"Is your face odd, misshapen? Join the Air Force!"
- Mike Nelson

The Movie[]

Main article: The Starfighters (film)


A U.S. Air Force jet pilot finds love and flies state-of-the-art planes while also dealing with family pressures.

The Episode[]

Host Segments[]


The Bots "debriefing" of Mike

Prologue: With his seriously impressive (by 1994 standards) computer, Crow attempts to access the wonder that is the information superhighway using state of the art (by 1994 standards) dial-up. When his talked-up tech skills crumble after he's unable to connect, Mike and Tom have to restrain him from smashing the computer/himself.


"Is it bold?"

Segment One: As Crow suffers through the queue waiting for technical support, the Mads attempt to introduce their new cranial ports. They are distracted by Cowboy Mike's Red Hot Ricochet Barbecue Sauce until they discover that the SOL crew has misrepresented its claimed boldness. (The BBQ sauce is actually called "Cowboy Mike's Own Original Red Hot Ricochet Barbecue Sauce")

Segment Two: Inspired by the film, Crow and Tom reenact the spectacle that is "refueling.” Unfortunately Crow's on-hold tech support call finally reaches a human in the middle of it and Crow can't "disengage" in time.

MST3k- Tom Servos chorus seen in The Starfighters

The United Servo Academy Men's Chorus

Segment Three: The Bots attempt to debrief Mike. They succeed.

Segment Four: The United Servo Academy Men's Chorus perform a stirring tribute to flight.

Closing (Segment Five): Crow finally gets to experience the wonder that is the information superhighway, but finds the wonder has been overstated a tad as Mike reads a letter, while the Mads finally get to show off their new cranial ports.

Stinger: Wife's elbow jab teaches Husband who's boss.

MST3K cast[]

Regular cast

Guest cast


  • This is the only episode of season 6 and the final episode of the original run to feature anything resembling an Invention Exchange. Invention Exchanges wouldn't be featured again on Mystery Science Theater 3000 until the Season 11 premiere, Reptilicus.
  • At the end of the performance of The United Servo Academy Men's Chorus, they begin singing another song: "Mademoiselle from Armentières", a song dating back from World War I and often referred to by its faux-French title "Hinky-Dinky Parley Voo". The reason Mike is so eager for them to stop is that the song is somewhat risque.
  • This episode aired sixth during MST3K Anthology.


  • United Servo Academy Men's Chorus Hymn

Music and Lyrics by Kevin Murphy


Obscure References[]

  • (After the title "The Starfighters" is revealed) "The Sean Penn story!"

Sean Penn is an American actor who is notorious for a series of altercations with paparazzi.

  • "Robert Dornan, the Congressman?" "Couldn't they get Rush Limbaugh?"

Robert "Bob" Dornan is a former member of the House of Representatives from California and had the reputation of being one of the most vocally conservative members of Congress. Rush Limbaugh was an American radio personality, conservative political commentator, author, and former TV show host. Dornan did occasionally guest host on Limbaugh's radio show.

  • "The refueling jet likes me! It thinks I'm cuuuuuuuute!"

Paraphrasing a line from the stop-motion animated Christmas TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

  • "Welcome to Air Otica... Put your lips, your legs, your hips in a locked position..."

From a musical sequence in the Bob Fosse movie All That Jazz. (Mike seemingly incorrectly attributes it to Prince afterwards, however.)

  • "Gotta go, Reagan fired us."

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers who had gone on strike two days previously.

  • "Anyone seen Francis Gary? Where'd he get off to, that nut?"

In one of the tensest crises of the Cold War, Francis Gary Powers' CIA U2 spy plane was shot down while he was flying a reconnaissance mission over the Soviet Union. He was immediately captured and was imprisoned for almost two years until he was exchanged in a spy swap.

  • "They were in BTO?"

Abbreviation for Bachman–Turner Overdrive, a Canadian rock band.

  • "Well there's Tailhook, and all."

The Tailhook scandal was military scandal and controversy in which U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps aviation officers were alleged to have sexually assaulted up to 83 women and seven men, or otherwise engaged in "improper and indecent" conduct at the Las Vegas Hilton during the 35th Annual Tailhook Association Symposium from September 5 to 8, 1991.

  • "It's Budgie the Helicopter!"

Budgie the Little Helicopter is a character created by Sarah, Duchess of York for a series of children's books.

  • "Here, the Air Force escorts Sununu to a golf game!"

Another reference to John H. Sununu's misuse of government planes for personal use.

  • "His name is Gein!"

Ed Gein, also known as the Butcher of Plainfield or the Plainfield Ghoul, was a murderer, body snatcher, and possible cannibal of Plainfield, Wisconsin. Authorities discovered he had fashioned trophies and keepsakes from the bones and skin of the corpses he exhumed.

  • "We got a great big convoy, truckin' through the night..."

A line from the C.W. McCall song "Convoy" which was part of the CB Radio/Trucking craze of the 1970s and early 80s.

  • "Class... Class... SHUT UP!!!"

A quote from the comedy sketch "Sister Mary Elephant" from one of Cheech & Chong's albums.

  • Poopie (or Poopy) Suits

Poopie Suit is a nickname for a water survival suit. Its nickname stems from the odor that it acquires after extended use. It comes with a neck gasket and does not, by design, breathe. This is the actual nickname for that particular piece of flight gear—not a 'sanitized for Hollywood' version. It is also known as "the body condom".

Memorable Quotes[]

Mike: Is your face odd, misshapen? Join the Air Force!
Col. Hunt: He wants him out of the Tactical Air Command and into SAC.
Crow: In the sack?!
Crow (as Maj. Stevens): Yeah, there's plenty of girls around here.
Mike (as Lt. Witkowski): Well that's great, 'cause I'm really-
Crow (as Maj. Stevens): SHUT UP!!!
Servo: Yeah the wife is gonna be awful glad to see "the me."
Crow: We're going to have "the sex"!

Video Release[]

  • Commercially released on DVD by Rhino in October 2007 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection: Volume 12, a 4-DVD set with The Rebel Set, Secret Agent Super Dragon, and Parts: The Clonus Horror.
    • The set was re-released by Shout! Factory in October 2019.
      • The DVD special features include The MST3K Video Jukebox Volume 3 and the Major Auteur: The Films of Will Zens featurette.