Talk:Mystery Science Theater 3000

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VLC Icon (New).svg This article falls within a proposed limits on quotations policy.

The subject of this article is a television show, and as a result, the proposal would set a limitation of one quote for less than 30 minutes, two quotes for 30 minute shows, and five quotes for 60 minute shows (see our TV policy for shows of other lengths).

If you would like to add another quote to the page, you should consider whether to remove one that is already there in order to keep within the bounds of fair use of copyright material.
For reference, the length of this work is: roughly 90 minutes per episode.

Organization and formatting guidelines[edit]

This quote page is organized a little differently from others, largely because it can be divided into seasons and episodes and because many great quotes from Mystery Science Theater 3000 are in the form of dialog, which confounds the usual quote formatting.

To add a quote, find the episode it occurs in and copy the formatting of an existing quote to your own needs. If you don't know what episode your quote appeared in, place it in the Unknown episode section, and I or someone else will move it as time permits.

The basic formatting guidelines (as I start this page) are as follows, using this example:

:''[Sheriff Ben and Deputy Martin examine a spacecraft.]''
:'''Sheriff Ben''': It could be one of our missiles.
:'''[[w:Tom Servo|Servo]] [as Martin]''': This county has missiles, sir?

which will be rendered by Wikiquotes as:

[Sheriff Ben and Deputy Martin examine a spacecraft.]
Sheriff Ben: It could be one of our missiles.
Servo [as Martin]: This county has missiles, sir?

The formatting works as follows:

  • The colon (:) indents the quote.
  • Double apostrophes ('') around context lines (explanations) italicize the text. (NOTE: These are two consecutive ' characters, NOT a "double-quote" (").
  • Triple apostrophes (''') surrounding a character name makes the name bold.
  • Double brackets ([[,]]) make the character name a Wiki link, so you can click on the character for more information.
  • The expression "w:Character's FullName|" makes the character name a link to Wikipedia, where most if not all of the MST3K characters have entries.
  • Don't put any blank lines between lines within a single dialog quote, but make sure there's a blank line between separate quotes.

In long dialog sections, you should only put Wiki links around the first occurrence of each character (to save time and headaches). If all this formatting is too much for your to bother with, just use a simplified version:

:[Sheriff Ben and Deputy Martin examine a spacecraft.]
:Sheriff Ben: It could be one of our missiles.
:Servo [as Martin]: This county has missiles, sir?

Just try to remember the initial colon (:) and the blank line between different quotes. Sooner or later, someone will likely come along and pretty it up. -- Jeff Q 11:18, 3 May 2004 (UTC)[reply]

NOTE: I removed the discussion on adding episodes and shorts, as all have been pre-added with new table of contents. — Jeff Q (talk) 07:02, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Character list[edit]

Here is a set of preformatted character names that, if you paste them into your quotes, will provide full formatting and linking abilities, including disambiguation for common names. (Observer/Brain Guy has two lines to allow entries to display either "Observer" or "Brain Guy".)

:'''[[w:Joel Robinson|Joel]]''':
:'''[[w:Gypsy (MST3K)|Gypsy]]''':
:'''[[w:Tom Servo|Servo]]''':
:'''[[w:Crow T. Robot|Crow]]''':
:'''[[w:Mike Nelson (MST3K)|Mike]]''':
:'''[[w:Dr. Clayton Forrester|Dr. Forrester]]''':
:'''[[w:Dr. Laurence Erhardt|Dr. Erhardt]]''':
:'''[[w:TV's Frank|TV's Frank]]''':
:'''[[w:Pearl Forrester|Pearl]]''':
:'''[[w:Professor Bobo (MST3K)|Bobo]]''':
:'''[[w:Observer (MST3K)|Observer]]''':
:'''[[w:Observer (MST3K)|Brain Guy]]''':

A few of the characters may not yet have Wikipedia pages. If you feel adventurous, you might consider adding one yourself. -- Jeff Q 11:18, 3 May 2004 (UTC)[reply]

Riff sources[edit]

Although the introduction to this article leaves the cultural sources of the MST3K riffs "as mental exercises for the reader", it seems to me that some of the more obscure ones might benefit from a brief, explicit reference. I'm concerned that these quotes already have fairly complex formatting, but the following style for an explicit riff reference may be of use:

:''⇒ Riff description.''

The "⇒" text gets translated into a double-line right arrow, and the phrase is italicized to set it off from the quote text. The result looks like this example from "Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders [10.03]":

⇒ Riffing on the dental torture scene in Marathon Man.

This hint is enough to allow people to find out more, without bogging down the quote with a lot of detail. Since many MST3K riffs are on subjects with Wikipedia articles (like movies or celebrities), it's appropriate to put a Wikipedia link in these quotes. This neatly avoids distracting links within the quote text, too. Note that a Wikipedia link takes the form:

[[w:Article name|]]

The "w:" signifies the English Wikipedia. (Substitute others as appropriate.) Be sure to add the vertical bar or pipe "|" after the article name; this suppresses display of the "w:" (or other) prefix.

Let's try this out for a while and see if it looks okay to readers. -- Jeff Q 22:51, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Separating dialog segments[edit]

There is an unresolved problem in visually separating different dialog segments. Using the Standard (now called Classic) skin and its stylesheet, separating segments with a single blank line makes it clear that consecutive segments are separate. However, with the new Monobook skin forced on anonymous users and anyone who hasn't explictly chosen otherwise, it is difficult to see where one segment ends and the next begins. This problem does not look like it'll be resolved anytime soon.

Several approaches have been tried in this and other articles to remedy this situation, but most only fix the problem for one skin or the other. In order to make the article clearer without adding too much blank space for one skin, I have inserted the following HTML between each pair of dialog sections:

<hr width=50%/>

I didn't use the standard Wiki line markup "----" because it looks exactly like the horizontal lines used in Monobook headings. It would be preferable to use Wiki markup, or to have spacing between the skins match, but based on my unanswered pleas on several discussion pages, I don't see this happening. Let's try this out for a while. I invite comments and questions. -- Jeff Q 02:20, 12 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Concerning Gigan / Gaigan[edit]

Jeffq said, "Pls cite reference on Talk pg if you insist "Gigan" is correct."

Very well, here you go:

-- User: 19:08, 20 Dec 2004

Wow! You don't do anything by half measures! ☺ I bow to your superior research. In fact, I'm embarrassed that I didn't think to check for Gigan's starring role rather than confine my review to its guest appearance in Godzilla vs. Megalon, and that I didn't think of checking out cover art in Amazon or Netflix. (I'm always leery of fan sites, as I've seen massive spelling problems in general in such things.) Cover art, in my opinion, is second only to the movie's title screen in confirming titles, and certainly trumps IMDb, which is not above the occasional error. I've restored your correction. Thank you for your work! — Jeff Q 03:19, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Compact table of contents[edit]

The table of contents of this page has become extremely long, making it rather cumbersome. In the time it takes to scroll down to a TOC entry to click on the link, you could use a browser Find to jump right to an episode. To alleviate this, I've created a compact table of contents that fits on a single page and also gives a visual overview of the entire show. (You can take a look at it at User:Jeffq/Experiments/MST3KTOC.) Although there's no room for the episode titles in such a confined space, you can find an episode or short title by mousing over each show's box in the table and looking at the URL, or webpage name. (It appears in the status bar, usually at the bottom of the browser screen, for most browsers. For some browsers, like Opera, it pop-ups on the screen if you hover for a second over the box.)

The current test version has no quotes in it, but you can see a live page with a similar compact TOC at Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Please visit the MST3K test page and let me know what you think. If there are no objections, I plan to implement this new TOC on or shortly after 17 April 2005. (If we find out later that we don't like it, I'll be happy to restore the old TOC.) — Jeff Q (talk) 11:10, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I've made some changes to the table that allow most current browsers to pop up the episode and short titles in a tooltip as the mouse hovers over them. There seems to be a bug in MSIE 6.0 that is preventing this for now, but the title still appears in the status bar for all browsers, IE included. — Jeff Q (talk) 10:16, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Okay, the new table of contents is in place. (In the process of merging it into the existing quotes, I found we had one short (Why Study Industrial Arts?) misplaced and one episode (The Thing That Couldn't Die) misspelled.) Every episode, short, and special now has a header on the page, so people can add a quote simply by clicking on the Edit link for the correct show, avoiding editing the whole huge page. The new Notes section (just under the TOC) also has instructions on how to use the page and the TOC, and how to add quotes. — Jeff Q (talk) 06:50, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I just retested the new TOC with MSIE 6.0, and the show titles pop up as tooltips just as they should. I expect the tooltips should now work for most if not all browsers less than 5 years old. — Jeff Q (talk) 06:27, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Adding memorable quotes[edit]

I'm sure that many of the editors of this article are, like myself, rabid MST3K fans. But I'd like to ask folks to use some judgment on what quotes to add. Some of the recent additions have been what anyone other than a major fan of the show would likely consider quite inane, and some episodes have grown considerably from these amusing-but-not-hilarious quips. Of course, it's all subjective, but when you think about adding a quote, please imagine what it will look like to someone who hasn't seen the show, like your mother, perhaps, or your co-worker. The BBI staff once estimated that there were about 700 riffs in a typical show; surely we can focus on the ones that are funny for a general audience, or show off a unique element of the show. — Jeff Q (talk) 01:17, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Again, I'd like to remind contributing editors that this article is not a MST3K transcription service. Quotes should only be included when they are entertainmenting or otherwise memorable on their own, without complex contextual information required just to understand them. I've just trimmed down a few paragraph-long contexts and removed others that added nothing to the quotes themselves. There is an additional problem with excessive quoting. We risk legal problems when we quote a large portion of a work, and Manos, for example, is added to so often that it might be wandering into copyright-violation territory. Please try to keep quotes down to the pithiest examples of MST3K. Thank you. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:31, 28 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Unknown episode[edit]

The "Unknown episode" link doesn't work for me. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 04:14, 14 July 2005 (UTC)[reply]

That's because last week an anonymous user made a couple of erroneous edits last week, and I missed the fact that they resulted in an all-capitalized "Unknown Episode". I've restored its proper capitalization. Sorry 'bout the confusion. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:23, 14 July 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I stand in awe...[edit]

Oh. My. God!. This is amazing. Intimidating even. I feel like that monkey in 2001 staring at the black monolith with a bone club. Just imagine! To think that just one wikiquote page encompasses this much MSTness! I would applaud each and every one of you who have helped to make this achievement possible, but I'm too busy typing. I have no criticism or contribution or anything of actual value or worth to add. I just wanted to document here that I am.. well, in a word, speechless. ...Except of course for those words which I utilized prior to the word speechless, in order to convey in this medium that I am in fact speechless... And these words following which explain the words prior. I should perhaps say I'm speechful but in a speechless way, or in a way that ..well, never mind. Carry on and all that. It's just... Oh. My. God! ZachsMind 16:30, 19 July 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Don't change headings, please![edit]

Please don't change the headings in this article. They are carefully matched to the links in the table of contents, so adding things like quotes or italics (even when done correctly) WILL break the links. If anyone has issues about heading formatting, please bring them up here on the discussion page before making changes. Thank you. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 05:15, 6 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Sorry, I was naively trying to put what I thought was meant to be there. It had ''Bold Text'' sitting off to the left of the title, to I assumed it should've been around the title. Did I accidently mess with the amount of equals (=) when I did that? Viridis 00:22, 7 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Actually, Viridis, your edit did repair the link damage done by another editor who had perhaps inadvertently broken both the formatting and the links. You didn't repair the link level correctly (shorts are H4-style, using four equals on each side), but that's a minor problem compared to the link damage. The bold markup itself was superfluous because all wiki section headings are made bold without additional markup. I was more concerned about attempts like the earlier one, however well-intended they may be.
The few TV-show articles that have custom tables of contents, like MST3K, have to be very careful about synchronizing the headings with the links in the TOC. With over 300 internal links, MST3K is by far the most complex quote article on Wikiquote, so changing headings should never be done lightly. That's why every season, episode, short, and special already has a heading — no one should ever need to change them or add to them. (It's possible some may add movie-review sections to some of the specials, but they aren't in the TOC, so they won't cause new link problems.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 07:46, 7 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Manos transcriptions[edit]

I've just removed considerable material from the Manos episode for three major reasons:

  1. Wikiquote is not a transcription service. It is not meant to provide a lengthy transcription of TV shows, just pithy (short!) quotes. We have enough of a challenge trying to keep under the Copyright Police radar without include whole swaths of dialog. There are other websites that do include significant transcriptions of this show. Whether or not they are copyright violators is entirely their problem. Small excerpts are the policy here.
  2. As I've pointed out several times before on this talk page, there are medium limitations in quoting audiovisual media. Anything that requires the reader to see the image or hear the dialog or sound effects usually makes for a poor pithy quote. Sometimes this can be ameliorated by including context lines, but general Wikiquote practice aims to keep these explanatory lines as short as possible. If the context lines are too long, it's usually a good sign that the quote isn't a good candidate for WQ inclusion. Along these lines, I removed the closing host segment because the humor comes from Torgo's speech, which can't be heard by Wikiquote readers. The editor made an admirable effort to illustrate Torgo's erratic speaking by uSiNg aLtErNaTiNg cApiTaLs, but that only means something to people who have already heard what it is supposed to signify. As I've also said before, Wikiquote excerpts should be meaningful to people who have never seen the show, read the book, heard the song, etc., and this clever transcribing doesn't overcome the problem.
  3. I would strongly suggest we not add quotes from MST3K that have been said many times elsewhere, like "You can't kill me — I quit!". These quotes should be something notable about MST3K, like clever (not trite) jokes on dialog and citations of quotes from other works or cultural references that aren't already beaten to death. There's an incredible amount of quotable material even with this restriction; observing this guideline will help us avoid problem #1 — becoming a copyright-violating transcription service.

I don't want to discourage folks from adding quotes to episodes, but we need to keep it reasonable and within policy. (Even now, with 23 quotes — 17 just for the film itself — this episode could still use major trimming.) Please read the above discussions and Firefly (TV series)/Format (which has a more complete discussion of current WQ TV-show formatting practices) before adding quotes. And always consider how your quotes will look to non-MSTies. Thank you for your attention. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 12:52, 10 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Mitchell quotes[edit]

I've just merged the huge list of quotes from the old "MST3K quotes" section of wikipedia:Mitchell (film), as such a set doesn't really belong there. The following selective edit history of that article shows the following contributors to the former "MST3K quotes" section:

  • (cur) (last) 06:53, 16 January 2006 (UTC) Fireballil (→MST3K quotes)
  • (cur) (last) 21:48, 8 September 2005 (UTC) Visualclue (→MST3K quotes)
  • (cur) (last) 15:24, 15 July 2005 (UTC) Duke33 m (→MST3K Quotes)
  • (cur) (last) 18:49, 28 June 2005 (UTC) Gulfstorm75 m (→MST3K Quotes)
  • (cur) (last) 18:48, 28 June 2005 (UTC) Gulfstorm75 m (→Trivia - It was Servo who said this line, not Joel. Minor point really.)
  • (cur) (last) 19:24, 23 June 2005 (UTC) Robdumas (→MST3K Quotes - It was Servo, not Joel, who uttered the "Chubby Blue Line" riff. Also, added the "Chrysler Fury" riff.)
  • (cur) (last) 16:55, 21 June 2005 (UTC) FuriousFreddy m (→MST3K Quotes - Papa Was a Rollin' Stone)
  • (cur) (last) 18:35, 6 June 2005 (UTC) (added trivia)
  • (cur) (last) 13:35, 1 June 2005 (UTC) (→MST3K Quotes)
  • (cur) (last) 13:35, 1 June 2005 (UTC) (→MST3K Quotes)
  • (cur) (last) 13:33, 1 June 2005 (UTC) (→MST3K Quotes)
  • (cur) (last) 13:23, 1 June 2005 (UTC) (→MST3K Quotes)
  • (cur) (last) 13:22, 1 June 2005 (UTC) (→MST3K Quotes)
  • (cur) (last) 13:20, 1 June 2005 (UTC) (→MST3K Quotes)
  • (cur) (last) 13:16, 1 June 2005 (UTC) (→Synopsis)
  • (cur) (last) 13:14, 1 June 2005 (UTC) (→MST3K Quotes)
  • (cur) (last) 13:09, 1 June 2005 (UTC) (→Synopsis)
  • (cur) (last) 11:10, 1 June 2005 (UTC) User:

I have real doubts as to the usefulness of some of the new quotes, but I wanted to record what was there before we worry about trimming it. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 12:09, 16 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Perhaps, in order to avoid copyright violation (and spoiling all the jokes) we ought to impose a maximum number of quotes per episode; perhaps five or six? That way, only the communally recognized best few will be added, and we can avoid these overlong (although admittedly wonderful) reams of quotes. Polyhymnia 06:49, 2 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Like so many other aspects of Wikiquote, we haven't had enough regular participants, and too many issues to work out, to establish any formal policy on this issue. Two rules of thumb are for each editor to try to avoid adding more than 1-3 quotes per episode, and for the total number to be kept to 3-5. Obviously, these two intefere with each other, which requires us to cooperate with one another. Also, some episodes will have more interesting quotes than others. But it's probably a good idea to pare down any episodes with more than, say, 8 quotes. (Hear that, Torgo? ☺) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:54, 12 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Given that many, many of the episodes currently have no quotes posted at all, that's probably bringing down the AVERAGE number of quotes per episode, but I'll understand if that's not good enough. Certainly, adhering to Jeff's "Memorable Quotes Only" recommendation above would help a little. In other cases, I like the idea of posting as few quotes as possible from the host segments. I mean, let's face it, the host segments were great, but they weren't what MST3K was about. Especially the songs from the host segments, since we can't host the whole lyrics here for copyright violations anyway. Just keeping it to one-or-two-liners from the actual movie-watching, and keeping it to lines that even people who don't know the show would understand and find amusing, should help tamp down the number a little. After that, I don't know what else we can do. Sylocat 01:00, 15 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
The problem with any guidelines for avoiding copyright is that it all depends on what the copyright holders wish to consider a violation, and how far they're willing to pursue it legally. As is pointed out in Wikiquote:Copyrights, Seinfeld's owners managed to win a case against someone pubishing a work with only 41 quotes for the entire series, a threshold that most significant TV articles on Wikiquote have crossed. Best Brains, who told MSTies to "keep circulating the tapes!", are unlikely to have problems with this article, but that leaves anyone else with a copyrighted financial interest, like the original film holders or Rhino, able to raise the issue. (It doesn't matter whether it would make sense to sue or not, or to some extent even if they could win; what matters is whether they involve the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation in undesirable litigation.) Because of this, we should be careful to limit quotations for each and every episode, and we should try to keep to some arguably useful guidelines, like the ones discussed here and elsewhere. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 03:39, 25 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Invaders from the Deep[edit]

I have again removed a quote from "Invaders from the Deep" on the basis that there is no known copy of this episode available anywhere, which makes this quote unverifiable. I (and legions of MSTies!) sincerely hope the editor who added it can demonstrate otherwise. But until then, this episode will probably remain empty. (We can't even quote from the uncut show because we can't verify what parts were or weren't included in the MST3K airing.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 03:43, 4 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Links to Wikipedia film articles[edit] recently added links in the section headers of three MST3K episodes to their corresponding film articles. These discuss the original films, but typically do mention their use in MST3K. I've been mulling over this myself for quite a while without a clear idea of how to proceed, so allow me to bring up some advantages and disadvantages of such links.


  • Adding links to the individual films has obvious utility, as people would likely be curious about the original movies.
  • The most convenient place for these links to go is in the section heading. For most MST3K episodes, this is the only place where the title appears, and such a link follows the principle of least astonishment.
  • The links make a nice additional bolding and coloring for the headings, which are ordinarily not especially distinguishable from subheadings because of current MediaWiki style practices.


  • Wikipedia links in section headings cause significant problems with edit summaries. It's already very hard to get people to use edit summaries to properly describe what their edits are about (which is supposed to be a wiki requirement). Having a hugely complex link start off the summary during a section edit will guarantee virtually no one will use it, which is Very Bad.
  • These links also cause problems for edit histories. I'm not sure if the automatic section links will work at all with them[1], but I'm sure they'll be broken for especially long titles (like Incredibly Strange Creatures…) if the total length exceeds the maximum length of the edit summary input box.
  • Many users have link style settings that will prevent the links from being seen correctly when embedded in section headings (see w:Wikipedia:Manual of Style (headings)#Linking). The standard solution is to add such a link in the paragraph's first sentence. In our situation, since we only have quotes, there is precedent for adding a single line (like a "see also" insert) that includes the link.

Much as I like the more-bold link section headings, I think we should add the "see also"-style line to prevent an uneven user experience and avoid discouraging edit summary use. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 17:14, 6 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

  1. ^  I recently checked a similar heading-with-embedded-link on Wikipedia and confirmed that links in the headings do break the section links in the page history. In other words, you can't jump directly to a section from the page history if the section has a wiki link in it, which is presumably another reason why the style guides recommend against them. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 23:00, 23 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

RWD: Do you remember the 50s[edit]

Thanks for fixing the song quote in Riding With Death, Jeff--I wasn't sure whether I needed to add all the details or not. As you know, only half the joke is up there; would adding the rest make the section too unwieldy, or is it ok to go ahead and do it? 04:52, 12 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Actually, I think the existing "quote" is much too long already. Not every great MST3K routine is a good candidate for Wikiquote. If a quote can't be expressed in a few concise lines, it's usually best not to include it here. We aren't trying to be an comprehensive compendium of quotes for any single subject; we're typically more interested in being accurate for a select groups of quotes. (This practice is not coincidentally affected by copyright concerns; our largest pages are already in danger of being cited as copyvios.) I'm actually starting to go through and trim down much of the existing text to curb us fans' natural tendency to add everything we find entertaining. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:15, 12 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Nooooo! You already went after the 80s dialogue in Space Mutiny, what more do you want?! Seriously though, I do understand your point, and I certainly don't want this section to get pulled down or hacked apart due to copyright violation. Thank you for your massive efforts to streamline this whole thing and not let it just become one big glob of fancruft, Jeff. That said, I think the "quote" can stand on its own as a valid joke example (he said, hopefully). 07:28, 13 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Don't worry. I'm still recovering from my last comprehensive, 11-season review. I'll be doing good just to fix formatting and accuracy problems for a while. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 08:32, 13 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe I'm missing something in the policy guidelines, but it seems to me that if we can't post the entire song (which I can certainly respect), we shouldn't go halfways, and should just not post ANY of the song. Wikipedia's page for the Loituma Girl was locked for a while just because some words from various languages were recognizable in the gibberish lines the girl sang (which is one of the gimmicks of Loituma's performance of the Leva's Polka song itself), and Wikipedia didn't want us to post those lyrics due to copyright concerns. This raises two questions: 1. Where do we draw the line? And 2. Is there really much point to posting part of it if we can't post the whole thing? I propose we don't include lines that need so much context, and keep this strictly to one-or-two-liners from the movies. Sylocat 00:39, 15 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Like any other quotations, succinct lyric excerpts should represent what the participating editors feel are especially interesting, funny, or otherwise meaningful lines from songs. Like all quotations, they should be evaluated in the context of the material already quoted from an episode to avoid quoting a substantial portion of their enclosing episode (5-8 quotes max is often bandied about as a guideline). Within these limitations, it is not unreasonable to quote lyrical excerpts. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:31, 15 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Film-only and host-segment-only quotes[edit]

There have been some recent edits in which two kinds of quotes have been removed and then restored:

  • Quotes that are contained within the host segments, not the theater segments.
  • Quotes that feature only dialog from the film, without commentary from the MST3K characters.

Since this is an article for quotes from the MST3K episodes, a basic rule is that anything said within the show is fair game. (This does not override the pithiness, usefulness, and brevity factors, so let's not start quoting the credits, okay? ☺)

Although the greatest interest in this show is in the mocking commentary during the films, I don't think it's especially controversial to include notable quotes from the host segments, which can be quite entertaining. Film-only dialog is probably a bit more controversial. Here are two points to consider:

  • Trademark MST3K phrases. Some dialog within the films is sufficiently notable within a MST3K context to include it even if we don't normally wish to include film-only quotes. Examples:
    • "Hi-keeba!" (Women of the Prehistoric Planet), because it's the single best-known MST3K trademark phrase.
    • "He tampered in God's domain" (Bride of the Monster), which, like some "stingers" (episode-closing film dialog), are memorable enough within MST3K to cite here.
    On the other hand, callbacks — MST3K characters quoting earlier MSTied films in later ones — are a potential problem we've managed to avoid so far. Film-dialog quotes that are often used as callbacks could overwhelm the existing material if we aren't careful.
  • Lack of film article. Most of these films may never have quote articles of their own. In the off-chance they have memorable dialog, this may be the only place to find it. On the other hand, this article cannot be a respository for any significant amount of film dialog without a specific MST3K purpose, because it's already so huge with just MST3K-specific quotes. We should always prefer MST3K-specific material to the regular film dialog.

I suggest that we be very selective about film-only dialog, but not ban it just because it doesn't require commentary for its humor value or other notability. One guideline I recommend here, as in any question of adding material to an episode, is to consider the current amount of quotes in the episode. If it gets beyond half a dozen or so, we should think about what we believe should be deleted in order to make room for a new quote. This might help us to be more cautious about inclusion. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:24, 10 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]

"[N]" ?[edit]

What's with the superscript blue [N] in "Money Talks" ? 09:02, 18 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

That's a "hover note", which, if you hold your mouse over the [N] for a moment, will pop up some descriptive text. (Try it on the preceding sentence's "N".) It's an alternative to adding the klutzy explanatory notes that I (somewhat regretfully) established two years ago (see Riff sources above). (Those notes are marked by a "⇒" character, as currently shown in The Atomic Brain (movie).) Unlike the explanatory notes, and much like footnotes, they provide a means to add explanations at the point where they're needed without breaking the flow of the text. It's an experiment for now, just as the "⇒" notes are, as Wikiquote does not have any formal footnoting policy at this time. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:09, 18 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Problem is, the long ones (Like the Ben Franklin explanation) seem to get truncated with "..." at the end, making it useless for involved ones. 15:28, 20 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I'm curious — what browser (name & version) are you using, There do seem to be some technical problems with browser-specific implementations of "title" attributes in XHTML (which is how hover notes, as well as several other wiki features, are done). I'd like to know the scope of the problem. as we do want to make Wikimedia projects work well for everyone. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 16:37, 20 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Latest Firefox (As of 09:52, 21 July 2006 (UTC)) 09:52, 21 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Before I add this to the already large section I'll ask: Think adding the "In invented the basement" quote would be legit? 15:44, 20 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

As I've suggested above, we should consider removing quotes to make room for any new ones for the longer sections. This encourages each editor to think hard whether they believe the new quote is more interesting than an existing quote, which will (hopefully) lead to cooperation between editors to select mutually interesting quotes. I don't recall an "invented the basement" quote from "Quest of the Delta Knights" off-hand, so I can't provide a personal opinion (although my lack of recall suggests it isn't one of my own favorites, whatever that's worth). One note: please don't abbreviate terms or titles being discussed. We have many readers who won't recognize MSTie-favored shorthand. (Indeed, as rabid a fan as I am, I first thought "QotDK" was some odd variation on Wikiquote's abbreviation for "quote of the day".) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 16:34, 20 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]
It occurs right about after the Bombadil one. 09:52, 21 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Last warning[edit]

Editors of this article have repeatedly refused to keep quotes per episode down to a reasonable count. (Certainly no more than 8! Five would be better.) en:Wikiquote has been warned several times by Wikimedia Foundation personnel that we are not doing enough to keep within WMF policy on avoiding copyright violations. Articles like this one may be subject to wholesale removal of quotes if we don't take a more active role in keeping quoting down to pithy excerpts. (I just removed more than half of the quotes from "Manos", an especially bad example, for starters.) I am going to start removing large numbers of quotes, possibly arbitrarily, in order to implement this. (I will probably be biased against badly formatted quotes, too, and remove any long tracts I run into.) Please beat me to the punch to avoid having this article turn into "Jeff Q's favorite MST3K quotes". Thank you for your assistance. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 17:27, 16 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Since we still seem to be adding more than I can trim, further endangering this article for potential deletion, I invite all Wikiquotians to begin reverting any and all edits to any episode in which there are more than the informal limit of 8 quotes, especially when the editor adds a quote without removing another one from the same episode. I will try to do this myself as well, but wikis really do require active participation from the community. Please help this effort to avoid deletion from copyright violations. Thank you. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 23:06, 1 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Perhaps fully protecting bad articles for a short period of time (say 24 hours) would get people's attention. Also, shouldn't this informal policy be written somewhere more noticeable? Maybe a talk page header can be created with the rules? Koweja 00:12, 2 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not really in favor of protecting articles in this situation. Editing on this article is considerable but sporadic, so a 24-hour block may go completely unnoticed by anyone, and probably no more than one or two people at best. I'd prefer to stimulate a proper wiki attitude that "we're all in this together". But you're right, Koweja, that we need to communicate these limitations more effectively. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 05:31, 2 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]
So, where is this limit on how many quotes can be put in, exactly? Is it an official policy? I'm new here, I'm not really sure. I just put in a few quotes that gave me a good laugh.The Invisible Man 03:08, 18 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]
See "Limit?" above for a more detailed discussion. We're still working on a formal policy, but we've had several articles hacked up or even blanked by Foundation folks because we've done a poor job even trying to reduce potential copyright problems in several articles. New readers of this article (and other TV-show articles) should also consider the points made in "Manos transcriptions" above, as well as Firefly (TV series)/Format#What quotes to add. To summarize these very briefly:
  • Episodes should have no more than 5 quotes, 8 in very rare cases.
  • Try not to add more than 1-3 of your own (we all have our favorites), and if the count goes over, remove some to make way for yours and prepare to defend your choices.
  • Avoid large scene transcriptions, too-visual or too-aural quotes, quotes that need lots of context to understand, in-jokes (like callbacks to other episodes), and in general, anything that requires that you must see the show to understand the humor.
Remember that this is a collection of quotes for everyone, not just MSTies. (We have our own websites for more complete collections.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 08:23, 18 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks Jeffq for the update. I'll keep it in mind if I do any more editing. I suppose well have our favourite episodes for this show, and when you're dealing with an episode like Manos or Eegah or any of the other classics (IMHO) it could get quite onerous.The Invisible Man 16:19, 18 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Space Mutiny Names[edit]

Hi, I was wondering if we should include the names for Punch Rockgroin in the space mutiny section, since they are the probably the most memorable quotes from the show. 23:18, 4 December 2007 (UTC)[reply]

They are quite amusing for MST3K fans, but they aren't exactly the sort of thing one would expect to find in a very large version of Barlett's Famous Quotations. The intent is to collect a handful of the very best turns of phrase from episodes of the show (and those should only number 3 to 5 per episode at most — not "on average" — so this article already, as always, needs severe trimming). In this light, a bunch of names like "Slab Bulkhead", "Fridge Largemeat", and the rest (I have all 40 of them, including the deliberately inane "Bob Johnson", in my own offline MST3K quote collection) simply don't measure up to the expectation of pithiness or selectivity. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 03:21, 5 December 2007 (UTC)[reply]
It's also a very good idea to read the discussions above before adding any substantial material to any episode. We're obligated by copyright to trim this article down periodically to an non-substantive portion of the works (episodes), so large tracts usually get deleted anyway.
I'd also remind folks that unless and until we get more editors doing the trimming, not just me, this article is bound to reflect mostly my idea of what is pithy. Wiki articles work best when everybody does the cleanup, including the trimming. Far too many people only wish to add. As the illustrious aviator/author Antoine de Saint-Exupery once wrote (translated from the French), "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." ~ Jeff Q (talk) 03:38, 5 December 2007 (UTC)[reply]

==bonappitdie from mr. b. natural==-- 20:15, 28 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Cutting down the article size[edit]

"WARNING: This page is 429 kilobytes long"

Holy crap.

Should we perhaps start spinning this article off into individual sections? The most organized way I can think of is to divide it by season, which would create a dozen or so pages (10 seasons, KTMA, then Shorts, Specials, and others on another page). This would also allow us to more easily police just how many quotes from each episode we have.

Thoughts? This is a massive undertaking, and I don't want to start doing it if everyone will hate me for it. :) EVula // talk // 16:16, 12 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah, this page is often (as it is currently) the longest page on Wikiquote. When I weed things out, I usually edit either an episode or a season at a time to make it more manageable. I'm generally against splitting TV-show articles because (A) it's harder to count the total number of quotes; (B) the Seinfeld case suggests that courts can make stringent assessments based on an entire series of work; and (C) the length of the page is an additional encouragement to trim mercilessly to get only the best quotes.
This show presents some unusual problems, in additional to the commons ones of popular TV shows:
  • It has 198 distinct 90-minute episodes (not counting the specials), with 60 "shorts" contained within 57 episodes. Ten episodes even have two versions with the same title.
  • Its episode titles are often quoted incorrectly, and sometimes have no clear "correct" version. Because of these first two, a fixed custom table of contents is almost required, which in turn gives us headings for works that may never have quotes.
  • Best Brains, the company that created MST3K, has had a somewhat casual attitude about non-commercial copying (as long as the original-film owners don't complain and the commercially published home videos and DVDs aren't copied), which can contribute to fans' desires to quote as much as they want.
Like other MSTies, I like having far more than 100 quotes from the show (although as this page shows, I've long fought to get quoting down to something like 5 per episode). But when I wrote my initial 100-quote-per-series recommendation at User:Jeffq/Wikiquote:Exemption Doctrine Policy, I was specifically thinking that this article would have to be almost literally decimated. So I will strongly support any trimming you do that works toward that goal. In fact, I should be doing it myself, since I started this collection, and I hope I will also be able to contribute to the trimming. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 23:12, 11 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Theme songs[edit]

I've just removed the entire "Theme Songs" section because it's a clear copyright violation – complete lyrics to entire songs. I know I've been away from Wikiquote for quite a while, but I can't imagine we aren't still having to fight off threats of being shut down or spun off because of the ease with which we acquire copyvios, something the Wikimedia Foundation seriously frowns on, from our enthusiastic editors.

I also imagine that, were I to look at the rest of the page, I'd find vastly more quoted material than is quite legal, and much of it will be not pithy quotes, but scene transcriptions that don't belong in a quote collection. Please remember that Wikiquote cannot be an "ultimate quote compendium" – let alone a reference transcription! – for any show, even with the liberal toleration shown by Best Brains et al. What other websites do is their business (and their peril), but we must follow Wikimedia rules. Please consider deleting anything in this collection that doesn't stand out as a great, short quote, rather than just funny moments, looks, scenes, or other non-prose material. And try to keep it down to just a few quotes per show max. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 08:23, 3 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, somebody please trim this article. Gargantuan pages like this are complete failures at featuring whatever memorable quotes may be buried therein. See my extended comment on this common failing at Wikiquote:Votes for deletion/Whose Line Is It Anyway?. ~ Ningauble 13:50, 3 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Season 11 approaches[edit]

New MST3K episodes are expected on Netflix starting April 14, with Joel Hodgson running it but with a new host, new bot voices, and new Mads (along with some familiar guests). It's officially considered Season 11 (since the last official one was #10), even though it's really the 12th (because the KTMA season was not included when MST3K launched nationally).

I guess I'd better add another row to this collection's table of contents, since I created the unwieldy beast. (Don't let me stop any volunteers from taking this on!) But I feel I owe it to the community also to do some heavy trimming, since this has long been one of the most absurdly large pages on Wikiquote. I expect to start by removing everything that is an entire transcription of a scene or song, of which there seem to be many. (This is a copyright violation.) I encourage readers and contributors of this collection to do some trimming as well. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 07:00, 17 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Well, I got through Mitchell (slightly more than half the episodes), knocking off about 16 KB (or a whopping 2.5%). Will continue later. ~ Jeff Q (talk)

I've begun adding Season 11 quotes, though I am unsure how to add to the chart. SamuraiMaster (talk) 19:54, 19 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]


What's on It Mind... MiniMike11888 (talk) 22:23, 31 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]