Tom Servo gets one in The Wild World of Batwoman; during the endless sequence of so-called "dancing" before the end card drops, he screams out with a fury that would have made Jake LaMotta quiver in fear: "END! EEEEENNNNNNNNND!!!"
Heck, the mere fact that they were able to make Hamlet work with their show's format. This is one of their earliest efforts in riffing a work classically considered great. They continued to riff on classics when they moved to Rifftrax.
One truly great moment comes after the short Catching Trouble. The short is about a man named Ross Allen who catches animals for zoos and to sell as exotic pets, and it's one of the most uncomfortable shorts featured on MST3K thanks to all the scenes of animals crying in fear, being manhandled, tossed into a bag, and stolen away from their families and homes. So what do Joel and the Bots decide to do after watching this display of animal cruelty? They get out their dolls and film a skit called "Catching Ross", involving nature getting some well-earned revenge on Ross.
A sign of just how great this is: the volume of shorts that included "Catching Trouble" received complaints that it's no fun to watch without being followed by the cathartic "Catching Ross" skit.
In the same episode, the narrator of "Aquatic Wizards" refers to a Hispanic skier as a "Mexican jumping bean." The bots leap to rip him a new one, with Crow calling the narrator a "white fascist" and Tom making him seem pathetic.
Tom: "Hah, but what do I know? I'm only a fat hick announcer, mowing down pretzels and pinwheel cookies, and trying to come to grips with the tattered ends of a once promising life gone horribly wrong, God, God, why, why?!"
Crow's acknowledgment during Puma Man that Vadinho is the real hero of the movie. Much appreciated after all the attempts to sell the whiny, pathetic title character as the hero.
In the opening segments of The Beatniks, a quite out of character Joel torment the Bots by playing rock, paper, scissors, given how their hands don't work. Finally Gypsy has enough and rams right into him, knocking him over. "Gypsy crushes Joel!"
At the end of The Castle of Fu Manchu, Joel gives Dr. Forrester a "Reason You Suck" Speech. Keep in mind, just a few seconds before, Joel and the Bots were sobbing hoarsely, and the host segment before, they looked to be on the verge of collapse. Then, as Forrester and Frank are celebrating and awaiting the official surrender from the Satellite of Love, Joel comes back with this.
Forrester actually takes up on the idea to watch the movie. He can't even make it a full two minutes. Hell, the fact that Joel and the Bots, despite sitting through this movie and crying through the host segments, did not surrender, much less kill themselves, is awesome in itself.
Tom Servo delivers the longest riff in MST3K history at the end of Manos: The Hands of Fate—a solid minute and five seconds without shutting up, over almost the entirety of the two next victims' car ride. He also manages to name, rapid-fire, celebrity look-alikes for all 30+ people in a crowd shot at the end of Warrior of the Lost World.
Joel: My robots. I think I'll keep 'em... turned off.
In the first episode of The Return, the very first invention exchange has Jonah show off the bubble fan, which actually looks like a lot of fun. Admit it, you want one.
The first invention exchange of the new series and it's just about the only one in the show's entire history that's an actual invention.
All the guys' disgust at Rock Hudson's character in Avalanche, including Crow saying he'll kill himself if his wife takes him back at the end after he was relentlessly harassing her throughout the movie's first half.
Jonah and the Bots figuring out that all of Kinga's inventions have been ripped off from one of their jokes in the previous episode in The Land That Time Forgot. Now there's a Rewatch Bonus for you.
Any time that Jonah points out something genuinely impressive from the movie:
In The Time Travellers, an actor's head appearing to be removed and replaced within the same shot that there was clearly someone in the robot suit.
In Avalanche the climax has two actual stunt people being dangled over a ravine.
In The Land That Time Forgot, the climax involves a bunch of flaming debris actually being thrown around near the actors.
In Wizards of the Lost Kingdom, a genuine explosion rather than the movie's typical cheesy visual effects, done near a couple actors.
"Every Country Has a Monster," typically cited as the major Win the Crowd moment for the revival. It's especially impressive as Jonah had to keep track of all the models on the counter while singing, and he even manages to keep going after accidentally knocking a bunch of them over.
Shout! Factory declared in their press release regarding the release rights for the show that they would release every single episodes on DVD, legal difficulties in securing the film rights be damned. It seemed like it was all talk at the time. Then they secured the rights to, and subsequently released, all of theGameraepisodes.note The Gamera movies are currently out of print, but Shout is working on the rights issues.
For those not in the know, the Gamera episodes—and most of the show's Japanese-import-based Season 3 episodes, for that matter—had been unavailable for years because the guy in charge of importing them, Sandy Frank, pushed the rights fees through the roof to get a bigger paycheck.note (He may also have been motivated by the show's repeated insults aimed at him. This includes at least one song declaring him "the source of all our pain", as well as accusing him of harboring repulsive hygiene habits and being too lazy to make his own movies.) No one was both willing and able to pay him these fees, so these episodes languished in the vault; the prominent fansite MST3KInfo had the Gamera episodes and other Season 3 episodes featuring Japanese films categorized as "Extremely Unlikely" on this list of potential DVD releases.
Shout Factory one-upped themselves when they snagged the rights to some of the Universal and MGM films featured on the show, some of which were also listed as "Extremely Unlikely".
In September 2013, Shout Factory released a long-awaited special edition Blu-ray/DVD of MST3K: The Movie which included both the legendary deleted scenes and deleted riffs from the theater segments.
On Thanksgiving 2013, Shout Factory ran an MST3K Turkey Day marathon on YouTube, showing six episodes that fan consensus agreed were an awesome selection: Space Mutiny, I Accuse My Parents, Werewolf, Cave Dwellers, The Final Sacrifice, and Mitchell.
Joel got a moment of awesome in one of the bumpers by talking about how much he admired Mike's work on the show.
At various points during the night, #mst3k, #rowsdower, and #mitchell were some of the highest-trending tags on Twitter.
One bumper had Joel hoping Joe Don Baker—the star of Mitchell and Final Justice, and a man famed for hating MST3K—was having a happy Thanksgiving.
Shout ran a second Turkey Day marathon the year after; this one featured Trace Beaulieu reprising Crow and Josh Weinstein voicing (for the first time in something approaching 25 years) Tom Servo, which allowed them both to be more than quick cameos.
In 2015, Joel launched a Kickstarter for a reboot of the show. Within a week, it was $500,000 above its original $2 million minimum, which meant three full brand-new episodes. But the awesome did not stop there. With less than three hours left before the Kickstarter campaign ended, the fandom rallied together and pushed the grand total to nearly six million dollars, which allowed the revival's first season to be a full thirteen episode season. It made more money than the Kickstarter for Reading Rainbow, and it didn't even need Seth MacFarlane's help!
MST3K's success in reaching this goal should not understated. The donation total had stalled at just below $3m after the first week, and it did not go past $3m until after the 2015 Turkey Day marathon. Only during the campaign's last week did the money come pouring in like clockwork.
Thanks to additional donations from outside the Kickstarter, the show managed to secure a fourteenth episode on last day of the campaign, so Season 11 will have thirteen episodes and a Christmas Special to boot. Down to the Last Play Certified!
The campaign's final total, for those interested, was $6,364,229 ($5,764,229 from the Kickstarter plus an additional $600k from outside donations). That total means the MST3K Kickstarter is (for now) the most successful crowdsourced video project ever.
The 2017 version's theme song, where the original silly little ditty gets a whole new and far more confident orchestration, much better production values that still manage to evoke the beloved handmade feel of before, and ending on a triumphant high note sure to get any long-time fan pumping their fist.
And the ending theme "Mighty Science Theater" is now a fully orchestrated piece and it's every bit as hauntingly beautiful as the show is funny.
With Gypsy now being attached to the ceiling, Crow having working arms, and Tom being able to fly this has led to a lot more visual gags within the theater segments, such as Tom flying out of his seat and attempting to pull a lever on screen during The Time Travellers
Gypsy now visits the theater twice in every episode, and makes a joke both times, often the best riffs of the episode.
The revival has a sterling 100% "Fresh" Critic's Rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a similarly impressive 93% "Fresh" viewer rating.
After months of suspense given Netflix's usual fast notices on whether their new shows will be renewed, in classic MST fashion the show was announced to be getting a 12th season in their Turkey Day marathon.