"The Holographic Excitation" is the fifth episode of the sixth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Thursday, October 25, 2012.
In this episode, Raj becomes a party planner for Stuart's Halloween party while Sheldon and Amy consider what couple they so go as. Meanwhile, Penny takes an interest with Leonard's work where they make out later on, while Howard unintentionally bores Bernadette and his friends due to his non-stop talking about his space trip.
The episode starts with Howard presenting Stuart with his official NASA portrait (autographed, of course), [though Sheldon mentioned that he also gave one to the dry cleaners and Walgreen's drug store]. Leonard and Sheldon hypothesize that Howard will connect his trip into outer space with any subject, and decide to test their theory. Leonard succeeds immediately talking about dinner options; Sheldon initially appears to have failed, when he brings up lemons, but Howard meets their expectations moments later. Stuart decides to organize a Halloween party at his comic book store, so Raj decides to become the party planner.
Amy and Bernadette are attending ladies' night at the Cheesecake Factory bar while Penny serves them. Amy claims that life doesn't get any better than right now, to which Penny says to herself that she hopes it does gets better. Leonard texts Penny about going out costume shopping. Penny confides in the girls that she's going to the comic book store Halloween party even though the guys that hang around there can be creepy.
Amy and Bernadette then asks, like their better halves? Bernadette also says that Leonard does things that he doesn't like to make her happy and that maybe she should take more interest in his work. Penny says that that is true but she doesn't understand what he does, and their explanations about experimental physics don’t help, either. Later, Amy and Sheldon are discussing their Halloween costume ideas and Sheldon surprises Amy by agreeing to go in a couple’s costume because that is one of the great advantages of being in a relationship. Amy wants to go as something like Romeo and Juliet; however, Sheldon's ideas for great costumes are R2-D2 and C-3PO or Hewlett and Packard. Amy is unmoved by his choices, and states that they should at least compromise.
Meanwhile, Penny visits Leonard's Lab and he shows her some of his "high techy techy" equipment, including a system that scans objects and generates rotating holograms. First there is a floating pencil, which changes into a rotating Earth, then the solar system and finally, the whole galaxy. Leonard muses about some scientists who think that the whole universe is one large hologram. Penny remarks that she forgets how smart he really is, gets turned on, locks the door, and they start to fool around on the lab table.
In the cafeteria, Raj is discussing his Halloween–themed party foods and Howard keeps talking about his time in space. Leonard wanders in with his hair messed up and a smile on his face. Asked about what is going on and he replies "nothing." Howard says that he knows where there is a lot of nothing is and the three of the guys simultaneously answer "space".
Howard and Bernadette have just crawled into bed and things are starting to get romantic, but after six space metaphors, Bernadette stops to talk. She tells him that people are getting tired of hearing about it. Howard complains that he can't talk about the greatest adventure of his life, and she suggests that he wait until they bring it up.
Penny is again visiting Leonard's lab as he demonstrates a floating iron ball levitated by a large magnetic force. Penny thinks it's very neat until Leonard mentions that sometimes he feels like Magneto from the X-Men. Penny replies now it seems less neat, until Leonard mentions he's wearing the black underwear she bought him. "There ya go," she replies, and starts to kiss him again. In the cafeteria, Raj is getting a Doctor Who TARDIS police booth for the party which excites Sheldon, while Howard is being very quiet and noncommittal. He finds that Sheldon and Raj agree that he was talking too much about space. Leonard enters again, all messed up and very happy.
Amy and Sheldon, on Amy's proviso that the both of them should compromise, are still discussing their costumes. Sheldon suggests salt and pepper, but Amy has had a bad experience with both. She claims that there are three things that say that she doesn't have a made-up boyfriend: couples costumes, hickies, and sex tapes. She asks Sheldon to pick one, to which he asks what a hickey is.
At Howard and Bernadette's apartment, they are both dressed up as Smurfs. Howard isn't that excited to go since all his friends think he is boring. Bernadette asks if he is feeling blue, laughing that that's like the funniest thing she ever said. She then pushes him out the door since she just spent three hours painting herself blue and doesn't want people to think she is a short alien from Avatar.
Tonight at the Halloween party in Stuart's store, Penny dresses as a sexy cop and Leonard goes as Albert Einstein. Bernadette mistakes her for a slutty cop, but Penny explains that that costume only came with a skirt and two badges. Leonard says (in a German accent) that later she was going to arrest him for traveling faster than the speed of light. Penny reminds him about their no-accent rule, to which he replies, "Sorry, officer." Stuart as Willy Wonka tries to pick up a girl, claiming to have come up with all the party food and decorations, much to Raj's disgust. Raj is Indian Jones, the love child of Indiana Jones. Amy and Sheldon show up as "Raggedy C-3PO" and Raggedy Ann due to "a compromise" which Sheldon explains that he lost. Raj asks Howard about his space trip, which makes Howards to lose it. Bernadette takes Howard to an empty room and berates him for being rude, Howard points out that everyone including Bernadette is rude to him, and mimics Bernadette's voice. Howard then gets upset about not being about to talk about his space adventures because, otherwise, he is just plain old Howard Wolowitz. Bernadette reminds him that he is the best guy she knows and that she married him "on purpose." Penny and Leonard stumble out of the TARDIS all disheveled and Penny explains that there is nothing to see, only sexy police business. Leonard says that he was explaining to her the theory of relativity ...twice.
Later, Howard gets a YouTube video from Raj showing Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, handing out Halloween candy to kids mentioning his trip to space to every kid who don't seem to be interested. Howard tells Bernadette that he now understands everybody's objections to his boasting.
- Title Reference: Penny gets excited about how smart Leonard is when he shows her his holographic research.
- Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon after Neil Armstrong, makes his first (and currently only) guest appearance on the show in this episode.
- Raj now knows of Buzz Aldrin by now, as he thought the only astronaut named "Buzz" was Buzz Lightyear in "The Friendship Contraction".
- Raj wears an Indiana Jones costume and refers to himself as "Indian Jones" for the Halloween party (or "Koothra-party") at the comic book store, reaffirming the gang's love for that franchise first displayed in "The 21-Second Excitation".
- When Howard imitates Bernadette's squeaky voice, she replies back, "I don't sound like that..." in a lower voice that more closely resembles her actress Melissa Rauch's real voice.
- In reality, Holograms do not appear that bright in normal visible white light.