Joel, check my math on this: A flaming truck is getting towed away by a blimp?
- Tom Servo

The Bubble is the 12th episode of Season 13 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the 229th episode overall. It premiered on November 11, 2022.

The Movie[]

Main article: The Bubble (film)


A young couple find themselves in a strange isolated town.

The Episode[]

Host Segments[]

Prologue: The 'Bots pitch Joel Robinson their ideas for Star Trek-themed breakfast foods.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Joel and the 'Bots present The Pop Duster, a device that turns any food into a popcorn topping. Kinga and Max present Lens-Be-Safe, protective covers for a wearer's eyeglasses or sunglasses.

Segment Two: Joel and the 'Bots debate the merits of 3D. On the moon, M. Waverly and Growler are gathering rocks for a project of Kinga's.

Segment Three: Crow asks Tom about his lack of depth perception. Joel has a device to remedy the situation. Tom becomes emerged in the world of The Bubble and dislikes the experience.


Segment Four: Crow and Joel discover a button on Tom's back that fixes Tom's vision. Tom is frightened and appalled by Crow's appearance.

Segment Five: Joel confers with Jonah and Emily about their plan to join forces.

Segment Six: The hosts convince Pearl to let them enact their plan. Dr. Kabahl approves.

Stinger: Tony drunkenly observes a floating tray of beers.

Obscure References[]

  • "Tommy likes to rock and roll, and hot dog popcorn makes him lose control!"

A reference to the theme song of the sitcom The Patty Duke Show, which contrasted the elegant Cathy's tastes with the less sophisticated preferences of her identical cousin Patty.

  • "Ah! They flew into Burbank! That's convenient."

Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, CA is a smaller, less-heavily-trafficked alternative to LAX airport for people flying in or out of the Los Angeles area.

  • "Did they land in Westview or something?"

Westview was the name of idyllic town constructed by the grief-stricken Scarlet Witch in the TV series WandaVision. The occupants had their thoughts and actions limited by Wanda's control.

  • "Doctor?" "Zaius?"

Dr. Zaius was an officious orangutan in the Plant of the Apes franchise.

  • "Norm!"

Norm Peterson was a regular patron of the bar on the TV sitcom Cheers. The other patrons and staff traditionally yelled his name when he entered.

  • "So, is this a Blazing Saddles LARP?"

Blazing Saddles is a comedy film directed by Mel Brooks that satirizes the Western genre. LARP is short for "Live-Action Role-Playing", in which participants immerse themselves in a constructed scenario. Some LARPs are themed around things from popular culture.

  • "Buy my book! Buy my book!"

A reference to an episode of the animated TV comedy The Critic, in which the titular character demonstrates a talking cardboard cutout with his voice and likeness (prolonged exposure to which motivated a bookstore manager to shoot himself).

  • "The camera better pull back until we see 'Goodbye' written in the rocks or I'm losing it."

A reference to the series finale of the TV show M*A*S*H in which a character left a goodbye note for his comrade written in rocks.

  • "Out of paper over here. Can you spare a square?"

Referring to an episode of the TV comedy Seinfeld in which the character Elaine finds herself in a bathroom stall with no toilet paper and has to ask the person in the next stall for some.

  • "It's crazy and meta and of-its-time, like the end of Newhart."

The series finale of the long-running sitcom Newhart ended with a callback to Bob Newhart's previous successful sitcom The Bob Newhart Show.


Behind the Scenes[]

MST3K Cast[]

MST3K Crew[]


  • Unlike in Episode 1306, Joel does not re-set Tom Servo's voice to a previous one. Tom is voiced by Conor McGiffin for the entire episode.


  • The Bubble is presented in a narrower aspect ratio than the original version.
  • An introduction explaining Space Vision has been cut.
  • The airplane landing sequence has been shortened.
  • The scene where Tony and Mark drive through the statue park has been shortened, and a subsequent scene in which they arrive at the road where they had left Tony's plane (which is now gone) has been removed.
  • Tony's experience in the chair where he is assaulted by strange visions has been shortened.
  • The beginning of the scene where Mark and Kathy talk on stairs has been cut.
  • A montage of the town leading into a scene where Mark and Kathy take their baby and get into the taxi has been cut.
  • A montage of the group traveling in the truck (during which Tony refers to having fought in the Korean War) has been cut.
  • A scene in which Mark encounters the new mother that he had met in the hospital when she is working in the ticket booth of the amusement park ride has been deleted. Mark attempts to get information from her and then from one of the children on the ride, without success.
  • A scene in which Kathy remembers their normal lives has been cut.
  • The scene in the mine has been shortened, removing a line where Mark speculates that the people inside the Bubble may be all that remain of human civilization.
  • A brief scene in which Mark observes some firefighters and a billboard worker has been cut.
  • The sequence of Mark searching for Kathy (including a scene in which he observes rain on the other side of the Bubble) has been shortened.
  • Several sequences of Mark digging the tunnel and discussing the situation with Kathy have been cut or shortened.
  • The digging and talking sequences after Tony is killed have also been shortened.


  • Joel refers to "Dick Clark's Rockin' Christmas Eve". Dick Clark hosted a number of musical TV specials on New Year's Eve, but never one on Christmas Eve. It is possible that this is part of the joke, as Joel may be deliberately making things up in his attempt to convince Pearl that the scheme is a good idea.

The Premiere[]

Like all episodes of Season 13, a live-streamed Premiere Event was held for Episode #1312.

After the episode, there was a brief promotional spot for Turkey Day '22. Then producer Matt McGinnis was joined by Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Tim Ryder, and writer Devon Coleman for a discussion.

Video Releases[]