|The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary|
Season 3, Episode 5
October 19, 2009
"The Pirate Solution"
"The Cornhusker Vortex"
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Extended PlotEditPenny is reluctantly playing "Mystic Warlords of Ka'a" with Leonard, Howard and Raj. She obviously does not understand the game. Sheldon explains all the cards that she can play due to his eidetic memory. Howard concedes that the game is over, which first excites Penny, but she quickly feigns disappointment in order to save the group's feelings. Penny then immediately leaves, because the last time she didn't leave, she ended up playing Mystic Warlords of "Ka". Howard corrects her pronounciation: "Not Ka! Ka-AH!"
Leonard still can't believe Penny is going out with him, and Raj echoes the sentiment: "Nobody can". Howard then brings up their "Girlfriend Pact": if either one dated a hot girlfriend, they would have her find a date for the other. Leonard can't remember making the pact, but Sheldon promptly announces the date (June 30th, 2004), place (Opening Day of "Spider-Man II", AMC Theaters, Pasadena) and available concession stand snacks ("Only red Icys, no blue"). Leonard admits that he only agreed to the pact because he never thought he'd have a hot girlfriend, and he was positive Howard never would have one either. Raj was absent during the pact agreement due to his small bladder.
At lunch, Sheldon won't give Leonard a napkin out of his 4-napkin system (lap, hands, face and personal emergency). Howard continues to pester Leonard about having Penny find a "hot and tall" date for him. Sheldon makes fun of Raj's sweater vest. Raj announces that there will be a "Mystic Warlords of Ka'a" tournament at the comic book store, with $500 going as first prize and wants Sheldon to enter with him, but Sheldon isn't interested.
After sex, Penny tells him that he really is a genius, though Leonard admits that he had Googled his technique. Remembering Howard, he tentatively broaches the subject about pacts. Penny reminisces about a pact she made in the first grade with her friend, Rosie: to marry Bert and Ernie, puppets from Sesame Street. Leonard mentions about his long-standing pact with Howard "which kind of involves [her]". This vague statement kills the post-coitus blissful mood, making Penny suspicious about its implications. Penny refuses to fix any of her friends with Howard. Leonard tries to convince Penny that, "deep down inside, Howard's a really nice guy". Penny retaliates: "The problem isn't what is on the inside. It's the creepy candy coating". Leonard pleads with Penny to reconsider it as a favor to him.
At the comic book store, Sheldon peruses through the comic book stacks, but shudders when he comes across a "Betty and Veronica" comic book. Raj discovers that Wil Wheaton--as in Star Trek's Wil Wheaton--is signed up for the Mystic Warlords tournament. Stuart confirms that Wil lives nearby and is a big gamer. As a youth, Sheldon idolized Ensign Wesley Crusher on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" because they both had an eidetic memory. In 1995, Sheldon rode 10 hours by bus, twice violating his personal rule of relieving himself in a moving vehicle, to a sci-fi convention in Jackson, Mississippi. He was such a fan that he wore his Starfleet cadet uniform in order to meet Wil Wheaton and to have Wil sign his mint, in-package Wesley Crusher action figure. However, Wil didn't appear, and Sheldon pledged eternal hatred for him. Sheldon proclaims that Wil Wheaton currently ranks 6th on his All-time Enemies List. He angrily teams up with Raj for the tournament (his alias as "Die, Wil Wheaton, DIE!"), while quoting Khan Noonian Singh from "Wrath of Khan": "FROM HELL'S HEART, I STAB AT THEE!!!”
As Leonard, Penny, and Howard head out on their double date, Howard nervously quizzes Penny about his blind date, aka "the future mother of [his] children". Penny assures him that her friend is adorable. Howard asks Penny how she described him to her friend: namely, any mention about his low body fat. Penny had told her friend that Howard is an aerospace engineer, is fluent in 5 languages ("6, if you count Klingon") and that he has an unhealthy attachment to his mother. She was kidding about his mother.
Sheldon and Raj are playing in the tournament set up at the comic book store. Raj is gleeful about their progress, but Sheldon is consumed by his enmity towards Wil Wheaton. Sheldon wrathfully stares at an oblivious Wil Wheaton, still quoting Khan: “Wil Wheaton, my old friend. I've chased you 'round the moons of Nibia and 'round the Antares Maelstrom and 'round Perdition's Flames!” Raj remarks that Wesley Crusher was in the “Star Trek: Next Generation” franchise and thus, was unrelated to "Wrath of Khan", part of the original Star Trek series, but this does not deter Sheldon. Sheldon and Raj have to beat Lonely Larry and Captain Sweatpants before facing off with Wil Wheaton and Stuart in the championship round.Howard awkwardly tries to make small talk in the car with Penny's friend, Bernadette. She is working at the Cheesecake Factory in order to pay off her tuition at grad school, majoring in microbiology. She doesn't understand his jokes and she doesn't share any of Howard's interests in science-fiction, role playing games (fantasy [Dungeon and Dragons] or bedroom), or magic. Leonard gloomily predicts that it is "going to be a long, lon-ong night".
Sheldon and Raj easily dispatches Captain Sweatpants and Lonely Larry in their tournament match. Sheldon balefully stares at their final opponents, namely Wil Wheaton, and he exclaims: “bortaS bIr jablu'DI' reH QaQqu' nay'!” Wil Wheaton overhears it and asks Stuart in disbelief: “Did that guy just say "Revenge is a dish that is best served cold" in Klingon?” Stuart confirms it. Perplexed and leery of Sheldon's obsession with him, Wil asks Stuart what is wrong with Sheldon. Stuart replies that everyone has a different theory.At dinner, Howard continues trying to find common ground with Bernadette (she even doesn't like puppies!), while Leonard and Penny quietly lament how long the night is going to be. Howard's mother calls and leaves a message on his phone. Bernadette is sympathetic, because her mother drives her crazy as well. They start sharing stories about how bad their mothers are, such as: their mothers continuously calls them on the phone about trivial things; Howard's mother made him wear rubber gloves to kindergarten for fear of catching diseases; Bernadette’s mother still lays out her clothes and "wouldn't let [her] ride a bicycle because she thought [Bernadette would] hit a bump and lose [her] virginity." Bernadette freely discloses that she lost her virginity in a Toyota Camry, while Howard admits that he lost his virginity in a Toyota Corolla (to his second cousin). This shared revelation helps Howard and Bernadette warm up to each other. Howard then invites her to meet his mother for Shabazz dinner at home: "A Catholic girl like you, wearing a big cross like that, it might give my mother the big brain aneurysm I've been hoping for." Bernadette cheerfully agrees, with the proviso that Howard has to come to her family's Sunday dinner, wearing a yarmulke. Penny is happy that she is great at matchmaking. Sheldon and Raj are finally playing Wil Wheaton and Stuart for the Wizards of Ka'a Championship. It is a tense match, surrounded by avid spectators. Sheldon ends up going head to head with Wil Wheaton, demolishing his competitor with his eidetic memory. Before laying down the last card and winning the final match, Sheldon decides to give his monologue speech about his wrathful revenge to Wil Wheaton and the reason for it (i.e., the story of Wil Wheaton's absence at the 4th annual Dixie Trek Convention, the sci-fi convention that Sheldon had attended in 1995). Wil then reveals that he was absent from the sci-fi convention due to the death and funeral of his grandmother. Wil apologizes with such sincerity to Sheldon that Sheldon completely empathizes with Wil's loss: "If anything happened to my Meemaw, I would be one inconsolable "Moonpie"". Sheldon becomes wracked with guilt and loses the game on purpose (with his Enchanted Bunny card), despite Raj's loud protests. Wil smugly admits he lied about his grandmother's death. Actually, his "Nana" is alive and will be very happy to hear that he won (with Will's Small Rock card killing Sheldon's Enchanted Bunny card): "Game over, Moon Pie!" Sheldon sits in shocked disbelief. After Sheldon realizes that he’s been tricked, he yells in Khan-like fashion, “WHEEEAAAAAATTTTTTOOOONNNNNNNN!!!!!!!” The camera pans out to a global satellite image of Earth, mimicking a memorable scene from the blockbuster 1982 feature film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- "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.
- Episode transcript 
Set Notes Edit
Seen on the end table next to the couch (next to Sheldon's spot) in the opening scene as the group plays Mystic Warlords of Ka'a
- This issue of Batman was first seen in Season 2, Episode 23 (The Monopolar Expedition) in the comic book bins in Sheldon's bedroom.
- 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 fact 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 statement 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 fact, knowing she would inevitably mock him.
- Bernadette's first appearance, though her name is only revealed to be "Bernadette" during the end credits.
- Howard and Bernadette bond over their controlling mothers. Amy and Sheldon connect on the same topic, their 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.
- The camera is centered on the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA when the camera zooms out to show the Earth.
- 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 spherical 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 glow] 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.