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Film / Galaxy Quest

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"A chillingly realistic documentary."

Released in 1999, Galaxy Quest is an Affectionate Parody of the Star Trek franchise, and to a lesser extent of acting and fandom. The film was directed by Dean Parisot and written by David Howard and Robert Gordon.

In 1982, Galaxy Quest, a series very much like Star Trek: The Original Series, was cancelled. Eighteen years later, its washed-up stars are fixtures at Fan Conventions, though most of them despise the show, its fans, and each other. Only Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen), the egomaniac actor who played The Captain, is still enjoying himself — and the rest of the cast think he's a total jerk (again, very much like the original series).

One day, a hungover Jason is approached by what he believes to be a group of fans who want him to star in an amateur film. However, as he prepares to leave the "set", he finds himself looking out over space and is suddenly slingshotted back to Earth, and he realizes that it was all real: he had been abducted by real aliens, and taken to a real spaceship, a perfect copy of the show's Protector, where he'd fought a real space battle.

When the aliens come for his help again since the earlier battle hadn't killed the Big Bad Sarris (Robin Sachs), Jason convinces the rest of the cast to come with him. It's soon explained that the aliens, called Thermians, received transmissions of the Galaxy Quest show out in space and thought they were "historical documents" of actual adventures the crew has been on; they've since restructured their entire society to emulate the show and its technology and values. With the cast now acting out their parts for real, they set out to defeat the enemy of the Thermians, Sarris, and get back home in one piece. The story hangs lampshades on most of its tropes.

The film also stars Sigourney Weaver as Gwen DeMarco, Alan Rickman as Alexander Dane, Tony Shalhoub as Fred Kwan, Sam Rockwell as Guy Fleegman and Daryl Mitchell as Tommy Webber.

The film's story was continued in the IDW series, Galaxy Quest: Global Warning! and Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues. There were plans to make a film sequel, but they were cancelled after the death of Alan Rickman, who played Sir Alexander Dane. A series in development for Amazon was paused for the same reason, but resumed in August 2017 with Paul Scheer assisting. In 2019, Screen Junkies released a documentary titled Never Surrender about the creation of the film, with interviews from the cast and crew.

Galaxy Quest provides examples of:

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    Tropes A-B 
  • Accidentally-Correct Writing: In-universe. The prop for the Protector's power core is a lumpy silver ball. Unlike the majority of the ship's technology which was engineered by the Thermians to match the show, by some cosmic coincidence "beryllium spheres" actually exist and are capable of powering a starship. The crew snaffles one from a desert planet and pops it in the engine room without a hitch.
  • Accidental Misnaming: At one point Jason calls the Thermians "termites" and "dalmatians".
  • Achievements in Ignorance:
    • The Thermians construct a fully-functional, spaceworthy Cool Starship, complete with Warp Drive, holographic communication, and Teleportation, all based on designs they saw in "Historical Documents" (read: episodes of Galaxy Quest), not realizing that the show was fictional and that none of the technologies portrayed existed (at least on Earth). The Omega-13 is the most extreme example; it's a piece of fantastic Applied Phlebotinum that can rewind time. It was never shown on-screen what it could do because the original show got cancelled. This means the Thermians built it with no clear idea of what it was supposed to do, and no idea what it would do even after they built it.
    • Jason, before he realizes that everything is real and while he's still hungover, "simplifies" the negotiations with Sarris by ordering the ship to attack him. While the Thermians freak out at the order, Jason walks off the bridge and asks to be sent home all while the Thermians point out that they would have no chance to win the fight due to being greatly underpowered and outclassed. Jason casually assures them that they'll be fine. Sure enough, the next we see Sarris, he's lost an eye and hand while his ship is shown to have pretty bad damage because the first officer failed to raise the deflector shield in time to counter Jason's rash order, possibly out of shock at the audacity of the whole thing.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Actor/Role Confusion: The Thermians' mistake. It didn't help that their culture has no concept of fiction.
  • Affectionate Parody: Notably manages to avoid the typical pitfalls of the genre and keeps up both the affection and the parody straight through the end credits.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Big enough for humans to crawl through, and most likely made to be true to the show.
  • Alien Blood:
    • Thermians have blue blood, as seen when poor Quellek is shot.
    • Green blood is leaking from two of Sarris' mooks as they smash into the windscreen of his ship after being blown out of an airlock.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: Half of the movie's whole premise, the other half being And You Thought It Was Real. The Thermians approach Jason because he's the star of a TV show they were monitoring, on the mistaken assumption that everything that happened in the show was real.
    Gwen: Surely you don't think Gilligan's Island is a—
    Thermians: [group moan]
    Mathesar: Those poor people.
  • All Myths Are True: Brandon's fan theory about the purpose of the Omega 13 turns out to be correct.
  • All Part of the Show: At the end, when the actors return to the convention in a shuttle that crashes into the convention hall, and have to battle Sarris in front of the assembled fans, and the fans look very grateful for the big show put on for them.
  • All Planets Are Earth-Like: Lampshaded upon arriving on the planet with Beryllium spheres.
    Guy: [alarmed at shuttle door being opened] Don't open that! It's an alien planet! Is there air?! You don't know! [frantically gasps and holds a breath]
    Fred: [sniff sniff] Seems okay.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The Bluray has a feature called the Galactopedia, which expands upon the universe of Galaxy Quest, much like — and written by the writers of — the Star Trek Encyclopedia, including backstorys for the planets and characters, explanations of the Techno Babble, and references to things that happened during the production of the show.
    • The in-universe manual is a key plot point in the film, as the young fans must refer to a map of the ship to help the main characters.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Sarris and his men invade the ship.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: The Big Bad orders his crew to suck the air out of the ship's residential area. The crew manages to reverse the effect just in time before everybody dies.
  • Alternate Catchphrase Inflection: Alexander hates his catchphrase, "By Grabthar's hammer, by the sonsnote  of Warvan, you shall be avenged!" and is disgusted at having to deliver the line at a fan convention and hearing it said back to him by eager fans as he signs autographs with contempt. Near the end of the film, when the alien Quellek is shot and dying in his arms, he says the phrase with conviction to comfort the dying man and turns it into a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner before getting revenge on the killer.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The warrior race of Fatu-Krey under the lead of Sarris seem to have only one goal: destroy all the Thermians.
  • Always Second Best: After Alexander frees the suffocating Thermians.
    Alexander: [resigned sigh] It's just not fair.
  • Anal Probing: The crew believes this to be happening to them after their arrival at the star port, when three of the Thermians approach them in their true forms with probing tools in their tentacle hands. Gwen seems to want to cover all bases, as it were, since she reacts by taking a firm grip on her breasts. Her anxiety is particularly understandable since the Thermian approaching her is carrying a speculum.
    • Comes back as a Brick Joke at the end of the movie, when Fred, the only person unbothered by the prospect of getting anally probed at the beginning, gets it on with his Thermian love interest Laliari and she puts one of her tentacles... some place that makes the watching Guy react in disgust.
  • And the Rest: When the spaceship crashes at the Fan Convention, the crew staggering out are introduced by the announcer. Having no idea who Guy is, he quickly announces him as "Another crew mate!"
  • And You Thought It Was a Game: Jason thinks the negotiation with Sarris is just an acting gig.
  • And You Thought It Was Real: The Thermians have no concept of fiction and take all media from Earth as honest, "historical documents".
  • Animal Reaction Shot: The dog who gets confused when the limousine is beamed up into space.
  • Arc Words: "Never give up! Never surrender!"
  • Are We There Yet?: This is Alexander's response to Guy being annoying on their descent to the Beryllium planet.
  • Artist Disillusionment: In-Universe.
    • While most of the central cast all show degrees of bitterness about being reduced to grinding the autograph and nostalgia circuits after their acting careers dried up, they still seem to appreciate the adoration of their fans... all except Alexander, who is so fed up with his character and situation that he doesn't even bother to give his fans more than a cursory interaction. During the autograph scene, he can be seen curtly and abruptly signing autographs without saying anything and with a very annoyed look on his face, even cutting off a fan speaking his catchphrase to him.
    • Jason is more than happy to talk with his fans and put in appearances on fan films apparently for free, most of the time, but after overhearing a couple of Jerkasses bad-mouthing him in the bathroom of the convention, he blows up at a fan for asking him about a continuity error in the show that he doesn't have an answer for and is really not in the mood to discuss.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: The beryllium sphere. There's really no sane way that raw beryllium could be used as spaceship fuel, and it doesn't form massive blackberry-looking balls in any natural fashion. It's also quite brittle, and its dust is highly toxic when breathed in; rolling a big ball of it around would be a terrible idea. Obviously, they made all of its properties up. To be fair, this seems to be a Historical In-Joke about the original Star Trek — the Enterprise runs on "dilithium crystals", which were originally called "lithium crystals" until someone remembered that lithium is a real element.
  • Ascended Fanboy:
    • Brandon the mega nerd is called for help by Jason, who is on the real ship and needs his information right now to save the day. This involves sending an emergency message to his fellow mega nerds and making a runway for landing.
    • Guy also counts as one. He was technically a cast member of the show (he played a Red Shirt in one episode), but now appears to make most of his money hosting fan events for Galaxy Quest.
    • At the end of the film, Laliari, one of the Thermians, joins the cast of the show for the rebooted version; like the other members of her race, she loved the show and now gets to be a part of it.
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: This film used three aspect ratios when it was originally shown in theaters. The opening scene, depicting the Show Within a Show is in 1.33:1 (or 4:3), the standard for TV shows of the time. When it shifts to "the real world", it expands to 1.85:1 (or 16:9). Then when Nesmith gets his first glimpse of the wider universe, and realizes his trip with the Thermians wasn't a game after all, it widens again to 2.35:1 (or Cinemascope). This was simplified for the home video releases, where the Show Within a Show is 1.33:1 and everything else is 2.35:1.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Discussed.
    Tommy: Go for the eyes, like in episode 22!
    Jason: It doesn't have any eyes, Tommy!
    Tommy: Well, go for the mouth, then; the throat, its vulnerable spots!
    Jason: It's a rock! It doesn't have any vulnerable spots!
  • Author Appeal: Sigourney Weaver took part in this movie for the chance to do a comedic role as a Ms. Fanservice Dumb Blonde after years of playing Brainy Brunettes. Mind you, Weaver's intelligence still peeks through anyway.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: A rare inversion, with some of the more profane language and Gwen ripping open her shirt to show off her breasts getting removed and the movie ended up with a PG rating.
  • Bad "Bad Acting":
    • Any time Alexander says the line "by Grabthar's hammer", except the final time.
      Dane: By Grabthar's hammer... What a savings.
    • The scene from the Show Within the Show at the beginning has Tech. Sgt. Chen deliver this warning to the captain with an over-dramatic head snap to the side afterwards.
      Tech Sgt. Chen: It's a core meltdown! It can't be stopped!
  • Bad News in a Good Way: "Heeey, guys... Listen, they're telling me the, uhh, the generators can't take it. Ship's breaking up and all that. Just FYI."
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Sarris' line "Release them... into space."
  • Bamboo Technology: Parodied. ("I know! You can make a weapon! Look around you, can you construct some sort of rudimentary lathe?" "A lathe??! Get off the line, Guy!") From the original Star Trek episode "Arena", in which Kirk made a cannon out of bamboo and gunpowder out of coal and sulfur and whatnot that were lying around the arena.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Jason overhears himself badmouthed as a delusional hack, which shocks and demoralizes him so badly that he lashes out at his fans and gets very drunk. This was based on a real-life incident that happened to William Shatner, overhearing in a bathroom what everyone else (including his castmates) thought about him, although it's not known if he got drunk afterwards.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Alexander's attack on Sarris' mooks after Quellek is killed happens off-screen. We cut from a Charge-into-Combat Cut to the aftermath when Jason and Gwen re-join Alex.
  • BBC Quarry: The setting of the alien planet where the crew picks up the replacement beryllium sphere.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Parodied in-universe. At the signing event, a fan comes to Alexander Dane for an autograph and recites his character's Catchphrase... and gets the catchphrase wrong. ("By Grabthar's hammer, by the sons of Warvan, I shall avenge you," instead of "By Grabthar's hammer, you shall be avenged.")
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Guy starts his appearance off as an excited fan greeting the main cast of Galaxy Quest as old friends telling them about the bit part he had in one episode as a Red Shirt (since his part was so small and it's been 20 years, no-one remembers him). From then on, he becomes the eager Tag Along Kid and volunteers himself to go with the cast to what they thought was a job. When they realize that it's all real, Guy spends the rest of the movie freaking out that he's going to die like a real Red Shirt.
    Fred Kwan: Maybe you're the Plucky Comic Relief, you ever think of that?
  • Becoming the Mask: Over the course of their adventure, the actors become real heroes. Lampshaded by Gwen: "Gosh, I'm doing it. I'm repeating the darn computer." More specifically, they become the skilled space explorers they pretend to be, as Tommy learns how to actually fly the Protector, Fred becomes adept at machinery and Alexander can read the ship instruments and becomes a fierce warrior. Played with in Guy's case, who slowly loses his cowardice but is otherwise not very good at being a security officer.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Jason and Gwen. The fangirls Squee at their bickering at the convention, so apparently it was also on the show and the fangirls are enjoying every moment of their Will They or Won't They?. By the end of the movie their Big Damn Kiss makes them an Official Couple and causes one of the fangirls to faint.
  • Bellisario's Maxim: Used in-universe. At the convention when Brandon confronts Jason with an inconsistency in the ship's design, Jason cuts him off by saying it's just a show, although in that scene it's Jason who really should relax.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Twice.
    • Between Fred and Laliari after they saved the Thermian crew from suffocation.
    • Between Jason and Gwen on stage in the final moments of the movie. For one female fan, this is too much and she Faints in Shock.
  • Big Fancy House: Jason owns one, overlooking the Hollywood Hills.
  • Billions of Buttons: The bridge of the original Protector features lots of blinking buttons.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Quellek's death scene.
  • Bond One-Liner: After teleporting a rock monster to the ship that starts tearing through Sarris's Mooks, Fred Kwan and Guy are watching contentedly from a safe place.
    Fred Kwan: It's the simple things in life you treasure.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: A classic example. Once Sarris has captured everyone, instead of just shooting them, he orders them to be thrown out of an airlock by two guards, enabling their escape.
  • Bookends: The movie opens and closes with the Galaxy Quest theme — starting with the end of the last episode, and ending with the title theme of the renewed series. Also, the actors are being called on stage by a presenter at start and end.
  • Boring, but Practical: In the climax, while the rest of the cast heads off to retake the ship and save the Thermians, Tommy is initially chastened when told to "practice driving". However, after watching some clips and relearning his old techniques, he becomes a much better pilot for when they need to escape.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Watch Gwen's mouth when she sees the chompers and exclaims "Well screw that!" Clearly, the filmmakers had a different second word in mind, which got altered after filming.
    • When Tommy tells Jason "You are so full of 'it', man!"
    • To get a lower rating, the filmmakers cut a minor scene that explains Fred and Guy's behavior throughout the movie. It works better for Fred, as his calm demeanor (which could also be a take on DeForest Kelley's easygoing nature) is a better lampshade for Scotty's frantic behavior.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Bet you forgot about the alien shot out of the airlock.
    • Brandon needs to take out the trash.
    • The rock monster. ("It's the simple things in life you treasure.")
    • Jason's inability to properly signal to Gwen that he needs her to turn off the communication with Sarris. He later successfully fakes picking a fight with Alexander by calling out the actor himself, rather than behaving like they're their characters on the show.
    • Early on the movie pulls a gag about Anal Probing when the protagonists are transported up to the alien ship and approached by tentacled monsters carrying Cow Tools, one of which looks like a speculum — until the aliens apologize for not having turned on their disguises and take the humans for a tour around the ship. The prospect of being anally probed never comes up again — until the end, when Fred (the only one unperturbed by the scene in the beginning) is getting it on with his alien love interest Laliari and she shoves a tentacle... someplace that makes the watching Guy react with disgust.
  • Broken Pedestal: Leading to a Rebuilt Pedestal in both cases:
    • When Sarris forces Jason to reveal to Mathesar that Galaxy Quest was a fictional show and that Jason and the others were just actors.
    • Brandon, the uber fanboy who confronts Jason with questions at the beginning, is absolutely crushed when his hero humiliates him in front of his friends over his obsession with fictional facts. When Jason calls him up later for assistance, he's clearly still hurt but putting up a brave front about having moved on... until Jason tells him he was wrong and it's all real and he needs help, and Brandon immediately bounces back into uber fanboy mode.
  • Buffy Speak: This happens during the first fight against Sarris when Guy talks about "the red thingy heading toward the green thingy."
    Guy: I think we're the green thingy.

    Tropes C-E 
  • The Cameo:
    • Kevin McDonald has a brief role as the convention emcee.
      Emcee: ALEXANDER DANE!... he's British!
    • Famed radio announcer and host Joe Frank plays the computer voice.
  • Cane Fu: Mathesar taking out Sarris with his crutch.
  • Car Meets House: In the final scene, the Protector crashes into a convention center, injuring no one.
  • Cassandra Truth: Done in an unusual way. Sarris forces Jason to tell Mathesar that Galaxy Quest was all fiction in order to demoralize him. However, after the actors save the day Mathesar laughs it off (especially Jason's assertion that the Protector was a tiny scale model), implying that he still thinks the show was real and Jason was just saying otherwise under duress.
  • Casting Gag: Sigourney Weaver, Action Girl from the Alien film series playing a Bridge Bunny. According to Weaver, it's precisely the reason she wanted to play Gwen.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Fred calls up to the bridge when Tommy holds the turbo button down too long. While the ship is tearing itself to pieces all around him, he manages to sound bored.
    Fred: Hi, guys. Listen, they're... they're telling me the, uh... the generators won't take it. The ship is breaking apart and all that. Just FYI.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Never give up, never surrender!" was Captain Taggart's catchphrase on the show, and de facto the show's Arc Words; unsurprisingly, Jason has embraced it in real life as well.
    • "By Grabthar's Hammer, by the suns of Worvan, you shall be avenged!" and in shorter form, "By Grabthar's hammer!" for Dr. Lazarus. By contrast to Jason, Alexander is absolutely sick of saying it, and especially of having fans repeat it to him.
    • "Pedal to the metal!" by Tommy, the pilot.
  • Catchphrase Interruptus: Alex can't stand his own catchphrase, and apparently has a habit of interrupting people who quote it to him, including Quellek and a fan at the convention.
  • Ceiling Cling: Quellek clings to the ceiling in his true form (likely thanks to his tentacles) in combination with the Mak'tar stealth haze to hide from the Mooks.
  • Charge-into-Combat Cut: The camera cuts away just as Alexander starts his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Thermian appearance generators, first used as a joke to show how the gawky humanoid Thermians are actually Starfish Aliens. The same device fails during Mathesar's torture. Finally used by Sarris to disguise himself as Fred in the final showdown.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Omega-13 is a mysterious alien device that nobody is entirely sure what it does. Jason ends up having to use it, hoping that Brandon's theory is correct and it will save the day, rather than the other common theory that it will destroy the entire universe.
    • The boxes that Brandon and Jason switch early on.
    • The Tothian minefield helps the crew to escape Sarris. Later it comes in handy again in the final showdown.
    • Mathesar's crutch is used as a weapon late in the film.
    • A gun taken from Sarris himself is used to kill him.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Rock Monster. First Jason has a Combat by Champion with it. Later, the monster is beamed on board to kick some more serious ass.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Midway through the film, Jason decides to practice his forward-roll maneuver (just like he did on the show) when the crew first lands on the rock planet. It comes in handy at the end, when he rolls out of the way to shoot Sarris.
  • Chekhov's Time Travel: The time-machine device that allows the user to go back 13 seconds into the past, just enough time to correct a mistake. It's mentioned early in the film but then dismissed and not used until the end.
  • Cliffhanger: The opening Two-Part Episode ends with Cmdr. Quincy Taggart ordering the activation of the Omega-13 device. Then the scene fades to white. Unfortunately, we never get to see the second part of the episode and find out what the device does (the nerds aren't sure either, implying the show was Cut Short).
  • Clothing Damage:
    • Gwen's costume gradually disintegrates over the course of the movie.
    • Jason tears his shirt just like William Shatner often did (which is lampshaded by Alexander).
    • Alexander Dane's facial appliances gradually deteriorate.
  • Code Emergency: Brandon and his friends apparently have a system in place to qualify various Galaxy Quest-related crises.
    Brandon: No time for pleasantries, Kyle, we have a Level 5 Emergency!
  • Coincidental Broadcast: When Jason zaps through the TV channels on his home TV he comes across an episode of Galaxy Quest which he then tries to lipsynch to.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: "When I grow weary of the noises you make, you shall die." — Sarris to the former commander of the Thermians.
  • Comedic Work, Serious Scene: This is a fun sci-fi romp and Affectionate Parody of Star Trek, which George Takei once called "a frighteningly realistic documentary." There are, however, a few sombre scenes.
    • When the cast finish rescuing Jason from the planet, they find that Sarris has taken over the ship. He forces them to watch as he tortures Mathezar, then, to really twist the knife, forces them to reveal that they are actors.
      Sarris: He doesn't understand. Explain to him as you would a child.
      Jason: [looking pained] We pretended. We lied.
    • As the cast starts to actually rise to the occasion and turn the tables on Sarris, it looks like it's going to be all laughs again. Then...
  • Comical Nap Drool: There is saliva drooling out of Jason's mouth when he first wakes up on the ship.
  • Coming in Hot: The Protector's shuttle arriving at the convention crashes through an entire parking lot and then into the side of the convention centre.
  • Command Roster: Done in the classic tradition, with the actors slowly becoming these roles for real.
    • The Captain: Jason Nesmith sits in the big chair and gives orders.
    • Number Two / The Medic: Alexander Dane. "You're my adviser; advise me!"
    • Ace Pilot: Tommy Webber. "Pedal to the metal, commander!"
    • Bridge Bunny / Communications Officer: Gwen DeMarco. "I repeat everything the computer says."
    • Mr. Fixit: Fred Kwan. He's the one handling the engine.
    • Red Shirt / (later) Chief of Security: Guy Fleegman. He's convinced his only role is to die but gets a lot of action.
  • Computer Voice: The ship's computer has one, which makes Gwen's role in reporting what it says entirely gratuitous.
  • Consummate Professional: Alexander Dane is a serious Shakespearean actor who despises his role as an alien on a campy sci-fi show. But his commitment to his craft means he can't back out of performances, because "the show must go on".
  • Continuous Decompression:
    • When Sarris orders the living quarters to be decompressed as a form of torture.
    • Downplayed during the Thrown Out the Airlock scene.
  • Conveniently Close Planet: The NSEA Protector is badly damaged, but no worries — there's a conveniently close planet. Considering it's a Star Trek parody, definitely intentional.
    Fred Kwan: Hey, Commander. Listen, we found some beryllium on a nearby planet, and we might be able to get there if we reconfigure the solar matrix in parallel for endothermic propulsion. What d'ya think?
  • Conveniently Empty Building: The parking lot at the end was empty because otherwise a lot of people would be squished by the falling spaceship.
  • Convenient Misfire: The mook that shoots Quellek has his gun jammed right after, which he cannot resolve, giving Alex the chance to come for him.
  • Conversational Troping: Constantly. It's part of the point of the movie to talk about Star Trek tropes.
  • Cool Starship: The Protector, obviously. Its design is also a reference to the Enterprise: instead of a disk-like primary hull and a cylindrical secondary hull, it has a cylindrical primary hull and a disk-like design for its secondary hull(s). Its designation NTE-3120 also references this, as in "Not The Enterprise".
  • Coquettish Lip Biting: After Fred teleports up Garignack to deal with Sarris' troops aboard the Protector, Laliari looks at him, biting her lower lip for a moment before she launches into a Big Damn Kiss.
  • Cowardly Lion: The main cast, with the exception of Jason. Everyone complains that they're simply actors and not up to the job, but manage to brave on anyway.
  • Cow Tools: When the crew is transported to the ship they are approached by uncloaked Thermians carrying bizarre instruments with no obvious purpose (except that Gwen's Thermian is carrying what looks to be a speculum). Once the Thermians realize they need to turn on their disguises the tools are never used or mentioned again.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Years of meticulous Fan Wank means Brandon and his friends know everything about the Protector, right down to the timing of the Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom.
  • Creator Backlash: In-universe, the entire cast except Nesmith feel this way about their roles and the fame this has brought them. The movie explores the ways in which this affects their dispositions toward life.
  • Crisis of Faith: The film begins with the cast's loss of faith in the show that made them famous and the fandom with Nesmith being the last to angrily lose faith after his unfortunate trip to the public bathroom. Once the Thermians enter the picture and enlist for their help in an actual space adventure, the cast throughout the film begins to gradually renew their faith in the show.
  • Crossword Puzzle: At the convention, Fred is biding his time backstage by solving a crossword puzzle.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Sir Alexander Dane spends most of his time complaining about the degeneration of his career from classically trained Shakespearean actor to being most famous for his role as the token alien in a cheesy space opera. But when an alien trooper shoots his biggest fan, who dies in his arms while saying that he always thought of Dane's character as a father figure, Dane utters the alien vow his character is known for (which he had utterly hated up to this point), swearing vengeance, and lunges out of cover. The alien trooper takes aim at him but he charges, bare-handed. The alien's gun fails just in time for Dane to leap on top of him and start beating him to death bare-handed — which in turn gives the rest of the Thermians the courage to join in the fight.
    • Then there's Jason Nesmith, the star of said cheesy space opera. When the film begins, he's an drunken egotistical Jerkass who is seen by everyone else as a Nice Character, Mean Actor. But when the gravity of the situation finally dawns on him, Nesmith ascends to become a Guile Hero, first by improvising an escape plan and rallying his colleagues into defeating an army of invaders, then navigating a Death Course through the bowels of the ship (that he was completely unfamiliar with), and culminating with calling the Big Bad's bluff in the face of death and saving the day.
  • Crowd Chant: The Beryllium miners chant "Gorignak! Gorignak!" when Jason awakes which the crew mistakes for the name of the pig lizard. Turns out the miners were cheering their support for the Rock Monster instead.
  • Curtain Call: Early on, Classically-Trained Extra Alexander is talking to himself backstage about getting three curtain calls as Richard III. The movie ends with a curtain call as well.
  • Cuteness Overload: Gwen experiences this when seeing the injured miner. The crew has to hold her back from running towards the poor creature. This comes to an end when the miners turn out to be far less benign than they appear.
  • Cut Short: In-Universe example. The final episode of Galaxy Quest set up for the upcoming season (Taggart stating when ambushed that they have to activate the Omega 13), but that was the last episode.
  • Cyclops: Downplayed. When Laredo learns to fly properly by watching old episodes of Galaxy Quest, one Monster of the Week on the screen is a giant one-eyed tentacle monster in outer space.
  • Darkest Hour: Sarris' army has taken over the NSEA Protector, the Thermians in their living quarters are Almost Out of Oxygen, the ship's core is set to detonate shortly, our crew is about to be Thrown Out the Airlock. All hope seems lost... Then Jason has an idea.
  • Daydream Believer: An in-universe example. Brandon and his friends believe the Galaxy Quest missions to be real. So do the Thermians.
  • Deadly Dodging: During the climactic confrontation, the Protector drags magnetic mines and, in the last possible moment, dodges Sarris' onrushing flagship which in turn crashes right into the heap of mines and explodes.
  • Death Course: Again, lampshaded and parodied. Jason and Gwen have to navigate a death course complete with jets of fire, giant crushers, and tiny air vents, despite the fact that there is no rational reason for any of those things to be there. Why are they there? Because they were on the original TV show, so the Thermians have replicated them.
    Gwen: Whoever wrote this episode should die!
  • Death Glare: Fred gives a quick one to Ted after the latter spills the beans to Jason that the digitized pig lizard materialized inside out.
  • Death Is Dramatic: All strings are being pulled with the death of Quellek: First he is taking a moment to catch his death, followed by a Major Injury Underreaction: "I'm... I'm shot." Alexander tries to assure him that it was Just a Flesh Wound, but already there is Blood from the Mouth. Quellek then breaks into an It Has Been an Honor speech. Alexander is deeply moved and wants him to die happy, so he delivers a heartfelt rendition of his Catchphrase. Now Quellek goes out with a smile in Alexander's arms with his eyes wide open. Cue the Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Decapitation Presentation: Sarris presents a stick with the head of his former lieutenant who had failed him earlier.
  • Deconstructive Parody: You don't watch Star Trek with the same eyes again.
  • Defensive Feint Trap: In the opening Galaxy Quest episode, Jason suspects something fishy when the enemy forces retreat too easily. He turns out to be right.
  • Defictionalization: In-Universe example. Essentially the whole main plot of the movie is a sci-fi show brought to real life by aliens who don't understand fiction.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The Thermians have no concept of fiction and thus think everything from the show is real. When Jason explains the truth, the Thermians consider it to be lying.
  • Department of Redundancy Department
    • Gwen's character's interactions with the computer are subsequently enforced by the Thermians designing their replica to work the same way.
      Jason: Computer, is there a replacement beryllium sphere onboard?
      [no response]
      Gwen: Computer, is there a replacement beryllium sphere onboard?
      Computer: Negative. No reserve beryllium sphere exists onboard.
      Gwen: No, we have no extra beryllium sphere onboard.
    • The show's main catchphrase: "Never give up, never surrender!" At least it sounds neat.
  • Devastating Remark:
    • Jason Nesmith is at the restroom at a convention when he overhears a couple of the backstage hands talking about how his castmates can't stand him and how he gets off on the praise of a bunch of obsessed loser fans. Nesmith is stunned to hear this, and is in silence for a good while, before snapping at fanboy Brandon later at the convention, who was asking him a technical question. Gwen knows at that point that something is truly wrong with him, as she'd never seen him lose it with a fan.
    • Jason's explosive outburst at Brandon crushes him, and when Jason calls him later on the Vox, Brandon is nearly in tears trying to explain that he knows the difference between reality and TV, until Jason tells him it's real, and Brandon gleefully shouts, I Knew It!!
  • Discredited Meme: In-Universe, this is Alexander Dane's attitude to his character's Catchphrase on the original show. He can't bear to hear it from fans, and flat out refuses to say it.
    Alexander: I won't go out there, and I won't say that stupid line one more time. I can't! I won't!
  • Dies Wide Open: Quellek dies with his eyes open when Sarris's henchman kills him.
  • Distracting Fake Fight: During their Darkest Hour, when the crew is about to be Thrown Out the Airlock, Jason picks a fight with Alex (as in episode 17) before they both launch themselves at the enemy guards and lock them into the airlock. The Power of Acting prevails.
  • Diverting Power: When the Protector and Sarris' ship are on a collision course during the climax, Jason commands Guy to divert all energy to the armor to protect the ship against the bombardment.
  • Don't Look Down:
    • This line is said by Jason to Gwen when they pass over a giant spinning duct deep inside the underbelly of the Omega 13.
    • Also, Jason tells everyone not to look back while they are escaping with the beryllium sphere from the mine. Gwen does of course and screams when she sees the hordes of miners coming after them.
  • Doom Doors: Yes, they go "whoosh" when they close.
  • Door Jam: Jason is left behind on the mining planet because the beryllium sphere takes up all the space. Subverted as he gets transported out during his Hopeless Boss Fight with the Rock Monster.
  • Drama Panes: The scene where Jason and his fellow actors are taking a lift to see the Thermians' recreation of the NSEA Protector, as the Leitmotif plays when the ship comes into view.
  • Dramatic Timpani: When Jason is going back home for the first time and still doesn't realize it's all real, as the bay doors of the Protector 2 open and he sees the space vista, dramatic timpani music plays.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: The cast of Galaxy Quest tends to suffer from this. For example, Alexander Dane, who was once a respected Shakespearian actor, is now reduced to his initially hated television role, while Gwen DeMarco is a good enough actress like anyone else but is nonetheless viewed solely as a Ms. Fanservice by the public, to her dismay.
  • Dull Surprise:
    • Justified with the Thermians, who speak very awkwardly and struggle with properly emoting since they're mere aliens imitating humans and have only the vaguest idea of how to act.
    • Subverted with Fred, who's genuinely impressed by everything, but just seems to find it kind of cool rather than mind-blowing.
  • Electric Torture: Sarris' favorite communication technique is thrusting an electric probe into someone while asking questions.
  • Emergency Refuelling: When the Beryllium Sphere gets broken, the crew has to go down to a planet to find a new Beryllium Sphere. Just one problem, the planet is populated with cute-looking but carnivorous creatures.
  • Emergency Temporal Shift: The Omega 13 is eventually revealed to not be a doomsday device as initially suspected, but a time machine capable of reversing history by exactly thirteen seconds. This comes in handy when Sarris infiltrates the Protector during the finale, killing most of the bridge crew, mortally wounding Jason and leaving the ship on a collision course with Earth; using the Omega 13 allows Jason to tackle Sarris before he can open fire.
  • Endless Corridor: Twice inside the spaceship. First when the bridge crew visits the seemingly endless living quarters and again when Jason and Gwen head down an extremely long stretch of corridor.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: The Rock Monster assembling behind Jason on the alien planet.
  • Epic Launch Sequence: Played for Laughs. The Protector 2's launch receives rather less than the gravitas it deserves because Tommy has no idea how to actually fly the thing and ends up veering into the side of the spacedock, producing a horrible nails-on-chalkboard screech until they finally clear it.
  • Ethereal Choir: A dominant part of the soundtrack consists of angelic voices chanting.
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: Gwen does a curtsy on stage in the closing scene.
  • Excessive Steam Syndrome: A wall of steam comes from the ship when it crashes into the convention centre during the finale.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Holding the turbo button for anything more than a quick speed boost is very bad for the engines of the NSEA Protector.
  • Expy Coexistence: The novelization acknowledges Star Trek.
  • Extreme Graphical Representation: The Protector's bridge and transporter room feature a lot of monitors displaying flashy visualizations of sorts.
  • Eye Awaken: Not Quite Dead Sarris, waking from the Tap on the Head he received from Mathesar.
  • Eye Open: Close-up on Jason's eye followed by a Closeup on Head zoom-out, upon his first return from the Klaatu-Nebula.

    Tropes F-L 
  • Faint in Shock:
    • Guy passes out when he finally meets Sarris in person.
    • In the final moments, a Fangirl faints when she witnesses The Big Damn Kiss between Jason and Gwen on stage.
  • Fake Action Prologue: The opening scene is revealed to be a Show Within a Show episode screened for the convention audience.
  • Fake a Fight: Jason and Alexander fake a fight to distract the guards and surprise them by suddenly attacking them instead of each other.
  • Fanboy:
    • The convention attendees (convention duh) and the Thermians (built real-life and functioning counterparts of the show).
    • "Travis Latke", the creator of the Galaxy Quest fan site.
  • Fan Community Nickname: In-Universe, Galaxy Quest fans are called Questarians as a parody of the word Trekkie.
  • Fan Convention: The film starts and ends with the cast of the show doing a panel and signing at a convention for fans. This is where Jason meets Brandon.
  • Fan Disillusionment: Flirted with, but ultimately averted for Brandon. Despite his poor treatment by Jason at the convention, he remains a loyal fan in the end. Good thing for the crew of the Protector, too.
  • Fan Disservice: In-universe and Played for Laughs when Fred and Laliari make out — Laliari's human form starts shifting to her real form, and Fred seems to like it.
  • Fanfare: The show's leitmotif, and also the movie's theme, is a quick flourish of brass instruments.
  • Fanon: A bizarre In-Universe example in which the Thermians have no idea what the Omega 13 does, while show fans spew out their theories. Meaning... the Thermians recreated an aspect of the show which was part of an Aborted Arc thanks to the show's cancellation, but still had the same function the device might have had, but the writers never revealed.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: A justified case from Nesmith, when he thinks it's All Part of the Show. Later, Fred Kwan displays fantastic indifference more directly.
  • Fantastic Ship Prefix: The NSEA in the name of the NSEA Protector apparently stands for National Space Exploration Agency. The registry starts with "NTE". It's never mentioned what this means in the movie, but behind the scenes, it stands for "Not The Enterprise".
  • Feigning Intelligence: Alexander tries to take point on the planetary scouting mission with a tracking device with a bit of a hiccup at first.
    Tommy: You were holding it upside down.
    Alexander: Shut up.
    Tommy: You know, with all that makeup and stuff, I actually thought you were smart for a second.
    Alexander: Do you wanna try it, Laredo?!
  • Fictional Counterpart:
    • Alan Rickman covers several bases: his character is a mix of Spock and Worf, and Alexander's inspired by Patrick Stewart as a classically trained stage actor (though he never resented his time as Captain Picard or took it as seriously as Dane, and continues to be successful in the theater, including William Shakespeare) and Leonard Nimoy's resentment that Spock hung over him for the rest of his career.
    • Gwen Demarco is definitely Counselor Troi and Commander Uhura. She's a Bridge Bunny in a tight suit like them, and her job is completely pointless, like Uhura's (answering the phones, more or less) and Troi's (which mostly boiled down to looking concerned and being a Captain Obvious saying "Captain, I'm sensing something" whenever bad stuff was happening). Other female leads had more active roles and this was before Linda Park. The bit about the interview references a real interview with Jeri Ryan, the actress playing Seven of Nine. Troi also had a lot of attention paid to her assets. In some ways, she also has some element of Dr. McCoy as being the heart of the Big Three.
    • Fred Kwan was easily the most laidback of the group and seemed to just go with everything. Much like James Doohan who not only enjoyed being recognized as Scotty, but definitely enjoyed meeting fans and going to conventions. His only real problem with Star Trek was William Shatner. DeForest Kelley was also very laid back and reportedly got along with absolutely everyone. When actually in space as Tech Sergeant Chen his laidback nature (quoted elsewhere in this page) could be described as the anti-Scotty, the reverse of Scotty's excitability.
    • The big one: The Captain is all Kirk and Jason Nesmith is all Shatner. The relationship between Nesmith and the rest of the crew and the arc it follows in this series mirrors Shatner's relationship with the original series actors and his eventual reconciliation with them. William Shatner claimed (tongue planted firmly in cheek) in an interview that he had no idea who Tim Allen's character was supposed to be a parody of.
    • Tommy Webber is primarily based on Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation, being a Child Prodigy serving on a starship. He also has elements of Sulu since he's a Token Minority serving as the helmsman.
  • Flare Gun: Brandon and his friends use fireworks to guide the Protector.
  • Flashy Teleportation: The opening sequence shows the NSEA Protector after a hyperjump arriving at its destination with lots of flashy effects.
  • Flat Joy: Alexander can barely muster the enthusiasm to get his catchphrase out of his mouth at the opening of a discount store.
    Alexander: By Grabthar's hammer... what a savings.
  • Flying Cutlery Spaceship: The Big Bad's ship. This was probably an intentional parody though. It was really big, and it looked like a sea urchin with engines and a giant ominous maw in front.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Thermians in their natural form are pink, squid-like entities. However, with "appearance generator" technology, they are able to change their appearance to appear less foreign to humans.
  • Freak Out: Alexander spends his time at the initial convention alternating between bitter ranting and a mini-panic attack, capped off by attempting to run away right as they're about to go on stage. Judging by his co-workers' reactions, this is a regular occurrence.
  • Funny Background Event: Fred gives an update to the bridge crew during a particularly harrowing chase scene. Despite his typical laconic, mildly stoned demeanour, there are explosions going off in the background as Thermian crew members are being hurled around like dolls.
  • Fun with Homophones: This exchange happens on the alien planet in reference to the small indigenous aliens.
    Alex: Could they be the miners?
    Fred: Sure, they're like, three years old.
    Alex: I said miners, not minors!
    Fred: You lost me.
  • Gallows Humor: This is how Sarris shows he means business on his second meeting with Jason.
    Jason: Hey Sarris, how're you doing?
    Sarris: [shows the head of his lieutenant mounted on a stick] Better than my lieutenant!
  • Game Face: Played for laughs, where the crew encounters some weird baby-looking aliens on a desert planet. One of the cute aliens gets hurt, and the others crowd around it as if to help it get water... only to reveal demonic faces with terrifyingly sharp teeth and devour the thing alive.
  • Gelatinous Encasement: Characters get transported via rocket pods that cover them in blue gel and launch them through space until arriving at their destination.
  • Genre Blindness:
    • Guy is the only one who has any idea what to expect in this kind of story since he was the only actor among them to die on the show.
    • Jason mistakes the Thermians as fans, even after seeing how well-designed their "set" is and how impressive the enemy race's makeup is. He seemingly forgets his own show's shoddy production values and clearly doesn't grasp that Sarris' people are too monstrous for a TV show. (Of course, he is severely hungover during the entire sequence, having spent the previous night reaching for the bottle.)
    • Sarris defeated the Thermians soundly in the backstory because of it, which he uses to hurt them again in the Break the Cutie moment.
    • By contrast, Sarris' own defeats tend to come because he has zero chance of knowing something (Omega-13, or that the Thermians had based their beliefs on another culture's entertainment), or because he's an actual military leader, not merely pretending (and thus didn't expect a deft manoeuvre that'd be suicide for any but the best pilots, from a pilot who nearly crashed the ship as they disembarked. Plus said manoeuvre was Crazy Enough to Work but would never be tried in real life; the actors did it because that would be the TV method of doing it). Sarris does succumb to it himself after finding out the cast's true nature, leading him to toy with his victims rather than just kill them outright. He also learns from his mistakes, and deliberately sucker-punches the crew later on.
  • Get a Room!: Guy says this to Laliari and Fred who are Overcome with Desire and start having a Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex right there in the transporter room. They pay no attention. It quickly turns Squicky for Guy fueled by Laliari's alien anatomy.
  • Glass Smack and Slide: This serves as a Brick Joke when it happens to a Mook that was just thrown out of an airlock by the Galaxy Quest cast after avoiding the same fate themselves. Just as Sarris learns that they escaped custody, said soldier smacks against a nearby window into space with a dull sound before sliding away.
  • Glory Days:
    • Alexander Dane bemoans that he was a "proper" Shakespearean Actor before Galaxy Quest.
    • Jason Nesmith hasn't done anything since Galaxy Quest.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • What's that? Sarris is killing your crew, your ship is on a collision course with Earth, and the only thing that could stop him is a device that could possibly destroy the universe? Turn it on!
    • Teleporting the rock monster on board the ship had to count because it could have wrecked the ship.
  • Going Critical: During the attack in the opening episode of Galaxy Quest, Tech Sgt. Chen reports a core meltdown that can't be stopped.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Jason does this at least twice. We can assume, his mild language is probably due to years of having to tone it down for the TV show in the first place.
    • First when Sarris demands the Omega 13 from the crew, Jason does a quite literal "Gosh darn it, I give up. It's yours. You can have it."
    • On the alien planet, when Jason realizes who Gorignak really is: "Oh darn."
  • Gratuitous Greek: The "Omega" in Omega-13 sounds futuristic and cool.
  • Great Offscreen War: The minefield that plays a significant role in the plot was left behind from the "great war of 12185". Nothing about that war or the "Tothians" that were mentioned in relation to the minefield is explained.
  • Hand Gagging:
    • On the Beryllium planet, Guy freaks out because he believes he is gonna die as in episode 81. Jason puts his hands on Guy's mouth to muffle his screaming.
    • In a blink-and-miss scene, Alexander shuts Teb up this way after the latter blared out that the pig lizard turned inside out after teleportation.
  • Happy Ending: Discussed. Before being Thrown Out the Airlock, Alex asks: "Where's the happy ending, Jason?" — Of course, they have to earn it first.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Guy's initial reaction to Fred and Laliari making out, but it quickly goes sideways.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Guy suggests doing this to deal with some of Sarris's mooks, reasoning that if he's going to die anyway it might as well be a worthwhile death. Fred talks him out of it.
  • Hollywood Driving: During the climax, when Jason asks Tommy to steer closer to the mines, the latter looks concerningly long at the former all the while the ship is diving deeper into the minefield.
  • Hologram Projection Imperfection: Right before the team is beamed on board, Laliari is revealed to be a holographic image when her projection goes through some flickering.
  • Holographic Disguise: In the climax, Sarris uses one of the Thermians' appearance generators to pose as Fred.
  • Hyperspeed Escape: When Jason realizes what big trouble they've really gotten themselves into, he tells Laredo to press the "Turbo" button and keep it held down. Since the Turbo feature was only designed for short bursts of speed, Hilarity Ensues.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: When being introduced, Mathesar does this to Gwen. Given his true form, he's likely aping what he thinks are human manners.
  • I Knew It!: In-universe, this is Brandon's reaction when Jason tells him it's all real. Humorously, this is while Brandon is trying to tell him that he knows it's just a show.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Tommy Webber at the helm and Fred Kwan on the Digital Conveyor. They are both justified because the controls were designed by the Thermians replicating them from the "Historical Documents". In Weber's case, he had worked out in his head what the controls did and applied that consistently throughout the original television show. Also a Shout-Out to Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher, as he did the same thing on the set of Next Generation. Does double Shout-Out duty; George Takei did the same thing in the original series, according to his autobiography. Inverted with digital conveyor. Teb's line saying the conveyor is more "art than science" implies that Fred didn't try to put any consistency in his movements.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Gwen has this reaction when she finds out what they just got themselves into.
    Gwen: Jason, we're actors, not astronauts!
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Brandon's valiant effort to explain that he understands the difference between reality and fiction does an immediate 180 the moment Jason manages to tell him why he's calling.
    Brandon: I want you to know that I'm not a complete brain case, okay? I understand completely that it's just a TV show. I know there's no beryllium sphere, no digital conveyor, no ship...
    Jason: Stop for a second, stop. It's all real.
    Brandon: Oh my God, I knew it. I knew it! I knew it!
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After the actors discover they're in a real spaceship fighting in a real space war. In the next scene, Alex has an empty glass with a twisty straw.
    Gwen: Where are you going?
    Alex: To see if there's a pub!
  • Interspecies Romance: Fred and Laliari, who decides to go to Earth with her new beau and star in the reboot under the name "Jane Doe".
  • In the Name of the Moon: Spoofed in the film, where Classically-Trained Extra Sir Alexander Dane (played by Alan Rickman) is tired of his character's Catchphrase "By Grabthar's hammer...", even though the fans can't get enough of it. Until, at a tragic moment, he speaks them with sincerity.
    Dane: [as "Dr. Lazarus" at a store opening] By Grabthar's hammer... [sags visibly] ...what a savings.
  • Introductory Opening Credits: The last scene, which shows the intro sequence of the new Galaxy Quest season with each character and their name.
  • Inventional Wisdom: The Chompers. Gwen lampshades how ridiculous it is that there is a Death Course in the middle of the ship.
  • Ironic Echo: In the opening scene of the lost episode 92, a computer voice announces "Systems register functional". But the Protector was Lured into a Trap. This scene is echoed at the end when a similar situation occurs after Sarris' ship explodes. The computer voice mentions again "Systems register functional". And again, a trap is laid in the form of Sarris disguised as Fred.
  • Irony: Guy spends the whole movie complaining about being a Red Shirt. When Sarris sneaks on board the bridge of the ship and starts shooting everyone, Guy is the only person he doesn't hit.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: Jason makes a "cut transmission" gesture to Gwen, then turns around and describes Sarris as being "as stupid as he is ugly", and tries to think of a way to trick him. Unfortunately, Gwen misunderstood the gesture to mean "we're dead," and the transmission kept running (even had she interpreted the instruction correctly, she still wouldn't have known how to follow it).
  • I Want My Mommy!: When the crew dropships to the beryllium planet, Guy assumes the worst and clenches Gwen's hand while screaming "Mommy, mommy, mommy".
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Sarris tortures Mathezar to force Jason to tell him about the Omega-13. When Jason doesn't tell him what he wants to know, he threatens to torture Gwen instead. That gets Jason to admit the truth.
  • Jerkass: Some guys Jason heard talking negatively about the show in the restroom that causes him go into a Heroic BSoD Creator Breakdown. It's further emphasized when you realize they paid money to go to a convention just to mock the show, the cast and the fans. Unfortunately, their gossip seems to not be completely unfounded.
  • Just in Time: Deconstructed. On the show, bombs only ever stopped when the timer was at 1, so the self-destruct device on the new ship is designed to only stop with one second left no matter when the emergency stop button is pressed.
  • Lampshade Hanging. All over the place. A very weird sort of Lampshade Hanging, because most of the tropes lampshaded are ones used in the Show Within a Show and this being the movie that it is, the Show Within a Show tropes get used in the movie's plotline anyway, so it's a Zig-Zagging Trope.
  • Last Villain Stand: After his army has been destroyed, Sarris takes on the crew himself.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Alexander, after the death of Quellek. He truly brings out "Grabthar's hammer".
  • Let's Get Out of Here: Courtesy of Gwen: "Let's get out of here before one of those things kills Guy!" Apparently, Gwen figures none of the main characters are in danger.
  • Liar Revealed: A truly heartbreaking example is when Jason has to explain the show's true nature to Mathesar. It's like watching a kid learn that Santa isn't real.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: At the convention, after his traumatic Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults event Jason is signing autographs on autopilot, underscored by a depressing piano tune.
  • Lost in Character: A recurring joke for the whole cast, Guy especially (and he was barely even on the original show). Hell, by the end, even Alexander is in on it, and he always hated his role!
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The pig-lizard explodes into giblets after the transportation accident, some of which cover a Thermian.

    Tropes M-O 
  • Magic Countdown:
    • Lampshaded when a timer continues to tick down after Jason's already defused it at :13. It stops at :01 because it always counted down to :01 on the show.
    • The Omega 13's time reversal was much longer than thirteen seconds, even taking the slow-motion camera into account. Granted, the "13 second" thing was a fan theory.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: It is a spoof on the idea of a handful of people recruited to save the peaceful villager people from invaders in space; like other spoof ¡Three Amigos!, it also utilises the conceit of the heroes thinking it's All Just A Show to begin with.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: The actors have to do all the work (and somewhat justified, as the Thermians are largely incompetent) in tactical matters.
  • Major Injury Underreaction:
    • Quellek utters "I'm shot" just as Sarris's henchmen shoots him.
    • Fred's reaction to the ship suffering catastrophic damage, flying at unsafe speeds, and his engineering crew hanging from the scaffolding amid explosions? He kind of shrugs, and gives a general update that everything's really bad. "Just FYI."
  • Mandatory Line: It's implied that repeating the computer is all Tawny Madison did on the show, besides squeeze into a tight costume and be the only woman.
  • Mauve Shirt: If Quellek didn't have such a build up as a character, then this trope couldn't be used for tears quite so effectively. He would be Red Shirt, like Guy (thinks he is)!
  • Meaningful Background Event: When the rest of the cast boards the ship, Quelleck can be seen in Stunned Silence, his mouth moving as he looks over Mathesar's shoulder — this is because his lifelong idol, Dr. Lazarus, is right in front of him.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Alexander finally says his catchphrase and means it near the end of the film, when a Thermian who idolized him is killed.
    • After knocking out Sarris on the Protector, Mathesar says Jason's catchphrase, "Never give up, never surrender!"
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Guy's first name is a generic term for a male — which was his role in the show.
    • Jason Nesmith shares a last name with Mike Nesmith of The Monkees. Despite being a major talent in his own right (he won the first Grammy for a music video, has written famous songs and produced popular movies), he has an ambivalent relationship with his former cast mates and the incorrect rumors of faking the music although he was already an established musician.
  • Men Act, Women Are: This is parodied and exaggerated by Gwen. In the show, her character's only job on the ship is to make redundant statements to the computer. The Thermians designed the computer specifically to interface with Gwen, programmed with her emotions and tonal ranges in mind, so this trope is not the case on the real ship. It only gives Jason a Mathematician's Answer, but tells Gwen exactly what she wants to know.
  • Miniature Effects: When Jason explains to Mathesar that the show was all fake and the Protector just a tiny model.
  • Mischievous Body Language: The Thermians are being suffocated. The controls that can save them are being guarded by a score of Saris's armed troops. Guy Fleegman tells Fred Qwan and Laliari that he will perform a Heroic Sacrifice, lure the troops away, and allow them to access the controls, saying he's just an expendable extra. Fred stops him, suggesting that he's the Plucky Comic Relief, and then he gets a sly grin on his face and begins chuckling, saying he has a much better idea; teleporting a giant rock monster into the control room to thrash the Mooks.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: After the crew escape from Sarris' attempt to blow them out of an airlock, they truly come together as a crew, having found themselves (or rather, their characters).
  • Misplaced-Names Poster: This movie poster swaps Tim Allen and Alan Rickman.
  • Missing Mission Control: Discussed. Guy only tags along on the planet drop at first because he doesn't want to be "the guy who stays on the ship and gets killed", before realizing he could still be "the guy who lands on the planet and gets killed after five minutes".
  • Monster Munch: Played with. In the original TV show, Guy Fleegman played a One-Scene Wonder Red Shirt who "got eaten by a lava monster before the first commercial." Because of this, he spends most of the movie freaking out that this is precisely what's going to happen to him (especially given that no-one seems to know his last name). By the end, though, he's willing to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save the ship and the Thermians, and Fred points out that maybe he was really the Plucky Comic Relief all along. In the end, not only does he survive, but when the show is Un-Canceled, he's re-cast as the Security Chief.
  • Mood Whiplash: At least two scenes go from happy to stern in a matter of seconds:
    • When the crew is dining and the footage of Sarris' Cold-Blooded Torture to the former commander comes on screen.
    • When it is revealed that the Thermians cannot go back to their home planet as they are the last of their kind, right after a funny action sequence.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Lathe to Sarris, who replaced the unnamed lieutenant who Sarris had beheaded for raising their defenses too slowly and lost him a hand and an eye.
  • Multi-Part Episode: In his opening narration, Guy mentions that the lost Galaxy Quest episode 92 was a two-parter.
  • Narm: Invoked. The opening scene has the crew react in hammy, over-the-top fashion, reminiscent of the original Star Trek series.
  • Narrating the Obvious: Gwen's "It's a trap!" line in the opening scene.
  • Naughty Tentacles: When Fred is making out with Laliari at the end, her holographic appearance shorts out so her tentacles are seen creeping out onto him. Apparently they're doing something, since a watching Guy says "Oh, that's not right!"
  • Nitro Boost: The Protector has one that is not used properly during an escape sequence.
    Alexander: You don't hold the turbo down, it's for quick boosts!
    Jason: Oh, like you know!
  • No Biochemical Barriers: We see species from at least four planets (humans, the Thermians, Sarris's people and the inhabitants of the mining planet) all coexisting comfortably in each other's environments (no issues with temperature, radiation level, atmosphere composition, atmospheric pressure, gravity...). Although this is the only sense in which anybody can "coexist comfortably" in the same room as Sarris.
  • Nobody Here but Us Birds: Played for Laughs. While the crew is gathering beryllium on the exotic alien planet, Tommy suggests to use this as a signal when they're about to split into two groups. He quickly realizes the stupidity of this idea when Jason shows him the voxes they use to communicate with.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Most of the humor if not the entire premise of Galaxy Quest is lost if you don't realize that Tim Allen is William Shatner (although really, the entire cast qualifies).
  • No Endor Holocaust: The ship at the end crashes into a parking lot and into a crowded convention center. No-one being hurt in the process is brought up. Tropes Are Tools for the Rule of Cool.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: After Jason and Mathesar activate the Omega 13 to prevent an attack by Sarris disguised as Fred, the two waste no time delivering this to him.
  • Nominal Importance: Guy freaks out when he realizes that nobody knows his last name.
  • Non-Verbal Miscommunication: Between Gwen and Jason during their negotiations with Sarris.
    Jason: [looks up in Oh, Crap! mode] ...I gave you the "kill" gesture.
    Gwen: Yeah, no, you gave me the "we're dead" signal; I was agreeing with you. Like I know where the hold button is.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Jason to some fans at the convention: "I think we all remember what happened to that beast on Enok VII, right?"
    • Gwen's comment to Jason, "It was cute when I didn't know you," suggests they had an affair but that's all we ever learn of it.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The Protector's duct system is a Death Course, featuring a giant rotating fan underneath a narrow, unsecured catwalk and the Chompers. Lampshaded, to the point where Gwen wants to kill the writers.
  • No Such Thing as Alien Pop Culture: The Thermians mistake Galaxy Quest for "historical documents" because their race has no concept of television or fiction in general. When the actors later attempt to explain their job to them, the best they can understand is that it's "like lying". Oddly enough subverted with Sarris, given he immediately recognizes what the show is when it's presented to him.
  • No Time to Explain: Alex tells Quellek that he has no time to explain what happened and is gonna fill him in on their way.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: "Not now, Gwen!" Hilarity Ensues.
  • Not-So-Final Confession: As the core detonation timer counts down to 0, Jason has a last-second confession to make: "Gwen, I've always...". He doesn't finish the sentence but it's written all over the screen. It becomes an Aborted Declaration of Love when the countdown stops at 1 and Jason rushes away.
  • Now, Buy the Merchandise: In-universe. The commentator in the closing scene reminds the audience to buy a Galaxy Quest shirt on their way out.
  • Numbered Homeworld: Enok VII and Delos V from the show.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: After Quellek dies, Dane goes on a barehanded berserker rampage through a hallway full of Sarris's soldiers. We see the beginning with Dane running at one screaming, and the aftermath with a number of them down on the floor dead or unconscious.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: Jason explains that the set was just made of plywood, the ship is actually about an inch big, with set pieces made of Christmas tree lights and wire with plastic around it.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Jason, when he gets sent back to Earth the first time and he realizes that this is Not a Game.
    • Gwen upon realizing that the Thermians are for real and they are about to be transported across space.
    • The crew when they are transported aboard ship. Except Fred, who just smiles and goes with it.
    • Tommy when Jason orders him to take the ship out of the dock.
    • Jason when he realizes Gwen didn't turn off the communication link with Sarris after gesturing to her.
    • Jason when Mathesar tells him that the Space Clouds in front of them are actually Space Mines.
    • Jason when he sees the rock monster.
      Jason: Oh, darn.
    • Sarris, when he discovers that Jason has actually figured out a way to make the relatively tiny and underpowered Protector a threat to his ship.
  • One-Liner, Name... One-Liner: Sarris, watching the Protector escaping into the minefield: "Patience, Lieutenant, patience."
  • Only One Finds It Fun: On their rocky descent to the Beryllium planet, Fred is the only one enjoying the trip.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Jason's outburst to Brandon and his friends after he hears the non-fans mocking him. Gwen brings up to Alexander how worried she is, because for all his other Jerkass qualities, he always is good to his fans.
    • After Quellek is shot and lies dying, Alexander says his hated catchphrase with absolute conviction. And then goes to enforce it.
  • Overly Long Gag: As Tommy tries to fly the ship out of the dock, he starts listing to the left and starts scraping the side of the dock. A grinding, screeching noise is heard as he inches along, the entire crew cringing and giving awkward looks to the Thermians, who keep their innocent grins on as if nothing is wrong.

    Tropes P-S 
  • Past Victim Showcase: The video of the aliens' former commander being tortured by Sarris.
  • Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: Jason orders the Thermians to fire "blue" and "red" particle cannons at Sarris' ship.
  • The Plan: Jason is the plan maker. First he's the one who comes up with a plan how to obtain a beryllium sphere from the mining site. Back on the ship he lays out a plan how to overcome Sarris' forces. Then he has a plan on how to destroy Sarris' ship: by dragging space mines.
  • Plot-Demanded Manual Mode: Sarris overloads the core of the Protector which forces Jason and Gwen to go on a journey to manually shut it down to prevent the ship's detonation.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: Sarris is a die-hard. When the crew thinks they have saved the day, he appears on the bridge and takes out the crew one by one. And again at the convention, Sarris launches a final attack which is foiled by Jason shooting him with his Disintegrator Ray gun.
  • Post-Historical Trauma: When Jason tells Mathesar that they're actors while he's on the torture table, Mathesar is distraught. Their culture doesn't understand acting or fiction and are only able to equate it to lying (which itself was a concept foreign to their culture before Sarris came along). However, after the crew is successful, Mathesar is convinced they really are the crew, and that Jason was lying to Sarris. Some fan theories say that Mathesar knew the truth and was lying for the benefit of his crew.
  • P.O.V. Cam: The upwards tracking shot from Jason's viewpoint as he gets up from under the table at his house.
  • The Power of Acting: Although they end up using their character's skills for real, their acting does come into play a few times. For example, Jason and Alex are able to overpower the guards by reenacting one of their scenes: "You're starting to act like you did in episode 17, you scene-stealing hack."
  • The Power of Friendship: Called upon when Brandon teams up with his three friends to lead Jason and Gwen through the duct system of the Protector.
  • The Power of Lust: Fred Kwan has to use the "digital conveyor" to rescue Jason from a planet's surface. His trial attempt to use the device results in a pig-alien reduced to Ludicrous Gibs. However, once the pretty alien girl enters the room, he appears to calm down and seems to have more confidence. He then flawlessly operates the device.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Tommy's line when confronting Jason for being late for the convention is clearly is "You're so full of shit!" but it gets dubbed over.
      Tommy: You're so full of it!
    • Gwen's aghast reaction to the crushy-chompy things — "Fuck that!" — was dubbed to get a PG rating.
    • Jason, fed up with Brandon's queries about the minutiae of the Protector, cuts him off by telling him "there's no quantum flux, there's no auxiliary! There's no goddamn ship!"
  • Pre-Mortem Catchphrase: A variation where Alexander delivers his catchphrase to the dying Quelleck.
  • Prompting Nudge: During a promotion at a store-opening, Gwen has to nudge fellow actor Alexander to get him to once again spit out his character's despised catchphrase.
  • Properly Paranoid: "They may look cute now, but in a minute, they're going to get mean, and ugly somehow, and there's going to be a million more of them!"
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Dane, in the minefield, as only Alan Rickman could.
    Alexander: Could you possibly try not. To hit. Every. Single. One?
  • Punctuation Shaker: Parodied.
    • Sarris' first name is Roth'h'ar.
    • Alex plays a Mak'Tar, a humanoid species from the planet Tev'Meck.
  • Quaking with Fear:
    • Jason after being sent home through the wormhole.
    • Guy later has the same reaction after being transported to the Thermians' starport.
  • Race Against the Clock: Several updates are given by the ship's computer toward the climax of the movie.
    Computer Voice: Core implosion estimated in nine minutes.
  • Ramming Always Works: Reconstructed. Taggart sends the Protector flying at full speed toward Sarris, who mocks him by pointing out that with their "photon armor" almost entirely stripped away, it would be his own ship that survives a collision. Then Taggart reveals his real tactic: his ship is dragging homing mines.
  • Reaction Shot:
    • Facial shots of all crew members reacting to the squeaking noise the ship makes when scratching along the dock's wall.
    • Sarris gets one when he finally gets to see the "historical documents". Given the makeup, the actor's amazing at it, emoting from curiosity, to disbelief, to hilarious shock. The exultant sentence that follows just sells the whole thing:
      Sarris: You have all done far greater damage than I ever could have. Bravo! Bravo!
  • Rebuilt Pedestal:
    • Sarris forces Jason to reveal to Mathesar who he really is and Mathesar is shocked when hearing that Jason lied to him. Then the crew's Team Spirit prevails over Sarris which rebuilds the broken image in Mathesar.
    • Similarly, Jason disappoints the fanboys around Brandon ("He did it again.") but things get better when Jason finally gives them credit for their help.
  • Recast as a Regular: In-universe. Guy played a Red Shirt on the original show and joins the main cast of the revival as a new character.
  • Reset Button: The Omega 13 is a very limited Reset Button as it could turn time back only thirteen seconds. Just barely enough time to fix a major mistake. Fortunately, it wasn't a plot Reset Button. The movie was way too good to try that.
  • Rewatch Bonus: If you listen to the background in the scene after Jason orders the Thermians to fire on Sarris' ship (when he still believes he's working with a bunch of cosplayers), you can hear thundering weapons fire in the background as the Protector launches a barrage at Sarris' ship.
  • Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: The crew attends the opening of "Tech Value Electronics Superstore". Alex is not amused.
  • Right Behind Me: The Captain insults Sarris after mistakenly thinking the viewscreen connection was turned off.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: After Jason activates the Omega 13 device, time turns back 13 seconds into the past. Jason alone remains aware of the fact that the person who is about to enter the bridge is not really Fred Kwan but actually Sarris in disguise.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Quellek's death prompts Dane to go on one of these.
    • The defeated Sarris gets one, too, before the Omega-13 preempts it.
  • Rule of Cool: Since the original show was cancelled before they showed the Omega 13 in action, Brandon and his fellow hardcore fans have a few different theories as to what the Omega 13 does — some of which are of mere academic interest, and one of which is scarily awesome. Guess which one turns out to be right?
  • Sanity Slippage: Guy starts to snap over the course of the movie, as his status as the Red Shirt preys on his mind.
  • Schematized Prop: In-universe. The fankids run a software that shows the Protector's vault system in 3-D.
  • Scene of Wonder: Jason thinks his first trip to the Thermian spaceship is an amateur film produced by fans of his old show, right up until he's about to be sent home. The transporter bay opens on a view of an alien star system, with a ringed planet and several others nearby, that leaves him speechless.
  • The Scream: Guy's Delayed Reaction to being transported across space to the Protector and confronted by a trio of undisguised Thermians is to scream shrilly about a minute later, when Jason offers everybody to give a tour of the ship.
  • Screen Shake: Averted by the filmmakers really shaking the set when the cast go into space; played straight in the clips of the "show" we get to see due to The Bridge having No Seat Belts.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The entire crew tries to bolt when they see a recording of what Sarris did to the last (Thermian) commander.
  • Selling the Show: Part of the movie was about how the actors had to continue to sell the show despite how they felt about it.
    Jason: You will go out there.
    Alexander: I won't and nothing you say will make me.
    Jason: The show must go on.
    Alexander: ...Damn you.
  • Sensor Suspense:
    • The opening episode has "time knots opening everywhere" on Young Laredo's screen.
    • A clueless Guy reads out from a radar Played for Laughs.
      Guy: Red thingy moving toward the green thingy... I think we're the green thingy.
  • Serious Business:
    • Gwen had one job on the show. Do not make light of it. You shouldn't ever make light of it. Never try to cut an actor's lines.
    • Also seen with the hardcore Galaxy Quest fans and exemplified with the Thermians — who don't understand the concept of not taking something seriously — and have based their entire civilization on the Show Within a Show.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Using the Omega 13 to prevent Sarris opening a can of whoop-ass.
  • Sex Slave: Laliari tells Jason that Sarris has "captured our females for his own demented purposes"; it might not be this trope, but that's the obvious implication. And considering that the Thermians are rather unsettling Octopoid Aliens and Serris' people are grasshopper-like Rubber-Forehead Aliens, it'd be pretty odd.
  • Shattered World: When the Protector leaves the dock, the location is revealed to be a shattered planet.
  • Shell-Shock Silence: Happens to Jason when the disguised Sarris shoots him, and then everyone else on the bridge during the movie's climax.
  • Shipper on Deck: Some Questers ship Cmdr. Taggart/Lt. Madison and/or Jason/Gwen. (So does Jason.)
  • Shirtless Scene: Jason Nesmith gets his shirt torn off during the climactic action sequences. Lampshaded by both Gwen and Alexander as another case of life imitating art.
  • Shock Stick: Sarris uses one on Jason when the latter tries to protect Gwen.
  • Shout-Out: The very premise of the film is a shout out to Star Trek. For other references:
    • Flight of the Navigator: A young man uses fireworks to provide a visual cue for an alien ship so it knows where to land.
    • The Thermians are from the Klaatu nebula.
    • Alexander's complaints that "...they're not getting me to say that stupid line." are similar to Alec Guinness' complaints in the original Star Wars trilogy. Some accounts mention that it was his idea to kill off Obi-Wan Kenobi so he wouldn't have to say any more of "those damned stupid lines."
    • Gwen's "It's a trap" line in the opening scene is a reference to Return of the Jedi, where Admiral Ackbar has the same realization.
    • After surviving his initial encounter with Jason, Sarris gets a bolted on Eyepatch of Power similar to General Chang in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
    • Gwen's line about the interview where there were "six paragraphs about how her boobs fit into her costume" is a reference to Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, who really did have that happen to her.
    • A pig-lizard gets turned inside-out via teleportation.
    • The button that Gwen and Jason must press to deactivate the ship's self-destruct sequence rises out of the console on a metal cylinder reminiscent of those that Ripley uses in her attempt to abort the Nostromo's self-destruct sequence in Alien. Also, doubles as an Actor Allusion, since Sigourney Weaver starred in that film.
    • Sarris calls Cmdr. Taggart, demanding surrender and a powerful device the ship carries. The captain agrees, cuts the comm, and plots to ambush the enemy with a surprise attack. Only in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Uhura knew where the "hold" button was.
    • Jason having to fight a Rock Monster on the Beryllium mining planet is a reference to the originally planned climax of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier where Kirk was supposed to be chased by a group of rock monsters, then a single rock monster, before being scrapped altogether when the special effects to portray the creature weren't working out.
    • Tommy scraping the side of the launch bay is a shout out to Starship Troopers, where Carmen Ibanez almost scrapes the launch bay, which would have had her flight status revoked, along with those of her trainer.
  • Slash Fic: The one somewhat unrealistic element in the convention scenes was the fangirls desperately hoping Taggart and Madison had or would have a "thing". A very few years after Star Trek went off the air, the majority of its fandom had vectored off in the direction of Kirk and Spock having a "thing". Of course, the studio didn't want to show that in a 1999 film, so they went with Roddenberry's original idea of hinting that Kirk and Rand had a "thing".
  • The Show Must Go On:
    • The trope is spoken aloud to Sir Alexander Dane to convince him not to flee from a sci-fi convention. He is not happy about it... principally because it works.
    • The host at the last day of the convention. A spaceship crashes through the convention center and stops mid-stage, there's confusion everywhere... then one of the characters steps out, and the host announces him as if this was All Part of the Show.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Look up the reactions of real Star Trek cast members to this film some time. Apparently, they're scarily accurate.
    • The Show Within a Show which is, even if not completely accurate, apparently accurate enough that the aliens were able to build a ship based on it. Another case of Shown Their Work, by way of knowing that the original shows had, too. Star Trek had some hard science behind it, and when Professor Stephen Hawking made his cameo on Star Trek: The Next Generation, he commented on some of the devices on the show he was working to make real.
    • Tommy Weber's controls are based on how he operated them on the show. Fortunately, he had taken the time as a kid to figure out consistent hand gestures. Since Tommy is probably at least partially based on Wil Wheaton, this is a straight homage. Wheaton once remarked on how pleased he was that "his" station in the Star Trek Experience worked just like it did in the series, which was made possible because he had worked out his station's interface with Michael Okuda.
    • The character of "Guy Fleegman" was an intentional homage to a very busy Next Generation actor, Guy Vardaman, who not only played several no-name extras in the series, but also served as a stunt/stand-in double for Brent Spiner (Data) and Wil Wheaton (Wesley). His reaction to the homage: "I just about fell out of the chair!" having forgotten being told that the character would appear in a film someday.
    • First advertised using a totally in-character fake fansite. (Which now doubles as a time capsule of everything that was awful about fansites, and web design in general, during The '90s.)
    • The two boys who mock Taggert and the show are known as "Mundanes" in the convention circuit — people who buy tickets to be amused by the slavish worship of whatever IP the convention is honoring. The opposite, of course, are the FIAWOL'snote  attending.
  • Show Within a Show: The eponymous Galaxy Quest is the movie's version of the Star Trek franchise.
  • Sincerity Mode: When Alexander Dane comforts a dying Quellick, he utters his character's catchphrase in earnest, before his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Slasher Smile: Fred does this when he shoots up the crew of the Protector and is revealed to be Sarris in disguise.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: There's a corridor of them leading to the room containing the button that deactivates the ship's self-destruct, because that's how it was in an episode of the show. Gwen has some choice things to say about the writer who came up with that idea.
  • Smash to Black: When Jason is being knocked out by a miner with a stone.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting:
    • Jason is more interested in sipping on his coke than listening to Sarris on their first encounter on the bridge. Justified as he mistakes the situation for a staged act, and isn't really paying attention anyway due to being tired and hungover.
    • Fred is often seen with snack food, even in serious situations. He was originally intended to be a stoner, but those references were taken out to make the movie PG, leaving a habit for snacking that's still pretty funny. They may never directly mention any pot use, but damn near everything about Fred's personality still implies it.
  • Space Clouds: Jason initially mistakes the Tothian minefield for a space cloud.
  • Space Is Noisy: Sarris' ship explodes with lots of noise.
  • Space Mines: The Tothian minefield, left standing from the Great War of 12185.
  • Space Sector: The film has "the 23rd Quadrant of the Gamma Sector", which makes even less sense than the way Star Trek: The Original Series uses "quadrant", but of course pretty much everything in the movie is played for laughs.
  • Stage Names: When Fred is refusing to operate the Digital Conveyor, pointing out that he's Fred Kwan the actor, not Tech. Sgt. Chen, he adds that Kwan is not actually his real name.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Tommy suggests to use bird sounds as an alarm signal, but then Jason shows him the voxes.
  • Stay with the Aliens: Inverted; Laliari, one of the Thermians, ends up on Earth with the cast and chooses to stay because she fell in love with Fred.
  • The Stinger: After the credits have rolled, we hear Mathesar boasting "Never give up. Never surrender."
  • Strange Salute: The Galaxy Quest greeting gesture is bringing your fist to your chest, frequently demonstrated by the fans at the convention as well as by the Thermians.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: Sarris administers Electric Torture to Mathesar who is being strapped to a table. This echoes the Cold-Blooded Torture of the former commander.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • The blur effect when the Protector jumps to hyperspeed.
    • The cheapo aesthetic of the "real-life" Galaxy Quest show. It's very fun to watch the special features, in which the filmmakers discuss the cutting-edge special effects technology used to film the movie, and then show how they made the in-universe television show look cheaply made on purpose — complete with a red cyclorama and papier-mache rocks. Director Dean Parisot explains that he put sand on the dolly tracks to make the camerawork look rough.
    • The Thermians, in their quest to make their technology as true to the show as possible, made the ion nebulizer's shots look unconvincing, right down to Sarris being "vaporized" by vanishing with a puff of smoke and a small pyrotechnic charge.
    • The film's official website was deliberately made to look like a poorly coded eyesore of a fansite.
    • It's very obvious what Gwen's line, "Well, screw that!" was originally meant to be.
    • Alexander Dane's Lazarus headpiece loses its blending makeup when the ship has to go through the minefield. A couple of scenes later, he's taken the time to reapply it.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Jason ends up shouting at the fanboys during the autograph session after he had his Creator Breakdown in the men's room.
    Brandon: 'Cause we were just wondering if the quantum flux, now just listen—
    Jason: There is no quantum flux! There's no auxiliary! There's no goddamn SHIP! YOU GOT IT?!
  • Suddenly Sober: Jason is very hung over during his first outing with the Thermians. One trip through space later, and he's back home, his hangover gone.
  • Sympathetic Wince: Jason's castmates all wince in sympathy while watching him try to take on the rock monster on the planet below.

    Tropes T-Z 
  • Tactical Reminiscence: The crew uses this trope a couple of times. Lines like "Go for the eyes, like in episode 22!", "You're starting to act like you did in episode 17, you scene-stealing hack!" or "Why does this sound so familiar? — 'Assault on Voltareck III', episode 81."
  • Take a Third Option: When seeing that he'd be up against a room full of Sarris' troops, Guy is ready to charge in and make a Heroic Sacrifice (despite spending the whole film being afraid that he'd die to show how serious the situation is), rather than let Sarris wipe out the Thermians. Fred, however, points out that maybe Guy is Wrong Genre Savvy, and that they have other options. Fred then teleports the Gorignak from earlier and lets that take care of them.
  • Take That, Critics!: Sarris is named after movie critic Andrew Sarris, who trashed The Natural, also produced by Mark Johnson.
  • Talking Is a Free Action:
    • In the opening scene, whilst the ship is under attack and the core is about to explode, the crew still finds time to debate over their best course of action with no interruption by further bombardment or alarm signals. Given that this was a clip from the show, it makes sense.
    • Thanks to a mook's jammed gun, Alex has a minute to let Quellek die happy in his arms.
  • Talking through Technique: When threatened to be Thrown Out the Airlock, Jason's cables to Alex to reenact episode 17 which goes over the head of the guards and allows the two to put on a life-saving act.
  • Tap on the Head:
    • Jason goes out after of the miners hit him with a rock.
    • Mathesar, using his cane to knock out Sarris.
  • Taught by Television: Brandon and his friends know virtually everything about the Protector by dint of obsessively watching the show and its supporting materials. Said knowledge turns out to be a vital aid in the film's penultimate act.
  • Techno Babble: Fred is really growing into his character Tech Sgt. Chen with lines like "... if we reconfigure the solar matrix in parallel for endothermic propulsion." Roughly translated, they use the ship's energy-harvesting machinery to provide blackbody-radiation thrust (to simplify it even further, they use solar panels to make certain parts of the ship really really hot, and the microwave emanations of those hot sections push the ship around). It provides a truly pathetic amount of thrust, however.
  • Telecom Tree: Brandon and his friends do this for Jason Nesmith when they relay info on the ship. They get this info from various sources, communicating with each other by phone and online. Brandon also has a working communicator. Their information helps save the day.
  • Teleporter Accident: On his first attempt at using the "digital conveyor," Fred Kwan tries it on a pig-lizard. It turns the pig inside out... and then the poor creature explodes.
  • Tempting Fate: Laredo's line "I'm glad I ain't the commander" comes rolling back on him immediately when Jason orders him to "take her out."
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: The Galaxy Quest theme features throughout the movie. And it is glorious!
  • Third Time's The Charm: It takes The Team three tries before Sarris is finally defeated.
  • This Cannot Be!: Sarris' response when learning that the core detonation sequence of the Protector has been aborted.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Jason's quiet "oh darn" when he first sees the real Gorignak.
  • Throat-Slitting Gesture: Jason gives this gesture to Gwen while they're talking with Sarris as a sign to close their channel so they can plot against him. Unfortunately, she is unfamiliar with the controls to mute the transmission, and Sarris is able to fully hear them plotting against him.
    Sarris: Perhaps I am not as stupid, as I am ugly, Commander?!
    Jason: I gave you the kill gesture.
    Gwen: No, you gave me the dead gesture, and I agreed with you. Like I know where the whole button is!
  • Thrown Out the Airlock:
    • Done to two of Sarris's crew, after they try to do the same to our heroes.
    • A few scenes later, Fred teleports the Rock Monster aboard; it tears through the halls before punching through the hull, spacing itself and several more mooks.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Everyone becomes more competent over the course of the film; the actors, the Thermians, even Sarris himself by surviving the explosion of his ship.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Played with. The original Galaxy Quest broadcast served as this for the Thermians, meaning that they're actually more competent than the folks they hero-worship until everyone starts taking their respective levels in badass, and they get their second round of training.
  • Trekkie: The show's fans are their universe's version of hyper-dedicated fans who know every detail of the show.
  • Troperiffic: As this page should well demonstrate, this movie is space opera tropes to the max.
  • Truth in Television:
    • According to George Takei, the line "There goes the shirt again" was actually said fairly often by the original Star Trek cast whenever William Shatner (whom Tim Allen parodies) took Clothing Damage.
    • Dragging mines in hope of running them into an enemy was once a real naval tactic, in the form of Torpedo Boats. (Torpedoes were originally named for an electric ray which preferred to lay still and zap the sin right out of anything stupid enough to get close.) Seeing as how this was both very difficult and very dangerous, later designs moved the torpedo to a spar on the front of the boat, and eventually someone got the bright idea to just put the boat's engine on the torpedo and let the thing sail itself into the enemy without the boat attached.
  • Try and Follow: An accidental case when Jason suggests hiding the Protector inside some Space Clouds which turn out to be a minefield. Understandably, Sarris is unwilling to follow into it.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: The Thermians built the NSEA Protector from what they gathered from the Galaxy Quest TV show.
    • The ship's flying capabilities had never been tested due to the Thermians' missing navigational skills. The ship turns out to be working just fine.
    • The Digital Conveyor was untested because it was designed to accommodate human anatomy.
    • Jason decides to activate the Omega 13, a most powerful device that was never tested before. It works like a charm.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll:
    • Jason loses his gun while performing this acrobatic act.
      Gwen: [exasperated] Does the rolling help?
      Jason: Yeah, it helps.
      Gwen: Where's your gun?
      Jason: ...Shoot!
      Alex: It helps.
    • Though it works perfectly at the very end, when Jason deals the death blow to Sarris (with the gun that this time, he didn't drop).
  • Unobtainium: The Protector runs on beryllium, a natural element — but extremely rare in pure, crystalline form. When the only beryllium sphere on board breaks under stress, the crew sets out to obtain a replacement sphere from a nearby planet. They eventually succeed but the distraction caused by this side quest enables the Big Bad to seize their ship.
  • Unpredictable Results: Nobody knows what the Omega 13 does (the show got canceled on a Cliffhanger), though the die-hard fans have some theories. One of them turned out to be right. The Thermians based all the technology on what they saw on the show, so Brandon being right was more him having the same conclusion that the Thermians did as they knew no more than what was presented on the show.
  • The Unsmile: The Thermians understand that an Earth being turns the edges of its oral orifice upward in order to show goodwill. They distort their oral orifices in accordance with this custom.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: We are not told what Jason means when ordering Laredo to move the Protector closer to the Space Mines. Naturally, the plan of using them to destroy Sarris' ship works out perfectly.
  • Verbal Weakness: Classically-Trained Extra Alexander Dane loathes his most famous role, but can be forced to play it out by being reminded that "The Show Must Go On."
  • Video Credits: The closing scene shows the opening credits of the renewed Galaxy Quest series with the faces and names of the main cast.
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: Parodied with Guy notifying the crew about the red thingy coming towards the green thingy. A look on the display confirms the simplicity of the Protector's tactical visualization techniques.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The warlord Sarris, the Big Bad. The film is a light-hearted Actor/Role Confusion comedy with endearingly innocent aliens and the cast of a Star Trek Expy... and the villain is a sadistic, genocidal maniac, not above executing underlings who fail him, who takes a specific glee in forcing Jason to Break the Cutie by explaining the nature of their "historical documents" to a culture that has no concept of fiction. And he looks creepy, too.
  • Villain Ball: Sarris mostly avoids this, except when he learns that the crew is just actors. In a fit of amusement, he decides to kill everyone in a death trap instead of killing them outright, like a villain on the TV show. It's a mistake he quickly regrets.
  • Villainous Breakdown: [butterfly wings of doom snap open] "FIIIIIIIIIIIIND THEEEEEEEEEMMMM!"
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: The nerdy kids assisting the crew via vox.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: The Thermians' method of transporting the crew to their ship can be described roughly as "fly them into orbit (and through a Swirly Energy Thingy) at high speed with nothing but a huge blob of jello to shield them." Everyone looks thoroughly traumatized and nauseated by this experience, except for Fred, who just remarks "That was a hell of a thing."
  • We Have Reserves: During his Villainous Breakdown, Sarris shows no regard for his underlings and orders them to go out and find the Protector crew although the self-destruction countdown nears zero and evacuating his men would be the most logical option.
  • We Meet Again: The second time Sarris speaks to "Commander Taggart" through the coms, he starts with "We meet again, Commander." The first time, Jason Nesmith had no idea he was facing a real alien warlord, but this time around he's fully aware of it and is rather unsettled.
  • We Need a Distraction: Discussed by Guy as he offers to go into the control room and distract Sarris' mooks long enough for the Thermians to escape. Fred calls it a Suicide Mission and suggests another approach that involves digitally conveying the Rock monster up from the planet to attack the villains.
  • We Will Not Have Pockets in the Future: Parodied with the main cast complaining about the lack of pockets.
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: One of the things Sarris does with captured Thermians, Laliari tells Jason, is to "put us to work in the gallium arsenide mines".
  • Weird World, Weird Food: Parodied. The Thermians recreate typical foods from each character's "home planet", so while "Commander Taggart" is given a nice meal of steak and potatoes, "Doctor Lazarus" is given live insects.
  • Wham Line:
    • "Jason, I don't think the pig lizard was Gorignak."
    • In-Universe, Jason admitting he'd been lying to Mathesar.
    • After Jason suggests that the Thermians could be back home soon, Teb says that they can't go back home, but only after Jason brushes this off does Teb say the real reason why — in-universe, the cheerful mood evaporates in an instant as the horrifying fact sets in.
      Teb: We are all that is left.
    • The last time Alexander Dane uses his famous line, with complete sincerity, to a dying Quellick: "By Grabthar's hammer... by the sons of Warvan... you shall be... avenged."
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Gwen's only job on Galaxy Quest was to repeat the ship's computer voice. Taking this literally when creating the real-life ship, the Thermians designed the computer so that only she can issue commands to it. While not only an unimpressive job for her to have, it also inconveniences anyone else, as they have to request that she give the computer a command they could just as easily vocalize.
  • When Things Spin, Science Happens: The Omega-13 field generator spins even when it's not doing... whatever the Omega-13 does, because it has so much science in it.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: The ship's self-destruct stops at 1 second, just like on the TV show.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Gwen laments about her character having a dumb job, and she then freaks out over the obstacle course.
    Gwen: What is this thing? I mean, it serves no useful purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway. We shouldn't have to do this! It makes no logical sense, why is it here?
    Jason: Because it was on the TV show.
    Gwen: Well, forget it! I'm not doing it! This episode was badly written!
    Gwen: Whoever wrote this episode should DIE!
  • Wild Mass Guessing: Done in-universe by fans of the show, particularly regarding the Omega-13. Obviously, some of them came to the same conclusion about it as the Thermians did.
  • Within Parameters: After Sarris' ship gets destroyed, Alexander notes that there was "an energy surge from Sarris' ship". Of course, this detail comes to bite the crew in the ass, immediately.
  • World Shapes: The Thermian homeworld looks like a huge apple core, rather than a spherical world, due to Serris bombing the hell out of it.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: According to the producer, the Protector's hull number starts with "NTE", so they could state in court she's "Not The Enterprise".
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • Guy's fear that his role as a Red Shirt in the show will be reflected by his death in real life. In his attempts to survive, he ends up being indecisive since he sees his eventual death in whatever direction he takes. Would he stay on the Protector as The Team goes planet-bound and gets killed by something lurking inside the ship? Or would he go with The Team and be the one to be killed by a monster five minutes after they land on the planet? Although he does manage one moment of correctness with the "cute harmless" alien miners.
    • For the guys sans Fred, when Jason gets left behind on the planet with a rock monster coming after him, and the crew, on board the orbiting ship, tries to help him by giving him advice via communicator. Hmm, could have sworn those suggestions worked in the shows...
      Tommy: Go for the mouth or the throat, its vulnerable spots!
      Jason: It's a rock. It doesn't have any vulnerable spots!
      Guy: I know! You construct a weapon. Look around you. Can you form some sort of rudimentary lathe?
      Jason: A lathe? Get off the line, Guy! Alexander, you're my adviser. Advise me!
      Alexander: Well, you're just gonna have to figure out what it wants. What is its motivation?
      Jason: It's a rock monster! It doesn't have motivation!
      Alexander: See, that's your problem, Jason. You were never serious about the craft.
  • Yellowface: Parodied. Tony Shalhoub (an actor of Lebanese descent) plays Fred Kwan, a.k.a. "Tech Sergeant Chen", an Asian, on the show. In the flashback to the original show, it's made more obvious, as he appears to be wearing yellow makeup and is squinting his eyes. He squints again, as if on reflex, for the Thermians when they first meet him, and then once more for the opening credits of the revival series at the end.
    Fred: I'm not Tech Sergeant Chen! I'm Fred Kwan, and Kwan's not even my real name!
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: While he hates his catchphrase and berates Quelleck for using it, Alexander does finally utter his line to comfort dying Quelleck who is delighted to hear it.
  • You Can Always Tell a Liar: During the final confrontation between the Protector and Sarris' ship, Jason notes that he can tell Sarris' cool demeanor to be a put-on because he is sweating.
    Sarris: If you are counting on me to blink, then you are making a deadly mistake.
    Jason: It doesn't take a great actor to recognize a bad one. You're sweating!
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Laredo is told to practice flying instead of joining the other characters in saving the ship. Then his improved flying skills prove crucial to their defeating the enemy ship.
  • You Have Failed Me: Sarris was not amused with his former lieutenant who didn't raise the shields fast enough and had him decapitated.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Jason Nesmith tries to tell his co-stars that the odd-looking fans at the convention were really aliens: "They were termites... or dalmatians!" They don't believe him at first, even when a couple of the Thermians (shapeshifted into humans) arrive.
  • You Leave Him Alone!: Jason says this to Sarris when the latter is torturing Mathesar.
  • You Look Familiar: In-Universe: Guy originally played a character who was killed off the same episode he was introduced in. In the revival, he plays a completely different character, obviously.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Upon discovering the truth about how the heroes are just a bunch of actors, Sarris congratulates them by saying that they have done far more damage to the Thermians than he could ever do.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: Nesmith originally mistakes the Thermians for cosplaying Galaxy Quest fans.
  • Your Favorite: Played for laughs. The Thermians provide the crew the favorite food of their characters, which is why Alexander gets stuck with blood ticks (i.e. live alien insects swimming in brine).
    Quellek: Enjoying your Kep-Mok blood ticks, Dr. Lazarus?
    Alexander: Just like Mother used to make.


Video Example(s):


Galaxy Quest credits scene

The opening credits of the renewed Galaxy Quest show with faces and names of the main cast.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / VideoCredits

Media sources: