From Enterprise To Armus, ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Easter Eggs In “The Spy Humongous”

We have already recapped and reviewed “The Spy Humongous” and discussed it on the All Access Star Trek podcast; Now we take a deep dive into all the Easter eggs that caught our eyes. In some cases the references are clear, with others it may just be our Trek interpretations; art is in the eye of the beholder.

Obviously… SPOILERS ahead.

Want to be a redshirt?

Boimler considers joining a group of ambitious ensigns who seek to rank up in the command division of Starfleet. They call themselves “Redshirts.” This makes sense as in the 24th-century command division uniforms are red, however in the 23rd-century security officers wore red and were famously short-lived, giving rise to the term “Redshirt.” As a Starfleet fanboy, Boimler does balk at the name, asking, “You call yourselves Redshirts?” To which he was told (without irony), “Cool name, right? Makes us sound invincible.”

OG Kzinti

One of the members of the “Redshirts” is a Kzinti ensign who gives Boimler some tips on how to look like a Captain, specifically when it comes to his posture. Trying to show how Boimler is all hunched over, he mimics the stooped posture seen on the Kzinti when they were first introduced in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode “The Slaver Weapon.”

Back on the D

When trying to channel his inner captain to practice giving an inspiring speech, Boimler envisions himself like Commander Riker on the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D.

Getting an Enterprise

Speaking of the USS Enterprise, Shaxs suggests that if Freeman “keeps doing Picard-level peace brokering” that Starfleet might give her “an Enterprise.” At this point in time, the latest is the Enterprise-E, which has been under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. But Lower Decks may be catching up to some of the events laid out in Star Trek: Picard, including Picard’s promotion to Admiral in 2381, leaving the command of the ship up for grabs. In the Picard novel tie-ins, Worf is given command of the Enterprise-E.

Captain Janeway?

Lower Decks reintroduced the slow-witted Pakleds as the main bad guys at the end of season one. They first appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Samaritan Snare,” when they kidnapped Geordi from the USS Enterprise-D. In season one of Lower Decks, the Pakleds figured out how to make stronger ships through their “snare” efforts, but they weren’t much brighter, confusing any Starfleet ship with the USS Enterprise. In “The Spy Humongous,” they also showed a limited ability to distinguish between humans, continually referring to Captain Freeman as Captain Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager—not only is Freeman not Janeway, but the real Janeway is an Admiral at this point, so their intel is out of date. 

Pakleds want that Crimson Forcefield

One of the ways the Enterprise crew tricked the Pakleds in “The Samaritan Snare” was having Geordi disable the Pakled torpedoes before they fired on the Enterprise, while having the Enterprise vented a red gas, described to the Pakleds as a powerful “crimson force field.” In “The Spy Humongous,” one of the classified systems Grumdar wanted to see—still believing the Cerritos was the Enterprise-D—was the crimson force field.

Dangerous anomalies

A couple of the “trash day” anomalies that the ensigns were assigned to clean up seemed a bit familiar. There was a flower that fired spikes at Mariner, not unlike the ones that shot spikes at Spock in TOS’ “The Apple.

They later spill a jar of nanobots that start crawling over Mariner, a bit like the nanites unleashed by Wesley Crusher in the TNG episode “Evolution.”

Pranking Armus

The callback getting the most attention came at the end, when the ensigns used a “sub-manifold casting stone” that could broadcast their voices to other planets to make a crank call. Their victim: Armus, the evil entity who killed Tasha Yar in the TNG episode “The Skin of Evil.” They tell him he looks “like a big bag of crap,” which enrages him, and results him him saying, “I’m gonna kill you with a flake of my power! I am a skin of evil!”

More bits

  • When disparaging the Pakled spy, Ransom says, “We’re not exactly dealing with the Tal Shiar here,” a reference to the notorious Romulan secret police.
  • The redshirts, interested in Boimler’s time on the Titan, asked him “How often did Riker clean his trombone?” referring to how Riker played the trombone on TNG. The trombone was seen in his ready room in episode Lower Decks episode 202.

VIDEO: Mike takes revenge on Armus, Crosby approves

On Sunday, Paramount+ released a video with Noël Wells (Tendi) and showrunner Mike McMahan talking about Armus.

Actress Denise Crosby appreciated the effort, tweeting “Hey Lower Decks, loving the Armus digs! Long live Tasha Yar!”

What did you see?

Spot any new Trek references we missed on Lower Decks? Have a favorite? Sound off in the comments below.


New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks premiere on Thursdays on Paramount+ in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. It is available on Amazon Prime Video internationally on Fridays. It will debut in Latin America on Paramount+ in September.

Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.

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is there a Pokemon reference when Mariner gets electrocuted?

I love Lower Decks but the only gripe I have with the show is that the next line of dialogue has to reference a Trek easter egg, like RELENTLESSLY so much so it feels shoehorned in just because they can namecheck some obscure trek episode/character. Other than that, it’s great!

Odd choice of words for Denise when her character died in Season 1 (and then ‘again’ in a Romulan prison camp in the past).

The term “Easter Egg” is getting used way out of context in a lot of this.
An easter egg is something to be found by a sharp-eyed viewer.

A lot of what we are getting is more like in-jokes. Why not call them that?

Heck, the Armus scene is pretty much a full-on cameo appearance.

Very good point. An egg thrown into your face is pretty much the opposite of an easter egg.

Armus was great… now let’s annoy Nagilum :-)

Loved the Armus cameo at the end! Made the episode for me. This show does a great job hitting all the nostalgia points for hardcore Trek fans.

Maybe two nods to Harry Potter with Rutherford being blown up and figures materialising from book!

My son and I assumed the whole “duty officers collecting anomalies” thing was a pretty clear reference to that mechanic in Star Trek Online, especially since they literally made the Lower Decks characters into duty officers who do that in the game.

Oh, and long-range communication stones were a thing on SGU – though much weirder than on Lower Decks :)

The dig at Wesley and his nanobots…”he can calculate warp variance but he can’t remember to tighten the lid on a jar”… the exact reason Wesley’s bots got loose to begin with 🤣