The Big Bang Theory

The Fish Guts Displacement

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The Fish Guts Displacement
Amy ready to have her chest medicated.
The Big Bang Theory episode
Season 6, Episode 10
December 6, 2012
Guest star(s)
Episode guide

"The Parking Spot Escalation"

"The Santa Simulation"
Season guide

Season 5

Season 7

"The Fish Guts Displacement" is the tenth episode of the sixth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory.  This episode first aired on Thursday, December 6, 2012.[1]


Howard and his father-in-law find themselves going on a weekend trip since their wives feel like they should get to know each other better. Amy starts to enjoy Sheldon taking care of her when she gets the flu.

Extended PlotEdit

TMNT - Heroes in a half shell

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Heroes in a half shell, TURTLE POWER!"

While playing the , Sheldon complains about the which is his third favorite cartoon theme song preceded by ' and '. Even though the song says that he can do whatever a spider can, he can't crawl into your ear and die, legally eat guacamole without a passport, or have sex with another spider. Raj wants the subject changed because spiders give him the "jeebie-jeebies". Howard tells Raj that the expression is the "heebie-jeebies", but Raj feels it sounds anti-sematic . He continues suggesting a evening of movie sequels that killed their franchises. Leonard mentions Jaws 4, Indiana Jones 4' or 'Daredevil 1. Raj mentions Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous'. Leonard agrees because Penny is working, but Howard is having dinner with his in-laws and Sheldon has to attend a  with Amy. Sheldon suggests that Howard could bring up an interesting topic to pass the time with the Rostenkowski's like problems with the Spider-Man song or that you can't really dig through the center of the Earth to China from the United States.

Howard trying to converse with Mike.

Sheldon arrives at Amy's dressed to attend a funeral and finds her in a bathrobe with the . Amy asks if he is going to take care of her per their Relationship Agreement, but Sheldon leaves saying that the clause is so she can take care of him. He plans to return to the movie sequel marathon. Amy says goodnight and Sheldon heads down the hall, but returns to her door and knocks. Sheldon explains that he has a commitment to her in writing to care for her and that as his girlfriend he is concerned about her well-being. This surprises Amy who thanks him though Sheldon still comments, "Now let's get this over with". Howard is sitting with his father-in-law trying to make conversation as dinner is being prepared getting very short answers; his retirement is "fine". Mrs. Rostenkowski's trip to the Grand Canyon was "good". All of Howard's jokes also fall flat and dinner will not be ready for quite a while.

Meanwhile, Sheldon is checking Amy's temperature of 102.2 degrees celcius and it is the same as half an hour before. He tells Amy that she isn't trying to get better. He asks if she believes in the Placebo Effect and then gives her a Tic Tac, telling her that it is a strong flu medication. Amy doesn't like his bedside manner and tries to get to sleep. Sheldon said that she can't sleep because he is not done taking care of her. He has to put a cold rag on her head, sing to her (probably "Soft Kitty") and rub Vaporub on her chest which is exactly what his mother did and what Penny did for him when he was sick. Amy perks up and says that he should start with the Vicks. He tells that it might tingle and she replies that she is cou nting on it.

Sheldon taking care of Amy in lieu of other activities.

At dinner, Howard tells them to dig in, however Mr. Rostenkowski tells him to hold it until they say grace. The subject of Mr. Rostenkowski's weekend fishing trip comes up. Bernadette suggests that Howard go with him so that they can get to know each other better. His mother-in-law looks at her husband and he says that Howard can tag along. Howard tries to remind Bernadette that they have "that thing" to do that weekend. She quickly replies that she canceled "that thing" and the trip is on.


Hooking a worm?!?!?!

Back at the apartment, Howard complains that he doesn't know how to fish and neither do Leonard or Raj. They wonder who knows how to do manly stuff and they end up at Penny's door. First Penny shows Howard how to put a worm on a hook. He can't use words like "ewwww", "icky", and "get it away". Howard first lays the worm across the hook, but Leonard is sure that he has to stab the worm with the hook. Raj and Leonard urge him on. Penny quips that they are cheerleading him and that's not the way to man things up.

Back at Amy's, Sheldon is reading Amy a scientific book like one would read a bedtime story. Amy thanks him and asks for more Vicks' VapoRub. Sheldon disagrees saying that she needs to rest and that the Vicks only gets her all fired up. Bernadette visits Amy to check on her and brings some experimental drugs with some unusual side effects. While Sheldon goes to fix Amy a bath, she admits she has been well for two days and that she has been enjoying Sheldon taking care of her. Bernadette observes that that she doesn't want to be judgmental, but that is the kind of thing that lunatics do. She plans on telling him tomorrow, but Sheldon is now going to help her with her bathing, saying "Mama needs a bath."

Next, Penny shows Howard how to gut a fish. Howard successfully pulls out its insides until Penny points out that it is was female and full of eggs which causes all the guys to get queasy.

Sheldon punishing Amy harder

Punishing Amy. Oh my!

Back at Amy's apartment, she is dancing to "Walking on Sunshine" and drinking a fizzy drink until Sheldon shows up. Amy tells him that she is taking a turn for the worst and needs another bath. Sheldon tells her that he was concerned about her lengthy recovering and took a cheek swab from her and had a lab report made. Amy looks worried. Then he asks her if she has symptoms of a growing nose or heat in the lower extremities, meaning "liar, liar, pants on fire". Sheldon is disappointed in her since he thought that their relationship was based on trust and mutual respect skewed in his favor. Amy apologizes, but Sheldon thinks that she needs to be punished. First he wants to lock her in the stockade in a public square; however, he feels that that would require a permit. Amy suggests that she should not be allowed to see the premiere of the new Star Trek movie. Sheldon says that that would be overly harsh since she hadn't killed anyone. Sheldon decides to go old school like his father who did not spare the rod. Amy seems fine with Sheldon spanking her and she admits that she's been a very bad girl.

Going fishing with Howard.

Howard shows up for his fishing trip dressed like a cartoon fisherman. Mike also plans to hunt some ducks in the morning. He likes using a big shell so that they explode. Howard says that he does want Mr. Rostenkowski to like him, but he doesn't think that this trip is the best way. Both guys admit that they are only going because their wives want them to go. Howard is surprised that his mother-in-law is telling this "big scary cop" what to do. He replies that Howard is an astronaut doing what his wife says and she's only four feet tall. Since neither wants to go, Mr. Rostenkowski suggests that they go to an Indian casino near Palm Springs . He'll teach Howard how to shoot crabs and his son-in-law can now call him "Mike" instead of "Sir". As they get in the truck Howard says that they're married to a couple of ball busters. Mike says Howard is referring to his wife and daughter. Howard shoots back that they are a great couple of gals. Mike replies that he wouldn't go that far.

As Sheldon asks Amy if she is prepared for her punishment and she puts on some romantic music so that "the neighbors wouldn't hear her". When she seems to be enjoying it, she suggests that maybe he should spank her harder which she seems to enjoy even more.


  • The TV Critic: "The Howard-Mike bonding story was about the most basic middle of the road family sitcom story you are likely to see...Amy faking illness to get attention from Sheldon was equally familiar but quite fun. From her point of view any little step toward intimacy can be a source of both jokes and touching moments...These were two very simple, competently handled, pleasant stories."[2]
  • The A.V. Club gave this episode a B+.[3]
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: The title refers the fish gutting demonstration that Penny gave to Howard and the guys.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
  • This episode was watched by 16.94 million people with a rating of 5.2 (adults 18-49).[4]
  • Total viewers including DVR users 21.03 million.
  • This episode aired in Canada on December 6, 2012 with 3,949 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.[5]
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on 24 January 24, 2013 with 2.643 million total viewers.[6]
  • Episode transcript [1]
  • Costuming: Sheldon wore "Nanotubes"(c) by Thinker Collection.


  • Despite his disgust for , Howard has a proclivity for insects (entomologists), which also usually provoke disgust in individuals. In "The Jiminy Conjecture", Howard said, "I know insects, my friend. I spent many childhood years capturing them with nets, putting them in glass jars, sticking pins through them, mounting them on corrugated cardboard with  labels underneath, identifying the genus and Latin."
  • Howard, Leonard, and Raj get queasy with the notion of baiting a hook or gutting a fish. Howard was previously revealed to be squeamish in "The White Asparagus Triangulation", as was Leonard. Raj commented that that is: "Answering the question once and for all why Wolowitz bailed out of medical school."
  • A with The Comic Center of Pasadena logo is visible on Leonard's desk.
  • Sheldon mentions the 1987 ' theme song which producer Chuck Lorre co-wrote with Dennis C.Brown 25 years earlier.
  • has previously been referenced in "The Precious Fragmentation", "The 21-Second Excitation", "The Launch Acceleration", and "The Holographic Excitation". "The 21-Second Excitation" particularly focuses on this vis–à–vis '.
  • Sheldon's brother, seemingly forgotten or not forgotten about by the writers, is mentioned for the first time since "The Jiminy Conjecture" (S3E2).
  • When Sheldon ponders a fitting punishment for Amy's trickery, Amy says, "I could not be allowed to go to the opening of the next Star Trek movie." She is referring to ', the sequel to J.J. Abram's 2009 film '.
  • Only episode where Sheldon says the word "sex" instead of "coitus".
  • When Amy receives her punishment, she plays the 1996 hit, Sumthin' Sumthin' by neo-soul artist, Maxwell.
  • Sheldon gets a more intimate view of Amy when he rubs her chest and then baths her in the bathtub. In "The Parking Lot Escalation" Amy showed him her trimmed bikini area. 
  • Bernadette's mother is introduced. With this episode, Raj and Bernadette are the only ones in the gang whose both parents have been introduced. Penny, as well as Stuart (later on), now remain(s) the only one(s) who'se mother(s) has/have not been introduced in the show.
  • Meagen Fay played Kaley Cuoco's mother in the movie Kaley produced "Authors Anonymous" besides playing Bernadette Rostenkowski's mother.
  • Bernadette's father's first name is revealed to be Mike.
  • Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik admitted that they spent a week filming the spanking scene because they kept laughing as they found it really awkward.
  • Penny has only three scenes in this episode and she shares them with all the guys, but Sheldon.


Amy: Sheldon, this isn't helping. Why don’t you just let me get some rest.
Sheldon: How can you sleep? I’m not done making you feel better. I still have to put a cold rag on your head, sing to you and apply VapoRub to your chest.
Amy: [Sounding confused.] You, you want to rub something on my chest?
Sheldon: Yes. All over it.
Amy: Maybe we should start with that.
Sheldon: Now you’re being a responsible patient. Now you may notice some tingling.
Amy: Oh, I’m counting on it.

Howard: Sir, I’m flattered that you invited me, and I really want you to like me, but I don’t think this trip is the way to do it. And I can’t return these things if there’s chunks of duck all over them.
Mr. Rostenkowski: So, why’d you agree to come?
Howard: ‘Cause Bernadette made me.
Mr. Rostenkowski: I tried to back out, too. My wife said I had to go.
Howard: Really? Your wife makes you do stuff? You’re a big, scary cop.
Mr. Rostenkowski: You’re an astronaut, and your wife makes you do things, and she’s only four feet tall.
Howard: So, what do we do now? They expect us to go away for the weekend.
Mr. Rostenkowski: Ah. There’s an Indian casino near Palm Springs. You know how to shoot craps?
Howard: No, but I’m not a stranger to dice games. I was the Temple Beth-El Hebrew School Yahtzee champion.
Mr. Rostenkowski: Mazel tov. I’ll teach you how to play.
Howard: Really? Thank you, sir.
Mr. Rostenkowski: Call me Mike.
Howard: Okay. Oh, boy, we’re just married to a couple of ball busters, huh, Mike?
Mr. Rostenkowski: That’s my wife and daughter you’re talking about.
Howard: Great couple of gals.
Mr. Rostenkowski: I wouldn't go that far.

Raj: And we change the subject? Spiders give me the jeebie-jeebies.
Howard: its heebie-jeebies.
Raj: I know, but that sounds anti-Semitic. Anyway, I was thinking we could have a little film festival tonight. The theme, movies that killed their franchises.
Leonard: Oh. Like Jaws 4, Indiana Jones 4, Daredevil 1.
Raj: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. I mean, you know a movie’s bad when my home girl Sandy B can’t save it.

Howard: So, Mrs. Rostenkowski, you took that trip to the Grand Canyon. How was it?
Mrs. Rostenkowski: It was good.
Howard: Had no idea you were the chatty one.

Howard: Really? Your wife makes you do stuff? You’re a big, scary cop.
Mr. Rostenkowski: You’re an astronaut, and your wife makes you do things, and she’s only four feet tall.

Bernadette: So, Dad, have you done any fishing lately?
Mr. Rostenkowski: I’m going next weekend.
Howard: Oh, you like to fish?
Mr. Rostenkowski: Yes.
Howard: Sure. I can hear it in your voice.
Mrs. Rostenkowski: Oh, if he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t go.
Howard: You know, I hadn’t thought of that.


  • Amy getting ready to be treated by her boyfriend.
  • Amy wants to know whether she heard from Sheldon what she thinks she heard.
  • Amy has the flu and Sheldon is taking care of her.
  • Bernadette's mother.
  • Raj and Leonard watching the fishing demonstration.
  • Amy getting what Sheldon thinks she deserves.
  • Amy waiting for her punishment.
  • Not talking with his father-in-law.
  • Going fishing with Howard.
  • Sherm the worm.
  • Gutting fish!!!
  • Dinner with the in-laws.
  • Sheldon about to rub Amy's chest.
  • Amy wants to be spanked.
  • Chuck Lorre Productions, #401.

See alsoEdit


  1. The Big Bang Theory - The Fish Guts Displacement (TV Episode 2012) - IMDb
  2. The TV Critic review
  3. The Big Bang Theory: “The Fish Guts Displacement” - TV Club - The A.V. Club
  4. Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' Leads Adults 18–49 Ratings and Tops Viewership Gains; 'Private Practice' Earns Biggest Percentage Gains in Week 11 - Zap2it
  5. Top Programs – Total Canada (English) December 3 – December 9, 2012 - BBM Canada
  6. BARB via Wikipedia

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