We analyze the trans-Planckian problem and its formulation in the context of cosmology, black-hole physics, and analogue models of gravity. In particular, we discuss the phenomenological approach to the trans-Planckian problem based on modified, locally Lorentz-breaking, dispersion relations (MDR). The main question is whether MDR leave an detectable imprint on macroscopic physics. In the framework of the semi-classical theory of gravity, this question can be unambiguously answered only through a rigorous formulation of quantum field theory on curved space with MDR. In this context, we propose a momentum-space analysis of the Green\'s function, which will hopefully lead to the correct renormalization of the stress tensor.