Sheldon conceded to having a birthday party and Penny stepped in to save the day on The Big Bang Theory episode 200.
For all that it represents a major milestone for The Big Bang Theory, “The Celebration Experimentation” isn’t much more than what the title says. Minor emotional nuggets are sprinkled through the story (Sheldon’s aversion to birthdays being one of them), but for the most part, The Big Bang Theory episode 200 just sits back and enjoys its own small set pieces.
Which isn’t entirely a bad thing. Adam West makes an amusing guest-star, especially when debating the merits of various Batmans (Batmen?) with Leonard, Raj, and Howard. And it’s nice to see Amy and the gang determined to give Sheldon a good time that he can’t criticize, even if their devotion to Dr. Cooper is still a little fuzzy after all these years.
For the emotional high-point of the episode, The Big Bang Theory episode 200 revisits one of its quirkiest and most effective relationships — the strange bond between Sheldon and Penny. When Sheldon gets overwhelmed by the amount of people at his party, Penny joins him to hide in the bathroom.
She muses that, in her childhood, she would have been one of the girls who teased Sheldon with his sister. But now, Penny says, “You’re one of my favorite people,” and she is more than happy to stay with him in the bathroom if that’s what he needs.
Sheldon doesn’t accomplish much by way of reciprocity in “The Celebration Experimentation.” He warms up to the party when everyone begins to praise him to the skies (thus justifying Wil Wheaton, Sara Gilbert, and Christine Baranski’s appearances in the episode), but Sheldon does allow Penny to hug him, and admits that he no longer hates the experience — it’s just “extremely irritating.”
It’s a quiet, small moment, as almost everything in “The Celebration Experimentation” is quiet and small. But perhaps, with the weight of 200 episodes over their heads, The Big Bang Theory chose wisely in letting the celebration speak for itself.