One of the most beloved characters in the entire Star Trek franchise, and captain of the Federation starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Picard became the symbol of adventure and exploration the way Captain Kirk had been for a generation before. And while he differed a great deal from Kirk's space cowboy ways, preferring a more dignified and diplomatic approach to captaincy, he embodied all that was good about Star Trek.
For all his cerebral fortitude and integrity, Picard wasn't infallible and made several mistakes over the course of the series' seven seasons. Some of his lapses in logic would prove very dangerous for not only the crew of his ship, but the universe as a whole. Normally a man of reason and rationality, he was as capable as Kirk of going off half-cocked before he was in possession of all the facts. Here's a collection of memes that celebrate the human side of Captain Picard, in all his illogical failings.
10 NOT A KID PERSON
It's a well-known fact in The Next Generation that Picard is not a "kid person." In season four's "Suddenly Human," we learn that Picard didn't really enjoy being a kid himself, sacrificing his childhood in the pursuit of his Starfleet ambitions. He was even turned into a child during a transporter accident and didn't relish being trapped in a diminutive body until the event could be reversed.
When he first met Wesley Crusher, the young acting ensign aboard the Enterprise, he wasn't very taken with him. True, he was somewhat sweet on his mother and used to know his father, but Wesley got on his last nerve more often than he helped him solve technological problems. So what does he do? Gives Wesley a bridge assignment so he can see the boy genius every day.
9 MATTERS OF Q
As annoying as Q, the omnipotent immortal was, his terrorizing of Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise provided no end of amusement. Most of it came from the fact that Picard got so exasperated with him, unable to get the intergalactic trickster to leave him alone. Of course, he wasn't exactly as forthright as he could have been.
When Benjamin Sisko, commander of the space station Deep Space 9 encountered Q, he didn't waste any time. He punched him in the face and never heard a peep from Q again. Then again, Deep Space Nine's early episodes might have benefited from more Q shenanigans.
8 RED-SHIRT READY
If there is one commendable thing about Captain Picard (we know, it's hard to choose just one), it's that he's immensely humble. Despite being the captain of the Federation flagship, as well as being renowned for his abilities as a tactician and diplomat, he is never known to brag about his accomplishments.
Captain Picard maintains his decorum despite being put in a color designation that meant certain doom in the original Star Trek series. In episodes that needed more dramatic tension but no main characters to die, unnamed crew members were fodder, always wearing red shirts. It was soon easy to guess who wouldn't survive in each episode by the color of the uniform they wore.
7 LOVE IS LOVE
In season three's episode "Captain's Holiday," Captain Picard finally takes some well-deserved vacation days on Risa, the Federation's pleasure planet. The entire ball is one giant theme park resort, but Picard is only interested in reading by the pool. He gets caught up in an unexpected adventure when he meets Vash, a fiery archaeologist that sparks his imagination (and other things).
Vash turns out to be a treasure hunter, fabricating a connection with Picard so that he'll help her find an ancient artifact she can sell for profit. When he encounters her again during an archaeological symposium hosted aboard the Enterprise years later, he throws caution to the wind and hooks up with her again.
6 LETTING OTHER PEOPLE DRIVE YOUR ENTERPRISE
While the Captain's away, leadership of the Enterprise falls to the second in command, which would be Picard's Number One, Commander Riker. If Riker is also indisposed, it would fall to Commander Data, and so forth down the chain of command. On rare occasion, it has fallen to Ship Counselor Troi, which ended in disaster.
In Star Trek Generations, Counselor Troi is at the helm of the Enterprise-D when she's forced to orchestrate a crash landing, having lost control of the ship. While taking her exams to become a Bridge Officer, Troi continuously failed to save a damaged Enterprise until she was willing to some members of the crew to save the greater company.
5 A LITTLE R&R
The holodeck was one of the niftiest additions to the Star Trek franchise, introduced in The Next Generation and included in Star Trek: Voyager and Deep Space Nine. It allowed crew members to experience any environment they wished, from their homeworld to a planet they've never traveled to. It helped pass the time for crew members serving years aboard a starship.
On the Enterprise, when Captain Picard wanted a little R and R, he initiated his program "Dixon Hill," inspired by who-dunnit mysteries of the '30s and '40s. like "The Big Sleep" and "The Maltese Falcon." Of course, all manner of gangsters and thugs populated those books, and so Picard was engaged in shootouts more than he was solving mysteries.
4 MIGHT VIOLATE THE PRIME DIRECTIVE LATER
Captain Picard prides himself on following the Prime Directive, aka not getting involved with other being's cultures (especially pre-warp civilizations), but he's been known to fudge it a few times for the "Greater Good." In one instance in season two, the Enterprise came across a civilization that was a small collective of clones based off of five original people. They asked for some material to diversify their genetic composition and not die out, but were denied.
Meanwhile, in another instance, a con-artist was meddling in the affairs of a highly superstitious people, and Picard's morality forced him to get involved. Either incident spelled doom for the civilization, but Picard would violate the Prime Directive where he saw fit.
3 CAN WE KEEP HIM?
In one of the most controversial moments of Picard's illustrious career, he allowed a drone from the Borg Collective to go free without infecting it with the virus Starfleet wanted to use to wipe it out. When the Enterprise encountered the crashed Borg shuttle, they had a rare opportunity to take Borg drones aboard and learn about them. One drone exhibited uncharacteristically individualistic behavior.
The crew took a fancy to the Borg, who seemed genuinely curious and less hive-minded than his brethren, and decided to name it Hugh. Since Picard has a thing for individual beings having their own agency, he felt infecting Hugh and making him a walking suicide bomb would deprive him of that.
2 HIS JAMS
Any episode involving a character from the original Star Trek series is cause for excitement on TNG. This includes an episode were Ambassador Sarek, aka Spock's dad, comes aboard the Enterprise-D for some important peace negotiations. As part of his visit, he participates in various courtly diversions befitting his rank as a formal emissary.
Of course, as is often the case with a series that was made in the 20th century, it features a concert with music that would have been of interest to people in that century. Picard arranges a Mozart concert which, considering Sarek is Vulan and that Mozart hasn't made music in over 800 years, is an odd choice (the writers decided Sarek "likes Mozart" inexplicably so it's fine).
1 REALITY CHECK
As the captain aboard a Federation starship, one assumes many roles and often wears many "uniforms," so to speak. Captain Picard has been a mentor, a friend, an inspiration, a hero, and a peer to so many crew members aboard the Enterprise-D that the title of "captain" almost doesn't seem emphatic or broad enough.
As a deeply private man, the crew often didn't know the toll that command took on him. He was a rogue in Starfleet, often clashing with its fundamentalist ideals, which made it difficult for him to perform his duties. Those outside of Starfleet saw captaincy as a cushy position, but little did they know it wasn't all sipping earl grey tea and playing the flute!