Picard memes: Patrick Stewart's best viral Star Trek moments

Meme me up! Even 25 years after Star Trek: The Next Generation ended, Captain Jean-Luc Picard is a familiar face online.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Captain Jean-Luc Picard has given us many things. His intelligence. His tolerance. His empathy. And a starship full of great memes.  

Yes, even though Star Trek: The Next Generation ended 25 years ago Thursday, Patrick Stewart's face still regularly pops up online. From the galactically catchy Picard Song to the iconic Picard facepalm, the good captain is an online hero. And there'll probably be even more Picard memes to come when Stewart reprises the role in a new show revealing what Starfleet's most meme-able captain is up to now. Watch the trailer for the new show here. 

Star Trek: Picard will stream alongside Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access in the US, and on Amazon Prime Video around the world. (Disclosure: CBS is CNET's parent company.) Set course for memes -- engage!

Annoyed Picard


Annoyed Picard is an image meme taken from the third season episode Ménage à Troi, showing a screengrab of noted theatrical actor Patrick Stewart reciting Shakespeare on the bridge of the Enterprise. But the captioned captain meme, which took off in 2012, is used to express exasperated rhetorical questions. With cursing. Lots of cursing.


In 2018, the meme mutated again to point out when someone says something cringeworthy, posted with the caption "Bro! You just posted cringe! You are going to loose subscriber!"


Saucy Picard


Jean-Luc Picard is nowhere near Captain Kirk in the womanizing stakes, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a naughty side under that form-fitting red uniform. Saucy Picard is just one of the many screengrabs of Patrick Stewart showing his playful side.


While we're on the subject of Patrick Stewart's playful side, the actor can be seen on the season 5 DVD performing a soft-shoe shuffle around the bridge of the Enterprise as a tribute to Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

Stewart's pleased-as-punch expression early in the song also gave rise to a meme when it was overlaid with the text "Full of win." Which this video certainly is.

'Use the force, Harry'


Remember this quote by the wizard Gandalf? This meme combines Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to annoy/amuse fans from just about every major fantasy series in one go.

Picard song

The track began as a remix by DarkMateria uploaded online in 2001. The catchy ditty was then added to YouTube with relevant clips in 2006, and it's been viewed nearly 4 million times. The Picard-focused supercut romps through some of TNG's sillier and more thrilling moments. All together now: Cap-tain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Ent-er-prise...

Picard facepalm


One of the classic memes of all time. When humanity disappoints you more than words can say, all you can do is bury your face in your hand. When it happens online, there is the facepalm meme. And for those moments of ultimate stupidity, there is the supreme conjunction of hand meeting head: the Picard facepalm.

Picard covered his face with his hand when he was vexed to once again encounter the troublesome Q in season 3 episode Deja Q. The clip was uploaded to YouTube in 2007, and now the screengrab used to represent a facepalm moment is everywhere. It's been immortalized in memetic merchandise from T-shirts to statues. Even Stewart's best buddy Ian McKellen got in the action with a Picard placard at the 2017 women's march.

If a regular facepalm is a phaser blast, the Picard facepalm is a full spread of photon torpedoes. If a regular facepalm is impulse power, the Picard facepalm is warp factor ten. If a regular facepalm is The Best of Both Worlds Part 2, the Picard facepalm is The Best of Both Worlds part 1. It's the big one, is what we're saying.

What's your favorite Star Trek meme? Meme us up in the comments.

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Originally published May 22.