The best Star Trek catchphrases


Science fiction franchise Star Trek has had a major impact on pop culture since The Original Series was first broadcast on television in 1966. Since then, there have been many spin off television series, films, comic books, and plenty of merchandise.

The sheer cultural impact of the Star Trek franchise is reflected in how the dialogue associated with it has become a part of everyday American vernacular. Whether you recognize it or not, it’s very common to hear references to Star Trek on other television shows, movies and even in your day to day life. Let’s discuss some famous catchphrases the Star Trek TV series and movies have given us.

“Live Long and Prosper”

The Vulcan greeting along with the finger-separating hand gesture first made it to the screen in the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series, in the episode Amok Time. Actor Leonard Nimoy, who played the character of the Vulcan Spock, made public that the gesture and phrase were his ideas, derived from Orthodox Jewish blessings from his childhood.

“Highly illogical”

In the second season, in the episode titled The Omega Glory, Spock deemed the actions of the native inhabitants of planet Omega IV “highly illogical.” Before this, it had either been “illogical” or “most illogical,” until he witnessed a pair of natives attacking Kirk in a jail cell. The phrase would go on to be repeated in several more episodes as well as the films that followed and J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the franchise.

“Beam me up, Scotty”

The phrase was used as a request directed to Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott for transporting back to the USS Enterprise. However, the interesting thing is that it was never uttered in either of the TV series or movies. The command used was either “Three to beam up,” “Beam them up” or “Beam us up, Scotty,” as aired in a few episodes of the Star Trek animated series. Despite this fact, the phrase of often repeated. Author William Shatner did say these lines while reading the audio version of his book “Star Trek: The Ashes of Eden.”

“I’m a doctor, not a…”

The first season episode titled The Devil in the Dark had DeForest Kelley uttering his famous catchphrase as we now know it. He lets Kirk know that he is a doctor, not a bricklayer. However, the full line that shot to popularity and would be used in every subsequent Star Trek installment was – “I’m a doctor, not a physicist!”

“Make it so”

It was Captain Jean Luc Picard’s signature line from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Actor Patrick Stewart uttered it in the pilot episode of Encounter at Farpoint. Gene Roddenberry wrote the line for Picard, but the phrase had been in use in military circles for quite some time then.

Iconic movies and television shows have a way of making their mark on pop culture and daily life. Star Trek is one of these, and the common use of these catchphrases are a sign of how big its impact really was.