‘Avengers: Endgame’ Fans May Have Uncovered the Real Meaning Behind the Number 3,000

“I love you 3,000.” A phrase used by Morgan Stark (Lexi Rabe) and her father, Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), to express their love for each other, has become a huge catchphrase for the film. It’s up there with the line in other Avengers movies (learn the order of the Avengers movies here), “Avengers, assemble!” 

While most Marvel fans may have thought the number 3,000 was simply for emphasis or a fun way of saying, “I love you a lot,” there’s a fan theory making the rounds on the internet about another meaning entirely. 

The possible secondary meaning may explain the number’s significance as it relates to Avengers: Endgame and every other movie in the Avengers franchise. Keep reading to learn more about the fan theory. Warning: Avengers: Endgame spoilers ahead. 

When is ‘I love you 3,000’ said in ‘Avengers: Endgame’? 

Downey Jr.’s character left his daughter to go save the universe in Avengers: Endgame. But before he does, Rabe’s character tells her one heartwarming thing: “I love 3,000.” 

'Avengers: Endgame' cast and Kevin Feige
Avengers: Endgame cast and Kevin Feige. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

The phrase is uttered again later in the movie, sadly, at the funeral of Stark aka Iron Man. While Downey Jr.’s character didn’t say much when he tragically died in Avengers: Endgamethe actor “instinctively” knew his last scene as the Marvel superhero needed little in the way of dialogue — Stark aka Iron Man did say goodbye in a message he taped in anticipation of his demise. 

At the end of the message, which played at his funeral, Downey Jr.’s character bid farewell to his family and friends by saying, “I love you 3,000.” 

Fans link number 3,000 to runtime of Avengers movies

On Twitter, a Marvel fan shared what may be another meaning — or maybe a happy coincidence — behind the significance of the number 3000 in the adorable tagline, according to The Wrap

They discovered when the run times of all 22 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) were added up, in addition to Spider-Man: Far From Home, that had yet to be released when they tweeted the theory, the number equaled 3,000 minutes.

Learn about the screen time every major superhero had in Avengers: Endgame here. 

They estimated the length of Spider-Man: Far From Home to be 129 minutes and guessed correctly.

Even though Twitter users pointed out there were a few run times that were slightly off, the math still added up to a total of 3,000 minutes.

If this was intentional — it seems like a hard thing to do by coincidence but that’s just us — talk about a serious callback on the part of Marvel Studios. 

Robert Downey Jr.’s kids actually coined the phrase

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the writers of Avengers: Endgame, once said Downey Jr.’s kids are to thank for “I love you 3,000,” according to Comicbook.com. McFeely said the 54-year-old actor’s children said the phrase which made its way into the movie. “I love you tons” was the original line, McFeely said. 

No matter the exact origin of the phrase, we love it 3000.