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"The Septum Deviation" is the ninth episode of the eighth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, November 13, 2014.


Sheldon worries about Leonard getting a routine surgery, while Raj has to deal with the divorce of his parents on the eve of their 40th Anniversary.

Extended Plot[]

Sheldon and Amy are playing a game where Sheldon has to guess that he is Nikola Tesla. Amy calls him an under-appreciated genius and Sheldon is sure that it is himself. There is a car named after him and Sheldon thinks that it's the Mini-Cooper. Finally he gets it when Amy calls him a poor man's Sheldon Cooper.


Sheldon is worried about Leonard.

Leonard and Penny come in from shopping and having gone to the physician|doctor. Leonard had a camera shoved up his nose and was diagnosed that needs surgery because he has a deviated septum. Sheldon is appalled and doesn't want Leonard to have the surgery. Leonard wants to go through it because he can't breathe and he snores loudly. Sheldon doesn't want him to take the risk since he does not have a life-threatening condition. Amy points out that he always complains about his snoring; however, Sheldon got used to it after five or six years. The noise helps Sheldon sleep. End of story, Leonard is going through it. "Fine," replies Sheldon. Amy picks up a playing piece that says Jay-Z. Sheldon describes as someone famous for not undergoing unnecessary nose surgery that leaves him disfigured. He doesn't really know who it is or even if it is a typo.

That night Sheldon is watching Leonard snore in bed when Leonard suddenly wakes up. He admits that the snoring helps him sleep. Leonard calls him the "Albino Bogeyman". Sheldon is insulted since he spent two hours in Leonard's closet waiting for him to fall asleep. That which is bothering Sheldon is if the surgery is successful, his snoring is gone. Or if he dies in surgery, the snoring is gone. Sheldon is still worried about the surgery. One in seven hundred thousand people die during surgery from the anesthesia. Leonard says that it worked out for the other 699,999. Sheldon finds Leonard a "half-glass full" kind of guy and he's going to miss that.

Raj having dinner with Howard and Bernadette at their apartment and is fretting over finding a gift for his parents' fortieth wedding anniversary. Howard can't imagine being married to someone for forty years to which Bernadette says "Not anymore." Raj thinks about making them a gift like the drink coasters with a picture of his face he gave Howard and Bernadette. Bernadette sarcastically quips that Howard will get the coasters when they divorce.

The next day, Leonard arrives home and finds Sheldon is at his whiteboard. Sheldon has been considering everything that could possibly go wrong with Leonard's surgery and has the odds down to one in three hundred. His factors include an allergic reaction to latex gloves, the surgeon might have an epileptic seizure, driving to the hospital, falling down the apartment stairs and an asteroid hitting the earth. Just ask a dinosaur about that last one! Sheldon thinks that he is smart enough to survive it. Leonard appreciates his concern, but assures him that he is not going to die. The operation isn't for another week so he tells Sheldon he'll reconsider. Just as a last note, if Leonard has it in Nicaragua during the monsoon season, he can guarantee his demise.

Howard shows up at Raj's apartment to hang out and Raj is on the phone with his father. Howard has found a fencing school that has a Jedi class. Raj is not interested since he has learned that his parents


Happy and domestic.

have split up. Raj is happy as long as his parents are happy. He'll celebrate the holidays in two different places. Raj breaks down saying that now he comes from a broken home.

Leonard and Penny are in the hospital waiting room filling out paperwork. Leonard tells Penny that he told Sheldon they were going Human swimming|swimming in the public swimming pool.

Sheldon is eating in Amy's car figuring out how much urine would be in the water of a public pool. And he is eating French toast sticks getting Amy's dashboard sticky. He wonders how he could go since he doesn't have his swimming t-shirt which was destroyed last year when they cut him out of it after getting sunburned. He thinks that Amy sounds odd, though she counters with everyone thinks she is odd. After pestering her, she admits that Leonard got an earlier date for surgery and was having it that morning. Sheldon then insists that Amy take him to the hospital. He is his best friend and he could never forgive himself to be at his bedside if something goes wrong and he couldn't tell him "I told you so."

Amy and Sheldon find Penny is in the waiting room who looks uncomfortable after seeing them. Quietly Penny says that they had a real nice swim. Sheldon retorts that she has already gotten treated for her bottom burns from her pants being on fire. Penny complains to Amy that she had to tell him, but she was distracted because he wore extra baby powder. Leonard is still in the operating room and Penny is sure that everything will work out. She pats his hand and finds it still sticky from the syrup. Amy wants to change the subject to something else and Sheldon asks Penny if she and Leonard discussed funeral arrangements.

Bernadette and Howard come by Raj's office to bring him some muffins. Bernadette keeps making muffin jokes and Howard tells her that they're not that funny. Raj is feeling better and admits the news was harder on him than he thought. Bernadette understands as she would be devastated if her parents split up. Howard says that her father barely speaks to her mother. Bernadette says at least her father stuck around unlike his. Raj concludes that they just kept things bottled up instead of talking about the things that bothered them and it got to be too much in the end.

Back in the waiting room, Penny mentions the teddy bear and balloon that Sheldon brought him. It's not for Leonard. Amy got it for Sheldon since he stubbed his toe in a revolving door on the way in the hospital when he kept going around and around (he got distracted by the lobby's plant). Penny also asks him to not give Leonard a hard time when he is done since he will not be feeling good. Sheldon promises nothing since Leonard took unnecessary risks and deceived him. Penny explained that that was because he was being a pain in the ass, which he was being since he felt like the only one who was concerned about Leonard's well-being. She cares because she is going to spend the rest of her life with him. "And I'm not?" shouts Sheldon as he disturbs Penny. Then the waiting room shakes due to an earthquake tremor which startles Sheldon. He wonders if that could turn a deviated septum into a lobotomy. Then when the lights go out, Sheldon gets up quickly and heads for the operating room running into the glass on the door. He falls to the ground holding his nose in pain.

Howard and Bernadette are in their apartment sitting at the table talking more about marriage. She doesn't want things to remain bottled up like with Raj's parents and wonders if there is something about her that bothers him. First he thinks he is in a trap and then he tells Bernadette that she is just too beautiful at times. Instead as in Howard's therapy class, they start telling each other what they like. It starts out find and then it degenerates into what they don't like, but in eerie positive statements.

Back in the apartment Sheldon and Leonard are in their robes on the couch both with bandages on their nose. Penny is taking their picture for this year's Christmas card. It was revealed that despite the earthquake and minor power outage, the surgery still went through without any trouble. Leonard didn't want him there, but does apologize to his best friend for not telling him. Sheldon still lists all the post-operative problems that could plague Leonard. Penny says that Sheldon is never going to leave Leonard, though Amy insists that he will move out eventually. Penny quips that he first has to learn how to use a door. Leonard is teasing Sheldon telling him nasally "You wuv me."


Dual recovering noses.

Raj walks in on them having a round-about argument and says that his mom has already started dating someone. She was probably doing that while she was married. She also has bought the book "Eat, Pray, Love" and also set his father's car on fire. Howard mentions that they were telling themselves about all the things they love about each other. Raj remembers that they had done that together at couples therapy which shocks Bernadette.

Finally, after both guys have recovered a bit Sheldon is unpacking the urn he bought for Leonard, in case the worst happened. Penny wants him to send it back; however, Sheldon got it engraved, making that not possible. "Here lie the ashes of Leonard Hofstadter. He thought he was right, but his roommate knew better." He also got one for himself which said "I'm with stupid."



  • Title Reference: Leonard goes into the hospital for a deviated septum operation.
  • Taping date: October 28, 2014
  • This episode was watched by 16.09 million people with a rating of x.x (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 22.51 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #1 for the week ending 9 November 2014.
  • This episode aired in Canada on November 13, 2014, with 4.217 million viewers with a weekly ranking of #1.
  • In Australia, it aired on February 17, 2015, with 0.96 million viewers.
  • Episode transcript [1]
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [2]


  • Jesse Schedeen of IGN: For the second week in a row, Sheldon was forced to acknowledge his attachment to someone close to him, though with a more humorous angle this time around. Any episode that forces Sheldon to deal with feelings and emotions is usually a winner...(As) Raj dealt with the unexpected news that his parents were getting a divorce after 45 years of marriage...(this) development wound up impacting Howard and Bernadette far more... What started as Howard trying to avoid falling into a verbal trap shifted to the two trading sweet compliments, and then to passive-aggressive jabs, and finally to outright insults...This episode might not have reached the heights of last week's stellar installment, but it was plenty good on its own merits.
  • Dhruv Rao of The DR Club (B): "Admittedly, I liked how the writers portrayed Sheldon's deep care for Leonard and his obsessive nature simultaneously. The various punchlines from Sheldon are ever present, and they render the entire plot a lot more funnier. Furthermore, Penny and Leonard's relationship seems to be strengthening, a sign that the writers will soon discard their plot lines and focus on the other characters in unstable relationships. That is my educated guess after watching HIMYM side-step Marshall and Lily as murals in the ninth season. Another positive element of the episode is the balance between geek and sophistication, as the B-plot advances Raj's personal life: his parents are splitting up. The timing is key here: we hadn't seen them in a long time, and the last we saw them, they were unhappy. The writers once again took advantage of their given situation and made Raj's parents split, and gave the reason of bottled up feelings. The various cameos of the Koothrapallis makes sense now, and so does Raj's unhappiness. The line that caught me the most was that he would have to celebrate Diwali twice: a strong oxymoron. The continuity of the series has considerably improved since its early days, and that's what matters the most here..."
  • IMDb user reviews [3]


  • First appearance of Bernadette at Caltech since "The Thespian Catalyst" (S4E14).
  • Leonard previously mentioned in "The Griffin Equivalency" (S2E4) that he has sleep apnea.
  • Once again Sheldon marched right into a hospital without being worried about the germs in it as he did in "The Engagement Reaction" (S4E23).
  • With this episode, Raj joins Leonard and Howard in having divorced parents.
    • Although its never specifically stated that Howards parents divorced or even married simply that his dad left.
  • Raj's parents have been married for nearly 40 years, thus suggesting that they got married in late 1974. They only stayed because of their children and they got married for the wrong reasons because of their marriage arrangement.
  • Neither of the characters in either story line shares any scenes with each other in this episode (i.e. Leonard, Sheldon, Penny, and Amy don't share any scenes or dialogue with Howard, Raj, and Bernadette and vice versa). This happens again in "The Space Probe Disintegration" (S8E12).
  • In "The Holographic Excitation" (S6E5), Bernadette also cracks a "feeling blue" joke, but in that case it is because Howard is dressed as a smurf.
  • When Jim Parsons hit the glass door hard in the dark, he hit his cheek and the side of his nose instead of hitting his nose hard the way Sheldon was supposed to have.
  • Sheldon says that he has gotten used to Leonard's snoring after 5 or 6 years but in the episode "The Einstein Approximation" (S3E14: about 5 before this episode) Penny says that Leonard does not snore.
    • In addition, Sheldon states in "The 43 Peculiarity" that Leonard is a good sleeper (proving that he doesn't snore), and that he's better than "some snoring guy with a fridge full of lousy grapes".
  • Sheldon references the extinction of the dinosaurs approximately 66 million years ago, presumed due to the Chixculub asteroid strike. He also references the survival of mammalian ancestor species of that same event, believed due to their smaller size, higher intelligence, and superior adaptability all giving them an edge during the climatic upheaval brought about by the asteroid strike ("I'm smart and scrappy, I think I would find a way").
  • The photo taken by Raj of Leonard and Penny at their fake prom in the previous episode, "The Prom Equivalency" (S8E8) is seen on Leonard's bedside table as he wakes up when he notices Sheldon is listening to him snore.
  • A clip from this episode was shown in the 2015 Kids Choice Awards.


Amy: This is an easy one. You love this guy.
Sheldon: Me.
Amy: Come on. He’s an under-appreciated genius.
Sheldon: Still thinks it’s me.
Amy: It’s not you. Now think, there’s a car named after him.
Sheldon: Of course there is. It’s the Mini-Cooper ‘cause it’s me.
Amy: How about this; he’s a poor man’s Sheldon Cooper.
Sheldon: Oh, Tesla.

Leonard: The doctor shoved a camera up into my sinuses.
Penny: Yeah, I watched. It was like the scary boat tunnel in Willy Wonka.

Penny: Come on, smile. This is gonna be my Christmas Card.
(cuts to Leonard and Sheldon in their robes with their noses bandaged, Penny's camera flashes)
Sheldon: (nasally) You know this is all your fault
Leonard: (nasally) How is it my fault?
Sheldon: I told you not to get the surgery.
Leonard: Okay, first of all, the surgery was a success. Secondly, I didn't even want you there.
Sheldon: Wow, I don't know which hurts worse, my nose or my heart. I'm done speaking to you.
Amy: Don't be like that. You two need to talk this out.
Penny: (smiling) Yeah, 'cause you sound really funny. (chuckles)
Leonard: Sheldon, I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the surgery, but you were worried about nothing.
Sheldon: Oh, you're hardly out of the woods. No, you still run the risk of infection, a blood clot, the possibility that an inattentive surgeon let barn spider lay eggs in your nose. The minute you sneeze web I'm moving out.
Leonard: I never thought I'd say these words, but come on, nose spider!

Sheldon: If the surgery is successful, the snoring is gone. And if you die during surgery…the snoring is gone.
Leonard: It sounds like either way I get some rest.

(The scene at Raj's office at Caltech)
Howard: Knock, knock.
Bernadette: Hi.
Raj: Hey. What brings you by?
Bernadette: Oh, muffin much.
Howard: Told you, not funny.
Bernadette: He’s just not laughing because he’s feeling blueberry. (pause) Tough crowd.
Raj: I’m sorry. This is very sweet. Thanks.
Howard: So, how you doing?
Raj: Better. I guess the news just hit me a lot harder than I expected.
Bernadette: Well, of course. I would be devastated if my parents split up.
Howard: Why? Your father barely speaks to your mother.
Bernadette: Well, at least he stuck around, not like your dad, who just took off.
Howard: As you can see, we’re here to cheer you up.
Bernadette: Sorry, Raj. Do you have any sense of what happened with your folks?
Raj: I think, over time, they started to resent each other, and instead of talking about the things that bothered them, they kept it bottled up, and the hate just grew.
Bernadette: It’s a shame they spent all that time unhappy. But sometimes, there’s muffin you can do about it.
(Raj remains quiet and Bernadette yells at Raj crossly)
Bernadette (she is now very cross) You get it, right?
(She now looks at Howard for a second)

Leonard: Buddy, I get that you’re worried about me and I appreciate it, but I’m not going to die.

Sheldon: You don’t know that.
Leonard: I do know that it won’t be from an asteroid strike.
Sheldon: You know who else said that? Every cocky T. Rex currently swimming around in the gas tank of your car.

Howard: You sure you’re okay?
Raj: I’m okay.
Howard: You don’t look okay.
Raj: (upset) How can I be okay? I come from a broken home!

Sheldon: You’re acting odd. Why?
Amy: I’m odd all the time. Everybody knows that. Just last night, I tried to see how many fava beans I could fit in my mouth.
Sheldon: Tell me the truth.
Amy: 28.
Sheldon: Come on.
Amy: 56.

Sheldon: Take me to Leonard.
Amy: Just go to work. He’ll be fine.
Sheldon: Amy. He’s my best friend and if you don’t take me I’m going there anyway.
Amy: Fine. It’s sweet that you care about him so much.
Sheldon: I do. And I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if something happened to him and I wasn't at his bedside to say, “I told you so.”

Sheldon: Hello.
Penny: We had a really nice swim.
Sheldon: Oh stop it.
Sheldon: I assume this medical center has already treated the burns on your bottom from the recent pants fire.
Penny: ‘Cause I’m a liar, liar?
Sheldon: That’s for the fire marshal to determine.
Penny: You had to tell him?
Amy: He wore me down. And I was distracted. He has on extra baby powder today.
Sheldon: Is he okay?
Penny: No he's still in surgery.
Sheldon: Very well.
Penny: He's gonna be alright. That is sticky.
Amy: C'mon, let's talk about something other than the surgery.
Sheldon: That's a good idea. Penny, did you and Leonard ever discuss funeral arrangements?
Penny: I think she meant something a little happier.
Sheldon: I suppose we could try to make it a celebration. But he died so young.

Sheldon: Well. I’m not making any promises. Not only did Leonard take what I feel an unnecessary risk, he deceived me.
Penny: Okay, the reason he deceived you is you were being a pain in the ass.
Sheldon: Well, the reason I was being a pain in the ”B” is because I was worried about him and no one else was.
Penny: Really? You won’t even say “A”?
Sheldon: You bet your sweet “B” I won’t.
Penny: Obviously I care about Leonard. I’m gonna spend the rest of my life with him.
Sheldon: And I’m not? (gasps). It’s an earthquake. I knew it.
Penny: Sheldon. It was just a little tremor.
Sheldon: A little tremor that turns routine sinus surgery into a frontal lobotomy.

(The scene of Howard and Bernadette having a pasta dinner together in their apartment)
Bernadette: Can I tell you something? This whole thing with Raj’s parents just got me a little worried about us.
Howard: What are you talking about? We’re fine. And Raj’s parents probably split up because of Raj.
Bernadette: What?
Howard: They always say the children aren’t to blame, but, (Holds up Raj's coaster) come on.
Bernadette: (crossly) I’m not joking, Howie. You heard what he said about his parents. It was the little things they kept bottled up. I don’t want that to happen to us.
Howard: (worried) How can I convince you it won’t?
Bernadette: Well, is there anything about me you’re keeping inside?
Howard: I’m not answering that. It’s a trap.
Bernadette: So there are things you don’t like.
Howard: And here I am in the trap. You just keep talking. I’m gonna chew my leg off.
Bernadette: Just tell me one thing that bothers you, and I promise I won’t get mad.
Howard: Okay. The truth is, sometimes, you’re too beautiful.
(Howard shakes his head angrily for one second)
Bernadette: (she is now very cross) Oh. Howie, be serious.
Howard: Okay, okay. I really don’t like how your wings poke me when we sleep ’cause you’re an angel.
Bernadette: Okay, fine, maybe it was a bad idea.
Howard: I just don’t think the secret to a happy marriage is going out of our way to criticize each other. Although, there are ways to improve our communication. One thing I learned when I was in couples therapy was…
Bernadette: Who were you in couples therapy with?
Howard: Not important.
Bernadette: Was it your mom?
Howard: Not important.
Bernadette: It was your mom.
Howard: Anyway, the therapist had us tell each other what we loved about one another.
Bernadette: Oh, that’s so sweet. I want to do that.
Howard: All right.
Bernadette: Okay, um, I love that you make me laugh.
Howard: Thank you. And I love that you’re strong and independent.
Bernadette: And yet, I still love when you hold a door for me.
Howard: I love that I’m kind of a slob around here, and you’re okay with that.
Bernadette: Uh-huh. And I love that I work and do all the cleaning, and you’re okay with that.
Howard: See, I am. Isn’t this great?

Leonard's urn engraving: “Here lie the ashes of Leonard Hofstadter. He thought he was right, but his roommate knew better.”
Sheldon's urn engraving: “I’m with stupid.”

Bernadette: I love that you take pride in your looks, even when I have to pee in the morning, and you’re in there spending an hour on your hair.
Howard: I love that you’re too good to pee in the kitchen sink.
Bernadette: (she is now very cross) I love that you have the confidence to speak, even without giving it an ounce of thought.
Howard: And I love how your hair is always on the soap. It’s like washing myself with a hamster.
(Bernadette now gives her husband a hard glare just as the door knocks and Raj enters the room of the Howardette apartment).
Raj: Hey, guys. Sorry I am so late. I was on the phone with my mother.
Bernadette: (worried) Oh, how is she?
Raj: Pretty good. She bought the book Eat, Pray, Love and used it to set my father’s Mercedes on fire. So, what’s up with you guys?
Howard: We’re just saying all the things we love about each other.
Raj: Oh, like you and I did at couples therapy.
(Howard looks a Raj for a second, Bernadette now sips her wine crossly and Raj helps himself to a piece of bread)



  • [4] Taping Report by Happykitty and Gadgetgirl375