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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 05 E 07 I Accuse My Parents

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The John Bradshaw Story!

The episode is available on Shout! Factory TV here.

Films watched: The Truck Farmer (short) and I Accuse My Parents

The Segments:

  • Tom Servo has become a real boy, or as real as a robot painted pink can become.

Segment 1/Invention Exchange

  • Dr. Forrester presents Cake n' Shake, easy-to-make cake mix that comes with its own pre-packaged exotic dancer, but Frank put the dancer in before baking and now the Mads have to dig him out or risk getting in trouble with Chippendales. Joel shows off the Junk Drawer Organizer to make sorting all your random odds and ends quick and easy.

Segment 2

  • Joel has asked the 'Bots to draw their ideal family. The results are a bit concerning.

Segment 3

  • The crew recreates the movie's musical number, with Gypsy singing along to Kitty's song. It gets cut short when waiters Crow and Servo crash into Cambot and make a mess.

Segment 4

  • In order to get to the bottom of Jimmy's complexity, Joel puts together an illustrated model of what goes through Jimmy's witless head.

Segment 5

  • Servo and Crow demand that Joel give them "a charbroiled hamburger sandwich with french fried potatoes garnish". Joel plays dumb until the 'Bots threaten him with a tank and he relents. The Mads have finally gotten the exotic dancer out of their cake and are rewarded with a complimentary dance.


The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation provides examples of:

  • Artsy Beret: Tom has commissioned Crow to paint him "Nude" pink. Crow is wearing a beret and painter's smock and holding a palette.
  • Become a Real Boy: Subverted. Tom Servo says he's become a real live boy, but he's just had Crow paint him pink, with the joke being that the 'Bots of the Satellite of Love are already Ridiculously Human Robots with well-developed personalities, interests, opinions, and of course senses of humor. Tom in particular is highly intellectual and well-read and has probably given more thought to what it means to be human than most actual humans. Joel says he's developed the Pinocchio Syndrome (and that he knew this would happen).
  • Call-Back: The crew are amused at the mention of "French-fried potatoes".
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-universe:
    • Joel delivers a blistering one-liner after the judge, who is so moved by Jimmy's story about his non-Abusive Parents and stupid decisions, suspends his prison sentence and gives him probation instead.
      Joel: Thank God I'm white!
    • Joel and the Bots also tear The Truck Farmer a new one for its unflinching praise of terrible land management and exploited cheap labor.
  • Drop-In Character: Joel and the 'Bots are puzzled by Shirley dropping in. Without even knocking!
    Servo (as Jimmy): Okay. Who are you?
    Joel: (when Shirley leaves) Who is that?
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Dr. Forrester is shocked to find out that Frank baked the cake with the dancer still in it. Mostly subverted, though, as Forrester is more afraid of the trouble they could get in rather than the fact that Frank baked a person.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Spoofed. Joel does a double-take when he realizes Tom Servo is "naked" — but he's the same shape as usual, just entirely covered in pink paint.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: Jimmy's mom's drunkenness is mocked by Jimmy's classmates.
    Student: Hee, hee, hee! She's drunk!
    Crow: (as student) It's funny!
  • Glurge: In-universe. When the film starts right off with Jimmy spouting the Author Tract, Joel groans, "Oh, boy, here we go..."
  • Hating on Monday: When Kitty sings "Are You Happy in Your Work?", a background extra's voice is dubbed to gripe: "Aw, don't sing this to me on a Monday!"
  • Hurricane of Puns: Tom's shoe store-themed musical announcement during a nightclub dance scene.
    Tom: And now Thom McAn and the Payless Orchestra, with Cole Haan on the saxophone, then the Naturalizers will sing something by Johnston & Murphy.
  • If I Can't Have You...
    Blake: (to Kitty) No one's gonna take you away from me. Nobody.
    Servo: (as Blake) Not even me, see! I'll kill me before that happens.
  • I'll Take Two Beers Too: Jimmy orders two champagne cocktails when he first goes to see Kitty at the club, one ostensibly being for her, but it leads to this:
    Waiter: Two, sir?
    Joel: Yeah, and put 'em in one of those big Slurpee glasses.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: The Mads' "Cake n' Shake" invention, an instant cake mix with a Chippendale dancer included right in the box. Frank tries to take a shortcut by putting the dancer in the cake before baking it, so he and Dr. F spend the whole experiment tearing the cake apart to save him.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: During the re-enactment of "Are You Happy in Your Work?", Tom and Crow (playing waiters) run into each other, making a mess. The song that Gypsy is lip-syncing to slows down and stops as a result.
  • Motor Mouth: "AslongasItalkreallyfastanddowhathesaysI'mgonnabeOK."
  • Off on a Technicality: Parodied. When Jimmy is on trial, the judge throws out the case: "Seeing as how it's your birthday, we'll let you go."
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: Lampshaded and naming the trope in the first host segment. Servo's idea of being human is that he's the same gumball robot as ever, just painted pink. He claims to have Become a Real Boy, but Crow points out it won't work, while Joel acts like he's already pretty much human in all the ways that count. Tom bursts into tears (again proving he has human emotions). He quickly gets over it after the first commercial break.
    Servo: I want to run and jump and skin my knees!
    Crow: You don't have any legs.
    Servo: I want to catch frogs down at the old fishing hole!
    Crow: Your arms don't work.
    Servo: I want to experience the world of emotion and feelings!
    Crow: You'll get beat up because you're a freak.
  • Prone to Tears: Tom cries again this episode, sobbing into Joel's arms after realizing that he has not, in fact, Become a Real Boy.
  • Rapid-Fire Interrupting: Done in a scene where Jimmy's parents are arguing; Servo (as Jimmy) keeps trying to get a word in edgewise but keeps getting cut off by Jimmy's parents.
  • Rearrange the Song: Later in the film, there's a scene set at the nightclub, and jazzy music plays in the background. Tom suddenly does a Frank Sinatra imitation: "Are you groovin' with your cuckoo work? Hey!"
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: While Kitty sings one of her innocuous songs and Jimmy looks on with a gleeful, wide-eyed expression, Crow riffs: "Yes Satan, speak to me through this song!"
  • Running Gag: Many, including...
    • Jimmy constantly and proudly bringing up the fact that he won his school's essay contest, and that he is a shoe-salesman.
    • Jimmy's excuse for everything being that it's his birthday.
    • Joel and the Bots coming up with even more ridiculous lies than the ones Jimmy says in the movie, some of them relating to World War II and the The Vietnam War.
    • Chanting "Liar! Liar! Liar!" after any of Jimmy's many lies.
    • His mother's alcoholism.
    • Jimmy being completely oblivious to the fact that his boss is hardcore mobster, to the point of being Too Dumb to Live.
    • Hamburgers with a french-fried potatoes garnish.
    • Quacking every time the door opens at Kitty's apartment and a picture of ducks appears in the background.
    • Constantly pointing out Jimmy's stupidity in the third segment.
    • Heck, the constant accusing.
  • Serious Business: "You were supposed to get us a hamburger sandwich like in the movie! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS FAMILY?"
  • Shame If Something Happened: Invoked when Jimmy meets Blake:
    Crow: (as Blake) So, Jimmy, do you like your kneecaps?
  • Shout-Out:
  • Society Is to Blame: Mocked. The premise of "I Accuse My Parents" — the person that committed the crime is blameless because his parents and everyone else failed him first. The SOL crew are quick to scoff at the idea that Jimmy's bickering parents, somewhat distant but fairly pleasant to him, come anywhere near justifying him going to work for a mobster.
  • Song Parody: "He's crazy... crazy for 'ccusin' his parents."
  • Stress-Induced Mental Voices: Early in the film, when Jimmy's mom arrives at the school, one of his classmates says, "She's drunk!" Crow riffs: "It's funny!" A scene later, Jimmy hears "She's drunk!" in his sleep so Crow adds again: "It's funny!"
  • Title Drop: Jimmy says "I accuse my parents" in the first couple minutes, prompting Joel and the bots to be amazed at how quickly the film ended. Unfortunately for them, the entire movie is told in flashback. It does drop again at the end too.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The crew's assessment of Jimmy when analyzing him. invoked
  • Uniqueness Value: Joel tries to ask Tom why he wants to be human so badly anyway. "There are billions of real live boys on Earth, there's only one Tom Servo!"
  • Values Dissonance: Invoked:
    • The crew gets a lot of mileage over the Truck Farmer short happily describing clearcutting of forests, using dangerous chemicals on plants, low paid migrant labor and the worship of the automobile.
    • Plus "Thank god I'm white!" when the judge lets Jimmy off scot-free.
  • What an Idiot!: Invoked, as the gang explain Jimmy's actions as chiefly coming about because he's stupid.
  • With Lyrics: Tom adds lyrics to the opening theme music to I Accuse My Parents:
    Tom: (singing) They laughed when I accused my parents and I killed them / Let's see if they'll be laughing noooooow!
    • They also add lyrics to the scene where Jimmy first works in the shoe store.
      Kitty: You better try again.
      Servo: (singing to the background music) I'll try again... if something's wrong...

Mr. Wilson: laughs
Mrs. Wilson: What's so funny?


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