711 - The Cooper Extraction
Aired December 12, 2013

The Cooper Extraction

When Sheldon flies back to Texas for his sister's childbirth, the gang gather to decorate the apartment's Christmas tree. When they begin to wonder what life would be like without Sheldon, they come to realize how big a part of their lifes he has become.

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Guest Stars: Laurie Metcalf as Mary Cooper, Kevin Sussman as Stuart, Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz, Brian Thomas Smith as Zack

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 17.67 million Households Rating: 10.7/18 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5.1/16

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Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Sheldon being away from the group in Texas, and how the gang thought about their lives without Sheldon.

> Sheldon's Knock

When Penny asks Leonard if he ever imagines what it would be like to have not been born, Leonard mocks Sheldon's knock, adding "What do you think?" between the rounds.

Quotes (32)

Raj: (To Amy) If you were having Sheldon's baby, would you really want him in the room?
Penny: Yeah, if he's in the room when they're making the baby, I'll give you $10.

Howard: I've never done this before, it's kinda fun.
Raj: Yeah, if your mom could see her little Bar Mitzvah boy, she'd have a heart attack.
Bernadette: Good idea. I'll take a picture.

Amy: Did you hold the baby?
Sheldon: I did.
Amy: And how did it make you feel?
Sheldon: Looking into the blank, innocent eyes of a creature that couldn't begin to comprehend anything I was saying ... basically another day at the office.

Raj: You know, many people believe home births are better because the mother's in a warm, comfortable environment where she can be nurtured by loved ones.
Sheldon: And turn the bedroom floor into an amniotic slip 'n slide.

Sheldon: The second I go out of town, you throw a Christmas party without me?
Amy: Yeah, kinda.
Sheldon: That's so thoughtful. You guys are the best.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
7.11 'The Cooper Extraction' Ratings December 13, 2013

Last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory finished first in the ratings for its time slot and ranked as the night's most-watched and highest-rated broadcast.  Full story

7.11 'The Cooper Extraction' Pictures December 11, 2013

Pictures from tomorrow's episode of The Big Bang Theory, 7.11 "The Cooper Extraction", have been added to our gallery. Laurie Metcalf reprises her role as Sheldon's mother, Mary Cooper, and Brian Thomas Smith returns as Zack in this Christmas episode.  Full story

7.11 'The Cooper Extraction' Preview December 8, 2013

The promo for the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, 7.11 "The Cooper Extraction", has been posted on the show's official YouTube channel. Check out the video below or head over to YouTube to watch.  Full story

7.11 'The Cooper Extraction' Press Release December 5, 2013

CBS has issued the press release for this season's Christmas episode of The Big Bang Theory, which will air next Thursday, December 12. Laurie Metcalf returns as Mary Cooper, while Brian Thomas Smith reprises his role as Penny's ex, Zack.  Full story


While Penny and Amy play a skiing game on the Wii, Sheldon tells them he's on his way out - to Texas, for his sister's childbirth. Later, in the apartment, the gang minus Sheldon gather to decorate the Christmas tree, free to ignore Sheldon's ornament-spacing rules. When Bernadette tells them she brought It's A Wonderful Life, Amy describes the plot to Raj and Stuart, who have never seen the film. When Leonard jokes about wanting not to have been born because of Sheldon, Amy points out how important Sheldon is in their lives and how he brought them all together.

When Amy tells Leonard he wouldn't be dating Penny if it wasn't for Sheldon, Leonard says he would as he's been going to the Cheesecake Factory for years and could have picked her up. Penny describes how that would have gone, with Leonard too nervous to speak to her and peeing his pants. Leonard points out he did ask Penny out in real life, but Amy insists it couldn't have happened without him living across the hall from her with Sheldon. Amy concludes that if Leonard wasn't with Penny, then she couldn't have set Howard up with Bernadette. Howard thinks he would have still hit it out with Bernadette when he visited the Cheesecake Factory, but Bernadette imagines Howard and Raj's close relationship putting her off.

When Leonard wonders what would have happened if he and Penny didn't get together, he starts to imagine the type of guy Penny would have ended up with: her ex-boyfriend Zack, a guy who used their rent money to buy magic beans and who peed himself. Sheldon calls in from Texas again, horrified by the sights of childbirth. Bernadette realizes that even if they all would never have met without Sheldon, Penny would still live across the hall from him. She imagines Penny hitting on Sheldon in the laundry room, him being oblivious to Penny's come on. Sheldon checks in again to say he's feeling better, after escaping to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get some towels.

As Amy plots out all the people who wouldn't have met without Sheldon, including Penny not meeting comic book legend Stan Lee, Raj is happy that he and Howard would always have been friends. When Bernadette wonders why the three guys never got an apartment of their own, Leonard says it's because Howard was in a pretty serious relationship of his own - with his mother. Howard disagrees and paints a Psycho-esque picture in which his mother is dead in her bedroom. Raj imagines what it would have been like if he and Leonard lived together, with Leonard gaining a huge amount of weight from eating Raj's cooking. When Leonard wonders why Raj wouldn't be fat too, a fat Stuart tries to implicate himself into their story.

Amy imagines her life without Sheldon and her friends, singing happy birthday to herself as she cries to into her cake. Stuart again interjects into the story to blow a party hooter. Sheldon calls in again to tell them his sister has given birth to a baby boy. When Sheldon doesn't want to go back to see the "annoying" crying baby, Amy convinces him to be the intelligent role model for his nephew that he always wanted growing up. The guys are impressed that Amy talked Sheldon into doing it. Raj points out that it's not just Sheldon who's had an impact on them, Amy has clearly had an impact on him, too. When Amy doesn't really believe them, Leonard gives her an early Christmas present by revealing that Sheldon had added a picture of her to his screensaver - alongside Swamp Thing, Stephen Hawking, Spider-Man and Madam Curie.

When Sheldon returns home, Amy tells him she missed him, and Sheldon admits she would have preferred her there with him - or instead of him. In the final fantasy, at the Cheesecake Factory, Stuart imagines Fat Leonard asking Penny out, only for her to tell him she has a boyfriend, Stuart.

Comments (14)

David Uwimbabazi Norway, 13:05 Jun 22 2014.
I don't get this because in season 4 episode 17.Amy said that Leonard is the nuclear of the gang. where leonard is, is where the gang is. in Additon Sheldon said that Leonard made him become friend with Penny. so how come they can say that Sheldon changed their lives. Besides you can watch his bad manners, when Leonard met him for first time in S3E22.
A.Hayes age 75 United Kingdom, 10:36 Apr 5 2014.
I wouldn't miss this show for anything and have watched it from the start . However ,Sheldon's behaviour I find is now becoming over the top . Please try to reign him in a bit and make him less objectionable .
Netaji India, 13:30 Mar 16 2014.
This is amazing.
Rajesh India, 05:36 Dec 24 2013.
Amazing show. But come on guys. Don't be so cruel on Raj. Let him get a girl.
Rodh United States, 15:14 Dec 12 2013.
I really hope there is a ton of Sheldon retrospectives, an hour- long Xmas special BBT without Sheldon is dpressing!
Brooke United States, 23:01 Dec 10 2013.
I have been a fan since the beginning. Being a bit of a "geek" and "noogy" receipient in school I relate to the characters in the show. I am very happy to see that "smart" people are the stars and the rest of the world is funny. The cast and crew have obviously jelled and have created a wholly enjoyable universe that I can relate to. Thank-you for all of your hard work, ALL of you!
Nathalie Canada, 10:44 Dec 9 2013.
I'm a big fan of this show and i wish it could go on for ever...when i feel sad i pop in a season and watch it and for that time i forget i'm sad. Thank you to everybody who's involve with this show....Thank you for making me laugh..
B. Brashear, age 80 United States, 23:20 Dec 6 2013.
I adore this show and I watch every night, re-runs, etc. Sheldon Cooper is fantastic, but the writers are the real joy here! I laugh so loud it makes my husband glad to see me so happy!
annonymous United States, 17:21 Dec 6 2013.
I started watching about 2 yrs ago. It took me a while before I understood what was going on. Sheldon Is the best. I don't know how he remembers all the jargon. amazing.
Karthik India, 10:21 Dec 6 2013.
Every single episode just keeps getting better and better but, come on guys ! Get Raj a girl already ! He's been a loner for way too long !

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