The Top 100 Best MST3K Episodes

To get you ready for the MST3K revival, here are the top 100 Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes of all time, as voted on by the fans!

For the last few years, fans have been voting on which MST3K episodes should be included in the annual Turkey Day Marathon which takes place, appropriately, on Thankgiving every year. Thousands of devoted MSTies cast their votes for their favorites, and when the results were tabulated, this is what was left.

The results were made public by Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator Joel Hodgson, who sent out the list in an e-mail to backers of the Bring Back MST3K Kickstarter, which raised money to make MST3K Season 11 a reality. The show finally arrived on April 14th, and it nails the spirit and tone of the original.

Now keep in mind that there were 197 episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, so this ranking of the Top 100 encompasses more than half of the show’s run. Then again, MST3K is kinda like pizza, so even when it’s not great, it’s still probably OK. But if you’re new to Mystery Science Theater 3000 and find the idea of 197 episodes a little daunting, nobody could blame you, so this is a fine way to cut that down to size. Plus, this isn’t exactly a show that requires you to go through it chronologically. In fact, you probably shouldn’t, since its first two seasons saw them still perfecting the formula that would propel it to cult stardom, so they’re best sampled sparingly at first.

Now, just a quick look at this by the numbers.

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Unsurprisingly, the little-seen Season One had the fewest entries (3) as it was before the show had really found its feet, while the excellent Season Three tops the list with a whopping 16 of its 24 installments making the list. In second place we have Season 8 (with 15 entries), which was the show’s first season on the Sci-Fi Channel and arguably when its visibility and popularity were at their peak. Other big winners includes Seasons Four and Five (13 each) and the final Season 10 (with, coincidentally, 10 episodes).

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Looking for some resolution to the Joel vs. Mike debate? Well, you won’t necessarily find that here, but the numbers do tell a little bit of a story. 45 of the 100 episodes on the list are Joel episodes, with 55 for Mike. Keep in mind that Mike has the advantage of having appeared in 10 more episodes than Joel (assuming you don’t count Season Zero on KTMA, which you shouldn’t, as that whole season was kind of an extended pilot/try-out for the series) and also consider, as mentioned earlier, seasons one and two weren’t nearly as well known (or, pound for pound on the mark) as later ones. But Joel/Mike is one of those Beatles/Stones things where you can’t go wrong either way, so you should really just relax.

As for me? It’s an absolute crime that Jungle Goddess (203) didn’t make the cut, as it features both Superman (George Reeves) and Dick Tracy (Ralph Byrd), a great running Muppets gag, and it’s a sentimental favorite since it was the first episode I ever saw. But hey, what do I know?

So turn down your lights (where applicable) and scroll through here and have a look at where your favorites landed based on the votes of “The MST3K Revival League.” And then feel free to suggest ones you think should have been included (or complain about the placement of your favorites) down in the comments (or riff with me on Twitter)! 

1. Manos: The Hands of Fate – (424) 2. Space Mutiny – (820) 3. Mitchell – (512) 4. The Final Sacrifice – (910) 5. Pod People – (303) 6. Puma Man – (903) 7. Santa Claus Conquers The Martians – (321) 8. Werewolf – (904) 9. Cave Dwellers – (301) 10. Time Chasers – (821)

11. Overdrawn At The Memory Bank – (822) 12. I Accuse My Parents – (507) 13. Eegah! – (506) 14. Gamera – (302) 15. Prince of Space – (816) 16. Hobgoblins – (907) 17. Laserblast – (706) 18. Soultaker – (1001) 19. Godzilla vs. Megalon – (212) 20. Jack Frost – (813)

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21. Santa Claus – (521) 22. Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders – (1003) 23. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die – (513) 24. The Touch of Satan – (908) 25. Teenagers From Outer Space – (404) 26. The Day the Earth Froze – (422) 27. Warrior of the Lost World – (501) 28. The Giant Spider Invasion – (810) 29. Catalina Caper – (204) 30. Fugitive Alien – (310)

31. Master Ninja I – (322) 32. Time of the Apes – (306) 33. Gamera vs. Guiron – (312) 34. Final Justice – (1008) 35. Boggy Creek II – (1006) 36. Riding with Death – (814) 37. The Sidehackers – (202) 38. Outlaw (Of Gor) – (519) 39. Future War – (1004) 40. Monster A-Go-Go – (421)

41. “Parts”: The Clonus Horror – (811) 42. The Killer Shrews – (407) 43. The Giant Gila Monster – (402) 44. Deathstalker and the Warriors From Hell – (703) 45. Red Zone Cuba – (619) 46. The Girl in Gold Boots – (1002) 47. Alien From L.A. – (516) 48. Hercules Against The Moon Men – (410) 49. Diabolik – (1013) 50. Horror Of Party Beach – (817)

51. The Amazing Colossal Man – (309) 52. Danger! Death Ray – (620) 53. The Creeping Terror – (606) 54. Daddy-O + Alphabet Antics – (307) 55. The Incredibly Strange Creatures… – (812) 56. Lost Continent – (208) 57. Attack Of The Eye Creatures – (418) 58. Squirm – (1012) 59. Star Force: Fugitive Alien II – (318) 60. Zombie Nightmare – (604)

61. Hercules Unchained – (408) 62. Quest of the Delta Knights – (913) 63. The Beast of Yucca Flats – (621) 64. The Screaming Skull – (912) 65. The Magic Sword – (411) 66. The Mole People – (803) 67. Operation Double 007 – (508) 68. Wild, Wild World of Batwoman – (515) 69. The Beginning of the End – (517) 70. Magic Voyage of Sinbad – (505)

71. Agent for H.A.R.M. – (815) 72. Girls Town – (601) 73. Devil Doll – (818) 74. Hamlet – (1009) 75. Night of the Blood Beast – (701) 76. The Beatniks – (415) 77. Secret Agent Super Dragon – (504) 78. The Starfighters – (612) 79. Bride of the Monster – (423) 80. It Conquered The World – (311) 

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81. Rocketship X-M – (201) 82. The Crawling Eye – (101) 83. Moon Zero Two – (111) 84. Godzilla Vs. The Sea Monster – (213) 85. Gamera Vs. Zigra – (316) 86. Robot Holocaust – (110) 87. The Incredible Melting Man – (704) 88. Escape 2000 – (705) 89. Gamera Vs. Gaos – (308) 90. Gamera Vs. Barugon – (304)

91. Tormented – (414) 92. Samson vs. The Vampire Women – (624) 93. Angels’ Revenge – (622) 94. Horrors of Spider Island – (1011) 95. Invasion of the Neptune Men – (819) 96. Devil Fish – (911) 97. Master Ninja II – (324) 98. The Deadly Mantis – (804) 99. San Francisco International – (614) 100. Wild Rebels – (207)