The Big Bang Theory (2007–…): Season 12, Episode 21 - The Plagiarism Schism - full transcript

Kripke has proof that Dr. Pemberton plagiarized his thesis in college, and Sheldon and Amy aren't sure if they should turn him in or not. Also, Wolowitz is happily surprised to learn that ...

Previously on
The Big Bang Theory...

We conclusively proved

and yet somehow
we-we still feel like imposters.

Yeah, there should be
a term for that.

Oh, for crying out loud,
there is a term for that!

It's called "imposter syndrome,"

and you don't have it,
because you can't have it

if you are imposters,
and you are!

We're the ones who discovered

so if anyone's gonna feel like
they have imposter syndrome,

it's us because we're
not imposters, they are!

You're imposters
and you're frauds!

I think what President Siebert
is trying to say is that

this is a setback and we should
adopt a different strategy.

I-I'm sorry.
I-I just... I-I snapped.

Oh, you're sorry.
It's all better, then.

Listen up, you have shot
to win a Nobel Prize,

and you're blowing it.

I think what President Siebert
is trying to say

is that you have a shot
to win a Nobel Prize,

and you're blowing it.

Uh, that's exactly what he said.

Yes, but I said it
in my calming HR voice.

So, obviously,

I'm really sorry
about my outburst.

(STAMMERS) Calling you frauds
was unacceptable.

I feel terrible about it.

It has caused her
a lot of stress.

She chewed through
her night guard

like it was a piece of jerky.

What you said was
really hurtful,

especially because I
thought we were friends.

Why would you think that?


Ignore them;
they're just mean people.

Uh, not mean, just sorry.

Seem mean, are sorry.
Happens all the time.

It's okay.
I talked to my therapist,

and she made me realize
that what you said

was really more about
your own insecurities.

I'm sorry, what?

There you go, she's sorry.
We all heard it. Moving on.

Yes, obviously,

you're angry at all
the attention we're getting

for our discovery
and you're lashing out.

Well, uh, technically,
she lashed out.

I contained myself,
which I don't think

I'm getting enough credit for.

The point is we should
take it as a compliment

that even you guys think
we will win the Nobel Prize.

Uh, no, we-we certainly
do not think that.

The Nobel Committee will realize

that we came up
with this theory.

But we proved it.

By accident.

All breakthroughs
happen by accident.

No, they don't!

Look, the Nobel Committee
doesn't like infighting,

so if the four of you don't stop
sniping at each other,

the award's gonna go
to someone else entirely.

He's right.

You know, like it or not,
we can't avoid each other.

Let's at least try to be civil.


You know, when you
think about it,

we're linked together the
same way that super-asymmetry

links together every atom
in the universe. Hmm.

That's not what it does at all!

Well, that's the great thing
about science.

We all get to have
our own opinions.

I'm still not talking.
That's impressive, right?

♪ Our whole universe
was in a hot, dense state ♪

♪ Then nearly 14 billion years
ago expansion started... Wait! ♪

♪ The Earth began to cool ♪

♪ The autotrophs began to drool,
Neanderthals developed tools ♪

♪ We built the Wall ♪
♪ We built the pyramids ♪

♪ Math, Science, History,
unraveling the mystery ♪

♪ That all started
with a big bang ♪

♪ Bang! ♪

You... No, no, no, no.
Your money's no good here.

Well, I'm glad that
we hashed all that out,

and moving forward,
may the best team win.

I couldn't agree more.

(QUIETLY): We're the best team.

Greg Pemberton,
you old so-and-so.

(CHUCKLES) Very good to see you.

Uh, let me introduce you
to my colleague, Dr. Campbell.

Uh, Kevin, this is Barry Kripke.
We went to college together.

Great to meet you.
Well, you have my number.

We should hit up the
buffet at the strip club

while you're in town.

Nothing beats a lap dance
and a baked potato bar, huh?


You can come, too.

That's a hard pass.

I'll walk you out.

PEMBERTON: Good to see you, Barry.

You're the best!


God, I hate that guy.

That's strange; you
seem quite fond of him.

I was only being polite.
Pemberton is a grade A weasel.

How do I know you're
not just being polite

when you say it's
nice to see me?

I have literally
never said that to you.

Why do you say he's a weasel?

(SIGHS) Pemberton's whole M.O.

was to take other people's ideas
and turn them in as his own.

That's exactly what
he's doing to us.

I'm not surprised. I heard the
only work he did on his thesis

was googling,
"Where can I buy a thesis?"

Well, plagiarism is a pretty
serious charge. Are you sure?

You want proof?
I can make some calls.

You'd do that for us?

I really don't want to see
that guy win a Nobel.

I also don't want
to see you win a Nobel.

Ooh, this is tricky.

I don't know, Barry.
It sounds a little sleazy.

Well, let me know
if you change your mind.

Sleazy is where I thrive.

So I was talking to my mom

about our Pemberton
and Campbell situation.

Really? What'd she say?

Apparently, Old Testament God
would bring down his wrath

on them for being deceitful,

but New Testament God
would forgive them.

So couldn't we just
bring down our wrath

and ask the New Testament God
to forgive us?

You know, I asked her
that very question. And?

She said I was full
of California sass.

Oh, good, you're all here.
Uh, we're wrestling

with an ethical question,
and perhaps you could help.

Sure, what's up?
Yeah. Fire away.

If we have damaging
and embarrassing information

about someone, should we keep it
to ourselves or expose them?

Quick question: Does it happen
to do with online tastes

that might or might not reflect
their real-life tastes?

I know all about your
tall girl website.

It goes on our credit card.

It's Dr. Pemberton.

Kripke says
he plagiarized his thesis,

and that he can prove it.

Wow. Well, that's not gonna sit
well with the Nobel Committee.

Hang on. I don't think
it's fair to use something

someone did in school
against them.

Relax, he said it's not you.

I don't know.
If someone's a cheater,

they should be held accountable
no matter how long ago it was.

(LAUGHS): Okay, now
you just sound crazy.

So you really think
they should do this?

(STAMMERS) It wouldn't
just knock Pemberton

out of Nobel contention, it
would blow up his whole career.

To that, I say kaboom!

No, I meant it's a bad thing.

No, no, I agree with Bernadette.

If Pemberton cheated,

maybe he shouldn't have a career
in the first place.

There's plenty of people
that didn't plagiarize.

And a few of us who did,
but it's only 'cause

The Scarlet Letter
was so boring.

Aw, I love The Scarlet Letter.

Th-That's where I got
my taste for bad girls.

Ugh, why is this
decision so hard?

Maybe because you want to win,

but deep down you know it's not
the honorable way to do it.

Otherwise, you would've
done it already.

That's really wise.

Yes, but it may just be
the Indian accent.

Do you think
by not exposing Pemberton

we're doing the right thing?

Of course.

Unless you think we're not
doing the right thing.

Why would you think
that I don't think

we're doing the right thing?

You might think that if
good people hold themselves

to unrealistically high
ethical standards,

then they might lose out to
their unscrupulous competitors.

Is that what you think?


No, I just thought
if you thought we weren't

doing the right thing,
that's why you might think that.

Well, if I did think that,

you might point out
that people who claim

it's okay to do
bad things to win

are bad people no matter
what they tell themselves.

And I'd be right

to point that out.

Because you're a good person.

I love talking to you.

It's like talking to me,
but with a girl voice.

I'm just saying, Sheldon
and Amy deserve to win,

and sometimes that means
doing what you got to do.

Don't you think it's better
to take the high road?

Yeah, and instead of guns,

armies should carry
candy canes that shoot wishes.

So what's the worst thing
you've ever done

to get something you wanted?

I'm not gonna tell you that.

Oh, come on.
I'll tell you mine.

(LAUGHS): Right,
'cause yours is gonna be

as bad as mine. Okay.

Come on, just tell me.

Okay, fine.

When we first met,
there was another waitress

at The Cheesecake Factory
who thought you were cute,

so I told her you had all
the hepatitises, A through Z.

There aren't 26 hepatitises.

Well, if she was smart
enough to know that,

she wouldn't still be working
at a Cheesecake Factory.

Oh, she still works there?
Who was it?

Why does it matter?

You're right, it doesn't matter
'cause I got the best one.

Was it Susan?

Why? Because she's tall?

Good night.

Can't believe it.

Sheldon loves telling on people
when they break the rules.

Yeah, well, maybe he's changed.

He hasn't changed. Last week,
when the vending machine

gave me two bags of chips,
he called my mom.

Well, that didn't
ruin your life.

Well, it ruined my day.

I had to talk to my mom,
who, by the way,

is-is polyamorous now,
so that's fun to think about.

Look, I'm proud
of Sheldon and Amy.

You know? They want to win
this thing on their own merits,

not by knocking out
the competition.

Yeah, but what if
they don't win?

Uh, Pemberton and Campbell
have done an amazing job

of associating their names
with super-asymmetry.

They have all
the momentum right now.

I don't like the idea
of them losing either,

but this is their decision
to make, not ours.


Maybe it is ours.

What do you mean?

Well, I-if Sheldon and Amy
don't want to expose Pemberton,

that doesn't mean someone else
can't do it for them.

They'd never have to know.

Really? You'd do that?

They deserve the Nobel.

I'm not gonna let two frauds
steal it from them.

And if that means getting
my hands dirty, so be it.

What's so funny?

Just realized I've never
actually seen your hands dirty.

All right, Hofstadter, here's
all the proof you need.

Great, thanks.
Just remember,

once you take this envelope,
there's no turning back.

What if I look at it
and decide not to use it?

I had not considered that.

Got to hand it to you,

you got a real talent
for making things boring.


Hey, look at that,
you did it again.

Hi, Leonard.

What? Nothing.

You okay?

Uh, no, you are.

So guess what.
There was a waitress

at The Cheesecake Factory
back in the day

who kind of had a thing for me.

Other than Bernadette?
That does not sound right.

Honest to God.

Oh, well, who was it?

It doesn't even matter.
I'm happily married.

The point is women... plural...
Find me appealing.

Okay, well, well, let's see.

We-we know it wasn't Penny,

we know it wasn't Susan...

How do we know it wasn't Susan?

Uh, because she had a type.

What type?

Don't make me say it.

Are you saying
I'm not a handsome guy?

See? It's mean, right?

Hold on, as we've established,

a minimum of two women
think I'm attractive.

Uh, yeah, you're right,
it was totally Susan.

I didn't say it was her.
I said it could've been.

It could've been anybody.
Marta, Gina, Annalise...

It's a little creepy that
you remember all their names.

Not just their names.

The cars they drove,
the color of their eyes,

and whether or not
they had boyfriends.

Your husband was acting
kind of weird today.

You sure you're not thinking
about your husband?

No. He was acting all sketchy.

Almost like he was guilty
or something.

Oh. Well,
that doesn't mean anything.

I mean, Leonard has
resting guilt face.

Yeah, it's-it's like, "What are
you guilty about, Leonard?"

"Nothing." "Well, then,
tell it to your face." (SCOFFS)

Are you okay?

I'm so okay, yeah.

Then why are you acting guilty now?

Okay, look, Leonard knows

that you and Sheldon
decided to take the high road,

so he went to Kripke for you.

But that just means you
didn't do anything wrong,

and now you don't risk
losing to those idiots.

Why did you tell me?

Now that I know, I'm implicated.

But you wanted me to.

I also wanted you
to be my jester

at the Renaissance Fair,
but that didn't happen.

I wanted to be a princess.

There was only one princess,
and it was me!

Fine. I'm sorry I told you.

And I forgive you.

'Cause that's what
a princess would do.

Kudos on the meatballs.

They're nice and round.


They're much better
than those prolate spheroids

you used to pass off as balls.


Are you all right?
You seem distracted.

Yeah, sorry. I'm just trying
to figure something out.

Is it what to get me
for our anniversary?

'Cause I'll give you
A HINT: it's already

in my Amazon basket.
Just click "buy now."

I filled out
the gift card for you.

I'm the light of your life.

Sheldon, if someone
were gonna do something

ethically murky on your behalf,

would you rather know about it

or not know about it
to retain your innocence?

Well, now that I know there's
a thing to know, I have to know.

Can't help myself;
I'm a fact addict.

That's not a real thing.

And that's a fact.

Leonard, I know
what you're planning to do,

and I said
I didn't want to do it.

What? You told him?

Well, you told me.

Yeah, that's-that's
probably where you heard it.

You're not doing anything wrong.

That's the point.
I'm doing it.

Yeah, but it's still wrong.

so is you and Amy not getting

the recognition
for your discovery.

And if that means
I have to do something shady

so you don't have to,
I'm okay with that.

But we're not.

I mean, it's sweet that you want
to help, but we don't want you

compromising your integrity for us.

Wait, what... really?

I thought we were just
worried about looking bad.

It could be both.


But I'm gonna go with my reason.
Yours is too complicated.



Listen, I did something
kind of stupid today.


I went to The Cheesecake Factory

to try to figure out
who that waitress was.

Don't worry, I didn't find out,

because I realized
I didn't even care. (CHUCKLES)

W-While I was there,
I started asking myself,

"Why does this mean
anything to me?"

And... I guess the truth is
it was all about my vanity.

And why should I need to be
validated by another woman

liking me when the best woman
in the world already loves me?


And I just wanted
you to know that.


The restaurant manager
already called.

You really creeped
a lot of people out.

And I regret that.

Because the only woman
I want to creep out

is the mother of my children.

Well, you're off
to a good start.

Thank you for meeting us.

No problem.

We never say no when someone
wants to buy us lunch.

We didn't say we were
going to buy you lunch.

Really? Apologies go down easier

with free
turkey club sandwiches.

This isn't another apology.

There's something
we have to give you.


Uh, we have proof that you
plagiarized your thesis.

It's why we invited you
to this lunch.

We invited them.

That's the confusion
over who's paying.

Hold on, are you
blackmailing us?

No, the opposite.

We're blackmailing you?

How are you up for a Nobel?!

SHELDON: We're giving you this

so that no one can
use it against you,

because we want to win
on our own merits,

not by tearing you down.

So it's true?
You really did this?

It was years ago, and
I was going through

a very hard time.
What hard time?

I had to write a thesis, and
I wasn't smart enough to do it.

You realize my name
is attached to yours.

If this gets out,
it ruins me, too.

It's not gonna get out.

(SCOFFS) You know what?
Linda was right.

You're always
looking for shortcuts.

When did you talk to my ex-wife?

She's not your ex-wife.

You keep dragging your feet
on those papers.

Well, I'm trying to
get the lake house.

You're not getting
the lake house.

You're never
getting the lake house.

She picked it out,
she decorated it.

The lake house is hers.

What is going on here?

I'm in love with Linda!

You son of a bitch!


That was my iced tea.

(SLURRING): Dr. Cooper, Dr. Fowler.

Just the guy I want to see.

Are you drunk?

I was, and then I still was.

And now, I still was.

Okay, can we help you?

Pemberton is out.

Someone published all the
information about his plagiarism.

(WHISPERS): It was me.

Someone else told Fermilab,
and he lost his job.

(WHISPERS): Also me.

And someone is

sleeping with his ex-wife
and it's not me.

I thought it was.

Not anymore. Apparently,
just because I'm better

than her husband doesn't mean
I'm as good as her contractor.

Women, huh?

I-I think you need to go.

No, wait.
Hear me out.

Look, the three of us
could team up.

There's one small catch.
Dr. Pemberton has been saying

a lot of bad stuff about me.

But don't worry, I couldn't
possibly have done any of it,

because I was with you guys
the whole time.

(WHISPERS): I did it.

(STAMMERS) Frankly,
I don't know what Linda

ever saw in either of them.