The Origins of Data’s Infectious Laugh in the Iconic ‘Deja Q’ Episode of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’

In a now classic episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled “Deja Q”, the enigmatic character Q (John Delancie) who, upon parting the USS Enterprise, gifted to Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) the ability to laugh for a few moments. Because Data is an android, he did not have much opportunity to feel human emotions of any kind. So when he burst out into a infectious round of laughter, the entire crew took notice.

Data Laughing

Spiner later stated that his real-life heroes are Laurel and Hardy.

I don’t really trust someone who doesn’t think Laurel and Hardy are funny …Data was very verbose, but many of his reactions were silent. I’m sure that a lot of Buster Keaton worked its way into Data’s stone face.

The influence of the legendary comedic duo is incredibly evident in this scene from the 1930 film Blotto.

Spiner even looks a lot like Stan Laurel, particularly when dressed up like him.

This incredible episode is also known for the Picard facepalm reaction meme.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.