Time-Honored Tradition of “Honey”!

I noticed lately, upon watching several old episodes, that Joel called the robots “honey” occasionally, in his very dad-like way. Later on, the bots pick up on this and use it with each other sometimes. And in the live show I saw last night (spoilers!) Emily calls Mega-Synthia “honey”!

It’s a sweet little detail that people who spend time around Joel pick up on this little thing he does.

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I thought this was going to be a nod to all the times they said things like, “Honey, I Shrunk The Audience’s Interest!”

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I always thought of Joel as the Bots’ mother; he called them “honey” all the time, especially if he thought they were becoming too excited about something. Mike, as the Bots’ older brother home from college, called them “honey” on several occasions.
To me, it shows they are a “real” family.

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Don’t forget the recurrent evocations of “Honey West!”

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I guess I always viewed it as another nod to their collective upper midwestern upbringing, especially since it’s often delivered with a pronounced Marge Gunderson affectation, e.g., “aww hunnee nooh.” Other examples might be the use of “aww dem are” instead of “oh those are,” e.g., “aww dem are da five ladyfingers of death, jeez,” and lots of "I seen where"s and "an stuff"s.

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Though there are exceptions, I always felt the honey’s came out natural like - so it often sounded like a term of endearment rather than a joke or routine.

When I bought that boxset, I was a shade disappointed not to hear an announcer shout, Honeeey West! during the credits, like Joel did it… though in hindsight, when you see the name, along with the music, you can almost hear a narrator say “Honeeey West!” so it’s all good. It still gives me a laugh.

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Same, though I do think I’ve heard that voiceover somewhere other than MST3K. Perhaps in old commercials for the show? (I have the full show on disc as well.) Oh, and I suspect Frank is the source of that particular riff, he’s a real maven of those old, more obscure shows.

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That does sound like a Frank thing now that you say it. (especially after hearing him talk -in the Mads livestreams- about how he spent his time during the pandemic)

And yeah, it could very well have been done in a commercial.

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Oh, absolutely! I find it very sweet and I like it a lot. Like Jajahamu said, Joel seems to use it when the bots are getting overexcited (“calm down, honey, it’s okay”)

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From the casket scene in Gunslinger :

Crow: “Joel, is there any way I could be mummified and placed next to Stalin?”

Joel: “Sure, Honey.”

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I think it’s a bit of the Minnesota Nice thing. Like the idea is that there’s a facade of niceness, but that it’s often just kind of dismissive.

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Actually seen on Twitter, from Kevin, to Joel: “Joel, honey, don’t be a putz.” :laughing: So I guess it’s part of the Best Brain dialect, anyway.

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They mention Minnesotan passive-aggressiveness from time to time, so I’m with you on this—similar to the “bless your heart” that’s really just “you’re an idiot” with a smile.

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I noticed during the short Keeping Clean and Neat, when the girl (Mildred?) has the cut where she pulled away the skin, you can softly hear Servo say “Oh honey”. I love to catch little things that I missed.

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After watching a long spree of MST I forgot that “honey” and “sweetie” make perfect sense to MiSTies only. I responded to someone’s post, “Sweetie, what’s wrong?” Only after I hit send did it dawn on me that’s weird to outsiders. Luckily the person didn’t really notice.

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Joel calls Crow’s evil specter Timmy “honey” a number of times.

But even as late as season 9, we see it. In Werewolf, Kevin says, “Oh, honey. Talk to Nana.”

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Rifftrax occasionally did the traditional “honey.” I don’t remember what live show I saw it. It’s been a long time since I watched any of their work.

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