The Love Car Displacement Season 4, Episode 13 -  Aired January 20, 2011

The Love Car Displacement

When the gang stays in a hotel for a science conference, Howard and Bernadette have an argument after she runs into her ex-boyfriend which causes a ripple effect throughout the group.

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Guest Stars: Rick Fox as Glenn

Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Bill Prady (Story), Dave Goetsch (Story), Lee Aronsohn (Teleplay), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Steve Holland (Teleplay)

Director: Anthony Rich

Viewers: 13.63 million Households Rating: 8.1/13 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.2/12

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the car Howard & Bernadette were traveling in, which Howard nicknamed the "love car", and Penny's displacement from the lead car into the "love car".

> Sheldon's Knock

While the guys stay attend a science conference in Big Sur, Sheldon uses his knock of Raj's hotel room door after Leonard and Penny share a bed in the hotel room he was sharing with Sheldon.

Episode Quotes

Howard: What, I'm not hot enough for Angelina Jolie?
Raj: Id like to weigh in here: No.

Amy: Are you in the lanthanide series?
Sheldon: Amy, it's Penny's turn. Penny.
Penny: Uh, I dunno. Are you food?
Sheldon: That's not a apropos! We've already established I'm found on the Periodic Table.
Penny: Well, it's a table, right? I mean, why can't there be food on it?
Sheldon: I knew she wasn't lead car material.

Sheldon: Good morning everyone and welcome to "Science and Society". I'm Dr. Sheldon Cooper, BS, MS, MA, PhD and ScD. OMG, right?

Sheldon: I need to sleep here tonight.
Raj: Why?
Sheldon: Howard is a total ass, Bernadette is in Penny's bed, Amy bites and Penny may or may not have coitus with Leonard.
Raj: Okay, come in.

Sheldon: Radio contact is sufficient. No need to extend your middle finger.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 4.13 Ratings January 21, 2011

The ratings for the first episode of The Big Bang Theory to face American Idol are out.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 4.13 December 28, 2010

CBS has announced the details for the January 20th episode of The Big Bang Theory.  Full story


Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, Raj, Amy and Bernadette are invited to participate on a science panel being held in San Francisco. Amy invites her "besti" Penny along, although Penny isn't initially excited by the prospect of attending a science symposium - that is until she learns it's an all expenses paid trip to luxury spa in Big Sur. Back at the apartment, Sheldon gives a length orientation to prepare everyone for the trip. The gang is divided into two cars: the lead car, driven by Leonard with Sheldon, Amy and Penny, and the second car, driven by Bernadette, with Howard and Raj.

As they travel to the symposium, Sheldon is "entertaining" the lead car with an element guessing game, leaving Penny out of her depth in a car full of scientists. When Penny grows tired of Sheldon's game and questions his authority at "Road Trip God", she is demoted to the second car. Wolowitz argues their car is better as it's the "Love Car", with Bernadette and Howard singing "I Got You Babe" as duet. When they arrive at the hotel, Bernadette runs into Glenn, an ex-boyfriend of hers. Howard is troubled by how tall Glenn is compared to him. After Howard seems to suggest Bernadette is not good looking enough to get a guy like Glenn, she asks if she can stay in Amy & Penny's room.

As a result of Bernadette joining them, Penny is forced to double up in a bed with Amy. Amy warns Penny she's prone to night terrors and tells Penny to stroke her hair to calm her down in the event of an episode. Later, Penny goes to sleep in Leonard's room as Amy was biting her during a night terror. When Penny wisely chooses not to try sleep in Sheldon's bed, she informs Leonard that her "shields are up" and there should be no intimate contact. When Sheldon wakes up, Leonard can't promise her there will be no coitus during the night, so Sheldon leaves the room.

In his room, Raj is about to climb in to bed with a box of tissues - to watch Bridget Jones Diary. Sheldon arrives and asks to stay in the room, which Raj allows. As things heat up between Leonard in Penny in the other room, Raj arrives having been kicked out of his room. 

The next morning, the guys' panel is being held and Sheldon is taking the lead. When Bernadette is asked to speak, a reference to her field of study, microbiology, chides at Howard's fear of being too small in a specific area. Howard chimes in, claiming that despite being a microbiologist she's spent her time around "pretty massive weaponry". Amy asks if they're talking about penises and a drunk Raj chimes in to say he thinks they are. Leonard responds angrily at Raj, who interrupted his night with Penny, who says it was just a hook-up and they weren't getting back together. When Sheldon opens up the Q&A session, Penny asks if anybody can drive her back to Los Angeles. Glenn agrees to drive her, causing significantly concern from Leonard.

As they drive home, things are awkward in the second car with a bickering couple and hungover Raj Meanwhile, Leonard is still agitated as he drives back at 120 miles per hour, right before he gets pulled over by a police car.