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!!The Comics
* Cosmo gets one when one of his [[spoiler:Skrull]] friends is hurt.
-->'''Cosmo''': That does it. That enough. No more Mr. Nice Dog. [[WorldOfCardboardSpeech Now Cosmo will hurt]] '''[[WorldOfCardboardSpeech everyone.]]'''
* Groot versus the Monster of the Badoon. CurbStompBattle for the zombie cyborg, when Groot takes its head off in one punch.
-->'''Groot:''' I AM GROOT!
* An OffscreenMomentOfAwesome for the Kree during ComicBook/SecretInvasion. Peter Quill goes to warn them about the Skrulls, who've upgraded their shapeshifting technique and are more dangerous than ever, with all the potential superpowers of Earth at their command. Peter infiltrates Hala, and finds... that the Kree have already seen through the Skrull's infiltration and killed them all. For Earth, the Secret Invasion was a world shaking event. For the Kree, who've been fighting the Skrulls for millennia, it's just another day at the office. They didn't even think it was worth telling anyone, it was that routine.
* Phyla rescuing Moondragon from the Dragon of the Moon, and then slicing her way out if its stomach. Just for reference, said dragon is several ''miles'' high.
* Mantis versus Karnak of the Inhumans. He can detect any weakness in anything, and she fights defensively. He predicts that he will find a way past her technique in a few minutes. Mantis' response? Point out that he needs to be conscious to do that, and lays him out with a mind-whammy.
* Drax slicing off Maelstrom's arms, and the Quantum Bands that were connected to said arms. Regrettably, it doesn't shut Maelstrom up, but it does at least take away his most useful weapon, as well as giving Quasar the means to help ComicBook/{{Nova}} over in his own title.
* The rescue of Moondragon (oh, [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and Cynosure]]) from the Church. The Guardians bring Knowhere itself as a rescue vehicle, while the Luminals bring every single member they ever had. The Luminals, by the way, have enough members to make the ComicBook/LegionOfSuperHeroes look tiny.
* Gamora, Mantis, Major Victory, Cosmo and Phyla fighting against an entire world's worth of the Church of Universal Truth soldiers, and ''winning''. Until [[spoiler:Phyla finds [[OhCrap Thanos]].]]
* Another OffscreenMomentOfAwesome, when [[spoiler:Thanos lays waste to Sacrosanct]]. Despite the world-wide devastation, and the fact that everyone else died, Mantis, Major Victory, Gamora, and Cosmo all survived unharmed, despite everything in their arsenal failing to [[spoiler:so much as scratch Thanos]].
* How tough is Captain America's shield? Even a [[spoiler:completely invulnerable Thanos can't dent it. This is after it's established that Gamora's sword, which was designed to kill gods, already broke on him.]] Nothing like the old school.
* The Guardians & Tony Stark (Not Iron Man - he had been stripped of his armor) taking a Spartax warship through sheer force after being arrest for the crime of... Heading to Earth to stop a Badoon invasion.

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!!The Film
* The breakout from The Kyln, with the Guardians all utilizing their capabilities to get what they need to bust out of there.
** One moment in particular stands out, though:
--->'''Rocket:''' [[MoreDakka Oh. Yeeeaaaah.]]
** This also features an intense "I AMMMM GROOOOOOT" moment after some prisoners attack Groot, forcing him to fight back.
** Star-Lord staying behind to [[spoiler:get his mix tape back]].
* When the Guardians reach the top of the prison watchtower, the door opens to reveal them all assembled in the film's first true TeamShot.
* The [[spoiler:Celestial]] ravaging an entire planet with an [[spoiler:Infinity Stone]].
** That scene is great for two reasons: it's framed almost like a JackKirby panel, and it features [[spoiler:an actual Celestial from the comics, namely Eson the Searcher, one of the most dynamic-looking Celestials]].
* Ronan handily defeating Drax on Knowhere.
* Quill and Rocket using unarmed mining pods to fight Ronan's necrocrafts. At one point, [[spoiler:Peter tears his way into a necrocraft using the pod and then using its arms, proceeds to use the guns of the ship that he's inside of]].
* Quill saving both [[spoiler:Gamora and himself from dying in the cold void of space]] with some very quick thinking.
* Ronan [[spoiler:grabbing the Infinity Stone]] with his bare hands and surviving the experience long enough, by himself, to [[spoiler:integrate it into his Universal Weapon ''and'' challenge Thanos to boot]].
* Quill's RousingSpeech to the 4 people who somehow got mixed up in his life. When Rocket points out that he's essentially asking them to die for his plan, at first Quill is distraught. However, one by one, they join Quill standing up, showing they're the TrueCompanions they were destined to be at last, the team that they need to be to defeat Ronan.
* The Ravagers' incredibly flashy and highly effective [[spoiler:smokescreen]].
* Drax [[spoiler:blasting Nebula with his gun (non-fatally), after she called Gamora a stupid traitor.]]
** Nebula [[spoiler: rebuilding her-self after being blasted is equal parts {{Squick}}, NightmareFuel, and Awesome.]]
* Quill, Drax, Gamora, and Groot fighting their way through the Dark Aster.
* Groot [[spoiler:sticking his arm through a whole line of Ronan's goons, then slamming them into the other goons, and then repeatedly slamming the ones still on his arm.]] He then turns to Quill and Drax and flashes a grin.
* [[spoiler:Nebula's escape]].
* The whole final showdown, including Drax and Rocket [[spoiler:destroying Ronan's hammer, letting Quill grab the stone, with him nearly being destroyed, until Gamora, Drax, and Rocket (who is grabbing onto one of Groot's twigs) join him together.]] And then, we hear this exchange:
-->'''Ronan:''' You're mortal! [[ThisCannotBe How?!]]\\
'''Quill:''' You said it yourself, [[ThisIsForEmphasisBitch bitch]]. We're the Guardians of the Galaxy.\\
[[spoiler:(''Quill opens his hand and directs the stone's energy toward Ronan, blowing the villain to smithereens.'')]]
** It really cannot be understated just how awesome [[spoiler:the Guardians' sharing of the Stone's power is. It's the epitome of ThePowerOfFriendship as a cliché, blown way out of cinematic proportion, and incredibly awe-inspiring for it.]]
* [[spoiler: A grounded Yondu vs a Sakaaran platoon with a necrocraft, poor suckers never stood a chance.]]
** Also counts as a follow up to his offscreen moment just before. [[spoiler: Surviving a crash landing that literally annihilates his ship into pieces and he didn't have any sort of escape pod since we see him standing ''in'' the wreckage.]]
* [[spoiler: Groot's building a shelter for the rest of the team inside Ronan's crashing ship, essentially sacrificing himself in the process]].
-->'''Groot:''' [[spoiler:We are Groot.]]
* Gamora [[spoiler: beating Nebula, at least for now.]]
* Thanos' first speaking scenes. [[JoshBrolin He]] [[ChewingTheScenery makes]] [[LargeHam every]] [[BiggerBad second]] [[EvilSoundsDeep count.]]
** The shot of Thanos smiling upon his throne, a familiar image for comic-book readers.
* For decades, fans of [[spoiler:Howard the Duck]] were positive that there was no chance in hell that they would ever see a worthy portrayal of the character on the big screen. TheStinger of this film proves them wrong.
** It's also been suggested that this scene represents something of a BadassBoast by Marvel, to wit: [[spoiler:the company did so poorly with films based on its properties until the turn of the century that for quite a while the 1986 ''Howard'' film was their best known one, with its status as ''the'' iconic bad comic book adaptation until it was dethroned by ''BatmanAndRobin''. After so long as a source of shame for Marvel, with the monstrous success of the MCU they now get to say "We're so big that we could even do ''this'' if we wanted."]]
* Drax: "Fingers on throat means DEATH!"
* Rocket charging at Ronan after [[spoiler:Groot's death.]] He was initially terrified of the Infinity Stone alone and when Ronan got his hands on it his plan was to literally get as far away as possible. After [[spoiler:Groot's sacrifice]] though Rocket is willing to attack Ronan head on and unarmed. Granted it fails, but it was cool to see someone not cowering in terror of Ronan once he had reached the surface.
* Hundreds of Nova Corps pilots interlock their sky flyers to create a flying barricade to try and slow the Dark Aster down.
** Shortly before that, the Ravagers are about to be overwhelmed by Ronan's forces and these hundreds of Nova Corps pilots perform one of the best damn looking GunshipRescue / TheCavalry / BigDamnHeroes trope ever. With epic music of course!
* Rocket and the Ravagers swoop in low on the Xandarian surface to protect fleeing civilians so that the Nova Corps can focus on slowing down Ronan. A misanthropic bounty hunter and a bunch of space pirates are unhesitatingly fighting to the death to save civilian lives on the capitol planet of the Lawful Good space empire that was trying to arrest them all last week.
* With the Nova Corps out of the fight and the Ravagers slowly but surely losing the fight to protect Xandar, Rocket performs a kamikaze attack on the ''Dark Aster'' to end things once and for all.
** And as Rocket's ship plows through the ''Dark Aster's'' bridge, Peter knocks Groot, a solid tree creature that is much bigger and heavier than he is, out of the way and to safety.
* One for the villain: on three successive occasions, Quill - then Rocket - then the surface of Xandar make very creditable attempts to reduce Ronan to a greasy stain. How invulnerable ''is'' this guy? [[spoiler: Very, but not Infinitely. Hint, hint.]]
----
!!Meta:
* Let's just start with the fact that Marvel had the guts to even ''try'' to make a film out of this property!
** Much of that Awesome comes from Nicole Perlman. In 2009 Marvel Studios hired her to do Research and Development, looking at some of the company's lesser known properties for the possibility of making later films from them. Much to her bosses' surprise, she selected the [=GotG=], one of Marvel's least known properties, deciding which five Guardians to use for the movie (including the raccoon and the tree!), and wrote a rough draft. The result? Nicole Perlman is now the first woman to get a screenplay credit in a movie from the MarvelCinematicUniverse, for a critically acclaimed, box-office smash that nobody outside of Marvel could've seen coming just a year earlier, a movie that wouldn't have been made at all without her initial input. That's one helluva an Awesome way to break a glass ceiling.
** Let's not forget to mention that when DC attempted their hand at the whole "superhero movie with aliens" thing in [[Film/GreenLantern 2011]], it was a critical and commercial failure. So for anyone to have ''any'' interest in this film is a testament to how much of an effect Marvel has on their audiences and how much trust people had in Marvel.
-->'''James Gunn''': If I had a penny for every time someone said making a Marvel movie with a talking raccoon was dumb and that Guardians was going to bomb, I’d probably have just about the amount of money Guardians has made so far.
* Before this movie came out, nobody expected it to get the critical praise that some of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe have attained. Once it came out, the movie received ''92%'' on RottenTomatoes from ''227'' reviews - which is amazingly '''higher''' than the critically-acclaimed film that preceded it, ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', and is thus far the second most highly-rated Marvel movie on the website together with Film/TheAvengers and just behind ''Film/IronMan1''.
* The movie was based on a franchise so obscure that many hardcore comic fans had never heard of it. People around the world went 'Huh?" when introduced to the concept and only got more confused at the thought that the movie would include a talking raccoon and a sentient tree and there was rampant speculation ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' would be Marvel's first proper flop. Then Marvel put together an amazingly cheeky promotional campaign to show that the project was all in good fun, drumming up significant excitement. And it worked, because:
** The film received extremely positive reviews that got moviegoers lining up at theaters.
** It far and away broke the record for an August[[note]]traditionally considered a slow time on the release calendar[[/note]] premiere. Worldwide, it made back most of its budget in its first weekend even before it opened in many international markets.
** The movie completely outstripped the previous major superhero release, ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan2'', with much better reviews and box office receipts. Domestically, it made more in three weeks than ''The Amazing Spider-Man 2'' was able to make in its '''entire run''' in the United States.
** It was knocked down to number two in the US box office by ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2014'' but reclaimed the top position two weeks later and continued to stay there.
** It eventually became the top grossing film in the US for 2014, beating out the equally acclaimed fellow [[MarvelCinematicUniverse MCU]] franchise member ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''.
** It even managed to out-gross ''Film/ManOfSteel'' domestically. Let me rephrase this, a bunch of C-List A-holes managed to '''outgross Superman'''.
* The film's ad campaign was gleefully cheesy and, more importantly, ''worked''. Marvel Studios really knows how to market lesser-known characters.
* The "Awesome Mix Vol. 1" album [[http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/20/us-music-guardiansofthegalaxy-charts-idUSKBN0GK26C20140820 has topped the Billboard charts for two weeks]]. Keep in mind that this is a soundtrack comprised entirely of 60s and 70s hits, making such a splash because of how the music was used in the film.
* The movie earned [[http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/08/30/al-pacino-on-the-way-hollywood-works-and-the-guardians-of-the-galaxy/ praise]] from living legend Creator/AlPacino himself.
-->"I just saw Guardians Of The Galaxy… It was amazing. I did find it the most entertaining, inventive, beautiful film."