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22. Blade: Trinity
In 2004, the fine art of the post-credits scene was still in its infancy, which explains why this disappointing threequel rewards a patient viewer with a shot of Wesley Snipes' vampire-human hybrid — wait for it — driving a car. But, like, badassly.
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21. X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Stryker's Long Walk
The overstuffed X-Men spin-off-prequel featured three different epilogues. First and worst is this throwaway sequence, wherein William Stryker's punishment perambulation ends when some military police show up to inquire about his mysterious murdered superior. Was that sentence confusing for you? Spoiler alert: This movie didn't make any damn sense.
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20. X-Men: The Last Stand
The most shocking moment in this Ratner-ized trilogy capper comes when a broken-bad Jean Grey explodes Professor X into ambient matter. The hilariously non sequitur epilogue finds the Professor resurrected in the body of a coma patient. How'd that happen? Shut up! That's how!
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19. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
The FF series ran out of gas early in its second installment, but it's almost worth seeing for Doug Jones's Silver Surfer, who nobly sacrifices himself in the film's climax. Except of course he doesn't, as the after-credits coda reveals him adrift in deep space with his eyes slowly opening. (Yeesh, at least Spock stayed dead between Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock.) An implicit tease for the Silver Surfer spin-off that totally happened and thrilled audiences everywhere in the summer of 2009, remember?
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18. X-Men Origins: Wolverine: The Sequel Tease
Prints of XO:W had two different sequences appended after the final crawl. The less interesting one finds a newly amnesiac Logan sipping whiskey in what appears to be a Tokyo tavern. The bartender asks Logan if he's drinking to forget. Logan responds no: ''Drinking to remember.'' Notable mainly because most moviegoers spent the evening after watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine drinking to forget X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
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17. The Amazing Spider-Man
When Sony rebooted its wall-crawler saga, it took a page from the Marvel Studios handbook, wrapping up Amazing with a sequel-baiting dialogue between the imprisoned Lizard and a mysterious new figure. But the scene plays out as accidental parody, with the shadowy character (Electro? Green Goblin? Will o' the Wisp?) whispering incoherent half-truths about Peter's father. This scene was so inconsequential that it actually featured in one of the film's trailers — although given how nothing about Peter's mysterious past was revealed in the movie, it might be more accurate to call Amazing Spider-Man a trailer for Amazing Spider-Man 2.
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16.5. The Incredible Hulk
Though it technically played before the credits, the final scene of this bland Hulk do-over is formally similar to the teases that define the Marvel Studios post-credits experience. Franchise-knitting cameo: Check! Vague reference to a future spin-off: Check! It's pretty boring, but one minute of Downey riffing lifts the whole movie up a grade.
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16. Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The Soldier in Winter
There's not very much to the Winter Soldier's post-credits scene of the latest Cap movie (not shown here) — really, it seems like a scene that could've played in the closing montage. Not bad, just extraneous.
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15. X-Men Origins: Wolverine: The Spin-off Tease
In the wreckage of the climactic boss fight, a wandering hand finds the head of Mouthless Ryan Reynolds* — which suddenly opens its eyes, stares out at the audience, and says ''Shhh.'' To the layperson, the second XO:W end clip made no sense. But this scene was huge for deep comic book nerds — an implicit tease for the Deadpool spin-off that totally happened and thrilled audiences everywhere in the summer of 2011, remember?
*Note: Not actually played by Ryan Reynolds.
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14. Captain America: The First Avenger
Call it a cop-out (or a cap-out). The end-credits sequence after the WWII adventure is a scene taken directly out of The Avengers, followed by a straight-up preview. Not inventive, but effective, since this was the first extended look at Marvel's ultra-spin-off. Put it this way: If you saw this in a theater in summer 2011, at least a dozen people in the audience might have screamed.
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13.5. Green Lantern
Not a Marvel movie, but Warner Bros' attempt to expand beyond the Batman-Superman duo plays in hindsight like a craven attempt to imitate Marvel Studios' success. Green Lantern feels a bit like Iron Man regrafted with blander material, right down to this sequel-teasing mid-credits scene wherein the stentorian Sinestro grabs the yellow ring and turns evil or something. An implicit tease for the Green Lantern sequel that totally happened and thrilled audiences everywhere in the summer of 2012, remember?
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13. Iron Man 2
The Platonic Ideal of the ''See you next summer!'' credits tease. Agent Coulson drives into the desert, finds a crater, takes out his phone and says, ''Sir, we found it.'' Cut to a brief, tantalizing shot of a hammer. Cue a nation of repressed nerds trying to explain to their friends how to pronounce ''Mjolnir.''
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12. Thor: The Dark World: The Love Ending
Evidence that the post-credits scene is evolving in an unexpected direction: If you left during the credits of the Thorquel, you didn't get to see the payoff of the film's central emotional arc. And Thor and Jane's final kiss is pretty epic — even though, as Natalie Portman revealed, that's not really Jane at all. (Though what a feast for writers ofFast Five/Thor FanFic!)
Click for a deep dive into Thor: The Dark World's end-credit sequence.
SPOILER ALERT! Next screen shows a post-credits scene from Guardians of the Galaxy; if you haven't seen the movie and don't want to spoil the surprise, click here to skip it.
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11. Guardians of the Galaxy: Waugh!
Are you a Marvel comics fan? Like, a deep Marvel comics fan? Then you probably squealed with glee during the Guardians stinger, which features the reappearance of a character who has spent the last few decades tangled in legal difficulties (and one really horrible movie.) However, if you're a typical human person, you probably walked out a bit disappointed. Not helping matters: The post-credits scene only brings home how little Benicio Del Toro had to do in this first Guardians film.
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An overlooked classic in post-credits cinema, the closing zinger for this Ben Affleck monstrosity finds Colin Farrell's Bullseye struggling within a body cast to defeat a pesky fly. Hilarious and tense, and one of the last appearances by Funny Colin Farrell until his post-meltdown In Bruges reboot.
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The Whedon-filmed scene for Thor does double teaser duty, introducing the Macguffin for Captain America while setting the stage for Avengers. And with the brief reappearance by Loki — now in full-on Villain mode — this could be the specific moment that Tom Hiddleston became Internet-famous.
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8. The Avengers: The Shawarma Ending
Shot long after the film was completed and inspired by an apparent throwaway line, this single shot of the superteam assembling for some post-showdown nosh is really funny. It also conjures up a side of superheroes known to comic book fans but rarely seen on the big screen: The moments between the big battles, when you're just hanging out with your pals. Also great because Hemsworth and Downey look like they're competing for the prize of Best Chewface.
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7. Iron Man 3
The rare Marvel Studios epilogue that doesn't point toward any sequels. Quite the opposite. Instead, the extra scene turns the threequel back on itself, revealing that the film was a story told by Tony Stark to Bruce Banner. And Banner fell asleep almost immediately. It's the Big Lebowski of post-credits scenes: Funny, pointless, possibly a meditation on pointlessness.
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6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The Spin-off Sequel Tease
We can't show you what happens in Winter Soldier's mid-credits sequence, though the image above is a rough equivalent — and you can read all about it here. Suffice it to say that it introduces certain people who may or may not be important to certain other Marvel films which are certain to be discussed quite a bit in the next few months.
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5. Thor: The Dark World: The Spin-off Tease
''Where are they?'' ''Who is that pink lady?'' ''I didn't even know hair could do that?'' ''Wait, what is that?'' ''Is that an accent or a speech impediment?'' ''Where am I?'' ''What just happened?'' These questions and more probably ensued after moviegoers witness Dark World's mid-credits scene, a Guardians of the Galaxy tease that introduced Benicio Del Toro's Bowie-coiffed Collector and his alien menagerie. It was very, very weird?and very, very cool.
Click for a deep dive into Thor: The Dark World's end-credit sequence.
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4. Guardians of the Galaxy: Let's Dance!
Dancing Baby Groot. 'Nuff said.
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3. The Avengers: The Thanos Reveal
There's a core paradox to the credits teaser. It occupies barely a minute, but it often dominates the discourse about a movie. And the mid-credits bumper for Avengers might feature the most-buzzed-about shot in the history of Internet theorizing. A brief glance at a Big Purple Guy taught millions of people how to spell ''Thanos'' (pronunciation still up for debate), and also hinted at a grander Marvel plan that is still largely a matter of rumor and conjecture.
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2. The Wolverine
The X-Men franchise stepped up its post-credits game with the spin-off-reboot's closing zinger, which features a double cameo by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen and the implicit promise of the biggest X-adventure yet. It's a blazing non sequitur, and utterly at odds with the film proper, which has a leisurely pace and a reflective tone. But: Professor X! Magneto! Together again, for the first time for the last time!
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1. Iron Man
''You've become part of a bigger universe. You just don't know it yet.'' That's Nick Fury, in his stealth-debut first appearance in the Iron Man epilogue. He's talking to Tony Stark. But he's also talking to the audience. The post-credits scene for Iron Man offered the promise of more adventures. Half a decade later, that promise is still being fulfilled. Also, turns out Samuel L. Jackson looks cool in an eyepatch.