The Marvel movie ends, and the credits start to roll. You see some people in your row start to gather their things and leave. Amateurs.
But not you. You stay in your seat, just like you have since you first saw “Iron Man” in 2008 and heard whispers of an extra scene after the credits.
It seemed unlikely — why would anyone want to stay that long once the film is over? But you waited, and your patience was rewarded. Now you know not to leave the theatre until every last name has scrolled past and employees are starting to sweep up popcorn.
Now 15 movies deep, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is famous for its post-credits scenes. Some are used to tease new characters and plotlines, while others are there to give a wink to hardcore comics fans.
Viewers of Marvel’s latest, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” are treated to not one, not three, but five mid- and post-credits scenes. They’re worthy additions to Marvel’s already extensive collection.
Here is the definitive ranking of Marvel’s post-credits scenes:
Note: This list only mentions two of the five credits scenes from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” so as to not give away any plot points. All other Marvel films are fair game.
23. Thor: The Dark World: The Kiss
Look, I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen ‘Thor: The Dark World.’ It’s the only Marvel movie that I’ve missed, and at this point I haven’t heard anything that makes me want to go back and watch it.
That said, I’m confident that this is the worst post-credits scene that Marvel has put out. It doesn’t tease a future plotline or character, and it’s not remotely funny. I’m glad I didn’t sit through the credits to watch this.
22. Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The Twins
A generally underwhelming scene is buoyed somewhat by the appearance of two new characters: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
21. Doctor Strange: Too Many Sorcerors
Doctor Strange was a niche, unfamiliar property for many moviegoers. Perhaps a post-credits scene focusing on the creation of a niche, unfamiliar villain was not the best way to go. Unlike most Marvel post-credits scenes, this one did not leave me wanting to see what was going to happen next.
20. Thor: Well I Guess That’s Worth A Look
Nick Fury, Loki, and the Cosmic Cube aren’t enough to rescue a generally boring scene. Despite the fact that it sets up a great deal of plot points in future films, the scene falls flat on its own.
19. Thor: The Dark World: The Collector
Benicio del Toro is something of a post-credits scene specialist, having appeared in both ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ His second appearance was certainly more memorable, as the introduction of his character in ‘The Dark World’ leaves much to be desired.
18. Guardians of the Galaxy: Howard The Duck
Points for being the most random scene on this list, and a reminder to audiences that ‘Howard the Duck’ was a thing.
17. Avengers: Age of Ultron: I’ll Do It Myself
The first time Thanos made a post-credits scene appearance, it was very cool. The second time, not so much. Seeing him was no longer a surprise for audiences, and he didn’t really do anything different from the post-credits scene in ‘The Avengers.’
16. Captain America: Civil War: Wakanda
The Black Panther was one of the (many) highlights in ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ The post-credits scene gave the audience a small taste of Wakanda and of what is to come in the Ryan Coogler-helmed Black Panther film, due in theatres February 2018.
15. Ant-Man: I Know A Guy
Sure, this scene is just a shortened version of the scene from ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ but it was still good to see Captain America and Falcon make an appearance in one of the smallest-scale Marvel films.
14. Ant-Man: The Wasp
Any scene where a superhero gets their suit is cool, and any scene where a new superhero is introduced is also cool. This scene does both, so it’s very cool.
13. ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ — The Initiative
I could watch Samuel L. Jackson go around telling people he’s putting a team together all day long. Watching him approach Captain America to tell him about the Avengers is no exception.
Bonus points for the cheesy montage that follows this scene.
12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Adam Warlock
Any post-credits scene that teases the appearance of a character audiences haven’t yet seen on screen is great in my book. Though Adam Warlock won’t be making an appearance in ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ audiences clearly have something to look forward to.
11. Doctor Strange: I Don’t Drink Tea
There isn’t anything particularly special about this scene — it’s just fun watching Thor drink things. As the ‘Team Thor‘ videos highlight, the Asgardian is at his best when he’s not being too serious.
10. Captain America: Civil War: Spider-Man
A variation of this scene would have been a perfect way to introduce the character at the end of another Marvel film. But it still ranks high because it’s Marvel’s way of telling audiences, ‘Yes, we really did get Spider-Man back in the fold, and we’re just as excited as you are!’
9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Teen Groot
You know Baby Groot? Well after ‘Guardians Vol. 2’ is over, we get to see our favourite talking tree as an adolescent — messy room and all.
8. Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Bucky Barnes
At the end of ‘The Winter Soldier,’ S.H.I.E.L.D. is in ruins and Captain America is determined to find Bucky Barnes, his former best friend, and help him regain control of his mind. Little does he know that Barnes is at the nearby Smithsonian Institution, coming to grips with an exhibit on his life before he was taken by Hydra.
7. Iron Man 3: Not That Kind Of Doctor
The banter between Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo is a highlight of the ‘Avengers’ films, so seeing it brought to one of Iron Man’s standalone movies was refreshing.
Here, it is revealed that Tony Stark wasn’t narrating the events of ‘Iron Man 3’ to the audience, but instead to Dr. Bruce Banner.
Despite Banner falling asleep and protesting that he’s ‘not that kind of doctor,’ Stark insists on delving into his life story with his new therapist.
6. The Incredible Hulk: What If I Told You We Were Putting A Team Together?
The MCU’s second post-credits scene sees Tony Stark approach Thaddeus Ross in a bar to tell him about a ‘special team’ that’s being put together. That team, of course, is the Avengers, and this scene is still awesome every time I watch it.
5. The Avengers: Thanos
Five years ago, ‘The Avengers’ used its mid-credits scene to introduce the villain that has been looming over every film since: Thanos. We’re still waiting for him to show up, but chances are good that he will be making a formal introduction next year in ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’
4. Iron Man 2: Thor’s Hammer
This scene was perfect for two reasons:
1. It reminded audiences that Marvel wasn’t kidding and the Avengers movie was really, seriously going to happen.
2. It was the first peek at a hero audiences had yet to see on the big screen: Thor.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy: Baby Groot
Though Baby Groot steals the show in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,’ it’s difficult to top his first appearance.
Watching him dance to the Jackson 5 while Drax cleans his knife was the perfect topper to one of the MCU’s most unique films.
2. The Avengers: Shawarma
‘The Avengers’ was the culmination of an unprecedented cinematic experiment. For many fans, it was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream to see their favourite heroes together on the big screen.
Needless to say, moviegoers who sat through the Thanos mid-credits scene were excited to see what else the MCU would send their way.
Then they got the Avengers, battered and exhausted after saving the world, sitting around eating shawarma.
1. Iron Man: The Avengers Initiative
It’s easy to forget now, but in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe didn’t exist. In fact, nothing that was even a fraction of the scale of the MCU existed.
Marvel wasn’t yet the movie-industry juggernaut that it is now, and for most fans the idea of The Avengers coming to the big screen together was only a fantasy.
That is, until Samuel L. Jackson showed up to announce Marvel’s intention to make it a reality.
Nearly a full 10 years later, this scene still gives me chills.