In "True Q," Commander Riker is whisked away to a planet of some kind, created (presumably) by the Q, Amanda Rogers. Amanda wishes to be romantic, but Riker rejects her, saying that "none of this is real."

Amanda seems to admit to this, when she follows with

But my feelings are real.

Why does Commander Riker assume that the simulation isn't real? Perhaps in Season 1 this may be excusable, but by Season 6 it's pretty darn clear that the Q are extremely powerful.

Even in "Hide and Q," after being sent to the "vicious-animal" planet, Data remarks, in response to Geordi's questioning of their location,

Considering the power demonstrated by Q the last time...anywhere, assuming this place even exists.

Can Riker really be certain that Amanda didn't send him to a Voth planet, or a moon outside of Vidiian or Bajoran space? Is Will Riker that knowledgeable concerning every planet/moon/etc. in the universe? If so, how?

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    “Can Riker really be certain” — did you miss all the times Riker played poker? Jan 15, 2019 at 9:56
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    I think you take the "none of this is real" to literal. It doesn't matter really for Riker if the world is a simulation, if it preexisted somewhere in the universe or was just created out of thin air by god like Q powers. It's not something out of real life, not a natural situation, she is fooling him and herself, that what Riker means, IMHO. Jan 16, 2019 at 7:13

2 Answers 2


Riker is not literally questioning whether the setting is a real place or a simulation. He is speaking about Amanda's infatuation.

AMANDA: Don't you like me? Even just a little bit?

RIKER: You're a very lovely young lady. But none of this is real.

AMANDA: My feelings are real.

RIKER: I know. But you can't make someone love you.

The line you mention is a direct response to Amanda wanting his affection. He is dismissing her feelings as a one-sided infatuation, a hollow fantasy that won't lead to anything deeper. We can see this again when she echoes his line.

You're right. None of this is real. I thought it would be romantic, but it's empty.

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    I'm fairly sure "none of this" refers to the entire world in which Riker finds himself. Jan 14, 2019 at 21:18
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    @HamSandwich Why would whether the world is real be relevant? Jan 14, 2019 at 21:23
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    He even agrees that her feelings are the only real thing here
    – Valorum
    Jan 14, 2019 at 21:24
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    @HamSandwich I would strongly argue that it's the situation itself he's calling unreal, regardless of whether the place is a physical reality. It's a romantic getaway away from the Enterprise, but he both doesn't love Amanda and has duties and responsibilities to the ship that are far more important to him. It's a hollow fantasy created by an infatuated young woman. Whether the place was a real setting that she brought him to or just an illusion conjured from thin air is immaterial to that.
    – Kyle Doyle
    Jan 14, 2019 at 21:30
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    @HamSandwich Similarly, Riker and the bridge crew tasted the Q's power in "Hide & Q" and rejected it. Worf rejects his gift of a "mate". Wesley wants to grow up on his own. These are things they want to happen naturally, develop, and earn. Just like the romance.
    – Schwern
    Jan 15, 2019 at 2:11

The original screenplay would suggest that Riker recognises that it's too perfect. It's quite literally the romance scene from a (bad) holo-novel with just the right amount of moonlight peeking through the perfectly spaced gazebo struts deep within the world's least realistic forest.


in the woods, as Amanda and Riker APPEAR under its roof. Amanda wears an elegant evening dress; Riker is formally attired.

The gazebo's white slatted joints are intertwined with vines. It is night, and the few leafy branches that are visible are enough to suggest that the gazebo is deep in an enchanted forest.

Riker realizes that the very elaborateness of what she's now doing demonstrates the depth of her infatuation with him, and he knows he needs to be careful with her feelings.

You might also want to note that Riker previously was a Q, albeit only for an afternoon so if anyone could be expected to spot a Q fantasy environment, it's him. He also seems to have something of a knack for spotting when he's stuck in someone else's reality.

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    He seems to have a knack for getting stuck in someone else's reality in the first place. How does stuff like that keep happening to him? Jan 14, 2019 at 22:25
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    @MasonWheeler - Perhaps women are drawn to a man who's really just not that picky
    – Valorum
    Jan 14, 2019 at 22:30
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    @Valorum Women, men, other... Riker seems to subscribe to the "James T. Kirk" school of Diplomatic 'Relations' Jan 15, 2019 at 10:22
  • @Valorum Re "not that picky" link. Ok, that'll teach me to goof off at work and click a risky link from my cubicle. I should have at least muted audio before clicking. -_-
    – Jacob C.
    Feb 6, 2019 at 21:53

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