The Big Bang Theory Review: Vaporub, Bath or Spanking?

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Sheldon and Amy's wacky relationship and Howard's aversion to worms and gutting fish took the spotlight in "The Fish Guts Displacement." 

With the exception of the opening montage, Sheldon was off on his own being a good boyfriend to Amy, while the others attempted to help Howard prepare for a fishing trip. The lack of connection between the two situations was noticeable, but overall the episode was funny. Though, a few moments out-shined the rest.

Sheldon the Caretaker

Sheldon's sudden uneasiness over the Spider-Man theme song was typical Sheldon, which also means it was hilarious. When he broke out singing the theme songs, I cracked up. For a man of his intelligence, it's amazing what he comes up with. Here's the exchange:

Sheldon: Is anyone else troubled by the Spider-Man theme song?
Leonard: Why would it trouble you? It's like your third favorite cartoon theme song.
Sheldon: It is, right behind [Sheldon sings "Inspector Gadget" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" theme songs]
Sheldon: However, the Spider-Man lyrics posit that Spider-Man's Spider-Man does whatever a spider can.
Howard: Yeah, so?
Sheldon: I can think of many things that Spider-Man can't do that a spider can. One crawl in your ear and die, two legally leave Guatemala without a passport, and three have sex with a spider. | permalink

Seriously, sex with a spider? Maybe Sheldon does know something about sex after all. While he is a high level thinker, Amy got him with her "extended" sickness. Though, I have to give him some credit, he did eventually catch on. "Liar liar pants on fire," anyone?

While Sheldon has started demonstrating his affection (love?) for Amy, she has learned how to manipulate him into any physical contact she can get. Vaporub?

Sheldon: No. I need to get you down for a nap. For some reason that Vaporub gets you all fired up. | permalink  

Amy kept her sickness thing going to keep her love close. Though, her "help" in choosing the punishment for lying perhaps was even more epic. Spanking?

Amy: Are you saying you want to spank me?
Sheldon: I don't want to. But, it looks like you have left me no choice.
Amy: That's true. I've been a very bad girl. | permalink

Each of their interactions was hilarious. As much as I'd love to see Sheldon just give in, pull her into a kiss and seduce her, I'd miss the humor from their awkward relationship.

It's intriguing how sometimes awkward works, while other times it doesn't. Howard's visit to Bernadette's parents was not very funny. If anything, I felt terribly uncomfortable for Howard. Though, as a set-up it succeeded. 

For a group of men, it's telling that the manliest of their friends is also the most feminine of the group -- Penny. Howard's interactions with the worm and fish were ridiculously amusing. First, he put the worm over the hook? Seriously? "Jam a hook into his face!" He did do better pulling out the fish innards ... until Penny's comment about the eggs. Those guys are super queasy! I shouldn't talk, though, I can and have hooked worms, but gutting a fish, no thank you!

The lesson was good for all of them. It was nice to see Penny be able to show off her knowledge about something. So often, it's her doing the learning, so the change of pace was appreciated and provided for some good fodder.

Howard should feel much more at home at a casino table, then he would out fishing or hunting. The men's bonding over their wives at the end was a nice conclusion.

Howard: Boy, we're married to a couple of ball busters, huh, Mike?
Bernadette's Dad: That's my wife and daughter you're talking about.
Howard: Great couple of gals.
Bernadette's Dad: I wouldn't go that far. | permalink

While they may not talk much, they definitely have something in common with their wives.

Overall, the only scene that didn't really work for me was dinner at the parents. The episode has some great one-liners, as well as, extended funny scenes. For more of the best lines, check out The Big Bang Theory quotes section.

What scene did you find the funniest? Did you enjoy Amy's antics? Or, Howard's cheerleaders?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (129 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


What most people don't seem to understand is that the characters in the Big Bang theory are changing. And changing is part of life. I, personally, hated the dinner scene and the whole Howardette plot. I don't think a good wife like Bernadette would force her husband to interact in things that are extremely uncomfortable for him just to see people bonding. I think that they could've used Penny's character a little more in this episode. I can imagine her reaction seeing Sheldon being altruistic once in his life time (and that's part of the changing that his character is going through). And Amy is changing herself too. For a while, I had the idea that Amy was the man of the relationship and she enjoys to give Sheldon sexual innuendos just like a 20 year old guy who dates a 14 year old naive girl and "teaches" her about sex. And that just looks wrong. But I understand that Sheldon is a special fellow who will, eventually, succumb to Amy's passion/sexual desire. That was a very funny episode thanks to Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons ( I was starting to get worried with Sheldon's character in season 6... he was getting too cliché and not changing just like he's been since the beginning of season 4). :)


I liked Sheldon when he was so totally uncaring and clueless. Amy is a terrific actor but really Sheldon giving her a bath???? and spanking????
wrong direction. She also was funnier when she was pretty clueless herself.
I know you have to keep the 18-49ers happy but we old people buy stuff too. Lets get back to the funny stuff those guys do together.


The spanking scene was uncomfortable to watch. Though many are writing it off as a "consensual sexual fantasy," it was anything but that for Sheldon. He was "punishing" his girlfriend for a perceived slight. Physical punishment. There isn't much that is funny about that. Setting aside issues of mysogyny and abuse, I also don't believe for a second that Sheldon's character would be in favor of corporal punishment. This is the man who conditioned Penny though the behavior modification approach of B.F. Skinner. Having Sheldon turn to corporal punishment was just a cheap way to get a laugh.


I liked the episode generally, but what stands out especially was Bernadette's mother. This is one of very few times I've seen a character distinctly drawn to resemble an established character, who was not a child of the original. Most of the time a family member is sketched into the storyline without that kind of effort being made, and it doesn't matter very much because you're not going to see him or her long enough forthe audience to notice a resemblance. But I get a huge kick out of it. When you meet your friends' families and see how they got their manner of speech and gestures, it can be a hoot. So this was very gratifying.


I believe Sheldon has come along way since the series first starfed. In the beginning Sheldon had fit when Penny began sick after her vacation. He seems to becoming a more caring person especially since he was willing to take care of Amy the way he did.


This was a really great episode where the lovesick Amy character comically attempted to push the emotionless Mr. Spock-like character of Sheldon into some sensual acts with her, trying to manipulate the vapor rub, bath or spanking into sensual acts. Sheldon, so self-convinced of his own superior intellectual powers, yet so totally clueless, was comically unable to see Amy's manipulations here. It was truly great comedy. Erotic spankings in the bedroom between lovers are a pretty funny sexual act, BTW. It's a form of juvenile high school type sexual fantasy act that sends blood down to the genitals causing sexual arousal. This has nothing to do with sexual violence or abuse of any type, and is merely a funny sexual act between consenting adults that heightens arousal. Seeing Sheldon naively walk into doing such a sexually arousing act with Amy, and her own absurdly funny response to it was a real hoot here. This was really funny stuff, that was was absurdly sexy. It also was a little bit groundbreaking for this show as well. This was great comedy here. It also makes you wonder how the lovesick and nerdy Amy will attempt to manipulate more sensual acts from Sheldon in the future, who in character, will almost certainly remain clueless to what's really going on. This one sided relationship certainly sets this show up for many more funny scripts in future episodes. The teaser ads about the vapor rub lured the viewers in, but the episode got even funnier as the bath and the spanking writing segments really built this into a truly memorable episode. This was one of the best episodes ever. Now, this show's writers are faced with the onerous task of having to look to top this episode with even better written one's in the future. Seeking even more funny interactions between Amy and Sheldon. That gives everyone something big to look forward to here. You know that a real relationship won't develop here, because of Sheldon's own emotionless state, but there will be lots of comedy as Amy tries to create one. True, they could end in bed a time or two, but largely only because Amy manipulates it, and Sheldon doesn't understand the proceeding in sensual terms.


How can we not comment on Sheldon wearing that awesome (so unSheldon like) suit in the beginning!!!! Who took him shopping?!
I loved the whole episode - it was awesome how Amy was doing anything & everything to get some relationship contact out of Sheldon. And anyone who says they have never done that, is a "Liar, Liar Pants on fire!!"


As some of you may know, we are in the "fifty shades of grey" era, where spanking and kinky stuff is the new deal.
I think it.might of been a reference to that, nothing more.
Amy's character has propably "read the book".


I am huge fan of this show. Up until tonight. As a survivor of childhood abuse and having to watch my mother be abused it was hard to stomach this episode. Sadly, Sheldon's intent was to harm and enforce his will upon Amy. What if she had not wanted it? I think that it did a disservice to organizations and movements that call for action against violence towards women. Very sad and disappointing.


Loved the vapo rub. Very, very funny.

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The Big Bang Theory Season 6 Episode 10 Quotes

Death by chicken. That's a pretty fowl way to go.


Amy: Sheldon, aren't you gonna take care of me?
Sheldon: Me? No. I'm not that kind of doctor.