Series / Star Trek: Enterprise

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ENTpromo_5228.jpg
Welcome aboard the Enterprise NX-01.note 

"On this site, a powerful engine will be built. An engine that will someday help us to travel a hundred times faster than we can today. Imagine it — thousands of inhabited planets at our fingertips... and we'll be able to explore those strange new worlds, and seek out new life and new civilizations. This engine will let us go boldly... where no man has gone before."
Zefram Cochrane, from a video recording shown in the pilot

It's been a long road, getting from there to here...

Star Trek: Enterprise is the fourth Spin-Off of the long-running Star Trek franchise. It ran from 2001-2005.

ENT is a prequel series set in the 22nd century, around 100 years before Star Trek: The Original Series—though in practice, it worked better as a semi-sequel to Star Trek: First Contact, as hinted by the early appearances of James Cromwell and Next Generation aliens like the Nausicaans, Borg and Ferengi. Nearly one hundred years after Dr. Cochrane's historic warp flight, Captain Jonathan Archer is put in command of the Enterprise (NX-01), a cutting-edge warp 5 starship. The key selling point of this series was that space travel was not as casual as it became later in the chronology; most ships hadn't even left Earth's solar system. Unlike the previous Trek series, these crewmembers were also prone to swear and walk around in their underwear. The series only lasted four seasons, making it the shortest-lived Star Trek since The Animated Series, and the shortest-lived live-action series in the franchise other than the original.

The Enterprise is the first ship designed for exploration, and thus the first to visit many worlds in Seasons 1 and 2. The Temporal Cold War arc was also introduced during this time, tying back into the "Department of Temporal Investigations" introduced in previous Star Treks: Factions in the future were using time travel to rig history in their favour. This plot was forced on the writers by the network—presumably so as to avoid the lack of suspense expected from a prequel series. Still, even the showrunners didn't care for it, so it unfortunately just pops up from time to time before being terminated the moment the executives lost interest.

During season two, there was a sharp decline in viewership which led to a retool in season three: An alien race called the Xindi attacked Earth under the guidance of a rogue element from the Temporal Cold War arc. Enterprise was refitted into a heavy-duty battleship and sent into a chaotic region of space called the Expanse to enter negotiations or, failing that, to stop further attacks against Earth. This season dealt with the moral compromises the crew had to make, as well as coming to terms with the post-September 11th realities of network television.

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. Standalone stories were dropped, more or less entirely. This season dealt with the fallout of the Xindi attack, with many humans becoming violently xenophobic, and a brewing war with the as-yet-unseen Romulan Star Empire (which is a well-established part of Trek canon). But the most popular arc dealt with social reform on Vulcan—a piercing look into their culture, the likes of which 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, some of which are realized in the novel continuation: Star Trek: Enterprise Relaunch.

Ironically, Enterprise is, by all indications, the only Star Trek series to take place in both the "old" timeline — comprising the prior shows and movies — and the "new" timeline subsequently created by Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness, with its presence in the former timeline being confirmed by the series finale, and mentions of the now-Admiral Archer and a model NX-01 establishing its presence in the latter. The third film of the "Kelvin" timeline, Star Trek Beyond, featured many references to the Enterprise-era and the technology used during the series. Though creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga suggested early in the show's run that it took place in alternate universe from First Contact, later episodes disregarded it and slotted in perfectly with the series' continuity, to the point where the Distant Finale took place on Jean-Luc Picard's Enterprise.


Star Trek: Enterprise provides examples of the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes #-G 
  • 2-D Space: Averted for once in "Acquisition". The Ferengi ship approaches the Enterprise from an angle unusual for the series.
  • 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.
    • Phlox was meant to develop a romance with Ensign Cutler, which sadly had to be abandoned after the death of Cutler's actress.
  • 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").
  • Antagonist Title:
    • "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.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    • The Vulcan Science Directorate has determined that Time Travel is impossible. It is illogical to think otherwise.
    • In the Mirror Universe, they've also determined that parallel universes are impossible.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: According to the inventor of the transporter, "People said it was unsafe, that it caused brain cancer, psychosis, and even sleep disorders."
  • Artistic License – Biology: "Dear Doctor." The fact that there is no such thing as evolutionary predestination is the point that no team of Star Trek writers has ever managed to get through their collective heads. If a species evolved something fatal, that is an accident. It's not something deliberate to make room for another species in that niche.
  • Artistic License – Geography: "Desert Crossing" shows Trip and Archer trying to cross a barren, sandy wasteland and suffering greatly under the hot noonday sun... while discussing, in the same episode, having been through desert survival training back on Earth. If they had actually taken real desert survival training, one of the first things they would have learned is that this is exactly why you don't cross a desert that way! Instead, you cross at night, when there isn't a hot sun beating down on you, and rest in your tent during the daylight hours.
    • Trip does bring up in the episode that they were told to cross at night in training
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Target practice frequently happens in the armory, where the ship's high-yield torpedoes and weapons are held. After target practice in "Sleeping Dogs," Hoshi points her phase pistol at Reed's chest while handing it back to him, breaking just about every rule of gun safety.
  • Artistic License – History: The alternate timeline in "Storm Front" makes use of this. The successful Nazi conquests of Europe and North America are made possible because Lenin was assassinated before Red October, ensuring Russia did not become communist. Except that anti-communism was the driving force behind the rise of fascism in Germany and Italy.
  • 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.
  • Ascended Meme: Fans coined the name "Future Guy" to refer to the otherwise unnamed mysterious leader of the Temporal Cold War who first appeared in the pilot and was known only as the "Humanoid Figure". Ironically the writing staff actually took this name and used it for the character.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: They did a Black and Gray Morality version of this for the Mirror Universe episode "In A Mirror Darkly" with everyone being villainous in one way or another. The "heroes" were the Vulcans T'Pol and Soval, made sympathetic in part by their being a conquered people, but T'Pol is shown being rather cruel and manipulative in her own way, and both Vulcans are initially working for The Empire against The Resistance in any case. To make a long story short, they lose to the megalomaniacal version of Jonathan Archer, who's shown laughing and partying with his "Captain's Woman" Hoshi Sato as he celebrates his victory and prepares to take over as Emperor. To keep the ending from being completely disgusting, however, Hoshi Sato gives him some poisoned champagne to drink, and then embraces Travis Mayweather as her new consort in front of Archer as he lies dying from the poison. Later, upon reaching Earth, she carries out what had been his plan, demanding that Starfleet surrender or be destroyed, and announcing that she is the new Empress.
  • Bare Your Midriff: In the Mirror Universe the Enterprise crewman still wear the standard jumpsuits (with added Bling of War) but in homage to Uhura's fanservice-y outfit in "Mirror Mirror" the women wear a two-piece, including a high-cut shirt that shows off their taut abs.
  • 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.
  • Biodata: In the pilot episode, the Klingon courier Klaang carried information injected directly into his DNA, concerning the Suliban's attempts to destabilize the Empire.
  • 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.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Malik must have seen every Bond film, and not picked up on what not to do. He decides to leave Archer on board Cold Station-12 and release all the diseases in storage five minutes after they leave, even after shooting his weakling brother. Soong calls him out on this when Archer shows up alive and well the next episode.
  • 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.
  • Brainwashed: Hoshi (brain parasite), the crew (space babes in "Rajiin" and "Bound"), Mirror Universe Trip (mind-meld).
  • Brick Joke:
    • The Defiant (from the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Tholian Web") makes an unexpected re-appearance over 37 years after that episode aired.
    • 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 with T'Pol's Pa'nar syndrome. The Vulcan Mind-Meld subculture and related Pa'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 Pa'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.
    • A straight broken aesop in "The Hatchery." A major theme of the Xindi arc is that humans and Xindi are Not So Different; Archer has met several who are decent people that are either horrified to learn that they're involved in the deaths of millions or hold serious reservations about destroying Earth. When the crew finds an Insectoid ship with a hatchery, they conclude that the crew pulled a Heroic Sacrifice to save the eggs. But Archer's comparison of insect eggs to humanoid babies and attempts to save the hatchery are portrayed as irrational, the crew has to mutiny, and the only reason he cared was because he got hit with egg gunk. So our enemies are people too... unless they're bugs, 'cause that's just weird. (It also nicely undercuts a general theme of Star Trek: even if life comes in an unfamiliar or creepy form, it deserves respect.)
      • YMMV. Most of the crew was fine with the idea on general principle, but when Archer's priorities got completely out of whack and he became obsessed with saving the hatchery at the expense of their mission (to save Earth from destruction by a Xindi Death Star), started making sacrifices that would leave Enterprise crippled, and began behaving like a tyrant, relieving his most trusted officers of duty and confining them to quarters for daring to point out that his priorities weren't what they ought to be, it became clear that something very wrong was going on. Life deserves respect, but sometimes the needs of the many (an entire planet with billions of people on it) outweighs the needs of the few (a couple dozen insectoid babies that they weren't prepared to care for or raise anyway).
    • In "North Star", the theme of overcoming prejudice and tolerance is slightly undone as Bethany, the only person willing and able to give them any kind of respect and consideration is later revealed (for no reason) to be a quarter-Skagaran herself. As a result, the Sheriff taking a level in kindness and becoming more tolerant is the only thing that preventing this aesop from being completely mangled.
  • Bug War: One of the Xindi races is insectoid.
  • Call Forward: Numerous, with their own page here.
  • Ceiling Corpse: An early episode has the away team board an unresponsive alien vessel. The place is already quite spooky when Hoshi spots its crew strung up from the ceiling, having their blood mechanically harvested.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The space shuttle Enterprise appears in the opening credits and as a drawing in Archer's ready room. In real life, it was named as such because of a write-in campaign by fans to have it be in honor of Kirk's ship; NASA had originally planned to name the shuttle Constitution. Presumably, in the Star Trek universe, it was named in honor of the other American vessels named Enterprise.
  • Character Outlives Actor: Kellie Waymire died suddenly in 2003, but apparently, Crewman Cutler is still alive and well.note 
  • Clear My Name:
    • "Detained": Archer is detained under suspicion of leaking intel to the Suliban.
    • "Canamar" Archer and Tucker are mistaken for smugglers.
    • A Klingon Kourtroom episode, "Judgement", which also pays homage to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: How do you torture a Vulcan? With a neural field that suppresses their ability to suppress their emotions.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Enterprise's phase cannons and torpedoes are a bright orange in color. Andorians fire blue particle weapons (hardly surprising), and any enemy they engage, be it Klingons, Xindi, future-Nazis or even Vulcans, fire green beams and torpedoes.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: A notable averting of the trope; as of 2014, Enterprise stands as the only Trek franchise series to not have had a single comic book adaptation.
  • Commonality Connection: In "United", Shran and Archer discover this about each other, after he inquires about the paintings of the various ships on the wall of his cabin. Archer explains they are vessels from across the centuries named Enterprise, leading Shran to reveal that his ill-fated ship, the Kumari, was similarly named after the first icebreaker to circumnavigate Andoria.
  • 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.
  • Conqueror from the Future: The Sphere-Builders. A whole race of them.
  • Cosmetically Advanced Prequel: Especially when compared to TOS. This is Handwaved in several places with explanations that smooth over the consistency issues with a couple of different theories - one is that the Enterprise is a very crude spaceship with no designer or creature comforts and all the technology out on display, while the look in TOS and other series are aesthetically-minded and designed to make things easier to use and less likely to break and come apart at the seams. This handwave is supported by the "Trials and Tribblations" episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine which directly makes reference to TOS era have particular styles and designs, much as unique architectural styles such as art deco are referenced today.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot:
    • "A Night in Sickbay". Porthos contracts a deadly disease, the NX-01 offends a major galactic power, and the ship is stranded and need of a rare component. At least Tucker and T'Pol lampshade it.
    • "The Seventh". It seems weird that T’Pol's phaser did not have a “stun” setting. The way that T’Pol talks about “the despair of having taken a life” suggests that this was the only time that she ever killed. The Vulcan High Command must have at least one operative better-suited to a dangerous task — particularly if the operative was not going to be equipped with a weapon that can stun. But if she did, there would be no plot.
  • Cowboy Episode: "North Star" took place on a human colony in the Expanse. The culture there is bizarrely informed by the American west, a la "Spectre of the Gun" (TOS).
  • 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.
  • Crossover:
    • Will Riker and Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation in the final episode.
    • 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.
  • Creator Provincialism: Most notably in the opening sequence which showed the history of space exploration - America's space exploration. Yuri Gagarin who? Sputnik? Gesundheit.
  • 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.
  • Delayed Ripple Effect: Daniels says that massive changes in the timeline don't immediately alter the future. Even though taking Archer to the future resulted in immediately destroying the future...
  • Depending on the Writer: Characterization can vary greatly between episodes, most notably Captain Archers varying tolerance for Vulcans.
  • Designated Victim: 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.
  • 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).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "Reed Alert, that's not bad"
  • Double Meaning Title: Referring to the ship itself as well as the "enterprise" of venturing into the unknown and going where no one-ah you know the rest.
  • 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!"
  • Duel to the Death: In "United", a furious Shran declares this after the murder of his lover by one of the Tellarite ambassadors. Trying to save the conference, Archer, Hoshi and Travis figure out a loophole in the rules to allow him to substitute Archer in the ambassador's place and find a non-lethal way to settle the duel, which still respects Andorian tradition.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • "Broken Bow" features Enterprise using a blaster-like pulse weapon against the Suliban. It would never be seen again, with the ship's armaments being phase cannon and spatial torpedoes, and later on, photonic torpedoes.
    • A couple of early episodes would have characters referring to their ship as "the Enterprise." Besides one mention in "The Augments," no one would refer to Enterprise with the definite article. (Nor should they, any more than they'd refer to the captain or the doctor as "the Archer" or "the Phlox".)
  • Extreme Multilingual: Hoshi. We find out in "Observer Effect" just how extreme: when she has nightmares, she cries out in her sleep in several different languages!
  • Establishing Series Moment:
    • The pilot episode "Broken Bow" has a Klingon crash on Earth in Oklahoma and was shot by a farmer with a plasma rifle that has the mechanical behavior of a lever-action shotgun. It gave the series a stronger Twenty Minutes In The Future tone that set it apart from other Star Trek shows.
    • For better or for worse, "Dear Doctor". For better in that it firmly establishes that the rule of conduct we've come to know in Star Trek (i.e. the Prime Directive) do not yet exist in the Enterprise era. For worse in that many fans chose this episode as the point where they abandoned Enterprise and televised Star Trek (if they didn't jump ship with "A Night in Sickbay").
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: The second-season episode "Carbon Creek" implies that Velcro was given to us by stranded Vulcans. Doubles as a Critical Research Failure, as the invention of velcro is very well-documented.
  • 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.
  • Fantastic Racism: A continuing theme of the show, as this prequel series dealt with mankind's initial reactions to new life and new civilisations. Early season episodes include the Suliban being treated like potential terrorists because of the actions of the Cabal, the Vulcans' patronising attitude towards humans (and the human response to it), and Commander Shran — an Andorian who despises Vulcans and Tellarians, and even refers to his friend Captain Archer as "pinkskin". He refers to all humans as "pinkskins" — did he not notice the variety of human skin? In "The Breach" Dr Phlox has to persuade a patient to receive treatment from him as the Denobulans committed atrocities against his species in the past, while Trip's attempt to help a repressed minority in a tri-gendered species has a tragic end. Virtually the entire fourth season touched on this trope in one way or another. Xenophobia on Earth increases after the Xindi attack, radical group Terra Prime tries to make political capital over the Trip/T'Pol relationship by squicking out humanity over the idea of Vulcan-human hybrids (even T'Pol's mother brings up "the shame" that such a mixed-race child would feel). And the whole Übermensch thing naturally comes up with the genetically-superior Augments. And let's not even get into Vulcans shunning those who use their telepathic powers because they spread Vulcan AIDS...
  • Fanservice: Mmm, let's see...
  • Femme Fatale: Mirror!Hoshi becomes a rather unexpected example of this trope.
  • First Contact: Numerous instances, such as with the Andorians and several species only present in this series.
  • Food Porn: A considerable amount of time is dedicated to showing the food in the mess hall, along with the crew eating said food.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum:
    • Time agent Daniels leaves a holographic database in cabin E-14 that only is accessed when Daniels gives permission. Justified, as 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? 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.
    • Just think how much simpler the plot of "Minefield" would have been if someone had remembered they have a transporter beam that has already been successfully used on humans...
  • Fun with Acronyms: United Earth's Military Assault Command Operations soldiers.
  • 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?!
  • Genre Blind: In Rogue Planet, the viewer can immediately tell exactly what's going on when Archer hears an unfamiliar woman's voice calling out to him: it's a telepathic creature native to this world. Archer... not so much.
  • The Ghost: Chef is mentioned numerous times over the course of the series, but he never appears.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: It's implied that this has been going on on Earth on a planet-wide scale following the Xindi attack, with a record number of marriages and births over the next year.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe:
    • In proud tradition...Orion slave girls return in the fourth season. It turns out that they enslave their men with powerful pheromones.
    • Talas the Andorian gets an honorable mention as a Blue-Skinned Space Babe.

    Tropes H-M 
  • 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.
  • Hate Plague: The episode "Singularity" has the NX-01 approaching a black hole for scans, and the closer they get, the more they started to suffer from this. It also contributed to Super OCD.
  • 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.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen:
  • Hilarious Outtakes: This was the first Star Trek series to have official season blooper reels compiled for DVD release.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • The Sphere Builders, the Vulcans, the Romulans and Dr. Arik Soong try to plan to their benefit but end up causing the very events they're trying to avoid.
    • 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.
  • Hollywood Evolution: As standard per Star Trek.
    • "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 Goal-Oriented Evolution and evolution influenced by environment into a single plot point.
    • However, in the end, the small bit of realistic genetics gets overshadowed by Hollywood inventiveness.Evolution (in simplest terms) is the accumulation of genetic traits and mutations passed into successive generations by natural selection and adaptation. In other episodes Phlox seems to understand the fact that as soon as you involve anything external to an ecosystem (technology, medicine...doctors) you are changing the parameters for selection and adaptation, however he doesn't seem to realize how this applies to the situation at hand. What is truly frustrating is that in nearly all other episodes Phlox actually shows a good understanding of medicine and ethics, so this drop into Idiot Ball stupidity is particularly noticeable.
  • 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).
  • Hotter and Sexier: Or at least, it tried to be. Unfortunately it was during its run that the "eww, girls are gross" fanbase and the "SF should have no romance" fanbase and the "shipper" fanbase and the "all romance in Star Trek is childish fanservice" all collided. The amount of gratuitous and really odd fanservice with things like "crewmen rubbing each other down half-naked with antibacterial cream in the decontamination chamber" that just left most people disgusted or really really confused didn't help either.
  • 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. Not that we actually get to see most of that...
  • Humans Are Special: Like most Star Trek series.
    • 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.
    • Soval also points out that humans remind the Vulcans of their past violent and emotionally turbulent selves before they embraced logic. Little does Soval or Forrest know that there's another expansionist species descended from pre-logic Vulcans that fits this description — the Romulans.
    • The episode "Observer Effect" returns the Organians, who study how different species react to a silicon-based virus. It's explicitly stated that humans display more compassion in fighting the virus than any other species that has been observed in 800 years.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Purposefully invoked and deconstructed in "Damage", where Archer realises that in order to reach Azati Prime in time to prevent the Xindi from destroying Earth, he must engage in piracy and steal a replacement warp coil from the Illyrians. In other words, become no different from the Osaarian pirates from "Anomaly" that he so despised. This happens a couple of times in the Expanse, where Archer takes actions that he would never have dreamed of before and would have thought of as completely hypocritical when it was only his ship, crew and mission he had to take care of, but which become horribly necessary when the fate of his entire species (and throw in half the quadrant too) are on the brink of extinction.
    • John Paxton, the leader of the xenophobic Earth organization Terra Prime. He had unwavering dedication to his cause, and was willing to scorch half of San Francisco to make his demands known. Considering this was after a devastating alien attack, their concerns about an alien alliance had some validity. T'Pol deduced from a trembling hand that Paxton had a genetic disorder, one that should have killed him when he was a teenager, but didn't because of "freely given" alien medical technology. Paxton will only admit that he's not the first leader to fail to live up to the standard of an idol (in his case, a mass murderer from Earth's post WW 3 period), and refuses to back down. This fact exposed him as a man who was just racist.
    • Archer's actions in "Fortunate Son" where he tirades against Ryan for seeking revenge against pirates who have repeatedly attacked his ship and nearly fatally injured one of his crew, compared to "Silent Enemy" where Archer seeks revenge against unknown aliens who have repeatedly attacked his ship and nearly fatally injured one of his crew. Bad enough already, but the latter takes place only two episodes later!
    • On a more broad scale, Archer is always advocating open-mindedness and embracing other lifeforms, and yet as the series goes on, we find that he falls into the occasional habit of being suspicious, paranoid and almost hostile upon first contact with truly alien forms of life or humanoids that are very different from the human norm for absolutely no good reason (except maybe his "feelings"), while he is warm, welcoming and forgiving to more familiar humanoids for the exact same lack of reasoning. Sometimes his paranoia ends up being justified by the plot but not for any reason that he could determine beforehand. And this suspicion isn't around when he meets human-looking aliens who turn out to be devious, so you can't put it down to an indefinable sense of "gut" instinct. It edges onto What Measure Is a Non-Human? in his interspecies treatment.
    • Hoshi also falls into the same trap in "Exile" - when a telepathic alien appeals to her and assumes a very human shape, she is eager to meet him and have him help them out, but when she finds out that he is a far less handsome and more alien humanoid, she becomes outright hostile and cold, despite how kind and compassionate the alien acts. Both she and Archer are instantly suspicious and hostile when they see he's not human and both have a "feeling" and then, of course, the plot rewards them when it turns out the alien is lying about his motives for doing so. The key point is that Hoshi and Archer only develop this "feeling" and become hostile based on seeing what the alien looks like, despite Hoshi being incredibly eager to meet him during the time when he was actually invading her mind and appeared human to her.
    • In "The Breach", Phlox points out that Denobulan Medical Ethics prevent him from treating someone who does not want to be treated and that he must respect his patients wishes, even if they lead to their death. Which makes his actions in "Dear Doctor" even more shocking in retrospect, since the Valakians most certainly did want to be treated! Considering that throughout the entire series his upholding of Medical Ethics and his practice of medicine is completely consistent except for "Dear Doctor", this comes closer to a cross between Idiot Ball and Out-of-Character Moment (see Idiot Ball for more), and in fact his actions and attitude in "Dear Doctor" are hypocritical in many ways when compared with the way he acts in the rest of the series, not just in patient autonomy and duty of care.
    • Likewise Archer in "Dear Doctor". When all is said and done, he is quite happy for him and his crew to have the services of an alien physician with advanced bio-medical knowledge to assist them as they explore the unknown and have to deal with the health threats inherent in doing so. But helping the Valakians is "playing God"! When combined with his long-standing complaints about the Vulcans withholding their technology from humanity, it comes across as the pinnacle of hypocrisy since Archer is just fine with humans receiving alien assistance.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Interestingly, both sides of a Love Triangle do this for T'Pol, a few episodes apart.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • An in-universe version: the creator(s) of the Augments enhanced their aggression, ambition and tendency for violence (or in other words, all primal human instincts left over from basic humanoid evolution before higher cortical functions took over) and didn't make sure that their dis-inhibition wasn't lowered at the same time? How was that a good idea at all? These geneticists basically made sure that the reasoning and complicated thought processes inherent in the cerebral cortex (particularly the frontal lobes) that makes humans human (also the limbic system and capacity for compassion) was enslaved to uncontrolled primitive desires. In their Augments they reduced humanity to a primitive animalistic group-society with the added cruelty and violence of intelligent humans and the disinhibition to not control that cruelty or violence. All that their "higher intelligence" did was make sure that they lived in such a manner with advanced technology. Yes, this was clearly the way forward for human evolution and genetic science.
    • In "The Expanse", unless Duras had caught up with them that very second, we have to assume that he'd intentionally waited until Enterprise had dropped out of warp in the Solar System before staging his ambush, instead of attacking them whilst in Deep Space. Naturally, this ambush occurring right in their own backyard means that Starfleet shows up in less than a minute.
    • In "Bound", knowing that the Orion females are emitting a pheromone that allows them to manipulate the men onboard, they decide to lock them in the Decon Chamber as a safety precaution... then decide to post a male guard in the room with them.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Phlox uses this one in "Doctor's Orders" when neither he nor T'Pol—the only crew members awake at the time because plot reasons feel qualified to operate the warp engine: "I'm a physician, not an engineer!"
  • Inferred Holocaust: Invoked at the end of "The Communicator", where to prevent cultural contamination by revealing their alien origins, Archer lets a highly paranoid military power believe that they are genetically engineered super-soldiers from their enemy nation, with advanced particle weapons, sub-orbital craft that is not only invisible to radar, but the naked eye as well! Archer reflects at the end of the end of the episode, that despite preventing them from acquiring advanced technology, with all the political tension on that planet, chances are that they probably made things a lot worse!
  • Infinite Supplies:
    • The constant destruction/rebirth of Shuttlepod 1, the zombie shuttlepod.
    • 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.
    • The alternate Enterprise from "E2" is shown as being even more battle-scarred, due to having spent over a century in the Expanse after being thrown back in time.
  • Insane Admiral: Averted. Uniquely among the other Trek shows, Enterprise had a regularly occurring Reasonable Authority Figure in Admiral Forrest that the crew reported to. Even his Mirror Universe counterpart was largely honorable (going down in a Heroic Sacrifice to give Archer time to complete the mission), if a bit brutal.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • "Genetic predestination"... Star Trek has always had issues with the idea of "genetic predestination" - an idea which by its very nature is a logical fallacy - but in "Dear Doctor" is where the full force stupidity of it comes into play. Basing an entire episode on an idea which has no inherent sense whatsoever does not a good outcome make.
    • Archer does some pretty impressive rhetorical gymnastics to convince himself that the Valakians simply are not ready to handle warp drive technology yet, and won't be before they become extinct. This despite the fact that they have what is definitely a late-21st Century level of technological development and slower-than-light space travel, as well as what appears to be a peaceful civilization. As shown in Star Trek: First Contact, humanity's first warp drive spacecraft was designed, built and flown by a borderline alcoholic living in a post-World War III shanty town in the wilds of Montana out of salvaged materials in an abandoned missile silo! On what basis is Archer casting aspersions on the Valakian's being "ready"? Or does humanity privately acknowledge that there were fair odds that Cochrane might have blown up North America when he tried to launch the Phoenix and they just try not to think about it too much?
  • Inscrutable Aliens: In the episode Silent Enemy the Enterprise encountered an alien ship that did not speak when hailed and soon turned inexplicably hostile.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: Disastrously averted. Enterprise was the only series in the Star Trek franchise that didn't use an instrumental theme. "Faith of the Heart" was poorly received. Many online petitions were submitted for its removal from the title sequence.
  • 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.
    • In the Mirror Universe episode, evil Captain Archer proudly shows off the shotgun Zephram Cochrane used to kill the first Vulcan who stepped onto human soil.
    Archer: I wonder how history would have played out if Cochrane hadn't turned the tables on your invasion force. Humans might be your slaves instead of the other way around.
  • Issue Drift:
  • Jurisdiction Friction: In Season 3, Malcolm sees himself having this with Major Hayes, the commander of the MACO detachment. Oddly, he keeps this attitude even after fighting alongside the MACOs on several missions, including going in with Major Hayes on the kemocite facility.
  • 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.
    • Played with later in the episode, where she reveals she realized he was fiddling with this translation device and just went along with it anyway, and at the end of the episode when they kiss for real and both of them joke that it's because his translator's broken again. She had no idea he was an alien the first time they kissed and he covered by claiming he thought someone was coming their way (they were hiding at the time).
  • 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.
    • Later on a Klingon Scientist - actually a Klingon Doctor - brings up a similar problem, that his house was a warrior caste and his family actually disowned him for becoming a doctor, even when he served in the Klingon Army as The Medic, and that the High Council delegates so few funds to medical research that he was not only forced to steal the Interspecies Medical Exchange database in order to help his patients, but he's not even allowed to ask for help from anyone because the Warrior Caste would see it as being weak, dishonorable and exposing their vulnerabilities to their enemies.
  • 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.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Vulcans refuse to lend Humanity any aid during the Xindi Incident, even though the Earth is certain facing destruction should the Xindi attack again. The destruction of Vulcan in the new Alternate Reality of Star Trek could be considered severe karmic payback for this.
  • Lawful Evil: Invoked by Sheriff MacReady in "North Star", who (initially) defends keeping down the Skagarans because it's the law and chastises his Deputy for deliberately antagonising or murdering Skagarans simply for fun.
  • 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.
  • 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 Man Behind the Man: Future Guy in the first couple seasons, the Sphere Builders in Season 3.
  • Marshmallow Hell: In "Shadows of P'Jem", Archer gets a faceful of T'Pol's, umm...'class-D planets' as the pair struggles to escape their ropes.
  • Mauve Shirt: Major Hayes. Also Commander Kelby, Trip's replacement as chief engineer.
  • Mistaken for Spies: "Communicator". Malcolm accidentally leaves his communicator behind on a pre-warp planet that's on the brink of war. He and Archer go back to retrieve it, and are assumed to be spies from the other side of the war.
  • 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, as almost the exact same situation occurs. Two crew members, Trip and Hoshi, were digging around in an alien garbage dump without protective gear. Before too long they have already died from an exotic disease, and Archer is dying as well. A pair of Organians are watching this as a study of "lesser life forms". Archer wants them to figuratively play God and bring Trip and Hoshi Back from the Dead, even berating the Organians for not already saving them from the disease when they could easily have done so. While doing this, he continues to defend his actions in "Dear Doctor", despite the similarity of the situation. Apparently, Archer thinks leaving an entire species to die from a medical problem is okay, but leaving him and his crew members to die from a disease they carelessly picked up is immoral and unforgivable.
    • As a general rule, if an alien species is more advanced than humanity then Archer sees no excuse for them to not share their knowledge or render their assistance. However, if they are less advanced then "interference" is unjustifiable and humanity is righteous in withholding anything they choose. This would later become a core part of how the Prime Directive would be interpreted.
  • 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.
    • A literal example of the trope is in "Carpenter Street," which takes place in Detroit and ends with a shot of some mountains which aren't within a hundred miles.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Trip took his shirt off enough times to count for this. He's 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...
  • Ms. Fanservice:
  • Mirror Universe's Hoshi Sato, proof that Evil Is Sexy.
  • Hoshi crawls through a Jeffries Tube, but manages 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.

    Tropes N-S 
  • 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.
  • No OSHA Compliance:
    • Enterprise has handrails that could accidentally sever fingers ("Unexpected"), the De-Con chamber is not located anywhere near the airlock, doesn't have a proper seal and can be hotwired to open from the inside ("Acquisition") and the manual overrides to vent plasma fires can only be reached from the outside of the ship ("Forgotten"). Furthermore, the highly dangerous and very experimental transporter doesn't have an officer specifically trained in it's operation ("Strange New World").
    • In "Shockwave", the Enterprise crew are visiting a colony planet that, due to technobabble, is capable of blowing up if proper landing procedures are not taken. This would be bad enough, but on top of that, instead of having dedicated ships and pilots to transport visitors, they just let the Enterprise enter their atmosphere with no more precautions than an instruction manual.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted with the Xindi weapon. They build two prototypes, one of which is used to attack Earth and another mostly destroys a moon. By the end of Season 3, Archer is concerned that destroying the weapon will only result in the Xindi building another, which is why he tries to convince Degra and other council members to make peace. In addition, Degra was cunning enough to encrypt the schematics so it could not be easily rebuilt.
  • Noble Demon: Shran is generally portrayed this way. He's as suspicious, paranoid and ruthless as Vulcans accuse Andorians in general of being... but he has a conscience, and can always be trusted to do the right thing in the end, even if he takes a long, circuitous, and sometimes cruel path getting there.
  • Nothing Is The Same Any More: The Xindi attack on Earth in "The Expanse."
  • Not Really a Birth Scene: In an episode, Dr. Phlox is putting Malcolm through some physical therapy for a leg injury, and it looks a lot like a birth scene, including Dr. Phlox telling Malcolm to push.
  • Not So Different:
    • When Trip rants about Orion slavery in "Borderland," Soong points out that someone with such a strong Southern accent probably has ancestors who had a hand in the chattel slavery of their own time. Of course, that's not likely to be true unless Trip's ancestors were among the very richest families of their day, but Soong scores the point nonetheless.
    • There's a subtle moment inn "The Forge" when Archer has a little chuckle as T'Pol relates the difficulties that have arisen between Surak's time and the present.
      T'Pol: Over the centuries, his followers made copies of his teachings.
      Archer: Let me guess: with the originals lost, whatever's left is open to interpretation.
      T'Pol: You find this amusing?
      Archer: I find it familiar.
  • Novelization: The series' first episode, first season finale and second season finale were all adapted as novels. Enterprise is the only TNG-era series not to have its series finale adapted as a book.
  • 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.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: In "Cold Front", Trip apparently was under the impression that religious aliens must be automatically Space Amish, leading him to spend some time explaining the Warp Reactor in simplistic terms to a group of Borothan pilgrims, before one of them politely informs him that he's actually a warp field theorist.
  • Pardon My Klingon:
    • Hoshi cusses T'Pol out in Vulcan in the pilot. T'Pol's response is something along the lines of "Very impressive, but I thought we were speaking English on this journey."
    • From the episode "Terra Prime" (a basic form of UT had just been invented by Hoshi):
      "There are protesters chanting outside the Andorian embassy. And they're using words that aren't in the universal translator!"
  • 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 Air IN SPACE!.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Archer specifically. The show tends to go to great lengths to emphasize the good that will come from his actions in the future (i.e. the creation of the Federation) in order to rationalize away all the morally-dubious things he does in his present. He is also the subject of admiration in-show for the results of what his actions (especially when they benefit Earth), and is frequently praised and respected by other characters. This despite the fact that he often performs acts that he himself denounces others for doing and is incredibly arbitrary about what his values are.
  • 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...
  • Proxy War: The Temporal Cold War had a future version of the Federation opposed to the Na'kuhl and the Sphere Builders, each of whom backed various factions in the 22nd century with the goal of tampering with the timeline to either ensure the Federation would form or prevent it from forming.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The theme "Where My Heart Will Take Me" (not "Faith of the Heart" as widely believed) was originally from the soundtrack of Patch Adams.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: "Storm Front".
  • 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.
    • This trope is played for drama after the afore-mentioned incident in "The Council". Malcolm Reed, usually The Stoic, is shown to be really very upset by the number of crew members Enterprise has lost since entering the Expanse and the seeming lack of response his fellow senior officers have to the most recent MACO death, and he worries that they're getting too used to losing people.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Archer in "The Augments", bluffing his way out of an encounter with a Klingon patrol ship by pretending to be a top-secret Klingon cruiser with the chancellor on board!
  • Renegade Splinter Faction:
  • The Syrannites are this for Vulcans. Subverted as it's revealed that instead of the radical terrorists they're portrayed as by the Vulcan High Command, they're actually be a peaceful movement who desire to return the Vulcans back to the original teachings of Surak. And they succeed.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent:
    • You get no points for figuring out which of the Xindi species doesn't turn good, and there's a clear Shout-Out to the miniseries V (1983) when the Xindi Reptilians snack on live mice.
  • Reset Button: Averted for the most part. With no starbases or industrial replicators, any damage Enterprise sustains carries to the next episode. This is especially prevalent in "Dead Stop," which resolves the damage sustained in "Minefield," and the post-"Azati Prime" episodes of Season 3, in which Enterprise is blasted within an inch of its life by the Xindi and is barely held together for the rest of the season.
    • Played straight in S3's "Twilight," but it doesn't take away from the episode the way it often did in Voyager.
  • 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.
  • Running Gag:
    • "Earth? Never heard of it."
    • No mater how much he begs for it, do not feed cheese to Porthos.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: Suliban (terrorists), the aliens in "Chosen Realm" (religious extremists), and the fractious Xindi standing in for the Middle East.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: In "Terra Nova", we're told that the original 200 or so colonists objected to Earth sending another 200 people to settle on their world. While it's understandable why they might have felt they couldn't fit more people in the Conestoga colony, they apparently failed to realise they had an entire planet at their disposal!
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: The First Monarch, in Precious Cargo, expresses this attitude towards the end regarding future visits from Etnerprise's crew.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: "Regeneration", "Cold Station 12"
  • Serkis Folk: Xindi Insectoids and Aquatics. Also Star Trek: The Original Series aliens the Gorn and Tholians are re-done as these in "In A Mirror, Darkly."
  • 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.
    • The decontamination room. While it does make sense for it to exist in the capacity that it does, Star Trek is not above ignoring realistic things for expediencies sake. Unless it involves half-naked characters rubbing each other.
  • Shoot the Dog: An ongoing trope of the Season 3 Xindi War, notably in "Anomaly", "The Shipment", "Azati Prime", and "Damage."
  • Shoot the Hostage: A Mook has a revolver to T'Pol's head. Reed stuns T'Pol with his phase pistol and the Mook is left staring at Reed with a stunned expression. Reed shrugs and then stuns the Mook.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "We might as well be firing holographic bullets", among many others.
    • Malik crawling across the bridge in "The Augments" should remind you of the death of another Augment.
    • Detained features a shout-out to Quantum Leap. The episode is notable for reuniting Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell on screen for the first time since Quantum Leap ended. While they don't exactly quote Quantum Leap characters, and the relationship of the characters in this is antagonistic, the conversational tones do resemble a few conversations Al and Sam had.
    • The video of the Vulcan crew of the Seleya losing their minds and murdering each other is clearly a reference to Event Horizon.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Trip and the First Monarch, in Precious Cargo.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The new, more upbeat, version of the Opening Theme coincided with the show's turn into Darker and Edgier territory in Season 3 as part of a general Retool. This was more often than not quite jarring when the teaser ended on an Oh Crap! moment only to segue into a bouncy pop song.
  • Space Does Not Work That Way: Space Is an Ocean, Space Is Noisy, 2-D Space note , In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face, and every other standard Star Trek misrepresentation.
  • Space Mines: In the episode, "Minefield", the Enterprise runs into a cloaked field of Romulan mines.
  • 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").
  • Space Suits Are Scuba Gear: T'Pol wears a space suit with a gratuitous external air hose in "Damage."
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • The Starscream: Pretty much everyone from the Mirror Universe in "In A Mirror, Darkly", but especially Mirror Archer and Mirror Hoshi.
  • 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.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: "Zero Hour", "Storm Front" (Stukas with Frickin' Plasma Cannons!)
  • 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.
  • Super Dickery: Archer and Hoshi start off "Babel" in a big argument that culminates in him suggesting she might want to leave in a shuttle pod if she's so dissatisfied with the state of things on Enterprise, and oh-by-the-way she's looking a little bit heavy lately. Then she grins and says "that was a nice touch." Turns out they were practicing proper etiquette for dealing with a Tellarite ambassador. Tellarites apparently love to argue over everything.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: The three-part "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.

    Tropes T-Z 
  • 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.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: Actually used in-universe in "Observer Effect", where two crew members are possessed by non-corporeal life forms observing how Enterprise is going to react to a lethal infection on board their ship. As they discuss it, one of them remarks that they've been watching people get infected on this planet for centuries, and someone always dies.
  • Too Good To Be True: In "Dead Stop" T'Pol notices Captain Archer is visibly troubled about the mysterious repair station they've found which is able and willing to fix every bit of the extensive damage to their ship (and the injuries to its crew) in exchange for the amazingly low price of just 200 liters of warp plasma. His instincts are sound, as it turns out there's a "hidden fee" the station also tries to extract from them.
  • Took a Level in Badass: 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.
  • 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.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers / The Magnificent Seven Samurai: "Marauders"
  • Translation Convention (unless Hoshi's translating abilities are crucial to the plot). Also Expospeak Gag, My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels, Either "World Domination", or Something About Bananas, Pardon My Klingon, and Curse of Babel (any episode where Hoshi can't translate).
  • Two Girls to a Team: T'Pol and Hoshi, the experienced and emotionless Vulcan officer and (initially) nervous rookie communications specialist. Interestingly, as T'Pol learns to embrace her emotions more as she spends more time around humans, Hoshi becomes much more adept at dealing with her own fears and doubts as the mission progresses.
  • Understatement: When Rajiin asks Archer why he's looking for the Xindi, who have already attacked Earth with a WMD and are believed to be building something roughly analogous to a Death Star for their second attack, he says he wants to "resolve a disagreement."
  • Universal Translator: Averted, in that it is a recent development in this series and needs to be backed up by omniglot Hoshi Sato.
  • Verbal Tic: Phlox tends to—hmm?—speak with one.
  • Villain Ball: Malik in the Augments story arc. Besides his overall Bond Villain Stupidity, he is willing to risk the embryos that they had risked everything to obtain by attacking a Klingon outpost and blaming it on Earth (and yes, this action ends up getting all of the augments killed).
  • Villain Episode: The two-parter "In A Mirror Darkly", which focuses entirely on the Mirror Universe characters. Complete with a more militant Title Sequence.
  • Virtual Reality Interrogation: In the episode "Stratagem". Captain Archer tries to get information out of an alien by convincing him that they are now friends and that years have gone by. The alien ship they have supposedly stolen is actually set up inside a small shuttle in the ''Enterprise'' landing bay. The small touches making the simulation seem real include tattooing both their arms with prison barcodes.
  • The War on Terror: Allegoried in "Detained", "Desert Crossing", the Xindi War and the fourth season Vulcan mini-arc.
  • 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.
  • We Will Not Have Pockets in the Future: Averted thanks to the zipperiffic uniforms worn by Archer & Co.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In "Shockwave", Daniels explicitly states that history never recorded the disaster that lead to 3600 Paraagan colonists being incinerated when their atmosphere ignited? After wrestling with the guilt for the entirety of Part I, they end Part II relieved that they aren't the cause and that the Suliban are to blame and become re-focused on finding them to bring to justice. Although understandable that they are relieved that they aren't the cause of the colony extinction, after grieving the deaths in the first half they just become determined to find who is to blame and no one mourns the fact that 3600 people are still dead, mentions the impact of their death or what will happen to the timeline and history now that an entire colony of people are wipe out. They also don't bring up the idea of going back in time to prevent it... or were they expecting Daniels to change history back later?!
    • What happened to the Automated Repair Station in "Dead Stop", which was shown rebuilding itself at the end of the episode?
    • On a franchise-wide level, what happened to the Xindi, the Denobulans and the Suliban in the next three hundred years?
    • What happened to the Illyrians from whom Archer stole a warp coil in "Damage"? Without the coil, they were left 3 years from home. While it might undermine the moral dilemma of "Damage" slightly, it seems unforgivable that Archer wouldn't ask the Xindi to help the Illyrians once he got on better terms with them.
  • With Friends Like These...: In "The Andorian Incident", 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. 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 figuratively 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?
  • Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": "Dear Doctor" being the standard bearer here. Between them, Phlox and Archer come to the conclusion that Goal-Oriented Evolution has already condemned the Valakians to extinction and that giving them the cure for their genetic problem, which they have on hand, would constitute "playing God". Although it could be argued that they were doing exactly that by being so presumptuous as to decide that their hypothesis about the evolutionary direction of the Valakians and the Menk was predestined and not just speculation on Phlox's part.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Archer doesn't have any problems with brawling with a female Andorian commando in "Cease Fire", especially when she hit first.
  • 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.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: When T'Pol addresses Commander Tucker as "Trip" in "Countdown", he takes notice!
  • You Keep Using That Word: T'Pol invokes "logic" whenever dealing with the subject of Time Travel. T'Pol has met time traveller Daniels, seen his advanced technology and even once parsed through a futuristic archive which included a complete history of Vulcan ships that haven't been built yet. She has 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. When the evidence is repeatedly standing right in front of her, concluding that time travel is possible would be called a logical conclusion.
  • You Look Familiar:
  • You're Insane!: Archer to the terrorist leader in "Chosen Realm": "You're out of your mind!"
  • You Won't Feel a Thing: In the episode "Similitude":
    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.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/StarTrekEnterprise