[[quoteright:319:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/quark_pic_01.png]]

->'''Quark''': They're chasing us? Ficus, who are they?\\
'''Ficus''': Well, commander, there are three possibilities. Either they are the dreaded Gorgons, in which we'll probably all be killed, or they're the allies of the dreaded Gorgons--\\
'''Quark''': Ficus, I don't have time for long lists!\\
'''Ficus''': --in which case we'll probably also be killed.\\
'''Quark''': Ficus, what you're saying is that all possibilities end in our death.
-->-- "All the Emperor's Quasi-Norms, Part 1"

Not a [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Ferengi bartender]], nor a [[UsefulNotes/QuantumPhysics subatomic particle]], nor a [[Franchise/RatchetAndClank galactic president]], but a 1970s sci-fi [[ParodyTropes parody]] of ''Franchise/StarTrek'' from ''Series/GetSmart'' co-creator Buck Henry. It was basically the US-version of ''Series/RedDwarf'', but with only eight episodes.

The show was set on the ''United Galaxies Sanitation Patrol Cruiser'', a garbage scow working for the United Galaxies SpaceStation Perma 1. It regularly satirized ''Franchise/StarTrek'', ''Franchise/StarWars'', ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'', and ''ComicStrip/FlashGordon''. The characters were:

* '''Adam Quark''': TheCaptain, who longs for glamorous assignments, but ends up picking up garbage bags. Often gets into adventures without meaning to.
* '''The Bettys''': The BridgeBunnies, jointly second-in-command, navigators, and pilots of the ship. One of them is a clone of the other, but both insist it's the other. Both of them lust after Quark. Notably played by a pair of Doublemint gum twins.
* '''Gene/Jean''': Chief engineer, with the twist that he's a "transmute", with both male and female chromosomes and both sets of hormones . Thus, as Gene, he's a BloodKnight {{Jerkass}}, but as Jean complete with a [[CrossDressingVoices female voice]] , she's a TechnicalPacifist.
* '''Ficus Pandorata''': TheSpock taken to the extremes, he's a "Vegeton," a member of [[PlantAliens sentient plant race]]. He always speaks with SpockSpeak, has no emotions at all, cares about no-one, and breeds by pollinating.
* '''Andy''': A CowardlySidekick RobotBuddy, he was basically a stupid [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy Marvin]].
* '''Otto Palindrome''': The ObstructiveBureaucrat who is in charge of Perma 1. He loves making Quark miserable.
* '''Dink''': The NonHumanSidekick for Otto, he was basically Cousin It from ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'' [[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE]].
* '''The Head''': The BadBoss crossed with a [[MyBrainIsBig giant]] [[RubberForeheadAliens Rubber Forehead Alien]]. Otto answered to him, and he frequently assigned Quark to bizarre jobs.
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!!''Quark'' has examples of:

* AccidentalTruth: In "All the Emperor's Quasi Norms", Zorgon threatens to kill Quark unless he reveals where "it" is. Having no idea what he's talking about, Quark plays for time by saying it is on a particular asteroid. Turns out the MacGuffin really is there, causing Quark to believe this is a case of BecauseDestinySaysSo when he's told by the locals of a legend about a Stranger who will use "It" to defeat their enemy. But it turns out that "It" is just a worthless rock and the whole thing is a coincidence.
* AffectionateParody
* AIIsACrapshoot: In the final episode, their ship gets a new computer called Vanessa, while proceeds to turn crazy and try to kill them in a parody of ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' and the ''Series/{{Star Trek|the Original Series}}'' episode "The Ultimate Computer"
* AintTooProudToBeg: When the Head looks like firing him, Palindrome contacts his father for advice. Dad advises him to do what Palindromes have done for generations. Beg.
* AlienArtsAreAppreciated: Zorgon has Quark listen to his daughter playing an instrument. Every time Quark likes what she's playing, Zorgon is shown wincing in disapproval, and every time there's something Zorgon likes it sounds awful to Quark.
* AllHailTheGreatGodMickey: "My ancestors were from a tribe called 'the Americans'. Archeological digs in California indicate they worshipped, and were ruled by, a fully clothed, giant mouse."
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Whenever Quark starts an episode griping about having to pick up garbage bags, he'll end up in a dangerous situation wishing he was picking up garbage bags.
* BBCQuarry: Bronson Canyon is used for the battle between good and evil Quark.
* BoldlyComing: [[PlantAliens Ficus]] is ordered to seduce [[DaddysLittleVillain Libido]] so they can escape. Turns out Vegetons mate by lying on their back with their limbs in the air.
-->'''Libido:''' What now?
-->'''Ficus:''' It's simple. We wait for the bee.
* CanNotTellALie: Ficus is an emotionless plant, so he doesn't see the logic in sparing feelings that he doesn't have himself.
* CaptainsLog: As a parody of ''Franchise/StarTrek'', Quark had one every few minutes, often LampshadeHanging whatever was happening
* {{Catchphrase}}: The Head always signs off with "The Galaxy Ad Infinitum".
* ChainedHeat: Gene gets chained to Andy while trying to sneak off a Gorgon warship. At one point Gene tries to leap off a railing to attack some guards beneath, only to be left dangling when Andy refuses to follow.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve:
** Parodied in "May The Source Be With You". To stop a Gorgon invasion, Quark is trusted with the Source, which can make anything possible as long as you believe in it. But as it's such a powerful weapon, the Source has been sealed up for 200 years and is now suffering from confidence issues.
** Played with in "All the Emperor's Quasi Norms". Various lucky coincidences convince Quark the rock necklace he's wearing makes him invincible. However it's actually worthless.
* CloningBlues: The Bettys are both in love with Quark and don't know (or won’t say) which of them is the original. It's implied that, being identical in every way, the clone really believes that she's the original and therefore the other Betty must be the clone.
* CoolStarship: Subverted; they travel on a ''garbage scow''.
* DaddysLittleVillain: Princess Libido, daughter of Zorgon, who wants to marry Ficus.
* DeathTrap: Zorgon ''loves'' these, and puts Ficus in one for a {{Cliffhanger}}.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything
** Transmutes have the expected [[QueerPeopleAreFunny homosexuality and transgender jokes]].
-->"Would you want your brother or sister to marry one?"
** A spaceship ejects a bag of garbage from its rear end with a defecation sound.
* DroppedAfterThePilot: Ficus wasn't in the pilot -- instead the science officer is Dr. O.B. Mudd, a crotchety one-eyed man who is never seen afterwards, having apparently been transferred.
* EvilIsHammy: In "The Good, the Bad and the Ficus", a NegativeSpaceWedgie creates an evil version of our heroes.
-->'''Quark:''' ''(calmly)'' Ficus, program Maneuver Plan Red. Jean, give me as much power as you can.
-->'''Jean:''' Yes sir.
-->''(cut to other ship)''
-->'''Evil!Quark:''' Ficus! Program ''Attack'' Plan ''Red!'' (grabs Jean's shirt) Jean, give me more ''power'' or I'll ''break'' your face!
-->'''Evil!Jean:''' (grabs Quark's shirt) Commander, you're such a [[SpaceX space-head]], ''I'm'' taking over this ship!
-->'''Evil!Quark:''' Try it, transmute, and you're ''space jelly!''
* EvilOverlord: Zorgon the Malevolent, Most Vicious Gorgon Space Pirate and Half-Brother to the High Gorgon Himself
* EvilTwin: The whole cast except for Ficus got them when they passed through a black hole, in a parody of the ''Series/{{Star Trek|the Original Series}}'' episodes "The Enemy Within" and "Mirror, Mirror"
* FantasticRacism:
** Clones and Transmutes are discriminated against. There's a social stigma against sleeping with clones, and Transmutes can be treated with outright contempt to their faces.
** Zorgon is infuriated to find his daughter wants to marry a Vegeton. But when Ficus informs Zorgon he has no emotional response to his captain and the Bettys being fed to a lizard monster, he congratulates his daughter on picking someone with good Zorgon values.
* {{Fanservice}}: The Bettys
* FoodPills: Parodied when the crew eat a meal... by putting a hose to each person's mouth, through which a "pill" about the size of a fist is pneumatically rammed down their throats.
* TheForce: Parodied, along with ''StarWars'', in "May the Source Be With You."
* GeekyTurnOn: Ficus is unaffected by the LotusEaterMachine in "Goodbye Polumbus", until he sees a beautiful woman in NerdGlasses with whom he can discuss EEqualsMCHammer. She gets ''extremely'' turned on by this, [[BeautifulAllAlong taking off her glasses and letting down her hair]] until she's on the verge of a {{Nerdgasm}}. Cut to her lying next to Fiscus [[SmokingHotSex puffing on a cigarette]]. And he hasn't even got to calculus.
* GenderBlenderName: Gene/Jean both ''sound'' the same.
* GlamorFailure: Quark destroys the LotusEaterMachine in "Goodbye Polumbus", only to find the gorgeous woman of his dreams he's been smooching is the queen of the Clay People. He hastily beams up before she can show her gratitude for freeing her.
* HandshakeSubstitute: The Bettys slap hands and bump their hips together whenever they knock out a mook.
* HonorBeforeReason: After saving the galaxy from the Gorgons, Quark is offered command of his own starship. However he insists that his crew be promoted with him, as they deserve equal credit. "If they don't go, I don't go." So the Head obliges...by not promoting Quark after all.
* HumansAreSuperior: Spoofed by Ficus, whose always able to turn these arguments around on Quark. For instance when [[JobStealingRobot Vanessa looks like making the crew redundant]], Ficus concludes that humans are indeed superior, as no other creature could endure the HumiliationConga that Quark has just undergone and [[WarpThatAesop still believe he's relevant]].
* InsaneAdmiral: Admiral Flint in "The Good, the Bad and the Fictus". After Quark's evil self goes on a rampage, he's convinced that Quark is a Gorgon sympathizer because of a school essay he wrote while seven years old saying the Gorgons were "funny".
* LiteralMinded: Ficus
-->'''Betties:''' Well Ficus, [[MsFanservice how do we look?]]
-->'''Ficus:''' Light passes through the retina to an optic nerve...
* LotusEaterMachine: In "Goodbye Polumbus," the Gorgons' machine designed to drain the minds of brilliant scientists traps the crew in their own fantasies, in a parody of the ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' episode "Shore Leave"
* MacGuffin: In "All the Emperor's Quasi-Norms," Zorgon demands Quark tell him where "it" is. Quark, having no idea what "it" is, lies. We never find out exactly what "it" is, but Quark ends up with a worthless rock necklace.
* MeaningfulName: Parodied - Ficus is a plant, Palindrome's first name is one, Gene/Jean has male and female chromosomes in their genes, Andy is an android, etc.
* MultiarmedMultitasking: In the pilot there was Interface, a four-armed alien woman who controlled communications between ships.
* NegativeSpaceWedgie: Couldn't avoid 'em as it parodied ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
* NotSoDire: The pilot episode opened with a spaceship apparently engaged in a highly dangerous docking maneuver. Turns out it's just a glorified garbage scow picking up a load of trash from the other ship.
* OutWithABang: In "The Old and the Beautiful", Quark has to have sex with an alien princess infamous for fatally wearing out her lovers.
* OvernightAgeUp: In a parody of the ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' episode "The Deadly Years," Quark due to some AppliedPhlebotinum starts aging two years for every hour.
* [[OwMyBodyPart Oh My Aching Head]]: Dealing with Palindrome gave “the Head” migraines “the size of a super-nova!”
* TheParalyzer: Gamma guns freeze people in place.
* PerpetualPoverty: When Palindrome and the Head have to send a [[ScienceMarchesOn telegram]] to Quark in the pilot, they end up spending the entire episode arguing about the cost of sending it and trying to reduce the number of words.
* PhotoprotoneutronTorpedo: Episode 2 reveals that the crew's sidearms are called "gamma guns".
* PlanetOfHats: The Gorgons are all sort of a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy proud warrior race]] that's evil, too. For example:
-->"People of Spartan, this is the High Gorgon. I command your unconditional surrender. You shall be treated with compassion, honor and patience. You have twenty seconds before I blow you out of the galaxy."
* {{Technobabble}} Satirizes it.
-->'''Dr Mudd:''' It's some kind of protein-hydrolizing amino producer!
-->'''Quark:''' What does it mean?!!
-->'''Dr Mudd:''' I'm not quite sure... but it's got a nice ring to it.
* ToTheBatpole: In addition to elevators and stairs, the ship has special sliding tubes that allow crew members to descend to the deck immediately below quickly.
* TwinThreesomeFantasy: Both Bettys love Captain Quark, but there's a stigma against sleeping with a clone, so since he never knew which one was a clone, he couldn't sleep with either.
* TwoPartEpisode: "All the Emperor's Quasi Norms", with the requisite {{Cliffhanger}} at the end of Part One.
* UncannyFamilyResemblance: Palindrome's father is [[ActingForTwo played by the same actor]].
* SingleMindedTwins The Bettys often said the same thing at the same time. However in "The Old and the Beautiful", Quark puts them in charge of the ship during a space battle, and all they do is argue.
* SmallAnnoyingCreature: Ergo, Quark's pet, a one-eyed blob.
* SpaceX: All over the place.
* SplitPersonality: Gene/Jean.
* StrawVulcan: Averted; a RunningGag involves Quark trying to argue with Ficus that HumansAreSuperior due to their emotions. Ficus always ends up pointing out that Quark's reasoning is InsaneTrollLogic.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: When Ficus is asked to comment on the SpaceClothes worn by the Betties, he says that they are terrible.
-->"Where can they possibly hold their gamma guns, or protect themselves from the heat and cold? Look how little material there is."
* ThatsNoMoon:
-->'''High Gorgon''': I suggest you take a closer look at my space ship.\\
'''Leader of the Spartans''': A ship? We see no ship. All I see is a large maroon planet.\\
'''High Gorgon''': That is my space ship!\\
'''Leader of the Spartans''': '' [pause] '' Just give us a few minutes to move our things out of the palace.
* ThrownOutTheAirlock: When an [[AIIsACrapshoot computer goes insane and tries to kill the crew]], Quark disconnects the computer and throws it out the garbage chute. The episode ends with the computer floating through space singing "Born Free".
* TinCanRobot: Andy.
* TheTriple: Quark is usually briefed along with two other captains; the first two are given a glamorous assignment while Quark is either sent to pick up the garbage, or sent on a SuicideMission.
* TheUnintelligible: Dink spoke only with xylophone beeps.
* UnknownPhenomenon:
-->'''Quark:''' What do you make of that?
-->'''Ficus:''' A most fascinating phenomenon, but one which leaves the mind facing a myriad of possibilities, alternatives and conclusions that are at best strictly hypothetical with no sound basis in fact.
-->'''Quark:''' In other words, you don't know.
-->'''Ficus:''' That's what I said.
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: Spoofed because no-one can convince Ficus that human love is an advantage.
-->'''Quark:''' Ah, but as a plant, you can never love.
-->'''Ficus:''' Yes, but as an animal you must endure the pain of love.
-->'''Quark:''' That's true, Ficus, but the pain of love is what makes love so endearing.
-->'''Ficus:''' Following your logic, Commander, the pain of a toothache would make a toothache endearing. The more painful, the more endearing.
-->'''Quark:''' ''[[CaptainsLog Starnote]] -- I've just argued over the concept of love with a plant...and lost.''
* YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo: Zorgon threatens to [[TheWallsAreClosingIn crush the Betties]] unless Quark talks. He does so, and Zorgon is so grateful he has all three chained up to be eaten by a lizard monster instead. Hey, this is him being merciful!
* YouMeanXMas: Christmas has become "Holiday Number 11".
* ZeeRust: Sending a telegram. In the 23rd century.
** Despite the fact that "telegram" is an archaic term, the general principle of keeping messages short to save on costs is one that will probably be with us for many centuries to come. Today, in the early 21st century, users of cell phones typically keep text messages as short as possible so as to fall under their calling plan's texting limit, to the point of using standard abbreviations. The cost per bit of sending a transmission across ''interstellar distances'' would have to be enormous.
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