The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019)
5 user 3 critic

The VCR Illumination 

A VHS tape from Sheldon's past inspires him and Amy not to give up when they're still feeling down about their theory being disproven. Bernadette turns into a pageant mom when she tries to help Howard with his Magic Castle audition.


Mark Cendrowski


Chuck Lorre (created by), Bill Prady (created by) | 7 more credits »


Episode complete credited cast:
Johnny Galecki ... Leonard Hofstadter
Jim Parsons ... Sheldon Cooper
Kaley Cuoco ... Penny Hofstadter
Simon Helberg ... Howard Wolowitz
Kunal Nayyar ... Raj Koothrappali
Mayim Bialik ... Amy Farrah Fowler
Melissa Rauch ... Bernadette Rostenkowski
Christine Baranski ... Dr. Beverly Hofstadter
Iain Armitage ... Young Sheldon
Lance Barber ... George Sr.
Montana Jordan ... Georgie
Kurt Scholler ... Judge #1




Amy, and especially Sheldon, are still reeling from learning that their theory on super asymmetry, which Sheldon at least believed was his path to a Nobel, had long ago been disproven and thus will not be his path to a Nobel. As such, Sheldon begins to question what were all his natural instincts which scares Amy as she believes it will only be a matter of time before he starts to question their relationship and marriage. While all their friends try to avoid setting off any triggers to make the situation worse, Leonard believes that two people who Sheldon admires most in the world may be able to help him, one being Beverly and the other being who Sheldon truly believes is the smartest person in the world. It may be some associated items that may help Sheldon the most. Meanwhile, Bernadette learns that Howard had once contemplated auditioning to be a member of the Magic Castle as the Great Howdini, he never went through with it believing he didn't quite have the right stuff to be in ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The comic book Howard is reading on the couch is Mister Miracle #12, published on November 14, 2018 by DC Comics. See more »


When Howard is doing his magic trick he says he doesn't have any brothers or sisters but in an earlier episode he found out he has a half brother from his father. See more »


Amy Farrah Fowler: Oh, look how cute you were.
Sheldon Cooper: Amy, please, of course I was cute. Look how I turned out.
See more »


References Young Sheldon (2017) See more »


History of Everything
Written by Barenaked Ladies
Performed by Barenaked Ladies
[Series theme song played during the opening titles]
See more »

User Reviews

Great episode
7 December 2018 | by pkperaSee all my reviews

Usually I don't write reviews right after watching it, but I was so happy with this that I just doing it right now. Using actors from 'child(hood)' serial was smart move - actually how's that I never came on that idea (apparently I'm not that smart) - but smart enough to quote from serial :-) . And this episode had even a message. Minor error: Wolowitz VCR recording was too sharp, and I saw it as little sloppiness. But main recording of Sheldon (add there Y in front of it) was well made - with low sharpness and usual VCR artefacts. All in all pretty good episode, may be that will be one of my favorites. It seems that little pause between this and previous ep. helped :-)

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Release Date:

6 December 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The VCR Illumination See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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