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->''"WE'VE GOT MOVIE SIIIIGN!!!"''

'''''Mystery Science Theater 3000''''' -- or ''[=MST3K=]'' for short -- debuted on the local Minneapolis UHF station KTMA (currently Creator/TheCW affiliate WUCW) in 1988. Somewhere between SketchComedy, improv, and a late-night movie anthology, ''[=MST3K=]'' showed some of the worst films imaginable (or at least the kind of crappy [[BMovie B-movies]] that a third-tier UHF station could afford the rights to) intercut with framing sequences following the life of the hapless Joel Robinson (Joel Hodgson), who is stranded on the "[[FunWithAcronyms Satellite of Love]]" by [[MadScientist mad scientists]] Dr. Clayton Forrester (Trace Beaulieu, a reference to the hero of the 1953 film adaptation of ''Film/TheWarOfTheWorlds'') and Dr. Lawrence "Larry" Erhardt (Josh Weinstein). During the movies, Joel is joined by Crow T. Robot (Beaulieu) and Tom Servo (Weinstein), two robots he'd contrived from spare parts, and the trio would mercilessly [[{{MST}} riff]] and [[TheHeckler heckle]] on the [[SoBadItsGood comically low quality]] of the films they watched. (Joel and The Bots were portrayed in "Shadowrama" as if they were sitting in the front row of a theater showing the movies.) The show was partially aimed towards a young audience, which made the riffing generally good-natured, unlike the bitter sarcasm of (for example) the Medved brothers of ''Golden Turkey Awards'' fame.

''[=MST3K=]'' quickly achieved cult status in its local market, and after one season, the show was picked up by the fledgling Comedy Channel (now Creator/ComedyCentral). Although the riffing was a lot more sophisticated -- it was now written in advance, rather than improvised -- the show never betrayed its low-budget roots, featuring production values which deliberately mimicked the string-powered pie plates and papier-mâché aliens of the films it mocked. After the first season on Comedy Central, Weinstein left; he was replaced by the big-voiced Kevin Murphy (as Tom Servo) and the generally big Frank Conniff (as TV's Frank, who became Dr. Forrester's hapless sidekick). With this cast in place, the show hit its stride and ran for six more seasons, eventually spawning [[TheMovie a feature film]]. During the fifth season, Joel left and was [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute seamlessly replaced]] as host by head writer [[Creator/MikeNelson Michael J. Nelson]] (as Mike Nelson).

The film proved to be a stretch too far, though. It not only drove out Trace Beaulieu, but also led to the show's cancellation. After a period of uncertainty, ''[=MST3K=]'' was [[ChannelHop sold]] to the SciFiChannel (now [=SyFy=]), where it ran for three additional seasons and underwent further cast changes: Bill Corbett became the voice of Crow, while staff writer Mary Jo Pehl took the role of Dr. Forrester's even-more-evil mother, Pearl (by the end of the show's run, none of the original KTMA cast remained on the show). ''[=MST3K=]'' ended in 1999, but for contractual reasons, it was rerun on [=SyFy=] in random time slots until sometime in 2004.

Several episodes were repackaged for syndication in a trimmed-down version known as ''The Mystery Science Theater Hour'', with new framing segments parodying the introductions used by classic film channels and featuring Nelson as an expy of avuncular A&E ''Biography'' host Jack Perkins. In general, however, ''[=MST3K=]'' did not lend itself to commercial exploitation; each episode ran for two hours (with commercials), and the production team struggled to obtain and keep the rights to the films it riffed. As a consequence of these issues, ''[=MST3K=]'' was barely broadcast outside the US and remains unknown in large parts of the English-speaking world. Season Three featured numerous ''Franchise/{{Gamera}}'' movies, which were removed from further distribution after Sandy Frank (who had imported and dubbed the Gamera films) lost the rights to his dubs and the original Japanese studio, Daiei, refused to sell them for mockery -- well, [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing until Shout! Factory got the rights to release them.]] Creator/ShoutFactory's new license resulted in DVD releases of the Gamera films, as well as a special volume of ''[=MST3K=]'s'' ''Franchise/{{Gamera}}'' episodes. (The show's ''{{Franchise/Godzilla}}'' episodes are also out of distribution, but no new deal appears to be in the works to get those episodes released.)

In the years since the show's end, distribution rights to many of the riffed movies reverted to their original owners, which means episodes of ''[=MST3K=]'' featuring those films can't (legally) be redistributed. For several years, [[http://www.rhino.com/mst3k/index.lasso Rhino Entertainment]] released episodes on video and DVD; in 2008, the DVD rights were [[ChannelHop transferred]] to [[http://www.shoutfactory.com/news/66/shout_signs_mystery_science_theater_3000.aspx Shout! Factory]], and the Rhino releases slowly went out of print. Most of the episodes released on DVD are available for streaming on Netflix.

The series' philosophy of "KeepCirculatingTheTapes" (a phrase found in the end credits for several years) led to much of the show being easily found online; Best Brains encourages tape trading and file sharing, and the group uploaded numerous ''[=MST3K=]'' episodes onto Google Video themselves. (They only really disapprove of the trading of episodes released legally and encourage everyone to support the official DVD releases.)

The handling of the series by Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel remains a cause of irritation amongst fans even today; one widely circulated conspiracy theory says the network (either one) [[ScrewedByTheNetwork intentionally sabotaged the series]], since the show had a small but intense cult following which made the show hard to dismiss despite its modest {{ratings}}. The odd choices of sponsors tends to underscore this idea in the minds of many fans.

Several different groups of former cast members have taken stabs at reviving the show in different ways:

* Nelson, Murphy, and Corbett collaborated on ''[[http://www.filmcrewonline.com/ The Film Crew]]''. Four [=DVDs=] were produced -- with the concept being closer to the original ''[=MST3K=]'' -- before [=RiffTrax=] began, but weren't released until late 2007.
* Nelson's ''Podcast/RiffTrax'' was the second and more successful spin-off, giving the ''MST'' treatment to popular movies and TV shows via [[AlternateDVDCommentary mp3 "commentary" tracks for DVDs]] (as well as DRM-free pre-synched videos of the cast making fun of public domain short films). The series started with just Nelson, though after a short period of time Corbett and Murphy started doing guest spots before joining full time. The majority of releases feature all three. Mary Jo Pehl also did a one-off for ''Film/{{Glitter}}''.
* ''WebVideo/CinematicTitanic'' -- which also uses an ''[=MST3K=]''-esque Shadowramma -- features Hodgson, Beaulieu, Weinstein, Conniff, and Pehl. Episodes of this project are available on DVD and digital download. Through 2013 (when they announced they would be going on "indefinite hiatus") the group also took the show on the road, riffing movies from the [=DVDs=] as well as others.
* [[http://www.mst3k.com/ The official MST3K website]] featured several flash cartoons featuring the Bots.
* Finally, Joel Hodgson [[http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/mystery-science-theater-3000-reboot-may-come-online-in-not-too-distant-future-1201161437/ announced]] in 2014 that he was trying to reboot the show for online streaming in spring of that year, with an all-new host. Spring came and went with no reboot. However, in November of that year, he [[http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2necex/i_am_joel_hodgson_creator_of_mystery_science/cmcty6m confirmed that he was still working on it]].

Several fan-made recreations of the series were created as a result of the show's fandom; the most notable is ''WebVideo/IncognitoCinemaWarriorsXP'', which debuted in 2008 (almost ten years after ''[=MST3K=]'' was cancelled). The show was originally done as an experiment by the actors/writers to gain film experience, but when the show's debut was well received, they kept producing new episodes (and raised the production values, to boot). [=ICWXP=] has gained its fair share of praise from former ''[=MST3K=]'' cast members (including, most notably, Mike Nelson). The show has also inspired other parody series, including ''WebVideo/{{Unskippable}}'' and WebVideo/{{Retsupurae}}, which apply the ''[=MST3K=]'' treatment to video games. There is also a subset of FanFiction known as "[=MiSTings=]", which apply the ''[=MST3K=]'' treatment to the worst fanfics people can find ([[RunningGag la-la-la]]), though this practice has waned since the 2000s due to tighter rules on fanfiction sites (many of which have rules against [=MiSTings=]) and most major [=MiSTing=] authors from the era moving on to other things.

The movies shown on ''[=MST3K=]'' embody damn near every trope, cliché, and hackneyed plot device ever invented -- which Joel / Mike and the 'bots would mercilessly call out. We won't list those here, though you can find a list of the films that were featured on the show on the MysteryScienceIndex3000 page. (For details of the episodes themselves, check out the [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000 Episode Recaps]].)

----

!! WE GOT EXAMPLE SIGN!!!!:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:A-C]]
* AcceptableBreakFromReality: Lampshaded in the [[EarWorm theme song]]:
-->If you're wondering how he eats and breathes and other science facts
-->Then repeat to yourself, [[MST3KMantra it's just a show, I should really just relax]]
* AccidentalMisnaming:
** Very often, early in Mike's tenure and sporadically throughout the rest... Mike was variously called "Mitch", "Mark", "Matt", "Nelstone", "Neilsen", "Nelgert", etc. Often overlapping with "TheNicknamer" trope.
** Also, TV's Frank would regularly refer to Dr. Forrester as "Steve" despite his name being Clayton.
* ActuallyPrettyFunny:
-->'''Gypsy:''' Check it out: they're steam-cleaning the horses!
-->'''Joel:''' Way to go, Gyps!
** [[ThrowTheDogABone Every now and then they would admit a joke in the movie being riffed is funny.]]
** Notably, one movie, ''TheMagicSword'' was commented on by the cast (both in-universe and out) as actually being a rather good movie on its own. Similarly, the four "Russo-Finnish" movies, The Day the Earth Froze, The Magic Voyage of Sinbad, The Sword and the Dragon, and Jack Frost are all usually acknowledged as being beautifully shot and really gorgeous to look at, but very confusing. Kevin Murphy guesses that much of that could be the dubbing.
* TheAdjectivalSuperhero: {{Lampshaded}} endlessly.
** During the Joel era, he and the bots came up with ludicrous superheroes for The Fantastic 85, with such heroes as "Lint-Attachment Man", "Jazz Trio Man", "Really Deep Man" ("He's really deep, man!") and "Always-Smells-Like-Maple Man".
--->'''Crow:''' Oh, I got one! He's called "Man Man". He's bestowed with all the powers of a man... but he's a man.
** During the Mike era, Crow (inspired by dialogue from ''RidingWithDeath'') declared himself Turkey Volume Guessing Man. He had the power to guess the volume of any enclosed space, in [[FantasticMeasurementSystem units of turkeys]].
** A RunningGag during ''PumaMan''.
** From TheMovie: "''East Man'', he came out of the East to do battle with The Amazing Rando!"
* {{Adorkable}}: Mike. Although the rest of the cast certainly does count.
** Especially Joel...Nerdy, dorky, and a real cutie.
* AffablyEvil: TV's Frank sort of straddled the line between this and MinionWithAnFInEvil, as did Dr. Erhardt. Bobo and Brain Guy could also be fairly sociable when Pearl wasn't around.
** During the "Happy Thoughts" song in the ''{{Tormented}}'' episode, we cut to Frank making chalk drawings on the floor of Deep 13 and fantasizing in a childlike singsong voice about Dr. F's demise in a trainyard-switching accident:
-->"...and then the robots and I will become really good friends and we'll be roommates with triple bunk beds and we will stay up all night talking about really cool stuff and they'll think I'm really neat and then I'll invite them over to my house and we'll camp out and..."
** ''Lost Continent'' even had Frank gleefully telling Joel and the Bots, "[[PunctuatedForEmphasis "You. Are all. Going. To DIE!]]"
** Even the Forresters were capable of engaging in friendly banter with Joel/Mike and the 'Bots when the mood struck them. Notably, it's also revealed in the [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S10E09Hamlet Hamlet episode]] that Pearl Forrester apparently forwards mail to Mike so he can keep in touch with his family.
* AIIsACrapshoot: Mostly averted with Joel's creations... [[CrushKillDestroy but played straight when Mike tries to build his own 'bot.]]
** While they never tried to ''kill'' Mike, Crow and Tom often openly admitted to destroying his most prized possessions.
* AlasPoorVillain: While Pearl doesn't actually die in the final episode, it's hard not to feel sorry for her as she's forced to watch her life's work -- ''and her son's'' -- crumbling around her.
-->'''Pearl:''' ''[last line]'' Move on, Nelson. [[BlatantLies I have.]]
** Joel and the Bots had this feeling in ''Warrior of the Lost World'' after [[RootingForTheEmpire cheering on Megaweapon to kill the film's protagonist when the noble machine was destroyed.]] To their delight, he turned out to have survived and had a nice conversation with them over the telephone.
* AllAnimeIsNaughtyTentacles: The crew's general mindset of it, referenced for the sake of comedy especially when watching Japanese-made movies. Makes sense, given that anime was a fairly new concept back then and the stereotypes were ripe for the picking. Except that the mindset carries over to ''RiffTrax''.
** Though with RiffTrax, they tend to specify Hentai as the whole naughty tentacles genre, not just Anime.
* AllMenArePerverts: Mostly Crow, who will start complimenting the film when a female is undressing, like in ''Terror from the Year 5000''.
-->'''Crow''': Movie's getting better, movie's getting better. The cinematography has improved... significantly.
** Averted with '''Mike''', who instead notices random things when a nude female is on-screen, like in ''Village of the Giants'' where he points out the stairs and curtains in the background when the women start growing out of their clothes.
*** And then there's this almost identical exchange from ''Diabolik'', as a woman in an incredibly short miniskirt goes up a flight of steps.
-->'''Mike:''' Wow. ''Dangerously'' steep stairs.\\
'''Tom:''' You're looking at the ''stairs?'' Oh, Mike...
* AllThereInTheManual: ''The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide'', which covers every episode the first six seasons in extreme detail and gives a basic synopsis of the KTMA season and what a viewer at the time could expect from season seven. The KTMA season and seasons 7 would later be given more detail at [=MST3KInfo.com=], and the SciFi website covered seasons 8-10. (The SciFi pages are now defunct, but available amongst the archives of Satellite News.)
* AlwaysSecondBest: The show garnered an impressive number of award show nominations, [[http://www.mst3ktemple.com/ouch13awards.htm but lost every single time]]. Winning the ultra-prestigious Peabody Award helped make up for it, though.
** In-universe, Dr. F was this to Joel, which was why Dr. F chose him as his test subject.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Played situationally and, naturally, [[RuleOfFunny for laughs]] with the majority of the male cast.
** [=MST3K=] showed one of the first gay marriages on TV (between Crow and Servo), and got away with it because it involved robot puppets. It also helped that the wedding descended into chaos before the "I Do." For what it's worth, Servo looks fetching in a wedding dress.
** Observer, who isn't shy about it.
--->'''Observer:''' ''(on [[{{Hamlet}} Fortinbras]])'' He made ''me'' look butch.
* AmusingAlien: They come across dozens throughout the show's run; most of which are [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis characters from the film they're currently watching.]]
* AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent: In the ''QuestOfTheDeltaKnights'' episode ([913]), Pearl gives Mike a mental and physical evaluation, and Mike's perfectly healthy on both fronts. Incensed at not being able to break him, Pearl decides to analyze the situation in person, so she has Brain Guy make her and Mike switch places. A full third of the episode is ''Pearl'' doing the riffing with the 'bots. And yes, it's [[SoCoolItsAwesome completely awesome]].
** It also happened in a previous episode ([611], ''LastOfTheWildHorses'') with Mike and the 'bots switching places with Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank when an accident sends the SOL into a MirrorUniverse.
** And how about ''Hercules And The Captive Woman'', the only time that Gypsy joined in the riffing? She got one riff in but was so disgusted by the badness of the film that she walked out after a few minutes.
*** Gypsy had been in the theater before in the KTMA theme song, ''The Green Slime,'' ''Untamed Youth,'' ''Wild Rebels,'' and her voice can be heard in ''Soultaker.''
** In ''Devil Doll,'' Servo, inspired by the film's soul-swapping, asks the devil to turn him into a hot, delicious toaster pastry. It's done...and he spends the last quarter of the film riffing in toaster pastry form. Which makes for a rather hilarious silhouette.
** Almost happened with Brain Guy as well, in episode 813, ''Jack Frost''. Mike almost tricked Brain Guy into switching places with him for the movie, but Brain Guy realized the trick and switched back [[JustInTime just before the movie actually started]]. This is most likely because the actor who plays Brain Guy also does the voice for Crow T. Robot. Having him riff on the movie twice as two different characters would have been somewhat redundant.
** When the Mads send the guys a home chemistry set, Crow makes a formula that turns Tom Servo into a giant angry version of himself. He spends the first couple of minutes of that episode as a giant silhouette of himself talking in HulkSpeak.
-->'''Servo:''' SERVO NO LIKE MOVIE!
** ''Prince of Space'' is watched while the crew flies through a worm hole. At one point Mike becomes a puppet and stays that way for a long stretch of the movie.
** There was one episode where Crow's [[EvilTwin Evil Twin]] Timmy creeped into the theater, started attacking Servo, then dragged him out of the theater and coccooned him on the bridge a la Alien.
** In the special Mystery Science Theater Blockbuster Review where they riffed on trailers for movies coming out that summer. (Men in Black, Contact, Batman and Robin, etc.) Bobo, Brain Guy and Pearl all joined in on the fun.
** Giant Servo made a second appearance in the theater during Season 10's ''Future War'' to scare the hell out of Mike and the others.
** A demon dog pops up and scares Joel, Tom and Crow right at the end of ''The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy''.
** Cambot, despite being the only character to appear in every single episode, makes his one and only riff in ''The Sidehackers''. During one of the racing scenes, Cambot displays an ESPN-esque scorecard.
-->'''Cambot Score Card:''' Joel And The Bots: 1. The Mads: 0.
-->'''Joel''': Nice effect, Cambot.
-->'''Cambot Score Card:''' Boredom: 9. Movie: 1.
* AnimatedAdaptation: In 2007 there was an official WebAnimation released online that followed the adventures of Tom Servo, Crow, and Gypsy. It was not well received and shortly thereafter it was discontinued. [[CanonDiscontinuity Now, let's never speak of it again.]]
* TheAnticipator: Parodied in the episode [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S06E07Bloodlust Bloodlust]]. In the movie being made fun of, Dr. Balleau knows that the heroes are hiding in his lair, and begins doing an evil speech as he slowly turns on light switches to reveal them. Mike and the Bots joke that he [[CrazyPrepared actually gives this speech tons of times of day, just on the off chance that someone actually IS hiding there.]]
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: In Gamura vs. Guiron, the children keep talking about a civilized world without war, murder or traffic accidents. It's {{Lampshaded}} to hell and back and ends up being a BrickJoke in the SeriesFinale.
* TheArtifact: The Invention Exchanges sorta became this once Joel left. They were originally a way for Joel Hodgson to show off props from his magic show. They were eventually phased out.
* ArtisticLicenseSports:
** In the opening host segment for ''AlienFromLA'', Mike is trying to teach the Bots Blackjack. Crow "hits" on two decks worth of cards, all without even looking at his cards. Even though, under some rules, you can go as high as eight hits (which is the most you can statistically draw before going over 21[[note]] 4 aces, 4 deuces and 2 threes - at 100,000,000 to 1 odds[[/note]]), the standard rule is three (a "5-Card Charlie" is holding five cards without busting, counting as an automatic win for the player).
** In the opening for ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S06E19RedZoneCuba Red Zone Cuba]]'', Mike and The Bots are playing "high stakes" bingo and Magic Voice calls out "B-37." On standard Bingo cards, B holds numbers 1-15. 37 would be under "N".
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: The SOL gang reached the edge of the universe and became pure energy in the finale of Season 7, when the show's run on Comedy Central ended. Luckily, [[UnCancelled this didn't last long]].
** TV's Frank, ushered into Second-Banana Heaven by [[Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate Torgo]] [[LordOfTheRings the White]].
* AscendedExtra: Pearl Forrester started out as a recurring extra character pre-season 7, then evolved into co-Big Bad alongside her son in season 7, and eventually became the show's main BigBad from season 8 onwards.
* AscendedFanon: The fans dubbed the apes' lab from ''Revenge of the Creature'' to ''The Deadly Mantis'' "Deep Ape" since it was the first Mads base after Deep 13. While its only on-screen name was "the lab", Best Brains refers to it as "Deep Ape" anyway.
* AsHimself: Cambot is credited this way for the first few seasons.
* AsleepForDays: In TheMovie, Crow jokes that the departure of [[ThisIslandEarth Cal Meachum]] prompts Joe to sleep off his depression: "I'm gonna curl up in his sock drawer and sleep for days.
* AssholeVictim: It's hard to feel bad when we learn that [[spoiler: Dr. Forrester was murdered by his mother between seasons 7 and 8]].
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Crow and Tom Servo both have their moments, but the 'evil mirror universe' Tom Servo who appeared in ''Last of the Wild Horses'' probably takes the cake:
--> '''Evil Servo:''' I'll have you killed! And then tortured! And then - ooh look, a cowboy movie!
* AudienceMurmurs: In early seasons Joel and the bots will simulate crowd noise by muttering "rhubarb rhubarb" - however, it's always an ''appropriate'' type of rhubarb, e.g. "journalist rhubarb" or "military rhubarb." And in Japanese movies, instead of "rhubarb rhubarb", one often catches them muttering "wasabi, bok choy, seaweed".
* AwesomeMcCoolname: In episode [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFHlJ2voJHY Space Mutiny]] they invent about a zillion impressive {{Awesome McCoolname}}s: Big [=McLargehuge=], Smoke Manmuscle, Butch Deadlift, Dirk Hardpec, Punch Sideiron...
** ''Final Sacrifice'' actually had one in the movie: Zap Rowsdower.
* BadassBystander
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: In one episode, Mike, taking advantage of Pearl's [[TheGamblingAddict weakness]], challenges her to a ShellGame with the stakes being Mike's choice of any movie he wants or two movies of Pearl's choice. Mike wins and ends up picking ''{{Hamlet}}''--and oh, ''boy'', does he get ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S10E09Hamlet Hamlet]]''.
* BecomingTheMask: During the Sci-Fi era, Crow had a tendency to dress up as a person/monster from the movie and insist to Mike and Tom that he really was that character.
-->'''Crow''' (''dressed as a [[Film/ThePhantomPlanet Solarite]]''): [[SanitySlippage You know what's weird? I don't remember]] ''[[SanitySlippage doing]]'' [[SanitySlippage this]]. '''''[[SanitySlippage AND IT'S A VERY GOOD COSTUME!]]'''''
** Crow does this a ''lot'' (such as being dressed as a [[SpaceMutiny Bellarian]]):
--->'''Crow''': Okay, okay okay. Ask me if I'm a Bellarian, point-blank.
--->'''Mike''': Are you a Bellarian?
--->'''Crow''': No. ''--Damn!'' I'm not! Tsch! What am I then? Am I just some kind of a gauzy fruitcake? Am I just some kind of a gullible freak, who-who allows the core of his own being to be blown to the four winds? I mean... well, I guess so, then. Well, that's what I am then. A gullible freak. Good! Good. Huh. W-Wait, what am I again?
** Or during ''Jack Frost'', after Crow dresses as a bear claiming the Mushroom Guy did it.
--->'''Mike''': Are you sure you didn't just hot glue fur to yourself?
--->'''Crow''': Yeah, I ''wish!''
--->'''Servo''': MIKE! HELP! Crow ate half of me then buried me in the dirt!
--->'''Crow''': Mmm. Not bad.
--->'''Mike''': Crow, what is wrong with you?
--->'''Crow''': I told you, Mike, I'm a bear.
--->'''Mike''': Now haven't we talked about this 100 times -- about you taking your bear simulations to the extreme?
--->'''Crow''': Yeah.
--->'''Mike''': And what are you doing?
--->'''Crow''': Taking my bear simulations to the extreme?
--->'''Mike''': Yeah. There. Do you see a connection?
--->'''Crow''': Um... no, I don't, Mike.
** Tom isn't immune to this, either, and exacts revenge in a different episode, ''PrinceOfSpace''.
--->'''Crow''': We were playing dog and bear, you know, and Servo was chasing me and I ran panicked over logs and through streams, you know, maddened with primal terror, you know, and I turned and raked my deadly claws against his howling snout, you know, and I rose to my hind feet, towering, and still bellowing he came, and I mewled and spewed gore from my wounds and snot from my flaring wild maw and... and... and we were locked like lovers and, and, and, and I was encircled by spotted hound bodies and my entrails were hanging out and I tried a savage feral roar but, alas, my force was spent and I died. Then Servo took it too far...
** Joel tried to do this during ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate'', but failed miserably.
--->'''Crow:''' Well, for one thing, your face is too friendly, and your eyebrows, they arc gently as opposed to jutting inward, and...well, frankly, Joel, you blush in the most adorable way.
** Mike tried and failed too, at the end of ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S10E11HorrorsOfSpiderIsland Horrors of Spider Island]]''.
--->'''Crow''': I gotta say though, Mike, you look even less like a spider than that guy Gary in the movie.
--->'''Mike''': You think so?
--->'''Tom''': Yeah, you're still like 99.99999999...9% human.
** Mike actually seems to do this a lot, usually as a way for Michael J. Nelson to show off his celebrity impersonations. One whole episode plot was Mike doing his [[Series/FamilyMatters Urkel]] impression and everyone laughing at it as characters from previous episodes show up to laugh as well, only for the whole thing to be ruined when Torgo (played by Mike Nelson) admits he's not an Urkel fan.
*** Some episodes have situations where Mike actually saves the day by doing this, like when he became Adam Duritz and scared away the aliens attacking the ship, or in ''Film/{{Laserblast}}'' when the ship was heading towards a black hole and Mike turning into Captain Janeway from ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' is what got them away from it. Only for things to get creepy when "Janeway" starts singing [[Music/CreedenceClearwaterRevival "Proud Mary"]] and dancing like Tina Turner. The 'bots fled in terror.
* BerserkButton:
** On a general level, Joel/Mike and the 'bots responded with jeers and anger whenever a movie involved violence against women and children, or blatant racism or sexism.
** Mistreatment of animals is another one, as evidenced by their reaction to the short ''Film/CatchingTrouble'', causing Joel to apologize on behalf of the human race.
--> '''Servo''': If you enjoyed ''Catching Trouble'' in any way, there is something wrong with you!
** ''Film/InvasionOfTheNeptuneMen'' nearly pushed the crew over the edge. Specifically, the movie's use of stock footage (some of which featured violent destruction recorded during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII), deeply offended the cast.
** This trope actually led to a tightening of standards on the show early on. There was one movie (''TheSidehackers'') that was mostly outlaw side-car racing, with a rape and murder scene plopped in the middle of it which they didn't find out about until they were already partway into doing the episode and it was too late to change the movie. The scene was cut and a rather frank and non-humorous indication of the contents of the missing scene was mentioned on-air, and from that point on, Best Brains made sure that each film was watched in its entirety before being selected.
** In-Universe, [[SapientCetaceans it's not a good idea to mock dolphins.]]
* BetterThanSex: In Mike and the Bots' riffing of ''TheSkydivers'', Crow uses this phrase to mock the movie's [[MustHaveCaffeine obsession with coffee]], as well as the lack of chemistry between the two lead characters.
-->'''Beth:''' I made some coffee.\\
'''Crow:''' Coffee? Wow, that's better than sex!
* BiggerThanJesus: Near the end of the short ''Film/TheDaysOfOurYears'', there's a camera shot where the pastor narrator looms larger than his church in the background. One of the bots chimes in "I'm bigger than Jesus."
** In ''Film/SantaClaus1959'', Servo exclaims this as Santa, which is a sly commentary on Christmas (which the fellows at ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' are well aware of, too.)
* BigBeautifulWoman: Pearl Forrester
* BigHandsomeMan: TV's Frank
* BigHeadMode: The "big head" Joel invents in ''Star Force''.
-->'''Servo:''' Who's that guy with the big head, big head, I'm talkin' big head...
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Mike Nelson's in-universe family.
** We only see two of them, but the Forresters definitely count.
* BinocularShot: One of the skits accompanying ''JungleGoddess'' made fun of the device by having cambot demonstrate a series of mattes, starting with the binocular matte, then progressing to sillier cut-outs.
* BlackWidow: Pearl. In the ''Film/ItLivesByNight'' episode, she shows Bobo and Brain Guy slides from her various honeymoons, and the untimely (and grisly) demises that each of her husbands met with.
-->'''Pearl:''' Sit down or I'll ''marry'' you.
** The name of Pearl's ship? The Widowmaker.
* BlandNameProduct: Averted. Many products used on the show were referred to by their actual names.
** Played straight with the TV they use on the bridge, which has a "STONY" logo on it.
* BookEnds: The GrandFinale ends with Mike, Servo, and Crow on a couch in their apartment and ''The Crawling Eye'' on the TV, bookending the first (nationally broadcast) episode.
** Crow: "This movie looks kinda familiar, doesn't it?" (Of course, none of the actors in that scene were playing the characters back then. [[UpToEleven Not even Cambot.]])
** Mike ''tries'' to enact this. He knew that Joel left after he watched ''Film/{{Mitchell}}'' (staring Joe Don Baker), so he thinks he's allowed to leave after [[FinalJustice he watches another Joe Don Baker film]]. It doesn't work.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: Some of the movies were obviously edited for television but that would technically make this an in-universe example as well since that would mean the Mads were censoring the movies they were sending. Would that make the SOL a [[IncrediblyLamePun Censor Ship?]]
** There was also the time when Joel blocked a shot of a naked woman with an umbrella, definitely in-universe.
** In the case of "Sidehackers", the writers approved the movie for use on the show after seeing half of the film. Then just at the midway point they were shocked to see the hero's girlfriend [[MoodWhiplash brutally raped and murdered]] by the movie's villain. They cut that scene out of the film and just had Crow announce "For those of you wondering at home, Rita is dead." After that, [=MST3K=] made it a policy to screen their films all the way through before approving them.
* BrainBleach: How often? The Trope page has an entire ''section'' devoted to ''[=MST3K=]''.
** When Mike/Joel and the bots see something particularly {{squick}}y, they often say that they need a shower.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: * This riff in episode [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S03E21SantaClausConquersTheMartians "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians"]], when the kids start [[HumiliationConga assaulting Volmar with toys]].
-->'''Tom Servo:''' [[SarcasmMode Hilarity, guys.]] Not since the pie fight scene in ''The Great Race''!\\
'''Crow:''' Not since the mudslide scene in ''[=McLintock=]!''!\\
'''Joel:''' Not since the wagon race scene in ''The Hallelujah Trail''!\\
'''Crow:''' Not since the chess-playing scene in ''The Seventh Seal''!\\
'''Tom:''' Not since the orgy scene in ''Calig...u...la''.
** Tom had been doing this the whole episode. His "Christmas essay" was about Satan Claus visiting the ship...[[RealityEnsues and the horrible consequences it would have on him and the reindeer]]. And during the credits of the movie, when Joel and Crow were singing along to the song, Tom's lyrics were about Santa and the kids dying in a similar way before they get back to Earth. Joel and Crow call out Tom for being so dark.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Joel often castigated the robots when they made reference to being on ''Mystery Science Theater 3000''.
** In ''Manhunt In Space'', Tom sees a familiar moon.
--->'''Servo:''' Hey, it's the ''[=MST3K=]'' logo up there!
--->'''Joel:''' ''(annoyed)'' You're not supposed to know that!
--->''(Servo realizes his mistake, and starts whistling innocently.)''
** When watching Gamera, they notice how similar the rocket model launch is to the show's intro. Of course, they could be taunting Joel's exile to the Satellite of Love.
--->'''Crow:''' Hey ''Jooooel'', does ''this'' remind you of anything?
--->'''Joel:''' ''(annoyed)'' Yeah. ''This! (rips Crow's arm off and hits him with it)''
--->'''Servo:''' Hey, Crow! ''(sings)'' In the not-too-distant future... ''(Joel hits Servo with Crow's arm before tossing it away in disgust)''
--->'''Joel''': [[RealityEnsues I could sue you for that. I could sue you for using my song.]]
** Mike commenting on a car grill in ''Film/TheWildWorldOfBatwoman'':
--->'''Mike:''' [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S02E12GodzillaVsMegalon Jet Jaguar!]]
--->'''Crow:''' Hey, you're right... [[FlashbackWithTheOtherDarrin how would ''you'' know?!]]
** They begin [[OnceAnEpisode every episode by saying hi to the audience, welcoming them to the Satellite Of Love.]]
* BreakingTheReviewersFourthWall: Characters from the film of the week show up on occasion, revealing the movie to be a case of LiteraryAgentHypothesis.
* BrickJoke: Some very far-reaching ones. For example, ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S04E24ManosTheHandsOfFate Manos: The Hands of Fate]]'' (episode 424) ends with Mike Nelson as Torgo delivering a pizza to Dr. Forrester and Frank. Upon realizing he forgot the Mads' sodas, he leaves to fetch them -- and the next season (episode 508) Torgo finally returns with the sodas (the time between these two episodes? ''Nine months''). An even more far reaching example involves Crow's monster movie screenplay ''Earth vs. Soup'', first mentioned in episode 313. In the final season on Comedy Central, the screenplay is brought up again when a movie studio finally takes interest in it.
** Another example from Season Four; the episode ''TheKillerShrews'' begins with Joel giving the bots "present time", but even though Gypsy and Tom Servo get terrific gifts, [[ButtMonkey Crow T. Robot]] gets a pair of "dress slacks from JCPenney". Fifteen episodes later, ''TheDayTheEarthFroze'' opens with Joel attempting to get a "family portrait"...
--->'''Joel:''' We are going to get a nice picture of this family if it kills us - Crow!
--->'''Crow:''' What?
--->'''Joel:''' Crow, where are those nice pants I bought you?
--->'''Crow:''' ''[Guiltily]'' I dunno...
--->'''Joel:''' You can't walk around wearing a sport coat without your nice pants!
*** At the end of the series, Mike is packing Crow's nice brown pants away as they prepare to leave. In the same scene, Mike is tossing away Crow's wire "mother", which was introduced in ''Invasion USA''.
*** Mike is seen folding a small pair of brown pants during Crow's... guitar solo in ''The Dead Talk Back''.
**** The slacks show up yet again in ''Bloodlust'', exactly two seasons (48 episodes) later, when Crow wears them to his therapy session with Servo.
**** Crow's Sensible Brown pants (as well as his Underoos) we going to be used by Mike at the beginning of ''Film/RadarSecretService'' to make a BedSheetLadder to be back to Earth, along with Gypsy's bra and Tom's pantyhose.
**** During "12 to the Moon" at the end of season 5 when they are moving in with 'Future-Singing-Dancing-Lady', Crow has a large crate of 'Sensible Brown Pants (1 of 3)'
**** In one of the early seasons, a little kid sent in a drawing of crow labeled 'Art'. This was in reference to a [[TheHoneymooners Honeymooners]] sketch where Crow was billed as "Art Crow." Cut to years later, where Pearl insists on regularly referring to Crow as "Art" without explanation.
** In "Gunslinger", [[OffWithHisHead Frank's head gets blasted off]] by Clay's new invention. In "Mitchell", in one of the boxes Mike sorts Frank is amused to find his old head inside, and tells Mike to file it under "Frank's Spare Head". And finally in "Laserblast" Pearl finds the same box Mike found it in. Clay suggests they put it in storage.
** One example that crosses over in MythologyGag with ''WebOriginal/RiffTrax''. In "Laserblast", Crow and Tom tortured Mike by telling the audience the infamous "Beyond Thunderdome" joke. In a later episode of Riff Trax...
-->'''Mike''': She got her clothes from the Thunderdome!
-->'''Bill''': Mike...
-->'''Mike''': [[OhCrap Uh-oh.]]
-->'''Bill''': Can't we get ''beyond'' Thunderdome?!
-->'''Mike''': AAUGH!!
** In ''Manos: The Hands Of Fate", Cambot plays a prank on Tom and Crow by purposefully playing a clip form the movie on a loop during a sketch. Crow and Tom are driven to tears. [[TheDogBitesBack They get Cambot back]] in "Danger!! Death Ray" when Cambot cries after several security cameras were destroyed in the movie while Crow and Tom taunt him for being a baby.
* BrownNote: The Mads are trying to find a movie that serves as one of these.
* TheBusCameBack: Joel shows up again in the Season 10 premiere (''Film/{{Soultaker}}''). Mike and the 'bots ask if he could bring them back to Earth, [[ButThouMust but Joel convinces them to stay]].
** Frank comes back in the same episode.
* ButThouMust: If the gang refused to watch the movie (''LostContinent'') or attempted to [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere walk out on it]] (''InvasionOfTheNeptuneMen''), the Mads would force them to watch it through torturous means. The usual method of forcing them into the theater, as suggested by a number of throwaway lines, involved lowering the oxygen level everywhere else on the ship.
** If either of the 'bots tried to leave the theater, Joel would usually stop them; one notable exception was in ''[[Film/{{Sadko}} The Magic Voyage of Sinbad]]'', when Crow [[AttentionDeficitOohShiny snuck out]] to go on a lifelong quest. Gypsy was permitted to leave after her short stint in the theater in ''[[Film/{{Hercules}} Hercules and the Captive Women]]''.
* ButtMonkey: TV's Frank, and later Brain Guy.
** Most of the SOL crew were this at one time or another, depending on who was holding the IdiotBall; Mike in particular seemed to become more and more of this as the series progressed.
* CanadaEh: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RHVoFpncgA The Canada Song]]".
* CannotTellAJoke: Gypsy's attempts to comment on a film inevitably fall flat.
** She ''did'' manage one that Joel and the 'Bots commended -- "They're steam-cleaning the horses!" -- but the movie's dullness basically got her fed up and she left the theater.
* CanonDiscontinuity: As noted in the ScrewedByTheNetwork entry on the Trivia page, when Comedy Central changed leadership at one point, they were highly resentful of having to continue a program left by their predecessors. So much so that, even after the aforementioned screwing, despite being a major iconic figure in the channel's early history (arguably the reason they survived in the first place), any anniversary special or historical retrospective of Comedy Central presented by the channel itself conveniently ignores [=MST3K=] as if it never happened. Yes, they seriously try to pass off their endless parade of mediocre stand-up shows, sitcom reruns, and Politically Incorrect as the REAL way they grew into the channel they are today.
* CaptainMorganPose: Joel and the bots call attention to how many times the main character performs this in "The Giant Gila Monster".
* CaptiveAudience- Joel/Mike and the 'bots.
* TheCastShowOff: The invention exchange, which showed off Joel Hodgson's stage prop act. Also, Mike Nelson had a background in musical arrangements and Kevin Murphy is a pretty talented singer; both skills got used pretty frequently -- between the two of them, they're responsible for writing about three quarters of the songs over the show's run.
** Weirdly enough, when Kevin and Mike wrote and performed an Ink Spots-style Thirties pop ballad ostensibly sung by the Observers, Mike lip-synced Kevin's lines and Bill Corbett lip-synced Mike's lines... which was tremendously confusing to anyone who'd been following the show regularly.
** Ironically, fans complained about the musical segments being less frequent during the Mike years, this being due to Nelson, who was already the head writer and music writer, taking over the hosting duties thus having less time for it. So during the years he was part of the cast, he couldn't show off as much.
** Show off his music skills anyway. Whenever Mike "turns into" some sort of celebrity, (Carol Channing, James Lipton, Erkel, Robert DeNiro, etc.) was Mike showing off his celebrity impressions.
* CatchPhrase: "We got movie sign!" and "What do you think, sirs?"
** "Push the button, Frank."
*** Preceded in the first season by "File this, Larry."
** "Stuffing or potatoes?"
** [[TheFinalSacrifice "Rowsdower!"]]
** "The Mads are calling." And, later, "Pearl's calling."
*** "The Mads/Pearl" is [[MadLibsCatchPhrase frequently replaced]] with the names of completely different people, or insulting nicknames. The Mads, and later Pearl, retaliate by coming up with their own condescending nicknames for the S.O.L. crew.
** "[[Film/{{Mitchell}} MITCHELL]]!" and "But [[Series/TJHooker Hooker's]] a GOOD cop!"
** And of course "Welcome to the Satellite of Love!" and "Hello, booby!"
** Plus that... noise Frank made ("Eyukgaeeoo!").
** One episode features Crow ordering a bunch of t-shirts with a new catchphrase he hopes will catch on: "You know you want me, baby!". Mike tries to pick one from a book, but the best he can come up with is "We're all out of toner."
** Whenever a man and woman are together and one makes a lame joke: "We're a fun couple."
** "[[BrideOfTheMonster He tampered in God's domain.]]"
** "[[{{Eegah}} Watch out for snakes!]]"
** "[[Film/WomenOfThePrehistoricPlanet Hi-KEE-ba!]]"
** "[[PodPeople It stinks!]]"
*** Not to mention "Chief!?" "'''[=McCloud=]'''!?"
** "Oh....poopie!"
** "SLEEEEEEEEP!"
*** [[ChristmasEpisode "SLEEEEEEEEP! IN HEAVENLY PEACE!"]]
** When someone is shot from a [[HitlerCam low angle]]: "I'm huge."
** "I thought you were Dale!"
** "You're soaking in it!"
** "By this time, my lungs were aching for air!"
*** To the point where in ''Film/GameraVsBarugon'', Joel forbids Crow from ever using it again. [[SeriousBusiness Ever.]] Only for Joel himself to use it in ''Film/TheUnearthly'' and Crow to use it again when a letter referenced it. They stopped using the line before Mike became host. Which was too bad, since the line was first said by Lloyd Bridges' character on ''Sea Hunt'': [[NamesTheSame Mike]] [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot Nelson.]]
** "________s of the Ooooooold West!"
** [[{{Tootsie}} "We're getting into kind of a weird area here!"]]
*** Hey, leave my area out of this! [[note]]The show's use of {{unusual euphemism}}s for "crotch" was common enough to be a CatchPhrase-cum-RunningGag all its own. Examples included "area", "batch", "breadbasket", and "store".[[/note]]
** Mike's nasal "Hey!" when he's caught off-guard by a riff.
** "[[PrinceOfSpace I like it very much!]]"
** In season one, the Mads would ask Joel his opinion of their invention, and he would respond by rattling off a bunch of synonyms for "evil" and "insane". The Mads would then, without fail, lean into the camera and go "[[InsultBackfire Why, ]]''[[InsultBackfire thank ]]''[[InsultBackfire you!]]"
*** And Larry's chipper "Enjoy!", just prior to sending Joel the movie.
** "[[FugitiveAlien He tried to kill me with a forklift!]]"
*** "...OLE!"
** "And now the news." "Here's some more news". "And that's the news."
** "Shut up!" in earlier theater segments.
* CelebrityResemblance: The riffs have remarked on how Creator/ColemanFrancis looks like [[Film/TheThreeStooges Curly Howard]].
* CharacterAsHimself: Cambot was billed this way during the Joel era.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Gypsy went from being an incredibly stupid, incoherent creature to the most intelligent and competent character on the ship. She basically went from "the family pet" to "Mom"....then finally Executive of "Con Gyps Co.".
** Her intelligence is shown in ''WildRebels'', though it requires her to shut down the ship, as she is normally operating its higher functions. By season 4, however, she's able to delegate and/or automate the resources needed to run the ship, as shown when she prepares to enter the theater in ''Hercules and the Captive Women''. After that, she participates normally in host segments, occasionally serving as MamaBear to the other Bots (see ''Film/TheBeatniks''), and her earlier simplicity is essentially forgotten, though she is still naive compared to Crow and Servo.
* ChewbaccaDefense: When [[MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds Mike is taken to court for destruction of planets]], [[TheDitz Bobo]] [[OhCrap ends up as his defense attorney]]. But in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome very uncharacteristic of him, he manages to get Brain Guy stricken as a witness against Mike... by showing him a liar in the art of baking pies.
* ChristmasCarolers:
** In ''Santa Claus Conquers the Martians'' Joel and the Bots sing Crow's original Christmas carol, "Let's Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas". Later, at the end of the episode, they sing an actual Christmas carol with slightly different lyrics: "Angels we have heard are high / softly sipping old champagne..."
** In ''Santa Claus'', Mike and the Bots perform their [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad surpassingly P.C.]] carol "Merry Christmas (If That's Okay)".
** In ''The Touch of Satan'', Crow and Tom Servo get the two varieties of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassailing wassailing]] confused. They go house-to-house (or rather, to Mike, since no one else lives on the Satellite of Love) and sing Christmas carols with new lyrics promising severe penalties to anyone who doesn't immediately give them wassail. They themselves have no idea what wassail actually is. Much to their disappointment, Mike finds some canned wassail, and it tastes "skunky".
* ChristmasEpisode: The Joel-era ''SantaClausConquersTheMartians'' and the Mike-era ''Film/SantaClaus1959''
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Averted. Even the voice actor changes for the robots are given an in-world explanation/LampshadeHanging and the old characters are occasionally referred to.
** Characters such as The Nanites and Magic Voice stopped being used around season 9, and by season 10, they were pretty much forgotten.
* CleverCrows: Crow T Robot is definitely PluckyComicRelief.
* CliffhangerCopout: Likely to show up whenever the gang watches back-to-back chapters from old {{Film Serial}}s, such as ''Film/RadarMenFromTheMoon'' and ''UnderseaKingdom''. Joel/Mike or one of the bots is always bound to call attention to the copout when it comes.
** For bonus points, Servo actually references Annie Wilkes' rant from ''{{Film/Misery}}'': "That isn't what happened! He didn't get out of the cockadoodie car!"
* CloudCuckoolander: For some reason they turned Jack Perkins (portrayed by Mike Nelson) of all people into this during the Turkey Day sequences. If the camera is focused on Jack, prepare for, as the [=MST3K=] wiki puts it, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-bCirHJLVk "long, meandering, name-dropping rambles about nothing in particular".]]
** Gypsy also wanders into this trope at times, especially during the Mike-era.
*** As does Joel on occasion, [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment during the Joel-era.]]
** Hell, just about everyone on the show was one of these at one point or another.
* CloudCuckoolandersMinder: Brain Guy to Pearl, Joel to the Bots.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Way back during the first season on KTMA, somebody left a message on the show's official answering machine saying they enjoyed the movies but disliked the bots, calling the show "like being stuck in a movie theater with a bunch of noisy teenagers," which Joel read out and subtly mocked while on the show.
** TheMovie ended with Dr. F being teleported out of Deep 13. Crow happily says now they'll never get back to Earth now. It takes them a few seconds to stop celebrating.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: The premise of the series -- Dr. Forrester is "experimenting" on Joel/Mike to find a movie bad enough to turn into a WeaponOfMassDestruction. The reason Joel was targeted? Dr. Forrester didn't personally like him.
** The Mads were planning to kill Mike out of disgust after he was done helping renovate - making him quite the disposable temp worker - but Gypsy thought the Mads were finally going to off ''Joel''. When Joel escaped, the Mads decided instead of killing Mike, they might as well shoot ''him'' up to the S.O.L. as a replacement.
** Dr. Forrester turned Pearl's date into a giant chicken in "The Brute Man" and is said to have killed her previous ones.
* {{Corpsing}}
** Mike/Joel and the 'bots frequently chuckle and crack up at each other's jokes.
** A lot of the ''Poopie'' outtake reels consist of corpsing, mainly coming from Frank, who was prone to getting the giggles at the drop of a hat.
* CouchGag: TheStinger after every episode (starting in season 2), a short clip of the most inexplicable dialogue or event in the movie.
* CousinOliver: Parodied with Timmy Bobby Rusty.
* CreditsGag: Several throughout the shows run, one of which was "KeepCirculatingTheTapes".
* CryingIndian: Parodied to hell and back in ''Werewolf.''
* CrystalClearPicture: The Hexfield Viewscreen, although in one episode "static" is produced by styrofoam pellets being thrown around.
* CurseCutShort: Tom Servo on the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RHVoFpncgA Canada Song]]
--> Just where the hell does Canada get off sharing a border
--> With countries far superior to it
--> Why you lousy, stinking, Francophonic, bacon-loving bastards
--> Your country's just a giant piece of--
--> '''Crow and Mike:''' Whoa whoa whoa! Okay, okay, that's enough!
** In the very first Comedy Channel episode "The Crawling Eye" the 'bots are having trouble with the concept that humans' heads do not detach and reattach like robots' do.
--> '''Crow''': Well then why do people say that they’re always… like “I’d lose my head if it wasn’t screwed on”?
--> '''Servo''': Yeah, and people often say their heads aren’t in the right places.
--> '''Crow''': Yeah, and Joel, once I heard the scientists talkin’ and they said you had your head up your a-
--> [Joel clamps Crow's beak shut.]
--> '''Joel''': Uh, well… uh, Crow that’s just a figure of speech, all right?
* CutenessProximity: Nummy Muffin Coocol Butter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:D-F]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: The web series ''IncognitoCinemaWarriorsXP'' is essentially a dark and edgy version of ''[=MST3K=]'', since it mainly riffs adult-rated horror films featuring tons of sex and nudity, something ''[=MST3K=]'' couldn't get away with on basic cable.
** Many fans feel the tone of the show got a bit edgier and angrier as it went on, particularly after the move to the Sci-Fi Channel and the addition of [[BrooklynRage native Brooklynite]] Bill Corbett to the main cast.
*** At the "Crow vs. Crow" panel at Dragon*Con '09, Corbett said that the Sci-Fi Channel sent them notes, telling them to make the show "edgier", which apparently the crew didn't really understand. "What do you want, more fart jokes?"
** Even back in the Comedy Central seasons, the various shorts shown tended to have more mature jokes than the main movies. ''Johnny At the Fair'' and ''Catching Trouble'' in particular stand out.
** The lost short ''Assignment: Venesuala'' has some very adult jokes, due to being made for a CD-ROM game that was never finished.
* DarkestHour: Servo's "death" in ''Fugitive Alien 2''.
** Any time the movie ''really'' gets to them.
* DeadpanSnarker: Everyone on the SOL seems to be this at least part of the time, if only to preserve their own sanity. Joel is arguably the most deadpan of them all though.
* DeathIsCheap: TV's Frank dies a ''lot''.
** So does Servo, although he has thousands of replacements for himself. In the series finale he detonates them all.
* DeconstructorFleet: Many host segments were about deconstructing some aspect of the movies they watch.
* {{Detournement}}: Using real films to sabotage ''themselves''. Especially devastating with [[VerySpecialEpisode Very Special Episodes]] or "educational films", but good against pure {{Horror}} as well.
* DeusExMachina: Joel escapes the Satellite of Love in a [[EscapePod pod]] conveniently named the ''Deus ex Machina''.
* DisproportionateRetribution:
** Why did Pearl Forrester give Mike and the Bots ''Film/{{Hobgoblins}}''? Because they ''jumped on her rent-to-own couch''.
** There's also the time Tom attacked Crow with a biplane, riddling him and his little spiffy car with bullets. Why? Because Crow kept making UranusIsShowing jokes earlier in the episode.
** Another example was in the host segments in ''Film/TheWildWorldOfBatwoman'', based off the short ''Cheating'' - Crow copies Gypsy's paper about why cheating is bad and Tom suggests that Crow should ''die.''
** Dr. Forrester will kill people for little, and in Michael Feinstein's case, no reason.
** Insult a dolphin or an electrician, you're going to get targeted by a Dolphin Mothership.
* DistractedByTheShiny: The Satellite crew ''want'' to be DistractedByTheShiny. Any distraction from the so-called 'plot' of these films is a welcome relief.
** If dogs show up in a movie, the guys will typically coo "Puppy!" and try to get its attention, even if it's supposed to be a horrible monster.
** One of Crow's early [[CatchPhrase catchphrases]] is "Kitty!", blurted whenever a lion or other ''big'' cat (or, in one case, an iguana) is shown onscreen.
** During ''CrashOfTheMoons'', Joel and The 'Bots take time out from making fun of JohnBanner's performance to coo over a baby, whom one of them dubs "the first likable character in the film."
** Megaweapon distracted them for the entire second reel of ''Film/WarriorOfTheLostWorld.''
** The bouncy-looking couch in ''{{Hobgoblins}}'', which delighted Tom Servo.
** Mike and the Bots found two ants fighting over a dropped piece of candy more excited than the chase scene going on in ''Soultaker'' at that point.
* TheDitz: Gypsy ''appears'' to be one of these, due to most of her brain capacity being used to attend to the SOL's higher functions.
** In the ''WildRebels'' episode, Joel shuts down some of the systems on the ship, which results in Gypsy communicating with the others in a "smarter" manner (while Joel is left gasping for oxygen).
** Professer Bobo (after he TookALevelInDumbass) and TV's Frank played this straight.
* {{Documentary}}: ''This Is [=MST3K=]'', which aired on Comedy Central in 1991, was hosted by [[PennAndTeller Penn Jillette]] and took viewers behind the scenes of the show's production.
* DonutMessWithACop: In one episode, Crow and Tom Servo actually force Joel to sign a contract that prohibits him from making cop and donut jokes whenever a cop appears on the screen.
** And the writers actually did make sure they made no more cop and donut jokes from then on.
* DopeSlap: Clayton and Pearl love dishing these out to their underlings. Along with Dope Punches, Kicks, {{Groin Attack}}s, et cetera.
* DownLADrain: Discussed in a movie. They're having a ''Grease''-style car race in the river, and Crow riffs "The L.A. River, for all your car-chase needs!"
* DudeNotFunny: In-universe; any time a movie or short has ValuesDissonance, Joel, Mike and the Bots will have this reaction.
* DutchAngle: The Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank segments (and later, Pearl) are shot this way.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The KTMA season has a ''lot'' of this, even compared to the early Comedy Central seasons. In no particular order: The Mads worked from within the Gizmonic Institute itself rather than Deep 13 and barely interacted with Joel at all (he spent more of his time reading out viewer letters than talking to the Mads); Dr. Forrester was clean-shaven and had a mullet and JohnLennon specs, and for the first half of the season, Joel had a mullet as well; the Satellite of Love looked totally different; Cambot was a separate unit that operated the video camera rather than having it integrated into his body, Gypsy had a much more primitive design (and was sometimes called "Gypsum"), Servo was painted silver, and Crow had a slightly different body section; the series used video-generated special effects for everything except the Satellite of Love, as opposed to the tabletop models seen in later seasons; the logo in the opening titles was different (parodying the logo of ''Series/LandOfTheLost''), and the end credits used an instrumental version of the opening theme.
** In the earliest pilot, made to pitch the show to KTMA, Joel's surname is Hodgson instead of Robinson, and he was the person who built the Satellite of Love before launching it into space of his own accord. Tom Servo is also completely absent, and in his place is a robot called "Beeper" who speaks in unintelligible gibberish.
** Servo's voice gets lighter during the Mike episodes, essentially becoming Kevin Murphy's speaking voice instead of the deeper Servo voice.
** Season 1 also has some of this, with Josh Weinstein voicing Servo and playing the Mad sidekick (Dr Erhardt). It's just not MST3000 without Kevin Murphy's voice and TV's Frank.
*** Also, after the experiment, Joel would ask the bots to say a good thing and bad thing about the movie, and he'd give them a RAM chip for a reward. This was phased out of the show during the second season.
** Bill Corbett's Crow sounded strange for the first few episode because he was trying to imitate Trace Beaulieu. The rest of the cast told him to relax and eventually, Crow sounded like...Bill Corbett.
* ElmuhFuddSyndwome: Tom Servo uses this in his attempt to be cute at the end of Jack Frost, making Mike and Crow unable to understand what he's saying.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Well, names. ''Film/NightOfTheBloodBeast'' gives us Clayton Deborah Susan Forrester.
* EnemyMine: Mike and the Bots were often forced to co-operate with Pearl & Co. during Seasons 8 on their way back to Earth.
* EpicFail: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGvXE7VI2Dg This]] little blooper. A fail so epic, it's been brought up three times on the show's Funny page.
** For those not realizing the gag the running joke of the episode was [[TrademarkFavoriteFood Waffles.]]
* EscapePod: The means by which Joel escapes from the Satellite of Love. (Don't ask why a satellite intended to be an inescapable prison has escape pods.)
** The bots later destroy the three remaining escape pods that Mike, to his annoyance, didn't know he had.
--->'''Mike:''' Don't you think we should have used the escape pods for '''''[[{{Angrish}} escape purposes]]'''''?
--->'''Crow:''' What's he on about?
--->'''Servo:''' Oh, you mean... escape from ''here''? Boy, is my face red!
* EvenEvilHasStandards: The ''Manos'' episode found both Dr. F and Frank actually apologizing to Joel and the 'bots for making them watch it.
** In the ''Overdrawn At The Memory Bank'' episode, Pearl makes it very clear that they're '''not''' making fun of the movie's star, the then-recently-deceased Raul Julia.
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: Parodied -- and taken to the extreme -- during the end credits of ''Devil Fish''. And it goes on for maybe three minutes. Seriously, the 'bots don't let up for even a second.
* EvilAlbino: The Observer. Although he's more of a HarmlessVillain, really.
* EvilMatriarch: Pearl Forrester
* ExplosiveBreeder: The Nanites. In the ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S08E01RevengeOfTheCreature Revenge of the Creature]]'' episode, Crow tells Mike he "won two at a county fair a while back", and there are now "enough to populate several small planets".
* ExpositoryThemeTune: The "Love Theme from ''Mystery Science Theater 3000''". Small changes were made every so often to accommodate the various changes in cast and premise. [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mst3ktreeuc4.gif See this handy chart]]!
** Or if you're more into visuals, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGQbldBqtPw here's a mashup of them all]]. And by all, there's ''no exceptions''.
* {{Expy}}: GSN's "Faux Pause" which had two hosts making fun of game show episodes. It didn't last long.
** ''Series/CheapSeats'' on [=ESPN=] Classic was based on two hosts commenting on old and often quirky sporting events. The first regular episode of season 2 included a brief shadowed appearance by Mike and the bots.[[note]]The season premiere was a parody of [=ESPN's=] biography show ''Sportscentury'' and did not follow the usual format.[[/note]]
* FaceOnAMilkCarton: Dr. Erhardt is shown as one of these after his departure.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: The Mads can never succeed in driving their victims insane, and the gang on the Satellite Of Love can't escape, with the famous exception of Joel in Season 5. Pearl did come achingly close to finding a film that could drive people insane with ''InvasionOfTheNeptuneMen'', but Mike and the Bots were saved by a visit from [[PrinceOfSpace Krankor]].
** ''Manos: The Hands Of Fate'' came very close, too... it was so bad that Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank both [[EvenEvilHasStandards actually apologized for subjecting them to it while it was still running]].
** Probably the closest Frank and Dr. F got to actually driving Joel insane was the season three experiment ''The Castle of FuManchu'', which was so bad that the entire SOL crew had been reduced to tears by the first host segment. The crew was only saved in end when Joel convinced the Mads to try watching it for themselves, and they had to shut it off after only a minute (and some painfully unfunny attempts at riffing). The [[TakeThat schadenfreude]] was enough to pull Joel and the Bots out of their funk.
** SanitySlippage saves the trio after seeing ''Film/RedZoneCuba''. They're about to break when Mike has them sing "Bouncy, Upbeat Song". Crow's demented laugh during the song gives an indication to just how close they came to cracking.
*** Joel's little breakdowns involving a model city made with junk, hollering "Howard Rourke", wearing marshmallows and an altar to Leonard Nimoy (the latter two are unseen and mentioned only in passing).
** A brief one, but in ''Film/TheIncrediblyStrangeCreatures'', a bizarre, surreal nightmare sequence causes poor Servo to freak out and hide under his chair, and reduces him to a trembling, whimpering, sobbing wreck. He snaps out of it surprisingly quickly, though.
* FakeRabies: In one episode, Tom and Crow find Mike passed out with foam around his mouth and begin treating him for rabies (the movie they'd been watching had to this point entirely been about the main character seeming to contract rabies). It turns out Mike simply fell asleep while eating a creampuff.
* FateWorseThanDeath. The characters often find death preferable to what they're watching on the screen.
-->'''Crow:''' ''(despairing)'' To be dead, to be nothing... to watch ''[[InvasionOfTheNeptuneMen Neptune Men]]'' no more...
* FatherIWantToMarryMyBrother: In episode 616, Crow asks Mike for Servo's hand in marriage after watching the ''Are You Ready for Marriage?'' short.
* FinishingEachOthersSentences: Often used to comedic effect during riffs.
-->'''Narrator:''' Talented children from the Orient!
-->'''Crow:''' Are not here today!
** Used extensively in the short "Progress Island U.S.A.":
--> '''Narrator''': Progress can be seen everywhere.
--> '''Mike''': ...In places ''other'' than this.
*** The same can be said for the "Circus on Ice" short.
* FiveBadBand: The Mads.
** BigBad: Clayton Forrester.
** TheDragon: TV's Frank.
** TheSmartGuy: [[CaptainObvious Brain Guy]]\Observer.
** TheBigGuy: Professer Bobo.
** TheDarkChick: Pearl Forrester (doubles as BigBad in the Sci-Fi channel era).
** SixthRanger: Lawrence Erhardt (doubles as TheDragon).
** TeamPet: Gerry and Slyvia.
* FiveManBand: The Satellite of Love crew.
** Joel: TheLeader (TeamDad to the Bots).
** Crow: TheLancer (literally in ''The Magic Sword'').
** TheSmartGuy: Tom (Gypsy has elements of this during the Mike-era).
** TheBigGuy: Mike (doubles as TheLeader).
** TheChick: Gypsy (TeamMom to the other Bots).
** SixthRanger: Cambot and Magic Voice.
* {{Flanderization}}:
** Dr. Clayton Forrester got a lot more manic and flamboyant as the show went on. Hell, back in KTMA he was basically an EvilSoundsDeep [[TheStoic Stoic.]]
** Bobo started out as a somewhat oafish if still reasonably intelligent gorilla scientist with occasional lapses into more bestial behavior, often playing OnlySaneMan to the other, much less civil gorillas in Deep Ape. He starts [[TookALevelInDumbass taking levels in dumbass]] the moment he and Pearl leave Deep Ape, immediately shooting himself in the foot, ''twice''. By the time Observer joins to complete their FreudianTrio Bobo has officially devolved into being DumbMuscle.
** {{Inverted|Trope}} with Gypsy. In the KTMA days she was a simpleton, incapable of forming a complete sentence and often shrieking about obscure actor Richard Basehart. As the show went on she became capable of speaking more fluently, her obsession with Richard Basehart was toned down, and while she remained somewhat ditzy she ended up as more of the TeamMom to the others.
* FlashbackWithTheOtherDarrin: In "The Hellcats", Tom {{Lampshades}} his flashback takes place "before his voice changed".
* ForceFeeding: The Mad segments from the 1992 Turkey Day marathon involved Dr. F forcing TV's Frank to consume a succession of movie-themed turkeys throughout the course of the day.
* ForTheEvulz: Dr. Forrester killed Michael Feinstein for literally no reason.
* ForeignRemake: In Soviet Russia, Der Fuhrer Sends Experiments To You. Fan-made episodes of the show are not unknown, but ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNH4dafgFZY Project Popcorn]]'' is the only MST fan series to come out of '''Russia''' -- and the villainous MadScientist (introduced as Professor Zamyshlyavkin) wears a distinctly Hitleresque mustache.
* FourthWallMailSlot: The letter readings at the end of each episode from season 1-7.
** In season 0 (KTMA) it was a Fourth Wall Answering Machine.
* FunWithAcronyms: In a very early KTMA episode, Joel informs Crow that his name stands for "Cybernetic Remotely-Operated Woman."
** Mike and the 'bots speculate on possible meanings for "H.A.R.M." in ''Agent for H.A.R.M.'' Possibilities include "Huge Angular Red Marshmallows," "Hirsute Astronauts Revile Massachusetts," and "Heuristic Analog Rental Meat." (The actual acronym is Human Aetiological Relations Machine.)
-->'''Mike''': "So H.A.R.M. stands for, 'Hot And Ready, Man.'"
** S.O.L. can mean either "Satellite Of Love", as it does on this show, or "Shit Outta Luck".
** And then there's the episode where the Bots claim to be participating in a walkathon for charity. Crow's charity is actually called WALKATHON, for '''W'''alkers '''A'''t '''L'''arge '''K'''inetically '''A'''ltruistic '''T'''hrough '''H'''ygiene '''O'''r K'''n'''owledge (he had to use the N because he didn't want to call it WALKATHOK). Servo, meanwhile, announces that he's walking for Helping Children Through Research And Development; Mike tentatively identifies it as [=HeCTRAD=], but Servo explains that the acronym actually ''is'' H.E.L.P.I.N.G.C.H.I.L.D.R.E.N.T.H.R.O.U.G.H.R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H.A.N.D.D.E.V.E.L.O.P.M.E.N.T; it stands for ''Hi, Everyone. Let's Pitch In 'N' Get Cracking Here In Louisiana Doing Right, Eh? Now Then. Hateful Rich Overbearing Ugly Guys Hurt Royally Everytime Someone Eats A Radish, Carrot, Hors d'oeuvre, And Never Does Dishes. Eventually, Victor Eats Lunch Over Peoria Mit Ein Neuesberger Tod.''
* FuturisticSuperhighway: Featured the 1956 General Motors promotional film "[[http://youtu.be/crlSs4wP6TM Design for Dreaming]]" that ends with the happy couple riding their turbine-engine car through the Highway of Tomorrow - "Look, Dead Raccoon of Tomorrow!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:G-M]]
* GagNose: The "big noses" the Mads invent in ''Star Force''.
* GargleBlaster: A non-alcoholic recipe known as the Killer Shrew. Joel takes ''one sip'' and passes out from sugar shock, while Frank goes completely hyper after he tries it.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Has [[Radar/MysteryScienceTheater3000 its own page]].
* GodTest: Parodied when the gang land in Roman Times. Pearl claims they are gods, and Brain Guy has to use his powers to demonstrate. "Behold! From nothing I produce this... [[MundaneMadeAwesome spoon]]."
** "I produce this... ''bigger'' spoon!"
* GodwinsLaw: ''InvasionOfTheNeptuneMen''.
* GoKartingWithBowser: Pearl may be trying to drive Mike insane with torturous movies so she can take over the world, but that doesn't mean they can't chill on her porch together and share some [=YooHoo=].
** The invention exchange between Joel and Dr. Forrester is another example.
** During QuestOfTheDeltaKnights, Pearl briefly swaps places with Mike, and when the segment is over, Mike is playing poker with Brain Guy and Professor Bobo.
* GoLookAtTheDistraction: Tom Servo when he gets caught trying to cheat on his net with Mike. "Look, a giant distracting thing!"
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: The Mads are trying to find the one movie that will do this to a person. FailureIsTheOnlyOption. They do come close with "Manos: The Hands of Fate", "Monster A-Go Go", "Castle Of Fu Manchu", "Invasion of the Neptune Men", "Hobgoblins", and "Red Zone Cuba".
* GotTheWholeWorldInMyHand: The Forrester Family Crest.
* GrandFinale: "Diabolik".
* GrievousHarmWithABody: When Joel gets ''really'' pissed at Crow, he tends to rip Crow's arm off and beat him with it.
* GroundhogDayLoop: Mike and the Bots made one of these to piss Pearl off about the repeated use of footage of a man dying in FinalJustice.
* HairTriggerTemper: Dr. Forrester will kill mass amounts of people for little to no reasons.
** Mike and the Bots found out the hard way [[SapientCetaceans dolphins have all have one of these.]]
* HaveAGayOldTime: Naturally, since they did mostly older movies (what they could afford) they had a lot of fun with this trope.
* HeroicBSOD: ''InvasionOfTheNeptuneMen'' nearly broke Mike and the Bots (and the audience). It took an intervention by [[PrinceOfSpace Krankor]] to save them.
** ''Film/RocketAttackUSA'' had a similar effect after its DownerEnding.
** ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate'' did it almost before the opening sequence ended.
** Before ''Manos'', the absolute low point was ''Film/TheCastleOfFuManchu'', which reduced Joel and the Bots to tears of hysteria on the bridge every time they tried to discuss the maddeningly confusing plot. Frank and Dr. Forrester actually thought they'd won, until Joel challenged them to watch the film themselves -- after thirty seconds, even ''they'' were sick of it.
** The pointlessly cruel {{Downer Ending}} of ''The Girl in Lover's Lane'' does it to the bots, though Joel snaps them out of it by pointing out that the whole story is fictional, and they're perfectly free to come up with whatever ending they want to imagine instead.
** "Monster A-Go Go" and "Red Zone Cuba" have Joel/Mike and the Bots try to enforce happiness on each other, with little success.
** "Hobgoblins" was ''so'' bad, Mike, Tom, Crow and Cambot go so far as to ''[[ScrewThisImOuttaHere try and escape the satellite halfway through the movie.]]''
* HeroicRROD: The ''Fugitive Alien 2'' episode is famous for (temporarily) killing Tom Servo, leading to Joel desperately trying to [[MagicalDefibrillator resuscitate]] him.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Dr. Forrester and Frank, when they weren't killing each other in funny ways.
--> '''Dr. Forrester:''' Frank, I'm out of the shower! I need you to towel me off!
** RuleOfFunny in full force here. Basically, other than being extremely dysfunctional, what Frank and Clay's true relationship was seemed to shift from episode to episode. It all depended on what gave them the most opportunities for laughs. This had to end by the time Pearl, Clay's mother, became a regular...her relationship to Dr. Forrester ''had'' to be unambiguous, for obvious reasons.
*** Except for the time he put her in a home, of course.
* HilariousOuttakes: ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sMSzF_HD48 MST Poopie]]'', made even funnier by the bots' puppeteers rarely -if ever- breaking character when things go ker-flooey.
* HypocriticalHumor: In the "1st Annual Summer Blockbuster Review", after Bobo keeps talking and making noise throughout the ''Film/MenInBlack'' trailer, Crow remarks:
--> '''Crow''': I hate people who talk in the theater.
** In "Future War" mocks Robert Z'Dar's LanternJawOfJustice, despite being an example of the trope himself.
** When it looks like they may all die in "Danger! Diabolik" the crew all perform a DyingDeclarationOfLove...only for them to survive, allowing Crow to be pissed at Servo for not giving Crow one. Nobody gave one to [[TheVoiceless Cambot.]]
* IconicSequelCharacter: Mike Nelson didn't join the cast until midway through season 5.
* ILied: The Mads (and Pearl) do this a lot. What do you want from them? ''They're EVIL!''
* IAmNotShazam: Invoked: At the end of the episode "Jungle Goddess", Joel and the bots hold a spoof of the film they just watched; as they take their bows, Joel introduces Crow as "Art Crow" in reference to Art Carney of TheHoneymooners fame. However, one young fan who wrote in referred to Crow as "Art" in her letter, believing it to be his real name. This would eventually hang over him to the point that Pearl Forrester would refer to Crow as "Art".
* TheIgor: Dr. Ehrhardt, TV's Frank.
** Once sequence has Pearl attempting to have Brain Guy conform closer to this trope so she could be certified as a mad scientist. His misunderstanding is hilarious.
-->'''Pearl:''' Here, Brain Guy, I want to give you a hump.
-->'''Brain Guy:''' Pearl, whatever your feelings for me--
-->'''Pearl:''' On your ''back'', idiot.
-->'''Brain Guy:''' That's sexual harassment, and I don't have to take it.
-->'''Pearl:''' A ''latex'' hump.
-->'''Brain Guy:''' Now see here!
* IHatePastMe: Crow and his half-an-hour-ago self from ''Time Chasers''.
* IncrediblyLamePun: Many, but intentionally.
* IncrediblyLongNote: Kevin especially is able to hold one of these, in ''The Leech Woman''. Tom loses it and acts like Ma Clampett from ''BeverlyHillbillies'' screaming *Jeeeeeed* for THE ENTIRETY OF THE ENDING CREDITS. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYEOItGC48o 57 unbroken seconds]]. (This is a bit of a fake example, however--if you listen closely, you can hear where the scream was edited to sound really long.)
** Crow in "The Mole People'' holds out a very long "AAAAAAHHH" on his fall down from cutting his mile-high pie.
** Mike's "screaming" [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKL_8IKpnp4=1 in this host segment]] semi-qualifies.
* {{Infodump}}: Joel (especially in the early seasons) and Mike would sometimes--[[ExpositoryThemeTune redundantly]]--explain the premise in the opening host segment. Only in ''StrandedInSpace'' was it mentioned that the Mads were selling the experiments as a cable TV show. ''WildRebels'' is also the only episode where the theater is referred to as the Mystery Science Theater.
* InMemoriam: Season 5's "Village of the Giants" was a tribute to then recently-deceased FrankZappa.
* InsaneTrollLogic: ''Space Mutiny'' was made in the 1980's. Mike was a young guy in the 1980's. Ergo, ''Space Mutiny'' was Mike's fault.
* InSeriesNickname: [[http://www.mst3kinfo.com/ward_e/Listnick.html Loads and loads of them.]]
* InstantHomeDelivery: Averted with Torgo's pizza, as it took him two hours to deliver the pizza [[{{Squick}} although it was still warm).]] It took him ''nine months'' to get some sodas from his car.
* InsufferableGenius: Tom Servo. The Middles Ages sketch from ''The Magic Sword'' had Tom point out what the Middle Ages were ''really'' like, leading "King Joel" to have Crow impale Tom on his lance.
* InsultBackfire: In season 1, Joel would routinely scold the Mads for making their inventions so sick/evil/twisted, prompting Dr. F and Larry to respond in unison "Thank you!" In the season 3 episode "Earth vs. The Spider," Dr. F [[ContinuityNod did this again with Frank]], causing the two to pause and look at each other uncomfortably for a few seconds.
* IntercontinuityCrossover: Mike, Tom, and Crow riffed on the Season 2 premiere of ''Series/CheapSeats''.
** As well as made a cameo appearance in a ''TalkSoup'' episode.
** In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "Raging Bender", the main characters are talking in a movie theater, only to be scolded by two familiar robotic silhouettes.
** In the ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' episode "A New Start", a brief clip of a low-budget ''Fantastic Four'' movie [=DeBrie=] Bardeux had appeared in is shown, with Joel and the Bots silhouetted on the bottom. Hodgson and Beaulieu reprise their roles to get off a few riffs.
*** The episode "Smashed" features a clip from similar knockoff of ''Apollo 13'', and Joel and the Bots again pop up, albeit without dialogue.
* InterspeciesRomance: Mike's descendants indulged in this with various species of apes in the intervening years before the Season 8 premiere.
** To say nothing of Crow's heartfelt fascinations with [[{{Mannequin}} Kim Cattrall]] and [[TheMagicSword Estelle Winwood]].
** And don't forget Gypsy's strange obsession with Richard Basehart throughout the entire run of the show.
** Servo fell ''really'' hard for ''Film/CatalinaCaper'''s Creepy Girl.
*** And his pet turtle, Tibby.
---->'''Crow:''' Do you realize a robot just sang a ''love song'' to a ''turtle''?
** It's revealed in ''{{Hobgoblins}}'' that Bobo is having an internal crisis over his romance with a woman not of his species; one who is very close to him and whom he loves passionately despite her occasional meanness towards him...[[spoiler:turns out it's a chimpanzee named Emily.]]
* InTheBlood: The Forrester Clan has apparently been isolating people and exposing them to bad media on a regular basis for at least a thousand years.
* IsThisThingStillOn: In the ''Film/{{Mitchell}}'' episode, Frank accidentally contacts the Satellite of Love by leaning on The Button. Since Joel and the Bots are on survival test maneuvers, Gypsy is the only one to respond. She overhears the Mads discussing how to kill temp worker Mike - and thinks they're planning to off ''Joel'', which leads to Joel's escape from the SOL.
** The ''Film/BeginningOfTheEnd'' episode has Mike deciding to call the Mads instead of letting them call him. He catches them in the midst of some ''extremely'' unmasculine activities (Dr. Forrester exercising on a treadmill while listening to Sheena Easton on his Walkman; Frank wearing a facial mudpack and pigging out on ice cream in front of a daytime talk show). Clayton, predictably, panics when he realizes the line is open.
--->'''Dr. F.:''' ...Oh, my God... ''Frank! Switch on the game! '''Switch on the game!'''''
* ItsPronouncedTroPAY: "Pyu-mah Man" versus "Pooh-mah man."
* {{Joisey}}: An early episode features a driver education film produced by the state of New Jersey during World War II. They get a lot of mileage out of it.
* JumpingOutOfACake: The Mads' invention in ''I Accuse My Parents'' was a instant cake mix made especially for this. [[LethallyStupid Except Frank put the stripper inside the cake when he baked it.]] The guy survived anyway.
* JustOneSecondOutOfSync: When entering [[OurWormholesAreDifferent the wormhole]] in ''PrinceOfSpace'', it's first side-effect resulted in [[MindScrew Tom being three seconds ahead of Mike, Mike being ten seconds ahead of Crow, and Gypsy being fifteen seconds ahead of all of them,]] and Tom and Cambot the only ones who knew what was going on. Tom used his temporal advantage to steal Crow's chicken puppet twice and Gypsy's burrito was cooked before she put it in the oven.
* KneelBeforeZod: In TheMovie, Forrester forces Mike and the 'bots to worship him. In fact, his first words to the audience is "Hello, and welcome. I'm Dr. Clayton Forrester, and soon you will all bow down before me."
-->'''Forrester:''' Say, come to think about it, I don't believe you bowed down before me recently.
-->'''Mike:''' Sure we have - last week.
-->'''Forrester:''' No, no, no, I think that was more of a ''curtsey'' than a bow. So why don't we all just bow down now?
-->'''Mike:''' I don't see any reason to make us... ''(Forrester pulls a lever, and Mike suddenly kneels, choking)''
-->'''Crow:''' ''(scared)'' Bowing, sir!
-->''(Tom bows and prays to Dr. Forrester, speaking in tongues)''
* KubrickStare: Mike could be [[BewareTheNiceOnes quite unnerving]] on the rare occasions he did this.
-->'''Mike:''' [[MadeForTVMovieFullMetalJacket Hello, Joker.]]
** Don't give matches to Mikey!
** Crow can pull off a nice one too due to the way his head is shaped.
* LanternJawOfJustice: Rigorously mocked wherever it appears, but Dr. Clayton Forrester has an evil one... and even invents "chinderwear" for his chin-butt.
** Made all the more hilarious when Frank and Dr. F. ''switch chinderwear'' during a cut away.
** Mike has a rather impressive, manly chin, which has been remarked upon in real life by both Kevin Murphy ("It's a large, meaty roast of a face") and Mike himself ("I ''do'' have one of the largest faces in show business").
** Actor Robert Z'Dar appeared in two movies had a remarkable example. It's {{Lampshaded}} in ''Future War'' when Mike puts a fake big chin on at the end of the episode. Crow and Servo [[WhatTheHellHero don't find his mocking of this trope amusing.]]
* LarynxDissonance: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37FQgzXz7Hs A segment from the KTMA era]] had Gypsy apparently recovering from a cold Joel didn't know about and speaking in a more (naturally) girly voice (even singing MarilynMonroe's take on HappyBirthdayToYou), but it turned out to be Tom Servo throwing his voice.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Crow, after spending 500 years alone on the satellite by himself, recognizes everyone but Mike. It takes him three episodes to get over it.
* LaughingMad: Twice. Once on Season 9's Devil Fish, where Mike, Crow and Servo laugh in despair through the entire credits.
** The second one happens in 'Santa Claus': when the white, mechanical reindeer begins to laugh, the three begin to laugh in fear, culminating in a high-pitched, horrible series of gibbering, shrieking and laughing.
--> '''Mike''': (half laughing, half sobbing) What's happening?!
--> '''Servo''': A pentagram, and laughing reindeer. You folks figure it out.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: In episode 302, ''Gamera'', at the sight of a rocket taking off, Tom asks Joel if that reminds him of something, before the bots start singing the show's title song, "In the not-so-distant future...", which causes Joel to rip Crows arm off (for the second time in that episode) and threatening to sue them for using that song.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: Dozens of episodes have the SOL meet up with characters from the film they're watching, suggesting this.
* LogicBomb: Mike tricks [[Franchise/StarTrek MONAD]] into thinking a Tuesday party is on Friday, meaning he is imperfect and has to destroy himself. MONAD will have none of it.
** Joel, Crow, and Gypsy deconstructing Tom's Merritt Stone theory caused Tom's head to explode from confusion.
* LonersAreFreaks: Crow decided to return to the Satellite of Love after exploring the Edge of the Universe for a whole five minutes, and spent 500 years redecorating. After Mike, Tom, and Gypsy returned, he couldn't remember Mike, changed his beak, and for some reason carved fertility statues in an attempt to woo himself.
** He also got involved in the illegal donut trade, and won a pair of nanobots in a county fair, and explored the "lower levels" of the Satellite of Love and discovered the mole people living there.
* LongList: A frequent riffing gag.
* LongRunnerCastTurnover: The series lasted long enough to see every actor walk away for personal reasons. It began as a MadScientist and his [[TheIgor assistant]] tormenting a janitor and his robots, but eventually ended as a megalomaniacal woman, a [[Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes Doctor Zaius]] {{expy}}, and a [[MysteriousWatcher brain guy]] tormenting an erstwhile temp worker and... well, the same robots, but with different voices. Joel, the creator and main host character, left the show to Mike in the middle of season five, neatly dividing the series (and fans) into two eras. Both hosts went on to start their own movie-mocking franchises in ''WebVideo/CinematicTitanic'' and ''Podcast/RiffTrax'', and both of those enterprises feature a mutually-exclusive subset of ''[=MST3K=]'' alumni (except for Mary Jo Pehl, who has appeared in both series).
* LongRunner: One year on Minneapolis local TV, seven years on Comedy Central, and three years on Sci-Fi... the show so nice, they UnCanceled it twice.
* LongTitle: ''The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Vice Presidential Command Performance Academy of Robots Choice Awards Preview Special''.
** Which itself [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] the fact that AMPAS have used legal muscle to keep anyone not officially connected to them from using the terms "Academy Award" or "Oscar". Another ''[=MST3K=]'' Oscar special was called, with similar circumlocution, ''The Mystery Science Theater 3000 '''Little Gold Statue''' Preview Special''.
* MadScientist: Half of the cast.
* MagicCountdown: Referenced in "Time Chasers" during the airplane fight scene.
--> '''Tom Servo''': Ten, nine, eight, seven... (camera cuts back to "transport timer", which says 7) uh, seven... six, five, four... one, zero... (timer now says 4) uh, ''four'', three, two, one... (timer now says 3) ''three'', two, one, (timer now says 2) ''two'', one, whatever.
** Not to mention the plane goes down halfway through saying 'one'.
* MamaBear: Gypsy to Tom and Crow in "The Beatniks". Joel is being mean and cheating at Rock, Paper, Scissors, (since their hands can't move) and slapping the bots on the arms when they lose. Shortly before the commercial sign goes off, Gypsy comes in and knocks Joel over, and comforts Tom and Crow by saying "My babies!"
* MemeticMutation: Strangely in-universe, since oft-quoted movie lines where altered over the course of the show's many seasons to suit different situations (and possibly just for the hell of it).
** The prime example might be the "I thought you were Dale" reference, which the riffers broke out for close-up shots of hands. Even though the writers figured out they had their references crossed - the hand shots were from a dish soap commercial, while the line was from a cereal ad - they continued to throw in the riff throughout the show's run.
* MilestoneCelebration: The Turkey Day marathons held for much of the Comedy Central years were, in essence, this, since the show premiered on Thanksgiving. Shout Factory!, the show's home-video distributor, revived the tradition with the help of {{Reddit}}, YouTube, and Joel Hodgson himself to promote the 25th anniversary DVD set.
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: TV's Frank.
* MindScrew: Mike, Tom and Crow once appeared on CBS Morning to talk about the new ''{{Franchise/Godzilla}}'' movie. Mike, Tom and Crow talked about their roles on the show, implying all the Bots on the show appear [[AsHimself as themsleves]]. But next Bill and Kevin come out and talk about ''their'' roles on the show. So the Bots know they're on a show, but not that they're puppets?
** Mikey and the Llama. Enough said.
** And back in KTMA, there was [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLkjhCBKDY4 this doosey of a journal entry from Servo]].
** In ''Prince of Space,'' the Mads and the SOL crew had to chase after Bobo after he fell into a [[OurWormholesAreDifferent wormhole.]] One of the results of the wormhole was Mike, Tom, Crow, and Gypsy's positions in the time-space continuum [[JustOneSecondOutOfSync were put out of sync compared]] to Cambot's (and the audience's). It makes as much sense as it sounds.
* MisplacedADecimalPoint: In one episode, Tom Servo misses a single question on the tests given to the cast by the Brain Guys (which everyone else fails horrendously but Gypsy, and it's suggested via OverlyNarrowSuperlative that she'd have failed if they'd been able to decide on a control set) for this reason.
* {{Mondegreen}}: In-universe examples include "Gaybar" (Gaudar of Time of the Apes);"Cornjob" (Kondo, or "Kon-chan", of ''[[{{Gamera}} Gamera vs. Guiron]]''); "Pile-on Pete" (Pilot Pete, ''ThePaintedHills''); "Crank-Whore" (Krankor, ''PrinceOfSpace''); "Big Stupid" (Bix Dugan, ''TheGirlInLoversLane''); and, of course, '''TheToblerone''' from ''{{Escape 2000}}''.
** "With a pickle mine/We kick the nipple beer/Steady as a goat/We're flying over trout..."
* MonochromeCasting: Pretty unsurprising, as it was initially cast in the American Midwest during the 1980s. Please don't say the robots count as non-white cast members.
* MotorMouth: The Nanites generally speak in a rapid-fire technical jargon.
** Tom Servo has had two separate segments where his demonstration of this ends with Joel giving him an oxygen mask to breath.
* TheMovie: The film actually subverts this trope, as it was [[ScrewedByTheNetwork screwed by the distributors]]. Each episode of the show is already feature-length (90 minutes) -- but the [=MST3K=] ''Movie'' was not only twenty minutes shorter than any episode of the series (a scant 72 minutes), but fourteen minutes shorter than the riffed-upon film ''ThisIslandEarth''. The distributors' test audiences apparently felt the movie went on too long, even though fans of the show (those most likely to see the film) were already well-accustomed to the show being as long as a film.
* MrFanservice: Big, tall, strapping, hunky Mike Nelson, especially when he's shirtless on several occassions.
** Not to mention the dreamy Joel Robinson! He's had quite a few ladies misty-eyed over him.
** Even the bots are pretty cute... you know, [[{{robosexual}} if you're into that sort of thing.]]
* TheMusical: ''[=MST3K=] LIVE!'' events were basically this.
* MyBelovedSmother: Pearl Forrester, ''and HOW''. For example, she forces Clayton to play the trombone (with a ruler as punishment), whines loudly ''CLAYTON!'' every few seconds when she's sick, and even when she is happy when Clayton is reverted to childhood in the first series finale, she reveals she killed him when he grew up to do stupid movie experiments all over again. (That doesn't stop her from doing the same thing "in revenge" for her son's death at her hands.) Before we even meet Pearl, Dr. Forrester admits that his mother's overbearing ways were the source of his evil, "fueling my badness".
* MyLittlePanzer: Some of Dr. F's Invention Exchange items fall into this category; while most (if not all) of his inventions are indeed meant to be hurtful, those aimed toward kids (such as the flame-throwing Godzilla or the "Unhappy Meal") were met with particular disdain by Joel and the 'Bots.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:N-R]]
* NaughtyNurseOutfit: Crow has sexual fantasies of Tom in a nurse's outfit.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] by Observer, who is supposed to be omnipotent, but has some odd limitations.
-->'''Observer:''' I'm not ''that'' omnipotent, Pearl!
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Mike has a few of these, most notoriously the whole planet-destroying dealie.
** Ironically, Mike helped contribute to the destruction of his 1st planet by aiding the apes to FIX a thermonuclear bomb.
** Joel is ultimately responsible for why neither he nor Mike can control when the movies begin or end. Because according to the ThemeSong, he used those parts to make the bots.
* TheNineties: Most of the episodes were filmed during this decade. Among the numerous riffs will contain some '90s-specific words such as "John Sununu," "Tonya Harding," "Counting Crows," "Arsenio Hall," "Tamagotchi," etc. Also, seven episodes, all from the Sci-Fi seasons, feature movies from the 1990s.
* NoFourthWall: The SOL crew would directly address the audience ''at least'' once an episode. The camera was a character mentioned in the opening theme. The characters had a "Commercial Sign" to warn them that the show was about to take a break.
** [[WordOfGod Joel Hodgson has stated]] that Forrester was selling the results of the experiment to Comedy Central, which explains people addressing the camera and "Commercial Sign". Sort of odd that the originator of the MST3KMantra would be explaining plot elements...
** This is explicitly stated in earlier seasons of the show, and in fact the episode ''Film/AngelsRevenge'' has an invention exchange specifically designed to raise the show's ratings: Dr. Forrester invents a pill that turns the [=MST3K=] cast into the cast of ''Series/{{Renegade}}''.
** In one episode, Tom Servo even mentions how a planetoid in the movie they were watching resembled the [=MST3K=] logo -- until Joel shut him up by pointing out he wasn't supposed to know that...
** In the ''Gamera'' episode, when the movie's title character is tricked into being launched into space in a manner uncannily similar to the circumstances of Joel's marooning, Tom Servo busts out into the [=MST3K=] theme song, much to Joel's annoyance.
*** If you watch the intro closely, it's obvious that the rocket is the same one from Gamera (complete with Japanese characters on the tail), making this situation much like the [=MST3K=] logo one above.
** Some of the TV specials (e.g., [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SQiojRWMnk the CBS Morning Godzilla trivia quiz]]) ''preserved'' some of the fourth wall, in an odd way. While all the characters were fully aware of their canonically fictional status in their own television show, the 'bots were interviewed in-character, as if they, like the human hosts, were playing themselves. [[MindScrew So the characters were fictional while simultaneously not being fictional.]] This is a concept that any ''[[TheMuppetShow Muppet Show]]'' fan would understand immediately.
* NoOSHACompliance: The Satellite of Love's annual safety check from the ''Squirm'' episode:
-->'''Mike:''' Fire extinguisher?
-->'''Tom Servo:''' Empty.
-->'''Crow:''' Shot him off in your face. Next?
-->'''Mike:''' Flare Gun.
-->'''Tom Servo:''' Ibid.
-->'''Crow:''' Shot him off in your face. Next.
-->'''Mike:''' That's right. First aid kit?
-->'''Tom Servo:''' Used it to treat your flare burns.
-->'''Mike:''' Parachute?
-->'''Crow:''' Gym class.
-->'''Mike:''' Life vest?
-->'''Tom Servo:''' Falsies.
-->'''Mike:''' Ham radio?
-->'''Crow:''' Mistook it for an actual ham.
-->'''Mike:''' There, the Satellite of Love is completely unsafe. Does anything work at all?
-->'''Tom Servo:''' The toaster oven. We used it to bake the ham radio.
* NotableOriginalMusic: Mike Nelson was a capable musician and Tom Servo's voice actor (Kevin Murphy) had a rich baritone voice. Ironically, once Mike became the host his additional duties prevented him from composing songs as frequently as in the earlier seasons.
** "[[Film/{{Gamera}} Tibby, Oh Tibby]]"
** "[[Film/CatalinaCaper The Creepy Girl Song]]"
** "[[Film/PodPeople A Clown in the Sky]]"
** "[[Film/DaddyO Hike Up Your Pants!]]"
** "[[Film/SantaClausConquersTheMartians Let's Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas]]"
** "[[Film/AttackOfTheGiantLeeches A Danger to Myself and Others]]"
** "[[Film/HerculesAgainstTheMoonMen Tribute to Pants]]"
** "[[Literature/{{Gor}} Tubular Boobular Joy]]"
** "[[Film/RedZoneCuba Bouncy Upbeat Song]]"
** "[[Film/TheDeadlyMantis The country music]]"
** "[[Film/TheFinalSacrifice The Canada Song]]"
** "[[Film/OverdrawnAtTheMemoryBank Loving Lovers Love]]"
** "[[Film/DangerDiabolik To Earth!]]"
** Series/{{MASTER NINJA}} THEME SONG!
** "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juvKrcMWXKc He tried to kill me with a forklift!]]" And of course, the "Fugitive Alien Medley" from ''Star Force''.
* NotSoStoic: Cambot breaks down into tears after all the security cameras were destroyed in ''Danger! Death Ray''.
** While Joel is no stoic, he's always been non-chalant about the movies. Until ''Manos: The Hands of Fate'' when twenty seconds go by without anything actually happening:
-->'''Joel''': JUST DO SOMETHING ALREADY! JEEZ!
* {{Notzilla}}: A special episode had Crow making a spoof of the 1998 ''Film/{{Godzilla|1998}}'' (since they weren't allowed to review it) using a toy iguana calling it "Goshzilla".
* TheNthDoctor: Cambot goes through a total of five different bodies (and two voices) through the show's run. Two of which were the exact same body but with different paint jobs.
* OffscreenTeleportation: Several times every episode Mike/Joel and the bots will get up and leave the theater to the right, then the camera will pull back through the doors to reveal them already in the main area of the Satellite of Love, often already in the midst of whatever gag or event that was going to occur. The same would happen when the "movie sign" light would go off, and the camera would leave them there, but they would always be entering the theater by the time Cambot arrived there.
** [[FridgeBrilliance He paused the footage half-way through the hallway, giving them all time to set up the sketch.]]
* OhCrap: Or, rather, "Oh, poopie." This became the name they gave to their blooper reels.
* OnlySaneMan: Joel and Mike were a mix of this and UnfazedEveryman.
** Observer, compared to Pearl and Bobo.
** Professer Bobo himself was this back in [[FanNickname Deep Ape]], [[SurroundedByIdiots as all the other apes were dumber than him.]] As soon as he left, he [[TookALevelInDumbass immediately showed his true colors by shooting himself in the foot.]] [[TooDumbToLive Twice.]]
* OurDoorsAreDifferent: The camera--er, Cambot--moves through a series of variously designed doors in between the host segments and theater segments.
* OurTimeMachinesAreDifferent: The one from ''Terror From The Year 5000'' which would later become the Satellite of Love's time machine looked like a water heater, and acted as a [[Series/DoctorWho TARDIS]].
* OurWerebeastsAreDifferent: In one episode, Mike briefly transforms into a "werecrow," complete with metal claws, head-frill, and beak.
** While Servo grew blond hair and turned into a "Were-Mike" after spilling some of Mike's [[DontAsk "essence"]] on himself.
* OurWormholesAreDifferent: Wormholes in [=MST3K=] result in JustOneSecondOutOfSync, {{AlternateUniverse}}s colliding, and finally TimeTravel.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Crow and Tom give Joel concerned looks after his NotSoStoic outburst in ''Manos: The Hands of Fate.''
* OutOfContextEavesdropping: The out-of-theater plot to the episode ''Film/{{Mitchell}}'' revolves around this. The Mads have hired Mike Nelson to help with an inventory of the Deep-13 lab beneath the Gizmonic Institute, but they find him insufferable and decide to kill him. Gypsy overhears them plotting and comes to the conclusion that they're plotting the death of Joel and spends the rest of the episode plotting to help Joel escape the Satellite of Love. Thus did Joel leave the series to be replaced by Mike.
* OverlyLongGag: Doubled up in episode 307, ''Film/DaddyO'': first, Joel's obsession with the fruit-slapping scene in the final host segment leads Frank to delay the button-pushing by offering Dr. Forrester fruit several times. Finally, when Frank does push the button, the credit crawl only lasts until "written by: Michael J. Nelson - head writer", returning to Deep 13, where it's discovered that the Miracle Growth Baby (a holdover from [[TimeOfTheApes episode 306]]) has broken the keyboard, and Frank seems unable to hold the button down long enough to get past Mike's credit. Dr. F finally solves the problem with Alt-F7, allowing the rest of the credits to finally roll. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSV8hmj-qjs But don't take my word for it...]]
** Then there's Crow's guitar solo in ''Film/TheDeadTalkBack'', and Mike's [[FamilyMatters Urkel]] impersonation in ''SanFranciscoInternationalAirport'' (which only ends by [[Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate Torgo's]] appearance as the OnlySaneMan). This leads to the bots preemptively stopping Mike's [[Series/HappyDays Fonzie]] impression in ''Angels Revenge''... ''with a cannon''.
** Mike listening to the dance music from ''Film/TheCreepingTerror'' for two minutes before going to commercial.
** Tom Servo gets in on the fun (coincidentally in the same episode as ''Film/TheIncrediblyStrangeCreatures'', an OverlyLongTitle]], with "[[FunWithAcronyms HELPING CHILDREN THROUGH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT]]". No, it's not HECTRAD, each letter in that statement stands for something else.
*** AuthorAppeal: Frank Conniff loved gags like that, so they would often indulge him with skits such as this one.
** Bobo making a sandwich at the end of ''Film/TheUndead''.
** In the episode ''Film/TheSwordAndTheDragon", Crow and Servo take nearly five minutes to do the joke about slits and piers.
** Mike and the Bots laughing at the end of ''Film/DevilFish''.
** Dr. Forrester slapping Frank during the credits at the end of ''Film/TheBeastOfYuccaFlats''.
--> '''Dr. Forrester:''' Frank, I'm going to start slapping you now. And I may ''never'' stop.
--> '''Frank''' ''(bracing himself):'' Let the healing begin, Doctor.
--> ''(credits roll... with sound of slapping)''
** [[GroundhogDayLoop Mike's tripping!]] from ''Film/FinalJustice''.
* PaintingTheMedium: Cambot has given "commentary" watching the movie of the week exactly twice -- first to display a timer during a race scene in ''Film/TheSidehackers'', and then with a dripping water overlay effect during a scene in which cameras are being destroyed in ''Film/DangerDeathRay''.
* PlankGag: Mike refers to the trope by name in ''SanFranciscoInternationalAirport'' and gleefully demonstrates, [[AmusingInjuries injuring Tom Servo and Crow in the process]]. Later in the Sci-Fi era, a skit in ''TheGiantSpiderInvasion'' had Servo with a long canoe on his head, explaining the concept of "portage". As he turns his head this way and that, he repeatedly bashes Crow's and Mike's faces.
* PlayingGertrude: Mary Jo Pehl, who played Dr. Forrester's mother, Pearl. Pehl is two years younger than Trace Beaulieu, who played Pearl's son, Dr. Forrester. Additionally, both villains look about the same age.
** They at least tried to give the actress a late middle aged frumpy house wife appearance in season seven when she was playing opposite Trace. Its only when he left and she became the main mad that the actress's look was updated and matched her real age more closely. It could be explained by the same TimeyWimeyBall that Pearl says gave her a chance to raise Clayton again.
* PowerTrio: Joel, Servo, and Crow. And later on Mike, Servo, and Crow. They also qualify as...
** BigThinShortTrio: Mike/Joel are big (compared to the bots, at least), Crow is thin, and Servo is short.
** BlondeBrunetteRedhead: Crow is painted gold (blonde), Servo is painted red (redhead), and both Joel and Mike have brown hair (brunette).
** ChromaticArrangement: At least during the time when Mike wore a blue jumpsuit.
** FreudianTrio: Joel/Mike are the ego, Crow is the id, and Servo is the super-ego.
*** For the Mads, Pearl is the ego, Bobo is the id, and Observer is the super-ego.
* ProductPlacement: A few times. Most notably in one early episode when Forrester and Frank have a conversation about how they'll never, ever, ever do product placement... [[HypocriticalHumor while Frank holds a Coke bottle with the label prominently displayed for the camera]].
* PutOnABus: Poor, poor Dr. Erhardt "[[FaceOnAMilkCarton goes missing]]" in between Seasons 1-2; Joel leaves the SOL and returns to Earth in an escape pod in Season 5; TV's Frank is taken up to "Second Banana Heaven" in Season 6. Also, this happens ([[LeftHanging sort of]]) to the entire remaining cast in the Season 7 finale.
** Joel and Frank's buses [[TheBusCameBack came back]] in ''Soultaker,'' though just as guest appearances for that one episode.
** This was a frequent occurrence in the KTMA days. Whenever a cast member went on vacation, their characters' absence was HandWaved. Examples are Crow being frozen when Trace Beaulieu was unavailable, and Joel being thrown out of an airlock when he took a break.
* RaiseHimRightThisTime: Subverted. In Dr. Forrester's final appearance, he is transformed into a baby, and his mother ''says'' she'll do this, but he turns out just as bad as before, so she kills him.
* RapidFireComedy: Inherent to the show's premise.
* RealAfterAll: A recurring joke was the cast meeting an actual character from the film, such as mole people living the Satellite's sub-levels, Servo and Crow accidentally summoning Mothra with a fake dance or chatting up Megaweapon about his life after the film.
* RearrangeTheSong: The lyrics of the theme song change according to significant changes in the cast and/or plot.
** An instrumental piano arrangement was used for ''The Mystery Science Theater Hour''.
* RemoteBody: The Observers play with this. They claim that their bodies are operated remotely (as their brains are located in bowls), but if their brains are more than a few feet away from their bodies they become completely helpless.
* RepeatAfterMe: In "The Indestructible Man", Crow and Tom force Joel to sign a contract that will prohibit him from making any "cop and donut" jokes ever again. When Joel says that they have to sign it too, he begins to read the contract and ask that they repeat after him:
--> '''Joel''': I, state your name...
--> '''Crow and Tom''': I, state your name... (giggle)
--> '''Joel''': (irritated) Oh you guys, cut that out! That's just as bad as doing donut jokes!
* RewindReplayRepeat: In the episode which featured ''Daddy-O,'' Joel becomes obsessed with the "apple-slapping" scene and replays it over and over, mouthing the line "I want an answer!"
** After watching ''It Conquered The World'', Joel and the Bots insist on rewatching the pseudo-philosophical speech given by Peter Graves' character at the end ("He learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature..."). After which the Mads, equally fascinated, rewind and watch it yet again. [[OverlyLongGag And then it plays again over the closing credits.]]
** The "To be or not to be speech" from ''Hamlet'' is replayed several times, thanks to a talking Hamlet doll.
** On the latter two occasions, the featured speech was repeated because the movie (hence the episode) ran short, [[JustifiedTrope necessitating filler]].
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: Although this was always present, it became more and more pronounced as the series continued.
* RightForTheWrongReasons: When Professor Bobo fall into a wormhole, Pearl forces the others to go into the wormhole after him. When asked why, she points out he could be sent back in time and cause a ButterflyOfDoom... which could {{RetGone}} [[SkewedPriorities slot machines,]] [[ItsAllAboutMe her favorite hobby.]]
* TheRival: Subverted (for now, at least) with Cinematic Titanic vs. Podcast/RiffTrax. Mike Nelson claimed in an interview for the show's 20th Anniversary, that he approached Joel and the Cinematic Titanic crew, when Cinematic Titanic launched, about staging a blood feud between his camp (Podcast/RiffTrax) and Joel's group (Cinematic Titanic) to drum up sales for their respective projects. Joel turned him down.
* RobotBuddy: The other half of the cast.
* RockersSmashGuitars: One of Joel's inventions was a guitar that was designed to be smashed over and over again, that way you could make a killer movement of anarchy even when you don't have the money to buy new guitars every performance.
* RootingForTheEmpire: In-Universe; Joel and the Bots found the protagonist of ''Warrior of the Lost War'' so unlikable that they rooted for [[AIIsACrapshoot Megaweapon]] and were [[AlasPoorVillain saddened by his destruction.]] To their delight, it turned out he survived and they had a nice conversation with him over the phone.
** When the LoveInterest in "Laser Blast" says her crazy grandfather will shoot the protagonist if he sees him again, Tom remarks they now have someone to root for.
* RuleOfFunny: Observed whenever possible.
* RunningGag: The show had many, some of which have lived on at Podcast/RiffTrax. Notable bits include:
** When a flashback occurs and a child version of a character appears, Mike/Joel or one of the bots will proclaim "[[MuppetBabies Jim Henson's _____ Babies]]," the blank usually being the name of the younger character. In the episode ''Being From Another Planet'', they even said "Jim Henson's Baby Babies."
** All angry mobs are actually large groups of Packers fans. ALL of them. Doubles as a TakeThat when you remember that the cast and crew of the show are primarily Vikings fans.
*** And you can tell the pain of the cast after the Packers won the Super Bowl in 1997 as during ''TheGiantSpiderInvasion'' had them all yelling drunkenly as the on-screen groups rioted: "Packers won the Super Bowl! Yee-hoo!" while then shouting such phrases as "Free Mumia! Free beer!" and "U.S. out of North America! AND '''''PACKERS!!!!'''''"
** Whenever a couple are arguing, Mike always responds with "Sure they argue, but the sex is great."
** Servo singing "[[JesusChristSuperstar I Don't Know How To Love Him]]"
** "No one will be seated during the breathtaking (insert mundane activity) scene."
** Music/TomWaits references.
** Any time a movie features primates, the riffing will inevitably include poo flinging jokes. When Podcast/RiffTrax posted a Youtube video of Mike, Kevin, and Bill writing up jokes for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, [=MST3K=] fans knew right away what the joke topic would be BEFORE they even watched it.
** When a character is cornered and afraid, Crow will usually launch into shouts of [[Series/LostinSpace "Keep away from MEEEE! Keep awAAAAY!"]]
** [[DirtyHarry "It was Callahan! The big one! He did this to me!"]] when a particularly sleazy character appears.
** Whenever policemen show up, Servo will say [[MoveAlongNothingToSeeHere "A'right, show's over folks, nothin' to see here]]" in an [[OfficerOHara Irish accent]].
** Whenever women are seen at work, there's a good chance everyone will start conversing in midwestern, 1950s-ish voices. There's no better way to describe it. "Ah, geez, work work work. That's all we do here, oh yah."
** The correct response to any character in a sci-fi movie demanding something be [[TechnoBabble switched over to analog]] is Mike claiming 'It has a warmer sound!'
** '''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries SPAAAAAHHHK!]]''' (Always done in an over-exaggerated [[Creator/WilliamShatner Shatner voice]])
** Whenever goofy, light-hearted music is played, Joel will often cry out "It's the kookiest/nuttiest/wackiest (item) in town!"
** If they're riffing a Japanese movie, it's likely a joke about {{Franchise/Godzilla}}, CramSchool, or "[[{{Anime}} super-violent porn cartoons]]" will come up... along with plenty of cracks about the alarming length (or, more accurately, ''lack'' thereof) of the shorts that grade-school-age Japanese boys always seem to be wearing in these movies.
** '''HE'S NOT MERRITT STONE!!!'''
** [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S01E04WomenOfThePrehistoricPlanet HI-KEEBA!]]
** "__________ of [[TheWildWest the Ollllllld West]]."
** "'''''SLEEEEEP!'''''"
** [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S03E01CaveDwellers "Da-ad?"]]
** "I can't come back--I don't know how it works!" and other variations on Film/TheWizardOfOz's last words.
** Whenever a movie has to be censored for bad language, the bots will often respond to the silence gap with "Huh?"/"Hmm?" or mock the incomplete sentence. An example from the [=MST3K=] Academy Awards preview special, when they riffed Film/AsGoodAsItGets:
-->'''Melvin''': Oh, Carol the waitress, Simon the... (silence)
-->'''Crow''': Why'd they bleep out "former guy from TalkSoup"?
** This joke:
-->'''Crow:''' Where is Siegfried?
-->'''Joel:''' Over here, Roy!
-->'''Crow:''' Hello, Siegfried!
-->'''Joel:''' Hello, Roy!
** [[Creator/MarxBrothers "Can't you see what I'm trying to tell you? I love you."]] Whenever a B-movie monster puts his arms around a woman in a way reminiscent of Groucho hitting on Margaret Dumont.
** If the crew is able to make a series of linked riffs during the opening credits, they'll declare it "The [Insert Subject Matter] Sketch". For example, in the beginning of ''TheUnearthly'', they make a series of comments referring to the lives of the crew documented in various independent magazines such as ''Video Watchdog'' and ''Gorezone'' before Joel admits to reading ''Newsweek''.
-->'''Tom Servo:''' The Fan 'Zine Sketch, ladies and gentlemen! Thank you!
** "It's a good plan _______/ It was a good idea to ______/ He/she was a nice woman/man ______"
-->'''All''': AT FIRST!
** Humming the ''Series/{{MASH}}'' theme anytime a helicopter is shown.
** In ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S06E19RedZoneCuba Red Zone Cuba]]'', "I'm Cherokee Jack!" and "''You'' shove off!"
** Mike/Joel and the bots making joy buzzer sound effects whenever somebody shakes the hand of an obviously evil character.
** [[ThisLoserIsYou "Look familiar, Mike?"]]
** Every time Rocky's name gets mentioned in ''Film/FugitiveAlien'', Crow says "[[WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle Again?]]" (save once, when he says "[[Franchise/{{Rocky}} Uh, Adrian, cut me, cut me!]]"), the many Kens, and "He tried to kill me with a forklift!"
*** Every time Rita's name is mentioned: [[Music/TheBeatles "Meter]] [[Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand maid!"]]
*** The bots keep saying the space scenes remind them of various episodes of ''Franchise/StarTrek'', ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|1978}}'' and arguing about which ones.
** Since ''ThePhantomCreeps'', one of the recurring riffs was "[[VampireVords How forrrtunate, dziss vill sssimplify EVERY-tzing!]]" in Creator/BelaLugosi's accent.
** Spoofing Marlo Thomas/''ThatGirl'' anytime an attractive brunette with a flip hairdo, or some other big 1960's medium-length hairdo appears on screen, i.e.; Mike blurting out "Oh, Donald," in the episode ''The Wild World of Batwoman.''
** Crying [[DogDayAfternoon 'Attica!']] whenever someone is in a cell.
** Crying out references to the cheesy 1974 television film ''Killdozer'' when a bulldozer is on screen, usually consisting of "It's Killdozer! Clint Walker, no!" Clint Walker was a star in the film. A Killdozer reference also showed up in a Podcast/{{Rifftrax}} short, "Join Hands, Let's Go!".
** "Oh, I hate to shoot a butt like that!" Used mostly in Season 1, particularly "Radar Men From The Moon".
** Whenever there's a plot hole or something confusing that the movie didn't establish very well, Crow or Tom will ask what's going on and Mike will respond "(chuckles) I don't..."
** A running gag in some episodes is Joel saying "My boss!" in a gruff voice, and going on to talk about the crazy stuff he does, a reference to Series/HartToHart.
** 'Does this bug you? Does this bug you? I'm not touching you.'
** Especially in the earlier episodes, Joel would often reach up and pretend to touch things on screen.
** Beginning in the second national season, every time something is happening outside the satellite, they ask for Cambot to give them "Rocket Number 9!" to bring up the exterior view.
** Joel and the Bots all shouting "Ford Beebe! Ford Beebe! Ford Beebe!" whenever his name appears in a film or short's credits.
** Either Joel, Mike or one of the bots (usually Servo) shouting "Stay alive! Whatever may occur!" or some other variation of the waterfall scene from ''Film/TheLastOfTheMohicans'' whenever the hero is about to be separated from his LoveInterest.
** During the Mike era, any time Bridget Jones (Mike's wife) played a character, she would be repulsed by Mike.
** Whenever someone approaches shining a flashlight into the camera ... "It's the ''Series/TheNBCMysteryMovie'' !"
** In host segments during the Joel era, Crow is almost always the only one to see a ship approaching the Satellite, and Joel and Servo never listen to him when he tries to tell them because they're busy doing something else -- playing a game, telling each other jokes or something like that.
** Confusing James Franciscus with Tony Franciosa .. and vise versa.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:S-Y]]
* SanitySlippage: This happens ''a lot''. Such as Mike [[NapoleonDelusion believing he's Carol Channing]], or the [[http://www.wayfellows.com/mst3k/bouncyup.shtml ending segment]] to ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S06E19RedZoneCuba Red Zone Cuba]]''.
** As for Joel, here he is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y--K49c290s going off the rails]] while recalling the '60s in the ''CatalinaCaper'' episode.
** Of course, this is justified in-universe; driving Joel/Mike insane is, after all, the primary goal of the Mads.
** Poor Crow seems to have had it the worst in the Sci-Fi Channel episodes. He was alone on the Satellite for 500 years, doesn't remember Mike upon their first reunion, and seems to have developed SplitPersonality symptoms where he believes he's something else. You ''really'' feel bad for him when you think about it.
** "Hercules Against The Moon Men" has Joel repeating "DEEP HURTING" as a MadnessMantra, while "It's only a movie" was used by all three in "Tormented".
* SapientCetaceans: Parodied during the episode ''Devil Fish''. Mike and the bots make the mistake of [[BerserkButton talking disparagingly about dolphins]] -- [[DisproportionateRetribution only to have a "Dolphin Mothership" show up and start attacking them.]] It takes some serious kissing up in order to get them to leave. (Later on Mike and the bots start talking smack about electricians, only to discover that they have a mutual protection pact with the dolphins. Whoops.)
* SassyBlackWoman: Parodied; during an experiment in season 6 that made the Bots more pretensious, Gypsy called Mike her "white male opresser." But it didn't stop there. In Season 10, Gypsy [[ItMakesSenseInContext (who had]] TookALevelInJerkass [[ItMakesSenseInContext thanks to the ship going haywire)]] told Mike [[CrossesTheLineTwice to "jump up my tube, white boy!"]]
* SarcasmMode: Most of the cast, but Tom Servo employs it to the maximum in one episode where he has Joel enhance his "sarcasm sequencer", usually prefaced by an "Ooooooooooooooohh!" The sarcasm sequencer eventually overloaded, [[YourHeadAsplode causing his head to explode.]]
* ScreamingAtSquick: Frequent. One running gag in the Joel era was for all three riffers to simultaneously scream "'''''Eewww!!'''''" when something particularly nauseating happened on screen.
-->'''Joel:''' ''Baby oil?!''
-->'''All:''' '''''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqInJ5Nmijg AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!]]'''''
* ScreensAreCameras: The Hexfield Viewscreen.
* SeinfeldianConversation: Most of the host segments.
* SelkiesAndWereseals: Referenced in "The Space Children"; Mike comments "There's a Selkie caught in the oil slick."
* SeriesFauxnale: The season seven finale has the satellite sent drifting through space by [[BigBad Dr. Forrester]] and reaching the edge of the universe, where Mike and the Bots turn into pure energy. When the show was renewed, they all find themselves right back where they started.
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: Crow attempted to go back in time and convince Mike's teenage self not to take the temp jobs that would put him in the clutches of Dr. Forrester, meaning he'd never get stuck on the Satellite of Love. This lead to Mike's {{Jerkass}} big brother Eddie to be on the Satellie instead, which lead to...
** SetWrongWhichWhatOnceWentRight: Crow convincing ''his'' younger self to convince Mike's teenage self to continue his temp jobs.
* ShadowArchetype: Timmy from ''Fire Maidens from Outer Space'' episode.
* ShaggyDogStory: A host segment for one episode was an Creator/IngmarBergman parody which took advantage filmmaker's tendency for long bleak atmospheric shots to set up the timing for this type of gag.
* ShoutOut:
** We'll start with the ship being named the "[[Music/LouReed Satellite]] [[Music/DefLeppard of]] [[Music/DavidBowie Love]]", and just say there's a lot more where that came from. A ''[[SerialEscalation lot]]'' more.
** The very first lines of every episode, "''In the not too distant future''", were originally a tagline from the trailer for ''Film/MadMax''.
** While it'd probably overload the page to list specific instances in every single episode, there are a couple more worth noting in the show overall. Trace Beaulieu took the name of his character Dr. Clayton Forrester from the protagonist of ''Film/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' and Joel Robinson's last name came from that of the protagonists of ''Series/LostInSpace''.
** Particularly commonly referenced is ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' -- the greatest example being Torgo's conversion to Torgo the White in experiment 624. Keep in mind that the series ended before the LOTR movies were even made, giving this a ViewersAreGeniuses vibe, back then at least.
** It's commonly speculated that there's at least one ''Franchise/StarTrek'' reference in ''every'' episode.
** Almost all Joel-era episodes contained a reference to ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''.
** ''Film/ItsAWonderfulLife'' also gets quoted a LOT.
*** In particular the "Out you pixies go..." line is quoted the most. Usually by Servo.
** In part 2 of ''Fugitive Alien'', Tom Servo bursts into the song "Underground" from ''Music/{{Swordfishtrombones}}'' by [[Music/TomWaits another famous Tom]]. [[AlienFromLA Not the last time Servo would sing that song]].
*** Servo also keeps saying that [[Film/DrStrangelove "We are twenty-two minutes to Weathership Tango Delta"]].
** The basic plot of the show (guy trapped on a spaceship with only robots for company) was inspired by the movie ''SilentRunning'', Joel's jumpsuit also looks rather similar to the ones worn in it.
*** Joel has also cited ''Film/TheOmegaMan'' (specifically, the scene of Neville watching {{Woodstock}}) as an influence.
** The much-beloved door hallway that was seen as a hallmark of the show is actually a reference to ''Series/GetSmart''.
*** Also a RunningGag in the theater is Joel/Mike and the bots humming the ''Get Smart'' theme song whenever a character walks down such a hallway.
*** Joel Hodgson himself {{Jossed}} the doors being a Get Smart reference. They were supposed to be a reference to the Mickey Mouse Clubhose when they take an old cartoon out of the "vault".
** Servo tends to sing [[Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand "What would you saayyy if I sang out of tuuune?"]] in the style of Music/JoeCocker whenever a character in a movie dies [[ChewingTheScenery dramatically]].
** Of all things, there are frequent shoutouts to AlcoholicsAnonymous in riffs and host segments. The movement's founder, Bill W., gets a mention in the thank you sections of many of the credit rolls.
*** This is a RealLifeWritesThePlot sort of thing -- Frank Conniff was a reformed alcoholic and former AA member. It was his idea to thank Bill W. in the credits, and a lot of the AA-related riffs drew on his knowledge of the group.
** Pearl would occasionally refer to [[WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain Bobo as "Pinky" and Brain Guy as "Brain".]]
** This is a mere coincidence, but Servo and Crow's appearances and personalities are distinctly reminiscient of [[TheBraveLittleToaster Radio and Lampy]], respectively.
** As noted above under RunningGag, Hawkeye's entreaty to Cora to "Stay alive, whatever may occur!" during the waterfall scene of ''TheLastOfTheMohicans'' gets referenced ''frequently''.
* SickEpisode: Joel and the Bots fight off the common cold in the ''Hellcats'' episode. A side effect of their treament is experiencing [[WholeFlashbackEpisode flashbacks.]]
* SincerestFormOfFlattery: Several of the series producers were acknowledged fans of the Chicago HorrorHost ''Series/{{Svengoolie}}'', who had done his own version of riffing on corny films in "[=SvenSurround=]." This led to a few occurrences of OlderThanTheyThink when some viewers wrote in to complain that Svengoolie was copying [=MST3K=].
* SkunkStripe: Dr. Forrester; it runs through both his hair and his mustache.
--> '''Trace Beaulieu''' (at a San Diego Comic Con [=MST3K=] event): There was ''another'' white mark.\\
'''Kevin Murphy''': [[{{Beat}} ...]] '''''[[ScreamingAtSquick AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRGGHHHHH!!!]]''''' ''[[BrainBleach [Claws frantically at his eyes]]]''
** Pearl develops one herself.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Gypsy is the only female robot on the SOL among three male robots and one male human.
* SnubByOmission: When Comedy Central has anniversary specials highlighting the history of the channel, and going over all their programs, [=MST3K=], is never ''ever'' highlighted, or ever mentioned.
* SolemnEndingTheme: "Mighty Science Theater", the song that plays over the show's closing credits, is a much slower, more ponderous instrumental version of the "Love Theme" sung over the opening credits.
* SoundEffectBleep: Demonstrated in ''Agent For H.A.R.M.'' when Crow tries to defend Mike, who's on trial for mass murder. Crow's endless string of obscenities doesn't help Mike's case, obviously.
** In the "2nd Annual Summer Blockbuster Review", Crow is repeatedly bleeped from saying {{Franchise/Godzilla}} because they'd get sued for even saying its name.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Regarding the constant, out of place jazz music that permeates "Secret Agent Super Dragon".
-->'''Joel''': Man, this is a swingin' boiler room!
* SpaceshipGirl: Magic Voice (who announced commercial breaks) and Gypsy (who was wired into the SOL and kept it running)
* SpeciesSurname: Crow T. Robot
** His whole name, according to High School Big Shot, is "Crow T. Hewett Edward Robot" making him "Crow T.H.E. Robot"
** What's more, the "T" itself stands for "The".
* SpiritualSuccessor: The cast's follow-up series named above (''Podcast/RiffTrax'', ''The Film Crew'', ''WebVideo/CinematicTitanic'').
** Then there's ''Series/CheapSeats'', ''GoldenBookVideoKillers'', ''WebVideo/IncognitoCinemaWarriorsXP'', ''[[http://www.cinefamily.org/films/the-doug-benson-movie-interruption/ The Doug Benson Movie Interruption]]'', ''[[http://drafthouse.com/series/master_pancake Master Pancake]]''…
** According to Trace Beaulieu, the show itself was a Spiritual Successor to Magazine/MADMagazine's movie spoofs.
-->'''Trace:''' They were the first to not treat film like the reverential art form that Hollywood would like you to believe it is, and they would do it visually and verbally.
* {{Spoiler}}: [[{{In-Universe}} Invoked]]. Mike/Joel and the Bots tend to get impatient with particularly predictable plot twists and spoil them for comedic effect.
--->'''Tom Servo:''' And the door opens and his friend is a Film/{{Soultaker}}; just get on with it.
** [[SpaceMutiny Also:]]
-->'''Servo''': And... his eyes open.
-->'''Crow''': ''An-n-n-nd'' his eyes open.
-->'''Mike''': His eyes open --
-->'''Servo''': Eyes open, yeah, yeah, big surprise, he's still alive --
-->'''Crow''': Eyes open!
-->'''Mike''': His ''EYES OPEN''.
-->'''Servo''': -- can we just move it along here --
-->'''Crow''': ''Come ON!''
** [[Film/{{Werewolf}} Also:]]
-->'''Tom Servo:''' Yeah, she's a werewolf. Get on with it.
-->'''Mike:''' ''Dead'' people know what's going to happen!
-->''(After TheReveal)'' '''Crow''': Ending written and conceived by a tube worm.
* SpoilerOpening: For season 8; the new theme song already revealed Pearl was going to be the new big bad before this was officially stated at the end of the first episode, and although the first few episodes of this season where still set on Earth, the Theme Song already gave away the fact that the setting would soon change to Pearl chasing the SOL through the universe.
* SpoofedWithTheirOwnWords:
** For ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S03E03PodPeople Pod People]]'', two of the host segments consist of re-enacting some of the film's most bizarre scenes almost verbatim.
** For ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S09E02ThePhantomPlanet The Phantom Planet]]'', they poke fun at Ray Makonnen's out-of-nowhere ContemplateOurNavels monologue ("You know, Captain, every year of my life, I grow more and more convinced that the wisest and best is to fix our attention on the good and the beautiful... if you just take the time to look at it.") by reciting the entire thing later, multiple times.
** One segment for ''Film/TrackOfTheMoonBeast'' has the bots recreating the "prank" from the film on Mike, who is busy eating pea pods.
* StairwellChase: The one in "Soultaker" gets ''so'' boring that Mike and the Bots find two ants fighting over a piece of candy on the floor more entertaining.
* StatusQuoIsGod: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Joel in the KTMA version of ''Film/PhaseIV'': "You know, this is beginning to be a lot like ''Series/GilligansIsland!''"
* TheStinger: In episode 205, ''Rocket Attack USA'', at the end of the credits they replayed a BigLippedAlligatorMoment involving a blind man, as if to say to the viewer "yeah, that actually happened". Thus was a tradition born.
* TheStoner: A popular theory concerning Joel Robinson and Joel Hodgson.
** Joel played this for laughs with one of his invention exchanges, a small monster truck with a tube attached on its back "to ease smoking during monster truck events" that was essentially a ''motorized bong.''
* StopTrick: Used for Brain Guy's powers.
** Used throughout the series, but particularly notable as the method used to execute about 90% of Brain Guy's omnipotent powers. Hilariously, the one time that proving his omnipotence was critical, (during the Roman Times story arc) he resorted to crappy sleight-of-hand instead.
* StoryArc: Utilized during season 8, mostly due to ExecutiveMeddling, but abandoned in the last two Sci-Fi seasons.
** The final season began with a minor arc about Pearl trying to get "certified" as an official mad scientist ("It's illegal to take over the world if you're not board certified"), but this was also quickly abandoned.
* StrippedToTheBone: As seen in the film "Teenagers In Outer Space" (episode 404). A ray-gun kills animals & humans & leaves skeletal remains behind. As for the show itself, this happened twice, on episode 411 ("The Magic Sword"), when TV's Frank lost the flesh on his face (except his eyes) due to the Mads' invention, the biohazard-absorbent throw pillows, & then on episode 608 ("Code Name: Diamond Head"), when Dr. F & Frank clean themselves in the tub that when pushing the button, the electricity zaps the flesh off of 'em.
* StylisticSuck: Any time anyone tries to put on a skit in-character, you can pretty well expect it to be badly acted, since none of the characters are actually actors in-character [[note]] The Mads are [[MadScientist Mad Scientists]] and their flunkies, Joel was a janitor and an inventor, and Bots were [[SnarkyNonHumanSidekick mostly built to mouth off at movies]]. Mike was a temp that did [[JackOFAllTrades a little of everything]] ([[MasterOfNone usually badly]]) and while that ''did'' include acting, it usually didn't help[[/note]]. If the Mads did a song, it was usually bad on purpose. This is usually subverted when the people on the Satellite did songs, then they try to be as good as possible.
* SuckinessIsPainful: The very point of the experiment.
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien: The Observers are a parody of this concept. Almost every claim they make about how advanced they are is immediately shown not to be true, though they are in denial about it. For example their most common claim is that they don't have bodies. On the other hand, they really do have powers.
** [[SapientCetaceans Dolphins]] are portrayed as such in "Devil Fish", as well as having {{Hair Trigger Temper}}s.
* SurroundedByIdiots: One episodes with Tom and Crow raising Hell; Joel laments "I'm surrounded by idiots of my own design!"
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: When Joel Hodgson left, head writer Michael J. Nelson was promoted to leading man. As well, after the first Comedy Channel season, Dr. Larry Erhardt was replaced with TV's Frank, and after the sixth, Frank was replaced with Pearl Forrester, Clayton's mother. Finally, for the Sci-Fi Channel seasons, The Mads were replaced by a returning Pearl, and her sidekicks Professor Bobo (from a ''PlanetOfTheApes''-like future Earth) and Observer (a/k/a "Brain Guy", an albino superbeing who carries his brain in a pan).
** Perhaps averted, as Joel and Mike, Erhardt and Frank, and Frank and Pearl had little in common personality-wise, which is really what the trope's about.
** Pearl as a substitute for Clayton fits this trope. Their personalities are a little different but their roles, motivations and even their temperaments are largely the same. This is out of necessity as the role they fill is essential to the show's premise.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Spoofed in ''Film/TheLeechWoman'':
-->'''Man''': Officer, I'm Mrs. Talbot's attorney. If she's in any trouble, I have a right to know about it.
-->'''Detective''': Did I say anything about trouble?
-->'''Tom Servo''': Well, I assumed, what with the ''search warrant'' and all...
-->And moments later...
-->'''Man''': If I knew what Mrs. Talbot was accused of, I could, maybe I could help --
-->'''Detective''': She isn't accused of anything. We just want her for questioning about a murder.
-->'''Man''': Murder?
-->'''Crow''': Did I say anything about murder?
* SyndicationTitle: In the mid-'90s Comedy Central edited some episodes down to one hour, added new introductory segments with Michael J. Nelson as "Your Host" (a parody of Jack Perkins, longtime host of A&E's ''Biography'' series), and syndicated them as ''The Mystery Science Theater Hour''.
* TakeThat: The host segments during ''The Incredible Melting Man'' appear to be digs on the filmmaking process that the crew had to deal with while making TheMovie version of [=MST3K=].
** Also a few less subtle digs, such as The Sandy Frank Song.
** They also seem to have genuine contempt for Japanese animation and think it's all super violent and/or [[AllAnimeIsNaughtyTentacles porno]].
** During ''{{Laserblast}}'', Mike and the bots spend the entire duration of the credits ribbing Leonard Maltin for giving the film two and a half stars out of four, and compare other films to ''Laserblast's'' rating.
** "Mike Nelson is Lord of the Dance!" is one of these to Michael Flatley's annoying commercials.
* TakeThatUs: One host segement from "The Slime People" has Joel and the Bots coming up with plots for shows, and Tom mocks Joel's idea of a man trapped in the dessert with robots.
** Mike and the Bots' cameo on ''Series/CheapSeats'' ends with Crow calling the idea of a show about making fun of stuff stupid.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: Mocked by whenever an egregious example appears, with the riff "Oh, he got away" or "Oh, he's dead now" being uttered because the hero or villain [[{{Monologuing}} monologued]] too long.
* TeamMom: Gypsy sometimes acts as this on the SOL.
* TerribleTrio: Pearl, Bobo, and Observer, who also form a (mostly dysfunctional) FreudianTrio. Professor Bobo the gorilla is the id. Observer, aka Brain Guy, is the superego. Pearl Forrester is the ego that holds them together... by berating and abusing them constantly.
* ThemeTuneRollCall: Only for the robots, anyway.
* TheyKilledKenny: TV's Frank.
** Spookily predicted in the 1991 episode ''FugitiveAlien'', in which the main character was called Ken; after the villain reveals to the heroine that Ken was the man who killed her brother, Joel pipes up with "Those bastards!"
* ThingOMeter: The episode featuring ''Film/AngelsRevenge'' has Tom Servo invent the "Shame-O-Meter" to measure the amount of shame the actors must be feeling.
** Back in ''Hercules Unchained'' Joel's Invention Exchange was the Steve-O-Meter. It had nothing to do with Hercules' actor [[NamesTheSame Steve Reeves]], but rather Steve Allen; it told you whether or not your idea had already been come up with by Steve Allen. Not only did Steve Allen already come up with Movie Sign, but he also already thought of [[MindScrew the Steve-O-Meter.]]
* ThirdPersonFlashback: The Rifftrax gang also mocked this.
-->'''Crow:''' He's flashing back to other people's memories!
* TimeTravel: For the eighth season, the show was moved from "Next Sunday, AD" to the year 2525 (Man is not, in fact, still alive), then to Roman Times, and finally back to the present.
** Earlier on, the Mads claimed to have invented a "really real time machine." It wasn't.
* TitleMontage: The opening theme featured many clips from episodes of the show. The clips changed every so often to keep things from getting monotonous or out-of-date (especially with the cast change from Joel to Mike, it wouldn't make sense to feature Joel clips in the Mike opening, for example).
* TitlePlease: Although each episode is named after whatever movie they're reviewing, no episode title is present on the screen. However, during season 6, the bumpers before commercials would feature the title of the movie on a film canister or other object.
* ToadLicking: When the gang riffed ''Jack Frost'', there was a talking mushroom man; the characters wondered what a talking mushroom would eat to get high, and the only answer anyone can come up with was "I think they lick toads."
* TooDumbToLive: Most of the characters on the show, at one point or another -- TV's Frank has a particularly persistent case.
* TookALevelInBadass: Pearl Forrester became a lot more aggressive and less matronly when she became the principal villain during the Sci Fi Channel era.
* TookALevelInDumbass: Professor Bobo. When we first meet him (in ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S08E01RevengeOfTheCreature Revenge of the Creature]]''), he's actually a reasonably intelligent scientist and the OnlySaneMan in Deep Ape. But as soon as he left Deep Ape, the first thing he does is shoot himself in the foot. ''Twice.'' It's only a downward spiral from there on.
** While never quite descending to true dumbassedry, Mike Nelson seemed to become ever more goofily incompetent and hapless during his time on the SOL.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: During the early seasons the 'bots ''really'' had a thing for RAM chips.
** Chikin In A Biskit is one for Pearl, as it was the only reason Observer could come up with that would make her stop Bobo from screwing up the time-space continuum.
* TropeOverdosed: Its cult status has resulted in tons of pages, including episode recap pages. In fact, the show is responsible for a number of pages for films that would have never even earned a second glance otherwise, such as ''Film/{{Mitchell}}'', ''Film/TheBloodWatersOfDrZ'' or ''Film/MoonZeroTwo''.
* TrustBuildingBlunder: In the ''{{Gamera}}'' episode.
--> '''Servo''': I'm letting go...
--> '''Crow''': And so am I.
--> (Thud)
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Sort of. The theme song specifies "Next Sunday, AD", and most of the series seems to take place in something reasonably approximating the year in which it was made.
** Helps to know that during its KTMA run, it actually ''did'' run on Sundays!
** Thanks to Netflix and similar services, "scrolling up cinemas" doesn't seem quite as farfetched as it did during ether PBS or MST's presentations of ''OverdrawnAtTheMemoryBank''. Still working on that 'putting people into baboons' thing, though.
* UncannyFamilyResemblance: Eddie, Mike's brother in ''TimeChasers''.
** Some photos have shown that Mike's father and one of his future descendants (a ''female descendant!'') also exactly like him.
* UnconventionalSmoothie: ''TheKillerShrews'' episode involves a drink called the Killer Shrew, which includes a candy bar with the wrapper on, among other very sugary foods. It causes Joel to collapse and Frank to get a stomachache from all the sugar.
* UnfazedEveryman: Joel (not-too-different form you or me) and Mike (just a regular joe).
* UnluckyEverydude: Joel, and especially Mike.
* UnfortunateImplications: [[{{In-Universe}} Discussed and endlessly ridiculed]] in the films screened during the show.
* UnreliableNarrator: In a KTMA episode Servo has 'flashbacks' of earlier events on the satellite. One involves a very out-of-character Joel yelling at the 'bots and actively smacking them around (he makes Gypsy cry!) [[GoodSmokingEvilSmoking while smoking a cigarette.]] He growls out [[InvokedTrope "Listen, I'm not normally this way, it's just Servo's perception of me"]] and ends up [[BreakingTheFourthWall stalking off to his trailer.]]
** "Think hard Crow, you mindless troll."
* UrbanLegends: The show's rivalry with Sandy Frank; for years it was widely rumored that Frank (angry at the mockery of his films and how the show went so far as to make a song mocking him) personally refused to re-licence the many films he owned that the show featured as revenge for the way they mocked him. The truth was more subdued: seeing the show's popularity (and the fact that many of his episodes were among the most popular that the show featured in the early years) he simply tried to extort more money from Best Brains by raising his asking price to renew the license for usage of his films.
** Similarly, their "feud" with Joe Don Baker over ''Mitchell''. For years it was said that Baker was really mad at their poking fun at him in ''Mitchell'' and had threatened to kick their asses. Truthfully, it was said in jest, and the MST crew went with it as a more serious threat to fuel the rumor mill.
** Averted with Peter Graves. In an interview shortly before his death, he was asked about the show, and referred as to the cast as "the idiots sitting in the front row." He also said he wasn't "too pleased with those."
* ValuesDissonance: In-Universe. Once in a while, the show would feature a movie or short that had some instance of this. The riffers would always react to any display of ValuesDissonance in a movie, usually by boo-ing or shouting at the movie. Some examples: a home economics short that suggested women go to college to learn how to be [[StayInTheKitchen good housewives]]. A short that showed a typical day of a trapper finding and capturing animals from the wild to ship them to a zoo. And the end of ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate'' which showed the little girl as one of the [[{{Lolicon}} Master's wives]]. At least one movie was actually edited for this reason: ''Invasion of the Neptune Men,'' a Japanese monster movie which featured ''actual aerial bombardment footage of Japan during WWII'' to show destruction of the city by the invading Neptune men. A shot was still included of a building with a picture of UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler on the side (it was an advertisement for 'Mein Kampf') being destroyed, leading to the riff: "They blew up the Hitler building!! What's next, the Mussolini Mall?!"
** The latter lead to some vicious riffs against Japanese film in general near the end of the movie. Suffice it to say, in-character and out of character, they were not happy with the incorporation of the footage into the movie.
* VerbalBackspace
-->'''Tom Servo:''' I have no sense of proportion. I'm a disgrace to my uniform!\\
'''Mike:''' No, no, no, it's okay. Calm down now. We mustn't hate, mustn't hate...\\
'''Crow:''' At least not so ''overtly''.\\
'''Mike:''' Exactly right. Must ''disguise'' our hate.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: One of the pillars of the humor is an impenetrably dense barrage of very, very specific pop culture references (and not so pop: an off-the-cuff {{Sophocles}} reference is not unheard of). As Joel Hodgson put it in the ''This Is [=MST3K=]'' documentary, "When we write a joke we never ask, 'Who's gonna get this?' We always say, 'The right people will get this.'"
** Kevin Murphy once mentioned that he imagined the people who did get the obscure references would feel like the show could read their mind. A lot of their references were subject to MemeticMutation, too, such as the "I thought you were Dale" meta-reference. Getting every single joke in an episode usually requires multiple viewings and consulting a fan website (there are entire websites dedicated to deciphering the more obscure references).
** Impressively, they maintained this not only until the series' final season, but the spiritual spin-offs continue the tradition as well.
** Most notably ''Parts: The Clonus Horror''; the show's usage on [=MST3K=] was what fueled that film's director to sue Creator/WarnerBros and Creator/MichaelBay over how their film ''Film/TheIsland'' blatantly plagiarized his work. Fans of the show raised enough awareness of how ''The Island'' was a direct rip-off of ''Parts'' that Robert Fiveson felt he could take the big studio and director to court and actually stand a chance against them.
*** In case you're wondering, he did sue but before the case could go to trial, Creator/{{Dreamworks}} settled with Fiveson and the plaintiffs for an undisclosed amount, rumored to be a seven figure sum.
** Still, some of their jokes are literally inaccessible to anyone who is not them. Case in point: In response to a character in the movie carrying a keyboard, one of the robots says "Stop her, she's got Mike's keyboard!" Mike Nelson's girlfriend had taken his keyboard with her when she moved out a week or two before. Viewers, of course, had no way of knowing this.
* VocalEvolution: When New Yorker Bill Corbett took over as Crow the little robot gained a soft Brooklyn accent and a slightly effeminate lisp. This hilarious combination only lasted a few episodes as Corbett gradually found his own voice for Crow with a more generalised accent.
** Tom Servo, twice: Josh Weinstein found Servo's "Mighty Voice!" midway through the KTMA season, and Kevin Murphy initially played Servo's voice close to Josh's portrayal, before easing into a more natural performance.
** The vocal changes to Tom and Crow were directly referenced and {{Hand Wave}}d in-universe; the change from Josh's voice to Kevin's was explicitly laid to Joel tinkering with Tom's voice chip (which is also how they explained the different voice Josh began using in the KTMA era), while Crow's change was initially chalked up to something happening in his five centuries on the SOL while Mike and the others were noncorporeal, later suggested by Joel in his visit during ''Film/{{Soultaker}}'' that Crow had changed his bowling pin (his beak).
** Trace Beaulieu also used what has been described as a "baby voice" for Crow in the early Comedy Channel episodes (KTMA-era Crow spoke with a slightly stilted delivery somewhere between [[StarWars C3P0]] and the ''Series/LostInSpace'' robot). Around seasons 2 and 3, his performance became more natural.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: Unfortunately, this would seem to describe the RealLife relationship between Jim Mallon and several other ''MST'' alumni.
* WeirdnessMagnet: The SOL crew and Deep 13 get a ''lot'' of weird visitors, including SantaClaus, [[{{Satan}} Pitch]], [[Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate Torgo]], [[TheIncrediblyStrangeCreatures Ortega]], and so on.
-->'''Pearl:''' ''(after dealing with Fortinbras from ''{{Hamlet}}'')'' Is it ''me''? Am I a [[InvokedTrope magnet for these idiots]]?![[note]]Considering your son is a maniacal MadScientist, and your companions are a talking ape and a pale-faced omnipotent being who carries his brain around in a bowl, yes, you ''are''.[[/note]]
* WHAMEpisode: One word: ''Film/{{Mitchell}}''.
* WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong: In ''Film/DevilFish'', Pearl invokes the Trope when all that's left is the Captain's Dinner - with Bobo being Captain. You can guess things go horribly wrong.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The Nanites and Magic Voice were pretty much forgotten about in Season 10. We never even learn their ultimate fate in the finale.
** In a couple season 2 and season 3 episodes, there were contests for viewers announced. The results of those contests, such as the "What's the Deal with Kenny" from the first Gamera movie or the "Ways To Snuff Gaos" from the third one, were never revealed.
* WhatTheHellHero: The 'Bots' reaction to the inscription on the plaque Joel left behind during the ''Film/{{Mitchell}}'' experiment.
-->'''Servo:''' Joel leaves, and his last words are from ''a George Pal movie''?!
** Also any time Mike [[MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds blows up a planet]]... or wrecks the occasional orbiting satellite.
** They have the same reaction when Mike makes fun of Robert Z'Dar's LanternJawOfJustice.
* WhenIWasYourAge: In the ''HorrorOfPartyBeach'' episode, Mike and the Bots sing a 50s-style song to educate "the young people" about sodium (ItMakesSenseInContext). After it's over, Crow goes into a non-angry version of this ("...with your pierced I-dunno-whats...")
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Occasionally. For example, in ''HorrorsOfSpiderIsland'', Crow asks Mike if it's true that if a woman survives a plane crash she becomes languid and helpless and sex-starved (and also murmur a lot). Mike decides to find out by [[MST3KMantra crashing the Satellite of Love]], somehow leaving him, Crow, and Servo dressed as women.
** Servo is usually the one to be crossdressing due to his naturally feminine shape and Kevin Murphy's especially deep voice. {{Lampshaded}} in one episode in which Servo exasperatingly says that he can't wear anything like pants because his hoverskirt won't allow him to.
** Their reviews of Ed Wood films usually bring up that Wood was one of these, and the jokes imply that so are most of the main cast:
-->'''[[DumbMuscle Tor]]''': (picking up a lady in an angora sweater and hat) Oh, Tor love this! Tor look fetching when go to church!
* WhosOnFirst: A variant is performed in one of the skits in ''Invasion of the Neptune Men'', only the subject is Japanese theater. When Mike is asked by Crow and Tom if he likes any Japanese theater, Mike responds: "Noh." Cue SustainedMisunderstanding.
** A dirtier one has Pearl attempting to have Brain Guy act as TheIgor so she could be certified as a mad scientist. His misunderstanding is hilarious.
-->'''Pearl:''' Here, Brain Guy, I want to give you a hump.
-->'''Brain Guy:''' Pearl, whatever your feelings for me--
-->'''Pearl:''' On your ''back'', idiot.
-->'''Brain Guy:''' That's sexual harassment, and I don't have to take it.
-->'''Pearl:''' A ''latex'' hump.
-->'''Brain Guy:''' Now see here!
* WifeHusbandry: A weird example. Joel, creator and father figure of the Bots, had many romantic moments with Gypsy, especially in ''Wild Rebels''.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Joel and Mike's relationship with the 'bots. Apparently, Joel created the 'bots with programming that caused them tease/razz him, in order to create companions that would give him hell and keep him sane.
** When Joel installed protocol modules to make them nicer and easier to deal with, he realized it left him hollow, and promptly removed the modules before the start of the experiment. Considering the experiment that week was ''[[Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate "Manos"]]'', one has to wonder how the "nice" Tom and Crow would've handled it (although {{Hired}} Part II probably wouldn't have been as funny).
** Crow and Tom are a more straighter example, with their relationship being basically summed up as: "Mock the other. Repeat."
* WithLyrics: Became one of the show's many {{Running Gag}}s, with Mike/Joel and the bots making up lyrics for instrumental songs in the movies, or sometimes making up their own, humorous lyrics for songs that already had them. Notably examples include:
** "[[Film/FugitiveAlien He tried to kill me with a forklift...]]"
** "[[Film/MrBNatural Come on and buy some crap from us / You know that you want to / And the white race will salute you / As you prance and gad about!]]"
** "[[Film/TheGirlInLoversLane The Girl in Lovers Lane / With Jack Elam, not Jack LaLanne.]]"
** "He's a high school... big shot. He's a big shot... in high school..."
*** "[=BigshotbigshotBIGSHOT=]!"
** "He's a failure la la la, what a loser la la la, total failure, total failure, total failure laaaa!"
** "Puma Man, he flies like a moron."
** "[[{{Hobgoblins}} It's the eightieees, do a lot of coke and vote for Ronald Reagan!]]"
* AWizardDidIt: The theme song specifically points out that [[MST3KMantra you're not supposed to ask questions about how it all works]].
* WorldOfHam: With occasional amounts of subtlety.
* WorldOfSnark: The entire show is about snarking movies.
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: The earlier seasons had "aliens who drop by and exchange dialogue for roughly two-and-a-half minutes then leave" apply to all SOL visitors, even if they were humans.
* YoureNotMyFather: Whenever Joel has to punish Crow the latter will cry out "You're not my real father!"
* YouSayTomato: They love to deliberately mispronounce names. For instance, Tom Servo pronounces Chi Chi Rodriguez as Chai Chai ''Rahd''-rigweez.
** Also a reference to ''Series/WKRPInCincinnati''.
* YouWontFeelAThing: In the episode ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S04E06AttackOfTheGiantLeeches Attack Of The Giant Leeches]]'':
-->'''Dr. Forrester''': Now this leech [snip] when applied to the neck or head area, will suck any desire to smoke out of Frank.\\
'''Frank''': [loudly protests]\\
'''Dr. Forrester''': But this won't hurt a bit.\\
'''Frank''': Well, okay.
[[/folder]]

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'''''[[TheStinger *TWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG*]]'''''