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Hilarious In Hindsight / Mystery Science Theater 3000

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  • Best Brains made a joke about the Russians launching their own comedian into space during the very first season on KTMA. 22 years later, a post-Soviet Russia would provide a real-life MST Mockbuster in Project Popcorn.
  • The jokes about America's Funniest Home Videos that make Crow the Butt-Monkey in the episode covering The Unearthly. Trace Beaulieu (the voice of Crow, who even uncharacteristically addresses Crow directly as Dr. Forrester at the moment) would later be a writer for AFH from 1998-2007.
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  • Tom Servo starts to sing 'Tiptoe Through The Tulips' in The Giant Gila Monster to mock the main character's awful song. Fast forward a little more than a decade later and that very song is used as an Ironic Nursery Tune in the movie Insidious. May be Harsher in Hindsight for some.
  • In "Attack of the the Eye Creatures", one character's resemblance to Rick Astley inspires Joel to suddenly sing a snippet of "Never Gonna Give You Up". This means that technically, MST3K invented the Rickroll!
    • Not the only time they've done that joke. In Eegah, a young man in a suit with his hair cut exactly like Astley's inspires Tom to sing the first line of the chorus from "Together Forever".
    • Similarly, MST3K managed to predict Square Root of Minus Garfield with surprising accuracy. This was actually acknowledged on strip 2424.
  • At the end of Zombie Nightmare, Mike and the bots rip on the movie's metal-infused soundtrack, claiming it has "some of your favorites" for only $0.85. The kicker? The film opens with Motörhead's "Ace of Spades", which is routinely ranked as one of the best rock songs of all time (most recently in tenth place on VH1's list).
    • They were well aware of who the bands were, such as Fist.
  • The episode with The Amazing Colossal Man has Mike as the title character read the letter of the week, which includes the line "My favorite is Joel." See Broken Base on the YMMV page for why it's funny.
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  • During The Skydivers, Mike and the bots latch on to the characters' obsession with coffee, Crow riffing "Wow, coffee! It's better than sex!" when offered some by a female character. Fast forward a few years later to Grand Theft Auto San Andreas...
  • While Joel never interacted with Pearl, he later ended up playing Mayor Dewey on Steven Universe, where he has a crush on another character named Pearl. This has led to a few fanart crossovers between both Pearls, especially since both Pearls are intelligent, somewhat uptight moms who have trouble getting people to listen to them.
  • One KTMA episode had Servo's diary peg Joel as a violent bully who smoked. Cue Time Chasers, where Mike's brother Eddie is exactly like that.
  • Anything involving the Chicago Cubs and their infamous losing streak is this now that the Cubs finally won a World Series on November 2, 2016.
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  • The KTMA episode "Invaders from the Deep" had one of its villians, Mauritimus, state as he arrives his "Starbase" that he would "report to (his) mighty leader in five marine minutes", causing Joel to riff that "You know how long that is."
  • In Parts: The Clonus Horror Pearl is offended when the Space Children call her Grandma and says "I'm nobody's grandma!" The lead Mad of the 2017 reboot is her granddaughter.
  • Try to watch any episode in which they riff Sir Mix-A-Lot and sing a lyric from "Baby Got Back" (such as The Incredibly Strange Creatures) and not think of Nicki Minaj's Answer Song "Anaconda" where Mike and the 'bots appear in the video.
  • At the end of Angels Revenge, when the group shot of the seven women is shown, Mike ponders "Which one was Bruce Jenner?" Servo quips, "He's the one of the left." 20 years later, Jenner underwent gender reassignment.
  • The rest of the crew's clashes with Josh Weinstein due to him being so much younger than them, when for the 2017 revival Joel himself insisted that the cast be entirely new and 20 years younger than the original cast.
  • When the show first began in 1988 at KTMA, they received a phone message from someone griping about the "constant interruptions" (i.e., the riffing). This is something most non-fans complained about throughout the series, but fast-forward to the 2017 reboot, which features a silence-filling style of riffing, and now actual fans are griping about their being too much "constant interruptions". That said, there's some fans that don't mind this new style, see Broken Base on the YMMV page.
  • The Crawling Eye had Crow riffing on a chubby comic-relief character ("Dang, I’m just too fat to be climbing a mountain!") which became a Running Gag. Years later, beloved actor and climbing enthusiast BRIAN BLESSED famously went on several mountaineering expeditions without losing his Big Fun figure.
  • In Space Mutiny , Crow makes an offhand comment about an online encyclopedia: "Wow, 26 pages on Gwen Stefani alone!" This was four years before the launch of Wikipedia, which currently has at least 15 pages directly related to her, as well as a Wikicommons and Wikiquote entry. The same movie had Mike riffing on one of the many '80s-refugee extras with the line "What have you got for me, Rick Astley?"
  • In the Santa Claus Conquers the Martians episode, as a ridiculously cheap spaceship flies by, Crow declares (in a stereotypically nerdy voice) "If they cancel Battlestar Galactica, I'm gonna kill myself!" This was funny back when the original series was a nerd cult classic. It became even funnier when the new (even more nerd-loved) series came out.
  • And then there's the moment during Hercules Versus the Moon Men when they parody a then-ubiquitous ad for the Scientology text Dianetics — A Modern Science of Mental Health, which involved reciting life questions and page numbers for the "answer" in the book. The last one? "How much more money can we get from Tom Cruise?" This was roughly a dozen years before Tom's Couch Shuffle incident.
    • In Riding With Death, Mike comments, as a group of men try to beat up the hero, "We'd like you to consider Scientology!" Jump to the Anonymous campaign against that religion...
  • Mike Nelson did a RiffTrax of Battlefield Earth early 2007. During the scene were the cave people are learning how to work technology, Mike cracks a joke: "Caveman Geniuses: On FOX". Several months later, a show about the Geico Cavemen aired on ABC.
  • Episode 409, The Indestructible Man, made in 1992 (the episode, not the film), has the riff on Lon Chaney's name: "Any relation to Dick Cheney?" (Cheney was Secretary of Defense in 1992 - but many people didn't know that...)
    • Many people also don't know that Dick and Lon were related, although distantly.
  • When they did Bride of the Monster in 1993, the gang noticed in passing that one of the good guys resembled Johnny Depp. In 1994, Depp played the film's director, Ed Wood, for Tim Burton in the film Ed Wood, and the making of Bride of the Monster itself is dramatized.
  • In The Beast of Yucca Flats, or rather in the tourism short about Puerto Rico, Mike makes an offhand comment about "Fun times in Guantanamo."
    • In the same episode, in one of the host segments, Crow parodies the Film Preservation Foundation with his own group that wants to let bad movies deteriorate. He calls it the Film Anti-Preservation Society, and uses the acronym "FAPS"
  • A few years before the Mike/Joel switch, Mike was guest-starring (he was a writer, so he'd always been around) in War of the Colossal Beast and read a fan letter, which included the line "My favorite is Joel". A few years later, the entire internet started arguing this exact question, but it's clear from the start that Mike was on the side of Joel.
  • In the episode for Rocket Attack USA, Joel & The Bot's get a Hexfield-Viewscreen visit from a Russian cosmonaut stranded in space with two Bots of his own. The man playing that cosmonaut...Mike Nelson!
    • In a related vein, during the episode for Gamera, Joel goes overboard with the stupid Johnny Carson "Art Fern" impersonation. This annoys the Bots to no end until Crow says, "Stop! You can be replaced by Leno, you know....". Considering what happened with Joel Hodgson a few years later (albeit not with Leno).
  • One of the Mads' invention exchanges was a tiny square exercise mat, which they talked about as if it unlocked some great fitness secret. Nowadays the mat bears an uncanny resemblance to the Wii Fit balance board and its advertisements.
  • In episode 821, Time Chasers, there is a riff on how the Big Bad's suit wearing henchmen are "the director's friends who owned suits." In a later interview, the director himself confirmed this was true.
    • In the same episode, at one point a bearded overweight resident of the Bad Future comments that he'd cut the throat of the guy who invented the time machine that caused the whole mess. Crow calls him "Michael Moore in 30 years".
  • From Eegah, they have this quote, referencing a caveman: "I'm with Allstate. Who're you with?" Now consider the popular Geico commercials... note 
  • Their Eegah episode also features an elderly character wandering through the desert in khakis, at which Servo quips "The Old Indiana Jones Chronicles!" A decade and a half later, Harrison Ford reprised his role as Indy while in his 60s for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and another "old Indy" movie is rumored to be in the works.
  • In Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders, Mike makes a crack about the father in the second half of the movie rushing out to go rent Barb Wire. This was already a shot at Barb Wire for its negative effects on the production of the MST3K movie. However, the joke falls under this trope because the first airing of this episode had heavy advertising from Sci-Fi for Barb Wire.
  • In Werewolf, Mike and the bots riff about a gas station sign with gas prices that were absurdly high at the time of taping. The riff's funny now for the opposite reason: the prices in question are below $2 a gallon...
  • Entirely in-series: at the end of 201, Rocketship X-M, when Crow comments about how bad it is for people trapped in a capsule to be watching a movie about people dying in a capsule, Joel asks the Mads, "Why don't you just show us Marooned?" Forrester's response: "We couldn't get it!" 2 years later in episode 401, they did... thanks to Film Ventures International releasing it as Space Travelers.
  • The last episode of MST3K showed Mike and the bots back on earth, sitting down to riff on a movie even though they weren't being forced to anymore. Their actors did the same thing.
  • During one of the party boat scenes in Catalina Caper, Joel goes "You know what the difference between this and the Titanic was? The Titanic had talent." A few years and a few Oscars later...
  • On the Monster a-Go Go episode, one of the invention exchanges from Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank is of an action figure called "Johnny Long-Torso", which starts you off with a single body part and requires you to purchase parts sold separately to complete. Several years later comes Downloadable Content for video games, namely the kind some companies have become infamous for.
  • Dr. Forrester describes City Limits as starring "James Earl Jones at a low point in his career and Kim Cattrall at a high point". Of course, this was six years before Sex and the City.
  • In TV's Frank's first episode, he steals Joel's portable drumkit invention verbatim. His son Max, along with Kinga, would go on to steal invention exchange ideas from Jonah and the bots' jokes from previous episodes. I guess wanton theft runs in the family.
  • Just a few months after the release of Season 11, Felicia Day had another wedding go horribly wrong on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic in "The Perfect Pear" (though at least this time she actually ended up getting married).
  • A character in Ring of Terror quips that the protagonist must have a split personality. Joel names said personalities "Glen and Glenda".
  • In "Teenagers From Outer Space", Dr. Forrester predicts a "ventriloquism boom" in the near future. A little over a decade later, Jeff Dunham became popular enough to briefly bring ventriloquism back into the mainstream. He was then followed by America's Got Talent winner Darci Lynn Farmer.
  • In Touch of Satan Crow quips that the movie is 'about a hip Satan who solves crimes'. In 2016, FOX Network aired Lucifer, which is basically that. Netflix even saved both shows from cancellation.
  • There was an episode where Crow came up with a member of the Fantastic 85 called "Man Man". According to Crow, "He's bestowed with all the powers of a man... but he's a man." The Amazing World of Gumball did a similar joke to this in one episode where Gumball and Darwin watch a movie called "Man Man", and Darwin comments that the titular superhero "was bitten by a man and given the powers of a man".
  • The "Hubble-Scope" joke from Jungle Goddess. Back in The '90s, the Hubble Space Telescope was seen as huge Epic Fail and "White Elephant project" due to a defect in its lens. However, it was soon fixed.
  • The entire premise of trapping someone in a theater and breaking his spirit with movies is actually the main plot of Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, a game made over 30 years after the series began.
  • In the first season episode for Robot Holocaust, Joel thinks one character resembled Ted Nugent and much was said about "The Nuge" being cool and awesome. Joel is Left-Leaning, politically and had he known about Nugent what we know about him now (in The '90s he was only known as a wild-and-crazy rocker from The '70s), he probably wouldn't find him so awesome.
  • In the Mighty Jack episode, Joel noted upcoming films based on older cartoons such as The Flintstones to which Servo mockingly suggested Casper the Friendly Ghost. Four years later, Casper would prove a box office success and spawn a small franchise.
  • Around the time of the show's 20th anniversary (2008), Shout Factory created little figurines of the robots which came with the DVD sets. Many fans noted that the Servo figurine had a slight inaccuracy. The "seam" for his bubble head went vertical, instead of horizontal like on the show. Strangely enough, the company that creates the snack dispensers used for Servo's head, in 2018, actually re-designed them so the seams do run vertical.

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