The Friendship Turbulence Season 7, Episode 17 -  Aired March 6, 2014

The Friendship Turbulence

When a spat breaks out between Howard and Sheldon, Bernadette tries to bring peace to the group, leading Howard and Sheldon to fly to Texas together. Meanwhile, after Penny's car breaks down she wonders whether she'll have to get her job back at the Cheesecake Factory or take an embarrassing movie role. Raj seeks Amy's help in contacting a potential mate on an internet dating site.

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Guest Stars: Laura Spencer as Emily, Gilda Stratton as Flight Attendant V.O

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 18.09 million Households Rating: 11.6/19 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5.3/17

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the tiff between Sheldon and Howard that led to them taking a turbulent flight to Texas.

> Serial Ape-ist

As Penny was tries to convince the gang her acting career wasn't depressing, Penny reveals that she turned down a part in a movie, a sequel to "the awful killer gorilla movie" she was in. After Bernadette mentions that Penny died in the first movie, Sheldon points out it was at the 42 minute mark. Raj remembers Penny's topless showering scene at the 16 minute mark, after a "brief side butt during a pillow fight with her sorority sisters".

When Penny's car breaks down, she decides to take the part. Penny calls her agent to try get her job in the movie back, but she is told the part had been recast.

Episode Quotes

Bernadette: Raj, your tag's sticking out. *Bernadette tucks Raj's clothing tag back in*
Raj: Thank you. That's the closest I've come to sex in like two years.
Bernadette: Now I feel a little gross.
Raj: You're only making it seem more real for me.

Sheldon: I have one question. Is this a prank? Where you land in Houston and you've made up wanted posters which have my face with a moustache and a Spanish name, and I get arrested and deported to South America?
Howard: No.
Sheldon: Well I'm glad, because I would not have seen that coming.

Sheldon: I'm sorry for every mean thing I ever did or said to you.
Howard: I'm sorry too. It's all my fault.
Sheldon: If you weren't my friend there'd be a hole in my life.
Howard: Thank you, Sheldon.
Sheldon: Kind of like when Firefly was cancelled, but not as big.

Howard: Listen, I was thinking you and I could probably try to be better friends.
Sheldon: Really? I was thinking what we have now is a bit much.

Raj: Amy, I could use some help.
Amy: Let me guess. There's an undergrad in a leather jacket snapping his fingers by the water fountain.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
7.17 'The Friendship Turbulence' Ratings March 7, 2014

Last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory dominated its time slot to finish as the night's most-watched and highest-rated program, and is set to rank as the week's top-rated show in the key 18-49 demo.  Full story

7.17 'The Friendship Turbulence' Pictures March 5, 2014

Pictures from tomorrow's episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Friendship Turbulence", have been added to oru gallery. Head over to the album to see all the photos from Thursday's new episode.  Full story

7.17 'The Friendship Turbulence' Press Release February 25, 2014

CBS has put out the press release for next week's episode of The Big Bang Theory, 7.17 "The Friendship Turbulence".  Full story


As the gang eats dinner in the apartment, Penny tells them about a movie part she turned down, a sequel to Serial Ape-ist. Leonard questions Penny's decision to turn down the role, pointing out many famous actors got their start doing bad movies. When Sheldon changes the subject to mocking Howard's career, Bernadette asks him why he's always putting down Howard. Sheldon tells Bernadette that Howard started it when they first met, by claiming Sheldon looked like C-3PO and Pee-wee Herman, dubbing him C-3P-wee Herman. Sheldon details some of the other pranks Howard has pulled on him, including signing Sheldon up for the magazine "Granny on Granny".

Howard stops by Sheldon's office to tell him they probably could try to be better friends. Howard suggests they stop insulting each other, which Sheldon agrees with. Howard tells Sheldon he's doing a NASA talk in Houston at the weekend, and invites Sheldon to come with him. Elsewhere, Raj visits Amy in her lab to ask for Amy's help contacting a woman he found on a dating website. Later, when Penny drives Sheldon to the pharmacist, her car breaks down after Sheldon again points out the check-engine light is on.

Back in the apartment, as the guys get ready to play a board game, Sheldon decides to be on his friend Howard's team. Penny comes over to talk to Leonard privately in the hallway. Penny tells Leonard her car is totalled and she can't afford a new car, which she needs to drive to auditions. Later, Raj visits Amy's lab to tell her that the woman, Emily, wrote back to say she doesn't think he's the right guy for her. Amy explains that Emily thought it was a bad sign that Raj didn't write to her himself, and then says she'll try change Emily's mind when she meets her for coffee.

As Howard and Bernadette are waiting for Sheldon in her car, Bernadette feels Howard's in for a long weekend with Sheldon. Howard tells her she's the reason he's doing this, but she says she told him to stop insulting each other, not to take him on a romantic getaway. On the airplane, Sheldon bothers Howard as he needs to go to the bathroom again. When Sheldon wonders why Howard is getting annoyed, Howard tells him he's always saying and doing irritating things. Howard thinks Sheldon doesn't like to admit he's an astronaut because he's jealous. Sheldon admits it was hard for him when Howard got to go up to space, but then says it made him realize they'll send anybody up there. After Howard refuses to let Sheldon out to go the bathroom, the plane hits turbulence. After the plane dives violently, Sheldon admits he's scared of turbulence and Howard is ready to throw up.

As Leonard gets ready to drive Penny back to the Cheesecake Factory to get her old job back, he reveals to her that he bought her a car. Meanwhile, Amy tells Emily that although it's odd Raj didn't write to her himself, he is a sweet, regular guy. An uninvited and visibly sweaty Raj then shows up to introduce himself to Emily. Raj asks her if a passive guy would just barge in there and talk to her, she says no but tells him a weird guy with no boundaries might. Emily leaves, deciding she'd rather not spend any more time with Amy either. Back on the airplane, Sheldon apologizes to Howard for all the mean things he's said and done. When Howard apologizes as well, Sheldon tells him without him as a friend there'd be a hole in his life. Even after the turbulence is over and the captain turns off the seat belt sign, Howard and Sheldon are still holding hands.