Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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The main cast of Deep Space Nine: Worf, Bashir, Jadzia Dax, Quark, Jake, O'Brien, Kira, Sisko, Odo. Not pictured: Ezri, Nog, Rom, Leeta, Garak, Dukat, Winn, Bareil, Keiko, Molly, Damar, Weyoun, Gowron, Martok, Ziyal.
"If the Dominion comes through the Wormhole, the first battle will be fought here. And I intend to be ready for them."
Commander Benjamin Sisko

The second of the "next generation" of Star Trek shows, following on from Star Trek: The Next Generation, this series ran seven seasons. Deep Space Nine traded the Wagon Train to the Stars premise of the previous (and future) Star Trek shows for a "Fort Apache in Space" setting.

In the setting of the show, the native Bajoran people recently drove out the oppressive Cardassian Occupation through a war of attrition and a fair amount of terrorism (both Cardassians and the Bajoran Occupation were previously established on Star Trek: The Next Generation). The Bajoran Provisional Government petitioned The Federation for support, despite not being a Federation member. A relatively small crew was sent to take residence on an abandoned Cardassian station called Terok Nor, designated Deep Space 9 by the Federation, to aid the Bajorans in charge. In the first episode a rare stable wormhole was discovered leading to the Gamma Quadrant of the galaxy, and the station was relocated there to claim its use. The fixed base allowed the show to delve deeply into the politics of the Star Trek universe, but the addition of the wormhole also allowed exploration of unknown planets.

The storylines were split among several different areas: the first explored was the rebuilding of Bajoran civilization and the Bajorans' worship of the non-corporeal beings that resided in (and had built) the wormhole, known as the Prophets. Other major Story Arcs included the never stable relationship with the Cardassians and the dramatic discovery of The Dominion, a powerful counterpart to The Federation found on the other side of the wormhole. Both allies and enemies of the Federation had to deal with the impact of the Dominion War, which covered the last two seasons.

One of the factors that made Deep Space Nine unique was that every action had consequences. Nobody could solve all of their problems in just one episode, and, unlike its ship-based sister series, the crew couldn't just 'jump to warp' and leave the Problem of the Week behind. The writers used Story Arcs much more extensively than Star Trek: The Next Generation had and they took the time to slowly examine The Federation for what it truly was: a noble organization that still had problems with bureaucracy and skeletons in their closet. They also re-examined two episodes from Star Trek: The Original Series: "Mirror, Mirror" (in "Crossover") and "The Trouble With Tribbles" (in "Trials and Tribble-ations"). DS9 would further explore the Mirror Universe in subsequent episodes. [1]

Another key difference for Deep Space Nine was the unprecedented number - and depth - of the supporting characters. While all Star Trek series have large casts, Deep Space Nine is the only one that qualifies for Loads and Loads of Characters. It was also the only show to have a number of Fake Guest Stars, many of whom deserved a slot in the main titles. Supporting characters like Rom and Garak got more Character Development and background than many main characters on other Star Trek series; this was possible largely due to the use of Story Arcs, which were enabled, again, by Deep Space Nine being a fixed location.

For the first three seasons, the show focused on the aftermath of the occupation and the issues this dealt with, as well as throwing up look-what's-come-through-the-wormhole episodes. The show got a Darker and Edgier retool after season 4, with the addition of Worf to the regular cast and a Story Arc about the Dominion threat (which had started in season 2-3, and wouldn't become dominant until season 5). Part of this is due to the fact that the producers became more and more comfortable altering Gene Roddenberry's positive, optimistic future.

As a result of this kind of thing, the show tends to divide Trekkies a bit - most people who like Star Trek for the science fiction setting and the moral commentary dislike it because it tends to focus on drama and character conflict, treats the universe as a political backdrop, and dispenses with many of the utopian themes. On the other hand, those who do like DS9 tend to like it a lot more than they like the other Trek series, forming a little subculture of their own in Trek fandom known as "Niners".

In spite of the general divide within fandom itself, DS9 earned more critical accolades than even Star Trek: The Next Generation due to its intense Character Development, high-quality acting and pioneering use of Story Arcs; it is still regarded by many as the greatest and most underrated show ever to take the Star Trek name.

The show ran on British and Japanese TV, and all seven seasons are available on region 1 DVD. It used to run in syndication on Spike TV in the United States, but due to low ratings has not been seen in repeats in the United States for over a year. As of October 2011 the complete series is available on Netflix streaming in the United States.

Information on the main and recurring characters can be found on the character page.

See also the Star Trek Deep Space Nine Relaunch, a series of novels continuing the show's story arcs past the finale.

Tropes used in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine include:

Tropes A-G[edit | hide | hide all]

  • A Shared Suffering: Odo's and Garak's isolation from their respective peoples' ends up forming the basis of their friendship in later seasons when a common bond between them is formed as a result of Garak's torture of Odo.
  • Abandoned Area: Empok Nor
  • Abandon Ship: Several times, notably in the series intro, which takes place during the Battle of Wolf 359 and features the USS Saratoga in flames as her passengers and crew get to the shuttles to escape. Commander Sisko is forced to leave his wife's body behind.
    • Similarly, the titular ship's crew in the episode Valiant abandon ship in the episode's climax, with the Dominion forces destroying many of the lifepods (though it's not clear if this was intentional, or just because they were still pummeling the ship into its constituent subatomic particles; in a later episode the Female Founder told her soldiers specifically to let the lifepods escape, so that the survivors would spread terror when they retold the story of their defeat.)

Chief Collins: The Captain wanted us to-
Ensign Nog: The Captain is dead, Chief. They're all Dead. The ship is lost. There's no need for us to die here too.

    • And a variation in the Season 5 finale, with the Starfleet personnel abandoning Deep Space Nine, but not because it's in danger of being destroyed, but rather because they can't hold it against the Dominion. The Bajoran militia destroy the station's computer systems as soon as the Starfleet personnel are clear.

Kira Nerys: Dukat wanted the station back? He can have it.

    • The Defiant had to be abandoned a couple times as well, notably in "The Search, Part I" (in which Odo and Kira get to a shuttle while Sisko and Bashir get to a separate one off-camera (though it turns out they actually were captured and the Alpha Quadrant events of Part II are all taking place in a simulated reality); and also in "The Changing Face of Evil", after the Defiant is hit by the Breen's energy-dampening weapon (this time, the ship is actually destroyed).

Weyoun (staring directly into the camera): "Poor Captain Sisko. I believe he was quite fond of that ship."

  • Absence of Evidence: In the Deep Space Nine episode The Nagus, one of the things that tips Odo off that Zek is not dead is the absence of Mairhar'du at his funeral.
  • Acting for Two: Kira and Miles & their Mirror Universe counterparts. Also Bashir in "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?"
  • Actor Allusion: Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun, who had a background in "creative genetics".
    • When Kira is giving birth to the O'Brian's baby she yells "This is all your fault!" at Dr. Bashir. Nana Visitor was really pregnant with Alexander Siddig's child.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: As we learned earlier in an episode of TNG, one of the erogenous zones on Ferengi is the ear, and the stroking of the ear is known as "oo-mox". Doing this to a Ferengi male gives them much the same sensation as stroking a certain other part on a human male does. Ear health is also a lot more important to Ferengi than humans, apparently, since Rom almost died because of a problem with his ear in "The Bar Association". When his attractive co-worker ( and eventual wife) Leeta blames Quark for it because Rom was worked too hard to get regular checkups to prevent things like that, the following conversation takes place.

Rom: It's not Quark's fault that I got sick. I forgot to get my bimonthly ear scan. And besides, I've probably been getting too much oo-mox.
Leeta: Really? Who's the lucky female?
Rom: [sheepishly] No female. Just me.
Leeta: [embarrassed] I'm...sorry...
Rom: [hopeful] Sorry enough to do something about it?
[Rom tilts his ear toward Leeta]

    • Also, it's indicated that some of the wealthier Ferengi have females (of any species) employed to give them oo-mox in public as a conspicuous display of their prestige, and one episode also has Rom's mother giving him oo-mox as an indication healthy maternal affection. Oo-mox is a more quasi-sexual show of affection, something like kissing--which doesn't make the metaphor any less blatant, however.
  • Affectionate Parody: "Our Man Bashir" is, for all intents and purposes, a particularly ridiculous James Bond film, only with an actual spy tagging along and snarkily lampshading all the tropes.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Founders can imitate any alien species perfectly, but they appear mostly as the same basic humanoid shape as Odo, since he cannot mimic human appearance. They presumably appear this way to the Alpha Quadrant because the only Founder they know is Odo, thus they chose to resemble him.
    • Founders that go undercover, however, are quite adept at mimicking features of humans (or whatever race they're impersonating). One Founder that had infiltrated Earth deliberately took the form of Miles O'Brien, whom Sisko knew was off-world, specifically to taunt Sisko on their superiority in such matters.
    • It's possibly deliberate--since Odo has always expressed an inability to mimic complex humanoid features, but has no such problem with small animals or complex objects--that this "default" form was somehow instinctive to him, or that the Founders even blocked him from looking too "normal," since part of the point of sending him and the others like him out was to learn about alien species by seeing how they would treat a "changeling."
      • Though one episode, where we meet an Odo that's about 200 years older, shows us that he eventually learns how to mimic human faces perfectly.
  • Alien Lunch: Well, if you want one, there's (lessee) Quark's, a Klingon restaurant, a Bolian restaurant, a jumja stand, and Sisko's Creole Kitchen.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Episode "Paradise" & the sweat box punishment.
  • Alternate Universe: See also the entry for Mirror Universe.
  • Ambadassador: Worf and Curzon Dax
  • Ambiguously Gay: Virtually every male Ferengi character has hinted at this. From Rom's ability to mimic female walking, to Brunt and Zek's tendency to hide in a "closet," to various male Ferengi's attraction to Quark when he cross-dressed.
    • Rule of Acquisition Number 113: Always have sex with the boss. And Ferengi women are supposed to stay at home... Granted, this rule only appeared in the non-canon Legends of the Ferengi book, but it was written by the executive producers of the show.
      • Canonically, there is a Ferengi book called Oo-mox for Fun and Profit. Oo-mox is a (partially) sexual act, and at the time only Ferengi males were legally allowed to earn profit.
        • Both of these have a lot of the Ho Yay taken out of them by the fact that most of the Rules were clearly written after the Ferengi became spacefaring traders and thus started having business dealings with species where females are allowed to be employed and earn profit. "It never hurts to sleep with the boss" could thus be a bit of advice Ferengi males give their non-Ferengi female employees (or advice they take themselves in the unlikely event they start working for a non-Ferengi female). And the first time Oo-mox for Fun and Profit shows up, Quark is giving it to a (non-Ferengi, obviously) dabo girl, implying that she should use it as a way to increase her profits via her employment by him.
    • Quark didn't merely cross-dress, but actually crossed genders to make sure a scheme succeeded. The fact that he was able to change and then change back again using nothing more than some advanced surgery suggests the Ferengi have had reason to do something like this before. Maybe this easy trans-sexuality comes from being willing (and able) to do just about anything to close a deal, which on occasion might have included feminine sexual favors for the customer when there aren't any females available... yet.
    • Garak. Toned done after his first appearance because the writers weren't fans of Garak/Bashir shippers.
    • Mirror Universe Kira. Gay doesn't seem adequate to describe her; nor does bisexual. She seems to consider every man, woman, and object to be a sexual plaything.
      • Nana Visitor indicated that she didn't really agree with the writers about her character's sexuality; the way she saw it, the only woman for whom Intendant Kira really had any attraction was her counterpart, because she loves herself... really, really loves herself. As for the men, they're all there to service her massive ego as well.
  • And I Must Scream: While the audience never gets to see evidence of it, Word of God states that Dukat's ultimate fate is to be sealed in the Fire Caves with the Pah-Wraiths - forever.
    • Unless he gets pulled out of it somehow in the expanded universe. Stay tuned.
  • And You Were There: "Far Beyond the Stars," "Shadows and Symbols"
  • Anti-Hero: Sisko, at times; Quark, very definitely. Gul Dukat, whenever he was working with the Good Guys. Kira when dealing with Cardassians. And Garak, of course.
  • Anti-Human Alliance: In the mirror universe.
  • Anyone Can Die: Jadzia. Vedek Bareil. Ziyal. Damar. Gowron. Winn. Kor. Weyoun, many times. Dukat, sort of. Even Sisko, sort of.
    • Although Damar, Winn, Dukat, and Weyoun's "true" death were in the finale. But still.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: The Founders' number-one rule is that "no Changeling has ever harmed another". When Odo has to kill one of his own, he forces his people to punish him by taking away his shape shifting abilities. He gets better.
  • Apocalypse How: Between several extermination attempts by the Dominion against enemy races, to the Federation's own genocidal attempt on the Founders, to the orbital bombardment that would have stripped the Founder homeworld to its core, to the attempted destruction of the Bajor star, to the Pah-Wraiths desire to burn the universe, there's a fair bit of this going on.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The Klingon commander's log in "Dramatis Personae."
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Whenever a message is received from the Prophets, everybody treats them like any other religious icon, conveniently forgetting that they have been proved to exist and have the ability to see through time.
    • Odo lampshades this in the episode 'The Reckoning', pointing out that Bajoran prophecies have a way of coming true, even it is not in the way people expected (case in point, the episode 'Destiny' from the third season).
    • On the flip side, the Bajorans, particularly Kira, often talk about how they have "faith" and wonder how the humans live without it (humans in the Star Trek future generally not being very religious). However, when your "gods" live in a wormhole you can drive ships through, regularly send you accurate prophecies, and even destroy entire fleets of enemy ships to protect your planet, you're not really practicing faith - their deity is practically a scientific law, which calls into question the soundness of the logic underlying Kira's lectures on the subject.
      • Although this is covered somewhat in the episode about the controversy surrounding the school on Deep Space 9. Some of the Bajorans want the Wormhole and its inhabitants referred to only as the "Celestial Temple" and "the Prophets", while Keiko just as stubbornly insists on calling it "the Wormhole" and "the Wormhole aliens". While the Wormhole's inhabitants are factually known to exist, the Bajorans have faith that they're divine, as opposed to merely being an alien species.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Q invokes this trope when talking about how drearily dull Earth has become lately.

Q: Oh don't get me wrong, a thousand years ago it had character. Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Watergate...

  • Artifact of Attraction: The Sword of Kahless.
    • Word of God states that the Sword doesn't actually possess any supernatural attraction, it's just that the glory associated with possessing it was too much for even the most honorable Klingon to completely resist.
  • Artifact Title: A common joke amongst Trek fans is that the characters of DS9 don't do that much trekking.
  • Ascended Extra
    • Damar - from Dukat's unremarkable Dragon to one of the most crucial components of the later seasons.
      • Word of God says that the writers always had "big plans" for Damar, which is how the producers managed to convince Casey Biggs to play such an apparently unremarkable character. In "Return to Grace" (his first appearance) the director was shot Damar as if he were a major character.
    • Chief O'Brien is an Ascended Extra from TNG, where he played a background character in the pilot, then the transporter chief. He was practically a TNG regular in the second through fourth seasons; he gained both his wife and first child during TNG.
    • Rom - Referred to by Quark and Odo in Season 1 as an idiot. Over the course of the show he goes from skilled wacky repairman, to station engineer, to Nagus. Quite the transition, no?
  • Assumed Win: Grand Nagus Zek's son, Krax, does this in "The Nagus" when Zek is about to announce his successor. But he announces the new Nagus as Quark instead, which outrages everyone sitting at the table. (Quark, for his part, was floored.)
  • Auction: Done in both "Q-Less" and "In the Cards".
  • Author Appeal: The whole Vic Fontaine character and his related plots were basically just an excuse for Ira Steven Behr to hijack Star Trek and turn it into the old Rat Pack-era Vegas movies, because darn it he liked those movies so he was going to make one, show concept be damned!
  • Avengers Assemble: "The Magnificent Ferengi", complete with holding up fingers as each new member joins the team to save Moogie.
  • Awesome but Practical: The prototype TR-116 Rifle from "Field of Fire" which is basically a sniper rifle modifed with a transporter to fire bullets through walls.
    • Presumably, the ethical dilemma of Starfleet condoning a weapon whose main application would be for covert assassinations are why they never took this weapon beyond the prototype stage.
    • To be fair, the original point--at least as stated in the episode--was to have a weapon that was capable of operating in environments where directed energy weapons were scrambled or otherwise useless. The ability to transport the bullets was an after-market add-on by the assassin in question.
      • Also, one of the mentioned aspects of its development, and its primary use in the expanded universe, is fighting the Borg, since their personal shields don't work against physical kinetic projectiles.
        • In Star Trek Online, this is reflected in the fact that while its bullets do less damage than energy weapons, it has 100% personal shield penetration (against everyone, not just Borg).
  • Ax Crazy: Dukat becomes this for quite awhile after Ziyal's death.
    • Mirrorverse Kira
  • Backup Twin: After the Defiant is destroyed, four episodes later a near-identical replacement is ready, and they even receive a "special dispensation" to rename it as such. It's amusingly reminiscent of this trope's occurrence in Beerfest where the new guy asks everyone to call him by the same nickname as the old guy.[2]
    • Justified in that by this point the class was being mass-produced for the war effort.
    • Sisko when he had to assume the identity of his Mirror-self.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In "Our Man Bashir" in the Show Within a Show, this occurs as part of the Protagonist-Centered Morality Bashir's situation enforced upon him: the people he was determined to keep alive were all in the room with him, while the rest of the Earth and everyone on it were just a holodeck simulation. Solution: do a Face Heel Turn and push the button that destroys the rest of the world.
    • This was subsequently lampshaded by the Bond-style villain (played by Sisko), as he admitted somehow he hadn't really expected to win.
  • Bald Black Leader Guy: Only completely fulfilled from Season 4 onwards, once Avery Brooks shaved his head.
    • Or rather, once the producers let him shave his head again.
    • Sisko is currently the picture for this trope.
  • Baseball Episode / Game of Nerds: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite". Justified, in that Sisko was shown to be a baseball fan right from the start of the series, and although a war was going on at the episode's time, DS 9 was no longer on the front line.
  • Batman Gambit: All over the place, and even Quark pulls off one, albeit seemingly double subverted, in "The House of Quark".
  • Battle Couple: Worf and Jadzia -- and, amazingly, also Quark and a Klingon Noblewoman. Kira and Odo as well, although Odo'd really rather she stay out of the fighting, thank you, but is smart enough not to try to make her.
  • Beard of Evil: Lampshaded when Riker's transporter-accident-duplicate from an old TNG episode comes on board DS9 to steal the Defiant. Of course Riker already has a full beard, but when the reveal is made that this isn't the real Riker we all know and love, he peels his fake sideburns away to reveal that the beard is actually a goatee! It's supposed to be a dramatic moment, as the viewer is given no hints it isn't Riker at that point (though the possibility of him being possessed by an alien or brainwashed or something is always there in Star Trek)... but it comes across as hilarious if you're expecting it.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: O'Brien and the Cardassian engineer (at least from her POV).
    • Apparently this is how all Cardassians flirt (which adds even more slashy undertones to the whole Bashir/Garak thing).
    • When Kira moved in with the O'brians (while carrying their baby), she and the Chief started fighting constantly (mainly over her level of activity and risk-taking while pregnant and him trying to control her). Eventually, they both realize that they are actually VERY attracted to each other, much to their dismay. They both decide that it's a really bad idea and cover up any awkwardness by just letting Kieko think they are back to fighting again.
      • Quark even refers to the pair as "the OTHER O'brians" while eavesdropping with Bashir on one of their fights
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: In "The Muse", Onaya says that she unlocked the creativity of many legendary figures from throughout history.
    • However she offers no proof of this and may simply be lying to manipulate Jake.
    • Played straight in a Timey-Wimey Ball, where it turns out Sisko was probably always meant to be Gabriel Bell.
  • Berserk Button: In the "Siege of AR-558," Dr. Bashir treats Vargas, a disgruntled trooper complaining about being stuck in the front lines for an extended period of time, of his illnesses and Vargas eases up a bit. When Bashir proceeds to treat his bandaged arm, Vargas lashes out, grabbing Bashir's shoulder and pointing a phaser at his throat. Even though he absolutely hated the guy who put the bandages on for talking his ear off, seeing that guy suddenly becoming silent with a hole in the chest gave him psychological trauma, and he kept the bandage on ever since.
    • Colonel Kira has several, including, but not limited to, manhandling Tora Ziyal or being Gul Dukat
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Federation. Unlike the other entries in the franchise where the message where they are portrayed as diplomatic, Deep Space Nine routinely shows that just because they favour peace, this doesn't mean that in a crunch they can't knock seven bells out of anyone in their path.
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths
  • Big Fucking Gun: As SF Debris points out, only Sisko could have helped design "The Defiant". Its so overpowered that Sisko even mentions when he first unveils it in "The Search" that it nearly tore itself apart during shakedowns, and while officially its classed as an Escort Vessel, its really a Warship.

SF Debris: "Its a set of guns, strapped to an engine." "Mr. Worf, prepare a high yield torpedo and write on it; don't fuck with the Sisko."

    • When the threat of a Dominion invasion becomes imminent, Starfleet upgrades Deep Space Nine, which couldn't defend itself from three Cardassian warships in the pilot, into a station handily capable of holding off a Klingon fleet of more than fifty ships.
      • In a hilarious Call Back, the Klingons rattle off the exact same long, impressive list of armaments those three Cardassian warships were tricked into detecting via duranium shadows in the pilot, which are dismissed as said shadows. It's then revealed that Starfleet apparently installed those exact armaments.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Odo and Kira, in front of dozens of people on the Promenade.
  • Big Little Man: Invoked. Bashir and O'Brien are just back from a mission that involved them being miniaturised. They stand at the bar boasting about their exploits, when Quark and Odo both note that a waitress seems oddly tall next to them, sending them scurrying away to check their height in sickbay. The waitress then stands down, off the step she'd been put on by Odo and Quark, revealing the entire thing to be a gag.
  • Big No:
    • Said by Sisko in "In the Hands of the Prophets" (in Slo Mo for extra points.)
    • Also employed by Odo during the climax of "The Adversary."
    • And by Quark in "Who Mourns for Morn."
  • Big Secret: "Dax" is a typical example, albeit with an atypical defendant.
    • Dr. Bashir's childhood.
  • Bio Augmentation: Bashir. The 'Jack Pack' in "Statistical Probabilities".
  • Bittersweet Ending: The finale was this in almost every way, from the end of the war (thankfully) but with billions of casualties and fatalities, and almost all the main characters being separated from one another.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Sisko's tactics capturing the traitor Eddington; also "In The Pale Moonlight."
  • Black Speech: The Breen.
  • Blank Book: How Bashir determined he was trapped in Sloan's mind.
  • Blatant Lies: How Nog and Jake convince Weyoun that they were trying to buy a card for Captain Sisko. By first telling the truth, then telling to most outlandish story possible involving a time travelling baseball player.
    • Garak communicates mostly in these. In fact he says in one early episode that he doesn't even believe the truth actually exists. Of course, since he speaks entirely in lies...
  • Blown Across the Room: Happens to several civilians when the Cardassians attack the station in "Emissary".
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Dax and Worf's separate reasons for (as it turns out, temporarily) canceling the wedding.

Quark: She says it's because he's a pigheaded, stubborn man who puts tradition before everything else. He says it's because she's a frivolous, emotional woman who refuses to take him or his culture seriously. You can see the problem.
O'Brien: They're both right.

  • Brain Bleach: Bashir needs some after first Quark and Grilka, and then Dax and Worf come in terribly wounded in "Looking for par'mach in all the wrong places". Fighting is just part of Klingon lovemaking
  • Breather Episode: "In The Cards", "His Way", "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang"
  • Brick Joke: In the pilot episode, Bashir asks Odo where he can practice with his phaser on the Promenade, the joke being that Odo has banned phasers on the Promenade. Years later, in "Way of the Warrior", when Odo is about to be overwhelmed by Klingons, Bashir and his phaser come to Odo's rescue.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: O'Brien does a particularly impressive one of Bashir in "The Armageddon Game".
  • Building of Adventure: The titular station.
  • But Thou Must!: Section 31. The offer to join is merely a courtesy, you really haven't a choice whether you are willing to work with them or not. That means you, Bashir.
  • Came Back Wrong: Weyoun 6, who was considered to be "defective" as he believed the war with the Federation was a mistake and defected. The Vorta are genetically engineered to serve the Founders, however they didn't count on him reinterpreting that directive as also being applicable if he's working for Odo.
    • Part of Ezri Dax's story arc revolves around the fact that she's had several lifetimes dumped into her head and she was never trained to be a host.
  • The Cameo: During the final holodeck scene of the series, many of the production staff are in the crowd, as is every regular actor that wasn't playing a character at the time.
  • The Captain: Sisko. Though he was only actually promoted to captain in the third-season finale.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Bashir hits on everything that moves. And never wins. Although he eventually ends up with Ezri who also informs him that Jadzia would have eventually come around if Worf hadn't shown up first. Apparently, that's also what the writers had intended prior to Michael Dorn's arrival. Some fans feel that Bashir would have been justified in Breaking the Fourth Wall for the express purpose of strangling the writing staff and the producers to death.
  • The Cavalry: Used often. In particular, this seems to be General Martok's very favorite tactic, especially in the sixth season. Whenever the Defiant is in a tight spot, you can bet good money on Martok's ship swooping in to save the day.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The reveal about Bashir's genetic enhancements.
  • The Chanteuse: In one episode, Vic makes a holocharacter like this modeled on Kira, for Odo to practice flirting on. And then swaps her for the real Kira.
  • Character Development: A hallmark of the series, although the most extensive probably happened to Broken Bird Tsundere Kira Nerys.
  • Characterization Marches On: Odo once deduced Quark was lying to him because Rom was not a good engineer ("He couldn't fix a straw if it was bent"), when in later seasons he is proven to be quite the Genius Ditz.
    • They throw in a handwave with a line from Odo when they started to change Rom's character, "I've been watching you, Rom, and you aren't as dumb as you look…"
    • Rom's first appearance in a speaking role is markedly different from his subsequent appearances.
      • He acts more like a typical Ferengi, and is rather aggressive, yelling at Nog while dragging him around the room. It is rather jarring to watch for someone used to seeing his portrayal throughout the rest of the series.
      • Also jaring to anyone familiar with only the later seasons was Rom's attempt to murder Quark in the first season episode The Nagus.
    • Granted, that Rom's Genius Ditz capacity as a genius engineer is still played continually straight, even after he joins the engineering crew under O'Brien. His ability is continually underestimated to the end, and he uses it to his advantage. Much of the time the reasoning for the character trait is Quark's own unwillingness to pay for the proper maintenance to be maintained.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Hilariously parodied in the case of Doctor Noah, in the form of Sisko but not played by Sisko, in "Our Man Bashir".
  • Claustrophobia: Garak suffers from this, because of something that happened to him on Tzenketh, years ago.
    • It's not explicitly revealed until the 5th season, but actually makes sense of some earlier comments he made regarding small spaces or needing to get some air.
  • Coconut Superpowers: Odo could technically take any shape, but was humanoid most of the time because CG motion control effects were kind of expensive back in the day.
    • More than a few of the CGI shapeshifting sequences look quite dated at this point.
    • One of the spin-off novels has a foreword that notes Odo can be much freer with the use of his ability in print, since there was no need to worry about the effects budget.
  • Combat Medic: Dr. Bashir ranks up there with TNG's Beverly Crusher on occasion. He once killed a Jem'Hadar with a stab to the neck.
    • He comments on this once, when someone mentions his skill with a phaser. He replies that he wishes it wasn't needed due to him being a medic - but this doesn't stop him from jumping into the fight when the fur really starts to fly.
    • Unlike most Starfleet personel who have inexplicable expertise outside their areas of skill, Bashir is justified as he is genetically augmented, making him physically and mentally superior to almost any human.
  • Command Roster
  • Companion Cube: Dr. Bashir's teddy bear, Kukalaka.
  • Completely Missing the Point: Jake's sincere disbelief that Weyoun is not sending any reports to the Federation that paint the Dominion in an unfavourable light. Since when did totalitarian evil empires start denying the freedom of the press?
    • Vedek Winn at one point says that in the midst of a discussion they were having, Kai Opaka once told her to "spend a day in darkness". Winn adds an insincere note of "And she was right to do so", indicating she saw it as a punishment for arguing, when it's fairly clear even from hearing her discuss it that Opaka meant her to use it as an opportunity to meditate and reflect.
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: Used humorously. Whenever Garak is called on being an ex-spy, he insists that he's a simple tailor who was exiled for failure to pay taxes. No one buys it.
  • Continuity Nod: Perhaps the funniest example of this trope happens in "Accession", a nod to the fact that in TNG, Worf helped Keiko O'Brien deliver Molly.

Quark: Did you hear? Keiko's gonna have another baby.
Worf: NOW?!

    • And later:

Worf: Unfortunately I will be away from the station at that time. Far away. Visiting my parents. On Earth. Excuse me.

    • In "Paradise", O'Brien mentions that his wife Keiko has nicknamed him "the black thumb" for the way every plant he touches seems to wither and die. This is a Call Back to a TNG episode three years ago.
    • In the pilot "Emissary", O'Brien uses some Techno Babble to fool Cardassian sensors into thinking the defenceless wreck of DS9 has five thousand photon torpedoes. Four years later, when the Klingons attack in "Way of the Warrior", Sisko tells the Klingons he has those same weapons--the Klingons retort that he must be using the same Techno Babble O'Brien used before, but now the station really does have all those torpedoes.
  • Cool Gate: Specifically, the stable wormhole between Bajor and the Gamma Quadrant.
  • Cool Starship: The Defiant, built as the prototype for the Federation's anti-Borg fleet. Described in the DVD commentary as "on a five-year mission to kick ass." It does. Repeatedly.
    • It also has (at first) a cloaking device, illegal under interstellar law for any other Federation starship.
  • Courtroom Episode: "Dax", "Tribunal".
    • Also Rules of Engagement.
  • Cowboy Cop: Worf in "Hippocratic Oath." He ruined Odo's investigation, forcing him to just arrest the middleman instead of taking out an entire smuggling business.
    • Interestingly, Starfleet believes that Odo himself is a Cowboy Cop, and make several minor attempts to reign him in. Despite chafing and complaining about Federation procedure, however, Odo seems to follow it dutifully.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison: One episode had a Cardassian scientist repeatedly snipe at Miles O'Brien, expressing surprise that he's a good engineer. It's later revealed that her sniping is the Cardassian equivalent of flirting.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: The Bajorans prefer their buildings low-rise, but modern Bajor otherwise fits quite nicely.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: The first open encounter with The Dominion had a Jem'Hadar ship ramming and destroying the Odyssey (the same class as the Enterprise-D) just to prove a point.
    • The Second Battle of Chin'Toka resulted in the loss of an entire allied fleet--save one lucky Klingon Bird-of-Prey. Dominion losses amounted to four or five destroyed Breen warships.
  • Custom Uniform: O'Brien's uniform has shorter sleeves. At the rate that DS9 is falling into disrepair, can you blame him?
    • Justified in O'Brien's case - he's not an officer (full rank and name Chief Warrant Officer Miles O'Brien according to Star Trek Encyclopedia).
    • Starting around Season Three, Major Kira eventually trades in her militia uniform for a slinkier one-piece garment.
    • Odo's uniform was modified from the standard Bajoran militia uniform, too, with a higher collar and a belt (which he later discarded). Rene Auberjonois liked his Mirror Universe outfit so much, he asked the producers to create a similar one that he could wear on a regular basis.
  • Dark Messiah: Gul Dukat, as a Pah Wraith emissary.
  • Darker and Edgier: After the Retool.
  • Data Crystal: Isolinear chips.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Garak is the show's standout example. Bashir and Odo have their moments too.
    • The 100-year-old Bajoran arbiter Els Renora, from the episode "Dax", stands apart as a shining example of this trope, too. Played by Anne Haney (who also played the social worker in Mrs. Doubtfire), she gets some real gems.

"I am one hundred years old. I do not have time to squander listening to superfluous language. In short, I intend to be in here until supper, not senility."
"But the penalty for these crimes on your world is death, and that is rather permanent."

    • But the greatest one of all comes after Tandro's mother announces that she and Curzon were in bed together at the time of the transmission, and thus Curzon couldn't have been the traitor:

"Mr. Tandro, you will want to re-examine your extradition request."

    • If only she'd appeared in a few more episodes, she may have even overtaken Garak in this category. As it is, Garak gets the nod based on volume.
    • Ziyal has a few shining moments as well, along with what might be her best one-liner in the entire show when she's forced to listen to Quark moaning about how the Dominion take-over will hit his profits.

Quark: "The Jem'Hadar don't eat, don't drink, and they don't have sex. And if that wasn't bad enough, the Founders don't eat and don't drink, and they don't have sex either. Which, between you and me, makes my financial future less than promising."
Ziyal: "It might not be so bad. For all we know the Vorta could be gluttonous, alcoholic sex maniacs."

  • Death Is Cheap: The Weyoun clones.
  • Deconstruction: DS9 liked to do this, both to the rest of Trekdom and other works:
    • There are a lot of moments, often involving the Ferengi, which consider Roddenberry's peaceful and non-capitalist vision of the future (of humans) and the potential downsides of it.
    • The episode "Valiant" is a deconstruction of the original Star Wars film (aka A New Hope) and derivative works. One tiny ship manned by young, inexperienced but brave heroes runs down the trench of a giant superweapon ship and uses a super torpedo on its Weaksauce Weakness...only for it to fail, their ship to be blown up and most of them killed.
    • "Far Beyond the Stars" and "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" consider the trend in Star Trek to never explicitly mention race or racism (in humans) from the Next Generation onwards, implying it is so distant in the past that it is forgotten. Sisko is shocked when he experiences it in his visions of being a black 1950s science fiction writer, and seems newly aware of the ramifications of his skin colour in the past and becomes angry at Politically-Correct History period holo-programmes brushing over it.
  • Defictionalization: Beyond the examples shared with other Trek media, the scifi novel "Far Beyond the Stars" from the episode of the same name was later written and published.
  • Definitely Just a Cold: Odo after contracting the Founders' disease.
  • Demonic Possession: Kira and Jake in "The Reckoning".
    • Though in Kira's case it's more willing Angelic possession.
    • Keiko is the first to be possessed by the Pah-Wraith.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Intendant Kira.
  • Description Cut: In "In Purgatory's Shadow," upon discovering that Bashir has been replaced by a Changeling and is being held in a Dominion prison camp, Worf and Bashir ponder what mischief the Changeling is up to on the station. The show immediately cuts to Bashir's replacement delivering sandwiches to Dax and O'Brien.
    • In "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", Ben tells Kasidy the reason why he wants to beat the Vulcan captain's team so badly, and then tells her she's not allowed to tell anyone. He makes her promise. Cut immediately to Kasidy talking to the crew in the wardroom, having just told them: "He made me promise not to say anything, so keep it under your hats."
  • Despite the Plan: the episode "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" involved an Ocean's Eleven-style casino heist where nothing went as planned, but everyone bounced back in time to pull it off.
    • They actually show us what the perfectly-performed plan looks like, too, and even mislead us a little into thinking it's the actual performance of the plan, with the characters narrating/explaining their parts. This makes the blunder-filled version that much more hilarious. And exciting. (Of course, this is the common inversion of the Unspoken Plan Guarantee: since we hear the plan, you know it won't go that smoothly in practice.)
  • Determinator: Worf, in "By Inferno's Light". He forever earns the respect of General Martok.

Martok: Seven battles, and seven victories! What hero of legend could have done as well?
Worf: Heroes of legend do not ache this much.
...
First Ikat'ika: I yield! I can not defeat this Klingon. I can only kill him, and that no longer holds my interest.

    • A nod to the classic Marvel Comics story, except with Worf taking the Ever-Loving Thing's place as the guy who won't stay down against an opponent he can't beat.
  • Deus Ex Machina: Sisko takes the Defiant into the wormhole to head off a fleet of several thousand enemy ships. Luckily, the Prophets intervene and somehow remove the entire enemy fleet from existence. It's nice to have a race of virtually omnipotent noncorporeal alien beings nearby, isn't it?
    • However it's only a partial example, as the Prophets' help doesn't come out of nowhere. Their powers, presence and attitude were already long established.
    • And then, later on, the Prophets put them back.
  • Did Mom Just Have Tea with Dukat: Kira's mother in a time-traveling example.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Q: Commander Sisko, when Q tried playing a prank of a boxing match.

Q: "You hit me! Picard never hit me!"
Sisko: "I'm not Picard."

    • This is later referenced in one of the TNG novels involving Q, with Picard noting that Q didn't return to DS9 after that incident. Picard says (only half-jokingly) that if he knew punching Q would prevent him from returning, he'd have done it at Farpoint.
  • Disposable Woman: Jennifer Sisko, who died before she even got a line reading. We see more of her in flashbacks, and her Mirror Universe counterpart is still alive and kicking.
  • Divorce Requires Death: In "Second Sight", we meet a famous scientist who has everything... except his wife's love. And she comes from a culture that doesn't permit divorce, so she's slowly killing herself instead. The episode ends with him killing himself instead, so that she will be free.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Odo states this preference in "Captive Pursuit" and his Mirror Universe counterpart apparently did not agree with concerning this. However, Odo would at the very least wield phasers in later episodes such as "Second Skin" and "Heart of Stone."
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Bashir's pursuit of Jadzia Dax. Ezri later tells him that if Worf hadn't come along, Jadzia would've chosen Bashir.
  • Don LaFontaine: He doesn't do the voice, but Quark does a pretty good impression of the stereotypical Don LaFontaine-voiced movie trailer in "Business as Usual". Which is then subverted by Dax's interruption.

Quark: Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I have to do, I have to do alone. One man... who's had enough... who's going to stand up and say...
Jadzia Dax: Goodbye, Quark!

  • Dream Melody: "Equilibrium".
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Damar (He gets better).
  • Dueling Shows: With Babylon 5.
    • An oblique reference was made to this on B5. In one episode, a gift shop is set up on the station. One of the characters loudly declaims this idea, saying "This isn't some Deep Space Franchise! This means something!" It should be noted that the writer of this episode, Peter David, has written several Star Trek novels.
    • The DS 9 writers weren't above including their own subtle jabs at B5. One episode featured Bashir having to chaperone a cadre of Ambassadors visiting the station and putting up with all the crap that comes with it.
  • Dying Alone: Kira Nerys father Kira Taban was shot by the Cardassians. Although she was by his side for most of it, she left with the rest of her resistance cell to the kill those responsible. Her father died alone, calling out her name, she only missed it by a matter of hours. It haunted her for the rest of her life.
    • The episode that reveals this also has a Cardassian who became a surrogate father-figure to her dying. After learning of something he did during the Occupation she storms off, only to be convinced to return as "he doesn't deserve to die alone." She returns and stays with him until he dies, and then buries him next to her father.
  • 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 "Faith, Treachery and the Great River" (at the risk of poor O'Brien almost getting his head taken off by Kira, Worf and Martok).
  • Easily-Conquered World: Betazed was taken over during the Dominion War with minimal effort and nobody around to even try and put up a fight.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Enemy Mine: Quark and Odo in "The Ascent".
    • 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
  • 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.
  • Expy: The Odyssey and Captain Keogh in "The Jem'hadar" are clear stand-ins for the Enterprise and Captain Picard, being a Galaxy-class starship with a captain who looks a lot like Picard, right down to his build and manner. Obviously they couldn't use the real thing, considering the fate of the Odyssey.
    • Word of God is that the similarities were deliberate for story reasons... they wanted the emotional punch for people that had been with Star Trek through TNG, of showing just how helpless even the beloved Enetrprise would have been against the then-unknown Jem'hadar. Similarly, Word of God states that had it actually been the Enterprise and Picard instead of the Oyssey and Keogh, they probably wouldn't have fared any better.
  • Evil Albino: The main villain in "Blood Oath" is this. He's not even given a name apart from "The Albino".
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Gul Dukat and his daughter, Tora Ziyal, the only person he ever does anything selfless for.
    • Garak hints at the trope when he and Odo go to track down his old mentor. Odo notes that the man's housekeeper seemed almost FOND of Garak, who responds by asking if it's so hard to believe there could be even one person with affection for him. Odo says he can believe there's ONE (implying he thinks the housekeeper might be Garak's mother, never confirmed in the series, but she was certainly a mother figure to Garak growing up)
  • 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 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.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Intendant Kira and Joran Dax.
  • Evil vs 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). And any culture that opposes the Dominion is treated to an outbreak of the Blight.
  • Experimental Archeology: "Explorers".
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Odo is technically naked most of the time, but since he's a shapeshifter it looks like he's wearing clothing and it's never really commented on. It's also most likely he doesn't have any parts to expose anyway until he wants them.
  • Fake Defector: Holographic simulation Garak in "The Search: Part 2".
  • 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.
  • Fan Service 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).
  • Fantastic Slurs: Cardassians are occasionally referred to as "Cardies" and "Spoon heads." "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 its 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.
  • Fictional Document: Jake Sisko's novel Anslem.
  • 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.
  • First Episode Spoiler: 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.
    • Helpful hint: If describing the show to a potential newcomer, say the station "is on the edge of Federation space". This sets up almost every plot point plausibly enough for a non-viewer. On the other hand, anyone interested in learning more about DS9 probably already knows there's a wormhole.
  • First-Name Basis: Sisko and Jadzia, Bashir and O'Brien, Dax and Kira, Jadzia and Bashir, Odo and Kira eventually.
    • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Will Worf and Jadzia get married in "You Are Cordially Invited"? What do you think?
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: The holographic communications array.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Prophets. Pai-Wraths are fond of this, too.
    • Depending on how you look at it, Odo could be said to spend almost all of his time in one of these.
  • 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.
  • Fumbling the Gauntlet: Done by Sisko to Worf.
    • 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".
  • Gambit Pileup: The Dominion War.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Genre Savvy: The Cardassian-Klingon Alliance. After the first crossover ultimately led to the collapse of the Terran Empire, the Alliance went to a lot of trouble to prevent further crossover, such as redesigning transporters to prevent any more crossovers and issuing orders to kill anyone from the main universe on sight, on the grounds that just a couple people from the other side could seriously alter the course of their history again. As it turns out, they were completely right. When a second crossover finally happens, it triggers a full-scale rebellion.
  • Get Back to the Future: The plot of "Little Green Men".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Example from "The Begotten" Doctor Bashir to Odo: "You need to relax, I told you that last week." Odo: "And it helped, that and the prune juice."
  • Gilligan Cut: Kira is always diplomatic.
    • 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.
  • 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 Crowning Moment of Funny 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 latiunum in these bricks! There's nothing here but worthless gold!" Cue Big No as he frantically flails around in a pile of gold dust.
  • Good Guy Bar: Quark's.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: Section 31.
  • Government Drug Enforcement: The Founders used Ketracil 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 beserker rage.
  • 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. Hilarity Ensues.
  • 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.
  • Gunship Rescue: In Sacrifice of Angels, Commander Worf comes through with a fleet of gunships. Diving in from the sun, no less.

Tropes H-M[edit | hide]

  • 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, Vic asks how they plan on just walking away with a million dollars. Odo explains that he'll hide inside himself.
  • Heart Drive
  • 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, 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 removed from their creature comforts or threatened. 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.
  • "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.
  • Historical In-Joke: Ferengi land at Roswell.
  • 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 them[3]. They even let their augment 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.
  • 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...)

Worf: We were like warriors from the ancient sagas. There was nothing we couldn't do.
O'Brien: Except keep the holodecks working right.

  • Improbable Species Compatibility: 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.
    • There's a sort of reverse version of this when a scene opens on Odo and a female-form Changeling with the other Changeling saying "So that is how Solids mate." Apparently doing it in matching forms with nothing particularly kinky was pretty odd in their view.
  • How Many All of Them: A particularly chilling example.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: "Captive Pursuit" and the Tosk hunt.
  • Hypocrite
  • 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.
    • And of course, "I am Worf, son of Mogh!" This is actually quite a common introduction among Klingons.
  • 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.
  • Idiot Ball: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Is Beyond Saving: Ezri believes this about the Klingon Empire, in stark contrast with Jadzia's tendency to romanticize it.
  • 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" is left behind by Worf to finish a mission. He ends up forgetting the mission and comes 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!

  • Intergenerational Friendship: Dax and Sisko.
  • The Intern: Bashir, for the first season or so.
  • In the Back: As Garak points out, it's the safest way to shoot someone
  • Intrepid Reporter: Jake, who stays behind after the Dominion takeover of the station.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Baseball players in "Take Me Out to the Holosuite". Aside from Avery Brooks (Sisko) and Cirroc Lofton (Jake), the actors playing the Ferengi were the best baseball players in the cast. The Ferengi being who they are, however, forced them to play left-handed and employ other tricks to look horrible on film.
  • Is That What He Told You?: Garak; several characters who were around for the Occupation.
  • The Judge: Els Renora in "Dax", and Makbar in "Tribunal".
  • 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.
  • 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?!"
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: Rom.
  • 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.
  • La Résistance: Kira's resistance cell. In Season 7, Damar's movement to free Cardassia.
  • 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.
  • 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 wonder 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.
  • Les Collaborateurs
  • The Load: Alexander Rozhenko, son of Worf. Yes, you read that right. It becomes so critical, the Klingon crew he's working with thinks the more he's acting like The Load, the more chances they have to win the next fight.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Garak, Dukat, Damar, Weyoun, Winn, Martok...
  • Lounge Lizard: Vic
  • Love Epiphany: Kira's moment of clarity over Odo.
  • Love Hurts: Odo over Kira, Bashir & Quark over Dax. Garak and Ziyal.
  • MacGuffin Melee: Who Mourns for Morn? With everyone fighting over Morn's latinum.
  • Made for TV Movie: "The Way of the Warrior", the fourth-season premiere, was the first episode of Star Trek written, filmed, and aired as a TV movie which wasn't also a Pilot or a Grand Finale. The creators took the opportunity to introduce a new character (Worf), redo the main credits, introduce new props, turn two of the Trek universe's allies against each other, and have the biggest battle scene in both TNG and DS9 up to that time.
  • Madness Mantra: After Ziyal's death, Dukat is reduced to literally being dragged out of Sisko's office while whimperingly repeating "I forgive you...I forgive you..."
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Sisko, Odo, and O'Brien turning themselves into Klingons.
    • Frequently used by Cardassian spies, including Dukat himself.
    • And on Kira by the Obsidian Order, as part of an elaborate scheme to have a Cardassian politician convicted as a traitor and mindscrew Kira in the process.
      • "Second Skin" may have served as foreshadowing (or inspiration) for Seska, a Cardassian agent appearing as a Bajoran in the Maquis on Voyager. Incidentally, she appeared as a Romulan in one episode.
    • Also, not really a species change, but wouldn't it be nice if all sex changes could be done as casually and easily as Quark's in Profit and Lace?
  • Magnetic Plot Device: The wormhole was responsible for nearly everything that went on there. Without it, no one in The Federation or any other race besides the Bajorans and Cardassians would care about Deep Space Nine.
    • Although they got a TON of mileage out of "just" the Bajorans and Cardassians.
  • The Magnificent: Kahless the Unforgettable.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: "The Magnificent Ferengi"
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: An integral part of Star Trek, but it gets particularly blatant once they get the Defiant. It's common to see the entire command staff leaving the station to go for a ride on the Cool Ship. Kind of makes you wonder who the heck is left behind to handle the daily disasters that normally plague the station.
    • It's particularly odd when Major Kira, the Bajoran liasion officer to DS9, is out on Starfleet missions with the Defiant and her crew that have nothing to do with Bajor.
      • Which comes to a head in the sixth season finale "Tears of the Prophets", where Dax stays behind to run the station and gets murdered by Gul Dukat as a result, while Kira boards the Defiant with the rest of the main characters (even Jake) for the invasion of Cardassian space.
    • One Egregious example is the undercover operation to expose Gowron as a Changeling in Season 5. Worf is a Klingon and, in fact, the one who trains the others on how to act. Odo is an expert on Changelings, and he realizes that the actual Changeling is Martok, not Gowron, so he also has to be there. But Sisko's inclusion is questionable, although he's a good enough actor to pull it off and he was the one to suggest the mission to Starfleet Command. But O'Brien? He might have the most combat experience of anyone else in the main crew, but seriously, one would think that Starfleet Intelligence could have sent one operative who could have filled the last slot more effectively.
      • O'Brien may have been there to supervise their equipment.
  • Man On Fire: Part of Kira's hallucination in "If Wishes Were Horses."
  • Meaningful Name: The Jem'Hadar are named after jemadar, a rank of sepoy (native troops in India who fought for the British Empire and were commanded by British officers). This fits well for a soldier race who are commanded by members of an unrelated race (the Vorta).
    • Eris is the name of the Vorta who was "captured" by the Dominion and "rescued" by the Federation so she could spread disinformation about the Dominion. Eris is also the name of the Greek goddess of strife and discord.
  • Mental World: Bashir's in "Distant Voices" and Sisko's in "Far Beyond the Stars" and "Shadows and Symbols."
    • Sloan in "Extreme Measures". He tries to kill Bashir and O'Brien by keeping them in his mind as he dies!
  • Mexican Standoff: At the end of "Profit and Loss", between Quark, Garak, and Gul Taran.
    • Also the climax of "Tacking Into the Wind", Gul Rusot points a phaser at Kira, while Garak covers him and while Damar holds them ALL at phaser-point.
  • Mind Rape: One Bashir-centered episode introduces a race known as the Letheans, who have incredibly powerful psionic abilities. It is stated that the race make for great assassins, because almost nobody ever survives the mind assaults they can attack their targets with. It goes beyond mentally assaulting someone with horrible images to just mentally assaulting someone.
  • Mind Screw: Benny Russell. The writers considered having Benny Russell hold up the complete script to the series as the very last scene of the series. Boy, that would have been the mind-screw to end all mind-screws.
  • Mirror Universe
  • Ms. Fanservice: Leeta the Dabo girl.
  • Mixed Archetypes
  • Mob Boss Suit Fitting: Sometimes played with since Garak, the station's tailor, also has ties to Cardassian intelligence. At one point, Sisko has Garak take his measurements during an officers' meeting in order to pass on information to the Cardassians.
  • Mook Promotion: Damar
  • Money, Dear Boy: Averted with Frank Langella's uncredited appearance in the first three episodes of Season 2. He didn't want to make it seem like he was appearing on DS9 for money or exposure.
  • Mouth of Sauron: The Vorta serve as the public face of the Founders, who are so paranoid that they rarely venture out of their homeworld. (And almost never in their true shape.)
  • Mr. Fixit: O'Brien, and later, even Rom.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Quark and Greed.
  • Multiple Choice Past: Both Garak and Bashir.
  • Mummies At the Dinner Table: Gul Dukat does not take his daughter's death at all well.
  • Must Have Caffeine
  • My Friends and Zoidberg: Kor belittles Worf by predicting that when bards write a Klingon song about their quest, Worf's verse will consist of, "...And Worf came along!"
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In "The Alternate," Dr. Mora, upon capturing Odo, asks "Dear God, what have I done?"
    • Ironic, since Dr. Mora is a Bajoran, and they worship the Prophets, not God.
  • My Own Grampa: Bashir's reasoning for trying to sleep with a 23rd-century science officer. O'Brien won't hear of it.


Tropes N-S[edit | hide]

  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: The Tribble bomb in "Trials and Tribble-ations".
  • The Needless: The Jem'Hadar don't need to eat or sleep. They just forever need Ketricel White just to stay mentally stable and physically survive.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: The Dominion begins an insidious takeover of the Federation under the guise of "peace" -- just as we've been forewarned -- in "The Search". Starfleet capitulates, Jem'Hadar roam free on the station, and even Sisko's subordinates are collaborators. With help from Garak, Sisko organizes a daring insurrection, and ...it's all a holographic simulation. The Dominion was just testing Sisko in order to gauge how he would resist an occupation.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Kasidy Yates is Ben Sisko's girlfriend, Keiko is Miles O'brien's wife, and Ishka is Quark and Rom's mother. Also, Ziyal would not have mattered to anyone had she not been Dukat's daughter, and Dabo Girl Leeta was only important as Rom's wife. Ezri Dax managed to make the character stand on her own without any men to lean on, and Jadzia mostly did (she and Worf were separate main characters for so long, her longer than him, so she's not there as "Worf's wife" any more than he is there as "Jadzia's husband".)
  • Neutral No Longer: The Romulans, after the events of "In The Pale Moonlight".
  • New Meat: Nog in the later seasons.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Emperor Spock before "Crossover".
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: For all the evil the Occupation of Bajor caused, it's clear that it also fixed some truly deep and nearly as horrible problems. Among other things, it eliminated the Bajorans' oppressive caste system utterly and completely... by the time the Cardassians left the Bajorans had actually achieved equality among themselves, whereas killing someone for stepping outside their caste was acceptable before.
  • No Gravity for You: One character of the week from a low-gravity planet is able to wipe out several hostage-takers by using this trope.
  • No Hero to His Valet: Kor's last appearance.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: The end of "The Sword of Kahless". Jadzia beams the sword out into deep space to prevent anyone from squabbling over it.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: During the Bond parody holodeck episodes.
  • No Name Given: The Female Changeling. In fact, none of the changelings from the link seem to have names, but the female is the only recurring one and so is the most obvious. Only Odo who was given a name by his discoverer and the other 'lost' changeling have names because they were raised outside of the link. Presumably when you spend most of you time physically co existing with the others of your kind, names are somewhat irrelevant.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Fire Caves on Bajor do not actually contain fire... until one summons the fire-spirits sealed within.
  • Non-Linear Character: The Prophets or the Wormhole Aliens. Sisko had to teach them linear time in the pilot.
  • Noodle Incident: Pelios Station. Apparently, something happened there involving Curzon, Benjamin, and a dancer, but Benjamin's embarrassed enough by the story that whenever it's brought up in public he immediately cuts Dax off.
  • No Poverty: Deconstructed.
  • No Such Thing as Space Jesus: Averted, as Sisko's view of the Prophets evolves in the other direction through the series.
  • Not So Different: Once we find out that Odo's people are the Founders, its hard not to see that Odo's inherent need to maintain order derives from the very thing that lead to the Dominion being created in the first place.
    • Eddington gives a great "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Sisko about the nature of the Federation (conveniently glossing over the fact that he and many other former Starfleet officers in the Maquis, explicitly betrayed the Federation by stealing resources, technology, and weapons when they defected, rather than resigning their commissions to take up the "noble" cause).

Eddington: Why is the Federation so obsessed with the Maquis? We've never harmed you? And yet we're constantly arrested and charged with terrorism. Starships chase us through the Badlands, and our supporters are harassed and ridiculed. Why? Because we've left the Federation, and that's the one thing you can't accept. Nobody leaves paradise. Everyone should want to be in the Federation. Hell, you even want the Cardassians to join. You're only sending them replicators because one day they can take their "rightful place" on the Federation Council. You know, in some ways you're even worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You're more insidious, you assimilate people and they don't even know it.

    • The Maquis and the Bajoran Underground share a lot of similarities, as both fought to defend their homes from the Cardassians. Part of the Blue and Orange Morality of Deep Space Nine is that overall the Federation tends to consider the Bajorans have being freedom fighters, even though Kira herself admits that they often veered into terrorist acts, while they condemn those very same qualities in the Maquis and label them as terrorists.
      • Part of the reason for that is likely the fact that, unlike the Bajorans, the Maquis are former Federation citizens. Thus, every time they pull off some underhanded terrorist act, it makes the Federation look bad. So the Federation's chasing after them so they can say "Hey, look, we don't like what they're doing, either." Makes sense when you consider the highly political nature of the Federation.
  • Not So Stoic: Of the regulars, Odo; Captain Solok from "Take Me Out to the Holosuite".
  • The Nth Doctor: Dax.
    • Weyoun was sort of his own Nth Doctor, as he was killed and cloned several times over the course of the series, with only slight variations to his personality.
    • The Defiant is destroyed at one point. An episode or two later an identical model of the ship is delivered and simply renamed "The Defiant" (in defiance of the Trek tradition which would have at least named it Defiant-A).
      • Starfleet rarely uses the alphabetical suffixes for namesake vessels according to Word of God; typically only allowing them for starships named Enterprise in honor of the original vessel's accomplishments. The second Defiant was originally intended to be an exception to this rule in honor of the first, but someone on the production team made a mistake and gave the new ship a new registration number, and the Defiant-A never was.
  • Oblivious to Love: Kira is oblivious to Odo's affections for quite a long time. (Six goddamn years! At least!)
  • Odd Friendship: Odo and Quark (though Odo refuses to admit it, even in the finale).
    • O'Brien and Bashir to a lesser extent. When they meet, they certainly are this. O'Brien is an enlisted man, realistic, pragmatic, his ideals worn down by the experience of realities of war. Bashir is a young, brash officer, arrogant and pompous who believes in lofty ideas and longs for adventure. As time goes on, they rub off on each other and become less of an odd couple.
  • Oddball in the Series: A combination of factors worked against DS9 in establishing its own legacy. Keep in mind that DS9 ran concurrently with both TNG and VOY, and ultimately got lost in the shuffle. Those not familiar with Trek will likely have not heard of DS9. Kids and young adults were more likely to bond with Voyager because of its episodic nature and iconic elements. And Trekkies are liable to dismiss the show entirely due to its lack of exploration. Finally, the arc-based format does not lend itself to syndication.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In "Soldiers of the Empire", Martok, Worf, and Dax join a Klingon ship, the Rotarran, on a mission to discover a missing Klingon vessel that disappeared near Cardassian space after the Cardassians aligned themselves with the Dominion. Much is said over the fact that the Rotarran has lost every engagement it has been in with the Jem'Hadar. When they finally face a Jem'Hadar ship in combat, we don't get to see the battle, the outcome of which is the Rotarran's first victory over Dominion forces.
    • Kor and a team of six Klingon volunteers in a lone, damaged bird-of-prey holding off a Jem'Hadar fleet long enough for the Klingon task force to get away.
  • Oh Crap: Weyoun's face while listening to Damar's televised call for independence.
    • Worf's face in Accession when he finds out that Keiko is pregnant again. O'Brien relates how Worf was forced to help deliver Molly when the Enterprise was damaged and adrift after colliding with a quantum filament. On noticing his panic, Bashir and O'Brien mock him accordingly.
    • Worf and Garak after stumbling into a Jem'Hadar invasion fleet iduring In Purgatory's Shadow.
      • Followed by the crew of DS9 seeing the same fleet pour through the wormhole.
  • Oireland: Normally, Colm Meany's Irish accent is barely noticeable. Sometimes, however, O'Brien will start waxing poetic about Ireland or something related to it, and begins slipping into this trope.
  • Old Shame: Inverted, Terry Farrell regretted leaving the show for the seventh season for a role on Becker because she loved playing Jadzia, calling her a "superhero."
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Dukat becomes one of these over the last two seasons of the show.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: For all intents and purposes, this is what DS9 (or "Terok Nor") represented to the Bajoran people during the occupation. It wasn't until the discovery of the wormhole that Sisko moved the spiky-looking station out of their orbit.
  • Once a Season: The "O'Brien must suffer" episodes.
  • One Last Smoke: in "Our Man Bashir" there are two of these:
    • The villain Falcon (the image of Chief O'Brien) grants agent Komoninoff (Kira) and Bashir one last kiss before he shoots them. Bashir proceeds to remove her earring while they kiss and tosses it to the floor to make it explode, distracting Falcon and his minions long enough to knock them out and escape.
    • Bashir and Garak are strapped to a giant laser. Bashir's last request is for Dr. Honey Bare (Dax) to let her hair down (she's very shy, but she does it). This is enough seduction for her to slip him the key.
  • Oppressive States of America: The Bell Riots episode feature The Sanctuary Districts, sections of American cities walled off that housed the poor and unemployed. While their intent was to aid them, they later degraded into interment camps.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Quark does this twice, in the first-season episode "The Nagus" and season four's "Homefront", both times while talking to Morn -- and both times, the joke has an Andorian in the punchline. Quark has to prompt Morn with "get it?" in the first example, and the second example completely eludes Morn.

Quark: Then the Andorian said, "Your brother? I thought it was your wife!"


Quark: So then, the Andorian says, "That's not my antenna."

  • The Other Darrin: Two different people played Quark's mother Ishka, and Tora Ziyal was played by three different people.
  • Password Slot Machine: Used in "In the Hands of the Prophets."
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: The baseball scene in "Emissary."
  • Percussive Maintenance: O'Brien does this on the transporter (which, of course, is Cardassian-built) in "Emissary".
  • Perpetual Motion Monster: The Jem Hadar.
  • Phlebotinum Dependence: The Jem'Hadar are all addicted to Ketracel White.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Kira and Dax wear a couple when they were in a King Arthur program on the Holosuite. Then they meet Worf, Kira is mortified Dax doesn't seem to care. Worf merely compliments Kira's headdress.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Defiant, first of her class.
  • Placebotinum Effect: Odo inadvertently traps himself, Sisko, Garak and Dax in his own memories ("Things Past"). It was later revealed to be a variation on 'linking' between Changelings, amplified by Odo's runabout flying into a plasma field.
  • Planet of Hats: While still the same part of Star Trek that it always is, DS9 went deeper into the cultures of some races far more than any other Star Trek, Cardassians and Klingons got a lot of development, but even the Ferengi managed to put a few good words in for themselves.
    • But they still wore the same old hats...
    • Subverted most obviously with Rom and Nog, two Ferengi who stink at being capitalists, but blossom as an engineer for the Bajoran Militia and the first Ferengi in Starfleet, respectively.
    • The Federation's "hat" also gets subverted, as DS9 makes it clear that lots of people don't think it's utopia -- and they're often right.
    • DS9 also revealed that the Federation itself is seen as a Planet of Hats in by some non-Federation races. Exactly how certain alien cultures view the Federation is illustrated when Quark and Garak discuss their opinions of the Federation over some root beer.

Quark offers some root beer to Garak, who tries it and gags.
Garak: It's vile!
Quark: I know. It's so bubbly and cloying... and happy.
Garak: Just like the Federation!
Quark: And you know what's really terrifying? If you drink enough of it, you begin to like it.
Garak: It's insidious.
Quark: [Smirks] Just like the Federation.

  • Platonic Life Partners: Sisko is fond of calling Dax "Old Man." He was a close friend of the male Curzon Dax, and the friendship carried over when the symbiont was transferred to Jadzia and Ezri -- both female.
  • Playing Cyrano: Worf trains Quark in how to woo the Klingon Grilka, the Ferengi's one-time wife. Worf is infatuated with her himself, but he is an exile and cannot pursue her..
  • Politically-Correct History: Sisko doesn't like Vic's casino program because it's set in a Politically-Correct History version of 1961, and as such is an insult to those oppressed in the era it is set. He points out that at that time African-Americans could be janitors or entertainers for the casino, never customers. His wife looks at the program as an representation of What Could Have Been rather than a misrepresentation of history.
  • Post-Mortem Comeback: Trials and Tribbleations features the Klingon from the Star Trek TOS episode Trouble with tribbles going back 100 years into the past to plant a bomb that will kill Kirk.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: the aforementioned Ferengi. They'd never practice mass slavery or genocide--because people who are enslaved and/or dead can't buy things.
    • This argument also helped push forward feminism, but only very late, after millenia of hardliner male chauvinism.
  • Premature Eulogy: Occurs as often as would be expected from a Star Trek work. Some episodes are practically made of this trope.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: One of the best ever by Dukat, addressed to Kai Winn. He says it with so much quiet venom you can almost see it physically dripping from his words: "Eminence." His Bond One-Liner after is just as vicious, "Farewell, Adami."
  • Put on a Bus / What Could Have Been: Romulan Subcommander T'Rul is brought in in the season-three premiere, "The Search", to operate the cloaking device. After "The Search, Part II", she is never seen again, because the writing staff couldn't think of anything to do with her. Though she was certainly abrasive and rather one-dimensional in this episode, one could think of this as being a missed opportunity; there still has not been a regular Romulan crewmember on a Star Trek series.
  • Putting on the Reich: To a degree with the Cardassians, but utterly explicit during the heartbreaking episode "Duet."
  • Ratings Stunt: Introducing Worf in the fourth season premiere. A rare case of this being done right.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Nana Visitor got pregnant during filming for season 4/5 and the producers decided to integrate her condition into the storyline instead of trying to hide it, leading to Keiko being injured and the baby being transplanted into Kira's body to finish its gestation.
    • Additionally, a combination of contract issues and simple "show fatigue" made Terry Farrell want to move on from the show at the end of season six, leading to Jadzia getting killed. This is something the head writing and directoral staff didn't even want to do (Ira Stephen Behr straight-up said "I didn't want to kill Jadzia; to me, that had very little to do with good storytelling") but they felt they had little choice.
  • Rearrange the Song: The opening credits and main title theme were modified between seasons 3 and 4.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Sisko doesn't get much support from Admiral Nechayev or Starfleet in general, forcing him to turn to Dukat for help -- which Dukat delivers, amiably. That changes once Cardassia forms an alliance with the Dominion. From then onward, Sisko reports directly to Admiral William Ross.
  • Recurring Character: Lots of them. The fixed location of the station meant that quirky aliens would need to come to them, not the other way around.
  • Reconstruction: The Ferengi were rebuilt into a more robust fictional society, and the innate contradictions in their culture were acknowledged and addressed on their own terms over the course of the show. For example, their subjugation of women was ended in order to gain new workers and an expanded consumer base instead of for ethical reasons.
  • Recycled in Space: "Starship Down" was an attempt to do Das Boot in a gas giant, with Jem'Hadar as the enemy destroyers.
    • The maligned episode "Meridian" was described by writer Ira Steven Behr as Brigadoon...IN SPACE. He subsequently said of the idea, "I am a moron."
  • Reincarnation Romance: Sort of. Dax and another Trill consider continuing their relationship from when both were in previous hosts. They eventually decide not to, as this is considered a massive taboo by Trill society.
  • Religion of Evil: The Cult of the Pai-Wraths.
    • Actually, they are more like the Path of Inspiration. Though mainstream Bajoran religion portrays the Pah-Wraiths as Exclusively Evil Omnicidal Maniacs, members of the Cult of the Pah-Wraiths (who don't call it a "cult", obviously) believe that the Pah-Wraiths have been Misblamed and the Prophets are the villains, even before Bajor's Arch Enemy Dukat showed up and took over claiming to be receiving visions and commandments from them. The problem, of course, is simply that the Pah-Wraiths really are Exclusively Evil Omnicidal Maniacs, and rather worse than that really are giving Dukat visions and commandments, possibly up to and including Kill'Em All in order to conceal the fact that Dukat is still a womanising murdering Manipulative Bastard. That it really was their idea, and not Dukat just covering his tracks via mass-murder, is pretty damn sinister, but that their followers don't believe them to be evil (one even goes through with the suicide because he believes that, despite Dukat's treachery, they really did order it, and kills himself out of "faith") and in fact believe them to be good, stops this being a Religion of Evil.
  • Remember The New Species: In "The Adversary", we're told of a species named the Tzenkethi, who fought at least one war against the Federation in the past 20 years; the TNG era is in its seventh season and this is the first we've heard of them. (And we never do actually see them on-screen).
  • Renaissance Man: Sisko does have quite a wide range of talents and interests. But then, being Renaissance Men is more or less the Federation's hat (at least since Star Trek: The Next Generation).
  • The Renfield: Weyoun and every other Vorta are this whenever a Founder, in fact they are genetically programmed to be as such and it seems that any cunning bastardry in the Vorta's characterisation gets diverted from nefarious plotting into finding the best way to suck up.
  • Religious Stereotype: The Bajorans often fall under this, being a people who's religion dominates their culture.
  • Reluctant Ruler: Martok in the seventh season episode Tacking into the Wind, also Sisko, in the beginning of the series.
  • Retcon: Trials and Tribble-ations
  • The Reveal: In the 3rd season, when it's revealed that the Changelings are the head of the Dominion,
    • A few years later Gul Dukat is revealed to be working with the Dominion.
    • And a few episodes later, when it is revealed that Bashir is in a Dominion prison and has been replaced by a Changeling for most of the season. The real Bashir is wearing the old uniform, giving the viewers a precise indicator of when Bashir was snagged.
  • Romance on the Set: Alexander Siddig (Bashir) and Nana Visitor (Kira) got together and had a son, with Visitor's pregnancy being written into the show. They married the next year and divorced in 2001.
    • Which leads to rather hilarious in joke in the episode where Kira says "This is all your fault!" to Bashir during an argument, since (in universe) he was the one that did the fetal transplant from Keiko to Kira.
  • Romantic False Lead: This became the whole purpose of Shakaar Edon's role after he was paired up with Kira.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Bashir - Ezri tells him that if Worf hadn't come along, Jadzia would have chosen him. But he does end up with Ezri.
  • Running Gag: Morn, an alien extra who was in a lot of episodes but never spoke. It got to the point where in later seasons they would lampshade it a ton. There was at least one full episode devoted to filling in some of his backstory. Yet he still never spoke a word, despite people mentioning what a great singing voice he has and how he's always the life of the party offscreen.
    • Humorously played up by Quark who says that once Morn starts talking, he never shuts up.
      • Morn actually laughs- as in audibly- in "The Nagus". So you get precisely one hint in the entire run of the show as to what he'd sound like.
      • It got to the point where the make up artists actually redesigned Morn's prosthetics to allow his lips to move more naturally on the chance he was ever actually given a line.
    • Used less often than Morn was the thrice-mentioned Lieutenant Vilix'pran and his increasingly bizarre alien biology, from wings to reproducing through budding, requiring a hatching pond and at least eight to eighteen hatchlings per reproduction.
    • Not to mention Captain Boday, whose only defining trait (other than having an on-again-off-again relationship with Dax) was having a transparent skull, which was mentioned every time he was.
    • Around season four or five there were several references to "waste extraction" scattered about in various scripts.
    • The Alamo in season seven. Some people thought it might be an allusion to how the series would end, but no, it was just a plotline thrown in because producer Ira Steven Behr had a soft spot for the Alamo.
      • Combined with their 300 scenario and earlier Battle Of Britain obsession, it made counsellor Ezri a bit worried about Bashir and O'Brien.
    • Three words: Self-sealing stem bolts. They even made it into the MMORPG.
    • There's a minor one in the early seasons involving Sisko's nonchalant reaction to being punched in the face. The two most notable examples are Q-Less and Fascination.
      • In Q-Less, Q, an omnipotent being, taunts Sisko by recreating a nineteenth century boxing ring. He punches Sisko with bare knuckles no less than four times before Sisko reacts at all: he blocks a fifth blow and knocks Q right on his butt. Q looks shocked, but Sisko just shrugs as if to say "That's what happens when you hit me."
      • Fascination has a love-sick Bariel who believes that Sisko is a competitor for Dax's affection. While Sisko is trying to explain that he is not interested in Dax, Bariel punches Sisko in the jaw--after which Sisko's tone of voice and body language don't change at all.
  • Sadistic Choice: In the episode 'For the Uniform', Eddington gives Sisko the choice of rescuing Cardassians or catching him. And then Sisko, of all people, gives one to Eddington when he demands he gives himself up to save the Maquis (or their worlds, at least).
  • Salt the Earth: After Starfleet is forced to abandon Deep Space Nine to the Dominion and the Cardassians, Kira Nerys destroys the computer systems. Between this and the budding Bajoran Resistance, the station doesn't become fully operational again until partway into the sixth season (just in time for Starfleet and the Klingons to build up their forces enough to take it back.)
  • Saved by the Phlebotinum: Averted in "Children of Time". The episode made it seem at the midpoint that both the crew and their descendants could be saved by duplicating themselves, but it turned out there was no Take a Third Option, and that a Sadistic Choice had to be made. Odo ended up making it for them.
  • Scars Are Forever: Martok's eye & scar. Though in this case it's made clear Martok could get a prosthetic eye, he simply refuses to.
  • Scary Black Man: When Sisko gets really angry, he fits this to a T. He can do this either by yelling or by getting really, really calm. (When he slipped into the Joran voice in "For the Uniform", you knew shit was gonna go down.)
    • In "Facets", Sisko is (voluntarily) taken over by one of Dax's former hosts, a serial killer (the aforementioned Joran). His delivery is so creepy that it borders on Nightmare Fuel, and according to the Star Trek Wiki, there is a take of that scene that was even creepier.
    • When Ezri is unsure about joining the crew, she lets slip that even Worf is intimidated by Sisko.

Ezri: You like that, don't you?
Sisko: [Completely failing to restrain his amusement] Of course not.
Ezri: Oh, come on. I've been a man; I know!

    • The Maquis story arc pushed Sisko's Berserk Button quite often, ultimately leading to him firing torpedoes that would spread biogenic weapons that were lethal to Humans across the entire planet's atmosphere, forcing the Maquis colonists to evacuate. All because they would have done the same to a Cardassian colony if he hadn't. They pushed him too far that time. He was angry, and he wasn't going to let them get away with what they were doing.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Ever since they were cadets, Solok has built his career around humiliating Sisko.
  • Scoundrel Code: The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition.
  • Scotty Time: Sisko is impatient when it comes to the Defiant's maintenance, as O'Brien can attest.
  • Screw You, Elves: In the Vulcan baseball episode.
  • Shades of Conflict: The Dominion War has a lot of this. The Federation are the good guys for the most part, but they have secret agents willing to do anything to protect it, and the Klingons are rife with corruption. Meanwhile, the Dominion are responsible for a lot of atrocities back in the Gamma Quadrant, while the Cardassians, while starting out as Space Nazis, fell on hard times and their bad deal with the Dominion eventually pushed a lot of them into the position of The Atoner.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Odo's shapeshifting ability is removed in a few instances:
    • Garak uses a device on Odo that prevents his shapeshifting to torture him when Odo's body needs to return to a liquid state.
    • Later, he is turned into a "solid" human by his people as punishment (for half a season).
    • The Founder's Disease does this to all Changelings during the war, though most of the ones at home just stay in liquid form anyway.
  • Shout-Out: In the penultimate episode, Quark cops some of Picard's speech from Star Trek: First Contact to defend the sacred Ferengi practice of sexual extortion from employees.
    • Morn is an anagram of Norm, from Cheers. It was entirely intentional.
    • In the comedic episode "Trials and Tribble-ations," the two agents who show up to investigate Sisko's time traveling shenanigans are named Dulmer and Luscly, anagrams of "Mulder" and "Scully."
    • When the occupying forces on DS9 in The Siege find that Odo (the shape-shifter) is missing, their commander concludes the situation is "more than meets the eye".
    • In Looking for Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places, Quark states his opinion on war, and what it is good for. Absolutely Nothing
    • The Breen's refrigeration suits are modeled after Princess Leia's disguise as Ubese bounty hunter Bouschh in the beginning of Return of the Jedi.
    • In "Crossover" (the first Mirror Universe episode since TOS), Quark stands accused of helping human slaves escape captivity, and tells the enforcing officer (mirror Garak, a Gul) that he is nothing more than a simple barkeep and doesn't stick out his neck for anyone.
    • In "The Way of the Warrior", Quark speculates that perhaps he should have listened to his cousin who said, "Quark, I got one word for you: 'weapons'."
    • The episode "The Nagus" is an homage to The Godfather, especially the scene where Quark "receives" guests in his quarters.
    • Sisko's "Hello, ship" was a direct reference to the Steve McQueen movie The Sand Pebbles, and the ship in question was also named the Sao Paulo. But not for long. It was soon rechristened Defiant.
    • In a more subtle one Garak manages to be John Le Carre's most famous novel: he is a Tinker, a Tailor, a Soldier, and a Spy
    • A conversation between Sisko and Quark in "The Jem'hadar" heavily references a similar one in The Great Outdoors.
    • In the final episode, Sisko's words to Kasidy about when he'll be able to return from being with the "Prophets" echo what a character from Martian Successor Nadesico said to his wife just before going off to war. The Nadesico guy said, "It might be tomorrow. It might be ten years from now. But I will come back."
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: Weyoun probably should've just kept his mouth shut with Garak.
  • Silent Offer: In "Past Prologue", Garak negotiates the price for a terrorist with two Klingons in this way, using an electronic tablet instead of paper.
  • Slave Collar: In one alternate universe episode, the captured Garak is restrained this way by Worf.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Started out as optimistic -- but still not so cheery, considering the themes of Sisko's bereavement and Bajor's Holocaust-like recent history -- as the other series, only to head straight into the Dominion War arc by the third season, and slamming straight into the very end of the Cynical side of the scale in the second to last season with the episode "In The Pale Moonlight".
  • Smart People Play Chess: Sisko has a 3-D chess set in his office. He's also been seen playing traditional chess with Dax.
  • Smug Snake: Winn, especially in her first appearance.
    • Weyoun fills this trope as well.
  • Something Completely Different: "Far Beyond the Stars".
  • Something's Different About You Now: O'Brien's reaction to his old war buddy, Raymond Boone. And rightly so.
  • Something They Would Never Say: In "Armageddon game", Keiko figures out a video has been tampered with because chief O'Brien seems to be drinking coffee in the afternoon.
    • Ends up being a subversion when it turns out at the end of the episode that O'Brien does drink coffee in the afternoon sometimes.
  • Space Opera
  • Space Mines: During the Dominion Wars the Defiant mined the entrance to the Bajoran wormhole.
    • The Klingons established an illegal cloaked minefield in "Sons of Mogh." The mines were dormant and had to be remotely activated in event of war — and would effectively cut DS9 and Bajor off from support from elsewhere in the Alpha Quadrant.
  • Space Western: Not a direct example, but draws on several Western tropes such as the frontier town near a strategic pass, the bar, the sheriff, etc.
  • Suspiciously Specific Sermon: In "Far Beyond the Stars", the character corresponding to Sisko's father gives some very specific advice to Sisko while giving a street sermon.
  • Spinoff Sendoff: The pilot starts with The Enterprise-D docked at Deep Space Nine. Captain Picard appears and Commander Sisko promptly tells him how much he hates him. Sisko has some epiphanies, makes peace with Picard, and Picard gives him his blessing.
  • The Spock
  • Spot the Imposter: This is most of the plot of "The Adversary." However, this is subverted during the climax when O'Brien is faced with a choice between two Odos and decides to get back to fixing the Defiant.

"I've got more important things to do than play Choose the Changeling."

  • Staff of Authority - The Grand Nagus's staff, which Ferengi are supposed to kiss as a sign of respect.
  • The State Room Sketch - A confirmed homage in "The Circle", though it's in Kira's quarters rather than a closet and it's pretty much friends barging in intending to wish farewell privately. All done in one take, though the final cut has reaction shots cut in.
  • State Sec - The Cardassian Obsidian Order, which Odo says records even what Cardassian citizens eat for dinner. The Ferengi Commerce Authority also comes across as this at times.
  • Stealth Pun: In "A Time To Stand" they have to perform a mission piloting a captured Jem'Hadar ship. One of the first things they notice about the ship is that there are no chairs...
  • Straw Character: The Ferengi were Straw Capitalists. Some of the Bajorans come off as Straw Religious. The Cardassians essentially come off as Straw Everything The Federation Isn't, so either Straw Fascists or Straw Military.
    • The episode about the trip to the early 21st century notably (possibly surprisingly) averts this, despite having every opportunity to do so. Sisko even declines to blame society's problems on callousness or greed as Star Trek has often tended to do, instead asserting that the problems have simply grown so large that people have lost hope that they can be solved. Almost every character is presented as being reasonable and with some inner goodness and wish to do good, with the possible exception of the (offscreen) governor of California.
  • Straw Hypocrite
  • Straw Vulcan: Capt. Solok from "Take Me Out to the Holosuite"
    • Played with, since it's made pretty clear both from dialogue and Solok's own reactions that despite hiding behind a veneer of Vulcan logic, Solok often lets his emotions get the better of him.
  • Stock Footage: Every big battle after Sacrifice of Angels blatantly used shots taken from earlier battles (especially a certain shot with the Defiant and two Mirandas), with the final fight in the finale having almost no original footage.
  • Stomach of Holding: Morn in "Who Mourns for Morn?". It's revealed that he took part in a robbery years before, and he kept the latinum — removed from the gold in which it's normally stored — in his second stomach, which is why all his hair fell out.
    • We don't know this - Quark supposes that this is the cause, but we don't know how much Quark knows about Morn's species etc.
  • Story Arc: The Dominion War.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Ezri Dax; Terry Farell left at the end of season six due to contract disputes, but the show still called for a Dax character to finish out the show. Thankfully, the "Trill symbiote" backstory gave them an out to have the character "survive", and they got cute plucky then-twentysomething Nicole de Boer for a replacement who still looked a good bit like the old Jadzia, however with only one season to develop a wholly new character with, she never did mesh quite as well as Jadzia did over six seasons; a few would even argue she was a bit of a Scrappy.
    • Surprisingly, Ezri is shown to be a much more competent and better character than she ever was on screen in the books that continued the series. A few years later she is a Captain, in charge of the U.S.S. Aventine, a pretty badass ship, equipped with slipstream drive and everything, and plays an important role alongside Riker and Picard in the complete defeat of the Borg in the Star Trek: Destiny trilogy of books.
    • In a non-character variation on this trope, the Defiant is destroyed late in Season 7. A mere four episodes later, the identical Sao Paulo is dispatched to the station, and immediately renamed after the destroyed ship.
  • Swirly Energy Thingy: The Bajoran wormhole, natch.
  • Supervillain Lair: The Dominion War Room on Cardassia Prime.

Tropes T-Z[edit | hide]

  • Taking a Third Option: This trope is directly quoted by Kira in the third season premiere "The Search, Part I" after the senior staff (minus Sisko) has run many simulations and found that the station will be overrun by the Dominion very quickly in the event of a full-scale assault. Dax says that that leaves them with two options: abandon the station and make their stand on Bajor, or collapse the entrance to the wormhole. Kira says, "I want a third option" and almost at that very moment, the third option appears in the form of the new USS Defiant.
  • Talking to the Dead: Literally due to a Temporal Paradox. The Defiant receives a distress call in the middle of an interstellar storm and alter their course to the planet in order to help. During the trip, they hold a conversation with a Starfleet officer who only managed to keep herself alive thanks to the recommendations of rationing what few medical supplies she had. By the time the crew finally reaches her on the surface, they find that she had been dead long before the Defiant got the distress call.
  • Techno Babble: A Star Trek staple. Q also refers to it by name during his appearance.
  • Ted Baxter: Quark.
  • Teens Are Short: Jake and Nog. Both cases ended up subverted by Real Life Writes the Plot, as detailed on the trope page.
  • Teleporter Accident[context?]
  • Theme Naming: All the runabouts assigned to DS9 are named after Earth rivers. Lampshaded by Kira in "Family Business".

Kira: You know, the rate we go through runabouts, it's a good thing the Earth has so many rivers.

Sisko: Nobody touches my peppers!

  • Time Dissonance: The Prophets.
  • Time Travel: "Past Tense", "Visionary", "Little Green Men", "Trials and Tribble-ations", and the unfortunate "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night".
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: The relationship between the Prophets and Sisko evolves over the course of the series, even though the Prophets live outside of linear time.
    • The "Orb of Time" exists solely for this.
    • Arguably the entire point of "Visionary": O'Brien travels a few hours into the future several times and sees things that he has to take steps to prevent. It makes him very uncomfortable when he's sitting in Quark's at the same time he saw himself getting shot in the future, and then later he meets his future self and has a long conversation with him.

Future O'Brien: You don't look too good.
O'Brien: It's the radiation.
Future O'Brien: But if you're feeling bad and you're me, shouldn't I feel bad, too?
[Beat.]
Both O'Briens: I hate temporal mechanics.

  • Token Evil Teammate: Garak.
  • Tomato Surprise: "Whispers".
  • Torture Always Works: Averted, as this is one of the rare occasions in Trek where we see the torturer's point of view. One of several accounts of Garak's exile involved Garak aborting an interrogation that was going nowhere.
    • In "Improbable Cause"/"The Die Is Cast", Garak flat-out tells Odo to lie after torturing him for hours.
      • Garak eventually starts begging Odo to make up something he can give Tain so that he can stop. Odo does eventually give in, and then Garak lies to Tain about it. Garak is, at the time, far more emotionally upset about the torture than Odo is.
  • Torture Technician: In "Improbable Cause"/"The Die Is Cast", Tain strongly indicates that Garak often played this role for him in the past prior to Garak's exile and, in the episode itself, Tain expects Garak to play that role again to torture Odo.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Most of the main cast are fond of raktajino, particularly Sisko. Miles, on the other hand, prefers Jamaican blend Earth coffee, "double strong, double sweet", while Julian drinks Tarkalean tea, and Worf drinks prune juice.
    • While Worf drinking prune juice is a Continuity Nod, it's amusing that he's one of the few who don't drink raktajino, since it's described several times in the show as "Klingon coffee."
  • Treasure Chest Cavity: Morn hid liquid latinum in one of his stomachs.
  • Tricked-Out Time: "Past Tense".
  • Trickster Mentor: Garak was one to Bashir.
  • Trust Me, I'm a Gambler: Quark says this in a speech to Odo in "Move Along Home", explaining why he should take the shortcut in the chula game. Hilariously subverted when it backfires.
  • Tsundere: Keiko O'Brien. She appears in relatively few episodes, but when she does it is mostly to be cranky and domineering. There are many other episodes in which she antagonizes her husband, Miles, from somewhere off-camera. Her bouts of 'mushiness' are mostly limited to self-important meddling in the affairs of others.
    • Kira Nerys. Oh Prophets, Kira Nerys. Fiery Redheaded Badass who goes positively kittenish at certain points with her romantic interests - particularly Odo.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: "Our Man Bashir".
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future: Quite rarely for Star Trek, the episode "Past Tense" plays this straight, when Sisko, Bashir and Dax accidentally time-travel to 2024 Earth. There's no fantastic issues involved, it just takes contemporary political issues and technological developments from The Nineties and exaggerates them.
  • Twist Ending: "In the Pale Moonlight" has one of the best Twist Endings in Star Trek. It starts with Sisko dictating his log to the computer in a state of deep depression, explaining the unethical plan he'd concocted together with Garak to trick the Romulans into declaring war on the Dominion and talking about how "it all went wrong". Near the end of the episode the Romulan senator who he presented his forged evidence to has seen through his plan and left in a fury, intending to expose the "Federation treachery" to the Romulan senate and you think Sisko's misery is because he accidentally caused the Romulans to declare war on the Federation instead. Then we find out that Garak assassinated the Senator and framed the Dominion for it and Sisko's plan has gone perfectly, with the Romulans declaring war on the Dominion... and that is why Sisko is miserable. And he can live with himself.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Rom and Leeta. Though Leeta thinks Rom's kinda cute, actually.
  • Uncoffee: Raktajino.
  • Unique Pilot Title Sequence: The pilot credit sequence does not feature the wormhole opening as it hadn't been discovered yet in story.
  • Unobtainium: Latinum
    • Although not really - it may be a made up substance with one key property (can't be replicated, making it useful as currency), but otherwise it's not powering any Applied Phlebotinum.
    • 2 words: tetrion particles [context?]
  • Unusually Uninteresting Name: The incredibly innocent sounding "Section 31".
  • Unwanted False Faith: Odo resents being revered as a "Founder" by Weyoun and the other Dominion grunts.
    • And to a lesser extent, Sisko takes a while to warm up to being the Emissary of the Prophets, although arguably they actually DO qualify as supreme beings.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Winn Adami, so very badly.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Worf and Jadzia. To a 't'.
  • Vigilante Execution: Heavily subverted in "Duet", one of the best early episodes. Aamin Marritza, a Cardassian file clerk masquerading as a war criminal to force Cardassia's sins to light is stabbed to death immediately upon being released. When Kira tells the assailant the truth, he says that Marritza being Cardassian was reason enough to kill him. The last line of the episode is Kira telling the assasin "No, it's not!"
  • Villainous Breakdown: Dukat after Ziyal's death.
    • Played with in 'Duet', where the notorious war criminal Gul Dar'heel's breakdown confirms that he isn't Gul Dumar, or even a villain.
  • Visions of Another Self: Sisko has a vision of being a '50s sci-fi writer, and his associates were versions of people he knew.
  • The Voiceless: Morn. A fan myth was that he would speak the last words of the series, but didn't happen.
    • The Expanded Universe has made a Running Gag of Morn actually being exceptionally loquacious (whenever he's not on-screen), with the novel Rising Son even having Jake opine that once Morn starts talking, the trick is in getting him to shut up.
      • It started even before then, with characters discussing how talkative he is on the show.
    • Morn can be heard laughing in the episode The Nagus. It's the only time in the series we hear a peep out of him.
  • Waif Fu: Kira.
    • Jadzia even moreso, especially when slinging around bat'leths in Klingon episodes. Kira doesn't actually seem all that fragile, to look at her.
      • Kira was a feared terrorist/freedom fighter and being a badass in battle should be a lot more expected of her than of Jadzia Dax. Nevertheless, she is a lot more waif-ish than Dax in some ways - Terry Farrell is 6 feet tall.
  • War Is Hell: existing from the middle of the series and forward but especially in the episode The Siege of AR-558
  • Warrior Poet[context?]
  • Wartime Wedding: Worf and Dax; Rom and Leeta.
  • Warts and All: Kor's last appearance.
  • We Are Everywhere: The Founder's final words to Odo in The Adversary.
    • And subverted in Paradise Lost: A Founder states that they aren't everywhere, and indeed, aren't even in most places at all. But that doesn't matter because they can be anywhere, pretending to be anyone, and the Federation has no way of knowing where they are at any moment. Four agents operating on Earth are able to cause a chain reaction of events leading to Martial Law being declared on Earth, and a battle being fought between two Starfleet starships that had each been lead to believe the other was commanded by a changeling.
  • Welcome to Hell: O'Brien gets this in "Hard Time".
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Garak towards Enabran Tain.
    • Odo towards Doctor Mora Pol, the Bajoran scientist who discovered him. Odo admits he's never wanted anything more than his respect and for him to think of him more as something to be studied and experimented on in a laboratory. Odo also reveals he purposefully imitated Mora Pol's hair because he respected him.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Eddington. At least, this is one possible character interpretation of him.
    • Also most (if not all) of Section 31. Also qualifies as Utopia Justifies the Means, since they're willing to commit any crime, no matter how monstrous, to protect the Federation.
  • Wham! Episode: a number of these, including:
    • "The Search, Part I and II", the first part ending on a cliffhanger with Sisko, Dax, O'Brien, and Bashir's seeming death or capture, the brand new Defiant seemingly destroyed, and Odo finally meeting his people. The next part reveals the Changelings are the Founders, the head of the Dominion.
    • "Improbable Cause"/"The Die Is Cast": Garak blew up his own shop, Tain is working with the Romulans to destroy the Founders, Garak is willing to forget that Tain tried to kill him and rejoin the Obsidian Order, Tain orders Garak to torture Odo and he does, Odo admits he wants to rejoin the Founders, the leader of the Tal Shiar is actually a Founder and the entire plot was a means to eliminate both the Obsidian Order and the Tal Shiar in one fell swoop... whew.
    • The series was completely changed after "The Way of the Warrior", with Worf joining the crew, the Cardassians rebelling and forming for the first time a democratic government, and the decades-long allied Klingons declaring war on previously mentioned Cardassians, antagonising the Federation and breaking the alliance, turning them into active recurring antagonists. Finally, the eponymous Space Station had a slight tactical upgrade. This episode set the theme for the rest of the series.
    • Let's not even start to talk about "Inferno's Light", where the writers decided to just throw everything in the air and decide to keep the status quo about whatever they could catch. The rest, not so much.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The excellent episode "Duet" nevertheless leaves some important questions unanswered. Minister Koval insisted to Sisko that if Marritza was at Gallitep, the Bajoran government wanted him, and would have him. Gul Dukat, meanwhile, told Sisko that if "any Bajoran hate-mongers get their hands on him, I'll hold you personally responsible." Sisko authorized Marritza's release, no doubt pissing off Koval, and then Marritza was indeed murdered by a Bajoran hate-monger. So what are the consequences?
  • What the Hell, Hero?: "In The Pale Moonlight", in which Sisko does it to himself. Also, "For The Uniform".

Sisko: Commander, launch torpedoes.
[Worf hesitates]
Sisko: Commander, I said launch torpedoes!

    • The above example should be noted as Sisko irrevocably gassing a former Earth colony with biogenic weapons lethal to humans but not Cardassians. He justifies this as they were a Maquis stronghold and they were planning to do the same thing with similar weapons lethal to Cardassians but not humans.
  • When It All Began: The Bajoran occupation that launched the plot.
  • When She Smiles: Sarina of The Jack Pack. Originally catatonic thanks to her senses forever failing to catch up with her brain, her first action after a procedure correcting it is smiling. Bashir is smitten on the spot.
  • White Void Room: Often when communicating with the Prophets.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Odo and Kira. They Do after nearly a decade of tension.
  • Word of Gay: Andrew Robinson has commented in multiple interviews that he considered Garak "omnisexual," and also strongly implied it in the character book he wrote. Robert Hewitt Wolfe has stated that he wrote Garak to be attracted to Bashir, but Bashir never realized this.
  • The Worf Effect: In order to show how dangerous the Jem'Hadar are, in their debut episode they blow up the USS Odyssey, a Galaxy-class starship like the Enterprise-D from the at the time recently cancelled Star Trek: The Next Generation. Using such a familiar ship helped make this moment genuinely shocking.
  • World of Cardboard Speech: Inverted for "In the Pale Moonlight".
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: After the writers realized gold could be replicated, they realized its value would be nothing to a Ferengi. Thus latinum was created, and any mention of gold was retconned into being pressed with latinum.
  • Worthy Opponent: Dukat views Sisko in this way, though the feeling isn't mutual.
    • Quark and Odo. Quark is generally open about it (explicitly using the trope title when the say their final farewell), telling Odo that over the years he's forced him to step up his game and become a better criminal; Odo probably shares the sentiment, but refuses to admit it even in the finale
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Many times with Jadzia Dax, which is something of a subversion of the trope seeing as how her current form is female but Dax has been a male several times before.
    • In "Dax", when Bashir is trying to help fight off Jadzia's hooded kidnappers, the hood of the person Bashir had been fighting slips down, to reveal that he's been fighting a woman. Bashir hesitates just long enough for her to beat the crap out of him and knock him unconscious.
      • Later in that episode, Jadzia deliberately stonewalls Benjamin when he tries to get some answers out of her regarding the charges of murder and treason. Furious, Benjamin slams his fist into his hand and exclaims, "Dammit, if you were still a man!"
    • In "The Way of the Warrior", Jadzia challenges Worf to a sparring session with Klingon bat'leths, which would be their first of many. During the fight, she goads him:

Jadzia Dax: I hope you're not holding back because I'm a woman. If it makes things any easier, think of me as a man. Been one several times!

    • On the other hand, Gul Dukat certainly would hit a girl, as he shows by decking Sakonna in "The Maquis, Part I" when she's part of a group trying to kidnap him.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Fewer people died in the 50 years of horrific genocide during the occupation of Bajor than people die of old age in a single first world country on modern day Earth. This number is even sillier when compared per capita.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Dominion pulled off several of those.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Odo. Subverted in the finale.
  • You Don't Want to Catch This: The Blight.
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: A female Vorta's parting shot at Sisko, before the Dominion makes itself known.
  • You Just Told Me: Bashir is up for a major medical award. He insists that there is no chance of victory for him, and so he does not wish to discuss it.

Odo: In that case, why are you working on your acceptance speech?
Bashir: (Hides pad) How did you know?
Odo: (smugly) Just a guess.

Q: "You hit me! Picard never hit me!"
Sisko: "I'm not Picard."

  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Garak's bloody nose while in Odo's "dream" manifests itself in the real world as he lies unconscious in the infirmary.
  • Your Mom: In "The Way of the Warrior" Klingons attempt to insult Odo in Klingon, and Garak responds with "Actually, I'm not sure Constable Odo has a mother."
    • Also, from "The Siege":

Bashir: Quark, leave it!
Quark: I can't leave it, it's all that I have. My personal mementos, my family album...
Bashir: It's full of gold-pressed latinum, and you know it.
Quark: ...Who told you?
Bashir: Your mother did, the day you were born.
Quark: NEVER-MAKE-FUN-OF-A-FERENGI'S-MOTHER. Rule of Acquisition Number 31!

      • Of course, there's a second part to that rule: "Insult something he cares about instead."
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Trill marriages are "until death do us part". Too bad if you die and come back from the dead: The love of your life is now taboo forever. Even worse, the cycle of life in the elite circles of Trill society is based on a kind of reincarnation. Jadzia falls prey to this in one episode, falling head over heals in love with her ex-wife. Nobody even notices that they are of the same gender, the ethical/cultural problem is all about them having been husband and wife in a previous life.
  • You See, I'm Dying: Tekeny Ghemor in "Ties of Blood and Water"
  • You Shall Not Pass: concerning the deaths of both Eddington and Kor. Also happens in "The Homecoming", where a few of the Bajoran prisoners stay behind and hold off the Cardassians so that Li Nalis can escape from prison.
  • You Talk Too Much:
    • In "Vortex"

Odo: I think I finally figured out what crime you were found guilty of on your world.
Croden: What's that?
Odo: You talk too much.

    • In "Indiscretion", Kira says this to Dukat:

Kira: Commander Sisko was right; you are in love with the sound of your own voice.

  • YouTube Poop: The scene from "In the Pale Moonlight" where Vreenak yells "It's a FAAAAAKE!" is growing in popularity.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Bajoran resistance, Maquis, and the Cardassian resistance against the Dominion. Some members or each even refer to themselves as terrorists.
  • You Will Be Beethoven: "Past Tense" is built around this trope.
  • You Would Do the Same For Me[context?]
  • Zeerust: Notable as it's easily the least affected out of any of the Trek shows so far; part of this is due to largely being set on an alien space station with somewhat odd architecture, making it easier to gloss over any breaches of plausibility. The Defiant's military bridge has also withstood the test of time very well so far.
  • Zerg Rush: The Jem'Hadar attack with massive amounts of ships, due to the "disposable" nature of the species.
  • Zip Me Up: Odo zips up Kira's dress in "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang"

Notes

  1. Those episodes are, in order: "Through the Looking-Glass," "Shattered Mirror," "Resurrection," and "The Emperor's New Cloak."
  2. Though of course this show preceded that movie.
  3. Although to be fair, they are legally prevented from using it, which was established in TOS