|The Rothman Disintegration|
Season 5, Episode 17
February 16, 2012
"The Vacation Solution"
"The Werewolf Transformation"
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The retirement of Professor Rothman opens up an office that both Sheldon and Kripke want to move into. The university president makes them settle it between themselves. After they can not agree on a competitive card, board or video game, the gang ends up in a gymnasium and try free throwing. Unfortunately, both Sheldon and Kripke are both equally bad at sports and neither of them win until they have a basketball bouncing contest which Sheldon wins. Typically, Sheldon is thrilled with his latest acquisition until, back in his new office, the air conditioning is too cold because the professor in the neighboring office is having hot flashes, the upstairs geology department is too noisy, and a bird outside is whistling "completely out-of-tune" with the wind chimes. Finally, his curiosity gets the better of him and he gets his head stuck in a hole in the wall, which Leonard photographs with is cell phone before he goes for help.
Meanwhile, Penny receives a gift from Amy of a very large painting of the two of them that is not very flattering and very ugly. Amy suggests hanging it above the bookcase near the apartment door. After Amy leaves, Penny takes down the painting, but Amy comes back right away and finds out that Penny took the painting down. Crushed, Amy takes the painting back. Then Penny rushes over to Amy's apartment to save their friendship and takes the painting back after claiming that Bernadette was jealous over it. Now it hangs on the virtual wall of her apartment and is no longer seen by the studio audience except one time through Penny's front door.
"This was a highly skippable episode. The writers chose some very cheap and easy ideas and compounded their lameness by changing their minds during the story... We seem to be in a mid-season lull where the writers ran out of ideas and so reached into the old sit com bag of bad ideas." The TV Critic's Review
Bernadette: (looking at the painting) Look at that face! That enormous, unsettling, CRAZY face!
Penny: Is there any chance that I'll learn to love it?
Bernadette: That depends. Do you like pictures of yourself where you look like a man?
Sheldon: And let him win? Do I look crazy to you?
Leonard: Alright, this is one-on-one. First person to five wins. Any questions? (Sheldon raises his hand) Yes, Sheldon?
Sheldon: Five what?
Sheldon: Use the Force, Sheldon! (throws the basketball, but it does not even reach the height of the hoop) I may need more Force!
Sheldon: I see no other option but to challenge you to a duel. I'd smack you with a glove, but just last week, I packed away my winter things.
Raj: I'm glad that men are wearing hats again. They're so distinguished.
Amy: Before I met you, I was a mousy wallflower. But look at me now. I'm like some kind of downtown hipster party girl! With a posse, a boyfriend, and a new lace bra that hooks in the front of all things!
Bernadette: (to Penny) Too bad you're not as strong as the dude in the painting.
Raj: Would you look at this? I pay $25 to some kid on eBay for a handcrafted Harry Potter wand. He sent me a stick. He went into his backyard and picked up a stick.
Howard: It's numbered.
Raj: Ooh, limited edition--nice!
Sheldon: We're gonna work this office situation out like gentleman. And if that doesn't work, I'm gonna poison his tea.
Amy: No, no, before I met you, I was a mousy wallflower. But look at me now. I’m like some kind of downtown hipster party girl. With a posse, a boyfriend and a new lace bra that hooks in the front, of all things.
- Title Reference: The title refers to the collapse of Professor Rothman's mental state.
- Chuck Lorre's vanity card
- This episode was watched by 15.65 million people with a rating of 5.1 (adults 18-49).
- This episode aired in Canada on February 16, 2012 with 3.537 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1. In England, this episode aired on April 19, 2012 with 2.015 million total viewers and a weekly ranking of #3. In Australia, it aired on March 5, 2012 with 1.301 million viewers.
- When Sheldon first moves into his new office, Professor Rothman is present behind the door reading an issue of the Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics.
- The Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock game appears again, which is a game that was last seen in season 2 in "The Lizard-Spock Expansion", and mentioned by Howard in the late second season episode "The Hofstadter Isotope".
- The basketball contest scene is similar to the wrestling scene in "The Alien Parasite Hypothesis", and takes place in the same gymnasium.
- Sheldon even has a spot in the university men's restroom: the right hand urinal.
- This is the first time Star Trek: Voyager has been mentioned in the show. It is odd that it hasn't been mentioned previously, given that co-creator Bill Prady used to work on the show.
- Sheldon was sad to know that Kripke didn't view him as a friend, which clashes with what happened in season 2's "The Friendship Algorithm", where he acknowledged Kripke couldn't be his friend, as he has no more spots left.
- At the end of the episode, Penny hangs an empty picture frame facing the camera. Even though Penny chose to hang the picture in her apartment, and will always see it, it was hung on the open virtual (or fourth) wall of her apartment set, where it won't be seen by the audience except in certain circumstances (such as the scene in "The Countdown Reflection" where the painting is visible over Amy's shoulder as she talks to Howard through Penny's partially open apartment door).
- None of the guys share scenes with the girls in this episode.
- Penny tells Bernadette that the painting Amy gave her is very heavy, yet she has no difficulty lifting it off the wall.
- Professor Rothman may have retired, but he is still hanging around the university without clothes.
- Song: "We Go Together" from the movie Grease.
- As Amy asked to borrow Penny's "Grease" DVD, Penny only gave Amy the case, because they never took the disc out of the DVD player.
- During Sheldon's explanation of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock, Kripke temporarily drops his lisp.
- Press release from spoilertv.com