The episode opens on the Guardians of the Galaxy in hot pursuit of a Kallusian named Altru on the planet Knowhere. As Rocket Raccoon, accompanied by Groot, tries firing at the fugitive, Cosmo the telepathic dog tells him it'd be better if they did not make such a mess trying to catch this fugitive. Gamora calls Star-Lord (alias Peter Quill) to ask if he's caught up with Altru, but they don't get an answer. Star-Lord, as it turns out, is preoccupied with looking in a store window and flashes back to a Christmas in his youth when he wanted a sled. Suddenly, Altru comes up behind him and tries to take Star-Lord's gun. In the ensuing scuffle, one of the atmosphere plugs gets blown away and Star-Lord gets sucked into the hole, plugging it up. Altru, seizing Star-Lord's weapon, says he doesn't want any trouble, only to find the other Guardians right in front of him. Star-Lord magnetizes his weapon back to him, and Groot nabs Altru when he tries to escape. After Cosmo seals the breach and gets Star-Lord out of the hole, Star-Lord proceeds to take Altru away, though his fellow Guardians are wondering why he was doing such a sloppy job trying to catch the crook. Cosmo tells them that he just read Star-Lord 's mind; he is thinking about Christmas, as it was a special day for him in his youth.
Later, on the ship, Drax dresses up Groot as a Christmas tree, as he believes from his research that the holiday revolves around an evergreen tree named Carol, and also involves "a fat bearded man in a hover sled powered by underfed moombas." Gamora, however, thinks this is stupid, and Rocket, getting his information from a television broadcast of A Christmas Carol, also thinks the holiday is bizarre due to the appearance of the Ghosts. Star-Lord comes in from interrogating Altru, who insists he had a reason to steal the talisman that he stole, and overhears his teammates arguing, and tells them to put a stop to their attempted Christmas party. When asked why he's so mopey about it, Star-Lord can only flash back to a bad Christmas experience he had during his time with the Ravagers.
The Guardians arrive on Altru's homeword, Kallu, to turn him in and collect their pay. Altru begs the Guardians not to turn him in to Neeza, the despotic Kallusian he took the item from, saying that Neeza will throw him into the dungeon and he won't be able to see his family again. Despite Altru's begging, the Guardians drag him off to the home of Neeza (who bares a noticeable resemblance to Ebenezer Scrooge) and return his talisman to him. After Neeza explains that it keeps away the evil spirits he thinks are watching him, he has Altru dragged off to his dungeon. Neeza then takes the Guardians to his treasury vault, under the pretense of giving them their payment. But just as the Guardians are trying to choose what payment they want, Neeza reveals that he had no intention of paying them and opens up a trap door underneath them, trapping them in a pit. To make things worse for the Guardians, Neeza's robot soldiers then surround the pit and start shooting at them. Groot shields his teammates as they come up with a plan. Using the electromagnet Star-Lord used earlier, Drax tosses it, attached to his weapon, up to the ceiling, magnetizing the robots, and Rocket then sends up a grenade to take care of the robots. After getting out of the pit, the Guardians make their way out of Neeza's mansion, with Neeza's pet beast pursuing them.
They manage to make it back onto their ship, where Star-Lord laments not listening to what Altru was telling them earlier and, looking at a snowglobe Altru gave him earlier, decides "we're gonna fix this." The Guardians arrive at Altru's house, where his wife invites them in for dinner - which is not very big, as Neeza's been taxing everyone bone-dry with his fines and ransoms. Star-Lord apologizes for them nabbing Altru, but they tell her that they're going to free him and also clean out Neeza's vault to give the money to the needy villagers (though Rocket insists on taking 10% as their payment). To do this, Drax says they will need to get the key to Neeza's vault, and Rocket says he has an idea, thanks to something he and Groot learned from watching A Christmas Carol.
Returning to the site of Neeza's mansion, the Guardians bypass the security cameras by generating a fog, and then take out the robot guards at the entrance. Then, Star-Lord and Rocket dress up as ghosts and appear in Neeza's bedroom, saying they are evil spirits who demand he hand over the keys to his vault, or else they will take him on a ghostly voyage into his past. That doesn't seem to intimidate Neeza, so Rocket offers to show him the suffering his ransoms are causing to everyone else on Kallu, and then Groot, using Altru's snowglobe, convinces Neeza that he'll end up losing his fortune if he does not comply. This almost works, but Neeza instead grabs a nearby plasma blaster and starts shooting at them, even after they discard their disguises. Fortunately, Groot accidentally manages to knock him out by pushing the bed over (he was trying to retrieve the snowglobe after it rolled under the bed), allowing Star-Lord to find the key.
Star-Lord, Gamora and Drax go to Neeza's dungeon to let out Altru and the other prisoners. Altru is glad that Star-Lord didn't abandon him, since he figured there was something inside him - something Quill says is Christmas spirit. Meanwhile, Rocket and Groot are busy cleaning out Neeza's vault when the robot soldiers come back. With much of the treasury loaded up in an aircraft, they blast out of the mansion, but with they meet back up with the other three Guardians and their rescuees, they find the aircraft is too heavy for all of them. Fortunately, Groot transforms into a makeshift sled for Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax to travel on. Under orders from a reawakened Neeza, the robots and his pet beast pursue the Guardians down a snowy hill, but the Guardians manage to elude them.
Neeza sends a hologram message to Rocket, demanding his treasure be returned, but Rocket refuses, and causes an avalance to trap the beast. Undaunted, Neeza has a fail-safe antimatter generator activated on the aircraft, saying it will obliterate the craft in five minutes if they don't agree to his demands. Rocket tries to disarm the antimatter generator, during which Star-Lord hookshots his way onto the craft to take over steering it. Fortunately, Rocket manages to dislodge the antimatter generator out of its case and tosses it into the mountain, catching the attention of Neeza's beast. The beast stupidly brings the antimatter generator back to Neeza right when it explodes, blasting the both of them into an antimatter vortex. Meanwhile, the Guardians arrive in front of Altru's house pass out the treasury money to the poor people of Kallu. As Star-Lord watches Altru reuniting with his family, he has one last flashback, one set before he was taken off of Earth - as a kid, he gave his mother a homemade star ornament for Christmas.
|Will Friedle||Star-Lord/Peter Quill|
|Trevor Devall||Rocket Raccoon|
The Ghost of Christmas Past
|Kevin Michael Richardson||Groot|
|David Sobolov||Drax the Destroyer|
|James Arnold Taylor||Cosmo|
- "Jingle Bell Rock" at TV.com
- "Jingle Bell Rock" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Jingle Bell Rock" recap at TV Tropes