Star Trek: The Next Generation — A 30th Anniversary Quiz

In honor of Star Trek: the Next Generation‘s 30th anniversary, which is today (the premiere aired September 28, 1987), here’s a fun little exercise inspired by Susana “@NerdGerhl” Polo’s tweet from last September:

Quick, describe the plot of your favorite Star Trek episode in one tweet.

I did a bunch of them, and was having so much fun that I decided to do all of the episodes. See if you can guess them all — there’s a link to the answers at the bottom. I boldfaced the ones that I thought were particularly humorous.

  • “A case of he-said-she-said is solved by Geordi of all people.”
  • “A child bumps into Worf. A strange cloud almost destroys the ship.”
  • “A crewmember dies under Worf’s command. Wesley expresses his feelings over his father’s death.”
  • “A deaf ambassador wants to get it on with Deanna, but forgets about that after his friends are killed.”
  • “A Dr. Ruth lookalike has a philosophical discussion with Picard. Wesley makes a friend.”
  • “A historian visits the Enterprise, and gets stranded in the 24th century.”
  • “A Klingon exchange officer turns out to be Worf’s brother, and that’s only the beginning.”
  • “A lonely alien just wants to die, but the Federation and the Romulans aren’t going to let that happen.”
  • “A love story for Deanna against the backdrop of the evils of genetic engineering.”
  • “A sadistic alien turns Geordi into Velma, and makes him try to find his glasses. Picard thwarts him by refusing to play along.”
  • “A time-traveling Klingon tries to save Worf’s life.”
  • “A woman holding a grudge attempts to kill those who killed her family.”
  • “Aliens frighten an entire planet into shutting down its space program.”
  • “Aliens nearly destroy the ship. Deanna quits her job.”
  • “An angry mother destroys a spacefaring alien before the crew can talk to it. Riker’s new girlfriend is killed.”
  • “An old friend returns. Hasperat is introduced.”
  • “An old man commits genocide. The crew lets him go without punishment.”
  • “Angry veterans attempt to get VA benefits from James Cromwell.”
  • “Apparently the Preservers are canon after all. Data arm-wrestles a Klingon.”
  • “Barclay overcomes one of his many fears to save lives, but he’s still terrified of O’Brien’s pet spider.”
  • “Beverly breaks a glass. Data learns the power of three. This is not a Charmed reference.”
  • “Beverly can’t find Dr. Epstein. Or anyone else.”
  • “Beverly does Worf’s job for him and investigates a murder. Guinan gets tennis elbow.”
  • “Beverly falls in love with an alien who eventually evolves into a higher life form.”
  • “Beverly has sex with a ghost. So did her grandmother.”
  • “Beverly learns that she is 100 percent heterosexual. Riker negotiates a peace treaty.”
  • “Beverly wears a helmet. Picard transports himself into space.”
  • “Data and Picard’s Shakespeare lesson is interrupted by the Orient Express.”
  • “Data becomes a cat collector and dyes part of his hair gray. The midnight petroleum is ignited.”
  • “Data befriends a child who gets sick. Then he dies. Sort of.”
  • “Data befriends a child who wants to be just like him. The Enterprise is almost destroyed.”
  • “Data discovers a new cybernetic life form. The life form saves a space station.”
  • “Data dreams. Worf meets some prisoners of war.”
  • “Data fights a rogue laser and wins. Some aliens just want to go back to the beach.”
  • “Data fills in for Guinan behind the bar. Geordi gets mad at an old man.”
  • “Data gets angry and hurts Geordi. The crew fights the Borg.”
  • “Data gets angry and wants to fight Worf. Miles and Keiko’s relationship gets strained.”
  • “Data gets his first pen pal. Wesley gets his first assignment as a commander.”
  • “Data gets turned off. Also, we see his brother’s butt. Sort of.”
  • “Data gets turned off. Picard hooks up with his old girlfriend.”
  • “Data has a girlfriend. A crewmember falls through a hole in the deck and is killed.”
  • “Data plans a funeral, but not for the guy Ensign Ro killed.”
  • “Data sends a letter to his pen pal. A transporter malfunctions… or does it?”
  • “Data shoots at Worf, and then almost kisses him.”
  • “Data squares off against a badly-dubbed community leader. Picard squares off against a trash bag playing a piano made of prisms.”
  • “Data takes comedy lessons from Joe Piscopo. Teri Hatcher makes out with a dashing rogue.”
  • “Data turns the Enterprise into a Mayan temple.”
  • “Data wins at poker, meets Jack London, and gets a head.”
  • “Data’s dad forgets that he has two sons. Data displays his love for strong passwords.”
  • “Data’s poetry puts Riker to sleep, and that’s how he discovers he was abducted by aliens.”
  • “Data’s stepfather doesn’t notice that his (Data’s) mother isn’t quite what she seems to be. But Data knows.”
  • “Deanna becomes Alexander’s stepsister after Worf is talked out of committing ritual suicide.”
  • “Deanna gets a foot massage. Data and Geordi go on a very long trip.”
  • “Deanna gets kidnapped and has to lie to the crew about it while cosplaying as a secret policewoman.”
  • “Deanna meets her fiancee, who thought she was the woman he’d been dreaming about. She wasn’t, but in a convenient coincidence, she’s on the way.”
  • “Deanna somehow gets sick of eating desserts. Worf makes a new friend.”
  • “Denise Crosby masterminds the reprogramming of Geordi’s brain to turn him into an assassin.”
  • “Did you know there was a war with the Cardassians that just ended? No? Me neither. Also, O’Brien hangs out with his old boss.”
  • “Does Deanna look old to you?”
  • “Dr. Selar makes her first and only appearance. So does Mark Sheppard’s father.”
  • “During a murder investigation, Worf and Deanna start having a relationship, but it turns out to be a dream.”
  • “Geordi’s visor malfunctions. Worf refuses to donate blood.”
  • “Geordi and his old friend Susanna are turned into invisible glowing lizard people.”
  • “Geordi is in love with a married woman, but he doesn’t know it.”
  • “Geordi is in love with a married woman, but she shoots him down.”
  • “Geordi is told to give things back the way he found them. Beverly gets a concussion.”
  • “Geordi’s mom dies, but aliens use her image to convince him to save their lives.”
  • “Guinan has a sneaking suspicion that everything is wrong. The Enterprise is almost destroyed.”
  • “Guinan tries out the Dixon Hill program. Aliens nearly destroy the Enterprise because Data can’t keep a secret.”
  • “Hydrogen. It’s hydrogen.”
  • “I’m pretty sure this was supposed to be an allegory to what was going on in Ireland at the time.”
  • “I’m sure in 1988 the notion of a society led by women, instead of men, was very subversive. Everyone on the ship gets a cold.”
  • “In the midst of a rescue mission, the crew makes time to ooh and aah over the way Geordi sees things through his visor.”
  • “‘It is the sign… of LaForge!'”
  • “John Tesh stabs Worf in the side with a cattle prod. Riker’s father hits him with gigantic mallet.”
  • “Jonathan Frakes’s first outing as director. It starts out humorously, but later everything is sad.”
  • “Kirk’s son and Khan’s second-in-command are on opposite sides of a drug deal. Wesley gets an after-school-special speech.”
  • “Kirsten Dunst and her father learn to speak. Deanna’s sister gets retconned into existence.”
  • “Klingons help the Enterprise not go to war with the Romulans.”
  • “Moriarty threatens to destroy the ship. Picard and Data thwart him.”
  • “Moriarty threatens to destroy the ship. Picard, Data, and Barclay thwart him.”
  • “Mrs. Troi comes looking for love, but her intended is about to die.”
  • “Mrs. Troi comes looking for love, but her intended isn’t real. Mick Fleetwood nearly kills a lot of people.”
  • “Nobody likes Ronny Cox. Picard gets naked.”
  • “On a planet where everyone has sex all the time, Wesley falls into a planter and is sentenced to death.”
  • “One of Wesley’s classmates is killed. Picard gives a speech.”
  • “One of Wesley’s former classmates is killed. Picard gives a speech.”
  • “Picard and Wesley have lunch together. Geordi repairs an alien ship.”
  • “Picard and Wesley will die unless they can defeat the alien protecting a water source on a desert planet.”
  • “Picard beams the doctor aboard. A lot of people get really old really fast.”
  • “Picard becomes MacGyver to defeat Lyta from Babylon 5, and also Tuvok.”
  • “Picard becomes a pirate. Riker gets put in the brig. Worf and Data are at odds about the situation.”
  • “Picard boards a Romulan ship that’s about to be destroyed. Geordi takes a tumble out of the turbolift.”
  • “Picard calls a crewmember by the wrong name. Data gets kidnapped.”
  • “Picard calls a crewmember by the wrong name. Wesley is threatened with a spanking.”
  • “Picard cosplays as a Klingon deity, but he got the idea from someone else.”
  • “Picard doesn’t do well with children. Especially teenagers who remind him that he almost committed genocide.”
  • “Picard doesn’t like heavy metal music. An admiral’s grandson doesn’t like being human.”
  • “Picard gets shot with an arrow to prove that he’s not a deity.”
  • “Picard goes on an archaeological dig, and then outfoxes some criminals from the future.”
  • “Picard gets into a fistfight, and then gets drunk. Worf’s parents come to visit.”
  • “Picard learns to play the flute, and to make now matter, because now… will never come again.”
  • “Picard makes fun of a lecturer, and then draws a smiley-face.”
  • “Picard meets his long-lost son… or does he?”
  • “Picard must rescue Mrs. Troi. His reward? She sits in his lap.”
  • “Picard projects his feelings for Beverly onto another redhead on the Enterprise. Then she almost dies.”
  • “Picard sings a drinking song, and then captures some aliens who were doing experiments on him.”
  • “Picard tells the story of Gilgamesh while Riker nearly starts a war with some aliens.”
  • “Picard’s headaches lead to the Enterprise nearly being destroyed. Riker makes an alliance with a Ferengi.”
  • “Picard’s old girlfriend comes aboard. She’s married now. There are three Datas.”
  • “Professor X and Jean Grey fall in love, thanks to Ferengi interference.”
  • “Puppies appear on the Enterprise, but not for long. Someone has a crush on Riker.”
  • “Q reveals his IQ… and the rest of his body.”
  • “Q tries to teach Picard a lesson by letting him almost get killed. Thomas Holloway captains the Enterprise.”
  • “Q tries to teach Picard a lesson by nearly getting everyone killed.”
  • “Riker doesn’t eat gagh, but he does get into a fight.”
  • “Riker eats gagh, and also gets into a fight.”
  • “Riker falls in love. Data paints a picture. The Enterprise is almost destroyed.”
  • “Riker gets a promotion for trying to kill Captain Picard.”
  • “Riker gets bitten and nearly dies. The doctor saves his life.”
  • “Riker has a fling with an Irish woman who believes in foot cleanliness. Then he kills two clones.”
  • “Riker is rescued from a dangerous planet, and we see just how long he’s been carrying a torch for Deanna.”
  • “Riker is surrounded by insanity, but he is not insane. No, really, he’s not.”
  • “Some random dude shows up and takes Riker’s place. But that’s okay, because Riker and Ro are busy getting it on.”
  • “Someone on the Enterprise has a number-one dad. Things get weird between Miles and Keiko.”
  • “Spot has kittens. Worf has venom. Deanna has gills.”
  • “Sun-Tzu’s philosophy is apparently better than whatever the Ferengi believe in.”
  • “The crew finds an old spaceship. Its captain has been dead for many years. He had horrible taste in literature.”
  • “The crew finds an old spaceship. Most of the people on it are dead.”
  • “The crew gets embroiled in a turf war. An old friend’s sister shows up.”
  • “The crew visits a refugee camp. Nobody likes the new helm officer.”
  • “The damsel in distress flips the script and betrays the hero. Worf reaffirms his seriousness.”
  • “The dog did it. Deanna has one line in the whole episode.”
  • “The Enterprise almost runs into a giant fence. Deanna empathizes with an alien in pain. Wesley falls into a river.”
  • “The Enterprise goes surfing. Alexander tries to rescue an animal from the zoo.”
  • “The Enterprise has puppies on it. How did I not know this before now? Also, an alien comes to visit for a few days.”
  • “The Enterprise repairs a telescope. A giant floating head appears on the bridge.”
  • “The Enterprise runs over something and is nearly destroyed. A bunch of Marissa Picard MarySue fanfics are spawned.”
  • “The Federation puts a speed limit on space travel. Let’s see how long that lasts.”
  • “The one where the director was fired for being a racist.”
  • “The one where they tried to discuss homosexuality, but failed miserably.”
  • “The Klingons have a very short civil war. Data gets his first command.”
  • “The love interest from Just One of the Guys plays an admiral who dies after taking an experimental drug.”
  • “The one that spawned the ‘this is why you always fill out the log, Kirk’ meme. Riker and Worf exercise together.”
  • “The one where we learn that Picard’s phone is an android, and Worf prefers cellular peptide cakes with mint frosting.”
  • “The very first holodeck malfunction episode.”
  • “The only way out is through. If only Picard had known that the first time around.”
  • “There’s a brawl in Ten-Forward, and a concert that moves someone to tears.”
  • “There’s a universe where Worf and Deanna have kids. And one where Data has blue eyes. And one where the Borg won.”
  • “They bring back Carolyn McCormick for like 15 seconds, which is enough to make Riker tell Picard to shut up.”
  • “Two words: fully functional.”
  • “We learn that Riker and Troi almost got it on after a poker game. A telepath blames his dad for a crime.”
  • “Wesley’s science project puts the crew in jeopardy. The ship tries to kill a scientist.”
  • “Wesley’s science project saves the crew of two starships.”
  • “Wesley and the Traveler engage in some cultural appropriation.”
  • “Wesley falls in love. Riker hits on Guinan.”
  • “Wesley makes a friend. Admiral Quinn’s aide doesn’t make any.”
  • “Wesley saves the crew and makes out with a girl. Dating her would involve an awful lot of rules.”
  • “Wesley teaches some kids about passive resistance, with the help of a custodian.”
  • “Worf has no place for sex in his life — or so he says. Wesley grows up, and then grows back down.”
  • “Will they or won’t they? (Spoiler: they won’t.)”
  • “‘With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably’.”
  • “With the Romulans threatening the ship, Riker goes into the holodeck to figure out how he should handle his old boss.”
  • “Worf doesn’t understand the purpose of mud baths. A juggler eats his whole world.”
  • “Worf meets Klingon Jesus… or does he?”
  • “Worf sings Klingon Opera with a four-armed organist. A different Klingon suggests that Data’s ears are nibble-worthy.”
  • “Worf’s old girlfriend shows up. They have unprotected sex.”
  • “Worf’s old girlfriend shows up with her son. Maybe they should’ve used condoms last time.”

Here are the answers.

Happy 30th birthday, TNG!

About Josh Roseman

Josh Roseman (not the trombonist; the other one) has been published in -- among others -- Asimov's, Escape Pod, and Evil Girlfriend Media. He's published two short-story collections, THE CLOCKWORK RUSSIAN and BOSS FIGHT, as well as a novel, AFTER THE APOCALYPSE. When not writing, he mostly complains that he's not writing. Find him online at roseplusman.com, or on Twitter @listener42.
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