Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Lizard-Spock Expansion

I was watching Big Bang Theory last night, and it was a rerun of The Lizard-Spock Expansion episode. I am not going to talk about the episode although it was very funny. Actually, I want to discuss what BBT called the lizard-spock expansion. Sheldon and Koothrappali both wanted to eat the last dumpling, so Koothrappali suggested they play rock-paper-scissors for it. But Sheldon said that the game would not be outcome determinative because people who were familiar with each other would tie 80% of the time. So Sheldon suggest they play rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock. Haha! Try saying that five times. Lizard is displayed as you would a sockpuppet, and Spock is denoted by the Vulcan hand sign. This variation is so darn cute and funny to watch people play. And every time they would play the game on BTT, everyone always chooses Spock. Sheldon suggested they play rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock to determine who must choose something else besides Spock. You know how that turned out.

Here are the rules: Scissors cuts Paper covers Rock crushes Lizard poisons Spock smashes Scissors decapitates Lizard eats Paper disproves Spock vaporizes Rock crushes Scissors. My favorite part is "Paper disproves Spock." Haha! Anyway, this got me thinking of other TV shows I've watched where other variations of rock-paper-scissors were used. In That 70s Show, Hyde and Fes were playing a nuclear war version, Foot-Cockroach-Nuclear Bomb. Hyde described the rules as "Foot squashes cockroach, nuclear bomb blows up foot, and cockroach survives nuclear bomb!" I remember an episode of Friends where Ross, Rachel, Joey and Pheobe were playing rock-paper-scissors except Joey used fire and said fire beats everything. Then Phoebe whipped out the water balloon and put out the fire. Very cute.

As for the lizard-spock expansion, I found out that it was made up by some guy named Sam Kass a few years back. He and his wife made it up while they were dating and are confessed geeks. And guess what else! He went to my alma mater. That explains a lot. Isn't it weird how you find some connection with a total stranger?

Anyway, go forth and play rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock.


Laura said...

Aw man. I don't really get the expansion because I'm not a geek! I demand an in depth explanation!

Tara said...

What don't you get? I hope you know who Spock is and what a lizard is. Hehe. You have the regular rules and the following additional rules:
1. Rock crushes Lizard
2. Lizard poisons Spock
3. Spock smashes Scissors
4. Scissors decapitates Lizard
5. Lizard eats Paper
6. Paper disproves Spock
7. Spock vaporizes Rock

See, simple.

Laura said...

I know, I get that part. But i mostly don't understand why paper disproves Spock.

Laura said...

And how a lizard can poison Spock.

Tara said...

I guess it's left to your imagination. I was thinking that Spock who is very smart had a theory. But a book or a paper disproved that theory. Another interpretation provided by Wil is that the paper proves that Spock doesn't exist...that's pretty creative.

A lizard can poison Spock because there are such things as poisonous lizards. I looked it up. The only two poisonous lizards in the world are the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) of the southwestern United States and the beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum) of Mexico. You've just been educated...me too!

Laura said...

Oh.. That's so normal though. I thought there would be specific inside information about Spock that makes it funny to geeks.

And also the lizard. If its just because lizards are poisonous, then it could have been any poisonous animal, most likely one that's more common, to make it more understandable. So why a lizard? Why is that funny? With the explanation you gave me, a snake would work better.

I guess what I'm looking for is specific funny inside jokes that give a good reason for Spock and a lizard to be involved in rock paper scissors..

Haha. Am I over thinking this?

Tara said...

Yes, you totally are. You are the NERD!! I think lizard was used because they eat paper whereas snakes eat mice. Hmmm...what else eats paper and is poisonous? Think about it.