‘Star Trek’ 101: The Weirdest Episodes, From Tribbles to The Rock (Videos)
Tribbles, holodeck fantasies and Abe Lincoln are a part of the goofy side of the “Star Trek” universe
Jeremy Fuster | September 8, 2016 @ 2:17 PM
Last Updated: September 8, 2016 @ 2:22 PM
"Star Trek" has become known as a series filled with serious examinations on ethics and philosophy. But with over 700 episodes over five series, there are bound to be some that... to put it charitably... are completely insane. Here are the weirdest "Star Trek" episodes ever, ranging from fun classics to writer-room monstrosities.
"Spock's Brain" -- The quintessential weird "Trek" episode. An alien race steals Spock's brain so they can use its logical abilities to run their dying planet. What's the Enterprise to do? Dr. McCoy hooks up a device to his head so they can move his body with a video game controller until they can get his brain back.
"The Way To Eden" -- A mad scientist and his cult of followers hijack the Enterprise so they can use it to find a mythical paradise planet. That's right. Kirk has to take on space hippies. Welcome to the Trekkie spin on the Summer of Love.
"Arena" -- This episode is considered to be one of the original series' classics, and features Kirk entering a trial by combat against a reptilian monster called the Gorn. It makes this list for featuring a showdown between Kirk and the Gorn that… shall we say… looks silly by modern standards. Still, those who suspend their disbelief and modern perspective will be rewarded.
"The Trouble With Tribbles" -- This is arguably the funniest "Trek" episode ever made. Lt. Uhura receives an adorable tribble as a pet for the Enterprise. Things get crazy quickly when the tribble starts multiplying and eating all the food onboard, leading to the hilarious sight of Kirk getting buried in the fuzzy critters.
"The Naked Truth" -- Another goofy classic. A strange disease infects the Enterprise crew and destroys their inhibitions, causing them to start acting irrationally. George Takei calls this his favorite episode of the series, as he paraded around as a shirtless, sword-wielding Sulu.
"Spectre of the Gun" -- As punishment for invading the territory of a reclusive alien species, the Enterprise crew is sentenced to death via a reenactment of the O.K. Corral. Why the O.K. Corral? Who knows?
"The Savage Curtain" -- In a similar episode, Kirk and Spock are forced by some rock aliens to take part in an experiment of good versus evil. Their tag team partners on the "good" team are the legendary Vulcan leader Surak… and Abraham Lincoln.
"A Fistful of Datas" -- "Trek" returned to the Wild West in "The Next Generation" with an episode in which a power surge causes all the characters in Worf's cowboy holodeck simulation to look like Data. Once the kooky charm of seeing Data in 1880s attire wears off, this episode is just a confusing mess.
"Hollow Pursuits" -- Frustrated with his lot on the Enterprise, Lt. Reginald Barclay becomes addicted to his holodeck simulations, in which the main cast acts horrifically out of character. This makes the list thanks to Barclay's creepy fantasy of Troi as "the goddess of love and compassion."
"Fair Haven" -- Romantic holographic fantasies aren't just for beleaguered lieutenants. They're for the captain of the Voyager, too! In this episode, Janeway enters a simulation of an Irish town and falls in love with a simulation named Michael Sullivan. She even starts editing the program to make Sullivan into the kind of guy who's more her type.
"Manhunt" -- Back on "TNG," Counselor Troi's mother, Lwaxana, wants to find a new husband. Whom does she set her eyes on? Captain Picard. Of course, the fastidious captain is able to make a clean getaway.
"Take Me Out To The Holosuite" -- "The crew of Deep Space Nine forms a baseball team." That's not the premise for some wacky fan fiction. That is an actual episode of the darkest "Star Trek" series in which Captain Sisko rallies his crew to take on a team of Vulcans.
"Move Along Home" -- Quark is forced to play a complicated board game with hidden rules, and his game pieces are Sisko, Kira, Dax and Bashir. How are the heroes of "Deep Space Nine" going to get out of this deadly game? By playing alien hopscotch!
"Tsunkatse" -- "Star Trek: Voyager" had its initial run on UPN, which at the time had another major ratings magnet: "WWF Smackdown." This episode was the network's attempt to merge the two for ratings, with The Rock making a cameo appearance as one of the gladiators Seven of Nine is blackmailed into fighting.