MCU’s I Am Groot: Easter Eggs and References

I am Groot is an anthology of shorts that was recently released on Disney Plus, all featuring adorable baby Groot as he indulges in a number of capers and minor adventures. Although the shorts didn’t lead to anything more, they were a delightful extra piece of mcu content to complete an evening of viewing.

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Shorts may not provide major details or references to mcu as a whole, but there are a few Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the shorts that will amuse viewers if they can spot them.


6 The Yaro Root

A subtle reference to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, in the short film “Groot’s First Steps”, the audience sees Groot’s potted plant sitting on the Milano. While the majority of the short involves her fighting a Bonsai tree, there is another plant shown right at the start of the short.

This plant is actually Yaro root. It was a running joke in the second Guardians movie, where Nebula wanted to eat one of these plants after being taken prisoner by the guardians, but was repeatedly told that it wasn’t ripe yet, so she shouldn’t eat it. Eventually, she does it anyway and spits it out, proclaiming that they were right, and it’s not ripe yet. It’s unclear if the root “I Am Groot” was the same as that, but either way, it’s an ongoing piece of world-building around alien fruit.

5 The reader

The short “Groot’s Pursuit” takes place on a Ravager ship also known to the public from an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. The ship’s huge interiors house Groot’s scenes with the Iwua, including the dance which itself was a callback to Peter Quill challenging Ronin in guardians of the galaxy.

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There wasn’t much behind this one except that Groot didn’t spend a lot of time (which we know) on the Eclector. It’s one of the hardest shorts to place in the movie timeline, but the mcu The timeline on Disney+ reveals that all of the shorts after “Groot’s First Steps” take place after the second Guardians movie but before that movie’s post-credits scene.

4 james gunn

There’s not a lot of talking throughout the shorts, and so it’s hard to fit in a lot of physical cameos. Even the other Guardians don’t appear in most shorts. Rocket appears in “Magnum Opus” at the very end, and we’re shown a quick shower shot from Drax, but none of the other Guardians make an appearance in the shorts.

That being said, the director of the Guardians films does. James Gunn, writer and director of both films (and the future third) stars in “Groot’s Pursuit” as the voice of Groot’s irritating fitness tracker.

3 alf

alf isn’t something many young MCU viewers will remember. But this sitcom aired in the 1980s and was surprisingly picked up for a run in Marvel Comics thanks to their Star Comics imprint in the late 80s and early 90s. Groot Finds a Classic alf comic in Star Lord’s backpack during “Magnum Opus” while searching for items to use in his art.

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While it’s a fun joke, it raises the question of what other comic books exist in the MCU that their characters are supposed to have starred in over the past sixty years. We probably won’t get any answers, but at least it’s a fitting item for Star-Lord to have in the satchel he brought with him when he was kidnapped. This is because he was abducted by Yondu and the Earth Ravagers in 1988, the same year the Alf comic began.

2 Thanos

As if other minor references to Guardians characters weren’t enough, we also get a glimpse of the Mad Titan himself. At least, in the form of a design on the front of a book that Groot reads in “Groot’s Pursuit”. While it’s unclear what type of book Thanos would appear on, wearing his infamous set of gold armor, there’s something else about it that’s particularly surprising.

Groot reading this book, we assume, means Groot can actually read. There’s no reason to think he couldn’t, except that his language barriers make it easy to assume he’s the least intelligent of the Guardians group. That title may still go back to Drax and his lack of metaphor after all.

1 The Anulax battery

A final piece of Guardian trivia in the final short, “Magnum Opus”, is shown as Groot again searches for items to use in his creation of a family photo for the Guardians. It is one of the Anulax Batteries that Rocket stole from the Sovereign, leading Ayesha to send her fleet after the Guardians. Not only does the theft of the Anulax Batteries nearly get the Guardians killed twice during the second film, it could also lead to a major plot element in the third.

Adam Warlock, a major Marvel Comics character, is set to appear in the third Guardians movie, played by Will Poulter, and it looks like Ayesha will create him with the intention of sending him after the Guardians. Considering all of this, it’s odd that the Anulax batteries remain on the ship, but Groot only blew up a small piece of them, so it’s probably fine.

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Alicia R. Rucker