The Big Bang Theory

The Military Miniaturization

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"The Military Miniaturization" is the second episode of the tenth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Monday, September 26, 2016.


The Air Force talks to the guys about their invention and Penny blabs to her work colleagues that Bernadette is expecting.

Extended Plot

In apartment 4A, Leonard and Sheldon are at their computers. Sheldon discovers that Elon Musk has a theory that everyone are all characters in some advanced civilization's video game. Leonard wonders if some alien kind got him the upgrade for an inhaler and eye-glasses. Sheldon retorts that it didn't indicate it was a good game. Howard and Raj complaining that there is a problem since the military visited Howard and wants to have a meeting about their gyroscope. Raj found his encounter with the Colonel when he answered Howard's front door terrifying. Leonard adds that if the research is declared classified, the government could take it away from them and ending their "big payday". Howard really wants the extra money so due to Bernie's larger salary, he doesn't have to try so hard in bed. Sheldon is worried that they are missing the main point. All of them could become faceless cogs in the military-industrial complex AND he finds that exciting. He loves the faceless storm troopers in Star Wars when they run over the civilian populace. Howard objects that they could be working on a weapon system that could oppress mankind for the next thousand years. Sheldon feels that Howard is then on board and asks Leonard if he is too.

In apartment 4B, Penny's Posse is having wine while Bernadette (apple juice) says that she is worried about Howard being a nervous wreck since talking to the military. Penny suggests that she get some anti-anxiety medicines from work; however, Howard won't take anything that is not chewable. Bernie gets a text from work from somebody congratulating her on her pregnancy. She hadn't told anyone at work. Penny denied having had spread the story. Bernadette figures that it was Barbara Chen from Retrovirus who heard her throwing up in the bathroom. She snaps that ever since she got that hearing aid she thinks she knows everything. If the company knows that she is pregnant, she could lose a big immunotherapy project. She did the same thing to Barbara Chen last year when Bernadette learned that she was pregnant.

Returning to 4A, the guys stop Raj from putting on Snapchat the fact that they are working on a secret government project. They wonder is they should talk to a lawyer. Raj asks Howard if there was one in his family. Just because he is Jewish? Howard snaps that Raj must have a cousin working at a call center, which turns out to be true. And Howard does have cousin that works as a lawyer. Sheldon says they don't need a lawyer, they have him. Leonard tells Sheldon that he isn't a lawyer just a know-it-all. Sheldon denies that and that he is just a person who knows lots of things and likes to correct other people when they are wrong. And that IS the definition of a know-it-all.

Back discussing Bernadette's pregnancy, she said that she was going to hid it by leaving Dove Bar wrappers all over the place to explain her weight gain. Amy wonders where she would get the wrappers. Bernie snaps that she ate them and that: "I'm pregnant!" Bernadette leaves to find out if her boss knows. Penny gives her a loving send-off ant then tells Amy that she was the one that accidently let her fellow employees know. Penny feels bad, that she lied to her; however, Amy thinks that she does it so well. Amy wants to scan Penny's brain while she is lying to see what parts light up.

In Howard's lab, they are setting up a video chat with Howard's lawyer cousin. Sheldon wonders how a tax lawyer from Fort Lauderdale could give them advice on intellectual properties. All right, Boca Rotan. thinks its pointless as Howard's cousin doesn't do this kind of law and lives in Ft. Lauderdale. Howard retorts that he is really smart because he lasted two days on "Jeopardy!" They call his Cousin Marty who is peeved that Howard went into space, so whatever he accomplishes, his mother will be disappointed in him. Howard introduces the guys and asks if he has any advice. Marty claims to not know much about patent law. Marty's advice is to listen to them, tell then as little as possible and not to sign anything. Sheldon is perturbed and compares it to finishing an oil painting and his advice is to not sign it. Marty denies that that was what he meant and gets into an argument with Sheldon. Howard ends the call, though Leonard mentions that when he gets up on murder charges, he'll call him.

In Bernadette's office, comes by because she was attending a seminar on a sleeping pill which put her to sleep. Bernadette still doesn't know who told them about her pregnancy and is furious. After Bernadette says that she plans on getting revenge on Barbara Chen. Reluctantly Penny confesses, tells her that it was an accident and is very sorry that she lied about it. A shocked Bernadette just tells her to get out. Penny sadly leaves.

The guys are waiting in Howard's lab to meet with Colonel Williams. Sheldon is not allowed to say anything since his comments enrage people. Can he exchange pleasantries with him? Yes. Can Sheldon inform him that Colonel Saunders was not in the military? Leonard is now enraged. Colonel Williams enters. Sheldon just huzzahs him. He asks who the main brain behind it, Howard humbly takes that credit. Sheldon says nothing, but is very upset.

Later, Howard and Leonard are explaining the gyroscope to the Colonel who understands it, because he is an engineer (Sheldon gasps) who went to M.I.T. (Another gasp.) The Air Force has an application for their invention and wants to fund it. They are happy, but are worried that it might be used for weapons. The Colonel wants to put their mind at ease that whatever they use it for is none of their business. He tells them that it's just a guidance system and not like they are handing him the Death Star from Star Trek. Sheldon goes silently ballistic over this inaccuracy. He does need them to reduce the size down to a cantaloupe. Howard wonders if that even possible. The Colonel says that some people at M.I.T think they can do it in four months. Sheldon finally explodes stating that they can do it in two months. After he introduces himself and adds that engineers aren't real scientists, M.I.T. is a trade school and the Death Star is from Star Wars. And he thanks him for his service in the military giving him a salute.

Bernadette is in her office working late, so Amy brought her dinner. Bernadette needed the time to work alone without everyone congratulating her every five minutes. Amy had been in her lab waiting for a rat to die of anthrax. Amy wonders if she is worried that people will start treating her differently. Bernadette exclaims that she has always been treated differently because of how she sounds and looks. People don't see a scientist, they wonder if her Mommy knows where she is. Amy know feels sorry that she brought her a Happy Meal. Bernadette complains that it took her time to get where she was and doesn't want to start over just because she is pregnant. Amy wants to help her. Calming down, Bernadette was pleased that at least she brought her French fries. Apple slices, because she was pregnant. Bernadette then snaps asking what lunatic goes to McDonald's and brings back fruit. Amy quickly exits to retrieve fries while Bernadotte also demands a chocolate shake.

Penny enters her home while Sheldon is making Leonard lemon bars. Leonard is mad at Sheldon, so he is making him something. Sheldon is mad at Leonard so he's making something that Leonard doesn't like. They had asked Sheldon not to talk and now everyone is mad at Sheldon which doesn't surprise Penny. They have a ridiculously short timeframe finish the project thanks to Sheldon. Penny adds, that if it makes him feel any better, Bernadette is mad at her. Sheldon tells her a random wasp factoid that doesn't make Penny feel any better because her Bernadette story did not help him. After Sheldon asks, Penny told him that she let Bernadette's pregnancy slip at work and now she feels terrible. The exact same thing happened to Sheldon except that he told it on purpose and have no regrets.

Now in Howard's much emptier lab, the guys are boxing up his project. Howard figures they will have to work 24/7 to meet the two month deadline. Leonard won't be able to make Penny breakfast every day. He quips that his French toast is the only thing keeping her in the marriage. After Sheldon told the Colonel, Howard had an awkward pause and then agreed. Raj is sad that he won't see them much. They are off with the military and he knows how those Army wives feel.

Bernadette walks up to apartment 4B, and Penny let's her in awkwardly. She apologizes to Penny because she knows that it was an accident. Penny is sorry about lying to her. Bernadotte compliments her that she is a great liar, just like Amy had noted. As to the project, Bernadette reminded him that she was a sweet little pregnant woman who wasn't afraid to cry in front of a jury. Penny asked if she was going to sue. Bernadette replied that when your four foot eleven and looking in every guy's crotch, you know where to hit him. She then tells Penny that it is just a research project and that the most important job in the world is to raise their child so that she can give her life meaning. Penny that that was beautiful. Bernie perks up happy that she believed. her. All she needs is eleven other chumps like her on the jury.

Sheldon, Leonard and Howard are walking down a hallway inspecting the university's building where classified work is done. They reach the door of their new lab and discover that the door has a retinal scanner on it. Howard and Leonard try it out. An hour they are still playing with it.



  • Title Reference: The request by the Air Force to the guys is to reduce the size of their gyroscope prototype.
  • Taping date: August 16, 2016
  • This episode was watched by 14.24 million people with a rating of 3.6 (adults 18-49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 19.73 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #4 for the week ending 27 September 2016.
  • This episode aired in Canada on September 26, 2016.
  • Screened in Great Britain by E4 on Wednesday 26th October 2016
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1].


  • Ashley Bissette Sumerel on TV Fanatic - Bernadette's pregnancy brings up a very real issue about women in the workplace. She's been keeping her pregnancy a secret because she's afraid that the news would keep her from getting to be a part of an upcoming research project. I have to say, I appreciate the fact they're dealing with this idea. Regardless of the type of work, pregnancy can make things complicated when it comes to having a career, and I'm glad to see Bernadette dealing with those very real challenges...Meanwhile, the guys are dealing with their own issues. For me, the funniest part of this episode is when Sheldon is forced to stay quiet through comments about engineering being superior to physics and the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek.
  • IMDb user reviews [2]



Colonel Williams: And because of the quantum vortices, this can run perpetually?
Leonard: Exactly. Yeah, you have a good grasp with the physics.
Colonel Williams: Well, I'm a scientist by training.
Howard: Really? You're a physicist?
Colonel Williams: Better. I'm an engineer. (Sheldon shocked.)
Leonard: Where did you go to school?
Colonel Willaims: MIT.
Howard: Wha-- Hey! Me too! (Sheldon shocked.)
Colonel Williams: I should have known behind every great inventions at MIT mine. I'll cut to the chase: The Air Force believes there is an application to this technology and we're interested in funding your research.
Howard: Thanks. But you should know we're a little concerned about this being used in weapons.
Colonel Williams: Oh. Well, let me put your mind at ease. What we use it for is none of your business.
Leonard: I don't know how I feel about this.
Colonel Williams: Look, guys. It's just a guidance system. It's not like you're handing us the Death Star from Star Trek. (Sheldon goes silently ballistic.)

Penny: How did you think you were gonna hide your pregnancy?
Bernadette: I had a plan. I kept leaving Dove Bar wrappers to explain any weight-gaining.
Amy: Where did you get empty Dove Bar wrappers?
Bernadette: (angrily) From all the Dove Bars I ate! I'm pregnant! Try to keep up!
(Amy's expression is gloomy)
Bernadette: I'm sorry. I-I have to go find out if my boss knows.
Amy: Whatever happens, we're here for you.
Bernadette: Thanks. You guys are the best.
Penny: Okay. Drive safe. We love you and give us a call when (Bernadette closes the door and disappears and Penny suddenly speaks in a freak-out voice)-- Oh, my god! It was me, it was me! I'm the one who blabbed she's pregnant!
Amy: (shocked) What?
Penny: I didn't mean to. It just slipped out of her system when they asked--(Bernadette comes back in)
Bernadette: Sorry, I forgot my--
Penny: Ooh, here's your coat, honey! That's such a cute jacket! Oh!
(Both Penny and Amy are shocked)

Penny: Okay, all right, honey, you know what? There was something I was too scared to tell you yesterday, and now…I’m just balls-out terrified to tell you, but…the truth is it…wasn’t Barbara Chen, it was me. I’m the reason everyone knows.
Bernadette: Why did you do that?
Penny: Well, it was an accident. I am so sorry I lied.
Bernadette: Get out.

Amy: You really think they’re gonna start treating you differently?
Bernadette: Are you kidding? I’ve always been treated differently! Look at me! Listen to me! I mean, the first thought when you see me isn’t. “That’s a scientist.” It’s, “I wonder if her mommy knows where she is.”

Leonard: You’re not a lawyer. Sheldon, you’re just a know-it-all.
Sheldon: I am not a know-it-all. I’m a person who knows lots of things and likes to correct other people when they’re wrong.
Leonard:That’s the definition of being a know-it-all.
Sheldon: Or in German; a Besserwisser.

Penny: God, I feel so bad-I just lied to her.
Amy: Oh, but you did it so well. That’s amazing. It’s like watching a sculptor, but your clay was lies.
Penny: is that really what’s important right now?
Amy: I mean seriously, you have got to let me scan your brain when you’re being dishonest so I can see what lights up.
Penny: That’s super helpful, Amy. Thanks a lot. I can’t wait to do that.
Amy: I see a clump of bitch cells lighting up from here.



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