Q brings his now teenage son that he had fathered in "The Q And The Grey" on board Voyager in the hopes that Captain Janeway would be a good role model to him, only with the later added provision that his Q powers are stripped away so that he could learn how to exemplify the qualities of a true Q before he could return to the Continuum.
This episode provides examples of
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Q tells his son that it's "single-cellular city" for him if he doesn't shape up to be the ideal Q within a week on board Voyager.
- Aesop Collateral Damage: Q states that if Icheb has to die to teach Junior a lesson, so be it.
- Badass Fingersnap: Subverted - Q Junior learns that he's been Brought Down to Normal when he snaps his fingers and nothing happens.
- Brick Joke: The episode starts with Icheb delivering a verbal history essay that has Janeway on the verge of falling asleep. Later on, when Q2 delivers a history essay to Janeway, she quickly recognizes it as Icheb's work instead of Q2's.
- Brought Down to Normal: Q jr is stripped of his powers as a punishment.
- Call-Back: Obviously, to "The Q and the Grey", when Q Junior was born.
- Junior himself makes a few when suggesting fun things to do.
- When presented with a holodeck simulation of a diplomatic crisis, Junior's solution is to reprogram the simulation to make it easier to win.
- Junior's deciding to give the replicator a personality (that sasses Janeway) is a Mythology Gag harking back to "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" in the original series, in which some alien women were convinced that the Enterprise's computer needed a personality, and so decided to give it one (that proceeded to flirt with Kirk).
- Cheaters Never Prosper: Q's son tries to cheat his way to getting back his powers by altering the programming of a holographic negotiation so that both sides were able to agree with each other without him putting any effort into the negotiation. Unfortunately for him, Captain Janeway finds this out for herself.
- Apparently, this is no longer the winning solution that it was in Kirk's day.note
- Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: From Q himself: "If the Continuum has told you once, they've told you 1000 times—DON'T PROVOKE THE BORG!"
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Not seen onscreen, but Q's son temporarily traps the crew in a never-ending loop of repeating the same 30 seconds over and over so he could speak alone to the Captain.
- Heel–Face Turn: Janeway's ultimatum to Q's son gets him to start turning his life around.
- Hope Spot: In universe, Junior was supposed to symbolize the ending and post-Q Civil War peace (as was intended back in "The Q and the Grey"). Unfortunately, he quickly dashed those hopes by turning into an absolute little shit.
- Humanity Ensues: Junior gets turned human as a punishment.
- I Hate Past Me: Q is clearly experiencing this in combination with Parental Hypocrisy, as Q Junior's antics reflect his own history as a cosmic troll. For instance, who else can we think of that once amused themselves by provoking the Borg or been sentenced to sensitivity training sans powers...
- I Kiss Your Foot: Q tries to kiss Janeway in the tub, but Janeway blocks him with her foot, so he kisses it instead.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: One of Q's son's antics has him attempt to annoy Seven by using his powers to remove her clothes, but she simply ignores him and continues working unfazed.
- Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: After Q Junior is turned into a human, Janeway removes his captain pips.
- Insult of Endearment: Q's son calls Icheb "Itchy" and he gets called "Q-ball" in return.
- Intrigued by Humanity: Q says that Junior was always fascinated by his stories of humanity but Junior admits to finding them boring after spending 20 minutes with them.
- Ironic Echo: Q Junior claims that he doesn't have to listen to Janeway because she doesn't have "unlimited control of space, matter, and time." Later, after he's turned human, Janeway reminds him that he no longer has "unlimited control of space, matter, and time."
- It's All My Fault: Q's son realizes it's his fault that Icheb was nearly killed and is willing to take full responsibility for it when he and Captain Janeway confront the alien that he attacked.
- Landing in Someone's Bathtub: Q does this to Janeway after he tries her suggestion and finds out that it didn't work.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Played for Laughs—after Q's son loses his powers and Neelix gets his voice back, he proceeds to be as annoying as possible around the teenaged Q.
- Misapplied Phlebotinum: A powerless Junior was able to create a "spatial flexure" (a sort of wormhole that's implied to be able to take them anywhere) by messing around with the Delta Flyer's deflector array. This is never mentioned again and nobody considers using it to get Voyager home.
- A Mommy To Her Crew: Why Q feels that Janeway is a better parent than he is.
- Naked Freak-Out: Q's son tries to invoke this with Seven by making her clothes disappear. It fails, because she is an Innocent Fanservice Girl (more accurately, naked freak-outs are irrelevant).
- The Nudifier: Junior making Seven's clothes disappear.
- Our Wormholes Are Different: The Spatial Flexures Junior creates by manipulating the Delta Flyer's deflector array.
- Parental Hypocrisy: Q reprimands his son for placing Borg cubes in Voyager's path. Q is responsible for the Federation making First Contact with the Borg in "Q Who".
- Plagiarism in Fiction: When Janeway assigns Junior an essay on the Q Continuum, Icheb offers to give him a few notes on a PADD. Cut to Junior turning an essay in to Janeway...
- Pleasure Planet: The Clevari System. Junior suggests swimming with mermaids and challenging a warrior goddess to a grappling contest.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Q's son is a Sufficiently Advanced Alien, after all. Appropriately Lampshaded:Janeway: The last time I saw him, he was an infant!
Q2: Four years ago. You called me "adorable."
Janeway: You remember?
Q2: I may have been an infant, but I was still a Q.
- Also an unintentional case, as John De Lancie is noticeably older than his previous appearances, despite the Q's immortality.
- Post-Kiss Catatonia: Janeway is stunned when Q smooches her on the mouth without permission.
- Power Perversion Potential: Q's son at one point uses his reality warping abilities to strip Seven of her clothes by making them disappear.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "If the Continuum’s told you once, they’ve told you a thousand times… DON’T. PROVOKE. THE BORG!"
- Put on a Bus: Q's wife in the interim since "The Q and the Grey". See Screw This, I'm Outta Here for more details.
- Race-Name Basis: The younger Q addresses Neelix as "Talaxian".
- Reality Warper: Both Q and Q's son.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The status of Q's wife in the interim since "The Q and the Grey". She's been so humiliated by her son's behavior that she's disowned him, leaving her husband to clean up the mess.
- Secret Test of Character: Q arranges one when his son steals the Delta Flyer and effectively kidnaps Icheb.
- Sequel Episode: To Season Three's "The Q and the Grey" and completing the Q-VOY Trilogy that began with Season Two's "Death Wish".
- Teens Are Monsters: Especially one with unlimited control of space, matter, and time.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Q's son, and boy did he need it.
- Took a Shortcut: Q rewards Janeway with a datapad that has information that'll shave a few years off their journey home. What it actually tells her to do is never specified.
- Toplessness from the Back: Seven after Q2 disappears her catsuit.
- Tranquil Fury: Janeway is quietly pissed when Q2 tries to cheat his way through the tests, especially since he thinks he can fool her.Janeway: We may be common bipeds, but we're not stupid.
- Vengeful Vending Machine: Q's son magicks the replicators so that it sasses Janeway when she asks for a coffee.Captain Janeway: Coffee, black.
Replicator: Make it yourself.
Janeway: ("WTF?" expression)
- Wild Teen Party: Q's son turns Engineering into a 24th century rave, which disrupts activities going on until he restores everything to normal.
- Wipe That Smile Off Your Face: Not only does Q's son remove Neelix's mouth to get him to shut up, he also removes his vocal cords.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Q agrees to spend some quality time with his son. Janeway is relieved to get rid of him for a while, but he turns up in her bath a short time later. Well, it was a long time for a Q!Janeway: You've been gone for 10 minutes!!!Q: On your temporal plane, maybe! But in Q Time, we've spent years together!
- You Talk Too Much!: Q's son says this to Neelix right before zapping his vocal cords and sealing his mouth.