|The Hot Troll Deviation|
Howard and Bernadette discussing their breakup.
Season 4, Episode 4
October 14, 2010
"The Zazzy Substitution"
"The Desperation Emanation"
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Howard is embarrassed when a secret of why he broke up with Bernadette is revealed and Sheldon and Raj battle at work. Howard and Bernadette meet to discuss their relationship. Katee Sackhoff and George Takei guest star as Howard's love gurus.
Sheldon and Raj are arguing about whether or not slow-moving xenon particle would emit light. Sheldon thinks he's right and Raj calls him out on his arrogance. If Sheldon was a superhero, he'd be Captain Arrogant. Sheldon prefers Dr. Arroganto. To get Raj to shut up he calls Penny over. Howard spots his old girlfriend, Bernadette, and wants to play it cool and then crawls under the table.
That night in Howard's bedroom, he is in his burgundy silk pajamas on ready for love. In pops Katee Sackhoff in her full "Battlestar Galactica" flight suit. She greets him and then sarcastically yearns for him. (“Oh ravish me, Howard. My loins ache for you.”) Howard then looks over again and sees Bernadette in her waitress’ uniform. Fantasy Bernadette tells Howard that he must not yet be over her, to which Katee agrees. Howard confesses his confusion, and George Takei joins the fantasy. Katee asks if he has any interest which Howard denies. Katee and George leave talking about how not to be typecast. Howard's mother starts yelling at him ending the night’s activities.
The mystery surrounding why Howard and Bernadette broke up continues. Howard merely says it was something stupid. Ideas discussed include farting in bed and killing a homeless guy. Raj wants a desk in Sheldon's Office and Sheldon doesn't have the funds, even though he can afford a glow-in-the-dark ant farm. Howard suggests that Raj buy his own and Sheldon doesn't have an argument to counter it.
Penny hears Sheldon knock and finds Howard at the door with a recording of Sheldon. Howard asks her to talk to Bernadette to see if she'll agree to meet with him. She wants to know why he broke up with Bernadette. He tells her, much to his embarrassment, that she caught him playing World of Warcraft and having cybersex with Glisinda the Troll. Howard then lays on a guilt trip that gets her to immediately call Bernadette.
Sheldon enters his office to find Raj behind a gargantuan wooden desk that takes up most of the remaining room. Sheldon said that the desk was a "Brobdingnagian monstrosity" which Raj makes him continually repeat. Sheldon tells him to prepare for some escalating juvenile tit-for-tat exchanges. ("Well titted. Prepare for my upcoming tat!")
Bernadette and Howard meet at the Cheesecake Factory with Penny working nearby. She brings by ice tea and nachos and then asks for them to pay for them. Bernadette was still mad. Howard was going crazy because they weren't having sex. Bernadette replied that she wanted to, but he never made the move.
Later Howard learns from Leonard that Steve Patterson, the greasy old fat guy in Facilities Management, was Glissinda the Troll. They also witness Sheldon and Raj fighting with marshmallow and Nerf guns in their office.
At the end of a date with Bernadette, they start to kiss. Katee Sackhoff and George Takei are offering advice from the back seat. Katee tells him to go for it, while George says that a lady wants to be wooed. Howard makes the move, and Bernadette stops him. She needs to get to know him again before they sleep together. She is optimistic and tells him to be patient, because they'll get there.
Finally, in the war between Sheldon and Raj, Sheldon mixing hydrogen sulfide and ammonia gas to counter Raj’s cinnamon-apple scented aroma therapy candles. Since the gases are flammable there is an explosion leaving Raj a mess.
- The TV Critic: "I very much like seeing the show bring back a couple of the arc plots in Bernadette and Raj and Sheldon working together. It rewards fans for paying attention and adds depth to the show...As for Howard, he needs Bernadette. I'm relieved to see her back because she seemed to have been written out of the show last season and she makes him a more likable character...I do appreciate the consistency of having Katee Sackhoff back and all credit to George Takei who camped the hell out of everything they asked of him...Two good stories but neither was well told."
- The A.V. Club gave this episode a C+.
- IMDb user reviews
- Title Reference: The title refers to Howard's online affair with Glisinda the Troll in World of Warcraft which was also steamy or "hot".
- Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
- This episode was watched by 12.57 million people with a rating of 4.3 (adults 18-49).
- This episode aired in Canada on October 14, 2010 with 2.837 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #2.
- In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on November 25, 2010 with 0.978 million total viewers.
- In Australia, it aired on February 8, 2011 with 0.922 million viewers.
- Episode transcript 
- The only episode in the series in which Sheldon and Leonard's apartment, the main setting for the series, makes no appearance.
- There is no guest appearnce by Mayim Balik as Amy in this episode until her final guest appearance in the next episode.
- The affair is said to take place under the Bridge of Souls. The Bridge of Souls is a part of the Auchenai Crypts instance in Outland and you cannot get under it in the current state of the game, you also can't have sex in game without an illicit mod.
- Katee Sackhoff is the second female who plays herself on the show and the second guest star to appear twice in The Big Bang Theory after Wil Wheaton.
- First appearance of Bernadette as a series regular. She was last seen in "The Einstein Approximation" (S3E14).
- George Takei is the seventh person to play him/herself on the show.
- Howard wears a Pac-Man belt buckle in this episode.
- Raj has five siblings, with three brothers and two sisters (one being Priya).
- Leonard is a quarter of an inch taller than Howard.
- In the marshmallow shooter fight scene, Raj uses a Nerf Dart Tag Hyperfire (Lime Green re-release), while Sheldon uses a Marshmallow M-Forcer Shooter.
- In the marshmallow shooter fight scene, on the white board at Raj side, words "BABYLON 5 PWNS SPOCK!" can be seen written in a large circle.
- PWNS is the third-person singular form of a geek slang verb "pwn" roughly meaning "conquer" or "defeat", often used to humiliate other people..
- As is well known, Sheldon dislikes Babylon 5 (established in S2E08 and S3E22) while likes Spock (mentioned in multiple episodes, S2E02, S2E09 and S2E21, just name a few).
- Thus presumably it is Raj that has written these words to annoy Sheldon.
- The word "Brobdingnagian" derives from the fictional place name "Brobdingnag" in British author Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels, thus Sheldon said this word is British. In Brobdingnag all people are giants to normal humans, thus its adjective form "Brobdingnagian" is used to describe anything of colossal size. Sheldon also used a word of British English in "The Loobenfeld Decay" and "The Pants Alternative".
- In the scene before Sheldon enters his office and see's Raj's Brobdingnagian desk, he breaks the fourth wall by looking towards the audience for a moment.
- Both Katee Sackhoff and George Takei wear costumes from their respective science fiction shows. Sackhoff wears (as mentioned in the episode) her flight suit from Battlestar Galactica, while George Takei wears a costume similar to the "civvies" he wore in the sequential films Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
- Leonard can not eat melon.
- Raj's "Brobdingnagian monstrosity" desk apparently took 5 people to move into Sheldon's office: Raj and four most likely Hispanic men named Ramón, Julio, Jesús, and Rodrigo.
- Raj probably bought the opulent mahogany desk with his parents' money, as a desk like that would be very expensive, even used.
- Apparently, there are dark, sordid corners of the internet where the name Wolowizard (Howard's World of Warcraft alter ego) is whispered in hushed tones. This suggests that Howard's affair with Glysinda the Troll was not the first, nor possibly the most unusual.
- Raj: I'm telling you, if Xenon emits ultraviolet light, then those dark matter discoveries must be wrong!
- Sheldon: Yes, well, if we lived in a world where slow moving Xenon produced light, then you'd be correct. Also, pigs would fly, my derriere would produce cotton candy, and the Phantom Menace would be a timeless classic.
- Raj: You're so arrogant! If you were a superhero, your name would be Captain Arrogant. And you know what his superpower would be? Arrogance!
- Sheldon: You're wrong again. If my superpower were arrogance, my name would be Doctor Arroganto.
- Sheldon: Penny, a moment.
- Penny: What?
- Sheldon: Nothing, I just wanted Raj to stop talking.
- (Raj tries to whisper something to Howard)
- Howard: (To Raj) No, no, no, he won, suck it up.
- Sheldon: This isn't a desk, this is a Brobdingnagian monstrosity!
- Raj: Is that the American idiom for "giant big-ass desk"?
- Sheldon: It's actually British.
- Sheldon: Why do you even want this here? Its size is completely disproportionate to its purpose.
- Raj: Well seeing as its purpose was to piss you off, I'd say it's spot on.
- Sheldon: Alright, I see what's going on here. This is the opening salvo to what will be a escalating series of juvenile "tit for tat" exchanges. Well titted.
- Raj: Thank you.
- Sheldon: Stand by for my upcoming tat!
- Leonard: Oh, God, what’s that smell? (Knocks on Sheldon’s door. Sheldon answers in a gas mask). Oh-ho-hop!
- Sheldon: Yes?
- Leonard: What are you doing in there?
- Sheldon: I’m making hydrogen sulphide and ammonia gas. Just a little experiment in pest control.
- Raj: It’s not gonna work, dude, I grew up in India, an entire subcontinent where cows walk in the street, and nobody has ever had a solid bowel movement.
- Sheldon: Well, we’ll just see how long you can hold out.
- Raj: Well, we’ll just see how your noxious gas fares against my cinnamon-apple-scented aroma therapy candles.
- Leonard: Didn’t you say you’re making hydrogen sulphide gas?
- Sheldon: Yes.
- Leonard: Isn’t that flammable?
- Sheldon: Highly. Oh, dear. (Explosion)
- Raj: This is not over.
- Katee Sackhoff: Kiss her good night. All right, now a little tongue.
- George Takei: Hold on there. We’ve only just rekindled the romance. Let’s not sully the moment with the exchange of saliva.
- Katee Sackhoff: Don’t listen to him. She wants it. Tongue. Luh-luh-luh-luh-luh. See? Now make the move.
- George Takei: Mm-mmm. Too soon.
- Katee Sackhoff: Trust me, she’s ready. Make the move.
- George Takei: No, no, no. A lady wants to be wooed, courted slowly.
- Katee Sackhoff: How would you know?
- George Takei: I read.
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