The Conference Valuation Season 12, Episode 17 -  Aired March 7, 2019

The Conference Valuation

When Penny and Bernadette go to a pharmaceutical convention in San Diego, Howard is left in charge of the kids and allows Sheldon to perform experiments with them.

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Guest Stars: Kevin Sussman as Stuart, Christine Baranski as Beverly Hofstadter, Pamela Adlon as Halley, Chasty Ballesteros as Karen, Jason Kravits as Danny, Andre Boyer as Kwame, Ben Rauch as Darren

Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Steven Molaro (Story), Eric Kaplan (Story), Steve Holland (Teleplay), Maria Ferrari (Teleplay), Jeremy Howe (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Penny being offered a job when she and Bernadette attend a pharmaceutical convention.

Episode Quotes

Stuart: Where are the kids?
Howard: I thought they were with you.
Stuart: What? No!
Howard: I'm kidding. They're at daycare.
Stuart: What about me makes you think my heart can handle that joke?

Leonard: Just tell me the truth, Mother. Was my whole childhood just one big experiment?
Beverly Hofstadter: Of course not, dear. It was thousands of small experiments.
Leonard: So that's all I was to you, a-a test subject?
Beverly Hofstadter: No, you were my baby and I found you fascinating.
Leonard: Really?
Beverly Hofstadter: Yes, watching you develop, tracking your progress. I know I'm not the warmest of parents, but it was time we spent together, and, honestly, those are some of my fondest memories.
Leonard: When did you stop?
Beverly Hofstadter: Oh, I can't tell you. The experiment isn't over.

Raj: I never thought I would see Sheldon enjoying himself around babies so much.
Amy: Yeah, how about that?
Raj: So he just happened to stumble upon a book about experimenting with them the same day we were hanging out with Howard's kids?
Amy: Yep, don't overthink it.

Raj: Where are the kids?
Amy: Oh, Sheldon's helping Howard give them a bath.
Raj: Hmm. So you really think you can trick Sheldon into liking babies?
Amy: I slept with him. I married him. You want to bet against me?

Sheldon: It's so funny, we did all these experiments on them and they didn't even notice.
Amy: I know, I was worried it would be obvious, but it wasn't.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1217 'The Conference Valuation' Press Release February 24, 2019

CBS has released the synopsis for the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Conference Valuation", which airs Thursday, March 7. Christine Baranski returns as Leonard's mother, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter.  Full story


In a Zangen conference room, Penny apologizes for keeping her sales team working so late into the night. When Bernadette comes into the room, she is surprised they’re working past midnight and sends them home. When Penny tells Bernadette she really wants to prepared for the conference, Bernadette assures her she’s going to do great.

When Bernadette comes downstairs to tell Howard she’s going, she wishes him luck with taking care of the kids over the weekend. Elsewhere, as Penny gets ready to leave, she confides in Leonard that she really wants the weekend to go well. Sheldon and Amy arrive to ask for Penny’s help settling a bet: When it’s not Comic-Con, will there be many people wearing superhero costumes in San Diego?

At the Comic Book store, Raj asks Leonard what he’ll be doing with his weekend. After Howard arrives, he asks the guys if they want to come hang out at his place this weekend. Raj thinks that’s just a ruse to get them to babysit his kids. Sheldon does not want to be around Howard’s “loud, sticky babies”. Howard insists it won’t just be babysitting, saying they’ll play some board games and it’ll be like a party.

At the convention in San Diego, Penny and Bernadette stand by the Zangen counter and tout the benefits of their drug, “Inflaminex”. When a rival drug rep, Danny, comes over to talk to Penny and Bernadette, Bernie is not welcoming. He admits he’s just checking out the competition as his company has another anti-inflammatory coming out later this year. Bernadette scares him off.

When Howard comes downstairs to his living room as Leonard and Raj play a board game, he tells them his kids are still sleeping. After the doorbell rings, Raj answers the door to Sheldon and Amy. The guys are surprised to see Sheldon after his previous comments. Sheldon admits he changed his mind and thinks it would be fun to spend a little time with Howard’s kids. After Leonard wonders what’s going on, Sheldon explains he and Amy were at the bookstore and he found a book on experimenting with babies. Howard tells Sheldon he doesn’t want him experimenting on his kids.

As the guys play the boardgame, Amy is reading the book and mentions that the experiments seem pretty harmless. Raj has a look and finds an experiment they can do with both Halley and Michael. Howard and Leonard think it’s interesting and it’s more like experimenting with the kids, rather than experimenting on them. After Amy says it’s kind of like playing games with them, Howard agrees that when the kids wake up they can do one or two of the experiments.

Back at the convention, Bernadette is happy they’ve drawn a pretty good crowd to their booth. When Bernadette gets a phone call, she goes away to answer it. After Danny returns to talk to Penny, he tells her she’s done a great job with Inflaminex. He says his company is always on the lookout for great sales people and they could make her happy. Penny insists she’s pretty happy where she is. Meanwhile, Bernadette is on the phone with Howard, who asks her if they have any large barbecue tongs. Bernie wonders if he’s grilling, but Howard says he’s just playing games with the kids. Back home, Leonard and Raj are dangling objects in front of Halley and Michael to see who will grab the item first.

After Danny gives Penny his card and asks if he can meet with her over the weekend, Bernadette returns and shoos Danny away from their booth. Their colleague Karen tells Bernadette that Danny offered Penny a job Meanwhile, as Howard goes through the protocol for another experiment, Leonard starts to feel this is strangely reminiscent of his childhood. As Sheldon and Raj try to get the babies’ attention by talking to them, Leonard fears all he was to his mother was an experiment. Sheldon is disappointed when Howard calls time on the experiments so the kids can eat. Amy suggests Sheldon could still make it an experiment, so he decides to color-code their food and analyze their stools later. After Sheldon goes to the kitchen with Michael, Raj tells Amy he’s surprised to see Sheldon so excited to be around children. Raj notes what a funny turn it was that Sheldon would stumbleupon the book on the same day he was hanging out with Howard’s kids.

As Penny and Bernadette return to their hotel room, Bernie tells Penny she can’t believe she took Danny’s business card. After Bernadette asks whether she’s seriously considering the job offer, Penny says it’s flattering that he thinks she’s good at her job. Bernie claims he’s just using Penny to get to her. After Penny points out how successful her “Inflaminex” campaign has been, Bernadette reminds her she was the one who gave her the job in the first place.

When Raj returns to Howard and Bernadette’s living room, he asks Amy where the kids are. Amy says Sheldon is helping Howard give them a bath. After Raj asks her if she really thinks she can trick Sheldon into having babies, Amy points out she was able to get Sheldon to sleep with her and marry her. When Sheldon returns, he thanks Amy for encouraging him to experiment with the kids during bath time. Sheldon admits he’s had a good day. After they leave, Raj wonders where Leonard went.

When Leonard phones his mother from the bathroom, he wants to know if his childhood was just one big experiment. Beverly disagrees and says it was thousands of little experiments. Leonard fears he was just a test subject, but Beverly dismisses that and says he was her baby and she found him fascinating. She admits she’s not the warmest person, but those times they spent together are some of her fondest memories. After Leonard wonders when she stopped, Beverly can’t say as the experiment isn’t over.

In a hotel bar, Penny talks with Danny, who says she could make a lot more money at his company. After he writes down an offer for Penny, Bernadette interrupts them and takes the piece of paper away. Bernadette looks at the offer and asks Danny whether he knows how amazing Penny is. Bernie says Penny is a hard worker and a great salesperson. Danny insists he knows that and it’s why he’s trying to steal her away. After Bernie says she won’t give Penny up without a fight, Penny tells Danny she’s happy where she is.

In their bedroom, Amy is pleased when Sheldon tells her that spending time with Michael and Halley made him think about their future children.Sheldon is unsure how many kids they should have: five sets of triplets or three sets of quintuplets. He decides he’s happy as long as they’re healthy and divisible by three.