We cover the seven best episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that revolve around Quark, the franchises' most popular Ferengi.
When you stream Deep Space Nine on Paramount Plus, it can be tough to pick a favorite character. The show may be filled with everything from noble humans to Klingon warriors to shapeshifters, but we’ve always had a soft spot for Quark, the beleaguered Ferengi bartender who finds himself inexplicably serving hooch in the most strategically important location in the Federation. And to help you fall in love with this character as you stream Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, we’ve compiled the best Quark episodes to watch…and if you skip any of them, your Moogie will know.
7. “Little Green Men”
One of the reasons we love the episode “Little Green Men” is that it tells a very conventional kind of Star Trek story using three very unconventional Star Trek characters: Quark, Nog, and Rom. These Ferengi are all traveling to Earth because Nog has been accepted into Starfleet Academy, but when sci-fi shenanigans happen, the two find themselves thrust back into the planet’s past (1947, to be specific). We loved seeing the greedy Quark try to make the best of the situation by scheming to eventually take over the planet, and it was equally fun watching him match wits with his shapeshifting foe Odo who wants to get home without disrupting the timeline.
6. “House of Quark”
A big part of the fun of watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is seeing an intergalactic melting pot of characters, and this allows us to see how someone as greedy and opportunistic as Quark clashes with other cultures. In “House of Quark,” our favorite Ferengi angers a Klingon who manages to die in perhaps the most dishonorable way possible: accidentally killing himself while threatening Quark. The canny bartender decides to run with the lie that he defeated this powerful warrior in combat, and this ends up leading to his relationship and even brief marriage to Klingon widow Grilka, and it doesn’t take long before Quark is suddenly (and hilariously) embedded in Klingon politics.
5. “The Magnificent Ferengi”
Over the years, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine writers got a lot of mileage out of creating “fish out of water” stories involving Quark, and “The Magnificent Ferengi” may be the best example of this. The plot involves Quark and Rom’s mother being abducted by the Dominion, and rather than turning to Starfleet for help, the two decide to assemble their own crack team to get her back. The episode careens from one set of hilarity to another as the Ferengi discover just how bad they are as warriors, but even when they pivot to negotiations, things keep going wrong in the funniest possible way.
4. “Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places”
While he was always a captivating character on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Quark reached new heights (or should that be new lows?) once The Next Generation character Worf joined the series. His honorable personality particularly clashed with Quark’s greedy avarice in “Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places,” an episode where Worf becomes smitten with Grilka, Quark’s ex-wife who has come looking for financial advice. When Quark wants to get back with his old flame, Worf and Dax try to help him court the Klingon warrior woman, a plan that goes seriously sideways when Quark must find a way to defeat Grilka’s bodyguard in single combat.
3. “The Ascent”
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine managed to get a lot of mileage by pitting the shapeshifting Odo against Quark, which made a lot of sense: Odo is the stern lawman and Quark…well, he’s a charming criminal. But the episode “The Ascent” takes place when Odo has lost his shapeshifting abilities, and that is significant when he and Quark crash land on a frozen wasteland, with their only hope of survival being to climb a nearby mountain to call for help. It’s an episode where two characters who normally can’t stand to be in the same room must depend upon each other for survival, and every moment makes for great television.
2. “Prophet Motive”
While it was always a delight on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to see Quark interact with the kinds of characters he normally wouldn’t, things go to the next level in “Prophet Motive” when he must interact with the Prophets (better known to non-Bajorans as “the wormhole aliens”). When Grand Nagus Zek of the Ferengi shows up on Deep Space Nine having completely rewritten the Rules of Acquisition to focus on kindness rather than greed, Quark deduces that the Prophets did something to Zek’s brain. Afterward, Quark must confront the Prophets, and he knows full well that the very soul of his race is at stake.
1. “Family Business”
One of the things we love best about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is that it portrays Quark as an exemplar of Ferengi society, but he must deal with his own cultural prejudices in “Family Business.” Ferengi culture demands women be completely subservient to men and even naked at all times, but after Quark gets a visit from the Ferengi Commerce Authority about his mother illegally making profits, he realizes how good she really is at business. The result is an episode where we get a closer look at Ferengi culture and their rainy homeworld, and Quark learns that his very clothed mother is much smarter than any of the men who think themselves her betters.