A joke is "an antic, a caper, mischief, prank, trick, quip, witticism." (TNG: "The Outrageous Okona") It can also be described as "a story with a humorous climax." (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) Or as "a verbal comment or gesture designed to provoke laughter." (VOY: "Drone")
When Wesley Crusher made a visit on the USS Enterprise-D in 2370, Data greeted him with a joke and said, "A cadet is on board, we should call the security." Data later tried to clarify that he intended to make a joke and meant no ill. (TNG: "Journey's End")
While Vulcans are not unable to apprehend the concept of jokes, they find them unnecessary and difficult to comprehend. During their encounter with the dream-world aliens, the USS Voyager crew all suffered from nightmares. When B'Elanna Torres, Tom Paris, Harry Kim, and Neelix recounted theirs, they wondered what the nearby Vulcan Tuvok's dream was. Neelix suggested elements of a Vulcan nightmare might include being stranded on a planet in which the only form of communication is laughter. During most of Voyager's journey, Neelix made it his goal to make Tuvok laugh. (VOY: "Waking Moments"; et. al)
- "This gentleman went to see his surgeon and was informed that he needed an operation. The man thought about that and then said, "I would like a second opinion." The doctor said, "Okay, you are ugly too"."
- "You know I come from a town so small it had a fraction for a zip code. It was so small in fact that it didn't have a godfather of crime, it had a nephew."
- "I was so ugly as a child they hung a pork chop around my neck so the dog would play with me."
- "Then there was the gene bank where they crossed a lion and a parrot. They weren't sure what they got, but when it spoke, they listened."
- "Or the Human cannonball that was hired and fired in the same night."
- "And there is the one about the girl in the nudist colony that nothing looked good on." (TNG: "The Outrageous Okona")
- "So he says, 'Well, I'm not really a pilot.'"
They did not understand it.
- "A man goes to a store to buy some kidneys. He says to the shopkeeper, "I'd like a pound of kiddillies, please." The shopkeeper says to him, "You mean kidneys, don't you?" The man says, "I said kiddillies, diddle I?"
La Forge didn't find the joke funny, as it was too old and Data "didn't tell it very well", however, Data mispronounced "kidneys" again while trying to explain the joke, eliciting a laugh from La Forge. (TNG: "Code of Honor")
In late 2364, La Forge told Data a joke with the following punchline:
- "So the guy staggers to his feet and goes back to the girl. She smiles, looks him straight in the eyes and says: "Just try that in hyperspace!"." (TNG: "Conspiracy")
- "You heard the old story about the man who goes to his doctor? He says: "It hurts when I raise my arm like this!" The doctor says: "So don't raise your arm like that!"" (TNG: "Brothers")
- "Then just as the headsman swings the axe and the blade is about to fall, the count says: "Wait, wait, I'll talk!", but it was too late. And the moral to the story is: Never hatchet your counts before they chicken."
- "...and then she said: "If they're not squirming, we won't eat them.""
One humorous punchline Data recalled, in 2371, from the Farpoint Mission, after the addition of his emotion chip was: "The clown can stay, but the Ferengi in the gorilla suit has to go." (Star Trek Generations)
Quark once told Morn a joke that had the punchline, "And, so, the Andorian says: Your brother? I thought it was your wife!" Morn didn't get the joke immediately, and Quark re-emphasized "...wife" once again, and Morn finally got it and gave the joke a good belly laugh. (DS9: "The Nagus")
Department of Temporal Investigations agent Dulmur asked if Sisko was making a joke when he said his story might take some time. Fellow agent Lucsly backed him up and Dulmur added that they hated those. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")