Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 08 E 15 Agent For HARM
Film watched: Agent for H.A.R.M.
The MST3K presentation contains these tropes:
- Acting for Two: The Judge and Observer are both played by Bill Corbett.Bill: ...when Brain Guy took the stand, Paul [Chaplin] sat in as the Judge. This is noticeable on not-so-close scrutiny, since I weigh roughly four times what Paul does, and it shows in the face.
- Actor Allusion: One of the thugs is almost a dead ringer for Prince, and as a result the riffs fly fast and furious.
- Especially since Prince is from Minnesota.
- The Alcoholic: Adam's boss (mainly because he is played by Wendell Corey).
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:Judge: Michael J. Nelson, you are charged with crimes against man and nature.Mike: So that "failure to yield" finally went to bench warrant, huh? I knew I should've...Judge: No, but now that we know about that we'll add that to the charges.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Mike and the bots find it amusing how Adam Chance growls "Drive!" to a mook, that they do an exaggerated version of that growl twice afterwards.Servo: (growling) How do you like my grizzly bear impression?Mike: (in a deep-throated growl) Driiiiiiive.
- Callback: One short musical note reminds Mike and the bots of Torgo's theme song.
- Cluster Bleep Bomb: Crow's testimony at Mike's trial.Crow: Is This Thing On? Hi! I'm Crow T. Robot and I'm here to tell you that Mike Nelson is innocent. Mike Nelson is 200 % [bleep]ing not guilty. And if you [bleep]s don't [bleep] find him innocent, then you can just [bleep]ing kiss my fat [bleep]ing [bleep]. And that [bleep]ing goes for your bull[bleep] court system, too! Mike, I'm so [bleep]ing sorry I couldn't [bleep]ing be there for this [bleep]ing [bleep]y really bogus trial, man. But let me [bleep] tell ya something, Nelson. If I was there, I'd [bleep]ing kick everyone's fat stupid [bleep]ing behinds and then cram it up their [bleep]ing [bleep]. Anyway, Mike, buddy, I hope this [bleep] helps. Take care, Mike.
- Conviction by Contradiction: Bobo completely demolishes Observer's testimony during Mike's trial thanks to his encyclopedic knowledge of pies.
- The full scene is funny on a different level for those who know a thing or two about apple pies. Observer's whole testimony is more or less a litany of pie-baking don'ts, and the point Bobo "catches" him on is the least offender of the bunch.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The trial, with tons of Chiaroscuro.
- Directed by Cast Member: This is the first episode where the host segments were directed by Mike Nelson.
- Fun with Acronyms:Mike: Oh, that stands for Huge Angular Red Marshmallows.Crow: Hirsute Astronauts Revile Massachusetts.Servo: Heuristic Analog Rental Meat!Mike: So "HARM" stands for "Hot And Ready, Ma'am".(For the record: According to the big board in Adam's boss' office, it means "Human Aetiologicalnote Relations Machine.)
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Highlighted by this exchange:Ava: Are you coming, or do I swim alone?Crow (as Adam:) Yes, and yes.
- After Mike tries to strangle Bobo:Crow: Mike, why were you trying to choke the monkey?Mike: Because Bobo was being a... HEY!
- After Mike tries to strangle Bobo:
- Humans Are Bastards: An alien tribunal puts Mike Nelson, the Destroyer of Worlds himself on trial. The judge says Mike's actions are typical of mankind. However...
Mike: Oh, so it's one of those deals where I'm put on trial for all of humanity and their fate depends on my guilt or innocence?Judge: No, why are you trying to blame everyone else? You're the guilty one, don't try to drag everyone else down with you!
- Humanity on Trial: The judge chastises Mike as soon as he guesses that he's going through this trope.
- Insane Troll Logic: Pearl demolishes the Little Amish Boy's credibility as a witness, on the grounds that...she got some bad fudge at an Amish farm once. Not that calling a Little Amish Boy as a character witness for Mike in his trial was all that logical to begin with, but...
- Berserk Button: Pearl's accusation causes Bobo to vehemently defend Amish fudge as the finest in the world.
- Jail Bake: Crow and Servo bake a torte with a giant rasp sticking out of it for Mike. At least Gypsy is fooled.
- Kangaroo Court: It's Mike's own fault, ironically, since out of all the people he chose to come to his trial, he stupidly chose Bobo as his attorney and Pearl as his prosecution. Though, to be fair, they were chosen only because the judge is a Literal Genie who's also Sarcasm-Blind (although, as Mike admits, he clearly doesn't learn very fast).
- To be fair, Mike did request St. Therese of Lisieux as his prosecutor, but she was on a racketeering case for the Bronx D.A.
- Lie Back and Think of England:Mike: She's thinking of England, France, the entire European community, the Middle East...
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Trope Namer.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Crow and Servo partake in EXTREME YOGA and EXTREME PHILATELY! Mike tries to get into EXTREME RICE, but fails.
- One-Man Army: One soldier chasing the two escaping scientists across the Iron Curtain.Servo: In its final days, budget cuts reduced the Soviet army to one soldier.
- The Other Darrin: This episode marks Patrick Brantseg's debut as Gypsy. With the replacement of Jim Mallon, the entire original SOL crew have all been replaced by The Other Darrin (except for Joel, whose replacement is instead a Suspiciously Similar Substitute).
- Running Gag: Singing the James Bond theme everytime something doesn't happen.Servo: He maintains an appliance. DA-DA-DA-DAAH!
Servo (as Adam strangles the preppy henchman with a coat hanger): Pops, there's a man giving a squish-squosh to the ol' wind tube!
- Mike and the bots also have a field day with the one henchman who looks like Prince.
- How the love interest supposedly looks like a baby.
- Referencing the hero's cardigan sweaters.
- Talking in a New England lockjaw whenever a preppy-looking henchman shows up.
- Character's stopping midway through a conversation to walk across the room to stand closer together.
- Shout-Out: A lot, as is par for the course for MST3K. One notable shoutout is to The Three Stooges.Servo: I will Agent For Haaaaaaaaaaarm you!
- The little Amish boy on the stand is a reference to Witness.
- Southern-Fried Genius: Bobo suddenly turns into Matlock for much of the trial, with some Peyton Place thrown in.Bobo: You know, folks, we're gonna hear the word "panties" used a lot in this trial so let's get them giggles out now. Panties, panties, panties, panties, panties, panties. (long pause) Panties, panties, panties...