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YMMV / RiffTrax

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  • Acceptable Targets:
    • Nick. Nolte. They do NOT let him and his rather colored past off for a moment, and any given riff has about a sixty percent chance of including at least one Nolte gag.
    • Furries (and Bronies).
    • Rip Torn's alcoholism.
    • Rosie O'Donnell is another, such as this gem from The Dark Knight, after Loeb drinks acid.
      Mike (as Commissioner Loeb): I just thought of Rosie O'Donnell. [vomits blood]
    • They are also prone to mocking Bud American Ale, Baconators, the movie Firewall, the show According to Jim, Shia Labeouf, and the driving skills of Kelsey Grammer.
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    • Expect there to be at least one The Room reference once per riff.
    • It's tapered off of late, but older Rifftrax would invariably fire off a shot at Phil Spector.
      • You totally went there, didn't you?
    • Comic-Con and its attendees. For the example, from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:
      [Dozens of small monkeys crawl over Spalko in a speeding jeep]
      Bill: This is what Neil Gaiman feels like at Comic-Con.
    • On a (very slightly) more serious note, the trio has an evident contempt for bigotry either on-screen (i.e. the various examples of Uncle Tomfoolery they see on a semi-regular basis, or the jawdropping misogyny on display in The Wicker Man (2006)) or off-screen (they lash out a few times at Anita Bryant for her homophobia during the short she narrated) which usually results in them making jokes or comments noticeably more insulting towards the offending party.
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    • They also have carried over their contempt for Woody Allen from the MST3K days, and if anything have become even more venomous. Epitomized by this quip from the Return of the King riff.
      Bill: [Just after Shelob introduces herself] Think if Woody Allen was here, he'd say "there's a spider the size of a Buick in this cave" ... aaand then he would take nude pictures of his daughter, applaud Roman Polanski's child rape, and call for an Obama dictatorship.
      Kevin: [chuckling sarcastically] Ah, that Woody.
    • A few months after the child-rape accusations against Woody himself returned to the public eye, they obliquely referenced this as well in the riff of Godzilla by suggesting a destroyed church was what happened when Allen went to confession.
    • For whatever reason, Delta Airlines gets regularly savaged, along with their stewardesses.
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    • Gamergate is regularly pilloried.
    • The crew aren't a big fan of Clamato, either, which is holdover from MST3K days. They also show disdain for Zima and Bud American Ale.
    • Bill regularly takes digs at the Golden Corral chain of buffet restaurants. These jokes often include references to being a regular customer. Arby's is also the butt of many a joke.
  • Accidental Innuendo: This line from their riff of The Force Awakens:
    Rey: "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than fourteen parsecs!"
    Han Solo: "Twelve!"
    Bill Corbett: (as Han) "Don't make me come in there and Fanservice you, young lady!"
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The combined "Why Doesn't Cathy Eat Breakfast?"/"Petaluma Chickens" short. The first part never answers the question, and the second part provides no context for what the hell is going on (as related by an impression of Foghorn Leghorn at the end).
      • It's entirely possible that the two shorts were released together because both were too short to release on their own. They share a breakfast theme but nothing else.
    • The "Join Hands, Let Go" short as well as "Let's Pretend: Magic Sneakers" as both, especially the former, had no context and leave the audience and the riffer baffled. The riffers even attempt to join the madness during "Join Hands, Let Go" but end up hurting themselves in the recording booth due to the lack of space.
    • There was also this weird-as-fuck audio report of the ridiculous notion that Harry Potter is "Satanic". It's after their Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban riff finishes, while the credits are rolling up. Towards the end, while a religious preacher proclaims about sinning and cleansing/purging, you can hear a woman screaming all throughout that speech. Three words: What the fuck?
      • The Order of the Phoenix riff has a similar, but less nightmare fuel filled ending with an audio of an interview with a rather insane preacher about how evil Harry Potter is.
    • In the riff of High School Musical, Kevin mishears a lyric in one of the songs which leads him to excitedly assume the characters are serving free bacon. When no bacon appears, you hear stock sound effects of gunfire and people screaming, while Kevin maniacally rambles on about wanting his bacon.
    • During the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix riff, the guys latch onto an obscure Victorian English anti-Welsh rhyme "Taffy was a Welshman" for some unknowable reason to the point where Disembodio recites the entire rhyme during the credits.
    • Joel Hodgson's "Podium switch!" moment during the MST3K Reunion Live Show where he and Jonah Ray randomly ran around on stage (and wasn't even visible to anyone watching the broadcast). It ends as suddenly as it begins and is never brought up again.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • During the riff of The Star Wars Holiday Special, the guys tear into George Lucas severely, accusing him, among other things, of writing and directing the special while high on marijuana. However, Lucas had next-to-no involvement in the Special outside of participating in some initial planning (he was busy gearing up for preproduction on The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, both of which were eating up quite a bit of his time), which he had envisioned as a more straight Star Wars installment. The actual guilty party for the special's lack of quality or coherence was producer Mitzi Welch, who fired Lucas' choice as director, installed her own replacement, and then hired Bruce Vilanch and Pat Proft to rewrite the special into a star-studded extravaganza more to her liking.
    • In the riff of Supersonic Man, they crack that Cameron Mitchell was paid 130,000 lira to be in the movie - which is Spanish, not Italian, and therefore he would have been paid in pesetas at the time.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Some of the Black Comedy in Titanic does this. Making jokes as people die or fall to their deaths can get that way.
    • When they refer to Donnie Wahlberg's character in The Sixth Sense as "Tighty Whitey Suicidey."
    • An especially nasty one was the claim in The Last Jedi that Carrie Fisher's tragic and untimely death was just the only way she could get out of continuing in the franchise.
  • Dancing Bear: Gets paraphrased in Point Break (1991).
    Disembaudio: The miracle is not that Keanu Reeves acts well, the miracle is that he acts at all.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ending Fatigue: Several jokes were made regarding this in Return of the King. Other movies have gotten this treatment too, but considering Return of the King appeared to end something like 4 times, it got hit harder than others.
    Kevin: <after being wrong about Eragon ending> I never get that right.
  • Even Better Sequel: Is considered by many fans to be one to Mystery Science Theater 3000 due to less constraints and a wider range of riffing material. Of course, others consider it either a Spiritual Successor with the trio merely moving forward.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: As in MST3K, they occasionally espouse the theory that they've died and whatever movie they're watching is hell. Subverted in that they think being dead is preferable.
    Bill: Well, the good news is that we're probably not dead.
    Mike: You think that's good news?!
    Bill: [sighing] Point taken.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • From their riff of Iron Man:
      Terrence Howard: Next time, baby!
      And Terrence locks up his role in the sequel!
    • In fact, a lot of listeners probably assumed it was an intentional reference — the riff was released the exact same day that Howard was dropped from the sequel.
    • From their riff of Raiders of the Lost Ark: When the Nazis carry the crate containing the Ark through the desert, the riffers say "The funeral of Gary Coleman was a sad affair." The riff was released about 2 and a half years prior to Coleman's death.
    • In the Red Dawn (1984) Riff, as the movie surveys some battle wreckage, they quip "Oh my gosh, they replaced our town with Detroit!" Guess where the 2012 remake was filmed?
    • During the announcement video of the Breaking Dawn riff Kevin falls in love with Bill's recently passed kidney stone, and after Bill "kills" it by throwing it away a heartbroken Kevin starts tearfully and loudly singing I will Always Love You while Mike makes an offhand comment about Kevin "mourning the death of his dearest love". However, barely two days later the joke got a HELL of a lot darker with Whitney Houston's death.
    • From their The Return of the King riff, they see a devastated, flooded city and say "The Jersey Shore, present day." A few years later, Hurricane Sandy hit.
    • In the Alien riff, they remark that "Ian's been chugging that Lance Armstrong energy drink stuff!" Five years later, Armstrong admits to using steroids.
    • All the riffs about Matthew McConaughey's acting skills are pretty ironic given his recent Career Resurrection. Hell, Mike is even a fan of True Detective. The riffers now emphasize the fact that McConaughey is The Stoner and a Granola Guy, such as their version of his eulogy to Evel Knievel.
  • Genius Bonus: There are a handful of surprisingly high-brow references and jokes in each riff.
    "Welcome to Mandelbrot Station."
    "There may be a test tomorrow, there may not be." "Ah! Schrödinger's Pop Quiz!"
    "Uh, yeah, this Joseph Campbell crap's really derivative, you got any Carl Jung?"
    • There are a surprisingly large number of tributes to "Howl" and On the Road, especially in the shorts.
    • In the riff for The Phantom Menace, Jar Jar is called the most embarrassing character since Stepin Fetchit. Unless you're ninety years old or interested in African American cinema history, you probably have no idea what that means, though they're hardly the first people to compare Jar Jar to Stepin Fetchit.
    • In the riff for Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan says "So uncivilized" and the riffers say, complete with British accent, "Sometimes I don't think these Coolies deserve the British Raj."
    • At one point, they compare the pauses in Edward and Bella's dialogue to "Brobdingnagian."
    • The I Am Legend riff name-drops Danish physicist Niels Bohr.
    • In the short "The Day I Died," they crack a joke about Planck's constant, a reference that makes Niels Bohr sound mainstream.
    • Mythology Gag: Niels Bohr was referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000 many times, including one host segment.
    • "When a man threatens to poop on the drink cart, take him at his word. Look it up."
    • Several minutes into the riff of The Bourne Identity, Kevin makes a joke about the sociological concepts of gemeinschaft and gesellschaft.
    • In Cool as Ice, Kevin mentions the Trilateral Commission and the Reptilians. It's just one of several examples of them making jokes involving Conspiracy Theories.
    • During the riff of The Star Wars Holiday Special the guys riff an ad for a CBS showing of a movie titled The Bible, which is a film retelling of Bible stories. As the announcer reads out a Long List of Biblical names, such as Abraham, Noah's Ark, David, Sodom and Gomorrha, Bill throws out "Nimrod" and "Dorcas". While both are Inherently Funny Words, they are also genuinely people in The Bible note 
  • Growing the Beard: In 2011, the VOD for The Crater Lake Monster was released. Fans started to flock to the site as it started doing older, obscure films a la MST3K, and not completely focusing on major film commentary.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Any riff that makes fun of a specific celebrity that has died after the rifftrack was released can be considered this:
    • The live show of Anaconda listed "optimism for Ghostbusters 3" as a movie mistake. A few years later, thanks to a variety of factors, Ghostbusters (2016) ended up being one of the most controversial movies in recent memory.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the Iron Man Riff, while on a little tangent about how Robert Downey Jr. can improve the type of hat he is wearing, they suggest a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker. Cue the announcement for who plays the detective in the 2009 film...
      • Also in Iron Man, during the scene where Tony's suit ices up and he tells Jarvis to deploy the flaps, Mike quips: "You said we didn't need flaps, you installed spinning rims instead". Come The Avengers, when Jarvis claims that the new suit isn't ready yet, Tony actually says "Then skip the spinning rims."
      • And given how much Throw It In! was involved with Tony Stark's dialogue, courtesy of the pop-culture-savvy Robert Downey Jr being given a Harpo Does Something Funny free hand... It MIGHT have actually been a shout-out to the riff on his part.
    • In The Avengers the riffers spend some time pondering about Coulson's relationship with a cellist ... a character who later gets a whole episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and ends up being played by Amy Acker.
    • During shots of the Home Tree in the Avatar riff, Bill references Disney's Animal Kingdom. Guess what movie is now getting its own land at the park?
    • During the podracing scene in The Phantom Menace; "It's like a live-action Speed Racer!" The Live-Action Adaptation of Speed Racer came out a year and a half after the riff was released.
    • During the riff of Captain America: The First Avenger, the riffers tell Cap "Don't let Ant-Man become an Avenger." Marvel has since announced an Ant-Man movie.
      • Yet Marvel Studios has been scrupulously obedient up to at least 2019's Avengers: Endgame. Ant-Man did team up with Cap in Captain America: Civil War, but that netted him a prison sentence rather than an Avengers membership.
      • Speaking of the aforementioned Captain America movies, one of the riffers has Red Skull express shock that his Death Ray kills people instead of shrinking them. Spider-Man: Homecoming would use a similar joke when The Vulture uses a similar weapon to vaporize a flunky who screwed up...and then chewing out his other subordinates for handing him the death ray because he "only" wanted to make him float around for a bit.
    • During the RiffTrax of Revenge of the Sith, they make fun of Padmé waiting for Anakin in one scene by saying "Mickey Mouse is waiting for him." to which Kevin says as Mickey Mouse "*chuckles* Hi, Anakin! *chuckles again*". Guess who bought Lucasfilm and is making Star Wars Episode VII?
    • A man went to court after throwing sand into Darth Vader's face.
    • During the riffing of ''Daredevil, Mike continues Matt Murdock's (Ben Affleck) narration by stating that he would become a hero called Batman until a rich kid from Gotham sued him for the copyright. Well, guess who is playing the rich kid from Gotham in the DC Extended Universe?
      • Jared Leto is named as one of the "charisma-free actors" Elektra has beaten up. He plays the Joker opposite Affleck.
    • During the climax of Dr. Who and the Daleks, Kevin jokes about how the Daleks are made to shoot each other. ("You shot me! You knew it was me, Carl! You looked me in the eye!") That was funny enough. Then, it got funnier when what the Doctor really did to the Dalek fleet around Gallifrey was revealed in "The Day of the Doctor".
      • Also, at one point they riff about the inside of one Dalek's armor being covered with posters of "the chick who plays Arya Stark". A few years later, Doctor Who introduced a character named Ashildr...
    • In the Revenge of the Sith riff Bill raises the possibility of three more sequels during the aftermath of Mace Windu's death. 2 years later ...
    • Some of the pre-show cards for the Starship Troopers live show had movie titles to unscramble. The answer card for one for Monsters University commented "At least it's not Cars 3". Months later, Pixar announces Cars 3.
    • In their riff on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, when we first meet Gollum, Kevin quips, "Still, I'd take him over Jar Jar in a heartbeat!" which Mike replies, "Meesa, too.". On April 29th, 2014, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Andy Serkis is part of the cast for the next Star Wars film.
    • At Jean Grey's death scene in X-Men: The Last Stand, Mike says "Yes, the bliss of freedom from the X-Men franchise". Since then, Famke Janssen has appeared in not just one, but two X-Men movies.
    • Their jokes about the Kansas City Royals qualify now that they've made it to the World Series for the first time since 1985.
      • And especially after they won the World Series in 2015.
    • Their riff on The Last Airbender becomes this when you learn that one of the guest riffers, Janet Varney, would later appear in the sequel to the show the movie was based on.
      • Especially after the Grand Finale of the aforementioned show, at least with regards to these lines: "So do you think they mean 'bender' the way British people use it?" "Google it, folks!"
    • Their gag in the first Transformers movie about Anthony Anderson being "the whitest black guy in the world" is even more appropriate since he became the star of a show called Blackish.
    • In X2: X-Men United, one of the gags has one of the guys call Iceman "gay" and says "Same difference" when corrected as "mutant". A few years later, the comic character is actually revealed to be gay.
    • The intro to the riff of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring has Kevin disappointed and frustrated that the film doesn't include Radagast the Brown, among other characters. Radagast would later appear as a supporting character in The Hobbit trilogy.
    • A walrus was born at Sea World and named Ginger. She even looks like the main character from "Get That Job"!
    • A Running Gag in the Jurassic World review involves insinuating that Zach and Gray’s actors (Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins) aren’t especially invested in their performance or acting in general and plan to ditch the business as soon as the film is wrapped. Naturally, both continued acting in real life, but Robinson’s career in particular took off and he soon garnered critical acclaim and popularity for his lead role in Love, Simon, which can make the riff hilarious for those recognizing Robinson via Retroactive Recognition.
    • The "Red Wedding" joke in Fun In Balloon Land becomes even funnier knowing the crew would later do a Rifftrax of the infamous episode.
    • The "give Bowser an erection" joke in The Wizard becomes oddly prophetic in the wake of the Bowsette meme.
    • In their riff of High School Musical, one of the riffers ask "Didn't Chris R. threaten Denny up here?" This becomes even more hilarious when you realize that Zac Efron, who plays Troy in the High School Musical movies, later played the actor who played Chris R. in The Room in The Disaster Artist.
    • During the Cloverfield riff (recorded in 2008), the riffers urge the monster to knock down Trump Tower. Flash forward a decade or so later, and they're still making riffs at now-President Trump's expense.
  • Ho Yay: They're not above commenting on it when they see it. And hell, even when they don't see it.
    Snape: [shoving Quirrell against a wall] You don't want me as your enemy, Quirrell.
    Bill Corbett: Now shut up and kiss me.
  • Hype Backlash
    • The intro to The Dark Knight consisted of them making fun of how a Vocal Minority on the Internet called it the Best Movie Ever. It ends with Kevin flat out saying the movie sucked.
    • This was Bill's opinion of the original Star Wars, if his rant at the end is any indication.
  • Memetic Badass: Bonesaw!
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • From the "Grass" short shown at the Reefer Madness live riff, "IS CORN GRASS?" and "IS BAMBOO CORN?" are both making the rounds.note 
    • From "Get That Job": "Ginger walrus!"
    • Your friend Palpatine... "And your pal, Friendpatine" from the Revenge of the Sith Rifftrax has been making the rounds on Reddit and Tumblr.
    • After the Kickstarter for Space Mutiny got started, fans started putting David Ryder's infamous screaming face everywhere and Rifftrax has highly encouraged them to keep doing so.
  • Padding: The guys are pretty merciless about pointing this out in movies. This is especially true in their Video On Demand movies, as those tend to be the kind of low budget B-movies that make frequent and painfully obvious use of padding.
    Kevin: [during a scene of a police car pulling up to a house in The Curse Of Bigfoot] No detail is left out ... in our goal of padding this super-thin plot out to feature length.
  • Older Than They Think: Invoked in Clash of the Titans, when the riffers comment that Greek Mythology is such a rip-off of Star Wars.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The guys really love this kind of character, usually heaping a disproportionate amount of praise on them. For instance, to listen to them, you'd think that Jek Porkins and Bonesaw were the real stars of the Star Wars and Spider-man movies, respectively.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Janet Varney provides guest commentary in certain episodes, namely Dirty Dancing, Footloose, and The Lost Boys.
  • The Scrappy: Disembaudio, if only because of his voice. They Lampshade this in the commentary for The Room. Dis shows up with a few of his friends, who have similar voices to his. The riffers ask if they find that annoying.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • Much as in their MST3K days, the guys love pointing these out, especially in big budget Hollywood films.
      Kevin: Well, I didn't know there were digital wolves back in the days of Sparta.
    • During the R.O.T.O.R. Rifftrax, Kevin says that the baby in Twilight: Breaking Dawn was technically a special defect.
    • Bill is pretty stunned when he spots the infamous "backwards waterfall" in Anaconda.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The David and Hazel short is profoundly depressing. Lampshaded constantly by the riffers.
    • The Friends short manages to be even more so. The riffers even compare it to the former.
    • The segment in the first "National Georaphic Total Riff-Off" episode wherein an Irish veterinarian cares for a stranded baby seal named Sally for 8 years until her death. The description of his reaction and subsequent Heroic BSoD is extremely appropriate for anyone who lost a pet they were extremely close to. The riffers immediately call it out as a Downer Ending.
    • The Each Child is Different short has some surprisingly sad moments (due to most of the students being The Woobie). Luckily, there are many Crosses the Line Twice riffs.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Many jokes in Casino Royale (2006) revolve around the new direction the James Bond series took in this movie, and how it wasn't what they'd expected.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Occasionally they will show some genuine affection for even the worst films they watch, usually for certain characters (Palpatine, the Volturi) or certain scenes (Picard mourning his brother and nephew's death).
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!:
    • Occasionally some of their pop-culture references can come across as this, but its only really noticeable if they are just shouted out references to current pop culture without elaboration or referencing memes, furry/brony jokes included.
    • On the other hand, they'll sometimes make jokes that refer to pop culture from about 40 years ago, and then laugh sadly about how old they are.
    Mike: Let's see how you like a group of guys uglier than the cast of Car 54, Where Are You?
    Mike: Hey, there was a remake...23 years ago.
    • In their Solo riff, released in late 2018, Kevin makes a reference to the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7's... two years after that whole episode went down.
    Mike: You went back in time for that joke, didn't you?
  • You Keep Using That Word:
    • The guys occasional use the terms "Slashfic" and "Rule 34" to cover any postulated sexual relationship between characters (i.e. Umbridge/Potter)
    • They also like to call out people in movies for misusing the word "ironic," usually referencing the infamous Alanis Morissette song while doing so.


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