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.
- Seiyu's Life! has an In-Universe example in Episode 9. Futaba reads a submitted letter from Konno (using a pen name obviously), and thanks her during their radio show segment. The Earphones trio then proceeds to sing 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."
- The Lion King (1994): Almost all of the names under Special Thanks are wildlife organizations like the Los Angeles Zoo, the San Diego Zoo and the Fowler Center for Wildlife Education.
- Shrek Forever After: "Heartfelt thanks to all the talented artists who worked on Shrek for the last decade!"
- Bicentennial Man: The producers include a "wish to thank" section in the credits to express their appreciation for many of the sites they used to film the setting, such as Oracle Corporation and Eldorado National Forest, as well as to the family of Ken Jones.
- Gravity: A few notable names on the Special Thanks roster were fellow directors, including James Cameron, David Fincher and Guillermo del Toro.
- Superdome: "Grateful acknowledgement is given to the Louisiana Superdome and the HMC Management Corporation."
- Mackintosh and T.J.: "A special thanks to the 6666 Ranch, and the people of Guthrie, Matador and Dickens, Texas, and the Texas Department of Public Safety."
- Most Likely to Murder (2018) gives special thanks to a long list of people and organizations, and a very special thanks to the New York City Mayor's Office of Film, Television, and Broadcasting.
- Metallica: Through the Never: "Metallica would like to thank our significant others, our children & our families. Thank you, THE METALLICA FAMILY OF FANS." Then there's a long list of people under "Special Thanks," and then "Special Thanks to the forgotten one, ANNA PANDORF."
- Natural Born Killers: City of Gallup, MN; City of Chicago, IL; City of Winslow, AZ; WGN TV, Navajo Nation.
- Zack Snyder's Justice League: there is a message in the end credits that thanks all the fans who campaigned to get it released.
- The Air Up There: "Deep gratitude to the wonderful Samburu extras from Maralal, Kenya for their kindness, enthusiasm and hard work."
- Whitewash has a long list of people and organizations, along with "A very special thank you to KIM NGUYEN for inspiring us with his crazy ideas" and "...and all the extras who played in the film."
- Sky Riders: "The producers express gratitude to the various government ministries and the armed forces of Greece without whose assistance this film could not have been made."
- A Boy Called Po has a long list of people and organizations, including Billy Idol and Sheryl Crow, both of whom contributed to the soundtrack.
- Sugar Hill (1974): "We wish to thank the City of Houston and the State of Texas for their cooperation."
- I Think I Do (1997) has two screens full of names listed under "Very special thanks."
- Wanda Nevada has "The producers wish to acknowledge special thanks to:" followed by a list of organizations that starts with the Grand Canyon National Parks Services.
- When the Bough Breaks (1994) has "The producers gratefully acknowledge the following," followed by a list of people and organizations.
- Where's Willie?: "Our deepest thanks to the Texas Film Commission, and the citizens and officials of Kerrville, Texas... (It's a nice place to live!)"
- At the beginning of The Beasts Are on the Streets, a voice reads words on the screen: "The producers of this program wish to thank the American Humane Society and Dr. Joe Cannon, D.V.M. for their supervision of the animal sequences of this film." The end credits have, "The producers wish to thank the people of Grand Prairie, Texas and the International Animal Exchange, Inc. for their cooperation in making this film."
- The Angel Levine: "Our special thanks to" followed by a long list of names, followed by "who, with the help of the Ford Foundation, helped initiate the first apprentice program for minorities in the American film industry."
- The Drummer and the Keeper: "With very special thanks to the Strypes," a rock band who appear as themselves towards the end of the movie.
- The Ghost Goes Gear: "The producers gratefully acknowledge the facilities given to them at Puttenden Manor, Lingfield, Surrey and the Phillipines, Sevenoaks, Kent."
- The end credits of The Hanoi Hilton have a list of former POWs, including John McCain, who helped make the movie more realistic. Later on there's a longer list of people and organizations.
- Ming and Ming has a long list of names, all of which are in Chinese except for "Jose" and "Robert."
- Dark August: "Thanks to the town of Stowe Vermont and Harriet Lewis."
- The Strawberry Statement: "The producers of this film gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the people of San Francisco and another anonymous locale for participating in the production of this motion picture. Other cities refused to cooperate - perhaps feeling that strawberries are irrelevant."
- Satan's Triangle: "Our sincerest thanks to the 11th District United States Coast Guard, the officers and crew of the U.S.S. VENTUROUS and special thanks to helicopter pilot LCDR H.L. JOHNSON."
- The 2005 remake of Fun with Dick and Jane ends with sarcastic thanks to the executives of Enron, whose scandalous bankruptcy inspired the film, as well as the executives of other companies that bankrupted their employees.
- The apron for Bugs Bunny's Birthday Ball has this just below the drain:
- 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, civil rights activists, favorite characters, the guy who stocked their soda machine...
- 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.
- Star Wars Racer thanks several pets, Arcanine and Blitz and Exile.
- 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.
- The Neverhood: The first person credited in the game's Special Thanks is Hoborg, the game's Big Good. The rest of the credits are just the friends and family of the devs.
- LISA: In LISA: The Painful, the credits leave a Special Thanks for Martin Armstrong, the abusive father of Brad and Lisa. Since Marty's actions are responsible for how the two influence the plot of the games, it can be read as sarcastically thanking him for "contributing" to their development. As the credits are implied to also contain Brad's last thoughts, the same can be said for Brad "thanking" Marty for putting him on the path to this point.
- Freshy Kanal Rap Battles: The ending credits of the Part 4 finale "Money Heist vs. The Wolf of Wall Street" has a long list of Special Thanks, thanking nearly everyone who have ever been involved with the series, even if they aren't involved with that episode or that Part, and lastly thanking the series' inspiration Epic Rap Battles of History.
- Many episode credits of Molly of Denali feature Special Thanks. For example, Special Thanks was given to Amaya Shaw, Koso Shaw, and Leeyadaakhan Shaw for the episode "Molly of the Yukon."
- In the magazine 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