The Big Bang Theory

The Irish Pub Formulation

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The Irish Pub Formulation
Big Bang Theory episode
Season 4, Episode 6
October 28, 2010
Guest star(s)
Episode guide

"The Desperation Emanation"

"The Apology Insufficiency"
Season guide

Season 3

Season 5

"The Irish Pub Formulation" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on October 28, 2010.[1]

Aarti Mann made her debut in this episode as Priya Koothrappali.


Leonard tries to hide from his friends that he's having a secret affair with Raj's sister, Priya. Sheldon gets involved and develops an elaborate cover story.

Extended PlotEdit

Raj's little sister is visiting.
Leonard and Priya in the morning.

Raj's sister Priya visits and inadvertently causes trouble for the guys. She and Leonard apparently have a history, despite Leonard's pinky swear with Howard that they would not hit on her in deference to Raj. They hook up during her layover in L.A., but are discovered by Sheldon, who devises an elaborate lie to cover it up involving an Irish bar and a pretty Irish barmaid; he even generates props to back-up his ruse.

Leonard cannot persist in the deception and reveals his night with her. At first Raj is upset, but then calms down when Leonard said that he offered her his heart and she stomped on it. The guys then unleash confessions of all of the deceptions they have perpetrated on each other, including Sheldon's experiment feeding moth parts to Leonard mixed in his food.

The episode ends with Sheldon preparing snow cones and serving one to Leonard, and confessing they were made with mango caterpillar. Leonard then spits out the snow cone and leaves the apartment, upset.


  • TV Critic: "Bringing in family members is almost always a good idea in sitcoms as it helps root that character in a real relationship we can all relate to. The writers did nothing with Priya but she may come back one day. Her leap over the couch to hide from Sheldon was a nice visual gag...Raj's sister comes to town, she sleeps with Leonard who is betraying Howard by doing so. Who was the plot focused primarily on though? Yes that's right, Sheldon ...Feed Sheldon. Feed Sheldon. Feed Sheldon."[2]
  • The A.V. Club gave this episode a C.[3]
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: The Irish Pub that Sheldon included in the details of the deception to cover up Leonard's sleeping with Priya.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
  • This episode was watched by 13.04 million people with a rating of 4.2 (adults 18-49).[4]
  • This episode aired in Canada on October 28, 2010 with 3.204 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.[5]
  • In England, this episode aired on December 9, 2010 with 0.786 million total viewers and a weekly ranking of #2.[6]
  • In Australia, it aired on February 15, 2011 with 0.958 million viewers.[7]


  • The only other Big Bang Theory episode in which Penny doesn't appear. She isn't even mentioned as the writers wrote her out of this and the previous episode, after Kaley Cuoco, the actress who plays Penny, broke her leg in a horseback riding accident.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine was shown in Penny's apartment before but this is the first time it is referenced in the show.
  • The "classic text-based computer game from the 1980s" that Sheldon plays, although unnamed in the show, is very likely to be Zork - which is characterized by the using of commands with prepositions, e.g. the command "hit troll with axe". Also, Zork is mentioned to be Sheldon's favorite in The Hofstadter Isotope (S2E20) and The Toast Derivation (S4E17).
  • Sheldon has a thermodynamic fluctuations seminar the day after Priya spent the night with Leonard.
  • Priya's first apperance in the series, although it is claimed they all met before "Pilot".
  • In the car, Leonard says, "Okay fine, I’m, I’m a horrible human being, I’m the Darth Vader of Pasadena." He was compared to Darth Vader while likewise driving the car, in "The Large Hadron Collision". Sheldon retorts, "You’re far too short to be Darth Vader. At best you might be a turncoat Ewok." Darth Vader is 6'8" (2.03 m), an Ewok is about 3'3" (1 m), and Leonard is 5'5" (1.65 m).
  • Leonard is 1/32nd Cherokee.
  • Sheldon seriously conceived an exaggeratedly complicated lie to cover Leonard, just like what he had done in "The Loobenfeld Decay".
  • Sheldon explains to Raj, "But that behavior is beyond the pale and cannot be tolerated. We are no longer friends." In "The Friendship Algorithm", Sheldon similarly remarked to Raj, "Maintaining five friendships promises to be a Herculean task. So, I’m going to have to let one of you go... Raj, you’re out." In both instances, he almost immediately rescinded the decision.
  • It's as if Sheldon really did come with a manual ("The Peanut Reaction"), as Leonard is able to repeat Sheldon's words about hating fun without even being present when he said it. Sheldon also made this evident in "The Bozeman Reaction" when he said on two occasions, "As you know, I’m not comfortable with prolonged good-byes and maudlin displays of emotion, so I prepared [a] short video."
  • Sheldon recalls April 12, 2005 at a Bob's Big Boy, which was a Tuesday. This detail is consistent with his old schedule of going to Bob's Big Boy on Tuesdays as revealed in "The Hamburger Postulate".
  • Despite Howard complaining about the cobbler, he continues eating it while Sheldon explains "Train Day".
  • The mythical Maggie's hair sample came from a lab orangutan.
  • Sheldon has an oddly shaped uvula.

Quotes Edit

Sheldon: You know I can't keep a secret!
Leonard: You can if you try. Think about it this way: if I were Batman and you were Alfred, you'd keep that secret, right?
Sheldon: Why do you get to be Batman?
Leonard: Because the Batman has the secret.
Sheldon: Alfred has secrets, too!
Leonard: Like what?
Sheldon: Alfred knows that Barbara Gordon is Batgirl. Which I've now just told to Batman! See, I cannot keep a secret! The fun starts with brunch at Carney’s in Studio City, a hot dog stand in a converted railroad dining car. Next stop, Travel Town, an outdoor museum featuring 43 railroad engines, cars and other rolling stock from the 1880s to the 1930s. Finally, we’re off to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood for dinner at, that’s right, the Hollywood Carney’s, a hot dog stand in a different converted railroad dining car.

Sheldon: You've asked me to lie on your behalf, and as you know, I am deeply uncomfortable with impromptu dishonest, so I've provided you with an iron clad alibi. You couldn't have spent last night with Priya, because you were with another woman.
Leonard: Oh, I’m so sure I’m going to regret this, but, who was I with?
Sheldon: The fun loving, and morally loose, Miss Maggie McGeary.
Leonard: Oh, God.
Sheldon: You met her at Pasadena’s most popular Irish watering hole, Lucky Baldwin’s, where Maggie spends her nights tending bar, with a head full of curls and a heart full of dreams.
Leonard: (reading a napkin Sheldon has handed him) Leonard, call me if you’re interested in coitus. Sincerely, Maggie McGeary.
Sheldon: And if anyone were to actually call that number they will hear this.
Mechanical voice on Sheldon’s phone: Top of the morning to you. You've reached Maggie McGeary. Leave a message after the wee little beep.
Sheldon: It’s pretty convincing, huh? And it wasn't even a real person. And here is the clincher. A lock of Maggie’s flaming auburn hair.
Leonard: Where did you get that?
Sheldon: From an orang-u-tan in the primate lab.
Leonard: An orang-u-tan?
Sheldon: Well, no-one’s going to run a DNA test on it, Leonard, honestly you over-think everything.


  • Making Leonard a snow cone.
  • Mapping out Sheldon's movements in the game forest.
  • Sheldon and Leonard.
  • In Leonard's lab.
  • Sheldon and his Snoopy snow cone machine.
  • Priya is visiting LA.
  • Priya running around with Leonard.
  • Priya is caught sneaking out.
  • Leonard talks about moving to India to be with her.
  • Priya in the morning.
  • Sheldon.
  • Sheldon.
  • Raj and Leonard.
  • Priya and Leonard having a one night stand.
  • Sheldon looking peculiar.
  • You know my sister Priya.
  • Priya is in L.A. on a layover and gets it.
  • Chuck Lorre Productions, #306


  1. The Big Bang Theory - The Irish Pub Formulation (TV Episode 2010) - IMDb
  2. The TV Critic's Review
  3. The Big Bang Theory: "The Irish Pub Formulation" - TV Club - The A.V. Club
  4. Thursday Final Ratings: Grey's Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, Shrekless, Office Adjusted Up; Nikita Down; Plus World Series Game 2 - Zap2it
  5. Top Programs – Total Canada (English) October 25 – October 31, 2010 - BBM Canada
  6. BARB via Wikipedia
  7. Week 8 - TV Tonight
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