The Big Bang Theory Recap: Grown-ups

The Big Bang Theory

The Comic-Con Conundrum
Season 10 Episode 17
Editor’s Rating *****
Jim Parsons as Sheldon, Mayim Bialik as Amy, Johnny Galecki as Leonard, Kaley Cuoco as Penny. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS

Raj may be the last one of the main group to get dragged into adulthood, but he’s sticking with his plan to be financially independent … even if it means facing a year without Comic-Con. And that commitment to a new lifestyle is impressing his friends so much that they’re following suit! Well, some of them. By which I mean, not Sheldon. Of course not Sheldon.

Continuing from last week’s monumental decision by Raj to stop asking his parents to pay his rent, car loan, credit card bills, and other major life expenses (a decision I maintain is also going to lead to a higher quality of his dating life), he asks his friends to help him get his finances in order. Sheldon dons his accountant’s visor and adding machine — funnier props than a budgeting app and his cell phone’s calculator, admittedly — and after tallying up Raj’s expenditures, one thing is immediately clear: Raj is in debt, thanks to a self-financed emergency credit he used to do things like sponsoring a penguin at the zoo because he felt bad about his car’s contribution to global warming, and a tidy sum dropped at an establishment called Pink Cheeks, which involved some sort of “intimate waxing.”

Raj wonders if he should hire a financial adviser to tell him what to do and forbid him from spending money, but since those are both things Sheldon loves to do, and will do them gratis, the price is right. Sheldon’s first buzzkill on Raj’s plans: Comic-Con tickets are about to go on sale, but Raj can’t afford to spend that kind of dough on pop-culture panels and sold-out hotel rooms. He tries to earn some extra scratch — maybe he could let people punch him for dollars, Howard unhelpfully suggests — but when selling a box of his prized comics-related collectibles to Stuart (to whom he originally paid hundreds of dollars for the same tchotchkes) nets him a mere $25, and then he realizes accepting a cash gift from Bernie and Howard to pay for his ticket would be allowing them to substitute for his parents, Raj puts on his big-boy pants and passes on Comic-Con for this summer. Speaking of big-boy pants, Raj also donned his Aquaman costume — which is more big-boy tights, I guess — in an effort to make money, but again, wisely chose to opt out of Comic-Con instead.

Following suit is Howard, who realizes it is more important for him to stay home with Bernie and baby Halley than spend five days waiting in line for comic book movie panels. Ditto Leonard, who is inspired by Raj’s decision and decides to spend his Comic-Con days doing something fun with Penny.

Those two spend the episode playing a game of marital chicken that will resonate with all couples. Penny volunteers to go to Comic-Con with Leonard because she knows it will make him happy, even though she’ll be miserable, and Leonard doesn’t really want her to go with him because he knows it will make her miserable (and ruin his enjoyment by extension). Neither wants to be the one to fess up to the other, though. It’s just like when you and your beloved, say, stay up half the night watching The Crown, and then are both too tired to make that pre-noon screening of Fist Fight the next day, but neither of you wants to be the one to suggest skipping the movie and ordering in a late breakfast from Seamless. Penny and Leonard eventually admit the truth to each other, after Sheldon and Amy out them, with Leonard ultimately opting to hang with his wife anyway. Another takeaway for you: Fandango lets you cancel pre-purchased movie tickets for a full refund if you do so a few hours before the movie, which is really a gift to the binge-watching couples among us.

As for Sheldon, Comic-Con’s still on for him, if only he can find a willing companion. Stuart offers to accompany him, but Sheldon quickly puts a pin in that option, hoping he’ll find someone better by July. He is honest to a fault, which is why after telling Amy her “beauty mark” is really a mole with hair growing from it, he still thinks he can sweet-talk her into joining him at the Con. How, exactly? Sheldon suggests what he has in his pants could convince her … and he means the long list of panels in his pocket.

You really can’t repeat too often what a patient, patient woman Amy Farrah Fowler is.


• “I already live in a place all the nerds come to.” Amy’s reason for not wanting to attend Comic-Con.

• Penny on Leonard: “He’s always making an effort to do things with me he doesn’t enjoy. Like going outside.” Amy: “He is an indoor cat.”

• Leonard doesn’t want to paint his body to go as half of a cosplay Hulk and She-Hulk with Penny, because he doesn’t want to appear shirtless at Comic-Con. Says Sheldon: “If I may speak for Comic-Con, we don’t want that either.”

• Raj says he’s making a “big boy” decision to forgo Comic-Con. Sheldon: “I’m a big boy. And if I miss one, I throw a big-boy tantrum.”

• How meta is it that Howard and Bernadette have Howard and Bernadette action figures on the shelf behind their couch?

The Big Bang Theory Recap: All Grown-up