The Citation Negation Season 12, Episode 9 - Aired November 15, 2018
When Sheldon and Amy ask Leonard to gather citations for their super-asymmetry paper, they are devastated when he finds a Russian paper which disproves their theory. Meanwhile, when Bernadette wants to beat Howard at Fortnite, she turns to Denise for a gaming lesson.
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Guest Stars: Lauren Lapkus as Denise
Director: Kristy Cecil
- The title refers to Leonard's search for citations uncovering a paper which disproved Sheldon and Amy's theory.
When Sheldon was feeling down about their paper being disproved, Amy offered to sing "Soft Kitty" to him.
Amy: You realize we still have a lot of work to do before we can publish.
Sheldon: Perhaps we should divide and conquer. Now, you track down all the citations and properly note them in our bibliography, and I will roll up my sleeves and decide what font we want to use.
Amy: Sheldon, there are hundreds of citations to track down.
Sheldon: And thousands of fonts, but you don't hear me complaining.
Sheldon: I suppose you're wondering why I put you through all this.
Leonard: You mean the last two minutes or the last 20 years?
Sheldon: You know we're almost finished with our paper; we just need help tracking down the citations.
Leonard: That's busywork. Can't you just get a grad student to do it?
Amy: No, this paper is incredibly important to us, and we need someone we can trust.
Please, it would mean a lot.
Leonard: You know what? Sure. The three of us in the library looking up old papers, that actually could be kind of fun.
Sheldon: Oh, no, we won't be there.
Leonard: It just got more fun.
Bernadette: Hey, Denise. Is Stuart here?
Denise: Oh, no. Doctor's appointment.
Bernadette: Oh, is he okay?
Denise: Not since I've known him.
Sheldon: Oh, hey, Leonard. Is the podcast too loud
Leonard: I didn't hear a podcast.
Amy: I told you no one could hear it.
Sheldon: Well, I heard Ira Glass, so he's either in your earbuds or clinging to the ceiling like a gecko.
As Sheldon and Amy work on their paper in their apartment, Sheldon suggests Amy take on the task of tracking down all their citations while he picks the font. Amy doesn’t want to spend weeks alone in the library, so she proposes hiring a grad student. After Sheldon rejects the idea of trusting their work to a millenial, Amy wonders if they should ask one of their friends, like Leonard, to do it. Later, Sheldon goes across to Leonard’s apartment to tell him an important secret. When Sheldon reveals he is cheating on Amy with a cafeteria worker, Leonard realizes it’s a test of his loyalty. Although he recognises it’s stupid, Leonard still wants to pass the test and refuses to share the secret with Penny.
When Sheldon and Amy go to Leonard’s table in the university cafeteria, they tell him that he passed the test and Sheldon wasn’t really having an affair. They explain that they need help tracking down the citations for their paper. Leonard thinks that’s busy work better done by a grad student, but Sheldon and Amy argue the paper means so much to them that they need someone they can trust. Leonard thinks that looking up old papers in the library sounds like fun, particularly when he hears they won’t be joining him, so he accepts their proposal.
In Howard and Bernadette’s living room, Howard and Raj are playing a video game on their laptops. When Bernadette asks what they’re playing, they explain it’s Fortnite. Bernadette asks to have a go, but Howard doesn’t think she’ll like it as it’s for gamers. When Bernadette gets on Howard’s laptop, her character is almost instantaneously killed.
As Leonard and Raj walk down into the university library, Leonard hands Raj a list of the papers they need to find and suggests they split up. Raj is unsure as it’s pretty creepy down there, so Leonard agrees to stay in constant communication. Raj is worried when Leonard stops responding and he hears him gasp. When Raj tracks him down, Leonard is using his inhaler because of all the dust down there.
When Penny stops by Bernadette’s office at lunch time, she is playing Fortnite on her laptop. Bernadette admits she wants to show Howard she can play this game, but she’s frustrated that she can’t hit any characters.Penny has a go and manages to kill another character right away.
Back in the library, Leonard and Raj are reading through papers checking the citations for Sheldon and Amy. When Leonard wonders why Raj pulled out a Russian paper, he explains it was cited in another paper he was checking. As it hasn’t been translated from Russian, Leonard suggests they get Howard’s help. Raj thinks that’s unnecessary as he has the Google Translate app on his phone, but the translation leaves a lot to be desired.
In the cafeteria, Howard is reading the Russian paper with Leonard and Raj. When Howard translates the title, it becomes apparent Sheldon and Amy were not the first to think of super-asymmetry. Even worse, the paper apparently disproves super-asymmetry. Leonard is worried about how to break the news to Sheldon and Amy, and Howard and Raj are not keen to offer any assistance on that front. Elsewhere, when Bernadette arrives at the comic book store looking for Stuart, Denise tells her he’s not there. After Bernadette says she was hoping Stuart could teach her how to play Fortnite, Denise offers to show her instead.
Leonard walks over to Sheldon and Amy’s apartment with the paper, but he backs away before knocking. He starts to walk back to his apartment, but changes his mind and returns to Sheldon and Amy’s. As he groans with indecision, Penny climbs the stairs and wishes she didn’t have to see this display of vacillation. After Leonard explains he’s got to give Sheldon bad news, Penny suggests leaving an anonymous note instead. Leonard thinks bad news is better coming from a friend, so Penny encourages him to push on and break the news to Sheldon and Amy.
After he knocks on Sheldon and Amy’s door, Leonard says he needs to talk to them about their paper. He explains they came across a Russian paper that seems to disprove super-asymmetry. Sheldon is temporarily speechless, but he composes himself and thanks Leonard for telling them as it can’t have been easy for him. Sheldon goes over to the whiteboard they were working on and starts rubbing it out violently. After he smashes up the board, Sheldon screams and runs off to his bedroom. Meanwhile, Denise sits with Bernadette in her living room as she plays Fortnite on her laptop. Denise tries to tell Bernadette what to do, but she’s not a good student so Denise starts getting snarky with her.
When Amy goes to check on Sheldon, she asks if there’s anything she can do for him. Sheldon wonders why she isn’t more upset by this as it was her paper too. Amy admits she is upset, but she’s just trying to keep it together for him. He doesn’t want her to pretend things are okay just for him. After Amy concedes that she is devastated that they poured months of their lives into a failed project, Sheldon decides her being unhappy makes it worse and wants her to go back to being happy.
As Howard and Raj play Fortnite in the living room, Bernadette comes to ask what they’re playing. Calling the game “Fortnow”, Bernadette pretends to not remember the name of the game as she only played it once. Bernadette asks if she can give it another shot and quickly pushes Raj away from his computer. Taking over Raj’s game, she sets out to find Howard’s character. She starts to build a ramp, but he spots her and kills her character. An outraged Bernadette declines an invitation to play again. Before she leaves, she reminds Howard she makes more money than him.
As Leonard and Penny climb the stairs of the apartment building with food, Leonard tells Penny that Sheldon and Amy didn’t show up for work today. After they knock on Sheldon and Amy’s apartment door, Sheldon tells them to come in. Inside, a dejected Sheldon and Amy are sitting on their couch in their pajamas, surrounded by rubbish. Penny tries to buoy their spirits, but her sporting pep talk is lost on Sheldon and Amy. Leonard tells them that they are two of the smartest people he knows and they can do anything together. Sheldon tells them they can’t make this better. Amy says they clearly don’t understand how much this meant to them if they think a pep talk will fix everything. After Leonard asks if there’s anything they can do, Sheldon asks about the food they’re carrying. Despite it being his and Penny’s dinner, Leonard hands over the food, but Sheldon finds yet more disappointment in their choice of rice.
In the apartment, as Penny and Bernadette play Fortnite together, Bernadette has finally found someone she can beat. The thrill of victory is not diminished by how little Penny cares about the game. When Penny asks if they can go and eat now, Bernadette agrees. After an energized Bernadette knocks a drink out of Leonard’s hand, Penny decides she should drive.