The Big Bang Theory

The Discovery Dissipation

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The Discovery Dissipation
The Big Bang Theory episode
Season 7, Episode 10
December 5, 2013
Guest star(s)
Episode guide

"The Thanksgiving Decoupling"

"The Cooper Extraction"
Season guide

Season 6

Season 8

"The Discovery Dissipation" is the tenth episode of the seventh season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Thursday, December 5, 2013.


Sheldon gets advice from Wil Wheaton, while Raj doles out relationship advice to Howardette and Shamy. Sheldon is interviewed on NPR, while Leonard disproves Sheldon's work.

Extended PlotEdit


Sheldon being interviewed on NPR Science Friday.

Sheldon is being interviewed by Ira Flatow on Science Friday in the NPR studio to discuss his discovery of a stable super heavy element.  Sheldon starts off that Caltech made him come though he is a big fan of his show. Ira mentions that the element was found by mistake and that the scientific community is calling it the wonder blunder. Sheldon demands to know who and then guesses that it was Wolowitz. Ira continues that Sheldon's calculations were way off and he compares it to misreading a treasure map and still finding the treasure. Sheldon changes the subject and mentions that he knows how to yodel. Ira then states that he could be on the path to winning a Nobel Prize in Chemistry even though his field is physics. This distinction makes Sheldon feel like he is a circus freak. Sheldon then walks out calling Flatow a bully and that he is the reason why Americans are switching to television.

While the two resident couples of Apartment 4A have dinner, Sheldon is on the phone with an angry President Siebert. Sheldon tells him that he was expecting a professional science interview and not an attack by a morning zoo shock jock. Then he tells the president that if the university needs money so much, they should put out a swear jar. Sheldon gets yelled at to which he tells Siebert that that statement would be worth a dollar.  Amy explains that every interview he gives raises the visibility of the university which equates to dollars or funding. Sheldon objects that he isn't just a trained monkey dancing for coins. Leonard agrees since people love trained monkeys. Penny wants to know why he isn't happy since he is tall, thin and famous and then realizes that she is jealous of Sheldon. Amy knows that Sheldon is just going to have to get use to the notoriety. Sheldon explains that none of them know what it is like to be celebrated for something you wish you never did. Penny then quips that he has never been with her during Mardi Gras.

Bernadette is running the vacuum cleaner in their place and asks if he's going to help clean up. Howard is way ahead of her working on the mess the Joker made in the video game he was playing.  Raj is his friend Bernadette tells him and Howard promises to help out the rest of the week. Bernadette didn't know it was a week and Howard didn't tell her. She loves Raj, but a week is a long time for a house guest. His building is being fumigated and he couldn't find a hotel that takes dogs. "He's bringing Cinnamon?" Howard reacts with the nerve of some guys. Bernadette just shakes her head at her husband.

Embarrassment Express

Embarrassment Express

Sheldon is in his bedroom playing with his toy train called the Embarrassment Express which stops at Fraudville, Wonder Blunderberg and Kansas City because it is a hub. Amy knocks on his door and asks if she can come in. Sheldon asks if she has cookies. After she says no, he replies that that is good because he doesn't deserve cookies. She enters with Wil Wheaton who explains that Amy told him that he was having a rough time and thought that they could talk. Sheldon agrees, though now he has three people in his bedroom and it is starting to feel like a discotheque. Wil says that he knows about getting attention for something he wishes he never did. Sheldon tells him that his ending tweets aren't that bad. Wil tells Amy that he remembers why it's been awhile since he visited.  Wil starts to talk about when he played Wesley Crusher.  Sheldon tells him that he was wonderful in the role, a boy genius with an eidetic memory. Now who couldn't relate to that character. Wil explained that a lot of people hated the character and therefore hated and would be mean to him. Sheldon replied that the same thing just happened to him and that Wil should tweet about how Ira Flatow is a jerk. Amy concluded that Wil learned to embrace his problem and moved on to bigger and better things. Wil is now an author, public speaker and has a webpage about board games. He got out of Wesley Crusher's shadow and has a pretty great life. Amy whispers to him that they are trying to cheer Sheldon up. Sheldon says that he can see what he is saying and that it does help. He offers to let them play trains with him, but they can only watch. When Wil asks if he can use his train whistle, Sheldon tells him to leave. 

Raj is at Howard and Bernadette's apartment brushing Cinnamon's teeth on their couch and Howard wonders why since she also licks her rear. Bernadette arrives home tired and apologizes for being late. Howard tells her that they held dinner and wants to know what she is fixing. Raj objects and tells Bernie that he'll get her a glass of wine and fix dinner since it looks like she has had a long day. Howard counters that she always looks like that. Bernadette throws him a sharp look. Howard then adds that it's because she married an idiot. Raj asks about her day and she started out getting stuck in traffic. Howard wants to know why she didn't put that traffic app on her phone.  Raj objects not to tell her how to fix something when she just comes home. When Howard came in with a stomachache from eating too many jelly beans, Raj tried to make him feel better by rubbing his stomach. Bernie looks at them strangely. Raj tells Howard that there is a time to just listen. Also Howard should have stopped eating too many jelly beans when he was ten.

Sheldon is back on the phone with the university president telling him that he is ready to do more interviews and for him to be enthusiastic about his discovery. The president thanks him, while Sheldon tells him that he should thank his friend Wil Wheaton. Sheldon has nine friends, but the president doesn't want to be his tenth. Sheldon decides to make it ten and include Wolowitz. He greets his friend, Leonard. Sheldon is in a good mood and Leonard expects his news to make him feel better. Leonard has been rerunning the test in his lab and has found that the element that Sheldon discovered does not exist. Someone on the Chinese team had added simulated data signals to their files and they faked the results. All the attention that Sheldon hates can now go away. Sheldon can't believe the interviews are now over. Leonard thanks him. Sheldon then shouts at him for robbing him of his greatest achievement. Sheldon says he is now down to nine friends, though make it eight since he is also sick of Howard. Leonard thought that this news would make him happy. Sheldon counters that he should have told him a joke to make him happy or show him a cute video of a koala and an otter becoming unlikely friends. Leonard finds that there is no pleasing Sheldon and that otters and koalas don't live near each other. Sheldon replies that this reason is what makes their friendship unlikely. Penny enters wondering what all the yelling is about. Sheldon explains what Leonard did and that all the attention was leaving him. Penny also thinks that he should be thrilled. Now, Sheldon says he is down to seven friends. Penny wonders if that includes hobbits and superheroes. When he thought it didn't exist he didn't want it, and nice since it doesn't exist its the one thing in the world he wants. Leonard didn't take it away; it was science that took it away. Sheldon doesn't want science used against him since it's his best friend. Now he's back up to eight friends. Leonard wants Penny to tell him that he is crazy, however Penny knows what he's talking about. Now Sheldon has nine friends. Penny had the same experience with guys she has broken up with. Sheldon doesn't understand but still agrees so that he and Penny can gang up on Leonard. Leonard replies that if he doesn't publish it, someone else will find it out and tells the world about the nonexistent element. Sheldon tells him to publish it since it is his ethical responsibility as a scientist. Leonard tells him that he will publish it. Sheldon turns to Penny asking if she believes this guy.


Raj giving Howard relationship advice.

At the Wolowitz's, Bernadette discovers that Raj did the dishes and knows that it wasn't Howard. Raj arrives with Cinnamon in her baby carriage back from a walk and he brought home coffee for everyone. Bernadette thanks him as Raj tells him that her presentation will go great. Howard tells her to knock it out of the park. Bernadette wants him to tell her what the presentation is about. Howard tells her that she better go as Raj shouts to her that Howard loves him. Then Howard complains to Raj that he is making him look bad. Raj is a better husband than Howard. Raj does the dishes, brings coffee and knows all about her life. Howard doesn't want coffee, until Raj identifies it as hot chocolate. Howard wants Raj to stop showing him up in front of Bernadette. Raj explains despite his listening skills, he is a great husband and has come a long way despite being an only child raised by an over protective mother as Raj adjusts all of Howard's clothes. Even Howard realizes that Raj's actions are getting weird.


Kripke taunts Sheldon over his retraction.

Leonard enters Sheldon's office and tells him that he has published his findings. Sheldon has already seen it and has posted a retraction of his previous work. The whole scientific community now knows that he is wrong. Leonard tells him not worry because this problem happens all the time. Not to Sheldon who hasn't published a retraction since he had to concede to his brother that he was the greatest ninja in East Texas when he was nine. Barry Kripke comes in to taunt him. He calls Sheldon his favorite superhero, The Retractor. Leonard tells Barry not to give Sheldon a hard time, so Barry says I'm sorry and "RETRACTS" it. He complements Leonard for disproving the Chinese and asks Sheldon if he should try another line of work like retail. Then he could take things back for a living. Leonard again tells him to stop it, but Sheldon can fight his own battles and calls him "Bawwy". Kripke says that is very hurtful since he can't control his speech impediment. Sheldon says that that was uncalled for and he takes it back. "Because you're the re-tractor", Kripke again taunting him.

Raj continues to do things for Bernadette and Howard. Bernadette finds the dinner he made amazing, saying that she is going to have to go get some bigger clothes. Raj disagrees, saying that she was awfully skinny to begin with. Bernadette wants to know why Howard can't say sweet things like that. Bernadette tells Howard that he could be more thoughtful like Raj. Howard reacts that she could do the same thing. Raj packed Howard a lunch and left a note in it. Bernadette tells him that she does enough other stuff around the apartment. Raj tells them to calm down and take a step back. Bernie wonders why they were fighting. Howard admitted that he felt like a lousy husband. Bernie felt like she was a lousy wife. Then they tell each other that they are the best. Howard identifies the problem as Raj. He keeps trying them so well, that they don't think they are doing enough for each other. Bernie says that they felt fine just "half-assing" their way through their marriage. Since he was causing them to fight, they throw Raj out for interfering in their marriage. Raj just tells them that he is glad they are on the same page now. Howard tells her that it's nice she is backing him up for once. Bernie yells at him that she backs him up all the time. Then they realize what Raj did and yell at him for doing it again.


Amy tells Raj that he should probably leave.

I guess you're sharing with daddy again

I guess you're sharing with daddy again!

Leonard is making up the couch telling Raj that he can't believe they kicked him out. Raj can't believe that they are staying married. It seems he left Cinnamon's toothbrush at Howard's apartment. He tells the dog that they have to share a toothbrush again. Penny looks nauseated. She whispers to the dog to bark once if she wants her to call PETA. Amy and Sheldon enter and he wants to know why the dog was in their apartment. Leonard tells him to relax since he is in a crate. Sheldon gives him two words: "Jurassic Park" where dinosaurs did get out of their cages. Sheldon says sarcastically that this day keeps getting better and better. Penny tells him that if it will help... Sheldon cuts her off that it won't and she agrees that it probably won't help. Amy wants to go for a walk with Sheldon since it was a lovely night. Sheldon snaps at her saying that everything with her is about sex. Raj tells Sheldon that she can only be there for him as much as he is there for her. Amy thanks him. Then Raj tells Amy not to press Sheldon and that he has to give her intimacy on his terms. Objecting to his advice to her, Amy tells him that he should probably go.

Now, Leonard and Sheldon are both on NPR, where they want to discuss Leonard's work disproving Sheldon's discovery. Sheldon first apologizes to Ira for his behavior last week but doesn't get any apology from Ira for his perceived bad behavior. Leonard is supposed to describe how he came up with his findings. Leonard tries to tell his story and Sheldon interrupts him twice. Sheldon goes way back to when he was bitten by a neighbor's dog at seven leading to his first scientific breakthrough, the dogie death-ray that wouldn't work since he couldn't get any enriched uranium. It turns out that Sheldon wasn't invited. He just came in and sat down.

Penny and Amy are listening to the broadcast. Penny quips that it would be a great drinking game to take a shot every time they say something stupid. Amy thinks that it's a little early for drinking when Sheldon starts to yodel. Amy then offers to go get the vodka.


  • Jesse Schedeen for IGN - This episode was a little disappointing in the sense that we did see any larger, far-reaching drama out of this impromptu, two-part story line. But it was definitely an entertaining episode, thanks to the guest appearances, a wounded Sheldon, and a snappy little subplot featuring Raj. So it's hard to feel too disappointed with the end result. [1]
  • Dhruv Rao of The DR Club gave the episode an A. [2]
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: Leonard disproves the existence of the heavy element that Sheldon discovered.
  • Taping date: November 12, 2013
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card. [3]
  • This episode was watched by 15.63 million people with a rating of 4.8 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 20.81 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #3 for the week ending December 8, 2013.
  • This episode aired in Canada on December 5, 2013 with 3.749 million viewers with a weekly ranking of #1.
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on April 3, 2014 with 1.85 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.
  • In Australia, this episode aired on February 18, 2014 with 0.995 million viewers.
  • Episode transcript [4]

Costume NotesEdit


  • Second time that Sheldon gets an interview from Ira Flatow from NPR, who himself appears on the screen for the first time. Previously he interviewed Sheldon in "The Vengeance Formulation" (S3E09) through the telephone, and that time only his voice appeared in the show.
    • Also, in Barry Kripke appeared in the last episode where Sheldon was interviewed on NPR "The Vengeance Formulation", when Kripke injected helium in Sheldon's office to make is voice sound funny.
  • Again President Siebert calls Sheldon to express his anger for the uncalled-for behaviors of the latter, and again Sheldon cannot understand his anger. Previously the similar things happened in "The Benefactor Factor" (S4E15) and "The Parking Lot Escalation" (S6E09).
  • Again Raj interfers the lives of the couples in their social circle and finally gets repulsed by the couple. Previously the similar motive served as the main plot of "The Date Night Variable" (S6E01).
  • Wil Wheaton makes the seventh appearance as himself in the show.
    • He mentions "I have my own web series about board games" - which is true in reality: the web series is TableTop and it is released on YouTube.
    • Sheldon previously complained about Wil Wheaton's tweets in "The 21-Second Excitation" (S4E08).
  • Not the first time that Sheldon disturb others with special vocal music art. He practices yodeling in this episode, and previously he practiced Tuvan throat singing in "The Large Hadron Collision" (S3E15) to disturb Leonard and Penny.
  • This episode makes reference to the fact that Sheldon does not consider Howard to be a friend, something which was previously brought up in "The Bozeman Reaction" (S3E14) when Sheldon referred to him merely as a 'treasured acquaintance' (in this episode, Sheldon makes him a friend briefly before changing his mind).
  • Sheldon does an about face on his hatred of the public attention he was getting about his discovery after Leonard disproves it.
  • Penny quickly realizes that her advice is not wanted and agrees with Sheldon when he cuts her short. 
  • This episode is the first time Barry directly acknowledges his rhotacism and expresses hurt when it is made fun of.
  • Sheldon says it's only the second time he's ever had to issue a retraction (the other time being that his brother was the best ninja in east Texas when they were kids), but in "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation" (S3E1) he has to issue a retraction about the existence of monopoles after finding out Leonard, et al faked the data.


Sheldon: Yeah, well, I’m not just some trained money dancing for coins.
Leonard: Of course you’re not. People love trained monkeys.
Penny: How can you not be happy? You’re tall, thin, and famous. Oh, my God. I’m jealous of Sheldon. 

Sheldon: Here comes the Embarrassment Express. It stops at Fraudville, Wonder-Blunder-Berg and Kansas City, because it's a hub.

Penny: (To Raj's dog) Bark once if you need me to call PETA.

Sheldon: Yes, I'd be a physicist with a Nobel Prize in chemistry. Everyone laugh at the circus freak.

Barry Kripke: Cooper, maybe physics just isn't your thing. Have you ever considered a career in retail? Then you could take things back for a living.

Sheldon: To really understand the story here, we need to start at the very beginning. A small town in East Texas where a young genius named -
Leonard: - Sheldon!
Sheldon: Yes, that's right, Sheldon Cooper. He was bitten by his neighbor's dog, leading to his first scientific breakthrough: the Doggy Death Ray. Which sadly he couldn't build because Santa wouldn't bring him enriched uranium.

Penny: You know if we did a shot every time they said something embarrassing, this would be one hell of a drinking game.
Amy: Little early for alcohol, isn't it?
Sheldon: (On the radio) You know, I don't just say smart things about science, I also yodel. *Yodelling*
Amy: I'll get the vodka.

Sheldon: But none of you know what this is like. Being celebrated for something you wish you never did.
Penny: You clearly haven't been with me at Mardi Gras. 

Bernadette: Raj this dinner was amazing. If you’re here much longer, I’m going to have to buy bigger clothes.
Raj: Nonsense. You need a little fattening up. You've been looking too skinny lately
Bernadette: Ah. Howie, how come you never say anything sweet like that?
Howard: What are you talking about? Remember last week when I asked if you were wearing spanks and you weren't? I guess that’s different.
Bernadette: Maybe you should try to be more thoughtful like your friend Raj.
Howard: Well, maybe you could try to be more like Raj.
Bernadette: Oh, really?
Howard: Yea. Yea. He packed me a lunch this morning and there was a note inside that said “Go get’em.”
Bernadette: Like I don’t do enough around here? Now I need to pack your lunch? And by the way, why do you need a note to telling you to “Go got’em.” You’re a grown man; you should know “Go get’em.”
Howard: I do know to “Go get’em”, but sometimes it’s nice to have emotional support when I’m going and getting them.
Raj: Hey. Hey. Do you hear yourself? No more. Calm down and take a step back.
Bernadette: This is stupid. Why are we fighting?
Howard: I don’t know. I guess I was just feeling like I’m a lousy husband.
Bernadette: You’re not a lousy husband. You’re a great husband. I was the one feeling like a lousy wife.
Howard: Are you kidding? You’re the best! I know what the problem is. It’s him.
Raj: Oh. What did I do?
Howard: You made it feel like we were not trying hard enough.
Bernadette: Yea. We were totally fine “half-assing” our marriage ‘til you showed up.
Raj: Look I’m sorry you’re upset with me, but I’d like to say it’s nice to see the two of you on the same page
Howard: It does feel good having you backing me up for once.
Bernadette: I back you up all the time.
Howard: I .. You’re doing it again!
Bernadette: What is wrong with you?


  • Leonard and the uninvited Sheldon are on NPR together.
  • Wil Wheaton trying to help Sheldon with his new found celebrity.
  • Sheldon playing with his train set.
  • Guest Raj and Howard.
  • Raj is being too nice to Howard and Bernadette pointing out troubles in their relationship.
  • Sheldon on NPR.
  • Sheldon walking out on NPR.
  • Sheldon is being interviewed on NPR.
  • Leonard telling Sheldon about disproving his discovery.
  • Raj trying to give unwanted relationship advice to Shamy.
  • Wil Wheaton cannot use Sheldon's train whistle.
  • Kripke mocking Sheldon over his discovery being disproved.
  • Chuck Lorre Productions, #432.


  • [5] Taping Report by Morya

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