The Big Bang Theory

The Solder Excursion Diversion

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"The Solder Excursion Diversion" is the nineteenth episode of the ninth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, March 31, 2016.


Amy is shocked at a revelation from Sheldon after she buys him a new laptop. Also, Koothrappali sells out Leonard and Wolowitz after they lie to their wives in order to attend an early screening of a movie.

Extended Plot

Sheldon is skyping with Amy who can't understand him due to video and audio problems with his old computer. He sent her a cryptic email because the S, R and M keys had stopped functioning. She tells him to buy a new computer since his video and audio signals are cutting out. He can't read the sign she held up and can't hear her so she calls him to tell him again to get a new computer.

Leonard and Howard are in the lab. It had been over a year since they built something scientific together, but only last week since they built a Lego Millennium Falcon together. Bernie and Penny show up and bring them lunch join them. Their progress is slow so Penny asks if they could help even though it was a rhetorical question. The girls could wrap some of their pipes with Teflon tape. Penny wonders if it would be funny if after all his years of work if the girls came up with a scientific breakthrough. Leonard didn't find that funny.

Amy breaking up as Sheldon's computer dies.

Sheldon gasps as the video on his computer goes completely dead. Amy rushes in having missed the computer's passing. He starts to play "Taps" and then covers his laptop. She insists that he is being silly, however, he reminds her of the lab monkey she got emotional over when he passed away. That monkey had told Amy that he loved her in sign language. Amy gives him a new computer which should make him feel better. Sheldon is upset that she deprived him of all of the fun of picking out his own since it's a very personal choice. He goes through several requirements for his system which Amy and the "guy" at the computer store have already anticipated.

Sheldon has never thrown anything away.

Leonard showed the girls how to wrap their pipes and then they realize that they ran out of solder. Howard and Leonard leave to get it at the hardware store. The girls stay to handle all of the sciencey stuff. After they leave, Penny asks Bernadette what solder is.

Next Sheldon asks Amy if she was going to rob him of the fun of setting his new laptop up. He gets excited when it sets up so fast. With the new 4K resolution, he tells her he'll be able to count to nose hairs in her nose. She suggests that he just stare into her eyes. She wants to take the old one back to the store so they can recycle it he doesn't want to do that or get store credit. She wonders why he is being weird about it. Instead of explaining it to her, he wants to show her. Amy has to drive them and sign a nondisclosure document like she did before they slept together.

Walking down the street with Howard, Leonard says that it's funny that Penny is having fun working on the prototype. She used to have fun at nightclubs and drinking games. Passing a theater, an employee asks them if they'd like to see a preview of the new Wil Smith movie. Howard guesses that it is "Suicide Squad". Since the girls are having so much fun working on the project, they decide to go in and see the movie.

Penny is enjoying playing scientist.

Penny is marveled that she moved to California to be an actress and ends up in a engineering lab at Caltech working on an advanced guidance system. Bernadette adds that she has made fourteen pieces while Penny has only done three. Raj comes in since he was bored at home and had no one to play with. He is disappointed that everyone can work on the project instead of him. He leaves, but the girls call him back though he hadn't gone out of ear shot.

Amy is driving with Sheldon and wants to know where they are going. People are on a need to know basis. She is driving the car and needs to know.

Sitting in the movie eating popcorn, Leonard has a problem with lying to the girls, though Howard doesn't think it's a problem. They text them that they had to go to San Bernadino for the solder and got a flat tire. The girls accepted their lie, though Howard told Leonard that they had to put the spare on the car to verify their story. An announcement is made that they are going to be among the first to see Wil Smith in "Suicide Squad". Howard was right. Then he texts Raj to make him feel bad since he really wanted to see this movie. Raj gets the message and immediately tells the girls. Penny doesn't believe what they are doing, but she doesn't want Raj to bust them. Bernadette wants to see how deep a hole they are going to dig themselves into.

Amy and Sheldon walk into a storage unit building. Amy wonders what he could be storing and how long he has had it. Sheldon opens up the sliding door and welcomes Amy to his Fortress of Shame. Inside is everything he has ever owned. Books, T-shirts, broken electronics. Even old Zip-lock plastic bagsAmy tells him that there is nothing to be ashamed of though she needs another minute to tell him why.

Back in the lab, Raj suggests that they find him making out with both of their wives. Penny doesn't think that he could handle both of them. Bernadette wants them to tell their convoluted story like the girls believe them and then Raj can jump out of the closet and shout, "Busted!"

An apology for leaving them to go to the movies.

Sheldon is giving Amy a tour of every clock radio, every calculator, every VHS tape, and sporting equipment. One golf ball his brother threw at his head. He still has his collection of pine cones. Every time he think of trying to throw something out, his head and stomach hurt. Sheldon doesn't want Amy to think less of him which Amy doesn't. Sheldon thinks less of himself every time he comes there. Some day how can Sheldon become one with the Internet when he can't even throw out one toothbrush. Amy says that she has saved weird stuff too, like her first brain dissection.

Penny runs in that the guys are back and Raj goes to hide. They come back to the lab with flowers, an apology and an offer to take them to dinner. Penny accepts their apology and reiterates that they really had fun working in the lab. Raj jumps out from a closet to scare them; however, the girls know the truth. Raj feels that that was anticlimactic, and then Howard want to tell him the end of the movie. Raj jumps back into the closet and the rest leave for dinner.

What did you have in mind?

Back in the storage unit, Sheldon admits that only Amy knows about this place. She thanks him for trusting her. A girlfriend is made for dumping his psychological sewage on. Amy offers to help him with it someday. Sheldon decides to start with the golf ball. Amy is proud of him, though the golf ball gets rolled back inside as Sheldon closes the door.

Back at Apartment 4A, Amy and Sheldon tell each other that they feel closer to each other. Also Sheldon still has two hours before he has to go to bed. Any wants to know what he means. Sex? He sends her home so they can Skype together will he lies in bed. Sheldon goes crazy over Amy's image on his new hi-def screen. Amy wonders why they couldn't do it back at his place.



  • Title Reference: Howard and Leonard go out to buy solder and get distracted by a movie preview.
  • Taping date: March 1, 2016
  • This episode was watched by 14.24 million people with a rating of 3.5 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 19.19 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #2 for the week ending April 3, 2016.
  • This episode aired in Canada on March 31, 2016.
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on Thursday May 12, 2016.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • Episode transcript [2]


  • Jesse Schedeen of IGN - Sheldon losing his computer was an obvious source of drama for this episode. Sheldon is a guy who craves familiarity and orderliness, and that laptop was his constant companion for many years on this show...(The writers) used Sheldon's computer dilemma as a way of exploring the root of Sheldon's attachment problems and strengthening his bond with Amy...Sheldon can open up to Amy in ways he can't even for Leonard. And for her part, Amy is willing to take Sheldon as he is, with no snarky comments or efforts to force him to change. This episode wound up serving as a very sweet examination/celebration of their relationship...(The other) That story line was backed up by an unremarkable but perfectly enjoyable...The boys saw Suicide Squad...and Penny got to enjoy playing the part of a scientist for an afternoon.
  • IMDb user reviews [3]


  • Sheldon may have kept everything he ever owned, but how did he get to the storage unit before he knew Amy? Wouldn't Leonard know? And did he have everything he owned shipped from Texas? Not so since we saw his childhood room that appeared to be intact in "The Mommy Observation".
  • Penny enjoyed helping out Leonard and playing scientist.
  • Penny doesn't know what solder is even though Howard was using it while they were making jewelry with Raj in "The Proton Displacement".


Penny: Hey, guys.
Leonard: Hey.
Howard: Hey.
Leonard: What are you doing here?
Bernadette: We heard about some sexy scientists working hard all weekend.
Penny: Yeah, so we brought you some lunch and we are gonna go look for ’em.
Leonard: Soup, sandwiches and emasculation. Just like my Mom used to make.

Penny: Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if after all your years of hard work, I’m the one who makes a scientific breakthrough? (Goffs.) He doesn’t think that’s funny.

Amy: Sheldon, this is silly.
Sheldon: You got emotional when that lab monkey died.
Amy: That lab monkey told me he loved me in sign language.

Leonard: Penny says they’re having fun working on the prototype.
Howard: Remember when her fun was nightclubs and drinking games?
Leonard: I know. I lowering the bar so slowly. This time next year she’ll have a coin collection.

Amy: Why do you have a storage unit?
Sheldon: Just wait.
Amy: How long have you had it?
Sheldon: Just wait.
Amy: Do you want me to hold that computer?
Sheldon: Just wait… You know what? Actually, yes, thank-you. Welcome to my Fortress of Shame.
Amy: What-what am I looking at?
Sheldon: It’s basically everything I’ve ever owned. Um, every book, every T-shirt, every piece of broken electronics. Just…all of it.
Amy: All of it?
Sheldon: I have a Ziplock bag filled with all my old Ziplock bags.
Amy: Okay. Well. I would like to tell you that there is nothing to be ashamed of. So I’m gonna need a minute. (Having trouble processing the situation.)

Bernadette: All right, how are we gonna play this when they return?
Raj: I know. You guys should totally be making out with me.
Penny: Sweetie, I know you think jokes like that are funny, but do you really think you could handle making out with both of us?
Raj: No, ma’am.

Sheldon: I’m sorry if you think less of me.
Amy: I don’t.
Sheldon: Really? ‘Cause every time I come in here, I think less of me.
Amy: Why?
Sheldon: Because I’m a fraud.
Amy: No.
Sheldon: I purport to be a man of the mind. I’ve been such a-a vocal champion of the Singularity, but how can I leave my body behind and become one with the Internet, when I never even thrown away a toothbrush?


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