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Awesome / Mystery Science Theater 3000

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  • Santa Claus driving Pitch out of Deep 13: "I came to eat candy canes and kick ass, and I'm all out of candy canes!"
  • Bobo defeating the pod people in The Giant Spider Invasion.
    • And then you get a villainous example from Pearl, who does something not even her son did: resend the movie.
    • Earlier, Servo scaring away his Pod Clone by intimately and precisely listing the contents of his underwear collection.
  • The defeat of Timmy in Fire Maidens from Outer Space. "Get away from him, you bitch!"
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  • Tom Servo gets one in The Wild World of Batwoman; during the endless sequence of so-called "dancing" before the end card drops, he screams out with a fury that would have made Jake LaMotta quiver in fear: "END! EEEEENNNNNNNNND!!!"
  • MST3K also has a rare double-header CMoA. Mike Nelson beats Pearl in a game of three card monte, thus earning the right to choose the movie they watch. Mike picks Hamlet - and Pearl promptly turns the tables, sending him one of the worst screen adaptions of the Bard's work ever.
    • Heck, the mere fact that they were able to make Hamlet work with their show's format. This is one of their earliest efforts in riffing a work classically considered great. They continued to riff on classics when they moved to Rifftrax.
  • One truly great moment comes after the short Catching Trouble. The short is about a man named Ross Allen who catches animals for zoos and to sell as exotic pets, and it's one of the most uncomfortable shorts featured on MST3K thanks to all the scenes of animals crying in fear, being manhandled, tossed into a bag, and stolen away from their families and homes. So what do Joel and the Bots decide to do after watching this display of animal cruelty? They get out their dolls and film a skit called "Catching Ross", involving nature getting some well-earned revenge on Ross.
    • A sign of just how great this is: the volume of shorts that included "Catching Trouble" received complaints that it's no fun to watch without being followed by the cathartic "Catching Ross" skit.
    • In the same episode, the narrator of "Aquatic Wizards" refers to a Hispanic skier as a "Mexican jumping bean." The bots leap to rip him a new one, with Crow calling the narrator a "white fascist" and Tom making him seem pathetic.
    Tom: "Hah, but what do I know? I'm only a fat hick announcer, mowing down pretzels and pinwheel cookies, and trying to come to grips with the tattered ends of a once promising life gone horribly wrong, God, God, why, why?!"
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  • Crow's acknowledgment during Puma Man that Vadinho is the real hero of the movie. Much appreciated after all the attempts to sell the whiny, pathetic title character as the hero.
  • In the opening segments of The Beatniks, a quite out of character Joel torment the Bots by playing rock, paper, scissors, given how their hands don't work. Finally Gypsy has enough and rams right into him, knocking him over. "Gypsy crushes Joel!"
  • At the end of The Castle of Fu Manchu, Joel gives Dr. Forrester a "Reason You Suck" Speech. Keep in mind, just a few seconds before, Joel and the Bots were sobbing hoarsely, and the host segment before, they looked to be on the verge of collapse. Then, as Forrester and Frank are celebrating and awaiting the official surrender from the Satellite of Love, Joel comes back with this.
    "You haven't won, Dr. Forrester; you've lost. And I feel sorry for you. You're nothing but a sad little man in a hole in the ground who can only feel power by hurting others. Well, we won because, we survived, and we survived because, well, we're Robinsons, roughly. That's what Robinsons do is survive, basically, and well, if you think it's so easy, well, YOU should try and watch a movie sometime!"
    • Forrester actually takes up on the idea to watch the movie. He can't even make it a full two minutes. Hell, the fact that Joel and the Bots, despite sitting through this movie and crying through the host segments, did not surrender, much less kill themselves, is awesome in itself.
  • Tom Servo delivers the longest riff in MST3K history at the end of Manos: The Hands of Fate—a solid minute and five seconds without shutting up, over almost the entirety of the two next victims' car ride. He also manages to name, rapid-fire, celebrity look-alikes for all 30+ people in a crowd shot at the end of Warrior of the Lost World.
  • Crow's Cluster Bleep-Bomb in Agent for HARM.
  • The end of The Girl in Lover's Lane, when Joel and the 'bots reject the screenwriters' pointlessly cruel murder of a likeable female character and make up their own ending. With aliens. And pygmies. And dinosaurs. The MST3K staff were just as pissed off as their puppet alter-egos and got some catharsis from the sketch.
  • The "United Servo Academy Men's Chorus Hymn" from The Starfighters, in which Kevin Murphy as Tom Servo harmonizes with himself nine times over.
  • In one of the host segments during The Mad Monster, Joel pays tribute to the movie's mad science by switching Tom and Crow's heads. At first they complain, then, out of frikkin' nowhere...
    Tom: Do you like long walks in the rain?
    Crow: Chinese food?
    Tom: Mushing up your ice cream?
    [Joel shuts off the 'bots.]
    Joel: My robots. I think I'll keep 'em... turned off.
  • In the first episode of The Return, the very first invention exchange has Jonah show off the bubble fan, which actually looks like a lot of fun. Admit it, you want one.
    • The first invention exchange of the new series and it's just about the only one in the show's entire history that's an actual invention.
  • All the guys' disgust at Rock Hudson's character in Avalanche, including Crow saying he'll kill himself if his wife takes him back at the end after he was relentlessly harassing her throughout the movie's first half.
  • Jonah and the Bots figuring out that all of Kinga's inventions have been ripped off from one of their jokes in the previous episode in The Land That Time Forgot. Now there's a Rewatch Bonus for you.
  • Any time that Jonah points out something genuinely impressive from the movie:
    • In The Time Travellers, an actor's head appearing to be removed and replaced within the same shot that there was clearly someone in the robot suit.
    • In Avalanche the climax has two actual stunt people being dangled over a ravine.
    • In The Land That Time Forgot, the climax involves a bunch of flaming debris actually being thrown around near the actors.
    • In Wizards of the Lost Kingdom, a genuine explosion rather than the movie's typical cheesy visual effects, done near a couple actors.
    • In The Day Time Ended they're all quite offended that the quality stop motion work has such poor lighting.
  • In a word: Crabby. In Wizards of the Lost Kingdom, the riffers ascribe a whole lot of personality to the main villain's hat, turning a piece of wardrobe into an Ensemble Darkhorse in the process, basically taking their known tendency to dip into either Flanderization or Alternative Character Interpretation and taking it to a whole new level. To clarify: in the movie itself, Crabby isn't even a character, but he sure as hell is in the riffed version.
  • "Every Country Has a Monster," typically cited as the major Win the Crowd moment for the revival. It's especially impressive as Jonah had to keep track of all the models on the counter while singing, and he even manages to keep going after accidentally knocking a bunch of them over.
    • The following season openly calls the song out as a Tough Act to Follow, but still manages its own worthy challenger with "Concepts," a fast-paced Patter Song modeled after "Trouble" with Baron ably zipping through the whole thing without a single flub.
  • Dr. Erhardt returns, with his life apparently being one long Offscreen Moment of Awesome since he went missing. And he brings the news that Kinga's mother is none other than Kim Catrall.
  • Kinga finally figures out how Netflix works, and weaponizes it, making Jonah and the bots sit through "The Gauntlet," binge-watching six bad movies back-to-back-to-back. She also credits herself for "binge-producing" an entire season, and finally, with this relentless assault, succeeding where previous generations of Forresters failed (but see above for how that really turned out). Though she also seems to expect the audience will be similarly forced to do nothing but watch the entire season in one sitting; clearly, she still doesn't quite understand exactly how Netflix works.
  • Kingachrome. A pretty ludicrous concept; movies in liquid format. It's got drawbacks that make it basically useless. However, the idea of movies recorded in liquid gives the latest iteration of MST3K a character unique from previous ones, with bubbly "static" and movies being "flushed" up to the SoL. And finally, Kinga (actually Synthia) manages to invent a way to use the Kingachrome so you can drink it and play audio. Her plans to market it to soft drink companies would actually be a huge money maker... imagine taking a swig of your favorite soft drink and then being able to play your favorite Queen song just by opening your mouth. Awesome.
  • In Killer Fish we get a full blown musical number in the theater with every Bot, including musical accompaniment by Growler, with great singing chops, witty lyrics, and even as much choreography as the setting can provide. It's easily the most ambitious setpiece ever seen in the theater, and a promising sign of just how confident the new crew has gotten with what they can pull off.
  • At the end of The Gauntlet, Jonah turns the tables on the Mads in a way Joel and Mike could only dream of, building a theater in their own base and trapping them in it, all while putting on a perfect act of being mentally crushed by the six movie marathon so that they never suspected a thing. Plus, the implication is that the next season is going to be Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt doing the riffing, and everyone can get behind that. For more perspective: Joel escaped his own Mads thanks to a plan by Gypsy he was clueless about, and Mike escaped thanks to a total accident he also had nothing to do with, and all those Mads were still left free and clear to do it again if they wanted. Jonah, on the other hand, straight-up defeats Kinga and Max and leaves them stuck in the hell they created. Quite a comeback from seeming to be ignominiously killed at the end of the last season.


  • Shout! Factory declared in their press release regarding the release rights for the show that they would release every single episodes on DVD, legal difficulties in securing the film rights be damned. It seemed like it was all talk at the time. Then they secured the rights to, and subsequently released, all of the Gamera episodes. note 
    • For those not in the know, the Gamera episodes—and most of the show's Japanese-import-based Season 3 episodes, for that matter—had been unavailable for years because the guy in charge of importing them, Sandy Frank, pushed the rights fees through the roof to get a bigger paycheck.note  No one was both willing and able to pay him these fees, so these episodes languished in the vault; the prominent fansite MST3KInfo had the Gamera episodes and other Season 3 episodes featuring Japanese films categorized as "Extremely Unlikely" on this list of potential DVD releases.
    • Shout Factory one-upped themselves when they snagged the rights to some of the Universal and MGM films featured on the show, some of which were also listed as "Extremely Unlikely".
      • In September 2013, Shout Factory released a long-awaited special edition Blu-ray/DVD of MST3K: The Movie which included both the legendary deleted scenes and deleted riffs from the theater segments.
    • They topped themselves once more with Vol. 29 by finally tracking down the rights to Puma Man after years of the run-around. (The full episode is even on their YouTube page.)
    • Shout Factory making a very large number of episodes (over 100) available to stream for free. In addition, they're still attempting to make good on their promise to release every episode, as in August of 2020 Quest of the Delta Knights finally got an official release.
  • On Thanksgiving 2013, Shout Factory ran an MST3K Turkey Day marathon on YouTube, showing six episodes that fan consensus agreed were an awesome selection: Space Mutiny, I Accuse My Parents, Werewolf, Cave Dwellers, The Final Sacrifice, and Mitchell.
    • Joel got a moment of awesome in one of the bumpers by talking about how much he admired Mike's work on the show.
    • At various points during the night, #mst3k, #rowsdower, and #mitchell were some of the highest-trending tags on Twitter.
    • One bumper had Joel hoping Joe Don Baker—the star of Mitchell and Final Justice, and a man famed for hating MST3K—was having a happy Thanksgiving.
  • Shout ran a second Turkey Day marathon the year after; this one featured Trace Beaulieu reprising Crow and Josh Weinstein voicing (for the first time in something approaching 25 years) Tom Servo, which allowed them both to be more than quick cameos.
  • In 2015, Joel launched a Kickstarter for a reboot of the show. Within a week, it was $500,000 above its original $2 million minimum, which meant three full brand-new episodes. But the awesome did not stop there. With less than three hours left before the Kickstarter campaign ended, the fandom rallied together and pushed the grand total to nearly six million dollars, which allowed the revival's first season to be a full thirteen episode season. It made more money than the Kickstarter for Reading Rainbow, and it didn't even need Seth MacFarlane's help!
    • MST3K's success in reaching this goal should not understated. The donation total had stalled at just below $3m after the first week, and it did not go past $3m until after the 2015 Turkey Day marathon. Only during the campaign's last week did the money come pouring in like clockwork.
    • Thanks to additional donations from outside the Kickstarter, the show managed to secure a fourteenth episode on last day of the campaign, so Season 11 will have thirteen episodes and a Christmas Special to boot. Down to the Last Play Certified!
    • The campaign's final total, for those interested, was $6,364,229 ($5,764,229 from the Kickstarter plus an additional $600k from outside donations) making it, at the time, the highest funded video Kickstarter project.
  • On March 22, 2017, The trailer for the revival dropped in all its So Bad, It's Good Practical Effects glory. We've got a new Forrester, the Bots we all know and love (and now their arms work!), and the promise of plenty more B Movies.
  • The 2017 version's theme song, recorded by Har Mar Superstar (who had made a version of the original theme song an epic part of his live show for decades), where the original silly little ditty gets a whole new and far more confident orchestration, much better production values that still manage to evoke the beloved handmade feel of before, and ending on a triumphant high note sure to get any long-time fan pumping their fist.
    • And the ending theme "Mighty Science Theater" is now a fully orchestrated piece and it's every bit as hauntingly beautiful as the show is funny.
  • With Gypsy now being attached to the ceiling, Crow having working arms, and Tom being able to fly this has led to a lot more visual gags within the theater segments, such as Tom flying out of his seat and attempting to pull a lever on screen during The Time Travellers
  • Gypsy now visits the theater twice in every episode, and makes a joke both times, often the best riffs of the episode.
  • The revival has a sterling 100% "Fresh" Critic's Rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a similarly impressive 93% "Fresh" viewer rating.
  • After months of suspense given Netflix's usual fast notices on whether their new shows will be renewed, in classic MST fashion the show was announced to be getting a 12th season in their Turkey Day marathon.
  • The final movie of The Gauntlet is none other than Ator The Fighting Eagle, whose sequel Cave Dwellers was riffed all the way back in Season 3. This is a loop that's been waiting to close for twenty-seven years.
  • The Gauntlet includes The Asylum mockbuster Atlantic Rim. For those who don't know, The Asylum's primary source of distribution was through what would eventually become the Syfy Channel, aka the channel where the original MST3K met its end due to Executive Meddling. Revenge is sweet.
  • Kinga was poised to succeed where all her predecessors failed: Breaking the host and the Bots. The trailer shows their real fear in having to riff six movies in a row and some of the riffing shown in the trailer consists of screams, sobs, and maniacal laughter. Intercut with that are quick flashes of some truly bonkers Host Segments. Sometimes it really is about quantity over quality.
  • Netflix, a company which typically zealously guards all their original programs and refuses to let them be seen anywhere outside their own website, allowed Cry Wilderness to be part of the 2018 Turkey Day Marathon. That's a major case of Adored by the Network they've got.
  • In April 2021, Joel revealed that his promise about finding a way to continue the show after Netflix's cancellation wasn't in vain, as this time he's setting up his own streaming service, Gizmoplex, dedicated entirely to the series, and the entire cast of the relaunch would be coming back for Season 13. Within hours, their Kickstarter passed the halfway point of its two million dollar goal, and met its goal on its second day. For full context, that record-breaking Kickstarter mentioned above took a week to get to this point. Joel's letter to the backers then joked that if it turned out they again set a new record for the service after that one was lost to Critical Role, he'd personally be Storming the Castle to take the certificate back.


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