The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019)
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The Maternal Capacitance 

Sheldon hits it off with Leonard's psychoanalyst mother, but she drives Leonard and Penny to the bottle.


Mark Cendrowski


Chuck Lorre (created by), Bill Prady (created by) | 4 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Johnny Galecki ... Leonard Hofstadter
Jim Parsons ... Sheldon Cooper
Kaley Cuoco ... Penny
Simon Helberg ... Howard Wolowitz
Kunal Nayyar ... Raj Koothrappali
Christine Baranski ... Dr. Beverly Hofstadter


Leonard is dreading a visit from his mother, famed scientific psychoanalyst Beverly Hofstadter. She has always driven Leonard crazy, much like Sheldon does now. It isn't surprising as Beverly and Sheldon are very much alike. Because of their similarities, Sheldon and Beverly hit it off. Beverly, however, extends her scientific psychoanalytical criticisms toward Howard, Raj and Penny, in addition to her son, the latter two who are driven to drink. In drowning their self-doubt in alcohol, Leonard and Penny have a special connection. Sheldon and Beverly also contemplate having a special connection. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


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Release Date:

9 February 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


This episode is rated TV-PG-DS. See more »


When Leonard serves his mother tea, the handle on the tea cup changes positions. Beverly grabs the handle with her left hand, but in the next second she is holding the handle with her right hand as she brings the cup to her mouth. The handle switches from left to right multiple times for the remainder of the scene. See more »


[first lines]
Raj Koothrappali: [the boys are playing Rock Band]
Raj Koothrappali: I don't ever wanna feel / Like I did that day / Take me to the place I love / Take me all the way /
Raj Koothrappali: I don't ever wanna feel / Like I did that day / Take me to the place I lo-
[sees Penny in the doorway]
Penny: Fellas, please.
Howard Wolowitz: Penny, come on, we were just finding our sound.
Penny: You found it. It's the sound of a cat being run over by a lawnmower.
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Crazy Credits

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #240 A wise man once told me that we are all God in drag. I like that. Sometimes when I'm in a public place or sitting at a stop light, I'll watch people walking by and I'll silently say to myself, "He's God. She's God. He's God. She's God." Before long I always find myself feeling a warm sense of affinity for these strangers. The experience is even more powerful when I do this while observing a person who is clearly suffering. On occasion I'll test my little spiritual practice by turning on Fox News. Within minutes I become an atheist. See more »


References Rock Band (2007) See more »


Under the Bridge
Written by Flea, John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis, and Chad Smith
Performed by Kunal Nayyar
[With Sheldon and Howard has his musical backups, Raj sings the song on Garage Band in Leonad and Sheldon's living room]
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User Reviews

By far, the best episode yet of "The Big Bang Theory"
5 August 2014 | by letterlSee all my reviews

I'm a late "comer" to this well-written and witty sitcom and am watching the episodes via DVD in their broadcast order. To me, "The Maternal Capacitance" was the best yet, even better than the Christmas episode from earlier in the second season. This one features almost continuous laughs from beginning to end.

Much-loved Christine Baranski fits right in with the regular quirky cast and adds that extra element that makes this a very special episode. The other reviewers have provided details that I won't repeat here but this one was so good, I watched it twice in a row!

I had to do a check on Ms. Baranski to see if this was a one-off or if she would appear again and was pleased to see she makes several other appearances as Leonard's hyper-analytical mother in future seasons so that gives all new fans of the show something to look forward to. She's really that good here.

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