Captain Lorca of the USS Discovery has one little Tribble in his creepy dark ready room. But, as Star Trek fans know, Tribbles don’t roll solo. The actual trouble with tribbles is that they multiply rapidly, making them something of a blight pretty much everywhere they turn up. So what’s up with the Tribble on Star Trek: Discovery? Will it become hundreds of Tribbles overnight and destroy the ship? Or, should Captain Lorca weaponize this little cutie to beat the Klingons ASAP?

In the original series episode “The Trouble With Tribbles,” Dr. McCoy pointed out that Tribbles are “born pregnant,” which means their rate of multiplication is insane. Klingons in this episode hate Tribbles and the feeling is mutual. In the Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribbliations” Worf reveals the Klingon Empire once declared war on the cute furry balls, citing them as an ecological menace. Because Discovery takes place before the original series, it stands to reason that any information Captain Lorca has about Tribbles doesn’t make it to the Starfleet databanks, otherwise, Captain Kirk and the Enterprise would have probably heard about them.

Lorca's Tribble as seen in the third episode of 'Star Trek: Discovery.'

So far, Lorca seems like a pretty shifty guy, meaning it’s possible he obtained his Tribble illegally, and perhaps, had it genetically modified to not reproduce like mad. This would neatly explain why every time Burnham goes into his office there aren’t like ten more Tribbles sitting on his desk. The good money then is that Tribbles will not overrun the USS Discovery. But that doesn’t mean they won’t tango with the Klingons.

While it’s very unlikely that Star Trek: Discovery will do anything this silly, it is conceivable from a canon point-of-view to depict the Klingons waging war against the Tribbles. Because if Captain Lorca really wants a secret weapon to cripple the economy of the Empire, he’s got one sitting right in front of him, purring away to its little heart’s content. Tribbles for the win!


Star Trek: Discovery — AKA Tribble Watch — airs Sundays on CBS All Access at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

If you liked this article, check out this video on why Klingons look different in Star Trek: Discovery.