Groot is a tree being of few words... or so it seems. The beloved arboreal member of Marvel's Guardians has been a fan favorite since he first appeared onscreen in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. He's got a lot of great qualities, but his popularity isn't exactly based on his line delivery.
As Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) once explained to Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), "[Groot] don't know talking good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to 'I' and 'am' and 'Groot.' Exclusively, in that order."
So, sometimes, Groot's words require some translation. And sometimes, the truth hurts.
**SPOILER WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.**
Guardians director James Gunn recently broke MCU fans' hearts by revealing what Teen Groot's final words were in Infinity War. In this case, he didn't even need three words to make everyone tear up.
Here is a list of everything Groot has "said," according to director James Gunn and Groot's in-house translator, Rocket Raccoon. (Minus that time Groot 100 percent told the other Guardians to "f*** off" when they tried to separate him from his handheld video game in Infinity War. Teen Groot's got some acorns on him.)
"We are Groot," probably meaning something along the lines of "Because we are one."
In May 2017, Guardians director James Gunn posted a message on Facebook about how he'd always felt like an outsider. He thanked certain artists and facets of pop culture for saving him and making him realize his potential. He uses the term "We are Groot" to emphasize togetherness and how connected all outsiders and "misfits" really are.
"I do it so that some kid in Thailand, or England, or Colombia, or Brazil, or Japan, or Russia, or anywhere, can hear the frequency of his or her own heart bouncing back off the Guardians.
They're a group of heartbroken misfits whose lives have been bereft of tenderness and connection and who have a nearly impossible time trusting themselves or others. But they're learning, one step at a time.
"They are me. They are you. We are Groot.
"And no matter how much world leaders are telling you we aren't in this together, we are. You are not alone."
While this isn't so much of an explanation of what "We are Groot" really means, it definitely adds some much-needed context and feeling.
"I am Groot..." meaning "Dad."
This is the one that's been messing with everyone's heads. On May 6, Gunn revealed that Groot's final words in Avengers: Infinity War simply meant "Dad," as he was reaching for Rocket and fading away. And now I'm crying again.
Some bonus Grootisms. There are a few scenes in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films where we can pick out what Groot probably said via context clues, usually with Rocket's help.
"I am Groot," meaning "It's better than 11 percent."
When Star-Lord/Peter Quill is letting the other Guardians in on his grand "12 percent of a plan," Rocket isn't too keen. When the bickering gets to be too much, Groot speaks up (always the voice of reason) to point out that "I am Groot."
"So what if ‘It's better than 11 percent,' what does that have to do with anything?" Rocket demands in return.
"I am Groot" and "I am Groot," meaning "We have to save them!" and "They're the only friends we've ever had!"
After Groot saves Drax by expelling the fluid in his lungs in the first Guardians, Rocket shows up to try and get Groot to run away to the other side of the universe to escape Ronan's Power Stone-fueled plans.
Groot gets to his feet and says, "I am Groot," to which Rocket scornfully says, "Save them? How?"
"I am Groot," Groot says with feeling.
"I know they're the only friends we ever had!" Rocket responds. Then Rocket beats up some grass and agrees to save them.
"I am Groot," meaning "The four of us."
While trapped in the Kyln, Groot proves what a shrewd negotiator he is by being, as Rocket says, "Asleep for the danger, awake for the money."
This is after Rocket, Quill, and Gamora have made a pseudo-deal of sorts to split the money for the Orb (read: the Power Stone) upon escaping the Kyln and making their way to Knowhere. Rocket says they'll split the money between "the three of us," which is when Groot conveniently wakes up and inserts himself into their plan.
"I am Groot."
"'Four of us'? Asleep for the danger, awake for the money — as per friggin' usual."
"I am Groot," meaning "They were looking at me funny."
Baby Groot proves himself a force to be reckoned with within the first few minutes of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 by beating up on some tiny dino-like creatures that he later rides around like wild horses.
After defeating his foes, Baby Groot turns to Rocket and says, "I am Groot."
"They were not looking at you funny," Rocket says right before a giant tentacled monster flops out of the sky.
"I am Groot" four times, meaning "I'm relieved," "I hate hats," "On anyone, not just me," and "You see someone and think they have a weird head and then it just turns out part of their head is a hat."
When Yondu and Rocket find themselves in the mutineering Ravagers' brig, they enlist Baby Groot's help to get Yondu's prototype fin. It doesn't go well.
The following conversation ensues:
Yondu: "What? No!"
Rocket: "He thinks you want him to wear it as a hat."
Yondu: "That's not what I said!"
Groot: "I am Groot."
Rocket: "He's relieved that you don't want him to."
Groot: "I am Groot."
Rocket: "He hates hats."
Groot: "I am Groot."
Rocket: "On anyone, not just himself."
Groot: "I am Groot."
Rocket: "You see someone and think they have a weird head and then it just turns out part of their head is a hat. That's why you don't like hats?"
"I am Groot," meaning "You're boring."
One of the mid-credit scenes of Vol. 2 involves Peter Quill telling Teenage Groot to clean up his room. Groot, prototypical teenager that he is, talks back to Peter.
"Dude, seriously?" Peter says when he stumbles over some leaves and twigs. "You gotta clean up your room, it's a complete mess."
"I am Groot," Groot says, to which Peter, offended, replies, "I am not boring — you're boring!"