These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Character Rerailment: During TNG's run, the Klingons were flanderised into an honor obsessed Proud Warrior Race Guy society. Then we got "The Way of the Warrior", which returned the Klingons to their sneaky, deceptive, and cunning TOS selves.
This seems more like a case of Misaimed Fandom towards the Next Generation-era Klingons; they make a great noise about how honourable they are (and a lot of fans took this at face value) but watching TNG, it becomes clear that even the "good" Klingons like Gowron are Machiavellian plotters who are only sympathetic because they happen to be allies with The Federation. The only real exception was Worf, and that may be because he was going "by the book" of how Klingons are supposed to behave instead of how they really do.
Its arguable that the Klingon were never derailed. The concept is actually played with more then once in TNG. Worf has an idealistic view on the Klingon culture, but at every turn no other Klingon he or anyone has encountered has shared this sense of honor. Picard even calls him out on it in the season finale, stating that his sense of honor will always be his weak point. It usually falls on deaf ear however and few notice that the Klingon were never really depicted as honorable, just Worf is and we spend most of our time with him.
Complete Monster: Gul Darhe'el in "Duet", who flaunts his atrocities to the point of openly bragging about working people to death and slaughtering resistance fighters. Turns out the real Gul Darhe'el died and this is a filing clerk impersonating him. He hopes that his captors will believe him to be the real Darhe'el and place him on trial, as he felt that the Cardassian government needed to be made to face its own monstrous actions during the war.
Vedek/Kai Winn. In her very first appearance she creates massive tension on the station between the Bajoran/Starfleet crew, gets her followers to plant a bomb in the school (fully aware that Keiko O'Brien and the federation children should have been there), all to get Vedek Bariel onto the station in order to assassinate him and stop him from becoming Kai; when the young girl she wants to kill Bariel wants to back out because she knows she'll be caught and executed, Winn tells her the Prophets will reward her in the afterlife. She just gets worse after this point.
And the female Changing manages to beat all of them combined when she orders the total genocide of the Cardassians. Before the Dominion surrenders, some 800 million Cardassians die as a result of her order.
Alexis from Paradise. She is, first off a complete hypocrite, praising a 'no-technology' life style while using advanced technology to keep her people from contacting the outside universe. Secondly, she lets people die to keep the illusion that 'no technology is better' even though O'Brien or Sisko could get a modern medical kit to treat the dying. Third: she institutionalizes torture for minor offenses, throwing people into a hot box for stealing candles. When Sisko doesn't break to her authority, she sent her devoted son to kill O'brien so he'd never get off the world. She's also an infuriatingKarma Houdini, the people stay in her 'community' since they've developed Stockholm Syndrome, and the Federation prison she's going to will treat her FAR better than she treated her own damn people.
Designated Villain: The Maquis. It's worth noting that they were never consulted when the Federation drew up the peace treaty with the Cardassians that put their worlds on the Cardassian side of the border and then ordered to relocate. Then again, the Maquis aren't exactly portrayed unsympathetically, with a fair number of defectors from Starfleet itself.
Like the Bajorans, they haven't age well what with being terrorist, doesn't help their actions pushed the Cardassians to join the Dominion or the fact that during the Kligon-Cardassian war they came off more as petty raiders than a defense force they started.
Section 31: Okay, yes, their methods are rather extreme. Still, the dominion poses an extreme enough threat to justify their actions. When you're faced with an enemy that can replicate its army and admins to compensate its loses, and whose leaders can change into any form they wish and are extremely hard to kill once spotted, it's understandable that you'd want to do anything you can to erase such a threat.
Morn. We nearly always saw him sitting silently at the bar having a drink, but his popularity was immense. Lampshaded in one episode where Morn was away from the station on business and Quark installed a hologram of him because people didn't come to the bar as much when Morn was absent. He never speaks on screen. He is frequently described as talking Quark's ear off every chance he gets, we learn that he has troubles with his mother, and an episode dedicated to his seeming death reveals that he practiced Bahtleth with Worf and used to be a successful bank robber. He also has a lovely singing voice.
On his way to Parody Sue, it's also revealed in this episode than Dax wanted to start an intimate relationship with him but he wasn't interested. By Dax.
There's also Weyoun, a secondary villain whose great acting and great lines have caused no small amount of gushing even on This Very Wiki.
Martok was this to the show's creators. His actor did such a good job in 'Apocalypse Rising' that, instead of having him be disposed of by the Changeling impersonator who died at the end of the episode, they decided to have the real Martok show up later on in the season; he went on to become a fairly important supporting character.
Grillka, Quark's Klingon love interest, has a fandom as well.
"The Nagus": Attempt to kill your boss, and he'll give you a promotion.
Though, similar to the Cardassian example above, this was a Ferrengi situation- attempting to kill the boss showed initiative and ambition, traits which are highly praised among their kind. Trying to impose "Hew-mon" morals on them is rather silly.
"The Begotten": Reconcile with the person who tortured you and participate in doing the same thing to another person, because you couldn't possibly choose to do anything different and it was for your own good anyways.
"In Pale Moonlight": Sisko describes how sometimes the end justifies the means, and how political assassinations, lies, and guilt are all a small price to pay to win a war. This is a fairly deliberate case of grey morality, however, as Sisko's tone of voice shows that he's trying very hard to convince himself.
So... I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would. Garak was right about one thing, a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the safety of the Alpha Quadrant. So I will learn to live with it. Because I can live with it.
The Aesop was more than that- it was to show that in war, it sometimes doesn't matter what your principles are. If you are backed up against the wall, with the total annihilation of everything you hold dear, you must sometimes do things that are morally repugnant to you- just to stay alive. This theme was explored more with the group "Section 31."
Fan Nickname: Kai Opaka was called "Deep Space Nun" during the first season but was Put on a Bus midway through the season.
Thanks to reviewer SF Debris, the practice of calling the Defiant the USS Ben Sisko's Motherfucking Pimp Hand, is slowly catching on.
Fanon: The first names of Dukat, Damar and most other Cardassian characters are not given in the show, but most fans accept the names given in "A Stitch in Time" (written by Garak's actor) as canon.
Growing the Beard: Most fans agree that the introduction of theDefiant in season three was a very good step in the right direction. And Worf's introduction in the fourth season happened to coincide with Captain Sisko growing a beard and shaving his head, cementing his unique characterization among Star Trek captains.
Most of the first season was full of weak attempts at philosophy and downright stupid episodes ("Move Along Home" anyone?). "Duet" is a solid episode that started the drama, moral searching, and politics for which much of the series is remembered. It also showed the realistic aspect that no single nation is completely evil (or good). Unfortunately, it also set up the start of Kira's Aesop Amnesia.
Harsher in Hindsight: Mrs. Tandro's request that Jadzia "live a long, fresh and wonderful life" becomes this after the sixth-season finale.
At the end of "The Sound Of Her Voice," O'Brien mentions that one of their close friends could be taken from them by the war. And in the very next episode, Jadzia Dax, who was in the room at the time, gets murdered.
The show was made at a time when the word "terrorist" wasn't quite as politically charged as it is now, which can make its open acknowledgement that that's exactly what Kira was during the occupation come off rather strange.
And considering the media's obsession with certain of Kim's..."physical features", she probably still would have gotten the nickname "Kim KardASSian" even if the writers of Star Trek hadn't come up with the name first...
Ho Yay: Garak and Bashir. The actor for Garak actually stated he was playing Garak as pansexual in the first episode he appeared in (where he totally came on to Bashir) before complaints made him tone it down. They have lunch together (canonically said to be weekly throughout the years) and have saved each other's lives at least once. They've snarked, given each other gifts, and really sometimes been the only people who can stand the other. Plus Garak wants Bashir to "Take this rod... and eat it." (Actually, it was a data rod.)
Alexander Siddig has also remarked that his reaction to Garak and Bashir's first scene together was "Oh, so are we going to be Star Trek's first gay couple? Cool."
Also Bashir and O'Brien. There's one episode where Julian spends most of his time trying to get Miles to admit he likes Bashir more than his wife.
Odo and Laas in "Chimera". Odo and Laas link in private, but Odo declines when Laas wants to link with him in public. Also, Quark remarks that people won't want to see a "Changeling pride" demonstration on the Promenade.
Consider the linking scene in "Chimera." Odo and Laas' conversation turns to linking when Laas asks how Changelings reproduce. The two link as they stare into each other's eyes and merge amidst soft background music. It's hard not to interpret it as a quasi-love scene.
Although technically this might not count as Ho Yay, seeing as how they're changelings, and thus without gender...
Jerkass Woobie: The Bajorans sometimes fall into this. While the Occupation was an atrocity committed on their people, there are more than a few episodes that demonstrate that the Bajorans were equally ruthless when it came to attacking the Cardassians. Episodes such as "Duet" demonstrate there are still cases of Cardassians being randomly murdered by Bajorans simply because they're Cardassian.
"A Man Alone" shows that some Bajorans are capable of brutal racism.
"Accession" similarly has a 200 year old Bajoran briefly take up the mantle as Emissary and reinstate the pre-Occupation caste cystem that was employed on Bajor. A Vedek is brutally murdered on the promenade, by another Vedek, simply because his caste wasn't considered pure under the old system.
On the other hand, numerous other Bajoran characters do give What the Hell, Hero? speeches when such things occur.
Les Yay: Hinted at in the Mirror Universe episodes. Also in the episode "Rejoined", although that wasn't supposed to be about gender.
Well, yes it was. In Rejoined, Dax and another Trill, who had been a married heterosexual couple as hosts in the past, meet again and start a relationship despite it being the Trill equivalent of a homosexual relationship. No one in the future cares that they're both women, but other Trill would be squicked (friendships are allowed to carry over between lives and hosts, it seems, but not romance) so it plays like they're closeted lesbians.
Magnificent Bastard: Gul Dukat had a certain flair most Star Trek villains lack, at least early on. Garak was a much better example. As stated elsewhere, Cardassians excel at this trope, their culture is based around manipulation with style.
Garak's speech to Sisko at the end of In The Pale Moonlight is a beautiful example of the trope. So the plan Sisko thought he'd reluctantly signed up to failed, well that's ok because Garak had another little twist in mind that would involve a few deaths but get the desired result. Then when Sisko works it all out, and beats Garak up in his own shop, Garak unleashes the monologue...
That's why you came to me, isn't it, Captain? Because you knew I could do those things that you weren't capable of doing? Well, it worked. And you'll get what you want: a war between the Romulans and the Dominion. And if your conscience is bothering you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Alpha Quadrant. And all it cost was the life of one Romulan senator, one criminal, and the self-respect of one Starfleet officer. I don't know about you, but I'd call that a bargain.
The Founders are nearly an entire race of Magnificent Bastards, lacking perhaps only the charisma that usually goes with the trope. They manipulate politics on a galactic scale and are not afraid to personally take a hand in doing so, disguising themselves as major figures to disrupt other superpowers internally.
Section 31. At the end of the serie, a whole Star Empire is dancing on their tune. They also prove to be so useful and efficient, even the Federation won't do anything official to stop them, even if it includes a genocide.
Memetic Badass: Ben Sisko, who holds the respect of the Maquis, Klingons, Founders and the Jem'Hadar as being a Worthy Opponent and as such, demonstrates he can even make them stand down simply by showing up in some episodes.
In the last episode, the Female Changeling orders the entire Cardassian race exterminated, starting with Cardassia Prime. And that's not even the least of it. She goes on to tell the protagonists that not only will she not surrender regardless of the circumstances, she's sure the Dominion will do as much damage as possible before going down. If her species is doomed to die, she's taking the entire quadrant down with her.
Dukat's a jerk, and we know he presided over the slaughter of millions of Bajorans, but then in "Waltz," he picks up a metal bar and attacks an injured and helpless man. And nothing he does can any longer surprise us.
The Big Bad of "Homefront/Paradise Lost" seems like a Well-Intentioned Extremist for most of the story, even looking conflicted and regretful when he frames Sisko and tosses him into a holding cell. But he crosses it big time when he tells his right-hand-woman that to destroy the Defiant under the pretense that it's full of Changelings to stop the other underling they'd caught from reaching Earth and exposing the conspiracy.
Odo himself crossed it in "Behind The Lines". Apparently, in his own words "It doesn't matter" what happens to the Alpha Quadrant, because he had some stupid epiphany about linking that was way more important than all the lives his actions may have cost. He certainly tried to redeem himself, but by then, the damage was done, it was too late to stop the minefield from being disarmed. Also, it pretty much only happened because Kira's life specifically became endangered.
Narm: "Field of Fire," a seventh season episode, has this in the form of Lieutenant Illario appearing in a nightmare of Ezri's where he is allegedly the killer of the real Illario, and Odo says "I'm sorry, Lieutenant (Dax), there's nothing more annoying than a corpse with a mind of its own."
In the episode "Broken Link," Odo returns to the Great Link for judgment. He's later thrown to the surface of Great Link "ocean," gasping, shouting, and thrashing around, before washing up on shore unconscious. The scene is meant to show that something is wrong and the Great Link has rejected him, but he just looks like a ridiculously bad swimmer with a leg cramp instead!
"Waltz" was loaded with it. It was supposed to be a horrific view into Dukat's psychosis, but it just makes him look like a petty manchild who talks to himself, until the final act anyway.
Ron the Death Eater: Section 31 gets this treatment. Well-Intentioned Extremist types? Sure, paranoid pragmatists who go a bit too far? Maybe, Obviously Evil and malevolent forces of darkness? No, they certainly are not. They go a bit far sometimes, but their position is understandable given the desperate situation with the Dominion War.
Sisko gets this sometimes as well. He's certainly no saint, but he's not exactly in a position to be an Ideal Hero either.
Kira has gotten this post 9/11. Her history as a terrorist just didn't win her any favors in a world where terrorists have become more hated.
The Bajorans as a whole as well. Doesn't help many parallel modern religious extremist and/or the warhawk right.
Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: "The Siege of AR-558", a lot of people didn't want to make the episode but the writers (and most likely the director due to his Vietnam experience) pushed on because they wanted to make an episode showing the horror and the dehumanisation of war.
Squick: Quark as a Ferengi female in "Profit and Lace". He even shows his (her?) parts off to a lecherous future business partner and a horrified Brunt. Ugh.
Strangled by the Red String: Worf and Jadzia sometimes didn't seem to have much in common with each other, besides their Klingon connections. Many thought Jadzia had far more chemistry with Sisko.
Even worst as Worf during Next Gen often was attractive to women who didn't have any Klingon connections.
Strawman Has a Point: Quark in the Siege of AR-558. Quark's mercenary and cowardly nature suddenly doesn't seem all that bad compared to the Federations' brutality in the name of idealism. In fact, Quark comes across as the Only Sane Man. And later he guns down a Jem'hadar soldier as he busts into the infirmary Nog is staying at, undermining Quark's own statements in the face of having to do what's necessary to protect one's own.
Worf in "Let He Who is Without Sin". Yes, he should ease up a bit, but with how much Jadzia keeps shrugging off his requests to discuss their relationship, which was the reason they were going to Risa to begin with, which was also where she wanted to go, by the way, it's hard to blame him for finally losing his cool when he does.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: "Looking For Par'Mok In All the Wrong Places". It's the return of Quark's Klingon ex-wife (and fan favorite) Grilka! And she's starting to show romantic feelings for Quark! Unfortunately, Worf falls in Love at First Sight with her. Even more unfortunately, the plot's basically a rehash of Cyrano de Bergerac with Worf in the role of Cyrano for Quark. A couple of problems with this: 1) Quark and Grilka already know each other, so one wouldn't think he'd really need a Cyrano, and 2) Worf has always despised Quark and continues to do so at the end of the episode (the last thing Worf has to say about Quark here is, "What does she see in that parasite?" Worse still, the whole Quark/Grilka story is sidelined just to bring Worf and Jadzia together. Even worse, Jadzia actually insults Grilka (not to her face), contemptuously referring to her as a "statue", which combined with Worf's sustained contempt for Quark, puts a really ugly spin on Worf and Jadzia helping Quark to get together with Grilka. Worst of all, just a few episodes later in the abysmal "Let He Who Is Without Sin", Quark's back to chasing women on Risa, and Grilka's never seen or mentioned again.
Uncanny Valley: Several Changelings who assume humanoid form, such as Odo and Laas. Because Odo has difficulty mimicking humanoid facial details, his face has blunted features with unnaturally smooth skin. The fact that Laas, the Female Changeling, and a Changeling infiltrator also look this way suggests that it may be a default Changeling facial template.
Unfortunate Implications: In his review of "Tears of the Prophets", Confused Matthew notes that after the orbs of the Prophets are put out by Dukat, the Bajorans aren't acting like believers whose faith has been shaken (e.g. Ned Flanders in the The Simpsons episode "Hurricane Neddy"), but like junkies needing their fix.
Nana Visitor hated that Dukat's attraction to Kira was initially Played for Laughs in "Civil Defense," because 1. to Kira, this is the equivalent of Hitler trying to flirt with her and 2. if it had taken place just a few years earlier, Kira would not have been in a position to refuse his advances. (Accordingly, it is portrayed as creepier later on.)
In "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang", Sisko initially refuses to get involved in helping Vic Fontaine in his 1960s-era Vegas program because of how it whitewashes the issues of racism at that time, and yet he doesn't say anything about the issues of sexism also present in that time. As SF Debris put it, "In their attempt to address the elephant in the room, they've unwittingly called attention to the mammoth standing next to it.".
Values Dissonance: The good guys include former terrorists, and who later get heavily involved in terrorism. Yes, this series was made before 9/11.
Villain Decay: Dukat, post-"Waltz", as he went from complex antagonist into a mustache-twirling Card-Carrying Villain. In light of this, some critics, notably SF Debris, have argued that Dukat should've died in "Waltz", with his character arc basically complete.
Visual Effects Of Awesome: Two space battles spring to mind- "The Way of the Warrior", which was the last big Trek space battle done with models (and in which Deep Space 9 itself takes a level in badass) and "Sacrifice of Angels", where CGI finally allows an epic battle between six hundred Federation ships and double that number of Dominion and Cardassian ones. Particular mention should go to the moment where we finally see more than one Galaxy-class starship (as in the Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation) go into battle side by side and letting rip with their full complement of weaponry.
Hell, they pulled this off as early as the first episode. Where in TNG you would be lucky to see the Enterprise D perform so much as much as a bank, suddenly we are shown just how vicious Wolf 359 was, with several Federation ships zipping around at high speeds desperately trying to avoid the Borg Cube's fire.
Wangst: Sisko gets a lot of it, especially related to his status as Emissary.
The writers even said "O'Brien must suffer" at least once a season because they thought Colm Meaney was great in that kind of story.
Dukat also gets this treatment in one episode, at the end of Sacrifice of Angels and the beginning of Waltz. Sisko's log, at the beginning of Waltz puts it into words; He lost an empire, he lost his daughter, and he nearly lost his mind. Whatever his crimes... isn't that enough punishment for one lifetime?. Of course, since it's Dukat.
Ziyal, much more so. Poor girl.
As if dealing with 8 lifetimes' worth of memories without 1 lifetime's training wasn't bad enough, Garak makes Ezri cry by saying she doesn't deserve to be a Dax.
Marritza in "Duet". He feels horrible knowing he saw massive atrocities committed against the Bajoran people and did nothing to stop it at that time. His tragic murder by a Bajoran in the end makes it worse.
Garak becomes one too at the end of the series. His father died, barely acknowledging him. His mother was murdered in cold blood by Jem Hadar. Most of his contacts/friends were dead. The defeat of the Dominion was a Pyrric Victory for Cardassia, and he knows it. He didn't get to kill the Female Changeling who started it all either, which would not normally be something to feel sorry for him over, but by this point, she had killed hundreds of millions of innocent people, most of them Cardassians. The fact that he had previously come real close to killing off the changelings, albiet, at a cost, probably just made this worse.