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The Best Cameos In The MCU - Other Than Stan Lee

Updated April 23, 2021 33.7k votes 3.6k voters 489.2k views25 items

List RulesVote up the best MCU cameos you almost missed.

Doing a cameo within the Marvel Comics Universe isn’t just a feather in an actor or public figure’s cap; it’s a chance to be part of a fantastical (and fan-fervent) part of pop culture. Filmmakers of the MCU - including James Gunn, the Russo Brothers and Jon Favreau - have always made efforts to give MCU followers what they want, including lots of fun Easter eggs and referential nods to comics and origin stories, as well as past films. Cameo appearances remain one of the most noticeably consistent ways Marvel movies have fun with fans; it’s been that way since creator Stan Lee started doing them pre-Disney, back in 1989 (The Incredible Hulk TV movie).

Now that Lee has left this universe, the legacy of these sometimes meaningful, sometimes random guest spots in Marvel films will surely continue, ranging from blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments to voice-only parts to non-speaking roles to post-credit scenes to more nuanced stints that add to the narrative with a wink. While many of the famous figures in MCU films often play themselves - or a version of themselves - the most memorable moments tend to add to the story in a revelatory or ironic way, reflecting real-world culture while highlighting the amazing tales of wonder and heroism that make them great.

Vote up your favorite cameos from across the MCU.

  • Aa anyone who's watched interviews with Matt Damon or followed the long-running inside joke about him (not) appearing on The Jimmy Kimmel Show is aware, the actor has a great sense of humor - and he's no stranger to cameo appearances. So it's no surprise he provides one of the most clever and comic moments in Thor: Ragnarok.

    Playing the Loki character in a stage version depicting events from the previous film, Thor: The Dark World, his melodramatic revisionist take on the story and character is pure gold, from his tormented gaze to his sloppy fall into the arms of his brother Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth's real-life sibling Luke).

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  • The man who embodied Rocky and Rambo is one of many cultural icons who pop up in Guardians 2, but his cameo is almost more than that (he is seen a few times in the movie). 

    Sly plays Stakar, a character from the original Guardians comic book lineup that also includes Ving Rhames as Charlie-27 and Miley Cyrus as Mainframe.

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  • When Kurt Russell shape-shifts into Baywatch/Knight Rider legend David Hasselhoff during a contentious conversation with his son Peter Quill, it's more than a nod to Star-Lord's fanboy proclivities. The Hoff was, like many Gen-Xers, Peter's fantasy father and the cool dad he never had.

    We can all relate, can't we? If the nostalgic TV feels here weren't enough, this campy cameo might surpass 'em all thanks to the film's soundtrack, which features the actor rapping the end credits ditty, "Guardians Inferno. "

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  • One of MCU fans' favorite scenes for good reason, this cameo is an all-in-the-family affair on meta levels. In the reenactment of the dramatic moment in which Loki perishes in Thor's arms, Loki is played by a superstar (Matt Damon), while the latter is played by a not-as-famous Chris Hemsworth lookalike, who just so happens to be his real-life brother Luke Hemsworth.

    Besides wondering why they didn't cast the more famous Liam in the role, the scene will make you chuckle on a number of levels, thanks to both actors' over-the-top performances and the brotherly backstory; Loki is, of course, still alive and only posing as the pair's father Odin, commissioning the play with himself as the hero in an attempt to outshine Thor.

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