The Troll Manifestation Season 8, Episode 14 - Aired February 5, 2015
After Sheldon and Leonard co-publish a physics paper online, they are dogged by the taunts of an anonymous commenter. When they work up the courage to confront their critic, the guys are surprised by the identity of their antagonist.
Meanwhile, Penny, Amy and Bernadette spend girls' night exploring embarrassing moments from each other's pasts, including low-budget movies, '90s beauty pageants, and Little House on the Prairie fan fiction.
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Director: Mark Cendrowski
Viewers: 17.09 million Households Rating: 10.2/16 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.6/16
- This episode was taped as the fifteenth episode of the season but will air as the fourteenth.
- The title simply refers to the Internet troll who criticizes Sheldon and Leonard.
Sheldon uses his knock once on Penny's apartment door when he goes to tell Leonard he spoke to the magazine reporter about the coverage of the paper they co-wrote together.
On movie night, Amy and Bernadette talk Penny into letting them watch her "ape movie". When Penny warns them that it was terrible, Bernadette suggests it might have turned out better than she thinks. After they start the movie, they realize it did not.
Bernadette: (In pageant video) And you should pick me for Miss. California Quiznos 1999, because I want to tell you what I want, what I really really want. I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want. I wanna. I wanna. I wanna. I wanna, really, really, be the California Quiznos 1999.
Sheldon: Can I respond now?
Leonard: Do it.
Sheldon: You mess with the bull, you get the horns. I'm about to show this guy just how horny I can be.
Leonard: Somebody else do it.
Sheldon: I like it. I think you're on to something.
Leonard: Really? You're not messing with me?
Sheldon: Not at all. In fact, I have got something for just such an occasion. I was starting to think I'd never get a chance to give it to you. Good job!
Leonard: You're giving me a sticker?
Sheldon: Not just a sticker. That's a sticker of a kitty saying "Mee-wow".
Leonard: I'm not a preschooler.
Sheldon: Fine, I'll take it back.
Leonard: I earned this. Back off.
Leonard: You wrote a paper on my idea?
Sheldon: I wrote a paper on our idea.
Leonard: When did my idea become our idea?
Sheldon: When I mixed it with Sheldony goodness and cooked it in the Easy Bake oven of my mind.
Amy: Okay, that's enough.
Penny: What, no. I really want to know what happens. And Bernadette really, really, really wants to know what happens.
Episode Pictures (13)
As Leonard and Penny discuss their day, Penny wants to know more about the work Leonard is doing with superfluids. When Leonard starts to explain his work to Penny, he has an exciting idea and rushes to tell Sheldon about his new theory. Sheldon believes there is merit to Leonard's idea. Later that night, Leonard wakes to find that Sheldon has stayed up late, writing a paper on their idea. Leonard is excited by Sheldon's paper and is soon convinced they should publish it online.
As the girls settle in for movie night in Penny's apartment, Amy and Bernadette want to watch the embarrassing ape movie Penny starred in. Penny doesn't want them to see the humiliating film but agrees to let them watch it. Elsewhere, Leonard and Sheldon are working the lab when Howard and Raj arrive to let them know their paper was mentioned on a scientific blog with lots of positive comments. When they find a negative comment from General Relativity, Sheldon wants to respond to the comment. Leonard doesn't think it's worth sinking to the troll's level, but is convinced they should respond after another taunting message from their critic.
Back at Penny's apartment, Amy and Bernadette are watching the ape movie as Penny browses the Internet for embarrassing moments from the girls' past. Penny finds a clip of Bernadette in a 1999 beauty pageant, singing a Spice Girls song. To get the spotlight off her, Bernadette reveals that Amy writes Little House on the Prairie fan fiction about herself on the Internet. Amy doesn't want them to read her work as it's personal, though she denies it's about her and Sheldon. Her fan fic is about a young woman in the 1800s named Amelia and the time-traveling physicist named Cooper she falls in love with. Meanwhile, the guys return to the apartment and are anxiously awaiting a response from the online commenter. Raj is supporting Sheldon and Leonard by leaving positive comments from other user accounts, including Dr. Brian McDougall from Edinburgh University and Dr. Dimitri Plankovic of Moscow University.
Sheldon and Leonard's online foe finally leaves another comment, mocking their university and comparing them to engineers. An emboldened Sheldon no longer wants to hide from his bully and sends a message to the troll saying they will meet him face-to-face. When the troll attempts to start a video chat, Sheldon is scared and instantly closes his laptop. Elsewhere, as the girls read through Amy's story, they are captivated with the story of Amelia and Cooper.
Recognizing they made a real contribution to science while their troll only diminishes others' work, Sheldon and Leonard realize they have no reason to hide and decide to call their troll back. When they video chat with their online commenter, they are stunned to find it is Professor Stephen Hawking. They are relieved when Professor Hawking admits he liked their paper and was only having fun with his online attacks. Back in Penny's apartment, Amy has had enough of the girls making fun of her story and stops Penny from reading it. Penny admits she and Bernadette really do want to know what happens with Amelia and Cooper, so Amy starts to read the story for them.
Bernadette and Penny are engrossed in Amy's story when Leonard comes over to tell them what Professor Hawking said about his and Sheldon's paper. The girls shout for Leonard to leave them alone to continue the story. Later, Penny is reading Amy' story to Leonard, who finds it weird but still wants to hear what happens - until Amelia mentions physical love, at which point Leonard has had quite enough.