Star Trek can sometimes be a serious affair, showing the issues that modern society faces through the lens of Science Fiction. The Original Series was an attempt to show morality plays as depicted in the future, touching on racism, biggotry, greed and inequality. Star Trek, even when written in a way accessible for all ages, was aimed for a mature audience.
And then, as little rewards for the often serious tone, there are many fine examples of comedy dropped in along the way. Much like any deep dive, one needs to come up for air every so often. In the shows that lean toward the darker, some of the lightest moments exist. In a franchise that has spanned more than fifty years, there are many bright and uplifting episodes where the show not only comes up for air but forces laughing gas down your throat while they're at it.
Not every joke lands and not every situation stands out as funny all these years later (oh Original Series, what a product of your time that you were) but the intent to entertain and to bring an escape has always been there. Even more recent entries like Discovery and Picard have delivered on the laughs and they're both about as serious as the show has become.
But these examples here delve into the chuckles as much as Trek has ever seen, sometimes repeating the gags because they just work so well.
10. Quark The Suave - Looking For Par'Mach In All The Wrong Places
There's a lot to love in this fifth season entry from Deep Space Nine. Worf is still the brooding badass that was introduced a season earlier and the seeds of his relationship with Dax have been sown. However, when Grilka, the fearsome leader of her own house, arrives on the station Worf is bewitched by her enchanting presence. He resolves to find out as much as he can about her, already infatuated with this woman. He follows her and...finds out she's Quark's wife.
Yes, this is the episode where Quark bests Worf in the matter of Klingon love and its spectacular. Having already won her heart in a previous episode, Quark is tasked with providing her with a divorce, with all of the romance that goes along with that.
And through several jolly old occurances, he finds himself fighting for the right to impress her. Naturally, were it a normal week, he'd be a dead man. So Worf, heartsick, steps in to help - and Dax, equally heartsick, agrees to help, ignoring her own feelings for Worf.
It's a classic Star Trek rom-com, with Klingons, Trill and Ferengi to beat the band. The episode doesn't feed into the larger plot as a whole - it is simply an upbeat and cheerful bottle episode, one of a surprising number of them on Deep Space Nine.