"This movie stops at nothing - and stays there."Film watched: The Beast of Yucca Flats, with shorts Money Talks! and Progress Island U.S.A.
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Progress Island U.S.A contains the following tropes:
- Call Back: "That nose wheel feels mushy."
- Crossing the Line Twice: "When Judy Garland died, it destroyed Puerto Rico's economy."
- "Fun times at Guantánamo!"
- Also counts as a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, given that MST3K went off the air long before Guantanamo Bay gained a new notoriety.
- "A rich culture and heritage..." "Which we bulldozed in order to build more skyscrapers."
- "Puerto Rico has been praised for the beauty of her landscape..." "And sacked and pillaged many many times."
- "Spinal injuries are popular on the island as well."
- "We would like to apologize to all the people of Puerto Rico we did not offend."
- Over the image of a Union Carbide facility, the narrator states that "Nearly two billion dollars has been invested in plants and facilities." Tom adds, "And millions poisoned!" This is in reference to the Bhopal disaster, in which a tank containing methyl isocyanate ruptured, killing thousands and injuring over half a million more.
- Dude, Not Funny!: In a subversion, Mike does take offense at Crow saying Ponce was the sight of many muggings.
- "Fun times at Guantánamo!"
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Occurs throughout the riffing.Narrator: An American democracy.Servo: ...would be really great.Narrator: A wealth of historic grandeur and beauty.Servo: ...does not exist here.Narrator: Modern hospitals.Servo: ...are not here.Narrator: Luxury hotels.Crow: ...are desperately needed.Narrator: Progress can be seen everywhere.Mike: ...in places other than this.
- Here We Go Again: Since the short film opens and ends roughly the same way (with a fast-paced montage, followed by a narrator), Mike and the bots wonder why the short's starting over.
- Take That: Mike and the Bots make a Running Gag of contradicting the narrator's overly triumphalist rambling ("There's something for everyone..." "...like flights out!"), building up to the final joke:Narrator: The Spaniards called it "Puerto Rico"...Servo: Because they couldn't think of anything else.Narrator: We call it...Crow: Cheap Labor Bill!
- With Lyrics: Tom Servo sings with the bouncy commercial-jingle music. "Strawberries, marshmallows, tinfoil and fudge and some dingle-balls hanging from trees..."
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Money Talks! contains the following tropes:
- Critical Research Failure: Invoked.Crow: (as William) [Benjamin Franklin] was the best President we ever had.
- Missing Mom: "Have you seen your mother lately?"
- Shout-Out:Crow: (during a cross-dissolve between William and the spinning coin) There's no place like a bank, there's no place like a bank...
- Values Dissonance: Invoked.Crow: (as Benjamin Franklin) Could you have your slave press my suit?
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue:Mike: (during the closing shot - a close-up of the half-dollar, with the words "The End" superimposed over it) Benjamin Franklin was tried in the Eighth Circuit Court on stalking charges; in a minute, the results of that trial.
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of The Beast of Yucca Flats contains the following tropes:
- Big "WHAT?!": Crow's reaction to the narrator's "flying saucers" line.
- Call Back:
- Continuity Nod: At one point the lawmen trying to solve the string of deaths decide they'll have to parachute into a remote area:Crow: Luckily, Coleman has plenty of skydiving footage lying around.
- Have a Gay Old Time: Crow's "Film Anti-Preservation Society" takes the acronym FAPS. (At the time the episode was made, that term had not yet acquired its more common association.)
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Beast of Yucca Flats was Mike's warmup for The Brain That Wouldn't Die - and this time, it threatens to crack the SOL crew.
- Male Gaze: Defied.Servo: (annoyed) Okay, we get it. BREASTS!
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The poor quality of this film and the others by Coleman Francis convinces Crow to start the "Film Anti-Preservation Society," in stark contrast to the typical MST3K philosophy of "Keep Circulating the Tapes."
- Overly Long Gag:Forrester: Frank, I'm going to start slapping you now, and I may never stop.Frank: Let the healing process begin.(cue slapping sounds during the entire end credits)
- Police Are Useless: Mike's riffs on the cop insist he's irritated he has to go investigate a crime when he'd rather have breakfast.
- Running Gag: The trio constantly bring up the "flag on the moon" line and wonder just what it was supposed to mean.
- Skyward Scream: "WHY CAN'T I GET A BAKED POTATO AFTER FIVE IN THIS TOWN?!"
- Society Marches On: The whole "Proposition Deep 13" theme during the episode was a reference to the Culture War speech during the GOP convention in 1992.
- The name itself is an echo of Proposition 13, a famous voter-led initiative in California in The '70s that capped property tax hikes.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: As the sniper in the plane takes aim, the barrel for his rifle briefly points toward Mike and the 'bots. Oh Crap! ensues.