This Marvel Post-Credits Scene Was Ad-Libbed By Its Surprise Guest

Post-credits scenes are all the rage now thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with most of them serving to set up future sequels (sometimes at the expense of the film at hand). These days, though, my personal favorites are the post-credits scenes that subvert your expectations, be it by adding to the ambiguity of the movie's ending or paying off an earlier plot point or running gag. In a way, these cases harken back to the original idea behind post-credits scenes, which was to reward patient audience members with a little treat for hanging around after the movie was over — even if that "reward" was merely a character telling those still present to go home already.

Thankfully, it didn't take long for the MCU to start toying with moviegoers with its post-credits teases. "The Avengers" was the first to really do this in 2012 with its now-famous scene of Earth's Mightiest Heroes looking exhausted as they chow down on some shawarma. "Iron Man 3" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" followed suit in 2013 and 2014, delivering last-minute punchlines to previous moments or elements in the movies (Tony Stark's voiceover and the destruction of the Collector's archives, respectively). But it was 2017's "Spider-Man: Homecoming" that took this trend a step further.

Throughout the movie, Peter Parker's amusingly checked-out high school gym teacher Coach Wilson (Hannibal Buress) forces him and his classmates to watch a series of PSA videos featuring Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in his full Captain America regalia. (At one point, Wilson casually remarks that Steve is technically a "war criminal" before showing his students one of the videos anyway.) The film's credits would later revisit this thread with a scene that, as it turns out, was largely improvised by Evans.

'How many more of these?'

While it was far from the first movie to include a post-credits scene, John Hughes' classic 1986 high school comedy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was certainly one of the most famous films to do this prior to the MCU (with 2016's "Deadpool" even going so far as to pay direct homage to the movie's post-credits gag). In a 2018 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige confirmed that Hughes' film helped pave the way to the MCU's own parade of post-credit treats:

"It was the greatest thing in the world. I thought it was hilarious. It was like a little reward for me for sitting through the credits."

The influence of Hughes' movie is all-too-apparent in the post-credits scene for "Spider-Man: Homecoming," in which Steve Rogers cheekily talks up the value of patience before asking off-camera, "How many more of these?" Sure enough, Feige described this extended gag as the MCU's "homage to John Hughes and going back to the first Ferris Bueller one," telling EW, "We had Chris [Evans] ad-lib that conversation to the camera when we were filming his little cameos for Spider-Man."

For the most part, however, the MCU has moved away from these types of winking jokes since "Homecoming" in favor of more story-driven post-credits scenes that tee up future movies. In a sense, this shift makes sense. Were the franchise to go overboard with the post-credits gags, it could lead to a backlash from audiences. On the other hand, Marvel Studios' constant fixation on the future has led to (frankly, valid) criticisms that certain MCU films act as little more than bridges between other movies, so perhaps a slide back to more joke-y after-credits scenes is in order? It's something to think about, anyway.