Your Favorite Star Trek: TNG episodes/characters

Oh, boy, where to begin, where to begin! My favorite Star Trek series of all time for starters and a series that has given me a lot of joy, sadness/loss, love, anger, horror, humor, wtf moments, and so on! I will try to rank the characters from worse to best while introducing some of the best episodes with said character. This will be quite a long reading adventure, but I really wanted to express my liking to one of the best series I have ever seen. I hope you will share some of your experiences also with TNG.
So much away that I never got to know her. As for the favorite episode: The Next Phase, S524, where she and Geordi get trapped after a transporter malfunction and have to find a way to materialize in the real world.
I wanted to put him higher on the list, but I feel that he did not really have that many impacting scenes. Don't get me wrong, without his expertise a lot of people would have been easily vaporized. He was the best at the job by a long shot. My favorite episode with him has to be the bar scene in Wounded, S4E12. He talks about the experience of having to kill a Cardassian and how it affected him. Honorable mention from the same episode when he sings together with his former captain and also how he manages to advise his former captain in not attacking a Cardassian ship.
I enjoyed his company in the first four seasons. Young, bright, and times humorous character. I liked the chemistry he had with Geordi La Forge. I think he would have been a wonderful permanent addition to the crew, but unfortunately his role kind of withered away. My favorite episode with him would be Final Mission, S4E9. Using his wit and compassion, he manages to motivate his captain to keep on fighting while he finds a way to bring him water, thus saving both lives. I also enjoyed Coming of Age, S1E19 where he tries to finish the Starfleet entrance exam. He shows a lot of kindness when he helps a fellow student in getting past an obstacle in the exam, even if he knows it might affect his own scores.
While she is a wonderful character with one of the most important roles on board the Enterprise, I just never managed to get good chemistry with her. I mean, she is a great addition to the crew and again she is great at what she does, but she is just like Riker, a bit too bland for my taste. My favorite episode with her is Remember Me, S4E5. The buildup and how she slowly realizes that she is all alone is well done.
With her wit, she manages to figure it all out and I compliment her of being able to not go completely insane in this episode.
While being a great character and a very important crew member, he is also a little too bland for my liking. He is kind of like the male version of Beverly Crusher, being that he does not really show that much character. How can I say it better: I feel he lacks some charisma, even if growing a beard helped a little on the way of hiding this. My favorite episode with him is Frame of Mind, S6E21. In this episode, he shows a lot of character and scale of emotion and I applaud him for that!
I like him a lot, full of nervous personality! He is funny, quirky, and smart. My top moments with Barclay are in The Nth Degree, S4E19 when his brain is enhanced by the Cytherians and he gets super smart. I love the ending when we notice that not all of his superior intelligence is gone - he is still amazing in chess. Realm of Fear, S6E2 is another one I like a lot as Barclay tries to combat his anxiety of being in a transporter beam, only to end up mixed with some strange creature inside the beam. He comes out all right in the end and shows a lot of character. The last one Genesis, S7E19 is just fantastic. Barclay is overexaggerating about being ill again and while doing so he unintendedly is the catalysator to the most horrifying episode in the whole series. Oh, he sure looks scary also in this episode!
They make a powerful duo in the TNG universe. Lwaxana does not have that many parts in the series, but those she stars in are always witty and even serious from time to time, like the Dark Page, S7E7 episode. Deanna Troi has to help her mother get over the loss of her firstborn child and it is quite a memorable episode. If not for the skills from Deanna, Lwaxana would have died from sorrow. Lwaxanas' role in Manhunt, S2E19 is quite hilarious as she is trying desperately to find a mate and got a special eye for Picard. He tries all he can to avoid her and even sneaks into the holodeck together with Riker. Not the only time she is trying to seduce the crew, that is for sure. The duo is probably the most complex character in TGN, as they have to control the endless stream of feelings from the majority of people they meet.

One of my favorite episodes with Deanna Troi is Genesis, S7E19 where she is devolved into an Amphibian. While she does not have a big role in this episode, she sure leaves an impact, if not a horrifying one. I almost jumped the seat when I noticed her transformation! Hollow Pursuits, S3E21 is just hilarious! Barclay makes a holographic fantasy version Deanna and when Deanna meets herself she is not taking it very well. It does not help that Riker wants them to further pursue the hologram as a way better to "understand" Barclay's fantasy world.

Another episode I liked a lot was The Survivors, S3E3 where Deanna is experiencing a song being played over and over and over again in her mind, making her almost go crazy. Quite the eery episode. The last one I have to mention is her role in Face of the Enemy, S6E14. She is surgically altered to look like a Romulan and has to show no fear even when confronted with the possibility of destroying the Enterprise. She plays the role as a Romulan quite convincingly.
The mysterious and mesmerizing Guinan. What to say about her. Well, for starters she brings with her a lot of atmospheres and unlimited wisdom. So much to the point of her a lot of the time talking in riddles. She is also a worthy adversary to Q as she has the power to move in any timeframe. She is one of the characters with the most charisma and irony and whenever she has a scene she makes it a good one. All this by almost never having to use any gestures.

Her role in The Measure of a Man, S2E9 is just top-notch. Picard is having problems defending Data and after an amazing speech from Guinan, he realized what has to be done. Another great example of her ability to give wisdom is in The Best of Both Worlds, S4E1. She helps Riker in letting Picard go and taking the captain's chair. This eventually also help Riker realize he has to think of different strategies as a way to outfox the Borg.
Easily one of the most charismatic characters onboard the Enterprise and I just love the good dialogue he often has with his good friend, Data. He is almost always happy and he loves his engineering job. This shows when he starts talking about different solutions to a problem and he just lights up like a spark.
He is also one of the most unlucky persons when it comes to hooking up with women, but that just makes him even more human, or what do you say, Leah Brahms?

Geordi is always eager to learn new things and might even go to the holodeck and start a simulation to better understand a problem as he did in Booby Trap, S3E5. The Mind's Eye, S4E24 is a good and partially horrifying episode as poor Geordy gets kidnapped by Romulans. It is quite horrible to watch the torture of Geordie and nerve-wracking when you know that there is a possibility that he might actually kill Miles O'Brien. As mentioned earlier The Next Phase, S524 was a good one and I was on the edge of my seat until the last second of the episode!
Worf, my man! I like him a lot. He starts off as a man it is not easy to understand, but his character grows into showing a lot of interesting sides: His growing relationship with his son Alexander, his romantic pursuits, his feeling of shame/anger for not being a true Klingon, and his balance between being a Klingon and also a Starfleet officer. Some of my favorite episodes are Sins of The Father, S3E17 where Worf takes the blame for something he did not do. He shows a deep honor for the Klingon way and also shows a lot of courage. All the episodes where he is doing holodeck fighting, I loved those. Ethics S5E16, the episode where Worf is severely hurt and has a big choice to make: Death with the help of his son or going for a spinal operation with a low chance of success. Thankfully with good friends and a little soul-searching he goes for the most badass solution and saving face while doing so.

Who can forget the episode Genesis, S7E19 where Worf is transformed into BIG WORF. He was so scary and the scene with him punching the medic bay door trying to get to Deanna was quite terrifying! There are so many others I could mention, so let me just finish up with this one: Parallels, S7E11. He experiences the reality around him shifting and he tries all he can do make the crew understand what he is experiencing. This is also the first episode from my recollection where we can see an alternative reality where he and Deanna are married - a little taste of what is to come. He even invites Deanna for dinner after this experience. A Badass! is the best way to sum up Worf.
An almost omnipotent witty being that brings a lot of insane moments in TNG. While I have a favorite episode, I have to say that every single moment with Q has been amazing. He brings a lot of fun and at times quite nervewracking moments to the show. My favorite episode with Q has to be Tapestry, S6E15.
Q gives Picard a second chance after he "dies " from his failing artificial heart. The continuous dialogue between Q and Picard in this episode is both hilarious and at times quite serious. Q is clearly not all bad and this episode shows some of his true colors. He has a soft spot for Picard and for humanity and that both irritates and fascinates Q.
My absolute favorite characters are Data and Picard. I just can't pick one of them. They are equally important to the Enterprise in my eyes and are part of some of the most impacting and wonderful episodes I have ever seen in any series. Data is just a kinder egg of surprises and one of the most interesting episodes with him is The Most Toys, S3E22. He is captured, manages to escape with some help, and while escaping we get to see something quite special happen to data - he is about to kill another being, even if he is programmed not being able to. Speaking of hurting someone, he almost killed Deanna in Phantasms S7E6.

This is another great episode where data is having some strange "dreams" where he experiences small creatures attached to different people and eventually finds a way to combat them. Data's first encounter with the ability to dream we first see in the great episodes called Birthright, S6E16/17 He experiences this after suddenly getting hit with an energy discharge at main engineering. Eventually, his next dream experiences give him more knowledge about what he is experiencing, and at the end of his dream journey, he meets his maker, who also explains to him the meaning of the gift he gave Data. There are so many other awesome episodes, so let us just quickly sum up some of them:

Elementary dear data, S2E3
Data's Day, S4E11
The Offspring, S3E16
In Theory, S4E25
A Fistful of Datas, S6E8
Thine Own Self, S7E16
Picard. how you have enriched my life with snippets of wisdom, joy, heroism, horror, and sadness. The first impacting episode I can think of is the Inner Light, S5E25. After losing consciousness on board the Enterprise, Picard finds himself on a dying planet with wife, work, and friends. He tries to explain that he does not belong there, but after some years he slowly realizes this is his true home. He lives a long life, experiencing friendship, children, grandchildren, and the loss of his wife and best friend. Then at the end of the episode, he is shown the true meaning of who he really is and why he was taken to the planet - to be the one who could tell about the people on this planet who all perished from the sun going nova. Such a wonderful episode and I shed a lot of tears watching this one.

Chain of command, S6E11 - another extremely impacting episode. Picard is captured by the Cardassians and tortured over and over. Picard shows a wide specter of emotions and at the end of the episode, you are almost as tortured and angry as he is. In the episode Neutral Zone, S1E26 we get to experience one of Picard's greatest speeches as he tries to talk some sense into a man from the 21st century. I believe we have a lot to learn from Picard's speech in our own capitalistic driven society. Another great speech from Picard with a little bump in the right way from Guinan comes from Measure of Man, S2E9 when he tries to defend the fact that data is a sentient being.

Ok, I should probably stop writing now, so let just sum up some other good ones with Picard in it:

Darmok, S5E2
All good things, S7E25
Captain's Holiday, S3E19
Q Who, S2E16
The Best of Both World, S3E26/S4E1
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Commander Data.

Star Trek has always been (or at least strived to be) an introspective of humanity. It was more existential commentary than it was sci-fi, celebrating or chastising or mocking everything humanity has to offer.

Having an android that has unique perspective on humanity by wanting to emulate, and even become, human I always thought was a great way to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of humans, but in a much less subtle way (no metaphors and such). Sometimes humorous, always thought provoking, it usually ends with confirmation that Data isn't human, thus missing out no matter how hard he tries. We end up feeling a bit sad for Data which really means it's making us appreciate that we are human just a little bit more.

I think that is pretty awesome.
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Feb 15, 2020
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Q was always my favorite character in TNG. I like how he trolls Picard on a regular basis. Amusing and comical all at the same time.

Data would be my second favorite character followed by Worf in third.
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@I Will Haunt You That is an interesting take on Data. The episode Déjà Q, S3E13 when Q gives Data the ability to laugh for a short time I feel exemplifies this. He starts to laugh and for a moment we all laugh with him, praising his ability to laugh, then it all stops in an instant when we realize that Data has no clue as to why he just laughed. We are left feeling quite sad for data.


I believe you are quite right about Lwaxana Troi being the only one to have made Picard blush. I can't remember the episode (could be Manhunt, S2E19), but I can clearly see the scene when it happens and you can see how hard Picard tries to hide it.

@zSCHIZOz Oh man, the episode when Picard gets's a second chance at life, Q trolls him ALL the time, especially about how he loses his heart. I do like the mix between Q being amusing and then super serious, like when he makes Picard realize that our errors in life build character and that Picard should praise them. Do you have a favorite Q scene?

Speaking of Worf, I have a little treat for you:


When he says: 'Good tea, nice house'! omfg, it's so hilarious:)
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Q for sure. Not only because he gives the show a great chance to laugh at itself, but because he really is an interesting character. The crew has no patience for him but that guy saved the day quite a few times.

For instance, at the start of the show, something was hitting small colonies hard - leaving behind nothing but a crater. At first, they thought it might be the Romulans but it was actually the Borg, scouting the Federation. This was not going to end well for the Feds - they were outclassed technologically and didn't even know enough about what was going on to be scared.

Then Q sent the Enterprise out for a little "reconnaissance in force" mission, deep inside Borg space, where the Federation's flagship got completely outclassed by a small Borg scout. THAT got their attention. The whole "whatever it is, we can deal with it" attitude was shattered and they started thinking really seriously about what they just saw. A season or two later, when the Borg did attack, they still got slaughtered but they had some vital intelligence on what was going on: like the fact that you can beam over to a Borg ship and they won't really care until you start doing damage. Without that kind of knowledge, the Federation would have been assimilated and lived lives free of war and full of purpose... <ahem> lives as very, very unhappy cyborgs.

So Q seems to be the kind of guy that pretends to despise you but sure seems to hang around a lot. When he sees that somebody is about to shoot you in the head, he gleefully punches you in the gut to make you duck. Good stuff!
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@Zloth He is quite the intergalactic trouble maker and I find myself wondering about how the galaxy would have been if the high council did not have a leach on him. I do think he might be a bit lonely too, since, well, nobody really seems to like him that much and that might also be the reason he takes the liking of the Enterprise and particularly Picard. Perhaps by both helping the Enterprise, but also annoy them as he chooses, he finds some stability and comfort. When it all comes down to it, there has to be some personal gain for Q (if you could call it personal) or he could have just left the Enterprise with the Borg and amused himself of being right.

Why do you think he likes to hang around with the Enterprise and particularly Picard?
I need to resurrect this thread just to share my stunned disbelief from watching the pilot episode recently, having neglected TNG somewhat in my Star Trek viewing. I'd never realised before that Q's court case against humanity was the very first episode of the series, it seems so wild that they'd lead with such a far-out character and concept rather than just picking things up with a plot to reintroduce viewers to the federation species.

Old news to regular viewers probably, just something that shocked me. Almost more than clean-shaven Riker.

Why do you think he likes to hang around with the Enterprise and particularly Picard?

Yep, Q has a boner for Picard whose glorious turgidity rivals that of his boner for Janeway. Gender is probably pretty meaningless for an omnipotent extradimensional being.
@Mazer It was definitely a bold move. I really enjoyed the whole Q affair, but they could easily have started with something less chaotic. There is a scene with babyface Riker and Data in the jungle, slowly moving through the vegetation while chit-chatting. I think this would have been a better start for the series as they could have introduced some kind of plot having these two important main characters unravel it with us while in a smooth fashion introducing us to the rest of the crew and ship.
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I love Q episodes too, they're basically all classics. As you say though, they tend toward the chaotic, and often rely on some amount of literacy with the ST universe. Bold move indeed.

Obviously worked I suppose, it has to be among the most successful reboots of a series of all time given that it put Star Trek back on TV for nearly the next 20 years.
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I was very lucky to be able to watch this show back when it was originally airing. I'd seen every episode of the original series and was insanely excited when TNG kicked off.

I was blown away by Q and was a fairly young cat at the time. Nostalgia glasses aside, that first season was rough. It was all great to me at the time, but it wasn't until a bit later that it absolutely became a stone cold classic.

Patrick Stewart was brilliant as the captain who kind of hates people as individuals, but has a much more empathetic perspective on populations. Just an incredibly bold move to center the show on that character.

Bah, I miss when Star Trek was incredible.
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