The year was 2008. The public was just warming up to the idea of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. The film was entertaining, but not exciting enough to have the audience mark it as the stuff of legends.
But then Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) told Tony Stark, and the audience, that they'd just become part of a bigger universe. And we were hooked.
“You’ve become a part of bigger universe, you just don’t know it yet.” pic.twitter.com/eOmLZO5l1d— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) April 22, 2019
Because the universe that we, the audience, had become a part of was the last-one-to-leave-the-hall universe.
You know, the group of people who sit patiently through the entire credit roll, right till the name of the second finance intern of the third production company is showcased.
The ones who wait, even as the movie hall is getting cleaned and they are receiving evil glares from the staff.
Yes, we had become a part of that crowd, simply because we were rooting for the post-credits. The credits that gave us a little glimpse of what the next film may entail.
Or tied-up a loose end from the film.
Or, in some cases, were just completely, hilariously random.
Of course, Marvel was by no means the first film to introduce the audience to a post-credits scene. The film Night of the Living Dead, released in 1968, is actually credited as the first mainstream film to introduce a post-credit scene.
But Marvel can definitely be credited with popularizing the concept. And they popularized it in such a way, that pretty soon, we were waiting for post-credit scenes at the end of every movie.
Whether it was Hollywood or Bollywood, animation or musical, horror or drama, we wanted a post-credit scene. In fact, thanks to this practice, we finally started noticing the people who worked behind the camera - which incidentally, was one of the reasons post-credit scenes were introduced.
And while some movies obliged, most didn't. Because ultimately, having a post-credit scene is not an absolute requirement. No matter how much we may wish otherwise.
If we were to psychologically analyze our obsession with post-credits, we could surely arrive at a fair share of plausible explanations. Maybe it helps with answering our curiosity or rather, amps up our sense of intrigue.
Whatever the reason be, one thing is for sure, even when we are convinced that there will no post-credits scene, we still end up waiting patiently.
We owe many thank-yous to Marvel. After all, from giving us legendary fight sequences to gifting us characters that live on in our hearts, even if not on the screen, the Marvel cinematic universe has redefined entertainment for many of us.
But, it also deserves a little appreciation for making us fall in love with the concept of post-credit scenes.