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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




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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


When Dr McCoy figures out that the tribbles are in a perpetual state of being pregnant, this marks one of the very first instances on American TV of the use of that word. Ironically, Desliu Productions, the original company behind "Star Trek", was forbidden from using that word during the "I Love Lucy" episode "Lucy Is Enceinte" so the word "expecting" was used instead. 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 »


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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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


References Invasion of the Triffids (1963) See more »


Music credited to Alexander Courage, although it strongly resembles the main title music for 'Hollow Triumph (1948)' by Sol Kaplan
Sung by Loulie Jean Norman
See more »

User Reviews

5 May 2016 | by hellraiser7See all my reviews

This is my fifth favorite "Star Trek" episode, there really isn't much to say for this one, yeah there is a plot and it does develop but by it's nature it really more of a clothes liner for the comedy and that's mainly what this episode is.

It really was unique for it's time for a serious natured show let alone sci-fi show to actually do something different, change the pace of things. It surprisingly worked and this episode to me is one of the best examples of showing that comedy and sci-fi can make a beautiful combo.

In a way the episode plays out almost (and I mean almost) like one of those animal attack horror films like "The Birds" and others where it was about ordinary people dealing with creatures of nature turned against them. Though here this is the enterprise crew dealing with animal like creatures only their harmless, which I like because it's a turn on cliché.

I really love the tribles, there are just so cute as there simply gentle soft fur balls. However they are problematic as we see they multiply faster than rabbits. The visual humor is just really funny as we see how they are just practically all over the enterprise everywhere you turn.

Though to me what adds to the humor and actually makes it effective is Kirk himself. It's just funny seeing how much grief he is receiving from these cute guys, he is trying to maintain and establish order, while the Tribbles unintentionally create chaos (well sort of). From seeing them eat Kirk's lunch, but of course my favorite when Kirk opens up one of the compartments and well lets just say Kirk doesn't exactly hit the jackpot.

And of course there is the brawl scene which I found both funny and exciting. It's just funny as we see some Klingon whom is both drunk and acting like an ass at first spewing insults about Kirk. Checkov we see is close to blowing his fuse but Scotty tries to maintain order that is until the Klingon pushes a wrong button with Scotty. After what the Klingon said about the Enterprise I thought, "Oooooo, he's gonna get it now." and surely he does.

The chirography in it was solid, even one funny moment in the fight was seeing Checkov punch a Klingon in the midsection multiple times but with no damage, I thought "Oh s..." and of course you can guess what comes next for Checkov. Though what adds to the brawl is that the salesman character he is practically steeling drinks from the bar and smoothly walking past the fight.

For the tribbles as an old saying goes, the more the merrier.

Rating: 4 stars

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Release Date:

29 December 1967 (USA) See more »

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