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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 10 E 12 Squirm

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Mike: Well... I don't know why, but okay! (Mike and the 'Bots wriggle in their seats.)

Films watched: A Case of Spring Fever (short) and Squirm

The MST3K treatment of Squirm provides examples of:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: invoked According to Mike and the Bots, Mick isn't just interested in antiques as a hobby, he's obsessed with them.
    Crow: (As Mick) "Guh-hod, I love antiques!!"
    • Also, Roger as Ed Gein.
  • Ascended Meme: The Monde Green of "Shot him in his face" from the theme song makes it into a host segment, when Servo and Crow say that the flares and fire extinguishers were all shot off in Mike's face.
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  • Bat Deduction: After Mick announces he thinks Roger's father is off the hook for the murders:
    Mike: "I deduced that by not opening the door."
  • Behind the Black: "Oh, I didn't see you."
  • Brick Joke: "Sufficient springs!" and "No springs!"
  • Crowd Surfing: A couple in a restaurant become aware that the floor is covered in worms. The guy immediately grabs his girl and falls off the stool with her.
    Crow: Let's worm-surf!
  • Deep South: A major source of their humor. It helps that most of the cast have painfully exaggerated fake accents.
  • Eye Scream: Mick suggests the worms did something to Roger's eyes.
    Crow: "If Roger can see?" Do worms routinely blind people?
  • Failed a Spot Check: Mike somehow never noticed that the Bots were raising an enormous pig on the S.O.L. to enter into Pearl's livestock competition, complete with all necessary accommodations, such as a silo.
    Mike: "Wh-where've you guys been keeping him?"
    Servo: "Around the feed lot. He was our biggest!"
    Mike: "Wait, we have a feed lot?"
    Crow: "...Do you even live here?"
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  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    "I just don't want you to be disappointed if he doesn't come."
    Crow: Mother, that's private!
  • I Know You're Not Southern!: Mike and Crow trying to shake Servo out of extreme Southern Belle-ness.
  • Lethal Chef: Pearl's recipe for pickles involves cucumbers and Windex. Bobo's Ape Hair is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, battered and fried.
    • Subverted with Mike's electrically fried worms. The bots react with disgust as he tries one, but it turns out they are delicious.
      • Much better than fresh worms.
  • Noisy Nature: "Steven Tyler worm!"
  • Running Gag: "Mr. Beardsley?"
    • "Southern Maaaaan!"
  • Shout-Out: When Alma and Mick are at the dentist's office looking thorough the records to identify a skull, a worm crawls out of it. Tom comments "Come on down to the snout. We got a pinochle game going!" This is a reference to a line in an old school yard jump rope chant. "The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play pinochle on your snout." The rhyme was also used in a poem from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
  • Southern Belle: The whole point of Naomi's character seems to be an attempt at this. Later becomes an actual affliction on the SOL, as Servo comes down with "severe Southern Belle-ness" (amazingly not "Scarlett fever") and has to be subjected to "Yankee behavior modification" to snap him out of it.
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  • Spoof Aesop: As the movie ends.
    Servo: Please, folks, remember to worm your dog.
    Mike: And if you do start a worm farm, do not raise flesh-eating, intelligent millipedes by mistake.
    Crow: And if you have red hair, do not mate. Ever.
  • That Cloud Looks Like...: The patches on the rear of the sister's pants as she climbs through a window prompts them to point out that it looks like a face with a mustache.
    Crow: "The Pringles guy!"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    Crow: Now, whatever happened with guy running around with a newspaper on his head in the rain? That was kind of a loose end.
    Mike: Yeah, that went nowhere.
  • The Worm That Walks: What becomes of Roger.
    "Yes, I'm fully a worm now, but they let me keep my arms and legs."

The MST3K presentation of A Case Of Spring Fever has examples of:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: In-universe, Mike and the Bots interpret Coily as an all-powerful Eldritch Abomination.
  • Brick Joke: Early on, Crow asks where Coily fits into God's plan. Later, as Gilbert won't shut up about springs.
    Gilbert: Why, it's practically impossible to name a single thing in which some sort of spring isn't essential in one way or another. (looks up)
    Crow: Oh look, God has a spring!
  • Call-Back, Running Gag: Coily was the inspiration for Willy the Wonderful Waffle Guy way back in Season 3; they'd been wanting to riff the short since back then and simply weren't able to get the rights until the show's final season. Also, references to Coily (along with his spring sound) are imitated in a host segment ("Mikey the Mike Sprite, they call me") and in Squirm itself.
    • Kevin even quotes the "No springs!" after a goofy spring sound effect in the short One Got Fat released through RiffTrax.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Coily removing all springs from the world just because of what Gilbert said.
    Mike: So, one clod says one thing and the whole world pays?
  • Easily Forgiven: Coily reversing the wish.
    Servo: So, Coily waited all eternity for this moment, and he backs down almost instantly?
  • Evil Laugh: Coily's laugh comes off this way.
    Servo: (as Coily) You'll be the first to die!
  • Ending Fatigue: Discussed In-Universe, as the short keeps going after Coily reverses Gilbert's wish.
    Servo: Shouldn't this be over?
    • According to Mary Jo Pehl, this is one of the reasons why they put off featuring this short on Mystery Science Theater 3000 for so long, because they weren't sure if the 2nd half provided enough riffing material.
  • Fan Disservice:
    Servo: (amused and disgusted at the same time) More gray asses!
  • Indecisive Parody: Sort of. The first half of the short is teaching the main character how important springs are, but then the second half has him preaching non-stop about how important springs are to his friends, who are clearly annoyed by him.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: Both the short itself ("Merry Christmas, you wonderful old couch!") and the following host segment it inspires, where Mikey the Mike Sprite tries to show the Bots the horror of a world without Mike. It backfires — Tom and Crow aren't really too bothered by life without Mike. Eventually Mikey starts badgering the bots into at least half-heartedly pretend they have learned their lesson and wish for Mike to come back.
    • Mike does care about his socks, though. "No Mike's socks!" (whistle)
  • Odd Job Gods: Parodied when the trio invoke Mikey, the Mike sprite, and Mike's Socksy, the Mike's socks sprite. (Each one is credited separately to Patrick Brantseg at the end.)
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: When Coily returns the universe to normal, "Perpetuum Mobile" by Johann Strauss II plays. Mike and the bots wonder if a circus is next door.
  • Technology Marches On: Invoked in the riffing itself — Hooke's Law asidenote , a decent number of the mentioned uses for springs have since been made obsolete thanks to computer technology, so the lack of them wouldn't be quite as inconvenient as it would in the 1950s.
    Servo: (as Gilbert) I'll show Coily. I'm gonna digitize everything.
  • Unfortunate Names:


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