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"Star Trek" The Trouble with Tribbles (TV Episode 1967) Poster

Quotes

Capt. Kirk: How close will we come to the nearest Klingon outpost if we continue on our present course?

Chekov: Ah, one parsec, sir. Close enough to smell them.

[grins broadly]

Spock: That is illogical, Ensign. Odors cannot travel through the vacuum of space.

Chekov: I was making a little joke, sir.

Spock: Extremely little, Ensign.

Dr. McCoy: It is a human characteristic to love little animals, especially if they're attractive in some way.

Spock: Doctor, I am well aware of human characteristics. I am frequently inundated by them, but I've trained myself to put up with practically anything.

Dr. McCoy: Spock, I don't know too much about these little tribbles yet, but there is one thing that I have discovered.

Spock: What is that, Doctor?

Dr. McCoy: I like them... better than I like you.

Spock: Doctor?

Dr. McCoy: Yes?

Spock: They do indeed have one redeeming characteristic.

Dr. McCoy: What's that?

Spock: They do not talk too much. If you'll excuse me, sir.

Spock: [while holding a tribble] Most curious creature, Captain. Its trilling seems to have a tranquilizing effect on the human nervous system.

Spock: [beginning to pet it gently] Fortunately, of course, I am... immune to it's effect...

[realizing what he is doing, he quickly puts the tribble down and excuses himself]

[Kirk is questioning Scotty about his reasons to start a bar fight with the Klingons]

Scott: Well, Captain, er... the Klingons called you a... a tin-plated overbearing, swaggering dictator with delusions of godhood.

Capt. Kirk: Is that all?

Scott: No, sir. They also compared you with a Denebian slime devil.

Capt. Kirk: I see.

Scott: And then they said that you were a...

Capt. Kirk: I get the picture, Scotty.

Scott: Yes, sir.

Capt. Kirk: And after they said all this, that's when you hit the Klingons.

Scott: No, sir.

Capt. Kirk: ...No?

Scott: No, er, I didn't. You told us to avoid trouble.

Capt. Kirk: Oh, yes.

Scott: And I didn't see that it was worth fighting about. After all, we're big enough to take a few insults. Aren't we?

Capt. Kirk: What was it they said that started the fight?

Scott: They called the Enterprise a garbage scow! Sir.

Capt. Kirk: I see. And... that's when you hit the Klingon?

Scott: Yes, sir!

Capt. Kirk: You hit the Klingons because they insulted the Enterprise, not because they...

Scott: Well, sir, this was a matter of pride.

Capt. Kirk: All right, Scotty. Dismissed. Oh... Scotty, you're restricted to quarters until further notice.

Scott: Yes, sir. Thank you, sir! That'll give me a chance to catch up on my technical journals!

Dr. McCoy: Do you know what you get if you feed a tribble too much?

Capt. Kirk: A fat tribble.

Dr. McCoy: No. You get a whole bunch of hungry little tribbles.

Capt. Kirk: Well, Bones, all I can suggest... is you open up a maternity ward.

Dr. McCoy: Lieutenant, do you mind if I take one of these down to the lab to see what makes it tick?

Uhura: Well, all right, Doctor, but if you're gonna dissect it, I don't want to know about it.

Dr. McCoy: I won't harm a hair on its head... wherever that is.

Capt. Kirk: I have never questioned the orders or the intelligence of any representative of the Federation. Until now.

[Baris has suggested Jones to be a Klingon agent]

Capt. Kirk: Cyrano Jones? A Klingon agent?

[laughs]

Nilz Baris: You heard me.

Capt. Kirk: I heard you.

Spock: He simply could not believe his ears.

[last lines]

[all tribbles have been removed from the Enterprise, but nobody seems eager to tell Kirk what happened to them]

Capt. Kirk: Mister Scott. Where - are - the tribbles?

Scott: I used the transporter, Captain.

Capt. Kirk: You used the transporter?

Scott: Aye.

Capt. Kirk: Well, where did you transport them?

[the others are looking away, trying to appear not involved]

Capt. Kirk: Scott, you didn't transport them into space, did you?

Scott: Captain Kirk! That'd be inhuman!

Capt. Kirk: Well, where are they?

Scott: I gave them a very good home, sir.

Capt. Kirk: WHERE?

Scott: I gave 'em to the Klingons, sir.

Capt. Kirk: [whispering] You gave them to the Klingons?

Scott: Aye, sir. Before they went into warp, I transported the whole kit 'n' caboodle into their engine room, where they'll be no tribble at all.

Trader: Four credits.

Cyrano Jones: Is that an offer or a joke?

Trader: That's my offer.

Cyrano Jones: That's a joke.

Capt. Kirk: Another technical journal, Scotty?

Scott: Aye.

Capt. Kirk: Don't you ever relax?

Scott: I am relaxing.

Nilz Baris: Captain Kirk, I consider your security measures a disgrace. In my opinion, you have taken this entire, very important project far too lightly.

Capt. Kirk: On the contrary, sir. I think of this project as very important. It is YOU I take lightly.

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.

Korax: [the tribbles squeal as he pours some of his drink into Cyrano Jones' glass] The Earthers like those fuzzy things. Don't they?

Cyrano Jones: [accepts drink, laughs nervously] Oh, yes.

Korax: Well, frankly, I never liked Earthers. They remind me of Regulan bloodworms.

[the Klingons laugh]

Chekov: That cossack!

Scott: Easy, lad. You ought to be more forgiving.

Korax: Though... I just remembered. There is one Earth man who doesn't remind me of a Regulan bloodworm. That's Kirk. A Regulan bloodworm is soft, and shapeless. But Kirk isn't soft. Kirk may be a swaggering, overbearing, tin-plated dictator with delusions of godhood. But he's not soft.

Scott: [as Chekov gets up] Take it easy, lad. Everybody is entitled to an opinion.

[Chekov sits down]

Korax: That's right. And if I think that Kirk is a Denebian slime devil, well, that's my opinion, too.

Scott: [as Chekov gets up again] Don't do it, mister, and that's an order.

Chekov: But you heard what he called the Captain!

Scott: Forget it. It's not worth fighting for. We're big enough to take a few insults.

[swaps Chekov's empty glass with another]

Scott: Now, drink your drink.

[Chekov sits down and obliges]

Korax: Of course, I'd say that Captain Kirk deserves his ship. We like the Enterprise. We, we really do! That sagging, old rust bucket is designed like a garbage scow.

[Scotty's ears perk up]

Korax: Half the quadrant knows it; that's why they're learning to speak Klingoni!

Chekov: [outraged] Mr. Scott!

Scott: [to Korax] Laddie... don't ya think you should... rephrase that?

Korax: [in Scottish brogue] You're right. I should.

Korax: [normal voice] I didn't mean to say that the Enterprise should be hauling garbage. I meant to say that it should be hauled away AS garbage!

[Korax laughs. Scotty stands up, decks him, and a brawl ensues]

Capt. Kirk: [handing Chekov a container] Mr. Chekov, what do you make of this?

Chekov: Oh, quadrotriticale. I've read about this, but, er, I've never seen any before.

Capt. Kirk: Does everybody know about this wheat but me?

Chekov: Oh, not everyone, Captain. It's a Russian invention.

Capt. Kirk: I wanna know what killed these tribbles.

Dr. McCoy: I haven't figured out what keeps them alive yet.

Dr. McCoy: [enters after Kirk gets covered with tribbles] Jim! I think I've got it. All we have to do is quit feeding them. We quit feeding them, they stop breeding!

Capt. Kirk: Now he tells me.

Capt. Kirk: As Captain, I want two things done. First, find Cyrano Jones, and second...

[he looks up irritated, as tribbles keep falling on him from the storage compartment]

Capt. Kirk: ...close that door.

[Kirk is testing the tribbles' reaction on several people, starting with the Klingons. The tribbles squeal]

Capt. Kirk: Why, you're right, Mister Jones. They don't like Klingons.

[he moves on]

Capt. Kirk: But they do like Vulcans. Well, Mr. Spock, I didn't know you had it in you.

Spock: Obviously, tribbles are very perceptive creatures, Captain.

Capt. Kirk: Obviously.

[he moves on]

Capt. Kirk: Mister Baris, they like you. Well, there's no accounting for taste.

[the trader is furious after Cyrano Jones has given Uhura a tribble that the trader had wanted to sell]

Trader: What're you trying to do, ruin the market?

Cyrano Jones: Once this lovely little lady starts to show this precious little darling around, you won't be able to keep up with them.

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Nilz Baris: Kirk, this station is swarming with Klingons.

Capt. Kirk: I was not aware, Mr. Baris, that 12 Klingons constitutes a swarm.

Nilz Baris: Captain Kirk, there are Klingon soldiers on this station. Now, I want you to keep that grain safe!

Capt. Kirk: Mr. Baris, I have guards around the grain, I have guards around the Klingons. The only reason those guards are there is because Starfleet wants them there. As for what *you* want... it has been noted and logged. Kirk out.

[he shuts off the comlink]

Spock: Captain, may I ask where you'll be?

Capt. Kirk: Sickbay, with a headache.

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Capt. Kirk: Bones, what've you got for a headache?

Dr. McCoy: Let me guess, the Klingons. Baris.

Capt. Kirk: Both.

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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.

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Dr. McCoy: [on reasons for the tribbles' high reproduction rate] Well, the nearest thing I can figure out is that they're born pregnant. Which seems to be quite a time saver.

Capt. Kirk: I know, but really...

Dr. McCoy: And from my observations, it seems they're bisexual, reproducing at will. And, brother, have they got a lot of will.

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Spock: I've been running computations on their rate of reproduction. The figures are taking an alarming direction. They're consuming our supplies and returning nothing.

Uhura: Oh, but they do give us something, Mr. Spock. They give us love. Well, Cyrano Jones says that a tribble is the only love that money can buy.

Capt. Kirk: Too much of anything, Lieutenant, even love, isn't necessarily a good thing.

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[the tribbles have all but destroyed the entire stock of grain reserved for a development project]

Nilz Baris: Kirk, you should have known. You are responsible for turning the development project into a total disaster!

Capt. Kirk: Mr. Baris...

Nilz Baris: And I am through being intimidated, Kirk. Now, you have insulted me, you have ignored me, you, you walked all over me. You have abused your authority and you have rejected my requests. And this, this is the result! I am going to hold you responsible, Kirk!

Capt. Kirk: Mr. Baris, I'll hold you in irons if you don't shut up!

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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?

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Nilz Baris: There must be thousands of them.

Capt. Kirk: [buried up to his neck in tribbles] Hundreds of thousands.

Spock: 1,771,561. That's assuming one tribble, multiplying with an average litter of 10, producing a new generation every 12 hours over a period of three days.

Capt. Kirk: And that's assuming that they got here three days ago.

Spock: And allowing for the amount of grain consumed and the volume of the storage compartment.

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[Kirk takes a tray out of a food dispenser. Food and cup are covered with tribbles]

Capt. Kirk: My chicken sandwich and coffee. This is my chicken sandwich and coffee!

Spock: Fascinating.

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Capt. Kirk: Mister Lurry, you issued a Priority One distress call. State the nature of your emergency.

Lurry: [transmitted voice] Uh, well, perhaps you better beam over. I'll-I'll try to explain.

Capt. Kirk: You'll "try to explain." You'd better be prepared to do more than that. Kirk out.

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Spock: Surely you must have realized what would happen if you removed the tribbles from their predator-filled environment into an environment where their natural multiplicative proclivities would have no restraining factors.

Cyrano Jones: [all in one breath] Well, of cour... What did you say?

Spock: [irritated but patient] By removing the tribbles from their natural habitat, you have, so to speak, removed the cork from the bottle and allowed the genie to escape.

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Arne Darvin: [referring to Jones] You can't deny he's disrupted this station.

Capt. Kirk: People have disrupted stations before without being Klingon agents. Sometimes, all they need is a title, Mr. Baris.

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Dr. McCoy: [scanning Darvin] Heartbeat is all wrong. His body temperature is...

Dr. McCoy: [realizing] Jim, this man is a Klingon.

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Capt. Kirk: Captain Koloth. About that apology.

Koloth: Yes?

Capt. Kirk: You have six hours to get your ship out of Federation territory.

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[Cyrano Jones is asking for leniency after his tribbles have infested the entire space station]

Capt. Kirk: There is one thing you could do.

Cyrano Jones: Yes.

Capt. Kirk: Pick up every tribble on the space station. If you do that, I'll speak to Mr. Lurry about returning your spaceship.

Cyrano Jones: [appalled] It would take years!

Spock: 17.9, to be exact.

Cyrano Jones: 17.9 years?

Capt. Kirk: Consider it job security.

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Arne Darvin: [of tribbles] I never saw one before in my life, and I hope I never see one of those fuzzy miserable things again.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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