822 - The Graduation Transmission
Aired April 23, 2015

The Graduation Transmission

When Leonard is set to give the commencement address at his former high school, a canceled flight threatens to stop him giving the speech. Meanwhile, Howard's engineering skills are tested when he and Sheldon try fix Raj's toy helicopter, while Raj plays his parents against each other after his father cuts him off financially.

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Guest Stars: Brian George as Dr. Koothrappali, Alice Amter as Mrs. Koothrappli, Robert Clotworthy as Headmaster Edwards, Matt Mittelman as Tech Support, v.o., Katherine Von Till as Tech Support. v.o. recording

Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Dave Goetsch (Story), Anthony Del Broccolo (Story), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Steve Holland (Teleplay), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay)

Director: Anthony Rich

Viewers: 14.63 million Households Rating: 9.5/16 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.6/13

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Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Leonard's speech to his old high school and its transmission over Skype.
  • This episode references the Pishkin-Wolowitz Waste Disposal system that Howard co-developed for the International Space Station. The space toilet was first mentioned in The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem. Its malfunction, under the strain of hearty potato-based Russian diets, was the subplot in the episode The Hofstadter Isotope.

Quotes (51)

Leonard: My point is, while you're spending all this time on your own, building computers or practicing your cello, what you're really doing is becoming interesting. When people finally do notice you, they're gonna find someone a lot cooler than they thought. And for those of you that were popular in high school, it's over, sorry. Thank you. Congratulations.

Leonard: So, for the remainder of my speech, this is for the invisible kids. Maybe you never fit in. Or maybe you were the smallest kid in the school. Or the heaviest. Or the weirdest. Maybe you're graduating and you still haven't even had your first kiss. By the way, nineteen, and Geraldine Coco, wherever you are, thank you. Maybe you don't have any friends, and guess what, that's okay. While all the popular kids are off doing whatever - I don't know what they're doing because I was never there.

Howard: All right, playtime's over. Let's open this baby up.
Sheldon: Won't that void the warranty?
Howard: Sheldon, I have a master's degree in engineering. I wipe my bottom with warranties. Except for AppleCare. That pays for itself in the long run.

Leonard: I'll take my chances.
Sheldon: Fine. I wonder if they make "I told you so" cards in Braille.

Sheldon: So, can you get it working?
Howard: I'm an MIT-trained engineer. I've built components for the space station.
Sheldon: I thought the zero-gravity toilet didn't work.
Howard: It worked fine. It just wasn't designed for Russian cosmonauts and their potato-based diet.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
822 'The Graduation Transmission' Ratings April 24, 2015

Last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory was Thursday's most-watched and highest-rated show despite a week-to-week fall in the ratings.  Full story

822 'The Graduation Transmission' Press Release April 22, 2015

CBS has put out the press release for tomorrow's new The Big Bang Theory, "The Graduation Transmission". Brian George and Alice Amter reprise their roles as Raj's parents.  Full story


As the gang eat dinner in the apartment, Sheldon and Howard are more interested in Raj's faulty toy helicopter. When Leonard wheels a suitcase into the living, he asks Penny whether she's packed for their trip to New Jersey where he's giving a speech at his old high school. Penny just needs to pack a few last-minute things, like make-up, underwear, and clothes. Leonard is excited to return to his old stomping ground and take his beautiful fiancée with him.

As Leonard and Penny leave for the trip, Leonard gets a text saying a storm cloud across the East Coast has led to his flight being cancelled with no alternative flight available. Penny is disappointed that she won't be able to see Leonard give his speech to the school. Meanwhile, Howard and Sheldon try to recalibrate the helicopter without any success. Elsewhere, Raj receives a call from his father who is angry that he spent so much money on a toy helicopter. Dr. Koothrappali tells Raj he's cutting him off financially in a bid to teach him responsibility.

When Penny returns to her apartment, she tells Leonard she's got him a little something, a sexy graduation gown, because she's arranged for him to give his speech to the school over Skype. Back in the apartment, Sheldon and Howard have dismantled the helicopter. Raj is furious to see the state of the helicopter when he arrives to tell them it needs to be returned. Facing his new financial circumstances head on, Raj decides to man up and take responsibility, by calling his mom. When Raj implies his father doesn't have money for him because he's in a relationship, Mrs. Koothrappali agrees to give Raj even more money than his father did.

Over at Penny's apartment, Leonard shows off his sexy graduation gown for Penny. Afterwards, even though the school audience won't be able to see his legs over Skype, Leonard thinks it best to put on some pants. Meanwhile, Howard finally thinks he's found the problem with the helicopter. Now that Raj is back in the money, he doesn't care whether Howard can fix it or not. Howard explains it's not about the money but about the problem solving, which is why he became an engineer. When Bernadette arrives, she wonders why the guys don't just call tech support.

As Leonard begins his speech to the high school students, he introduces them to his fiancée, Penny. When Leonard realizes he speech is boring, he tells them how he hated his time in high school. Rather than give the speech he's written, Leonard decides to give a speech for the invisible kids who feel they don't fit in. Elsewhere, Howard manages to reassemble the helicopter, but when they try to fly it, it crackles and smokes. When Bernadette wonders if they're finally ready to call tech support, Howard makes the call. Raj then receives a call from his father, angry that Raj suggested he was some sort of playboy to his mother. Playing the parents against each other, Raj attempts to flatter his father and suggest they're more alike than he and his mother.

As Sheldon, Howard, Raj and Bernadette wait for tech support to answer, the helicopter takes off and flies around the room uncontrollably. When Leonard and Penny leave her apartment, happy with Leonard's speech, they're floored by the out of control helicopter that Sheldon released from the apartment.



Comments (5)

jds United States, 13:25 May 7 2015.
@Old Guy: Thank you!!! You just solved a several year puzzle for me! Much appreciated!
Old Guy  United States, 22:42 May 3 2015.
Chuck Mangione - Feels So Good It was really popular on the radio back in the 70s.
Jay Br United States, 22:34 Apr 27 2015.
Same question!!
jimmy United States, 01:38 Apr 24 2015.
I have the same damn question. Anyone?
jds United States, 20:36 Apr 23 2015.
Someone, please tell me what song was playing near the end of the episode, song name and artist please. I used to hear my mom play it when I was a kid and I've been trying for several years now to figure out the song with just a vague memory of what it sounded like. Then it was playing in the background toward the end of tonight's episode....the smooth jazz song with what I think was a saxaphone as the melody instrument. Thanks to any/all that can help.

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