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Joe Manganiello Just Had a Very Memorable Cameo on The Big Bang Theory

Glamour logo Glamour 2/22/2019 Jessica Radloff
a couple of people standing next to a person © Sonja Flemming/CBS

I'll be honest, I went into watching the sixteenth episode of this season's The Big Bang Theory—titled "The D&D Vortex"—with trepidation. The episode was touted as a guest-star extravaganza, with William Shatner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kevin Smith, Joe Manganiello, and Wil Wheaton playing themselves, but that's not on the list of things I want to see as the series wraps up. Sure, it's nice they finally got Shatner on the show—just not at the expense of other plot developments.

The episode didn't advance any of the current storylines (Raj and Anu's relationship, Shamy's Super-Asymmetry, and Penny's career among them), though it wasn't as unfulfilling as I feared. Actually, Sheldon's freakout over meeting Shatner and the ladies flipping out on Joe Manganiello were worth the tune-in. So let's recap, shall we?

Amy and Sheldon visit Wil Wheaton’s science show to talk about Super-Asymmetry. They're there to explain their findings to an audience of 10-year-olds—not the best idea, considering Wil has to interfere once Sheldon starts talking in terms no one understands. He asks Sheldon to open the door for a surprise guest. Of course, Sheldon warns against opening the door to strangers, so Amy does it for him. It's William Shatner! Sheldon nearly tramples Amy to meet one of his childhood heroes. Sheldon's so excited, in fact, he vomits all over Shatner from the shock. Oops.

a person in a suit standing in front of a building © Michael Yarish/CBS

The next day Sheldon visits Wil's house to apologize, and Wil tells him it's not a good time. Sheldon realizes something is going on in the living room, and overhears Shatner's voice; however, Wil slams the door in his face. Naturally, Sheldon runs back to the apartment to tell the gang that Wil hosts a secret celebrity Dungeons and Dragons game. There's only one thing to do: make a chart to figure out which celebrities are part of this secret group. (It's the equivalent of trying to figure out which celebs would show up for Meghan Markle's NYC baby shower. No? Perhaps that's just me then.)

Meanwhile, Amy, Penny, and Bernadette are not amused by their spouses, who have dropped everything to start a celebrity flow chart. "This is the rest of our night, huh?" Penny asks. "No, this is the rest of our lives," Amy clarifies.

The guys start figuring out who's in attendance thanks to some Instagram sleuthing. The biggest surprise is that Stuart is one of the guests. Stuart! That doesn't sit well with the guys, so they stage an interrogation with Stuart when he comes home. Stuart admits he was at Wil's house for game night, but the guys put so much pressure on him that he calls Wil and says he can no longer play; it's not worth it for his mental well-being.

Later, Wil calls Leonard and says he has an opening in his game night but he can't tell the others. Leonard doesn't even need to think about it. In the next scene, Leonard finds himself hanging out with Kareem, Joe, Kevin, and Shatner. He tells them it's the greatest day in his life. "It's all right," Shatner says. "One day you'll meet a girl."

Wil Wheaton, William Shatner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sitting at a table © Michael Yarish/CBS

Leonard comes home that night and tells Penny where he's been because he assumes she won't care. But when Leonard mentions that Joe, the guy from True Blood was there, Penny freaks out. "The guy from Magic Mike?" she screams. Leonard's like, sure, whoever that is, which sets Penny off on a new goal in life: Get Sofia Vergara to fall in love with Leonard, and she'll help comfort Joe.

Even though Leonard has sworn Penny to secrecy, she tells Amy and Bernadette. Hopefully they can keep Leonard's secret, because she sure can't. And then, because these women are the worst when it comes to keeping secrets, they visit Wil and let it "slip" that they know about game night and want to meet Joe. Wil's not pleased, but he has the perfect revenge: Kick Leonard out of the group and invite Amy, Penny, and Bernadette instead.

a group of people standing on a sidewalk © Sonja Flemming/CBS

When Leonard tells Sheldon, Raj, and Howard that he's no longer part of Wil's game night, they can't believe he was even part of the game night to begin with and didn't tell them. They run over to Wil's house, hoping to take Leonard's spot. Wil accuses the guys of wanting to be his friends so they can get close to other famous people. The guys apologize, but Wil shuts the door.

Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard return home, feeling bad about their behavior. So they invite Wil to their own game night. Wil says thank you, but maybe another time. The camera pans out to reveal that Amy, Penny, and Bernadette are now at Wil's house playing Dungeons and Dragons with Shatner, Kareem, Kevin, and Joe. Even though the women are equally as excited to be around celebrities, Wil doesn't mind. The only one not that impressed is Penny, who tells Shatner she likes his "grandpa words" after he says he likes her moxie. Amy is in heaven over Joe, and Bernadette can't stop gushing about Kareem's athletic achievements. It's a bit cringe-worthy, as evidenced by Joe not being able to get away from Amy fast enough.

Still, Amy finds enough strength to thank Wil for inviting them over, and she promises not to tell the guys. Instead, Will suggests they take a group picture and send it to the guys. They do, and when their phones all go off at once, Leonard says, "We deserve that." Yup.

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