Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 15

The Trouble with Tribbles (29 Dec. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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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've 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. Their fortuitous presence, however, 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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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Shatner recalled the great enjoyment all the cast had filming this episode. He noted, "The trouble we had with 'Tribbles' was [to] keep your straight face. It was just a lot of fun." See more »


Chekov's drink repeatedly changes hands between shots. See more »


Spock: [of the tribbles] They remind me of the lilies of the field. They toil not, neither do they spin. But they seem to eat a great deal. I see no practical use for them.
Dr. McCoy: Does everything have to have a practical use for you? They're nice, they're soft and they're furry, and they make a pleasant sound.
Spock: So would an ermine violin, Doctor, but I see no advantage in having one.
See more »


Referenced in Sex Trek: The Man Eater (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

not the best, but entertaining (and corrections)
12 January 2010 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

As a Trekspert and long-time TOS fan, I can't say this is my favourite episode, but since it was written for comic relief, while still tweaking the eternal bureaucratic pinhead mentality that persists into this century and beyond, it was extremely entertaining. Most reviewers get this. Gary does not. Trek writing is actually quite decent, if only because it still holds up in 90% of episodes after 40 years. And this episode is intentionally funny, if a bit slapstick, making it a nice diversion from the usual serious plots of TOS. {To correct tsf1962: It is not the first episode to introduce Chekov. (Whose name you misspelled.) There are two correct answers to that question depending on whether you go by air date or production date (hint: In Catspaw, Chekov defends himself saying "I'm not that green"). There is no consensus as to the most popular TOS Klingon but I will wager many votes will go to Canada's own John Colicos as Kor, menacing and threatening yet utterly fascinating to watch ("Errand of Mercy"). And who is Stephen Dorn? The character of Worf was played by MICHAEL Dorn. Comparing tribbles to rats is unfair and inaccurate; although people keep rats as pets, the tribbles were disruptive but not dirty or disease-ridden. I can forgive the misspelling of Lurry's name, but actor William SCHALLERT's name is listed in the credits. And it's Nilz BARIS, not Barrett (no relation to Majel). You got Nichelle Nichols' first name (difficult to spell) right but inexplicably botched her last name??? And as for Chekov's Beatles haircut, again, please try to watch the episodes in order before asking these kinds of questions. The Klingons were "explained" (very poorly) in Enterprise as to how they accidentally lost their foreheads.} Overall, a very enjoyable episode, with some delightfully cringe-worthy moments.

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