The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special brings Marvel's strangest superhero team back in fine form – and ends with a tantalising tease of future instalments.

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These days, so much conversation around the Guardians is dominated by which characters will leave or die at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, so it's a pleasant surprise to get a hint that some will be sticking around for at least a bit longer.

After a truly chaotic half-hour which sees Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) head back to Earth to kidnap the real-life Kevin Bacon, the Guardians enjoy some wholesome festive cheer – even Nebula is seen dancing!

Though her method was thoroughly misguided, Mantis comes away feeling that she achieved her goal of saving Christmas, which she feared Yondu (Michael Rooker) had ruined for Peter (Chris Pratt) during his childhood years.

But there may be more yuletide misadventures in store for this team, if the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special post-credits scene is to be taken seriously. Spoilers follow!

Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special end credits scene explained

Yes, the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special does have an end credits scene, which hints that this may not be the last festive foray for our favourite galactic weirdos.

We see Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and new pal Cosmo (Maria Bakalova) decorating Groot (Vin Diesel) like a Christmas tree; since Endgame, the character has evolved from his spindly teenage form to a bulkier, more adult build.

However, he clearly still doesn't like being the centre of attention as he shakes off the decorations in a huff, with Cosmo whining that the gesture taints all the hard work the Guardians put into saving the season.

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"Groot ruined Christmas again," she says via her interpreter.

Rocket replies: "Now we gotta have another special."

Vin Diesel plays Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Vin Diesel plays Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Marvel Entertainment

The moment is noteworthy as Rocket appears to break the fourth wall, something that only She-Hulk has previously done in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (while Deadpool has also done so in his FOX-universe films).

It seems likely that this is just intended as a gag and won't be a permanent trend for the character moving forward, as Rocket has no history of fourth wall breaks in the comic books.

However, the comment also has intriguing implications, suggesting that the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has potential to become an annual tradition.

We wouldn't get too excited on that front just yet as it's unclear which characters will even be alive to see another one, given director James Gunn's repeated promises of emotional deaths in May's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Still, if enough of them are left, we could definitely see another Guardians Holiday Special happening in the near future, although Gunn would probably not be involved due to his new senior role of co-CEO over at DC Studios.

Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is available to stream on Disney Plus. Sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 for a year. Check out more Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.

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