Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 10 E 09 Hamlet

Film watched: Hamlet

Hamlet: To be, or not to be.
Mike: The verbal equivalent of "Duh-duh-duh-DUM"!

Mike wins a bet with Pearl and gets to choose the movie of the week, so he picks the Bard's masterpiece, Hamlet. Unfortunately, Pearl picks the version they'll watch, just to spite him...

The MST3K treatment of Hamlet provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Pearl forwards mail to allow Mike to stay in contact with his family.
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: One of the skits has Mike hosting a gameshow called Alas Poor Who? where the bots are shown random bones and have to guess whom they belonged to.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Mike wanted to see a film version of Hamlet. Pearl complied... by presenting him with a poorly made version made in Germany.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: When the bots try to pass themselves off as the ghost of Mike's father. Upon learning that he's alive, they try every other conceivable relative and get the same result.
    Crow: Don't your relatives ever die?!
  • Call Back: When tricking Pearl into playing a fixed game of 3-Card Monte and raising the stakes for the final round, Mike imitates Geronimo's Catch Phrase from Final Justice, the previous episode.
    Mike: You think you can take me? Go 'head on, it's your move.
  • Camp Gay: Fortinbras.
    Observer: He made me look butch.
  • Freud Was Right: In-Universe, Mike and the bots take the play's subtext to its funniest conclusion. It could also be they were just referencing another classic piece of theater.
    Tom Servo: Hamlet, get off your mom!
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Used in one of the riffs.note 
    Hamlet: Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander till he find it stopping a bunghole?
    Tom Servo: Eww!
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: invoked Mike and the 'bots get some mileage from Ricardo Montalban doing the ADR for Claudius.
  • It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: In the first host segment, Tom declares that his last name is spelled "Sirveaux" (still pronounced "Servo"). Then he reveals his first name is now "Htom" (pronounced "Heh-Tom", though Mike had thought it would be "T-H-O-M"). Crow looks at Cambot in disbelief, then declares "Well, Htom, why don't you hlick me?"
    • Hypocritical Humor: After the commercial break, Crow decides to start spelling his name Cröe.
      Crow: Purse your beak.
      Mike: I'll purse your beak!
  • Name's the Same: invoked A guy named Paul Verhoeven plays the gravedigger.
  • Noodle Incident: Meta example. The official episode guide names the "Alas Poor Who?" sketch as "series-cancelling," but doesn't elaborate.
  • Pungeon Master:
    • Mike and the bots have a lot of fun with the now-archaic-sounding Shakespeare-lingo:
    Claudius: Forgive me my foul murder.
    Crow: It's just that that turkey was mouthing off to me.
    • And:
    Hamlet: I shall not look upon his like again.
    Crow: Why were you looking at his like?
  • Running Gag:
    • "Cut his throat in a church!"
    • Another is Mike and the bots' disdain for the many long monologues in the movie.
    • During Hamlet's meeting with the ghost of his father, 99% of the scene focuses on Hamlet himself (presumably interpreting the spirit as a delusion.) Mike and the 'Bots make jokes about the director making panicked orders to switch cameras to the ghost.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Pearl invokes the trope directly.
    Pearl: [after dealing with Fortinbras] Is it me? Am I a magnet for these idiots?!note