The Athenaeum Allocation Season 11, Episode 17 -  Aired March 8, 2018

The Athenaeum Allocation

When Sheldon and Amy find the perfect place to host their wedding, Leonard finds himself with the burden of making it happen. Meanwhile, Howard and Bernadette struggle to decide who should stay at home with the kids and who should head back to work.

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Guest Stars: John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke, Caleb Pierce as Jess, Rachna Khatau as Kathleen

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Sheldon and Amy's choice of the ideal wedding location, the Athenaeum at Caltech, a private members' club.
  • The date of Sheldon and Amy's wedding is Saturday, May 12, 2018.

Episode Quotes

Leonard: Do you guys have a location yet? 'Cause you don't have a lot of time.
Amy: Hey, it took us nine months to pick a date, and a week to decide if brains can have lips on them, so get in the boat and row.

Howard: Honestly, it's gonna be hard when we both go back to work. I've been thinking maybe it would be better if one of us decided to stay home.
Raj: I don't know, I was raised by servants, and look at me.
Howard: I literally can't tell if you think that's good or bad.

Leonard: Uh, so, look, I'm here to ask you to give Sheldon and Amy the Athenaeum for their wedding.
Barry Kripke: (laughs) Why would I do that?
Leonard: Because deep down, Barry, you're a really good guy.
Barry Kripke: But am I?

Sheldon: You know, I'm really happy with our wedding date. The month squared equals the square of the sum of the members of the set of prime factors of the day. Isn't that romantic?
Amy: Yes, it's like that Shakespeare sonnet, "Shall I compare thee to a day that's also a really weird math problem."

Amy: What happened?
Leonard: Well, we scrubbed out some barrels of irradiated grease, rinsed off in a safety shower and then told Barry Kripke what is what.
Amy: And he just gave in?
Sheldon: Well, we agreed to invite him to the wedding.
Amy: Okay. No problem.
Leonard: And he gets to bring a date.
Amy: Well, that's reasonable.
Sheldon: A-And if she charges by the hour, we have to cover it.
Amy: What else did you agree to?
Leonard: Well, um, you know how Barry has the voice of an angel?
Amy: He is not singing at our wedding.
Sheldon: (stammers) He only wants to sing "Volare."
Leonard: Oh, "Volare". That's what he was saying. Boy, I didn't, I did not get that.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1117 'The Athenaeum Allocation' Press Release February 13, 2018

CBS has issued the press release for the March 8 episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Athenaeum Allocation". John Ross Bowie returns as Barry Kripke in the episode.  Full story


Leonard, Penny and Raj are in the apartment on a video chat with Howard and Bernadette to see how they’re coping with family life following the birth of their son, Michael. Raj offers to go over and help them out, but they say they want to enjoy the family time together before going back to work. After the video call, Sheldon and Amy arrive at the apartment to give the gang their “Save the Date” cards for their wedding. They explain that they finally settled on a date: May 12, but they don’t have a location yet.

After Howard and Bernadette put their kids to bed, they are both overwhelmed by the amount of love they have for both their children, admitting they love them even more than they love each other. Elsewhere, after Sheldon tells AMy he’s really happy with their wedding date, she suggests the Athenaeum at Caltech as the venue for their big day. Sheldon is interested as Albert Einstein was a member there, but he points out the club is very exclusive and that Leonard has been trying to get membership for years without any success. Amy says she already spoke to the club and they said they’d be excited to give them a tour.

In Howard and Bernadette's kitchen, Raj asks Howard how he’s finding been at home with two kids. Howard admits it is tiring, but says it’s also super rewarding and they will find it hard when they both go back to work. He thinks it might be better if one of them stayed home, but he’s conflicted over who it should be as he wants to stay home, but thinks that Bernadette is a way better parent than he is. Howard doesn’t know if she would even want to stay home and give up her career, so he thinks it should be him.

At the Athenaeum, Sheldon asks the guide whether Albert Einstein sat in any of the chairs. After she leaves them with her card, they admit they really like the place. Amy is confused when she sees Leonard and Penny eating there, so they go over to talk to them. Leonard admits that he lied about the club being so exclusive they couldn’t become members. When Sheldon says he’s no longer sure how he feels about this place, Amy warns him not to turn around as they’re approached by Barry Kripke.

When Howard goes to speak to Bernadette in the kitchen, he says he was thinking one of them should stay home full time with the kids. Bernadette is angered that he would ask her to give up her career and ambitions. When Howard says he was thinking he would be the one to stay home, Bernadette is no more happy at the prospect of having to abandon her family and go back to work.

When Sheldon and Amy return to the apartment, he can’t believe Leonard lied to him. Amy says even though he’s upset with Leonard, they can’t afford a delay in trying to book the Athenaeum. When she calls to place their booking, Amy is surprised to be told someone has already booked the venue. Later, Kripke gloats as Sheldon goes to his office to talk about his booking. Kripke booked the venue for his birthday party and doesn’t want to move it to help Sheldon.

When Howard arrives back in his kitchen as Bernadette, still in her dressing gown, makes a cup of coffee, he explains he’s been for hours and has taken the kids all over town. When she sees that he’s trying to prove he can do a better job than her of parenting the kids, Bernadette says he won’t be able to keep up this pace. She expects that by afternoon she’ll have three exhausted babies to look after, but Howard says that’s not true and urges her to take the day off. Bernadette says she might go out for lunch with Penny.

In their apartment, as Amy and Sheldon talk about their predicament with Barry Kripke, Sheldon admits that he doesn’t think Barry will change the date. When Leonard arrives to apologize to Sheldon for lying about the Athenaeum, Sheldon doesn’t think much of his apology. After Sheldon says he only has time to deal with one jerk right now and that’s Kripke, they explain to Leonard how Kripke has booked the Athenaeum on the day they wanted.

When Penny finds Bernadette at her desk before they head out to lunch, Bernadette says she wanted to check out her office but is unsure about returning to work in a few weeks’ time. Bernadette says she has been thinking she would rather stay home and be a mom. But as Bernadette is waited on by her assistant and called by a colleague to discuss a work matter, she quickly gets comfortable on the job.

When Leonard stops by Kripke’s lab, he finds Barry cleaning out dirty barrels. When Leonard asks him to give Sheldon and Amy the Athenaeum for their wedding, Kripke doesn’t see why he would do that. After Leonard asks what it would take to get him to cancel his booking, Leonard is soon clearing out the containers himself. When Sheldon arrives to ask Barry one more time to give them the date, he is surprised to find Leonard doing Kripke’s dirty work. Leonard explains he made a deal to get them the Athenaeum for the wedding after admitting that felt bad about lying to Sheldon. Sheldon says Leonard doesn’t have to do this and that they must be able to figure out a way to outsmart Kripke. Soon they are both clearing out the containers.

When Howard wakes up from a long nap and goes to the kitchen, Raj is there making dinner after looking after the kids all afternoon. Howard thanks Raj for covering for him, wondering how he ever thought he’d be able to handle all this. Elsewhere, Leonard joins Sheldon as he goes home to tell Amy they got the Athenaeum. When Amy asks how they managed that, they explain that they cleaned Barry’s barrels for him, agreed to invite him to the wedding, allowed him to bring a date, agreed to cover her hourly rate, and let him sing at their wedding. Amy thanks them for what they did, but says they would be able to find another location that’s just as good. Leonard can’t believe he scrubbed radioactive sludge for them to change their mind.

When Bernadette goes into the kitchen for her dinner, she asks Howard why Raj is asleep on their couch. Howard admits he needed help looking after the kids all day, and says he doesn’t think he’s cut out to be a stay-at-home dad. He says since Bernadette wants to stay home, he thinks she should. When Bernadette tells Howard it was just one day and he shouldn’t give up, he realizes she doesn’t want to stay home either. After realizing that neither of them wants to stay home, they say they will figure it all out, but first they decide to get some more sleep right there on the kitchen table.