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The Monster Isolation

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"The Monster Isolation" is the seventeenth episode of the sixth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Thursday, February 21, 2013.[1]


Raj suffers depression after Lucy dumps him during their coffee shop date and withdraws from the world. Penny helps Sheldon with his "Fun with Flags" series and prepares for her role in the drama "A Streetcar Named Desire".

Extended Plot

Raj and Lucy, the girl who left with him after the Valentine's Day party at the comic book store, are having coffee the same evening. Raj tells her how he went to Cambridge University, which reminded him of Hogwarts, where he fell in love with astronomy. "Raj is my name and stars are my game. And rhyming is also my game." He then asks about her, but first she excuses herself to go to the restroom. Raj thinks that everything is going great until we see Lucy passing the front window leaving him unaware that he's alone.


Penny is Sheldon's guest on "Fun with Flags".

The next day, Sheldon is taping a Fun with Flags episode in his apartment. He apologizes to the audience for not airing an episode last week because Leonard pointed out that when he dressed up as George Washington Carver for Black History Month that that show was racist. Penny is Sheldon's guest and is described as a flag virgin, but not a real virgin since she has had coitus. Penny joins him and says that she has many times been at parties and has not been able to join in the discussions about flags. Penny stops the taping and shows him how to loosen up using things she learned in acting class like talking to his guest and not to the camera. Also he should have his arms opened instead of crossed thus welcoming everybody in. Sheldon mentions that he has gotten comments about his robotic delivery and that that must not be a compliment. Sheldon then looks too relaxed almost like Penny and he are a couple. Penny then says that she is from Nebraska so Sheldon shows her and describes the Nebraska state flag now sitting stiffly. Following on Penny's earlier comments, he tells her to spread her legs and invite everyone in.


A depressed Raj withdrawing from the world.

Howard, Bernadette, and Leonard go to visit Raj after not hearing from him for a few days. Howard says that he can always feel when Raj is in trouble. Bernadette asks how close were the before she met him. Leonard tells her to not look under that rock. They get him to open the door after he complains that nothing good ever happens to him. Inside they find Raj moping over Lucy looking terrible and his apartment is a wreck. Raj tells them that he was humiliated by yet another woman. Howard asks him if he chopped her up and if that was what they smelled. Raj explains that he took her to get coffee and that she left. She had climbed out a very tiny window in the bathroom meaning that she was highly motivated to leave. The guys tell him that he has to shake himself out of his depression; however, he claims that he is never going to leave his apartment, especially since he can order anything from Amazon including lobster. Howard and Leonard find this last point interesting since they could put together an order of Surf and Turf. Bernadette wakes them up since they want to get Raj out and not get themselves settled in. Raj tells them to leave him alone and goes into the bedroom. Before they leave Bernadette says they could talk about it over lobster, saying only she had the decency to wait on her lobster craving until he left the room.

Sheldon is video chatting with Amy who is monitoring her cigarette- addicted monkeymonkeys who are now going through withdrawal and are getting on her nerves. She preferred working with her marijuanamarijuana-addicted flatwormsflatworms. He tells her that his "Fun with Flags" episode went well and that Penny's acting tips were very helpful. He demonstrates opening his arms and saying "Welcome to my world" and subsequently folding his arms and saying "Not welcome to my world", mentioning that he has a very powerful tool and has to learn how to control it. Amy asks if he told Penny that she was helpful and had done a nice job and Sheldon had not. Amy says that she is his friend and that he should. To Amy's surprise he immediately walks away to do it. After Sheldon walks away, Amy is irritated by her screaming monkeys once again and exclaims:"Yeah,Yeah, you'd like a cigarette. Well, I'd like a normal boyfriend so deal with it!"


Sheldon's complement makes Penny smile.

Penny walks out her door with the trash not giving Sheldon a chance to knock. She asks if she should close the door until after he does his knock, but Sheldon says that he's fine since he had not started. He then tells Penny that he was thinking about her performance and thanked her for the great job she did. His comments included using her name three times, each time with three taps on the door completing his knocking sequence. Penny tells him that his compliment made her day. Penny then invites Amy and him to her acting class play on Friday night. Sheldon walks away and says that he is not interested in that. Back at his computer, Amy is seen teasing her monkeys by not giving them their cigarette lighter. Sheldon tells Amy about the play and Amy tells him that he was rude not accepting the offer since she had helped him out. Sheldon complains about all the crazy rules as the monkeys start to throw their faeces at Amy. Back at Penny's door, at first Penny doesn't want him to come under obligation. Then they argue about how he "wants to go because he has to want to go". Finally Sheldon tells her that it's just easier for him to go even if he doesn't want to.

At the comic book store, Sheldon mentions how he hasn't seen Raj lately and if he is now out of their social group, Sheldon wants to add a friend who is Latin. Howard tells Sheldon that Raj has decided to never leave his apartment again. Sheldon thinks that that idea is brilliant and wishes he could do it. Lucy enters the comic book store and approaches Stuart. She asks if he remembers her, and Stuart mentions that she left the party with Raj, which gets the guys' attention. Howard tells her that he is Raj's best friend and that Raj is devastated. Lucy says that she is sorry and asks Howard to give Raj a note. Howard replies that Raj is a proud man and that if she walks out again, she is only going to have five or six more chances.

Howard is sitting in Raj's apartment and he is now dressed in only tighty-whities underpants and a plastic bib eating lobster. Howard shows Raj the note, and tells him that he should celebrate and call her. Raj doesn't want to call her and replies that he is going to be a monk, and renounce all his worldly pleasures except eating lobster. Raj tells Howard that he is a good friend, but he has made his choice. Howard leaves with Lucy's note. After Howard leaves, Raj runs down the street in his underwear and boots to get the phone number back from Howard.


Penny in A Streetcar Named Desire"A Streetcar Named Desire" as Blanche DuBois.

Leonard is getting ready to go to Penny's play and asks Amy how her monkey addiction project is going. Sadly, she is no longer associated with that project since she was flinging their feces back at them and was called unprofessional. Leonard tells her that he is sorry and under his breath adds "that he asked". Sheldon enters the living area reluctant to go to the "stupid" play. First Leonard takes away from Sheldon several gaming systems (a Nintendo DSNintendo 3DS, a PSPPlaystation Portable and a GameboyNintendo Game Boy), a Rubik's CubeRubik's Cube, and aEtch-A-Sketch drawing board(when Sheldon finally hears the play's name, A Streetcar Named Desire, he gets excited because he thinks it will be about actual streetcarsstreetcars).

Lucy hesitantly walks up to Raj's door and knocks. Raj and his place have been cleaned up. Lucy says that she can't stay and that running out on him was not cool. Raj asks why she ran out on him. Lucy replies that she has a hard time around people she doesn't know. She had seen the flyer about the party and forced herself to come to get out of her comfort zone. Lucy doesn't even like comic books. Raj first agreed with her and then said that he did like them. Lucy tells him that she is kind of broken and then Raj told her that he was too. She said he wasn't. Raj then admitted that he couldn't talk to her without his beer and that he has major psychological problems. Though Lucy thinks he might not be telling her the truth, she agrees to go on another date to find out.

Penny is on a small stage performing as Blanche DuBoisBlanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire." Sheldon is wondering when the streetcars come in. Leonard is engrossed in Penny's performance and even Sheldon says that she is remarkable. Amy calls her friend a star. Sheldon wonders how she can remember all those lines and yet forget to leave out the tomato on his hamburger when she is workingwaitressing.



  • The TV Critic: The Sheldon-Penny story was pleasant and made good use of his social dislocation. I actually sympathized with him when he sincerely thanked Penny, assumed that would be the end of things and then got sucked into unwanted social conventions. His willingness to adapt and go to the play is evidence of growth...It was kind of amazing to see Penny acting after six seasons of her career being no more than background noise....If this finally moves Raj from generically pathetic toward merely amusingly hopeless that would be a plus. However it’s hard to imagine The Big Bang Theory really giving each of its characters a happy relationship and personal development. [2]
  • IGN gave this episode 8.8/10[3]
  • The A.V. Club gave this episode a B.[4]
  • The DR Club gave this episode a B+.[5]
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: Raj is trying to isolate his own monster, or social problem, to find love.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
  • This episode was watched by 17.62 million people with a rating of 5.6 (adults 18-49).[6]
  • Total viewers including DVR users 22.06 million.
  • This episode aired in Canada on February 21, 2013 with 3.594 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #2.[7]
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on May 16, 2013 with 2.357 million total viewers.[8]
  • Episode transcript [1]


  • Like his sister Priya, Raj attended Cambridge University.
  • Third appearance of Fun with Flags.
  • Bernadette only appears in one scene in this episode.
  • Penny demonstrates her acting skills for the second time, the first being a hemorrhoids cream commercial in "The Skank Reflex Analysis" (S5E1). She also mentions a performance of Anne Frank over a bowling alley and a concert performance of the musical Rent.
  • Sheldon previously sought acting lessons from Penny in "The Thespian Catalyst" (S4E14); however, they didn't continue past Sheldon crying over childhood problems sparked by a short script Sheldon wrote during his childhood.
  • At the comic book store, when the guys are discussing Raj, Sheldon offers to give him some "pointers" when it comes to women. It's meant as a joke but Sheldon says "I'm just funnin' ya" (then laughs) instead of his usual "bazinga!"
  • When Sheldon shows the Nebraska state flag he merely describes it as the state seal on a field of blue. He should have also described the state seal. On the Great Seal of the State of Nebraska, a train steams across the background, with mountains in the distance. A steamboat plies the waters of the Missouri River. A simple cabin and sheaves of harvested wheat portray the importance of settlers and agriculture. A blacksmith works at his anvil in the foreground. At the top of the seal a banner holds the motto "Equality Before the Law", and around the outer ring of the seal contain the text "Great Seal of the State of Nebraska, March 1st, 1867".
  • On Two and a Half Men on March 14, 2013, another Chuck Lorre show, Herb is depressed and stays for days in a motel room alone. Walden and Alan find him in his underwear wearing a lobster bib just like Raj did here.
  • Leonard excitedly asks if the website which offers a live lobster and steak dinner also sells corn-on-the-cob, even though the Pilot notes that he cannot digest corn.
  • On his date with Lucy, Raj stated that that he enjoyed Cambridge University because it looks like Hogwarts. However, assuming Raj went to Cambridge aged 18, the first Harry Potter movie hadn't been released yet, so he couldn't have picked it because it had similarities to Hogwarts School.
  • Second episode that Raj is wearing tightie whities. The other is from Season 4 episode "The Wildebeest Implementation" (S4E22).
  • another episode with a "Previously on the Big Bang Theory" flashback sequence. It summarizes Raj's speech at the comic book scene of the previous episode (S6E16) it announced by Johnny Galecki.


Amy Farrah Fowler: You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can dissect their brains, but you throw their own feces back at them, and suddenly you're "unprofessional."

Raj Koothrappali: I only said that so you'd go out with me.
Lucy: You don't want to do that. I'm kind of broken.
Raj Koothrappali: That's great! I'm broken too.
Lucy: Oh, no, you're not.
Raj Koothrappali: Oh, I totally am! If it wasn't for this beer, I couldn't even talk to you right now. I'm a wreck. There are many things seriously wrong with me. And not quirks, either. Like diagnosable psychological problems. (Pauses) Maybe brain damage.
Lucy: How do I know you're not just saying that?
Raj Koothrappali: Go out with me on one date, and I promise you you'll see.
Lucy: OK. Text me. Bye. [Starts to leave]
Raj Koothrappali: (Yelling at her as she leaves) You won't regret it. I'm the most pathetic guy you've ever met. [As he shuts his apartment door] And that boys and how it's done.

Penny: (On stage, as Blanche DuBois) You love her very much, don't you?
Tom: (On stage, as Harold “Mitch” Mitchell) Yes.
Penny: I think you have a great capacity for devotion.  You will be lonely when she passes on, won't you? ... I understand what that is.
Tom: To be lonely?
(Amy, Sheldon and Leonard are in the audience)
Leonard: (Whispering) She's good, huh?
Sheldon: (Whispering) She is, but when do we get to the part about the streetcars?
Penny: (Continuing)... when I was a very young girl. When I was sixteen, I made the discovery -- love. All at once and much, much too completely. It was like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been half a shadow, that's how it struck the world for me. But I was unlucky. Deluded.
Leonard: She's remarkable!
Sheldon: She really is!
Amy: Our Penny's a star!
Sheldon: How can she remember all those lines, but as a waitress she can't remember "no tomato" on my hamburger?

Sheldon: All right, let’s get this stupid play over with.
Leonard: Uh, hang on. Empty your pockets.
Sheldon: Why?
Leonard: You know why. The Nintendo DS.

(Sheldon pulls a Nintendo DS out of his own jacket and gives it to Leonard)

Leonard: And the PSP.

(Sheldon pulls a PSP out of his own jacket and gives it to Leonard)

Leonard: Now the Gameboy.
Sheldon: Aw, for Pete’s sake. (puts out Gameboy from his own jacket and gives it to Leonard) Can we go now?
Leonard: Well, is that all of it?
(Sheldon pulls a Rubik’s cube from his pants)
Leonard: Just set it down.
(Sheldon puts a Rubik's cube to the desk)
Amy: Just so you know, this is not a stupid play. A Streetcar Named Desire is an American classic.
Sheldon: It’s about streetcars? Oh, great. I won’t need this. (Pulls out an etch-a-sketch.)

Howard: We could have a PANTS party, go put some on!

(The scene of Leonard, Bernadette and Howard entering the door of Raj's apartment)
Howard: (shouting) I’m telling you, something’s wrong. I can always feel it when Raj is in trouble.
(Bernadette obviously isn't too happy by Howard's shout)
Bernadette: Geez, how close were you guys before we got married?
Leonard: Don’t look under that rock.
(Scene of Howard and Bernadette listening to Leonard knocking).
Leonard: Raj, you okay?
Howard: You in there?
Raj: (off-screen, depressed) Go away!
Leonard: Come on, buddy, open up.
Howard: We’re worried about you.
Raj (off-screen, still depressed): Oh, just because I’ve stopped going to work and answering my phone you think something bad happened? Maybe something good happened.
Bernadette: (yells to Raj through the door crossly) Did something good happen?
Raj: (off-screen, sobbing) Of course not. Nothing good ever happens.
(Opens door. He is wearing a stained vest, his hair is unkempt, and he is drinking wine from a bottle).
Leonard: Whoa.
Raj: What?
Leonard: Nope, just, just, whoa.
(Howard, Bernadette and Leonard follow Raj into his apartment)
Bernadette: (not very happy by the stench) It smells pretty ripe in here.
(Howard twitches his mouth for a second)
Bernadette: You kind feel it in your eyes.
(Howard shakes his head)
Leonard: (worried) Raj, what’s going on?
Raj: I was humiliated by yet another woman.
Howard: You didn’t kill her and chop her up, that’s not what we’re smelling, right?
Raj: No. I took her for coffee, and she snuck out the bathroom window to get away from me.
Bernadette: (she is really concerned) Oh, you poor baby.
Raj: I went and looked. It was a high and tiny window.
(Bernadette is not really impressed by this)
Raj: She must have been very motivated.
Howard: I’m sorry. That’s awful, but come on, you got to shake it off.
Leonard: Yeah, you can’t stay in your apartment for the rest of your life.
Raj: Why not? With online shopping and overnight delivery, I can get anything I want. Look, I just ordered a case of Dinty Moore beef stew and two live lobsters on Amazon.
Leonard: Lobsters overnight?
Howard: Oh, you’re kidding. Let me see. Well, I’ll be. Look, you can throw in a couple steaks and have a surf and turf.
(Bernadette looks up with puzzlement as if she is about to get cross)
Leonard: The surf and turf sounds good. See if they have corn on the cob.
(The furious Bernadette claps her hands at Howard and Leonard angrily)
Bernadette: (she yells at them crossly) Guys, we’re trying to get him out of here, not you in.
Raj: You’re wasting your time. Just please, leave me alone.
(Raj exits to his bedroom and the sound of door slamming is played to the scene of Leonard, Bernadette and Howard thinking to themselves)
Howard: Now what?
Leonard: I don’t know.
(Bernadette unhappily comes up with one plan)
Bernadette: We could go to Red Lobster and talk about it.
(Howard looks down at his wife for a second whilst Leonard thinks for a bit).
Bernadette (she is now extremely cross) We’re all thinking it. I just had the decency to wait for him to leave.
(Bernadette gets up and exits in fury. Howard and Leonard start to follow her).


See also


  1. The Big Bang Theory - The Monster Isolation (TV Episode 2013) - IMDb
  2. The TV Critic's review The TV Critic's Review
  3. The Big Bang Theory: "The Monster Isolation" Review - IGN
  4. The Big Bang Theory: “The Monster Isolation” - TV Club - The A.V. Club
  5. The Monster Isolation/S6E17 - The DR Club
  6. Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Modern Family' Leads Adults 18-49 Ratings & Total Viewership Gains; '90210' Earns Biggest Percentage Increase in Week 22 - Zap2it
  7. Top Programs – Total Canada (English) February 18, 2013 – February 24, 2013 - BBM Canada
  8. BARB via Wikipedia

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