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The Stockholm Syndrome Season 12, Episode 24 -  Aired May 16, 2019

The Stockholm Syndrome

Bernadette and Wolowitz leave their kids for the first time; Penny and Leonard try to keep a secret; Sheldon and Amy stick together; and Koothrappali makes a new friend, as the gang travels together into an uncharted future, on the series finale of The Big Bang Theory.

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Guest Stars: Kevin Sussman as Stuart, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Herself, Brian Posehn as Bert, Thomas Albany as King of Sweden, Sailah Nicol as Halley Wolowitz, Nate Ash as Michael Wolowitz, Ulf Bjorlin as Announcer

Writers: Chuck Lorre, Steve Holland, Steven Molaro, Bill Prady, Dave Goetsch, Eric Kaplan, Maria Ferrari, Andy Gordon, Anthony Del Broccolo, Tara Hernandez, Jeremy Howe, Adam Faberman

Director: Mark Cendrowski

WinnerThis episode won our Season 12 episode tournament in July 2019.

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Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the group visiting Stockholm, where the Nobel Prizes are awarded.
  • Leonard remarked to Sheldon that they spent a fun 139 and a half hours putting the helix structure back together. That is the approximate length of The Big Bang Theory's run of 279 half-hour episodes.
  • At the Nobel Prize ceremony, Amy wore the tiara Sheldon bought her. [512]
  • In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Sheldon quoted Leonard saying his children with Penny would be smart and beautiful. [101]
  • In the final scene, Penny is wearing the same blue floral top she wore in the Pilot episode. [101]
  • Sheldon mentions his high school science teacher, Mr. Givens, who is played by Brian Stepanek on Young Sheldon.

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: Carbon. Hydrogen. Carbon. Carbon. And last but not least, carbon.
Leonard: This might be the glue talking, but that was a very pleasurable 139 and a half hours.
Sheldon: Agreed.

Howard: You still feel good about leaving them with Stuart and Denise for a couple days?
Bernadette: I guess. I just hope we don't miss Michael's first words.
Howard: Or Stuart's last words.

Amy: I think you need to do some editing, like maybe cut out all that stuff about your childhood.
Sheldon: Are you kidding? Growing up in the backwoods of East Texas is what makes me warm and relatable.
Amy: Well, what about all these pages calling out everyone who said you wouldn't succeed?
Sheldon: I told them all they would rue the day. How is it gonna make me look if the day finally comes, and they're not filled with rue?

Bernadette: Howard, the kids are okay.
Howard: How do you know that?
Bernadette: I just know. A mother knows.
Howard: So what, now the Force is with you?
Bernadette: Let's see. This is not the woman you want to annoy.

Sheldon: Well, I hate to say it, but I think everyone is being incredibly selfish.
Amy: Well, you would be the authority on the subject.
Sheldon: What does that mean?
Amy: Sheldon, no one is happier than I am to win the Nobel. But it's not more important than our friends.
Sheldon: How can you call them friends when they're abandoning us?
Amy: They're abandoning us because you broke their hearts.
Sheldon: I didn't mean to.
Amy: I know! You never mean to. That's the only reason people tolerate you!
Sheldon: Does that include you?
Amy: Sometimes, yeah.

Recap

In the apartment, Leonard helps Sheldon reassemble the helix structure that he destroyed two months ago. When Amy and Penny return, Leonard asks them about the dresses they picked up. Amy says the tailor had to take her dress in and let Penny’s out, describing it as the best day of her life. When Amy asks Sheldon if he wants to come see her try on her dress, Sheldon wonders if he should see it for the first time at the ceremony. Amy points out it’s not a wedding and suggests Sheldon practice his speech while she tries on the dress.

After Sheldon and Amy leave, Leonard asks Penny if Amy was suspicious that her dress needed to be taken out. Penny says Amy so happy she didn’t even question it. Leonard wonders if they should tell people, but Penny says she hasn’t even wrapped her head around the situation. Leonard says his head is wrapped, but Penny points out if something else had been wrapped then they wouldn’t be in this situation. Leonard points out it was Penny who, two months ago, went out drinking with Sheldon and came and “attacked” him.

In their kids’ bedroom, Bernadette tells Michael that mommy and daddy are going away for a few days, so if he’s going to say his first words he should do it now or wait for them to get back. Howard brings Halley back after she used the big girl potty. When Howard asks Bernadette if she’s sure about leaving the kids with Stuart and Denise for a few days, she admits she is worried about missing Michael’s first words. Still, they are looking forward to sleeping their assess off on their first trip away in years. Meanwhile, in Raj’s apartment, he gives Cinnamon to Bert so he can look after her while he’s away. Raj asks Bert to take good care of her as she’s his baby.

In their apartment, Amy is wearing her dress and tiara as Sheldon races through his acceptance speech. When Amy stops him to ask why he’s talking so fast, Sheldon says it’s the only way to get through it all in 90 minutes. Amy tells him to cut out the stuff about his childhood, but Sheldon argues his story about growing up in the backwoods of East Texas is what makes him warm and relatable. Sheldon is reluctant to remove the section where he calls out all the people who said he wouldn’t succeed. Sheldon warned them they would rue the day, so how would he look if the day comes and they’re not filled with rue?

The next morning, in the apartment, Sheldon wants to go over a few things before they go to the airport. Sheldon claims his friends will be acting as ambassadors for him and Amy, prompting them to wonder whether the free tickets were such a good deal. Sheldon and a reluctant Amy tell the group about the culture of Sweden, stressing the importance of punctuality and shaking hands after every business meeting. Sheldon wraps the lecture up so they can make it to the airport six hours before boarding, but not before he has everyone shake hands at the end of the meeting.

Out in the hallway, the group try to cram into the newly-working elevator with all their luggage. After a few failed attempts, Leonard has an idea. Downstairs, the group reach the lobby as the elevator opens with all their luggage.

On the plane, an anxious Howard taps on Bernadette’s shoulder to ask how she’s doing, pointing out this is the furthest they’ve ever been away from the kids. Bernadette wonders why he’s trying to freak her out. When she insists the kids are okay, saying a mother knows, Howard questions whether “the Force” is with her. Raj comes over to ask Howard if he thinks the woman he’s sitting next to is “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Sarah Michelle Gellar. Howard doesn’t think so, though it’s hard to tell with her wearing a sleep mask.

When Penny rushes off to the bathroom, Sheldon remarks to Amy that she’s been to the bathroom four times in the last two hours. Sheldon is worried that Penny might have a virus which they could all catch. After Penny leaves the bathroom and instantly turns back, Sheldon is convinced and goes up to talk to Leonard. Sheldon says Penny is clearly sick and he fears she’s going to take them all down with her. Leonard assures Sheldon she is not sick. Sheldon is still worried about catching it, but Leonard promises he’s not going to get this. When Penny returns, Sheldon covers his face to stop him catching anything. When Penny wonders what’s going on, Leonard explains that Sheldon thinks she’s sick. When Penny wonders whether to tell him, Leonard warns he might try to jump out of the plane if she doesn’t. Penny tells Sheldon she’s pregnant. Sheldon instantly calms down, admits he can’t catch that and walks away. Sheldon returns to Amy and tells her the good news that Penny is “just pregnant.”

Leonard goes back to Sheldon’s seat to confront him about his behavior. Leonard asks why when he found out a woman who has loved and cared for him for twelve years is pregnant, all he can say is he’s relieved she’s not going to get him sick. Sheldon doesn’t see the need for a recap as he was there. Meanwhile, Amy goes up to Penny to ask her why she didn’t tell her. Penny says she didn’t tell anyone. When Bernadette comes by to see what’s going on, Amy reveals that Penny is pregnant. After Amy asks how this happened, Penny admits it was an accident after she went out drinking with Sheldon.

When Sheldon wonders what Leonard wants him to say, Leonard suggests congratulations. Sheldon questions whether congratulations are in order as Penny didn’t want kids, but Leonard says she does now. Leonard admits they weren’t going to tell anyone because they didn’t want to upstage Sheldon and Amy’s Nobel win. Sheldon doesn’t think that would upstage them as “any idiot can have a baby”. As Howard comes to see what’s going on, Leonard accuses Sheldon of being a selfish jerk. Leonard says to hell with Sheldon and his Nobel Prize. Raj stops by to tell Howard he found his seatmate’s boarding pass in her purse and it’s definitely Sarah Michelle Gellar.

From their hotel room in Stockholm, Bernadette and Howard start a video chat with Stuart to check that everything’s okay. Stuart says he and Denise are having fun with the kids, having played hide and seek all day. When Bernadette asks if everyone’s happy and healthy, Stuart admits Halley lost a tooth. They couldn’t find it to save it for the tooth fairy, but they have an idea where it could be and will find out in six to eight hours.

In Leonard and Penny’s hotel room, she is voraciously eating local delicacies from room service. Penny asks Leonard if he really expected Sheldon to react like a normal human being, Leonard admits he didn’t. Still, after all these years and all the crap he’s put up with he had hoped Sheldon would for once care about someone else’s feelings. When Leonard opens the door to Sheldon and Amy, she says he has something he wants to say. Sheldon coolly apologizes, saying they are bringing life into the world and deserve congratulations. When Sheldon says he can’t wait to meet “it”, Leonard is not pacified. Howard comes to see them to say he and Bernadette are thinking of going home as they can’t be this far away from the kids. Sheldon tells them to pull it together as this day is very important to him. Howard admits he wasn’t sure what to do, but he is now; they’re going home. Leonard tells Howard that he and Penny will join them.

In their room, Sheldon tells Amy he thinks everyone is being incredibly selfish. Amy says he would be the authority on the subject. Amy admits no one is happier than she is to win the Nobel, but it’s not more important than their friends. After Sheldon questions how she can call them their friends when they’re abandoning them, Amy says they’re abandoning them because he broke their hearts. Sheldon says he didn’t mean to, but Amy says he never means to. That’s the only reason people tolerate him. Sheldon asks if that includes her, Amy admits sometimes it does.

As Penny throws up in the bathroom, she tells Leonard that she can’t go home as she needs to be there for Amy. Leonard admits he was thinking that, too. As angry as he is at Sheldon, he still wants to see him win that medal. Penny says that no matter how thoughtless and selfish Sheldon is, she still loves him. They get a phone call from Howard, who says they’re staying now that Bernadette’s parents have taken over the babysitting. Leonard tells Howard that they will meet them in the lobby.

At the Nobel Prize ceremony, Sheldon and Amy are presented with their medals by the King of Sweden. Their friends are seated in the audience. Raj is joined by Sarah Michelle Gellar, who reminds him this is not a date. When Amy steps up to the podium to give her speech, she thanks the Nobel Committee. Amy sends a message to all the young girls out there who are dreaming about science as a profession: Go for it, it is the greatest job in the world and they shouldn’t listen to anyone who says they can’t. Speaking of not listening, Amy hands over to Sheldon, who is staring at his medal.

When Sheldon takes the podium, he thanks Amy and tells the audience he has a long and somewhat self-centered speech here, but he would like to set it aside. Sheldon’s friends cheer. Sheldon says this honor doesn’t just belong to him. He wouldn’t be up there if it wasn’t for some very important people in his life. First his family. Then his other family, who he is so happy to have there with him. Sheldon admits he was under the misapprehension that his accomplishments were his alone, but nothing could be further than the truth. He has been encouraged, sustained, inspired and tolerated not only by his wife, but by the greatest group of friends anyone ever had. Sheldon asks them to stand so he can call them out individually. Sheldon apologizes to his friends if he hasn’t been the friend they deserve, but he wants them to know in his way, he loves them all. Sheldon turns to Amy to tell her he loves her. Sheldon then thanks the audience as they begin to applaud.

Back in the apartment, Sheldon and Amy are wearing their Nobel medals as the whole gang once again gather for dinner. Leonard strokes Penny’s tummy as the group eat, talk and laugh, as they have so many times before.