One day, when I was watching some of the classic Star Trek episodes from the olden days with a friend, her little brother walked into the room. At that moment, Captain Kirk was on the screen, wrestling with a Gorn. The young boy took in the fight scene on the television, then said, "Oh look, it's Captain Pork Chops." His sister and I shared a quizzical glance, then burst into peals of laughter.
To this day, I have no idea why her little brother called Captain Kirk "Captain Pork Chops." Maybe he was referring to the weird karate chops that Kirk utilizes in combat more than his phaser gun. Who knows? All I could think about was how little sense it made to nickname the infamous Star Trek captain after a cut of meat.
However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that her little brother was probably a secret genius. Calling Kirk "Captain Pork Chops" makes absolutely no sense, but if you think about it, the character of Captain James Tiberius Kirk makes no sense either. It's like the kid somehow sensed the ridiculousness of the character and decided to label him with a ridiculous name in return. I know, I know, I'm placing way too much credence on the random words of a little boy. But let's just take a look at the character of Captain Kirk for a while. Read on if you want to see if Kirk is more nonsensical than what I'm currently hypothesizing.
25 What Prime Directive?
The Prime Directive is a mandate handed down to starship captains from the Federation. If your ship comes into contact with an alien race, you are not to assist in its growth or hinder its development. Rather, you are supposed to let the natural order of things take place.
Does that sound anything like what Captain Kirk does in any episode (or even movie) of Star Trek? Kirk treats the Prime Directive like a used tissue waiting to be thrown out at the drop of a hat. Why hasn't he been demoted already?
24 A Father Figure Except To His Son
Sure, Kirk is a hotheaded captain who is prone to random fistfights, but for the most part, he is also a reliable leader to the crew of the Enterprise. He guides them through their problems and aids them in their quests.
When Kirk met his son for the first time, you would think he would have assumed the same kind of role for the young man as he had for his crew. Nope! For the most part, Kirk leaves his son, David, to his own devices. Apparently, getting to know your own child is for lesser beings.
23 A Handyman For All Occasions
Normally, the running of a starship is left to the engineering crews under the direction of the lead engineer. On the Enterprise, the second officer is Montgomery Scott, affectionately known as Scotty. He is the man to turn to when things go wrong with the engines of the Enterprise.
When Kirk finds himself alone on the Enterprise (or on a simulacrum of the Enterprise), we find that he also has the know-how to keep the starship running. Specialization is not a thing of the future, it seems.
22 A Tactical Mind
In the Star Trek universe, Captain Kirk is known as being one of the most tactical of starship captains in the Federation's long history. You've got to be kidding me. Have any future generations of starship captains really analyzed Kirk's "tactics?" They're inane!
He goes it alone when he should take back-up, he antagonizes people who are threatening him, and he falls into traps faster than a meteor falls from space. Captain Kirk is the exact opposite of tactical.
21 A Crew Without A Command
This flaw is lays at the feet of every single member of the command crew, but since Kirk is the captain, the buck stops at him. All too frequently, Kirk places himself and his command crew in peril needlessly.
Landing parties should consist of scouts and security forces, with medical personnel accompanying them as needed. In no way should the captain, first officer, medical officer, second officer, and helmsman comprise a landing party. That's like all of the command crew in one dangerous spot. Not good.
20 Captain Kirk, The Drama King
Maybe my friend's little brother called Captain Kirk "Captain Pork Chops" because he could tell that Kirk loves to "ham it up." (Yes, I might be going overboard with the pig puns.) He would not be wrong.
Even if we don't examine William Shatner's acting ability, Kirk seems to adore dramatizing moments. Take, for example, that part in The Wrath of Khan when everybody is worrying about how they will escape the core. Kirk sent out a message to the Enterprise, but he didn't tell anybody about it, leaving everyone to writhe in anxiety while he calmly ate an apple.
19 Society Wrecker
Kirk does not simply ignore the Prime Directive. When he decides to interfere with a burgeoning society, boy, does he interfere. He has ended societies, weaponized societies, started societies, you name it, he's done it.
If there's a fresh society he comes into contact with, he messes with it.
How has Captain Kirk not gotten reprimanded by the Federation or Starfleet? Or, at the very least, how come karma has not risen up like a cobra and bitten Kirk in the form of a societal upheaval that messes with the entire galaxy?
18 Make New Friends But Keep The Old
I would not want to be a former acquaintance of Captain Kirk. He has a track record of losing old friends in weird ways.
In more than one episode of the original Star Trek series, a long-time friend of the Captain's would be introduced, and then he or she would find themselves in a sticky situation that either wounds them or turns them into possessed persons. The circumstances are just too unlikely. It is as if every time Kirk runs into an old friend, they're doomed.
17 Stop Time Traveling
The only people who should be allowed to time travel are the Doctor (who's a freaking Time Lord, it's in the name) and Rick (from Rick and Morty). Captain Kirk should avoid time travel whenever possible.
Kirk has 17 temporal violations, more than anyone else in Starfleet.
That means he has mucked with different timelines and dimensions. Sure, these make for some interesting plots. But the Federation definitely should have punished Kirk for that, right?
16 A Captain's Code Of Ethics
A captain is in a position of power on his or her starship. As such, a code of ethics should exist to protect the crew from egregious displays of power from the captain. Excessive amorous behavior, for example, is one such display.
Unfortunately for the crew of the Enterprise, Captain Kirk has been unable to curb his lascivious desires when it comes to the female members of his crew. His romantic liaisons should have violated some Federation code of conduct at some point.
15 Foolish Mercy
Despite his erratic fistfights that occur throughout the original series, Captain Kirk is actually a font of mercy. This mercy, however, can be deemed unwise. Oftentimes, Kirk shows clemency toward people who displayed nothing but cruelty toward him and his crew.
A good example of this is Khan Noonien Singh. Kirk allowed this cold-blooded megalomaniac to leave the Enterprise and form a society with the rest of his people. This bites him in the rear in The Wrath of Khan, years later.
14 A Strange Form Of Discipline
The leaders of different planets should be shown their due amount of respect. Well, that's what we all thought before watching Star Trek. Then we met Elaan, the Dohlman of Elas, the most spoiled person we have ever met. She was positively loathsome.
Still, that gives Kirk no reason to suggest thrashing her on her backside.
She's the head of state for her planet, for crying out loud. And this isn't the first time Kirk has shown disrespect to a societal leader he has encountered during his travels.
13 A Role Model To Follow...Or Ignore
It's ridiculous to think that Abraham Lincoln appears in a Star Trek episode. But what I find more difficult to believe is the fact that Abraham Lincoln is one of Captain Kirk's role models.
Now, I'm not saying that Lincoln is a terrible role model. Far from it. He deftly handled a disagreeable situation in a diplomatic fashion until he absolutely had to go to war. I'm surprised that such diplomacy is venerated by the undiplomatic Kirk, who would rather fight than talk on any given day.
12 To The Enterprise, With Love
Kirk has an unhealthy love for his starship, the Enterprise. Don't believe me? Just watch any episode of the original series where the Enterprise is potentially going to be taken away from the Captain.
He constantly refers to it as "my ship," and he honestly has no attachment stronger than the one to this hunk of metal. (Sorry for saying that the Enterprise is a hunk of metal.) It's quite disconcerting to see Kirk show more love to this ship than to, oh, I don't know, his son.
11 Cheaters Never/Always Prosper
Kirk's handling of the notorious Kobayashi Maru scenario and the subsequent results have always stymied my powers of logical reasoning. In both the television and movie Star Trek timelines, Kirk cheats on the Kobayashi Maru test.
However, he is not severely punished for it. In the movie, there is a student hearing, but the consequences are disregarded after a planetary attack on Vulcan interrupts them. In the show, Kirk is praised for his innovative thinking. He was cheating, you fools!
10 Survival Of The Furious
I have a somewhat steady grasp on the way physics works. I know that momentum is not lost, but rather transferred or conserved.
So when the Star Trek film shows me a young James Tiberius Kirk leaping from a speeding vehicle, landing on the ground, sliding for a few feet, but managing to halt his progress, the logical part of me wants to cry bull-turkey. But then I have to remind myself that this is a science-fiction movie, and the survival of a young protagonist does not always have to make sense.
9 The Destruction Of The Klingons
Kirk generates a fair amount of hatred for the Klingon race, even though for many of their encounters, he has come out on top. It is a form of discrimination, the fact that he abhors Klingons so blindly.
I think Kirk started truly loathing the Klingons after they attacked and stabbed his son. You know, the son that he cared for oh so deeply and never really got to know because he was so busy with his ship and his crew and his admiralty. You know, that son.
8 Piloting The Enterprise Into A Wall
Star Trek would have us believe there is a barrier encircling the Milky Way. This galactic barrier is an unseen force that prevents (or at least makes it extremely difficult for) starships leaving the galaxy.
Galactic barriers don't stop Kirk, though.
He ordered the Enterprise to attempt pushing through the galactic barrier. The Enterprise did not handle this well and lost power to her engines and nacelles. Kirk should stop trying to break rules, that's all I'm gonna say.
7 Mind Over Body
Captain Kirk has gone through the strangest of experiences, more so than the average Star Trek character and inordinately more so than the average person. At one point in time, Kirk's body was taken over by the mind of an ex...friend of his. (She was more than a friend.)
What followed was an episode comprised of a nonsensical trial where Kirk in the woman's body had to prove that it was Kirk's mind in there, while the woman in Kirk's body tried to prove otherwise.
6 Inter-Species Diseases
Kirk has had more connections with aliens and different species than anyone else in the Star Trek universe. (I'm actually just guessing this based on watching many Star Trek series and comparing and contrasting the smoochier characters in each one.)
With so many ...moments between Kirk and others, I find it nonsensical that problems have not arisen from them. There should be a slew of unplanned babies, diseases, and mutations in the Enterprise's wake.
5 Earth-Like Inconsistencies
I can't even begin to count how many times Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise discover a planet that is wholly similar to Earth. Granted, the budget of the original series was limited, as were the special effects of those times.
But I think I have to draw the line at Kirk and his crew encountering a planet that revolves around Earth's 1920s gangster period. Suits, fedoras, and tommy guns were all the rage. There are only so many times a viewer can take such Earthly similarities.
4 Kirk's First Contact Record
Did you know that Kirk holds the record for most "first contacts" in the Federation's history? Well, small wonder given how many times he has meddled in new societies while exploring the vastness of deep space.
The Enterprise's mission was meant to be exploratory, so it is no surprise that it encountered a lot of first contact scenarios. I do think it's a crying shame that the first contact some of these aliens got from the Federation was of Captain Kirk.
3 A Kirk Brand Of Diplomacy
Part of the Enterprise's mission objective is to explore space and encounter new civilizations. You would think a hearty dose of diplomacy would be necessary for this job. Hah!
Kirk spits in the face of diplomacy.
When Kirk is displeased with how things are running, he backs up his fighting words with fighting fists. Then we get that bombastic Star Trek fighting theme music, and we get treated to a strangely mellow wrestling match that is meant to signify a dangerous confrontation.
2 Flagrant Disobedience
Captain Kirk disobeys orders. That simple statement is true in nearly every episode of the original series. Whether he is discarding the supposedly all-important Prime Directive or he is actively ignoring a command from a Starfleet higher-up, Kirk and disobedience go hand in hand.
It's like the only authority Kirk respects is his own. If one of his crew members were to disobey him, there would be holy flaming heck to pay. I'm sensing a double standard.
1 A Friend For The Ages
The most nonsensical thing about Kirk is the sweetest. Despite being polar opposites of each other, Captain Kirk and Commander Spock are best friends. Where Spock is logical and calm, Kirk is emotional and hot-headed. It's an honest wonder how the two of them ever get along.
But they do, and their friendship is one of the cornerstones of the Star Trek universe. I know I started this list off in the most mocking of tones (and continued it in the same fashion), but I do love the series, including the irascible and nonsensical Captain Kirk.