How many times have the credits started rolling at the end of a movie, prompting the audience to start making their way out, when a surprise bonus scene pops up, forcing people to stop and watch while standing in the aisles? Post-credit scenes, also called a tag, stinger, or credit cookie, are often included either for one last laugh (sometimes using bloopers from filming), or in order to set up a sequel.
Some of the first movies to include a post-credit scene, or hint about a sequel were From Russia With Love, The Muppet Movie, Airplane! and Superman.
These days, Marvel in particular is partial to the post-credit scene because most of their films tie in to each other in some way. Post-credit scenes are a great way to get fans excited about the next film adaptation, and give everyone a sneak peak of what superhero, or supervillain, they can expect to see in the next movie. When they first started adapting their extensive universe into film, no one realized they should probably stick around until the end of the credits, but now catching a glimpse at what Marvel is up to next is part of the fun of going to see the movie on the big screen.
The worst is when you leave a movie and then find out later that you missed out on an awesome post-credit scene. Better to be safe than sorry and stick around just in case. Here are 10 of the best post-credit scenes in movie history.
10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
We know that technically Marvel’s Avengers and the X-Men exist in the same universe, but up until now the film adaptations have kept them separate. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a mid-credit scene shows two mutants, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, locked in two cells at terrorist organization, Hydra’s headquarters. We know those mutants as Quicksilver (super-human speed), and the Scarlet Witch (telekinetic powers). They become enemies of the Avengers in the next film Age of Ultron. In the post-credit scene, the Winter Soldier is revealed to still be alive and well.
9. Dawn of the Dead
The dream for any group of zombie apocalypse survivors is to find a safe place to live a semi-normal life without the threat of being eaten by zombies looming over them. In Dawn of the Dead, the group leaves their relatively safe, but extremely confining home in an abandoned mall to make their way to an island they hope is deserted and therefore free of zombies. The post-credit scene is shot with a hand held camera and shows them arriving on the island only to find it is overrun with the undead. We never know if any of them make it out alive, but it doesn’t look promising.
8. 22 Jump Street
22 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum may be a sequel, but that didn’t stop them from making fun of the film industry’s obsession with sequels. The post-credit scene actually rolls alongside the credits and instead of setting them up for yet another sequel, they throw out every possible idea they could ever have for another film in the form of cheesy movie posters. Some of the imaginary future sequels include Foreign Exchange Students, Art School, and Culinary School. In the true post credit scene, Eric (Dave Franco) and Mr. Walters (Rob Riggle) are seen cuddling in prison, with Mr. Walters whispering “I’m late” to Eric’s horror.
7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Deadpool (aka Wade Wilson), a fan favourite Marvel’s X-Men series, didn’t exactly get to live up to his potential in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. After making a brief appearance early in the film, Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, was turned into a genetically altered mutant killer called Weapon XI. Rather than the wisecracking swordsman fans were expecting, he was an enemy to Wolverine that had to be killed. But the post-credit scene reveals than not even decapitation can kill Deadpool. By revealing that he was still alive, Marvel left the possibility for his return open. Reynolds will reprise the role in a standalone Deadpool movie set to be released in 2016.
6. Napoleon Dynamite
2004’s Napoleon Dynamite was filmed as an independent art-house comedy, but its runaway success has turned it into a cult favourite. One of the best parts of the movie is Napoleon’s brother Kip, and his internet girlfriend, LaFawnduh. In the post-credit scene Kip and LaFawnduh are married in an outdoor ceremony. After Kip sings a song to his bride, Napoleon arrives riding a horse, claiming that it is a “wild honeymoon stallion” that he has tamed himself. Kip flicks an accessory of LaFawnduh’s dress as a “keepsake” towards Napoleon, Rico and Pedro, before he and LaFawnduh ride off across the fields.
5. X-Men: The Last Stand
Even though X-Men: The Last Stand is arguably the most hated film of the X-Men franchise, it still had one of the most memorable and talked about post-credit scenes in Marvel’s history. After Charles Xavier appears to have been killed by the Pheonix (Jean Grey)’s extreme power, we assume there’s no possible way he could ever come back (his body was completely disintegrated). But Professor X is pretty powerful himself, and in the post-credit scene, we hear a coma patient Moira MacTaggert is checking on say “Hello Moira,” in Charles’ voice.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
All four films in the Pirates of the Caribbean have a post-credit scene, but it’s the third film, At World’s End, that’s the most memorable. Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) and Will (Orlando Bloom)’s love affair has been going on for three movies now, and they finally get married only minutes before Will is killed in a sword fight. He is bound to be the captain of the Flying Dutchman, which is the ship that ferry’s souls lost at sea to the afterlife. But luckily, he’s able to return to land once every 10 years to spend the day with Elizabeth. In the post-credit scenes, Elizabeth and her 10 year old son are seen waiting by the ocean as Will sails toward land.
3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Matthew Broderick‘s most popular movie, the classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is famous for breaking the fourth wall. Throughout the movie, Ferris frequently looks into the camera and speaks directly to the audience, which calls attention to the fact that he’s aware he’s in a movie. After the credits, Ferris approaches the camera in his bathrobe and says to whoever might be lingering in the theater, “you’re still here? It’s over. Go home.”
2. Fast & Furious 6
The sixth installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise became the highest grossing film in the series (until Furious 7 came out in 2015), and was the sixth highest grossing film of 2013. The entire film was full of car chases, and insane stunts, but there was room for one more in the post-credit scene. It shows Han fleeing enemies in a high speed chase in Tokyo. His car is rammed unexpectedly, and it explodes before he can make it out. A new character to the franchise, played by Jason Statham, is shown walking away from the crash, calling Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel)’s character and saying, “you don’t know me… but you’re about to.” The scene sets up the events in the seventh film where Statham plays Toretto’s main enemy.
1. Iron Man
The fist Iron Man film starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark was a huge success and only the beginning of what Marvel had planned for its Avengers franchise. After the credits, Stark is seen walking through his dark house, when his AI, Jarvis, shuts down and he sees the trench-coated silhouette of Nick Fury. “You think you’re the only superhero in the world?,” he asks. “Mr. Stark, you’ve become a part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.” Clearly he was referring to the Marvel universe as a whole, as well as the film franchise that was just launched with the extreme success of Iron Man.