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"The Sales Call Sublimation" is the twelfth episode of the ninth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode first aired on Thursday, January 7, 2016.


Leonard visits a psychiatrist so Penny can make a sales call on her and they learn some things about their interactions and marital issues. Stuart moves out of the Wolowitz House. Sheldon works with Raj looking for extra-solar planets.

Extended Plot[]

Amy is away for the weekend at a neurobiology conference and discussing the merits of Best Western motels and Best Buy stores via Skyping with Sheldon. She really does appear to miss him. Sheldon has time on his hands and wants to know what others are doing inquiring who wants to get their "Sheld-on". Howard and Bernadette are cleaning their house. Not interested. Raj is using a telescope to look for new planets, which Sheldon finds interesting. He asks what Leonard is doing and he's having a "Sheld-off" weekend.


Could you see Dr. Gallo?

Penny comes home complaining that Dr. Gallo, the psychiatrist, won't let her pitch her drugs to her. Sheldon is upset that she is trying to see a doctor since he thinks she is sick. Raj suggests that Leonard might visit her as a patient though he argues that he doesn't have any problems. The guys mention several. Leonard agrees to go visit her, not due to his friends comments, but because he loves his wife.

Howard and Bernadette are in au natural after their incredible love making session. Both wish they didn't have to be so quiet since Stuart lived next door. Stuart knocks and they decide to let him in. Since they are going to start remodeling he has found an apartment and is moving out. He thanks them for everything and then creepily says that it's the first time he's been in their bedroom when they were awake.

While Raj is working on the telescope, Sheldon is bored and keeps asking him what he was doing. Sheldon insists that he can help. When Sheldon was taken to work by his father, he figured out in ten minutes who was taking money out of the register. It was his father and he got him fired. Sheldon got a fudgsicle for turning him in. Raj sits in front of a numerical database from six months of observations to look for patterns or anomalies that might indicate a new planet. Sheldon immediately finds a pattern and then suggests that he get a fudgsicle.


Sheldon working with Raj discovers a new asteroid.

Leonard visits Dr. Gallo who immediately asks about Dr. Beverly Hofstadter. Yes, she is his mother. She has read all of his mother's books so Leonard thinks she knows him better than himself. Gallo doesn't agree with Beverly's mention of raising children. He wonders if she finds them cold, cruel and unsuitable for little boys who just wants to be happy. This causes the audience to laugh, because child abuse and child neglect is funny. The doctor thinks that he still has a lot of anger toward her. Leonard denies it but then admits that he still sends her mother a greeting card and gift on his birthday because Beverly insists that his birth was her accomplishment. Dr. Gallo says that this is horrible. Leonard is happy and surprised at her compassion since no one else has ever agreed with Leonard that such abusive treatment of a child is horrible (Well, we don't know about Bernadette and Amy, though).


Stuart is moving out.

Howard and Bernadette are helping Stuart pack his car. Howard mentions that they could now get romantic in any room in the house. Bernadette can now show him where the laundry room is. Stuart finishes filling his car and wonders if everyone thought he would still be there two years after moving in with Debbie. Howardette both deny that unconvincingly. After Stuart drives off, Howard appears in his underwear ready to have sex in the garage.

Back in the telescope lab, Raj combines all their photographic images and discover that Sheldon found a new medium-sized asteroid that they hoped would be a trans-Neptunian object or a dwarf planet. First Sheldon calls the discovery "Chicken fingers" until they both admit that they like chicken fingers. Sheldon wonders if it's on a collision course with earth ready to destroy all life. Now they get to come up with a name for their new asteroid, one that people can't make fun of like "Uranus".

Leonard returns home feeling great about his talk with Dr. Gallo. Leonard has always been insecure that he didn't feel that people wanted to listen to what he had to say... and then Penny interrupts him asking if she go can see her. Leonard feels being neglected again. After they discussed how his mother ruined Leonard's life, she agreed to see her. Now she feels that Leonard is the best husband ever and she guesses she will go to Who-Con with him. Leonard could even hear her rolling her eyes.


Penny complaining about Sheldon.

Howard and Bernadette are cleaning out Stuart's old bedroom and start to wonder if they are going to turn it into a home theater, game room or a man-cave. Bernadette suggests a woman-cave or a home office. She then finds a stuffed bear that Stuart had won since they couldn't guess his age. Both wonder how he was doing since he hadn't called. He could have done that. First they deny it and then Bernadette realizes that: "Ewww, we are missing him!"

Raj and Sheldon return to his apartment and are talking about naming their discovery. Sheldon suggest "Koo" from Koothrapoli and "per' from Cooper for Kooper. Raj adds that at least he would know what the K stood for. Leonard is feeling good since Dr. Gallo made him feel that his feelings matter. Raj learned that from a cat poster. Returning to the asteroid, Leonard suggests that they name it after their girlfriends to show them how much they care about them. Sheldon thinks about it, feeling that that is romantic and would get them out of giving Valentine's Day presents forever. He suggest "AM" for Amy and "Y" for Emily or Amy. Raj is not impressed.

Penny finishes her pill pitch about anxiety medicine to Dr. Gallo and asks her if she has any questions. She wants to know why she made Leonard pretend to be a patient. What were you thinking? Penny quietly tells her that she was talking about the drugs. Then the doctor asks why she would marry Leonard. Leonard was raised by an overbearing woman during his formative years. Is he continuing that by marrying a woman like Penny? Penny replies that she used to wear a lot of tank tops.

Sheldon is again Skyping with Amy. He called her an asteroid. Amy doesn't understand. Sheldon explains that they discovered one and named it after her. She thinks that that is romantic, but wonders about Rajesh. She doesn't seem enthusiastic about having to name all their children Raj, even the girls.

Penny is now on the couch with Dr. Gallo saying that how can she not be like his mother since he has all these toys (Including a stuffed Wookie in the room they have sex in.) Penny thinks that she is turning her into his mother. She used to be an actress and a pretty good one. Hot, girl-next-door type. Doable. Not only is she his mother, but they have a man-child living with him named Sheldon. Dr. Gallo says that Leonard mentioned him a lot and she didn't even think he was real. He is as real as the fines he gives Penny for using too much toilet paper. Penny admits that Leonard was right that talking things out with her helped. Dr. Gallo gives Penny a prescription to help her through her anxiety issues. She suggested Penny take some, but she did not want the product that might give her fits of homicidal rage.

Amy excited after Sheldon names the asteroid after her.

Sheldon misses Amy. Amy misses Sheldon. Howard and Bernadette miss Stuart. Penny misses when life was simpler. Leonard is skipping rope with some little girls because one decides to do what makes one happy, not their controlling mothers. Finally, while Howard and Bernadette are asleep, Stuart is staring at them in the darkness. He claims to miss them too.



  • Title Reference: Leonard is sent to a psychiatrist so Penny get make a sales call.
  • Taping date: December 8, 2015
  • This episode was watched by 15.85 million people with a rating of 3.8 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 20.95 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #1 for the week ending January 10, 2016.
  • This episode aired in Canada on January 7, 2016.
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on Thursday, March 24, 2016.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • Episode transcript [2]


  • Jesse Schedeen of IGN - Once Leonard found inner peace (which will no doubt be fleeting), the story shifted to Penny and her futile attempts to peddle her new drug to Dr. Gallo. It was amusing to watch this scene transition from a sales pitch to a full-blown therapy session, but more importantly it seemed like we're seeing the genesis of the next big dramatic thread on the show. Penny basically acknowledged all the flaws in her relationship with Leonard and the fact that she basically gave up on her dream of acting. There's clearly a lot of lingering resentment to be dealt with. And while sometimes the ongoing Leonard/Penny drama can be a real drag on the show, I am interested to see where this leads. For once, Sheldon enjoyed more of a supporting role as he teamed up with Raj for a bit of weekend astronomy. It's always fun to see Sheldon pair off with someone who isn't Leonard, Penny or Amy and get a slightly different dynamic out of the mix. The "Take Your Sheldon to Work Day" story line would probably have grown tedious if it were the main focus of the episode, but as a smaller subplot it worked nicely. Sheldon got a chance to bug Raj for a bit, show off his superhuman skills of data analysis and then claim an asteroid for his very own. Not bad for a Saturday's work. [3]
  • IMDb user reviews [4]


  • Jane Kaczmarek (best known as mom, Lois, in "Malcolm in the Middle)" plays a guest role in this show as Doctor Gallo.
  • Stuart finally moves out of the Wolowitz House, allowing Howard and Bernadette to go ahead with the renovation they started in "The Spock Resonance" (S9E7).
  • Sheldon and Amy discuss the possibility of having children. It was last brought up in "The Colonization Application" (S8E17).
  • The third time Howard and Bernadette are seen naked in bed together since the ending scene in "The Expedition Approximation" (S8E5) and a couple of scenes in "The Cohabitation Formulation" (S4E16).
  • After the major Shamy reunion arc, Mayim Bialik is being given a couple of week's easy duty by being away at a convention.
  • Bernadette is only seen at the Wolowitz house in this episode and she shares no scenes with Penny and the three other guys (Sheldon, Raj and Leonard) in this episode.
  • Amy is only seen in two scenes where she is chatting to Sheldon on Skype and she shares no physical appearances with Sheldon and the rest of the gang (Stuart, Howard, Bernadette, Raj, Leonard and Penny) in this episode.
  • Amy is a lot more animated talking to Sheldon by Skyping showing how much she means to him even though Sheldon can still say the wrong thing.
  • Howard only has one scene with the other three guys and Penny in this episode.
  • Penny calls herself "doable" even though that is the term that Howard used on her causing her to lash out at him. Also, Penny seems to have forgotten that she evaluated herself as sucking at acting in the past.
    • Seeing as she said this while talking to a psychiatrist, she probably finally 'accepted' Howard's description of her as she knows from the start that that's what she is.
  • Sheldon seems to exhibit symptoms of synesthesia, a psychological/neurological condition in which the use of one sense leads to involuntary stimulation of others (e.g. a certain number or letter may trigger the sensation of unusual colors or smells).
  • Sheldon claims that Sir Frederick William Herschel didn't do Uranus any favors by giving it a name which is easy to make fun of. While Herschel did discover the planet, he didn't name it Uranus. He called it the "Georgium Sidus" (the Georgian Planet) in honor of King George III of England. The German astronomer Johann Elert Bode proposed Uranus so it would be more in line with the other planets which have names from classical mythology. Both Sheldon and Raj seem unaware of this fact.


(tool whirring)
Bernadette: Boy, when was the last time Stuart cleaned this place?
Howard: No kidding. Oh, okay, I'm about to suck something up. What do you think this object sounds like?
Bernadette: (she is so very cross) Howie, I don't want to play Lego, Toenail or Pill anymore. So, what do you think we should do with this room?
Howard: Well, I was thinking a home theater or a gaming room-- you know, like a man cave.
Bernadette: Why can't it be a woman cave?
Howard: As long as it has a home theater, a video game system and you're not allowed in it, you can call it whatever you want.
Bernadette: I'm being serious.
Howard: Well, what do you think we should do?
Bernadette: I don't know, maybe a home office or...
Howard: Oh. Look. The teddy bear Stuart won the night we took him to the fair.
Bernadette: (chuckles) Oh. He was so excited.
Howard: Yeah. You know, no matter how hard they tried, they could not guess his age. I'll give it to him next time I see him.
Bernadette: Have you heard from him since he left?
Howard: No. You'd think he would've called once he got settled in.
Bernadette: Hmm. Maybe he's busy.
Howard: Too busy to call? He wasn't too busy to binge-watch Hot in Cleveland with my Hulu password. What is happening? Are we missing him?
Bernadette: No, that's not what this feeling is. Is it?
Howard: Of course not. He drove us crazy. Like when you were gonna make that pie and Stuart ate all the blueberries. (scoffs)
Bernadette: And he tried to deny it, but his teeth were all purple.
Howard: That was pretty cute. (chuckles)
Bernadette: Yeah. Ew, we are missing him!

Howard: You know, once we get the house back to ourselves, we can be romantic in any room we want.
Bernadette: Great. I can finally show you where the laundry room is.
Stuart: Boy, who would've thought when you asked me to move in and help take care of your mom, I'd still be here two years later?
Howard: No one.
Bernadette: Nobody thought that.
Stuart: Well, that's it.
Bernadette: I guess so.
Stuart: This is weird. (chuckles)
Howard: Yeah. A grown man moving into his own apartment. Crazy times. See ya!
Bernadette: Ignore him. He's just using humor to express how... happy he is.
Stuart: It's okay. I know he loves me.
Bernadette: Sure he does. Well, let us know when you're all settled in.
Stuart: I will. And I really can't thank you guys enough.
(engine starts)
Bernadette: Our pleasure.
Stuart: Bye.
Bernadette: Good luck.
Howard: He's gone! Let's start in the garage!

Sheldon: Enjoy the neurobiology conference.
Amy: I will. I wish you were here.
Sheldon: At a neurobiology conference? What a mean thing to say.
Amy: Okay, I'm glad you’re not here?
Sheldon: Ah, you always know what to say after I tell you what to say.

Leonard: Thank you for seeing me on such short notice.
Dr. Gallo: Ah, it’s my pleasure. I’m curious. Are you related to Dr. Beverly Hofstadter?
Leonard: Uh, she’s my mother. You know her?
Dr. Gallo: No, not personally, but I have read all of her books.
Leonard: Well then, you know her better than I do.
Dr. Gallo: Well, I’m not so sure about that. But I can tell you that I do not agree with her theories on child rearing at all.
Leonard: Really? Any chance you find them old, cruel and unsuitable for innocent little boys who want to be happy?
Dr. Gallo: Well. I didn’t want to say it…
Leonard: No, no. Say it. Sing it. Rent a plane and write it in the sky.
Dr. Gallo: Sounds like your holding on to quite a bit of anger toward her.
Leonard: On, no I’ve worked through a lot of stuff. I’m better now.
Dr. Gallo: Mm, good for you.
Leonard: Do you know she never let me celebrate my birthday because being born was her achievement, not mine.
Dr. Gallo: That’s heart-breaking.
Leonard: Right. To this day, I send her a card every year with a little money in it.

Penny: Do you have any questions?
Dr. Gallo: Just one.
Penny: Um.
Dr. Gallo: When you made husband pretend to be a patient so you could get access to me, what were you thinking there?
Penny: I was just meant a question talking about the drug.
Dr. Gallo: Yeah, I know what you meant. Let’s put that aside for a minute and talk about why you married Leonard.
Penny: I don’t wanna.
Dr. Gallo: Here is a man raised by an overbearing mother who completely dominated every aspect of his formative years. Do you think he is perpetuating that relationship by seeking out a partner like you?
Penny: You know I used to wear tank tops a lot; that was a big selling point.

Amy: Hi, Sheldon. What’s up?
Sheldon: Good news. You’re an asteroid.
Amy: Um, please tell me what to say next.
Sheldon: Perhaps I should explain. While working with Koothrappali, we discovered an asteroid and I named it after you.
Amy: Oh! Sheldon, thank you. That’s so romantic. But what about Rajesh? He was okay with you choosing the name?
Sheldon: Oh, it took a little negotiating. Uh, we get the asteroid, but if you and I have any children, they all have to be named Rajesh.
Amy: All of them?
Sheldon: Even the girls.
Amy: Okay, I think I know what to say now.

Penny: How can I not sound like his mother when our entire bedroom is filled with Star Wars toys? I mean, have you ever had sex with a stuffed Wookie watching you?
Dr. Gallo: I went to college in the seventies, it was a hairier time. I’m gonna say yes.
Penny: If anything, he’s turning me into his mother. Before I did pharmaceutical sales, I was an actress. You know, I was pretty good. You know girl-next-door type, but hot. Doable.
Dr. Gallo: Hmmm.
Penny: Not only am I Leonard’s mother, but we have this man-child living with us named Sheldon.
Dr. Gallo: Okay, Leonard talked a lot about him. I wasn’t sure he was real.
Penny: Yeah, he’s as real as the fines I get when I use too much toilet paper.
Dr. Gallo: Wow, you have a lot on your plate.
Penny: I do. You know, Leonard’s right. You know, talking to you is really helping.
Dr. Gallo: Oh, I’m glad. You know, you might also benefit from a prescription for anxiety.
Penny: Okay, if you think it’ll help. Oh, just don’t make it Placinix. I don’t need sudden fits of homicidal rage.