Star Trek (1966–1969)
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The Trouble with Tribbles 

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)
Paul Baxley ...
Guard (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

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29 December 1967 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Writer David Gerrold tried to pitch a sequel to this episode during the third season. But producer Fred Freiberger rejected it because he did not like the comedic tone of this episode. Gerrold's idea eventually became an animated spin-off, Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles (1973). See more »


During the famous bar brawl, one of the extras cannot keep a straight face and is clearly trying to keep from laughing out loud (you see him, wearing a blue shirt, when Scotty and Korax have each other by the collar). See more »


Nilz Baris: And, now, Captain, I want all available security guards. I want them posted around the storage compartments.
Capt. Kirk: Storage compartments? Storage compartments?
Arne Darvin: The storage compartments containing the quadro-triticale.
Capt. Kirk: The what, the what? What's... quadro-triticale?
Lurry: Here...
[hands Kirk a small container]
Capt. Kirk: [spills some of its contents on his hand] Wheat. So what?
See more »


Referenced in Futurama: Where No Fan Has Gone Before (2002) 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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