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For other uses, see The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (disambiguation)

"Maybe because I'm his sister, I feel like I should give Peter a happy Christmas. He's so sad about Gamora being gone. Maybe if we gave Peter a really wonderful Christmas gift, it would make him happy."
Mantis to Drax the Destroyer

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is an American web television special, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. The special is set after Thor: Love and Thunder and leads into the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. It is the second television special in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the eighteenth and final installment of Phase Four. The special is produced by Marvel Studios and was released on Disney+ on November 25, 2022.


It's time to deck the galaxy! Lights, presents, trees, snowflakes, candy canes, and... Kevin Bacon? In The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, the Guardians, who are on a mission to make Christmas unforgettable for Quill, head to Earth in search of the perfect present.[1]


Peter, Yondu and Kraglin

On Knowhere, Kraglin Obfonteri tells the Guardians of the Galaxy the story of how he and Peter Quill tried to celebrate Earth's Christmas when Quill was still a kid. However, Yondu got mad and told them to cut it out. Obfonteri says that according to the Multi-Calendar, Christmas is coming but Nebula says that they have too much on their plate after buying Knowhere from the Collector and needing to rebuild it following Thanos' attack. Meanwhile, Quill gets approached by Bzermikitokolok who is researching Christmas and wrote a song about it but he ends up completely mischaracterizing it, to Quill's annoyance.

Mantis & Drax in LA

Mantis tells Drax the Destroyer that she wants to do something for Quill for Christmas, due to her secret that she is Ego's child and, therefore, Quill's sister. Thinking about giving him an unforgettable Christmas present, Drax suggests that Quill's hero, Kevin Bacon, would be a perfect option, so they take the Bowie and fly to Earth. Walking throughout Los Angeles, Mantis and Drax get mistaken for cosplayers and earn a lot of money from tourists who wanted to take pictures with them.

Kevin Bacon meets Mantis & Drax

Looking for Bacon, Mantis and Drax go to a club where they get wasted, before a bystander gives them a star tours booklet with Bacon's home address. They go to Bacon's house and try to take him as a present but Bacon says that he cannot help them. However, Mantis and Drax then break into his house, so a horrified Bacon calls the police and tries to run away. The police arrives but Mantis and Drax incapacitate the officers, before catching up to Bacon. Mantis uses her powers to put Bacon in a trance and convince him to go with them.

GOTG Holiday Special (13)

Back on the Bowie, Mantis and Drax ask Bacon about his adventures that Quill was talking about. However, they realize that Bacon is not a hero, but just an actor. They both get disgusted, believing that actors are horrible people and thinking that Quill's perception of Bacon was warped. Mantis uses her powers to get Bacon to act as an actual hero, so Quill would not be disappointed. With the help of other inhabitants, the Guardians decorate Knowhere for a Christmas party, which amazes Quill but he soon gets horrified when he finds out that his present is Bacon, kidnapped by Mantis and Drax.

GOTG Holiday Special (18)

Quill immediately tells Mantis to get Bacon out of the trance and promises to get him back home, although he still freaks out. Obfonteri then brings Bacon to the Bowie to transport him to Earth and explains that Mantis and the others simply wanted to do something nice for their friend on Christmas, who was always fascinated by Bacon. Bacon then decides to stay on Knowhere for a while and performs a song with Bzermikitokolok and the Knowheremen at the Christmas party, during which the Guardians exchange presents.

Mantis hugs her brother

Quill asks Mantis why would she go to such lengths to make him happy and she tells him about Obfonteri's story how Udonta ruined Christmas for him. Quill then tells Mantis the rest of the story: after calling off the party, Udonta found a toy troll Quill wanted to give him as a present, so Udonta gave him a present as well - his Quad Blasters. Mantis tells Quill that she wanted to do something special for Quill and admits that she is actually his sister. Surprised, Quill tells Mantis that it is the best present he could think of and the two embrace, wishing each other Merry Christmas.

Rocket, Groot & Cosmo

Afterwards, Rocket Raccoon and Cosmo decorate Groot like a Christmas tree. However, Groot gets tired and lowers his arms, dropping all decorations. Cosmo says that Groot ruined Christmas again and Rocket remarks that now they "need another special".







Sentient Species[]





On December 10, 2020, during Disney's 2020 Investor Day, Kevin Feige announced that James Gunn would be writing and directing a Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special for Disney+ that would be released in December 2022.[3] That same day, Gunn revealed that he had been discussing the special with Feige over the years and that he was inspired by The Star Wars Holiday Special which he unironically loved as a kid.[4]

On April 22, 2021, James Gunn revealed that he had completed the first draft of the special's script[5] and confirmed that the special would be set between Thor: Love and Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.[6]

On July 27, 2021, in an interview with Collider, James Gunn revealed that the special would help set up Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and that its runtime would be under 40 minutes.[7]

On October 28, 2021, it was reported that the working title of the special was "Poptart".[8]

On November 8, 2021, James Gunn revealed that the special had begun production.[9]

On January 10, 2022, James Gunn revealed that John Murphy would be composing the score for the special.[10]

On April 30, 2022, James Gunn revealed that the special had wrapped production.[11]

On October 25, 2022, it was announced that the special would be released on November 25 and that Kevin Bacon would portray Himself in the special. It was also revealed that Michael Rooker would be reprising his role as Yondu in the special.[1]




Song title Artist Location(s)
Christmastime The Smashing Pumpkins

Drax and Mantis show up back at Knowhere with Christmas decorations and Kevin Bacon.

Just Like Christmas Low
I Don't Know What Christmas Is (But Christmastime Is Here) Old 97's
Dead by X-Mas Hanoi Rocks
Christmas Treat Julian Casablancas

Drax and Mantis flying to Earth.

Mrs. Claus Little Jackie
Fairytale of New York The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl

The beginning credits and opening. Also played at the end and over the end credits.

Christmas Wrapping The Waitresses

Drax and Mantis partying in nightclub.

Is This Christmas? The Wombats

Drax and Mantis in Hollywood.

I Want An Alien For Christmas Fountains of Wayne

Drax and Mantis chase Kevin Bacon around his home.

Here It Is Christmastime Kevin Bacon and Old 97's

Behind the Scenes[]

  • The opening and closing animated scenes of the special were created through rotoscoping, an animation technique which involves shooting live action footage and having animators trace over it frame-by-frame afterwards. James Gunn was inspired to use this technique by the films of Ralph Bakshi which he loved when he was growing up.[12]


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External Links[]

Phase Four Films Black WidowShang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten RingsEternalsSpider-Man: No Way HomeDoctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessThor: Love and ThunderBlack Panther: Wakanda Forever
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The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Phase Five Films Ant-Man and the Wasp: QuantumaniaGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3The MarvelsDeadpool & WolverineCaptain America: Brave New WorldThunderbolts*
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Phase Six Films The Fantastic FourAvengers: The Kang DynastyAvengers: Secret Wars
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Unknown Phase Films BladeArmor Wars
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