The D & D Vortex Season 12, Episode 16 -  Aired February 21, 2019

The D & D Vortex

After Sheldon discovers that Wil Wheaton hosts a celebrity Dungeons and Dragons game featuring William Shatner, Joe Manganiello, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Smith, the guys set out to claim a seat at the table.

Rate this episode

Guest Stars: Kevin Sussman as Stuart, Wil Wheaton as Himself, Kevin Smith as Himself, William Shatner as Himself, Joe Manganiello as Himself, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as Himself

Writers: Steve Holland (Story), Maria Ferrari (Story), Anthony Del Broccolo (Story), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay), Andy Gordon (Teleplay), Tara Hernandez (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the Dungeons & Dragons game Wil Wheaton hosts for his famous friends.

> Sheldon's Knock

When Sheldon goes to Wil Wheaton's house to apologize for vomiting on William Shatner, he performs his ritualistic knock on Wil's door. When there is no answer, Sheldon uses the doorbell three times, punctuating each use with "Wil Wheaton!"

Episode Quotes

Wil Wheaton: All right, Professor Proton fans, get ready to meet Dr. Sheldon Cooper and Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, a pair of real-life scientists who may win the Nobel Prize. That's like the Kids' Choice Award, but with more science and less slime.

Sheldon: Kids' Choice Award? Why would they let kids choose anything? They're basically human larvae.
Wil Wheaton: Well, they are kind of our target audience.
Sheldon: Greetings, children. Toys, am I right?
Amy: He is. He has hundreds of them.

Amy: Okay, imagine you're looking in a mirror. The image you see looks just like you. That's called symmetrical.
Sheldon: Now imagine you have a billion mirrors, and each of them reflects one thing about you correctly and a billion things about you incorrectly. And imagine the set of incorrect things are floating in an abstract n-dimensional hyperspace. Now imagine there was never a mirror to begin with.

Wil Wheaton: Oh, was that a doorbell?
Amy: I didn't hear anything.
Wil Wheaton: [doorbell rings] Huh, there it is again. Sheldon, why don't you answer it?
Sheldon: But I don't know who it is.
Wil Wheaton: Maybe it's a special guest who I invited just to surprise you. Why don't you open it up and find out.
Sheldon: This is a terrible message to send to children. Children, you never open the door if you don't know who's on the other side. You always make your mommy or daddy do it while you hide under the bed and try to imagine what your superhero name will be when you avenge their deaths.
Amy: I'll get it.
Sheldon: But it can't be the Silver Shadow. That's mine.

Wil Wheaton: Now's not a good time, Sheldon.
Sheldon: For what?
Wil Wheaton: You.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1216 'The D & D Vortex' Press Release February 5, 2019

CBS has released the synopsis for the hotly anticipated February 21 episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The D & D Vortex".  Full story


As Wil Wheaton films his Professor Proton show, he tells his audience to get ready to meet real-life scientists Sheldon and Amy. Wil asks them to describe their recent discover in words their child viewers can understand. Amy starts off simply by comparing symmetry to mirrors, but Sheldon quickly layers on complexities. After Wil plays a doorbell sound, he asks Sheldon to answer the door as it could be a special guest he invited just to surprise him. When Amy opens the door to William Shatner, Sheldon is elated by the “Captain on the bridge”. After Shatner tells Sheldon he can call him Bill, Sheldon declares he would rather call him Captain. After Shatner agrees to call Sheldon “Science Officer Cooper”, Shatner puts his hand out for Sheldon to shake.

In the university cafeteria, Howard and Raj watch a replay of Wil’s show on Leonard’s phone. After they see Sheldon throw up on William Shatner, Leonard explains Sheldon is pretty embarrassed so  … they should make fun of him. A lot. They realize it’s mean but it’s too good of an opportunity to pass up. When Sheldon comes and sit down, he tells Howard and Leonard to get it all out as they make their jokes. Sheldon admits the meeting didn’t go as planned, but he says the next time he meets Shatner it will go better. Raj questions why Sheldon thinks he’ll get another chance, but Sheldon thinks Wil will give him another chance as he “thinks the world of him”.

When Sheldon goes to Wil Wheaton’s house and knocks on the door, there’s no answer. After Sheldon rings the doorbell repeatedly, Wil comes to the door and says now’s not a good time. Sheldon wants to say sorry and Wil quickly accepts his apology. When he overhears somebody talking about Dungeons and Dragons, Sheldon wonders who Wil’s playing with. Wil tells Sheldon they’re just some friends and he wouldn’t know them, but Sheldon’s suspicions are raised when he hears William Shatner’s voice. Wil quickly closes the door on Sheldon.

Back in the apartment, when Raj asks the group whether they want to read his fan fiction mash-up the answer is a resounding no. Sheldon returns to tell them that Wil Wheaton hosts a secret, celebrity-only Dungeons and Dragon game. When Sheldon says Wil even turned the sprinklers on to stop him staring through the window, the guys realize Wil’s guests must be really famous. After Leonard suggests they use graph theory to determine who Wil knows and is likely to play D&D, the guys go over to a whiteboard and get started. When Penny wonders if this is the rest of their night, Amy says it’s the rest of their lives.

Later that evening, the guys are still working on the board as Howard points out Kevin Smith is in an article about celebrities who play D&D and he was on Wil’s podcast, so they definitely know each other. After Raj suggests they check out his Instagram page, Howard finds a picture which looks like it was taken in Wil’s house an hour ago with the hashtag #gamenight. Leonard notices Stuart in the background of the photo, leading the guys to wonder why Wil would invite him and not them.

When Stuart goes into Howard and Bernadette’s kitchen, the four guys are sitting around waiting for him. As they question him about where he was, Stuart claims he had a “crazy” evening at the pharmacy. Raj confronts him and say they know where he really was. After Leonard asks how he got invited, Stuart says he promised not to tell or else he won’t get invited back next week. Stuart instantly regrets letting them know there’s a game next week. Stuart tries to avoid telling them who’s in the game and how they could join, but when Sheldon throws a technical question about the game, Stuart cracks.

When Wil receives a phone call, Stuart says he doesn’t want to play any more as it’s too much pressure. Wil asks what happened, but Stuart worries he’s said too much. After Wil points out he’s not said anything at all, Stuart says not to him but to them. Wil questions who’s “them”, prompting Stuart to fear he really has said too much so he hangs up.

As Howard gets ready to make a call in his kitchen, Raj asks whether he made sure to block his number. When Wil answers the phone, Howard pretends to be William Shatner, but Wil knows right away that it’s Howard. As Sheldon plays a video game back in the apartment, Leonard gets a phone call from Wil, who invites him to fill the spare space in his D&D game next week. Leonard is not troubled when Wil insists that Leonard not tell anyone, especially Sheldon, about his invitation.

At Wil Wheaton’s house the next week, Wil, as dungeon master, explains they are face-to-face with a monster and asks the players what they want to do. Shatner quickly comes up with a plan, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wants to hold on a minute and think it through. Meanwhile, Joe Manganiello and Kevin Smith bicker about whether to talk to the monster or attack it. When Kareem asks Leonard what he thinks, Leonard says it’s the greatest day of his life.

When Leonard returns home, Penny asks how his lecture was. Leonard oversells it and she realizes something is up, wondering whether he went to House of Pies again. Leonard says if she really wants to know, he can reveal he was at Wil’s D&D game. Penny unenthusiastically asks if there were any famous people there. After Leonard says he can’t reveal who was there but he really wishes he could, Penny insists she couldn’t care less. Leonard says that since she doesn’t care there’s really no harm in telling her, so he reveals that Kevin Smith and this “tall-guy named Kareem” were there. Penny is astounded Leonard doesn’t know who Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is. Leonard finally grabs Penny’s interest when he says Joe Manganiello was there.

When Penny joins Amy and Bernadette in her kitchen, she reveals that Leonard joined Wil’s game and Joe Manganiello from Magic Max was there. Bernadette hasn’t watched the film, but she likes what she sees when Penny shows her a picture of Joe. After Penny says it was fun that time they played D&D, Amy concurs and thinks they should play it more.

When Wil wonders what the girls are doing on the set of his Professor Proton show, Amy says Sheldon might have left something there. When Wil quips “besides his lunch”, the girls all laugh at his joke. As they tell him how funny he is, Wil realizes Leonard told them about Joe Manganiello.

When Leonard sits down with the guys in the university cafeteria, Sheldon wonders what he’s smiling about. Leonard insists there’s nothing and this is just his regular face, but the guys don’t agree. After Leonard gets a phone call, his sunny disposition quickly disappears. Leonard admits he was just kicked out of Wil’s celebrity D&D game. His friends are shocked he was in the game and didn’t tell them. After Leonard says it doesn’t matter as Penny blabbed about it and now he’s out, Sheldon realizes there’s an open seat in the game.

After the guys rush to Wil’s house, he says no to three of them and “Hell no” to Sheldon. Raj says that the free seat should go to one of them, while Leonard begs for a second chance. Wil tells them they all suck and are using him to get close to his famous friends. Leonard, Howard and Raj apologize for treating Wil badly, admitting they got caught up in the excitement around his celebrity guests and they do like him for him. After Sheldon ruins it by saying he doesn’t even consider Wil a celebrity, he slams his door in their faces.

As the guys set up their own D&D game back in the apartment, Raj says he still feels bad about Wil. Leonard agrees and says they should invite him to come play with them. When Leonard phones Wil, he says he can’t make it tonight. At Wil’s place, he is once again playing D&D with his famous friends and is joined by the girls. When Amy thanks Wil again for inviting them and insists they won’t tell the guys, Wil suggests they tell them with a picture. Back home, the guys reach for their phones when they all buzz at once. Looking at the picture of Wil’s D&D game, Leonard concedes they deserved that.