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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Ego: Did he truly love Peter and his mother? Did he truly want to get to know his son as a father? Did he kill Meredith because he was scared of his love for her causing him to lose what made him special? OR did he simply see them as a means to an end? Did he only see Meredith as an Earthling incubator for his progeny to dispose of once he got what he needed? Did he just manipulate Peter to get him to achieve his goals while feeling nothing for him? There's enough ambiguity between his actions and his words to give credence to any one of these interpretations. Perhaps one of the biggest is the moment Ego crushes Peter's Walkman, the last memory he has of his mother, while quietly singing the refrain to "Brandy, You're a Fine Girl" one last time. Was it a Kick the Dog moment that firmly booted Ego over the Moral Event Horizon as a showcase of his utter lack of morality, or was it (in his own twisted way) a genuine effort to try and make Peter let go of his attachments to his mortal life and join him in godhood, as the only other being in existence who could eventually understand him? Or maybe both?
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    • Drax's interactions with Mantis; does he see her as a friend, a daughter figure to be protected, or a love interest? Word of God is that it isn't a romantic relationship, but the subtext is still there. Additionally, does he call her ugly because he wants to put distance between them and not allow himself to care about her (romantic or otherwise), because he really does find her ugly and is just being direct about it as usual, or is it his way of trying to be funny?
    • Mantis' comment that she "[doesn't] even like the type of thing" Drax is; some fans take it as a sign that she doesn't find members of his species attractive, while others have taken it as a sign that she's Ambiguously Gay.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
  • Award Snub: Despite being the first Hollywood production to be filmed entirely using 8K cinematography (ie, a resolution with four times the pixels of high definition), paving the way for further films to be shot with this resolution, the film received no Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography.
    • Additionally, Michael Rooker's fantastic portrayal of Yondu lead fans, critics and even James Gunn to feel he deserved an Oscar nod. Rooker and Gunn's refusal to bring Yondu back solidifies thier respect for his Heroic Sacrifice, but also means Rooker will sadly never have another chance to get this character his award.
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    • Composer Tyler Bates was allegedly considered for more awards and missed out due to the soundtrack having too many unoriginal tracks. Nonetheless many fans were outraged, believing this to be one of the MCU's more powerful scores. Gunn himself prefers vol.2's soundtrack.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Less "character" and more concept here, but the point still stands with regard to Baby Groot. He's either a refreshing way of handling the character after the first movie or a cynical move by Marvel to sell merchandise of the character. Teen Groot gets this same treatment.
    • Either you like the inclusion of Mantis as a funny, endearing, Pragmatic Adaptation for a new Token Good Teammate who bucks stereotypes by showing that Slapstick Knows No Gender, or she's yet another demure female Asian stereotype that doesn't get a shred of her comic counterpart's badassery.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Watching Yondu, Rocket and Groot kill every last one of the mutinous Ravagers, who previously killed everybody loyal to Yondu in a needlessly sadistic and cruel way.
    • Similarly, Ego's ultimate demise is nothing but pure refreshing once we learn he killed Meredith in the most heinous way possible and killed millions worth of his own children without a second thought; not to mention the other things he did throughout the film. The fact that he eventually shows complete fear to his demise just gives this bonus points.
  • Complete Monster: Ego, Peter "Star-Lord" Quill's father, is an immortal Celestial, who once traveled the universe seeking companionship, but found that other life utterly disappointed him and lost any interest in them. Ego instead decided upon a plan of assimilating all creation into himself in what he termed "The Expansion". Lacking the power to do so on his own, he sired countless children, hoping they would inherit his Celestial powers, killing them out of disappointment when they didn't. Traveling to Earth, Ego met Meredith Quill, whom he developed genuine feelings for. Unwilling to deviate from The Expansion, Ego gave her the brain tumor that killed her to ensure nothing held him back from his self-appointed purpose. After learning Peter might carry the Celestial gene, Ego tracked him down, playing the good father to him before revealing the true purpose of The Expansion, revealing his true nature when he believed Peter wouldn't care. When Peter turns on Ego, Ego enslaves him to his own power to use Peter as a battery for the next thousand years before kicking off The Expansion to consume every living thing in the universe, spitefully destroying Peter's Walkman which was a gift from Meredith and his last link to his mother. When Peter attempts to stop Ego, Ego tries to murder Peter's friends as well with no care.
  • Crack Pairing:
    • A lot of fans started shipping Drax and Mantis, despite the fact that he spends pretty much the whole movie calling her ugly. Or possibly because of it.
    • Kraglin and Nebula, of all people, became unexpectedly popular thanks to a one-on-one scene between them where she explains her backstory to him and Kraglin looks simultaneously terrified and turned on.
    • Nebula and Mantis is also well-liked, with many fans enjoying the potential of a rare female/female version of the Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl trope.
  • Critical Dissonance: While both critics and the audience liked the movie, how it compares to the original seems to have caused a split between the two. Critics widely agree that Guardians 2 is inferior to the original, but the audience either tends to view it as more of a Even Better Sequel, with surprisingly strong character arcs and dramatic moments to balance out the wackiness, or as a Contested Sequel that's enjoyable but being weaker than the first movie and bogged down by retreading a lot of the first film. In general, however, it is agreed that this film is one of the better MCU sequels and that it averts the usual Sophomore Slump, with the film even being Vindicated by History, to an extent, following its release.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Yondu massacring his treacherous crew with his psychic arrow — extremely violent. Doing the aforementioned massacring set to "Come a Little Bit Closer"? Extremely violent and utterly glorious.
    • Rocket and Peter's extremely juvenile argument while flying the Milano, culminating in Rocket threatening to put a turd in Quill's bed, is crude and sophomoric in the extreme. Rocket claiming that he won't use one of his own, he'll use one of Drax's, and Drax taking pride in this, ("I have famously huge turds") turns it from merely crass to screamingly hilarious.
    • Drax asking Ego about the mechanics of having sex with Peter's mom when Ego is a planet. If Ego responding in completely professional Sincerity Mode doesn't do it, then Drax explaining how his father told him the story of his conception every winter solstice certainly will.
    • Drax (sensing a pattern here?) telling Mantis that she's hideously disgusting once is rather cruel (even if somewhat apt) the first time he says it. It stops feeling so wrong when he's telling her this every time they talk.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • While Yondu retains this trait from the previous movie, Kraglin didn't previously have this trope. A combination of his Ascended Extra status, many likable qualities, and emotional role in Yondu's storyline made him very popular among audiences, with many hoping he joins the Guardians as Yondu's successor. Yondu himself is even more popular than prior, with his many badass feats and memetic lines, to the point where many people have called his death and funeral one of the saddest moments in the entire MCU.
    • Gef became unexpectedly liked by people in the executive department, and his death was made slightly less explicit for it.
  • Epileptic Trees: After it was confirmed that Kraglin survived the ending of Infinity War, many fans expect to see him join the Guardians (or more accurately, join Rocket) as Yondu's successor, possibly even with his own Ravager clan.
  • Even Better Sequel: A number of fans feel that this movie takes everything that made the last movie good and improves on it with better storytelling and characters.
  • Evil Is Cool: Kurt Russell's Ego was very well received as a rather unique villain in terms of powers, motivation, and mentality, and he's considered an exception to Marvel's usual run of having weak villains. Russell's performance as Ego maintaining an affability that becomes a mask for coldness, especially in his nonchalance at the horrible brutality and violence of his actions, was considered quite compelling and disturbing.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Though how evil she is is up for debate, Ayesha is definitely an antagonist, and played by gorgeous Statuesque Stunner Elizabeth Debicki. The gold skin, eyes, hair, and wardrobe help.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The original Guardians now exist in the MCU, as a bunch of over-the-hill space pirates.
  • Fanon: A small one, but the notion that Ego started Meredith's tumor with a kiss to the temple is a rather common one in fanworks, and turns the innocent one he plants on her in the car into a chilling bit of foreshadowing.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Drax's comments on how Mantis is basically Ego's "pet". At first, this is played for laughs until it's revealed Ego doesn't give a damn about mortal life forms and the sole reason he doesn't just kill Mantis is because she can help him sleep.
    • The moment where Mantis gets whaled by a piece of flying debris was in the trailers: it was funny at the time because the Guardians are all standing around striking a heroic pose, including Mantis's three-point crouch, when the tension is broken by Mantis being knocked out. In the film itself, however, Mantis was crouching because she was fully occupied in keeping the omnicidal monster contained, and her being knocked out of this duty is much less funny and more disastrous.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Ego begins his existence essentially as a Boltzmann Brain. From a biology standpoint, the bubble layer that Groot sticks the bomb onto corresponds to the meninges, an actual tissue layer separating the brain from the skull.
    • Another is the red and white ribbon on Yondu's face during the funeral. It's an American Army Good Conduct medal.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Aw, how sweet, the fascinating spaceman planting an alien flower on his date with the Earth woman he's fallen in love with. Later, we learn the flower's half of his plan to assimilate the planet. His relationship with the girl is the other half. He's done this on every other inhabited world. And he really does love her — and that's why she must die a horrible death.
    • Aw, how sweet, Peter's joy as his alien father shows him how to create that light energy. And if he hadn't been able to, Ego would have killed him then and there for being useless to his plans.
    • Marvel's official synopsis begins, "Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2...", as if they expected that soundtrack to sell at least as well as Awesome Mix, Vol. 1 did. Awesome Mix, Vol. 2 sold well enough to become a Gold Record, but fell short of its predecessor's Platinum sales.
    • Rocket watching Yondu sacrifice himself for his surrogate son was already tragic enough as is, but it's even MORE depressing with the knowledge that Baby Groot is actually the son of the previous Groot, not the same character, and Rocket has to watch Groot, his own surrogate son, disintegrate before his eyes in Infinity War and James Gunn confirmed that the translation of Teen Groot's last line is him desperately calling to Rocket, "Dad!" Ouch.
    • Another one for the film. Ego warns Peter that killing him will make Peter an ordinary mortal. Peter's Armor-Piercing Response is pretty cool at the time, but it ends up Tempting Fate come Infinity War, Peter's one of the first casualties of the Gauntlet, that bit falls here fast. As a bonus, look at how Ego goes down. His physical body crumbles to dust. In Avengers: Infinity War, Peter dies this exact same way. In a way, Ego got the last laugh. Like Father, Like Son, we guess.
    • On top of that, Peter's Hair-Trigger Temper Berserk Button moment where he immediately turns on Ego and attacks him after the living planet admits to murdering his mother is a Moment of Awesome here. In Infinity War he has the exact same reaction when it becomes clear that Thanos killed Gamora. Not so awesome in that case.
    • Kraglin is the only currently serving Yondu clan Ravager left by the end of the movie, other than Star-Lord, who's long since left the Ravagers behind. Come Avengers: Infinity War and Star-Lord's death in that movie, Kraglin's the only Ravager left period.
    • The last shot of the movie is a close-up on Rocket Raccoon's grieving face. This is even more poignant considering that by the end of Infinity War, he's the last Guardian left alive.
    • Continuing the Infinity War train, Gamora and Nebula in this movie grapple with how Thanos's abusive practices turned them against each other, and ultimately learn to get along as sisters in the end. Fast forward to Avengers: Infinity War and Thanos uses this renewed bond between the two to force Gamora into coughing up the Soul Stone's location by torturing Nebula until she did, ultimately leading to the death of Gamora and half the universe, with Nebula left in the surviving half to wallow in guilt and despair.
    • Early in the film, Star-Lord comments that Nebula is a Bad Liar, but it never comes up again. A few films later, this becomes a much harsher thing to watch, because of Thanos saying the same thing about Gamora, which led directly to his victory.
    • Nebula at one point loudly complains about being left behind with "that fox" (Rocket). Also, when Drax makes a rousing speech to the Guardians about how they are not friends, they're family, and no one gets left behind... except maybe Nebula. Rocket and Nebula are the only two characters from this film to survive Infinity War and silently mourn the loss of their comrades together in Endgame.
    • Read this line from The Stinger knowing that Stan the Man passed away before Marvel Studios wrapped up the Infinity Saga, and consequently doesn't appear in its last movie:
      Stan Lee: Ah, geez... I've got so many more stories to tell.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: At the end Gamora offers Nebula a chance to stay and fight alongside the Guardians, helping out little girls who've been through the same things they have. Nebula turns her down and leaves to hunt Thanos, but still ends the movie on better terms with her sister than before. Takes a few years but she then well and truly mellows out and not only joins the Avengers in their efforts to undo the Snap but finally takes Gamora's place among the Guardians like she wanted.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks!: Jeremy Jahns, who usually immensely enjoys the Marvel films, gave Guardians Vol. 2 a review that made it very clear that he wasn't impressed with the film. Citing Overly Long Gag fatigue, pacing, and Mood Dissonance as his major grievances, his final verdict for the film being that it was "A Good Time If You're Drunk," while mentioning that he was well aware that the comments section was about to turn into Chernobyl. Downplayed in the sense his review hasn't been subject to massive dislikes and contains a healthy amount of likes despite his negative criticism.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Kurt Russell's acting talents have never really been doubted, but even his most faithful fans were impressed by his performance as Ego, effortlessly wavering between wise, caring Cool Old Guy to psychotic and narcissistic monster with a surprisingly amount of subtlety.
    • Chris Pratt already received this response in buckets after the first film, but his character's emotional moments are turned Up to Eleven in this film. In particular, his breakdown when Yondu is dying holding Quill is utterly devastating to watch.
      • The latter is quite possibly a case of Reality Subtext: Chris Pratt's dad died from multiple sclerosis in 2014, and Pratt has said that Vol. 2 helped him cope with his grief.
    • Michael Rooker's funny yet poignant performance as Yondu is often praised as the biggest, yet most surprising, scene-stealing part of the whole film.
    • Similarly, for such a relatively minor character, Sean Gunn wowed many critics and fans alike with his performance as Kraglin, delivering some moments of powerful emotion throughout the movie, especially his cheering, chest-pounding display of mixed grief and adulation at Yondu's funeral.
    • Dave Bautista is only involved in one fight scene in the entire film (specifically, the opening credits). He spends all his other screen time being the comedy relief, displaying surprising and impressive versatility as a thespian. And when the scene requires it, he's fully capable of playing Drax's serious emotional beats with complete sincerity.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: While the overall reviews have been mostly positive, the most frequent criticism that pops up in almost all of them is that the first two acts needlessly retread jokes and story beats from the first film, and it's only in the third act that the film really breaks away and does its own thing.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Rocket and Yondu, in a manner so similar that they are able to bond over it. Both were mistreated and unloved by the people who brought them into the world, and it drove them to chronically push away the people they care about.
  • Love to Hate: Four words: Ego, the Living Planet.
  • Memetic Loser: Taserface is often the subject of mockery — in universe and out — due to his ridiculous name and the fact that he's clearly not as cool or threatening as he thinks he is.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Baby Groot trying to push the button on a bomb instantly became a hit.
    • Drax's line at the end of the second trailer ("She just told everyone your deepest darkest secret! You must be so embarrassed! Do me! Do me, do me!") very quickly took off, frequently being used as a reaction on message boards or simply heavily quoted.
      • Similarly, images of Drax and Mantis laughing and pointing at Starlord/the viewer with some mocking text added.
    • "IT'S METAPHORICAL!!"note 
    • Another one from Drax, courtesy of the Super Bowl spot: "I tried, guys."
    • "I'm Mary Poppins, y'all!"note 
      • When the trailer of Mary Poppins Returns came out, people expected Yondu to appear when Poppins did.
    • It's become common on YouTube for people to create faux opening credits for large-scale fight/battle scenes from other movies in the style of Vol. 2's own opening title sequence using "Mr. Blue Sky." Complete with freeze-frame main title!
    • Meredith Quill has GREAT taste in music. note 
  • Moe:
    • Mantis quickly gained this reputation from the second trailer alone. Her childlike mannerisms and innocence just make her adorable.
    • Also Baby Groot was met with Squee! reactions from plenty of female fans.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • It turns out that Ego crossed this a long time ago. He murdered all his children who didn't have his powers; he also intentionally gave Peter's mother, Meredith Quill (whom he actually came to love), a brain tumor so that it wouldn't distract him from his plan of eating the universe. If that wasn't bad enough, he then destroys Peter's Walkman. The latter two of these actions are what causes Peter to try and kill him. And we don't even mention his Expansion plan.
    • The Ravagers crew cross it when they betray their leader and kill almost everyone loyal to Yondu while making him watch. It makes it easier when Yondu ends up massacring everyone on the ship, except for his loyal crewmate Kraglin.
  • Narm Charm: Bet you never thought comparing a guy to David Hasselhoff could evoke so much genuine emotion.
  • Older Than They Think: Some fans complained about how Mantis basically looks like an Asian woman with black eyes and a pair of antennae, in contrast to the comics, where she has green skin and looks more bug-like. Mantis's cinematic appearance is actually how she originally looked (sans the black eyes) when she first debuted in The Avengers back in the '70s, and she only got the green skin much later.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Ego taking on the form of David Hasselhoff, and Peter using his celestial powers to take the form of Pac-Man.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: While certainly not hated, Gamora was considered by many to be the blandest of the Guardians in the first movie because of her role as the Only Sane Man and The Chick in the team. This movie warms up fans's reception toward her by revealing that she is just as flawed as everyone else in the team (most notably her relationship with Nebula) while her role as The Heart is handled much better and more integrated into the story.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Chris Sullivan portrays Taserface. He would later go on to portray Toby on This Is Us, which is now produced by Disney!
  • Signature Scene:
    • The dancing Baby Groot opening credits sequence.
    • Yondu versus the Ravagers, set to "Come a Little Closer".
    • The Reveal of Ego killing Meredith.
    • And of course, I'm Mary Poppins, Y'all.
    • Rock Ego vs. Pac-Man Star-Lord.
    • Yondu's Heroic Sacrifice.
    • The Ravagers arriving to pay their respects at Yondu's funeral, set to Cat Stevens's "Father and Son."
    • Kraglin's emotional scream and celebration in the moment he saw the ravagers paying their respects for Yondu and finally recognizing his feats.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • Family isn't perfect, and not just innocuously flawed. There will be times when those closest to you do things that can legitimately seem terrible, but such is true of any relationship, and looking for a perfect one will only let you down. The point of such connections is not complacency, but having a shoulder to lean on when you do the same.
    • Also, one only blood relation doesn't make a person your family. True family are the people who look after you, love you unconditionally despite your faults, and are willing to die for you.
    • Abusive and traumatic upbringings can and often do lead to a host of unhealthy and maladaptive behaviors, but being damaged does not magically make your own abusive behavior acceptable. Cycles of abuse are messy and complicated things, but you are still ultimately responsible for the harm that you bring to others. You can either have an epiphany about the reality of your behavior and work to mend the damage and change for the better, or you can continue on through life unable to see that you destroy everything you touch.
  • Special Effects Failure: In the scene where Peter and Ego play catch with the orb, the background behind them is obviously green screened in.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Mantis and Peter have little to no interaction aside from a brief gag involving Mantis exposing his feelings for Gamora. In a film that focuses heavily on family relationships, many consider it a wasted opportunity as Ego raising Mantis makes her and Peter adoptive siblings, though no meaningful moments come of this.
  • Too Cool to Live: With his special arrow and a prototype controller, Yondu was able to single-handedly put down about 100 members of his mutinous crew with no danger to himself, Kraglin, Rocket, or Groot. With him in the gang, a lot of potential enemies and threats would become far less threatening, so his Heroic Sacrifice for Peter, while genuinely saddening, did not come as a huge shock to savvy viewers.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Mantis can fall into this for some people. There is something wrong about her eyes that seem almost too glassy.
    • There's also Yondu's electric-blue tongue and mouth, a noticeable contrast from his appearance in the first film with a normal-looking mouth.
    • A brand-new CGI model was used for Rocket in this film, and while designers took great care to keep his appearance as close as possible to the original while applying newer animation and rendering technologies, there are still several subtle differences between his old and new looks that, combined, can be jarring to some viewers, especially when watching both films in close succession.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Among the many theories speculating who the new Guardian would be, Mantis was among the least expected. Much less Mantis with her '70s comic appearance, that she never had while she was with the Guardians.
    • Among the many theories speculating Peter Quill's father, nobody quite expected Ego the Living Planet.
    • Sylvester Stallone's character came as a shock to quite a few fans: he's Stakar/Starhawk. Not only that, but a few characters appear in association with the surprise character — the original Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • It's safe to say no-one expected The Watchers to show up. Much less in Stan Lee's obligatory cameo, where Stan seemingly talks to them about his previous cameos, all of which amounts to a certain form of Ascended Fanon.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: OH. YEAH.
    • Building on the deaging effects used in various MCU films, the effect used to make Kurt Russell look nearly forty years younger is almost completely perfect in this film. And it took almost solely 2D elements to pull it off.
    • The Abilisk, which looks especially realistic in the shot where Drax lunges into its open maw.
    • Apparently, the "Living Planet" is the biggest effect Marvel Studios has attempted. And it truly is awesome. We even get to see Ego's planetary form, and it is just as awesome (and menacing) as the comics depict him.
    • As in the previous film, Rocket and Groot are entirely CGI yet portrayed with such a tremendous depth of emotion and realism that it's really, really hard to remember that they do not exist in real life. This one's even more awesome considering the fact that four different VFX companies had to work together to produce the Rocket and Groot visuals, up from just one needed for the first film. Successfully coordinating the work of Framestorenote , Method Studios, Weta Digital, and Trixter Film to produce a mostly consistent result is a testament to the commitment of the movie's visual effects directors.
    • Here's an interesting article on both the fractal designs of Ego's planet as well as Rocket and Groot mentioned above.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • The film begins with the Guardians battling a massive space monster. The team eventually notice that the monster's skin is too tough to cut, and so Drax allows himself to be swallowed by it in order to...
      You'd Expect: ...target the monster's internal organs.
      Instead: He tries to cut the monster's skin from the inside. As pointed out by Peter and Gamora moments later, the skin's just as thick on one side as it is the other.
      Result: Drax is left fruitlessly hacking away at the monster's skin, before Peter and Gamora kill the monster without any help from him.
    • After the exchange is made for Nebula's life, Rocket nearly gets the team killed by insulting the Sovereign. They walk out, lucky to have avoided a fight.
      You'd Expect: Once the job's done, the Guardians would just take Nebula and leave, right?
      Instead: Rocket decides to steal some very valuable anulax batteries from the Sovereign, simply to get back at them for their snobbery, and because he felt like it. This after he called Drax out for siccing Ronan on the Guardians for the sake of his personal revenge in the last movie.
      Result: Rocket's pointless idiocy does nothing but cause massive problems for him and his friends. The Sovereign are incredibly offended by the theft, and respond by sending an entire fleet after the Guardians. In the resultant chase, the Guardians crash land on a random planet. The Sovereign then hire Yondu and his Ravagers to go after the Guardians, and thanks to the busted ship, he manages to capture both Rocket and Groot. The only reason the other Guardians aren't captured is because they all left with Ego earlier. And while Yondu has no intentions of handing the Guardians over to the Sovereign, his reveal of this leads to a mutiny within his crew, in which Yondu is overthrown, his loyalists are all executed, and the new leadership has no intention of being nice towards the Guardians. And as a bonus, the Sovereign show up during the final battle and nearly screw things up for the Guardians and as a result of their attack, Peter's mask is damaged and Yondu has to sacrifice his life to save him when Ego is destroyed, not to mention contributing to the deaths of thousands when the Sovereign attack delays their destruction of Ego's brain, allowing the expansion to continue.
    • After their successful mutiny and takeover of Yondu's ship, the Ravagers lock him and Rocket together in the brig. Yondu's crest is damaged, so he can't use his arrow against the mutineers. However, he does still have a prototype crest in his quarters as a backup. The Ravagers not only know about the crest, but also know exactly where Yondu keeps it.
      You'd Think: The Ravagers would have destroyed that crest, too.
      Instead: They don't. Fortunately, they do raise the alarm immediately upon waking up and finding it missing. Unfortunately, the crest has already been installed on Yondu's head by that point, and "Come A Little Bit Closer" has started to play over the ship's PA system...
    • At the end of the movie, after they've had time to reconcile and battle out their frustrations, Nebula tells Gamora that she intends to go and kill their father. Gamora tells her that Nebula could stay and become part of the team, to build a new family the way that Drax has.
      You'd Expect: Nebula to take the offer. While she thinks that the boys spend all their time competing makes them ridiculous and shortsighted, they all just survived an apocalypse. Also, if they do have to face Thanos, they will face him as a team so that Nebula won't be alone..
      Instead: Nebula turns down the offer. Gamora reluctantly lets her go, after hugging her and promising they will always be sisters.
      The Result: In Infinity War, Thanos reveals that he has taken Nebula hostage after she sneaked onto his ship in a bid to assassinate him. He tortures Nebula in front of a captive Gamora, to get Gamora to reveal the location of the Soul Stone. Gamora, who feels guilty that she didn't protect Nebula from the forced cybernetic upgrades when they were children, can't bear to see her sister ripped limb from limb and leads Thanos to the right location. It ultimately means that Gamora dies instead of Nebula, who when she finds out has a My God, What Have I Done? expression.
  • The Woobie:
    • Mantis is an orphan who was "rescued" and taken care of by Ego. She has lived her entire life without any meaningful interaction and watching Ego kill his own offspring for who knows how many years. You can feel the poor girl's fear and helplessness as she's basically Ego's slave.
    • Kraglin. What he intended as a simple What the Hell, Hero? speech to his boss snowballed into a mutiny that, by his own admission, killed all his friends on the crew.
    • By the end of the movie, Peter himself. Not only did he find out his father was an Omnicidal Maniac who was also directly responsible for the death of Meredith Quill, he tried to use him to basically destroy the universe and he had to wind up killing him, and moments after that, had to watch Yondu, whom he thought to be a father figure, sacrifice himself right in front of him. So, really, Peter lost his mother, biological father, and adoptive father, the latter two in one day. Damn.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Miley Cyrus having a cameo at all got this reaction from a bunch of people, but the reactions were even more confused over the fact that her character is traditionally a masculine android in the comics.

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