The Confidence Erosion Season 11, Episode 10 -  Aired December 7, 2017

The Confidence Erosion

Sheldon and Amy attempt to take the stress out of wedding planning by using the mathematical approach of decision theory. Meanwhile, Koothrappli "dumps" Howard after he comes to the realization that his best friend's put downs are hurting his self-confidence.

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Guest Stars: Kevin Sussman as Stuart, Brian George as Dr. Koothrappali, Marissa Cuevas as Danielle, Brooke Baumer as Denise, Nicole Butler as Clerk

Writers: Bill Prady (Story), Maria Ferrari (Story), Adam Faberman (Story), Steve Holland (Teleplay), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay), Tara Hernandez (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 14.41 million Households Rating: 9.2/15 Adults 18-49 Rating: 2.8/11

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Raj's feelings that Howard's constant put downs are hurting his self-confidence.

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: I mean, it's not that I think we're living in sin, but I do like the idea that our next act of intimacy will be a legal requirement.

Amy: Maybe we should just get married at City Hall and forget about everything else.
Sheldon: City Hall, hmm. I do like metal detectors and the sound of permits being denied.

Sheldon: Neither of them will be the actual cake. I'm just using it as a bargaining chip to get Amy to agree to the whole wedding party getting rings and us getting one ring to rule them all.
Howard: I forget, which mental hospital are you guys registered at?

Howard: Look, I I can see you're upset, but I'm gonna need some ground rules. I mean, while we're apart, can I see other needy Indian men?

Sheldon: Sorry, but when you make a discovery like this, you don't just take it down to City Hall. You tell the whole world. And so I'll say it in Latin or Klingon or smoke signals, if that's not cultural appropriation.
Amy: It is.
Sheldon: Okay, so not smoke signals.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1110 'The Confidence Erosion' Press Release November 21, 2017

CBS has issued the press release for the December 7 episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Confidence Erosion". Brian George reprises his role as Raj's father, Dr. Koothrappali, in the episode.  Full story


As Penny gathers with Amy in her apartment for girls’ night, Bernadette joins them by laptop, although she doesn’t see the difference between this and her endless days of bed rest. When Raj knocks on Amy’s door, he explains he needs fashion advice - from Penny - for a job interview he’s got coming up at the observatory. After Penny struggles to decide which of Raj’s two outfits is the least bad, he says it doesn’t matter as he probably won’t get the job anyway. As the girls try to talk Raj up and improve his confidence, Howard joins Bernadette’s video chat and mocks Raj for attending girls’ night.

While Sheldon, Leonard and Howard eat lunch in the university cafeteria, Howard asks Sheldon if he’s having fun planning his wedding. Sheldon says he is as he and Amy are using a mathematical approach to decision making, splitting the wedding decisions randomly. When a very smart looking Raj turns up before his big interview, Howard mocks him for looking like a waiter. Raj tells Howard he really wants the job and it wouldn’t hurt him to be more supportive, but Howard responds with more jokes at Raj’s expense.

Back in his office, Raj gets a video call from his father asking how the interview went. Raj explains that it didn’t go great because he spent 45 minutes talking about his biggest weakness. Dr. Koothrappali wonders why Raj is so lacking in confidence, suggesting it might be because of the friends Raj surrounds himself with, particularly Howard. Meanwhile, in their apartment, Sheldon and Amy are randomly selecting which wedding decisions they each get to make. Enjoying their improved form of decision making, Amy and Sheldon can’t see why people say wedding planning is stressful.

In the apartment, Leonard and Penny comfort Raj on his interview not going well. After Raj mentions how his dad thinks Howard is to blame for his lack of confidence, Leonard thinks there could be truth in that. When Penny says that friends joking with each doesn’t mean anything, Leonard isn’t surprised she feels that way as she is also mean to him. Raj declares that he is done being disrespected. Elsewhere, Sheldon and Amy review all the wedding decisions they’ve made so far. When they think their individual decisions might be jarring together, they decide to trade decisions with each other. As they try to settle which decisions they should swap, they start bickering and antagonizing each other with their choices.

When Howard goes to Raj’s office to see if he wants to grab lunch, Raj says he doesn’t. After Howard starts mocking Raj, suggesting he’s on a diet, Raj tells him that he’s always making fun of him. Howard claims they’re just jokes and his way of saying Raj is his friend, but Raj says their relationship is toxic and they need to spend some time away from each other.

As Sheldon, Leonars and Howard eat lunch in the cafeteria, Sheldon is considering ways to make the wedding worse for Amy. When Raj arrives but chooses to sit at another table, Sheldon wonders what’s going on. Howard claims that Raj is trying to blame him for his “pathetic life”. After Sheldon resumes talking about his plans to ruin the wedding for Amy, Leonard goes to sit with Raj.

When Sheldon returns to the apartment, he says he’s decided on asbestos centerpieces. Amy asks Sheldon to stop acting like this, warning him that if they keep going on like this they’ll end up with a wedding that neither one of them will enjoy. Sheldon is worried that Amy no longer wants to go ahead with the wedding. Amy says she does still want to get married, but thinks it’s the only thing they can agree on now. After Amy suggests getting married at City Hall and forgetting about all the wedding details, Sheldon is receptive and thinks they should go ahead and do it the next day. Amy is surprised how quickly Sheldon is willing to move ahead, but she’s excited at the thought of soon being wed.

When Leonard comes out of his bedroom into the apartment, Penny compliments him on his outfit. Leonard wonders what’s wrong, but Penny says she felt bad about being mean to him so she’s being nice. When Raj arrives, they notice his hair is different. Raj explains he decided to stop straightening it because he only did that because Howard’s hair was straight. Raj tells them he’s there to celebrate because he went back to the planetarium and told them they were making a huge mistake. He was charming and confident and so they gave him the job. When Raj mentions he was on his way to tell Howard the good news until he remembered he wasn’t speaking to him, Leonard suggests it’s time Raj try to make up with Howard. Raj is insistent he doesn’t need Howard’s negative energy in his life right now. Standing up to Howard was hard but it made him realize he could do anything.

When Howard goes to the comic book store alone, Stuart wonders where everybody else is. Howard snaps at Stuart before apologizing, explaining that he’s in a bad mood because Raj fell out with him. Elsewhere, Amy and Sheldon get handed their marriage license at City Hall and are told to wait for the officiant. When they sit down, Amy can’t believe they’re actyually doing it. Sheldon asks Amy if she’s sad that they’re not having a big party, she says she really isn’t and thinks it’s perfect just to be there with him. When their names get called, Sheldon tells Amy he does actually want a first dance with her at their wedding. Sheldon admits he wants a real wedding, likening finding Amy to discovering dark matter, and saying that when you make a discovery like this you don’t just take it down to City Hall.

At the planetarium, Raj wraps up a show as Leonard, Penny, Sheldon and Amy watch in the front row. After the show, his friends goes to congratulate him, although Sheldon claims to have constructive criticism for Raj. After Leonard spots Howard sitting in the back of the room, Leonard goes over to see him and Howard explains he wasn’t sure if he was welcome. Leonard assures him that Raj wants his best friend there, but Howard thinks Raj is doing pretty well without him. Leonard wants to take Howard over to say hi, but when they see an attractive woman chatting with Raj, Howard leaves. After the woman asks Raj out for a coffee, he agrees.