Movies

The Funniest End Credits Scenes In Marvel History, Ranked

“You’ve just become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.”

When Samuel L. Jackson creeped out of the shadows in 2008’s Iron Man, warning newly-minted superhero Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) that he wasn’t the only one of his kind, he was alluding to the roster of multiverse power players yet to come. But we’d like to think he could have also been foreshadowing Marvel’s role in retconning the all-important after-credits scene. After all, before the studio started slapping running gags and sequel teasers to the end of those “thanks to” rap sheets, a film’s end credits were simply a scrolling list of unknown names that signaled the fun was over, the theater could clear out, and the ushers could sweep up the mountains of uneaten popcorn littering the floor, in peace.

Now, a decade and a half, dozens of movies, and a few phases later, those end credits clips (also called stingers) represent something else – a calling card for a franchise that’s built its cinematic empire by taking a seemingly useless bit of filmmaking real estate and transforming it into a reward for die-hard fans, a way to say “thank you” to those willing to keep their seats warm in exchange for a character tease, a narrative cliffhanger, or a nostalgic nod to a movie’s comic book origins. And while plenty of entries in the MCU like to shock and string-along audiences craving just a bit more superhero lore, there are a select few that have just a bit more fun.

These specific scenes may not be the most important, the most clever, or the most significant, but they are the funniest, and sometimes, when you’re watching a bunch of superpowered weirdos in spandex constantly fend off galaxy-ending genocidal maniacs, all you really want is to laugh a little. These after-credits scenes will probably help with that.

5. The Groot Get-Down – Guardians of the Galaxy

Dave Bautista’s superior reflexes are the butt of the joke in this end-credits scene from the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. The movie gave the MCU a much-needed refresh with its killer soundtrack and space-comedy vibes but, oddly enough, the funniest scene in James Gunn’s superhero adventure was this short clip of the franchise’s most beloved character, AKA Baby Groot, dancing his little twig off to a Michael Jackson track. Not only did this scene comfort any lingering fears that the three-syllable-loving sentient tree hadn’t survived the movie’s climactic fight sequence, but it also schooled fans on who amongst this motley crew of space pirates has the best dance moves – and sorry Quill, it ain’t you.

4. Captain America’s PSA – Spider-Man: Homecoming

With nearly a decade in the game, Marvel was able to have some fun with its own track record of holding audiences hostage at the end of a film in the first Spider-Man MCU solo film. Captain America pops up a few times in the film with cutesy straight-to-camera messages that are played to inspire students at Peter Parker’s high school to be better citizens. He’s the modern-day Uncle Sam poster come to life but he’s in on the gag in this after-credits clip that tries to teach theatergoers the true meaning of the “patience is a virtue” saying by rewarding them with a big ole nothingburger at the end. Who knew old man Rogers had jokes?

3. Tony’s Therapy Session — Iron Man 3

Tony Stark is a man who loves to hear himself talk but he takes that narcissism to an entirely new level in this end-credits scene that retcons the entire film as something of a therapy session. Unfortunately for Stark, his bestie Bruce Banner is just not that kind of doctor. Lulled to sleep by the sounds of Stark’s ADHD-riddled story time, Banner wakes just as his friend is thanking him for being such a good listener. Obviously, the fact that he put his buddy into a temporary coma with one story isn’t enough to stop him from starting another – one that begins with a weird anecdote about having a nanny at 14 – but what’s truly great about this scene is how it represents the friendship between these two mad geniuses.

2. Shwarma Feast — The Avengers

What does one do when they’ve successfully defended New York City against an extraterrestrial attack and hitchhiked a ride to space via a nuclear bomb? If you’re genius billionaire philanthropist playboy Tony Stark, you get your superpowered friends together to stuff yourselves on delicious Middle Eastern cuisine. The visual of these god-like beings binge-eating spiced meats amongst the wreckage of Loki’s failed invasion speaks for itself – literally, there’s absolutely no dialogue in this scene – and the fact that it was an addition sparked by a bit of improv from Robert Downey Jr. makes it feel all the more special.

1. Musical Mayhem — Hawkeye

Like a brightly colored train wreck you just can’t look away from, the Rogers Musical that takes up space as a mid-credits scene in Disney+’s Hawkeye series is trash. Glorious, kitschy, deafening trash. It’s also the greatest use of the end credits genre in cinematic history. For over four minutes a cast of Broadway performers go full force, backflipping, gyrating, and belting on stage while reciting cheesy lyrics narrating the battle of New York that took place in the first Avengers movie. Each original superhero gets their time in the spotlight – though the subtle dig at Hawkeye, who’s described as just a “really nice guy” while the others are praised for their god-like abilities and kick-ass track record, is the standout. But, as ridiculous as this musical interpretation of the MCU is, we’d be remiss not to salute the show for taking a risk. It’s no Cats butthole cut, but it’s certainly close.

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