The Big Bang Theory

The Maternal Combustion

Series 8 - Episode 23 The Maternal Combustion



The writers never get tired of the bringing together of opposites. And why would they, when it works every time? In the penultimate episode of the series, Sheldon and Leonard’s mothers – one a drawling creationist, the other a purse-lipped psychiatrist. It’s like a summit of superpowers: we know there will be fireworks, the fun is anticipating what will light the touchpaper.

The meeting raises at least two questions: why is Beverly so ghastly to Leonard, and how could Mary possibly have given birth to Sheldon? Those answers may prove elusive, but the story does end with a very surprising hug. Laurie Metcalf is hilarious as Mary; we don’t see nearly enough of her.

There is a sub-plot about Raj, Howard and Stuart being slobby, but that’s a bit like the third bout on a fight night, when most people have gone home.


There is a clash of personalities when Sheldon and Leonard's mothers finally meet, while Howard finally decides to do his fair share of the housework - but not without a little help from his friends. Guest starring Christine Baranski and Laurie Metcalf.

Cast & Crew

Leonard Hofstadter Johnny Galecki
Sheldon Cooper Jim Parsons
Penny Kaley Cuoco
Howard Wolowitz Simon Helberg
Raj Koothrappali Kunal Nayyar
Amy Farrah Fowler Mayim Bialik
Bernadette Rostenkowski Melissa Rauch
Mary Cooper Laurie Metcalf
Dr Beverly Hofstadter Christine Baranski
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