The Cohabitation Formulation Season 4, Episode 16 -  Aired February 17, 2011

The Cohabitation Formulation

Raj's sister, Priya, is in town again and rekindles her relationship with Leonard, prompting Penny to reconsider her feelings for him. When Bernadette asks Howard to move in with her, he is forced to choose between his girlfriend and his mother.

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Guest Stars: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz, Aarti Mann as Priya

Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Lee Aronsohn (Story), Dave Goetsch (Story), Bill Prady (Teleplay), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Jim Reynolds (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 12.41 million Households Rating: 7.4/12 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.7/11

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 Howard and Bernadette deciding to live together.

> Sheldon's Beverage Protocols

When Howard goes to Leonard and Sheldon's apartment after having an argument with Bernadette, Sheldon prompts Leonard to make him a hot beverage.

"Leonard: Howard's gonna sleep here tonight. He had a fight with his mother.
Sheldon: Did you offer him a hot beverage?
Leonard: No.
Sheldon: Leonard, social protocol states when a friend is upset, you offer them a hot beverage, such as tea.
Howard: Tea does sound nice.
Sheldon: You heard the man, Leonard. And while you're at it, I'm upset that we have an unannounced houseguest, so make me cocoa."

Later, when an upset Penny goes to the apartment as Sheldon is eating dinner and video-chatting with Amy, she prompts him to make a drink for Penny.

"Amy: Sheldon, you have a guest who's upset.
Sheldon: Right. I'll make tea.
Penny: Oh, sweetie, it's okay. I don't want tea.
Sheldon: I'm sorry. It's not optional."

Episode Quotes

Mrs. Wolowitz: Who's there? Are you a sex criminal?
Howard: Sex criminals don't have key, ma!
Mrs. Wolowitz: Where were you so late?
Howard: I was out with Bernadette
Mrs. Wolowitz: I know what that means, I watch Dr. Phil. I hope to God you used a condom.
Howard: I am not having this conversation with you, ma.
Mrs. Wolowitz: God forbid you get one of them fancy sex diseases.
Howard: Nobody has a disease!
Mrs. Wolowitz:I hope not. I share a toilet with you. Is that what you want, to give your mother herpes?

Amy: So, you feeling better?
Penny: Not really.
Amy: Sheldon, you have a guest who's upset.
Sheldon: I'll make tea.
Penny: Sweetie, it's OK. I don't want tea.
Sheldon: It's not optional.

Sheldon: Priya, if you're experiencing any tension or awkwardness, it may stem from the fact that Leonard and Penny used to, if I might quote Howard, "Do the dance with no pants".

Amy: Thanks to you, I just made a rhesus monkey cry like a disgraced televangelist.

Raj: You heard me, I forbidded it.
Priya: Forbidded it?
Raj: Forbayded it?

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 4.16 Ratings February 18, 2011

The ratings for last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory are out.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 4.16 January 31, 2011

CBS has revealed the details for the sixteenth episode of the season, airing February 17th.  Full story


Howard is about to leave Bernadette when she asks him to stay. Howard explains how he needs to help his mother in the morning, but Bernadette says it makes her feel cheap when he leaves right after they make love. Bernadette asks whether Howard has ever considered them living together, but he's only thought about them taking his mother's house after she dies. When Howard returns home, his mother accuses him of being a sex criminal and then of having a "fancy" sex disease, leading him to crash at Leonard's for the night.

When Sheldon asks why Howard didn't stay at Raj's, he reveals that Priya is back in town, leading Leonard to go over. Leonard turns up at Raj's apartment, but he tries to forbid Leonard and Priya from seeing each other. Later, at the Cheesecake Factory, Leonard and Priya announce they are now a couple. When Howard offers to spend two nights with Bernadette when his mother goes to Palm Springs, Bernadette wants more of a commitment - he should choose between her and his mother.

When Amy finds out Priya is dating Leonard, she goes to Penny's apartment to comfort her. Penny says she's fine with it, but Amy thinks it's necessary for them to talk about Priya, "that man-stealing bitch". Over at Bernadette's apartment, she answers the door to find Howard, with a lot of luggage, who tells her he chooses her. Raj, Amy and Priya are having pizza for dinner with Leonard and Sheldon in their apartment when Penny stops by. When Priya and Leonard bond over Shakespeare, Penny starts to feel jealous.

Howard and Bernadette living together isn't working out as he expects her wait on him hand and foot, like his mother. When Bernadette grows tired of serving him, she sends him home to his mother. When Amy checks in on Penny, she still insists she's fine with Leonard and Priya, but soon starts sobbing.