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"Sure as day follows night, sure as eggs is eggs, sure as every odd-numbered Star Trek movie is shit."
Tim Bisley, played by Simon Pegg, who starred in the eleventh Star Trek movie, and noted the irony.

Various Star Trek series have collected various groups within Trek fandom: Some will love a particular series, some will gush about almost anything to do with Star Trek at all, and some will vocally express their rabid dislike of a particular movie or series, and present a laundry-list of reasons why it's the worst of the lot.

And then there's the Star Trek Movie Curse.

In a nutshell, the Trek feature films have followed a peculiar pattern: even-numbered Star Trek films have always done extremely well at the box office (with the exception of Nemesis). Odd-numbered films, on the other hand, have either failed miserably or still succeeded, but had a few glaring flaws that kept it from that coveted "top spot".

So far, the only films exempted from Curse are the tenth and eleventh, as 2002's Star Trek Nemesis sucked while 2009's Star Trek and its two sequels were critical hits. Though as of this writing, it's too soon to say whether the curse has actually been broken.

Two commonly proposed methods to realign the curse with "reality" are using the sum of the digits as an indicator, or alternatively including the Affectionate Parody Galaxy Quest as a Star Trek movie, inserting it between 9 (Insurrection) and 10 (Nemesis), as put by Sam Hughes. Another theory states that Nemesis wasn't good because it was a multiple of five, and like Star Trek V, was ~DarthWiki/So Bad It's Horrible~. This is followed by the excuse that Star Trek doesn't follow the pattern because of the interference of time-traveling Romulans -- besides, it wasn't made by the same crew as the rest. A third theory says that, because of Star Trek's departure from established canon and lack of any apparent message, it is "bad", and it (at least) follows the theory.

Michael Demtschyna, as noted above, along with SF Debris, have suggested the alternate theory that the movie is bad when any of the main characters sing. These are The Final Frontier, Generations, Insurrection, and Nemesis (with Chuck snarking that Star Trek: The Motion Picture doesn't contain singing only because it would distract from the boredom).

Examples of Star Trek Movie Curse include:


Live-Action TV

  • All the shows in the Arrowverse are agreed to take a dip in quality; sometimes permanent, sometimes temporary; when their third season airs. And if not the third, then the fourth.
    • Supergirl's third season suffered due to the head writer being let go suddenly due to sexual harassment allegations forcing them to quickly write something else (which the fans agreed granted the show a free pass) while its fourth was considered to be a step in the right direction. Legends of Tomorrow by contrast had a great third season and more critically viewed fourth one.


  • In addition, the odd-numbered Beethoven symphonies are the classics (3, 5, 7, and 9. 1, not so much), whereas the evens don't get as much attention.

Western Animation

  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic followed this pattern for a time. Season 1, whilst not considered bad, is often thought to suffer from Early Installment Weirdness and a very restrictive Aesop format. Season 2 is often thought to be where the show grew the beard (however, it had many more controversial episodes than the first season did). The 3rd season is the considered the most controversial and badly received so far (especially the finale). Then season 4 was mostly well-received (especially the finale). Season 5 broke this trend by having a mostly positive reception. On the other hand, Season 6 led Broken Base while Season 7 was very well received. Season 8 was then loathed while Season 9 was happily received so they inverted the curse if nothing else.
    • The spinoff Equestria Girls film series also seems to follow this pattern, with the second movie having a more positive reception than the third or first
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