The Space Probe Disintegration Season 8, Episode 12 -  Aired January 8, 2015

The Space Probe Disintegration

When Penny and Amy feel Leonard and Sheldon force them to embrace their interests but never return the courtesy, the girls take Sheldon and Leonard along as they go shopping for dresses. The experience highlights the benefits of compromise for Sheldon and Leonard, opening the door for a change in their living situations. Elsewhere, as Raj nervously waits for the results of a space probe he helped to launch, Howard tries to take his mind off it.

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 18.11 million Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.6/15

Available on iTunes

Episode Lists

  • Leonard & Penny: Key Episodes Leonard & Penny: Key Episodes

    The key moments in Leonard and Penny's relationship including the first time they saw each other across the hall, their first kiss, their first date, breaking up and getting back together, the first time Penny says "I love you", a couple of proposals, their engagement, two wedding ceremonies, and finally Penny getting pregnant.

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Raj's fear that the space probe he helped to launch will be destroyed by ice in space.

> The Simpsons

When Raj asks Howard if everything he knows about Hinduism comes from Indiana Jones, Howard replies "No, there's also Apu from The Simpsons."

Episode Quotes

Penny: Sheldon, we know this is a sensitive subject, and Leonard's not going to move out until you're ready.
Sheldon: What if you did it gradually?
Leonard: All right, how about we start with two nights a week I live with Penny?
Sheldon: How about one night and I let you whistle?
Leonard: Okay.
Sheldon: When I'm not home.

Bernadette: Are you okay?
Raj: No, I'm not okay. I feel like I'm going to jump out of my skin.
Bernadette: I told you not to wax down there. It's itchy when it grows back.

Penny: Do I really force you to do things you don't want to?
Amy: Yeah, but it's okay.
Penny: How is it okay?
Amy: I promised myself if I ever got friends I'd do whatever they said. Really, I'm lucky you found me before a cult did.

Penny: Ooh, we could go horseback riding.
Amy: I actually can't. My hips don't open wider than 22 degrees. I rode a very thin pony once. On the first bump I just popped right off.

Howard: You work in pharmaceuticals. Don't you have anything you can give him?
Bernadette: All I have is our new urine flow drug. Won't help with his anxiety, but it's so strong, when he pees he'll fly around the room like he's got a jet pack.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
812 'The Space Probe Disintegration' Ratings January 9, 2015

Last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory delivered the show's best ratings since its season premiere on Monday, September 22, to finish a dominant first in the ratings for Thursday night.  Full story


As Sheldon and Leonard prepare to play a Lord of Rings version of the board game Risk, Penny and Amy arrive to pick them up for lunch. When the guys explain they've already ordered food and invite them to play the board game, the girls complain that they're always accommodating the guys' interests but they never return the courtesy. For a change, Penny and Amy will decide what they're doing and it will be something Sheldon and Leonard don't like. After Sheldon suggests it, Penny and Amy decide to go dress shopping with Leonard and Sheldon in tow. Elsewhere, Bernadette arrives home to find a nervous Raj pacing around in her living room. Raj is nervous about a space probe he helped to launch that will soon be returning data, unless it's destroyed by space ice.

While Penny and Amy try on dresses, Sheldon and Leonard are sitting at the clothes store, bored by the lack of cell phone signal or Wifi. Sheldon realizes the girls have a point and he and Leonard should compromise more often. Leonard is shocked when Sheldon claims he is forever making compromises for him When Leonard points out how much he does for Sheldon, such as driving him around, Sheldon admits Amy taught him to drive, but he finds it scary and doesn't want to take away Leonard's purpose in life.

Raj and Howard go for a drive to try calm Raj's fears. When Raj decides he wants to go to a Hindu temple, Howard is surprised to learn his friend has a religious side he's never shared before. Back at the clothes store, Penny wonders if she also forces Amy to do things she doesn't want to do. Amy admits Penny does this but says it's okay, as Amy long ago decided that if she ever had friends she would do whatever they said. Penny points out how much Amy has grown as a person and should no longer feel the need to be so submissive to her friends.

As Sheldon and Leonard discuss how they compromise with each other in their relationship, Leonard admits the only reason he doesn't live with Penny is because of Sheldon. Sheldon points out that Leonard is often mean to him, thinking he doesn't pick up on his sarcasm or eye rolling, but he does. When the girls return, they find Sheldon and Leonard crying over their close friendship. Penny comforts Sheldon by telling him that Leonard won't move out until Sheldon is ready. Sheldon suggests that Leonard gradually move out. Leonard pitches two nights a week at Penny's, while Sheldon barters him down to one night and to let Leonard whistle in the apartment (only when Sheldon's not there).

At the Hindu temple, Raj is angered by somebody dings his car and acts like nothing happened. While Raj explodes at the guy for all the stress he's feeling right now, Howard tells him the space probe reported back fine, immediately calming Raj down. Elsewhere, the guys are making baskets at the Crafts Festival Museum and are, surprisingly, enjoying it.