What is the durability of Q's body? I understand that Q's "body" can be injured or killed by Q-weapons, but can it be "injured" by non-Q? Nagilum, for instance? A Douwd? The Crystalline Entity?

I'm not trying to set up a versus debate. However, I notice that Sisko's punch can knock down Q, which suggests that Q's body is no more special than any other human's of similar build. Though earlier, in TNG, Q appears on the hull of the Enterprise while it's traveling at warp to no effect. Either Q prepared his body beforehand or his body has some sort of "shields" on it.

I find it impossible that Q could be vaporized by a phaser, for example, but again, if Sisko can knock him down with a punch, why couldn't the Q-body be destroyed by a weapon?

  • The more I think about this, the more I think that Q's body essentially has "god-level durability." I don't think anything short of another Q could harm it. Q once hid in the warp core, for Pete's Sake. You could argue, again, that Q "prepared" his body before doing this, but I tend to think that his body needed no such preparation. I believe that Sisko could knock down Q simply because Q presents himself as a physical being. I'm still not sure how Q was able to "hang" on the hull of the Enterprise, though. Perhaps his body did need preparing in this instance. Nov 22, 2015 at 3:08
  • As far as "hang on the hull of the Enterprise" ... it's not like there's wind rushing through his hair. How was he able to talk out there? He's Q ... normal logic/physics do not apply. Nov 22, 2015 at 4:02

3 Answers 3


First, check out this.

You'll notice that the warp field of the Enterprise is not skin tight. There is more than enough space for a normal person to be physically inside the field, provided that they do not drift away from the hull.

Speculation about Q has the problem that he writes the rules he plays by in our dimension. If he wants to fly, walk through walls, or offer you an attractive Klingon mate, he will do exactly that.

For what it's worth, I offer that Q, as an extradimensional entity, has most likely actually constructed a real, breathing human body. Whereas his essence is elsewhere, it simply doesn't come up often that he is getting punched, and when he does it certainly doesn't pose much risk. I imagine that if he had wanted to he could have rewritten that moment on the fly, but that is speculation. The body he is using would probably respond quite normally to being vaporized, supposing that he felt like experiencing such a thing at the moment.

But objectively, without opinion, it is safe to say that he will always be exactly as durable as he wants to be.

  • I would guess that when the question says that "Q appears on the hull of the Enterprise while it's traveling at warp to no effect" the point was probably not just about traveling at warp along with the ship, but also about the fact that a normal human body wouldn't be able to survive in the vacuum of space. But you could still imagine that Q created a regular human body and was just creating an envelope of atmosphere around it.
    – Hypnosifl
    Nov 23, 2015 at 0:30
  • @Hypnosifl, exactly my point. Or he could be a hologram, hallucination, or an implanted memory, but my sense of his as-written fascination with humanity is that he would actually go to the 'trouble' of conjuring a body that is totally real so he could peek through our little brains into a dimension that he already totally understands. It would be like playing a video game with a built-in command console. He's basically playing Fallout: The Next Generation.
    – Sean Boddy
    Nov 23, 2015 at 0:44
  • What about cases where Q walks through walls like a ghost? Such an example is mentioned in the summary of True Q (see the second paragraph of Act Two). You could imagine he's displacing the material of the wall he's walking through in a completely form-fitting way, but this at least suggests he's not that interested in having a body that respects the rules of solid objects, and it seems plausible that this scene was meant to suggest his physicality is more like that of a holodeck character whose solidity can selectively be turned off.
    – Hypnosifl
    Nov 23, 2015 at 0:58
  • @Hypnosifl, I totally agree. How real his body is at any point in time is subject to whimsy and therefore speculation ensues. I therefore speculate that the body is real, and when he did the 'mortal' bit he simply started playing by all the rules.
    – Sean Boddy
    Nov 23, 2015 at 2:13
  • 1
    I think that his body is "real" in the sense that it's physical and appears human, but as for Q needing to breathe, that seems silly to me. I also seriously doubt that Q has internal organs. Remember, after Q became human, he was shocked by the force field, and he remarked that he "now" has nerves. Nov 23, 2015 at 23:05

When no other Q is involved then Q himself/herself/itself decides on which rules apply to him/her/it and which not. Also what is always important with a Q is.....what is part of the game and what not. Sisko punching down a non weakened Q is just this one Q playing a game of his design and having fun...a strange sort of fun but that is as always Q for you.....regardless which one.

If we take a comment Q made during the Q wars in voyager for what it takes to wound or take out a Q then almost no single entity encountered is even able to scratch a Q. As during these episodes Q warned janeway and the others to not get hit by a Q weapon as those can destroy suns. If we then take a later scene into account where there were quite a lot of wounded Q around then it seems like that these weapons.....weapons that can destroy whole suns are what is needed in order to be able to even wound a Q.

To take your phasor example. Phasors won't even scratch a Q.....although it can be that it seems he is vaporized if that is what he wants it to seem. With Q the problem is you never know (but if we take above mentioned episodes into account Q won't get anything that is even a real scratch from even a full salvoe of phasors there).


Strictly going by the premise of the question. Can Q's body be damaged by non-Q. First, look at the myriad examples in Who is considered the most powerful species in the Star Trek Universe?
The Q-body is subject to physical force as in your example by Sisko. Presumably Q was not simply pretending, I think the following can, at the very least, affect the Q-body.
1. Douwd
2. Organian
3. Guardian of Forever Or its creators

But I suspect in an all out battle the Q would win over everyone with a single exception. Humans. They fear us, or at least what we will become.

There are many examples such as Hide and Q:

Picard then confronts Q in his ready room. Q sits in his chair, reading one of Shakespeare's works. Picard asks why Q is demonstrating a "need" for Humans through this confrontation, instead of providing a simple, direct explanation, a statement of what he seeks. Q replies it is a pity Picard doesn't know the content of his own library. Because, as Q explains, how Humans respond to a game tells him more about them. Q proposes to quote some Hamlet for him. Picard refuses, and quotes him instead: "What a piece of work is man? How noble in reason? How infinite in faculty, in form, in moving, how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel; in apprehension, how like a god..." Q stands up from his chair, and responds that surely Picard doesn't see Humanity like that. Picard answers that he sees Humanity as one day becoming like that, and perhaps that is what the Q fear. Q, obviously irritated by Picard, throws the large Shakespeare book at him and then disappears.

Bold is mine

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.