Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 15

The Trouble with Tribbles (29 Dec. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Reviews: 13 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)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Bjo Trimble, this episode is based upon the short story, Pigs Is Pigs by Ellis Parker Butler. See more »


The barroom brawl should never have been able to happen. When Kirk grants Koloth permission to bring his crew on board the space station for shore leave he tells him that he will have one security guard for every Klingon on the station and that "there will be no trouble". But when the barroom scene takes place the only Starfleet crew members present are ones who are on shore leave themselves. There are no uniformed security team members anywhere in the room even though there are several Klingons present. If security had been present in the one-for-one ratio that Kirk ordered, there would have been no opportunity for the fight to break out. See more »


Scott: When are you gonna get off that milk diet, lad?
Chekov: This is vodka.
Scott: Where I come from, that's soda pop.
Scott: [raising his glass] Now this is a drink for a man.
Chekov: Scotch?
Scott: Aye.
Chekov: It was invented by a little old lady from Leningrad.
See more »


Spoofed in Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Show No. 105 (1998) 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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