The Big Bang Theory

The Parking Spot Escalation

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The Parking Spot Escalation
Amy helping her boyfriend reclaim his parking space.
The Big Bang Theory episode
Season 6, Episode 9
November 29, 2012
Guest star(s)
William Stanford Davis as Dry Cleaner
Episode guide

"The 43 Peculiarity"

"The Fish Guts Displacement"
Season guide

Season 5

Season 7

"The Parking Spot Escalation" is the ninth episode of the sixth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Thursday, November 29, 2012.[1]


Howard buys a new car that is assigned the parking spot that was once Sheldon's, but was not being used since Sheldon doesn't have a car. Since Howard is in "his spot" a war escalates between them and also affects their girls.

Extended PlotEdit


Pushing Howard's car.

While having lunch and a conversation in the CalTech cafeteriaRaj insists that zombies and mummies are the same thing. Sheldon joins in the argument at Leonard's request and explains that a zombie bite will turn one into a zombie, while a mummy bite will only turn the victim into "some schmoe with a mummy bite." Howard enters, announcing that he has taken delivery of his new car and that it will have that new car smell as long as he keeps his mother out of it. He adds that if they want to check it out, it's parked out front in space 294. Sheldon insists that is his parking spot, even though he doesn't have a car and can't drive. To him, the parking space is perfect since it is a corner spot reducing the possibility of door dings in half, it's 28 spaces from the front entrance, it has a tree to shade it from the sun on hot days, and a "delightful squirrel" lives in the tree. Leonard points out that the university probably reassigned since he wasn't using it. Howard refuses to move his car, so Sheldon tries to push Howard's parked car out of the space unsuccessfully.

Later that night, Sheldon again disturbs President Siebert at home about Howard being assigned his parking place. President Siebert points out that Howard is an asset to Caltech since he is an astronaut that worked on the International Space Station. Sheldon asks Leonard why he is his best friend, but he never takes his side. Leonard exclaims that he can never understand Sheldon's side.

The next day, Howard enters Sheldon's office demanding his special edition Iron Man helmet back. However, Sheldon tells him that since he isn't using it. Like the parking space, he took it since those are the rules they are now living by. Howard then takes Sheldon's diploma off the wall. Sheldon yells at him that it's the only diploma he'll ever get.


Amy helping Sheldon defend his parking spot.

Penny, Bernadette, and Amy are walking up the stairs returning from a bikini wax with Amy having had her first. Not only is Amy walking bow-legged, she required much more work that her friends. First, the girls talk about how silly the feud was. Amy can't understand Sheldon because he wouldn't take off that "stupid robot mask". Howard was so angry that Bernadette mixed up Benadryl in his ice cream to get him to fall asleep. Amy then describes Howard's trip into space as his little moment in the sun. Bernadette follows with maybe Sheldon can get another parking spot if he ever makes a worthwhile contribution to science. Penny tries to change the subject as the insults escalate. Bernadette says that she is sensing some hostility from Amy because like Sheldon's work her private life is also theoretical. Amy counters that at least when they have intercourse, Sheldon won't be thinking about his mother and his need to crawl back into her womb. Bernadette storms out yelling that she is actually going to do it with Howard, perhaps on the parking spot. Penny looks very distraught.


Amy hits Penny in the nose.

The gang enters Sheldon's apartment while discussing vampirevampires and zombies and they come in to find Howard sitting in Sheldon's couch spot naked using his laptop as revenge. They again demand their stuff back though Howard thought Sheldon would be more upset about his computer sitting on Howard's "male junk".

At night, Amy and Sheldon sneak onto the parking lot and spray paint Sheldon's name over Howard's onto the parking space wheel chock. Amy feels all excited, however she feels it may just be the result of her recent bikini wax. Sheldon tells her to keep an eye out for campus security which she calls "freaking pigs!" Amy is asked to park her car in the parking spot, but first shows Sheldon her bikini wax results which all Sheldon comments on is that she must be high on spray paint fumes and that there were an awful lot of band aids used.

Penny and Bernadette are looking at her wedding photos when Amy storms in thinking that Howard had her car towed costing her $200. Bernadette coyly asks "Oh, no. Where was it parked?" She proudly announces that she had Amy's car towed and that Amy probably didn't see that one coming. Amy returns that she won't see this thing coming as she swings her purse at Bernadette who ducks. The bag hits Penny in the face, and unfortunately, Amy has a coffee can full of change that she had been meaning to take to the bank. They continue to argue as they take Penny to the emergency room. Amy says that she'll drive so that they can see where the tow truck scratched her car. Bernadette retorts that she scratched Amy's car deliberately.


Sheldon moves into the parking space.

Sheldon moves his chair and whiteboard out to the parking spot and tells the approaching Howard that since he said that he wasn't using his space, he decided to actually use it. Sheldon taunts him saying that he is tangling with a superior intellect that he can't do anything about. Howard then honks his horn for a long time. Sheldon put on headphones and tells Howard there is his threats are empty and there is nothing he can do to move him. Howard then pushes Sheldon with his car in his chair so he can park his car. Leonard comes running out asking what is going on. Sheldon tells him that Howard tried to kill him because video games and rockmusic have desensitized him to violence. Leonard tells them that they are both acting like idiots over a stupid parking spot. Leonard can't believe that Howard tried to run Sheldon over. Howard asks him how often has he wanted to do that to Sheldon. Sheldon then crawls into Howard's car and strips naked, breaking in the new car for him with extra butt-wiggling for emphasis.

Finally, Raj drags Howard in to see Sheldon to apologize and give him back the space. Sheldon replies thank you and that he was a big man to do that, but Sheldon finds that unacceptable. He should be the bigger man and loans him the space until Sheldon learns to drive or gets a Batmobile. He also has Howard say, at Raj's insistence, that Sheldon is the bigger man. He also returns his Iron Man helmet which Sheldon found that he couldn't wear to a bank because they will tackle you to the ground.

Penny's black eyes and broken nose after being socked by Amy.

Later, Amy, Bernadette, Howard, and Sheldon get together at the Cheesecake Factory telling each other that they feel closer because of their experience. Penny, who has a broken nose and is visibly bruised about the face, passes by and says, "Yeah, everybody is happier. Great!"

Finally, Sheldon takes his sofa cushion to the dry cleaner's to remove anything that Howard had left on it. He also tries to sell his laptop for the dry cleaner's teenage son.



  • Title Reference: The title refers to the increasing warfare between Howard and Sheldon (and their significant others) over the parking spot reassigned to Howard by the university which originally belonged to Sheldon who was not using it.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
  • This episode was watched by 17.25 million people with a rating of 5.5 (adults 18-49).[3]
  • Total viewers including DVR users 21.07 million.
  • This episode aired in Canada on November 29, 2012 with 3.461 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.[4]
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on January 17, 2013 with 2.701 million total viewers.[5]
  • Episode transcript [1]

Costume NotesEdit

  • Bernadette wears a red Blue Floral Ruffle Dress by Jessica Simpson while looking at photos with Penny. (Sold out at


"I don’t want another parking space. I want my parking space. It’s perfect. It’s a corner spot, cutting the risk of door-dings in half. It’s a mere 28 steps from the building entrance. The nearby tree provides shade on hot days and is also home to a delightful squirrel, which is fortuitous because most squirrels are real jerks".
  • Although Amy and Sheldon vandalize the parking spot at night, the photographs issued before the show aired appeared to take place during the daylight hours.
  • In "The 21-Second Excitation" (S4E8), when the gang is in line waiting for the movie, Howard used a device (a "stadium pal" as he called it) that can collect his urine in a bag so that he need not leave for toilet and thus can hold his position in the line. In this episode Sheldon uses a similar device to hold the disputed parking spot.
  • The parking spot is just before the main entrance to the Loeb Building; it is implied that the gang works in this building. It is next door to the Bendis Building. Jeph Loeb (Batman: The Long Halloween etc) and Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man etc) are both comic book writers.
  • Sheldon claims that he is "solely responsible for this university's six-loop quantum gravity calculations". It should be noted that in "The Codpiece Topology" (S2E2), Sheldon is against loop quantum gravity, and even has a fight with Leslie Winkle for this reason. What he says about it in this episode is more likely a last-ditch effort in reasoning for sympathy to get his parking space.
  • Sheldon also asserts that he has changed the way we think about {{w|Bose-Einstein condensates}Bose-Einstein condensates}. In "The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization" (S1E9), he coauthored the paper Paradoxical Moment-of-Inertia Changes Due to Putative Super-Solids, to be presented at an Institute for Experimental Physics topical conference on Bose-Einstein condensates.
  • Howard's car appears to be a Mini Countryman Crossover SUV, first released to the market in September of 2010.
  • Bernadette is showing a bit of the dark side that had been mentioned by Melissa Rauch and the producers when she scratches Amy's car and has it towed. In another episode Bernadette said that she didn't know what she would do if she and Howard broke up because she can be vengeful (as shown in this episode) and had access tobiological weapons. Her temper and aggressive nature was first shown in "The Wildebeest Implementation" (S4E22).
  • While discussing the nature of vampires, mummies, and zombies, Raj mentions zompires which are creatures recently introduced in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 9 comic. 
  • Even though Sheldon is not "giving up" his parking space, he allows Howard to use it until he gets his own vehicle.
  • Second episode where a naked character greets Sheldon in his apartment while in a situation that displeases him. The first was "The Agreement Dissection" (S4E21).
  • In this episode, the parking space is the MacGuffin as defined by Alfred Hitcock.


Bernadette: I’m really sorry that they took Sheldon’s spot away. He shouldn't have to suffer just because Howard’s such a big deal now.
Amy: I know. Sheldon should just let Howard have his little moment in the sun.
Bernadette: What’s that supposed to mean?
Amy: Well, Howard’s never go to space again, but Sheldon will always be a genius.
Bernadette: You’re right. And I’m sure Sheldon will get a fancy parking spot again if and when he makes a worthwhile contribution to science.
Amy: If and when?
Penny: All right. Maybe we should change the subject. Amy, how are your lady parts? Still chilly down there?
Bernadette: Hang on. Hey. None of Sheldon’s theories have ever been definitively proven. My husband actually went to outer space.
Amy: That’s an impressive accomplishment. He’s now an inspiration to millions of Americans who know you don’t have to be special or even qualified to go into space.
Penny: You know, I remember the first time I got a bikini wax. My... my sister did it with melted Crayolas and duct tape. (Laughs) It’s a bad idea.
Bernadette: Gosh, Amy I’m sensing a little hostility. Is it maybe because like Sheldon’s work your sex life is also theoretical?
Penny: Damn!
Amy: Well, at least when we do make love Sheldon won’t be thinking about his MOTHER! And yes that’s a cleverly veiled reference to Howard’s lifelong obsession to crawl back into her spacious womb.
Penny: Anyway, to this day I still can’t see a box of crayons without crossing my legs.
(Bernadette throws herself off the armchair with complete anger and storms off to the doorway)
Bernadette: (She is absolutely fed up and cross) I don’t have to take this. (She yells at Penny and Amy with total anger) I’m going to go home and have sex with my husband right now. Maybe I’ll let him do it to me in a parking spot.
(Penny looks surprised and Amy just makes a horrible frown)
Bernadette: (yelling with very loud anger like Mrs. Wolowitz) which sounds dirty, but I didn't mean it that way.
(She opens Penny's apartment door with rage and leaves in a huff starting to slam it. Now there is a loud slamming door sound to the scene of Penny and Amy both looking surprised at each other).

Sheldon: I don’t want another parking space. I want my parking space. It’s perfect. It’s a corner spot, cutting the risk of door-dings in half. It’s a mere 28 steps from the building entrance. The nearby tree provides shade on hot days and is also home to a delightful squirrel which is fortuitous because most squirrels are real jerks.

Sheldon: Revenge is a dish best served nude!

Sheldon: Well, Howard, thank you. It’s quite a gesture on your part. You've shown yourself to be the bigger man.
Howard: Thank you.
Sheldon: Which I find totally unacceptable. I must be the bigger man. Therefore, you may use my spot until such time as I learn to drive or get a Batmobile.
Howard: Wow, okay. Well, thanks. I don’t know what to say.
Sheldon: There is nothing to say. Except I’m the bigger man. I’m not kidding. Say it.
Raj: Just say it.
Howard: You’re the bigger man, Sheldon.
Sheldon: Oh, stop. And I believe this is yours. FYI, if you wear that into a bank, they will tackle you to the ground.

Sheldon: What are you looking at, you stupid squirrel?

Sheldon: Payback. It truly is the B-word, isn't it?

Penny: Okay, Howard’s mother is in, like, every one of your wedding photos.
Bernadette: What can I tell ya? She’s a big girl. Wherever you look, there she is. (asks Penny politely) More coffee?
Penny: No, Leonard’s taking me to a physics lecture, and coffee'll just keep me awake. (Knock on door) Oh, I’ll get it.
Amy: (totally furious) Oh, looks like someone’s on Team Bernadette. Where’s Howard?
Bernadette: (rather worried) He’s not here. What’s wrong?
Amy: (Yelling angrily) He had my car towed. It cost me two hundred dollars to get it back.
Bernadette: (Sarcastically sweet) Oh, no. Where was it parked?
(Penny looks surprised at Bernadette's question)
Amy: In Sheldon’s spot.
Bernadette: (sounding rather puzzled) That doesn't make sense. Sheldon doesn’t have a spot. (asks with a sarcastic smile) Was it maybe in Howard’s spot?
(Penny just does another expression of 'uh, oh, they're fighting again' through her face)
Amy: Don’t play dumb with me, sister. You tell your husband he owes me two hundred dollars.
Bernadette: Well, that doesn't make sense, either.
Amy: Why not?
Bernadette: Because I’m the one who had it towed.
Amy: You?
Bernadette: (quietly and crossly) Didn't see that one coming, did ya?
Amy: Oh, yeah? Well, you’re not gonna see this coming.
(Swings handbag. Bernadette ducks. Penny is hit in the face)
Penny: Ow! Ow!
Amy: Oh, my God,
Bernadette: (highly concerned by this) Are you okay?!
Penny: You idiot, what the hell do you have in there?!
Amy: Just my wallet, keys and a coffee can full of change I've been meaning to take to the bank.
Bernadette: (runs to the freezer in a panic) Don't move. I’ll get some ice.
Amy: Are you okay?
Penny: Get away from me or I swear to God I will rip out what’s left of your pubes!
Bernadette: (now returning with a frozen bag of peas) Here.
Penny: (relived but still sore) Thanks. Ah!
Bernadette: (asking Amy crossly) Amy, you think maybe this has gotten a little out of hand?
Penny: Gee, you think?!
Amy: I do. Penny, Bernadette and I are sorry.
Bernadette: (She is now mega furious with Amy) You hit her! What did I do?
Amy: You had my car towed.
Bernadette: (Yells at Amy with complete anger) You were parked in Howard’s spot.
Amy: (argues angrily at Bernadette) I was parked in Sheldon’s spot.
Bernadette: (argues back at Amy with complete rage) Sheldon doesn't have a spot.
Penny: Guys, I think I need to go to the emergency room.
Bernadette: Okay, let’s go.
Amy: I’ll drive. You can see where the tow truck scratched my car.
Bernadette: (still very angry by all of this) The tow truck didn't scratch your car.
Amy: How do you know?
Bernadette: (Yelling like Mrs. Wolowitz) 'Cause I did it!
(The door to Bernadette's apartment now slammed quietly).

Sheldon: Get off there.
Howard: Give me back my Iron Man helmet.
Sheldon: Give me back my parking space.
Howard: You don't need a parking space. You don't have a car.
Sheldon: You don't need an Iron Man helmet. You're not Iron Man.

Howard: If you want to check it out later, it's parked right out front. Space 294.
Sheldon: I'm sorry. 294?
Howard: Yeah.
Sheldon: That's my parking spot.
Raj: Why do you have a parking spot? You don't have car. You don't even drive.
Sheldon: It doesn't matter. That's my spot.
Leonard: Maybe they reassigned it because you never use it.
Sheldon: Well, I'm not using my nipples, either. Maybe they should reassign those.

Sheldon: Your threats are empty. Nothing can move me.

Leonard: Sheldon.
Sheldon: Cookie.
Leonard: I don't have any.
Sheldon: Well, I'm not giving it away.

Leonard: What are you idiots doing?
Sheldon: He's trying to kill me, Leonard. Video games and rock music have desensitized him to violence.
Howard: Would you please talk some sense into your lunatic roommate?
Leonard: You're both acting like lunatics. It's just a parking spot.
Howard: It's not just a parking spot. He can't handle the fact that I'm a bigger deal than he is now.
Sheldon: Oh, that's preposterous. I have been solely responsible for this university's six-loop quantum gravity calculations, I have changed the way we think about Bose-Einstein condensates, and I am also the one who got Nutter Butters in the cafeteria vending machine. Maybe you missed that news while you were floating like a goof in outer space.


  • Sheldon tries to push Howard car out of his spot.
  • Sheldon covers up the noise made by Howard honking his horn.
  • Sheldon reapplies his name to his spot.
  • Amy is helping Sheldon reclaim his spot.
  • Leonard tells them that their argument is over a stupid parking spot.
  • Sheldon explains his contributions to the university.
  • Sheldon gives Howard a raspberry.
  • Sheldon taunts Howard.
  • To make use of his parking spot, Sheldon starts working in it.
  • Amy keeps an eye out for campus security.
  • Amy helps Sheldon with his parking spot war.
  • Penny is an innocent bystander.
  • While the other couples felt that they learned something from the parking space experience, Penny with the black eyes is less than thrilled.
  • Amy gets punched in the nose.
  • Chuck Lorre Productions, #400.
  • Amy ready to attack

See alsoEdit

Taping report by Kyzzx


  1. The Big Bang Theory - The Parking Spot Escalation (TV Episode 2012) - IMDb
  2. The Big Bang Theory: “The Parking Spot Escalation” - TV Club - The A.V. Club
  3. Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Modern Family' Leads Adults 18–49 Ratings and Tops Viewership Gains; 'Parks and Recreation' Earns Biggest Percentage Gains in Week 10 - Zap2it
  4. Top Programs – Total Canada (English) November 26 – December 2, 2012" - BBM Canada
  5. BARB via Wikipedia

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