The Big Bang Theory Recap: Who Wants to Be a Half-Billionaire?

The Big Bang Theory

The Monetary Insufficiency
Season 11 Episode 22
Editor’s Rating 3 stars

The Big Bang Theory

The Monetary Insufficiency
Season 11 Episode 22
Editor’s Rating 3 stars
Photo: Bill Inoshita/CBS

It’s Amy Farrah Fowler’s wedding, and she’ll look like “a pile of swans” if she wants to.

That’s how Sheldon describes her Über-frilly matrimonial frock when he sees her trying it on in their apartment, and he means the swans thing as a compliment. Maid of honor Penny and bridesmaid Bernadette tell Amy they’re not fans of the dress, a bling-y, multi-layered, hoop-supported number that really does make Amy seem one shepherd’s crook away from being more properly dressed to usher sheep on a very fancy farm than to walk down the aisle at an elegant wedding. But — and here’s the kind of thing that keeps earning Jim Parsons those Emmy nods — Sheldon is so sincere when he tells her how beautiful she looks in the gown that I’m kind of sold on it.

There’s nary an inch of Amy visible below her neck — her mother’s belief that even baring your clavicles is too provocative has clearly taken root in Amy’s mind — but her love of the dress and how pleased she is that it elicits a “Wow!” from Sheldon is, hopefully, a promise that the much-awaited Shamy wedding in two weeks will be as sweet, quirky, and sentimental as fans who are still watching 11 seasons in deserve.

The big day isn’t the only thing on Sheldon’s mind right now, though. Walking in on Amy in her dress happens as he’s returning from a road trip to Vegas, where he goes to try to parlay his stash of cash into enough money to fund the big string-theory research project he concocted (with a major suggestion from Leonard, it should, but probably won’t be, noted).

Sheldon wants to create a miniature, contained black hole to prove his theories, but it’s gonna cost the very tidy sum of $500 million dollars. He’s approached the university for the funds, he’s sold some of his most valuable comic books, he’s raided his personal savings, and he tried to sell his tuna sandwich to Raj for $5,000, but he’s still short. Roughly $499,935,000 short.

Oh, there’s also his Kickstarter campaign, in which he offers very Sheldon-y rewards for pledges. For $50,000, Sheldon will examine your eating habits and whip up a custom bathroom schedule for you.

“That’s fitting … 50 grand down the toilet,” Leonard quips.

Other incentives from Sheldon: Cough up $100,000 and he’ll design the official flag of your house or apartment. And for backing his research with the gift of $1 million, he will thank you in the most Sheldon way possible: “I will come over, and tell you what’s wrong with you.”

“Aw, and all these years, I’ve been getting that for free,” Leonard says.

“Don’t be smug, Leonard,” Sheldon scolds. “That’s one of the things that’s wrong with you.”

Finally, upon Raj’s suggestion, Sheldon goes to Las Vegas, reasoning that a bunch of MIT students used their mathematical skills to amass cash via gambling — and since MIT is also Howard’s alma mater, it surely can’t be that difficult.

Indeed, Sheldon does put his skills to use in a casino, taking copious notes while he susses out which numbers are most likely to net payoffs at the roulette wheel. But what Sheldon may or may not have on Howard and his MIT brethren in the book smarts department, he lacks in common (and casino) sense. He takes all those notes in a very public manner, and then brags about his findings to the security officer who approaches him.

Odds are you can guess how little time it takes for a security team to toss his tuchus into the street.


• Sorry, Sheldon, but swans don’t gather as a pile; a group of swans is known as a bevy of swans.

• Raj to Sheldon: “In order to corroborate your string theory research, you’d have to create a black hole … wouldn’t that destroy the Earth?”

Sheldon: “Perhaps. But we’d all go to the grave knowing I was right.”

• Penny suggests Sheldon might have more luck in asking the university for a smaller amount of money, like $20 million. “I’m sorry, I’m trying to do science, not hire Lady Gaga to come to my birthday.”

• No, Sheldon does not know who Lady Gaga is. “Presumably, the wife of Lord Gaga,” he answers when Penny asks that very question.

• Amy adds to Penny’s suggestion that Sheldon make a more modest money request from the university. “You don’t want to scare them away,” she says. “You gotta start small, and build up slowly. Even if it takes eight years. Eight long years.”

Sheldon: “That’s oddly specific. Have you ever done that?”

Amy, who met Sheldon at the end of season three, eight seasons ago, says no.

• Penny, when she sees Amy try on a very pretty, flattering wedding gown: “When Sheldon sees you in that dress, he’s going to want to methodically take it off, fold it up, carefully place it in a storage box, label it, and then ravish you.”

Big Bang Theory Recap: Who Wants to Be a Half-Billionaire?