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    Fridge Horror 
  • In "The Game", Riker is given a game which can control minds via sexual gratification. Soon, the entire ship is infected, except for Wesley, who figured out what the game was doing. The crew disable the connection between Data's positronic brain and body, before hunting Wesley down relentlessly throughout the ship, finally capturing him after a long chase. Then they drag him to the bridge, hold him down and force him to play the game, before he is saved by Data, who he repaired earlier. Despite the obvious horror of having your friends and family chase you down to forcibly take over your mind, the true horror comes from the realization that Wesley has essentially been raped by the entire crew, including his own mother.
    • Diluted a bit when they only said "pleasure", it wasn't necessarily sexual. But there is more fridge horror when you realise that O'Brien was one of the ones affected and he has a baby. And what if he got Keiko addicted as well?
  • In "The Neutral Zone", the crew of the Enterprise seems to treat the 1990s people retrieved from cryogenic stasis as being positively uncivilized. This comes across as massively Jerkass until you remember a few key points:
    • The Eugenics Wars would happen during the 1990s. They would be followed by a succession of wars culminating in a nuclear World War III. As seen in "Encounter at Farpoint" and also described in the historical figure Colonel Phillip Greene from "TOS: The Savage Curtain", atrocities would continue until the late-21st Century.
    • When Data explains that television did not last much beyond the 2040s, this could seem like a Take That Me from the writers. But viewed in historical context, television might have died out because decades of war had eliminated not only the broadcasting infrastructure, but even the manufacturers of television sets! Plus, many people had regressed to Medieval standards of living!
    • Picard's overt disdain for Offenhouse's fixation with wealth and power is colored by the knowledge that people like him were the ones that led humanity to near-extinction. From Picard's point-of-view, Offenhouse is all but admitting to being a member of the Nazi Party! The Enterprise crew has nothing but scorn for the 20th Century people's social values because from their perspective they come from a time just before the world plunged into nearly a century of war and brutality because of those social values!
      • It would also have reminded him of the Ferengi, who were major enemies of the Federation at the time.
  • In the second season episode "Where Silence Has Lease", Picard and Riker set the Enterprise to self destruct in 20 minutes. They avoid it in the end, but you can imagine all the traumatized parents and kids as they awaited their doom... for 20 minutes.
    • Word of Dante is that Gene's idealistic view of the 24th century would have had everyone accepting their fates and waiting for death to take them. But Michael Pillar rebelled against that in "The Bonding" when Wesley revealed he acted "as expected" but was still crushed by his father's death internally.
  • At the end of "Ship In A Bottle", Moriarty is left to spend his days in a computer simulation. Nice for him, but from Voyager we know that if you leave a holodeck program running continuously it'll develop glitches and eventually fail. So either Moriarty will think he's going insane as the universe and his beloved start to break down... or he'll realize he's still stuck in a computer, except this time with absolutely no way to escape or even to call for help.
    • While it's possible that they might have transferred the portable-holodeck to Federation researchers to study, they never seemed to bother trying to remove his program from the Enterprise in all the years since it was first created. So, we're left with the very real possibility that it may have been in the Stardrive section in Generations, meaning Moriarty would have been destroyed along with the Enterprise-D. The other possibility is that he was in the Saucer section and wasn't salvaged, left among the debris on Veridian III and making his final fate even more dreadful.
    • Hell, Moriarty's description that even though his program wasn't running, he nonetheless had brief, terrifying moments of disembodied consciousness. That this could even apply to any hologram who had discovered the artificial nature of their reality, such as Cyrus Redblock, the people of Fairhaven, and so forth, the implications become downright terrifying.
      "Computer, End Program"
      • What's also fridge logic is that once that line is uttered, the episode ends.
    • Holodecks can break down over time, because they involve a lot of physical elements. Replicators, force field emitters, etc. These parts need maintenance - there's a lot more going on than just a program running. It's not that the "code" is unstable. It's the fact that the force field emitters, replicators, transporters, etc cannot have any physical maintenance done on them while the system is operating. This is why a holodeck, if left operating for an extended period of time, can develop "glitches". Moriarty didn't need a holodeck, because he was just a computer program himself. It was JUST a running program, with no physical elements that can break down and need maintenance - the cube wasn't a holodeck, it was just in fact "extra memory" to give them all the adventures they could want. Think of it as a futuristic hard drive.
  • At the end of "The Next Phase", Geordi is eating a lot to make up for the two days without food, but Ro isn't eating that much. Since she grew up in a concentration camp, missing food for two days isn't that big a deal to her.
  • As mentioned on the Hollywood Genetics page, Wesley has brown eyes, while both of his parents have blue eyes. Originally, the writers considered revealing that Wesley was actually fathered by Picard, who indeed has brown eyes as well. While this idea was dropped, there are still some hints towards it, and Wesley and Picard do eventually develop a sort of a father/son relationship... so you could interpret Wesley's eyes as proof of him being a result of an affair between Picard and Dr. Crusher. However, while eye color is controlled by at least three genes and blue eyes mean you have to be recessive for all three, the color alleles are not completely dominant. It is possible for blue-eyed parents to have brown-eyed children.
  • In "Data's Day", the Romulans had a spy masquerading as an ambassador who gets away unscathed. Who knows what vital secrets she might have brought back? It is brought up in "The Drumhead" later that season.
  • In "Starship Mine", Picard has gone back to the Enterprise and figures he has just enough time to beam back out before everything on board shuts down. Unfortunately, he runs into a snag, and has to rush to the transporter room. He sets the coordinates and the auto-engage, hops onto the platform...and the power shuts down just before transport can begin. What if everything had shut down while Picard was in transit?
    • One hopes the automatic safeties would be up to preventing a scheduled power shutdown mid-transport.
    • Luckily for Picard we've seen proof in the past that two-way transporting exist where both transporters at the destination and sending point activate so if one goes down the other can continue on. Starfleet seems to routinely do this whenever transporting between ships or locations where this is possible as well, hence why staff go from transporter room to transporter room not transporter room to ten-forward or anywhere else. Since he was transporting to a Starfleet station presumably he would have been doing this and been picked up fully by the station transporter when power cut.
  • After "Yesterday's Enterprise", the alternate Tasha Yar was captured by the Romulans; twenty-five years later, she has an identical, half-Romulan daughter. Considering she was killed trying to escape with her daughter, it probably wasn't A Match Made in Stockholm. Rape as Backstory is implied.
    • Imagine being trapped in a hopeless Forever War / Bad Future and being the only person on the ship who can tell that this hellish war-torn reality is not the way things should be... plus knowing that a peaceful, wondrous future — the way things should be — is just out of reach... it's amazing that Guinan didn't go mad.
      • For 22 years, most likely. Not only does this boost the Fridge Horror meter even further, it means that it doubles as a bit of Fridge Brilliance, too. She was so danged sure the timeline was wrong, not only because her species can do that (as postulated by Data) but because she's had decades to stew on it. The Enterprise-C coming through the rift is all she needs to put two and two together.
    • Tasha suffered at the hands of rape gangs as she was growing up but she manages to escape and make a better life for herself. Then she ends up a Romulan prisoner, coerced into being a general's consort before eventually being executed. Her life started as a victim of rape...and it ended the same way. Extra fridge horror is that while a prisoner, she knows the Tasha native to that timeline is still a child on Turkana, suffering at the hands of rape gangs. And there was nothing she could do to help her[self]. Imagine suffering through extended trauma knowing that there was an even more vulnerable you out there suffering similar trauma and there's nothing you can do about it.
    • Since the Federation and the Klingons never made peace in this timeline, it's likely they weren't in a position to send any rescue ships after the Khitomer Massacre. Worf almost certainly died with his parents.
  • The character Amanda was never seen again after the episode "True Q". At the end of the episode, Q takes her to the Continuum after she decides she can't give up her Q powers. Before she leaves though, she tells Crusher she wants to come back and visit her still, and Crusher informs her she's Q and can do anything she wants. Earlier in the episode it had been brought up that she'll likely be destroyed by Q for being part-human. Q claims that won't occur, but given the character never turned up again...
  • The Bynars initially seem like nothing more than a very interesting and unique race on their introduction in 11001001 - and then came the Enterprise episode "Regeneration" where Phlox casually mentions that part of their brains are removed when they are babies and in its place goes a processor that forcibly connects you to a hive mind whether you like it or not. The only difference between the Bynars and the Borg is that the former only assimilates their own. Perhaps the reason why we never see them again is precisely because the Federation realised how messed up this is post Wolf-359 and diplomatic relations broke down.
  • In "Q Who", the away team finds an infant on the Borg ship, which they leave as is; they assume it's simply a Borg child. But it turns out the Borg don't reproduce sexually, they forcibly assimilate. Meaning the baby was abducted by the Borg, and the away team just left it there instead of rescuing it and removing its implants.note 
  • The end of "Clues" seems satisfactory as the plan to keep the Paxans, a xenophobic species, secret is successful. However, they are still missing a day (or two) and will find out about that missing time and have to figure out what happened.
  • In "Q Who", Q actually warns Picard against Guinan, and when he prepares to attack her she shows no fear but prepares to fight back. What is really Guinan? And what happened between her and Q to spook him?
  • Tasha's discovery that Data is... "fully functional" is played for laughs. Thing is, considering that she's drunk and manages to get him effectively so as well, both of their ability to properly consent is questionable at best. Considering that the most remembered element of Tasha's backstory is that there were rape gangs back on her homeworld, it's no wonder her reaction, at the end of the episode, is to tell him "it never happened." Even if it wasn't violent, it was still something that neither would have done at that point in time of their own volition, so uncomfortably reminiscent of her past experiences.
  • In one episode that shows Alexander at school, a little boy in the background appears to be Vulcan. The fridge horror kicks in when you realise that Vulcans are stronger than humans (about as strong as a Klingon), that Worf accidentally killed someone as a kid because of his immense strength (as revealed in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), and that Vulcans don't become perfectly stoic until they're teenagers. Even worse, Vulcans believe that their emotions, when not suppressed, are extremely volatile and dangerous.
    • Becomes a bit less horrifying given that the kid was being raised among humans and thus would hopefully have more healthy emotional development than a typical Vulcan.
      • Actually, no. Vulcans aren't unstable when their emotions are suppressed due to unhealthy emotional development; it's actually in their brain chemistry. Before the Reformation, Vulcans were extremely aggro for no apparent reason, which is why the Reformation happened to begin with. Their brains don't work like human brains, even the Voyager doctor describes their brains as "a puzzle inside an enigma".
      • Nothing really points to Vulcans being inherently more violent than, say, humans. It seems more that they chose a different path to rebuilding their war-torn civilization. When Tuvok had had all of his emotional control turned off, he became violent, but it was only after he had mind-melded with a murderous psychopath. Sybok was a zealot, but despite the actions of his followers, he wasn't a particularly vengeful or violent man. That Tolaris character in Enterprise was a sexual deviant, no doubt about it. But the rest of his crew were just regular people.
  • In The Pegasus Admiral Pressman said that the Pegasus was destroyed twelve years earlier. This was a Season 7 episode. That means that Riker went from ensign to first officer of a flagship in five years. How did he advance so quickly? Pressman and the other corrupt higher-ups in Starfleet Command championed his career to reward him for his loyalty. That means Riker's entire career was essentially a bribe to keep his mouth shut about something that haunted him.
    • It also explains his reluctance to leave the Enterprise to command his own ship. In the pilot episode, Picard made it clear that he chose Riker as his first officer because of an incident in which he defied his captain. Being Picard's first officer was the one post Riker ever earned by choosing integrity over obedience to a superior officer. He didn't want to leave to return to a career track that he earned by being complicit in a crime. After the truth about the Pegasus came out, Riker was eventually willing to assume his own command.
  • What Picard goes through in The Inner Light. Picard is depicted as recovering from the experience with relative ease, but in reality, he should be pretty messed up having his life hijacked for what is from his perspective half a lifetime. Even Word of God admits they didn't really think through the larger implications while making the episode.
  • Many of the people aboard the Enterprise are not Starfleet officers. Many are families of officers, including young children. Each time the ship goes to Red Alert, there are at least dozens of children and civilians who have no idea what's going on or whether they're about to be blown into space dust.
  • We have seen many times where children are left alone in their own quarters as young as nine (Clara in "Imaginary Child" and Alexander in "New Ground" are two examples). Now think about these children in "Conundrum" completely alone in their quarters with no idea who or where they were for who knows how long before someone even came by just to count them. One could only hope at least the food replicators worked so they didn't go hungry for too long.
  • Q's After the End Kangaroo Court in "Encounter at Farpoint" is pretty much continuously stomping on Tasha's PTSD buttons. No wonder she lost her shit at him.

    Fridge Brilliance 
  • There's a subtle tone that many miss in "The Best of Both Worlds." The two parter is frequently said to be the point where The Next Generation truly became equals with the original series, and became respected in its own right. It did this by not only crafting what has become a critically acclaimed story, but by choosing to tell the kind of story the original series could/would never have attempted (partially due to technology constraints of the time, partly because of the changing writing staff, and partly due to the kind of stories they told - the original series was more isolated fables, distant from Earth). Also, by going into a fourth season, it outlasted its predecessor. It's a bittersweet moment, heartwarming and half tearjerker all in one. The crew of the Enterprise D are truly their own now. And to embrace that, we have to let go of a captain too. Just maybe not this captain.
    • Remember also that Guinan, the one giving Riker the you have to let him go speech, is played by Whoopi Goldberg, who has spoken out loud as owing her acting career to The Original Series of Star Trek. Her love for the series is as deep as Guinan's love for Picard. Knowing this, Guinan telling Riker he has to let the man who to her is "beyond friendship, beyond family" go, takes on a much more personal meaning. TOS brought her here, but she is a part of TNG.
  • If you think about it, Picard was actually doing Wesley a favor in "The First Duty". He made it clear that he knew all along Wesley and his squadron was being dishonest, and there was nothing stopping him from dragging their collective rear end to the authorities and showing them what he had found. So what does he do with this clear cut evidence? Goes and talks to the kid in private, and doesn't even start getting angry until Wesley begins trying to make excuses. Even after that, he still gives Wesley the chance to speak for himself, and it's almost a certainty they wouldn't have gone half as leniently on him if Picard had told them rather then Wesley himself. A lot of the fandom regards this episode as a Take That, Scrappy!, but this troper believes that Picard must have cared about Wesley a lot to be willing to give him the Tough Love he needed to own up and not make the same mistakes Picard did in his own youth.
  • Stardates for the 24th century shows ACTUALLY MAKE SENSE once it's been explained. The Next Generation's first episode has a stardate of 41153.7. All of the episodes from the first year of TNG are 41XXX.X where the X's count up from 41000.0 to 41999.9. So so from stardate 41000.0 to stardate 41999.9, one year has passed. The second year and season comprises stardates 42000.0 through 42999.9. And so on and so on. This also works for Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Deep Space Nine began its first season while The Next Generation was in its sixth. (Stardates 46000.0 through 46999.9). What stardate does the first episode of Deep Space Nine have? 46379.1. Deep Space Nine ran for another seven years. That should make it around stardate 52XXX.X. The final episode of Deep Space Nine: stardate 52576.2, 11 years after the first season of TNG.Voyager began airing about a year after Next Gen ended, in what would have been TNG's 8th season. Voyager's first episode has the stardate 48315.6. It continued for seven years as well. Which would make the final stardate 55XXX.X, 14 years after the first season of TNG. Its final episode has the stardate 54973.4. Close enough. They keep up this system in Star Trek Online as well.
  • Why do the Borg always go after humanity with a single vessel (or a time travel plot, or a long range indirect missile) rather than just sending twenty cubes in to make sure the job gets done right? Because the Borg don't care a whit about humanity. They stated in "Dark Frontier" that humanity is inferior in almost every way to the majority of species out there. However, they do care about Q. Q protected humans against the Borg before, in the events of "Q Who". The Borg have since then been trying to force Q's hand into interfering again since they desperately want to study and assimilate this semi-omnipotent being. However, the Borg know that they are outclassed against Q and thus don't want to risk half the collective on the effort. Thus, the Borg send in one ship at a time and do increasingly convoluted things to assimilate Earth, all for the sake of getting Q's attention again. Q is fully aware of this, and while he knows what he is doing with regards to the Borg, his son, q, does not, leading to Q's warning: "DON'T PROVOKE THE BORG!"
    • When you think about it, the Enterprise meeting the Borg that first time set off a path that led to the Borg's eventual defeat. The Plan by Q to remove the only thing that might possibly be a threat to the Continuum?
    • The novel Q&A suggests that Q's plan was to prevent the Borg from discovering an artificial planet, that he intended for Picard to discover first. Picard ends up saving existence once again, by laughing.
    • How the Borg approached the Federation and humanity would have been similar regardless of whether it was aware of the existence of the Q based on "Q Who". If the Borg knew about the Q, then it would have taken a cautious approach with one cube based on its curiosity on why the Q are interested in humanity. If the Borg didn't know about the Q, then it witnessed a ship, supposedly drained of shields, lacking warp power, and caught in its tractor beam, only for it to suddenly travel light years instantly to escape. This would peak the Borg's curiosity on Federation technology, especially the Enterprise.
  • There's been a great deal of head-scratching about the Treaty of Algeron, which prevents the Federation from developing cloaking technology while allowing the Romulans to keep it — why would the Federation would accept such an unequal treaty? Until you realize that, as of Star Trek II, Starfleet can wipe out planets. (Yes, I'm sure they say they stopped working on the technology, but who would believe that?) Given that it only takes one Genesis torpedo to destroy a world, the combination of cloaked ships and the Genesis device would allow one to commit instant genocide on every other power. Algeron wasn't a treaty with the Romulans, it was a treaty with the rest of the civilized galaxy to prevent them from engaging in a terrified preemptive war on the Federation. Presumably, the treaty likewise prevents the Romulans (and the Klingons, etc.) from attempting to recreate Genesis.
    • This also explains why the Romulans and Klingons are never seen using their cloak/warp/decloak/fire/cloak/warp hit and runs with photon torpedoes (multi-megaton explosives) against planets. They don't want to provoke the Federation into retaliating.
      • It gets worse. Genesis was doomed from the start not just because of dangerously unstable protomatter, but because in Star Trek, any planet in a habitable zone from a star already has some form of life, which Genesis would destroy (shown by Reliant being completely unsuccessful at finding a test site for phase three). Genesis is actually only useful as a weapon of mass destruction, that leaves a still-habitable planet behind after wiping out everyone and everything. Small wonder the Klingons were quaking in their boots about it in Star Trek III, and one can assume the Romulans felt the same when they caught wind of it.
    • In Star Trek lore, the Treaty of Algeron was negotiated by subspace radio due to the Romulans being paranoid. The Federation by contrast, is a democracy. A democracy has to play to the masses. The Federation got an end to the war and could rationalize it as "we don't sneak around" and it prevents another war. The Romulans could see the treaty as a Restraining Bolt on the Starfleet hardliners and, as stated above (and in the shows) Starfleet engineers could have won the arms race with the Romulans.
      • No, as I recall, that was a different treaty, ending a conflict in the 22nd century. The Treaty of Algeron was signed in the early 24th century.
      • As for why the Federation would sign such a seemingly one-sided treaty that says "You can develop cloaks and we can't", it might have something to do with the original series episode The Enterprise Incident. It's possible that a big sticking point in the treaty was the Romulans saying "you stole our cloaking device" and the Federation diplomats had to go with "we won't develop that technology further" as a concession.
    • It gets highlighted in Deep Space Nine, but it must be remembered that the Federation, and their exploration arm, Starfleet, are textbook examples of Beware the Nice Ones. They wander the galaxy, studying gaseous anomalies, playing in their holodecks, and drinking their non-alcoholic synthetic booze, but when you force them to drop these creature comforts and fight to defend themselves, they are terrifyingly capable and inventive warriors, turning all of their considerable engineering and research talents to quickly turning out creative and new ways to destroy their foes so they can go back to their wandering, playing, and soft drinks in peace.
      • This highlights the strange love/hate relationship between the Federation and the Klingons. When things get bad they can be warriors that make even the Klingons envious but they try really hard not to be like that. So the Klingons both admire them and are frustrated by them giving up or rejecting the traits they admire.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine also establishes that masking a ship's entire energy profile is very difficult. Given Starfleet's trend of making very generalized ships for scientific exploration, not to mention luxuries like the holodeck or the arboretum we see on the Enterprise-D, as opposed to the species that do utilize cloaking devices, whose ships are extremely spartan in design, it's not unlikely to think that Starfleet ships put out too much energy to make the cloak effective enough. If the ship design will automatically negate any advantage of the cloaking device, it's not something that they need, so they're willing to sign away their legal use of it.
      • Makes even more sense considering the Defiant is a warship, without any of those frills, which makes it far better suited for cloaking than a Galaxy-class.
    • It is also worth noting that, given their general idealistic bent, the Federation probably doesn't have any intention of using cloaking devices and planet-devastating superweapons against their rivals. Thus they sign away something they never intended to keep in order to get the Romulans and Klingons to ease off. And given that the Klingons and Romulans are already well-established in their use of cloaking technology, the Federation would be at a steep learning curve to try and adopt it in any widespread fashion, given the risk of repercussions if they got caught. Throw in their later alliance with the Klingons, and the need for the cloaking device is even further reduced. If they have a need for cloak-capable forces, they can do what Captain Picard did at least once and simply call for Klingon support.
    • And what happened when Starfleet decided to build a cloaking device under the radar? They took the next step and built one that could pass through ordinary matter. Starfleet engineers - transcending physical space when they put their minds to it.
    • The red matter from Star Trek 11 that can destroy a planet with a single drop adds credence to this theory. It might even be related to the Genesis torpedo seeing as the key ingredient of that weapon was protomatter.
  • I always wondered about Wesley Crusher's getup from the first season. It seemed rather casual for duty wear. However, upon rewatching, I figured out that this is probably the cadet/acting Ensign uniform. The three stripes at the top represent the three divisions (as shown on the regular uniforms). A cadet probably doesn't commit to a track until later.
  • Worf makes a big deal about Klingon honor, even to the point of it getting explicitly mentioned in "All Good Things" as something he has but others do not, the question becomes why? The reason - because he wasn't raised by Klingons! He heard all the stories and legends of Klingons, he learned about what they were supposed to be and tried to live up to it, just as we have romanticized stories of Samurai behavior in modern day times. Actual Klingons are more pragmatic - honor is still a big thing for them but it's not as important. Worf, a stranger in a strange land, defined himself by the stereotypical Klingon ideal and as such became more Klingon than Klingon in some ways. In other words - Worf would respond to a challenge of honor specifically because of his own personal honor because that's what is important, a regular Klingon would probably be more concerned about another's perception of his honor and be more willing to let small things slide.
    • This is a consistent part of Worf's character, and it sometimes shows through in his difficulty dealing with other Klingons. In one episode, he tells Guinan that "Klingons do not laugh", and Guinan immediately corrects him. Of course Klingons laugh, but Worf's glorified conception of what a Klingon warrior should be doesn't. In the same vein, he sticks firmly to the ideal that mating must be followed by marriage, but we often see other Klingons taking that idea far less seriously. Worf's views of Klingon culture seem to be either outdated or idealized.
    • This also informs the way other Klingons treat Worf. Most of the Klingons Worf encounters dismiss him as not truly Klingon because he was raised by humans and is a Starfleet Officer. This is likely a case of My Species Doth Protest Too Much. Since all Klingons inevitably have to make some type of moral compromise to navigate life in an Empire where corruption and decadence masquerading as honor are the norm, Worf's uncompromised honor secretly puts them to shame.
  • I noticed that the Cassandra Truth trope is rarely used on this show. It's particularly noticeable in "Cause and Effect," when Beverly hears voices (from a past timeline). People don't waste time talking about how it's impossible, they try to figure it out. Someone getting flatly shut down is an indication that the rejector is Not Himself. Not only is this a subtle but effective illustration of their status as True Companions, it makes sense that, given the weirdness they've already run into, they'd be very open-minded. There have been episodes where they are the Cassandra to their superiors in Starfleet.
    • In the aforementioned example, it's also worth noting that when Beverly starts hearing voices, Geordi picks up something in the surrounding Technobabble field. When two weird things happen at the same time, it's safe to assume that they're connected.
    • This is what makes the episode "Interface" stand out all the more. Under strange circumstances, Geordi seems to have found his mother, and she's explaining how he can help save her. No one on the crew believes him, and think that he's just reacting poorly to his mother's disappearance. They won't even do the simplest thing just to humor him. Of course, the script probably thinks it justifies this by revealing that he was wrong after all, and she was just an alien taking his mother's form to get help.
    • By TNG, Starfleet probably has a manual titled Standard Operating Procedures For Personnel Seeing/Hearing Things Not Experienced by Other Crew Members. It's probably issued alongside Starfleet Guide to Possessed Shipmates and Starfleet Procedures for Interacting With Omnipotent Gadfly Aliens.
    • As Captain Janeway would later observe, in Starfleet, "Weird is Part of the Job."
  • Why do PADDs and other screens have such simple user interfaces and why are diagrams so often in basic 2D despite being in the future? Because they need to be usable by all the species across the Federation who could potentially join Starfleet. Sure, you can design a complex GUI when you know the user has hands, but what about a user that has Tellarite hooves, or something even stranger? And has to have a color scheme that is readable to a hundred different species version of 'sight'.
    • Also, the displays are almost certainly touch-screen, and can be configured to be as complex as or simple as the user needs. Add that to the fact that you can verbally interface with a starship's computer, why would you ever need a QWERTY keyboard.
      • Well, there are certainly those in the Federation, and not necessarily in Starfleet, who are mute who'd need to type things, so I imagine it's programmed into the computer somewhere like most modern day tablets and touch-screen devices in real life, which are the other way around at present, as they are defaulted to work with the keyboards programmed into them, but can be used with voice commands and activation.
    • The real reason of course is that the technology didn't really exist to show extremely detailed UI elements back in the 80's and 90's. Even a modern show like The Orville doesn't progress much beyond what Star Trek was using, it simply has LCD screens in high definition to utilise, although Picard shows fully 3D holographic interfaces in use not long after the story timeline of TNG.
  • When one thinks about it, there's actually a good reason why Troi has picked up her Captain Obvious tendencies when it comes to sensing emotions, and why she doesn't get called on it by (for instance) Picard: the obviously apparent emotion is not always the actual emotion. The show may not have given her many moments to show that, but the rest of the command crew are smart enough to realize it. So you have to deal with her constantly saying that she feels hostility from the ranting, raving alien — fine, that means that can influence your actions, rather than simply assuming that that's the alien's emotion only to later have it turn out it was an attempt to cover fear by bluster.
    • Indeed, later series often have mention sensing the obvious emotion from someone, but go on to say they are hiding something else. By this point, the command crew are familiar enough with her ability to have learnt to read between the lines.
    • This is addressed in the episode "Tin Man": When questioned why Tam Elbrun didn't mention something in a previous mission of his that apparently went disastrously wrong, he stated he thought it was obvious. Perhaps Troi is covering her bases - what's obvious to someone with telepathic/empathic senses might not be obvious to someone without those senses. Imagine if a blind person trips over an object in their path, then asks a seeing person why they didn't mention the object. To the seeing person, it was obvious, so why mention it. Troi knows most of her shipmates aren't empathic, so she mentions everything she senses emphatically in case it might be relevant.
    • This was a plot point at the climax of an early episode. What appeared to be a hostile action with a Ferengi ship defused by the love interest/rival empath turned out to be staged and Troi called bullshit.
    • This also leads to a Fridge Logic Alternate Character Interpretation that Troi likes to state the obvious because to her, most of the crew act like they have a disability and she's trying to help them avoid figuratively walking into bright orange lamp posts.
  • Lwaxana Troi's behavior, both personality and her constant attempts to marry or push Deanna into marriage, make a lot more sense when you consider that not only did her husband die when Deanna was young, but only a few years before that, her first daughter died in a tragic accident for which Lwaxana blamed herself.
  • The people of Kataan in "The Inner Light" are human because Picard is human. His subconscious gave them A Form You Are Comfortable With, after all, it all happened in a Mental World. Had it happened to Worf, they would have looked like Klingons. Whatever form they really were, however, was at least humanoid enough to use flutes the same way, though.
  • The war game in "Peak Performance" is meant as an exercise to hone the cast's combat skills against the Borg threat. It foreshadows the events of "The Best of Both Worlds": Riker is fighting Picard, is captaining a starship that is totally outclassed by Picard's in every way, and Riker relies on guile to defeat that superior foe.
  • In "Booby Trap", Picard is shocked that no one else grew up making ships in bottles, and they seem to have no idea what he's talking about. Considering building ships in a bottle is a rare hobby among the audience in the modern day, it's really strange that Picard grew up this way. Then you meet Picard's family. They're old fashioned for the time period the show was released in, let alone when the show takes place. Picard's hobby suddenly makes perfect sense.
  • Q's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Picard in "All Good Things...", among other lines, makes more sense when you interpret it as the complaints of more cynical Trekkies and critics who doubted whether TNG could carry on TOS's legacy, or thought the show had become stale by this point.
    Q: The trial never ended, Captain. We never reached a verdict, but now we have. You're guilty.
    Picard: Guilty of what?
    Q: Of being inferior. Seven years ago, I said we'd be watching you, and we have been—hoping that your ape-like race would demonstrate some growth, give some indication that your minds had room for expansion. But what have we seen instead? You worrying about Commander Riker's career, listening to Counselor Troi's pedantic psychobabble, indulging Data in his witless exploration of humanity.
    Picard: We've journeyed to countless new worlds. We've contacted new species. We have expanded our understanding of the universe.
    Q: In your own paltry, limited way. You have no idea how far you still have to go. But instead of using the last seven years to change and to grow, you have squandered them.
    Picard: We are what we are, and we're doing the best we can. It is not for you to set the standards by which we should be judged!
    Q: Oh, but it is, and we have. Time may be infinite, Captain, but our patience is not! It's time to put an end to your trek through the stars, make room for other more worthy species.
  • In "Deja Q", when Q gives Data a moment of real laughter, most of the bridge is looking at Data like he grew another head. Troi, however, gives a little smile. This serves as Foreshadowing for the fact that android emotions generated or enabled by the emotion chip register on the Betazoid empathic sense. It also means that Data's mirth is wholly genuine. What a nice thing to do, Q.
  • In "Darmok", the eponymous Tamaranian figure's name is "Komrad" (comrade) spelled backwards, very appropriate given the theme of the episode.
  • By the fourth season of TNG, Riker was actively turning down a promotion to captain and his own command, yet somehow he stays a commander and first officer for almost a decade after Generations. It seems like ignoring continuity to keep him around for the movies, until you remember that Riker was in command of the Enterprise-D when it was destroyed. Losing the Federation's flagship is the sort of thing that sets your career back a decade or two.
    • A bit harsh though. Saves Earth and maybe the entire Federation from the Borg that destroyed 39 Starfleet ships in "The Best of Both Worlds," no promotion. Loses one ship, stays commander for 10 years.
    • Which is why he wasn't reduced in rank, and received a posting to the new Enterprise. Also, you have to consider he made several blunders during the battle in Generations and he had at least one powerful enemy in Starfleet Command (Captain Jellico, who may well have been an admiral by that time). So, the end result is a wash for Riker and he ends up waiting eight years to get his own command.
    • He's turning down promotions because he LIKES his role as first officer. Think back to the pilot. Riker states flat out the captain's job is to stay on the ship and command from there, as he's too important for away missions. Using that philosophy, Riker gets to be Kirk — running around on alien worlds, making out with alien chicks, getting in phaser fights in caves, etc. If he took a promotion, he'd be stuck on the bridge while HIS XO got to run around, doing all the fun stuff.
    • The end of Generations makes no secret of Riker's ambitions: "I always thought I'd have a crack at that chair one day." "That chair" being the captain's chair from the destroyed Enterprise-D, which he's looking at as he says this. He figures it'll be easier for him to get there from the seat on Picard's right instead of from the captain's chair on another ship. "Future Imperfect" alludes to it as well: the neural scanners give Riker what they believe to be an ideal future that would make him as happy as possible, which is no less than at least a nine-year run (or longer) as captain of the Enterprise.
    • There may be another reason: Starfleet Command expressed doubts concerning Picard and the Borg as late as the movie "First Contact". If they leave Riker as first officer, they leave an experienced officer with a proven ability to command, intimate knowledge of the Enterprise, a history of speaking up when he thinks something is wrong, and the trust of Picard, just in case anything "hinky" happens with Picard. The events of First Contact, as well as the events in Voyager concerning the Borg, give Starfleet Command enough confidence in Picard by Nemesis for them to offer Riker his own command. This time, he accepts, with Troi by his side.
  • In the TNG episode "Samaritan Snare", Picard recounts to Wesley how he got into a fight with Nausicaans, only to get stabbed through the heart. He remembers looking at his wound and laughing but has no idea why. When Picard relives that experience, he looks down and laughs because he's looking at it from the perspective of an older, time-traveling Picard who is happy to have set his life back in order by not changing the past. It's possible that the younger Picard's mysterious laughter was always the result of the older Picard's reaction. A real time travel paradox situation.
  • The first time I saw "Datalore," I dismissed part of the plot as just "Wesley is right but gets ignored because he's a kid". I saw it again recently and realized that there's a lot more going on. The first time Wesley gets yelled at, they do listen to what he says (Riker goes to check his theory, and finds some evidence that he's wrong); the reason he gets hassled is that how he said it was unacceptably rude—not a small deal in a quasi-military organization like Starfleet. The second time (the infamous "Shut up, Wesley!" scene), if you look closely at Picard's face (and consider that right after that scene, he sends security to monitor "Data", who—as Wesley realized first—has been replaced by his evil twin), you can see that he's figuring everything out for himself. Meanwhile, this annoying kid is talking and talking while he's trying to think and not telling him anything he doesn't know. "Shut up, Wesley" is not an instance of Adults Are Useless—it's an instance of Unwanted Assistance.
    • Part of it is possibly self-recrimination by Picard that he didn't catch on as fast as Wesley did. You can see the reactions on their faces when "Data" call Number One "Riker" rather than the usual formal address by rank, and it slams home when "Data" doesn't understand a common command. And there may also have been some disapproval of the manner of Wesley's previous comments, calling out a highly dangerous android in the middle of the command center, rather than taking aside a superior officer and relaying his suspicions so as to allow Lore to be lulled into a false sense of security. Picard's calm response to Dr. Crusher's objections seem almost apologetic. "I want you to keep an eye on your son" sounded more like, "Go with him and help him save the day, he seems to be the one who knows what's really going on"
  • Just now re-watching the season three episode "The Price," it dawned on me that Troi, upon asking the computer for a nutritionally void comfort-food sundae before reading a series of letters from her overbearing mother, receives a snarky, passive-aggressive talking-to from the computer in response. The computer is voiced by Majel Barrett, who also plays Troi's mom. Perfect.
    • There was one instance where Troi's Mother actually wonders aloud about the computer's voice.
  • In "Rightful Heir", at first it feels a bit odd that they cast a relatively short actor to play the clone of Kahless (with Worf in particular towering over him), even though Kahless is supposed to have been the strongest warrior in Klingon history. But when you think about, a lot of the stories of Kahless are obviously exaggerated (or even fabricated), so it makes sense the real Kahless might not have been quite as strong as the legends make him out to be.
    • In addition, it's not guaranteed that the clone was even of Kahless to begin with. Perhaps it's a hint that it wasn't actually Kahless that had been cloned?
      • Given Kahless' history and circumstances when the dagger from which the clone's source blood was gathered, there is a better than good chance that the clone was sourced from Moroth, Kahless' dishonorable brother and Big Bad of Klingon history.
      • Well, even if it's a clone of Klingon Jesus, that just means he's Klingon Jesus' twin. That doesn't give Kahless any of the original's legendary fighting skill as he's really just a accelerated aged newborn full of Klingon Bible stories as Gowron demonstrates.
      • So, all in all, the man himself isn't what is important so much as what he taught.
      • Even if Kahless wasn't particularly big and burly, he still could have been a remarkably tough and effective fighter (even allowing for the fact that his reputation was exaggerated over the centuries).
      • Just as a note, the (admittedly non-canon) novel "Kahless" DOES present the idea that the clone was not Kahless himself but Kahless's brother, Morath, who took a fatal blow for him.
  • "Elementary, Dear Data" is actually all about a problem that would be familiar to modern roleplayers- metagaming (using out-of-character knowledge to inform one's in-character actions). Data does it at first, by "solving" Sherlock Holmes mysteries by using the information he knows about the books, rather than what Sherlock Holmes would have known. In an attempt to prevent Data from doing this, Geordi ends up causing the ship's computer to become a metagaming DM, giving the NPC Moriarty knowledge of the outside world.
  • The Federation has the same structure as the United Nations
    • The Federation Council is the equivalent of the UN council. Each member world has its own representative/ambassador on the council, and governs its own internal affairs. The Federation (and its exploration/military arm, Starfleet) handle external affairs. This would explain, in part, why the Cardassians, Klingons, and Romulans are comparatively stronger and more "single minded" for their size - you're dealing with single races without the layers of bureaucracy the the Federation has.
    • This is probably intentional in and out of universe- the Federation's flag is pretty clearly inspired by the UN's flag.
  • In "The Pegasus", Picard is ordered to help an admiral salvage what later turns out to be a phased cloaking device: a device that would allow a capable ship to turn invisible and pass through solid objects. Earlier in the episode, that same admiral dismisses the tone of his earlier comments by saying the mission brought back "ghosts of the past." Now, what is it ghosts are supposed to be able to do again?
  • In "Angel One" the freighter Odin, an extremely rare non-Starfleet vessel, was very likely smuggling Romulan Ale! It was a civilian freighter, operating dangerously close to the Romulan Neutral Zone, and under such light supervision by Starfleet that it took seven years for them to investigate its disappearance. Romulan Ale is illegal in the Federation, but treated as a luxury good by senior Starfleet officers. Because it is illegal Federation replicators are doubtless blocked from making it. Plus, connoisseurs are unlikely to want "that replicated crap" anyway. Starfleet cannot go trading for it either. Given the Federation's government-controlled economy, obtaining such a good would require smugglers. The trade route used by the Odin was not closely monitored by Starfleet, despite its proximity to the Neutral Zone, precisely because they did not want to be put into the position of having to shut down smuggling operations carrying the greatly coveted beverage.
  • In the episode "Where No One Has Gone Before", the Enterprise warps to an unknown region "over a billion light-years" from Federation Space. Several members of the crew, including Picard, began manifesting their thoughts into reality. It struck me that they may well have entered the Q Continuum, and the flashes of light seen flying around were members of the Q.
    • Interesting, but it is hard to believe that our Q would have remained quiet about that.
    • True but then again would he really want to admit to where they had been? He has enough trouble dealing with the pompous Federation folks without them knowing where exactly he lives. The last thing Q wants or needs is Picard crashing on his metaphorical couch.
    • It actually works: The Enterprise meets Q at Farpoint and passes his "test". The Q become curious. The Enterprise flies to the edge of the Universe (the Continuum?). The Q pay more attention. Q tries to give Riker the powers of the Q. Riker refuses the powers. The Q deem humanity worthy of additional study. A lot of WMG in all this, but there it is.
  • In the episode "Manhunt", Picard is hiding in the holodeck, running his Dixon Hill program, but not conveying to the program what he wants to do. At one point, the program materializes a thug shooting a tommy gun. This is the program literally following Chandler's Law, or the Trekverse version of it. Makes sense, doesn't it?
  • In "The Outcast", the J'naii flip human phobias (homophobia, transphobia) by being genderless/sexless and forbidding gender and sex. But when you consider the etymology of cisgender and transgender, they are still being transphobic. "Cis" means "on the side of" and "trans" means "across/beyond." (e.g. cis-linked genes occur on the same chromosome, trans-linked on different ones) For a J'naii, agender is cisgender. Soren, by being female, is still "crossing" to her non-biological gender and is transgender.
    • I always thought that they weren't established as agender, but both at the same time. In any case, you're right. In a society where the species evolved in the reverse way that ours did, heteronormative ways of living and acting would be met with the same reactions that gay/bi and transgender people’s existences are sometimes met with in our society. Come to think about that, that's the entire point of the episode. It really helps the episode hold up better by flipping the whole transgender thing on its head and making everything the other way around, even though the episode was actually supposed to be about gay rights than trans rights.
    • Regarding "The Outcast," one always wondered about how Riker would go about gender-on-genderless sex until it finally dawned - there is still the "back door" entrance that would probably be easy to use provided you took the proper steps first.
    • Another one from "The Outcast"— during the poker scene, Worf says that it's "impossible" that a J'naii is attracted to a human. Data asks why, and Troi says, "That's a good question." It makes perfect sense that Troi would say that, since she's the result of an Interspecies Romance herself.
  • Throughout Season 1, chief engineers and their assistants would come and go with no discernible reason. However, "The Arsenal of Freedom" suggests a reason for one of them: Logan. He spends the entire crisis undermining Geordi's authority (as granted by Captain Picard himself), arguing with every decision he makes ("We can't take this pounding! We have to leave orbit now! Wait, why are we leaving orbit? What about the away team?"), and just being a Jerkass Commander Contrarian. No doubt that when everything settled down, Picard read Geordi's after-action report, determined Logan's behavior to be a threat to the chain of command, and had him put off the Enterprise at the nearest Starbase.
  • Ever noticed that ships launched after the Enterprise-D (such as Voyager or the next Enterprise) are no longer designed to have families on board? It's because after 7+ years, Starfleet (and the writing staff) finally realized that putting civilians and children on a ship that gets into trouble every other week is a very bad idea. It may have looked good on paper, but so have many other things that simply didn't pan out.
    • It's a post Wolf-359 universe. It's clear that with the Romulans absent, the Klingons as allies, and every other major power just not up to them militarily and scientifically; the Federation was in a period of long-standing comfortable peace that caused them to grow soft. It's not just the families that disappear, it's the counselors having a seat on the bridge and the peach-colored plush décor. Come Wolf-359 and the deaths of thousands of people (including families as we see in Emissary) and suddenly the Federation is kicked out of its complacency and into the real world. Season one of The Next Generation and season one of Voyager is incredible to watch back-to-back if you want to analyze the sociological in-universe reasons that led to it.
    • And shortly after that, there's the long, bloody, Dominion War. Starfleet suddenly had two very painful lessons that they couldn't be complacent just because the neighbors weren't causing any trouble when the trouble, in both cases, literally came from the other side of the galaxy without very much warning.
    • You can see the real world analogy with nations that have gone through a relatively long period of peace: uniforms and ceremony become more elaborate and there's a greater emphasis on things that don't relate to the primary mission of a military: killing people and breaking things and stopping enemies from killing your people and breaking your things. Get into a long period of warfare and all those extra luxuries are trimmed down and eventually go out the window.
    • This does come up In-Universe in Voyager episodes like "Elogium" and "Once Upon a Time", where characters question the wisdom of raising children on a starship (not that they have much choice with little Naomi, but still...). It's as if the writers themselves are admitting that putting children on the USS Weirdness Magnet wasn't such a good idea.
    • If you think about it, it's more of the writers realizing that many of Gene's views of how the future should/will be is very much flawed as it is hopeful, as to have families on a starship exploring the vast reaches of unexplored space isn't something you'd want to do, as many can/will die at some point out there on a ship like the Enterprise-D, which is the newest ship at the time. Even though it's for exploration, you can't guarantee everyone's safety with the type of weaponry on enemy ships, or what could be encountered out there, like black holes, that can't easily be escaped or survived, if at all. The writers did have problems with some of Roddenberry's various beliefs of what should be portrayed on the show, since they made no sense even in the optimistic future of Star Trek, like the fact that he wanted a little kid to take his parent's death like it's an inevitability because they'd be told to get ready for it. You can't expect a kid in any society like ours at any point in history to be able to cope with the emotions like you'd get if their parent dies. They started making the characters act more like people after Gene stepped down, and even after he died, so this makes sense.
    • It has nothing to do with a cynicism/idealism binary: it's a shift in focus that occurred quite early in the TNG series. When the Enterprise was intended to be something like the pioneer families in a wagon train with a military escort, having families aboard the Enterprise-D made sense, as did the cruise ship lounge bridge. However, that focus didn't even last the first season, as the Enterprise-D quickly turned to hazardous exploration and military activities, with the presence of families and children becoming an Early Installment Weirdness that ceased to make sense.
  • In "Up the Long Ladder", at first it seems like fridge logic that the Mariposans should have asked the Bringloidi if they could just use their DNA for cloning rather than integrating them into their society (they could have certainly offered them compensation if required and if not the Bringloidi seemed an accommodating bunch and in either case it wouldn't hurt to ask). However, then you remember that Picard had told them that his anti-DNA giving attitude was prevalent among "all the Enterprise people". They probably assumed the Bringloidi were counted under that.
    • It's more an issue that just passes the problem down.
    • The problem the Mariposans had was that no matter how careful you are, tiny genetic imperfections in the clones accumulate. Making clones from the Bringloidi would just see them having that same problem generations down the road.
  • Hugh's Borg name, his "slave name," was Third of Five. 3/5 = Three-Fifths Clause? He is a liberated Borg Drone, literally a freed former slave. Maybe it wasn't intentional, maybe it was, but it's very apropos of the character.
  • Somewhere between Horror and Brilliance - notice that in the first two appearances of Q ("Encounter at Farpoint" and "Hide and Q") that he seems to single out Tasha for demonstrations of his power, such as the "penalty box?" Time doesn't have a lot of meaning to his species. He could have known she was already doomed, which would make her an appropriate target, but also spare the ones who were going to survive for the full run of his experiment.
    • An alternate explanation for Q's singling out of Tasha becomes a possibility when you consider what we learn in Voyager: Q was bored to tears in the Continuum. All of a sudden, he encounters a species that isn't intimidated by him — and one person in particular. It was probably the first chance he'd had in centuries to have any fun. Once he realized that even punishing Tasha wouldn't subdue her, she presented the greatest challenge of them all, and bored as he was, he jumped at it.
    • Another possibility is that, to some extent, he's afraid of Tasha. She's both incredibly savvy (wher as Worf is much more direct and predictable), and has very little tolerance for his attitude.
  • Why does Data seem like he has very limited emotions rather than being emotionless? Because he was programmed with the same base software package Lore was! They were both the same down to every last detail, even in the base software programming package. However, Dr. Soong locked the emotions part of the software behind either a firewall or password when he programmed Data. He himself said that Lore's emotions are what made him dangerous. However, if he programmed another android, with some of the base software locked out to that android, he could have a being similar to a Vulcan who's more of an observer of emotional beings and can analyze the better and worse parts of them to discern what's acceptable and not acceptable or the best behavior. The fact that Soong sent out the signal to compel Data to come to his home after hearing he has been reactivated for years leads him to believe he's had enough experience with other beings to be able to handle the emotions. This explains why Lore was able to send out his own signal to Data to spoon-feed him some of the emotions and disable his ethical subroutines. It's a lot like Dr. Zimmerman trying to alter The Doctor on Voyager, only you need an actual computer to change him. Lore figured out how to reverse engineer Soong's signal with the Borg tech he acquired and learned how to give them to Data. The reason Data appears to have some base feelings over the series is that the thing blocking them started decaying over the years he was deactivated due to his aging hardware being left alone for all the years he was deactivated, or something started giving when the people who discovered him got him back online. Point is, he has base feelings, but is both unaware of them and unable to access them without the chip or something similar to it. He could've also programmed things to activate as Data got older, as evidenced in "Birthright", when a representation of a young Soong appeared to Data by accident to unlock his ability to dream and start being more expressive in his creativity. It would also explain, possibly, how Tasha Yar was able to influence his behavior with the virus from "The Naked Now."
  • In "Chain of Command", Jellico comes on board and starts ordering all sorts of changes that seem to have no reason for them but in retrospect all of them are things that would improve how things function in a long running war (not just a battle but a full war). Even the petty things like shift changes would help with that.
  • The Hidden Purpose Test that Worf administers in "Lower Decks" is intended to reinforce the lesson that you should not just accept mistreatment without complaint or trying to do something about it. While it is applicable to Ensign Sito Jaxa, who had to learn to fight for fair treatment (she had a bad reputation due to a scandal she was involved in as a cadet, but had exemplary performance since then), it is also applicable for Worf, whose father had been unfairly discommended by the Klingon High Council as part of a frame-up job by Duras. Much of Worf's Character Arc on TNG and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine center on his ongoing efforts to reclaim his family's honor (and realizing why his family honor must take a back seat to the needs of the Empire and the Federation).
  • Why does Troi's ability to telepathically talk to Riker from Encounter At Farpoint vanish? Because they rapidly became friends rather than lovers, and wouldn't be so again until Insurrection and Nemesis which were two films where this mild form of telepathy didn't really hold much advantage over talking. As for why she can't do it with any of her other lovers, I can think of two reasons: 1) We have no idea how long she has to be with a lover until she can do it and 2) she didn't really need to talk telepathically to any of them either. And when you really think about it, spreading around the knowledge as to who you can talk telepathically to that week is tantamount to kissing and telling.
  • In the Bad Future of "All Good Things", the Klingon Empire has conquered its longtime rival, the Romulan Star Empire. It's hard to see what could have happened in just a few decades to allow the Klingons to defeat such a powerful and long-standing faction, especially since the Federation would have likely tried to prevent the war if they could. Later events in Deep Space Nine and the films would introduce a few contributing factors:
    • The alliance between the Federation and the Klingons fails only a few years into the future (with some outside help from the Dominion) when the Federation tries to stop the Klingons from going to war with the Cardassians. They later mend their fences to close ranks against the Dominion, but we've seen how tenuous their friendship can be.
    • The core of Romulan domestic political power, the Senate, is wiped out in a mass assassination as a part of Shinzon's coup, as part of an ongoing internal power shift caused by the Romulans' joining the Federation and Klingons during the Dominion War.
    • A few years after that, Romulus and Remus are both destroyed by a Negative Space Wedgie.
    • Thus, The Federation's ability to keep their Klingon friends in check is shown to be iffy at best, and the Romulans suffer two hammer blows in quick succession (they were also likely weakened by the Dominion War, but the same would be true of the other Alpha and Beta Quadrant major powers), leaving the Romulans in a a much weaker position than before.
  • When the Pakled ship contacts the Enterprise in "Samaritan Snare", the captain is looking to the side and not at the camera capturing his image. The fact that he's not looking the Enterprise crew in the eye should foreshadow their deception.
  • While it probably is more retcon and writer screw ups, there's a solid rationale for it outside of those facts: Before "Menage a Troi" establishes that Betazoids can't read Ferengi, Deanna managed to read a few Ferengi. However, she was also doing so when the Ferengi were on the viewscreen. What makes more sense, that her empathic abilities, which are diluted as it is because of her status as a half-Betazoid, half-human, can extend across dozens of kilometers to another vessel, or that the trained psychologist watched these Ferengi on the screen, read their body language, listened closely as they spoke, and determined their emotional state?
  • In "Q Who", Guinan is well aware of the threat of the Borg who are shown to be nigh unstoppable and virtually exterminated her people. Yet, the crew has to repeatedly press her for details, she doesn't volunteer anything and what she does provide can be classified as understatement. They're called the Borg. Protect yourself, Captain, or they'll destroy you. instead of They're the Borg, we need to run as fast as we can, immediately! Supposition: it's related to the El Aurian "listener" trait - they are very private. This would explain their ability to listen as they need to be more aware of others in order to communicate, they're more subtle than other races so they've learned how to read it. It also helps promote them as confidants, one can trust that Guinan would never share something told in secret, which encourages other to share stories with El Aurians. Can also perhaps explain Guinan's assertion that she wasn't present during the annihilation of her home system despite being shown as a refugee on the Enterprise B - she's lying to maintain her privacy.
    • It is never said in Generations that she specifically was in their home system when the Borg attacked - only that she is a refugee. It keeps continuity intact far better if she was forced to flee a broken colony far from home instead of bearing actual witness to the Borg themselves.
  • Picard is depicting as holding a high level of respect in the Klingon Empire, being called upon to arbitrate the succession of a new chancellor, using the possibility of his favor as a lever to call in favors with Klingon High Houses, and even being able to arrange for Klingon reinforcements when he suspects the Romulans are up to something. Of course, Picard is also depicted as being a highly cultured man who enjoys music, plays, and literature while being a highly skilled warrior and diplomat who has earned the loyalty of his crew. Jean Luc Picard is everything that Klingons idealize, despite his cool demeanor.
  • Why are Betazoid weddings nude? Because according to Angel One they are a matriarchal society. A mild one in comparison to the one featured in that episode perhaps, but still a society that throughout most of its history has put women first. You can imagine that concepts such as the male gaze would be frowned upon far more on Betazed then they ever have been on Earth to the point that a woman probably could walk topless down the street and be perfectly fine. This doesn't automatically translate to nude weddings of course, but you can certainly see how a world built along such lines would end up with a completely different mindset towards private parts than we do.
    • A society of telepaths likely also has fewer social barriers of any kind since everyone's thoughts are an open book.
    • Speaking of Betazed's matriarchy, it actually makes sense that they would be one when you look at the two male Betazoids that we have been introduced to over the course of the show: Tam Elbrun and Lon Suder. The former is incredibly powerful but whose abilities drove him to have severe psychological problems and the latter is a non-telepathic Betazoid with severe psychological problems. Two people are a very small sample size but if this is a common theme across the planet then it might be that the females are much better able to handle or control their abilities and with that comes power. Nowadays they may not use this power for evil (probably) but a thousand years ago? Who's to say how the blue-blooded Troi family gained all of those titles that Lwaxana likes to spout?
  • In The Defector, Tomalak is convinced to stand down when threatened with the prospect of not only a fight against the Enterprise, but also the three Klingon warships that have unexpectedly appeared. His decision to withdraw isn't only based on simple self-preservation (the odds not being great for his ships being effectively trapped between the Enterprise and the Klingons), but also because while the Star Empire might be prepared to risk a war with the Federation under the pretense that the Federation violated the Treaty of Algernon first, they are not prepared for the prospect of fighting such a war with both the Federation and the Klingons as a united foe. Under their original plan, the Klingons might have stayed out, thinking the Federation's problem was of their own making, but now it is clear that the Klingons know of the Romulan deceit and are more than willing to back the Feds.
  • In the first few seasons, Picard is extremely stiff and impersonal, not what you would expect from a seasoned captain... except that his only previous command was the Stargazer, a deep space exploration vessel, for twenty years. Not only was he taking command of a new ship, he was relearning how to interact with unfamiliar people.
  • Picard's courtroom dismantling of Commander Maddox in "The Measure of a Man" includes, after Maddox acknowledges that "there is no limit" to how many Datas he could create, the lines, "Isn't that becoming... a race? And won't we be judged by how we treat that race?" It sounds like philosophizing, but Picard has a unique perspective on exactly who is judging humanity thanks to his last "encounter" in a courtroom, and what is at stake if humanity is judged poorly. The Q are watching.
  • In "Rascals", Picard, de-aged to a twelve-year-old, gets the Ferengi to bring him to Riker by saying, "I need to see him now!", then stomping his foot and repeating, "Now, now, now, now—" until he cracks. At first this may seem odd, since twelve is way past the "stomping and shouting" phase, but then you realize that Ferengi might not know that much about human development.
  • At the end of "The Wounded", Chief O'Brien convinces Captain Maxwell to stand down peacefully and not destroy the Cardassian ship he's been chasing. They reminisce about their time serving together and a lost comrade who liked a particular song, an old Irish tune called "The Minstrel Boy." They sing the first verse together and then Maxwell stops before the last line, after which Maxwell realizes he can't win. "The Minstrel Boy" is about a lone warrior, who, according to the song, will fight alone for his land "though all the world betrays thee." Clearly, this is an allusion to Maxwell. But what causes him to change his mind? The line that Maxwell doesn't sing, as the realization strikes him, is "one faithful harp shall praise thee." The second verse is left unsung entirely - but in it, the minstrel boy not only dies, but destroys his harp also, so that it "ne'er shall sound in slavery." Maxwell has realized that if he carries on fighting his solo crusade, not only will he die, but so will his "harp", i.e., the message that he's trying to get across about the rearming Cardassians.
  • In "Man of the People", Troi was acting mean and blunt because she was receiving the villain's dark thoughts, and the Rapid Aging was a side effect of being his "receptacle". But why was she getting all horny? Well, "Manhunt" establishes that when Betazoid women reach a certain age, they go through "the Phase" which multiplies their sex drive by at least four. Perhaps Deanna was in the Phase.


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