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"The Romance Resonance" is the sixth episode of the seventh season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Thursday, October 24, 2013.


Sheldon makes an amazing discovery only to shoot himself down when he finds that he made an error. After Howard writes a song for Bernadette, Penny mulls over making a romantic gesture for her guy.

Extended Plot[]

Can't talk - in the zone

Can't talk - in the zone.

At the Cheesecake Factory, Penny is serving the rest of the gang. She asks Sheldon who is very engrossed in his calculations/ what he's doing and he tells her to not bother him since he is "in the zone". Amy comments that the last time he was this involved, he figured out electron transport in graphene and who should get into his tree fort in case he ever gets one. She adds that she didn't make the list. Penny asks him whether he wants to take a break and eat. Leonard reminds her that he is both happy and quiet which is like finding a unicorn and Bigfoot. Bernadette and Howard show up late and apologize. Bernadette has some exciting news about the raccoon virus she has just acquired which is that the virus could jump species and infects humans. Howard makes her go wash her hands and then tells everyone about the song he is writing for Bernadette for the anniversary of their first date. He wants them to be his instrumental backup. Penny asks what horrible thing he is trying to make up for and Howard considers it money in the bank. Howard asks Sheldon if he will help and he is so engrossed that he didn't know he was at the Cheesecake Factory.

Walking up the stairs, Leonard is talking about what Howard is doing for Bernadette and how wonderful it is. Penny wants to know why Leonard doesn't do something romantic for their first date. Since they had broken up so many times, Leonard doesn't know which first date they are talking about. He has done lots of romantic things for Penny, but it seems she hasn't done anything for him and Leonard feels that sex doesn't count. She mentions a bed and breakfast weekend, but Leonard set it up and all Penny did was have sex with him and ruined a rocking chair. Penny protests that she can be romantic, but Leonard doesn't believe it. Penny then becomes determined to romance his ass off. Sheldon who is still "in the zone" keeps walking up the stairs. Leonard figures that he will know what happened when he falls off the roof.

The Romance Romance 02

Sheldon admiring his miraculous discovery.

In apartment 4A, Sheldon is still deep in his whiteboard calculations. Leonard offers him tea and he doesn't answer. Leonard then says that Sheldon hadn't spoken in hours and it worries him. Sheldon speaks, "Leonard. Prepare to be humbled and weep at the glory of my genius." Leonard looks at his work and is astounded that Sheldon has figured out how to synthesize a new island of stable super-heavy element. Sheldon exclaims that no one except him has ever done that. Then he starts dancing around the apartment chanting about his marvelous brain.

At work, Howard tells Raj and Leonard that he is almost finished with his song. Leonard agrees to play the cello, but denies that it is "cool". Raj agrees to play his ukulele, the "tiny ridiculous guitar". Sheldon joins them and starts talking about his discovery. He says that he doesn't want to be carried around the cafeteria on their shoulders because he doesn't like heights, motion sickness, or their necks touching his butt. Howard congratulates him and Raj called the discovery inspiring. Some scientists in China have tested his work on a cyclotron and got promising results. Leonard is impressed by this news. Sheldon tells them that they called it the greatest thing since the Communist Party though the Communist Party probably told them to say that. Sheldon likes China because they know how to keep people in line. Howard asks what comes next. Sheldon replies: more testing, more success, and more celebrity|fame. Sheldon still promises to remain the same down to earth, humility|humble Joe he has always been. (Ha!) Leonard tells him that that is good to know as Sheldon steals his cookie because he discovered an element.

The Romance Romance 6

Raj helping Penny work on her romantic gesture for Leonard.

Penny asks Raj to come over and help her plan a romantic evening for her and Leonard. Raj tells her that the way to a man's heart is through his.. "Pants," Penny says finishing his sentence. She adds that Leonard says that sex doesn't count. Raj thinks that it's sad that she has only one arrow in her quiver and she can't use it. Raj then tells her that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Penny is reluctant to cook for him since he's such a picky eater. Too salty. Too dry. Too burned and frozen at the same time. Raj then describes the end of the movie "Dirty Dancing". He also mentions standing outside his window holding up a boom box which turned out to be from the movie "Say Anything". Raj explains that he is a lonely guy who watches a lot of movies. Penny can't understand why being romantic is so hard. Raj mentions that she has never had to do it since she is young, beautiful, and men are always throwing themselves at her. Penny figures she can't be sorry about that.

Sheldon's magic marker

Sheldon's magic marker.

While Sheldon is busy saving all his souvenirs from his discovery, Amy is helping him catalog them. She doesn't think that the Smithsonian will want the magic marker he used on his whiteboard to make his discovery. Those kinds of comments are why she is not on the list for Sheldon's tree fort. Sheldon gets a message that they are writing an article about him in the journal "Physics Today". Amy is very proud of him. Next he picks up his copy of "The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics" he used in his work. Looking at it he realizes that the reaction rates he used were wrong. Instead of square centimeters, he used the units of square meters. Sheldon was off by a factor of ten thousand. Amy points out that the Chinese team did find the element. Sheldon concludes that there must be some resonance between the elements that he didn't know about. Amy wonders if he just got lucky. Sheldon is hurt and says that he does not get lucky. Amy quietly says, "You and me both, brother." Even though Amy says that this work is still ground-breaking, Sheldon can't get beyond the fact that the greatest scientific breakthrough of his life is based on a blunder. He isn't a genius; he is a fraud. Amy tells him that in neuroscience they often find something in one place in the brain that they thought was in another one. Then Sheldon gets madder that it's worst that he is not just a fraud, he is almost a biologist.

The next day on the way to work, Leonard tells him to stop beating himself up. Sheldon thinks that he is

The Romance Romance 08

Sheldon realizes that he made a mistake.

getting credit he doesn't deserve and that it's going to haunt him for the rest of his life. That mistake will continue to stare back at him like the time Raj waxed Leonard's eyebrows. Sheldon wants it to stop; however, Leonard explains that once it's out there, it's out there. It's like the science equivalent of a sex tape. Sheldon shoots back that he's rather have a sex tape, although he also agrees that he doesn't know what a sex tape is

The next day at the cafeteria, Howard is going over the final details of their performance for Bernadette. Raj wants to add a little rap to it, which Howard shoots down since he wants it to be romantic. Someone shouts out, "There he is," as Sheldon enters the room and applause breaks out. Sheldon objects as someone adds "Woo!" Sheldon wants no more woos except for Dr. Wu, who is at an adjacent table. He again asks everyone not to celebrate his bone-headed mistake. Raj asks if they did not find the element. Sheldon replies that they did find the element as applause again breaks out. He sits down and wonders how he can make them stop loving him. Leonard replies that he could invite them to live with him.

In a private dining room, everyone is getting their instruments ready. Howard has a keyboard, Raj has his ukulele, Leonard has his cello, Sheldon has a recorder, Amy has her harp, and Penny has a tambourine. Penny says that she knows that Bernadette is going to love it. Leonard says that it must be great to have someone do something like that. Howard wonders what is taking Bernadette so long so he goes to check on her. Sheldon finds out that the National Science Foundation wants to give him a big grant and wonders when this nightmare is going to end. Leonard tells him that despite everything, they are all really proud of him. Amy then tells him that she is not proud of him. She has decided that Sheldon is right and that he does not deserve the credit since he misread the numbers on a table, an easy table at that. Honestly, she is embarrassed for him. "That's the most romantic thing I've ever heard," he replies. Her comment allows her to be on his tree fort list which excites Amy. Penny says to herself that everyone is better at romance than she is. Howard comes in and explains that there was an accident at his wife's laboratory and she is in the hospital in quarantine just in case. Otherwise she is fine. Sheldon adds to the bad news that he just got a raise.


The gang backing up Howard's song written for Bernadette.

Howard finds Bernadette behind glass and asks what happened. She tried to move too many petri dishes of the raccoon virus at once and dropped one, but she is fine. The gang shows up with the keyboard in hand and Howard announces that in honor of their first date they are going to celebrate with a song "If I Didn't Have You". Sheldon is scared to come closer since she might be Contagious disease|contagious (this would make no sense as she's in an isolation ward). He gets some hand sanitizer and then joins them. Howard plays a song about how lost he'd be without her. The gang provides backup and sings the refrains. Bernadette finds it amazing and says that she is shaking. Sheldon takes that as a sign that she is sick and leaves.

At Penny's she and Leonard are having a candle light dinner. Her dinner tastes delicious because she has discovered the flavor packet that went with it. Penny tells Leonard that there is a

The Romance Romance 14

An embrace after Penny shows him her collection of things he did for her.

crap storm of romance coming his way. She turns on some romantic music and Leonard thinks that she is pretty confident. She spreads out rose petals on the floor as she walks toward her bedroom. Leonard notes that she is pulling out all the stops since she even made her bed. She gave it a lot of thought and she bought him something to show him how much she loves him, a first edition of "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Penny remembered that it was his favorite book growing up. They had seen it together and Leonard had already bought it. Penny then calls herself the worst. Leonard calls it thoughtful and then she tells him that he does lots of thoughtful things. Penny pulls out a box of everything he has ever given her. Some of them are a plane ticket he bought her when she was too poor to go home for the holidays, a rose he left on her windshield, just because, the eleven page letter he wrote to her after they first time they had sex. Leonard cannot believe that she saved all this stuff. She saved it because it was him. The box also included a pregnancy test. Penny told him that she saved ONLY the first one. They embrace lovingly.

Finally, Amy and Sheldon are in his apartment. Sheldon still can't believe that he read the table wrong and blames her. She has been a distraction to him since he first met her. She apologizes and Sheldon says that all he wants to do is kiss her, not on the cheek, but on the mouth like mommies and daddies do. Amy is getting a little breathless. She says, "Oh, Sheldon." As they lean closer to each other, she hears her name called and comes back to the Cheesecake Factory. Sheldon asks her if she heard what he said. Amy replies that she can't talk because she is "in the zone". She sits there smiling.



  • Jesse Schedeen of IGN: "... Sheldon was given the rare opportunity to be humbled when his massive scientific breakthrough turned out to be a case of pure, dumb luck. He's a character that needs to be taken down a peg every now and then just for good form. The added benefit to Sheldon's latest scientific crisis was that it allowed Amy to swoop in and save him. It was a little touching to see that she alone understood that what Sheldon needed to hear was strict, unfiltered criticism...For Leonard and Penny, their latest struggle was over the realization that they have no real romance in their lives outside the bedroom. Again, that might have made for a weak episode if this conflict were at the forefront, but as a B-plot it worked well enough..."The Romance Resonance" wasn't the strongest episode of the season, but nor was it the weakest. It was a decent effort without much in the way of memorable humor but plenty of heartwarming character moments to make up for it."
  • Dhruv Rao of the DR Club gave the episode an A-, stating that the plot was "entertaining and funny." [1]
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: The very different ways that the three couples express romance are examined. Penny trying to be romantic with Leonard, while Resonance is referring to some atomic, particle or molecular resonance as in Sheldon's research.
  • Taping date: October 8, 2013.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card. [2]
  • This episode was watched by 16.98 million people with a rating of 5.2 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 22.97 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #2 for the week ending October 27, 2013.
  • This episode aired in Canada on October 24, 2013, with 3.46 million viewers with a weekly ranking of #1.
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on December 5, 2013, with 2.36 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.
  • Episode transcript [3]

Costume Notes[]


De Oxy Ribo shirt

  • Sheldon wears his De Oxy Ribo shirt, theGreen Arrow logo t-shirt, the blue Vetrivian Superman t-shirt and in Amy's imagination, his purple checkered shirt (unavailable).
  • At his dinner with Penny, Leonard wears a grey t-shirt containing the Seal of Rassilon from Doctor Who.


  • Sheldon's whiteboard contains electron electronic configurations of superheavy elements.

  • Although there is no Hubei Institute for Nuclear Physics, there is an Institute of Particle Physics, Hua-Zhong Normal University, Wuhan, Hubei, China [4].
  • Sheldon feels that Amy said something romantic to him, although Amy denies it.
  • The first date of Howard and Bernadette took place in "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary" (S3E5).
  • The experience of Sheldon in this episode is quite similar to that in "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation" (S3E1): he thought he made a breakthrough in his study, but later found he had not, although, rather than the earlier time, it was his own fault about the mistake, not the fault of the guys (who set him up).
  • Not the first time that Bernadette gets quarantined because of a careless mistake in the handling of a virus; the exact same thing happened in "The Justice League Recombination" (S4E11), and she spent Christmas in quarantine.
  • The event that Sheldon focused on the electron transport in graphene happened in "The Einstein Approximation" (S3E14). It is curious that Amy actually mentions this event, since Sheldon and Amy did not get to know each other until "The Lunar Excitation" (S3E23), thus she could not have experienced this event. Furthermore, it is even weirder for Amy to say "The time before that, he was making a list of who's allowed in his tree fort if he ever gets one; still can't believe I didn't make the cut". It is either possible that Amy was told by it by Sheldon or this is an error. Or the two events Amy was talking about happened again at some point in their relationship.
  • Leonard wrote an 11-Page letter to Penny to thank her for the first time they had sex. In accordance, in "The Pirate Solution" (S3E4) Penny revealed that Leonard said "thank you" every time after they had sex, and told him it wasn't necessary; and then Leonard implied he would send Penny a greeting card.
    • Quite curiously, when Penny shows Leonard the things that he has given her, the most romantic one, the snowflake that Leonard brought back from the North Pole and preserved in polyvinyl acetyl resin, does not appear between all the other things. (presented in "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation"-S3E1; later reappeared in "The Toast Derivation"-S4E17).
  • According to Simon Helberg's tweet, the song If I didn't have you that (in the show) Howard writes for Bernadette, is (in reality) composed by Kate Micucci (who played Raj's ex-girlfriend Lucy in several episodes of Season 6 and some of Season 7) and Riki Lindhome (who played Ramona Nowitzki in "The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem", "The Long Distance Dissonance" and "The Proposal Proposal".
  • Joss Whedon and Firefly were mentioned in the earliest version of The Roommate Agreement that Sheldon made Leonard to sign at their very first meeting in "The Staircase Implementation" (S3E22).
  • Sheldon claims that he doesn't want the group to hold him up on their shoulders and parade him (before he found out he made a mistake); however, this action is exactly what he wanted them to do when he went to court for reckless driving, to which they refused as they went to Stan Lee's autograph signing along. (S3E16)
  • Sheldon also takes a cookie from Leonard while bragging, however he normally doesn't touch other people's food in case it's contagious; however, due to Sheldon being in the zone, he probably was not paying attention to his rule.
  • Both Sheldon and Amy go "in the zone" when they are deep in thought oblivious of the real world. Sheldon is when he is concentrating on his work, and Amy is when she is daydreaming.
  • Flashbacks in "The Staircase Implementation" (S3E22) showed a younger Penny taking a pregnancy test.
  • The copy of "Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy" Penny gives to Leonard is a hard-cover; the First Edition was a paperback. This book is a possible error.
  • The original casting announcement included Albert Einstein and a Greek philosopher who were going to appear in another Sheldon dream and torment him over his mistake; however, it did not make the filming or the final episode edit.
  • From the position of Penny's hands in the isolation ward glass, the song is a compilation of at least two takes.
  • Bernadette has her hair tied back and her glasses off in the hospital scene of this episode.
  • Bernadette only appears in two scenes of this episode and she only has two speaking scenes as well:
    • 1. speaking for a couple of seconds with long hair and glasses on in the Cheesecake Factory scene.
    • 2. speaking a few lines with her hair tied back and her glasses off in her ward in the hospital scene where Howard and the gang sing the 'If I Didn't Have You' song to her.
  • Sheldon talks about building a tree-fort and in "The Fortification Implementation" (S8E20), he and Amy do build a fort together and he let's her stay in it overnight. This was their first sleepover.


Howard: [singing to quarantined Bernadette, the other five backing him up]
If I didn't have you,
Life would be blue,
I'd be Doctor Who without the TARDIS;
A candle without a wick,
A Watson without a Crick,
I'd be one of my outfits without a dicky.
I'd be cheese without the mac,
Jobs without the Wozniak,
I'd be solving exponential equations that use bases not found on your calculator making them much harder to crack;
I'd be an atom without a bomb,
A dot without the com,
And I'd probably still live with my mom.
Friends: And he'd probably still live with his mom.
Howard: Ever since I met you, you turned my world around,
You supported all my dreams and all my hopes,
You're like uranium-235, and I'm uranium-238;
Almost inseparable isotopes,
I couldn't have imagined how good my life would get,
From the moment that I met you, Bernadette.
Bernadette: [choked up] Oh, Howie!
Howard: If I didn't have you,
Life would be dreary,
I'd be string theory without any string,
I'd be binary code without a one,
A cathode ray tube without an electron gun,
I'd be Firefly, Buffy and Avengers without Joss Whedon,
I'd speak a lot more Klingon.
Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam [Klingon for "Today is a good day to die."]
Friends: And he'd definitely still live with his mom.
Howard: Ever since I met you, you turned my world around,
You're my best friend and my lover,
We're like changing electric and magnetic fields;
You can't have one without the other,
I couldn't have imagined how good my life would get,
From the moment that I met you, Bernadette.
Everyone: Oh, we couldn't have imagined how good our lives would get.
From the moment that we met you, Bernadette.

Sheldon: This is the very copy of the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics in which I looked up the reaction rates of mendelevium and.. .
Amy: And what?
Sheldon: No. No, no, no, no.
Amy: What’s wrong?
Sheldon: I've made a horrible mistake.
Amy: What are you talking about?
Sheldon: This table. It’s in square centimeters. I read it in square meters. Do you know what that means?
Amy: That Americans can’t handle the metric system?
Sheldon: Amy, I was off by a factor of ten thousand.
Amy: But the Chinese team found the element.
Sheldon: Well they shouldn't have, my calculations were wrong. There must be some resonance between the elements I didn't know about.
Amy: Well, you just got lucky?
Sheldon: Sheldon Cooper does not get lucky!
Amy: You and me both, brother. It doesn't matter. The element was found because of you and that’s ground breaking.
Sheldon: What matters is the greatest scientific achievement of my life is based on a blunder. I’m not a genius. I’m a fraud.

Leonard: Hey, I get that you feel bad about all the attention, but still what you did is amazing. We’re really proud of you.
Amy: I’m not.
Sheldon: You’re not?
Amy: Sheldon, I've been thinking about it and you’re right. You don’t deserve any credit. All you did was misread some numbers on a table. A very easy table, too. Honestly, I’m embarrassed for you.
Sheldon: That’s the most romantic thing I've ever heard.
Penny: Damn it. Everybody's better at this than me!
Sheldon: Congratulations Dr. Fowler, you made the fort.
Amy: Yes! (Smiles.)

Penny: OK, I gave this a lot of thought and I finally found something to show you how much I love you.

Sheldon: I can't believe I read this table wrong. I blame you.
Amy: Me, what did I do?
Sheldon: You distract me. I've been distracted since the moment I met you.
Amy: I'm sorry.
Sheldon: Well you should be. Because all I can think about is how much I want to kiss you.
Amy: (Jaw drops)
Sheldon: And not just on the cheek, but on the mouth. Like mommies and daddies do.
Amy: Oh, Sheldon.
Sheldon: (Leans in)
(Switches out of Amy's daydream)
Sheldon: Amy. Amy! Did you hear what I said?
Amy: Can't talk. In the zone.

Howard: Okay, guys, listen up-
Sheldon: Can't listen. Zone. (pause) Also, don't care.
Howard: Next week is the anniversary of my first date with Bernadette.
Sheldon: Really don’t care.
Howard: I want to do something special and I was hoping that you guys could be a part of it.
Penny: Aww, what horrible thing are you trying to make up for?
Howard: Putting something in the bank for what horrible thing I do next.
Penny: Ah.

Penny: Hey. How come you never do anything romantic to celebrate our first date?
Leonard: For starters you've broken up with me so many times which first date are we talking about?
Sheldon: Whoo, somebody call the burn ward. (Penny glares at him over her shoulder) Hey, I'm back to the zone.
Leonard: Besides I do romantic things for you all the time. Can you name me one romantic thing you've done for me?
Penny: I can name tons.
Leonard: Sex doesn't count.
Penny: Oh. I know, what about that bed and breakfast?
Leonard: I took you there. All you did…
Penny: I know what I did. I bet they had to throw out that rocking chair. You know, I can be romantic if I want to.
Leonard: It's fine... and also not true (grins).
Penny: OK just you wait and see. I’m going to romance your fricking ass off.
Leonard: That’s beautiful.. is that Shakespeare? (grins at her)
Penny (noticing that Sheldon's still walking up the stairs) Sheldon?...
Sheldon: Zone!!!
Leonard: He'll figure it out when he falls off the roof.

Raj: As I’m sure as you are aware the quickest way through a man’s heart is through his..
Penny: Pants. But Leonard said that sex doesn't count.
Raj: Oh. You pure little thing. You have one arrow in your quiver and you just can’t use it.

Raj: You’re young and beautiful and man are always throwing themselves at you
Penny: Yeah, I’m trying to be sad about that, but I can’t.

Sheldon: I've got to find a way to stop this thing.
Leonard: Buddy, I don’t think you can. I mean you know, once it’s out there, it’s out there. This thing’s like the science equivalent of a sex tape.
Sheldon: Frankly, I would prefer a sex tape.
Leonard: You don’t know what a sex tape is, do you?
Sheldon: No.

Sheldon: [Applause] Stop it. Stop celebrating me.
Admirer: Woo.
Sheldon: And no woos! Oh not you Dr. Woo. You’re fine.

Sheldon: How do I make them stop loving me?
Leonard: You can invite them to live with us.

Leonard: I have to say this is the best Top Ramen you ever made.
Penny: I discovered the secret ingredient, the flavor packet. That sucker is well named. All right, lover boy. Get ready for there is a crap storm of romance coming your way.
Leonard: Stop it. You’re going to make me cry. [Penny turns on romantic music.] All right. You seem pretty confident.
Penny:: Oh, I am. Maybe if you follow this trail, you’ll see why.
Leonard: Oh, rose petals.
Penny:: Yes. The most beautiful, and shockingly expensive, of the flowers.
Leonard: You made the bed. You are really pulling out all the stops.
Penny: OK, I gave this a lot of thought and I finally found something to show you how much I love you.
[ Leonard tears off the packaging]
Leonard: Oh, wow.
Penny: It’s a first edition of “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”. I remember it was your favorite book growing up.
Leonard: This is great. It..Thank you. It’s...So much.
Penny: What?
Leonard: Nothing. I love it.
Penny: No. Something’s going on. What’s wrong with it? I remember you saying how great it would be to have a first edition.
Leonard: It’s true. I…I did say that…when we were at the used book store together and I saw the first edition and I bought it.
Penny: Oh my God. I am the worse.
Leonard: No, it’s okay. It was really thoughtful. [ Penny slumps onto the bed upset]
Penny: No, it’s not.. I mean..What’s thoughtful is everything you do. Here, you know what? Look at this. [Penny grabs a box from the cupboard] Look here’s the…the plane ticket you bought me when I was too poor to go home for the holidays. And the rose you left on my windshield…just because. And the…the thank-you letter you me after the first time I slept with you. All eleven pages of it.
Leonard: Can’t believe you saved all this stuff.
Penny: Of course I did. It’s you.
Leonard: Come here.
[ Leonard kisses and hugs Penny tightly]
Penny: Oh.
Leonard: Is that a pregnancy test?
Penny: Oh yeah, just the first one. I didn't save them all.
[ Penny adjusts Leonard's collar and smiles at him lovingly]



  • [5] First ever taping report by stardustmelody

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