Roleplaying Game Movie Night #30: Big Bang Theory (and Young Sheldon)

I and some friends have a project of trying to watch all movies, tv episodes and other stuff with moving pictures related to roleplaying games ever made. We’re pretty far along on this goal. I’ll write here about old and new things we’ve found and watched.

A still from the Big Bang Theory episode The D&D Vortex.

Big Bang Theory and its spin-off Young Sheldon have a number of D&D episodes. To my knowledge, we have now watched all of them. They are:

Big Bang Theory:

Season 5, episode 4: The Wiggly Finger Catalyst

Season 6, episode 11: The Santa Simulation

Season 6, episode 23: The Love Spell Potential

Season 9, episode 22: The Fermentation Bifurcation

Season 12, episode 16: The D&D Vortex

Young Sheldon:

Season 1, episode 11: Demons, Sunday School, and Prime Numbers

There are also other episodes where D&D is mentioned in passing.

Most of the D&D material is typical of what Big Bang Theory is in general, as a mainstream American show about geeks and in later seasons their girlfriends. However, there are a few highlights.

In the episode The Love Spell Potential, a game of D&D concludes and the others start ribbing Sheldon and Amy about their relationship. A love spell is cast thrusting the characters towards each other. Amy storms off and Sheldon follows her. They have a scene together in Sheldon’s room exploring the issues between the characters caused by their differing need for physical intimacy. It’s surprisingly real and affecting.

The episode Fermentation Bifurcation similarly makes D&D interesting by connecting it to something real. Sheldon runs a game for Bernadette where she gets to do all the things she can’t do for real because she’s pregnant. It’s surprisingly touching.

The D&D Vortex is an episode where Wil Wheaton is running a celebrity D&D game and the characters want in. After seeing so much self-hating geek media and hostile portrayals of roleplaying games it’s fun to see an episode where D&D is essentially cool.

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