Fridge: Star Trek: The Next Generation

  • In "The Neutral Zone," the crew of the Enterprise seems to treat the 1990's people retrieved from cryogenic stasis as being positively uncivilized. This comes across as massively Jerkass until you remember a few key points:
    • The Eugenics Wars would happen during the 1990's. They would be followed by a succession of wars culminating in a nuclear World War III. As seen in "Encounter at Farpoint" and also described in the historical figure Colonel Phillip Greene from "TOS: The Savage Curtain", atrocities would continue until the late-21st Century.
    • When Data explains that television did not last much beyond the 2040's, this could seem like a Take That Me from the writers. But viewed in historical context, television might have died out because decades of war had eliminated not only the broadcasting infrastructure, but even the manufacturers of television sets! Plus, many people had regressed to Medieval standards of living!
    • Picard's overt disdain for Offenhouse's fixation with wealth and power is colored by the knowledge that people like him were the ones that led humanity to near-extinction. From Picard's point-of-view, Offenhouse is all but admitting to being a member of the Nazi Party! The Enterprise crew has nothing but scorn for the 20th Century people's social values because from their perspective they come from a time just before the world plunged into nearly a century of war and brutality because of those social values!
  • In the second season episode "Where Silence Has Lease," Picard and Riker set the Enterprise to self destruct in 20 minutes. They avoid it in the end, but you can imagine all the traumatized parents and kids as they awaited their doom... for 20 minutes.
  • A civilization, knowing death was imminent sends out a probe with memories and stories of their lives up to the end, in the form of a scientists life. Picard experiences a fundamentally altering experience, one that he has good reasons to be emotionally uncomfortable with. But he never tells anyone. An entire civilization died and Picard, an archeologist even, is the only one who knows their story. The hopes of an entire people who get the best possible person to tell their story, and those dreams die with Picard being uncomfortable about his feelings.
    • To be fair, he's a starship captain and it's a tv show. He is incredibly busy and we don't get to see everything that goes on. For all we can tell, he's been writing Caimin's memoires throughout the entire series after his experience. The only hint we get that he hasn't done anything is his conversation with Lieutenant Darrin, and that can be explained by him not publishing much yet. If you personally retcon that one, there's no reason to think he hasn't told their story. It's not like the dying wish of a civilization is pertinent to the show outside of that one episode. He could have written the whole story and published it without it ever being mentioned again on the show.
      • He not only published, he got a movie deal. "The Inner Light" was part of it.
    • Oh course he documented the civilization and his experience! We just don't get to see it all on screen. Honestly you don't have to be shown everything if you're a good and attentive audience.
    • The probe was also brought on board for "further study". Someone else could have watched/experienced it during those studies
  • At the end of "Ship In A Bottle," Moriarty is left to spend his days in a computer simulation. Nice for him, but from Voyager we know that if you leave a holodeck program running continuously it'll develop glitches and eventually fail. So either Moriarty will think he's going insane as the universe and his beloved start to break down... or he'll realise he's still stuck in a computer, except this time with absolutely no way to escape or even to call for help.
    • While it's possible that they might have transfered the portable-holodeck to Federation researchers to study, they never seemed to bother trying to remove his program from the Enterprise in all the years since it was first created. So, we're left with the very real possibility that it may have been in the Stardrive section in Generations, meaning Moriarty would have been destroyed along with the Enterprise-D. The other possibility is that he was in the Saucer section and wasn't salvaged, left among the debris on Veridian III and making his final fate even more dreadful.
    • Hell, Moriarty's description that even though his program wasn't running, he nonetheless had brief, terrifying moments of disembodied consciousness. That this could even apply to any hologram who had discovered the artificial nature of their reality, such as Cyrus Redblock, the people of Fairhaven, and so forth, the implications become downright terrifying.
      "Computer, End Program"
      • What's also fridge logic is that once that line is uttered, the episode ends.
    • Holodecks can break down over time, because they involve a lot of physical elements. Replicators, force field emitters, etc. These parts need maintenance - there's a lot more going on than just a program running. It's not that the "code" is unstable. It's the fact that the force field emitters, replicators, transporters, etc cannot have any physical maintenance done on them while the system is operating. This is why a holodeck, if left operating for an extended period of time, can develop "glitches". Moiarty didn't need a holodeck, because he was just a computer program himself. It was JUST a running program, with no physical elements that can break down and need maintenance - the cube wasn't a holodeck, it was just in fact "extra memory" to give them all the adventures they could want. Think of it as a futuristic hard drive.
  • In "Brothers," Noonien Soong, Data's creator, summons him to a planet and tells him the Data has "found his father". However, Soong doesn't act like a father, for reasons not the least of which was subverting Data's will to summon him, instead of simply calling him. He also states that he was only interested in the challenge of creating an artilect. Poor Data (and Lore) had an abusive father.
    • When you think about it, if Soong hadn't been a dick, not only would he not have been killed by Lore, the events of "Descent" wouldn't have happened. Had he just sent a message addressed to Data, it probably would've gone thus:
      Data: Captain, I have received a message from my creator Dr. Soong. It has been verified as genuine. Apparently he is not dead. He wishes me to come see him on an important matter.
      Picard: Well, you have a lot of leave saved. You may borrow one of the shuttles. Good luck, Mr. Data. Enjoy the family reunion.
      Data: Thank you sir.
      • Given that Soong had been presumed dead for years without coming forward, he apparently wants to keep his existence hidden, though he never gives any reason why. Still a dick move.
      • Because there's no better way to keep hidden than hijacking the flagship of the Federation to rendezvous at your hideout.
    • Well Juliana, his ex-wife described him as a genius and a incredibly passionate man. She never said he wasn't a dick about it!
      • In all fairness (not that I'm defending his actions!) Soong appears to have been getting more and more eccentric in his waning years.
    • Actually, when you consider lines like "I'm sure your starship will be back for you shortly" it seems like Dr. Soong just hadn't considered all the possible outcomes of using the homing signal on Data.
    • However, there are many signs throughout the series supporting the idea that he did care about Data.
      • Soong had wanted to bring Data with him when the left Omicron Theta when it was attacked, but his mother said that there was only enough room for two in their escape pod, since she was worried that Data would end up evil like Lore.
      • Soong had spent most of his time creating an emotion chip for Data so he could have emotions for himself without becoming as unstable as Lore.
      • According to Lore and his mother, Data had a childhood. Before his programming was complete, he made mistakes as all children did, like not feeling the need to wear clothes. Once his parents believed that his programming was complete, they removed those memories, implanted the log entries from all of the colonists into his mind, and planned on rebooting him. However, the Crystalline Entity attacked before he could be reactivated. Dr. Soong kept all of these memories and placed them on his emotion chip.
      • Soong made a specific point to make Data know that he wasn't built only as a replacement for Lore.
      • If you read the relaunch book The Persistence of Memory, you will find out that Dr. Soong had survived Lore's attack and had transferred his mind into a new android body, one that was almost indistinguishable from a human body, like the one he built for his wife. He continued his work, and after learning that Data had died, spent much of his time building Data an even more advanced body. That body was destroyed in an attack before it was complete. He later found out that Data's memories were decaying in B-4 positronic brain. After discovering that all of the android that he had built were kidnapped he engages in a dangerous quest to save them. During the book, he transfers Data's consciousness into his own body and deletes his own personality, reviving Data in his body with both of their memories. He sacrificed himself to save Data.
  • At the end of "The Next Phase," Geordi is eating a lot to make up for the two days without food, but Ro isn't eating that much. Since she grew up in a concentration camp, missing food for two days isn't that big a deal to her.
  • As mentioned on the Hollywood Genetics page, Wesley has brown eyes, while both of his parents have blue eyes. Originally, the writers considered revealing that Wesley was actually fathered by Picard, who indeed has brown eyes as well. While this idea was dropped, there are still some hints towards it, and Wesley and Picard do eventually develop a sort of a father/son relationship... So you could interpret Wesley's eyes as proof of him being a result of an affair between Picard and Dr. Crusher. However, while eye colour is controlled by at least three genes and blue eyes mean you have to be recessive for all three, the colour alleles are not completely dominant. It is possible for blue-eyed parents to have brown-eyed children
  • In "Data's Day," the Romulans had a spy masquerading as an ambassador who gets away unscathed. Who knows what vital secrets she might have brought back? It is brought up in "The Drumhead" later that season.
  • In "Starship Mine," Picard has gone back to the Enterprise and figures he has just enough time to beam back out before everything on board shuts down. Unfortunately, he runs into a snag, and has to rush to the transporter room. He sets the coordinates and the auto-engage, hops onto the platform...and the power shuts down just before transport can begin. What if everything had shut down while Picard was in transit?
    • One hopes the automatic safeties would be up to preventing a scheduled power shutdown mid-transport.
  • In "Future Imperfect", Riker wakes up and finds that sixteen years of his memories were erased, and he may never get them back. Not only that he has a son, and had a wife who died two years previously. it is a small consolation that the whole experience was really a holodeck simulation.
  • After "Yesterday's Enterprise", the alternate Tasha Yar was captured by the Romulans; twenty-five years later, she has an identical, half-Romulan daughter. Sure, it could've been A Match Made in Stockholm, but what about the far more likely possiblity that it wasn't?
    • Possibility nothing. Tasha was later killed trying to escape.

  • In "Code of Honor," why didn't Tasha just agree to be the second wife of the savage, then wriggle out of it later? It could have saved the trouble of the whole "battle to the death" with the leader's wife.
    • Having already tested her martial skills against other Ligonians and knowing enough about Starfleet medicine (she'd at least know that Starfleet can deal with primitive poisons as a security officer) it was probably her first instinct to do what she knew she could accomplish as opposed to try to tackle the unknowns of seeking a divorce or annulment in a culture she's not fully familiar with. She could just as easily be entangling the Enterprise or all of Starfleet in the affair for all she knows if she agrees to become Lutan's second.
    • Actually, Lutan specifically said "First One", meaning she'd become his First Wife, not chronologically, but politically. Basically, Lutan was saying Yar would be his favorite wife, which was the real reason that woman flipped out and immediately declared a deathmatch.
  • In the episode "The Mind's Eye," the Romulans kidnap Geordi and make him a Manchurian Agent to sabotage Federation/Klingon relations. Their plan is making it look like the Enterprise is supplying rebels on a Klingon planet in civil war. Part of their plan, and a minor test to ensure Geordi's effectiveness, is killing Chief O'Brien. In Ten Forward. The most public area on the ship. Did they seriously think nothing might happen to Geordi afterwards? In fact, when Geordi went to Ten Forward as per the plan, Commander Riker was sitting in plain view! "Luckily", Geordi decides to "accidentally" spill a drink on O'Brien instead. The Romulan's Evil Plan may nearly have backfired because of this minor detail.
    • The first time it was just a simulation to ensure that Geordi would kill his friend on command, without hesitation. When it happens in real life, it looks like Geordi just happens to find himself in the same situation and feels compelled to do something, but doesn't know what. Spilling the drink just snaps him out of it. Or maybe the Romulans programmed him to spill the drink as a real-life test that wouldn't draw much attention, but would assure he was still under control.
  • In "Q Who," Q did the Federation a back-handed favor. According to that episode, "Q Who" was the first contact with the Borg. However, it later turned out that the NX-01 Enterprise (Episode, "Regeneration") had met the Borg more than a century earlier, and even managed to signal to the Borg of that time about Earth's location. Captain Archer notes that it will take about 200 years for the Borg to receive the signal, or about the time of "The Best of Both Worlds". Q's little trick was to let the Federation know about the Borg before the invasion, giving them some time to prepare. Picard said as much at the end of "Q Who", not knowing that he had just met up with a Borg cube that was already on its way to slurp the Federation down like a milkshake. Or maybe Q was trying to protect Picard, knowing that without some fore-warning, nobody on the Enterprise-D would be able to rescue the Captain.
    • Or maybe it is the simple matter of the Regeneration episode being a Retcon of established Star Trek canon. Until that episode, Q Who was the first official contact with the Borg. Though there was an episode in Voyager where it was established that 7 of 9's parents did research on the Borg, even though at time first contact hadn't been made.
    • Or maybe there is a connection between the outposts that disappeared during the episode the Neutral Zone and the Borg, like they mention in this episode.
  • When Fajo wants to capture Data for his collection, he creates a problem by poisoning a planet's water supply in a way where the Enterprise has to buy hitritium from him in order to counteract it. And hitritium can only be transported ship-to-ship by shuttlecraft. So Fajo arranged things in such a way that he knew somebody from the Enterprise would need to fly a shuttle over to his ship and make himself vulnerable. But how did Fajo know that Data would be assigned to fly the shuttlecraft? Without that tremendous stroke of luck, wouldn't all of his effort have been for nothing?
    • Because Data was the most qualified in handling the shuttle craft in such situations. He could ensure the shuttle stayed on course and not be scared of transporting the volatile material needed for the job.
  • In "A Matter of Honor," when the crew discover the substance eating the hull, Mendon explains that he noticed it ages ago when he ran a scan on the Klingon ship. When questioned why he didn't alert them, he explains that among the Benzite, no-one brings a problem to their superiors unless they have done a full analysis and can offer a solution. Which is fine, cultural differences and all, but... what does a Benzite do if they've discovered an unknown problem with the warp-core that will cause it to explode? Not bother to mention it until the thing detonates right in their face? How did this race ever manage to get into survive to become a space-faring species without being destroyed by some massive industrial accident?!
    • Would it be too outlandish to suspect that perhaps in the 23rd Century, the Klingons may have had some Benzite slaves working at Praxis...
  • In "The Naked Now," Data establishes that he is versed in sexuality multiple techniques and a wide variety of pleasuring. Its an early episode with lots of Early Installment Weirdness but the stuff with Data and Tasha is referenced several times throughout the series and even gets a callback in eighth movie. So how come in "Angel One" this living supercomputer with vast repositories of knowledge in his head doesn't know what the word aphrodisiac means?

  • Stardates for the 24th century shows ACTUALLY MAKE SENSE once it's been explained. The Next Generation's first episode has a stardate of 41153.7. All of the episodes from the first year of TNG are 41XXX.X where the X's count up from 41000.0 to 41999.9. So so from stardate 41000.0 to stardate 41999.9, one year has passed. The second year and season comprises stardates 42000.0 through 42999.9. And so on and so on. This also works for Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Deep Space Nine began it's first season while The Next Generation was in its sixth. (Stardates 46000.0 through 46999.9). What stardate does the first episode of Deep Space Nine have? 46379.1. Deep Space Nine ran for another seven years. That should make it around stardate 52XXX.X. The final episode of Deep Space Nine: stardate 52576.2, 11 years after the first season of TNG.Voyager began airing about a year after Next Gen ended, in what would have been TNG's 8th season. Voyager's first episode has the stardate 48315.6. It continued for seven years as well. Which would make the final stardate 55XXX.X, 14 years after the first season of TNG. Its final episode has the stardate 54973.4. Close enough for me.
    • They keep up this system in Star Trek Online as well.
  • This one belongs to SF Debris. In "Hide and Q," First-Season Picard quotes Hamlet without irony about how awesome humans are. Q vanishes in a huff. The next time we see him, he introduces Picard to the Borg, and that ultimately resulted in Picard's hate-filled rant in Star Trek: First Contact. Who's laughing now?
    • That seems like an unfair assessment, but then again given the Q it could have been the plan all along.
  • Why do the Borg always go after humanity with a single vessel (or a time travel plot, or a long range indirect missile) rather than just sending twenty cubes in to make sure the job gets done right? Because the Borg don't care a whit about humanity. They stated in "Dark Frontier" that humanity is inferior in almost every way to the majority of species out there. However, they do care about Q. Q protected humans against the Borg before, in the events of "Q Who". The Borg have since then been trying to force Q's hand into interfering again since they desperately want to study and assimilate this semi-omnipotent being. However, the Borg know that they are outclassed against Q and thus don't want to risk half the collective on the effort. Thus, the Borg send in one ship at a time and do increasingly convoluted things to assimilate Earth, all for the sake of getting Q's attention again. Q is fully aware of this, and while he knows what he is doing with regards to the Borg, his son, q, does not, leading to Q's warning: "DON'T PROVOKE THE BORG!"
    • When you think about it, the Enterprise's meeting the Borg that first time set off a path that led to the Borg's eventual defeat. The Plan by Q to remove the only thing that might possibly be a threat to the Continuum?
  • There's been a great deal of head-scratching about the Treaty of Algeron, which prevents the Federation from developing cloaking technology while allowing the Romulans to keep it — why would the Federation would accept such an unequal treaty? Until you realize that, as of Star Trek II, Starfleet can wipe out planets. (Yes, I'm sure they say they stopped working on the technology, but who would believe that?) Given that it only takes one Genesis torpedo to destroy a world, the combination of cloaked ships and the Genesis device would allow one to commit instant genocide on every other power. Algeron wasn't a treaty with the Romulans, it was a treaty with the rest of the civilized galaxy to prevent them from engaging in a terrified preemptive war on the Federation. Presumably, the treaty likewise prevents the Romulans (and the Klingons, etc.) from attempting to recreate Genesis.
    • This also explains why the Romulans and Klingons are never seen using their cloak/warp/decloak/fire/cloak/warp hit and runs with Photon Torpedos (multi-megaton explosives) against planets. They don't want to provoke the federation into retaliating.
    • It gets highlighted in Deep Space Nine, but it must be remembered that the Federation, and their exploration arm, Starfleet, are textbook examples of Beware the Nice Ones. They wander the galaxy, studying gaseous anomalies, playing in their holodecks, and drinking their non-alcoholic synthetic booze, but when you force them to drop these creature comforts and fight to defend themselves, they are terrifyingly capable and inventive warriors, turning all of their considerable engineering and research talents to quickly turning out creative and new ways to destroy their foes so they can go back to their wandering, playing, and soft drinks in peace.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine also establishes that masking a ship's entire energy profile is very difficult. Given Starfleet's trend of making very generalized ships for scientific exploration, not to mention luxuries like the holodeck or the arboretum we see on the Enterprise-D, as opposed to the species that do utilize cloaking devices, whose ships are extremely spartan in design, it's not unlikely to think that Starfleet ships put out too much energy to make the cloak effective enough. If the ship design will automatically negate any advantage of the cloaking device, it's not something that they need, so they're willing to sign away their legal use of it.
  • I always wondered about Wesley Crusher's getup from the first season. It seemed rather casual for duty wear. However, upon rewatching, I figured out that this is probably the cadet/acting Ensign uniform. The three stripes at the top represent the three divisions (as shown on the regular uniforms). A cadet probably doesn't commit to a track until later.
  • Worf makes a big deal about Klingon honor, even to the point of it getting explicitly mentioned in "All Good Things" as something he has but others do not, the question becomes why? The reason - because he wasn't raised by Klingons! He heard all the stories and legends of Klingons, he learned about what they were supposed to be and tried to live up to it, just as we have romanticized stories of Samurai behavior in modern day times. Actual Klingons are more pragmatic - honor is still a big thing for them but it's not as important. Worf, a stranger in a strange land, defined himself by the stereotypical Klingon ideal and as such became more Klingon than Klingon in some ways. In other words - Worf would respond to a challenge of honor specifically because of his own personal honor because that's what is important, a regular Klingon would probably be more concerned about other's perception of his honor and be more willing to let small things slide.
    • This is a consistent part of Worf's character, and it sometimes shows through in his difficulty dealing with other Klingons. In one episode, he tells Guinan that "Klingons do not laugh", and Guinan immediately corrects him. Of course Klingons laugh, but Worf's glorified conception of what a Klingon warrior should be doesn't. In the same vein, he sticks firmly to the ideal that mating must be followed by marriage, but we often see other Klingons taking that idea far less seriously. Worf's views of Klingon culture seem to be either outdated or idealized.
  • I noticed that the Cassandra Truth trope is rarely used on this show. It's particularly noticable in "Cause and Effect," when Beverly hears voices (from a past timeline). People don't waste time talking about how it's impossible, they try to figure it out. Someone getting flatly shut down is an indication that the rejector is Not Himself. Not only is this a subtle but effective illustration of their status as True Companions, it makes sense that, given the weirdness they've already run into, they'd be very open-minded. There have been episodes where they are the Cassandra to their superiors in Starfleet.
    • In the aforementioned example, it's also worth noting that when Beverly starts hearing voices, Geordi picks up something in the surrounding Technobabble field. When two weird things happen at the same time, it's safe to assume that they're connected.
    • This is what makes the episode "Interface" stand out all the more. Under strange circumstances, Geordi seems to have found his mother, and she's explaining how he can help save her. No one on the crew believes him, and think that he's just reacting poorly to his mother's disappearance. They won't even do the simplest thing just to humor him. Of course, the script probably thinks it justifies this by revealing that he was wrong after all, and she was just an alien taking his mother's form to get help.
    • By TNG, Starfleet probably has a manual titled Standard Operating Procedures For Personnel Seeing/Hearing Things Not Experienced by Other Crew Members. It's probably issued alongside Starfleet Guide to Possessed Shipmates
  • Why do PADDs and other screens have such simple user interfaces and why are diagrams so often in basic 2D despite being in the future? Because they need to be usable by all the species across the Federation who could potentially join Star Fleet. Sure, you can design a complex GUI when you know the user has hands, but what about a user that has Tellarite hooves, or something even stranger? And has to have a colour scheme that is readable to a hundred different species version of 'sight'.
    • Also, the displays are almost certainly touch-screen, and can be configured to be as complex as or simple as the user needs. Add that to the fact that you can verbally interface with a starship's computer, why would you ever need a QWERTY keyboard.
  • When one thinks about it, there's actually a good reason why Troi has picked up her Captain Obvious tendencies when it comes to sensing emotions, and why she doesn't get called on it by (for instance) Picard: the obviously apparent emotion is not always the actual emotion. The show may not have given her many moments to show that, but the rest of the command crew are smart enough to realize it. So you have to deal with her constantly saying that she feels hostility from the ranting, raving alien — fine, that means that can influence your actions, rather than simply assuming that that's the alien's emotion only to later have it turn out it was an attempt to cover fear by bluster.
    • Indeed, later series often have mention sensing the obvious emotion from someone, but go on to say they are hiding something else. By this point, the command crew are familiar enough with her ability to have learnt to read between the lines.
    • This is addressed in the episode "Tin Man": When questioned why Tam Elbrun didn't mention something in a previous mission of his that apparently went disastrously wrong, he stated he thought it was obvious. Perhaps Troi is covering her bases - what's obvious to someone with telepathic/empathic senses might not be obvious to someone without those senses. Imagine if a blind person trips over an object in their path, then asks a seeing person why they didn't mention the object. To the seeing person, it was obvious, so why mention it. Troi knows most of her ships mates aren't empathic, so she mentions everything she senses empathicly in case it might be relevent.
  • Lwaxana Troi's behavior, both personality and her constant attempts to marry or push Deanna into marriage, make a lot more sense when you consider that not only did her husband die when Deanna was young, but only a few years before that, her first daughter died in a tragic accident for which Lwaxana blamed herself.
  • The people of Kataan in "The Inner Light" are human because Picard is human. His subconscious gave them A Form You Are Comfortable With, after all, it all happened in a Mental World. Had it happened to Worf, they would have looked like Klingons.
    • They are at least enough like humans to use flutes the same way, though.
  • The war game in "Peak Performance" is meant as an exercise to hone the cast's combat skills against the Borg threat. It foreshadows the events of "The Best of Both Worlds": Riker is fighting Picard, is captaining a starship that is totally outclassed by Picard's in every way, and Riker relies on guile to defeat that superior foe.
  • In "Booby Trap," Picard is shocked that no one else grew up making ships in bottles, and they seem to have no idea what he's talking about. Considering building ships in a bottle is a rare hobby among the audience in the modern day, it's really strange that Picard grew up this way. Then you meet Picard's family. They're old fashioned for the time period the show was released in, let alone when the show takes place. Picard's hobby suddenly makes perfect sense.
  • The anomaly from "All Good Things" starts out as a Fridge Logic plot hole: because it grows backwards in time and did not exist (or rather stopped existing) when Future!Picard scanned its location, it should not have existed later in the same timeline to destroy the future Enterprise. However, consider that the entire scenario is a massive temporal paradox woven wholecloth by Q who is most likely aware of being a television show character. Thus the anomaly itself is in fact an actual plot hole threatening to swallow the entire Star Trek storyline!
    • This was inspired by To Boldly Flee, wasn't it?
      • I don't know about OP, but I advanced a version of this theory when the episode was first aired. "All Good Things" is basically just a dressed-up Grandfather Paradox; there is no way to close off the time loop. Basically, it can't happen. The events we're watching are no more real than the "afterlife" in "Tapestry" — this is all a shadow-play in Picard's mind, and Q's way of giving humanity one last chance to prove their worth.
  • In "Tapestry," despite the drastic change in Picard's life arising out of not getting stabbed in the heart, the Enterprise crew we know is still there, except perhaps Dr. Crusher. Although, because Picard didn't become captain of the USS Stargazer in this timeline, perhaps Jack Crusher is still alive and Beverly is with him on the Stargazer or some other ship.
    • There is a reason everyone except Picard is the same. Q. Q promised him that if he changed the past, *nothing but him would change*. Picard was reluctant to change anything before this, because of the various impacts he had had in his life. But Q basically said "don't worry, I'll make it so that if you change things only you will change, nobody else". Q has godlike power over spacetime, so he has the ability to make that happen.
  • In "Deja Q," nobody believes Q when he tells them that he's been banished from the Q continuum and stripped of all his powers, seeking refuge aboard the Enterprise. But in his last appearance in "Q Who", Q also made the claim that he'd been banished, before introducing everyone to the Borg in an incident that left at least 18 crewmen dead. So it's entirely understandable why they don't believe him this time.
  • Q's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Picard in "All Good Things...," among other lines, makes more sense when you interpret it as the complaints of more cynical Trekkies and critics who doubted whether TNG could carry on TOS's legacy, or thought the show had become stale by this point.
    Q: The trial never ended, Captain. We never reached a verdict, but now we have. You're guilty.
    Picard: Guilty of what?
    Q: Of being inferior. Seven years ago, I said we'd be watching you, and we have been—hoping that your ape-like race would demonstrate some growth, give some indication that your minds had room for expansion. But what have we seen instead? You worrying about Commander Riker's career, listening to Counselor Troi's pedantic psychobabble, indulging Data in his witless exploration of humanity.
    Picard: We've journeyed to countless new worlds. We've contacted new species. We have expanded our understanding of the universe.
    Q: In your own paltry, limited way. You have no idea how far you still have to go. But instead of using the last seven years to change and to grow, you have squandered them.
    Picard: We are what we are, and we're doing the best we can. It is not for you to set the standards by which we should be judged!
    Q: Oh, but it is, and we have. Time may be infinite, Captain, but our patience is not! It's time to put an end to your trek through the stars, make room for other more worthy species.
  • In "The Outcast," the J'naii flip human phobias (homophobia, transphobia) by being genderless/sexless and forbidding gender and sex. But when you consider the etymology of cisgender and transgender, they are still being transphobic. "Cis" means "on the side of" and "trans" means "across / beyond." (e.g. cis-linked genes occur on the same chromosome, trans-linked on different ones) For a J'naii, agender is cisgender. Soren, by being female, is still "crossing" to her non-biological gender and is transgender.
  • In "Deja Q," when Q gives Data a moment of real laughter, most of the bridge is looking at Data like he grew another head. Troi, however, gives a little smile. This serves as Foreshadowing for the fact that android emotions generated or enabled by the emotion chip register on the Betazoid empathic sense. It also means that Data's mirth is wholly genuine. What a nice thing to do, Q.
  • In "Darmok," the eponymous Tamaranian figure's name is "Komrad" (comrade) spelled backwards, very appropriate given the theme of the episode.
  • By the fourth season of TNG, Riker was actively turning down a promotion to captain and his own command, yet somehow he stays a Commander and First Officer for almost a decade after Generations. It seems like ignoring continuity to keep him around for the movies, until you remember that Riker was in command of the Enterprise-D when it was destroyed. Losing the Federation's flag ship is the sort of thing that sets your career back a decade or two.
    • A bit harsh though. Saves Earth and maybe the entire Federation from the Borg that destroyed 39 Starfleet ships in "The Best of Both Worlds," no promotion. Loses one ship, stays Commander for 10 years.
    • Which is why he wasn't reduced in rank, and received a posting to the new Enterprise. Also, you have to consider he made several blunders during the battle in Generations and he had at least one powerful enemy in Starfleet Command (Captain Jellico, who may well have been an admiral by that time). So, the end result is a wash for Riker and he ends up waiting eight years to get his own command.
    • He's turning down promotions because he LIKES his role as First Officer. Think back to the pilot. Riker states flat out the Captain's job is to stay on the ship and command from there, as he's too important for away missions. Using that philosophy, Riker gets to be Kirk — running around on alien worlds, making out with alien chicks, getting in phaser fights in caves, etc. If he took a promotion, he'd be stuck on the bridge while HIS XO got to run around, doing all the fun stuff.
    • The end of Generations makes no secret of Riker's ambitions: "I always thought I'd have a crack at that chair one day." "That chair" being the captain's chair from the destroyed Enterprise-D, which he's looking at as he says this. He figures it'll be easier for him to get there from the seat on Picard's right instead of from the Captain's chair on another ship.
    • There may be another reason: Starfleet Command expressed doubts concerning Picard and the Borg as late as the movie "First Contact". If they leave Riker as first officer, they leave an experienced officer with a proved ability to command, intimate knowledge of the Enterprise, a history of speaking up when he thinks something is wrong, and the trust of Picard, just in case anything "hinky" happens with Picard. The events of "First Contact", as well as the events in "Voyager" concerning the Borg, give Starfleet Command enough confidence in Picard by "Nemesis" for them to offer Riker his own command. This time, he accepts, with Troi by his side.
  • It occurred to me that the last time Riker accepted a promotion, which took him elsewhere was on Betazed, and he left Deanna Troi behind, something he expresses regret for. Now that they're on the same ship, he doesn't want to take a promotion because he doesn't want to repeat his mistake. When does he take the promotion? Only after he and Troi are wed.
  • I'd also point out that three of those command offers came out before word of the Pegasus incident got out, which, as Picard said, would probably hurt Riker's reputation. Admittedly, however, with all the attrition that surely happened during the Dominion War, he probably still should've been made a captain.
  • In the TNG episode "Samaritan Snare," Picard recounts to Wesley how he got into a fight with Nausicaans, only to get stabbed through the heart. He remembers looking at his wound and laughing for some reason. SF Debris theorizes that it's because when Q lets Picard relive that scenario during "Tapestry" (after making himself worse off earlier), he's laughing because he knows everything's in order once again. Even if he's going to die in the future, he's going to die as a person who actually did something with his life.
  • The first time I saw "Datalore," I dismissed part of the plot as just "Wesley is right but gets ignored because he's a kid". I saw it again recently and realized that there's a lot more going on. The first time Wesley gets yelled at, they do listen to what he says (Riker goes to check his theory, and finds some evidence that he's wrong); the reason he gets hassled is that how he said it was unacceptably rude—not a small deal in a quasimilitary organization like Starfleet. The second time (the infamous "Shut up, Wesley!" scene), if you look closely at Picard's face (and consider that right after that scene, he sends security to arrest "Data", who—as Wesley realized first—has been replaced by his evil twin), you can see that he's figuring everything out for himself. Meanwhile, this annoying kid is talking and talking while he's trying to think and not telling him anything he doesn't know. "Shut up, Wesley" is not an instance of Adults Are Useless—it's an instance of Stop Helping Me!.
  • Just now re-watching the season three episode "The Price," it dawned on me that Troi, upon asking the computer for a nutritionally void comfort-food sundae before reading a series of letters from her overbearing mother, receives a snarky, passive-aggressive talking-to from the computer in response. The computer is voiced by Majel Barrett, who also plays Troi's mom. Perfect.
    • There was one instance where Troi's Mother actually wonders aloud about the computer's voice.
  • Here's a wacky fan theory that some of the writers have actually commented on its unlikeliness (but likewise never refuted it outright): In the episode "Yesterday's Enterprise," there is a highly militarized version of Starfleet in a losing war with the Klingons. Then it hit me: "Yesterday's Enterprise" actually takes place in the Mirror Universe! At the end of the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror", Kirk leaves goatee-Spock with the objective of overthrowing the Terran Empire and setting up a more Federation-like government, which in DS9 we find out leads to the Terrans being overthrown by the Klingons and Cardassians (although the Klingons are considered the major partner in the alliance). What the viewers are seeing is what the post-Spock reformed Empire was like prior to being overrun by the Klingons.
    • While an intriguing idea, it's pretty thoroughly torpedoed by the presence of Yar's half-Romulan daughter, Sela, in the main universe.
  • In "Rightful Heir," at first it feels a bit odd that they cast a relatively short actor to play the clone of Kahless (with Worf in particular towering over him), even though Kahless is supposed to have been the strongest warrior in Klingon history. But when you think about, a lot of the stories of Kahless are obviously exaggerated (or even fabricated), so it makes sense the real Kahless might not have been quite as strong as the legends make him out to be.
    • In addition, it's not guaranteed (from what this troper remembers) that the clone was even of Kahless to begin with. Perhaps it's a hint that it wasn't actually Kahless that had been cloned?
      • Given Kahless' history and circumstances when the dagger from which the clones's source blood was gathered, there is a better than good chance that the clone was sourced from Moroth, Kahless' dishonorable brother and Big Bad of Klingon history.
  • "Elementary, Dear Data" is actually all about a problem that would be familiar to modern roleplayers- metagaming (using out-of-character knowledge to inform one's in-character actions). Data does it at first, by "solving" Sherlock Holmes mysteries by using the information he knows about the books, rather than what Sherlock Holmes would have known. In an attempt to prevent Data from doing this, Geordi ends up causing the ship's computer to become a metagaming DM, giving the NPC Moriarty knowledge of the outside world.
  • The Federation has the same structure as the United Nations
    • The Federation Council is the equivalent of the UN council. Each member world has it's own representative/ambassador on the council, and governs it's own internal affairs. The Federation (and it's exploration/military arm, Starfleet) handle external affairs. This would explain, in part, why the Cardassians, Klingons, and Romulans are comparatively stronger and more "single minded" for their size - you're dealing with single races without the layers of bearocracy the the Federation has.
  • In "The Pegasus", Picard is ordered to help an admiral salvage what later turns out to be a phased cloaking device: a device that would allow a capable ship to turn invisible and pass through solid objects. Earlier in the episode, that same admiral dismisses the tone of his earlier comments by saying the mission brought back "ghosts of the past." Now, what is it ghosts are supposed to be able to do again?