Movie watched: Time Chasers
- Mike recaps the previous episodes up to now, explaining that the SOL and Widowmaker have left Ancient Rome and are now back in the wormhole from before. Servo then prods Mike into admitting that they're "lost in space," at which point Servo and Crow to launch into their best impressions of the Robot (misidentified by the characters as Robbie the Robot) and Dr. Smith, respectively.
- As the Bots continue to be Dr. Smith and the Robot, Mike attempts to park the SOL, but collides with the Widowmaker. He checks out the damage, and then has a neighborly talk with Pearl.
- Servo suggests that Crow go back in time and prevent Mike from being shot into space. Crow succeeds in traveling back to 1985 Wisconsin, where he finds Mike is a loser working at a cheese factory. He tries to persuade Mike against working a string of low-paying temp jobs, but young Mike is unconvinced, and Commercial Sign doesn't help either.
- Back in 1985, Crow succeeds in turning young Mike's life around by convincing him to focus on his rock band. Crow returns to the present day. He finds a horrifying new timeline, where Mike died on-stage just as his band was on the cusp of rock stardom; where Mike's rude and crude older brother, Eddie, was sent to the SOL in Mike's place; and where Servo is Eddie's fearful yes-man.
- Fed up with Eddie, Crow goes back to 1985 to prevent himself from disturbing the timeline. Young Mike continues the string of low-paying temp jobs that eventually gets him shot into space, and all is well.
- Crow, dressed as Gilligan, tries to make Mike say "Gilligan's Island," with Servo standing by to give his best Skipper impersonation, but Mike doesn't fall for it. Instead, he steps out to have another chat with Pearl. The two talk about Crow's time travel, and eventually realize that there must be a second Crow still stuck back in 1985. Sure enough, back in 1985, Crow's time travel clone is now working at the cheese factory. The factory TV plays over the credits.
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation has examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: After Brain Guy beats himself up over his Credits Pushback gag, thinking it failed, Mike and the Bots say that they actually enjoyed it and think he's being too hard on himself.
- Aliens in Cardiff:Servo: Evdiently, Vermont was the epicenter of the dystopia.
Crow: Ben & Jerry's was the key to the Armageddon!
- Alternate Universe: Crow gets the idea from the movie and goes back in time to get Mike to stop temping so that he never gets shot up to the Satellite. This results in a future where the Bots get stuck with Mike's abusive brother Eddie and Mike himself dies right as his rock career is taking off from being pelted by hotel room keys thrown by groupies.
- Ambiguous Syntax:Nick: So, uh, you cooking dinner?
Lisa: Are you offering dinner?
Crow: "No, I'm saying, 'Make me dinner!'"
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: When the wrecked plane falls on J.K. Robertson, crushing him, but only after he kills (one timeline's) Nick.Mike: Oh!... Well, thank you, movie!
- Artistic License Geography: In the past, Mike is working at a dairy co-op in Burnett County, which Servo states is in central Wisconsin. It's actually in northwest Wisconsin on the Minnesota border. Close enough.
- Artistic License Physics: Played for laughs: Pearl and Mike are able to breathe in space, and also not freeze to death.Pearl: It's supposed to get down to absolute zero later, that's why I always wear a sweater.
- Badass Bystander:Eddie: You didn't count on the assistant janitor!
- Badass Mustache: Worn by Mike's brother Eddie.
- Berserk Button: For Eddie, puns.
- Don't insinuate his reality sucks, either.
- Continuity Nod:
- At one point, Mike remarks that Nick could use Chinderwear. Wait... how would he know?
- Pearl calls Crow "Art" again as well.
- The time machine Crow uses is the same one from Terror from the Year 5000.
- When Eddie is filling Crow in, he mentions how "those two guys shot me up into space when that sleepy-eyed guy left".
- Eddie also asks Servo (regarding Crow), "Do you get that guy?!" much like Gypsy upsetting Crow in Monster A-Go Go by telling him "I don't get you."
- And another one: in the first host segment of that episode the bots decide to open a cheese factory on the bridge of the Satellite of Love. In this episode, when Crow goes back in time Mike is temping at... a cheese factory.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: J.K. Robertson all the way. Even when he finds out abusing time travel will destroy the world, he refuses to not destroy the world because legally the technology belongs to him, so he can do whatever he wants with it.Mike: (as Robertson) Hi, I'm Bob Evil!
- "I leave for twenty minutes, and Evil Co is in shambles!"
- Crack Fic: From a riff when Nick and Co. are discussing the possibilities of the time transport.Mike Nelson: You could send Bob Saget to meet Charlamagne.
- Credits Gag: In place of the usual "SOL Love Theme" is the goofy cartoon music from the TV that 1985 Crow is watching.
- Credits Pushback: When Brain Guy interrupts the end credits, he does so in this fashion, pretending to be a preview for the evening news. The SOL crew reacts with confusion and surprise.
- A Day in the Limelight: Brain Guy makes a surprise appearance during the movie's credits to make his own riffs, but after a couple he becomes too embarrassed to continue. Mike and the Bots admit that he was Actually Pretty Funny.
- Decoy Protagonist: Crow desperately wants Nick to be this.Crow: This... is not our star, is it? I will not accept this as our star, sorry.
- Even Nick's choice of bicycle evokes derision.
- Dope Slap: Eddie is far more physical with Crow and Servo than Mike was.
- Dressed to Plunder:
- During the Bad Future scene, Servo notes that a raiders, standing on a car and wearing an eyepatch, looks like a pirate and chants, "Arrr! Sixteen men on a dead Dodge Dart!"
- During the 1777 sequence, one of the characters is accused of not actually being in Revolutionary War garb, but posing as a pirate instead.
- Funny Background Event: During the latter part of the experiment, Eddie is smoking and tossing several beer cans at the screen.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Pearl and Mike have a nice porchside chat as evening sets in just before the movie.Mike: So, Pearl...how come you're so evil?
Pearl: (thoughtfully) Hmmm... I'm filled with hate, I'm not sure that helps.
- And when Mike departs:Pearl: Oh hey, Mike? I despise you, and all that you stand for, and you'll never ex-cape! (chuckles warmly) ...You know the rest!
Mike: Sure do. Buh-bye, Pearl! (floats away)
Pearl: (sighs) Ah, he's a good kid.
- And when Mike departs:
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Mike used to play for a band named Sex Factory.
- Great Way to Go: In the altered timeline, Mike became a huge rock star (well he was on his way, opening for Motörhead) to the point where women were throwing their hotel keys on stage for him. One night in Cleveland someone threw a key with a large keyfob, hitting Mike in the head; he went down and never got back up. Eddie sobs that he's proud of his little brother for this.Eddie: He died like a mangy dog, right on stage! ...Excellent death...
- Gross-Up Close-Up: Crow accuses the film of this in one shot where Robertson runs up to the camera.Crow: Okay, if you can see a character's eye boogers, you're too close.
- I Hate Past Me: "Man, was I a jerk a half hour ago."
- I Lied: In the previous episode (Space Mutiny), Mike and the 'Bots helped Pearl, Brain Guy, and Prof. Bobo escape from Ancient Rome, with the promise that it meant no more bad movies. "Y'know, sometimes I think I lie because I'm evil."
- Incredibly Lame Pun: In-universe example: Eddie really hates them - threatening Servo after he makes one, then smacking Crow hard for making one.Lisa: Did you bring your ray gun?
Mike: (as Ronald Reagan): Weeell, noo, I...
- Informal Eulogy: When one of the Nicks is shot and killed:Crow: He died as he lived: Mud-stained and splaying.
- Jerkass: Mike's brother Eddie is crude and bullies the robots, even while they watch the film.
- Literalist Snarking: When Nick's plane is shot down and the camera focuses on the altimeter and speedometer.Servo: They're running out of ALT!
Eddie: And their MIFFNOTSnote are going down!
- Low Count Gag: The week's movie was filmed and set in Rutland, Vermont. Upon seeing an Establishing Shot resembling a Vermont tourism commercial, one of the SOL crew says, "Vermont: city on the go!"
- Man Versus Machine: When our hero is trying to escape being crushed by the falling plane. The robots begin cheering for the machine.
- And when the plane actually does fall and crush Robertson:Mike: (pleasantly surprised) Oh! Well, thank you, movie!
- And when the plane actually does fall and crush Robertson:
- Magic Countdown: As the villain's time transport counts down to sending them back into the future during the final battle, Servo counts resolutely along, having to reset several times.Servo: "Five...four...three...two...one...uh, FOUR...three...two...THREE... two...(plane crashes) One."
- Minnesota Nice: Pearl's version of Affably Evil.
- Mook Chivalry: The riff from when Nick switches to a bike and his pursuers follow suit.Tom: So it's bicycles! We accept your choice of vehicle!
- Mundane Made Awesome: When Nick describes what could be done with further testing of the time machine:Crow: You could send an egg into the future!
- Mundane Utility: When Nick tells Matt that the potential for the time machine to change history is not why Nick brought him and Lisa into the future:Mike: (as Nick) I want you to buy me an Orange Julius.
- Non-Action Guy: Crow stubbornly refuses to accept Nick as the movie's hero.Crow: This... is not our star, is it? I will not accept this as our star, sorry. See, he's coming up the stairs right now, going inside to meet the real hero, real hero coming up, and — [Nick enters] — D'oh!
- Noodle Incident: Hinted at, when Lisa shows up to help Nick against the security guard at the airport. Just what was he referring to with this?Eddie: Oh, he's got a strong girlfriend, that helps. Trust me.
- Obviously Evil: J.K. Robertson, the film's villain, when he appears in a black suit and blood red tie, and practically oozing smarm.Mike: (as Robertson) Hi! I'm Bob Evil!
- Oh, Crap!: 30 Minutes Ago!Crow realizes things got royally screwed when Present!Crow appears.
- One-Word Vocabulary: 1985 Mike's coworker at the cheese factory only ever says the word "Dude".
- Overly Long Gag:
- Lisa "dropping shorts" on the runway.
- Observer's "news segment" - so much so that he gives up in frustration.
- Potty Failure: Nick is accused of this when he stands up and the back of his pants are muddy."No monologues with poopy pants, please."
- Remember the New Guy?: In the alternate timeline, Mike is replaced by his never-previously-mentioned brother Eddie.
- Rooting for the Empire: In-Universe, Mike/Eddie and the bots cheer on every person—and object—that injuries or endangers Nick.Servo: I find myself suggesting other places he could hit him. Probably not what they wanted, huh?
- Running Gag:
Mike: Let's go, director's college buds who brought their own suits to the shoot!
- The Crew gets a lot of mileage that the film takes place in Vermont, as well as the dropping price of syrup as the film goes on.
- Lisa's apparent love of plaid and resemblance to Toni Tennille.
- GenCorp HQ's stunning resemblance to a public library. note
- Saying that various characters in the film are played by the director's friend or relative.
- Nick's big chin.
- Mike and the bots wondering what became of Lisa's groceries.
- Self-Deprecation: The producers and actors loved being lampooned... well, most of them.
- The actor who played Matthew Paul ("Pinkboy") was reportedly mad, but director David Giancola blamed it on the alcohol at the viewing party. He's apparently gotten over it, either way.
- George Woodard (J.K. Robertson) said that the episode was "an irritation" because the film "is better than they say it is."note
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Tom sends Crow back in time to 1980s Wisconsin in the hopes of preventing Mike from taking the string of temp jobs that would ultimately result in him getting shot into space.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When Crow finally convinces Mike to quit temp work (by encouraging him to focus on his rock band Sex Factory), he creates a Bad Future where Mike became famous only to get killed on stage (see Great Way to Go above), resulting in Mike's sleazy Jerkass brother Eddie being sent to the SOL instead.
- Something Completely Different: Eddie replacing Mike for two segments.
- Story Arc: The SOL is still Time Traveling, one of the few times when the subject matter of the current arc lined up with the movie (rather than just individual host segments reacting to the movie directly).
- Take Our Word for It: Invoked by name when Nick and Lisa make a return trip to the future and discover it in supposed ruins.Lisa: Looks like there was a war!
Servo: (as Lisa) You're gonna have to take our word for it, we can't afford to show it!
- Take That!:
- When Matthew Paul brings up the possibility of changing the future:
- The Bots realize just how pathetic 1985 Mike's life is when they see he's a Journey fan.
- Temporal Paradox: In order to fix his own mistake, Crow goes back to warn his half-hour-ago self not to change Mike's life. At the end of the episode, Pearl wonders if that means there's another Crow running around in the 1980s; cut to show Crow in a hairnet and apron, "working" at the cheese factory. Nobody seems to notice or care.
- They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Invoked: Mike accused Jurassic Park of ripping off the scene in Time Chasers where Nick climbs down a tree that's barely holding the crashed plane.
- Toilet Humour: During a fight scene, Nick does a backflip and his butt briefly faces the camera. Crow dubs in a fart noise, which Eddie immediately criticizes. (Eddie himself makes the same joke much later when Nick bends down.)
Mike: (sweetly) Oh, he's looking for honey, like Pooh.
- When Nick is stuck in a tree:
Crow: Oh, he's "like poo" all right.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Mike Nelson's brother Eddie is played by... Michael J. Nelson.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: No one in 1985 Wisconsin finds Crow's appearances the slightest bit odd or worth commenting on. Taken even further when Crow travels back and confronts his past-self. ("Hey, robot from the future, there's another one of you guys to see you.")
- Justified in that everyone at the plant seem to be stoners. Crow fits right in.
- WTH, Costuming Department?: Tom's reaction to Lisa.Servo: Ugh, two different plaids? I'm a naked robot and even I know that's a fashion no-no.
- With Lyrics: Servo superimposes the lyrics to soft-rock songs like "At Seventeen" and the theme from Arthur over the film's easy-listening soundtrack.
- Wunza Plot: Observer's fictional Sitcom, Which Is Witch?
- Yes-Man: Servo is this to Eddie in the alternate reality.
- Zee Rust: "So, fifty years from now it'll be three years from now."