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There was a similar thread from way back about good introductory episodes. You’ve gotten a lot of recommendations already but you can see more there:
What’s YOUR favorite episode? Show her that.
Kevin Murphy has said that people like to use Outlaw (of Gor) as an intro, but that seems like a weird choice.
I would probably go with a Jonah episode, because it’s newer and more recognizable. Mac & Me feels like a strong contender.
Failing that: Warwhilf. Half-decent movie, killer riffing, and “Where oh Werewolf” is a banger.
Also want to endorse the idea of shorts now that the Gizmoplex makes that a thing. If she doesn’t like Young Man’s Fancy, she’s not worth dating.
As far as the classic eps go, I got my (then-)girlfriend into the show with The Day the Earth Froze (we were both Midwestern, and the credits Scandihoovian sketch was exactly right as an intro) and Eegah so that she knew what she was getting into before we went to see the two nights of the Live tour that year.
Unless your favorite episode is a Coleman Francis film.
I have to second “Wharwulef”; it’s a great date movie, packed with action; and the musical number is off the charts funny (That means he’s healthy!).
If it’s Rifftrax, a shirtless guy we worship every Christmas will draw them in.
Warwilf is indeed a good option
I’d start with The Movie. It’s the perfect introduction course for MST3K!
Figure out which episode has the weirdest host segments and go with that one.
I’d actually recommend that you start her off with a Short rather than a full-length movie. The Shorts are (at least) well … short … and that would give her the flavor of what happens without committing her to a 1.5 hour session which she may (or may not) particularly enjoy.
Good short starters would be …
What About Industrial Arts?
The Chicken of Tomorrow
Mr. B Natural
Here Comes the Circus
What To Do On A Date
Last Clear Chance
Design for Dreaming
Are You Ready For Marriage
After a short (or two) if she’s game for a full dose of the real deal then its probably best to ask what genre of movie she’s the most interested in. Would she be OK with a Spy movie? Then Double-007 or Danger Death Ray are the answers. Kaiju movie her jam? Godzilla vs. Megalon, or Gamera, or Reptilicus. The best movie to start her on will probably go down easier if its in a genre of film she’s familar with and kind of likes.
I have a couple of “don’ts”:
DO NOT conk her on the noggin and shoot her into space
DO NOT show her your robot pals made from those “special parts”
DO NOT subject her to Deep Hurting™, Rock Climbing™ or Hypno-Helio-Static-Stasis™
Seconded. I’ve had good luck with Here Comes the Circus.
Personally, I’m still working on Step 1: Get a new girlfriend.
But, really, which episodes are fantastic and which are only okay depends on your personal tastes. You don’t want to start her off with a movie being riffed that she’ll hate. Ease her into it with one that she can almost enjoy unriffed. So what’s she like to watch? Horror? Goofy monster movie? Attempted superheroes? Westerns? Skim through the episode titles and see what jumps out at you. Or talk it over with her, maybe.
Me too. I’m still working on getting my wife’s approval for that.
Pod People is my go-to recruitment episode. It hits the sweet spot between, “Oh these movies aren’t very good” and “These movies are kind of fun to watch, despite being not-very-good.” And the host segments are top-notch.
Plus, there’s that whole sequence during the credits that has nothing to do with the movie you’re about to watch