The Thanksgiving Decoupling Season 7, Episode 9 -  Aired November 21, 2013

The Thanksgiving Decoupling

Sheldon objects when he is forced to spend Thanksgiving at Mrs. Wolowitz's house with the group. A mistake from Penny's past adds drama to the gang's festivities, while Sheldon enjoys some unexpected male bonding.

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Guest Stars: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz, Casey Sander as Mr. Rostenkowski, Brian Thomas Smith as Zack

Writers: Eric Kaplan (Story), Steve Holland (Story), Maria Ferrari (Story), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Steve Holland (Teleplay), Jeremy Howe (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 18.94 million Households Rating: 11.7/19 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5.3/16

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Penny's marital problem which they discovered on Thanksgiving.

Episode Quotes

Penny: Howard, cow tipping - real or not?
Howard: I'm going to say not. That's just based on me trying to roll my mom over when she's snoring.

Mike: I don't know what's scarier: the bathroom clowns or the woman that put them there?
Sheldon: All I know is you can only fit one of her in a car.
*Howard walks in*
Sheldon: And there's the clown that came out of her!

Mike: I know I'm hard on you, but you're not the worst son-in-law in the world.
Howard: Mike, that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me.
Mike: Well, I'm drunk.

Amy: It says here you can get an annulment if any of the following conditions were met: Were you unable to consummate the marriage?
Sheldon: Penny!? Ha! Next ...

Raj: It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without an Indian providing the food.


As the gang argues in the apartment over whether cow tipping is real or not, Howard mentions how his mother has invited them all to Thanksgiving dinner at her house. Bernadette's dad will be coming and Howard never has anything to say to him. Leonard is excited to spend a Thanksgiving where he doesn't have to cook and hear Sheldon complain about it all day, so they agree to have dinner at Mrs. Wolowitz's.

On Thanksgiving day, as they prepare to leave for Mrs. Wolowitz's house, Sheldon is unhappy about having dinner at Mrs. Wolowitz's. When Penny mentions the Thanksgiving she once spent in Vegas with Zack, her ex-boyfriend, the guys are surprised to hear Penny's recollection of a fake Vegas wedding. They point out Vegas weddings are very much real. Meanwhile, Bernadette's dad, Mike, arrives at Mrs. Wolowitz's house. When Mrs. W. is too sick to cook dinner, Howard has the idea of getting Raj to do all the cooking so he and Bernadette don't have to.

In the car ride over, Leonard and Penny argue about her marriage to Zack. As Penny wonders how to do undo this mistake of a marriage, Amy looks up their options for annulment. Back at Mrs. Wolowitz's, Raj is taking care of the cooking and Bernadette is helping him, leaving Howard to spend some uncomfortable time with Mike. Amy and Sheldon, Leonard and Penny arrive for dinner. As Amy helps Bernadette and Raj cook, she fills them in on Penny and Zack's marriage. In the living room, Howard and Mike fail to bond over football, while Leonard and Penny work through the court papers for her annulment. Mike is surprised when Sheldon knows about football, and the pair quickly bond over the game.

Leonard is angry with Penny for inviting Zack to dinner so they could take of the papers. When Sheldon tells Mike how his dad died when he was fourteen, Mike offers Sheldon and beer. Back in the kitchen, Amy, Bernadette and Raj gossip about Penny and Zack, who then shows up. As Zack reluctantly agrees to sign the papers to end their hitherto unknown marriage, Penny gets angry at Leonard for how big of a deal he's made of this on Thanksgiving. The pair sign the papers anyway.

Back in the living room, Sheldon and Mike are getting drunk, with Sheldon burping Pi. Bernadette yells at Mike and Sheldon for making fun of Howard, forcing them to apologize. After dinner, Penny apologizes to Leonard, while Mike tells Howard he's not the worst son-in-law in the world.