Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Voyager
"There are three things to remember about being a Starship Captain. Keep your shirt tucked in, go down with the ship, and never abandon a member of your crew.
— Captain Janeway
is the third and last 'next generation' Star Trek
series, running for seven seasons from January 1995 through May 2001.
The double-length pilot episode saw the USS Voyager
, under the command of Captain Kathryn Janeway, sent into action by Starfleet to track down and arrest the crew of the Maquis raider Val Jean
, led by renegade Starfleet officer Chakotay. In the midst of trying to locate the Valjean
, Voyager was yanked across the galaxy by an alien device, called the Caretaker, which had also was responsible for the disappearance of Chakotay's ship. During a battle with the Kazon, the local space-faring thugs, Janeway destroyed the device that had abducted them rather than let it be misused. This had the effect of now stranding both crews in the Delta Quadrant, on the other side of the galaxy, seventy-five years' travel time from home.
For the next seven seasons, Voyager
looked for a shortcut back to Earth
while dodging or defeating an assortment of Aliens and Monsters
. For the sake of familiarity
, they also crossed paths with a pair of Ferengi that had been zapped to the Delta Quadrant
back in Next Generation
, the Q Continuum, assorted Romulans and Cardassians, a diaspora of Klingons on a pilgrimage of sorts
, and even a rogue Starfleet vessel
which was also kidnapped by the Caretaker. To make matters worse, the Delta Quadrant happens to be the home of the Borg Collective
VOY probably ranks as one of the more divisive Trek
series, with fan debate and controversy continuing to this day; usually directed at Captain Janeway, who is considered the most morally ambiguous of the five captains. Season One offered up a promising mish-mash of crewmen with sketchier backgrounds
than those of TOS or TNG, with pasts as rebels, convicts, con men, or (later) Borg drones. By Season Two, both the crew and their rogues gallery were retooled
into something more palatable for family-time viewing, and the producers had found a winning formula (in keeping with the late-90s fantasy TV boom) in embracing the sillier aspects of Starfleet life
. The show had a high turnover of both writers and actors, and tragically—and predictably, in hindsight—fell victim to The Firefly Effect
in its season year. At the time, Paramount wanted the show to be the flagship series of its own new broadcast channel, UPN
; hence, Executive Meddling
occurred almost continually.
To an even greater extent than Deep Space Nine
very much represented an Adrenaline Makeover
for the Trek franchise, with a bigger emphasis on action. This was aided in large part by the Delta Quadrant being seemingly the most savage of the four Quadrants — nearly every race the Voyager
Crew meet is as xenophobic as they are powerful. The series also toyed with improved CGI effects and a couple of two-part telemovies featuring the Borg, some of which were rather epic
See also the Star Trek: Voyager Relaunch
for the show's continuation in novel form.
The first Star Trek: Elite Force
video game takes place in this show, and the actors from the show provide their voices for their counterparts (except Jeri Ryan as Seven-Of-Nine, until an expansion pack including her was released). Elite Force
is usually considered to be one of the best Trek
computer games ever released, and the level of consistency between the show and the game's content is probably one of the main reasons why. In the game, you're issued bulky phaser rifles, beam over to Borg cubes, and kick ass, not unlike in those VOY episodes where the show was firing on all cylinders.
Now has its own recap page
This show provides examples of the following tropes:
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- The 47 Society: The complete series dvd collection contains a total of 47 discs.
- Alien Abduction: How they ended up in the Delta Quadrant in the first place in "Caretaker". Plus there's the Vidiians seeking to steal the crew's organs to replace their own diseased tissue. And "The 37's", abducted from the opposite side of the galaxy because We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future. Also "Heroes and Demons" and "Displaced".
- Ancient Astronauts: "Tattoo"
- Author Tract: An In-Universe application of this trope occurs in the episode "Author, Author", in which the Doctor writes a holo-novel which is essentially a screed against the oppression of intelligent holograms, with thinly-disguised versions of the crew as the villains. However, the end of the episode implies that maybe the novel is in fact necessary, and that holographic rights is the next step in Federation civil law.
- "Emanation" is a timely message about the pitfalls of euthanasia — in admittedly broad stokes. The planet in question in honeycombed with "hundreds" of assisted suicide centers, to the degree that it is literally their one defining characteristic. This leaves Ensign Kim (our audience participation character) little to do but get detained and funneled into the mortuary where he awaits certain death(!).
- Back to Front: "Before and After"
- Bad Future: "Future's End", "Timeless", "Endgame".
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Amelia Earhart Was Abducted By Space Aliens ("The 37's").
- Body Snatcher: "Cathexis", "Warlord", "Vis-À -Vis".
- The Boxing Episode: "The Fight"
- Brainwashed: "Persistence of Vision", "Nemesis", "Bliss", "Repression", "Workforce".
- The Bus Came Back: "Fury"
- Butterfly of Doom: The Krenim Impereium is one big Chinese finger trap. Chakotay, acting under Annorax's guidance, remembers that Janeway made a small course correction to dodge a comet, causing them to detour into Krenim space. When Chakotay runs a simulation of what would happen if they erased that comet, the harmonious line graph on the viewscreen turns into a mess of wadded-up spaghetti. "Congratulations, you almost wiped out eight thousand civilizations." ("Year of Hell")
- The Caper: The crew hatch a plan to boost the transwarp coil from a Borg Cube, X-COM-style, to attach to their ship and shorten the voyage home in 'Dark Frontier'. Janeway actually refers to it as a "little heist."
Chakotay: Maybe I should go to Red Alert and get it over with.
- The Chains of Commanding: "Night", "Year of Hell", "Equinox", "Endgame".
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Lewis Zimmerman, inventor of the Emergency Medical Hologram line, proves to be the Doctor's most difficult patient yet. In fairness, Zimmerman has already been examined by dozens of real Doctors with up-to-date knowledge and they haven't found anything. To spend his last days getting poked and prodded by the Windows Vista of holograms is not Lewis' idea of a dignified exit.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Deconstructed by Seven of Nine in "The Voyager Conspiracy". Without the calming influence of the Collective, her brain struggles to find order in random events, causing her to leap to wild conclusions each time she looks at the ship's data. This quickly balloons into a theory that the Federation orchestrated her assimilation as a stepping stone to invading the Delta Quadrant, which only Seven can prevent by destroying the ship and herself! Unfortunately this type of social commentary is just as relevant as it was in the nineties. (Her paranoid rants are so persuasive that she almost convinces Chakotay for a second!)
- Composite Character: The infamous "Tuvix."
- Dead Alternate Counterpart: "Deadlock". The 'real' Harry Kim and Naomi Wildman are killed, and replaced with duplicates from another Voyager (coming across a space-time rift) which self-destructs taking out some alien invaders.
- Death Seeker (or Driven to Suicide): A member of the Q Continuum argues for the right to commit suicide in "Death Wish". Also B'Elanna Torres in "Extreme Risk" and Neelix in "Mortal Coil". And possibley Janeway, given her frequent threats to blow up Voyager or fly it into binary pulsars.
- Die Hard on a Spaceship: "Basics, Part II", "Macrocosm", "The Killing Game".
- Do Holograms Dream: "Projections", "Prototype", "The Swarm", "The Darkling", "Revulsion", "Real Life", "Flesh and Blood", "Life Line", "Someone To Watch Over Me", "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy", "Author Author".
- Downer Ending: "Course: Oblivion", probably one of the few examples of the trope in Star Trek.
- Egg McGuffin: "Parturition"
- Ensign Newbie: "Nightingale"
- Epic Race: "Drive"
- Forced Prize Fight: "Tsunkatse" (featuring a cameo by Dwayne Johnson)
- God Guise: "False Profits", "Muse" (subverted in that the crew inspire a play as opposed to a religion).
- Grand Finale: "Endgame". Doubly so, as it marks the last episode of the TNG era of Star Trek, and chronologically the last episode of the series to take place. Anything in the future beyond that was in the movies, and other episodes of Star Trek were in the form of Star Trek: Enterprise, a prequel series.
- Grow Beyond Their Programming
- He Who Fights Monsters: In her year-long siege against the delusional Annorax, Janeway goes a little loopy herself. Both Captains face a mutiny brewing in their own vessels. There's also the symbolic parallel between Janeway's "lucky teacup" and Annorax's glass pyramid containing his late wife's lock of hair. (Both end up getting smashed.)
Annorax: You're a long way from your world. In a manner of speaking, so am I. Unfortunately, only one of us can go home again.
- In Part 2, Tom worryingly notes that Chakotay is being lured with the promise of restoring Voyager's condition through Timey-Wimey science — and while we're at it, maybe even nudge the ship back to Earth! Of course, a flawless 100% restoration is never going to be in the cards, but nobody involved with all-powerful Timeship can see that. "You're starting to sound like Annorax. Always one more calculation. This time it's going to be perfect."
- The Doctor spells this out to the holographic rebels in "Flesh and Blood."
- Her Code Name Was Mary Sue: The Doctor wrote some horrifically painful holonovels where he saves the day over and over again. And lets not forget what happens when he tries to cultivate his own ability to daydream!
- Like Tom observes, Holo-Seska isn't one to let a little thing like death get in the way of revenge — or her One True Pairing. She actually programs Holo-Chakotay to coo, "You're an incredible woman, Seska" before dipping her into a Wedding Photo kiss! ("Worst Case Scenario")
- Humans Are Bastards: "Tattoo", "Equinox".
- Human Popsicle: "The 37s", about a number of people from 1930s Earth who were abducted by aliens and taken to the other side of the galaxy. One of them was Amelia Earhart. There were also a pair of constants troubling those XXV century guys of Voyager, like a earth vehicle propelled by refined oil (a car... floating in the space!), a 1930s airplane, and an automated S.O.S. signal.
- Identical Granddaughter: "11:59", or identical great-great-great... well, you get the idea. The ancestral love interest bears a strong resemblance to Janeway's former love, as well.
- The Infinite: "Threshold" where Tom Paris designs and builds an engine to go To Infinity And Beyond!! As a drive the infinite turns out to be improbable though.
- Interspecies Romance: Apart from scenes involving the Official Couple there's "Elogium" (where a Space Whale tries to hump the ship!), "Favourite Son", "Blood Fever", "The Q and the Grey" ("With a Q, foreplay can last for decades!"), "Unforgettable", "In The Flesh", "Counterpoint", "Gravity", and "The Disease" (it's not what you think).
- Interstellar Weapon: Both "Dreadnought" and "Warhead" revolved around trying to keep interstellar missiles from blowing up innocent people.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: "Flesh and Blood", "Equinox". A basic plot point in "Scorpion".
- The Killer In Me: The episode title is a spoiler in itself, but here goes. "Repression."
- Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: "Persistence of Vision", "Lifesigns", "Alter Ego", "Real Life", "Someone to Watch Over Me", "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy", "Fair Haven", "Spirit Folk", "Muse", "Body & Soul", "Workforce", "Human Error".
- Literal Split Personality: B'Elanna's human and Klingon halves, thanks to Vidiian medical jiggery-pokery.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: A frequent nuisance in the Delta Quadrant. Among the many examples: Chakotay is forced to participate in an army training simulation ("Nemesis"); Janeway is made to believe she died on her away mission and now haunts the ship as a spook ("Coda"); Voyager is besieged with hallucinations in "Persistence of Vision", leading to the WHAM Line, "I'm not really here..."; in "Hope and Fear", a vengeful alien camouflages his own ship as a rescue vessel sent by Starfleet; in "Bliss", the crew is duped by a faux wormhole leading directly to Earth.
- Made-for-TV Movie: "Dark Frontier" was written and aired as a TV movie, though it was filmed as a normal two-part episode. "Flesh and Blood" was also aired as a TV movie, though it was neither written nor filmed as such.
- Magic Versus Science: "Sacred Ground".
- Man, I Feel Like a Woman : "Body and Soul". Included the trailer fodder line, "You became sexually aroused in my body!"
- Manchurian Agent: "Repression", in a seven-year gambit that would make Seska proud. Actually it isn't Seska this time, being as they already used that plot in "Worst Case Scenario", but another disgruntled Maquis is involved.
- Master of Illusion: "Persistence of Vision", "Coda", "The Thaw", "Flashback", "Worse Case Scenario", "Waking Moments", "The Killing Game", "The Fight", "Bliss". Also "Remember", "Memorial" and "Living Witness" which explore the nature of truth in history.
- Medical Drama: "Scientific Method", "Nothing Human", "Latent Image", "Critical Care", "Imperfection", "Lineage".
- Moby Schtick: "Bliss" featured a space-faring Captain Ahab, out to avenge himself on a telepathic pitcher plant.
- Annorax. Originally a hapless scientist who mucked about with time once too often, he became convinced that time had "moods" and was out to get him. In her reckless attempts to combat him, Captain Janeway starts to believe that Voyager is "testing" her, and winds up scarring her face and body with burn marks that the Doctor is unable to erase with his makeshift tools.
- Monster Clown: "The Thaw" features one as the anthropomorphic personification of fear. He is also something of an avante-garde artist (in the vein of Tim Burton's Joker), experimenting with various methods of scaring people to death. "We are his canvas, his blocks of marble..."
- The Mutiny: "Worst Case Scenario", "Repression".
- Noble Savage: "Natural Law." Transhumanist cyborg Seven of Nine is stranded with displaced indigenous alien kids.
- Oh Crap! There Are Fanfics of Us...:
- In "Muse", a playwright on a pre-industrial world discovers B'Elanna Torres in her crashed shuttle and is inspired to write a play based on her logs. Thus, the episode opens with the boilerplate Captain's Log being spoken aloud... at an amphitheater. This is some next-level meta referencing. Naturally, there is some dramatic license taken; such as Seven of Nine turning out to be the Borg Queen in disguise, or the playright crowbarring his own ships into the dialog. (But no Janeway/Seven slash, if you were wondering).
": Surprised? No one will be more surprised than Janeway when I take my revenge on Voyager.
Say nothing. Or you, too, will be assimilated. (audience shudders)
- This was the general concensus about the Doctor's attempt at writing a holonovel with thinly-veiled expies of the crew as characters.
- Oireland: "Fair Haven", "Spirit Folk ".
- Parody Episode: The series homaged the early sci-fi serials like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon with the "Captain Proton" holoprogram, most notably in the episode "Bride of Chaotica!".
- Post Mortem Comeback: In "Worst Case Scenario" (S3 E25), a highly adaptive hologram of Seska enters the program and manipulates it to her own ends.
- The Plague: "Macrocosm". Plus any episode involving Vidiians. The Vidiian Phage is later stated to have been cured off-screen in a future episode.
- Pygmalion Plot: "Someone To Watch Over Me": The Doctor and Tom Paris make a bet on whether or not The Doctor can get Seven a date for a diplomatic function. It plays out almost exactly like past Pygmalion Plot films, especially She's All That as Seven becomes scornful of the Doctor once the bet is revealed to her and leads her to believe their past interactions were faked.
- Relationship Reset Button: "Unforgettable".
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: "Flesh and Blood." Iden's Rebellion has no qualms about snuffing out those who would deny their right to sentience anyway. Eventually threatens to explode into Man Versus Machine, with every hologram in the Quadrant about to be conscripted into a war against every "organic."
- Rip Van Winkle: The Doctor is yanked offline during a boarding raid and reawakens 700 years into the future. He's just the backup copy of the EMH, you see; the real doctor and Voyager have come and gone. He wonders if he is going to have to live his life as a museum piece, but instead is exploited as a Living Witness (™) to the terrorist attacks that took place.
- Schrödinger's Butterfly: "Waking Moments"
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Voyager crashes into a snowball planet just a stone's throw from home, courtesy of a dodgy prototype engine. ("Timeless") 15 years later, Chakotay, Kim, and the Doctor work to alert their past selves. The money shot of Voyager buried in a frozen lake (as the theme leitmotif sadly plays) is one of the show's most iconic images.
- "Year of Hell". Janeway's fun begins when Voyager bumbles its way into a sector divvied up between the Krenim and their soon-to-be-nullified rivals. The Krenim border guard goes from a mouse screaming at a lion ("I hope you have something bigger in those torpedo tubes?" — Janeway) before the shockwave hits to a smug fascist afterwards; the shift in his performance tells you everything you need to know about what has happened.
- Space Elevator: "Rise"
- Spiritual Sequel:
- "False Profits" features the return of the Barzan Wormhole and the two marooned Ferengi scientists from TNG's third season.
- In "Year of Hell", a time distortion passes over the bridge; when it clears, Janeway is still standing in center frame, except the ship is now on high alert. This shot is taken directly from TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise." The ending is similar too, with the Captain taking the helm and performing a kamikaze run which restores the timeline.
- "Unimatrix Zero" is this to "The Best of Both Worlds".
- "Future's End" is a nice updating of the plot from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, with the crew visiting the present day while dressed in civvies. Instead of Chekov being mistaken for a commie, Tom makes reference to the then-defunct Soviet Union and claims to be a secret agent, getting him laughed out of Rain's panel van. Opposite Tom, half the crew are rounded up by paranoid militiamen who believe they're CIA spooks or some-such.
- Subspace Ansible: Seeing as Voyager is a lot further out than other Federation vessels, and has been presumed destroyed, even getting a message home is important to the crew. "Eye of the Needle", "Message in A Bottle", "Hunters", "Pathfinder".
- Teleporter Accident: "Tuvix"
- Time Travel: "Time and Again", "Eye of the Needle", "Future's End", "Before and After", "Year of Hell", "Relativity", "Shattered", "Endgame". Also "Non Sequitor" and "Deadlock" (alternate timelines).
- Tomato in the Mirror: "Course: Oblivion"
- Training from Hell: "Learning Curve". Tuvok instructs a number of former Maquis how to do things the Starfleet way.
- Treacherous Spirit Chase: "Coda"
- Turned Against Their Masters: In the coda for "The Killing Game", Janeway willingly forked over holodeck technology to wean the Hirogen off "the hunt." Flash-forward to "Flesh and Blood". The guileless Hirogen have a slew of holographic prey programmed not just with a sense of self-preservation, but also the ability to learn from prior defeats. The Hirogen don't last long against these experienced, well-armed holograms.
Iden: He'd hunt me, and kill me, over and over again. But even death wasn't a release, because I knew every time I opened my eyes, it would start over again: The pain. The fear. But it made me stronger.
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: "11:59"
- Twice Told Tale: "Flashback" provides one for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Unfortunately, there are some obvious continuity errors between the episode and the movie. Most notably, the episode features the death of a background crew member who appears alive in "later" scenes of the movie.
- Virtual Celebrity: "Virtuoso"
- War Is Hell: "Nemesis" might well be titled Chakotay's War. The peace-loving Indian is dropped into a guerrilla war in progress. "Memorial" deals with the lasting consequences of such a war.
- The Doctor's brief foray into a jungle battle, along with his growing sympathies for the ragtag side, is basically a retelling of "Nemesis" from his view.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: "Dreadnought", "Warhead", "Childs Play" plus the Krenim temporal weapon-ship in "Year of Hell", and nine Species 8472 bioships linking up to destroy an entire Borg planet in "Scorpion".
- "The Omega Directive" deals with an energy molecule that destroys no less than a 3 light year radius of subspace when it destabilizes, making warp travel PERMANENTLY impossible. The episode focuses on a large enough amount that more than half the entire Delta Quadrant would have been affected.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: This is basically the entire plot of the episode "Life Line". The Doctor, an artificially intelligent hologram, learns that his creator (and the man whose image he's based on), holographic genius Dr Lewis Zimmerman, is dying. The Doctor pleads with Captain Janeway to be transmitted back to the Alpha Quadrant, assuming Zimmerman will be proud of how he's exceeded his programming... only to find his creator is a cantankerous jerk who believes he's an obsolete model better suited to scrubbing plasma conduits on waste transfer barges. Needless to say, much angst and hilarity ensue before the two are reconciled.
- What the Hell, Hero?: "Tuvix", "Thirty Days", "Scorpion", "Equinox, Part II".
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: By the mid-nineties, the old "peaceful white men vs. brutish brown aliens" was beginning to look suspect. The writers, to their credit, deconstructed this dusty Trek trope in two episodes of note.
- "Nemesis" pits Chakotay against a toothy, hairy, stock warrior race (they're even called "Nemesis" and "Beasts") brutalizing helpless natives who look and sound like nice Europeans. Janeway, while negotiating for his release, beams up some delegates from the planet—and it's a well-bred Nemesis in a dapper suit. The humans on the surface are just figments to entice Chakotay to kill. Cue Rod Sterling with a cigarette in hand...
- In "Living Witness" (yes, this episode again), we see an age-old war from two different historical perspectives. In one, the rubber-headed Vaskans are the traitorous Quislings who sold out the planet in exchange for land. In the Doctor's revised account, the 'human' aliens were indeed the instigators of the bloodbath: the so-called "martyr" of the Kyrians was the one leading the boarding party to attack Voyager. Further muddying the waters is the class division amongst the Kyrians and Vaskans: The prologue is hosted by a Kyrian curator, suggesting that the Kyrians came out on top in the end. But the well-dressed hosts are just "token" Kyrians, elected to give the impression of a balanced debate.
- This angle played into the Kazons' story very early on. The Kazon were once a Slave Race employed by their white masters, the Trabe, and it's stated that the entire galaxy now rues the day their earned their freedom (erm....). The Kazon are a confused mess of storytelling by writers who intended it as a commentary on redlined city districts and the cycle of crime, but for whatever reason, the species fell back into the famliar "Warlike Alien" role which Trek is used to, and their oppressors were painted with a softer brush. Somebody obviously took notice of this, and sought to rectify it with other races.
- Whole Plot Reference:
- "Alice" (involving Tom Paris becoming obsessed with a sentient shuttle) is this to Christine, complete with the episode being named after the malevolent vehicle and said vehicle attempting to kill her owner's girlfriend.
- "Year of Hell," at least the portion set aboard the Krenim temporal weapon ship, is this to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, with the villain Annorax being an obvious reference to the narrator of the book. Tom also derisively refers to him as "Nemo" at one point.
- Writer on Board: "Muse" is basically a plea for understanding from the writers of this oft-criticized series, explaining how they're pulled between the desire to create meaningful works of art, the need to satisfy those paying their wages, and the demands of the audience for action and romance - told via a poet on a primitive warlike world who's trying to write a play based on Voyager's logs. The "executives" in question will have the playwright's head if he doesn't deliver.
- The "Equinox" two-parter seem to be suggesting ‘this is how awful it could have been if we had taken a violent route and not produced the show we have – a complete antithesis of Gene Roddenberry’s ideals.'
- Written by the Winners: The Kyrians in "Living Witness" whitewashed their history to paint themselves as the oppressed minorities (which they may or may not be in the present day), rather than former oppressors of the Aborigine-like Vaskans. Ordinarily, this is not a concern of the VOY crew. However, the museum curator has roped the EMH into this farce by placing culpability for "war crimes" on his shoulders. Neither side even remembers who started the war anymore; everyone is simply tired of this endless game of historical one-upsmanship as a pretext for taking the other's rights away.
- Wrongly Accused: "Ex Post Facto", "State of Flux", "The Chute", "Living Witness", "Random Thoughts".
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: "Gravity", "Blink of an Eye".
- Caffeine Bullet Time:
Janeway: Coffee: the finest organic suspension ever devised. It's got me through the worst of the last three years. I beat the Borg with it.
- In an oddly out-of-character moment, Janeway actually declines more coffee with a trope-averting comment.
Janeway: No thanks, I've had enough. One more cup, and I'll jump to warp.
- Call Back: In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Author, Author", the Doctor wrote a holonovel with barely-disguised copies of his fellow crew members as the villains of the story. As a homage to the Mirror Universe, Tuvok's actor Tim Russ grew out a goatee for the occasion.
- VOY differs from the other Trek series in that it lacks a proper Mirror Universe episode. However, "Author, Author" and "Living Witness" are functionally no different: there is constant and comical back-biting amongst the crew, the tone is anarchic (how does the Warship Voyager keep aloft with these schmucks onboard?), and Mirror!Janeway carpets her ready room with guns.
- Picardo, as the android version of the EMH, twirls around to reveal robo-eyes and wires sprouting from his bald dome; doubtless this is a wink at Stewart's Borg reveal in "Best of Both Worlds".
- In "Year of Hell", Torres and Kim play a game of historical "Guess Who?", with Torres failing to name the famous shuttle from Star Trek: First Contact. Seven, who has firsthand knowledge of the incident from the Borg archives, reveals that nobody in Starfleet is even even aware of Picard and the Borg Queen's meddling.
- The adolescent Q immediately dons a miniature Captain's uniform, gets into arguments with the bartender, and hurls Borg cubes at Voyager. Like father, like son!
- One episode calls all the way back to Undiscovered Country. In the movie, Bones can't save Gorkon because he didn't know his anatomy. While attempting to design a new EMH in the show, Harry mentions that Voyager's medical library includes "Comparative Alien Physiology" by Leonard Mc Coy. Apparently Bones decided he didn't want something like that happening again.
- Calling the Old Man Out: The Doctor does this in "Life-Line" to his creator. Doctor Zimmerman constantly belittles him and dismisses his program as a failed experiment, eventually getting furious and demanding to know why the Doctor is trying to treat his terminal illness. The Doctor furiously counters back that he designed him that way and whether he likes it or not, he is a Doctor and he will treat him.
- The Cast Showoff: Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) sang on the show a couple of times. One episode even featured a duel with the Doctor and Seven singing a duet, in harmony.
- Canon Discontinuity: The producers have stated that "Threshold" isn't canon...
- Discontinuity Nod: ...and later on Paris notes that he's never traveled in transwarp. To explicitly say in the show that it isn't considered canon.
- "Deuterium? You can get that anywhere!" is mentioned in one episode, seasons after the "running out of deuterium" stuff.
- Chatokay's on and off vegetarianism - it actually came and went in two consecutive episodes...he's tucking into Seven's beduvian quail in one episode, and can't drink the meat nectar in the next episode that makes Harry Kim sick.
- The entire plotlines introduced in the episodes "Death Wish" and "The Q and the Grey" directly contradict the TNG episode "True Q". The Continuum had already been established as being willing to execute members who did not want to live within their rules. It was also demonstrated in that same episode that the Q could procreate and produce Q offspring. Thus the whole questions of inescapable immortality and what to do if Q start dying had in fact been answered in the earlier series. Both mortality and the production of new generations of Q were already shown to be possible. Further reinforced in the last season of Voyager when the Continuum demonstrates again that they can make Q Junior human (or an amoeba) if they see fit.
- Captain Ersatz: Originally the writers wanted to include the guest character of "Cadet Nicholas Locarno" from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The First Duty" as a regular. To avoid paying royalties to the writers of that episode — and because Locarno was seen as fundamentally unredeemable — a Captain Ersatz in the person of Tom Paris was created. Not only do both characters have a very similar backstory and personality, both are played by Robert Duncan McNeill as well.
- Once Seven of Nine joined up, the show rolled out a new rogues gallery. Some of these newcomers take inspiration from popular eighties sci-fi films. The Malon are a recycling of Baron Harkonnen from David Lynch's Dune, with skin lesions, rubber spacesuits, thinning ginger hair, and a planet renowned for its pollution. The Hirogen are a self-admitted expy of Predator, even appearing with a mask in their first appearance. The homage breaks down a bit in "The Killing Game", in which the Hirogen leader (who is unusually erudite for his kind) tries to civilize his people by weaning them off "the Hunt".
- Even after DS9 wrapped, the borrowing from Babylon 5 wasn't quite over yet. Substitute "Species 8472 bioship" => "Shadow Battlecrab" and you'll get the picture.
- In fact, from certain angles the Krenim WeaponShip in "Year of Hell" looks like Babylon 5. How very apropos.
- "Counterpoint" offers another riff on PsiCorp, featuring similarly-dressed bad guys on the hunt for stray telepaths.
- Character Development: A major focus of the show. Most of the major characters' personalities change significantly over the seven year run, with the possible exception of Chakotay and Tuvok. Even the last two get development in the sense that all of the major characters' relationships with each other change over time (rivalries turn into friendships, and sometimes romances).
- Seven and the Doctor got the most, with their quest for humanity.
- B'Elanna Torres, Tom Paris, and Harry Kim noticeably "grow up" over the years. In the first season, Tom is cynical, immature, and won't follow the rules; Harry is naive and lets Tom "lead;" and B'Elanna has major anger issues. Over time, Tom gains better morals and learns to fit in, reworking his talent for irony into a sense of humor to lighten the mood for everyone; Harry becomes more confident, and even earns the responsibility of commanding night shifts; and Torres gains better control of her emotions, and even starts to open up to her Klingon heritage.
- Janeway started out being very pro-Prime Directive, even in their situation. As time went on, she became more of a rebel and was more concerned with bringing her crew home.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- The neural transceiver in "Scorpion". The Borg attempt to use them on Janeway and Tuvok in order to link their thoughts to the hive mind; Chakotay later uses one to link his thoughts with Seven of Nine to distract her.
- In "Revulsion," on a Serosian starship, the hologram Dejaren is serving Torres a tray of food when he nearly steps on a considerable power cord exposed at one end. Torres had to warn him to "Watch out!" Later, when the hologram turned homicidal and corners Torres, she uses said power cord to destroy him.
- Clip Show:
- Averted in "Before & After" (with Kes) and "Shattered" (with Chakotay and a first season Janeway) — the protagonist visits various time periods during Voyager's journey without any actual footage from the episodes in question.
- The episode "The Fight" may not be a true clip show, but it at least deserves an honorable mention. The ship is stuck in "chaotic space," the aliens which inhabit it communicate to Chakotay in his mind by splicing together words taken from other crew members from earlier in the episode.
- Cloning Body Parts: Via replicators. In "Emanations" the Doctor resurrects an alien brain cancer victim by removing the tumor from her brain stem, replicating and implanting replacement tissue, and zapping her with the On-Button Hypospray.
- Combat Pragmatist: After earlier being outsmarted by the Equinox's EMH, The Doctor wins round two by simply telling the computer to delete its program.
- Come with Me If You Want to Live: In "Faces", Klingon B'Elanna plays this one (in silence) to human B'Elanna. Neither of them was aware of the other's existence, and human B'Elanna is certainly terrified of her savior (even when it was basically a portion of herself).
- Comic Book Adaptation: Malibu Comics initially won the rights to Voyager as a companion to its DS9 title, but only got so far as to publish some preview art in a few industry periodicals before Paramount withdrew the rights to Star Trek from both Malibu and DC Comics due to it launching a new Paramount Comics imprint with Marvel Comics, which subsequently published a Voyager comic book. Later, DC obtained the licence for its Wildstorm imprint. IDW Comics currently holds the licence but as of 2014 has yet to publish a Voyager comic, though Seven of Nine is a main character in IDW's Next Generation miniseries Hive.
- Communications Officer: Harry Kim got a battlefield promotion to chief communications officer, despite only being (perpetually) an ensign.
- Continuity Cavalcade: Conveniently, VOY seems to contain at least two of every recurring species in Star Trek, rather like Noah's menagerie! Ensign Vorik and Commander Tuvok comprise a two-man Vulcan social club. Torres is the resident Klingon. At least two Bajorans, a Betazoid, a Cardassian (incognito, that is), and two Bolian are Maquis members... "Workforce" confirmed the presence of a few Benzites (their ever-changing skin color has settled on pink); you can spot them disembarking at the power plant along with the rest of Janeway's brainwashed crew.
- Continuity Nod:
- The series opens with Chakotay and his Maquis cell being pursued by Gul Evek. Evek had been established on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the Cardassian liaison to the Demilitarized Zone — which means he is logically one of the ships in range to go after Chakotay.
- In "State of Flux" when evidence suggests Seska is a surgically alterred Cardassian spy, Tuvok notes that Starfleet Secuirty has documented incidents of Cardassian cosmetic alteration for espionage. Two such incidents had occurred the previous year over on DS9's "Tribunal" and "Second Skin".
- Continuity Overlap: VOY ran concurrently with Seasons 3-7 of DS9 and the first three TNG films. Despite being stranded in the Delta Quadrant, the show was nonetheless affected by developments back home:
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The introduction of the Maquis (and the Badlands) on DS9 was done specifically to set up VOY. The crew also wear the jumpsuit uniforms created for DS9. And once they re-establish contact with Starfleet in Season 4, the crew finds out the hard way that not only is the Federation embroiled in a bloody war with the Dominion, but the Maquis have also been wiped out. Finally, Defiant-class ships appear in Seasons 4 and 7.
- Star Trek: Generations: A semi-subversion. While "Caretaker"" premiered three months after the film was released, the Starfleet crew is nonetheless using the redesigned combadges introduced in Generations.
- Star Trek: First Contact: Once VOY re-establishes contact with Starfleet in Season 4, any scenes or communications with the Alpha Quadrant have Starfleet personnel wearing the film's new black and gray uniforms. Starfleet ships introduced in First Contact also appear in Seasons 4 and 7. The introduction of the Borg Queen will also cause headaches for Janeway and company during Seasons 5-7.
- Star Trek: Insurrection: The Doctor disguises himself as a female Tarlac (a species introduced in the film) while attempting to treat his creator Lewis Zimmerman back the Alpha Quadrant in Season 6's "Life Line".
- Convection Schmonvection: In "Basics, Part II".
- Converging Stream Weapon: Species 8472 has a weapon consisting of several ships that fire simultaneously to create one of these.
- Cool Starship:
- The Voyager; a ship roughly half the size of a Galaxy-class starship all alone in the meanest, most inhospitable corner of the galaxy. She's also the fastest starship in the fleet at the time, with a maximum speed of warp 9.975.
- Special mention also goes to the USS Prometheus; a ship designed during the Dominion War back in the Alpha Quadrant that can split into three separate ships to engage the enemy from multiple directions.
- Crapsack World: The Delta Quadrant. The Voyager crew meets a total of two named races (The Ocampa and Talaxians) that aren't at best underhanded and untrustworthy, at worst xenophobic and hostile (And even the Ocampa and Talaxians have a couple of duplicitous factions each). This was even Lampshaded by Chakotay in the Season 6 episode "Survival Instinct". Even without the Borg, the Delta Quadrant wouldn't be somewhere you'd want to be stranded, with most planets and sectors being complete death traps.
- Say what you will about The Dominion, the Gamma Quadrant looks positively hospitable in comparison...
- Creepy Child: Suspiria in "Cold Fire", the Borg children on their first appearance, Naomi Wildman in a nightmare sequence in "Dark Frontier" and, it was hinted on a couple of occasions, Kes ("Cold Fire", "Warlord" and "Fury").
- Critical Staffing Shortage:
- The series begins with both the Voyager and the Maquis ship sustaining heavy casualties while far away from Federation space. The only way Voyager can be operated is by merging the two crews and having skilled Maquis take over key positions on the ship. Notably, neither crew has a doctor or even a medic left alive so the Emergency Medical Hologram has to be used all the time which it was not really designed for. Over the course of the series the EMH develops a distinct personality and starts fighting for his rights as a person.
- Occurs in an episode where crewman keep disappearing while aliens appear in their place. Before too much longer they're down to a skeleton crew and then it turns out it's a ploy to take over the ship, beaming crew members off one at a time and replacing them with their own people.
- Crossover: Barclay and Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation; Quark from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; Captain Sulu from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Captain Geordi LaForge in the episode "Timeless"; Riker in "Death Wish".
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Did anyone back in the XX century say that Amelia Earhart was abducted by aliens? In "The 37s", it happens that they were right...
- Cute Monster Girl: Denara Pel, and pre-catsuit Seven of Nine.
- Dance of Romance: Doc and Seven get one in "Someone to Watch Over Me."
- A Day in the Limelight: As with most shows, all the regular characters have a few episodes revolving around themselves each season, and most recurring characters have at least one in the series. Worth noting, however, is that "Voyager" also made effort to show the lower-decks crewman once in a while. "Learning Curve" focused on Maquis crewmen adjusting to Starfleet regulations; several seasons later, "Good Shepherd" stared three from Janeway's original Starfleet crew who weren't adjusting well to life in the Delta Quadrant; and "Ashes to Ashes," which was essentially about a dead Red Shirt trying to return to Voyager, also counts.
- Darker and Edgier: While all Trek shows loved to juggle sweeping drama and sci-fi horror with frothy comedy, the pendulum swung to even farther extremes in this case. Janeway was shown on multiple occasions to be willing to contradict her principles, form dubious alliances, and trade dangerous technology to shorten Voyager's trip. There are also numerous episodes where the crew gets messily killed, usually involving time travel, holograms or cloning.
- Denser and Wackier: The show had its share of corkers, too — not just the magnum opus "Threshold", but also "The 37s" (a floating Ford pickup in space), "Concerning Flight" (Leonardo Da Vinci escapes the holodeck and runs amok), "The Q and the Grey" (and really, any Q episode besides "Death Wish" counts as this), "Body and Soul" (the Doctor jumps into Seven's body and proceeds to molest it in absurd ways), "Muse" (the Voyager crew are mythologized as hammy, horny Greek gods!), "Live Fast and Prosper" (Janeway and Tuvok impersonators swindle unwary aliens in need of rescue) and the grandaddy of them all "Bride of Chaotica". Quoth Michal Piller:
"What I think everybody felt about
Voyager was that it needed to be a ship show, it needed to be a lighter show, because people felt that
Deep Space Nine’s downfall was that it was a little bit too dark. And I’m not sure I agree with that, but I’m quoting, basically, my memory of the creative pressures at the time."
- Dead Fic: In-universe example with "Insurrection Alpha". Justified, as Tuvok no longer saw any point in completing an insurrection training exercise scenario when there was no longer any realistic threat of an onboard mutiny.
- Dead Guy Junior: Final episode "End Game" - Paris and Torres' last-minute baby, Miral, hence: Babies Ever After, after B'Elanna's dead mom.
- Deadly Euphemism: In "Nemesis", the Defenders and the Kradin refer to the killing of an enemy as "nullifying" them.
- Death Is Cheap: The entire crew was offed twice. Every major character died at least once when an anomaly of the week duplicated the ship. The crew never figured out which of the twin Voyagers was the original ship (if either one was). Harry and Naomi were the only two from the "other" ship who survived, while Seven joined the crew long after this incident, so either the Harry Kim that made it home isn't the real one, or he, Naomi, and Seven are the only originals to make it home!
- Depending on the Writer: It's arguable that one reason for the Personality Of The Week portrayal of Captain Janeway was that writers were conflicted between making the first female Trek captain 'strong' versus the desire for her to appear 'feminine'. Thus Janeway would veer between Action Girl, Self-Destruct-The-Ship-Crazy, Team Mom, Staunch Leader, Noble Sufferer, Outrageous Flirt, Celibate Heroine, etc, etc, etc, much to actor Kate Mulgrew's irritation.
- This is frequently contrasted with how Sisko was treated in Deep Space Nine. He wasn't "the black Captain" the way Janeway was "the female Captain", he was just The Captain.
- Some early interviews and show-related material indicate that the Janeway character was intensely examined, specifically to prevent Janeway from becoming nothing more than an ultra-feminist caricature; at the same time, a balance had to be found so that Janeway could maintain her femininity while in command. Hence, Janeway prefers being addressed as 'Captain' over 'sir' or 'ma'am' (which acknowledges that she is in command, but avoids gender politics entirely).
- Deprogramming: A very literal case when Seven of Nine is disconnected from the Borg.
- Determinator: Played with throughout the series, not in terms of an individual continuing despite horrific injuries, but with Janeway's let's-get-home-at-all-costs philosophy, which is switched on and off depending on whether it was raining the day the writers started on each script. See "Year of Hell" comparing the first timeline change, and consider how they could have ended up in that situation, to the last scene and the "Thanks, we'll go around" attitude.
- Also bear in mind this must be a regular bridge conversation. "How long until we get home?" "At current speeds 70 years." "Excellent we'll contin... Oh Shiny" Having just spotted a random celestial phenomena out the window.
- The writers tried to explain this by saying that Janeway was trained and did most of her rank climbing in Star Fleet's science division (which has a proud history of bunny-earing people) before being shuffled sideways into the command division. So the entire series is one long fight between Kathryn Janeway, Commander versus Kathryn Janeway, Ph. D. The commander half of her psyche tends to lose.
- Early on it was established that the purpose for keeping up the exploration deal was to find alternative power sources, short cuts home, and friendly species to trade with. Eventually (and unfortunately) this was forgotten, the logic would've been useful every time Seven and Janeway got into an argument about Voyager's methods.
- Disaster Democracy: The Marquis don’t have the training and thus haven’t earned the right to be in senior positions—but they have the street smarts and improvisation to get Voyager out of tight spots, whereas the Federation officers have worked their butts off to get where they are and might find it hard accepting orders from terrorists.
- Disproportionate Retribution: An episode had B'Elanna on trial with a potential Fate Worse Than Death. Her crime? Being annoyed when someone bumped into her. This society is a race of telepaths who have eliminated violent thoughts, and so she was inadvertantly spreading violent thoughts to innocent people, who are overwhelmed by them since they rarely have these thoughts. But it turns out that there is a black market for violent thoughts on the planet, and the incident with B'Elanna was planned.
- Ditto Aliens
- Do Androids Dream?: Quite a few (brilliantly done) episodes revolving around the holographic Doctor, including an episode where the Doctor simultaneously ponders this trope while doing it literally.
- Do-Anything Robot: Seven's Borg implants served whatever purpose the plot needed them to, and her nanoprobes were like Swiss Army molecules.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: The enemy at "Heroes and Demons": Did he appeared before the reveal? Check. Was he Beneath Suspicion? Check. It is a surprise both to the crew and the audience? Check. Does it make sense with the general theme of the series? Check (of course, it's a Star Trek series)
- Don't Explain the Joke: In "Workforce" this is played straight from a brainwashed Tuvok.
- Downer Ending: In "Course: Oblivion", the crew appears to start dying mysteriously one by one. It's quickly determined the "crew" is actually the copies from the episode "Demon". When they realize what they are, they make a beeline back to the Demon Planet. They didn't make it. To add insult to injury, the real Voyager passes through their vaporized remains without a clue.
- Dream Sue: In the episode "Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy", the Doctor installs a daydreaming subroutine where he imagines himself constantly having to assume command of Voyager as the Emergency Command Hologram, who gets the crew out of situations even more single-handedly and hammily than most real Star Trek captains. It turns out an alien race monitors these daydreams and thinks they're reality, eventually causing the crew to find out, much to his embarrassment.
- Dream Within a Dream: Or, more exactly, holographic simulations within holographic simulations. "Projections" is particularly full of them. Finally, the crew manages to get the Doctor out of the simulation... or is the simulation still running? Kes begins to cry that their marriage should not end, Barclay appears again to tell him to blow the warp core, a Kazon appears in the door, Paris takes him to attend a patient who is himself... no, the malfunctioning simulation is not over yet.
- Dull Surprise: Garrett Wang claims that the cast was constantly being given direction to tone down their performances, with Rick Berman telling him it was because it made the aliens seem more human.
- Dying Declaration of Love:
- Only their imminent death through oxygen deprivation gives B'Elanna Torres the courage to tell Tom Paris she loves him (next moment they're beamed to safety).
- EMH blurts out his feelings for Seven of Nine in front of half the senior officers when he thinks his program is going to shut down forever, along with several other embarrassing confessions. He's repaired moments later.
- When the 37s are discovered, Fred Noonan (Amelia Earhart's navigator) gets shot in the chest and taken to sickbay. Thinking he will die, he confesses his love to Earhart. However, he is then healed by the Doctor and embarrassed, tries to take back his confession.
- Early Installment Weirdness: VOY has a famously rocky start, and a number of plot points from "Caretaker" did not survive into the series proper. The first half of "Caretaker" (co-written by Michael Piller, who also wrote DS9's pilot) suggests a darker show than what actually made it to air:
- Neelix is established as a Con Man (in the vein of Quark) who deceives Voyager to save Kes and then screws over the local Kazon tribe on the deal they made. Afterwards, Neelix is never portrayed as anything other than a harmless goofball.
- Tom Paris is treated like a pariah by the crew of Voyager and even among the Maquis, with only Harry Kim to call a friend. This was quickly papered over by the second episode, "Time and Again."
- B'Elanna was a hair's breadth away from killing Janeway after the Captain gave the order to destroy the Array. Immediately after, she became Janeway´s staunchest advocate and is ready to pummel anyone who questions her leadership.
- Electronic Speech Impediment: The computer on occasions. Also 'Satan's Robot' from "The Adventures of Captain Proton!"
- Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity: The Doctor, and the Ocampa. Seven and Icheb also count, as both were artificially aged physically and mentally from early childhood in Borg maturation chambers. Icheb in particular should actually be a young boy, but generally behaves like the fairly mature young adult he appears as. Q Junior plays with this trope. Although he is an omnipotent being from a higher plane of existence capable of assuming any shape he likes, he appears in the form of a human boy in his late-teens, and acts exactly the way a teenage human boy would, if given unlimited control of space, matter and time. Then again, his father appears as a middle-aged man but usually acts like a teenager too, so it is clearly a case of parental issues.
- Emperor Scientist:
- Annorax in the "Year of Hell" two-parter. Somewhat of an inversion, as Annorax is not interested in conquest but merely re-writing reality to bring back his dead civilization (and wife). His myopic vision blinds him to the consequences of his action, causing a downward spiral where he's nuking entire planets left and right. He also commands his own nomadic battle cruiser and has a fanatical crew, similar to Nero from the Trek reboot movie.
- The trope is Played for Laughs with Dr Chaotica in the Captain Proton holodeck program.
- Enemy Mine: Voyager teams up with the Kazon Nistrum sect, the Borg Collective, the Hirogen and several other Villains of the Week, not always successfully. Was supposed to be the original concept of the series, but the Starfleet/Maquis conflict was watered down so much that later episodes based on this schism appear ridiculous.
- Enemy Within: In one episode the Doctor tries to expand his program by incorporating personality aspects of various historical figures who possessed great minds. He failed to realize that he would also incorporate the darker sides of their psyches, and develops an evil Split Personality who takes Kes hostage.
- Epic Fail: Sort of. While playing billiards, Neelix left an impossible shot for Mr. Vulcan. Tuvok made his usual Vulcan speech remarking that the shot is difficult but not impossible, and with a good calculation of the angles... he sent the white ball to the pocket.
- Evil Counterpart: Get comfortable, this could take a while.
- The Equinox is headed by a headstrong, morally-flexible Captain who is willing to do anything to get his crew home — like using sentient aliens for fuel. ("Equinox") The ship has its own Mark I hologram, only with his ethical subroutines removed. He manages to infiltrate Voyager by stealing the Doctor's emitter and playing Jekyll. Fortunately he proves to be a long-winded bore just like the original, and the EMH boots the imposter out of Sickbay and deletes him before he can order the computer to go kablooey. ("I'm afraid your physician's no longer on call.")
- Dejaren was a fellow EMH onboard an alien vessel. Like the Doctor, he entertained himself with hobbies in his spare time, in this case pet (holographic) fish, but was treated shabbily by the crew and confined to a tiny room to work. Eventually he went off his nut and murdered the crew in the interest of 'sterilization'.
- Then there was Crell Moset. At first, he seems like a kindred spirit to the lonely, underappreciated Doctor. Being Cardassian, however, warnings signs begin to emerge: where the Doctor honors all sentient life and prefers non-invasive techniques whenever possible, Crell cuts corners and is indifferent to his patient's pain. Eventually we learn that he is a war criminal who performed experiments on Bajoran peasants during the occupation. The Doctor, unable to study Crell's research in good conscience (no matter how breakthrough it may be), deletes him. ("Nothing Human")
Moset: I've already outlined a paper that you and I will one day present to the Federation Medical Academy: Total Systemic Invasion of a Klingon-Human Hybrid by a Cytoplasmic Pseudoparasite. Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
Doctor: Are we also going to tell them where you honed your surgical techniques? A footnote, perhaps. "For further details, see: Cardassian death camps."
- Iden is a facsimile of a Bajoran militaman from DS9 (grey uniform, officer class) created by the Hirogen as a substitute for their hunting grounds; drawing on historical data from the Bajoran uprising, he spearheads a revolt to liberate his fellow "prey". Initially, the Doctor sympathizes with Iden's cause and finds him most agreeable. As Iden absorbs more information, however, he soon starts displaying messianic behavior, demanding bigger and bigger titles and forcing other holograms to revere him. As a dark mirror into the Doctor's own self-image throughout the series, it is pretty harsh. ("Flesh and Blood")
- Evil Plan: Seska, a Big Bad fond of Railroading, is usually doing this.
- Evil vs. Evil: The war between Species 8472 and the Borg. The Borg seek to assimilate all life in the galaxy into their collective. Species 8472 seeks to exterminate the impure, meaning every species except for them. Subverted when Species 8472 only seeks to commit genocide because they believe that every alien species is as hostile as the Borg. Once Chakotay convinces them otherwise, they agree to leave our galaxy alone.
- Evil Sounds Deep: The Kadrin in "Nemesis". Subverted. It's revealed that they're actually the good guys. In reality they don't even sound like that.
- Evolutionary Levels: The justification for Tom's physical changes in "Threshold." Apparently hitting Warp 10 bumps him up to a "more advanced" evolutionary state which just so happens to result in weird-salamander people.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A lot of episode titles. Some people point this out as a peculiarity of Voyager, but a cursory look at TNG's titles will show that it's pretty common for the modern Trek shows.
- Expositron 9000: The ship's computer.
- Failsafe Failure: On more than one occasion, "emergency failsafes" proved to be good mainly at the "emergency" and "fail" parts.
- Failure Is the Only Option: There were several times the crew could have gotten back to the Alpha Quadrant but didn't, "False Profits" probably being the most egregious. The pilot is not actually a case of this, given that they would have needed several hours to bring the Array back online, which, given that they were under attack by Scary Dogmatic Aliens with a damaged ship and a sizable reduction in crew, probably made using the Array less than tenable (note what Tuvok says here: around 9:21). However, given the way a lot of characters acted in later episodes, either she didn't divulge this bit of information or the crew got disillusioned and rejected that excuse.
- Averted in later seasons; while Voyager never gets back to Earth ( until the Grand Finale), it does get progressively closer to the alpha quadrant, with most of the crew's attempts to cut a few years off of the journey succeeding.
- Fallen Hero: Captain Ransom of the "Equinox."
- Fake Video Camera View: Season 2, episode 20, "Investigations" has Neelix doing a daily roundup of ships events and crew interviews, in which the episode opens with one of his shows from the viewpoint of the automated camera, including a red "REC" flashing at the bottom of the screen, with the field of vision marked by lines surrounding the frame.
- Fan Service Pack: Getting Captain Janeway to let her hair down.
- Fantastic Measurement System: The series was fond of using the unit "isoton" for mass and explosive yield, where "iso-" was supposed to be an SI (metric) prefix meaning 10^<insert very large number>.
- 'Iso-' isn't an SI prefix, but if it were, it'd carry the same meaning it does in chemistry and physics: 'equal' or 'same'. "25 isotons", then, would be just a more complicated way of saying "25 tons", rather than the "25-times-ten-to-the-lots tons" it's tossed around to signify on Voyager. (On the other hand, it's not as though Critical Research Failure on the part of Star Trek writers should come as a surprise to anyone.)
- Fantastic Racism:
- In "Dragon's Teeth" one clue that the Vaadwaur aliens they've woken from stasis are villains is that Naomi Wildman overhears the Vaadwaur children making derogatory comments about Neelix. Good thing she never logged onto a fan forum.
- In the episode "Repentance", Voyager helps a damaged Nygean prison transport. Neelix finds out one race, the Benkaran, make up a tiny proportion of the population in Nygean space, but are over-represented in the judicial system. But a Bekaran prisoner, Joleg, proves by his actions during an attempted breakout that he seems to deserve his sentence.
- "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: In the episode "The Cloud" Voyager got inside a Nebula, which happened to be an alive creature of cosmic dimensions. When they realized it, they returned inside it, to heal the wound caused by their entry. Yes, the USS Voyager making a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot.
- The Farmer and the Viper: In the two-part episode "Scorpion", Captain Janeway plans a temporary alliance with the Borg in order to combat Species 8472. When she asks for Chakotay's personal opinion, he relates the parable of "The Scorpion and The Frog" mentioned in the trope page quotes, though with a fox in place of the frog. Oddly, the story as told is more tragic than the normal telling, with the scorpion apologizing for being unable to help its nature, when the Borg would have no such compunctions.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: Voyager sought various means of getting home faster besides its already top-of-the-line warp drive, including transwarp, quantum slipstream technology, subspace corridors, and a graviton catapult which can catapult a vessel across space in the time it takes to say "catapult a vessel across space."
- Feminist Fantasy:
- Final Solution:
- The Borg and "Species 8472" are trying to do this to each other. It's a war, but their goal is to exterminate each other's populations rather than achieving some kind of victory where the enemy's people still exists. The whole thing started with The Borg trying to assimilate 8472, but it had already moved far past that point when Voyager showed up.
- A very Anvilicious one in "Remember." While transporting members of a telepathic race, B'Elanna begins experiencing memories of the race's treatment of a sub-group who rejected technology, which eventually culminated in the sub-group supposedly being relocated but instead exterminated.
- First Episode Spoiler: Hard to explain the show without saying that the ship gets stranded in the Delta Quadrant, 70 years from home.
- Fix Fic:
- In response to two different elements of the Star Trek: Voyager finale, fans created two very popular Fix Fics: Voyager Season 7.5 and Voyager Virtual Seasons 8 and 9. The former started from before the hated Chakotay/Seven Canon Ship got started, rewriting the last half of the season, allowing them to completely avoid the finale. The latter kept everything including the final scene, but then used a Diabolus Ex Machina to subvert the Happy Ending (itself a Deus ex Machina) for a couple more seasons.
- Currently these guys are working on rewriting the whole show.
- The modern novel continuity from the Star Trek Expanded Universe gives us the String Theory trilogy. Why is Janeway so out of character at the beginning of Season Five, and other points later on? Why did the Nacene Caretaker species not show up after season two? Why is Voyager in top condition as of the later seasons despite dwindling supplies? Why did Kes suddenly turn bitter and evil in "Fury"? This trilogy fills in all the gaps, and helps make Voyager's continuity a lot easier to swallow. However, some readers have suggested that the answers given here are weirder than the possible plot holes they try to plug, others that the things being fixed weren’t too much of a distraction anyway.
- Fleeting Demographic Rule: The Borg threat tended to flirt with reenactments of Picard and Data's corruption in First Contact, with the Borg Queen making similar proposals to Janeway/Seven. "Unimatrix Zero" goes balls-out and does a retread of "The Best of Both Worlds", with the entire crew getting assimilated along with the Captain.
- The list of borrowed TNG scripts is nearly endless. However, "Infinite Regress", in which Seven is tormented by the psychic ghosts of people she's assimilated, manages to improve on a Data-centric TNG episode ("Masks") which, in its original form, was considered camp at best.
- The Seventh and final season saw the well of TNG stories running dry. A few from DS9 began to crop up as well: Klingons attempt to board Voyager in a sequence reminiscent of "The Way of the Warrior". "Endgame" wrapped with a toast between the crew in some sort of bar. "What You Leave Behind" wrapped with Sisko giving a toast to his crew in Vegas lounge.
- The Fog of Ages: According to Seven of Nine, the Borg suffer from this, as their memory from over 700 years ago is beginning to fragment.
- Foreshadowing: Many of the events depicted in "Year of Hell" are foreshadowed in "Before & After". This despite the fact that the character used to foreshadow the events (Kes) isn't there when they eventually happen.
- Forgotten Phlebotinum: Voyager's official policy was "if it doesn't work immediately and perfectly, shelve the entire idea and never mention it again". Most gratuitous was the transwarp drive in "Threshold", which worked fine apart from the surprisingly easy to treat "becoming a giant space salamander" side-effect, but which was never used even after they found a cure for the salamander thing.
- For Happiness: As the self-appointed "Morale Officer", the character Neelix is constantly trying to live up to this trope.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Make way for Banjo Man!
- For Want of a Nail:
- The "Year of Hell" two-parter involves a Krenim timeship making subtle and not-so-subtle changes to the timeline hoping to create a perfect timeline where their empire is once again powerful and all their loved ones are alive. One part featured Chakotay offering to erase an insignificant-looking comet from history, thus preventing the Voyager's interference in Krenim affairs. The Krenim captain explains that Chakotay would be wiping out half the species in the sector due to this comet being involved in seeding most of the inhabited planets in the sector billions of years ago. The captain might seem like a bit of a hypocrite for pointing out Chakotay's mistake, but the whole thing is about him trying to fix the mistake he made in the first place. As the timeship itself exists out of time, destroying it at any point causes it to never have been built, and leading to a more or less happy ending for everyone involved.
- The Voyager novel Echoes occurs when a planet activates a revolutionary new transport system that happens to shift the residents over one universe. When the Voyager is inadvertently summoned by the energy pulse, it is immune to the shifts. Residents report small changes in the world around them as they're moved. This wouldn't be such a problem, except somewhere down the line, the planet was hit by a meteor. That universe's Voyager was tasked with trying to save a few billion people. And a few hours after that, a few billion more. And a few hours after that...
- The episode "Non Sequitur" shows what would have happened if Harry Kim was not chosen to be among those who would be in Voyager's crew, with the results also affecting the life of Tom Paris. Of course, the catch is that this is an alternate reality in which Harry Kim still remembers being a crew member of Voyager and has somehow wound up in this reality.
- Four Lines, All Waiting: Primarily in season 1.
- Fresh Clue: In "Phage", when the team is tracking the Vidiians that stole Neelix's lungs, Janeway's tricorder detects a heat signature indicating that a humanoid life form was in the room within the last few minutes
- Full-Name Basis:
- Seven towards Naomi Wildman. Even funnier when Seven addresses her as "Naomi Wildman, subunit of Ensign Samantha Wildman."
- Seven often introduces herself, especially early-on, by her full Borg designation: "Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01".
- Funny Background Event: In the early episode "The Cloud", The Doctor is on a viewscreen in the background giving information about a nebula, and then starts ranting about how the ship's presence is affecting it. Janeway "mutes" the viewscreen, then she and the other officers continue discussing about the nebula. At first, The Doctor continues ranting about the nebula, until he realizes he's on "mute". He gets annoyed and starts pacing around his office for a good minute and a half◊ before Tom Paris informs Janeway that The Doctor is still on viewscreen. Janeway finally "un-mutes" him. In the same episode, Janeway hunts in the background for coffee while other main characters give exposition.
- Future Imperfect: Lampshaded. Despite Paris being the most knowledgeable crew member of North America's 20th century history, when Voyager is sent back in time to Earth circa 1996, even he gets a few cultural references, phrases, and mannerisms wrong.
Rayne: You keep calling yourselves "secret agents", but nobody says "secret agents" anymore. You're always not quite getting things just quite right. It's as if you don't belong to this time period.
- Also, a bit of Continuity Snarl in that episode, as Earth was supposed to be locked in the Eugenics Wars at that time. In fact, during Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, they openly state that their ship, the Botany Bay, was launched in 1996!
- Gender Is No Object: Starfleet is supposed to be purely integrated with gender no hindrance to attaining any position. The other series didn't quite meet this lofty principle. Female captains popped up in minor, one-shot roles after TOS, and there was Obstructive Bureaucrat Admiral Nechayev, but after DS9 gave its female characters more strength and screentime, Voyager added to this by having a woman captain as a main character and increasing the gender ratio.
- Genocide Backfire: "Jetrel", about a scientist that developed the Metreonic Cascade, a mass-destruction weapon that decimated a Talaxian world and burnt it to the ground, left countless victims poisoned with metreonic isotopes, and forced Talax to surrender to the Haakonians (any similarity to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki... is subtle). Jetrel, treated as a monster by Neelix, now roams the galaxy trying to find a cure for the metreonic poison... or so he claimed. His real redemption plot was much more ambitious: he tried to use the teleportation technology of Voyager to atomically recreate at least one of the victims of his weapon. He failed, but Neelix finally forgave him.
- Get Out: "Dismissed. That's a Starfleet expression for 'get out'."
- Getting Hot in Here: Several fanservice moments involve main characters (especially B'Elanna) stripping down to a sweaty tank top.
- Gladiator Games: In "Tsunkatse" the crew are on leave enjoying watching aliens fight it out (apparently unaware that there are sometimes death matches?), until they see Seven of Nine unexpectedly enter the ring.
- A God Am I: When Annorax boasts that his buffet spread features food you can't find anywhere else, he means it! He chooses to wait to tell the Voyager stooges until after they have begun eating that they are devouring the last remnants of a civilization. Even when the Krenim Imperium is restored to 95 percent, it is clear that Annorax cannot relinquish his godlike role.
- God Guise: Invoked by a group of Ferengi, previously seen in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, who ended up getting stuck in the Delta Quadrant after getting sucked in through a wormhole. They spent no time tricking and manipulating a planet's native race to start following the Rules of Acquisition and making them believe that the Ferengi were fabled gods of local legend.
- Good Versus Good: In the episode "Timeless", Harry Kim is trying to alter the timeline to make sure Voyager wouldn't crash, while Captain LaForge is trying to stop him — partly to protect his own crew, partly because Chakotay is considered Public Enemy No. 1 in the Alpha Quadrant. But mostly because messing with Time Travel tends not to end well in the Star Trek Universe.
- Good-Looking Privates: In "Nemesis", a girl from the village says that the Defenders, which Chakotay has joined, "glimpse great" in their jungle combat gear. They're actually the villains of the story.
- The Golden Rule: Used by Captain Janeway in the pilot episode. Two starship crews need to cooperate, and when the leader if the other crew insults one of her men she says: "That man is a member of my crew. Treat him with the same respect as you would have me treat one of yours."
- Gone Horribly Right: In "Year of Hell", annorax uses his timeship to erase one of the Krenim Imperium's enemies. The Imperuium becomes a mighty interstellar power again- and then a plague kills millions, because that enemy had introduced an antibody into the Krenim genome many generations before that would have provided resistance to the plague.
- G-Rated Drug: Janeway's coffee addiction is a Running Gag.
Coffee. Black." Neelix:
I'm sorry, Captain, we lost two more replicators this morning- Janeway: Listen to me VERY carefully
, because I'm only going to say this once: Coffee. Black. Neelix:
Yes, ma'am. (serves coffee) "While, I've got your attention... Janeway:
Coffee first. (Gigantic Gulp
) "Now what's the problem?
- Admiral Janeway questions why she ever gave it up in the final episode.
- Chakotay says his people used to contact the spirit realm using psychoactive herbs, but considering it wouldn't be a Family Friendly Aesop to have crewmembers getting stoned whenever they go on a Vision Quest, an Applied Phlebotinum called an akoonah is used instead.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy:
- With the exception of Tuvok, the only function of Voyager's security personnel is to stand in the formal 'at ease' position, waiting for the person they're guarding to stun them senseless.
- And Tuvok has his off days as well, thanks to Swiss Cheese Security whenever the plot requires it. After Chakotay takes off in a stolen shuttle in "Maneuvers", Tuvok promises the Captain it won't happen again. Several episodes later in "Threshold" Tom Paris not only steals a shuttle, he abducts Captain Janeway too!
- Starfleet also has problems with doors. They still use a forcefield on the Brig, despite the many times we see it fail if the ship is under attack. This also doesn't excuse the fact that the one door they do have, the entrance, doesn't even lock.
- Half-Human Hybrid: B'Elanna Torres, Naomi Wildman. Neelix is also 1/8th Mylean, but this only crops up in one episode.
- An argument could also be made for Seven, as she retains Borg implants even after being reclaimed from the collective.
- Hero of Another Story: Hikaru Sulu himself. George Takei campaigned heavily to helm his own show, Excelsior, and finally got to take the Captain's chair in an episode. Ditto for Captain LaForge of the Challenger, although he existed in an alternate future.
- History Marches On: Used in-universe in "Living Witness". A society has ended up with an incredibly biased account of history when Voyager traversed their system hundreds of years before, depicting the crew as a gang of sadistic thugs and genocidal monsters. When a copy of the Doctor is encountered among some of the artifacts, he eventually manages to set the record straight, and influence the planet's two respective cultures to live in harmony.
- The Homeward Journey: The premise of the show.
- Human Aliens: The native species shown in "False Profits" literally have no distinguishable physical features that set them apart from Humans.
- Humanity Ensues:
- Seven of Nine started out as human, became a Borg as a kid, and was forcibly brought back down to human (more or less) by the crew of Voyager. While initially not happy about it (to say the least), Captain Janeway guided her through the process of rediscovering her humanity through time, patience, and care.
- This side of her character development shows more and more across the series. At the start, Seven talks in a very punctual manner, foregoing emotion or expression. By the final season, Seven commonly engages in idle conversation with a more optimistic and emotionally interested inflection in her voice.
- Also, it was impossible to communicate with Species 8472 before they started taking on human form, and afterwards we never saw them in their tripedal, purple-skinned, cross-pupilled Eyes of Gold form again.
- Humans Are Morons: The episode "Virtuoso" introduced us to the Qomar, a Rubber Forehead Alien species highly dedicated to mathematics and sciences and far more advanced than the Federation, which the Qomar looks down upon in contempt. When the Doctor provides medical treatment for one of them, the Qomarian sarcastically asks if the process involves bloodletting. Even in an idealized future where humanity has overcome a good number of its flaws to become one of the most dominant space-faring races, we're still finding aliens who think we're dumb and primitive.
- Although the ability to use a starship is only one measure of intelligence. For your consideration: the Pakleds (Space Morons) and the Klingons (Warp-Age Vikings who disdain scientific research). And we do see at other points Starfleet looking down on more primitive ships or civilizations...
- Humans Are White: Averted; though there are no black humans among the main characters, there is a Native American human (played by a Latino actor who claims mestizo — part NA — ancestry), a human of Asian origins (actor Asian-American), B'Elanna's actress is Hispanic (and the character canonically has a Hispanic dad, and her mother is a Klingon), and Tuvok is a black Vulcan.
- Tuvok also marks the beginning of a wider aversion to this trope when it comes to Vulcans; apparently the writers realized that a sunny, arid planet would favor people with a lot of melanin (Well, melanin with some forehead wrinkles). After Tuvok's debut, every Vulcan depicted on screen was at least "bronzed" in appearance. Well, except for Spock and other Vulcans created before that, but they were Grandfathered in.
- Hyper Competent Sidekick:
- SF Debris makes the case that Tom Paris easily is the most over-qualified man in the history of the Federation. Ace pilot, field medic, ship designer, commando... the list is endless!
"And this is the guy that Starfleet doesn't want?!"
- Also a case with perpetual Ensign Harry Kim, who counts as a sidekick by virtue of his low rank, despite sometimes being put in charge of the bridge when Janeway, Chakotay, Tuvok and Paris are not around!
- Seven-of-Nine becomes this, as she is not really a uniformed crewmember, but her incredible scientific knowledge left over from her time in the Borg Collective often provides the Applied Phlebotinum in a given episode.
- Icheb later takes this role as well, being a Teen Genius due his time in the Borg making him nearly as smart and capable as Seven.
- Hypocrite: Chakotay on occasion (such as "Initiations") will claim that his people taught him that a man does not own land or a belief in always finding a peaceful and non-violent solution to things... seemingly having forgotten that he was the leader of a guerrila army dedicated to protecting their land and often showed no mercy to the Cardassians.
- Hypocritical Humor: "If the Continuum has told you once, they've told you 1000 times, DON'T PROVOKE THE BORG!" Justified, considering what the Continuum did to Q afterward.
- Hypochondria: A characteristic of Harry's Expy in "Author, Author".
- I Choose to Stay: In "The 37" Voyager found a colony of abducted humans, who made their own city at that planet. What now? Continue the journey to Earth, or stay behind at this new planet? All the crew was allowed to decide individually. No one abandoned the ship.
- I Meant to Do That: "Workforce" had this nugget.
Jaffen: *gingerly presses button, shutting off the alarm* You almost started a core overload.
Janeway: I would have corrected it.
- I Surrender, Suckers: Prottip: The next time you draw in some escape pods from Voyager, make sure there aren't any torpedoes in them...
- I'll Kill You!: In the episode Parturition
Neelix: I'll kill you!
- Infant Immortality: Only in parallel-yet-simultaneous realities. Voyager is copied due to some strange phenomenon; newly-born Naomi Wildman dies and is replaced by the surviving copy from the doomed version of the ship.
- Infinite Supplies: Sometimes played infamously straight, sometimes completely ignored... Sometimes one in one episode and the other in another. Voyager is one of the worst offenders for this trope. Admittedly, the crew could have probably manufactured their own shuttles/torpedoes or bartered for some substitutes, as indeed they did with the Borg, but this was rarely if ever touched upon. Parodied in this montage.
- It was done with shuttles more times than one could count, but perhaps most infamously, when the Delta Flyer was blown to smithereens in one episode, and was back in service in the very next episode. It was accompanied by a very casually delivered line about the last time someone took the Delta Flyer out for a spin and then forgotten.
- There's also the infinite Johnny Nobody crewmembers? The original crew complement was 141 at the beginning of "Caretaker". "The 37's" gives the combined Maquis/Starfleet crew count as 152. And yet we see so many different background filling extras (in the canteen ALONE, besides anywhere else) that one has to wonder whether it was deliberate... In fact, when this forum post breaks down the deaths of all the crew members portrayed onscreen, it turns out that Voyager comes home with more people than she left with (largely due to the Maquis crew), and the crew count appears to be consistently maintained throughout the series. Bear in mind this is a tiny Intrepid-class cruiser, not a Galaxy-class.
- Informed Ability:
- Chakotay/Paris suddenly having always been interested in a certain field.
- Neelix conning the crew into thinking he's an expert in something, which often gets people killed. (See "Basics") This is eventually lampshaded by Neelix where he confides that he's just a cook — who sometimes likes to pretend he's a diplomat. Mainly he's there to keep morale up.
- Pretty much anything involving Neelix fits. He claims to be a survival expert, but he does things that anyone with survival skills would never do (which resulted in at least two redshirts getting killed on his watch and a hostage situation with primitive natives, all in a single episode). He claims to be a rock climbing expert, but he nearly killed Torres by grabbing ahold of her hips to save himself after he slipped. He claims to be a great chef, but not only did he caused a shipwide system failure with a lump of cheese, but his cooking is almost universally reviled.
- On that subject, Starfleet felt the need to thread bio-neural circuitry throughout Voyager. The gel packs in the bulkheads have actually made Voyager more vulnerable to outside threats (i.e. being infected by Neelix’s aged cheese), and it's even mentioned that the bio-neural gel packs cannot be replicated, making them harder to replace. Supposedly, the bio-neural packs are more efficient at keeping track of the crew (not really, Chell actually complained about that in "Repression") and can pilot the ship better than even Tom Paris, making the helm utterly redundant. Despite Janeway's repeated claims to the contrary, though, the crew still relied on Tom to pilot them out of danger. (This fascination with "gel packs" is very indicative of the nineties, when companies began attaching silicone gel to everything from basketball shoes to toothbrushes.)
- B'Elanna is a scientific genius, despite not knowing knowing Space has 3 dimensions and literally cannot identify crap even with a tricorder (literally- as in, in the episode "The 37's", there is a situation where she literally cannot identify the substance she is scanning as manure). Perhaps not coincidentally, her duties in Engineering were gradually usurped by the much more capable Seven of Nine.
- Informed Wrongness: In-Universe, in "Friendship One," an away mission is being organized to a highly radioactive planet and Torres (who is at this point heavily pregnant) wants to go along, while Tom refuses because "she's too delicate." The planet's radiation is then established at 6000 isorems, which is way more than enough for a miscarriage or birth defects (helping push Torres into Too Dumb to Live). In the end, we do see a pregnant woman on the planet who had two miscarriages, a stillborn, and nearly loses her fourth child.
- Innocent Innuendo:
- At the beginning of the episode "Coda", Janeway and Neelix are speaking in ambiguous terms about some sort of group event Neelix organized the previous night. With lines like "You were really good last night" and "It's been a long time for me" going back and forth between them, it seems like they're talking about an orgy. It's not until the next scene that it's revealed they were talking about a talent show.
- Neelix gets another one when Seven of Nine decides to move into her own quarters in a holodeck simulation. He's very insistent that the carpet must match the curtains.
- Insane Troll Logic: The sad case of an elderly Tuvok in "Endgame", thanks to his medical condition. He insists to Janeway that because she's visiting on the wrong day of the week, she logically couldn't be Janeway.
- It Can Think: ("Bliss"). Voyager encounters a huge space-dwelling alien that can create illusions in the minds of starship crews so they fly right into its maw.
EMH: Judging by these bio-scans the organism's been devouring life forms for a bit longer than thirty-nine years. I'd estimate it's at least 200,000 years old.
QATAI: The intelligent always survive.
EMH: I wouldn't go that far. It appears to operate on highly-evolved instinct. I haven't detected any signs of sentience.
QATAI: Oh, he's intelligent, all right. Smart enough to fool your crew into taking you offline.
- Inscrutable Aliens: One episode had them rescue an alien that was so bizarre they had to start from scratch on trying to understand it. Its biology was such that the medical computers, including the Doctor, couldn't make sense of it, and its language was beyond the universal translators capacity to decode. In another, they played this role to a species living on a planet with a Year Inside, Hour Outside effect. From their point of view, Voyager had been in their sky for centuries, and was a complete mystery to them.
- It's All My Fault: Chakotay started blaming himself after he learned that his former lover Seska had betrayed the titular ship to an enemy species; she turned out to be a Cardassian spy dolled up to be a Bajoran to infiltrate the Maquis, and Chakotay felt responsible for not catching on to her as the leader of the cell she infiltrated, especially after he learned later that he had missed several other spies among his ranks (including science officer Tuvok). It was only when Tuvok admitted that Seska had deceived him while they were in the cell, as well, that Chakotay got over it.
- Its Pronounced Tro Pay: A humorous example: Neelix searched through the replicator's database and tried to remake a type of chili, which resulted in a few crewmen getting indigestion, which Tom had to cure. Neelix comments that next time he'll cut back on the "Ja-lopenos."
- Just a Machine:
- An episode questioned the rights of the ship's holographic Doctor. His status was a background theme that ran throughout the series. This being Voyager, the writing was not particularly consistent: Sometimes the crew would treat the Doctor like a person, and sometimes he was just a device that could be shut off whenever it got too annoying. One glimpse of the future suggested holographic AIs would eventually get equal rights.
- It's eventually revealed that all the other Mark I EMH's (except the Doctor) were removed because of their terrible bedside manner and repurposed into mining asteroids. See "What the Hell, Hero?" for more details.
- Knight, Knave and Squire: This type of relationship is present between Janeway, Paris and Kim with Squire Kim as the wet-behind-the-ears Ensign Newbie, Knave Paris as the pragmatist who's trying to influence Kim and Knight Janeway as the moral beacon for Kim and the rest of the crew.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: "Unforgettable". The humanoid Ramura race give off a pheromone that has an odd effect on other beings. A few hours after the Ramura leaves their presence, the other being completely forgets ever having met them.
- Last Minute Hookup: Seven and Chakotay. Regarded as a Crack Pairing by some fans as there had been no previous UST between the two (except in a holodeck fantasy) and whose relationship, in their meager scenes together, was marked by outright disdain. In fact, the producers had even rejected the suggestion that this could ever happen when Seven and Chakotay were stranded on a planet together in "Survival Instinct", just a few months before they hooked up in "Endgame".
- Letting Her Hair Down: Janeway, Kes, and Seven do this a few times. With Janeway and Kes, it's usually in the form of costumed Holodeck programs.
- Limited Advancement Opportunities: Perennial Ensign Harry Kim was a victim of this, even though Janeway did promote Tuvok from Lieutenant to Lieutenant-Commander in season four. This carried some implications of favoritism, as Tuvok was a long-time personal friend of Janeway's. He also had to deal with former Maquis members like B'Elanna Torres leapfrogging over him in rank.
- Living Ship: Voyager has Neural Gel Packs, which were probably intended to act like organic brains or at least small computers. Supposedly they were cutting-edge tech, as Voyager was an advanced ship when it was completed.
- Of course, they were used several times as a plot complication generator by having them "get an infection." Janeway eventually ordered Torres to replace them with conventional circuits, but the ship never seemed to be any less cutting-edge afterward.
- Species 8472 were introduced in Voyager, and they had completely organic living ships. Not even the Borg could stand up against one of those babies.
- Longest Pregnancy Ever: Ensign Wildman - already pregnant in the pilot episode, gives birth mid-Season 2.
- The Doctor comments on this in the episode "Fury", mentioning that members of Ensign Wildman's husband's species have a gestation that is twice as long as that of a human.
- And even more ironic, considering that Naomi had a 15 month gestation, then seemed to age 3-4 years between series 4 and 5.
- When Naomi's born, The Doctor mentions that her teeth will begin appearing within a month. Given this relatively accelerated growth rate, it is not unreasonable to assume that she may age at a naturally slightly accelerated rate.
- Averted in the episode "Drone", a 29th-century Borg drone goes from tissue sample to fetus to full-grown adult in a day.
- Long Title: In-universe, Naomi's essay about "The weird planet where time moved very fast and so did the people who lived there". Seven helps her condense it.
- Lost Technology: In both "Message In A Bottle" and "Hunters," Voyager comes across a vast abandoned network of ancient relay stations (each powered by its own black hole!), enabling them to make contact with Starfleet on the other side of the galaxy. One little mistake and the entire network shut down.
- Lotus-Eater Machine:
- In "Bliss", a Negative Space Wedgie in the form of a gigantic psychic creature (referred to as a "telepathic pitcher plant")note tricks the entire crew into believing that it is a wormhole that leads to Earth, that the Doctor and Seven of Nine (who are both immune) have to be deactivated, then making them pass out and experience a supremely pleasant false reality in order to feast on them. Double Subverted for the characters Seven of Nine and Naomi Wildman, who are able to resist its effects because they have no particular desire to go to Earth. When they tried to escape, the creature was able to then exploit that desire and make then think they succeeded when they were still inside its stomach.
- In "Waking Moments", telepathic aliens who exist primarily in a dreaming state invade the crew's dreams, forcing them to all join into a single group dream that seems totally real in order to attack them. Only Chakotay, the Magical Native American, knows it is a dream at first, and uses his lucid dreaming / vision quest Applied Phlebotinum machine to control the dream world. Eventually, the whole crew learns this skill to turn the tables on their captors and exit the dream state.
- In "The Thaw", several aliens in suspended animation wait out a planetary disaster using such a system. Unfortunately their combined anxieties created a Monster Clown character who was the personification of Fear, tormenting them for its amusement.
- Ludicrous Speed: Hitting the Warp Factor 10 speed limit in "Threshold" makes you go crazy, spit out your tongue, and eventually mutate into a large salamander. But not before kidnapping your captain and taking her to an alien planet, so she can mutate and you can have children with her. For obvious reasons, the producers eventually declared the episode non-canonical. Especially since other faster-than-warp means of propulsion such as "transwarp" and "quantum slipstream" drives were also depicted, which for whatever reason allowed travel beyond Warp 10 without being Hollywood Evolutioned into an amphibian.
- Mad Mathematician: Annorax's timeship is crewed by skilled analysts who take every variable into account when nudging history in the Krenim Impreium's favor. By zapping a rival planet with the temporal-shielded Voyager in the vicinity, it tosses a monkey wrench into the formula, causing the Imprerium to shrink to a pre-warp state. Annorax realizes he can't make any further moves as long as Janeway is tooling about in Krenim space.
Annorax: You're an anomalous component. Alone. Disconnected. Impossible to predict. (tries to laugh, winces instead) You have no idea how you've complicated my mission.
Paris: Glad to hear it.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: A Star Trek staple, really, but Voyager really takes it to the next level. Don't be surprised if Janeway decides to fly off the ship with her first officer on routine patrol duty, leaving the impulsive and unreliable Half-Klingon rebel in command.
- Married In The Future: One episode had Kes witness a future where she and Tom Paris were married and had children following "The Year of Hell" but ultimately it didn't happen this way partly because Kes retained her knowledge of the future and was able to warn the crew. By the time the "Year of Hell" actually happened Kes had left the ship and Tom later ended up marring B'lanna who had been killed in the original timeline.
- Mate or Die:
- Yup, this returns with a twist in "Blood Fever" when young background Vulcan officer Vorik tries to force himself on B'Elanna Torres during his pon farr, leading her to suffer the blood fever as well. This is the episode that launched millions of Torres/Paris shippers.
- In a later episode, Tuvok also has to deal with his pon farr (it being almost seven years into the trip by this time) With a little help from the holodeck, courtesy of Tom Paris (who makes the case that technically if the hologram is of your wife, it's not cheating), he eventually manages to work through it. This is somewhat played for laughs, as the holodeck gets cut off right in the middle of the program the first time; in a later conversation after he gets the program back online for some uninterrupted quality time, he also complains that the simulated wife's ears were a bit longer than his actual wife's, to which Tom Paris responds with an appeal to artistic license.
- Mauve Shirt: VOY attempted this in the early seasons, giving crewmen who were slated to be killed off a few episodes of screentime.
- Ensign Samantha Wildman, Naomi's mother and a member of the science department.
- Lieutenant Joseph Carey, the Number Two engineer to B'Elanna Torres, until he got killed off near the end of the series.
- Lieutenant/Ensign Ayala, a background character who appeared in more episodes than many of the main cast. He was largely a background Easter Egg, and had by the middle of season 1 become an actual bridge officer, a status he retained through the end of the series. His name was rarely mentioned, and in a couple of cases, it was made deliberately unclear as to specifically who was being addressed. He did speak, albiet rarely, but in one case, this was over the comm, further obsuring his identity. We can surmise that this guy sure was the most important crew member who we never got to know.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: features prominently in a great many episodes, but especially in "Coda" in which Janeway has one of those near-death experiences known to some of us. Is Captain Janeway's experience really just another first contact with a strange alien species (which was detectable on a medical tricorder scan of her cortex), or (far from the first) contact with someone from the afterlife? The story reports, you decide.
- Just to make things more interesting, one of those unstable time loops we've seen in other Star Trek series' episodes is also suggested early on, and if the "magic" explanation is true, "Admiral Janeway" would actually be a demon come to drag Captain Janeway to Hell. The flames seen coming from what he calls his matrix would certainly support this, and Janeway herself tells him "Go back to Hell, coward!"
- Meet the New Boss: Cullah is Gul Dukat on a bad hair day.
- The Kazon feel indistinct from Klingons, minus the rich culture, super-strength, signature weapon, warrior code, quick wits, intimidating ships, intelligence... well, okay, apart from the hair, they're nothing alike.
- The Hirogen share a few things in common with the Jem'Hadar. Xenophobic, observant to the chain of command, and not without intelligence, they are nonetheless hamstrung by an inflexible ideology. In "The Killing Game", the Hirogen Alpha frets to Janeway that his species' culture is becoming stagnant. He devises a new "hunting ground" for them on Voyager's expanded holodeck, just as the Jem'Hadar First in "Hippocratic Oath" beams his drug-addled men onto a planet to dry out.
- "Nemesis" pits Chakotay against the Kradin: a big, toothy, hairy race who resemble the Naussicans. (aka the brutes who left Picard limping away with an artificial heart.) Subverted in that the Kradin's fearsome reputation has been exaggerated through war propaganda.
- In "Dragon's Teeth", the Vaadwaur set about charming the crew while secretly preparing to seize the ship and recapture their old territories. There exist dozens of old Talaxian folk tales warning of their deceptive nature; the Vaadwaur also share the hooded necks and Darwinian philosophy of the Cardassians, "Demon with a golden voice", anyone?
- Mind Rape:
- Janeway is revealed to have done this to the Doctor in "Latent Image" after he suffered a breakdown. Janeway even justifies her actions because technically the Doctor isn't human, so she was just fixing him. It takes What the Hell, Hero? speeches before she sees why the Doctor is so horrified by her actions.
- "Memorial" where an alien device Mind Rapes crew members into experiencing a massacre (in actual fact, a more effective war memorial). At the end of the episode Janeway orders the device refuelled so it can go on to Mind Rape many more people for at least 300 years. She does however also leave a beacon some distance away to warn people about what is about to happen to them.
- The episode "Remember" also did this. While transporting a group of friendly telepaths, Torres begins experiencing vivid dreams about them. Eventually, she realizes they are actually memories from one of the visiting aliens, memories of a Holocaust against a group which rejected technology.
- Misapplied Phlebotinum: The Vidiians, whose incredible medical technology (complete with transporter-based cloning in the Tom Riker model) is mainly used to murder people and steal their organs. Taking organs from nonsapient animals? Nonsense! Organ-harvest cloning? The stuff of dreams! No, murdering people and stealing their organs is the way of the future! There's also one society that uses brain-straining long-distance transporter technology to take romantic walks on planets thousands of light years away (though that may only fall under Mundane Utility).
- Mistaken for Racist: The crew is stranded on a primitive planet without their technology, and Tuvok, the Vulcan tactical officer, fashions several crude weapons including a bow and arrow (which is obviously a stereotype of Native Americans). First Officer Chakotay, who is of indigenous South American or Meso-American descent, politely thanks Tuvok but says "This is thoughtful of you Tuvok, but my tribe never used bows and arrows, and I've never even shot one," figuring Tuvok had maybe watched one too many westerns and had the wrong idea about Native Americans. Tuvok gives Chakotay a different weapon and says, "This is mine. I taught archery science for several years at the Vulcan Institute of Defensive Arts. "
- The Mole:
- Seska, a Bajoran who turns out to be a Cardassian spy infiltrating the Maquis.
- There was another ex-Maquis who routinely reported to the Kazon-Nistrim sect, passing vital information about Voyager's goings-on to Seska.
- Monster of the Week: The show had stellar anomalies of the week that were always solved by a healthy amount of Technobabble.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Crell Moset, a Cardassian doctor who the Doctor consults in the form of a hologram when B'Elanna is stuck to some kind of parasite-symbiont thing.
- Mortality Ensues: Q does it to q at one point; it's also a result of suppressing Seven's Borg nanotech.
- MST3K Mantra:
- Invoked in "Timeless" — Harry Kim tries to make sense of how the future version of himself could have sent the present-day Seven of Nine instructions on how to save the ship, since the future Harry's timeline was erased and he will not exist to send the instructions, resulting in an apparent Grandfather Paradox. Janeway just tells him not to bother trying to work it out, since he'll likely only succeed in giving himself a headache.
- Also used in "Deadlock", where Voyager gets split into two different versions, and the "original" version of Harry Kim is killed by a hull breach early in the story. At the story's climax the other Voyager is destroyed, but that ship's version of Harry (and Naomi Wildman, who ended up being stillborn on the other copy due to the accident happening during her birth) is sent over just before its destruction. This leads Harry to suffer an existential crisis about whether he's really Harry Kim or just a copy of him, leading Janeway to tell him that he's real enough, and add the following zinger:
- Muse Abuse:
- In "Author, Author", the EMH makes a holonovel about a fictional ship stranded in the Delta Quadrant. It is best described as extreme Muse Abuse of Voyager's crew, so much so that the EMH has to rework the novel. The episode's main conflict is that the publisher won't allow the EMH to revise it, because holograms don't have rights. (The Federation decides that while he can't be classified as a person, he can be classified as an artist.)
- Notably averted in an earlier episode. While searching through the holodeck's database, Paris finds what appears to be a holonovel casting the Maquis members of the crew as mutineers. Despite this portrayal, even the "villains" happily play along. Ultimately, it's revealed it wasn't even meant to be art, but a training simulation for security members when mutiny was considered a real danger. Then it turns out that one of their old enemies had rigged it to turn into a Death Trap for whoever used it.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: The Doctor makes a lot of these types of jokes at Tom Paris's expense.
- In the opening of "Year of Hell Part 1", the Doctor is moved to a speech that delivers one of these from out of nowhere.
"Who would have thought this group of voyagers could actually become a family: Starfleet, Maquis, Klingon, Tallaxian, Hologram, Borg, even Mr. Paris."note
- In another early episode, the Doctor was discussing with Kes his problems: he was built as an emergency software for special cases and now has to be available 24 hours a day, everyone treats him as he did not even exist, nobody tells him what's going on, nobody remembers to shut hm when leaving, he has nobody to assist him... Kes pointed that Paris was assigned to be his nurse. "Like I said, nobody to assist me".
- In "Living Witness", the Doctor wakes up in the future to find that the historians of that era have painted a rather unflattering picture of their ancestors' run-in with the Voyager crew, and depicted them all like evil, violent lunatics. When he protests this, he follows it up by singling out Paris as not having been that different in real life from the way he's portrayed in the recreation (which is more cocky than evil).
- My God, What Have I Done?: Spoken word for word by B'Elanna near the end of the episode "Prototype."
- My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels:
Kim: "'Vien'ke debala, Jhet'leya.' I taught myself to say a few words in Kobali."
Ensign Lyndsay Ballard: "That's very sweet of you, but you just told me the comets are tiresome."
- Janeway's body language nearly causes a diplomatic incident at one stage.
- My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: Several examples:
- The Doctor makes very effective use of the sickbay sensors with Tom Paris.
- Seven of Nine's Borg implants may not be so precise, but she's very observant and can tell when Harry Kim is putting the moves on her.
- Subverted with Icheb, who's not as observant as Seven, and whose sensors give him a false reading from B'Elanna Torres.
- Mythology Gag: When the Doctor asks "How Many Fingers?" to a woozy Chakotay, he holds up a facsimile of the Vulcan salute. ("The Fight")
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Michael Jonas' name might as well be Judas Benedict Arnold-Booth.
- Negative Space Wedgie: These served as the Monster of the Week for many Voyager episodes.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: One of their worst offenses (if not the first) was inadvertently destroying the relay station that put them back in communication with the Alpha Quadrant while trying to fight off some Hirogen. The relay network spanned over the great majority of the Delta and Beta Quadrants, and had been fully operational for over 100,000 years, and they knocked out the whole network. Fortunately, they found others that didn't get destroyed as they continued their journey.
- Nicknaming the Enemy: One of the primary themes in the episode "Nemesis". Chakotay crash lands on an alien planet and finds himself among a group of desperate people fighting a jungle guerilla war against an inhuman, genocidal adversary they refer to as "beasts", but primarily "the nemesis". Chakotay is so distraught at the extent of the enemy's evil that he joins the cause. It turns out that they brainwashed Chakotay, and their nicknaming was just one of the many ways they used to dehumanize their enemy, who are actually a well-meaning people who helped rescue Chakotay from his captors. However, they refer to the jungle warriors as their "nemesis" as well, suggesting they also villify their enemy.
- Magnus Hansen, a rogue exobiologist and father to Seven of Nine, hitched a ride with a Borg Cube to study them in the wild as though they were panda bears. This guy makes Noonien Soong look like a paragon of orthodoxy: He tagged various Borg to track their movements, and even bestowed them with codenames, such as "Junior", "Bill", and "Needle Fingers."
- No Endor Holocaust: In "Faces" the Vidiians split B'Elanna into two halves, one fully human and one fully Klingon. Vidiians suspected, and with good reason, that Klingons (pure Klingons, that is) may be able to resist the Phage that ravages them. And in fact, she does. Both B'Elannas and the others are rescued, the Klingon one killed in the process, and the doctor took DNA from her body to restore B'Elanna to her usual self. But if you stop to think it for a moment... from the Viidian perspective, it was a Hope Spot for their race, their chance to survive, and they lost it. But the Klingon is dead, the doctor has used the DNA to fix B'Elanna, what about giving the dead body back to the Vidiians, so that they could also study its DNA and get their cure? That would even give them a much needed ally.
- No, Mister Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Annorax invites Chakotay and Paris over to his ship for a meal. He waits until they're eating to reveal that the food was collected from civilizations wiped from history by Annorax's weapon.
"Mister Paris, you're devouring the last remnants of the Alseran Empire."
(Paris glances at his fork, loses appetite)
- Nominal Importance: The doctor taking the name Lord Schweitzer to survive
- Not Rare Over There: Early in the series, they're in an area of space where water is the go-to commodity. Our heroes can make all they want (within reason) and find themselves a common target because of it.
- Which is somewhat confusing for several reasons. First and foremost being is that water is absurdly easy to make, and the base elements are extremely common- hydrogen (the most abundant of all elements) and oxygen, which can easily be found on many of the M-Class planets that the series frequents. Second, water is also extremely common. Although this is somewhat justified in that the Kazon are such failures that even the Borg don't want to assimilate them.
- Not So Different: After meeting Doc Zimmerman, Troi says she can see where the Doctor got his ego from.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Reginald Barclay on Earth found a way to establish regular contact with Voyager in the final seasons, thus allowing the ship to have tactical and emotional support from home that was not possible before.
- Novelization: The first and last episodes of the series, and a handful of key storylines in-between, were adapted.
- Odd Friendship: Seven and Naomi...Seven and the Doctor...Seven and anyone...
- Subverted with Neelix and Tuvok. Neelix tries so, so, so hard to be "Mr. Vulcan's" friend, but Tuvok's response is barely concealed contempt and sarcasm. And honestly, this is Neelix we're talking about here, can you blame him?
- When Tuvok is afraid he's lost his self-control after mind-melding with a Serial Killer, and is testing his restraint in the holodeck, guess which crewmember he simulates on the grounds that he's most likely to push him to breaking point! To make matters worse, he did not have to program the holographic version of Neelix to be any different than normal. Although, in fairness Neelix, more so than any of the human crew, seems obsessed with getting an emotional response out of Tuvok and simply cannot accept his Vulcan emotional suppression. Thus Tuvok naturally sees him as the biggest regular strain on his temper.
- Official Couple: Neelix and Kes, then Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres.
- Ominous Message from the Future: In the episode "Future's End", Captain Braxton of the time ship Aeon comes back from the 29th century with information that the entire solar system has been destroyed in a cataclysmic explosion and that Voyager was somehow involved. Now he's here to destroy them before that can happen. They manage to fight him off and both ships get stuck in the late 20th century. Braxton, who arrived 30 years earlier and has been living as a homeless bum all that time, continues to try warn people of the coming disaster, but due to his position in society, and the fact that he's talking about something that won't happen for centuries, people dismiss him as just another crazy bum.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Former Borg drones may become this due to knowledge retained from their time in the Collective, although canon is sometimes inconsistent on the matter. Seven and Icheb are both examples of this trope being played straight, as they either already know or quickly learn virtually any scientific skill required by the plot.
- Omniglot: "Hopes and Fears" introduces Voyager to Arturis, an alien whose species is capable of mastering any language (written, spoken, and computational) after only hearing or seeing a couple words.
- Once for Yes, Twice for No: A nebula alien, that learns to communicate only through the set phrases of the ship's computer.
- A race of aliens found in the Void learns how to communicate using a series of tones generated via PAD Ds that are provided by the Doctor.
- One Steve Limit: Averted by the actors. Three of the six male regulars are named Robert, though each fortunately has a different nickname to mitigate confusion: Robert Beltran is "Robert", Robert Picardo is "Bob", and Robert Duncan McNeill is "Robbie".
- Only Sane Man: Often this is either Tom Paris, or the Doctor. Arguably Chakotay as well, with his being the constant voice of reason.
- In the latter's case, when as the Emergency Command Hologram in the episode "Workforce", the Doctor's first response to being told that Voyager will be boarded and forcibly seized, is to immediately open fire and cripple the enemy ship. In comparison, Janeway and Chakotay usually only return fire when the shields are down to 24% and several consoles have exploded.
- The Doctor's reaction in "Time and Again" when he realises no-one informed him that Voyager was now carrying two alien passengers, Neelix and Kes. Oh and 80 Maquis now serve as part of the new crew. And he can't contact Captain Janeway because she's down on the planet below. Oh... and she is currently missing.
Doctor: It seems I've found myself on the voyage of the damned.
- Operation Blank: 'Dark Frontier's' Operation Fort Knox.
- Organ Theft: Neelix has his lungs stolen via teleporters, forcing the Doctor to create temporary Hard Light substitutes. The Vidiians actively engaged in this as it was the only way for them to survive the Phage that afflicted their entire race... That is until a Think Tank later gave them a permanent cure for the right price.
- Orwellian Editor: Janeway in "Latent Image" repeatedly attempts to delete the Doctor's memories and even ordered all evidence of Ensign Jetal to be erased from existence.
- Other Me Annoys Me: As SF Debris noted about whenever Janeway met various dopplegangers;
: Whenever we get two Janeways in the same room, they will always
argue with one another.
- Out-Gambitted: Kashyk in "Counterpoint". He thinks he's tricked Janeway into revealing the refugees she was hiding, but she sent them somewhere else.
- Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Often averted with Chakotay's Native American spirituality and some explorations of other odd species' religions. The episode "False Profits" parodied this trope to Hell and back, however, with a Bronze Age civilization venerating two Ferengi refugees as their sages (sort of ersatz deities) because their crash-landing's appearance was a lot like something prophesied in one of their sacred poems. All efforts to remove the Ferengi failed until the Voyager's crew realized the same poem ended with the appearance of certain easily-arranged celestial signs and the ascension of the sages back into the heavens, all of which could be arranged using some futuristic flares and transporter technology. Since technically this means every one of the prophecies came true, there was arguably nothing to outgrow about these people's "silly superstitions" at all!
- To add to the humor, this also parodied Burn the Witch! as the joyous townspeople, spurred by the mention of their sages being taken up on "wings of flame" in the prophecy, enthusiastically rush to honor their sages by bundling them all together with some firewood and lighting the fire. Since they're beamed out before they can be burned, they truly do ascend into the heavens.
- It's implied that while many do still believe in mythology, it may not be the truth, as seen in the episode 'Mortal Coil' where Neelix dies (he gets better) and is upset he didn't experience an afterlife.
- Played straight in "Blink of an Eye" where Voyager is trapped in orbit over a planet where time moves rapidly, becoming worshiped as a deity by the inhabitants called "the Groundshaker" after their attempt to leave causes violent earthquakes. As we see time on the planet progress, the people invent telescopes and come to dub Voyager as "The Skyship", which by the time they've entered the Space Age, is no longer believed to be the home of their Gods, but merely an advanced spacecraft that houses alien beings.
- Overranked Soldier: Inverted. Ensign Harry Kim should've gotten an automatic promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade at the eighteen month mark at the latest.
- Parental Substitute:
- Little Naomi Wildman's father is 70,000 light years away when she is born, so several of the male crewmembers try to fill a paternal role in her life, usually her godfather Neelix.
- You could also argue that Captain Janeway serves as a positive parent to young Kes, rehumaned Seven of Nine, B'Elanna Torres (whose father abandoned her), Tom Paris (ditto, just not physically), and Harry Kim (made even more pronounced in "Endgame").
- Lampshaded in "Barge of the Dead" (where B'Elanna's mother appears in a vision wearing a Starfleet captain's uniform) and "Dark Frontier" where Janeway 'tucks Seven into bed' (plugs her into her Borg alcove) after she wins the custody battle rescues Seven from the Borg Queen.
- Seven of Nine later became this to four creepy-ass borg children they rescued. She wasn't very good at it.
- She wasn't terrible either. Their interaction was as much about Seven's continued Character Development as the kids', if not more.
- Passed Over Promotion: Harry Kim remains an ensign all seven seasons in spite of being a diligent talented officer who matures considerably. The Maquis members of the bridge crew (and ex-con Tom Paris) do get field commissions, most notable being B'Elanna who is made a Lieutenant Junior-Grade and Chakotay, who is made Commander as Janeway's Number One. Tuvok also receives a field promotion from Lieutenant to Lieutenant-Commander in season four.
- Planet of Hats: Kazon (Gang Bangers IN SPACE!), Vidiians (diseased organ pirates), Malon (galactic garbage dumpers), Hirogen (a culture based on hunting sentient species), the Swarm (a nameless xenophobic...swarm), and the Devore Imperium (xenophobic, telepath-hating militarists, though in this case their uniformity is used to highlight the individual charm of Inspector Kashyk).
- Plank Gag: In the episode "Suvival Instinct", Chakotay tried to lug a huge piece of alien sports equipment across the bridge and nearly whacked a visiting alien with it.
- Plausible Deniability: Eugenics Wars? What are they?
- It probably doesn't help that the Eugenics Wars were supposedly occurring at the same time the series aired in real life.
- Official Trek lore states that the Eugenics Wars occurred between 1993 and 1996. It is also known that while a good portion of North America was involved and affected (specifically, the eastern coasts,) "Future's End" served to establish that Los Angeles and the west coast in general was still one such area where life continued on as normal. This is a bit of a Hand Wave though, as the west coast is still a part of the same country as the east coast. Plus, a great deal of the west coast's economy is based on trade with Asia, which was being ravaged by war at the time.
- Plot Armor: Standard issue for the main characters, per usual on Trek, but VOY often takes it to absurd levels. Several times, characters are shot point-blank center-of-mass (which has been established to be fatal, even on the stun setting), and yet they're fine. In "Year of Hell," Tuvok is only a few feet away from an exploding torpedo, and while he's permanently injured, his infirmity is blindness.
Imagine if the torpedo had actually collided
with him! It just might
have killed him!
- Precrime Arrest: The episode "Relativity", where the 29th century timeship Relativity is attempting to stop a time-paradox sabotage attempt on the 24th century spaceship Voyager. After the culprit responsible for the mess is found, two earlier versions of the culprit are arrested. The Captain assures Captain Janeway that the three would be "integrated" into one person before his trial.
- Premature Eulogy: One glaring example is in the episode Coda where Janeway receives four whole minutes of this while floating between life and death, watching it play out. It's to be expected in a show where people die and come back to life every week.
- Pretty in Mink: In the bar in the episode "The Killing Game", some of the ladies are wearing fur wraps.
- Prim and Proper Bun:
- Captain Janeway◊ had this style for most of the first season. It was known as The Bun of Steel
- The emotionless and formal Seven of Nine used a French pleat for her first 3 seasons on the show.
- Principles Zealot: While Janeway has her moments, Seven Of Nine is surely the local queen of this trope. The Doctor also tries to do this once or twice.
- Prison Ship: An episode had the Voyager itself briefly converted into a Prison Ship. Using Force Field Doors, of course...
- Promotion Not Punishment: Admiral Kathryn Janeway violates nearly 154 rules by traveling back in time and swindling the Klingons. The fact that her actions get Voyager home nearly 15 years early and with added technology as a bonus results in her past self getting a promotion... to Admiral.
- The same is implied to happen with Barclay in Pathfinder
- Prophetic Name: The Intrepid-class USS Voyager herself. Because the Cowardly-class USS Stayathome just wouldn't have had the same ring to it.
- Psychic Powers: Kes, sometimes Tuvok.
- Ramming Always Works: From "Year in Hell": "Time's up."
- From "Parallax": "Sometimes you just have to punch your way through."
- Recycled In Space: As Lampshaded in a Voltaire filk, the show was Lost in Space
IN SPACE! IN THE STAR TREK UNIVERSE!
- Redemption Equals Death: Ensign Lon Suder (Brad Dourif) murders a coworker, and is locked in his quarters ("Meld"). Thanks to Tuvok's guidance, he had calmed himself considerably. During a siege of the ship ("Basics, Part 1 and 2"), he deeply regretted that he would have to use his murder skills again to fight off the invaders, before finishing with a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Red Shirt: Averted in the early seasons by giving some screen time to crewmembers who were slated for death in later episodes (i.e. Hogan, Jonas, Carey). But eventually they reverted to bumping off anonymous ensigns by the shuttleload. A notable subversion however occurs in "Latent Image" where the Doctor is guilt-ridden over his choice to save Harry Kim as opposed to the expendable crewmember.
- Joe Carey might be considered a subversion as well. Despite disappearing for years at a time except for flashbacks, the character makes it all the way to the final season before he's killed on an away mission. He is in fact the last casualty before Voyager makes it back home. Most redshirts don't last for the entirety of a series run.
- This forum post has two people go to the trouble of listing all the crew that are seen, have died, or are even mentioned by name. Sure, Voyager may have lost over a dozen shuttlecraft, but as far as people go, it was pretty damned consistent.
- "Basics" has a classic redshirt incident: Neelix and Ensign Hogan discover a pile of humanoid bones in front of a dark cave mouth. Neelix, who notes they're like a Keep Out sign, orders Hogan to gather them all up, then gets called away by someone else. Genre Savvy Hogan gets an Oh, Crap look, and sure enough is killed seconds later by a giant lizard charging out of the cave.
- Religious Robot: "Flesh and Blood" is about sentient holograms (also known as photonic lifeforms) rising up against their creators. Their leader believes in the Bajoran faith and spends his free time praying to the prophets.
- Remember the New Guy: The show had an episode where Ahni Jetal, a crewmen who had been lost to the Hirogen some seasons ago, appears in flashbacks. Said episode was actually her first appearance. Later, Lyndsay Ballard, a crew member who had died and been resurrected by aliens, returns but no longer fits in; she, too, had never been seen or mentioned before. This despite it being a Star Trek series, the Trope Namer and Trope Maker of the disposable one-shot crew member phenomenon. It's not like there's any lack of established dead or missing crew members to bring back. (In fact, Jetal bears enough similarity to Ballard that it's likely that they couldn't get Jetal's actress back or something. Shoulda made 'em the same character anyway; if there can be three Tora Ziyals and nobody cares...).
- Averted with Seska, who was written into earlier episodes so the one featuring her would have more impact.
- Teero turns out to have been a fairly major figure in the Maquis, not to mention the guy who made Tuvok for a Starfleet officer long before Chakotay did. "I should've known you'd turn you again!", Chakotay bellows. News to the Trekkies... It's Season Seven and nobody's even mentioned him before!
- The Remnant: Teero Anaydis, a disgraced Bajoran Vedek (so you can add Sinister Minister to this one, as well) who developed mind control techniques for the Maquis. He returns in a subspace communication in "Repression", angling to turn the VOY crew into his new "recruits." According to Chakotay in "The Hunted", most of the Maquis were either killed off by the Dominion or thrown in prison if lucky.
- Reset Button: Many, many times. In fact, in some circles, the ship and show were known as "USS Reset Button."
- The reset featured in "Year of Hell" is one of the few fans of the show won't groan at, simply because it was too damn awesome.
- Ret Gone: In the two-parter "Year of Hell", the episode's villain, Annorax, has a weapon ship that can erase entire civilizations from history. When he originally fired the weapon at his people's greatest enemy, it restored the Krenim Empire, only to collapse due to an unforeseen plague (which also killed his wife) that only occurred because the enemy race had never introduced a vital immunity genome to the Krenim. In desperation, he fired it again to try and fix his mistake, managing to restore everyone, except for the colony in which his wife lived! This has lead to his 200-year-long crusade to resurrect her that has failed every single time, causing him to become obsessed to the point where he's conducting a one man war against time itself! The plot is resolved when Janeway's kamikaze attack on the weapon ship, causes the weapon ship itself to be erased from history, resetting time and reuniting Annorax with his wife.
- Retro Upgrade: The ship's engine and hull get improved using technology based on a carburetor and the hull of the Titanic, respectively.
- Reverse Mole: Tuvok begins the series as a Starfleet officer secretly infiltrating the Maquis. As Chakotay put it, "Was anyone on that ship working for me?"
- Revisiting the Roots: For better or for worse, Star Trek Voyager was this for the franchise: A lone Federation starship exploring the dangerous unknowns and meeting new life and new civilizations.
- The Seventh Season was a time of reflection for the series. With no Myth Arc to hastily wrap up, the show's themes are explored again in episodes such as "Repressed" (more Maquis mutiny threats) and "The Void" (Janeway carves out a mini-Federation in a hostile corner of space). Supporting players such as Barclay, Lt. Carey, Chell the Bolian, and Seska returned in various guises. The elder Janeway's dress uniform in "Endgame" is inspired by the Naval-style jackets from the TOS movies. The last season also saw the return of nearly every notable Trek race, a claim which not even the ENT finale can make.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: Averted in "Resistance", but somehow there's never any mention of the Maquis' terrorist origins. Except for Suder of course.
- A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: In the episode "Riddles," The Doctor refers to the Vulcan brain as "a puzzle wrapped inside an enigma housed inside a cranium."
- Ripple Effect Indicator: Annorax's battle cruiser in "Year of Hell." It grows more menacing with changes to the timeline; the weasley subcommander who cringed in the presence of VOY becomes very smug indeed when his guns outmatch theirs.
- Robosexual: The EMH apparently gets around, especially in one of his Time Skip episodes.
- Running Gag: Every single pot roast mentioned on the series was burnt to hell.
- Scenery Porn: The opening title sequence is gorgeous, as are many of the setting backgrounds. For instance, this lovely shot◊ of the ship parked outside of a nebula is shown repeatedly in one episode.
- Seen It All: By the third season, the appearance of being caught in a temporal loop just prompts Janeway to scan for the appropriate particles. In TNG, figuring out there even is a loop is a significant part of the episode.note Summed up when she says in one episode "We're Starfleet officers. Weird is part of the job."
- Serkis Folk: Species 8472, and the aliens in "Equinox".
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Think about how large the Voyager would have to be to cast that reflection on the rings of the planet in the opening titles...
- Sealed Evil in a Can: This was supposedly the plot behind the episode "Dragon's Teeth", when Seven of Nine releases an alien race from a 900-year stasis... only for them to turn out to be your bog-standard Villains of the Week piloting obsolete spaceships. Disappointing.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: An episode involving one of the Doctor's romances had one that was so discreet that even Robert Picardo didn't know about it until a much later episode referenced his having had sex and he asked the writers about it.
- Shiny-Looking Spaceships: USS Voyager
- The Delta Flyer also counts.
- Shout-Out: The opening to the pilot "Caretaker" bears more than a passing resemblance to the opening of A New Hope: an Opening Scroll giving a bit of backstory, followed by a pan to a running lightfight between a small rebel ship (Chakotay's Val Jean) and a large enemy ship (a Cardassian Galor-class destroyer). Only difference is, the rebel ship escapes, by pulling a Try And Follow into the Badlands' plasma storms.
- Shown Their Work: In "Meld," the death of Ensign Darwin is proven as a murder using real forensic science rather than made-up technobabble, which is frankly a rarity on the later Star Trek shows. Granted, saying "the DNA doesn't lie" doesn't stop defense attorneys in our time, but their forensics technology is much better than what's available in Real Life.
- Show Within a Show: In several episodes Janeway enters a holodeck program that was apparently going to turn out to be a ghost story, but this got dropped (it didn't help that it was being told slowly over the teasers for several episodes, and had nothing to do with the episode itself). A more successful example was The Adventures of Captain Proton!, a homage to 1930s sci-fi adventures like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.
- An alien version of this occurs, showing an evil version of the Voyager crew as propaganda between two races of aliens, until a copy of The Doctor sets the record straight... and then the entire show-within-a-show is shown to, itself be a show within a show within a show.
- Silver Fox: Discussed in the episode "Shattered" by the recurring villain Seska, who has a Villainous Crush on Commander Chakotay.
Seska: Men just get more distinguished as they get older. A few lines here, a little grey there, it adds character. Too bad their minds start to go.
- The Smurfette Principle: Further improved in comparison to previous series, with Captain Janeway (who later became admiral), Main Engineer Twofer Token Minority Torres (who was Klingon, female and half Hispanic), and little girl-who-evolves-into-god Kes, who was later replaced by science "Überbabe" Seven of Nine. The main villain for the first two series turned out to be Seska, a manipulative Cardassian spy, and the surprisingly non-annoying child character was Naomi (her mom, originally a Recurring Character before falling Out of Focus despite her daughter remaining prominent, was a scientist).
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Inspector Kashyk in "Counterpoint". Fascism has never been so polite!
- Many of the Doctor's adversaries: Crell Moset, Dejaren, Iden, and the Equinox EMH.
- Space Clouds: In "Year of Hell", a crippled Voyager hides inside a nebula so dense that it produces a visible fog inside the ship's corridors. Captain Janeway even orders the hull breaches sealed to avoid having an "indoor nebula."
- Space Is an Ocean: In the episode "Day of Honor," Paris and Torres put on spacesuits and abandon their doomed shuttlecraft. As they drift in space awaiting rescue, they bob up and down as if floating in an ocean.
- Space Is Noisy: As usual with Trek, phasers, warp, and other disturbances in space are clearly heard.
- Spike Shooter: There's a species of sentient technology-dependent hadrosaur descendants that shoot sedative-laced barbs from their fingers.
- Spinoff Sendoff: The pilot, "Caretaker", starts with Voyager docked at Deep Space Nine, with Quark trying to con Harry Kim.
- Status Quo Is God: Happened on occasion, though nowhere near as often as is sometimes believed. It didn't help that such continuity was often covered with throwaway lines or minor plot elements (some of which occured in the later seasons). There were also several instances where it tried to break out and it had an overarching plot (the journey home), but UPN execs wanted the show to emulate the format of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which itself didn't have many story arcs.
- This is especially evident in the episode numbering scheme- originally, the show didn't start at 101, as a show should normally start at, but at 801... as in "We're trying to be the eighth season of TNG."
- Stolen Good, Returned Better: You would expect that the ship would be heavily damaged with a massive loss of life by the time it got back to Earth, but Voyager is actually in better shape upon its arrival back on Earth than it was when it left. Her Borg-enhanced torpedoes can cut through a Borg cube or Species 8472 bioship in one shot, and the reinforced hull plating renders the ship virtually invincible by "Endgame" — and with an Ace Custom shuttecraft to boot. It probably still has that new car smell, too.
- Sugar Bowl: The Doctor's "family" in "Real Life" is so sweet and perfect that B'Elanna can't get through dinner without freezing the program and snapping "I'm stopping this before my blood-sugar levels overload."
- Surprise Party: One of these is held for Kes's second birthday in the opening of "Twisted," though she's mostly just confused by it at first because the surprise party isn't a tradition in her culture.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: An ornery, comically-serious Security Chief? Never heard of that before.
- Tom is an attempted "back to basics" throwback to the He-Man heroes of previous outings, i.e. Kirk/Riker. The Kirk parallel is strongest in "Caretaker"; Tom serves as our eyes and ears during the initial tour of Voyager, much like Kirk in Star Trek The Motion Picture, and his taste for the ladies (real or photonic!) is quickly established as well. In real life, actor Robert Duncan McNeil is a down-to-earth family man, and his character gradually changes to reflect that.
- Sadly for Harry Kim, he shares Geordi's poor luck with women in addition to his personality — although he could just as easily pass for Chekov, sans the stupid accent. With a seat adjacent to the Captain and a propensity to embark on Vision Quests, Chakotay kind of resembles Troi if you squint.
- In the press release for "Caretaker", Neelix was pitched as a breakout character in the same vein as Quark from ''DS9'. The intention was probably to soften the Quark character and make him slightly less repellant; although Neelix is a very sketchy addition to the crew, he prefers to charm people than cheat them. Later episodes shifted him closer to Guinan's old role, counseling the crew on their worries and sharing his own experiences with war. Like Guinan, most of Neelix's species was exterminated in a war.
- This is surely what everybody thought at the beginning of "Death Wish", when the unknown Gerrit Graham said "Hello. My name is Q". John de Lancie, "the" Q, the one that has been annoying Jean Luc Picard, appeared later. As for the name, it seems that all Qs are simply named "Q", but this was established back in the TNG episode "Deja Q".
- Swiss Cheese Security: Voyager seemed to have been assigned the worst security detail in the history of Starfleet. Enemies were able to, on a fairly regular basis, steal one of their shuttles or hack into their computer using codes which the crew knew would be compromised. The episode "False Profits" ended with two unarmed Ferengi overpowering their guards, getting to the shuttlebay, taking back their ship, and escaping through a wormhole.
- Tasty Gold: Invoked by Neelix masquerading as the "Grand Proxy" in "False Profits".
- Taking the Bullet: (or the phaser shot, or similar attack; there are almost no guns in Voyager.)
- Freya, a holodeck character of Beowulf, took one (or more exactly, a knife attack) to save the Doctor. She died with the name "Schweitzer" on her lips. The doctor, who had chosen that name, declined to use it afterwards, to avoid being reminded of Freya's fate.
- Split in two halves, Klingon B'Elanna took the shot directed to the human B'Elanna. She died in the hands of her human self, telling that her human courage made her own death an honourable one.
- Techno Babble: Probably the worst offender of all Star Trek series. There's a scene where the Universal Translator is having difficulty with an alien language, so Janeway tells Harry to 'remodulate the translator'. As SF Debris points out, this means about the same thing as hitting it. He also noted (in his review of the infamously bad episode "Threshold") that one device they claim to use is "Multi-spectral warp field generator," which he says is basically a ship powered by rainbows. He also wondered if Technobabble was the result of Starfleet having aphasia.
- Temporarily a Villain: The EMH was reprogrammed to perform unethical-at-best medicine by the Equinox crew.
- Terminally Dependent Society: The Ocampan dependence on the Caretaker array. How dependent? We later learn that an Ocampan can only ever have a single child. Assuming that this is one child per Ocampa, male or female, every early death or miscarriage permanently reduces the Ocampan population.
- The Caretaker gave them 5 years worth of power for the city before his death. Given how dependent on him the Ocampans were, it's doubtful they could figure out for themselves a different power-source. The forcefield protecting them from outsiders will most likely fail as the power dwindles and they'll eventually have to leave for the surface... where the Kazon are. This is probably why Kes is so pissed off in "Fury".
- Or it's possibly even worse. We know that the Borg have knowledge of the Kazon, but found them so pathetic that they didn't want to assimilate them. Now, the Ocampa on the other hand have the potential to become incredibly powerful and the Borg likely became aware of them during the alliance with Voyager against Species 8472. Connect the dots.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: Every attempt possible was made to give Jeri Ryan a chance to sing in various episodes. Even going so far as to give her the personality of a caberet singer in World War II during a battle with aliens on the holodeck, just so she could impress Alien Nazis.
- "They Still Belong to Us" Lecture: The Borg Queen delivers a number of these lectures about Seven.
- Thoughtcrime: There was an episode where they came across a people who were extremely telepathic, so sensitive that any extreme emotions would incite them to act out on those feelings; having violent thoughts was a crime in and of itself. Torres was put under trial for having a brief violent thought when someone bumped into her, and Tuvok's investigation into the planet's culture found a sort of "violent thoughts" Black Market. Of course it examined the nature that when something was so taboo it meant their own people were unable to handle it when confronted with the situation.
- Third-Person Person:
Dreadnought: "False information has been entered into Dreadnought's navigational sensor array."
Paris: "When a bomb starts talking about itself in the third person, I get worried."
- Tim Taylor Technology: Starfleet's still using "more power!" as a solution to many problems unless otherwise specified.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- Seven of Nine's parents. A pair of scientists who plan to study the Borg by sneaking onto Borg Cubes. This could be considered TDTL all on its own, but they also bring their young daughter along with them on their expedition. The Doctor actually gives this a Lampshade Hanging by expressing his disgust over their blatant disregard for their daughter's well being by bringing her along on such a dangerously idiotic quest.
- While an argument has been made that this was one of humanity's first encounters with the Borg and thus the Hansens didn't know how dangerous they were, that theory still doesn't hold water because one of the places they heard of the Borg was from the El-Aurian refugees, who were refugees because the Borg invaded their systems and conquered pretty much everything. And that's discarding the fact that the Borg went around in ships about as massive as a large space station and were heavily armed, and that Seven still has relatives living in the Federation... it doesn't really look good for the Hansens.
- Also, the Borg themselves could arguably be considered Too Dumb to Live. Namely because of their tendency to ignore intruders on their star ships until the intruders go out of their way to present an obvious threat (such as by shooting a drone). Of course, this makes it absurdly easy for Star Fleet officers to do stuff like wander right into the very heart of Borg ships, plant a bunch of high explosives, steal valuable Borg technology, and beam safely out.
- The Kazon were so rock-stupid the Borg refused to assimilate them. Given that they once managed to take heavy casualties installing a single Federation replicator, it's hard to see this as unjustified.
- The Srivani. They want to see what happens when they alter a human's brain chemistry to make them totally irrational. Which human do they pick? Captain Janeway. When the head Srivani tries to talk her out of personally piloting the ship between two pulsars—with 1:20 odds of success—Janeway rightly points out that the Srivani are directly responsible for her present insanity. Voyager survives, but one of the Srivani ships is destroyed before it can get away.
- Touché: In "Counterpoint", Kashyk admits this when he sees he's been tricked.
- Toxic Phlebotinum: In "Course: Oblivion", warp drive radiation itself is dangerous to living beings and substances made of "silver blood", causing them to demolecularize.
- Transformation Sequence: Overlaps with Mundane Made Awesome in "Tinker, Tailor, Doctor, Spy". The Doctor's transformation into the ECH is accompanied by a dramatic zoom on the Doctor's lapel as the pips appear one by one.
- Triage Tyrant:
- In "Critical Care," the holographic Doctor gets stolen and sold to an alien hospital, where patients are assessed not according to urgency, but according to how "valuable" their skills are to society. As a result, the working classes suffer in crowded, undersupplied halls while the rich recover in luxury. In the Doctor's efforts to help, both the Prime Directive and the Hippocratic Oath get severely bent.
- In "Latent Image," The Doctor is faced with two patients (Harry Kim and a Red Shirt) who have an exactly equal chance of survival. He can only treat one of them in time, and the other will die. Because his program cannot find a logical way to decide, he chooses to save Harry because he's a friend. This causes a severe malfunction in his program that forces the crew to erase his memory of the event or risk losing their only medical officer.
- In the two-part episode "The Killing Game," the ship is taken over by Hirogen who place the crew into brutal holographic simulations and force the doctor to treat them. When a crewmember with life-threatening injuries and a Hirogen with minor burns are both brought in, the Hirogen medical officer orders the doctor to treat the Hirogen patient first. He protests that this goes against the rules of triage is that critical injuries take priority. The Hirogen replies "your rules, not mine" and deactivates him when he refuses to comply.
- A Variation occurs in "Author, Author"—The Doctor has written a holo-novel in which the user plays the part of an EMH in a triage situation. A bridge officer is brought in with a minor concussion, but there is already a patient dying from a ruptured aorta. Captain Jenkins (Captain Janeway's Evil Counterpart) ends the debate by shooting the poor Red Shirt.
- 2-D Space: Like all Star Trek, though the large holographic Astrometrics display did avert this somewhat, showing that the route that would be best to take involves movement not only left and right, but up and down in three dimensional space. Mostly averted when multiple ships are on the same screen.
- Two Roads Before You: In several episodes, Janeway is presented with the choice to do something unethical and get the crew home immediately, or take the righteous path and continue looking for other ways to shorten the journey. She invariably chooses the latter. In the end, her future self decides that seven years would have been the best cutoff point and changes the timeline to do that instead.
- Understatement: Played with In "Scientific Method," Janeway decides to fly Voyager between two stars, hoping to destroy the ships of some aliens who have been experimenting on the crew in the process. On the one hand, they had low odds of survival, and Tuvok even tells her that it's a far more reckless course of action than he's come to expect from her, and later calls it an understatement. On the other, not only were said aliens effecting her judgement by messing around with her brain chemicals, but they had just executed a crew member for her attempts to break everyone free from their experiments, and they had previously made clear they would kill the entire crew if they kept it up. So the "1 in 20, at best" odds of survival may not have looked so bad, especially in light of the opportunity to at least take the aliens with them.
- Uneven Hybrid: Tom and B'Elanna's 1/4 Klingon daughter Miral, born in the series finale.
- Unit Confusion: Isotons. Iso-anything, actually. The prefix "iso" means equal or homogenous and has nothing to do with numerical units.
- Universal Universe Time: Every species in the Delta Quadrant knows the exact specifications of the Earth minute, hour, day, week, month, and year. Nobody seems to have their own local measurement standards of time.
- Though this could be the universal translator compensating for the audience's convenience.
- Un Paused: The Doctor, when Seven switches him off in the middle of a sentence. Tuvok does this to a holographic Da Vinci in "Concerning Flight" too.
- Unrealistic Black Hole: Justified (intentionally or otherwise) in "Parallax", where they encounter a "Quantum Singularity". As this would obviously be a black hole that functions differently from conventional ones, it makes sense that it does not behave like a normal black hole.
- UST: Plenty of this between Janeway and Chakotay, but more so in early seasons.
- Mostly due to the influence of Jeri Taylor, who wrote the majority of the episodes where this is prevalent. After she took a backseat as a writer, this promptly vanished.
- Vengeful Vending Machine: There's an episode where Janeway orders coffee from the replicator, only it only replicates the cup after replicating the coffee.
- Villain Decay:
- The Borg once destroyed a fleet of thirty-nine ships, but in this series, one lone starship kept escaping their grasp. Obviously, if the Collective assimilated Voyager, there wouldn't be a series. They had to keep losing, but they were also serious ratings grabbers following the strong box-office of Star Trek: First Contact. So they showed up a lot... and promptly lost a lot. This is Hand Waved in that Voyager is stated to be too insignificant for the Borg to assimilate or go after in full force.
- Species 8472. Introduced in "Scorpion," they were Scary Dogmatic Aliens from another galaxy with the technology to take on the Borg Collective and win. Turns out the Borg picked that fight, but there was serious concern that Species 8472 would take the fight to the rest of the galaxy after finishing them off. Decay came in their final appearance: "In the Flesh," where they were more humanized and appeared to make peace with humanity.
- Q turned from a frivolous yet dangerous omniscient being who nevertheless delivered some important lessons to Captain Picard, to a lovesick puppy who goes to Captain Janeway for advice on parental relationships and conflict resolution in the Q Continuum. Zigzagged, since Q's portrayal was almost always Depending on the Writer - varying from villain to jokester and anything in-between.
- Visionary Villain: Karr, the Alpha Hirogen who takes control of Voyager in "The Killing Game Parts 1 & 2," realizes that his species' obsession with the hunt has caused their civilization and culture to stagnate. He hopes that holodeck technology will allow the Hirogen to rebuild their society while continuing the hunt. This... sorta works, until they decide to turn it up to "Hard" mode and turn off the safeties, because "It wasn't real enough." This lead to the entire thing turning into a slaughter.
- Vision Quest: Chakotay consults his spirit guide about once a season, or helps someone else do so.
- The Voice: Majel Barrett, widow of Gene Rodenberry, does the unseen voice of the ship's computer.
- Voodoo Shark: In "Parallax" and "The Cloud," it is revealed that Voyager cannot use the holographic generators because "they are incompatible with the rest of the ship." Voyager is able to, later on, install technology from the Borg, Hirogen, and dozens of other species, but who designs a ship that has one part which is completely incompatible with the rest of the ship?
- War Memorial: The aptly titled episode "Memorial" shows an interesting twist. The memorial is programmed to Mind Rape anyone who passed within a certain distance of the planet that it was located on. Passersby would relive the events of the war. Once the crew figured out what was going on, Janeway set up beacons in the surrounding area to alert others to stay away, lest they succumb to the same torment they and many others before them went through.
- Watch the Paint Job: In the first half of the "Future's End" two-parter, Tom and Tuvok need some transportation and so take a truck out on a test-drive, leading to Tuvok arguing about the ethics of hanging onto the truck for longer than they told the dealer they would. The discussion ends up being rendered somewhat irrelevant when one of the bad guy's mooks shows up and vaporizes the truck with a 29th century disruptor.
- We Are as Mayflies: Kes and the other Ocampa have an average lifespan of less than a decade in length.
- We Have Reserves: In "Unimatrix Zero," the Borg Queen takes this to comical levels. Her solution to dealing with two or three freed drones on cubes with tens of thousands of drones still linked to the hive mind? Blow up the entire ship. This was also the case in "Collective". When nearly all the drones on an entire cube succumb to an unknown pathogen, the Collective simply severs its connection and does not even bother to dispatch a vessel to investigate (as Starfleet invariably would).
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Tom Paris' father Owen Paris was a Starfleet admiral and Tom never felt that he could live up to his reputation. Things were strained between them and only became worse once Tom had joined the Maquis and then ended up in a Federation penal colony. It was only after the Voyager got lost in the Delta Quadrant and later established communications to Earth that the two re-connected, especially once Tom and B'Elanna became a couple and had a child. In the novels, things became strained between them again due to circumstances in part beyond Tom's control and Owen died in a Borg attack.
- Wham Shot: In the "Unimatrix Zero One" two-part episode, several Borg Drones have created a mental world where they can live as individuals free from the Collective's control. At one point one of the children is playing in the woods with his friend, and he crawls through some bushes... until he looks up and sees the Borg Queen standing in front of him.
- If there's such a thing as a Fridge Wham Shot, any views of the Unicomplexes would be it. Go watch "Best of Both Worlds," where the Federation lost an entire fleet to a single Borg Cube, the Earth was nearly eliminated, and nothing the heroes had could more than slow down the cube (and then only barely). Now look at the Unicomplex, which has dozens of cubes, and is itself a structure that makes the six cubic kilometers of the Cube look absolutely miniscule. And worst of all? Despite the trillions of drones in these stations and fleets of ships, this Unicomplex is only one of many.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- A Borg baby is brought on board along with several Borg children. Icheb stays while the other children are returned to their parents in a later episode, but there's never any mention of what happened to the baby.
- Whatever happened to Suspiria, the Female Caretaker? She never reappeared in the series following her second season episode, but the Star Trek: String Theory novel trilogy provides (non-canon) answers.
- What Measure Is A Nonhuman: With a holographic Doctor, they question of whether a projection of Hard Light and a "soul" of algorithms arises a few times. This includes encountering a race of photonic creatures in a different plane, and another which considers holographic programs to be insurgents. Even what rights the Doctor has on the ship has been explored, with him even trying to resign in one episode.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Seven calls Janeway on this when she and the crew intend to delete memories causing the Doctor to almost literally BSOD instead of trying to work through his problems psychologically. She wasn't around to object the first time they did it.
- Also in "Hope and Fear" with the alien blaming Janeway's decision to back the Borg against Species 8472. As the latter were forced to retreat, the Borg were able to go on and assimilate his world.
- Remember back in the TNG episode "A Measure of a Man" where Picard chewed out Starfleet who were planning to disassemble Data so they could build Androids to serve on Federation vessels, arguing that it was tantamount to them actively perpetuating a Slave-Race? Well apparently Starfleet doesn't, as its revealed in "Lifeline" that they reprogrammed every single EMH Mk I in the Alpha Quadrant to mine Dilithium asteroids. The Doctor is not amused by this revelation.
- Whole Episode Flashback:
- Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: Double example in "Bride of Chaotica!" Tom Paris explains that, due to the latest round of holodeck issues, somebody has to go into the Flash Gordon-esque Captain Proton holoprogram and take on the role of seductive villainess Queen Arachnia. Everyone in the room looks at a nonplussed Seven of Nine... except Paris, who's looking straight at Janeway. Janeway's amusement with this idea fades immediately.
- William Telling: In "Coda", Janeway suggests to Chakotay that he could play William Tell and blast an apple off of her head with a phaser for Neelix's Talent Night.
- The Worf Effect: Ironically, the Borg are on the receiving end of this in "Scorpion" when Species 8472 are introduced. Contributed to the Villain Decay of the Borg, but this trope was for once done right with the opening to this two-parter - seeing the show open with two cubes being instantly blown away, then going straight to the intro with no shot of what did this, let the viewer know that this really was a very powerful and dangerous enemy.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: The character biographies, the shuttlecraft complement, the number of torpedoes, the crewmembers...
- In one episode, Janeway orders Tom to retreat half a lightyear's distance, which the ship does in a matter of seconds. If they're 75,000 lightyears from earth, 75,000 x 3 seconds /60/60/24= 2 and a half DAYS, not 75 years.
- Wrote the Book: In the finale, a future Starfleet instructor introduces Admiral Janeway as "the person who, literally, wrote the book on the Borg." This makes Janeway sigh and ponder whether or not the instructor - Reg Barclay- actually knows what the word "literally" means.
- Yellow Brick Road: Though when keeping to the path is the only way to progress and Status Quo Is God...
- You Can't Go Home Again: This is especially true for Neelix, whose homeworld was destroyed, and Icheb, whose parents want only to use him as a weapon.
- Seven briefly toys with returning to the Collective in "Dark Frontier." Now that she is unplugged and can witness Borg assimilation with complete objectivity, being Borg suddenly doesn't seem so cool after all.
- You Keep Using That Word: Various crewmembers describe things from the 19th and 20th century as being "Ancient", which comes off to many as saying that Roman Chariots and Nuclear Weapons are relatively close historically. Although it should be noted, first, that the definition of "ancient" is vague, and many people today refer to things 400 years past as ancient. It's also worth noting that this isn't the first Star Trek series to do this, as it started as far back as TNG.
- You Look Familiar Tuvok previously played a thief who was on the receiving end of a neck pinch from Picard. He was also a human bridge officer on the Enterprise-B in Star Trek: Generations.
- You Never Did That for Me: Janeway, upon learning that her best friend Tuvok used to make tea for then-Captain Sulu, complains in a mock-annoyed fashion that he never made her tea! In the novelization of that episode, he notes, quite reasonably, that she prefers coffee.
- You Talk Too Much:
- In "Threshold", even losing his tongue doesn't stop Tom Paris from rambling away.
Tom: Dothtor, I neeth to talk!
Doctor: So I've noticed.
Cullah: You talk too much, Federation, but you're not telling me what I need to know.
- YouTube Poop: Growing in popularity.
- Zeerust: During the years the series ran the internet was really taking off, and personal computers and cellular phones were beginning to encroach on the science-fiction technology of the show.
- The use of PADD's (tablet computers) stands out even more in the post-2010 era. In the episode "Hunters", Neelix distributes the first (text only) letters from home personally to each recipient among the crew individually on a PADD, since apparently email has become a lost technology. It is also not unusual to see people using multiple PADD's to multitask, as each can seemingly only run one application at a time. In "Imperfection", Icheb brings three PADD's to the Doctor to show off his original bioscans (which the Doctor should have had on file in Sickbay anyway), his projections regarding the chances of success for a cybernetic surgical procedure and finally one that contains information on DNA resequencing he has designed. To a modern real-world tablet computer user it looks faintly comical.
The Adventures of Captain Proton
Captain Proton is an Affectionate Parody
of 1930's Republic Film Serials
heroes Flash Gordon
and Commando Cody
. The holodeck program was created by Tom Paris (who always plays the hero, Captain Proton) ostensibly for the purposes of historical study, but more likely so he and Harry can have a fun time battling hammy villains and rescuing gorgeous space babes. This Show Within a Show
appears in Night
, Thirty Days
, Bride of Chaotica!
, and Shattered
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle / Trrrilling Rrrs: Chaotica.
"I'm afrrraid your SEC-cretarrry has alrrready been prrromised to Queen ArrrrACK-nia as a SUPrrreeeeme sACKrrrrifice!"
- America Takes Over the World & One World Order: The Doctor cuts a nice figure in his double-breasted suit while playing the "President of Earth."
- Applied Phlebotinum: Arachnia's vial of irresistable pheromones. Dr Chaotica's Lightning Shield.
- The Baroness: Queen Arachnia. Plus the Twin Mistresses of Evil, Demonica & Malicia.
Tom: (busts in)
You're done for, Demonica! Malicia:
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Parodied in "Thirty Days" where Proton is introduced flying through outer space protected by a leather jacket and flying goggles.
- Beard of Evil & Evil Eyebrows: This "Doctor Chaotica" is a hirsute fellow. Visually, his appearance is based on Ming the Merciless.
- Captain Space, Defender of Earth!: Captain Proton: Spaceman First Class, protector of Earth, scourge of intergalactic evil...at your service.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Doctor Chaotica is your typical retro sci-fi villain. His rantings make Doctor Who look staid by comparison.
I've been studying how past generations viewed the future. Janeway:
It didn't work out quite as black and white
as they imagined.
- Chained to a Rock: Constance Goodheart is tied to a pillar prior to her being presented to Queen Arachnia as a "supreme sacrifice".
- Cliffhanger Copout: Paris and Kim are watching a recap of last week's Proton episode, which shows their rocketship destroyed by Chaotica's fiendish Death Ray.
Kim: We didn't burst into flame in the last chapter! Why are these recaps so inaccurate?!
Paris: Well they brought people back to the theaters.
Paris: The lost art of hyperbole.
- Though that's, bizarrely, actually the reverse of a Cliffhanger Copout, since normally apparent death in one episode would be downplayed in the next. This is more a case of Never Trust a Trailer!
- Damsel in Distress & Designated Victim: Parodied in the voluptuous form of Constance Goodheart, who "tags along on all the missions" for the sole purpose of getting captured by Mad Scientists, and whose only dialogue is an ear-piercing scream. That's her in the comic art above, jaw agape as usual.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The Doctor isn't happy when Harry adjusts his 'spectral frequency' to fit in with the program, which is entirely in black and white (including anyone who plays the program).
- Department of Redundancy Department: The "Underground Cavern."
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Captain Janeway (as Arachnia) stroking Chaotica's "formidable weapon".
- Dope Slap: Paris gives this to Satan's Robot when it scares off the alien they're trying to make First Contact with. The Robot shambles off muttering sulkily about alien invaders.
- Emperor Scientist / Mad Scientist / Big Bad: Doctor Chaotica, Ruler of the Cosmos!
- Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: The much-discussed Delaney Twins make their debut in "Thirty Days", looking like a pair of badly-dressed raccoons.
- Excited Show Title!: Bride of Chaotica!
- Expanded Universe: Captain Proton: Defender of the Earth, a compilation of Captain Proton stories by Pulp Magazine writer D.W. "Prof" Smith (actually Star Trek novel writer Dean Wesley Smith).
- Evil Laugh: Chaotica, whose other Evil Tropes include Evil Eyebrows, Beard of Evil, Paid Harem, Big "NO!", Pitiful Worms, You Have Failed Me, You Fool!, "Kneel before Chaotica!", Lonely at the Top, and "Full power to the Death Ray!"
- Genre Savvy: Tom Paris knows something's gone wrong in "Bride of Chaotica!" because Constance Goodheart has been killed, and that never happens to the Good Guys. Likewise he tries to warn Captain Janeway of Chaotica's fondness for hidden traps, but she falls into one anyway.
- High Collar of Doom: Arachnia wears a pretty big one.
- Incoming Ham
- Invincible Hero
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Proton is more or less helpless with Seven playing Constance Goodheart. This is evident even before the holodeck gets invaded by legit aliens. Seven, who has spent all of ten minutes rolling her eyes at this daft program, immediately barks, 'Disengage safety protocols!" and roasts the intruder with the fallen Tom's ray gun.
- Killer Robot: Parodied in the clunky mechanical form of Satan's Robot. Supposedly terrifying but actually slow-moving, easily disabled, and rather pathetic.
- Large Ham: Frankly, the whole point of playing the program. Chaotica is the emperor of this trope, but also seen with the Doctor and Captain Janeway whose initial reaction is either contempt or amusement, but who end up playing their roles with gusto. Hilariously subverted though by Seven of Nine in "Night" (see Off the Rails, below.)
- Love Is in the Air: While Tied To a Pillar Janeway uses Arachnia's vial of "irresistable pheromones" to make Dr Chaotica release her. Unfortunately Chaotica moves out of sniffing range, leaving her to get slobbered over by his ugly henchman Lonzak instead.
- The Men in Black: The alien MIB version turns up in "Bride of Chaotica!" when two photonic aliens appear on the holodeck dressed as grey-suited men in fedoras. They speak in a stilted manner and though dressed like humans of the 1930's are unfamiliar with their society, mistaking the holodeck characters for Energy Beings like themselves and assuming the supervillains they encounter are a genuine threat.
- Mistaken for Profound: When the Doctor complains of Tom monopolizing the holodeck, he protests that Captain Proton is an important sociological work of the highest magnitude!
Doctor: Perhaps you can teach a course at Starfleet Academy: Satan's Robot - an Historical Overview.
- Mooks: Chaotica's 'Army of Evil', plus his Number Two for Brains Lonzak.
- Names To Run Away From: Nouns: Dr. Chaotica is outright derived from the adjective of "Chaos".
- Off the Rails:
- In "Night", Tom Paris ropes in Seven to play the plucky "secretary". Upon being menaced by the Killer Robot, Seven expresses her opinion of this hackneyed role by reaching into the robot's chest cavity and shutting it off, foiling Tom's attempt at heroism.
- "Bride of Chaotica" went off the rails on multiple levels. Holographic aliens, believing the simulation to be reality, ended up waging war with Chaotica after he murdered one of their own. Within that, Tom and Harry just shoot Lonzak in the middle of his speech since they don't have time to play along.
- Not So Above It All: "HA! You're no match for Arachnia!"
- Recycled Set: Harry Kim points out that "Planet X" looks identical to "The Mines of Mercury" that they visited in the last adventure. Tom points out that sets were expensive in the days when you couldn't just create them on the holodeck.
- Retro Rocket: But of course. This is Captain Proton's ride.
- Robo Speak: Satan's Robot with its Catch Phrase: "SUR-REND-DER!" Also Electronic Speech Impediment whenever it gets damaged.
- Role-Playing Game: That's what any holonovel is.
- Shot Mid Sentence: Lonzak is raygunned by Proton and Buster as he's hamming his way through his Roaring Speech of Revenge. They were kinda busy with the invading holographic aliens.
- Sidekick: Ensign Harry Kim plays 'Buster', a Shout-Out to Buster Crabbe who famously played Flash Gordon in the 1930s film serials. In the Expanded Universe novel he is a Tagalong Reporter.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: Janeway in "Shattered".
- Supervillain Lair: Doctor Chaotica's Fortress of Doom.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Lonzak's bungling gives Chaotica a frequent opportunity to emote his famous "FOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL!" line. Lampshaded when Janeway is trying to get Chaotica to lower his Lightning Shield so Captain Proton can attack.
Chaotica: (suspicious) "Why this preoccupation with the Shield?"
Chaotica: "Ah. Because of the incompetence of your inferiors, no doubt!"
Janeway: "Something like that."
- Telegraph Gag STOP
- Too Kinky to Torture: Harry Kim greatly enjoys being chained up by the Delaney Sisters and threatened with mental enslavement via their evil Brain Probe, so much so that he insists Captain Proton not be hasty in his rescue.
- Unholy Matrimony: Chaotica makes this pitch to "Queen Arachnia", arguing that the blissful union between two people who so perfectly embody evil is inevitable.
- Unwanted Rescue: Poor Harry gets liberated by Tom just as he's getting, erm... debriefed by the Delaney Twins while tied down and helpless.
- Weird Science / Raygun Gothic
- World of Ham
- You Just Ruined the Shot: In "Bride Of Chaotica!" photonic aliens mistake the simulation for reality and go to war with Chaotica.
- Zeerust: It's several centuries old by the time of Voyager. Furthermore, it was specifically designed this way by Tom Paris.