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Recap / The Big Bang Theory S 4 E 3 The Zazzy Substitution

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The Zazzy Substitution is the 3rd episode of the 4th season of The Big Bang Theory.

Sheldon and Amy have a disagreement and break up (despite denying that they ever were boyfriend and girlfriend). The guys worry that Sheldon is not taking it as well as he says he is when he tries to find new forms of companionship.


  • Artistic License – History: Amy claims the Danes invented their namesake sweet treat the cheese danish. The Austrians invented the cheese Danish, albeit in Denmark instead of their homeland.
    • 8 years later, Sheldon points this out in the Season 12 episode "The Imitation Perturbation".
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  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Amy lets her ego get the best of her and starts insulting/derailing Sheldon's field of theoretical physics and defends that her field of microbiology is far more superior.
  • Calvinball: How Leonard (And the viewers) interpreted the game "Counterfactuals" seeing just how nonsensical the questions and answers Sheldon and Amy state.
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them:
    Howard: Women. Can't live with 'em, can't successfully refute their hypotheses.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Amy and Sheldon suggest that hide-n-seek would be a more suitable game for Leonard, the latter obviously doesn't want to play and states "I'm going to my room". Amy misinterprets this as Leonard giving away his location. And Amy thinks Leonard is using this trope when clearly she is.
  • *Cough* Snark *Cough*: Sheldon insists to Amy that he's perfectly fine. Leonard fakes a sneeze while muttering "Twenty-five cats!"
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  • Crazy Cat Lady: Sheldon starts with one cat. Then he thought it was lonely and bought six more. In the end, he ends up with 25 cats.
  • Everything's Cuter with Kittens: Sheldon starts buying cats (starting with Zazzy) to make up for Amy hurting his feelings by bad-mouthing theoretical physics and breaking up with him.
  • Hypocrite: Amy complains that she and Sheldon are not eating alone at the Cheesecake Factory. However, she chose to sit at the same table with Leonard, Howard and Raj rather than pick another table. And it would be pretty rude if she had expected the three to abandon their designated table just for her and Sheldon.
    • Also, Amy made Sheldon defend why Uganda would have won World War II if rhinos were pets but when it was Amy's turn, she just stated "Isn't it obvious?"
  • Insane Troll Logic: "Counterfactuals", the game made up by Sheldon and Amy. There is just so much wrong with it:
    • Uganda is a very poor Third World country that wouldn't have a chance of winning any war, let alone World War II. And how would rhinoceroses have helped Uganda win WW2? Both the Allies and Axis Powers have firearms, tanks, Air Force and the United States was able to develop nuclear weapons before Nazi Germany could. Can rhinoceroses really constitute any formidable line of combat/defense against WMDs when they're already being hunted to critically endangered numbers by poachers?
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    • Even so, Sheldon claims that Uganda would have become a global superpower by exporting rhinoceroses as pets when rhinoceroses don't breed as easily nor quickly as cats and dogs.
    • Sheldon claims "When war breaks out, no one can afford the luxury of a rhino". Just who the hell would want (let alone can afford) a rhino as a pet?? Rhinos are huge, dangerous animals who cost a fortune to keep! Almost nobody could afford the luxury of a rhino even if war doesn't break out, Sheldon.
    • How can only cheese danish be the only food unavailable for consumption if a giant beaver ruled the world? Why would only and specifically Denmark be flooded as a result? Why not multiple if not all human civilizations? That would certainly kill the diversity of human culture and of course global cuisine.
  • Jerkass: Amy, to the point that even Sheldon can't stand her anymore.
  • Odd Name Out: Zazzles, the only one of Sheldon's cats that is not named after the Manhattan Project scientists. "Because that cat is just so zazzy!"
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: In-Universe. Penny calls Sheldon and Amy Shamy.
    Amy: "Shamy"?
    Sheldon: Juvenile amalgamation of our names. Sheldon, Amy. Shamy.
    Amy: Oh. I don't like that. Don't do that.
  • Reverse Psychology: How Mary Cooper (Sheldon's mother) gets her son and Amy to make-up and become a couple again.
  • Saying Too Much: Amy thinks it's necessary and appropriate to tell Leonard, Howard and Raj that she had to stop to buy for feminine hygiene products and that's why she's at most only slightly late.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Sheldon denies that he broke up with Amy, and uses this trope as proof.
    Sheldon: A breakup would imply she was my girlfriend. She was a girl, who was my friend, who is now a girl who is not my friend.
    Penny: That's, like, the worst country song ever.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Sheldon names his cats after the scientists working on the Manhattan Project. Except for Zazzles.

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