The post-credits sequence has become just as much a part of the big budget extravaganza experience as somebody nonchalantly walking away from an explosion or egregious product placement. What started out as a nifty Easter Egg for those dedicated enough to stick around until after the credits has become par for the course (it's actually nice because it makes time for a quick post-film discussion with you and your fellow viewers). What was surprising this summer was how many big films went without post-credits sequences (things like "Baby Driver" and "Wonder Woman") but for the ones that did have an extra scene or two (or five), we're here to rank them accordingly. Major spoilers follow, obviously.
6. Something Happens in the Desert (We're Not Sure in 'Transformers: The Last Knight'
It's almost like the rest of Michael Bay's "Transformers: The Last Knight" was just a screeching, screaming preamble for this truly WTF-worthy post-credits scene. In it, a bunch of science and/or military guys are investigating one of the "horns" that had recently been discovered around the world (this one is in a desert). Keep in mind that, earlier in the movie, it was revealed that Earth is actually a giant, ancient Transformer. So. Guess they'll have to rewrite the history books. Anyway, these science and/or military guys are working away when a mysterious woman shows up. She starts speaking to the men and then -- a glimmer reveals something altogether Transform-y underneath her human exterior. The implication (and I only gathered this after reading several articles on the subject) is that she is actually Quintessa, the "Prime of Life" and creator of the Transformers, who earlier in the movie had sent Optimus Prime on a quest to kill his fellow Transformers (or something – it gets fuzzy). So, she survived the epic space battle, and Bumblebee's death blow, and then disguised herself as a comely young woman to strut around our planet, making eyes at science and/or military guys. Obviously this gets points deducted for shamelessly extending an already threadbare franchise (as the box office receipts from "The Last Knight" have shown) and for being totally incomprehensible.
5. Mater Builds a Sculpture in 'Cars 3'
Playing off a joke earlier in the movie, after the credits for "Cars 3" have ended (where you'll notice things like how the Pixar Brain Trust isn't called the Brain Trust anymore), we get a glimpse of Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) in his workshop. He's singing "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" and making one of his junk sculptures. It's a cute, throwaway moment, but not worth sitting through all those credits for (but again, you'll see some interesting stuff, like Michael Giacchino contributing a music cue). It's weird that "Cars 2" devoted so much time to the country bumpkin tow truck and, just one movie later, he's relegated to a post-credits gag. Poor Mater.
4. Davy Jones Returns, 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales'
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" was an enjoyable-enough seafaring adventure, with a fine villain in Javier Bardem and a couple of memorable set pieces. But this year's entry has a very surprising post-credits sequence. After Will (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) have reunited and gotten down to some post-long-distance whoopee, Will awakens to see a familiar shape lurking in the doorway: the tentacle-faced Davy Jones. When he gets up to investigate, the shape is gone -- but the camera reveals a puddle of oceanic water and some writhing sea creatures. Why this isn't higher on the list is because it makes such shockingly little sense. Yes, it's a good gag, but when an entire movie worked up to Davy Jones' death, which is dramatized quite graphically, then logic is just thrown out the window for whatever the filmmakers think will goose an audience (and goose us it did!) The best post-credits sequences this summer didn't try to artificially generate excitement or prolong a franchise's demise; they surprised in other, fresher ways. Take that to heart, ya scallywags.
3. All the Awesome End-Credits Scenes in 'Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2'
There wasn't anything subtle about "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" and that's kind of what made it so glorious. It was excessive in all the best, most colorful ways. So it makes sense that there were no fewer than five (!) post-credits sequences at the end of the movie, and that's not counting the weird footage of Jeff Goldblum dancing to a Guardians-themed disco song. Apologies in advance if I'm getting the order of these wrong. But they were: Kraglin (Sean Gunn) trying to take up Yondu's flying arrow and accidentally stabbing Drax (Dave Bautista) in the neck; Ravager leader Stakar aka Starhawk (Sylvester Stallone) reuniting with Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum), Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames), Krugarr (that cool alien), Aleta Ogord (Michelle Yeoh) and Mainframe (voiced by Miley Cyrus), more or less comprising the lineup of the original 1975 Guardians of the Galaxy; Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) announcing that a new foe for the Guardians has been developed, hinting at the arrival of big bad Adam Warlock to the MCU; adolescent Groot refusing to pick up his room despite Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) begging him, and then finally a sequence where Stan Lee is sitting on a planet talking to the omniscient Marvel beings The Watchers, explaining his cameos in all of the different MCU movies (very funny). What's great about these tags is that they extend the madcap fun of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" while also sprinkling in some genuine bombshells for where the series will go (writer-director James Gunn is already working on "Vol. 3"). Like the rest of the movie, these are a total hoot.
2. The ALF Reforms in 'Okja'
It's a testament to how inherently cinematic Bong Joon-ho's masterful "Okja" is that it's a Netflix movie with a post-credits sequence. The two-minute-long sequence follows ALF (that's the Animal Liberation Front) member Jay (Paul Dano) as he is released in prison. He meets up with K (Steven Yeun) and they get on a bus. Slowly, it's revealed that there are other members of the non-violent animal rights terrorist group on the bus, including Red (Lily Collins) and Blond (Daniel Henshall). They introduce Jay to the newest member of the cell, a young driver who formerly worked for Mirando and was part of the madcap Korean chase sequence (Choi Woo-shik). Slowly, they all put on ski masks, much to the confusion of the other bus riders. The ALF is back and they're going to really take down Mirando this time. This sequence is elegant and funny and weird (just like the rest of the movie) and extends the narrative in a thoughtful way that is totally unexpected. Also, it's worth noting that this is the second of Bong's films to end on a bus (the first was "Mother" in 2009).
1. Vulture Chats with Scorpion and Captain America's PSA in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'
The first scene with Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) getting interrogated by Mac Gargan (Michael Mando), who in the comics would go on to become Spider-Man adversary Scorpion and later Venom, is perfunctory and fine. It's a nice moment and a lot can be read into the fact that Toomes (aka Vulture) doesn't give up Peter Parker (Tom Holland) as the secret identity of Spider-Man. But it also feels like a bit of unnecessary leather chewing. The real deal comes after the credits have rolled. It's one of those PSAs that have been sprinkled throughout the film that feature Captain America (Chris Evans) dolling out life lessons to incredibly-bored high schoolers. And the message of this particular PSA is particularly on point: Patience. Cap says something about how sometimes it's worth the wait but other times it's just a huge disappointment. It's perfect. It's a wonderfully subversive riff on not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe post-credits sequences, which almost always take great pains at setting up the next phase in the universe, but also on these post-credits sequences as a whole. But since it's done, like everything else in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" with charm, humor, and an affable level of loveable charm -- it doesn't feel mean-spirited or sarcastic. Instead, it feels like the best post-credits sequence of the summer of 2017 and the single greatest post-credits sequence in the history of the MCU.