Star Trek: 10 TNG Logic Memes That Are Hilariously True
With the pressure of being the first Star Trek series after the iconic original from the '60s, Star Trek: The Next Generationcould have collapsed under the weight of expectations. While it got a rocky start, it has endured as one of the pinnacles of the franchise with its dramatic storytelling, contemplative narrative, and innovative production design. It showcased a new crew, a new captain, and a new Enterprise, butproved that just because it was different than its predecessor didn't mean it was doomed to failure.
The triumphs and failures of the crew of the Enterprise-D made for some unintentional humor over seven seasons, often attributed to plot devices that could only be described as "Star Trek logic". Incredibly complex commands solved with a few button presses on a console? Star Trek Logic. The ability to create artificial hearts but no cure for male pattern baldness? Star Trek Logic. Here's ten memes celebrating the hilarious times logic took a back seat to entertainment in TNG.
10 NO HONOR AMONG KLINGONS
In the original Star Trek series, Klingons weren't the honorable warriors of Star Trek: The Next Generation. They were more akin to the Ferengi in terms of ruthless deviousness, the vestiges of which can be seen in their representation in TNG. Worf talks at length about the honorable approach a Klingon would take to the calamities that befall the Enterprise, as though Klingons don't do some pretty shady things.
For instance, the use of cloaking technology, a stealth maneuver, to win at all costs. Since only victory brings a Klingon honor and glory, according to their logic using subterfuge and under-handedness is perfectly fine. Sort of like Duras trading top-secret information to the Romulan Empire and having the Klingon High Council cover it up.
9 FIELD PROMOTION
Admit it, there's Starfleet personnel in the bowels of the Enterprise-D constantly harping about the fact that Wesley Crusher, who'd never attended Starfleet in his short life, got a bridge appointment and they didn't after slaving in engineering for five years. So what was so special about Wesley?
He was something of a boy genius, understanding warp coils in a way that far surpassed his years, having insight into ship mechanics and quantum physics that even gave Geordi some difficulty, and he happened to be the son of Beverly Crusher whom Captain Picard was sweet on. Still, not ever having to go through the proper protocol to be given the bridge assignment was highly irregular.
8 DATA LOGIC 101
This statement serves as both an outstanding piece of irony and a qualifying logic meme for the simple reason that Data's bringing up a point in Season 1 of TNG that should have directly applied to what happened to him in Season 2. Here he's bringing up the fact that by 2026, the United Nations ensured that no citizen of Earth has to be held accountable for the actions of its race, but he brings it up at his own trial.
In Season 2's episode "Measure of a Man", when Data's personal liberty and agency is jeopardized by Starfleet, Data is made to answer for his (android) "race" because he's put between a rock and a hard place; he wants to resign rather than face disassembly. We'll chalk it up to the fact that Starfleet doesn't see Data as a "person" but "personal property" of Starfleet.
7 FOOL'S GOLD
By the time Star Trek: The Next Generationtakes place, the Federation is based on a system called the "New World Economy", existing in a Utopian society that wants for nothing. Even trade is rarely needed, except to acquire goods in a system of specialized labor. With things like replicators, Federation citizens can produce literally whatever they need, so their personal motivations can transcend the pursuit of materials or money as we know it.
Still, for all things impossible to replicate, or when dealing with societies that cannot replicate things themselves, currency is sometimes necessary. The crew of the Enterprise-D comes in contact with many societies that use currency, yet never mention having any. Do they replicate it whenever necessary?
6 TWO HEARTS THAT BEAT AS ONE
It's always a little tricky to say exactly how the field of medicine operates in the Star Trek universe. On TNG, we see Dr. Beverly Crusher bravely bring a variety of species back from the brink of death. Making and implanting an artificial heart is a routine procedure. Transporter technology has even been used to save lives by keeping crew members' unique coding safe inside the transporter buffer.
Yet there's still no cure for things that have plagued human males for thousands of years, like male pattern baldness. Wouldn't that be one of the first things that the Federation's top medical scientists and geneticists would easily find a cure for?
5 EVIL ADMIRALS
Sure, there are a few members of Starfleet brass that showed up on TNG that weren't megalomaniacs or certifiable, but more often than not the trend was that if an admiral showed up, the episode would be focusing on how despicable their ideologies and methods were. Why? Because while Starfleet captains and crews were out there on the front lines, cushy admirals were kicking back on desk duty out of touch with the realities of Starfleet missions.
Whether they're trying to treat Data like a calculator instead of an individual, brokering shady alliances, or contributing to mass hysteria and paranoia, they represent the establishment as a corrupt, selfish entity. It's no wonder that Picard wanted nothing to do with being one.
4 ONLY THE BEST
Yes, Star Trek fans like to see their favorite characters go on exciting away missions. They like to see how their favorite characters react to the perils of a new planet and its foreign inhabitants. Their favorite characters happen to be members of the main cast, spread across every important department on the Enterprise-D, which means that they're all included as well as the captain's second in command.
It's entertaining, yes, but doesn't offer a lot of tension. Since the main cast is on the away mission, you know nothing bad will happen to them (unlike nameless red shirt crew members). Aside from that, In-Universe it doesn't make a lot of sense to put that many of your key staff in jeopardy.
3 DATA'S GOT SKILLS
There's no denying there's a lot of gobbledy-gook in the Star Trek franchise. It's loaded with enough techno-jargon to mask any inaccuracies it has in relation to real science, hence its success in the wide genre of science-fiction. That factor aside, there are many situations were incredibly complex commands are issued, and a crew member at the appropriate station is able to comply within one or two steps to accomplish them all.
Data is the most notorious for this. Sure, his positronic brain may allow him to find the easier, more concise solution to a wide variety of problems, but surely that isn't reduced to pressing a few buttons at his console and rerouting auxiliary power from engineering, main power to the deflector dish to send a tachyon pulse. But it happens all the time in TNG.
2 COUNSELOR TROI'S FAVORITE PASTIME
Everyone likes to think of ship's counselor Deanna Troi as a perfectly compassionate and understanding half-Betazoid, but even given her empathetic nature, she's not above a little pettiness. You can bet any time a crew member has tried to make a pass at her (poor Barkley) she's gone straight to Captain Picard with another amusing tale of men's dogmatic study in futility.
Does this make Troi an inherently bad person? No, it just makes her more human. If she wasn't so human, she wouldn't be able to relate to the base emotions and motivations of her clients, which might make her insight less invaluable.
1 BACK WHEN MUSIC WAS GOOD
It's almost a running joke at this point in TNG that if any of the crew members want to do something on the holodeck, the setting will be a particular Earth era, hundreds of years ago. Time periods have included Victorian London, the Wild Wild West, '40s San Francisco, and WWII-era Paris, to name a few.
The same also applies for music. Whenever a crew member wants to listen to music, it's rarely contemporary (only Geordi seems to know the latest jams). Star Trek fans have often thought the purpose of having this reoccurring theme in their recreational habits was so that viewers could relate to them, and make the distant future not seem quite so far away.