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From “Iron Man” to “The Avengers” – A guide to Marvel’s post-credits scenes

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You have to hand it to the Marvel Studios team. They know how to keep an audience in the seats right through the credits.

What started as a bonus scene in “Iron Man” has now become the norm for Marvel movies, with each film in the series offering up a brief, extra scene long after the main narrative ends and the credits begin rolling. And what’s more, the extra scenes haven’t simply been outtakes or scenes recovered from the cutting room floor — in nearly every case, they’ve provided the connecting line from one Marvel movie to another, and advanced the over-arching narrative of Marvel’s cinematic universe.

So, just in case you might’ve missed one of these along the way — or simply want a refresher on what each of them entailed — I’ve put together a brief guide to Marvel’s post-credits scenes in each of the six Marvel movies.

Iron Man

Marvel used its very first post-credits scene to introduce the world to Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, who Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) finds waiting for him in his home after he tells the world, “I am Iron Man.” In a wonderful bit of foreshadowing, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. tells the billionaire superhero, “Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.” The scene closes with Fury dropping the tease heard ’round the world: “I’m here to talk to you about The Avengers Initiative.”

The Incredible Hulk

The final scene in this film tied the activities of the famous green behemoth into the greater Marvel cinematic universe, with Tony Stark approaching a drunk, defeated General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt) after his efforts to take down Bruce Banner’s rampaging alter ego end in failure. “I hate to say I told you so, but that super-soldier program was put on ice for a reason,” Stark tells Ross, a statement that also connects Stark and Ross to the program that originally gave the world Captain America. “What if I told you we were putting a team together?” Stark asks Ross, offering up yet another hint of the crossover to come.

Iron Man 2

This time around, it’s S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) who serves as ambassador of the post-credits crossover, with the agent arriving at the site of a massive crater in New Mexico. “Sir, we found it,” he announces into his phone — most likely to Nick Fury. The camera then pans out to reveal Thor’s mighty hammer Mjolnir resting in the center of the crater.

Thor

Nick Fury returns to the post-credit Marvel movie-verse at the end of “Thor,” introducing scientist Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) to what we’ll later learn is the Tesseract, a mysterious cube of immense power that features prominently in “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Loki’s appearance at the end of the scene foreshadows his return in “The Avengers” and the role the Tesseract will play in that film as well. This scene also serves as the most direct link to the narrative of “The Avengers,” which picks up during Selvig’s subsequent study of the Tesseract.

Captain America: The First Avenger

In addition to the final scene in the main arc of “Captain America” that features Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) waking up in the modern era, the film’s post-credits scene teased the character’s introduction to The Avengers. “Trying to get me back in the world?” Rogers asks Fury when the S.H.I.E.L.D. director approaches him after a particularly intense workout. “Trying to save it,” responds Fury.

The Avengers

Marvel didn’t cut the post-credits party short after “The Avengers,” though, and dropped not one but two scenes into the credits of the blockbuster team-up film. In the first scene, it’s revealed that Loki’s return and his alliance with the Chitauri invaders was actually orchestrated by a far greater villain: Thanos. As the powerful titan is told that threatening Earth is to “court death,” he smiles — confirming that Marvel’s plans for the superhero team could very well bring them into conflict with one of the universe’s most dangerous beings.

The second post-credits scene in “The Avengers” was significantly lighter, and played on Tony Stark’s earlier line about wanting to try some shawarma. The scene is silent, save for the sounds of the entire team chowing down on shawarama around a large table.

What was your favorite post-credits scene from the Marvel movies? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

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It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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