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The Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special Finally Fulfills Rocket's Promise From Infinity War

Contains spoilers for "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special"

Callbacks are stitched into the fiber of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's what makes us elbow each other in theatres when Captain America (Chris Evans) gets in an elevator for a second time or what had us welling up when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) gives the universe-saving snap by simply telling Thanos (Josh Brolin) who he was. In the case of "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," there are plenty of lovely little moments sprinkled like space dust throughout James Gunn's festive prelude to "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." However, there's one specific in Marvel's second Special Presentation that not only brings a laugh but may end up impacting more than a few future projects on the mega studio's slate.

The incident in question occurs during a heartfelt montage where Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) surrogate space family is getting in on the Christmas spirit. During the present exchange, we're treated to one team member getting a surprise from someone we may never have expected with a gift we're still trying to figure out. You know what Nebula (Karen Gillan) is like, though — always keeping herself at arm's length.

Rocket really did get Bucky's arm for Christmas

After dashboard ornaments and Kevin Bacon kidnappings, we're gifted (pardon the pun) with the punchline to a three-year-old joke we heard during the Battle of Wakanda in "Avengers: Infinity War." As our heroes unwrap the treats they've gotten for each other, Nebula gives Rocket (Bradley Cooper) — to our absolute shock — the vibranium arm belonging to Steve's end-of-the-line pal, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). It's never really explained just how she got her hands on the highly advanced prosthesis, but it doesn't matter when you see that Rocket is overjoyed with the gift given the last time his thieving eyes got a look at it.

During the Battle of Wakanda, Rocket and Bucky took up arms to hold off Thanos' forces, leaving the raccoon (don't tell him we called him that) back-to-back with the former Winter Soldier and a brief chit-chat while they were shooting down the enemy. It's here where Rocket asks for the price of Bucky's iconic arm, only to be told it isn't for sale. Under his breath, Rocket responds, "I'm getting that arm."

It's a Christmas miracle: he actually did. While it is an impressive gift from the ill-treated daughter of Thanos, it does beg the question of how Bucky will react when he can't find his extra-special arm.

Will Bucky be going back to his old Winter Soldier arm in Thunderbolts?

We're all for the age-old mantra of it being the thought that counts, but it's clear that not much was given to how Bucky will get a replacement from Wakanda. If anything, it will be even more difficult given how much rebuilding they've got to do following their battle with Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and his recently discovered people. These enhanced appendages aren't just lying around, you know? With that in mind, what might this mean for the future of Bucky, who might already be going back to his dark and dirty ways to get his next job done?

Following the announcement of "Thunderbolts," we got our first good look at who was joining the roster of government-sanctioned good guys that worked in the grey, and Bucky was front and center as one of them. What was noticeable, however, was that he was wielding his Wakandan-crafted prosthetic arm, which brings up a few questions following Rocket's recent stocking filler. Is "Thunderbolts" set before the events of "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," or does the released concept art go no further than that? If so, Bucky might have to get re-attached to his old HYDRA-crafted arm, which he'll hopefully be able to handle given the history connected to it.

Are you happy now, Rocket? Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.