With the prevalence of post-credit scenes today, also know as ‘codas’, most of us stay in the theater until the very end of the film. Leaving as the credits starts means you might miss out on a funny add-on or even a clue to a potential sequel. One of the first uses of a post credits scene was in the 1963 James Bond film To Russia With Love. This was the famous “James Bond will return in…” end title sequence, which has become a staple in every bond film since. No footage was used in this early coda; only text was displayed.
Lots of comedy films have long since used the ending credits to show bloopers and alternate takes; this was especially common in Jackie Chan films. Famous for doing all his own stunts, Chan would show his outtakes and sometimes even his injuries at the end of his films. Smokey and the Bandit II famously showcased Burt Reynolds fluffing his lines and Sally Fields calling him out for it. Reynolds thought footage like that was gold, and the trend continued in future Burt Reynolds films like Cannonball Run. Post-credit scenes are especially common with superhero movies. The first Superman film in 1978 – Superman: The Movie – showed a teaser for the sequel, which would be released two years later. Like the Bond films, no footage was shown; it was simply a text teaser.
Today, comic book movies are notorious for boasting much more elaborate post-credits sequences. The movie X-men Origins: Wolverine featured two different scenes attached to prints of the movie. Some teased Wolverine’s visit to Japan in the sequel, while others showed that the antagonist, Deadpool, was not in fact dead at all. Movies that are part of the Marvel cinematic universe use multiple credits sequences: one mid credits and one post credits. One of these scenes is usually serious and teases an upcoming sequel or connected film, while the other is a light-hearted, non-plot centric joke. Here, we’re taking a look at ten of the most memorable post-credits scenes in Hollywood history.
9. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
In a sly bit of meta humor, this movie coda features Bueller talking to the audience once again and breaking the fourth wall. After all the credits role on this seminal John Hughes 80s classic, Matthew Broderick’s Ferris Bueller walks out of his room, walks up to the camera and says: “You’re still here? It’s over. Go home.”
8. The Hangover
When the Wolf Pack awakes the next day with no memory of what transpired the night before and with their best friend missing, they must retrace their steps and try to figure out what happened to Doug. At the end of the film they’re reunited with their friend and the digital camera filled with photos from their drunken night. The photos are shown as a slideshow during the credits, and they showcase some hilarious debauchery which give context to events in the movie; like Stu pulling out his own tooth and getting in a fight with Wayne Newton, and Alan getting his belly button pierced.
7. Iron Man
Iron Man started Marvel’s trend of post credits scenes, and this one still remains one of the best. The news that Samuel L. Jackson was playing Nick Fury in the film was heavily guarded – it was an uncredited cameo, and most didn’t know until they saw him pop up after all the credits had rolled. Fury tells Tony Stark he’s not the only superhero out there, teasing the eventual formation of the Avengers.
6. Monster’s University
Pixar has a long history of running some funny extras during the credits. During the credits of Cars John Ratzenberger mocked his performance in previous Pixar films A Bug’s Life, Toy Story and Monsters Inc. The sequel to Monsters Inc. also featured a callback gag post-credits. The slow slug student, voiced by Bill Hader, is going to be late for class; after the movie we see he finally makes it after the school year finished.
5. The Muppet Movie
This classic from 1979 features perhaps the first example of a movie coda sequence. The Muppets are in the theater watching their own movie, and Animal tells the audience to: “Go home, go home.” This started a trend with end credit scenes that break the fourth wall, which continued throughout many comedy films during the 1980s.
The movie coda in Airplane! is another call back to a moment in the movie, when cabbie Ted Striker was rushing to make a flight at the airport. He tells his passenger he’ll be right back, but never comes back. At the end of the film, following the credits, we see the passenger is still waiting in the cab. He retorts: “I’ll give him another 20 minutes.”
3. The Producers
The 2005 version of The Producers is a musical based on the stage version, which was in turn based on the 1968 film of the same name. In this version, viewers who stick about until after the credits are treated to a bonus scene where the cast informs you the film is over and The Producers’ creator Mel Brooks, in a cute cameo, tells you to “get out.”
2. The Avengers
The Avengers started the trend of featuring multiple end credit scenes in Marvel film: one mid-credits and one post credits. While the mid-credits scene in the Avengers sets us up for things to come in the much-anticipated sequel, the end credits scene for Marvel is typically just a gag of some sort. In the end credits scene of The Avengers we find the superhero team sitting quietly and eating shawarma after an exhausting battle fighting off Loki and the Chitauri to save New York City. This scene was, of course, a call back to Tony Stark asking what shawarma was and if anybody had tried it during the denouement of the movie.
1. Wayne’s World
Throughout ‘Wayne’s World’, Wayne and Garth continually break the fourth wall. After three false endings to the film – with the bad ending, the Scooby-Doo ending and the mega-happy ending – the credits finally roll, but Wayne and Garth aren’t done yet. The duo thanks viewers for watching the movie and then awkwardly sits on the couch until the screen fades to black.