|The Speckerman Recurrence|
Season 5, Episode 11
December 8, 2011
"The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition"
"The Shiny Trinket Maneuver"
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Leonard faces off with his high school bully, Jimmy Speckerman (played by Lance Barber), who has come back into his life. At the same time, regarding the issue of bullies, Penny realizes that she might have been one when she was in high school.
A guy named Jimmy Speckerman contacts Leonard through Facebook, telling him he wants to meet for a drink. Leonard tells Penny and Sheldon that he was one of his high school bullies and struggles to decide whether to meet him, but decides to do it, and "say all the things he wanted to say in high school".
At the bar, Leonard is with the other guys, waiting for Jimmy to turn up. When he arrives, he greets Leonard like an old friend and gleefully reminisces their high school days, completely oblivious to the discomfort he is causing Leonard. He then reveals that he contacted Leonard because of an idea he had to invent eyeglasses that instantly turn movies into 3D, and Leonard was the smartest person he knew of who could help him with this idea. Although enthusiastic to the idea, Leonard points out the scientific impossibilities this would require. Sheldon stands up for Leonard and tells Jimmy he should apologize for all the heinous acts he committed against Leonard as a teenager. They show him a list of all that he did to Leonard. Jimmy says that he thought they were only having some fun, where Leonard counters that it wasn't fun for him, and they leave.
A drunk Jimmy later shows up at Leonard's apartment, along with the list, and starts to apologize for all the things he did to him in the past. Leonard does not want him driving drunk, and takes him in for the night (Sheldon is opposed to the idea and suggests they send a message to bullies everywhere by killing Jimmy in his sleep).
The next morning, Jimmy wakes up, hungover. When Leonard reminds him of his apology the previous night, Jimmy chides him for having held a grudge, helps himself to his French toast, and calls him "Nancy" (his old childhood insult for him). Taking a stand, Leonard tells Jimmy to get out of the apartment and actually shoves against him, not doing any damage. The guys are then seen running down the stairs to evade an annoyed Jimmy.
Meanwhile, regarding the issue of bullying, Amy and Bernadette talk about their bullies, but Penny says that she did not have bullies and just used to prank other girls. Amy and Bernadette point out that she actually was a bully so, feeling guilty for what she did, she calls all the people she tormented. But no one wants her apology, so Penny decides to do something for charity, to feel good about herself.
She decides to donate some of her clothes to a clothing bin, but when she goes to the bin, she finds so many cute clothes and decides to go back the next night and take some. The girls return to collect some clothes, but then Penny realizes what they are doing is wrong, so they decide to leave it and go. However, Bernadette decides to take some cute boots Penny showed her earlier, saying that it's OK, as she serves soup to the poor.
"They are so close sometimes! This was good. It never became great but it was a fun episode. I particularly liked the use of bullying as a theme. The characterization was very good with everyone able to relate to being bullied except for Penny...I really did enjoy this and thought it was very solidly constructed. The producers can't quite take that extra step and draw our empathy directly to Leonard's plight but they get close." The TV Critic's Review
- Title Reference: The title for this episode is derived from the name of Leonard's high school bully, Jimmy Speckerman, and his "recurrence" or return to Leonard's life.
- Chuck Lorre's vanity card
- This episode was watched by 14.02 million people for a 4.6 rating.
- The extended gap between the airing of this episode and the previous episode, The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition, was due to Thanksgiving, where a rerun of an old episode was shown instead on the usual Thursday timeslot for the show. It was the last show before the four week long holiday break, and the last episode of 2011.
- This was the last new episode for the year 2011; afterwards, the show was on winter break. CBS aired the episode twelve on January 12, 2012.
- The minor character Jimmy Speckerman is introduced in this episode.
- Sheldon implied that Leonard attended Princeton after Leonard placed an excess marshmallow in his hot chocolate. He attributed the reason Leonard adds one for good luck to the kind of math done at Princeton.
- The Newcomb Medal, of which both Leonard and Raj were recipients, is most likely an astronomy prize named for Simon Newcomb. Or, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize awarded by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- Sheldon says Leonard is not the "gearhead". When Leonard was ten years old, he built two radio-controlled arms, as revealed in "The Maternal Capacitance".
- Sheldon is watching the Nobel Prize acceptance ceremony live from Stockholm, Sweden at 2 am. Stockholm is nine hours ahead of California, which would mean that the ceremony is taking place at 11 am. The ceremony actually started at 4:30 pm.
- Leonard has a list of all the bullying he received from Jimmy Speckerman while in school, which included calling him Nancy (slang for an effeminate or homosexual male), stapling his scrotum and supergluing Hershey's Kisses to his nipples.
- Jimmy Speckerman isn't the only bully Leonard has had. One guy peed in his Hawaiian Punch, one guy wedgied him so hard, his testicle reascended and he spent all of Christmas break waiting for it to come back down, one guy used his head to open a nut and another one (Jimmy's sister) made him eat his arm hair. His bully from home, a.k.a. his mother, was also the cause of his bedwetting until 14.
- Bernadette's bully, Tammy Bodneck, once stole her clothes from her locker after gym and left an elf costume in there. The problem was the costume was too big.
- Among Amy's nicknames after the Rogain incident was "Gorilla-Fingers Fowler" and "Fuzzy-Fingers Fowler".
- As a kid, Leonard could fit into a backpack. Though he claimed it was only successful with Jimmy's "help". In "The Killer Robot Instability", Leonard said, "Personally, I can squeeze through a hole in a fence half my size". Also, in "The Prestidigitation Approximation", he noted, "Yeah, if I had contacts I would have been the coolest debate club president ever to be stuffed into his own cello case".
- Leonard's and Sheldon's new wi-fi password is "pennyeatsourfoodshecanpayforherownwifi" (no spaces).
- Leonard goes into more details about his life in high school since his old nemesis shows up. Sheldon never went to high school.
Sheldon: One for good luck...must be the kind of math they do at Princeton.
Sheldon: Congratulations, the Newcomb Medal...Oh, please. That's a scientific equivalent of a smiley face sticker on your homework.
Rajesh: Hey! I won a Newcomb Medal, too.
Sheldon: My point.
Sheldon: I help the weak. It's yet another way I'm exactly like Batman.
Sheldon: I'm not going to say I told you so, but we could have killed him.
Leonard: I might kill him right now.
Sheldon: The Dark Knight has your back. He's scared, but he has your back.
Sheldon: Nobel Prize acceptance ceremony streaming live from Stockholm.
Sheldon: Look at these men...They've managed to win the top science prize in the world with no more understanding of the quantum underpinnings of the expansion of the early universe than God gave a goose. You should pay attention, Leonard. Someday this could be you up there.
Sheldon: Look at Dr. Saul Perlmutter up there, clutching that Nobel Prize. What's the matter, Saul? You afraid someone's going to steal it, like you stole Einstein's cosmological constant?
Sheldon: Oh, now Perlmutter's shaking the king's hand. Check for your watch, Gustaf; he might have lifted it.
Leonard: Rekindles your faith in the basic goodness of people.
Sheldon: You know what would be nice?
Sheldon: As a symbolic gesture to all the bullies who've tormented us for years, we open our home to Jimmy, and once he's asleep, we kill him.
(they all look at him)
Sheldon: I said it would be nice, I didn't say we should do it.
Bernadette: I love this dress! How come I never see you wear it?
Penny: Cause when I wear it it's a shirt...
Bernadette: Oh, they all went with Leonard to confront his high school bully.
Penny: Oh, terrific. High school quarterback against 4 "mathletes".
Amy: When Leonard gets back, I'd love to check his serotonin levels. Do you think he'd let me draw a syringe full of his blood?
Penny: Mm, he's not crazy about needles, but if you get him to go jogging it'll just pour out of his nose.
Bernadette: I don't think I can meet the girl who was always mean to me. Tammy Bockneck. One time, while I was in gym class, she stole all my clothes and left an elf costume in my locker.
Penny: Oh, that's awful!
Bernadette: Worst part was it was too big.
Howard: Hey, we're here to support you, buddy...
Leonard: No, you're not. You're here to see if I'll get my underwear pulled over my head.
Howard: You wore underwear? You fool!
Amy: Who would have thought? Fuzzy Fingers Fowler is best friends with a bully...
Amy: Shh...that's how you wind up in the cornfield.
Sheldon: You know the holidays are just around the corner. Maybe he just wants to see if he can lodge the other testicle up there.
Leonard: I told you, that was a different guy.
Penny: Well, that's too bad. Could've spent New Year's Eve waiting for the ball to drop.