open/close all folders
Captain James T. Kirk
Played by: William Shatner
"'All I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by.' You could feel the wind at your back in those days, the sound of the sea beneath you. And even if you take away the wind and the water, it's still the same... The ship is yours, you can feel her. And the stars are still there, Bones."The Captain. James Tiberius Kirk leads his ship, the Enterprise, through the adventure of the week—hostile cultures, supercomputers, places which look suspiciously like Earth, time-travel shenanigans. He was notorious for his many brief romances, some of which ended tragically, but mostly they failed because he named the Enterprise herself as the woman in his life. Although he took the dangers to his crew very seriously, he also maintained a light-hearted attitude and bantered with the other two members of his Power Trio frequently.Although boldly going and playing by his own rules worked out pretty well during the height of his career, the movies Deconstructed his legend by showing how high the cost of such cavalier actions could be.
— Kirk, "The Ultimate Computer"
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Kirk went up against malevolent computers so often that it became something of a Running Gag in the fandom.
- Ambiguously Christian: Captain Kirk's famous line to the alien impersonating the Greek god Apollo in "Who Mourns for Adonais?" is this:Kirk: Mankind has no need for gods. We find the one quite adequate.
- In another episode, Kirk and Crew come upon a planet dominated by a Roman Empire but with 20th century technology, where a persecuted, pacifist new religion worships a sun god. At the end of the episode, Lieutenant Uhura discovers that this new religion does not worship the Sun but the Son, clearly referencing Jesus. Kirk even considers remaining at the planet for a number of years just so they can "watch it happen all over again."
- An idea with some popularity in the fandom is that he's really Jewish, since both William Shatner and Chris Pine (who played Kirk in the 2009 reboot) are Jewish. As fan-theories go, this is not too far-fetched, since Christianity is essentially an offshoot of Judaism. That said, Kirk has no uniquely Jewish behaviors to speak of.
- Anti-Hero: Sixties sex symbol or not, Kirk stumbled into Classical Anti-Hero in The Wrath of Khan where his mid-life crisis wears heavy upon him and some poor choices cost the lives of many recruits, and later Knight in Sour Armor in The Undiscovered Country.
- Badass Normal: Kirk is a good tactician who leagues of more powerful aliens respect, whose exploits include beating a bio-engineered superman with his bare fists. Did we mention he's a non-powered human?
- Bold Explorer: Though it was just his job, Kirk's boldness makes him an iconic version of the trope.
- Boldly Coming: Although not nearly as much as his reputation suggests.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The things Kirk got away with...
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: His trip to the Mirror Universe. While there, Kirk single-handedly talks Mirror Spock into instigating an uprising against the Terran Empire, leaving mankind ripe for an asskicking by a combined Klingon / Cardassian / Bajoran alliance, after which humans are enslaved. The top dogs of the Mirror Universe are on constant look-out for anyone coming over from the other universe to interfere again, redesigning their tech to make damn sure it wouldn't, and Kirk's name is legendary among them. For Kirk, and Starfleet, the Mirror universe incident was just a weirder-than-average day at the office.
- The Captain: Kirk is the Trope Maker.
- The Chains of Commanding: Often has to choose between the Girl of the Week and his duty, and otherwise gets caught between The Spock and The McCoy (i.e., logic vs emotion) a lot.
- The Charmer: Kirk is quite the ladies' man.
- Chivalrous Pervert: May very well be the anti-Bond. Except for a very few times where he used his charm to further a greater purpose, Kirk almost always developed sincere feelings for the Girl of the Week, and was just as often badly hurt when they were separated or she met with an unfortunate end... which happened often.
- Companion Cube: Kirk's strongest love in the TV series is for the Enterprise herself; this may vary between Happily Married and The Masochism Tango. The movies have this become overshadowed by loyalty to his True Companions, culminating with his painful decision to self-destruct the original 1701 in Star Trek III.
- Court-Martialed: "Court Martial": Kirk gets put on trial for (seemingly) causing the death of a crew member through negligence.
- Dark and Troubled Past: At some point before he got to command, Kirk was witness to the massacre on Tarsus IV, where thousands were killed in an attempt to hold off starvation that came to naught when the supply ships arrived. During his time on the Farragut, Kirk was the sole survivor of an attack by a vampiric cloud creature.
- Determinator: When Kirk makes up his mind to do something, especially if the lives of his crew are at stake, no force in the universe can keep him down.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: A specialty of Kirk's.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: His death in Generations is the Trope Namer.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: "Tiberius."
- Ethical Slut: Although he romances many women, he's not a cad or a pervert.
- Farm Boy: Kirk was born and raised on a farm in Iowa.
- Former Teen Rebel: Inverted. Unlike his alternate universe counterpart, Cadet Kirk was something of a humorless swot as an underclassman, only later developing into the Military Maverick we see in the series.
- Four-Star Badass: In the movies. And everyone knows it. Though as a Rear Admiral, technically he was only a Two-Star Badass. Until he gets demoted at the end of Star Trek IV.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Kirk is the Choleric.
- Freudian Trio: Kirk is the Ego to Spock's Superego and McCoy's Id.
- Gold-Colored Superiority: As The Captain, he wears a gold shirt.
- Gunboat Diplomacy: One of his favorite diplomatic techniques seems to be threatening to blow up a planet that doesn't do what he wants. Somehow he gets away with this. He's Kirk. He even gives orbital bombardment a go as a persuading tool (with phasers on stun... sometimes). Partially justified by the fact he was trained as a soldier, not a diplomat.
- He Knows Too Much: Kirk is one of nine surviving eyewitnesses who can identify Kodos the Executioner, the man who ordered the deaths of four thousand people on colony planet Tarsus IV. Kodos's daughter Lenore tries to kill him by hiding an overloading phaser in his quarters. By the end of the episode, Kirk is one of only two surviving witnesses, since she succeeded in killing the other seven.
- The Hero: He is clearly the protagonist of the show (and the cause of some off-screen drama).
- Heroic Willpower: In "Dagger of the Mind," one of the bad guys notes that he hasn't given in when subjected to a force that reduced one of their scientists to screaming.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Spock.
- Hollywood Mid-Life Crisis: In most of the films, he suffers from a bad case of this. Starting with Star Trek: The Motion Picture, in which he struggles with the question of whether he is too young to be an Admiral or too old to be The Captain; this leads him to take back command of the Enterprise as soon as a major threat to Earth is spotted, shamelessly ousting its current (younger) Captain. Subsequent films would have him agonizing, sometimes to the point of Wangst, over his age, career, life in general, and missed opportunities. Notably, he is the only character who seems to suffer from this, to the occasional frustration of Bones and Spock.
- Honor Before Reason: In "Arena" and "Spectre of the Gun."
- I Can Still Fight!: Kirk doesn't like being shut up in medbay at all, much to McCoy's consternation.
- Improbable Age: Minor example In-Universe. Background material states that, at 30-ish, he is the youngest man yet to command a first-rate Starfleet ship, a record that wasn't broken until the first year of TNG, when a woman is made captain in her late twenties (albeit thanks to a burst of parasitic infiltrators).
- In the season 2 episode "The Deadly Years", Kirk is stated to be 34 years old. He had been Captain of the Enterprise for two years at that point, making him 32 at the time he got the promotion - or to put it another way, just a decade out of the Academy, an average of one promotion every two years.note Had he continued at that pace, he would have made full Admiral by age 40.
- Although Kirk's rise to the Captaincy was exceptionally rapid, it's clear that he's obviously an extreme outlier with regard to the average quality of Starfleet officers (even in TOS, most other Starship Captains we meet wind up dead or go insane). Contrast his reboot counterpart, who is field-promoted to Captain from Cadet before graduating from the Academy, which might generously be described as a bit farfetched.
- Curiously, his Mirror Universe counterpart, who is considerably less competent than the Prime Kirk, only reached the rank of Captain through plundered alien technology allowing him to remotely eliminate all of his superiors without putting himself in danger of retaliation.
- Improbable Weapon User: In hand-to-hand combat, he will sometimes grab whatever object is nearby, regardless of what it is. Twice, he has used pillows.
- Insane Admiral: Drifts perilously close to this early in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, especially when butting heads with the Enterprise's new Captain. He gets over it to some extent, but his later actions lead to a "demotion" that puts him back in the captain's chair, which is exactly where he wants to be and resolves the problem.
- The Kirk: He's the Trope Namer, obviously.
- Killed Off for Real: In Star Trek: Generations. Let's just say they...Dropped a Bridge on Him.
- And then revived in a Star Trek novel series written by...William Shatner!
- Large Ham: He's played by William Shatner, after all.
- Legendary in the Sequel: Kirk is depicted as the Captain, against which all of his 24th-century successors are judged (well, eventually. Early TNG episodes treated Kirk's era like it was shrouded in myth, if they acknowledged it at all). This even extends to the reboot continuity, where a bunch of Romulan space miners living over a century after his heyday immediately recognize James T. Kirk by name as having been Starfleet's greatest Captain.
- Living Legend: Even though the original series depicts his first command, it's clear that he's already becoming one of these. The movies take this trope and run with it.
- Married to the Job: His commitment to the Enterprise is so overpowering he doesn't even need an antidote to a love potion.
- Memetic Badass: In-Universe example. Kirk serves as one for all of Starfleet. When given with the chance of meeting him, Picard and Sisko both positively Squee!. Considering that both Picard and Sisko are also examples of this within the Trekverse, that says something.
- The Men First: Being A Father to His Men, Kirk is always insistent on keeping them safe if possible. On a number of occasionsnote , he has wanted to pull a Heroic Sacrifice (or even tried to do so) to ensure the well-being of his crew, and torturing them is generally a better strategy than torturing him.
- Mr. Fanservice: That uniform shirt of his will tear open at the touch of a twig. This was not actually intentional; it's just that the tailoring budget for the original show was less than impressive.
- The Not-Love Interest: Spock seems comfortable being physically close to Kirk or locking gazes with him. Edith Keeler said that Spock belonged "at his side, as if you've always been there and always will." But Spock's established romances have always been with females, and at one point, he invited Kirk to his wedding.
- Not So Different: From the Romulan Commander in "Balance of Terror."
- Officer and a Gentleman: In addition to judo-throwing aliens and romancing Green Skinned Space Babes, he finds time to be well-versed in classical literature and offer aid to space-borne refugees.
- Papa Wolf: Kirk is A Father to His Men who makes a habit of punching out any entity, super-powered or not, that messes with anyone in front of him. Hurting his people (or actual children) causes him much Angst and more anger. Do the math on whether messing with anyone under him is a good idea.
- Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: Inverted, Captain Kirk is a charming Officer and a Gentleman. By contrast, his first officer, Spock, is more tactless and ruthlessly pragmatic. The fact that he's also The Stoic when he does these things probably doesn't do his image any favors.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Kirk does this quite a bit. Hell, if he were anyone else other than James T. Kirk, he'd have been toast long ago.
- Shirtless Scene: It's not quite to the level of Walking Shirtless Scene, but Kirk appears shirtless a lot in the original TV show. Mostly famously, it's caused by Clothing Damage during action sequences, but he also tends to just lounge around his quarters without a shirt and such.
- Smart People Play Chess: He's Spock's opponent of choice in chess games.
- Sudden Name Change: In the second pilot episode, Gary Mitchell, possessed of near-omnipotent alien powers, fights Kirk and creates an open grave with a tombstone reading "James R. Kirk." This would normally be a minor matter, but given how many times Kirk later introduces himself as "James T. Kirk," it's actually quite jarring.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Far more often than he gets credit for these days. Kirk is good at talking monsters to death (AKA fast talking his way out of a jam). Since he routinely runs into Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who cannot be defeated with firepower, it's an important skill.
- Ultimate Job Security: Later crews even lampshade that Kirk shouldn't have been able to get away with so much.
- Verbal Tic: His peculiar speaking style is perhaps the most famous (and certainly the most frequently-parodied) thing about him. A combination of Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter and Punctuated! For! Emphasis!, along with seemingly random, inappropriately-placed pauses, then followed by delivering the rest of his line in a rushed, breathless pace, as if he has to make up for time lost from taking the pause.note
- In "Get a Life!" Shatner claims that it's a holdover from his D-list theatre days, when it was the only thing that kept the audience awake. Since his daughter thinks Kevin Pollack does a better Kirk than him, he also asks Pollack to help him punch up his Kirk.
Played by: Leonard Nimoy
"'Fascinating' is a word I use for the unexpected. In this case, I should think 'interesting' would suffice."Kirk's Number One and Science Officer. Spock was half-Human, half-Vulcan, and chose to completely embrace the latter aspect of his heritage; this caused him to clash frequently with Dr. McCoy. Spock was supremely analytical and would describe many things as "fascinating;" he was the go-to man for unusual solutions...or ruthlessly pragmatic ones. He would, occasionally, let slip his more human feelings, but regarded any comparison with humanity to be insulting during the show's run.Despite the stark contrast in their personalities, Spock and Jim were very good friends (so much so that they inspired Slash Fic in 60's and 70's fanzines). The character became so iconic that Nimoy put out an autobiography titled I Am Not Spock, although he later embraced the fanbase, writing another autobiography titled I Am Spock. He reprised the character in Star Trek: The Next Generation and the 2009 Star Trek movie and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness.
— Spock, "The Squire of Gothos"
- Ambiguously Jewish: Many fans think that Spock is Jewish on his human mother's side as Leonard Nimoy is Jewish, not to mention that Winona Ryder (who played Spock's mom, Amanda Grayson, in the 2009 reboot) is Jewish as well. On a related note, Nimoy adapted the famous Vulcan hand salute from Jewish religious tradition.
- Arranged Marriage: Betrothed by his family as a child. His intended bride had other ideas, and didn't mind sacrificing Kirk for them...
- Back from the Dead: In the third movie.
- Badass Bookworm: Spock can (and does) use his vast knowledge in conjunction with fighting whatever enemy they're facing.
- Badass Grandpa: Moreso in the movies.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Spock is a vegetarian and a Technical Pacifist, but if you ever remove his emotional control or threaten Kirk, you're in trouble.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Principally his green blood and the fact that his heart is where a human's liver would be. The latter enables him to survive being shot in the back with a flintlock rifle in "A Private Little War."
- Blue Blood: No, has nothing to do with his Alien Blood. It's not explicitly stated, but his father, Sarek, is a prestigious Federation Ambassador, and T'Pau, one of the most powerful people on Vulcan, officiates at (what should have been) his marriage. He also notes that the large estate where the ceremony takes place has been in his family for over two thousand years.
- Blue Is Heroic: Spock's blue uniform represents his coolness and rationality.
- Boomerang Bigot: Spock is half-human, but most of the time, he solely embraces his Vulcan heritage and is scornful of human ways. This was later explained in backstory due to his rocky relationship with his father and the Fantastic Racism he experienced whilst growing up on Vulcan. He mellowed in his later years.
- But Not Too Foreign: He's half-human; while he usually acts fully Vulcan, his human side surfaces fairly often.
- Captain Ersatz: Spock's personality is an exaggeration of Roddenberry's former boss, LAPD Chief William H. Parker.
- Catch-Phrase: "Fascinating," accompanied, of course, by a Fascinating Eyebrow.
- Character Development: During the series proper, Spock utterly refuses to show emotion, and makes no secret of his dislike for humans. By the time of Wrath of Khan, he's mellowed out considerably, even going as far to wish Kirk "happy birthday", and no longer sees logic as the be-all-and-end-all.
- The Comically Serious: Given his lack of emotions and frequent misunderstandings, he's usually assigned with some funny scenes.
- Court-Martialed: In "The Menagerie," Spock gets put on trial for commandeering the Enterprise and taking it to a forbidden planet.
- The Creon: Spock is this, almost to the letter. He only takes command of the Enterprise once Kirk has been Kicked Upstairs, and gives it back almost immediately when the opportunity arises. And, being already a captain and in command of the Enterprise, Spock never gets his own commission; he keeps his position as first officer under Kirk for several more movies! Surprisingly, Spock's mirror-universe counterpart is exactly the same on this and even explicitly states his reasons (in "Mirror, Mirror")note
- Subordinate Excuse: Spock's friendship with Kirk may be an explanation for why Spock continues to serve as Kirk's first officer even after he is promoted to Captain himself.
- Dark and Troubled Past: During "Journey to Babel", his mother mentions Spock was frequently bullied as a child, something "Yesteryear" expands upon.
- Deadpan Snarker: Apparently, there is nothing illogical about scathing sarcasm. Despite his claims to be above human pettiness, Spock frequently makes sarcastic quips or the "Really?" face.
- Defrosting Ice King: Even with the crew's massive Power of Friendship skills, it took Spock years to decide that emotions were not such a bad thing.
- Deuteragonist: A natural result of his popularity with fans; originally, the show was intended as having plots about "Kirk and X," where "X" would be a different character each week; many of the early first-season episodes follow this formula, but gradually "X = Spock" became more common.
- Fantastic Racism: A victim of this trope, as well as a mild subscriber (towards humans).
- Forgets to Eat: Occasionally.
- While never shown, in "Amok Time," McCoy uses the fact that Spock hasn't eaten for three days in an attempt to convince Kirk that something is wrong, and Kirk dismisses it as simply being Spock in one of his contemplative phases.
- Another example is "The Paradise Syndrome," where Spock hardly eats for weeks while studying the obelisk.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Spock is the Melancholic.
- Freudian Trio: Spock is the Superego to Kirk's Ego and McCoy's Id.
- Friendless Background: As demonstrated in the animated series, Spock never had any friends growing up because of the Half-Breed Discrimination on his planet.
- Good Is Not Nice: He's rude, tactless, and completely cold-hearted, but he always has the best interests of the ship and crew in mind.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Spock completely embraces the non-human side of himself. As a child, the local children rejected him because of his human heritage.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kirk.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Spock makes a point of keeping it hidden and gets very embarrassed when it's uncovered.
- Human Mom Non Human Dad: His mother is a human named Amanda. His dad is Sarek, a Vulcan.
- Insult Backfire:McCoy: Spock, you are the most cold-blooded man I've ever known.Spock: Why, thank you, Doctor.
- Killed Off for Real: Dies offscreen of natural causes (and at the age of 162) in Star Trek Beyond, due to Leonard Nimoy's own death.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: He's very fond of cats.
- And tribbles, in spite of claims to being immune to their charms.
- Leitmotif: Gerald Fried's score for "Amok Time" (which also introduced the famous "Star Trek fight music") featured a recurring motif for Spock, a quite expressive, sorrowful tune played adagio with the main melody line provided by a bass guitar - to represent Spock's deeply felt, but repressed, emotional state. The show's frequent reuse of previously recorded music allowed this piece to become a de facto leitmotif for Spock as it was often used in his big "emotional" scenes (for lack of a better word) throughout the second and third seasons.
- Living Legend: Invoked in "Amok Time" when T'Pring informs Spock that he has become a legend among the Vulcans, and that she has no desire to become the consort of a legend. His status only grows through his efforts to achieve a lasting peace with the Klingons, and his subsequent ambassadorial career. In the later shows, he is depicted as Legendary in the Sequel even though he is technically still alive throughout the franchise (including into the reboot continuity).
- Ludicrous Precision: Will often give time estimates down to the second and can complete large exponential multiplications in his head.
- Mayfly–December Friendship: At two hundred years old, a Vulcan might still have a number of years left. Humans can live a few decades past one hundred, but it's clearly old for them, meaning Spock is doomed to outlive all his human friends.
- Minored In Ass Kicking: Especially when you realize that Vulcans are extremely strong compared to humans.
- The Not-Love Interest: Kirk is very comfortable being in close physical proximity to Spock and sharing a Held Gaze with him. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, he refers to him as his "nobler half" and, as much as he loves the Enterprise, he would always rather lose the command than lose Spock. However, he is very popular with the feminine sex, so their relationship is platonic.
- Number Two: Spock is this as well as the science officer.
- Only One Name: Spock's full name is never officially revealed. As he stated to one of his girlfriends in the series, "You couldn't pronounce it."
- Parenthetical Swearing: Often when delivering a Stealth Insult.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Spock is the Blue to McCoy's Red.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Though in his case, he is a rubber-eared alien and half human.
- Running Gag: His "inability to lie," despite repeatedly proving otherwise.
- Sarcastic Devotee: There are few people who are as loyal to Kirk as Spock is, but that doesn't protect the captain from his snarky wit.
- Smart People Play Chess: ''Three-dimensional'' chess, that is.
- The Spock: He's the Trope Namer, natch.
- The Stoic
- Not So Stoic: Although in most of the cases when he show emotions, it is usually a result of either mind control, drugs, or side effects from strange phenomenons, but he does have some moments where it genuinely comes from himself, most notably the scene from "Amok Time" where he realizes that Kirk wasn't Killed Off for Real, and greets him with a loud and happy "JIM!"
- He gets another moment in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country when Valeris, his protege, is revealed to be the conspiracy's mole aboard the Enterprise. She has a phaser drawn on him, and when she refuses to shoot, he slaps it out of her hand with a clear look of anger on his face. Then, in one of the most Squick-filled scenes of the entire franchise, he proceeds to Mind Rape her right on the bridge in front of God and everybody. Pushing this man's Berserk Button is nigh-impossible, but if you do, you're in for a world of shit.
- Not So Stoic: Although in most of the cases when he show emotions, it is usually a result of either mind control, drugs, or side effects from strange phenomenons, but he does have some moments where it genuinely comes from himself, most notably the scene from "Amok Time" where he realizes that Kirk wasn't Killed Off for Real, and greets him with a loud and happy "JIM!"
- Straw Vulcan: At times.
- Super Strength: His Vulcan heritage makes him three times stronger than a human.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Spock is one of the taller members of the cast, considered good-looking in and out of universe, and one of the series' greatest Deadpan Snarkers. However, unlike standard versions of the trope, who are redeemed by the love of a beautiful girl, Spock is redeemed by the (platonic) love of his captain/Heterosexual Life-Partner James Kirk.
- Token Non-Human: He's the only regular in the cast who is visibly nonhuman. (The animated series averted this since there was no make-up budget in the way.)
- Verbal Tic: His endless permutations of the word "logic," and his unfailing ability to fit them into sentences, border on this.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With McCoy. That Spock considers him a close friend is established beyond all doubt in "Amok Time," when he invites him, along with Kirk, down to Vulcan to witness a ceremony which is deeply private and personal to Vulcans.
- The Worf Effect: Any enemy that can hold Spock in a fight is deemed a formidable adversary.
Doctor (Lieutenant Commander) Leonard "Bones" McCoy
Played by: DeForest Kelley
"I signed aboard this ship to practice medicine, not to have my atoms scattered back and forth across space by this gadget."The third member of the Power Trio. Nicknamed "Bones" by Kirk, McCoy was a highly competent doctor who wasn't entirely comfortable with deep space and always brought a more emotional and moral component to the philosophical debates. He clashed frequently, and colorfully, with Spock, as he found Spock's rejection of emotion to be absurd; however, the two men did genuinely respect each other. Despite his "down-home country doctor" routine, McCoy could and did carry moments of badassery frequently.Despite a very wild appearance in the first one, McCoy remained largely the same in the movies: a cantankerous but kind-hearted medical professional.
— McCoy, "Space Seed"
- Badass Pacifist: He's a doctor and takes that very seriously. However, that doesn't stop him from doing extremely dangerous things to save lives. Circumstances sometimes force him to show that he is a decent shot and somewhat competent brawler, but he is hardly a willing Combat Medic, both disgust with violence and unashamed fear always extremely apparent on his face. Possibly best seen in "Space Seed," where he doesn't flinch at Khan holding a knife to his throat and even gives advice on the best way to kill him from their current position.
- Blue Is Heroic: McCoy's blue uniform represents his gentleness and kindness. See also Innocent Blue Eyes.
- Catch-Phrase: Two:
- Chivalrous Pervert: He's notable for being more open about his skirt-chasing than Kirk...and less successful at it.
- Cool Old Guy: Subverted; he's middle-aged.
- Combat Pragmatist: McCoy is especially fond of hitting an enemy (or even a reluctant friend) with a hypospray to render them unconscious/simulate a disease/etc. in order to get the upper hand. In "Amok Time," he does this without being an actual participant in the fight in order to save Kirk's life and Spock's career.
- Deadpan Snarker: His specialty. "This Side of Paradise" has a couple gems.McCoy: [after Kirk informs a man that he will be taken from his planet with or without his cooperation] Should I get the butterfly net?
- Determinator: Where Scotty wouldn't roll over and die on keeping the ship together, this man refuses to just let his patients die if he has any means to save them.
- Dr. Jerk: While he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, his cantankerous reminders of his actual occupation qualify for this trope. In "Friday's Child," he persuades an obstinate, haughty patient to let him ease her pain...by slapping her in the face. Justified in that the woman in question was a Capellan, a Proud Warrior Race that regards a show of force as a sign of respect and honesty, and that McCoy was an expert on this species, having been part of the first contact team that discovered them years earlier. Given that the woman later gave birth and named the child after McCoy, it worked as well as intended:Kirk: Never seen that in a medical book.
McCoy: It's in mine from now on.
- Especially in "This Side of Paradise," when he's under the influence of Applied Phlebotinum that makes him more irritable.Sandoval: We don't need you, not as a doctor.
Bones: Oh, no? Would you like to see just how fast I can put you in a hospital?
- Especially in "This Side of Paradise," when he's under the influence of Applied Phlebotinum that makes him more irritable.
- First-Name Basis: With Kirk.
- Averted in Kirk's case, as he always refers to him as "Bones," never "Leonard."
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: McCoy is the Sanguine.
- Freudian Trio: McCoy is the Id to Kirk's Ego and Spock's Superego.
- Frontier Doctor: Dr. McCoy is perhaps Trek's outstanding example of a (Final) Frontier Doctor—resourceful in the face of alien ailments, preferring simple homespun methods when possible, but cantankerous, eccentric, and not entirely happy with his lot (he fled to space on the heels of a divorce). Star Trek was pretty much the original Space Western, after all, and actor DeForest Kelley had an extensive background in westerns.
- Good Is Not Nice: He's not hesitant about expressing his dislike for people or his refusal to suffer fools, but he is most often the one who suggests doing the right thing.
- Good Old Ways: He both enforces and subverts this trope. He's rabidly in favor of fighting the dehumanizing effects of too much technology (especially the transporter) in favor of enjoying "the simple things in life," and yet sees "primitive 20th-century medicine" as just above trepanation, leeches, and blood-letting in its barbarity, preferring the "high-tech approach" to healing. In general, he embraces the positive, constructive aspects of technological progress rather than the destructive or dehumanizing ones.
- Grumpy Bear: McCoy is constantly grumbling about space travel, supercomputers, Spock, unruly patients, etc, etc.
- Grumpy Old Man: He becomes this in the movies.
- The Heart: He's a deeply ethical man underneath his cantankerous exterior and always brings the moral side to a discussion.
- He's Dead, Jim: He's the Trope Namer.
- Honor Before Reason: And proud of it.
- Hospital Hottie: According to Jadzia Dax, one of her previous hosts discovered he has the "hands of a surgeon."
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: McCoy is always trying to get an emotional rise out of Spock, but in the episode "Plato's Stepchildren," McCoy jumps to Spock's defense when powerful aliens force him to cry and to laugh. And in other episodes, he's usually the first to jump to Spock's defense any time anyone attacks or insults him, possibly because his issues with Spock are more of a giant angry moral debate while other people tend to operate out of pure racism.
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: He's the Trope Namer.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: McCoy has DeForest Kelley's bright, shining baby blues. He's probably the kindest, most compassionate character of the entire Trek franchise.
- In-Series Nickname: "Bones" is actually short for "saw-bones," an archaic term for a surgeon.note It was originally intended as the nickname of Dr. Boyce from "The Cage," but was never used in that episode, making it available for McCoy.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He's grumpy, sarcastic, and has little respect for authority (with the exception of Kirk), but when the chips are down, you can always count on him to do the right thing.
- The Medic: He's even able to treat a silicon-based life-form.
- The McCoy: He's the Trope Namer.
- More Hero Than Thou: In "The Empath," when aliens offer Kirk the choice of sacrificing McCoy or Spock, McCoy takes out Kirk with drugs. Spock is glad; since this leaves him in command, he can make the sacrifice himself. McCoy proceeds to drug him as well and sacrifice himself.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: At the beginning of the second season.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's the Red to Spock's Blue.
- Resignations Not Accepted: At the beginning of the first movie, McCoy has retired to private practice, and is called back into service against his protests on Kirk's request.
- Sarcastic Devotee / Sour Supporter: He will follow Kirk into the pits of Hell and back, but he'll grumble about it first.
- Similarly, if Spock is in trouble he'll strive to help him, just don't expect him to hold back on a few jibes whilst he does.
- Southern-Fried Genius: One of the most respected doctors in the Federation—straight out of Georgia.
- Strawman Emotional: At times.
- Super Doc: He can be nothing else such as when he successfully treated the Mother Horta, a silicon based lifeform whose physiology he is not only completely unfamiliar with, but he didn't even believe such a lifeform even existed until that very moment.'''McCoy: By golly, Jim, I'm beginning to think I can cure a rainy day!
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Not as tall as Spock, but plenty dark-haired and snarky.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Spock.
- The Watson: Despite serving on Starfleet's flagship, McCoy is routinely unfamiliar with various technical aspects of the ship or other technology he encounters. (He is an excellent doctor, however, which makes up for it.)
Lieutenant Commander Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
Played by: James Doohan
"I cannae change the laws of physics! I've got to have thirty minutes!"Chief Engineer of the Enterprise. Scotty's most frequent job was to solve a seemingly-impossible crisis with the engine or transporters (or whatever piece of Starfleet technology was making trouble that week), protesting all the way before either hitting on a creative solution or sweating it through. He was also Scottish and had many sterotypical Scottish traits, such as a love of good whisky and namedropping haggis. Scotty was firmly established as the ship's third-in-command behind Kirk and Spock, and seeing as those two were always members of the landing party, he took the conn with surprising regularity. Though he was sometimes used for comic relief, it's worth noting that Scotty was extremely badass whenever he was the ranking officer on the bridge and kept it safe from interfering aliens or Starfleet's many half-crazed admirals.Scotty's role in the films was still the Chief Engineer, but he was relegated to the comic relief role more often. He also appeared in an episode of The Next Generation.
— Scotty, "The Naked Time"
- Berserk Button: He's a very calm, polite, and peaceful man...unless you call the Enterprise a piece of garbage. Then he'll punch you in the face regardless of the cost.
- Big Damn Heroes: In "Friday's Child," Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are unarmed and surrounded by a superior Klingon force.Kirk: [to Spock] Too bad the cavalry doesn't come over the hill anymore. [cue Scotty beaming down with a large force of Redshirts to save the day]
- Butt-Monkey: Sometimes, when he was left in charge of the Enterprise.
- The Captain: He gets promoted to the rank of captain in The Search for Spock, which puts him on equal terms with both Kirk and Spock. It's no small feat, either. He's one of the very few non-command division people to achieve the rank and the promotion is given in recognition of his engineering skills. He never pulls it on anyone, however.
- Captain Ethnic: Or in this case, Lieutenant-Commander Ethnic. In case the accent, taste for whisky, and the occasional wearing of traditional Scottish clothes and playing of bagpipes don't clue you in, there is also the surname. Lampooned in the I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again parody:Uhura (Jo Kendall): Captain, our Scottish chief engineer Scott—"Scotty" for short—from Scotland has something terrible to tell you.Scott (Graeme Garden): [incomprehensible Scots English gibberish]Kirk (Tim Brooke-Taylor): Yes, that was terrible, wasn't it?
- Companion Cube: If Kirk saw the Enterprise as a demanding wife, Scotty saw the ship, particularly her engines, as no less than children ("My bairns! My poor bairns!").
- A Day in the Limelight: "Wolf In The Fold," "The Trouble With Tribbles," "By Any Other Name," and "The Lights of Zetar."
- The Engineer: His primary duty.
- Father Neptune: Though as he is Recycled In Space, perhaps he would be Father Jove or Father Apollo, but you get the idea.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Scotty is the Phlegmatic.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Can MacGyver just about anything on his own, but particularly shines teamed with Spock. The two of them could turn the most obscure theory into a way to save the day.
- Genius Bruiser: Pretty handy with both his fists and his mind.
- Leitmotif: More an example of a Bootstrapped Leitmotif. A piece called "A Matter of Pride" was composed by Jerry Fielding for "The Trouble with Tribbles" to underscore the scene where Scotty admits he started the bar fight with the Klingons. It was then reused for "By Any Other Name" in the scene where Scotty drinks Tomar under the table. It was never used again, but because of its exclusive association with two of Scotty's greatest character scenes, it is sometimes remembered as "Scotty's Theme" among fans.
- Scotty Time: He's the Trope Namer.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Twice from the same action. His sending the tribbles home with the Captain Koloth apparently resulted in an ecological disaster for the Klingon Empire, which in turn caused the Klingons to hunt down the tribble homeworld and obliterate it, rendering them extinct. At least for a century, or so. The DS9 crew undid the second part on accident.
Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Played by: Nichelle Nichols
Uhura: Mr. Spock, I haven't done anything like this in years. If it isn't done just right, I could blow the entire communications system. It's very delicate work, sir.
Spock: I can think of no one better equipped to handle it, Miss Uhura. Please, proceed.Uhura was Enterprise's communications officer and, according to Gene Roddenberry, was fourth in line of command behind Mr. Scott (something flatly contradicted in the series, where Sulu and even DeSalle took command ahead of her). Unfortunately, her character was vastly underutilized during the series' run, although the times she was allowed to do more than be the ship's phone operator, she was pretty good at whatever she was doing. Her role was somewhat expanded after the first season and she did get to take the captain's chair in the animated series.Off-screen, Nichols was subjected to racist harassment and resigned when she learned that the studio executives had been withholding her fan mail. A conversation with Martin Luther King Jr. convinced her to stay; he told her that the idea of a black woman being equal to whites was something vitally important for children to see, as a role model or as an example of what should be. Both Mae Jemison (America's first black female astronaut) and Whoopi Goldberg have cited her as an influence, along with many others. Nichols worked with NASA to recruit women and minorities into the astronaut corps.
— "Who Mourns for Adonais?"
- Action Girl: In "Mirror, Mirror" and "The Gamesters of Triskelion."
- Bridge Bunny: To Nichols' frustration. She did have a few episodes where she was on the away team, but for the vast majority of the show, she was confined to her station.
- Catch-Phrase: "Hailing frequencies open."
- Communications Officer: One of the most famous examples.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Mirror, Mirror" and "The Trouble With Tribbles."
- Meaningful Name: Uhura is derived from Uhuru, which means "freedom" (which carried a strong Reality Subtext in the 1960s), while Nyota means "star."
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: She is African and her first language is Swahili, yet she sounds American. Justified in that she is a linguist.
- Ret Canon: Her first name, Nyota, was used in the non-canon novels for decades before finally being made official. Very early Trek guides suggest that Penda was considered a possibility by the fans. Parodied in the 2009 film when Uhura refuses to tell Kirk her first name until the end of the movie.
- Ship Tease:
- She appears to show an interest in Spock in a few episodes. (Yes, long before the reboot.) According to Nichols, this was largely her own idea, that it was a one-sided Mentor Ship relationship.
- By the later movies, she seems to be in a casual relationship with Scotty.
- She shares a kiss with Kirk in "Plato's Stepchildren," although given that it was under alien Mind Control and both were rather traumatized; if anything, it may be Ship Sinking.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Uhura may be a non-combatant most of the time, but as noted above, she is quite the Action Girl when necessary. In particular, "Mirror, Mirror" and "The Gamesters of Triskelion" show that Uhura can kick someone's ass when necessary, and the animated series shows she's not afraid to take command and take the initiative when needed.
- Twofer Token Minority: She's an African-American and a woman.
Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Played by: George Takei
"We're using hand phasers to heat the rocks. One phaser quit on us, three still operating. Any possibility of getting us back aboard before the skiing season opens down here? "The helmsman, thankfully living in a time before bridge consoles were Made of Explodium. Sulu was an affable and level-headed officer, a staple of bridge drama and away missions. He worked well with other members of a crew and sometimes shared his hobbies: botany, antiquing, and fencing (although the last one was not exactly in a clear state of mind). When Chekhov was added to the cast, they formed a Those Two Guys dynamic.Although he has a Japanese first name, his surname is deliberately ambiguous; it is the name of a sea that borders several Asian countries note . Like Uhura, Sulu was significant for being a non-stereotypical portrayal of an Asian man.
— Sulu, the one with the alien unicorn dog
- Absentee Actor: Missing for much of the second season because George Takei was filming The Green Berets.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Again, "The Naked Time."
- Canon Immigrant: His now-canon first name, Hikaru, was given to him in the non-canon novels by Vonda N. McIntyre, before officially being made his name in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Very early Star Trek guides suggest that Walter was considered as a possible first name during the show itself, but never officially used.
- Cultured Badass: Very knowledgeable in many subjects, such as botany.
- A Day in the Limelight: "The Naked Time" and "Mirror, Mirror."
- Deadpan Snarker: Sulu is prone to making pithy commentary on the events of the episode.
- Evil Is Hammy: Every Mirror Universe character was hammy, but Takei was a particularly rich, dripping slice.
- Fan of the Past: He's a history buff and a competent fencer. Overlaps with Ace Pilot in the movies when, upon a simple inspection of the controls, he flies a 20th-century helicopter competently enough to perform cargo-lifting duties.
- Fleeting Passionate Hobbies: Including fencing ("The Naked Time") and botany ("The Man Trap"). In fact, in "The Naked Time," Kevin Riley Lampshades it.
- Generation Xerox: In Generations, we meet his daughter Demora, who is (where else?) at the helm of the Enterprise-B.
- Genius Bruiser: Just happens to be an expert in botany, swordsmanship, French history, and flying ancient aircraft.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: His Mirror Universe counterpart has a big nasty scar on his face.
- Gun Nut: Overlapping with Fan of the Past, in "Shore Leave," he's thrilled to find an ancient revolver. An animated series episode expanded this to Sulu having expertise with weaponry across the board.
- Inscrutable Oriental: Deliberately inverted per the series bible. Sulu's most prominent trait was probably his sense of humor and enthusiasm for hobbies that never seemed to last. This got an in-joke in the animated series when he claimed, with a wink, you had to be "inscrutable" to fight the way he did—and Kirk replied "you're the most scrutable man I know."note
- Katanas Are Just Better: Averted in "The Naked Time." Sulu was originally supposed to go on his rampage with a samurai sword, but at Takei's request to do something less stereotypical, it was switched to an epee.
- The Reliable One: He's quite competent at a variety of tasks, and very level-headed compared to characters like Chekov or Scotty. He's also fiercely loyal to his crewmates, to the point of disobeying Starfleet orders and potentially causing a serious diplomatic incident just to rescue them.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: In the mostly-embarrassing "Turnabout Intruder," Sulu gets a good moment when he says he'll flatly refuse any order to execute a fellow officer.
- Shirtless Scene: In "The Naked Time."
- Spiritual Successor: Implied to have become Kirk's when Sulu becomes captain of the Excelsior.
- Those Two Guys: With Chekov.
- Took a Level in Badass: As Captain of the Excelsior in Star Trek VI.
Ensign Pavel Chekov
Played by: Walter Koenig
"Of course, Doctor. The Garden of Eden was just outside Moscow. A very nice place. Must've made Adam and Eve very sad to leave."The ship's navigator from Season 2 onwards. Chekov had a tendency to refer to Glorious Mother Russia and claim that any human advancement, be it technological or cultural, originated there. He also had terrible luck and frequently ran foul of whatever physical or psychological menace the ship was facing that week, mainly because Walter Koenig had an excellent capacity for screaming. Aside from that, he and Sulu were good friends and would frequently banter about the action.Chekov is, by far, the most junior of the regular bridge officers, but the writers justified his presence by having him act as the relief science officer whenever Spock was busy or incapacitated. In fact, Chekov would often abandon his navigation console in order to take up the science scanner if Spock had to step away, even at warp or in the middle of a battle. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock , in a nod to this, Chekov identifies himself as the "Acting Science Officer" of the Enterprise.Chekov was added for a few reasons: to attract younger viewers and give a nod to the Russians in the space race. (Also to fill in some of Sulu's role while Takei was filming The Green Berets.)Koenig is reprising his role for the Fan Film series Star Trek: Renegades, where Chekov is now over a hundred and an admiral.
— Chekov, "The Apple"
- Ambiguously Jewish: An idea with some popularity in the fandom, partially since Koenig (and Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the 2009 reboot) are Jewish.
- Butt-Monkey: Chekov did more screaming-in-pain than the rest of the crew combined. He even got a torture scene in the episode "Mirror, Mirror." This was explained as a convenient way to show there was mortal peril. Apparently, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, all being older, dignified men, would have made it improper for them to scream, but Chekov is in his early twenties and still very boyish, so it's all right for him. Doesn't make it any easier on the poor guy, though. In a nice inversion, he's the only one who doesn't get hit with the aging disease in "The Deadly Years." He still ends up getting subjected to a thousand and one medical checks, though.Chekov: Blood sample, Chekov! Marrow sample, Chekov! Skin sample, Chekov! If—if I live long enough, I'm going to run out of samples!Sulu: You'll live.Chekov: Oh yes, I'll live. But I won't enjoy it!
- Chekov's Gun: Often seen with Chekov, especially on landing-party duty. Like Chekhov's Gun, if it makes an appearance, it will most likely be used by the end of the episode or movie.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Chekov's constant references to Mother Russia appear to only make sense in his mind.
- Cultural Posturing: What didn't Mother Russia invent?
- A Day in the Limelight: "Mirror, Mirror," "The Trouble With Tribbles," "The Deadly Years," and "The Way to Eden."
- Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Bones or even Spock, but he definitely has a smart-assed side. As he gets older, it gets worse.
- The Intern: Much is made of his relative inexperience and impulsiveness.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Chekov both amused and annoyed his crewmates by spouting what he didn't know about Russian history.
- Mr. Fanservice: Really. Brought in specifically to appeal to younger Fangirls, complete with hair straight out of The Monkees.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Particularly as the films progressed.
- Running Gag: "It vas inwented in Russia."
- Russian Guy Suffers Most: Oh, yeah.
- The Scream: Walter Koenig had a good one, which is why it's Chekov who always gets stuffed into the agony booth, shot, driven insane, tortured by Klingons, implanted with parasitic worms... Koenig lampshaded this by jokingly calling the second movie in the series "Star Trek II: Chekov Screams Again."
- Sixth Ranger: Subverted. Chekov didn't appear on the show until Season 2, but apparently served on the Enterprise long before he appeared, because in the second movie, Khan recognizes Chekov, apparently having met him in the Season 1 episode "Space Seed."
Walter Koenig's explanation for how they met is that Chekov actually was serving aboard the Enterprise but was on duty during the night shift, and he and Khan met off-screen. The circumstances of their meeting were thus: Chekov was using the bathroom and he was taking an inordinately long time, and Khan approaches that very same bathroom, needing to use it. Finding it occupied, he soon loses his patience and pounds on the door. When Chekov finally emerges, Khan grabs him and fixes him with a Death Glare, and says "I will never forget your face!" This is further compounded by the fact that he expended all the toilet paper.
- Those Two Guys: With Sulu.
Head Nurse Christine Chapel
Played by: Majel Barrett
- A Day in the Limelight: "The Naked Time," "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", "Amok Time," and "Plato's Stepchildren."
- Deadpan Snarker: "You know, self-pity is a terrible first course. Why don't you try the soup?"
- "Come along, Ensign. This won't hurt. Much."
- No Name Given: In the series, Chapel was always addressed by her position rather than her rank. She is formally promoted to Lieutenant later on in the five-year mission, and by the time of the first movie, has an MD under her belt, and is prepared to assume the role of Chief Medical Officer. We can therefore assume that, especially given her position as Head Nurse, she was a junior officer (probably a mustanged Ensign, given her backstory).
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Majel Barrett was the girlfriend and eventual wife of Gene Roddenberry, which may explain why we saw Nurse Chapel so much. In part, her role was also expanded in the latter half of the first season (after only sporadically appearing in the early episodes) due to Grace Lee Whitney leaving, and Nichelle Nichols also threatening to quit, which would have left the show without any recurring female characters.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Roger Korby, her fiancé, was a man to whom "life was sacred" by her own description. Given that her reasons for crushing on Spock included his honesty, it seems this applies across the board for Chapel.
- You Look Familiar: Number One in the original TOS pilot "The Cage" (and the regular series two-part episode "The Menagarie"), Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation, most of the female characters except for Uhura in Star Trek: The Animated Series...she has several paragraphs on the relevant page.
Yeoman Janice Rand
Played by: Grace Lee Whitney
- Beehive Hairdo: The infamous basketweave hairdo. Whitney's wig is supposed to be a 'futuristic' version of the contemporary beehive. From Lisabeth Shatner's (daughter of Bill) memoirs of being on-set:Eventually, I began looking around the room, and discovered I had a bird's eye view of the top of the actress's head. I was utterly fascinated by her hair, which was woven into a checkered pattern on top. I stared at that hair for a long time, wondering if it was possible to actually play checkers on it.
- Bridge Bunny: The Trope Codifier.
- The Bus Came Back: She became the Transporter Chief in the first film, had a cameo in Star Trek III, and was Captain Sulu's communications officer in Star Trek VI. She also appears in a flashback episode of Voyager set during her time serving aboard Sulu's ship. Tuvok nerve-pinches her, allowing Janeway to borrow her uniform. (Which, as SFDebris laughingly pointed out, is unlikely as Whitney had at least three cup sizes on Mulgrew.)
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Vanished halfway through the first season due to off-screen issues. She was replaced by Dr. Helen Noel in "Dagger of the Mind".
- Damsel in Distress: She ends up endangered more than once, including being attacked by an evil clone of Kirk, temporarily zapped out of existence, and kidnapped and tied up by the Onlies.
- Mundane Utility: Yeoman Rand heated coffee with a phaser in "The Corbomite Maneuver."
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Implied; there are several references to her ability to keep Kirk from being swamped in paperwork, and one to improvising with a phaser when the food systems won't provide hot coffee.
- Ms. Fanservice: The original media package described her as having "a strip queen's figure that a uniform can't hide." Not that those uniforms hide much, but whatever.
- Satellite Character: With the exception of "The Man Trap," where she hangs around with Sulu for a large part of the episode, and "Charlie X," where she's the unwanted focus of Charlie's attraction until he (temporarily) zaps her out of existence, she has no significant interaction with any character other than Kirk.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: She herself is one, to Yeoman Colt from "The Cage" and Yeoman Smith from "Where No Man Has Gone Before". A Will They or Won't They? romance between the Captain and his female Yeoman (note that both Pike and Kirk explicitly complain about their Yeoman being a woman) was a key element of Roddenberry's concept for the series from the very beginning, and it took quite some time (and him stepping down as active showrunner in favour of Gene Coon) before it was finally abandoned.
- Although Rand herself vanished midway through the first season, several more episodes for the rest of the season contain a Yeoman character obviously written as Rand but hastily recast and renamed. (As late as the following season, in writing "The Trouble with Tribbles", David Gerrold had outlined the role that eventually went to Uhura in the finished episode as Rand, before Gene Coon informed him that Rand had "transferred to another ship".) Obvious Rand substitutes include Mears ("The Galileo Seven"), Barrows ("Shore Leave"), Ross ("The Squire of Gothos"), Tamura ("A Taste of Armageddon"), and Zahra ("Operation -- Annihilate!").
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Kirk.
Played by: John Winston
- The Cameo: He's a bridge officer on the Reliant in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- Mauve Shirt: Because he was the only recurring redshirt not played by an extra, he usually had much more dialogue than other redshirts, a consistent name and position on the ship, and was allowed to play an active role in the plot (see "The Doomsday Machine" or "Mirror, Mirror" for examples).
- Only One Name: Though non-canon sources have variously used both "John" and "Winston," both obviously in tribute to the actor.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Contrary to popular belief, he was the Transporter Chief, not Scotty. Like other redshirts, he was occasionally seen on the bridge, though usually he was explicitly pinch-hitting for someone else (as in "Who Mourns For Adonais?" when Spock has taken command and Chekov is in the landing party, and Kyle mans the science station).
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never see him on-screen again after being marooned on Ceti Alpha V, which caused much speculation about his fate, despite Kirk's log entry that they are heading there to pick up the crew of Reliant. The non-canon novels and comics established that he survived his unwanted shore leave on the planet, and eventually ended up on the Enterprise-A.
Played by: Eddie Paskey
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: A common fan theory is that there is multiple Leslie brothers or clones, due to Leslie's occasional tendency to be seen on the bridge in one shot, then behind Scotty in engineering in the next.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: By virtue of Paskey being the omnipresent extra on set, Leslie is seen working in literally every conceivable position on the ship, from medical to security to transporter operation.
- Only One Name: And only referred to by that name on a few occasions. Various non-canon sources have called him "Frank," "Ryan," or "Ed" (the last, naturally, after the actor).
- Red Shirt: The King of the Redshirts, no less, as he has the distinction of being the first Trek character to die and return to life. He dies in "Obsession", yet turns up later in the episode completely unharmed. Paskey was Shatner's stand-in and lighting double, and Doohan's hand double, so they couldn't really get rid of him, and he actually appears in more episodes than Chekov.
Kevin Thomas Riley
Played by: Bruce Hyde
- Ascended Extra: Actor Bruce Hyde was cast as a crewman with a significant part in "The Conscience of the King" without anyone realizing he had also played uber-Irishman Riley in "The Naked Time." When the producers finally realized this, the script was hastily re-written so that Hyde played the same character in both episodes. (The same thing happened with actress Barbara Baldavin, who appeared three times as Angela Martine but is accidentally addressed by other names more than once due to rewrites; figuring out who she really is almost approaches Continuity Snarl levels.)
- Dreadful Musician: "Iiiiii'll taaaaake you hooome again, Kathleeeeeen...."
- He Knows Too Much: Lenore poisons him, Hamlet-style, to prevent him from fingering Kodos as a war criminal.
- Incessant Music Madness: "And now, crew, I will render Kathleen ONE MORE TIME!Kirk: Please, not again.
- Oireland: Got his "Irish" up when under the influence of the mind virus in "The Naked Time."
- Real Life Writes the Plot: The reason Riley never returned after "The Conscience of the King," despite being very popular with fans, was that the actor left to become a hippie. Yes, really. Remember, this was 1967.
Played by: Mark LenardFather of Spock. A distinguished Vulcan Diplomat, he and Spock were not on speaking terms for some time prior to the former's first appearance in "Journey to Babel" (to the point where Spock never even mentioned to Kirk or Bones that they were related). Sarek had wanted his son to follow him in his footsteps by attending the Vulcan Science Academy, but instead, Spock chose to join Starfleet.
- Ambadassador: He's proficient in Vulcan martial arts. Spock points out that he could be a plausible suspect in the Tellarite ambassador's murder since Sarek knows the technique that killed him.
- Blue Blood: Or at least he comes from good family, in so far as Vulcans count such things, and behaves in a courtly manner.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: A cut line indicated that Sarek was an astrophysicist before he turned to politics.
- Happily Married: Though Sarek and his human wife, Amanda, have their differences (as seen in "Journey to Babel"), and though he's culturally inhibited from expressing his emotions, it's clear the couple love each other very much.
- Has a Type: When he resurfaces in Next Generation, he has remarried after the death of his human wife Amanda... to another human woman.
- Jerkass Façade / Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Killed Off for Real: Died in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Unification I".
- Not So Stoic: With a side order of O.O.C. Is Serious Business. In Star Trek III, he's visibly angry when he confronts Kirk about the latter's supposed failure to return Spock's katra to Vulcan. This only escalates when he figures out Kirk has no idea what the hell he's talking about. This is lampshaded later at the foot of Mt Seleya, when Sarek requests the Fal-To-Pan ritual be performed to reunite Spock's body and mind. T'Pol protests that the ceremony is dangerous and its outcome uncertain, making his request illogical. Sarek replies "Forgive me, my logic is... uncertain where my son is concerned."
- Out-of-Character Moment: In Sarek, Picard is shocked to see him moved to tears by a musical performance. This is because he has Bendii syndrome, which is analogous to Alzheimer's in a human.
- So Proud of You: He admits this to Spock in Star Trek IV, and in TNG's "Unification: Part II," Spock learns from mind-melding with Picard that he was even prouder, which almost moves him to tears.
- You Look Familiar: In addition to Sarek, Lenard also played the Romulan commander in "Balance of Terror" and a Klingon captain in the first movie. He is the only actor to portray representatives of all three major galactic powers in the TOS continuity.
Harcourt Fenton "Harry" Mudd
Played by: Roger C. Carmel
- Affably Evil: He's a shameless crook and totally unrepentant scam artist, but he's friendly, cheerful, easy-going, and surprisingly likable, so long as you remember never to trust him with anything, especially anything worth money. Basically, he's a proto-Ferengi.
- The Aggressive Drug Dealer: In "Mudd's Women."
- Character Outlives Actor / What Could Have Been: He was slated to make an appearance in Next Generation, but Roger C. Carmel died before that could happen.
- A third TOS Mudd episode, titled "Deep Mudd," was actually written; it was a direct sequel to "I, Mudd" and would have had him escape the androids' planet by tricking them into revealing the location of a cache of super-advanced devices which then end up in the hands of a band of space pirates; unfortunately, Carmel was busy with another project and the script was dropped.
- The producers of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home also considered having him appear in a cameo as a character witness for the Enterprise bridge crew's trial. This would have been an ironic Continuity Nod to the end of "Mudd's Women," where Kirk jokingly offered to be a character witness at Mudd's trial.
- Con Man: His first appearance is based on his scam to marry gorgeous women secretly modified with drugs to be super-beautiful to lonely, wealthy space-workers for a huge payout. In Star Trek: The Animated Series, it's mentioned he once tricked an alien species by selling them the Starfleet Academy building.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: This gets visited upon him by Kirk at the end of "I, Mudd."
- Full-Name Ultimatum:Stella: Harcourt! Harcourt Fenton Mudd!...Mudd: Shut UP, Stella!
- Henpecked Husband: It turns out in "I, Mudd" that he had a harridan of a wife named Stella; part of the reason he became a crook was to run away from her to the ends of the galaxy.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: By the Stella androids at the end of "I, Mudd."
- Honest John's Dealership: The first storyline involving him is his plan to sell brides to lonely space-miners (after giving them illegal "Venus Drugs" to make them super-beautiful). He'd also been convicted as a smuggler prior to his first appearance.
- Loveable Rogue: He's a money-grubber and irresponsible, but he's affable and rarely trying to commit "truly evil" crimes.
- Recurrer: He holds the distinction of being the only non-Starfleet character in the entire series to appear in more than one episode.
- The Trickster: He tries to be one, but he...doesn't really succeed at it. At least, not when he crosses Kirk's path.
Khan Noonien Singh
Played by: Ricardo Montalban
"Social occasions are only warfare concealed."A 20th-century genetically-engineered tyrant who ruled a quarter of the world in the 1990s. As his fellow "supermen" (or Augments) were overthrown, Khan and roughly 80 of his followers launched themselves into space in cryogenic sleep before being found by Kirk. With his weakness being his ambition, Khan then tried to seize control of the Enterprise with the help of Maria McGivers, the Enterprise ship historian whom he managed to seduce. It failed thanks to the crew's opposition and an attack of conscience from McGivers. Kirk then exiled Khan, his followers, and Maria to a remote but hospitable planet as an act of mercy, giving them the chance to build a new society. Unfortunately, not long afterwards, the planet suffered a catastrophic ecological disaster and, being completely forgotten by Kirk, Khan grew vengeful toward the man who cast judgement on him...
- Absolute Cleavage: A Rare Male Example, his pecs are well displayed.
- Affably Evil: In his first appearance, Khan's pretty charming, polite, and a bit of a rogue, just like Kirk. However, come Wrath of Khan and Khan is just losing it.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Khan's death can be seen as pretty tragic, given all he's lost and his inability to control his desire for revenge. One has to wonder what was going through his mind during his final moments.
- Ambiguously Brown: He's a genetically-augmented human from some point in the late 20th century. Culturally, he a North Indian Sikh, but as he is also a genetically-engineered human, his DNA could contain many different genetic traits (his Mexican accent, however, is difficult to explain).
- Arch-Enemy: More than a hundred years later, Spock would credit him as being "the most dangerous adversary the Enterprise ever faced."
- Awesome McCoolname: You can't go wrong with a name like "Khan."
- Been There, Shaped History: Given that "Space Seed" states Khan lived in the late 20th century and "it's 2001 and Khan wasn't on the cover of People magazine," two novels titled The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh tries to explain that the Eugenic Wars was some sort of Secret History. Among Khan's achievements are fighting the USSR alongside Afghanistan, causing a plane crash that killed the leader of the Pakistan's military government, and opening a hole in the ozone layer (and in a kind of Actor Allusion, his hideout is an island in the French Polynesia).
- Bread and Circuses: His ruling style back when he was a dictator over a fourth of Earth, at least compared to his competitors, which was enough to give him a legacy as "the best of tyrants." Notably, there were no massacres under his rule, and he didn't involve himself in the Eugenics Wars until after his territory was attacked. On the other hand, the people under his rule were reduced to subjects with few freedoms.
- Breakout Villain: Originally just a Villain of the Week. Ever since Wrath of Khan, he's arguably the most highly-regarded villain in the entire franchise.
- Classic Villain: Khan represents a nice combo of Pride and Wrath.
- Control Freak: Khan demands absolute obedience from everything. While some of his followers can object, none of them will sway him from his course.
- Damned by Faint Praise: He is seen as "the best of tyrants" in regards to the Eugenic Wars.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: A fan of Moby-Dick, Khan sees himself as Captain Ahab and Kirk as his White Whale. Khan seemed to have forgotten how Ahab's quest for vengeance ended. Not with self destruction; he understands and accepts that, but with the fact that Ahab didn't even get a chance to make sure he succeeded.
- The Dreaded: Even a century after his death, Starfleet is still fucking terrified of him. It's outright said that the main reason the Federation still has a No Transhumanism Allowed policy in the DS9 era is because they're scared of a new Khan rising from the ashes. His reputation even extends into a new timeline: When young Spock asks for information about Khan, Spock breaks his own oath not to tell him about the future to warn him about how dangerous Khan is, outright saying that he's the most dangerous enemy the Enterprise ever faced.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: While he started manipulating Maria McGivers to betray Starfleet as a tool to escape, he came to passionately love her after she joined him in exile. He forgave her betrayal of him to her old crew, and she ruled as his queen. Her death on Ceti Alpha V—more than that of his other loyal followers—is what drives the man who once conquered a quarter of Earth.
- Evil Overlord: Back in the day, anyway. He tries to give it another go in "Space Seed" but is thwarted and offered the opportunity of becoming one to an abandoned planet. But when the planet unexpectedly suffers a catastrophe that devastates him and his followers he settles on a simpler motive.
- Faux Affably Evil: Becomes one in The Wrath Of Khan, blinded by his desire to get revenge on Kirk. That doesn't undermine his intelligence, though.
- Genius Bruiser: A Superhuman with immensely powerful physical and mental capabilities.
- Hero Killer: He was directly responsible for Spock's death in the third movie. Hard to fit the Trope more plainly when you've done that.
- Karma Houdini: He was this In-Universe for his crimes during the Eugenics Wars. While all the other superhumans were implied to have been killed or imprisoned, Khan managed to escape on the Botany Bay. Even when he's later released by the Enterprise crew, there's no serious talk of putting him on trial and he's eventually given a whole planet of his own to rule. Then Ceti Alpha VI exploded, depriving Khan of his beloved wife and sentencing him to a hellish existence on a Death World.
- No Shirt, Long Jacket: In the movie (though the jacket is quite damaged), to show off Montalban's great shape.
- No Transhumanism Allowed: In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, it's explained that Khan is the reason the Federation prohibits genetic modification or engineering.
- Pride: He has oodles of it.
- Remember the New Guy: In both Star Trek Into Darkness and his debut episode Space Seed, each set in different continuities, Khan Noonien Singh is established to be a genetically / eugenically engineered Ubermenschen despot from the late 20th / early 21st century- the most prominent of several in fact-, who ruled various nations across the globe and who partook in a destructive global conflict known as the Eugenics Wars. Despite this, nobody on the crew of the Enterprise has even heard his name (including the ship's historian), and they are only vaguely aware of what must have been a fairly major era in world history. Especially noticeable since they seem fairly knowledgable of several other historical figures, yet the guy who sounds like he was a latter-day Napoleon or Julius Caesar is a mystery to them.
- Revenge Before Reason: He will do anything to kill Kirk, no matter how self-destructive. Even when Kirk is clearly baiting him into an obvious trap, Khan seems physically incapable of resisting the urge to roar into it, so fervent is his hatred.
- Revenge Myopia: Khan ignores Chekov's observation that he attacked Kirk after the latter had taken in him and his crew.
- Rule of Symbolism: Much of the conflict between Kirk and Khan plays out like Paradise Lost, with Kirk as God and Khan as Lucifer. Khan even lampshades this in "Space Seed."
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He and his cryogenically-frozen followers, in the episode "Space Seed." And again in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, when he's abandoned on Ceti Alpha V (which the crew of the Reliant mistake for Ceti Alpha VI after a natural disaster alters its orbit and destroys its environment).
- Social Darwinist: Khan is this, full-stop.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: In Wrath, at least regarding Kirk and all collateral damage.Khan: I've done far worse than kill you. I've hurt you... and I wish to go on hurting you.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: He and his wife, a crewman on the Enterprise who suffered from Heel–Face Revolving Door Syndrome.
- Tragic Villain: Sort of. While there's little to be sympathetic about Khan due to his lust for power, the main motive for his desire to get revenge on Kirk isn't any less tragic. The deaths of many of his loved ones, including his wife, were beyond his control. You can't help but feel just a little sorrow for all of Khan's losses.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Kirk and co find a stasis ship just in the nick of time, as Khan's own capsule is about to fail, revive him and his followers, and treat him with frankly undue courtesy given who he is—so Khan decides to steal his ship. Then Khan resents Kirk leaving him and his people on Ceti Alpha V, even though that was more lenient than taking him back to Earth, where he would have been prosecuted as a war criminal.
- Visionary Villain:
- Justifies his quest for World Domination as an attempt to unify humanity during a time of war.
- Subverted by the movie, in which it becomes abundantly clear he isn't as interested in conquering as he is in killing one man over a grudge.
- Wicked Cultured: His Famous Last Words come from Moby-Dick, he mentions Paradise Lost before Kirk exiles him, and the Botany Bay appears to have other classic books. Part of his obsession with Moby-Dick in particular seem to be because it seems that Khan was stuck on Ceti Alpha V with only a handful of books to read, leading him to read them over and over again.
- Young Conqueror: Both Expanded Universe versions of his Origin Story (the 2001 novels by Greg Cox and the 2014 comic book tying in to Star Trek Into Darkness) place him as being either in his early or late 20's during the Eugenics Wars. The novels indicate that faster-than-normal maturation is part of his genetic modifications.
Played by: John ColicosThe main antagonist of "Errand of Mercy" and Kirk's first Klingon opponent. Technically he isn't Star Trek's first Klingon since several troopers are seen before him, but he is the primary Klingon in the episode which introduces the race. He returned in one episode of The Animated Series, three episodes of Deep Space Nine (undergoing a Heel–Face Turn with the rest of the Klingons), and more novels and comics than you can shake a stick at.
- Affably Evil: Despite intending to execute Kirk once he discovers his identity, he has a drink with him first and is generally hard to dislike.
- Enemy Mine: When the Organians demonstrate their powers and use nonlethal force on both sides, Kor is quick to whisper to Kirk that they should team up to take them on.
- Evil Counterpart: Like Kirk, Kor is a senior field officer, but with the military dictatorship of the Klingon Empire rather than the democracy of the Federation.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Kor's control of Organia involves restriction of personal freedoms, mass executions, and constant surveillance.
- Not So Different: Kor tries to pull one of these on Kirk, saying they are both warriors on a world of cowards. However, he is horrified when the Organians pull one on him and say one day humans and Klingons will be friends.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Unlike many TOS Klingons, Kor does seem to embody this trope.
- Small Role, Big Impact: John Colicos played Kor only once on TOS before reprising the role decades later on DS9, but his Genghis Khan-inspired performance set the standard for all Klingons.
- Yellow Peril: Kor's look was based on Genghis Khan.
Harmless little fuzzballs featured in three episodes — "The Trouble with Tribbles" (TOS), "More Tribbles, More Troubles" (TAS), and "Trials and Tribble-ations" (DS9); and cameos in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek (2009), and Star Trek Into Darkness.
Played by: Gary LockwoodThe antagonist of "Where No Man Has Gone Before." Mitchell was Kirk's best friend until an accident during a trip to the edge of the galaxy gave him extra-sensory perception and psionic powers, leading him to believe that he was becoming a god.
- Anti-Villain: At first. His initial acts of villainy are simply attempts to stop Kirk and Spock from killing him out of fear for his power. He gradually becomes more evil over the course of the episode and by the end he's left this trope far behind.
- A God Am I: He frequently refers to himself as such.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: The end of the pilot does give the crew a little time to grieve over him, but he's never mentioned again (the for-some-time-ambiguous canonicity probably didn't help), with his role as Kirk's close trusted friend getting transplanted onto Spock and McCoy (in fact, some fans watching the pilot get the impression that Mitchell was supposed to be first officer before Spock).
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: After the accident, his eyes start to glow silver. His eyes return to normal when he's injured or is otherwise prevented from using his powers.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He is killed when he is crushed by rocks while standing in the grave he created for Kirk.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Prior to his transformation.
- Power Echoes: He eventually gains this.
- The Stoic: He quickly loses all traces of emotion.
- Tragic Monster: As Kirk says, Mitchell never wanted this to happen to him.
- Übermensch: He believes that he has become a higher being who is destined to change mankind forever.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Despite being best of friends with Kirk for years, Mitchell never gets mentioned again in subsequent episodes or the films. Mind you, some show and character development establish Spock and Bones as Kirk's best friends on the ship, and Mitchell becomes more or less a villain of the week.
The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
The most powerful armed ship in the Starfleet, and the main method of transit for the entire cast. Alongside Kirk and Spock, she appears in every episode of the series, and is very often regarded as a character in her own right, both in and out of universe.
- Boring, but Practical: Unlike her predecessor or successor, this Enterprise is not the most advanced ship in the fleet, but rather is just one of the normal workhorse ships Starfleet has in service. That said, she repeatedly shows why the Constitution-class ships remain in service so long by being able to do just about anything Starfleet needs, from science missions to front line combat. With the right crew, she even manages to upstage the ship that was designed to replace her!
- Companion Cube: She's like a wife to Kirk and a daughter to Scotty, but everyone on the crew seems to have a certain fondness for the old girl... even Spock.
- Cool Starship: The Trope Codifier.
- Heroic Sacrifice: During Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Note that she was destroyed as part of a (successful) attempt to rescue Spock, who had done the same thing in order to save her (and all hands) in the previous film.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Enterprise is portrayed to be both very fast and extremely powerful in battle. Thanks to Deflector Shields, she can also temporarily become nearly impervious to enemy fire, but at a high power cost.
- Orbital Bombardment: It's mentioned more than once that the Enterprise can destroy a planet's entire surface from orbit.
- Point Defenseless: Averted. The Enterprise's phasers can shoot down missiles with great accuracy.
- Macross Missile Massacre: More subdued than most examples, the Enterprise can fire up to six Photon Torpedoes at a target in rapid succession without needing to reload.
- Self-Destruct Mechanism: She has one. Kirk activates it twice. The first time, it was a bluff and he calls it off in the nick of time. The second time...