The Ornithophobia Diffusion Season 5, Episode 9 -  Aired November 10, 2011

The Ornithophobia Diffusion

Leonard and Penny spend time alone together as friends for the first time. Meanwhile, Sheldon is forced to overcome his fear of birds after one nests outside his apartment window.

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Guest Stars: Blake Berris as Kevin, Ashley Austin Morris as Laura

Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Dave Goetsch (Story), Anthony Del Broccolo (Story), Bill Prady (Teleplay), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 15.89 million Households Rating: 9.3/15 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5.3/15

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Sheldon getting over his fear of birds (ornithophobia).

> Sheldon's Knock

When a bird won't get off the window ledge outside Sheldon and Leonard's apartment, Sheldon uses his knock on the window to tell the bird to go away.

> Sheldon's Beverage Protocols

After Sheldon had a change of heart on the bird that was nesting outside his apartment, he realized he hadn't offered the bird a beverage. "Sheldon: It's remarkable. All that time spent in fear. And for what? He's magnificent. Oh, dear. I just realized I haven't offered you a beverage."

Episode Quotes

Amy: If you're keeping him, I've got a cage you can borrow. One of the test monkeys slipped on a banana peel and broke his neck. It was both tragic and hysterical.

Sheldon: Get back here, you stupid bird, so I can love you.

Penny: Really? On top of everything, you're afraid of birds?
Sheldon: Its called ornithophobia and someday it will be recognized as a true disability, and the landlord will be required by law to put a giant net over the building. Which is unfortunate because I have a fear of nets.

Raj: Come on, Sheldon, Star Wars.
Howard: I'm pushing play. I mean it. If we don't start soon, George Lucas is going to change it again.

Leonard: I'm going to the movies with Penny. I don't want her to think I think it's a date.
Sheldon: Do you think it's a date?
Leonard: No, but she might think I think it's a date even though I don't.
Sheldon: Or you might think she thinks you think it's a date even though she doesn't.
Leonard: Are we over thinking this?
Sheldon: Not at all.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 5.09 Ratings November 11, 2011

The November 10, 2011 episode of The Big Bang Theory finished first in its slot and was the most-watched show of the night.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 5.09 November 2, 2011

CBS has announced the November 10 episode of The Big Bang Theory.  Full story


Penny returns home from work and runs into Leonard in the apartment building lobby. Penny invites Leonard to join her at the movies that night. Leonard is surprised by the offer as the pair haven't really hung out together alone since they broke up. As they reach Leonard's apartment, they hear Sheldon screaming. When they enter the apartment, they find Sheldon at the apartment window trying to shoo a bird away from the window ledge.

Later that evening, Sheldon is trying to scare the bird away by making cat noises. Leonard is getting ready for his evening with Penny and wonders whether he's dressed appropriately. Frustrated by his lack of success in shooing the bird away, Sheldon calls animal control to no avail. At the cinema, Leonard and Penny decide which movie they should see. Penny wants to see the new Jennifer Aniston movie, but Leonard would rather see a documentary about the building of a dam in South America. Leonard points out that when they were dating he always saw the movie Penny wanted to see and, since sex is no longer on the table, it's his turn to choose the movie.

Back at the apartment, Howard and Raj are there to watch Star Wars on Blu-ray with Sheldon. Howard and Raj are getting impatient for the movie to start, while Sheldon is attempting to make a high frequency tone generator to irritate the bird away. When Howard helps Sheldon finish the device, it doesn't annoy the bird - but it does shatter the apartment windows. At a bar, Penny and Leonard discuss the movie they just saw. Leonard decides to order fries but wants to make sure Penny isn't going to eat his half of his food despite saying she was fine, as she usually would on one of their dates. When Leonard presses her, Penny decides to get her own portion of fries - and Leonard charges her for it. Penny starts up a conversation with a geeky, hipster writer, Kevin, sitting behind her.

Back at the apartment, Sheldon decides to conquer his fears. Wearing a Baba Fett helmet and armed with a broom, Sheldon opens the window to literally shoo the bird away. The bird flies in and lands in Sheldon's spot on the couch. Back at the bar, Penny is recounting the great documentary she just saw to Kevin. Leonard feels Penny is only talking to Kevin because he said they're not on a date, but Penny says she finds him cute. Leonard decides he should go talk to a woman as well.

Amy and Bernadette arrive at the apartment to help Sheldon with his avian pest, but the microbiologist and neuroscientist struggle to see why Sheldon called on them in this situation. Bernadette lets the bird land on her, saying she thinks he's sweet and is probably somebody's pet. They convince Sheldon to pet the bird. Back at the bar, Leonard is talking to a woman, Laura, when Penny comes over, ready to hang out with Leonard again - now Kevin had to leave. When Laura mentions that Leonard had talked about Penny, she wonders what Leonard told her. Penny starts retaliating by revealing embarrassing secrets about Leonard to Laura, causing her to leave. Penny asks Leonard to take her home.

Sheldon has the bird on his arm and decides to call him Lovey-Dovey. Sheldon asks Bernadette to take a picture of him and the bird. When Sheldon goes to get the bird's nest so he can move it inside to his bedroom, the bird flies away. Leonard and Penny arrive back at the apartment building. Leonard apologizes to Penny for essentially calling her stupid and, this time, he's not just apologizing to have sex. Leonard wonders whether they're not quite ready to hang out as friends, but Penny says she was enjoying the more confident Leonard for a while. When Leonard gets back to the apartment, Sheldon says he's going to be a mommy, as he watches over a nest with an egg in it.