10 Greatest Star Trek Feel Good Moments

As Captain Kirk (probably, you never know) once said, "This is gonna be hashtag totes emosh".

Riker Troi Wedding Star Trek Nemesis
Paramount Pictures

In a future in which poverty, hunger, conflict, war, greed, money, bigotry, and discrimination have been eliminated (on Earth and in the Federation at least), all moments should theoretically be feel-good moments. Of course, no place is utopia – it's in the very etymology – but Star Trek gives us a rather optimistic ideal to strive towards, nonetheless.

Above and beyond its generally hopeful ethos, and outside of the comments that it has taken a (sometimes quite literal) dark turn of late, Trek has also offered us various unique moments of pure, unadulterated joy – from long lost sons to long lost ships, sporting triumphs, first contacts, and a good ol' wedding – that standout for having made us laugh, cry, or both at the same time, and which ultimately left us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

For this list, we have chosen one moment from each of the live-action Star Trek series and three from the movies. We love Prodigy, Lower Decks, and The Animated Series here at TrekCulture, and we certainly don't feel good leaving them out, but we had to start (and end) somewhere. Too many of these moments and our emotion chips would start to overload.

With those stipulations in mind, here are 10 moments from Star Trek that gave us all the feels.

10. Spock Hearts Kirk

Riker Troi Wedding Star Trek Nemesis

In picking a feel-good moment from The Original Series to be elected 'the greatest,' we certainly weren’t lacking options. A number of TOS episodes finished in a hearty belly laugh that rapidly spread amongst the bridge crew before the credits rolled. Who could forget the last second rescue of the Galileo seven, Scotty's drink by any other name that would still be as green, or, evidently, those troublesome tribbles!

There could only really be one choice amongst them all, however, and it's from an episode regularly voted as one of the best of Trek – various moments of which have gone down in legend and entered the collective consciousness. We're talking about the brilliant, character and culture-defining season two opener Amok Time.

Spock is going through the pon farr (hormones are raging, synapses blazing) and so is forced to return to Vulcan to mate or he will die. Promised for marriage to a certain T'Pring since a young age, the pair meet on the planet for the wedding ceremony, but the latter declares the kal-if-fee – a fight-to-the-death ritual challenge with Kirk as her combatant. Spock and Kirk then battle it out with the now famous lirpa and, by the duel's end, Spock is left thinking that he has killed his captain.

When Spock beams back aboard the Enterprise, he is expecting court martial for murder but instead gets the shock of his life; Kirk is alive thanks to some McCoy medical magic fake-outery (neuro-paralyser not tri-ox). Spock's immediate reaction to seeing his captain and friend again reveals his human side after an episode of pure 'Vulcanness'. "Captain! Jim!" he cries, beaming from ear to pointed ear. We were all smiling along with him.

Can I get a peace and long life up in here?

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Jack Kiely is a writer with a PhD in French and almost certainly an unhealthy obsession with Star Trek.