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Mayim Bialik Made Some Sly Changes To This Hilarious Big Bang Theory Scene

When Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) makes her first appearance on "The Big Bang Theory" in Season 3, Episode 23, "The Lunar Excitation," she is Sheldon Cooper's (Jim Parsons) mirror image. At their first meeting in a coffee shop — orchestrated by Howard (Simon Helberg) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar), who found her on a dating site — she makes it clear that she doesn't understand slang, she is not down for dating in general, and she opposes all forms of physical contact.

It is that last bit of information that seems to win Sheldon over. "May I buy you a beverage?" he asks, with a slight spark in his eye, and the pair head to the counter for Amy's choice of drink: tepid water.

Over the course of the show, however, Amy develops her own, less-robotic personality. She shows an emotional side, longing to be more like the pretty, popular Penny and falling full-on in love with Sheldon. By Season 4, Episode 10, "The Alien Parasite Hypothesis," even Sheldon notices she's changed, remarking that "she may be a slave to her baser urges."

Clearly, Bialik took pains to change Amy's character and make her much more interesting. It was an evolution marked by moments that showcased her particular quirks — including one scene Bialik altered to create unforgettable comedy gold.

Here's the scene

One of Amy's most hilarious moments on "The Big Bang Theory" comes in Season 5, Episode 12, "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver." In the episode, Amy is excited that a paper she wrote is going to be published in a scientific journal. When she tells Sheldon, however, he doesn't share her excitement and basically brushes her off in typical Sheldon fashion. When Amy leaves the room, Penny (Kaley Cuoco) steps in to help, suggesting Sheldon buy Amy some jewelry to make it up to her.

Upon receiving the gift, Amy says angrily, "Jewelry? Seriously?" letting her boyfriend have it. "Sheldon, you are the most shallow, self-centered person I have ever met." Little does she know, there's something much better than jewelry inside the bag, something she's always wanted whether she knew it or not: a tiara.

Deep into her angry rant, she continues, "Do you really think that another transparently manip—" before suddenly breaking off in an entirely different singsong tone, "Oh, it's a tiara! A tiara! I have a tiara!"

Amy staggers over to Penny, begging, "Put it on me" seven times until Penny places it on her head and tells her she looks beautiful. Positively undone by Sheldon's gesture, Amy kisses and clings to him, a move that sets her far apart from the Amy fans meet in her first episode.

Here's how the scene was supposed to go

In the original script, Amy's reaction was laid out in the dialogue and stage directions. As Mayim Bialik explained in a post on Kveller, she was supposed to say, "Oh my God, it's a tiara!" followed by the line "put it on me" just five times. And after kissing Sheldon, she was supposed to leave the scene to find a mirror. As fans know, however, the scene didn't quite go the way it was planned. In fact, it got much more emotional, bordering on out of control.

So what happened to the scene as originally written? For one thing, Bialik didn't feel comfortable saying "God" in her line, so she simply left that part out. And when no one corrected her in rehearsal, she kept saying it the way that felt best to her. Her choice to say "put it on me" an extra two times was made in the moment. The audience kept laughing, so she kept going to buy time for Kaley Cuoco to deliver the next line. More than any script changes she made, however, Bialik's physicality heightened the moment.

"I know what it felt like ... a total melting; a collapse; the conveyed intent was that Sheldon's understanding of me was so deep and so perfect and so touching and so profound that it literally weakened my knees," she wrote. "I have been lucky enough to have that feeling a few times in my life of literally being weakened by a man's affection, and I have found it powerful and comedic."

Bialik was happy to take direction on set, and she never intended to rewrite the show. But by bringing herself to her character, she helped make Amy Farrah Fowler more authentic.