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Memory Alpha
Alternate reality
(split 2233)

For the prime reality counterpart, please see Leonard McCoy.
"Space is disease and danger, wrapped in darkness and silence!"
– Leonard McCoy to James T. Kirk, 2255 (Star Trek)

Leonard H. "Bones" McCoy, MD, was a Starfleet medical officer serving in the 23rd century. He became the chief medical officer of the USS Enterprise during the destruction of Vulcan, serving under acting captain Spock and then his classmate at Starfleet Academy, Captain James T. Kirk. (Star Trek)

Early life[]

Doctor Leonard McCoy was born in Georgia, USA, Earth, in 2227. He was the son of David McCoy. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; TAS: "Once Upon a Planet"; TOS: "This Side of Paradise"; TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint"; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

This event predates the point of divergence to the alternate reality, and so does not differ from the prime universe. According to his dossier on the official site, McCoy still attended Earth's University of Mississippi.

The IDW comic "Bones" showed a young McCoy dreaming of being a pro basketball player when he grew up. He broke an arm while climbing a tree, which his father, also a doctor, splinted and later repaired. At the time, he casually dismissed the idea of becoming a doctor, as he felt he'd spent enough time in a clinic already.

McCoy on shuttlecraft to Academy, 2255

McCoy departs for Starfleet Academy

While at medical school, McCoy witnessed an extremely severe allergic reaction. He completed medical school and was a certified doctor sometime prior to 2255. McCoy was married, but endured a harsh divorce. Afterwards, with nowhere else to go, he decided to enlist in Starfleet. McCoy boarded the Starfleet shuttle for new recruits which departed from Riverside Shipyard in 2255. McCoy suffered from aviophobia and attempted to remain in the shuttle's bathroom during the flight, as there were no windows in that section of the craft. However, a flight officer discovered him and forced him to sit with the other passengers and buckle up. He sat next to James T. Kirk, who assured McCoy of the shuttle's safety, to no avail; the nervous doctor kept ranting to Kirk about the health hazards of flying in a shuttle. McCoy confided to Kirk his reasons for joining Starfleet, saying that his wife "took the whole damn planet in the divorce," and "all I have left are my bones." He and Kirk then introduced each other and shared a flask of alcohol as the shuttle took off for Starfleet Academy. (Star Trek)

In the script of Star Trek, McCoy was described thus; "At 34, he has a Southern lilt and looks like a prisoner waiting for the guillotine to fall." As of 5 November 2007, the script did not include McCoy commenting, "All I got left is my bones," nor introducing himself as "Leonard McCoy" to Kirk, though he says both lines in the final version of the film. [1]

IDW's "Bones" explains that after a young patient of his, Jenny (β), died from an incurable illness, McCoy dedicated his Starfleet service to her, as she had dreamed of being a captain one day.

Starfleet career[]

Starfleet Academy[]

McCoy spent three years at Starfleet Academy, during which time he and Kirk became close friends; Kirk was now referring to McCoy as "Bones", based on McCoy's statement three years ago that his bones were his only remaining possession.

According to his dossier at the official Star Trek movie website, McCoy was top of his class in anatomical and forensic pathology, and organized the Academy's first astrophobia seminar.

McCoy thought Kirk was mad for wanting to retake the Kobayashi Maru test, and knew Kirk well enough not to believe him when he claimed he was going to "study." Indeed, Kirk had gone off to engage in sexual foreplay with a fellow cadet, Gaila.

McCoy in Kobayashi Maru

McCoy in the Kobayashi Maru simulator

At Kirk's request, McCoy participated in Kirk's third attempt to beat the Kobayashi Maru simulation, serving at the helm station. McCoy believed Kirk would fail miserably as he had done the first two times, but he was surprised when his friend somehow defeated the simulation. Shortly thereafter, however, McCoy was among the cadets in attendance in the Academy assembly hall when Kirk was accused of cheating. As it turned out, Kirk had reprogrammed the simulation to make it possible to win. McCoy watched as Kirk faced off against his accuser, Commander Spock, the programmer of the Kobayashi Maru test.

Kirk's hearing was interrupted when the ruling council received word of a distress call from Vulcan. All cadets, including McCoy, were ordered to report to Hangar 1 for assignment. McCoy was assigned to the newly commissioned USS Enterprise, which had yet to have its maiden voyage. Kirk, however, was on academic suspension, which prohibited him from being assigned to a starship. McCoy decided to smuggle his friend aboard the Enterprise; to do so, he injected Kirk with a vaccine to protect against a viral infection from Melvaran mud fleas. The injection caused Kirk to experience the symptoms of the infection, allowing McCoy to bring Kirk aboard the Enterprise as a patient. (Star Trek)

Chief medical officer of the USS Enterprise[]

Stopping Nero[]

McCoy becomes CMO

McCoy becomes CMO of the Enterprise

After successfully sneaking Kirk aboard the Enterprise, McCoy brought him to the ship's medical bay, sedated him, and prepared for duty. Kirk awoke as the Enterprise neared Vulcan, and McCoy was horrified to find that Kirk's hands had swollen, an allergic reaction to the Melvaran mud flea vaccine. Kirk, however, was preoccupied with the notion that the Enterprise was heading into a trap, a deduction he reached after hearing Ensign Pavel Chekov's announcement over the intercom.

McCoy chased Kirk through the ship, injecting him with various medications while Kirk searched for Nyota Uhura to confirm his theory. Afterward, McCoy and Uhura chased after Kirk as the seemingly delusional officer ran onto the ship's bridge to warn Captain Christopher Pike that they were heading into a Romulan trap. McCoy attempted to explain Kirk's presence to Pike, accepting full responsibility for his actions, but Kirk was ultimately able to convince the crew that there were indeed Romulans waiting for them at Vulcan.

Doctor Puri, the Enterprise's chief medical officer, was on deck six when he was killed by missiles fired by the Romulan ship, Narada. McCoy took over his role and later received acknowledgment from Spock over the comm as being Puri's replacement. He later treated the injuries Kirk sustained while attempting to deactivate the Narada's drilling platform, and also saw to the survivors of the Narada's destruction of Vulcan. With Captain Pike captured by the Romulans, McCoy joined Kirk, Acting Captain Spock, and the rest of the bridge crew in discussing the continuing threat of Nero, the captain of the Narada. Kirk argued with Spock over their next course of action, with McCoy siding with Spock's decision to rendezvous with the rest of the Federation fleet in the Laurentian system. McCoy then laid witness to Kirk's attempted – and failed – mutiny.

McCoy and Spock's first argument

"Are you outta your Vulcan mind?"

Later, in a private discussion with Spock, McCoy voiced his extreme displeasure with the acting captain's decision to maroon Kirk on Delta Vega. Spock disagreed with McCoy's assertions, and when Spock left, an infuriated McCoy referred to the acting captain as a "green-blooded hobgoblin." Shortly thereafter, McCoy was on the bridge when Kirk – who had returned to the Enterprise via transwarp beaming – instigated a brawl between himself and Spock, proving that Spock was emotionally compromised by the mission at hand, having lost his planet and his mother, and could not continue commanding the Enterprise. After coming to his senses, Spock reported to McCoy that he was emotionally compromised and that he was resigning his command as a result.

Leonard McCoy (alternate reality)

McCoy conferring with the crew of the Enterprise to defeat Nero

In spite of his obvious support of Kirk, McCoy was still vocally incredulous when Kirk became acting captain of the Enterprise following Spock's resignation, crying out, "You've gotta be kidding me!" when his friend sat in the command chair. He reacted much the same way towards Ensign Chekov and his idea for beaming onto the Narada without being noticed after learning that Chekov was only 17 years old. Chekov's calculations proved to be correct, however, and Kirk and Spock were able to rescue Captain Pike and stop Nero before he destroyed Earth.

McCoy continued serving aboard the Enterprise after Kirk received full command of the ship. McCoy was on the bridge when Kirk assumed command for the first time. With a slap on the shoulder, Kirk advised McCoy to "buckle up," referring back to the first time they met aboard the recruitment shuttle. (Star Trek)


McCoy on Nibiru, 2259

Pursued by natives of the planet Nibiru

A year later, McCoy was on Nibiru helping prevent a volcano from causing the extinction of the Nibirans, all while avoiding breaking the Prime Directive. McCoy greeted Kirk with a docile animal as their getaway transport, but Kirk accidentally stunned it, forcing them to run and jump off a cliff to dive to the Enterprise, hidden beneath the waves. On the bridge McCoy listened as Spock, who was activating a cold fusion device to stop the volcano's eruption, asked them to leave him, as getting the Enterprise in range to beam him out would expose the ship to the natives and ignore the Prime Directive. While McCoy asked Kirk to consider what Spock would do in his position, Kirk opted to rescue him and ignore the Directive anyway. Which later got him in trouble.

Hunting down "John Harrison"[]

Later, Kirk was ordered to hunt down the traitor John Harrison, who was behind a bombing in London and an attack on Starfleet Headquarters that left many, including Admiral Pike, dead. McCoy expressed skepticism, believing his friend was too inexperienced to combat him. Kirk found Harrison on Qo'noS, and witnessed him taking down scores of Klingons singlehandedly, so he ordered McCoy to investigate the source of his superhuman strength. McCoy analyzed his blood, and found it possessed extraordinarily regenerative platelets, which he experimented with by injecting into a dead tribble.

McCoy and Marcus open torpedo

McCoy and Carol Marcus discover a cryotube inside a torpedo

In the meantime, Harrison was reticent about his motives but suggested Kirk examine the 72 experimental photon torpedoes Admiral Alexander Marcus had given them to fire on his location. McCoy was skeptical, but took a shuttle with Marcus's daughter Carol to examine one of the classified weapons on a planetoid. He accidentally activated it and trapped his hand: Kirk ordered him to be beamed up, but was warned doing would also bring an exploding torpedo aboard. Fortunately, Marcus deactivated it before she could be beamed up. The two then opened up the torpedo and discovered it contained a man in cryogenic stasis.

During his foray with Marcus, McCoy mentions having delivered Gorn octuplets by Caesarean section, though it is never stated when this occurred. The 2013 Star Trek video game goes into more detail about this incident (see the Apocrypha section for more details), but does not show the incident happening either.

Harrison explained he was actually Khan Noonien Singh, having been revived and forced by Admiral Marcus to design weapons and ships for a war with the Klingon Empire. He had attempted to smuggle out his fellow Augments on the torpedoes, but was forced to escape when his scheme discovered: believing Marcus killed his family, he responded in kind in London and San Francisco. Marcus appeared in the Dreadnought-class USS Vengeance and opened fire on the Enterprise when Kirk refused to hand over Khan, but its weapons were deactivated by Montgomery Scott, who boarded the ship during a leave of absence. Kirk and Khan allied to fly over and commandeer the ship, but a suspicious Spock asked McCoy to remove the cryopods from the torpedoes.

McCoy and resurrected tribble

McCoy discovers a way to save Kirk

As expected, Khan took the Vengeance for himself, but McCoy removed the cryopods so Spock was able to use the torpedoes against Khan, crippling his ship. Both damaged ships began hurtling to Earth: Kirk entered the warp core to reactivate the Enterprise's engines, but did not put on a containment suit, suffered radiation poisoning, and died. Kirk was brought to sickbay, where he lay dead as McCoy and several crew mourned him. When he returned to his desk, the tribble he had injected came back to life. McCoy ordered one of the augments removed from his cryotube and reanimated, but McCoy ordered that he maintained in a medically-induced coma. He and Marcus then placed Kirk in the cryotube, placing him in a suspended animation to preserve his brain functionality. Spock and Uhura beamed down, subduing Khan after he crash landed in the Vengeance, allowing McCoy to perform a blood transfusion on Kirk.

When asked why McCoy had Khan retrieved to perform a blood transfusion on Kirk instead of using the seventy-two other augments on the ship, Roberto Orci said, "Everyone is frozen, they could die if awakened improperly as Bones says, and Bones KNOWS John's blood works. He doesn't know anything about the others." [2]

McCoy later greeted a conscious Kirk in a hospital room as his attending physician, checking his vital signs and whether the transfusion had any psychological effects as well.

The five-year mission[]

Almost a year after their encounter with Khan, McCoy attended a memorial service for the lives lost, and continued serving on the repaired Enterprise. He was less than pleased, however, to learn they were embarking on a five-year mission. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

Conflict with Krall[]

In 2263, after a failed diplomatic mission, Kirk and McCoy shared a drink while Kirk discussed his reasons for joining Starfleet and how everything seems to have become "episodic." Kirk also requested of McCoy to not tell the crew about his thirtieth birthday.

Following the arrival of Kalara at Yorktown, McCoy traveled with the rest of the Enterprise crew to Altamid inside the Necro Cloud. There, the Enterprise was attacked by Swarm ships and McCoy, who had been on the bridge when the battle began, headed for med bay with Spock. After a brief engagement with Swarm drones, the two men boarded a turbolift, only to be ejected into space when the Swarm severs the Enterprise's saucer from the secondary hull. The turbolift was captured by a Swarm ship, but McCoy and Spock ejected the crew and McCoy took over piloting the ship. McCoy ultimately crashed the Swarm ship on Altamid.

On the surface of Altamid, McCoy discovered that Spock had a piece of metal stuck in his abdomen. Lacking the proper tools to treat Spock's injuries, McCoy removed the piece of metal and crudely cauterized the wound, which he states is only a temporary fix. The two men then began making their way across Altamid, attempting repeatedly to contact the Enterprise, unaware that the ship had been destroyed. While resting, Spock noted the architecture on the planet matched that of the Abronath and told McCoy of Spock Prime's death and his decision to leave Starfleet. McCoy became concerned that Spock was delirious after he laughed at one of McCoy's jokes. As the two continued, Spock admitted to having a great deal of respect for McCoy, who continued to attempt to contact the Enterprise before they were cornered by three Swarm ships. Spock was suddenly beamed away, startling McCoy who was beamed out shortly after the Vulcan to the USS Franklin by Scotty after Chekov detected McCoy's latest attempt to contact the Enterprise and used it to track him and Spock.

Spock, Jaylah, and McCoy

McCoy accompanies Spock and Jaylah to free the Enterprise crew

On the Franklin, McCoy took Spock to the mess hall where he used a device from the Franklin to properly treat Spock's wound. McCoy then took part in the debate over how to rescue the crew and was amused to hear that Spock had given his girlfriend essentially a tracking device. McCoy aided in the rescue mission with Kirk, Spock and Jaylah, breaking the crew out of their pens and helping them beam out to the Franklin in groups of twenty. He refused to beam the last group until they were joined by Spock and Uhura and the rescue mission was ultimately successful.

After the crew's rescue, McCoy used what he could find on the Franklin to treat their injuries and remained in med bay for the first part of the battle with Krall's forces. After Spock decided to beam to a Swarm ship to get their cyberpathic connection, he chose to take McCoy along as McCoy was both familiar with his injury and piloting a Swarm ship. Though McCoy protested the idea, he was beamed with Spock to a Swarm ship.

After taking over the Swarm ship, McCoy takes the controls of the craft, proving himself to be a somewhat clumsy but effective pilot. Spock was able to locate the cyberpathic connection, allowing the Franklin to use a VHF disruption signal to destroy the Swarm. Struggling to stay ahead of the exploding Swarm ships and arguing with Spock about Spock's backseat driving, McCoy was startled to recognize the signal as "classical music".

After Krall and three ships made it into Starbase Yorktown, McCoy followed them in his Swarm ship and attempted, without success, to intercept the three ships. On Kirk's orders, McCoy flew head on at Krall's ships, forcing them low to the ground towards Yorktown Central Plaza where they were intercepted by the Franklin. McCoy then attempted to figure out how to land the Swarm ship before Krall was revealed to be heading towards the Yorktown's central atmospheric processor. McCoy remained in the air during the fight between Krall and Kirk and recognized that Kirk won't be able to get out in time if he attempted to vent the Abronath to space. Kirk succeeded in venting the Abronath and Krall harmlessly into space and McCoy and Spock rescued the captain in their Swarm ship before he can suffer the same fate.

McCoy later lead Kirk to a surprise birthday party with the crew and wondered if Kirk really intended to return to space. Kirk had regained his enthusiasm for spaceflight and expounded upon McCoy what new wonders there were for them to explore. (Star Trek Beyond)



James T. Kirk[]

Kirk and McCoy at Starfleet Academy

McCoy and Kirk at Starfleet Academy

McCoy and Kirk met on a transport shuttle to Starfleet Academy, when the pair found themselves in adjacent seats where a slightly neurotic McCoy instantly opened up to the rebellious and somewhat incredulous Kirk. The two remained good friends throughout their time together at the Academy. When the time came, McCoy always had Kirk's back, such as helping to get him aboard the Enterprise after his suspension, and berating Spock for throwing Kirk off the ship and marooning him on Delta Vega. Despite this, he did not support Kirk's mutiny and was annoyed when he later forced Spock to resign command. Despite his friendship with Kirk, McCoy expressed shock at the idea that he was now acting captain, but supported him. (Star Trek)

In the script of Star Trek, McCoy was bothered by Kirk repeatedly calling him "Bones", at Starfleet Academy. In the film, though, he shows no such annoyance. An ultimately unused line of dialogue from the script involved McCoy commenting about Kirk, "One thing's for damn sure – that kid doesn't know how to lose. Just isn't in his DNA." [3]

The friendship between McCoy and Kirk in the alternate reality pleased Leonard Nimoy, who remarked, "The two of them work so well together: they were just so wonderful to watch." (Star Trek Magazine issue 145, p. 57)

Karl Urban has commented that more regarding the friendship between McCoy and Kirk could have been established in Star Trek Into Darkness. "McCoy's relationship with Kirk was completely inferred in Into Darkness," he critiqued. (Empire, issue 326, p. 67) By comparison, Urban is extremely pleased with how the relationship develops in Star Trek Beyond and has noted that McCoy's bond with Kirk therein "is not inferred – it's there, you see it. You see him being a supportive friend, a consigliere, even a psychologist in a way." (SFX, issue 276, p. 48) Urban also stated, "It's nice to have that really affirmed in this film [....] That's something I had been yearning for, to actually see the depth and meaning of his friendship with Kirk." (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, pp. 62 & 63)

The scene between McCoy and Kirk in Star Trek Beyond was inspired by the interaction between Dr. Boyce and Captain Pike in a particular scene from TOS: "The Cage", as that was one of Beyond Director Justin Lin's favorite installments of TOS. (SFX, issue 276, p. 47)


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After seeing Spock for the first time at Kirk's disciplinary hearing, McCoy expresses dislike for the half-Vulcan, calling him a "green-blooded hobgoblin." This animosity presumably stems from the fact that Spock is trying to get Kirk, McCoy's best friend, in trouble with Starfleet. On board the Enterprise, McCoy retains his animosity towards Spock, though he works with Spock as the new Chief Medical Officer after the death of Doctor Puri and the promotion of Spock to acting captain. After Spock ejects Kirk from the Enterprise for attempted mutiny, McCoy loudly berates him for the act after gaining Spock's permission to speak freely. During Spock and Kirk's later fight on the Enterprise bridge, McCoy stays out of it like everyone else but berates Kirk for his actions as he believes they now lack a commanding officer. Following Kirk's official promotion to Captain and Spock becoming First Officer, McCoy is noticeably not pleased by Spock's continued presence on the ship. (Star Trek)

Over the next few years, the relationship between Spock and McCoy only marginally improves though the two gain respect for the other. During the conflict with Khan, Spock requests McCoy replicate his accidental arming of an advanced long-range torpedo on all of the torpedoes as well as to remove Khan's crew from them, showing faith in McCoy's ability to perform a task that could destroy the Enterprise if improperly performed. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

During the conflict with Krall in 2263, Spock and McCoy were forced to work together extensively, starting with hijacking a Swarm ship during the Battle of Altamid. After crashing on Altamid, McCoy assessed Spock's injuries and admitted that though either of his options could lead to Spock's death, he didn't want Spock to die. During their trek across the planet, McCoy refused to leave Spock behind and the two were friendly enough to have a candid conversation about Spock's plans for the future and relationship with Uhura. Spock also admitted to harboring a great deal of respect for McCoy, something he had thought to be obvious. After Spock reveals that Uhura bears an amulet he can use as a tracking device, McCoy is amused by the idea that Spock gave his girlfriend a tracking device. During the attack on Yorktown, Spock specifically requests McCoy accompany him in hijacking a Swarm ship, feeling that McCoy is the best choice as he's familiar with the ship and Spock's wound. While flying the Swarm ship together, McCoy and Spock bicker and banter several times but prove to be an effective team. Working together, they play a pivotal role in the defeat of the Swarm and save Kirk's life. (Star Trek Beyond)

During the writing of Star Trek Beyond, concentrating on McCoy's relationship with Spock interested the film's writers, Simon Pegg and Doug Jung. Remembered Pegg, "We thought it would be nice to send them away together for a while, and have them butt heads, because they have such opposing views. At the same time, there's a deep and abiding respect they have for each other, which is marked by this banter – or one-way banter, at least – from Bones to this perplexed, trulucent resistance from Spock. We thought it would be really fun to have them exist in the same space, and see what that did, what effect that has on a situation. Doug and I had the most fun writing for those two characters." Jung offered, "You [usually] have the emotional represented in McCoy, and the rational represented in Spock, and they're both a little like the angel and the devil on Kirk's shoulder. But in isolating those two, it becomes the greatest odd couple storyline that you could have." (Star Trek Magazine issue 184, p. 18) The film's director, Justin Lin, also very much wanted to see what would happen if McCoy became isolated with Spock, away from Kirk. (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, p. 9)

For McCoy actor Karl Urban, the character's scenes with Spock in Star Trek Beyond were absolutely delightful. "I was probably most thrilled with my scenes in the film opposite Spock, who I spend quite a lot of the movie with," he enthused. "That's a great pairing [....] The wonderful thing about pairing those two together is they are diametrically opposed to each other in their perspectives – cultural, historical, and as beings. Their relationship is taken to a new level [in Star Trek Beyond] – a level I don't believe we've seen before in Star Trek [....] The relationship with Spock develops wonderfully [in the film]. There's a deeper understanding between the two characters as a result of their experience." (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, pp. 60 & 62) Spock actor Zachary Quinto likewise approved of both the relationship between those two characters, as well as how it is depicted in Star Trek Beyond. (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, p. 34)

Romantic relationships[]


McCoy was married prior to enrolling in Starfleet Academy. His divorce from her prompted him to join, given that he felt she had gotten everything in the ensuing settlement – "the whole damn planet", in his words – and left him with nothing but his bones. (Star Trek)

Pam and leonard
The IDW comic "Bones" establishes her name as Pamela Branch (β) and reveals that they met when he "cured" her of an ice cream headache. Though initially happily married, they eventually grew apart as a result of their careers going in different directions. Among the items she got in the settlement were their house, their cars, and a piece of "weird" (according to his father) Vulcan art that McCoy never cared for.

Carol Marcus[]

McCoy and Carol Marcus

Marcus rebuffs McCoy's awkward advances

McCoy awkwardly flirted with Dr. Marcus while helping her disassemble one of the advanced long-range torpedoes, much to Kirk's annoyance. Marcus ignored his overtures, choosing instead to focus on the task at hand. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

In the Star Trek: Starfleet Academy novel The Gemini Agent, he appears interested in a Starfleet Intelligence officer named Samarra Caan (β), while The Assassination Game has McCoy taking an interest in a fellow cadet named Nadja Luther (β).

The IDW Star Trek: Ongoing comic "Where No Man Has Gone Before, Part 1" credits the alternate reality counterpart of Elizabeth Dehner (β)'s decision not to transfer to the Enterprise to an awkward former relationship with McCoy, thus sparing her the same fate as Gary Mitchell (β), unlike her prime universe counterpart.

Key dates[]

Memorable quotes[]

"I don't need a doctor, damn it! I am a doctor!"

- Leonard McCoy, being forced to his seat from the bathroom of the cadet shuttle at Riverside Shipyard (Star Trek)

"I suffer from aviophobia. It means fear of dying in something that flies!"

- Leonard McCoy (Star Trek)

"I might throw up on you."

- Leonard McCoy to James T. Kirk, in the shuttle just before liftoff. (Star Trek)

"Don't pander to me, kid. One tiny crack in the hull and our blood boils in thirteen seconds. A solar flare might crop up, cook us in our seats. And wait 'til you're sitting pretty with a case of Andorian shingles. See if you're still so relaxed when your eyeballs are bleeding! Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence."
"Well, I hate to break this to you, but Starfleet operates in space."
"Yeah. Well, I got nowhere else to go, the ex-wife took the whole damn planet in the divorce. All I got left is my bones."

- Leonard McCoy and James T. Kirk, about the safety of their shuttlecraft and why McCoy enlisted in Starfleet. (Star Trek)

"Who was that pointy-eared bastard?"
"I don't know. But I like him."

- Kirk and McCoy, after meeting Spock for the first time (Star Trek)

"I might throw up on you."

- James T. Kirk to Leonard McCoy, in the shuttle on the way to the Enterprise, after McCoy had injected him with the Melvaran mud flea vaccine. (Star Trek)

"Damn it, man, I'm a doctor, not a physicist!"

- Leonard McCoy, in response to Spock's explanation of Nero's origins. (Star Trek)

"Are you out of your Vulcan mind? Are you making a logical choice sending Kirk away? Probably. But the right one? You know, back home we have a saying: If you're gonna ride in the Kentucky Derby, you don't leave your prize stallion in the stable.""

- Leonard McCoy to Spock, discussing Spock's marooning of Kirk on Delta Vega. (Star Trek)

"Green-blooded hobgoblin."

- Leonard McCoy, about Spock. (Star Trek)

"Well congratulations Jim. Now we've got no captain and no goddam first officer to replace him!"
"Yeah we do."
"Pike made him first officer."
"You've got be kidding me!"
"Thanks for the support."

- Leonard McCoy, Jim Kirk and Hikaru Sulu after Kirk forces Spock to resign. (Star Trek)

"Same ship, different day."

- Leonard McCoy after Kirk backslaps him (deleted scene, Casting DVD featurette)

"Damn it Man, that was our ride! You just stunned our ride."

- Leonard McCoy to James Kirk when Kirk stuns a Nibrian mammal (Star Trek Into Darkness)

"Jim, you're not actually going down there, are you? You don't rob a bank when the getaway car has a flat tire."

- Leonard McCoy, in response to Kirk going down to Qo'nos to find John Harrison (Star Trek Into Darkness)

"Jim, wait. You just sat that man down at a high stakes poker game with no cards and told him to bluff. Now Sulu's a good man but he's no captain."
"Well for the next two hours he is... and enough with the metaphors alright? That's an order."

- Leonard McCoy and James Kirk on putting Sulu in command (Star Trek Into Darkness)

"Mr. Sulu... remind me never to piss you off."

- Leonard McCoy, reacting to the tone of Sulu's warning message to John Harrison. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

"Are you out of your corn fed mind?!"

- Leonard McCoy to James T. Kirk on opening up a torpedo. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

"You know, when I dreamed about being stuck on a deserted planet with a gorgeous woman, there was no torpedo."

- Leonard McCoy to James T. Kirk on working with Dr. Carol Marcus.

"Sweetheart, I once performed an emergency C-section on a pregnant Gorn; octuplets and let me tell you those little bastards bite ."

- Leonard McCoy to Carol Marcus on opening up a torpedo. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

"Damn it, man, I'm a doctor, not a torpedo technician!"

- Leonard McCoy, in response to Spock asking him to do surgery on a torpedo. (Star Trek Into Darkness)

"Don't be so melodramatic. You were barely dead."

- Leonard McCoy, after Kirk regains consciousness (Star Trek Into Darkness)

"Five years in space. God help me."

- Leonard McCoy on the Five Year Mission (Star Trek Into Darkness)

"To perfect eyesight and a full head of hair."

- Leonard McCoy making a toast to James Kirk a few days before his birthday. (Star Trek Beyond)

"It looks like a giant snowglobe in space just waiting to break."

- Leonard McCoy regarding the look of Starbase Yorktown. (Star Trek Beyond)

"You guys break up? What'd you do?"
"A typically reductive inquiry, doctor."
"You know Spock, if an Earth girl says, uh, "It's me, not you", it's definitely you."

- Leonard McCoy to Spock after witnessing Spock and Uhura end their relationship at Yorktown. (Star Trek Beyond)

"Leaving me behind will significantly increase your chances of survival, Doctor."
"Well that's damn chivalrous of you, but completely out of the question."
"It is imperative that you locate any surviving crew."
"Here I was thinking you cared."
"Of course I care, Leonard. I always assumed my respect for you was clear. The dialogue we have had across the years has always..."
"It's okay, Spock. You don't have to say it."
[McCoy and Spock are surrounded by three of Krall's drone ships]
"Well, at least I won't die alone"
[Spock is beamed out from behind McCoy]
"Well that's just typical."

- Spock and McCoy (Star Trek Beyond)


-Leonard McCoy to Krall's Drone ships before being transported away. (Star Trek Beyond)

"Next time you have a piece of pipe stuck in your transverse... call a plumber."

- Leonard McCoy to Spock (Star Trek Beyond)

"Damn it Jim! I'm a doctor, not a..."

- Leonard McCoy to James T. Kirk before McCoy and Spock are Beamed away. (Star Trek Beyond)

"Damn backseat driver!"

- Leonard McCoy on Spock's guidance of the Swarm ship. (Star Trek Beyond)

"You really want to head back out there, huh?"

- Leonard McCoy, to Kirk and Spock while viewing the USS Enterprise-A under construction at Yorktown. (Star Trek Beyond)



Background information[]

STID McCoy poster

Urban as McCoy in a US poster promoting Star Trek Into Darkness

Leonard McCoy was played by Karl Urban. In the audio commentary for the film Star Trek, J.J. Abrams stated that the "Bones" line was not actually in the script, but was an on-set improvisation by Urban, a Star Trek fan long before being cast in the film. Urban himself said of McCoy, "'"It's his point of view that I love, and his expression of character. I've been pretty blessed with some fantastic dialogue, particularly from the first film. I had such amazing lines as, 'Space is full of disease and danger, wrapped in darkness and silence.'" (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, p. 63)

Karl Urban felt disappointed about the extent to which McCoy is featured in Star Trek Into Darkness. "There wasn't anything for me to do," he complained. (Empire, issue 326, p. 67) Scotty actor Simon Pegg agreed, "We didn't really hear much from Bones in [the film]." (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, p. 77)

During filming of Star Trek Into Darkness, Urban became concerned McCoy's lines were making him "some [kind of] metaphor man"; J.J. Abrams' response was to add the line where Kirk orders him to stop using metaphors. Urban's personal favorite of McCoy's metaphors was "You don't rob a bank when the getaway car has a flat tire." [4]

Karl Urban's reaction to McCoy's limited involvement in Star Trek Into Darkness influenced him when he was asked to reprise the role of McCoy in the next film, Star Trek Beyond. "I was actually on the fence about committing to this movie," he related. "Unless I had a function and purpose in this film, what's the point of me being there?" (Empire, issue 326, p. 67) A conversation with Justin Lin, who was due to direct the movie, persuaded the actor to indeed appear in it as McCoy. "It became clear McCoy was going to have a valid function in this film," Urban continued. "That's something I had been yearning for, to [...] further develop and cement his role." (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, p. 63) Other factors that convinced Urban to appear in the movie were that McCoy's relationships with Kirk and with Spock would be explored therein. (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, p. 63; Empire, issue 326, p. 67)

As co-writer of Star Trek Beyond, Simon Pegg was thrilled to script dialogue for McCoy, who he described as "such an interesting character." "Bones is really fun to write for, just because he's so straight-talking, he uses a lot of metaphors, and his 'Southern charm' is loads of fun," Pegg remarked. (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, pp. 74 & 77) The character's dialogue in Star Trek Beyond deliberately included some call-backs to previous statements made by the McCoy of the prime universe. "There are a couple of moments of dialogue, a couple of McCoy expressions, that we just took as his parlance," admitted Pegg. "Like 'in a pig’s eye' from the end of 'Amok Time[!]', and we thought, if that's in his parlance, he can say it in this movie. So there were little things that I think fans will go, 'I know that!'" (The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years, p. 812)

Karl Urban thoroughly enjoyed helping craft the depiction of McCoy in Star Trek Beyond, later commenting, "I had a fantastic time collaborating with Doug [Jung] and Simon [Pegg] to deliver what we believe to be some truly quintessential Bones beats." (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, p. 60) Indeed, Urban was proud of their results. "There's a lot more McCoy in this movie than probably the last two movies combined," he observed. (SFX, issue 276, p. 48) The actor particularly liked performing McCoy's duration on Altamid, despite additionally enjoying the time he spent on the bridge of the Enterprise. "I was [also] very excited I got to 'beam' in this film, which I didn't get to do in the previous two," Urban commented. (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, p. 60)

Justin Lin likewise appreciated the chance to help develop McCoy. "On a personal note, with Karl [Urban] I had so much fun," Lin enthused. "Because Bones was my favorite growing up. So to be able to re-engineer Bones, and to see where he is today but then at the same time how he would interact with challenges and how that would shape who he is and evolve him... That was part of the joy [of making Beyond]." (SFX, issue 276, p. 49)


Female Bones IDW

His female counterpart

In the novelization of Star Trek, as McCoy nervously watches Kirk, Spock and Pike beaming back from the Narada, a throwaway line states that he is never confident about transporter use, establishing that he hates the device just like his counterpart does.

The novel More Beautiful Than Death establishes that Bones' father died while he was in medical school.

The opening issue of IDW's Star Trek comic series – the first half of an alternate reality re-imagining of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" – reveals that McCoy had a prior relationship with Dr. Elizabeth Dehner; it ended badly, and relations still so strained that she withdraws a transfer to the Enterprise after discovering McCoy is aboard. This turn of events is fortuitous for Dehner, as therefore, unlike Gary Mitchell, her fatal encounter with the galactic barrier never takes place.

McCoy is also the protagonist of issue 17, which recounts his backstory, suggesting that his reasons for joining Starfleet were a combination of his failed marriage and as a tribute to a little girl named "Jenny" who died under his care (she had expressed a desire to join Starfleet when she grew up.). His wife's name in the issue is given as Pamela Branch.

The virtual collectible card battle game Star Trek: Rivals uses screenshots for card #35 Recruit L. McCoy, card #55 Cadet L. McCoy, card #82 Medical Officer L. McCoy, and card #98 Chief Medical Officer L. McCoy.

In the 2013 Star Trek video game, McCoy plays a prominent role, developing the vaccine for the Gorn virus. At one point, Kirk and Spock have to rendezvous with McCoy when Commodore Daniels' frontier starbase is attacked by the Gorn, as the doctor had barricaded himself in a room to avoid being attacked. Later, after landing on the Lymax planet, McCoy is hesitant to remain behind on the shuttle and offers to accompany Kirk and Spock in their quest to retrieve T'Mar. Upon donning a wingsuit and looking over the edge of the cliff they plan to jump from, he changes his mind and elects to stay behind with Sulu and "get a head start on that vaccine". At some point, he delivers the babies of a pregnant Gorn by Caesarean after Sulu stuns it, and they almost "bit (his) hand off," as he explains later to Kirk, who finds the story amusing. Just as Kirk defeats Spock in the ring, the shuttle arrives and McCoy gives them a "little care package" of weapons.

Like the rest of the crew of the Enterprise, McCoy has a female counterpart in the parallel timeline portrayed in Parallel Lives, Part 1 and 2.

In the First issue of IDW's Star Trek: Boldly Go comic series that is set after the events of Star Trek Beyond, McCoy temporarily accepts a lower rank and agreed to serve under Chief Groffus on the USS Endeavour in order to join Kirk and Pavel Chekov who had also been stationed onboard the Endeavour.

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