Special thanks is a a common phenomenon when people not directly involved making the film, video game etc. are listed. These are most often found at the end of Closing Credits.
People who get special thanks are usually:
- Friends of the makers of the work
- Family members of the makers of the work
- And their production babies
- Executives from the network
- Experts who were consulted while doing the research
- And especially you!
Friends and family members often get special thanks because the creators of the work genuinely want to acknowledge their contribution to project morale, practical advice... ...or because they cooked the staff a particularly memorable meal during production. Executives may receive special thanks because the creators felt it was necessary to their careers, because it's really the network's pet project or because the executives were helpful in securing funding for the creator's pet project. Experts often appreciate acknowledgement for their advice in the same way as an actor or makeup assistant appreciates acknowledgement of their roles.
Occasionally, special thanks may be given to random things, which might not even be people. At that point, it's safe to assume the creators are going for a Creative Closing Credits and are not being entirely serious.
Also see In Memoriam.
- Koichi Mashimo gets thanked in the 26th episode of Arc the Lad.
- Sore ga Seiyuu! has an In-Universe example in Episode 9. Futaba read a submitted letter from Konno (using a pen name obviously), and thanked her during their radio show segment. The Earphones trio then proceeded in singing their thanks to all real-life voice actor managers for their work in their business.
- The trio then sung their thanks to the entire animation industry in Episode 10.
- Fantasia 2000: "A special thank you to the entire Feature Animation family for their dedication, support and encouragement in the making of this film."
- Gravity: A few notable names on the Special Thanks roster were fellow directors, including James Cameron, David Fincher and Guillermo del Toro.
- Shrek Forever After: "Heartfelt thanks to all the talented artists who worked on Shrek for the last decade!"
- In F1 Racing, there has been a special thanks box on the editor's column page every month. Many of those featured in the box are press officers and senior team members who help the magazine get interviews but otherwise wouldn't be credited. Other thanks have gone to Kate Middleton, a local theatre, various artists... ...and Steve McQueen's watch. Occasionally, there is a "No Thanks" section at the end, which was most recently (as of August 2011) given to the office café oven.
- The apron for Bugs Bunny's Birthday Ball has this just below the drain:
- Isaac Asimov's Robots: The Closing Credits ends by the producers thanking a long list of groups and people involved in designing and renting costume and set design.
- In Starcraft, at the end of the regular credits are credits listing everything imaginable: things they ate, their family members, their pets, bands that made records they listened to...
- Homeworld did something similar, probably so they had an excuse to play the whole nine minutes of the song Yes composed and recorded especially for the game over said credits. Sitting through the whole thing is no hardship.
- Sculptured Software both played this straight and parodied it in their SNES port of Mortal Kombat II. After a list or two of typical special thanks, they get to a list of "People We Owe No Thanks To". In addition to probably two more personal friends, they !thank Elvis Presley, Howard Hughes, and Jim Morrison.
- Since Halo: Reach was Bungie's last Halo game, they inserted a "Tribute Room" Easter Egg into the ninth level that includes several messages dedicated to various parts of the fan community, including the members of halo.bungie.org, the staff of Rooster Teeth, and the first person to record the Warthog Jump.