The trouble with The Trouble With Tribbles - open spoilers

So for some inexplicable reason, the classic Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles” came to mind. If you recall, the tribbles are known for two things: being furry and cute, and reproducing like crazy. Because of their cute nature, the Enterprise becomes infested by the infernal creatures after Uhura brings one back as a pet, and they quickly discover how fast tribbles eat and reproduce. Scotty is at wit’s end trying to round them all up, as they fission faster than he can snag and bag 'em.

So the crafty solution devised is to do some sort of mass beaming, and send them all to the Klingon ship. Which, as we recall, would be like the Klingons mass beaming a million cockroaches onto our ship. Klingons and tribbles hate each other, with a passion.

Now here’s the thing that bugs me. The amusement comes from pondering the Klingons suddenly up to their eyeballs in tribbles, and now stuck with the problem previously facing the Enterprise crew, rounding up all the little beasties by hand. Except there’s a flaw in that arrangment.

You see, sympathetic humans are fooled by the deceptive furriness and purriness of the little buggers, and thus are unwilling to take any drastic measures that might actually harm the guys. That’s why they’re in the mess in the first place. They needed something to do with all the tribbles.

But Klingons, as we all know, suffer from no compunction. They are perfectly fine with eradication. Thus, the immediate response for a ship full of Klingons surrounded by tribbles is likely to issue disruptors and quickly empty the ship. But if for some reason the joy of blasting the bastards at close range seems a bit risky - “Oops, K-lanni just stepped in the way. Oh well, K-lingerer, you just got a promotion,” - there’s nothing stopping the Klingons from employing a variant of Scotty’s plan. Just mass beam the entire mess into space, and be done with it. No tribble infestation, no worries over them eating you out of house and home. And it’s the Klingons, so there are so silly EPA forms, no lawsuits from the KSPCA*.

So, does the end of that episode bug anyone else?

  • Klingon Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Like the SPCA could ever get a Klingon chapter. “Wait, I thought this was the Society for Prevention of Cuteness of Animals?”

Nope, I have no tribble at all with it.

You have obviously never seen a mad Tribble! Those Klingons were just snacks to them…

Before Sisko reintroduced them in the late 24th Century, Klingons had hunted Tribbles close to extinction and had even gone so far as to destroy the world they came from.

I blame Scotty.

Dammit! I was finally going to get around to watching that episode, and now you have ruined it ALL!!

It’s spoiled now. I might as well just throw the entire CD collection in the trash. :wink:

I think that seeing some of the dietary habits of Klingons that the problem would be more like beaming a bunch of Skittles on board.

Tribbles would be Klingon candy. And they come in different colors too!

There’s actually a reference in the Star Trek Online MMO. Something like “Do they still sing songs of the great Tribble purge?”

It just seems to me the humans were loathe to do anything drastic that might harm the tribbles, so they couldn’t go phasering them out of existence, but had to manually round them up and such. So what do they do? Transport them all to a Klingon vessel.

Because we all know Klingons are the most humane species in the quadrant.

The mass slaughter about to be committed by the Klingons has kept me awake for decades.

Poor widdle twibbles.

I like that idea. I’m picturing a scene halfway in time between TOS and TNG, where humans and Klingons were just sort of grudgingly becoming allies. The Klingon is bemoaning a tribble problem, and the human says “Wait, we had problems because humans found it hard to kill something so cute. Surely you Klingons didn’t have that issue?”
Klingon says "Hard to kill? No that’s not the problem. But do you know how those suckers taste?
“Good lord, get a few tribbles on a ship, and pretty soon nobody can get out of their chair, uniforms don’t fit, the captain’s brow ridges start disappearing under fat rolls…”

I think Odo said that.

It was a punny ending. 60s TV.

In the 70s cartoon series, Cyrano had been charged with crimes concerning the Tribble problem and had done his time. (iirc)

Essential reading – David Gerrold’s own book The Trouble with Tribbles, about writing that episode, and more than everything associated witbh it.

Gerold also wrote that ST Anim,ated episode More Tribbles, More Troubles referreedd to above, where the introduced the glomma, a tribble predator, which humans had no problem employing (as long as they didn’t have to watch, I guess.)

The ending didn’t bother me a bit. Let the Klingons deal with the little pests.

Picard should have used that solution for Wesley.

That just doesn’t fit with the revulsion and fear demonstrated by the Klingons in that episode. They cower away from the critters. That’s how humans respond to cockroaches, not french fries or chocolate.

Actually, I have read that. The thing is, this crosses into “Nature Channel” territory, where the poor glomma’s got to eat, might as well be useful with it. But that isn’t quite the same.

The Klingons are our allies. Are you trying to start another war?

IIRC, he comments on this very point, asking “What do you think the Klingons did with all those tribbles? I’ll be they didn’t let any thoughts of inhumanity trouble them…”

Eh, shoulda done what Heinlein did with the flat cats in The Rolling Stones. Just put them into cold storage (so they don’t eat or breed) and then palm them off onto lonely suckers, quickly, before said lonely suckers find out how quickly the things breed.

They could made made a fortune marketing Tribbles (dead or alive) as:

Stripper pasties
Powder puffs
Dust mops (with a stick up their ass)
Throw pillows for Barbie’s Dream House
Wigs for Disco Barbie/Ken
Gerbil cozies (hollowed out)
Cat toys (esp. if still alive)

Truth be told, I don’t find tribbles cute at all. What are they, really? Little pulsing furry spheroids? Pfah! They’re no match for a running jumping play-fighting kitten.

“May all their tribbles be little ones.” :smiley: