UPDATE: This post is now updated to include all Marvel post-credits scenes through Avengers: Endgame.

Strange but true: There are many more Marvel post-credits scenes than there are Marvel movies. By a wide margin. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had a total of five (!) different stingers strewn throughout its credits. The movie is like eight percent post-credits scenes.

Now that Avengers: Endgame is out in theaters, we’ve decided to rank every single post-credits scene through three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Besides their general entertainment value, these 37 stingers (as they’re sometimes called) were also judged on the effectiveness with which they teased future Marvel installments, and whether they made sense within the larger tapestry of the MCU. (Some of them don’t hold up to scrutiny when considered with later movies.) And of course, you can watch all of these scenes below.

37. Enter... The Collector!
From Thor: The Dark World

Let me see if I have this right. The Asgardians spend the entire movie trying to recover this Infinity Stone only to hand it over to this shady alien in a fright wig? The excuse they give for this boneheaded decision is that it’s unwise to keep two Infinity Stones so close together. Fair enough. But couldn’t they give it to someone who isn’t, like, an amoral covetous creep? Aren’t there other trustworthy heroes or Asgardians who don’t live in Asgard or literally anyone who doesn’t like collecting powerful objects so much that he made it his name? At best, the Asgardians look like morons and at worst they look like monsters, because this dude keeps sentient creatures in cages for his own amusement and they not only did nothing about it they gave him one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. Great job, guys!

36. A Thunderous Kiss
From Thor: The Dark World

SPOILER ALERT: Thor: The Dark World was not a good movie and it has both of the worst post-credits scenes in Marvel history. This one, a passionate reunion between Thor and Jane Foster along with a cutesy tag featuring one of the movie’s monsters, looks even worse in hindsight because this “reunion” became one of the very last times Natalie Portman was in one of these movies. She has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in Avengers: Endgame but she didn’t return for Age of Ultron, where Thor referenced their relationship issues, and she didn’t come back for Thor: Ragnarok. So hooray they’re back together whoops no nevermind that’s done with.

35. To the Infinity Gauntlet and Beyond
From Avengers: Age of Ultron

After putzing around in the distant background, Thanos finally gets off his keister and decides if you want an Infinity Gauntlet done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. This one is short and relatively painless, but it does underscore how little changed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe during Phase 2. Phase 1 ended with the introduction of Thanos and his quest for power and Phase 2 ended with ... basically a rehash of that same introduction. And Thanos then didn’t appear for a whole bunch of MCU movies after Age of Ultron. Thanos: When you want a super-villain who works really, really, really slowly.

34. Some Assembly Required
From Captain America: The First Avenger

This is a great scene! But it’s a great scene in The Avengers cut and pasted into the end of the first Captain America movie, followed by what is essentially a brief trailer for The Avengers; it even has a goofy tagline. (“Some Assembly Required!”) It all looks perfectly fine, but it also looks a wee bit lazy. They couldn’t come up with a new scene for Steve and Nick Fury?

33. I Know a Guy
From Ant-Man

Our complaint here is the same: This Ant-Man stinger just snipped a Civil War scene out of the then-upcoming Captain America movie and transplanted it. Anthony Mackie’s Falcon saying he “knows a guy,” referring to Ant-Man, is a clever way to encourage Ant-Man fans to see Civil War. It also feels more like movie marketing than movie storytelling.

32. Ant-Drummer
From Ant-Man and the Wasp

By now the Marvel formula has become: An important scene in the middle of the credits and a cute gag at the end of the credits. This gag — with Ant-Man’s giant ant buddy playing the drums while the world outside goes to hell thanks to Thanos — is probably the weakest. Half the universe getting erased in an instant just isn’t that funny no matter how many ants are playing drums.

31. A Furry Fury
From Captain Marvel

This gag scene — with Nick Fury’s alien cat Goose puking up the Tesseract — is very similar to that one from the Ant-Man and the Wasp, but maybe a hair (or a hairball) better. Puking cats > giant ants. That’s simple mathematics.

30. The World of Wakanda
From Captain America: Civil War

Marvel post-credits scenes typically tease the very next MCU movie headed to theaters. Occasionally, they preview a movie or two down the line. But this scene from the end of Civil War gives you a glimpse of Black Panther, which at the time of Cap 3’s release was still five movies away. That makes it notable, but the long lead time also limited what the scene could show. With Ryan Coogler’s film still two years away, Civil War’s Wakanda was limited to a generic lab and a generic landscape with a panther statue. If you’re going to hint at something, it helps to have something to hint at.

29. Twins
From Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The introduction of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch was sort of cool here, but their first appearance would have arguably been even stronger if they showed up out of nowhere in Age of Ultron. Plus the rest of the scene leading up to the big reveal is just Baron von Strucker blathering on about absolutely nothing. “It’s not a world of spies anymore. Not even a world of heroes. This is the age of miracles, Doctor.” If the second Avengers had been called Avengers: Age of Miracles maybe this would feel like it served a genuine purpose.

28. The White Wolf
From Black Panther

At this point, Bucky was last seen in the post-credits scene for Captain America: Civil War, where he was sent to Wakanda for treatment. Marvel fans therefore rightfully expected some kind of update on his condition in Black Panther, but they only got it here, in a very brief moment between Bucky and Letitia Wright’s Shuri. It — coupled with Bucky’s brief and largely unimportant appearances in Infinity War and Endgame — lands as an anticlimax. After several movies that treated Bucky and his plight as this enormous thread in the MCU, he’s magically fixed offscreen and then fades into the background. Generally, no one is better at Marvel at setting up and then paying off these long-term stories. Bucky is one of the rare cases where it feels like they dropped the ball a little.

27. Where’s Fury?
From Captain Marvel

Essentially this post-credits scene, where Carol Danvers arrives on Earth looking for Nick Fury, is the so-so continuation of a much better post-credits scene we’ll talk about a little later. When viewed in hindsight after Endgame, it’s hard to line up these events with the start of that movie. (Captain Marvel went to Earth? Then went back out into space? How’d she find Tony Stark exactly?) The vibe that comes through is Marvel acknowledging they have to pay off the pager from Infinity War somehow while also not wanting to give away anything about Endgame. The result: A somewhat unsatisfying stopgap.

26. Something’s Bugging Me
From Ant-Man

On its surface, this is a really fun stinger; after spending the whole movie being “protected” by her overprotective father, Hope van Dyne finally gets the chance to become a hero. “It’s about damn time,” Hope says. But it’s not time yet; and it wouldn’t be until Ant-Man and the Wasp years later. It almost feels like the scene’s was stuck in her as a preemptive apology for for the way the film sidelines this very capable heroine. Hope did get her moment in the sun in Ant-Man and Wasp. In the context of this movie, it was too little too late.

25. Adam
From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Perhaps the nerdiest post-credits scene in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and boy, is that saying something) announces the impending arrival of someone named “Adam” who, overly excited comic-book geeks like myself will be happy to tell you is Adam Warlock, a cosmic being of immense power whose story is intimately tied to the Infinity Gauntlet. This scene played a lot better when Guardians 2 was in theaters, because it seemed to herald the arrival of a character who would play a huge role in Infinity War. Then he never showed up at all. I guess there’s always Guardians 3?

24. Excelsior!
From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The traditional Stan Lee Marvel cameo got a post-credits twist in Guardians Vol. 2, when The Man appeared with The Watchers, the comics brand’s race of alien observers charged with witnessing (but not interfering in) all of universal history. It’s a cute button, and one of the more clever Stan Lee cameos, but it’s also an inauspicious debut for one of Marvel’s most fascinating creations. The Watchers have been a part of some of the most interesting Marvel comics ever and they’re a great vehicle to explore ideas about the balance between violence and diplomacy. And here they are ... playing second fiddle to Stan Lee. Face it, true believers: This is the way things are.

23. Stealing Power, Perverting Nature
From Doctor Strange

This brief epilogue from Doctor Strange tied up two loose ends simultaneously by showing what Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo is up to next, and having him confront Benjamin Bratt’s character, who used magic to heal a physical disability (and steal that magic from him). A magician who wants to destroy magic is an interesting hook for the eventual Strange sequel, and a good way to leave viewers wondering what comes next. This one’s economical and effectively creepy.

22. Run of the Arrow
From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Sean Gunn as the bumbling Kraglin plays with Yondu’s arrow, and then it stabs Drax. Funny.

21. Friends on the Outside
From Spider-Man: Homecoming

As teases go, this one is pretty mild; there’s an allusion to a potential Sinister Six appearance (and, of course, that’s Mac Gargan talking to Michael Keaton’s Vulture, who eventually becomes Scorpion), but this doesn’t do much to whet your appetite for Homecoming 2. Mostly, I think, it exists to reassure you that Spider-Man’s secret identity is safe, at least in the short-term.

20. A Thanos Thing Happened on the Way to the Earth
From Thor: Ragnarok

There’s a bit of a disconnect between the whimsical tone of Thor: Ragnarok and the dirge-like atmosphere of Avengers: Infinity War, and the attempt to bridge the two in Ragnarok’s post-credits scene is a little awkward. Thor and the remaining Asgardians have just made plans to make a new home together and they are immediately attacked by Thanos; it feels like there was a whole other story that was planned to fit in the middle of these two events that they they didn’t have time for. Still, the fact that Thor and Loki are headed to Earth pays off in Endgame, when Thor founds “New Asgard” in Scandinavia.

19. Bucking the System
From Captain America: The Winter Soldier

This one’s simple but it works; the undeadified (and possibly deprogrammed) Bucky visits a Smithsonian exhibition about his former partner Captain America and their efforts during World War II. Putting Bucky in this context underlines the way he should be (and surely feels like) a museum piece that’s somehow gotten a second life. It’s quietly very surreal.

18. A Gateway to Another Dimension
From Thor

This scene put several key pieces in place for both Captain America and The Avengers, and makes good use of both Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Hiddleston. It showed off the Tesseract before its full debut in The First Avenger, which left a nice question mark hanging over that movie. (How did the Cube get from the Red Skull in the past to Nick Fury in the present?) This stinger was supposedly directed by Joss Whedon, filling in for Thor director Kenneth Branagh, and he knows a thing or two about a good comic-book style cliffhanger.

17. Howard (The Duck)
From Guardians of the Galaxy

Steve Gerber’s Howard the Duck is one of the most subversive comics Marvel ever made. The big-screen adaptation of the comic from 1986 was a bigger abomination than a Hulk villain trampling through Harlem. So Howard’s role at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy was a both a nice homage (James Gunn’s oddball approach to Marvel definitely owes a debt to Gerber’s similarly surreal style.) and a way to wipe his slate clean, at least cinematically speaking. That’s Seth Green as the voice of Howard by the way.

16. I Don’t Drink ... Tea
From Doctor Strange

One of Marvel’s favorite tropes for post-credits scenes is to throw two characters you don’t expect to see together into a single scene, particularly when one of those characters has a big movie coming out in a couple months. So here’s Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, showing up for a little chat with Doctor Strange in the Sanctum Sanctorum. It didn’t amount to much more than the promise that Benedict Cumberbatch would show up for at least a scene in Thor: Ragnarok, but the magically refilling beer stein is a fun touch.

15. Guardians 3000
From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The Guardians team featured in Marvel’s movies is very different than the one that first appeared in the pages of Marvel Comics, a fact James Gunn cleverly acknowledged in the credits of Vol. 2 when the film’s climax motivates a reunion of several characters — including Sylvester Stallone’s Stakar, Ving Rhames’ Charlie-27, Michael Rosenbaum’s Martinex, Michelle Yeoh as Aleta, and Miley Cyrus’ Mainframe — who were most of the key members of the classic Guardians lineup. I don’t think we’ll see too much of these characters in the future (although Gunn has claimed Stallone will be back for more Marvel appearances), but even if the so-called “Guardians 3000” only got this one curtain call, it was a nice tip of the hat to the team’s long history.

14. To Challenge Them, Is to Court Death
From The Avengers

There’s no denying the reaction this shocking post-credits scene got when it debuted at the end of The Avengers in theaters; as I can confirm from first-hand experience, people went absolutely nuts for this surprise cameo from ultra-baddie Thanos. But the intervening years have not been entirely kind to this scene. Yes, Thanos finally made good on his plans in Infinity War and Endgame, but his schtick here — “courting death,” as his underling put it — which was pulled straight from Marvel Comics (where Thanos wants the Infinity Gauntlet in order to impress the living manifestation of Death) never came up once in the later films.

13. I Am (Teen) Groot
From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The best of Guardians 2’s many post-credits scenes is this callback to the Baby Groot scene from Guardians 1. Everyone’s favorite space tree has literally blossomed into an angsty teenager, and he is not getting along with Peter Quill. This natural evolution of the character (and the glimpse of the Groot we saw in Infinity War and Endgame) earned some very big laughs. If it wasn’t competing for screen time with four other post-credits scenes (all of which diminish the specialness of the rest), this could be even higher on this list.

12. Quantum Trouble
From Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp came at an odd juncture in the MCU. It was released after Infinity War, but nothing in the movie actually addresses its events. Finally, a post-credits scene explains what’s going on, and sets up a huge plot point in Avengers: Endgame, when Scott Lang heads into the quantum realm to retrieve some “healing particles” then becomes lost when Hope, Janet, and Hank are all snapped by Thanos. Without Scott and his technology, five years passes before the Avengers can figure out a way to bring anyone back. While some post-credits scenes have been ignored (or outright retconned) by later movies, this one was absolutely essential to Avengers: Endgame. And it was a hell of a good cliffhanger too.

11. Spider-Sense Tingling!
From Captain America: Civil War

Even in a movie bursting at the seams with superheroes, Tom Holland’s new Spider-Man was the breakout star of Captain America: Civil War. This spider-stinger (tee hee) gave Holland (and Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May) a little more time to play their characters, and the appearance of a very high-tech version of the Spider-Signal set the table for Spider-Man: Homecoming, where Spidey’s suit, gifted to him by Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, played a major role in the story. Although the post-credits tags that get the most attention are the ones that introduce new heroes or villains, the best tend to be the more low-key character developers, like this one.

10. It’s a Tie
From Thor: Ragnarok

You can never have too much Jeff Goldblum in a movie, and this extra tease from Thor: Ragnarok gave us one more hilarious moment featuring Goldblum’s Grandmaster. “And uh... it’s a tie.” might be the single funniest line in the entire MCU.

9. Patience
From Spider-Man: Homecoming

The Marvel post-credits scene is now so ingrained in pop culture that Marvel itself is making jokes about them in Marvel post-credits scenes. Captain America delivers a brief speech to the audience about patience, alluding to the fact that viewers now wait through ten minutes of credits for tags that sometimes don’t measure up to the wait or the hype. It’s a solid gag elevated by a great Chris Evans performance.

8. Hammer Time
From Iron Man 2

It is sort of amazing to look back at the early Marvel post-credits scenes and see how little it took just a few years ago to excite this audience, and how freaking big this universe has become since then. This stinger doesn’t feature any of the Marvel mainstays and instead includes Agent Phil Coulson (years before he became the centerpiece of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Mjolnir, Thor’s enchanted mallet. The fact that the hammer landing at this exact location became hugely important in Thor is another point in this sequence’s favor, and highlights just how fun these scenes can be when they’re planned out properly and further create the sense of a single cohesive universe.

7. Where Are Banner’s Manners?
From Iron Man 3

Marvel’s credits stingers mostly serve to plant seeds for future harvesting, not to payoff elements of the movie we’ve just watched. A rare and excellent exception is the one that caps off Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, which reveals that Tony Stark’s voiceover throughout the movie was actually him talking to fellow Avenger Bruce Banner, who he is improperly treating at a therapist. Mark Ruffalo’s performance in this scene is just great, as is his timing on the delivery of the line “Temperament.” He absolutely smashes this thing.

6. An Unusual Problem
From The Incredible Hulk

Nick Fury’s debut in Iron Man offered dorks a glimmer of hope that Marvel’s movies might fulfill the promise of their comics. Tony Stark’s vignette in the otherwise forgettable Incredible Hulk turned that glimmer into reality, and it cemented the nascent studio’s budding reputation as a place where anything could happen and anyone might show up, even for a handful of lines in a movie they otherwise had absolutely nothing to do with. I’m not really sure why Stark wants to talk to Ross (and Ross didn’t show up for another movie until Captain America: Civil War) but this scene doesn’t get the credit it deserves for cementing this kind of shocking tease in the Marvel formula.

5. A Furious Snap
From Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War is one gut punch after another. The heroes lose and lose and lose and then really lose when Thanos wipes out half the universe. Unlike most of the other Marvel movies by this point, there’s no cool animated closing title sequence, nor a mid-credits scene. Fans had to wait until the very end of the credits to get the faintest glimmer of hope, along with the movie’s first and only appearance from Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill. They both get wiped out by Thanos, but not before Fury is able to activate a mysterious pager, which begins flashing a logo for a hero who might be able to stop Thanos: Captain Marvel. While Carol Danvers maybe didn’t play as big a role in Endgame as this scene might have suggested she would, this is still one of Nick Fury’s best moments in the MCU, and one of the best MCU post-credits scenes — but Jackson did have at least one better one.

4. We All Know the Truth
From Black Panther

This scene is so thematically important to Black Panther and its consideration of isolationism that it probably deserved to be in film proper. Wherever it is, its inclusion was important to show T’Challa and Wakanda’s continuing evolution. And Chadwick Boseman’s smile at the end is amazing.

3. Who Wants Shawarma?
From The Avengers

The Avengers’ most endearing scene wasn’t in the original script, and wasn’t even filmed until after the movie’s premiere, when the cast reconvened to chow down on the delicious skewered meat. Shooting the climactic battle, Robert Downey Jr. felt Tony Stark’s first line after being revived (“What’s next?”) was a little flat, leading to the change where he suggests they all go eat shawarma. Viewers who waited through the entire credits (including the aforementioned Thanos tag — and it’s worth noting that The Avengers was the first Marvel movie to have two post-credits scenes, so a lot of viewers left before the second one) were rewarded with this adorably low-key coda. Co-writer/director Joss Whedon understood better than a lot of superhero filmmakers that despite their godlike powers, what we really love these people for is their humanity, something on full display here.

2. I Want You Back
From Guardians of the Galaxy

The scene that launched a thousand battery-powered plant toys introduced the world to the baby-ized version of Groot in all of his dancing glory. Baby Groot’s adorable, the gag with Drax is delightful, and the subtle meta-joke of the song choice (The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” winking at the filmmakers’ hope for a sequel) was inspired.

1. Part of a Bigger Universe
From Iron Man

The first, and still the best. Out of nowhere after Iron Man’s main story concludes, a new character, Nick Fury, shows up in Tony Stark’s house to talk to him about something called “the Avengers Initiative.” The lingo is a little bit dated now (it was inspired by a storyline in the comics that was going on at the time) but the sheer star power, the hint that Marvel might actually make an Avengers movie, and the surprise factor of it all (after rumors of the scene leaked, it was removed from all preview prints for the film) all made it special. To this day, Marvel is still trying to top the giddy thrill of mother f—kin’ Sam Jackson showing up to blow Tony Stark’s mind — and the audience’s right along with it. They have yet to fully succeed.

Gallery — Marvel Plot Holes That Still Make No Sense:

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