The Marvel Cinematic Universe, with its now de rigueur post-credits “hidden” scenes, has kept legions of viewers’ asses plopped firmly in their Fanta-stained seats well after the final credits start rolling. The latest MCU post-credits scene, following the conclusion of Guardians of the Galaxy, is too good to ruin here, but I’ll say two spoiler-free things about it: It fit in perfectly with the tone of the movie itself, and it will likely go over the heads of most people under age 30.
For any teenaged readers who thought Marvel was the progenitor of this post-credit-scene business, think again — it’s been going on for decades. Early on, though, it was a rare and unexpected thing that most people found out about only after someone said, “Did you stay until the very end??” Because there was no YouTube, people either had to pay to see the film again in theaters or wait until it came out on VHS to see the scene.
Some of the best post-credits sequences tease sequels (some of which never happened), put a little cherry on top of the material you just saw, or feature an outtake or off-script riffing (which happen more commonly during end credits these days). Some of our favorite post-credits scenes on this list are simply ones that make me reminisce on my childhood.
Which reminds me: YouTube Powers That Be, how can you NOT have a video sequence of Raul Julia’s M. Bison sticking his hand out of the rubble after the credits of 1994’s Street Fighter?!?? That’s classic stuff!
Kill Bill (2003) – This quickie scene is an outtake of Uma Thurman’s Beatrix Kiddo ripping an eyeball out of a member of the Crazy 88 army, clearly delighting in it. It should get fans excited for the rumored upcoming release of both Kill Bill films combined.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) – This 45-second sequence is just as irreverent as the movie that preceded it; while it worked back then, it now serves as a reminder that the Ron Burgundy schtick is kinda played out after a decade. Raise your hand if you actually *loved* Anchorman 2. Thought so.
The Fast and the Furious (2001) – This scene shows Vin Diesel’s Dominic driving through Baja, having successfully escaped the cops in the states. It set the pace for a franchise continuity that’s 13 years and running. Fast and Furious films are awesome. More please.
Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) – Because this is footage of an actual building being demolished, I am pretty sure the filmmakers didn’t pay for it considering it’s a scene that few people would see, because people didn’t stay past the credits in 1992. My guess is the building was being blown to bits anyway, so they filmed it and had Mel Gibson and Danny Glover dubbed talking in character over the video. Pretty lazy, if you ask me.
Iron Man (2008) – Since the original Iron Man was the first movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and arguably still the best), its post-credits scene introducing Samuel L. Jackson as (black!) Nick Fury is still the most memorable, as it left nerdboys salivating for what MCU had to offer. With few exceptions, it hasn’t let us down.
Crank (2006) – Made when people were still funding Jason Statham-led films, Crank wasn’t very memorable in general. But its post-credits sequence — a 16-second recap of the film reimagined as a 16(ish)-bit video game — is cool mainly because it’s so unique.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) – An awesome film from the roota to the toota that aged remarkably well, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off kept viewers watching throughout the end credits roll, only for Ferris to tell everyone to shove off. If there’s an earlier post-credits scene that matters, I know nothing about it.
Masters of the Universe (1987) - Every little snot-nosed ’80s kid loved He-Man, and the live-action movie was extra-awesome. For little boys, that is. Everyone else hated it, which means Skeletor was never able to make good on his Ahnuld-esque “I’ll be back” post-credits promise.