In the opening, Kirk is trying to open diplomatic relations with aliens who keep wildly misinterpreting his words, and through a long string of Insane Troll Logic, conclude that the rival alien species Kirk is representing is attempting to trick them into signing a false peace treaty so they can eat them.
And they don't even stand upright so they look even smaller.
As a dishevelled, beat up and thoroughly disgruntled Kirk walks out of the transporter room, Scotty asks him how it went - and a beat later one of the aliens hits the glass panel behind him and bounces off with a squawk.
Various Red Shirts trying, and mostly failing, to capture said aliens after some come back to the ship still attached to Kirk.
One of the aliens shows up at the party at the end of the movie, apparently having made friends with Keenser.
Kirk: Kevin, still not wearing pants, I see...
Kirk returns to the Enterprise after a fight with a ripped shirt. This is heavily lampshaded by the other characters, and even Kirk himself sounds wearily annoyed when he notes it happened again.
When he has Spock log and archive the artifact, Kirk nearly tosses his boot by mistake instead.
During his Captain's Log narration, Kirk notes that due to their extended deployment in space, a large segment of the crew has started dating each other. He notes that while some relationships work out, others don't: a beat later, we see a Green-Skinned Space Babe angrily shoving a half-dressed Chekov out of her quarters.
As the Enterprise heads into Yorktown early in the film, the bridge crew (and audience) are probably staring at the starbase in awe... and then there's Bones' reaction:
Bones: What a damn monstrosity. Couldn't we just rent some space on a planet? Spock: Showing geographical favoritism among inducted Federation Worlds could cause diplomatic tension. Bones: What, you don't think that looks tense? Looks like a damn snow globe in space, just waiting to break. Kirk: That's the spirit, Bones.
McCoy and Spock's off-color exchange after they crash on the planet, Spock is seriously injured, and McCoy distracts him with a non sequitur before cauterizing the wound on the theory that it'll hurt less.
Spock: If I may adopt a parlance with which you are familiar, I can confirm your theory to be "horseshit".
Most of Spock and Bones' interactions fall into this category.
When a wounded Spock reveals to Bones his plans of leaving Starfleet to continue Prime-Spock's work after the latter's passing, Bones revealed what he might have done if he had heard of it earlier: have a huge party to himself.
Walking through the forest after the Enterprise's crash, Scotty finds an abandoned escape pod and is happy to find a communicator there. He tries to flip it open and it promptly falls to pieces.
When Scotty meets Jaylah for the first time, she's taking parts from the escape pod after driving off a trio of thugs and he tries to chide her for it—only to become very generous when she points her knife at him. And later when he asks if she was with Krall, she spits at the ground and he concedes, "I'll take that as a no."
After Jaylah and Scotty introduce themselves to each other, Jaylah calls Scotty by his full name. He tells her that she can call him Scotty. Jaylah then proceeds to address him as 'Montgomery Scotty' throughout the film.
The Franklin bridge is currently blasting some Public Enemy. Scotty enters asking "Is that music?", Jaylah then does a Buffy Speak explanation on how she made the stereo system work, and there's this exchange:
Scotty: Clever. The music is a bit old-fashioned and I find it loud and distracting, but clever. Jaylah: I like the beats and shouting!
What does Jaylah do when Kirk comes on to the Franklin bridge? Flop herself onto the Captain's chair while everyone looks on in exasperation.
Scotty:[gesturing to Kirk] ... he likes that seat.
When Spock and McCoy are surrounded, Bones muses that at least he won't die alone. Cue Spock getting beamed to safety.
Bones: ...well, that's just typical.
Bones prepares his last stand... by raising his fists and yelling. Keep in mind that again, he was surrounded by flying swarm ships at the time. Then he's beamed too.
Scotty explains the reason why they didn't get beamed out at the same time is that he was afraid that the obsolete transporter may have spliced Spock and Bones together. Bones soon expresses his aversion of this idea.
And how Scotty comes up with this plan?
Scotty: I have an idea, sir... But I'm gonna need your permission. Kirk: Why would you need my permission? Scotty: Because if I mess it up, I don't want it to just be my fault.
Given the crew has to resort to fly the Franklin, a really old ship:
Kirk: Mr. Sulu... you can... fly this thing, right? Sulu:[looks insulted] You kidding me, sir?
And before the ship can fly, it needs to get to terminal velocity falling down a cliff, nearly crashing to the ground. Chekov's fear helping Sulu take off is hilarious.
There's also Sulu's look when they succeed. He's both impressed and just a little surprised that it worked.
Uhura and Spock break up with Uhura giving a "It's not you, it's me" speech. McCoy comes along asking about what happened, with Spock dismissing Bones' inquiry.
McCoy:[figuring it out] You know, if an Earth girl says "It's not you, it's me..." [shrugs and walks away] It's definitely you.
In reality that's not something Uhura said, let alone the reason why they break up which as Spock later explains is because he wanted to leave the ship to help the Vulcans, but McCoy's using this cliché for comic relief.
As Bones is using the Franklin equipment (and Kirk's help) to heal Spock:
McCoy's jabs at Spock when the latter begins explaining how they can track down the rest of the crew using a necklace Spock gave Uhura as a gift.
McCoy: You gave your girlfriend radioactive jewelry? Spock: The emission is harmless, Doctor, but its unique signature makes it very easy to identify. McCoy: You gave your girlfriend a tracking device. [beat, as everyone gives Spock an uncomfortable look] Spock: ...that was not my intention.
Spock's face is what really makes this moment. He had clearly never thought of the implications of what the necklace's properties could be used for and when he does... Best Oh, Crap! face ever.
Later, Uhura is shown idly fiddling with the necklace while talking to Spock. Bones gives Spock a stare that screams "get her something that isn't so damn creepy", immediately turning away into his drink as Spock glares back at him, having realized he was staring, with a strong implication that she's unaware of this and Spock would like to keep it that way.
Scotty and Keenser's almost-hug followed by an awkward handshake when they are reunited on the Franklin.
The Plan requires Spock and Bones to beam aboard an enemy ship and hijack it in the middle of a space battle. Bones is not enthused about being volunteered for this.
Blink and you'll miss it, but as Bones hits a rough patch trying to steer the ship they stole, Spock gives him a Death Glare.
The Franklin broadcasts music to disrupt signals coordinating the swarm ships. The music? "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys.
McCoy: Is that classical music? Spock: Yes, Doctor, it would seem to be.
Even better, the camera pans across to the crew who are either bobbing or tapping their feet with the beat; even Spock is seen subtly nodding along. Before the music starts in full swing, Kirk's response (as it was Jaylah's pick, given she knew "beats and shouting" would help)?
The implications of what "modern" music is in the mid-23rd century of the Kelvin Timeline when the Beastie Boys are considered "classical".
Related to the above, Jaylah goes trying to connect the stereo to the transmitter, only for Scotty to deny her. Once his attempt only leads to electric shock, Scotty then lets her do it. She fixes it within three seconds.
While under fire by Krall's soldiers in the crashed Enterprise saucer section, Kirk decides to manually trigger the ship thrusters by firing a phaser at a compressor when any miss could result in the fuel exploding.
Chekov: You're gonna shoot at the fuel compressor?! Kirk:I'm open to suggestions! [...] Chekov: Sir, we are basically standing on top of a WERY large bomb! If you miss the combustion compressor— Kirk: I'm not gonna miss, come on! Chekov:[frantic] Do you even know what the combustion compressor looks like?! Kirk: It's a square, right? [fires phaser] Chekov: NO, IT'S— [horrified] ROUND! Kirk:That's what I said!
Arguably the best part is the way Chekov says "Round", because his voice just has this horrified, "Oh God, you just killed us, you idiot" kind of edge to it.
McCoy finds Kirk finishing off a bottle of Saurian Brandy, chiding him because the stuff is illegal. McCoy then offers, as a better alternative, a very nice bottle of Scotch which he either stole or confiscated from Chekov's locker. Kirk and McCoy both remark that they assumed he'd have had vodka instead.
When the crew attempt to figure out a plan to disrupt Krall's attack on Yorktown, Spock starts a Technobabble explanation, which annoys Kirk. So Uhura helpfully translates.
Uhura: What's he saying is if we can disorient the swarm, we can kick its ass! Spock: Precisely.
As Kirk and Chekov make their way through the forest, Chekov expresses his amazement that Kirk could tell that Kalara was lying. Kirk brags that he just kind of knew it might have been a trap—only for them to set off one of Jaylah's traps. The annoyed "Oh for God's sake" expression on his face just sells it and stays there even as Scotty and Jaylah arrive and Scotty takes his time to get her to free them.
When Kirk and Chekov first meet Jaylah, Chekov can be seen checking out Jaylah while Kirk and Scotty talk.
And when Jaylah deactivates the trap (which is holding Kirk and Chekov in place), they both fall face-first onto a large rock right below them.
Kirk: You sure know how to throw out the welcome mat. Jaylah: I do not know what is a welcome mat.
When Kirk leaves the bridge and gives Sulu the conn, Sulu sits in the captain's chair—and immediately assumes the classic Kirk pose.
On The Late Late Show, Zoe Saldana makes a crack to James Corden about each time Chris Pine was on set, he was always eating. She then does an impression of Chris with his legs spread and shoveling food into his mouth. The next night, Chris appears with a sandwich in his hand (which he leaves on the coffee table) and after James plays Zoe's crack about it, the camera cuts back to Chris with a beer and another sandwich in his hand, then later he pulls a whole turkey leg seemingly out of nowhere and starts eating it, putting Corden into hysterics. After Corden plays the clip, he then asks (between laughter) if Chris 'cares to address' her comments. His response is to take a big hefty bite of the sandwich... and realizesnow he can't talk clearly. And to top off the bit, he hands the sandwich to fellow guest Imogen Poots, who flings bits of it while gesturing... which he picks up and eats.
The cast, mostly courtesy of John Cho, plays with Dubsmash. Though, if you ask him, it's Zoe Saldana's fault.
Paramount Studios' UK branch held a Twitter Q&A with the cast. When one fan asked Sofia Boutella about how she fared with the rest of the cast, she starts complaining about how horrible they were to her—while snuggled in a massive bear hug from Chris Pine while he sings to her, and Zachary Quinto kisses her head.
When another fan asked Zachary Quinto about the Spock/Uhura relationship, he jokes that Spock outfitted her with a tracking device... in which case he was being literal. Spock inadvertently did.
The cast plays a game where they re-interpret normal household objects into objects used in space.
Zoe Saldana:[John Cho looks at a fancy cherry pitter and holds it to his face]It's a vibrator. For non-human species. John Cho:[drops it] YOU BAITED ME INTO THAT! [Zoe giggles] I want it to be noted for the record that Zoe Saldana led me into that trap!
The official score soundtrack for the film is a Hurricane of Puns involving titles like "A Swarm Reception" or "Hitting the Saucer a Little Too Hard," which is Standard Operating Procedure for Michael Giacchino.
Zachary Quinto appeared on Live With Kelly to promote the film and he and his dogs were invited to participate in a segment about proper dog hygiene. He ends up being a Funny Background Event as one of the dogs starts wandering around the set and into the audience as Kelly Ripa is talking, and he fails to call his dog back to his side.
Pegg: We were trying to create this very independent character. But we didn't have a name for it. So we just called it "Jennifer Lawrence In Winter's Bone." That's a long name. So it started getting tiring always saying, well Jennifer-Lawrence-In-Winter's-Bone is fighting here. So then we started calling her J-Law. And then she became Jaylah.