The Friendship Contraction Season 5, Episode 15 -  Aired February 2, 2012

The Friendship Contraction

When Leonard grows tired of Sheldon's selfish demands, he terminates the roommate agreement and downgrades their friendship. Meanwhile, Wolowitz tries to pick his own astronaut nickname.

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Guest Stars: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz, Kevin Sussman as Stuart, Mike Massimino as Himself

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 16.54 million Households Rating: 10.5/16 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5.5/16

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the change in Sheldon and Leonard's friendship.

> Roommate Agreement

When Sheldon needs Leonard to take him to the dentist, he calls on Section 37B of the roommate agreement, "Miscellaneous Duties", which requires Leonard not only to take him to the dentist, but also provide a confirmation sniff on questionable dairy products.

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: I would have been here sooner but the bus kept stopping for other people to get on it.

Leonard: You call that a glow stick? *Pulls out a Lightsaber* That is a glow stick!

Penny: Sheldon, that's not what girlfriends are for. Although you don't use them for what they're for, so what do I know?

Raj: They don't call me Brown Dynamite for nothin'.

Astronaut Mike Massimino: No problem, Froot Loops.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 5.15 Ratings February 3, 2012

Last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory beat American Idol in the key adults 18-49 demographic for the third week running and was the night's most-watched scripted show. The preliminary ratings point to The Big Bang Theory hitting all time highs in the ratings.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 5.15 January 19, 2012

CBS has announced the February 2nd, 2012 episode of The Big Bang Theory. Kevin Sussman reprises his role as Stuart in the episode. NASA astronaut Mike Massimino makes a cameo appearance in the show.  Full story


Sheldon wakes Leonard up early in the morning for the three month emergency preparedness drill. Leonard is fed up of Sheldon's insane quarterly antics and wants to go back to sleep. Sheldon has Leonard pick a card detailing the apocalyptic event they will be simulating that night. Leonard picks the card for a 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Pasadena, so Sheldon forces him to put a heard hat and safety vest on and go stand outside the building, not before pushing him over for a "hypothetical aftershock".

Later that day in the university cafeteria, Howard is showing Raj and Leonard the press release detailing the space mission he will be a part of. Raj suggests Howard should get himself a cool astronaut nickname, but Howard thinks that the other astronauts have to pick it for him. When Leonard adds six sugars to his coffee, Howard figures out he must have endured another emergency drill. When Sheldon shows up to critique Leonard's performance last night, Leonard is too tired to deal with it and instead goes home to sleep. Sheldon tells Leonard he can't go home now as he has to take him to the dentist later that day. After Leonard says he won't be taking Sheldon to the dentist, Sheldon points out Leonard's obligation under Section 37B of the roommate agreement. Leonard says he's sick of the roommate agreement and decides to invoke Clause 209, suspending his friendship with Sheldon and stripping the roommate agreement down to its bare essentials.

In the guys' apartment, Howard excitedly tells the group that NASA has scheduled his orientation for next week. Sheldon arrives home, having taken the bus back from the dentist. Sheldon asks Amy to take him to the dentist tomorrow and is disappointed when his girlfriend doesn't cater to his every whim. Sheldon asks his friends for volunteers who will drive him to the dentist, the shoe shop, the dermatologist, allergist, podiatrist, and even Supercuts. Sheldon goes to the comic book store to see if Stuart, his ninth favorite person, will take him to the dentist. Stuart can't take Sheldon to the dentist as he's working and, more importantly, he doesn't want to.

Back at the apartment, Raj and Howard are discussing his potential astronaut nickname. Sheldon arrives home, not having made it to the dentist. Sheldon says he's found a company that will send a van round for a teeth cleaning, although they mostly cater to dogs. Leonard caves and says he will take Sheldon to the dentist, and he will reinstate the roommate agreement if Sheldon will admit he's a thirty-year-old man who's incapable of functioning on his own. Sheldon will admit nothing of the sort and instead decides to check whether the dog grooming service will also shampoo his hair and clip his nails.

Leonard is watching TV in his apartment when the power goes off. Penny comes over to the apartment to see that it wasn't just her power that went down, since she didn't exactly pay last month's electric bill. Sheldon comes into the living room to implement power-failure protocol, though Leonard won't benefit as he's no longer entitled to the full benefits of Sheldon's friendship. Penny says she's got some candles, but Sheldon would rather rely on the safer glow stick. Seeing Sheldon's little glow stick, Leonard gets out a glow stick of his own - a full-sized lightsaber. Leonard decides to go to Penny's apartment rather than sign Sheldon's roommate agreement again.

Over in Penny's apartment, she and Leonard are drinking wine and popping bubble wrap. Sheldon arrives to say he's making s'mores and offers Leonard some, if he'll sign reinstate the roommate agreement. Leonard refuses so Sheldon goes back to his apartment to make s'mores alone. Penny takes pity on Sheldon and encourages Leonard to go be with his roommate. Leonard proposes they go back to the way things were, but that Sheldon must start showing him some gratitude when he does something for him. Sheldon suggests they reinstate the roommate agreement and add a annual celebration of Leonard, in the vein of Mother's Day or Father's Day, called Leonard's Day. When the power comes back on, Penny arrives to say the building manager said the power only went out because somebody went down to the basement and pulled the main breaker switch. Sheldon says Leonard should be thankful to him, whoever he is, as without him there would be no Leonard's Day.

Raj is with Howard in his bedroom as he awaits a video conference with NASA. Howard sets his phone's ring tone to Elton John's "Rocket Man" and wants Raj to ring it while Howard speaks to Astronaut Mike Massimino, hoping to inspire his nick name. Right after Raj rings Howard's phone, Mrs. Wolowitz shouts Howard to say his Froot Loops are getting soggy. Mike Massimino hears this and gives Howard his astronaut nickname, Froot Loops.