“It's one big sunny fun-filled Bataan Death March.”

The Movie[]

Main article: Catalina Caper (film)

A group of young beach-goers becomes embroiled in shenanigans centered around a scroll pilfered from a nearby museum.

The Episode[]

Host Segments[]


Tom sings "Creepy Girl"

Prologue: The Bots say their nightly prayers, including God blesses for a number of fellow robots, including (at Joel's insistence) Twiki.

Invention Exchange: While willing to reluctantly pray for Twiki, the Bots refuse to pray for the Mads, who have created literal tank tops, whereas Joel opts to turn a bazooka into a fun generating tickling device.

Segment Two: Joel shares his remembrances of the 1960s.

Segment Three: Tom sings of his love for the mysterious "Creepy Girl".


Joel's chart trying to explain the film

Segment Four: TV's Frank's attempt to sell Tupperware to Gerry and Sylvia goes badly as Dr. F decides to sit in and watch his sales technique.

Segment Five: Joel attempts to explain the film with a handy chart, but becomes frustrated when the Bots disagree on what is the emotional center of the movie. Joel reads a letter from two people who met and fell in love because of MST3K, including their wedding announcement.


  • This episode was the thirteenth to air during Turkey Day '91.
  • This episode was the fourth one used during the Mindless Summer series of livestreaming events in 2021.

Obscure References[]

  • "Jacque Cousteau meets the Pink Panther."
Jacque Cousteau was a French oceanographer/explorer who revolutionized underwater exploration through films, books and inventions such as the Aqua-Lung. The animated opening sequence, produced by Fred Wolf Films, is reminiscent of those in the Pink Panther films.
  • "And God Bless Cherry 3000!" "And Galaxina!"
Said during the opening host segment as the crew pray for other robots. Tom is presumably referring to the title character of Cherry 2000, a science-fiction film about a man on a quest to repair his robotic wife. Galaxina, a voluptuous android played by Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten, is the titular character in a 1980 sci-fi comedy.
  • "Starring...Tommy...Kirk...why...must...Spock...die?"
Referring to William Shatner's dramatic way of speaking when playing Captain Kirk in Star Trek.
  • "Robert Donner. I went to his party."
A veiled reference to the Donner Party, a group of American pioneers whose trip to California took a series of unfortunate turns and is quite infamous for its claims that the group resorted to cannibalism to survive a early and harsh winter storm.
  • "They took my thumb, Charlie!"
A repeated reference to the much darker heist film The Pope of Greenwich Village.
  • "Looks like The Bullwinkle Show, doesn't it?"
The animation in the open titles resembles that of {w|The Bullwinkle Show}}.
  • "Here's something you'll really like."
This is a line that Rocky the Flying Squirrel would say on The Bullwinkle Show in the introductory bumpers.
  • "How do you know she's a witch?"
A reference to a line spoken by Sir Bedevere in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, pertaining to a woman who has been dressed up and accused of being a witch.
  • "You know, this is really good sound, and it was before Dolby." "You mean Dolby Gillis?"
Dolby is an audio technology company.
  • "Meanwhile, in the dark, impenetrable void, Jean-Paul Sartre was a-movin' and a-groovin'." "No Exit, baby."
Jean-Paul Sartre was a French playwright and philosopher whose 1954 play No Exit features three damned souls trapped for eternity in a waiting room.
  • "I'm William Conrad with First Alert. If you're heading down to the refrigerator and the power goes out.."
William Conrad was an actor and filmmaker who appeared in commercials for the safety equipment retail brand First Alert.
  • "Hey, it's Steve Higgins!" "You mean the star of The Higgins Boys & Gruber show on the Comedy Channel?"
Steve Higgins is better known today as the announcer/sidekick on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. At the time, he was the co-host of The Higgins Boys & Gruber, a short-lived series on The Comedy Channel created and co-written by Joel Hodgson and co-starring Dave (Gruber) Allen.
  • "An original Red Skelton! That's incredibly valuable!" "Goodnight and God bless. This painting is blue."
A reference to actor and comedian Red Skelton and his goodnight speech.
  • "Looks like Brutus and Popeye after SlimFast." "Olive's standing right behind them."
Brutus was the villain in the {w|Popeye}} cartoons of the 1960s, replacing the original villain Bluto. SlimFast is a dietary supplement food company.
  • "Don Pringle." "Heir to the potato chip fortune."
A joke on how the main character's last name is similar to the snack chip brand Pringles.
  • "Have you seen the new crop?" "Yeah, my corn's as high as an elephant's eye."
A reference to a lyric from the song "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" from the musical Oklahoma!.
  • "Love, exciting and new."
A lyric from the theme song of The Love Boat.
  • "Excuse me, I've gotta go invent the Walkman.
Reference to a the once-ubiquitous portable audio cassette player manufactured by Sony. It may also be a reference to Merlin Jones, a teenage inventor Kirk played when he worked for Disney.
  • "Was she in the movie David and Lisa?"
David and Lisa is a 1962 film about a man with Obsessive-compulsive disorder and a woman with multiple personality disorder.
  • "Here, fishy, fishy fishy."
This line is reminiscent of one from an Ernie and Bert sketch from Sesame Street.
  • "Little Richard? I hate impressionists!" "No, you're thinking of Rich Little."
Rich Little was a Canadian-American impressionist and actor.
  • "Prince, I hope you're watching this."
Prince was a singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, recod producer, and actor.
  • "Hey, it's Ron Howard's brother!"
Referring to Clint Howard, known for making cameo appearances in many of his brother's films.
  • "Looks like Cousin Itt with a bob."
Cousin Itt is a character from The Addams Family. He is a creature with very long hair.
  • "Is this where they filmed The Boatniks?"
The Boatniks is a 1970 comedy film made by Disney.
  • "Hey, you got puke on my radio." "You got radio on my puke."
A reference to a Reese's Peanut Butter Cups commercial where two people collide, with the first person saying, "You got chocolate on my peanut butter!" and the other one saying, "You got peanut butter on my chocolate!".
  • "Petticoat Junction!"
Petticoat Junction was a TV series that ran from 1963-1970.
  • "Uh, Carol? Carol?" "Harvey?" "Carol?"
Referring to actors Carol Burnett and Harvey Corman, who were part of The Carol Burnett Show.
  • "I got your stick, Mr. Luthor."
A reference to Otis, the bumbling assistant of Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), in the film Superman.
  • "Guys, just sit right back and you'll hear a tale."
A lyric from the theme song of Gilligan's Island.
  • "Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, and Dom DeLuis in Boatniks 2."
Disney's comedy film The Boatniks later spawned a sequel.
  • "Let's are a child of the less than the trees..."
A slightly mangled quote from the Desiderata, a poem by Max Ehrmann that became popular as a non-denominational devotional in the 1960s and '70s.
  • "It's the William Burroughs figurehead."
William Burroughs was a beat-era author whose longtime heroin addiction gave him a gaunt appearance.
  • "McHale, what the hell are you doing?!"
A reference to the TV series McHale's Navy.
  • "Okay, Daddy Warbucks."
A nickname of the character Oliver Warbucks from the comic strip Little Orphan Annie.
  • "Hi, Kaiser Wilhelm, you kooky monarch."
Kaiser Wilhelm is a name commonly used for two German emperors: Wilhelm I and Wilhelm II.
  • "By this time, my lungs were a--- sorry, sorry."
One of numerous times MST3K used this line from the Lloyd Bridges TV series Sea Hunt ("By this time, my lungs were aching for air..."). Its first use as a riff was in Experiment #K01 - Invaders from the Deep.
  • "Help, Cecil, help!" "I'm comin' Beany-boy!"
A reference to a line oft-spoken on the 1960's children's show Beany and Cecil.
  • "What happens if I run into a Leviathan?"
The Leviathan is a mythological sea monster prominent in several books of the Old Testament. A science fiction film, Leviathan, was released a year before this episode was produced.
  • "The cows are up in arms! They've left their fields and barns! They're marching from the farms because kids don't drink enough milk!"
A reference to a classic commercial for Hershey's Instant chocolate milk mix.
  • "He's no fun, he fell right over!"
Reference to a comedy album called How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All by The Firesign Theatre. The line "s/he's no fun, s/he fell right over" occurs on both sides of the record.
  • "I will kill him!"
Line spoken by Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen (played by Sting) in David Lynch's 1984 film Dune, based on the book by Frank Herbert.
  • "Slamdance Cosmopolis, Do the worm Acropolis"
These are lyrics from the song "Ghetto Defendant" by The Clash, from the album "Combat Rock". These lyrics are read by Alan Ginsburg.
  • "Ya. You were so much older then, you're so much younger than that now."
These are a take on the lyrics from Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages" from the album Another Side of Bob Dylan.
  • "It's the 'Keep Mandela in Prison' dance."
Anti-apartheid activist and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela was imprisoned by the South African government for 27 years before his release in 1990.
  • "Do the Donald Hollinger."
Donald Hollinger, played by Ted Bessell, was the boyfriend of Ann Marie (Marlo Thomas) boyfriend on the TV series That Girl. He was a bit of a stiff.
  • "OK let's see now...Hello Muddah...Hello Fadduh...Here I am in...Catalina..."
Lawrence resembles comedic writer and singer Allan Sherman, who was known for his novelty song "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh".
  • "Nothing wrong with her that $100 wouldn't fix."
A line from the Tom Waits song "9th & Hennepin" (an intersection in Minneapolis, MN) from his album Rain Dogs.
  • "Huh. Zack Norman is Sammy in Chief Zabu..."
A reference to a long-running ad in Variety.
  • "...that Dave Delgado guy."
This is presumably a reference to Dave Del Dotto, a real estate investor who had an infomercial for his "Cash Flow" system in the 1990s.

Behind the Scenes[]

MST3K Cast[]

Regular Cast

MST3K Crew[]


  • This episode would become infamous – and copies of it became collectors items – a few years later, when the rights to the movie expired and Comedy Central found they could no longer legally air it. It was the first movie where that situation occurred, but it would not be the last. Incidents such as this would lead to controversy among the fan base resulting from some people selling copies for monetary gain instead of the honor system of trading.


Movie Edits[]

Like most of the riffed movies, The Catalina Caper was edited to fit within the desired time-slot by trimming several scenes. Removed content in this film included:

  • A scene where Don and Tina scuba dive together.
  • An extended underwater sequence showing Don finding the map case and having to evade the rival divers during the scuba diving "treasure hunt."
  • A scene showing Borman and Angelo fighting with the Duvals on their boat and escaping with what they think is the real scroll. During the cut footage, Don throws the tube with the real scroll back overboard, which is mentioned later when Charlie wishes Don hadn't gone back for it after throwing it back in.

Video Releases[]