Gizmonic Institute, sometimes shortened to Gizmonics, is a top research laboratory. The institute is housed in a large building, shaped both like a gear and like the letter 'G'. It stands about seven floors above ground, with at least 13 sub-basements. The institute has research and development for almost everything from bio-spheres to orbiting satellites, with advanced materials such as high-density Kevlar and molybdenum (as evidenced by the materials Joel scavenged to create Crow T. Robot).
The facility is backed by a small mountain, with a sign reading "GIZMONIC INSTITUTE". Spacecraft can be launched from this mountain. Surrounding the facility is a large office building that is nearly twice the height of the institute itself. The office can deploy spacecraft as well. Nearby was a restaurant ('Home of the big G burger'), as well as a church (which could deploy its roof as a satellite dish). Also present are a geodesic dome and a large construction crane.
Dr. Clayton Forrester and Dr. Laurence Erhardt were employed as scientists and Joel Robinson was employed as a janitor. Despite their roles, Gizmonic was such a prestigious research facility that everybody, even janitors, were inventors.
During the early experiments, Dr. Forrester and Dr. Erhardt communicated with Joel from the offices of Gizmonic Institute. Following a disagreement with Gizmonic management, they relocated their base of operations to an underground storage area known as Deep 13, named for being thirteen floors below ground level. Over time, they stopped referring to Gizmonic Institute, as they firmly embraced Deep 13 as their headquarters.
But Gizmonic Institute was still a going concern, though its history was unrelated to the events surrounding the Mystery Science Theater. A later employee, research and development engineer Jonah Heston was kidnapped by Kinga Forrester (daughter of Dr. Forrester) while on a mineral-gathering mission for the Institute. He was then subjected to the same type of experiment as Joel.
Many years later, Dr. Erhardt would break into Gizmonic Institute to obtain the stored ashes of Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank with the intent fulfilling Dr. Forrester's wish to have his ashes spread on the planet Mearth (Frank's opinion on the matter being considered irrelevant). He reportedly "blew up a bunch of stuff" in the process.
- Joel Robinson
- Dr. Clayton Forrester
- Dr. Laurence Erhardt
- Old Leadbottom
- TV's Frank
- Jonah Heston
- Martha Masters
- The Home of the Big "G" Burger restaurant was made from a Life-Like HO-scale Drive-In Kentucky Fried Chicken model. It was previously used as the model of Clay & Lar's Flesh Barn in Women of the Prehistoric Planet.
- The church was an Atlas HO-scale "Town Series" church model number 606.
- The interior of the Gizmonic Institute was initially only depicted in the KTMA season, the title sequence of which ironically did not name the Institute (only saying that Joel "worked in a satellite loading bay") or depict its exterior. Two rooms in KTMA's building were used to represent the Institute; one of them was a vacant office, and the other was a mock television control room used to train new employees. A communications/control room was later seen in the first episode of Season 11.
- In season 1, Gizmonic Institute is depicted as built into a volcano with several multi-level buildings placed around it. The institute's G/Gear logo is depicted on a sign in front of the volcano. The familiar 'G'-shaped building would be introduced in season 2 and remain until Joel's departure in season 5.
- Once Joel left in season 5 all mention of Gizmonic Institute were removed from the show. Joel holds the copyright on the word "Gizmonic" and used it in his comedy acts. He requested that the show refrain from using the word after his departure. With Hodgson now in control of the production, Gizmomic Institute returned to the show for Season 11.
|Principal||Dr. Clayton Forrester • Dr. Laurence Erhardt • TV's Frank • Pearl Forrester • Professor Bobo • Brain Guy • Kinga Forrester • Max • Mega-Synthia|
|Secondary||Gerry and Sylvia • Dr. Peanut • The Observers • Synthia • Ardy • Skeleton Crew • Dr. Donna St. Phibes • Bonesy|
|Mirror Universe||Mike Nelson • Crow T. Robot • Tom Servo • Gypsy|
|Locations||Gizmonic Institute • Deep 13 • Deep Ape • The Widowmaker • Ancient Rome • Castle Forrester • Moon 13|