The Relationship Diremption Season 7, Episode 20 -  Aired April 10, 2014

The Relationship Diremption

Sheldon is depressed by the state of his career after twenty fruitless years in the field of string theory. Meanwhile, when Howard and Bernadette go on a double date with Raj and Emily, Howard is embarassed to realize he hs already met Emily.

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Guest Stars: Laura Spencer as Emily, John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke, Stephen Hawking as Himself

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 16.29 million Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.7/17

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Penny's advice for Sheldon to treat string theory like a relationship he's ending.

> Sheldon's Knock

When Amy leads a drunk Sheldon back to his bedroom, Sheldon knocks on his own door, saying "Empty room" between rounds, before they enter. Sheldon remarks that "if somebody says come in, I'm gonna freak out."

Episode Quotes

Raj: We have to go over some ground rules about Emily.
Howard: Like when it turns out she's made of rubber, I don't say anything?
Raj: She's very real.
Howard: That's what it says on the box. Right next to dishwasher safe.

Sheldon: (on Stephen Hawking's voice mail) I kiss girls now.

Leonard: How's dating two women going?
Raj: Umm, kinda hit a bump. When I was honest and told Emily she wasn't the only person I was seeing, it went great. So I tried the same thing with Lucy.
Howard: And?
Raj: She had mixed feelings. But when I said "Emily was cool with it, Emily's the best, why can't you be more like Emily?", those feelings became less mixed.

Bernadette: I'm excited to meet Emily.
Howard: I just hope he doesn't blow it.
Bernadette: Why would you say that?
Howard: Because he's Raj. That's his thing. Beckham can bend it. Ralph can wreck it. Raj can blow it.

Amy: Sorry I'm late. (Sees Sheldon's new hair style) What did you do?
Penny: I gave him a new look. Cute, huh?
Amy: Yeah, it's cute. That's the problem. I don't need other girls to see him walking around like sex on a stick?
Sheldon: (Looks in a mirror) She's right, I'm too hot.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
7.20 'The Relationship Diremption' Ratings April 11, 2014

Last night's The Big Bang Theory ranked first in its time slot and finished as the night's most-watched and highest rated broadcast. The show's ratings were down week-to-week, following the decline in overall TV viewership in the spring.  Full story

7.20 'The Relationship Diremption' Press Release March 27, 2014

CBS has issued the press release for the April 10 episode of The Big Bang Theory. John Ross Bowie returns as Kripke and Laura Spencer reprises her role as Emily in this episode.  Full story


As the guys discuss a recent scientific breakthrough, they realize Sheldon is jealous having spent twenty years working on string theory and being no closer to proving it than when he began, After Barry Kripke mocks Sheldon for still believing in the promise of string theory, Sheldon wonders whether he's wasting his life on a theory that can never be proven. The next morning, Penny finds Sheldon up early, fretting over his career choice. Penny likens Sheldon's work in the field of string theory to that of a relationship where you realize it's not going to end the way you expected. Penny tells Sheldon to have the courage to end the relationship as that's how you grow.

Back in the cafeteria, Raj tells Howard he's no longer seeing Lucy after she was less comfortable than Emily with him seeing two women. Sheldon turns up with his old string theory books to give away. Later, in Raj's apartment, he sets Howard some ground rules for their upcoming double date with Emily and Bernadette. Meanwhile, Penny is giving Sheldon a new hair cut. When Leonard asks Sheldon what he's going to pursue now, he tells Leonard there are many exciting areas like black holes and dark matter.

At a restaurant, Howard and Bernadette wait for Raj and Emily to show up. When they arrive, Howard is horrified to realize he's met Emily before. Emily thinks she knows Howard and have met, but she can't quite place him. Back at the apartment, Sheldon is searching through textbooks looking for a new field of enquiry. Penny advices Sheldon to not rush into a new field, to instead take his time and see if a new area to study finds him instead. When Penny proposes a toast to Sheldon's new found freedom, Sheldon uncharacteristically agrees to partake in drinking alcohol.

Back at the restaurant, it suddenly dawns on Emily how she knows Howard. He pleads her not to tell the story, but Emily begins to explain how they were set up on a blind date. Howard decides he should tell the story, describing how he arrived at Emily's apartment with an upset stomach and asked to use the bathroom. One roll of toilet paper and twenty minutes later, Howard was so humiliated he snuck out the window, and never saw Emily again. When Howard apologizes to Emily, she tells him it's fine as her friends love the story of "Clogzilla". Meanwhile, after he has had a lot to drink, Amy decides it's time to put Sheldon to bed.

As Emily tells Bernadette more about her job, Howard interrupts to say the bathroom experience was humiliating for him and he hopes they can just move on, ignoring the fact everybody already has. The next morning, a dishevelled Sheldon wakes to find he's not alone in bed - he's spooning a geology textbook. When he goes to the living room, Sheldon asks him about his new friend. As Sheldon goes to phone Amy to apologize for his drunken behavior the night, he realizes he called Stephen Hawking last night.

At the university cafeteria, Howard asks Sheldon if he's feeling okay. When Sheldon explains he had a bit of an embarrassing evening, Howard can relate. Sheldon tells Howard how he may have left an unfortunate voice mail for Stephen Hawking, Howard tells him not to worry about it as the Professor has a pretty good sense of humor. After Howard fills Sheldon in on his own embarrassing evening, Barry Kripke arrives to mock Sheldon for his call to Professor Hawking. When Howard tells Kripke to go away, he calls Howard Clogzilla.