The Hawking Excitation Season 5, Episode 21 -  Aired April 5, 2012

The Hawking Excitation

Howard is working with Professor Stephen Hawking and, knowing how much Sheldon admires him, is going to let Sheldon meet him. When Sheldon is yet again rude and condescending towards Howard, he decides to have some fun before introducing Sheldon to Professor Hawking.

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Guest Stars: Stephen Hawking as Himself, Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz

Writers: Bill Prady (Story), Steven Molaro (Story), Steve Holland (Story), Chuck Lorre (Teleplay), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay), Maria Ferrari (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 13.29 million Households Rating: 9/15 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.4/15

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title simply refers to Sheldon's excitement to meet Professor Stephen Hawking.

Episode Quotes

Howard: Sheldon, you're a condescending jerk. Why on earth would I want to do something nice for you?
Sheldon: To go to Jewish heaven.
Howard: Jews don't have heaven.
Sheldon: To avoid Jewish hell?
Howard: Have you met my mother? I live in Jewish hell.

Mrs. Wolowitz It's this dress. When I put my front in, my back pops out. When I put my back in, my front pops out. It's like trying to keep two dogs in a bathtub.
Sheldon: What do you want me to do?
Mrs. Wolowitz We're gonna have to work as a team. Get in here, grab a handful and start stuffing.

Wolowitz: You don't seem to be understanding the English word no. Maybe a different language will help. Russian: Nyet. Chinese: Bu. Japanese: iie. Klingon: qo. Binary-coded ASCII: 01101110 01101111.
Sheldon: It's actually 01100111.

Mrs. Wolowitz You're right. Who am I kidding? You should have seen me when I was young, Sheldon. The fellas used to line up and bring me boxes of candy. Why did I eat it all? Will you hold me?

Howard: Oh, come on, the man torments me. I'm just letting him have a little taste of his own medicine.
Bernadette: Sheldon doesn't know when he's being mean because the part of his brain that should know is getting a wedgie from the rest of his brain.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 5.21 Ratings April 6, 2012

The April 5, 2012 episode of The Big Bang Theory, featuring guest star Stephen Hawking, beat American Idol and was the night's top program in the key adults 18-49 demographic despite falling to season lows.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 5.21: Stephen Hawking stars March 22, 2012

CBS has announced the April 5 episode of The Big Bang Theory. Professor Stephen Hawking guest stars as himself in the episode.  Full story


At the university cafteria, Howard tells Leonard and Raj how he received an email from Professor Stephen Hawking's office offering him the opportunity to work with the professor. Howard is thinking of taking Sheldon, who idolizes Stephen Hawking, along to meet him, but when Sheldon arrives and is condescending to Howard, he decides against it. Later, Sheldon begs Howard to let him meet Professor Hawking.

The guys are eating dinner in the apartment when Leonard asks Howard how his first day working with Stephen Hawking went. Excited by the details of his working with the professor, Sheldon again begs Howard to let him meet the professor. Sheldon has a paper on the Higgs boson that he really wants Professor Hawking to read. Howard agrees to show him the paper only if Sheldon performs a few tasks for him. First, Sheldon must polish Howard's large collection of belt buckles. Secondly, he must wear a French Maid's outfit to the university. Later, Sheldon does Howard's laundry.

In Howard's bedroom, Bernadette is shocked to hear what Howard has been putting Sheldon through. Howard says he's only doing it because Sheldon is always mean to him, but Bernadette says Sheldon doesn't know when he's being mean as the part of his brain that should know is getting a wedgie from the rest of his brain. Howard agrees to stop tormenting Sheldon, but when Mrs. Wolowitz calls Bernadette to remind her they're going dress shopping tomorrow, Bernadette tells her Sheldon will go with her. Later, in the shop changing room, Sheldon is forced to hold a sobbing Mrs. Wolowitz as they struggle to stuff her into a dress.

Back at the apartment, Sheldon asks Howard if he will finally hand his paper over to Professor Hawking given everything he's done for him. Howard says there's one more task. Sheldon must give him a compliment about his job. Sheldon tells him he's obviously good at what he does, it's just that what he does is not worth doing. Leonard tells Howard to take the compliment as it's nicer than anything that Sheldon's ever said to him. Later, Sheldon meets Professor Hawking in his office. The professor says he found Sheldon's thesis fascinating, but points out he made an arithmetic error in one of the calculations. When Sheldon checks and realizes his mistake, he faints to the ground.