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. In 2015, he released his first collection, The Clockwork Russian and Other Stories, and followed it up with 2016's Memories of My Father. 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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