The Ferengi, a creation that came from the early days of Star Trek: The Next Generation, suffered from an image problem. Initially meant to be the “big baddies” of TNG, the Ferengi were never really taken seriously. Many fans saw them as comical and over-the-top, and certainly not as the Klingons of The Next Generation as they had been intended to be.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine did much to “rehabilitate” the Ferengi. With a Ferengi bartender, Quark, as a member of the main cast, DS9 lent a sort of credibility to the Ferengi, acknowledging that they were not on the level of Star Trek‘s great villains from the past, but nor were they just a laughing stock. Still, there were humorous Ferengi moments, and not everyone took the diminutive profit-obsessed species seriously.