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  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The Bajorans were shown "In the Hands of the Prophets" to applaud by tapping the dorsum of their hands, and in later episodes, they simply clapped normally. The show would later establish that Bajorans clap the back of one hand into the palm of the other.
    • Proto-Rom has more in common with Fredo than the put-upon loser of later years. He's constantly plotting his brother's death — either by assassination or accident or pulling him off of life support — so he could inherit the bar. One can argue that life among the Federation left a positive impression on the Ferengi Bros., but it doesn't quite jive with Rom's later characterization as the brother who's too much of a milksop to make it in business. His voice and tone are also much more similar to other Ferengi in earlier episodes: Faster, more clipped, and somewhat more articulate, with little trace of the slower, more hesitant form of speaking he affects in subsequent seasons.
    • Quite a bit involving the Trill; a few early episodes refer to the race as the "Trills", despite later the word "Trill" being used both singular and plural. One character refers to the "Trillian government", the only time that term is used.
    • Dax tells Julian that the Trill consider romance an "annoyance", a "weakness of the young", and make an effort to "live on a higher plane". Not any Trill viewers have ever seen. Sure, she was probably just saying this to Bashir as a way of letting him down easy, but she isn't known for lying just to get rid of an annoying potential suitor.
      • On that subject, her characterization in the first season more or less boiled down to "old man in a young woman's body", with a relatively subdued tone of voice, limited animation in her body movements, and much more reference to her centuries of life experience adding up her being a font of wisdom. It wasn't until partway through the second season that the writers saw that this approach wasn't working and Jadzia became a much more active, animated character who believably behaved as a young woman would be expected to, with her past Trill life experience and memories taken more as a separate resource than something that defines her. This is justified in-universe, as it was established that she was only recently joined to the Dax symbiote perhaps a year or two before the series began, and it can take a long time for a symbiote and its host to come into a new equilibrium. In particular, she seems much more comfortable with herself following her zhian'tara ritual in "Facets."
    • Dax has surprisingly little screentime or character development in the first season, with her role being mostly limited to filling in bits of Sisko's backstory and being an object of lust for Bashir. Conversely, Jake and Nog seem like a Spotlight-Stealing Squad at times, with nearly every B-story from the season revolving around one or both of them. In latter seasons Dax would have a much bigger role, while Jake was slowly Demoted to Extra, and Nog fell more in line with the other recurring characters in terms of screentime.
    • The first two or three seasons all feel very different from the rest. The first two seasons don't have the Defiant, and many seem like TNG episodes, which felt slower and more out of place because they would either involve two or three crew members on a Runabout encountering a new planet, or it would have the "problem of the week" come to the station, rather than a starship coming to it. Sisko isn't bald and doesn't wear a beard, and the Dominion isn't around at all.
    • In their first couple of appearances, the Prophets are depicted as Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who barely even comprehend the concept of corporeal life, and don't particularly like what they do understand. Likely due to concerns that this made them too much like the Q, they were later rewritten into Benevolent Precursors who had been carefully guiding the development of Bajoran society, and even Sisko's conception. This one was at least reconcilable: they experience time in a non-linear fashion, so it was Sisko who inspired them to become Benevolent Precursors... millennia in our relative past... and then arrange for Sisko to come and teach. It does make a kind of sense.
    • A few early episodes have Sisko talking about his father in the past tense as if he's dead, even mentioning at one point how he watched the old man grow weaker and weaker; "Homefront", however, shows that Old Sisko is still very much alive. The script for that episode splits the difference by saying that the old man barely survived a recent illness and has never returned to full strength.
      Several years earlier Joseph fought a debilitating battle against a severe illness, barely surviving. He's never gotten back to full strength, but he's determined to live out the rest of his years with gusto. Unfortunately, the years are starting to run out, a fact he's determined not to reveal to his son.
    • Gul Dukat only shows up two times in the first season(initial pilot and '"Duet"). We don't see any signs of his true nature of a deceptive politician until season 2.
  • Early Personality Signs:
    • When he was five, Dr. Bashir fixed a teddy bear of his and it proved difficult, but he didn't give up. As an adult, he's a Determined Doctor.
    • Despite never really having a childhood, when Odo was first learning to shapeshift, he grew a tentacle and "hit" a scientist who was accidentally hurting him, hinting at his no-nonsense personality.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Played very straight by Nog and Jake in "In the Cards", with hilarious consequences. They go through a lot to get that baseball card. But by the end, everyone on the station feels better, not just Sisko. They also do tons of wheeling and dealing to get five bars of latinum in "Progress", while Nog does the same solo in "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River" (at the risk of poor O'Brien almost getting his head taken off by Kira, Worf and Martok).
  • Easily Forgiven: In "Captive Pursuit", Chief O'Brien disobeys Sisko's orders and sabotages some systems to help the Tosk escape the station, yet receives no serious repercussions for doing so. This could be because Sisko agreed with O'Brien's motivation, if not his methods, as he also helped the Tosk escape by delaying the security response to O'Brien's actions.
    • Quark defines this trope. Sure, he's occasionally arrested or detained, spending maybe a night or two in a holding cell, but considering his long list of offenses accumulated over the years, including extortion, fraud, grand theft, conspiracy to commit murder and a number of others, he should be in a maximum security prison by now, but he is never punished beyond the odd stay in one of Odo's cells. Sometimes Odo even catches him in the act, but just walks away without even so much as taking him to his office.
  • Easily Conquered World: Betazed was easily conquered during the Dominion War, thanks to its obsolete defenses and poor positioning of its defense fleet. As one of the core worlds of the Federation, its fall is a severe blow to morale.
  • Elevator Going Down: the turbolift version. After some major flirtation, Bashir and Ezri end up making out in the turbolift on the way to Ops. When they get there (and they keep kissing) a bemused Worf sends them back down rather than interrupt them.
  • Emergency Impersonation:
    • "Past Tense", where Sisko's presence in the past caused the premature death of an important historical figure a few days before he was supposed to die heroically, forcing Sisko to impersonate him.
    • Commented on in "Little Green Men". Nog was studying Earth's history, and when he encountered an entry about the historical figure, passed comment about how closely Sisko resembled a picture of him (the picture, of course, being that of Sisko).
    • Sisko also, at one point, gets kidnapped by Miles 'Smiley' O'Brien from the Mirror Universe, because Mirror-Sisko was killed-in-action and they need someone to convince Sisko's Mirror-wife to join the rebel cause. Naturally, it works. A subversion, though, since she admits she realized pretty early on that he wasn't her real husband, mostly because he wasn't a jerkass. But he ended up legitimately convincing her.
  • Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity:
    • The Jem'Hadar are all much younger than they look. One episode with a young Jem'Hadar that was separated from the rest of its brood indicates that they grow to full physical and emotional maturity within a few weeks. The few occasions we see into their behavior does bring this into question, especially the childish bickering between the Alphas and Gammas. They acquire knowledge rapidly during their development, but not necessarily wisdom, this explains both the seeming maturity and the bickering. The strong code of honor and the conditioning for obedience makes them look mature until they encounter a situation not covered by their conditioning.
    • Klingons, from what we can tell, mature rapidly, as the Alexander Rhozhenko we meet in Season Six is only 9 years old, but in both appearance and maturity level, seems to be in his late teens or early twenties. This is consistent with one-year-old Alexander already being able to walk and talk, and put in school at age 2, not to mention the young Klingons in TNG's "Birthright" being younger than 20 years, but all appearing to be somewhere in their mid-20's, and a Klingon from TNG's "Rightful Heir" described as being "nineteen" looking more like a 30-year-old. For that matter, Worf himself is apparently only 24 the first time we meet him, but he looks and acts much older.
  • Empty Chair Memorial: Inverted in "Who Mourns for Morn". Quark pulls another bar patron into Morn's empty seat to "keep it warm". Said patron is actually the actor who played Morn out of makeup.
  • Endangered Soufflé: Subverted, where they sneak weapons into a prison under the pretense of delivering a souffle, and when a guard demands to investigate it, they warn him to be careful with it...right before they knock him out with the Off-Button Hypospray, causing his head to fall into the souffle and crush it.
    Quark: <to the unconscious guard> Now you've ruined it.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Quark and Odo in "The Ascent".
    • Dukat and Kira in "Indiscretion" and "Return to Grace"
    • Dukat envisions himself and Sisko as something like this in the episode "Waltz". The truth is he's just nuts and running out of self-delusions.
    • The Alpha Quadrant Alliance is this. The Federation, Romulan Star Empire, and Klingon Empire, all three having had varying levels of adversity against each other throughout their history of interactions, all join forces against the Dominion onslaught.
  • Episode Tagline: In one episode, O'Brien becomes temporarily very good at darts (and in case anyone is wondering, no, aliens or technology weren't involved; it was a fluke). Throughout the episode, references are made to him being in "the zone".
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Most notable with Kira, as our first glimpse of her is a shouting match with the provisional government. That fire would remain a centerpiece of her character for the rest of her life. (As would her continuing clashes with the provisional government, for that matter).
    • Also Sisko, when confronted by Q (see above).
    • Odo's grabbing a thief without using a weapon and shouting "Who the hell are you?" to Sisko is another one.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Garak.
    • Also Dax, although it was justified in her case by attributing her various experiences to one of her many past hosts.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Senator Vreenak to Sisko.
    Sisko: Sorry to disappoint you.
    Vreenak: To be honest, my opinion of Starfleet officers is so low that you'd have to work very hard indeed to disappoint me.
  • Expendable Clone: The Vorta.
  • Experimental Archeology: The plot of the episode, "Explorers," in which the Siskos go solar sailing in a light ship of ancient Bajoran design and inadvertently prove the idea that ancient Bajorans could have reached Cardassia.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones
    • The two hats that define the Cardassians are their dystopian ruthlessness and their devotion to their families. This was established in The Next Generation, and it continues to be explored in this series.
    • Enabran Tain has Garak's loyalty even despite the Noodle Incident that caused Tain to feel so personally betrayed by Garak that he exiled him. Even knowing Tain was Garak's mentor, Odo cannot understand why Garak's loyalty is so unshakable he'll risk his very life to try and help Tain. Tain is Garak's father, hence the loyalty.
    • The Changeling race serves as this for the Female Changeling. In the series finale, she calls off the Dominion offensive and surrenders in exchange for Odo curing the Great Link of the virus and returning to the Great Link, making true a past claim she had once made to Weyoun that she'd give up the Alpha Quadrant itself if it meant bringing Odo home.
  • Everybody Smokes:
    • "Far Beyond The Stars", set in the 50s.
    • Same thing in the episode "Little Green Men", Earth 1947. Once the story reaches Earth, it's a smoke-fest for the next 30 minutes. Every human who has more than 2 seconds of screen-time is seen smoking at least once. The trope is played straight, as part of an Anvilicious Take That! at smoking. The Ferengi talk about how humans willfully ingest poison simply because it's addictive, and Quark even tells a General that Humans should stop smoking because it would kill them.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Pah Wraiths to the Prophets. They are actually the same species. The Pah Wraiths were just exiled from the wormhole by the Prophets, for being evil. It should also be noted that "Prophets" and "Pah Wraiths" are names given to them by the Bajorans. The Federation just calls both groups "Wormhole Aliens".
  • Evil Is Hammy: Invoked in "Duet" by a Cardassian pretending to be another man who oversaw an infamous death camp. When he dropped his facade, his hamminess was gone.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Quoted almost word for word by Weyoun in "The changing face of evil", but actually subverted since Damar betrays him and Cardassia rebels against the Dominion.
    • Even before that it is a plot point in several episodes that the vorta and jem'hadar have no love lost between them and do no trust each other. The only thing that keeps them working together is reverence to the Founders and vortas' monopoly on Ketracel White.
  • Evil Mentor: Tain (Garak's father) was this to Garak. Also, the Female Changeling serves as this to Odo in "The Search," teaching him about the history of his people and helping him hone his shapeshifting skills.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Intendant Kira and Joran Dax.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Captain Sisko provides a rare anti-heroic example. Listen to his voice, in the episode "In The Pale Moonlight" particularly, and you may notice he almost always speaks with a dark low rasp when he's going against all his principles and engaging in deceit and treachery.
  • Evil Tainted the Place: A Cardassian computer program that the Federation accidentally triggers tries to kill every one aboard the station in increasingly severe attempts.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The war between Terran Empire rebels, and the Cardassian-Klingon Alliance, in the episodes involving the Mirror Universe.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: The Founders took control of the Gamma Quadrant through their keen use of genetics. Their foot soldiers, the Jem'Hadar, are rapid-aged to adulthood and fully-programmed with battle prowess. The Vorta lack a sense of taste, restricting their diet to roots and berries (the food they ate before the Founders revamped their DNA), have very sharp hearing to better eavesdrop, and very strong poison resistance to thwart assassinations by poison. And any culture that opposes the Dominion is treated to an outbreak of the Blight.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • The first episode opening does not show the wormhole, which is discovered in that episode.
    • Later seasons replaces the runabout with the Defiant after it was introduced at the beginning of season 3.
    • In season 4, the original arrangement of the opening theme is replaced with a more ominous version, perhaps to reflect the mounting threat from the Dominion. There's also a lot more activity shown around the station in general, including a Nebula-class starship docked at an upper pylon.
  • Experimental Archeology: "Explorers".
  • Exploited Immunity: In the episode For The Uniform, Eddington bombs Cardassian colonies with chemicals that are harmful to them, but not humans. In response, Sisko bombs a Maquis colony in kind, threatening to continue doing so to force Eddington to surrender.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Odo is technically naked most of the time, but since he's a shape shifter it looks like he's wearing clothing and it's never really commented on. Although they never explain what happens to his communicator when he shifts.
    • When the Great Link transforms Odo into a biological humanoid in "Broken Link," he is ejected from the Great Link naked, in a literal example.
  • Expy: The Jem'Hadar are the equivalent of the Sontarans of the series, being a race of all-male clones bred to be warriors.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Section 31's plague (and the cure offered in exchange for peace) was what won the war in the end.

  • Faceplanting into Food: In one episode, Garak bails some of his friends and acquaintances out of the brig. He makes a souffle and presents it to the guard, then while the guard is busy inspecting the souffle, Garak gives him knock-out drugs and he blacks out into the souffle.
  • Fake Defector: Holographic simulation Garak in "The Search: Part 2".
  • Fake Guest Star: TONS. If you look at the title credits, you'll only see about 8 or 9 names in the cast list, but by the end of the series, the actual core cast had grown so much that it was at least twice that. And yet half of those names would be stuck on the Guest Star list right until the end of the series. Just goes to show how freaking HUGE DS9's cast was for the time, with maybe only Babylon 5 rivaling it; a heck of an accomplishment.
  • Fake Memories: The trope is toyed with in "Hard Time" but ultimately averted when Bashir determines that O'Brien actually did experience a sped-up simulation of some 20 years in prison (rather than simply having had those memories implanted). So the memories are real and can't just be removed without wiping the rest of the Chief's mind too.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Li Nalas in "The Circle" trilogy.
  • Fallen Hero: Admiral Leyton.
  • False Innocence Trick: This is how we meet our first Vorta, Eris, as a "prisoner" of the Jem'Hadar.
  • Family Extermination: The episode "Tacking Into The Wind" has The Dominion execute all of the members of Damar's family because of his leading the Cardassian Rebellion.
  • Fanservice Pack: After the season 4 opener, Kira received a tighter uniform with no shoulder pads, and high heels. (The effect was somewhat reduced mid-season when Nana Visitor became pregnant; see Real Life Writes the Plot below.)
  • Fantastic Caste System: The Bajorans used to have one, but it was abandoned during the occupation. Subtle references are made to it through-out the series before it was explicitly revealed in an episode where it is temporarily revived. Its enforcement by law would have threatened Bajor's application to join the Federation (which doesn't allow caste-based discrimination). In "Accession", a time-displaced Bajoran poet who claims to be the Emissary instead of Sisko tries to reinstate the caste system. The results are Played for Drama with Kira being visibly uncomfortable with lower-caste Bajorans deferring to her and her own struggles with her caste — as an artisan with zero artistic talent—which ultimately leads to a vedek killing a man because his family was considered unclean.
  • Fantastic Legal Weirdness: "Dax" has the Klaestrons try to extradite Jadzia Dax to try her for a murder allegedly committed by the Dax symbiont's previous host Curzon. Ben Sisko argues extensively that Jadzia and Curzon are not the same personnote  and therefore Jadzia can't be tried in place of Curzon, though the entire proceeding is rendered moot by Odo proving Curzon had an alibi.
  • Fantastic Racism: Downplayed, but all Vorta display an innate dislike of Ferengi.
  • Fantastic Terrorists: The Bajorans, including main cast member Major Kira Nerys, use terrorist tactics to resist the occupiers, which has lasting consequences throughout the series
  • Fantastic Vermin: Cardassian voles, six-legged creatures that infest the titular station. And they are a pain to get rid of.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The various races and governments have a similarity to nations from the Second World War. To elaborate:
    • The Cardassians (Nazi Germany) used to be impoverished and destitute, until a military dictatorship gave their people new life and a sense of hope. They proceeded to invade and occupy a relatively peaceful and defenseless planet, throwing millions of citizens into internment camps, using them for slave labor, and executing them when they could no longer work. They subscribe to the philosophy of racial superiority, believing their slaves to be an inferior race. They are decimated at the end of the war.
    • The Dominion (Imperial Japan) is a group of religious fanatics who worship their leaders as gods. Their soldiers are insanely loyal, and take pride in dying for their godlike leaders. In fact, they have small, cheap ships which are used for kamikaze missions.
    • The Federation (the U.S.) is a more civilized group of people, with a democratic government. But they continually find themselves crossing lines, and resort to a forbidden weapon to defeat the Dominion.
    • The Klingons (Soviet Union) are the Token Evil Teammate, who have allied with the democratic powers out of convenience. They are driven by a strong sense of patriotism, but their leader is paranoid that his generals will try to seize power, and will try to subvert or discredit them. They are also fairly careless about the lives of their men.
  • Fashion-Based Relationship Cue: Bajorans use "pledge bracelets" to mark a relationship somewhere below engagement ("betrothal bracelets" also exist). (One of) Gul Dukat's mistresses, Tora Naprem, wore one.
  • Fatal Family Photo: A rare example that's more than just foreshadowing. Lt. Hector Ilario shows a photo of him with his friends from the academy to Ezri Dax, before bidding her goodnight, near the start of the episode "Field of Fire." When she wakes up the next day it's been discovered that Ilario has been shot dead. It turns out by the end of the episode that the link between the victims is their smiling photos with family and friends.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Cardassians are occasionally referred to as "Cardies" and "spoonheads." "Shifter" and "Changeling" are used to refer to Odo's species, though the latter name was later adopted by the species as their name.
    • A Starfleet officer even referred to Cardassians as "spoonheads" in "Empok Nor", though this was in the background. But it's understandable in context; the crew is being stalked by fanatical Cardassians at the time.
    • O'Brien would occasional mutter "Cardie bastards", although it's been long established that his dislike of Cardassians is more due to unpleasant memories from the Federation-Cardassian war and holding them responsible for him having to take a life for the first time.
    • The Ferengi have a particularly snide way of pronouncing "hew-mon" that makes it clear they intend this. Jake reclaims it occasionally.
      • It's fairly intentional among Ferengi. Quark often pronounces "human" correctly (though not always), although that could also stem from his living among them for so long. In general, he only uses "hew-mon" if he's making an observation on the race as a whole (such as in The Siege of AR-558").
    • The way Brunt calls Quark a "philanthropist" and the way he reacts in the episode "Body Parts" implies this is one among Ferengi.
  • A Father to His Men: Sisko.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: Half of the crew goes their separate ways in the war's aftermath, making for one of the more melancholy Trek finales. Kira becomes El Jefe, Bashir and Ezri stick around (with Ezri humoring Julian by taking over for O'Brien in the holosuites), and Quark does what he always does, which suits him fine. "I don't like change."
  • Feudal Future: This is how the Dominion administrates itself.
    • The shape-shifting Founders are the royalty who keep entirely to themselves and are revered as gods by their genetically engineered servitors. They engineered the entire Dominion so that they could be left alone in peace and safety, segregated from the rest of the galaxy. In this way, the Dominion is the most elaborate security system ever devised to keep other races from knocking on the door. The Founders very rarely take an active role in the administration of the Dominion, usually only in times of war, and prefer to remain collectively merged together in their natural liquid state bound by a Hive Mind which they call the Great Link.
    • The Vorta are the active government, serving at the pleasure of the founders; they handle administration, diplomacy, trade and and military strategy during times of war. They serve as The Good Chancellor to the Founders, essentially "running" the Dominion for them to keep them safe from outside threats.
    • The Jem'Hadar are the soldiers; an inexhaustable army genetically bred for fighting in war and literally nothing elsenote  who will never betray the Founders and who handle defense and military actions, usually let by Vorta who act as the generals commanding ships and ground troops.
    • Every conquered race generally acts as a feudal vassal state; they are required to pay tribute to their Dominion masters in the form of resources, technology and scientific research, construction of weapons and starships, supplies and food, and the drug Ketracel White for the Jem'Hadar. In return, they are allowed to administrate themselves and can conduct trade with outsiders, with the approval of the Vorta leadership. They also receive the guarantee of peace and security and enjoy the highest standard of living the Dominion can provide, to ensure their loyalty. Any attempt at rebellion will result in swift punishment by the Jem'Hadar, and will often be Disproportionate Retribution to serve as a warning to all other servitor races to stay in line.
  • Fictional Disability: The episode "Melora" featured the eponymous character being from a planet with very low gravity. Most Elaysians never leave their homeworld for this reason. Melora adapting to "standard" gravity requires a special chair. It's treated as if it were a disability. She starts treatment that would make it possible for her to function completely normally in standard gravity, but decides not to go through with it as it means she'd never be able to return to her homeworld.
  • Fictional Constellation: The Bajorans have one called "The Runners". In "Second Sight" Siko notes that he can't figure out if the runners are running toward something or away from something.
  • Fictional Document: Jake Sisko's novel Anslem.
    • The Rules of Acquisition serve as another.
  • Fictional Geneva Conventions: The events of the series had effects on three previous agreements:
    • The Romulans amend the Treaty of Algeron, allowing the Federation to use a loaned cloaking device in exchange for intel on the Dominion. Originally the device could only be used in the Gamma Quadrant, but this was further amended so it could be also used in the Alpha Quadrantnote .
    • When the Federation-Cardassian Treaty was being undermined (with the Cardassians oppressing former Federation citizens), the Federation failed to effectively deal with the issue. As a result, the Maquis resistance force begin operations.
    • The Klingons withdraw from the Khitomer Accords, one of the major peace treaties between the Klingons and the Federation and the foundation of their alliance in the 24th century, after the Federation attempts to intervene in a Klingon war with the Cardassians which was instigated by the Dominion to drive a wedge between the two powers. The Klingons later agree to invoke the Accords again when the Dominion, aligned with the Cardassians, becomes an obvious and open threat to both powers.
  • Finale Production Upgrade: Got one in the nine-episode "Final Chapter", culminating in the conclusion of the four-season Dominion War, the defeat of Gul Dukat, and a massive space and ground battle to boot!
  • Final Solution: The destruction of Cardassia.
    (After discovering that their treatment of Cardassian civilians had caused the Cardassian fleet to defect)
    Female Changeling: I want the Cardassians exterminated.
    Weyoun: Which ones?
    Female Changeling: All of them. The entire population.
    Weyoun: That could... take some time.
    Female Changeling: Then I suggest you begin immediately.
    • Fortunately, this act (and thus, Karma) bites them in the ass hard when it a) forces the Cardassians to rise up as one, turning the tide in the space battle at a critical point, and b) depletes the defenses around their main base, allowing Damar's resistance group to storm it when everyone else is out trying to kill the Cardassians.
  • Find the Cure!: Section 31 creates a disease designed to annihilate the Founders in order to bring down the Dominion and end the war. In order to transmit the disease to the Founders, they use Odo as a carrier. This leads to three episodes of this for Dr. Bashir.
    • Subverted in "The Quickening." Bashir comes to the aid of a planet that was infected with a plague two centuries ago by the Jem'Hadar, expecting to swoop in with his genius and his gadgets and save the day with another miracle of 24th century Starfleet medicine. It doesn't work out that way. He does, however, find a vaccine that, when administered to pregnant women, makes their children immune to the disease, giving the civilization hope for the future.
  • First-Episode Twist: The station's relocation to near the wormhole. Cleverly, the pilot used a version of the opening credits that did not show the wormhole opening, which they would ever afterwards.
  • First-Name Basis: Sisko and Jadzia, Bashir and O'Brien, Dax and Kira, Jadzia and Bashir, Odo and Kira eventually.note 
    • Bashir tries to establish this early on with O'Brien, insisting that he call him Julian rather than "sir". At this point, O'Brien still found him incredibly irritating and so makes the first name sound even more formal and awkward than "sir" ever could. At the end of the episode, Bashir gives in and tells him to just drop it and address him how he likes. (The two naturally evolve into this after becoming friends a season later.)
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: The U.S.S. Defiant is an escort cruiser purposefully designed for combat, containing 4 fixed-forward pulse phaser cannons and 4 quantum torpedo launchers (2 fore, 2 aft).
  • Flanderization: When he was first introduced in "Equilibrium," Joran Dax was merely a mentally unstable man who killed a few people out of self-preservation. The episode treats him as a tragic and sympathetic character. In his later appearances, he is portrayed as a vicious serial killer.
  • Flaunting Your Fleets: There were a few shots like this, especially later in the series as the Dominion War (and the CGI) picked up.
  • Flawed Prototype: The first Defiant.
  • Flip Personality: There's an episode where other characters voluntarily share their bodies with the personalities of previous Dax hosts. Quark is very uncomfortable with the personality he's hosting and keeps emerging to complain.
  • Flying Saucer: The Defiant, per traditional Starfleet ship design, uses a mostly saucer-shaped hull. Most other Starfleet ships in her weight range, such as the Miranda and Centaur-class ships, show a typical arrangement, while of course larger Starfleet ships have a secondary sausage-shaped engineering hull attached to the saucer. The smaller Dominion warships are also essentially flying saucers, designed to invoke the look of beetles.
  • Food Pills: It is established that Starfleet field rations A) superficially resemble beef jerky, and B) are generally loathed by most Starfleet officers—except Chief O'Brien.
  • The Force Is Strong with This One: Certain Bajorans can read the strength of someone's pagh by grabbing their ear. Sisko's pagh is said to be particularly strong.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Will Worf and Jadzia get married in "You Are Cordially Invited"? What do you think?
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Possessed!Kira in Dramatis Personae acts a lot like her Mirror Universe counterpart, alternatively seductive and ferocious.
    • In Season 2's The Maquis, the Badlands are introduced with Sisko noting that a number of ships have been lost in the plasma storms over the last year. The mystery of the missing ships foreshadows the events of Star Trek: Voyager.
    • It's uncertain whether the writers had already decided at this stage that Dr Bashir was going to be a secret genetically engineered human, but it certainly appears to be hinted at in the fourth season episode Our Man Bashir when he calmly and effortlessly shoots Garak in the neck, resulting in a wound that could well have been lethal if he'd intended, but instead merely clipped the flesh.
    • In Sacrifice of Angels, the Prophets tell Sisko that he will not find peace on Bajor, and the female Changeling suggests that Odo will one day join the Great Link again. Both of these predictions come true in the series finale.
    • In "The Sound of Her Voice", O'Brien talks about how one day, someone they know is going to die. The camera pans to Jadzia, who dies the next episode.
    • In By Inferno's Light, a Romulan prisoner shares a popular saying from her homeworld: "Never turn your back on a Breen." This will pay off three seasons later when the Breen show exactly why the Romulans feel that way.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: The holographic communications array.
  • Four-Star Badass: Martok, more so than any other Klingon general.
    • Admiral Ross is no slouch in this department either, especially by the usual standards we've come to except from Starfleet flag officers.
  • Framing Device: The story of "Trials and Tribble-ations", being told by Sisko to Starfleet Temporal Investigations.
    • "Necessary Evil" has this same device but in a more roundabout way. Odo is narrating the present-day investigation, but his flashbacks are not directly presented as a "story" to another character or the audience. Odo specifically states that he hates keeping records or logs, so his memory itself is his "diary", so to speak.
    • "In The Pale Moonlight" is framed as Sisko recording a log entry about his actions (which he then deletes at the end of the episode).
  • Framing the Guilty Party: In The Pale Moonlight
  • Friend Versus Lover: Over O'Brien.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: In "Homefront", we find out that Captain Sisko's middle name is Lafayette this way, during an argument between him and his dad.
  • Fumbling the Gauntlet:
    • In Apocalypse Rising, Worf has to teach Sisko, O'Brien, and Odo how to act like Klingons for the espionage mission. During the rehearsal, Sisko accidentally challenges Worf to a Duel to the Death by backhanding him. Thankfully, Worf thinks of this trope, asks if Sisko meant to challenge him to a battle to the death, and suggests that Sisko simply strike Worf with his fist instead.
    • A rare case of two simultaneous examples occurs in "Our Man Bashir". Bashir and Garak are stuck on a James Bond style holodeck novel with the safeties off and the rest of the crew trapped inside. Garak wants to leave the holodeck but Bashir shoots and just clips him. As a result Garak agrees to continue having seen Bashir's determination to save the rest of the crew. However, when Garak calls for the door to leave he does it in an unnecessarily long winded way which gives Bashir time to shoot, showing that Garak was testing how far Bashir would go and if he would be prepared to kill him. On the other hand, as we later find out, Bashir is genetically modified and clipping Garak was an easy shot for him. So Bashir was fully in control of the situation and only made Garak think that he was prepared to kill him. Fridge Brilliance all around.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Yedrin Dax in "Children of Time".

  • Gallows Humor: Invoked by Kira and Garak when they realize the explosives they brought were worthless to infiltrate the Female Changeling's building.
    (Garak starts giggling. Kira follows.)
    Damar: I fail to see what is so funny, Garak.
    Garak: Well isn’t it obvious? Here we are, ready to storm the castle, willing to sacrifice our lives in the noble effort to slay the Dominion beast in its lair, and we can’t even get inside the gate!
    (Kira and Garak continue laughing.)
    Kira: (chortling) Maybe - maybe we can go up to the door and ask the Jem’Hadar to let us in!
    Damar: (joining in, laughing) Or let’s just have them send the Shapeshifter out to us!
  • Gambit Pileup: The Dominion War.
    • The episode "Defiant", invovling Starfleet, Maquis, Cardassian Central Command, and the joint Cardassian Obisdian Order-Romulan Tal Shiar fleet to destroy the Founders
    • Or even just the double episode Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast, which shows itself to be a double episode only at the end of the first part.
  • Game of Nerds: In "Take Me Out to the Holosuite," Sisko and his crew face off in a baseball game against a team of Vulcans, who are naturally fascinated with the sport's arcane rules.
  • Gender Bender: Dax has inhabited both male and female Trill hosts in its many symbiotic incarnations.
    • In "Profit and Lace," Quark temporarily becomes a female to attend a business meeting.
    • Odo briefly assumes the form of the Female Changeling during an espionage mission against the Dominion in "Tacking into the Wind."
  • Generational Saga: The Cardassian novel The Never-Ending Sacrifice is an In-Universe example. According to Garak, it's the masterpiece of the Cardassian fictional genre known as the "repetitive epic".
  • Genius Ditz: Rom.
  • Genocide Survivor: The series started with the Bajorans being newly liberated after surviving the Cardassian occupation. Their recovery is a major theme of the series.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: "The Die is Cast": Just before the ship is destroyed, Garak gets Odo to the runabout but goes back for Tain, who's trapped on the bridge in a state of shock. Garak can't talk sense into him and can't abandon him. Odo has to punch Garak unconscious to get him off the ship. Later, Garak does acknowledge that Odo's action was the only way to bring him to his senses and that it saved his life as a result.
  • Get Back to the Future: The plot of "Little Green Men".
  • Getting the Baby to Sleep: Miles finds the only way to get new baby Kirayoshi to sleep is to place him in the computer-pit of the Station's bridge. Or leave him with Worf. It is debatable which is the most silly.
  • The Ghost: There was a Running Gag revolving around two Starfleet officers who had Bizarre Alien Biology impossible to depict on-screen.
    • Captin Boday and his transparent skull. Jadzia was pretty fond of him and went out with him a few times, and Ezri later had dinner with him, while Kira was put off by the skull and apparently Insufferable Genius tendencies.
    • Ensign (later Lietuenant) Vilix'pran was always "budding" whenever he was mentioned, with some new detail about the reproductive or rearing process added each time. According to Jake, babysitting his dozen-plus hatchlings involved untangling their wings, while O'Brien had to build him a hatchling pond.
  • Gilligan Cut: Kira claims to be always diplomatic. Cut to her handling affairs...
    • When trying to procure a baseball card for his father, Jake and Nog find that the owner has gone missing. Recognizing a Bajoran speaking to Kai Winn as a guy from the auction bidding on the same lot, they suspect that Kai Winn is responsible and prepare to question her about it. Cut to them being berated in Sisko's office for accusing the Kai of theft and kidnapping.
    • During "In Purgatory's Shadow" Worf and Garak discover that Bashir has been replaced by a Changeling back on DS9. After the real Bashir comments that he can only imagine what his imposter must be up to and Worf says they must warn Captain Sisko before he can carry out his mission, we cut back to DS9 where the Bashir Changeling is delivering a plate of sandwiches to O'Brien and Dax. Darkly subverted when the Changeling later DOES carry out his mission—sabotaging the graviton emitter that O'Brien and Dax were working on in that very scene.
  • God-Emperor: The Founders of the Dominion use this to keep control of the Vorta and Jem'Hadar.
    • Well, that and genetic tampering, cultural manipulation, and drugs.
  • Godwin's Law: Dukat is compared to Hitler in some places. Nana Visitor, who plays Kira, said that Kira sees Dukat as Hitler, and nothing will ever change that.
  • Going Cold Turkey: Garak in "The Wire".
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Inverted, in that the gold itself doesn't make the latinum better. It's just a place to hold it.
    • Leads to a moment at the end of "Who Mourns for Morn?" Quark believes that he has finally avoided all the other people trying to claim a tremendous stash of stolen latinum. Only to break one open and realize "There's no latinum in these bricks! There's nothing here but worthless gold!" Cue Big "NO!" as he frantically flails around in a pile of gold dust.
      • Then Quark remembers that some primitive cultures still place great value in gold.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: A slow working version. During the Dominion War, Garak was key to Starfleet Intelligence in breaking Cardassian communications. He knew his actions were for the very best in the long run but with every transmission he translates he is killing more and more Cardassians. This builds over several years until the first bout of madness is his claustrophobia going to extreme levels where he cannot even be on the station. He is treated by Ezri Dax and they discover the truth before he gets any worse.
  • Good-Guy Bar: Quark's.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: The Cardassians and the Founders all sport the same slicked-back hairstyle. Notable exceptions are Gul Dar'heel's helmet hair from "Duet", and the varied hairstyles seen on Cardassian women.
  • Good Is Dumb: President Jaresh-Inyo runs on this during his appearances. He's a Nice Guy and well-intended, but also incredibly gullible, indecisive, and weak.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: Section 31.
  • Government Drug Enforcement: The Founders used Ketracel White, an addictive performance enhancer and vital nutrient supplement, to control their Jem'Hadar supersoldiers. Without it, they will die—but not before going into an uncontrollable berserker rage.
  • G-Rated Sex: Changeling linking. During the occupation of Deep Space Nine in "Behind the Lines" and "Favor the Bold," Odo and the Female Changeling spend days behind closed doors linking. The Female Changeling insists that sex pales in comparison to it — and since she's done both with Odo, she means this literally.
  • Graceful in Their Element: Melora Pazlar in low gravity.
  • Graffiti of the Resistance: An example of this being used in a non-dystopian setting; the xenophobic Circle in the Season Two opening three-parter express their distrust of the Federation and Provisional Government by tagging the station with a symbol based on the Bajoran crest.
  • Grand Theft Me: In "The Passenger," a criminal hijacks Bashir's body and in "Dramatis Personae," the senior staff is possessed by the telepathic remnants of an extinct civilization.
  • Greek Letter Ranks: In the episode "One Little Ship", Jem'Hadar are referred to by the quadrant in which they were created. Alphas come from the Alpha Quadrant, for example. Each type has traits meant to make them better warriors against opponents from governments in the corresponding quadrants. (The system is not alphabetical; Gammas were created before Alphas.)
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: Section 31. They will do anything to ensure the continuing existence of the Federation. And we do mean anything.
  • Green Rocks: The Orbs or "Tears of the Prophets" had a wide variety of uses.
  • Guarding The Portal: A large part of the crew's mandate is to deal with the Bajoran wormhole.
  • Guilt-Induced Nightmare: In one episode, Quark sells some weapons, and then has a nightmare where several of his acquaintances are zombies and telling him off for "killing" them.
  • Gunship Rescue: In Sacrifice of Angels, Commander Worf comes through with a fleet of gunships. Diving in from the sun, no less.

  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: It's Star Trek; a certain amount of hamminess is to be expected. But the truly epic argument between Quark and Ishka in "Profit and Lace" really takes the ham-flavored cake with bacon frosting.
  • Hammerspace: In "Defiant", after Kira releases the Defiant's command codes, Riker fires a phaser at her to stun her. He wasn't wearing a phaser. And it's a type-two phaser, not the smaller type-one which someone could conceivably conceal in their palm.
    • This is subverted in the episode "For the Cause", in which Eddington also sneak-attacks Kira; however, he and the other Starfleet Security officers were already armed on this occasion.
    • Justified in the episode "Badda-Bing Badda-Bang": when Vic asks how they plan on just walking away with a million dollars, Odo explains that he'll hide it inside himself.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: In "Doctor Bashir, I Presume", at one point Leeta gets so excited by Zimmerman's offer of her own cafe to run that she walks over to him, all excited, completely forgetting that she was just wearing a towel, isn't anymore, and hadn't got around to putting anything else on yet. When she realizes, she grabs a bouquet of flowers to cover her chest with as she retreats to the bedroom to get dressed.
  • Hate Crimes Are a Special Kind of Evil: The Cardassians had oppressed the Bajorans for a very long time. This resulted in a few incidents of hate crimes by both sides, both during and after the occupation ended.
    • In the episode "Duet", a Cardassian named Marritza has altered his appearance and feigns being the cold monster who ran a forced labor camp, Gul Darhe'ell, who was guilty of war crimes against the Bajorans. When he's finally revealed as Marritza, a mere file clerk, he tearfully tells Kira that he took on this role to try and force Cardassia to own up to its sins, that he used to go to bed in that camp at night, weeping to the sound of the torture his own people were causing, feeling horrible for the people who were suffering, and calling himself a coward for not doing anything about it. Kira, who has been hostile to him while believing he was Darhe'ell, now is sympathetic to him, and arranges for his release. He is immediately murdered in front of Kira by a fellow Bajoran.
      Kira: [broken-hearted] Why? He wasn't Darhe'ell! WHY?
      Kainon: He's a Cardassian. That's reason enough.
    • Nowhere is the Cardassian occupation mentality put more on display than in the episode "Waltz", when Gul Dukat goes on a rant to Sisko, unironically claiming that he wasn't evil.
      Gul Dukat: From the moment we arrived on Bajor it was clear that we were the superior race, but they couldn't accept that. They wanted to be treated as equals, when they most certainly were not. Militarily, technologically, culturally — we were almost a century ahead of them in every way. We did not choose to be the superior race. Fate handed us that role and it would have been so much easier on everyone if the Bajorans had simply accepted their role. But no — day after day they clustered in their temples and prayed for deliverance and night after night they planted bombs outside of our homes. Pride — stubborn, unyielding pride. From the servant girl that cleaned my quarters, to the condemned man toiling in a labor camp, to the terrorist skulking through the hills of Dahkur Province — they all wore their pride like some twisted badge of honor.
      Sisko: And you hated them for it.
      Gul Dukat: Of course I hated them! I hated everything about them! Their superstitions and their cries for sympathy, their treachery and their lies, their smug superiority and their stiff-necked obstinacy, their earrings, and their broken, wrinkled noses!
  • Hate Plague: In Dramatis Personae, a telepathic thingy that caused the extinction of a Gamma Quadrant species turns the crew (except Odo) into a pack of raging factional paranoids.
  • Heart Drive: In Passenger, a criminal named Rao Vantika has his brain copied to a microchip that he embeds into Bashir's skin. This enables him to take over Bashir's body.
  • Heaven Above: The Bajoran religion states that their gods, the Prophets, live in the Celestial Temple above the skies of Bajor. In the pilot episode "Emissary," the Temple turns out to be a wormhole that terminates in the Bajoran solar system that Sufficiently Advanced Aliens traveled through.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Damar. Also Kai Winn, at the last moment of her life.
  • Heroic BSoD: Sisko has one at the end of the season 6 finale; the first few episodes of season 7 were devoted to showing him getting through it.
    • In "For The Uniform", he faked one in order to bring Eddington down. And did it extremely convincingly.
    • Quark got this, but not from a failure. When he just opened fire on two Jem'Hadar soldiers, killing them and allowing his brother to be saved, he stands there shocked that he did something like that.
      • Played far more seriously in The Siege of AR-558, where Quark spends most of the episode deriding humans' violent and bloodthirsty nature when they are threatened or deprived of their creature comforts. When Quark kills a Jem'Hadar to defend his wounded nephew, Quark shows signs of Heroic BSoD as he realizes he has become just as violent.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Li Nalas through Taking the Bullet for Sisko.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The whole Section 31 genocide on the Changelings and the Federation's tacit approval leads some characters to ask what makes the Federation so much better than the Dominion if they're willing to stoop to committing the same kind of war crimes.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Upon realizing that Garak blew up a Romulan senator's shuttle, Sisko barges into his shop to deliver this greeting.
    • Sisko seems very fond of this greeting.
    • As does Worf.
    • A rifle butt to the face seems to be the Jem'Hadar version of a handshake.
  • Hijacked Destiny: Captain Sisko has become the Emissary of the Prophets, somewhat reluctantly. In the episode "Accession", a Bajoran poet from 200 years ago named Akorem Laan comes through the wormhole and claims to be Emissary, not entirely against Sisko's wishes. Sisko begins to regret giving up the title when Akorem institutes policies that go against Federation standards.
  • Historical In-Joke: Ferengi land at Roswell.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the season 1 episode Dax, Jadzia Dax faces murder charges from Ilon Tandro, who blames Curzon Dax for killing his father, General Ardelon Tandro; this bites Ilon in the ass three times.
    • First, he kidnaps Jadzia instead of asking for extradition despite having an extradition treaty with the Federation; this is because DS9 is technically a Bajoran station, and by sabotaging DS9 in order to kidnap Jadzia, they've given Bajor a perfectly good reason to get involved.
    • Second, it turns out Curzon was having an affair with the Ardelon's wife, which is not only a motive, but turned out to be his alibi. Ilon went through all that trouble to hunt down his father's murderer, only to find out said murderer was innocent because he was busy banging his mom.
    • Third is that the evidence suggesting Curzon betrayed Ardelon, was Ardelon betraying Curzon. Ardelon was regarded as a war hero who was betrayed by one of his inner circle, but Ardelon was the traitor, it just never came to light.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Tended to be the show that subverted this the most in Star Trek. You have replicators? Self-replicating minefield. Your transporter accidentally sent you to a parallel universe? The other universe standardized the technology. And if you can transmit hologram packages to the Delta Quadrant, you can probably manage real-time holodeck communications in the Alpha Quadrant. They're also the only one of the five shows to actually let their main characters use cloaking technology which was present in all of themnote . They even let their augmented human practice medicine openly.
  • Holding the Floor: In "Looking for Par'mach in all the Wrong Places", Quark demands the Ferengi Right of Proclamation during a duel with a Klingon to give Worf and Dax the opportunity to fix the mechanism that allows them to remote control Quark's body during the duel. The Klingons give it to him as he has respected their traditions and they should respect his, though it's unclear whether this "Proclamation" is an actual tradition or whether Quark made it up on the spot to stall proceedings.
  • Holier Than Thou: Winn Adami, the eventual spiritual leader of Bajor, and a jealous and power-hungry Knight Templar, to boot.
    • Quark, oddly enough, pulls off a pretty awesome holier-than-thou when he points out to Sisko how, though humans look down upon Ferengi for their Straw Capitalist culture, humans are actually reacting to memories of their own capitalist past and the ugliness that went on in their culture as a result. He follows up by pointing out that Ferengi have managed to avoid that ugliness and brutality through commitment to their principles, such as they may be, making Ferengi superior to humans.
      Quark: The way I see it, humans used to be a lot like Ferengi: greedy, acquisitive, interested only in profit. We're a constant reminder of a part of your past you'd like to forget.
      Sisko: Quark, we don't have time for this.
      Quark: You're overlooking something, Commander. Humans used to be a lot worse than Ferengi. Slavery, concentration camps, interstellar war; we have nothing in our past that approaches that kind of barbarism. You see? We're nothing like you. We're better.
      • YMMV, one of his examples is that they never had anything like slavery. But ALL Ferengi females are considered property and forbidden to own anything or earn profit. At least until Quark's feminist mother turns out to be the most brilliant business mind of her generation. (Also the Ferengi were too moral to profit by making others work for free? Really? But they would sell you into indentured servitide if you were a woman who made profit.)
  • Holodeck Malfunction: "Our Man Bashir", sort of. Actually, it was more an example of something going wrong with the transporter, and the holodeck worked to keep the physical patterns of the crewmembers intact. (On the other hand, the holodeck's safety routines did malfunction, so...)
    • The frequency of this sort of occurrence in Star Trek: The Next Generation was lampshaded in "The Way of the Warrior":
      Worf: We were like warriors from the ancient sagas. There was nothing we couldn't do.
      O'Brien: Except keep the holodecks working right.
  • Honesty Aesop: Conversed. Julian Bashir and Elim Garak at one point argue about the lesson taught about the fable of the Boy Who Cried "Wolf". Garak is of the opinion that the actual lesson is not "don't lie", but rather "never tell the same lie twice".
  • Honey Trap: Played for Laughs in "For the Cause". The first time Ziyal asks Garak out on a date, Quark and Garak speculate about her motives for doing so. Quark accidentally convinces Garak that Kira's come up with a plan to use Ziyal as a Honey Trap to kill Garak on Dukat's behalf.
  • Honor Before Reason: The aversion of this in "In the Pale Moonlight" results in one of the most respected and controversial episodes of the series.
  • Hostile Terraforming: Sisko used a specialized warhead to poison the atmosphere in such a manner that it would be uninhabitable for human life, but functional for Cardassian in an attempt to force Eddington to surrender. Though the Maquis did pretty much the same thing (except rendering it uninhabitable to Cardassian life but safe to human) to multiple Cardassian colonies.
  • Hot Drink Cure: In one episode, Leeta has a crush on Bashir and pretends to be sick to get his attention. Bashir isn't fooled but gives her a hot alcoholic drink called "Fanalian toddy", jokingly saying that it'll make her "better" and that he wants one too as he feels a cough coming on.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: In some of the Fan Fiction, Odo and Nerys's relationship gets this treatment. Odo's species being shapeshifters, it's speculated by some that he brings certain special skills to the bedroom.
    • He outright transforms into a cloud of sparkling gas at one point to give Kira an idea of what the Great Link is like. It's safe to say this is not the first (or last) time his shapeshifting skills have been used for kinky purposes. (Apparently, after they were done filming that scene Rene Auberjonois said to Nana Visitor, "God, you make me look like such a great lover!")
      • Well, he DID have physical sex with the female Changeling at one point, just to show her what it was like for "solids".
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: This is the general attitude other Cardassians inside the Union have for Garak. Gul Toran even says this line verbatim in "Profit and Loss".
    • Damar clearly feels this way about Cardassians towards the end of the Dominion War, regretting Dukat's decision to bind them to their new masters.
  • How Would You Like to Die?: When Dr. Giger asks Jake and Nog, "Do you want to die?" in "In the Cards", Jake and Nog are taken aback and take it as this threat. Subverted when it turns out it's just the opening line of Giger's sales pitch for the Cellular Regeneration and Entertainment Chamber.
  • Humanity Ensues: Odo, for the first half of the fifth season.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: The famous exchange between Quark and Garak regarding root beer.
    Quark: I want you to try something for me. Take a sip of this.
    Garak: What is it?
    Quark: A human drink; it's called root beer.
    Garak: I dunno...
    Quark: Come on. Aren't you just a little bit curious?
    Garak takes a sip, wincing as he tastes it.
    Quark: What do you think?
    Garak: It's vile!
    Quark: I know. It's so bubbly, cloying... and happy.
    Garak: Just like the Federation.
    Quark: And you know what's really frightening? If you drink enough of it, you begin to like it.
    Garak: It's insidious.
    Quark: Just like the Federation.
  • Humans Are Warriors: The humans are some of the most brutal fighters in the Dominion war, especially seen in "The Siege of AR-558", where Quark points it out bluntly to his nephew.
    • The USS Defiant is a triumphant example of what happens when the "Enlightened, Evolved Humans" decide to stop pussyfooting around with that exploration junk, and make a ship to murder some Borg.
    • And it's not just the Defiant. After Wolf 359, Starfleet's entire ship design aesthetic shifts from 'well-defended exploration vessels,' to 'flying death designed to be capable of engaging and defeating the Borg.' This new breed of Federation starships play a huge role in the Dominion War.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Frequently. It often brings up some very valid points which are not always flattering. The Borg Collective is even invoked by comparison.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: "Captive Pursuit" and the Tosk hunt.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Downplayed. The wormhole connecting the Alpha and Gamma Quadrants, in addition to being stable unlike other wormholes, is home to a race of Starfish Aliens that Bajorans worship as their gods, the Prophets. The wormhole aliens tend not to like being bothered, but are otherwise civil although they're not afraid to make an entire fleet of ships vanish without a trace if pushed.
  • Hypocrite
    • Sloan in "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges". When Bashir expresses concern that Koval, the head of the Tal Shiar, has expressed interest in obtaining and deploying bioweapons, Sloan says "Yes, these are not nice people." About two minutes later, Sloan is asking Bashir if there's any known way to cause the terminal illness that Koval is suspected to have to unexpectedly begin to progress faster.
      • Triply so when you consider that Section 31, and Sloan in particular, are responsible for the disease killing the Founders.
      • To be fair, Sloan never said that Section 31 themselves were nice people.
    • The Founders in their entire rather prejudiced philosophy. They accuse the “Solids” of being prejudiced, narrow-minded and hostile. Furthermore, they say it is because of their unique Changeling nature that they are treated this way, with the Solids always acting so bigoted. First off, the Changelings are treated no differently than any other species in the galaxy: accepted by those who are open-minded enough, and treated aggressively by those who are different than them and too narrow-minded to accept them (at that point in time anyway). They are certainly not the first species to be treated with prejudice and hostility, and they certainly haven’t been treated the worst by interstellar standards. Secondly, it is the prejudice of the Changelings towards “solids” that determines the Dominion. It is their racism and hostility that has dominated as far as they can possibly reach, fostered by their fear of the “solids” because they are different than them (although ironically while on Earth one Changeling taunted Sisko that they weren't afraid of them, despite their fear being the primary reason for the incursion into the Alpha Quadrant). They act towards humanoids in the exact same way as those who initially persecuted them and with the same mindset and narrow-minded belief in their own superiority. In their hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness they are no different than any other species, and certainly no different in their fear and hostile response – especially in how they divorce themselves from their victims and blame the “solids” for the Dominion in the first place. Considering what the Founders have done to the Jem’Hadar and the Vorta, amongst countless others, their crimes rate them as one of the most brutal, vicious and ruthless races in the galaxy, if not the most intolerant and bigoted.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Garak snarking about how on Romulus, the predominant color is gray: "the buildings, the clothes, the people." Garak complaining about gray people is a bit strange, considering...

  • I Am Not Him: Provides the page quote.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: "I am Quark, son of Keldar, and I have come to answer the challenge of D'Ghor, son of... whatever."
    • D'Ghor's reaction suggests that this is a deadly insult to a Klingon. Also note that he says "whatever" not "whoever" and what that implies.
    • The way Armin Shimerman delivers this line ultimately foreshadows a role he would play 13 years later...
    • And of course, "I am Worf, son of Mogh!" This is actually quite a common introduction among Klingons.
    • Notable in that when Alexander does not introduce himself in this fashion, it signifies a large rift between him and his father.
  • I Banged Your Mom: The season 6 episode 'Wrongs Darker than Death or Night' starts with Dukat contacting Kira Nerys to tell her exactly this; her mother Kira Meru was taken as a comfort woman during the Occupation and Dukat took her as one of his mistresses.
    • This turns out to be the key to resolving the mystery in the season 1 episode 'Dax', where Jadzia Dax is accused of having betrayed and murdered a war hero in her past life as Curzon Dax by the dead man's son. As it turns out, Curzon had a flawless alibi: he was nailing the man's wife at the time he was killed. Contrary to normal usage of the trope, though, this is revealed by the woman herself to clear Dax at the last second, when Dax refuses to reveal the secret herself.
  • Idiot Ball: Sisko and Kira in "Resurrection". We're at war, someone's beaming into Ops and we have no idea who they are or where they're coming from. Don't have the guards rush over there or anything, just assume it's harmless. Surprise, the bad guy has a phaser and takes Kira hostage. To be fair to Kira, she realizes almost immediately that his phaser is useless, and after playing along all the way to the airlock, she lets him know the gig is long since up and beats the snot out of him.
    • Odo in "Invasive Procedures." After finding Quark messing around in an airlock with the flimsy excuse that he is "meditating," he simply orders him out and completely fails to actually look around the airlock (where the only means Quark took to hide a signal device was to stick it on the same wall as the door). There is really no way Odo should fail to do this, given that suspicion and investigation are hallmarks of his interaction with Quark.
    • The Klingons' use of the Bat'leth in battle. A particularly egregious example occurs "The Way of the Warrior" where they fail to remember that just because Humans Are Diplomats, doesn't mean that in a fight they aren't the Combat Pragmatist. After gunning down the first wave of invading Klingons on the station, they simply take their fallen Bat'leths and use them to slaughter more invading Klingons. Some episodes did try to make them seem more pragmatic with Worf and Jadzia debating Bat'leth tactics, but even in those scenes it's hard not to notice how cumbersome the weapons are.
  • I Don't Pay You to Think: In the episode "Bar Association," Quark tells Leeta "I don't pay you to think. I pay you to spin the Dabo wheel."
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Shakaar worrying to Odo about starting a relationship with Kira. Later, Odo and Kira. Even later, Bashir and Ezri Dax, for about a day, until they start making out in a turbolift.
  • Ignorant About Fire: When Quark's sleeve catches fire, he doesn't know how to put it out and just waves his arm around in fear.
  • I Have Your Wife: The plot of "The Assignment". Delivered by the wife herself (well, her mouth at least), since the hostage-taking involves Demonic Possession.
    • Also the plot of "The Magnificent Ferrengi." Except replace "Wife" with "Girlfriend," and "Your" with "Grand Nagus." Also it's Quark and Rom's mother as well.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: As befitting the episode, Bashir does this on "Trials and Tribble-ations."
  • Informed Attribute: Morn is consistently touted as extremely chatty and social, even though he never speaks onscreen.
  • Injured Limb Episode:
    • Chief O'Brien dislocates his shoulder in two episodes. Thankfully, Bashir can cure that easily, although it does leave O'Brien with tenderness, leading Bashir to Spot the Imposter as the imposter doesn't have any tenderness.
    • In "Move Along Home", rocks appear to fall on Dax's leg, leaving her unable to jump, although it turns out to be an illusion.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: In Season 7, the Breen might as well be a bunch of humanoid R2-D2s.
  • Intentional Mess Making: Dax apparently likes to prank the extreme neat freak Odo by moving things in his quarters a few centimetres out of place.
  • I Say What I Say: O'Brien in "Visionary" hates temporal mechanics. Both of him.
  • I Shall Return: Sisko's speech at the end of season 5, where he tells the people of DS9, "I will not rest until I stand with you again," before leaving to fight the Dominion.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Martok's adjutant to Kor in "Once More Unto The Breach" when Kor decides to take Worf's place commanding a suicide mission.
  • It Will Never Catch On: "Far Beyond the Stars" both plays this for laughs (Shimmerman's character pitches Buffy a few decades too early) and for brutal drama (the magazine's owner cancels the issue rather than publish a story about a black spaceship captain).
  • I "Uh" You, Too: O'Brien to Bashir in "Explorers"
    O'Brien: Well, people either love you or hate you. I hated you when we first met.
    Bashir: I remember.
    O'Brien: But now... Well, now I don't.
    Bashir: That means a lot to me, Chief. It really does.
    O'Brien: Really. Now that is from the heart. I really do... not hate you anymore.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down:
    • Injured Kira to Dax after the crash in "The Seige", but Dax takes her along anyway.
    • Dax is bleeding to death in "Change of Heart" and Worf leaves her behind to finish the mission. He ends up abandoning the mission to come back for her.
    • Humorous example in "The Ascent", where Quark hauls the injured Odo up a mountain on a stretcher. When Odo protests, Quark emphasizes his reasoning: Odo's along for emergency rations; if he dies, he's food.
    • Lampshaded in Season 7 when Worf gets shot as he and Ezri try to escape the Dominion:
    Worf: Leave me!
    Ezri: Shut up!
  • Icon of Rebellion: In a story arc, Bajor is threaten by a nationalistic group called the Circle. These extremists would spray paint their symbol as vandalism or in their headquarters.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: When Garak suggests Kira might have been the one who blew up his shop, Bashir tells him to be serious about the situation.
    Garak: I am serious. I don't think she likes me.
    Odo: She doesn't. But if she wanted you dead, you would be.
    Garak: You do have a point.
  • If You Can Read This: The Promenade Directory is full of in-jokes.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Quark manages to really mess with Garak's head with this line of reasoning in "For The Cause".
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy:
    • In "Body Parts" Keiko O'Brien is badly injured in a shuttle accident, and Dr. Bashir is forced to transplant the unborn Kirayoshi O'Brien into Kira Nerys, the only other female present. In this case it was an Enforced Trope: In real life, Nana Visitor (Kira) was married to Alexander Siddig (Bashir) and had gotten pregnant with his baby, and rather than find some way to Hide Your Pregnancy they wrote it into the script.
    • In "The Darkness and the Light" a Serial Killer targets the surviving members of Kira's old Bajoran resistance cell, eventually luring the very pregnant Kira to his hideout, stunning her, and then attempting to cut Kirayoshi out of her (the intent was to save the innocent baby and take revenge on Kira). She manages to turn the tables and shoot him.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: In "Inquisition", when Julian is beamed aboard the Defiant, he's surprised to realize that O'Brien's shoulder isn't hurting him. He mentions the way he had injured it playing springball, which functions as an Impostor Exposing Test, since the real O'Brien had hurt his shoulder kayaking in the holosuite. Turns out the whole thing was a holodeck simulation designed to get Bashir to confess to being a Dominion spy.
  • Impostor Exposing Test: The blood screening for changelings. Not only does it not work, it turns out to have been suggested by a changeling in the first place.
  • In-Series Nickname: Jadzia Dax is "Old Man" to Sisko (and Ezri, to some extent)
  • In Spite of a Nail: A very big nail! Even though the galaxy is completely different in the mirror universe where the Terran Empire are in charge, somehow all the main characters not only have been born but feature prominently in the story. And when a new character enters Deep Space 9 (Worf, Ezri) they begin to feature in the mirror universe.
  • In the Back: As Garak points out, it's the safest way to shoot someone.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: "One Little Ship".
  • Indy Ploy: In "The House of Quark," Quark realizes Grilka is making up her plan as she goes along. When she seems unsure what the next move should be, he offers some guidance.
  • Innocuously Important Episode:
    • "Rules of Acquisition" is a typical Ferengi episode that just happens to feature the first mention of the Dominion.
    • "The Assignment" appears to be a generic Monster of the Week story at first. However, it introduces the Pah-Wraiths, the enemies of the Bajoran Prophets, who eventually become a key part of the main plot.
  • Insane Troll Logic: After concluding their long running war and seeking Federation assistance to dispose of their biological weapons, the T'Lani and the Kelleruns decide the best way to keep themselves safe is to murder the Federation officers sent to help them and fire on a Federation runabout, which Sisko explicitly states is an act of war.
  • Insistent Terminology: DS9 is not a Federation station... it's a Bajoran station under Federation administration. This is repeated several times by Sisko and especially Kira in the early seasons.
  • Insufferable Genius: Bashir, especially in early seasons. Arguably got worse after the truth about his genetic enhancements came to light. This was lampshaded by Garak in "A Time To Stand".
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Dax and Sisko.
  • Interspecies Romance: Since the cast is comprised of several different species, there are a lot of these. Jadzia is fancied by both Quark and Bashir, and ends up marrying Worf; Ezri, in turn, eventually enters into a relationship with Bashir. Dukat has a thing for Bajoran women - he had several Bajorn mistresses and has a half-Bajoran half-Cardassian daughter, Tora Ziyal - and he lusts after Kira. Odo's been in love with Kira for quite a while as well. Quark has a brief marriage and recurring relationship with Grilka, a Klingon woman, as well as an old flame in the form of Natima Lang, a Cardassian scholar. Rom pines after and eventually marries Leeta, a Bajoran, who previously dated Bashir. Ziyal has a crush on Garak, who possibly reciprocates, and Garak has something that's never quite defined with Bashir. Phew.
  • The Intern: Bashir, for the first season or so. He's in charge of the infirmary because they're so short-staffed and nobody wanted the job, anyway.
  • Intimate Marks: An exchange between Jadzia and a Boy of the Week provides the page quote. Starting with this series Trills all have dual rows of spots starting at their foreheads and continuing down their sides to their feet. A minor Running Gag is that non-Trills would like to know just how far down the spots go. This was enforced over the Rubber-Forehead Aliens look used in the Trills' debut in Star Trek: The Next Generation: "The Host" because the DS9 TV crew thought the TNG makeup made Terry Farrell look ugly.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Jake, who stays behind after the Dominion takeover of the station.
  • Is That What He Told You?: Garak; several characters who were around for the Occupation.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): The Cardassian name for Deep Space Nine is Terok Nor.
    • According to the Expanded Universe, this is based upon the Cardassian name for Bajor: Terok.
  • It's All About Me: A plot point of Season 6's "In the Pale Moonlight". Sisko realizes that this is how to appeal to the Romulans to enter the Dominion War. They won't do it help their oldest rivals…but they would do it to protect their own interests.
    • On an individual level, Kai Winn Adama and former Lieutenant Commander Michael Eddington also demonstrate a very self-centred attitude, Kai Winn constantly presenting herself as certain that she must be Kai even when she doesn't truly believe in the Prophets and Eddington presenting every attempt Sisko makes to capture him as though Sisko is just lashing out at Eddington for tricking him rather than acknowledging the wider issues behind the treaty with the Cardassians that prompted Eddington's rebellion in the first place.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: Ezri believes this about the Klingon Empire, in stark contrast with Jadzia's tendency to romanticize it.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: Kira complains that some medicinal herbs Bashir gave her for her pregnancy "taste like something that crawled out of Quark's ear."
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Jadzia to Sisko and Kira in "Move Along Home", Kira to Jadzia in "The Siege", a humorous example by Odo to Quark in "The Ascent", Jadzia to Worf in "Change of Heart", Worf to Ezri in "The Changing Face of Evil".
  • I Was Having Such a Nice Dream: Kira walks into a cargo bay where Sisko seems to be contemplating a Bajoran artifact. When he doesn’t respond she reaches out to wake him from the vision he was having. Startled, he tells her in detail about what his vision was showing him, the answer to the mystery of the artifact. He was almost to the climax of the story when he stops. “Then what happened?” Kira asks breathlessly. “I don’t know,” Sisko replied,”SOMEBODY woke me up!”

  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • When a Cardassian starts killing off Kira's friends from the resistance, their deaths are horrific and tragic. And then we meet the Cardassian who did it, who is mumbling about evil and good, dark and light etc. and he seems insane... And then we find out that he was actually just a butler in the Cardassian occupation who had never hurt a Bajoran, and who was horribly disfigured when Kira bombed the house of a significant Cardassian official in an assassination attempt. In doing so, she killed his family, his children, and 12 others and crippling 23 other Cardassians who were completely uninvolved. In return, the Butler who was killing off her friends had only killed the five who were involved in the attempt and was very careful not to hurt any innocent people. His final speech to Kira is rather damning and casts a lot of doubt on her actions and motives in the Resistance:
    Kira: None of you belonged on Bajor. It wasn't your world. For fifty years you raped our planet and you killed our people. You lived on our land and you took the food out of our mouths, and I don't care whether you held a phaser in your hand or ironed shirts for a living. You were all guilty and you were all legitimate targets!
    • Kai Winn has a point when she calls Kira out on her belief that only the members of the Bajoran resistance fought against the Cardassians, reminding the Major that she was arrested for teaching the word of the Prophets and was in a prison camp for five years, subject to beatings and with only her faith and courage to protect her.
      • This point is made overlooking the distinction between moral courage (to admit she was wrong and reverse her position about Sisko and the Federation) and physical courage (to commit acts which will risk physical pain, like preaching the Prophets.)
    • Quark doesn't think much of the Federation, berating them as self-absorbed and condescending. Believing themselves to be the pinnacle of civilized society and a shining example to the rest of the galaxy. He isn't wrong either. The Federation is constantly reminding others of how advanced and morally impeccable they are, lecturing others on what they believe is wrong with their culture and societies, encouraging everyone else to join their much better way of life. He criticizes Humans in particular, saying that despite all their advances and progress deep down they're just as violent and dangerous as anyone else. The later seasons prove this to be correct.
    • Given how this Trek series (more than others) is about moral ambiguity, it stands to reason there would be a lot of harsh realities frequently pointed by not-so-loved characters. When Shakaar keeps soil rejuvenators to work his own lands the Kai has to take them back so other provinces have a chance to improve their soil. Sisko tells her she's overreacting and Winn has to make the point this situation is about more than just farm equipment. Without law and order their fragile planet will quickly break down and descend into chaos.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Most of the Federation/Bajoran characters look down on Quark for his various, morally ambiguous schemes, but it's repeatedly shown that from a Fenengi perspective he's shockingly generous and sentimental. For example, Kira and other Bajorans regard Quark as little more than a war profiteer, but as it turns out selling food and medicine to the Bajoran resistance at just above cost was seen as a horrendous act of philanthropy that warranted banishing Quark from Ferengi society.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: In "Defiant", when Gul Dukat wants to send Cardassian warships to patrol a certain sector, the resident Obsidian Order observer tells him in no uncertain terms that that sector is under direct control of the Order, and any ship sent into it—including Cardassian warships—will be destroyed.

  • Kangaroo Court: The Cardassian legal system. Verdicts are determined in advanced and the accused is "always guilty." Your legal counsel is there to help you accept your guilt so you can demonstrate remorse for the audience. All this to assure Cardassian citizens that justice is unwavering, swift, and perfect.
    • A perfect example is the opening of O'Brien's trial:
    Makbar: "The offender, Miles O'Brien, human, officer of the Federation Starfleet has been found guilty of aiding and abetting seditious acts against the state. The sentence is death. Let the trial begin."
  • Karma Houdini:
    • The Founders, responsible for the deaths of millions, have very little happen to them. They lose numerous ships and soldiers, which they regard as expendable anyway, and they suffer from a disease for a while before they get cured. Again, they're cured, and their Dominion is intact in the Gamma Quadrant.
    • Kai Winn, arguably. Although she dies in the end, considering she attempted to assassinate her rival, let her misguided accomplice take the fall for it, secretly supported Jaro's coup d'etat, and ended up conspiring with Dukat to release the Pah-Wraiths, this karma seems paltry.
  • Kavorka Man: Morn got a lot of action for a bald, acne-ridden walrus thing. Supposedly, women find him to be a great conversationalist.
    • Quark has a lot of torrid love affairs for a greedy little troll man with some abhorrent views on women
    • A Running Gag is Jadzia rejecting advances from various guys, yet agreeing to go out with Captain Boday, an Übermensch who happens to have a see-thru head.
      Jadzia: He happens to be brilliant; his brain is twice the size of yours and mine combined.
      Kira: I know, I've seen it.
  • Kids Play Matchmaker: Captain Sisko is a single father of a teenage boy named Jake ever since his wife Jennifer died. In a few episodes, Jake introduced Sisko to this woman named Kasidy Yates in hopes they'll end up dating. They do.
  • Kill the Poor: In a Time Travel episode where Sisko, Bashir, and Dax accidentally travel back to Earth Twenty Minutes into Our Future. Sisko and Bashir are assumed to be homeless by the police who find them and they are sent to an interment camp for the indigent. The government of the time claims that it's a progressive measure to help the less fortunate, but Sisko points out that it's really just a way to sweep the poor under the rug so other people don't have to think about them.
  • Killed Off for Real: What is it with Ron Moore killing off semi-regulars? First Bariel, then Kira's resistance cell, then Kor, then Gowron... Lwaxana better watch out!
  • Killing for a Tissue Sample: In the episode "Who Mourns for Morn?" a group of thieves show up on the station to get at Morn's horde of Gold Pressed Latinum from a heist they had all participated in years earlier, and which Morn has willed to Quark. The delivery is coded to Quark's thumbprint, and one of the thieves threatens to kill Quark and take his thumb if he doesn't cooperate. One of the other thieves points out that it'd be more than a little suspicious if they showed up with a bloody severed thumb to get at the delivery.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: The prototype TR-116 Rifle. Designed to operate in environments where energy weapons are unable to function, less unwieldy than a phaser and can be easily modified with a transporter to allow it shoot through walls. Starfleet apparently refused to mass-produce the weapon because it actually worked!
  • Kiss Diss: Kasidy does this to Sisko once after he apologizes for being afraid of commitment.
  • Klingon Promotion: Multiple times, including one Ferengi episode, but most notably with Gowron's removal.
    • Ferengi don't actually practice it, and the guy who tried it was dismissed as a complete idiot. Though he might have gotten the job had he actually succeeded, the fact that he failed marked him as too incompetent to be trusted to do the job right.
      • It was the way he did it that was the bad part. As Grand Nagus Zek said: "You don't seize power! You build it up, through buying and conning and profit! What good is being in charge without the latinum to show for it?!" This was before the Nagus knew Quark was more than a pushover with just a bar, and he was meant to be a convenient patsy for the real heir to prove himself against.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: Rom. Averted, as he ends up the Grand Nagus of the Ferengi.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Dukat, endowed with the strength of the Pah-Waiths, commands Sisko to bow before him.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Garak's philosophy as a spy; the Federation abandoning the station in the Season 5 finale; the Dominion later doing the same thing.

  • Lack of Imagination: This show has Kira Nerys. She was never into art and she hates going into the holosuites (where you essentially LARP in a virtual environment).
  • Lap Pillow: In "The Visitor", Jadzia is doing this to try to comfort Jake after his father's apparent death.
  • Large Ham: Sisko, on occaision; Dukat; Quark; Garak; Weyoun; the fake Gul Darhe'el; Hagath.
  • Laser Cutter: Used for medical purposes and, of course, improvised weapons.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Federation's "Section 31" creates a plague to wipe out the Changelings and win the war. It is ultimately successful, as the Changelings end up bartering peace in exchange for a cure. This from a species whose geneticists unleashed plagues on disobedient worlds.
    • Damar kills Ziyal for betraying Dukat and not siding with the Dominion. Then, in the series finale, Damar himself is killed because he rebels against the Dominion.
    • Starfleet forces Sisko and Odo to accept a Starfleet security detail led by Lt. Cmdr. Michael Eddington because they don't one hundred percent trust Odo to do things their way. Unlike Odo, who stands by the Federation against his own people, Eddington not only defects to the Maquis, but steals a critical Federation shipment to Cardassia on his way out.
    • The Cardassian Union spent fifty years brutally occupying Bajor, only for the Klingons to kick the shit out of them, leaving Cardassia so desperate that they turn to the Dominion for security. The Dominion provides said security by subverting the Cardassian government and ultimately outright occupying the Cardassian Union and then killing at least 800 million Cardassians in an attempted genocide. It's heavily lampshaded by just about everyone.
  • Last Day to Live: Quark is told he's contracted a deadly disease. In an effort at settling his debts and earning a place in the Ferengi profit-based afterlife, he sells his corpse. Of course, after he learns that he's going to live, he finds out that his arch-nemesis bought said corpse after paying off the doctor to tell Quark he was going to die to begin with.
  • Last-Second Word Swap:
    • In "Treachery, Faith and the Great River," after Odo protests to Weyoun that he's not a god, he's a security officer; later on Weyoun mentions how honored he is to be in the presence of a g— a security officer.
    • In "Civil Defense" Dukat, in return for helping the crew deal with the station's malfunctioning security system, wants a garrison of Cardassian soldiers to be installed on Deep Space Nine. Kira, furious, says she'd blow up the station before ever handing it back to the Cardassians. Dukat can well believe that: "Would you allow two thousand people aboard this station to die simply because you don't like m— us?" He was clearly about to say "me", but changed his mind at the last instant.
  • Late Spin-Off Transplant: Worf joined the cast in Season 4 in order to boost ratings.
  • Latex Perfection: Ibudan's disguise in "A Man Alone."
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: in the episode "Far Beyond the Stars", Captain Sisko is sent a vision from the Prophets (maybe) of him as a science fiction writer from the 1950s. At the end of the episode, he wonders if life aboard the station isn't the illusion.
    • In the episode In the Pale Moonlight when Sisko is relating the events of the episode in his personal log the camera is in a generally fixed position right across from him, giving the viewer the impression that it is they who Sisko is speaking to.
    • In Rules of Engagement, Worf is accused of war crimes and undergoes an extradition hearing. Worf and his crew mates all give their testimony, during which we see the events they're describing. During these flashbacks, the characters speak directly to the camera.
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: Quark's Bar, not to mention Garak's Clothiers.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: In "For The Uniform".
    Sisko: I think it's time for me to become... the villain.
  • Less Embarrassing Term: During the series finale, Miles and Keiko disagreed on the definition of the scale model of the Alamo that Miles and Julian had built. Keiko insisted it was a toy, while Miles favored the term "miniature". Additionally, in an earlier episode, Worf observed Julian and Miles working on this model and lamented Ezri Dax's affection for Julian Bashir by grumbling "He plays with toys." Ezri insisted "It's a model."
    • Apparently this is why the Defiant is classed as an Escort Vessel, because Starfleet doesn't want to acknowledge (to itself as much as anyone else) that it's building warships.
  • Licensed Game:
    • Crossroads of Time, which holds the dubious distinction of being the only Platform Game under the Trek banner. This is for a very good reason. Despite being released in 1995 (well after Sisko shaves his head and gets promoted), the story is set immediately after "Emissary" to avoid continuity conflicts. As a downside, the plot is rather inconsequential, though a memorable sequence has Sisko using the Orb of Time to return to his old ship, the Saratoga, as it falls under siege by Locutus.
    • Harbinger, an Adventure Game in which you play as a Redshirt on a generic mission into the Gamma Quadrant.
    • The Fallen, a Third-Person Shooter showcasing the Cult of Pah-Wraiths, who made a few appearances on the show. The plot, a yarn involving Evil Counterpart versions of the Prophets—complete with red orbs and a red wormholes—is based on the Relaunch novel Millenium.
    • Probably the best-known game, Dominion Wars, which is a mix of Real-Time Strategy and ship-to-ship combat.
  • Lightworlder: Ensign Melora Pazlar, the only Elaysian in Starfleet, is mostly bound to a wheelchair (or a quite clumsy "exoskeleton" harness) because of her difficulties in adapting to standard gravity. In her quarters, she turns the artificial gravity to that of her world. Dr. Bashir tries a strengthening regimen, but when told it would be irreversible (thus making it impossible for her to return to her homeworld), she declines. Eventually, Melora beat some bad guys by turning off the artificial gravity and being the only one who could easily maneouver. She goes on to be a main character in the Star Trek: Titan novels.
  • The Load:
    • Alexander Rozhenko, son of Worf. Yes, you read that right. It gets to the point that they think he's actually drawing bad luck away from THEM, making the ship and her crew luckier by default.
    • Gaila is this for the team Quark assembles in "The Magnificent Ferengi". He brings no skills or resources to the group, panics during the combat simulations, sleeps when he's supposed to be guarding their hostage, leading to an escape attempt, and accidentally kills their hostage.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Garak, Dukat, Damar, Weyoun, Winn, Martok...
    • The opening credits for the series finale, which features most of the major characters still alive, list nine main actors and fifteen guest stars. And the finale is still missing most of the Ferengi-related recurring characters (Rom, Leeta, Zek, Ishka, Brunt, Maihar'du), who make their final appearance in the penultimate episode.
    • Throw in the Mirror Universe characters and the number gets almost too high to count.
  • Locked in a Room: Of the elevator variety. In "The Forsaken", a turbolift malfunction traps Odo with Lwaxanna Troi for several hours... and he needs to regenerate!
  • Lounge Lizard: Vic
  • Love Epiphany: Kira's moment of clarity over Odo.
  • Love Hurts: Odo over Kira, Bashir and Quark over Dax. Garak and Ziyal.
  • Love Is in the Air: "Fascination", thanks to Lwaxana Troi and a psychic disease she has.