Spaceships that ply the vast explanses between the stars are going to be advanced and highly complex vehicles, likely the pinnacle of technology. They are also going to be worked like dogs, be they freighters, warships, or little 5-6 man FTL sloops. This contrast of cutting edge versus use means that there are going to be problems. These arent major problems or catastrophic problems. Rather these are the kinds of problems that fill the many hours of an engineering and maintenance crew's hours of work.
1. The FTL Drive has a sticky start button. Insert whatever technobabble is required, but the engine doesnt always start like it is supposed to. Sometimes you just have to kick it a time or two.
2. The Automatic Doors open slowly, or do not open quite all of the way.
3. Food Replicator puts catsup on everything, or chocolate syrup
4. Transporter materializes people and the possessions on seperate pads, IE naked
5. Lights in corridor flicker
6. Lights in corridor are out
7. Wall computer console making a funny buzzing noise
8. Wall computer console stuck on annoying video game, cannot be reset normally
9. Intercom constantly open in the cargo bay
10. No hot water in the women's showers
11. Sewer disposal line backing up into hydroponics
12. Somethine smells dead in the Corridor
13. Something smells dead in cabin, it smells REALLY REALLY DEAD
14. Refridgerant unit stuck at -14, everything frozen
15. Viewer locked, wont switch from staring at the starboard engine
16. Toilet on shuttle deck bathroom wont stop running
17. Air circulation system smells like old socks
18. Perfume bottle spilled in air vent, deck smells girly
19. Deck plate loose, may slip and uncover wire filled crawl space in corridor
20. Grav plate malfunction, +/- 25% gravity at any given time
21. Main viewer only displays IR imaging
22. Buttons on console computer worn out, some dont work
23. Sssssssssomething ssssssssssssssticky ssssssssssssssssspilled in consssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssole, ssssssssssssssssssome buttonssssssssssssssssssssss hang
24. Air vent plugged, missing laundry found
25. Window covered with paint/dust on outside
26. Computer voice stuck in rapper robot singing mode
27. Interior component makes unpleasant whine when ship moves at speed
28. Wall panel keeps falling off, snaps broken
29. Graffitti sprayed on corridor wall
30. Small piece missing from sub-system, later found in homemade holoStereo system
31. Water supply smells like rotten eggs
32. Water supply tastes like feet
Additional Ideas (18)
34-Phasers go off at random times
35-Computer voice stuck singing Enya songs on an endless loop
36-Camaras dirty so the view of the outside is not very good.
37-Computer does what it is told but complains bitterly about it.
38-Tiny crack in windscreen, threatening to enlarge
39-Machine that recycles urine into drinkable water is broken
40-Dead animal stuck behind wall panel
42. Exterior door on airlock forever needs new graphite lubricant or it sticks.
43. One of the main viewers spontaneously plays video game demos. Some, especially space combat, can be very realistic. Perhaps too much so.
44. A secondary system occasionally reboots for no apparent reason.
45. Someone switched main keyboard configuration to dvorak format (or QUERTY if previously dvorak)
46. Voice recognition system faulty - can only recognize slow, load speech, or transposes consonants (eg. V's for W's).
(wrong order - Cheka - fix yours and I'll fix mine!)
48-Gravity cuts out randomly
49-Translator translates everything into fractured French and shattered Spanish
50-Music player stuck in the "On" position.
52. Lights wont turn off, switch stuck ON
53. Holodeck automatically reboots into a random program after 15 minutes of operation
54. Communications router misfire, 5% chance of non-secured transmission being broadcast around the ship
55. Ship music library deleted
56. floor panel vibrates when stood on
57. door chime doesnt work, people have to knock
58. locked door no longer recognizes voice command, must use swipe card
60-Locker containing sleeping pills stuck shut-not a problem for those who do not take sleeping pills
61-Tannoy stuck on a VERY LOUD setting
63-engine stuck on half power
65. The ship is a decommissioned war wessel. The computer greets the people with military ranks, and the crew must have faux ranks, lest half the ship and functions are off limits, due to low clearance. Must state rank and service number, etc.
66. Drive type and controls slightly mismatched. Manual operations is necessary, and a pilot unaccustomed to the ship will have a hard time handling it.
67. Tolerances for Red Alert set too low. Alert will go off in less-than-critical circumstances.
68. Warp Drive out of sync, causing greater than normal disorientation after hyperspace jumps.
69. Ship's designer was a fan of Escher.
70. Prodigious quantities of weird porn in all databanks, often stashed away in subfolders and the like.
71. Artificial gravity at a slight tilt.
72. The ship's gym will lock one in until it has calculated that a sufficient number of calories have been burnt.
73. Previously owned by smugglers. Numerous hidden compartments.
74. Infested with a harmless yet annoying life-form that can endure short periods of hard vacuum.
75. Subsonic noise from one system and a weird lighting quality give the ship an eerie feeling.
76. Hyper-sensitive sprinklers.
78-Airlock opens randomly when spaceship engines are turned off-keep that space suiit on
79-Gravity stuck at 2Gs
80-Ship heating system is malfunctioning-ship is at +2C
Re #77: It might be hard to stick a space chart upside down, I think.
82. Air circulator doesnt work properly, one section of the ship is poorly ventilated and smells bad
84. The weapons systems go online from time to time, with no apparent reason.
85. The shields got somehow linked to a particular vidsystem on board, displaying whatever is on screen, but magnified manifold and repeated over the surface of the shield.
86. Formerly a japanese highschool tour spacebus, it is decorated with toxically cute motifs all over, even the comp speaks kawaii.
87. There is a room on board which is permanently locked, and the ship itself tries to prevent anyone from entering it.
88. The IFF system has about a dozen ship registrations in its secure database, and alters the ship's ID according to which system it enters, without asking the crew.
89. While innocent-looking to a human, the ship's shape is considered obscene by a spacefaring species.
90. The ship's drive is badly tuned and flares up on sensors like that of a vessel two classes larger.
92-The food in the ship is designed for an alien spieces and tastes disgusting to humans-when it was sold the orginal owner forgot to clear the food out
93-The computer is sarcastic.
94-The radar is not working properly and fails to spot one in three things that it should, making high speed travel downright dangerous.
95-Somehow, the medical supplies are all in the wrong bottles, so nobody knows what pill does what.
97. Main viewer on bridge has a magnifier calibration issue. Using the magnifier takes multiple attempts to get the view desired.
98. The computer's AI has breached certain protocols. It now questions it's existence as well as that of the crew. Expect constant ethical questions delaying all actions.
99. The landing gear is stuck in the down position.
100. Intruder alert. If anyone goes into a certain room the ship registers an intruder and begins repelling boarders protocol.
101. The food replicator has a glitch that puts a 24 hour delay on all orders.
103-The ship's computer is hallicinating
104-A virus has infected the ships computer and the ship must be flown by hand.
106 - The drive is made by the alien Psilon using a space-bending psi matrix. As a side effect, it enhances human cerebral function, making everyone on board slightly smarter - and their personalities more pronounced, sensory perception and emotions more vivid.
107 - Once owned by neo-goths, the ship resembles a flying cathedral; there is even an effing organ on boad.
108 - A Murder-o-matic Doom Cannon is mounted along the ship's axis. The sad thing is that it shuts down the reactor core when fired.
109 - The ship is fitted with automated refuelling and restocking utilities - sadly, it always orders the most expensive fuel and supplies.
110 - Antiquated hyperspace boosters mean that teams at stargates need to re-calibrate the jump portal manually. While the law demands that the earlier designs be supported and accomodated, it results in waits and a passionate hatred from jump portal crews.
112-Solar panels damaged and pitted by contact with space dust moving at high speed, power can cut off at the worst possible times.
113-Escape pods facing the wrong way-upside-down. Hard to get into and worse still if you do get in, it shoots inwards rather then out of the ship, forming a death trap.
115-Built by a mad scientist, the drive is unlike any other in the galaxy; thus, it does not fit any regulations and is considered dangerous by ecologists and blasphemous by the Ever-Moist Church of Quacksplort.
116-The ship's quantum brain may be semi-sentient and slightly telepathic, but lacks empathy and a sense of propriety. Recently, it has ordered the maintenance droids to paint memories gleaned from crew members in vivid colors both on the inside and the outside of the ship.
117-Once a temple-ship of the Val-Shanja, it has several quirks: it opens the doors to anyone who wishes to receive blessings, it preaches, it offers aphorisms and parables for every situations, and, at random times, arranges weddings for random crew members.
118-Inaccessible, in impenetrable yet translucent containers built into the very structure of the ship, the former crew members hibernate, awaiting ... no one knows what they do await, if anything. They are alien, and rather disturbing to behold. The last captain had the containers covered with 2" plasteel, yet you still know: they are there.
119-Several AIs control separate systems. Most often, they do get along. Not always.
120-During hyperspace trips, the ship seems to collect random lost debris, often tiny objects that were lost in the depths of space: spare parts, personal pictures, a stray comm unit. So far, this anomaly was harmless.
122-Trojans and adware in your systems. Horny sailors will come knocking at your airlock looking for those hot and eager Raksha hive queens and space-borne grannies will want you to sell them the Nihil-Cleaner, the only substance sure to desintegrate 120% of whatever they decide needs to be scrubbed away.
123-Impulse drive used for takeoffs packs some serious EMP. Be sure to never visit a planetside spaceport twice, lest they remember it was you who fried their systems.
124-It's a bio-ship. You need a neural symbiote to do anything more complicated than getting a sode (bubbly secretions of some kind, ok) from the vending machine.
125-The ship is seriously pimped, with electric blue quad rear thrusters, warp-luminescent outer lighting and the horns of a space dragon on the prow. Some spacemen may consider you immature, others awesome. Space dragons consider you a mate in heat.
127. The food replicator starts producing extremely resilient food. Watch your teeth with anything harder than soup.
128. Due to some quirk of the internal skeleton, one of the structural supports tends to crack after any bigger shock. It's nothing important, but very annoying to fix every time.
129. After heating up, the shield on one side of the ship cools down with a soft clinker. Other shields don't do that, sometimes it lasts hours.
130. When not turned off, departing shuttles automatically perform the firework sequence that was hard-coded into the ship. You have the marketing piece from the Expo Universe 5539.
131-Ship was owned by a very sexist race of aliens, and the computer will not obey orders from females.
133. AI has a bug which requires it to tell you the entire length of a number it has calculated and it also can not shorted or approximate numbers. Just don't ask for it to tell you Pi.