Big Bang Episode 200: Did Sheldon's Birthday Bash Live Up to the Hype?

Everyone — “Beverly, Wil Wheaton, Adam West for some reason” — was in attendance for Sheldon’s birthday party on the 200th episode of The Big Bang Theory.

Thursday’s milestone outing celebrated “the one day a year that’s all about” Sheldon after Amy convinced her boyfriend to let her reciprocate for making her most recent birthday one she’ll never forget.

“The Celebration Experimentation” was as much about marking the occasion as it was about celebrating how the neurotic physicist impacts the lives of those he cares for most, which only became apparent after Sheldon had a panic attack brought on by an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

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Though he finally got the bash he always wanted, Sheldon remained traumatized by a string of childhood parties shared with his twin sister, all of which culminated in bullying and broken promises. A heart-to-heart with Penny as he hid in the bathroom proved to be the most endearing moment in an already feel-good episode, as his longtime neighbor agreed to stay with him — “one of my favorite people” — for as long he needed, even if that meant ignoring his guests.

After being rudely interrupted by an on-the-prowl Barry Kripke (who spent the entire evening trying to score with Leonard’s mother), Sheldon returned to his party to apologize for his minor breakdown. A series of toasts in his honor followed, including Leonard’s, who referred to his best friend as more than just a roommate, but as a brother. And while Howard couldn’t quite compete with toasts by the likes of one-time frenemies Wil Wheaton and Leslie Winkle, absolutely nothing could top a surprise Skype call from Stephen Hawking, who attempted (and failed) to lead a “Happy Birthday” sing-along.

In an otherwise heavy installment, Batman icon Adam West provided some much-needed levity, playing an embellished version of himself. Whether he was ranking all of the Batmans from best (himself) to worst (“pretty boy Clooney”), advertising his availability for cons and bar mitzvahs or completely forgetting the guest of honor’s name upon his arrival (“Happy birthday, Sherman!”), the veteran actor proved as sharp as ever in what we can only hope is the first of many appearances. 

What did you think of “The Celebration Experimentation”? Grade the episode in our poll, then sound off in the comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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41 Comments
  1. Jimmy says:

    Utterly boring episode considering it was the 200th. I mean, was Laurie Metcalfe not available? Not even Christine Baranski could save this boring episode.

    • valerie tower says:

      Totally agree!

    • RC says:

      Laurie Metcalf was doing “Misery” on Broadway when this episode was taped. (It was the final week of the show, so likely impossible for her to get away to fly to LA for it.)

    • Claire says:

      I agree. For the 200th episode, it sucked. Laurie Metcalfe should have at least been given a mention. Didn’t need to see Kripke hitting on Leonard’s mom. Could have had better content with other subjects. Felt bad that the story gave so little thought to Amy. I understand all the Penny fans found the bathroom scenr and hug endearing. I felt bad Amy got no affection. It was her idea for the party! I am a Shamy fan so I didn’t care for this at all!!

  2. Ralph says:

    Loved the Ep. Several laugh out loud moments. It was a celebrating 200 visits with dear friends! Here’s to many more!

  3. Ron says:

    I haven’t watched this show in many ages. But they couldn’t get Laurie Metcalfe (aka, Sheldon’s mom) back for the 200th episode? It would’ve been pretty cool/worth the fight for the producers to get her back so that Johnny, Laurie, and Sara could’ve all been on an episode together.

  4. Gail says:

    I was concerned for Adam West. He never walked in the episode. Mostly he was seen sitting and one time ho was standing but not walking.

    • SAM says:

      Adam West is 87 years old so it makes sense that he would sit for his scenes. Those scenes are shot multiple times, which could be hard on an elderly person to keep standing for so long.

  5. GraceM says:

    I’m with everyone who asked where Laurie Metcalfe was for tonight’s episode. If she couldn’t make it in person, why not a video appearance like Stephen Hawking? Sheldon’s mother couldn’t wish him happy birthday?

    Also, was it me or did Sara Gilbert look a little different? Is she sick or something?

  6. mazel tov says:

    Best thing about tonight’s episode was Kaley’s dress.

  7. Susan says:

    We loved it ! Adam West did a great job – he was the best part of the entire show.

  8. Bella says:

    I was disappointed. For the 200th, I would have liked it better if it wasn’t all focused on Sheldon. There were some nice moments, especially Penny and Sheldon in the bathroom, and Leonard’s toast, but otherwise, it was pretty dull. I was expecting more from a milestone episode.

    • Rook says:

      Same, I thought the best part was Penny and Sheldon scene in the bathroom. But all the focus on the one Sheldon storyline made the episode drag and I got over it. They actor they brought back hardly even served a purpose.

  9. Tony says:

    Big disappointment, but I’m not surprised – the writing has seriously declined in the last couple of years. And I am sick that this show has become the church of Sheldon. And just make Raj gay, for God’s sake. What’s the deal with that?!

  10. David4 says:

    I no longer watch, but did they say how old he is?

  11. Brandon says:

    One thing that im getting annoyed with is how CBS insists on ruining the funniest lines in each episode. Each week on the commercials they seem to take the funniest parts of each episode and include them in the promos. This week it was Adam Wests “Happy Birthday Sherman” and the scene with Amy and Sheldon talking about his birthday suit. For a few weeks now when the part of the episode shown on the commercial happens its not even funny anymore and i find myself thinking that they ruined a perfectly good segment. I understand that they need clips to use in the promos, but dont steal the best moments of the episode and repeat them each commercial break until they have no humor left in them.

  12. John NYC says:

    Penny Sheldon scenes are often special and this to had some masterpieces.

    The special appearance by Prof. Hawking was a hoot.

  13. Kate says:

    There’s always so much hype and anticipation for hallmark episodes like the “200th,” that it’s really impossible for anything aired to live up to the hype.

    • Gail says:

      There is always too much hype for “special episodes” whether its the 100th ( Once Upon A Time), 200th, or series finale. I think Everybody Loves Raymond did the ideal series finale which was just a funny episode and not a big life change for the characters.

  14. LIly says:

    I liked it, I thought it was sweet. The Penny/Sheldon moments were really nice.

  15. Ashley says:

    For a regular episode, it was okay; for the 200th episode it was a huge disappointment. I would have liked to have seen something celebrating the whole show and not just one character.

  16. Abel Garcia says:

    Wish Adam West’s role was bigger with more lines!

  17. Abel Garcia says:

    I think Laurie Metcalfe should have shown up in some form like a computer screen!

  18. Kim R says:

    I think it was a great TBBT episode but I assumed I had it wrong, that last night was not the 200th episode. I didn’t think it was special enough for that.

  19. Kathy Felps says:

    My only gripe with Adam West is that he did the exact same cameo on 30 Rock a few years ago. Even butchered Jack’s name, just like Sheldon. Can’t they come up with something new?

  20. justin says:

    Jesus, could CBS squeeze a few more commercials into the show? The Big Bang episodes keep getting shorter and shorter. I bet there was only @ 18 mins of actual show last night.

    • Claire says:

      You know, now that you mentioned it, you’re right. (They ruined the funny moments by promoting them in the pre-views. They definitely went through a ton of commercials.) Think it was more like 15 minute content. Lol

  21. AtlLady says:

    Although the scenes with Penny and Sheldon in the bathroom were so spot on, it was the hug at the end that got to me. What was it he said? It was a great line, uttered with the proper disdain, but the smile of pure contentment on his face belied his words.

  22. I was hoping Adam West would get into his Batman costume for the party……..

  23. Jim J. says:

    For a 200th episode, I thought it was okay/respectable; Its crew was probably thinking that this episode didn’t need to be “flashy” or anything. Here’s hoping “The Big Bang Theory” goes to 300 episodes (something that no multi-camera sitcom has ever done).

  24. Enjoyed the beginning with Adam West but really disappointed in it for the most part. Once the party started Adam was pretty much ignored for the most part and why was Leonard’s mom there??? Made no sense to me at all. You would think the 200th episode would have been thought out a little better

  25. Malissa R. says:

    I was not very impressed.

  26. Amy says:

    Sarah Gilbert looked really different

  27. anna says:

    where was shedon’s mother on his birthday????!!!!