Weirdest Episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation

With the Star Trek: Picard reboot wrapping up its first season, you can turn your attention to the eight other binge-worthy series in the Star Trek universe. The original Star Trek series requires a certain love of kitsch to watch William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk chewing the scenery. I’ve always loved the critically panned Voyager myself, for the premise and the incomparable Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway. Deep Space Nine is a popular fan favorite, and available on Netflix. But Next Generation was the space exploration story for Millennials coming of age. Over seven years and 182 episodes, the Enterprise crisscrossed the far edge of the galaxy, going where no man has gone before. And getting pretty weird in some episodes. Here are the six weirdest Star Trek: TNG episodes. 


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The Naked Now

Season 1, Episode 2

The Enterprise encounters a space virus first documented by the original crew with Captain Kirk. The virus, transmitted by touch, causes the crew members to behave without inhibitions. Most notable amongst the crew’s antics is Lieutenant Data and Security Chief Natasha Yar having sex (which Picard later cites to prove Data’s humanity), and Wesley Crusher attempting a mutiny to take over the ship. 

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Season 1, Episode 8

The Enterprise discovers an Eden-like planet where close-to-naked natives practice free love but use swift executions to punish all crimes, regardless of how minor. Wesley Crusher tramples some plants and the aliens order him put to death. Meanwhile, Captain Picard argues with a god-like entity in orbit, who threatens to destroy the Enterprise to protect the innocence of the planet’s inhabitants. 

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Season 4, Episode 20

The polarizing figure of Q plays matchmaker between Captain Picard and a smuggler/archaeologist with whom he had a brief romance. In typical Q fashion, he transforms the episode into the plot of Robin Hood. The deck officers find themselves in Sherwood Forest, with Picard as Robin Hood forced to rescue the Maid Marion. 

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In Theory 

Season 4, Episode 25

Data’s quest to become more human features prominently in many episodes’ “B story.” In this episode, the ship’s crew attempts to repair tears in the fabric of space while Data strives to become the perfect boyfriend. He receives advice from the other deck officers while wooing a shipmate. He discovers what many Tinder users have also discovered; it’s near impossible to carry on a relationship when you don’t have feelings. 


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Home Soil

Season 1, Episode 18

The bridge crew brush off the Prime Directive yet again, when they discover a life form on a planet thought dead and going through the Federation’s terraforming process. They beam the alien life up to the ship for study, where it takes over their computers to communicate. The highlight of the episode is the crystalline alien referring to the crew as “ugly bags of mostly water.”

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Sub Rosa

Season 7, Episode 14 

The Next Generation, Poltergeist edition. Dr. Beverly Crusher brings the crew of the Enterprise to an alien planet to attend her grandmother’s funeral. Perusing her grandmother’s journal, she discovered a romance between the 100-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man. The man, Ronin, ends up being a ghost-like alien whose energy lives in a candle. The ghost of Ronin possess her grandmother’s corpse and attempts to possess Dr. Crusher before she destroys his candle with a phaser.