony Stark. He proved his intelligence time and time again, especially when he developed time travel and saved half of all life in the universe. He was a genius, but others still outsmarted him many times. 

In general, Iron Man's biggest mistakes happened when he carelessly underestimated those around him. Whether it was a young boy he was mentoring or a global terrorist, Stark tended to let his ego get in the way of his interactions with other people. And if the other people were smart enough, they exploited those moments to get the upper hand on Stark's iron hands. 

  • 5
    1024 VOTES

    When Spider-Man Bypassed The Training Wheels Protocols In Stark's Suit

    Photo: Spider-Man: Homecoming / Sony Pictures Releasing

    Tony Stark was kind enough to take a mentor role in the life of Peter Parker. As part of this role, Stark got Parker involved in a superhero civil conflict and gave the teen a high-tech Spidey suit. This suit came with a tracker and training-wheels protocol that kept Parker from harming himself or doing anything Stark didn't want him to. 

    Stark apparently underestimated a high schooler's ability to understand his technology, because Peter (alongside his best friend and man-in-the-chair, Ned) had no trouble hacking into the suit to disable the protocol and remove the tracking chip. Another classic instance of Stark underestimating those around him. 

    Was Iron Man outsmarted?
  • 6
    864 VOTES

    When Maya Hansen Took Pepper

    Add Maya Hansen to the ongoing (well, not ongoing after Endgame) list of people Tony Stark wronged. She was a promising scientist who wanted Stark's help with a project, but instead, he had a one-night stand with her and left in the morning. This act sent Hansen into the open arms of Aldrich Killian and his think tank AIM. 

    Hansen popped up in Stark's life later on, apparently to warn him, but she was really manipulating events to force him to help her. Hansen absconded with Pepper to use as leverage to get Stark to help her fix Extremis. 

    Was Iron Man outsmarted?
  • 7
    923 VOTES

    When Vulture Infiltrated Stark's Plane On Moving Day

    Photo: Spider-Man: Homecoming / Sony Pictures Releasing

    The Vulture, AKA Adrian Toomes, had plenty of reason to be angry with Tony Stark. After Stark and his Avengers took part in the conflict that eliminated significant portions of Manhattan, Toomes received the government contract to clean up the mess. But Stark stepped in at the last minute and took the contract for himself. This ruined Toomes's business, and he never forgave Stark. Toomes then spent the next few years using salvaged alien tech to create and sell weapons. 

    Toomes devised a master plan to both get back at Stark and acquire more tech to sell. While Stark was moving gear out of Stark Tower, Toomes used his flying harness to perform a heist on the plane. It would have worked, too, if not for Spider-Man's involvement. 

    Was Iron Man outsmarted?
  • 8
    899 VOTES

    When The Mandarin/Aldrich Killian Wiped Out Stark's Home And Armor Collection

    Like many geniuses, Tony Stark let his ego get in the way of his decision-making. After a Mandarin-ordered incident harmed Stark's beloved bodyguard, Happy Hogan, Stark issued a threat to the Mandarin. In the threat, he told the Mandarin to come to his home address and fight him like a man.

    The Mandarin did end up going to Stark's home address, but it wasn't to fight like men. Instead, the Mandarin sent helicopters to fire missiles into the home, destroying it. Honestly, not Stark's smartest moment. 

    Was Iron Man outsmarted?