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.


Joseph Pevney


Gene Roddenberry (created by), David Gerrold

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
William Schallert ... Nilz Baris
William Campbell ... Koloth
Stanley Adams ... Cyrano Jones
Whit Bissell ... Lurry
James Doohan ... Scott
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Michael Pataki ... Korax
Edwin Reimers Edwin Reimers ... Admiral Fitzpatrick (as Ed Reimers)
Walter Koenig ... Chekov
Charlie Brill ... Arne Darvin
Paul Baxley Paul Baxley ... Ensign Freeman
David L. Ross ... 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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Release Date:

29 December 1967 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


In David Gerrold's book "The Trouble with Tribbles," he quoted a memo he wrote when the show was being prepared suggesting that the character of Cyrano Jones be changed from an unscrupulous trader to an old man who was too befuddled to realize what he was doing by importing Tribbles into a space station and on a star ship. "What a role for Boris Karloff," Gerrold wrote in his memo. In the book, Gerrold expressed regret he didn't pursue this idea further because it would have gotten the legendary Karloff onto "Star Trek." See more »


During the fight scene in the barroom, Cyrano Jones has the drink machine make two drinks, which he carries as he heads to the exit. The drinks are both in the same style tumbler, with no stem or base. When he gets to the door, and the bartender takes the drink out of his hands (the bartender was a little slow in entering), Cyrano Jones takes the second drink out of his pocket. Magically, the tumbler has grown a short stem and base. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more »


Referenced in Futurama: The Problem with Popplers (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

"Where they'll be no Tribble at all"
11 January 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

One of the most popular and deservedly so episodes of Star Trek prime is this one. I'm surprised that Tribbles did not make an appearance in TNG or any other subsequent Star Trek franchise shows.

A rather self important diplomat played by William Schallert sends the starship Enterprise on a mission to a space station commanded by Whit Bissell. He has a priority distress call sent because he has a grain shipment to deliver to a disputed planet. An itinerant trader played by Stanley Adams is also there and among the items for sale are a specifies of peaceful little furry creatures called Tribbles.

The one that Nichelle Nichols buys however starts to multiply, and MULTIPLY. Seems that Tribbles make rabbits behave like Trappist Monks. Pretty soon the Enterprise is overrun with them as well as the space station.

But curiously enough they prove to be invaluable at uncovering a dastardly Klingon plot. Seems as though they're allergic to Klingons and that raises them up somewhat in the eyes of James T. Kirk.

It's Jimmy Doohan who does find a solution to the Tribble problem. A just one all around I think.

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