Headcanon where the crew of the enterprise rediscovers early 21st century meme culture in the ship computer’s historical records.
Uhura analyzes the linguistic evolution of words like “dank” and “shitpost”, and eventually teaches the crew what they meant within the historical context so they can use the terms properly.
Kirk replies to all enemy communications with a troll face, which surprises and confuses them long enough to either attack or escape. Starfleet doesn’t approve at first, but once they see the results, they tell Kirk to go wild with memes if it means keeping the Romulans and Klingons away.
Bones puts grumpy cat pictures all over sickbay, which makes his patients ask if it’s his cat, to which he just looks up from his work station and replies “no, it’s ‘me as hell’.”
Sulu and Scotty get into friendly battles of who can find the rarest Pepes, which eventually leads to Scotty carving a 3D Pepe figurine out of excess dilithium crystals, and Sulu swears it’s not over yet.
Chekov proudly insists that memes were invented in Russia, despite Spock pulling up MULTIPLE historical sources proving that memes were illegalized under Putin’s administration, and that the majority of surviving Russian meme content was created by non-Russians to make fun of them.
Everyone expects Spock to write off memes as an “illogical human entertainment medium,” but being the huge nerd he is, he ends up getting very wrapped up in the philosophical discourse of meme evolution from what’s saved in the archives. The level of self-awareness people possessed in their counterculture mindset is intriguing to him, as well as how inherently anticapitalist the whole thing was. Spock eventually hypothesizes that the widespread, globalized integration of meme culture was what prompted future generations to reject a money-based economy and begin scientific innovation powerful enough to contact life on other planets. In short, memes were what led humans to finding Vulcans. Once phrased that way, everyone realizes that Spock would not exist if not for memes…and they never let him live down to it.