Robert Downey Jr. celebrates Tumblr’s love of Iron Man ’ships on Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day and Robert Downey Jr. knows exactly what Tumblr needs to celebrate.

Downey Jr. tweeted a special Valentine’s Day message for Iron Man’s biggest ’shippers: photos of Stony (Steve Rogers and Tony Stark), Science Bros. (Tony Stark and Bruce Banner) and Pepperony (Pepper Potts and Tony Stark).

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the shippers out there! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/VAVwRLDumo

— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) February 14, 2018

Let’s get personal: Everyone has their own OTP (one true pairing), and we’ll fight to the death for them. I’ve always been a fan of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner myself, but it takes just a casual glance at Tumblr to see that all three pairings are incredibly popular within the fandom.

The beauty of OTP is that it’s constantly changing. You could go your entire life believing that Bruce Banner and Tony Stark are the only true pairing, and then you stumble across a post or fan fiction that changes how you view a character’s relationship. One day you’re heavily rooting for Science Bros. to become canon, and the next you’re explaining the wonderfulness of Stony. It’s okay to change your OTP from time to time; I love that Downey Jr. embraces everyone’s fantasies.

It’s fun that fandom within the Marvel Cinematic Universe is so embraced by the actors playing these sacred characters. Downey Jr. doesn’t have to remark on fans’ interpretation of his friendship with Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner, but instead of shying away from it, he celebrates the love and imagination people have for these heroes. Tom Hiddleston, Gwyneth Paltrow and even Avengers: Infinity War co-director Joe Russo have all talked about their support for fan ’shipping.

“People have interpreted that relationship all kinds of ways, and it’s great to see people argue about it what that relationship means to them,” Russo told MTV News. “We will never define it as filmmakers, explicitly, but however people want to interpret it.”

And, always the good tweeter, Evans celebrated Downey Jr.’s birthday the only way he knew how.

Happy birthday to the legendary @RobertDowneyJr. Mentor. Life-saver. Friend. Hope your birthday is like a giant kiss on the lips! pic.twitter.com/GK60sd8QLK

— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) April 4, 2017

’Shipping is a big part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s ongoing success with fans. Marvel movies have led to thousands of fan fiction stories and even more Tumblr posts. Celebrating the love that fans have for these characters — and the imaginative relationships they cherish — is beautiful.

Whether you ’ship Stony, Science Bros., Pepperony or any other OTP (like Stucky, Thorki, Clintasha or ScarletVision), have a happy Valentine’s Day. I’m looking at you, Tumblr.

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