Everyone loves it when there’s another scene after the credits. It’s very exciting when you think that the movie is over and then there turns out to be more movie! The MCU has made post credits scenes great again. All of a sudden, everyone started doing them to tease sequels and characters for other future installments. But that’s not the only purpose for a post credits scene. Some of them add a comedic tag at the end of the story or provide a sort of postscript for the story. These are the 10 greatest post credits scenes of all time.
10. Guardians of the Galaxy
The MCU has re-popularized the post credits scene. Now, everyone goes into every big studio movie with the expectation that there will be another scene after the credits. The more serious and dramatic MCU movies slip in a sequel tease or a character reveal after the credits to excite you and get you to come back, but the more comedic entries in the franchise like to make fun of you with jokey or humorous post credits scenes. The makers of these movies know that fans sit through a lot of credits just to see these scenes and they like to have fun with that sometimes. James Gunn did that when he brought the Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen. He made us wait for like ten minutes until the credits ended and then gave us Howard the Duck. Howard the Duck is a much maligned Marvel Comics character, and in his MCU debut, he was voiced by Seth Green. There was a movie about Howard in the ‘80s that Gunn went to the theater to see. He said, “I was young and I went so excited about it.” He then wasted no time expressing that, like pretty much everyone else in the world, he hated it. “That movie sucks!” he said. “That movie’s terrible!” He explained that a lot of the problems arose from the weird prosthetics used to bring the character to life: “I wasn’t hip with the Caucasian eyelids. That upset me, because they had the puppet, and it was a duck, and instead of having feathery or white eyelids, he had Caucasian eyelids and it was creepy.” The Seth Green version that Gunn gave us in full CGI effects drinks a cocktail and chats to Benicio del Toro in the role of the Collector. “I’m a huge Howard the Duck fan. For people who don’t know, I’m a huge Marvel Comics fan, but Howard the Duck was maybe my favorite character as a kid. I went back and I collected all of those comics. I had every comic he was ever in.” So, who knows? Maybe if he can smooth out his relationship with Disney, he can give Howard the movie he deserves.
9. The Matrix Reloaded
A lot of movies, if they are a part of big studio blockbuster franchises, will use their post credits scenes to set up a future installment with a tease or a stinger. For example, some superhero movies use their post credits scenes to introduce the villain who will feature in the next movie or have an existing villain announce an evil plan, something vague and exciting like that. But since the Wachowski siblings were shooting the second and third movies in their cyberpunk science fiction action thriller trilogy at the same time, they were able to tease the third movie after the credits of the second movie with a full trailer. It doesn’t just tease a villain or a plot point – it plays the entire preview for the third movie once the credits have rolled. The second one had ended with so many cliffhangers – like Neo slipping into a coma and Bane being possessed by Agent Smith and the machines wiping a bunch of people out – so it was exhilarating to see the direction in which the franchise was heading and get a glimpse of the epic finale, even if that third movie ended up disappointing a lot of fans.
This is a post credits scene that a lot people missed, because it is hidden quite well, and also, it’s not even really a scene. It doesn’t tie up any loose ends in the plot or tease anything about the future. It’s just a fun thing. The film itself is one of the wackiest cinematic inventions of the 21st century. It stars Jason Statham in a typically madcap role as Chev Chelios, a guy who has been poisoned so that if his heart rate drops below a certain level, he will die, but if he can keep it up, then he will live. So, he’s doing the most insane things like hooking himself up to a car battery and having sex in public on a racing track just to make sure that his heart rate stays up so that he survives. For a movie that is this crazy and balls to the wall, it makes sense that the scene after the credits would also be this much fun. The scene is basically a remake of the movie itself, told in thirty seconds in animation in the style of an old school 8 bit video game from the ‘80s. It’s certainly inspired.
7. The Avengers
After Earth’s mightiest heroes have torn up New York City in their efforts to protect the world from an alien invasion by the Chitauri, they sit in a shawarma restaurant and eat some shawarma. Tony Stark had previously mentioned that he’s heard good things about it and never actually tried it. This is an example of what is known in screenwriting as “plant and payoff.” The plant was Tony’s reference to shawarma. The payoff was the Avengers eating shawarma after the credits, while they’re still wearing their costumes and the restaurant’s employees are sweeping up the rubble and debris from the apocalyptic annihilation of the streets of New York from the battle. The shawarma reference was just one of many takes that Robert Downey, Jr. did where he was riffing on what Tony might say after returning from the wormhole and escaping death. So, director Joss Whedon decided on the post credits scene long after filming had finished and he had chosen to use that take. Also, if you’ve ever wondered why Captain America isn’t eating any shawarma, it’s because the post credits scene wasn’t planned until after filming had finished and Chris Evans had to wear a prosthetic jaw to film it to cover up the beard he had grown for another role. So, there you go – some fun behind the scenes trivia.
6. Napoleon Dynamite
In the post credits scene for this cult hit indie high school comedy, Kip and LaFawnduh get married in an outdoor ceremony. A lot of people don’t even know that this movie has a scene after the credits, but sure enough, it does – and it is host to some of the funniest moments in the whole movie. Napoleon arrives at the wedding on horseback, for God’s sake! He calls it a “wild honeymoon stallion” and claims to have tamed it himself. Instead of having the bride throw a bouquet of flowers into a crowd of bridesmaids like every other wedding scene in a movie ends, Kip throws his bride’s garter into a crowd of Napoleon, Rico, and Pedro for one of them to have as a “keepsake.” Kip and LaFawnduh then ride off into the sunset. It apparently wasn’t enough for Jared Hess to pay off his gag about Kip’s girlfriend that he met online turning out to be real by having her show up – he needed to shoot a weird, absurd, hilarious wedding scene, too. Whether or not people even saw the post credits scene, the movie itself was a breakout hit on the indie film market, with one critic calling it “an epic, magisterially observed pastiche on all American geekhood, flooring the competition with a petulant shove.”
5. Fast Five
Letty is alive!! Fans of these muscle car street racing action thrillers who came to the franchise late (i.e. when it started to get good) know that Michelle Rodriguez plays Vin Diesel’s girlfriend Letty. But what they don’t know is that this character was once thought to be dead. Before she showed up in the post credits scene of this movie, Letty was shown to have died in one of the earlier movies. So, after the Toretto crew’s crazy adventure in Rio de Janiero, which introduced their new career as mercenaries and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character Luke Hobbs as a heavyweight player in the ever expanding cast, and the series’ future looked bright, it was incredibly exciting to see that maybe Letty wasn’t as dead as we thought. The scene, which sees Hobbs uncovering a recent photo of Letty being very much alive, also sets up the sixth movie in the franchise with its mention of a military convoy that has been intercepted and hijacked in Berlin. That’s basically a more modern and cinematic version of the way that they used to end the old Bond movies. They used to show a caption that read, “James Bond will return in…” followed by the name of the next movie. This is a visual way of doing that.
4. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spider-Man‘s first solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was one of the funniest and most lighthearted superhero movies in recent memory. A lot of the movie’s scenes contained some kind of gag or joke or awkward and comical situation. So, it’s almost fitting that it doesn’t end with a tease of the apocalyptic destruction of the Avengers’ upcoming adventure or a hint at who Spidey might be facing in his next movie. Instead, it ends with a sly dig at all the fans who sit through ten minutes of credits at the end of every one of these movie’s and hang onto the promise of a scene after the credits. After all those credits are over, another one of Captain America’s PSAs appears on the screen and he gives legions of Marvel fans a long winded kick in the crotch. He says, “Hi, I’m Captain America. Here to talk to you about one of the most valuable traits a student or soldier can have. Patience. Sometimes, patience is the key to victory. Sometimes, it leads to very little, and it seems like it’s not worth it, and you wonder why you waited so long for something so disappointing.” Many fans were disappointed by this, but from a comedic point of view, it’s quite brilliant.
What makes a comedy movie great is when all of the gags pay off. Of course, these gags have to be funny and the story has to move along and the acting has to be engaging and the characters have to be well developed, but a lot of those things apply to making all movies work. What makes comedy work is paying off a gag and all of the timing has to work. If there’s one thing that David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker are masters of, it’s comedic timing. In a post credits scene in this movie, which is considered by many people to be the greatest comedy movie ever made, they pay off a gag in the greatest way possible. Right at the start of the movie, there’s a guy in the back of Ted’s taxi when he goes off to see Elaine and ends up getting on a plane and going on a wild adventure that we see for the whole rest of the movie. And the after the credits, we see that the guy is still there in the taxi, waiting for Ted to come back. We’ve just seen the whole movie play out and people’s lives have been saved and people have fallen in love and this guy has been sat in the cab the whole time. He says he’ll give Ted “five more minutes.” Brilliant.
2. Deadpool 2
Okay, this is technically a mid credits scene and not a post credits scene, since all of the credits weren’t done when it came on. And also, it does kind of undo some of the drama and conflict of the movie itself. Cable’s big sacrifice was giving up his last use of time travel to save ‘Pool. But if his time machine wristwatch was so easy to tweak in order to travel in time as often as you want, then that sacrifice means less. Plus, Vanessa is brought back to life, which would’ve screwed up the timeline a lot and also undoes even more of the drama and conflict from the movie. But if it means she’s back, that’s fine. She’ll be able to take on her superhero alter ego in future sequels. And you know what, screw it. The movie is fun and the time travel montage in the credits is fun. “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher makes for the perfect soundtrack as Deadpool kills the crappy version of himself from that Wolverine movie and also shoots Ryan Reynolds in the head to stop him from ever playing Green Lantern. There’s apparently a deleted scene where he goes back in time to kill baby Hitler, which would’ve been so much fun. It reportedly had an uncomfortable tone, so maybe it’s for the best.
1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The reason why Deadpool’s first movie isn’t on this list is because that movie’s post credits scene is a spot on, shot for shot reference to Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller telling the audience after the credits, “You’re still here? It’s over. Go home.” Then he walks away and tries to shoo the audience with his hands, saying, “Go!” This ‘80s classic from John Hughes was one of the first ever movies to utilize a post credits scene and actually popularized the trend. Ferris had been breaking the fourth wall throughout that whole movie. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writers who brought ‘Pool to the big screen, explained why they decided to make that reference, and it is pretty much just because they are both characters who break the fourth wall. Therefore, Deadpool is a character who would break the fourth wall to reference the fourth wall breaking Ferris Bueller. The writers explained, “Ferris Bueller is obviously famous for many things, one of them is breaking the fourth wall, so it just kind of clicked in my head, like, ‘What if Deadpool is in the robe, and he’s walking down the hallway.’ We wrote it, and everyone was like, ‘My God, this is it.’ Because we had all these grand plans for codas and cameos and so on and so forth, and we were like, ‘This is it.’”