I'm looking for a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode where Picard encounters a life form (alien) who speaks in allegories (not Darmok). Instead of saying humans, he says "Being mostly made of water". This alien is amphibian-like. I remember this creature laughing.

I believe Picard is again alone on a planet with it. Again it is not the Darmok episode.

  • 2
    The amphibian-like alien laughing is most likely from Darmok
    – Valorum
    Jan 28, 2019 at 16:29
  • 3
    Obligatory XKCD
    – Pavel
    Jan 28, 2019 at 18:02
  • 6
    Was the term they used for us "ugly bags of mostly water"?
    – Verdan
    Jan 28, 2019 at 18:07
  • 1
    Presumably you're referring to this handsome fellow. vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/7/78/…
    – Valorum
    Jan 28, 2019 at 23:37
  • 9
    I wouldn't call ‘ugly bags of mostly water’ an allegory — it's a direct description (albeit a pointedly unfamiliar one), not using symbols or story or metaphor or simile or hidden meaning or anything but literal description. (Unlike the Tamarians in ‘Darmok’, who spoke only in allegorical reference and allusion.)
    – gidds
    Jan 29, 2019 at 0:56

3 Answers 3


I think you might have confused two or more episodes. The episode Home Soil (s 1, ep17) involves the Enterprise visiting a planet believed to be completely devoid of life, except for a Federation terraforming base. The base has been experiencing mysterious & fatal accidents.

The crew eventually discovers that life is present- but not organic life as we know it. The lifeform is silicon-based and refers to humans as "ugly bags of mostly water."

However, this creature is quite small, and definitely not an amphibian, so the episode does not match your visual memory.

  • 25
    It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it, not as we know it, not as we know it...
    – Broklynite
    Jan 28, 2019 at 16:13
  • 3
    @Broklynite - Man, I think you're star trekkin'! :-)
    – RDFozz
    Jan 28, 2019 at 17:11
  • 3
    Across the universe? Jan 28, 2019 at 17:11
  • 1
    On the Starship Enterprise under Captain Kirk? Jan 28, 2019 at 21:53
  • The creature isn't amphibian in the froglike sense, but it does naturally live in a sort of wet and saline layer in the planet's soil, if I remember correctly, so there's that.
    – Dranon
    Jan 28, 2019 at 23:04

Are you thinking of the crystal microbrain alien they find in "Home Soil"?

It's the only time in the series that humans are refered to as bags of mostly water as far as I know.

  • 4
    Welcome to the site. I hope you stay and look around. This answer could be improved by explaining why you think it is the alien from Home Soil. As it stands, a link to Memory Alpha and a YouTube clip make this a link-only answer that causes the questioner to do extra work.
    – Dranon
    Jan 28, 2019 at 23:02
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    And also causes the answer to fail later, when the Memory-alpha moves to a new platform that uses different URLs, and Youtube takes down the video in response to a copyright claim by so-and-so. Jan 28, 2019 at 23:20
  • Thank you. I've made a quick edit to improve the answer.
    – Cupit
    Jan 29, 2019 at 19:03
  • rats, the linked video isn't working for me. I need to hear "ugly bags of mostly water" again!
    – uhoh
    Jun 26, 2019 at 9:39
  • 1
    rats, the linked video isn't working for me. I need to hear "ugly bags of mostly water" again! this one might be used instead youtu.be/LAlqp0_a0tE
    – uhoh
    Jun 26, 2019 at 9:47

It sounds like you are talking about TNG: Skin of Evil. The being (Armus) is black slime, refers to us as water, and Picard ends up alone with him briefly.

This was a huge episode back in the day....

  • 2
    Armus doesn't refer to humans as being made of water. There's a transcript here if you want to check and/or find the quote you're referring to
    – Valorum
    Jan 28, 2019 at 17:44
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    This was a huge episode? I think for most it was hugely disappointing, at least. This episode essentially served a single purpose, which felt entirely forced (because it was), and that purpose wasn't the progression of any character's development. Also, pretty sure this episode isn't what the question is trying to find.
    – Ellesedil
    Jan 28, 2019 at 18:48
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    @Ellesedil - It had high ratings, was extensively trailed and is usually shown as being one of the show's seminal episodes (mostly due to the death of a top billed character). That says "big" to me
    – Valorum
    Jan 28, 2019 at 20:14
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    @Ellesedil: "and that purpose wasn't the progression of any character's development" - Well, Tasha progressed into the grave, I suppose.
    – Kevin
    Jan 28, 2019 at 20:20
  • 3
    They could have just had a normal episode and thrown Tasha down an elevator shaft like they did with Dr Pulaski... Jan 28, 2019 at 23:26

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