The Big Bang Theory

The Vengeance Formulation

899pages on
this wiki
The Vengeance Formulation
Sheldon's revenge on Kripke.
The Big Bang Theory episode
Season 3, Episode 9
November 23, 2009
Guest star(s)
Episode guide

"The Adhesive Duck Deficiency"

"The Gorilla Experiment"
Season guide

Season 2

Season 4

"The Vengeance Formulation" is the ninth episode of the third season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Monday, November 23, 2009.


After Bernadette asks Howard how he views their relationship, he makes quite a rash decision after some thinking. Sheldon's radio interview leads to Kripke and he playing outrageous pranks on each other.

Extended PlotEdit


Howard kissing Bernadette

Howard takes Bernadette home after a date. She says three dates mean sex, but wants to know where their relationship is going, and she does not want it to be a . She leaves him to think about it.

Howard asks the guys about dating and sex. Kripke comes up and announces Sheldon going to be on on , thus spoiling Sheldon's surprise. Sheldon says his mother is excited and has even invited her Bible study group to listen in.

Sheldon has prepared his talking points for the NPR interview but wonder if the less educated would understand. Then he asks Howard to look the points over for him.

Penny enters and immediately asks Raj to talk to her. Raj is stunned. She then asks Howard why he has not called Bernadette in a week. Howard replies he is not sure if she is his type, and says he wants to settle with someone like from or Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar Galactica. Leonard thinks that he had a better shot with the three-breasted hooker from '. Howard and Penny gets into an argument and Howard thinks Penny settled for Leonard. Penny says she does not judge Leonard by his appearance. Leonard is offended that they are talking as if he was not even there.

Sheldon's interview on NPR gets ruined as Kripke pumps into Sheldon’s office, sending his voice up to sounding levels. Everyone in the cafeteria is listening through the radio and laughs at Sheldon, including his gang. Sheldon soon discovers the nozzle in his office and calls out to Kripke that he is going to kill him. Kripke just raises his fists up in triumph.

BBT 309 Katte

Howard and his fantasy, Katee Sackhoff

Howard is relaxing in a bubble bath and imagines himself with Katee Sackhoff. She thanks him for being a part of his fantasies. Katee tells Howard that he is hung up on Bernadette and that this sweet and cute girl is actually real. His fantasy ends when his mother yells and tells him that they share that tub.

Sheldon is depressed about being humiliated on national radio, unwilling to leave his bed ever again. Leonard and Raj encourage him to get back at Kripke—even if Raj originally came to mock Sheldon—and as they make a comparison to the Joker's vengeance on Batman, Sheldon thinks he could kill Kripke with an untraceable chemical. However, Leonard tells him to tone down the prank at a non-lethal level.


Howard's hasty proposal to Bernadette.

After much thinking, Howard comes down to The Cheesecake Factory and proposes to Bernadette. She wonders if that is more comedy that she does not understand. He tells that he’ll never find another girl like her. She calls him insane as they had only three dates and have not even had sex.


Foamy vengeance...

Sheldon has secretly installed a device above the ceiling tiles in Kripke's lab which will mix ordinary dish soap, , and saturated to produce a large quantity of foam; he has even bribed the night janitor with a dollar bill to keep him quiet. Sheldon, Leonard and Raj watch through webcam as the device activates when Kripke and, unfortunately, several members of the university board, including President Siebert, get into the lab. A video from Sheldon starts right away on Kripke's lab computer and says the whole incident has just been uploaded to ; he also thanks Leonard and Raj for their support, thus unwittingly incriminating them. Raj comments that he's running back to India and asks Leonard for his own escape plan.

Bernadette and Penny find Howard at The Cheesecake Factory again. He starts playing and singing a song ("Sweet Bernadette") adapted from the ' "", so as to apologize for having proposed to her. Penny also apologizes for Howard's behavior, but Bernadette feels that is the most romantic thing anyone's ever done for her.


  • "There’s a lot of good stuff in this episode. The writing definitely makes Howard seem more real and more interesting. The dynamic with Bernadette works quite well. The idea of her not understanding his jokes is simple and had plenty of comic potential. It also adds to the idea that she could believably fall for him. His desire to be with even hotter women is understandable and does fit his character. Clearly a relationship with Bernadette would offer more interesting stories for now so it’s nice to see the show go in that direction. As ever Sheldon holds court in typically entertaining fashion. The development of Kripke as a nemesis is a nice idea." - The TV Critic's Review
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title reference: Sheldon's revenge against Kripke by dropping a chemical foam from the ceiling in Kripke's lab.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
  • This episode was watched by 14.13 million people with a rating of 4.7 (adults 18-49).
  • This episode aired in Canada on November 23, 2009 with 1.077 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #29. 
  • Episode transcript [1]

Costume NotesEdit


Red check buckle


APS shirt


Volcom Spazz


Triple Threat













  • Prior towards this episode, Howard doesn't know that three dates with the same women is the threshold for sexual intercourse.
  • As Penny undermines Leonard, he says, "Again, I’m right here." This is similar to "The Maternal Congruence", when he tells his mother, "Once again, I’m driving. I’m right here." His mother reasons he needs approval.
  • Sheldon talks on the radio with Ira Flatow.
  • Leonard wears a MantaRay bomber jacket. Raj first wears his Modified SansaBelt.
  • The foam-forming chemical reaction that Sheldon uses to revenge Kripke is a famous experiment known as "". It can be performed premixing concentrated and a liquid detergent (Sheldon uses dish soap), and then mixing the above with a catalyst (Sheldon uses saturated solution of ) that causes rapid decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide. The decomposition produces large amount of oxygen and heat. Foams are formed due to the liquid detergent and the released oxygen, while the heat causes prominent expansion of the foams.
  • The song that Howard sings to apologize to Bernadette is following the tune of the song "Bernadette" by the band "Four Tops".
  • Second episode where Raj chooses to mock one of his friends over helping. First was "The Maternal Capacitance".


(Howard enters Sheldon and Leonard's apartment)

Howard: Greetings, homies, homette.
Penny: Why are you back from your date so early?
Howard: In romance, as in show business, always leave them wanting more.
Penny: What exactly does that mean?
Leonard: He struck out.

Sheldon: What are you talking about?
Leonard: The cultural paradigm in which people have sex after three dates.
Sheldon: I see, now are we talking about date, the social interaction, or date, the dried fruit?

Sheldon: (on his appearance on NPR) My mother is very excited. She's convening her Bible study group to listen in and then pray for my soul.

Sheldon: All right. These are the talking points for my NPR interview tomorrow. I need to make sure that they're simple enough for the less educated in the audience to understand. Howard, look this over and tell me what's unclear to you.
Howard: Excuse me, I have a master's degree in engineering from the . It required the completion of 144 units of grad work and an original thesis.
Sheldon: Yes. Look this over and tell me what's unclear to you.

Leonard: You'd have a better shot with the three-breasted Martian hooker from .
Howard: Okay, now you're just being unrealistic. Anyway, that movie was like 20 years ago. Imagine how saggy those things would be.

Sheldon: Biologically speaking, Howard is perfectly justified in seeking out the optimum mate for the propagation of his genetic line.
Howard: Thank you, Sheldon.
Sheldon: Now whether that propagation is in the interest of humanity is, of course, an entirely different question.

(Sheldon is sitting in his office ready to be interviewed via speaker phone by Ira Flatow. Meanwhile, Kripke is in the next room feeding a small hose connected to a helium tank through a hole into Sheldon's office)

Ira Flatow: (Over the radio) This is Ira Flatow and you're listening to NPR's "Science Friday". Joining us today by phone from his office in Pasadena, California is Dr Sheldon Cooper.

(Kripke proceeds to release helium from the gas tank)

Kripke: Oh, this is gonna be a riot.

(Cut to Sheldon's office)

Ira Flatow: (Through speaker phone) Thanks for being with us today, Dr Cooper.
Sheldon: My pleasure, Ira.
Ira Flatow: Now, let's talk about magnetic monopoles. Can you explain to our audience just what a monopole is?
Sheldon: Of course. First, consider an ordinary magnet which has, as even the most uneducated...

(Sheldon's voice gradually increases in pitch)

Sheldon: your audience must know, two poles...

(Sheldon clears his throat, his voice is still increasing in pitch)

Sheldon: ...a north and south pole. If you cut that in half, you have two smaller magnets, each with it's own north and south pole.
Ira Flatow: Dr. Cooper, I think there might be something wrong with our connection.
Sheldon: No, I hear you fine. As I was saying, an ordinary magnet has two poles. The primary characteristic of a monopole is that it has only one pole, hence, "monopole".

(Cut to cafeteria where Kripke is holding a radio, Leonard, Howard, Raj and others are listening and laughing)

Sheldon: (Over the radio and still high pitched) A requirement for string theory, or M-theory if you will, is the existence of such monopoles. I myself led and expedition to the Arctic Circle in search of said particles. KRIPKE, I FOUND THE NOZZLE. I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!

(Sheldon lies on his bed, humiliated)

Leonard: Are you willing to admit defeat?
Sheldon: I never admit defeat.
Leonard: Good.
Sheldon: However, on an unrelated topic, I'm never getting out of this bed again.

Howard: I'm taking a bath!
Howard: Please don't remind me!


thumb|500px|center|Howard sings to his Sweet Bernadette.


  • Bernadette and Howard
  • Howard kissing Bernadette
  • Discussing their relationship
  • Howard
  • Katie in the tub
  • Howard's fantasy
  • Howard and Katie
  • Get some vengeance.
  • First time Howard proposes.
  • Revenge is planned.
  • Elephant toothpaste
  • Sheldon's webcam view of Kripke's lab
  • Kripke's lab is dunked.
  • Sheldon gloating over his prank
  • Singing at The Cheesecake Factory
  • Apologizing to Bernadette
  • Talking to Bernadette at work.
  • Chuck Lorre Productions, #269

Read alsoEdit

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki