The Big Bang Theory Recap: Orange Is the New Wack

Kunal Nayyar as Raj, Laura Spencer as Emily, Simon Helberg as Howard, and Melissa Rauch as Bernadette. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS
The Big Bang Theory
Episode Title
The Platonic Permutation
Editor’s Rating

We’re all confronted with harsh fashion truths throughout our lives, and here’s one TBBT star Johnny Galecki should internalize: Orange is not his color. He proved this to be true when he — or, rather, his character, Leonard — donned an orange negligee and paraded about his apartment in it, twerking. It was one of two subplots that dragged down "The Platonic Permutation," likely the final episode we’ll see before some major goings-on push forward Sheldon and Amy's relationship before the end of 2015.

Let's move on to the good stuff: While Leonard and Penny whip up their first Thanksgiving dinner as newlyweds, he discovers that she doesn’t know his birthday. It is pretty appalling! Even with our overreliance on smartphone calendars, the birthday of a significant other — especially one you’ve significantly other-ed for many years — is something that should be on instant recall. Penny knows he was born in May, but not the exact day, and Leonard takes glee in reeling off all the things he does know about her, from her favorite 'N Syncer (Justin, duh) to the fact that she didn’t like the fancy orange underthings he bought her for Valentine’s Day. He even knows exactly why she didn’t like the lingerie: because she thinks it makes her look like a "slutty carrot."

All true, but that last bit of knowledge doesn’t make him "the king of husbands," as Leonard believes it does. Penny realizes how knows about the slutty-carrot theory — he read her personal journal. Leonard’s busted, and he knows he’s just lost the little bit of hand (shout out, George Costanza) he had going with the birthday thing, so he tries to diffuse the situation. He apologizes for his snooping by putting on that orange negligee, holding a sign that reads, "I read my wife’s journal. I’m a naughty carrot," and offering Penny the chance to shame-post a photo on Facebook.

It’s a cute, sitcom-y newlyweds plot, with little payoff save the visual of Leonard twerking in an orange nightie — and his friends walking in to witness the scene — but it’s way more entertaining than the B-subplot. Howard, Bernadette, Raj, and Emily volunteer during Thanksgiving dinner at a soup kitchen, and Howard whines about it until he meets one of his idols, inventor and investor Elon Musk, who is also volunteering. That’s it. That's whole subplot. The only real takeaway from it is that, yeah, Bernadette should think longer and harder about whether she’s willing to have a little baby with her big baby.

Onto the real meat of this Thanksgiving episode. Sheldon has two tickets to the annual holiday buffet at the cafeteria of a local aquarium. With his current relationship status set on solo, he offers the extra ticket to his friends, who are not as tempted as he'd be to scarf down the Thanksgiving vittles served in at the local aquarium. They pass, so he offers the tickets to ex-girlfriend Amy Farrah Fowler, who proposes they go together as friends.

Amy picks Sheldon up, and he's ready for the chance that their just-friends outing could turn awkward. He prepared a list of questions they can discuss, and after determining that Amy hasn’t gotten any pets since they last spoke, he wants details on her post-breakup romantic life. How many dates has she gone on? How many guys has she dated? Has she had "coitus" with any of them? Though taken aback, she still answers: six, three, no. She knew that Sheldon would be in a snacky mood on the drive, so she packed a bag of Cheerios for him — both regular and Honey Nut varieties — just the way he likes. "You mixed them," Sheldon says. "No wonder gentleman callers are pounding down your door."

The two go have a lovely day together, right down to playing "Food, Friend, Fight," which is Sheldon’s version of "Kiss, Marry, Kill" that replaces humans with with marine life. The un-date goes so well, Amy decides that she misses Sheldon. She calls him afterward and tells him she’d like to be his girlfriend again. His response crushes her.

"Amy, I excel at many things," he says. "But getting over you wasn’t one of them. I think I need to just be your friend."

Don’t feel too sad about the state of the Shamy relationship, though. Recent TBBT news includes revelations that Sheldon will be visited by the ghost of Professor Proton (played by Emmy-winning guest star Bob Newhart), who will help Sheldon make a life-altering decision, and that the show will finally answer Sheldon and Amy's will-they-won’t-they question. In other words, even Professor Proton thinks it’s time Shamy gets it on.


  • As a bit of evidence to prove how well he knows his wife, Leonard tells Penny he knows she hates the word moist. Unless it’s describing cake, who doesn’t?
  • Sheldon: "If there were a list of things that make me more comfortable, ‘lists’ would be at the top of that list."
  • Mr. Spock oven mitts, which lead Leonard to wonder if he’s actually an adult, are real.
  • Sheldon’s review of his Thanksgiving meal: "You know, for a Thanksgiving buffet in an aquarium cafeteria … that was really bad." Amy points out he’s  upset because they gave the last pilgrim hats to a baby. "It wouldn’t be a holiday without you being mad at a baby," she says.
  • Penny tells Sheldon she’s never been able to maintain friendships with any of her exes. "Oh, I’m sure you and Leonard will be able to pull it off," he predicts.