The Big Bang Theory: When All Else Fails... Make a Scene

The Big Bang Theory S05E19: "The Weekend Vortex"

In yet another example of Sheldon Cooper being a sucky boyfriend and Amy Farrah-Fowler just accepting it because she’s too awkward to find anyone better, Sheldon ditched Amy at her aunt’s 93rd birthday to play Star Wars video games with the guys all weekend.

Yeah, I know.

So much of The Big Bang Theory’s humor depends on Sheldon’s social deficiencies, neuroses, and general weirdness, and quite often, it works well. But sometimes, Sheldon’s characterization ends up sliding down the slope from quirky to unlikeable. This was one of those times.

Sheldon and Amy’s relationship is based on their mutual weirdness, and that’s fine. Wonderful relationships can come to fruition from a plethora of randomness. My boyfriend, code-named Boyfriend, came to his position because he decided to hit on me in the break room at our demeaning summer job, stroking my ego and pointing out that while there were many cute girls in the break room that afternoon, I was the cutest because I was reading Slaughterhouse Five instead of Cosmo. I thought he was weird, but cute, and five years later, we’re still kicking. Do you know why we’re still kicking? Sure, he’s still weird but cute and I’m still too self-righteous to touch a fashion magazine, but five years is a long time to hinge on superficial personality traits. It works because we work at it and the moral of this digression is that Amy works at her relationship with Sheldon, but Sheldon does not.

This week, Amy Farrah-Fowler got sick of it and it was about time.

After Sheldon’s latest dick move, Amy turned to Penny to lament her tragic plight. In typical Penny fashion, she encouraged Amy to be proactive, take matters into her own hands, and under no circumstances, let Sheldon win. She also tried to teach Amy a drinking game, but as a result of a childhood spent flicking coins into fountains while wishing for friends, Amy is a coin-flicking champ... and Penny got completely hammered. In her inebriated state, she encouraged Amy to cause a scene (because Sheldon actually enjoys it when she gives him the silent treatment), proudly declaring “Back in Omaha, there are two different restaurants that I’m not allowed in!” It’s okay, Penny. Back in Pennsylvania, there’s one bar I’m only allowed to go in, and that's only if I have a responsible adult with me and we promise not to order anything that the bartender has to set on fire.

Amy crashed the video game party with guns blazing, but promptly accepted Sheldon’s Cooper Coupons because one of them was good for a trip to the science center. Amy left Sheldon to the menfolk when Penny offered to let Amy hold her hair back while she barfed up all the beer.

Okay, so everything was hunky-dory by the time the credits rolled. That’s fine. I’m willing to take quick fixes because that’s the way sitcoms work. It was just nice to see the fierce and wonderful PhD-wielding Amy Farrah-Fowler stick up for herself for once.

Highlights from a Galaxy Somewhere in California:

– Sheldon’s attempts to buy a birthday present for Amy’s 93-year-old aunt included a trip to the comic-book store. Hey, I thought the Excalibur + tennis ball = badass cane was a great idea.

– Leonard’s reference to Leonard/Penny 2.0 as a “relationship beta test” made me shoot cranberry juice out of my nose. It really burned, but I actually find Leonard and Penny’s second relationship attempt way less irritating than the first. Leonard is less pathetic and Penny is less clueless and it’s an overall win.

– “In Grand Theft Auto, we pay the prostitutes promptly and never hit them with bats.” You’re a better man than me, Leonard.

– “I’ll be the guy who got a girlfriend AFTER Sheldon Cooper.” I feel your pain, Raj. If it makes you feel any better, I’d take you over Sheldon, even before we found out you were loaded back in the beginning of the season.

Comments (50)
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In the Highlights you miss the Cooper Coupons, that for me was the funniest joke, actually it was quite enjoyable when he uses them to "apologize" with Amy.
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this season started out having the potential to become the best season but ever since the bully episode it has easily become its worst
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This girl needs some serious awards.
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Im still loving the new episodes, If you compare them to previous seasons Its a little subpar. But the characters are still funny and I get a few laughs. What more do you want? I do agree though that the Science Jokes are lacking.
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you kidding me? This episode was one of the most hilarious episodes of the whole season. I couldn't stop laughing. You clearly don't understand gaming nerds community, so it's not a tv show for you.
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The fact that we can discuss an episode of BBT just in terms of boyfriend-girlfriend relationship (as we could do with all the episodes of this season) demonstrates clearly how much this series has gone astray.
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Also is Sheldon scared of Sex??
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Penny's kind of a sad characture of herself. I used to watch this show b/c of her but now i kinda hate her. She does nothing to better herself in the world & always gets drunk in most episodes
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They shouldn't have tried to make fun of Raj for wanting to keep his shape. It is stupid. Boys can care about their appearance too without someone calling them too feminine. If I play sports will I be made fun of someday because it is too boyish? Stereotypers. Boooo.
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I know this will sound heretical, but this show is getting annoying!! And the laugh track doesn't make it any better!
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So I'm not the only one who gets annoyed by the laugh track. There are huge laughs after pretty much every line, funny or not (usually not) and there is no contrast between a mildly funny line and something that's supposed to be really funny. If they feel they need laugh tracks the editors should really tone it down.
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they film in front of an audience... not really a laugh track all the time
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Episode wasn't the best, but it still got me laughing. I'm a little worried about Sheldon's change of personality. Not that he's becoming a good guy or anything, but like you said. He's more unlikeable than quirky and it's going on too often. At this moment I think Howard en Raj are the more funnier 2 of the show, while in the beginning it was always Leonard and Sheldon. Don't know what's going on, but somethings changing in this show and I hope it'll all turn out for the best.
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Damn, I LOVED this episode! The funniest bit for me was when Sheldon used the whip cracking app!! :)

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I wasn't surprised by Sheldon but I've noticed lately that the writers are stepping up regarding the other characters. Cooper isn't always the funny one anymore and that really counts. That episode where Raj dates Siri? Wolowitz's skyping with Bernadette about astronaut training? Leonard and Penny's beta-test? Everyone is starting to bring their own to the plate and I think that makes up for when we just can't stomach Sheldon.
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I thought this was a top 5 episode for Big Bang Theory.
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Haha, this episode totally fits me with Sheldon. ;)
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Yeah, this episode really bothered me for how inconsiderate some characters were, especially Sheldon. Sheldon breaking contract wasn't the OCD, like-aspergers-syndrome character we've grown to accept over the past few years, it was just a regular selfish person proving how selfish they were and it was rather ugly at that. Amy has been having issue after issue arise with her relationship with Sheldon, and the writers need to figure out whether to take that to its conclusion (Sheldon is so self-obsessed that creating a younger version of himself and raising it halfway between his mother's Texan stuff and Leondard's mother's treating offspring like an experiment seems like a very likely outcome) or to have Amy have enough friends now to make her realize that she could do better or at least get laid once in a while (which might in of itself have hilarious jealousy confusion for Sheldon, or equally confusing ambivalence). But ultimately, having Sheldon do yet another incredibly selfish, unlikable thing in such a grand manner was not where they went, they took it further and it was ugly.



Bernadette with her little laptop with the Hello Kitty sticker was another stab at trying to be something the character isn't, also I doubt that little laptop could actually play Star Wars The Old Republic, but it was just another forced element. Bernadette might try a similar ploy, I grant you, but she'd do it with more planning and probably try it out at home first. She's not clingy and needy.



Raj's scene was great though, that was right on the money - I wonder if they had him bring beer just so it would justify him speaking in front of the ladies.



The most, and I mean MOST, unbelievable part of the episode though? That Amy would give a crap about going to the California Science Center, that is a children's museum and not a very good one. :-P
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The part I have to agree with is that in the past, Sheldon has often been "trapped" into doing something due to social rules and contracts.



He doesn't want to give people a warm beverage when they feel down, but is obligated.



He didn't want to go dancing with the girls on their night out, but was obligated.



etc



The only time he broke any contracts were recently when he let his hair grow out, and then this episode with the gaming weekend. So that is definitely against character.
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creators of the show said multiple times that Sheldon does NOT have aspergers.
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Wow. nitpicking much>? its a comedy......just laugh.
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Just want to point out a few things, Howard bought the laptop for Bernadette and the coupon was for an afternoon at the museum where Sheldon points out the mistakes.
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"Slaughterhouse Five". I'd notice you for that one. Kurt's the man.
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Seems like you're taking Sheldons selfishness waaaaay too seriously. He was no different in this episode to how he usually is. Feel free to shoot me for this, but I'm not a big fan of Amy. She has funny moments but I much prefer the banter between the original 5 characters. I still watch seasons 1 - 3 over and over because of this.
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I agree about Amy, especially when she kinda comes on to Penny. That's just annoying.
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yeah, it's a little bit too much... i would rather see Amy having a physical encounter with someone else, perhaps penny's dumb ex...
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every single episode is the best. this show can do no wrong.
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Best episode since the season premiere!
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Sheldon should just dump Amy. She just seems like a huge inconvenience in his life. Leonard & Penny 2.0? F- I liked the show the way it used to be.
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Im sorry i thought this was one of the funniest episodes in awhile....Sheldon using the whip app was hysterical. Then the laugh afterwards...
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I agree, what makes Amy & Sheldon work is not the mutual weirdness but that said mutual weirdness is funny as hell!





And romantic too, all at the same time.
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The funniest, and actually most poignant, for me was when Raj spoke up and said, "I'll be the guy who got the girlfriend after Sheldon Cooper." The rest was just normal BBT humor.
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The best & funniest moment of the episode!
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Ha! What makes this so hilarious to me is that poor Raj still believes its actually normal for Howard to get a girlfriend before them all.
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I actually liked this episode with them going back to the original foursome that we all know and love (i swear it's like they read our comments from last episode's review)



On a side note, the author seems to be taking this very personally for some odd reason, i mean i've hated Sheldon for a bunch of things but this not being one of them... i mean after all, he's Sheldon what did u expect (and the fact that he actually got in the car with Amy was pretty surprising)
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I think its odd how many new viewers tend to hate Sheldon for being Sheldon. I mean, he's been like this since the show began 5 years ago, it's not like I expect him to change into this dream like version of what's considered "boyfriend material"
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Eh, yes and now.



Lately it's been very compartmentalized. Bernadette and Howard / Amy and Penny / Amy and Sheldon / etc. We haven't seen much of just the 4 guys hanging out save for the random trip to the restaurant. Heck, I'd be fine with them ALL in the same room... instead we're getting micro-groups.



Then again, we didn't see much of it tonight either. A solid chunk of the time was Amy and Penny / Amy and Sheldon. Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but we didn't see the 4 guys "hang out" that much this episode.

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I absolutely loved Raj' burst out, especially his sorrow at getting a girlfriend after Sheldon made me laugh out loud. Routine episode, but that was definitely worth it. If Sheldon being quirky fails, we always have Raj being a girl xD
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Well technically Raj HAS had girlfriends, though perhaps not meaningful. Like wasn't he dating some girl that he was buying a bunch of stuff for... and they broke up when he had to choose between her and money.



So on-camera he's had a girl friend; just not a long and "stable" relationship as Amy + Sheldon.
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Yeah, but it's just his own reaction to who he is in respect to how he picks up women that I find hilarious. Usually, if he had a girlfriend, it wouldn't have lasted past the episode? I don't really remember, but I think you're right.
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The whole Beta Test thing was from earlier this season.. like 5 episodes ago or something.



Leonard called it a beta test and decided they should give each other "bug reports" to say what the other was doing that was "not so good."
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This article is so very much a woman's perspective. Actually, Sheldon is trying. Hard. The fact of allowing the relationship at all. The relationship agreement. The fact that he would have followed it if he hadn't been granted an out. The coupons. The fact that he was willing to follow the coupon. The fact that he went to at least three stores to shop for a present for this random person.



Amy isn't working on the relationship, she was just imposing on Sheldon. 93 year-old Aunt duty is over the line. That's husband work, not boyfriend. Maybe fiance. Also, Amy spends all of her time with Penny, who she's actually in love with, which is not what you do if you are working at a relationship. Sorry, I hate defending Sheldon (most overrated TV character ever) but it was Amy who was unlikable.
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Agreed. Amy knew he was Sheldon when they started that whole mess of a relationship, why would she expect him to be anything else now. Your aunt's 93rd birthday is not something you make your boyfriend go to, if you do then you're a bad girlfriend.
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I agree, it's impossible for Sheldon not to be Sheldon. Amy has been a miracle worker so far, but he loves her because she gets him, not because she wants to change him. I think the "Penny approach" only gets them in troubles when it's the "Amy approach" what Sheldon fell in love with.
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I understand that every character in the show just sort of needs to fold to Sheldon's whim to keep the ball rolling but when Amy went in there guns a blazing and then just folded like a house house of cards I nearly cried. It really highlighted what a sad character she is. Which is weird because she was okay basically firing him from her lab a couple of episodes ago? Okay...
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My heart broke a little for Raj....

All he wanted was some memories back and who can say they've never done that.



Sheldons actions were to be expected, he doesn't KNOW how to respond to girlfriends requests and geez who wouldn't rather play online games than go to a 93rd birthday...
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The last time they hang out was in S1, Halo Night.
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Ugh, even if he understand the ramifications of what he was deciding... I'd think he'd still WANT to hang with his friends.



A 93rd birthday for a woman you don't even know... is a bit much. Meanwhile his introduction to the "family" would be the WHOLE ENTIRE family. Again, yikes. It's one thing to "meet the parents" but it's another to meet the parents/cousins/friends/grandparents/great-grand-parents/etc all at once... AND for the first time.



Then again, if my gf of 1+ years asked me to, I'd do so begrudgingly. Even if my friends had a neat (all-be-it nerdy) weekend planned.
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can you imagine the family's reaction to Sheldon?? He would insult everyone and embarrass Amy. Someone should have mentioned that at some point.
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Yeah, I loved that "I'll be the guy who got a girlfriend AFTER Sheldon Cooper" line from Raj. ROTFL!!!



Look, MaryAnn, you're right, this show does rely on Sheldon's neuroses, deficiences,and general weirdness, which sound like pure sarcasm to normal people, including me. However, I think it's hilarious and I wouldn't want him to change because it would literally ruin his character, and essentially, the show. Sheldon just tends to approach everything from a realistic, or straight-line perspective, and it does come across as crass, but I think BBT has done a great job of making him sound extremely funny! Sorry, but changing him in any way would be a total bullcrap idea to me.
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