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    The Comics 
  • Cosmo gets one when one of his Skrull friends is hurt.
    Cosmo: That does it. That enough. No more Mr. Nice Dog. Now Cosmo will hurt everyone.
  • Groot versus the Monster of the Badoon. Curb-Stomp Battle for the zombie cyborg, when Groot takes its head off in one punch.
    Groot: I AM GROOT!
  • An Offscreen Moment of Awesome for the Kree during Secret Invasion. Peter Quill goes to warn them about the Skrulls, who've upgraded their shapeshifting technique and are more dangerous than ever, with all the potential superpowers of Earth at their command. Peter infiltrates Hala, and finds… that the Kree have already seen through the Skrull's infiltration and killed them all. For Earth, the Secret Invasion was a world shaking event. For the Kree, who've been fighting the Skrulls for millennia, it's just another day at the office. They didn't even think it was worth telling anyone, it was that routine.
  • Phyla rescuing Moondragon from the Dragon of the Moon, and then slicing her way out of its stomach. Just for reference, said dragon is several miles high.
  • Mantis versus Karnak of the Inhumans. He can detect any weakness in anything, and she fights defensively. He predicts that he will find a way past her technique in a few minutes. Mantis' response? Point out that he needs to be conscious to do that, and lays him out with a mind-whammy.
  • Drax slicing off Maelstrom's arms, and the Quantum Bands that were connected to said arms. Regrettably, it doesn't shut Maelstrom up, but it does at least take away his most useful weapon, as well as giving Quasar the means to help Nova over in his own title.
  • The rescue of Moondragon (oh, and Cynosure) from the Church. The Guardians bring Knowhere itself as a rescue vehicle, while the Luminals bring every single member they ever had. The Luminals, by the way, have enough members to make the Legion of Super-Heroes look tiny.
  • Gamora, Mantis, Major Victory, Cosmo and Phyla fighting against an entire world's worth of the Church of Universal Truth soldiers, and winning. Until Phyla finds Thanos.
  • Another Offscreen Moment of Awesome, when Thanos lays waste to Sacrosanct. Despite the world-wide devastation, and the fact that everyone else died, Mantis, Major Victory, Gamora, and Cosmo all survived unharmed, despite everything in their arsenal failing to so much as scratch Thanos.
  • How tough is Captain America's shield? Even a completely invulnerable Thanos can't dent it. This is after it's established that Gamora's sword, which was designed to kill gods, already broke on him. Nothing like the old school.
  • Jack Flag, one of the many people to rotate through the team, lead a crew of human criminals, most of them powerless, in holding off an alien army of super-murderers. From a wheelchair. Jack only lost because one of his crew betrayed him.
  • The Guardians & Tony Stark (Not Iron Man - he had been stripped of his armor) taking a Spartax warship through sheer force after being arrested for the crime of… heading to Earth to stop a Badoon invasion.
  • The final issue of the Brian Michael Bendis run has a very amazing one - the Brood, Badoon and Annihilation Wave are set to trample over Thanos and destroy Earth. However, the Brood Queen doesn't respond - Angela does. She gives a masterful Badass Boast which she promises to unleash the Ten Realms on their asses if they even disturb a speck of dirt and as they lie broken and beaten, she will kill them one by one with her Asgardian brethren laughing at them. They wisely decide to turn tail and run and later Annihilus and the Badoon leader decide Earth just isn't worth it.
  • The start of new issue has the team needing to rob a bank planet, how did they do so? They use a Galactus-shaped rocket, which for the most part worked!

    The Film 
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  • The movie's introduction. We're treated to a Tear Jerker backstory, then jump forward 26 years to a longcoat-wearing badass traversing a mysterious world. Upon entering some ruins he removes his helmet, putting on some familiar headphones revealing him to be a grown-up Peter. And then... he starts dancing to "Come and Get Your Love" — grabbing a lizard and using it as a microphone, no less — showing us this will be a fun movie.
  • Peter Quill, after failing to intimidate Korath and his Sakaaran minions with his "Star Lord" title, kills the minions and knocks down Korath in a matter of seconds. Seeing as he was acting like a relatively goofy guy up to this point, this scene shows that he's not someone to be underestimated.
  • Rocket gives an Ax-Crazy Badass Boast to all of the prisoners in the Kyln after his buddy Groot reduces a massive, bullying convict to a sniveling heap, who has given his rather… disturbing welcoming speech to Peter.
    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.
  • The breakout from The Kyln, with the Guardians all utilizing their capabilities to get what they need to bust out of there.
    Quill: …That was a really good plan.
    Rocket: [spreads arms in "what did I tell you?" gesture]
    • One moment in particular stands out, though:
      And then, Cue the RIOT
    • This also features an intense "I AMMMM GROOOOOOT" moment after some prison guards attack Groot, forcing him to fight back. Made even better by the voice filters failing and Vin Diesel's natural bass coming out. Yep, VD has such a Badass Baritone that no voice filter can hold it in when he goes all out with it.
    • Star-Lord staying behind to get his mix tape back.
      Drax: You are an imbecile.
  • When the Guardians reach the top of the prison watchtower, the door opens to reveal them all assembled in the film's first true Team Shot.
  • The Celestial ravaging an entire planet with an Infinity Stone.
    • That scene is great for two reasons: it's framed almost like a Jack Kirby panel, and it features an actual Celestial from the comics, namely Eson the Searcher, one of the most dynamic-looking Celestials.
  • Carina grabbing the Infinity Stone to take her revenge on the Collector, who just a few scenes ago threatened to lock her in a cage since she wasn't cleaning the cages properly. She dies in the process, but she also takes out Tivan's collection in the process reducing it to rubble.
  • Ronan handily defeating Drax on Knowhere.
  • Quill and Rocket using unarmed mining pods to fight Ronan's necrocrafts. At one point, Peter tears his way into a necrocraft using the pod and then using its arms, proceeds to use the guns of the ship that he's inside of.
  • Quill saving both Gamora and himself from dying in the cold void of space with some very quick thinking.
  • Ronan grabbing the Infinity Stone with his bare hands and surviving the experience long enough, by himself, to integrate it into his Universal Weapon and challenge Thanos to boot.
  • Quill's Rousing Speech to the 4 people who somehow got mixed up in his life. When Rocket points out that he's essentially asking them to die for his plan, at first Quill is distraught. However, one by one, they join Quill standing up, showing they're the True Companions they were destined to be at last, the team that they need to be to defeat Ronan.
    Rocket: Well now I'm standing. Happy? We're all standing now. Bunch of jackasses, standing in a circle.
  • The Ravagers' incredibly flashy and highly effective smokescreen.
  • Drax blasting Nebula with his gun (non-fatally), after she called Gamora a stupid traitor. The quote that follows, "Nobody talks to my friends like that", had audiences erupting in applause.
  • Quill, Drax, Gamora, and Groot fighting their way through the Dark Aster.
  • Groot sticking his arm through a whole line of Ronan's goons, then slamming them into the other goons, and then repeatedly slamming the ones still on his arm. He then turns to Quill and Drax and flashes a grin.
  • Nebula's escape involves timing her fall from Dark Aster to land on a Ravager ship, kick its pilot out of the cockpit and then fly out of the battlefield.
    • She cut off her own goddamned hand. And she just keeps going.
  • The whole final showdown, including Drax and Rocket destroying Ronan's hammer, letting Quill grab the stone, with him nearly being destroyed, until Gamora, Drax, and Rocket (who is grabbing onto one of Groot's twigs) join him together. And then, we hear this exchange:
    Ronan: You're mortal! How?!
    Quill: You said it yourself, bitch. We're the Guardians of the Galaxy.
    [Quill opens his hand and directs the stone's energy toward Ronan, blowing the villain to smithereens.]
    • It really cannot be understated just how awesome the Guardians' sharing of the Stone's power is. It's the epitome of The Power of Friendship as a cliché, blown way out of cinematic proportion, and incredibly awe-inspiring for it.
    • When you consider that they had all had witnessed first-hand what the Power Stone could do when Carina grabbed it, and had learned from the Collector that even the group of people who had shared the power before had died too it makes it all the more incredible that they each reached out in the first place. For all each of them knew, they were sentencing themselves to die right on the spot, with only a slight chance that they would be able to stop Ronan first.
    • A Fridge moment of awesome: Quill clearly saw Rocket and Drax planning something, since he was distracting Ronan. But Gamora might not have, if her Big "NO!" when Peter leaped to grab the stone was any indicator. And yet she was the first person to react to Peter holding the stone, yelling for him to take her hand. It was one of the biggest moments where her concern and care for Peter shone through.
    • And one for Rocket: he is clearly the most reluctant of the bunch, and yet in the finale, despite hearing his friends' screams of pain and seeing the power of the stone begin to rip each of them apart from the inside out, he still reached out to share the burden with them.
    • Made all the better when you notice that the scattered twigs of Groot are glowing as well, he is sharing the load with the rest of them (also good foreshadowing that he did not in fact die from the crash - or rather, he did die, but he left behind a son).
    • And it's all capped off with this piece.
  • A grounded Yondu vs a Sakaaran platoon with a necrocraft, poor suckers never stood a chance.
    • Also counts as a follow up to his offscreen moment just before. Surviving a crash landing that literally annihilates his ship into pieces and he didn't have any sort of escape pod since we see him standing in the wreckage.
  • Groot's building a shelter for the rest of the team inside Ronan's crashing ship, essentially sacrificing himself in the process.
    Groot: We are Groot.
  • Gamora beating Nebula, at least for now.
  • Thanos' first speaking scenes. He makes every second count.
    • The shot of Thanos smiling upon his throne, a familiar image for comic-book readers.
  • For decades, fans of Howard the Duck were positive that there was no chance in hell that they would ever see a worthy portrayal of the character on the big screen. The Stinger of this film proves them wrong.
    • It's also been suggested that this scene represents something of a Badass Boast by Marvel, to wit: the company did so poorly with films based on its properties until the turn of the century that for quite a while the 1986 Howard film was their best known one, with its status as the iconic bad comic book adaptation. After so long as a source of shame for Marvel, with the monstrous success of the MCU they now get to say "We're so big that we could even do this if we wanted."
  • The exchange between Korath and Quill during the attack on the Dark Aster. Quill finally gets the respect he's been seeking.
    Korath: [upon seeing Quill] Star Lord!
    Quill: Finally.
  • Drax: "Finger to the throat means DEATH!"
  • Rocket charging at Ronan after Groot's death. He was initially terrified of the Infinity Stone alone and when Ronan got his hands on it his plan was to literally get as far away as possible. After Groot's sacrifice though Rocket is willing to attack Ronan head on and unarmed. Granted, it fails, but it was cool to see someone not cowering in terror of Ronan once he had reached the surface.
  • The Ravagers are about to be overwhelmed by Ronan's forces when suddenly hundreds of Nova Corps pilots perform one of the best damn looking Gunship Rescue / The Cavalry / Big Damn Heroes trope ever. With epic music of course!
    Saal: Peter Quill, this is Denarian Saal of the Nova Corps. For the record, I advised against trusting you here.
    Peter Quill: [smiles at Gamora] They got my dick message!
    Saal: [with a most hilarious expression] Prove me wrong.
  • Then, these hundreds of Nova Corps pilots interlock their sky flyers to create a flying energy barricade to try and slow the Dark Aster down. You Shall Not Pass! declared by thousands of space cops - and until Ronan blasted their numbers with the Infinity Stone, it was working. Keep in mind, the Dark Aster is this big bulky ship that's nearly a mile wide, while the Nova Pilots' ships are roughly twice as big as a standard cockpit… but together, even with their barrier straining at the seams, they held fast and slowed the Dark Aster to an aerial crawl.
    • Heck, having so many ships fly in such a close formation without anyone crashing into anyone else would be considered a CMOA by any pilot.
    • When you think about it, almost everything the Nova Corps do is awesome. They completely avert Police are Useless; their first action is taking four criminals prisoner without endangering any civilians, they are savvy enough not to consider a message a lie just because it's coming from a criminal, they built an empire where species seems not to be an issue (just think how we can't yet deal with different ethnicities), the first thing they do to face an incoming threat is to start an evacuation program, and their main priority in the battle is ensure the safety of civilians (also counts as heartwarming).
    • Personally, the fact that Saal objects to listening to Quill only once. And, when they decide to act against his advice, he doesn't object and hopes he is the one being wrong. In most movies, he'd be the obstructive asshole, here he's actually a quite reasonable guy. Which makes his death later on all that more of a Tear Jerker.
  • Rocket and the Ravagers swoop in low on the Xandarian surface to protect fleeing civilians so that the Nova Corps can focus on slowing down Ronan. A misanthropic bounty hunter and a bunch of space pirates are unhesitatingly fighting to the death to save civilian lives, on the capitol planet of the Lawful Good space empire that was trying to arrest them all last week.
  • With the Nova Corps out of the fight and the Ravagers slowly but surely losing the fight to protect Xandar, Rocket performs a kamikaze attack on the Dark Aster to end things once and for all.
    • And as Rocket's ship plows through the Dark Aster's bridge, Peter knocks Groot, a solid tree creature that is much bigger and heavier than he is, out of the way and to safety.
    • The fact that Rocket likely did that to avenge the deaths of Saal and the other Nova Corps pilots Ronan had just killed.
  • One for the villain: in rapid succession, first Quillnote  - then Rocketnote  - and finally the surface of Xandarnote  make very creditable attempts to reduce Ronan to a greasy stain. How invulnerable is this guy? It took an Infinity Stone - to-the-face - to bring him down.
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