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"The Gyroscopic Collapse" is the twenty-third episode and penultimate episode of the tenth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, May 4, 2017.


Amy is offered a fellowship at Princeton. Raj also has made some new living arrangements and Colonel Williams takes over the gyroscopic project, confiscating it from Leonard, Howard, and Sheldon, much to their disbelief.

Extended Plot[]

The gang gathers in apartment 4A for a toast to celebrate the guys completing their gyroscope project. Raj keeps mentioning that they didn't ask for his help. Now they have to start the testing phase of the project.

The next day when the guys get into their lab, they discover that everything related to the project has been removed. Calling their USAF|Air Force contact, Richard Williams, he says that the Dept. of Defense will be taking over the project. Where the project has been taken and when they might get to it is classified and he can't tell them.


You should support Amy.

Getting ready for dinner in apartment 4A, Raj explains that he is moving out and taking an apartment over Bert’s garage. Amy announces that she had been offered a summer position at Princeton University and wonders whether Sheldon can handle her being away for months.

Coming up the stairs with dinner, the guys complain about how easily the federal government could make their project disappear and how easily they could do it to them. Opening the apartment door, they find a completely empty apartment. Have they done it again? Leonard notices that they had walked into apartment 3A downstairs. Reaching the girls, they first mention what the government did and then they want to change the subject. After Penny points out that Amy has got good news, Amy instead mentions that Raj is moving out.

On the way home, Bernadette wonders if Howard if is okay. Howard replies that he thinks he's wasted an entire yea, but Bernadette reacts that they did have another important accomplishment in the past year.

Penny asks on the phone with Amy whether he has told Sheldon yet. She wonders if she should even go as Sheldon gets up. She made him his favorite kind of oatmeal – plain. Sheldon then says that he can't remember how he got by without her. Also that they could work some more on their quantum cognition project with Amy. Amy hesitates so Sheldon wonders if there's something she is not telling him. Amy describes her opportunity. Sheldon praises Princeton University, congratulates her and insists she must take it. She wonders how he will be when she is gone. Sheldon says that he'll be fine without her, but he quickly retreats to the bedroom.

While walking Halley, Bernadette wonders about Amy's job in New Jersey. Amy thinks that Sheldon is too vulnerable. Penny insists that Sheldon wouldn't think twice about taking the job. The girls insist that Amy should take the job. Howard catches up getting very needy with Bernadette.

Walking down the stairs, Leonard is happily helping Raj move out. They find Sheldon in the empty apartment 3A. Raj tries to help cheer up Sheldon saying that with him gone, he can move back into his old room. Leonard ushers Raj out with that unwanted advice. Leonard tells Sheldon that he's being silly and that he should show Amy how much he loves and supports her.


Amy heading to Princeton.

Needy Howard waits outside the bathroom telling Bernadette how much he missed her even though she had been in there a short time. Bernadette talks to Howard seriously about how needy in gets in between his projects. Howard reminds her that she does the same thing when her projects end. They both agree and then fall into bed together.

Sheldon returns home with a suitcase as a gift for Amy to go with his apology. He is not looking forward to it, but can see that this is an opportunity that Amy cannot pass up. Amy appreciated it and kisses him. Sheldon suggests an unscheduled non-birthday session of bedroom coitus. She is interested, too, so they go to the bedroom to engage in “frenzied love making” though they have to neatly fold up their clothes. In the hallway, Raj returns Leonard and Penny’s key. He thanks them, but is interrupted by shouts from Sheldon and Amy’s apartment. Raj makes a hasty exit while Leonard wonders if they should give Shamy their privacy. Penny doesn’t want to leave until Sheldon shouts “Whoopee!”

Amy wheels her suitcase out of the bedroom as Sheldon offers to walk her to her car. She wonders about him being along, while Sheldon is worried he might become strange and eccentric. Amy doesn't seem too worried about that. Sheldon wants Amy to Skype him regularly. Sheldon does supports her, but he wants her to call him if she ever finds herself working with a male scientist as tall and smart as him with hair like Thor (Marvel Comics)|Thor.



  • Title Reference: The government takes the guys gyroscope project from them.
  • Taping date: April 18, 2017
  • This episode was watched by 12.39 million people with a rating of 2.5 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 16.57 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #1 for the week ending 6 May 2017.
  • This episode aired in Canada on May 4, 2017.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card. [1]
  • Episode transcript [2]


  • Caroline Preece at Den of Geek! - Maybe I'm just feeling generous today, but I quite like the underwhelming nature of this ending. Our surprise and displacement mirrors that of the characters and we’re left to wonder what's next for them. Will Leonard try to work on his marriage with Penny? Could Howard's post-project clinginess turn into something more destructive? How will Sheldon cope without Amy around to take care of him or a project to distract him?...We learn early in the episode that Amy has been offered a prestigious research fellowship which would take her away to Princeton for months...Amy is about to turn it down in order to protect her relationship, but Leonard explains to Sheldon that he needs to be a more supportive boyfriend. He's completely dependent on her, as he says, but now it's time for the two of them to see how they do without each other for a while. The biggest sign of change is his willingness to have sex at an unscheduled time, and to allow someone breathing room when they so clearly need it. Sheldon stayed living with Leonard for years with little concern for how beneficial it would be for he and Penny to live alone, and that less evolved Sheldon could easily have done the same to Amy by preventing her from pursuing this opportunity. [3]
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Howard had feared that Air Force would take the gyroscopic project away from them and in "The Fermentation Bifurcation" (S9E22), Zack had also believed that the military would get their hands on the project, this episode proves Howard's fears and Zack's words were ultimately correct.
  • Howard's phone reappeared since "The Dumpling Paradox" (S1E7).


Penny: Hey, what's going on?
Leonard: You won't believe it; the military confiscated our project!
Penny: (shocked; sits down next to Bernadette) What?!
Bernadette: (in disbelief) You're kidding! Why would they do that?
Howard: They wouldn't say.
Sheldon: (still outraged) I feel so betrayed. All my life, I thought Uncle Sam was a friendly uncle who gave you presents. Turns out, he's the other kind.
Amy: Sheldon, I am so sorry.

Bernadette: So what happens next?
Howard: It's phase two. We test it, perfect it, and hope to live long enough to see the movie based on our lives starring more attractive versions of ourselves.

Sheldon: All my life I thought Uncle Sam was a friendly uncle who brought you presents. Turns out he's the other kind.

[First lines]

Penny: Champagne, champagne, and for the world's tallest second grader, apple juice.
Sheldon: No bendy straw. Some party.

Leonard: Sir, I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. You came into our lab in the middle of the night and took our prototype and all of our research and didn't even tell us?
Colonel Williams: Sounds like you get it.
Howard: Why would you do that?
Colonel Williams: You guys completed Phase One, we'll take it from here.
Sheldon: Where did you move it?
Colonel Williams: I can't tell you that.
Leonard:Richard Williams: I can't tell you that.
Sheldon: Wait, so you're just going to take all the work we've done for the last year and toss us aside?
Colonel Williams: That one I can tell you: yes.
Howard: This is all very upsetting.
Colonel Williams: I'm sorry to hear that. As you know, the primary focus of the United States Military is people's feelings.
Sheldon: If that's sarcasm, please save it for our enemies.

Howard: How can you work on something for a year and they just take it?
Leonard: I can't believe the Air Force would treat us like that.
Sheldon: You know, I have a good mind to stop paying my taxes. It's too bad I enjoy doing them so much.

Amy: This might cheer you up. I made your favorite oatmeal: plain.

Sheldon: Princeton. A fine institution. It's where Einstein taught. It's also where Leonard got his PhD, so it may have gone downhill since then.

Sheldon: [Walks into an empty apartment by mistake] The Air Force did it again! They're erasing our lives!
Leonard: [Sees number on door] Third floor. Wrong apartment.
Howard: Although, if anyone's gonna clean out your apartment and disappear, it'd be Penny.
Leonard: She might disappear, but she's definitely not going to clean anything.

Leonard: Are you excited to have your own place again?
Raj: I am, but I'll miss you guys.
Leonard: We'll miss you too.
Raj: You could try saying that without smiling.
Leonard: I'm trying. This is the best I can do.

Raj: Come on, Sheldon. Amy's only gone for a few months. And now that I'm moving out, your old room is empty, so you can stay there whenever you want.
Leonard: Raj, could I talk to you on the hall for a second?
Raj: Sure. [Raj steps out, Leonard closes the door behind him and locks it]

Computerized Voice: Leonard Hofstadter. Access granted.
Leonard: I don't care if this thing's burning out my retinas. Makes me feel special.