The Table Polarization Season 7, Episode 16 -  Aired February 27, 2014

The Table Polarization

When Leonard buys a new dining room table for the apartment, Sheldon starts to reconsider the changes in his own life. Meanwhile, Bernadette doesn't know how to react when Howard is offered the chance to go into space again.

Rate this episode

Guest Stars: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz, Casey Sander as Mr. Rostenkowski, Christopher Neiman as Dr. Dreyfus, Mike Massimino as Himself

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

Director: Gay Linvill

Viewers: 17.73 million Households Rating: 11.4/18 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5/16

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the split in the group when Leonard buys a new table for the apartment.

> Sheldon's Knock

Sheldon uses his knock once on Amy's door when he goes to break up with her.

Episode Quotes

Bernadette: I think what we're all trying to say is that you don't seem to be remembering how traumatic the experience was for you.
Raj: Like how women often forget the pain of childbirth.
Mike Rostenkowski: Like a woman. Great analogy.

Sheldon: I've changed. Like the frog who's put in a pot of water that's heated so gradually, he doesn't realize he's boiling to death.
Penny: Or you're the frog who's been kissed by the princess and turned into a prince.
Leonard: Or you're just a tall, annoying frog.

Amy: I'm not surprised you want to end the relationship. I'm a little surprised you didn't get AppleCare.

Amy: You don't need to explain yourself to him.
Sheldon: (To Leonard) I don't need to explain myself to you!
Amy: You're sick of his nonsense and you're ready to move in with me.
Sheldon: (To Leonard) Keep the table. We don't use that space.
Amy: Damn it. I got cocky.

Sheldon: (To Leonard & Penny) You can stop trying to make this about our relationship.
Amy: Which is stronger than ever.
Sheldon: Which is stronger than ever!

News Stories

Title Date Posted
7.16 'The Table Polarization' Ratings February 28, 2014

Last night's The Big Bang Theory dominated the ratings for its time slot, ranking as the night's most-watched and highest-rated broadcast.  Full story

7.16 'The Table Polarization' Press Release February 14, 2014

CBS has issued the press release for the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, 7.16 "The Table Polarization", which will air Thursday, February 27. Casey Sander reprises his role as Bernadette's father in this episode and real life astronaut Mike Massimino makes another appearance.  Full story


As the gang eat in the apartment, the guys mock Raj for the way her pronounces moustache. After Penny arrives late, Raj offers to give up Penny's seat, but Penny insists she's fine sitting on the floor. Bernadette asks if they've ever considered getting a dining room table. Sheldon shoots down the idea of getting a table, but Leonard and Penny tell him it's not a bad idea.

As Leonard gets ready to head out with Penny to shop for a dining room table, Sheldon is using his desk in the corner of the apartment for the first time in years. Sheldon wonders if a table is really worth it, as he and Leonard have lived together for years without ne'ery an argument, but now they're at each throats. Meanwhile, Howard shows Raj his new magic wand TV remote. Howard receives a phone call from NASA, telling him they want him to go back up to the space station. Howard tells Raj he told NASA he'd be honored to go on another mission.

At a furniture store, when Leonard dismisses one of the tables because of what Sheldon would think, Penny tells him he should stop letting Sheldon boss him around. Leonard agrees with her and decides he will pick out his own table, though Penny subtly guides him towards a different table. Elsewhere, when Bernadette returns to her apartment, Howard tells her that NASA called, inviting him to go back up to the space station. Bernadette is surprised to hear Howard said yes, thinking he would not want to go back after last time. Howard tells her it was the greatest experience of his life, but Bernadette remembers a lot of complaining and wishing for it to be over.

Back at the apartment, Leonard and Penny show the new table to Sheldon, who much prefers his spot on the couch. When Sheldon tries to argue the table is in violation of the roommate agreement, Leonard takes Penny's advice and stands up to Sheldon. Sheldon sees Penny's influence at work and argues she is the problem. Sheldon is upset that after years of turning lump of clay Leonard into an acceptable conduit for his will, Penny has come along and reshaped him. Penny tells Sheldon she hasn't tried to change Leonard, it's just what happens in relationships. Sheldon claims that's not true, but Penny points out how much Sheldon has changed since he started dating Amy. Sheldon comes to the realization that he's allowed Amy to alter his personality, so he excuses himself to go break up with her.

When Sheldon arrives at Amy's apartment, he presents her with his iPad to sign to end their relationship agreement. Amy argues the break-up is just Leonard trying to take the focus of the dreadful table he bought, manipulating Sheldon like he always does. Sheldon is interested that Amy said she would stand against the dining room table, but he wonders whether she's not just manipulating him. Elsewhere, Raj and Bernadette talk about Howard's opportunity to go to space again. Bernadette and Raj both agree he shouldn't go back to space, but neither wants to be the one to ruin it for him.

Back at the apartment, when Sheldon and Amy return, Sheldon tells Leonard that he and Amy saw through his attempt to manipulate them into breaking up. When Sheldon argues the problem is Leonard trying to change his environment, Leonard points out that the spot Sheldon likes so much only came about because of a change he made. Leonard asks him why the couch was a good change but the table is a bad one, leaving Sheldon stumped. Amy tells Sheldon that he doesn't need to explain himself to Leonard, but when Amy tries to manipulate Sheldon into moving in with him, she goes a step too far. Sheldon tells Leonard to keep the table.

When Howard returns to his apartment, he finds Raj, Bernadette and her father there for an intervention. Astronaut Mike Massimino is in video chat on the laptop, and explains to Howard that he does not have the right stuff for space. Mike tells Howard he did a great job up there, but he was also scared and miserable the whole time. Bernadette tells him he doesn't seem to remember how traumatic the experience was for him. Mike reminds Howard of what he asked him to do before his last strip to space, shoot him in the foot. Howard is upset they don't believe in him and tells them he's a different man now, but after Mike reveals Howard would have to go through survival training again, Howard has a change of heart. At a doctor's surgery, Howard asks the doctor to get him out of it. Howard gets the doctor to take his blood pressure again as he talks on the phone to his mother.

At the apartment, as the gang minus Sheldon and Amy eats at the new table, Raj tells Howard he's sorry that he can't be an astronaut again because of his high blood pressure. Penny invites Sheldon and Amy up to the new table, leading Leonard to wonder why she's trying to ruin it up there. Sheldon says he prefers to eat down there because that's how they've always done it. When Bernadette feels sad they're sitting in two groups, Leonard argue it's not silly if you think of the other group as being led by a big, evil baby. The girls all agree to go sit with Sheldon and Amy, but Raj holds out having sat on the floor for years. Bernadette convinces Raj to eat down there with them, and the baby wins.