"The Big Bang Theory" The Date Night Variable (TV Episode 2012) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • On the occasion of the second anniversary of their first date Sheldon and Amy celebrate, however a lonely Raj is invited by Sheldon to join them. Amy is quite upset by Sheldon's actions. She also demands to know what is in his heart and gets a romantic soliloquy by Sheldon from the first Spider-man movie which she reluctantly accepts. Leonard and Penny are hanging out together where Leonard has set up the apartment with things Penny likes including snacks, beer and watching a football game. He even paints his chest with "Go Sports". Leonard tries to get her to discuss their relationship seriously, but she has had a rough day and just wants to hang. They are interrupted by Raj, who decided to leave Sheldon and Amy alone on their date. Raj tells them how great their relationship is until he learns that she has never told Leonard that she loves him. After Raj tries to get Penny to admit it, he gets kicked out of the apartment. Wandering over to the comic book store, Raj and Stuart strike up a friendship and agree to go out to see a movie. Howard video chats with Bernadette who is mad at him for not telling his mother that they are moving out. He buckles under to his mother and then tells Bernadette that everything worked out, thus lying to both of the women in his life. He may decide to stay in space.

  • Problems exist between all three couples. Howard, still in space, apparently didn't tell his mother that he and Bernadette are not planning on living with her, which in her eyes means that Bernadette is stealing her baby. Bernadette ends up taking the bulk of Mrs. Wolowitz's wrath, which she in turn vents on Howard. With which woman will Howard side? Things are still slightly uncomfortable between Leonard and Penny, ever since Leonard's impromptu proposal of marriage while they were having sex. While Leonard wants to talk about it, Penny doesn't. On their second anniversary date, Amy and Sheldon have the exact opposite problem, at least in Amy's mind. She is still hoping for so much more to happen with Sheldon, and she hopes that their supposed romantic anniversary dinner will be that impetus. A move by Sheldon demonstrates where his mind is at with regard to Amy. Meanwhile, a lonely Raj moves from one couple's date to another. He ends up in an unexpected place by the end of the evening.

  • Raj crashes Sheldon and Amy's second anniversary and interferes in Leonard and Penny's relationship. Howard gets caught in the middle of an argument between Bernadette and his mother.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • When we last left our intrepid 7, Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) got married before he took off to the International Space Station. And he's still there, "looking down on us like a tiny Jewish Greek God. Zeusowitz." according to Raj (Kunal Nayyar). Even Sheldon (Jim Parsons) was jealous of Howard looking out at the majesty of our universe with those "dim uncomprehending eyes. Like a cat in an airport carrying case." Leonard (Johnny Galecki) does point out the astronauts drink recycled water from each other's urine.

    SHELDON: No matter what he's working on, his life will never be the same.

    (on the space station)


    Yes, his mother's calling. And she's upset he is planning to move out of the house and move in with Bernadette.

    HOWARD: Mom, everyone at NASA can hear this call.


    HOWARD: (hangs up) Well, space is ruined.

    (BTW, they did update the titles so Amy and Bernadette are eating dinner with them.)

    Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is helping Amy (Mayim Bialik) bleach her upper lip, who is happy it has the same color as her fake blonde friend. Amy has a 2nd Anniversary date with Sheldon, which requires him through the Relationship Agreement to take her out to dinner at a nice restaurant, ask her how her day went, and engage in casual physical contact onlookers might interpret as intimacy. (PENNY: That's hot. You kids better use protection.) On the relationship front, Penny is still feeling weirded out because Leonard proposed to her in the middle of sex.

    AMY: If Sheldon ever proposed to me during sex, my ovaries would grab onto him and never let him go.

    After belittling Leonard for not knowing the Anthropic Principle (which he did), Raj asks the guys what they were up to for the evening, but both of them had dates. He was resigned to go home and spent it alone ("I eat alone, I sleep alone, I cry alone"), but Sheldon invites him along on his date with Amy. Leonard advises against doing that, but Sheldon realizes he is perfectly within his rights in the Relationship Agreement to outsource his obligations to an Indian.

    Bernadette calls Howard and tells him about the never-ending dinner she had with his mother, which included finding out Howard never told his mother they weren't going to live with her. Yes, she's pissed.

    BERNADETTE: You're going to fix this, or that thing I promised to do to you when you got home? You can do to yourself.

    DMITRI: He's been doing it since he got here.

    Amy and Sheldon arrive at a very posh restaurant, recommended by Raj, and Amy tells Sheldon to thank Raj for the suggestion. But she can tell him herself, as he was waiting for them. Yes, she's pissed.

    AMY: I can't believe I bleached my mustache for this.

    RAJ: You should go to my girl. She'll knock out those sideburns for free.

    In Raj's defense, he is quite the conversationalist. Of course, Amy just wants him to go home. Raj is shocked and wants to make things right. ("Waiter, a bottle of champagne and three glasses!")

    Back at home, Leonard gives Penny a night for her, complete with wings, sliders, beer, and a football game. He even painted "go sports" on his stomach. (Covering his bases in case Penny wanted to watch baseball.) Penny is impressed and very happy. Until Leonard wants to know where they are in the relationship. She tells him she had a hard day and just wants to watch the game, so he backs off...for about five seconds.

    PENNY: Sweetie, can I just be the girl tonight?

    LEONARD: Of course, You watch your game, while I make you a little plate.

    And then Raj makes things even more awkward, given he clearly drank the champagne. Leonard wanted him to go, but Penny was happy to have him. (LEONARD: Can't believe I shaved my stomach for this.)

    Howard's mother calls once again and tells him Bernadette wanted him to talk to her. Howard finally starts giving the speech about Bernadette and he starting a new life together.


    Yes, Howard knuckles under from all the Jewish guilt and says he'll try to work something out with Bernie.


    DMITRI: (overhearing) I can't believe these people won the Cold War.

    Raj has settled in quite nicely on Penny and Leonard's date. But Leonard tells him to take off while Penny is getting another beer. However for Raj, Third Wheel + Beer =

    RAJ: Oh, pish on your issues! You guys are fine! I mean, Penny, you always knew how this guy felt about you, but you made him grovel for affection. That's OK; he was a groveler from way back. But the point is, the two of you got past it. And Leonard, you went and proposed to this poor girl in the middle of sex? That was some weak tea, dude. But after all you've been through, you can still look into each other's eyes and say 'I love you'. And that's beautiful

    LEONARD: (VERY awkward) Actually, to this day she's never said that.

    RAJ: Penny, that is ridiculous! You know you love him! Just say it. Say it! (Yes, he gets the boot.)

    Alcohol works quite well for Amy, too, as Sheldon looks like a sexy praying mantis to her. And the best part about a praying mantis? They devour their mate.

    AMY: (undoes one button on her blouse) Dessert is served.

    SHELDON: (nonplussed) I just had cobbler.

    Amy gives up and walks out.

    SHELDON: You can't go. I need you! You're my ride.

    Amy gives him an ultimatum: say something meaningful and from the heart to her, or she is leaving him.

    SHELDON: Amy, when I look in your eyes, and you're looking back in mine, everything feels not quite normal. Because I feel stronger and weaker at the same time. I feel excited, and at the same time, terrified. The truth is, I don't know what I feel, except that I know what kind of man I want to be.

    AMY: Sheldon, that was beautiful.

    SHELDON: I should hope so; that was from the first movie.

    AMY: (mulls it over) I'll take it.

    On the good side, Raj did find someone else to hang out with: Stuart (Kevin Sussman). And they have a chocolate liqueur in a Chewbacca glass. (STUART: I call it a Sadtini.) Stuart puts a bossa nova on, and it makes both of them think of Brazil, the white sand beaches, the bodies glistening in sweat. Yes, it gets awkward, but they do make plans for the next night.

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