When writers of sitcoms, whether they are animated or live action, are creating an episode that will contain elements of Science Fiction
and/or the culture that follows it, they will try to show that they are just like us
by cramming in references to every known science fiction television show and movie, especially Star Trek
. When dealing with a parody of Star Trek
, the elements most commonly found are:
- People in Rubber Suits, Rubber-Forehead Aliens or human-looking aliens make up the majority of the extraterrestrial populous, primarily these are male characters.
- Very incomprehensible Technobabble
- A Red Shirt who will always die, no matter what.
- A pointy-eared, emotionless, alien who warns about the situation being "illogical"
- An extremely hammy captain who can only act on impulse and speak in long, drawn-out sentences
- Very, Very, very bad visual effects
- An uplifting musical intro, followed by the Captain's Log
- A very surly, pessimistic medical officer, typically in his mid-forties or early fifties.
- A morbidly obese Scotsman with a sometimes incomprehensibly thick accent.
Compare May the Farce Be with You
, which is the same thing, but with Star Wars
. May involve Critical Research Failure
if done painfully bad.
A subtrope of Stock Parodies
- Futurama is loaded with references to Star Trek, from the obscure to the well-known, to the point it is the Trope Codifier and Trope Namer. For example, the sliding door technology that was commonly used in ships in the Star Trek Universe had been adapted for everyday use in the Futurama one, although it doesn't always quite work.
- Another example comes from the episode Where No Fan Has Gone Before. In that episode, the fanbase for Star Trek had grown into a full-blown religion, getting to the point where Germany recreated the planet of the Nazis. In the end, all the episodes and movies, along with mentioning the phrase "Star Trek" was banned to a distant planet.
- Recurring character Captain Brannigan has been described by David X Cohen as, "half Captain Kirk, half actual William Shatner."
- On an early episode of Family Guy, Peter became obsessed with watching television, to the point it interfered with any chance of Meg getting her driver's license and causing the destruction of Quahog's television satellite. One of the shows Peter was watching was an extremely watered-down version of Star Trek. It came as a neat bit of Foreshadowing, too, when, in that same episode, a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of William Shatner tried to convince Peter into watching television again after Peter had experienced a life-changing event.
- Animaniacs has an episode parodying Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- ''The Big Bang Theory takes this Up to Eleven.
- Community, aside from having a semi-regular parody of Doctor Who, also has a number of Star Trek shout-outs. Pierce dressed as Captain Kirk for the second Halloween Episode, and Troy and Abed's Dreamatorium is basically a low-tech Holosuite. Troy is also known to be a long-standing admirer of LeVar Burton, albeit more for Reading Rainbow.
- Space Quest usually throws a handful of Star Trek jokes into a game, but Space Quest Five sent up nearly every Trope in the classic show's playbook.