602 - The Decoupling Fluctuation
Aired October 4, 2012

The Decoupling Fluctuation

When Penny has doubts about her relationship with Leonard, Sheldon comes to his buddy's defense and tries to convince Penny to stay with Leonard. Meanwhile, at the International Space Station, the other astronauts are picking on Howard, and Stuart joins the social group in his absence.

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Guest Stars: Mike Massimino as Himself, Pasha Lychnikoff as Dimitri

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 15.18 million Households Rating: 9.5/16 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.9/16

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Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Penny's thoughts about breaking up with Leonard.

> Sheldon's Knock

Sheldon uses his knock twice, on Leonard's bedroom door and one over Penny's bed as she sleeps. After Sheldon heard that Penny was considering breaking up with Leonard, Sheldon was worried and wanted to tell his friend. Sheldon knocked on Leonard's door in the middle of the night to wake him up, only to say he still can't tell him. After that, Sheldon lets himself into Penny's apartment, goes to her bedroom, and knocks on the wall by her bed. Before Sheldon leaves, he asks Penny not to hurt his friend.

Quotes (18)

Sheldon: If you're going to replace Wolowitz, I need to know a little bit more about you.
Stuart: All right.
Sheldon: Wolowitz went to MIT. What's your educational background?
Stuart: I went to art school.
Sheldon: Equally ridiculous. Let's go.

Sheldon: Penny, please don't hurt my friend.

Sheldon: Settle down there, fake Wolowitz. No one likes a kiss-up.

Sheldon: Leonard, the transformers teach us that things are not always what they appear to be. You know, like, a semi truck might be an alien robot, or someone in a romantic relationship might feel differently than they appear to.

Amy: When I get married, I'm going to register at the UCLA Cadaver Lab.
Penny: Eww, why?
Amy: 'cause I've always wanted a whole human skeleton and they are really spendy.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 6.02 Ratings October 5, 2012

The October 4, 2012 episode of The Big Bang Theory finished first in its time slot and was the night's highest-rated and most-watched broadcast.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 6.02 September 13, 2012

CBS has announced the second episode of The Big Bang Theory's sixth season, which will air Thursday, October 4, 2012. Kevin Sussman (Stuart), Mike Massamino (Himself) and Pasha Lychnikoff (Dimitri) appear in the episode.  Full story


As Penny and the girls sort through Bernadette's wedding presents, Bernadette asks Penny if she thinks she and Leonard will ever get married. Penny avoids the question and finally admits she isn't sure whether she should break up with him. Penny says she is happy with Leonard but isn't sure if she feels in love with him. Elsewhere, the guys are video chatting with Howard in the International Space Station. Stuart arrives to go to the movies with the guys. Sheldon is uncomfortable with the unexpected addition, but Leonard convinces him to pretend Stuart is Wolowitz. After a quick quiz, Sheldon is happy with replacement Wolowitz coming along.

At the movies, Sheldon is unhappy that Amy is forcing him to hold hands. When Sheldon points out that Leonard and Penny aren't holding hands, Amy reveals that Penny has been having doubts about their relationship. Back at the apartment, Sheldon tells Leonard there is something he needs to tell him but can't. Sheldon uses the Transformers to try let Leonard know his relationship might not be what it seems, but Leonard has no idea what Sheldon is talking about. Later that night, Sheldon wakes Leonard up to tell him that he still can't tell him the secret.

When Sheldon goes over to Penny's bedroom to talk to her about Leonard, she wakes up terrified to see Sheldon standing above her. After Sheldon tries to convince her how great Leonard is, Penny realizes Amy must have told him about her worries for their relationship. Penny tells him it's sweet he's looking out for his friend, but that it's none of his business and tells him to get out. As Sheldon goes, he asks Penny not to hurt his friend. Later, Amy's phone rings as Penny confronts her for telling Sheldon. When Sheldon gets back to his apartment, he phones Amy to give her a heads up, but Penny's already on the line.

Bernadette has a video chat with Howard, who says the other astronauts are being mean to him. Bernadette asks if Howard wants her to call somebody at NASA, but he says his mom already did that and it just made things worse. Back at the apartment, the guys are playing Mystic Warlords of Ka'a when Sheldon suggests Leonard might want to join Raj and Stuart as they go out to meet girls. Later, Leonard and Penny are in her apartment when Penny tells Leonard there's something she needs to tell him. As Penny struggles to find the words to tell Leonard, he stares at her with big sad eyes.

Penny is chatting to Amy and Bernadette and admits that rather than breaking up with Leonard, she slept with him. Elsewhere, Bernadette is chatting to Howard, who says he stood up to the astronaut bullies and finally got a good night's sleep, unaware they've drawn all over his face, writing F. Loops on his forehead.

Comments (63)

jack United Kingdom, 14:47 Dec 2 2015.
which film are they watching in the cinema?
Clement South Africa, 05:28 Jan 26 2013.
is there a comedy as this 1.....quotes...'peeny u deal with failure everyday how do u cope'
Kenn Odongo Kenya, 08:05 Oct 19 2012.
Aint I addicted to this Series..
Isi Germany, 15:45 Oct 10 2012.
Great episode :) It was amazing :) Sheldons Quote: "Please, don't hurt my friend", was so sweeet ;) And I totally agree with Anna, such a video would be so cool :)
Anna Argentina, 00:46 Oct 10 2012.
They HAVE to make a real video of howard screaming when he sees the alien! pleeeeease! it would get a million visits on you tube! the fake ones sucks
Theano Greece, 05:19 Oct 8 2012.
I Love them all... but come on now Penny and Leonard breaking up again? :( and why should Raj be gay? (i have no problem with gay people) but I don't understand that... Raj told that he likes woman stuff but this is not mean that he is gay. Don't forget that when Leonard had relationship with one doctor (i don't remember her name) and he wanted to broke up with her he could't because every time who told her that he want to make a serius talk with her she was crying and Leonard could't see her so sad and they end up having sex. When Leonard took Penny's advice she told him that it was not right and he should deal that situation. History repeats itself ...Penny makes %u200B%u200Bthe same mistake with Leonard. And if Leonard and Penny broke up once again what comes then?you think that would be the last? and if it isn't the last don't you afraid not to become boring? We want them together... As i say I love Big Bang Theory but i think that if all this happens they really overreacting with season 6.
Twinkle Sweden, 18:38 Oct 7 2012.
What movie did they watch in the movies?
Raymond United States, 03:38 Oct 6 2012.
First off let me say I love this message board you guys are cool, we may not agree on everything but its cool. Clint I used break up because they always act and use the word dumped in Season 2, but I agree it was not a real break up. I agree with Clint vs Larry on the development of Penny. She has not grown at all. Let's look at the start of the show, Leonard went from not being able to get a date or get laid, he has been with Penny, Priya, Leslie, he hooked up with Dr.Plimpton in season 3 after breaking up with Penny. I love that Episode but again the writers did not know what to do with Penny, she is upset with Leonard for sleeping with Dr. Plimpton but she dumped him and broke his heart. Sheldon at the beginning there was no way you would have ever thought you would see holding hands in a movie theater with a girl. Howard who was "creepy" now is married to an attractive woman and has been in space. Raj and Penny are the two where much has not changed. I am not hating on Penny I love Penny. But come on the original premise of the Hot New Girl in town meets two dorky geniuses has changed completely. Leonard has been laid more than Penny. Now for Penny to go out with one guy like Leonard ok, there are feelings and friendship and getting to know well, but you have had Penny go out with Stuart, sleep with RAJ and she did not know they didn't have sex. They have written Penny different ways see if you agree with me here Clint and Larry. They don't know what they want Penny to be, in the episode she meets Leornard's mother the first time, the psycho analyzing on the steps she claims she did not want to get dirty and acted like she was not a tomboy like her Dad wanted. But in the episode in season 2 when she battles back and forth with Sheldon she talks about going Junior Rodeo on his ass. The episode about killing the spiders, girlie girls don't kill spiders they freak out. Over the first five seasons they have had Penny all over the map, is she the hot girl or the tom boy who is pretty ? I think the answer is somewhere in between, maybe that is the hardest to write.
Larry United States, 00:59 Oct 6 2012.
Hi Clint, I guess it is just two different ways of looking at it. Don't get me wrong about the mean thing - her character is, by far, my favorite on the show. I was watching her as an actress on 8 Simple Rules even before the show started. I think she is great. Obviously they have her character not doing Leonard right, afraid (or unwilling) to have a normal relationship, etc. Basically, I feel by doing that, each week they are giving a whole new group of viewers a reason to not like her character. I just think that is a shame because it wasn't the case early on...and I really thought the show was better when it was done the original way.
Clint United States, 21:22 Oct 5 2012.
I'm sorry Larry but I don't view that as a developing she doesn't have a last name we know very little about her life in Nebraska and as for her live she's basically a waitress who lives next door to two genius and has a on and off relationship with the short one and I don't see where she's mean from this episode unless you just mean in general.

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