There was only one mid-credits scene in the very first The Avengers, but it was arguably the best (or the funniest) part of the movie: Having successfully saved the planet from an alien invasion (while losing a good chunk of Manhattan real estate), our heroes celebrate by eating shawarmas in awkward silence. At the time it played like a hilarious non-sequitur. Turns out it was based on something that happened during the making of another Joss Whedon product, the TV show Angel.
The cast of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off reunited for New York Comic Con, and while there they sat down for a video interview with Entertainment Weekly. There, they got to talking about the devastating death of Winifred “Fred” Burkle, played by Amy Acker, a regular of Whedon, who also directed the first two Avengers films. Fred’s death was rough for the audience, and it was rough for the actors, who found shooting it so traumatizing that they were left speechless.
“I just remember that at the end of the day we all went for a drink and were sitting in a bar and none of us spoke to each other,” Acker recalled. “Apparently the shawarma scene at the end of Avengers was inspired by us just sitting there not talking.”
Whedon didn’t come back for the Infinity War nor Endgame, which were directed by the Russo brothers but which managed to sustain the tone of gravity leavened by humor. Of course, is anything in either of those as funny as the shawarma scene? Or even Hulk vs. Loki? Anyway, let’s re-enjoy the former, shall we?