Film watched: San Francisco International
''The focal point of this failed TV pilot is the astounding pomposity and self-absorption of Pernell Roberts. He plays an airport administrator. You'd think that's a pretty mundane job and you'd be right, but Pernell struts and preens like balding cock-of-the-walk."
—The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide (This pilot did, in fact, become a short-lived series.)
The MST3K treatment has examples of:
- Actor Allusion: The crew gets a lot of mileage over the casting of Pernell Roberts. Conrad: Had there been an emergency...Servo: (as Conrad) ... I wouldn't have done Trapper John.Mike: (as VIP, to Conrad) I've never spanked a member of the Ponderosa...
- Black Comedy: The Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew's riffs as Pernell Roberts tries to teach Davey how to land the plane he accidentally took into the sky get dark. Perhaps none are darker than Crow's, "Davey, I need to know where your dental records are."
- Bowdlerize: "Oh, it's a made-for-TV hippie!"
- Call-Back: "MEGAWEAPON!"
- Dull Surprise: The general reaction to the plane in trouble (or not) during the opening credits.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Crow and Tom suggest various sexy things to do with Tab Hunter ("I'd like to run a tab... all over my body!"), but one crack got past the censors:Crow: Hey, what do you say we split that Tab?
Jim: Now pull it out halfway.Crow: The THROTTLE!
- When Tab Hunter leaves the men's room Tom says "That was a très bien merde", the italicized words meaning "very good shit" in French.
- Somehow they got this line past the censors:Mike: (as made-for-TV hippie William) The answer, my friend, is, "Blow it out your ass!"
- And this, when Jim is directing Davey:
- Here We Go Again!: The ending shot of the movie is a plane taking off; Mike and the bots pretend that it's Davey stealing another plane."Davey, no!"
- Hilarious in Hindsight: "Porno Pete".
- Fan Disservice: Shirtless, sunburned Forrester and Frank as they do construction work (although Forrester is surprisingly buff).
- Large Ham: Dana Elcar as the outraged, hippie-hating Mr. Woodruff.
- Mythology Gag: When Clu Gulager appeared in Master Ninja II, the cast mistakenly called him "Clu Gallagher", and were astonished to realize his name was actually Gulager later on, the reason Crow exclaims, "Clu Gulager? What kind of last name is Gulager?!"
- Only Sane Man: After an increasing number of guests from previous episodes show up to laugh hysterically at Mike's Urkel impression, Torgo shuffles into Deep 13 to proclaim that he's "nEvER BEeN a bIg URkEl FAn"; the moment immediately collapses as the guests find other things to do.
- The Other Darrin: Pointed out by Mike.Mike: Uh, sir? I should let you know Lloyd Bridges is replacing you when we go to series.
- Overly Long Gag: Mike Nelson does an impression of Steve Urkel during all three host segments. In his defense, he was ready to shut it down but the bots begged him to continue.
- Plank Gag: Mike Lampshades and Invokes the Trope, demonstrating it to the 'bots. Unfortunately, he does far more damage to them than he planned.Crow: I'm... I'm seeing a light, Mike. I'm going down a long hallway and I see a light. Is that you with me, Jesus?Servo: (dazed) No more with the board. Please, Mister, don't hit me with the board again.
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: No one on the S.O.L. is fooled.Mr. Woodruff: You haven't heard the last of me.Mike: (as Woodruff) Just wait til we go to series!
- Running Gag: Mike and the 'bots are constantly implying that the divorce is all Davey's fault and that nobody loves him.Tina Scott: (to Davey) It's just that sometimes married people—Mike: (as Tina): —break up because of their kids.Tina: —simply have to live apart for a while.Servo: (as Tina) Apart from their kids, I mean.Davey: You're going to get a divorce.Mike: (as Tina) Yes, and I don't want custody.Tina: That hasn't been decided.Crow: (as Tina) Although because of you, it's very likely.Davey: Do we have to go now?Servo: (as Tina) You have to go now.
- And then, later, as Jim and Davey fly over the city:Crow: (as Jim) Davey, all those people down there are getting divorced because of you.
- They get downright abusive with Davey just for being Davey.Servo: (as Jim) Davey, when you die, a great nothingness awaits you.
- Pernell's hairpiece.
- The ugliness of Robert Sorrells and his ears.Mike: He's a handsome rat.
- And then, later, as Jim and Davey fly over the city:
- The '70s: "I'm gonna check out what's going on over on the Harry-O set."
- Shirtless Scene: Funnily enough, Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank in the first segment.
- Shout-Out: In one of the riffs, Crow asks "So, where's George Kennedy in all of this?", a reference to Kennedy's recurring role as Joe Patroni in the Airport movies.
- Stopped Reading Too Soon: A verbal variant, as Pernell Roberts talks Davey through landing his stolen plane:Conrad: Now, Davey, pull out the throttle!
Davey: [pulls out throttle knob]
Crow: BUT FIRST—
- Take That!: The Urkel host segments were basically one big jab at the immense popularity of Urkel at the time and how (in the show's eyes) undeserved the acclaim was.
- Technology Marches On: Invoked by Mike when he snarks, "Featuring state-of-the-art technology!" on seeing an early Telex machine.
- Token Minority:Mike: (to Frank Davis) And thank you, Token!
- Later:Crow: Here's your script. You'll be playing Black Woman On Plane.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: "Oop, child of a messy divorce on Runway 2."
Conrad: My job, my way.