Comic book legend Stan Lee has been popping up in Marvel films since the turn of the century in cameo roles. In recent years it has gotten to the point that any Marvel movie where he doesn’t make an appearance just doesn’t feel like a true Marvel movie (I’m looking at you, Fant4stic Four). It doesn’t matter whether the movie is owned by Disney, Sony, Fox, or anyone else; if it’s got the Marvel tag on it, he’s probably going to show up. Heck, he’s even shown up in all four Marvel Cinematic Universe TV shows to date.
In his first few appearances he didn’t have any speaking lines, and nowadays he’s often the source of great one-liners or fun references. Not all of his cameos are that great, however, so here’s a look at all 30 times Stan Lee has appeared on-screen in Marvel film and television, ranked from worst to best.
01. The Amazing Spider-Man; listening to classical music with headphones on, oblivious as Spidey and Lizard fight in the library behind him.
02. Captain America: Civil War; plays a FedEx delivery man who delivers a package to Tony Stark. Mistakenly calls him Tony Stank.
03. Big Hero 6; only animated cameo to date. plays Fred’s father. appears in a painting at Fred’s house, then again in person during the post-credits stinger. says to Fred, “We have a lot to talk about.”
04. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer; rejected entry to Reed Richards and Sue Storm’s wedding. Nod to 1965 Fantastic Four Annual #3 comic where he and Jack Kirby are both turned away to the wedding in the same way.
05. Spider-Man 3; says, “You know, I guess one person can make a difference” to Peter Parker
06. Avengers: Age of Ultron; a WWII veteran attending the party at Avengers Tower. drinks Thor’s Asgardian booze and is carried away muttering, “excelsior…”
07. Deadpool; plays a deejay in the strip club where Vanessa works
08. Iron Man; mistaken by Tony for Hugh Hefner. non-speaking.
09. Ant-Man; appears in one of Luis’ stories as a bartender, agreeing with the man at the counter who refers to the woman he’s with as “mad stupid fine”. technically non-speaking, as Luis is narrating the story.
10. Hulk; security guard with Lou Ferrigno. First speaking role.
11. Thor: The Dark World; patient in a mental ward where Erik Selvig is using a shoe to help demonstrate his explanation of The Convergence. Lee asks, “Can I have my shoe back?”
12. Agent Carter; S1 E4, The Blitzkrieg Button; sitting in a shoe-shine station next to Howard Stark and Edwin Jarvis.
13. X-Men: The Last Stand; watering his lawn when Jean Grey displays her powers and bends the water coming from his hose
14. Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Smithsonian security guard who is “so fired” after he finds Cap’s old suit missing the his display
15. Thor; pick-up driver who’s trying to pull Mjolnir from the ground
16. Avengers; appears in news real at the end saying, “Superheroes in New York? Give me a break.”
17. Spider-Man; part of a crowd beneath a fight. he pulls a girl to safety. non-speaking
18. X-Men; hot dog vendor. non-speaking
19. Spider-Man 2; saves a woman from falling debris. Tells her to look out.
20. Fantastic Four; plays Willie Lumpkin, an actual character from the comics. Delivers mail to Reed Richards.
21. *Guardians of the Galaxy; Rocket sees him through his scanning device with a young woman. Rocket calls him a “class-A prevert”. non-speaking.
22. The Incredible Hulk; drinks Pingo Doce soda with Banner’s blood in it and is poisoned
23. The Amazing Spider-Man 2; among the crowd at Peter and Gwen’s graduation. Says of Parker, “I think I know that guy.”
24. Daredevil; saved from stepping in front of a bus by young Matt Murdock. non-speaking
25. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; S1 E13, T.R.A.C.K.S.; appears with two women on a train, scolding Coulson after Simmons makes a scene as a diversion
26. Iron Man 3; judging a beauty pageant where he scores a girl a perfect 10. non-speaking.
27. Iron Man 2; mistaken by Tony for Larry King. non-speaking.
28. Captain America: The First Avenger; first film Lee appeared in that wasn’t starring a character he created (Cap created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon). Plays a General in a crowd waiting to honor Cap. “I thought he’d be taller”
29. Jessica Jones; same photo in the same police station as Daredevil.
30. Daredevil; appears in a photo on the wall of the police station. doesn’t appear in person.
30. Daredevil (2015)
In one of the most underwhelming cameos to date, Stan Lee doesn't even appear onscreen in the Netflix series Daredevil. See that photo and plaque on the wall in the background? There he is. Then again, his zippy one-liners would feel out of place in the dark and gritty streets of Hell's Kitchen.