It used to be so easy - a film would end, you'd get up, tipping a small bucket's worth of popcorn out of your lap, and stumble out of the darkness into the light like mining horses released to pasture. That would be it, and even the best end credits theme tunes couldn't hold your attention enough to endure the endless reams of names that meant precisely nothing.
Then someone decided to start playing bloopers reels over the credits, and the world changed, for the better, as we were all given a special happy ending that the film's occasionally couldn't live up to. That was okay, until the bloopers started feeling manipulated (it didn't take long) and then fizzled out in favour of the hugely frustrating mid- and post-credits scenes championed by superhero movies (which are literally NEVER worth the wait.)
But it seems that even before we were all kidnapped by the promise of another morsel of storyline, or a sequel tease, taking as much pleasure as possible in spotting funny-sounding names, Hollywood was throwing us little scraps to entertain the few people who stayed to watch until the screen went blank.
There's been a long tradition of movies hiding messages among the end credits, some funny, some surreal and some that are legitimate Easter eggs, and we probably just weren't paying enough attention. Well, either that or we were already on the road home. All of that effort, and chances are, you didn't know about most of them until now...
Honourable Mention - Fight Club
Not strictly an end credits easter egg, but a great addition to the DVD of Fincher's head-twisting masterpiece all the same, as Tyler Durden takes over the official Warning page (you know, the one no-one has ever actually read) to expound his forthright, anarchist philosophy. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbating. I think we can all learn something there.