|The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary|
Season 3, Episode 5
October 19, 2009
"The Pirate Solution"
"The Cornhusker Vortex"
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The episode begins as Sheldon enters a trading card competition at the comic book store upon learning that Wil Wheaton will also be attending. Growing up, Sheldon idolized Wil. Wesley Crusher, Wil Wheaton's character on Star Trek: The Next Generation, had an eidetic memory just like him. Sheldon was such a fan that in 1995, he traveled ten hours by bus to a sci-fi convention (the Fourth Annual Dixie-Trek Convention) in Jackson, Mississippi, wearing his Starfleet Academy cadet uniform in order to meet Wil Wheaton and get him to autograph his mint in-package Wesley Crusher action figure. However, his arduous journey, during which he had to twice violate his personal rule against relieving himself on board a moving vehicle, was for naught; although advertised to appear, he did not show up. It was at that moment, he vowed eternal hatred for Wil Wheaton. In the Mystic Warlords of Ka'a tournament, Raj (Sheldon's partner) and Sheldon make it to the final round against Stuart and Wil. Sheldon then throws the match upon learning that Wil did not make it to the sci-fi convention because his grandmother had died, causing Sheldon to lose resentment. This, however, turns out to be an elaborate plot on Wil's part to get Sheldon to forfeit, which causes Sheldon to hate Wil even more.
In the meantime, Leonard asks Penny to hook Howard up with one of her friends, acting on a pact Leonard and Howard once made to each other. Penny reluctantly does, and they end up going on a double-date, only to find Howard and Bernadette (no last name yet) have nothing in common, until they start talking about their over-bearing mothers. Penny looks very satisfied with her match by the end of the episode.
- "Now this is more like it. Since Penny and Leonard got together the plots are starting to flow more naturally with great results. The idea of a pact between Howard and Leonard makes perfect sense. Sitcoms thrive on new situations and developments. The guys were all lonely and now Leonard is with Penny. So this new development brings all sorts of benefits to the show...Sheldon delights of course in linking himself to The Wrath of Khan and taking great pleasure in living out that particular fantasy as his revenge draws near. The use of Wheaton’s grandmother as his excuse is perfect too...A terrific episode for Sheldon, the writers find a tone and purpose for him which suits him like no other. The details were all good, the B plot was good, the jokes were good. I can ask for no more, for now." - The TV Critic's Review
- IMDb user reviews
- Title Reference: The episode gets its name from how Penny describes Howard.
- Chuck Lorre's vanity card 
- This episode was watched by 13.47 million people with a rating of 5.3 (adults 18-49).
- This episode aired in Canada on October 19, 2009.
- First appearance of the card game Mystic Warlords of Ka'a. According to this episode, Sheldon doesn't play Mystic Warlords of Ka'a due to a lack of challenge, but does not complain about this in other episodes wherein the game appears ("The Justice League Recombination", "The Engagement Reaction", "The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition", "The Decoupling Fluctuation").
- As Sheldon browses the comic books, he says, "Got it. Got it. Got it. Got it. Got it. Got it." In The Guitarist Amplification, when Howard mentions Amazing Spider-Man 183, Sheldon says "Got it." In "The Hofstadter Isotope", both Sheldon and Howard repeat this as they look through a rack of comic books.
- Sheldon says, "Wesley Crusher had an eidetic memory just like me." The December 10, 1986 casting call featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion cites a "photographic memory", while the March 23, 1987 Star Trek: The Next Generation Writers/Directors Guide cites "his superior memory".
- Sheldon has no qualms admitting that his grandmother "Meemaw" calls him "Moonpie," unlike in "The Terminator Decoupling". It is possible he didn't want Penny to know this, knowing she would inevitably mock him.
- Bernadette's first appearance, though her name is only revealed to be "Bernadette" during the end credits.
- Bernadette and Howard bond over their controlling mothers.
- Howard wears an owl belt buckle in this episode.
- Captain Sweatpants and Lonely Larry are a team and Raj and Sheldon beat them.
- On some TV channels showing reruns, after the camera zooms out to show the Earth, the credits appear at the same time.
- Sheldon quotes or imitates several lines from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (as stated by himself and Raj). These includes:
- - He tasks me, he tasks me and I shall have him.
- - From hell's heart I stab at thee! (Khan's last words in The Wrath of Khan)
- - I have chased you 'round the moons of Nibia, and 'round the Antares Maelstrom, and 'round perdition's flames!
- - bortaS bIr jablu'DI'reH QaQqu' nay ! - The English version of this Klingon proverb first appeared in The Wrath of Khan: "Revenge is a dish best served cold".
- Sheldon's cry "Wheaton! Wheaton! Wheaton!" at the end of this episode is a salute to Kirk's cry "Khan! Khan!" when Khan claimed to leave him buried alive. Also, after Sheldon's cry, the camera zooms out from the earth surface to show the spheric Earth - an exact imitation to the camera zooming from the surface of planetoid Regula 1 in The Wrath of Khan.
- (Penny, Leonard, Howard and Bernadette are at the restaurant. Howard and Bernadette aren't getting along, until Howard checks his ringing phone.)
- Howard: Excuse me, (sigh) damn, it's my mother.
Bernadette: Are you going to answer it?
- Howard: I'm torn. She might be dying, you know, I wouldn't want to miss that.
- On the other hand, if I let it go to voice mail, I could play it over and over.
- Bernadette: I know how you feel. My mother makes me crazy.
- Howard: (chuckles a bit) Not as crazy as my mother makes me.
- Bernadette: Oh, yeah, does your mother call you every day at work to see if you've had a healthy lunch?
- Howard: My mother calls me at work to see if I had a healthy bowel movement.
- (Penny and Leonard get a little disgusted at this.)
- Bernadette: OK, well, does she lay out your clothes for you in the morning like you're nine years old.
- Howard: You live with your mother?
- Bernadette: No. That's the sad part.
- Howard: OK, well check this out. My mother made me wear rubber gloves to kindergarten so I wouldn't pick up a disease from the other children.
- Bernadette: That's nothing, I couldn't ride a bicycle 'cause my mother was afraid I would hit a bump and lose my virginity.
- Howard: Oh wow, you didn't, did you?
- Bernadette: Not on a bicycle; in a Camry.
- Howard: Corolla!
- Howard: Leonard, a pact is a pact. You have to get Penny to fix me up.
- Leonard: It's not that simple. What am I supposed to say? Penny, do you have any friends you'd like to never hear from again?
- Sheldon: Now fetch me Wil Wheaton! bortaS bIr jablu'DI' reH QaQqu' nay
- Wil Wheaton: Did that guy just say "revenge is a dish best served cold" in Klingon?
- Stuart: I believe so.
- Wil Wheaton: What is wrong with him?
- Stuart: Everyone has a different theory.
- Leonard: The deal was that if either of us got a girlfriend, we'd have her fix the other one up with one of her friends.
- Penny: And you thought a good time to bring this up would be right after sex?
- Leonard: Well, I sure as hell wasn't going to bring it up before sex.
- Sheldon: WHEATON!!! (A play on Adm. Kirk's "KHAAAAN" in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan)
- Penny: [after sex] Wow. You really are a genius.
- Leonard: Not really. I Googled how to do that.
- Leonard: You know, deep down inside, Howard's a really nice guy.
- Penny: The problem isn't what's on the inside. It's the creepy candy coating.