Why Are Scott Lang & Tony Stark Always Eating? MCU Food Jokes Explained

Two of the
MCU‘s major characters, Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, and Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man, are often shown eating in their respective movie appearances, and there are fascinating reasons for their food-related humor. Like its Marvel Comics source material, the MCU often weaves humor into its drama, reminding viewers that, for all the outlandish elements of the movies’ superhero adventures, the heroes themselves and the world they inhabit are relatively grounded in reality. In Scott Lang’s case, the constant eating has an in-universe explanation while Tony Stark’s is more meta.,Tony’s snarky antics in the MCU helped cement both the character and Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as pop culture icons. In 2008’s 
Iron Man, he demands a cheeseburger and a press conference the moment he returns to the United States following his escape from Ten Rings captivity. And
The Avengers, which popularized shared universe storytelling overnight, notably made shawarma sales skyrocket after Tony and the rest of the Avengers grabbed a much-needed meal after repelling the Chitauri invasion. Scott’s humor frequently involves food as well, with the size-changing hero asking for orange slices in
Captain America: Civil War and having his meal of tacos ruined by the
Benatar spaceship and War Machine’s thrusters in
Avengers: Endgame.,Related: Iron Man 3: Why Tony’s “Perfect” Armor Looked So Weak,While the MCU’s humor centers on a variety of topics, from pop culture references to the all-too-human superhero characters finding themselves in humorously mundane situations, many of Scott Lang and Tony Stark’s gags center on food for different reasons. In Ant-Man’s case, his size-changing abilities are implied to take a significant toll on his energy, especially when increasing in size, hence his near-constant hunger. For Iron Man, his constant eating ranges from an anecdote from Robert Downey Jr.’s past and his on-set antics during filming to references to another famous property by
Avengers director Joss Whedon.,Scott Lang notes in
Ant-Man and the Wasp that growing to gigantic sizes is extremely exhausting and that the airport battle in
Captain America: 
Civil War caused him to sleep for days. While that might have been hyperbole, it’s quite reasonable to assume that the energy it takes to grow, even when returning to normal size after shrinking, has a side effect of increased hunger. Ant-Man, in an easily-missed moment, also had orange slices at the ready for Hawkeye when he used Pym Particles to travel back in time, showing that Lang’s constant hunger comes from the technology.,In Tony Stark’s case, Robert Downey Jr. allegedly hid snacks throughout the sets of
The Avengers, eating between takes and even during takes. This led to an improvised moment where he offers Captain America a dried blueberry while the two discuss SHIELD’s dubious actions. Later in the movie, Tony’s insistence on getting shawarma serves as a reference to Nicholas Brendon’s audition for the role of Xander in Whedon’s 
Buffy The Vampire Slayer series.,Tony Stark’s craving for cheeseburgers — made tragic in
Endgame by Morgan Stark’s similar love of them following Stark’s death — also has a behind-the-scenes inspiration. Robert Downey Jr. recounted having an epiphany while eating a cheeseburger, resolving to beat his issues with drug abuse, which he equated to Tony Stark announcing the end of his company’s weapons sales. While Iron Man and Ant-Man’s food jokes seem rather irreverent in the
MCU, they each hold different and fascinating meanings.,Next: How Far Iron Man Moved Avengers HQ From Stark Tower