The Big Bang Theory Recap: Prom Night

Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS
The Big Bang Theory
Episode Title
The Prom Equivalency
Editor’s Rating

It’s prom night, or, rather, re-prom night, on The Big Bang Theory, and that means giant leaps forward for two couples.

On the Shamy front: Sheldon is nervous about participating in this prom do-over, concocted by Bernadette and Amy to get a shot at finally having the prom night of their dreams. Penny’s less enthusiastic than her female pals because she went to more than her fair share of proms in high school — “Four ‘Under the Seas,’ two ‘Enchanted Evenings,’ and one ‘Night to Remember.’” But she jumps onboard when Leonard mentions it’s his chance to attend a prom with a date, instead of the “threesome” he had at his high-school dance. (“I took a little lady I like to call loneliness … with her friend, humiliation.”)

Sheldon remains both excited and worried. Excited because he likes the way his tuchus looks in a tux, but all the talk from his friends about the prom ritual often including post-party coitus has Shelly in a tizzy. Then he gets a look at Amy in her pretty turquoise dress, and a full-blown panic attack — according to symptoms he has in common with SoccerMom09 on the interwebs — ensues. “There’s a great deal of pressure on young couples like us to engage in what Mr. Bob Eubanks called ‘making whoopee,’” Sheldon says.

Amy, as per usual, tiptoes around Sheldon’s feelings, assuring him that while she’s always in a randy mood, she has no other expectation from the evening than to have a swell time.

“Sheldon, there’s something else I’ve been wanting to say, but before I do, I just, I want you to know you don’t have to say it back,” Amy tells him. “I know you’re not ready, and I don’t want you to say it just because social convention dictates …”

“I love you, too,” says Sheldon, preemptively, to the cheers of the studio audience. “There’s no denying I have feelings for you that can’t be explained in any other way. I briefly considered that I had a brain parasite … but that seems even more far-fetched. The only conclusion was love.”

Now it’s time for Amy’s panic attack, and Sheldon says SoccerMom09 would recommend Amy lay down with her feet elevated, but not in his bed, because he doesn’t allow girls in his room. (See note below.)

And then there’s Stuart and Mrs. Wolowitz. Any doubts we had that their odd friendship was actually something more (something much more disturbing, yet hilarious),have been put to rest.

Stuart is among the Eviteees to the re-prom, and when Howard, Bernadette, Raj, and Emily arrive in a limo to fetch Comic Book Guy and his date, Howard is dismayed to see that Stuart’s companion for the evening is Jeannie, Howard’s second cousin. Whom Howard lost his virginity to at age 15. In the backseat of her dad’s Corolla. And it only gets worse for Howard from there. He learns Raj used the story of his incestuous teen fling as an ice-breaker on Raj’s first fate with Emily. And we all learn later, when Stuart gets a phone call from Mrs. Wolowitz during the prom and leaves Jeannie to return home to Mrs. W, that, well, Howard’s next disturbing familial relationship could involve calling Stuart his step-papa.

Elsewhere, Raj and Emily finally go on another date. They seem to have precious little in common, save for their mutual enjoyment of the humiliation and raised dander of one Howard Joel Wolowitz. Still, when you think about how just two seasons ago, Rajesh couldn’t even talk to a female without copious amounts of libations coursing through his veins? Win.

P.S.: An addendum to the episode rating: Three stars for the episode overall, 4, maybe 4.5, for the Shamy moment, though that’s tempered by the fact that Sheldon told Amy girls weren’t allowed in his room. In “The Love Spell Potential” from season six, another big Shamy moment occurred when Sheldon and Amy had Dungeons and Dragons sex … in his bedroom.

Don’t retcon us, bro.


  • Amy Farrah Fowler really deserved that re-prom-night declaration of love. On her original prom night, she was a member of the cleaning crew. She slow-danced with a mop. “Whenever I see a bucket of dirty water, I still hear ‘Lady in Red.’”
  • Raj: "Ever since I saw Pretty in Pink, I've wanted to go to an American prom. But then I saw Carrie, and I did not want to go to an American prom. But then I saw Never Been Kissed, and I'm back on the prom bandwagon. This prom thing’s been a real roller coaster." Co-sign Never Been Kissed. One of the most underrated rom-coms ever.
  • Sheldon plans to spike the re-prom punch with pomegranate juice, because it’s “all the fun of high school high jinks, with the self-protecting zip of antioxidants.”
  • Sheldon’s other prom night plans: “Being elected prom king … pointing out that kings aren’t elected. It’s gonna be off the hook.”
  • Leonard, tying Sheldon’s tux tie: “If you’re not going to learn how to do this, they make some pretty good clip-ons.” Sheldon: “Bruce Wayne doesn't wear a clip-on.” Leonard: “Bruce Wayne doesn't make his roommate tie it for him.” Sheldon: “His name is Alfred. And yes, he does."
  • Emily, on why she loves Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas: “She’s covered in scars and can pull her own limbs off and sew ‘em back on.” It should be noted that Emily is a dermatologist. That should not necessarily make that explanation any less troubling.
  • Howard, when Bernie tells him to stop trying to choke Stuart in the prom limo: “Not until he stops humping his way up my family tree!”
  • In case you were wondering, yes, The Newlywed Game host Bob Eubanks is still alive, and 76 years young. And because you can’t mention Eubanks and The Newlywed Game without thinking of that infamous clip, here it is.