506 - The Rhinitis Revelation
Aired October 20, 2011

The Rhinitis Revelation

When Sheldon's mother comes to town, he's disappointed when she would rather see the sights than wait on him and attend a physics conference. After Sheldon throws a tantrum, Mrs. Cooper spends the day with Leonard, Penny, Howard and Raj.

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Guest Stars: Laurie Metcalf as Mary Cooper

Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Eric Kaplan (Story), Steve Holland (Story), Bill Prady (Teleplay), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Jim Reynolds (Teleplay)

Director: Howard Murray

Viewers: 14.93 million Households Rating: 8.9/15 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5.1/16

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Episode Notes

  • The title references the runny nose Sheldon comes down after being out in the rain. The relevation being Sheldon's realization that rain falls equally on the brilliant man as it does the common man (unless he has an umbrella).
  • This episode was taped as the seventh episode of the season, but aired as the sixth episode of the season, so Halloween-themed episode could air nearer the day.

> Soft Kitty

After Sheldon catches a cold, Mary sings Soft Kitty to him as she applies VapoRub to his chest and puts him to bed.

Quotes (35)

Mary Cooper: It's all themed. There's Jonah and the Whale Watching. All-you-can-eat Last Supper Buffet. And my personal favorite, Gunning with God.

(Howard has just told Mary about his upcoming trip to the International Space Station.)
Mary Cooper: I bet your mom is really proud of you.
Howard: Nope. She says if I don't back out, she's gonna go on a hunger strike. It'd take years before she'd be in any kind of danger, but still.

Leonard: You're talking like a crazy person.
Mary: Actually, I had him tested as a child. Doctor says he's fine.
Sheldon: Told ya.
Mary Cooper: Although, I do regret not following up with that specialist in Houston.

Mary: Back home, there's a woman works at the Wal-Mart - tall, tall girl. Woman could hunt geese with a rake.

Mary Cooper: When I was your age you could have me for a car ride and a bottle of strawberry wine.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 5.06 Ratings October 21, 2011

The October 20, 2011 episode of The Big Bang Theory finished first in its slot and matched its previous Thursday high in the key adults 18-49 demographic. The Big Bang Theory was the highest rated show on Thursday for the fifth week running.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 5.06 October 13, 2011

CBS has announced the October 20, 2011, episode of The Big Bang Theory. Laurie Metcalf reprises her role as Sheldon's mother in the episode.  Full story


Sheldon's mother, Mary, is visiting Pasadena before boarding a Christian cruise ship called the Born Again Boat Ride. Sheldon is looking forward to his mother's fried chicken, but Mary would rather they go out for a bite to eat. Leonard suggests they try the sushi place and Mary, unaccustomed to the cuisine, agrees to try something new. When Sheldon, Leonard and Mary go to the sushi place, Sheldon can hardly hide his unhappiness. Mary is filled in on the latest news in Sheldon and Amy's relationship and Leonard's long-distance romance with Priya. Mary threatens to spank Sheldon right there and then in the restaurant if he doesn't stop pestering her about fried chicken.

As Sheldon, Leonard and Mary walk back to the apartment from the sushi place, they find Raj sitting up against the door with a half-empty six-pack of beer. Raj opens up to Mary about his loneliness, leading her to recount the tale of a tall, tall girl back home who thought she'd never find love, until one day the Harlem Globetrotters came to town. Later, Sheldon and his mother are washing his clothes in the laundry room when Penny walks in. Seeing one of Penny's skimpier tops, Mary wonders whether Penny is having trouble finding a guy to settle down with because she lets them "ride the roller coaster without buying a ticket". Mary admits when she was younger she could be had "for a car ride and a bottle of strawberry wine".

Back in the apartment, Howard is telling Mary how he will be going to the International Space Station. Sheldon has planned a treat for his mother the next day, taking her to see Saul Perlmutter give a lecture. Mary would rather see of the local sights. Leonard suggests they take Mary to see the Hollywood sign, the wax museum, the Walk of Fame, while Penny suggests shopping on Rodeo Drive. The next morning, Sheldon apologizes for his behavior last night, but he still expects his mother to join him for the lecture. Mary says she will still be spending the day sightseeing with Sheldon's friends.

After a disappointing trip to the lecture alone, Sheldon goes to Amy's apartment in a foul mood. Amy suggests he's in a bad mood because his mother isn't making him the focus of her attention. Sheldon starts sneezing, leading Amy to suggest he's coming down with a cold. Meanwhile, the gang and Mary are in a Catholic church where she leads them in a prayer. Elsewhere, Sheldon is sitting on a park bench when a stranger sits down beside him. Sheldon compares his own brilliance to the common man sitting next to him. When it starts to rain, Sheldon notes how rain is another great equalizer, falling on the head of the brilliant and unremarkable alike - except when the common man has an umbrella.

Back in the apartment, Mary has made dinner for the rest of the gang. A soaking wet Sheldon enters in need to a tissue. When Mary realizes Sheldon is sick, she drops what she's doing and starts caring for him, putting him to bed. As Mary rubs VapoRub on Sheldon's chest, he's disappointed how they didn't get to spend much time together on her trip. Mary explains how they need to have a different relationship now he's a grown man, and then sings Soft Kitty to him.

Comments (42)

TJ United States, 20:20 Aug 1 2013.
All episodes of TBBT are flawless. Mary Cooper is the perfect character. I have met and known women like her. Only she could have raised a nut like Sheldon. Please do not change a thing. Perfection does not need a re-write.
Glenn Canada, 15:52 Oct 9 2012.
There is a side of Sheldon's mom that I don't mind, but I would go nuts if I had a mother who talked like that, thank god, my parents aren't like that. I agree with Sheldon when it comes to his beliefs, but there is nothing wrong with dreaming too, having a spiritual side, but more like Rod Serling or Frank Baum, than Glenn Beck or something. Oh, notice on Amy's couch, the blanket she had, it looks exactly the same as the one on Roseanne's couch in her show which starred Johhny and Sheldon's mom, Laurie Metcalf.
Michelle Canada, 20:52 Sep 20 2012.
I love the Penny part where she ask's God to be cool !
Ann United States, 22:30 Apr 12 2012.
I just saw The Rhinitis Revelation episode. I always thought the show was funny but this was pathetic. Your display of the Catholic religion was so brave, knowing nothing would come of it. I noticed there was no mention of the Muslum faith and no nasty comments about Mohamed. Were you afraid??????
Alex Mexico, 21:47 Apr 10 2012.
I don't like the scene in the Catholic Chappel
Thom Switzerland, 13:05 Feb 14 2012.
Who was the guy on the bench sitting with Sheldon? Some guest appearance. Can't find any information on that.
Galaxy South Korea, 00:27 Dec 27 2011.
Big Bang theory. i love it
andy United Kingdom, 11:38 Dec 8 2011.
The one thing the programme is not is racist. It sails close to the wind but that is what makes it funny. It highlights peoples weaknesses not plays on them.
Papa India, 12:22 Nov 5 2011.
@Eric - which "race" you are talking about ? There is human race surely, but which else! And to Americans, don't be so pissed. The show has plenty stereotypes Indian, Hindu and Jew people . Develope a bit of sense of humour, and you would find it funny, if you want it ofcourse.
Patrick United States, 14:27 Oct 27 2011.
Great show, but looks like they've lost their way. Mrs. Cooper shouldn't be portrayed like this. They've never slammed any specific personalities in other faiths, but directly slapped Jesus Christ in the face in this episode. The world should know that Mrs. Cooper's 'flavor' Christianity is NOT representative of the average Christian. The show was MUCH better in the first couple seasons.

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