CAUTION: This list contains spoilers about the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
When the first Guardians of the Galaxy came out, director and screenwriter James Gunn said that the movie revolved around the idea that “it’s okay to give a crap.” Boy, did he take that to the next level in the sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. GotG 2 is one of the most emotional and moving films of all the Disney Marvel movies. It seriously makes you feel all the feels, from hilarious '80s references to tearful and touching scenes. This feat is remarkable because the film is about space raccoons and baby anthropomorphic trees.
Head’s up: if you go into this movie with daddy issues, you’re going to be forced to confront them. And it’s not only the heartbreaking story of Peter and his papa that will wreck you - there are a ton of scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 that will have you reaching for the tissues, like so many of the most touching moments in Marvel comics. This list is composed of every moment in Guardians 2 that'll tear you up and make your heart light up like a CareBear.
In the breathtaking climax of the film, Yondu saves Peter from the exploding planet that is Ego. The Ravager sacrifices himself for Peter by giving him his space suit as the planet crumbles. Yondu tells Peter, "[Ego] may have been your father, but he ain't your daddy." As the man who raised Peter, Yondu acknowledges that he truly loved the half-human like a son.
Yondu dies, cupping Peter's face in his hands while Peter struggles to remove his space suit to save his dad. Good god, if you don't dissolve into a puddle of tears during this scene, your heart might actually be the cold vacuum of space.
Early in the film, the audience learns that Rocket and Peter are struggling with their friendship because they're both arrogant. Rocket struggles to connect with others, pushing them away if they get too close.
During Yondu's funeral, the Ravagers who once exiled the blue man pay their respects, which Rocket internalizes and says, "They came back, even though he was mean, and yelled at them, and stole batteries he didn't need." The last transgression is actually Rocket's very own mistake, which Peter understands and responds with, "Of course they [came back]." This moment of reconciliation is all the more touching for its subtlety. James Gunn is truly a wizard of love.
You'd think that the words "baby" and "near death experience" being in the same sentence would be enough to convey the pain of this scene, but somehow, it's not. You cannot know the hurt of this moment until you watch it with your own eyes.
As Groot is trying to place the bomb on Ego's core, there's a dark moment where things look real grim for the Guardians. Groot is running through a tunnel when the sentient walls of Ego begin to close in and crush him. The baby tree screams in abject terror as a single tear rolls down his cheek. If, at this moment, you stand up and scream, "Stop this! Stop this now!" you will likely be carried out of the theater as a hero.
Drax has a number of touching moments with Mantis. In the beginning of their friendship, there are lots of funny scenes where he tells her she's objectively hideous. But during Yondu's funeral, as they watch the fireworks, Mantis says, "They're beautiful." Drax agrees, and tells her she's beautiful as well. It's one of those moments where your throat catches. And then with pristine comedic timing, Drax adds, "On the inside." Your sappy tears immediately transform to tears of laughter. It's just magic.