One thing the Marvel Cinematic Universe is famous for is making fans wait until the end of any given film for a post-credits stinger. Over the years, some of these scenes have been fantastic while others have ended up feeling like a waste of five minutes. Still, a majority of them have contained important clues for future Marvel outings and some have even changed the game entirely.
Let’s take a look at some of the best post-credits scenes Marvel has included in its saga of films thus far.
10. Groot dancing in Guardians of the Galaxy
One of the only scenes on this list that acts as more of a fun bonus and not a tease for something yet to come, the dancing Baby Groot scene captured the hearts of MCU fans everywhere. The tiny plant is of course dancing to “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 and is by far the cutest post-credits scene that Marvel has ever released. The scene also teases things to come, even if fans didn’t realize it at first, with Baby Groot of course dancing to “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and going on to become a major player in the sequel despite (but also because of) his small stature.
9. Captain America’s PSA in Spider-Man: Homecoming
Captain America made a few PSAs in Spider-Man: Homecoming, telling kids to exercise and make the best of their time in detention. But Marvel played a joke on every MCU fan who stayed until the end of the credits for that movie, as the last scene was all about patience and how sometimes it can amount to nothing. Unlike some of the post-credits scenes that are not on this list, this scene is supposed to amount to nothing. Marvel definitely gets points for humor with this one.
8. Scott Lang trapped in the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp
At the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hope, Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym send Scott Lang into the Quantum Realm. Unfortunately, this scene occurred at the same time as the ending of Avengers: Infinity War, and everyone but Scott got blipped. Fortunately, this set up the path for victory in Avengers: Endgame, where Scott Lang being saved by a rat led to the time travel scenario that ultimately saved the universe.
7. Erik Selvig is Loki in Thor
Thor introduced us to scientist Erik Selvig, who we see at the end of the movie having an audience with Nick Fury. Nick Fury showed Selvig the Tesseract, which prompted Loki ⏤ who is seemingly controlling Selvig ⏤ to say, “Well I guess that’s worth a look,” setting up the plot for The Avengers. Loki also looks fairly weird in the scene, and one could assume that he was being controlled by the Mind Stone already, as Selvig has a similar look to him in The Avengers.
6. Coulson finds Mjolnir in Iron Man 2
At the end of Iron Man 2, after Phil Coulson was called away for an emergency, he went to the middle of the desert in New Mexico. It’s there that he found a hammer in the middle of a crater, setting up the events of Thor. While not featuring him, the post-credits scene also set up a Stan Lee cameo. We got a look at the trucks surrounding Mjolnir and in Thor, one of the men driving one of those pickup trucks would turn out to be none other than Stan Lee.
5. Nick Fury and Maria Hill are Skrulls in Spider-Man: Far From Home
After appearing in a majority of the movie, Nick Fury and Maria Hill are revealed to actually be shapeshifting Skrulls at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Talos, the Skrull introduced in Captain Marvel, called the real Nick Fury to tell him what took place and it was revealed that the real Fury had spent Far From Home in space. This seemingly set up the events of the upcoming Secret Invasion series on Disney Plus, but how much this scene has an impact on that series has yet to be seen.
4. Tony Stark visits General Ross in The Incredible Hulk
The second MCU installment introduced General Ross, the main antagonist of The Incredible Hulk. At the end of the film, Tony Stark walked into a bar, marking the first time the films crossed over. This is by far the most important post-credits scene with regards to what these scenes would ultimately become. After all, half of the scenes are important because characters are appearing in films that they didn’t originate in. This scene was crucial in beginning to craft the Marvel Cinematic Universe and hinting at Marvel’s future plans in terms of intertwining characters and storylines.
3. Nick Fury in Iron Man
After dodging Agent Coulson for most of Iron Man, Tony Stark arrived home to find that someone was waiting there for him. Nick Fury approached Tony to ask him about the Avengers Initiative, which not only marks the first of the post-credits scenes but also the beginning of the entire franchise. It;s also the beginning of Nick Fury’s involvement in the MCU and with assembling the Avengers. He’s the first one to speak to Steve Rogers after they find him in the ice in Captain America: The First Avenger, marking another major moment canonically.
2. Peter Parker is revealed to be Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Far From Home
At the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, a news conference played, one that not only brought back J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson, but that also revealed Peter Parker to be the masked vigilante known as Spider-Man. As it turns out, this scene was the catalyst for the entirety of the next film, Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is the main reason it’s so high on this list. Doctor Strange would not have had to cast any spells had nobody known that Peter was Spider-Man, nor would Peter’s life have turned totally upside down in the subsequent film, forever altering the course of his life and the trajectory of his character. This post-credits scene basically changed everything.
1. Thanos was the mastermind behind the events of The Avengers
The best MCU post-credits scene goes to 2012’s The Avengers. Loki had been given an army to conquer Earth and because of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, he failed. Only at the end of the film did Marvel reveal who sent Loki ⏤ Thanos, who smiled and looked into the camera for his first MCU appearance. This is easily the best post-credits moment because it set up the next six years of Marvel movies, with the Infinity Saga finally coming to a close in Avengers: Endgame seven years later in 2019. Though fans had no idea at the time just how vital of a role Thanos would play in the franchise, it was an eye-popping moment that’s even more bone-chilling in retrospect.
There you have it, the top ten MCU post-credits scenes. What do you think of our rankings? Have we left out any that you would have included? Let us know in the comments below!