Back when the post-credits scene was first created, it didn't have much of an impact on the film industry as a whole.
In fact, many viewers never got into the habit of staying in their seats, waiting for the credits to roll by so they could catch that final sequence. Many simply had no desire to see a meaningless clip that was tacked on to the end of a film, even if they enjoyed said film.
However, Marvel elevated the post-credits scene and made it their own thing. With the MCU, the long-forgotten post-credits scene became something viewers eagerly awaited—a sneak peek at where the franchise was heading next, at what stories lurked around the next corner.
But not all post-credits scenes lived up to their promises. In fact, several exciting post-credits scenes ended up going nowhere. Here are some of the worst ones that left us disappointed.
5. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
At the end of The Incredible Hulk, something very unexpected happened: Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark walked into the bar where General Ross was consoling himself after he'd failed to capture the Hulk.
That sight of Iron Man prompted fan attention everywhere, as fans had never quite seen anything like this from Marvel before. The concept of a crossover fueled new levels of excitement.
This scene promised the idea of a team being put together—a team that would eventually become The Avengers. And while The Avengers did eventually happen, this scene itself fell out of continuity.
In the MCU, Tony Stark conveniently forgot about this scene when the Marvel bosses decided they'd unite The Avengers a different way. So, while the scene was exciting at the time, it makes no sense now.
4. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
At the end of X-Men: The Last Stand, after we'd witnessed Magneto getting his powers back over a game of chess, there's a moment where a hospital patient wakes up and speaks to the nurse "Moira."
Of course, this was Patrick Stewart's Charles Xavier returning from the dead in his twin's body, and that was how the filmmakers chose to overcome the death of Xavier.
Now, fans might've gone along with this if there had been a proper explanation of it in a future film—but there wasn't. Charles Xavier's return remains firmly planted in the "unexplained" column, never to be spoken of again.
Worst of all, while the fans didn't care about the scene all that much, the sequel it was supposed to lead up to never even materialized.
3. Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)
Zack Snyder had a hard time working with DC. The juicy details of their friction and conflict seem to spill out again every few years when DC decides they want to reboot and try a new direction yet again.
However, when Snyder was allowed to finish what he'd started with Justice League, he didn't just deliver a film that was vastly superior to the theatrical version years prior—he tacked on a scene at the very end that promised a bright future.
That scene shows Bruce Wayne woken from a Knightmare sequence, only to find the Martian Manhunter there to greet him. Though not strictly a post-credits scene, it's the kind of scene that arguably serves as a post-credits scene in all but name.
It's a tease as to what could have been Justice League: Part II, and for a while it even looked as if it might happen. But now, in retrospect, it goes nowhere and serves as nothing more than a reminder to fans as to how badly Warner Brothers and DC screwed up the DCEU.
2. Batman Returns (1992)
At the very end of Batman Returns, Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman is seen to have survived her electrocution with Max Shrek and is now skulking the streets of Gotham once more.
The scene, though technically just before the credits, serves as everything post-credits scenes are meant to be: a tease of something to come, while adding more to the wider narrative.
At the time, it was supposed to herald a new Catwoman movie helmed by Michelle Pfeiffer. However, it ended up stuck in development hell for years, until Halle Berry's much-maligned incarnation came along.
The scene would have been oh-so-perfect if Michael Keaton hadn't taken 31 years to reprise his role, if he'd just made Batman 3 with Tim Burton—but that's another issue for another day!
1. Black Adam (2022)
The Rock had been promising for over a decade that he'd one day play Black Adam on the big screen. So, when it was actually announced that he would star as the character in Black Adam, fan excitement abounded.
But when the movie finally dropped, it was met with yawns. It was too much of the same old superhero tropes that fans had grown tired of over the past decade.
However, the one bright spot with Black Adam was the rumor that Henry Cavill would be returning to the role of Superman.
Henry Cavill's return was marked by the post-credits scene in Black Adam, showing him in a discussion with Black Adam. The actor further announced his return on his social media channels.
However, weeks later, it all went horribly wrong after James Gunn met with Cavill and told him he was out as Superman in the new DCU. The post-credits scene makes no sense now, and it's only been months since Black Adam came out.
It's hard not to feel bad for Cavill, who was told contrasting things in a matter of weeks by DC.