The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Avengers: Endgame, is just starting to hit screens, and already, there are reports of viewers ending the movie with a titanic groan of disgust. It’s not because they hated the movie — which is actively designed as a rousing payoff for 10 years of MCU films — but because they stayed all the way through the credits, and got nothing. There’s no friendly visual joke with a giant ant, no rush straight into the next movie, no low-key, wordless sit-down with some shawarma.
Post-credits scenes have been a staple of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies since 2009’s Iron Man ended with Nick Fury inviting Tony Stark to join the Avengers Initiative. Recently, extra mid-credits scenes have also become a regular facet of Marvel movies. They reward viewers who stick around through the often-lengthy credits, and they’ve become a way to pay off little plot moments by adding a final gag and some form of extra payoff, usually designed to raise questions and keep the conversation going.
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