Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 03 E 13 Earth Vs The Spider

Go To

Films watched: Speech: Using Your Voice (short) and Earth vs. the Spider

Speech: Using Your Voice is an educational short about public speaking.

It is available on the MST3K YouTube page here.

The Segments:

  • Crow presents "Inside the Robot Mind" with Tom as his guest, but Politeness Judo prevents the actual interview.

Segment 1/Invention Exchange

  • Frank is the operator for Dr. Forrester's cheese phone; he hopes to make a curdless model in the future. The 'Bots demonstrate now-outdated predecessors to Joel's CD player/hair dryer combo, but he forgot how loud hair dryers are on their own.

Segment 2

  • Crow has written his first screenplay, Earth vs. Soup, and he ropes Joel and Tom into performing it. It involves some uranium-235 being stored in a greasy spoon's boiling pot of soup.

Segment 3

  • The SOL crew are hot new rock band Spy-Dor, but they're interrupted with a visit from the Custodian from the Seventh Galaxy.

Segment 4

  • Joel plays with Creeple People and Creepie Crawlers, which leads to a discussion on the disappearance of dangerous toys.

Segment 5

  • The 'Bots were tasked with writing essays on Bert I. Gordon's films; Crow's is almost entirely made up. Frank ate too much of the cheese phone.


This episode contains these tropes:

  • Big Eater: Joel complains that the spider keeps eating the opening credits.
  • Continuity Nod: At one point, the spider eats a character who looks very similar to Dr. Erhardt (Dr. Forrester's previous aide, who had gotten brushed off with a simple "He's missing"). The crew immediately declares that this is where he wound up, and was the last mention of him in the series until he turned up alive and well in season 12 to scatter the ashes of Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank.
    Joel: No, Dr. Erhardt, no! So that's what happened to him!
    Tom: Wow!
    Crow: (imitating Erhardt) Enjoy!
    • Earlier, during the Invention Exchange, Joel expresses his disgust with the Mads. Dr. Forrester and Frank respond with a simultaneous "Thank you!" in the same way Forrester and Erhardt had done during the first season. Clay and Frank then uncomfortably stare at each other for a moment.
    • And, of course, the return of a recurring season-one bit where Joel feeds the Bots RAM chips if they say good things about the movie.
    • As Mike walks behind the prominent movie poster for The Amazing Colossal Man:
      Crow: What kind of sin must a man commit in a single lifetime...
      Joel: Shame on you, Bert I. Gordon!
  • Gasshole: When Mike says that he and Carol can't currently go back in the cave to retrieve her father's bracelet present for her due to the gas (referring to the gas that was used to knock out the spider), Tom jokes "that was me".
  • Lame Pun Reaction: The Mads' invention is a phone made of cheese... and Dr. Forrester announces that they're working on the "curdless" phone. Even Frank grimaces at that one.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Tom promises that no spiders were squashed, stomped on, flushed or suffered serious emotional trauma during the film. But one died from old age and two letters from doctors confirm it.
  • Rooting for the Empire: In-Universe. When the title appears on the screen, Crow says that his money is on the spider.
  • Running Gag:
    • This is where the saga of Crow's screenplay for Earth Vs. Soup started.
    • Joel and the Bots constantly forgetting who Mike's father is.
    • From the short: Portraying the necessity of a wire rack, like the one the speaking tips are mounted on, as a speaking tip in itself.
    • They also keep imitating the sheriff's derisive chuckle when he hears about the giant spider (though they do it for random comments).
      Crow: (As sheriff) So I was sitting by myself, and I said "spider"! (guffaws) Cracks me up!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Noting that Professor E.C. Buehler is hosting the short, Servo adds, "Must be his day off."
    • Crow references Charlotte's Web when the titles appear in the spider's web.
    Crow: Hey Charlotte, it spells a word!
    • One of the unlucky victims of the spider is said to be Mortimer Snerd.
  • The Stinger: One of a handful of episodes where the stinger is from the short, rather than the movie.
  • Stylistic Suck: In-universe Crow reeks of it.
    Joel: Crow, she's just going "no" for the next six pages!
    Crow: Do you think that's enough?
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Frank pulls one of these when he eats most of the Cheesephone... including some of the non-edible parts, filling him with "enough salt and enzymes to kill a mule deer."
    Dr. F: (as Frank lets it spew) Frank! No! Not on the console! Oh. Jeez. (the button is pushed) Looks like I'm gonna have to get some sawdust now.
  • With Lyrics: "Spider, spider! Spider, spider!"


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: