When I was in kindergarten, I got in trouble in class because the Lego airplane I was building fell apart, and I yelled out "Damn!". The thing is, I didn't know what I was saying - my parents hadn't yet taught me what the word meant, and were very careful to never swear in front of me. I think I picked up the word from Geordi La Forge on TV. At the time, I idolized and tried to emulate him.

I vaguely recall a scene where something was going wrong with the Enterprise, and Geordi was standing at a computer terminal trying to fix it, maybe in Engineering? Things weren't going well, so he said the word. What episode could this be? I was in kindergarten in '91-'92, it could have been a rerun though.

  • 8
    "Damn" was used quite a lot in TNG. A total of 111 times: scriptsearch.dxdy.name/… LaForge himself said it 20 times: scriptsearch.dxdy.name/…
    – Kevin Fee
    Oct 13, 2017 at 15:40
  • Thanks for the script search link, I didn't know about that. Twenty is a lot, and most of them seem to fit the description of Geordi standing at a terminal. Damn, indeed.
    – Kevin K
    Oct 13, 2017 at 15:52
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    I can narrow it down to seven if I only include scenes in Engineering. I'm thinking he said the word on its own, so it's probably Contagion, Tin Man, Best of Both Worlds, Identity Crisis, or Nth Degree.
    – Kevin K
    Oct 13, 2017 at 16:02
  • @KevinK - As I briefly said in my answer on Movies.SE before this same question was closed/deleted, in Contagion he said it in the turbolift, so probably not that one.
    – JohnP
    Oct 13, 2017 at 16:59
  • Can we get a year? Oct 13, 2017 at 17:12

3 Answers 3


From your description, I think you are remembering S3E6 of TNG, "Booby Trap". LaForge is working with a holographic simulation of Leah Brahms, one of the Enterprise's designers, to get the enterprise out of a trap. Quote from the transcript:

LAFORGE: Damn. Right back where it all started. Whoa, this is incredible. Leah, did you design this?


I hopped on Netflix this evening to review each of the seven candidates noted in the question comments. The one that best matches the imagery from my memory is in Best of Both Worlds, Part 1 (S3E26):


LAFORGE: Shield modulation has failed. They've locked on.


WORF: Shields are being drained. Ninety percent. Eighty.


LAFORGE: Trying to recalibrate nutation. Damn.


WORF: Shields have failed.
PICARD: Fire all weapons.

On film there is a bit of a pause between sentences, and he puts more emphasis into the word than the script suggests.

I didn't realize the word was used as frequently as it was in the series, so honestly it could have been any/all of the episodes that influenced me. Thank you all for helping me track down this important piece of my childhood!


If it made a mark on you, I'm guessing it was in "The Nth Degree", S4E19, airdate 4/1/91:

BARCLAY: Unclear. The interface isn't fast enough.
LARSON: Commander La Forge. Overload indications on Argus generator five, seven and fourteen.
BARCLAY: I can't do anything from here. I have to find a better interface.
LAFORGE: La Forge to Bridge. We're looking at a cascade reactor failure on the Argus.

It was quite emphatic because everything is going wrong and the Argus Array is going to blow up, before Barclay++ saves the day.

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