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SYFY WIRE Warp Factor

The fluff of legend! Revisiting Star Trek's The Trouble with Tribbles [Warp Factor 3.8]

By Brian Silliman

Tribbles have become such a big part of the Star Trek legend that it's hard to think of a time when they didn't exist. Until a fuzzy keychain inspired the quickly multiplying little furballs for the Original Series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles," they didn't exist at all.

The episode put Kirk and company into conflict with the Klingons yet again, and though the drama is not entirely based on tribbles, they definitely steal the show. They were such an adorable hit that almost every iteration of Trek has since included them — Star Trek: The Animated Series did a direct sequel to this episode, they show up in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Short Treks focused a whole short on them ("The Trouble With Edward"), and the list goes on.

By far, the greatest hour of the tribbles came courtesy of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in the episode "Trials and Tribble-ations." A celebration of Trek's 30th anniversary, the episode featured Sisko and the DS9 gang donning classic-era uniforms and going back in time to the events of the Original Series episode. The effects are flawless to this day, with new footage blending seamlessly with classic footage. There was definitely more tribble trouble going on than we had originally thought.

That episode also gives fans an all-time great moment of Captain Sisko meeting Captain Kirk, but it wouldn't have been possible without the tribbles being first introduced in classic Star Trek.

Welcome back to Warp Factor, where we're buying a crate of these little guys from Cyrano Jones and getting to the bottom of things.