Ever since Gene Roddenberry gave us the original series back in 1966, Star Trek has been with us in one form or another. For over six decades, Star Trek has given us hundreds of characters from any number of interstellar races, all of which have found a place in pop culture history. The ships, technology, language, and civilizations have been the spark that has launched a thousand creative minds of the years. Roddenberry’s belief in the goodness that resides in all mankind and his vision for the future made Star Trek the popular icon that it became. Sure the show was fun fiction, but it was also smartly scripted and had underlying tones and characters that elicited strong fan reactions, whether positive or negative.
None of the Star Trek series ever shied away from non-traditional friendships or romances. For the most part, the writers got it right in developing the relationships. They allowed the viewers to look in as out of friendship, mutual admiration, and respect, romance and love emerged. Who can forget the great couples, Tom and B’Elanna of Voyager, or Riker and Troi of Next Generation, perhaps the defining couple of all the myriad Star Trek series. However, for every Picard and Crusher, there were numerous near and big misses in the relationship department. Of course, out of six decades, the different writers can hardly be faulted for the occasional mistake. But sometimes, the relationship came from so far out of left field that they made no sense whatsoever. They made us wonder what the writers could’ve been thinking. Here are 20 Star Trek relationships that make no sense.
20 JANEWAY & CHAKOTAY
There has been an ongoing debate for years as to whether or not Captain Kathryn Janeway and Commander Chakotay were ever romantically involved. Some say no, but many are sure it’s actually a "yes." There was definitely romantic tension between the pair, mostly from Chakotay.
In one episode, “Resolutions,” the pair find themselves stranded on a planet together. The plot finds them adapting to domestic roles and making a life there together. They, of course, eventually are able to leave the planet and return to their spacefaring lives. I, for one, don’t believe any relationship beyond that would’ve made sense. Both characters had a strong sense of duty and professionalism, making any such relationship unfeasible.
19 JADZIA DAX & WORF
I might get some push back on this one, as many found this unlikely pairing enjoyable. I would argue that it was forced and lacked any sort of real buildup. Rumor has it, Terry Farrell (Jadzia Dax) and Michael Dorn (Worf) pushed the writers to create a romance for their characters on Deep Space Nine.
I think what viewers might have liked was that these were two of the series’ favorite characters. Sure, the couple managed to convince many of their compatibility, but in actuality I would say it was a toxic relationship. The couple managed to bring out the worst in each other and it seemed they were endlessly arguing. I think the relationship detracted from what we like about them in the first place.
18 HARRY KIM & LINNIS
Poor Harry Kim had the misfortune of being lovesick. He fell in love with just about every woman he met. I say love, but many of us will recognize it for what it is: instant infatuation. Maybe it was a fear of being alone; maybe a fear of journeying through deep space, a single man, with little hope of making it back home.
In an alternate timeline Tom Paris and Kes had a daughter together named Linnis. Being half-Ocampan, Linnis aging was accelerated and she eventually got together with Harry Kim. They even had a son together. What’s so strange about this is that Linnis was Harry’s best friend’s daughter. Creepy much?
17 KIRK & DEELA
Ah, Captain James T. Kirk! His conquests are the stuff of legend; most are forgettable, but a few standout for their outrageous premise. In “Wink of an Eye,” Kirk meets Deela, queen of the Scalosians. Scalosian males are sterile, so Scalosian women seek out alien men to procreate and keep their species from going extinct. The procreating occurs off-camera (this was 1968, you know) but we do witness Kirk putting on his boots while Deela brushes her hair.
Since the goal is to have space babies, we know Deela wasn’t using birth control, and being Kirk, you know he wasn’t either! What the heck? Did she get pregnant? Did Kirk father a Scalosian prince? What a punch in the face for Starfleet if this was ever made public. Talk about intergalactic incident!
16 WORF & TROI
Oh Worf, another relationship that just didn’t seem right. We know that, in some cases, opposites attract, but this was way out of left field. This brief relationship between Worf and Deanna Troi one of the most forced relationships of any Star Trek series. As friends, the couple was great. Due to their differences, the romance just didn’t make any sense.
It never felt authentic. Sure, they both shared a love for Worf’s son, Alexander, but the series’ writers really never developed any other reasons for their romance. They both had different goals. The time spent on their romance would’ve been better spent in watching them developing a lifelong friendship.
15 ODO & KIRA
Another opinion that might get us some push back is Odo and Kira. Sure, the couple had some cute moments together. Ultimately, however, there was little satisfaction realized in seeing this relationship unfold on the series. Their relationship was awkward and the series’ writers left much of how they got together unsaid.
The characters themselves were very relatable. Odo, a by-the-book loner with a strong sense of justice, showing no favoritism, and Kira, whose own sense of justice was forged by the war and Cardassian occupation. They were great friends, and Kira had an important impact on Odo; however, what began as his unrequited love for her didn’t feel right. Relatable, but awkward.
14 HARRY KIM & MAGGIE O'HALLORAN
Harry Kim just couldn’t catch a break on Voyager. Was he doomed to be a lifelong bachelor? In the episode “Fair Haven,” Tom Paris creates a holodeck program of a 19th century Irish village. This was intended as a place the crew could go unwind. One character in the program, Maggie O’Halloran, ran a vegetable stand and lived a happy life with her fiancé.
Harry Kim became infatuated and then, as luck would have it, a glitch in the system ended her engagement. Harry began courting the hologram. Seriously, he became romantically invested in a hologram. He wanted so badly to have a relationship that even a holographic one was okay in his book. To each his own, I guess.
13 THE DOCTOR & SEVEN OF NINE
The relationship between The Doctor and Seven of Nine was a pretty unique one for Voyager. The Doctor was an odd mentor to Seven of Nine, being that his own bedside manner was often found to be lacking. In any event the time to two spent together was a help in her to reclaim her humanity. He urged her to practice social skills and even learn about romantic behavior. He was a great friend.
Then he somehow developed romantic feelings for her and believed she was feeling the same way for him. Awkward! The subsequent scenes between the couple were uncomfortable. He’s a hologram, remember; advanced, but still a hologram. For a while, he was just creepy when it came to her.
12 CHAKOTAY & SESKA
While leader of a Maquis faction, Chakotay was in a relationship with a crew member named Seska. While most of those Maquis joined the crew of Voyager, Seska opted instead to leave and join the Kazon. Seska was disappointed in Chakotay’s decision to join up with Starfleet but still felt obsessed with him. Later, in the episode “State of Flux,” we learn more of the pair’s romance and Seska uses their past together to lure him into a trap.
In true Fatal Attraction-mode, Seska claims she had a child that was fathered by Chakotay. On principle, Chakotay went to her and offered his help; however, he luckily learned of the deception before it was too late. Talk about toxic relationship!
11 JANEWAY & Q
Q has always been a fan-favorite. He’s been featured in three different Star Trek series. His interaction with the Voyager crew was a little different than that with the U.S.S. Enterprise or Deep Space Nine. Unlike Picard and Sisko, his intentions with Captain Janeway were purely romantic in nature. He argues for Janeway to be the mother of his children. Wow!
In his arrogance he claims he could have chosen any woman in the universe. Aside from some purely campy Q-nonsense, this attempt at a relationship would go nowhere. Janeway, as we all knew would happen, has too much integrity to succumb to his drivel.
10 KIRK & MIRAMANEE
While Captain Kirk was dealing with amnesia, he found himself joining a tribe of intergalactic Native Americans, somehow transplanted onto an alien planet. While there, he meets and marries a priestess called Miramanee. Later, Miramanee is stoned to death by the tribe for standing up for Kirk. This relationship failed to pass muster.
It was poorly developed and succeeded in only getting Kirk married on an alien planet. This was the ultimate destiny of Kirk’s “alien women of the week” legacy. Miramanee is then picked off to allow Kirk to return to his spacefaring ways. It would’ve been more fulfilling to watch Kirk and Uhura attempt to make a secret taboo relationship work (we know, 1968 censors would’ve never allowed it).
9 T'POL & TRIP
T’Pol and Trip were two of the most charismatic characters on Enterprise. Well, T’Pol was the ... romance symbol that fans loved. The pair did share some measure of chemistry and we can see how the writers would eventually couple them off together. However, the show’s writers rushed it and failed to develop the relationship bonds between them.
It was just there, all of a sudden, in Season 3. It really seemed more like an excuse to show more of Jolene Blalock’s cleavage that to reveal any emotional growth between the couple. Ultimately, the relationship was more like a missed chance at what could’ve been a great romance.
8 HARRY KIM & SEVEN OF NINE
Oh, Harry, Harry, Harry… When the beautiful Jeri Ryan joined the cast of Voyager, as the former Borg drone Seven of Nine, we all knew Harry Kim would become entranced. He set his sights firmly on pitching woo to the emotionless Seven of Nine. His actions were expected and he should be given some credit for even trying.
I’m sure many of the crew wanted to do the same but did not for fear of her ripping them apart. Ultimately, his attempts were doomed as she had most likely lost that part of her humanity long ago. It was awkward watching Seven of Nine fail to catch the subtle hints Harry kept dropping.
7 JANEWAY & MICHAEL SULLIVAN
The episode “Fair Haven” not only saw Harry Kim fall for a holographic Irish vegetable peddler, but Captain Janeway herself got in the mix. In the program, Michael Sullivan was a married pub owner. Janeway visited the pub and was instantly smitten with Sullivan. She didn’t know he was married until the wifey later appeared at the pub!
In a very out-of-character move, Janeway reprogrammed Sullivan to be single and smarter (a pub owner who understands the intricacies of warp field theory). The pair pursued a romantic relationship but in the end, she was still just on the holodeck. Thankfully, Janeway eventually realizes her mistake.
6 EZRI DAX & BASHIR
For most of Deep Space Nine, Dr. Bashir pined for Jadzia Dax. They would’ve never worked together, and she eventually coupled up with Worf (we’ve already been over that ol’ chestnut). In the end, Jadzia Dax tragically perishes. The long-lived Dax then returns in the form of Ezri Dax (the host Jadzia can meet her demise, the Trill Dax can’t – it’s a whole thing, look it up…). Worf and Ezri put aside any hope of rekindling Jadzia’s former romance.
She did end up with Bashir with barely any lead-in. Boom! They’re a couple. Even though it was uncomfortable, it was more so when you realize Worf had to see them daily and he’s still grieving the loss of Jadzia. The ill-conceived relationship was based more on Dr. Bashir’s past feelings for Jadzia than on getting to know Ezri.
5 KIRK & RAYNA
In “Requiem for Methuselah,” Kirk meets the beautiful Rayna Kapec, ward of the rich recluse Flint. After some smooth conversation and dancing, Kirk again finds himself falling for the damsel. But what’s this, Rayna looks confused, she wasn’t trying to entice him. It turns out Rayna is an android and Kirk has awakened her to the emotion of love.
She is conflicted between her new emotions for Kirk and her loyalty to a jealous Flint. The conflict causes her to shutdown. As if Kirk’s new love-bot’s dilemma wasn’t enough, he’s also overcome and has to implore Spock to use his Vulcan mental abilities to wipe Kirk’s memory of any trace of Rayna!
4 VOQ/TYLER & L'RELL
Out of all the relationships we’ve encountered in the various Star Trek series and films, the one between Voq and L’Rell on Star Trek: Discovery was one of the most depressing! Good lord man! Voq was a Klingon sleeper agent. He had his appearance and personality altered to assume the identity of the captured Starfleet Lieutenant Ash Tyler. Tyler’s new persona totally consumed Voq to the point where he no longer remembered his former identity.
Later, he encounters a captured Klingon jailer named L’Rell. He remembers the trauma of Ash Tyler being tortured and abused at the hands of L’Rell. When Voq regained his memories, Tyler’s pain still haunted him. L’Rell ended up wiping Voq’s persona leaving only Ash Tyler. It was just an all-around messed up relationship that we could’ve done without.
3 TASHA YAR & DATA
Now we’re getting to the top three cringe-worthy relationships that made no sense. This particular one was one of the most uncomfortable of the lot; so much so that it lasted only one episode, “The Naked Now.” While under the influence of the polywater intoxication, Yar entices the android Data into exploring his ... romantic nature.
He responds with the now-classic line, he is “fully-functional.” Thankfully, we are spared the majority of the romantic entanglement. While this does allow Data to begin further delving into his desire to understand human emotions, being that Yar was “under the influence,” we have consent issues to think about. Additionally, the thought of them “together” raises other questions that many of us would prefer to not think about.
2 CHAKOTAY & SEVEN OF NINE
When Seven of Nine first joined the crew of the Voyager, Chakotay was hesitant. He trusted Captain Janeway implicitly so he gave her the benefit of the doubt. Later, Seven of Nine kind of grew on Chakotay and the two began a romantic relationship on the holodeck. She had designed a simulation to explore this new romantic experience. The Doctor removed the artificial implants that were designed to prevent high emotional responses in Seven of Nine.
With that, the pair went about being a couple. That was pretty much the only setup. It came across as just another rushed relationship that was thrown together. Jeri Ryan even commented in an interview that the relationship “came out of the blue.” There was nothing between the two, and then “suddenly, they’re in love.” It made no sense in terms of the story and the fans were never invested in it.
1 NEELIX & KES
Many fans will say this pairing had to be the #1, yet others will disagree just as strongly. In our opinion, Neelix and Kes earn the gold star for the worst chemistry of not only Star Trek: Voyager, but on any Star Trek series. At first, when they got together, it was cute. They were nice together and you started to believe the love between them (sort of). It quickly became quite clear that their relationship made no sense and actually detracted from the series.
The jealousy of Neelix popped up in every episode as soon as anyone even looked in Kes’ direction. To make it worse, when the relationship ends, the viewers don’t get to see it. It occurs off-camera and we learn through exposition that Kes left Neelix. Writers should’ve just cut out the middle-man; Kes would’ve been a better character for it.