The Big Bang Theory

Season 3 Episode 19

The Wheaton Recurrence

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Apr 12, 2010 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
423 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sheldon gets to square off on the bowling alley against nemesis Wil Wheaton. Meanwhile, Leonard's miffed when Penny doesn't respond the way he hoped after saying, "I love you."

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Premature

    I love having Wil Wheaton's appearances on the show. He brings a different dynamic that just works for me, though I'm not a fan of how he ended up breaking up Leonard and Penny. It was superficial on her part and while I understand that Penny's supposed to be somewhat superficial and that relationships are hard and it's often easier to just run away and ignore the problem, it was a terrible message to send. It fell a bit flat of comedy for this reason.moreless
  • bleh yuck

    will wheadon returns to stick another win over shildon with low pathetic tactics

    and he breaks up penny and lennard

    for a comedy show why give us such a bummer of plot line..

    stupid writers should be ashamed..
  • 319

    Leonard & Penny break up, and all I can say is "Thank god" I'm not saying these two are bad together, but their relationship did kind of ruin the chemistry the show had in it's first 2 seasons. Although I had gotten used to the relationship, I hope we get to see more of how it used to be. Of course, this should happen after the post-breakup episodes, which I hope don't last that long either.

    Penny broke my heart in the end when she burst in to tears. I didn't like that Will Wheaton was the reason that they broke up, and to win a bowling tournament? Really? Sheldon was great as usual, but can I ask, when were any of these people in a bowling team? Oh well, I guess it fit well with the story line. Great episode overall, looking forward to see what's to come.moreless
  • The Wesley Crushers

    It's bad enough when shows steal content from others, but tonight's Big Bang Theory actually used the exact same line from Chuck Lorre's other show, Two and a Half Men! There was an episode where a woman told Charlie she loved him, to which he replied, "Thank you." Sound familiar?

    I had heard rumblings about a break-up between Penny and Leonard, and honestly, I couldn't care much either way. I don't really care about their relationship, and the show would honestly be better without any of the stars dating each other. Now, a Sheldon and Penny supercouple, I would be on board with that.

    The Wil Wheaton return here was alright, but I hope this is the end of him for at least a few years. It was a clever gag the first time, but if he pops up every few months it will get really old, really fast.

    Solid effort put forth by Bang tonight, but it certainly could have been better.moreless
  • Wil MAKES this episode. The Leonard/Penny plot development is a pale second to that.

    For months I've awaited an upcoming episode called, "The Wheaton Recurrence". Huge anticipation. The kind of anticipation that is usually for nought. You know, like, "the Grand Canyon is AWESOME". Which it is, BTW. A someone else said, it (the canyon) is (also) amazing for actually EXCEEDING your expectations. Well, albeit on a smaller smaller scale, I found this episode to be like THAT!

    Nr. Wheaton (or the character, 'Wheaton!'? I'm confused - I hope they're different) is hilarious, auto-iconclastic, charming, and evil! And he outwits physics professors: how much smarter can one get!

    I'm trying to start a rumor (please help me with this): there's a remake of 'Silence of the Lambs' in the works, and they haven't found the right Hannibal! Oh, Oh, I know who can do it!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Wil Wheaton bowls left handed, however when they show his strike, the ball hooks the opposite way of a left-handed bowler's ball.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Howard: Hey, I just wanted to tell you, I'm a big fan.
      Wil Wheaton: Oh, thanks.
      Howard: I'm sure you're probably sick of Star Trek questions, but Whoopi Goldberg, you ever hit that?

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode's end titles has Chuck Lorre's Vanity Card #284.

    • The Italian episode title is "Il ritorno di Wheaton", meaning "Wheaton Returns". The German title is "Das L-Wort", meaning "The L-word". The French title is "La Récurrence de Wheaton".

    • International Airdates: Latin America: May 4, 2010 on Warner Channel; Australia: May 24, 2010 on Channel 9; United Kingdom: July 1, 2010 on E4; Finland: December 27, 2010 on Sub; Czech Republic: January 3, 2011 on Prima COOL; Turkey: February 7, 2011 on CNBC-e; Slovakia: November 11, 2011 on Markiza


    • Wil Wheaton tells Sheldon to, "embrace the Dark Side," referring to Darth Vader's request of Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy.

    • Before bowling, Sheldon places his hands on the ball and says, "I am the ball. My thoughts are its thoughts. Its holes are my holes." This is similar to the Vulcan Mind-meld technique from Star Trek, with, "My mind to your mind... my thoughts to your thoughts...," further cementing the Sheldon-Spock similarity.

    • After bringing Penny food to calm her and explaining he learned it from the comic strip Cathy, Sheldon tells her, "if you were a cat, I would have brought you a lasagna," referring to the title cat in Garfield, whose favorite food is lasagna.