- “I can't sleep. You go to bed — I come down here; I do what I know. I tinker. Threat is imminent and I have to protect the one thing I can't live without: that's you”
Pepper worked as Tony's personal assistant for many years. Eventually, a mutual attraction developed between them, but neither acted on it. After Tony returned home from being kidnapped by the Ten Rings, Pepper shed a tear upon seeing him alive and safe. Later, Tony asked Pepper to install his new Arc Reactor.
Tony and Pepper danced together at his annual charity ball. They went out to a balcony to talk and nearly kissed, but Pepper interrupted the moment, asking Tony to get her a drink. At the bar, he discovered that Obadiah Stane was still dealing weapons despite Tony having shut down that department, and he left to destroy the weapons, forgetting about Pepper and her drink.
Once Tony got back, he asked Pepper to help him hack into Stark Industries' database and learn what Obadiah was planning. She initially refused, worried about Tony's safety if he continued to fight against the Ten Rings, but eventually relented. Obadiah later nearly killed Pepper with his Iron Monger suit, but Tony arrived in time to distract his attention from her. Before the press conference about the battle between Iron Monger and Iron Man, Tony tried to flirt with Pepper, but she reminded him about a few days ago when he'd left her on the balcony alone.
IRON MAN 2
Tony began experiencing a steady rise in blood toxicity level from the palladium core in his Arc Reactor. Aware that he was dying, he named Pepper CEO of Stark Industries. He took increasingly reckless risks, pushing away all his friends, including Pepper.
In Monaco, Pepper was jealous to learn that Tony had hired Natalie Rushman (actually Natasha Romanoff undercover) as his new personal assistant. She and Happy Hogan later gave Tony a suit to fight against Ivan Vanko. On the flight back, Tony made her an omelette and suggested that they go on holiday together, but she refused, telling him that she needed to present during the crisis caused by Vanko.
Pepper tried to get Tony to shut down his disastrous birthday party, but he was too drunk to hear reason. James Rhodes had to resort to donning the Mark II armor and fighting Tony. Happy Hogan escorted her away from the fight. When Tony visited later Pepper's office to apologize, she refused to listen to him and asked him to leave.
During Vanko's attack on the Stark Expo, Tony fought his Hammer Drones and Rhodey's suit in the air, while Pepper dealt with Justin Hammer on the ground. Natasha infiltrated Hammer Industries and released Rhodey from Vanko's control, then complimented Tony on his new Arc Reactor. Tony commented that he was no longer dying. Pepper, who had been listening in, was aghast to hear this and demanded an explanation.
After Hammer was arrested, Pepper stayed behind at the expo to make sure everyone was safely evacuated. Vanko activated a self-destruct protocol in the drones. Tony flew in and saved Pepper moments before a drone near her exploded. As he set her down on a rooftop, she hysterically declared that she was quitting as CEO. As they began to discuss her resignation, Tony then pulled her into a kiss, which she gladly reciprocated. Tony later convinced her to keep the job.
IRON MAN 3
Pepper had since moved in with Tony, but he had become shaken by the Battle of New York. He suffered from anxiety attacks and, unable to sleep, had resorted to building new suits every night. Pepper did her best to comfort him, but things became tense when her old boss Aldrich Killian came to pitch the idea of Extremis to her. One night, as Tony had a nightmare, he accidentally called one of his suits to attack Pepper. He woke up in time to shut down the suit before it caused any harm, but the experience caused to sleep downstairs for the night, away from him.
After Tony publicly threatened the Mandarin and gave his personal address, Pepper tried to convince Tony to leave for their own protection. Maya Hansen, a scientist and one of Tony's old one-night stands, came to warn him about an impending attack. Soon after, the mansion was bombed by several armed helicopters. Tony called a suit to form around Pepper, protecting her. She then returned the favor by protecting Tony from falling debris. She dragged Maya to safety, but Tony was left to fall with the ruins of the mansion into the ocean.
That night, while firecrews cleared the rubble from what was left with the mansion, Pepper found a destroyed suit's helmet. She put it on and was overjoyed to find a secret message from Tony, telling her that he'd survived the attack and apologizing for putting her in harm's way. Pepper was later kidnapped by Killian, and Maya was revealed to have been working with him the whole time. He took Pepper to a docked oil ship, where he intended to keep her as collateral and as a trophy. He injected her with the Extremis serum, which she survived, gaining the advanced abilities that Extremis granted her.
During Tony and Rhodey's attack on the ship, several explosions destabilized the room that Pepper was being held in. She was left hanging off a gantry. Tony tried to save her, but he failed, and she plummeted several hundred feet to the deck of the ship. The fall did not kill her, due to Extremis in her system. When she reawakened, she saved Tony from a losing battle against Killian and killed him herself. They reunited and reconciled afterwards. To Pepper's delight, he remotely destroyed all his suits, signalling that he was ready to give up superheroics and move on to a normal life with her. Tony used his resources to cure her of Extremis. She supported him when he made the decision to undergo an operation to remove the shrapnel from his heart. He later gave her a necklace made from the shrapnel, symbolizing how she had changed his life for the better since they had started their relationship.
A common pairing, though it doesn't get the most attention in the fandom as slash pairings are the popular ones. This is one of the most consistent romances throughout the MCU continuity, seen in the films. Many fans believe that Pepper was indeed pregnant when Tony left Earth in 2018.
Tony and Pepper had since starting dating. They sat together in Stark Tower as they powered it up for the first time. Their moment was interrupted by the arrival of Phil Coulson, who informed Tony that they needed him in the face of Loki's threat. Later, as Tony flew a nuclear missile into the Chitauri portal. J.A.R.V.I.S. offered to call Pepper, as Tony was unlikely to survive. He agreed, but Pepper, distracted by news reports of the attack, didn't see her phone ringing.
AGE OF ULTRON
After Tony officially retired from the Avengers, he mentioned building a quiet farm for him and Pepper, like Clint Barton had done for his family.
Pepper and Tony decided to take a break from their relationship, with Tony stating that it was nobody's fault.
The pair had since gotten back together. Tony called a press conference to announce Peter Parker's inclusion in the Avengers, but Peter refused membership. After he left, Tony decided to use the press conference to propose to Pepper.
Tony told Pepper about his desire to have a child. Pepper questioned his need to be Iron Man. They were interrupted by the arrival of Stephen Strange and Bruce Banner, who needed him to help stop Thanos. Tony left with the two to discuss Thanos' impending arrival, and Pepper stayed behind at the park they'd been jogging in. After Cull Obsidian and Ebony Maw attacked and abducted Strange with the Time Stone, Tony followed them onto the ship, which was leaving Earth's atmosphere. Pepper called Tony while he was aboard. When Tony told her he was on the ship, she begged him to come back, but their call was cut off as the ship left Earth.
- Pepper – “Will that be all, Mr. Stark?”
- Tony – “That will be all, Miss Potts”
- ―Iron Man
- “You deserve better. You've taken such good care of me. I've been in a tough spot, and you got me through it”
- “I'm just trying to protect us, future us'es, and that's it”