The Rothman Disintegration, Season 5 Episode 17

This week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory, “The Rothman Disintegration,” found Dr. Sheldon Cooper battling his coworker Barry Kripke for a retired professor’s office, and Penny dealing with a difficult friendship situation with Amy Farrah Fowler.  What results is a plethora of laughs.


From the start of the episode, Sheldon’s crusade to acquire Dr. Rothman’s office takes him and Kripke to the men’s room where they corner the president of the university.  The president replies that the two of them need to work the situation out like adults.  Sheldon’s answer is to invite Kripke over to the apartment to negotiate terms, or poison his tea if he does not cooperate.  The two are reduced to sparring the situation out in an intellectual duel.  But, to put the two on an equal playing field, they choose to battle things out on the basketball court, because they are both equally bad at sports.

Meanwhile, Amy presents Penny with a giant painting of the two of them.  Both Penny and Bernadette agree that the piece is hideous, and they try to come up with a solution since, as Bernadette points out, the painting makes Penny look like a man.  Unfortunately, it seems that Penny is stuck with the painting.


The three girls hang out one evening so that Amy can watch Grease for the first time – her mother forbade it, fearful that it would turn Amy to a life of gangs.  After Bernadette and Amy leave her apartment, Penny removes the artistic monstrosity from the wall.  Amy comes back in to borrow the DVD they had just watched, and discovers that Penny has removed the painting.

Upset, Amy takes the piece and leaves, holding in tears.  Of course Penny feels awful, and goes to apologizes to Amy.  In the end, they mount the picture on the wall of Penny’s apartment and the friendship is saved.

In the end, Sheldon wins Rothman’s office, because he bounced his basketball higher than Kripke bounced his.  However, it is a tainted victory, as the office drives Sheldon crazy.  The air conditioner blasts at high speed and he has no control over the thermostat; the geology lab directly above the office causes everything to vibrate; the birds and wind chimes outside are musically dissonant, and to make matters worse, the often nude Dr. Rothman proves to be intensely difficult to evict from the office.

However, Sheldon will not cede the space to Kripke; he won it fair and square and will not give it up to his coworker.  Will Sheldon be able to remain in Rothman’s office for much longer?  Tune back in to find out what happens next.