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Top 10 Cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake

In this cinematic universe, you never know who’s going to pop up next. For this list, we’re taking a look at unlikely actors and characters who made appearances in the MCU in ways that had us all cheering. Our list includes Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Nathan Fillion as Monstrous Inmate, Matt Damon as Loki Actor, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Danny Pudi as Com Tech #1, and more! Join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20Ten%20Cameos%20in%20Marvel%20Cinematic%20Universe. Special thanks to our user MikeMJPMUNCH2 for suggesting this idea!

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Script written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe


In this cinematic universe, you never know who’s going to pop up next. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Cameos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.



For this list, we’re taking a look at unlikely actors and characters who made appearances in the MCU in ways that had us all cheering.





#10: Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark


“The Incredible Hulk” (2008)

The movie might be called “The Incredible Hulk,” but it’s Tony Stark who steals the show in just a brief post-credits scene. As General Ross drowns his sorrows with a green alcoholic beverage, he’s surprised to find Mr. Stark in the same dimly-lit bar. In addition to dropping a couple witty one-liners, Stark lets the general know that he’s putting together a team with a few others. With “Iron Man” coming out just a month before this movie, fans knew that an “Avengers” movie was definitely in the cards. This scene further confirmed that the crossover event was moving forward, and we left the theaters fantasizing about the possibilities of such a big screen event.






#9: Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye


“Thor” (2011)

Where the other original Avengers either starred in their own standalone movie or played a significant supporting role leading up to the 2012 film, Hawkeye only received a cameo in “Thor.” He may have gotten the short end of the stick, but he certainly made a big impression. When Thor goes up against S.H.I.E.L.D., Phil Coulson calls upon his best shooter. While his face is concealed at first, dedicated comic readers could tell this was Clint Barton based on his weapon of choice. With a bird’s-eye view, Barton is prepared to fire. Just as Thor can’t lift his hammer, however, Hawkeye must wait to demonstrate his archery skills.



#8: Danny Pudi as Com Tech #1


“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)

The MCU has a few interesting parallels to the comedy series, “Community.” For starters, actor Danny Pudi, who played Abed on the sitcom, pops up in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” as a com tech who encounters Team Cap. Later in “Captain America: Civil War,” actor Jim Rash of Dean Pelton fame appears as an M.I.T. faculty member. Both of these “Captain America” movies were directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, who had previously worked on several episodes of “Community,” including the Pilot. On top of all that, Donald Glover, aka Troy Barnes, played a notable role in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Maybe this is what Abed meant by six seasons and a movie.






#7: Mark Ruffalo as Dr. Bruce Banner


“Iron Man 3” (2013)

Tony Stark and Bruce Banner’s bromance was one of the highlights from “The Avengers.” While we would’ve liked to have seen more of their dynamic in “Iron Man 3,” we’ll gladly settle for this unexpected cameo. The film both opens and closes with narration from Stark, although it’s unclear who exactly he’s addressing. In this hilarious post-credits scene, it’s revealed that he was relaying the entire experience to his fellow Avenger. Stark apparently isn’t the best at telling stories because Banner slept through the whole thing. While Stark is pretty annoyed, it’s not like Banner is that kind of doctor. And given his anger issues, he’s the one who should probably be in therapy.





#6: Seth Green as Howard the Duck


“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)

Marvel has certainly come a long way since they released their first theatrical film: “Howard the Duck.” That 1986 adaption was such a colossal flop that you’d think the MCU could steer clear of Howard at all cost - which made his surprise appearance in “Guardians of the Galaxy” all the more awesome. The Collector’s place is full of Easter eggs, but few stand out like this anthropomorphic, alcoholic duck. The cherry on top of this cameo is that the voice behind Howard is none other than Seth Green, who’d reprise the role once again in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” These cameos did the impossible, making us actually want a Howard the Duck reboot!





#5: Nathan Fillion as Monstrous Inmate


“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)



Sometimes the most amusing cameos are the ones you completely missed. After landing in the Kyln, Star-Lord has a hostile run-in with a blue brute. Fortunately, he has a tree and a talking raccoon in his corner. We bet you didn’t know that the voice behind this CGI inmate is cult actor Nathan Fillion, who appeared in director Sean Gunn’s previous films, “Slither” and “Super.” Fillion’s also secured his place as a science fiction icon as Malcolm Reynolds on “Firefly,” making him an ideal fit for the “Guardians” universe. While his appearance as Wonder Man didn’t make the theatrical cut of “Vol. 2,” he’ll always have this cameo.





#4: Matt Damon as Loki Actor


“Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)

Ben Affleck might be Batman and Daredevil, but Matt Damon got to be Loki... well, sort of. In one of the MCU’s funniest moments to date, Thor returns to Asgard where Loki is posing as his father Odin. Loki has rewritten history through theater, portraying himself as a glorified hero who died nobly. As if that’s not egotistical enough, the actor cast as Loki looks an awful lot like Matt Damon. This cameo is so hysterical that many people overlook Chris Hemsworth’s real life older brother Luke, who plays the Thor actor. Honestly, we’d love to see Matt and Luke reenact all of “Thor: The Dark World.”







#3: Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk Security Guard


“The Incredible Hulk” (2008)

Whether you prefer Edward Norton or Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of Bruce Banner, we can all agree that Lou Ferrigno will always have a special place in Hulk history. In addition to playing the angry green giant on the small screen for several years, Ferrigno has contributed to the Hulk’s voice in several theatrical interpretations. In “The Incredible Hulk,” Ferrigno was also given the chance to get in front of the camera as a security guard who Bruce bribes with a pizza. This actually wasn’t the first time Ferrigno played a guard in a “Hulk” movie, as he’s seen alongside Stan Lee in the 2003 adaptation.





#2: Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury


“Iron Man” (2008)

Now that the MCU has surpassed its tenth anniversary, we go into every new movie anticipating a couple epic cameos and post-credits scenes. When “Iron Man” hit theaters in 2008 though, most audiences had no idea what they were in for. So you can imagine the thrill of being in the theater when Samuel L. Jackson showed up at the last minute as Nick Fury. As if his presence alone that wasn’t incredible enough, this cameo launched itself into legendary status when Fury mentioned the Avenger Initiative. This scene not only raised the bar for after-credits sequences, but also made good on its promise of an “Avengers” movie four years later.







Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:



David Hasselhoff as The Form of David Hasselhoff

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017)









Anthony Mackie as Falcon

“Ant-Man” (2015)







Chris Evans as Loki as Captain America

“Thor: The Dark World” (2013)





#1: Stan Lee


Various Movies (2008-)

How could we give our top spot to anyone else other than Stan “The Man” Lee? Even before there was an MCU, this comic book icon was known for popping up in Marvel movies. While we’ve come to expect an appearance from Lee, that doesn’t make his cameos any less applause-worthy. Whether he’s playing a man mistaken for Larry King or a thirsty gambler, Lee is always a welcome presence. It’s even been suggested that all of his MCU characters are the same person, secretly working as the Watcher Informant. Lee’s various cameos have helped him to technically become the highest-grossing star at the domestic box office, topping Nick Fury himself, Samuel L. Jackson!
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