The Big Bang Theory "The Spoiler Alert Segmentation" Review: How to Live With Sheldon Cooper (for the Rest of Your Life)

The Big Bang Theory S06E15: "The Spoiler Alert Segmentation"

I’m not sure how Leonard managed to get through 2005 without learning that Dumbledore died at the end of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, but maybe he’s just really phobic about spoilers. Given his response to Sheldon ruining the ending of the novel for him, maybe that’s the case or maybe—probably—Leonard’s apparent overreaction was just a logical response to years of pent up frustration concerning life with Sheldon. I can’t imagine Sheldon’s easy to live with, but as a difficult roommate myself (my college roommate was a saint, I tell you, a SAINT) I found myself in the weird position of sympathizing with Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Whaaaaaat?

A quality roommate is hard to find. There’s so much more to it than, “You’re a nerd. I’m a nerd. Let’s shack up in glorious nerd-vana.” You have to make sure your new roommate won’t hawk your textbooks for beer money or run your laptop through the dishwasher out of spite. Showering is a plus. An understanding of the things that lead to an ant infestation is also good. It’s not enough just to be friends. A lot of times, friends who share a lease are no longer friends by the time that lease is up. Sheldon and Leonard have worked out for years because they get each other, or at the very least, Leonard gets Sheldon and is willing to make allowances for the sake of peace.

It’s perfectly understandable that years of catering to Sheldon’s quirks would eventually catch up to Leonard, even over something as silly as a spoiler for a book that came out eight years ago. EIGHT YEARS AGO, LEONARD. There was a movie, too. It was kind of a big deal. Also understandable? Sheldon’s sheer panic once he realized what taking on a new roommate would entail. And once that new roommate appeared to be Amy Farrah Fowler herself, his roommate panic combined with relationship panic to create a volatile reaction.

Leonard didn’t fare much better with his escape plan. Even though the initial conflict that set “The Spoiler Alert Segmentation” in motion was specific to Leonard and Sheldon, the episode came to say more about Leonard and Sheldon’s relationships with the women in their lives than it did about their relationship with each other. We’ve had six seasons to understand that relationship. I think we’ve got it down. But in many ways, Amy/Sheldon and Leonard/Penny are still mysteries. Both couples have been rather stagnant for so long that it can be frustrating to watch, but The Big Bang Theory eased that frustration by pointing out the disastrous effects of moving forward before everyone is ready.

You don’t shack up with your girlfriend just because your regular roommate pisses you off, LEONARD. Also, you do not manipulate your still-has-issues-with-hugging boyfriend into inviting you to cohabitate, AMY. (Though she gets bonus points for having enough common sense to stick herself in Leonard’s old room, rather than jumping on the opportunity to awkwardly cuddle every night away.)

Amy is a perfect girlfriend for Sheldon in many ways. She’s very perceptive to his needs and for the longest time, she's been overwhelmingly willing to do things his way with little “payoff” for herself. But she’s getting frustrated. I’d have been right there with her during her outburst when Sheldon finally admitted that she just can’t live with him (and sure, I still cheered a little bit), but given what we learned about Sheldon’s feelings toward Amy last week, it was also kind of sad. He really does care about her. He’s admitted to seeing, sort of, the intimate future that Amy so desperately wants. But he’s just not ready for it yet. You can’t rush that.

Leonard, well, I just don’t know what he was thinking. His behavior could have been right up there with that random marriage proposal last season on the list of “things that make Penny consider dumping him.” But perhaps as a testament to Penny’s own growth lately, she just humored Leonard’s intentions until everything resolved itself. Thanks for not being a drama queen, Penny. Fo real.

Elsewhere, Howard and Bernadette went to a retreat with Bernadette’s company as a reward for her brilliance in rebranding a dandruff shampoo with unfortunate side effects as a great constipation medication. Howard asked Raj to visit his mom because she was depressed about her dentist boyfriend dumping her. We actually got our first ever Mrs. Wolowitz sighting which, though intentionally blurry, like a snapshot of bigfoot in the wild, was actually everything I imagined she would be because yay stereotypes. Loved the muumuu. After getting drunk on cream sherry, Raj woke up in Howard’s bed and tried to escape. He was unsuccessful. What are the odds he’s tied to a bed with two broken legs next week?


The Stray Observation Addendum


– One-liner of the night: “Feelings? What do I look like, a hippie at a love-in?” —Sheldon

– “Good buddy Leonard! Good buddy Leonard!” I love all the variations on Sheldon’s knocks.

– Howard’s entire rant about clubbing in Hollywood was amazing. His anecdote about how Bernadette got invited to a fancy corporate thing in Vegas was scary. Bernadette is scary. Raj asked, “Is there a GOOD anal leakage?” and I would really love to know Bernie’s take on that because again, she is terrifying.

– Poll time yay! We seem to be inching closer and closer to outright showing Howard’s mother on screen. What do you say? Should we see her face or should she always remain a mystery? Was this glimpse just enough?

Comments (39)
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I liked this episode a lot. However in my opinion Leonard needed to think about boundaries. You don't move in with anyone without talking to them about it first (girlfriend or no). Penny needed to A) Take a chill bill. Your boyfriend is across the hall and you do struggle financially. Having someone to help pay the bills when you see him every-day isn't that bad a thing. And B) Grow a pair and tell him you aren't cool with it. When your boyfriend is pushy you gotta say something about it.

On Spoilers - yeah Harry Potter is kinda old news but sometimes people don't pay attention to "news" as it's breaking (others have made similiar arguments in their comments). When a friend of mine is reading a book that I've already read I always ask them, "Where are you in the book?" or "What's going on?" Then you can have a conversation without spoiling anything. I also usually like throwing in a random, "Hey something big is about to go down." On one level it was shocking that Sheldon would spoil that because he's the King of not letting people spoil stuff for him (remember when he freaked out when Stuart told him the new Clash would blow his mind) on the other hand it makes complete sense that Sheldon would offer up any knowledge he posessed on any topic regardless of whether he is asked or not.
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I've seen her face plenty o'times when she was Joey's agent on friends thanx :)
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Pretty sure they're two different actors. Carol Ann Susi plays Mrs Wolowitz and June Gable portrayed Estelle.
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my bad if that's the case cuz I also found their voices so alike :(
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You have seen her, though. She had a role on a Seinfeld episode where George was dating his unemployment worker's daughter in an effort to gain an extension.
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Knowing that this is comedy show,there are times,rare times,that I wish someone would really get pissed and this is one of those times,that Amy delivered it. I mean she smashed it. Killed it:D "THEN WHAT THE HELL SHELDON!?!!?!?" My thoughts and rage same as Amy's:D But answers followed so all is cool now:D
I figured,that these two would be the next at some point, after Howard and Bernadette,that would move in thogeter and I was dooped,for thinking it might happen in this episode. One question I had at end of episode is,if Amy now lives with Penny?

About spoilers...if you don't watch something and you aren't interested,it is quite easy to miss spoilers,just because at that time,when something doesn't interest you,you don't consider as spoiler and is one of those things,that you forget about as time goes by. It's even easier,if character has crazy name,that if you hear it only once or twice and can't pronounce it at the time,mind plays tricks with you and comes up with something new:D

Another awsome episode. I did vote no on Mrs. Wolowitz's face,but as I am thinking about it,I think face doesn't really matter much,since we have seen size of Mrs. Wolowitz and that was always "elephant in the room",right? It was always talk about her weight and all jokes relating to that theme.
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Well, my problem of what you said about Amy is this: She wasn't thinking about actually living with Sheldon, as in the step that's towards being in a more intimate relationship. I saw it as her being his ROOMMATE. She's excited with the idea that she could live closer to her boyfriend by actually getting the soon-to-be vacant room. If she was thinking of something else, she would have said live-in partner. She was thinking rather technically and not romantically, since all the things she was describing were the advantages of her being his roommate, i.e. knowing his schedule, his food preferences, another scientist, and she tolerates him more than Leonard does. She was not thinking of the romantic implications given she was excited for Leonard's room, and did not even push him or merely suggested they share a bedroom.

Sheldon's problem here was that she IS the perfect roommate but that actually living WITH Amy for him is a step towards a more intimate part of their relationship that he isn't ready for yet. He wasn't able to tell her at first that she can't live with him because she gave good logical reasons as to why she is the perfect roommate. Because he knows what living with your girlfriend actually means. This time, it was him who was thinking more ahead in their relationship whereas Amy was looking at the "roommate" possibility. It's quite surprising, that in this case, if Amy were to actually live with him, it means they have progressed even more further in their relationship, like being live-in partners or being married and such.
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Maybe Mrs. Wolowitz should be shown in the very last episode every but that's it.
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Actually about spoilers- I was quite suprised they leaked out that Lori died...that episode wasn´t so long ago..my friend was pissed about that spoiler:)
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Mrs. Wolowitz is the Mr. Wilson of TBBT!
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We should never see Mrs Wolowitz if this glimpse was too much for me. She should stay just a voice so anyone could imagine her the way he wants
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Still waiting for The Big Bang Theory The Movie
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Carol Ann Susi (the vioce of Howard's mother) would need some serious make up prosthetics to make her look like how Howard's mother is described.
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Some characters are much better if never seen. Maris Crane for example. It's like a horror film where someone dies off screen, and you just hear the noise. The imagination goes wild.

As for the episode, the premise that Leonard does not know Dumbledore died frankly ruined the whole episode for me. They watch everything nerdy and geeky out there. He's gotta know. I didn't even watch Lost, and I knew that they all died in the end. Now what Sheldon did with Lori's death from the Walking Dead, was a major spoiler and he shouldn't have done that, however they all read comics. I would have assumed that with their unlimited comic spending budget that they would have read Walking Dead already. Leonard should have told Sheldon that spoilers break social protocol, and the writers should have found something else for him to throw a hissy fit about, like the urine measuring cup.
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What was awesome was that they spoiled Lost in the middle of the episode!
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Didnt watch the Harry Potter movies nor read the books and still I knew dumbledore died! C'mon Leonard! Great ep
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Lol, Actually until I saw the movie I never knew about Dumbledore, unfortunately the news about Dobby was spoiled right away.
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"You're a coward!"
"Well- the evidence does support that."

Best line of the night.
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I'm sure there are several twilight spoilers I'd never remember just because I avoid it like the plague. I didn't find it unreasonable to imagine that if Leonard wasn't into Harry Potter he would have caught every spoiler or they would have stuck with him having no investment in the series. it's just bad form to drop a spoiler like that in any case.

Did anyone else notice an audible gasp from the audience when we caught a glimpse of Mrs. Walowitz walking by the doorway? I really hope they never give her screentime, it'll be the end of a mystery and they could never cast anyone who could fill the character like it's built in our imaginations so it'd be a disappointment.

and loved the Walking Dead spoiler. funny thing, but I just turned a friend and her daughter on to both TBBT AND TWD and after the episode last night I got the dreaded call "So Lori DIES??" Sheldon actually landed a real spoiler!
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Audience wasn't the only one,who gasped:D I know I did as well. Want to know,what all those haters with "kill the laugh track" think about this.
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No matter how many years have past: Spoilers are the worst. And I know a couple of people that experienced the Dumbledore spoiler situation... But the episode was great.
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Am sorry but the best one liner of the episode is when Amy said "cuz we our droppin science son!" Don't tell no one laugh hard after she said that.
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I find it hard to believe that Leonard has not seen the Harry Potter movies at least. There was this magic episode where Howard was performing magic tricks. At least Howard, Raj and Sheldon made Harry Potter references. The Walking Dead spoiler was brilliant. They actually reminded me that Walking Dead is BACK this week! They need to make more geeky references.
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i think this episode just proves that comedies dont have to be weird and wacky all the time. the plot of the episode was simple and was made funny by the quality script and delivery of the actors. its good to see big bang is still fresh into its 6th season
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Great episode, even though Leonard would have seen all the Harry Potter movies by now. I haven't seen them all and I haven't read the books and I still knew Dumbledore dies in that book.
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While it may have been years since the book came out, I know fans who would have killed for less.
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Good buddy Leonard! (The third one was missing from your review :p)
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What planet does Leonard lives? COME ON! Even if you didn't wait in a line for long hours to get the books when it came out, even if you didn't went to the movies, even if you hate Harry Potter to the core, everybody who has a tv knows that Dumbledore dies! Maybe not Dobby's, but Dumbledore's death and Ginny and Harry... COME ON!!
And by the way, Penny, even if Leonard gave resonably motives for him to move in, how about saying: "I don't want us living together because you had a fight with Sheldon. I want you to move in for the right reasons". That's a good explanation that doesn't hurt anybody, it's even kind cute.
But I love The Big Bang Theory because of this crazy reactions, so...
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I have never read the books or seen the movies. I had neither heard of Dumbledore, nor do I care that he died.
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lol until i saw the movie, did not know about ginny and harry, or dumbledore, but about dobby. And I never lived under a rock. lol
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My favorite show with Supernatural. I am sharing this tidbit of information because I pay minute attention to each episode when they air. Regarding Leonard wanting that the Harry Potter saga ends to read it at a single go is actually a common occurrence. I have at least three good friends who have still not read the whole thing, so I sympathize with Leo and not make such a big thing of it.
What is revealed is the scare of stepping up to the next level that most people have in relationships, and a deep seated fear of intimacy- not necessarily physical but existential.People just tend to settle, and they do that at all levels of their lives; the most extreme example and funniest is poor Raj being dragged into a replacement Howard. This goes to the deeper layers of the show and what defines geeks, nerds, and the plebeians. Every single one of the characters have settled and refused to move ahead towards self-fulfillment. Sheldon believes he has achieved his and will never really make the efforts and Howard stepped up and got married to a wonderful human being,sweet Bernadette.Leonard is trying his best, but is curtailed by the "insurmountable" forces that are Sheldon and Penny. Penny, like Sheldon, but at the exact opposite side of the relationship spectrum also finds that she has it going and is fine as she is.
This episode shows us then that the normal process of intimate relationships are not necessarily a good thing for geeks and that they should remain settled.I myself, disagree with that and think that we are seeing here the first shakes of a major upheaval to come.
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Mrs. Wolowitz shouldnot be seen like era Peterson on Cheers. It makes the stories about them funnier
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I am so sorry for ur college roommate, i'm sure u R a good person tho :) anywy, loved ur review. Thank u.
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Good point, Dumbledore's death made the news, and then it made it again when the movie came out. And people were talking about it online too. Still, it was the fact that Sheldon knew it was Leonard's first time reading it that was the real crux, I've had friends do that to me before, and they do it because they're selfish, they want to seem important and make it all about them and how much they know, so it felt reasonable for Sheldon. For Penny though, it was a funny but out of character gag, I gave it to them on that reason and because it was barely on the cusp of believable that she'd read the book. I certainly didn't sympathize with Sheldon though, he's had it coming for a long time.

When it comes to the relationships in this episode, everyone except Bernadette and Howard feels like we're watching a decompressed timeline, like the whole show has only covered a few months' worth of time in their lives, based on how little emotional growth everybody has.

Anyway, this was a cute episode overall but not a mindblower. Had Sheldon actually been able to adjust some of his behavior to entice Leonard back to the apartment, then it would have held up against last week's episode.

They should absolutely not show Howard's mother's face, even the fleeting glances here weren't fat enough to justify the character that past dialogue had built up in our minds. Plus, she won't look like actress Carol Ann Susi who owns the Mrs. Wolowitz voice, and that'd be a shame. Some things, like Al Bundy's mother-in-law, are best left to the imagination.
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I miss off-screen characters on TV shows who are still presence in the show, like Maris on Frasier or Vera from Cheers (though Vera did show up once, but got pied in the face) or Al's mom on Home Improvement or Tino on My So Called Life.

While Mrs. Wolowitz is perhaps more present than any of those characters, I like the trope, so let's keep her away from the camera as much as possible.
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You forgot Peggys mother on Married with Children. You only heard her too, only once saw her shadow
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I forgot LOTS of characters. Charlie on Charlie's Angels, for instance, or Carlton and Rhoda as Shocker713 noted. What, you expected me to name every single off-screen character from television?
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I was always a fan of Carlton on Rhoda, personally.
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Well, I've only seen a few pictures of Carol Ann Susi, the actress supplying Mrs. Wolowitz's voice, and although none of them have been full-figure shots, I don't think it was her we SAW. So it could be a problem having her come all-out. My guess this is the most we'll ever see...
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