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Heartwarming / Guardians of the Galaxy

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    The Comics 
  • Phyla and Moondragon reuniting. Shame it all goes to hell not even a few months later.
  • In the last issue of Vol 2, when Mantis is so glad to see Peter again, she hugs him. D'aww.

    The Film
We... are... Groot.
  • Groot giving a flower to a little girl, who belongs to a group of beggar children. Groot has no money to give her, so he gives her the only thing he can. From the look on her face, it's maybe one of the few nice things she's ever had.
  • Drax declaring the other Guardians to be his friends. Even the "green whore".
    • The scene is even more touching (in a weird way) as almost immediately afterwards, Nebula appears and calls Gamora something similar, only to be blasted away by Drax for insulting someone he considers a friend.
    • Similarly, what Gamora says when the group agrees to take on Ronan one more time: "I have lived most of my life surrounded by my enemies. I would be grateful to die among my friends."note 
  • When Drax warily notes how dark it is aboard Ronan's ship, Groot smiles and begins to release hundreds of glowing seedpods from his body like fireflies, bathing the huge room in soft orange glow. Everyone is amazed.
    Drax: When did you learn to do that?
    Quill: I'm pretty sure the answer is "I am Groot".
  • The fact that Quill has no quarrel with his co-pilots when he first meets them, despite the fact that Rocket and Gamora nearly killed him.
  • While the team are being processed at the Kyln, Peter Quill after snarking back and forth with Rocket notices evidence of Rocket's experimentation and gives him a silent sympathetic glance.
  • Groot grabbing Rocket and diving to safety when The Collector's assistant/daughter sets off the Orb.
    • It's never stated outright, but given the situation and Groot's gentle-until-provoked personality and protective tendencies towards Rocket, it's probably safe to assume he got involved in that bar fight with Drax on Rocket's behalf.
    • Quill also performs a similar maneuver on Groot when Rocket crashes his jet into the Dark Aster.
  • Rocket, Drax, and Groot's ultimately unnecessary attempt to rescue Quill and Gamora from the Ravagers.
    • When Groot is trying to convince Rocket to go along with the rescue instead of running to the other end of the universe:
      Groot: I am Groot!
      Rocket: I know they're the only friends we ever had!
  • Quill carrying Rocket out of the Milano's wreckage.
  • Groot's Heroic Sacrifice. Three words. "We...are Groot..."
  • Drax stroking Rocket's fur while he mourns over Groot's Heroic Sacrifice. Also counts as a funny moment.
    • It becomes even more heartwarming when you realize that Rocket looks like he fully expects Drax to say something uncouth, since he was so callous about Drax's own family dying. There's a brief moment of him pulling it together and pulling away before he loses his nerve. The fact that Drax comforts him comes as a genuine surprise to him, because he doesn't think he deserves it.
      • The fact that Rocket's crying not just in grief, but in remorse, regretting that he had called Groot an idiot, makes the scene that much more both simultaneously heartwarming and heart-wrenching to watch.
      • Adding to Rocket calling Groot an idiot, and the overall way that Rocket treated Groot, 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.
      • There's also the fact that Rocket is the youngest and least mature of the Guardians, which makes him kind of the kid of the group. Drax, on the other hand, is the oldest and the only parent. He's comforting Rocket like he would his own son.
      • It's even more meaningful when we remember that back in Knowhere, Drax tried to take Ronan by himself to avenge his late family and Rocket called him out for this. When Groot died and Ronan survived the crash, Rocket reacts in the exact same way Drax did even thought he is the weakest member of the team. Drax petting Rocket is a way to show him that he relates to how Rocket must be feeling in that moment.
    • Word of God says that before that moment, Rocket has never known physical affection aside from Groot's branches touching his face before he died. The director, James Gunn, listed this as the reason why this scene doubles as a Tear Jerker for him every time.
  • Yondu deciding to adopt Quill instead of letting his men eat him or handing the boy over to his jackass dad. He's certainly not the best parent by any means, but he does care for Peter in his own way.
  • Before their last fight, Korath addresses Quill as "Star-Lord", which makes him smirk. It almost comes across as a sign of appreciation.
    • If you look close you'll notice both men smiling, they do see each other as worthy opponents! It's actually almost a little sad when Drax kills him later.
  • The fact that Peter has been lugging around the mixtape and walkman, not to mention the cassette player and sound system installed on his ship, means that he has maintained all that equipment for over 20 years! And he's obviously played that cassette many, many times over the past two decades, so to keep all that in pristine condition while gallivanting around the galaxy with no spare parts from Earth just goes to show how much his last connection to Earth means to him.
  • There's also The Reveal of what's in Peter Quill's unopened gift from his late mother. A second volume of her mixtape, her hand written letter even showing that the Star-Lord moniker came from her. Keep in mind that she asked that he not open it up until she had died, and yet he waits until after everything, including the imagery of his mother once-more asking for his hand, to do so. He's finally made his peace with both her passing and his own failures.
    • And then what's the first song on his mom's second mixtape? Ain't No Mountain High Enough.
    • And then Gamora tries her hand at dancing to it, something she couldn't manage before, even to distract Ronan. And Quill's smile shows what he realizes: the love his mother had for him, the love she expressed through her music, is the love the Guardians now have for each other.
  • We. Are. Groot.
    • Finding out that Groot is alive at the end, albeit a little twig in a pot and yawns like a newborn.
    • Dancing baby Groot! D'AAWW!!!
    • Considering the Infinity Stone's highly volatile and unpredictable nature, and the amount of power it holds, it wouldn't be surprising to find out that it's what allows Groot to grow back in the end while holding each other's hands and sharing the pain would have allowed just enough power to go to Groot. To sum it up, their willingness to take on the stone for the sake of countless innocents as well as for each other would have essentially allowed Groot to grow back.
  • When Yondu checks the sphere where it was supposed to contain the MacGuffin, it actually has an old Troll doll in it. Instead of being mad at Star Lord for cheating him of his prize, he just smiles.
    • Quill could have given Yondu an empty orb — there was plenty of them. Instead, he gave Yondu the one thing guaranteed to have personal meaning to him, given Yondu's fondness for collecting toys. It's no wonder that he smiles at it. Looking at him as he muses, one gets the impression that he strongly suspected this from the start, but would never have opened it in front of Quill to check. Peter him telling not to open the Orb a way of telling Yondu he was giving him another orb, and giving him a way to hide from the rest of the crew, saving him from having to cover it up himself and being accused of having been too soft again.
      • It gets even better; the Troll doll was presumably in Quill's backpack when he was abducted from Earth, meaning it was one of his last souvenirs from his home world. To give it over to his surrogate father figure, as an addition to Yondu's collection of knick-knacks and toys, is subtly nice of him. Given it's a virtual certainty Peter's backpack was rifled through by his abductors, Yondu will have known about and probably coveted this toy for over 26 years. Now it's his, and voluntarily.
      • Even more than that, if we're going with the above logic that the Ravagers looked through Quill's backpack, it is entirely possible that Yondu had never really seen cute little figurines before. Quill did live with the Ravagers for over 20 years; it's not beyond the realm of reason to think that Peter inspired Yondu's love for knick-knacks, and giving him this one in particular is a really touching gesture. Also, it's pretty clearly implied throughout the movie that Yondu is a big ol' softie when it comes to Peter. Probably why he didn't give him over to his "jackass" father.
      • Michael Roker did an interview about that scene and revealed that his thought in that scene was "My boy is going to be just fine". Quill managed to trick Yondu and the captain of the Ravagers is utterly PROUD of Peter and knows that he is going to be ok.
      • There's also Kraglin, Yondu's first mate, who is also clearly fond of Quill with how he vocally observes that kid the Ravagers abducted "turned out ok".
  • Peter saving Gamora by putting his helmet over her head. In Space.
    • And all the while, Rocket is yelling at him to get back in his pod, panicked at the thought of Peter dying senselessly.
  • The Guardians grabbing hands with Peter as he holds the Infinity Gem in order to split the power and help each other survive. Even Groot is involved. Rocket was holding one of his twigs, thus splitting the power by 5. Rocket's grief over the "death" of his friend saved a planet.
    • The best part? None of them knew they'd survive the power of the Infinity Stone. As far as they knew, holding onto Peter could have been their deaths, too, but they still held on anyway.
    • Look closely just above Gamora's and Quill's shoulders as the Power Stone's energies enshroud the group. It's subtle, but you can see tendrils moving in the purple aurora that surrounds them, right at the height where Groot's arms would be: visible confirmation that their plant friend is contributing to the Guardians' gestalt.
  • Dey reuniting with his wife and daughter, revealed to be the pink-skinned aliens among those Rocket protects from the kamikaze necrocraft. Extra points for what's being sung over it: "My love is alive."
    • Just before that Dey earnestly thanking Peter for his actions, specifically mentioning that his wife and child are alive because of him.
  • Groot saving Drax from drowning.
    • And later, when Drax finally admits that his quest for vengeance against Ronan is only to cover up his grief at losing his wife and child, Groot puts a comforting hand on his shoulder.
  • Gamora laying a hand on Drax's shoulder at the end, followed by Rocket looking back at him and smiling.
    • The entire end shot is one giant Heartwarming Moment. This group of deeply scarred, highly unconventional misfits have finally found a place to belong. Drax has a family once more, Gamora has friends who truly love and accept her despite her Dark and Troubled Past, Rocket has companions (in addition to Groot) who don't treat him like a freak, Groot can regrow while protected by his friends, and Peter is finally at peace with himself and has grown out of his self-centered immaturity to care for his new crew.
  • Rocket deciding to protect civilians against immolation initiative, and the Ravagers following him. It wasn't part of their plan, and they hadn't actually anything to gain in doing it, but they still decided to protect innocents.
  • Drax realizing he has friends, and individually calling them out as such, even though he hasn't realized "whore" is not a term of friendship; followed immediately by him blasting Nebula because "nobody talks to my friends that way".
  • Rocket trying to grow Groot back from a twig. More poignantly, judging from how badly Rocket took Groot’s death, and the look of joyous surprise when it works, he probably didn’t know that Groot could grow back like this, and tried it out of simple desperation.
  • Rocket calling the group's goal to stop Ronan a suicide mission is treated seriously by all of the members. Each of them chooses to continue on, fully expecting not to come back at all, for their own reasons. Quill is naturally altruistic, Gamora wants to do some good for once in her life and wants to die among her friends, Drax wants to prevent others from suffering as he has and looks forward to reuniting with his wife and daughter in death, Groot is just naturally nice, and Rocket has a naturally short lifespan.
  • An odd case between Gamora and Nebula; They are antagonistic rivals who have been transformed into mass killing machines by a man who killed their families, destroyed their world, tortured and experimented on them and then dubbed them his children. Despite this they legitimately consider each other sisters, even if that doesn't stop them from trying to kill one another, Nebula even states that she hates Gamora the least. In their climatic battle the thought that Nebula was going to perform a Disney Villain Death actually elicits a Big "NO!" from Gamora. Then Nebula decides that while she won't help Gamora, she won't help Ronan either, and exits the battle field.
    • This extends to their backstories too. When on a mission, Nebula was trapped and Thanos demanded Gamora leave her behind. Gamora defied the Mad Titan and went back to save her, though this would cost Nebula her arm.
  • Gamora calls Quill "Star-Lord," without any sarcasm or irony by the time the film ends.
  • A minor one, but when Rocket finds Peter on Xandar, it was nice to see that Peter and Bereet parted ways in an amicable manner. He may be a bit of an inconsiderate dick for forgetting her name AND that she was sleeping on his ship, but it's obvious that Peter treated her good.
  • After Rocket reveals he didn't really need the prisoner's prosthetic leg and had only told Quill to get it for shits and giggles, Quill indignantly protests that he had to transfer 30,000 units for it. Considering the prisoner in question looked pretty old and frail, it would've been easy for Quill to overpower him and forcibly take the leg, but Quill had the decency to properly compensate the old man for it. Not 100% a dick, indeed!
  • When Yondu is about to execute Peter as an example for his men, he turns around with a grim expression. As pissed as he was at Peter, he can't bear to look at him while giving the killing blow. When Peter gives him an out, he grins in relief and immediately welcomes Peter back.
  • Even after Gamora betrays Thanos, he calls her his favorite daughter.
  • During the suicide bombing, there's a shot where a pink-skinned alien rescues a young Xandarian girl. This is heartwarming in itself, but look closely: It's Bareet, Quill's fling from earlier in the movie (James Gunn points this out in the commentary). In any other movie, we might never have seen her again once her service to the plot was done, but Gunn went out of his way to script, stage, and shoot a scene for the sole purpose of showing that Bareet had a life outside of her association with Quill.


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