Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 04 E 20 The Human Duplicators
"Let's all play the Family Feud!"

Film watched: The Human Duplicators

The episode provides examples of the following tropes:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: When the robot Dornheimer tells Kolos the dangers of creating a machine with more wisdom than yourself, Joel sighs, "There's a lesson to be learned there", as Servo and Crow make veiled threats.
  • Call-Back: "S-A-N-T-A-C-L-A-U-S, hooray for Santy Claus!"
  • Coming-Out Story:
    Servo: Joel, we're robots and we want the world to know.
  • Continuity Nod: Michael J. Nelson reprises his Hugh Beaumont character from the Lost Continent episode, and his job in that episode (member of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) is mentioned.
  • Corpsing: In-universe. Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank cannot make it through the Invention Exchange, due to the absolute absurdity of their invention - the William Conrad Fridge Alert.
    • Then William Conrad really does show up.
      Dr. Forrester: Frank! It's the big one - literally!
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The final host segment. Servo and Crow come out to Joel as robots, and Joel tells them "it's more than a little obvious."
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Parodied. Forrester and Frank's giggling about the William Conrad Fridge Alert Crosses the Line Twice that it comes around to being funny.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe.
    Crow: Oh I get it! She's blind! That explains the decorating.
    Tom Servo: D'oh!
    • Then:
      Crow: You know, because two Wongs don't make a W—
      Joel & Servo: CROW!
      Crow: (sheepishly) I'm sorry, I'm sorry!
  • Hat of Flight: Joel's invention, the Beanie-Chopper, only looks like one of these, to the 'Bots' great disappointment.
    Crow: (dejectedly) I thought you were gonna go through the roof.
  • Hello, Nurse!: The trio who appear a few minutes into Lisa's introduction.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Crow's spaceship is a model of the Satellite of Love - the actual model used for exterior shots. He dismisses it as cheap and plans to put lighter fluid on it and burning it to a crisp - which is what happens to the model a few years later in an episode. invoked
  • Hugh Mann: Invoked after Glenn is duplicated:
    Welles: "Where in blazes have you been? Haven't you ever heard of a telephone?"
    Crow: (robotic monotone) "Yes. I have heard of a telephone."
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: TV's Frank and Dr. Forrester can't help guffawing at the concept of a refrigerator alarm that only sounds when William Conrad is stealing the food. Most of the segment they can't even explain the invention because they can't stop laughing in advance.
    TV's Frank: Who's going to need this? Maybe Quinn Martin and he's dead!
    • Brick Joke: The final segment finds William Conrad himself setting off the alarm. The Mads are still laughing.
      Dr. Forrester: Frank! It's the big one - literally!
      TV's Frank: Don't worry, Dr. F. He won't get far.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the first break Joel and the bots create model spaceships as an art project. The parts used for Joel's golden spaceship (a lacrosse mask, a bowling pin, food trays, and ping pong balls) look a tad familiar... Cue sudden realization, some coughing, and Commercial Sign.
    Gypsy: Wait a minute...
  • Me's a Crowd: Servo orders a whole bunch of copies of himself about midway through the film. They end up sticking around for the rest of the series for jokes requiring additional Servos.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Invoked by Crow because the film's title card is mirrored at first.
    Crow: Eht Namuh Srotacilpud! [title flips around to become legible] ...Oh.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Hugh is really, really bitter since his appearance in Lost Continent.
  • Zerg Rush: Tom tries to order his clones to do this to Joel and Crow, but they ignore him. Then, after Joel takes Tom away, the copies do this to Crow anyway.