‘The Big Bang Theory’ Season 12, Episode 15 Recap: Leonard Makes a Decision About Fatherhood

The Big Bang Theory finally concluded the most random storyline in the show’s 12 years. Spoiler alert: Leonard is not going to donate his sperm to Penny’s ex-boyfriend.

Hear that cheering? That’s me, thrilled that this arc has come and gone. But at the beginning of tonight’s episode—”The Donation Oscillation”—things certainly didn’t look good. Marissa and Zack begin by telling Leonard he shouldn’t have sex in the days leading up to his sperm donation. Oh, and they’re hoping for a boy so they want him to keep that in mind when he’s, you know, doing his thing. Somehow, Leonard remains committed to making Zack and Marissa parents.

But then, for reasons I don’t quite understand, Sheldon wants Zack to choose him for the sperm donation instead of Leonard. Maybe that awful virus that infected Leonard in the last episode has now crept into Sheldon’s brain? I don’t know how else you explain this, because it came out of nowhere.

Around this time, Penny’s dad, Wyatt, comes to visit. Penny asks Leonard not to tell her father that she doesn’t want a baby, or that he’ll be donating sperm to Zack. Of course, per sitcom rules, both topics come up within a minute of Wyatt’s arrival. Wyatt makes a snide remark that Penny can drink all the beer she wants, because she’s not pregnant. It’s an awful comment, and Penny isn’t pleased. But Wyatt’s got more pressing matters to deal with: Leonard’s sperm donation.

Wyatt wants to know if Penny is really OK with Leonard donating his sperm; she says yes, she supports her husband. But then adds that if Wyatt is not OK with this, he should voice his opinion. Meanwhile, Leonard tries to explain why he’s doing it, but bottom line: I’m still not on board.

Penny then hopes that if she seduces Leonard in bed, it’ll change his mind (and break Marissa and Zack’s rule). When that plan doesn’t work, she disrobes to reveal a superhero meets cheerleader bikini/lingerie combo and starts whispering Batman phrases into his ear. Leonard does the unthinkable: He leaves to spend the rest of the night curled up on Sheldon and Amy’s couch. Wow. Never get in the way of a man and a sperm donation to his wife’s ex-boyfriend, I guess?

The next morning, Leonard has a heart-to-heart with Amy and Sheldon. Amy says maybe Penny isn’t on board with this idea as much as he thinks she is. Leonard—as clueless as ever—says, “But Penny says she is…although she also said I look dope.” He adds that if Penny has a problem with it, she should say something. “She tried to seduce you! If that’s not a cry for help, then I don’t know what is!”

Leonard says he respects Penny for not wanting to have kids, but donating his sperm to Zack and Marissa is a chance to leave a part of him behind. Amy reminds him that donating his sperm isn’t going to make him a dad. “It’s going to be their baby, not yours.” Suddenly it dawns on me: What if this whole storyline was just paving the way for a Big Bang Theory spin-off where Zack and Marissa’s kid is old enough to live on his/her own and moves into Leonard and Sheldon’s old apartment? And Leonard is the landlord? (My God, look at what this show has done to me.)

Anyway, back to “reality.” Penny comes home, and Wyatt asks if she’s avoiding him. He thinks Penny’s mad at herself for not wanting a baby, which is why Leonard’s about to go through with his sperm donation. Penny isn’t amused and says it’s really crappy to make her feel bad about not wanting kids. Wyatt insists he’s not trying to make her feel bad, but he still wants to know if she’s upset about everything. “Yes,” Penny says. “I feel like I’m letting everybody down. I hate disappointing Leonard, but I really hate disappointing you.”

5 Spring 2019 Boot Trends to Buy Now

If red Louboutin heels (a.k.a. red bottoms) are a symbol of wealth then boots (any kind really) are a token of comfort. They’re not something Cardi B has rapped about (at least not yet), but they’ve been sung about long before by Nancy Sinatra in her iconic song, “These Boots Are Made For Walking.” She’s right. Heels intimidate whereas boots accommodate. Boots can be worn in any season with any kind of outfit. They look good with jeans, sweaters, or skirts. Boots also come in every form imaginable, making them the chameleon of footwear. High-heeled boots can elevate denim whereas combat boots can make even a prairie dress look edgy.

If reading all that made you want boots, then great news! February is the perfect month to buy them. We’re currently in this weird winter-isn’t-over-but-spring-isn’t-here time frame where sandals aren’t appropriate but sneakers are overplayed. Right now there are also just some really great boot trends worth investing in. Cowboy boots are more popular than ever, square toed boots are having a moment, snakeskin is the new leopard, and hiking and rubber rain boots are apparently cool. Read on for the top five boots trends that are everywhere right now and which pairs to buy. Spoiler: They’re all made for walking.

Ariana Grande Explains the Actual Reason She Isn’t Performing at the 2019 Grammys

Much to the disappointment of her fans, Ariana Grande is not performing at the 2019 Grammys this weekend despite being on the original lineup. While that’s a bummer—especially because she’s been one of the most prolific artists over the past year—it’s not exactly a bombshell story.

Well, at least, it wasn’t until today, February 7, when Grande took to social media to set the record straight as to why she’s not taking the stage on Sunday. It all started with an interview that Grammys executive producer gave to the Associated Press. “As it turned out when we finally got the point where we thought maybe it would work, she felt it was too late for her to pull something together for sure,” he said. “And it’s too bad. She’s a great artist. And I’d love to get her in the show this year.”

In response to this, Grande tweeted a screenshot of that portion of the story with the caption, “mhmmm here it is ! ‘too late for her to pull something together……'”

She went on to explain her side of how these negotiations went down. “I’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me. i can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken,” she wrote. “It was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that i decided not to attend. i hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more.”

“I offered 3 different songs. it’s about collaboration. it’s about feeling supported,” she continued. “It’s about art and honesty. not politics. not doing favors or playing games. it’s just a game y’all.. and i’m sorry but that’s not what music is to me.”

Ironically, Grande says she “passed a Grammy’s bus with my face on it typing those.” Despite the controversy over her performance, she’s “still grateful for the acknowledgement this year.”

Now that she’s set the record straight, we can thankfully all turn our focus to more important Ariana Grande matters—like the release of her new album tomorrow.

Colton Underwood Says The Bachelor Finale Will Be Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen

Colton: There were definitely some things that surprised me a little bit in regards to her, especially in that moment, it was confusing to me. Was she there to fight for our relationship? Was she there to get an answer out of me? Or was she there just to send herself home? Obviously, she was there to send herself home.

Our editor-in-chief pointed out that during your talk, Elyse had her earrings on at one moment, and then almost immediately in the next frame they were off. What did we miss in between?

Colton: Yeah, she took her earrings off midway through the conversation. I remember that one. She left her earrings at my place. I gave them to a producer to give them back to her. But I didn’t even notice that [when I watched it back]. I didn’t catch it. But now that you said that, I do remember finding her earrings the next morning on the table.

You mentioned Caelynn earlier, and obviously last week’s episode was such an important one. What have you heard from men and women after that scene aired?

Colton: Sexual abuse and sexual harassment is prominent in our society, and it’s a problem. It’s something that we all need to be more aware of. In that moment, I think it was really important just to listen. I don’t know what she’s been through, but I do know I could tell her what my experience was at the end of it. I could just reassure her that it’s not going to happen with me, and I’m going to do my best to make sure that it doesn’t happen. But that was a moment that was bigger than the show itself. The way that ABC and production created this safe space for us to be open and honest and vulnerable and raw, I think, was not only powerful for our relationship, but it was hopefully powerful for all of the nation to see.

Have people reached out to you about that particular moment?

Colton: Yeah, they have. A lot of people were proud of how it was handled and they really commended Caelynn for being so brave. Hats off to her. She’s unbelievably strong and a great human being.

It was nice to see how you handled such a painful moment. As you said, it’s about listening.

Colton: A lot of times—and I catch myself for saying this, too—when somebody shares something with you, [your instinct] is to say, “I know what you mean.” We say that as a phrase, just like when people ask you how you are and you say “good” even if you’re not. It’s OK to say you’re having a terrible day. So I think it’s important for people to really think about it before they say, “Oh, I know what you mean,” because you might not.

Let’s talk about Cassie. You said your gut is telling you to go all in, so at this point, what separates her from the other women?

Colton: One-on-one dates can change everything. The structure and comfort of our one-on-one date helped with both of our personalities and chemistry. It’s one of those things where in that moment I wanted to be present and if I feel something, say it. Because then it will give me the clarity and, hopefully, give them the clarity of not having any doubts of where we’re at in our relationship.

What are the qualities that makes Cassie a front-runner so far?

Colton: I was really attracted to her presence and how she makes me feel. And what she gets out of me. There’s a level of comfort there that you can only wish and hope for. That’s what I found.

This Bride Let Her Guests Wear Their Old Wedding Dresses to Her Wedding

Do you know that old rule about not wearing white to a wedding? Well, a bride just threw it out the window by allowing her guests to wear their old wedding dresses on her big day.

Audrey Moore, an actress and the aforementioned bride, felt it was “sad that most women only get to wear their wedding dress once,” according to a Reddit post her husband, Jesse Lumen, wrote. “So we invited all the women coming to our nontraditional wedding to wear their old wedding dresses again.”

And her guests followed through: Dozens of women showed up to Moore’s wedding in what they actually wore on their own wedding days. “I’ve been to all of their weddings and I saw them all in their beautiful dresses. I wanted them to have the opportunity to wear their really magical, beautiful dress a second time,” Moore tells BuzzFeed about her decision. “It was like watching a group of princesses come to life.”

See a photo of Moore and her guests—all decked out in wedding dresses—for yourself, below.

The response to Moore’s wedding online has been nothing but positive. “These are the best wedding pictures I’ve ever seen! Congrats,” one person wrote on Reddit.

“I want to cry after reading this. I got coerced into throwing a wedding that I really didn’t feel displayed my husband’s and my personalities at all. You guys did it to the nines and stayed true to yourselves. I am so proud of you for sticking with it! Sounds like the best day ever, which it should be,” wrote someone else.

From the Reddit thread, it appears the women who didn’t have wedding dresses were encouraged to wear “that one dress they only wore once,” like to prom or another special occasion.

“We had such a good time,” More tells BuzzFeed. “We really wanted it to be sweet and also just taken seriously in the love for each other but not taken so seriously in any sort of pomp and circumstance.”

Wedding of the century.

The Headlines About Meghan Markle’s Pregnancy Are Getting Out of Control

I think we’ve hit rock-bottom with the Meghan Markle pregnancy coverage, thanks to a new story that suggests the Duchess of Sussex’s “bendy thumbs” indicate she could go into early labor. There’s science behind this, apparently, but does that even matter? We now live in a world where the shape of Markle’s fingers are headline-worthy.

And here I thought it was weird that everyone saw Princess Charlotte’s face in her knee. (Remember that one? The media doesn’t discriminate when talking about Meghan Markle’s limbs, it seems.)

There are even more strange pregnancy stories where this came from. Let these five serve as a reminder to (1) stop talking about women’s bodies and (2) let Meghan Markle smile and wave and look iconic in peace. It’s what’s right.

People are really out here measuring how high up Markle’s bump is on her stomach. Think of all the things they could be doing instead. A non-exhaustive list: watching You on Netflix, baking blueberry muffins, looking into ways to cure the global water crisis. That brain power is better served elsewhere.

The word “frenzy” is only appropriate on two occasions, in my opinion: If Beyoncé announces she’s running for president, or if and when Olive Garden starts a drive-thru service.

If you watch the video in question for yourself, you’ll see that Markle just breathes. She literally took a breath, and people acted like her baby did a dramatic reading of Stassi Schroeder’s book Next Level Basic from inside the womb.

Who knew Meghan Markle’s trolls were also geometry experts?

Groundbreaking news: Pregnant women can wear high heels! And they can work, too. We really need to stop freaking out whenever moms-to-be exert physical energy.

Christopher Rosa is the entertainment writer at Glamour.

How Many Pregnancy Tests Do You Need to Take?

Taking a home pregnancy test can be a minefield of anxiety; no matter what result you’re hoping to get, you want to know for sure if you’re pregnant or not. You don’t need to take six pregnancy tests to get answers. We asked the experts to break down exactly when to take a pregnancy test, how accurate they are, and exactly how the dang things work.

In a word: very. “Most home pregnancy tests work 99 out of 100 times if used after a missed period,” says Raegan McDonald-Mosley, M.D., chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. That doesn’t mean false negatives aren’t possible. If you take the test too early (aka before a missed period), you might get a negative even if you are pregnant. (More on that in a minute.)

The tests detect human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone that a fertilized egg releases when it attaches to the uterus, explains Alexandra Sowa, M.D., an internist and clinical instructor of medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College. That’s what can, on those rare occasions, lead to a negative test result even if you are pregnant—it’s too early for the trace levels of the hormone to be picked up by the test.

If you get a negative result and want to be extra sure, take a second test. Just be sure to wait a few days—taking a second test in the same sitting won’t give you a different result.

As great as it would be know know if you’re pregnant immediately after you have sex, pregnancy tests don’t work like that. For the most accurate results, take the test after you’ve missed a period. Jennifer Wider, M.D., recommends waiting a week after your missed period; she also says it’s best to take the test in the morning, when urine is most concentrated. If you don’t want to wait that long, a blood test at your doctor’s office can provide results sooner than a urine test.

Depending on when you’re taking it, there might be some benefit to taking one test, and then a second one (again, a few days later). But cleaning out the entire drugstore shelf to be extra sure? Yeah, no. Stick with two or go see your doctor to put any uncertainty at ease.

14 Books to Read in Honor of Black History Month

We’re one week into Black History Month 2019. And to celebrate, we turned to some of the most brilliants writers and thinkers of color we know to recommend some of their favorite books.

From collections of poems, to poignant YA page-turners, to bonafide classics, the books in this list are a testament to the varied, creative expressions of the black experience. The real question? Which one to pick up first. But don’t stress too much about where to start. Because while this month will be over in a few short weeks, these books will still be here to inspire, thrill, educate, and move readers no matter the season.

You Can Shop Every Single Plus-Sized Look From 11 Honoré’s New York Fashion Week Show

In recent years, designers have explored different ways to make Fashion Week more accessible to people who aren’t physically at the shows. They’ve live-streamed their events, amped up social media coverage to bring followers in on the experience, and, most notable, made some pieces (if not their entire collection) available for purchase straight off the runway. Brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff, and Ralph Lauren have all embraced the “see now, buy now” format, which gives shoppers access to their new designs in real time. Now, another company is joining in on the action—and making it feel a lot more inclusive.

11 Honoré, the luxury e-tailer launched in 2017 that works with designers to expand their collections into plus sizes, hosted its first-ever show on the eve of New York Fashion Week. Dubbed “The New Runway,” it featured models including Candice Huffine, Marquita Pring, Precious Lee, and surprise guest Laverne Cox, wearing pieces from brands like Christian Siriano, Chromat, Christopher Kane, Altuzarra, and more. Every single look that came down the runway is available in sizes sized 10 through 20+ and they are all shoppable now. (That includes the clothes, available on 11 Honoré, and the shoes and accessories, which were sourced from Shopbop.)

“At 11 Honoré, we have a vision that anyone who has the desire to participate in fashion and express themselves sartorially should be seen, heard, and included,” Patrick Herning, founder and CEO of 11 Honoré, wrote in the show notes. “We strike to be on the right side of the conversation about where fashion is headed and are thrilled and honored to be a part of creating real change.”

Shop every single high-end, size-inclusive look from 11 Honoré’s inaugural New York Fashion Week show, ahead.

This *Game of Thrones* Theory Suggests Arya Didn’t Actually Kill Littlefinger

One of the most talked-about moments from Game of Thrones season seven was when Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) murdered Petyr Baelish, a.k.a Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), in front of literally everyone. It was a long time coming for fans, who had been waiting to see Littlefinger pay for all the scheming he’s done in Winterfell. I mean, right before Arya slit his throat, Sansa casually reminded him that he betrayed both her and her mother. He was a bad apple, simply put, and fans weren’t sad to see him go.

But what if Littlefinger isn’t actually dead? That’s what a YouTuber who goes by Neo suggests in this recently-unearthed fan theory. Neo posits Littlefinger paid one of the Faceless Men of Braavos to die in his place so he could GTFO. Of course, Game of Thrones fans know the Faceless Men have the shape-shifting abilities to easily pull this off—and Neo has evidence to back his theory.

Think back to the fifth episode of season seven, for instance, when Littlefinger is talking in hushed tones to an unfamiliar woman. Neo believes this woman told Littlefinger his “time is up,” effectively tipping him off that Winterfell wanted him dead. We then see Littlefinger drop a coin in her hand—the same coin, Neo suggests, that Arya used to pay a Braavos in an earlier season. Ultimately, Neo concludes this woman was a Faceless Man sent to kill Arya—but Littlefinger intervened with the coin and instructed said Faceless Man to die in his place. Make sense? Watch Neo’s video here to learn more.

For what it’s worth, many fans seem to think Littlefinger is alive too:

Obviously, Neo’s theory has its problems. For one, we’ve never seen a Faceless Man use their abilities to die in someone’s place. Also, bringing back such an abhorrent character might anger the fandom. Game of Thrones has pulled more shocking stunts, though. At the very least, this is interesting fodder to keep us occupied until the show returns April 14 on HBO.