The Vengeance Formulation Season 3, Episode 9 -  Aired November 23, 2009

The Vengeance Formulation

When Barry Kripke pulls a prank on Sheldon which embarrasses him on national radio, Sheldon vows revenge. Meanwhile, Howard tries to keep his new relationship with Bernadette going.

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Guest Stars: John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke, Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz, Melissa Rauch as Bernadette, Katee Sackhoff as Herself, Ira Flatow as Himself

Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Maria Ferrari (Story), Richard Rosenstock (Teleplay), Jim Reynolds (Teleplay), Steve Holland (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 13.88 million Households Rating: 8.4/13 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.7/12

Available on iTunes

Episode Lists

  • Howard & Bernadette: Key Episodes Howard & Bernadette: Key Episodes

    The key moments from Howard and Bernadette's relationship including their first date, Howard's proposal, their wedding, and the births of their two children.

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Sheldon's formulation of a plan to avenge Kripke.
  • Ira Flatow later features in the season seven episode "The Discovery Dissipation".

Episode Quotes

Barry Kripke: Hey, Cooper. I hear you're going to be on the radio with Ira Flatow from Science Friday next week.
Sheldon: Thank you, Kripke, for depriving me of the opportunity to share my news with my friends.
Barry Kripke: My pleasure.
Sheldon: My thanks were not sincere.
Barry Kripke: Ah, but my pleasure is.

Sheldon: What are you talking about?
Leonard: The cultural paradigm in which people have sex after 3 dates.
Sheldon: I see. Now, are we talking date the social interaction or date the dried fruit?

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: And whether that propagation is in the interest of humanity is, of course, an entirely different question.

Sheldon: Are we talking "date", the social interaction or "date" the dried fruit?

Sheldon: Hello, Kripke. This classic prank comes to you from the malevolent mind of Sheldon Cooper. If you would like to see the look on your stupid face, this video is being instantly uploaded to YouTube. Oh, and a hat tip to Leonard Hofstadter and Raj Koothrappali for their support and encouragement in this enterprise.


When Bernadette asks Howard where their relationship is going after their third date, he gives her the wrong answer causing her to call time on their night together. At the university cafeteria, Sheldon wants to announce that he will be interviewed on NPR. Barry Kripke turns up and ruins Sheldon's surprise.

Wanting to make sure the less educated listeners will understand him, Sheldon asks Howard to look over his talking points for his NPR interview. When Penny arrives at the apartment, she wants to know why Howard hasn't called Bernadette after their last date. Howard admits he's not sure Bernadette is right for him, thinking he could hold out for the fantasy girl of his dreams - someone like Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar Galactica.

On the day of Sheldon's NPR interview, Barry Kripke opens the valves of two helium gas bottles that are being piped into Sheldon's office. During Sheldon's interview with Ira Flatow, Sheldon starts to speak with a very high pitch. He soon finds the nozzle and knows right away that Kripke was behind this. Leonard, Howard and Raj listen to the interview in the school cafeteria, laughing at Kripke's prank on Sheldon.

Howard enjoys a bath with an imaginary Katee Sackhoff, until his mother interrupts him. Elsewhere, Sheldon has taken refuge in his bedroom after his embarassing interview on public radio. Leonard and Raj go to comfort Sheldon, although Raj finds it easier to mock him. Leonard suggests Sheldon should find a way to exact vengeance on Kripke.

Howard goes to the Cheesecake Factory to tell Bernadette his feelings for her and ends up proposing, which she rejects. Back at the apartment, Sheldon explains his plan for vengeance on Kripke. Raj and Leonard are impressed by Sheldon's plan and watch it unfold live via webcam. Unfortunately, Sheldon's foamy vengeance falls not only Kripke but also on the university board, including President Siebert. A boastful video from Sheldon not only implicates him in the prank, but Leonard and Raj, too.

At the Cheesecake Factory again, Howard starts playing a song for Bernadette ("Sweet Bernadette", which he adapted from the Four Tops' "Bernadette") to apologize for his inappropriate proposal. Bernadette thinks this is the most romantic thing anybody's ever done for her.