7) David Hasselhoff
A few times throughout the movie, we hear that Peter used to claim that his dad was David Hasseloff when he was a boy. In particular, Hasselhoff’s character in classic 80s series Knight Rider, complete with his talking car KIT. While this seems like a fun, throwaway pop culture reference, it actually sets up a couple of cameos from the man himself.
First, when Ego’s true motivations come out, he reveals that he tried to pick a form that would be pleasing to Peter. Cue a brief cameo from the Hoff as Ego transforms into him. Secondly, Hasselhoff also appears again during the movie’s credits. Just as other members of the cast are seen in bubbles dancing along to the music, Hasselhoff appears to give us a timely message that goes something like: “In these times of great hardship, just remember that we are Groot.”
Staying on the theme of 1980s TV, Peter compares his and Gamora’s “unspoken thing” to that of Sam and Diana from Cheers. The long-running sitcom featured Ted Danson and Shelley Long’s characters in an on-again/off-again relationship across its first five seasons.