The Proton Transmogrification Season 7, Episode 22 -  Aired May 1, 2014

The Proton Transmogrification

Professor Proton delivers Sheldon a lesson in coping with grief when he suffers a loss just as "Star Wars Day" approaches. Meanwhile, a reflective Leonard and Penny get competitive with proposals to change their relationship, and Amy and Bernadette work on a Star Wars-themed gift for the guys' celebration.

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Guest Stars: Bob Newhart as Professor Proton - Arthur Jeffries

Writers: Jim Reynolds (Story), Maria Ferrari (Story), Jeremy Howe (Story), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay), Steve Holland (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 16.07 million Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.5/16

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the change in Professor Proton's life and his new purpose in Sheldon's life.

Episode Quotes

Amy: I guess it must have been back when I was in the Girl Sprouts.
Bernadette: Girl Sprouts?
Amy: My mom made it up as an alternative to the Girl Scouts. She didn't want me selling cookies on some street corner like a whore.

Sheldon: I know why. You've come to me because you're my Obi-Wan.
Arthur: I'm not familiar with that. Is that an Internet?

Penny: Oh, I get it. Like C-3PO. ... What happened to me?

Bernadette: I got into science because I was always the smallest kid in the school. I thought if I became a scientist I could invent a formula that made me taller.
Amy: That's cute.
Bernadette: I thought it was working for a while, but then I found out my brother was just lowering the pencil marks on the door frame.

Howard: Why're you being so quiet? You upset or are you just rebooting?

News Stories

Title Date Posted
7.22 'The Proton Transmogrification' Ratings May 2, 2014

Last night's The Big Bang Theory dominated the ratings for its time slot rank as the night's most-watched and highest-rated show.  Full story

7.22 'The Proton Transmogrification' Press Release April 17, 2014

CBS has put out the press release for the May 1 episode of The Big Bang Theory. Bob Newhart returns as Professor Proton in the Star Wars-themed episode. The episode's broadcast coincides with the annual May 4 celebration of Star Wars. The day plays on the series' "May the Force be with you", with fans instead saying "May the fourth be with you".  Full story


When Sheldon suggests the guys finalize their plans for Star Wars Day, Penny is unimpressed to learn there's a whole day dedicated to Star Wars on May the 4th. Later, Leonard goes to Sheldon's room to tell him that Arthur Jeffries, Professor Proton, passed away. Sheldon is disappointed to learn Arthur's funeral is on Sunday, Star Wars Day, but he claims to feel fine. Later, as Sheldon is watching old clips of Professor Proton on YouTube in Amy's apartment, Amy asks him if he wants her to go the funeral with him. Sheldon says he's not going to the funeral and will be celebrating Star Wars Day as planned.

In the apartment, Howard and Raj wish Penny a happy Star Wars Day as she and Leonard get ready for Arthur's funeral. Penny asks Sheldon if he's sure he doesn't want to come to the funeral, but Sheldon thinks there's no point in entertaining silly superstitions like funerals. Penny is disturbed to find herself appreciating the guys' Star Wars puns. Meanwhile, Amy and Bernadette work on a Star Wars-themed cake for Sheldon.

At the funeral, Penny admits she's never known anyone that has died. She says she liked Arthur and it's weird that he's just gone. Leonard points out Arthur lived a full life and is grateful that he got the opportunity to work side-by-side with him. Back at the apartment, Sheldon, Howard and Raj prepare to watch The Phantom Menace. When Howard and Raj question skipping their least favorite film or watching them in a different order, Sheldon gets upset and goes to his bedroom. Howard and Raj start watching the movies without Sheldon.

Sheldon dreams he is in the living roome on his laptop. As he looks at a photo of Arthur, Professor Proton appears to him dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi. When Sheldon says he thought Arthur was dead, Arthur he is dead and he too wonders why he's here, as he had hoped to haunt his ex-wife. Arthur is unfamiliar with Star Wars, but Sheldon tells him he must be here to give him advice. Meanwhile, after the service, Leonard wonders what Penny thought of her first funeral. When Leonard admits he thinks about whether he would have any regrets if he died, he tells her he regrets not saying yes when Penny asked him to marry her. Penny accepts it wasn't the right time, and she insists Leonard doesn't propose now as it's also not the right time. When Leonard counts their failed proposals, Penny asks him if he'd feel better if she proposed again so he could turn her down. Leonard says he would, so Penny asks again, but Leonard doesn't immediately say no.

Back at Amy's apartment, after Amy mentions that Professor Proton seems to be the reason Sheldon got into science, she and Bernadette talk about their reasons for getting into the field. Bernadette says she got into science as she was always the smallest kid in school and thought she would be able to invent a formula to make her taller. Amy tells Bernadette she got into science after taking out a biology book from the library to see what whores did, after her mother cautioned her against joining Girl Scouts and selling cookies on street corners like a whore. Elsewhere, as Leonard and Penny drive back from the funeral, Penny is angry at Leonard for keeping her proposal hanging.

In Sheldon's dream, he and Professor Proton find themselves in the Swampland of Dagobah. Sheldon tells Arthur that when Obi-Wan came to Luke in this spot, he gave him all sorts of helpful advice. When Sheldon concedes he thought there would be more of a reason for Arthur being here, Arthur asks him what he thinks the reason is. Sheldon admits it probably has something to do with Arthur's recent passing. Sheldon tells Arthur he's not the first person he's lost, as he lost his grandfather when he was five and his father when he was fourteen. Sheldon admits it seems like all the men he's looked up to have gone away. Arthur tells Sheldon it's okay to be sad about the people he's lost, but he should make sure he appreciates those who are still there for him. Sheldon insists he does appreciate them, but Arthur reiterates his point.

As Leonard knocks on Sheldon's bedroom door, Sheldon wakes up. As Leonard tells Sheldon about Arthur's funeral, Sheldon hugs him. Leonard tells him they're about to start Jedi and asks Sheldon if he wants to come watch. Sheldon says he does, after he makes them go back and watch the movies on through five first. Amy and Bernadette arrive with their cake, unhappy to learn that they haven't missed the movies as the guys are ready to start them again. Later, as Sheldon falls asleep on the couch, Arthur appears to him again, telling him he seems to be wasting his limited time on Earth watching Star Wars movies, but Sheldon sees no problem with this.