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There was a moment in the movie when Starlord told a joke about Kevin Bacon to convince his partner to dance. My fellow moviegoers laughed heartily but I, being a non-US person, missed the joke completely. Could anyone explain the joke, starting with who Kevin Bacon is in real life?

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you just need to watch the movie Footloose to understand. –  Ben Plont Sep 3 '14 at 5:04
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@BenPlont Agreed. Footloose was a popular and important movie to American teenagers when it came out. The actor Kevin Bacon played the hero, who transformed a small town through his dancing and through getting other teenagers to dance (and rebel against their controlling parents). –  BrettFromLA Sep 3 '14 at 5:46

3 Answers 3

up vote 20 down vote accepted

This is just a funny reference to the movie Footloose, a dancing movie from the 80s starring the actor Kevin Bacon in the lead role. In fact Peter does summarize the story of this movie quite accurately:

Well, on my planet, we have a legend about people like you. It's called Footloose. And in it, a great hero, named Kevin Bacon, teaches an entire city full of people with sticks up their butts that, dancing, well, is the greatest thing there is.

Seeing that the movie was released in 1984, it should've been one of the most recent movies Peter watched as a child before his abduction and he is indeed quite into dancing. And seeing that the story of the movie was about convincing people to dance, it fits the bill pretty well as a parable for his and Gamora's current situation.

As a side note, after this scene I waited for an actual Footloose homage later in the movie, which unfortunately didn't come, but if any movie could have included that it would have been Guardians of the Galaxy, I guess.

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Well, Gamora does remark "We're just like Kevin Bacon!" nearing the end, but I suppose that's all you get. –  MrDoom Sep 3 '14 at 19:28
    
@MrDoom Yeah, though I admit I didn't really get what she meant with this at all. Did she just mean "we own them!" or something similar? And while the music of the movie was more grounded in the 70s (as it was actually his mom's), I would have loved to hear Footloose in that movie. –  Tom Cody Sep 3 '14 at 19:31
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I generally took it to mean that her interpretation of Footloose ended up as Kevin Bacon being a great warrior coming to save the people. It's quite possible we're both over analyzing what is meant to be a one-off funny remark. –  MrDoom Sep 3 '14 at 21:43

The laugh was more because she took his reference way too literally. "A stick up someone's butt" in this country refers to people who are way too strict or have no sense of humor. You don't have to see Footloose to get that he doesn't mean they really have sticks up their butts. Just like the joke "nothing goes over my head, I'm too quick".

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Though, it seemed to have been the Kevin bacon part in particularly that asker was confused of and not so much the stick part. –  Tom Cody May 4 at 22:13

There is a game called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. You name an actor or actress in a movie and a co-star. Then you name that co-star and another actor or actress. You have six steps to get the correlation from initial actor to Kevin Bacon. The joke in the US is that Kevin Bacon is in EVERYTHING. Notice Peter Quill didn't say "Ren", the character name in Footloose...but Kevin Bacon, the name of the actor who played him. So for me, it was funny because it was another example of Kevin Bacon is in everything (sure, he wasn't really in Guardians, but they talked about him, so in a way he was.) Then when she says "We're just like Kevin Bacon," it's funny to me because she is almost saying Kevin Bacon is god-like.

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