|The 21-Second Excitation|
Season 4, Episode 8
November 11, 2010
"The Apology Insufficiency"
"The Boyfriend Complexity"
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Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard excitedly plan to attend a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark that includes 21 seconds of never-before-seen footage; however, their plans go awry when Sheldon's nemesis, Wil Wheaton, shows up at the theater. Meanwhile, Penny hosts a girl's night party at her apartment with Bernadette and Amy who invited herself to the party and begins to bond with them.
The gang is watching Raiders of the Lost Ark and everyone is enjoying it, even Penny. She'd like to know how Indiana Jones got so good with the whip if he was an archaeologist. The guys are going to the midnight showing of the movie, complete with 21 extra seconds of footage which will explain the submarine controversy. Leonard can’t believe she had never seen Raiders. Penny can’t believe he's never read Eat, Pray, Love. Raj has read it and it changed his life.
At the Cheesecake Factory, Sheldon is panicking the movie is only seven hours from now and they have to get in line. After Howard mocks Sheldon, he feels that his roommate Leonard should back him up. Sheldon wonders what happened to the Leonard Hofstadter who waited in line with me for 14 hours to see the midnight premiere of Star Trek: Nemesis. Leonard waited for 14 hours as Sheldon napped, he got in a fight with a Klingon and worst of all, they had to watch the terrible movie. Amy tries to be more accepted in his social group by agreeing with everybody else. After Bernadette gets cute with Howard, she mentions her girl’s night with Penny. Amy Farrah Fowler tells her that she is a girl too and proceeds to get herself invited. She feels that she and Penny are best friends and Penny agrees, though she has to go shopping for something comfortable to wear.
As it turns out, Sheldon was right and the line is ridiculously long. To make matters worse, the evil Wil Wheaton, the Jar-Jar Binks of the Star Trek universe, shows up with his friends from the comic book store. The bouncer is a big fan and he immediately let them into the theater.
At Penny's apartment, Amy is describing her unusually firm cervix and a tilted uterus not quite getting the concept of girl talk. As Penny shows Bernadette her new manicure, Amy starts talking about her friend's thesis on the fungus that grows on manicure implements should do the trick nicely. Penny reaches for the next bottle of wine. Bernadette suggests they'll have to make it a slumber party. Amy adds that they'll do makeovers, initiate phony phone calls, and have spirited pillow fights in our frilly nighties! Penny reluctantly agrees and immediately gets a pillow in the face from Amy.
Back in line, Sheldon reads Wil Wheaton’s tweet "Best seats in the house for "Raiders" screening. Suck on that, Sheldon Cooper." Then he gets a call on his phone to test its quality using test phrases. "Imatote. Ulba. Twad. All together? 'I'm a total butt-wad.' Why are you laughing?” It was Penny making a phony phone call.
Later, she gives Amy a manicure which makes her nails look prettier than they have ever been. Then she makes her take it off. The next game is "Truth or Dare". Amy asks Bernadette a question about killing bacteria in beef followed by asking her the circumference of her areolas.
The line the guys are in cuts them off just as they reach the theater. Sheldon starts complaining until he sees an open door and runs in stealing the movie print from the unguarded projection room: "If I can't see it, no one else can see it." Wil Wheaton finds Sheldon in his act of thievery and he leads the whole theater after Sheldon and the guys reminiscent of Indiana Jones’ race to his pontoon plane in Raiders.
Amy is finishing telling "The Miller's Tale" by Chaucer in the original Middle English which was the dirtiest story she knew. Bernadette had dared her to tell one. Bernadette then asks Penny why she hangs out with Leonard even though they broke up. Penny explains that just because they're not seeing each other anymore doesn't mean we can't be friends. Leonard's a great guy. He got too serious and she wasn't ready for it. Then they ask her if she is ready for it in the future how she feel if she was with someone else since he is “a great guy.” Penny doesn't want to play the game anymore and leaves. Amy thinks that they've won the game.
Much later, Amy wants to find another game since Penny is still upset. Her list includes eating raw cookie dough ice cream or experimental lesbianism. Amy enters Penny’s bedroom as Penny first greets and then screams asking her what she was doing. Bernadette thinks skipping to eating rough cookie dough was a better option.
- The TV Critic: "It makes sense that Amy would be like Sheldon, how else could he tolerate her? The writers try hard here to write her as a surrogate Sheldon in scenes with Penny. While this largely fails there are moments where it succeeds...Amy is presented as having no social skills or understanding at all. While that can work (as with Truth or Dare?), more often than not the writers just had her say inappropriate things...There is promise in Amy yet but they need to define her. I'm not sure there is promise in Leonard and Penny anymore which is a shame." The TV Critic's Review
- The A.V. Club gave this episode a B+.
- IMDb user reviews
- Mayim Bialik became part of the main cast in this episode.
- Title Reference: Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard are excited to see a print of Raiders of the Lost Ark, which includes 21 seconds of never-before-released footage.
- Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
- This episode was watched by 13.11 million people with a rating of 4.2 (adults 18-49).
- This episode aired in Canada on November 11, 2010 with 3.304 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.
- In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on December 23, 2010 with 0.749 million viewers.
- In Australia, it aired on February 23, 2011 with 0.852 million viewers and a weekly ranking of 44.
- Episode transcript 
- Leonard wears his white-on-green recycle logo t-shirt.
- Sheldon wears a space shoot'em up t-shirt (aka "shmup), now discontinued at JINX.
- Because of her broken leg Kaley Cuoco is shown working as The Cheesecake Factory's bartender again, instead her normal job as a waitress. Also, a body double is used when Penny storms off near the end of the episode.
- Sheldon recalls how he made Leonard wait in line for Star Trek Nemesis to get good seats, though that film was released in 2002 and Leonard and Sheldon didn't meet until 2003, according to "The Staircase Implementation" (S3E22). Given the tepid response to the film by the public at large it's unlikely there was a revival showing of it, unless it too had unseen footage, that would have made the movie better; however, no Director's Cut was released for Nemesis, and in any case hard-core fans like Sheldon and Leonard would probably go to see the premiere -- else why spend a whole day in line?
- The so-called "submarine controversy" from Raiders of the Lost Ark refers to the scene where Indiana Jones grabs hold to the outside of a Nazi submarine and rides it all the way to their hidden island base. The "controversy" is how Indy knew the sub wouldn't submerge and likely cause him to drown. In novelizations and comic adaptations of the film, the submarine does submerge, but Indy lashes himself to the periscope, which remains above water.
- The addition of 21 seconds to a Raiders of the Lost Ark special edition echoes George Lucas's adjustments to the Star Wars films, and also calls to mind the South Park episode "Free Hat," in which the boys of South Park try to stop George Lucas and Steven Spielberg from creating a special edition of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Wil Wheaton has referenced Star Wars twice. While Sheldon was waiting in line for the special screening of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in this episode, he calls Wil Wheaton the Jar Jar Binks of the Star Trek universe, causing Wil Wheaton to impersonate Jar Jar Binks - "Meesa think that very funny." In "The Wheaton Recurrence", Wil Wheaton told Sheldon to embrace the dark side during the bowling match, with Sheldon pointing out "that's not even from your franchise."
- Sheldon quoted Captain Jean-Luc Picard on StarTrek: First Contact, "...the line must be drawn here! This far, no further!"
- The night that the episode premiered the "Common Activities" section of the Wikipedia entry for Sleepovers, which Amy refers to for help during the episode, was edited to include the quote "harmless experimentation with lesbianism" as well as to list eating cookie dough and prank calls as common sleepover activities. These were quickly removed, likely because while they are indeed activities that some sleepovers include they could not be considered common.
- Bernadette notes that Howard has one really long chest hair, but there are several episodes in which Howard is shown shirtless with relatively thick chest hair.
- When Raj whistles for Sheldon as he is stealing the film reels from the unattended projection booth, Sheldon responds to the call with no sign of being disgruntled. Previously, in "The Friendship Algorithm", Leonard revealed that Sheldon does not tolerate whistling and actually posted a flyer at Cal Tech: "Roommate Wanted. Whistlers need NOT apply."
- The final scene with Sheldon being chased from the theater by the audience is based on the scene in "Raiders" where Indiana Jones is chased by the natives and runs for the pontoon plane. Sheldon even mentions that there is never a pontoon plane when you need one as he runs off camera.
- In line at the movie theater, Leonard is holding a copy of Eat, Pray, Love, the novel which Penny and Raj had been pushing earlier.
- Captain Sweatpants (the middle-aged portly man in workout clothes) and Lonely Larry (the rachitic-looking man in a brown jacket) are in Wil Wheaton's gang. Both are also regular patrons at Stuart's comic book store.
- First episode to feature Penny, Amy and Bernadette together. Thus the first episode to feature a girls' story and "Penny's Posse".
- Amy: Yes, and continue to bond. I have a feeling that after tonight, one of you will become my best friend forever, or BFF if you prefer - which I don't.
- Bernadette: Oh, no. That movie has melting faces. It reminds me too much of the time I dropped that vial of flesh-eating bacteria into the Rhesus monkey lab. Besides, Penny and I are having a girls’ night tonight.
- Sheldon: I believe in knowing my enemy, Leonard. Had Twitter existed at the time, would not General Custer have followed the tweets of Sitting Bull? Would not Lee have followed Grant? Would not Spy have followed Spy? I have more examples, but excuse me. (On phone) Hello. Well, this seems like an odd time to test my cell phone quality, but go on. Test phrases? All right. I'm a toat. Ulbut. Twad. All together? I’m a total butt wad. Why are you laughing? Hello?
- Wil Wheaton: Oh, look who they let in.
- Sheldon: Don't worry, Wil Wheaton, I was just leaving. (taking the Indiana Jones movie and singing) Da-da-da-da, da-da-da. (exits)
- Howard: Come on, short round.
- Leonard: Yeah.
- Wil Wheaton: He’s got the movie! Get him!
- Sheldon: Why is there never a pontoon plane when you need one?
- Sheldon: "Trouble" is my middle name, Leonard. Actually, it's Lee, but I prefer "Trouble".
- Wil Wheaton: (Jar-Jar imitation) Meesa think that very funny.
- ↑ The Big Bang Theory - The 21-Second Excitation (TV Episode 2010) - IMDb
- ↑ The Big Bang Theory: "The 21-Second Excitation" - TV Club - The A.V. Club
- ↑ Thursday Final Ratings: Fringe, Community, 30 Rock, Outsourced, The Office Adjusted Down; Bones, $#*! My Dad Says Adjusted Up - Zap2it
- ↑ Top Programs – Total Canada (English) November 8 – November 14, 2010 - BBM Canada
- ↑ BARB via Wikipedia
- ↑ Seven wins while Nine, TEN struggle - TV Tonight