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The Leftover Thermalization

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"The Leftover Thermalization" is the eighteenth episode of the eighth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, March 12, 2015.


The final dinner cooked by Debbie Wolowitz is served when the loss of electricity defrosts her freezer. A magazine publishes an article on Sheldon and Leonard's work without mentioning Leonard's contribution.

Extended Plot

As Sheldon checks out his mail box, he finishes reciting the irrational constant pi to one thousand places. Amy remarks that she was sorry she asked, but she hadn't asked for him to do it. Sheldon gets his "Scientific American" magazine which has an article on the theory that Leonard proposed and Sheldon helped develop, but the article only mentions "Dr. Cooper and his team" having worked on it. Leonard is not identified. Sheldon only answered their questions. Amy tells Sheldon that Leonard is going to be very upset like the time Sheldon didn't get picked to pull the sword out of the stone at Disneyland. Now Sheldon knows how Leonard will feel.

Raj and Howard head over to his mother's house to go through her things. He finds it hard sorting through everything. Raj had the same experience going through an uncle's possessions and found that he worshiped a different Indian Goddess than he claimed to. A lot of his mother's stuff brings back fond memories though Bernadette wonders about the drawer full of catsup packets.
106136 D0083b

Does anyone even read this?

Sheldon tries to tell Leonard about the omission of his name in the article with the example that Leonard's name is not on the cable TV bill. Telling him that he is not going to like what he is about to say, Sheldon mentions the article and Leonard thinks that they hated it. The article did praise their work, but didn't mention Leonard. Sheldon tries to help lose his anger by giving him a massage which Leonard doesn't want. "Cooper and his team?" exclaims Leonard. Sheldon for once says that he had nothing to do about the byline. Leonard says that the bright side is that they are talking about the theory. Sheldon agrees that that is what is important like when Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created Spider-Man and only Stan Lee is ever mentioned, gets all the money, is in the all the movies, etc. Leonard is very unhappy.

At his mother's house, Stuart is still living there. Howard tried putting him out on the curb, but nobody took him. Stuart tells Howard that the power is going to be out until the next day. Howard runs to check the freezer and finds the food defrosting. Howard is upset because it is the last food his mother ever made and they can't refreeze it. He wants them to eat it, though there is twenty pounds of food. To use up all the food, Howard decides to invite everyone over for a meal. It will be like his mother is feeding them one last time.

In Penny's place, Leonard is still depressed over his name being excluded. Penny wonders who even reads "Scientific American" especially with no celebrity on the cover. Penny is going to cheer him up by going online to shop for him. Leonard says that that is her cheering up thing until she finds a helicopter with a camera making him feel better. Sheldon comes in after talking to the author of the article who has been following his work for years and only did the article because Sheldon's name was connected with it. Also they made an editorial decision to only list the lead author. He did try to add Leonard's name to the cable bill, but they took too long. Also Howard called to invite them over for dinner.

On the way to the Wolowitz house, both Sheldon and Leonard are complaining to their girls about the magazine article. Amy tells Sheldon that is was Leonard's idea; however, Sheldon has ideas all the time. i.e. Reverse SeaWorld where dolphins pet people. Was it his fault that he has a bigger reputation or that his name came first? Amy agreed. Then he asked if it was his fault that he didn't correct the author and Amy starts looking the pretty bird off to her left. Leonard is upset that Sheldon is willing to let everyone think that he did all the work. Penny counters with that is why he is getting an iPad helicopter.

Bar Mitzvah cake.

In the kitchen, Raj, Bernadette and Howard start to prepare their meal. He finds strange things in the freezer like cake from his Bar mitzvah and his prom boutonniere. The meal consists of three briskets, four meatloafs, Jewish ravioli (noodle strudel), two pound cakes, a tub of matzo ball soup and no vegetables. His mother thought she could cure any sickness with her cooking including the time Howard got food poisoning from it.

Stuart escorts the guys into the living room lit by candles and menorahs. Penny thinks everything looks beautiful. Sheldon comes in, says hello and then "Hello, Leonard" who has to be mentioned by name. Howard tells everyone that this is not a sad occasion and that they are going to have the kind of dinner they have had so many times before including the heartburn. The girls tell the guys to behave themselves which they agree to. Then Stuart asks about the paper they wrote together.

At the table, the food is found to be delicious even though there are not vegetables. Howard corrects them that he has tomatoes in the packets of catsup. Amy feels like they are in an 18th century French salon due to the candle lighting. Sheldon describe to Penny that the French salon is where intellectuals talk about the issues of the day. Penny compares it to "The View". Amy tells Sheldon what "The View" is, which Sheldon is aware of. Whoopi Goldberg is on it as was on Star Trek: Next Gen. He tries to describe that to Penny who tells him to shut up. The topic of female equality among super heroes comes up, since in the revamped Marvel universe, Thor (mispronounced Tor) is going to be a woman. Amy quips that there won't be equality until Thor is a mother and the others are fine with her pumping out breast milk at work. Sheldon just wants to keep the topic on an intellect level as in a French salon. It is all about execution. Leonard complains that Sheldon would prefer execution over inspiration like with their paper. Howard favors execution since he is an engineer bringing concepts to reality. Sheldon agrees; however, Leonard notes that Sheldon always tears down Howard and engineering as a profession. Penny wants them to stop because if she wanted to hear bitchiness, she would go to her real salon. Sheldon and Leonard really start fighting until Bernadette gets angry and demands that Sheldon and Leonard go into the living room. She is heard yelling at the top of her voice that Howard is dealing with the loss of his mother. Then Howard wants to know if they think that she sounds like his mother. Everyone says that they never noticed that, but they aren't very convincing. 

After dinner heartburn AND Tums!

Finally everyone is overstuffed and lying around the living room. Penny doesn't think she ever ate that much food in her entire life. Sheldon finds out that the research paper was mentioned in "Physics Today" and that Leonard was credited. A dishearten "yay" is heard. Bernadette comes down the steps saying that she found her Tums for their upset stomachs and a bigger "yay" is heard.



  • Title Reference: The title refers to all of Mrs. Wolowitz's leftovers that are going to spoil if not consumed.
  • Taping date: February 18, 2015
  • This episode was watched by 16.13 million people with a rating of 4.4 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 21.01 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked  #2 for the week ending 15 March 2015.
  • This episode aired in Canada on March 12, 2015 with 4.07 million viewers with a weekly ranking of #1.
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on Thursday, May 7, 2015 on the E4 channel.
  • In Australia, it aired on April 13, 2015 with 0.91 million viewers.
  • Episode transcript [1]


  • Jesse Schedeen at IGN - Early on, this conflict worked pretty well. It was a little refreshing to see Sheldon genuinely concerned about the effect the article would have on his friend. Maybe Amy had to translate the issue into terms he could understand… This conflict lost most of its humor as the episode wore on. Worse, it made both characters come off extremely poorly...There were a couple of standout moments in the kitchen as Howard wrestled with his grief. Helberg didn't make the mistake of playing it too big or too sappy, and there was definitely an authenticity to his performance as Howard wrestled with the notion that he was about to eat the last food his mother ever cooked… And as much as Leonard and Sheldon's squabbling wore out its welcome, at least they both got their just desserts when a ticked-off Bernadette came to the rescue…. we were reminded that there's more than a little of the late Mrs. Wolowitz in Howard's wife. In a way, her legacy lives on in this show, and that's a nice thought. [2]
  • IMDb Reviews [3]


  • Even though Howard asks if everyone thinks that Bernadette sounds like his late mother and they disagree, others have noted the similarity. In "The Good Guy Fluctuation" (S5E7), Sheldon mistakes Bernadette's voice for Mrs. Wolowitz and calls the similarity unsettling.
    • At one point, having Melissa Rauch take over the role of Mrs. Wolowitiz was briefly considered, due to her spot-on impression.
  • Penny doesn't know who the Marvel Comic hero Thor is even though the girls argued about his hammer in "The Bakersfield Expedition" (S6E13). In her defense, Raj's did mispronounce "Thor" as "Tor" (even though he did dress as him for the first season Halloween party in "The Middle-Earth Paradigm":S1E6). In Scandinavian languages, the hard "th" sound ( the letter þ still used in some Nordic languages) is the "Th-" of "Thor". Refer to English words like "that" and "then" for the correct sound. Raj wasn't completely right, but still nearer than if he'd used the soft "th" of "thin" or "think". In the original Scandinavian, it's "þor".
  • Sheldon explains what a salon is to Penny, although in "The Isolation Permutation" (S5E8), Sheldon says the apartment was once an "intellectual salon where the mind received nourishment as sell as the stomach".


  • Another salute or toast to the late Mrs. Wolowitz by the whole gang.
  • In her freezer, Howard's mother kept his boutonniere from his high school prom and a piece of his Bar Mitzvah cake, though nothing from his wedding.
  • Sheldon's "we're all Groot" line references the 2014 Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy, although the actual line in the movie is "we are Groot". Sheldon lists this among various moral adages when trying to identify the moral of Amy's exposition about Leonard not getting credit. The moral of "we are Groot" as used in the movie was about friends/family sticking together.


Sheldon: 2, 1, 6, 4, 2, 0, 1, 9, 8, 9. And that little lady is pi to a thousand places.
Amy: I’d say I’m sorry I asked except I didn't.
Sheldon: Oh look, It’s the Scientific American that covered the paper Leonard and I wrote.
Amy: Oh, let me see.
Sheldon: I have mixed feelings about doing interviews. I like the part where I talk. I do not like the part where the other man talks.
Amy: Sheldon. This article doesn't mention Leonard at all.
Sheldon: Well, that can’t be right.
Amy: It only refers to “Dr. Cooper and his team”. Did you even talk about him?
Sheldon: All I did was answer a few questions about the theory. And then express my gratitude that Scientific American doesn't include any of those smelly perfume cards.
Amy: Poor Leonard.
Sheldon: Why? The theory he came up with just got mentioned in Scientific American. He ought to be thrilled.
Amy: He might not be.
Sheldon: Oh, well. You might be right. He is kind of a lump.
Amy: Think about it. How would you feel if you were referred to as part of Leonard’s team?
Sheldon: Oh, I’d be incensed.
Amy: So you see what I’m getting at?
Sheldon: Squeaky wheel gets the grease?
Amy: No.
Sheldon: Grass is always greener?
Amy: Try again.
Sheldon: I don’t know. We’re all Groot?
Amy: Leonard is as much a part of the paper as you are and he was overlooked. He’s going to feel bad.
Sheldon: But it wasn't my fault. I didn't exclude him. And I didn't write the article.
Amy: Remember that time you didn't get picked to pull the sword out of the stone at Disneyland and he let that other kid do it?
Sheldon: Oh, that kid! Poor Leonard.
Amy: Exactly.
Sheldon: For the record that kid was a terrible choice. If you cry when you drop your Churro, you do not have what it takes to rule England.

Sheldon: You know it’s like when Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created Spider-man. Stan Lee may get all the credit, but Steve Ditko knows he was just as important. Even though Stan Lee gets to be in all the Marvel movies, and he’s far richer. And he’s a household name, you know. Whereas, you know, if you say Ditko and that sounds like a company that makes Dits.

Penny: I mean who even reads Scientific American?
Leonard: It’s kind of a big deal.
Penny: If it’s such a big deal how come the biggest celebrity that they could get for the cover is a molecule?
Leonard: Can we please just stop talking about it?
Penny: I’m sorry. What can I do?
Leonard: Nothing. I’m fine.
Penny: No, no. I’m going to cheer you up. Here we go.
Leonard: What are we doing?
Penny: I am taking you shopping. Oh. My baby is sad and I am going to make him happy again.
Leonard: Look, I know shopping cheers you up, but it’s just not really my thing.
Penny: What about this helicopter you control with an iPad?
Leonard: Does it have a camera in it?
Penny: It does have a camera in it.
Leonard: Baby’s listening.

Sheldon: All he had was an idea.
Amy: Well, that is an important part.
Sheldon: Oh please. I have ideas all day long. Reversed Sea World where dolphins are allowed to pet people. A new clothing size between medium and large called marge. Snow White retold from the point of view of Sneezy. Why won’t Doc prescribe him something? We finally find out.

Sheldon: Is it my fault that I have a much bigger reputation that he does?
Amy: It’s not your fault.
Sheldon: Is it my fault that my name came first on the paper alphabetically?
Amy: Not your fault.
Sheldon: Is it my fault that when the reporter cited me as the lead scientist, I didn't correct him?
Amy: Oh, look at the pretty bird.

Howard: She thought she could cure anything with her cooking. Even the time I got food poisoning from her cooking.

Howard: Oh, man. This is the boutonniere from my high school prom, a piece of cake from my Bar Mitzvah.
Bernadette: Did she throw anything away?
Howard: No. If I find my foreskin, I’m going to kill myself.

Penny: Wow, it really looks pretty in here.
Stuart: Yeah, turns out half a dozen Menorahs really sets a mood.
Leonard: So, Stuart, have thought what’ll you do if Howard sells the house?
Stuart: And there go the mood.

Penny: This food is amazing.
Raj: Mmmm and not a vegetable in sight.
Howard: That’s not true. We’ve got tomatoes right here.
Amy: All these bright people sitting around a table by candlelight feels like we’re in an eighteenth century French salon.
Sheldon: Indeed. Penny, a salon is a gathering where intellectuals entertained each other with sparkling conversation about the issues of the day.
Penny: Oh, so it’s like “The View”.
Amy: Sheldon, “The View” is a daytime talk show hosted by women.
Sheldon: Oh, I’m aware. It features Whoopi Goldberg. She played Guinan on Star trek: Next Gen. Penny, Next Gen refers to Star Trek…
Penny: Shut up.
Raj: I would like to propose a salon topic.
Amy: Ooo, please do Rajesh.
Raj: The lead in “The Hunger Games” is a woman. Marvel has made “Thor” a female.
Penny: Wait, who’s Thor?
Raj: You know. Thor, the God of Thunder? As I was saying, is this a sign that our society is approaching gender equality?
Howard: Certainly a lot more women are reading comic books now.
Stuart: It’s true. At the store I had to put a seat on the toilet.
Amy: we don’t know there’s equality until female Thor has a baby and the Avengers are cool with her pumping breast milk at work.
Howard: I wonder if only a baby who is worth can suckle at the bosom of Thor?
Penny: Okay, new salon topic. Salons – Dumb things from a long time ago or interesting thing made dumb by talking about superheroes? Discuss.
Sheldon: I don’t believe it matters what the topic is. What’s crucial for a salon is that we discuss it in an elevated and insightful way. It’s all about the execution.
Leonard: Of course you focus on that rather than the inspiration. Um, new salon topic. What is more important, an idea or its execution?
Bernadette: Oh, that’s fun.
Sheldon: Well, good for you, Leonard. That’s a lovely little notion. Kind of like. “I wish I could talk to my uncle in Chicago.” Yeah, now stand back while I invent the telephone. “Hello, hold on.” Leonard. It’s your uncle. He says you just got burned.
Amy: Sheldon.
Penny: Guys.
Leonard: You guys. No, it’s okay. We’re adults trying to have an intelligent conversation. At least I am. Howard, what do you think?
Howard: Well, I guess as an engineer I lean toward execution. I spend my days trying to take ideas making them real.
Sheldon: Well said, old chap. I though eloquence had died, but it stands before us. Starting today it’ll go “The Gettysburg Address”, “I have a dream” and what you just said.
Leonard: Oh, now he’s a genius? All you ever do it make fun of him and engineering.
Sheldon: Leonard, please. His mother just died.
Leonard: You’re being ridiculous.
Sheldon: Yeah, so are you.
Penny: Guys, if I want to hear people be bitchy, I’d go to my real salon.
Sheldon: Leonard, lots of people could've had that idea, but few people could’ve worked out the math like I did.
Leonard: Lots of people didn't have that idea, like everybody in the entire world except for me.
Sheldon: Oh, well apparently Leonard thinks that he’s better than everybody in the whole world (Bernadette now gets very cross) including those fighting for our freedom. Yeah, well, I don’t know about you, but I support our boys overseas.
Amy: And girls.
Sheldon: Hey, you already ruined Thor. Give it a rest.
Leonard: So I’m supposed be okay with you hogging all the credit?
Sheldon: I didn't hog anything. Unlike you and that weird lasagna with raisins in it.
Leonard: You want some of this? I'll give you some.
(Bernadette now strides up with rage)
Bernadette: (She is gigantically angry) Hey. Sheldon. Leonard. Living room. Right now!
(Leonard puts his dish down in disgust, Sheldon bangs his fist on the table and both men hurry from the table in a rage together)
Sheldon: She said my name first; that must kill you.
Bernadette: (out of vision) I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but this is a very difficult time for my husband.
(Scene of Raj and Amy whist Bernadette's angry voice is heard in the background)
Bernadette: (out of vision) We’re eating the last food his mother ever made, and you’re going to throw it at each other like children?
(scene of Stuart and Penny whilst Bernadette's angry voice is heard in the background)
Bernadette: (out of vision) Whatever it is you’re fighting about (Scene of Howard thinking to himself whilst listening to his angry wife) put it aside, go back in there and be a good friend to Howard or there’s no dessert for either of you.
(Scene of a surprised Stuart and Penny and then comes the scene of a puzzled Raj and Amy. Bernadette's angry voice in the background starts again as we pan to the scene of Howard)
Bernadette: (out of vision) Look at me when I’m talking to you. And don’t think…
Howard: You guys ever notice sometimes Bernadette sounds like my mom?
Amy: I don’t hear it.
Penny and Stuart: No,
Raj: not at all.
(The dinner scene ends)

(The scene in the living room of the Wolowitz house where Penny, Amy and the five men are sitting down and groaning after all the food that they have eaten)
'Penny: (groaning) I don’t think I’ve eaten that much in my entire life.
(Scene of Howard)
Howard: (groaning) It’s why my people wandered the desert for 40 years. Took that long to walk it off.
(Scene of Sheldon and Penny)
Sheldon: (groaning) You see, Penny, the Israelites were in the desert…
Penny: (groans to Sheldon) Shut up.
(scene of Raj)
Raj: (groaning) So glad you two are done fighting.
(Scene of Leonard and Penny)
Leonard: (groaning) Right now, I’m just trying to burp without throwing up.
Sheldon: Hang on. (pan to the three on the sofa together) Physics Today mentioned the paper.
Stuart: (asking with a groan) What’d they say?
Amy: (in quite a low voice with her groan) Who cares? Did they mention Leonard?
Sheldon: (informing everybody with his groan) They did.
All: (groaning) Yay.
(Here is the scene of Bernadette arrive on top of the stairs a pot of Tums)
Bernadette: Good news. I found my Tums.
All: (cheering) Yaaaay!



  • [4] Taping Report by MichyGeary

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