It was a banner week for the gang on “The Big Bang Theory” as their least-deserving member got a chance to meet one of the boys’ heroes, Bill Gates.
Season 11, Episode 18, “The Gates Excitation,” opens with the boys chatting incessantly about Batman while the girls make fun of them from the kitchen. In an effort to finally break the comic book chatter, Penny reveals some big work news. Gates is hoping to team with a pharmaceutical company for his charitable foundation and she’s been tasked with representing hers. Everyone except Sheldon is jealous and asks if they can tag along. However, because the day in question is April 1, Sheldon can’t shake the feeling that this is an elaborate prank from Penny.
After everyone leaves, Penny reveals to Leonard that she’s nervous. He offers to help coach her on information that could help her bond with Gates, but she shows that she’s got that handled, but wants his support. He uses the moment as an opportunity to ask again if he can tag along. He reveals that he met Bill Gates once when he spoke at Princeton. His mother secured him an invite and he cried upon meeting him. It’s hinted that he was not necessarily a child at the time.
Still, Penny has to tell him that the event is for work, and she therefore has to be professional. However, that doesn’t stop him from deducing where Gates is staying while he’s in town. He takes Raj and Howard to wait in the lobby until they spot the man himself. Leonard goes over and asks Gates if he remembers him. He doesn’t, which makes Leonard get emotional all over again.
“Oh now I remember,” Gates says as Leonard starts to cry.
After a semi-successful meeting, Leonard returns home and bumps into Sheldon. Still convinced that this is all a prank, he doesn’t believe that his friends met Gates. However, when Leonard provides photographic evidence, Sheldon begs him to tell him what hotel he’s staying at. Leonard obliges and Sheldon speeds off.
“April fools,” Leonard says once he’s out of earshot.
Karma hits him hard after he walks into his apartment, though. Penny reveals that her office is planning a reception for Gates and she managed to secure him an invite. Realizing that he’ll be busted for tracking Gates to his hotel, he’s forced to fake sick on the night of. Sadly, his deception is short-lived as well when Penny thinks she’s doing him a favor by video calling with Gates.
Leonard is immediately busted and gets to work on a masterful apology. The episode ends with a dejected Sheldon coming home cursing Leonard’s name for giving him the wrong hotel. However, when he sees “I’m sorry,” written on Leonard and Penny’s door, he enters thinking it’s for him.
Inside, there’s candles and a bouquet of roses that are clearly to make up for his lie to Penny. Sheldon, though, misses the social queue and announces that he forgives Leonard for his prank.