Roommate Agreement

Sheldon and Leonard signing the roommate agreementThe Roommate Agreement is a document drafted by Sheldon Cooper to which he and Leonard Hofstadter are signatories. The agreement governs their rights and responsibilities as friends and, formerly, roommates in Apartment 4A.

The Roommate Agreement was first mentioned in The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem as the friendship agreement, when Sheldon told Leonard he was invoking the "Skynet clause". Sheldon later tried to invoke the body snatchers clause. The latest mention of the Roommate Agreement was in The Table Polarization when Leonard wanted to get a dining room table for the apartment.

While Leonard was dating Priya, in The Agreement Dissection, she used her legal knowledge to pick apart the agreement, causing Sheldon to rewrite it and blackmail Leonard into signing a new version which benefits Sheldon greatly.

Reeling from his break-up with Amy and upset that Leonard wanted to move in with Penny, Sheldon terminated the Roommate Agreement with Leonard in The 2003 Approximation. After Leonard initialed to acknowledge he'd returned his key, Sheldon then gave him a key as his future neighbor (requiring another initial). When Leonard agreed to still sleep in the apartment some of the time, Sheldon decided to write up a new roommate agreement.

When Sheldon needed a place to work without disturbing Amy in The Separation Triangulation, Sheldon proposed renting his old room back from Leonard and drew up a rental agreement. Leonard was initially dismayed by how Sheldon, who was so difficult to live with for years, was the ideal tenant.

When Leonard tried to use a time-limited trial clause in that rental agreement to kick Sheldon out of his old room, Sheldon had included a timezone trap that meant Leonard was three hours too late. Sheldon then claimed a much longer rental agreement was in force. On page nine of that agreement, it called for Leonard to provide Sheldon with "lemon-flavored sparkling waters".

In a Season 1 episode of Young Sheldon, "Vanilla Ice Cream, Gentlemen Callers, and a Dinette Set", Sheldon's Meemaw set out ground rules for Sheldon after he had involved himself in her romantic relationships. As she laid out her terms, Sheldon had an epiphany and realized he could "could draw up a contract for any social relationship", describing it as "a helpful way to remove ambiguity in a world that was often hard to understand." Adult Sheldon's voiceover explained that he "would go on to draw up such contracts throughout [his] life, with roommates, with my wife. Even with my own children."

Known Clauses
  • Skynet clause (The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem) - Sets out what happens if one friend needs help to destroy an artificial intelligence he's created that's taking over Earth
  • Body Snatches clause (The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem) - Specifies what happens if one friend needs help to destroy someone they know who's been replaced with an alien pod
  • Godzilla clause (The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem) - What happens if someone threatens to destroy Tokyo
  • Over-night guests notification clause (The Irish Pub Formulation) - There has to be a 24-hour notice if a non-related female is staying over night
  • Article One, Section Three - Sheldon calls an emergency meeting in The Vartabedian Conundrum
  • Section 7, Subsection B (The Agreement Dissection) - Number 9 "The right to bathroom privacy is suspended in the event of force majeure." Also, the shower can have at most one occupant, except in the event of an attack by water-soluble aliens.
  • Section 8, "Visitors", Subsection C, "females", paragraph 4, "coitus" The Staircase Implementation - Roommates shall give each other 12 hours notice of impending coitus.
  • Section "Television & Movies" (The Staircase Implementation) - Roommates agree that Friday nights shall be reserved for watching Joss Whedon's brilliant new series Firefly.
  • Section 9, "Miscellany" (The Staircase Implementation) - The apartment's flag is a gold lion rampant on a field of azure and should never fly upside down, unless the apartment is in distress. Also, if one of the roommates ever masters time travel, he should has to appear in the apartment exactly five seconds after the clause was signed.
  • Section 37B, Miscellaneous Duties (The Friendship Contraction): Leonard is obligated to drive Sheldon to his various appointments, such as the dentist. He must also provide a "confirmation sniff" for questionable dairy products.
  • Section 74, C (The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification) - The obligations and duties of the parties in the event one of them becomes a robot.
  • Addendum J (The Agreement Dissection) - "When Sheldon showers second, any and all measures shall be taken to ensure an adequate supply of hot water.
  • Clause 209 (The Friendship Contraction) - Gives either party the option of suspending their friendship and stripping the roommate agreement down to its bare essentials. Their responsibilities to each other would only be rent, utilities and a perfunctory chin jut of recognition as they pass in the hall.
  • "Leonard's Day Addendum" (The Friendship Contraction) - "In the spirit of Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, once a year, we set aside day to celebrate all your contributions to my life, both actual and imagined by you. We could call it Leonard’s Day."
  • Section 27, Paragraph 5 (The Spoiler Alert Segmentation) - The roommate agreement, like the American flag, cannot touch the ground.
  • A requirement of the agreement is to have quarterly Roommate Agreement meetings (The Viewing Party Combustion). At the meetings, the Pledge of Allegiance is performed. Issues raised at the meetings include which kind of cereal to buy.
  • Article 23, Subsection C - Sheldon asked Leonard to mark a check on the agreement to reserve his spot at the ten year roommate reunion. Leonard was also told to mark whether he wanted the chicken or the fish to eat at the reunion.
Unspecified Clauses
  • Since the "Sweaty Night of '06", Sheldon has control of the thermostat in the apartment (The Jiminy Conjecture). As confirmed in The Staircase Implementation, Sheldon sets the thermostat at 71 degrees.
  • Leonard has the right to allocate fifty percent of the cubic footage of the common areas, but only if Sheldon is notified in advance by e-mail. (The Staircase Implementation)
  • "Pets are banned under the roommate agreement, with the exception of service animals" like cybernetically-trained helper monkeys. (The Plimpton Stimulation)
  • Thursday night's are Franconi's Pizza nights. Also, the selection of a new take-out restaurant requires public hearings and a 60-day comment period. (The Agreement Dissection)
  • Sheldon will be Leonard's sidekick should he ever get superpowers. (The Vartabedian Conundrum)
  • If one of them gets the opportunity to visit the CERN Super Collider, they must take the other roommate along. (The Large Hadron Collision)
  • Sheldon will take Leonard swimming to Bill Gates' house if he is ever invited. (The Large Hadron Collision)
  • When the roommates vote on matters, Sheldon decides all ties. (The Staircase Implementation)

This page has been updated to episode 1124. The Bow Tie Asymmetry

Roommate Agreement - Featured in these episodes:

  • Season 2, Episode 6 - The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem

    Sheldon first references the Roommate Agreement as the Friendship Agreement in this episode, citing the "Skynet", "Godzilla" and "Body Snatchers" clauses.

  • Season 2, Episode 10 - The Vartabedian Conundrum

    When Sheldon judges that Stephanie is living in the apartment with Leonard, he calls an emergency meeting under Article One, Section Three of the roommate agreement. The roommate agreement judges that a girlfriend shall be deemed living with Leonard when she has stayed over for A, ten consecutive nights or B, more than nine nights in a three week period or C, all the weekends of a given month plus three weeknights. Another clause names Sheldon as Leonard's sidekick if he ever gets superpowers.

  • Season 3, Episode 15 - The Large Hadron Collision

    Sheldon included a clause in the roommate agreement that, in the event one of them gets the opportunity to visit the CERN Super Collider, requires them to take the other along. The same condition applies should either of them get the chance to go swimming at Bill Gates' house.

  • Season 3, Episode 21 - The Plimpton Stimulation

    When Leonard wonders whether Sheldon's female guest is human, Sheldon reminds him that pets are banned under the roommate agreement, with the exception of service animals and, one day, cybernetically-enhanced helper monkeys.

  • Season 3, Episode 22 - The Staircase Implementation

    In Leonard's story of how Sheldon saved him from spilling national secrets to Joyce Kim, Sheldon states that "Section 8, Visitors; Subsection C, Females; Paragraph 4, Coitus:" states that roommates shall give each other twelve hours' notice of impeding coitus.

    The flashback to Sheldon and Leonard first signing the roommate agreement reveals that Sheldon included a clause specifically dedicated to Joss Whedon's Firefly. Also covered is the stipulated temperature of the thermostat (71 degrees), the apartment's flag, and that Leonard is allowed to allocate 50% of the common areas provided he notifies Sheldon in advance. 

  • Season 4, Episode 2 - The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification

    After Sheldon decides to live vicariously through a virtual presence device, Leonard initially refuses to help him. Sheldon points out Leonard's requirement to help him under Section 74 C of the roommate agreement, which sets out their obligations and duties in the event one of them becomes a robot.

  • Season 4, Episode 6 - The Irish Pub Formulation

    After Leonard has Priya stay over in the apartment without Sheldon's knowledge, Sheldon claims Leonard betrayed him as the roommate agreement requires notification for overnight guests.

  • Season 4, Episode 21 - The Agreement Dissection

     When Sheldon desperately needs to use the bathroom while Leonard (and Priya) shower, he claims that Section 7, Subsection B - Number 9 of the roommate agreement states "The right to bathroom privacy is suspended in the event of force majeure".

    Sheldon also points out that the agreement stipulates the shower can only have one occupant, except in the event of an attack by water-soluble aliens.

    Additionally, Addendum J states that "When Sheldon showers second, any and all measures shall be taken to ensure an adequate supply of hot water."

    When Priya and Leonard conspire to get Greek food on pizza night to spite Sheldon, Priya points out to Sheldon that the agreement stipulates Thursday's meal is pizza from Franconi's, which went out of business. Sheldon unilaterally decided to switch to Graziano's, but he didn't follow his own rules which require public hearings and a 60-day comment period.

  • Season 5, Episode 15 - The Friendship Contraction

    When Sheldon needs Leonard to take him to the dentist, he calls on Section 37B of the roommate agreement, "Miscellaneous Duties", which requires Leonard not only to take him to the dentist, but also provide a confirmation sniff on questionable dairy products.

  • Season 6, Episode 15 - The Spoiler Alert Segmentation

    According to Sheldon, the roommate agreement, like the American flag, cannot touch the ground.

  • Season 9, Episode 4 - The 2003 Approximation

    After Leonard and Penny decided to live together full time, Sheldon made Leonard sign a document which brought to an end their Roommate Agreement. As part of the contractual split, Sheldon took Leonard's key to the apartment back, only to return it to him as he wanted his future neighbor to have a key.

    Later, when Leonard and Penny decided it would be better for Leonard to continue splitting his time between both apartments, Sheldon went to get started on a new Roommate Agreement, after first checking his phone to make sure that Chris Pratt hadn't expressed an interest in being his new roommate.

  • Season 9, Episode 21 - The Viewing Party Combustion

    Sheldon and Leonard fall out with each other when Leonard refuses to attend the quarterly roommate agreement meeting. Leonard doesn't see the need to have a meeting every three months, but Sheldon thinks that's the sort of thing that should be brought up at a quarterly meeting. According to Sheldon, Penny was set to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the next meeting for the first time.

  • Season 11, Episode 14 - The Separation Triangulation

    When Sheldon proposes leasing his old room back from Leonard and Penny, he draws up a rental agreement. Leonard attempts to kick Sheldon out within the agreement's allotted trial period, but Sheldon has sneakily stipulated that the times in the contract refer to Eastern Standard Time, so Leonard is three hours too late.

    Sheldon informs Leonard that a new long-form version of the rental agreement is now in force and requires Leonard to provide with him lemon-flavored sparkling waters.