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

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


Weekend Discussion Thread: The response riff

Alert regular “Sitting Duck” proposes…

One of the many types of riffs used on the show is the response riff. By this I mean: a character in the movie says something and the riffer responds to it, often mimicking one of the other characters in the scene. A favorite of mine of this type of riff occurs in “The Wild, Wild World of Batwoman,” when Ratfink is berating Neon for his incompetence. Neon offers an apology, to which Tom responds mimicking Ratfink with, “Sorry don’t pay the gas bill.”

What’s your favorite?

60 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: The response riff”

  1. jay says:

    Final Sacrifice –

    Troy and Rowsdower enter the trapper’s cabin and Troy exclaims “FOOD!”
    In the voice of Rowsdower Crow responds “Yeah. No beer, though.”.

       17 likes

  2. skrag2112 says:

    I like the ones where a character or narrator says something that is supposed to be amazing or grandiose, and the response riff cuts them right down.
    Example from ‘Circus On Ice’
    Narrator – “Individual artistry is blended into brilliant choreography.”
    Crow – “On Broadway, but not here!”

       10 likes

  3. Tom Mueller says:

    One of my all time favorites is in Operation Double 007. After the extended, ridiculous scene of the women stealing an atomic nucleus from a deuce and a half full of idiot soldiers in the desert via a sort of pop-up carnival, the scene jump cuts to the old guy at his table, turning his head to the side. “THE HELL WAS THAT?” Is Servo’s response riff. Kills me every time.

       12 likes

  4. Son of Peanut says:

    “A Date With Your Family” has some great response riffs. One of the best is…

    Narrator: Brother seats Mother as he would his best girl.

    Mike: The less said about this, the better.

       18 likes

  5. DarkGrandmaofDeath says:

    The Dead Talk Back, when Krasker has set up the “radio” in the darkened living room (“…No light can be permitted. Except for maybe a very small one”). While everyone is sitting in the semi-dark, listening to the dish on the table, the furrowed-brow woman says, “I can’t hear it clearly.” Servo’s “That’s because IT’S A RAZOR BLADE IN A GLASS!” is one of my favorite responses ever. It’s succinct, exactly right, and with just the right amount of rage.

       8 likes

  6. — Oh, Paul, this is Dr. Rizzo.
    — What up, bitch ?

       8 likes

  7. From The Deadly Mantis;

    Colonel Parkman, “ladies and gentlemen….”

    Crow, “lick me”

       7 likes

  8. Sitting Duck says:

    Another favorite of mine comes from Diabolik. Concerning the payload being guarded by the decoy convoy, someone (I think it was Ginko, but I’m not absolutely sure) remarks, “Wonder how those guys would feel if they knew they were guarding all this waste paper instead of ten million dollars?” Mike gave the perfect reply with, “They’d feel hurt, sir.”

       13 likes

  9. From MST3K: The Movie/This Island Earth.

    Cal (after a long speech about science of whatever): “I sure hope you taxpayers don’t mind.”
    M&TB (as the reporters, in unison): “We do…”

    Soultaker also has this gem.

    Lead female character played by the film’s writer: “I don’t understand!”
    Mike (as her boyfriend): “Hey, YOU wrote this crap!”

       18 likes

  10. Keith Palmer says:

    With shorts already brought up, I’m irresistibly tempted to mention “Progress Island USA” and, even if they might be a little oblique as “responses”:

    Narrator: An American democracy.
    Tom: Would be really great.

    Narrator: Bilingual schools.
    Mike: Bisexual students.

       9 likes

  11. Thrillhouse says:

    “You knew my father?”

    KNEW HIM? HE WAS DELICIOUS!

       27 likes

  12. Murdock Hauser says:

    One of my favorites comes from “Prince Of Space”.

    Krankor: Prepare to leave Krankor.
    World Leader: What’s that?
    Krankor: Prepare to leave. Each of you will enter a space capsule.
    World Leader: What?

    Tom: For crying out loud! EACH OF YOU WILL ENTER A SPACE CAPSULE!!
    Krankor keeps talking.
    Tom: Huh?
    Tom: What’s that?
    Mike:What did he say?
    Tom: Come again?
    Crow:What?

       14 likes

  13. Sitting Duck says:

    Scott Armstrong:
    From The Deadly Mantis;

    Colonel Parkman, “ladies and gentlemen….”

    Crow, “lick me”

    Keith Palmer:
    With shorts already brought up, I’m irresistibly tempted to mention “Progress Island USA” and, even if they might be a little oblique as “responses”:

    Narrator: An American democracy.
    Tom: Would be really great.

    Narrator: Bilingual schools.
    Mike: Bisexual students.

    Those are really more tack-on riffs.

       3 likes

  14. mando3b says:

    One of my favorite variations on this riff type is when a sexually-preoccupied man blurts out a–shall we say–inappropriate response, e.g. in “Leech Woman”: Neil, obsessing over the beautiful naipei-transformed Terri, picks up his phone and Servo says, “Uh, nipple . . . I mean, hello?” Similarly, in “The Beginning of the End”, Audrey Ames asks Peter Graves something, and they have him responding with “I want to kiss you full on the mouth.”

       3 likes

  15. My all time favorite of these (and it’s my ALL time favorite riff of, well, all-time) is in “Hercules Against the Moon Men” when Dereks is sent away to a trap and gets shot with an arrow, beat up by the gang and finally our hero shows up to chase the bad guys off. Cradling the gravely wounded man, Herc says “I arrived just in time” and Crow replies (as Dereks) “That’s a matter of opinion.”

    The first time I ever saw this and Herc delivered his line I just about fell out of my chair (because, well, it’s pretty obviously the stupidest thing ever said) and the riff was *exactly* what I was saying myself (so it also qualifies as that other category of when you do the riff at the same time as they do). Still busts me up.

       9 likes

  16. RedZoneTuba says:

    First one I thought of: In Brute Man after the crotchety old grocer finishes once again berating his young employee, they respond as the boy (half-crying), “Why did you hire me if you hate me so?!?”

       11 likes

  17. tomservo35 . says:

    A variation from “The Thing that Couldn’t Die” Mike and the bots meeting the brain guys for the first time, the brain guys saying they evolved beyond bodies and Mike saying “but you have bodies now” and Gypsy chiming in with “Yeah, what the hell!”

       6 likes

  18. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Mikey from Teenage Strangler: “What are we gonna do?”

    Crow: “Rub your face in crunchy underwear!”

    Big Stupid from Girl in Lover’s Lane: “What’s your name, kid?”

    Crow: “Sex poodle!”

       7 likes

  19. Robot Monster:

    (after long science-work montage)
    Hero: “Whew…What time is it?”
    Crow: “It’s MILLER Time!”
    Hero: “I mean, what day?”
    Crow: “It’s MILLER Day!”

       4 likes

  20. mando3b says:

    A couple more. from “The Brain [Head] That Wouldn’t Die”: the mad doctor has asked his father if he can now “do things his way” on the patient that just died; “He’s dead”, he says, “I can’t do any harm”; and Mike responds, “But what does turning them into clowns prove, John?”

    Admittedly, this one from “Assignment: Venezuela” only barely qualifies as a response riff, but I think it still fits: Jim is shown some dial that measures the pressure of the gas that forces the oil to the surface; he and his colleague stare at it, point, comment, then leave and Crow says: “We don’t even know what it means . . . “

       6 likes

  21. the great crowdini says:

    Alphabet Antics has quite a few of my favorite response riffs.

    B is for boat. A boat that floats.
    -Crow ” A boat full of guys dressed up like goats!”

    C is for cat
    -Tom ” Tortured cat”

    F is for fun. Fun in the sun.
    -Joel “Fun on the slide when you burn your buns!”

       5 likes

  22. the great crowdini says:

    In “Overdrawn at the Memory Bank”

    The chairman: “You are mine!”
    -Tom “With bearnaise sauce!”

       6 likes

  23. Kenneth Morgan says:

    I’m surprised this one hasn’t been mentioned…

    EXETER: Place your hands above the rails. (BUZZZZZ) They’ve been magnetized.
    MIKE (as Exeter): And if your hands were metal, that would mean something.

       14 likes

  24. MajorMac says:

    Legend of Boggy Creek II:

    Dr. Lockhart and Leslie checking out the tracking computer…

    “What do the circles represent?”
    Servo: Round things.

    Computer begins beeping…

    “Brian. What’s that?”
    Mike: Ummm… that’s the computer I was just telling you about.

       11 likes

  25. Think some posters are still a tad unclear on what has a question mark and what doesn’t–
    Looking for something more like:

    Magic Voyage of Sinbad:

    “Have you the Bird of Happiness?”
    “‘We’ve…got a pretty friendly chicken.'”

    And, of course, the immortal:

    Posture Pals narrator: “When you slump, you look tired and sad…Doesn’t Bombo look tired?”
    Crow: “Yes, very much so!”

    (Okay, doesn’t work in print, but, y’know…) :)

       0 likes

  26. Ray Dunakin says:

    mando3b:
    A couple more. from “The Brain [Head] That Wouldn’t Die”: the mad doctor has asked his father if he can now “do things his way” on the patient that just died; “He’s dead”, he says, “I can’t do any harm”; and Mike responds, “But what does turning them into clowns prove, John?”

    My favorite from that scene is Crow replying as Doctor Dad: “Knock yourself out, we’ll make it a closed casket.”

       5 likes

  27. Ray Dunakin says:

    Thrillhouse:
    “You knew my father?”

    KNEW HIM? HE WAS DELICIOUS!

    That’s one of my all-time favorite riffs! I’ve probably heard it a hundred times and it never fails to crack me up.

       6 likes

  28. Lisa H. says:

    Invasion of the Netpune Men:
    “Sir, can the security guard be dismissed?” Mike: Yes, I’d say his opinion doesn’t matter. Dismiss him completely.

    Space Mutiny:
    “Gentlemen, it seems that we are not all in agreement.” Mike: I disagree!

       13 likes

  29. So many in Space Mutiny…..

    MacPhearson:
    Are there any other of you that wish to confuse freedom… with treason?

    Mike:
    I’d like to confuse bok choi with cabbage, sir!

       11 likes

  30. Ray Dunakin says:

    In “The Space Children”, when the general discovers one of the kids on the base:

    General: “Sargent, take him out.”

    Shocked response: “Sir!!??”

       6 likes

  31. Cornjob says:

    From She Creature:

    “There’s something”

    “Of course you could say that about anything”

       7 likes

  32. Speedy B. says:

    “Alien from L.A.”:

    Wanda: “Why did you even go out with me in the first place if I’m such a geek?”
    Mike: (as boyfriend) “Because I’m turned on by squeeze toys.”

    “MST3K The Movie”:

    Cal: “This isn’t paper, it’s some kind of metal.”
    Crow: (as Joe) “No sir, that’s paper.”

       8 likes

  33. eegah says:

    From Monster A Go-Go:

    When’s Uncle Frank coming home?
    You’ll have to make do with Uncle Bob and Uncle Jim and Uncle Phil and Uncle Roy and Uncle Ted…

       4 likes

  34. Raigely says:

    Early in “Girl in Gold Boots”:

    “Everything I touch turns to gold!~”
    Crow: What happens when you touch GOLD?

    Simple and silly, and Bill’s pedantic curtness hits perfectly.

       10 likes

  35. Cornjob says:

    Sinbad turning away from the vikings and muttering contemptuously, “Finding happiness in vanquishing foes”

    Followed with, “I heard that”.

       3 likes

  36. mando3b says:

    Ray Dunakin: My favorite from that scene is Crow replying as Doctor Dad: “Knock yourself out, we’ll make it a closed casket.”

    You betcha! One of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite episodes. And I just watched it again! FYI . . .

       2 likes

  37. mando3b says:

    Ray Dunakin: Thrillhouse:
    “You knew my father?”

    KNEW HIM? HE WAS DELICIOUS!

    That’s one of my all-time favorite riffs! I’ve probably heard it a hundred times and it never fails to crack me up.

    That whole conversation is full of great response riffs! The character of Mike Pipper was made for ’em.

       6 likes

  38. Son of Peanut says:

    From Aquatic Wizards –

    NARRATOR: He’s chicken, never jumped at all.

    CROW: What’s this? He’s forced his way into the announcer’s booth. What’s that in his hand? Oh, no! Ahh!

       5 likes

  39. Speedy B. says:

    In “Time Chasers”:

    Nick: So, um… you cookin’ dinner?
    Lisa: Are you offering dinner?
    Crow: (as Nick) No, I’m saying: “MAKE me dinner.”

       7 likes

  40. Son of Peanut says:

    Manhunt in Space –

    PILOT: It’s like a million-to-one shot we’ll ever be seen.

    CROW: Oh, they’re on Comedy Central.

       6 likes

  41. the great crowdini says:

    From Overdrawn at the Memory Bank

    Computer : Invalid format. Quit or retry?

    Tom : I’ll take Quit for 25, Alex.

       2 likes

  42. Dr. Batch says:

    Did you bring you ray-gun?

    Well, no.

       0 likes

  43. Cornjob says:

    In Night of the Bloodbeast when the returned astronaut is describing how intimately close he was with the alien and one riffer has another character say, “That’s weird Steve.”

       1 likes

  44. I'm not a medium, I'm a petite says:

    The Dead Talk Back

    Krasker: I’m not a medium…

    Riffer ( in Krasker’s voice ): I’m a petite.

    of course.

       8 likes

  45. Hmmm, These Are Good Hot dogs! says:

    The Original EricJ:
    Think some posters are still a tad unclear on what has a question mark and what doesn’t–

    You cannot leave well enough alone can you? You are an Incel aren’t you?

       5 likes

  46. GareChicago says:

    “Brute Man”:

    Helen: “You see… I’m blind..”

    Tom: “…Lemon Jefferson.”

       2 likes

  47. Colossus Prime says:

    Space Mutiny

    Calgon: Is this the man?
    Mike: Why now sir, you da man.

    It’s simple and very stupid, and it cracks me up every time I even think about it.

       7 likes

  48. Also from Brute Man:

    Helen: “Who is it?”
    Crow: “”It’s da plumber! I’ve come to fix da sink!'”

    (Shame on you if you need the specific ref explained.) :)

       1 likes

  49. Sitting Duck says:

    Hmmm, These Are Good Hot dogs!: You cannot leave well enough alone can you? You are an Incel aren’t you?

    Let’s not project. :P

       2 likes

  50. GareChicago says:

    The Original EricJ:
    Also from Brute Man:

    Helen: “Who is it?”
    Crow:“”It’s da plumber!I’ve come to fix da sink!’”

    (Shame on you if you need the specific ref explained.):)

    Shame on you for being a pedantic dickweed.

    Delete your account.

    Gare

       3 likes

Comments are closed.