The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019)
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The Vartabedian Conundrum 

Leonard tries to slow down his relationship with Stephanie when he realizes that they are living together, while Sheldon becomes convinced that he has an untraceable disease.


Mark Cendrowski


Chuck Lorre (created by), Bill Prady (created by) | 4 more credits »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Johnny Galecki ... Leonard Hofstadter
Jim Parsons ... Sheldon Cooper
Kaley Cuoco ... Penny
Simon Helberg ... Howard Wolowitz
Kunal Nayyar ... Raj Koothrappali
Sara Rue ... Dr. Stephanie Barnett


With Leonard now dating Stephanie, Sheldon's hypochondria kicks into high gear. Instead of ensuring Leonard's relationship with her is maintained, Sheldon now takes advantage of it by asking Stephanie to do a plethora of tests and examinations on him to figure out what ails him. Sheldon doesn't feel the need to ensure the maintenance of the relationship since Stephanie has moved in. Sheldon's assertion of Stephanie's living status is news to Leonard, who doesn't believe she has indeed moved in. They get an objective third opinion: Penny too believes Stephanie has moved in. When Leonard finally comes to the realization that Stephanie has moved in, he asks Penny for advice on how to slow it down without ending the relationship. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


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Did You Know?


Stephanie (Sara Rue) is the first person that Leonard (Johnny Galecki) has slept with in the series after Leslie Winkle (Sara Gilbert). See more »


Part of the definition of "living together" in the roommate agreement is "ten consecutive days of overnight visits" or "nine or more overnight visits in a three week period". Although we know that the roommate agreement isn't a tightly-written legal document, even Sheldon would not have had two clauses where the second obviously includes the first. See more »


[first lines]
Stephanie Barnett: I don't see anything at all, Sheldon.
Sheldon Cooper: Fuuh! You're the doctor, but I'm constantly hearing this annoying sound.
Leonard Hofstadter: Me, too.
Sheldon Cooper: Is it a high-frequency whistle?
Leonard Hofstadter: No, it's more of a relentless narcissistic drone.
Stephanie Barnett: Yep, there's no inflammation at all, Sheldon.
Sheldon Cooper: Then it must be a tumor.
See more »

Crazy Credits

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #231 I believe that inherent within the God-given right to the pursuit of happiness, is the equally God-given right to the pursuit of unhappiness. That is why I support gay marriage. See more »


References Roseanne (1988) See more »


History of Everything (Instrumental version)
Written by Barenaked Ladies
Performed by Barenaked Ladies
[Instrumental version of series theme song played over the closing credits]
See more »

User Reviews

The Vartabedian Conundrum was another fine episode of "The Big Bang Theory"
20 September 2009 | by tavmSee all my reviews

For the past few days, I've been catching up on past second season episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" to prepare for tomorrow night's third season premiere. While there are still some eps I've yet to watch, after this one I'll just get to the season finale since the remaining ones I either haven't taped, couldn't find on the internet, or just can't find a place where they're selling the season 2 collection. We're seeing Dr. Stephanie Barnett examining Sheldon who thinks he has some kind of tumor. She humors him. Penny arrives in her nighties and startles Stephanie who hadn't met her before this time. Then after Stephanie leaves, Sheldon discusses with Leonard about living arrangements with her moving in which then startles Leonard since he didn't realize Stephanie had done so...This was another hilarious episode and a poignant one with Leonard discussing with Penny at the laundry room what's important in a relationship. Oh, and the end scene with Sheldon and Penny was just divine! And as usual, Howard and Raj provide their own moments. Now I'm going to watch last season's finale...

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Release Date:

8 December 2008 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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