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505 - Stuffed Animals and a Sweet Southern Syzygy

Aired Thursday, November 4, 2021
Stuffed Animals and a Sweet Southern Syzygy

As Sheldon and Dr. Linkletter struggle to solve an equation, Sheldon wants to bring in Dr. Sturgis. Meanwhile, George gives Billy Sparks advice about dating, and Georgie has an idea on how to rescue Meemaw's secret gaming room.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "Stuffed Animals" refers to Georgie's idea for Meemaw's gambling room, and "a Sweet Southern Syzygy" refers to Adult Sheldon's description of George's day home alone.
  • Opening Credits Sequence: Sheldon is dressed in his normal clothes as a black cow with horns approaches the family.
  • Features a flashback of Dr. Sturgis and Dr. Linkletter arguing at an event from Season 2, Episode 13 "A Nuclear Reactor and a Boy Called Lovey".


Quote from Adult Sheldon

Adult Sheldon: My father didn't always get the credit he deserved. The advice he gave me actually worked out pretty well. Of course, I never told him.
George Sr.: Talked to Billy.
Missy: Why would you do that?
George Sr.: No, it was good.
Missy: Stay out of my life.
Adult Sheldon: He may not have been the world's greatest dad. But maybe we weren't the world's greatest kids.

Quote from Adult Sheldon

Adult Sheldon: Eventually, Dr. Linkletter admitted we could use the help of Dr. Sturgis, and Team Science was back in action, scoring goals against Team Ignorance. Look at me, talking like a jock.
Dr. John Sturgis: Oh, I see you came around to my idea for distinguishing massive particles from axion particles.
Dr. Linkletter: Well, it did provide an excellent jumping-off point for me to crack the actual problem.
Dr. John Sturgis: Seems the actual problem is your inability to recognize a brilliant idea when it's handed to you.
Dr. Linkletter: Is that so, you pedantic little gremlin?
Dr. John Sturgis: How dare you! Well, it's all just simple...
Adult Sheldon: My father was right. They were bringing the best out of each other, like steel sharpening steel.

Quote from George Jr.

George Jr.: I'm not here to work. I'm here with the answers to all your problems.
Meemaw: And what is that?
George Jr.: How to get your back room up and running again.
Meemaw: I'm listening.
George Jr.: I was thinking about Chuck E. Cheese.
Meemaw: Oh, God.
George Jr.: Hear me out. Your payouts were in cash. That's illegal. When you play games at Chuck E. Cheese, you win tickets. Those tickets are traded for prizes. That's legal. You just need to do the same thing. People play your machines. Now the credits they win get exchanged for stuffed animals. Then you buy those stuffed animals back for cash. No laws broken, and you're back in business.

Quote from George Sr.

Sheldon: Dr. Linkletter and I are stuck on a science problem. I know Dr. Sturgis could help, but I'm hesitant to suggest that because I know they have a professional rivalry.
George Sr.: Well, the way I see it, y'all are on Team Science, right?
Sheldon: I suppose.
George Sr.: And people on the same team don't have to get along to work together.
Sheldon: Like you and Mom.
George Sr.: No. A quarterback and his receivers. He doesn't throw it to the guy he likes best. He throws it to the one that's open.
Billy Sparks: So smart.
Sheldon: So, I should ask Dr. Sturgis what he thinks about the dark matter being a Bose condensate?
George Sr.: Do you want Team Science to win?
Sheldon: Thank you. This has been helpful. [exits]
Billy Sparks: What's a Bose condensate?
George Sr.: I'll tell you at halftime.

Quote from Adult Sheldon

Adult Sheldon: In astronomy, a syzygy is a rare event when three or more celestial bodies line up.
You may also know it as the stars aligning, which was probably coined by someone who couldn't spell "syzygy." If you want to win Scrabble, remember this bad boy. My father's idea of the stars aligning was having the house completely to himself. I was at school, Missy was at a friend's, Georgie was working, and my mother was on her way to a church retreat.
Mary: [sings] There was a God who had a son, and Jesus was his name-o ?
Pastor Jeff: [sings] J-E-S-U-S
Mary: [sings] J-E-S-U-S
Pastor Jeff: J-E-S-U-S
Mary: And Jesus was his name-o. [honks horn]
Adult Sheldon: For my father, it was sweet, Southern syzygy. S-Y-Z-Y-G-Y. Syzygy. [doorbell rings]
George Sr.: [sighs] Balls.

View more quotes from this episode

Featured Music

  • Girls, Girls, Girls
    Motley Crue

    Girls, Girls, Girls Plays over Georgie's fantasy of girls at Meemaw's laundromat.

  • See You See
    Lynden Arden

    See You See Plays as George returns home from talking to Billy Sparks about his rough week.

Episode Trivia

  • Which Disneyland ride did Adult Sheldon describe as a white-knuckle rush of adrenaline?
    • Dumbo
    • Roger Rabbit
    • Mr. Toad
    • Peter Pan
  • Which cocktail did Dale say he was hoping would fix Meemaw's day?
    • Daiquiri
    • Margarita
    • Long Island iced tea
    • Mimosa

Episode Recap

Adult Sheldon explains a “syzygy” is a scientific term for when three or more celestial bodies line up, also known by the phrase “when the stars align”. Adult Sheldon explains that this was such a day for his dad, who has the house to himself. Sheldon is at school, Missy at a friend’s, Georgie was working, and Mary was travelling to a church retreat with Pastor Jeff. As George sits down in front of the TV and turns the football on, the doorbell rings. After George answers the door to Billy Sparks, he tells him that Sheldon’s not home. When Billy asks if Missy’s there, George says no. That’s good, Billy says, because he needs to talk to George alone.

When George and Billy sit down in the den, Billy says he wanted to ask George’s permission to ask Missy out. George turns the TV off and says he appreciates Billy coming to him. Billy explains he wanted to do this the right way. George says he’s not sure Missy is really ready for dating, but Billy points out she dated Marcus from school. George tells Billy he doesn’t want to be the rebound guy. Billy doesn’t know what that is, so George explains it’s the guy after the guy she really liked and before the next guy she really likes. George warns Billy this could make things awkward since they go to school together. If Missy says no, they have to see each other all the time. Billy argues if she says yes they get to see each other all the time. George tells Billy he should take a moment and figure out if it’s really worth it, using a football analogy: You can go for it on fourth down on your own 20-yard line, but if you don't make it, it's game over. Billy is impressed, describing George as not just a football coach but a “coach of life”.

Adult Sheldon says people might imagine quantum physics is a white-knuckle rush of adrenaline, like the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland. But the reality can be a little less exciting, especially when you're stuck. Sheldon and Dr. Linkletter stare intently at an equation on a chalkboard for a while. As the clock ticks, the lights hum and the water cooler gurgles, Linkletter breaks the silence by insisting they’ll get it. When Sheldon suggests a fresh pair of eyes might be helpful, Linkletter says if he’s going to suggest Dr. Sturgis, he should remind him they have a complicated history. Flashback to Sturgis and Linkletter arguing at an event with Meemaw. Sheldon says they’ll get this.

When Dale goes to the laundromat, he finds Meemaw mopping the floor. After Dale asks how her day was, Meemaw explains she ran out of quarters, broke up a fight over a dryer sheet, and washer number three flooded the floor again. Dale wants to take her out to dinner, but Meemaw says dinner’s not going to fix this mess. Dale was counting on the margaritas to do the heavy lifting. Meemaw says she needs help, so she’s taking Georgie. Dale says she can’t, he’s his best employee, but Meemaw points out Georgie is her grandson. Dale suggests she take Sheldon instead.  After Meemaw asks Dale if he wants to go out with someone who's happy and fun or some cranky, old woman who smells like mop, Dale agrees she can take Georgie.

Back home, George is telling Billy Sparks what’s going to happen in the football game on TV before it happens. After Billy says he sees where Sheldon gets his brains from, George says he’s the only person to ever say that. As Billy goes into the kitchen to get George a beer, Sheldon arrives home. He asks his dad if he has the number for Mary at the church retreat, explaining he needs help navigating a situation with Dr. Linkletter. Billy suggests Sheldon ask his dad as he’s really smart. Sheldon tells his dad he wants to ask Dr. Sturgis to help them, but he knows he and Linkletter have a professional rivalry. George says the way he sees it, they’re all on Team Science, and members of a team don’t have to like each other to work together. A quarterback doesn’t throw to the receiver he likes best, he throws it to the one who’s open. When Sheldon wonders if he should ask Dr. Sturgis what he thinks about the dark matter being a Bose condensate, George asks him if he wants Team Science to win. Sheldon thanks his dad and says this has been helpful.

As Meemaw talks to Georgie in her kitchen, she mentions he fancies himself a bit of an entrepreneur. Now that he’s not in school, she bets he’s wanting to take his career to the next level. Meemaw tells him it’s his lucky day because she has the perfect opportunity for him. How would he like to manage a business all on his own? Be his own boss. Call the shots. “Hell, yeah”, Georgie says, asking what the job is. Managing a laundromat. No way, Georgie tells his grandmother. Meemaw insists he’s perfect for this, but Georgie points out he’s a salesman and there’s nothing to sell. Meemaw points out there’s a bunch of bored people with pockets full of quarters to sell to, and tries to goad Georgie by saying he’s not the entrepreneur she thought he was. After Georgie says that won’t work on him, Meemaw argues that’s why he’s management material. “Nice try”, Georgie says as he walks away. After Meemaw mentions the place is wall-to-wall girls, Georgie wonders why she didn’t lead with that.

When Georgie goes to the laundromat excited to find the female customer base his grandmother promised, he finds the place filled with older women. Georgie reminds his grandmother she promised him girls. Meemaw says they were girls… once. Not in this century, Georgie claims. Meemaw levels with him and explains she doesn’t want to run this dump, so she needs his help. Georgie wonders why she bought it. Was she tricked by a conman? Meemaw says no, but Georgie says it’s okay, it happens a lot to women her age. Meemaw asks him to follow her into the backroom.

At the school, Coach Wilkins asks George how the bachelor lifestyle is treating him with Mary away. George thinks Mary makes this parenting thing seem hard, but he’s great at it. Wayne jokes that George finally gave parenting a shot, good for him. George explains he’s even helping out kids that aren’t his, explaining Billy Sparks has a crush on Missy. Wayne warns George about getting involved in his teenage daughter’s love life. George says he can’t win with him, and won’t bother telling him about how he helped Sheldon. After Coach Wilkins says it might be better if he doesn't, George carries on anyway and says he used a sports metaphor and it worked.

When Meemaw shows Georgie into the secret casino room, he’s impressed. Meemaw explains the cops shut her down, so she’s got a room full of slot machines she can’t turn on and a bunch of washing machines she doesn’t want. After Georgie says they should start the gaming room up, Meemaw says she can’t as she’s on the police’s radar now. She sighs as she says this isn’t how she saw this playing out. Georgie tells his grandmother she took a shot and that’s impressive. After Georgie says that most folks her age have someone cutting up their food, Meemaw tells Georgie that’s enough of the old people jokes. Georgie still thinks she’s a badass. When Meemaw says they should get back out there, Georgie says he’s not working for her, but he is rooting for her.

When George picks Sheldon up from college, he asks how it went. Sheldon explains he got Dr. Sturgis to present his ideas to Dr. Linkletter, who told John that his idea was the stupidest thing he’d ever heard. John calls that big talk from a man who thought everything could be explained by classical field theory. Linkletter questions why Sheldon brought this “crackpot” into his lab. George worries whether Sheldon mentioned him. Sheldon says he told John and Linkletter that they’re all on Team Science. George is relieved, but then… Sheldon adds that John scoffed at “Team Science” and Linkletter wondered where he got that bit of cliched nonsense, so Sheldon told them he got it from his dad.

Back home, an angry Missy asks her dad what he said to Billy Sparks. Missy explains Billy asked her out and said he’d talked to her dad about it. “Yes, but…”, George says before Missy cuts him off. After Missy says Billy asked her out in front of her friends. George explains he didn’t tell Billy to do it, he just told him to think about it. Missy says Billy thought about it and then did it, so thanks a lot. As Missy walks away, George sighs and says Wayne was right. When Missy asks if he told Coach Wilkins, George admits he did share a little. Missy points out Coach Wilkins’ wife is her teacher. After Missy asks if he has any idea how bad this is, George says he’s putting it together.

As Sheldon and Dr. Linkletter stare at the board again, Sheldon asks him if he sees it. That Dr. Sturgis was right and he needs to eat crow and go back to him, Dr. Linkletter wonders. Yes, Sheldon says. Dr. Linkletter says they should give it another moment.

When George goes into his office and says good morning to Coach Wilkins, he finds a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug on his desk. Wayne explains George has been doing such a good job at home he thought he deserved to be recognised. After Wilkins asks how things went last night, George says, “Not bad, not bad.” Wilkins calls George a lying sack, revealing that Darlene told him Billy asked Missy out and it all went south. George concedes Wilkins’ was right, he shouldn’t have got involved. Wayne tells George he can keep the mug as a goal to work towards. When Wayne asks how things went with Sheldon, George blows his cheeks out. Wayne asks for the mug back.

At the laundromat, Meemaw complains as she tries to scrape a Tootsie-Roll off one of the dryers. When Georgie arrives, Meemaw is glad of the help, but Georgie explains he’s not there to work. He’s come up with the solution to her problems. Georgie explains he was thinking about Chuck E. Cheese. He explains his meemaw’s payouts were in cash, that's illegal. When you play games at Chuck E. Cheese, you win tickets. Those tickets are traded for prizes. That's legal. Meemaw just needs to do the same thing. People play her machines, and the credits they win get exchanged for stuffed animals. Then she buys those stuffed animals back for cash. No laws broken, and she’s back in business. Meemaw says that’s the stupidest thing she’s ever heard, arguing she doesn’t run a carnival and grown-up people don't gamble to win a teddy bear.
Adult Sheldon explains that Dr. Linkletter eventually admitted they could use the help of Dr. Sturgis, so Team Science was back in action. In the lab, Dr. Sturgis and Dr. Linkletter trade barbs while working on the problem. Adult Sheldon says his father was right, they were bringing out the best of each other - like steel sharpening steel. It turned out their antagonism was the key to their success.

Back home, as George grabs a beer, he finds Missy watching TV and asks how she’s doing. Missy has her arms crossed and responds with a curt “fine”. When George asks if things are okay at school, Missy wonders if he wants to know so he can tell his friends. After George says he just wants to know how she’s doing, Missy says Billy feels bad, she feels bad for turning him down, and everything’s awkward and terrible now. Does that answer his question?

When George goes across the street to the Sparks’ house, George thanks Brenda for letting him come by and asks how Billy’s doing. Brenda says she doesn’t know as Billy doesn’t tell her anything. George says Missy talks, but it’s not an improvement. After Brenda calls Billy to say Mr. Cooper’s there, George asks how she’s doing. Brenda says not to look under that rock, but she appreciates him asking.

Inside, George asks Billy if it's been a tough week. Yeah. George insists he’s been there, too. George talks about the time a girl shot him down on the school bus, and he just had to sit there as he asked nine stops too early. After Billy wonders what he did, George explains he felt bad for a while, then he asked another girl out. Did she say yes? Absolutely not, and he did it on the bus again like a dope. When Billy says he’ll never ask another girl out, George insists he will. At least the worst part’s over, George tells him, although Billy says it doesn’t feel like it. George says he got rejected and learned it’s not the worst thing in the universe. A lot of guys don’t learn that and stop taking chances. And honestly, George thinks Billy dodged a bullet with Missy. The girl is mean.

Adult Sheldon says his father didn’t always get the credit he deserved. The advice he gave him actually worked out pretty well. Of course, he never told him. When George returns home, he tells Missy he talked to Billy. She wonders why he would do that. George insists it was good, but Missy tells her father to stay out of her life. As George leaves an angry Missy alone and retreats to his bedroom, Adult Sheldon says he may not have been the world’s greatest dad, but maybe they weren’t the world’s greatest kids.

As Dale drives with Meemaw, she tells him she’s probably going to sell the place, even if she has to take a bath on it. After Dale says he’s got a realtor friend who could help her out, Meemaw reminds him of his cop friend who shut the place down. Dale mentions he thinks Georgie’s Chuck E. Cheese idea is kind of brilliant. After Meemaw asks if he really believes grown-ups are gonna gamble for stuffed animals, Dale says they will if she buys them back. Meemaw points out they’re only worth a couple of dollars, but Dale argues they’re worth whatever she says it’s worth. If a customer wins $100, you buy it back for $100. Later, Meemaw goes to the Coopers’ garage and knocks on the door. When Georgie answers, she tells him it looks like she owes him an apology.

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