Television The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory’s “The D&D Vortex” is Jam-Packed With Celebrity Guest Stars

*Spoiler warning for The Big Bang Theory, season 12, episode 16.

Sheldon, Amy, and Wil Wheaton on The Big Bang Theory
Sheldon, Amy, and Wil Wheaton on the set of Professor Proton on The Big Bang Theory. Photo courtesy of CBS, screenshot by Linda Maleh.

After Sheldon barfs all over William Shatner while guest-starring on Wil Wheaton’s show, “Professor Proton,” Sheldon goes to Wil’s house to beg for a do-over, and makes a shocking discovery. While standing in the doorway, he’s almost sure that he hears Shatner’s voice yelling to Wil about a Dungeons & Dragons game. To Sheldon, this can only mean one thing – Wil’s been hosting a secret celebrity D&D game.

He immediately hightails it back to Leonard and Penny’s apartment to tell everyone about it. The guys respond to the news by creating a complex graph to figure out which celebrities Wil could be connected to, and also enjoy playing D&D. They have a breakthrough when they find an Instagram post Kevin Smith made that night with the caption “game night,” and a picture of Wil’s house. What’s really interesting about the post though, is who they see over Smith’s shoulder. It’ Stuart!

The gang proceeds to run over to Howard and Bernadette’s house and wait in their kitchen so that they can ambush Stuart the second he comes home. The good news is that Stuart is weak, and they break him pretty quickly. Stuart makes a teary confession to Wil on the phone that he revealed everything, and promptly gets kicked out of the game. This is good news for Leonard though, who gets invited by Wil to fill Stuart’s seat as long as he doesn’t tell anyone.

Leonard has the best night of his life (his words, not mine), and can’t hold himself back from telling Penny all about the game the moment he gets home. He thinks this ok, because Penny barely even raises her head at the mentions of William Shatner and Kevin Smith, and she certainly doesn’t care about D&D, but she freaks out when he mentions basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Her freakout only intensifies when he says that Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Magic Mike) was there too.

Amy, Joe Manganiello, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wil Wheaton, Bernadette, Penny, Kevin Smith, and William Shatner on The Big Bang Theory
Amy, Joe Manganiello, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wil Wheaton, Bernadette, Penny, Kevin Smith, and William Shatner take a group pic during their secret celebrity game night on The Big Bang Theory. Photo courtesy of CBS, screenshot by Linda Maleh.

Anyone who’s been watching The Big Bang Theory long enough knows that Penny can’t keep a secret. She immediately rushes over to tell Amy and Bernadette about it, and they all go to visit Wil on the set of “Professor Proton,” and beg to be a part of the game. This gets Leonard kicked out of the game. He and the guys go to Wil’s house so that they can vie for the now open spot. Wil gets angry at them and says that they don’t really care about him as a friend, and are only using him for his celebrity connections. The guys go home, and feeling bad, they decide to call him and invite him to their D&D game. He says that he’s busy and maybe another time. The show then cuts to him sitting at his celebrity D&D game, and Penny, Amy, and Bernadette are there! Instead of keeping it a secret this time, to taunt the guys, Wil has them all take a picture together and sends it to Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj. I guess the girls won game night in the end!

This was a rather different kind of Big Bang episode, since most episodes are divided into subplots among the different characters, but it was a nice change of pace, and a blast to watch. Hopefully the show does more episode like this in the future.

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