Friendship Algorithm

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Friendship Algorithm
Friendship Algorithm
WritersBill Prady (Story), Richard Rosenstock (Story), Chuck Lorre (Teleplay), Steven Molaro (Teleplay)
DirectorMark Cendrowski
StarringJohn Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke, Will Deutsch as Jeremy, the store clerk; Jane Galloway Heitz as Mildred, who recently lost a loved one; Jade Zdanow as Rebecca, a little girl reading Curious George
Air Date19 January 2009
VanityCard #237
GuideEpisode #213
QuotesEpisode #213
ForumsDiscuss Episode

Season 2, Episode 13 (0213)

Killer Robot Instability . . . << Friendship Algorithm >> . . . Financial Permeability



Socially-awkward Sheldon develops a scientific procedure for making friends

Full synopsis:

(Edited from Wikipedia:)

Socially awkward Sheldon develops a scientific procedure for making friends. He needs to use an open science grid computer that is in Barry Kripke's office, but Leonard tells Sheldon that only Barry's friends can use it ... ergo, Sheldon decides he must become friends with him. After repeated rebuffs from Kripke, Sheldon finds a children's book in the bookstore (where he is hurried out by Leonard who finds him innocently chatting to a little girl in view of a security camera) about how to make friends. He designs a flowchart for accomplishing this task. He goes rock climbing with Kripke but faints halfway up when he sees how far he has come. Sheldon invites him over to his apartment, much to the disgust of everyone else. Raj is informed he is being replaced by Kripke as five friends would be too many to handle. Barry then tells Sheldon there is a sign-up sheet for the computer and Barry has no control over it. Sheldon then dismisses Barry as his friend and goes back to his other four friends: Leonard, Howard, Raj, and Penny.

Episode Outline

I. Cafeteria

Titles and credits

II. Living room

III. hallway and Penny's apartment

  • Sheldon drops by to give Penny a questionnaire asking about her friendship with him

IV. Living room

  • Sheldon looks over the answers to his questionnaire
  • he decides to go to the mall to find a book about making friends

V. book store at the mall

  • Sheldon find books about making friends in the children's department

VI. Hallway

  • the boys discuss their answers to the questionnaire

VII. Living room

  • Sheldon shows them a flow chart he created to make friends
  • he calls Kripke and arranges to go rock climbing with him the next day

VIII. Rock climbing place

  • Sheldon gets part way up the wall and passes out

IX. Living room

  • Sheldon and Kripke come in, Kripke is going to stay and eat
  • Sheldon decides that five friends is too many and boots out Raj
  • Kripke notes that he has no control over the schedule for the computer, so Sheldon kicks him out instead of Raj

X. Rock Climbing place

  • the boys are looking up at Sheldon, who has passed out again up in the air


List of entries from this episode

Wikipedia episode guide

Still to come: IMDb page for this episode


The events of this episode occur over at least five days. The episode starts in the Cafeteria when Sheldon decides to become friends with Kripke. Probably the next day he starts his questionnaire. He analyses the answers of his friends and goes to the mall with Leonard (probably) the next day. Another day Sheldon deciphered the Friendship algorithm. He goes rock climbing with Kripke the following day. On the same evening the guys are having Chinese food, suggesting it's a Friday (see Schedule). Sheldon gives rock climbing another try on one of the following days. For the purpose of this "real world" timeline, we could assume that this episode covers the events of one week.

Review and comments

Review by Steve.

Another episode which was okay but not great. Very few laugh out loud moments. In fact, I realised part way through that most of the jokes were so bland that they were sliding past without me even cracking a smile.

Great moment: Sheldon using his whiteboard flowchart to navigate his way through a conversation, then getting caught in an infinite loop and Howard the engineer fixing the flowchart on the fly so that Sheldon escapes the loop and can end the conversation. However, Sheldon's rude remark to Howard ("I'm surprised you saw that!") was out of character, contrived, and frankly, just bad writing.

Surprise funny line: (Sheldon picks up a toy in the children's section of the bookshop, then drops it) Oh my that's awfully sticky.

Overall, the whole thing felt contrived. I didn't buy Sheldon "voting off" one of his friends, for example. This was a mildly enjoyable episode at best. I'm left wondering what happened to the emotional depth and the brilliant writing of the "Doctor Stephanie" story arc and the fantastic Christmas episode.


An algorithm is a sequence of instructions used to solve a problem or complete a task. A flowchart is a common way to display an algorithm. Sheldon uses a flowchart in this episode to show the algorithm -- the sequence of steps -- for making friends.

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