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Recap / The Big Bang Theory S 12 E 9 The Citation Negation

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Sheldon and Amy learn about a paper that disproves their theory of super-asymmetry, sending them into a depression.


  • All for Nothing:
    • The concept of "Super Asymmetry", which Sheldon and Amy came up with on their wedding day and spent many months afterwards working on, turned out to have been brought up before being disproved, as Leonard and Raj find out in a Russian book that Howard translates for them. Not surprisingly, Amy and Sheldon are both devastated when Leonard tells them, especially after Leonard hands them the translated copy of the section regarding the "Super Asymmetry" concept.
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    • Played for Laughs with Bernadette's subplot. She spends the entire episode training to be good at Fortnite and challenges Howard to a rematch at the end of the episode... only for Howard to immediately kill her character.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Bernadette has been practicing playing Fortnite for days and is ready to play against Howard. She gets killed within seconds.
  • Downer Ending: Sheldon and Amy discover that the Super Asymmetry theory they had been working on for months not only had been proposed before, but was also disproven in the same paper.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Referenced when Penny finds Bernadette playing Fortnite.
    Penny: Is this a Freaky Friday situation where you're actually Howard?
    Bernadette: If I were really Howard, I'd be doing this. *looks down her blouse* And I'm telling ya, he's not wrong.
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  • Humiliation Conga: Sheldon suffers from this by the end. First the work he and Amy put into for months turns out to have been done and disproved, and then he gets a few things wrong (such as skipping work because he thought it was Saturday when it is Friday), which prompts Leonard correcting him. Finally, when he requests dinner, Leonard, nudged by Penny, gives him the take-out Thai food Leonard was going to have... except the dinner in question doesn't include the mango sticky rice Sheldon likes.
    Sheldon: And the hurt just keeps on coming.
  • Viking Funeral: Sheldon and Amy have a symbolic one for their theory. Instead of a boat at sea, it's a Tupperware container in the bathtub, and instead of a flaming arrow, it's a lighter. All goes well until it sets the curtains on fire.

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