The Tenure Turbulence Season 6, Episode 20 -  Aired April 4, 2013

The Tenure Turbulence

When a tenured position opens up at the university, Leonard, Sheldon and Raj compete with Barry Kripke for the job. The competition intensifies when the girls get involved and fight for their guys.

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Guest Stars: Regina King as Mrs. Davis, John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 17.24 million Households Rating: 10/17 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5.2/17

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the competition between the guys for the tenured position.

> Sheldon's Knock

Sheldon uses his knock twice on the office of Mrs. Davis, the Human Resources director.

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: Well, that's a fine how-do-you-do. (To Amy) Don't just stand there. Take your breasts out.

Amy: Seriously, is that tape? Like, how are they staying up like that?

Amy: You're all wasting your time. Sheldon is the most qualified for the job. And no amount of gravity-defying bosom is going to change that.

Raj: Yeah, screw it. I'm going in.
Sheldon: Wait. Hold on. I believe screw it, I'm going in, is what I said to your mother last night.

Leonard: Oh, you do what you want. But I don't want to lose my friends over tenure. Friends are forever.
Howard: *Coughing* So is tenure.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 6.20 Ratings April 5, 2013

Last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory finished first in the ratings for its time slot and ranked as the night's most-watched and highest-rated broadcast.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 6.20 March 18, 2013

CBS has issued the press release for the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, which will air Thursday, April 3. Regina King (Southland) reprises her role as Mrs. Davis and John Ross Bowie returns as Barry Kripke in this episode.  Full story


As the guys eat in the cafeteria, Barry Kripke shows up to tell them that Professor Tupperman is dead and a tenured position has opened up. Sheldon express his displeasure at the tenure process, while Leonard and Raj assure each other they won't be playing politics and sucking up to the tenure committee like Kripke. Later, Leonard tells Penny about the tenure position, Sheldon tells Amy, and Raj talks it through with Howard and Bernadette. Sheldon, Leonard and Raj are all determined to get the tenured position.

Leonard goes to the university gym to talk to Janine Davis, the university's HR directory and a member of the tenure committee. Leonard tries to exercise alongside Ms. Davis and Barry Kripke, but he soon falls to the floor in an asthma attack. Later, Ms. Davis opens up an email which launches a video presentation from Raj. She is interrupted from watching the video when Sheldon knocks at the door with a gift for her. Ms. Davis calls the meeting to an end after Sheldon hands over an appropriate gift, the box-set of Roots. Later, in the cafeteria, Howard asks the guys if they're planning to go to Professor Tupperman's memorial service. They guys say no, but their minds change when Howard mentions how the members of the tenure committee will be there.

Sheldon tells Amy he won't be able to make date night as he'll be attending the memorial service. Amy suggests she could be of assistance to Sheldon as she's a respected scientist and well versed in academic politics. When Leonard tells Penny about the memorial service, she offers to come but he say he's not sure how much help she would be in a room full of boring old men. After Penny pretends to bend down to tie her shoe laces, Leonard realizes what an asset she could be.

On the night of the memorial, Amy coaches Sheldon on the appropriate emotional responses to Professor Tupperman's death. Raj and Leonard and Penny soon show up, leading to bickering among the friends as they all denied they would be coming. Howard and Bernadette arrive at the memorial, mainly so Howard can watch his friends squabble. The guys realize their friendship is more important than the job, and are set to go home until Barry Kripke arrives, sucking up to Ms. Davis. The guys band together in a bid to stop the job going to Kripke.

Sheldon returns to Ms. Davis job to thank her for recommending him, Leonard and Raj for tenure, and to apologize for his inappropriate gift. As Sheldon says goodbye to Ms. Davis, he performs an flamboyant "jive hand shake", which Ms. Davis says she'll pretend did not happen.