Post-credit scenes (or stingers as the industry folk like to call them) have a long history in cinema. For many years, closing credits weren't even used, so there wasn't, technically, any post-credit scenes until about the late 70s and 80s. Yet, the idea was always there. For the most part, post-credit scenes serve two purposes. The one, which roots all the way back to the 1903 silent film, The Great Train Robbery, is the breaking of the fourth wall or a metafictional reference—a little recognition of the audiences watching the film. After the credits (or the end of the film), the story is closed off. Once the narrative is concluded, these post-credit scenes let the characters speak directly to the audience, showing that they are aware that they're in a film. We first saw this in The Great Train Robbery with one of the characters pointing his gun at the audience and firing. This type of scene was also famously done in 1979's, The Muppet Movie, as an animal comes out and shouts, "Go home! Go home!"
From this, several different types of metafictional stingers were spawned, things like blooper reels or gags that exist outside of the confines of the film, such as the man waiting for the taxi at the end of Airplane! In modern film, however, there is another type of post-credit scene that has gained popularity in the age of the sequel, and that's the sequel teaser. We've seen countless teasers like this, from Young Sherlock Holmes teasing that Moriarty will be in the next film to X-Men: The Last Stand showing that Professor X is alive and well. With the prevalence of interconnected superhero movies, many of the modern post-credit scenes act as both a teaser and a connective tissue to other superhero films. We're not just interested in any old post-credit scenes though. We're looking at the ones that had the biggest impact on audiences. Which stingers were most captivating or had the most importance for the film overall. Here are the 15 most impactful post-credit scenes.
15 Crank – Crank: The Video Game
14 Lethal Weapon 3 – Late To The Scene
13 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story – The Actual Dewey Cox
12 Wild Things – The Explanation
11 Iron Man 3 – Therapy Session
10 Monsters Inc. – Animated Blooper Reel
9 The Incredible Hulk – Putting A Team Together
8 Slumdog Millionaire – Bollywood Dance Number
7 Ant-Man – I Know A Guy
6 Hangover – Pictures From The Night
5 Thor: Dark World - Introducing The Infinity Stones
4 WALL-E – Rebuilding The Earth
3 Iron Man -The Avengers Initiative
2 Super 8 - The Homemade Movie
1 The Avengers - Shawarma And A Look At Thanos
There are two credit scenes in The Avengers and both are brilliant. The first is the hilarious "shawarma scene" that shows The Avengers indulging in some delicious shawarma. This plays back to an earlier scene that had Iron Man asking if they can go eat shawarmas because he knows of a place. They do eventually eat there in the credits and they do it in silence. It's an awesome subtle treat for the fans after the craziness that they just witnessed. Then, after the credits finish, we are introduced to the big baddie of the entire franchise for the first time, Thanos. After hearing about the Avengers and what they're capable of, the purple-faced giant villain turns to the camera and smiles. This is massive because Thanos looks to play a huge role in all the films from Guardians of the Galaxy and beyond.
Sources: Wikipedia; IMDB; AfterCredits
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