Anyone who’s lived in shared accommodation will know the stress derived from fridges. Whether it’s housemates leaving leftovers to grow layer upon layer of mould after being ignored for weeks or putting a bag of raw chicken on the shelf above your vegetables so it leaks delicious salmonella juice onto your tea plans (both true stories), the communal fridge is a constant source of aggravation and argument.
The same goes for the Guardians of the Galaxy. I imagine Drax is the one leaving the raw chicken to drip all over Gamora’s healthy snacks – he probably doesn’t cook it before he eats anyway and doesn’t understand what the fuss is all about. Rocket is definitely the one who forgets about his leftovers, but I bet he’d lick the layer of mould off his week-old meal just to prove a point. I don’t even know if Groot eats – or what he eats if he does – but I think he’s a vegetarian, and we all know that veggies cause the fewest issues in shared kitchens.
Aside from my own headcanons about the food and hygiene habits of the galaxy’s greatest defenders, there’s one fridge-related issue that’s canonically in the game: that bloody door. Someone doesn’t close the fridge door, and every time our heroes get on board the Milano, we have to close it again. And again. I don’t know who manages to find the time to grab some snacks from the fridge while we’re all busy on an alien planet blasting aliens anyway, but that’s besides the point: the fridge is left open on a regular basis.
It doesn’t matter who is leaving the fridge open, though, what matters is that it is left open. Quill’s grumblings as he closes it again show the relationship between the Guardians and the family vibe that connects them: they share a fridge with each other, get annoyed at each other, and have those petty arguments just like any friendship group (and especially friends who live together). Obviously, we see first-hand the latter as the team bickers its way through the apocalypse, but that little door tells us as much about their relationship as anything else in the game – or at the very least enhances it.
Despite his complaints, Star Lord knows they’ve been through a lot together and an open fridge is the least of his worries. Yet still, he complains. Maybe it’s pettiness, maybe it’s genuine worry that his remaining Earth-snacks will get warm, or maybe there’s a Groot sapling (Grootling?) growing in there. Whatever the reason, it’s good to know that heroes are just like us and suffer similar kitchen-based issues to students or shared renters.
Ultimately, the fridge is a completely unnecessary addition to Guardians of the Galaxy, as is the fact it’s open and the prompt to close it every time you walk past. But it does so much to build the world and relationship between the characters in one little, cold boi. Yes, the dialogue and story also helps build these relationships, as do the player choices as you make your way through the game. But it’s the little details that make you really believe in the story and believe that the characters really live together.
It turns out that it was Peter Quill himself leaving the door open – I thought it was that mischievous llama to be honest – but that’s besides the point. This silly little fridge shows the team’s friendship just as much as them leaping into Drax’s brain to save him from the Promise. It tells us everything we need to know about them as heroes and people, and represents the best environmental storytelling I’ve seen in games for a long time.
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