The game failed to live up to expectations and it was only the commanding performance of Gloucester No.8 James Forrester that lifted the affair above the level of mediocrity.
The 'Cherry and Whites' now move to second in the standings thanks to 11 points from the boot of Henry Paul and a try from fellow centre Robert Todd, who crashed over in the dying minutes of the game.
Quins' loss was made worst by the injuries sustained to both Tani Fuga and Ugo Monye, both of whom limped from the field.
"We're improving every week and starting to look like a team. The team is starting to take responsibility for itself – we're not waiting for other players to come and improve us," Gloucester coach Nigel Melville told PA.
"There are no excuses, we just go out and play and the side is starting to gel. It wasn't pretty out there today but we did the job we needed to. Our defence is also holding up well – in the last two games we've conceded no points and three points."
New Australian recruit Duncan McRae enjoyed a promising debut at fly-half and left his coach hopeful for the Australian's future at the club.
"I though Duncan did well. He's a sharp guy and knows how to play for territory. He's got a good rugby brain and works well with Henry Paul outside him," said Melville.
Quins boss Mark Evans said: "It wasn't the worst Harlequins display I've ever seen, but there aren't many positives I can take from it. We didn't win enough ball and our line-out fell apart.''
For Gloucester:Tries: ToddCons: PaulPens: Paul 3