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"Trials and Tribble-ations" was the 103rd episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 6th episode of the show's fifth season, first aired during the week of 4 November 1996. "Trials and Tribble-ations" was based on (and used footage from) the TOS episode: "The Trouble with Tribbles" written by David Gerrold and directed by Joseph Pevney. The episode was written by Ira Steven Behr, Hans Beimler, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Ronald D. Moore and René Echevarria and directed by Jonathan West, and adapted as a novelization for Pocket Books by author Diane Carey.


Almost a century ago, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise first encountered the irresistible (and astonishingly prolific) lifeform known as the tribbles, resulting in one of the most unusual adventures in the annals of Starfleet. Now Captain Benjamin Sisko and the crew of the Defiant are transported back in time to that historic occasion, where Darvin, a devious Klingon spy, plots revenge against Captain Kirk. Using the seemingly harmless tribbles, Darvin attempts to destroy Kirk—but for the misplaced residents of Deep Space 9, saving the original Enterprise will be nothing but "tribble".


When the Defiant is sent back in time, Sisko and his crew must stop a vengeful Klingon spy, Darvin, from killing Starfleet's most famous officerJames T. Kirk.



Episode characters

ArlanNilz BarisJulian BashirPavel ChekovJadzia DaxMarion DulmurJerry FreemanDavid Galloway (?) • GralmekBill HadleyJonesCyrano JonesKira NerysJames T. KirkKoraxRoger LemliRyan LeslieGariff LucslyJohn LurryWalt MathisonLeonard McCoyMornNagataMiles O'BrienOdoQuarkRo'suvMontgomery ScottBenjamin SiskoSpockNyota UhuraDierdre WatleyWorfunnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel (USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel) • Deep Space 9 personnel (Deep Space 9 residents)
Referenced only
Curzon DaxEmony DaxGorn captainKeiko O'Brien

Novelization characters

ArlanNils BarrisJulian BashirPavel ChekovJadzia DaxMarion DulmurFitzpatrick (Admiral)Jerry FreemanGralmekCyrano JonesKira NerysJames T. KirkKoloth, son of LassharGariff LucslyJohn LurryWalt MathisonLeonard McCoyNevisMiles O'BrienOdoQuarkMontgomery ScottBenjamin SiskoSpockNyota UhuraDierdre WatleyWorf
Referenced only
James CookCurzon DaxEmony DaxKenneth DodgeFrancis DrakeLeif EricsonFather FitzpatrickGorn captainJonahKandalNadeeHoratio NelsonKeiko O'BrienSeledon


CardassiaDeep Space 9Deep Space Station K-7Operations centerPromenadeQuark'sStation commander's office
Referenced only
Antares systemAtlantic OceanBajorCambridgeCanadaCestus IIIEarthEnglandHall of WarriorsInvernessIota Geminorum IVIrelandMiamiMississippiRussiaScotlandSherman's Planet

Races and cultures

Referenced only

Starships and vehicles

Danube-class runabout (in opening credits) • USS Defiant (Defiant-class escort) • Class F shuttlecraftUSS Defiant (Defiant-class escort) • USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • IKS Gr'oth (D7-class battlecruiser) • Janitza-class (in opening credits) • USS Leeds (Nebula-class explorer, in opening credits) • USS Nash (Sydney-class transport) • Danube-class runaboutSpacematic
Referenced only
USS HoodUSS Lexingtonmoon shuttleRMS Titanic

States and organizations

Bajoran MilitiaFederation Department of Temporal InvestigationsKlingon Defense ForceKlingon EmpireStarfleetUnited Federation of Planets
Referenced only
Earth NavyKlingon High CommandImperial IntelligenceStarfleet AcademyStarfleet CommandStarfleet MedicalUniversity of Mississippi

Other references

aircraft carrieralternate timelineAntarean glow waterantimatterantimatter podautographBajoran prophecybiotechnologyBlarney Stonechicken sandwichchronitoncloaking devicecoffeecommand divisioncommunicatordeep space stationDenebian slime devilduotronicElementary Temporal Mechanicsfish juicefood synthesizergarbage scowgemstonegenetic engineeringgymnastics • "Earther" • Halloweeninternal sensorkevaKlingonesemedical tricordermilliwatnavigational computerOccupation of Bajoroperations divisionorbOrb of Prophecy and ChangeOrb of TimeOrb of WisdomPADDpredestination paradoxpriority oneq'aplaquadrotriticaleraktajinoRegulan bloodwormsciences divisionshore leavespace stationSpican flame gemstardateStarfleet rules, regulations and examsStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)Starfleet uniform (2366-2373)subspace silenceTarkalean teatechnical journaltemporal investigatortemporal mechanicstemporal violationthree-dimensional chesstransportertranstatortribbletricobalttricobalt devicetricordertrilliumtriticaleturboliftUndersecretary for Agricultureviewscreenwarp nacellewheatyeoman


Related media

The Trouble with Tribbles (TOS episode and novelization)
This episode is a sequel to and takes place in within the events of The Trouble with Tribbles.
"Blood Oath"
Established Jadzia and Curzon's relationship with Koloth.
"Old Souls" (DS9 short story - The Lives of Dax)
Depicts Emony Dax meeting Leonard McCoy as referenced in this episode.
Tribbles on Deep Space 9
The consequences of tribble infestation of DS9 are depicted in the comic Nobody Knows the Tribbles I've Seen and the New Worlds, New Civilizations short story Second Chances.
Dulmur and Lucsly
The Temporal Investigations personnel have appeared in a number of stories, including: Trapped in Time, "Gods, Fate, and Fractals", "Almost... But Not Quite", "The Road to Edos" and the Star Trek Online novel The Needs of the Many. They are also mentioned in the Star Trek: Section 31 novel Rogue as having interviewed Jean-Luc Picard about the events of Star Trek: First Contact. DTI: Watching the Clock, and further novels about the Department of Temporal Investigations include Dulmur and Lucsly.
Tribbles have appeared in many other stories, see the Tribble article for a more complete listing. Following "Trials and Tribble-ations", "The Tribbles' Pagh" shows them arriving on Bajor. Quark mentions the tribbles in "Ferengi Love Songs".
Imbalance (TNG novel)
Further information on the O'Brien family in Dublin is revealed in this novel.
The Star Trek Encyclopedia
Information about this episode is presented consistently in the third and fourth volumes.


Video releases


  • The writer of the TOS episode The Trouble with Tribbles, David Gerrold, had a cameo in the episode as an Enterprise crewman. Gerrold also wrote the introduction for the novelization. Ronald D. Moore wrote the afterword.
  • The eBook The Magic of Tribbles: The Making of Trials and Tribble-ations focuses on the making of the episode.

Notable cast and crew


Episode images

Adaptation images



published order
Previous novelization:
The Way of the Warrior
DS9 novelizations Next novelization:
Call to Arms...
Previous episode:
The Assignment
DS9 episode produced Next episode:
Let He Who Is Without Sin...
Previous episode:
The Assignment
DS9 episode aired Next episode:
Let He Who Is Without Sin...
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Sacred Ground
Pocket Next Adventure:
Future's End
Previous Adventure:
Honor Bound
Deep Space Nine Adventures Next Adventure:
Let He Who Is Without Sin...
Previous Adventure:
Beneath the Skin
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:
The Trouble with Tribals
The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2373.
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in one other timeframe:
Previous Adventure:
The Trouble with Tribbles
concurrently with Trials and Tribble-ations
2267 Next Adventure:
The Trouble with Tribals

External links