Film / Guardians of the Galaxy
Come and get your love. note 
Rocket: What are you, some saint all of a sudden? What has the galaxy ever done for you? Why would you want to save it?
Peter: 'Cause I'm one of the idiots who lives in it!

Guardians of the Galaxy is the 2014 movie adaptation of the Guardians of the Galaxy comic series and the tenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was directed by James Gunn of Slither and Super fame.

Far off, in the depths of the Milky Way, the expansionist Kree Empire has reluctantly made peace with the planet Xandar. But one of the most vicious and powerful Kree warlords, Ronan the Accuser, still has vengeance on his mind. He goes behind his government's back and strikes a pact with one of the most dreaded beings in the galaxy, Thanos the Mad Titan. In exchange for a certain ancient relic, the Mad Titan will grant Ronan's one wish: genocide.

However, the relic has already been looted from its hiding place by Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a.k.a. "Star-Lord", an outlaw and thief abducted from Earth as a child. This Earthling knows nothing of the relic's nature — he's been raised by Space Pirates and simply wants to sell the artifact off. He goes behind the back of the pirate chief Yondu and takes the relic to Xandar, where he's set upon by the bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) and Thanos's pet assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana). After this Ragtag Band of Misfits ends up flung into a maximum security prison with Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), their mutual self-interest pits them against the Nova Corps, the Ravagers, and Ronan's relentless pursuit... and unexpectedly turns them into saviors.

Karen Gillan and Lee Pace portray the film's villains, Nebula and Ronan the Accuser; Glenn Close portrays Nova Prime Rael, the head of the Nova Corps; John C. Reilly plays Nova officer Rhomann Dey; Benicio Del Toro portrays The Collector; Djimon Hounsou plays Korath, Michael Rooker plays Yondu and Ophelia Lovibond portrays the Collector's assistant.

Marvel preemptively announced a 2017 sequel at Comic-Con, and later moved its release date up from July, 2017, to May, 2017, in order to take full advantage of the summer boom box offices normally see. The sequel is officially titled Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The Guardians of the Galaxy will also appear in Avengers: Infinity War in 2018 and 2019.

Character tropes go on to the Characters Sheet.

Guardians of the Galaxy provides examples of:

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    Tropes A to C 
  • 20% More Awesome: Peter claims to have "12% of a plan".
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Arrow, in this case — when faced with twenty-odd enemies, Yondu controls it by whistling and starts slaughtering them. The weapon passes through each body, and an armored vehicle, without slowing whatsoever.
  • Ace Pilot: Both Rocket and Quill are very good pilots. Gamora, Nebula and Yondu fit this too, but not quite to the same extent.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene:
    • The film opens with a genuinely moving sequence before descending into the madness that is the final product.
    • Later on, the movie has a couple of quiet moments between Quill and Gamora.
    • The Guardians board the Dark Aster during the middle of an intense aerial battle and enter a dark section. The action pauses for a moment as we're treated to a scene where Groot releases bioluminescent seed pods to light the way. The soundtrack becomes much more melodious as the other Guardians look on in wonder.
  • Action Girl: Gamora, a soldier and assassin. And her sister Nebula.
  • Act of True Love: After the Great Escape from the Kyln, when Gamora's pod is blown apart by Nebula and she floats motionless in space, Quill decides to save her, even if it costs his life.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: After a whole movie of chasing Peter determined to get the orb he stole, Yondu can't help but grin when he receives what he thought was the orb holding the Stone, but turns out to just have a Troll doll inside. The movie establishes that Yondu utterly loves quirky little figurines.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Nova officer Garthaan Saal is a heroic, if arrogant, member of the corps in the movie. In the comics, he went crazy and became a supervillain.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Though he eventually learns the error of his ways, Star-Lord starts off as a self-serving outlaw and a bit of an asshole. This is in contrast to his comic counterpart, who was a seasoned cosmic superhero long before joining the Guardians.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Both of Gamora's costumes are significantly less Stripperiffic than what she usually wears in the comics.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • While Ronan the Accuser has never been the nicest guy in the main Marvel comics 'verse, in his role as Supreme Accuser of the Kree Empire he was a Knight Templar. And after "Annihilation" he's on friendly terms with Star-Lord. Here he's a renegade who's collecting the Infinity Stones for Thanos and is fanatically eager to commit genocide on the Xandarians. His actor compares him to Osama bin Laden.
    • Yondu is more of an Anti-Villain since he does end up helping the team against Ronan and saved Quill's life as a boy, but he is still a thief and quick to kill anyone who double crosses him. On the original team, he was not only a heroic Noble Savage but transitioned into a Warrior Monk, believing himself to be the last of his kind and determined to keep his people's traditions alive.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The Nova Corps are depicted as a generic Red Shirt Army rather than an organization of Flying Brick Space Police.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The movie contains elements from the classic comic series and the more recent series:
    • The team roster is taken from the current series, but Peter Quill is raised by Yondu, who was a member of the original team from the '60s.
    • Ronan works under Thanos, much like the Ultimate Marvel version of the character.
    • Movie Drax is a blend of the original, the '90s era and the modern versions of the comic-book Drax.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • In the comics, Drax was originally a human named Arthur Douglas who was transformed into Drax The Destroyer after being fatally wounded by Thanos. In the movie, he's an alien and Drax is his real name.
    • The same line also reveals that his daughter (Moondragon) isn't named Heather.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In the comics, the death of Drax's family was an atrocity committed by Thanos: the film makes Ronan directly responsible and relegates Thanos to The Chessmaster behind the crime. By the end of the film, Drax has decided that he won't be really satisfied until the Greater-Scope Villain is dead too.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Drax is an alien in the movie, but he was a human named Arthur Douglas in the comics.
  • Adrenaline Time: Used during the Prison Riot, e.g. when Drax throws Rocket a gun and later when the team fights Korath and his minions onboard the Dark Aster.
  • Affably Evil: Yondu pursues Quill and the Orb for three-quarters of the film, before being convinced to ally against Ronan, but he is more of a comedic menace than a real threat.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier:
    • The Ravagers have at least two carriers to resupply their raider ships.
    • Ronan's Dark Aster is the launching platform for hundreds of Necrocraft fighters.
  • The Alcatraz: The Guardians spend some time imprisoned in The Kyln space prison and have to escape. Also counts as a Hellhole Prison, seeing as the correction officers who run the place couldn't care less if an inmate is injured or even killed by another.
    Rocket: They call the Kyln the stomach of the prison system. No matter how good you are going in, you come out pretty frickin' bad.
  • Alien Abduction: The movie begins with Peter Quill being abducted from Earth via Tractor Beam. He was actually supposed to be delivered to his father, but Yondu decided to rear him instead.
  • Alien Blood: The Xandarians look human but have blue blood.
  • Alien Sky: Morag, the abandoned planet Quill is exploring near the beginning, is shown with two sister-planets or large moons. Xandar, the planet defended in the climax, has two suns (and a more distant companion star) although they're only visible in a couple of shots.
  • Aliens Speaking English:
    • Quill's translator implant in his neck allows him and the audience by proxy to hear all the aliens around him as speaking English. This is a case of Freeze-Frame Bonus as it's only shown briefly on screen during his arrest.
  • Almost Kiss: Gamora and Quill. It's a textbook case in the actual movie. Although instead of pulling away, or slapping him, she pulls a knife on him.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: In addition to the typical Caucasian pinkish-brown, Xandarians also come in various warm colors, ranging from yellow to pink. This may be a Shout-Out to the comics where, after the Xandarian empire was nearly wiped out and then re-established, they began taking in other refugees from planetary disasters, making the new empire and the Nova Corps a Melting Pot of various alien races.
  • AM/FM Characterization: Peter's Walkman does a lot of work characterizing him:
    • The fact that he even has a Walkman in a Space Opera setting helps mark him as a child of the Eighties. The selection of music he has shows how he still prizes the memories of his late mother, as they're her favorite songs when she grew up, most of the songs being older than Quill himself.
    • His first scene where he dances away to "Come and Get Your Love" in an abandoned ruin while flippantly fighting off aggressive vermin demonstrates that he (and the movie as a whole) is kind of irreverent, to say the least. (The trailer used "Hooked on a Feeling" to the same effect.)
  • And Starring: The film's promotional materials had "With Vin Diesel as Groot and Bradley Cooper as Rocket". During the film's actual opening billboard, they added "With John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime and Benicio del Toro as The Collector".
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the conclusion, the newly christened Guardians set off into space to do not "something good" or "something bad", but "a bit of both", while I Want You Back by the Jackson 5 plays in the background. The screen then cuts to "The Guardians of the Galaxy will return".
  • Angrish: Rocket is eager to ditch the Infinity Stone and haul tail to the other side of the universe, and is none too happy when Groot decides to help Drax, forcing Rocket to either risk his life playing hero or abandon his one friend.
  • Annoying Laugh: Rocket, after he hears Star-Lord's "plan".
    Rocket: That is the most real, authentic, hysterical laugh of my entire life, because that is not a plan!
  • Answer Cut:
    • Early on, Yondu comments "What we do need to worry about is who else out there wants that Orb!" — cut to an Establishing Shot of the Dark Aster, introducing the Big Bad Ronan.
    • Also involving Yondu, as he's interrogating the Broker for who wants the Orb, he asks "Now, who again is this buyer of yours?" Cut to the Collector scolding his assistant for slacking off when he has a certain quintet coming over to visit.
    • At Knowhere, while waiting for the Collector, Drax says, "This is no respectable establishment! What do you expect us to do while we wait?" Cut to Drax, Rocket, and Groot drinking and placing bets on small lizard creatures that are being chased and eaten by a larger alien.
  • Anti-Hero: The so-called "Guardians" are (in Star-Lord's own words) "a thief, two thugs, an assassin, and a maniac". As Karen Gillan says, they're "good guys within the bad guys".
  • Anti-Hero Team: The Guardians are all convicted criminals, guilty of a whole plethora of illegal activities, including murder, theft, assault, and Illegal Manipulation of a Gramosian Duchess. The start of the film even involves the lot of them being arrested.
  • Appropriated Appellation:
    • The name "Guardians of the Galaxy" comes from an insult by the villain, Ronan, after he's kicked the crap out of the heroes. Peter decides to keep it.
      Peter: You said it yourself, bitch. We're the Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • It's revealed at the end, as Peter reads his mother's last letter to him, that "Star-Lord" was her nickname for him; so Quill's "outlaw name" could fall under this trope as well.
  • Arc Symbol: The Take My Hand gesture. First it's about Peter refusing to hold his mom's hand while she died and then eagerly accepting Gamora's at the end, because he sees it as his mom doing the same.
  • Arc Welding: Despite being a Breather Episode that doesn't even mention any of the other MCU Films, this movie does an amazing amount of World Building by introducing Celestials and giving the MacGuffins from previous movies more back story. We are given more info on Thanos who had only been shown in the stinger for The Avengers, and was implied to be the backer behind Loki. The Yggdrasil tree's nebula that connects the Nine Realms can also be seen in many shots of space. All together this makes the movie one of the more important ones for the overall MCU story line. Lady Sif and Volstagg also delivered the Aether to the Collector at the end on Thor: The Dark World, showing that Asgardians travel to this part of the universe. This continues after the fact, with Thor showing some general knowledge of the events of the film in Avengers: Age of Ultron though everyone else on Earth remains largely clueless.
  • Arc Words: "Take/Hold my hand". It's Peter Quill's character arc in a nutshell.
  • Armor Is Useless: Yondu's extremely sharp arrow tears through an armored tank like tissue paper.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: Yondu and his motley horde of Ravagers, an entire fleet of spaceships with only one rule: steal from everybody. In the climax of the film, Peter manages to persuade Yondu to lead them into battle against Ronan.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • The Nova Corps arrest Rocket and Groot, throw them into an awful prison, apparently without trial, and leave them at the mercy of the other prisoners and guards who don't care if they live or die... but worse than that, they scrunch up Rocket's pants into a little ball, whereas they fold Quill's. That's just rude.
    • Quill and Rocket's rap sheets when they are being booked also demonstrate this.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Infinity Stone; emphasis on "doom" here because it can depopulate a planet on contact with the ground.
  • Artistic Licence Biology: As seen in Alien Blood, Xandarian blood is blue — and yet they're indistinguishable from humans, when by all rights they should look like the Kree.
  • Ass in Ambassador: The Kree ambassador very undiplomatically refuses to denounce Ronan's terrorist actions. Nova Prime even calls him a prick as soon as the transmission is ended.
  • As You Know:
    • Drax, the only member of the crew not included in the line-up where the Nova Corps reads off their rap sheets, introduces himself this way, asking the prisoners about to kill Gamora if they know his name and why they call him "the Destroyer."
    • At the end, Yondu's right hand adds a detail to his line to his boss that would be redundant in-universe, but works as an info-dump for the audience: "It's probably good we didn't deliver him to his dad like we was hired to do."
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Rocket looks like a cute little Funny Animal, but he's a hard-core bounty hunter with a big mean streak.
    • Groot is the opposite: he looks imposing (and when angered is exceptionally formidable), but regularly shows his gentle side (often to Rocket's frustration).
  • Badass Boast: Rocket gets most of them.
    • When Quill calls Rocket a raccoon, and says "that's what you are."
      Rocket: Ain't no thing like me, 'cept me.
    • Rocket gives another one to all of the prisoners in the Kyln after his buddy Groot reduces a massive, bullying convict to a sniveling heap.
      Rocket: Let's make something clear. This one here's our booty! You want to get to him!? You go through us! Or... more accurately... we go through you.
    • Here's another gem when Rocket tries to capture Quill's bounty.
      Rocket: I live for the simple things, like how much this is gonna hurt.
    • Groot's Catch-Phrase becomes this during the prison break:
      Groot: I...AM...GROOT!!!
    • Ronan gets a good one as he places the Infinity Stone in the Universal Weapon:
      Ronan: I will unfurl one thousand years of Kree justice on Xandar, and burn it to its core! And then, Thanos... I am coming for you.
  • Badass Baritone: Groot has a deep voice and he's the nicest person in the movie.
  • Badass Crew: The Guardians include an assassin, a brawler, two bounty hunters, and a Ravager.
  • Badass Family: Of the adoptive variety. Yondu is the leader of the Ravagers and has no problem taking down two dozen mooks with a single remote-controlled arrow; Peter has obviously been trained by his adoptive father to use cunning, wits, and special gadgets in order to survive.
  • Badass Grandpa: Yondu is old, but clearly The Dreaded — that's how you stay in charge of Ravagers. He wipes out an entire Sakaaran patrol when he's threatened.
  • Badass Longcoat: Peter wears a classic example during the opening sequence, but swaps it later in favor of a leather jacket. Yondu and many of the Ravagers wear them as well. In fact, this may be the best collection of Badass Long Coats since Serenity.
  • Badass Normal: Of the entire team, Star-Lord looks to be the only one without any special powers or cybernetic enhancements, and instead relies on his cunning, smarts, and array of gadgets to survive. Although the scan when he's arrested does state he has one cybernetic enhancement, in the form of a translation device. This is probably standard in space.
  • Bad to the Bone: They pull off this one with "Cherry Bomb" by The Runaways.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: Rocket attempts to have Groot put Star-Lord in a bag. Groot mistakenly goes after Gamora. By the time Groot gets it right, the lot of them have been captured by the Nova Corps.
  • The Bait: Quill convinces Drax and the other inmates to spare Gamora, saying that if she's alive, Ronan — the guy Drax really wants — will eventually come for her. (That's why Drax comes with them too; he decides to stay by Gamora until he finds Ronan.)
  • Bait and Switch: Some dialogue in Yondu's last confrontation with Peter hints that Yondu may be Peter's father. It turns out a few minutes later that he's not: he's just an acquaintance of "that jackass".
  • Bald of Awesome: Drax the Destroyer. No hair upon his head, and none-the-less badass for it.
  • Bald of Evil: Nebula has no hair, and is pretty darn evil.
  • Bald Women:
    • Peter's mother (probably due to chemotherapy, not the best reason to have the trope).
    • Nebula is hairless. This one may be for the creepy factor.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: Seen in a bar on Knowhere. It involves betting on multiple small alien lizards that get chased and eaten by a larger alien, the last small lizard standing wins.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • Downplayed; Gamora gets a few scrapes and scratches, but on the other hand, she isn't marred nearly as much as logic says she should be in all this. She has a healing factor in the comics and this regenerative ability is mentioned in her rapsheet so that might explain a bit.
    • Nebula's is shown onscreen; presumably Thanos picks his agents ("daughters") for durability.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: The relationship between Star-Lord and Gamora starts out with them trying to kill each other. Then they start grooving to '80s music and then she puts a knife to his neck for attempting to seduce her.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Peter Quill regards his old Walkman as sacred. Do not touch it. In the opening, we find out that Walkman contained a mixtape his late mother made for him.
    • Rocket has a short fuse in many ways. However, if you have a particular desire to be shot in the head, you could refer to him as "vermin" or "rodent" or imply that he's a non-sentient animal or lesser being
    • Drax has a fairly straightforward berserk button: Ronan, the villain.
  • Best Served Cold: Drax's only remaining purpose in life to avenge the murders of his family. Even at the end, after Ronan is dead, he realizes that Ronan was a pawn of the one truly responsible, and now seeks revenge against Thanos.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: The film is incredibly self-aware and frequently calls attention to the various tropes that are now standard to comic book films.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The big, dopey, barely-verbal nice one. He is Groot.
  • BFG:
    • They're pretty normal-sized to humans, but any gun that Rocket carries is automatically going to be huge for him. You have no idea how happy that makes him. His own self-designed gun even reaches Liefeldian proportions in design.
    • The Hadron Enforcer has to be carried in two hands and looks like a black powder cannon.
    • During the prison escape, our anti-heroes make it to the watchtower which is armored against the flying gunbots, only for a squad to turn up with bazooka-like weapons.
  • Big Bad: Ronan. While he's technically in service to Thanos, the latter barely shows up, and Ronan ultimately decides to betray him once he gets the Infinity Stone.
  • The Big Board: Nova Corps uses a huge holographic board for strategics.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Guardians and the Ravagers step up to protect Xandar before the Nova Corps can even gear up to face the threat. Rocket gets his own special moment protecting a mother and daughter who are later revealed to be Rhomann Dey's wife and child.
  • Big Good: Nova Prime Rael, the leader of the Nova Corps.
  • The Big Guy: You've got two in the team. Drax would be the hulking brute on most teams, but Groot is bigger and can grow in size like his comic counterpart.
  • Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: Groot performs a Heroic Sacrifice to shield the other members from the Dark Aster's crash-landing.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Groot and Rocket, respectively. Groot is a giant (around ten feet tall or so) while Rocket stands about two and a half feet tall.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Peter gets an especially harrowing one after his mother's death.
    • Gamora gets a few: when Nebula seems to fall to her death and when Quill is about to grab the Infinity Stone.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Rocket and Groot understand each other well enough. Rocket acts as a sort of Translator Buddy: he'll mimic what Groot just said, and then retort.
    Groot: I am Groot.
    Rocket: So what? "It's better than eleven percent"?! What's that got to do with anything?!
  • Binary Suns: Actually a trinary. The Xandarian system has two main-sequence stars and a distant red dwarf star.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Groot expels glowing seed pods that light up a darkened chamber at one point.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Groot is a sentient plant who talks only in Pokémon Speak and can spontaneously grow his limbs, extend spines or vines from his body, or release glowing spores. Still-living fragments of Groot can even grow into a new Groot with fertile soil and a little time.
  • Black and Gray Morality: There's no doubt the baddies are on the side of evil since Thanos is their big boss. However, the "good guys" have done morally questionable things and some of the Nova Corps police are jerks.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: A variation; Drax and Rocket use the BFG to blast the Infinity Stone out of Ronan's Universal Weapon, since shooting Ronan directly didn't work.
  • Blood Bath: Ronan is shown in the beginning to be emerging from a pool of dark blue liquid, which is later refilled by the blood spilling out of the Nova Corps member he kills.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Several characters fall prey to this (Peter is the only Terran around, after all), but Drax is especially bad. They tend to go over his head.
  • Body Horror:
  • Boldly Coming: If Quill is to be believed, he hasn't let the fact that he's the only Earth-human around prevent him having a full and satisfying sex life. One of his flings is sleeping in his ship when he finds the Infinity Stone.
  • Book Ends: Peter taking the hand ,of the person in the moment of trust. The former event is a Tearjerker, but the latter event is for the sake of survival.
  • Bounty Hunter: Rocket and Groot are introduced as such as they scan the pedestrians on Xandar for offenders.
  • Breather Episode: Directly following Captain America: The Winter Soldier's Wham Episode and preceding the Darker and Edgier Avengers: Age of Ultron, this one is a straightforward Space Opera and one of the most humorous and silly films in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Brick Joke:
    • An enemy finally identifies Peter as 'Star-Lord' during the climactic battle. Peter seems thrilled to have his identity validated in this way.
      Korath: Star-Lord.
      Quill: Finally!
    • While visiting the Broker on Xandar, Yondu examines some trinkets and imagines lining them up on his dashboard (and indeed, later we see the figures lined on the dashboard of his ship, and him recovering them when his ship crashes). After the Ravagers help save Xandar, his prize is not the valuable (but insanely dangerous) Infinity Stone: the containment orb holds a Troll doll. He seems to genuinely enjoy it.
    • Rocket claims there's one more thing needed to complete the plan to take down Ronan... that guy's eye!
    • One for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole when Peter talks about having "12% of a plan," referencing Tony Stark and Pepper Potts' "12% of a moment" in The Avengers.
  • The Bridge: The Dark Aster has an incredibly dark and creepy "evil temple" version, with a thronelike command chair, and a row of Mooks controlling the ship using glowing energy balls.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: On seeing exposition on what the Infinity Stones can do (e.g. scorching entire planets) Quill says he can feel a little pee coming on.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center:
    • Rocket is a fluffy little ball of irritability, hatefulness and bloodlust. The apparent death of Groot reduces him to sobbing like a small child.
      Rocket: I called him an idiot...
    • Drax really misses his family and it becomes clear that his belligerence is the only thing keeping him up.
  • Brutal Honesty: Rocket, when he starts mocking Drax for revealing their location to Ronan.
    Rocket: Oh, "boo-hoo-hoo, my wife and child are dead."
    Groot: [gasps]
    Rocket: Oh I don't care if it's mean! Everybody's got dead people! That's no excuse to get everybody else dead along the way!
  • The Brute: Korath the Pursuer is an enforcer for Ronan. He goes out with some mooks to accomplish objectives, like the stone at the start.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Ronan to Drax. Later subverted, as Ronan does recall every gruesome detail. He just needed his memory jogged.
    Ronan: I don't recall killing your family. I doubt I will remember killing you, either.
  • Butt-Monkey: Peter Quill gets his ass kicked quite a bit here.
  • Cain and Abel: Nebula is the Cain to Gamora's Abel but it's played with; Gamora shows genuine affection for Nebula and spends a bit of their every confrontation trying to get Nebula to side with her. Nebula claims that of their many "siblings" she hates Gamora the least.
  • Call-Back: The appearance of the Tesseract and the Aether as Infinity Stones.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Drax has a problem with metaphors.
    Drax: Do not ever call me a thesaurus!
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Quill, once he's finally had it with Yondu bringing up how he kept the Ravagers from devouring him as a child for years on end (see I'm a Humanitarian for the quote).
  • The Cameo: Lots.
    • Howard the Duck shows up in in The Stinger, voiced by Seth Green.
    • Lloyd Kaufman is an inmate in a blink-and-you'll miss it cameo (he's the conspicuously old guy leaning on the railing).
    • Stan Lee pops up as a Xandarian apparently trying to pick up a lady.
    • Nathan Fillion is the voice of the big alien inmate that Groot defeats. His presence also counts as a bit of an in-joke given the spiritual similarities between this movie and Fillion's Firefly.
    • Rob Zombie "appears" as the voice of the Ravager Navigator.
  • Camp Straight: The Collector shows traits of a feminine side.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor:
    • Rocket's tongue is loosened considerably when he's had a few; he loses his Deadpan Snarker attitude and turns downright mean when insulted at such times. It also loosens his unshakable façade as he reveals both his extensive mental scars (being repeatedly vivisected and reconstructed has to have been immensely traumatic) and his belief that most people see him as some grotesque, unnatural freak. Justified: with his much smaller body mass, he'll be affected harder and faster by alcohol than humanoids.
    • Drax outdoes Rocket in drunk stupidity: he drunk-calls Ronan to tell him where they are, and gets his ass kicked.
  • The Captain: Peter "Star-Lord" Quill becomes this. At the film's start, he is the owner and pilot of the Cool Starship Milano, but he has no crew per se. By the end, the Guardians have coalesced into an out-and-out Badass Crew, tacitly approved Quill as their leader, and adopted the Milano as their base of operations.
  • Captain Obvious: Rocket's "You're! Making! Me! Beat! Up! Grass!"
  • The Cavalry: During the climactic battle, the Nova Corps arrives to assist the Guardians and the Ravagers to stop Ronan. Granted, it shouldn't have been a surprise, since they were fighting to protect the Nova Corps' homeworld.
  • Character Development: A lot, fitting the mold for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Hadron Enforcer is used twice against Ronan.
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • Peter's reference to Kevin Bacon in Footloose is repeated by Gamora during the film's climax.
    • Peter's "finger to the throat" gag to Drax.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Quill's mix tape comes in handy when he has to distract Ronan.
    • The Collector mentions how a group of aliens once tried to share the power of the Infinity Stone. Guess what happens near the very end of the film? The Collector also mentions that that group of aliens eventually succumbed to the power anyway. Good thing the Guardians only did it for a few seconds before sealing the Infinity Gem.
    • Several times during the film, Yondu threatens someone with a nasty-looking weapon, a single arrow that he controls by whistling. He doesn't actually use it and reveal (to the viewers) exactly how it works until the climax, when he is able to use it to impale about ''two-dozen'' of Ronan's Mooks and destroy one of their fighter ships in one throw, and then catch it again.
    • The Treasure Troll figure shows up during Quill's escape sequence in the beginning, floating up by the camera when the ship was falling.
  • Chekhov's News: The news report about the riots in the Kree Empire that Bereet listens to aboard the Milano.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Groot's regenerative abilities come in handy after his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Thanos has a severe inverted case of this going on in this film: Ronan makes a deal with Thanos, and Thanos sends Nebula and Gamora to keep an eye on him and make sure he stays true to it. That's fine, except that Gamora hates all of them and wants to get away from all of them, while Ronan decides to double-cross Thanos and Nebula decides to go along with him on it on the condition that Ronan use the Infinity Gem to kill Thanos.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Quill uses a pair of jet boots that allow him to fly, as well as a helmet that provides oxygen and life support.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Groot, being a sentient tree, is expected to be a little less-than-rational.
    • Drax, on the other hand, is shaping up to be the antithesis of the brooding, revenge-driven psychopath, and instead is a ditzy revenge-driven psychopath.
  • Cold Opening: The first scene, in which Peter gets abducted by aliens immediately after seeing his mother die, happens even before the Marvel Studios Vanity Plate.
  • Collapsible Helmet: Quill's breathing mask/helmet/AR goggles. As a rogue scavenger, having a quickly-deployable multi-purpose hazmat mask presumably comes in handy rather a lot — it certainly does more than once in the film.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Happens frequently with Drax, due to his ignorance of the concept of metaphors.
    • Happens with Rhomann Dey: when delivering Peter's warning of Ronan's invasion, concluding with Peter's admission of being an "A-hole" but also stating that he is not "100% a dick", Nova Prime asks "do you believe him?". Rhomann replies that he does not believe that anyone is 100% a dick.
    • Another one occurs near the end of the movie, when Rocket and Drax ask Rhomann about how far they can push their now-expunged criminal records. "What if someone does something irksome, and I decide to remove his spine?" And Rocket asks, rather insistently, whether it really counts as theft if he wants the object more than its rightful owner does.
    • When planning a prison break, Rocket suggests that Gamora use the fact that a number of the male prisoners find her attractive to broker a "trade" of some sort for an item he needs. Her reply of "You must be joking." is answered with "No, I really heard they find you attractive."
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Regularly Played for Laughs.
    • The only one who uses the superhero name Peter Quill made for himself, "Star-Lord", is him — everyone else is distinctly unimpressed. Quill is delighted when Korath refers to him by the name towards the end.
      Rhomann: Peter Jason Quill. Also known as "Star-Lord."
      Nova Corps Officer: Who calls him that?
      Rhomann: Himself, mostly.
    • The movie does it even better, when Quill tries to explain the distinction between a code name and an outlaw name.
      Rhomann: Hey! If it isn't "Star-Prince".
      Quill: Star-Lord.
      Rhomann: Sorry; "Lord". [to his partner] I picked this guy up a while back for petty theft. He's got a code name!
      Quill: Come on, man, it's an outlaw name.
      Rhomann: Relax, pal. [sarcastically] It's cool to have a code name. It's not that weird.
    • His rap sheet has his alias as "Space Lord".
    • The team doesn't get the name Guardians of the Galaxy until the end, when Ronan mockingly dubs them such. They spend most of the film without a name.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: During the Prison Riot, a drone fires More Dakka style at Rocket but Groot is able to protect his mate with his wooden branches.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Collector's HQ is full of this: In the background, we see a Dark Elf in one of the cages, and a Chitauri in another.
    • When discussing the Infinity Stones, we briefly see holograms of the Tesseract from The Avengers and the Aether from Thor: The Dark World.
    • When six-year-old Star-Lord gets beamed up by Ravagers, the tractor beam uses the same "Aurora Borealis" color scheme as the Bifrost from the Thor movies.
    • We learn that touching the Orb is a bad idea. Touching the Infinity Stones were also a bad idea in Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor: The Dark World.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: As opposed to the conflicted but ultimately good guys of the prior Marvel movies, these guys start from the other end of the spectrum and work their way to becoming good guys.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • When his mother died, Peter Quill stumbled outside the hospital and was abducted by aliens within a minute. Subverted later, when an off-hand line by Yondu makes it clear that they had been hired to bring Quill to his father. They just thought it would be more fun to adopt him.
    • Peter and Thanos's forces show up to to take the orb at exactly the same time.
    • Groot and Rocket, and Gamora all are after Peter within minutes of each other.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Quill. He still has his father but Yondu prevented them from getting together. Yet.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: Justified, since Nova Prime orders the evacuation of Xandar's capital city as the battle commences. By the time the Dark Aster crashes into it the evacuation is mostly complete (and Rocket, who'd been covering the evacuation from his fighter, informed the rest of the team of this in an earlier scene).
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Twice.
    • When Gamora and Quill fight over the orb on Xandar, she overwhelms him, delivers a Pre-Mortem One-Liner and raises her knife to finish him off. In this moment Rocket comes flying in and pushes her away.
    • Again during the Prison Riot. A drone points its guns at Quill but before it can send some bullets his way, Drax jumps in and tears the drone apart.
  • Cool Helmet: Star-Lord, as always, can be seen sporting his distinctive helmet that collapses behind his ear and contains all sorts of scanning technology and a respirator.
  • Cool Starship:
    • The Milano. What makes it different from most starships is mostly the interior which contains various pop culture references to The '80s, including a tape deck. (The name is also a stealth '80s reference.)
    • Then there's the villain's ship, the three-kilometer long Dark Aster.
  • Corpsing:
    • In-universe example; Rocket is trying to convince the Guardians that they need a Ravager's bionic eye as part of the plan to stop Ronan from using the Infinity Stone to destroy Xandar, but they won't have any of it. Even while he's trying to convince the team he needs it for the setup, his voice cracks for a second and he can barely refrain from laughter.
    • While the Broker is trying to explain to Yondu why he can't discuss the details of the Orb or its buyer, Yondu keeps cutting him off by babbling nonsense. Kraglin (Yondu's right-hand man) struggles to keep a straight face at Yondu's antics until he lets out a blatant snigger.
  • Corrupt Cop: While most of the Nova Corps are decent people just doing their job, Rocket makes it clear that the Kyln is where the most corrupt of them go; he claims they couldn't care less what happens to the inmates, so long as nothing happens that they'll get in trouble for. (Like a prison break.) When Gamora is caught by a group of vengeful inmates, one of the guards tells the group to take her down to the showers because it'll take hours to get the blood out otherwise.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Collector. Gamora points out that the profitable mining operations that the Tivan Group is conducting to extract the organic materials from Knowhere are highly dangerous and highly illegal.
  • Covered in Scars:
    • Close-ups on Gamora show that her body has a lot of scar tissue.
    • Rocket's back is a mess of surgical scars.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison:
    • Drax misunderstanding Quill's body language is justified in that not everyone in the galaxy would be familiar with or aware of Earth customs. The "finger on the throat" gesture seems fairly universal (Rocket, Gamora, and a random thug all understand it), but other things are specific to Earth.
      Drax: Why would I put my finger on his throat?
    • Gamora falls victim to it too.
      Gamora: Who put the sticks in their butts? That is cruel.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Quill distracts Ronan while Rocket prepares a breaking into song and dance. Ronan is so bewildered by this that it actually works.
  • Credits Gag: "No raccoons or tree creatures were harmed during the making of this film."
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Quill is a bit of a goofball and doesn't always think things through, but he is extremely competent (and becomes even moreso over the course of the movie), a great pilot with extensive knowledge of ships, and very good at thinking on his feet — which helps, given that he's constantly getting himself into trouble. It's a running gag for Quill to pretend to be weaker and more compliant than he actually was, only to strike when his enemy's guard is down. This comes back in the climax as well.
  • Cry Cute: After two hours of being a violent, mean, and foul-mouthed Jerkass, Rocket finally becomes the adorable little raccoon he's meant to be as he tenderly holds the bundle of sticks that remains of Groot, and weeps like a vulnerable child.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Once Drax joins Groot in battling the Kyln guards — and then arms Rocket — things go in a Mook Horror Show direction.
    • A pretty one-sides battle towards the end of the Prison Riot. Quill gets into his suit and uses his powerful tazer gun against a couple of wardens who are equipped only with bats.
    • Drax's fight with an unarmed Ronan on Knowhere is completely one-sided. Drax is utterly beaten while Ronan doesn't break a sweat.
    • After his ship crashes, Yondu must face a regiment of soldiers backed up by an armored ship. He slaughters them all with contemptuous ease.
  • Cyborg:
    • Rocket Raccoon is an illegal experiment in cybernetics, and his cyborg parts are visible when he's not wearing clothes.
    • Nebula has a cybernetic eye and arm.
    • Korath has visible machinery sticking out of his head.
    • Yondu whistles to his Trick Arrow for our benefit — he's actually controlling it with the implant on top of his skull, which glows brightly when the arrow is active.

    Tropes D to J 
  • Dance Off: Subverted and Played for Laughs. Peter Quill challenges Ronan to a dance off at the film's climax. Ronan, being a hostile alien, has no idea what Quill is on about and regards the challenge with confusion. This doesn't stop Quill from continuing to dance until his people can attack.
  • Dare to Be Badass:
    • How Peter convinces his criminal cohorts to protect the MacGuffin from Nebula and Ronan.
      Peter: I look around this room, and you know what I see? Losers! [beat] I mean, like, folks who have lost stuff. And we have, man, we have; all of us. Our homes, our families, normal lives. And usually, life takes more than it gives, but not today. Today, it's given us something. It has given us a chance.
      Drax: To do what?
      Peter: To give a shit, for once. Not run away.
    • During the defense of Xandar, Denarian Saal tells Quill he advised against the Nova Corps trusting the Guardians — and then asks that they prove his assumptions wrong.
  • Dark Action Girl: Nebula, a deadly female assassin.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All of the party members (except, possibly, Groot) seem to have lived through some dark times. Rocket was experimented on, Gamora was tortured by Ronan, who also killed Drax's wife and daughter, Quill's mother died young and then he was abducted/adopted by Yondu's gang.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Ronan orders his mooks to "cleanse" the Kyln prison before the Nova Corps can arrive. He also describes the Xandarians and their culture as a disease on Xandar that he intends to "cure."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Peter and Gamora are good contenders, but Rocket grabs the trophy with both paws and runs off with it (because he wanted it more than they did).
    Rocket: Ah, what the hell? I don't got that long a lifespan anyway.
  • Death by Adaptation: Big Bad Ronan and the Collector's assistant, Carina, both die in the film. In the original Marvel comics, they're still very much alive (and Ronan is even the current Kree Emperor, while Carina isn't merely the Collector's assistant but his daughter).
  • Death Glare: The Guardians minus Groot at Ronan after Peter takes the Infinity Stone and the others connect to him.
  • Defiant to the End: The captive Xandarian tells Ronan that he will never rule Xandar before having his head crushed with a hammer.
  • Demolitions Expert: Rocket can build super-weapons out of crap Quill just has lying around, whether this is warranted or not. It's okay: he was going to put it in a box.
    Rocket: That's for if things get really hardcore... or if you wanna blow up moons.
    Gamora: No one's blowing up moons!
    Rocket: You just wanna suck the joy out of everything.
  • Demoted to Extra: Bereet, who was a fairly important supporting character in the Incredible Hulk comic book for a while, makes a cameo appearance in the beginning of the movie. Aside from the name and the pink skin, there's nothing left of the original character; her role in the movie is reduced to being Quill's Girl of the Week.
  • Description Cut: Quill thanks Groot for actually having a clue unlike the rest of the party. Cut to close-up on Groot gnawing a shoot off his forearm, which prompts Quill to go into Facepalm mode.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Gamora versus Nebula is a double subversion. It's set up on the Dark Aster complete with the two trash-talking. Then Drax just shoots her with a bazooka and moves on. However, Nebula has a Healing Factor and the fight goes on as planned.
  • Desperate Object Catch: The Infinity Stone that must not touch the ground of Xandar. After it gets blown from Ronan's warhammer, both Ronan and Quill dive for the stone in dramatic Bullet Time fashion while Gamora performs a Slow No. Guess who catches the gem.
  • Diegetic Switch: Several scenes include music from Quill's cassette-tape player, which then moves into the soundtrack of the film. The reverse (Left the Background Music On) also happens.
  • Dirty Old Man: Stan Lee is credited as the "Xandarian Ladies' Man" in the credits. This is backed by Rocket's commentary about him.
  • Disco Dan: Peter; it's hard to keep up to date with modern trends on Earth when he hasn't been on Earth since The '80s.
  • Disney Death: Groot dies via Heroic Sacrifice but he's fine by the end credits. It's justified by the fact that he can regenerate.
  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted with Nebula. She initially appears to be killing herself this way after rejecting Gamora's Take My Hand, but it turns out to be a High-Dive Escape. She lands on a Ravager ship and hijacks it.
  • The Ditz: Of all people, Drax, the big guy with muscles and scary tattoos, has no idea what metaphors are, and makes frequent Breathless Non Sequiturs.
  • Do-Anything Robot: While organic, Groot is essentially this. He can take out the bad guys, strech himself to reach distant objects, create a barricade, and generate light.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The Collector really should have known better than to leave his abused and belittled servant within arm's reach of an Infinity Stone...
  • Downer Beginning: The beginning of the film shows Peter Quill as a child dealing with his mother passing away, just before he gets abducted by aliens. It's as traumatic as it sounds.
  • The Dragon: Gamora and Nebula are co-dragons on loan from Thanos to Ronan, who is himself Thanos's dragon. Gamora betrays both of them early on, and Nebula becomes Ronan's dragon after he acquires the power of the Infinity Stone.
  • Driven to Suicide: Possible explanation for Carina's decision to touch the Infinity Stone.
  • Drop the Hammer: Much like in the comics, Ronan wields a large warhammer.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Ronan gains a borderline god complex when he takes the Infinity Stone for himself.
  • Drunk with Power: Rocket sounds like he just creamed his pants when he picks up a gun bigger than he is. Which is all of them.
  • Dual Wielding: A bunch of characters do this: Star-Lord has his twin pistols, Nebula has kali-like sticks, and Drax has two knives.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: An In-Universe example when Groot lets out a shocked gasp after Rocket mocks Drax over his dead family.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Nobody knows who Star-Lord is, and the team is regarded mostly as "a bunch of a-holes", even though they are trying to keep a reality-destroying MacGuffin from one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Though to be fair to the Nova Corps, all they know about the protagonists for most of the movie is that they're a bunch of lawbreaking miscreants and a notorious assassin.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Collector showed up during The Stinger of Thor: The Dark World before appearing here.
  • Eat the Dog: Invoked by Drax during the escape, in reference to Rocket.
    Drax: I recognize this animal! We'd roast them over a flame pit as children. Their flesh is quite delicious!
    Rocket: NOT HELPING!
  • The '80s: The story starts off in 1988. Over 25 years on, however, Peter is still very much someone straight out of that decade. Justified by the fact that he hasn't been on Earth in that entire time.
  • Enemy Civil War: Ronan eventually cuts his ties with Thanos, thinking that the Infinity Gem gives him all the power he needs on his own.
  • Enemy Mine: The Ravagers ally with The Guardians against Ronan The Accuser.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • One that doubles for both Peter Quill and the movie as a whole! He shows up on a deserted planet, walks into an ancient temple full of death traps and monsters... then he puts on his Walkman, and starts dancing as he walks around whilst casually kicking lizards away to the music. He even picks up one of them and pretends it's a microphone, all while it's screaming, struggling, and trying to bite him in the face.
    • The movie takes care to not show Rocket until his personality is established with him mocking Xarnian citizens with his scanner, showing that there's more to him than being a small furry Talking Animal.
    • Because Ronan has such little screentime to himself and yet is built up as a mass-murdering zealot, to help mitigate the Show, Don't Tell problem his first scene builds up to him brutally murdering a Nova Corps member by bashing his head in with his hammer and how the treaty between Xandar and the Kree means nothing to him.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Peter comments about this when Gamora mentions how filthy his ship is.
    Peter: She has no idea. If I had a blacklight, place would look like a Jackson Pollock painting.
    Rocket: You got issues, Quill.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Peter over-shares to Drax regarding some of his sexploit-related scars.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Onboard the Dark Aster, the team finds itself in what seems to be the machine room where they fight Korath's forces amongst giant rotating cylinders.
  • Evil Gloating: Ronan the Accuser just has to make a speech before doing something particularly evil, even to those whom he is about to annihilate. This compulsion gives the Guardians enough time to improvise a counterattack.
  • Evil Is Hammy:
    • Ronan is so over-the-top that by the end, he's chewing up all the scenery that wasn't destroyed by his attacks.
    • Nebula also has her definite moments of ham such as the trash talk to Gamora.
  • Evil Mentor: Whether she likes it or not (and she certainly doesn't) Thanos is this to Gamora. He made her into the weapon she is today.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Ronan, Nebula, the Other and Thanos are all evil people with deep voices.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Ronan, the mad Kree who's out to destroy Xandar, rebels against Thanos, the biggest threat to the universe, once he is in possession of the Power Stone.
  • Evil Wears Black: Ronan wears black robes and armor rather than his green outfit from the comics.
  • Expospeak: Knowhere is introduced via a speech by Gamora.
  • Faceless Goons: Ronan's minions don't seem to have faces, particularly the ones Yondu fights on the ground.
  • Face Palm:
    • Rocket is the most frequent offender. Most notable when he does a double-facepaw on Kyln after Groot tears off the fuse box and sets off the prison's alarm.
    • Also Quill at the end of the "12% of a plan" dialogue.
      Peter: Thank you, Groot! Thank you! [pats him on the shoulder] See? Groot's the only one of you who has a clue.
      [Groot eats a leaf off his own shoulder]
      Peter: [facepalm]
  • Failed Attempt at Drama:
    • A Running Gag, starting from when Quill introduces himself as the notorious outlaw Star-Lord, only to find no-one knows who he is.
    • Quill is about to hand the orb to the Collector, with appropriate solemn music, then he accidentally drops it and frantically catches it back.
    • Culminating when Quill interrupts the Big Bad's New Era Speech by challenging him to a dance-off.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: The orb Quill hands to Yondu in the end does not contain the Infinity Stone but a troll figure. Quill later reveals the real orb to his team mates.
  • Fanservice: Chris Pratt in nothing but boxers or the lingering shots of Zoe Saldana's rear.
  • Fanservice with a Smile: Carina, who is dressed in a short skirt, puts up a fake smile when greeting the team and leading them to The Collector.
  • Female Gaze: Enter the adult Peter, headphones on, a tight below-the waist shot showcasing his Elvis Presley dance moves. He also has a rather nice Shirtless Scene later on — despite being covered in some weird carrot-juice-esque delousing solution as he's being put in prison.
  • Fetal Position Rebirth: The first shot of Ronan is him emerging from a dark liquid, naked and in fetal position.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The eponymous guardians meet by attempting to hurt and kill each other, learn to trust each other through Teeth-Clenched Teamwork and end up as genuine True Companions. Summed up by Groot's line: "We are Groot".
  • Flatline: Quill's mother dies in hospital on a flatline sound.
  • Flipping the Bird: Peter does an extended version to the Nova officers who are processing him in after arresting him: he mimes cranking one hand open with the other so the middle finger is extended, then apologetically confesses incomprehension of how the "machine" works and repeatedly fails to tuck the finger back in, flipping them off several more times.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Peter's mother implies Peter's alien parentage (and Yondu's reason for taking Peter) early in the movie. She describes his father as "an angel that came down from the stars/composed of pure light", and that he'll be coming to get Peter when she's gone.
    • Peter alludes to the importance of dancing to fight against people who have sticks up their asses. It is important as a distraction in the end against Ronan.
    • The appearance of the Infinity Stones as explained by the Collector to Quill, Gamora, Rocket, and Groot. There's even more foreshadowing: the Collector says that the Stones were temporarily all gathered and held by a group, foreshadowing the other Guardians saving Quill from succumbing to the Infinity Stone's power and letting them all use it to kill Ronan.
    • The Collector requesting consent from Groot to "donate" his remains to his collection in the event of his death.
    • Drax manning the Hadron Enforcer.
    • While discussing what the Orb is, Peter suggests it might be a weapon whereupon Drax immediately states that they should use it against Ronan. As it turns out, it is a very powerful weapon and they do end up using it to kill Ronan.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The computer's data stream in the lineup scene provides some interesting information about the cast. (Rocket Raccoon bites.)
    • The Stinger has a hint given away because Howard the Duck is in a cage over the Collector's shoulder when the Guardians go meet him.
    • An alien from James Gunn's Slither can be seen in one of the Collector's cages.
    • Although James Gunn has confirmed it isn't Beta Ray Bill, an unidentified alien that looks like Bill can be spotted in the background in the Collector's abode.
    • The long numeric designations given for Morag and Xandar (M31V J00443799+4129236 and M31V J00442326+4127082 respectively) actually correspond to known stars recently discovered in the Andromeda galaxy, indicating to the knowledgable audience it as where the movie's setting place.
    • The squiggly alien writing next to the obligatory Stan Lee cameo looks an awful lot like "Excelsior!"
  • Friendly Enemy: Yondu is legitimately fond of Peter, but that doesn't stop him from putting a bounty on him or threatening him with death multiple times. Given how quick he is to reverse his threats as soon as Peter comes up with a reason for the two of them to cooperate, it seems like he might just be making them because it's expected and he doesn't actually have any interest in carrying them out.
  • Friend on the Force: Rhomann Dey becomes one for Peter Quill, as he vouches for Peter and his allies when they warn the Nova Corps of Ronan's plans. He also helps rebuild the Milano and informs the Guardians that their records have been cleaned. Peter in turn promises Dey that he will look after them and keep them out of trouble.
  • From a Single Cell: Groot can be regrown from a twig even if that's all that is left of him. After Groot's Heroic Sacrifice, Rocket sticks one of his remaining branches in a pot with some dirt and very quickly a cute little face can be seen growing on it.
  • Funny Animal:
    • Rocket Raccoon — for a given value of "funny" and "animal" since he's Black Comedy and technically not a raccoon.
    • Howard the Duck makes a cameo.
  • Funny Background Event: As Rocket argues with Quill and Gamora about a hard-to-get component for his escape plan, Groot just walks over, grows his arms and legs to reach it, and grabs it, knocking out a random prisoner in the process. Meanwhile, Drax has wandered over and simply watches Groot the whole time. Then Rocket, still unaware, gets to the part about how they absolutely mustn't get that component before everything else is ready, as it will set off the alarm...
  • Futile Hand Reach: Gamora gives one as Quill reaches for the naked Infinity Stone.
  • The Gadfly: Twice Rocket states he requires some random guy's cyborg bits (an inmate's prosthetic leg and a Ravager mook's bionic eye) as part of his Zany Scheme. He doesn't really, it's just a joke. The second time, everyone else shouts "NO!"
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Rocket, who despite his trauma, is capable of understanding weaponry to the point of being able to design superior ones out of his head on the fly, out of junk he finds lying around.
  • Gas Mask, Longcoat: Quill's scavenger garb at the start of the film, and again any time he deploys his Collapsible Helmet.
  • The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson:
    • Quill may be a Disco Dan, but he knows a lot about the '70s and '80s for a guy who hasn't seen Earth since he was a kid. You'd think more of his pop culture references would be to cartoons and other kid stuff, but instead he even references things like The Maltese Falcon.
    • Rocket somehow gets the reference to Jackson Pollock, or at least understands the intent.
  • Genre Blind: In the end, the villain is defeated because he doesn't realize he's in a comedy. He takes himself and his Roaring Rampage of Revenge way too seriously, which allows him to easily be distracted by Peter doing something ridiculous and silly, long enough for the rest of the team to counterattack.
  • Gentle Giant: Groot looks pretty docile and peaceful when he's not completely enraged. There is a charming moment when he gives a flower, which he grew out of his own hand, to a little girl on Knowhere.
  • "Get out of Jail Free" Card: The heroes have their criminal records deleted at the end as a reward for saving the day, although Dey does warn them they won't be exempt if they start trouble again.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In the trailers, when Star-Lord flips off the Nova Corps, the local computer system catches on and throws up a holographic blur filter, complete with a tooltip explaining "Obscene Gesture Imminent". It's uncensored in the film itself.
    • A tough convict at the Kyln gets in Peter's face, begins stroking his face and gloating about the things he'll do to him. It's very clear that had Rocket and Groot not taken him under their protection (if only to collect on his bounty), Peter's stay at the Kyln would have been very traumatic.
    • Peter's comment about about his ship looking like a "Jackson Pollock painting" if put under blacklight (with appropriately disgusted reaction from Rocket) is a particularly audacious example. Marvel movies aren't particularly wholesome, but a joke that implies the protagonist's ship is covered with semen stains is definitely pushing its PG-13 rating.
  • The Ghost: Peter Quill's father never appears in the movie, despite being mentioned a number of times. This is because he's an alien. Peter's mother refers to him as being "an angel", while Yondu and the Ravagers call him "a jackass".
  • Girl of the Week: Bereet is the latest in Quill's long list of one-night stands. He even forgot she was sleeping in his ship when he went on a mission.
  • Give Me a Sword: Drax throws one of the guard's machine guns to Rocket during the prison fight. Cue the small anthropoid raccoon catching a weapon almost as big as he is and cocking it with obvious glee.
    Rocket: Oh... Yeah...
  • Glass Smack and Slide: During the escape from Kyln in the commandeered control module, a prison guard floating in zero-G smacks against the window before sliding away.
  • Global Currency: "Units" seem to be the currency of choice by everyone in the galaxy.
  • Glory Hound: Peter Quill regards himself as a legendary outlaw. Unfortunately, no one's ever heard of him.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Ronan gets purple eyes while possessing the Infinity Stone. So do each of the Guardians in turn, while they're daisy-chained together as Quill is trying to withstand holding the Infinity Sone.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When they realize that an invulnerable genocidal maniac is approaching their planet bearing a weapon against which there is no known defense, the Nova Corps decide that violence-happy ex-convicts and pirate fleets aren't all that bad...
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: In spite of some misgivings, both Ravagers and Nova Force alike are talked into joining up with the Guardians for the final battle.
  • Good Costume Switch:
    • Gamora picks up a Ravager dark red Badass Longcoat before the final battle. After they defeat Ronan, she dresses in a more feminine miniskirt.
    • Rocket and Drax change their outfit colors to match the group they're currently with. Red with the Ravagers, then blue at the end.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal:
    • Groot can heal well enough that he can even regrow lost arms. This comes in handy when he's blasted to splinters by Ronan's ship crashing.
    • Nebula doesn't mind cutting off her hand for a High-Dive Escape because she can fix it later.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The camera cuts away just as Ronan brings his hammer down on the head of a captive Xandarian.
  • Graceful Loser: Upon learning that he's been slipped a fake Orb by Quill, Yondu just grins.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Thanos. Most of the film's villains act as his servants, and he's given his first speaking role in the movieverse. His Ham-to-Ham Combat with Ronan establishes it solidly: Ronan isn't exactly afraid, but he respects Thanos as even tougher and nastier. Despite all of this, he's not the story's Big Bad because this plot is focused on Ronan's beef with the Xandu peace treaty.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Many throughout the film. Some examples.
    • Gamora is green.
    • Her sister Nebula sports blue skin.
    • Ophelia Lovibond plays a pink-skinned assistant to the Collector.
    • Rhomann Dey's wife, and thus their daughter as well, are fuchsia. As is Bereet, Peter's one-night-stand.
  • Green Thumb: Besides the ability to extend and regenerate himself due to his Plant Alien biology, Groot can also grow other plant parts from his body. This includes a flower that he gives to a street urchin on Knowhere, and glowing spores that he releases to provide light when the Guardians are on the Dark Aster and when he is cocooning them from its crash.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • Drax does this several times during a prison break.
    • Groot does this by growing out a limb, impaling a row of mooks with it, and whipping the entire mass into two other rows of mooks.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Peter's father is an unknown alien, which explains why he can withstand the Stone's power and why the Ravagers kidnapped him.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Rocket uses his prison clothes for this before he gets a chance to actually put them on.
  • Hand Signals: Yondu and his men communicate via hand signals as demonstrated towards the end where he silently motions his comrades to departure.
  • Happy Ending: More or less this. Xandar is saved, the villainous Ronan is dead and his army defeated, the Guardians are forgiven for their past crimes, Yondu is alright with not getting the power gem and is amused by the little momento Quill gave him, the gem itself is safely locked away by the Nova Corps (for now), Rhomann Dey is reunited with his wife and daughter, the Milano is rebuilt, and Groot begins to regrow from a twig, effectively bringing him back to life. The Guardians leave Xandar, now a family.
  • Healing Factor:
    • Groot is able to grow back his limbs and even regrown from a twig.
    • Nebula displays this ability when she takes a direct hit from a rocket.
  • The Heart: James Gunn has stated that Groot is this for the team. While it's Quill that brings the team together, Groot is the glue that makes them all stick.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Gamora betrays her family (namely, her adopted father Thanos and adopted sister Nebula) to aid the Guardians.
  • Hellhole Prison: The Kyln space prison, featuring hostile inmates and evil wardens who will electrocute you for minor offenses.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Though Star-Lord has a helmet, he leaves it in its compact form as much as possible unless he's in the midst of a fight, or a hard vacuum.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Rocket loves to dish out pain, especially to those larger than himself (which is everyone).
    Rocket: I live for the simple things... like how much this is going to hurt!
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • A lot of the Nova Corps die to save Xandar from Ronan's fleet in You Shall Not Pass fashion.
    • Groot cocoons the other guardians in his body mass, and is blown to pieces for it. Rocket plants one of them so he can recover.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Rocket and Groot as in the comics. Rocket would rather go on a suicide mission with Groot than sit it out without him.
  • Hey, You!: When Drax first addresses Rocket in the Kyln, he refers to him as "creepy little talking beast". He later finds out that with Rocket, that sort of thing doesn't sit well.
  • Hidden Depths: Yondu constantly tells Peter that Yondu's crew had picked up Quill in 1988 because they wanted to eat the boy, but that Yondu stopped them because he thought Peter had potential. Yondu was actually hired to take Quill to his dad, but decided Peter would be better off with the Ravagers than Peter's Jerkass real father.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Rocket's attempt to re-program the security computer at the Kyln involves gutting and re-wiring the command console under considerable pressure.
  • Honey Trap: Rocket suggests Gamora does this to get some components for his escape plan.
    Gamora: How are we supposed to do that?
    Rocket: Well supposedly these bald-bodies find you attractive, so maybe you can work out some sorta trade.
    Gamora: You must be joking.
    Rocket: No. I really heard they find you attractive.
  • Huge Holographic Head: Ronan's comlink to Thanos on the Dark Aster displays as this.
  • Human Aliens: The vast majority of aliens shown simply look like humans with hair dye, body paint, and/or colored contact lenses. Xandarians and whatever race inhabited the planet where Quill finds the Orb just look like perfectly normal humans; the latter even had pet dogs.
  • Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: Peter's mom is terran but his dad is not, true to the comics.
  • Humans by Any Other Name: Quill is called a Terran.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Drax does this in the climax; not one minute after he calls Gamora a whore, Nebula appears... And Drax angrily shoots her for insulting Gamora.
    Drax: No-one talks to my friends like that.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Rocket calling out Gamora for biting him, just before we see his rap sheet that says "tendency to bite".
    • Also this, on Groot's lack of eloquence:
      Rocket: Well he don't know talkin' good like me and you, so his vocabulistics [sic] is limited to "I" and "am" and "Groot," exclusively in that order.
  • I Can Rule Alone: Ronan's deal with Thanos falls through when Ronan decides that, rather than give the Infinity Stone to Thanos in return for the destruction of Xandar, he can keep the stone, destroy Xandar on his own, and then take down Thanos for good measure.
  • I Can't Dance: In a brief moment when they aren't fighting or being chased by anyone, Quill tells Gamora the importance of his Walkman, and she replies by saying this; as a warrior, she doesn't engage in such frivolous hobbies, but it's likely not a skill she was ever taught anyway. Quill's response is to briefly describe the plot of Footloose.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: The Collector does this to Gamora. She doesn't show much appreciation for that kind of flattery.
  • Ill Girl: Meredith Quill dies in the beginning of the movie.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Yondu likes to remind Peter that his crew was originally planning to eat him when they first picked him up, and Yondu was the one who convinced them otherwise. Peter, however, treats the claim for what it is: a joke that overstayed its welcome by more than two decades.
    Quill: Oh will you shut up about that? God, twenty years you've been throwing that in my face. Like it's some great thing, not eating me! Normal people don't even think about eating someone else, much less that person having to be grateful for it!
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Groot does this in the final assault when he impales a row of mooks with one of his arms, then uses them to smash into the row of mooks next to them.
  • Indy Ploy:
    • The revelation and argument over Peter's "plan" is an entire scene on its own.
      Peter: I have a plan.
      Rocket: You've got a plan?!
      Peter: I have part of a plan!
      Drax: What percentage of a plan?
      Peter: I don't know... twelve percent.
      Rocket: Twelve percent?!
      Gamora: That's barely a concept.
    • Just as it appears Ronan is about to win, the team manages to wordlessly cobble together a plan to stop him. While Rocket gets the Hadron Enforcer working, Quill distracts Ronan by challenging him to a dance-off, baffling the Kree fanatic long enough for Drax to fire the weapon at Ronan's hammer and separate him from the Infinity Stone.
    • In general, about 90% of what Peter does in the movie is thought up on the spot with very little (if any) pre-planning. He is Indiana Jones the Space Pirate.
  • Inelegant Blubbering:
    • Groot sticks his "fingers" into the nostrils of a large convict that rather implied committing Prison Rape on Peter, and lifts him into the air by his nose. The flagrant sobbing the convict does huddled up after Groot drops him to the ground lets one infer how painful that is.
    • Rocket after Groot's sacrifice. It's not funny. Not at all.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Drax blithely muses that the Guardians are now his friends even as he continues to unknowingly insult them:
    Drax: You, Quill, are my friend.
    Quill: Thanks.
    Drax: This dumb tree, he is my friend.
    Groot: [grunts]
    Drax: And this green whore; she, too...
    Gamora: Oh, you must stop!
  • Innocuously Important Episode: Guardians of the Galaxy is a pretty lighthearted movie, with few explicit connections to the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but by establishing the power of the Infinity Stones, and revealing that Thanos is after them, it's setting things up for the big showdown that will take place in Avengers: Infinity War.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Inverted with Rocket, who insists that he's not a raccoon (or any other animal).
    • Quill's knapsack is not a purse.
  • Institutional Apparel: Prisoners in the Kyln Space Prison wear yellow T-shirts and pants, with some variation. Gamora gets a sleeveless top, Drax naturally doesn't bother with the shirt, and Groot (who can't even attempt to pass for humanoid) doesn't wear anything.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Groot's vocabulary is composed almost entirely of "I", "am", and "Groot" (Always said in that order). Rocket Raccoon has no trouble understanding what he's saying.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Terran Peter Quill was adopted by Centaurian Yondu Udonta.
  • In Vino Veritas: It takes getting hammered for Rocket to convey his misery about his origins and how he's viewed as a rodent or vermin by others.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Drax denies any possibility that a metaphor would "go over his head":
    Drax: Nothing goes over my head! My reflexes are too fast. I will catch it!
  • I Surrender, Suckers: During the Prison Riot, a warden points his gun at Quill and demands him to drop the prosthetic leg. Quill seems to follow suit but suddenly swings the prosthetic at the warden and strikes him down.
  • It Amused Me: Rocket tells Quill to get a prisoner's prosthetic leg for his escape plan. It turns out the leg is completely unnecessary and he only asked for it because he thought it would be funny.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Rhomann Dey uses "it" to refer to Groot and Rocket.
  • I've Heard of That — What Is It?: Quill to Gamora: "Yeah, We know who you are." (turning around to Groot, whispering) "Who is she?"
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Rocket at one point mocks Drax over him still mourning the death of his family. But as he pointed out, it wasn't enough of an excuse to get other people killed in the process.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • The entire team according to James Gunn — save Groot, who's gentle-natured to begin with. They may all be criminals, but they're still willing to stick their necks out if it means protecting billions of innocents.
    • Yondu is one. A Ravager accuses Yondu as "always being soft on that boy," which Yondu vehemently denies; yet he jumps at the chance to forgive all and bring Quill back on board as soon as he offers a deal, and even smiles fondly when he realizes that Quill has cheated him of his prize by swapping out a troll doll for the Infinity Gem.

    Tropes K to R 
  • Kick the Dog: Ronan quickly proves himself to be a rather cruel person:
  • Kids Are Cruel: Young Peter's story in the beginning.
    Meredith: Why have you been fighting with the other kids again?
    Peter: They killed a little frog that didn't do nothing. Smushed it with a stick.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: The Other is quickly taken care of by Ronan.
  • Klingons Love Shakespeare: The prison guard steals Quill's Walkman and seems to enjoy his mixtape. Gamora also says "the melody is pleasant".
  • Knife Nut: Drax has a penchant for knives.
    Drax: I like your knife. I'm keeping it.
    Moloka: ...That was my favorite knife.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A huge part of this film's appeal is that it's incredibly self-aware and acknowledges the various tropes of superhero movies, using them with winks and nods rather than playing them straight.
  • The Lancer: Gamora is this with occasional shades of The Heart. Her ruthless pragmatism contrasts Star-Lord's jokey and well-meaning antics, and her altruistic motives put her at odds with everyone else on the team at first.
  • Large Ham:
    • Lee Pace's rendition of Ronan the Accuser is a bold and dramatic character that loves gloating and formal cruelty.
    • In addition, Michael Rooker as Yondu. Rooker's roles tend to be grim, gritty, and deadly serious (Merle in The Walking Dead is the rule, not the exception). This is a much lighter role that allows him to ham it up considerably, and he takes full advantage.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The guard in the Kyln that leaves Gamora to the prisoners ends up being the guard she rips a security armband from.
  • Last of His Kind: When Gamora is incarcerated, her profile states her to be the last survivor of the Zen Whoberi people.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others:
    Quill: Well, I come from a planet of outlaws: Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde, John Stamos...
    Drax: Sounds like a place which I would like to visit.
  • Last-Second Chance: Gamora offers Nebula the chance to join them and help them bring down Ronan. Nebula refuses and opts to get the hell out of Dodge instead.
  • The Leader: Peter Quill/Star-Lord, headstrong and charismatic and responsible for forming the team. The ending implies he becomes The Heart as well.
  • Lecture as Exposition: The Collector explains what the powerful artifacts that have shown up in the previous films are.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Groot becomes one accidentally when Rocket plans their escape from the prison (he doesn't listen long enough to hear Rocket tell everyone they must get the hardest component for their escape last, and as a result, grabs it first) which forces the other four members to assume this trope, more or less. Unlike most examples, they still succeed.
  • Left the Background Music On: All of the source music songs in the movie are provided via Quill's mix tape, so the soundtrack often turns tinny when the scene focuses on his cassette player. (The reverse, Diegetic Switch, also repeatedly occurs.)
  • Let's You and Him Fight: When the team first begins to meet up with one another, we are treated to a three-way fight between Quill, Gamora, and a Rocket/Groot tag team. Not to be outdone, Drax attempts to kill Gamora when they first meet but it's not much of a brawl. At Knowhere, Drax fights Groot and a drunk Rocket.
  • Lighter and Softer: While most of the MCU movies have had varying degrees of humor in their films, this one focuses on comedy and the whimsical a lot more.
  • List of Transgressions: The first trailer shows a pretty long rundown on the crimes and misdemeanors that the team has collected over their careers.
  • Literal Metaphor: Before dying in the prologue, Peter's mother says he's just like his father, an "angel" who was "composed entirely out of light". It's rather suspiciously phrased for a simple love-fueled metaphor, but the viewer will likely write it off. The line is cast in a different light when the end of the film reveals that Peter's father is a member of some unknown, ancient alien race.
  • Literal-Minded: Drax comes from a culture that never developed metaphors. This makes Drax suffer from nearly constant Blunt Metaphors Trauma.
    Rocket: His people are completely literal. Metaphors are gonna go over his head.
    Drax: Nothing goes over my head! My reflexes are too fast. I will catch it!
  • Lock and Load Montage:
    • Peter donning his Star-Lord gear onboard the Milano.
    • The entire team gets one during their planning of the breach and invasion of Ronan's ship.
  • Loveable Rogue: Peter is a thief and a criminal, but ultimately has a noble heart, and he's the one who brings the team together.
  • MacGuffin: The orb. This changes later in the movie as the formerly inert, harmless metal ball is opened — the Infinity Stone contained within no longer qualify as it's an Artifact of Doom. The trope is initially lampshaded by Starlord:
    Peter: So this orb has a real shiny blue suitcase/Ark of the Covenant/Maltese Falcon sort of vibe, what is it?
  • Made of Iron:
    • All the major characters get knocked around quite a bit, but special mention goes to Rocket: physically the weakest, but is able to survive getting thrown and blasted long distances and crashing a ship with the only effect being getting temporarily knocked out by the latter.
    • While Rocket is heavily cyborgized, with his skeleton fully replaced (as shown in the records during processing by the police), Peter displays superhuman durability without any body mods.
    • Yondu crashes in the climax hard enough to completely annihilate his ship yet gets out without injury.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: Ronan offhandedly kills the Other, Thanos's representative from The Avengers, for annoying him during his meeting with Thanos. This requires Thanos to speak for himself: and does he ever!
  • Male Gaze: The camera (and Peter) sure love to focus on Gamora's nice ass. And to some extent, her sister, Nebula.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Thanos offers Ronan his aid in destroying the Nova Corps in exchange for Ronan tracking down the Infinity Stones for him.
  • Man Bites Man: Or rather, woman bites raccoon: Gamora to Rocket during the Mêlée à Trois, to the latter's outrage. Ironic considering Rocket's rap sheet mentions he himself is prone to biting.
  • Match Cut: The yellow beams holding Rocket, Groot and Gamora in place as they are arrested matches up with the starburst sigil on the building in the next Establishing Shot.
  • Mean Boss: The Collector apparently keeps his maids as slaves and places them in cages if they don't clean well enough. (Apparently, he not only does this to punish the ones who upset him, but encourage the others not to; the maid who's working can see the caged one clearly.) This comes back to bite him at the worst possible time.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Take my hand."
  • Meaningful Name: Star-Lord. It was Quill's mom's Affectionate Nickname for him.
  • Mêlée à Trois: How Peter, Rocket, Groot, and Gamora meet. Peter is walking through a park when bounty hunters Rocket and Groot recognize him and try to grab him. Thief/assassin Gamora just wants the orb he's carrying, but is ready to kill Peter if he tries to stop her. Since the bounty on Peter's head specifies "alive", Groot and Rocket have interest in preventing this and thus it escalates in a three-way brawl.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Quill's Sony Walkman cassette player and the "Awesome mix part 1" tape inside, both of which are mementos from his dead mother. He also received a present from her before she passed away, but doesn't open it until the end of the film. It's another mix tape, "Awesome mix part 2".
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: During the climax, Groot extends his arm through an entire line of Sakaarans and does this to attack another line of Sakaarans while shouting at the top of his lungs. Repeatedly. For about thirty seconds straight.
  • Mickey Mousing: According to James Gunn, composer Tyler Bates wrote some of the score before the film entered production so that Gunn could film to the music.
  • Mighty Glacier: Groot is strong and tough, but not fast.
  • Minidress of Power: Gamora wears one at the end of the film as her new "Guardian" uniform.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: The Guardians get their act together to the tune of "Cherry Bomb"
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Three examples.
    • Carina, after being threatened with being rendered part of his collection by The Collector, takes the opportunity to seize the Infinity Stone rather than live as his slave, knowing that it will destroy her, and in the process destroys a huge chunk of his collection and denies him the second stone.
    • Both Gamora and Nebula seem to hate Thanos for (in Gamora's case that we know of, possibly Nebula's too) killing her family, and being reshaped into weapons to serve him. Gamora betrays him to keep the orb away from him, and Nebula sides with the genocidal Ronan because he's going to use his new power against Thanos next.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Softer than the Star Wars Christmas Special. Space Is Noisy, Space Is an Ocean, and Human Aliens (including Half-Human Hybrid examples) are all present and played to wonderfully operatic heights.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The Downer Beginning, which is markedly more serious and depressing than most of the movie.
    • The actual title sequence of the film starts with Star-Lord wearing a menacing-looking mask, looking around on a dying world for signs of life, when he comes into a temple. When he gets there, he takes his mask off, turns on his Walkman, and starts playing "Come and Get Your Love" and dancing hilariously.
    • Groot appears to have died dramatically, and then Quill sings and dances to distract Ronan.
    • On Knowhere, Rocket and Drax begin to bond over drinks and gambling. Cut back a few minutes later, Rocket's giving a heartbreaking drunken rant about how rotten his life is and threatening to shoot the others for laughing at him.
    • The prison break features a scene with Rocket Laughing Mad while perched on Groot's shoulder and shooting at the security drones, followed by a very quiet scene of Peter trying to get a prisoner's prosthetic leg, then going right back to the action.
  • Mook Mobile: The Necrocraft fighters used by Ronan's forces. Equipped with powerful weapons, but quite fragile — easily torn apart by two mining pods ramming into them. The Ravager ships and Nova Corps fighters easily plow down through them, and it's only through sheer number they have any advantage.
  • Mooks: Discussed Trope.
    Drax: I think of Sakaarans as paper people.
  • More Dakka: If this attitude were a religion, Rocket would be its high priest.
  • Mr. Exposition: The Collector tells the Guardians about the Infinity Stones after they deliver one to him.
  • Musical Episode: The film's use of '70s pop and rock music and '80s references definitely gives this vibe. Especially when Chris Pratt starts explaining the plot of Footloose and singing and dancing himself.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • During the line up scene, the data stream for each character lists numerous incidents that happened to them in the comics that Guardians is based on.
      • Rocket Raccoon being from Halfworld in the Keystone Quadrant, and Lylla being listed as one of his associates. He's also an expert in escaping from custody; in the comics, he was created specifically to be a guard at a maximum security insane asylum and stop escapes.
      • Gamora being the last of her kind.
      • Peter having an affair with an intergalactic duchess that her parents were none too happy about.
      • Groot's homeworld being listed as "X".
    • Peter's red-skinned one-night-stand is Bereet, an alien ex-lover of The Incredible Hulk from the comics.
    • "Morag", the name of a Kree historical person from the comics, is the name of a planet in the film.
    • The named members of the Nova Corps include Rhomann Dey, the Nova Prime who recruits Richard Rider as the first Human Nova, and Gaarthan Saul, who would go on to become the villainous Supernova in the comics.
    • Rhomann Dey's rank in the Nova Corps is Denerrian, one of the actual (and lesser known) ranks in the Corps in the comics.
    • In the comics, Yondu was a founding member of the original Guardians of the Galaxy from the 1970s, which was a precursor to the 2000s incarnation led by Peter Quill. In the movie, Yondu is not affiliated with the Guardians, but his role as Quill's mentor and adopted father parallels the classic series' relationship with the modern series.
    • Rocket and Cosmo growling at each other in reference to their interactions in the comics.
    • The Other tells Ronan that Thanos has sources within Kyln who revealed that Gamora planned to betray him and take The Orb for herself. This is a reference to Moloka Dar, the bald and mean prisoner of Kyln who tries to kill Gamora and whose knife is taken by Drax. In the comics, Moloka was a former prisoner of Kyln who helps Thanos by giving him information.
    • The Celestial Eson the Searcher appears in one of the Collector's holograms wielding an Infinity Stone.
    • Adam Warlock's regenerative cocoon also appears in the Collector's shop. Those who paid careful attention in the Howard the Duck scene will notice that the cocoon has hatched.
    • While her name isn't mentioned in the film itself, Nova Prime is Irani Rael, a member of the Nova Corps who was recruited after the Annihilation Wave struck Xandar.
    • The comics feature the Kree as consisting of two racial colors, the "blue-skinned" and the "pink-skinned", with the pinks always depicted as being identical in appearance to white-skinned Earth people (and so easily able to infiltrate Earth). The film features several pink colored humans, but here they all look nothing like any skin tone that exists on Earth.
  • Naked on Arrival: Ronan enters the story this way because he was bathing in the blood of Xanarians.
  • The Napoleon: Rocket Raccoon is two feet tall, carries a gun bigger than he is, and has no qualms blasting your face off with it. This trope turns out to be Played for Drama, not laughs — he's got a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Neck Lift:
    • Groot essentially does this to one of the punks in prison, except he picks him up by the nostrils! It's painful just to look at!
    • Ronan picks up Drax by the neck and lifts him in their second confrontation. But he's interrupted by Rocket crashing his fighter into them.
  • Neck Snap: Ronan does this to The Other, using a shockwave from his hammer to twist his head right around.
  • Nerves of Steel: How else would you expect Star-Lord to maintain a straight face against Ronan when he challenges him to a dance-off?
  • Never Live It Down: In-universe, this is Peter's problem with his Anything That Moves status:
    Drax: You! Man who has lain with an A'askavariian!
    Peter: ... it was one time, man.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The trailer has a few scenes that never appeared in the film or different versions that appeared. The most noticeable are scenes involving people saying the name "Guardians of the Galaxy", when in the film proper the name isn't spoken until the end; and Drax's inclusion in the prison line-up, when his introduction in the film proper takes place afterwards.
    • The trailer adds a gag regarding Quill Flipping the Bird. In the trailer, an in-universe Censor Bar kicks in to hide it; in the movie itself, he just gives the finger unobstructed.
    • The trailer can give one the impression that Korath is an officer of the Nova Corps, since it shows Quill in the prison line-up right after showing him being cornered by Korath on Morag. Korath is actually one of Ronan's enforcers, and he fails to capture Quill in the scene shown in the trailer.
    • One of the trailers shows a scene of Gamora nude from behind, and the impression that Quill sees her afterwards and stares. This was meant to take place after their escape from the Klyn.
    • People who were unfamiliar with Guardians of the Galaxy spent their first viewing wondering when Drax would die/go bad. They were unaware he was a guardian because he was not showcased in the trailer as the others were.
    • Preview clips released online actually have alternate dialog that provides some background about the setting while the theatrical version's dialogue pertains more to the story.
  • New Era Speech: Ronan starts a pretty hammy one at the end, in front of a fearful Xandarian crowd. He gets interrupted by Quill challenging him to a dance-off.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: When Rocket attacks Ronan after the Dark Aster crashes, Ronan simply blasts him away. However, Rocket lands by the rocket launcher he made and is able to repair it for Drax while Peter distracts Ronan, which leads to the Universal Weapon being destroyed, Peter grabbing the Infinity Stone, and the Guardians using its power to kill Ronan.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: The credits of the film specifically said that no raccoons or Tree-People were harmed by the film.
  • No Blood Ties: Gamora and Nebula are not really Thanos's daughters, but children he took after destroying their families and homes. He tortured and experimented on them with cybernetic implants until they were perfect killing machines loyal only to him. Both betray him and Nebula outright states her goal is to see him dead. Interestingly, while they are antagonistic toward each other, Gamora and Nebula seem to truly consider themselves sisters. Gamora even shows affection for Nebula, which Nebula isn't really capable of reciprocating:
    Nebula: Of all our siblings, I hated you the least.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Drax throws one of his daggers at Korath; Korath dodges just by moving his head out of the way. It's not entirely wasted, though, since it hits a Mook right behind him.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: The Ravagers, including Peter Quill, wear dark red clothing with flame-shaped insignia that they modify to suit their own needs. For the climax, the title Guardians (save Groot) also wear personalized Ravager clothing as a way of showing their solidarity with Quill.
  • Nose Shove: Groot uses this as an interesting (and painful) variation on the Neck Lift.
  • No Social Skills: Drax is a Literal-Minded Innocently Insensitive Berserker Cloudcuckoolander. Any one of these by itself does not play well with others. In combination...
    Drax: Companion, what were you retrieving?
    [Quill hands his Walkman to Drax]
    Drax: [to Gamora, who insisted they wait for Peter as he had the Orb] ... You're an imbecile.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Understandable, since the Translation Convention is in play.
  • Nothing but Hits: Zig-zagged; although "Awesome Mix, Vol. 1" is a mixtape, and thus predictably has a bunch of hit singles on it, most of them are from the mid-to-late '70s instead of 1988, because they're the songs Peter's mother grew up to and played for him.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Played with when it turns out that Quill has flown off in his spaceship after a one-night stand and forgotten that the girl is still on board.
  • Offhand Backhand:
    • Peter walks by a downed enemy and casually shoots the guy to keep him down.
    • Ronan, having survived the Dark Aster crashing to the surface of Xandar, blasts Rocket away with the Ultimate Weapon while barely noticing him.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Peter Quill has one early in the film, as he realizes that Korath has super strength and endurance.
    • The Broker, when he learns that Ronan is after the same thing one of his clients is after (the orb Quill just brought).
    • Rocket says "Oh, crap..." when Quill steps in to stop Drax from killing Gamora, but his inflection sounds more like This Is Gonna Suck.
    • Rocket's face when Groot upends their escape plan.
    • The guard in the Kyln who punches Drax in the face, to no effect whatsoever.
    • When the guard who has stolen Quill's walkman sees him coming with his guns.
    • Quill's expression noticeably tenses in response to Tivan asking if Rocket is Groot's pet.
    • When Gamora realizes the Orb contains an Infinity Stone, which quickly gets shared by the others when they realize what Ronan can do with it...
    • Ronan, when he sees the Guardians surviving the power of the Infinity Stone and looking at him with murder in their eyes. "You're mortal! How?"
  • Ominous Crack: Downplayed. When the team is inside the prison's watchtower, the window cracks and we see the crack spreading.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Yondu's sharp arrow manages to pierce through about two-dozen of Ronan's Mooks in one move.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Groot gets both of his arms chopped off by Gamora during their first encounter on Xandar but it doesn't seem to bother him. Justified, as he can grow his limbs back.
  • Only in It for the Money: All the Guardians except Drax are only interested in selling the Orb to the highest bidder. This lasts until they realize the consequences of it falling in the wrong hands.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Groot learns a new phrase: "We are Groot!"
    • The look on Gamora's face when Drax uses a metaphor.
    • Ronan is Chewing the Scenery with every line except one: "What are you doing? What are you doing?"
  • Outrun the Fireball: When The Collector's residence gets blown up, Groot grabs Rocket and hightails it outta there.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative:
    • Peter Quill notes that he always keeps his promises, when they are made to musclebound whackjobs who will kill him if he doesn't.
    • Fans have also dubbed the movie the best Howard the Duck film ever made (out of two, and Howard only appears in The Stinger of this one).
  • Parental Substitute: Yondu reared Peter after the boy's mother died of cancer. He was hired to take Peter to his real father, but decided to keep him instead.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Rocket says that Groot's "vocabulistics" is limited.
  • Pet the Dog: Drax does this after the Dark Aster crashes, petting Rocket to console him over Groot's death.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Quill punches people with his hefty-looking pistols as often as he shoots them.
  • The Plan:
    • Star-Lord has a plan... part of a plan... Twelve percent of a plan. It's really more of a concept.
    • There's a proper plan that he and Gamora narrate to the Ravagers before they mount an offense on Ronan's forces.
    • Rocket also hatches a plan to get out of the prison. Unfortunately, Groot performs the last step of the plan first, which sets off the alarms.
    • Rocket's plans are Zany Schemes. And he has a tendency to add ridiculous twists for laughs.
  • Planet Terra: Humans are referred to as Terrans, but Earth is still called Earth (except on Quill's rap sheet, which does use "Terra").
  • Plant Aliens: Groot is a giant walking tree described as "Rocket's personal house plant/muscle". His rap sheet mentions his species as "Flora Colossus".
  • Playing with Syringes: Both Rocket and Gamora are products of medical experimentation Gone Horribly Right: Gamora because Thanos likes creating super-soldier "Daughters", Rocket for reasons unspecified other than For Science!.
  • Plot Armor: When Gamora's pod gets blown into pieces by Nebula, she doesn't go the way of a Red Shirt. Instead she floats in space, unharmed, slowly freezing to death. Cue a Big Damn Heroes moment for Quill.
  • Plot Device: The orb that Peter steals in the beginning of the movie is nearly a MacGuffin. Lampshaded by Peter who says the orb gives him "a real shiny blue suitcase/Ark of the Covenant/Maltese Falcon sort of vibe." However, in addition to being the object that characters are fighting over, it turns out that the orb is a container for an Infinity Stone, which readers of the comics may be familiar with. This one converts organic matter to energy, turning a person into a bomb or a planet into a blighted wasteland.
  • Pokémon Speak: Groot only ever says one thing: "I am Groot." This was one reason the role appealed to Vin Diesel, who previously voiced the similarly near mute Iron Giant. Subverted at the end, where he says "We are Groot" before his Heroic Sacrifice. The movie implies, while the comics say outright, that this repeated statement actually represents a much broader range of communication, depending on almost undetectable (to humans, at least) variations in tone, pacing, volume, and so on.
  • The Power of Friendship: It is only when all four surviving Guardians hold hands that they are able to contain the Infinity Stone's power, and Peter can use it to destroy Ronan. Peter's Half-Human Hybrid biology helps keep the stone from immediately killing him.
  • The Power of Rock: Played with hilariously. At the moment when all hope seems lost, Peter Quill gets up and starts grooving to "Ooh, Child". Then it turns out that the reason he's doing this is so that Ronan will be watching him make a fool of himself and thus not notice Rocket and Drax hurriedly repairing the team's BFG.
  • Power Walk: The Guardians assemble in slow-mo purposeful walk towards camera, echoing many a space movie as well as MCU's own The Avengers. But like with many other tropes, the film plays this moment for laughs with Gamora yawning, Star-Lord scratching his nose, and Rocket adjusting the crotch of his pants.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The movie has this both subtle and gross, most of which will only be picked up by fans of the original material. Examples include turning Drax's adversary from Thanos to Ronan (to give Drax a more obvious motive), turning Drax into an alien species that befits Dave Bautista's acting style and avoids having two Earthlings in space on the team, a Race Lift and costume change for Korath the Pursuer, and Yondu as The Leader of the Ravagers instead of the leader of the original Guardians. Furthermore, Star-Lord's trademark Element Gun is replaced with a Static Stun Gun/Plasma Cannon due to it being a more plausible weapon than one that can shoot rocks and water.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The Guardians are criminals, thieves, and murderers, but end up saving the galaxy because, as Star-Lord points out, they live in the galaxy too.
  • Precision F-Strike:
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    • Nebula before blowing up Gamora's pod.
      Gamora: If Ronan gets this stone, he'll kill us all.
      Nebula: Not all... you will already be dead.
    • Drax, before killing Korath: "Finger to the throat means death."
    • When The Guardians finally manage to contain the power of the Infinity Stone. In shock, Ronan asks them, "You're mortal! How?" to which Quill responds "You said it yourself, bitch. We're the Guardians of the Galaxy." The Guardians then proceed to blow Ronan to bits with the Stone.
  • Prison Episode: The Guardians get locked up by the Nova Corps during one sequence in the film.
  • Prison Rape: One of the Kyln prisoners starts talking to Peter Quill in a way that suggests he's planning on doing this. Groot promptly shuts him up with a PG-rated (yet somehow just as brutal) Nose Shove of his own.
  • Prison Riot: The heroes unintentionally start one during their escape. It was supposed to be really quiet and peaceful but Groot pulled a Leeroy Jenkins.
  • Production Foreshadowing: The red markings seen on the Sakaarans (and even Korath and Ronan in some scenes) just seem like costume flourish... Until three years later, when Thor is wearing the same markings on planet Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Kree. The signing of a Peace Treaty with Xandar is enough to trigger riots throughout the Kree Empire. Ronan in particular sees the treaty as a betrayal of Kree cultural traditions and goes rogue.
  • Psychotic Smirk:
    • Gamora briefly sports one in her close-up in the lineup sequence in the trailer.
    • Drax sports one during his fights, and bursts into laughter as the Milano makes its approach to the Dark Aster in the final battle.
    • Even Groot gives one in one scene which is every bit as creepy as it sounds. Drax and Quill are spooked, since it looks more like a legitimately friendly smile.
    • Thanos gives an unhinged grin after telling Ronan to bring the Orb or suffer a particularly Cruel and Unusual Death.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: During the prison fight, when a prison guard finds out Drax is made of tougher stuff than normal.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    Rocket: You're making! Me! Beat! Up! Grass!
  • Pure Is Not Good: The only reason Ronan is able to wield the Infinity Stone is due to his intense hatred for Xandar.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The Infinity Stone is a bright shade of purple, which extends to infusing Ronan when he takes possession of it and adds it to his warhammer.
  • Race Lift: Korath the Pursuer is black rather than blue. He's also a machine so he's probably not Kree.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: It's not the end of the world, but after 20+ years of use Peter Quill's iconic Sony Walkman should have run out of batteries, the foam headphone pads should have rotted away, and the Awesome Mix tape itself should have been magnetized into silence many times over.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: We've got a displaced earthling who's actually a Half-Human Hybrid, an alien assassin who used to work with the Big Bad, an alien bruiser on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, a sentient tree who's the Token Good Teammate, and a talking raccoon with a huge chip on his shoulder dispensing More Dakka. Like their comic book run, they're all a bunch of egomaniacs who bicker like crazy on the battlefield and keep bickering when they're off it.
    Rhomann Dey: ...this might not be the best idea.
  • Ramming Always Works:
    • Justified with Quill and Rocket using the Knowhere mining pods to ram the Necrocrafts, as the mining pods are unarmed but made of sterner stuff than the enemy ships.
    • When the Necrocrafts are unable to get past the Ravagers and Nova Corps in a dog fight, they instead just start dive-bombing Xandar.
    • Rocket Raccoon flies his ship straight into the Dark Aster, knocking out Ronan for a while and causing his ship to blow up.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Starting a tense action-oriented fight in a busy capital city, with hundreds of civilian bystanders nearby? Then you will all get arrested very quickly by the local Space Police.
    • As Nebula and Ronan the Accuser find out, engaging in Evil Gloating only gives the protagonists enough time to shoot you in the face.
    • Drax the Destroyer finds out it doesn't matter how mad you are about the death of your family, trying to take on the Big Bad alone will result in getting your ass thoroughly kicked if they are significantly more powerful than you. Not to mention, your allies will quickly get sick of your Revenge Before Reason!
    • For Gamora it doesn't matter how tough or deadly an assassin you are, if you're stuck alone and weaponless in prison with a mob of pissed off convicts and thoroughly disinterested guards, you will need help to avoid being murdered!
    • Even though the team had their criminal records expunged as a reward for their service, they are still subject to the law and are forbidden from thieving or murdering. To Rocket, the concept of his antisocial tendencies often involving both thieving and murdering is so foreign, Rhomann Dey has to explain it to him.
    • As Peter Quill found out the hard way, trying to put the moves on an emotionally-distant female assassin is not a good idea, especially with his reputation as a Handsome Lech.
    • As the Collector found out, spending a long time hyping up the powers of the Infinity Stones and the omnipotent powers granted to the holder in full earshot of the slave girl you've horribly mistreated at every turns up to this point, and then leaving it exposed and within her grasp? Real genius, buddy.
  • Really Gets Around: Peter Quill has a reputation as a love 'em and leave 'em type that even Gamora is aware of (and refers to as "pelvic sorcery"). Quill has a collection of scars from various lovers attacking him because of his philandering ways.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Despite having previous antagonistic run-ins with the petty thief Peter Quill, Rhomann Dey of the Nova Corps nonetheless believes that Peter's warning and offer of assistance is sincere.
    • Nova Prime takes the warning completely seriously, asks Dey's opinion (someone who actually knows Quill), and decides to trust his judgement. She (and the rest of the Corps) then stays behind, coordinating the evacuation and assisting in the defense of the city.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Thanos gives Ronan a withering dress-down.
    Thanos: The only matter I do not take seriously, boy, is you. Your politics bore me. Your demeanor is that of a pouty child. And apparently, you alienated my favorite daughter, Gamora.
  • Recycled In Space: The Avengers — in Space! A comparison.note 
  • Red Baron: Drax has such a nickname in "The Destroyer".
  • Redemption Rejection: Nebula, who refuses the Last-Second Chance provided by her step sister and exits via High-Dive Escape.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • Zig-zagged with Quill's retractable mask, which despite possessing glowing red eyes has no indication of his intentions. At the same time, he generally only wears it during combat or in other hazardous situations.
    • Played straight by Yondu, whose eyes and implants light up red while remote-controlling his arrow.
  • Red Herring: The prosthetic leg was just a joke. Rocket doesn't actually need it.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: One's a 4-foot tall cybernetic raccoon who likes his big guns. The other is a (normally) 7-feet tall Gentle Giant of a tree who doesn't mind busting heads. Together, they will kick your ass from one end of Knowhere to the other.
  • Redshirt Army: The Nova Corps make a brave attempt to physically block the Dark Aster from landing, but are all or almost all wiped out by a single blast from the Infinity Gem.
  • Redundant Rescue: After Quill and Gamora are captured by Yondu, Quill manages to talk himself out of risk. Cue Rocket, Drax and Groot attacking the ship to rescue the two.
  • Reformed Criminals: The eponymous heroes themselves used to be a motley assortment of scoundrels, and yes, they are cellmates.
  • Refuge in Audacity: This is about the only way to consider Star-Lord's We Need a Distraction ploy near the end. When a villain is gloating upon his moment of triumph, when all who oppose him have fallen, and he is one gesture away from victory, the last thing he expects is to be challenged to a dance-off by a dancing and singing Terran. It baffles him.
  • Refusal of the Call: Rocket's initial response to finding out his prize is a MacGuffin of doom is to suggest they send it to the villain and flee to the far side of the universe with his one friend and try and live a full life before the doom comes for him. Unfortunately for him, his one friend is Groot who refuses to play along so he gets guilt-tripped into saving the galaxy.
  • Repeat Cut: When Gamora's pod gets blown up, we see the scene twice in short succession: first from Nebula's POV and then again in close-up.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Whilst on Knowhere, Drax gets the bright idea of sending Ronan a message to let him know the orb is there. He has his reasons, but Rocket rips his reasons apart in epic fashion. It doesn't help that Drax is completely sloshed at this point.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Drax wants to kill Gamora as she is a relative of Ronan.
    Drax: He killed my family. I shall kill one of his in return.
  • Riding into the Sunset: The last shot of the Milano taking off into the sky.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Quill goes on one to retrieve his Walkman.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Drax has been cutting a swath across the galaxy after the murder of his wife and family.
  • Robo Cam: Rocket's first scene shows him scanning Xandarians through a transparent device displaying loads of information about the targets.
  • Rocket Boots: Star-Lord has a pair of rockets that attach to his boots. Instead of flying, he uses them to boost his jumps and for bursts of speed during combat. He also uses them to maneuver in zero-G situations.
  • Rousing Speech: The Guardians get their act together and stand up united. While it has the intended effect, Rocket has a few words to say about it:
    Rocket: Now I'm standing. Y'all happy? We're all standing up now. Buncha jackasses, standing in a circle.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: A lot of the aliens in the film just look like humans with different colored skin and/or random protrusions on their heads.
  • Rule of Funny: Peter left Earth when he was like eight; how many kids that young know who Jackson Pollock is or what his paintings look like? But it was too good a joke to let such minor considerations get in the way.
  • Running Gag:
    • "I am Groot."
    • Rocket's insistence that he needs various individuals' artificial limbs as part of the teams' plans.

    Tropes S to Z 
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Saal and his wingmen die trying to stop Ronan's ship.
  • The Scapegoat: Everyone in the prison hates Gamora, considering her guilty by association due to what Ronan has done. Rocket says she'll last a day at most.
  • Screaming Warrior: Groot and Rocket do a lot of screaming in the Prison Riot.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Nebula pulls one of these during the final battle after falling off the Dark Aster. She manages to hijack one of the Ravager ships and make a clean getaway.
    • Rocket tries to when Ronan gets the Infinity Stone and Peter and Gamora get captured by the Ravagers, but Groot and Drax talk him out of it.
  • Self-Deprecation: A Running Gag through the film is that none of the characters have ever heard of the "Guardians of the Galaxy", much like a large percentage of the film's intended audience. It's lampshaded in the second trailer:
    Star-Lord: I look around, and you know what I see? LOSERS! We've all lost something... But life is giving us a chance!
  • Sequel Hook:
    • We need to know what's on Awesome Mix Vol. 2.
    • James Gunn has said what happens in the film is important to the plot of the third Avengers movie. In fact, the first words that appear in the credits are "The Guardians of the Galaxy will return."
    • It's discovered by the Nova Corps that Quill is only half-Terran; they're just not sure what the other half is. More importantly, it turns out that Yondu and the Ravagers were hired by his dad to fetch him, but decided to keep Peter around rather than finish the job.
    • Drax shifts his vendetta to Thanos, as while he avenged his wife and daughter with the death of Ronan, the Kree villain was acting on behalf of Thanos.
    • In addition, Nebula escapes at the end, so we'll no doubt be seeing her again.
    • Anyone who paid special attention to the Collector's collection might have noticed Adam Warlock's regenerative cocoon. It was even shown to be hatched in the Howard the Duck scene. Since Adam plays a huge role in both the Guardians of the Galaxy's formation and the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, this sneaky Easter Egg might have been a hint for those who were paying close attention.
  • Serkis Folk:
    • Along with voicing the character, Vin Diesel also portrays Groot via motion capture, even wearing stilts to match Groot's height. An actor named Krystian Godlewski stood in as Groot before Diesel was cast, but none of his footage ended up in the film.
    • Josh Brolin portrays Thanos through motion capture in his two scenes.
    • James Gunn's brother Sean played Rocket on-set, while the character is voiced by Bradley Cooper.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: When we first meet Bereet, she's wearing the T-shirt Peter was abducted in.
  • Shattered World: Thanos resides in a debris field floating in space. The stinger from Avengers actually showed the blasted husk from which the debris probably came.
  • Shoulder Teammate: Rocket climbs on top of Groot during the prison escape, first to seek protection against the drones, and then taking advantage of the higher viewpoint to indulge in More Dakka once he gets his paws on a gun.
  • Shouting Shooter: Rocket does this several times, both when blasting away with a rifle while standing on Groot's shoulder or when firing the guns of a fighter ship that he is piloting.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shown Their Work: Peter flies through the cold vacuum of space with his hands exposed. He also removes his mask to save Gamora. The media in general likes to depict exposure to space immediately resulting in your blood boiling over, your skin instantly freezing, your eyes popping out of your head, etc. This movie shows what would actually happen (fairly) accurately. They are wearing some shielding technology, but it's established that against the exposure of space, it will only work for a very short time. Fortunately, Yondu arrives Just in Time.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • Drax shoots Nebula with a rocket launcher while she's in the middle of a speech building up to a dramatic showdown.
    • Rocket rams Ronan with a spaceship when he's in the middle of gloating to Drax about how he killed his family.
  • Sigil Spam: The Nova Corps puts their starburst symbol all over the place. Even Xandar's capital city resembles the sigil when seen from above.
  • Single Tear: Towards the end, Peter sheds one when seeing his mom on her deathbed in a dream sequence caused by touching the Infinity Stone.
  • Skewed Priorities: After their escape from the Kyln, Quill risks his life and returns to the prison in order to recover his walkman.
  • Slow No: In the climax, Gamora does this during Peter's Desperate Object Catch for the Infinity Stone blown from Ronan's hammer.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord.
    • When he announces his name to Korath he expects a reaction, but Korath just shrugs and asks "Who?" It even continues when the Nova Corps get him.
      Peter Hey, y'know what? There's another name you might know me by.
      [Korath turns to face Quill]
      Peter: Star-Lord.
      Korath: [beat] Who?
      Peter: [visibly disappointed] Star-Lord, man. The legendary outlaw? [beat] Oh, forget this...
    • Peter's later ecstatic when Korath actually greets him using his "outlaw name" in their second encounter. It's apparently the first time anyone else has used it seriously.
      Korath [grins menacingly] Star-Lord.
      Peter: [grins in return] Finally!
  • The Smart Guy: Rocket Raccoon, a brilliant planner with an eye for gadgets. He remotely hacked a number of guard robots, disabled a space-station's anti-grav and proceeded to fly the guard tower out of the prison, a plan he concocted in a few minutes at most.
  • Smoke Shield: A classic example, used by the Ravagers against the Dark Aster. Interesting because it's not smoke, but rather appears to be Hard Light at first, and could be misconstrued for a weapon.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Gamora for the Guardians, Nebula for the villains, though the two start nominally on the same team.
  • Something Completely Different: For the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • This film shifts from the previous Super Hero tales to a full-blown Space Opera.
    • The Avengers, despite their idiosyncrasies, are undoubtedly straight-up heroes. The Guardians are a bunch of surly, trigger-happy, fight-happy anti-heroes with impressive criminal records. As one prison guard puts it, they're "a bunch of a-holes." There's also the greater emphasis on comedy.
    • This is also the first Marvel Studios film not to feature Avengers members. In fact, this is the explicitly stated reason as to why this movie is happening. After nine or so straight movies revolving around the members of the Avengers, building up to the upcoming finale to Phase Two, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy is a Breather Episode gathering of C-list and D-list Marvel characters that nobody would ever expect to be featured in a film.
    • While it is a 180-degree turn in tone from the superhero movies that have come before, the stinger involving this film in Thor: The Dark World, the explanations of the Celestials and clarification of the power of the Infinity Stones ties it in and sets up plot points that ultimately will pay off the Phase 3 films, culminating in the The Avengers: Infinity War films.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • Despite the film being a Space Opera, the soundtrack consists of various sixties and seventies hits — all tracks from Peter's "Awesome Mix Vol 1" mixtape. This emphasizes just how much he doesn't fit into a superhero persona in that situation.
    • The opening has Peter finding a creepy tomb on a dead world, only to start dancing through the monster-infested ruins to the 1974 Redbone's hit "Come and Get Your Love".
    • Peter gets processed and locked up in space prison to "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede.
    • "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes plays as Peter fights through a dozen or so security guards to get his cassette player back. It turns out this song is playing because one of the prison guards, who examined the cassette tape, has taken a liking to the song. Granted the dissonance is slightly lessened since a song titled "Escape" is playing as he escapes from a prison.
    • "Moonage Daydream" by David Bowie plays as the Guardians reach the Wretched Hive of scum and villainy, Knowhere Station.
    • The Guardians form their master plan to beat Ronan to the 1976 "Cherry Bomb", by the Runaways.
    • "O-o-h Child" plays after Ronan's ship crashes and Groot dies protecting the rest of the Guardians. Quill uses this to challenge Ronan to a dance-off.
    • "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell plays as a Right Now Montage shows what Yondu, Nova Prime Rael, Officer Dey, and the Guardians themselves are doing after the Final Battle.
    • The crew flies off to their next adventure to "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5. Groot then dances to the rest of the song, while Drax cleans his knives in the background.
  • Source Music: The '70s tunes that play in the movie are all from a cassette tape that Peter owns and listens to regularly in the film itself.
  • Space Clouds: Clearly our heroes are guarding the same part of the galaxy that Asgard is in. Knowhere and Thanos's... throne room-asteroid thing are both surrounded by nebulae.
  • Space Is Air:
    • While this trope is in full force with most of the ships, the Knowhere mining pods are portrayed extremely realistically, consisting of small cramped spheres covered in retro-thrusters that maneuver with Newtonian mechanics.
    • While the Dark Aster and Yondu's mothership are straight examples of big, boxy fortresses, the Milano and her sister ships are streamlined for atmospheric operations; their wings and thrusters even shift during complicated maneuvers.
  • Space Opera: Huge Space Battles! Space Pirates! Space Police! Green-Skinned Space Babes! A MacGuffin that could decide the fate of the galaxy! Welcome to the Cosmic Marvel universe.
  • Space Pirate: Yondu and the Ravagers. Although we never see them do any pillaging on-screen, they are described as (and act like) a group that will steal anything from anyone and everyone else treats them as such.
  • Space Police: The Nova Corps, who aren't really amused that an Anti-Hero Team is calling themselves the "Guardians of the Galaxy" instead.
  • Space Station: Knowhere, which is the floating head of a dead Celestial.
  • Space Western: The whole film is one. The Ravager are very bandito/Indian raider-esque and Knowhere is explicitly compared to a old west outlaw town by Quill.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Rocket had this elaborate plan laid out to break out of prison, and Groot, well-meaning tree that he is, proceeds to immediately grab the item that they were supposed to grab last, which triggers the prison alarms. The rest of the team have to quickly improvise the rest of the escape.
    • The Collector's repeated attempts to get his hands on the Orb through intermediaries result in the disruption of Thanos and Ronan's plans.
  • Spontaneous Crowd Formation: In the climactic dance battle, a crowd of people shows up as a convenient audience. This is all the more inexplicable because the city they're in had previously been evacuated, dive-bombed, and borderline colony dropped, yet there are still plenty of people around to gawk.
  • Spreading Disaster Map Graphic: During the Collector's monologue about the origin of the six Infinity Stones, we see images of some planet being destroyed by the destructive power of one of the orbs.
  • Starfish Language: It sounds like all Groot can say is "I am Groot", but he's actually very intelligent and well-spoken, and that's just how his subtle and complex language sounds to people no matter what he says. Helpfully, Rocket can understand him.
  • The Starscream: Ronan the Accuser is revealed to be this once he gets hold of an Infinity Stone, with the intention of going after Thanos once he's through with the Nova Corps.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • The third trailer includes the Tag Line "All Heroes Start Somewhere." After the word "Somewhere" appears on screen, the next thing you see is a space station. The name of that space station, not mentioned in the trailer but known to followers of the comics, is Knowhere.
    • In the end, Yondu opens his capsule expecting to find the Infinity Gem as promised by Quill but finds a troll doll figure inside. In other words, he got trolled.
    • During the Guardians' escape from prison, the Pina Colada song plays... The song's real title? "Escape".
    • Before the Guardians' escape, Rocket asks his companions for a controller from a guard's arm, and the prosthetic leg from one of the prisoners. In other words, Rocket demands an arm and a leg to get them out.
  • Stepford Smiler: The Collector's aid, Carina, is always smiling, putting on a chipper mood in front of others. In actuality, the Collector is a Mean Boss to her, constantly hurling abuse at her and her fellow servants, keeping those who crossed him in one of his cages.
  • Sticky Fingers: Quill may be a thief, but at least he understands the concept of ownership, whereas Rocket seems to struggle with the idea.
    Rocket: Question: what if I see something that I wanna take and it belonged to someone else?
    Rhomann: You would be arrested.
    Rocket: But what if I want it more than the person who has it?
    Rhomann: It's still illegal.
    Rocket: That doesn't follow. No, I want it more, sir, you understand me?
  • The Stinger: Howard the Duck is among the Collector's collections.
  • Storming the Castle: The Dark Aster is a space ship and a castle in one.
  • Stupid Evil:
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Courtesy of Rocket.
    Rocket: I got one plan and that plan requires a frickin Quarnex battery so FIGURE IT OUT!!!!

  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: The Other (Thanos's chamberlain). Although he was able to scare Loki in The Avengers, Ronan makes short work of him.
  • Suicide Attack: Ronan orders his Necrocraft fighters to dive-bomb Xandar during the fight. They manage to do quite a bit of damage until Rocket and the Ravagers start blasting them out of the sky before they can land.
  • Superheroes in Space: Perhaps the first film example of superheroes in a Space Opera setting.
  • Superhero Movie Villains Die: Ronan and Korath are both killed. Nebula survives.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: During the Kyln prison break, an exasperated Gamora declares "I'm going to die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy."
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: Drax, Rocket and Groot either have no idea about human gestures and metaphors, completely misunderstand what people are saying, or are just simply unintelligible.
  • Take My Hand: Happens a few times.
    • The first is when Peter's mom asks him to take her hand just before she dies.
    • The second is from Gamora when Nebula is about to perform a Disney Villain Death, which she subverts by timing it so she lands on a passing Ravager fighter.
    • Finally, when Peter is about to be overwhelmed by the Infinity Stone, Gamora calls for him to take her hand, which he does after a brief flashback memory of the first incident.
  • Talking Animal: Rocket, only he'll chew your face off if you call him an "animal".
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Hilariously averted on numerous occasions.
    • Drax shoots Nebula with a rocket while she's badmouthing Gamora.
    • Peter sings and dances to buy time for Rocket to repair the Hadron Enforcer and shoot Ronan's hammer.
  • Tattooed Crook: Drax's body is covered in red tattoos. He's introduced as a prisoner.
  • Team Killer: Ronan kills The Other for annoying him during their argument.
  • Team Title: Obviously, though they are only referred to as "Guardians of the Galaxy" near the end.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The five of them can't stand each other (with the exception of Rocket and Groot), and spend as much time fighting each other as their enemies. Eventually they become Fire-Forged Friends.
  • Tempting Fate: When Rocket explains his plan for their prison break: "Once the battery is removed, everything is gonna slam into emergency mode. Once we have it, we gotta move quickly, so you definitely need to get that last. — Cue Groot ripping the device from the wall, kicking off the red alert.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Groot impales a bunch of Mooks by extending his arms into them, lifting them off their feet, slamming them down hard enough to break their legs audibly, knocking the other mooks into the opposite wall, then repeatedly slamming the impaled mooks against the walls and ceiling for about thirty seconds.
  • This Cannot Be!: Ronan expresses his disbelief that the Guardians together could safely wield the Infinity Stone right before they kill him.
    Ronan: [horrified] You're mortal! HOW?!
  • This is for Emphasis, Bitch!
    Quill: You said it yourself, bitch. We're the Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Title Drop: Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and Rhomann Dey all get to do this, at least in the trailer. In the actual movie, it's said by Ronan and Star-Lord.
  • Title In: All locations are introduced via Establishing Shot and on-screen text.
  • Token Good Teammate: Groot is the only Guardian that doesn't start the film as a criminal or Jerkass; the only reason he's with them is because of Rocket. Word of God notes that he's essentially "innocent" compared to the others.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: All but Groot become more compassionate as the film goes on.
  • Toplessness from the Back:
    • In the trailers, Gamora undresses on Quill's ship. This doesn't happen in the movie.
    • And in a non-fanservice version, Quill gets a look at Rocket's back when they're both being stripped of gear at the Kyln. Foreshadowing his later revelation, Rocket has various cybernetics embedded in it. In-between the bald spots and scar tissue.
  • Tractor Beam: Shows up on at least three occasions.
    • Used early on by Yondu to abduct little Peter and again later when saving him and Gamora from freezing to death in space.
    • Nebula's Necrocraft has one which she uses to collect the orb with after blowing Gamora's ship apart.
  • Translation Convention: It's safe to say that none of the characters spoke in English throughout the movie.
  • Translator Microbes: Star-Lord's arrest record lists him as having a translator implant in his neck. Gamora and Rocket are also cyborgs, and can be assumed to have something similar.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Everyone's space ship engines must be cued to the plot.
    • While it takes the Guardians quite a while to reach Knowhere from the Kyln, Ronan and company manage to receive Drax's phone call and arrive within the same amount of time the Guardians spend talking to the Collector.
    • It takes Yondu and his team very little time to travel from Xandar to Knowhere and arrive at the same time as Ronan.
    • In the time it takes Ronan to travel to Xandar, the Guardians manage to just beat him there, despite having to work out their issues with Yondu first.
  • Tribal Facepaint: Although not to the extent of Ronan's This Means Warpaint design, the only other Kree official seen in the movie also bears some black facepaint during his conversation with Nova Prime.
  • Trick Arrow: Yondu's weapon of choice is a single golden, high-tech arrow that he can control by whistling and guides with the implant on his skull. He uses it at one point to wipe out an entire detachment of mooks.
  • Two Decades Behind: Peter is abducted in 1988 and the story takes place 26 years later. This means it all happens in 2014, Earth time.
  • Understatement: Yondu describing Peter Quill's father, who he'd been protecting Peter from after having unwittingly delivered God knows how many other children to their deaths, as a "jackass".
  • Unexpected Character: The movie is a gathering of C-list and D-list Marvel characters that nobody would have expected to be featured in a film. Including Howard the Duck in The Stinger!
  • Unfolding Plan Montage: The heroes' plan to save Xandar is explained via fancy animations on a Holographic Interface.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee:
    • Rocket doesn't tell any of the Guardians (or the viewer) how he plans to get them out of prison, only that they need access to the control tower. Gamora is visibly delighted by the reveal.
    • Mostly averted with Quill's 12% plan to save Xandar. We get bits of an Unfolding Plan Montage and though some of the details, e.g. how Ronan gets killed, go down differently, the final outcome is still as planned.
  • Uplifted Animal: Rocket is the result of "illegal genetic and cybernetic experiments on a lower life form".
  • Used Future:
    • Most of the space faring races' "futuristic" technology is covered in dirt and grime, a far cry from the Crystal Spires and Togas of Asgard.
    • Averted by Xandar, which is very pristine-looking (though more Earth-like, with fountains-and-walkways). At least until a good chunk of it gets destroyed by Ronan's forces.
  • Use Your Head: Drax headbutts an opponent during the Prison Riot.
  • Vehicular Assault: In Space. When fleeing Knowhere, Gamora is assaulted by a Necrocraft that uses its wing to push her pod against a rock wall.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Ronan the Accuser is surprisingly dark and menacing for a film that's so light-hearted and adventurous.
  • Villain Ball: Ronan could have achieved his goals easily if he tried a more subtle approach like just taking a nondescript shuttle to Xandar and using the Infinity Stone without drawing attention to himself. Instead he had to make a big production of it by having his easily recognized flagship fly to Xandar and giving an archetypal monologue about what he's going to do before actually doing it, which gave the Guardians and the Nova Corps the opportunity to fight back. And later, when all Ronan has to do to win is touch the ground, he pauses to gloat more. He even keeps Rocket alive to hear it. This gives Rocket enough time to reassemble his gun and shoot the Infinity Gem out of Ronan's grip.
  • Visual Pun: When Yondu opens the orb Peter gave him, he finds a Troll Doll instead of the Infinity Stone. Peter is "trolling" Yondu.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The relationship between any two members of the team (except Groot), but special mention goes to Drax who is Innocently Insensitive to his teammates. And then Nebula shows up and he blows her away for trash-talking Gamora.
    Drax: No-one talks to my friends like that.
  • Voiceover Letter: Peter's note from his mom.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Much like in the comics, Drax is never seen wearing a shirt. Lampshaded in the suiting up scene before the climax; the Ravagers provide the Guardians with dark red leather uniforms. Drax considers the shirt for about two seconds before tossing it away.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency:
    • Yondu constantly holds the fact that he didn't allow the Ravagers to eat Peter Quill when he first came aboard as a child over Peter's head and expects his loyalty in return. Eventually Peter calls him out on it.
      Quill: Twenty years you've been throwing that in my face! Like it's some great thing, not eating me! Normal people don't even think about eating someone else! Much less that person'd have to be grateful for it!
    • Peter shamelessly talks himself up after saving Gamora from the vacuum of space.
  • We Have Reserves: When Ronan sends off his Necrocraft pilots to dive-bomb Yandar.
  • We Need a Distraction: Peter Quill dances in front of Ronan in order to buy time for Rocket Raccoon to repair a weapon for Drax to fire at Ronan's hammer. It works.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The Infinity Stones can be used to wipe out entire planets.
  • We Will Not Have Pockets in the Future: The Xandarians are dressed this way.
  • We Will Spend Credits in the Future: The universally accepted currency seems to be "Units".
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: The Collector does.
  • Wham Line:
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Bereet? Where did she go after Quill got arrested by Nova Corps? (It's blink-and-you-miss-it, but when Rocket is scanning Quill to find out he has a bounty, you can see Quill saying goodbye to her before he heads to the Broker.)
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Drax's extremely reckless behavior in his quest for vengeance against Ronan results in a lot of people ending up hurt or dead, and Drax himself getting beaten severely and nearly killed. Rocket calls him out on this, pointing out that Drax is not the only person whose family has been killed by Ronan, and that getting even more people killed while trying to get revenge is not an appropriate method of redress. It works: Drax is deeply shamed, which prompts him to behave much more rationally, and more cooperatively, from then on.
  • When Trees Attack: Groot may be the nicest member of the team, but if you make him angry, he's also the most dangerous. Definitely.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The movie ends with one: The Nova Corps seals the Infinity Stone away, Rhomann Dey comes home to his family, Yondu discovers that Peter gave him a troll doll instead of the Infinity Stone and Groot is slowly regenerating in a flower-pot after his Heroic Sacrifice. And as for Peter and his True Companions, they're off to do "Something good, something bad, a bit of both."
  • White Male Lead: Despite the diverse cast of alien misfits, the white, male, and human Quill is the leader of the group.
  • The Worf Barrage: Ronan is completely unfazed by the Hadron Enforcer. He absorbs the attack despite a direct hit to the chest and re-emerged from a cloud of smoke.
  • The Worf Effect: The previously Made of Iron Drax gets beaten half to death in his first fight with an an unarmed Ronan, to show just how dangerous the Kree villain is. He actually gets curb-stomped both times he fights Ronan solo; it is only the combined efforts of the Guardians that deliver the win.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: The Infinity Stone has the effect of converting any organic matter it touches into energy, unless it is held by a being of incredible power. If used on a planet, the resulting chain reaction would rip through the microbes in soil and seawater, rendering the entire planet lifeless.
  • Wretched Hive: The Knowhere space station, a severed Celestial head located at an unspecified place just outside of the galaxy. It's a port of call and observatory for intergalactic travelers, as well as a mining colony for selling illegal materials on the interstellar black market, and so attracts all sorts of unsavory characters.
  • X-Ray Sparks: In the fight between Gamora and Nebula, Gamora's skull and skeleton flicker into visibility when she's painfully shocked by Nebula's electric staff.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Played with. Quill, Gamora, Rocket and Groot first meet each other on Xandar, but the entire team first meets up in the Kyln prison when they run into Drax.
  • You Are Not My Father: Gamora never actually says this to Thanos in this movie, but this is clearly how she feels when Quill refers to him as her father. She tells him quite plainly that Thanos murdered her true family and adopted her against her will. Her "sister" Nebula seems to feel the same way about Thanos, but chooses to take a very different path to rectify it.
  • You Are Number 6: Rhomann Dey refers to Rocket by the serial number used by the scientists who created him.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Most of the costumes are spot-on or at least pragmatic approximations, but Korath looks absolutely nothing like his comic counterpart. Which is for the best.
  • You Killed My Father: Ronan points this out to the captive Xandarian before crushing his head.
    Ronan: Because I do not forgive your people for taking the life of my father, and his father, and his father before him.
  • You Shall Not Pass:
    • The Nova Corps try to use their fighter craft to physically do this to the Dark Aster as it nears Xandar's surface, using an interlocking shield mechanism which essentially turns their hundreds of ships into one giant energy net. They don't stop it, but they do considerably delay it. And it's only the power of the Infinity Stone that gets the Dark Aster through it.
    • Simultaneously, the Ravagers use their own ships to shoot down Ronan's Mook Mobiles as they try to strafe and Suicide Attack the Xandarian capital city. This, on the other hand, is mostly successful.

"So, what should we do next? Something good? Something bad? A bit of both?"