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509 - The Yips and an Oddly Hypnotic Bohemian

Aired Thursday, December 9, 2021
The Yips and an Oddly Hypnotic Bohemian

After Missy gets the yips and loses her pitching game, Sheldon blames her for giving him the science yips when he fails to complete a test. Meanwhile, George plays handyman at Brenda Sparks' house.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "The Yips" refers to Missy's inability to pitch, and "an Oddly Hypnotic Bohemian" refers to Sheldon's comments about Bob Ross.
  • Opening Credits Sequence: Sheldon is dressed in his normal clothes as a black cow with horns approaches the family.

Quotes

Sheldon: Missy! You gave me your yips.
Missy: What?
Sheldon: I froze on a test. That's never happened before. It's all your fault.
Missy: I told you it's not contagious.
Sheldon: You put the thought in my head. The power of suggestion is very real. Case in point: tulip mania.
Missy: Here we go.
Sheldon: Tulip mania was an insane desire to buy and trade tulip bulbs in the 1600s. It nearly ruined the Dutch economy. You would not believe the gilders they were spending.

George Sr.: Look. I know you don't respect what I do as a coach.
Sheldon: Maybe you do know me.
George Sr.: But this is a thing I actually know about. I've seen it happen to my players. I've seen it happen to pros in golf. In baseball. The answer is always the same. Stop thinking and get out of your own way.
Sheldon: I don't know how to do that.
George Sr.: Have you ever heard the Nike slogan "Just do it"?
Sheldon: I'm familiar with the phrase "let's do it," uttered by Gary Gilmore, the last person to be executed by firing squad in America.
George Sr.: Okay, well, it's a shoe slogan. And it's good advice. The answer is already in your head. Don't think so hard. Just do it.
Sheldon: I'll try.
George Sr.: Good man.

Adult Sheldon: Of all the tests one takes in school, my favorite was the midterm. Finals weren't bad, but they also meant summer was approaching. I don't believe in religion, but sunshine, picnics and pool parties are proof hell exists.

Sheldon: I thought you were good at this.
Missy: I was. Coach Dale says I have the yips.
Sheldon: [covers mouth] It's not contagious, is it?
Missy: No, it happens in sports. Suddenly you can't do a thing that used to be easy.
Sheldon: It doesn't sound real.
Missy: Then why can't I pitch anymore?
Sheldon: Ooh, perhaps it's the onset of puberty and the hysterical mood swings that go with it.
Missy: Dingus, house.
Sheldon: You're only proving my point.

George Sr.: What, Billy won an award?
Brenda Sparks: Participation. Big whoop.
George Sr.: I guess it's something.
Brenda Sparks: Well, he ain't the sharpest pencil in the box, but he's the sweetest kid I know.
George Sr.: Well, Sheldon is the sharpest pencil. Sometimes I'd just like to shove his head in that box.

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Episode Trivia

  • Which company's slogan did George mention to Sheldon?
    • McDonald's
    • Energizer
    • Nike
    • American Express

Episode Recap

When Meemaw arrives at the baseball game, Dale wonders if she’s there to see her man be a leader of the little people. Meemaw says she’s there to see her granddaughter pitch. Under his leadership, Dale points out. After Missy’s first two pitches are duds, Dale goes over to talk to her. Missy says the ball’s just not going where it’s supposed to and wonders what she’s doing wrong. Dale explains she’s got a case of the yips, where she’s so busy thinking about stuff in her head that she can’t do something she’s done a million times. Even the pros get it. Dale says the only way to get rid of it is not to think about it. When Missy pitches a third time, the crowd groans as the ball hits the netting. Dale tells Meemaw he hates the little people.

As George cleans the grill out in the backyard, he overhears Brenda Sparks cursing her spluttering car. When George shouts to ask if she needs help, Brenda insists everything’s okay, but her car still won’t start. Later, after George goes over and gives her a hand, the car starts. When Brenda invites George inside for a thank-you beer and cobbler, George asks if she wasn’t going somewhere. After Brenda explains she was just going to Weight Watchers, George laughs and accepts her invitation.

Adult Sheldon explains that of all the school tests, midterms were his favorite. Finals mean that the school term is over. And while he doesn’t believe in religion, to him sunshine, picnics and pool parties are proof that Hell exists. As Sheldon studies at the kitchen table, he’s distracted when he hears a repeated thudding sound. Outside, Missy is throwing a ball against a target on a lawn chair. As Missy’s pitch veers towards the house, Sheldon gasps as he steps outside and is nearly hit by the ball. After Missy says she was aiming for the target, Sheldon says he thought Missy was good at this. Missy explains she was good, but Dale thinks she has the yips. Sheldon’s worries it’s contagious, but Missy explains it’s a thing that happens in sports where you can’t do what you used to be able to do well. After Sheldon says he doesn’t think it sounds real, Missy wonders why she can’t pitch any more. After Sheldon suggests it could be the onset of puberty and the “hysterical mood swings” that go with it, Missy sends him back into the house.

As George joins Brenda in her kitchen, he’s surprised to hear that Billy won an award. A participation award, Brenda explains, big whoop. Brenda says Billy’s not the sharpest pencil in the box, but he is the sweetest kid. George admits Sheldon is the sharpest pencil and sometimes he wants to shove Sheldon’s head in the box. When George goes to throw away his beer, he notices Brenda’s faucet is leaking. Brenda says the whole house is falling apart. After George offers to fix it the next time he’s over, Brenda insists he doesn’t have to do that. When Brenda offers him another beer, George says he must be going. After the door handle comes off in George’s hand, Brenda asks if he wants to buy the house.

As Mary prepares dinner in the kitchen, George arrives home. When Mary asks where he’s been, George explains Brenda was having car trouble and he gave her hand. Mary says that’s nice, noting it must be tough for Brenda being on her own. After George reveals the whole house is falling apart, Mary asks if he offered to help. George explains he did but Brenda said no. Mary claims that’s just Brenda being proud, but she obviously wants his help. George stammers as he says he’ll pop over sometime.

At the university, after Dr. Linkletter outlines the rules, the test begins. Adult Sheldon says he flew through wave functions and dominated harmonic oscillators. He was in the zone. When he comes to the final question, Sheldon is suddenly stuck, unable to remember the zeroes of the Bessel function. Later, as the students stream out of the classroom, Dr. Linkletter tells Sheldon it’s time to hand in his test. Sheldon admits he can’t remember the zeroes of the Bessel function. Dr. Linkletter points out it’s just one question, and Sheldon will pass either way. Referring to himself in the third person, Sheldon insists Sheldon Cooper doesn’t “just pass”. When Linkletter claims to have an idea and asks to see Sheldon’s test, Sheldon hands his paper over. After Dr. Linkletter says thank you and walks away with the test, Sheldon insists Sheldon Cooper isn’t always that gullible.

Over at the Sparks’ house, George is almost done fixing the faucet. When he asks Billy Sparks to hand him the screwdriver, Billy tells George not to stick it in an outlet as it really tingles. They had an incident, Brenda admits. George decides to let Billy finish the job. After Billy tightens the screw, George asks him to go out and turn the water supply back on. After Billy runs out, Brenda moves closer to George and says, “Who knew you were so handy.” George insists these are the kinds of things a guy needs to know. As Brenda flirtily asks George what else he’s good at, the faucet comes sputtering back to life. A nervous George tells Brenda he has to go.

As George returns home, Mary is folding towels in the kitchen. After George says “Hey, pretty lady.”, Mary wonders if he’s drinking already. George wonders why a guy can’t pay his wife a compliment. After Mary jokingly asks if she needs to smell his breath, George flirtatiously asks for a kiss instead. When George suggestively points out the kids aren’t home, Mary says she’s busy doing the laundry. George says the laundry can wait, but Mary argues so can his thing. George tells Mary he prefers to think of it as “our thing”. As Mary walks out with the folded towels, she tells George he is being weird.

Later, Sheldon goes to Missy’s room to accuse her of giving him the yips. Sheldon explains he froze on a test and that’s never happened before, so obviously she gave him her yips. Missy points out the yips are not contagious, but Sheldon argues she put the idea in his head and the power of suggestion is very powerful. Case in point, tulip mania. After Sheldon explains the Dutch speculative bubble to an uninterested Missy, she wonders why he can remember that stupid information but not the stuff on his test. Missy says if she knew how to get over the yips, she would tell him. Throwing Sheldon’s snarky comment back in her face, Missy suggests puberty is making him all emotional. Sheldon insists he checked his armpits and they’re smooth as balloons.

As George walks into the kitchen to grab a beer, Sheldon is studying at the table. When George says hey, Sheldon just groans. After George asks what his problem is, Sheldon explains he had a mental block on a test despite it being something he knew how to do. George says this kind of thing happens in sports, too. Sheldon knows, it’s called the yips, which he thinks is a very silly name for something so very serious. George says the best thing for him to do is to get out of his own head. How? Just turn your brain off, George tells him. Sheldon thinks it’s like his father doesn’t even know him. George says Sheldon may not respect what he does as a coach, but he knows what he’s talking about here. He’s seen it happen to his players and to the pros. The answer is always the same: stop thinking and get out of your own way. George mentions the Nike slogan, “Just do it.”

Adult Sheldon says he decided to put his dad’s advice into practice. He didn’t know how to turn off his brain, but thankfully he lived with an expert. Sheldon goes over to the garage to ask Georgie for help. Georgie has never really thought about not thinking before. Georgie says this is tough. He’s good at not thinking, but he doesn't think he can teach Sheldon how to not think without thinking. After Sheldon thanks his brother for trying, Georgie wonders if thinking about something else would count as not thinking. After Sheldon mentions that sounds similar to the mantras extolled by the sages of the East, Georgie admits he zoned out. As Sheldon wonders how he did it, Georgie asks him to start talking again. As Sheldon once again talks about Eastern mantras, Georgie zones out again and hears traditional Indian music playing as he pictures Sheldon with a third eye in the middle of his forehead.

At the college the next day, Sheldon puts the advice of his dad and his brother to work. After Dr. Linkletter tells Sheldon he has 45 minutes, Sheldon tells himself to “Just do it.” “Just turn your brain off and do it.” Sheldon starts to wonder if his brain is off, if he’s doing it. Sheldon realizes if he’s thinking it’s off, it must still be on, so he tells himself not to overthink it and just do it. When Dr. Linkletter tells Sheldon his time is up, Sheldon looks down at his blank notepad and realizes he didn’t do it.

When George goes over to Brenda Sparks’ house, she tells him the toilet won’t stop running. Brenda tells George she was just about to put dinner on and asks if he wants some fixing up. George doesn’t want to put her out, but Brenda says it’s just a frozen lasagna. Although she’s putting it in the oven, not the microwave, ‘cause he’s company. When George asks what she’s doing, Brenda wonders what he means. George scoffs and insists she knows what he means. Brenda says she was just trying to thank him. After all, he’s the one who offered to come over there and fix things. When George insists he was just being nice, Brenda says she was, too. After George suggests she was being too nice, Brenda says there’s no pleasing him. George insistshe doesn’t need to fight here, he can get that at home. When Billy shouts to ask his mom for help with his homework, Brenda asks George if he’s leaving. Is she going to fix the toilet herself? No. Then he’s not leaving. After Brenda thanks him and asks again if he wants lasagna, George says just a small piece as Mary’s making tacos.

Adult Sheldon explains he was having difficulty trying to outsmart his own brain patterns. It’s understandable. After all, however smart he was, he was also that smart. He wondered whether he could create some sort of mind control device, but that sounded a little too "mwah ha ha" even for him. It turned out the device he was looking for had been in his presence the entire time. Television. It had been tranquilizing the minds of America's youth for generations, and it was just what he needed. Sheldon turns to a TV show about a space rocket launch, but finds that too interesting. When Sheldon turns on The Three Stooges, he says it’s too violent. After flicking through a game show involving slime, Sheldon finally lands on Bob Ross painting clouds. Sheldon wonders who this bohemian is.

As George joins Principal Petersen at a bar, Principal Petersen asks George if he could have any job at the high school, which one would he go for? George doesn’t know. Petersen says sometimes he sees the janitor pushing around that buffing machine, and thinks it looks like a blast. The janitor doesn’t wear a tie or have to deal with the school board. Vomit and feces aside, the janitor’s living the dream. When Petersen notices George is distracted,  George admits he’s got something on his mind, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. George asks Petersen about the bachelor life. Petersen admits he fishes and hunts whenever he wants, and spends money on whatever he wants. When George asks about women, Petersen admits it’s tough to meet people at his age. Sadly, this is the best night out he’s had in a long time. George admits it is for him, too. When Petersen tells George to send any single women he knows his way, George takes a moment before saying he’ll think about it.

When Missy finds Sheldon watching TV, she says she didn’t know Richard Simmons could paint. Sheldon explains it’s Bob Ross, and says he’s oddly hypnotic. Missy is surprised her brother is going to paint. Sheldon insists he’s not, explaining he just likes watching Bob Ross. Sheldon can’t explain it but his voice and demeanor are comforting, like a hot beverage. “Yawn”, says Missy.

Adult Sheldon explains the yips are a cruel mistress, but thanks to a magical man with a halo of curls, he was finally able to relax and get out of his own head. As Sheldon takes the test, Adult Sheldon explains that instead of freezing up, he thought about happy integers, fluffy little formulas and a sweet Bessel function that just wants him to do his very best. After Sheldon tells Dr. Linkletter he’s done, Linkletter, dressed for a tennis game, is pleased he can still make his doubles match.

Back at the baseball field, Missy once again delivers a dud pitch. When Dale goes over to talk to her, Missy says she doesn’t know what she’s doing wrong. Dale takes the blame, saying it was a bad idea to let a girl pitch. An outraged Missy points out she’s won so many games. A dismissive Dale suggests those times have passed. Missy wonders why he’s being so mean. Dale asks why she's getting so emotional, like women do. Maybe she ought to be a cheerleader, he suggests. When a riled up Missy asks if he’s trying to make her mad, Dale wonders if it’s working. After Missy says it is, Dale tells her to imagine his face on the catcher’s mitt. As they return to the game, Missy hits two strikes in a row as Dale continues to hurl insults at her, only making her angrier. Dale exclaims he is the leader of the little people.

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