While so many fans love Star Trek for its deep questions, creativity, and complex stories in space, there's also a fair bit of fun in its campy melodrama. Hey, not every episode can be "The Inner Light", okay? And at the core of a lot of silly melodrama are even sillier romances. Some relationships are beloved by fans, others just didn't make sense, but none are as messy as the one-off episode romances can be.
Let's look back at some of the most horrific. There may be a lot, but the ones here really take the cake.
10 Beverly Crusher & Ronin
Possibly the most infamous and hated TNG episode ever, "Sub Rosa" was where Beverly fell in love with her family's personal romantic energy vampire. Thank goodness this romance only lasted an episode, because fans might have quit if it lasted any longer. The lovely but rational Beverly Crusher deserved so much better than a silly intoxicating green mist.
And worse, her crew-mates almost let her leave the Enterprise for this guy. There are so many fans who probably just prefer to forget about the fact Beverly and Ronin ever happened. Honestly, no one can blame them. Who wants to date their grandma's boyfriend, anyway?
9 Worf & Ba'El
Star Trek can get really weird about age difference sometimes and it shows. One of the worst cases, at least in TNG, involves Lt. Commander Worf and a young woman named Ba'El. Barely an adult, Ba'El was the daughter of a Romulan and a Klingon in a secluded colony of Khitomer Massacre survivors.
Not only was Worf a complete jerk about her heritage at first, but also, as said, she is very young. There was at least a good decade between the two and Ba'El probably was only attracted to Worf because he was the living promise of the outside world.
In conclusion, Worf should not have dated a vulnerable woman much younger than him. End of story.
8 Will Riker & Etana
There are few things worse than being targeted for promiscuity. Because of Riker's romantic ways, Etana and her people set their sights on him and used him to manipulate the rest of the crew. By knowing Riker frequents Risa, Etana deliberately ran into him there, piqued his romantic interest, and then got him addicted to The Game.
Without Riker's known playboy ways, Etana and her crew would've had a harder time trying to take over the Enterprise.
Now, there's no pleasure-shaming Riker here. While the relationship was manipulative and gross, fans can't blame him too much for just being himself.
7 Deanna Troi & Ves Alkar
Unfortunately for Deanna Troi, she tends to attract similarly empathetic men who just want to use her. The worst of the bunch was Ves Alkar, a galaxy-renowned mediator who put his skills above the lives of countless women. Connecting his mind to theirs, Ves drained their life force to extend his own life. When his current battery passed away, Ves latched onto Deanna and started wasting her away, too.
When Ves collapsed into dust, he deserved it. He never deserved to end lives for the sake of his work. What a selfish man, and it's worse to think Deanna was attracted to him and slept with him. Yuck.
6 Jean Luc Picard & Kamala
The worst thing about Kamala is generally her existence. That may sound harsh, but she literally was born to be the "perfect mate". Once of age, her personality would change to be the perfect lover for whatever man she imprinted on. She was meant as a diplomatic gift to a neighboring planet, but she spent a little too much time with good Captain Picard and imprinted on him instead.
Let's just say it was really awkward when he gave her away at her wedding.
While the age difference was weird, as was the fact the two actors went on to be Professor X and Jean Grey, Kamala's character was the worst part. A woman literally born to be a perfect mate? Thanks, Star Trek writers, for that problematic situation.
5 Wesley Crusher & Salia
Young love can be tough. Especially when your true form is that of a gelatinous blob and your crush is a jerk. Enter said jerk, Wesley Crusher. Despite living in a universe of aliens his entire life, he falls for a young princess named Salia and then is surprised that she has a different form that isn't so pretty.
Luckily for Salia's self esteem, Wesley apologizes by the end of the episode and the two lovebirds part on good terms. However, that doesn't make his complete and utter brutal rejection of her any less painful. She really deserved better, Wes. Seriously.
4 Tasha Yar & Lutan
In one of the most racially offensive episodes in TNG history, an African-inspired alien race visits the Enterprise with their leader, Lutan. While there, he's greatly impressed by Tasha Yar's battle prowess. So much so that he kidnaps her.
Worse, the episode dare implies that Tasha is attracted to this selfish man who is trying to force her to marry him.
Not only should that never have been included, but this episode never should have happened. But, since it did, fans can at least say it was gross to think Lutan and Tasha could be a romantic thing.
3 Lwaxana Troi & Campio
Lwaxana Troi was a beloved part of TNG, stopping in for wild hijinks before moving on with her exciting life. The first time she visited the ship she dazzled fans and left them wanting more.
So, having Lwaxana almost marry a horribly boring man in a non-Betazoid wedding is almost criminal. It's so against who she is as a person that it never should've happened. Sure, it's interesting to experience such a vibrant woman feel lonely and desperate. Especially when she seems like the last person to ever feel that way.
The only good way to send bland Campio off was by showing up naked to the wedding, honestly.
2 Geordi La Forge & Leah Brahms
Okay, when Geordi was trying to solve a dangerous engineering problem and accidentally fell in love with a hologram of an expert on the sbject, Leah Brahms, the computer conjured, that was kinda cute and unique. However, it was very clear (to fans) that it was all a fantasy.
That's why when the real life Leah Brahms showed up on the Enterprise, it was horribly cringey and awful. Geordi was extremely pushy and kept trying to make her be the person he met in the holodeck. While there were similarities, it just wasn't the same thing. It was even worse for the writers to make Leah forgive him when he was so creepy and deserved a restraining order.
1 Data & Jenna D'Sora
One of the most tragic and awful relationships is one that could've been good. At one point, one of Data's close friends realized that she had feelings for him. He and the friend, Jenna, started to date. However, things quickly went haywire when Jenna started looking for things in Data (spontaneity, passion) that he couldn't give.
Having someone fall in love with Data just for being himself would've been wholesome and shown a great angle of alternative love. Instead, the relationship ended by basically implying that it was wrong to assume Data can love in the first place.
Ouch. He deserved better than that.