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"The Raiders Minimization" is the fourth episode of the seventh season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Thursday, October 10, 2013.


After Sheldon and Amy watch an Indiana Jones movie together, she points out a plot flaw that ruins the movie for Sheldon who decides to plot some revenge. After Leonard's mother publishes a book about his childhood problems, Leonard finds that he can manipulate Penny by making her feel sorry for him.

Extended Plot

The Raiders Minimization 15

Shamy watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark"

After watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark", Sheldon asks Amy what she thought and she replied that it was "good" which offends Sheldon since it is one of his favorite movies. Amy restated that she enjoyed it, but points out that when Sheldon told her that she was going to be "losing (her) virginity”, she didn't realize that he meant she was going to be seeing the Raiders movie for the first time. Sheldon apologized for his choice of words and changed it to "You are about to have your world rocked on my couch." She found the movie very entertaining except for "the large plot-hole". Sheldon tells her that it was made by two of the most gifted film makers of our time, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas and has watched it 36 times except for the snakes and the face melting that he won't watch after dark. Sheldon defies her to find a plot-hole to make his jaw drop. Amy explains that if Indiana Jones were not in the movie, the Nazis would still find the Ark of the Covenant, would still have taken it to the island, then opened it up, and all would have died. Sheldon does open his mouth with his jaw hanging and Amy closes his mouth for him.

The Raiders Minimization 4

Penny reading about Leonard as a boy according to his mother's book

Leonard and Penny run into each other in the lobby. Penny is getting her mail while Leonard is returning from the comic book store. Amy and Sheldon were having their date night and Leonard thought him being around would make it more awkwardness|awkward than they already make it. Leonard asks Penny how night school|school is going and she shows him her new book, The Disappointing Child by Dr. Beverly Hofstadter which was on the recommended reading list for her psychology class. Leonard is "thrilled" since it details every horrible story from his childhood and his masturbation period. He begs her to get another book or at least not talk to him about it. Penny then mentions his breast feeding crisis. It seems that Leonard preferred the left side and his mother got a little lopsided. Penny then exclaims, "Oh my God. You still go left!"

At the cafeteria, Raj asks which celebrity he looks the most like. Halle Berry. Raj and Stuart are putting together dating web sites and that is one of the questions. Sheldon joins them busily reading Pride and Prejudice, one of Amy's favorite novels. Since Amy ruined Raiders, he wants to find something beloved to her and ruin it. Howard quips that ruining her life is not enough. Raj asks how one can ruin Raiders. Sheldon tells them what Amy said and they all groan now that Raiders is ruined. Howard tells the guys that it was Indiana Jones who dug in the right place as the Nazis were digging in the wrong place, but Leonard points out that if Indiana didn't take the head piece, they would have dug in the right place and found it. Everybody groans again.

Penny and Leonard are making dinner in her apartment and she has just one question about the book. She wants to know why a five year old put on his mother's makeup and underwear. Leonard was pretending to be The Hulk using green make up and a Brassiere|bra to keep his muscles from sagging. He then pleads her to stop talking about the book. Penny did get a "check plus" on her first homework assignment. She just thinks that occasionally people should open up about these things. Leonard explains that he was always mad at his mother and as The Hulk he wanted to smash his way out of the house because how was always the subject of his mother's little experiments. One Easter she wanted to know how long he would keep looking for Easter eggs when she put none out. The answer was June. Penny goes to hug him because she is so sorry and that she wished that she could do something to make him feel better. Leonard doesn't think so. Penny asks if he's sure about that and then whispers to him. He brightens up and tells her that he's not going to argue with a check plus student as Penny smiles.

Raj applying makeup to Stuart's Face

Raj is applying makeup to Stuart's face

Raj is applying makeup to Stuart to take his dating site photograph. Stuart asks why and Raj tells him that he wants to look fun and full of life and not like a body just pulled out of the river. Raj takes one bad photo and then tells him to turn away and then give him a reaction like he just saw the girl he wants to meet. Still no good. After another photo Raj tells him that it's a little blurry, but that might help him out. They then started talking about their profile. Stuart's one word describing him is "unobjectionable" though he thought that that sounded too cocky. Raj put down as his best feature, his parents' money. Stuart put not applicable. Raj told him that he is a great artist and that he owns his own business. Neither of those traits will probably help get him women. Then Raj asked if they can imply that he is well endowed. Stuart agrees since one of his balls is extra long.

In apartment 4A, Sheldon tells Leonard that "Pride and Prejudice" is a "flawless masterpiece". Now he is looking at her favorite comic strip, Marmaduke. Trying to find a flaw, Sheldon claims that he is such a large and undisciplined dog, so why do they keep him. Leonard points out that they may have loved him since he was a puppy and didn't know how big he was going to get. Sheldon then replied, "Of course". Sheldon picks up the newspaper and says that Amy is also a fan of Garfield. He reads it, looks disappointed and then says that now he is a fan of it too. As Leonard complains about going to watch a football game at a sports bar, Sheldon asks if he knows of anything that Amy is fond of that has a bunch of flaws that she hasn't noticed. Leonard looks at him and thinks the obvious answer, but he shakes his head and says good-bye.

The Raiders Minimization 10

Penny showing Leonard sympathy

Leonard wanders into Penny's apartment not looking too happy asking his girlfriend if she is ready to go. Penny tells him not to talk sports with the guys. Leonard told her that its like they never even heard of Quidditch (it is a fictional sport invented by J. K. Rowling for fantasy book series Harry Potter). He also wonders if they even have to go. Penny then says that he never seems to want to hang out with her friends and then wonders what's wrong. First she asks if this behavior is about his mother. Leonard replies that not everything is about his mother. Penny tells him that they don't have to go if he doesn't want them to. Leonard immediately switches to that his mood is totally about his mother. Penny feels sorry for him and says that they can stay home and watch the game here. Leonard then suggests that they watch his Hobbit movie on DVD Blu-ray with commentary.

Howard knocks on the door of Leonard's lab and asks if he is ready for lunch. A nervous Leonard shouts telling him to wait a second. When he opens the door, Penny is in their buttoning up her blouse. Penny says "hi", kisses Leonard and tells him to hang in there today. Howard's eyes pop open, impressed that he was getting sex at work. Leonard tells him to leave it alone since she is his girlfriend who just had sex with him at work. He explains that whenever he talks about how awful his mom was, Penny will do anything to make him feel better. He's not proud of it, but he found out that it works. Leonard got her to watch a six part documentary on Monty Python that even Leonard didn't like. He just wanted to see if she got through it.

Sheldon is Skyping with Amy, who wants to know why he is having an unscheduled video-chat. The last time he did it was about finding a curly fry in his regular fries and he thought someone was trying to slip him a mickey . Sheldon is inviting Amy over to a spontaneous date night where they can watch "Little House on the Prairie" together. Amy thinks that that sounds lovely and then asks why he is rubbing his hands together in a truly villainish fashion. He claims to be putting on lotion and asks if she is in or out. Of course she is in. She is happy to have her boyfriend doing something nice for her. They both say good night until tomorrow. Afterwards Sheldon calls her a rube for thinking he was applying lotion when he had such soft hands.

The Raiders Minimization 13

Bernadette doesn't buy Howard's act

At Howard and Bernadette's Apartment, she asks why he was so quiet that evening. Howard replies that he was thinking about his mom and how sad his childhood was. Bernie replies, "Yea, it must have been tough." Now he can do the dishes while she takes a bbath. Howard suggests that they take a bath together. Bernie then restates that she'll take a bath and he can do the dishes. Howard asks if he is going to get some comforting. Bernie gives him, "Ah poor Howie. I'm going to take a bath." Bernadette then asks that what is up with him. Howard replies that he is sharing his pain, which Bernadette is not buying. Finally Howard admits that Leonard told him that this works with Penny so that they can have sex and watch Monty Python.

Raj and Stuart count down and then launch their dating profiles onto the Internet. Raj quips that his business is now open for business. Stuart adds that as far as the ladies know, he is confident and fun to be around. Raj's site gets a viewing from Jenny309. He hopes that that is not her waist size. Stuart says that he'll take her. Stuart then gets a bite. He claims that he should have tried doing this years ago and then he be divorced several times by now. Raj wonders if putting himself out on the Internet is like having the girls see him naked. Stuart disagrees because they are not running away screaming.

Amy is looking at the case and says that she loves "Little House". It had made her want to live on a farm so much that she tried to milk her cat. Sheldon tells her to sit back and relax and enjoy a beloved childhood memory. First Sheldon tells her that they were illegally squatting on Indian land. Then Sheldon adds that he feels that what they did to the Native Americans was wrong; however she should just enjoy the show. Then he mentions that little Laura Ingalls is eating a peanut butter sandwich which can't be right because it hadn't been invented yet. Amy has lost her smile. Then he tells her that if he knew it was about time travel he would have watched it much sooner. Amy switches it off and tells him that she knows he's trying to get back at her for her comments about Raiders. Sheldon says that that is silly like the doctor having a telephone since they only existing in large cities then. Amy tells him that they are in an interpersonal relationship and if he gets angry at her, he should tell her. He shouldn't seek revenge; however, that is what Sheldon's parents did. Amy tells him that that is not the way they are going to do it. Sheldon then tells her that not only did she ruin Raiders, she ruined the whole franchise except for the fourth one that was bad before she even got there. Amy apologized and then asked if he felt better. Sheldon accepted her comment. He then told her that Garfield can't hate Mondays that much since he doesn't have a job.

The Raiders Minimization 19

Penny dressed for temptation

Leonard walks into Penny's apartment and finds her scantily dressed in a nightie on her couch. She tells him that she knows how badly he feels about his mom so she planned something real special. Leonard starts to get undressed. Penny turns her laptop around and Leonard finds his mother on it. She greets him and says that she understands that he has been whining about her parenting in order to emotionally manipulate his girlfriend. Penny adds that Bernadette told her everything and that he isn't getting the left one or the right one (breasts). Beverly mentions how he continues to get her involved in his sex life and supposes it's because of the incident where he found his parents naked with her beating his father's rear with his ping pong paddle. Leonard exclaims that he thought that that was a dream. Beverly asks how that makes him feel. Leonard yells to Penny that he really is sad now.

The Raiders Minimization 14

Raj and Stuart about to post their dating profiles

Raj and Stuart find lots of women checking out their site, but no one is leaving messages. They find that they have never been so rejected. They decide to go to a bar and get rejected old school. At a bar Raj says hi to a girl who replies, "Not interested." Then they agree that this situation is worse.

The episode ends with the guys watching Raiders trying to find a response to Amy's point. Howard says that if it wasn't for Indy, the ark would not have ended up in the warehouse. Everyone is happy until Leonard mentions that he was actually supposed to take it to a museum in the first place and couldn't even manage that, causing them to again groan (ignoring the fact that it was only in the warehouse to be studied because of its unfathomable powers).



  • Jesse Schedeen of IGN: This week marked the second time an episode of The Big Bang Theory revolved around Raiders of the Lost Ark in some way...This portion of the episode was definitely the highlight. There were some great lines thrown out poking fun at the stagnant progress of Sheldon and Amy's love life...The episode spent too much time focusing on the latest micro-disaster in Leonard and Penny's relationship relative to the actual entertainment value it offered...The gag involving Leonard faking sadness over his rough childhood to score sex with Penny might have worked well in a smaller dose, but the episode just kept dragging it on to the point where you had to feel bad for Penny being tricked. It wasn't much funnier when Wolowitz tried the routine on Bernadette, though she at least had the brains to shoot him down. The whole subplot did have a nice payoff in the end as Leonard was confronted with his disapproving mother in the midst of undressing...Season 7 had aired three solid episodes in a row, so it was a bit disappointing to see the winning streak end this week. Hopefully next week's "The Workplace Proximity" will turn things around again as it places the spotlight back on Sheldon and Amy.[2]
  • Dhruv Rao of The DR Club gave the episode an A- stating, "Let's hope that season seven gives off more episodes like this one. However, next time, let's try and give everyone a fair amount of screen-time." [3]
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: The title refers to Amy noting an error in the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark" which ruins or minimizes the experience for Sheldon.
  • Taping date: September 17, 2013.
  • The title changed to "The Raiders Minimization".
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • This episode was watched by 17.64 million people with a rating of 5.1 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 23.7 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #2 for the week ending October 13, 2013.
  • This episode aired in Canada on October 10, 2013, with 3.443 million viewers with a weekly ranking of #1.
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on November 21, 2013, with 2.39 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.
  • Episode transcript [4]

Costume Notes

  • Sheldon wears a red 20-Sided Dice t-shirt (Sheldon drops his jaw), his blue "73 Prime" t-shirt (as they watch "Raiders" together), his black distressed Superman logo t-shirt]he and Amy chat online), his green Riddler: Bat Question t-shirt (as he talks with Leonard), and his orange Space Invaders t-shirt (at the university).
  • Talking with Leonard in her kitchen, Penny wears a sleeveless flower print western shirt by Two by Vince Camuto.


  • Sheldon's jaw similarly drops :O in S03E01 The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation, when the Raj and Howard break the news to him that they have made no scientific discovery whatsoever on the North Pole.
  • Music: "The Raiders March," composed and conducted by John Williams and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra
  • Amy really likes the television series Little House on the Prairie, as she told Howard in the previous episode, "The Scavenger Vortex" (S7E03)
  • This foreshadows the later revelation that she writes "Little House" fanfic with herself in a major role.
  • Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard are all fans of the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" movie which was also the focus of the episode "The 21-Second Excitation". (S4E08)
  • Bernadette appears in only one scene.
  • Amy also likes the comics Marmaduke and Garfield and the classic novel "Pride and Prejudice".
  • When Amy talks about the flaw in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Apartment 4A Flag on the refrigerator is upside down. Which is a call-back to Sheldon explaining that if it is ever seen this way, the apartment is in trouble and danger of sinking. The last time it was upside-down was just before the elevator exploded.
  • When Penny prepares to watch the football game, she wears a uniform of Nebraska Cornhuskers Football, the football team from her home state, Nebraska. In "The Cornhusker Vortex" (S3E06), Leonard wore the uniform of the same team when he went to watch a football game with Penny.
  • While Penny has often gotten Leonard to do things he didn't want to do using her feminine charms, Leonard finally finds a way to get Penny to do what he wants to do.
  • Like in the "The Closure Alternative" where Sheldon does show some disrespect when he calls Amy a "sucker" (but not to her face). In this episode he calls her a "rube".
  • Indiana Jones was needed in the story because the Nazis followed Indy to Nepal to get the headpiece. Even if he left the story after Nepal, the Nazis would still have needed him that far. Amy and the other guys were wrong. Also the Ark would not have ended up in the hands of the Americans whether it went to a warehouse or a museum.
    • Furthermore, while the guys note that the Ark made it into a US warehouse thanks to Indy, they dismiss this as him being useful; however, had Indy not been present for the film's climax, the Allies would not know where the Ark ended up. Since the location in question was a Nazi base, it is rather likely the Nazis would have sent more forces to investigate after the first group (by that time turned to dust by the Ark) failed to report in, thereby obtaining the Ark. The movie states in the opening phase that this is the US's main interest in the Ark—preventing a dangerous weapon of mass destruction from falling in Nazi hands. While this reduces Indy's merit (after Nepal) to "being there for the ride", one may go so far as to suggest that the movie's ending implies that the above stated is what would have happened had Indy not been present for the film, thereby validating the plot. This would probably not impress film critics much, but it is consistent.
  • This episode is the second one to focus on the first Indiana Jones movie.
  • This is the first episode in which Beverly Hofstadter appears and does not mention Sheldon or that they had communicated some time ago. This is also the first episode where she has absolutely nothing to do with him.
  • True to this show's depiction, Little House on the Prairie's TV show adaptation which ran from 1974 to 1982 is known for having many glaring anachronistic errors.
The Raiders Minimization 17

The Nazis following Indy to Nepal.


Sheldon: So what'd you think?
Amy: It was good.
Sheldon: That's it? Good?
Amy: I enjoyed it. When you told me I was going to be "losing my virginity” (air quotes), I didn't think you meant showing me "Raiders of the Lost Ark" for the first time.
Sheldon: My apologies. I chose my words poorly. I should've said 'You are about to have your world rocked on my couch."

Leonard: So how was school?
Penny: Oh, good. Check it out. “The Disappointed Child” by Beverly Hofstadter.
Leonard: You bought my Mom’s book?
Penny: Yes. It’s on the recommended reading list for my psychology class.
Leonard: Oh. Come on. Not that book. It got like every horrible story from my childhood in it.
Penny: Oh cool. Are there pictures?
Leonard: Seriously, please find another book.
Penny: Oh come on. How bad could it be?
Leonard: The next chapter’s about the potty training. Bed wetting. Masturbation. Basically if something came out of me, she wrote about it. You know, do whatever you want, just don’t talk to me about it.
Penny: Not even the chapter on The Breast Feeding Crisis?
Leonard: It was not a crisis. Apparently I favored the left one. She got a little lopsided.
Penny: Oh my God! You still go left.

Sheldon: Well. You sit back, relax and enjoy a beloved childhood memory. You see that cabin there. I read they were illegally squatting on Indian land. Well, personally I think what we did to the Native Americans was wrong, but this is your favorite show, not mine. Oh look at little Laura Ingalls eating that peanut butter sandwich. Peanut butter, huh. That’s strange since peanut butter wasn't introduced until the early 1900’s. [Amy stops smiling.] If I knew this show was about time travel I would have watched it much sooner.
Amy: [stops the show.] You’re trying to get back at me for what I said about ”Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
Sheldon: That’s silly. Almost as silly as Dr. Baker having a telephone since telephones only existed in large cities at the time. It’s more like Little House on the Preposterous.
Amy: Sheldon, we're in a relationship. When you get angry, tell me. You don’t need to seek revenge.
Sheldon: Are you sure? Every time my Dad stayed out all night, my Mom put hamster poop in his chewing tobacco.
Amy: Well, that’s not how we’re going to do it.
Sheldon: Well, fine. I’m mad at you. Not only did you ruin Raiders for me but you may have ruined the whole franchise, except for the fourth one which was bad before you got your mitts on it.
Amy: I shouldn't have said it. I’m sorry.
Sheldon: Thank you.
Amy: You feel better?
Sheldon: Yes. But not as good when I tell you, your precious Garfield has no reason to hate Mondays. He’s a cat. He doesn't have a job.

Sheldon: Amy ruined Raiders of the Lost Ark for me. So now I’m trying to find something beloved to her and ruin that.
Howard: Because her life wasn't enough?

Sheldon: Hang on. You spend time with Amy. Can you think anything she’s fond of that has a bunch of flaws that she hasn't noticed?
Leonard: I gotta go.

Howard: Wow. Sex at work!!
Leonard: Hey, leave It alone; that’s my girlfriend…
Howard: Sorry
Howard: Damn, how’d you swing that?
Leonard: Well, whenever I talk about how awful my Mom was, Penny will do anything to make me feel better.
Howard: Seriously?
Leonard: I’m not proud of it, but it does work.

Leonard: Hey I was just…what is happening?
Penny: [Penny dressed in a nightie] Oh, just a little treat. I know you've been feeling really bad about your Mom lately.
Leonard: Oh, I have so bad.
Penny: And I want you to feel better. So I planned something very special for you.
Leonard: I can already feel it working.
Beverly: [Penny turns her laptop around and there is Beverly Hofstadter.] Hello, Leonard!
Leonard: Mom?
Beverly: I understand you have been whining about my parenting in order to emotionally manipulate your girlfriend.
Leonard: I, um...
Penny: [Penny gets up and leaves] Bernadette told me everything. Now you don’t get the left or the right.
Beverly: Let’s discussed why you continue to involve me in your sex life.
Leonard: Oh please, mommy. No, mommy.
Beverly: When you were six years old, you walked in on me and your father naked. I was swatting his bottom with your brand new ping pong paddle.
Leonard: I didn't dream that?
Beverly: How did that make you feel?
Leonard: Penny, come back!! I’m sad for real now.



  • [5] Taping Report by Alexandra and Roxanne