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I was watching DS9: Family Business when I noticed all the doors on Ferenginar are much shorter than the average Ferengi, causing them to crouch down every time they enter a room.

That's gotta be terrible for their backs! I understand that Ferengi are shorter than the average humanoid, but why would they make the doors on their own home world too short for themselves?!

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There are some other examples here 1, 2, 3

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    Good question. I wondered that at the time too. I suspect it's to make the houses look more like dens. – Valorum Mar 25 at 19:07
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    Make them bowing when entering buildings. – Oni Mar 25 at 19:15
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    Maybe they're really old doors? You can see similar real world examples of human doors that are lower than average height, in areas with buildings that are centuries old. This is because humans have got significantly taller over time. – Nathan Griffiths Mar 25 at 20:00
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    Ferenginar's weather is known for torrential rains and rivers of muck. If dens (either presently or traditionally) are air tight, having doors below head level would ensure in the event of an overwhelming flood there's a bubble of air trapped inside that is breathable for those inside. But this has no canon support I'm aware of so I can't put my rampant speculation as answer. :) – starpilotsix Mar 25 at 20:08
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    It’s not all doors. For enough latinum, you can have a door as tall as you want! The Doormaker’s Guild is very powerful. – Paul D. Waite Mar 25 at 20:34
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The original script describes them thusly;

There are no windows, but there are a few doors leading to other parts of the building. The doors are low and tunnel-like and even Ferengi have to stoop to get through them. Rain from Ferenginar's relentless downpour can be heard beating against the roof.

Quark and Rom ENTER, followed by Brunt. Each Ferengi deposits a coin in a collection box by the door, then removes a towel from a rack, and begins blotting off the rain.

The fact that they look like tunnel entrances may be a nod to the fact that the Ferengi are more animalistic, living in literal dens that have been modernised.


I've seen web-chatter that one of the EU novels mentions that the doorways became smaller over time as the Ferengi realised that they were among the shortest of the Alpha quadrant races, as a form of compensation for their obvious inferiority.

I liked the explanation offered in one of the books that Ferengi doors are too short for them. After gaining spaceflight and realizing they are shorter than other humanoids, the trend for small doors emerged as a way to make them feel taller in the same spaces. I kind of retroactively assumed that's what the designers were actually thinking

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    And yes, I'm trying to track down the source of that reference. – Valorum Mar 25 at 20:31
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    In early medieval times, it was common to have low doors, forcing possible raiders to stoop to enter, making them easy targets. – Klaus Æ. Mogensen Mar 26 at 9:17
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    @KlausÆ.Mogensen - If DS9: Little Green Men is anything to go by, the Ferengi haven't had any full scale wars in their history and certainly nothing that would necessitate defences in every home. – Valorum Mar 26 at 9:22
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    @Valorum And there's no modern reasons for battlements on buildings, and yet they're still semi-common on some mansions and other buildings. Nobody uses floppy disks anymore, but we still have pictures of them used as 'save' icons everywhere in our software. Very few still listen to music on tape or record and yet we still refer to songs on an album as a 'track'. Just because there's no real need for something anymore doesn't mean that need in the past wasn't the reason for a current tradition. – Shufflepants Mar 26 at 14:52
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    Also, especially from earlier TNG appearances, Ferengi seem to have, at least originally, been intended to scuttle about semi-hunched rather than walking properly upright. By DS9 we see them increasingly walking fully upright like typical bipedal humans would, but this was not always the case. – J... Mar 26 at 15:59

protected by Community Mar 26 at 22:07

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