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"The Troll Manifestation" is the fourteenth episode of the eighth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, February 5, 2015.


Sheldon and Leonard publish a paper based upon an idea from Leonard which is widely accepted except for some insulting comments by one Internet troll. The girls start digging up embarrassing things from their pasts, like Penny's gorilla movie, Bernadette's beauty pageant days, and a fan-fiction story written by Amy involving her and Sheldon.

Extended Plot[]

While Leonard and Penny are eating dinner together, Penny asks about his on-going work with a particle detector and superfluids. Leonard is impressed even though Penny did write it down on a napkin from a previous day's discussion. The supercooled helium has a habit of crawling up the insides of the container and spilling out all over the place. Not unlike Sheldon's ant farm adds Penny. Leonard then starts to talk about super-fluid vacuum theory for a moment and then stops. If one images three-dimensional-space on the surface of a n-dimension bubble wonders Leonard. He gets excited and he runs off to discuss it with Sheldon. As Leonard is leaving Penny yells out to him, "Okay, but you two use the kitchen island, the coffee table won't support both your weight." After describing his theory, Sheldon considers it rather noisily. Leonard then wonders if it is any good. Sheldon replies that it is good and he likes it. Sheldon gives Leonard a sticker with a kitty on it saying "Me-WOW". Even though Leonard is defensive that he is not a pre-schooler, he does take the sticker since it's one of the few compliments Sheldon has ever given him.

Later that night, Leonard wakes up and finds Sheldon has finished the calculations on his theory and written a research paper. First, Leonard wonders why Sheldon wrote a paper about his idea. When did Leonard's idea become their idea? After Sheldon mixed it with Sheldon-y goodness and cooked it in the Easy-Bake Oven of his mind. Leonard looks over his work and thinks the paper is good. Their concept is revolutionary and he wonders if anyone else has considered it. The only way to know is to post it on-line. The longer they wait, they run a chance that someone else will publish first. Leonard thinks they should sent it out and the two of them both click the computer mouse to sent it out to the world.

The girls are getting together for movie night. Amy and Bernadette want to watch Penny's gorilla movie. Penny doesn't, but they do find it online and start to watch it. The movie starts with a guy selling fresh bananas after which Bernadette knows this movie is going to be a train wreck.

In Leonard's lab he is continuing his work with super-cooled helium. Raj and Howard enter with some great news; their paper was mentioned on the Quantum Diaries physics blog. There is a paper summary and they are is getting a lot of positive comments. "Insightful and innovating." "The concept shows some real out-of-the-box thinking." One person named "GeneralRelativity", comments that he wished this blog would devote itself to real science and not wanna theoreticians who are in a rush to publish. Sheldon is about to respond when the Internet troll adds that following on their work, he has a theory that space-time is like two clowns with their heads in a bucket like Cooper and Hofstadter. Leonard tells Sheldon to go ahead and respond. Sheldon does and tells them that if one messes with the bull, one gets the horns and he is feeling rather horny. Leonard then asks Howard or Raj to compose the response.

Penny is suffering through watching her movie until she finally turns it off. Her character knows that she is a killer gorilla because she just bit off the fingers of the doctor's receptionist. Bernadette wants the remote control back; however, Amy tells her to watch her fingers around Penny. Penny then digs up a video of Bernadette in a beauty pageant. Bernie snaps back that she just came to the revelation that making fun of people is wrong. Amy, wanting to watch the video, tells Penny to play it, which she proceeds to do. An adorable little Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski is campaigning for Miss California Quiznos in 1999. In her video she says that she really, really "wanna" to win it several times per the Spice Girls song. Bernadette is horrified, while Amy wants Penny to play it again.

In the apartment, they have not found any more comments from "GeneralRelativity". Sheldon responses stated that they are both professionals and not crack-pots or wanna-be and that they stand behind their paper and, later that night, his mother. Leonard wonders if they had been too rough. Sheldon adds that they are just standing and aren't yelling "boo!" at her.

Bernadette is embarrassed about her beauty pageant past in which Penny agrees. Then, she blurts out that Amy writes "Little House on the Prairie" fan fiction that includes herself and Sheldon, and posts it online. Amy wants to know what she did to deserve that. Bernadette replies that she had to get the attention off of her, and that tearing down other women was part of her pageant training. Amy insists that it's personal so Penny concludes that it's about her and Sheldon. That is not true. Her story is about a physicist named Cooper time travelling back in time and meeting a pioneer woman named Amelia. Penny quickly finds it and starts to read as Bernadette listens carefully.

Sheldon is frustrated that their troll hasn't responded. He wants to get back at him. Raj is creating some fake accounts to add positive comments about their paper. Finally the troll responds that Sheldon and Leonard's juvenile attempts at humor go to prove that the physicists at Caltech are nothing but a bunch of engineers which really insults Sheldon and Howard. Sheldon challenges the troll to meet them face to face. Leonard wants him to delete that message, but before Sheldon can comply he gets an Internet video call. Sheldon freaks out and slams his computer shut, thus not taking the call.

Penny and Bernadette are having a great time reading Amy's story. Sheldon is found to be exhausting even in her fantasies, comments Bernadette. Amy says that then she changes him because that is good writing. And wishful thinking. They get excited reading about how Amelia is reacting to the man from the future named Cooper as they start to flirt.

Back in the apartment the guys discuss how these trolls feel that the anonymity of the Internet allows them to say what they wouldn't say in front of their face. Sheldon remarks that he can't think of a thing that he wouldn't say in front of somebody. They decide to confront this troll, while Leonard wonders what this loser has ever accomplished. Returning the call and Sheldon and Leonard find out that it was Professor Hawking. When asked if he didn't like their paper, he admits that he did find it intriguing and after forty years in a wheelchair, one gets bored. Leonard and Sheldon are so glad Hawking likes their work, and even Howard has to admit it's pretty cool.

Still reading Amy's story, Amelia is helping Cooper fix his time machine. Amy stops them after they seem to be making fun of her; however, Bernadette and Penny have gotten so invested in the story that they want to hear more of it. Amy agrees and starts to read how Amelia wants him to stay, but he still has to depart. He disappears. Amelia starts to cry as a hand reaches for her shoulder. Cooper has returned. Amelia asks "What about the future?" He admits that there is no future without her. As Amelia starts to feel excited, Leonard runs in with his exciting news that Professor Hawking liked their paper. Penny and Bernie shout at him, "GET OUT!"

Finally, Cooper and Amelia (Sheldon and Amy) are seen with Cooper being Bathing|bathed by Amelia. He thanks her for his warm bath and tells her all about his Underoos. Leonard tells her to keep reading the story while they are in bed. As Amelia starts to sponge off Cooper and asks about the ways of physical love in the future, Leonard gets weirded out and turns over to go to sleep. Penny however smiles enthusiastically, eager to read more of Amy's fan faction.



  • Title Reference: The title refers to the internet troll (a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people) that makes disparaging comments on Leonard and Sheldon's research paper.
  • Taping date: January 20, 2015
  • This episode was watched by 17.09 million people with a rating of x.x (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 22.32 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #x for the week ending xx February 2015.
  • This episode aired in Canada on February 5, 2015, with 4.22 million viewers with a weekly ranking of #1.
  • In Australia, it aired on March 17, 2015, with 0.92 million viewers.
  • Episode transcript [1]


  • Jesse Schedeen at IGN - For all that The Big Bang Theory is accused of stereotyping geeks and geek culture, at least this show takes care to portray its heroes as legitimately smart men of science in addition to being obsessed with Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and everything else. That quality was really at the forefront this week, as Leonard and Sheldon joined forces, pooled their collective mental might, and crafted a paper that promised to shake up the glamorous, fast-paced world of theoretical physics...As entertaining as this main plot thread was, the subplot focused on the girls actually wound up being better still...But the fact that Penny and Bernie became engrossed in the saga of Amelia and Cooper was the real highlight.
  • IMDb user reviews [2]


  • Professor Stephen Hawking again appears in this episode (voice only) though his picture is on the video chat monitor.
    • His eyes move so most likely not a picture.
  • Amelia and the Time-traveler is a reference to Amy Pond and the Doctor from Doctor Who.
  • Bernadette used to appear in beauty pageants.
  • Amy writes "Little House on the Prairie" fan fiction stories though none of these characters appear in LHOTP. Second episode to reveal that a character previously wrote fan fiction. First was "The Thespian Catalyst" (S4E14).
  • Penny's horrible movie "Serial Ape-ist 2: Monkey See, Monkey Kill" was completed and is at least available on the Internet.
  • In Amy's fan fiction, Amelia is bathing Cooper, like Sheldon did for her in "The Fish Guts Displacement" (S6E10).
  • This episode sets up the beginning of the plot for Sheldon and Leonard's superfluid theory, which later results in Howard joining them in Season 9.
  • Fourth time Sheldon is seen topless (albeit in a fantasy). The first three times that happens were in, "The Parking Spot Escalation" (S6E09), "The Convention Conundrum" (S7E14) and "The Relationship Diremption" (S7E20).
  • This episode shows that Amy is a good fan fiction writer and that Penny and Bernadette become crazy fangirls.
  • This episode was filmed after "The Comic Book Store Regeneration" (S8E15) to connect the two episodes that deal with the death of Howard's mother.
  • In the pageant video, Bernadette says she's from Yorba Linda, California, Richard Nixon's birthplace.
  • Although the episode title is a reference to the online troll on Leonard and Sheldon's paper, it could also refer to the girls revealing one another's embarrassing secrets, thereby trolling each other.
  • The theory that space-time is like a superfluid is a real theory formulated by Stefano Liberati and Luca Maccione. If found correct it would unify quantum physics and general relativity. 
  • Raj and Howard share no scenes with the girls (Amy, Bernadette and Penny) in this episode.
  • Sheldon shares no scenes with Penny and Bernadette in this episode.
  • The girls yell "Get out!" to Leonard just like the two main couples did to Howard when he returned from outer space Season 6 and they were have a pie-eating contest in "The Re-Entry Minimization".


Penny: So tell me about your day. How is it going with the particle detector?
Leonard: Wow, you remember that?
Penny: Yeah, I listen to what you say. You’re building a particle detector using superfluid helium.
Leonard: You know, when you talk like that I want to take you right here on this table.
Penny: And you know from past experience that this table cannot support both our weight.

Leonard: Come on, this good or not?
Sheldon: Ummm. It’s good. I like it.
Leonard: Really?
Sheldon: I think you’re on to something.

Leonard: When did my idea become our idea?
Sheldon: When I mixed it with Sheldon-y goodness and cooked it in the Easy-Bake Oven of my mind.

Hawking: Well, hello there.
Sheldon: Professor Hawking?
Hawking: Oh brother, you should see the look on your faces.
Leonard: You really didn't like our paper?
Hawking: I liked your paper very much. The premise is intriguing.
Sheldon: Then why are you attacking us?
Hawking: If you were sitting in a chair for forty years, you’d get bored, too. Anyway, got to go, I promised to help the neighbor kid with his math homework. Ciao.

Leonard: You’re sure it’s good?
Sheldon: My name is right on there with yours. That is a surefire mark of quality. That might as well say, “Directed by Joss Whedon.”

Opening to movie: “Bananas, get your fresh bananas.”

Penny: Doctor, please help me. I might be turning onto a killer gorilla.
Doctor: Why do you think you’re turning into a killer gorilla, and not just a regular gorilla?
Penny: Because regular gorilla are vegetarians, and I just bit the fingers off your receptionist.

Bernadette: Okay, movie night, what do you want to watch?
Amy: Whatever happened to that ape movie you were in?
Penny: Oh, God. Probably nothing. I think I saw the director twirling a sign outside the Verizon store.
Bernadette: Search for it.
Penny: What, no, why?
Bernadette: ‘Cause it would be fun to watch.
Penny: It would be humiliating.
Bernadette: Well, now we have two reasons.
Amy: They have it.
Bernadette: Please, can we watch it?
Amy: Please?
Penny: Fine, but I’m telling you, it’s terrible.
Amy: Have you even seen it?
Penny: No.
Bernadette: Well, maybe it turned out better than you think.

Leonard: “Upon review I have changed my mind about the Cooper-Hofstadter hypothesis that space-time is like a super-fluid. In fact, it inspired me to come up with my own theory. Maybe space-time is like two clowns with their head in a bucket much like Cooper and Hofstadter.”
Sheldon: Can I respond now?
Leonard: Do it.
Sheldon: You mess with the bull you get the horns. I’m about to show this guy how horny I can be.
Leonard: Someone else do it.

Penny: Okay, we’ve seen plenty.
Bernadette: No, give me the remote.
Amy: Careful. She’ll bite your fingers off.
Penny: Okay, well, I’ve been poking around the internet, and I think I found something we’ll enjoy watching even more.
Amy: What is it?
Penny: Oh, just a video of Bernadette in a beauty pageant.
Amy: (now interested) What?
Bernadette: (hastily) Okay, I learned my lesson! Making fun of people is wrong!
Amy: I haven’t learned my lesson. Play it. Play it.
Bernadette: (in the video) Hi. I’m Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski from Yorba Linda, California.
Penny: (laughs) You look like a talking cupcake!
Bernadette: (in the video) And you should pick me for Miss California Quiznos of 1999 because I want to…(now singing) tell you what I want, what I really really want. I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want! I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really, really, really be Miss California Quiznos 1999!
Amy: Play it again! Play it again!
(Bernadette is really embarrassed as Amy and Penny laugh)

Bernadette: Ho-ho, it really didn’t.

Penny: How could you not tell us you were in beauty pageants?
Bernadette: ‘Cause it’s embarrassing.
Penny: (snickering) It is; it truly is.
Bernadette: Yeah, well, Amy writes Little House on the Prairie fan fiction about herself and posts it on the Internet!
(Penny has a shocked look on her face, wide-eyed and jaw-dropped)
Penny: No!
Amy: (yells with anger, now on her feet) Why?! What did I do?!
Bernadette: (she speaks to Amy guiltily) Sorry, I had to get the spotlight off me, and tearing down other women is part of my pageant training.
Penny: Okay. We are reading that right now.
Amy: No, please don’t.
Bernadette: We got embarrassed tonight. Come on.
Amy: But it’s personal.
Penny: Why? Is it about you and Sheldon?
Amy: (Smiles nervously) No.
Penny: Oh, my God, it’s about her and Sheldon.
Amy: It’s not about me and Sheldon. It’s about a young woman in the 1800s named Amelia, and the time-traveling physicist named Cooper she falls in love with.
Penny: Please show us?
Bernadette: Please?
Amy: No.
Penny: You know I’m gonna read it either way.
Amy: Good luck finding it.
Penny: Amelia and the time-trav… found it. "It was just past dawn on the prairie, and like every morning, Amelia prepared to do her chores. Except something about this morning felt different."
Bernadette: Why? (to Amy) Why did it feel different?
Penny: "Maybe it was the first whisper of winter in the air, or maybe it was the unconscious handsome man with porcelain skin and curious clothing she was about to discover lying in the field. A man who would open her mind to new possibilities and her body to new feelings."
(Penny and Bernadette squeal)
Amy: (embarrassed) You know, there was a time when I was alone and had no friends. I’m starting to miss that.

Penny: “Time travel? I don’t understand,” said Amelia. Cooper stared at her. ‘Which word don’t you understand, time or travel?”
Bernadette: Wow, even in your fantasies Sheldon’s kind of exhausting.
Amy: He’s like that in the beginning, so she can change him. It’s called good writing. And wishful thinking.
Penny: It stung Amelia when he spoke to her this way. In her little one-room schoolhouse, she was always the smartest student, regularly besting the boys in her class, but this was no boy in front of her, this was a man.
Bernadette: Here we go.
Penny: Cooper told Amelia about all the strange and incredible things the future would hold, like computers and living past 30. He asked her if she had any questions. All she longed to ask was if his heart was beating as fast as hers, but she was too afraid to hear the answer.
Bernadette: Oh, Amelia.
Penny: So instead she asked if, in the future, Montana ever became a state.
(Penny and Bernadette look to Amy with confusion)
Amy: Okay, in the 1800s, that was considered flirting.

Penny: With a heavy heart, Amelia stood before the newly repaired time machine. She regretted giving Cooper the part he needed.
Bernadette: Because she wanted him to give her the part she needed.
(she and Penny laugh)
Amy: Okay, that’s enough.
Penny: What? No, I really want to know what happens, and Bernadette really, really, really wants to know what happens.
Amy: You’re just making fun of me.
Bernadette: I was just kidding. I’m sorry. And the story’s really good.
Penny: No, it is. Does he stay? Do they kiss? Does she find out about Montana?
Bernadette: Please?
Amy: Fine. As Cooper prepared to depart, tears filled Amelia’s eyes. He took her hand in his and said, “I can’t stay, but I will never forget you.” He brushed his fingers against her cheek, then quickly stepped into the machine. “Please don’t go,” she whispered. But it was too late. The engine hummed to life.
Bernadette: But they didn’t even kiss.
Amy: She turned away, wiping her eyes. She couldn’t bear to watch her one chance at true love disappear forever. Then she felt a strong hand on her shoulder spin her around. It was Cooper.
Penny: (whispering) Yes.
Amy: “What about the future?” asked Amelia. He looked deeply into her eyes and whispered, “There is no future without you.” He pulled her in close. She began to tremble all over. She felt his warm breath…
Leonard: You will not believe what Stephen Hawking just said.
Penny and Bernadette: GET OUT!
(Leonard runs away in frightened hurry and the sound of door slamming is played to the shocked and very angry Penny and Bernadette. Amy stares at them while the scenes fades to black)

Amelia: Is the water warm enough?
Cooper: Given the fact that you took the time to build a wood fire, draw the water from the well and heat it, it would be rude to complain. But since you asked, it’s a little nippy.
Amelia: I can fix that. I couldn’t help but notice your unusual undergarments.
Cooper: They’re not undergarments. They’re Underoos. Where I come from, they’re known as underwear that’s fun to wear.
Amelia: And what’s the significance of the spider?
Cooper: Oh, that represents Spider-Man. He does whatever a spider can.
Amelia: There’s a lot of rhyming in the future, isn’t there?
Leonard (in bed): You’re right. This is even weirder than I thought.
Penny: You want me to stop reading?
Leonard: Are you kidding? No, no.
Penny: As he stood for Amelia to dry him…
Amelia: So, tell me, Cooper, are the ways of physical love different in the future?
Leonard: Yeah, okay, I’m good.
(Leonard takes his glasses off and puts them on he bedside. He now tosses back onto his pillow, as Penny smiles delightfully.)



  • [3] Taping Report by MichyGeary