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It's been a long road, getting from TOS to here...Star Trek: Enterprise is the fourth Spin-Off of the long-running Star Trek franchise, and the first of the spinoffs not to go seven seasons. It ran from 2001-2005.A prequel series set in the 22nd century, about 100 years before Star Trek: The Original Series. Captain Jonathan Archer commands a new warp-5 starship, Enterprise (NX-01), seeking out new life and new civilizations. The key selling point of this series was that space travel was not as casual as it became later in the chronology. Most humans have never even left Earth and those who have rarely made it out of Earth's solar system. Unlike the other modern Trek series, these characters were prone to swear and walk around in their underwear. The series only lasted four seasons, making it the shortest lived Star Trek series since the animated series, and the shortest-lived live-action series in the franchise other than the original.The first and second seasons dealt with exploration. The Enterprise was the first human ship to reach warp 5, and was therefore the first ship to visit many of the worlds explored in these seasons. Some episodes featured the crew encountering phenomena that Star Trek fans would be familiar with, but the characters wouldn't. The temporal cold war arc was also introduced during this time. Factions in the future were using time travel technology to manipulate the time stream in their favour. This plot was forced on the writers through Executive Meddling, so it unfortunately just pops up from time to time before finally being terminated the second the executives let them in season four. During season two, there was a sharp decline in viewer-ship which led to a retool for season three.To lead into the third season, an alien race called the Xindi attacked Earth because of an unknown element of the Temporal Cold War arc. Enterprise was refitted into a more efficient battleship and sent to a chaotic region of space called the Expanse to either stop further attacks against Earth or enter negotiations. The entire season dealt with the imminent war and moral compromises the crew had to make, while ignoring the original arc featuring the Suliban.At the start of Season 4 most of the writing staff was replaced and a new head writer, Manny Coto, was put in charge. This resulted in significant changes. Instead of a season-long Arc, most stories were spread over 2 or 3 episodes at a time. Sometimes these mini-arcs would carry over to a later mini-arc. First and foremost, the season dealt with the ramifications of the Xindi attack, with many humans becoming violently xenophobic. But likely the most popular arc was one dealing with social reform on Vulcan, which was a piercing look into their culture that hadn't been done since the original series.Sadly, Paramount had no serious intention of renewing the series after season four. The writers had been batting around ideas for where things would have gone in season five (including the Romulan War which is a well-established part of Trek canon), and they do sound like they would have continued improving.We do have a novel continuation. See: Star Trek: Enterprise Relaunch.Theories as to Enterprise's place after Star Trek split the universe's timeline are many. The simplest is that it takes place in both. Others are that the show occurs in the Star Trek XI timeline but not the original timeline (though this is unlikely, as it's a prequel to the events of The Original Series), or even that Enterprise actually occurs in a third timeline. For what it's worth, a throwaway line mentions an Admiral Archer, meaning that it is quite possible that this series, at the very least, happened in the Star Trek time line. Word Of God is that the events of Star Trek: First Contact did alter the timeline of Enterprise somewhat (also explaining the more advanced technology), though whether this actually puts it in a different timeline to the other Trek shows is still up in the air.
Star Trek: Enterprise provides examples of the following tropes:
The Alliance: Enterprise helps form one in the fourth season, in what is clearly a precursor to the The Federation ("Babel One", "United", "The Aenar").
All Just a Dream: "Vanishing Point", "Doctor's Orders", '"These Are The Voyages" as far as the audience is concerned. The novel Last Full Measure'' lends credence to this, revealing the program that was run by Riker to be a fabrication, however novels are not considered canon by Paramount.
"These Are The Voyages..." was a definite downer (and insult to the fans) compared to the brilliant and uplifting end of the previous episode "Terra Prime."
Even if you agree with Archers decision, leaving the Valakians to die in "Dear Doctor" is definitely a downer.
Enemy Mine: "Sleeping Dogs" (Das BootIN SPACE!!), "Shadows of P'Jem", "Dawn", "The Forgotten", "Countdown", "Zero Hour", "Storm Front", "United."
Fantastic Racism: "Stigma", "Cease Fire", "The Breech", "Cogenitor", "Home", and the Augments, Romulan, and Terra Prime mini-arcs in Season 4. Vulcan discrimination towards humans (and, in turn, human dislike of Vulcans) is also a recurring theme.
Space Pirates: "Fortunate Son", "Acquisition", "The Catwalk", "Anomaly." The Klingons have a habit of plundering undefended colonies ("Marauders", "Sleeping Dogs", "Judgement"), and even Archer has to resort to these tactics during the Xindi War ("Damage").
Wrongly Accused: "Detained", "Canamar", "Judgement". You could say the entire human race is wrongly accused by the Sphere Builders; and the Andorians, Vulcans and Tellarites are always suspecting each other of nefarious plots.
Except the Andorians' paranoia was justified in the case of the Vulcans; they really were using a sacred monastery as a listening post, and they are never able to live that fact down.
Aborted Arc: There seemed to be the seeds of a plotline with the Tandarans, a race that had rounded up the Suliban and placed them in internment camps. Archer exposed a Tandaran agent and was drugged while the agent escaped. They were never seen again after Season 1.
Ambiguously Gay: Reed, who never is seen to have an onscreen relationships, and pointedly is mentioned as remaining a bachelor in "E2" on the alternate Enterprise flung a century back in time. Dominic Keating once joked that he intentionally played him this way. However, he was shown having or wanting relationships with women. Named exes included Ruby, Deborah, Rochelle and Caitlin and at least one episode showed him on Risa chasing girls with Tucker. In fact there was speculation amongst fans who had campaigned for a gay character in Enterprise that the powers that be had gone out of their way to make the point that Reed was not gay.
Asexual would have been an option too. Somewhat backed up as Reed is generally the least social of all the crew members (beating out even T'Pol), making it possible that he wouldn't have been interested in any relationship at all.
From what we do see of his onscreen interactions with women (and his drunken admission to Trip that he thinks T'Pol has a "nice bum" and that none of those women to whom he was writing his farewell letters ever really knew him all that well), he actually seems very attracted to women, but unable to form any lasting relationships with them, showing a lot of the classical symptoms of a socially avoidant personality.
"The Andorian Incident": At the end, the real villains are revealed to be the Vulcans, but the Andorians are still the antagonist for the majority of the episode.
"Silent Enemy": The enemy is an alien ship which attacks the Enterprise.
"Marauders": The Klingons are the antagonists.
"The Augments": The Augments are the genetically altered humans led by Dr. Arik Soong.
Arc Words: "Somekinda," "somesorta," and its variants even in prepositions "of some kind," etc. All media has this, whether blatant or not. But it's especially noticeable for rabid fans of all five Star Trek series, particularly the spinoffs. Many of those arc words literally peppered throughout single episodes!
Ascended Meme: SF Debris coined the name "Future Guy" as a sarcastic name for the mysterious leader of the Temporal Cold War in his text review of the pilot. Ironically the writing staff actually took this name and used it for the character.
When he made the video version of the review he was not happy about this, saying "How sad is it when the main villain's name is derived from sarcasm?"
Given that this is the mirror universe, the uniforms are quite likely designed this way for the specific purpose of fanservice in-universe.
Beware the Nice Ones: As mentioned in Humans Are Special, Ambassador Soval reveals that this is part of why the Vulcans are so wary of Humans. They managed to rebuild their entire civilization in next to no time after suffering a worldwide nuclear holocaust, discovered Warp Drive (due to efforts of an eccentric drunk in a shanty-town, no less) and are now on the way to forming the precursor to The Federation. The Vulcans are afraid of how fast humanity is progressing.
While they certainly aren't nice by any definition of the word, Humanity of the Mirror Universe actually somewhat justifies this concern. The technology from a lone scoutship was all that was needed for humans to completely dominate the entire Vulcan race who were centuries ahead of them.
Blessed with Suck: Archer tries to claim that this applies to the human race with his infamous "gazelle speech" at the start of the second season. While his basic point makes sense on some levels, his attempt to paint it as a good thing just comes off as ridiculous. Fortunately, T'Pol then steps in and makes the same argument in a much more articulate way.
Book Ends: The pilot episode opens with a young Jonathan Archer saying "where no man has gone before." The last line in the series also belongs to Captain Archer, getting the "To boldly go, where no man has gone before" line after Picard and Kirk's respective parts of the speech.
In the alternate timeline where the Xindi destroy Earth, the last human colony is located on Ceti Alpha V. The writers openly admitted to twisting the knife that much more - even if the humans were to somehow escape the Xindi, the colony would be destroyed anyways in less than a century.
Broken Aesop: Deconstructed. The Vulcan Mind-Meld subculture and related P'nar syndrome disease served as allegories for homosexuality and AIDS, including the scorn heaped upon the former and the stigma attached to contracting the latter. Archer and Phlox repeatedly expressed their distaste for the Vulcan bigotry related to this issue, but they themselves continually point out that T'Pol, who has P'nar Syndrome, is not a member of the Mind-Meld minority, and attracted the disease through a non-consensual attack. T'Pol eventually pointed out to them that, by attempting to "excuse" her having the disease, they are supporting and even justifying the Double Standard that the High Command has against the Mind-Meld minority.
Communications Officer: Hoshi's job. Her linguistics expertise also came into play because the Universal Translator was still a work-in-progress, it appeared to be operated manually, and given that we rarely see anyone using it, it's possible that Hoshi was either the only one able to operate it, or that it only partially worked, and Hoshi had to 'fill in the blanks' on her own.
Unfortunately, the writers often couldn't find anything to do with her, and so she ended up doing random errands for several episodes. This was not helped as the show had an all but non-existent B-Cast for the first two seasons.
Crazy Cultural Comparison: The crew of the Enterprise causes a faux pas with an alien representative, who leaves in a huff, apparently disgusted by something. Eventually, Mayweather finds out that they find eating offensive. When asked how they do it, the alien explains that it's the same, but eating in the presence of others is a disgusting act for them.
Amusingly, as they storm off, Hoshi translates some of their complaints about "You eat like you mate." Unless some of the crew had also had sex in public, this statement suggests some other unknown differences of culture.
This is one of the areas where Hoshi may have "choked" under pressure: as a gifted linguist, she should be well aware that in a lot of languages, words used when speaking in the second person often double for imperatives. What they were saying, in other words, was probably "Eat the way you mate!" i.e. one should do both in private.
Of course, as any linguist can tell you, idiomatic expressions in any language can be a royal pain in the ass.
While no actual characters crossed over, the Mirror episodes were a sequel to a Star Trek: The Original Series episode, and featured a TOS-era Federation Constitution-class starship, fully stocked with uniforms and quite operational.
Dead Guy Junior: Trip and T'Pol's temporary baby, Elizabeth, after Trip's recently murdered sister.
Decontamination Chamber: Transporters with bio-filters hadn't been invented yet and are viewed with suspicion anyway as brand new technology, so these get used.
Really, given the 'bio-gel' used as a disinfectant, the real reason for this was for fanservice. The decon scenes all features the characters down to slightly more than their underwear rubbing each other.
Depending on the Writer: Characterization can vary greatly between episodes, most notably Captain Archers varying tolerance for Vulcans.
Designated Victim / Distressed Dude: Unlike actors playing previous Trek captains, Scott Bakula was more than willing to appear battered and bruised, until Archer getting thrown in prison and beaten up by interrogators became a series cliché.
Took a Level in Badass later on. In Seasons 3 and 4, Archer's fighting prowess considerably improved to the point where he could hold his own against anything up to a Xindi-Reptilian.
Distant Finale: Doubly so — "These Are The Voyages..." is set in 2370, showing Riker and Troi observing events that took place in 2161 (when the previous episode took place in 2155).
Double Standard: Rape—Sci-Fi: The episode "Unexpected". Tucker becomes pregnant when an alien tricks him into activity which would be the alien equivalent of sex, impregnating him. Played for humor because of the male pregnancy, and the fact that Tucker didn't give meaningful consent is ignored. Of course, the female alien would have had no reason to suspect that Tucker's consent to sex didn't include an understanding of the consequences, as that was just normal to her. So, if you have sex with someone not your species, without having made a study of the risks this might entails (extensive biology classes), you've consented to unknown risks. The alien is very apologetic when she finds out, and didn't think impregnation was a possibility at all. It still doesn't excuse the fact that Tucker was made fun of by the crew of the Enterprise and a crew of Klingons over it.
Dream Spying: Trip and T'Pol pop into each others dreams in one episode, despite being on different vessels.
Drowning My Sorrows: In "Shuttlepod One", Trip and Reed find the bottom of a bottle of bourbon after they're stranded in space facing a slow death.
"The Universe can laugh at us all it wants to; it's not getting my bourbon!"
E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: The second-season episode "Carbon Creek" implies that Velcro was given to us by stranded Vulcans.
Exotic Extended Marriage: Denobulans (both male and female) tend to have three spouses each. Dr. Phlox, the Enterprise's chief surgeon, thus had a total of 720 people he was directly or indirectly married to.
"In a Mirror, Darkly," both the sexual kind and that for actual fans. It brings back the Mirror Universe, the USS Defiant is back, all the women have Bare Your Midriff outfits, Hoshi sleeps around, there's a catfight between T'Pol and Hoshi, and a Gorn is bought back and made into a credible threat.
Forgotten Phlebotinum: Mostly justified. Time agent Daniels leaves a holographic database in cabin E-14 that only is accessed when Daniels gives permission. Archer is probably inclined to not attempt to access it by force simply because it's probably well protected by extremely advanced technology. Not to mention, screwing around with time travel, even simply in the form of an information database from the future, is probably not a good idea. It's still odd that breaking in is never mentioned in season three, however, where the crew is often in extremely bad circumstances, where failure means the destruction of the Earth.
Remember that Suliban Cell Ship that was capable of Warp 5, Cloaking and had a Tractor Beam, that they got in the Pilot? And the second one they got at the end of the first Series? It took until Series 2 before they mentioned they were still trying to figure out it's technology, but still, it seems it was relegated to the Enterprise's junk drawer since they are never mentioned again.
Four Temperament Ensemble: The bridge crew follows this formula pretty much to the letter, with the extra two coming into play as well:
GagReel: This was the first (and, to date, only) Star Trek series to have season blooper reels compiled for DVD release.
Genius Ditz: Tucker. In "Shuttlepod One" it's shown that he doesn't understand simple algebra problems, which you think would be required reading for anyone who happens to be in charge of an matter/anti-matter reactor?!
Talas the Andorian gets an honorable mention as a Blue-Skinned Space Babe.
Handshake Refusal: Sub-commander T'pol does this to Trip Tucker in the pilot episode. Justified in that T'pol is a Vulcan, Vulcans being touch telepathic aliens who don't like touching members of their own species, let alone emotional humans. It pretty obviously doubled as a snub, however.
Heroes Love Dogs: Archer absolutely adores his pet beagle Porthos. In "A Night in Sickbay", he's willing to throw away humanity's burgeoning relations with the Kreetassans when Porthos becomes infected with a virus after visiting their planet. Admittedly, it's not a very good episode but it does illustrate how much he loves his dog.
The Klingons, who in their attempt to create Augments, ended up creating a virus that nearly wiped them out. In the end, they managed to find a cure, but this still left them no longer possessing cranial ridges.
Dear Doctor manages to provide an unusual instance of evolution being both the real life version, and the Hollywood version. The Menk are going to evolve into a superior lifeform to the Valakians, and so the Valakians 'evolve' a genetic defect to make room for them. So that the Menk can evolve due to their altered environment. Basically, it manages to mix evolutionary predestination and evolution influenced by environment into a single plot point.
Homage: In Real Life, the first Space Shuttle was called the Enterprise, with the second being the Columbia. In this series, the first warp-5 ship is called Enterprise, with the second called Columbia; and the semi-canon Expanded Universe materials indicate that the remaining warp-5 ships continued with the Theme Naming (Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour).
Humans Are Diplomats: While this era clearly stumbles occasionally, Series 4 has Starfleet begin to forge an interstellar alliance, even managing to unite the Vulcans and Andorians who have thus-far been at war for centuries. With the Tellarites on side, this eventually leads to the formation of the Coalition of Planets, the precursor to The Federation.
Ambassador Soval and Admiral Forrest had a very interesting conversation in "The Forge" where Soval explains why Vulcans were so aloof and withdrawn to them despite being allies. Vulcans had a devastating world war and it took them sixteen hundred years to rebuild their race. Humans suffered a similar thing and within a hundred years discovered FTL travel, made contact with aliens, united as a single world government, solved world hunger, world poverty and eliminated all curable diseases. On top of that, they had started the makings of The Federation. Vulcans were concerned that they could either be powerful allies or end up like the Klingons.
Idiot Ball: The Xindi's entire goal seemingly is this. So, they want to avert the destruction of their homeworld by humans in the future. Reasonable, sure? So why do they decide to go all the way to Earth, attempt to blow it up, thus setting in motion the events that most likely will cause humanity to become so pissed off they now have a reason they would destroy them? If they had simply stayed put, the future would have been averted, they would likely never would have even met humanity and there would have been no point to go to all that trouble to build a planet-killing superweapon?
The Xindi did not stop there, however. You see, they didn't attempt to destroy Earth in their premier episode. They just decided to test the prototype of their planet destroying weapon on Earth. An Earth who had no idea who these people were, or that they were even out to kill them, alerting humanity to their presence and motivations. Had the Xindi just shown up with the completed weapon, Earth would likely have stood no chance.
The Xindi had been told by the Guardians that humanity would destroy them in the future For the Evulz, not because of anything the Xindi did. Tipping off the humans by sending a WMD to destroy Florida is indeed an idiot ball, but a realistic one — throwing massive amounts of resources into building a superweapon by a socially-divisive people is unlikely unless those pushing the plan can prove such a weapon can make its way to Earth and work effectively once it gets there.
The Enterprise crew in "E2". Thrown back in time a hundred years, they spend their entire time moping around the Delphic Expanse, a lone ship in dangerous territory, and naturally seem to have gotten their ass handed to them numerous times. Exactly what prevented them from attacking the Xindi before they are a threat, forging a powerful alliance with the local races and, as it was only a few years since the Xindi Homeworld was destroyed, going to aid the Xindi their time of need, earning enough points with them that they might not have even felt it necessary to go through with their plan in the end?!
To add to that, Starfleet's mandate was Archer was allowed to do anything to end the threat. While you could argue that T'Pol convinced him it'd be too dangerous to alter the past, we've seen Archer has used time travel to benefit him before in the show, so conceivably this wouldn't be out-of-character. Not to mention, Archer has the chance to avert 7 million peoples deaths, a clear example that "the needs of the many". Even T'Pol couldn't argue with that logic.
Becomes even more strange since they admit to making first contact with several new species, even having children with them! Granted, we don't know if this was after they decided they needed to start having children to continue the mission, but if they'd already changed history once, why not go the whole hog while they were at it?
Archer has the time to head to Brazil to recruit Hoshi as their translator, but never even takes five seconds to find someone capable of operating the transporter? Granted it's highly experimental tech that they don't exactly trust, but you'd expect at least one person on the ship would have been trained to use the damn thing?
For that matter, Archer, you hired Hoshi to be the Communications Officer! Why don't you ever let the woman do her damn job?!
Presumably because Daniels had told Archer about the controversy over a future Communications Officer called Uhura, who did nothing but sit in her chair and repeat what everyone else was saying.
Whenever there's a hostile situation that could incite a firefight, Archer forgetting that he has a transporter and a vast supply of stun-grenades at his disposal, in lieu of sending away teams into pointless danger. Even when he's reminded of this option.
Infinite Supplies: Mostly averted. Unlike Star Trek: Voyager, damage inflicted in one episode ("Minefield") meant they had to pull into a space repair dock in the next ("Dead Stop"). And severe damage in the third season meant that for the rest of the season they spend time repairing the ship but almost anything more then a hiccup and the ship starts to fall apart again. As well, there weren't any starbases around and any damage to the warp drive meant that help was months or even years away.
Inscrutable Aliens: In the episode Silent Enemy the Enterprise encountered an alien ship that did not speak when hailed and soon turned inexplicably hostile.
Invaded States of America: During the Temporal Cold War, intervention from aliens allowed the Nazis to invade the United States.
Irony: Terra Prime are a human-supermacist organisation, which promotes openly racist, highly xenophobic rhetoric, as well as the belief in maintaining racial purity. This is despite the fact many of their members are shown to be from ethnicities subjected to the same kind of harassment, throughout human history. Of course, this was probably the whole point.
Kick the Dog: The infamous "One Night in Sickbay" has an alien race actually attempts to sentence Porthos to death for committing a crime and when its discovered he contracted a deadly illness whilst on the planet, they withhold giving him the cure. Why? Cause he urinated on one of their sacred trees. Granted, this would be inexcusable behavior for anyone else, but you have to remember, Porthos is a dog!
Kiss of Distraction: Archer is undercover on a pre-industrial alien world, and doing some covert work alongside an alien female. When his Universal Translator breaks and he can no longer understand her, he smooches the woman to shut her up and distract her long enough so he can fix the translator behind her back.
Partially subverted later in the episode, where she reveals she realized he was fiddling with this translation device and just went along with it anyway.
Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: Well, Klingon Lawyers actually. In fact, this trope is actually brought up by the Lawyer, who is afraid he is seeing the destruction of his society thanks to the dominance of the warrior culture.
Kryptonite Factor: Trellium-D, for Vulcans, who for the last five series seemed impervious or substantially more resilient to anything that harms or afflicts humans and other humanoids. That, and mating cycles.
Kudzu Plot: Once again, related to the "Temporal Cold War." Even the producers admitted they had no idea where it was going.
Legacy Character: The Enterprise herself. Archer and Shran discussed that both of their ships were named after prior vessels and wondered if their own ships would inspire other vessel names.
The Main Characters Do Everything: In the first seasons the Enterprise lacked a B-cast, meaning that they really did do everything. This includes Archer serving as a nurse, not having anyone trained to use the brand new, notoriously unreliable transporter, and sending Hoshi around to do random inconsequential jobs as though she were an intern.
If you want a good illustration of this, when they visit Risa in "Two Days and Two Nights", the crew had already cast lots so that half of them get shore leave and the other half has to be the skeleton crew. Among the winners? Everyone in the photo on the top of this page, minus the Vulcan who couldn't care less about recreation and would conveniently be in charge aboard the ship. The chances of this happening are approximately 1.3%.*
If, as T'Pol insisted, the draw was fair, we can calculate this as a hypergeometric probability, getting these six main characters chosen (Archer, Sato, Mayweather, Tucker, Reed, and Phlox), selecting 42 out of a pool of 84 (Enterprise's complement minus T'Pol). Now with randomness, you can never be sure, but...
Made of Iron: Archer seems to repeatedly forget that Vulcans have superior strength and stamina than humans. Naturally, his attempt to try and out-jog T'Pol in "A Night in Sickbay" fails spectacularly.
The Mole: Archer's steward Daniels turns out to be a time agent from the 31st century. Malcolm Reed works for an early incarnation of Section 31, while reporter Gannet turns out to be working for Starfleet Intelligence and Ensign Masaro for radical Earth group Terra Prime.
Moral Dissonance: In Dear Doctor, Archer and Phlox are holding a cure to a disease that will almost certainly wipe out one race of intelligent life and, in their absence, force the other (less intelligent, but still sapient) race to evolve (That is to say, die off in great numbers while they slowly get smarter over millennia). They decide to keep this cure to themselves, dooming one race to extinction, and another to the cruel ravages of natural selection, and call it the moral thing to do.
Observer Effect brings this issue up again, where almost the exact same situation is brought up again, where two crew members have already died, and Archer is dying. A pair of Organians are watching this as a study of 'lesser life forms'. Archer asks them to cure them, and even berates them for not saving his two crew members when they could easily have done so. While doing this, he continues to defend his actions in Dear Doctor, despite the situation being almost exactly the same. Apparently, Archer thinks leaving an entire species to die is okay, but leaving him and his crew to die is unforgivable.
In Dear Doctor Archer is not withholding the cure, what he is withholding is warp technology for them to encounter a cure; warp technology demanded knowledge too advanced for them; they could destroy their own planet (not just their own species) if they did it wrong, even with assistance...
Phlox said he already found a cure.
And besides, evolution doesn't work that way anyway, so they weren't just being morally unsound, they were being intellectually unsound as well.
The Mountains of Illinois: In the pilot episode we are treated to Klingons running across the Great Plains of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Broken Bow is a real place in the hilly, heavily forested southeastern corner, one of the few areas of the state that actually DOESN'T look like this.
Trip is reduced to his undershirt and underwear on three separate occasions in season one alone. He even spends half of one episode saving the day wearing this under combo. Of course this doesn't compare to T'Pol's complete nudity...
And let's not forget Hoshi being able to not only crawl through a Jeffries Tube, but also manage to lose her shirt on her way out.
Mythology Gag: There were three major Admirals in the series, Admiral Forrest, Admiral Leonard and Admiral Williams. The original series Power Trio was Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and McCoy (DeForest Kelley). Kelly was the first of them to pass away; Admiral Forrest is the most prominent of those Admirals in the series.
Never Trust a Trailer: Season 2 had trailers for three episodes ("A Night in Sickbay", "Cogenitor", and "Bounty") portrayed as light-hearted, sex-filled episodes. Sickbay was a disaster, and Bounty had the sex stuff as a cheap b-plot. Cogenitor, on the other hand, was very dark, but also critically very well received. "Cogenitor" actually tried to analyze the moral questions of oppression and whether non-interference is the best course of action, and is generally considered one of the few standout episodes from the first three seasons. Its just that fans look back and chuckle at how goofy the trailer looked.
No New Fashions In The Future: Civilians and government officials typically dress in a style virtually identical to early 21st century (that would be now) business formal. Of course, this was kind of an intentional choice to highlight how this prequel series was only a hundred and fifty years from our present day.
The One With...: "Regeneration". Known fondly as the "The One With The Borg".
The Only One: Fully justified for once. When Captain Archer says that NX-01 Enterprise is being sent to a crisis in the Borderland because they're the "fastest ship with the most experienced crew" he's right - Enterprise is the first human vessel capable of Warp 5 (most others are around Warp 2). The NX-02 Columbia isn't available till mid-way through the fourth season, and its most experienced crewmember is an officer who transfers over from Enterprise.
Piggybacking On Hitler: In "Storm Front", the Na'kuhl find themselves back in time on 20th-century Earth, during World War II. They side with the Nazis, offering to build advanced weapons in exchange for the resources they need to build a time machine. When the Nazis complain that the Aliens aren't helping them enough, the alien leader lampshades the trope by bluntly stating that the Nazis conquer countries; they conquer planets.
Planet of Hats: Generally averted with the writers trying to give some depth to each. Most notably, the Klingon lawyer, who laments how the warrior caste so dominates his society.
Plasma Cannon: Used by the Enterprise before being replaced with Phase Cannons.
Prison Ship: One episode had Captain Archer and Trip aboard one of these. The other criminals launched an escape and killed the guards, forcing them to make themselves useful to the criminals in order to survive. It was basically Con AirIN SPACE!.
Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Klingons, who because of the earlier time return to being the bad guys, or at least on much less friendly terms. In Judgement their warrior race status is deconstructed by a Klingon lawyer describing the culture degrading into pure warrior status, which leaves a large hole in the community for little things like doctors, lawyers, school teachers...
And, to make matters worse, they're also forgetting about all that "Noble Heroic Warrior" stuff that supposedly made the Warrior class superior in the first place.
Red Shirt: The crew never suffered any fatal casualties in the first two seasons (despite incidents like a Romulan stealth mine blowing away a section of the hull), no doubt to avoid the 'phaser fodder' cliche. All this changed in the third season Xindi war arc with 27 crewmen killed. The trope is lampshaded in "The Forgotten", when Trip has to write a letter to the parents of a dead crewmember but can't remember much about her, so he keeps getting her mixed up with his dead little sister. There's also two classic redshirt incidents: in "The Council" three main characters and a MACO enter one of the mysterious Spheres, and in Season 4 "Daedalus" Reed goes searching through a dark room for a Negative Space Wedgie with an unnamed crewmember — no guessing who gets killed on both occasions. Deliberately parodied in "In A Mirror, Darkly" where Mirror Reed puts on an Original Series redshirt with near-fatal consequences.
Retooled twice in response to bottomed-out ratings — the first occurred in Season 3 and abandoned the Plot of the Week for a Darker and Edgier season-long "epic" story arc. When that failed, the show was retooled for Season 4 by bringing in new creative staff and focusing the season on two or three-episode long mini-arcs. Although the quality of the show improved significantly (Season 4 is usually considered the best of the show), it was too little too late and said season proved to be its last.
Scary Dogmatic Aliens: Suliban (terrorists), the aliens in "Chosen Realm" (religious extremists), and the fractious Xindi standing in for the Middle East.
Screwed by the Network: By Season 3, ratings were no longer steadily dropping, but they also hadn't rebounded either. Though renewed for a fourth season, the network opted to move the series to Friday nights, which was seen as a death sentence not just by fans, but by the production staff. It's been suggested that with UPN shifting more interest towards the female demographic, they had less interest in anything Star Trek-related. Combined with a lack of promotion, ratings hit their absolute lowest (with several falling below three million viewers).
Shirtless Scene: Archer and Tucker in "Desert Crossing." The writers presumably thought "It's a desert world; it'll be hot." Obviously nobody gets sunstroke or sunburn in the future, and in the present, nobody considers what desert-dwellers wear on Earth.
Special Edition Title: "In A Mirror, Darkly." Even the song changed. Many people prefer that episode's opening credits to the usual ones and ads used the titles.
Spinoff Sendoff: This series is the only one not to be sent off by the previous series, but rather by one of TNG's movies, First Contact, with a recorded message from Zefram Cochrane.
Justified by the nature of the show- TNG got sent off by McCoy, since it was a sequel to TOS. Deep Space Nine started during TNG's run, so it was able to get a proper sendoff from the crew of the Enterprise (NCC-1701-D). Voyager was launched from Deep Space Nine in their pilot. The only way that the show Enterprise could have had one of the crews send them off is through another use of time travel, as it starts long before any of the currently running (at the time) series was taking place.
Stable Time Loop: "Regeneration" reveals Star Trek: First Contact was one. Basically, the Borg attacked earth, going back in time, where several were shot down. Then, they wake up, and send the location of Earth to the Borg. It was estimated to take 200 years to reach them. 200 years later, basically, the Borg attacked Earth, going back in time...
Straw Hypocrite: John Frederick Paxton, the leader of Terra Prime. He at least has the decency to admit to it when called on the fact.
Straw Vulcan: Over the course of four years, T'Pol undergoes a Mind Rape that brings up traumatic memories of losing her emotional control in a jazz nightclub, remembers repressed memories of a line-of-duty killing (that also led to a loss of emotional control), suffers from Pa'nar Syndrome that degrades her neural pathways (leading to loss of emotional control), becomes addicted to Trellium-D (which causes loss of emotional control), and is infected by a microbe that makes her undergo a premature pon farr (leading to loss of emotional control and clothing). It seems the writers believed that the only way T'Pol's character could develop was to take away the characteristics that made her different from humans.
Word Of God says that T'Pol's issues with emotional control would have been "explained" in the fifth season by revealing that her father was a Romulan.
Subspace Ansible: Despite the fact that later Enterprises would take hours or days to receive a pre-recorded subspace message, communications with the NX-01 are all real-time. But they're not as far out, and we do see relay beacons being deployed at one stage.
Surprisingly Happy Ending: The two parter "Augments" episode ends on an unusually positive note. Although the Augments are defeated, Arik Soong (grandfather of Dr. Noonian Soong) is simply incarcerated. But while in prison, he changes his research interests to artificial intelligence. He also remarks that the fruits of his research may take a generation or two. That research, whatever it is, is implied to lead to the 24th century's Soong creating the android Data. This is significant as the episode made no indication that he had fathered any children previously. So it is possible that sometime before his death, he will be released from prison.
Timey Wimey Ball: Much of the Temporal Cold War arc, brought to a conclusion in the beginning of the fourth season and even the characters who knew what was going on couldn't explain exactly what was happening.
Trailers Always Spoil: A frequent complaint of fans was that the promos for upcoming episodes often spoiled key plot details, in at least one case even spoiling an ending. Additionally, going to break within episodes themselves, UPN would air previews that gave away plot details coming later in the episode.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Arik Soong, who sincerely believes that Augments are the future of humanity and in the right hands, genetic engineering could be used to save countless lives. Despite his actions leading to a number of deaths, he tries to prevent causing casualties and is genuinely horrified when Dr Lucas' refusal to give up the codes consigns a fellow colleague to death.
What Happened to the Mouse?: The Warp 5-capable, cloaking device and tractor beam equipped Suliban Cell Ship they got in the Pilot episode. We see them use in again in the second season episode "The Communicator" with some lip service they still are trying to figure it out, but they never seemed in a hurry to bother trying to use the technology. On the other hand, their Mirror Universe selves apparently realised it early on, proving that the regular universe crew may just be Lawful Stupid.
Archer also came into possession of a second Cell Ship in "Shockwave Part 2", so this even becomes even more of an issue of why they never did this.
Well, in that episode, Silik is released from captivity, so one ship's absence could be explainable. The other one, though...
Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Happens a lot with Hoshi, since Archer apparently is content to never let her do her actual job and force her to instead serve as Enterprise's errand girl.
With Friends Like These: SF Debris takes great delight in pointing out in "The Andorian Incident" that, while the Vulcans clearly were wrong and spying on their adversaries, Archer intentionally reveals their spy array to the Andorians, which possibly gives them reason to start an interstellar war. He also points out that Archer seems to forget that, while he personally doesn't care for them, the Vulcans are Earth's closest allies and the Andorians have honestly done nothing to dispel the image that they're the aggressors in this conflict, since they've been literally beating the crap out of Archer since the moment they've met him. Why is interstellar policy being determined by a man, who honestly is most likely suffering a concussion at this point?
You Are Not Ready: Archer holds a grudge against the Vulcans for withholding information on warp technology, so his father (an FTL engineer) never got to see his work in practice. Even though Archer learns that it's all a bit more complicated than that, resentment on this issue is maintained by other humans (one Terra Prime operative mentions the Vulcans' failure to stop World War III as the reason he joined the xenophobic organization).
In the episode "Dear Doctor" a pre-warp civilization is trying to (very slowly) scout out other civilizations that might have access to technology that could cure their race of impending extinction. Archer takes one look at the guys and realizes, much to his chagrin, that they simply don't have the technological infrastructure to build warp engines, so just handing them the schematics would be worthless. Archer has just become everything he hated about the Vulcans.
Artistic License - Biology: "Dear Doctor." SF Debris has some things to say on this (here and here). One thing to add is that if a species evolved something fatal, that is an accident. It's not something deliberate to make room for another species in that niche.
Not to mention, that for the other species to evolve to become more intelligent, they are going to have to be fed back into the engine of natural selection, i.e. dying in large numbers so that only the smartest survive.
Artistic License - Physics: For one thing, Earth-like gravity on a comet, one of the characters breaks his leg after falling a yard or so.
You Keep Using That Word: T'Pol repeatedly invokes logic whenever dealing with the subject of Time Travel. T'Pol, you've met Daniels and seen his advanced technology and you yourself once parsed through a futuristic archive which included a complete history of Vulcan ships that haven't been built yet. You once encountered a pod that is Bigger on the Inside that contained a dead human corpse that had Vulcan DNA, something that is currently impossible by today's science. How can you still deny that every single bit of evidence points that time travel is not only possible, but frequently standing right front of you?! That is what is would be called a logical conclusion.
She gets better by Series 3 however, admitting that it is the only explanation when she gets sent back to 21st-century Earth.
Captain Archer: Dr. Phlox is going to have to perform an operation.
Sim Trip at 8: Will it hurt?
Dr. Phlox: Not at all. You won't feel a thing.
Sim Trip at 8: Doctors always say that.
Zee Rust: The NX-01 actually seems more futuristic than the original series USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). Worth noting that the set designer openly admits that fact is true, simply because real-world technology has advanced past TOS in places, and that he tried to keep it a balance of TOS and real-world modern.
A lampshade is hung during "In a Mirror, Darkly", where evil alternate Archer encounters the missing Defiant from the TOS-era episode "The Tholian Web." The ship is accurate to the old Enterprise sets, and Archer is marveled at how advanced it all looks. He even takes to wearing a standard-issue TOS captain uniform. The original series sets make such a stark contrast from all of the other sets on the series that they're surprisingly effective at looking like mysterious future technology from a parallel universe.
Though even in Deep Space Nine's "Trials and Tribble-ations," the general look of that period seemed to be treated more as an aesthetic choice than anything else. Even so, while the NX bridge looks more advanced, in actual practice it, and the ship itself, are really not.
Interestingly, there was a conscious effort by set designers to subtly change background details over time to suggest that technology was progressing towards that of the TOS era. This is most obvious on computer displays in the episode These Are the Voyages....