Star Trek: The Next Generation Bechdel-Wallace Test Results

We’re finished running the Bechdel Test on every single live action episode of Star Trek! I feel like Troi, having just been presented with the biggest chocolate sundae of all time. I feel like Worf facing down a row of Klingons with pain sticks. I feel like Wesley the first time he’s allowed on the bridge. I feel like…well, this:

Picard smiling and holding his fists up as if to say, "Yes!"

I am immensely grateful to skadoo3 for her help running the Bechdel Test on TNG (skadoo3 also helped with testing Enterprise).

Let’s recap the conditions, shall we?

To unequivocally pass, an episode must have: Two named women characters Who talk to each other About something other than a man

As with the Deep Space Nine and Voyager results:

  • The first percentage indicates the result if you require that the two female characters clearly address each other, even in group scenes.
  • The second percentage (in brackets) indicates the adjusted pass rate if you include any episode where two women characters have back-to-back lines about something other than a man. This turned out to be much less important in Voyager as even in group scenes, female characters were often clearly addressing Janeway or vice versa.
  • An asterisk in the episode list shows which episodes pass under the second test but not the first.


Total: 44.9% Pass (51.1%)

Season 1: 40% Pass (40%)

Tasha talks to two Edo residents in "Justice"
Encounter at FarpointPass Troi and Yar exchange some lines about what Deanna senses at Farpoint.
The Naked Now Pass Troi and Yar talk about clothes.
Code of Honor FailAll the conversations between women are about Lutan.
The Last Outpost PassTroi responds to Yar about a tactical suggestion.
Where No One Has Gone Before Fail
Lonely Among Us Pass Troi talks to Crusher about Crusher’s wellbeing/Troi and Crusher speak during a hypnosis session.
Justice Pass Yar and Rivan talk about the planet’s justice system.
The Battle Fail Troi and Crusher speak, but about Picard.
Hide and Q Fail
HavenPass Various greetings, chatting and bickering between Troi and Lwaxana, Lwaxana and Mrs. Walker, and Troi and Mrs. Walker.
The Big GoodbyeFail
Angel One PassTroi and Beata negotiate about the lost ship.
11001001 Fail Yar and Crusher speak in the same scene but not to each other.
Too Short a Season Fail Crusher, Troi and Anne talk, but only about Jameson.
When the Bough BreaksPass Crusher and Rashella talk about the infertility on the planet.
Home Soil Fail Several women speak in one scene but not to each other.
Coming of Age Fail
Heart of GloryFail
The Arsenal of Freedom Fail
SymbiosisFail Crusher and Langor speak in the same scene but not to each other
Skin of Evil Fail Holo-yar speaks to Crusher and Troi but they can’t reply.
We’ll Always Have Paris PassCrusher and Jenice talk briefly about her health.
Conspiracy Fail
The Neutral Zone Pass Crusher talks to Clare about her medical condition (Clare also talks to Troi but mostly about her male relatives).

Season 2: 41% Pass (41%)

Troi talks to K'Ehleyr in "The Emissary"
The ChildPass Pulaski talks to Troi about being in labour.
Where Silence Has Lease PassBarely – Troi and Pulaski have very quick back to back lines.
Elementary, Dear Data Fail
The Outrageous Okona Fail
Loud as a Whisper FailTroi and Pulaski have back to back lines but they are talking to Picard about a man.
The Schizoid Man Pass Barely – Troi and Kareen talk about a distress call. During all other interactions between named female characters they are talking about a male scientist.
Unnatural Selection PassPulaski and Kingley talk about the genetically-engineered children on Darwin Station.
A Matter of Honor Fail
The Measure of a Man Fail
The DauphinPass Anya and Pulaski discuss the risk of infection
The RoyaleFail
Time Squared Fail
The Icarus Factor PassBorderline – Troi and Pulaski talk about Klingon culture and the relationship between fathers and sons but they’re ultimately talking about Worf, and Kyle and Will Riker.
Pen Pals Pass Troi and Sargenka speak briefly about going to Sickbay
Q WhoFail
Samaritan SnareFail
Up the Long Ladder Fail
Manhunt PassDeanna and Lwaxana speak briefly/Pulaski and Deanna talk about Lwaxana.
The EmissaryPassK’Ehleyr and Troi talk about what it’s like being half-human.
Peak Performance Fail.
Shades of Grey FailTroi and Pulaski talk, but only about Will’s illness.

Season 3: 34.6% Pass (46.1%)

Guinan talks to Lal in "The Offspring"
EvolutionPass Barely – Guinan and Crusher talk about motherhood, but they are mostly talking about their sons.
The Ensigns of CommandFail
The Survivors PassRishon and Crusher speak directly to each other in a group scene about an attack/Troi and Crusher speak about Troi’s condition.
Who Watches the Watchers PassTroi asks Nuria if she and Riker can stay.
The Bonding Fail*Troi and alien-Marla speak, but really just about Jeremy.
Booby Trap Fail
The Enemy Fail
The Price PassTroi briefly chats with Bhavani at the reception about the wormhole discovery.
The Vengeance Factor Fail*Marouk and Yuta speak for two lines in a group scene about Yuta’s plan, which is sort of about two men.
The DefectorFail
The HuntedFail Troi and Crusher speak in the same scene but not directly to each other and at least partly about a man (Rasmussen, professional context).
The High GroundFail
Deja Q Fail
A Matter of Perspective Fail.
Yesterday’s Enterprise Pass Crusher speaks to Garrett about her injuries/Guinan gives Yar advice.
The OffspringPassLal talks to Troi about fear/Guinan talks to Lal about using contractions, listening and bartending.
Sins of the FatherFail
Allegiance Fail
Captain’s HolidayFail Vash and Ajur have back-to-back lines but both talking to Picard.
Tin Man Fail*Crusher and Troi speak in the same scene, but not clearly to each other, and about a man, but in a professional context.
Hollow PursuitsFailTroi tells holo-Troi to “Muzzle it” but holo-Troi doesn’t reply
The Most Toys FailTroi is seen chatting with an unnamed woman officer.
SarekPassCrusher and Troi talk about the ship.
Menage a Troi PassLwaxana and Deanna talk about Deanna’s happiness, and then mostly about men.
TransfigurationsPassCrusher has multiple conversations with Nurse Temple/Crusher replies to a comment Troi makes in a group scene.
The Best of Both Worlds Part IFailShelby and Troi play poker but do not address each other/Crusher and Shelby serve on an away team but again do not address each other.

Season 4: 46.2% Pass (53.8%)

The Duras Sisters
The Best of Both Worlds, Part IIFail Shelby again has scenes in which Troi and Crusher appear, but none of the women interact.
FamilyPassBarely. Troi and Crusher talk, mostly about Wesley and Jack, but they do briefly talk about Venezuela/Guinan and Helena Rozhenko talk about Worf’s childhood, so mostly about a man.
Brothers FailTroi and Crusher appear in a scene together but only look at each other.
Suddenly Human Fail*Crusher and Troi have back to back lines but not clearly to each other.
Remember Me PassCrusher and Troi speak once about Crusher’s mental health.
Legacy PassCrusher and Ishara talk about medical procedures.
Reunion PassTroi and K’Ehleyr exchange two lines in a group conversation about the balance of power in the Klingon Empire.
The Loss PassTroi and Crusher talk about Troi’s loss of abilities.
Data’s Day FailCrusher is seen speaking to Juarez, but we don’t get to hear her dialogue as it’s under Data’s voice-over.
The WoundedFail
Future ImperfectFail Crusher and Troi speak in a group scene, but both clearly to Riker.
Final MissionPass Troi updates Crusher on the search for the missing shuttle.
Devil’s Due FailTroi and Crusher appear in the same scene but don’t speak to each other.
Clues PassCrusher and Ogawa talk about Crusher’s experiments.
First Contact Pass Crusher asks Tava if she’s a doctor/Troi and Mirasta talk in a group with Picard, but to each other at one point.
Galaxy’s ChildPassLeah Brahms asks Pavlik if there are files with the original Enterprise schematics.
Night TerrorsPass Troi and Crusher speak about the crisis on the ship and their roles in solving it.
Identity Crisis Pass Crusher talks to Susanna about her blood chemistry and reproduction.
The Nth DegreeFail
Qpid FailCrusher and Vash talk and so do Troi and Vash, but only about Picard
The DrumheadFailAdmiral Satie questions Crusher twice, but about J’Dan.
Half a Life FailBorderline – Deanna and Lwaxana talk, pretty much entirely about Timicin.
The HostPassTroi and Crusher talk about astringent/Ogawa and Crusher talk during surgery/Kareel and Crusher talk about love.
The Mind’s Eye Fail
In TheoryFailJenna and Keiko talk, but only about Miles and Data.
Redemption IFail*Lursa and B’etor speak in the same scenes but only sort of to each other. They are also addressed by a female guest star who is not named in this episode.

Season 5: 61.5% Pass (65.3%)

Crusher talks to Dr. Russell in "Ethics"
Redemption IIPass Lursa, B’etor and Sela discuss battles and troop deployment/Troi and Crusher also speak in the same scene but don’t directly address each other.
DarmokPassTroi and Crusher exchange two lines about what Dathon’s people are saying.
Ensign Ro PassGuinan and Ro have two scenes together and talk about Ro’s history.
Silicon AvatarPassDr. Marr and Crusher address each other directly for two lines in a group discussion about an attack. Marr responds to Troi about their mission.
Disaster PassRo and Troi talk about ship procedures.
The Game PassCrusher asks Troi about the game.
Unification IFail
Unification IIFail
A Matter of Time FailTroi and Crusher talk briefly, but about a man.
New GroundFail
Hero WorshipFailCrusher addresses Troi about a male child but in the context of Troi’s work.
ViolationsPass Keiko and Crusher talk briefly about memory in a group conversation/Keiko wishes Inad goodnight/Inad asks Troi a question in a group scene
The Masterpiece Society PassTroi asks Hannah to go for a walk with her.
Conundrum PassCrusher talks to Kristin about her injury.
Power Play Pass Crusher and Troi talk about Troi’s medical condition/Ro replies to Crusher in a group conversation.
EthicsPassCrusher and Russell discuss medical issues, procedures and ethics/Crusher, Russell and Ogawa discuss medical procedures.
The OutcastPass Soren and Crusher talk about sex roles. Counted because Soren identifies as a woman, whereas her interactions with other J’nai are not counted because they don’t identify as women.
Cause and Effect Pass Troi and Crusher speak to each other in a group meeting about voices in Troi’s head/Ogawa and Crusher discuss a patient/Ogawa calls Crusher.
The First DutyPassAdmiral Brand and Cadet Hajar discuss procedures/Brand has a short exchange with Sito about procedure.
Cost of Living PassTroi and her mother greet each other and talk about Lwaxana’s wedding and finances, in addition to conversations about men (Lwaxana’s fiancé, Worf and Alexander).
The Perfect MateFail
Imaginary Friend PassGuinan talks to Clara about grownups/Guinan talks to Troi about Clara/Troi talks to Clara about Isabella/Isabella and Clarka talk about grownups and friendship.
I, BorgFail
The Next Phase Fail
The Inner LightFailCrusher and Ogawa talk about treating Picard.
Time’s Arrow IFail*Troi and Crusher have back to back lines in a group scene.

Season 6: 38.5% Pass (54%)

Troi as Rakal talks to Commander Toreth in "Face of the Enemy"
Time’s Arrow IIFail* Crusher and Troi have lines next to each other in a group scene.
Realm of FearPassCrusher and Ogawa talk during an autopsy.
Man of the People PassCrusher and Ogawa technobabble.
Schisms Fail
True Q PassCrusher talks to Amanda about tricorders, a medical experiment and Amanda’s parents/Troi asks Amanda how she’s feeling.
RascalsPassLots of conversations between little Ro and Little Guinan.
A Fistful of DatasFail
The Quality of LifePassCrusher and Troi each talk to Farallon about her robots.
Chain of Command IPassTroi asks Crusher a quick question about her healt/Troi asks Nechayev if they’ll really go to war.
Chain of Command IIFail
Ship in a Bottle FailCrusher and Troi briefly talk, but about Moriarty.
Aquiel PassCrusher tells Aquiel they thought she was dead, and she replies.
Face of the Enemy Pass Many conversations between Troi and Torath.
Birthright IFail
Birthright II PassGi’ral summons Ba’el and scolds her.
Starship MineFailCrusher explains a plan/strategy to Troi but Troi doesn’t reply to her.
Lessons Fail*Daren responds to Crusher’s question in a group conversation where it’s not clear if they’re addressing each other
The ChaseFail
Frame of Mind Fail
SuspicionsPassGuinan talks to Crusher about her sore elbow/Ogawa and Crusher talk about work/other conversations are about men.
Rightful Heir Fail
Second ChancesFailCrusher and Troi talk, but only about Tom Riker.
Timescape Fail*Troi and Crusher have lines next to each other, but not really to each other.
Descent IFail*Crusher and Troi talk in a group conversation where it’s not clear if they’re addressing each other.

Season 7: 52% Pass (60%)

Ro and Kalita in a shuttle in "Preemptive Strike"
Descent IIPass Crusher talks to Taitt on the bridge.
Interface Fail
Gambit IFailTallera has a line to another woman but she is unnamed and does not reply.
Gambit IIFail* Tallera and Vekor have lines next to each other in a group scene
Phantasms PassCrusher talks to Troi about the rash on her shoulder.
Dark PagePassTroi and Hedril talk about heaven/Lwaxana and Deanna talk about a lot of things, mostly Kestra/Crusher and Troi talk about what Maques showed Troi.
Force of Nature Fail
InheritancePassCrusher and Troi exchange two quick lines about whether Juliana should know the truth.
The PegasusFail
Homeward Fail*Crusher and Troi have lines next to each other in a group scene with Worf and Nikolai.
Sub Rosa PassCrusher tells Troi about her mother and grandmother
Lower Decks Pass Crusher and Ogawa talk about Ogawa’s promotion.
Thine Own SelfPassCrusher and Troi talk about the Bridge Officers Test/Talur and Gia also talk but mostly about Garvin.
MasksFailCrusher and Troi talk, but primarily about Worf and Will.
Eye of the Beholder PassCrusher asks Troi about her visions/Troi also talks with Calloway and Nara but only about Kwan.
GenesisPassOgawa and Crusher talk about Ogawa’s and Spot’s pregnancy.
Journey’s EndFail
FirstbornPass Troi asks Lursa and B’etor who would want to frame them/Lursa and B’etor exchange lines in Klingon.
Bloodlines FailRhodes hails Crusher about a medical emergency but Crusher doesn’t reply directly to her.
EmergencePassCrusher talks to Troi about her visions and injuries.
Preemptive Strike PassCrusher and Troi congratulate Ro on her promotion/Kalita and Ro have several scenes on their mission.
All Good ThingsPassEnsign Chilton and Beverly Picard talk about what to tell McKinley Station, as well as orders during battle.


Add Yours →

I wonder if The Price was even watched. There was an entire scene of Troi and Crusher in ridiculous skin-tight clothing doing stretching exercises (in front of mirrors, no less) and talking about men.

Totally. But there is that super brief exchange where Troi talks to Bhavani about the wormhole. As mentioned in my intro post on the Bechdel-Wallace test, it’s a really low bar and the fact an episode passes the test doesn’t mean it’s a good episode for women overall. “The Price” is a great example of that.

It’s kind of…disappointing? I love tng with all my heart, and the female characters feel just as fleshed out as the male ones. But upon reflection, yeah, the main cast only has two women, and both are in more ‘traditionally feminine’ roles…a doctor, and a counselor (this is excluding Tasha, given how early she was killed off). Heck, thinking back, a greater proportion of episodes centered on them feature a mainly romantic plots with a man, compared to the episodes about male characters. TNG was pretty progressive for its time, and lots of it’s messages about diversity, peace, and tolerance really do hold up, but its disappointing that even with the Bechdel test setting such a low bar, only around 40-50% of the show passes.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, thanks for compiling this list! Must’ve taken a lot of effort. The internet wouldn’t be such a vast and wondrously informative place without people like you! lol

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