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"The Neonatal Nomenclature"[1] is the sixteenth episode of the eleventh season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, March 1, 2018.


When Bernadette won't go into labor, all her friends try different tactics to get things started. Also, Wolowitz confronts Bernadette after Amy accidentally reveals she's already chosen their son's name.[2]

Extended Plot[]

A very pregnant Bernadette wakes up Howard to tell him that she is heading to the hospital despite no contractions because “this crap has to end”. Howard tells her that Halley was two weeks late, which doesn't amuse Bernie. She tells him to go back to sleep until she suggests that having sex can induce labor. Howard instantly volunteers to help her out.

Having lunch at Caltech, Sheldon exclaims that it is Bernadette's due date since it is forty weeks from her last period. Howard describes the hard time that Bernadette is having though he did get to have sex twice the previous night. Sheldon then boasts that his coital tally is up to four though Leonard tells him that that is not bragging. Amy stops by and wants Howard to finish some drawings for their financial grant. He agrees as the others volunteer to help keep Bernadette company.


Who's Micheal?

Penny wanders into the Wolowitz House and finds Bernadette resting on the stairs from her descend from the second floor. Penny offers to help, so Bernie tells her to get a rubber glove and start pulling. Since she grew up on a farm, Penny’ll be glad to help. According to Penny's pregnant yoga instructor, she has some yoga poses that put her into labor. First Bernadette gets upset that Penny is exposing her really flat belly. Then she tries a deep knee bend and can't get up, so Penny takes her picture.

Raj next tells her that there is an acupuncture point right above her ankles that can induce contractions. Bernadette warns him that she has swollen feet that really surprise Raj. Her ankles don't look to him like he just popped open a can of crescent rolls he lies to her.

Leonard explains that his mother feels that if she isn't mentally prepared, that her body won't go into labor. Bernadette objects that that could mean that it is her fault.

Sheldon is at the door not to help her go into labor, but to keep her company by playing to most complicated board game ever “Campaign for North Africa”. Bernie looks down and tells the kid that if he comes out, she'll buy him a pony.

Running out of time on their grant proposal, Howard substitutes one diagram with a picture of Doc Brown's flux capacitor from “Back to the Future”. He really wants to be there when Amy presents the proposal. Amy feels that he should spend more time with Michael. Michael? Amy says that that is his son, though Howard insists that they don't have a name yet for him. He gets upset that Bernadette knows that he doesn't want to name him after his father-in-law.

Sheldon has the game laid out all over the living room rug. Bernadette is not happy especially since Sheldon tells her that it will take 5–8 weeks to play the game. First they have to determine the weather. Bernie figures that the desert will be hot. After some game play, Sheldon concurs. Howard comes in with Amy complaining about her picking out the kid's name. Bernadette deflects him that she was now in the middle of a game.

Howard goes into the kitchen to talk to his wife who takes a long time to waddle into the room. Bernadette brushes him off that she already mentioned it or at least told Amy. Howard does not want his son named after his father-in-law. Bernadette quietly says that he is dying – well someday the way he eats. He wants them to agree on a name. Bernie says that is fine though she carried it for nine months, stayed in bed for four months and sacrificed her job for the kid.

Amy is worried that she got Bernadette into trouble, but Sheldon doesn't want to leave since they were playing a game. Leonard, Penny and Raj walk in with Chinese food. Sheldon invited them over, but he just wanted them to help play the game which is better with 5-10 players.

Still discussing the boy's name, Bernadette wants to know what name Howard likes. Harry like Harry Potter|Potter or Harry Houdini? Harry, Al, Max, Ted or Kevin? Unfortunately, they are all the names of some of Bernie's old boyfriends. Sheldon comes in wanting Bernadette to rejoin the game.

Later everyone is discussing names. Penny likes the name Christian. Howard thinks that that sounds a little too uncircumcised. Bernadette suggests Greg while Sheldon can't stop playing the game. Sheldon mentions General Sherman so Raj suggests Sherman Wolowitz. Leonard figures that that is a kid who will take his mother to the prom like Howard. Bernie suggests Paul whom Howard likes until Raj goes as in “Koothrap-Paul-li”. Sheldon asks Penny for her opinion as logistics commanders to which she immediately surrenders. To get everyone back to playing, Sheldon suggest Ranatanata, Ozymandias and Bysshe. Bernie has a contraction so they decide to head to the hospital because she doesn't want to hear Sheldon saying “mucus plug” a second time. The rest of the gang stay to watch Halley as the Wolowitzes escape Sheldon's game.

On the way to the hospital Bernadette feels a bit woozy, but she can't wait to meet their son. Howard is also excited. He is also even ready for labor except where his wife squeezes his fingers till they turn blue. Bernadette apologizes and admits that that must be very painful. Howard realizes she is quietly being sarcastic as another big contraction hits. Then she is sorry about sneaking in a name for the baby. He is really part of both of them and will be amazing, funny and smart. Though Howard adds that if he is taller than five foot six, it will be a miracle.

Back in the living room, Amy and Leonard are arguing over who gets to use the name Elliot. Penny wants to know when her husband picked out their kids names. It was not long after Leonard first met Penny. Sheldon surprises Amy that he has thought about their kids and he knows that they'll be exceptional. Raj asks how many they want. Simultaneously, Amy: Two; Sheldon: Fifteen though he is willing to contract some of them out. Penny refuses to help.


The baby came!!

Later everyone is asleep when Sheldon wakes them up with bad news. They made miscalculations in the game and they have to start over where the tanks started moving. The time was now 2:30 AM, so Raj calls to check on Bernadette. Howard reports that his son was born an hour ago and that he didn't call Raj because he was visiting with his son, Neil Michael. Neil for Armstrong, Gaiman and Diamond. Michael because Bernadette had to have six stitches. But Bernadette shouts that they are calling him Michael and Howard isn't going to fight her. The kid's head came out the size of a cantaloupe.



  • Title Reference: The title refers to the naming of the second Wolowitz baby.
  • Taping date: January 30, 2018
  • This episode was watched by 13.75 million people with a rating of 2.5 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 18.58 million.
  • This episode aired in Canada on March 1, 2018.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card. [1]


  • Caroline Preece at Den of Geek! - We all know that the story line and Bernadette's role in the season was dependent on Melissa Rauch's real-life pregnancy, but wow, how it's dragged. Having a central character on bed rest is never fun...There's some fun to be had from seeing each member of the group go to the house in turn and try to entertain the mother-to-be...A nice little sequence to come out of the episode is the two remaining couples - Sheldon and Amy, Leonard and Penny - realizing that they've both been thinking about having their own kids...A couple of chuckles here and there, too - Bernadette taking offence at Penny's ridiculously flat stomach on display as they work out, and the delayed humor of seeing her waddle after Howard into the kitchen during their argument. Rauch does some lovely work during an episode completely carried by her. [2]
  • IMDb user reviews [3]


  • Though Bernadette is still pregnant in this episode, actress Melissa Rauch no longer is; she gave birth to her daughter, Sadie, in December 2017.
  • Bernadette wants to name their son Michael after her father. Howard most emphatically does not.
  • After discussing many names during the episode (some good, some ridiculous), the baby's name is ultimately revealed to be Neil Michael Wolowitz: Neil for astronaut Neil Armstrong, author Neil Gaiman, and singer Neil Diamond, and Michael for Bernadette's father. Bernadette, however, demands that he be called by his middle name, which Howard doesn't object to seeing as how she needed stitches due to the size of the baby's head.
  • Bernadette reveals that her father is dying... someday, due to his diet. This of course was just a ploy to get Howard to agree to the name Michael.
    • This has Howard questioning if it is because of her pregnancy hormones or if she has always been a lunatic. Bernadette admits she doesn't even know anymore.
  • People their son might have been or were named after:
    • Harry Potter - Main character from a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling.
    • Harry Houdini - Austro-Hungarian/American illusionist noted for his sensational escape acts.
    • Neil Armstrong - American astronaut who was the first person to walk on the moon.
    • Neil Gaiman - English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films of European Jewish ancestry. (Gaiman would later make a cameo appearance in "The Comet Polarization.")
    • Neil Diamond - American singer-songwriter, musician, and actor.
  • Amy has connections with both of the Wolowitz children. The first, Halley, was born on her birthday, and the second was named after Neil Diamond, a singer liked by both her and Howard.
  • Both Neil and Halley remained "heard but not seen" until the series finale "The Stockholm Syndrome".
  • Ozymandias, in addition to being the name of a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley and the Greek name for Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II, has a comic book connection: it is the superhero name of the character Adrian Veidt in the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel Watchmen.
  • Second episode to have the birth of a baby and a Wolowitz baby.


Bernadette: Howie. Howie, wake up. It's time.
Howard:[waking up] Oh. Did your water break?
Bernadette: No.
Howard: Are you feeling any contractions?
Bernadette: No.
Howard: [she starts to climb out of bed] Wait. Well, where are you going?
Bernadette: To the hospital. Today's my due date, and this crap needs to end now.

Howard: Honey, babies don't always come on their due date. Halley was two weeks late. [seeing her expression] But this baby's a boy. They don't take as long to get ready.
Bernadette: What are you doing?
Howard: I'm making the situation better with humor.
Bernadette: Are you?
Howard: Would you rather me make it better with magic?
Bernadette: Go back to sleep.
Howard: Ta-da! [he flops back onto his pillow]
Bernadette: [after a moment of silence] You know, I hear that sex can induce labor.
Howard: [popping back up] Anything for my family.

Sheldon: I believe today is Bernadette's due date.
Howard: Yeah. How do you know that?
Sheldon: Easy. Forty weeks from the date of her last period.
Howard: And why do you know that?
Sheldon: Well, excuse me for taking an interest in people.

Leonard: So, any day now.
Howard: Oh, I don't know. We went to the doctor this morning, and she said it could still be another week or two.
Raj: How's Bernadette holding up?
Howard: It's pretty rough. She's having a hard time.
Leonard: Why are you smiling?
Howard: I had sex twice last night.
Raj: That's not fair! She's on bed rest. She can't run away.
Howard: It was her idea. She read that it can start labor.
Raj: Hmm. Is that true?
Howard: Well, I would have Googled it, but I was busy taking my pants off.

Sheldon: Not to brag, but Amy's last birthday brought my coital tally up to four.
Leonard: Whatever you're doing, it's not bragging.

Penny: Hey, Bernie, it's me. I let myself in.
Bernadette: [sitting on the stairs] Hey.
Penny: What are you doing? I thought you were supposed to be on bed rest.
Bernadette: That's done, but I've been on stair rest for the last forty-five minutes.
Penny: Here, let me help you.
Bernadette: [Penny helps her stand up] Yeah. If you really want to help, put on a rubber glove, reach on up there and start pulling.
Penny: I know you're joking, but I grew up on a farm. I'll do it.

Penny: You know, when my yoga instructor was pregnant, she told me there are tons of poses that put her right into labor.
Bernadette: I'll try, but I feel like bendy poses are what got me into this mess.

Penny: Okay, we're gonna start with some nice breathing exercises.
Bernadette: Sorry. I can't think of anything except how flat your belly is.
Penny: Oh, thank you.
Bernadette: Go put on some more clothes, you bitch.

Howard: Are there any engineers on the grant committe?
Amy: I don't know. Why?
Howard: I didn't have time to figure out the three-input hydraulic manifold, so this diagram is really just the flux capacitor from "Back to the Future."

Amy:: I'm sorry this is on such short notice.
Howard: Hey, I just wish I could be there when you present it.
Amy: That's okay. It's more important that you spend time with Michael.
Howard: Who's Michael?
Amy: Uh, your son?
Howard: No, it's not. My son doesn't have a name yet.
Amy: Okay, well, then Bernadette's son.

Bernadette: [seeing "Campaign for North Africa" all laid out] Aw, come on!
Sheldon: Welcome to the next five to eight weeks of your life.
Bernadette: Sheldon, I said I didn't want to play your game.
Sheldon: Well, then don't think of it as a game. Think of it as a source of information about one of the lesser-known campaigns of World War II.
Bernadette: [sarcastic] You're right. That's so much better.
Sheldon: I know, right?

Howard: So you're just gonna name him Michael? Were you even gonna tell me?
Bernadette: I told you.
Howard: When?
Bernadette: Oh, right. That was Amy.

Howard: I don't want to name our son after your father.
Bernadette: I didn't want to say this, but he's dying.
Howard: He is?
Bernadette: Eventually. I mean, you see the way the man eats.
Howard: Okay, is this the hormones, or have you always been a lunatic?
Bernadette: I don't even know anymore.

Howard: Bernie, this is our kid's name. I think we should both agree.
Bernadette: You're right. We both made this baby.
Howard: Thank you.
Bernadette: And I carried it, had to stay in bed for four months, sacrificed my body and my job, and soon it's gonna burst its way out of me like the Kool-Aid Man.
Howard: Exactly. Fifty/fifty.

Amy: What are you guys doing here?
Leonard: Well, Sheldon texted and said Bernadette wanted us all to come over.
Sheldon: [seeing her expression] The game's best with five to ten players.

Bernadette: What about Paul?
Howard: Paul. Paul Wolowitz. I like it.
Raj: Ooh, like "Koothra-Paul-i".
Bernadette: Okay, you ruined it.

Leonard: Some people name their kids after places.
Howard: Like what, Walla Walla Wolowitz?
Sheldon: If you think that is better than Ozymandias Wolowitz, then you have been breathing in the poisonous gas that my troops illegally dispersed.

Howard: How you feeling?
Bernadette: Eh. But I am really excited to meet our son.
Howard: Me, too. I thought I'd be super freaked out. But I'm ready for this. Well, not the part where you're in labor and you squeeze my fingers 'till they turn blue.
Bernadette: [sarcastic] I'm sorry. That must be really painful for you.

Penny: When did you pick out our kids' names?
Leonard: Remember that day you moved into the building?
Penny: Yes.
Leonard: A non-creepy amount of time after that.

Amy: You've thought about our kids?
Sheldon: Of course. I think you and I will have exceptional children.
Amy: Aw. Well, I think so, too.
Raj: How many kids do you guys want?
Sheldon: Fifteen.
Amy: Two. [giving him a weird look]
Amy: What?
Sheldon: Well, don't worry. I don't expect you to bear them all. I'm sure we can find a suitable uterus to rent.
Leonard: [they both turn to glance at Penny] No!
Penny: Uh-uh!

Leonard: Hey, what'd you name him?
Howard: Neil Michael. Neil for Armstrong, Gaiman, and Diamond. Michael because Bernie had to get six stitches.
Amy: Neil, that's cute.
Bernadette: [off screen] But we're calling him Michael!
Howard: I'm not gonna fight her. That kid's head was the size of a cantaloupe.