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"The Geology Elevation" is the ninth episode of the tenth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, November 17, 2016.


Sheldon gets jealous when Bert gets a grant for his geology research. Howard found a disrespectful toy he built of Stephen Hawking.

Extended Plot[]

While having lunch, the guys learn that Bert, the large geologist friend of Amy's, has won a MacArthur Fellowship for a research paper he wrote worth over $500,000. Sheldon is very jealous and congratulates him with sarcasm and then doesn't notice that Leonard sarcastically says that his sarcasm was great.


Bert won the Macarthur Fellowship.

Climbing the stairs with Amy, Penny and Leonard, Sheldon is still cranky complaining about the bicycle on the stairs and whether people still listen to the radio. Amy had heard Bert on the radio explaining that his research could help indicate if there is life on other planets. Amy suggests that he read Bert's paper especially since she has run out of taffy to keep him quiet.

Bernadette is busy on her computer when Howard comes in and introduces her to remote controlled Stephen Hawking, a toy that Howard had built and had just found in a box. The toy can talk and spin around. Bernadette thinks that it is in bad taste while Howard is just having fun.

While Sheldon is reading Bert's research paper, the other guys are watching his reactions. Penny thinks he looks like her emoticons, while Amy finds his noises the same as the night they had sex. Afterwards Sheldon is even angrier now that he knows that his paper is remarkable. Leonard takes him for a walk to cool down.

Howard shows Raj his Stephen Hawking toy and he finds it offensive. Howard says that he found Stephen Hawking to have a great sense of humor so Bernadette challenges Howard to call him to ask the professor's opinion. Howard is about to do it until Bernie asks if he'll think it was funny that the toy Hawking got caught under the refrigerator.


Howard built a toy Stephen Hawkins that everyone finds insensitive.

Walking in the park, Sheldon tells Leonard that he admires him since he doesn't get jealous. Of course, he also thinks that Leonard has done nothing so he shouldn't be jealous of others, which unsurprisingly angers Leonard beyond belief. Sheldon is still angry that someone that studies rocks would better him. He picks up a rock to throw to metaphorically throw away his anger.

Next, Leonard is helping Sheldon back into Apartment 4A as Sheldon complains about his feet. He threw the rock down hitting his foot and then got even angrier and kicked another rock with his other foot. Leonard laughed so hard that he broke a blood vessel in his nose. Sheldon is crying in pain in his spot.

As Amy is applying cold packs to his feet, she tells him that being envious is one thing and that he has to end it since he is injuring himself. Leonard wants to note this so that he wants to record it next time. Amy wants him to appreciate the good things in his life. He has love, his health and a roof over his head. Sheldon then knocks Amy that she has the same things and no one is lining up to be her. Penny tries next and tells him to knock it off because his life is fine. Sheldon agrees which pisses off Amy that she couldn't do that.

Howard shows his remote control toy to Amy and wants to know if it's a loving tribute to a wonderful man. Or is it in poor taste? Yep. Leonard also finds it in poor taste since it can spin around and do tricks. Barry Kripke loves it and wants to send it into the girl's restroom. Howard now considers his mini-Stephen Hawking to be offensive.


No one liked my short hair?

Sheldon limps over to have lunch with the guys. He has a new attitude to worry less about other people and more about himself. Not really a new version of Sheldon. Sheldon thinks that Bert deserves any accolades he get and goes over to congratulate him. Sheldon tells Bert that he read his paper and that his award was well deserved. Bert replies that a lot of people are thinking that lately. Since he won the MacArthur Award, he can nominate others. Since engineers don't get enough respect, he asks Sheldon if Howard is doing anything cool. Sheldon excuses himself, hobbles into the hallway and the cafeteria hears a thud and a scream. Sheldon cries out that he hurt himself again. Leonard leaves to help him and take some pictures.

Sheldon explains to Amy that he tried to punch a water fountain, slipped on the wet floor and then his head hit the water fountain (she initially thought he headbutted the fountain). Bernadette didn't think that Sheldon was that violent. Leonard tells her to think of him as one of The Three Stooges. Sheldon feels that jealousy is illogical. Raj says that he is jealous of the happy relationships his married friends are in, but isn't too impressed with Amy and Sheldon. Leonard is jealous of how wealthy Raj's family is, something Raj loves to hear. Amy is jealous of how beautiful Penny is. Then she was happy that she cut her hair. Why? People were then asking why that hot girl cut her hair. No one liked that she had cut it. Penny is frustrated and then lashes out at Howard's dopey haircut. Others think that it's cute. Now Penny hates all the nerds in the room.

Sheldon goes over to the geology department to talk to Bert and finds a bronze plaque on the wall commemorating his MacArthur award. More jealousy. Sheldon goes into Bert's office and explains his situation. Bert always wanted everyone jealous of him. He thinks that they're both smart and can come up with a solution. Sheldon realizes that Bert is his enemy and that the enemy of his enemy is his friend. Sheldon is his own worst enemy and now Bert is his friend. Bert now wants to go to see the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" show with him. Then Bert reminds him that Sheldon is smart and has a great girlfriend. Bert was interested in Amy, but since he got the grant, he feels that he can do better.


Stephen Hawking helps Sheldon deal with his jealousy.

Back in 4A, the guys learned that Sheldon hurt his hand trying to give Bert a Captain Captain Kirk karate chop. Leonard brings in his laptop so that Sheldon can talk to Professor Hawking to help him feel better. Even Hawking has professional jealousy that he never won a Nobel Prize. Though he has been on "The Simpsons" and "Star Trek". He reminds himself that every scientific advancement is a victory. Sheldon should not waste his time on jealousy since he is so brilliant. Sheldon thanks him and suggests that thre should be statues of him everywhere. It would be easy to replace him with the sitting statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. Hawking wishes that there was a little motorized version of him, an idea that Sheldon supports. Everyone gasps thinking of Howard's toy.

Finally Sheldon and Bert go see the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" show together and Sheldon loves it though he doesn't seem to know who she is.



  • Title Reference: The title refers to Bert's geology subject gets more attention than Sheldon's work. 
  • Taping date: November 1, 2016
  • This episode was watched by 14.34 million people with a rating of 3.1 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 19.92 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #5 for the week ending 20 November 2016.
  • This episode aired in Canada on November 17, 2016.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • Episode transcript [2]


  • Nicholas Graff at - Oddly enough, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is on a hot streak right now, as this week they had yet another solid episode, even with a shorter run time. I honestly think that changing the dynamic by having Sheldon and Leonard not living together, and also letting the guys have more screen time with just the four of them again is going a long way toward bringing the show back to its comedic roots, and they have also been doing a much better job of using the ladies this season, especially Amy. [3]
  • IMDb user reviews [4]


  • This is the second episode that finished with Bert taking one of the guys somewhere he is interested in. The last time, Raj and Howard ended up going to a rock show with Bert in "The Occupation Recalibration."
  • David Underhill won the research grant, the MacArthur Genius Grant who appeared in "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis".
  • Recurring character Barry Kripke returns in this episode.
  • Sheldon finally makes a comment on the bicycle parked in front of The Elevator on the second floor.
  • Bert's full name is revealed to be "Bertram Kibbler".
  • A joke is made about Penny's haircut from Season 8. Like most of Kaley Cuoco's fans, the short hair was disliked by the rest of The Social Group.
  • Howard designed and created a motorized toy of Stephen Hawking. Everyone Howard showed it to, except Kripke, believed it was in bad taste.
    • Ironically, Professor Hawking thought a toy like that would be cool. Sheldon, the only member of the group who didn't see the toy, actually concurred with the idea.
  • The episode of Star Trek referenced by Leonard that Stephen Hawking appeared in was "Descent, Part 1," the sixth-season finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the episode's cold open, he appeared as a holographic version of himself playing poker with Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) and holographic versions of Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.


  • Leonard says that his bedwetting happened until college (And would've been 18 by then since his birthday is in May 1980), but in "The Speckerman Recurrence" (S5E11), he said his bedwetting lasted until 14, an age which is normally for someone in their first year of high school.


Sheldon: I'm so disappointed in myself. Jealousy is completely illogical.
Raj: It's a human emotion, Sheldon. Everyone gets jealous. I'm jealous of Leonard and Penny, and Howard and Bernadette for being in such happy relationships.
Amy: (slightly offended) What about me and Sheldon?
Raj: (unemotionally sarcastic) Sure.
Leonard: I've always been jealous of how much money Raj's family has.
Raj: Thank you for saying that. Next to buying things, that is the best part about having money.
Amy: Well, ever since I met Penny, I've been envious of her looks.
Penny: (touched) Aw, thank you.
Amy: That's why I was so happy when you cut your hair off.
Penny: (shocked) What?!
Amy: You know what I mean. You were still hot, but more of a "Why did that hot girl cut off all her hair" hot!
Penny: Well, you liked my short hair, right?
Leonard: (nervously) Yes, I loved it! Love you, loved your hair, would love to change the subject.
Penny: Seriously? None of you liked it?
Bernadette: I thought it was brave, does that count as liking it?
Penny: You know, how come nobody's talking about Howard's dopey haircut?!
Bernadette: I think he looks cute.
Howard: I think you're cute.
(Bernadette smiles)
Raj: I think you're both cute.
(both Howard and Bernadette are glad to hear that)
Penny: (angry) I think I hate all of you nerds!

(Leonard and Sheldon walking in the park)
Sheldon: I admire you, Leonard.
Leonard: Really? Why?
Sheldon: You're happy with who you are. You don't get jealous of other people. Instead of being weighed down by ambition, you just float along like a dead body in a river.
Leonard: I couldn't just take the compliment. I had to ask why.
(They sit down on a bench)
Leonard: You know, I do understand what you're feeling. My brother and sister's accomplishments have always been held over my head.
Sheldon: How did you deal with it?
Leonard: I wet the bed until college, but I don't think that's a quality fix.
Sheldon: Aw! I can't believe I'm surpassed by a geologist! I mean... (picks up a rock) rocks! He studies rocks! If rock is so great, how come paper beats it? (Realizes something) Leonard, I'm having a primal urge to throw this rock.
Leonard: Do it! Visualize it as your anger and-and-and toss it out of your life!
Sheldon: Perhaps I will.
(They get up from the bench as Sheldon closes his eyes and thinks hard while still holding the rock)
Sheldon: (Thinking) This rock encapsulates all my negative emotions. I will cast you far away. Feel free to take a cast at a pigeon while you're at it.
Leonard: (In a dreamlike voice) Let it fly!
(Sheldon smiles while continuing to hold the rock with his eyes still closed and lifts the rock up and takes a deep breath)
(Leonard brings Sheldon into 4A; Sheldon's feet are hurt)
Sheldon: (in pain) Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow...
Amy: (concerned) What happened?
Sheldon: I tried to let go of anger, and threw a rock into my foot!
Leonard: Then, he got more angry and kicked the rock with his other foot.
Penny: (notices the tissue in Leonard's right nostril) And what happened to you?
Leonard: (smiling) Oh, I laughed so heard, I burst a blood vessel in my nose! It's fine!

Hawking: I always thought a motorized toy of me would be cool.
Sheldon: (impressed) What a wonderful idea! I mean, how does this man not have a Nobel?!
Leonard: (half-whisper) Do not tell Wolowitz.
Amy: Way ahead of you.