“Skin a Cat”
One of the most essential concepts in comedy is the rule of funny – basically nothing has to make sense, as long as it’s funny. Obviously, a universe where, for the sake of comedy, nothing makes sense is incompatible with a universe as well-established as the Star Trek canon. But with no canon to be beholden to, “Skin a Cat” was able to fly off into madcap surrealist anarchy.
Jettison the ballast that is canon, and see where the crazy balloon takes you. It’s quite a ride.
Rule of funny works best when there’s a straight man at the center – a normal rational actor getting increasingly exasperated at the nonsense surrounding them. It all starts when the captain of the Enterprise (not Kirk or Pike for some reason) uses the phrase, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” and M’Ress, a Catian is offended. After that, every time the captain uses an idiom, someone is offended, until the point where people whom the captain has never seen before are being conjured from the ether to be offended. For instance, when he uses the phrase “I’m a dumb-a**, I screwed up,” two crewmembers who are respectively a sentient screw and a sentient derrière appear.
When the hilariously flustered captain asks them who they are and what their job is, they answer that they’re in charge of water pressure. In true straight-man fashion, he points out the obvious, that water pressure wouldn’t be controlled from the bridge, and then water starts pouring from a console.
We’re so used to an internally consistent universe from Star Trek that seeing all logic break down is the most subversive thing Very Short Treks could do.
Also, even though this isn’t canon, it’s still Star Trek. So we can no longer say that Star Trek has never featured a talking butt.