Top 10 Star Trek Quotes That Have Lived Long, And Prospered
Here are our picks for the 10 best Star Trek quotes.
Airing the premiere episode of its first series in 1966, Star Trek has been around for over half a century. In that time, the Star Trek has delivered dozens of memorable quotes, from catch phrases to dramatic exclamations to nothing more than simple greetings. Here, according to us, are the best of them.
10. “It’s a fake!” -Vreenak, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
There’s nothing particularly poetic about the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine quote “It’s a fake,” uttered by Senator Vreenak (Stephen McHattie) in the memorable episode “In the Pale Moonlight,” but it’s the delivery you never forget. The Romulan is holding a Cardassian data rod that contains what Ben Sisko (Avery Brooks) claims is an actual recording, but is in fact a holographic counterfeit. When Vreenak announces he knows what it is, he practically hisses “It’s a fake!”
As one of the most well known Star Trek quotes in one of the most popular episodes in the franchise, Vreenak’s utterance has become one of the most heavily memed quotes of the franchise, particularly on birthdays.
9. “Make it so” -Jean-Luc Picard, various series and films
“Make it so,” is one of those Star Trek quotes that’s so common in the films and series that it’s almost like familiar wallpaper or carpeting — you don’t notice it until it’s gone. Patrick Stewart utters it often on Star Trek: The Next Generation, in the films based on that show’s cast, and even once or twice in Paramount+‘s revival series Star Trek: Picard. Just three short words, but they did so much work to distinguish Picard from his somewhat less refined predecessor.
8. “Hello, Computer.” -Scotty, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
By far one of the funniest of the Star Trek films is 1986’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and one of the scenes that makes it a contender involves this hilarious quote. Stuck in the late twentieth century and trying to transport back to the future with two humpback whales, Scotty (James Doohan) and Bones (DeForest Kelley) masquerade as figures from the present trying to trade the formula of transparent aluminum to a twentieth century business owner. The only problem is that, used to much more sophisticated computers, Scotty can’t figure out to work the kind found in 1986.
After trying and failing to activate the computer with his voice, Scotty seems relieved when Bones hands him the mouse. Thinking it’s a microphone, Scotty speaks directly into the thing, “Hello, computer.” It remains one of the most hilarious scenes in the franchise.
7. “There’s coffee in that nebula.” -Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager
One of the things that distinguishes Star Trek: Voyager from the other series in the franchise is that, with Starfleet so far away, some of the simple pleasures that characters in other shows take for granted aren’t so commonplace. One of the times Voyager brought this aspect of life on the titular vessel to the forefront was in the Season 1 episode “The Cloud,” when in the cold open Neelix (Ethan Phillips) guilts Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) over using the replicator to make herself coffee even though the ship’s energy reserves are running out.
This leads to what has proven to be another incredibly meme-worthy Star Trek quote, “There’s coffee in that nebula.” Janeway says it right before the opening credits roll, after her crew detects omicron particles in the cloud.
6. “Resistance is futile” -The Borg, various series and films
While the heroes of Star Trek: The Next Generation first encounter the Borg in the Season 2 episode “Q Who,” that chilling quote isn’t uttered until the following season. In the first half of the two-parter “The Best of Both Worlds,” the captured Picard assures the Borg he will resist them, and the Collective responds, “Strength is irrelevant. Resistance is futile.”
The line has become much more of a catch phrase for the villains ever since and has been uttered all across the franchise. The Star Trek quote has been heard in Star Trek: First Contact, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Picard among others.
5. “There are four lights!” -Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation
One of the most powerful Star Trek: The Next Generation two-parters produced one of its greatest quotes. While the first part of “Chain of Command” deals mostly with the Enterprise’s unlikeable new captain Edward Jellico (Ronny Cox) leading negotiations with the Cardassians while Picard unknowingly leads a strike team into a trap, the second half gives us a captured Picard being tortured by the ruthless Gul Madred (David Warner).
Madred visits horrific torture upon Picard, and insists that the captain tell him that there are five lights behind him even though there are four. Up until other Cardassians come to take Picard away to be returned to Starfleet, Madred continues to torture the captain. When he realizes he is about to be freed, Picard defiantly yells at Madred, “There are four lights!”
4. “The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!” -Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: First Contact
Showing up in every TV spot and trailer for 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact, this quote had practically already become one of the franchise’s most iconic quotes before most got to see the movie. Picard delivers it to Lily (Alfre Woodard) when she urges him, like the rest of the Enterprise’s survivors, to destroy the ship.
Ironically, while it’s this part of the quote that everyone remembers, it’s the part that follows — “And I will make them pay for what they’ve done!” — which betrays Picard’s true motive, vengeance.
3. “KHAAAAAAN!!!!!” -James T. Kirk, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Who could possibly forget the overacting rage-scream of 1982 — James T. Kirk (William Shatner) screaming “KHAAAAN!!!!” over his communicator in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Kirk delivers this incredible Star Trek quote quivering with anger, moments after Khan (Ricardo Montalban) promises to leave him and his friends inside a dead planetoid, “buried alive.”
2. “I have been, and always shall be, your friend.” -Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
While Kirk’s bellowing “KHAAAAN!!!” in Star Trek II is the loudest quote in the film, the most heartfelt comes toward the end. After Spock (Leonard Nimoy) sacrifices himself to save the Enterprise, he and Kirk share a few precious moments together separated by a transparent barrier. Spock speaks the line seconds before finally succumbing to radiation poisoning.
The Star Trek II quote is not only delivered perfectly by Nimoy, but it says much more than the words alone might make you think. Considering Spock’s half-Vulcan background and his disdain for emotional expression, saying “I have been, and always shall be, your friend,” is no small thing.
1. “Live long and prosper.” -Various characters in various projects
“Live long and prosper” is a Star Trek quote most often associated with Spock, the original series, and the films attached to the original crew. Indeed, it’s first uttered by Nimoy’s Spock in the Star Trek: The Original Series Season 2 episode “Amok Time.” But at this point there’s hardly a series that hasn’t included at least one character using the phrase.
“Live long and prosper” is almost always used either by a Vulcan character or by a non-Vulcan speaking to a Vulcan, and is usually accompanied by the iconic Vulcan salute. Sometimes the quote is answered with, or preceded by, “Peace and long life.”