Every Single Marvel Movie Post-Credits Scene, Ranked
All 52 of them!
If there’s one thing that defines the Marvel movie era, it’s the post-credits scene. From the first moment Samuel L. Jackson appeared onscreen to announce the “Avengers Initiative,” our brains were rewired to wait until the screen goes black and the lights go up before leaving the theater. But 15 years later, one thing is clear: not all post-credits scenes are created equal.
For every iconic Thanos reveal, there’s a Howard the Duck teaser that never paid off. And then there are the countless gags that probably weren’t worth waiting for — looking at you, giant ant playing Scott Lang’s drum set.
So to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Marvel’s first post-credits scene in Iron Man, we asked our readers and staff to rank them all. (And before you ask, we didn’t include the Disney+ shows; there are just too many of them.) Here are the results:
52. Eternals — Harry Styles as Eros
Famously spoiled the night of Eternals’ red-carpet premiere, Harry Styles’ MCU debut was supposed to be a major coup. But the collective groan of fans around the world seemed to confirm it was more of a miscalculation.
51. Guardians of the Galaxy — Howard the Duck
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the introduction of Howard the Duck; a deliciously absurd moment in an absurdly entertaining Marvel movie. But the fact that nine years later, it’s never amounted to much, proves not even Marvel can deliver on every promise.
50. Doctor Strange — Mordo’s villain setup
Another example of a major setup with no payoff (I’m starting to sense a pattern here), Doctor Strange’s post-credits scene established Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) as a future villain. By the time we finally got a sequel, it was too late to make good on that promise.
49. Eternals — Dane Whitman/Black Knight teaser
It hasn’t even been two years since Eternals belly-flopped into theaters, so there’s still ample time for Marvel to make good on its Black Knight reveal. But clearly, no one is waiting on the return of Dane Whitman.
48. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — Adam Warlock teaser
The long wait between Guardians Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 might explain why fans downvoted this scene to oblivion. But having seen Guardians 3, I can confirm that the Adam Warlock teaser pays off in spades.
47. Thor: The Dark World — Thor reunites with Jane Foster
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the scene, but the fact that it comes attached to arguably the worst Marvel movie definitely doesn’t help.
46. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — Sylvester Stallone's character reassembles the old team
Another Guardians Vol. 2 post-credits scene that pays off in Vol. 3. You’ll have to trust me on this one, it’s more important than you remember.
45. Thor: The Dark World — The Collector gets the Aether
This one technically matters a lot, directly setting up the events of Avengers: Infinity War. Leave it to Thor 2 to make even Thanos and his quest seem boring.
44. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — Pizza Poppa says, “It’s over!”
Personally, I’m a huge fan of this scene. It may be the kind of gag that makes you angry you spent an extra five minutes watching the credits roll, but any time spent with Bruce Campbell is time well spent in my book.
43. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — Charlize Theron as Clea
Will we ever see Clea again in the MCU? Considering that Marvel’s entire focus right now is the multiverse, it seems pretty likely. But until that actually happens, I’m not entirely convinced that Charlize Theron's cameo was anything more than stunt casting.
42. Spider-Man: Homecoming — Adrian Toomes meets Mac Gargan in prison
File to: yet another big twist set up in a Marvel post-credits scene that Marvel never paid off. Instead, Vulture got demoted to the Morbius cinematic universe. Sorry, Michael Keaton!
41. Thor: Ragnarok — The Grandmaster is attacked by Sakaar citizens
Did Jeff Goldblum deserve better? Thor: Ragnarok seemingly ran out of time and shoved his character’s closure into a post-credits scene. Does it do the trick? Sure. But I’m still holding out hope we’ll see the Grandmaster again.
40. The Incredible Hulk — Tony Stark meets Thaddeus Ross
Marvel’s second post-credits scene ever is also one of its least important. At the end of The Incredible Hulk, Tony Stark seems to be an active recruiter for the Avengers. But by the time Iron Man 2 rolled around, he was being excluded by Nick Fury. Thankfully, you can pretty much ignore this scene — just like the rest of the movie it comes from.
39. Ant-Man and the Wasp — Giant ant playing the drums
Is it delightful? Yes. Is it worth waiting an extra five minutes to go to the bathroom? Nope.
38. Iron Man 3 — Tony Stark and Bruce Banner
After two very revealing Iron Man movie post-credits scenes, the third movie turned out to be a bit of a dud. After having Tony narrate the entire movie, the post-credits scene reveals he’s been talking to Bruce the whole time — and unfortunately, Bruce slept through the entire thing.
37. Thor: Love and Thunder — Hercules reveal
Casting Brett Goldstein (Roy Kent from Tedd Lasso) as Hercules was a stroke of brilliance. Unfortunately, it came at the end of a god-awful Marvel movie. Hopefully, if Hercules does show up in the future, it’s in an entirely different Marvel franchise.
36. Ant-Man — Civil War teaser
Here’s the first example of an annoying Marvel trend: using actual scenes from future movies as post-credits scenes. In this case, it’s Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson with a captured Bucky Barnes. Interesting? Sure. But that’s not enough to make it a good post-credits scene.
35. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 — Peter Quill with his grandfather
After two-and-a-half hours of action, there’s something soothing about a scene about nothing. That’s exactly what Guardians 3 delivers as we watch Peter Quill and his grandfather bond over the morning newspaper and a bowl of cereal. Sometimes, it’s the little things.
34. Spider-Man: No Way Home — Venom
Venom 2 ended with a post-credits bombshell: Venom was in the MCU and he had his sights set on Spider-Man. Unfortunately, nothing much came of it, and the next Spider-Man movie devoted a few short minutes to sending Eddie Brock back to his own universe. On the plus, it was still a great scene thanks to an assist from Cristo Fernández. (That’s the second Ted Lasso cast member for anyone keeping track at home.)
33. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — Victor Timely
After officially introducing Kang the Conqueror, Quantumania used both of its post-credits scenes to reveal other Kang variants. For Tom Hiddleston fans, this scene featuring Loki, Owen Wilson, and Victor Timely is an instant classic. Hopefully, it pays off in Loki Season 2.
33. Spider-Man: No Way Home — High school photos no longer show Peter Parker
There’s nothing wrong with this scene, but is it necessary? No Way Home’s ending already makes it clear that the world has forgotten Peter Parker. Did we need a post-credits teaser to remind us?
31. Thor — Nick Fury, Erik Selvig, and Loki
This wasn’t the first Avengers teaser, and it wouldn’t be the last. But after establishing several of that movie's key components (the Tesseract, Loki, Erik Selvig), Thor’s post-credits scene reveals how they all come together.
30. Spider-Man: Homecoming — Captain American meta public service announcement
The best gag in Spider-Man: Homecoming gets one more joke. And in a break for form from the MCU, this one goes meta as Captain America seemingly addresses the audience directly.
29. Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings — Xu Xialing takes over
The Ten Rings have been a part of the MCU since they kidnapped Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man. So it’s not a huge surprise that the criminal organization will return, as Shang-Chi’s post-credits scene promises. But does anyone care? Apparently, the answer is: kinda.
28. Black Panther — Wakanda opens its borders
The worse Black Panther post-credits scene (at least, according to these rankings) is still pretty good. In this scene, T’Challah announces plans to share Wakanda’s resources and technology with the world. It was an epic moment to cap off an epic movie.
27. Black Panther — Shuri visits Bucky
This was the first time anyone had seen Buck Barnes since Captain America: Civil War. So the fact that he was not only awake but apparently cured of his Soviet brainwashing was a huge deal. Also, who doesn’t love a Sebastian Stan moment?
26. Captain Marvel — Goose regurgitates the Tesseract
The best part of Captain Marvel is undeniably Goose, a pet cat who turns out to be a multidimensional alien. So who’s going to complain when the movie gives us one more minute with Goose?
25. Thor: Love and Thunder — Jane Foster meets Heimdall in Valhallah
Love and Thunder is pretty mediocre as far as Marvel movies go, but the Thor sequel manages to land the ending by taking us to the Viking afterlife. As an added bonus, that also meant a cameo from everyone’s famous Asgardian: Idris Elba’s Heimdall.
24. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 — New Guardians team
Guardians 3 might be the end of the franchise, but nothing is ever actually over in the MCU. Case in point: the movie’s post-credits scene gives us a look at the new Guardians of the Galaxy team, which adds Adam Warlock and Kraglin along with standby members Rocket and Groot.
23. Captain America: Civil War — Bucky Barnes in cryogenic sleep
In one of the most heartbreaking moments in MCU history, Civil War ends with Bucky choosing to cryogenically freeze himself until science comes up with a cure for his assassin brainwashing. Thankfully, the Winter Soldier’s subzero nap didn’t last long, but that didn’t make this scene any less impactful.
22. Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings — The Avengers meet Shang-Chi
Shang-Chi works before it exists on its own terms. Sure, the movie brings back Ben Kingsley from Iron Man 3 in what can only be described as a stroke of brilliance. But for the most part, this is a movie about Shang-Chi — not the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That said, when Bruce Banner, Captain Marvel, and Wong show up at the end you can’t help but cheer.
21. Captain America: The First Avenger — Avengers teaser featuring Nick Fury
After that mind-blowing ending when Captain America goes under the ice during World War II and wakes up in the present, First Avenger probably didn’t need a post-credits scene. But by setting up The Avengers, the movie solidifies itself as an all-time classic.
20. Black Widow — Yelena and Valentina at Natasha’s grave
This might have been Valentina Allegra de Fontaine's (Julia Louis Dreyfus) second appearance in the MCU, but it was the first moment we realized just how manipulative she could be.
19. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — Teen Groot
Guardians 2 might just hold the record for most post-credits scenes in a Marvel movie. This one barely lasts a minute, but it marks an important moment in the evolution of Groot from an adorable baby to a foul-mouthed teenager.
18. Avengers: Age of Ultron — Thanos says, “I’ll do it myself”
Age of Ultron might be the worst Avengers movie, but it arguably gave us the most iconic Thanos moment. Not only did it establish Thanos as the main villain of the next two Avengers films, but it proved that the Mad Titan wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
17. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — The Watchers with Stan Lee
Yet another Guardians 2 post-credits scene, but this one stands out because it's one of the few to feature Stan Lee. This scene even spawned a theory that Stan Lee’s countless cameos could be explained by his true identity as The Watcher — at least until Jeffrey Wright got the role in What If...?
16. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania — Council of Kangs
Ripped directly from the pages of Marvel’s comics, this Quantumania post-credits scene was our first taste of what’s to come in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. But an arena full of Kang variants may be the least of the MCU’s problems if some of the allegations against Kang actor Jonathan Majors turn out to be true. Only time will tell if this scene turns out to be a Marvel classic or a low point for the franchise.
15. Captain America: The Winter Soldier — Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch
For legal reasons, we couldn’t call them Mutants at the time, but not that Disney owns Fox, it’s safe to admit it: this is when Mutants finally joined the MCU. This post-credits scene still feels like Marvel at its peak: a moment loosely connected to the movie you just watched that sets up something incredibly exciting. It doesn’t get better than that.
14. The Avengers — Thanos revealed
Famously chosen by director Joss Whedon solely because he thought Thanos seemed cool, there was no plan for the Mad Titan to become the biggest villain in MCU history. (At the time, he wasn’t even played by Josh Brolin.) The CGI may look a little weird, but there’s no denying that this is one of the most important post-credits scenes in Marvel history — if not the most important.
13. Captain America: The Winter Soldier — Bucky Barnes at the Smithsonian’s Captain America exhibit
For a lot of Marvel fans, Winter Soldier is the best movie in the entire MCU, and part of its brilliance is its villain. Bucky Barnes starts out as a faceless assassin before being revealed as Captain America’s old BFF turned enemy. This post-credits reveal continues the journey, revealing that there was still hope for Bucky.
12. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — T’Challah’s son
Wakanda Forever was always going to be an emotional experience. From the very first scene, the Black Panther sequel didn’t pull any punches, but director Ryan Coogler saved the best for last. After Shuri saves Wakanda and becomes the new Black Panther, she learns something incredible: her brother had a child before he died. Whether it’s setting up a future movie or just providing emotional closure, it’s still an all-time classic.
11. The Avengers — Shawarma
Is it a silly gag? Yes. Do we love it anyway? Absolutely. The Avengers’ infamous shwarma scene proved not every post-credits needs to move the plot forward. Sometimes, it’s enough to just let the good guys unwind after a well-won battle.
10. Captain America: Civil War — Peter Parker back home with Aunt May
Civil War might be the most overstuffed movie in Marvel history, and that’s saying something. The film introduces both Black Panther and Spider-Man into the MCU. We always assumed a Black Panther movie was on the way, but due to some complex legal red tape that I still don’t fully understand, a Spider-Man movie was never a given. This scene made it clear that Marvel had somehow pulled off the impossible.
9. Doctor Strange — Doctor Strange meets Thor
It might just be a scene from Thor: Ragnarok, but at least it’s a good one. This movie not only teased one of the most entertaining Marvel movies ever, but it also set up a very fun crossover moment.
8. Captain Marvel — Carol Danvers meets the Avengers
Was it abrupt? Sure, but seeing Captain Marvel meet the Avengers is still a lot of fun. And the reveal that Nick Fury is gone is still heartbreaking all these years later.
7. Avengers: Infinity War — Captain Marvel’s pager
Not only is this the closest Marvel had ever come to dropping an F-bomb, but it also set off a tsunami-sized wave of speculation. We spent months dissecting the image of Nick Fury’s pager before Captain Marvel finally solved the mystery.
6. Thor: Ragnarok — Infinity War teaser
The scene itself is one thing, but knowing what comes next changes everything. This was the beginning of the end for Loki (at least until Endgame) and Heimdall (maybe forever). Once Thanos showed up, there was no going back.
5. Spider-Man: Far From Home — Nick Fury and Maria Hill are Skrulls
Spider-Man: Far From Home delivered two mind-blowing post-credits scenes, and this was the first one. They reveal that Nick Fury and Maria Hill were really shapeshifting aliens (we still have no idea for how long) made us rethink the entire MCU. Thankfully, we’ll finally get some answers next month in Secret Invasion.
4. Iron Man 2 — Thor’s hammer reveal
It doesn’t get more iconic than this. After two Iron Man movies (and a Hulk movie we prefer not to discuss), Marvel was ready to reveal its next Avenger. All it took was a hammer glimmering in the sun and the future became clear: Thor.
3. Ant-Man and the Wasp — Scott gets stuck in the Quantum Realm
Released right after Avengers: Infinity War, the brilliance of Ant-Man and the Wasp is that it sets its story before the events of Thanos and his apocalyptic rampage — or so we thought. In a post-credits scene, Scott gets sent to the Quantum Realm just as the Snap wipes out half of the universe, including his entire family. Not only is this a brutal twist, but it also set up the entire premise of Avengers: Endgame and its time heist.
2. Spider-Man: Far From Home — J. Jonah Jameson
Far From Home’s second post-credits scene is even more devastating than the first. A surprise appearance from J. Jonah Jameson (still played by J.K. Simmons but now with a blog instead of a newspaper) reveals Spider-Man’s true identity. Not only is it a wild twist, but it sets up the entire plot of No Way Home.
1. Iron Man — Nick Fury and the “Avengers Initiative”
Is it any surprise that Marvel’s first post-credits scene is also the best? The one that started it all remains a historic moment in the history of the MCU (and movies in general). Maybe, one day, Marvel will manage to top it. But today is not that day.