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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The Maquis as pissy and entitled Federation civilians who can't accept that peace comes at a high price, or a group of settlers who had their lands switched out for a supposed peace that is in no way enforced by the Cardassians who used fear and murders to try to scare them away. Another option: "bit from column A & B", depending on which colony they come from.
    • Section 31.
      • Well-Intentioned Extremist spies who do what it takes to protect paradise from people who don't share its idealistic view of the universe, or mass murderers who grasp at any straw they can to justify despicable and evil actions, be it kidnapping, conspiracy or genocide? Officially backed, if covertly, or an ultranationalist rogue agency? It appears it's really hard to find a consensus, as this page has been heavily edited thanks and because of them. Word of God says it is Necessarily Evil, based on the former reasoning. It should be noted that while this was already the role of Starfleet Intelligence, at least to a degree, Ira Steven Behr felt it didn't go far enough (They still believed in maintaining the Federation's principles at all costs, albiet, not always without bending them)and remedied this with Section 31.
      • For an ultra-elite black ops agent, Luthor Sloan isn't terribly subtle. He wanted to recruit Bashir, but kept demeaning his ideals and constantly trying to dominate rather than persuade or coerce him. He also antagonized everyone on DS9, calling a bunch of attention to himself and the rest of Section 31. Also, after having Bashir witness his elaborate plans, first hand, twice, he openly gloats about how effective his scheme was. The third time, Bashir is able to outwit him easily. Is Sloan really using Section 31's autonomy to its most effective end, or is his bruised ego causing him to make stupid mistakes?
      • Played with in the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game, where Section 31 can be a rogue agency, the actual power behind the throne of the UFP, or even simply Sloan himself.
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    • Major Kira and the Bajoran resistance can be seen in many ways. Kira justifies her actions through the lens of every member of an occupying species being a legitimate target, then her actions are acceptable and even good. Otherwise you can view her acts against the Cardassians as anything across the spectrum of unforgivable, to Necessarily Evil, right up to tragic but necessary in a Black and Gray Morality situation, as they resisted the occupation of their entire planet against horrific crimes of mass-murder, attempted genocide, slavery, torture, rape, and concentration camps for 50 years making life beyond miserable for nearly every Bajoran on the planet.
    • Were Li Nalas' exploits really distorted by retelling? He hated his fame so much it's not hard to imagine him making up the "I shot an unarmed Cardassian in his underwear" story. Even after Sisko convinced him of his importance as a symbol he might have let Sisko continue to believe he was a fraud so that he had someone to talk to who saw him as just a man.
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    • Some fans suspect Bashir didn't actually have any health problems, and he simply wasn't progressing fast enough for his parents' liking so they got him augmented. The major evidence is that the Mirror Bashir is presumably not augmented as it wouldn't be available to Terrans, yet he doesn't seem to have anything physically wrong with him.
      • On the other hand, some claim that Mirror Bashir looks like Khan, and take that as foreshadowing that he WAS augmented, in both universes.
    • Rom. Obviously not as stupid as his brother thinks he is, Rom seems to suffer from the Ferengi equivalent of ADD. In early seasons he can barely converse without changing the subject, but later on he manages to become an engineer and even help design the systems that blockade the wormhole—while still changing the subject midway through to how he doesn't have enough closet space to accommodate his new wife.
      • Rom might be smarter than Quark in one sense: he realizes how bad he is at obtaining profit and found a new job at the first opportunity. Quark made mention of his narrow profit margins on a few occasions and even those profits came because Sisko admitted he "forgets" to collect Quark's rent for the bar and holosuites.
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    • "Profit and Lace" shows Quark being quite comfortable assuming the role of a female. It shows Quark as an actual progressive Ferengi (alongside other instances of his progressive views, such as in "Rules of Acquisition" where he works with a female Ferengi to close a business deal, "Family Business" which deals with him breaking with Ferengi Law by standing by his mother's earning of profit, and "Ferengi Love Songs" wherein he works with his mother Ishka to help the Grand Nagus take her council and run the Ferengi Government). Quark normally presents himself as a proud traditional Ferengi, but persuades himself towards more progressive tendencies (for a Ferengi) on a regular occasion. He usually blames this on his exposure to the Federation, but more often than not, it's because he is a good person who wants to help others.
    • Also, Quark is either a brilliant businessman who'd be rolling in latinum were it not for bad luck, Status Quo Is God, and the few morals he picks up from the Federation, or a classic case of Small Name, Big Ego. In column A, he has many powerful friends and has been at the center of many important events in Ferengi history (although this could be excused as by the MST3K Mantra and The Main Characters Do Everything), he's come very close to fame and fortune many times, and has dispensed latinum nuggets of wisdom multiple times. In column B, however, he's apparently so bad at keeping secrets that Odo foregoes arresting him to catch all his contacts, he's been outshined by every living member of his family save Rom, he was handed a very favorable position as the only Ferengi business owner on the galaxy's most important station on a silver platter, and all the stories that focus on him show him as stupidly out of his depth in dangerous or complex situations. On the other hand, there's the fact that Odo never did manage to put him in prison in over a decade.
    • The Jack Pack, Bashir's genetically-engineered cohorts from "Statistical Improbabilities" and "Chrysalis." Thing is, while they're certainly abnormal in behavior and intelligence, they also display a considerable amount of symptoms typical of the autism spectrum (especially Jack and Sarina). In light of the controversy in the autism community surrounding eugenics, you may find Bashir attempting to "fix" Sarina in "Chrysalis" a bit questionable. (Alternatively: since Sarina's catatonia was caused by a botched attempt at genetic enhancement when she was a child, the scenario can be read as Bashir trying to help someone already severely harmed by eugenics, undoing some of the damage; Bashir's conversation with his own parents in "Dr. Bashir I Presume" makes clear his loathing for eugenics, even though it was successful in his own case).
    • Should Odo be considered a collaborator with the Cardassian occupiers, or a fair man who was trying to maintain order on Terok Nor in spite of the Cardassian occupation? Several characters throughout the series consider him one or the other, and one can make legitimate arguments for either position.
    • In Universe: While Kira (and most Bajorans) see Dukat as Adolf Hitler, Dukat sees himself as more of an Oskar Schindler.

  • Author's Saving Throw: Early in the show's run it was established that Bashir had missed out on top spot in his class because he mixed up a pre-ganglionic fiber with a post-ganglionic nerve. The wife of Robert Hewitt Wolfe, who wrote the episode, was actually a medical student herself, and pointed out that this was as idiotic as a final-year engineering student not knowing the difference between a wrench and a drill, and so when it came to the third season episode "Distant Voices," Wolfe wrote that Bashir deliberately answered the question wrong because he didn't want the pressure of finishing first in his class. And this was later expanded further as his wanting to hide his being genetically engineered. Siddig hated this abrupt retconning of his character, but in this case his objections were, frankly, irrelevant given how neatly the GE reveals brings the character's hazy five-year history into sharp focus. He changed his mind once the Section 31 plot gave him and Miles more to do.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Ezri Dax. She had to succeed the fan favorite Jadzia and was basically a first-season character in the show's final season (and thus needed a good few episodes to flesh her out), so she already had some big hurdles to be liked — and it certainly didn't help after the way Jadzia died. She's characterized as someone who was totally unprepared for being joined, particularly to the legendary Dax symbiont, and is still trying to find her feet while the other characters have already matured through several character arcs. How well the writers and Nicole DeBoer handle it are still hotly debated. However, it's hard to be 'mad' when they look this cute at conventions.
    • The Prophets, especially concerning "Sacrifice of Angels" and "What You Leave Behind". While some think they were interesting and were another mark of Deep Space Nine's unique flavor, others contest that they acted as a Deus ex Machina and distracted from the Dominion War as the "real" plot.
      • Their omnicidal enemies the Pah-Wraiths, who are presented as "false" prophets who wish to use Dukat as their Anti-Emissary and take back the wormhole. Complete with Pah-Wraith cultists who turned away from the Prophets once the wormhole closed. Unlike the Prophets, who had trouble understanding corporeal morality, the Pah-Wraiths were basically presented as cackling fire demons who knew exactly what they were doing. This resulted in a sort of Blue and Black morality that relied on old fantasy tropes rather than the morally grey setting the show had been so careful to construct.
    • Section 31, mostly in regards to their attempted genocide of the Changelings. Was it justified or not? Cue endless arguments on if it helped or hurt the war effort (would the Female Changeling have surrendered if Odo didn't have the cure or did the illness just make her more ruthless and eager for a Taking You with Me ending), if genocide can be justified if it's against an implacable enemy, if it was crossing the line for Section 31 to engineer the virus at all. While Word of God has repeatedly established the Canon to be closer to the pro-Section 31 sides of the argument (and even the non-black-ops parts of the Federation were pissed at Picard for refusing a similar measure against the Borg) some fans still draw the line at actual genocide.
      • Then the question comes up if wouldn't it have been far more effective and less ethically questionable to infect the Founders with something that made them sick but not deadly and then blackmail them for peace?note  If the virus is made deadly and Changelings die, then the Founders are less likely to agree to peace out of hate and revenge for the dead. If you make it so they are just sick and impair their shape-shifting ability, this not only makes them less dangerous and in turn the Dominion less dangerous, but makes it so they don't lose anything in agreeing to peace with no loss of life. note You can easily give them the antidote with the threat of re-infection if they break their word. note 
    • The addition of Worf. Necessary upgrade to the cast? A little testosterone in a cerebral show? Ron Moore's obnoxious Author Avatar? Though at least everyone tends to agree that his no longer suffering The Worf Effect (at Michael Dorn's own request, having gotten understandably tired of it) was a big improvement.
  • Better on DVD: The show has a lot of long multi-episode plot arcs, especially toward the end, making it ideal for streaming.
  • Cargo Ship: In the grand Star Trek fashion, arguably the most popular ship in all of DS9 is Sisko/the Defiant. Same with Worf, even though he's technically not her commanding officer.
  • "Common Knowledge": It's a common misconception that all Vorta are clones... they aren't. The Vorta are said to be experts at cloning, not all clones. It's hinted that only Vorta that prove themselves to be exceptional in some way are rewarded with a form of immortality through cloning. In fact, of all the Vorta seen on-screen in the show, only two are specifically mentioned as being clones, namely Weyoun and Yelgrun. That being said, the relaunch novels indicate that cloned Vorta have gradually become the norm by the time of the show's setting, due to the more useful and competent Vorta getting repeatedly cloned by the Founders, whereas useless or treacherous Vorta are just left to rot after they die.
  • Complete Monster: Rao Vantika, from season 1's "The Passenger", was a member of a dying alien race called the Kobliads. Vantika was obsessed with becoming immortal, performing experiments on prisoners. Eventually captured, Vantika sets fire to the ship carrying him. When Dr. Bashir arrives to give medical aid, Vantika secretly transfers his mind to Bashir's body. Meanwhile, Deep Space 9 is about to receive a shipment of deuridium, a chemical the Kobliads need to survive and prolong their lives. Vantika plans to steal the deuridium for himself to continue his experiments, not caring about the suffering of his countrymen. Vantika hires some mercenaries to help him steal the shipment and uses a runabout to highjack the freighter carrying the deuridium. After foiling an attempt by Vantika to cripple the station with a computer virus, the crew of Deep Space 9 lock on to the freighter with a tractor beam. Vantika threatens to send the freighter into warp, which will break apart the freighter and spread deuridium across the Bajoran solar system, making it uninhabitable, if Sisko does not let him escape. When one of the mercenaries decides to back out, Vantika coldly guns him down.
  • Contrived Coincidence: It seems every time a new character arrives on Deep Space 9, their Mirror Universe counterpart becomes an important player in the affairs of that universe.
  • Creator's Pet: Vic Fontaine. Ira Behr was so stoked at convincing one of his favorite musicians, James Darren, to join the show that he created a part just for him, a holographic lounge lizard. Darren, who was initially skeptical of returning to acting, became very invested in the part and eager to return, so Behr was obliged to keep inviting him back, over fan protest. His many detractors felt that his constant presence in the back half of the final season (he was given several focus episodes) took screen time away from resolving ongoing plots and character arcs that fans had become invested in over the years. It didn't help that his presence in those episodes that didn't revolve around him often felt shoehorned (characters with no particular nostalgia for the period of Earth history he represents like Quark or Odo would go exclusively to him for advice, despite the fact that the station had just gotten a professional counselor) and many characters (most notably Julian) would go on at length about what a great and insightful "person" he was before the audience had a chance to judge for themselves.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Breen, who we learn almost nothing about, and are all the more terrifying because of it. Even the Klingons, Romulans, and Cardassians fear them. They make their entrance into the Dominion War known by successfully bombing Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco. And they're incredibly cool at the same time, because their skills and uniforms are just so snazzy.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The Dominion War arc can induce this reaction as it becomes obvious just how outmatched the Federation and its allies are by the evils that assault them. The arc is essentially a long chain of really bad things happening that directly result in even worse things happening. Things always get worse. In the end, though, the tide suddenly turns in the Federation's favor and the Dominion is defeated. As a general note, newcomers can have a hard time having any fun watching a series that's full of characters that do horrible and horrifying things on both sides. Captain Sisko, for example, starts off witnessing the death of his wife at the hands of the Borg, and by the time the Dominion War breaks out he feels justified in committing torture, kidnapping, and murder. And he's one of the nicer characters. Of all the main and recurring characters, the only ones who never do anything particularly morally questionable are Ezri Dax, Jake Sisko (outside of a few early episodes, and even then only due to Nog's influence) and Leeta.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • This sometimes extends to the Cardassian Authorities during the Bajoran occupation. Some fans think that Cardassia "had" to invade Bajor because of its limited resources—a story we mostly got from Gul Dukat and other military officers who were pissed that they lost Bajor. Never mind the horrific atrocities that the Cardassians committed—the slave labor, the persecution of monks and nuns, the sex slavery and the murder, and ending the Occupation by salting the earth so the Bajorans couldn't use it—they haaaaad to do that! For the resources!
    • Weyoun, come on. He was programmed by the Founders to be evil... (Except for Weyoun 6, who deserves Woobie status through his Heroic Sacrifice.)
    • Some fans even felt that the Klingons' suspicion that Changelings had infiltrated and taken over the Cardassian Union at the start of Season 4 was actually quite reasonable — albeit ultimately wrong, though the Federation didn't have any proof of this until Sisko got involved in the conflict — and that while the Federation shouldn't have actively supported their invasion, they should at least have stayed neutral in the conflict rather than condemning it.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Morn. We nearly always saw him sitting silently at the bar having a drink, but his popularity was immense. Lampshaded in one episode where Morn was away from the station on business and Quark installed a hologram of him because people didn't come to the bar as much when Morn was absent. He never speaks on screen. He is frequently described as talking Quark's ear off every chance he gets, we learn that he has troubles with his mother, and an episode dedicated to his seeming death reveals that he practiced bat'leth with Worf and used to be a successful bank robber. He also has a lovely singing voice.
      • On his way to Parody Sue, it's also revealed in this episode that Dax wanted to start an intimate relationship with him but he wasn't interested. In Dax.
      • To drive it home, when Star Trek Online launched Morn wasn't there. Massive whining ensued until Cryptic added him.
      • He ends up saving the day in the Dominion Occupation arc by smuggling out a message (in a present for his mother no less).
    • Garak. His impeccable sense of sarcasm, flippant cynicism and contrast with the Starfleets, combined with his Mysterious Past and excellent focus episodes, make him a favorite among Niners.
    • There's also Weyoun, a secondary villain whose great acting and great lines have caused no small amount of gushing even on This Very Wiki.
      • Jeffrey Combs' first job as Weyoun was so impressive, the producers came up with the idea of Vorta cloning for the sole reason of bringing him back.
      • The same goes for J. G. Hertzler, who played Martok. He did such a good job in "The Way of the Warrior" that he was brought back for "Apocalypse Rising" and, instead of having him be disposed of by the Changeling impersonator who died at the end of the episode, the writers and producers decided to have the real Martok show up later on in the season; he went on to become a fairly important supporting character.
    • Damar. Initially little more than a generic Cardassian bad guy who even his own actor thought was just an extra, the character's sense of honor and quiet charisma earned him some of the most radical Character Development in all of Star Trek, going from simply being Dukat's lapdog to eventually leading the Cardassian rebellion against the Dominion.
    • Grilka, Quark's Klingon love interest, has quite a fandom despite only appearing twice.
    • The 'Jack Pack' were pretty well liked as well.
    • Lenara Kahn appeared only in "Rejoined", but she's well-remembered to this day, especially on Tumblr and other fan sites, for being one of the first LGBT character in Star Trek (okay, kind of) and her sweet relationship with Dax.
  • Even Better Sequel: Even if there was a drop-off in audience numbers compared to Star Trek: The Next Generation and it took a few seasons to really find its legs, DS9 pioneered the long story arcs that would become standard not just in science fiction shows but in dramatic television as a whole.
  • Evil Is Cool: So, so many. Dukat, Damar, Weyoun, Garak (for a given value of "Evil"), Section 31, Gowron, the Jem'Hadar, the entire Breen species....
  • Evil Is Sexy: Just as aplomb as examples of Evil Is Cool. The majority of examples hail from the Mirror Universe, including Kira (a catsuit-clad Depraved Bisexual) and Ezri (a Badass Gay mercenary who is Hell-Bent for Leather).
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: One could think of several. Given how dark Deep Space Nine is in general, some of this is likely intentional.
    • "For The Uniform": Use terrorist tactics against terrorists if you want to beat them.
    • "Vortex": It's okay to release a known thief and murderer onto an unsuspecting planet as long as he's got a cute teenage daughter.
    • "Storyteller": If passed over for a job that's rightfully yours, attempt to murder the other guy.
    • "Cardassians": When settling a custody battle, don't consider the desires of the child, nor the fact that you're sending him to a military dictatorship and away from a peaceful democracy. (Though to be fair, O'Brien did ask that, and there was some concern that the boy had been abused—he was certainly getting an unhealthy attitude towards his own species. Plus, Cardassians have very different family values.) This one gets savaged in the Expanded Universe novel The Never Ending Sacrifice, told from the kid's perspective.
    • "The Nagus": Attempt to kill your boss, and he'll give you a promotion. Again, though, this is some Deliberate Values Dissonance. Ferengi laud greed and ambition, after all.
    • "The Darkness and the Light": It's perfectly okay to kill every single member of the species that is occupying your country as long as you drive them out in the end. Including completely innocent bystanders who never did a thing to earn their fate.
    • "In Pale Moonlight": Sisko describes how sometimes the end justifies the means, and how political assassinations, lies, and guilt are all a small price to pay to win a war. This is a fairly deliberate case of grey morality, however, as Sisko's tone of voice shows that he's trying very hard to convince himself, and shows that in war you don't always have the luxury of sticking to your principles if the consequence is the total destruction of everything you hold dear. Section 31 further explores this idea.
    Sisko: So... I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would. Garak was right about one thing, a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the safety of the Alpha Quadrant. So I will learn to live with it. Because I can live with it. [Beat] I can live with it.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Most notably, at the time that the shows were broadcast, there was incredible fandom rivalry with Babylon 5, partly because the creator of Babylon 5 accused Paramount of plagiarizing the show's concept from him. (Just swap out "Centauri and Narn" for "Cardassians and Bajorans", and you're set for Season One.) Nowadays, things are more friendly, with fans of both shows admitting that they both had good and bad points, and that Deep Space 9 responding to Babylon 5 by starting its own long-term arcs was a positive development. Even during the worst rivalry, a lot of people quietly watched and enjoyed both.
    • Keeping up with the Broken Base trope, there was a rivalry between TNG and DS9 fans, for the reasons pointed above. The official website itself saw people grading episodes not according to their quality, but to the show they belonged to.
    • As the only Trek series to overlap with not one, but two other Trek series at various points in its run, DS9 got hit by this twice, developing a rivalry between folks who preferred it for being Darker and Edgier and less episodic than previous Treks, and folks who preferred Star Trek: Voyager for sticking more closely to the "exploring the unknown" concept of previous Treks.
  • Fan Nickname: SF Debris coined the name "Ben Sisko's Mutha***in' Pimp Hand" for the Defiant, which appears to have caught on over the Internet.
    • SFDebris also coined "This is the one that even the Prophets call 'The Sisko'. First name: 'Don't F*** With'."
  • Fanon: The first names of Dukat, Damar and most other Cardassian characters are not given in the show, but most fans accept the names given in "A Stitch in Time" (written by Garak's actor) as canon.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Many felt Jadzia had far more chemistry with Sisko (or even Bashir) than Worf, despite the fact that they were portrayed as Like Brother and Sister and Sisko himself is Squicked out by the thought of Jadzia being even latently attracted to him in one episode. But that's never stopped Shipping before.
    • Both of these met with Approval of God: Ezri admits that had Worf not been added to the mix, her previous host and Julian would have gotten together eventually. In the episode "Shattered Mirror", Mirror Jadzia is confirmed to be in an adulterous relationship with the Lando Calrissian-like Sisko of her universe.
      The Agony Booth: To his credit, Sisko resists her advances for a good three or four seconds before basically saying “what the hell” and giving in, and then we fade to black. I’m pretty sure the writers/producers threw in this bit just to troll the fans, years before “trolling” was even a thing.
    • Garak/Bashir was far more popular than the eventually canon Ezri Dax/Bashir, and it was one of the more popular couples in DS9 period.
  • Foe Yay: Dukat and Kira, but it's one-sided. Kira, per Word of God sees Dukat as Hitler incarnate (or the Bajoran equivalent), while Dukat ignores all evidence of this and deludes himself into thinking she reciprocates. Early on, this is Played for Laughs, at Dukat's expense. As the series goes in, it's instead Played for Drama, with Dukat unambiguously portrayed as a creep.
  • Franchise Original Sin: While the series had always gotten criticism from some quarters for not staying true to Gene Roddenberry's vision, it came back in a big way after the launch of Star Trek: Discovery, with some fans blaming this series for legitimising the idea of a Darker and Edgier version of Star Trek with more morally ambiguous characters.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In season 5's "Apocalypse Rising", Worf fights Chancellor Gowron, believing he's a Changeling imposter, and almost kills him before it's revealed that General Martok was the actual Changeling imposter. Afterwards, Gowron says to Worf "You should have killed me when you had the chance. I promise you will not get another." In season 7's "Tacking into the Wind", Worf fights Gowron once again and kills him this time.
    • In the 2019 documentary What We Left Behind, several of the producers and writers of the series come up with a story to begin a hypothetical eighth season of DS9, including the deliberately shocking death of then-Captain Nog. A few months after the documentary premiered, the actor who played Nog, Aron Eisenberg, passed away at the untimely age of 50 years old.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • After taking an extended break to raise her son, Terry Farrell finally started making the rounds at conventions. When she appeared at FedCon XIX in Bonn, Germany (the largest fan gathering in the world) in 2010, the standing ovation lasted for over three minutes.
    • One noticeable thing about the Ferengi episodes is how beloved they are in the UK and how much Americans seem to loathe them. This may have something to do with British humor. As a whole, Europeans react much better to Ferengi episodes than Americans, as the humor, while not necessarily bad, is peculiar and not in the show's usual vein. Only the universally loathed "Profit and Lace" is disliked.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Most fans agree that the introduction of the Defiant in season three was a very good step. And Worf's introduction in the fourth season happened to coincide with Captain Sisko growing a beard and shaving his head, cementing his unique characterization among Star Trek captains.
    • Most of the first season was full of weak attempts at philosophy and downright stupid episodes ("Move Along Home" anyone?). "Duet" is a solid episode that started the drama, moral searching, and politics for which much of the series is remembered. It also showed the realistic aspect that no single nation is completely evil (or good). Unfortunately, it also set up the start of Kira's Aesop Amnesia.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • "Duet" is already one of the most heartbreaking episodes in the whole series, but it's even more depressing when you consider one of Aamin Marritza's lines, "Cardassia will only survive if it stands in front of Bajor and admits the truth." He's right: the failure of Garak and others like him to acknowledge their crimes during the occupation of Bajor not only drives Cardassia into the arms of the Dominion but leads to the devastation of their homeworld when the Female Changeling orders the entire Cardassian race wiped out for defying her.
    • Mrs. Tandro's request that Jadzia "live a long, fresh and wonderful life" becomes this after the sixth-season finale.
      • In the same vein, in the future timeline shown by "The Visitor", Jadzia is alive decades in the future.
    • The show was made at a time when the word "terrorist" wasn't quite as politically charged as it is now, which can make its open acknowledgement that that's exactly what Kira was during the occupation come off rather strange. Of course, the show could have alternatively used "freedom fighter" or "occupation resistance" or "partisan".
    • The show's use of O'Brien as the constant Butt-Monkey who often goes through horrible pain, after a former reporter named Miles O'Brien needed to have his arm amputated after what at first appeared to be a minor accident with his luggage.
    • The 2-part "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost" story became this after 9/11 with many of the same overtones and messages concerning the aftermath present in a story written many years before the event.
      • A bonus in "Homefront" has a scene where O'Brien and Bashir are trying to take their minds off of the bombing. Quark mentions having to suffer through 'the Great Monetary Collapse,' which isn't quite as funny given the economic crisis in the second half of the 2000's.
    • In "Progress," Brian Keith plays a man who wants to suicidally stay in his home despite the area soon being unlivable. He really did commit suicide a few years later.
    • The Klingon-Cardassian War ("The Way of the Warrior" through "By Inferno's Light") bears a number of odd parallels to the 2003 American invasion of Iraq: a leader who came to power in a hotly disputed successionnote  who launches a politically motivated invasion of an antagonistic but neutral-in-the-current-conflict countrynote  backed up by bogus intelligencenote , that succeeds at little more than destabilizing the entire region for a very long timenote .
    • More recently, the "Past Tense" two-parter, due to the controversial border detention centers in the United States and the vibe many people get from this interview.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: In "Trials and Tribble-ations", there's a great moment where a delighted Dax, watching the original series crew, tells Sisko, "he's so much more handsome in person", then clarifies to Sisko that she was actually talking about Spock, not Kirk. Terry Farrell would later announce her engagement to Adam Nimoy, son of Leonard, and the two of them married on March 26th, 2018, on what would have been his father's 86th birthday.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • After Kim Kardashian and her family became household names around the late-2000s, the fact that DS9 included an alien race named the "Cardassians" led to more than a few obligatory jokes from the Trekkie community. Including a pretty sweet t-shirt. note 
    • A season one episode, "Vortex" had Quark commenting that "paranoia must run in Odo's species," and that that was the reason why no one had ever seen or heard from them- "They're all hiding!" Later on, it turns out that Odo's species are all paranoid, and they are all hiding.
    • "Our Man Bashir" had a Holodeck Malfunction replace one of Julian's in-game Love Interests with Kira Nerys. Alexander Siddig got Nana Visitor pregnant a year or so later (leading to the Kira-carrying-the-O'Briens'-baby story arc).
    • In “Trials and Tribble-ations” there’s a throwaway joke that Jadzia finds Spock (and not James Kirk) attractive. In 2017, Terry Farrell (Jadzia) announced her engagement to director Adam Nimoy, son of Spock’s actor Leonard Nimoy.
    • Armin Shimerman would later voice the arch-nemesis of a Captain Qwark.
    • Joseph Sisko wanted his son and grandson to come home and take up the restaurant business, and he put them to work in his restaurant whenever they returned home. Cirroq Lofton, who played Jake, got into the restaurant business after DS9 ended.
    • "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places" has Jadzia dismiss Grilka as a "statue" in the same episode she and Worf become the show's Beta Couple. Star Trek Online's backstory has Worf marrying Grilka in 2385.
    • The Cardassian military units are called "orders" listed by ordinal numbers, such as "The First Order".
  • Ho Yay: Garak and Bashir. The actor for Garak actually stated he was playing Garak as pansexual in the first episode he appeared in (where he totally came on to Bashir) before complaints made him tone it down. They have lunch together (canonically said to be weekly throughout the years) and have saved each other's lives at least once. They've snarked, given each other gifts, and really sometimes been the only people who can stand the other. Plus Garak wants Bashir to "Take this rod... and eat it." (Actually, it was a data rod.)
    • As can be seen here
    • Alexander Siddig has also remarked that his reaction to Garak and Bashir's first scene together was "Oh, so are we going to be Star Trek's first gay couple? Cool."
    • Also Bashir and O'Brien. There's one episode where Julian spends most of his time trying to get Miles to admit he likes Bashir more than his wife.
      • In the series finale, the main characters are reminiscing on their times aboard the station, and we get to see a series happy flashbacks for each character, with scenes from earlier episodes. All of O'Brien's flashbacks are of him and Bashir doing various things, while Keiko doesn't appear in any of them.
    • Odo and Quark. Season 1 episode 9. Quark asking Odo to blow on his dice.
    • Odo and Laas in "Chimera". Odo and Laas link in private, but Odo declines when Laas wants to link with him in public. Also, Quark remarks that people won't want to see a "Changeling pride" demonstration on the Promenade. Considering that director LeVar Burton said that Odo and the female Changeling's scenes were G-Rated Sex, it's hard not to see their Linking as a quasi-love scene. (Changelings may have a fluid relationship with gender, but that doesn't mean they can't be attracted to anyone.)
      • Laas also reminds Odo of the fact that he can't link with Kira.
    • Dukat's obsession with Kira is the one lampshaded on the show, but his obsession with Sisko, and all-consuming desire for his approval, is in many ways far deeper.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • "Rules of Engagement" is lousy with this, due to a pair of Plot Holes regarding the purported civilian ship Worf blows up. Miles and Sisko both argue that Worf should have verified his target before firing (though Miles qualifies this with the point that your decisions in the moment can be different from what somebody armchair-quarterbacking the battle later sees). In fact, Worf had no rational reason to believe that there were any cloak-capable ships within a light-year of his position other than the ones attacking him: in space there's no sensible reason for a civilian ship to come anywhere near an active firefight, and that's before you get to the unasked question of why a civilian ship would even have access to a cloaking device. Never mind the fact that Kirk and Sulu once fired on a cloaked attacker without waiting for him to decloak.
    • "Change of Heart": Worf gets raked over the coals because he chose to save Jadzia rather than extract a Cardassian defector who had information that potentially could save millions of lives. He's told he probably won't face charges, but only because a court-martial would risk exposing sensitive information, the incident will be entered into his service record, and he'll probably never be offered a command. But you can't expect anyone to be so coldly rational as to sacrifice his fucking wife even for the sake of millions, which is exactly why real life militaries don't send married couples out on missions together. Even most businesses are leery of employing married couples. Starfleet absolutely should have been aware of this issue and never sent them in the first place. Sisko issues an order that they not go on missions with just the two of them from now on. You're just now realizing this, Sherlock?
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • The Bajorans sometimes fall into this. While the Occupation was an atrocity committed on their people, there are more than a few episodes that demonstrate that the Bajorans became equally ruthless to get their planet back. Episodes such as "Duet" demonstrate there are still cases of Cardassians being randomly murdered by Bajorans simply because they're Cardassian, and they're as capable of mob-driven racism as anyone else in episodes like "A Man Alone." (To be fair, though, they do get a good share of What the Hell, Hero? when these things happen.)
    • The Maquis also count at the end. They attack both the Cardassians and the Federation, won't negotiate, are constantly attacking any Cardassian because they are Cardassian with indiscriminate terrorist attacks to - in Eddington's words - "make the Cardassian empire crumble." It was their attacks that in part contributed to Cardassia joining the Dominion, and they still don't take responsibility for their actions (or at least, Eddington is incredibly reluctant to, and blames everything on Sisko). Even when Sisko saves the last few Maquis members after a bloody massacre, they still maintain their self-righteous approach.
  • Les Yay:
    • Jadzia/Kira are a very popular ship. The romantic tension between those two could power the Defiant for a week.
    • Female examples are hinted at in the Mirror Universe episodes, although it was originally simply intended that Mirror Kira was such a narcissist that the thought of having sex with herself was appealing. Also in the episode "Rejoined", which wasn't directly about same-sex relationships (indeed, none of the characters even comment on that) but which is a pretty clear allegory for homophobia through the Trill taboo on "reassociating" with lovers from past lives.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Trek's queer fanbase loves Jadzia (and shipping her with Kira). Terry Farrell herself went on record saying that Jadzia was pansexual. As did Andrew Robinson, for Garak.
  • Love to Hate: Leaving aside the leather-pantsing they get from some, Weyoun and especially Dukat are extremely popular as villains. Dukat can be very charming and is a very good naval officer, making an excellent Evil Counterpart for Sisko.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Elim Garak presents himself as merely a plain, simple tailor, but is quickly revealed to be much more then that. A former member of the Cardassian Intelligence outfit, the Obsidian Order, Garak is exiled from Cardassia and forced to live on Deep Space 9. Garak is able to defeat several of his enemies, outwitting arrogant Cardassian military officials like Gul Dukat and Gul Toran. Garak also is able to manipulate the heroes as well, spotting an assassin on the station sent to kill him, Garak blows up his own shop to get Odo investigate the situation and deal with the assassin and gets Worf to defy his orders by playing to his sense of honor. After Cardassia joins the Dominion, Garak is resolved to freeing Cardassia from the Dominion. Garak's master stroke is forcing the Romulan Empire to declare war on the Dominion, by manipulating Sisko into manufacturing evidence of an up coming attack on Romulus and presenting it to a Romulan Senator. When the Senator decides the evidence is fake, Garak blows up his shuttle, so that the Romulan Empire will think the Dominion killed him and declare war on the Dominion. In the final season, Garak works with Colonel Kira and Legate Damar and uses his skills to help a Cardassian resistance movement overthrow Dominion rule on Cardassia.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Benjamin Sisko, who holds the respect of the Maquis, Klingons, Founders and the Jem'Hadar as being a Worthy Opponent and as such, demonstrates he can even make them stand down simply by showing up in some episodes. He also punched Q to the ground. He demanded a heavily armed warship to rain hellfire down on the people who hurt his wife, in direct defiance of Starfleet regulations and protocol, and received one. According to SF Debris, if Sisko had been in Star Trek: First Contact, the movie would've only been five minutes long.
      • In Universe, Sisko was with Eddington saving the rest of the Maquis and giving Eddington a pretty good Reason You Suck speech. At the premiere of First Contact, Avery Brooks leaned over to Michael Dorn and said "I don't remember giving you permission to take out the Defiant that day."
      • Well, as the first episode reveals, Sisko did go up against The Borg, and the battle was about 5 minutes long, but...
      • He was serving on Saratoga at the time. As we all know, Saratoga is Starfleet's bitch.
      • As SF Debris is fond of quoting: "When Captain Picard's family died, he spent a while movie crying about it. When Benjamin Sisko lost his wife, he spent the next five years building a warship to murder the fuck out of the ones responsible."
      • No mention of Sisko can be complete without mention of the Defiant, or as it was memorably christened by SF Debris, the USS Benjamin Sisko's Motherfuckin' Pimp Hand, the Federation's One-Ship Armada. Held off the Borg in First Contact, the same enemy that wiped out an entire fleet at Wolf 359, for three days fighting singlehandedly. Routinely outfights and outguns Starfleet and enemy vessels alike that dwarf her in size. "Tough little ship," indeed.
    • In-universe, Federation engineers:
    Vorta: Perhaps you have one of those legendary Starfleet engineers who can turn rocks into replicators?
    • The runabout Rio Grande is somewhat famous among fans for how it managed to be the only runabout to survive the series, with only the Rubicon (delivered to the station near the end of season 3) coming close to matching its length of time. In universe, the way that DS9 goes through runabouts got a lampshade, making the Rio Grande notable in its survival.
    • And then there's Morn, the functional mute who basically lives at Quark's onscreen, but offscreen is apparently quite talkative and keeps having these incredible adventures. Fans are convinced that the Borg would run screaming from him.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "I hate temporal mechanics."Explanation 
    • "It's a faaaake!"Explanation 
    • "Plain, simple, Garak." Explanation 
  • Misblamed: Ronald D. Moore sometimes gets heat for the darker nature of the latter seasons, as well as the show more whole-heartedly embracing the religious aspects of the Prophets after depicting them as a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens early on, things which would later become a hallmark of Battlestar Galactica (2003). While he certainly had a lot of pull in the writing staff, Moore was never the showrunner on this or any other Star Trek show; Ira Steven Behr was the showrunner for all but the first two seasons of this show, with his main co-writer being Robert Hewitt Wolfe until the end of Season 5, and Hans Beimler thereafter.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The unnamed Female Changeling proved multiple times to be pretty repugnant. She goes beyond the pale, however, in the last episode, where she orders the entire Cardassian race exterminated, starting with Cardassia Prime. And that's not even the least of it. She goes on to tell the protagonists that not only will she not surrender regardless of the circumstances, she's sure the Dominion will do as much damage as possible before going down. If her species is doomed to die, she's taking the entire quadrant down with her. Fortunately, Odo does change her mind.
    • Dukat's a jerk, and we know he presided over the slaughter of millions of Bajorans, but then in "Waltz," he picks up a metal bar and attacks an injured and helpless man. And nothing he does can any longer surprise us.
    • Admiral Leyton, the Big Bad of "Homefront/Paradise Lost" seems like a Well-Intentioned Extremist for most of the story, even looking conflicted and regretful when he frames Sisko and tosses him into a holding cell. But he crosses it big time when he tells his right-hand-woman to destroy the Defiant under the pretense that it's full of Changelings—just to kill the other underling they'd caught before they reach Earth and expose the conspiracy.
    • Liquidator Brunt manipulates Quark into signing a contract that requires him to die to fulfill, or else live in disgrace and destitution. He even torments Quark about defiling his remains after he's dead. Quark even resorts to taking out a hit on himself in an effort to live up to his principles before, thankfully, he has an epiphany and stands up to Brunt.
  • Narm: See the Deep Space Nine section of the Star Trek Narm page.
  • Nausea Fuel: In "The Magnificent Ferengi", the team of Ferengi men warmly reminisce about their home planet's torrential downpours, rivers of muck, and rotting vegetation.
  • Never Live It Down: To Boldly... sit on their ass. (They actually visited a lot of places in DS9, if anyone cares. Almost stupidly so in fact. The entire upper echelon of station officers routinely left on a runabout or the Defiant to visit some planet where aliens tried to kill them. Either that or aliens showed up at their doorstep to try and kill them.)
    • Ira Behr hit a note of terror when he predicted his tombstone will read, He who wrote Ferengi episodes.
    • Admiral Nechayev has never been well-liked since her main job is to be an Obstructive Bureaucrat, but in DS9 she goes beyond the pale because she was willing to sell the Federation to the Dominion...! except that was not actually her, it was a hologram/mental simulation that the Founders used to test just how far they could push the Federation. It was a rather large plot point, but apparently forgettable in favor of complaining about her. (It probably doesn't help her case that this was only six episodes after she'd turned up for real and invoked Head-in-the-Sand Management regarding the Maquis insurgency.)
  • Older Than They Think: "Extreme Measures" feels like a Whole Plot Reference to Inception, except for one thing: it was made 11 years earlier.
  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now:
    • The ending of "Sacrifice of Angels". Even the transcript calls it "the ultimate deus ex machina cop-out."
    • "Extreme Measures". The writers succeeded a little too well in creating Sloan. Weren't Section 31 supposed to be big thinkers? To trap Sloan behind a forcefield seems a bit easy (hell, the Jem'Hadar would laugh at something like that!) and introducing a 'Good' Sloan ("thanks, Muffin!") in his dreamscape is even cheesier. Good!Sloan's speech about wishing he were more like Bashir smacks of revisionism; it's as if someone upstairs was nervous about keeping Section 31 in canon, and this episode was a half-measure to appease the critics. But you gotta love Bashir’s simple way of shutting Sloan up: turn off the forcefield and shoot him!
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Replacement Scrappy: Ezri. In fairness, had she been present from the start of the series (possibly with Jadzia or Curzon as a Dead Star Walking) she would probably have worked well, but given only one season there was just no way she could fill the void left by Jadzia. Making things worse, whereas Jadzia had been smart and extremely capable, Ezri spent the first third or so of the season being literally a worse counselor than the much-mocked Deanna Troi, and a serious contender for the most incompetent Starfleet officer ever seen on a Star Trek show. Fortunately, the novels would go a long, long way toward redeeming her...
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Bashir and Nog in the series itself. The Expanded Universe novels do this for Ezri in the eyes of a lot of the fanbase.
    • The Ferengi. The show features three regular Ferengi characters who are portrayed sympathetically to varying degrees. Nog and Rom show that the Ferengi are good at more than just business and Rom and Quark show that being good at business has its benevolent side. They show that capitalism, when used right, is about helping people meet each other's needs.
    • Vic Fontaine is a minor example. As mentioned above, Vic rubs some fans the wrong way for his frequent presence towards the end of the series, but "It's Only A Paper Moon" - where he's in an Odd Friendship scenario with a traumatized Nog - is probably his most well-received appearance, and sometimes considered the first good Vic episode, since it explored his character most effectively.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Section 31 gets this treatment. Well-Intentioned Extremist types? Sure, pragmatists who are willing to subvert Federation principles in order to expand its influence? Probably. Obviously Evil forces of darkness? That rather misses the point they raise of whether or not any great power can exist without such a group and how far people can go to protect themselves in a desperate situation like the Dominion War. Word of God even states that they were intended to be a necessary evil of sorts, to allow an idealistic society to exist in a universe where more pragmatic races would take advantage of its high idealism. There's also the fact that they get bashed on for their underhanded tactics and attempt to wipe out the entire race of changelings, but rarely get any credit for how these things are largely responsible for the allies winning the Dominion war. Not to mention how many innocent lives were saved.
    • Sisko gets this sometimes as well. While he's certainly not a Federation ideal like Captain Picard, he still does plenty of good things over the series. You don't have to like him or everything he does, but there's a contingent of Trek fans who paint him as an immoral and violent person who doesn't deserve to wear the uniform, even going so far as to call him genocidal. (This last is mainly from "For the Uniform", when he uses a bioweapon to make a Maquis planet uninhabitable for humans—a weapon that operates on a long enough delay for everyone to get away safely, and an idea he got from the Maquis when they did the same to a Cardassian colony.) While Sisko is definitely a fighter, he's also dealing with many more violent situations and is still quite a Guile Hero.
    • Kira has gotten this post 9/11. Her history as a terrorist just didn't win her any favors in a world where terrorists have become more hated, especially since she explicitly defends having bombed civilians in "The Darkness and the Light."
    • The Bajorans as a whole as well. It doesn't help that many parallel modern religious extremists and/or the war hawk right. People who give the Draco in Leather Pants treatment to Dukat and his ilk are extremely prone to this.
    • The Cardassian people are sometimes hit with this because of their ruthless, totalitarian government (who usually represent them onscreen). There are still plenty of Cardassians who recognize that the government is horrific and committed incredible atrocities on the Bajorans (and themselves). There's even a resistance and an overthrow of the military dictatorship partway through the series.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Ezri Dax, who filled in after Jadzia was killed. Animosity eventually cooled, though, and the character soon developed a fanbase of her own as people became willing to view her apart from her "replacing-a-well-loved-character" status—a curious case of Hindsight leading to Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
    • Vic Fontaine gathered a significant hatedom, not because he was a terrible character in his own right, but because he showed up in the back half of the final season and took up a lot of screentime right when a lot of the ongoing plot arcs that viewers were heavily invested in were wrapping up and everything was revving up for the big finale, making any time spent fooling around in the holosuite feel wasted. (Many fans had the same objection to "Take Me Out to the Holosuite," a non-Vic-related holosuite episode.) Had his appearances been kept to a restrained minimum, he would probably have been far more popular, as is, the character is disliked not so much for what he as for what he isn't (i.e. rarely anything plot-relevant), and because he showed up too damn much.
    • Quark's mother Ishka. Now at the end of the day, it's obvious why they don't have a happy relationship: He is a misogynist who treats women like property and she is a staunch advocate for women's rights on a planet where women are treated like dirt. However not only does she very blatantly favour Rom (with some Unfortunate Implications that it is solely because he in no way acts like a Ferengi male) but she doesn't seem to give any concern whatsoever that her actions may completely ruin Quark's life from the literal loss of his livelihood and assets to their government threatening to kill him. Even after Quark rescues her from the largest and most dangerous power in the galaxy whilst nearly getting killed in the process she still hates him in her next appearance "Profit and Lace" seeing absolutely no problem in the world using him against his will and forcing him to undergo a sex change. There is a difference between destroying your son's life in a Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few kind of way and just outright not giving a crap.
      • The worst part: Iska's first episode has her as much more sympathetic, complex and likable—and even ends with the implication that she and Quark are on their way to repairing their past animosity. Her very next episode, however, arguably began the Flanderization process. It doesn't help that she's played by a different actress from that point on.
      • It certainly didn't help matters when, in "Ferengi Love Songs," Ishka casually told Quark that he was wrong to break a contract with another Ferengi, even though fulfilling that contract (with Brunt in the earlier episode "Body Parts") would have required Quark to kill himself.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 3 is distinctly weak, due to two factors: the departure of Peter Allan Fields (who was responsible for the first two seasons' best writing), and an increasing reliance on Ferengi-centered comedy episodes. It was back on its feet by season 4, though.
    • Seasons 5 and 7, while not exactly regarded as bad, are considered noticeable steps down in quality from Seasons 4 and 6. Season 5 features a number of universally despised episodes (most notably "Let He Who Is Without Sin...") and spends a lot of time spinning its wheels and resetting the Klingon War and Maquis arcs in order to make way for the eventual Dominion War story line, while Season 7 suffers a combination of the show's religious symbolism becoming overwhelming, Gul Dukat being turned from a complex villain into a straightforward Omnicidal Maniac, and Ezri Dax... just being Ezri Dax.
    • It doesn't help that the Prophets/Pah-Wraiths plot is resolved almost as quickly as it starts. Almost as if they were planning for a season 8 with which to resolve it, and found themselves forced to do it within the latter half of the 7th season instead.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The episode "Blood Oath" has a standard, almost cliched plot; three Klingons who knew Curzon Dax have Jadzia aid them in their quest for vengeance. The thing is, though, this episode takes place in the show's second season; before the Klingon war, before Worf joined the crew, and before Ron Moore signed on. After seeing the later seasons, it's almost impossible to recognize what an oddball episode this was when it first aired.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Armin Shimerman (Quark's actor) has a fondness in his heart for "Move Along Home", and whatever else may be said about it, it's pretty easy to get a chuckle out of a DS9 fan by using one of the show's abortive attempts at a Catchphrase ("Allamaraine! Third shap!" or the title as spoken by Falow in the simulation, for example.)
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • "The Siege of AR-558." A lot of people didn't want to make the episode but the writers (and the director, a Vietnam veteran) pushed on because they wanted to make an episode showing the horror and dehumanizing trauma of war. Unsurprisingly, the Ferengi actors are big fans of this episode because they got to do something different and be the moral conscience of the show for once.
      Ira Behr: War sucks... You win, but you still lose. And we needed to show that as uncompromisingly as possible. War isn't just exploding ships and special effects.
    • "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang". The A-plot grinds to a halt just so Sisko can blast Vic Fontaine (and, by proxy, the writers) for white-washing history. Ira Behr wanted to make sure an episode of Star Trek didn't betray its core principles, and to remind audiences that Vic's is fiction, and 60's Vegas "was very, very, very, very white"
  • Squick:
    • Quark as a Ferengi female in "Profit and Lace". He even shows his (her?) parts off to a lecherous future business partner and a horrified Brunt.
    • Dukat took Kira's mother as his mistress during the Occupation, and goes on to be pretty obviously interested in Kira herself. This is basically the equivalent of Adolf Hitler hitting on Anne Frank.
      • This gets worse when you learn the writing staff actually did want to make them a couple, until both Nana Visitor and Marc Alaimo flatly refused to go along with it.
    • Once Kasidy Yates shows up, Jake seems rather disturbingly invested in getting his dad laid.
    • Winn/Dukat. She even has an in-universe squick reaction once he realizes who he is.
    • In "A Simple Investigation", Odo and Arissa spend the night together. A solid. And a shapeshifter.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • Worf and Jadzia sometimes didn't seem to have much in common with each other, besides their Klingon connections. Many thought Jadzia had far more chemistry with Sisko. There are plenty of others who do feel that they do make a good match with some fun UST, of course.
    • Ezri and Julian. Their pairing was disappointing to fans who took it to mean that Julian really hadn't gotten over Dax after all, and that the relationship amounted to going from friendship to high-school-crush displays of awkwardness—and therefore, was a waste of forced comedy. Said fans also felt that their relationship lacked chemistry or character development, or had any point in the plot arcs that were going on at the time (when everyone was concerned with the very serious events of the finale, the only reason these two seemed to be together was to introduce artificial "breather moments"). This seems to be why the Expanded Universe writers seemed obsessed with making their relationship fall apart.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Worf in "Let He Who is Without Sin." Yes, he should ease up a bit, but with how much Jadzia keeps shrugging off his requests to discuss their relationship, which was the reason they were going to Risa to begin with - which was also where she wanted to go, by the way — it's hard to blame him for finally losing his cool when he does.
    • Dukat may have gone completely Ax-Crazy evil insane in "Waltz", screaming about his hatred of Bajor and wanting to kill all Bajorans right after rationalizing why he was trying to help them despite killing them... However, even through all the insane Jerkass craziness of his, he does make one good point (although this also doubles as Jerkass Has a Point). Benjamin doesn't have the right to judge anyone except in a Courtroom Episode where it becomes part of his job. It's a simple human flaw, but it shows up every now and again.
    • That's the entire thrust of "Waltz". Sisko begins the story with an ambivalent attitude about putting Dukat in a Federation Court, and ends it regretting he didn't kill Dukat during any point in the last six years and let him elude their grasp. It's about an individual coming to the conclusion that they are the arbiter of right and wrong in the universe, and rejecting moral relativism. Or maybe it's Ron Moore telling the fanboys to shut up and watch and stop sending him letters. That's more or less the message of every Dukat story post-"Indiscretion". ("You're not supposed to LIKE him, nerds!")
  • Take That, Scrappy!: A gun-toting Vic Fontaine appears in the final Mirror Universe episode, "The Emperor's New Cloak". But it seems this version of Vic is some sort of traitor to the Terran cause, because moments later he gets gunned down by Mirror Bashir and his wig. Whether this was a request by James Darren, a reference to his role in The Guns of Navarone, or just plain self-deprecation by the producers is an open question.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: On the level of a whole organization. The Maquis were created entirely to set up the situation on Voyager, with little thought to what role they could play on Deep Space Nine. This wasn't helped by the bizarre decision to kill off the character who founded the organization, a charismatic captain who had a long personal history with Sisko, and replace him with Eddington, a Generic Guy who never espoused any personal connection to the Maquis and therefore seemed motivated largely by career frustration and a desire to play Jean Valjean. And when the story reached a point where they might have an interesting role to play, they were unceremoniously wiped out between episodes. Despite this, out of the three shows that featured the Maquis, this one still made probably the best use of them (they were introduced too late in the run of The Next Generation for that show to do much of anything with them, while Executive Meddling over on Voyager resulted in the "no conflict" rule being strictly enforced, quickly rendering the former Maquis officers functionally no different to their Starfleet counterparts).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places". It's the return of Quark's Klingon ex-wife (and fan favorite) Grilka! And she's starting to show romantic feelings for Quark! Unfortunately, Worf falls in Love at First Sight with her. Even more unfortunately, the plot's basically a rehash of Cyrano de Bergerac with Worf in the role of Cyrano for Quark. A couple of problems with this: 1) Quark and Grilka already know each other, so one wouldn't think he'd really need a Cyrano, and 2) Worf has always despised Quark and continues to do so at the end of the episode (the last thing Worf has to say about Quark here is, "What does she see in that parasite?" Worse still, the whole Quark/Grilka story is sidelined just to bring Worf and Jadzia together. Even worse, Jadzia actually insults Grilka (albeit not to her face), contemptuously referring to her as a "statue", which combined with Worf's sustained contempt for Quark, puts a really ugly spin on Worf and Jadzia helping Quark to get together with Grilka. Worst of all, just a few episodes later in the abysmal "Let He Who Is Without Sin", Quark's back to chasing women on Risa, and Grilka's never seen or mentioned again.
    • The reveal in Season 5 that Bashir had been replaced by a Changeling for several episodes. It was a complete Retcon only thought up for that episode, and nothing at all was done with the idea of what the Changeling might have been up to outside of his plot after being revealed. The next time that particular plot thread was mentioned wasn't until the following season's "Inquisition," and even then only as an excuse to help set up Section 31.
    • The Dominion was originally planned to be much more of an Evil Counterpart to the Federation, in the form of having many more major species than just the changelings, Jem'Hadar, and Vorta (not including subject races like the Karemma). Plans were scaled back due to the Jems' popularity after their debut.
    • There was a way that they could have partially saved the otherwise infamously bad Profit and Lace and that would have been to set the episode on Ferenginar and kick all of the comedy to the kerb. Because as it stands, the highly chauvinistic and traditionalist Quark spends the majority of the episode sitting in the privacy and familiarity of his safe Federation/Bajoran quarters. The only truly negative experience he has is a brief bout of sexual harassment (which is still bad obviously, but hardly up to what Ishka and every other Ferengi woman has had to deal with their whole lives). If he had to experience the day-to-day toil of a species so misogynistic he wouldn't even be allowed to wear clothes in public, it would have brought him closer to his mother and given him a real reason to actually change his ways and that of others as opposed to being guilted into it. It also would have helped immensely if they brought back Pel from Rules of Acquisition (maybe even in the form of a "Freaky Friday" Flip given how that horrible body suit would always have been an obstacle for the audience to take seriously).
    • Come the climax of season seven, there's an epic showdown between Dukat and Sisko...and yet despite them being the Emissary of the Prophets and the Pah-Wraiths respectively, their conflict really doesn't feel earned; the two of them hadn't interacted at all since the sixth season, and Dukat was always very much established as Kira's nemesis rather than Sisko's.
    • One from the show's very first minutes: Sisko has a damn good reason to hate the Borg. Heck, he even designed the Defiant explicitly to combat the Borg. And yet, after the opening teaser where we see Picard as Locutus, we don't see a single Borg throughout the entire series, and any possible grudge between Sisko and the Borg is left unexplored. It's possible this was avoided because Star Trek: Voyager leaned a little too heavily on the Borg as villains and Deep Space Nine wanted to keep its own identity. Oh well, at least Star Trek: First Contact let us see the Defiant go up against a Borg cube where it proves to hold its own quite well.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: With the B-stories in episodes quite often having nothing whatsoever to do with the main storyline — the writers later admitted that it wasn't uncommon for them to lift a B-story from one script and drop it into another one — this trope can crop up from time to time. In the first season this tended to manifest in an excess of subplots focusing on Jake and Nog, which quickly grew repetitive, while mid-series the writers sometimes tried throwing light-hearted subplots into more drama-heavy episodes to make them more "balanced out," causing severe Mood Whiplash.
  • Uncanny Valley: Several Changelings who assume humanoid form, such as Odo and Laas. Because Odo has difficulty mimicking humanoid facial details, his face has blunted features with unnaturally smooth skin. The fact that Laas, the Female Changeling, and a Changeling infiltrator also look this way suggests that it may be a default Changeling facial template.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Weyoun is very popular with fans, but virtually all the characters in the show dislike him (understandably, given that he's an agent of the Dominion and a Smug Snake).
  • Values Dissonance: The good guys include former terrorists and a new terrorist group formed during the series is portrayed as having some reasonable motives. Yes, this series was made before 9/11.
    • In a very odd way, watching this show after 9/11 actually makes it far more poignant and the moral arguments far more important. That the arguments raised in this show have often been ignored in the political climate of the last decade would be tragic if it wasn't so ironic.
    • In the episode "Homefront", Quark tries to sympathize with Chief O'Brien and Doctor Bashir's fears for Earth's safety in the aftermath of a Changeling terrorist attack by sharing his past fear for Ferenginar during an economic panic. Chief O'Brien proceeds to mock him about it, with the implication that it's petty to panic over things like money. Now watch this episode in the aftermath of Great Recession which has people fearing for their families and even countries in the face of one of the worst economic situations in decades.
    • A minor example in Sanctuary. Jake tells Nog that a Dabo girl is studying entomology, and explains that this is the "study of bugs." Nog responds "You mean she wants to be a chef." This seems to be an example of the Ferengi as a bizarre alien culture. In the 21st century the taboo against eating insects, particularly grasshoppers and crickets, is starting to fade, and major food companies are looking to them as a more efficient source of protein than livestock.
  • Values Resonance:
    • The two-part episode "Past Tense" has proven extremely relevant throughout the post-2008 Great Recession and constant fights since then over what and how much the government should do for the poor. There's a subtle racial subtext that's relevant for many as well: Jadzia, played by and able to pass as a caucasian-white woman, is found by a wealthy businessman who can make her lacking-ID problem go away, while Sisko and Bashir, a black man and a British Arab, are picked up by the police and sent to the local Fantastic Ghetto.
    • After the whole NSA/PRISM/Xkeyscore thing went down, the events of "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost" become a LOT more scary, and Sisko's problems with Leyton make a whole lot more sense. Not to mention all the security measures Starfleet implements on Earth that end up doing nothing except invading people's privacy. Sound like any airport security agencies you know?
  • Vindicated by History: At the time the series faced a lot of scorn from Trekkies, complaining about the stationary setting when the franchise was supposed to be about exploration. But with television now having moved much more toward the kind of long term character development that DS9 favored (while Star Trek: Enterprise, plus Star Trek: Voyager to a lesser extent, were derided for ignoring this in favor of more exploration) it now seems quite ahead of its time. Nana Visitor is fully aware of this trope, and she loves it:
    Nana Visitor: I remember sitting with Armin Shimerman on set and saying "they don't really get us, the Star Trek fans." And they didn't at the time, but we said, "Ten, twenty years from now they'll get it." That's proven to be true; people are discovering it now thanks to streaming. And the show holds up.
  • Wangst: Sisko gets a lot of it, especially related to his status as Emissary.
    • Some fans also think that it also applies to his personal log in "In the Pale Moonlight," when he is upset over trading his personal sense of honor for a Romulan alliance via lies and assassination. Although it's well-established that Starfleet places a lot of value on honesty and personal integrity and not being involved in clandestine murders, some viewers think the decision was a no-brainer in the first place.
    • Kira arguably wangsts far more than Sisko throughout the entire series.
    • Bashir! For a genetically enhanced, super doctor, you'd think he'd be better at walking the balance between principle and practicality. Instead, he whines incessantly every time someone doesn't go 100% towards the former, no matter how right they are, how sound their reasoning, or how much their pragmatic decisions keep proving to pay off.
  • What an Idiot!: Lieutenant Primmin, Odo's short-lived Starfleet-appointed security counterpart gets hit with this in his last appearance, the infamous season 1 episode "Move Along Home". When the entire senior staff of DS9 (save Chief O'Brien, who is on Earth with his family) doesn't show up for duty the day following First Contact with the Wadi, a species from the Gamma Quadrant, Primmin, whose job is to assist with station security merely shrugs it off and assumes they're all busy recovering from the party that was thrown at Quark's without ever actually checking to see if they were in their quarters or even still on the station (which he could have done in less than a minute via his combadge or even just asking the computer). When Odo finds out he is visibly pissed off at Primmin, but decides to focus on finding out what happened to Sisko and the others. Given that Primmin is never seen or even referred to again after this episode, it's not hard to imagine that his gross negligence cost him dearly.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
    • There are many contemporary readings on the occupation of Bajor. Some people say the Holocaust, some say Gaza. Ira Behr once likened Dukat's tenure to Richard Nixon's 'exit strategy' for Vietnam. While this isn't true of Dukat's portrayal generally, you can definitely see it in his 'trial' in Waltz.
    • Ferengi culture's love of profit above all else has been read as a parody of (U.S.) libertarianism.
  • The Woobie:
    • O'Brien, who's suffered such indignities as abduction/replacement, arrest and trial, death (thrice in one episode), arrest and 20 years' imprisonment in 20 hours, threatened by his possessed wife, etc. Kira's suffered just as bad, if not worse. And Odo gets his fair share of suffering as well.) The writers even said "O'Brien must suffer" at least once a season because they thought Colm Meaney was great in that kind of story.
    • Dukat also gets this treatment in one episode, at the end of Sacrifice of Angels and the beginning of Waltz. Sisko's log, at the beginning of Waltz puts it into words: "He lost an empire, he lost his daughter, and he nearly lost his mind. Whatever his crimes... isn't that enough punishment for one lifetime?" Of course, since it's Dukat...
    • Ziyal, much more so. Born a war bastard to one of Dukat's mistresses, enslaved by the Breen, her biological father hunts her down planning to kill her and then later leaves her to die in a Dominion-triggered supernova (which is avoided), goes to art school on Bajor only to quit due to being subjected to Fantastic Racism, and is finally gunned down as a traitor by her father's Number Two after she helps Kira and the others end the Dominion occupation of the station. The girl could not catch a break.
    • As if dealing with 8 lifetimes' worth of memories without 1 lifetime's training wasn't bad enough, Garak makes Ezri cry by saying she doesn't deserve to be a Dax.
    • Aamin Marritza, from the season 1 episode "Duet", was a filing clerk who worked at the infamous Gallitep labor camp during the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor. The camp was commanded by a cruel psychopath named Gul Darhe'el, who had the Bajoran slaves tortured, raped and killed on his whim. Marritza would cower under his bunk and cover his ears to block the screams from the Bajorans. After Darhe'el died, Marritza arrived on Deep Space 9 masquerading as Darhe'el, pretending to be a genocidal psychopath in hopes of being executed by the Bajorans so that Cardassia will admit its crimes. Though fooling Kira for a while, Kira confronts Marritza with evidence of his lies and Marritza breaks down, blaming his cowardice for allowing those acts of horror to continue in the camp. Kira releases him, but he is later stabbed by a drunken Bajoran, just for being a Cardassian.
    • Garak becomes one too at the end of the series. His father dies, barely acknowledging him. His mother is murdered in cold blood by Jem'Hadar. Most of his contacts/friends are dead. The defeat of the Dominion was a Pyrrhic Victory for Cardassia, and he knows it. He doesn't get to kill the Female Changeling who started it all either, which would not normally be something to feel sorry for him over, but by this point, she had killed hundreds of millions of innocent people, most of them Cardassians. The fact that he had previously come real close to killing off the changelings, albeit at a cost, probably just made this worse.
    • Damar is a good candidate as well, considering that he not only desperately tried to make the best of the terrible situation that Dukat had put Cardassia in, but that he stayed absolutely loyal to Dukat despite how he screwed him and everyone else in the Alpha Quadrant over. What's more, because he had a conscience, trying to work with the Dominion (despite being effectively conquered by them had him Drowning My Sorrows) with a diligent resolve that would make any Klingon proud. He suffered through the entire war, tried to protect Cardassia as much as possible, and then when he tried to resist and stop the bloodshed, millions of Cardassians died. That has got to hurt. Sad thing is, he would have made a brilliant leader for the new Cardassia if he hadn't been Killed Off for Real.

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