Every Marvel movie post-credits scene ranked - from Iron Man to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Every mid and post-credits scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ranked, from Iron Man to Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3

Marvel movies have become a cultural phenomenon since the release of Iron Man way back in 2008. In the years since, another 30 MCU movies have been released and the franchise has become the most successful of all time, grossing more than $28 billion.

Almost every film in the franchise has featured a post credits scene, some feature several. The scenes generally tease an upcoming movie, hero, or villain, or are just an excuse to have a joke with the audience.

Post-credits scenes are not a new thing - the first one came in the 1966 James Bond spoof The Silencers, but they seem to have really taken off with Marvel. Now almost every action or adventure film you see - from Avatar 2 to John Wick 4 contains the easter egg. 

With a whopping 29 movies in the MCU with mid and/or post-credits scenes so far (Avengers: Endgame and The Incredible Hulk are the only instalments not to feature one) we have ranked each of them from worst to best.

This list doesn’t necessarily reflect the strength of the movies themselves, it merely appraises the few seconds of extra footage tacked on at the very end, so a terrible movie like Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Eternals appears higher on the list than you may expect whilst Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is low down the rankings. 

MCU post-credits scenesMCU post-credits scenes
MCU post-credits scenes

29 - Thor: The Dark World (2013)

The mid-credits scene sees Sif and Volstagg entrust the Aether Infinity Stone to Taneleer Tivan. In the post-credits scene Jane Foster runs through a portal in her flat and embraces Thor on the other side. The first scene sets up Guardians but it doesn’t reveal anything excited, and the last scene throws Jane and Thor together again even though Jane won’t appear in Ragnarok - a weak end to a weak film.

28 - Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

The mid-credits scene sees the Council of Kangs meet after Kang the Conqueror's death concerned about meddling with the multiverse. The post-credits scene is a teaser of Loki season two which sees Victor Timely give a presentation on the manipulation of time. Is anyone else tired with the lack of stakes in the MCU - almost every character that dies comes back in some form, and the Council of Kangs took this to the extreme, with Jonathan Majors returning as several different versions of Kang. And yes, it’s cool that Loki is coming back, but it’s old news by the time that Quantumania landed in cinemas.

27 - Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

Zeus sends his son Hercules to kill Thor and Jane Foster is welcomed to Valhalla by Heimdall. Russell Crowe was awful as Zeus so frankly another scene with him was just a further disappointment. It was nice to see Heimdall again, but he didn’t have a strong relationship with Jane and it feels like a wasted opportunity when the same scene could have been used to better effect when/if Thor eventually dies.

27 - Black Widow (2021)

Yelena Belova visits Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow’s grave and is sent on a mission to eliminate Hawkeye, who has been blamed for her death. It’s not a terrible scene but Natasha’s death has already been mined for maximum emotional value in Endgame, so this moment fell flat.  

26 - Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

A mid-credits scene shows Bruce Banner and Carol Danvers meet with holograms of Wong, Shang-Chi, and Katy Chen - the latter three then spend the night singing karaoke. Post-credits finds Xu Xialing taking her father's spot as leader of the Ten Rings. The first scene is played for laughs and doesn’t really land, whilst the last scene has a ‘here we go again feel to it’, are Marvel running out of ideas at this point?

25 - Captain Marvel (2019)

A mid-credits scene sees Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff and James Rhodes fretting with Bruce Banner when Captain Marvel appears and demands to know Nick Fury’s location. The post-credits scene sees cat-like alien Goose then regurgitates the Tesseract. These scenes tease Endgame, though given the magnitude of that film it could have leaned into it harder. Nonetheless it’s interesting to see how defeated the surviving Avengers seem, and Goose adds a touch of humour to events.

Ant-Man is trapped in the Quantum RealmAnt-Man is trapped in the Quantum Realm
Ant-Man is trapped in the Quantum Realm

24 - Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

The mid-credits scene foreshadows Endgame as all of Scott Lang/Ant-Man’s friends disintegrate whilst he is in the Quantum Realm, leaving him trapped there. The post-credits scene shows the Giant Ant playing the drums as an emergency alert siren blares. Coming between Infinity War and Endgame, the scene gives us another taste of the devastation brought by Thanos’ snap, and heightens the stakes for all involved. The last scene is quite funny and very ironic.

23 - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Stakar Ogord brings his old team back together in the first mid-credits scene. Next up Ayesha reveals she is creating a being to destroy the Guardians. The third scene sees Quill walk in on a young Groot playing a video game, and in the fourth (yep, fourth) scene The Watchers turn their back on their informant. Essentially these scenes introduce the threat for Guardians 3, but four post-credits scenes is too many, and it feels too chaotic.

22 - Iron Man 3 (2013)

Tony Stark recounts his final fight with Killingham to Bruce Banner but realises that he has fallen asleep during the tale. Stark then proceeds to begin another story. This is a nice, understated scene which perfectly encapsulates Stark’s personality - he loves to be the centre of attention and to the sound of his own voice, even if nobody else is listening.

21 - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

In the mid-credits, the new Guardians of the Galaxy, led by Rocket, prepare to face off against a horde of aliens. The post-credits scene shows Peter Quill having breakfast with his grandfather who is reading a newspaper about Kevin Bacon's abduction. This is a satisfying ending to the Guardians saga - it shows that the heroic band will continue in some form, and features a sweet reunion between Quill and his grandfather. 

20 - Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

A mid-credits scene sees Doctor Strange confronted by Clea over the damage he has caused the multiverse - she opens a portal to the Dark Dimension and the pair walk through in the hopes of fixing their mess. In the post-credits Pizza Poppa eventually stops punching himself in the face and then breaks the fourth wall. Well, the first scene features some awful CGI and the only reason it’s not further down on the list is because of Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell’s cameo as Pizza Poppa.  

Bruce Campbell's cameo as Pizza Poppa was the best thing about Multiverse of MadnessBruce Campbell's cameo as Pizza Poppa was the best thing about Multiverse of Madness
Bruce Campbell's cameo as Pizza Poppa was the best thing about Multiverse of Madness

19 - Doctor Strange (2016)

In the mid-credits, Doctor Strange offers to help Thor and Loki locate their father, Odin. The post-credits scene sees Karl Mordo remove Jonathan Pangborn’s powers. These inoffensive scenes nicely set up Thor: Ragnarok and develop Mordo’s character. Reverting Pangborn back to his paralysed form is really brutal and shows that he means business.

18 - Ant-Man (2015)

The mid-credits scene features Hank Pym showing Hope van Dyne a Wasp Suit prototype. In the post-credits scene Captain America and Falcon are conflicted over how they should deal with the Winter Soldier. The introduction of the Wasp is very meta if we interpret Hope’s line ‘it’s about damn time’ to be a dig at how slow Marvel has been to introduce female superheroes. Additionally, Civil War is set up as we see the divisions between Captain America and Iron Man growing.

17 - Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Taneleer Tivan is surrounded by the ruins of his destroyed museum - as Cosmo licks his face, Howard the Duck calls the space god gross. There’s not much to say about this scene - it doesn’t set anything up, but it’s a great cameo from Howard the Duck, and a relief that there’s no suggestion he’ll be getting a standalone film.

16 - Iron Man 2 (2010)

Phil Coulson reports the discovery of mysterious and immovable hammer in a crater in New Mexico to Fury. Whilst short and sweet, this scene is very well shot, the image of the hammer alone, unmoving in the desert begins to hint at Thor’s awesome powers. 

15 - Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Bucky Barnes returns to cryostasis in the mid-credits scene, and Captain America learns that T’Challa has granted Barnes asylum in Wakanda. In the post-credits, Aunt May asks Peter Parker about his black eye, setting up Spider-Man: Homecoming. The introduction of Wakanda is well done, whilst the fact that Spider-Man was finally getting his own MCU film was a treat, though neither scene had much depth.  

Bucky Barnes returns to cryostasisBucky Barnes returns to cryostasis
Bucky Barnes returns to cryostasis

14 - Black Panther (2018)

In the first scene T’Challa announced to the UN that Wakanda will use its technological expertise and resources for the benefit of the rest of the world. The post-credits scene features a meeting between Shuri and Bucky, who has just woken up from Cryostasis.

13 - Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

The mid-credits scene shows Eddie Brock/Venom are drinking at a bar in the MCU universe when they are transported back to their own universe due to Strange’s spell. However, we then glimpse a tiny part of Venom on the floor of the bar. The post-credits scene features a news report on Peter Parker’s high school graduation - but due to the spell, he no longer features in the photos. Teasing a Tom Hardy, Tom Holland showdown is a great move so the first scene gets kudos for that. But the second scene is even better as it’s a subtle comment on the cost that Peter Parker had to pay, losing everyone who knows him. 

12 - Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

In the mid-credits scene, set immediately where Infinity War picks up from, a huge spaceship appears in front of Thor and Loki’s retreating craft. The Grandmaster features in the post-credits scene as he attempts in vain to neutralise a revolution on his planet. The first scene lends of lot of weight to the threat the Avengers will face in Infinity War - the reaction on Loki and Thor’s faces to this massive ship says it all. Meanwhile, Jeff Goldblum was a highlight of Ragnarok and seeing him try to hustle his way out of certain death is an absolute treat.

11 - Thor (2011)

Erik Selvig comes to a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility where he is tasked with investigating the Tesseract, though Loki has secretly taken control of his mind. The fun of the first phase of the MCU was the slow unveiling of the many mysteries in the movie’s universe, and this scene continues in that vein as the significance of the Tesseract (later revealed to be an infinity stone) is teased.   

10 - Eternals (2021)

Makkari, Druig, and Thena are stranded in space when they come into contact with Thanos’ brother Eros, inexplicably played by Harry Styles. In the post-credits the upcoming Blade movie is teased when Dane Whitman finds an enchanted sword. The choice to cast Styles as Eros somehow works quite well, whilst the shot of Blade’s sword is incredibly atmospheric.

Thanos in introduced in The Avengers post-credits sceneThanos in introduced in The Avengers post-credits scene
Thanos in introduced in The Avengers post-credits scene

9 - The Avengers (2012)

In a mid-credits scene, Thanos learns of Loki’s failure and smiles at the idea of taking on the Avengers directly. In the post-credits scene the Avengers, wiped out from their epic battle, eat shawarma in silence. The first shot of Thanos in the MCU gives us an impression of the supervillain, several years before he takes on a prominent role in the franchise, showing the scope of the MCU project. The shawarma scene is funny in a very dry way, and shows some realism that is rare in the Marvel world.

8 - Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

The mid-credits scene finds Adrian Toomes encounters now in prison, though he refuses to help other hardened cons kill Spider-Man. The post-credits scene is of Captain America making a public service announcement in which he tells the audience that they waited for nothing. It’s nice to see Toomes has somewhat reformed in prison, but really it’s Captain America’s scene that is most memorable. The joke at the audience’s expense lampshades how pointless post-credits scenes are but it hasn’t stopped Marvel from including them, or the audience from waiting for them. 

Captain America takes the mickCaptain America takes the mick
Captain America takes the mick

7 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

In the mid-credits scene Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are introduced in a holding cell in the same facility where Loki’s sceptre is stored.The post-credits scene shows the Winter Soldier inside the Captain America exhibit at the Smithsonian. Scarlet Witch, in hindsight, one of the most powerful characters in the MCU makes a strong debut here, whilst the discovery of the memorial to Bucky Barnes by the Winter Soldier is full of pathos.

6 - Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

Shuri burns her funeral gown and is approached by Nakia who presents T’Challa’s son, who is named after his father. Shur becomes emotional at the news that she has a nephew. This is a great way to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, the actor who starred in Captain America: Civil War and the first Black Panther film before his death in 2020.

5 - Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

What a guff film, but it’s almost redeemed after the end credits when Thanos picks up the Infinity Gauntlet and vows to ‘do it himself’. Getting ready for the last phase in the Infinity Saga, this scene gives us another glimpse of one of Marvel’s most powerful villains, and shows him to be a real force to be reckoned with.

4 - Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Nick Fury gives Steve Rogers, who is now getting used to life in the 21st century, a spot on the Avengers Initiative. The scene completed the work that Iron Man began, and includes cut scenes of all of the Avengers preparing for battle. There was no better way to lead into The Avengers.

3 - Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

The mid-credits scene features Peter Parker seeing a news report from The Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson (played by the original Spider-Man trilogy actor J.K. Simmons) who reveals Spider-Man’s true identity and pins the murder of Mysterio on him. The post-credits scene then foreshadows Secret Invasion by revealing Fury and Maria Hill to revealed to be Skrulls in disguise. The mid-credits scene is brilliant because of the effect that the Jameson reveal had on audiences - it also hinted at the most fan servicey film of the entire MCU catalogue. The Skrull seen is a bit of an anti-climax coming after it, so perhaps they should have been switched around in the credits order. 

2 - Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Coming after half of Marvel’s heroes (and half the universe) have been turned to dust, this scene finds Fury frantically sending a distress call to Captain Marvel as he, Maria Hill, and several extras disintegrate. A fantastic way to end what is Marvel’s greatest movie yet. And with the death of Fury, who first introduced to the Avengers, it carries with it a real sense of jeopardy.

Nick Fury introduces the Avengers Initiative in the MCU's first post-credits sceneNick Fury introduces the Avengers Initiative in the MCU's first post-credits scene
Nick Fury introduces the Avengers Initiative in the MCU's first post-credits scene

1 - Iron Man (2008)

Marvel’s first post-credits scene sees Tony Stark greeted by Nick Fury who tells him that he’s not the world’s only superhero. This is where it all began and the scene deserves to be top of the list because it introduces Fury, one of Marvel’s greatest characters, and the Avengers Initiative, which is the best build up to a cinematic crossover to date.

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