The Defiant is on scene to investigate a Negative Space Wedgie which causes objects and organisms to shrink to a fraction of their normal size. Dax, Bashir, and O'Brien are sent aboard the runabout USS Rubicon, but they are cut off from the Defiant when the ship's tractor beam mysteriously cuts out. The now miniscule crew in their tiny runabout are left on their own to figure out what happened.Meanwhile, Defiant, has been disabled and commandeered by a strike team of Jem'Hadar soldiers, and the crew must struggle to take back control of the ship, or destroy it before it can be delivered into the hands of the Dominion.
- The Air Not There: Averted. O'Brien suggests beaming out of the shrunken runabout to readjust the Defiant's computer controls, but Bashir tells hims he would suffocate, as his lungs couldn't process the normal-sized air molecules outside. Apparently the air molecules inside the runabout have shrunk with it, though, as they are still able to breath there. So they use the air from the runabout to breathe outside it.
- Audience Surrogate: Kira laughing her nose-wrinkles off at the start of the episode. It was Ron Moore's way of saying "Don't take this premise too seriously."
- Badass on Paper: The Alphas have been engineered to be superior combatants in their environment than their counterparts hatched in the Gamma Quadrant. They have been designed specifically to fight and win against the Dominion's Alpha Quadrant enemies. They are also the reason that the crew won the day.
- Call-Back: The Jem'Hadar Second, one of the Gamma Quadrant veterans, is referred to as an Honored Elder, meaning he survived at least twenty years of service.
- Destructo-Nookie: Joked about by Bashir:O'Brien: Don't hit [the door button] too hard. You could shatter the control panel.
Dax: Don't worry. I have a light touch.
Bashir: Not according to Worf.
(O'Brien and Dax glare at him)
- Failed a Spot Check: One of the Jem'Hadar doesn't notice the tiny runabout hovering two inches from his face.
- "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: Sort of. Jadzia gets to fly a very tiny runabout through the ducts of the Defiant, while Bashir and O'Brien reconfigure a computer from the inside.
- Gunship Rescue: A rare instance of the gunship in question being small enough to fit in a bread box.
- Ignored Expert: The Second is one of the most savvy Jem'Hadar out there. Too bad for him all of his advice falls on deaf ears.
- Interservice Rivalry: There is tension between the arrogant Jem'Hadar engineered to be better warriors in the Alpha Quadrant, who have been given command of the strike force, and the veteran 'Gammas.' Sisko, of course, plays them against each other.
- There were supposed to be more episodes exploring this rivalry, but they were scrapped, putting the tensions between Damar and Cardassia against Weyoun and the Dominion.
- Irony: The Second's dying words are an attempt to recite the Jem'Hadar creed "Obedience brings victory, and victory is life," even though his obedience to his First brought defeat and death.
- Laugh Themselves Sick: Major Kira tries valiantly not to laugh at the idea of shrinking three people "to the size of coffee cups," but is quickly overwhelmed by the absurdity; Sisko joins in, but manages to keep his dignity.
- Neck Snap: Worf takes out at least one Jem'Hadar this way.
- No Sense of Humor: Quark is amazed that Odo joins him in teasing Bashir and O'Brien, and invokes this trope almost verbatim.
- Not Quite Back to Normal: Related to the above trope. At the end of the episode, Odo tells Bashir and O'Brien that they seem to be a few centimeters shorter than before, which Quark agrees with, causing them to run to the infirmary. Afterwards, Odo and Quark step down from the half-ledge they were on.
- Oh, Crap!: It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but the Alpha's "WTF?" reaction to coming face-to-face with the shrunken runabout. (See the above image.)
- Old Soldier: The Gamma Number Two. Not that the new Alpha leader cares to listen to his advice.
- Painful Rhyme: Worf's poem is full of them, if the opening couplet is anything to go by:Worf: This is the story of a little ship, that took a little trip.
- Until it turns out that he hasn't actually written anything.
- Plot Armor: A console explodes on a Red Shirt? He's Dead, Jim! The same console explodes on Kira? Yeah, she'll be all right.
- Taking You with Me: Sisko's backup plan is to sabotage the warp drive so that the Defiant will explode at warp speed, killing all of the Jem'Hadar.
- That's What I Would Do: How the Second predicts what Sisko's up to. Not that the First cares to listen.
- Warrior Poetry: A Klingon tradition. Who knew?
- The Inside of This Console Is Just Awesome: Bashir compares it to an "optronic forest."
- The Worf Effect: Looks like it when the new Alpha Jem'Hadar take over the Defiant (the Trope Namer even beats himself up over it), but Subverted when Sisko and his crew take it back.
- Worthy Opponent: Not the First who's arrogant stupidity cost the Dominion the fight, but the Second who gives the correct advice every time and would have been a No-Nonsense Nemesis. Sisko aknowledges it at the end.