The Big Bang Theory Review: What If?

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It's a Christmas without Sheldon! No rules!

That means Star Trek and Star Wars ornaments can be on the same branch. And ornaments can be haphazardly put on the tree. No ruler necessary. It's party time for his friends. A free for all.

The Big Bang Theory Season 7 Episode 11 shook things up and it worked. Instead of seeing the confident and brilliant Sheldon, he was thrown into a situation that he wasn't prepared for and challenged him. He had to help his sister through labor and it was hilarious. 

Life Without Sheldon

I love episodes that make me laugh out loud, but I also enjoy ones that just put a smile on my face. "The Cooper Extraction" had both. When the half hour was over, I was grinning.. It was downright fun. Both Sheldon's updates from Texas and his friend's alternative realities worked well.

With all the hassle that Sheldon creates in their lives, his friends came to realize that Sheldon has brought them all together. Without him, they wouldn't be the big, happy, loving group that they are. While the scenarios they came up with were definitely extreme, it was a fun game for them to play.

They all know each other so well that they could exaggerate a shortcoming and turn it into a hilarious story. My favorite was when Penny hit on Sheldon in the laundry room. Her over-the-top flirting, the hair flip, and then taking her shirts off was hysterical. And somehow both Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco were able to keep straight faces throughout the scene. 

Sheldon's experience in Texas was traumatic for him, but provided laughs for his friends and viewers. He was right though when he told himself, "If you can make it through the Green Lantern movie you can make it through this." He made it to the end!

Here are a few of the funny lines from Sheldon's experience during his sister's child birth.

And turn the bedroom floor into a amniotic slip and slide


Sheldon: I've seen things. Lady things.
Amy: Listen to me. That is not the way they usually look.
Sheldon: It doesn't matter. This is no way to make new humans. People coming out of people. Some kind of dirty magic show.

I have two Ph. D's but somehow I'm the janitor of my sister's birth canal.


Which of the alternative reality stories was your favorite?

Did the episode leave you with a smile on your face too? Check out the funniest lines in our The Big Bang Theory quotes section! 


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (61 Votes)

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


This was a particularly unseasonal episode, which sits fine with me, all those false festive notes being struck and all the dreary holiday humour. Instead we get an episodic template where, in Sheldon’s absence, all his friends ponder what life would be like if he wasn’t their friend. Occasionally this made for funny viewing – Penny trying to seduce him in the laundry room, Leonard and Raj house sharing and ending up single and fat, Howard killing his Mum – others were less interesting, such as Zack and Penny cohabiting or Leonard wetting himself. Amy it turns out has gained most, as she now has friends and a boyfriend (however peculiar that relationship is) while a few years earlier she was completely alone. It makes sense that Amy should see Sheldon as the gel of the group for it was her interest in him (his in her?) which drew her into this chaotic mix. However, the question which ought to be asked is what would Sheldon be doing if no one else was his friend? Still travelling to Texas to help at the birth of his sister’s first child? Well, probably. The Skype sequences with Sheldon’s running commentary on the birth were hilarious, the best lines in the show and maybe some of the best in the season so far [‘I’ve seen things – lady things’ – ‘I have two PHDs. How did I end up the janitor for my sister’s birth canal?’]. It was nice to show that Amy has an influence over him. This was sadly neglected earlier in the season with those terrible Deep South jokes and the storyline about despoiling Little House on the Prairie. Overall, a fairly run-of-the-mill episode, which didn’t throw up any surprises, excepting Stuart being the coolest of boyfriends and Penny stripping to her bra for Sheldon [‘I need you to take me’ – ‘I’m not taking you anywhere until you put a shirt on’]. Fun stuff.


The episode had some funny moments and it made me laugh a lot. I think it was a good thing that it wasn't centered around Sheldon, but I cannot believe for a second that he brought all these people together. It just seemed odd.. Some of the jokes were too easy and vulgar, maybe because of the poor quality of the writing this season, I guess. But the actors are brilliant, as always. If only the writers start focusing more on the other characters (Raj & Howard), and less on Sheldon and Leonard, the show would be hilarious! Just my opinion, of course...


Sheldon is the most interesting character in the group so he deserved the honor put upon him by this episode. The only week part for me was including Stuart who is not a bit funny and displays what not to be for kids. Truly at the end of the episode I had a big smile on my face. A good Xmas episode but not as good as the previous season Xmas episode which was hilarious.

Sixxx 6

I really liked the episode. Although no episode is funnier this season than the scavenger hunt, this one made me laugh more then the other episodes so far. I liked the alternate realities, in a way it is true but I think Leonard is more the center of the group. But without Sheldon only three things would be the same, Penny would be his neighbor and Raj, Howard and Leonard would be friends. Other than that they wouldn't know each other. Yeah Penny and Bernadette work together but without Penny dating leonard she wouldn't have pushed for them to get together. So it was a good, funny holiday episode.


Have to agree it was a rather lame attempt to make Sheldon more than what he is as a single facet personality. They've written Sheldon so well into a box that he'll simply never change and this Ep was a poor attempt to give him more credit than what he actually has. If Sheldon had Amy solely as his screensaver would have showed more.
It was a fun episode made me laugh and it's always nice to see Penny in a bra :).
But there's no way Sheldon was the central point to the group. After nearly 6 years Sheldon changes are minute.


It was a fun episode, but there is no way that Sheldon is the person brought all together, in fact I believe Stuart has done more for the group than Sheldon.

@ JH

They could have done the same thing with any of the core group that they did with Sheldon -- so, it strikes me that it is Leonard who is central, that Sheldon accepting Leonard as his roommate was the beginning (and the only way Sheldon had any friends at all), that Leonard would have been social enough to bring Howard and Raj from the college into the group and all the girls would follow.


Well it seems that the forever alone ones are rajesh and Stuart. Poor Stuart, he was more confident on season 2.
And Rajesh, well, hes definitely the official forever alone


Penny shamefully hitting on Sheldon was the best part - I also thought during this episode how much better this show would be without the whining and unfunny Leonard with his oversized fat head.


For me, it was just "meh." I think the alternate reality of Howard's dead mother would have been funnier if Howard was dressed in drag (a la Norman Bates). And Stuart "insinuating" himself into others' alternate realities was kinda sad....though the epilogue (with him as Penny's boyfriend) made me laugh.


I loved it. Smiling just thinking about it. It sadly sweet that Amy can see how much her world has opened up because of Sheldon. It was also sweet that Leonard showed her what she means to Sheldon.

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The Big Bang Theory Season 7 Episode 11 Quotes

Penny: Oh, that's great. You're gonna be an uncle. Uncle Sheldon.
Sheldon: No. I'll be Uncle Dr. Cooper.

I hope it's just a sprain. I cannot walk into that ER with another video game injury.