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  • Accidental Aesop: Some have taken the mind meld scene with Spock and Valeris to be a message that Torture Always Works. Of course this is also a Fantastic Aesop, since mind melds read actual thoughts, something Real Life torture cannot do.
  • Better on DVD: When you watch the film again, you can see just when Spock slaps the patch on Kirk - and see the patch, too. The Klingons weren't very thorough, huh?
  • Fridge Logic: When the Enterprise's crew goes rummaging through Klingon phrasebooks to respond to an incoming hail, why could they not just configure their ship's Universal Translator to provide a one-way translation of the incoming hail? And could they not configure it to provide an in-ship text translation of their response and recite that across the com channel?
    • Because Nick Meyer wants his books, dammit!
  • Ho Yay: Kirk and Spock are in the same film, of course there is. There's one particular scene in a corridor that was a deep breath away from being a kiss.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Only Nixon could go to China" gets used frequently in political discussions.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Christian Slater has a cameo as the crewman who wakes Sulu up in the middle of the night. At the time, he wasn't a major star and the scene was written for Grace Lee Whitney as Janice Rand; Slater only got the part as a favor to his mother, the casting director.
  • Special Effect Failure
    • When Chang is quoting Shakespeare as he watches the Enterprise fly past, the Enterprise looks like what it is: a model, right down to the scored detail lines and paint job. Especially jarring when compared to the other exterior shots of the ship in the movie.
      • Not all the exterior shots, in fact not many of them at all. This film's visuals of the Enterprise are completely different in style altogether to the other movies, and suffer by comparison. Despite using the same filming model. Especially rubbish is the "warp to camera shot" after Kirk says "Come on, I need you" to Spock.
      • There was also no background in the Bird-of-Prey's view of the Enterprise, either, just a completely black space devoid of stars.
    • The Klingon blood is depicted with early 1990s CGI in all of its imperfect glory. To be fair, it's been twenty years and the technique has yet to be perfected.
      • It's interesting to compare the blood effects in this film with "Barge of the Dead", an episode of Star Trek: Voyager which aired only 8 years later, to see how much CGI blood (and indeed, CGI liquids in general) had been improved.
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