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Recap / The Big Bang Theory S 2 E 8 The Lizard Spock Expansion

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The Lizard-Spock Expansion is the 8th episode of the 2nd season of The Big Bang Theory. It originally aired November 17th, 2008. This is the first of the "Stephanie" trilogy.

Sheldon adds Lizard and Spock to the rock-paper-scissors game in order to settle out his many disagreements with Raj, but they both want to be Spock because he's far cooler than all other options including lizard. Meanwhile, Leonard wins the heart of Howard's newest crush Stephanie Barrett as while Howard thinks he and Stephanie are dating.



  • Ask a Stupid Question...:
    Howard: I got the Mars Rover stuck in a ditch.
    Sheldon: Where?
    Howard: On a dusty highway just outside Bakersfield... Where do you think? On MARS!
  • Backhanded Compliment: Howard calls them "negs" and uses them to catch women aback when hitting on them. He tries one on Penny; it doesn't work.
    Howard: May I say, Penny, not a lot of women could look as hot as you do with such greasy hair.
    Penny: [pulls on his eyepatch and snaps it back] Yeah, just move your stupid scooter before I pick it up and throw it in the dumpster.
    Howard: [after she leaves] Ow!
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Stephanie is on the heavier side and considered very beautiful and desirable by both Leonard and Howard.
  • Captain Obvious: Mrs. Wolowitz claims "I have a coupon from the paper" for Olive Garden.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Leonard admits this (in the trope's exact words) when he tried to instruct Sheldon not to say anything about him leaving, when really all he had to do was leave to go see Stephanie as nobody really cared what reason he had to leave at night.
    • Also Howard for blindly deleting all the evidence that he was responsible for the Mars Rover falling into a crevasse. Howard's assumption that there would be nothing but consequences backfires on him since it turns out he unraveled fresh, new knowledge of Mars' surface.
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    • Sheldon doesn't seem to add any rules for what the lizard does to rock, paper and scissors or what Spock does to scissors.
    • Sheldon could have easily beaten Raj at any Rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock game by just picking lizard since Raj will always choose Spock. That way he could get anything he wants it his way without Raj's interference. But because Sheldon has no self-control, he also is predisposed to only picking Spock.
  • Dirty Coward: Not wanting to be held responsible for putting the MARS Rover in a crevasse, Howard in an act of cowardice enacts a ridiculously risky (and illegal) plan to erase all the evidence that he is responsible.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Howard in the midst of being too excited of getting to have sex with Stephanie that he neglected paying attention to the MARS Rover and he ended up letting it drive into a crevasse.
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  • Double Date: In the end, it's Leonard and Stephanie along with Howard and Lisa, as Lisa just recently went through a break-up.
  • The Drag-Along: Mrs. Wolowitz has no qualms about forcing her son to bring her on his date with Stephanie to Olive Garden, or Howard's preferred Red Lobster.
  • Expospeak Gag: Sheldon, as usual, with a touch of Getting Crap Past the Radar. The below statement is Sheldon telling Howard that he's "up shit creek without a paddle".
    Sheldon: I believe the appropriate metaphor her involves a river of excrement and a Native American vessel without any means of propulsion.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Invoked by Howard, who wears an eyepatch to attract the attention of women. It doesn't impress Penny (who came to ask Howard to move his moped) when he tries it; she just pulls on it and snaps it back.
  • Fat Girl: Stephanie and Howard's mother.
  • Fight for the Last Bite: The guys play Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock to see who gets the last dumpling. They all draw Spock.
  • It's All About Me: Mrs. Wolowitz (Howard's mother) wants Howard and Stephanie to go on their date at Olive Garden, because she has a coupon for that place and wants to eat there. Howard sternly refuses Olive Garden because it's too casual, to which she (sarcastically) replies "Mr. Big-Shot with his Red Lobster".
    • Bonus comedy points if you knew that Olive Garden and Red Lobster were both owned by the same company Darden Restaurants at the time of this episode's airing.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Sheldon is actually completely right about the Defcon scale. Defcon 5 means no danger, Defcon 1 means a crisis serious enough that requires everyone to take action. Leonard has the Defcon scale backwards, thinking that 5 must be worse than 1. In fact, the Defcon scale acts like a countdown, so 5 is best, 1 is worst.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Howard thought that he invoked this trope by driving the Rover on MARS into a crevasse and so he orders Sheldon and Raj to help him delete all evidence that he was responsible. But then NASA realizes that the Rover falling into that crevasse captured photo evidence that life may have existed on Mars in the past, and they don't know who to credit for this scientific discovery. That discoverer would have surely received a financial reward plus notoriety and fame. Guess how Howard reacts.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Penny mentioned that Howard sexually harassed her with comments about her ass.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors: Sheldon suggests using the rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock variation invented by software engineer Sam Kass in 1998. One problem: everyone keeps picking Spock, rendering the original purpose of adding two extra choices to avoid stalemates moot.
    Sheldon: It's very simple. Scissors cuts paper. Paper covers rock. Rock crushes lizard. Lizard poisons Spock. Paper disproves Spock. Spock vaporizes rock. And, as it always has, rock crushes scissors.
  • Take That, Audience!: Sheldon and Raj's bickering and childish arguing over which Star Trek movie or sci-fi work is better is definitely nothing less than Satire.
  • Time for Plan B: After failing to move the Mars Rover, Howard says it's time for Plan B.
    Sheldon: What's Plan B?
    Howard: Erase all the hard drives, grab the surveillance tapes, wipe our fingerprints off every surface and run.
    Sheldon: Why wasn't that Plan A?
  • Your Cheating Heart: Leonard worries over whether he is cheating on Penny by dating and passionately kissing Stephanie, trying to keep telling himself that his dates with Penny are in the past.

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