The Decoupling Fluctuation Season 6, Episode 2 -  Aired October 4, 2012

The Decoupling Fluctuation

When Penny has doubts about her relationship with Leonard, Sheldon comes to his buddy's defense and tries to convince Penny to stay with Leonard. Meanwhile, at the International Space Station, the other astronauts are picking on Howard, and Stuart joins the social group in his absence.

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Guest Stars: Mike Massimino as Himself, Pasha Lychnikoff as Dimitri

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 15.18 million Households Rating: 9.5/16 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.9/16

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Penny's thoughts about breaking up with Leonard.

> Sheldon's Knock

Sheldon uses his knock twice, on Leonard's bedroom door and one over Penny's bed as she sleeps. After Sheldon heard that Penny was considering breaking up with Leonard, Sheldon was worried and wanted to tell his friend. Sheldon knocked on Leonard's door in the middle of the night to wake him up, only to say he still can't tell him. After that, Sheldon lets himself into Penny's apartment, goes to her bedroom, and knocks on the wall by her bed. Before Sheldon leaves, he asks Penny not to hurt his friend.

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

When Leonard, Raj and Sheldon talk to Howard in space via a video chat, Sheldon takes it up on himself to add the static noises to their crystal-clear communication and use two-way radio terms like "over."

After Howard says "You're out of your mind, Sheldon.", Sheldon responds "That's a negative. My mother had me tested. Over."

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: If you're going to replace Wolowitz, I need to know a little bit more about you.
Stuart: All right.
Sheldon: Wolowitz went to MIT. What's your educational background?
Stuart: I went to art school.
Sheldon: Equally ridiculous. Let's go.

Sheldon: Leonard, the transformers teach us that things are not always what they appear to be. You know, like, a semi truck might be an alien robot, or someone in a romantic relationship might feel differently than they appear to.

Sheldon: How can she not be sure how she feels? You know, when I have a feeling, I know it. Trains? Love them. Swordfish. I love them, too. They're fish with a sword for a nose.

Sheldon: Settle down there, fake Wolowitz. No one likes a kiss-up.

Sheldon: Penny, please don't hurt my friend.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 6.02 Ratings October 5, 2012

The October 4, 2012 episode of The Big Bang Theory finished first in its time slot and was the night's highest-rated and most-watched broadcast.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 6.02 September 13, 2012

CBS has announced the second episode of The Big Bang Theory's sixth season, which will air Thursday, October 4, 2012. Kevin Sussman (Stuart), Mike Massamino (Himself) and Pasha Lychnikoff (Dimitri) appear in the episode.  Full story


As Penny and the girls sort through Bernadette's wedding presents, Bernadette asks Penny if she thinks she and Leonard will ever get married. Penny avoids the question and finally admits she isn't sure whether she should break up with him. Penny says she is happy with Leonard but isn't sure if she feels in love with him. Elsewhere, the guys are video chatting with Howard in the International Space Station. Stuart arrives to go to the movies with the guys. Sheldon is uncomfortable with the unexpected addition, but Leonard convinces him to pretend Stuart is Wolowitz. After a quick quiz, Sheldon is happy with replacement Wolowitz coming along.

At the movies, Sheldon is unhappy that Amy is forcing him to hold hands. When Sheldon points out that Leonard and Penny aren't holding hands, Amy reveals that Penny has been having doubts about their relationship. Back at the apartment, Sheldon tells Leonard there is something he needs to tell him but can't. Sheldon uses the Transformers to try let Leonard know his relationship might not be what it seems, but Leonard has no idea what Sheldon is talking about. Later that night, Sheldon wakes Leonard up to tell him that he still can't tell him the secret.

When Sheldon goes over to Penny's bedroom to talk to her about Leonard, she wakes up terrified to see Sheldon standing above her. After Sheldon tries to convince her how great Leonard is, Penny realizes Amy must have told him about her worries for their relationship. Penny tells him it's sweet he's looking out for his friend, but that it's none of his business and tells him to get out. As Sheldon goes, he asks Penny not to hurt his friend. Later, Amy's phone rings as Penny confronts her for telling Sheldon. When Sheldon gets back to his apartment, he phones Amy to give her a heads up, but Penny's already on the line.

Bernadette has a video chat with Howard, who says the other astronauts are being mean to him. Bernadette asks if Howard wants her to call somebody at NASA, but he says his mom already did that and it just made things worse. Back at the apartment, the guys are playing Mystic Warlords of Ka'a when Sheldon suggests Leonard might want to join Raj and Stuart as they go out to meet girls. Later, Leonard and Penny are in her apartment when Penny tells Leonard there's something she needs to tell him. As Penny struggles to find the words to tell Leonard, he stares at her with big sad eyes.

Penny is chatting to Amy and Bernadette and admits that rather than breaking up with Leonard, she slept with him. Elsewhere, Bernadette is chatting to Howard, who says he stood up to the astronaut bullies and finally got a good night's sleep, unaware they've drawn all over his face, writing F. Loops on his forehead.