"The Separation Agitation" is the twenty-first episode of the tenth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on April 13, 2017.


Howard and Bernadette have a hard time leaving Halley in day care when Bernadette returns to work. Also, Bert introduces the gang to his new girlfriend, Rebecca.

Extended Plot

Started with Fun with Flags: Behind the Flags - a retrospective complete with Raj and Howard on music. Sheldon and Amy talk to Leonard and Penny (at the kitchen island of course!) via video link about their Fun with Flags memories. They of course show their utter contempt for the whole thing. Found Penny's repartee funny. Then they call for viewers to call in with their memories. Deadly silence is followed by excitement when Bert calls - but just to tell them he has a girl friend. They ask for callers who want to talk flag memories but the next call is just Bert again telling them her name is Rebecca.

Later at the university cafeteria, Sheldon, Leonard and Raj are joking around, Bert sits with them, Leonard invites him to come to his place for dinner so they can meet his girl. When they arrive she is a stunning blonde who is a failed actress who has become a personal trainer. She's much younger than Bert. Penny asks if Rebecca has dated a scientist before because she was thinking of starting a support group. Rebecca says she dated a Scientologist. Sheldon quips Bert is copying Leonard and Penny. We find out they met online. Raj remarks he had not much success online. Bert says he only got success when he mentioned his $600 thousand grant. Sheldon gets sent out by Amy when he speaks inappropriately. but comes back and says if she'd done something wrong and Leonard just says it's just normal Sheldon. Rebecca says something that implies it was the money and Amy is immediately suspicious and mentions it when Rebecca goes to the toilet. Sheldon makes another comment and gets sent out again, but Amy calls him back when Rebecca makes her suspicious again. It was all very funny but can't remember the lines. When Bert leaves, Sheldon compares them to Leonard and Penny - Bert's money and his groveling to get the girl and Leonard says it's completely different - Bert's money will run out but he can beg till he dies. Penny quips - all that and he's shorter than me.

Back at cafeteria next day, Sheldon tells a joke about Feynman, Einstein and Schrodinger. Raj and Leonard react slowly but eventually laugh. Bert comes in. He is worried about what everyone said about being used. He says something about the relationship that Sheldon thinks is funny and tells Leonard it's his turn to tell a joke.

Bert turns up at the apartment to tell them he broke it off. Raj starts saying he did the right thing, comparing him to his story which gets depressing and says maybe someone else should speak. Amy is glad but Bert is upset she convinced him. Sheldon has a go at her and she says to raise your hand for permission to speak. Penny tells Bert he should be looking for someone who likes him for who he is not what he has. Sheldon raises his hand and Penny makes the mistake of letting him speak because he delivers one of his trademark Leonard and Penny insults and Leonard just looks up at her and says don't look at me you gave him permission. Bert then leaves saying he might buy Rebecca a jet ski to get her back. Then there's a Fun with Flags retrospective retrospective and a call comes through and it's Bert saying it worked he got her back.

Bernie going back to work but being really unhappy about but she is hiding that from Howard. She confides in Stuart who has clearly replaced Raj now that he's moved in with Leonard and Penny. Before going back to work, they all take Halley to the zoo but that just depresses Bernie more because she compares herself to other mammals who stay with their young longer than her. Howard has a chat to Stuart as well but he reveals nothing. They finally all share their feelings when it comes to dropping off Halley. They all cry except the baby and Bernie does her trademark angry thing telling Halley off for not caring.

Later Howard and Stuart are at daycare dropping her off, showing Bernie via FaceTime how Halley is fine. Bernie cracks it again because she ignores her The boys can't leave. They steal Halley away and take her to the aquarium. Later they come home and pretend they are back from daycare but are caught because Bernie got a call about them taking the baby.

Thanks to the report from Itwasdestined.[1]



  • Title Reference: Refers to the difficulty that Howard, Bernadette and Stuart had in being "separated" from Halley while she was at daycare.
  • Taping date: March 28, 2017
  • This episode was watched by 11.89 million people with a rating of 2.5 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 16.49 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #x for the week ending xx April 2017.
  • This episode aired in Canada on April 13, 2017.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [2].


  • Caroline Preece at Den of Geek! - The set-up of The Separation Agitation is that Bert has an unlikely new girlfriend, and she’s clearly using him for his money from the recent research grant (impressive continuity for this show)...The characterization of Rebecca was basically what could have easily happened had the writers not liked Penny so much. The two women’s similarities were more or less lamp shaded within the episode, and it just made me glad that this wasn’t the road they went down with ‘ditzy neighbor lives across the hall from nerds’.... also quite like the slight role reversal of Howard being the one to take her out of daycare to spend the day playing hooky - as much as the show is showing Bernadette to have anxiety about being a working mother... [3]



  • Sheldon says Leonard and Penny have nothing in common, but this is false. They actually do have a few things in common:
    • They each have one brother and one sister
    • They had issues with the opposite gender parent growing up
    • Another possibility is them being the second born child and their sisters being the first born and their brothers the third born
    • Another possibility is both of them always willing to try new things
    • Another possibility is them wanting to be social and wanting to make friends with people


Raj: Sheldon, what did Amy have that attracted you?
Sheldon: Oh, so many things: her mind, her kindness, and especially her body.
Raj: Really!
Amy: Relax. We're the same blood type; he know he could harvest an organ.

[first lines]

Sheldon: All right, we're about to go live. Everyone on their A game. [claps] Good energy... [flatly, to camera]
Sheldon: Hello. I'm Dr, Sheldon Cooper.
Amy: And I'm Dr. Amy Farrah-Fowler.
Sheldon: And welcome to a special retrospective, where we will take a look back at the history of Fun with Flags on an episode we're calling Sheldon Cooper, Amy Farrah Fowler: Fun with Flags: Behind the Flags, a Retrospective.

Raj: I feel bad for Bert.
Sheldon: So he's using his money to attract a mate. Is that any different than me using my intelligence to attract Amy, or Leonard using his power of grovelling to get Penny?
Leonard: Totally different. Bert's money might run out, but I can beg until the end of time.
Penny: All that, *and* he's shorter than me.

[last lines]

Sheldon: Hello. I'm Dr, Sheldon Cooper.
Amy: And I'm Dr. Amy Farrah-Fowler.
Sheldon: Based on the glowing reception of our recent Behind the Flags Retrospective we thought you might like to see how it all came together
Amy: So welcome to tonight's episode: Sheldon Cooper, Amy Farrah Fowler: Fun with Flags: Behind the Behind the Flags, a Retrospective Retrospective.
Sheldon: Oh, we already have our first call!
Amy: Oh. Hello, you're on Fun with Flags.
Bert: The jet-ski worked. I got her back.

Bernadette: What if she likes these people more than us?
Howard: She already likes bubbles more than us.

Howard: How about after this we go to the exotic bird show?
Stuart: Not a good idea. My hair is prime nest building material.

Howard: What are you making?
Stuart: Chicken. Birds mess with my hair, I come back hard.

Sheldon: [after Bert introduces Rebecca] She's younger and far more attractive than he is. [to Leonard and Penny] They're copying you two.

Sheldon: Bert, Rebecca, I'd like to apologize for my insensitive comment earlier.
Rebecca: Don't worry about it. It's fine.
Sheldon: See, it was fine. I didn't need a time out.
Amy: It wasn't a time out. Let's get some food.
Sheldon: You made me sit on the stairs and think about what I did...
Amy: [Nudges Sheldon] I said get your food!

Howard What are you doing here?
Stuart: Can't a guy hang out at a college he doesn't go to and stare at a baby that isn't his?

Amy: I'm sorry, Bert, but aren't you worried she's only with you for your money?
Bert: She'd better be. On our first date, I bought her an 80-inch flat screen.
Sheldon: Your first date? Did you even measure her walls?

Leonard: Don't you have a friend you can set him up with?
Penny: Hey, I already set up Howard and Bernadette. It's your turn to ruin some poor girl's life.

Rebecca: Where's your bathroom?
Leonard: Just down there. [Rebecca leaves]
Bert: She's so perfect, sometimes I think she isn't real. And then she goes to the bathroom, and I know she is.
Penny: Aww, that's so weird.

Raj: I'd love a personal trainer. I haven't seen my abs since they opened a Shake Shack on my drive home.
Rebecca: I can give you some free sessions.
Penny: Oh, is that offer for everybody?
Leonard: Nice try. I'm not going.


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