The Big Bang Theory

Season 3 Episode 9

The Vengeance Formulation

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Nov 23, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
465 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Barry Kripke pranks Sheldon during his spot on NPR, leaving him with a taste for vengeance. Wolowitz, pressured by Bernadette to define their relationship, gets advice from a fantasy version of Katee Sackhoff.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Bernadette

    The pranks continue - I'm just not a fan of practical jokes because of what they can do in the office, so this episode really didn't appeal to me. It was nice to see the character development (kinda) in Howard, but even that was half-assed and not terribly compelling. They're hitting a new rhythm this season, but this episode felt very first season. Not great at all.
  • 309

    A very forgettable installment of The Big Bang Theory as opposed to the last episode which I thought was pretty great. An episode focused on Howard has never really been my cup of tea, but in some cases it turns out to be good, this wasn't one of those times. So this episode had to do with Howard afraid of commitment when Bernadette asks him where their relationship is going (Who cares?), meanwhile Sheldon gets pranked. (Again, who cares?).

    Sheldon's plot is usually the best, but here it was just cliche and predictable. The only part I liked was when Penny was describing to Howard that Leonard is the type of guy she usually goes for, but other than that, this episode really wasn't that great. And tomorrow, I probably will already forget about it.moreless
  • Weak.

    After last week's awful episode of The Big Bang Theory, this week should have been great, right? You'd think so, but no, it was another disappointing installment of a show I once referred to as great. You would think that having Katee Sackhoff naked in a bathtub would be enough to justify at least an 8, but they somehow even managed to blow that guest spot.

    The "pranks" during this episode were childish on both ends and even the slowest person in the world could predict that Sheldon's would backfire. Just because something worked on Salute Your Shorts doesn't mean it would on a show nearly 20 years later.

    Let's hope this is just a minor funk The Big Bang Theory is in. I want to like this show, but this was yet another mediocre installment.moreless
  • an average, but awesome episode :)

    I loved this episode! It was good ole big bang theory fun. Sheldon on helium, I'll admit, was a hilarious sound. But his vengeance prank was even more amusing! There were some excellent references as well, I especially liked the batman reference, with joker and batman.

    However, the howard storyline did not interest me whatsoever. I thought it was very boring. His song was somewhat amusing but that was about the extent of my interest in that storyline. But him and his mother yelling at each other while he is having a bubble bath with champagne was quite funny.

    It was an alright episode, but hopefully it gets better :)moreless
  • Sheldon is going to be on NPR to discuss his current theory and then is humiliated by a colleague who he is rivals with. Howard and Bernadette go on their third date and based on what that means Bernadette wants to know where their relationship is going.moreless

    An entertaining story with two interesting parts. It didn't have the strength of the last three or so episodes, but was fun to watch anyways.

    Our two parts are based on Sheldon's radio interview and Howard's relationship with Bernadette.

    Sheldon has big news at lunch which gets ruined by his rival Barry Kripke played by John Ross Bowie who rudely tells his friends and then actually goes on to ruin his interview in a very clever way.

    On Howard's dating front, he and Bernadette are at the end of their third date. Bernadette informs him as this is their third date and that's the "sex date". She wants to know if he's really interested or if this is a one night stand.

    The additional comedy comes from Sheldon's reaction and retribution against Barry and what occurs. Also Howard's fantasy bathroom antics starring Katee Sackhoff of BSG as herself.

    As I stated, an entertaining episode that sort of missed something that usually is there. Maybe more Leonard, Penny, and Raj. Who knows. I enjoyed the episode all the same just not as much as usual. Thanks for reading...moreless
Ira Flatow

Ira Flatow


Guest Star

Katee Sackhoff

Katee Sackhoff


Special Guest Star

John Ross Bowie

John Ross Bowie

Barry Kripke

Recurring Role

Carol Ann Susi

Carol Ann Susi

Mrs. Wolowitz

Recurring Role

Melissa Rauch

Melissa Rauch

Bernadette Rostenkowski

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The foam-forming chemical reaction that Sheldon uses to revenge Kripke is a famous experiment known as "Elephant toothpaste". It can be performed premixing concentratedhydrogen peroxideand a liquid detergent (Sheldonuses dish soap), and then mixing the above with a catalyst (Sheldon uses saturatedsodium iodide solution) that causes rapid decomposition of 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.

  • QUOTES (7)

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

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

    • Sheldon: (about 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 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 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.

    • (entering 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 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.

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode's end titles has Chuck Lorre's Vanity Card #269.

    • Katee Sackhoff, who turned down the role that went to Summer Glau for "The Terminator Decoupling", tagged along when friend and Battlestar Galactica co-star Tricia Helfer filmed a guest spot on Chuck Lorre's other show, Two and a Half Men. Chuck approached Katee with the concept of her appearing as Howard's fantasy, which she accepted.

    • The Italian episode title is "La formula della vendetta", the French title is "La Formule de la vengeance", the German title is "Die Racheformel", and the Spanish and Mexican title is "La fórmula de la venganza", all exact translations.

    • International Airdates: Latin America: January 12, 2010 on Warner Channel; Australia: March 1, 2010 on Channel 9; United Kingdom: April 22, 2010 on E4; Finland: November 22, 2010 on Sub; Turkey: November 29, 2010 on CNBC-e; Czech Republic: December 15, 2010 on Prima COOL; Slovakia: October 27, 2011 on Markiza