Support Us

Satellite News is not financially supported by Best Brains or any other entity. It is a labor of love, paid for out of our own pockets. If you value this site, we would be delighted if you showed it by making an occasional donation of any amount. Thanks.

Sampo & Erhardt

Discuss the show!

Sci-Fi Archives

Visit our archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.

Goodbye Sci-Fi

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett reflect on MST3K's final broadcast.

Social Media

Visit these!

Visit, the official site of Best Brains, Inc. and Mystery Science Theater 3000.

And be sure to visit Cinematic Titanic by Joel Hodgson and other original MST3K cast members.

And don't forget about, the place to download DVD commentaries by Michael J. Nelson.

And check out the official web site of Joel Hodgson.

Get Darkstar Today!

Weekend Discussion Thread: Riffs that Cracked You Up Years Later

The alert regular who goes by “Smoothie of Great Power” suggests:

I’ve seen every episode from Season 1-10 at least once and there are many that I re-watch on a regular basis, so of course I hear the same riffs many times. Sometimes, there are just certain ones that I remember hearing that I suddenly begin laughing at much harder than I ever had before, even if it isn’t an obscure reference that I realized.

My example comes from The Starfighters during the first refueling scene where Servo quips, “I’m going over to this plane, they got chocolate gas! Um-num-num-num!”

That one never stuck out much until a recent viewing and it ended up getting my biggest laugh of the night.

Have at it!

70 comments to Weekend Discussion Thread: Riffs that Cracked You Up Years Later

  • 1
    HauntedHill says:

    “Snap into a Slim Jim!” from Boggy Creek 2 gave me a big laugh a few weeks back, and seems to get a bigger one every time I rewatch it.


  • 2
    Kevin says:

    Two that come to mind are the Operatic “AHH”s in Werewolf and the Failure sequence in The Day The Earth Froze.


  • 3
    Sitting Duck says:

    From The Atomic Brain: “The continental breakfast is at eight, and if you hear screaming, don’t listen.”


  • 4
    ck says:

    There’s Johnny Longbow’s stew recipe:

    “What’s in it?”
    “A lot of things [rattlesnake, velveeta] chicken, corn, green peppers, chili [sigh], onions… [hair]…


  • 5
    gorto says:

    Yes it happens to me, and it gets me in trouble! Master Ninja 1 had me laughing for days, often at inappropriate times, after hearing “i heard at the truck stop that he’s a ninja” = joel “yeah, it’s a ninja truck stop”. Why do you cause such anguish mst3k? Smile


  • 6
    Nils says:

    “He tried to kill me with a forklift!” I just saw Fugative Alien for the first time in years and completely forgot about the song. Just the absurdity of that plot point…brilliant.


  • 7
    Al North says:

    “Watch out for snakes.” Eegah


  • 8
    jjb3k says:

    These days, I tend to leave the show on in the background as I work more often than I actually sit and watch it. So when I do pay close attention, I uncover a lot of gems that slipped right past me on previous screenings. Case in point: the last time I watched “12 to the Moon”, when they extract the guy from the quicksand by pointing that vaguely theremin-looking thing at him, the riff “This makes no sense and yet it’s working!” actually brought me to tears from laughing so hard. Grin


  • 9
    Duane Zykov says:

    “Did you have to bring your walker up here?” from Radar Secret Service.


  • 10
    Garza says:

    The one joke that I didn’t catch upon first airing but did when I bought the DVD of Volume 5 when it came out came from “The Touch of Satan” when our “hero” walks out of Ellen’s Diner and Crow quips “What was Anne Heche doing in there?” I had tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard, but it was one of those quick jokes I missed and always felt foolish for having fly by me.


  • 11
    robot rump! says:

    ‘ the Girl from Lover’s Lane’ when the train is coming down the track and Crow says “..uh camera three get off the track. camera three..! and J&tB scream.


  • 12
    trickymutha says:

    Last night’s viewing
    From Agent for HARM- “oh you lucky trunks”
    From Quest of the Delta Knights- “Her dough has risen”
    Both made me nearly spit my beer.


  • 13
    Tim says:

    From “The Amazing Colossal man”

    One character asks of another, “Mind if I smoke?”

    Riff: “I don’t care if you burst into flames.”

    Cracks me up every time I think about it.


  • 14
    Mr. B(ob) says:

    I’ve had a lot of those moments over the years. One I remember specifically is what I sometimes call “the dirtiest joke ever on MST3K”. It’s a line I barely noticed on first viewing or even maybe some early subsequent ones, then when I finally noticed it, really noticed it, I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s a line in Manhunt In Space if I recall. The commander calls Rocky Jones on the video communicator and says something like, “I didn’t expect to find you in, Rocky.” Crow retorts, “But I’m not in Rocky.” When I finally picked up on it I realized it was genius.


  • 15
    bobhoncho says:

    From Junior Rodeo Daredevils, once I understood the reference:

    “Animals are to be bred and SLAUGHTERED!!”


  • 16
    Farmland says:

    Space Mutiny: “They rocked us like a hurricane, sir!”


  • 17
    marcusvermilion says:

    Crow’s “Quick, give him Dutch Elm Disease!” riff in “Jack Frost”. Another one would be the “IT’S!” riff said in “Jack Frost” and several other episodes.


  • 18
    ck says:

    Related to the theme: for some reason after watching Touch of Satan
    I always get a craving for some CARNATION ICE CREAM!


  • 19
    Brandon says:

    From This Island Earth:

    Servo: “Should we be seeing this?”

    I *never* understood that riff for the longest time….. mainly because I wasn’t really paying attention to what Cal Meechem was *doing* that one specific moment.

    The second I got it, I cracked up.


  • 20
    snowcapjr says:

    From Monster a-go-go…
    He was short, pair shaped, and stood the whole way.

    I start laughing before Tom says it!


  • 21
    Kenneth Morgan says:

    I’d watched the riffing of the original “Gamera” for years. Recently, though, I find that I laugh even harder during the scene where a character (can’t remember his name) suddenly sets a big fire to draw Gamera into a trap, setting up this…

    SERVO: Hey, it’s Frank Burns!
    JOEL: Margaret, I love you! I’m doing this for you!

    Joel’s delivery of his line just really cracks me up nowadays.


  • 22
    Hollyhox says:

    From Deadly Mantis, when they’re making fun of the old guy: “Marie died, you know!” Don’t know how I missed the one for so long! XD


  • 23
    Depressing Aunt says:

    The first one that comes to mind is from “Tormented.”

    The lead character is approaching the lighthouse from which he tossed Vi, and Joel says, “Hmm. Think I’ll return to the scene of the crime to cheer myself up.” Less than a second later, Joel says, “It worked!” I laughed really hard the last time I watched it–it’s the first time the absurdity of that moment really hit me.


  • 24
    Zabka Lives says:

    Final Justice, close up of Joe Don Baker’s mouth: “The last thing a sausage sees.”

    Kills me every time.


  • 25
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    Time of the Apes.

    From outside, we see Caroline open the drapes of her prison with an inexplicable loud whooshing sound.

    Kid: There’s Caroline!
    Crow: With her pneumatic drapery.

    Just don’t know how I missed that the first time. It’s hilarious.


  • 26

    A very early one from ‘The Crawling Hand’. When some guy is turning random dials on a console and Tom says “Lets see. Mess with this switch. Twist that. Flip this. Oops! Someones coming. Good luck with that! *snicker*”


  • 27
    The Mighty Untrained FOOZLE says:

    The best instance of this I can recall is last year we threw a MST party for a bunch of friends who were only faintly familiar that is was a show that used to be on and there were puppets or something. The movie of choice was Hobgoblins, and while I can talk along with both the movie and the riffs at this point, certain jokes got bigger laughs from the crowd than I had ever given them, and it was infectious. Now those lines stick out a lot more than they used to, and the movie now seems more “dense”. If that makes sense.


  • 28

    RED ZONE CUBA: Tom Servo (as Coleman Francis) – “If you see something, film it. We’ll put it in.”

    Always makes me laugh. In fact, that whole “diner” sequence still works.

    “My father was a wood duck, my mother was a can opener.” I may have mixed up the order and which was the can opener and wood duck, but it’s still a superbly funny line.


  • 29
    EricJ says:

    X Marks the Spot:
    Angel: “But, all good things come to an end…”
    Joel: “Including the Wildwood Weed.”
    (Having never heard of the song in my life, I just liked Joel’s delivery, without getting the 70’s reference.)

    That, and Mary Jo’s trademark for putting in “It’s you, you brought the birds, you’re evil!” whenever a flock of seagulls fly overhead (eg. Day the Earth Froze), since I’d never seen the Hitchcock movie all the way through.


  • 30
    Thomas K. Dye says:

    One I just caught, because it goes by so fast and on previous viewings I was actually caught up in the scene:

    The Beatniks:

    Moon: “What’s the difference, ya kill one, two, or a hundred?!”
    Tom: Uh… ninety-eight.


  • 31
    Bat Masterson says:

    The poop jokes make me laugh harder now than they did in my younger days.

    “Well, I’m gonna go make the lagoon a little blacker.”


  • 32
    Chris from CT says:

    I ALWAYS laugh at the part in FUTURE WAR, when the “dinosaur” bursts through the window of the halfway house for huge guys and the one fat guy in blue swings a golf club at the dinosaur and gets knocked down and crow says SAVE THE MEATLOAF ! ! !

    That gets me every time.


  • 33
    GonzoRedux says:

    First watched “Jack Frost” when I was ten, so it went way over my head…

    Ugly step-sister is having some ghastly makeup applied:
    “And this is what you get when you take beauty tips from Andrea Dworkin.”



  • 34
    wetzelcoatl says:

    Every Minnesota joke that I didn’t get until I moved to Minneapolis.


  • 35
    little winged potato says:

    Tits all over for you Ator

    There’s a mantis in my pant-is


  • 36
    k0n4 says:

    Never get tired of Joel’s exasperated “DO something!” in ‘Manos: The Hands of Fate’.

    Also, Mike’s repeated “I’m Cherokee Jack” never fails to delight.


  • 37
    Joe Mannix says:

    Crow’s riff during “Teenagers From Outer Space;” ‘turn Rush Limbaugh off!’


  • 38
    [the original] Stan McSerr, Destroyer of Worlds says:

    A Date with your Family:
    Narrator: These boys greet their Dad as though they were genuinely glad to see him, as though they really missed him.
    Mike: there not
    Makes me laugh every time.
    Really “as though” implies acting,not genuine. I am laughing now as I type this Laugh


  • 39

    I like the riff about the blue Trypoline liquid being “Smurf urine” in Riding With Death even more now after meeting actor Alan Oppenheimer at a fan convention. He played Dr. Hale, the bald crook responsible for the Tyrpolidine formula, who fakes working on his patents papers. He’s mainly known for his voice work in animation, including The Smurfs, which is why I find that joke more hilarious now. I also got him to say the words “patent papers” on camera, which is why I like those patent paper jokes even more now. Look for my video on YouTube using the web link in my posting.


  • 40
    itsspideyman says:

    In “The Undead”, when the hag comes looking for Pendragon in the inn and the innkeeper asks if she wants him to call Pengragon,

    the innkeeper yells “HO!! PENGRAGON!!!”

    and Tom says “I could have done that! Jeez!!”

    I laugh every time because I wonder if anyone on the set was saying the same thing to themselves!


  • 41
    pondoscp says:

    I’ll have this effect on whole episodes. It’ll be an episode that never really struck me before, then POOM! I call it having a breakthrough moment on the episode, finally seeing what the fanatics of any given episode are seeing. This most recently happened with this week’s episode guide entry, “Quest Of The Delta Knights.” While the episode drags on, I came to appreciate the first half hour more and more.


  • 42
    Blowie the Dolphin says:

    In the “A Young Man’s Fancy” short, when they open the dishwasher, and Mike says “Found the smell”.


  • 43
    AmazingRando says:

    This does happen to me a lot, with various episodes and various lines. I’ve been watching MST3K since I was 16 or 17 and I’ve seen every episode at least 20 times, I would reckon. Like a lot of people, I assumed I was the biggest fan of the show there was (even the only one) until the internet came along.

    The first line that comes to mind is from Jack Frost, kind of subtle, when Father Mushroom and Ivan first meet. The small wizard says something to the effect of, “But sometimes I get bored.” Ivan says, “You get bored?” Batting it right back, Father Mushroom says, “I get bored.” Mike replies, with equal lack of animation, “Do you get bored?” I’m not sure why this cracks me up so badly, but 15 years later I still laugh at it. Maybe any bigger delivery or a more complex line would have diluted the hilarity for me.

    There was also a couple of lines that nearly killed me, way back in the day. First time Hercules Unchained aired, I was enjoying a drink during the scene when Hercules, Ulysses, and Iole cross paths with the burly Anteo. I literally almost choked and couldn’t get my breath back for several seconds because I took a drink as Ulysses made to attack Anteo and was tossed through the air. Ulysses: “I’ll show you what a boy can do!” (tossed) Servo: “I can flyyyyyyyy!” I made have been a lot safer if Tom hadn’t hit me again with another punch while I was down, when Iole calls for Hercules’ help and he says, “I’m so sleepy I can’t keep my eyes open.” Tom, at his wry best, comments: “Well, that would be the definition of sleepy.” I’m lucky to still be here.

    I also especially agree with #28, #36, and #37, and I’ve seen a lot of good selections on here. Anything from any of the Coleman Francis movies, San Francisco International, Night of the Blood Beast, Time of the Apes, Daddy-O, Operation Double 007, and Prince of Space will keep me laughing for a long time.


  • 44
    Luther Heggs aka Number 6 says:

    Operation Double 007.

    After the skit wherein Joel performs his hilarious Thair Beta impression, they return to the movie and Crow says in a funny voice, “Really fun sketch, Joel.”

    And Joel says, “I knoooow.”

    Jesus Christ. I know it by heart, yet it still manages to ambush me every time. I suppose it’s because I am already laughing from the skit and then they do the callback with subtlety and perfectly timed.


  • 45
    Hotchka! says:

    A Date With Your Family had some that always get me:

    “Dad, I had a feeling today.” “Well, don’t, Son.”

    “Remember, Emotions are for Ethnic People.”

    The Begining of the End also has one that slays me:



  • 46
    Cherokee Jack says:

    First Spaceship On Venus: “There’s an angry black man on line two…”

    The senate investigation scene from “racket girls”: (Mike) “This director has just out-wooded Ed Wood!”

    Mr. B Natural: (Buzz) “No, I’d better just go upstairs and do my reading…” (Mother) “This time, try not to make so much noise when you ‘read’…”


  • 47
    Yipe Striper says:

    I can’t think of any right now, but there are some lines- that I know are coming, and right before they say them, I start laughing…


  • 48
    Th1rt3eN says:

    what always gets me is the scene in Magic Sword where the troll is throwing big rocks at George, the camera jump cuts to a close up of the troll holding a rock shaped like a loaf of bread and Joel says in the troll voice “Have some pumpernickel bread with me friend”. That one used to get stuck in my head back when I was in school, I busted out laughing once in gym class because of that riff, everyone looked at me like I was insane.

    The most recent one for me has to be from First Spaceship On Venus, when Tom sings “today’s the day the teddy bears go to Venus”

    Another one that jumps out at me is that scene in Final Sacrifice where the camera for no apparent reason is looking up Troy’s nose and he is making this weird toothy smile face and I think it’s Tom who makes a messed up snorting noise.

    Oh and the other one that always surprises me is from Devil Fish, that scientist guy is using his computer and it suddenly says “I-love-you-Davis” then that creepy Woman walks in and one of the guys (Mike I think) says “Hi-Honey-I’m-Here”


  • 49
    Creeping-Death says:

    In Squirm, they comment as the weird looking sister: “Diane Arbus wanted to take my pictures again, mom.” Cracked me up the past couple times I’ve seen it once I knew who Diane Arbus was.


  • 50
    Fart Bargo says:

    I enjoyed Earth VS the Spider segment when one of the exterminators was killed by the spider in the cave, Joel blurts out “Look, it’s Dr Erhardt! So that’s what happened to him.” As silly as this may sound something like this shows what a class, and funny, act J&TB are.


  • 51
    Alexander Phipps says:

    Servo losing control at the end of Batwoman. “End!!!!!!!!!”


  • 52
    Tjardus says:

    Not really a Riff but every time one of the cast breaks into an “Asia” or “Journey” song I crack up. Mostly due to the fact that I owned & listened to all of that stuff back in my misspent youth. My favorite is at the end of “Escape 2000” when Tom morphs the “Leave the Bronx” song into “Separate ways”. Ahh…good times.


  • 53
    NewPetitionAgainstTax says:

    So many ones. These few get funnier with each viewing:

    Diabolik (hero, cornered by the police chief, pulls out a tablet which Servo declares as being a suppository) Mike declares “Maybe I can run up real fast and push it into him”

    Night of Blood Beast
    “We’re switching all power to the radio”
    “Had to snap him in two like a frozen dog”
    “Snarf farms?”
    “He bought a canal?”

    “Want to try some of that kissing…?”
    Wife’s disappearing head scarf

    Girl in Gold Boots
    Diner teleportation “I’m back!”


  • 54
    "70's run on car says:

    Yusef Lateef Isef Lateef let’s call the whole thing off. I laughed out loud at the record store when I saw one of his albums.


  • 55
    Mooney says:

    First, this happens often and one of the things I like about the show.

    In Time Chasers, the Time Machine plane is coasting in the airfield when Mike quips,
    “The plane looks like it can’t think of anything to say”
    I must have seen this episode 15 times, and then one viewing it clicked and I lost it completely, because it does look that way.


  • 56
    ManOrAstromanFan says:

    I have two.

    In Prince of Space when one child says to the another on PoS’s first appearance: “is that a man?” and Crow fires off “yeah, believe it or not”. Gets me every time.

    And in the Mole People when one scientist falls and Agar (I think) says “we gotta get down” and Mike says “we gotta get funky!” I chuckle just writing that.


  • 57
    edward says:

    I don’t know how I missed it for so long but the “I’m back!” when the guy “teleports” into the scene at the diner in Girl in Gold Boots. Didn’t notice it until a couple of years ago and now I laugh until I cry when I see it.


  • 58
    Francis J. Fox says:

    Quest of the Delta Knights: POTS! Pots to throw pee at your neighbors with!

    Hobgoblins: Pee Wee Herman casual wear.


  • 59
    Troy Thomas says:

    It’s not a riff, but I was watching “The Mole People” again after I hadn’t seen it for a while, and I found the astoundingly silly movie itself made me laugh more than it ever has. Prof. Gesture is rapidly becoming a household name around here.


  • 60
    Benjamin Lecrone says:

    When The Giant Spider Invasion first aired I was living in western New York. Thirteen years later my wife’s job took us to Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Suddenly all of the Wisconsin jokes made perfect sense. Our favorite was the one referencing the “Tommy Bartlett Show”. We lived very near a road running north to the Dells and there were numerous Tommy Bartlett Show billboards. Now whenever my kids and I watch The Giant Spider Invasion we laugh pretty hard at that riff. We also yell “Packers Won the Superbowl” at the end of most major televised sports events. That’s a bit awkward as we now live in Würzburg, Germany. At the end of a soccer, sorry fussball, game at a local sports bar the locals cheered and without thinking my daughter and I yelled “Packers Won the Superbowl!!” We got a lot of odd looks that day.


  • 61
    Travis McLemore says:

    “Hercules” after our hero kills a lion with his bare hands, some soldiers come down the road… Joel says,”Hi,we came to pick up Fluffy…OH MY GOD!”


  • 62

    I’ve seen every episode at least twice — and many of them countless times — and I estimate I’ve seen Wild Rebels at least a million billion zillion crapdillion times, but somehow it wasn’t until one day last week when I was watching it, when they get to that part of the race scene where the wheel comes off that one car, and Crow blurts out “Hey, the wheel’s winning! Get back on the track!” — and I’m suddenly laughing so hard I nearly wet myself.

    Maybe it was just the moment, maybe just my mood at the time. All those other times, that riff kinda slid on by, perhaps getting a smirk or a giggle out of me, but last week, after all these years, I heard Crow throw that riff down and I busted out howling like a lunatic.


  • 63

    King Dinosaur became an instant favorite the first time I ever saw it, and I’ve seen it even more times than Wild Rebels, but it wasn’t until just a few months ago, when I’d hooked up some new speakers and had tweaked the EQ a bit that I could hear — during that one camp meal scene, right after Joel and Servo make cracks about the lemur tasting gamey and stringy — Crow sort of moaning in a low, quiet, despairing voice, “They ate the lemur…!” Oh, man, I damn’ near died.

    In fact, there’ve been a number of quiet, subtle Crow riffs that I’ve finally been able to hear clearly now that I’ve got some decent speakers — like that scene in Rocketship XM where the characters are discussing the consequences of a misjudged landing approach to Mars and Joel & Servo toss off a couple of loud, clear riffs, followed by Crow quietly adding, “sss-sssPLAT…!”


  • 64
    KidOCD says:

    I just watched “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” (#513), newly re-leased on DVD by Shout! with the pups. Maybe I’m easily amused, but “Hey, you’re not my dad — you’re Hitler!” always brings a laugh out of me. But it’s that way with almost all episodes and why, after MST3K has been off the air almost 20 years, I still watch and still buy Shout!’s releases as soon as they are announced.


  • 65
    JC says:

    In Riding with Death, after the truck explodes, when Ben makes himself invisible in front of the bad guy (which can’t BEEEEE?), the guy fires randomly a bunch of times, and Servo gives a little “ow. ow. ow. ow.” Like Ben stupidly didn’t move after becoming invisible. Easy to miss the first hundred times, but now it’s one of my favorite riffs in the episode.


  • 66
    lpydmblb says:

    I was fast forwarding through a VHS tape recently, radomly hit play, and “Boggy Creek II” came up, specifically the scene where the less enthusiastic lab assistant was hunched over a computer keyboard. When Crow chimed in with “Viv Savage, Research Assistant!” I laughed for about five minutes.


  • 67
    ghlbtsk says:

    I can’t remember which episode, but as a police car comes to a stop and the wailing siren slowly descends in pitch, Servo mimics the siren with “Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, that’s too bad.”

    It didn’t get more than a chuckle the first several viewings but suddenly it was the funniest thing I ever heard. Now, every single time I hear it out on the street I feel oddly comforted by the Incredibly Empathetic Descending Siren.


  • 68

    KidOCD says:
    January 29, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I just watched “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” (#513), newly re-leased on DVD by Shout! with the pups. Maybe I’m easily amused, but “Hey, you’re not my dad — you’re Hitler!” always brings a laugh out of me…

    After many years of digging Brain That Wouldn’t Die, I suddenly found myself cracking up at a couple of quick, almost throwaway riffs in the strip club scene… when that blonde dancer in the feather boa is working her shoulders and the Bots start clucking like chickens, and later in the same scene when they cut to a close-up of the dark-haired dancer and Servo blurts out “Rocky Graziano!”


  • 69
    Huggybear says:

    I grew up a Moody Blues fan. So when the knight on the horse goes by in “The Undead”, and Servo quips “Me in White Satin”, i just lose it.


  • 70
    Teridactyl says:

    Oh so many, but the few that come to mind immediately are—of course—the barrage of nicknames for the hero in Space Mutiny, especially “Big McLargehuge!” Also, the shot of the character Calgon in the final stinger where Tom says, “Me…take Me away.”

    Also, in I Accuse My Parents, when the kid is acquitted at the end, Joel blurts out, “THANK GOD I’M WHITE!”

    The graveyard scuffle between Hamlet and Laertes: “Craplet!” “Losertes!”

    And finally, in San Francisco International, when one of the leading ladies is being held hostage by a guy disguised as a priest who keeps calling her “sweetheart”: “I’m beginning to think you’re not a priest.”