Ranking Every Spider-Man Movie’s End Credits Song

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Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters this weekend, offering a blockbuster look at a whole new angle of the Spider-Man franchise. Amid the speculation about who may or may not appear in the film, or what repercussions it might have for the Marvel multiverse at large, many fans have used No Way Home as an opportunity to look back at the previous films starring Marvel’s wall-crawler. To an extent, Spider-Man films have been iconic for a few reasons — stellar performances from its stars, unique takes on comic book lore, and meme-worthy moments. But one trope that has been tied to nearly every Spider-Man movie (aside from 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man) is the end-credits song, with some films in the franchise bringing several new or unexpected tracks before the house lights of the movie theater go up.

In honor of No Way Home, I thought I’d look back at the various songs that have accompanied the credits of Spider-Man films over the past few decades, from the forgettable to the downright iconic. In an attempt to make my (completely, totally subjective) rankings as scientific as possible, I developed the following four criteria, which can each be awarded on a scale of ten points for a maximum total score of 40 points.

  • Triumphant feeling: Is the song an upbeat, celebratory, or otherwise emotional representation of the film you just saw? Does it leave you walking out of the theater in a decidedly upbeat mood?
  • Lyrics: How well do the lyrics represent what happened in the film you just saw? More particularly — how well do the lyrics represent Spider-Man’s journey in that film?
  • Legacy: Is this a song that we still associate with Spider-Man? If not, is it even a song the general public would remember being in this movie?
  • Fits the film: How well does the overall song suit the vibe of the film you just saw? Is it the best possible song that could have accompanied a Spider-Man film in this particular era/context?

Remember, the songs are not being ranked on their quality or even my own personal preference, but on how much I personally think they succeed as a “Spider-Man song.” Let’s be real — you might disagree with the rankings in some or fashion, and that’s totally okay.

So, without further ado, here is a comprehensive ranking of the fifteen end-credits songs we’ve gotten so far in Spider-Man movies.

Honorable Mention: “Spidey-Bells” (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)

Comparing “Spidey-Bells” — the very last song over the credits of 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, before the Spider-Man 2099 post credits scene — to other Spider-Man songs feels like judging snowboarding against ice skating rules. Let’s make one thing clear: the song, which stems from a one-off joke about Peter Parker (Chris Pine) being so popular that he recorded a Christmas album, is undeniably a delight.

Jam-packed with Spidey references — up until the point that Pine has an expertly-performed existential crisis about the very idea of the Christmas album — its comedic approach is in a completely different class from the rest of the songs on this list, in a way that doesn’t feel fair to judge. Still, you owe it to yourself to add the full Spider-Verse Christmas EP to your next Holiday playlist.

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#14 – “It’s On Again” (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

  • Triumphant feeling: 7/10
  • Lyrics: 3/10
  • Legacy: 2/10
  • Fits the Movie: 5/10
  • Rating: 17/40

There’s a lot about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that has left my mind since it was released — and apparently, Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar’s “It’s On Again” song is chief among them. The best thing the song has going for it is its vibe, which (even then) is a little inconsistent — Lamar’s rousing verse in the opening seconds feels like it’s in a completely different realm from Keys’ disco-esque harmonies. But at its core, the song feels painfully generic, with lyrics about being “a freedom fighter” and “a lonely hero” that could be applied to literally any other squeaky-clean action franchise, and a tone that feel jarring compared to the events of the film itself.

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#13 – “Signal Fire” (Spider-Man 3)

  • Triumphant feeling: 6/10
  • Lyrics: 7/10
  • Legacy: 1/10
  • Fits the Movie: 9/10
  • Rating: 23/40

For starters, this song has fallen so far out of the tapestry of Spider-Man songs that it is one of two songs that isn’t even on Spotify. That’s honestly a shame, as the Snow Patrol song does a pretty solid job of capturing the chaotic, mid-2000s ennui of Spider-Man 3. The lyrics, which proclaim “hold me close / ’cause I need you to guide me to safety” and that “in the confusion and the aftermath / you are my signal fire” are a particularly endearing tribute to Peter and MJ’s love story in the film, and the song’s ever-building guitar riff provokes a Breakfast Club-style fist pump in the air. Still, at the end of the day, the song is one of the more forgettable Spider-Man anthems.

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#12 – “Falling Star” (Spider-Man 3)

  • Triumphant feeling: 6/10
  • Lyrics: 8/10
  • Legacy: 1/10
  • Fits the Movie: 9/10
  • Rating: 24/40

Like “Signal Fire”, Jet’s “Falling Star” also seems to have fallen through the cracks of Spider-Man songs, which is disappointing but somewhat unsurprising. The song’s lyrics — which open with “know that I loved you from the start / when we believed in who we are / I never dreamed my life this way” — feel perfect for Peter and MJ across the trilogy, and the sweeping indie instrumentals and background vocals are captivating in their own right. Still, like the events of Spider-Man 3, “Falling Star” feels like a charming, but underwhelming note to close out the trilogy on.

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#11 – “Vacation” (Spider-Man: Far From Home)

  • Triumphant feeling: 8/10
  • Lyrics: 7/10
  • Legacy: 4/10
  • Fits the Movie: 6/10
  • Rating: 25/40

Jumping ahead over a decade, 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home accents its end title sequence with The Go-Go’s “Vacation.” Yes, the choice fits the narrative of Peter Parker’s wild summer vacation, but to an almost eye-rolling degree of obviousness. The 1982 bop also feels at odds with the characterization of Peter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who inexplicably regards ’80s movies as “really old.” The song also provides an almost corny sense of security for the span of a few minutes, before the film’s status-quo shifting mid-credits scene pulls the rug out from underneath anybody. At very least, an argument could be made for having a newer artist cover “Vacation” — or placing the song after the mid-credits scene for dramatic and borderline-ironic effect.

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#10 – “Move Away” (Spider-Man 3)

  • Triumphant feeling: 8/10
  • Lyrics: 7/10
  • Legacy: 3/10
  • Fits the Movie: 8/10
  • Rating: 26/40

I will admit, I completely forgot that The Killers contributed a song to Spider-Man 3, which made experiencing “Move Away” in the middle of the film’s credits a wild experience. The song is by no means a standout of The Killers’ intriguing discography, but it does consistently maintain an upbeat momentum in ways that “Falling Star” and “Signal Fire” take precious seconds to get. Plus, the song can easily be interpreted as an ode to Peter’s Venomized behavior, with lines about not being control and wanting to “jump out of my skin.”

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#9 – “Blitzkrieg Bop” (Spider-Man: Homecoming)

  • Triumphant feeling: 10/10
  • Lyrics: 5/10
  • Legacy: 6/10
  • Fits the Movie: 8/10
  • Rating: 29/40

Accompanying the credits of 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming is The Ramones’ 1976 classic “Blitzkrieg Bop” — a song that fits the universe’s Peter Parker, but only to a certain degree. The song’s energy and enthusiasm about youthful rebellion are undeniably infectious, and there is something charming about knowing that some of Homecoming’s younger viewers walked away with an appreciation for The Ramones. But like “Vacation”, the song feels at odds with the sense of style of Peter’s that we’ve grown to love in the MCU — sure, it might be something he’d listen to, but it feels more like a song picked by (and ultimately, for) older fans of Spider-Man.

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#8 – “Honest” (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

  • Triumphant feeling: 7/10
  • Lyrics: 9/10
  • Legacy: 6/10
  • Fits the Movie: 9/10
  • Rating: 31/40

For some reason, The Neighborhood’s “Honest” is the song wrapped up in my overall view of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — and of that franchise as a whole. While one of the more subdued original songs for Spider-Man, that energy feels like something The Amazing Spider-Man 2 needs, particularly with the film’s take on Gwen Stacy’s death. Lyrics like ‘Why’d you stick around, why’d you stay with me?” and “I couldn’t save it” only further tug on the heartstrings of Peter/Gwen shippers, and the song feels like a perfect representation of the indie pop of the early 2010s. It also helps that “Honest” proves to be shockingly catchy as well.

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#7 – “Left Hand Free” (Captain America: Civil War)

  • Triumphant feeling: 9/10
  • Lyrics: 5/10
  • Legacy: 8/10
  • Fits the Movie: 10/10
  • Rating: 32/40

Sure, Captain America: Civil War isn’t technically a solo outing for Spider-Man, but as our introduction to Peter in the MCU, it needs to be acknowledged here. A large part of that is due to “Left Hand Free”, the Alt-J song that accompanies Peter’s very first moments onscreen as he’s walking home from school, and also plays over the credits right before the Spider-Man-centric post-credits scene.

While the lyrics are esoteric to say the least, the vibe the song sets is immediately apparent — this version of Peter Parker is squarely among the nerdy youth of today, and has a cool and unexpected taste in music to boot. The only shame is that future installments of Peter’s onscreen story haven’t continued that thread.

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#6 – “Way Up” (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)

  • Triumphant feeling: 10/10
  • Lyrics: 7/10
  • Legacy: 8/10
  • Fits the Movie: 10/10
  • Rating: 35/40

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s use of music is truly, unabashedly inspired, and the “Yeah-yeahs” that go throughout Jaden Smith’s “Way Up” are forever linked to my brain’s version of the film. The song — which is two of four tracks over the film’s credits – also keeps the momentum alive in some significant ways. If anything, the only downside of the song is that its approach to Spider-Man lyrics is a bit too on-the-nose.

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#5 – “Ordinary” (Spider-Man 2)

  • Triumphant feeling: 9/10
  • Lyrics: 10/10
  • Legacy: 7/10
  • Fits the Movie: 9/10
  • Rating: 36/40

The Spider-Man 2 soundtrack has taken on a bit of a life of its own, inspiring tribute t-shirts and countless cycles of conversation in the decades since the film first came out. Out of the two songs from that soundtrack that accompany the end credits, Train’s “Ordinary” might be slightly weaker — but not by much. The lyrics, which are so perfectly attuned to Spider-Man that they literally mention being tied up in webs and climbing walls, are just on-the-nose enough without getting too overt. Once the song starts going, it absolutely does not relent, all while capturing the emotion of Peter’s arc in the film — and, honestly, the emotion of 2004 itself.

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#4 – “Elevate” (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)

  • Triumphant feeling: 10/10
  • Lyrics: 10/10
  • Legacy: 7/10
  • Fits the Movie: 10/10
  • Rating: 37/40

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse somehow manages to fit four songs across its end credits sequence, but not in a way that ever quite feels overwhelming. Part of that might be thanks to “Elevate”, the DJ Khalil, Trevor Ricci, Swavay, Denzel Curry, and Cordae song that opens the whole sequence, and plays over the visually-gorgeous title sequence. The song delivers an infectious energy and coolness not like the 90-odd minutes of film that proceeded it, and the lyrics — which include, but are not limited to “since there’s no heroes anymore / jump out the window, then put the mask on” and “one at a time, I’m killin’ the rhymes, I do it for the people / I’m Peter Parker running through the 6 with a bag full of tricks” — are clever musical takes on Miles’ role in the ever-growing multiverse.

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#2 (TIE) – “Home” (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)

  • Triumphant feeling: 10/10
  • Lyrics: 9/10
  • Legacy: 10/10
  • Fits the Movie: 10/10
  • Rating: 39/40

Again, the Spider-Verse soundtrack is chock-full of catchy hits — and outside of “What’s Up Danger?” and “Sunflower”, Vince Staples and Richie Kohan’s “Home” is the song I best associate with the film. The lyrics work for the film’s plot on so many levels, from the very ethos of its “I’m coming home” chorus playing into all of the heroes wanting to return to their respective universes, to the “I’m at war with my emotions / I’m at war with they enforcement” representing Miles’ coming-of-age story as Spider-Man. Any time I hear any segment of “Home,” I’m instantly transported back to the breathtaking visual of Miles’ “leap of faith” scene — which is impressive, because the song doesn’t actually play in that scene, but still evokes such a powerful moment.

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#2 (TIE) – “Vindicated” (Spider-Man 2)

  • Triumphant feeling: 10/10
  • Lyrics: 9/10
  • Legacy: 10/10
  • Fits the Movie: 10/10
  • Rating: 39/40

A shiny gem among the collection of bops that is the Spider-Man 2 soundtrack, Dashboard Confessional’s “Vindicated” has become synonymous with the film, to the point where it has become memed ad nauseum by fans. Honestly, that’s a legacy that the song absolutely deserves for multiple reasons. It is by far the best encapsulation of Peter and Mary Jane’s complicated romantic relationship in the film, with an inherently cinematic quality that — despite how universal lyrics like “slow-spinning redemption” are — subconsciously makes the song associated with cafe meetings and romantic longing. And come on, what is more quintessentially 2004 than a Dashboard Confessional song?

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#1 – Hero (Spider-Man) {replyCount}comments

  • Triumphant feeling: 10/10
  • Lyrics:..

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