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Recap / The Big Bang Theory S 2 E 3 The Barbarian Sublimation

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The Barbarian Sublimation is an episode from Season 2 of The Big Bang Theory.

Disappointed by her lack of accomplishments in her acting career, Penny joins Sheldon in playing Age of Conan online. She soon becomes addicted to playing the game, which worries Leonard and Sheldon (especially the latter mainly because she's constantly bothering him for help).


  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Penny starts crying at the beginning of the episode as she complains she's a total failure in her life at everything, she can't score or even be allowed in auditions for acting roles, she lost thousands of dollars having to fix her car battery and her breath smells like fly after she swallowed one.
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  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Leonard sees a calico cat eating Penny's melted ice cream. Cats should not eat ice cream.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Penny at the beginning of the episode given how miserable she's been so far, as aside from her acting career that's failed to begin, she can't even get her front door open or keep her groceries from falling out.
    • Sheldon, as Penny keeps hounding him for advice on playing Age of Conan which interferes with his job, his sleep, his leisure time. And Sheldon promises to make Leonard suffer (even more so than he already does) if Penny doesn't stop.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Sheldon turns Penny into a video game addict shut-in who badgers him for advice how to get through the game.
  • Descent into Addiction: Penny easily and quickly becomes a gambling addict to Age of Conan to escape the harsh reality of her life. She skips her dead-end job as a Cheesecake Factory waitress, limits her diet to nothing but Cheetos and cuts off all communication with everyone but Sheldon.
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  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: A disheartened Penny buys Ben and Jerry's ice cream (Vanilla flavor) after being turned away for an acting audition and having lost her hard-earned wages from the Cheesecake Factory to a dead car battery. She doesn't even get the chance to eat it because she can't get her door open. A calico cat ends up eating her ice cream.
  • Humiliation Conga: The episode begins with Penny getting her car key stuck on her front door because she was too flustered due to being rejected at an audition. This is just the Last Straw in what has been a very disappointing couple of years.
    Penny: You know, I have been in L.A. for almost two years now, and I haven't' gotten a single acting job. I have accomplished nothing, haven't gotten a raise at work, haven't even had sex in six months, and just now when I was walking up those stairs a fly flew in my mouth and I ate it.
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  • Insane Troll Logic: Sheldon blames Leonard for Penny badgering him about tips to get through Age of Conan, saying Leonard never should've said "Hello" to her in the pilot episode, even though Sheldon's the one who introduced Penny to the game.
  • Off with His Head!: Leonard approaches Penny inside the game to beg her to stop. She responds by beheading his avatar.
  • Rule of Three: Lampshaded.
    Sheldon: Leonard, you need to do something about Penny. She's interfering with my sleep, she's interfering with my work, and if I had another significant aspect of my life, I'm sure she'd be interfering with that too.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Guess who.
    Sheldon: Would you prefer to wait in our apartment?
    Penny: No, Sheldon, I'd rather sit on this freezing cold floor sobbing like a three-year-old.
    Sheldon: All right, then.
    Penny: For God's sake! [Stomps inside]
    Sheldon: Just when I think I've gotten the hang of sarcasm.
  • What Have I Done: Penny realizes she's hit rock bottom when she's propositioned by Howard online, and she accepts.
  • Who's on First?: Sheldon explains to Penny what the acronym AFKnote  means. She responds "Oh, I see", and Sheldon thinks she's saying OIC and asks what that means.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Penny repays Sheldon with letting her stay in his room and couch while she waits for her door to be opened up by a locksmith by bugging Sheldon all day for the next few weeks over how to get through Age of Conan.

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