The Imitation Perturbation Season 12, Episode 6 -  Aired October 25, 2018

The Imitation Perturbation

Sheldon is offended when Howard dresses up like him for Halloween, so he and Amy get their revenge at Leonard and Penny's Halloween party. Meanwhile, Leonard is surprised that Penny doesn't remember their first kiss.

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Guest Stars: Kevin Sussman as Stuart, Brian Posehn as Bert, Rati Gupta as Anu, Pamela Adlon as Halley, David Theune as Dr. Graybel

Writers: Steve Holland (Story), Maria Ferrari (Story), Tara Hernandez (Story), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay), Jeremy Howe (Teleplay), Adam Faberman (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Howard dressing up as Sheldon for Halloween, prompting a retaliatory response from Sheldon.

Episode Quotes

Amy: Is something bothering you?
Sheldon: Howard dressed up as me and imitated me, and everyone laughed.
Amy: Oh. Well, that must have felt terrible.
Sheldon: It did. I never realized my friends viewed me as an object of ridicule.
Amy: Oh, I don't think that's true.
Sheldon: They laughed, Amy. In a derisive way. Not in the instructive way I laugh at them when they're being stupid.

Sheldon: Amy, do you think I'm always correcting other people?
Amy: No, not all the time. I mean, just last week, Penny ended a sentence with a preposition. You didn't even mention it.
Sheldon: True. I just waited until I got home and screamed into a pillow.

Howard: You're sitting in my spot.
Sheldon: You don't have a spot. What is wrong with you today?
Raj: Maybe he's cranky because he's off his bathroom schedule.

Leonard: Oh, my God, you look amazing.
Raj: I find you guilty of murder, because you are killing it.
Howard: (imitating Sheldon) Well, technically, the Supreme Court wouldn't determine a defendant's guilt or innocence in a criminal matter. They could only reverse or revamp a jury's conviction based on a constitutional or statutory issue.

Amy: Hey, why aren't you in your costume?
Sheldon: I just didn't feel like it.
Amy: You get that I'm wearing a corset because of you, not because I'm tired of breathing?

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1206 'The Imitation Perturbation' Press Release October 15, 2018

CBS has issued the press release for the October 25, Halloween-themed episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Imitation Perturbation".  Full story


As the guys eat in the apartment, Raj mentions that it’s the 40th anniversary of Halloween - the movie, not the holiday. When Amy asks if they are dressing up at work, Howard says yes, leading Penny to wonder why she and Bernadette don’t get to dress up at work. After Leonard suggests they throw a party so she can dress up, Penny agrees to host a party on Friday night. When Amy asks Howard what he’ll be going as, he doesn’t want to reveal it but warns it’s pretty scary. The next day at work, Howard is wearing a Flash t-shirt with another t-shirt underneath, affecting a robotic Texan accent, when he goes to talk to Sheldon, who is dressed like Doc Brown. Sheldon is oblivious to Howard’s mimicry.

When Leonard and Raj go sit down at a table in the cafeteria with Sheldon, Leonard is dressed as Inspector Gadget and Raj is Supreme Court Justice “Kooth” Bader Ginsburg. When Howard walks up to the table dressed as Sheldon, a fellow diner says “Hey, Sheldon” Sheldon is thrown when Howard answers, too. Leonard and Raj think Howard’s costume is hilarious, but Sheldon doesn’t understand what’s so funny. When Sheldon admits he’s finding Howard very annoying, Leonard explains that he’s dressed as him for Halloween. Sheldon is upset that his friends are laughing at him.

When Amy arrives at Sheldon’s office to pick him up, she’s surprised he’s not in his costume. Sheldon explains he’s upset that his friends were making fun of him. He never realized his friends view him as an object of ridicule. Meanwhile, Penny arrives home to find Leonard has decorated the apartment for the party. When Leonard asks if she remembers what happened at the first Halloween she invited him to, Penny only remembers throwing up in a pumpkin. Leonard reminds her that they had their first kiss on the couch, but Penny thinks their first kiss was after she threw him a birthday party. Leonard is mad that Penny doesn’t seem to remember such an important moment in their relationship.

In Howard and Bernadette’s kitchen, Amy asks Bernadette if she saw Howard’s costume. After Bernadette admits she made it, Amy says it hurt Sheldon’s feelings. Amy wants Howard to apologise to Sheldon. Bernadette is surprised as Sheldon never apologizes for the mean things he says, arguing that Sheldon shouldn’t dish it out if he can’t take it.

When Raj and Anu arrive at the party, she is dressed as the U.S. constitution to go with Raj’s supreme court costume. Meanwhile, Bernadette, in costume as Mary Poppins, talks to Bert and Stuart. Howard, dressed like Dick Van Dyke’s chimney sweep, comes over talking in a terrible cockney accent. As Leonard and Penny chat on the couch, he reminds her about the kiss she didn’t remember. When Sheldon and Amy arrive, they are dressed like Howard and Bernadette.

Bernadette and Howard go over to Sheldon and Amy to ask what they’re doing. Howard and Bernadette do not find the costume or Sheldon and Amy’s impressions of them very funny. Howard tells Sheldon and Amy “you got us” and suggest they go back home and put on their real costumes, but Amy mocks Bernadette some more.

As Howard and Bernadette drive home in silence, he asks if the guacamole tasted weird, but Bernadette’s too angry about what Amy did to answer. Howard points out that she thought it was funny when he dressed up as Sheldon, but Bernie insists that was different as it didn’t hurt her feelings.

Back in the apartment, Leonard and Penny are clearing up after the party. Leonard apologises for bringing up the kiss again, saying it doesn’t matter. Penny admits she does remember the kiss, but didn’t like the fact that their first kiss happened when she was drunk, still with Kurt and just trying to make herself feel better. Penny just wanted their first kiss to mean something. Leonard likes her reasoning and agrees they’ll the birthday party their first kiss.

As Sheldon and Amy eat at a table in the university cafeteria, Sheldon says Howard hurting his feelings has made him a better person as he no longer wants to be the kind of fella who foists unwanted facts on people. Howard comes over to ask for their help, explaining that Bernadette is still upset about their Halloween costumes. Amy refuses to apologize unless Bernadette apologizes for not getting Howard to apologize to Sheldon, but Howard manages to get Sheldon on side with a Star Wars analogy.

As Bernadette chops fruit in her kitchen, Sheldon walks in unannounced. When Sheldon says that Howard mentioned that her feelings were hurt, Bernadette insists that’s not true. Still, she goes on to say that Amy isn’t the first person to make fun of her for having a squeaky voice. It’s been happening her whole life. And Amy accusing her of being mean? Bernadette says she’s had to be mean because people don’t take her seriously when she’s always the smallest person in the room. Sheldon understands that as he went to high school when he was only nine years old. Bernadette and Sheldon can relate to being bullied by other people and they start to realize they are more alike than they thought.

In the apartment, when the guys sit down to watch Halloween, they check whether Sheldon is up for this. Sheldon insists he’s an adult who can handle a scary movie. Sheldon even demands they turn the lights off and do it right. After Amy comes in and asks what they’re doing, she forbids Sheldon from watching a scary movie. Out in the hallway, Sheldon wonders what took Amy so long.