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 done 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.
  • Doomed by Canon: The first shot of Ophelia has Servo saying as her, "Oh, I love life!"
  • Ending Fatigue: Invoked by the crew during Hamlet's (admittedly quite drawn-out) death scene.
  • Exact Words: Mike should never have allowed Pearl to pick which production. He calls out Zeffirelli and Branagh, but gives Pearl enough wiggle (he DID, after all, say "your choice"...) and she chooses Observer's suggestion of one filled with "Germans" and "bratwurst".
    Pearl: Okay, you get Hamlet. Oh boy, do you get Hamlet!
  • 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!
  • Limited Wardrobe: Invoked as the riffers point out how Gertrude wears the same dress for every occasion.
    Mike: [During Ophelia's funeral] Man, that really is an all-purpose dress.
  • My Nayme Is: 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?"
    Mike: So, we should start calling you "Sirveaux" now?
    "Sirveaux": That's right.
    Gypsy: What if we called you "Servo"?
    "Sirveaux": I won't respond.
    • Hypocritical Humor: After the commercial break, Crow decides to start spelling his name Cröe.
      Crow: No no, Cruuuuuuue, Cruuuuuuuee; purse your beak.
      Mike: I'll purse your beak!
  • Name's the Same: invoked A guy named Paul Verhoeven plays the gravedigger.
  • 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:
    Claudius: Bring us the foils!
    Crow: We shall some potatoes bake.
    Hamlet's Father: It was murder most foul.
    Crow: He killed a chicken?!
  • Railing Kill: Servo gleefully assumes based on the set design there will be plenty of these.
  • 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.
  • Shell Game: Mike's 3 Card Monte of "find the lady [the Queen]".
    • Fixing the Game: Mike, naturally.
    • The Mark: Pearl, who falls for it hook, line and sinker.
    • Genre Savvy: Observer, who warns Pearl to no avail.
    • Comically Missing the Point: Bobo.
      Bobo: Oh, I get it! The lady is the Queen!
      Pearl: Here, drink this. (hands him her vial of supervirus, which he downs immediately.)
  • Shout-Out:
    • As Ophelia is buried:
    Laertes: Hold the earth a while!
  • Weirdness Magnet: Pearl brings up the trope directly.
    Pearl: [after dealing with Fortinbras] Is it me? Am I a magnet for these idiots?!note