Sheldon's Beverage Protocols

Sheldon making Raj a hot beverageSheldon has shown a keen understanding of the cultural convention of serving people beverages when they are upset or visitors in one's apartment.Sheldon first comforted somebody with a hot beverage in The Middle-Earth Paradigm, when he made Leonard tea after he had been embarrassed in front of Penny at her Halloween party.

In The Cohabitation Formulation, Sheldon prodded Leonard to make Howard a hot beverage when he arrived at the apartment after an argument with Bernadette. Sheldon also asked Leonard to make him cocoa as he was upset over having an unannounced houseguest. Later in the episode, an upset Penny interrupted Sheldon as he ate dinner and video chatted with Amy, who pushed Sheldon to make tea for Penny. Sheldon's mother, Mary, also prompted Sheldon to make Raj a hot beverage when he was drunk in The Rhinitis Revelation.

When Sheldon went to Amy's apartment to comfort her in The Isolation Permutation, he was confused over who should make whom a beverage. Sheldon was a visitor in Amy's apartment and it's customary to offer guests a hot beverage, while Amy was sad and it's customary to offer a hot beverage to cheer somebody up.

Appropriate Beverages
  • Upset: Tea
  • Upset about an unannounced house guest / Outraged: Cocoa
  • Angrier than ever and filled with despair: Hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks
  • Drunk: Coffee
  • For Jewish guests: Chicken broth
  • For Indian guests: Chai tea. If cardamom seeds are unavailable, English breakfast tea.

Featured in these episodes:

  • Season 1, Episode 5 - The Hamburger Postulate

    After Sheldon takes Penny to help him decode the semiotics of a neck tie on Leonard's door, Sheldon is unsure what the social protocol is for when his roommate is engaged in coitus. "Sheldon: I don't know what the protocol is here. Do I stay, do I leave? Do I wait to greet them with a refreshing beverage?"

  • Season 1, Episode 6 - The Middle-Earth Paradigm

    When Leonard is upset after being embarrassed at Penny's Halloween party by her hulking ex-boyfriend Kurt, Sheldon brings Leonard a hot beverage.

    "Leonard: What's that?
    Sheldon: Tea. When people are upset the cultural convention is to bring them hot beverages. "

  • Season 4, Episode 16 - The Cohabitation Formulation

    When Howard goes to Leonard and Sheldon's apartment after having an argument with Bernadette, Sheldon prompts Leonard to make him a hot beverage.

    "Leonard: Howard's gonna sleep here tonight. He had a fight with his mother.
    Sheldon: Did you offer him a hot beverage?
    Leonard: No.
    Sheldon: Leonard, social protocol states when a friend is upset, you offer them a hot beverage, such as tea.
    Howard: Tea does sound nice.
    Sheldon: You heard the man, Leonard. And while you're at it, I'm upset that we have an unannounced houseguest, so make me cocoa."

    Later, when an upset Penny goes to the apartment as Sheldon is eating dinner and video-chatting with Amy, she prompts him to make a drink for Penny.

    "Amy: Sheldon, you have a guest who's upset.
    Sheldon: Right. I'll make tea.
    Penny: Oh, sweetie, it's okay. I don't want tea.
    Sheldon: I'm sorry. It's not optional."

  • Season 4, Episode 22 - The Wildebeest Implementation

    When Raj goes to Sheldon's apartment after being turfed out of his own apartment by the romantically-linked Leonard and Priya, Sheldon offers him a hot beverage.

    "Sheldon: Social protocol does, however, require me to bring you a hot beverage in your time of need.
    Raj: No, thank you. I'm fine.
    Sheldon: It's not optional. We're out of tea. I hope you like bouillon."

  • Season 5, Episode 6 - The Rhinitis Revelation

    When Leonard, Sheldon and his mother Mary return to the apartment to find a drunken Raj waiting for them, Mary prompts Sheldon to make Raj a hot beverage.

    "Mary Cooper: Sheldon, your friend is hurtin'. What do we do when someone's hurtin'?
    Sheldon: Offer them a hot beverage.
    Mary Cooper: And when they're drunk as a skunk, what beverage do we offer?
    Sheldon: Coffee.

  • Season 5, Episode 8 - The Isolation Permutation

    When Sheldon visits an upset Amy in her apartment, he is confused by the social convention on who should offer to make a beverage. "Sheldon: Point of order. As you're in distress, it would be customary for me to offer you a hot beverage. But I'm a guest in your home, so it would be customary for you to offer me a beverage. How do you want to proceed vis-a-vis beverages?"

  • Season 5, Episode 9 - The Ornithophobia Diffusion

    After Sheldon had a change of heart on the bird that was nesting outside his apartment, he realized he hadn't offered the bird a beverage. "Sheldon: It's remarkable. All that time spent in fear. And for what? He's magnificent. Oh, dear. I just realized I haven't offered you a beverage."

  • Season 5, Episode 22 - The Stag Convergence

    When the guys try to comfort Howard after Bernadette stopped speaking to him because of the Stag Night revelations about his past, Sheldon offers Howard a hot beverage.

    "Howard: What is this?
    Sheldon: You're upset. The convention is to bring an upset person a hot beverage.
    Howard: No, but what is it?
    Sheldon: Chicken broth. It seemed culturally appropriate. Also, there was a single cube of chicken bouillon in the cupboard when I moved in and it’s been bothering me for the last eight years. So, as they say, two birds."

  • Season 6, Episode 14 - The Cooper/Kripke Inversion

    When Leonard and Penny return to the apartment to find Sheldon upset over being made to work with Barry Kripke, Leonard tries to make Sheldon the appropriate hot beverage to cheer him up.

    "Penny: You doing okay, sweetie?
    Sheldon: There is ominous music playing, and there is an afghan over my head. I don't know where you're from, but where I'm from, that means I'm not doing okay.
    Leonard: Want me to make you some tea?
    Sheldon: Tea is for when I'm upset. I'm not upset. The university's forcing me to work with Kripke. I'm outraged.
    Leonard: So, cocoa?
    Sheldon: Yes, cocoa. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be paired with someone who’s so incredibly annoying?
    Leonard: Oh, teacher! Me! Me!
    Sheldon: See, I did all this great work, and now he's just going to come along and ruin it. I am angrier than ever and filled with despair.
    Penny: What beverage do you make for that?
    Leonard: Oh, no, no, no, I know this. Uh, hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks?
    Sheldon: Yes, hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks!"

  • Season 7, Episode 1 - The Hofstadter Insufficiency

    When Sheldon tries to comfort Penny who was upset that she and Sheldon were missing Leonard while he had a blast on his expedition, Sheldon brings Penny a hot beverage.

    "Sheldon: Here is a hot beverage to comfort you. It's in a to-go cup. Make of that what you will."

  • Season 7, Episode 23 - The Gorilla Dissolution

    When Sheldon and Raj return to the apartment after Raj saw Emily out with another guy, Sheldon tries to make chai tea for Raj but doesn't have the necessary ingredients.

    Sheldon: Well, sorry, I don't have all the ingredients to make chai tea.
    Raj: You don't have to make me anything.
    Sheldon: No, I do. You're upset about Emily and you're Indian. I need to make you chai tea. Now, I have all the ingredients except cardamom seeds. Do you happen to have any on you?
    Raj: Sorry, I left them in my turban.
    Sheldon: Oh, I'll make English breakfast tea. They destroyed your culture. That's close enough.

  • Season 8, Episode 7 - The Misinterpretation Agitation

    When Leonard breaks the news to Dr. Lorvis that Penny is engaged and is not romantically interested in him, Sheldon thinks they should invite him in for a hot beverage.

    "Sheldon: Hold on, Doctor. Leonard, where are your social skills? This man is clearly upset. We should invite him in for a hot beverage.
    Leonard: He tried to score with Penny.
    Sheldon: So have these two, and they’re having dinner with us."

    Later, when Penny asked Leonard why Dr. Lorvis was in their apartment, Leonard explained that Sheldon had invited him in for a hot beverage.

    "Penny: You were okay with that?
    Leonard: No. I got upset. And Sheldon made me a beverage, too.

  • Season 9, Episode 1 - The Matrimonial Momentum

    After hearing how Leonard and Penny fought on their wedding night and returned home to separate apartments, Sheldon goes over to Penny's apartment with a hot beverage.