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"The Positive Negative Reaction" is the sixteenth episode of the ninth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired Thursday, February 18, 2016.


Bernadette tells Howard that she's pregnant, but his reaction is not what she thought it would be. The guys take Howard to a karaoke bar where Penny's Posse join them to celebrate.

Extended Plot[]

Howard comes in for breakfast and finds a note on the coffee machine that says "WE". Checking the back, the note directs him to the milk container which has a note that says "ARE". The next note is in the spoon drawer. Bernadette speculates that the message is "We are Groot." "We are the champions." "We are family. I got all my sisters with me." The final note says "PREGNANT." Howard looks over to her and asks whether she is sure. Pretty positive like the pregnancy test she is holding. They kiss and Howard exclaims that they can now board planes first and use the mall's family bathroom. They both agree that the situation is crazy. Then, Howard starts to panic and wonders how everything is going to work. Get a pretty nanny? An ugly nanny? The pretty one would wreck their marriage, while the ugly one would scare the kid. Then, he worries about whether they should raise it Catholic or Jewish or get him circumcised.


Are you sure?

While getting ready to play a board game, Leonard mentions that someone in Raj's department thinks they have discovered a new planet in our solar system. Why wasn't Raj involved? He was making homemade jam for his friend|friends' Christmas presents. Sheldon quips that Raj should let him know when he wins the Nobel Prize for boysenberry. Howard arrives and tells the guys that he is going to be a father. Leonard and Raj instantly congratulate him; however, Sheldon immediately thinks that a baby will change everything and ruin all their fun activities. He asks questions such as "How can you have fun with a kid going to Disneyland?" Leonard says there is enough room for two babies in the group and Sheldon immediately concludes that Penny is pregnant; however, Sheldon is the other baby.

The Posse is meeting on the back porch. Bernadette has something to tell the girls; Penny ruins it by blurting out a text she is reading off of her phone from Leonard. He also told Penny not to say anything. Bernadette still says, "I'm pregnant" and the girls quickly congratulate her. While Bernie is happy with this news, she is not only worried about Howard flipping out, but also about the fact that she is going to get fat. Penny reassures her that she will be glowing and have the cutest little baby bump ever. Bernadette tells her that she has nothing to worry about since she is a skinny bitch. She apologizes due to her hormones. Amy and Penny tell her that it may have just been his initial reaction and that he'll calm down.


Toasting Howard and his tight pants.

Howard is now shouting at his friends that he shouldn't be having a child because he doesn't even eat his own vegetables. And what if the kid has his big nose? Sheldon is worried that he won't be over as often to play games. Raj thinks that Howard can bring him over. Sheldon adds that they will have to baby proof the apartment. Even Sheldon can't operate the lock on his sister's toilet. He is also worried about the cost of raising a child. In Los Angeles, the cost of raising a child through college could be one million dollars. With that thought in mind, Howard has to figure out a way to earn more money. Raj thinks that Howard could ask for an increase in his allowance. Leonard tells him that this is great news and Howard does know it. So, they decide to go out and celebrate.

Penny thinks that going out to celebrate would get Bernadette's mind off her problems. To a bar? She can't drink. To that sushi place she love? She can't have sushi. Why not use her hot tub? She can't do that either. Amy thinks that she can't laugh anymore either.


You conceived in Sheldon's bed?

The guys take Howard to a tiki bar where they toast his big heart, his beautiful soul and his tight pants that didn't make him sterile. Howard still worries about his financial future. The guy that invented those little umbrellas has no problems with money. Sheldon keeps downing his drinks getting plastered. Howard wants to invent a larger cocktail umbrella, but Apple Computer|Apple already has the market on making things different sizes. While Sheldon heads to the bathroom which is the kitchen, the guys propose a sophisticated guidance system based upon Leonard and Sheldon's superfluid theory. It was originally from an idea for a guidance system for drunks to keep them safe and on track. A drunk Sheldon returns and is amazed at a bathroom that has people cooking in it.

While the girls continue talking about the news, Amy mentions how much fun it is to buy toys and cute little clothes. She already does that with Howard. And she'll never get hungry with a minivan whose floor is covered with Cheerios. Amy wonders when they decided to a have a baby. They are all grownups and have had sex. Amy chimes in that she IS a grownup and has done it. Bernadette mentions that the baby wasn't really planned, and that one night when Sheldon was going on about time zones and railroad schedules, she and Howard ended up in Sheldon's bedroom and conceived a child which shocks Amy.

The guys are checking the Internet to see if anyone else had the idea they came up with. No one. Sheldon agrees with their calculations. Leonard mentions that even when drunk he was smarter than all of them. Howard wants them to get a patent for their idea so they can license it to companies to use in their guidance systems. Sheldon then tells Howard that they both know how hard it is growing up without a father; therefore, Howard is going to be a great father. Howard thanks Sheldon who then ruins their moment that if he has twins, he can do all kinds of neat experiments on them.

The girls now have their feet dangling in the hot tub. Penny gets an invitation from Leonard to join them for karaoke. Amy gets a message from Sheldon and knows that he's drunk because he used a period instead of a question mark.


Singing to the mother of his child.

When the girls arrive, Leonard and Raj are singing "Bust a Move." Penny congratulates Howard. Amy sits next to Sheldon who is very glad to see her, but doesn't know how to "bust a move". Howard is finally excited with Bernie and apologizes. He says that he's done with being scared. Bernie replies that it's okay to be nervous since she is. They kiss, embrace and tell each other that they love each other. And that's not just because Bernadette's breasts will be getting bigger.

On the stage in the tiki bar, Penny and Amy sing Justin Bieber's song "Baby" to Bernadette while Raj sits in the audience lip-syncing the song. Howard then sings to her "Baby I Need Your Loving." Sheldon raises his glass and smiles. Leonard and Raj then sing "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa, both embarrassing her. In contrast to everything else, a drunken Sheldon sings "My Country, 'Tis of Thee". Howard gets up and sings a touching rendition of “(You're) Having My Baby” to Bernadette while dedicating the song to her; however, he doesn't get the chance to finish it because Sheldon shouts at Howard about using his bed to procreate. Howard then says "Thank you, Pasadena! Good night!", drops the mic, and walks off the stage.

Back in Apartment 4A, Leonard and Penny say how happy they are for Howard and Bernadette and Leonard asks whether she is thinking about babies and she says she's not in a rush, but agrees and she asks Leonard what he thinks. Leonard says that he thinks they would make amazing parents. Meanwhile, a hung-over Sheldon is laying on the couch with a Harry Potter face and a mustache and beard, a line between his eyebrows and a line on his nose drawn on his face. Penny says that on the other they may lack a certain maturity, and holds up a marker indicating that she did the drawing on Sheldon's face.



  • Title Reference: Refers to how Howard took the news that he was going to be a father.
  • Taping date: February 2, 2016
  • This episode was watched by 15.24 million people with a rating of 3.8 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 20.41 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #2 for the week ending 21 February 21, 2016.
  • This episode aired in Canada on February 18, 2016.
  • In Australia, it aired on Wednesday March 2, 2016 with 1.02 million viewers.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card
  • Episode transcript [1]


  • Jesse Schedeen of IGN - If this episode accomplished anything, it was in reminding us why the Howard/Bernie romance is so endearing in the first place. There was a genuine sense of rapport between Simon Helberg and Melissa Rauch this week as their characters experienced the joy of being expectant parents followed by the inevitable sense of panic and dread that comes next. Howard's reaction to the news was the first in several sweet moments between the two. We also saw the beginnings form of what should be a solid character arc for Howard. After years of being the spoiled child of his household, he's trying to step up and be a responsible adult. Not that he has any clear idea of how to do that, but it's the thought that counts. This episode also mined a lot of humor out of Howard's man-child status. Bernie's crack about already buying children's clothing for one person in the house was especially funny. [2]
  • IMDb user reviews [3]


  • The "Previously on the Big Bang Theory" sequence in this episode summarizes the scene of Howard and Bernadette with the rabbit from the previous isode (S9E15) and it is announced by Kaley Cuoco.
  • Leonard and Penny discuss the possibility of having children one day.
  • Sheldon and Howard talk about growing up without their fathers - Sheldon assures Howard he will be a great dad. Sheldon once again shows rare empathy with Howard like he did in "The Comic Book Store Regeneration" (S8E15) when he comforted Howard after his mother died, saying he knows what it's like to lose someone.
  • This episode is the first time this season that all seven main characters (Raj, Penny, Leonard, Amy, Sheldon, Bernadette and Howard) have shared a scene as a full group. The last time they were all together was the season 8 episode "The Graduation Transmission" (S8E22).
  • This is the fifth episode that Sheldon is seen drunk, however, it is the first time he intentionally imbibes alcohol (other than the extenuating circumstances shown in "The Pants Alternative"), which is more precarious considering he could have probably ordered his tropical drink without liquor.
  • Despite Bernadette being pregnant, Melissa Rauch had never had a child. Her first pregnancy in 2017 was written into the series as Howard and Bernadette's second baby.


[The opening scene in the Wolowitz kitchen when Howard opens the door and sees Bernadette eating a bowl of strawberries for breakfast]
Howard: Morning.
Bernadette: Morning.
Howard: "We"? What is this?
Bernadette: I don't know. Maybe it says something on the back.
Howard: "Continued on milk." If you're tricking me into making my own breakfast, it didn't work for my mom, and it won't work for you. "Are." "We are..." "See spoons for more."
Bernadette: What could it be? "We are Groot"? "We are the champions"? "We are family"? "I got all my sisters with me."
[Howard is holding a spoon with a note on it that says "Pregnant". He looks around at Bernadette - his expression is one of pure joy].
Howard:: Are you serious?
Bernadette: Yeah.
Howard: Are you sure?
[Bernadette gets up from the table]
Bernadette: Pretty positive. That's a joke, because the pregnancy test says...
Howard: Oh my God! (Howard kisses Bernadette and embraces her). This is incredible. We're gonna be parents? We're gonna get to board planes first. Finally gonna get to see what's in that family bathroom at the mall.
Bernadette: I know, it's crazy.
Howard: It is crazy. Oh. I mean, how do you... prepare for something like this? I'm not even sure I've held a baby before.
Bernadette: Oh, it's okay, you'll figure it out.
Howard: But how's this all gonna work? Do we get a nanny? I mean, can we afford a nanny? And if we can, we can't get a pretty one, 'cause it'll wreck our marriage. We can't get an ugly one, 'cause it'll scare the kid.
Bernadette: (she's so confused) I-I don't know, Howie.
Howard: Are we in a good school district? You're Catholic, I'm Jewish. What religion do we raise it? And if it's a boy, do we get him circumcised? People say it's barbaric, but if we don't, it looks like a pig in a blanket.
Bernadette: Calm down, it's gonna be okay.
Howard: How's it gonna be okay? Look at me, I'm a mess. And that means this baby's gonna half a mess. And that's even before we screw it up with our cut-rate moderately attractive nanny.
[Bernadette is now very cross by this. The opening theme to "The Big Bang Theory" begins]

Howard: I need to tell you guys something.
Raj: If it's "thank you for the homemade jam you got in December", congratulations, you're the first one (glares at Sheldon and Leonard)
Howard (to the guys): I'm, uh.....I'm uh, gonna to be a father.
Leonard: Wow!
Raj: Congratulations!
Sheldon: Oh no!
Leonard: Why "oh no"?
Sheldon: Well because this changes everything! What about comic book night? What about playing games together? What about our trips to Disneyland? How can we do those things with a child around?
Leonard: Relax, there's room for two babies in this group
Sheldon: (shocked) Oh gosh, Penny's pregnant too?!
Leonard: (to Sheldon) You're the other baby.
Sheldon: Oh, well would a baby have to shave his face every other day?
Leonard: Would a grownup refuse to eat his graham cracker because one of them was broken?

Bernadette: So, I'm glad you guys are here. There's something I want to share with you. Howie and I are going to...
Penny: (she has a shock) Leonard says you're pregnant.
Amy: (she gasps with loud excitement) What?
Penny: (reads Leonard's text) "Don't say anything. Act surprised when she tells you." (to Bernadette) All right, how you want to do this?
Bernadette: I'm pregnant.
Penny: Oh, my God, I can't believe it!
Amy: This is so exciting!
Bernadette: (slightly lacking enthusiasm) Yeah, it's all real exciting.
Penny: Are-are you not happy about this?
Bernadette: (nervously) I am. Of-of course I am. I'm...I'm sure it's just the hormones. But it's weird-- Howie's the one who's been talking about having kids for years, and I was all excited to tell him because I thought he'd be thrilled, but then he started to flip out and now this feels like a bad idea and I'm gonna get fat! (now in tears)
Penny: You're gonna be beautiful and glowing and-and have the cutest little baby bump ever.
Bernadette: (upset and still tearful) Easy for you to say, skinny bitch. (shakes her head) Sorry, hormones.
Penny: Oh, that's all right. All I heard was "skinny."
Amy: I wouldn't make too much out of Howard not reacting the way you expected him to.
Penny: Yeah, I'm sure it was just the initial shock of it all.
Bernadette: You're probably right. After we talked about it, he started to calm down.

Amy: Hey, let's go do something to get your mind off this.
Penny: Yeah, yeah, we should go out.
Bernadette: (angrily) Where?
Penny: Uh, I don't know, a bar?
Bernadette: (upset about her restrictions) Can't drink.
Penny: We can, but all right.
Amy: Are you hungry? How about that sushi place you love?
Bernadette: (still upset) Doctor said I can't have sushi.
Penny: Okay, look, we don't have to go anywhere. We can just, you know, stay here and hang out in the hot tub.
Bernadette: (poutily) Doctor said I can't go in the hot tub.
Amy: Maybe you should get a new doctor.
(Bernadette glares at Amy)
Amy: What, he said you can't laugh either?
(Bernadette now flutters her eyelashes in irritation and says nothing)

Amy: Think about all the fun things you get to do when you have a baby.
Penny: Yeah! Yeah, you get to buy toys and little clothes.
Bernadette: I kind of already do that for Howie.
Penny: And-and whenever you're hungry, you'll be in a minivan with Cheerios all over the floor.
Amy: Oh, and I just found a new travel cup for Sheldon. It only lets out three at a time. So, when did you guys decide to get pregnant?
Bernadette: Well, we didn't exactly decide. We were talking about it, and then one night we got a little reckless.
Penny: Oh, tell us! Yeah, tell us.
Bernadette: No, I'm embarrassed
Penny: Oh, come on, we're all grown-ups. We've all done it.
Amy: Me! Me-me, too! I'm a grown-up and I've done it!
(Amy spins her hand round to Penny's face. Penny gives Amy five and she now turns annoyed)
Bernadette: Fine. We were out one night, and things got a little spontaneous.
Amy: Oh, that sounds juicy.
Bernadette: Well, Sheldon was going on and on about time zones and railroad schedules, and I went out...
Penny: Wait, I remember that. Hang on. You did it at our place?
Bernadette: Kind of on Sheldon's bed.
Penny and Amy: (they are both shocked) What?! No!
Bernadette: I was headed to the bathroom, and I passed Howie on his way out. Usually he says, "Do not go in there," but this time he said, "Hey, let's go in here."
Amy: (she's asking Bernadette crossly) How could you do that?
Bernadette: I'm sorry, but you know what it's like when you're with your man and one thing leads to another.
Amy: I do know what that's like. I really do.
(Penny shakes her head and says nothing)

(The nighttime scene of the girls dipping their feet in the hot tub)
Bernadette: You guys can go in if you want.
Penny: No, we're a team. If you can't go in, we're not going in.
Amy: Then why are we drinking?
Penny: (she's rather angry) Okay, it's not like she's got the Christ child in there, all right? (a sound of a text message arrives on her phone) Oh. It's Leonard. He says Sheldon's drunk and they're gonna do karaoke if we want to join them.
Bernadette: That sounds fun.
Amy: Oh, no. Sheldon's drunk texting me.
Penny: What's it say?
Amy: "Would you like to sing karaoke with us."
Bernadette: How is that a drunk text?
Amy: He used a period instead of a question mark. He's so wasted.

Raj:: ♪ Your movie's showing, so you're going ♪ ♪ Could care less about the five you're blowing ♪ ♪ Theater gets dark just to start the show ♪ ♪ You spot a fine woman sitting ♪ ♪ In your row, she's dressed in yellow ♪ ♪ She says, "Hello" ♪ ♪ "Come sit next to me, you fine fellow" ♪ ♪ You run over there without a second to lose ♪ ♪ And what comes next, hey ♪ ♪ Bust a move ♪ ♪
Leonard: (he sings in high pitch) You want it ♪ ♪ You got it, oh, you want it ♪ ♪ Baby, you got it ♪ ♪
Raj (he sings in a deep voice) Just bust a move ♪ ♪
Leonard: (he sings in high pitch again) You want it ♪ ♪ You got it, oh ♪ ♪ You want it, baby, you got it ♪ ♪
Raj (he sings in a deep voice again) Just bust a move ♪ ♪
(Leonard continues doing his high pitch singing just as the girl posse trio of Penny, Bernadette and Amy enter the bar)
Penny: Hey, guys. Congratulations!
Howard: Thank you.
Amy: Hi. How are you doing?
Sheldon: Oh, wonderful. I'm being musically encouraged to bust a move. If I knew what that meant, I might just do it.
Howard: I'm really glad you're here. Can we talk?
Bernadette: Sure.
Penny: So, you gonna get up there later?
Sheldon: A microphone, a room full of inaccurate depictions of Polynesian religion, and a captive audience to hear about it? You bet I am.
Howard: I'm sorry I freaked out this morning. I want you to know... I'm done being scared.
Bernadette: It's okay to be nervous. I am, too.
Howard: Thank God, 'cause I was lying-- you might not have to wait nine months to see someone soil their pants. But I'm also really excited. I mean it.
Bernadette: Me, too.
Howard: I love you. Mmm. And I'm not just saying that because your breasts are gonna get bigger.

(the tiki bar scene when Penny and Amy are singing words from Justin Beiber's "Baby" to Bernadette)
Penny: ♪ Are we an item? Girl, quit playin' ♪ ♪
Amy: We're just friends ♪ ♪ What are you sayin'? ♪ ♪
Penny: Say there's another and look right in my eyes ♪ ♪
Amy: My first love broke my heart for the first time ♪ ♪
Both: And I was like ♪ ♪ Baby, baby, baby, ooh ♪ ♪ Like, baby, baby, baby, no ♪ ♪ Like, baby, baby, baby, ooh ♪ ♪ I thought you'd always be mine

(the tiki bar scene when Howard is singing words from "Baby, I need your lovin'" to Bernadette)
Howard: Baby, I need your lovin', got ♪ ♪ To have all your lovin' ♪ ♪ Baby, I need your lovin' ♪ ♪ Got to have all your lovin' ♪

(the tiki bar scene when Raj and Leonard are singing words from "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa to Bernadette)
Raj Ooh, baby, baby ♪ ♪ Baby, baby ♪ ♪ Ooh, baby, baby ♪ ♪ Baby, baby ♪ ♪
Leonard: Ah, push it ♪
Bernadette: (she is now very cross) I appreciate this, but you really...
Leonard: Push it real good ♪

(the scene at the tikka bar where Sheldon is singing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" loudly to Bernadette; Sheldon has one hand on his chest, the other holding her shoulder)
Sheldon: Land where my fathers died ♪ ♪ Land of the pilgrims' pride ♪ ♪ From ev'ry mountainside ♪ ♪ Let freedom ring...

Howard: I'd like to dedicate my last song of the evening to my wife, best friend, and... now the mother of our child. I love you, Bernie. ♪ ♪ ♪ Havin' my baby ♪ ♪ What a lovely way of sayin' ♪ ♪ How much you love me ♪ ♪ Havin' my baby ♪ ♪ What a lovely way ♪ ♪ Of sayin' what you're thinkin' of me ♪
Sheldon: You're kidding! (he shouts loudly at Howard) What kind of maniacs have coitus in someone else's bedroom?!
(Howard now stands up and turns worried for a second)
Howard: (he shouts through the microphone) Thank you, Pasadena! Good night!
(Howard drops the microphone down to the floor and he leaves the tiki bar after the microphone has just hit the floor with a bang. Bernadette is so shocked by this just as the scene fades to black).

Penny: That was such a fun night.
Leonard: Probably 'cause you got to see your man up there rockin' the mic.
Penny: Yeah, I was a little surprised when you decided to beat-box.
Leonard: Oh. That was really an asthma attack. I just sold it.
Penny: Well, I am so happy for Howard and Bernadette.
Leonard: Me, too. So, you ever think about it?
Penny: Babies? Well, I'm not in a rush but someday, yeah, sure. What about you?
Leonard: I think we'd make amazing parents.
Sheldon: Will you guys keep it down? (seen asleep on his spot with lipstick and marker drawn on his face)
Penny: On the other hand, we might lack a certain maturity.