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Recap / The Big Bang Theory S 7 E 3 The Scavenger Vortex

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The Scavenger Vortex is an episode from Season 7 of The Big Bang Theory. It originally aired on October 3, 2013.

After (deliberately) missing the dinner murder mystery party that Raj invited all his friends (minus Stuart) to, Raj guilts all the main cast into going on a scavenger hunt he conducted himself where they must travel all around Pasadena for clues to find the "golden coin".


  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Sheldon due to his OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) finds it more necessary to assort and pre-soak his laundry than help Penny win the scavenger hunt.
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  • Butt-Monkey: Leonard suffers tremendously due to having to work with Bernadette, who gets aggressive and even violent during games.
  • Commonality Connection: Howard and Amy bond over their mutual love of Neil Diamond.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: Sheldon suspected that the bowling alley would be part of the scavenger hunt. Turns out he was right, and celebrates carrying his very own bowling ball.
  • Downer Ending: After a disappointing end to the game where Raj announces he never intended to pick a single pair of winners for the game, Leonard, Penny, Bernadette and Raj do not resolve their issues with one another (Penny and Bernadette for being aggressively competitive, Raj for killing the purpose of the game, Leonard for just getting caught in the middle of Penny and Bernadette's competition).
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  • Drives Like Crazy: Bernadette, when she's competitive.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • Stuart never gets invited to anything Raj hosts.
    • Nobody wanted Penny on their team and play a game of Hot Potato on who gets her, because everyone was afraid that as the least intelligent person in their group she would slow her partner down.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Bernadette tells Leonard that Penny called him a slang word that's usually used to describe a cat, or a willow. It's never said audibly on-screen perhaps to keep the show's TV-14 rating, but the word was "pussy", while Sheldon guessed it was ninny.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Sheldon complains he doesn't want Penny as his teammate because she'll just slow him down. When the game commences, the reverse happens. Sheldon slows down Penny by forcing her to wait until he can conclude the jigsaw puzzle is pointing to the comic book store and not the train store.
      • Another moment involves Sheldon trying to explain how he got the riddle just three words in, but doesn't allow Penny to reveal how she got the next clue telling her that "no one likes a know-it-all".
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    • Amy is also this:
    Amy: Penny's not a liability!
    Penny: Thank you, do you wanna be on my team?
    Amy: Maybe we should pick names out of a hat?
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Leonard attempted to calm down Bernadette's competitiveness by explaining to her that the puzzle will take a while to solve, only to be shot down by Sheldon getting the riddle just a few words in, with Amy and Howard not far behind in solving it moments later.
  • It Was with You All Along: Raj had slipped a golden coin on the pockets of each member of the group, so that "when we're all having fun together, we are all winners!" None of them took this well, except for Sheldon, who arrived late and had already found the coin, assuming he was the winner.
  • The Load: Everyone is afraid Penny will be this, even Raj, the one who made the scavenger hunt. Sheldon is upset when he is the one who gets paired with her. However, in practice Sheldon is more of this than Penny, since he ends up wasting time on tasks they don't need to finish when they already know the answer. During the final sprint he would rather rinse his shirts out to clean them than join in on the race to the coin. The only assistance Sheldon is of to Penny is when he immediately answers the Riddler's clue correctly.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When Sheldon finds out the bowling alley is on the scavenger hunt.
    Sheldon: My brain is better than EVERYBODY'S!!!! (pulls out his bowling ball)
  • Rule of Three: "Let's go", following each sentence:
    Sheldon: To the planetarium!
    Penny: Let's go!
    Leonard: To the tar pits!
    Bernadette: Let's go!
    Howard: Let's go!
  • Sudden Musical Ending: Howard and Amy sing one of Neil Diamond's songs, "Cherry, Cherry" and dance along to it.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Raj, when he was trying to explain himself to Leonard, Penny and Bernadette. He threw in a sentence where he "didn't know who was gonna get Penny".
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Bernadette is much more hostile when being competitive (as Howard experienced before), and she treats Leonard like total shit throughout the episode.
    Leonard: You're really mean, you know that?!

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