Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 08 E 04 The Deadly Mantis

Film watched: The Deadly Mantis

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation includes the following tropes:

  • All Men Are Perverts: Approaching the office where the protagonists are, the mantis looks through the window.
    Crow: It's a peeping mantis.
    • "I've got a mantis in my pantis."
  • Call Back: Ned the Nanite keeps calling Mike "Relson", a reference to the Running Gag in Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell.
  • Call Forward: Turkey Volume Guessing Man enjoys the song about turkeys.
  • Continuity Nod: The jazzy refueling music from The Starfighters.
    • Apparently, Radio Frank is still in operation many centuries into the future.
  • Dress Code: In the opening host segment, Servo announces it's "Business Casual Day" on the SOL and berates Mike for his alleged violations of the (non-existent) dress code.
    "Let's review: No chaps without pants...Mike. Number two: No sheer camisoles...Mike. Number three: No toeless shoes or sandals or spike heels...Mike."
  • I Am A Humanitarian: During a host segment, the SOL runs into a space creature. Bringing it aboard, it takes a liking to Crow and tries to eat him. In the last host segment, Crow reveals that he cooked it and served it as a meal in response.
  • Interspecies Romance: At the end of the episode, Mike and the Bots receive a letter from Peanut (Bobo's assistant). It's revealed he survived Earth's destruction - getting blasted into 2112 Wisconsin and meeting "a nice girl" - a Nelson woman.
    Crow: It's certainly a joyous day for any Nelson woman when she meets the ape of her dreams.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Gypsy when she pilots the SOL to outmaneuver Pearl.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Mike's reign of terror begins when he inadvertently helps Prof. Bobo and Dr. Peanut detonate a thermonuclear bomb.
    • "Good one, Nelson!"
    • To be fair, it's clear that the apes were going to blow themselves up anyway. Mike just hurried things along.
      • Apes that only existed because of Mike's family line having a thing for marrying sentient apes... so doesn't that mean that Mike destroyed earth twice in one episode?
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: How Mike Nelson helps Bobo and Peanut detonate said bomb:
    Mike: (offhand) Well why not just use a pair of locking pliers and a spanner?
  • Not So Different / We Can Rule Together: Parodied.
    Crow: (as the mantis) We're very alike, you and I, General. Join me. No? You care too much, don't you? (laughs)
  • Notable Original Music: The country music, which Mike and the bots (bar Crow) listen to, to try and stay awake while Mike is piloting the Satellite.
  • "Your Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated, crapheads."
  • Running Gag: Mike and the Bots pointing out how stately the mantis looks when he's flying.
    • The crew actually having the mantis praying while it attacks.
      Crow: (as the mantis) O Blessed the Lord, of thee I sing - GET IT?! (attacks)
  • Shout-Out: The bomb worshipers and the subsequent planetary destruction by said bomb is a clear reference to Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
  • Take That: "Hopefully John Madden was on that bus."
    • "Maybe the army shouldn't have recruited Keith Moon..."
    • "Still, that was sadder than Terms Of Endearment."
    • The Army scrambles fighter jets to take down the Mantis:
    Army General: That'll put [the giant mantis] over Newark in a few minutes.
    Servo: Great! We can solve two problems at once!
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Mike's great-granddaughter looks like Mike in a blonde wig.