Star Trek: The Original Series/Characters

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Crew members of the Enterprise

Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner)

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Commander Spock (Leonard Nimoy)

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Spock: Within range of our sensors, there is no life, other than the accountable human residents of this colony beneath the surface. At least, no life as we know it.

  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Principally his green blood and the fact that his heart is where a human's liver would be. The latter enables him to survive being shot in the back with a flintlock rifle in "Friday's Child".
  • Blue-Green Blood: Not explicitly stated, but his father is a prestigious Federation Ambassador, and T'Pau, one of the most powerful people on Vulcan, officiates at (what should have been) his marriage. He also notes that the large estate where the ceremony takes place has been in his family for over two thousand years.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma
  • Boomerang Bigot: Is half-human, but most of the time solely embraces his Vulcan heritage and is scornful of human ways. This was later explained in Backstory due to his relationship with his father and growing up on Vulcan, and he mellowed in his later years.
  • Catch Phrase: "Fascinating", accompanied, of course, by...
  • The Creon: Spock is this, almost to the letter. He only takes command of the Enterprise once Kirk has been Kicked Upstairs, and gives it back almost immediately when the opportunity arises. And, being already a captain and in command of the Enterprise, Spock never gets his own commission: he keeps his position as first-officer under Kirk for several more movies!
    • Surprisingly, Spock's mirror-universe counterpart is exactly the same on this - and even explicitly states his reasons (in "Mirror Mirror").
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Deuteragonist: A natural result of his popularity with fans; originally, the show was intended as having plots about "Kirk and X", where "X" would be a different character each week; many of the early first season episodes follow this formula, but gradually "X" and "Spock" became interchangeable.
  • Fantastic Racism: A victim of this Trope, as well as a mild subscriber (towards humans).
  • Forgets to Eat: Occasionally. While never shown, in "Amok Time", McCoy uses the fact that Spock hasn't eaten for three days in an attempt to convince Kirk that something is wrong, and Kirk dismisses it as simply being Spock in one of his contemplative phases. Another example is "The Paradise Syndrome", where Spock hardly eats for weeks while studying the obelisk.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Melancholic.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's rude, tactless and completely cold hearted but he always has the best interests of the ship and crew in mind.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: With Kirk.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold
  • Insult Backfire:

McCoy: Spock, you are the most cold-blooded man I've ever known.
Spock: Why, thank you, Doctor.


Doctor (Lieutenant Commander) Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley)

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(After Kirk informs a man that he will be taken from his planet with or without his cooperation) "Should I get the butterfly net?"


Lieutenant Commander Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (James Doohan)

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  • Badass: Most people on a ship about to nova would panic, especially if they were right next to the about to explode engine core, except for Scotty, who considered that all the more reason to remain to get things fixed.
    • Handicapped Badass: Scotty wasn't canonically, but his actor, who lost half a finger, was. Doohan went to great pains to conceal this on camera, but he couldn't conceal his hands 24/7, giving Scotty the unstated appearance of this trope.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: Scotty is universally remembered as complaining that the engines "cannae take much more ah this, Cap'n", for fear that "she's gonna blow", or some variation thereof. He's also known to protest that "ah doon have th' pow'r, Cap'n!" He never used any of those phrases on the show; they're cobbled together out of a dozen different lines from different episodes, and have become ubiquitous in parodies ever since.
    • He also said "Ah cannae change the laws of physics", and not "Ye cannae". That's from Star Trekkin'.
  • Berserk Button: If you insult the Enterprise, you better take his hint (said through gritted teeth) of "Don't you want to rephrase that..."
  • Bonnie Scotland
  • Companion Cube: If Kirk saw the Enterprise as a demanding wife, Scotty saw the ship -- particularly her engines -- as no less than a child ("My bairns! My poor bairns!").
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Whenever he was left in command of the Enterprise. There's "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me," and of course the time that he receives a word message from "Kirk" and the first thing he does is run it through a voice analyzer which proves it wasn't really Kirk. Do not fuck with Scotty.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Wolf In The Fold", "The Trouble With Tribbles", and "By Any Other Name".
  • The Engineer
  • Fake Nationality
  • Father Neptune: Though as he is Recycled in Space perhaps he would be Father Jove or Father Apollo but you get the idea.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Phlegmatic.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Can MacGyver just about anything on his own, but particularly shines teamed with Spock. The two of them could turn the most obscure theory into a way to save the day.
  • Grease Monkey
  • Mr. Fixit
  • Scotty Time (Trope Namer)


Lieutenant Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols)

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Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu (George Takei)

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  • Absentee Actor: Missing for much of the second season because George Takei was filming The Green Berets.
  • Badass
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: Don't expect to ever hear Sulu say "Oh, my." That's George Takei's personal Catch Phrase. Sulu himself was the only regular who lacked a memorable Catch Phrase or Verbal Tic, one of the reasons he didn't show up in too many parodies (and when he did, he was usually the Straight Man). More recently, given Takei's predilection for Adam Westing, parodies of Sulu are basically parodies of Takei (including the Camp Gay antics - see below).
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Again, "The Naked Time".
  • Canon Immigrant: His now-canon first name "Hikaru" was given to him in the non-canon novels by Vonda McIntyre. Very early Star Trek guides suggest that "Walter" was considered as a possible first name during the show itself, but never officially used.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "The Naked Time" and "Mirror, Mirror".
  • Evil Is Hammy: Every Mirror Universe character was hammy, but Takei was a particularly rich, dripping slice.
  • Fake Nationality: One of the rare aversions in all of the series. Sulu is Japanese-American from San Francisco, and so is George Takei. Played straight in the 2009 Film.[1]
    • In some of the non-canon novels, Sulu explains that his background is mixed, but primarily Filipino and Japanese.
  • Fan of the Past
  • Fleeting Passionate Hobbies: Including fencing ("The Naked Time") and botany ("The Man Trap").
  • Generation Xerox: In Generations, we meet his daughter Demora, who is (where else?) at the helm of the Enterprise-B.
  • Genius Bruiser: Just happens to be an expert in botany, swordsmanship, French history, flying ancient aircraft.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: His Mirror Universe counterpart has a big nasty scar on his face.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Averted in "The Naked Time". Sulu was originally supposed to go on his rampage with a samurai sword, but at Takei's request to do something less stereotypical, it was switched to an epee.
    • Sadly played straight in the reboot movie - it's not exactly a normal katana, but it seems clearly intended to invoke this trope.
  • Shirtless Scene: In "The Naked Time".
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Initially the show's creators couldn't make up their mind what to do with Sulu and he featured prominently as a botanist of all things before becoming the helmsman.
  • Word of Gay: Inverted. After Takei came out of the closet, many people assumed Sulu was also gay. Takei has denied that in interviews, claiming Sulu was/is straight.
    • As an interesting coincidence, Sulu is the only one of the six male regulars who never had an on-screen love interest, so there's no "proof" either way (Mirror Sulu, on the other hand, is obviously attracted to women, as Uhura can attest).
    • Sulu has a daughter named Demora Sulu in Star Trek Generations, which would seem to confirm it, unless...
      • 2016's Star Trek Beyond has confirmed that Sulu (the reboot instance of him at least) both is gay and has a daughter. With the same scene.


Ensign Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig)

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  • Ambiguously Jewish: An idea with some popularity in the Fandom, partially since Koenig (and Anton Yelchin, who played him in the 2009 reboot) are Jewish.
  • Chekov's Gun: Often seen with Chekov, especially on landing-party duty. Like Chekhov's Gun, if it makes an appearance, it will most likely be used by the end of the episode or movie.
  • Cultural Posturing: What didn't Mother Russia invent?
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Chekov's constant references to Mother Russia appear to only make sense in his mind.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Mirror, Mirror", "The Trouble With Tribbles", and "The Deadly Years".
  • Mr. Fanservice: Really. Brought in specifically to appeal to younger FanGirls, complete with hair straight out of The Monkees.
  • The Intern: Much is made of his relative inexperience and impulsiveness.
  • Lzherusskie
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Particularly as the films progressed.
  • Running Gag: "It vas inwented in Russia."
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: Oh, yeah.
  • The Scream: Walter Koenig had a good one, which is why it's Chekov who always gets stuffed in the agony booth.
  • Sixth Ranger: Subverted. Chekov didn't appear on the show until Season 2, but apparently served on the Enterprise long before he appeared, because in the second movie, Khan recognizes Chekov, apparently having met him in the Season 1 episode "Space Seed".
    • Walter Koenig's explanation for how they met is that Chekov actually was serving aboard the Enterprise but was on duty during the night shift, and he and Khan met off-screen. The circumstances of their meeting were thus: Chekov was using the bathroom and he was taking an inordinately long time, and Khan approaches that very same bathroom, needing to use it. Finding it occupied, he soon loses his patience and pounds on the door. When Chekov finally emerges, Khan grabs him and fixes him with a Death Glare, and says "I will never forget your face!"
      • This is further compounded by the fact that he expended all the toilet paper.
  • What Could Have Been: Was originally planned to be a British character. Apparently Roddenberry changed it after having a letter from the Soviet Union which praised the show's message but criticized the lack of a prominent Russian character.


Head Nurse Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett)

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  • A Day in the Limelight: "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
  • Hospital Hottie
  • Mad Love: Most of her personality (well, all of it, really) centers around her unreciprocated crush on Spock. Think of her as an in-universe Spock Fan Girl. Unlike many of her real-life counterparts, she doesn't seem to be a Yaoi Fangirl.
  • No Rank Given: In the series, Chapel was always addressed by her position rather than her rank. She is formally promoted to Lieutenant later on in the five-year mission, and by the time of the first movie, has an MD under her belt, and is prepared to assume the role of Chief Medical Officer. We can therefore assume that, especially given her position as Head Nurse, she was a junior officer (probably a mustanged Ensign, given her backstory).
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Majel Barrett was the girlfriend and eventual wife of Gene Roddenberry, which may explain why we saw Nurse Chapel so much.


Yeoman Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney)

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Lieutenant Kyle (John Winston)

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  • The Cameo: He's a bridge officer on the Reliant in Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan.
  • Mauve Shirt: Because he was the only recurring Red Shirt not played by an extra, he usually had much more dialogue than other redshirts, a consistent name and position on the ship, and was allowed to play an active role in the Plot (see "The Doomsday Machine" or "Mirror, Mirror" for examples).
  • Only One Name
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Contrary to popular belief, he was the Transporter Chief, not Scotty. Like other redshirts, he was occasionally seen on the bridge, though usually he was explicitly pinch-hitting for someone else (as in "Who Mourns For Adonais?" when Spock has taken command and Chekov is in the landing party, and Kyle mans the science station).


Kevin Thomas Riley (Bruce Hyde)

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Others

Harcourt Fenton "Harry" Mudd (Roger C. Carmel)

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Stella: Harcourt! Harcourt Fenton Mudd!...
Mudd:: Shut UP, Stella!


The Enterprise

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Back to Star Trek: The Original Series
  1. They were leery of casting an actor of non-Japanese descent until Takei himself assured them that it would be all right, claiming that the character represents all of Asia (note that Sulu is not a Japanese name). This paved the way for Korean-American John Cho to assume the role.