* AccidentallyCorrectWriting: The "Johnny Long-Torso" invention exchange just before ''Film/MonsterAGoGo'', which featured an action figure that was sold in pieces to create more revenue. The episode was released in 1993, but anyone familiar with the modern-day video game industry (or the "Build a Figure" accessories meant to ensure that fans will buy every figure in the current assortment) will find the episode chillingly prophetic.
* ActingInTheDark: None of the actors in the 2017 revival were told who Kinga's mother was.
** In an interview with Matt McGuinness (the writer/producer who also plays the guy in the purple jumpsuit that randomly appears in Carnival Magic), he sounded just as confused about what will happen with the man in the purple jumpsuit as everyone else.
* ActorAllusion: Lots of them, if an actor is most famous for another role, like [[Series/GilligansIsland Alan Hale or Russell Johnson]]. And every time Creator/PeterGraves shows up, you can expect a [[IncrediblyLamePun host]] of ''Biography'' jokes, and at least one ''Series/MissionImpossible'' reference.
** And because Peter Graves showed up in so many [[MysteryScienceIndex3000 MST'ed]] movies another gag was referencing his role in the ''last'' film they saw him in.
** The writers were quite proud of themselves for limiting themselves to only two ''Series/TheBradyBunch'' refs in one film co-starring Robert Reed.
** They also did this for actors who weren't famous, for example the "Coffee? I like coffee" guy from Creator/ColemanFrancis films (Eric Tomlin), or Depressing Dad (Malcolm Atterbury) who showed up in several unrelated episodes, and yet somehow always played a really depressing dad.
** Possibly reached its zenith when they noticed an actor named Merritt Stone had showed up in several of the films they'd done, but no one was sure who he actually was. So the big running gag of ''Film/TheRebelSet'' is Mike and Crow giving the name to the train conductor (actually played by Gene Roth, who was ''another'' recurring actor), to which Tom keeps shouting "HE'S NOT MERRITT STONE!"
** Averted completely when no one at all noticed that ''Space Mutiny'''s spaceship was the ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|1978}}'' flying backwards.
** In the revival, [[{{Creator/FeliciaDay}} Kinga Forrester]] [[spoiler: singing a romantic duet with {{Creator/Neil Patrick Harris}}]] is one to her role in ''WebVideo/DrHorriblesSingAlongBlog''.
*** [[spoiler:Neil Patrick Harris' character, Neville Laroy, is a magician, which is also a passion of Harris' that has come up in some of [[Series/AmericanHorrorStoryFreakShow his]] [[Series/HowIMetYourMother other]] [[{{Series/Glee}} roles]].]]
** You could say [[spoiler: [[Creator/MarkHamill P.T. Mindslap]]]] has a lot of experience both [[spoiler: [[Franchise/StarWars in space]] and [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries with circuses]].]]
* AdoredByTheNetwork: Though it would wind up getting ScrewedByTheNetwork later, the old Comedy Channel considered [=MST3K=] its flagship show - when they merged with Ha! to become Creator/ComedyCentral, they threatened to cancel the merger if Ha! insisted on getting rid of [=MST3K=] in spite of the Comedy Channel's anonymity and Ha!'s comparative success. [=MST3K=] also scored an unprecedented three-year contract, which was a big factor in producing the stellar seasons 3, 4 and 5.
** The only reason the tenth season happened was because the departing director of programming at Sci-Fi was a huge fan and signed off on it as his final act of business on the network.
** Very much the case with Netflix, which even went to the trouble of making several short videos with Crow and Tom for its Youtube channel, including one where they pitch show ideas to the company's real life CCO!
* AllStarCast: The Return (comparatively speaking, at least). While Jonah and the bots are relative unknowns, we have Creator/WilWheaton and Erin Grey in the intro to the first episode as random Gizmonic employees, and Creator/FeliciaDay and Creator/PattonOswalt as the new Mads, and guest appearances by the likes of Creator/NeilPatrickHarris.
* AscendedFanon: The fans dubbed the apes' lab from ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S08E01RevengeOfTheCreature Revenge of the Creature]]'' to ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S08E04TheDeadlyMantis The Deadly Mantis]]'' "Deep Ape" since it was the first Mads base after Deep 13. While its only on-screen name was "the lab", Best Brains refers to it as "Deep Ape" anyway.
* CanonDiscontinuity: The show's crew insist on referring to the first Comedy Channel season as Season One, and the first season of the Netflix revival as Season 11. The KTMA season is referred to as "Season 0" or "Season K" (for "KTMA") by fans, or "a 22-episode-long pilot" according to Trace Beaulieu. This is even lampshaded at the end of the end of the ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S011E03TheTimeTravelers Time Travelers]]'' episode.
--> '''Kinga:''' Well, Max… that was the 200th episode of ''Mystery Science Theater 3000''! What an achievement!
--> '''Max:''' ''If'' you count the ''old'' series which we had nothing to do with! Technically, this was our ''third'' episode…
--> '''Kinga:''' Ok, come on! Disney celebrates fake anniversaries all the time! “Donald Duck turns 90,” “Mickey and Minnie’s 25th Anniversary,” ”The 40th Anniversary of Pulling ''Creator/SongOfTheSouth'' Off the Shelves,” I DON’T KNOW!
** IMDb considers the KTMA episodes as Season One and the Netflix series gets an entirely separate page.
* ChannelHop:
** From one KTMA season to two on the Comedy Channel. The latter channel merged with Ha! to become Comedy Central, and ''[=MST3K=]'' made the transition--staying for Seasons 3-7. Afterwards, Sci-Fi picked the series up for three more seasons.
** Also with their DVD releases. At first, they were handled by Rhino, then they switched to Creator/ShoutFactory, who eventually bought the show.
** They've channel hopped again, with the season 11 revival airing as a Netflix Original. This is even worked into the plot of the show as Kinga has to be constantly reminded that unlike previous seasons of MST3K, they're airing on Netflix which doesn't use traditional ratings, and thus her plan to make the show a ratings giant and sell to Disney cannot work as conceived.
* ColbertBump: Honestly, would anyone have known '''''anything''''' about some of the films riffed? The biggest beneficiary is ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate'' (a documentary, two sequels, some videogame adaptations), but ''Film/TimeChasers'', ''Film/TheFinalSacrifice'', ''Film/{{Hobgoblins}}'' and ''Film/TheGiantSpiderInvasion'' all benefited from being on ''[=MST3K=]''. It also led to new awareness of the oeuvre of Creator/ColemanFrancis, turning him into a serious challenger for Creator/EdWood's "Worst Director Ever" crown.
* CreativeDifferences:
** Joel Hodgson famously left due to disagreements with Jim Mallon involving the direction the show should take in the future.
** Josh Weinstein also left due to creative differences, specifically over whether riffs should be ad-libbed or scripted.
* CreatorCouple: Mike Nelson is married to Bridget Jones (no, not ''[[Literature/BridgetJones that]]'' [[Literature/BridgetJones one]]) who was also a writer on the show and occasional actress, most famously playing Flavia during the Ancient Rome arc in season 8. Bonus points for when Mike had to, and could not, flirt with Flavia.
** Rebecca Hanson who plays Gypsy and Synthia in addition to being a show writer, is married to fellow writer Tim Ryder (who plays Bone Head #1, and played Tom Servo on the ''Watch Out For Snakes'' tour in place of Barron Vaughan who was on paterninty leave).
* CrossDressingVoices: Gypsy was voiced by several men during the show's original run. It wasn't until the 2017 relaunch that she started being voiced full-time by a woman.
* TheDanza: Michael J. Nelson played a character named... Michael Nelson. He's the biggest example but not the only one. Frank Conniff played TV's Frank and Joel also played a character named Joel, though he at least changed his character's last name from Hodgson to Robinson, except in the pilot and KTMA episodes, in which his character was also named Joel Hodgson.
** The change in Joel's name was due both to the creative team wanting a more recognizable last name for Joel and an intentional reference to ''Series/LostInSpace''.
** Carrying on the tradition, in Season 11 ("The Return"), Jonah Ray plays Jonah Heston.
* {{Defictionalization}}: An invention exchange (By the Mads no less!) became a reality on Feb 1st 2014 when Crest announced it was going to bring out CHOCOLATE toothpaste! Hope Deep 13 gets a portion of the royalties.
** The [[http://www.bikeforest.com/tread/index.php Treadmill Bike]] (available now for over a decade) is hilariously similar to [[http://mst3k.wikia.com/wiki/File:FrankExercise.PNG Frank's mobile treadmill]] from Season 2.
* ExecutiveMeddling: Despite signing a show renewal contract saying that they would not re-air Season 1 of the series, Comedy Central did just that. They also reran the "special edition" version of episode 701 (''Night of the Blood Beast'') that aired as part of the 1995 "Turkey Day" marathon, prior to Season 7's official start.
** When the show went on Sci-Fi, the network demanded that there be "story arcs". Kevin tried to explain that "there is no story arc in a puppet show!", but they didn't listen. The result is the stories of Bobo, Brain Guy, the camping planet, and the Rome arc. Unfortunately, since Sci-Fi haphazardly would air 3-4 episodes then rerun them (often out of order none the less), this forced them to have to include recaps at the start of each episode to fill fans in. And then, to add injury to insult, Sci-Fi ordered them to cut the number of host segments in half!
** Comedy Central's shoddy treatment of the show was one of the reasons [[Creator/PennAndTeller Penn Jillette]] quit as their spokesman.
*** Joel, during his 2014 AMA said that black and white movies riffed during the early years were blue tinted as Comedy Central thought that people would not see the difference between the Shadowrama and the film.
** Sci-Fi Channel (during Seasons 8-9) demanded that the show could only feature sci-fi, horror, or fantasy related movies, though the staff tended to find rather loose definitions of the concept in order to create variety. It wasn't until Season 10 that they were allowed to do drama films again (''Film/GirlInGoldBoots'', ''Film/FinalJustice'')...though in this case it was because the show was essentially going to get cancelled anyway and nobody at the network cared anymore.
*** In a more extreme case, ''Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie''. It was so botched that the cast ended up having to vent their anger in a Season 7 episode where they had Crow's idea for a film be butchered in similar fashion.
** In-universe example: Mike, acting as a studio exec, completely altering Crow's TV series treatment of ''Film/TheFinalSacrifice''. Now, the title is different, the show is set in America instead of Canada (possibly UsefulNotes/{{Pittsburgh}}; [[UsefulNotes/{{Vancouver}} but they'll still shoot the film in Canada]]), the main character (now with [[GenderFlip a different gender]] and name) is living in an apartment with a bunch of other girls (thus [[GenreShift completely changing the genre]]). Also, Mike wants recurring, "tasteful" full frontal nudity of Rowsdower.
*** The FCC [[MoralGuardians would certainly]] have [[SarcasmMode a ball with that!]]
-->'''CROW:''' "...but, ''Rowsdower''..."
-->'''MIKE:'''...A BIG HAIRY GIRL!"
* FanCommunityNicknames: The show's viewers are known as "[=MSTies=]" (or, less frequently, "Misties").
* KeepCirculatingTheTapes: They were the trope namers, after all. Almost all episodes that haven't been legally released can be found on Website/YouTube easily.
** Poopie II is INCREDIBLY hard to find, so much some fans don't even know there ''was'' a second tape. Half of it is available on the Volume 10 set, but the rest is unavailable. However, those who ''have'' seen it [[{{Sequelitis}} don't think it's as good as the first]].
*** Found unlisted on [[https://youtu.be/JGeTZd20a_Q YouTube]] after much searching.
*** It also contains a scene where Trace's lip starts to bleed after Mary Jo accidentally hits him with a trombone. [[DudeNotFunny There was lots of raging about it]].
** Shout! Factory has announced that 12 episodes of the classic series may never be licensed, and unless that changes, Volume [=XXXIX=] is the final release of the classic series. Those episodes include ''Film/RocketshipXM'', ''Film/GodzillaVsMegalon'', ''Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster'', ''Film/TheAmazingColossalMan'', ''Film/ItConqueredTheWorld'', ''Film/FireMaidensFromOuterSpace'', ''The Eye Creatures'', ''Film/TerrorFromTheYear5000'', ''Film/IWasATeenageWerewolf'', ''Film/TheDeadlyBees'', ''Film/TheSpaceChildren'', and ''Film/QuestOfTheDeltaKnights''.
* MarathonRunning: On UsefulNotes/ThanksgivingDay, during the Comedy Central era; they called each one the "Turkey Day" marathon. Best Brains would produce special host segments and bumpers to tie the episodes together. One year they had Creator/AdamWest hosting. The show premiered Thanksgiving 1988.
** They were less than thrilled when it came around on them, and previously planned episode air dates were [[ScrewedByTheNetwork abruptly preempted by marathons of other Comedy Central shows.]] So much so that they cut a promo for their next episode where they talked openly about the possibility of being preempted yet again. (As an additional TakeThat, the promo featured an appearance by CC's then-opaque and very intrusive network bug.)
* McLeaned: Doctor Forrester was killed offscreen by his own mother in between Seasons 7 and 8, due to Trace Beaulieu leaving the show.
* MilestoneCelebration: The Turkey Day marathons held for much of the Comedy Central years were, in essence, this, since the show premiered on Thanksgiving. Creator/ShoutFactory, the show's home-video distributor, revived the tradition with the help of Website/{{Reddit}}, Website/YouTube, and Joel Hodgson himself to promote the 25th anniversary DVD set. Season 11 episode 3, "The Time Travellers", was the 200th episode.
* MissingEpisode: There are two types.
** The first is the kind where they can't clear the film rights for home video release, and are therefore ''[[KeepCirculatingTheTapes legally]]'' missing. At any given time about half the series falls under that header, but Website/YouTube and file-sharing make it a non-issue.
** The second is the kind that are really, legitimately missing, as in nobody has access to them even through more underhanded means. There are only three of these; the first three KTMA (local broadcast) episodes--understandably so, as the series had yet to find a fanbase (and thus no one recorded the episodes) and aired only in one market (driving down the number of potential tape holders). Jim Mallon, the show's executive producer, recently revealed he had copies of said episodes, which he had converted to digital media and put up clips on [[http://mst3k.com the show's official site]]. However, the movie rights for those three episodes remain uncleared, and ([[OldShame due to the crew's low opinion of their KTMA work]]) are unlikely to see release any time soon, and are therefore still not accessible and therefore still missing.
** As of November 2016, the first two KTMA episodes have been released, as part of a promotional package for the upcoming release of Season 11 (the first revival season).
** And then there's the "lost short". There were, at one point, plans for an [=MST3K=] CD-ROM. As part of the bonuses on the disc, riffs of two shorts were filmed, ''AssignmentVenezuela'' and ''What's It To You'', the latter being a promotional piece for Mylar. When the CD-ROM was canceled, the shorts vanished. A work print of ''Assignment Venezuela'' was found and released on DVD alongside ''Film/TheKillerShrews'', but ''What's It To You'' has vanished entirely; not even the script is believed to exist.
* NamesTheSame:
** No, the Josh Weinstein from this show is not the former writer for ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. This is why he goes by J. Elvis Weinstein now.
** It's also not the same Kevin Murphy who was a writer and producer on ''Series/DesperateHousewives''.
** No, the Bridget Jones who wrote on the show and played Mr. B Natural and Flavia is not [[Film/BridgetJonesDiary that one]]. Averted with her most recent projects since she goes by her married name Bridget Nelson now.
* NetworkToTheRescue: When the Comedy Channel picked up [=MST3K=], it was a little-known, low-rating cable network which was losing viewers to the more popular HA! Network. HA! offered Comedy Channel a merger to boost profits for all involved, but saw the Channel's lineup as being of little value and wanted to scrap the lot of it. Comedy Channel, however, saw [=MST3K=] as their flagship series and ''refused to go through with the merger if it the show wasn't kept around.'' HA! relented, and not only picked the show up again but signed it for three, 26-episode seasons on the initial contract, and increased its per-episode budget so it wouldn't have to rely on public-domain films. A few years later, Comedy Central, the network formed out of the merger, suddenly had no love for the show that basically put it on the map and canceled it.
** This is when [[Creator/{{Syfy}} Sci Fi Channel]] stepped in--fans ran a full-page ad in Variety begging someone to pick up the show, and so they did. Unfortunately, after two years of no ratings increase, the show was put on the chopping block once again. However, Sci-Fi's departing director of programming was a huge fan of the show and signed them for a tenth and final season [[DyingMomentOfAwesome as one of his final acts.]]
* NoBudget:
** The Comedy Channel/Central episodes generally featured 5-6 actors (The Mads, Joel/Mike, Tom, Crow, and sometimes Gypsy), three sets (The Mads' lab, the Satellite of Love, and the theater) and a 20+ year old bomb of a movie that they got the license for cheap, assuming it wasn't public domain and acquired for free.
** The KTMA episodes were even ''more'' apparent with this. The 5-6 actors sometimes had to work around their outside schedules, resulting in some cases of AbsenteeActor (even Joel missed [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S03E06TimeOfTheApes one episode]]), every one of the theatre segments were improvised, the Mads' set was ''blatantly'' the studio's editing room, and they only ever used on puppet for every character. This last one may not seem like a big deal, but it resulted in the film being visible through Servo's dome.
* NoExportForYou: Technically this applies to the whole series (aside TheMovie in some regions) due its nature, but due the KeepCirculatingTheTapes mentality this isn't such big of a problem when it comes to the first 10 seasons of the show. Where it gets very unfortunate is with the season 11, since the series is only released on Netflix in English speaking regions. Due the fact that Netflix has been very aggressive against use of proxies and VPN's since 2016, this is very unfortunate, expecially to those Kickstarter backers on lower donation tiers.
* OlderThanYouThink: In Mike's first episode as host ("The Brain That Wouldn't Die"), the invention he presents is the Gutter-Bumber-Chute; an umbrella with gutters to keep washed off rain from getting you wet. As it turns out, Mike wasn't the first person to come up with this, as there exists a ''WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck'' comic book from 1963 showing Daffy using this very same invention!
* OldShame: They requested that Comedy Central cease airing Season 1 episodes shortly before Season 4's premiere, although they still recycled some of the better material.
** To quote the [=MST3K=] Colossal Episode Guide: "Q: Why have you requested Comedy Central not air the season 1 episodes? A: Because they weren't very good."
** Also the KTMA episodes. As Joel explained in the "So Happy Together" retrospective (from Shout Factory's ''[=MST3K=]: Gamera'' DVD release):
-->'''Joel Hodgson:''' We don't count any of the KTMA's as "real" shows. I mean, granted, if people really love ''Mystery Science Theater'' and they feel they must go back and watch them, I think it's fine just to kind of learn about like, what it was like when we were starting out. But none of us feel really great about them, because we just weren't writing them. It was just the beginning of it. But along the way, we figured it out.
* TheOtherDarrin: Tom Servo's, Crow's, and Gypsy's voice actors were all eventually replaced.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when Mike turns briefly into a "werecrow" and Crow tells him, "Your voice will change about every seven years."
*** Beginning in the season where his voice changes, Crow's line in the opening song changes to "I'm different!" in his new voice (the only thing different about him).
** Also lampshaded in the first episode of the SciFi era (and presumably when the voice-change happened) where Mike actually realizes that Crow's voice has changed and keeps on calling him up on that fact.
*** And again in the ''Film/{{Soultaker}}'' episode, when Joel comes back and immediately notices that Crow sounds different: "Oh, you changed your bowling pin!"
** When Murphy replaced Weinstein as Servo's voice actor, it was explicitly explained as Joel tweaking Servo's voice box and personality.
*** Apparently an irate fan sent them a large banner that read "I HATE TOM SERVO'S NEW VOICE!", which Kevin Murphy proudly hung in the Best Brains offices. Years later, Bill Corbett received a nearly identical note, which he interpreted as good-natured hazing from the fans.
*** Weinstein, at ''WebVideo/CinematicTitanic'' live shows, will frequently introduce himself as "the Tom Servo you don't like as much."
** Weinstein voiced Crow in the very first KTMA episode, ''Invaders from the Deep'', one of the episodes released in late 2016 as a bonus episode for Kickstarter supporters. Tom Servo doesn't appear at all, other than an off-hand reference to "Beeper".
** Magic Voice has changed performers more often than any of the others; in the first four seasons she was voiced by various female performers, most often Jahn Johnson and Alexandra Carr, before being played by Mary Jo Pehl in seasons 5 through 7, and then Beth "Beez" [=McKeever=] in the Sci-Fi seasons.
** All three bots get new voice actors yet again in the season 11 revival. Gypsy is handwaved as having been tweaked by Jonah, but the changes to Crow's and Servo's voices are left unexplained.
* OutOfOrder: A common practice in the Sci-Fi era was to air a season's episodes seemingly at random, which wouldn't have made much impact in the old days -- if not for the fact that they also kept demanding the show contain story arcs. The crew at Best Brains was eventually left so frustrated that they had to tag "Previously On..." bumpers on the broadcast versions just to keep things coherent.
* ThePeteBest: Josh Weinstein. Josh was only 17 years old when the Comedy Channel picked up the show. The age gap between him and the other performers, as well as his objection to the less improvisational and more scripted new nature of the show after its transfer to cable, caused friction which led to his leaving the cast just as the show was beginning to take off nationally. Weinstein described his time on the show as being barely a step above being an unpaid intern as he felt his ideas for the show's direction were not being respected and dismissed out-of-hand because of his age. Even Hodgson, when asked why Weinstein left, dryly stated "He's 18 years old.".
* PopularityRedo: When the show made the jump from local low-budget KTMA to the cable station Comedy Channel, they reused some host sketches in their first season and revisited movies from the KTMA era in their third.
* PromotedFanboy:
** From the original series, Bill Corbett.
** Essentially ''everyone'' for season 11, especially Jonah Ray (as the new host) and Creator/PattonOswalt (as TV's Son of TV's Frank).
*** Jonah Ray was a life long fan and has previously cosplayed [[Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate Torgo]], complete with pizza box. He often cites MST3K as his inspiration for wanting to get into commedy in the first place, and has repeatedly said it's his dream job, and that they're taking the host role from his cold, dead hands.
*** Felicia Day got cast because she approached Joel at a convention once to get a selfie with him to make her brother (also a life long MSTie) jealous that she met Joel and he didn't. She once said that when she was 10 watching MST3K was the highlight of her week.
*** Patton Oswald had been hosting promotional spots for MST during its original run, opened for Cinematic Titanic and hosted a few reunion show panels prior to being cast in the revival.
*** Rebecca Hanson, who plays Gypsy and Pearl's clone Synthia, used watch mass amounts of MST3K on [[KeepCirculatingTheTapes recorded tapes]], and her comedy was influenced by the show's. She first got on Joel's radar when she approached him, Trace, and Frank at an autograph booth, and Joel told her he recognized her and the other performers with her from their Second City work.
* RealLifeRelative: At the end of the Comedy Central finale, Trace Bealieu's father made a brief cameo as an extremely-aged Dr. Forrester in a parody of ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''.
** Additionally, Mike Nelson's real-life wife, Bridget Jones ([[NamesTheSame no, not]] ''[[NamesTheSame that]]'' Literature/BridgetJones) appeared several times, including as Film/MrBNatural, Lisa Loeb, Nuveena, Flavia, and Slicer the Nanite. She was also one of the actresses who portrayed Magic Voice before Mary Jo Pehl took over permanently. Bridget was also one of the show's writers, including a stint as a full-time member of the writing staff from season 4 onward.
** Kevin Murphy's late cocker spaniel, Humphrey, played the "wolf" Pearl attempts to use in her experiment to create a werewolf. Humphrey also appeared as the dog everyone holds in their "About the Author" pictures in the ''Amazing Colossal Episode Guide''.
** Felica Day's brother is an extra in ''The Return''. Fittingly, she got cast in the first place because she went out of her way to get a selfie with Joel at a con to make her brother jealous.
** Rebecca Hanson, the voice of Gypsy, is married to Tim Ryder, who plays one of the boneheads.
* RetroactiveRecognition: Michael J. Nelson really stands out now during his bit parts during the Joel years, even more so than other writers like Paul Chaplin or Bridget Jones. The same can be said about Mary Jo Pehl to a lesser extent after joining Deep 13 in Season 7.
* RoleReprisal: During the revival's Kickstarter fundraising phase, [[WordOfGod Joel]] made it clear that, despite his wanting to [[TheOtherDarrin recast]] the protagonists, any surviving members of the original series who wished to play their mads for the new season would be welcomed with open arms. [[spoiler:Mary Jo Pehl, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett took up his offer, reprising Pearl Forrester, Professor Bobo and The Observer respectively in several episodes.]]
* ScrewedByTheNetwork: ''Twice''.
** In the case of Sci-Fi, Mike Nelson maintains that Bonnie Hammer, after taking charge at the network, said one of her priorities was, "I'm going to kill that #$%&@*! puppet show."
** With Comedy Central it was a new president (Doug Herzog) cutting the show loose as part of YoungerAndHipper makeover for the network, but Herzog's tone-deaf handling of the situation made things worse.
* TalkingToHimself: There was always at least one actor overlapping between the mad scientists and the 'bots. It got even worse in the Sci-Fi Channel era, when both Tom and Crow's actors were also playing Pearl's assistants.
** That was true in [[OlderThanTheyThink season one]], as well.
** Taken to absurd levels in ''Film/TheAtomicBrain'' when Trace Beaulieu's two characters imitate one another ([[BadImpressionists neither impression is all that accurate]] but Crow does a better Dr. Forrester than vice versa).
** The tradition is alive and well in Season 11, though this time it's Gypsy and Synthia.
* ThrowItIn: The crew frequently left in the less serious bloopers -- robots falling apart, the actors cracking up at each other's lines, et cetera -- because they felt it added a certain something to the show.
** One particular example would be a skit they did when Crow got fried by Servo's DeathRay. Crow's little fire on his head after being shot wasn't supposed to spread to his eyeballs, so his head burst into flame and he started screaming, giving a literal spin of the [[EyeScream appropriate trope]].
-->'''Crow''': ... Oh, my ''God''. Well, I'll be in my trailer.
** Ever wonder why Joel always sounds kind of dazed and lethargic? It's because the first episode was filmed after Joel Hodgson had gone four days without sleeping, having been running about making sure that filming would go off without a hitch. The result was basically his spaced-out persona from his stage act turned UpToEleven.
** During the short before ''Film/RobotMonster'', Servo's puppeteer [[http://youtu.be/MDIudeaZYis?t=5m11s sneezes loudly while in the theatre]] and (inadvertently or on purpose) jerks the puppet. The cast treat it as though it was ''Servo'' who sneezed and keep going, with Crow telling him 'gesundheit' and Joel patting him on the shoulder and giving a confused [[LampshadeHanging "You're not supposed to do that."]]
** ''Any'' time a bot gets damaged - even in takes that ''aren't'' used, Trace and Kevin always remained in character. For example, when Crow and Servo are dressed as ninjas and horse playing with "Snacktion" action snacks, at the end of the skit, Crow knocks Servo's head off accidentally, to which Servo freezes and Crow sheepishly states, "Uh... I broke him."
** In the first segment from "Zombie Nightmare", Servo and Crow are tackling Mike as Secret Service Agents "for his protection", constantly thinking there's a gun somewhere ready to shoot Mike. When his foot is exposed, they yell, "Foot!" and pound it back down. Servo's head inevitably pops off - to which Crow screams, "HEAD!" and both bots scream panicked, before a cut to the bumper.
** In the KTMA days, Gypsy was portrayed as a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} prone to bizarre non-sequitors rather than the wise TeamMom she became soon afterward. But one aspect of this portrayal ended up sticking: Upon her being asked "What's two plus two?" she responded "Richard Basehart," which evolved into her being a huge fan of the obscure actor.
** Jonah's Kaiju Rap (Every Country Has a Monster) was all one take. Jonah didn't plan on having the wood figures haphazardly fall everywhere, but when it happened Joel told the team to leave it in as it added a bit of the home made charm from the original series (seeing as how that number was the WinTheCrowd moment of season 11 for many it seems to have worked). You can actually see him give a brief OhCrap expression directly to the camera before deciding to just keep going. And it almost never happened. The take before this they got through the song perfectly, but on the zoom in for Movie Sign the camera became misaligned and it couldn't be fixed in post.
* TrollingCreator: When Joel Hodgson was replaced by Mike Nelson as the show's main character, online communities were abound with flame wars between [[BrokenBase two halves of the fandom arguing over which of them was better]]. Joel confessed in an interview he once intentionally added fuel to the fire by anonymously commenting in these forums that he thought Mike was better than his own character just to see people bitch about it.
* TropeNamer: ''[=MST3K=]'' is the TropeNamer for following tropes:
** AndHisEyesOpen
** DullSurprise
** TheFreelanceShameSquad
** JustEatGilligan
** KeepCirculatingTheTapes
** KungFoley
** MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds
** TheMountainsOfIllinois
** {{MST}}
** MST3KMantra [[InvokedTrope ]] (...repeat to yourself "It's just a [[{{Trope}} trope"]] / I should really just relax...)
** NextSundayAD
** NightmareFuel [[InvokedTrope ]]
** NightmareFuelStationAttendant [[InvokedTrope ]]
** PinocchioSyndrome
** RailingKill
** RobotRollCall (Cambot! Gypsy! Tom Servo! [[MemeticMutation CROOOOOOOW!]])
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Many of the episodes' riffs and host segments deal with pop culture around the time they originally aired (Mike Nelson is Lord of the Dance, Mystos, etc.) According to Kevin Murphy in some behind-the-scenes material, they tried their best to avoid this trope. The official Website/YouTube channel now releases official annotated episodes of the show to help explain some of the more dated pop culture references. It helps that many references were obscure even at the time the show was airing, so now the "period" riffs just fall into the same category as, say, the ''Series/ElectraWomanAndDynaGirl'' reference in the ''Film/OperationDouble007'' episode.
** For fans of Creator/ChrisFarley, the [=MST3K=] guide and ''Film/OverdrawnAtTheMemoryBank'' may be cruel (even if it's mostly criticizing the films than the man).
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** Before Creator/ComedyCentral canceled the show, they offered the crew a deal: reformat the show so that it would run in a thirty minute time slot and have Mike and the 'bots make fun of TV shows, not films.
** Gramercy Pictures had a choice between ''Film/BarbWire'' and ''[=MST3K: The Movie=]'' to back with a full ad campaign and theater spread. They chose the former. ("[[http://www.agonybooth.com/recaps/Barb_Wire_1996.aspx Even still]], [[http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?view=main&yr=1996&wknd=16&sort=avg&order=DESC&p=.htm in its first weekend it had a higher per-theater average than even the number one movie in the country.]] So, just imagine the business it could have done [[InvisibleAdvertising if people had actually known it was out.]]")
** Once in a while, you can catch a glimpse of someone's mouth moving in the theater (this is most prominent with Crow) but no one says anything.[[note]]This is occasionally because the audio has been shifted in order to have better syncing; see the credits to ''Werewolf''.[[/note]] It's likely that they're saying jokes that were cut, flubbed or perhaps censored. One such example can be found in their riff of ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S04E24ManosTheHandsOfFate Manos: The Hands of Fate]]'':
---> '''Bride:''' The woman is all we want!
---> '''Crow:''' ''[Mouth moves, but nothing comes out]''
*** A confirmed example of this can be found by watching the rough cut of ''Film/ItLivesByNight'', where about 3/4 of the way through the movie, just before an ad break, Bill Corbett (as Crow) says "[[PrecisionFStrike Fucking]] squeak." After they stop recording, it's remarked that they'll have to mute that one, but he still got a laugh out of the others.
** During the 20th anniversary Comic-Con reunion panel, the cast was asked if they ever found a movie that was ''too'' bad to use for the show. They mentioned that a few movies they reviewed for use were great for their concept until certain scenes popped up - like, for instance, a rape scene - but out of all these they said that ''Film/ChildBride'' was the worst, with Kevin Murphy calling it "Appalachian kiddie porn".
** [[http://smellslikeinfinitesadness.com/an-interview-with-joel-hodgson-of-mystery-science-theater-3000/#sthash.TjngMXVL.dpuf Joel Hodgson mentions in this interview]] that, early on, he considered pitching the show to his friend Jerry Seinfeld for him to host. Seinfeld had to turn the offer down as he was in the midst of [[Series/{{Seinfeld}} working on his own show for NBC.]] Seinfeld would later do a cameo in Season 11's "Starcrash".
** Mike and the crew attempted to secure the rights to the infamous Creator/JohnTravolta and Creator/LilyTomlin 1978 "romance" ''Film/MomentByMoment'' but had said rights "[[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2007/08/22/DI2007082201850.html yanked from [them] at the last minute]]". Other films that had their rights pulled at the last minute included the ElvisPresley western ''Charro!'' and the Creator/LeonardNimoy PilotMovie ''Baffled!'', about a race car driver who turns psychic OccultDetective after a car crash.
** After Joel announced he was leaving, they actually auditioned outside talent to replace him, but, after he did well in a screen test, they decided that having Mike take over would make for a smoother transition.
** Apparently they considered doing the legendary ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace'', but decided not to because A) Criswell's narration would interrupt the riffing, and B) making fun of it was considered too easy and cliche, even back then. It later got the live Rifftrax treatment.
** ''Film/NightOfTheLepus'' was considered for a while (seeing as the jokes pretty much write themselves when giant killer bunny rabbits are involved) but its being from a major studio made the rights too troublesome to get. Though they still made a few references to it over the show's run, and it wound up on Podcast/{{Rifftrax}}.
** On the "Movie Sign With the Mads" Podcast, Frank Conniff revealed that, sometime between season 2 and 6, the crew had considered doing an episode on the failed ''ComicBook/DoctorStrange' PilotMovie, and apparently got well into the writing process for it before they were told that they couldn't use it due to rights issues.
** They tried to get the rights to ''Film/ACaseOfSpringFever'' for years before finally getting to riff it in the second-to-last episode. They even went so far as to make a host segment in ''Film/BrideOfTheMonster'' directly based on it, knowing full well the audience would have no idea what they were referencing.
** In the '''Mike, By Joel''' DVD featurette, Joel revealed that his top pick for his replacement was actually ''Bridget'' Nelson, with the switch happening when Joel gets hit [[GenderBender by a random beam from outer space that turns him into a woman]]. Understandably, no one else went for it.
* YouLookFamiliar: Mike played several small roles in the host segments (and most notably played the recurring role of [[Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate Torgo]]) before taking over as host.
** Overlapping some with CreatorCameo in ''The Return'' Joel plays Ardy (the maintenance guy in the hazmat suit who sends the movies up) and Santa Claus.

!!General Trivia
* Joel revealed an interesting bit of trivia in [[http://www.salon.com/2012/08/15/mystery_science_theater_host_yelling_at_the_screen_makes_us_smarter/ this interview]], which has a dose of HilariousInHindsight.
-->"I was really naive and as far outside of show business as you could get. I grew up in the Midwest. The first time I ever knew of a guy making movies anywhere near me was Bill Rebane. He did ‘Giant Spider Invasion’ not too far from where I lived. I remember him being on TV in Green Bay doing P.R. They were in the process of shooting, and he was trying to recruit people to be in this movie. That was my first experience, and it made me feel glamorous that it was even happening in my state.”
----