Photo: Star Trek: The Next Generation / CBS Television Distribution

The Weirdest Captain Picard Moments In 'Star Trek' History

Voting Rules
Vote up the moments you still have a hard time believing are 'Star Trek' canon.

Over the course of 178 episodes and four feature films, Star Trek audiences have gotten to know Captain Jean-Luc Picard well. A strict leader, he projects strength and courage while always seeming attentive to the needs of his crew. He’s a man with a strong moral code, loyal to the Federation Starfleet he serves. He plays by the rules to a fault, demanding excellence from his officers and himself.

But the universe is a big place, and things can get pretty wild out there. In a science fiction universe like Star Trek, that by design constantly pushes the envelope on what’s believable, even dependable old Jean-Luc can have some pretty weird moments. Let's take a look at the most out-of-character, downright silly, or just plain shocking moments from Captain Picard.

Photo: Star Trek: The Next Generation / CBS Television Distribution

  • 1
    191 VOTES

    Picard Is Rude To A Visitor And Must Wear Tights As Penance

    “Q-Pid,” Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 4, Episode 20

    Picard, by all accounts, is a measured and diplomatic man. But whenever he encounters the interdimensional being known as Q, he loses control, becoming unable to hide his dislike. When Q first appears in this episode, Picard immediately loses his temper, shouting at Q to “Get out of my chair!” This reaction is understandable considering their history, but probably not advisable in light of Q’s immense powers. Maybe things would have gone better for Picard if he had at least tried to show an ounce of courtesy.

    In any case, Q decides to teach Picard a lesson, beginning with the embarrassing trial of being dressed up as Robin Hood and unceremoniously dropped into a forest. While Picard seems a little old to play Robin Hood, he does manage to look dashing in brown and green, and he can always hold his own with a sword. And check out that adorable little goatee.

    191 votes
  • 2
    234 VOTES

    Sir Patrick Stewart Is Replaced By A Child Actor

    “Rascals,” Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 6, Episode 7

    In this episode, Patrick Stewart is swapped out, and Captain Picard is played by a surprising guest actor: a 12-year-old boy! A transporter mishap causes Picard and three crew members to be de-aged to their childhood selves. While Dr. Crusher scrambles to find a cure, the ship is taken control of by Ferengi pirates, who then confine the children to the schoolroom. The four grown-up-kids have retained their adult minds throughout this ordeal, but to outwit the Ferengi, Picard plays up his new role as a child, throwing a tantrum to his guards and lovingly embracing his “father,” Commander Riker. The whole thing is a ruse, but it’s still a weird look on the captain.

    The best moment in the episode may be during this scene when, out of habit, Picard accidentally refers to his new “dad” as “number one.” In response to the Ferengi’s confusion, Picard pluckily explains, “He’s my number one dad!”

    234 votes
  • 3
    158 VOTES

    Picard Becomes Intoxicated, And It Looks Super Fun

    “The Naked Now,” Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1, Episode 2

    Picard’s behavior in this episode is not his fault. He doesn’t flip out and go on a bender. The entire crew is infected with an ailment that mimics the effects of alcohol consumption. Still, over the course of the series, you never get to see him quite like this again. He flops around, jumps up on tables, pouts, flirts, and engages in general silliness.

    Eventually, during a few brief and easily distractible moments, he and Dr. Crusher pull it together long enough to find a cure. It’s almost too bad: he seems like a really fun guy this way. Regrettably, the more sober Picard makes a more reliable leader.

    158 votes
  • 4
    173 VOTES

    Picard Dances The Mambo

    Star Trek: Insurrection

    Captain Picard is a cultured man who enjoys the finer things in life. He’s an accomplished musician, he enjoys horseback riding, he’s skilled at fencing - the list goes on. So, it should come as no surprise that he enjoys a wide variety of music and other artistic activities. Still, it comes as a shock when, out of the blue, he breaks out into an impromptu mambo.

    To be fair, he’s just had an invigorating day among the Ba’ku people on their life-giving planet, and the entire crew has returned to the Enterprise with a little more pep in their step. It should also be noted that Picard has recently met a potential love interest. He jauntily returns to his quarters asking the computer for music. “No,” he says to its selection. “Play something Latin.” And then, he’s off like we’ve never seen him before. It’s cute to see Picard so cheerful for once, but after that brief performance, you can never look at him quite the same way again.

    173 votes
  • 5
    154 VOTES

    Picard Overacts His Way Through Shakespeare To Rescue Troi’s Mom

    “Menage a Troi,” Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 3, Episode 24

    Aside from Trek, Patrick Stewart is best known for his career as a Shakespearean stage actor. So, it must’ve been fun for the writers to include a scene in which Picard loudly and poorly recites a mash-up of Bard sonnets and Tennyson poems.

    In this episode, Counselor Deana Troi’s garish, lusty mother, Lwaxana, visits the Enterprise. Picard, in particular, finds Lwaxana to be exhausting and unappealing and does all he can to avoid her. But when she's taken by a Ferengi admirer who wants to use her telepathic powers for monetary gain, Picard is forced to intervene. Confronting the Ferengi, he haltingly pretends to be a jealous lover willing to commit acts of aggression to get his beloved Lwaxana back. When he has trouble acting the part, Picard launches into impromptu Shakespeare, passing off the playwright's words as his own. The ruse works, and Lwaxana is saved. Picard’s dignity, however, is another matter.

    154 votes
  • 6
    155 VOTES

    Picard Drives A Dune Buggy

    Star Trek: Nemesis

    “I will always be puzzled by the human predilection for piloting vehicles at unsafe velocities,” Data tells the captain as they blast out of a spaceship on a dune buggy. Picard just laughs. The viewer, like Data, may be puzzled at this apparent recklessness. Who knew Picard was such a speed demon? 

    Behind the wheel, he becomes as giddy as a schoolboy. As there's no imminent danger, it’s clear that Picard is speeding just for the thrill of it. Seeing the joy on his face, it’s hard to begrudge him a little fun. But when did he become such a thrill seeker? Doesn’t he almost perish every week in some Enterprise mishap as it is? Considering that he and the crew are on an official mission and that Picard is known for his dedication to Starfleet regulations, it’s weird to see him suddenly become so careless and carefree.

    155 votes