I remember a few episodes where either Picard or Janeway are negotiating with a potential enemy and lower their shields as a sign of trust, but I can't remember the episode(s). I remember the captain saying something like "someone has to take the first time, so I will. What will you do?"

Anyone remember of the possible episodes? Thanks!!

  • 3
    See also 0:54 and 6:00 mark of Worf getting proposals DENIED youtu.be/edflm7Hh3hs Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 1:18
  • 2
    Would you also be looking for episodes where they keep their shields lowered as a sign of trust, rather than lowering them when they are already up?
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 13:31
  • I'm not lowering the shields on the word of that mealy-mouthed popinjay. Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 16:55

4 Answers 4


This is from the TNG episode The Enemy.

Picard is speaking to Tomalak. From Memory Alpha, the dialog is:

Commander, both our ships are ready to fight. We have two extremely powerful and destructive arsenals at our command. Our next actions will have serious repercussions. We have good reason to mistrust one another; but we have even better reason to set those differences aside. Now, of course, the question is… who will take the initiative? Who will make the first gesture of trust? – The answer is, I will. I must lower our shields to beam those men up from the planet’s surface. Once the shields are down, you will, of course, have the opportunity to fire on us. If you do, you will destroy not only the Enterprise and its crew, but the ceasefire that the Romulans and the Federation now enjoy.

Emphasis added


An episode that could fit the criteria is Star Trek: Voyager S5 E04 - In The Flesh.

Captain Janeway has a tense negation with Species 8472.

However, it's not the shields she lowers as a sign of good faith, but rather, disarming the ships nano-probe weapons.

JANEWAY: One of us has to take our finger off the trigger. It might as well be me.

JANEWAY: Our defences are down. What will you do now? Blow Voyager to high heavens, or do we keep talking?

ARCHER: Their weapons are offline.

BULLOCK: It's a trick.

The "One of us has to take our finger off the trigger. It might as well be me." quote could be the phrase you're looking for.

Full transcript: http://www.chakoteya.net/Voyager/504.htm

  • Not an ST captain, and a more literal "trigger", but in Scorpion part II Chakotay holds a large gun walking into cargo bay containing borgs, has a moment of mutually pointing guns with Seven of Nine, and she says "Lower your weapons.", then quickly she lowers her gun arm first, and explains "We are here with your Captain's consent. It was necessary to sacrifice our vessel to protect yours. We have an alliance, do we not?" Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 12:18

You might consider this: In the TOS story "The Ultimate Computer", when the crew have disabled M-5: "Since Scott is unable to restore communications immediately, Kirk decides to allow the ship to drift with shields down, hoping that Commodore Wesley will realize that the threat has passed. The gamble pays off as the Commodore orders his ships to stand down at the last moment."


This motif also occurs in the game Star Trek: Bridge Commander (2002) in Episode 3. (Video.) The Romulans ask the Federation vessel (commanded by the player) to drop their shields as a sign of good faith.

Similarly, in Episode 8 (video) of the same game, the player can choose not to fire upon a potential hostile ship that they encounter that has its shields lowered.

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