There are people in the world who flip through to the end of a book or peruse spoiler blogs in order to learn how a story ends before it's even over. Sometimes in the film world it's a practice that can come in handy — particularly when there's a secret scene after a movie's credits that the viewer didn't know to stick around for.
These scenes — often referred to in the industry as "stingers" — come in varying degrees of importance and brilliance, but more often than not, the scenes are quite memorable. Because the post-credits scene of "Iron Man 2" became public knowledge today (assuming you're interested in reading such things), we got to thinking about some of our own favorite stingers.
After the jump, check out six of the greatest movie stingers of all time!
An audio clip after the credits of James Cameron's "Aliens" presents a major teaser of things to come in the franchise's third installment. The sound of two alien eggs hatching can be heard, signifying the catastrophic opening events of "Alien 3." Perhaps not a great stinger if you're not wild about the series' second two outings, but for fans of David Fincher's take on the "Alien" series, it's certainly a nice little nod.
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
Maybe my favorite stinger of them all actually comes during the credits. After a terrible day of getting dragged through the mud while trying to bust Ferris Bueller on skipping school, a broken and dejected Principal Ed Rooney boards a public bus and becomes the object of further scrutiny and scorn. The scene is the icing on an already perfectly delicious cake of a film.
Since we're talking about "Iron Man 2," it's worth pointing out the stinger that got the Marvel Universe in such a frenzy to begin with. At the end of the original Jon Favreau-directed superhero film, Samuel L. Jackson appears as Nick Fury to offer Tony Stark an introduction to the concept of the Avengers — the very superhero team that Marvel is building up to in 2012. Not only is this an awesome post-credits scene, it's perhaps the single most important scene thus far in the entire Marvel Studios catalog.
"Masters of the Universe"
Ah, the potential of a villainous return. At the end of the Dolph Lundgren-starring "Masters of the Universe," Skeletor reemerges from his "final" resting place declaring that "he'll be back." Sadly, he didn't come back, as a "Masters" sequel never got off the ground. But the sheer hilarity of the scene and the promise of another kitschy "Masters" movie earns this stinger a place on our list.
"Pirates of the Caribbean"
Each of the three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films thus far feature a post-credits scene. In "Curse of the Black Pearl," Monkey Jack becomes zombified after stealing a piece of gold from the cursed treasure. In "Dead Man's Chest," the jailhouse dog becomes the new chief of the Pelegosto tribe. In "At World's End," Will Turner is finally allowed to return to land to visit Elizabeth Swann and their son. All three are fun scenes, but clearly the idea of a dog-led tribe takes the top prize.
"X-Men Origins: Wolverine"
Say what you will about Wolverine's solo cinematic outing, but the adamantium-laced mutant put up some great post-credits sequences. One scene teased the Japan-set "Wolverine 2," while another strongly suggested the arrival of a "Deadpool" spinoff movie — a project that thankfully plans to stick much closer to the character's comic book origins.
Tell us some of your favorite post-credits movie scenes in the comments and on Twitter!