Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 04 E 24 Manos The Hands Of Fate

How To Watch

Films watched: Hired! (Part 2) and "Manos" The Hands of Fate

When the crew at Best Brains discovered Manos, they thought about not riffing the film at first, as the crew considered the film too strange. Eventually, the group decided to go through with it under the idea that they must expose the world to Manos. The episode has since become one of the show's most famous episodes.

The Segments:


Segment 1
  • The Mads present a chocolate bunny guillotine. Joel presents the Cartuner, which merges bland newspaper comics to make them funny.

Segment 2
  • Joel and the Bots try to reenact the driving scenes from Manos, but the Bots crack. Frank apologies for the movie.

Segment 3
  • Joel, Servo and Crow speculate on their own exaggerated features after seeing Torgo's large knees.

Segment 4
  • Joel dresses up like the Master, but the Crow and Servo criticize him. Dr. Forrester apologies for the movie.

Segment 5
  • Trying to cheer Joel up, the Bots reenact the underwear wrestling scene from Manos. The Mads finally get their pizza from Torgo's, but with mixed results. Torgo's theme plays in the credits.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Hired (Part 2) contains examples of the following tropes:

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Manos contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Aside Glance: Torgo's quick and abrupt close-ups during his early scenes are treated as this trope in action, since he appears to be glancing at the audience over the couple's bickering.
    Servo: Oh, these two.
  • Brick Joke: Torgo forgot the drinks in his car when he delivers the pizza at the end of the episode. He leaves to get them. Eight episodes later, he finally returns with their drinks.
  • Character Filibuster/Motor Mouth: During one of the film's long driving sequences, Servo starts riffing in a female college student's voice:
    "So, so, I told Gary that I was going on this vacation, so he goes, 'Well, then I'm goin' hunting with Jeff next weekend.' Well, that's when we were at knives. And then Lou sang 'Fernando', and then Gary—oh, he sings so good. You should meet Jeff sometime. Do you like Barry Manilow songs? I know the farmers need rain, but when it's damp like this, my hair just explodes—just ex-puh-lodes! Oooh, I'm feelin' kinda gassy; McNuggets, y'know, they make me so gassy, all that grease and all. It really helps if you drink eight to ten glasses of water a day; did you know that? Sometimes I drink five; sometimes I drink nine just to make up for the other three I didn't drink. Oh, coffee and diet drinks don't count either. Y'know, this is pretty country, isn't it? Y'know, it's really kind of a blessing in disguise that I didn't get accepted to college, yeah. You know, I'm gonna have to revise my twenty-year plan, but—oh, did I tell you about my twenty-year plan? Okay, well, okay, listen here. In year one, this is the year when I'm going to take off those extra seven pounds—you know, that's equal to seven pounds of butter, huh-huh! So it's like I'm wearing seven pounds of butter, ha-ha! And, uh—oh, oh, where was I? Oh, oh, yeah. So my aunt and uncle here, they celebrated their twentieth anniversary, and my uncle wanted to sing, uh, 'Sunrise, Sunset'—he wanted me to sing that, and I haven't sung that since Cindy's wedding, and, well, she never thanked me for that—well, I'm still—uh, well, y'know, she's probably really busy and all, but..."
  • Continuity Nod: During one of the host segments, the Bots break down sobbing, and Joel tries to lift their spirits:
    Joel: Come on, you guys, stay frosty! We survived Monster A-Go Go, we can survive this!
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Both of the Mads feel compelled to apologize to Joel and the Bots for making them watch this. Rather odd, since the show's entire premise (and the Mads' goal) is to find a movie that will drive people insane... but once you've seen the movie, you understand.
  • Excuse Plot: Referenced; during the scene where The Master's various harem members fight each other, Tom observes this is probably the main reason why the film was made.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: The Master does this — and the MST crew give it a perfectly-timed riff.
    Tom: PULL my finger!!
  • Ho Yay: The bots invoke this between the policemen.
    Crow: "Think we should try some of that kissin', Bert?"
  • Merging Machine: Joel's "Cartuner" invention, which "takes stodgy, ambiguous cartoons like Mark Trail and mixes them with stiflingly unfunny cartoons like Blondie, puts 'em together, and makes 'em funny!"
  • Not So Stoic: As in Lost Continent, typically laid back Joel is driven to scream "DO SOMETHING!" during one particularly interminable Leave the Camera Running scene.
  • Off with His Head!: The Mads' invention is a "chocolate bunny guillotine".
    Dr. Forrester: You have stolen painted eggs in a time of famine. Off with her head, Frank!
    Servo: (sobbing) What about the pardon from Fanny Farmer?
    Crow: His only crime was BEING BORN DELICIOUS!
  • Parody Retcon: By the end of the experience, Warren predicted Manos could be redubbed as a comedy and make good money. How right he was…
  • Running Gag: In the beginning when the movie takes a long time to get its plot in motion: "So.... Manos, The Hands of Fate."
    • Making fun of the strange way Torgo talks.
  • Say My Name: The title is spoken loudly and in anguish after just a brief exposure to the film.
  • Shout-Out: During one of the skits, there's a subtle parody of It's a Wonderful Life when Frank, after apologizing for the awfulness of the film, encourages Joel, Tom, and Crow to keep playing.
  • Spit Take: "You know, it's been two hours but this pizza's still pretty warm!"
    "Torgo": They always do that.
  • Squick: In-Universe, Joel and the Bots were not happy to see little Debbie dressed as a wife.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: The episode begins with Joel having installed "protocol modules" in the Bots to make them believe everything Joel says or does is brilliant. Their incessant sucking up forces Joel to remove the modules during the first break.
  • You Look Familiar: Future MST3K host Michael J. Nelson appears as "Torgo" in the closing segment.