Did Dr. Smith really say this insult on Lost in Space — or did we make it up?


Someone on the Lost in Space writing staff owned a thesaurus. The scripts offered a bounty of grandiloquent insults for the wicked Dr. Smith, as played with sneering perfection by Jonathan Harris.

The Robot was typically the subject of Smith's put-downs. Smith even once called the Robot a "tiresome thesaurus." But as you will see, it was Dr. Smith who had an impressive vocabulary, from "Astigmatic Automaton" to "Preening Popinjay." 

The question is — can you tell the difference between an actual Dr. Smith diss from Lost in Space and one we just made up? Did Dr. Smith really say this?

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  1. Bubble-Headed Booby
  2. Nervous Ninny
  3. Pot-Headed Prankster
  4. Muttonheaded Microwave
  5. Mama's Boy Microchip
  6. Ramshackle Romeo
  7. Butterfingered Bolt-Brain
  8. Longanimous Lug Nut
  9. Lily-Livered Lump
  10. Gargantuan Goose
  11. Timorous Tinker Toy
  12. Pusillanimous Puppet
  13. Chintzy Cretin

Did Dr. Smith really say this insult on Lost in Space — or did we make it up?

Your Result...

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ThomasPotter 9 months ago
used to love this show. I remember once my cousin and I were staying the weekend at my grandparents and my cousin wanted to watch something else when this came on. I went and put a cookie in her room and went and told my grandmother that she was keeping food in there so she got in trouble and couldn't watch her show. ahhh to be 9 again...
AnnaRentzVandenhazel 25 months ago
10/13 not too bad, I csn count on one hand how many times I've watched the show. But the ones with "microwave" and "microchip" were obviously fake since those weren't "things" yet when LIS was on the air.
Snickers 34 months ago
11 out of 13. Dr. Smith does not compute.
CaptainDunsel 35 months ago
But I think they have #3 wrong. It should be "pot-bellied" not "pot-headed".
DerekBird 35 months ago
You got 8 out of 13
He looks pretty heated up! Don't worry, we'll tell him this was all for the sake of trivia.
ENCarlan 44 months ago
No staff writer used a thesaurus to produce these insults. Jonathan Harris made them up himself. In one interview he said that he would sometimes lie awake at night thinking of new ones.
Jeffrey 48 months ago
pot headed prankster - maybe if the robot landed in Colorado?
GregLemieux 49 months ago
Dr. Smith never called the Robot a "Pot-headed Prankster". He called him a "Pot-BELLIED Prankster," which fit the Robot because of his round shape. He would never have gotten away with using a term like "pot-headed." It would have made it sound like he was saying the Robot was on drugs, and that would have been a no-no for a family show like this. I also refer you to “The Lost in Space Handbook” by Paul Monroe, which lists all of Dr. Smith’s insults and there’s no “pot-head” to be found.

Incidentally, my favorite insult was one used only once - in the cliffhanger to “Mutiny in Space” at the end of “The Toymaker.” It was “Dippity Dunce.”
Snickers GregLemieux 34 months ago
My Favorite insult " Bubble Headed Booby".
ENCarlan 50 months ago
I only got 7 right! I thought I knew this show better than that.

And Jonathan Harris made up those insults himself. He once said that he used to think up new ones while waiting to fall asleep at night.
Pacificsun 55 months ago
Hey, your quizzes are getting a lot harder! Good though, it's better that way. No fun to win all the time!
JerseyMike178 55 months ago
Harris's voice/mannerisms were all an affectation. He found early in his career that he got more
roles if he brought the added dimension of being a "sissy". His normal speaking voice was a
regular Bronx accent. At a SciFi convention in AC in the 1980's I asked him if the whole cast got rich off the residuals(I knew after 3 reruns they stopped) and he blew up.
A rich stream of words issued forth as he recounted how they made nothing, in a bitter tirade
in his native New York accent. I was seated next to "Judy's" hubby who I had been chatting with
and he said "that's the real Harris that I told you about."
Judy was a babe on the series but by then she had matured into a great beauty though middle aged.
Wow. I had broken the ice with her hubby earlier when I said, as Judy came on stage, "man, how'd you like to go home with her" and he said he had!
I said in your dreams, he laughed and waved at Judy from the 2nd row and she blew him a kiss! Good thing he had a sense of humor and not taken offense.
Pacificsun JerseyMike178 55 months ago
Great story! A person learns a lot at those "Cons!" Had no idea he spoke in such a common way, to the degree that you describe. But another way of describing "affectation" is a manner used in theater. Meaning, exaggeration, pointed, emotional AND memorable. Stage actors are trained to enunciate, emote and project! The more classically trained actors had to learn how to tone it down for television. And Harris (for the LIS role) mastered his technique well. Especially in the use of which words, thank you too, writers!
ENCarlan JerseyMike178 50 months ago
From the 1997 movie:

Don to John: "That's one cold fish I'd like to thaw, hm?"

Judy to John: "I won't be able to make it home for dinner tonight, DAD."
DuanneWalton 55 months ago
You got 8 out of 13
He looks pretty heated up! Don't worry, we'll tell him this was all for the sake of trivia.
AllisonWunderland 55 months ago
Warning! Danger Will Robinson!! 😂🤣
BrittReid 55 months ago
8/13. Everyone got #1 correct.
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