Even though Data does not need food or drink, many times it has been shown that he does consume foods and drinks. What happens to the food after digestion? Given that he was created as a "fully functional android", should we assume that he gets rid of waste in the human way?

  • 2
    Do we ever see Data eat anything. Occasionally we've see him sample a beverage, but usually he drinks his bio-lubricants.
    – Xantec
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 18:30
  • @Xantec I've been watching the series and I have a distinct memory of seeing him eat; I don't recall the precise episode, but it would be around the middle of season 2.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 18:55
  • 1
    "Data. Sometimes a cake, is just a cake." - However, he's not shown onscreen to actually devour any. This was Season 7, though, so it's not what @Kevin is thinking of.
    – Izkata
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 23:58
  • Data is invited to Riker's breakfast in, I think, "Time Squared." This episode does occur in Season 2. Though Data isn't shown tasting the eggs that Riker prepared.
    – user30592
    Commented Oct 28, 2014 at 2:07

5 Answers 5


I always assumed that since the food he digests is replicated it would simply recycle itself, he might even have had a mechanism for it (I recall him saying somewhere that he does have a "stomach").

I'm not sure if I got the idea from reading/hearing about it somewhere though :)

  • Well, he must have some sort of receptacle attached to his mouth as he does imbibe various maintenance fluids.
    – Xantec
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 16:09

Data's physiology includes a functioning digestive system. This evidently includes the ability to transfer nutrients from his "stomach" to his limbs and outlying parts via his "nutrient distribution net".

History doesn't record how he deals with any waste, whether he poops, removes food manually from his stomach bag (perhaps by vomiting any waste or manually removing the bag) or whether he simply destroys it with power from his fuel cell.

From TNG: Measure of a Man enter image description here

From the Official Trek RPG Game enter image description here


He is 'fully functional' and 'designed to be as human like as possible' so I think it's easy to draw the conclusion that he goes to the toilet just like the rest of us...

  • Maybe, but he doesn't need to sleep, which is a big missed check in the "as human as possible" column. So not needing to relieve itself wouldn't be a big deal to over look.
    – Xantec
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 16:07
  • Well if he doesn't go to the toilet it's got to come out somewhere....
    – user11154
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 16:34
  • 1
    He could atomize any waste and breathe it out.
    – Xantec
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 16:35
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    @Xantec He doesn't need to sleep, but he can. The same goes for eating. So I agree that the book was right -- Everybody Poops Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 19:00

I seem to recall Data's brain being discribed as "positronic", a possible reference to Asimov's Robot stores.

Based on that, in "Caves of Steel", Daneel Olivaw shares a meal with Elijah Baley. He later opens a section of his chest/abdomen, and removes a plastic bag which he then empties into the recycling chute.

  • 1
    "possible" reference to Asimov? No, not merely "possible"; absolutely certain reference to Asimov.
    – Anthony X
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 1:30

One thing we have to remember about Data is that he doesn't have any organic tissues, including an intestinal tract, where bacteria is stored to convert consumed food into fecal matter. Therefore, he does not excrete like a normal biological humanoid. I always believed that he had a power cell or some internal furnace that disintegrated solids into molecules, which were expelled via exhalation, or solids were molecularised to serve as bio-lubricants, much like the liquids he consumed.

  • 2
    This sounds very speculative. A credible answer needs to be based on evidence from an official source, rather than pure guesswork. Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 5:48

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