Unlike it's predecessor, which ran for only a few seasons, Star Trek: The Next Generation was able to follow the exploratory adventures of the starship Enterprise for seven seasons, stopped only by the notion that its chronicles would be better continued on the big screen. Much time and care was taken to develop the interpersonal relationships of the crew succeeding Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and all the recognizable torch-bearers of the Star Trek franchise.
As these characters sought out new life and new civilizations among the stars, they developed feelings for one another. Space was a lonely place, and a commitment to Starfleet often meant months or even years away from friends and family. The relationships that developed were either celebrated by fans or ultimately rejected, based on criteria of chemistry, personality, and character development. Here are the 5 relationships fans rejected, and 5 they supported.
10 SUPPORTED: RIKER AND TROI
The romance between Commander Riker and Counselor Troi took the entire series (and several feature films) to develop. They'd been an item before Will's commitment to Starfleet took precedence, and Troi didn't want to spend her life playing second fiddle to his career ambition.
Once they ended up serving together aboard the Enterprise, he matured in his attitude, and she learned to view him as someone she could talk to about her problems (and vice versa). They were there for each other, and learned that the romance that lasts requires a foundation of friendship.
9 REJECTED: WORF AND TROI
One of the most awkward and forced relationships on the series occurred between of all people Counselor Troi and Worf. It began in Season 7, when Worf experienced an alternate reality, and took root when he and Troi were placed together on an away mission.
The stumbling block of having to ask Commander Riker for permission to date Troi was just one of many cringeworthy moments in this multi-episode pairing. Worf's departure to Deep Space Nine inevitably saved viewers from being tortured any more.
8 SUPPORTED: CRUSHER AND PICARD
Beverly Crusher and Jean-Luc Picard have known each other a long time, ever since her husband was under a young Captain Picard's command. He had to break the news of his death to Dr. Crusher and her young son Wesley, ensuring they would share a bond in grief for life.
The series danced around the possibility of Picard and Beverly eventually becoming a romantic couple, and one-off episodes explored that reality with gusto. In their day to day lives, they continued to have morning tea and breakfast, consult each other's opinion on tasks, and share a deep respect for one another.
7 REJECTED: CRUSHER AND RONIN
In one of the most absurd romances to be introduced on the series, Beverly Crusher was involved in a relationship with a specter. She had finished attending her grandmother's funeral on a remote space colony (made to resemble 17th century Scotland), and once faced with dealing with the family estate, discovered a strange curse that haunted only the female members of the line.
After an episode devoted to creepy corridors, candlelit vigils, and jump scares, we finally meet this specter; Ronin. He tries to seduce Crusher, and nearly succeeds in making her give up her entire Starfleet career to be with him. Luckily she manages to resist and escape his thrall.
6 SUPPORTED: WORF AND K'EHLEYR
Prior to K'ehleyr making her grand entrance onto the Enterprise, Worf was the sole source of Klingon information. With her aboard, new facts about Klingon customs and perspectives could be revealed, especially through the perspective of an astute female.
K'ehleyer was only half Klingon, and embraced her Klingon lineage far more than her human one. She had known Worf since Starfleet, and when they reunited again, their chemistry was palpable. She was headstrong, highly intelligent, and could keep the stoic Klingon on his toes. Fans were sad to see her get so few episodes.
5 REJECTED: LWAXANA TROI AND PICARD
While Counselor Troi's mother Lwaxana "Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed" Troi was an amusing personality to have on board the Enterprise whenever she needed to use it as her own personal taxi, she wasn't a good fit for Captain Picard.
Still, they tried to dance around a possible relationship between them, though it was almost exclusively one-sided. Where Picard was private and dignified, Lwaxana was shameless in her sharing of personal information and crass.
4 SUPPORTED: CHIEF O'BRIEN AND KEIKO
Chief O'Brien and Keiko represented one of the most wholesome couples on TNG. True, the only time they ever got to have a little passion injected into their idyllic pairing was on their wedding day (when Keiko almost called it off), but what they lacked in excitement they made up for in stability.
The transporter chief and the exobotanist made a sensible match, and showed a different side of life aboard a starship, especially when their daughter Molly was born. It wasn't just the main crew of the bridge on away missions - it was also the bonds of family.
3 REJECTED: DATA AND LT. D'SORA
Besides his one-night stand with Tasha Yar, Data's only other major brush with romance occurred with Lieutenant D'Sora. They occasionally shared shifts together, and after a string of unlucky leads on love, her thoughts turned to Data. If men were so fickle, perhaps an android would make a better mate.
Data tried to accommodate her (he was curious about romance in general), and built subroutines to better facilitate being a model boyfriend. But he could never really care about her the way she needed him to, because she wasn't even sure what that looked like. It was better the two remain friends rather than awkward lovers.
2 SUPPORTED: PICARD AND VASH
It was while taking some much deserved shore leave that Captain Picard encountered Vash, a beguiling archaeologist on Risa, the Federation's "pleasure planet". Their shared love of ancient societies and pre-warp cultures drew the two together. Her fiery passion for adventure, sparkling wit, and apparent beauty drew Picard in immediately.
Vash helped reveal to fans a side of Picard they'd previously never seen. He could be giddy, excitable, and surprisingly warm, which was a treat to watch. Unfortunately she revealed herself to be a treasure hunter doing illegal tomb raiding, and while it stopped their romance at that point, it was picked up again in other episodes.
1 REJECTED: WESLEY SALIA
No on except adolescents took a shine to Wesley Crusher on the series, so shockingly no one was in a hurry to see him start down the path to romance. He was engineered by Gene Roddenberry was a sort of "Boy Wonder", and he fit the trope - he was irritatingly intelligent, and annoyingly right about anything he set his mind to.
Having a boy genius wasn't just insufferable for the other adults on board - it was difficult to imagine a teenager being allowed to serve on the bridge of the Federation's flagship. When a pretty young emissary comes aboard, his attempts at wooing her are flat and meandering, leaving fans glad when the storyline was dropped.