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Recap / The Big Bang Theory S 5 E 15 The Friendship Contraction

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The Friendship Contraction is the 15th episode of the 5th season of The Big Bang Theory. It follows a similar premise to the Season 2 episode "The Euclid Alternative".

After Sheldon wakes him up in the middle of a night for a ridiculously unnecessary fire drill, Leonard suspends giving rides to Sheldon altogether leaving Sheldon without any form of transportation to get anywhere he needs. Meanwhile, Howard is angling on getting the astronauts to nickname him "Rocket Man", but all does not go according to plan.



  • As Himself: NASA astronaut Michael Massimino.
  • Black Comedy Burst: Stuart mentions that his therapist committed suicide and blamed him in the suicide note.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Played with regarding Sheldon. He has his own "emergency" kit in case of a power failure, holds fire drills and earthquake drills constantly and has a diverse variety of doctors at his heist (Dermatologist, allergist, dentist, pediatrist) but he doesn't have his own car!
  • The Dog Bites Back: After several too many instances of being unfairly taken advantage of and even disturbed at night by Sheldon, Leonard cuts off transportation to him as retribution for his unacceptable behavior.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When Leonard does not want to follow the Roommate Agreement anymore, Sheldon has him sign a clause that disbands their "friendship", thinking that Amy will do whatever he wants for him because she is his girlfriend. When she says no because she is busy, he offers his other friends, who he has been rude and disrespectful to for years, a chance to help him with nothing in return but a footnote in his memoir. He quickly finds himself with nobody willing to help him with his errands and no way of doing them all himself.
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  • Embarrassing Nickname: Howard's conference call with Michael Massimino is interrupted by Mrs. Wolowitz telling him that his Froot Loops were getting soggy. And thus Massimino dubs Howard "Froot Loops".
  • Expospeak Gag:
    Howard: Next week I fly to Houston for orientation and zero-gravity elimination drills.
    Penny: What does that mean?
    Bernadette: He's going to learn to poop in space.
  • Got Volunteered: This almost happens to Raj. When everyone is staying quiet when Sheldon lists stuff he needs help with, the last thing he mentions is spending the day at IKEA. Raj whispers they have pretty good meatballs, but when Sheldon asks what he said, ready to jump at the chance to accept anything as an agreement, Raj quickly says he didn't say anything, avoiding helping Sheldon.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: Sheldon tries using IKEA Swedish meatballs as bait for someone to drive him to said furniture store. Raj almost gives in cause he loves the meatballs there.
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  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Sheldon talks about the chance to help him with his appointments and chores as "fun", like getting new heels put on his dress shoes or a new picture frame. He is surprised when nobody volunteers to help with these "fun" activities.
  • Karma Houdini: Sheldon is able to get Leonard to sign the Roommate Agreement so that he gives Sheldon rides again. It turns out that Sheldon caused the power outage at the apartment to convince Leonard to re-sign the Roommate Agreement.
  • Manchild: Sheldon, to the point that Leonard offers to start giving him rides again only if he admits to being unable to provide for himself independently. Out of sheer pride, Sheldon refuses.
  • Right Way/Wrong Way Pair: As Sheldon keeps nagging Amy into giving him rides to wherever he has to go, Bernadette tries to correct Sheldon's behavior by pointing out her own husband Howard doesn't force such physical chores on her.
  • Self-Applied Nickname: Howard wants to get a cool astronaut nickname, and settles on Rocket Man. He plans to have Raj call him during a conference call to NASA, with the Elton John song "Rocket Man" as the ringtone. Unfortunately, Howard's mother picks that time to call Howard to come eat his Froot Loops, and thus Howard's nickname becomes Froot Loops.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Two to Toy Story. First, after Leonard cancels the relationship agreement, Sheldon says "To amend the words of Toy Story, you have not got a friend in me." Then, Raj suggests Buzz as a nickname for Howard, thinking of Buzz Lightyear instead of his namesake, Buzz Aldrin.
    • Leonard uses a Star Wars toy lightsaber as a glowstick, paraphrasing the "that's a knife" scene from Crocodile Dundee.
    Leonard: You call that a glowstick? That is a glowstick.
    • Howard jokes he'll say "open the pod bay doors, HAL" when pooping in space.
    • Howard's choice of nickname is Rocket Man, after the Elton John song.
    • Sheldon mentions IKEA and Supercuts as two of the many locations he wants someone to drive him to.
  • Spoiled Brat: Sheldon, who's always making Leonard drive him everywhere. We then see that Sheldon is so egotistical and inconsiderate that he actually expects his friends to give him a ride to places just because he assures them that they'll earn a footnote in his memoir.
  • The Slacker: Sheldon, who wants other people to drive for him instead of going to the DMV himself and applying for his own driver's license. He doesn't acknowledge that his friends all have jobs and matters to attend to as well and that asking them to drive him is a relatively big favor to ask for.

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