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"The Conjugal Conjecture" is the first episode and season premiere of the tenth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode aired on Monday, September 19, 2016.


After Sheldon's mother and Leonard's father share an evening together, everyone deals with an awkward morning the next day. Also, Penny's family arrives for the wedding ceremony, including her anxiety-ridden mother, Susan, and her drug-dealing brother, Randall. Leonard and Penny reaffirm their vows in front of friends and family. Meanwhile, Howard's paranoia towards the military comes to fruition.

Extended Plot[]

Leonard and Penny are sleeping in bed when Sheldon calls through the wall that they could be brothers. Leonard denies that it's true. Sheldon hopes so because tells a grown man living with his brother and wife was weird. Sheldon also wonders if Leonard's father is currently doing despicable things to my mother. Penny reassures him that they are old and would be finished by 9:30. Leonard and Penny start to talk about how awkward the wedding will be with Sheldon and Penny's brother when Sheldon tells them to stop talking.  


Don't mention it to Beverly.

As Penny is leaving to pick her family up at the airport, she stands at the door telling everyone not to bring up last night in front of Beverly and play dumb. Beverly steps up behind while Sheldon comments Penny was showing them an example on how to play dumb. Penny is embarrassed and tries to leave. Beverly stops her, thanks her for going through all the trouble to have the ceremony, but she cannot attend because Alfred is going out of his way to humiliate her parading around with some Bible-thumping bumpkin and tells Sheldon in an annoyed tone to stop making a scene. Sheldon objects to Beverly's description of his mother though he says that's partially accurate. Leonard tells her that they really want her to stay and be a part of this experience. Penny adds that if she leaves, Alfred will know that he really got under her skin. Beverly will not stand for that. Sheldon adds that if they did have coitus, they will all be needing the aid of a skilled psychiatrist.

Howard, Bernadette and Raj are having coffee in their kitchen. Raj thinks that the whole experience the previous night was funny. Howard denies it since he got a $500 traffic ticket. Bernadette agrees with Raj because he was driving like a lunatic thinking that he was being followed by the secret government agents. She even laughs when Howard wasn't able to walk in a straight line due to "performance anxiety". Raj answers the doorbell and finds Richard Williams of the United States' Air Force who wants to talk to Howard. A nervous Raj denies that he was there even when Howard asks who was at the door. The officer won't explain what he wants, but leaves his business card asking Howard to call him.

Penny is driving her parents and brother to her apartment. Penny can't wait for everyone to meet her family. Her mother is annoyed that they know about Randall's arrest and prison record. Wyatt suddenly mentions the Walgreens they were passing. Susan tells him to knock it off. Penny can't believe Randall is visiting her in California after all these years. He adds that it is a good thing that he is a non-violent offender or otherwise he couldn't leave the state. Susan doesn't want to discuss jail again. Randall adds that Penny knew where he was since she sent him cigarettes. You sent him cigarettes? Wyatt justifies that because of what he was making, they can probably ignore the cigarettes. Susan snaps at him to stop trying to be the cool dad. He owns a shirt with their cat's picture on it. Wyatt adds saying to Penny "Anyway, we're here, Slugger."

Howard is now worried that the Air Force knows where he lives, with Raj pointing out that they've always known. Bernadette adds that if he wants to live off the grid, he has to move out of his mother's house. Howard calls the phone number, greets the Colonel and mentions that the guy at the door was Indian and he doesn't really know his immigration status. After Raj nearly has a heart attack, Howard tells Raj to relax because he is still on hold. Then Howard sets up a meeting Thursday at work and the Colonel still will not discuss the purpose.


Raj meets the Colonel.

Leonard gives his mother a cup of tea and tells her how special it will be for Penny and him to share it with her. She can't wait for the day to be over. Mary and Alfred arrive at the guys' apartment. Asking how everyone is, they described themselves share a round of awkward "good's". Sheldon then asks Alfred if he defiled his mother. Mary's Unhappy with the question. Alfred assures him that they only shared a cab and a conversation. Sheldon then asks if that conversation included the phrase "Your genitals are a joy to behold?" Mary tells him to stop as Alfred remarks that neither he nor anyone has ever said that. Leonard quips that he doesn't know Amy very well. Sheldon doesn't stop.

Penny's family has arrived at her apartment.  Her brother is surprised that he has never met Leonard. Wyatt assures him that he buys his drugs from a local vendor. Susan wants all the drug talk to stop and considers her family an embarrassment. Penny tells her mother that no one is going to judge their family. Susan is worried that Leonard's parents are intellectuals and academics. She doesn't want them to think that they are white trash. Randall wonders what color "trash" she thinks they will believe.

Now back at the boys' apartment, Mary is asking how Sheldon could believe she would sleep with a man she just met. Sheldon points out that she'll do anything for unfamiliar men, like contributing towards building African churches for Jesus. Leonard considers that whole episode over. Alfred says that he and Mary are planning on visiting each other. Beverly thinks Alfred is doing it just to antagonize her. Alfred feels that she is a wonderful woman, and that the antagonization is just a bonus. Mary genuinely likes Leonard's father. Sheldon is angry since he is a mediocre academic and is sexual prowess is subpar (according to Beverly). He is Leonard with a bigger prostate. Leonard is insulted that his father isn't good enough for Sheldon's mother, and that Sheldon is once again ripping on him. Now everyone is complaining about who they have to stay with as Sheldon tries to diagram where who should be in which apartment. Amy walks in exclaiming, "Who's ready for a wedding?" Sheldon is disgusted that he has to start all over again.


Penny and her parents and brother after Leonard enters with Beverly.

Back in 4B, Wyatt asks his daughter about the world of pharmaceuticals. She just got a better territory. Susan tells her son to see what happens when one works hard. Well, Penny just sells them while he had to make them. Susan doesn't want any more drug talk for the rest of their trip. Wyatt wants another beer while Susan thinks that he has had enough. Penny drinks more than her father. Penny quips that she learned from the best. "Awww!" they jointly exclaim. Susan says that she can see why Randall turned up in jail. Leonard and Beverly enter the apartment and Susan is very glad to see him again and hugs him. Leonard introduces his mother. Randall immediately exclaims that they are not white trash.

Back to 4A: Alfred tells Amy that he is sorry because of all the trouble he has caused. So is Mary. Sheldon quips that she made God sad today. Amy is happy that Alfred and Mary like each other. Sheldon doesn't want them rushing into anything. Look on him and Amy. Alfred reaches for Amy's hand and says, "You are a patient young woman." Sheldon growls and tells him to take a cold shower "Grandpa". She's mine! 

Howard is still worried about what the Colonel wants and figures that it is bad news. They could that away the invention and Howard is left with nothing. Raj tells a story about the scientists on the Manhattan Project who got nothing from it. The tale doesn't help Howard's frame of mind and Raj only told it because he had just read a book on the subject.


You're a very patient young lady.

At Penny's, Beverly asks Randall what he does for a living. Susan steps in that he is between jobs. Randall adds that he is also between court appearances. Wyatt is happy to meet the woman who raised Leonard, this fine young man. He can't wait to meet his father. Beverly tells him to prepare for disappointment. Susan tells Wyatt that he doesn't need another beer. Penny comes in hoping that everyone is getting to know each other. Randall denies that that is happening.

The wedding ceremony:

In a park setting backed-up with trellises, the guests are seated while Bernadette stands in front to officiate with Leonard. Amy has her harp. Stuart walks in and sits in the empty seat between Leonard's parents. They don't want to sit next to each other. Bernadette says that they are ready. Penny is wearing a short lace wedding dress and is escorted up the aisle by a very proud father. Amy plays the traditional wedding march; Wagner's Bridal Chorus. Penny is glowing. Wyatt welcomes Leonard to the family and advises him to not loan his brother-in-law any money. Bernie speaks that they are there to celebrate love. Not just the love between the bride and groom, but also for the love they have for them and between each other. Love is patient and doesn't put up with all the side-chatter coming from the audience's comments. Penny realizes that there is some tension so she begins. Standing in front of all their family and friends brings up a lot of feelings in her, like eloping the first time was a good thing. Leonard has also made her very


Happy bride. Proud father.

happy and she thanks him for marrying him. Hopefully for the last time. Leonard describes how as a scientist he has to explain why things happen and he can explain why someone like him ended up with someone like her. He doesn't have to understand it, just be grateful because he loves her. Bernie asks if anyone has anything snarky to say. Alfred stands up and says to everyone even though he and Beverly don't bring out the best in each other, the best thing to come out of their relationship was Leonard. Beverly agrees. Stuart is especially touched by their words. Before they can go on, Sheldon stands up and says he has to say something to a person who is pretty special. Amy starts to stand up and says, "It's happening!" thinking that she was getting a proposal. Sheldon then says "Leonard". Mary comforts Amy as she sits back down. Sheldon tells Leonard that he has always considered him family. He may not always show it, be they are both very important to him. Leonard and Penny thank him. Bernie says "I now pronounce you husband and wife. And the weird other husband that came with the apartment." Three-way embrace. Everyone applauds.

Everyone at Leonard and Penny Wedding

Leonard and Penny and their family/guests.

Leonard drives both his parents to the airport. They seem to be getting along until they start arguing about Leonard getting into the carpool lane. Amy is driving Mary to airport with Sheldon in the back seat. They will get there in plenty of time. Sheldon snaps that she will have plenty of time to find a new geriatric boy-toy. She yells to him to stop being disrespectful to her. And he apologizes. Then Amy says that Mary being attractive and Sheldon needs to get used to men being interested in her. Sheldon tells her to just drive and mind her business. Amy says "I will not have you be disrespectful to me" in a nice voice. Sheldon says that she is not


Put a little zing into it. You'll learn.

his mother. Mary yells "Don't be disrespectful to her." He says he's sorry. Mary turns to Amy and says that she will get there and that she has to put some zing on it. Penny is driving her folks and brother to the airport. Her mother doesn't know what she was worried about since Penny's friends are just lovely. She does find Sheldon a bit peculiar. Penny claims to have never noticed. He reminds her father of a turkey they had that drowned looking up at the rain. Everybody has a laugh until Randall sees some cops and hides.



  • Title Reference: The title refers to the possibility of Alfred Hofstadter and Mary Cooper having spent the night together.
  • Taping date: August 30, 2016
  • This episode was watched by 15.82 million people with a rating of 3.8 (adults 18–49).[1]
  • Total viewers including DVR users 21.52 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #5 for the week ending 25 September 2016.
  • This episode aired in Canada on September 19, 2016.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • Episode transcript [2]


  • Jesse Schedeen of IGN - (This) episode made an already crowded cast of guest stars even more crowded. And because of that, it felt as though Penny's family drew the short straw in terms of screen time...Having three sets of relatives visiting at the same time is a little much to handle in one 22-minute episode...The family drama was generally entertaining despite the limited space afforded most characters...Eventually the wedding itself rolled around. The result was pretty textbook sitcom wedding fare...But in the end, it was Sheldon who stole the show (as he so often does). Leonard and Penny's vows were sweet and all, but it was Sheldon's rare admission of love that really delivered the feels. He so rarely admits his love for Leonard that those moments where he does become all the more memorable.
  • IMDb user reviews [3]


  • Last appearance of Alfred Hofstadter.
  • Leonard and Penny's relationship has their reaffirmation of their vows in this episode.
  • Penny's mother Susan and brother Randall make their first appearances in this episode and are played by Katey Sagal and Jack McBrayer, respectively. As of this episode, Raj, Bernadette, Leonard and Penny are currently the only characters of the social group/main cast whose parents have both been seen on-camera - Sheldon's father died when Sheldon was a child, Howard's father abandoned him and his mother when Howard was eleven, Stuart's mother and father have been mentioned and are both alive, Emily's father has been mentioned and it is not known if he is dead or alive and there has been no appearance or mention of Amy's father, Emily's mother or Leslie's mother and father to date.
  • The episode picks up the next morning following previous isode.
  • Penny's father Wyatt reappears in this episode, marking his third appearance in the series. Twice more during the reminder of the series.
  • It's revealed that Susan has already met Leonard off-screen before her first appearance. This was hinted in "The Bachelor Party Corrosion" (S9E3) when Penny, Bernadette and Amy are discussing Penny waiting to tell her parents she got married to Leonard, Amy says "Well, it's kind of sad that they don't know. I mean, they love Leonard." referring to Wyatt and Susan.
  • Leonard and Penny's families meet for the first time in this episode, although we only see his mother meeting Penny's parents and brother. This is the first time that a main couple's family members are seen meeting each other properly, unlike when Bernadette's mother and father and Howard's mother had all been seen together at Howard and Bernadette's Wedding in "The Countdown Reflection" (S5E24) and when Bernadette's father and Mrs. Wolowitz were at the Wolowitz House in "The Thanksgiving Decoupling" (S7E9), where they never mingled.
  • Third consecutive episode to feature Beverly.
  • Second consecutive episode to feature Mary.
  • For the first time ever, Leonard calls Sheldon's mother 'Mary' rather than 'Mrs. Cooper' when talking to her.
  • Only time Sheldon and Beverly snap at each other.
  • Penny's sister, brother-in-law and nephew and Leonard's brother, sister, brother-in-law and assumed sister-in-law are absent from the wedding. Also, other people who know Leonard and Penny are absent from the wedding, including: Leslie, Emily, Zack, Claire, Alex Jensen, Mandy Chow, Dave Gibbs, Wil Wheaton, Meemaw, Dr. Gallo and Barry Kripke. All this is unknown why, but it's likely because of actor/actress budgeting. While for family members, budgeting is also possible, but another possibility could be forgetting that Leonard and Penny have the absent mentioned-above relatives.
  • Dean Norris portrays USAF|Air Force Officer and Engineer Captain Williams from the Department of Materiel Command, who is interested in the guys' Quantum Gyroscope invention and its possible benefits to the military and has been cast in a multi-episode arc.
    File:The Big Bang Theory - 10x01 - Penny & Leonard's 2nd Wedding

    Penny's Imaginary Wedding - The Big Bang Theory

  • The DoD really has an Air Force Materiel Command which is headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, created in July 1992. The command conducts research, development, test and evaluation, and provides acquisition management services and logistics support for the United States Air Force.
  • Third episode filmed for the tenth season, even though it's the first to air.
  • Second season premiere episode that Beverly appears in after "The Skank Reflex Analysis" (S5E1).
  • Third season premiere episode that Mary appears in after "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation" (S3E1) and "The Matrimonial Momentum" (S9E1).
  • Stuart and Beverly are finally seen speaking to each other after having shared scenes twice, once in "The Celebration Experimentation" and once in "The Line Substitution Solution", without them speaking to each other.
    • According to Stuart, he and Beverly have spoken off-screen before.
  • This episode marks the first time that Sheldon's mother Mary is seen with Bernadette and Stuart, but unfortunately she doesn't talk to them. She also hasn't gotten to talk to Raj, who can now talk to women without alcohol or drugs.
  • This is the first time that Leonard's father Alfred is seen with Howard, Raj, Bernadette and Stuart (after the pullover and Stuart's absence in the previous episode), but he unfortunately doesn't talk to the first three and only speaks to Stuart and unfortunately it's once again unknown if he has already met Howard and Raj before along with Penny and Sheldon and he doesn't talk with Bernadette either, but he does somehow speak to her when he says that he would like to say something at the ceremony when Bernadette asks if anyone has anything snarky to say about Leonard and Penny's vow renewals.
  • Alfred Hofstadter and Mary Cooper enjoyed each other's company, but did not sex|sleep together, though they will continue their friendship.
  • Alfred reveals that he lives in New York.
  • By this episode, Kaley Cuoco's hair has regrown with some extensions, bringing her hairstyle back to the way it was before she cut it after Season 7.
  • As expected, Sheldon has to be a part of it (The wedding ceremony).
  • Still no last name for Penny's family is given even though four of the group are in attendance (including Penny).
  • The Hofstadters had earlier discussed a small church wedding, black tux, and no butterfly release. Small and no releasing butterflies are about the only parts of the description their vow renewal had compared to their first discussion.
  • Penny was one of the gang that married Howard and Bernadette while Bernadette [re]married Leonard and Penny at this ceremony.
  • Bernadette showed during the wedding that she truly loves and cares about Leonard, despite troubles and not having seen too pleasant moments or good moments between them since "The Deception Verification" (S7E2) and "The Cooper Extraction" (S7E11) and there hadn't been scenes with them alone after those two episodes.
  • Third episode of the second Leonard and Penny wedding trilogy.
  • This is where Leonard and Penny are officially married. Penny would be 30 years old and Leonard would be 36 years old.


Wyatt: So, how's the world of pharmaceuticals treating you?
Penny: Pretty good. I actually just got assigned a much better territory.
Susan: See what happens when you work hard?
Randall: Hey, she just sells drugs. I had to make 'em.
Susan: (Crossly) Okay, that's enough. No more drug talk for the rest of this trip.
Wyatt: (Happily) I'll drink to that!
Susan: (Still cross) Haven't you had enough?
Wyatt: Penny drinks more than I do.
Penny: Well, I learned from the best.
Wyatt: Aww.
Penny: Aww.
(They toast with their bottles)

Stuart: Nice to see you again Dr. Hofstadter. I’m uh, Leonard’s friend Stuart.
Beverly Hofstadter: Nice to see you, too.
Stuart: (to Alfred) Hi, I'm Stuart.
Alfred Hofstadter: Oh, I’m Alfred, Leonard’s father.
Stuart: Oh. Oh, hi. Uh. I’m sorry. Did you two want to sit together?
Together: No.
Stuart: I was wondering why the first row was available.
Bernadette: Okay, I think we’re ready.
Amy: {Playing Wagner’s Bridal Chorus on her harp. Penny enters on her Dad’s arm.}
Sheldon: Why do people cry at weddings?
Mary Cooper: They’re practicing for what comes later.
Susan: Thank you for cleaning yourself up for your sister’s wedding.
Randall: And thank you for my new teeth.
Wyatt: Welcome to the family, Leonard. Don’t lend your new brother-in-law money.
Bernadette: We’re here today to celebrate love.
Beverly Hofstadter: (Sigh.)
Alfred Hofstadter: Sigh louder. No one heard you.
Stuart: Really. I can move.
Bernadette: Not just Leonard and Penny’s love, but the love for them as well as each other.
Sheldon: Speaking of love. STD’s among the elderly are skyrocketing.
Bernadette: Love is patient, but it’s not going to put up with all the side-chatter. So let’s knock it off.
Howard: At least she’s yelling at someone else for a change.
Bernadette: Howard!
Penny: Okay, I understand everyone’s a little tense today, so I’m just gonna get to the important stuff. Leonard standing here with you in front of our family and friends is bringing up a lot of feelings. Like what a good idea it was to elope the first time. But also how incredibly happy you make me. Thank you for marrying me. Hopefully for the last time.
Leonard: Penny…as a scientist, my job is to figure out why things happen. But I don’t think I’ll ever understand how someone like me could get to be with someone like you. You know…maybe…I don’t need to understand it, I just need to be grateful. I love you Penny.
Penny: Oh.
Bernadette: Anybody have anything snarky to say about that? Didn’t think so.
Alfred Hofstadter: I’d like to say something. Beverly, I know that we don’t bring out the best in each other. But something wonderful did come out of our relationship: that young man right there.
Beverly Hofstadter: I couldn’t agree more.
Stuart: That’s beautiful.
Bernadette: Thank you. All right, let’s continue.
Sheldon: Yeah, excuse me. I need to say something to someone pretty special. I just can’t wait any longer.
Amy: It’s happening.
Sheldon: Leonard. You and I have had our ups and downs. But I have always considered you my family. Even before the recent threat of our parents fornicating like wrinkly old rabbits. I don’t always show it, but you are of great importance to me. Both of you.
Penny: Oh.
Leonard: Thank you.
Bernadette: Okay. I now pronounce you husband and wife. And the weird other husband that came with the apartment.

Beverly: I wanted to thank you for going through all the trouble of planning a second wedding ceremony for me, but unfortunately I cannot attend.
Leonard: Well, why? What’s wrong?
Sheldon: What—are we still doing the dumb thing? Okay, why, what’s wrong?
Beverly: I just cannot stay here while your father goes out of his way to humiliate me.
Sheldon: Oh, golly. However did he humiliate you??
Beverly: Stop it, Sheldon.
Sheldon: Do I say “stop what” or just throw in the towel?
Beverly: I don’t see why I should have to watch your father parade around with some Bible-thumping bumpkin.
Sheldon: Oh, excuse me; that is my mother you’re talking about, however accurately.
Penny: Okay, Beverly, aren’t you overreacting a little? All we know is they shared a cab and had a night cap.
Sheldon: And turned their phones off.
Leonard: Not helping, buddy. Mother, Penny and I really want you to be part of this. Please stay.
Penny: Yeah, plus if you leave, Alfred will know he got under your skin.
Beverly: We can’t have that.

Sheldon: So, did you defile my mother or not?
Mary: Sheldon! You’re being rude.
Alfred: If I may, I can assure you, your mother and I did nothing more than share a cab and a conversation.
Sheldon: Did that conversation include the phrase: Your genitals are a joy to behold?
Mary: That’s enough.
Alfred: Look, I promise you, neither I, nor anyone, has ever said that!
Leonard: You don’t know his girlfriend very well.

Susan: Penny, I don’t know what I was worried about. Your friends are just lovely.
Penny: Oh, thanks, Mom.
Susan: Although that Sheldon is a bit peculiar.
Penny: Is he? I never noticed.
Wyatt: He reminds me of that turkey we had who drowned looking up at the rain. [Laughter.]
Randall: (Panicking) Cops! Cops! Be Cool!


See also[]