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The Shiny Trinket Maneuver

"The Shiny Trinket Maneuver" is the 12th episode of the fifth season of the US sitcom The Big Bang Theory and the 99th episode of the show overall. It first aired on CBS on January 12, 2012.[1]

"The Shiny Trinket Maneuver"
The Big Bang Theory episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 12
Directed by Mark Cendrowski
Story by
Teleplay by
Production code 3X6862[1]
Original air date January 12, 2012 (2012-01-12)
Running time 21 minutes
Guest appearance(s)

Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz

Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Speckerman Recurrence"
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"The Recombination Hypothesis"
The Big Bang Theory (season 5)
List of The Big Bang Theory episodes

In the episode, Amy gets upset with Sheldon after he does not appreciate her good news, and Howard reconsiders his relationship with Bernadette after he finds out she does not like children.



On a date, Amy tells Sheldon that her paper will be published in Neuron, a prestigious scientific journal; Sheldon does not acknowledge her good news, distracted by his Twitter account. Amy excuses herself to "wash up"; Penny explains to Sheldon that Amy is upset that he did not appreciate her accomplishment.

Later, Leonard discusses the situation with Sheldon and suggests he buys her something to apologize. Sheldon visits a jewelry store with Penny. He is distracted by a pocket watch but Penny forces him to focus and they buy Amy a tiara. When Amy is told Sheldon has bought her jewelry, she calls him shallow; she then realizes it is a tiara and hugs Sheldon, overjoyed.

In the meantime, Howard shows the guys a magic trick; Leonard and Raj are impressed while Sheldon is not. Howard and Bernadette prepare a magic show for a birthday party while discussing children: Bernadette is not particularly fond of them, while Howard has always planned to have kids (partially to appease his mother). At the party, Bernadette gets annoyed with several children who interrupt Howard's performance; the performance ends badly when milk is poured down the front of Howard's pants due to the milk being poured from the wrong pitcher.

Bernadette reiterates that she does not like children. A dejected Howard discusses the situation with Leonard and Raj, and (as usual) off-screen, his mother. Bernadette comes over to Howard's house and suggests that he could take care of the children while she continues working. He agrees and pulls out a condom.


At the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, Mayim Bialik received a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She submitted this episode for consideration, saying that although she did not think it was her best episode, lots of people felt she should submit it.[2]



The episode was first broadcast on January 12, 2012 at 8 p.m. on CBS, and was watched by 16.13 million Americans. The episode had a Nielsen rating of 5.3/15 within the age group 18-49.[3] In Canada on CTV Television Network, the episode aired on the same night and received 3.566 million viewers, making it the most watched TV programme that week.[4]

On Nine Network in Australia, the episode aired on February 13, 2012; 1.347 million households watched the show, making it the fifth most watched show that night.[5] In the UK, the episode aired on March 29, 2012, with 0.990 million viewers on E4 and 0.309 million viewers on E4 +1. It was ranked tenth that week by BARB.[6]


Oliver Sava of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B+ rating, describing Sheldon as "at his best", the comedy relating to relationships as "organic and personal" and claiming that Raj being a homosexual is a possibility.[7] R.L. Shaffer from IGN rated the episode 8 out of 10, enjoying the plot between Sheldon and Amy; Shaffer described the relationship between Howard and Bernadette as "a bit strange" but said "it resulted in a some [sic] pretty amusing jokes".[8]


  1. ^ a b "Listings – Big Bang Theory, The | The Shiny Trinket Maneuver". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ Elena, Maria (August 30, 2012). "Mayim Bialik On Her First Emmy Nomination, for 'The Big Bang Theory'". The Daily Beast. The Newsweek Daily Beast Company. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 13, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' Adjusted Up; 'Private Practice' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Top Programs – Total Canada (English) January 9 – January 15, 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 17, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  5. ^ Knox, David (February 14, 2012). "Monday 13 February 2012". TV Tonight. Retrieved February 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Top 10 Programmes". BARB. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ Sava, Oliver (January 12, 2012). "The Big Bang Theory: "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver"". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  8. ^ Shaffer, R.L. (January 13, 2012). "The Big Bang Theory: "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver" Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 

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