Warning: Spoilers ahead for the most recent episode of The Big Bang Theory. Feel free to come back once you’ve caught up!
Sheldon hasn’t had much of a relationship with Amy’s parents on The Big Bang Theory, which really isn’t much of a surprise considering how much trouble he has building relationships with everyone, but that’s starting to change. As we found out tonight, it turns out that the chilly, and yet still somehow non-existent, relationship between Sheldon and Amy’s mom, especially, isn’t totally his fault, and now things are looking up for the in-laws. Here’s what happened.
The episode kicked off with the gang gathered at Leonard and Penny’s place for dinner as they wait for Anu to join them. As they’re setting things up, Raj fills everyone in on the fact that he and Anu are planning to get married in India on Valentine’s Day, revealing that her family is organizing most of the festivities. He also tells them that he really loves her family and talks to them all the time, which confuses Sheldon and prompts him to ask why that would be necessary, since he hardly talks to Amy’s family. When Raj answers that it’s important because he’s about to marry into their family, Sheldon gets an idea.
When Amy wakes up on Saturday morning, Sheldon is already up, dressed and online. He’s set up a day with her dad, Larry, and himself because he realized, after talking to Raj, that at least trying to bond with one of Amy’s parents is just good husband behavior. Sheldon can see now that he needs to have some kind of relationship with her folks. Amy says that she thinks their relationship is perfect, and when Sheldon notes that he literally has no relationship with them, she replies with, “Exactly. It’s perfect.” It turns out that this is our first clue that Amy is way more nervous about this whole idea than she probably should be.
When Larry shows up, Sheldon realizes that they refer to Amy by different pet names, with her dad preferring “pumpkin” and Sheldon (because he’s an odd duck) using “spaghetti squash.” This makes Sheldon ask Larry if he has to call him dad, because he really doesn’t want to. But, when he tries calling him Larry it doesn’t sound right to Sheldon, so he decides to try to find a vegetable or fruit to use as his nickname. So, obviously, this fun day with a new father and son-in-law is off to a wonderfully weird start.
When Sheldon takes Larry to Stuart’s comic shop, Howard is there so they end up hanging out with him. Sheldon is blowing his train whistle because he’s excited about showing some trains off to Larry once they leave the store, but Howard takes the whistle and does a magic trick with it, which enchants Larry. In fact, Larry is so into this trick, which made the whistle disappear from Howard’s hand and reappear in Larry’s pocket, that Amy’s dad even offers Howard 100 bucks to tell him the secret. As you might imagine, Sheldon isn’t happy about Larry’s newfound connection with Howard (not to mention the fact that it involves magic), but in order to make him happy, he goes with it.
Apparently, Larry needed a lot more magic, because when we see them next, they have all gathered at Howard and Bernadette’s house so that he can show Larry more tricks. After one more bit of magical joy, Sheldon tries to get Larry (I mean “turnip,” as Sheldon has decided to call him) to move along so they can embark on the rest of the day he had planned for them, but Larry doesn’t want to leave. Sheldon figures the only answer is to pull Howard aside and demand that he stop being so delightful, because Sheldon is trying to bond with Larry and Howard already has his own father-in-law that he should be trying to bond with.
While this confrontation leads to a ridiculous argument where Howard attempts to convince Sheldon to switch fathers-in-law with him, the bigger result is that Sheldon gives up, goes to Amy’s parent’s house and declares that he’s done trying to win Turnip over, now he’s going to try with Amy’s mom. Unfortunately, her mom is not really interested in spending quality time with Sheldon. Some of this is because he chose to show her photos of something he had to have removed from his body as she drinks tea, of course, but even more of it is because she blames Sheldon for taking Amy away from her.
When Amy finds out that Sheldon is hanging out with her mom, she goes into full on panic mode and runs over to Penny and Leonard. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because Amy has been telling her mom that she doesn’t hang out with her because of Sheldon. Amy and her mom have always had a difficult relationship, and it was easier for her to blame pulling away from her mom on Sheldon’s eccentricities than to tell her she simply didn’t want to be around her. Oh, Amy…For shame!
Amy calls Sheldon while he’s still with her mom to check up on the situation, and that’s when it all comes out. Amy had actually told her mom that she couldn’t visit for Thanksgiving because Sheldon has to see his mom at the holidays every year. She also got out of Sunday dinners with her mom and dad by saying that Sheldon can’t go out on a school night, but Sheldon is so kind as to inform her that going out on a school night is fine for him as long as he’s in bed by 10 o’clock.
Amy is then forced to tell her mom the whole tale, and she realizes that she’s been mad at Sheldon all this time when she really should have been angry at Amy. It isn’t long before Sheldon and his mother-in-law are bonding over how weird Howard is and much they dislike magic, so this is one in-law relationship that’s actually off to a dynamite start.
All you fans of hanging out with your in-laws can keep up with Sheldon, Amy, Turnip and Amy’s mom when The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.