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Rules of Acquisition List

The following are the various Ferengi Rules of Acquisition we have heard over the run of Star Trek. As of 2151 there were 173 rules; by 2370 there were 285 rules (DS9, "Rules of Acquisition"). Gint, the first Grand Nagus and his cronies claimed credit for writing the rules of acquisition (DS9, "Body Parts"). How this squares with more rules being added over time is anybodies guess.

The list is based on the Encyclopedia, and so may omit some mentioned in later DS9 episodes. As usual, any corrections or updates should include the number and text of the rule, the episode it's from, and if possible an idea of where in the episode it is mentioned.

Rule Description Episode
? A man is only worth the sum of his possessions.1 Acquisition
? Exploitation begins at home2 False Profits
13 Once you have their money, you never give it back.3 The Nagus
34 Never spend more for an acquisition than you have to.4 The Maquis, Part 2
63 Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity. Also stated as 'Never allow family to stand in the way of profit' in ENT "Acquisition"3 The Nagus
75 Keep your ears open.5 In the Hands of the Prophets
86 Small print leads to large risk.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
97 Opportunity plus instinct equals profit.7 The Storyteller
108 Greed is eternal.8 Prophet Motive
136 Anything worth doing is worth doing for money.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
169 A deal is a deal.9 Melora
1710 A contract is a contract is a contract, but only between Ferengi.10 Body Parts
1811 A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all.11 Heart of Stone
196 Satisfaction is not guaranteed.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
2112 Never place friendship above profit.12 Rules of Acquisition
2212 A wise man can hear profit in the wind.12 Rules of Acquisition
231 Nothing is more important than your health... except for your money.1 Acquisition
276 There is nothing more dangerous than an honest businessman.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
3113 Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother.13 The Siege
3312 It never hurts to suck up to the boss.12 Rules of Acquisition
3414 War is good for business.14 Destiny
3514 Peace is good for business.14 Destiny
406 She can touch your lobes, but never your latinum.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
416 Profit is its own reward.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
446 Never confuse wisdom with luck.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
451 Expand or die.1 Acquisition
4715 Don't trust a man wearing a better suit than your own.15 Rivals
4816 The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.16 Star Trek : Titan, Book 4 - Sword of Damocles
526 Never ask when you can take.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
5717 Good customers are as rare as latinum. Treasure them.17 Armageddon Game
586 There is no substitute for success.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
5912 Free advice is seldom cheap.12 Rules of Acquisition
606 Keep your lies consistent.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
6212 The riskier the road, the greater the profit.12 Rules of Acquisition
6318 Work is the best therapy - at least for your employees.18 Star Trek : Titan, Book 5 - Over a Torrent Sea
656 Win or lose, there's always Hupyrian beetle snuff.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
7419 Knowledge equals profit.19 Inside Man
7520 Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum.20 Civil Defense
7621 Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies!.21 The Homecoming
796 Beware of the Vulcan greed for knowledge.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
826 The flimsier the product, the higher the price.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
856 Never let the competition know what you're thinking.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
896 Ask not what your profits can do for you, but what you can do for your profits.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
9422 Females and finance don't mix.22 Ferengi Love Songs
952 Expand or die.2 False Profits
976 Enough... is never enough.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
9823 Every man has his price.23 In the Pale Moonlight
9924 Trust is the biggest liability of all.24
10225 Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever.25 The Jem'Hadar
10312 Sleep can interfere with· (remainder of rule unknown).12 Rules of Acquisition
1046 Faith moves mountains... of inventory.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
1066 There is no honour in poverty.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
10915 Dignity and an empty sack is worth a sack.15 Rivals
11126 Treat people in your debt like family. Exploit them.26 Past Tense, Part 1
11227 Never have sex with the bosses sister.27 Playing God
1136 Always have sex with the boss.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
1216 Everything is for sale, even friendship.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
12324 Even a blind man can recognize the glow of latinum.24
12528 You can't make a deal if you're dead.28 The Siege of AR-558
13929 Wives serve, brothers inherit.29 Necessary Evil
1416 Only fools pay retail.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
1446 There's nothing wrong with charity... as long as it winds up in your pocket.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
1626 Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
16830 Whisper your way to success.30 Treachery, Faith, and the Great River
1776 Know your enemies... but do business with them always.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
1816 Not even dishonesty can tarnish the shine of profit. 6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
1896 Let others keep their reputation. You keep their latinum. 6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
19031 Hear all, trust nothing.31 Call to Arms
1926 Never cheat a Klingon... unless you can get away with it.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
19432 It's always good business to know about your customers before they walk in your door.32 Whispers
2026 The justification for profit is profit.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
20333 New customers are like razor-toothed Gree worms. They can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back.33 Little Green Men
20822 Sometimes, the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer.22 Ferengi Love Songs
21134 Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them.34 Bar Association
21435 Never begin a business negotiation on an empty stomach.35 The Maquis, Part 1
21726 You can't free a fish from water.26 Past Tense, Part 1
2186 Always know what you're buying.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
2236 Beware the man who doesn't make time for oo-mox.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
22922 Latinum lasts longer than lust.22 Ferengi Love Songs
2366 You can't buy fate.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
23910 Never be afraid to mislabel a product.10 Body Parts
2426 More is good. All is better.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
2556 A wife is a luxury... a smart accountant a necessity. 6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
2616 A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
26334 Never allow doubt to tarnish your lust for latinum.34 Bar Association
2666 When in doubt, lie.6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
2846 Deep down, everyone's a Ferengi. 6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
28536 No good deed ever goes unpunished.36 The Collaborator

In the episode "Prophet Motive", the Grand Nagus produced a revised set of the Rules of Acquisition whilst under the influence of the Bajoran Prophets. The following are the known rules from this set, all copies of which were destroyed when the Nagus regained his original personality.

Rule Description Episode
18 If they want their money back, give it to them.8 Prophet Motive
108 Greed is dead.8 Prophet Motive
218 Never place profit before friendship.8 Prophet Motive
228 Latinum tarnishes, but family is forever.8 Prophet Motive
238 Money can never replace dignity.8 Prophet Motive
2858 A good deed is its own reward.8 Prophet Motive

Additionally, the Voyager episode "False Profits" featured Neelix telling two Ferengi stranded in the Delta Quadrant that rule of acquisition number 299 was "When you exploit someone, it never hurts to thank them". We do not know if this is an accurate quotation; if it is, then we would need to believe that the Ferengi have added extra rules sometime prior to Voyagers accident and that Neelix has read up on these since.

In DS9's "House of Quark", Quark himself suggested an additional rule: Rule 286, "When Morn leaves, it's all over". Quark was bemoaning the state of his business at the time, and it is unlikely that this rule is a real one.


Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation

References

# Series Season Source Comment
1 ENT 1 Acquisition
2 VOY 3 False Profits
3 DS9 1 The Nagus
4 DS9 2 The Maquis, Part 2
5 DS9 1 In the Hands of the Prophets
6 Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
7 DS9 1 The Storyteller
8 DS9 3 Prophet Motive
9 DS9 2 Melora
10 DS9 4 Body Parts
11 DS9 3 Heart of Stone
12 DS9 2 Rules of Acquisition
13 DS9 2 The Siege
14 DS9 3 Destiny
15 DS9 2 Rivals
16 Star Trek : Titan, Book 4 - Sword of Damocles
17 DS9 2 Armageddon Game
18 Star Trek : Titan, Book 5 - Over a Torrent Sea
19 VOY 7 Inside Man
20 DS9 3 Civil Defense
21 DS9 2 The Homecoming
22 DS9 5 Ferengi Love Songs
23 DS9 6 In the Pale Moonlight
24
25 DS9 2 The Jem'Hadar
26 DS9 3 Past Tense, Part 1
27 DS9 2 Playing God
28 DS9 7 The Siege of AR-558
29 DS9 2 Necessary Evil
30 DS9 7 Treachery, Faith, and the Great River
31 DS9 5 Call to Arms
32 DS9 2 Whispers
33 DS9 4 Little Green Men
34 DS9 4 Bar Association
35 DS9 2 The Maquis, Part 1
36 DS9 2 The Collaborator
Series : ENT Season 1 (Disc 4)
Episode : Acquisition
Series : VOY Season 3 (Disc 2)
Episode : False Profits
Series : DS9 Season 1 (Disc 3)
Episode : The Nagus
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 6)
Episode : The Maquis, Part 2
Series : DS9 Season 1 (Disc 5)
Episode : In the Hands of the Prophets
Novel : Novel : Legends of the Ferengi
Series : DS9 Season 1 (Disc 4)
Episode : The Storyteller
Series : DS9 Season 3 (Disc 4)
Episode : Prophet Motive
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 2)
Episode : Melora
Series : DS9 Season 4 (Disc 7)
Episode : Body Parts
Series : DS9 Season 3 (Disc 4)
Episode : Heart of Stone
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 2)
Episode : Rules of Acquisition
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 1)
Episode : The Siege
Series : DS9 Season 3 (Disc 4)
Episode : Destiny
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 3)
Episode : Rivals
Novel : Star Trek : Titan, Book 4 - Sword of Damocles
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 4)
Episode : Armageddon Game
Novel : Star Trek : Titan, Book 5 - Over a Torrent Sea
Series : VOY Season 7 (Disc 2)
Episode : Inside Man
Series : DS9 Season 3 (Disc 2)
Episode : Civil Defense
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 1)
Episode : The Homecoming
Series : DS9 Season 5 (Disc 5)
Episode : Ferengi Love Songs
Series : DS9 Season 6 (Disc 5)
Episode : In the Pale Moonlight
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 7)
Episode : The Jem'Hadar
Series : DS9 Season 3 (Disc 3)
Episode : Past Tense, Part 1
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 5)
Episode : Playing God
Series : DS9 Season 7 (Disc 2)
Episode : The Siege of AR-558
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 2)
Episode : Necessary Evil
Series : DS9 Season 7 (Disc 2)
Episode : Treachery, Faith, and the Great River
Series : DS9 Season 5 (Disc 7)
Episode : Call to Arms
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 4)
Episode : Whispers
Series : DS9 Season 4 (Disc 2)
Episode : Little Green Men
Series : DS9 Season 4 (Disc 4)
Episode : Bar Association
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 5)
Episode : The Maquis, Part 1
Series : DS9 Season 2 (Disc 6)
Episode : The Collaborator

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 119,327 Last updated : 12 Jul 2020