The meme started spreading on April 26th , 2019, when Avengers: Endgame was released in the U.S.
In the film, the character Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) says “I love you tons” to his daughter Morgan (Lexi Rabe), who replies “I love you 3000”.
Within days of the release of the film, the quote spread worldwide on the internet among fans, trying to detect the real meaning of it. ű
A great example for that is the tweet of Twitter user @Ashril_92 that said “When Tony says ‘I love you tons’ she says ‘I love you 3000’ A ton is 2000 pounds. Saying I love you 3000 means she loves him more.” which received 21,000 likes and 14,000 retweets within 24 hours.
Others started to post the quote with photos or reaction images and even the stars of the film began hashtagging the meme to express their love towards fans.
On April 28th, 2019, Marvel Studios tweeted a special message for the fans of the MCU saying “Thank you to all the fans around the world for being part of our universe. We love you 3000.” The tweet received more than 65,000 retweets and 240,000 likes in two days and hence had probably the biggest effect on the spread of the meme.
Since then the famous line has inspired many fanart that can be found on DeviantArt, Reddit or Tumblr and even can be bought on T-shirts, mugs and other Avengers merchandise.