The Rhinitis Revelation Season 5, Episode 6 -  Aired October 20, 2011

The Rhinitis Revelation

When Sheldon's mother comes to town, he's disappointed when she would rather see the sights than wait on him and attend a physics conference. After Sheldon throws a tantrum, Mrs. Cooper spends the day with Leonard, Penny, Howard and Raj.

Rate this episode

Guest Stars: Laurie Metcalf as Mary Cooper

Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Eric Kaplan (Story), Steve Holland (Story), Bill Prady (Teleplay), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Jim Reynolds (Teleplay)

Director: Howard Murray

Viewers: 14.93 million Households Rating: 8.9/15 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5.1/16

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title references the runny nose Sheldon comes down after being out in the rain. The relevation being Sheldon's realization that rain falls equally on the brilliant man as it does the common man (unless he has an umbrella).
  • This episode was taped as the seventh episode of the season, but aired as the sixth episode of the season, so Halloween-themed episode could air nearer the day.

> Soft Kitty

After Sheldon catches a cold, Mary sings "Soft Kitty" to him as she applies VapoRub to his chest and puts him to bed.

> I'm Not Crazy. My Mother Had Me Tested

As Leonard, Sheldon and his mother get ready to head out to a sushi restaurant to "try something new", Sheldon points out there's a lot of harm in trying something new, saying "That's why we test out drugs and cosmetics on bunny rabbits."

After Leonard accuses him of talking like a crazy person, Mary intervenes to say "Actually, I had him tested as a child. Doctor says he's fine." When Sheldon says "Told you" to Leonard, Mary concedes that she regrets "not following up with that specialist in Houston."

> Sheldon's Beverage Protocols

When Leonard, Sheldon and his mother Mary return to the apartment to find a drunken Raj waiting for them, Mary prompts Sheldon to make Raj a hot beverage.

"Mary Cooper: Sheldon, your friend is hurtin'. What do we do when someone's hurtin'?
Sheldon: Offer them a hot beverage.
Mary Cooper: And when they're drunk as a skunk, what beverage do we offer?
Sheldon: Coffee.

Episode Quotes

(Howard has just told Mary about his upcoming trip to the International Space Station.)
Mary Cooper: I bet your mom is really proud of you.
Howard: Nope. She says if I don't back out, she's gonna go on a hunger strike. It'd take years before she'd be in any kind of danger, but still.

Mary Cooper: It's all themed. There's Jonah and the Whale Watching. All-you-can-eat Last Supper Buffet. And my personal favorite, Gunning with God.

Mary Cooper: Lord, Mary Cooper here, coming to you from Gomorrah, California.

Leonard: You're talking like a crazy person.
Mary: Actually, I had him tested as a child. Doctor says he's fine.
Sheldon: Told ya.
Mary Cooper: Although, I do regret not following up with that specialist in Houston.

Sheldon: Frankly, Mom, I'm encouraged to see how advanced your group has become -- willing to sail into the ocean without fear of falling off the edge.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 5.06 Ratings October 21, 2011

The October 20, 2011 episode of The Big Bang Theory finished first in its slot and matched its previous Thursday high in the key adults 18-49 demographic. The Big Bang Theory was the highest rated show on Thursday for the fifth week running.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 5.06 October 13, 2011

CBS has announced the October 20, 2011, episode of The Big Bang Theory. Laurie Metcalf reprises her role as Sheldon's mother in the episode.  Full story


Sheldon's mother, Mary, is visiting Pasadena before boarding a Christian cruise ship called the Born Again Boat Ride. Sheldon is looking forward to his mother's fried chicken, but Mary would rather they go out for a bite to eat. Leonard suggests they try the sushi place and Mary, unaccustomed to the cuisine, agrees to try something new. When Sheldon, Leonard and Mary go to the sushi place, Sheldon can hardly hide his unhappiness. Mary is filled in on the latest news in Sheldon and Amy's relationship and Leonard's long-distance romance with Priya. Mary threatens to spank Sheldon right there and then in the restaurant if he doesn't stop pestering her about fried chicken.

As Sheldon, Leonard and Mary walk back to the apartment from the sushi place, they find Raj sitting up against the door with a half-empty six-pack of beer. Raj opens up to Mary about his loneliness, leading her to recount the tale of a tall, tall girl back home who thought she'd never find love, until one day the Harlem Globetrotters came to town. Later, Sheldon and his mother are washing his clothes in the laundry room when Penny walks in. Seeing one of Penny's skimpier tops, Mary wonders whether Penny is having trouble finding a guy to settle down with because she lets them "ride the roller coaster without buying a ticket". Mary admits when she was younger she could be had "for a car ride and a bottle of strawberry wine".

Back in the apartment, Howard is telling Mary how he will be going to the International Space Station. Sheldon has planned a treat for his mother the next day, taking her to see Saul Perlmutter give a lecture. Mary would rather see of the local sights. Leonard suggests they take Mary to see the Hollywood sign, the wax museum, the Walk of Fame, while Penny suggests shopping on Rodeo Drive. The next morning, Sheldon apologizes for his behavior last night, but he still expects his mother to join him for the lecture. Mary says she will still be spending the day sightseeing with Sheldon's friends.

After a disappointing trip to the lecture alone, Sheldon goes to Amy's apartment in a foul mood. Amy suggests he's in a bad mood because his mother isn't making him the focus of her attention. Sheldon starts sneezing, leading Amy to suggest he's coming down with a cold. Meanwhile, the gang and Mary are in a Catholic church where she leads them in a prayer. Elsewhere, Sheldon is sitting on a park bench when a stranger sits down beside him. Sheldon compares his own brilliance to the common man sitting next to him. When it starts to rain, Sheldon notes how rain is another great equalizer, falling on the head of the brilliant and unremarkable alike - except when the common man has an umbrella.

Back in the apartment, Mary has made dinner for the rest of the gang. A soaking wet Sheldon enters in need to a tissue. When Mary realizes Sheldon is sick, she drops what she's doing and starts caring for him, putting him to bed. As Mary rubs VapoRub on Sheldon's chest, he's disappointed how they didn't get to spend much time together on her trip. Mary explains how they need to have a different relationship now he's a grown man, and then sings Soft Kitty to him.