Nerds Gets Spooky: Celebrate Halloween the Smart Way With ‘The Big Bang Theory’ in “The Holographic Excitation”

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Image Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Welcome back to our Nerds Gets Spooky series. We’re preparing you for the Halloween season by highlighting our favorite Halloween themed episodes every day in October. There are a few Halloween themed episodes of The Big Bang Theory, but for me the first one that comes to mind is “The Holographic Excitation.”

In this episode, Penny (Kaley Cuoco) tries to make more of an effort in her relationship with Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and learns more about what he does. She visits him in the lab and he astounds her when he teaches her about the holographic principle in string theory: how the entire universe could be a hologram. Penny is reminded of how smart Leonard is, sparking their relationship and the two end up having sex in the lab.

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Meanwhile, Howard (Simon Helberg) has recently returned from his work on the International Space Station, which he won’t shut up about. Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) eventually confesses that everyone is fed up with the topic which causes Howard to pout about it.

Stuart (Kevin Sussman) is hosting his annual Halloween party at his comic book store in an attempt to meet women. Raj (Kunal Nayyar) volunteers to help and plans everything, taking great pride in his accomplishment. They put together an amazing, if not cheesy, Halloween party.

Amy (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) plan to attend the party and Amy wants them to go in a couple’s costume. Sheldon agrees, surprising her, stating that it is one of the few benefits of being in a relationship. However, his suggestion of going as C-3PO and R2-D2 does not go down well. They brainstorm ideas of what they could go as, and some of the ideas are absolutely hilarious. Make sure you check out the ideas written on their whiteboard, including the nod to Bialik’s show Blossom!

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros.

One of the best parts of this episode is the costumes worn by the main cast. Leonard dresses as Albert Einstein, Penny as a “sexy cop” (slutty cop only came with a skirt and two badges), Raj as “Indian Jones,” and Stuart made a perfect Willy Wonka. Amy and Sheldon compromise and dress as Raggedy Ann and Raggedy C-3PO, a compromise which Sheldon loses. However, the best costume definitely goes to Howard and Bernadette who dress as Smurfs, even if Bernadette was concerned that she would be mistaken as a short person from Avatar if she went alone. Their blue body paint was truly flawless.

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Another of my favorite parts of this episode was when Raj discusses the foods that will be served at the Halloween party. He uses amazing puns like “Halloweenies” and “night of the living garlic bread.” This takes me straight back to childhood Halloween parties.

There is also the amazing cameo by Buzz Aldrin. Raj sends Howard a video to demonstrate how annoying he sounds talking about space all of the time. The video is of Buzz Aldrin handing out exclusively space-themed candy to trick-or-treaters: Milky Ways, Moon Pies, and Mars bars. The line he says to the last child, “I’ve walked on the moon. What have you done?” cracks me up every time. I love that The Big Bang Theory manages to find famous people in science who are willing to make fun of themselves.

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Whilst the episode isn’t scary, it definitely showcases the cheesy side of the Halloween season. To continue your Halloween watching, make sure you check out the other Halloween episodes:

  • “The Middle-Earth Paradigm” (Season 1, Episode 6)
  • “The Good Guy Fluctuation” (Season 5, Episode 7)
  • “The Imitation Perturbation” (Season 12, Episode 6)

The Big Bang Theory is available to watch now on HBO Max. For more Halloween episode recommendations, make sure you check back here tomorrow!

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By Lynette
Lynette has been a lifelong nerd and over the last few years finally learned to let her freak flag fly. She likes to dip her toe into almost every fandom but is particularly passionate about Supernatural, Stranger Things, Marvel and Disney. When she isn’t binge watching programs, she loves to swim, sing and (true to her Ravenclaw nature) read. Lynette joined the Nerds and Beyond staff in 2019 and loves sharing her nerdy knowledge with the world.
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