Did You Catch the Beloved '90s Band in Disney+'s 'Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special'?

The fan-favorite MCU holiday special features a subtle cameo by The Old 97s.

This is our second holiday season with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+, and some fans may have caught a familiar voice on the re-watch. The special features a cameo by The Old 97s, a beloved indie band that started in the 1990s. Read on for an explainer about how they fit into the Guardians' adventure but fair warning: there are spoilers ahead!

The special starts with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) being approached by a band of alien creatures playing musical instruments from Earth. The aliens are in heavy prosthetics and makeup, so even a die-hard fan might be forgiven for not noticing that this was The Old 97s in disguise. They are even in the end credits – Rhett Miller as Bzermikitokolok, Murray Hammond as Kortobookalia, Ken Bethea as Sliyavastajoo and Philip Peeples as Phloko. Their fictional band is called "Bzermikitokolok and the Knoweremen."

Bzermikitokolok and the Knowheremen may be fictional, but that doesn't mean they have no hit songs. The Old 97s recorded two original songs for this special: "I Don't Know What Christmas Is (But Christmastime Is Here)," and "Here It Is Christmastime." Both were performed in character, of course, and co-written with filmmaker James Gunn. Gunn explained on Twitter how The Old 97s ended up in the special through his personal friendship with Miller.

"When I wrote a song for the [Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special], I asked my pal [Rhett Miller] to write with me [and] then said, 'What the heck, why don't you and the [Old 97's] play the band?!' Some of the most fun days on set ever," he tweeted.

In real life, The Old 97s hit the scene in 1994 with their first national tour of the U.S. They have released 12 studio records to date, all without changing their lineup. The group is likely best known for songs like "Too Far to Care," "Big Brown Eyes," "Barrier Reef" and "Question." They have been called pioneers in the development of "folk pop," "power pop" and "loud folk" as subgenres.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special brings all the film series' main heroes together for a heartwarming 42-minute adventure, including A-listers Pratt, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn and Michael Rooker. It is technically the final installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe "Phase Four," which started with WandaVision and ended with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever last year. You can stream it now on Disney+ along with all three Guardians of the Galaxy films.