The Big Bang Theory "The Cooper/Kripke Inversion" Review: Sheldon's Road to Redemption (and Sex)

The Big Bang Theory S06E14: “The Cooper/Kripke Inversion”

It's been a rough season for Sheldon Cooper so far. There was the accidental sexual harassment incident and his participation in the worst cosplay adventure ever—just to name some of his more unfortunate moments. In “The Cooper/Kripke Inversion,” Sheldon was forced to work on a proposal with his arch-nemesis and, to make matters worse, once he stopped handing Kripke envelopes full of blank paper and actually made an effort to collaborate with his rival, Sheldon realized that Kripke’s work was better than his. Like, a lot better than his. OH THE SHAME. I love that Sheldon’s angry music is the Star Wars Imperial March, but then, isn’t it everyone’s?

Kripke could have used Sheldon’s brief and startling moment of inferiority to assert his own greatness and really rub it in his egotistical rival’s face. Sheldon certainly wouldn’t have passed on the opportunity had the tables been reversed. However, Sheldon still had one thing going for him that Kripke didn’t: Amy. We know that they aren’t doing the old bump and grind. Leonard and Penny know that. Anyone who spends five minutes in a room with Sheldon and Amy can figure it out... but Kripke didn’t know. He immediately blamed Sheldon’s sub-par work on sexytimes with Ms. Farrah Fowler.

I was initially worried that Sheldon would take Kripke’s belief that Amy was a distraction to heart and we were going to have a break-up on our hands, but once Sheldon realized that Kripke thought it was AWESOME that Sheldon was getting “all the laid” he saw the opportunity to maintain his superiority for what it was. Also, Sheldon admitted during Penny’s TMI interrogation that he’s “quite fond of Amy.” Awwwww.

It was nice to hear that! I often feel bad for Amy. Sometimes, it seems apparent that she doesn't get as much as she gives with regard to her and Sheldon’s relationship. It’s easy to get mad at Sheldon. I get mad at Sheldon. He tends to miss some of the simplest gestures and while there’s a large contingency that reads his difficulties as representative of an Autism spectrum disorder, the show itself has never made this distinction. Sheldon’s honest response to Penny’s prying was a step toward doing so.

“Penny, all my life I have been uncomfortable with the sort of physical contact that comes easily to others: hand-shaking, hugging, prostate exams.” Might want to reconsider that last one there, Dr. Cooper, “But I’m working on it.”

Sometimes it seems as though The Big Bang Theory’s status quo is that “Sheldon is quirky and we all must accept that”—which in turn gives Sheldon free reign to, well, act like a douche. Sheldon’s honest admission to Penny and Leonard went a long way toward remediating his somewhat tarnished image—he may not always realize when he’s doing/saying something wrong but he IS aware that he’s flawed and he’s working on improving himself. The entire tone of Amy and Sheldon’s sometimes-weird relationship has changed for the better. Amy is no longer a sad, desperate woman throwing herself at a self-centered, disinterested man. They both give just as much to their relationship, they just do it in different ways.

Meanwhile, Raj and Howard sought the perfect custom action figures and Howard learned a lesson about the value of money and the importance of communicating with his spouse—especially since his spouse is Bernadette and Bernie has a temper AND access to experimental pharmaceuticals. Raj found a website that created custom vanity action figures that like so many things on the internet, looked better in the pictures. When the eagerly anticipated figurines arrived, Raj and Howard were disappointed to see that in reality, their $500 mini-mes were more like Racial Stereotype Ken Dolls.

Since Howard and Raj are super-smart, highly-educated dudes, they came up with a solution that couldn’t possibly end badly: Buy a used 3-D printer for five grand and make all the mini-mes they wanted to their own specifications. Admittedly, the new and improved action figures were kind of awesome-looking. BUT (of course there’s a but!) Howard didn’t talk to Bernadette before taking his half of the expense out of their joint bank account. Oh boy. Somebody get him a Marriage 101 pamphlet.

Howard and Raj’s adventures often provide a nice, light-hearted counter to the heavier relationship blah blah going on between Sheldon and Amy or Leonard and Penny at any given time and their mission to mold their perfect miniature selves was no exception. I was sad to see the 3-D printer go. Think of the (creepy) potential in a cast of homemade Big Bang Theory action figures. It could have been amazing!


What did you think of this episode?



The Stray Observation Addendum


– One-liner of the night: “My wife came with both funbags AND moneybags.” Oh Howard, you’re a pig.

– Bernadette was shocked and horrified that Howard actually considered ditching her for the fully-functional plastic ladyparts. I wasn’t.

– Kripke’s quest for the dirty details of Sheldon’s sex life got a little raunchy for 8pm on CBS. I about choked when he asked if they use toys.

– Sheldon’s awesome train whiteboard FTW!

Comments (42)
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This episode was great always love seeing kripke and sheldon together almost as good as will wheaton and him aswell lol
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The moment i reacted exactly the same as penny.. i knew.. it was one of teh greatest episodes ever! Loved every minute of it!
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Another hilarious episode. My favorite part was Howard considering using the 3D printer to make replaceable lady parts, plus Bernadette's reaction to it!! LMFAO!!! I also loved Penny's reaction to Sheldon's confession. I almost reacted the same way lol!!
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My Favourite part of The Cooper/Kripke Inversion is when Howie deciding to ditch his wife Bernadette to have sex with the fully-functional ladyparts. Listen to the scenario here, Howie made a good choice to ditch his wife to have sex with the fully-functional ladyparts because if she is going to get mad at him for spending $5,000 dollars that she make's then she doesn't get any action in the bedroom. You get mad at your husband no action in the bedroom for Bernie the bitch it's simple. I like Howie aka Howard because he's awesome and adorable. His wife on the other hand is a total bitch no matter what. He made a good choice by having sex with the fully-functional ladyparts because if his wife is going to act this way for using her money then she deserves to be ditch and left alone while she's also to be a total bitch anyways. He's 5-ft-5 and she's 4-feet tall. Huge Difference.

I think Howie aka Howard is a excellent person on the show while his wife Bernadette can be a soul-sucking bitch. What wife act's this way. She's a bad role model for the show because first of all she's small than the rest of the castmates of the crew.

Plus, I also believe Howard can do much better then her. Think about it 4-FEET-TALL of a Catholic girl that's just pathetic. He's taller then her and she's small.

Wait, I do believe Howard is much better then her because he looked innocent and told her the truth and she acted out of rage. Yeah Bernadette you know what your pathetic and a disgrace to be the husband of Howard Joel Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory.

Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, you shouldn't be married to Howard Joel Wolowitz because you think you deserve him but really you don't you acted out on rage because he use your money of $5,000 grand you kidding me Bernie. Your a disgrace to the show and also a disgrace to the actor you work with as your husband on the show and also a disgrace to the crew of the show. This is how I feel about Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski-Wolowitz in the entire post.

The message is my opinion so don't take it personally or seriously. Hope you enjoy my opinion people.
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I am sorry,but this part is so funny to me: "Howie aka Howard" :D

Someone seems to have crush on Howard:D

I am sorry,what does Melissa Rauch's height got to do anything, with her talking to other people? Just because,she is the smallest,she shouldn't say anything?!?! That's some height racism:D
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my fab scene - by far - was when Sheldon was giving a sports commentary to his math solving on his board. "And the crowd goes wild: No-bel, No-bel" - probably the best scene of the season for me. Academically.
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The median income for a mechanical engineering professor is $110k. He can buy any old $2,500 3D printer he wants and have plenty to spare. Just how much do the writers think these guys make?
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I've often wondered. They act like these men are paupers or something.
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I'm a difficult person. My colleagues and friends are by and large also difficult people from the world of physics and computer science. I know anyone reading this who also works with, loves, and perhaps even is a difficult person knows that a lot of the personality quirks merely need to be managed. Once you find the way to do so, the benefits offered by those difficult personalities who have otherwise loving hearts outweighs the behavioral ticks.

What was most interesting to me about this episode and hasn't been mentioned too much is that it's not just Sheldon's growth. It's everyone's growth. Leonard hands out marching orders to Sheldon to shower and dress and what does Sheldon do? He complies! Every time someone has handled him like his mother does, or says something is a social requirement, he goes along with that.

Penny finally just cut to the chase with Sheldon, and Leonard try to stop her. "We don't say things like that to Sheldon" - and she demands Sheldon respons anyway. And Sheldon answers her - honestly, and from the heart.

The day Amy, or whatever woman wants to be with Sheldon tells him "You come with me, right now Mister, and do what I tell you . . . " - well, I suspect Sheldon will follow.

What's more, Sheldon's "quirks" and nastiness are belied by the quality of his friendships. Sheldon bonds for life with the people he loves, once a relationship has been established.

There are a lot of Sheldon's in this world. In many ways, he's an archetype of the bumbling, brilliant kid who has been alienated throughout childhood and has had to create complex and often faulty defenses, because few can understand Sheldons, except perhaps other Sheldons. Which is why I believe he even allowed himself to face the fact that Kripke's work was also brilliant - and in this case, more focused on his own.

Love the Sheldons in your life. They can be oh so worth it. :)
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fantastic and insightful post! I didn't realize all the characters growths until you pointed it out~~also the insight about how to manage or handle Sheldon. Amy just needs to tell him what to do! Also Sheldon acknowledging Kripke's work and his own imperfections (work and personal)--awesome.

well said MollyHolzschl:-)

I loved this episode and really liked MaryAnn's review--excellent
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It is the 14th episode of the 6th season of Big Bang Theory and we finally, finally know Sheldon's "deal":)) epic!
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I bought my wife a Sheldon Cooper bobblehead, it's incredibly awesome! Also got her an Abby Sciuto one :)
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This episode is very funny. I enjoyed it. This is a great episode. Raj wrote a check to Bernadette to pay for his half of the 3-D printer so Raj owns half of it. Another story might be a bunch of thugs kidnap Raj and Howard and forces them to make an arsenal of guns and weapons using the 3-D printer, then Kripke, Sheldon and Amy saves the day.
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getting old here! Good thing there's a laugh track, or I would know EXACTLY when toooo laugh, or grin at the most!
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I'm surprised Howard, Raj, AND Bernadette missed the obvious business opportunity. If custom action figures go for $500 each, you can make back your $5000 capital investment with just ten unit sales.
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"I love that Sheldon's angry music is the Star Wars Imperial March, but then, isn't it everyone's?" That's my "entering the office" music. I literally programmed a thing on my phone that plays that when I approach my office door so that my minions can scatter.
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Staff
Must try this...
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Depending on the nerdiness of your minions, I suggest "Thus Spake Zarathustra" instead. More awe-inspiring, less evil-suggesting.
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Plus, anyone in the office who knows anything about professional wrestling will immediately shout "WOOOOOOO!"
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Sorry to be pedantic but it's "Also Sprache Zarathustra", theme to "2001 A Space Odyssy"
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To be even more pedantic, it's called "Also sprach Zarathustra" ....
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While episode itself might not have had as many crazy funny scenes as other episodes had,it had character development, like no other in season 6. And TBBT handles both of these so well,that this episode is very high on my list. Amy surprised me tonight. Usually,when Sheldon asks her,that they make physical contact,she gets all, to use Sheldon's words :"Your ovaries are squirting so much goofy juice into your brains you don't even know which way is up". This time, she was just like...ok,let me hug you. But this is maybe just nitpicking.

I think this episode might be cruical one,because(hopefully) in next episode Amy might learn where Sheldon's head is at,when it comes to sex and as we all know,Amy has 4 year plan to get Sheldon to marry her.

I love every character on TBBT. And each brings something unique to show. I love how Bernadette can really pull off being crazy and how,she really might hurt someone,if they push her to far:D

It was so cool to see,how Kaley had to hold back those genuine smiles. These are kind of things I love the most from cast.
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agree 100%

I like how Sheldon wanted the boa constrictor hug and then he reached over and held her hand...very sweet.

I wonder if Sheldon figured out what he accidentally implied with the rocket in regards to the question about toys:-)

It was "so cool to see,how Kaley had to hold back those genuine smiles"!
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I don't know why Howard and Raj didn't start selling figures themselves since they could make far better ones than people were paying $500 for.... Printer is paid off in a few orders and Bernie's not mad because then it's nothing but profit.
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Also, they didn't get rid of the 3D printer, Raj just bought out Howards half so there's still hope of TBBT figures popping up all over the show...
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As Mattel will tell you, the real money's in the accessories. Forget Barbie's Dream Car... how much extra does Howard's Dream Rocket cost?
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A WOCKET!!!!???
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I don't think that Sheldon needs to improve himself per se. He is what he is, and he's not flawed by any means. Just because he's not in line with what the majority of people are like, I wouldn't call anyone who is so in real life flawed. Yes, it would be nice if he would show a little more empathy towards others, but if he's really as self-centred as we know him to be then maybe he should break up with Amy.
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This show is all about the funny. How they get there doesn't really matter. First of all there's no way Sheldon could actually be like he is - even these people would've kicked him to the curb a long time ago. He's a super douche. But we like him and all the others anyway although the others are basically okay people in their own strange way. This show shines because of it's wonderful cast and good comedy writing, but the real world, it ain't...
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I found this episode confusing, I've been bitching for a few years now about a lack of growth for Sheldon, and in this season he had that "I want to go home" moment in the desert and now this one-two punch of recognizing his rival's genius AND his own human growth with Amy which might some day reach coitus, as he'd say. This is compelling stuff, and funny at the same time! Sheldon playing the bro game with Kripke was outstanding, he didn't show a total lack of understanding in the moment and simply went forward with the pretense with a natural place of awkwardness. Penny's face at the end of the episode mirrored my own - shock and surprise and a little giddiness. All this and it wasn't even a terribly good episode! So kudos, TBBT, for finding your way back to being watchable. I'm glad to see you feel similarly.

Would you consider the whiteboard train to be art, and if so, is that another sign of Sheldon's growth? He's not terribly artistic in general.

MaryAnn, I sometimes will use The Imperial March when I'm angry, but more often it's while I'm being triumphant and I save the metal for anger. Using The Imperial March for anger is dangerous because it's in shuffle rotation in my car, driving with that song while angry turns the world into Death Race 2000.

The 3D Printer didn't go, Raj now owns it outright, and a scary thought that will be. That plotline was pretty light, but you make a good point about it countering the deeper stuff with Shelly. My issues with the action figures and 3D Printer are more that these writers missed Nerd 101 in this bit, there are a few custom figure makers out there and any good geek would have researched their reputation before plunking down $500; and as for the 3D Printer... well, they would have just made the university pay for it.
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He's not terribly artistic in general...but this is trains we're talking about. TRAINS!
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Ironically for Sheldon, the most sexual of land vehicles.
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I find it hard to believe that Howard makes peanuts. He's an engineer who graduated from MIT and worked for NASA
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This irked me too. His job isn't just some office white collar job. He doesn't seem to be supporting his mother and I'm pretty sure he has paid all his student debt by now for being single and living off his mother for a lot of years. But then again, he only has a master's degree. Maybe if he got a doctorate, he would be making more. ;)
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Howard works in underfunded academia, that's why he makes a lot less money than Bernadette. He's not in the private sector - she is. Not only that, the show is set in Pasadena, California which is high-shelf price living. So the economic difference between the characters is actually quite realistic.
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Thank you. I've been wondering.
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TBBT just keeps on rolling. An exceptional episode and it made me laugh a lot. Not much more I could ask for.

I could comment on everything, but I wouldn't even know where to start, as it was all just so good, but I will say this:

I really appreciate when long running shows are self aware and use their history to their advantage. TBBT did this very well in this episode. I especially liked when Penny asked Sheldon the big question. It was very appropriate that out of the entire cast, Penny would ask Sheldon that particular question. Penny started out as the surrogate audience member, being thrust into this new world. She was getting used to these "nerds" just like we were and overtime she has grown accustomed to and become very fond of these people, just as we have. So the fact Penny was the one to bluntly ask a question we have all been thinking was very fitting and almost an homage to previous seasons. Plus, I absolutely loved her reaction(s), it was appropriate as Sheldon's new or changing behavior is a big deal and it was just so Penny (I hope Leonard doesnt bruise easily).

When this show is good, it is in my opinion, light years ahead of any other current comedy on TV.

PS. I think Raj just bought out Howard's stake in the printer. Don't know if we will ever see it again, but technically Raj owns it.
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Well said!
Spot on with Penny asking and her reaction.
Yes, Raj bought out Howard's half the the printer and I hope we see it again
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I liked this episode a lot (though oddly, I had to keep rewinding to hear Raj's lines with his doll). I appreciated the whole conversation at the end with Sheldon, Leonard and Penny. I appreciate when, even after shows expand, they remember that these three are the core of the show and their dynamic is the actual heart of the show.
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You weren't which? Shocked or horrified?
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Staff
Lol, neither. Saw that coming a mile away.
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Yeah, Howard is a sick sick man. Love your reviews!
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