Words to Live by in Ferengi Culture
Male Ferengi children are expected to memorize these pearls of wisdom and repeat them on command. ("The Nagus [DS9]). Ferengi females are, however, forbidden to quote from the rules, due to their status as second-class citizens. There are 285 Rules of Acquisition ("Rules of Acquisition" [DS9]). They were written tenmillenia ago by Gint, the first grand nagus, and his cronies ("Body Parts" [DS9]).
- The First Rule of Acquisition: "Once you have their money, you never give it back." ("The Nagus" [DS9])
- 3rd Rule: "Never spend more for an acquisition than you have to." ("The Maquis, Part II" [DS9])
- 6th Rule: Never allow family to stand in the way of opportuinty." ("The Nagus" [DS9])
- 7th Rule: "Keep your ears open." ("In the Hands of the Prophets" [DS9])
- 9th Rule: "Opportunity plus instinct equals profit." ("The Storyteller" [DS9])
- 10th Rule: "Greed is eternal" ("Profit Motive" [DS9])
- 16th Rule: "A deal is a deal." ("Melora" [DS9])
- 17th Rule: "A contract is a contract is a contract. But only between Ferengi." ("Body Parts" [DS9])
- 18th Rule: "A Ferengi without profit is no Feregni at all." ("Heart of Stone" [DS9])
- 21st Rule: "Never place friendship above profit." ("Rules of Acquisition" [DS9])
- 22nd Rule: "A wise man can hear profit in the wind." ("Rules of Acquisition" [DS9])
- 31st Rule: "Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother." ("The Siege" [DS9])
- 33rd Rule: "It never hurts to suck up to the boss." ("Rules of Acquisition" [DS9])
- 34th Rule: "War is good for business." ("Destiny" [DS9])
- 35th Rule: "Peace is good for business." ("Destiny" [DS9])
- 47th Rule: "Dont' trust a man wearing a better suit than your own." ("RIvals" [DS9])
- 48th Rule: "The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife." ("Rules of Acquisition" [DS9])
- 57th Rule: "Good customers are as rare as latinum. Treausre them." ("Armageddon Game" [DS9])
- 59th Rule: "Free advise is seldom cheap." ("Rules of Acquisition" [DS9])
- 62nd Rule: "The riskier the road, the greater the profit." ("Rules of Acquisition" [DS9])
- 75th Rule: "Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum." ("Civil Defense" [DS9])
- 76th Rule: "Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies!" ("The Homecoming" [DS9])
- 95th Rule: "Expand or die." ("False Profits" [VGR])
- 102nd Rule: "Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever." ("The Jem' Hadar" [DS9])
- 103rd Rule: "Sleep can interfere with..." ("Rules of Acquisition" [DS9]) Unfortunately, Pel was interrupted before she could finish reciting this particular rule, so we don't know exactly what it is that sleep interferes with.
- 109th Rule: "Dignity and an empty sack is worth a sack." ("Rivals" [DS9])
- 111th Rule: "Treat people in your debt like family. Exploit them." ("Past Tense, Part I" [DS9], "The Darkness and the Light" [DS9])
- 112th Rule: "Never have sex with the boss's sister." ("Playing God" [DS9])
- 139th Rule: "Wives serve, brothers inherit." ("Necessary Evil" [DS9])
- 194th Rule: "It's always good business to known your customers before they walk in your door." ("Whispers" [DS9])
- 203rd Rule: "New Customers are like razor-toothed greenworms. They can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back." ("Little Green Men" [DS9])
- 211th Rule: "Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them." ("Bar Association" [DS9])
- 214th Rule: "Never begin a business negotiation on an empty stomach." ("The Maquis, Part I" [DS9])
- 217th Rule: "You can't free a fish from water." ("Past Tense, Part I" [DS9])
- 239th Rule: "Never be afraid to mislabel a product." ("Body Parts" [DS9])
- 263rd Rule: "Never allow doubt to tarnish your lust for latinum." ("Bar Association" [DS9])
- 285th Rule: "No good deed ever goes unpunished." ("The Collaborator" [DS9])
The rules were the brainchild of executive producer-writer Ira Stecn Behr, who elucidated further on these pearls in his books, The Rules of Acquisition and The Legends of the Ferengi, published by Pocket Books. Ira insists that his books are a considerable bargain, worth many times their purchase price. The rules were first mentioned in "The Nagus" [DS9]). Early in 2371, Quark suggested that a 286th rule be added to the list: "When Morn leaves, it's all over." ("House of Quark" [DS9]). One rule, whose number was not given, states: "Exploitation begins at home." In 2373, while posing as the grand proxy, Neelix told Arridor and Kol that Rule #299 was "When you exploit someone, it never hurts to thank them." ("False Profits" [VGR]).
Revised Ferengi Rules of Acquisition
An authentically benevolent version of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, revised for the modern Ferengi, devised by Grand Nagus Zek in 2371 after his encounter with the Bajoran Prophets. Some of these radically altered rules included:
- Revised Rule #1: "If they want their money, give it to them."
- Revised Rule #10: "Greed is dead."
- Revised Rule #21: "Never place profit before friendship"
- Revised Rule #22: "Latinum tarnishes but family is forever."
- Revised Rule #23: "Money can never replace dignity."
- Revised Rule #285: "A good deed is its own reward."
These rules were rescinded and all copies were destroyed shortly after the Prophets restored Zek's original personality." ("Prophet Motive" [DS9])