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Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 03 E 20 The Unearthly

Films watched: Posture Pals (short), Appreciating Our Parents (short) and The Unearthly

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 version provides the following Tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Crow's reaction to the tape of him catching fire while staging a video for America's Goofiest Home Videos.
  • Callback: The snapshot of the junk-cluttered Satellite bridge includes past Invention Exchange items, including the Big Head, the Cellulite Phone and standup of Judge Wapner.
  • Calvinball: Crow and Tom cobble together various leftover board game parts into a board game version of The Unearthly. Joel spends so long explaining the rules, which mostly have to do with how players can lose a turn, they don't actually get to play the game before Commercial Sign comes on.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Subverted in-universe, in that Joel and the Bots get their initial guesses for John Carradine movies confused with his children.
    Joel: Starring, uh, John Carradine; that was Kung Fu, right?note 
    Tom: No, no, he was the guy in Revenge of the Nerds!note 
    Crow: Maybe he's the guy that does all those Alan Rudolph films.note 
    Joel and Tom: Oh, yeah, that must be it...
    • Played straight later on when Joel points out that John was the preacher in The Grapes of Wrath, one of his more iconic (and respectable) roles. Subverted a breath later when the bots go through some of Tor Johnson's fictional career.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Crow follows Carradine's request to 'retire' with "Why? Are you falling apart?" before excusing himself for using the wrong punchline.
  • Running Gag: Tor Johnson's delivery of "Time for to go to bed!" has become a staple for the MST3K crew, even appearing in RiffTrax's commentary for Plan 9 from Outer Space
  • Shout-Out:
  • Totally Radical: After a bizarrely fast-paced dialogue scene, Joel and the 'bots start talking like gangsters from a 1930s film. Eventually, it spreads to the Mads as well.