While the idea of “romance” wasn’t explored with very much depth in the early days of the original Star Trek TV series– it was mostly Captain Kirk having a different flirtation in every episode with a female character who only seemed to exist for that purpose– genuine romances eventually became an important aspect of the sci-fi franchise that boldly went where no one had gone before.
There are romances, whether officially announced or largely unrequited, that became among the most iconic things about the various Star Trek movies and shows. Captain Picard and Dr. Crusher had one of the most legendary and longest-running “will they or won’t they?” relationships in television history, for example. The romance between Spock and Uhura in the most recent Star Trek films became a surprisingly compelling part of that series.
It seems, however, that it took a lot of misses on the part of Star Trek‘s writers in terms of couples before they were able to land on the best-loved relationships in the history of the franchise. Whether it was a coupling that felt forced for a juicy storyline, an attempt to pair two actors who just couldn’t come up with the proper chemistry, or an initially promising courtship that seemed to hit a creative dead end, there have been a lot of Star Trek couples and relationships that ended up falling flat. These are the romances that both the franchise’s fans and the shows themselves would rather pretend never happened.
Here are the 25 Couples Star Trek Wants Us To Forget.
25 Neelix and Kes
Neelix never really seemed to evolve into a fully-formed character on Voyager, despite being a main cast member for the show’s entire run. As the ship’s cook, his role was probably never going to be especially meaty, but many scenes with him felt forced, as if the writers had to be reminded that Neelix was a major character and they needed to give him something to do in almost every episode.
One way to spice up a character is to introduce a love interest, but even this didn’t do much to make Neelix more interesting as Kes was equally boring. Their uneventful relationship ended with barely anyone noticing.
24 Captain Picard and Anij
While not the worst movie based on TNG, Insurrection certainly isn’t particularly great. One of the reasons it hit a sour note with so many fans is that it tried to force a new love interest for Picard, not long after things seemingly ended with Beverly Crusher specifically so he could be single and ready to mingle for the TNG films.
Picard’s relationship with Anij of the Ba’ku people just felt like a distraction in a movie whose plot was convoluted enough as it is. It was disingenuous to the character of Picard to introduce a love interest for him who would only stick around for a single film.
23 Harry Kim and Linnis Paris
Voyager‘s Harry Kim was definitely the kind of guy who needed to be in a relationship, and being married was probably the one way he’d ever be truly and permanently happy. Unfortunately, this particular marriage was not only from an alternate timeline, but it was pretty creepy.
In this timeline, Tom Paris and Kes have a baby named Linnis, who Harry marries when she “grows up“– which, thanks to her Ocampan side, occurs at an accelerated rate. Marrying not only his best friend’s daughter but a girl who hasn’t actually lived the number of years her physical form portrays is just gross all around.
22 Scotty and Uhura
As the original Star Trek cast’s time was coming to an end, an astonishing 33 years after it had begun, fans were teased with a potential pairing of two of the main crew members for the first time in its history: Scotty and Uhura.
Star Trek V saw these two longtime friends display the beginnings of what looked to be a romantic relationship. It turned out to be one of many things that people didn’t like about that particular movie. Whether it was a general reluctance to have anyone in the main crew pair up, or because it seemingly came out of nowhere, the couple was seemingly over it by Star Trek VI.
21 Curzon Dax and Jadzia Dax
As DS9 fans know, Dax is actually a symbiotic being that goes from one host to the next– it isn’t the last name of Curzon or Jadzia or anything like that. Their relationship stems from that point, as Curzon was the host of Dax and Jadzia wanted to host it next.
It was because of Curzon’s feelings for Jadzia that he at first got in the way of her entering the Symbiosis Commission, which was an obvious abuse of his power and led to trouble for Jadzia. This cast their entire pairing in a negative light and forever tainted Curzon’s character.
20 Geordi La Forge and Christy Henshaw
There are some Star Trek characters that were created in such a way that deep, complex romantic relationships just didn’t really suit them. Of course, this didn’t stop the writers from trying anyway– the results of which typically panned out about as well as could be expected.
TNG‘s Geordi La Forge is an incredible engineer, rivaled only by OG Star Trek‘s Scotty. His skill in the engine room never left much time for romantic conquests, and whenever he tried, things kind of limped along for a few episodes before they tapered off in anticlimactic fashion. Christy Henshaw is the perfect example of this; sort of there for a while before quietly going away.
19 Q and Vash
Q is a being of almost limitless power who can do just about anything he wants. Seemingly the only reason he doesn’t blink half of the galaxy out of existence because he so enjoys toying with mere mortal beings.
With this in mind, it doesn’t make much sense that Q would partner up with a human female like Vash– though given what an extremely controlling “boyfriend” he was, it does fit with his view of humans as his insignificant playthings. That said, it wasn’t his best hour as a character, and it’s best to forget it happened.
18 Worf and Deanna Troi
It took some trial and error, but both Worf and Deanna Troi eventually found more suitable, longer-term relationships– even if it wasn’t permanent for either one for various reasons. Of the pairings that the two characters have been part of that didn’t involve Jadzia Dax and William Riker, respectively, the worst was when they tried dating each other.
During one of the stints where Troi and Riker were apart, a flirtation kicked up between Troi and Worf that just didn’t really make much sense– especially as it started just before he left to join the Deep Space Nine crew.
17 Captain Kirk and Queen Deela
For Captain Kirk to have a one-off encounter with an alien woman was par for the course for the original Star Trek series. Most of them kind of blurred together and didn’t have much depth beyond being there to remind us– as if we’d forget– that Kirk is a legendary ladies’ man.
Queen Deela of the Scalosian people was different. The Scalosian males were all infertile, so their women needed to mate with males from other races to keep their species alive. This means that Kirk very likely has a half-Scalosian son somewhere in the universe, and he apparently doesn’t really care to find out.
16 Captain Archer and T’Pol
This pairing in and of itself isn’t bad, it’s just completely overshadowed by a more popular and/or well-known relationship. There aren’t a lot of strong feelings in opposition of Captain Archer’s relationship with Vulcan T’Pol.
What makes their relationship one that is easily forgotten is that T’Pol’s relationship with Charles “Trip” Tucker, which ended up spawning a child who was later lost, is the one that more fans remember. Trip and T’Pol’a pairing resulted in way more interesting stories and moments on Enterprise. T’Pol and Archer’s relationship was just kind of there– until it wasn’t.
15 Demora Sulu’s Parents
Though we don’t see Sulu get into any significant romantic entanglements throughout the TV series and movies of the original cast, we eventually learn via Star Trek novelizations that he indeed marries a woman named Yoshiko with whom he fathers a daughter– the very same Demora Sulu we meet in the beginning of Star Trek Generations.
That said, in the rebooted Star Trek universe that began with the 2009 film, Sulu is eventually revealed to have a husband– which obviously means he won’t be marrying Yoshiko in the new timeline.
14 Beverly Crusher and Ronin
While Jean-Luc Picard did have a few interesting romances apart from his longtime almost-relationship with Beverly Crusher, she was never as lucky. Her non-Picard conquests typically involved weird guys who have time traveled or some such gimmick.
In the case of Ronin, he was not only from the past but he is basically a ghost– and one who had a history of romancing Beverly’s female relatives for the previous couple millennia. This bizarre relationship came to end when Beverly had enough and shot him with a modified phaser, as one does when a thirsty ghost won’t take no for an answer.
13 Miles O’Brien and Kira Nerys
Miles O’Brien went from an occasional, mostly unremarkable TNG character to a full-time, still mostly unremarkable character on Deep Space Nine. During that time, he managed to be half of several noteworthy romantic relationships, with the most well-known being his eventual marriage to Keiko Ishikawa.
In fact, that marriage inadvertently led to a pseudo-relationship between Miles and Kira Nerys when Kira decided to be a surrogate for the couple’s baby. The result was Miles and Kira having an odd and extremely inappropriate flirtation that never felt anything but awkward and hard to watch– just because Kira was carried his child with Keiko.
12 Chakotay and Seven of Nine
One of the least-progressive and most old-fashioned issues with almost every iteration of the franchise is that they eventually include a female character who is very clearly intended to be the token eye candy, and as a result, ends up having to be romanced by several of a show’s male characters.
Seven of Nine was one such character, and her pairing with Chakotay felt the most forced and least charming of any of her romances on Voyager. That’s saying a lot, as she even had a romantic subplot with the ship’s holographic doctor.
11 Jadzia Dax and Arandis
Risa, one of the so-called “pleasure planets” within the Star Trek universe, has made multiple appearance across multiple offshoots of the franchise. Unsurprisingly, most of the plotlines in which Risa plays a major role often end up being fluff, at best, and downright silly, at worst.
It’s unfair to guest star Vanessa Williams that she got stuck being part of such a goofy subplot where she and Jadzia had a tryst on Deep Space Nine, because she does a good job and Arandis had the potential to be a great recurring character. Given how things played out in the single episode she appeared in, she’s best forgotten entirely.
10 Data and Tasha Yar
Data’s whole thing is that he is an android who is trying to learn to be human and has the capacity to do so, to an extent. However, when he dabbles in romance and physical attraction, it suddenly becomes a lot more difficult to buy as a viewer.
Any relationship that only happens when a character is under the influence is already hard to accept, and that’s what caused Tasha Yar to romance Data to begin with. Data assuring Tasha that he is functionally able to have a physical encounter with her just hammers home how quickly we all wanted to forget that any of this ever happened.
9 Julian Bashir and Ezri Dax
Julian Bashir, the resident doctor on Deep Space Nine, should’ve been fired multiple times for having inappropriate relationships with current and former patients. Surely that is frowned upon by the Federation and the medical profession in general.
Just because Ezri Dax was one of the few romantic partners for Julian that wasn’t one of his patients doesn’t mean we have to remember their relationship fondly. There was just so much working against Julian and Ezri, the most significant of which was that fans preferred Ezri with Worf. Julian seemed to be using Ezri as a stand-in for his unrequited feelings for Jadzia.
8 Geordi LaForge and Aquiel Uhnari
Geordi makes his second appearance on this list with his brief relationship with Aquiel Uhnari of the Haliian people. Perhaps somewhat presciently predicting the notion of online dating, Geordi largely falls for Aquiel by reading her files, logs, and journals and becomes infatuated with her on paper long before he even meets her face to face.
Not unlike many such relationships in real life, when Geordi and Aquiel finally meet, there relationship goes absolutely nowhere. It’s over by the end of the episode.
7 Bareil Antos (Alt. Universe) and Kira Nerys
It’s hard to fault Star Trek for falling back on sci-fi tropes involving alternate universes and timelines in order to undo events that have already occurred during a show or movie, including resurrecting deceased characters. DS9 failed at this when it brought back a mirror universe version of Bareil after the original was already gone.
What was worse is that this alternate Bareil was a bad guy, and tainted our memories of the original character with the gimmicky comeback. It was especially galling to see Kira attempt to have an ultimately ill-fated relationship with the mirror Bareil.
6 Captain Janeway and Michael Sullivan
It took the Star Trek franchise nearly three decades to let a woman lead a series. Kathryn Janeway broke new ground as the first female captain to lead a Star Trek series, and served as an inspiration for countless fans.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that Janeway was immune to forgettable relationships. The worst by far was when she got too attached to holodeck bartender Michael Sullivan. She then became so jealous of his also-holographic wife that she changed the program to erase Michael’s wife and make him single. This is a subplot that we should never speak of again.
5 Beverly Crusher and Berlinghoff Rasmussen
Here is another of Dr. Crusher’s embarrassing relationships involving an extremely gimmicky character with a time-travel conceit, though this one is at least of the physical, mortal realm.
According to the book Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, Berlinghoff Rasmussen was originally written for Robin Williams after he expressed an interest in appearing on TNG. Schedules never lined up, so Matt Frewer played him instead. Beverly and Berlinghoff’s strange and short-lived relationship might have been more charming if Williams played him– but only for its novelty factor. The relationship itself still would’ve been silly and forgettable.
4 Julian Bashir and Sarina Douglas
If any single relationship between Julian Bashir and one of his patients should’ve lost him his job, at best, and had him jailed, at worst, it’s the one he had with Sarina Douglas.
For part of the time that Julian was Sarina’s doctor, she was catatonic. What’s worse, shortly after he helped to cure her of that, her pursued a romantic relationship with her. Not the least bit inappropriate or creepy, right? Star Trek shows feel timeless in their best moments, and horribly dated in their worst. This was definitely one of the worst.
3 Captain Kirk and Miramanee
Pop culture as a whole didn’t start portraying Natives in a realistic or positive light until the last couple of decades– and even then, there have been plenty of recent instances where the depictions were racist and flawed. In the 1960s, movies and TV shows still mostly featured stereotypical and offensive “Native” characters, and Star Trek was no exception.
Beyond just being the typical one-note stereotypical Native woman that was common on TV at the time, Miramanee was also in another long line of female characters who seemed to serve no other purpose than to fall for Kirk.
2 Shakaar Edon and Kira Nerys
Deep Space Nine probably featured the highest quantity of separate romantic pairings than any other Star Trek show, which is both to its credit and detriment. With so much choice, there are bound to be some that just hit don’t work.
Kira and Shakaar had a relationship that just never gelled or sparked any chemistry. They didn’t even have any faith in their own feelings for each other, as all it took was for them to be told they weren’t soulmates for them to call it quits right there on the spot. So much for love conquering all.
1 Leonard McCoy and Natira
This one is pretty rough, and really does damage to the reputation of one of the all-time fan favorite Star Trek characters. During the original series, Dr. McCoy caught a terminal disease with seemingly no cure, and in the process fell in love with a Fabrini high priestess named Natira. The two even got married.
Then, Natira found a cure for McCoy’s disease, and he repaid her by permanently abandoning her and their marriage and returning to his Starfleet duties. Classy move, Bones. The pair don’t even seem to have ever officially gotten divorced within Star Trek canon, meaning McCoy just had an estranged wife somewhere in the galaxy after that point.
What Star Trek couple would you rather forget? Let us know in the comments!