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What is Grudge Match?
What is Grudge Match?

The Scenario

Mr. Spock gives Captain Kirk the bad news.

"Captain, I'm afraid our friend Cyrano Jones the space trader has recently been to this station as well. Scanners have picked up signs of tribbles in the holds. Their numbers are still relatively small, but they are multiplying rapidly. My calculations indicate that it is only a matter of hours until the exponentially growing tribble population consumes all of the food stores on this station as well."

"Spock," replies the Captain, "we can't afford to let the tribbles destroy this crop as well as the one on Sherman's Planet. We need to try and stop them somehow."

"There may be a way. With the help of Mr. Scott, We have connected this ancient Earth circuit board, labeled 'Pac-Man Namco 1980' to the transporter system. We should be able to materialize a Pac-Man and send it to devour the tribbles. However, it is unknown whether the primitive Pac-Man is capable of consuming all of the tribbles in time."

"Well, Mr. Spock, it's the only thing we can try. The tribbles got the better of us once before, and we must try to prevent it a second time."

So, Brendan, will Pac-Man eat the tribbles in time, or will Kirk & Co lose a second battle to the eating force of the tribbles?

Pac-Man Tribbles, Star Trek

Pac-Man vs. Tribbles

The Commentary

BRENDAN: Steve, I would say prepare yourself to join the ranks of those few, those pathetic few who have actually lost a Grudge Match to anything Star Trek, but after checking the archives, I see that you actually inaugurated that group back in your second match. Tribbles win easily.

Lets just look at Pac-Man's track record. The last time he went up against an alien threat he entrusted the entire defense of Earth to one Phillip J. Fry and then managed to get himself killed. And that was against a far feebler opponent than the mighty tribbles, exposers of spies, despoilers of grain, who only met their match against Grudge Champion Montgomery Scott (who coincidentally enough gave you another loss to Star Trek) and even the Great Scott had to settle for a wussy ring out win to beat the tribbles. Pac-Man doesn't have a transporter, and no powerball is going to save him this time.

The tribble strategy is a simple but effective one. It will revolve around the tribble's main advantage that they are more fertile than a teenage girl on prom night. Tribble fecundity will guarantee a truly all you can eat buffet for Pacers. Freed at last from his stifling diet of stale marshmallows, cherries and ghosts, finally having a chance to eat MEAT, Pac-Man will tear into the tribbles. And that will spell his doom. Because no matter how much Pac-Man eats, the tribbles will keep coming. And since Pac-Man won't be having to run all over a maze to gobble them down, he won't be getting any more of the exercise that has up till now kept him healthy. Thus even if Pac-Man manages to avoid choking to death on tribble fur, his new all-meat diet, coupled with a total lack of exercise, will have him looking Jabba in a couple of hours and the Death Star in a couple of days. As Pac's arteries clog and his heart gives out, the tribbles continue to come and come and come. It's the same strategy that worked for the Russians against the Nazis and it will work for the tribbles against Pac-Man.

STEVE: Brendan, you clearly have never watched a game of Pac-Man. Here are a few indisputable facts that even a casual observer will quickly grasp: (1) Pac-Man's appetite is insatiable -- he never stops eating, ever. (2) No matter how much he eats, it has no affect on him. (3) Ghosts are the only things than can possibly stop him. Given these facts, the only question remaining is whether Pac-Man can eat faster than tribbles can reproduce. And this can be solved scientifically. With a stopwatch and a Pac-Man game, I quickly determine that Pac-Man can eat 2.3 items per second. In the two days that the tribbles were free upon the space station food stores, they were only able to fill a small set ("room") up to waist deep level. Conservatively estimating a 20' by 20' room to 3', and a 3-inch Tribble, that's roughly 76,800 tribbles. Pac-Man could consume all these tribbles in 9.2 hours -- far faster than they could reproduce in two days. Mathematically, Pac-Man wins easily.

Of course, I realize that math and other forms of higher thinking may be beyond some readers, so I will present some other arguments as well. First of all, if things start going poorly for Pac-Man (which I can't envision), he has backup: Ms. Pac-Man, Baby Pac-Man, and the almighty Super Pac-Man are all at his disposal if necessary. Have you seen how big that Super Pac-Man is? The tribbles are hardly a match at all. Now an alien space-blob the size of a planet might be an issue, but not tasty morsel-sized tribbles.

Finally, another fact that the casual Pac-Man observer will see is that during the intro, Pac-Man is introduced with a "Starring" role. He's the star, the hero, and therefore must win. Now if it were Pac-Man against another star (for example William Shatner), then things become more difficult. But the tribbles are clearly a minor character, merely a plot device. They simply cannot stand up to star power. No matter which way you look at it, Pac-Man must be victorious.

BRENDAN: Steve you've managed to concoct an argument so profound in its absurdity that if I didn't know better, I would swear you were Michael Moore.

Lets get down to brass tacks here. Pac-Man is a druggie. All the signs are there. One minute he's all meek and cowardly then he swallows down a ball and next thing you know he's a raging, ghost busting beast immune to all attacks. Obviously, Pac-Man is taking speedballs. The soaring cholesterol count from his new all-Tribble diet combined with the effects of the speedballs will do him in faster than you can say John Belushi.

As for backup, not gonna happen. Do you think Ms. Pac-Man really wants to stick it out with some fat, drugged up loser? If she's smart enough to best opponents that don't follow the exact same pattern every single time, then she's smart enough to ditch Pac-Man. She'll obviously get Baby Pac-Man in the divorce hearings. And as for Super Pac-Man, do you think he's going to really stick around when the only female of his whole species just went on the market?

The tribbles managed to come back from their entire species being wiped out. If the Klingon Empire and stuffy Federation bureaucrats couldn't stop them then there is no way Pac-Man is going to be able to.

STEVE: It's clear that the limit of your arguments is just to deride Pac-Man. Indeed, as I read back on the comments, I see you constantly steer your arguments away from the tribbles themselves. Why is this? I suspect that it's because you have realized, just as I, that the tribbles have absolutely nothing going for them. It's OK, Brendan, you can give up the tribble-backing facade; we're happy to accept you over in the Pac-Man camp.

On a final note, would you pick a hamster or a guinea pig to win any sort of Grudge Match caliber competition? In the absence of any extreme circumstances, I dare say the answer to that is a resounding "No." And yet what is a tribble? It is a hamster without a head, without legs, without even a stubby tail. It is less than a hamster; it's a hamster wannabe. And if a hamster couldn't win a match, neither should something less than a hamster. The tribbles must lose.

Thanks to The Bunyip (via CBUB's "Tempting Suggestions" page) and
Adam-Troy Castro for suggesting this match.

The Results


Pac-Man (2420 - 74.1%)


Tribbles, Star Trek

Tribbles (847 - 25.9%)

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Voter Comments


"Captain, the Pac-Man has eaten himself to death yet again."

"Again? Hmmm.... how much of the tribble population remains?"

"Approximately ten percent of the tribbles remain, based on our estimates of their numbers at the time when we released the Pac-Man initially."

"Ten percent... one more life should do it! Activate the Pac-Man's next life, Mr. Spock."

"We are unable to do so, sir. The Pac-Man's machine is requesting a 'quarter' before allowing us to continue."

"A quarter? A quarter of what?"

"We believe that this refers to a quarter of a 'dollar', the form of currency used in the United States of America before Earth's monetary system was rendered obsolete."

"How difficult will it be to attain one of these... 'quarters', Mr. Spock?"

"All quarters known to exist belong to collectors, none of whom seem to be willing to grant us the use of the quarters without an incredibly extravagant trade."

"What form of trade?"

"The estimated value would be twice that of the food supplies that these Tribbles now endanger."

"You know, I used to find irony funny before I joined Star Fleet..."

- Affy

Silver Grudgie ROTW Silver Medal GrudgieTM


To CAPT James T. Kirk, USS Enterprise
From ADM Herman Q. Decker
Re Extremely poor judgment in performance of duty on Deep Space 12, reprimand for
Stardate 30092.1


As you have probably figured out by now, sending a PacMan into a storage compartment full of grain to combat Tribbles was a REALLY stupid thing to do. In fact, it's the dumbest thing you've done since you sent those redshirt ensigns down to fight that army of Imperial Stormtroopers. What were you thinking? You have now put Deep Space 12 out of the frying pan and dumped it into the proverbial fire.

Everybody knows that a PacMan will eat and eat and eat and eat until it has completely exhausted the food supply. It will eat Pellets (tm), Cherries, Bells, Keys, and just about anything else it finds. So, of course, with no mazes or ghosts to stop it, the PacMan ate all of the tribbles in short order. Then it ate all of the grain. Then it ate all of the furniture. Pretty soon, it will go after the children. You've made one hell of a mess Kirk!

USS Enterprise is ordered to immediately locate Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clide, and try and convince them to help us combat the PacMennace.

- ADM Herman Q. Decker, Starfleet Command

Bronze Grudgie ROTW Bronze Medal GrudgieTM

Backgrounder: The Math in "Trouble With Tribbles" is correct. If we start with one tribble (N0), then after 12 hours:

12 hrs. 1 tribble --> 10 babies + original tribble = 11 tribbles (N1)

24 hrs. 11 tribbles give birth to 110 babies = 110 + 11 parents = 121 tribbles (N2)

... and so on for a three-day period:

36 hrs. 121 tribbles give birth to 1,210 babies = 1,210 + 121 parents = 1,331 tribbles (N3)

48 hrs. 1,331 tribbles give birth to 13,310 babies = 13,310 + 1,331 parents = 14,641 tribbles (N4)

60 hrs. 14,641 tribbles give birth to 146,410 babies = 146,410 + 14,641 parents = 161,051 tribbles (N5)

72 hrs. 161,051 tribbles give birth to 1,610,510 babies = 1,610,510 + 161,051 parents = 1,771,561 tribbles (N6)

Whether or not Pac Man can take down the tribbles depends on how long the first Tribble has been on the station. I checked on my son's GameCube version of PacMan, and at his fastest, regardless of the type of Pac Man game, Pac Man consumes about 125.25 dots a minute, or 90,210 dots in a twelve-hour period. As long as the Tribbles have been on the station for less than 72 hours, the Pac Man should be able to make short work of the Tribbles. If not, then the next generation will explode exponentially in number, and there will be big trouble for the Federation, as the scenario below will illustrate.

SPOCK (buried in Tribbles): I am afraid (gasp) that we were too late. The tribbles reproduced again just as we unleashed Pac Man, and now there are over 1.7 million tribbles to be dealt with.

KIRK: One-point seven . . .

SPOCK: One Million, seven hundred and seventy-one thousand, five-hundred and sixty one, to be exact, assuming . . .

KIRK: Enough! *Hack* Why can't that little bugger take them down?

SPOCK: Well, Captain, it seems that Pac Man is only capable of consuming 90,210 tribbles in a reproduction cycle. Had we arrived a day earlier, this would not be a problem.

Spock and Kirk are thrown into a temporal distortion.

KIRK: What is going on?

PROPHET (dressed as a Green Slave Girl): You are not the Sisko.

KIRK (blinks): What the hell's a Sisko? And why do you look like Richard Daystrom? C'mon, bring back the Green chick with the yah-yahs!

SPOCK: Sysco was a food-marketing firm on the planet Earth in the early twenty-first century. They invented Soylent Green, a food supplement that saved humanity from starvation.

PROPHET: *sigh* No, this is the Sisko.

KIRK: What, you mean that picture of Gabriel Bell? OK, quit changing form; now you look like Kahn. Can you go back to being the Green slave chick?

PROPHET: *sigh sigh* That is why you are in this mess. You corporeals are so . . . linear. Do you play baseball too?

KIRK: Corporeal? No, I'm a captain. C'mon, do the slave chick thing for me. Scotty ain't cutting it for the little Captain and his Crew.

SPOCK: I think the Prophet is from the future. Am I right? And you are telling us that if we can think outside of the box, and transport Pac Man to the past, he can eat the Tribbles in a timely fashion before they fill the known universe.

KIRK: How long do we have?

SPOCK: Assuming 1,771,561 Tribbles reproducing with an average litter of ten every twelve hours, minus the 90,210 Tribbles eaten every twelve hours by Pac Man -

KIRK: 90,210? Why do I hate that number?

SPOCK: As I was saying --

weoweoweoweo BNK BNK!

Pac Man falls to his foes, and the universe is soon crushed under an expanding mass of Tribbles.

Meanwhile, in Beverly Hills at the Peach Pit, a video game screen blinks:


BRANDON: "Hey, Steve, you got another quarter so I can play again? I'm sure I can beat it this time?"

And that is how 90210 destroyed good TV forever.

- Dr. Stones

Pac-Man: Hungry

Tribbles: Horny

Wait a sec. Hungry=Gluttony. Horny=Lust.

It's just Satan's way of bringing together the Seven Deadly sins to create an ultimate evil! Think about it:

Dr. McCoy: Always bitchin' about how he's to good for this, too good for that. (Pride)

Chekov: Did he do anything in the show at all? Or the movies? Or as an actor? (Sloth)

Sulu: You saw how long he sat there plotting, working on becoming the captain of the Enterprise after Kirk, rather than settling with his very find and important lieutenant posistion. (Envy)

Spock: I can count the amount of times he put his crew first instead of his desire for ancient Vulcan knowledge with one hand. (Greeeeeeed)

Kirk: After those Klingons killed his kid, he's been a little quick with the trigger finger, hasn't he? (Wrath)

The fork-tounged one himself chuckles in his sleep, not realizing that his plan's just plain dumb.

- KillerB... The other white meat...will kill you

Spock - who died in Star Trek 2, but was was back in Star Trek 3 - is obviously a ghost. As a ghost, Spock is one of pacman's mortal enemies. Now notice that Spock is the one who 'discovered' the Tribbles and suggested the recruitment of pacman. It is all one elaborate trap.

However, there is one thing that Spock hadn't planned on ...

Pacman: Tribble (yum), Tribble (yum), Tribble (yum) ...
(Spock creeps closer)
Pacman: Tribble (yum), Tribble (yum), Tribble (yum) ...
(Spock creeps closer)
Pacman: Tribble (yum), Dilithium Crystal (yum), Spock (yum) ...

Pacman foils Spock's plan, because Spock didn't properly research the composition of Power Pellets.

- Albatross

"BRENDAN: Steve you've managed to concoct an argument so profound in its absurdity that if I didn't know better, I would swear you were Michael Moore."

Wouldn't Michael Moore do a better job of eating the Tribbles than Pac-Man?

- The Amazing Rando~!

Tribbles? For crying out loud, why not make it Pac-Man vs. Munchie and make it a total shutout? The Yellow Yaw (TM) will triumph, and here's why.

First of all, Pac-Man has to deal freakin' GHOSTS every day, and he wins. I know that pretty much anybody would be catatonic if they were trapped in a neon maze crawling with relentless undead wraiths, but all Pac-Man needs is a power pill and he's EATING them. Don't mess with anybody who can eat spectral manifestations of the dead. A bunch of Furby turds will provide no challenge.

Second, Pac-Man can and will eat anything (except walls). Check out those bonuses he gobbles up. He eats cherries without spitting out the pits. He swallows a bloody watermelon in one bite. Heck, once I saw him slurp up a DIAMOND with no ill effect. Diamonds are the hardest things on the planet. Tribbles are soft and chewy.

Third, Pac-Man's got the money. How many quarters did you pump into his machines back in the day? He must be a multi-millionaire by now. Do even Trekkies buy Tribble merchandise? Having less sentimental value than Wesley Crusher is beyond sad.

Finally, let's look at the Survival of the Fittest Factor (TM). The Tribbles don't have it. All they can do is breed, and all that accomplishes is that there are more of them to breed. Futile, and slightly trailer-trashy. Pac-Man, meanwhile, eats all he wants and never gains weight. Impressive! In sheer Darwinian terms, Pac-Man will be all over the Tribbles, who will obliviously continue rutting until they die (which they would have done anyway, of course).

Conclusion: Pac-Man is the man. Tribbles are kibble. Unfortunately for Kirk, when he goes to congratulate a triumphant Pac-Man, the Mad Muncher will mistake Kirk's toupee for "one that got away"...

- Oxymoron - At this rate, TOC IX will be like a drug trip. More than usual, I mean.

Gentlemen, this match is an easy one.

The Tribbles are clearly a form of intergalactic hamster, and what hamster is more famous than Vlad(tm)? With the funding pulled in for the Sedate Vlad Fund(tm), I'm sure that the Star Trek Crew could knock out some Tribbles with a tranquilizer or two...easy bait for the Pacster!

Plus, Pac-Man's reference to him being on Futurama gives him an advantage. He knows Fry and Leela - and Leela has Nibbler! That almighty eating machine will aid Pac-Man, digesting the Tribbles faster than Homer, Norm, and Comic Book Guy combined! The Star Trek Crew will then do something they haven't done in a while - PARTY! Of course, you can bet that under the influence of alcohol, Kirk will "boldly go where no man has gone before" with Princess Zelda, also pulled into the Trekverse from her game cartridge...

- GreenNinja, Singer of the Pong Song

Brendan, I appreciate your valor in supporting a group of Star Trek characters, but one must always remember that Caution is the Better Part of Valor?. In fact, supporting a Star Trek character is closer to "stupidity" than "valor". You see, the Trouble with Tribbles? (that is the name of the episode, right?) is that they have numerous things going against them.

1. Pacman is a video game character, and, if I'm not mistaken, the first one to fight a non-video-game character on Grudge Match. He has the hopes and dreams (if any) of all video game characters on his He is responsible for them. And as we all know, in a high-clich?-zone like the Star-Trek universe, hopes and dreams translate into Sheer Destructive Power?

2. Tribbles are, as Steve pointed out, proto-hamsters. (begin sarcasm) Ooh, I'm sure Pacman is shaking in his...uh...I'm sure he's sooo scared.(/sarcasm) Even if the Tribbles can reproduce slightly faster than hamsters, they still can't hold a candle (or hold anything at all, ever, for that matter) to their video game relatives, the Protopets, who were quickly made extinct by a single heavily-armed Lombax with a robotic backpack.

3. Star Trek Must Lose?. 'Nuff said.

- Don't call me Ishmael

Okay. Lets look at some Star Trek history here. In the Star Trek TV show Scotty was surrounded by Tribbles. And really skinny. Then in one of the movies Scotty is really fat. But Tribble free. Doesn't take a genius to figure out where those tribbles went. If Scotty can eat them, Pac-Man can 3 times faster.

- Murphy The Dog

Brendan nailed it here. Allow me to proliferate.

From a T-Shirt I Saw Somewhere (TM):

"Of course video games haven't influenced society. If they did, we'd spend all our time sitting in the dark listening to repetitive music and munching pills."

You see? Pac-Man is not only a junkie, but is directly responsible for the proliferation of the rave "culture" and must therefore die.

- RoboGoober Version 2 (Proudly saving your friendly neighborhood club from glowstick weilding goons everywhere...)

Pac-Man is teleported to wherever the Tribbles are and the Pac-Man level intro starts playing in the background. Then Pac-Man starts munching every tiny crumb he finds.

Captain Kirk: Spock! What's going on? What is he eating those things for?
Mr. Spock: Sir, he cannot leave an area without munching all of these. These are Pac-Man food.

Pac-Man is chased by the Tribbles and then finds a large, shiny sphere. He eats it and the Tribbles become ghosts and run from Pac- Man.

Captain Kirk: What's happened?
Mr. Spock: Pac-Man ate a food called a "Power Pill". If he eats one, he'll be able to turn his enemies into ghosts!
Captain Kirk: Excellent! It's working!

Pac-Man eats one and its eyes travel to the middle of the area. It then turns back to normal.

Captain Kirk: What happened? I thought this creature could get rid of them once and for all!
Mr. Spock: Sir, Pac-Man's enemies are able to rebuild themselves after being eaten.

Pac-Man eats them all and they go back to the middle of the area.

Captain Kirk: Oh no! This creature will not solve our problems! There goes another battle against the Tribbles! (bangs the radar screen)
Mr. Spock: Sir, look! Pac-Man ate all the small crumbs! The Tribbles have vanished!
Captain Kirk: But what happened to that Pac-Man?
Mr. Spock: He and the Tribbles must have secretly disappeared to somewhere far away, where Pac-Man chases them.

Meanwhile, Pac-Man chases the Tribbles and eats them all. Then burps.

- 17 Pole Hill Drive, Andover, MA

I went with Pac Man on this one. While eating 70 trillion tribbles might kill any natural creature out there, for all intents and purposes, Pac Man is a toon. And as we all know, ya just can't kill a toon.

(thanks to the Bronze Grudgie from William Wallace vs Groundskeeper Willie for inspiration.)

- Bjmmn

Looks like the tribbles are going to win and the reason is one that was not really touched upon - size.

The typical tribble is more than three inches in diameter. Actually, it appears to be about four inches across. On the other hand, Pac- Man is actually rather small. The yellow dot muncher's size varies depending on what system the game is running on, but the normal diameter never exceeds one inch (granted, there are variants of Pac- Man like Super Pac-Man where he can grow to nearly tribble size, but that is only after ingesting a power capsule).

Now Pac-Man never eats anything larger than the ghosts. In fact, the normal dots that constitute his diet are only a small fraction of his size. When our little yellow friend meets up with a tribble, there is no way that he can open his mouth wide enough to take even a bite out of the furry critter.

Then there is another little-mentioned aspect. Tribbles have hair. Lots of hair. As a general rule, all meat eaters try to avoid eating meat with hair in it and places that sell meat with hair in it get shut down by the health department. So, in addition to being too big, tribbles would be too hairy for Pac-Man to consider.

Finally, it must be remembered that everything Pac-Man eats is composed of pixels. Tribbles are not made of pixels. Therefore, it is doubtful that Pac-Man would even recognize them as anything even remotely edible.

The most likely outcome would be that Pac-Man is beamed to the hold and proceeds to race around mindlessly in a vain search for dots, ignoring the tribbles completely. Fortunately, Scotty will see that the Pac-Man idea is not working and will proceed to beam the furry pests to the company that makes airline food, assuring them of a neverending supply of that mystery meat they serve on the planes. Eventually, Pac-Man is retrieved from the station and returned to videogame universe where he belongs.

- The Demented Astronomer

of course, ole Kirk is gonna attempt to help the Pacster defeat the tribbles. just one problem. Pac-Man is a dude (as far as we know.....he might be a transvestite!). if Kirk can't seduce it, he can't use it.

so one of 2 things will happen. either Kirk will keep Pac-Man busy with his theories of how to proceed long enough that the tribbles devour everything except Kirk's hairpiece (unless they do eat their own) or Pac-Man will have no choice but to devour William Shatner and his ego, thus making him larger than even Super Pac-Man. since Pac- Man never stops moving, the second option def. works out. Pac-Man wins.

- Combat Chuck

Wait, so you're sending off Pac-Man to eat a whole bunch of balls of artificial hair? Doesn't that mean that Pac-Man is going to start off by munching on the closest one, which would be the fake hair on top of Shatner's head?

Forget anything about commentary; Pac-Man deserves to win just because he's going to start off by taking out William Shatner. That's my kind of hero.

- 32_Footsteps, the Eve of Destruction

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm not nearly nerdy enough for this match.

- Rabbi Jesus

It's obvious who is going to win. Pacman has been eating ghosts and generally kicking butt since before I was born (which isn't that long ago, but, still). He should be unstoppable, what with all that exercise he gets and the Vitamin C from all the fruit. Also, Pacman gets bonus points for having 3 characters based on him. He should win in a heartbeat.

P.S. What's a tribble?

- PirateGirl1808

Mindless biological against mindless electronic. Seeing as how millions of teenagers spend their lives in front of the television or computer, I'd say this one is pretty cut-and-dried, wouldn't you?

- Galahad

You've got to be kidding me... Pacman versus tribbles???

Well I see several points here.

1. Star Trek must lose, but since Kirk and Co. are rooting for Pac- Man, Star Trek will both lose and win no matter the victor.

2. Pac-Man is cool. Tribbles are annoying.

3. Tribbles look like cotton candy balls.

4. Tribbles don't really move much on their own, and I'm pretty sure there's nothing on the station that'll beat Pac-Man.

5. I like Steve better so I give his arguments more weight.

6. Pac-Man has a MRS. Pac-Man. Tribbles are asexual as far as I know, and Pac-Man will want to get home for some lovin' and get this job overwith.

7. Pac-Man is also into science. The TAC-Man method for the PCR method of quickly multiplying DNA and protein fragments was named after our hero. So tribbles aren't the only ones who know how to reproduce quickly... give it five minutes, there'll be 50 more Pac- Mans.

8. Scotty is supporting Pac-Man. Scotty is a Grudge Match Winner (TM).

So... yeah... I'll shut up now... Pac-Man wins...

- Kryptonite - Loyal Fan of Hotbranch!

Ah, the surreal land of early video games. In a world where gorillas throw barrels at plumbers and birds hop up and down snake-infested pyramids, the undisputed king of incomprehensibility is a gluttonous yellow ball being chased through a maze by ghosts. But I think you fellas might have put your finger on it - what exactly is Pacman? He's a round featureless blob who does nothing but eat. Has no discernible intellect. Descendants spring out of nowhere. Pacman is a tribble. He even seems to share their fondness for grain.

This would seem to put the nails in his coffin. A tribble vs an army of tribbles - a no-brainer, right? But then, Pacman is clearly no ordinary tribble. We've seen him eat oranges, bananas, even watermelons in a single bite. Obviously we're dealing with a very large, very voracious tribble. And this sheds new light on what those magic round things are in the corners of the maze. What nondescript round blobs can a giant tribble expect to pick up in a mouthful of quadrotriticale grain? Regular-sized tribbles, of course.

So now we've established that Pacman eats normal tribbles for breakfast. But it goes even deeper than that, because think of what happens when he eats a fellow tribble - he turns into an unstoppable killing force, and starts devouring his number one predator. Which brings me to those ghosts. The thing that's always troubled me about those ghosts is, when they're eaten, an ephemeral remnant is left behind, a pair of disembodied eyeballs which floats back to Ghost Place. But I was always under the impression that the ephemeral remnant that was left after you're killed was... your ghost. How does a ghost have a ghost? Or get eaten, for that matter?

The only solution that I can see is that the ghosts are actually evil spirits who have taken physical form, and when they're killed are banished back to their realm until they can acquire another body. There's one type of creature that fits that exact description: the vampires from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That's right, eating smaller tribbles makes Pacman not only into a killing machine, but a Buffy-level killing machine - even better, because while vampires will often gleefully attack Buffy single-handed, entire gangs flee from Pacman when the feed is on him, knowing he offers guaranteed instant death.

So if eating a single tribble briefly turns Pacman into a crazed carnivorous force of nature capable of effortlessly tearing his way through a posse of superhuman demon-people, imagine what a whole shipload of tribbles will do to him! My guess is, weeks later, enough scattered members of the decimated Federation will gather together to devise a plan of action, and send Cookie Monster in after Pacman... unfortunately making things ten times more horrible and bloody. But that's another story.

- Flag and Hat Boy

It seemed the tribbles have this thing covered. By Steve's only admission, Pacman can be smacked around by ghosts. What do you think happens when the tribbles start melting away in Pacman's stomach. They'll die. And some are bound to come back as ghosts. And as soon a couple ghost appears, Pacman will disappear faster then Shatner's hair.


One thing has occured to me.

Pac-Man has the word "man" at the end of his name.

All kickass characters have the word "man" at the end of their names. Superman, Batman, He-Man, David Letterman. All "man"-named guys who kick butt.

The Tribbles won't know what hit them.

Unless there's a superhero Tribble called "Tribble Man" around...

- Tyler Durden

Tribbles gotta win this one. Any other outcome would violate one of Grudge-Match's most fundamental laws: Star Trek must lose. This law functions on a few simple premises. 1) In no form can the good guys of Star Trek be victorious in a match against any character outside of Star Trek lore. 2) As proved in the case of the Borg vs ID4 Mother Ship, true Star Trek villains may win. It stands to reason that this is because any victory for a Star Trek villain is ultimately a loss for the heros of Star Trek. In fact, I am not aware of a single loss on the part of a Star Trek Villain in Grudge match history. Q may have lost to the Emperor from Star Wars, but he was on some occasions in league with and actually an asset to certain Star Trek crews, particularly Voyager's. This combined with the lesser known "Star Wars Must Win, Even in the Case of Villains, Except Against Bruce Willis Because He's a Badass" Law was enough to ensure the loss even of a god-like figure such as Q.

According to both of these clauses of the Star Trek Must Lose Law, the tribbles should emerge victorious. At first glance, their very association to Star Trek should suggest loss. However it is made clear by the set up that not only are the tribbles adversarial to Kirk and Co., but Pac-Man is actually working on the behalf of the Star Trek heros. If Pac-Man actually wins this match, it will set a precedent for any future Star Trek related match.

In the event that some new clause may be added to the Star Trek Must Loose Law allowing mercenaries acting on the behalf of Star Trek Characters to emerge victorious, there are other reasons that Pac-Man will lose. 1) There are no power balls on the station that allow Pac- Man to ingest non-vegetarian substances. 2) Pac-Man's ordinary diet does not include hair, and there is no reason to believe he can effectively handle the inevitable hairballs that would form in his throat. 3) Pac-Man would likely consume even more of the station's stored grain than the tribbles, thusly voiding the function he is intended to perform.

In the end, Kirk and Co. will have to resort to opening every airlock on the station and releasing the tribbles, food supplies, and Pac-Man alike into the cold of space.

- 0010110001

This is an interesting match. On the one hand you've got Pac-Man's unending appetite. On the other hand, you've got the tribbles continuous procreative abilities.

Now, the easy out would be to go for the tried and true "Star Trek must lose" reasoning for why the Pac-ster will easily devour the tribbles.

That, however, would be too easy. Not to mention not very funny.

I, for one, would prefer to take a cheap shot at the legions of trekkies, while at the same time explaining why the tribbles will prevail.

Simply put, the tribbles represent the trekkie's vision of an ideal existence. They are cute critters (guarantying their attractivness to the opposite sex), whose only purpose in life is to eat and reproduce.

It is easy to see that the tribbles are representing the unattainable dreams of every trekkie who ever existed. With that level of absolute frustration existing within every fiber of their being, it stands to reason that the tribbles will have a pretty good case of RAGE(tm) (especially if there are disguised Klingons around).

This RAGE(tm) simply cannot be matched by Pac-Man. While he does have a voracious appetite, and the ability to speed up his feeding frenzy as the levels progress, he does not have the same drive to succeed that the tribles. Let's not forget that Ms. Pac-Man will be more than willing to help Pac-Man ease the pain of defeat. The tribles have no such outlet.

It might take a while, but the tribbles will prevail.

- They Might Be Matt (They might also be a closet Trekkie)

In terms of units sold (arcade, console, otherwise) Pac-Man (and his sequels) is the number one-selling video game franchise of all time. Of. All. Time. Not Doom, not Half-Life, not Mario-- friggin' Pac-Man!

If Pac-Man can trump anything the video game industry throws at him, from iconic plumbers to guys with more guns than the state of Michigan, munching on a bunch of tribbles should be a snap, hairballs or no hairballs.

- -Wakefire

I thought Pac-Man would win, but I voted for the tribbles anyway.

Why, you ask?

Steve kinda pissed me off with his borderline insult to Grudge Match fans everywhere.

Look what you made me do, Steve.

You made me vote for Star Trek.



- DK from TK

The victor in this all-you-can-eat slugfest won't be Pac-Man or the Tribbles; it'll be... Mister Scott! Armed with only a fork and a bottle of barbecue sauce, he'll devour the Tribbles, Pac-Man, and anyone who gets too close to him before he has his dessert. "I canna control it, Captain... (burp) I dinna have me lunch today!"

- K. D. Wilson

In haiku:

Pacman hacks hairballs
As tribbles multiply. Truce.
All round forms eat grain.

- the Devious One

"They are a menace, and a mortal enemy of the Klingon Empire!" - Worf

If Klingons couldn't destroy the tribbles, then pacman doesn't stand a chance.

- Jeebus

Nice one guys, the only result possible in this match is a rip in the space/time continuum that would task both Qs to fix. Ultimately Star Trek must loose, the only question is how. The way I see this happening is as follows:

1. Pac-Man cannot be sated, he will consume all that is put before him and then some without increasing in size.
2. The Tribbles will multiple at an exponential rate meaning that the mass consumed by Pac-Man will for all practical reasons be considered as infinite.

This can only mean on thing my learned friends. Within 15 hours, 12 minutes and 5 seconds Spock will begin to soil his pants as his tricoder readings show that Pac-Man has gained so much mass that he begins to exhibit all the characteristics of a black hole. At the 15 hours, 15 minutes, and 40 second mark Spock will have transferred his soul into Doc McCoy's body, Captain Kirk will have made out with every female crew member, and the space station and the Enterprise have been sucked in to what is now the Pac-Man / Tribble Matrix.

What happens next depends on our good friend professor Stephen Hawkins, but all I care about is the fact that guys still refuse to give us an "all killed / mangled option". Damn you all, where is the carnage?

- Fun for All

So I've already responded once to this match, but I realized that I made the unfortunate mistake of partially basing my comentary on a mythical Grudge Universe(TM) law that allegedly predicts the sucess (or lack of sucess) of any Star Trek Grudge participant (For simplicitys sake, this will now be refered to as the STAR TREK LAW WHAT SHALL NO LONGER BE MENTIONED, or STLWSNLBM(TM)).

Since the STLWSNLBM(TM) has been shown to be pure bunk, we must examine why the tribbles are going to smother Pac-Man with their plethora of offspring (doing so as logically as possible).

To do this, we must go to a previous Grudge Contest(TM) where the children of South Park lost a close hockey match to the Simpsons.

Why, might you ask, do I bring up South Park? Simply put, Matt and Trey bring up Star Trek so often on South Park, that they might as well be working for them (never mind the fact that South Park's loss seems to support the faulty STLWSNLBM(TM)).

By showing the South Park/Star Trek connection, we are allowed to invoke one of the greatest defences of all times to help the tribbles to victory: the famous Johnny Cochran Chewbacca Defence(TM).

Chewbacca is a Wookie from the planet Kashyyyk. The tribbles are clearly mogwi like offspring from Wookies getting wet. One is Star Wars, one is Star Trek.

This does not make sense!

If Tribbles are the offspring of Chewbacca, you must vote tribble!

(the defense rests)

- They Might Be Matt

Alright, there is a short answer and a longer-ish answer.

Short Answer: STAR TREK MUST LOSE(tm).

Longer-ish Answer: Billy Mitchell is a creepy-looking man who played a perfect game of Pac-Man in 1999. This feat required over 6 hours to complete, and he is the first man to have accomplished the feat. During completion of all 256 levels, he ate every single bonus prize and every possible blue ghost. Now, I don't know about you, but I can't pack it away non-stop for over six hours. But Pac-Man just kept on keepin' on, devouring each morsel as if he'd never see another. Not once did he stop to use the bathroom, or have to quit because he got full. Much like the Energizer Bunny(tm) he keeps going, and going, and going, and ... well, you get the point. To paraphrase Side Show Mel:

'Tis not a man! 'Tis a remorseless eating machine!

On the other hand, we have the lovable Tribbles, who multiply rapidly when they eat. Now, it's certainly possible that these beasties could eat the entire load of grain bound for Sherman's Planet (what a lame name for a planet!) and multiply to an astronomical figure. But, once they've gorged their furry little hearts out, they will simply die off and be unable to reproduce.

So, essentially what we have here is an out-of-control furball population that will inevitably be consumed by the insatiably voracious appetite of a non-stop feeding yellow spheroid.

- Adam B. ** crossing fingers in vain hope of first-ever Grudgie award **

(If you want to compete at the highest level, then you can't miscredit quotes from Simpsons characters. That one belongs to Captain McCallister. Automatic two-tenths of a deduction [and no videotape reviews allowed]. - Ed.)

I believe the argument for Pac-Man can be summed up by a line from the same Futurama episode that Brendan refers to in his opening argument.

"It's okay. I had an extra guy."

How could Pac-Man lose?

- Peggy Sue

The key question is: can Pac-man digest hair? If not, he'll be plugged up by a hairball within ten minutes. Tribbles are not mice, with their trivially thin coatings of fur -- these critters are, by mass, about one third keratinous fiber.

Well, what materials do we know Pac-man can digest? Fruit. Pretzels. Quarters. (That's what the little white dots represent, in practice.) And critters running around with sheets over their heads.

If the sheets are cotton, that means he can digest cellulose. If the sheets are wool, that settles the question right there. But it's obvious from their appearance that the sheets are polyester.

Anything that can digest banana peels, nickel-copper alloys, and leisure suits should have no problem with tribble fur.

- Mr. Glag

What's to stop Pac-Man from eating the tribbles and the grain? Then Kirk is going to have to send in Scotty, Chekov, and O'Brien (OK, so he doesn't know O'Brien is there) to the bar to start a brawl while Pac-Man is getting hammered on power pellet schnapps.

- mtk1701

Good news for Captain Kirk and his crew: Putting Pac-man in this scenario is like playing Pac-Man in super-cheat Mode. Consider:

- lots of targets for Pac-Man to eat, yet no menacing ghosts tracking him down. I'm sure we could all do our jobs better without bullies and punks getting in our way.

- instead of the "tunnels on the side of the screen which allow you to come out the other side of the screen", Pac-Man has Jeffries Tubes, Transporters that can beam him anywhere on the ship, and turbo tunnels for much better mobility. (Bear in mind we all know what Pac man really used these areas for - after eating all those juicy fruits and things, he surely had to go to the bathroom now and again. Since there were no cops on patrol in the area, he did his business while using the tunnels. FYI - know why Inky, Plinky, Blinky, and Pinky never used the little teleporting trick across Pac- Man's bathroom area? The SMELL. They'll have to send Pac Man's waste away somewhere ... it will probably go to the Klingon planet. I'm sure Kirk would be fine with that.)

- In the game, he could only eat Cherries, Strawberries, Bananas, and other fruit to keep his appetite wet and counter the bland flavour of those dots. Now, his access to replicators will give him all the extra tasty food, drinks and condiments he desires, incase those Tribbles don't really taste like chicken. And if they do, Pac-Man can replicate some mayonnaise to go with the little appetizers. Mmmmmmmmm. Yummy, and Atkins approved.

With an easy set-up like this, the Enterprise just might beat MY Pac- man all-time high score. Hmmm ... actually, they probably will, since their onboard computer can probably count higher then 999,999. Ah well.

- Dom, who used his last quarter to type this message

In preparation for this match, I wanted to refamiliarize myself with the game Pacman. I found it on the net and started a new game, but before I could make a move a pop-up advertisement blocked my way. By the time I'd successfully closed it I'd already lost two of my three lives. So I gave up on that attempt and decided to just write my comment without any further preparation.

Anyway, as Scotty's bringing Pacman to life, the process is interrupted by a big picture of a happy couple walking along a beach enjoying their life insurance. By the time he's gotten rid of it, Pacman has died - twice.

"Killed by an internet pop-up," Spock says, shaking his head. "How pathetic."

"Oh, don't be so harsh," Scotty replies. "After all, internet pop- ups are the most vile, heinous force of evil in the history of the universe."

"True," Spock says thoughtfully. "Internet pop-ups are the most vile, heinous force of evil in the history of the universe..."

So they changed the plan, and sent some internet pop-ups after the tribbles, who all soon died in horrible, writhing agony. And Spock died too. Because internet pop-ups are the most vile, heinous force of evil in the history of the universe.

- Derelictman

Steve's right; Mathematical thinking is beyond us.

- ChristSaviour

I tried to imagine the anatomy of tribbles, to determine what effect they'd have on Pacman, and this is the closest thing I could find. This link tells of the anatomy of a creature that breeds in tanks of protein rich fluid. A tribble orgy definitely fits in that description I think, and given how you'd have to be an expert to tell a tribble's ass from any other orifice, much like the creature diagrammed in the link, I think they can be said to have similar structure for their insides. Therefore, even if Pacman does not manage to eat them all, McDonald's (tm) would definitely jump to get their hands on the Tribbles. They switched from dark meat to white meat, but I'm sure it got expensive. Who knows what color Tribble McNuggets (tm pending) meat will be, but the franchise can easily put a spin on it for the kids, or call them new and exotic. I'm sure being nothing but meat and hair, they'd be perfect for the Atkins craze too. Any way you slice it, the Tribbles are going down.

- Pareeha

You know, it's been a while since I've seen either Pac Man or tribbles, so I decided to do a little research.

Tribbles made Star Trek people go "Awwwww! So cute and fluffy! Maybe I am a merry man!". There's a bunch of them. That's it. Cuteness and numbers. I mean, I guess as super-powers go, that's okay. It beats, say, aquatic telepathy or something.

Then I did some research on Pac-Man. I came across some startling information that I must have repressed, because I didn't remember it, and I only started doing drugs later on in life:

In the 80's, Pac-Man was EVERYWHERE. He was a media giant. A mogul, a tycoon. He had: a cartoon, a song, several spin-offs (Ms. Pac-Man, Baby Pac-Man, Doing-coke-in-a-Delorean-while-listening-to-Huey-Lewis-and-not-wearing-socks-Pac-Man), and, most chillingly, he had a cereal.

An evil cereal. A cereal capable of terrible things. A cereal that, according to this vid-capture from the commercial, makes you dance like... like... I don't even know what, but it's bad. It's very bad. Those kids clearly don't want to be dancing the way they are, but, for some reason, they are. And in front of a camera! Look at them!

Why are they there? What could have forced them to do it?

FEAR. Fear of upsetting Pac-Man.

No cuddly cuteness here, oh, no. Here is fear, barely concealed by the guitarist-from-A-Flock-Of-Seagulls sunglasses. The Pac-Man inspires fear. Hell, I'm a little scared, looking at that.

Machiavelli said it's better to be feared than thought cute, and he wrote an unauthorized biography of Minnesota's most famous (and purple) pop-star, so he must be smart.

The Pac-Man wins.

- They Call Me Marsh

My understanding is that there are no restrooms on the Starship Enterprise. If that's the case, I think our Star Trek friends have some greater worries than a few Tribbles.

- Mark Wentz

Of course Pac-Man can, and will, eat them all.

He's from an era of video games where the length of the game is theoretically infinite; the game continues until you lose all of your lives.

Can tribbles kill him under normal circumstances? Of course not, all they can do is purr at him and die by mouthful. There is a chance that swallowing tribbles whole would only result in them reproducing inside of Pac-Man. I doubt this would go well for Pac-Man as, without other sources of food, the tribbles might imitate spider wasp larva and devour him from the inside out.

On the other hand, the insides of his gullet can strip a ghost of all but its eyeballs. Plus his distant cousins, The Langoliers, are capable of chewing through reality itself. Whatever lurks behind that mouth is far too treacherous for tribbles.

It may take him a while, but their food source will be exhausted eventually. At that point, they will stop reproducing and the defacto immortal Pac-Man will finish them off.

- Ubiq

Heck, I'll vote for Tribbles just for the great Michael Moore quote.

- Fred, a rabid Nutria

I'm going to decide this match by using the Dark Helmet rule. "Evil will always triumph over good because good is dumb." That said, we all know that Pac Man is the good guy, and therefore must lose. On second thought, Dark Helmet was played by Rick Morranis. What does he know about winning?

- Wise Ass

3 words for you all..

"Pac Man Fever.. Pac Man Fever

.. It's drivin' me crazy.. It's drivin' me out of my mind."

Helllloo.. you startrek nerds.. may think you have numbers on your side.. but you have yet to deal with real geeks.. the V(ideo) generation... or vidiots for short. Sired by father PONG.. born of mother Defender.. we cut our teeth on the likes of pacman, centipede and donkeykong.

We stand united.. time to release the holy gehad upon your lil hairy tribble asses

- leo

Clearly, Captain Kirks nochalance about the whole situation is a little disturbing. Looking further into the problem, I noted a lost scene of great importance:

Mr. Spock is in the Lab with Dr. Bones, analyzing one of the 4.2 billion furry nymphomaic aliens that are now on the U.S.S. Enterprise.

"Thank you for coming, Mr. Spock, I have wanted to show you this," Bones says, pointing to the furry alien.

"What is it?"

"I have run a DNA test on one of these Tribbles and found out something disturbing. The DNA from the father's side is obviously human, in fact, a human with Shakespearein acting and a sex drive that no one has seen before, besides James Bond."

"You mean..."

"Exactly. The tribbles are the illict spawn of our Captain and one of his many affairs with the aliens we meet. I began to suspect when I noticed the sex drive of these things. No other can make it like our Captain."

Mr. Spock looks sour. "And I only get some every seven years."

So, you see, Pacman just does't stand a chance against these guys. Captain Kirk's feigned concern will melt away as he sees the lemon yellow 8 bit thing chomping away at his offspring. His fatherly instincts (TM) will kick in, and he will set his stunner to nuclear. Pacman will die, and Captin Kirk will spend the rest of his days hunting the rest of the crew down that threatenes his tribbles, eventually becoming one of those eccentric people who have way too many cats in thier house.

- Anime Chick

Personally, I would like to see Pac-man vs. a Homer vs. Norm rematch all out eating royale.

- BKred

Pacman is the perfect eating machine.(with all due apologies to Jaws) The battle plays out as follows. Pacman devours Tribbles. Then Pacman devours Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Redshirts and everyone else on the Enterprise.

Eating the warp core gives Pacman a power up much greater than he has ever before experienced. He grows to gargantuan levels and devours starships, planets, galaxies and so on. Thus the crew of the Enterprise NCC-1701 unleash a space time paradox that causes the universe of Star Trek to cease to exist. All Trek related entries on this site cease to exist, no one says beam me up anymore. No one knows who those guys on the Priceline commercials are.


- quigonnjeff

I like your Pac-man drug-using alternate (but coincident) lifestyle approach. Very "The Onion".

I showed the site to my friends, and we all agree that Tournaments seem like a good idea. If you have the time to organize such a debacle, we would love to see it.

Cheers on all the good work.

- Greg Hazel

I hate to say this, but much as I love Pac-Man, I've got to go with the Tribbles here.

Consider: Pac-Man has an undying appetite, but save for the help of a Power Pellet, the dumb slob can't even stand up to the ghosts. And these aren't even your horror movie styled vicious ghosts, these are the standard issue sheeted MOUTHLESS ghosts! How the heck does a guy get eaten by something without mouths anyway? Not to mention that the ghosts are some of the dumbest creatures known to man. So obviously it doesn't take much to outsmart the big-mouthed orb. Tribbles don't have to be too clever to win here, all they have to do is look at Pac-Man wrong and once he realizes that he doesn't have a Power Pellet handy, he'll shrivel up like a raisin. There. I said it and I'm filled with shame.

- The Mysterious Dr. X

In his natural environment, Pac-Man gets not only rest periods (while the cinematic plays) and ample exercise but also a more balanced diet: those regular pellets, power pellets, blue ghosts, and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. I know, he gets only one veggie per screen, but that's more than he'd get in the tribble scenario. Have you ever had to eat the same thing, day in and day out? College cafeterias are bad enough, but Pac-Man with the tribbles reminds me of the time I went backpacking in the mountains for ten days at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch, the nation's #2 consumer of dehydrated food (after the Army). Yech! The only fresh produce I got were any fingernail-sized strawberries I could scrounge off the mountainsides. A few days of tribbles, tribbles and only tribbles, and he'll be so miserable he'll wish he could still puke.

- Matt Bricker


Pac-Man wins because he DOES have an insatiable appetite. I should know. He ate all my friggin' quarters when I was little.

- sPeciAL eD


Pac-Man's gonna be crappin' fur for a month...

- Walker: Plexus Ranger

If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

Mario v. Sonic
Homer Simpson v. Norm Peterson
Star Trek Humor @ WWWF Grudge Match

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ETA: August 30th, 2004

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