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Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special's 10 Funniest Moments

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The "Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," airing on Disney+, takes all of the humor inherent in the "Guardians" franchise and concentrates it into a story focusing on two of its more ridiculous characters: Mantis and Drax the Destroyer. It mixes a little emotional content with a huge dollop of absurdity as Drax and Mantis decide to try to cheer up a bummed-out Peter Quill by kidnapping his childhood hero, Kevin Bacon. (They believe that Bacon is an actual hero who has accomplished great deeds, instead of an actor.) 

Along the way, there is some actual plot and character development. It's revealed that the Guardians buy Knowhere, the trading post created from the head of a Celestial that Thanos wrecked, and are restoring it. We also learn that the Gamora from the past has left the Guardians, resulting in Peter's bad mood. Mantis reveals a secret about herself to Drax that spurs her to want to help Peter. Kraglin (in an animated flashback) tells a story of Yondu ruining Christmas for young Peter that further encourages Drax and Mantis to give him the best Christmas ever. Which revolves, as we mentioned before, presenting the real-life Kevin Bacon as a Christmas present.

The "Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special" promises a Christmas to remember — let's run down the ten funniest moments from the special. 

The Old 97s don't quite get the lore

A dejected Peter Quill is approached by the musician Bzermikitokolok on Knowhere, and he's excited to show Quill how his band has quickly learned how to play old Earth instruments. He wants Quill's help with a song about Christmas, since everything he learned about it he "learned from Rocket, who learned from Cosmo, who learned from Kraglin, who learned from you." 

Of course, the details he reveals in the song become increasingly deranged. It starts with Santa being a "furry freak" who's a "pro at picking locks." He goes on to say that if you're on Santa's naughty list, "he shoots missiles at your toes" and "roasts your chestnuts with his powerful flamethrower." Peter is indignant at this detail, but Bzermikitokolok persists. He paints a picture of elf oppression, Mrs. Claus planning to kill Santa (and working the pole), and the elves preparing to "rise up and stab out Santa's eyes." The refrain, "I don't know what Christmas is, but Christmastime is here" sums it up. There are also lines about Earthlings being weird, which Quill can only nod and agree with. 

A skeptical Quill ends the performance by saying, "You just got these instruments?" A slightly oblivious Bzermikitokolok thinks the crowd's unimpressed reaction is actually a sign of how into it they were, and that Quill's scowling means, "He loved it, guys!" The song is used for the opening credits, and nothing could have been more appropriate. 

Mantis's big secrets

Mantis takes Drax aside after she hears about Christmas being ruined for Peter at a young age, and wonders if she should do something to make him feel special. This is because, as she tells Drax, of her secret. Drax says, "You mean that you ate all of the zarg-nuts in the commissary?" Mantis says that it's her other secret: That Ego wasn't just her master, he was also her father. However, when Drax wonders why she doesn't just tell people the truth, Mantis says she's reluctant to tell him, because she doesn't want to remind him of how Ego killed Quill's mother and then tried to kill him. 

Of course, Drax was referring to the zarg-nuts, and Mantis says, "I don't think anyone cares about that but you." She wonders if they give Peter "a really wonderful Christmas gift," that it might make him happy. Drax replies, "Well, we could give him those zarg-nuts, except you ate them all." The normally placid Mantis screams, "Get over the zarg-nuts!" Mantis going from her sweet, sunny self to a moment of rage and exasperation is always funny.

This leads Drax to suggest kidnapping Kevin Bacon, kicking off their ridiculous adventure on Earth. If only Mantis hadn't eaten all the zarg-nuts!

GoBots killed his cousin!

When Mantis and Drax arrive on Earth, they immediately head to the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard to seek out Kevin Bacon, where they are very excited to see the costumed characters out on the street. Mantis thinks a man dressed as Captain America is actually Steve Rogers and tries to give him a big hug, frightening him away. However, the best moment of their Hollywood adventure comes when Drax sees a somewhat obscure cosplayer: The GoBot villain Cy-Kill. 

Drax starts to try move in on him, while Mantis apologizes to the crowd as she tries to hold him back, saying "I'm sorry, GoBots killed his cousin!" The GoBots were transforming toys that actually preceded the Transformers, and comics are still being made about them. Drax threatens to rip his head off, but Mantis admonishes him, saying "Stop being a bigot!"

Mantis and Drax start to draw a crowd of people who want their picture taken with them, and they end up making quite a bit of money. When Mantis takes a picture with one group, the camera pans to Drax pounding the life out of the poor GoBots cosplayer.

Drax and Mantis get some swag

Drax and Mantis have absolutely no coherent plan for how to find Kevin Bacon. Other than buying a pair of sunglasses for Mantis and a Santa hat for Drax, they are no closer to their goal, until a conniving woman who sells maps to the houses of Hollywood stars is willing to make a quick buck off our hapless duo.

Mantis is out of money and the saleswoman takes away the map, but Mantis uses her emotional control powers to convince the woman to give her the map. For good measure (and ignoring ethical considerations), Mantis orders the woman to give her all of her money, too. 

Jumping over Bacon's front gate, Drax is filled with childlike glee at the sight of a giant elf toy, delighting in (and stealing) the "funny little man." Mantis admonishes him, saying "Don't just take stuff," until she spots a giant candy cane. Then she says, "I guess that's what they're there for!" 

Chasing an alarmed Bacon out of his house, Drax demands they go back to his elf, and an indignant Mantis asks him if he wants to save Christmas for Peter, or a little funny man. Drax pauses and then confirms, "A little funny man!" She has to yell at him to come with her.

Later, Mantis gives Drax an elf for Christmas, much to his delight.

We're even now, OK?

Drax and Mantis chase Kevin Bacon out of his house, but not before he gets a chance to call 911. The police arrive and demand that Drax and Mantis stand down. The duo is at once oblivious to Earth's laws and completely unconcerned with the police as a threat. Bullets simply bounce off Drax, who complains that they are tickling him so much that he might pee his pants. 

Using her giant candy cane as a weapon, Mantis takes out an entire squad of officers, using her powers to make them sleep. However, when another police cruiser shows up, a guffawing Drax simply flips it up in the air, and it lands roof-first onto the concrete. Mantis yells at Drax yet again, telling him they're not supposed to kill anyone. Drax replies, "Well, how am I supposed to know the rules if no one tells me." That Drax, a literalist to the end. 

A concerned Mantis attends to the terrified and bewildered cops in the upside-down car, assuring them, "We are not doing anything wrong." She pauses for a moment and gives them the giant candy cane, saying, "I really wanted this, but we're even now, OK?" A stammering officer simply says, "Sure." She then asks if the candy cane looks like a man, going back to an argument she had with Drax. She is satisfied when they assure her it doesn't. 

Everyone hates actors

Drax and Mantis both think that Kevin Bacon must be a mighty hero based on the way Peter Quill talks about him. Mantis asks him if he's friends with the Fonz and if they've had a team-up. Bacon replies that he's had dinner with Henry Winkler, and Mantis scoffs that eating together is not a team-up. Drax asks him about saving a town "by dancing like an idiot," and Bacon replies that it was a character he played in "Footloose." A skeptical Mantis asks him about defeating Jason Vorhees in the woods. Bacon laughs and says that it was again a character, and he didn't kill him — he was stabbed in the neck with an arrow. Naturally, this makes Drax laugh.

Mantis realizes "He's an actor! He's never actually saved anyone!" Drax chimes in with "Actors are repugnant!" Horrified, Drax adds, "We ruined Christmas worse than Yondu!" Mantis uses her power to demand that he behave like a real hero. When Bacon pretends to be Batman, she shouts, "No! Be Kevin Bacon, but, like, if you didn't suck!" Bacon laughs, since he's in Mantis' power, saying he feels great about everything, and Drax simply turns to him and says, "We hate you."

Upon presenting Bacon as a present, Drax says, "He's not a loser. He's great! We don't hate him at all!"  A horrified Quill says, "This isn't a gift! It's human trafficking!" The things Kevin Bacon goes through, you know?

Nebula does more with less

Nebula only has a few scenes in the special, but they are all gold. First off, when Kraglin tells them about how Yondu ruined Christmas forever, Drax laughs like it's the funniest joke he's ever heard, saying "I liked the part where Yondu kicked over the tree." Nebula simply shakes her head at him in disapproval, and he knows he's messed up at that point. 

When Kevin Bacon is freed of his Mantis-induced trance to go along with her and Drax's deranged plans, Peter Quill holds him in an effort to calm him down. He pointedly tells the actor not to run. When he lets him go, Bacon naturally runs as fast as he can. An exasperated Quill asks for someone to get Bacon back. Nebula snaps her gun out of her holster and says, "I've got it." He has to tell her, "Don't kill him," even as she growls, "You can't outrun me, Bacon!"

When Bacon returns and sings a Christmas song, even Nebula gets in the mood. She plops a huge box in front of a perplexed Rocket. He opens it to find the Winter Soldier's first cybernetic arm, and he is awestruck. It's the same arm he wanted to buy from Bucky in "Avengers: Infinity War," and Rocket has a history of stealing prosthetic limbs for his own amusement. Nebula simply rasps out, "Merry Christmas," looking away from him as she tries to hold in her emotions.

That's a talking raccoon!

Rocket has a relatively small role in the "Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special," but it's a memorable one. He gets in on the spirit of things by flashing a spotlight on the Santa Claus they've set up. Then things get weird. When Peter opens up the crate with Kevin Bacon in it and demands to know what Mantis did, she tells him they got him Kevin Bacon as a present. Peter said, "You got me a human being as a present?"

Rocket interjects with, "What better gift for the guy who has everything than an actual human living person!" Quill demands that Bacon be freed from his trance. When Kevin Bacon naturally freaks out (Quill's expression expecting this reaction is priceless), Rocket tries to be the voice of reason. He says, "Dude, calm down. We're not gonna hurt you." 

An alarmed Kevin Bacon becomes aware of Rocket for the first time, points to him and says, "That's a talking raccoon." Of course, this is literally the worst thing to call Rocket, who flies into a rage and yells, "I'll kill you! Don't ever call me that!" He leaps at Bacon but is caught in the nick of time by Groot.

Groot's dioramas

Groot has one of the best visual gags in the entire "Holiday Special." When the Guardians are giving each other gifts, all of them contain some sort of joke or easter egg. Nebula gives Rocket Bucky's arm, Quill gives Groot a brand-new Nintendo GameBoy, Cosmo the telepathic and telekinetic dog gives Kraglin a dead rat-like creature, Mantis gives Drax an elf, etc.

However, Groot makes something special for each of the Guardians: A series of dioramas illustrating the adventures they've just had. Each diorama has little wooden figures that Groot made. For Mantis, he did the scene from the beginning of the special where Kraglin is telling Mantis, Drax, and Nebula how Yondu ruined Christmas for Peter. For Quill, Groot made a diorama where Drax and Mantis are chasing a terrified Kevin Bacon down his street, as they pop up behind the bushes. For Drax, Groot made the scene where he tosses the police car up in the air on Earth. For Nebula, he builds a diorama with the mind-controlled Kevin Bacon being cut out of a huge box by Quill, surrounded by the Guardians.

Kraglin gets the best diorama of all from Groot: A carving of that very scene. It depicts Kraglin sitting on a box, holding a smaller diorama which depicts Kraglin sitting on a box and holding a diorama, ad infinitum. It's a perfect example of taking an idea to its comical extreme. 

Groot ruins Christmas again

While writer-director James Gunn has been consistent in saying that his time with the Guardians Of The Galaxy will end after the final film in the trilogy, there are a lot of seeds planted for future sequels in the "Holiday Special." While it's unclear who will survive the final installment, there are a lot of beloved characters on the team who will no doubt show up elsewhere in the future, especially with the Multiverse in effect during Phases 5 and 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

There are other hints, as well. After Kevin Bacon finishes singing his Christmas song for Peter Quill, he hugs the Guardians and tells them that he'll see them at Easter. 

Groot's role in the special is limited, but it is revealed that he's now a young adult, and he's looking increasingly different from the original Groot in "Guardians Of The Galaxy." He's bigger and buffer, but is still as mischievous as ever. Indeed, he wheels out a confined Kevin Bacon to Quill and then tries to backtrack on his involvement.

The end credits scene features Rocket and Cosmo treating Groot as a kind of walking Christmas tree. He holds out his arms as they put lights and decorations on him, but he gets tired and drops it all. Cosmo exclaims, "Groot ruined Christmas again!" Rocket looks right at the camera and says, "Now we gotta have another special." Fingers crossed!