(written from a Production point of view)
This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Short Treks, and thus may contain spoilers.
Newly-minted Captain Lynne Lucero is excited to take command of the USS Cabot. That is, until she meets Edward Larkin, an ornery scientist who believes he has found a revolutionary new use for tribbles.
Aboard the USS Enterprise, Captain Christopher Pike laments losing a good officer to promotion, wishing Lynne Lucero luck in her new command aboard the USS Cabot, offering aid to Pragine 63 – a planet on the edge of Klingon space facing a starvation crisis.
Aboard the Cabot, Lucero holds a briefing with the sciences division department heads, asking for status updates on projects, resources and collaboration. At Lieutenant Edward Larkin's turn to report, he has trouble accessing his PADD, before reporting on his work with Tribleustes ventricosus, or "tribbles." When he displays images of them, the others find them cute, but Larkin is enthusiastic only because once the fur is removed, "underneath, it's all meat", so they could be a food source for the Calations. He has eaten one or two during his research and talks about the taste. The only problem, he says, is the species breeds very slowly, but he has a plan to correct that via genetic manipulation.
As the others are clearly uncomfortable with Larkin's plan, Lucero asks if tribbles are intelligent. Larkin assumes she wants to know how easily they could escape when being "hunted". He assures her that they could not. When she says her concern was a moral one, he suggests he could also manipulate them to be brain-damaged. Lucero now orders him to suspend his project and join the climatology team instead.
Captain Lucero tells Larkin that her superiors at Starfleet Command have received "anonymous" complaints about her and her work, and other crew members say it's the sort of thing he would do. She tells him he is going to be transferred off the ship, and dismisses him, but for some time he argues and refuses to leave.
Larkin steps out of his quarters in his pajama top and underpants to find the crew is rushing to address a lab breach, which is immediately traced to his work with tribbles and his violation of a direct order from Captain Lucero. All Larkin says is, "But it worked." The crew attempt to clear the ship of tribbles, but the exponentially multiplying population is too much for them. Even their oxygen supply is threatened. They learn that the tribbles are "born pregnant", which Larkin explains by saying he infused whem with human DNA – his own.
Eventually, Lucero orders the crew to abandon ship, but Larkin argues with her, saying that he is "not dumb" and that his work his been a triumph. As the others board an escape craft, Larkin stubbornly remains and is engulfed in a wave of tribbles.
At a board of inquiry at Starfleet Headquarters, Admiral Quinn inquires how her command went so badly in just two weeks: the ship destroyed, one crew member tragically lost, and a genetically modified species released onto Pragine 63. Quinn asks how she can blame the calamity the actions of one crew member, but she simply replies, "He was an idiot."
A "Tracking" message as from a 1980s style VCR is shown. This is followed by a scene shot in the style of a breakfast cereal commercial of the same period. In the mess hall of the USS Ravenous, a female officer collects a box of Tribbles cereal to feed a pair of twin girls in Starfleet uniforms while a voice-over narration describes the cereal's benefits. As she pours, the woman discovers the box contains an unending supply of tribbles that pile up in the girls' bowls. A picture of Edward Larkin appears inset on the screen as the narration relates the substantial amount of "Edward" the cereal contains. The girls begin to happily eat, while a quick cut shows tribbles beginning to infiltrate the mess hall computer system.
During all this, warnings appear onscreen in small print. The "Edward™ macronutrient" is not approved by the "Federation Food and Drug Administration". "Fur may present choking hazard" and so customers are advised to shave the cereal with a "Tribble Razor," sold in a separate kit. Finally, the company is "not responsible if tribbles survive and replicate in digestive tract."
The cereal is available in three flavors, "Original, Hairy Berry, and new Spicy Ranch." The commercial closes with an animated tribble mascot (with a skateboard) announcing "We're pregnant... with flavor!" as two more tribbles pop out of its body.
- Captain's log, stardate 1421.9. It's not often that losing a crewmember is cause for celebration. But our young science officer Lynne Lucero has been promoted. She's taken command of the research vessel Cabot above Pragine 63. They're lucky to have her.
- The title of this episode was first revealed in a trailer released on 20 July 2019 at San Diego Comic-Con.
- The title plays on "The Trouble with Tribbles", the episode originally introducing the tribbles, utilizing a reversal to suggest that not the tribbles, but the Human who unleashed them is responsible for the problems they cause. The two other episodes in which tribbles had non-cameo roles, namely "More Tribbles, More Troubles" and "Trials and Tribble-ations", also riff on the original title.
- The release date was announced on 5 October 2019 at New York Comic-Con. 
- Alex Kurtzman confirmed on 7 October 2019 that this episode features Christopher Pike. 
- This is the first Star Trek production to feature a scene after the closing credits.
- While this episode indicates that tribbles received their fast breeding abilities during this incident, in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "The Breach" they were already said to be prodigious breeders.
- Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike
- H. Jon Benjamin as Edward Larkin
- Rosa Salazar as Captain Lynne Lucero
- Lisa Michelle Cornelius as Sarah
- Matthew Gouveia as Noel
- Krista Jang as Rob
- John Jarvis as Admiral Quinn
- Loretta Shenosky as Cabot computer
- Unknown performers as
apple tree; barf; biologist; brain damage; breeding; Calations; chef; circuitry; climatology; cooking pot; diplomatic crisis; DNA; environmental control; experiment; exponential rate; fire hazard; foodie; genetic manipulation; Iota Geminorum IV; Johnny Appleseed; Klingons; lab breach; Magee type escape pod; oceanography; orchard; oxygen; pH; phaser rifle; Pragine 63; pregnant; protein; protein specialist; salad; scallop; science vessel; scientist; seeds; structural failure; Tactical; transport; transporter; Tribleustes ventricosus (tribble); violin; wheelhouse
Andoria; berry; breakfast; Cestus; digestive tract; dinner; Earth; Edward macronutrient; Edward Cereals LLC; Federation Food and Drug Administration; hair; Izar; lunch; Ravenous, USS; replicator safety protocols; Rigel VI; Rigel X; skateboard; snack; spicy ranch; Starfleet ration; Super Salon Playset; Tellar; trademark; tribble razor; Tribbles (cereal); vacuum cleaner; Vulcan (planet)
| Previous episode:|
| Star Trek: Short Treks|
| Next episode:|