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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. Mom...m'I nuts? says:

    One terrifying word in the world of nuclear physics
    “Oops”- Tom Servo (Monster A Go-Go)


  2. MarcusVermilion says:

    From “The Amazing Colossal Man”: “The heart is made up of a single cell.” Servo: “What?!?”


  3. Murdock Hauser says:

    From “Time Chasers”.

    Tom: So eight, five, and quarter inch floppies hold the keys to time travel?


  4. Droppo says:

    From The Brain That Wouldn’t Die:

    Neck juice.


  5. robot rump! says:

    the running theory that a V-2 rocket could fly men to the 13th moon of Jupiter or the mythical planet Nova. Hitler was clearly not giving his weapon of death enough credit.


  6. mthead says:

    Hi Prophase.
    Hi Anaphase.


  7. Kansas says:

    Tom using the cheap western sets in Gunslinger to explain quantum physics. Best of all, Crow gets to eat his sandwich again.


  8. Dr. Erickson says:

    “You take a potato. Push a four-inch piece of zinc wire into one end, and a four-inch piece of copper wire into the other end. You now have a crude battery. Next, get your assistant to cut power to all the major cities of the world. Send your talking monkey out to buy hundreds of tons of potatoes, control the world’s supply of power, and soon you will rule the universe!” From a scientific standpoint: rock solid.


  9. Sitting Duck says:

    The Biosphere 2 inspired Invention Exchange from Master Ninja II.


  10. MSTie says:

    Hi Prophase.
    Hi Anaphase.

    Words cannot describe how much I love this riff. But to come up with something on my own, I always loved it (although may not have understood it) whenever Joel or Mike or the ‘bots came up with something to do with quantum physics. In The Giant Spider Invasion there’s “Are we still on for the Richard Feynman lecture?” Not a big laugh-getter, I imagine, but shows why we nerds & geeks love MST3K so much.


  11. Eric Smith says:

    Cave Dwellers
    Tom and Crow: “Cro-magnon! Neanderthal! Australopithecus africanus!” Perfect Servo delivery.


  12. Tom and Crow’s death ray they made “for peaceful purposes” which they immediately use for destruction.


  13. ck says:

    On the opposite, their missing comments. Howw about the Raadar Men on the moon series?
    I don’t recall much on comments by them—the Moon having an atmosphere with cloud cover,
    not moving slowly on the moon with giant leaps, etc. There was some critical comment
    about the nipple nipple tweek tweek jet pack but little else.

    Of course, they did have one woman crew member (although apparently mostly there
    for perparing food).


  14. Green Switch says:

    Crow’s riff from Ring of Terror: “The aorta makes an excellent sock puppet, and from here on will be represented by the timpani.”

    A riff that involves biology, sock puppetry, and Peter and The Wolf.

    This is why we love MST3K.


  15. ready4sumfootball says:

    All this talk about science and I just want to know how they eat and breathe.


  16. Jc says:

    Turkey Volume Guessing Man!


  17. DirtyTerry says:

    When they discuss The Invisible Man paradox. If his eyes were invisible, he’d be blind.


  18. Tjardus says:

    My favorite is from “Horror at Party Beach”

    “They must have gone at the speed of light cause they can see themselves arriving”


  19. Kali says:

    From “The Amazing Colossal Man”: “The heart is made up of a single cell.” Servo: “What?!?”

    Crow: You’re not a real doctor, are you?

    Always loved that scene. That was a scientist speaking, people…


  20. Kali says:

    From Radar Men from the Moon:

    Servo: Joel, why are there clouds on the moon?
    Crow: Why is there air in space?
    Servo: Why does the Earth have a shadow?
    Crow: Why are we watching this?
    Servo: Daddy? What’s Vietnam?


  21. insect man #47 says:

    When the cops are tracking the “Indestructible Man” with a flame thrower through the sewers of Los Angeles, Tom says “They’re using a flame thrower and there’s all that methane down there.”


  22. Flag on the Moon says:

    The Manhattan Project erotic fanfic involving Bohr and Oppenheimer, something about letting his lab coat slip to the floor.


  23. NHCrypto says:

    As Crow attempts to tunnel through space back to Earth, he has another look at his directions, which point out “Breach hull, all die.”


  24. goalieboy82 says:

    from phantom planet,
    crow: so you can just take a left turn in space.


  25. Edwin B says:

    Tom getting angrier each time Akio says the planet is a ‘star’ in Gamera vs Gurion always cracks me up!


  26. Danzilla "Cornjob" McLargehuge, Student of Kaijuology says:

    Definitely the super well executed time lag in Segment 1 of Prince of Space. Beautifully done, and hysterical.

    “Hey, has anyone seen my chicken puppet?”


  27. radioman970 says:

    Scientist: I’ve got the answer!
    Joel: It’s Coco Puffs, Bob! I’ve got no idea why, but it fits the equation. Check it out.

    Amazing Colossal Man


  28. goalieboy82 says:

    I know its off topic, but I was watching angels revenge last night. at the end of the movie:
    Mike: “Hey, where was Bruce Jenner in this shot?”
    Tom: “He’s the one on the left.”
    sampo, a good weekend topic would be throwaway lines that have come true.


  29. RedZoneTuba says:

    Jane: So, dinosaurs died out because they forgot how to love each other. Is that right?
    Servo: In a wrong kind of way, yeah.


  30. EricJ says:

    Samson vs. the Vampire Women-
    Crow: “I don’t get the physics of hovering bats.”


  31. Edge says:

    From the Movie and alluded to in the opening of this thread:

    Science and technology. Big men putting screwdrivers into things, turning them and adjusting them …

    Insert the toaster pastry… yum!


  32. Son of Peanut says:

    Phantom Planet was full of scientific oddities:
    “Good thing there’s so much gravity in space.”
    “So you can just take a hard left in space.”
    “So people are just balloons, then?”


  33. Jay says:

    Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Movie –

    (Refering to the alarm cat). “His name is Neutron because he’s so positive”.

    Aargh!! These are supposed to be nuclear scientists?!

    But wait… Maybe it was supposed to be an example of nerd humor?
    “Yeah, Neutron because he’s so positive. Huh? Get it? Because neutrons have no charge. Ha! Wait ’till I tell that one to the German guy. He’ll bust his Bavarian gut laughing!”

    Nuclear Nerd Humor


  34. TurkeyVolumeGuessingGal says:

    Try SODIUM!

    :-? :-/ :-/ :-? :-?


  35. littleaimishboy says:

    The Invisible Man paradox. If his eyes were invisible, he’d be blind.

    But he isn’t immaterial.*

    He just has the power to affect people’s minds so they can’t see him. HE can see just fine.

    *And neither is this objection.


  36. Herandar says:

    @23: “Even had it underlined!”


  37. Doug Glassman says:

    “Flag on the moon… how did it get there?” Could you imagine if Coleman Francis had the stones to try and film a moon landing movie?


  38. robot rump! says:

    Doug Glassman:
    “Flag on the moon… how did it get there?” Could you imagine if Coleman Francis had the stones to try and film a moon landing movie?

    he could do it, provided he can find a way to incorporate skydiving, flying to the moon in a piper cub and the moon would look a lot like cuba er new mexico.


  39. robot rump! says:

    oh yeah the astronauts would be hopped up on coffee.


  40. eegah says:

    Aaaaah! I’m falling at a 60 degree angle breaking all of the laws of physics!


  41. Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy says:

    From Devil Doll:

    Servo: Where’d you get the beer, Mike?

    Mike: Oh, it turns out the Nanites have a microbrewery.

    Servo: Oh, great. So we can have a savage dorm booze binge after all.

    Mike: You know, the Nanites would have a microbrewery.

    Servo: Yeah, right.

    Mike: Because they’re microscopic

    Servo: I got it Mike!


  42. Dan says:

    Edwin B:
    Tom getting angrier each time Akio says the planet is a ‘star’ in Gamera vs Gurion always cracks me up!

    Damn! You beat me to it.
    Even with Tom voicing our collective rage for us, it still makes me crazy every time the pontificating, tiny-pants-wearing little twerp says it. And shut up about the damn traffic accidents already! Sorry, I’m just bitter.

    Also, someone will have to remind me of the episode, but there is a scene in which a sciency type is going on about some nonsensical theory & Crow finishes his thought with:
    “It’s pudding, we don’t know why.”

    Maybe it’s just as well I don’t remember what it’s from, because it makes me wee myself with laughter every time it comes up, unsuspecting like.


  43. Dan says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot the Micro-Golf invention exchange with all the microbiology references. None of which I fully grasp as I’m not terribly bright. “The wheels really are coming off”.

    Again, I don’t recall the episode. I’ve been doing a deep dive, watching all the Rhino & Shout! releases in chronological (by air date) order. At least one a day. This is what is called in psychology circles “not having a life”.

    So the result is some minor blending & mixing in what is left of my brain.


  44. Leave Crow T. Robert Denby Alone says:

    “You start with a set of teeth, decide it it was a flesh eater or a grass eater, and you go from there!” Paleontology 101 form the Deadly Mantis. One of the few correct things we learned from ’50’s movie science.


  45. Leave Crow T. Robert Denby Alone says:

    @38 Well, he did have a landscape to work with…


  46. Fart Bargo says:

    Radar Men from the Moon serial had tons of scientific assumptions that were left unsaid as ck @13 points out. One line that was said was when the G-Man was discussing the mystery explosions, Commando Cody speculates that since no one on earth has the advanced science to create such a weapon, it must come from the moon! G-man agrees and not an ounce of wonder at life on the moon?!

    So many scenes defy the simplielist scientific facts. Cuffed dress slacks and bare hands on the moon’s surface, bare knuckle brawls every episode with out an injury or even a drop of blood, cars careening off of bridges and cliffs and people jumping from these speeding vehicles without injury, six shooters that do not run out of bullets, I could go on and on.


  47. servomademesayit says:

    Exeter: Place your hands above the rails, they’re magnetized.

    Mike: And if your hands were metal, that would mean something.


  48. [the Original] Stan McSerr, Destroyer of Worlds says:

    And what about scarecrow’s brain?


  49. Juice says:

    Also from “Radar Men from the Moon” —-
    “There’s been an unusual amount of radioactivity on the moon.”
    Servo, (I think): “Isn’t ANY amount of radioactivity on the moon unusual??”


  50. Ray Dunakin says:

    Loved the Micro Golf bit, especially when he’s teeing off: “Point zero zero…Four!”


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