It’s March 18, and you know what that means! Wait, you don’t? Whoops. Um, that’s a little awkward…
For those not in the know, March 18 is National Awkward Moments Day, a chance to recognize and celebrate those awkward and embarrassing moments we all experience from time to time. In honor of the day, we at TrekMovie thought we’d remind you of some of our favorite awkward moments — as experienced by Star Trek characters, not by us personally.
Where’s the logic in offering me a ride home?
Who among us hasn’t found themselves possessed by the katra of their dead friend, trying to book passage to a forbidden planet, only to be confronted by a guy from security? In her excellent novelization, Vonda McIntyre captures the moment beautifully.
“McCoy swung around, panicked, and grabbed the man at the vulnerable point between neck and shoulder. He squeezed with all his strength and turned to flee without even waiting to see what happened.
Nothing had happened at all.”
Talking to your kids about the birds and the bees isn’t easy for any parent. But when you’re a busy starship captain unwillingly playing father figure to an omnipotent alien teenager, well, that brings a whole new level of awkward to the situation.
CHARLIE: Well, in the corridor I saw…When Janice, when Yeoman Rand was…(slaps Kirk’s bottom) I did that to her. She didn’t like it. She said you’d explain it to me.
KIRK: Me. I see. Well, um, er, there are things you can do with a lady, er, Charlie, that you er. There’s no right way to hit a woman. I mean, man to man is one thing, but, er, man and woman, er, it’s, er, it’s, er. Well it’s, er, another thing…
Never has an emergency communication on channel D been more welcome.
Don’t ask, Don’t tell
Time travel: It’s not all fun and games. Sometimes it creates a deadly and heartbreaking paradox, sometimes it can just bring buried truths to light.
Take, for instance, the DS9 crew’s romp through history. Sitting in a bar at space station K-7 came naturally to our friends, and had the added bonus of letting their chief suspect come to them.
It also caused a bit of an awkward moment for Worf.
BASHIR: Those are Klingons?
WORF: They are Klingons, and it is a long story.
O’BRIEN: What happened? Some kind genetic engineering?
BASHIR: A viral mutation?
WORF: We do not discuss it with outsiders.
Anybody up for a quick bar fight as a distraction?
Oh, um, hello
Dude, you are the captain of a galaxy class starship filled with families. The least you can do is figure out how to receive a hug from a little girl.
Ah, your first day at the new job. Those feelings of apprehension when you arrive and meet your co-workers. Are you smart enough? Are you really ready for this? Was it a mistake for me to take this job? Did they really mean to pick a full Vulcan? Will anyone like me? Whatever you do, though, relax and remember not to grab your boss’ butt if you get trapped in an elevator with her.
What is it with you?
Trapped on an icy prison planet, the odds are against you and the situation is grim. But allies sometimes appear in unexpected guises. Sometimes delightfully attractive guises. Such was the case with Martia, the lovely, cigar-chomping alien who decides that James T. Kirk is the best candidate she’s seen in years. Candidate for what, you might ask? Well, how about a nice kiss to start with.
Awkward when the next morning she transforms into a hairy alien brute. And, later, into James T. Kirk himself.
KIRK: I can’t believe I kissed you.
MARTIA: Must have been your lifelong ambition.
The Big Reveal
Your villain is named John Harrison, as the production team has made all-too-clear in interview after interview. You are not Khan, you are John Harrison. You don’t know why anyone would ever think this movie would have anything to do with Khan. Ha ha, it is laughable to even contemplate such a thing.
Oh, wait, right, yes, I am Khan.
Good morning, from Q
There’s nothing like waking up next to your lover stroking your earlobe, only to find out it’s not your lover. Thanks to Q, Jean-Luc Picard went from delight to awkward dismay in record time, in “Tapestry,” when he thought he was awakening next to Marta Batanides. Nope!
Signing in the new captain, one finger at a time
You finally get to meet your new captain, but even THAT gets awkward. Tilly figures out why Captain Pike’s handprint isn’t accepted into the system quickly enough, then stammers and stutters her way through the rest after having to adjust a very specific one of his fingers, explaining, “It’s really weird to say pinky to a captain.” (Even weirder when you point it out, Tilly!)
“What do you do for fun down in Cargo Bay 2?”
Looking for an opening line? Don’t use that one.
When Harry Kim starts developing feelings for Seven of Nine, he tries being nice to her, but even a Borg can tell he’s not just making small talk. “I see the way your pupils dilate when you look at my body,” she tells an extremely uncomfortable Harry. He insists he doesn’t wish to copulate—awkwardly, of course—but she knows otherwise. “I am willing to explore my humanity,” she tells him. “Take off your clothes.” The look on his face is one even she can read.
Hard to pick the MOST awkward moment from Trip’s pregnancy, isn’t it? Runner-up is when he has to show the Klingons (and everyone else on the bridge) that he’s pregnant, but the winner has to be when Trip is having dinner with Captain Archer and Doctor Phlox, and they start discussing his “post-natal responsibilities.” The crewman serving their dinner has just returned with more Chicken Tetrazzini for the hungry father-to-be just in time to hear Phlox say, “You may very well be putting those nipples to work before you know it.”
What are your favorite awkward moments? Tell us in the comments!