As the true mastermind behind Marvel, the decision was made to bring Stan Lee into every single Marvel movie in small cameo parts. Until his sad passing, Stan Lee has appeared in every single MCU movie, popping in to make a quick appearance for the fans to spot.
Most of the time it is very obvious when he appears, he does so in a comedic manner, giving a nod to the hardcore Marvel fans who love the properties.
Stan Lee’s appearances are always fun, and always make the audience laugh which is what Marvel films are about. But they aren’t all as impactful, so within this list, we will rank his five best and worst MCU cameos.
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10 Best: Ant-Man
We kickstart the list with one of the very best cameos that Stan Lee makes, which came in the original Ant-Man movie. During one of Luis’ long-winded and hilarious stories, Stan Lee pops up and was part of the montages in what was a hilarious moment.
This is the perfect example of how to add in Stan Lee, in a moment that is both funny and relevant. It isn’t too in your face and is just a good wink to the audience which is exactly what these cameos are intended to do.
9 Worst: Thor: The Dark World
One of the MCU’s worst movies, Thor: The Dark World, also plays host to one of Stan Lee’s worst cameos, which in a way feels fitting. Lee is never afraid to put himself in any situation during his cameos, as this one proves, with the Marvel legend being a patient in an asylum.
He is shown here to be completely mad, sitting inside with several other patients as he sits without any shoes. Thor is also in the mental care ward and he actually uses Lee’s show to prove a point, which alerts the audience to the fact it was Lee in the scene.
He sits smiling at everything as it all goes on and while it isn’t a terrible appearance, it is just not particularly funny or memorable.
8 Best: Thor
Stan Lee’s cameo in Thor: The Dark World might not have been the greatest, but his appearance in the original Thor movie was superb. It wasn’t a long one, but that didn’t stop it from having a real impact, plus it was still early in the MCU and fans were getting used to him appearing.
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When Mjolnir appears, everyone attempts to lift it and get it out of the ground, not knowing that only Thor has the ability to do so. However, a truck is hooked up and pushed to its limit with the driver flooring it to try and pull it out.
However, in the end, the trucks back is ripped out due to the strength of the hammer, and the driver is revealed to be Stan Lee. His confused and annoyed expressions are absolutely perfect in what is a funny moment.
7 Worst: Captain America: Winter Soldier
Stan Lee’s appearance in Captain America: Winter Soldier takes place inside the Smithsonian where he appears as a guard. After discovering Hyrda has been operating within S.H.I.E.L.D, Steve Rogers breaks into the Smithsonian to retrieve his old duds, and that’s where Lee appears.
It is a subtle nod to squeeze him into the movie but is a very forgettable cameo from him, which isn’t normally the case. Stan Lee normally gets given a funny or memorable moment in each movie, but this one felt like a throwaway moment in comparison to others he has done.
6 Best: Captain America: Civil War
Stan Lee’s cameo in Captain America: Civil War is absolutely hilarious. While the movie is quite heavy with Captain America and Iron Man going to battle with each other, Stan Lee pops in to bring it all back in a classic Marvel manner with his humor.
As Stark and Rhodes have a heart-to-heart discussion towards the very end of the movie, a FedEx delivery is made with a parcel for Tony. While this seems fairly straight forward, it just so happens to be Stan Lee who is making the delivery.
While it isn’t an especially important cameo, seeing Lee in an ordinary job that people are used to seeing in this world was an amazing moment.
5 Worst: The Incredible Hulk
Stan Lee’s appearance in The Incredible Hulk is memorable enough, he ends up looking for a drink inside a fridge, but makes the bad choice of picking one that is spiked with Hulk blood. But the fact that this is the one MCU movie that doesn’t really fit in, a lot of people haven’t even seen it.
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With this film sort of being connected, and sort of not being connected it is in a strange place. Due to it being the MCU cameo that the least amount of people are aware of, it has to place itself into the worst side of the debate.
It also isn’t a particularly funny scene either, it just showcases how Hulk’s blood has contaminated other places and could have a greater effect on the world. It would have been better if we got just a glimpse of Stan making a change at the end.
4 Best: Iron Man
The Stan Lee cameo that really kicked things off was this one, from the original Iron Man movie. While The Incredible Hulk was the start of the MCU, it really was Iron Man that sent things into a totally different level and Stan’s cameo was great.
Marvel made the reference of him looking like Hugh Hefner in this cameo. Stan walks into a high-profile event and is dressed in a very similar way to the Playboy owner with Tony Stark greeting him, thinking that he is Hugh. It’s a simple cameo, but it is effective and very funny.
3 Worst: Dr. Strange
There is nothing wrong with Stan Lee’s appearance in the first Dr. Strange movie, but it isn’t memorable either. The moment takes place during the fight scene between Strange and Baron Mordo as they fall into the city.
The two are brawling when they fall through the mirror dimension and end up collapsing on a bus window. It is intended as a comedy moment in the middle of a fight scene, which does take away from it slightly, as Strange squashes onto the window.
However, it is what’s happening inside the bus that takes your eye, as Stan Lee is sat burying his head into a book. He is totally oblivious to the fact that there is a fight going on, and the fact he doesn’t really comment on it is a shame.
2 Best: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
When it comes to the best MCU cameos that Stan Lee has made, his intergalactic appearance in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is certainly the best. Appearing as a human, talking with a group of Watchers, a species who study the on-goings of the entire universe.
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This was a great cameo as he gave a hint that all his cameos have actually been linked. Stan Lee stated that he has lots of stories from across the universe, which almost confirmed a fan theory that many have. People always believed that he is the same character across the movies, and this was a good hint about it in what was a very fun scene.
1 Worst: Iron Man 3
Some people will have found this moment absolutely hilarious, but there is just something about Stan Lee acting like a dirty grandpa that doesn’t quite sit right. He appears giving a rating of 10 to a random girl during a pageant in Tennessee.
While that is something that you can certainly picture Tony Stark doing, it is less so for Stan Lee. Of course, it is just meant as a funny moment within the film and the joke works whether you know who Stan Lee is or not, but it is odd seeing him in this setting. It still managed to get the laughs that Lee’s cameos are designed to do, but it is one of his weakest cameo appearances that felt like a lazy, last-minute decision.
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