These days, moviegoers and cineastes barely leave any film without sticking around right through the picture’s credits – be that during a cinema experience or a home viewing of a movie. Over the past few years, we’ve all learned – often the hard way – that you should never ever leave a film before the credits finish, for so often now, there’s at least one mid-credits or post-credits scene waiting to enhance your viewing experience or tease what lies ahead in a future movie.
Many attribute this whole extra element to the cinematic superhero boom that we’re currently undergoing, with many a comic book-driven picture featuring one or more extra scenes after the main action comes to a conclusion. These extra scenes existed way before superheroes became a staple of the cinema screen, but it’s with such films that this element has been taken to a whole other level.
Of course, not all Easter eggs, references, nods, winks, and teases of future events come during or after a movie’s credits, and there have been plenty of examples of a picture’s final moments throwing up an Easter egg or piece of trivia that even the most eagle-eyed of audiences have missed out on. And that’s the point of this feature: to look back and give you some pointers on these moments that you have may have missed over the years.
So, with that in mind, here are 15 Easter eggs that you may have missed during a movie’s closing moments.
15 Mulder And Scully's Happy Ending
Remember when Mulder and Scully sailed off into the sunset? No? That’s because hardly anybody stuck around for a post-credits scene from 2008’s The X-Files: I Want to Believe.
In that scene, longtime fans of this fan-favorite franchise finally got to see what they’d all hoped for since as far back as the show’s debut in 1993. To be more precise, we saw Mulder and Scully in a small boat in the middle of the ocean. With their destination seemingly a tropical island paradise, Mulder is on rowing duties while Scully casually takes in the horizon.
After years of ‘will they, won’t they,’ it was a fitting end to The X-Files as a franchise, bringing a close to nine seasons of TV and two movies… well, until the series was surprisingly brought back in 2016, which kind of takes away from the I Want to Believe post-credits scene.
14 The Sinestro Corps. Begins
Sure, 2011’s Green Lantern may have been a misguided CGI-fest that fell flat on multiple levels, but one of the few standout moments of that movie came within the film’s credits – long after many moviegoers had eagerly departed their viewing experience.
With Mark Strong’s Sinestro having served as a mentor figure to Ryan Reynolds’s Hal Jordan throughout the film, regularly warning him against the corruption that would follow if a yellow ring is slipped onto one’s finger, the post-credits stinger saw Sinestro himself falling for the charms of the fear-driven ways of the color yellow.
Comic book-wise, Sinestro – in all his yellow-heavy glory – and his villainous Sinestro Corps. are the greatest nemesis of Jordan, and the end of Green Lantern saw this set up in a brilliant way. That movie, of course, bombed so badly that a sequel never followed – meaning the one cinematic out to date for the Emerald Knight saw him battling an awful take on Parallax.
13 The A-Team Calls In The Old Faces
Where the ever-expanding list of remakes and reboots is concerned, the 2010 take on The A-Team ranks as a relatively non-offensive affair that was nothing particularly great yet wasn’t entirely horrible. One thing that was missing, though – at least in the main cut of the picture – was an appearance from some familiar faces from the property’s past.
Originally, scenes were shot showing original Face Dirk Benedict having a chat with Bradley Cooper’s new take on the Faceman, and then Sharlto Copley’s “Howling Mad” Murdock came face-to-face with the original show’s Dwight Schultz.
Those scenes didn’t make the final cut of the film, but for those who stuck around until the credits, you’d get a mighty cool pair of cameos.
12 Gilderoy Lockhart: Who Am I?
In the pantheon of Harry Potter pictures, many feel that one of the weaker entries in the franchise is the second movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Still, Kenneth Branagh manages to steal the show as Gilderoy Lockhart, a faux Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.
Having somehow lied his way to being part of Hogwarts teaching staff, all went wrong for Lockhart when a spell to wipe young Harry’s memory actually backfired and instead worked on himself, leaving him in a state of catatonia.
For the eagle-eyed out there, though, they’ll have picked up on a fantastic post-credits scene which shows a bumbling Gilderoy’s latest biography: the aptly-titled Who Am I?.
11 The Grey’s Final Battle Continues
If you’re looking for a feel-good, happy-ever-after sort of movie, Joe Carnahan’s The Grey is best avoided. A tale of man versus nature, the picture centers on a Liam Neeson-led group of oil workers who wind up stranded in the middle of icy Alaska. As character after character are killed off by a pack of gray wolves, the final moments of the film come down to Neeson attaching some broken glass to his knuckles as he decides to tackle the alpha of the wolves head-on.
And then, that’s it; the film fades to black, leaving you pondering what happened next.
Fear not, for if you actually stick around and sit through the credits, you’ll see a scene that shows you what happens next but doesn’t exactly clarify anything. What we get instead is a shot of the aftermath of the fight as both parties lie tired and wounded in the snowy landscape.
10 Origins Offers Up Easter Eggs Aplenty
Yes, we all know -- 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a major flop. That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of fan service placed throughout the film. In addition to post-credits scenes that show the return of Wade Wilson, that tease the idea of Logan heading to Japan, and that even set-up the first X-Men movie by having him featured in the exact same bar, we also got to see a further nod to the comic book Wolverine and his first cinematic appearance.
After being taken in by an old couple – Travis and Heather Hudson, themselves seen as a nice nod to the Alpha Flight comic team – Wolvie is handed a brown and orange jacket that's actually the same one that we see him wearing during his introduction in Bryan Singer’s X-Men. Additionally, the brown and orange is a wink to the comic book realm, with the Canucklehead’s first costume made up of those same two colors.
9 Foreshadowing The Departed’s Final Moments
It’s a little crazy to think that Martin Scorsese’s The Departed is now over a decade old, having been released in 2006. A tense, engaging thrill-ride of a movie full of standout performances and insta-quotable dialogue, many rank the Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon-starrer right up there with the legendary Scorsese’s finest work – which is quite the bold statement.
What many never picked up on, though, was that the final scene warned us all that Matt Damon’s Colin Sullivan was about to be killed off. You see, Scorsese paid tribute to Howard Hawks’ 1932 Scarface by including an X somewhere in the shot just as a character is about to be killed off.
Right throughout the movie, this ideal is present, and it's again true when we see an X pattern outside Sullivan’s apartment door. Moments later, upon entering his apartment, he’d be shot dead by Mark Wahlberg’s Sgt. Dignam.
8 Will Turner Returns
For the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner was a pivotal piece of the puzzle. That was until poor Will was taken out of the equation during the finale of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. There, having taken over as the doomed captain of Davy Jones's infamous ship, Will had condemned himself to a life destined to step on to land only once every ten years.
Having married Kiera Knightley’s Elizabeth at the end of the film, it was the post-credits scene that sowed the seeds of what could possibly lie ahead. There, we saw things fast-forwarded a decade to Will returning home to his wife and now-10-year-old son.
That whole moment was pretty much ignored in 2011’s On Stranger Tides, but this year’s Dead Men Tell No Tales did indeed see the Turner family come back into the fold, with Will’s son, Henry, trying to help his old man rid himself of the curse that now plagues him.
7 The Earliest Assembling Of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
These days, we all know it’s an absolutely stupid idea to walk out of any and all comic book movies until the whole thing has come to a complete finish – credits included!
That wasn’t always the case, though, and, as such, many people completely missed the earliest rumblings of The Avengers being put together. That moment came about during the credits for 2008’s Iron Man; the movie that launched the concept of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What patient audiences saw there was Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury stepping out of the shadows to discuss the ‘Avengers Initiative’ with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. Fast-forward nine years and sixteen (so far!) movies, and here we are with a shared MCU that's the most dominant force in cinema right now. And yes, everybody now knows to stick around and watch a Marvel movie to its very final moments for fear of missing something juicy that alludes to future pictures.
6 BASEketball Gets Romantic
Not the only Trey Parker and Matt Stone project featured here in this piece, 1998’s BASEketball is a big favorite of many film fans where ‘90s comedy efforts are concerned. But, as is often the case, many viewers may have initially missed a brilliant final scene from the movie if they weren’t fully paying attention.
In amongst the actors and actresses involved in the picture, it’s real-life sports commentators Bob Costas and Al Michaels, who steal the show during the film’s credits sequence. In a moment that starts as mere playful chatter between the pair, it slowly builds to a tender kiss before the pair has some fun with the camera and the watching audience.
5 Trix Are For Kids
While Ted 2 was a decent comedy effort, it was sadly nowhere near as enjoyable as its predecessor. Still, one thing that the sequel did offer was a huge number of cameo appearances from celebrities and even famed pop-culture characters in one way or another. In amongst those cameos, of course, was Liam Neeson.
In the movie, Neeson is desperately trying to buy a box of Trix cereal. Scarily aware of the “Trix are for kids” marketing mantra, Neeson makes Ted swear that he won’t tell anybody about his purchase and that there will be no trouble.
For those who stick around until the end, you get to see a bloody Neeson return the cereal as he stares a hole through Ted in a way that suggests that the wise-cracking bear may have actually betrayed his trust.
4 The Fraud Catches The Fraud
After DiCaprio’s Frank Abagnale is finally caught and arrested in Montrichard, France, the huge Easter egg here is that one of the arresting officers is actually the real-life Frank. As it happens, director Steven Spielberg had owned the rights to the movie for 20 years before making it, and the reason for the delay in bringing the story to life was that he wanted to see how the life of Frank Abagnale developed. From there, it was a great touch from the legendary director to make the real Frank a part of the movie in even this small way.
3 The Mario Movie Gets A Videogame Adaptation
How do you make a god-awful adaptation of a beloved video game? Why, of course, you take the name of the game and its key characters, then you make a movie that has basically nothing to do with the source material that has been so bankable for so many years.
And that’s exactly what happened with 1993’s Super Mario Bros.
While that Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo-starring picture was a dud of epic proportions, a post-credits scene attempted to be humorous yet ended up being nothing more than one more insult to longtime fans of Mario and Luigi. As some Japanese men are shown chatting to the film’s Iggy and Spike, the dialogue “hilariously” suggests that the plan is to turn the adventures seen in the film into a video game.
Let’s face it: if the Mario games were ever based on the ’93 movie, the poor plumber would’ve never been as popular as he was and still is.
2 Orgazmo Creates His Nemesis
1997’s Orgazmo – from South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone – is a bit of an underground favorite amongst moviegoers. Not as many people have seen the comedy as should have seen the comedy, but those who've checked it out have taken the superhero p*rn-star hilarity to their hearts.
In the adult movies that Orgazmo appears in, his nemesis is Neutered Man, the villain who's immune to our hero’s patented Orgazmorator. But after Joe Young/Orgazmo puts an end to the scheme of Maxxx Orbison in the film’s closing moments, there’s a sweet irony left to come in a post-credits scene.
By zapping Orbison so many times with his Orgazmorator, Orgazmo has actually caused his foe to become immune to his powers – in turn, creating a real-life cackling Neutered Man! For those of you unfamiliar with Orgazmo, you likely won’t have any clue of what we’re talking about here. For those of you who are fans of the movie, you’re likely all still waiting and hoping for the sequel that was teased.
1 The Harry Potter Pseudo Sex Scene
Surely none of the kid-friendly Harry Potter movies feature a sex scene, right? Well, yes and no.
In a bizarre move, there’s a “kind of” sex scene during the final moments of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. During the credits of that picture, the audience gets to see the Marauder’s Map in full action, with the footsteps of many people being tracked. But what’s that there in the bottom left corner?
Yes, you can clearly see two sets of footprints facing each other in a way that would suggest that something a tad more adult was occurring. To back that up further, Rus Wetherell, the animator responsible for the credits, has gone on record to admit as much.
Sources: IMDb, Wikipedia