Let’s be honest here—as much as we all love Marvel movies, half the fun is looking for the Stan Lee cameo we all know will be there.
As the creator of several of our favourite heroes, including Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor, and Black Panther, it’s certainly a nice touch to see his face in the films, uniting the stories across time, space, and alternate universes.
In honour of the upcoming release of Avengers: Infinity War, which is what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been working up to for a decade now, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at some of my favourite unexpected appearances from the man behind the comics!
When I saw this movie a couple of years after it came out, I didn’t actually realize it was Stan! The fact that Tony mistakes him for Hugh Hefner really threw me for a loop.
Fun fact: Stan really only has a specific name in Iron Man film cameos, and he’s usually mistaken for another big celebrity. In the second one, he’s mistaken for Larry King.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
In this one, poor Stan the Smithsonian guard becomes quite flummoxed when he realizes someone broke in and stole Cap’s original uniform. Never mind I don’t think anyone would actually be upset to learn that it was Cap who stole his own clothes back.
He’s then afraid of being fired over it, but let’s be real. Like we could—or would—ever fire Stan.
I spent most of this movie on the lookout for the now-familiar face, but Stan didn’t make an appearance until almost the end!
He shows up as one of the random citizens being interviewed on the news after the attack on New York, and ironically expresses some disbelief in the entire idea that superheroes exist.
Never mind the enthusiastically chaotic-good antics of the Avengers that brought down Loki and the majority of Manhattan.
In this one, Stan makes an appearance as one of the small-town men in a pickup truck trying to retrieve Mjölnir from its landing place.
I just loved how excited he was about his brilliant plan of pulling it with a chain attached to his truck’s bumper—only to find out that apparently, his truck was not worthy of the power of Thor.
So this one is a little off-the-radar, because the TV show based on Cap’s love interest from his first solo film only aired for two seasons as a mid-season break from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I appreciated this cameo because it really showed how involved Stan is with everything that Marvel Studios produces—he happily sits in on smaller spinoffs that give fans more background into how the MCU became what it is.
He appeared in the 2015 season alongside Howard Stark and Edwin Jarvis (who becomes J.A.R.V.I.S. in pretty much everything Tony builds), hiding behind his newspaper at the shoeshine.
Captain America: Civil War
It’s pretty obvious why I love this one, and it’s really not a deep reason at all.
He shows up as a FedEx delivery guy who has a package for a Tony “Stank.”