The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019)
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The Maternal Capacitance 

Sheldon hits it off with Leonard's psychoanalyst mother, but she drives Leonard and Penny to the bottle.


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
Christine Baranski ... Dr. Beverly Hofstadter


Leonard is dreading a visit from his mother, famed scientific psychoanalyst Beverly Hofstadter. She has always driven Leonard crazy, much like Sheldon does now. It isn't surprising as Beverly and Sheldon are very much alike. Because of their similarities, Sheldon and Beverly hit it off. Beverly, however, extends her scientific psychoanalytical criticisms toward Howard, Raj and Penny, in addition to her son, the latter two who are driven to drink. In drowning their self-doubt in alcohol, Leonard and Penny have a special connection. Sheldon and Beverly also contemplate having a special connection. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


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Release Date:

9 February 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


In the final scene Beverly (Christine Baranski) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) are walking downstairs as Penny is leaving for work, and Beverly is going to the airport to go home. As they approach the first floor landing area, Penny says to Beverly (she's crying again and giving Beverly more information about her childhood and her issues), "My mom could have just said, 'Bob, get over it; she's a girl, move on'". This reveals that "Bob" is her Dad, but in The Big Bang Theory: The Boyfriend Complexity (2010) her father is named Wyatt. See more »


Penny mentions that her father stopped calling her 'Slugger' until she got her first training bra, after which point she "wasn't slugger anymore", however in Season 9 Episode 3 while on the phone with him we hear him refer to her repeatedly as 'Slugger'. See more »


[first lines]
Raj Koothrappali: [the boys are playing Rock Band]
Raj Koothrappali: I don't ever wanna feel / Like I did that day / Take me to the place I love / Take me all the way /
Raj Koothrappali: I don't ever wanna feel / Like I did that day / Take me to the place I lo-
[sees Penny in the doorway]
Penny: Fellas, please.
Howard Wolowitz: Penny, come on, we were just finding our sound.
Penny: You found it. It's the sound of a cat being run over by a lawnmower.
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Crazy Credits

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #240 A wise man once told me that we are all God in drag. I like that. Sometimes when I'm in a public place or sitting at a stop light, I'll watch people walking by and I'll silently say to myself, "He's God. She's God. He's God. She's God." Before long I always find myself feeling a warm sense of affinity for these strangers. The experience is even more powerful when I do this while observing a person who is clearly suffering. On occasion I'll test my little spiritual practice by turning on Fox News. Within minutes I become an atheist. See more »


References Fox News (1987) See more »


Any Way You Want It
Written by Steve Perry and Neal Schon
Performed by Christine Baranski and Jim Parsons
[Beverly and Sheldon sing the song to Garage Band in the living room when Leonard walks in on them]
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User Reviews

Funniest episode of the show, truly wonderful half hour of television
10 December 2016 | by grimjack-2See all my reviews

While there are more good episodes than bad of Big Bang Theory, only a handful are fantastic, and this is the funniest episode of at least the first nine seasons.

The deadpan delivery of the guest actress, and her interactions with all the regular characters we had gotten to know well change the way we think of all of them. Or more precisely, how more precisely we think of each character's particular traits.

It was rather clever to make Leonard's mom more like Sheldon, rather than an obvious extension of Leonard. And this allowed us to squirm with Leonard, instead of going for obvious cheap laughs as the parent struggles to get along with Sheldon, like a lesser writer would have thought to do.

The line "I think I'd like to do the math" is one of the hardest I've laughed out loud at a TV show in the last decade.

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