Talk:The Trouble with Tribbles

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The old photo caption "The Enterprise is invaded by cute fur balls, in Trouble with Tribbles" was misleading since the picture is of Kirk on K7. The name of the ep was wrong too. I've gone ahead and changed it, but I'm sure someone could come up with something that sounds better. Cerv.

Bjo Trimble & Tribbles Naming[edit]

Regarding Wikipediatrix's edit, I recall from Gerrold's book (cited in the references section) that he'd originally intended to call them "Fuzzies" ("Furries"?) but that the name was somehow changed during script development. I seem to recall that he said the direction came from people on the show rather than Gerrold, but I can't remember if he said why the change was made (e.g. it might have just been "Tribbles just sounds better").

It'd take me a bit to dig up my old copy (damn Grad School and day job!), so if someone else just happens to have a copy and can definitively see if Gerrold indicates why the change was made, it'd be appreciated. Otherwise, I should get around to it some time during the next ice age. --KNHaw 18:42, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I remember the book quite vividly even though I haven't picked it up in years... their legal agency vetoed "Fuzzies" for some copyright reason so Gene L.Coon told Gerrold to come up with a new name. He mentions coming up with "Tribbles" during a brainstorming session but made no mention of Bjo Trimble, who was unknown at that time since it was well before her national campaign to save the show after its cancellation. wikipediatrix 20:32, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Per David Gerrold, "Fuzzies" was vetoed because it was the name of cute little teddy bear-like aliens in a series of novels by H. Beam Piper. Gerrold then sat at his typewriter and extemporaneously began typing names. In his making of "Tribbles" book, he reproduces a couple dozen of the names. "Tribbles" was one of the names on the list. He then began to cross off the ones he knew were not good enough/ones he didn't like, until finally he settled on "tribbles." Nowhere, NOWHERE does he say they were named for Bjo Trimble. Sir Rhosis 20:43, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Chekov's Russian First remarks[edit]

Can someone explain a little (maybe in the trivia section), why Chekov kept on making Russian first remarks but was consistently proven wrong? Is this simply because of the Cold War and the general American perception of the Soviet Union, or was there something else to it? Thanks! -- 05:49, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

  • IMO, the writers had him constantly making the "Russian first" remarks, then being proven wrong again and again, simply for comedic effect, nothing more sinister than that.
The basis of Chekov's running joke is that during the Cold War, Russia constantly claimed to have invented commonplace things - such as television and baseball - before the U.S. or Europe. Read this. (Occasionally they really were first, though, such as in the case of Sputnik). wikipediatrix 17:33, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Sisko and Dax?[edit]

I'm not sure I understand this, from the trivia section: "Shatner was being purposefully hit on the head by the prop man - and/or Ben Sisko and Jadzia Dax - with tribbles during production of the "buried in tribbles" scene. It took an incredible number of takes to get the avalanche of tribbles to fall just right."

What have Sisko and Dax got to do with this? Is this some kind of in-joke? (Bearing in mind that I've never seen DS9 nor do I particularly want to). --Bluejay Young 12:06, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Season 5 Episode 6 of DS9 was "Trials and Tribble-ations" and had DS9 cast go back in time to join TOS Tribbles episode. has more details. I'll add a reference.  ◉ ghoti 21:33, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

"Couldn't believe his ears"[edit]

Trivia section says that Spock's line "He could not believe his ears" was not in the script. Maybe. But it's in the published version that David Gerrold included in his book about the show.

Futurama ref[edit]

Maybe add something near the bottom about the Futurama episode 'My Problem with Popplers'? Veinor 05:44, 20 October 2006 (UTC)


Per article cleanup and the manual of style, "trivia" has been rewritten into prose rather than bullet points; at the same time, facts which appeared non-notable have been deleted. If you've included a fact that has been deleted, please note in your edit summary (or here on the talk page) why you believe it is notable.

I've done similar work to Where No Man Has Gone Before (TOS episode); I hope to encourage those of you who work on Star Trek articles to help bring them to established standards by removing "trivia" and other bullet points (where possible) in favor of prose. Thanks to everyone for your help! :) RadioKirk (u|t|c) 21:18, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Another revisit[edit]

Very popular currently... [1] -- Pichote 16:36, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Um... Not Quite[edit]

re: "The use of quadro-triticale was supposed to reestablish Mr. Sulu as an amateur botanist; since George Takei was away filming The Green Berets, all his lines were given instead to Ensign Chekov, marking the only time Scotty and Chekov have a conversation during the original series."

WRONG. Scotty and Chekhov also converse in "Bread and Circuses", when Scotty instructs Checkhov to "calculate [the Roman planet's] power sources and how much the ship's beams will have to pull to overload them". Checkhov responds that it will take some time, and Scotty responds, "Let it take time, Lad..."

Cyrano Jones, sneaks some little furry animals called tribbles onto the station, and starting with a sale to Uhura, they quickly find their way onto the Enterprise as adorable pets

I seem to remember that Jones didn't sell the first tribble, but gave it to someone, as a promotional. Was it Uhura, or someone else? SlowJog (talk) 03:41, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, he gave one to her, hoping that it would create a demand for his stock. Also, he didn't "sneak" them onto the station; he brought them in as trade goods. I've changed the text to reflect this. (talk) 11:37, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Lunar Jim[edit]

The Canadian kids' stop-motion TV series "Lunar Jim" has an episode entitled "Too Many Fluffies" Fluffies are fluffy balls with eyes that basically multiply at an amazing rate. Tribbles by any other name surely... worth a link in the Popular Culture section?? Roxana Q (talk) 11:21, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Spock's Tribble count (1,771,561)[edit]

When the Enterprise crew realizes that the Tribbles have reproduced to the point where they're everywhere and recognizes the explosive potential for their reproduction, Spock gives the total Tribble population to that point as exactly "1,771,561". He states that this assumes that, starting with one Tribble, each one produces an average litter of 10 once every twelve hours over three days. He goes on to add that his estimations factor in additional variables such as availability of food and environmental factors, but in fact 1,771,561 is exactly how many Tribbles you'd have in six generations if each one produced a litter of exactly 10 (you would have 11n in n generations, and 116 = 1771561). Two questions about this line: Does anyone recall whether Spock (1) was referring to the population just on the ship or on the ship and on K7, and (2) was referring to environmental factors just on the ship, or in both locations? 3.14 (talk) 06:19, 18 January 2009 (UTC)


I would add this myself, but I'd rather someone who knows what they're doing assess it and add it if they think it needs adding.

The point I am addressing is; "Possible literary antecedents include ... the flatcats from the Robert A. Heinlein novel The Rolling Stones, which led some fans to demand to know why Heinlein never got any screen credit"

Which Star Trek episode was Heinlein involved with, and why?

"The Trouble With Tribbles"--the producers noticed that the Tribbles bore a decided similarity to Heinlein's Martian flatcats in "The Rolling Stones" and so asked Heinlein's permission for the concept (according to "The Trouble With Tribbles" author David Gerrold). Heinlein asked only for an autographed copy of the script. From FAQ Heinlein's Works at the Heinlein Society (talk) 05:47, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

This section is tagged as needing more sources. Maybe this will help: David Gerrold was recently a guest on the Sword and Laser podcast and talks about how this episode came about. Bertvanvreckem (talk) 08:57, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Troubles With Twibbles[edit]

The first Crystal Caves episode is entitled Troubles with Twibbles — a parody of this Star Trek episode's title. Worth mentioning in the In popular culture section? (talk) 13:08, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

"Possible" literary antecedent?[edit]

Is the publication date of "the Rolling Stones" in question or something? (talk) 10:50, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Bar fight edited?[edit]

I just noticed that no reference is made to the bar brawl that develops between the Klingons and Enterprise crew about halfway through the episode. While not exactly an A-plot, it's still a major scene, and I think some reference should be made. Eddievhfan1984 (talk) 04:37, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

The Trouble with Bubbles[edit]

The title is a paraphrase from the Philip K. Dick novel The Trouble with Bubbles. -- Il Passeggero - I love to love you 10:03, 12 October 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by IlPasseggero (talkcontribs)

Tribbles mentioned in Smurf Cartoon?[edit]

Puffgirls, My Pony and Futurama are mentioned, but "tribbbelistic" animals do appear in a Smurf TV episode as well. They are pink however and duplicate when gettin something to eat (they are able to eat anything). Too should be mentioned. (Since I'm from Germany, I don't know the US title/name...). --Hattakiri (talk) 01:12, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:The Trouble With Tribbles/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Ed! (talk · contribs) 01:57, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

  • "On arrival, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) becomes furious..." -- Why was he so mad about the call? Also, why did Baris want someone to guard the grain?
  • Copyedited to make it clear it was because he was being asked to guard some grain. Funnily enough, Baris never explained his original concerns as at the time there wasn't any Klingons on the station yet. Miyagawa (talk) 18:56, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Repetition: "arrives on the station with some tribbles onto the station."
  • "Koloth demands an apology from Kirk after some of the Enterprise crew were provoked into a brawl with the Klingons in the station's bar." -- Is this the last you see of Koloth? It sort of leaves you hanging and wondering about why he was in the episode in the first place.
  • I've swapped around two sentences to move that last mention of Koloth to the final plot paragraph. The entire last paragraph was wrapped up in only a couple of scenes, and Koloth was present when Darvin was revealed as a Klingon agent. Miyagawa (talk) 18:56, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • "He worked on "I, Mudd" before "The Trouble with Tribbles" began to film." -- Which "he" do you mean? The preceding sentence talks about two people.
  • Changed to Gerrold. Miyagawa (talk) 18:56, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • "The use of live animals..." -- Was there originally a live animal in mind that would resemble a Tribble?
  • Gerrold didn't have a design in mind when he originally put together the script, and Holly Sherman's fluffy keychain was the first idea for what they could be. Miyagawa (talk) 18:59, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • "relatively few original tribbles exist as the fur fell out over time and they went bald" -- You mean relatively few exist today. Any telling where they are?
  • Edited to say it was as of 2010. No idea how to tell the originals, but one was sold as part of an official prop auction back in 2003 for $1000, which I've added to the article. Miyagawa (talk) 19:09, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • "he recalled that there was some resistance at the time against making a comedy-style episode." -- Might be helpful to note here that comedic episodes were generally the exception.
  • Found a cite to make the point with and added it to the article. Miyagawa (talk) 22:06, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I think the rest of the cast in the infobox who were guests should appear in the "casting" section
  • I've added lines regarding the relevant ones. Although the remainder were listed as guests in the source and therefore are in the infobox, I haven't been able to find anything relevant to add to the article about them. Miyagawa (talk) 18:41, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
  • "Gerrold suggested that an acknowledgement of the creator of the tribbles might be in order and asked if he could be an extra." -- Which extra was he? And was he paid?
  • Found an image of him on Memory Alpha in the role - however, I couldn't find a specific source for it so sourced it back to the episode itself instead. Miyagawa (talk) 20:31, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • "Whilst on a visit to the set, Gerrold was told by Abrams that the tribble had been deliberatly "snuck in"." -- In which scene was the Tribble?
  • Managed to find a cite from MTV News for that, and added it to the article. Miyagawa (talk) 18:56, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • You mention some of the cast, staff, and media reviews of the show, but this one was very popular with the general audience. It's glossed over a little, but I think it is important to expand on the fact that star trek was a niche audience and it was unusual for an episode to stand out like this. It should also be noted that the episode didn't save the series from being cancelled.
  • I think I've got this done now, I've moved it down into the reception section. Miyagawa (talk) 22:34, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • One duplicate link, but external links all appear to be working and there are no disambiguation links. All images appear to be properly licensed and I don't see any problems with stability or neutrality.
  • I managed to add some more duplicates with my recent edits, but I just went through and removed them. Miyagawa (talk) 18:41, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

All in all this is a great article, definitely worth GA status after these fixes. I'd suggest taking it higher than GA when you're done too. —Ed!(talk) 02:50, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the review, I rather enjoyed the work on this episode, and it certainly is one I'd like to take up to FA in the future. I only wish I was lucky enough to have specific source material for every episode. :) Miyagawa (talk) 18:41, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Good work! Passing the GA now. —Ed!(talk) 03:27, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Writing section question[edit]

"He offered Gerrold a chance to write the script himself, by promising not to hand it to another writer for a month. But he made it clear that he was not offering Gerrold for a script, but giving him the option of submitting a draft." I would redo this ("offering Gerrold for a script" obviously needs to be reworded), but I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean. Was Gerrold given a chance to write the script at that point or not? Alden Loveshade (talk) 19:46, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

He offered Gerrold the option of writing the script, but no promise that he would actually use it. Miyagawa (talk) 20:55, 25 October 2013 (UTC)


The article on triticale makes no mention of 'Winnipeg'. (talk) 21:16, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Good point, and I don't think a Star Trek book is a decent source for the history of it, so I'm going to remove that sentence from this article. Miyagawa (talk) 16:35, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Issues with Article[edit]

The Summary isn't concise. A lot of what's there should be moved into relevant sections deeper in the body of the article, notably its 3rd and 5th paragraphs.

The article is inconsistent as regards the number of tribble props manufactured, referring to both 500 and 1500 for that number, The lower figure is what Gerrold cites in his book. I have addressed this by pointing out the disagreeing sources.

Coon, according to Gerrold's cited book, hated the title "You Think You've Got Tribbles" not the name tribble itself, so the article has this completely backwards,

Although I added a paragraph regarding Heinlein's own take on the tribbles being copies of his martian flat cats, I think the wording of the article could be rephrased slightly to make it clear that the information about the origin of the tribbles is largely the episode writer's and Star Trek production personnels's anecdotal recollections, and not necessarily factually correct (possibly spun to make them not seem complicit what could be considered an act of plagiarism). MrNeutronSF (talk) 21:04, 17 January 2017 (UTC)