Follow TV Tropes


Recap / The Big Bang Theory S 6 E 13 The Bakersfield Expedition

Go To

The Bakersfield Expedition is the thirteenth episode from Season 6 of The Big Bang Theory. The main plot is about the men dressed up as Star Trek: The Next Generation characters to Bakersfield, California planning to attend a Comic Con there, but before that can happen, they get their car stolen in the middle of a desert. Reality Ensues as the men wearing heavy costumes and cosmetic make-up have to cross the hot desert and find a phone. A subplot has the women trying to figure out why men are so intrigued by comic books.



  • All for Nothing: The guys put in a considerable amount of effort such as extensive costumes and make-up (which must have cost at least hundreds of dollars) into cosplaying characters for Bakersfield Comic Con. And it all goes to waste.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When the guys had their car stolen, they mention that the car thief got away with Leonard's car, their wallets, their phones and Raj's cosmetic make-up.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Leonard never recollects his car from the thieves.
  • Brick Joke: Sheldon's pre-recorded trivia track for their GPS. In The Stinger, the thieves are listening to it... and enjoying it.
  • Captain Obvious: Sheldon screams "STEALING IS AGAINST THE LAW!" when Leonard's car is being stolen.
  • "Cavemen vs. Astronauts" Debate: Despite the girls agreeing that comic books are stupid, they then get into a long argument over the nature of Thor's hammer and how only he can pick it up.
  • Advertisement:
  • Crossing the Desert: What the guys are reduced to while wearing heavy make-up and sweaty Star Trek costumes.
  • Didn't Think This Through: For a CalTech physicist, Leonard's not too bright when it comes to securing his car. He left his doors unlocked AND left the keys inside. Even children would know that's unwise.
  • Downer Ending: Well, it could've been worse but definitely all 4 men have their hearts broken, their dreams crushed, their finances damaged (especially Leonard's) because of the car thief. They're lucky they weren't left to die of thirst and exposure to heat out in the desert.
  • Hostile Hitchhiker: The guys worry that they could be perceived as this by oncoming drivers who are warding off their hand signs and pleas for a ride. Then they also ruminate over the fact that the driver who might pick them up could be a killer psychopath and so they all agree to forgo hitchhiking (which is illegal anyways).
  • Advertisement:
  • Humiliation Conga: The guys suffer a huge one: not only is it embarrassing to get your car stolen and left abandoned without any food, water or communication out in a hot scorching desert, but the guys are wearing Star Trek costumes (Star Trek is sci-fi which you know is all about using extravagant technology to get out of everyday problems like this) and the nearest rest area they come to is a restaurant servicing roadgoers staring at and bewildered over why 4 men dressed as Enterprise crewmen are filing a report of larceny to the police. The restaurant waitress even mocks them for it ("Why don't you ask Scotty to beam you up?") when Leonard (or Picard) asks for the phone. The police officer (Reynolds) does assure them he'll start searching for their car. And to make matters worse, the guys have NO money to buy any food or drinks from that restaurant. Howard arranges for his mother to come and drive them home.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Sheldon complains why didn't Leonard take his car keys out of the ignition lock. However, Sheldon also invokes this trope himself by shifting blame onto Raj for the car theft instead of Leonard.
  • Insult Backfire: Invoked by Sheldon when he and Leonard were insulted first. A waitress makes fun of Leonard's request to use the phone by replying, "Why don't you ask Scotty to beam you up?" Sheldon replies that Scotty was Star Trek: The Original Series, while they're all Next Generation, "so... joke's on you".
  • Kirk's Rock: The boys drive near Vasquez Rocks and decide to pose for a few photos in front of them. And that's when their car gets stolen.
  • Momma's Boy: Officer Reynolds offers to call the men's mothers to come pick them up.
  • Never My Fault: Leonard concurs with Sheldon that the car theft was all Raj's fault, even though Leonard left his keys in the car and the doors unlocked.
  • Plot Hole: For some reason, the guys are able to get drinks at a highway restaurant even though their wallets were all left behind in the car. Though it could most likely be just water, which is often provided at no charge.
    • Howard also uses a payphone to call his mom to pick them up. Perhaps he found a quarter on the desert ground?
    • Writers Cannot Do Math: Back in the desert, Howard announced that someone is stealing Leonard's car. In The Stinger, we see 2 thieves. Though it could be that it was only one thief that stole the car, then picked up a cohort of his.
  • Rousing Speech: Sheldon attempts to motivate his group after being stranded on the highway with one, which gets interrupted when some passerby driver pelts a drink at him.
  • Shout-Out: To Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sheldon is Data, Leonard is Picard, Howard is a Borg and Raj is Worf.
  • Skewed Priorities: Although they don't have any money or food, Raj keeps insisting that the men attend Bakersfield's Comic Con anyways before returning home. After all the stupid, desert-crossing crap they went through, Leonard and Howard immediately shoot down that idea. Raj thinks that Sheldon is on his side, but Sheldon states "Actually it's 3 against 1". Raj capitulates and lets his friends return to Pasadena.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: