The Big Bang Theory "The Fish Guts Displacement" Review: Playing Doctor

The Big Bang Theory S06E10: “The Fish Guts Displacement”

Howard was forced into a fishing trip with his he-man father-in-law and things took a turn for the sweet. Sheldon was forced (per his and Amy's relationship agreement) to take care of a sick Amy and things took a turn for the weird. Well, weirder than usual for those two. I can’t help but feel like we’re gearing up for an actual sexual relationship between Amy and Sheldon and I’m not sure that I’m ready for that. Amy’s eagerness to let Sheldon rub Vicks on her chest, give her a bath, and spank her for being a “very bad girl” who lied about how sick she actually was were certainly the funniest parts of the episode. However, they were also some of the skeeviest when you consider that Sheldon clearly didn’t understand the implications of his actions the way Amy did.

Straightforward stories and a noticeable lack of Penny/Leonard relationship drama made for a second straight week of awesomeness on The Big Bang Theory. I've missed how you used to be awesome, show!

Bernadette’s parents joined the Wolowitzes for Awkward Family Dinner Night. Howard failed at small talk, but frankly, Bernadette’s parents weren’t particularly chatty themselves either. Desperate to make a good impression, Howard asked Bernadette for an assist and she recommended that Howard join her father for his weekend fishing trip. He meant talking points, Bernie, a little help with talking points.

Predictably, Leonard and Raj couldn’t offer much assistance to Howard during his panic-fueled fishing-trip prep, though Raj helpfully offered to show him how to steam his catch in banana leaves when he returned (yum!). The men went off to find “someone who can do manly things” and ended up at Penny’s place. I saw it coming, but it made me laugh anyway. I love competent Penny.

Fishing lessons with Sherm the Worm were interrupted when the guys began to compete over who had the saddest and loneliest childhood with the least attentive-father, which Howard soundly won with his tale of woe and abandonment. That hole in his life, however, was seemingly filled when he arrived at the in-laws' place ready to fish, though he was still totally reluctant about it. As it turned out, so was Mr. Rostenkowski! Yay Resentment BFFs! Bernadette’s papa wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of spending the weekend with Howard, but his wife made him do it, just like his daughter made her husband agree to the bonding trip as well. They decided to make the best of their mandated playdate and hit up a casino. Mr. R. offered to teach Howard how to play craps and yup, those were definitely some Wolowitz man-tears threatening to fall as Howard finally found a dad figure willing to teach him stuff. Awww.

It’s a good thing we got our “aww” from Howard’s story, since Sheldon and Amy’s elicited more of an “ew” response. Usually, it’s the other way around.

After two days, Amy was feeling much better, but she enjoyed spending so much time with Sheldon that she kept up the facade of illness, even going as far as to stuff rubber cement up her nose... which, come to think of it, probably explains some of her thought process here. When Bernadette dropped off some experimental decongestants (with some hilariously horrific documented side effects) from the lab, Amy revealed her ruse and Bernadette pointed out that “this is the sort of thing lunatics do.”

Or, you know, someone who is high on glue.

Sheldon eventually took a swab of Amy’s cheek and had it sent to the lab for analysis, revealing her lie for the possible psychological condition that it was. He determined that she needed to be punished. They both agreed to spanking, which Amy happily provided the '70s porno soundtrack for. If anyone needs to borrow some of my brain bleach, Target was running a sale this week and I’m willing to share. It’s delightfully twisted that Amy and Sheldon accidentally ended up with the kinkiest sex life out of all the couples, though. The more you know, right, Sheldon?



The Stray Observation Addendum


– One–liner of the night: “I put the ‘fun’ in funeral.” —Sheldon

– Stop whining, Howard. I learned how to gut fish when I was six. It’s not that gross. They don’t have cooties. Just possible parasites.

– Okay, Amy and Sheldon get one “aww.” JUST one: when he said he actually cared about her. All together now: awwwwwwww.

Comments (69)
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The Amy Sheldon episodes are boring as usual.
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This is the funnniest sitcom on TV
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I'm pretty sure I am just about done with the Big Bang Theory. This episode pretty much made it jump the shark for me.

I find nothing cute and funny about Amy's behavior, not only in this episode but in previous ones. She has done nothing short of lying, begging, tricking, and manipulating to get Sheldon into an intimate relationship with her. She full well knew what she was getting into in the beginning. I don't find it humorous. I just don't.

I do have sympathy for her, but I think she should move on to someone else who is willing to start a physical relationship with her because he WANTS to, not because he is being pushed into it.

Also, as someone said, we have had a handful of scenes or so of Sheldon and Penny being in the same room this season. Their dynamic, whether as friends, enemies, or something entirely different, is sorely missing. Jim and Kaley are toooooo good together to be wasting such comedic potential.
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Hilarious episode as usual. The Amy/Sheldon storyline had me rolling the whole time! The spanking at the end was the icing on the cake for me! Loved it!!
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Honestly, I'm even more ready for Amy and Sheldon to do the deed than Amy herself, but then again I'm not Sheldon and, for my life, I can't figure out what hides inside that 'brilliant mind' of his. I'm just glad those two crazy kids are figuring it out as they go along, at their own rythm.
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Does anyone else think that eventually, before the show is through, Howard's dad comes back to capitalize on his son's newfound astronaut fame, just so Howard can tell him off?

Think the end of "The Waterboy," but Jewier.
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the fish they are gutting, penny says you can see the eggs at one time- i'm almost positive but only assuming the fish was store bought. i'm also only assuming, as i'm not a fish and game warden, but you have to release the pregnant fish back, no?
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Depends on the fish. I know that's the rule for lobsters and maybe salmon.
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I don't know if I'm ready for Amy and Sheldon to do the deed either, as it would involve coercion again on Amy's part, which was weird and borderline creepy in this ep, and it will take away a part of Sheldon's innocence that is an integral part of his character.
But if it must be done, acceptable forms of presenting this milestone is absolutely NO bedroom scenes- and Sheldon mentioning it in passing, like 'what's the big deal guys?' and Amy describing it as 'aloof but effective.'
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I agree with the total lack of any bedroom scenes, however I interpret the aftermath differently, because I believe Sheldon Cooper could be the one person who, even after intercourse with someone he cares about, would do a Walk of Shame. Imagine Leonard in his robe watching Sheldon sulk in, shoes in hand, at 6 on a Saturday morning. Which, as we all know, is Dr. Who time.
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At that point it would be Dr Why Bother? ;o)
Or maybe it would be more interesting if the tables were turned and Sheldon initiated? Possibilities include a crazy chemical imbalance, Mr Spock telling him to in a dream, or he could be back on the idea of gifting humanity with their progeny.
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PON FAR!!!
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I miss Leonard and Penny drama.
I also miss hot Penny. Still a good episode, but let us finally open the box and see if there is a future for these two or rather not. It feels like watching HIMYM
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I completely agree with cece1012003: it was music especially chose by Amy to set up the mood. Why would the, fairly romantic, girlfriend of Sheldon Cooper use "porno music"?! "Sumthin' Sumthin'" by Maxwell seemed like the perfect choice!
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Am I the only one here who felt weird about Sheldon stating that he should punish his girlfriend by being physical? I know Amy enjoyed it and that he wasn't hurting her for real, but the whole thing, along with Amy taking advantage of him was wrong in so many levels...
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There's not a lot that I get grossed out by seeing, but watching Sheldon actually spank Amy made me fairly grossly uncomfortable. It's even more odd considering I don't really have a legit problem with it...
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Why does everybody keep calling it porno music? It wasn't even for the 1970s either! It's "Sumthin' Sumthin'" by Maxwell (a neo-soul artist well known for smooth and romantic music, not porn) and it was released in 1996 ya ninnies!
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Excellent point.
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The addition of S&M totally sells the idea of Sheldon and Amy in a sexual relationship to me.
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I think the problem with Sheldon is that he's too smart not to notice he doesn't satisfy Amy, but too dumb to do something about it.

I'd rather have him do the next best thing that works for her, than a drunk fight with Will Wheaton only because he figured it out all too late.
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Frankly, I think Sheldon's character is far less innocent sexually than everyone thinks he is, even himself. Remember, he looked at Penny naked! What's more, Sheldon loves Amy deeply and more than anything I'd like to see the writers stop with the sexual weirdness and focus on the more compelling idea that Sheldon might actually have to face coming out of his protective shell of intellectual prowess and become a whole man. There's great potential for hilarity in setting it up so that Amy decides to stop being so sexually weird and uses a little reverse psychology on him. It worked with Stewart, after all. I feel Mayim Bialik is a great talent who is being really underused and undervalued in the role at this point.

We've also lost a very important piece in TBBT's mythology if you will, and that's how close Sheldon and Penny can be. This could be brought back into play in myriad ways, and I'd like very much to see that. When those two characters are together, the show can't help but sparkle.
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Sure in a perfect world, Sheldon and Amy will live happily ever after, but so far this show does an excellent job at keeping things real.
While everyone is warming up to people, Sheldon has yet to do anything that is not done strictly out of logic. There is a hurt child in there as well and it is hidden deeper than in anyone else, He got burned alot in the past and is smart enough to find all the reason he needs for existing in science. Honestly I don't see any reason for him to find a way back from that.

Obviously the writers have to, but it is gonna be a long and painful road. I am also eager to see it, but I don't think Amy is the way to go with that. I love her charakter and she makes everthing more funny, but I don't feel any connection there. I think he is actually closer to Penny than Amy. Well and thaaats... not gonna happen... so we'll see. But ultimately, imo we are gonna need a second love interest for Sheldon.
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If I recall the Pilot, both Leonard and Sheldon were going to donate sperm on a donation bank. I'm pretty sure Sheldon will eventually have sex for logical reasons. He just doesn't think its logical to do it at this time.

I think the biggest 'aww' moment was that Howard not having a father figure.
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Please, can someone else start writing the TBBT articles? It is supposed to be a review and not a summary of the episode, we have already watched it!!
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This is not a constructive comment. I wrote about a page on how to make it one, but the site has eaten it like 12 times, so I dunno, figure out how to make it one.
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I've been spoiled by Surrette and Price. They are always so funny and entertaining. These reviews, while well written, are not funny at all.
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I loved Penny showing the guys how to fish. She is like the manly one of the group (go Nebraska!). Howard's story was okay. Raj has been boiled down to sad stories and one-liners that are sometimes funny and sometimes weird. Get this guy a plot fast! No Penny & Leonard drama and for that I'm grateful. The writer's can't seem to write anything funny around this just stuff that makes me want to scream and/or cry. Amy and Sheldon's story was okay BUT it was also kinda creepy. I'm all up for Amy pushing her relationship forward with Sheldon (I mean he isn't going to do it on his own.) Sheldon's lack of knowledge of what was going on made it feel like a predator preying on an innocent little child. Little too far for Amy. She's better than that.
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I agree about Raj. IRL, he would have already split off from a group with so many couples, and just hung out with the guys at work. They need to find him a storyline
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Its so funny when characters like them play the kinky angle, Leonard and Howard were able to master the desperate card by the time Penny entered their lives because they are grown, albeit frustrated, young men.

You can't really play that card with Sheldon and he's not as sensitive as Raj to play the sentimental angle either, this spanking/rubbing/bathing business was brilliant! Kudos to the writers.
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I agree. I didn't find it creepy.
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Actually showing the smacking at the end was a bit much. Amy is getting way too creepy.
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Alot of people ddidn't want to see it. and yes i agree its creepy.
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Totally disagree. It was seriously (!) funny.
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I don't think she's creepy, but I didn't want to see it, either.
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I almost broke a rib laughing when Sheldon started asking Amy if she had any symptoms like growing nose, or a heat in the general trouser area. He is always portrayed as not understanding humor that when he makes a joke it always takes me off guard and makes it better.
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Amy's overt sexual desire at being touched in any way by Sheldon was a tad skeevy in a funny way, but that spanking bit at the end was unwatchably grotesque - that should have been suggested rather than filmed as it was just ugly.

I was really surprised to see them using an actual fish for the teaching scenes, TV generally shies away from such things.

This was an ok episode, didn't do as much for me as it did for you, I guess. Raj continues down the path of becoming a cheap femme stereotype, Howard's story was a bit bumpy on its way to its conclusion, not a lot of huge laughs, and AFF got gross with Sheldon.

No mention of the TMNT themesong being called out? Big Bang Theory showrunner Chuck Lorre wrote it.
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It wasn't "any way," it was her chest, a well-known erogenous zone for females of the species. But, then again, if your boyfriend was a socially-awkward asexual genius, you'd take what you can get too.
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Favorite episode of the season hands down. Everything was hilarious. BBT has really been delivering for about a month now. Good Stuff.
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You didn't include the fish-gutting lesson with all the gagging, I LOL'd quite a few times in that scene.
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Hilarious Just Hilarious
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Sorry, but the Amy/Sheldon portion felt uncomfortably like molestation to me. the only reason I think people find it ok is that it was Amy taking advantage of Sheldon. If it had been the other way around, no one would have a problem with calling it taking advantage, and the fact that Amy is the female really shouldn't change that. Sheldon clearly didn't understand the sexual connotations of what he was doing, and it's times like this that make me miss the early pragmatic Sheldon/Amy relationship, because Amy obviously needs more out of the relationship than Sheldon can give her. Of course there can and are many happy relationships between sexual and asexual people, but the way Amy is taking advantage of Sheldon, and the fact that both characters, Sheldon in particular, are very bad at compromising, suggest that this is not one of them.
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i can't fathom why they are still going with this couple when its clear to so many that A, they are boring and B the pairing just doesn't make any sense and makes Amy's character look like a fool. i just don't get it.
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Also, as funny as I find the Sheldon / Amy dynamic at times, I don't know what to make of her as a character.

She started out as a female Sheldon: independent, asexual, incredibly logical, and a little socially dense.

Then they toned her down, which makes sense. Having 2 Sheldons on the screen at the same time would be a bit overkill and take away from what the actor brings to the table.

But now, she just plays a lonely, less socially awkward (than Sheldon), horn-dog that the makeup department has worked on bringing her beauty down a few notches. In general, it's a bit sad what they've turned her into... her dependence on Penny is a bit too much. I'm not even talking about the romantic feelings she has, just the FREAKING OUT she does when she thinks she's not part of the group any more.

Again, she's funny... it's just weird to see her go from her introduction to where she is now.
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I actually like Amy's character and thinks she deserves a man who will give her everything she wants. And i don't understand why they are making sheldon out to be so sexually innocent when we all know he's not.
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I disagree. While she seemed to be just like Sheldon, she really wasn't. She was more like the other guys, brilliant, but incredibly socially awkward.
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And I disagree with your disagreement :-)

She was quite Sheldon-esk at first, recall her conversation with Sheldon at their first meeting. How she only agrees to go on 1 date a year to (A) get her mom to stop arguing with her and (B) to be able to use her George Foreman grill. The rest of the guys are brilliant and socially awkward, but with the exception of Sheldon have always been "into" dating.

I think things really start to take a turn as she hung out with Penny. I think the tipping point was when she discovered what "horniness" feels like when she met one of Penny's ex's. The one that whenever she looked at, she made the involuntary sound "wooo"
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Smorbie,

I THINK the episode where she got drunk and kissed Sheldon to see what it was like.., was actually at the END of the episode I mentioned. Where she started getting horny when looking at Penny's ex and couldn't explain why she was acting like that. And at the end kissed HIM to see if she felt the same or something.

But it's true... she did give herself hundreds of O's during those experiments. But she described them clinically... as opposed to the horny person she is when she talks about stuff now.
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You may very well be right. Was that episode before or after the one where she got drunk and kissed Sheldon?
Oh, I just remembered something about their first date. Remember when she said she had her brain stimulated to make her have an orgasm. And she'd done it like over a hundred times?
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The thought did occur to me, though... it was Sheldon (an adult) that suggested the spanking of Amy (another adult). Had Amy suggested Sheldon spank her then I could really see it being a full on molestation but he put it out there. And spanking is in that kind of gray area: the base concept behind it isn't s*xual but it's just been adopted that way.

I'll admit, I wasn't in the room when the vapor rub scene happened I was only in later when she referred to it by asking him to rub her chest again. So that one, yeh, sounds like it was a bit molest-y. Turning it around, I guess it would be a like tricking his girlfriend to rub cream on his lower-genitals.

But the spanking one... even if the tables were turned, I don't know how I'd feel about that. If an adult girl said an adult guy deserved a spanking and then proceeded to do so, without the guy even HINTING at it, and he said "Umm, OK" then I wouldn't really see it as molest-y.
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I take your point, but if the girl said it without any knowledge of what it meant.... It's hard to say because episode to episode Sheldon's knowledge of sex seems to change, but here he clearly had no idea of the sexual connotations. Essentially she was getting off on his actions, and deliberately concealing that fact from him in order to get him to continue. It's not just that he appears to be asexual, it's that he doesn't know what he's doing. The reason we have laws about statuatory rape is because people below the age of 16 (or possibly 18, where you're from?) are considered to young to give consent. Sheldon was participating in Amy's sexual pleasure without knowing that he was doing so. Maybe he's too pragmatic, but if I found out that a friend (or girlfriend, for that matter) was getting off on something we did together which I considered to be non-sexual, and doing so without my knowledge, I'd feel kind of violated. It's a bit like someone having sex with me while I'm asleep (without telling me beforehand).
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As a woman it hurts my heart to see Amy, a girl who in the begining was strong, intellecutal and independent, carrying on this way just to get something from a man who is clearly unable to give her what she needs.
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He does know, however, that Spider-Man cannot have sex with a spider.
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See, I'm not sure about that one. There are definitely giant spiders in several Marvel storylines. He probably could if he really put his mind to it. Wow, my mind goes to disturbing places.
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But Sheldon is an odd case. He's and adult. He's a genius (can't even be measured). In most cases he acts like an OVERLY mature adult. He is aware of sex and various sex acts, if for no other reason than hanging with his sister in Texas (and demonstrated by his bl*w job joke the other week).

And I don't think it's ever been EXPLICITLY stated or hinted that he has Aspergers or Autism (unlike Abed in Community). It could simply be high social awkwardness. Plus, we have his and his mom's statement that he was tested for insanity and he didn't have any. Does the law cover HIM with this scenario? Tough call.

I'll give you the vapor rub thing: if I tricked my GF into applying ointment to my... nethers... under the pretext of medical needs then that would be wrong and perhaps classify it as something.

Now let's say: a (genius adult) girl offers to give her (genius adult) BF a full body massage or something without him even hinting/suggesting/etc for it. He say's "umm, OK" and doesn't mention that he gets quite excited from that. It's kind of known that full body massages can lead to excitement. Is that statatory rape? I honestly don't know, but I'd have to imagine no.
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Hate to burst your bubble there but it's pretty damned obvious when a man gets excited sexually.
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I have to admit I wouldn't consider what Amy did to be statutory rape, or rape at all. I was jut using it as an example of where consent can be obtained, and still not be enough. As I said, it's much more complicated with Sheldon than a minor because of his intelligence, but for me, the spanking just felt wrong. I keep trying to think of a good everyday example to say that whatever it was would make me violated. Maybe if I was training with a dance partner, and somehow managed to completely miss the fact that he was rubbing off on me when we danced. The situation of complicated because Sheldon is a genius, and an adult, and yet , in this case, fully unaware of the situation. I'm just gonna say that any sex act between two people in which on of them is unaware that they are performing a sexual act seems wrong to me.

Every time I watch Amy and Sheldon I feel a slight degree of discomfort and sadness, because I just don't see it lasting, and I think they'll end up hurting. Watching that just made me feel bad for Sheldon. I don't know much about the asexuality spectrum, but I know enough to know that sexual activity involving them is usually defined before hand, and done with their consent. Amy knows that Sheldon will never consent to sex, and so tricks him into giving her sexual satisfaction. Perhaps this is where I see it as a definite problem. It is not just a sexual act which Sheldon was unaware of, but one he would never have agreed to had he known the real context, which Amy knew. She was doing something that she knew she could never obtain consent for,
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You're completely right. But then again, I lot of people are too stupid to think about it. So count yourself as one of the lucky ones.
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Sheldon and Amy remind me of Mr. Grey and Lee Holloway from the greatest 2002 movie "The Secretary". That couple of PhDs and their ownr kinky selves!
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Teenage mutant ninja turtels,teenage mutant ninja turtels,teenage mutant ninja turtels,....Leonardo leads,Donatello does machines. Raphael's cool but brute,gimme break,Michelangelo is a party dude HEEYYYYYY....Teenage mutant ninja turtels,.... :D

woot that was awsome!!! LOOOVED this episode. Have to say,that Dragon Ball has awsome theme and even better in Dragon Ball Z(japanese versions!!!). Then Naruto has also many awsome theme songs.
Shame they didn't do the whole TMNT theme song:D
Howard: "Had no idea you where the chatty one"....and so many more funny scenes. Sheldon really cares for Ami,because at first he said,that their agreement was for when he was sick,but then he actually wanted to stay on his own and take care of her and make her feel better. Placebo effect was crazy funny...Sheldon and Ami have best scenes of couples atm,but Howard and Bernadette aren't far behind. I love watching this show every week.
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The TMNT '80s cartoon theme song they were singing was written by Big Bang Theory showrunner Chuck Lorre back when he was a musician, before he started TV scriptwriting and showrunning.
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I have to say, the whole "spanking" bit had me laughing so loudly last night. Seriously: between her realization at what Sheldon just said all the way to putting on some s*xy music to get in the mood. HI-LARIOUS.

That's probably my new favorite funny-scene, after the various "malfunctioning space toilet" scenes.

Granted, I was kind of surprised how far they took the joke. I thought the scene would end right after turning on the music... and was surprised they had a grown man spanking a horny woman... on an 8PM network show.
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No offense to the show's joke-writers, but you need continuity.

A couple of episodes ago, you had Sheldon making an oral s*x joke including the bobbing-head movements. And last night he was oblivious to the chest rubbing and spanking?

Granted, last night's episode was more to Sheldon's knowledge / personality. Oh, and it was funny as H*LL. Seriously some of the best scenes I've seen in a while.

I'm just saying: either Sheldon's "in the know" or he isn't.
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I think a lot of the people on here should go out and find the unaired pilot that's on the web, pretty much everywhere.

In that episode, Sheldon ISN'T a virgin and he most definitely knows about sex. The show completely changed Sheldon when it was actually aired.
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I think Sheldon's desires to want to care about his sick girlfriend was meant to cause him to be overlooking the otherwise sexual nature of his actions. I mean rubbing vicks vapor rub on the chest is how he likes to be taken care of so of course its what he would do for others. He took on a parental role in his mind so anything that could be taken in a sick way for him in his mind was just his being a caregiver. The same could be said for him not really caring or thinking about the nudity involved during the situation when Penny fell in the shower. His desire or rather obligation to help combined with his one track nature when he is focused on something would blind him to any other implications.

I think its rather nice continuity that Sheldon kind of views sickness as an excuse to break his usual thought processes and fears because he knows that having someone else touch him and take care of him will better allow him to get better and will allow him to better take care of someone else.

You want to talk out of character moment, then look at the episode when suddenly he became a germaphobe. That completely went against the cold analytical nature that Sheldon usually displays.l
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I seriously felt robbed, I wanted him to sing "Soft Kitty".
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YES! I was expecting that if nothing else.

I was hoping for other stuff, but I thought that was a staple for when Sheldon is sick or someone he's caring for is sick.
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Yep, I agree with that and mentioned it in my review.
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He was a germ-a-phobe in various episodes. Often just mentioned in passing that he didn't want to risk getting sick from this-or-that, like the seat of a bus, wearing a rented tux, mysterious sock, etc.

But also when he didn't want to risk hugging anyone and thus getting sick (and thus Penny got him sick) and the big melt down about going to the hospital (let alone what actually happened in the quarantine room).
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It's whatever fits for the joke. The joke machine is unaware of characters, it just does its thing.
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