In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “We’ll Always Have Paris,” what bodily function was Data about to say as an analogy to the Manheim Effect?

  • Not a 'bodily function' but possibly a mental aberration akin to 'déjà vu' from the French 'already seen'.
    – user62584
    Dec 29, 2019 at 6:11
  • 1
    The scriptwriters may not have had anything in mind to complete Data's statement; the point of Data's line was to show his tendency to launch into extraneous detail, which was served by him starting into some explanation only to be cut off mid-sentence. It was already done in "The Last Outpost" in which conversation digresses into flags and colors, prompting Data to begin a potentially lengthy enumeration. It was a mildly comedic aspect of Data's character which faded out over the show's run.
    – Anthony X
    Jan 12, 2020 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


It seems like Data was over-explaining what was happening in response to another captain describing the distortion as a hiccup.

Seems like that specific “body function” was never made clear in the show itself.

According to this transcript, this the entire context of the conversation in which Data attempted to make an analogy; bold emphasis in dialogue is mine:

RIKER: Captain, we've received communication from the freighter Lalo, as well as from a farming colony on Coltar Four. Both described the same time distortion. The Captain of the Lalo described it a hiccup.

PICARD: Hiccup?

DATA: Actually sir, that may be an incorrect analogy.

PICARD: How so, Data?

DATA: A hiccup is a spasmodic inhalation with closure of the glottis. accompanied by a peculiar sound. If we were to continue this analogy to a body function, what occurred would be best represented by a

PICARD: That's enough, Data. Have you been able to learn more specifics about the Manheim project?

So Data went on rambling, Picard cut him off and that’s that. One can assume any specifics past what was outlined in the show/script is just speculation.

  • 2
    It could also be Picard's somewhat wary of what might be coming in a kind of homage to the episode "The Naked Now" when Data started off the lymeric: "There was a young lady from Venus whose body was shaped like a..." Dec 29, 2019 at 11:00
  • I'm not disagreeing - and agree that Data would probably have gone into some inane not really useful details... however, just saying it could well have been a little "gag"/homage from the script writers Dec 30, 2019 at 4:48

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