'The Big Bang Theory': Sheldon Learns How to be a Good Boyfriend (Exclusive Photo)

Big Bang Theory Shiny Trinket - H 2012
Monty Brinton/CBS

Big Bang Theory Shiny Trinket - H 2012

The teacher becomes the student when CBS' The Big Bang Theory returns Thursday from its winter hiatus.

Now that Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) have taken their relationship to the next level, the genius will turn to Penny to learn how to be a good boyfriend after he's unimpressed by Amy's latest accomplishment and gets in trouble with her.

"It’s a relationship between two people who have never had one before in their lives, and it lets us break stories that on the surface are ones we’ve seen before in new ways through the Sheldon and Amy filter," executive producer Steve Molaro tells The Hollywood Reporter.

In the episode, titled "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver," Sheldon presents Amy with a tiara -- seen above in a photo exclusive to THR -- as an apology for being a "not so great" boyfriend.

"They’re setting up their own ground rules, and they don’t feel any pressure to have a relationship by anyone else’s rules but their own," co-creator Chuck Lorre says of the pairing. "They’ve found a way for it to work for them, and it’s not the way it works for other people."

Meanwhile, Howard (Simon Helberg) continues to learn things about Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) that he probably should have found out before popping the question: namely that she doesn't like kids.

"You see a dark side of Bernadette that’s a little insight into what the future might hold for them," Helberg says. "We’re still baby-stepping toward the altar, but who knows if we’ll ever get there."

Adds Rauch, "We’ve always known she’s a little twisted, but there seems to be a little darkness under that twistedness as well."

The Big Bang Theory returns from its winter hiatus at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit