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Recap / The Big Bang Theory S 5 E 21 The Hawking Excitation

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Plot

Upon hearing that Howard has an in with Stephen Hawking, Sheldon claims he'll do anything to meet him, which Howard decides to take advantage of.

Tropes

  • As Himself: This is the first of many guest appearances by Stephen Hawking on the show.
  • Analogy Backfire: Sheldon says that Stephen Hawking is his only intellectual equal, and when trying to explain it to Howard he basically says that they are the only two humans on a planet filled with nothing but dogs. He realizes Howard is going to take it the "wrong way" and tries to change it to chimps and later to dolphins, not realizing that all he is doing is Digging Himself Deeper.
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  • Fainting: Sheldon faints when he realizes the paper he gave Hawking had a mistake. Judging from Hawking's reaction, this happens quite often.
    Stephen Hawking: Great. Another fainter.
  • Get Out!: Howard says this to Sheldon a few times in his lab when he is pestering him about meeting Hawking and using an insulting analogy to compare the two of them to the rest of the world, saying everyone else are chimps in comparison.
    Howard: Get out of my lab.
    Sheldon: Oh, now they’re so much smarter than dogs. Have you seen them on those little bicycles?
    Howard: Get out.
    Sheldon: How about dolphins?
    Howard: OUT!
  • Humiliation Conga: Howard puts Sheldon through the ringer when he begs him to show his paper to Stephen Hawking. Starting with washing his many belt buckles, then wearing a French maid outfit at work, followed by washing his underwear, and taking his mother shopping. Finally, comes the greatest indignity of all: complimenting Howard.
    Howard: Are you familiar with the Twelve Labors of Hercules?
    Sheldon: Of course.
    Howard: You should be so lucky.
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  • Innocently Insensitive: Discussed by Bernadette in regards to Sheldon.
    Bernadette: Sheldon doesn't know when he's being mean because the part of his brain that should know is getting a wedgie from the rest of his brain.
  • Never My Fault: When Howard makes Sheldon do various tasks before introducing him to Hawking, Sheldon thinks that Howard is just being mean for no reason and that he has done nothing to deserve this punishment, even as he continues to act as the "condescending jerk" Howard and Penny accuse him of being.
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