Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K) has made many references to Star Trek. Tom Servo's Used Robots, named for the cynical robot Tom Servo, was an in-joke added to the Promenade set decoration for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.


"The Robot vs the Aztec Mummy"

[S1, E2] Alien creatures called Dog Demons invade The Satellite of Love and their king and leader Enoch appears and speaks to Joel and the Bots where it turns out the Dog Demons had mistaken The Satellite of Love for being a giant dog bone. Enoch then says he will call off his followers, but wants to first exchange pleasantries with Joel and the Bots and then they'll drink tranya refencing TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver".

"The Corpse Vanishes"

[S1, E5] During the second host segment, Crow and Tom are reading the latest issue of Tiger-Bot magazine (a parody of the teen fan magazine Tiger Beat) and it features a full collage spread of Data with a "dreamy" schematic of him and Tom wishing for his positronic brain. One of Data's turn-ons is listed as "quiet walks on the holodeck", while two of his turn-offs are "fat Klingons in sweatpants" and "Shatner hanging around the set telling old war stories." His favorite actress is listed as Julie Newmar, his favorite Scot is James Doohan, and his secret fantasy is that he would really love to be Human, which disgusts Crow and Tom as Data gives robots like them a bad name and they call him a sellout.

"The Crawling Hand"

[S1, E6] During the film, Crow says "I think he's taken acting lessons from William Shatner." whenever a character overacts. He also says "No, I think she's doing Mrs. Captain Kirk!" when he compares the land lady being strangled to possibly a scene in the fifth Star Trek film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, in which Captain Kirk (William Shatner) is being strangled by the character Sybok (played by Laurence Luckinbill).

Later, during the third host segment, Joel and the Bots each make light (once again) of Shatner's delivery of lines by doing William Shatner impressions while pretending to be choked by an artificial hand. The hand theme, is most likely another reference to The Final Frontier.

Joel starts up the segment by saying "Must think. Must get back to Galileo-7. Lives of four hundred crewmembers hang in balance..." His mention of "Galileo Seven" is a reference to the shuttlecraft Galileo that the crew of the Enterprise discovered in Season 1 Episode 18 of the original Star Trek, titled "The Galileo Seven".

Crow says "Must cut transponder from wrist, fashion crude phaser device from..." Crow is referring to a cliché of the Star Trek series where a character, who's in a position of peril would be able to build a crude phaser out of objects found around them.

Tom says "Must control myself. Must find pastel colored native female, execute Prime Directive..." Tom's comment about "pastel colored natives" is reference to the Orion slave girls which were alien women with green skin, first seen in TOS: "The Cage". The Prime Directive is another Star Trek reference, a code of the United Federation of Planets, forbidding interference with the affairs of an alien world.

Joel then stops with the impersonations and says "I don't know how Shatner does it week after week."

"Catalina Caper"

[S2. E4] In the introductory host segment of the episode, Crow and Tom are saying their nightly prayers, including God blesses for a number of fictional robots which include Data and Lal.

"Wild Rebels"

3D Pizza

[S2, E7] During the Invention Exchange, Joel comes up with 3D Pizza, which he based-off three-dimensional chess from The Original Series and it features pizzas placed on top of the chess boards instead of chess pieces.

"The Hellcats"

[S2. E9] In the fourth host segment, Tom is typing in his diary about how he and Crow got into a fight until Joel broke them up and tells them that when they get into fights, they should remember the good times they had together and proceeds to flashback to the Shatner segment from "The Crawling Hand".

"Godzilla vs. Megalon"

TV's Frank as Geordi La Forge

[S2, E12] During the Invention Exchange, the crew of the SOL and the Mads both come up with easy-to-make Halloween costumes, with TV's Frank wearing a FRAM automotive air filter fashioned as a VISOR and going as Geordi La Forge. He then tells kids that reading opens up an enchantment and whimsy and wonder, which was referencing the show Reading Rainbow that was hosted by Geordi actor LeVar Burton, until Dr. Forrester pushes Frank aside while saying "Thank you, Kunta Kinte.", which is another reference to Burton, who played the teenage version of the fictional slave character in the 1977 miniseries Roots.

"Pod People"

[S3, E3] When the film simulates the effect of traveling through space, Tom says "Boldly backing away from where no man has gone before." paraphrasing the line "To boldly go where no man has gone before." from the intro to Star Trek: The Original Series. Just after this, Tom, Joel and Crow start humming the TOS theme, and then switch to the Steve Miller Band song "Swingtown" (which has the same first 2 notes).

"Earth vs. the Spider"

[S3, E13] Joel and the Bots are rehearsing their rock opera as the band Spidorr when they're interrupted by a visit from the Custodian of the Seventh Galaxy who questions the artistic value of the project before being called away. His ship appears to be a model of a high school (complete with flagpole) with the front end and nacelle wings from an AMT/Ertl Klingon D7-class battle cruiser model kit.

"Star Force: Fugitive Alien II"

[S3, E18] During the second host segment, Crow descends into speaking like William Shatner when Tom breaks down because of the movie. One of the things he says is that he must write "Star Trek IX: The Search for Spock's Intelligence", a reference to both Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and TOS: "Spock's Brain"

"The Killer Shrews"

[S4, E7] In the fourth host segment, Tom and Crow are talking in a hip style and telling Joel the recipe for a drink called the Killer Shrew, which is insanely heavy on sugary items for its ingredients. Crow says one of the ingredients is Wax Lips, but Tom corrects him saying that's for a similar, but different drink called the Vulcan Mind Probe.

"Crash of Moons"

[S4, E17] In the fourth host segment, Crow introduces a spec script teleplay that he based on the movie of the episode and he, Joel, Tom and Gypsy do a read-through and note-giving secession on it. Crow then skips to his part and explains he took the idea from Star Trek and reads his lines speaking like William Shatner.

"Bride of the Monster"

[S4, E23] "I'm dead, Jim." is a reference to Leonard "Bones" McCoy from "The Original Series", who often had to remark (mostly about crew in redshirts) "He's dead, Jim."

"Warrior of the Lost World"

[S5, E1] Early in the film, when Persis Khambatta's name appears on the screen, Crow immediately points out she was in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and that she had no hair at all in it.

"Swamp Diamonds"

[S5, E3] In the introductory host segment of the episode, Crow and Tom become obsessed with TOS: "This Side of Paradise" (which Joel calls "the Elias Sandoval episode") instead of helping Joel to crunch numbers for "that navigational plot thing." Crow dangles upside-down like Spock and is wearing Vulcan ears, with Tom impersonating Leila Kalomi and wearing a blonde wig, and Joel imitates Kirk angering Spock to make the Bots snap out of it, saying "Your father was a computer and your mother was an encyclopedia!" Tom and Crow's recreation is somewhat inaccurate as Crow says "I'm not going back, Jim." which Spock never says in the original episode.


[S5, E6] "Help me! Spock!" In TOS: "The Savage Curtain" a recreation of Surak, the father of modern Vulcan civilization, calls out for aid in a similar, melodramatic fashion as in this episode.


[S5, E12] When Merlin Olsen's character dies, Joel comments on his appearance, "I see Van Morrison, I see Meat Loaf and Spock..." Joel pronounces "Spock" in an imitation of William Shatner, signaling that Olsen resembles Shatner and not Leonard Nimoy. Later on, while Joe Don Baker's titular character flies over the bay, one of the structures prompts Joel to claim that it's the "Starship Enterprise in drydock."

"Teen-Age Strangler"

[S5, E14] In the short before the film "Is This Love", Crow and Tom joke that the older roommate of the main character is a Romulan.

"The Wild Wild World of Batwoman"

[S5, E15] When the logo for the movie appears, which is shown in a low tech star field, Mike quips "Their five-year mission: to be hot-hot-hot. Wow!"

"Girls Town"

[S6, E1] During the film, Mike says "Uh oh, Romulans!" when two girls enter a room and their hairstyle resembles that of the Romulans.

"The Skydivers"

[S6, E9] In the introductory host segment of the episode, Tom is giving a planetarium show on space when Crow interrupts him repeatedly to make jokes about Uranus, including that they have to "get to Uranus and wipe out the Klingons." Later in the episode, they remark that a character has "teeth like a Ferengi."

"Last of the Wild Horses"

Mirror Crow and Mike

[S6, E11] One episode in particular, "Last of the Wild Horses", spoofs the episode TOS: "Mirror, Mirror". The evil mad scientist Dr. Forrester attempts a matter transference experiment during an ion storm, switching the robots Tom Servo and Gypsy with their mirror counterparts. They find themselves in the mad scientists' lair, Deep 13, with an Evil Mike Nelson sporting a goatee beard and an evil robot Crow. Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank are nice in this universe and are subjected to watch bad movies on the Satellite of Love. Evil Mike tries to discipline Evil Crow with his agonizer, but the batteries are dead, and the agony booth is out of order. Meanwhile, the Evil Servo and Gypsy are on the real SOL. Evil Servo pulls a dagger on Mike to take control of the SOL. Evil Gypsy seduces Evil Servo, to be his "captain's woman". The real Gypsy and Servo ask the mirror universe computer how to return things to normal and eventually do. The real mad scientists enjoy the agony booth a little too much. Many lines of dialogue are lifted directly from "Mirror, Mirror" as well. In addition, there is a modified Terran Empire logo on Evil Servo's upper body, with the SOL through the Earth.

"Danger!! Death Ray"

[S6, E12] In the episode, Crow remarks that an ashtray looks like a "Ferengi ear" and later in the episode, Mike calls a character "Kirk" because of his outfit's color.

"Kitten with a Whip"

[S6, E15] During the film, one of the characters resembles the bewigged and entoweled Vaalians from TOS: "The Apple" and Mike says "We must pray to Vaal." referencing the computer-machine from the episode.

"The Sword and the Dragon"

[S6, E17] "Did you hear Kute Mulgrew is Mrs. Picard?" Kate Mulgrew is the actress who played Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager. Captain of the Enterprise Jean-Luc Picard frequently joins her in fan fiction. In addition, Mulgrew played the previously unseen Mrs. Columbo in a short lived spin-off of that title.

"Night of the Blood Beast"

[S7, E1] In the short before the film "Once Upon a Honeymoon", Crow says as the guardian angel Wilbur fades away "I'm losing his pattern, Captain." referencing in Star Trek when a character's pattern is lost during the use of a transporter.

The film was later featured in the Turkey Day marathon of 1995 where Dr. Forrester is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner party and one of the guests is his mother Pearl who sees Mike and the Bots and asks "So what is this, Star Trek: Voyager or something?"


Mike Nelson as Kathryn Janeway

[S7, E6] The final Comedy Central-era episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 features the crew of the SOL adrift in space. All seems normal until they encounter a black hole, a terrified Crow and Tom call to Mike for help. Mike enters, however he is dressed as, and talking like, Captain Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager. After saving the satellite from the black hole (addressing Tom Servo and Crow as "Mr. Servo" and "Mr. Crow", another nod to Janeway) he celebrates by singing the song "Proud Mary", from which Crow and Servo flee in terror. That episode also features a spoof of the perfection-loving Nomad called "Monad." As in TOS: "The Changeling", the robot is defeated when he is ejected into space. During the heckling of the movie (which was "Laserblast" which featured TOS-era sound effects as well as a score co-written by Joel Goldsmith) one of the cast quotes a line from TOS: "The Savage Curtain".

"The Leech Woman"

[S8, E2] One of the sketches involves Crow raving about how his "nanites" are fixing the ship; this may be reference to nanites such as those created by Wesley Crusher in the episode TNG: "Evolution", or a more general reference to Seven of Nine's Borg nanites which are adapted to fix numerous problems in Star Trek: Voyager.

"The Thing That Couldn't Die"

[S8, E5] "They've beamed onto the planet O.K. Corral!" is a reference to TOS: "Spectre of the Gun", in which Kirk trespasses on the territory of the Melkotians and he, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, and navigator Pavel Chekhov are imprisoned in an illusion of Tombstone, Arizona on the day that the Earps and Doc Holliday shot the Clanton gang at the O.K. Corral.

"Parts: The Clonus Horror"

[S8, E11] The space children featured in the host segments of the episode are a reference to TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead".

"Jack Frost"

[S8, E13] "Hey, listen. It's Spock in really fast motion!" is a reference to a major plot point in TOS: "Wink of an Eye".

"Agent for H.A.R.M"

[S8, E15] In the episode, Mike was placed on trial for blowing up three planets. The judge used language similar to Q in TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", calling Humanity a "savage" and "child-like" species. Furthermore, Mike believed that he was on trial for all of Humanity but was, in reality on trial for himself.

"Prince of Space"

[S8, E16] In the film", Mike says "Make it BKAWK" (chicken sound) when the chicken-looking Phantom of Krankor gives an order.

Later, Crow remarks about a planet the spacemen approach: "They're landing on Captain Picard's head."

"The Horror of Party Beach"

[S8, E17] Mike and the Bots remark that one of the girls is a Romulan.

"Overdrawn at the Memory Bank"

[S8, E22] Crow remarks that the memory-holding "identicube" looks like "Christmas on the Borg ship".

"The Pumaman"

[S9, E3] After the titular hero reappears in his "base of operations" following a psychedelic trip in search of a special mask, Crow quips "Look, just don't use the holodeck anymore, huh? If you don't know how to use it." when the camera focuses on the hero's sidekick, Vadhino.

When Vadhino confronts Kobras, the music playing sounds similarly to the opening chords to the original Star Trek theme, prompting Mike to utter "Space."

"The Final Sacrifice"

[S9, E10] In the film, the main character is reading a letter and Mike pretends that he's reading "Dear Counselor Troi: I waited at Denny's, but you didn't meet me."


[S10, E1] "Pearl! Pearl! Hello? Our wessel is malfunctioning!" Mike is imitating Walter Koenig's faux-Russian accented Pavel Chekov, in particular, his memorable "nuculear wessel" scene from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

"Wheeling Captain Pike down the hall!" is a reference to TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I" and "The Menagerie, Part II", in which Christopher Pike, the former captain of the Enterprise, was shown confined to a futuristic wheelchair.

"Track of the Moon Beast"

[S10, E7] Seeing the titular monster, Mike says "I'm ready to fight Captain Kirk." referencing the Gorn captain that Kirk fought in TOS: "Arena".


[S11, E1] In the first episode of the Netflix revival, one of the first riffs has Crow, upon a miner uttering "Bones." seeing the mysterious bone dug up, respond with "Jim." the same way McCoy would growl it out. Later on, a poorly added in bazooka shot leads Jonah to question why they're firing a phaser at the titular monster. This episode also features an appearance by Wil Wheaton as an employee of the Gizmonic Institute named Drake.


[S11, E3] Despite the film being a Star Wars ripoff, a few Star Trek riff get in. While the main heroine Stella Star investigates a mysterious ship, Tom mocks her sidekick Akton as he says "I'm seeing Spock's space coffin. That can't be right!" This episode also features a song the SOL crew sing called "UFO", which includes the Star Trek references "Let me be the Picard to your Beverly Crusher" and "Make it so" in the lyrics.

"The Land That Time Forgot"

[S11, E7] Numerous references throughout the episode's entirety.

"The Loves of Hercules"

[S11, E8] When Hercules fights the monster Alcione, Jonah comments, "This has all the earmarks of a Shatner fight." once again referencing Kirk's fight with the Gorn captain in TOS: "Arena".

"Yongary - Monster from the Deep"

[S11, E9] At the beginning of the film, Tom mock how the music sounds like the type they pay when Kirk goes to one of those "make-out planets."

Later, they see a city that's really dark and Crow assumes it's outer space and says "Space, the final frontier. To boldly go..." before Jonah cuts him off saying what they're seeing is a city, and it's just really dark. Crow then goes "A city, the final frontier..." before Jonah interrupts again saying that he was wrong and it is space. Crow then tries to say "Space, the final frontier." again before just giving up altogether.

"Wizards of the Lost Kingdom"

[S11, E10] When some of the dressed up women are seen, Jonah muses "... it's the Miss Romulan pageant."

"Carnival Magic"

[S11, E12] During the film, secretive magician Markov the Magnificent tells his daughter Bud that Alex the talking chimpanzee has animal trainer Kirk to look after him, but Bud says that Kirk is not the answer anymore, to which Tom muses "Picard?" as an answer.

"At the Earth's Core"

[S11, E14] During the film, Jonah imitates Kirk saying "Ceti Alpha V. McCoy, you're with me. Spock, you have the bridge." after the main characters reach the Earth's core. Jonah also says "Ooh, right in the tribbles!" when a soldier awakens a prisoner by striking his groin with his weapon.

Later, Tom yells out random Star Trek characters names like McCoy in Shatner's over-acting style. Tom later imitates the music theme from TOS: "Arena".

"Lords of the Deep"

[S12, E3] There are several different Trek references: Jonah remarks that the captain is "...going full Shatner" and later references the TV show Quantum Leap and actor Scott Bakula as well.

When a scene cut to the outside of the underwater laboratory, Tom says "We now return to Wet Star Trek!"

When one of the film's characters goes to a computer console, Crow says "I guess the 'beam me up' thing isn't working." refencing a transporter and the famous misquote "Beam me up, Scotty".

"The Day Time Ended"

[S12, E4] There are three different Trek references: Jonah emits earlier on "She's holding at 40%, Captain!"; one of the bots later comments on a character about to die: "You're in redshirt mode!"; and another riff states "Send you to the William Shatner hair vault..."

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

During the opening credits of This Island Earth, Servo comments "Space... the final frontier... These are the voyages of... Babylon 5."

While the list of actors in This Island Earth is being displayed, Servo states "Ok, lets see here... Shatner... Shatner? Nope doesn't look like he's in this one. We're safe."

When the airplane is being pulled into the flying saucer, one of the hecklers impersonates Sulu while saying "Captain, the Klingons have us in their tractor beam." Later as the spacecraft is flying, one of the Bots continues his Sulu impersonation by saying, "There's a shuttlecraft approaching, Captain. Do you want me to talk like George Takei some more, Mike?"

As the space ship is landing on Metaluna, Servo states, "Remember, we are parked in the Denebian slime devil lot."

On the return trip to Earth, Crow says the following: "Captain's Log: A bunch of our ship fell off and... nobody likes me." Upon entering Earth's atmosphere, Crow continues his Shatner impersonation "Captain's Log: I've lost my toupee and girdle and I can't leave my room."

As Exeter is dying, one of the hecklers yells out "Spooooocccckkkk" in a Shatner-style of overacting.

Other references

During the Sci-Fi Channel era, MST3K also had many allusions to Star Trek. The recurring character Observer (Brain Guy) and his species may have been a reference to the Talosians, the Q, or the Providers (since they were highly evolved, omnipotent beings, that were simply just brains, whose "bodies" were just illusions).

Also, throughout various latter year episodes, the Nanite characters were featured on certain occasions, a reference to the Trek nanites.

In an ad for the Netflix revival, Tom and Crow are sitting in a theater at Netflix Headquarters and they're looking over the choices of Netflix original series and they pick Ultimate Beastmaster. Tom says he heard whoever wins gets two ferrets Kodo and Podo, which is a reference to the ferrets of the same name from the 1982 film The Beastmaster and Crow says "Otho? Is that from Deep Space Nine?" referencing the character Odo and how the names sound the same. [1]


Michael J. Nelson (Mike Nelson) and Kevin Murphy (the voice of Tom Servo) provided an MST3K-styled commentary track for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Murphy called it Star Trek V: Shatner Ruins the Franchise. Nelson and Murphy, along with Bill Corbett (the voice of Crow T. Robot) also did a RiffTrax commentary for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Nelson and Murphy later riffed Star Trek Generations. Nelson, Murphy and Corbett teamed up together again to riff 2009's Star Trek and released the riff commentary track the same day it came out on DVD. These commentaries can be purchased and downloaded from the RiffTrax website in MP3 format. Riffs for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and two episodes of the fan film series Star Trek: New Voyages were also featured for download on the site.

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