The Big Bang Theory (2007– )
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The Wheaton Recurrence 

Sheldon takes on Wil Wheaton in a game of bowling. Leonard and Penny's relationship comes to a crossroad.



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Episode cast overview:


The guys and Penny have a friendly but wagered bowling match against Stuart and his team. The match gets a little heated when one of Stuart's regulars can't make it, the missing spot filled by Wil Wheaton, Sheldon's arch enemy. But Wil's presence isn't the only distraction for Sheldon's team. Leonard told Penny that he loves her, but Penny isn't yet at that point to say it back to him. Leonard tells her that he is OK with her not yet being able to tell him the same. His actions, however, make her feel even more pressured to tell him that she loves him. After a chat with Wil at the bowling match, Penny decides what she should do with regard to her and Leonard's relationship. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


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Release Date:

12 April 2010 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


When Sheldon confronts Penny about forfeiting the bowling game he mentions that Leonard kept him awake singing along with Alanis Morrissette. This is the third reference to a Canadian artist. The first was in season one, episode 5 "The Hamburger Postulate" when Leonard and Leslie Winkle hook up, Bryan Adams' "Have you ever really loved a woman" is playing. The second time is season 3 episode 3 "The Gothowitz Deviation" when Sheldon wakes up to find Penny dancing to Shania Twain's "I feel like a woman". Also note that the theme song is written and performed by Canadian band The Barenaked Ladies. See more »


Throughout the series a big deal of Leonard's lactose intolerance is made yet during the first game of bowling he & Penny start an argument when Penny says she loves the chilli cheese fries Leonard shares with her. If Leonard is lactose intolerant surely during this argument he would have gas. See more »


[first lines]
Penny: Having a little trouble catching your breath there?
Leonard Hofstadter: No, no, I'm good. If my P.E. teachers had told me this is what I was training for, I would have tried a lot harder.
Penny: Do or do not. There is no try.
Leonard Hofstadter: Did you just quote Star Wars?
Penny: I believe I quoted Empire Strikes Back.
Leonard Hofstadter: Oh, my God. I'm lying in bed with a beautiful woman who can quote Yoda.
[they kiss]
Leonard Hofstadter: I love you, Penny.
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Crazy Credits

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #284 2010 Census 1) How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010? Well, after a difficult divorce and several failed attempts at a meaningful relationship, I guess the answer is one. One lonely, middle-aged guy. But I shouldn't get too down on myself. I mean, at least I'm trying. At least my intentions are good. Well, mostly good. I am guilty of what I call self-righteous self-centeredness. You know, that workaholic syndrome which requires everyone to adapt to my "very pressing needs," rather than being available to theirs. In fact, that actually might be the core of my problem. That, or my compulsive desire to make women happy, which, no surprise, stems from a deep fear that unless I'm perfect, they'll leave me. Oh, and they sure let you know when you're not perfect. They don't mince words when you fail to live up to their expectations. You hear about it. Or worse, you don't hear about it and then have to deal with their subliminal rage that you're not healing their deep-seated daddy wound. But that's beside the point. Bottom line, one person lives here. There, you happy U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration/U.S. Census Bureau?! Anything else you want to know? 2) Were there any additional people staying here that you did not include in question one? I already told you, I'm alone! What is with you people?! Why do you keep taunting me?! Haven't I suffered enough?! See more »


References West Side Story (1961) See more »


Big Bang Theory Theme
Composed and Performed by Barenaked Ladies
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User Reviews

"The Wheaton Recurrence" is another very funny episode of "The Big Bang Theory"
29 March 2011 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

In this ep of "The Big Bang Theory" from last season: After Leonard and Penny had another satisfying lovemaking, especially after the latter quoted Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back, Leonard says "I love you" to her. She replies, "Thank you." Uh oh! That suddenly makes everything awkward for them. So Leonard loses interest in his conversations with Sheldon, Howard, and Raj about what the cooler mode of transportation is (Batmobile vs. giant ants). Despite that, Sheldon still wants Penny to be on his bowling team against Stuart from the comics shop and his friend. Actually, Stuart's friend can't make it so his partner is...Wil Wheaton! You know, the guy who tricked Sheldon to forfeit his hand in a card game by...oh, watch that previous episode if you want to know. Anyway, Leonard and Penny seem okay socially at the game until Penny mentions she loves chili cheese fries which leads to an argument where Leonard implies about her not reciprocating her love to him. I'll stop there and just say that while it's not as hilarious as the previous episode Wheaton appeared in, "The Wheaton Recurrence" still has plenty of highlights. And I just love the way Sheldon says "Wheaton!" with his Kirk-like reaction! So on that note, this edition of "The Big Bang Theory" is highly recommended.

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