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Weekend Discussion Thread: Favorite Science References

Alert reader Brandon suggests:

Okay, so we know the show isn’t about how the crew eats and breathes, or other science facts. But Joel, Mike and the Bots sure knew a lot about science and technology. And not just the easy stuff – they often pointed out scientific errors in the film (“There is no steam in a vacuum!” from “12 to the Moon”) or made obscure references to science, researchers and concepts (Joel’s tissue fax from Linus Pauling in “Gamera vs. Gaos”).

What are your favorite science references from MST?

66 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: Favorite Science References”

  1. Satoris says:

    From The Phantom Planet……so, you can just make a left turn in space.


  2. Sitting Duck says:

    @ #46: Actually, it was Ted who speculated that. Back during the discussion of The Robot Vs. the Aztec Mummy, I remarked surprised at how they didn’t do a, “SHUT UP!” riff in that instance.


  3. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Best of all, Crow gets to eat his sandwich again.


    That’s “sammich”


  4. Erich says:

    Many times J&tB/M&tB had to point out that tires, in fact, do not squeal on dirt roads.


  5. Kali says:

    Many times J&tB/M&tB had to point out that tires, in fact, do not squeal on dirt roads.

    Servo: Hal Needham was brought in to direct this scene. And that was it.


  6. Kali says:

    From “Village of the Giants”:

    Mike: Oh now, spiders don’t growl! Not even fifty foot spiders!
    Servo: Well, you don’t really know that fifty foot spiders don’t growl…


  7. dubcity says:

    Space Mutiny:
    “Is it a good idea for a pilot to eject in space?
    The high density de-atomizer escape system. Unfortunately it only works over short distanceses.
    “Ah, the laser the whirls like a drill.”


  8. Cornjob says:

    There were growling snakes too in Cave Dwellers.

    Has anyone mentioned the psychological profile of Jimmy in I accuse my Parents?


  9. goalieboy82 says:

    remember, its a sandy frank film so nothing make sense.


  10. crowschmo says:



  11. Cornjob says:

    “The physics here are all wrong”, as the silver guys are being bounced by explosives in Escape 2000.


  12. Gare.Chicago says:

    Has anyone mentioned the psychological profile of Jimmy in I accuse my Parents?

    “There’s ‘Stupid’! Real big!”



  13. Flying Saucers Over Oz says:

    Very late for the party, but I’ve got a dilly: The ‘Rocky Jones’ episode where they explain the cloaking device that makes the villains’ ship invisible works by projecting extreme cold. Y’see, just as great heat in the desert creates mirages so we see things that aren’t there, great cold causes us to not see things that are there.

    That’s so stupid it borders on brilliance.


  14. TitanGojira says:

    Crow’s “Industry, science, and technology!” from MST3K the Movie. I use it whenever a movie or TV show shows a character building something.


  15. Tom F. says:

    Three words: Quaternion Number Theory. (As seen in episode #806 The Undead – as the observers discuss Tom’s test results)

    As a Math major (now a math instructor), this phrase is correct, although I learned it in an Abstract Algebra class as the Quaternion ring, which was an example of a ring where multiplication is not commutative. I am willing to bet anything that this was the first joke to use Quaternion in the history of television. This cemented my appreciation of the writers of MST 3k. I suspect Kevin Murphy of coming up with the reference because he knew it sounded like something “advanced” that the observers would likely know all about. To some it sounds made up, but to me, it sounded like someone knew a way to buzz directly into my brain in a way I never thought possible. The further I went in my education, the more I appreciated it when writers took the time to use math and science correctly instead of using gibberish (or worse, recklessly state falsities as facts). To me, this was yet another example of Joel’s comment, “We don’t ask who will get this joke, the right people will get this joke.” Anyway, thanks, MST, for shocking me in good way!


  16. Dan says:

    OK, this will probably never be seen by anyone because this is a very old thread.
    How ’bout the scene in THE MOLE PEOPLE when the earthquake hits & all the top flight archeologists rush to save everything EXCEPT their great, Nobel-winning discovery?
    I just watched the episode & it pissed me off.
    So to those in the year 5000 who actually read this, thank you.


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