Brilliantly voiced by Bradley Cooper, Rocket Raccoon has become one of the fan-favorite characters across the entire MCU. Expertly translated from comic to the screen by James Gunn, Rocket’s humor, bravery and loyalty have become one of the best elements of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, which it’s a pretty impressive feat in a trilogy with so many memorable characters.
With his latest outing in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3, now streaming on Disney+, Rocket’s backstory was explored in great detail, essentially making him the protagonist of the film. We knew that Rocket went through a world of pain when he was younger, but seeing it firsthand in the film developed a much stronger connection with the character and the audience. As well as Guardians 3, Rocket has delivered so many memorable quotes throughout the entire trilogy, all of them shaping the character we know him as. Here are his best.
10 “I lost the only family I ever had.”
In the MCU’s highest-grossing film Avengers: Endgame, the characters are on a mission to travel back in time to bring the Infinity Stones back to 2023 when the film is set, in an attempt to reverse the snap that Thanos (Josh Brolin) used to wipe out half the universe. Every character in the film lost someone close to them, but very few lost as many as Rocket.
With the snap, all but Nebula (Karen Gillan) were turned to dust, with Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) being sacrificed by her father Thanos in order to gain the soul stone. Rocket films himself on a mission with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to retrieve the reality stone, but it gets overwhelming for Thor after seeing his mother. Rocket soon gets him into shape with a quick slap and a reality check for why they’re there, perfectly showing Rocket’s mental strength at a time when he feels most alone.
9 “How much for the arm?”
One of Rocket’s funniest quotes that took him back to his roots in the first Guardians film came in Avengers: Infinity War. The film before Avengers: Endgame, the two films acted as a two-part finale for the Infinity Saga with all the main characters coming together to fight the biggest threat yet in Thanos.
After teaming up with Thor, Rocket found himself in Wakanda, where countless other heroes are already fighting Thanos’ army, one of whom is Bucky (Sebastian Stan). Throughout the films, it can be noticed that Rocket has a thing for prosthetic body parts.
Whilst we find out the sad meaning behind why in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3, at the time this moment was one of the biggest laughs in the film, with Rocket’s first time meeting Bucky, he goes straight to the arm. Rocket’s humor is on full show and is one of the main reasons we all enjoy watching him.
8 “A bunch of jackasses standing in a circle.”
In the first Guardians, Guardians of the Galaxy, a lot of Rocket’s humorous side is on display. Although it never truly faded, his humor seems to be how he approaches people he’s not yet comfortable with especially. Although towards the end of the film, he’s pretty used to the members of the group, he doesn’t let his humor fade, which ends up making this moment so much better.
Before the final mission to save the planet of Xandar from Ronan (Lee Pace), Star-Lord or Peter (Chris Pratt) gives an inspirational speech, which is a defining moment in the unification of the group that’s developed into one of the best on-screen groups in comic book history. Everyone’s true character comes to the surface in this scene, and with Rocket adding some humor, there’s no questioning he’s undefeated in his comedic quips.
7 “Ain’t no thing like me, ‘cept me.”
As with his humor in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket also has a massive tough guy persona, which also like his humor, never fades. After the group first meet in a standoff for the Orb containing the power stone. After being captured by the Xandar police, they’re sent to a prison called the Klyn.
When they arrive at the prison, the group has an interesting bonding moment, with all of them getting to know each other in a rather confrontational way. Star-Lord tells Rocket that he’s a raccoon, which he’s never even heard of, which leads to one of Rocket’s most iconic quotes. This becomes one of the funniest running jokes in the MCU, with different characters calling him different animals.
6 “I didn’t ask to be taken apart and put back together over and over…”
Up until this point in the first Guardians film, all we really saw from Rocket was the funny, confident character was simply entertaining to watch. Fans of the comic would be well aware of Rocket’s backstory, but when the group drinks a little too much in a bar not too long after their prison escape, Rocket reaches breaking point after Drax (Dave Bautista) insults him.
What follows is a breakdown from Rocket, seemingly letting out so much emotion that he’s been bottling up, hiding from the group. This moment is easily one of the turning points in how we see Rocket, as we learn about his awfully traumatic past, quickly changing how both the audience and the characters see him.
5 “I’m done runnin’.”
Throughout Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Rocket is faced with the past that he always attempts to put behind him, with the High Evolutionary (Chudwudi Iwuji) wanting Rocket back for his plan. Although Rocket is severely injured by Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), he’s still on the run physically and mentally from his past.
After Rocket wakes up from his injury, he finds himself reunited with the group on the High Evolutionary’s ship, with the chance to escape once and for all. However, Rocket decides to face the fire and put an end to his old abuser. He walks towards the entrance, with the rest of the Guardians following behind him. This moment is already one of the most memorable in the film, but it’s made so much better by the rest of his time following him without saying a word.
4 “The important thing is that we’re all okay.”
A little before Rocket’s decision to face his past, we’re treated to a moment with the entire group that’s one of the most moving in the whole film, which is saying a lot in a film full of tear-jerkers. After Star-Lord refuses to give up on reviving Rocket after he flat lines, Rocket quickly comes back around to himself.
With the group separated, Drax, Nebula, and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) find themselves on the High Evolutionary’s ship with no escape. Amidst a world of stress, hearing Rocket’s voice stops them all in their tracks, filled with relief that their furry friend survived. Seeing Nebula who’s always pretty emotionless choke up shows the unbreakable bond the group has, no matter how much they torment each other.
3 “Because I’m a freaking Guardian of the Galaxy.”
Towards the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the team finally tracks down the High Evolutionary in his burning ship, surrounded by the team on all sides. The sequence with each member getting a shot at him is easily one of the most satisfying moments not just in this film, but in the entire trilogy. However, what Rocket does after is one of the defining moments of the character he has become.
With his face literally hanging off, the team asks if Rocket wants to kill him. But surprisingly, Rocket drops his gun in front of the person who brought him so much pain. To refuse to kill him along with the iconic quote, this moment shows how Rocket values his role as a Guardian, and more notably how he’s moved on from his past after finding his true family.
2 “…And me and my friends are gonna go flying together, into the forever and beautiful sky.”
Easily the most heart-wrenching parts of the third Guardians film are the flashback sequences we get throughout the film, showing in-depth the pain that not just Rocket went through, but what the High Evolutionary does to thousands of other animals in his obsession with perfection. In his younger days, Rocket finds himself cellmates with three other animals, an otter, walrus, and rabbit named Lylla, Teefs, and Floor.
Among all the heartbreaking scenes, we get what’s perhaps one of the most emotional scenes as we see the four of them laying on the cell floor together dreaming about how they’ll live when they get to the dream world they were promised by their torturer. Throughout the films, it’s clear Rocket loves flying, but seeing the moving reason why he loves flying so much makes this moment easily one of Rocket’s standouts, even if it’s hard to think back to it.
1 “The name’s Rocket. Rocket Raccoon.”
As well as this being one of Rocket’s most badass lines in the trilogy, it also feels like a culmination of everything he’s been through throughout his life. Before Rocket reaches the High Evolutionary, he goes into the section where he was once kept, where he finds a cage of creatures just like him, labeled “Raccoon.” He picks all of them up, carrying them to safety in a moment that feels like he’s finally accepting who he is.
When he breaks free from the High Evolutionary’s grip, staring at the person who brought him so much pain and delivering the line with so much confidence perfectly encapsulates his growth, making it easily his best quote throughout the films.
Bradley Cooper has been an exceptional voice actor for the character, with so much credit going to him for bringing this character to the screen in such a likable way. Hearing him say the character’s full name was without question the moment that got us all punching the air with joy.