Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 15

The Trouble with Tribbles (29 Dec. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 1,511 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 6 critic

To protect a space station with a vital grain shipment, Kirk must deal with Federation bureaucrats, a Klingon battle cruiser and a peddler who sells furry, purring, hungry little creatures as pets.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Edwin Reimers ...
Admiral Fitzpatrick (as Ed Reimers)
Charlie Brill ...
Paul Baxley ...
David L. Ross ...
Lt. Galloway (as David Ross)


Having received a Priority One distress call from an outlying space station, the Enterprise arrives to find they have been summoned there by a Federation commissioner merely to protect a shipment of seeds meant to sow wheat on Sherman's planet. The planet is also coveted by the Klingons, who are taking shore leave at the station. The trouble arises with tribbles - small furry creatures that seem to multiply without end. However, their fortuitous presence reveals both a problem with the wheat and a traitor on the space station. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

29 December 1967 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The pile of tribbles near the end of the episode was actually created by gluing tribble props around a large wire frame which Kirk (William Shatner) then stood in the middle of to give the illusion of mass numbers. In reality there were only five hundred tribbles made. See more »


In the final scene Kirk is inquiring as to what has become of the Tribbles and is alarmed to think that Scottie may have beamed them into space to which Scottie, appalled by that assumption, answers, "Captain Kirk, that would be inhuman!" But with it being well known at this point that Klingons HATE Tribbles - and vice-versa, it should be obvious to all that the Klingons would destroy all of the Tribbles as quickly as possible. So beaming them into space may well have been the more humane thing to do. See more »


Capt. Kirk: I wanna know what killed these tribbles.
Dr. McCoy: I haven't figured out what keeps them alive yet.
See more »


References The Day of the Triffids (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

Sure it's a bit overrated, but it's still very good
8 December 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While I certainly can't agree with "gary olszewski" who insists that this is the "worst episode", I do agree that it is a tad overrated. Yes, I do like it a lot, but I have talked to quite a few people who think it's the best episode. However, I might rank it in the top five--so I still liked it quite a bit because it was a good chance to do some self-parody. I really enjoy the few episodes where the show took a break from being deadly serious and just had fun--such as this one and I, MUDD and A PIECE OF THE ACTION. So, when I'm in a non-sophisticated mood, this episode is a good choice.

Kirk rushes to a star-base because the Enterprise received a message that it was a dire emergency. However, when they arrived, the base looked just fine--no evidence of an attack or an emergency. Incensed, Kirk beams down to find out what's happening. To his consternation, he finds that the "emergency" concerns a grain shipment that is intended for "Sherman's Planet" (who Sherman is, we don't know--maybe he's the one from the Mr. Peabody Show). Despite the abuse of the emergency call, Kirk is reluctantly forced to post guards and be responsible for the grain.

Since this is a star-base, the crew is given shore leave. However, Klingons are there as well for shore leave as a result of a recent treaty (the Organian one from a previous episode). And, naturally, due to the animosity between them, fights break out and the Klingons work on sabotaging the grain. At the same time, although it seems perfectly harmless, Uhura brings a cute pet back to the ship (a "tribble"). There, it multiplies like crazy and soon the ship is overwhelmed with a plague of tribbles--and so is the space station. But, this turns out to be a mixed blessing and leads to a creative solution to the plague--thanks to Scotty.

The episode is pure "tongue-in-cheek" and never takes itself seriously. The jokes and silliness come in rapid fire and you can't help but laugh at all the hooey. A must for fans of the series.

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