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Its Christmas time and we got a Christmas themed Big Bang/homage to 'Its a Wonderful Life' - or possibly 'Six degrees of Sheldon Cooper'

We got a look at how the group would have turned out if Leonard didn't live with Sheldon.

I thought it might be another special group episode - like The Scavenger Vortex - but it came up short.
The addition of Stuart seemed a bit random and pointless.
A couple of the alternate timelines were a bit weak and most of the best lines were not in the timeline snippets.
But they did provide some nice visual gags

The visual of Raj and Howard eating cake was a nice little giggle, but Raj saying "That's so us!" was the icing on the cake! (cake themed pun intended)

Leonard imagining Penny peeing herself gave us this visual =

Followed by this one =


I dont know why....but Amy's alternate timeline theory was my favorite =

.........................
Where was I?...

Howard's timeline was kinda predictable, but we did get this nice visual after it =


Raj's timeline was the laziest for me - and this is the best image from it =


I thought Amy's timeline, while dark and sad, was the best written and acted (even though it was very short) =
"There's tears in the frosting" was perfectly delivered - equal parts funny and sad.
Also, Stuart's addition at the end of it was his only good part in the episode for me.

In the end, the nicest thing was Amy being shown how much Sheldon actually cares for her. Her delivery of "That's alright, she's dead" when Madam Curie's image popped up on Sheldon's laptop was spot on.

Which brings us to Sheldon - he popped up a few times to deliver some good lines and update us on his sisters pregnancy.
His best line from this thread is in the "Line of the night" bit below, but the fact that Jim Parson's threw in this twitch while delivering it was a nice touch=


Notes -
Penny gave Leonard the same gift AGAIN! Poor Leonard (I'm not so secretly very jealous...I never got a gift that good)

When Amy said "You make jokes about Sheldon, but if it weren't for him, I don't think any of us would be sitting in this room right now" = TRUER WORDS HAVE NEVER BEEN SPOKEN!!!


Lines of the night -

Raj - "You know, many people believe home births are better because the mother is in a warm comfortable environment. where she can be nurtured by loved ones"
Sheldon - "And turn the bedroom floor into an amniotic slip'n'slide"

Sheldons Mom - "Shelly come on....your sisters fully dilated, and she wants a nice family picture before there's blood everywhere"

Raj - "You didn't ask her out.....but that was a lot of sounds"

Amy -"Hi Sheldon, everything ok?"
Sheldon -"No its not...I've seen things......lady things..."
Amy -"Listen to me...That is not the way they usually look!"

Raj - "My fathers a gynecologist, I think I can handle it...(views pics Sheldon sent)....annnd now I'm gay"


Howard - "I lived with her - (his mom) - to save money"
Raj -"Yeah, you didn't need to spend money on groceries because you were breast feeding"

Amy -"I missed you"
Sheldon -"To quote Han Solo.."I know"


MVP= Has to be Amy. Mayim Bialik carried this episode, which was a good move. While I love Sheldon as a character, this season he has been used a bit too much, and letting other characters get a bit more airtime will keep him fresh.

Comments (69)
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I feel like, while the show had success prior to last season, the massive success of last season was unexpected and the writers feel like they have added pressure to maintain that level of success which has resulted in a lot of the unevenness we've seen.

Amy was definitely my favorite part of this episode. And her alternate thing was the best.
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Still holding out hope for a Neil Diamond concert episode
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ME TOO!!!!
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the fat suits was done before in friends if monica dates joey,

also i don't think zac would of been that stupid to buy magic beans,

also i felt 'sheldons video calls were kind of lame, tho i did like the twitch :P

and howard being 'pyscho' was a nice touch but i saw it coming pretty much predicted most of the stuff happening except stuarts random inclusions,

kind of a meh episode for me..
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but zac would be that stupid if Leonard was telling the story which he was.
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what a convoluted way of saying the blinding obvious...
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i will kill you
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well that escalated quickly.. compared to the last time you complained about my comments on the big bang theory... you stalkin me or summat ? U WOT M8 ? K THNX BAI
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the fat suit was also used in HIMYM when Barney was dating Robin.... i found it to be funny, specially to see someone like Raj looking fay
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I hope the fat suits don't become a recurring gag like they did not on Friends. They worked very well on Friends, because Monica was actually fat back in the day, and it was always a fun treat to see her - but if they pop up again on The Big Bang Theory, well I probably just cringe.
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Unfortunately the writers may perceive the response to this episode as 'not enough Sheldon' instead of 'poorly written and lazy'
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Six timelines? I can't believe TBBT is borrowing ideas from Community.
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Who stole it from "Its a Wonderful Life"
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Wow, I didn't know there were six time lines with comedic effects in It's a Wonderful Life. I guess I'd better watch it again. Six times. You know, we always find something new in those classics.
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...not for comedic effect though!
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Of course not. Well, you do have a point when you remind me that ideas get recycled and reappear in later works. In fact I'd say It's a Wonderful Life could have found inspiration in Charles Dickens' a Christmas Carol, because when the ghost of Christmas Future shows Scrooge what his future would be like, he actually changes that time line, and Dickens' short story is from 1843. But Dickens must have gotten his idea from the Greeks or something...

However one thing is getting inspiration in a classic drama, and adapting it for modern use in a comedy, while quite another, in my opinion, is to do something similar to what another sitcom did very recently. The Community example is still fresh in our minds. It involves a group of friends and things change for each timeline with funny results. It's like all of a sudden different comedies do an animation episode, or a puppet episode. Clearly "inspiration" is floating around the writing rooms, and in the meetings of the screen writers' union.

By the way, of course another sitcom could have used splitting timelines in a recent past, but before Community. Anyone knows?
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I remember a time when I looked to watching an episode of TBBT. I was usually guaranteed to laugh out loud at least once. And I agree with Grumpy and the rest of you, the producers, to me, just seem to be trying too hard. Something is missing and I can't put my finger on it. Is it complacency? Hmmm? I guess it's hard to maintain that level of quality on a consistent basis.

When I saw Laurie Metcalf's name in the credits, I also said, "What?" Maybe she had a cold or something.

Howard's dead mom in the chair...creepy!!!

Enjoyed Amy. Always enjoy Raj. Don't care for fat Leonard. He's a bit of an ass.
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Leonard has come across a bit smug to me this season
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Since Penny finally blurted out that she loved him, their story has been has been on the back burner and Leonard has had much less to do. Also Penny's character development has stalled, she is going back to college so she would not feel so dumb compared to everyone else, but mainly this season she has been the butt of all the dumb blonde jokes and the like.
The producers need to get the writers up to speed and not become so lazy and slipshod with the characters history.
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I cant remember the last time Penny's college life was mentioned.

They need to cut down the amount of storylines per episode
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Remember when the main story revolved around the big three (Leonard, Sheldon and Penny)? The show was funny then and had a more defined arc. I agree with you in that we need to get back to basics.
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I am all for moving on, its the lack of consistency in the writing that is annoying me. The big thing at the end of last season was Raj finally being able to speak to women without alcohol and they have done nothing with it yet.
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Completely with you on the favourite moment. I never thought pink could be such a nice colour.
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its just brought the scene to life for some reason
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I thought the subtitles even added to the still:




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I just realized this show would be even better as a comic book...
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I liked the episode but the presence of Stuart felt kinda redundant.
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I still can't figure out why he was there
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going by Stuart's mental state. I don't think he would be around after the holiday break.
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So would his funeral episode be titled "The Stuart Extraction"
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Sadly yes.
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A better episode of a uneven season, despite a couple of character lapses, ie Leonard eating cheesecake. Amy held the episode together and Raj actually was relevant to it, is its about time he smartened up his wardrobe. As for Penny being in a state of undress .......
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Sheldons Mom - "Shelly come on....your sisters fully dilated, and she wants a nice family picture before there's blood everywhere"

That didn't sound like Laurie Metcalf. Was it?

"There's tears in the frosting" was perfectly delivered

I guess the writers forgot (although it's hard to tell lately) that Amy is uber educated. The old intelligent Amy, before they turned her into a simpering sex-starved twit, would have said "there are tears in the frosting". Don't think she would have used there're, no one does today.

Then again, even the writers of the original It's A Wonderful Life got it wrong. As IF Donna Reed wouldn't have gotten married - yeah right, she became a homely spinster - if she never met Jimmy Stewart.
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Definitely not Laurie Metcalf.
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That didn't sound like Laurie Metcalf. Was it? = thought the same thing
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I didn't think it sounded like her either...
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I loved this episode, but one of my favorite lines was when Sheldon said his sisters uterus came down with a baby. Greatest way to say someone is pregnant, ever!!!
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Sheldon should Solo'd Amy more often: it's so him!
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Needed more Penny in her bra.
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If there was ever a time for a wardrobe malfunction. Sorry, thought I was dreaming!
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When Amy first started discussing what all their lives would be like if Leonard didn't live with Sheldon it suddenly recalled fond memories of television episodes like Friends' 'The One That Could Have Been' where the episode follows an alternate timeline in which Rachel never fled her wedding and met everyone in the coffee shop, or Buffy's 'The Wish' where Cordelia wished Buffy had never come to Sunnydale.

Unfortunately this episode was not them, but rather each character having a bit of fun at the expense of others and themselves by imagining what their lives would be without Sheldon. I agree that majority of the alternate timeline snippets were weak, especially those involving Leonard and Penny. I can't believe that devoted a scene to Penny and Zach peeing themselves. What a waste. Anyway, some of the snippets weren't without there moments. Howard and Raj's moment in The Cheesecake Factory was funny, even if it is a well used joke, and so was Howard's attempt at channelling Norman Bates.

For the B-plot, Sheldon's return to Texas to help his sister give birth was far more entertaining and funny over everything else in the episode. The incessant use of face time did sort of feel out of place though, but I can never have too much Sheldon, and I think the funniest part was when he called his sister rude during child birth because she wasn't being quiet while he was on the phone. I am very disappointed that the show didn't actually go there for the storyline. Once again, this is just my preference for serialised storytelling coming in, but coming a couple of episodes for a road trip and the birth, perhaps with the others coming for some reason would have been a good arc to watch I think, but anyway.

As for Stuart's addition, I suppose you're right, but I'm incredibly sympathetic towards his very sad and unfortunate character, so whenever he's around, I react. That being said having him in the episode along with the very sad alternate timelines of majority of the characters, perhaps the episode ended up being a bit more depressing than it should have been.

The best part of the episode though, like you said grumpy, was Mayim Bialik as Amy. Her fantastic character moment at the end of the episode after her heartbreaking alternate timeline almost made the waste of the episode worth it. This exchange, like you mentioned, was the crus of the episode, and the funniest part for me too:

Amy - 'I am in the mix, and I'm the hottest one!'
Penny - 'Who's that?'
Leonard - 'Oh, Madam Curie'
Amy - 'That's fine, she's dead'
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It was a bit of a messy episode, but it also showed up some interesting points.

Amy can hold her own as a character now and imo doesn't need Sheldon as her only foil (this was also true of the Scavenger Vortex)

When Sheldon is not around, Raj gets some of the best lines.

As a side note-
Leonard is lactose intolerant - I'm pretty sure they only started going to the Cheesecake Factory because of Penny, and if he didn't live with Sheldon he wouldn't have met her and wouldn't be there in the first place (ordering Cheesecake for some reason)
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