Created By: DragonQuestZOctober 22, 2011 Last Edited By: DragonQuestZNovember 5, 2011

Kirk Versus Picard

The captain of the original Starship Enterprise getting compared to the captain of the Enterprise D.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
The only question I
Ever thought was hard
Was do I like Kirk
Or do I like Picard
-- Weird Al Yankovic "White and Nerdy"

One of the most prevalent arguments in the Star Trek fandom is whether James T. Kirk of Star Trek The Original Series or Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek The Next Generation is the better captain.

This can range from just comparing the two characters alone, to a Fandom Rivalry about those two entire series, but the arguments persist, and in some cases can cause Flame Wars to rival the Joel or Mike rivalry.

Oh, and of course some fans might Take A Third Option with the captains of the other shows, just further fanning the fanboy flames.

A Sub Trope of Cool Versus Awesome.

References To This:

  • In an episode of The Simpsons, some nerds from college were on an early internet chat room, mocking the nerds on the other end for sending them reasons why Picard is better.
  • A segment in Wizard Magazine about characters versus each other featured Kirk and Picard fighting. Picard won by using the holodeck to create an illusion of Playboy Bunnies to distract Kirk.
  • Mentioned in the Weird Al Yankovic song "White and Nerdy".
  • The Nostalgia Chick had a video of Lidsay and Nella arguing over this.
  • While SF Debris doesn't really take sides (Memetic Badass jokes aside), he noted that Star Trek Generations did make Kirk look better.
  • A College Humor video showed that religious people are worse than nerds, because nerds would never get in a crusade over Kirk versus Picard.

Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • October 22, 2011
    fulltimeD
    The website Grudge Match exists for this reason.
  • October 22, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That's more an example for the Super Trope.
  • October 22, 2011
    BooleanEarth
    Starts a fight in Free Enterprise when a Kirk fanboy faces down a bully who decides to Take A Third Option and choose Han Solo. After explaining this to William Shatner in a Dream Sequence, the man himself tells the boy to kick the other kid's ass.
  • October 22, 2011
    TonyG
    In the Futurama episode "I Dated A Robot", while the gang is in the internet, they pass a Star Trek forum, and the following discussion takes place:
    Star Trek Fan #1: No way! Kirk could kick Picard's ass!
    Star Trek Fan #2: Yeah? At least Picard had the guts to admit he was bald!
    Star Trek Fan #1: What? You take that back!
  • October 22, 2011
    DRCEQ

    It has the official Star Trek merchandise logo on the tag, so it's not just some fan-made shirt. You don't have to include that detail, but if this trope is about any and all examples of the Kirk Vs. Picard debate, then I see no reason why merchandise can't be included.
  • October 22, 2011
    pokedude10
    -Reads Draft-......

    .....

    ......Huh?

    How is this a trope? This is an In-Joke from a single fandom. I'm going to call Too Rare To Trope on this one.
  • October 22, 2011
    randomsurfer
    I've often heard of these types of questions referred to as "Betty or Veronica" after the "who would you do?" type question of those two; although it's not strictly sex, it's more "which is your preference?" Other popular ones are "Ginger or Mary Ann?" and "Jay or Dave?" (For my generation. Nowadays it's probably "Jay or Conan?")
    • In a Flashback episode of The Big Bang Theory showing Leonard moving in with Sheldon, the first of Sheldon's Questions Three involves a choice: Kirk or Picard?
      Leonard: That's tricky. thinks Original series over Next Generation but Picard over Kirk.
      Sheldon: Correct. You have passed the first barrier to roommatehood.
  • October 22, 2011
    BooleanEarth
    ^^You know, the thing is you're both right and wrong. Technically, it's Not A Trope. It's a common reference/in-joke. However, it's not Too Rare To Trope at all. In fact, it's ubiquitous throughout pop culture. Not sure what we should do with this.
  • October 23, 2011
    KJMackley
    On it's own, it's related to Ultimate Showdown Of Ultimate Destiny. On it's own, it's not really a trope because of how specific the subject matter is. It's just a collection of references to something, no different than collecting references to Star Trek in general. What we can do with the trope is make it about "Kirk vs. Picard" type arguments in general, and not just the exact group. Often used in a Seinfeldian Conversation.

    The Big Bang Theory also had an episode where Raj and Sheldon argue over whether Star Trek The Motion Picture or Star Trek V The Final Frontier is the worst Star Trek movie.
  • October 23, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    The point is that it's not really a storytelling convention, but it's something that shows up a lot. It's also a form of nerdy reference pools.
  • November 3, 2011
    DragonQuestZ
    Oh, and if the Star Trek Movie Curse page can stay here, then we can have a page for this.
  • November 3, 2011
    BooleanEarth
    Hmm...I'm not sensing consensus here. I vote it stays.
  • November 3, 2011
    KJMackley
    Star Trek Movie Curse isn't a trope with examples, it's just defining a joke from the Star Trek fandom and has 8 wicks. If this isn't a trope then you don't need to go through YKTTW. What I'm saying is that if you want the page to have any real impact on the wiki call it Kirk Vs Picard Argument (which is okay as a trope name because it doesn't require knowledge of who Kirk and Picard are to get it) and make it about fan arguments of that type, which will clue people in to the specific "Kirk vs Picard" nerdy reference pool far better than if you kept it a small list of an overly specific reference. As is, it is strattling the line between trope and joke reference and isn't doing any good.
  • November 3, 2011
    MorganWick
    If we make this about Kirk/Picard-type arguments, what distinguishes it from Ultimate Showdown Of Ultimate Destiny? And even if it is different, don't we already have it? I think we have something that references Mike/Joel or Darrin/Darrin arguments...
  • November 3, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Music:
    • From "Wierd Al" Yankovic's White And Nerdy:
      Only question I ever thought was hard
      Was do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?

  • November 4, 2011
    KJMackley
    Ultimate Showdown Of Ultimate Destiny is largely about fandom arguments picking and choosing people from different fictional universes and arguing over who would win ie The Terminator vs. RoboCop. Under my idea it would be about people In Universe arguing about two characters within the same fiction ie Kirk Vs. Picard.
  • November 4, 2011
    KamenZero
    In Family Guy, Neil Goldman is showing a video to his class of Star Trek scenes and concludes with, "and thus proving that Captain Kirk is better than Captain Picard." His teacher responds, "Thank you, Neil, for that irrelevant video presentation. We all know that Picard is the superior officer."
  • November 4, 2011
    TwinBird
    Not splittable. No.
  • November 4, 2011
    BooleanEarth
    ^^^I'd support this.
  • November 5, 2011
    Routerie
    You need to tweak the description to explain that this is a stock conversation in fiction to show that characters are nerds. Right now, it sounds like it expects the reader to relate to the arguers.
  • November 5, 2011
    crazysamaritan
    ^^ agreed
  • November 5, 2011
    Glixinator
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^How was this suggested WITHOUT including the The Big Bang Theory refference? Star Trek: Voyager also had Captain Janeway herself comment on it, though she just stated that "it was a different kind of Starfleet (officer/Captain) back then", she did however make the comment with a bit of nostalgic reverence like what modern americans feel for the wild west. Which is highly appropriate given the specific nature of the Executive Meddling involved in the original series.
  • November 5, 2011
    randomsurfer
    .
  • November 5, 2011
    Maxaxle
    This needs to be a forum thread, not an endless YKTTW. Or maybe a page of examples of references TO this idea.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable