All's well that ends well: choosing different stingers

One of my favorite things about MST3K is the stinger at the end of an episode’s credits. They always struck me as a fun way to conclude the MST3K viewing experience.

Some of the choices for stingers are inspired. Other choices don’t seem to work quite as well.

With that in mind, if you had to select different stingers for MST3K episodes, what would you choose?

As a reference, here’s a video of all the MST3K stingers:

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I rarely know what the stinger will be. My brain wants them to be a moment that captures the essence of the experiment, but usually they are head-scratcher moments from the movie. I think, anyhow. I’ve found them enjoyable no matter how surprised (or occasionally not) I am. Unsure why, but it’s a special moment I always look forward to each episode.

As for selecting different ones, I’d fill in the ones that are missing. It’s always a brief but sad moment when the stinger just doesn’t pop up.

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Yeah, it’s a pity that we don’t have stingers for Season 1, a few Season 2 episodes, and that four-episode stretch in Season 8.

It feels wrong that the end credits for The Undead don’t conclude with Quintus screaming “STAAAAAAAAAAY!”

Definitely! I’m glad they kept the tradition alive for the Netflix era. It’s always fun to try to keep certain moments from the movie at the back of the mind and guess what the stinger will be when the end credits wrap up.

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I can’t think of a favorite off the top of my head, but I will say that I’ve always found them comforting. When watching the show on cable, it was always on in the late evenings, so MST3K would be the last thing I watched before I went to sleep. Getting to the end of an episode was like finishing a good book… you feel happy but a bit empty at the same time, especially with how slow the closing music is, but when you make it through the end credits, you get a little extra nugget of happiness that reminds you of what you liked about the episode.

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Exactly. I like how you put that. There is that feeling of comfort right at the end.

It’s like the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide says - there’s something oddly exhilarating when they find just the right stinger.

One different stinger I’d choose? For Operation Double 007, I’d go with one of the surreal moments from the desert attack scene where the skunk-themed can-can dancers march stoically towards the camera. It would better capture the weirdness of that movie than the bad guy activating his device.

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I always thought the stinger for Danger Death Ray was lame. For an alternate, I’d go with Dishonest Abe making a flying tackle at Bart, only to be sidestepped and wind up flying out the window.

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“¡Olé!”

Great choice!

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The Starfighters should have had 5 or 10 seconds of dialogue-free refueling footage as a stinger. We just didn’t get to see enough of it in the movie.

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My complete list of suggestions for stingers in episodes that didn’t have one:

The Crawling Eye: Truscott gets noosed by a tentacle.

The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy: “Oh boy, are you a big liar.” “You shut your mouth, you’re the liar.”

The Mad Monster: Wolf Pedro sneak attacks the skeptic scientist.

Women of the Prehistoric Planet: “Hi-keeba!” thump (is there really any other option?)

The Corpse Vanishes: The Countess b*tch slaps Pat.

The Crawling Hand: “And don’t even come back!”

Robot Monster: Ro-Man carrying a kicking and screaming Alice.

The Slime People: A looter swipes a drunk’s wallet, then takes a swig.

Project Moon Base: Briteis writhes in high G agony.

Robot Holocaust: Nyla suggests using Furry Underoos Guy as a minesweeper, and Deeja responds by b!tchslapping her.

Moon Zero Two: Clementine whacks Hubbard where it counts.

Untamed Youth: Spazzy guy dances alone.

The Black Scorpion: The harpoon gunner gets shocked, and the current is belatedly shut off.

Rocketship X-M: “Should we wake him?”

The Side Hackers: J.C. hauls @$$ on the side hack.

Jungle Goddess: Bob becomes a shish ke-Bob.

Catalina Caper: O’Toole gets wuss-slapped by the topless bikini babe he reels in, who then storms off in a huff.

Wild Rebels: “That square bugs me! He really bugs me!”

Village of the Giants: Cowboy rides the rack.

The Thing That Couldn’t Die: “I hate you all! I hope a tree falls on you!” And one does.

The Undead: “STAY!!!” (another easy one)

Terror from the Year 5000: Hedges tackles Angelo.

The She-Creature: The She-Creature has her “Here’s Johnny!” moment.

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Wait until you see the director’s cut, man.

I’m surprised that this didn’t become the first stinger due to how it made Frank laugh so damn hard.

It breaks my heart as to how perfect that would have been.

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Instead of “Roji Panty Complex” they just had some kid falling down! Laaaaaame

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That wasn’t merely a kid falling down. It was a fat kid falling on his hinder and shrieking like a little girl. How could some guy saying Roji Panty Complex compare to that?

Speaking of which, my best guess is that what was actually said was Roppongi Complex. Roppongi being a district in Tokyo that had some American military installations at the time of the film, and in more recent years has become known for its nightclub scene.

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It popped in my head today that a great stinger for Escape 2000 would have been Henry Silva’s angry rant “No sugar you idiot! How many times have I told you before?!? NO sugar! It makes me CRAZY!!!”

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I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but there’s the stinger for It Conquered the World where you get to hear Peter Graves start his speech for the fifth time.

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That would have been a great stinger.

I also would have liked Toblerone saying, “He’s got two arms! Two legs! He’s just like us HAHAHAHA!”

There’s also that weird moment where Henry Silva is pointing at random parts of the model city and musing on the whereabouts of Trash and the reporter: “They’re both… under… there. Or maybe there. But somewhere there!”

A terrific moment of them running a joke into the ground in the funniest way possible.

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Never understood why they used the Coke bottle glasses guy prohibiting Phil from entering the gym instead of, “Want some?” for the Daddy-O stinger.

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Yeah, the gym guy moment didn’t seem all that weird.

On the other side of the spectrum, “Want some?” / “I want an answer!” was so transcendentally inexplicable.

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