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"The Gorilla Dissolution" is the twenty-third and penultimate episode of the seventh season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode first aired on Thursday, May 8, 2014.


Penny gets fired from her movie and takes a serious look at her life decisions. Raj and Sheldon go to the movies and see Emily on a date with another guy, causing Raj to think about his relationship with her. Mrs. Wolowitz breaks her leg, and Howard and Bernadette have to become her care-givers.

Extended Plot[]

In the Wolowitz house, Howard, Bernadette and Raj are moving an exercise machine up the stairs for Mrs. Wolowitz to use. She claims to get plenty of exercise; however, according to Howard crushing his "will to live" is not exercise. The machine moves to the top of the stairs and is going to be set up in Howard's bedroom. Howard insists that he knows how to assemble it as he lets go of the box and it slides down the stairs, hitting Howard's mother and breaking her leg. As Mrs. Wolowitz cries out in pain, she declares that she knew that the machine would kill her.

During dinner at Apartment 4A the gang is talking about doing something for Howard's mother, while all Sheldon wants to talk about is going to see the new Spider-Man movie. Penny joins them and has decided to stop complaining about how horrible her movie is and be the best bisexual former go-go dancer slowly transforming into a killer gorilla anyone has ever seen. Leonard tells her that the bisexual go dancing killer gorilla from "Schindler's List" is tough to beat.

Bernadette and Howard are now taking care of his mother who is confined to the downstairs guest room. Howard doesn't think that he can handle caring for her for six to eight weeks. Bernadette would do it for her mother. She is a caring loving person while Howard describes himself as a "putz".

The Gorilla Dissolution 13

Emily is on a date.

The alternative is getting a nurse preferably from a third-world country that is used to suffering and smells. The caregiver could also listen to their ethnic music while taking care of Mrs. Wolowitz. She again calls out for help and Bernadette gets up to go to her. Howard asks if she wants to hear some Polish music to which Bernie tells him that her husband is a "putz". Sheldon and Raj are attending the movies together after everyone else had turned him down. Sheldon brought his own 3-D glasses so that he doesn't get nose of bridge herpes. Raj spots Emily and introduces her to Sheldon. Sheldon wants Emily to check out his forehead because he went outside without sunblock. Emily leaves before her movie starts and is then joined by another man. They leave as Emily tells him that she'll call him. Sheldon describes that as awkward and is glad that he was right because otherwise he was worried that she saw something on his forehead.

The Gorilla Dissolution 08

Penny wants to turn out a good performance.

On the Serial Ape-ist 2 movie set, Penny and Wil Wheaton are in a laboratory with Penny in a cage. Wil's character pleads with her not to shut him out as a very hairy Penny is angry that he mixed her DNA with that of a killer gorilla. Wil still loves her and wants to find a way to change her back. Penny also loves him, but now loves killing more and is afraid that she'll hurt him as she growls and snarls at him. The scene is cut and the next scene is set up. Penny wants to take the shot again so she can do it better. The movie's jaded, pretentious British director doesn't care, admitting the movie is garbage. He cruelly states Penny should be happy, since if it was a good movie, she wouldn't be in it. Leonard who is on the set watching and reciting all of Penny's lines sticks up for his girlfriend. The director orders him off the set. Penny tells him that Leonard was with her, so the director orders her off the set and fires her. They just filmed the last scene where they see her face and someone else can wear the gorilla mask as her character. Wil Wheaton stands up for her, and the scene cuts to a bar where Wil comments how fast their job situation fell apart, implying that he was fired too.

In apartment 4A, Sheldon is making tea for Raj who is upset about seeing Emily at the movies with another guy. Sheldon believes that he needs to make Chai tea for Raj since he is upset and Indian, but he doesn't have all the ingredients. Instead, he decides to make English Breakfast tea because the English destroyed India's culture }. Sheldon feels that he would never see Amy with another man because they have an ironclad Relationship Agreement. She cannot have physical contact with any man, and neither he nor Raj have had sex with their ladies. He tells Raj to stick to his guns because there will be a lot of pressure to have sex together.


Leonard proposes and Penny accepts.

At the Wolowitz house, Howard and Bernadette are watching television when Mrs. Wolowitz says that she is hungry again. Bernie explains that Howard keeps asking about having a baby and that taking care of his mother is just like taking care of a baby. She says that Howard can't expect her to do all the work of taking care of their children.

Raj is at his apartment and Emily comes over to talk. The guy was her tattoo artist who had been asking her out for weeks and she did so just to end the obligation. She really hopes that everything is okay between them even though they are officially going together. She mentions the tattoo on her shoulder, one that is not on her shoulder and one that is REALLY not on her shoulder. It has been a long time since Raj has seen something REALLY not on someone's shoulder. Emily suggests that if he'll show her his pierced belly button, he can see all her tattoos. They start to kiss and she then spends the night.

Leonard and Penny are back in her apartment after a long tiring day. Penny wants to start making smarter decisions about her life. She says that they could get married and Leonard asks her to be serious. Leonard asks her if he is a smart decision, like choosing a healthy, boring bran muffin. Penny doesn't care what pastry he is because she is CHOOSING HIM. Leonard is still talking about being a pastry like a strawberry Pop Tart that she is excited about. Penny tells him to forget about it. Leonard does want to marry her, but feels that she is just feeling sorry for herself because she was fired. Penny explains that it may seem that way, but getting fired made her think that fame and fortune is not what is going make her happy.


Happy and engaged.

 Leonard wants to know what she needs. "You, you stupid Pop Tart!" Leonard finally says that he guesses that he is in, which also bothers Penny. Leonard then retorts that it is an 

The Gorilla Dissolution 01

To Team Putz!

excited "I guess, I'm in!" and they agree that they are engaged which seems somewhat anti-climactic. To change the mood, Leonard pulls a diamond ring out of his wallet that he has had for a couple of years, gets down on one knee and asks Penny formally. Penny says "yes" and he slips the ring on her finger that still has ape hair glued to it and they embrace.

Finally, Howard and Bernadette are having coffee and feel like they are going to get through their caretaker issues. Mrs. W. calls out for some pancakes. A nurse comes out of the kitchen with her meal as Bernie and Howard toast themselves as "Team Putz".



  • Jesse Schedeen for IGN- "The Gorilla Dissolution" divided its time pretty evenly among three pairings - Howard and Bernadette, Leonard and Penny, and Sheldon and Raj. Only poor Amy was mostly left out of the fun,...One would think Sheldon would be completely ill-equipped to guide Raj through his latest heartbreak. But maybe Professor Proton's parting wisdom from last week is still rubbing off on Sheldon. He offered some surprisingly sound advice At this point, Sheldon is in danger of becoming a well-adjusted person. It was almost a relief to see him shoo Raj out the door so he could stick to his rigid bedtime. Another thing Season 7 has been better about is using Sheldon a little more sparingly...And Leonard directly addressed the notion that he's her safety net in life. Calling Leonard "the bran muffin" of Penny's life is pretty apt. So it was yet another awkward, fumbling marriage proposal. But the writing and the acting sold the ordeal enough that I was willing to accept that this is finally the right time for Leonard and Penny to stop screwing around and move their relationship forward...At least the payoff was worth it."
  • Dhruv Rao of The DR Club gave the episode an A grade, stating that, "the anticlimactic engagement followed by the romantic proposal was another plus point." [1]
  • IMDb user reviews [2]


  • Title Reference: Penny's role of the girl/gorilla clone ends after she is fired from the movie.
  • Taping date: April 15, 2014.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card. [3]
  • This episode was watched by 14.42 million people with a rating of 3.8 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 20.82 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #1 for the week ending May 11, 2014.
  • This episode aired in Canada on May 8, 2014.
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on July 3, 2014.
  • Episode transcript [4]

Costume Notes[]

  • Sheldon wears his red "Run Flash Bolt" t-shirt and his distressed Batman logo on black t-shirt.
  • Leonard wears his white on green "Recycle Logo" t-shirt.


  • Penny and Leonard are finally engaged after numerous rejected proposals:
  • Third appearance of Wil Wheaton in the seventh season; the most appearances Wheaton has made in any season.
  • Leonard is drinking Negra Model and Penny and Wil Wheaton are drinking Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in the bar.
  • Howard and Bernadette are only seen in Mrs. Wolowitz's house in this episode and they share no scenes with Amy, Leonard, Penny and Sheldon in this episode. As of this episode until Season 9's "The Celebration Experimentation" (S9E17), Bernadette is still so far the only gang member who hasn't met up with Wil Wheaton since "The Discovery Dissipation" (S7E10), "The Indecision Amalgamation" (S7E19), five previous season episodes (1: S3E5, 2: S4E8, 3: S5E5, 4: S5E22 and 5: S6E7) and her absent appearance in Season 3's "The Wheaton Recurrence" (S3E19).
  • Penny's role as Anne Frank in a theater above a bowling alley was mentioned in "The Terminator Decoupling" (S2E17) and "The Psychic Vortex" (S3E12), and she won the role for the hemorrhoid TV commercial in "The Skank Reflex Analysis" (S5E1).
  • Sheldon referred to Penny as a gorilla when he tried to teach her physics in "The Gorilla Experiment" (S3E10).
  • Amy only appears in one scene in this episode.
  • Bernadette previously called Howard a 'putz' in "The Engagement Reaction" (S4E23).
  • Raj and Emily consummate getting past their jealousy issues in their relationship.
  • Like in "The Proton Resurgence" (S6E22), Howard and Bernadette again talk about one day starting a family and being prepared to take care of their own baby.
  • It gets pretty obvious Sheldon is happy and secure with his relationship with Amy since he points out that he's not afraid of Amy being with someone else because she cannot have physical contact with another person, but him, despite that they haven't had sex yet. In "The Cooper/Kripke Inversion" (S6E14) and "The Love Spell Potential" (S6E23), he has admitted openly that he might someday have sex with Amy, so his happiness may be unseen partial excitement on looking forward to that day. Another reason Sheldon is happy is that they are in a steady relationship, which ironically began when Sheldon became jealous of Amy and Stuart on a date in "The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition" (S5E10).
  • Behind the director is a gorilla mask with a blonde wig which would be Penny's final transformation into her bi-sexual killer go-go dancing gorilla character.
  • The scene where Howard and Raj are struggling to bring an exercise machine upstairs only for it to slide onto someone off-screen is similar to the scene in "The Nerdvana Annihilation" (S1E14) where the nerds struggle to bring a prop time machine upstairs only for it to slide onto Howard and Raj off-screen or in "The Big Bran Hypothesis" (S1E2) where Sheldon and Leonard are bringing Penny's new entertainment center up the stairs.
  • Second episode where someone sees their love interest with another man and Sheldon helps them with their problem. First was "The Fuzzy Boots Corollary" (S1E3).
  • Second episode where Howard impersonates Bernadette. First was "The Holographic Excitation" (S6E5).
  • Leonard and Penny get engaged exactly two years, by episode number, after Leonard proposed to her during sex in "The Launch Acceleration" (S5E23).
  • From the pilot: "Leonard: Our babies will be smart and beautiful" "Sheldon: Not to mention imaginary." With the news of their engagement, Leonard's first crush reaction about Penny will become a reality. What Leonard doesn't realize is the odds are the same for their children to be dumb and plain (His looks and Penny's brains).
  • Wil Wheaton getting an audition for Sharknado turned out to be true: he had a small role as an airline passenger in Sharknado 2: The Second One. Either this was purely a coincidence, or the writers added it because they already knew that Wheaton would be in the film.
  • In "The Anything Can Happen Recurrence" (S7E21), Bernadette states that Penny bought a watch for Leonard on his birthday with money she took out from his wallet. This action means that Penny should have seen the engagement ring before the actual proposal and wouldn't have been so surprised.
  • Leonard tells Penny that he has had the ring for a couple of years that dates back to the time he proposed to her while having sex.
  • The outfit Penny wore when Leonard proposed is the same one she would eventually wear in "The Commitment Determination", when she suggests they elope.
  • An interesting (and circumstantial) piece of trivia. It's roughly about this point in the series that Amy begins, more and more, to distinguish between "monkeys" and "apes" when mentioning her experimental animals. Previously she never bothered with this and everything simian was just a monkey. Regardless of whether the experimental animal was a Capuchin (true monkey) or an orangutan (definitely and unambiguously a true ape). Only the more ignorant people, either consciously or carelessly (like Penny's director) persist in using the catch-all "monkeys". Leaving aside that an academic like Amy should be aware of the distinction anyway, this appears, perhaps, to be a tribute to one corner of the sci-fi/fantasy world where the distinction between "monkey" and "ape" is truly a life-or-death choice of words. In Sir Terry Pratchett's ''Discworld" series of fantasy novels, the Librarian of Unseen University - a place very like Caltech for oddball academics and seething rivalries - is a sentient orangutan. Who takes direct and drastic action against anyone who cannot get the terminology right and calls him a "monkey". Now somebody in the Caltech gang (or the TBBT production crew) must have read the Discworld books, or at least the graphic novels. And they'd know that the surefire way of pressing an ape's Berserk Button is to call one a mere "monkey". Another shout-out to a widely-read and influential fantasy series?


Raj: Aren't you going to get 3-D glasses?
Sheldon: Oh, I brought my own. No sense of risking bridge-of-nose herpes.
Raj: Is that a real thing?
Sheldon: Well, until they invent nose condoms, I'm not finding out.

Penny: There’s no reason why I shouldn't be the best bisexual go-go dancer slowly transforming into a killer gorilla that anyone has ever seen.
Leonard: I don’t know. The bisexual killer gorilla go-go dancer in “Schindler’s List” is tough to beat.

Penny: Oh my God, What a day.
Leonard: Can I get you anything?
Penny: No. I need to start making some smart decisions.
Leonard: With your career?
Penny: No. With my life.
Leonard: Like what?
Penny: I don’t know. We could get married.
Leonard: Come on, be serious.
Penny: I am.
Leonard: Why? Because I’m a smart decision?
Penny: Well, yeah.
Leonard: So I’m like a bran muffin.
Penny: Well, no. That’s not what I’m saying.
Leonard: No, it’s exactly what you’re saying. I’m the boring thing you’re choosing because I’m good for you.
Penny: What does it matter? The point is I’m choosing you.
Leonard: Well, it matters a lot. I don’t want to be a bran muffin. I want to be a Cinnabon, you know? A strawberry Pop Tart. Something you’re excited about even though it could give you diabetes.
Penny: Sweetie, you can be any pastry you want.
Leonard: No, no, no. It’s too late. I’m your bran muffin. Probably fat-free and good for your colon.
Penny: You know what? Forget it. I should've never brought it up.
Leonard: You know I want to marry you., but you’re only doing this because you got fired and you’re feeling sorry for yourself.
Penny: Okay, it may look that way, but getting fired from that movie was the best thing that could ever happen to me, okay? I finally realize I don't need to be famous or have some big career to be happy.
Leonard: Then what do you need?
Penny: You, you stupid Pop Tart!
Leonard: Oh. Then I guess I’m in.
Penny: Really? You guess you’re in?
Leonard: Not like “I guess I’m in:” Like “I guess…I’m IN!”
Penny: All right. Cool.
Leonard: So is that it? Are we engaged?
Penny: Yeah, I think so.
Leonard: All right.
Penny: What’s wrong?
Leonard: I’m not sure. Just feels a little anticlimactic.
Penny: Yeah, it kind of does, huh?
Leonard: Oh, I know. This might help.
Penny: Where did you get a ring?
Leonard: I've had it for a couple of years, not important. (Gets on one knee) Penny, will you marry me?
Penny: Oh, my God. Yes.
Leonard: (puts the ring on Penny's finger) This would have been so much more romantic if you didn't have monkey hair on your finger.
(they kiss and embrace)

Director: And action.
Wil: Please don’t shut me out.
Penny: Go away. Just go away.
Wil: I swear, I will find a way to turn you back.
Penny: What gave you the right to mix my DNA with that of a killer gorilla?
Wil: I was trying to save your life.
Penny: Life? What life? Look at me I’m a monster! And now I have blood on my hands or paws. I don’t know.
Wil: You can’t give up. I love you.
Penny: I love you too. But I’m afraid I love killing more. Like, one day, I might actually try and kill you. [Ape screaming at him.]
Director: And cut. All right. All right, let’s set up for the next scene.
Penny: Actually, you know what? Can we do one more? I think I could do it better.
Director: Let’s just move on. No one cares.
Penny: Well, I care. I mean, look. IF we’re gonna do this, why not try and make it something we’re actually proud of?
Director: Look sweetie, this movie is garbage, but you should be happy about that, ‘cause if it was a good movie you wouldn't be in it.
Leonard: Whoa, whoa, hang on. There’s no need to insult her.
Director: And who are you?
Leonard: I’m her boyfriend.
Director: Isn't she too hot for you?
Leonard: A little, yeah.
Director: Well, boyfriend. Get off my set.
Penny: You can’t do that. He’s with me.
Director: You know what? You can get off my set too. You’re fired.
Penny: What? You can’t fire me. I’m the star. I’m the girl that goes bananas. It says so on the poster.
Director: Yeah, but we just shot the last scene where we see your face. So from now on, the star of the movie is whoever wears this.
Wil: Hey, if you’re gonna fire her, then you have to fire me too. [Everyone is in a bar.] Wow, that fell apart real fast.

(The upstairs scene at the Wolowitz house)
Bernadette: Almost there. You’re doing great.
Howard: Thanks for lifting my spirits. Next time, try lifting the box.
Raj: Please hurry.
Mrs. Wolowitz (offscreen): I DON'T NEED A TREADMILL!
Howard: The doctor says you need to get exercise.
Mrs. Wolowitz (offscreen): I GET PLENTY OF EXERCISE!
Howard: Crushing my will to live isn’t exercise!
Raj: If she isn’t gonna use it, then why are we doing this?
Howard: She’ll use it. All I need is to rig it with a fishing pole and a Honey Baked Ham.
Raj: All right. Now what?
Bernadette: We set it up in Howie’s old room.
Raj: Do you know how to set it up?
Howard: Please, I’m an MIT-trained engineer. I think I can handle… (the treadmill slips back down the stairs) Ma, look out.
(The intro theme song begins)

Sheldon: I know let’s go see the new Spider-Man movie.
Amy: Sheldon, we’re talking about your friend’s mother. She got hurt.
Sheldon: I thought that subject had run its course so I changed it. It’s called reading the room, Amy.

Bernadette: (worried) You think we should get one of those machines to help her up the stairs.
Howard: You mean a forklift?
(Bernadette has a sympathetic glare of anger at the "forklift" idea her husband had said)
Bernadette: (crossly) Howie.
Howard: I’m sorry. I just can’t deal with this right now.
Bernadette: (asking him crossly) Taking care of your own mother? How can you say that?
Howard: Bernie, she’s gonna be off her feet for six to eight weeks. Are you prepared to feed her, wash her and take her to the toilet?
Bernadette: I would do it for my mother.
Howard: Yeah, of course you would, you’re a loving person. I’m what my people would call a putz.
Bernadette: Look, I’m not crazy about the idea, but what other choice do we have?
Howard: We get a nurse. Preferably someone from a third world country who’s used to suffering and unpleasant smells.
Bernadette: You’d hire a total stranger to take care of the woman who raised you? That’s so cruel.
Howard: Not if we pay them well and let them listen to the music of their homeland.
Mrs Wolowitz (offscreen): I NEED TO TINKLE!
Howard: Sounds like a job for a loving person.
(Bernadette now gets off the couch with immediate fury)
Howard: Would you like me to play some Polish music while you carry her to the toilet?
Bernadette: (resentfully) You are a putz!
Howard: As advertised.

Sheldon: I’m sorry. I don’t have all the ingredients to make Chai Tea.
Raj: You don’t have to make me anything.
Sheldon: No, I do. You’re upset about Emily and you’re Indian. I need to make you Chai Tea. I have all the ingredients except cardamom seeds. You happen to have any on you?
Raj: (sarcastically) Sorry, I left them in my turban.

Penny: You know, the only thing worse than being in a movie where they glue monkey hair to your ass is being fired from a movie where they glue monkey hair to your ass.

Penny: It’s easy for you to say. You used to be famous.
Wil: Penny, it’s not about being famous, it’s about the art, it’s about the passion you have for our craft. I have an audition for Sharknado 2.

Sheldon: Well, good night.
Raj: Don’t send me home. I can’t be alone right now.
Sheldon: That’s your problem. You can’t be alone.

Bernadette: Howie, I’m back!
(Howard enters the living room shushing his wife)
Howard: (whispering) Shh, I just got her to sleep.
Bernadette: (ashamed) Sorry.
Howard: (whispering aggressively) What took you so long? The grocery store is a few blocks away.
Bernadette: They only had regular yogurt. I had to go to a different store to get the extra-fat kind your mom likes.
Howard: (he's whispering sensitively with suspicion) Then why do I smell coffee on your breath?
Bernadette: So what? After two days of taking care of her, excuse me for stopping to get a mocha.
Howard: (he's whispering more tersely) A mocha? Well, it must be nice to be queen.
Bernadette: (in disbelief, her voice becoming more high-pitched) Queen? I’ve been killing myself here.
Howard: Well, whose fault is that? I wanted to get a nurse, but you were all, (he talks in Bernadette's voice) "I’m nice, I want to take care of people".
(Bernadette angrily throws her handbag off her body, she rolls up the handbag handles in a big rage and she slams it down on the coffee table in huge fury).
Bernadette: (getting angry) I’m glad I got that mocha! And you know what else I’m glad about? (she yells loudly like Mrs. Wolowitz) I BOUGHT YOU A BROWNIE AND I ATE IT IN THE CAR!
Mrs Wolowitz (moaning off-screen): Howaaahd.
Howard: (he whispers with anger for the final time) Thanks a lot. Now I have to go rub her belly again.
(Howard now huffs out of the living room)

Raj: Hey.
Emily: Thanks for letting me come over.
Raj: Okay, please come in.
Emily: I just wanted to say how sorry I was about tonight and I wanted to make sure we’re OK.
Raj: Look, you and I haven’t made any commitments to each other.
Emily: I know. I just felt like I needed to explain. This guy did my last tattoo and he has been asking me out for months. I finally said yes just to get it over with.
Raj: It’s okay.
Emily: Really?
Raj: Well, I mean, yeah, it freaked me out a little, but that's my issue, not yours.
Emily: Wow. IF I saw you out with another woman, I'd be pretty upset.
Raj: Thank you. Not for just being upset, but for believing that could happen.
Emily: Just so you know, I’m not seeing anyone else.
Raj: Well, me neither.
Emily: Okay.
Raj: Please. So you have tattoos?
Emily: Yeah.
Raj: I don’t. I have a hole in my belly button that may or may not have been a piercing.
Emily: That’s cool.
Raj: It’s a piercing. So how many tattoos?
Emily: One on my shoulder, one not on my shoulder and one really not on my shoulder.
Raj: It’s been a long time since a girl’s “really not my shoulder”.
Emily: Well, how about you show me your piercing and I show you my tattoos? [Kiss.]
Raj: But before I take my shirt off I need about ten minutes to do some crunches.



  • [5] Taping Report by Moyra and Chloe