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Star Trek parodies and pop culture references

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Star Trek and pop culture

Over the years, Star Trek's position as a cultural icon has resulted in many parodies and pop culture references of it on other television shows and movies. While some have been subtle tip-of-the-hat references, others have been complete copies, with the intention to reference Star Trek. Additionally, many small acknowledgments may not warrant inclusion, such as the use of the TOS transporter sound for various shrink rays, teleporters, etc. on SpongeBob SquarePants.


Hick TrekEdit

Produced by ATOZ Films in the 1980s, this white-trash parody of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan played at conventions for years until a "Special Edition" version, with added effects, was released on video in 1999. In the film, the Redneck Federation Starship RSS Bovine battles spacefaring cats.


Video parodies and pop culture references that originated online. Web comics can be found under literature.

The Angry Video Game NerdEdit

In one of his online episodes, "The Nerd" reviews several Star Trek games. The episode opens with a parody of The Original Series intro with a Nintendo Entertainment System flying through space like the Enterprise and Alexander Courage's theme played on electric guitar. The Nerd, dressed for the occasion, reviews Star Trek: The Motion Picture on the Vectrex Arcade System, Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator on the Atari 2600 and ColecoVision and Star Trek: 25th Anniversary on the NES. Features of the episode include the Nerd having a fight with a Klingon and meeting a Metron. As a reference to Project Genesis, the Nerd offered the Klingon a Sega Genesis.

The Nostalgia CriticEdit

To Boldly Flee was a special done to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Nostalgia Critic. The special consists of parodies of various Sci-fi franchises including Star Trek, Metal Gear, Star Wars, and Battlefield Earth. It should also be noted that the ending to the Scooby Doo review was a parody of the series finale to The Next Generation. Doug Walker (the creator of Nostalgia Critic) called January 2012 Star Trek Month and reviewed all of the odd numbered films for the entire month.

Dr. TranEdit

Summer SplashEdit

A Dr. Tran doll says "Beverly, can I see you in my ready room."

Google CalendarEdit

Google Calendar [1] uses stardates based upon the ideas of Andrew Main. [2] Each day covers 5.00 stardates; 10,000 stardates (2,000 days) make up an "issue". Issue numbers are prefixed in brackets. TOS was issue [19], [0]0000 was January 4, 2162, (when he speculated the Federation was founded) and issue [-28] started in 2008.

Jandrew Edits Edit

Jan Van Den Hemel and Andrew Hussie reedit clips from TNG with comedic results, as see at their web page. [3]

MA MenEdit

A series of short comedy sketches by Funny Or Die spoofing the TV show Mad Men by transplanting it into present-day South Boston.

In MA Men 2, Campbell suggests that Leonard Nimoy should replace the late Michael Vale as the Dunkin Donuts spokesman while pointing at an autographed promotional photo of Spock and Kirk on the wall.

Stan Lee's World of HeroesEdit

Stan Lee's World of Heroes is a YouTube channel founded by former Marvel Comics editor Stan Lee. An episode of the cartoon Bad Days, published April 8, 2013, parodied J.J. Abrams's Star Trek films. James T. Kirk steps onto the bridge, only to be blinded by lens flares and switches them off. He is beamed down with Spock, McCoy, and a terrified redshirt by Scotty, who resembles Simon Pegg in Shaun of the Dead. While on the planet, Kirk sleeps with a grotesque gargantuan alien, angering her father. The struggling duo are beamed back aboard, where Kirk switches the lens flares back on, blinding the alien father so Spock may nerve pinch it. [4]

Star TrackEdit

Star Track: Idomo, [5] formerly Star Track: The Next Hesitation, is a web series that takes a satirical approach to expanding on the Star Trek universe. Produced in Montreal, Quebec, it is one of the only known Star Trek fan films to be produced regularly in Canada. Episodes are released at a rate of one per year.

Star Trek (France)Edit

Comité de la Claque is a French group who began on the web. In 2012, the channel France 4 TV broadcast their parody on the Comité du Ciné show, on January 27th before the start of prime time: Video of Comité du Ciné: Star Trek

Steam TrekEdit

Steam Trek [6] is an online parody of the original Star Trek. The premise is a conception of how the original Star Trek might have been produced by George Melies, a hundred years ago, at the dawn of silent films. The "distant future" is taken to be 1980, and the USS Isambard is steam-powered with coal fuel.

Stone TrekEdit

Stone Trek [7] is an online animated parody of the original Star Trek. The premise is basically Star Trek meshed with The Flintstones, featuring a 1960s-styled laugh track and Hanna-Barbera sound effects. The series follows the adventures of the crew of the USS Magnetize. The show keeps count of how many redshirts end up getting killed in the episodes. The show also parodied the plot of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, with the Magnetize having to save Queen Armadillo from the Fashion Police.

Star Truc(k)Edit

Star Truc(k) [8] is a French parody of the original Star Trek.

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series Edit

  • In the episode "Card Wars" of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, the characters make frequent references to the Star Wars series, prompting Tristen Taylor to ask, "What's with all the Star Trek quotes?"
  • The episode "The Worst of Both Worlds" opened with a re-dubbed version of the recap from "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II".

Video games Edit

Back to the Future: The Game Edit

Episode 1 of Back to the Future: The Game has Marty pretending to be from the patent office in order to get a younger version of Emmett Brown (resident of 1931) to build a rocket drill. He threatens to award the patent to a Dr. McCoy if Emmett doesn't produce immediate results. The game also features voice work from Christopher Lloyd (reprising his role as the older Emmett Brown) and Roger Jackson. Coincidentally, the elder Doc Brown during his stay in 1931, takes the alias Carl Sagan.

Duke Nukem 3D Edit

  • The level "Warp Factor" is a homage to the USS Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • The level "Tiberius Station" is named after James T. Kirk.
  • The "dnscotty" cheat code for level select may be a reference to Montgomery Scott.
  • In the Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach expansion pack, Duke uses a boat called the Kobayashi Maru to get around the islands.

Final Fantasy games Edit

The first airship the player acquires in the video games Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV is called Enterprise.

FTL: Faster Than Light Edit

  • There is an achievement called No Redshirts Here (obtained by making it to the final sector without losing any crew members).
  • The names of several other achievements are Star Trek references.

Heretic Edit

  • The "engage" cheat code for level select may be a reference to "engaging" the warp drive.

HoboWars Edit

In the MMORPG HoboWars, the player may come across an old man while exploring the Hoburbs. The man tells the player his stories, but they're really taken from various TV shows, including Star Trek: The Next Generation ("The Best of Both Worlds"). He then rewards the player for listening.

You sit and listen to the old man's stories for a little while before you realize he's just recounting episodes of Cheers, Happy Days, and the Beverly Hillbillies. You start to get a little uncomfortable when he starts retelling what sounds suspiciously like an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Old Man: ...And that's how we escaped the Borg ship and rescued the captain. Oh, look at the time! Buffy is about to come on! Well, let me get you a little something for spending some time with an old man.

The player is also able to buy a phaser from the Hoburbia pawn shop.

Mass EffectEdit

In one confrontation, Commander Shepard tells a Krogan soldier that the ruins they're in are collapsing around them and will kill them all. The Krogan responds, "Yes! Exhilirating, isn't it?", a direct reference to Kruge's response to Kirk's similar concern in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

Also, the game featured Marina Sirtis, Armin Shimerman, and Carolyn Seymour in various roles. Michael Dorn lends his voice to Mass Effect 2 as a Krogan, a species with a warrior mentality similar to Klingons.

Engineer Adams may be a nod to Star Trek. In The Original Series episode "Dagger of the Mind", Dr. Tristan Adams runs the Tantalus Penal Colony. Here, Adams oversees the Normandy's experimental Tantalus Drive Core.

Coincidentally, the commanding officer at the beginning of the game is named David Anderson.

In Mass Effect 2, when Commander Shepard visits a bar in the Citadel, his response to an alien drink served is "This is... it's green?". Similar lines are said about beverages in the episodes "By Any Other Name" and "Relics".

Being a Scottish engineer, Kenneth Donnelly on the Normandy SR-2 is commonly thought to be a reference to Montgomery Scott.

Both Mordin Solus, the Salarian scientist on board Normandy SR-2, and Data are humorously portrayed as enjoying, as well as singing, songs by the British composers Gilbert and Sullivan.

Mortal Kombat games Edit

In Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Captain Marvel tells Superman, Deathstroke the Terminator, and the Joker that their enemy is called Dark Kahn. Joker replies with a Kirk-like "KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!" with appropriate echoes. When Joker is finished, Deathstroke promptly tells him to shut up.

Quest for Glory 2 Edit

In the Quest for Glory 2 introduction, the Enterprise-D is clearly seen in the sky and warps away seconds later.

RuneScape Edit

  • Log entries for the player-owned port mini-game begin with "Captain's log, Runedate..."
  • Players can also name their ships Enterprise or Defiant (from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).
  • The character Auguste (from the "Enlightened Journey" quest) was modeled after Jean-Luc Picard.
  • The Bork boss is a reference to the Borg; some of the monsters summoned by him will shout phrases like "We are the collective!" and "Resistance is futile!"

Roblox Edit

A virtual "hair" was released on the site's catalog called "Trecky Hair" for a users "Robloxian" avatar. This hair closely resembles a typical haircut that many Starfleet officers had on the Original Series.

Rogue Galaxy Edit

A late chapter in the PS2 game Rogue Galaxy is entitled "All Good Things..."

Secret of Monkey Island Edit

The lookout character says "Hey, I'm a lookout, not a bodyguard."

Spongebob games Edit

In the PS2 game Spongebob: the Battle for Bikini Bottom, the mermalair level's boss is named Prawn. Dialogue with Mermaidman and Prawn leads Mermaidman to drop to his knees and yell, "PRAAAAAAAAAAAWN!!!" and is even true to the angle from the movie.


A possible unit conversation for a Terran medic is "state the nature of your medical emergency". In one of the humorous taunts, the medic can say "He's dead, Jim".

Star Fox 64Edit

The boss of the Sector X area makes continual references to the whereabouts of its creator, not unlike V'Ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Star Fox AssaultEdit

The game's main villains, the Aparoids, share many similarities with the Borg. Both races see themselves as the pinnacle of evolution, seek to "perfect" other life forms through forced assimilation, and are led by a queen. The Aparoids are an insectoid race, much like the original concept for the Borg.

Star Wars games Edit

A side quest in the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is called "The Trouble with Gizka", a possible reference to "The Trouble with Tribbles" (the gizka share the tribbles' considerable ability of rapid reproduction). The game also shares many aesthetic similarities to Star Trek and other non-Star Wars sci-fi.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Edit

The eight level of the game (the ninth in the SNES platform version) is titled: Starbase: Where No Turtle Has Gone Before. The level is set in the future (the year 2100) and features enemies using transporters.

Unreal games Edit

In Unreal 2: The Awakening, Aida is stated to be a master of three-dimensional chess. A board identical to those seen in Star Trek is present in her quarters.

World of Warcraft Edit

The various teleporter operators in WoW are named after Star Trek engineers: "Scooty" (Scotty), "Jhordy Lapforge" (Geordi La Forge), and "Smiles O'Byron" (Miles O'Brien, or possibly his mirror counterpart "Smiley")

Other parodies and referencesEdit


Google doodle

USS Enterprise nanomodel

Micrometer-scale USS Enterprise

IBM one nanometer USS Enterprise

Nanometer-scale USS Enterprise made up of individual atoms

  • Stand up comics have also been known to reference Star Trek as part of their acts. Bill Bailey has pointed out how his microphone makes him look like a Klingon motivational speaker, and Eddie Izzard has a routine of how the crew of the Enterprise could defeat enemies with different phaser settings. Two such examples are the "depression", and "I've left the oven on" settings.
  • The Google Doodle of September 7, 2012 was an interactive homage to Star Trek: The Original Series. By continually clicking on it, the viewer could watch "Kirk" and a redshirt reenact "Arena".
  • The following day, Oreo unveiled a parody of the Enterprise as their Daily Twist. [11]
  • In 2010, Takayuki Hoshino and Shinji Matsui of the Himeji Institute of Technology created a 8.8-micrometer-long USS Enterprise replica. [12]
  • In 2013, IBM nanophysicists created Star Trek logos, USS Enterprise images, and Vulcan salute images using individual atoms. These images measured as small as a single nanometer long and were magnified 100 million times using a scanning tunneling microscope supercooled to -268 Celsius. These images were later used for the Star Trek Into Darkness mobile app. [13]
  • In the distributed computing community, the act of installing a client on someone else's computer is sometimes referred to as "borging" (similar to how the Borg assimilates other species' technology for the collective's benefit).

"I'm a doctor, not a..."Edit

Dr. Leonard McCoy's signature phrase "I'm a doctor, not a..." occurs in several parodies and homages to Star Trek:

  • Dr. McCoy (as played by Dan Aykroyd): "I'm a doctor, not a tailor, dammit." ("The Last Voyage of the Enterprise")
  • Dr. McCoy (as played by Phil Hartman in response to William Shatner (as Kirk) stating someone needs medical attention): "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a - oh, sure!" ("Star Trek V: The Restaurant Enterprise")
  • Doctor Cottle: "I'm a doctor, not a Viper pilot!" (Battlestar Galactica)
  • Tolin Dorden: "I'm a medic, not a soldier!" (Gaunt's Ghosts)
  • DeForest Kelley: "I'm not a doctor, I'm a convicted murderer." (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In)
  • DeForest Kelley: "How should I know? I'm an actor, not a doctor." (a commercial for Trivial Pursuit)
  • Star Trek t-shirt: "Dammit Jim, I'm not a doctor, I just play one on TV" [14]
  • Dr. Helena Russell: "I'm a doctor, John, not a miracle worker!" (Space: 1999)
  • Wreck-Gar: "I'm a doctor, not a forklift." (Transformers)
  • HK-47: "Dammit master, I am an assassin droid, not a dictionary!" (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)
  • Todo 360: "I am a techno-service droid, not a butler droid!" (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
  • Ace Ventura: "For God sake, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a pool man." (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective)
  • Malaka: "Damnit man, I'm a doctor, not an English teacher!" (Dragonball Abridged; episode 12)
  • Dr. Carson Beckett: "I'm a medical doctor, not a bloody fighter pilot!" (Stargate Atlantis)
  • Dr. Doppler: "Dang it, Jim, I'm an astronomer, not a doctor! I mean, I am a doctor, but I'm not that kind of doctor." (Treasure Planet)
  • Will Smith: "Dammit, Jim, I'm a black boy from Philly, not a doctor!" (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
  • Zoolander's father: "Damnit, Derek, I'm a coal miner, not a professional film or television actor." (Zoolander)
  • McCoy: "Forget it. I'm a doctor, not a patsy." (Family Guy)
  • William Shatner: "Dammit, I'm a doctor, not a... oh!" (Saturday Night Live)
  • Leotard Buns McCorduroy: "Dammit Gym, I'm a doctor not a... on my way sir!" Sev Trek currently available at Star Trek Minutiae
  • Nita: "Sker', I'm a wizard, not an engineer!" (Wizards at War)
  • On the TV series Unfabulous, Principal Brandywine uses lines that follow the pattern of, "This is school [or name of a school-related object or place], not a/an/the [event, time, place or object unrelated to school]!", or "You're a middle school student, not [a famous person who does what the student is doing]!", or "I'm a middle school principal, not a doctor [or other jobs outside school]!"
  • An elderly man, when inquired about potions: "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a miracle worker. Ask someone else!" (Final Fantasy IX)
  • Marvin (the manic depressive robot in the motion picture of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) after being told to "freeze", states: "I'm a robot, not a refrigerator."
  • In the animated TV series X-Men: Evolution episode 7, "Storm", a mutant with weather altering powers,says "I'm a weather witch, not a snowplough!"
  • Stranded with four others on a deserted planet in "a Donner party situation," McCoy says, "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a–" then is interrupted by the others saying "–a cannibal, yes, we know, we know." McCoy then lowers his head and asks himself, "Am I really that predictable?" (Robot Chicken)
  • At one point in the Wii video game Trauma Center: New Blood, surgeon Valerie Blaylock says "We're doctors, not diplomats!"
  • In Spiderman 3, when asked about the mysterious black substance shown him, Peter Parker's science professor remarks, "What do you want me to do? I'm a physicist, not a biologist."
  • On the television series Eleventh Hour episode 11 Dr. Jacob Hood, trapped with his handler in a freezer remarks, "I'm a scientist not MacGyver, shoot the door".
  • Dr. McCoy (voiced by Frank Welker): "Darn it Yakko, I'm a doctor not a magician." (Animaniacs)
  • Robot running soda fountain: "I am a robot, not a miracle worker." (SpongeBob SquarePants)
  • Miss Tutweiller: "I am an educator, not a warden!" (The Suite Life on Deck)
  • Dr. Valsh, in response to Phil Wenneck's request for directions: "I'm a doctor, not a tour guide." (The Hangover)
  • Fred: "I'm not a resistance fighter, I'm a doctor." (V: The Final Battle)
  • Taran: "I'm a warrior, not a pig keeper." (The Black Cauldron)
  • Tailor "I'm a clothier, not a doctor." (Schlock Mercenary)
  • Jean Valjean: "This is a factory, not a circus!"" (Les Misérables)
  • Ambassador Dennis Crocker: "Damn it, I'm an ambassador, not a doctor!" (Fallout: New Vegas)
  • In a sketch depicting every episode of Star Trek, by comedy group the Frantics, McCoy says, "I'm a doctor, not a physician."

See alsoEdit

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