The Tam Turbulence Season 12, Episode 4 -  Aired October 11, 2018

The Tam Turbulence

When Sheldon is contacted by his childhood best friend, Tam, Amy is puzzled why she's never heard him mentioned before. Leonard, Howard and Raj set out to discover why Sheldon and Tam fell out.

Meanwhile, Bernadette and Penny visit Raj's fiancée, Anu, at her work to find out more about her.

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Guest Stars: Jerry O'Connell as Georgie, Rati Gupta as Anu, Robert Wu as Tam

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Sheldon running into his childhood friend, Tam, with whom he had unilaterally fallen out.

> Sheldon Cooper's Mortal Enemies List

When Leonard, Howard and Raj try to find out why Sheldon no longer speaks to his childhood best-friend, Tam, they turn to Sheldon's list of mortal enemies. Howard mentions that the list is available online with a new interface that can be searched by first name, last name and length of grudge.

After Tam is puzzled by Sheldon's hostility towards him, Sheldon explains that he felt betrayed when Tam didn't move out to California with him as promised, and instead stayed in Texas with his girlfriend.

> Relationship Agreement

Amy told the gang that after she asked Sheldon about his falling out with Tam, Sheldon invoked "section three, article five of the Marriage Contract: Beeswax, None of Your" to refuse to talk.

> Bazinga

When Sheldon imagined how his life would have been different if Tam had moved to California with him, we saw Tam chasing Sheldon in the ballpit as he said "Bazinga!" as Leonard did in "The Einstein Approximation".

Episode Quotes

Amy: I tried to ask him about it, and he invoked section three, article five of the marriage contract: beeswax, none of your.

Bernadette: Look, I think that's LeBron over there.
Penny: James?
Bernadette: No, LeBron Kershenbaum.

Amy: Who's Tam?
Sheldon: He was my best friend in the whole world growing up.
Amy: Really? Why have I never heard you mention him before?
Sheldon: Oh, of course I have. I'm sure I've mentioned him, like, five times this week.
Amy: I don't think you have.
Sheldon: Tam! Tam! Tam! Tam! Tam! There, it's only Thursday.
Amy: I didn't just drink the crazy milk, I bought the crazy cow.

Amy: Hey, did you guys know that Sheldon had a best friend growing up named Tam?
Leonard: Was that the imaginary talking koala?
Amy: No. He's a real person who apparently betrayed him.
Leonard: Yeah, so did the koala.

Howard: Wow. I wonder what that guy could've done to make Sheldon not talk to him for 20 years.
Leonard: I wonder if it'd work a second time.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1204 'The Tam Turbulence' Press Release October 1, 2018

CBS has released the synopsis for the October 11 episode of The Big Bang Theory's final season, "The Tam Turbulence". In the episode, we meet Tam, Sheldon's childhood friend, as established on Young Sheldon.  Full story


When Amy comes out of their bedroom and finds Sheldon on his laptop, he explains he’s improving their wedding photos by adding guests like the Wright brothers to the pictures. After Sheldon gets up to go to the kitchen, Amy sees on his laptop that Sheldon just received an email from someone named Tam. Amy explains that the email says Tam will be visiting Pasadena with his son to tour the Caltech campus. Sensing that Sheldon isn’t happy to hear from Tam, Amy who he is. When Sheldon explains that Tam was his best friend growing up, Amy is surprised to have never heard about him until now. Fed up of the questions about Tam, Sheldon storms off to his room.

As the gang, minus Sheldon and Amy, eat in the apartment, they can’t believe Raj is really engaged to a woman he just met. Raj asks for Penny and Bernadette’s help buying Anu an engagement ring, but they struggle as they don’t know much about her. When Amy comes over, she asks if anyone knew that Sheldon had a best friend growing up called Tam. None of the gang has heard of him either. Amy says she asked Sheldon about him, but he refused to speak under their marriage agreement.

When there’s a knock on Bernadette’s office door, she claims to be pumping breast milk. When she finds out it’s only Penny, Bernadette welcomes her in to talk about their shared concerns over Raj rushing into marriage. Penny thinks they should check out Raj’s fiancée.  Bernadette says her father could ask his old cop buddies to run a background check. As a retired cop who plays by his own rules, he’ll surely be able to help. When Bernadette phones her dad, he refuses as it’s apparently totally illegal.

As Leonard, Howard and Raj sit down at a table in the university cafeteria, Leonard says he can’t believe Sheldon had a friend they’ve never heard of. As they wonder what Tam could have done to offend Sheldon, Howard mentions that he has Sheldon’s brother’s number, maybe they could ask if he knows anything about Sheldon and Tam’s friendship.

Back home, the guys start a video call with George. He remembers Tam, but didn’t know that he and Sheldon had fallen out. In fact, George thought he had a long conversation with Tam at the wedding. After George mentions that Sheldon used to keep a list of his enemies, Howard says he still does. George suggests they check that out. When Howard goes on the website, Tam is on the list. Unfortunately, the reason for Tam’s presence on the list is not cleared up by what Sheldon wrote, “He knows what he did.” Raj points out that Tam will be visiting the college campus tomorrow, so they could ask him why he and Sheldon fell out.

Penny and Bernadette arrive in the lobby of the hotel where Anu works as a concierge. When Penny introduces themselves as Raj’s friends, Anu realizes they came to check her out. After Bernadette offers to take her out to dinner to get to know her a bit, Anu suggests a restaurant but Penny thinks it’d be too difficult to get in. Anu points out that it’s her job to help people get into impossible places, and succeeds in getting a reservation at fancy restaurant that night.

The next day on the university campus, Leonard, Howard and Raj are searching the crowd for Tam. When they find him, they explain they’re friends of Sheldon Cooper. Tam wonders if Sheldon’s there, explaining he tried to get in touch with Sheldon but didn’t hear back. When they ask why he and Sheldon stopped being friends, Tam explains that he didn’t do anything wrong, adding that when Sheldon moved to California they just drifted apart. When Sheldon comes out of the university building, he is upset to see his friends talking with Tam. Sheldon accuses Tam of betraying him, but doesn’t elaborate.

When Leonard goes to see Sheldon in his office, he says he was curious to find out what Tam did wrong, but isn’t surprised to learn the answer was nothing. Sheldon accuses Leonard of taking Tam’s side and tells him there’s room on his enemies list. Leonard warns Sheldon to be careful as he can’t afford to lose another best friend.

At their table, Penny tells Anu the restaurant is amazing and she can’t believe she got them in. When Anu asks them what they want to know, Bernadette wonders why a smart successful woman would want to marry someone she just met. Anu admits she tried the usual way of dating in her twenties, but those relationships all flamed out. She saw her parents are happy in their arranged marriage, so why fight it. Bernadette and Penny point out that they both married for love and things worked out well, although they’re far from fervent in their praise.

When Amy arrives home, Sheldon is on the phone with Howard asking him to be his new best friend. As Amy realizes that dispute with Tam has escalated and is now putting a strain on his friendship with Leonard, Amy asks Sheldon to just tell her what happened between him and Tam. Sheldon explains that when he was accepted to Caltech, Tam promised to move out with him. After Tam got a girlfriend over the summer, he instead chose to stay in East Texas. Amy recognises that moving to a new place without any friends have been scary for Sheldon. Sheldon admits he worried he would never make another friend, and for a long time he didn’t. Amy points out that Sheldon did eventually make great friends and who knows what his life would have looked like if Tam moved with him. After Sheldon imagines what life would have been like with Tam as a roommate instead of Leonard, Sheldon tells Amy his life would still have been great.

Back at the restaurant, Bernadette asks Anu about the craziest request she’s received on the concierge desk. Anu mentions having to go to Walmart at 3am to get Britney Spears bubbles. As Anu tops up Penny and Bernadette’s drinks, she asks them to tell her more about Raj. They don’t want to badmouth him, so they initially struggle to say more than “He’s great”, but they’re soon revealing his baths with his dog and his love of Hugh Jackman.

When Tam visits Sheldon in his office, Sheldon tells him he’s forgiven, although Tam points out he didn’t do anything wrong. Tam says he was in love with Beth and she made him happy. Tam argues that he needed to stay in Texas and Sheldon needed to come to California, but he never doubted that Sheldon would do amazing things as he’s brilliant. Tam says he didn’t mean to upset Sheldon and he’s really proud of everything he’s done. Sheldon accepts his apology, although he can’t quite bring himself to accept Tam’s view that life worked out for him too.

In the university cafeteria, Leonard and Howard talk about how drunk Penny and Bernadette were the night before. When Sheldon arrives and introduces them to Tam after showing him and his son around the campus, Leonard is happy they made up. Sheldon realized it was silly holding a grudge, while Tam didn’t even know they were fighting so it was easy to move on. When Sheldon wonders if Tam wants to take in any of the sights - the train store, the comic book store, Tam says he needs to grab his son and head to the airport. Instead of calling a cab, Sheldon tells Tam that Leonard will drive him there.

In her office, Bernadette shows Penny a picture from LeBron James’ Instagram account which she claims shows her in the background. Bernadette gets a phone call from Raj, who is angry about what they said to Anu. After Raj tells them to do him a favor and stay away from Anu, they feel bad for him. When Bernadette suggests they take Anu out again to do some damage control, Penny wonders if she could get them into another exclusive restaurant. Bernadette thinks they owe it to Raj to try.