The Weekend Vortex(S05E19).
Pocket Whip Crackapp from Knick Knack Media for the iPhone is used by Howard for the first time in the comic book store when Sheldon tells him that he has to do what Amy wants and that he feels enslaved.
DVD Screencap, © 2012 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The app creates the famous sound of the leather bullwhip that Indiana Jones uses in many movie scenes to survive during his adventures in the wilderness.
While this movie reference is quite obvious for every film geek, the scene also contains another, more subtle media reference and psycho-philosophical message.
Because Howard actually uses the whip after he explains to Sheldon that he is a grown man and can do whatever he wants – he just has to act like one, because
women like a firm hand on the tiller.
In fact, Howard recommends to Sheldon that he should dominate his girlfriend Amy with this virtual whip app, which is an obvious reference to Friedrich Nietzsche – and here is why:
In the 19th century the German philosopher Nietzsche did not created but rather established the concept of the so-called
superior human being or
Superhuman) and wrote actually the (un-)famous dictum:
You go to women? Do not forget the whip! in his most popular novel, Thus Spoke Zarathrustra (1883).
Nietzsche’s dictum – which obviously motivated by machismo – is pretty ironic for three reasons, when analyzing the scenes where Howard and Sheldon using the bullwhip sound app.
Firstly, because Howard always tries to be the cool womanizer and wants to dominate and seduce girls with his pick-up tricks, like wearing an eye-patch or fake tattoos, but is in fact constantly henpecked by all women – including his mom and Bernadette.
Secondly, Howard also said in episode,
The 21-Second Excitation (E04S08), while watching an Indiana Jones movie with Penny, that he learned to use the leather whip in a kind of sadomasochism workshop in an adult bookstore.
Thirdly, because Sheldon doesn’t understand the sexual connotations of dominating a girlfriend or woman with a whip, but he likes the app anyway due to the fact that it’s from his hero Indiana Jones.
© 2012 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Therefore, Sheldon uses the whip sound, giddy like a child in his apartment when Howard admits sheepishly that Bernadette is coming to their ‘men-only evening’ too.
This scene reveals once again that
Howie is still henpecked by his girlfriend and not the dominant
Uebermensch that controls the woman as he always pretends to be.
Of course, it’s not documented that the TBBT producers really had this Nietzsche reference in mind, but it sounds like a bold theory and interesting assumption.
Click here to re-watch the whip app sound scenes with Howard and Sheldon in the comic book store and later in the apartment in The Big Bang Theory episode
The Weekend Vortex.
Howard Wolowitz Indiana Jones Whip is a Freudian Slip in The Big Bang Theory
The real psychological symbol and pop-cultural reference behind Howard’s whip sound app. This is actually the same whip sound app that Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and later Sheldon (Jim Parsons) use in The Big Ba…