Top Ten Star Trek Red Shirts

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Allow us to explain why this COVID-19 meme is funny… 

In horror movies, there are a few rules. For instance, do not take the semi-private car to have really non-private sex in front of a mad man. You never say, “I’ll be right back.” Unless you have a Great Dane who communes with a hippie in your party, it’s not the best idea to split up the party.

Redshirt characters from Star Trek

If you are a security officer for the United Federation of Planets, you change your shirt before you go traipsing on an unknown planet. What is worse? A uniform violation or spending the next few minutes of your soon to be deader than crap meat life regretting not looking like one of those pasty wussies from the medical corps? The decision is up to you. Because a Red Shirt in the Star Trek universe means you’re as good as dead :

A “redshirt” is a stock character in fiction who dies soon after being introduced. The term originates with fans of Star Trek television series (1966–1969), from the red shirts worn by Starfleet security officers who frequently die during episodes. Redshirt deaths are often used to dramatize the potential peril that the main characters face.

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The following people practically chose to be a Red Shirt statistic…

10. Ensign Ricky


Ensign Ricky appeared in  the second episode of Family Guy titled, "I Never Met The Dead Man." The plot consists of Peter knocking cable out for the whole town of Qhahog. During the time without cable, Peter becomes friends with William Shatner. When cable is restored, there is an old episode of Star Trek on in which the landing party consists of Spock, Kirk, McCoy and Ensign Ricky. Ensign Rick has been on the Enterprise long enough to know that this is an almost certain death sentence. Famously, Ensign Ricky remarks "aw crap." At the end of the episode, Shatner dies in an auto accident. Ensign Ricky is among the onlookers and says, "Wow, I did not see that one coming."

9. Lieutenant Stadi

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Lieutenant Stadi was a character in the first Star trek Voyager, episode "Caretaker." Stadi was the pilot of shuttle craft that brought Tom Paris into the Voyager crew. However, the alien Caretaker took the Voyager all the way to the Delta Quadrant in something called the "displacement wave." In retrospect, maybe it was not the best idea in the world to enter an area of subspace called The Badlands. At any rate, Stadi chose a really bad day to wear red. The displacement wave promptly displaced Stadi's soul from her body. The wave also placed Stadi in the ring of honor among fellow dead Red Shirts.

8. Chief Engineer Olson

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Olson was arguably one of the first Red Shirts, chronologically at least. In order to land on a drilling platform ( Star Trek 2009 ), Olson jumped with Sulu and Kirk. Olson waited to pull his shoot to the last minute and wound up in a beam. The beam promptly incinerated Olson as well as his red shirt. Kirk almost instantly saw the value in having a good friend as well as some random killing fodder on any landing mission. All subsequent red shirts owe a debt of honor to Chief Engineer Olson. At the very least, all of the ones that Kirk watched die.

7. Admiral Mark Jameson

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Let it be known that wearing a red shirt is neither a respecter of age or rank. Also, it can't be a good sign when you command a ship called the USS Gettysburg. Jameson's third strike? He just could not resist how good he looked in the color red. Mark Jameson was a character in the sixteenth episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called "Too Short A Season." As a young man, Jameson violated the Prime Directive by supplying two sides of a war. Jameson also procured a fountain of youth in the process.

Unfortunately for Jameson (and his crimson hued shirt sensibilities), he took too big a dose of the youth serum. At the end of the episode, Jameson actually dies of young age, becoming the first person to succumb to that since Jim Morrison. It's interesting that Jameson shares a name with the similarly doomed Walter Jameson from The Twilight Zone. Walter Jameson did not age, but met a bad end in The Twilight Zone episode "Long Live Walter Jameson."

6. Ensign Rizzo


Ensign Rizzo is probably one of the most popular stock images of a dead guy in the original Star Trek series. The episode was titled "The Galileo Seven." Spock took McCoy, Scotty, and four random warm bodies to the surface of a planet. A space cloud diverted them to the planet. The shuttlecraft they were on was titled the Galileo. Ensign Rizzo did not take the cloud too well and became the most handsome face of young death this side of John Lennon. McCoy, Spock and Scotty were okay and may have said during their weekly poker game, "Hey, you remember that guy ...what's his name... on the ship with the cloud? Hey, don't hog the Romulan Ale pointy ears."

5. Lieutenant Carlisle


In the original Star Trek episode "The Changeling," the Enterprise crew encounters the robotic Nomad. The Nomad states that its mission is non-hostile. Carlisle is a security officer whose white shirt got mixed in some dark laundry. When he politely reminds the Nomad that it is in fact going the wrong way, the Nomad relieves him of his duties ... as well as his corporeal form. Carlisle is horribly out-of-place and his potential was wasted. He easily had enough potential to become and Admiral worthy of being forced choked by Darth Vader in the First Galactic Empire.

4. Kaplan, Marple, Hendroff and Mallory

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In the second season of  the original series of Star Trek, there was a planet that resembled the Garden of Eden. The episode was called "The Apple." The landing crew needed an extraordinary amount of 'security personnel.' By security personnel, we mean horny teenagers vacationing at Crystal Lake. Playing around on the vacation planet takes down four of the honorable and quickly replaceable. Thank you for your service Kaplan, Marple, Hendroff and Mallory. Verily, we barely knew thee.

3. Captain Clark Terrell

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While commanding the Starfleet ship the USS Reliant, Captain Terrell mistakenly found Khan while looking for suitable planets for the Genesis Project. These events took place in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Khan placed a Ceti Eel is Terrell's ear which Khan used to control Terrell. Terrell, under Khan's control, succeeded in destroying a Space Lab. However, when Khan ordered Terrell to kill Kirk, Terrell simply could not. Perhaps Terrell decided that he just could not kill another Star Fleet officer. It is more likely that Terrell just had too much respect for a man who regularly had sex with green women. We know that we would. Terrell turned his phaser on himself rather than kill Kirk. The first thing to disintegrate? The Red Shirt.

2. Spock


Pop Quiz. Would not logic dictate that before you ran into an incredibly dangerous reactor situation, you would put on the blue science shirt? But noooooo, Spock had to keeping wearing the spiffy new red Starfleet digs. We all know how that turned out. The end of Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan with Amazing Grace on bagpipes and Spock getting shot out in a proton torpedo. Of all the decisions that Spock made during his time in this Star Trek, this one was the most human. By human, we mean "Most worthy of an NFL replacement ref."

1. Captain James T. Kirk

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Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy... you of all people should have known. When you go into a life-threatening situation against a mega-maniac willing to destroy a star to get his goals, you take off the red vest! Seriously, how many fights have you been in when you lost the shirt altogether? How did you not know to get rid of any trace of red? You were in the Nexus for eight decades. Starfleet thought you were dead. It's not like you were drawing a pension. Why are you in a Starfleet uniform at all? Why are you in a red one? How many red shirts have you seen gassed, vaporized, dismembered, flown into a beam of light, or otherwise randomly mutilated and this is your wardrobe choice? No sympathy. None at all. Enjoy that rock bath you got at the end of Star Trek: Generations.