The Big Bang Theory (season 1)

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File:Big Bang Theory 1.jpg
First season DVD cover art
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 17
Release
Original network CBS
Original release September 24, 2007 (2007-09-24) – May 19, 2008 (2008-05-19)
List of The Big Bang Theory episodes

The first season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory was originally aired on CBS from September 24, 2007, to May 19, 2008, over 17 episodes. An unaired pilot also exists. The Season 1 DVD came without a gag reel and is, so far, the only Big Bang Theory DVD set not to have one. The reissued Blu-ray, was released July 10, 2012, and includes a gag reel that is exclusive to the set. The episodes on Blu-ray are all in remastered surround sound, whereas the DVD version had stereo.

Cast

Season one introduced the main characters:

  • Dr. Leonard Hofstadter, portrayed by Johnny Galecki, is an experimental physicist with an IQ of 173 who received his doctorate when he was 24 years old. He shares an apartment with colleague and friend Sheldon Cooper. He was attracted to his new neighbor Penny at first sight.
  • Dr. Sheldon Cooper, portrayed by Jim Parsons, is a theoretical physicist. Originally from East Texas, he was a child prodigy, starting college at the age of 11, right after completing the fifth grade. He has an IQ of 187 and exhibits a strict adherence to routine; a lack of understanding of irony, sarcasm and humor; and a complete lack of humility.
  • Penny, portrayed by Kaley Cuoco, is a waitress who lives across the hall from Sheldon and Leonard. She has aspirations of a career in show business, and has been to casting calls and auditions but has not been successful thus far. Her last name has never been revealed.
  • Howard Wolowitz, portrayed by Simon Helberg, works as an aerospace engineer. He is Jewish, and lives with his mother. Unlike Sheldon, Leonard, and Raj, Howard lacks a Ph.D. He defends this by pointing out that he has a master's degree in Engineering from MIT and the apparatus he designs are actually built and launched into space, unlike the purely abstract work of his friends. He provides outrageous pick-up lines and fancies himself a ladies man with suitably unimpressed reactions from Penny and has limited success with other women.
  • Dr. Rajesh "Raj" Koothrappali, portrayed by Kunal Nayyar, originally comes from New Delhi, India. Known commonly as "Raj", he works as a particle astrophysicist at Caltech. He is very shy around women, and is physically unable to talk to them unless he drinks alcohol. However, he has much better luck with women as opposed to his overly confident best friend Howard.

Sheldon and Leonard are named after actor, director, and producer Sheldon Leonard.[1]

Production

The program's initial pilot, developed for the 2006/07 television season, was substantially different from its current form. Only Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons were in the cast, and their across-the-hall neighbor Katie was envisioned as "a street-hardened, tough-as-nails woman with a vulnerable interior".[2] Katie was played by actress Amanda Walsh.[3] They also had a female friend called Gilda (played by Iris Bahr). The program's original theme music was also different, using Thomas Dolby's hit "She Blinded Me with Science". The program was not picked up, but the creators were given an opportunity to revise it, bringing in the remaining leading cast and retooling the show to its current format. The original unaired pilot has never been released on any official format, but copies of it are on the internet with various collectors.

The second pilot of The Big Bang Theory was directed by James Burrows, who did not continue with the show. This reworked pilot led to a 13-episode order by CBS on May 14, 2007.[4] Prior to its airing on CBS, the pilot episode was distributed on iTunes free of charge. The show premiered September 24, 2007, and was picked up for a full 22-episode season on October 19, 2007.[5]

Production on the show was halted on November 6, 2007, due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, only to be replaced by a short-lived sitcom, Welcome to the Captain on February 4, 2008, but returning on March 17, 2008, in an earlier time slot with nine new episodes.[6][7]

David Saltzberg, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles, checks scripts and provides dialogue, math equations and diagrams used as props.[8]

Clips from the season finale, "The Tangerine Factor", gained popularity on the Chinese video-sharing website Tudou because of Sheldon's inaccurate Mandarin.[citation needed]

Episodes

The lives of physicists Dr. Leonard Hofstadter and Dr. Sheldon Cooper are shaken up when an attractive young aspiring actress from Omaha, Nebraska named Penny moves into the apartment across the hall from theirs. Leonard begins to become hopelessly enamored of Penny, while she feels only platonic affection for him; as a result, she finds herself putting up with his closest and ever-present friends: his roommate, Sheldon, who appears borderline obsessive-compulsive; engineering whiz Howard Wolowitz, a desperately sex-crazed mama's boy who thinks that his 1960s-style clothing and hairstyle give him an air of cool hipness; and Dr. Rajesh "Raj" Koothrappali, who will not speak to her as he is too shy to talk to women (a case of selective mutism), unless intoxicated in which case he becomes a smooth talking yet highly overly aggressive womanizing flirt.

During Season One, Sheldon loses his job for insulting his new boss, finds his ego bruised by a child prodigy, becomes unable to bear being part of a lie that Leonard has told, and is always attacking the world with a relentless need to assert his supremacy. Rajesh first learns that he can talk to women, but only when he is drunk, and Penny and Leonard finally go out in the season finale.

Season 1 episodes
No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
1 1 "Pilot" James Burrows Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady September 24, 2007 (2007-09-24) 276023 9.52[9]

After an unsuccessful visit to the high-IQ sperm bank, Dr. Leonard Hofstadter and Dr. Sheldon Cooper return home to find Penny, a new neighbor who has moved in across the hall from their apartment. Leonard immediately becomes interested in her, but Sheldon feels he is chasing a dream he will never catch. Leonard invites Penny to his and Sheldon's apartment for Indian food where Penny asks to use their shower, since hers is broken. While wrapped in a towel, she gets to meet their friends Howard Wolowitz, a wannabe ladies man who tries to hit on her, and Rajesh Koothrappali, who suffers from selective mutism in the presence of women and is unable to speak to her.

Leonard is so infatuated with Penny that, after letting her use their shower, he agrees to retrieve her TV from her ex-boyfriend Kurt. However, Kurt's physical superiority overpowers Leonard and Sheldon's combined IQ of 360, and they return empty handed, and without pants. Feeling bad, Penny offers to take the guys out to dinner, beginning a new friendship with them.

Recurring characters: Brian Patrick Wade as Kurt and Vernee Watson as Althea
2 2 "The Big Bran Hypothesis" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady
Teleplay by: Robert Cohen & Dave Goetsch
October 1, 2007 (2007-10-01) 3T6601 8.58[10]

When Sheldon and Leonard drop off a box of flat pack furniture that came for Penny, Sheldon is deeply disturbed when he sees how messy and disorganized her apartment is. Later that night, while Penny sleeps, Sheldon, extremely obsessive-compulsive and unable to sleep, sneaks into her apartment to clean and organize it; Leonard catches him, but reluctantly helps him clean.

The next morning, Penny realizes that they had been in her apartment and becomes furious. Sheldon tries apologizing to Penny but fails after remarking that Leonard is a "gentle and thorough lover". Later, Penny encounters Raj in the hallway. Although Raj cannot talk to Penny, she calms down talking about the problem to him and hugs him, reasoning with herself that the guys were just trying to help her. Leonard then apologizes, prompting Penny to hug him and forgive him.

Title reference: Sheldon having Big Bran cereal (with higher fiber content) after Penny finds out her apartment has been rearranged.
3 3 "The Fuzzy Boots Corollary" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Chuck Lorre
Teleplay by: Bill Prady & Steven Molaro
October 8, 2007 (2007-10-08) 3T6602 8.36[11]

When Leonard sees Penny kissing a man in front of her apartment door, he becomes devastated, thinking she has "rejected" him. The guys convince him to ask someone out at work, so he asks out fellow scientist Leslie Winkle, who preemptively turns him down. As Leonard slips deeper into his depression, thinking about buying a cat, Sheldon points out that he was not actually rejected by Penny, as he had not asked her out. Leonard agrees and promptly asks Penny out to dinner, but she mistakes it as an invitation to hang with all the guys, so Leonard makes up excuses as to why the guys were absent.

On the date, Penny mentions the man Leonard saw was not her boyfriend, but that she has a habit of having weekend-long casual sex encounters to get over relationships. Excited, Leonard regains his confidence, but he accidentally hurts himself and Penny has to take him home. In the end, Leonard does not get the courage to reveal his true feelings to Penny, even though she suspected what he was up to.

Recurring character: Sara Gilbert as Leslie Winkle

Title reference: One of the names that Leonard was considering for his cat.
4 4 "The Luminous Fish Effect" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady
Teleplay by: David Litt & Lee Aronsohn
October 15, 2007 (2007-10-15) 3T6603 8.15[12]

Sheldon is fired from his job as a physicist at the university when he insults his new boss Dr. Eric Gablehauser. His change of circumstance sends him into a downward spiral of depression which results in working on developing luminous fish for nightlights and buying a loom for himself. Worried, Leonard calls Sheldon's mother, Mary Cooper.

When she arrives for a visit, the men realize she is completely the opposite of what they expected: she is sweet, down-to-earth, a devout Christian, and a really good and loving and caring mother. Mary finally forces Sheldon to apologize, and he is given his job back after she flirts with Dr. Gablehauser.

Recurring characters: Laurie Metcalf as Mary Cooper and Mark Harelik as Dr. Eric Gablehauser

Title reference: Sheldon creating glow-in-the-dark fish during his period of unemployment. A line of genetically modified fluorescent fish using the green fluorescent protein (and variants) from jellyfish, the GloFish, was actually developed and began selling in 2003.
5 5 "The Hamburger Postulate" Andrew D. Weyman Story by: Jennifer Glickman
Teleplay by: Dave Goetsch & Steven Molaro
October 22, 2007 (2007-10-22) 3T6604 8.81[14]

While eating at the Cheesecake Factory where Penny works, the guys run into Leslie. Leslie wants Leonard to play in her string quartet as a new cellist, as the other players are uncomfortable near the current cellist due to the chance he was irradiated at work. After practising in Leonard and Sheldon's apartment, Leslie and Leonard have sex, making Sheldon uneasy.

Penny congratulates Leonard, whom tries to figure out what she meant. Leonard decides to pursue a real relationship with Leslie over an imaginary one with Penny, but when he arrives in the lab, Leslie makes it clear she is not interested in a relationship, and was only using him for a one-night stand to satisfy her sex drive. Leonard later tells Penny, who reassures him and walks away smiling.

Recurring character: Sara Gilbert as Leslie Winkle
Note: Johnny Galecki and Sara Gilbert both selected this episode as a Primetime Emmy Award submission for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, respectively, at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, but both ended up not receiving a nomination.[13]

Title reference: Sheldon switching his favorite burger restaurant.
6 6 "The Middle-Earth Paradigm" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Dave Goetsch
Teleplay by: David Litt & Robert Cohen
October 29, 2007 (2007-10-29) 3T6605 8.92[15]

The guys are invited to Penny's Halloween party. They originally turn it down as they do not dance but change their minds when costumes are mentioned. At the party, the guys have problems socializing; Sheldon is unable to explain his costume as the Doppler effect since none of Penny's friends are physicists or smart enough to understand it, Raj cannot speak to women, Howard is mistaken for Peter Pan instead of Robin Hood, and Leonard is insecure. Kurt later shows up and confronts Leonard, causing Leonard (and later Penny) to leave.

Penny goes to check on Leonard and apologizes while also very upset about Kurt. Leonard tells her that she is perfect and they kiss, though Penny confesses she is drunk. They return to the party and kiss again in front of Kurt, prompting Leonard to say "That's how we roll at the Shire!", before locking the doors in panic. Meanwhile, Howard cannot find Raj, who ends up going home and having sex with a woman he had met at the party, who found him to be a "good listener".

Recurring character: Brian Patrick Wade as Kurt

Title reference: Leonard's Halloween costume; he dressed up as Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings.
7 7 "The Dumpling Paradox" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady
Teleplay by: Lee Aronsohn & Jennifer Glickman
November 5, 2007 (2007-11-05) 3T6606 9.68[16]

Penny's promiscuous friend Christy from Nebraska arrives in town, and ends up sleeping with Howard almost instantly, who is dragged to her. The pair take over Penny's apartment, causing Penny to sleep on Leonard and Sheldon's couch for the night. With Howard gone, Penny takes his place playing Halo 3 and ends up being naturally good at it, annoying Sheldon. Furthermore, Howard invites Christy to move in with him (and his mother), taking up all his time.

Distraught over the odd number in the group, Sheldon invites Penny again to play Halo, but she declines to go dancing. Believing that they are falling apart as a group, the guys go to speak to Howard. When they arrive, they hear Christy and Howard's mother arguing loudly, causing Christy to leave. Howard, once again single, goes with the guys to play Halo and the group is restored yet again.

Recurring character: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz
Guest stars: Brooke D'Orsay as Christy and James Hong as Chen
Note: This is the first episode where Raj talks with Penny in the room without alcohol and Mrs. Wolowitz makes her first vocal appearance. This was the most watched of season 1, with 9.68 millions viewers.

Title reference: The scene where Leonard, Sheldon, and Raj are at the Chinese restaurant and do not know what to do with an extra dumpling, which Howard normally would have eaten.
8 8 "The Grasshopper Experiment" Ted Wass Story by: Dave Goetsch & Steven Molaro
Teleplay by: Lee Aronsohn & Robert Cohen
November 12, 2007 (2007-11-12) 3T6607 9.32[17]

Raj introduces his parents, Dr. V.M. Koothrappali and Mrs. Koothrappali, via webcam to his friends. However, Raj immediately becomes overwhelmed after his parents try to arrange a date with Lalita Gupta, a childhood friend and dental student, as he cannot talk to women. Howard pretends to be Raj and sets up the date with Lalita by using a fake Indian accent, much to Raj's annoyance. Meanwhile, Penny takes up bar tending for some extra money. As she practices mixing drinks with the guys, they discover that after drinking an alcoholic beverage, Raj can actually talk to women. They decide the date should be at Penny's restaurant, so she and the guys can keep an eye on Raj's behavior while drinking.

On his date, Raj becomes a very obnoxious drunk, and Lalita ends up leaving with Sheldon, who impresses her by complimenting her, comparing her to Princess Panchali, a princess in an Indian fairy tale. Raj tries to explain to his parents what happened, who become angry at him for drinking. Leonard asks Sheldon if he is going to see Lalita again and he replies that he already has a dentist.

Recurring characters: Brian George as Dr. V.M. Koothrappali and Alice Amter as Mrs. Koothrappali
Guest star: Sarayu Rao as Lalita Gupta
Note: This was the last episode aired prior to the 2007–2008 Writers' Strike.

Title reference: The drink (a Grasshopper) that enabled Raj to speak to women.
9 9 "The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization" Joel Murray Story by: Bill Prady & Stephen Engel
Teleplay by: Chuck Lorre, Lee Aronsohn & Dave Goetsch
March 17, 2008 (2008-03-17) 3T6608 9.11[18]

Cleaning up after an Internet experiment, Leonard discovers a letter in the trash can, which is an invitation he and Sheldon received to present some research they had done together at an academic conference. Sheldon disapproves of presenting research in person, but Leonard defies him, saying he will go on his own. This causes a rift between the two which Penny tries to mend but accidentally makes worse. At the conference, Sheldon appears and tries to discredit Leonard's presentation by attempting to "blow up" Leonard's head with his mind à la the movie Scanners, causing a physical altercation between the two. Howard records the fight on his cell-phone and puts it on YouTube, but earns the ire of Penny after also taking a picture of her sleeping on his shoulder and posting it to Facebook with the caption "me and my girlfriend".

Note: This was the first episode aired since November 2007, due to the 2007–2008 Writers' Strike.

Title reference: The rift between Leonard and Sheldon.
10 10 "The Loobenfeld Decay" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Chuck Lorre
Teleplay by: Bill Prady & Lee Aronsohn
March 24, 2008 (2008-03-24) 3T6609 8.63[19]

Penny is given a part in Rent, but after Leonard and Sheldon hear her sing extremely off-key (with Sheldon commenting, "if cats could sing, they'd hate it too"), Leonard lies to avoid seeing her performance and hurting her feelings. Sheldon becomes worried that Leonard's lie was not good enough, so he creates an intricate lie about his non-existent drug addicted cousin "Leopold Houston", who was in need of an intervention (and thus why they could not see the play).

Sheldon ends up becoming so obsessed with the credibility of his lie that he has Toby Loobenfeld, a research assistant who double majored in Physics and Theatre, impersonate cousin "Leo" to convince Penny that the lie is true. In the end, not only does Leonard still have to see the videotape of Penny's performance, but Penny and "Leo" start flirting as well.

Guest star: DJ Qualls as Toby Loobenfeld
Note: This is the first episode where Sheldon's knocking habits are shown, although with 4 knocks, which changes to 3 knocks in the next season and remains so.

Title reference: The name of the physicist/actor, Toby Loobenfeld, who plays the fictional cousin.
11 11 "The Pancake Batter Anomaly" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Chuck Lorre & Lee Aronsohn
Teleplay by: Bill Prady & Stephen Engel
March 31, 2008 (2008-03-31) 3T6610 8.68[20]

Penny returns from visiting family in Nebraska, but mentions while picking up mail from Leonard that most of her relatives got sick. Sheldon, a germophobe according to Leonard, freaks out and becomes sick, causing his obnoxious personality to increase drastically as he becomes demanding.

Familiar with Sheldon being sick, Leonard and the guys hide from him at a Planet of the Apes series marathon, leaving Penny to take care of Sheldon. However, Leonard breaks his glasses and must re-enter the apartment using help with a web-cam from Howard and Raj. Penny catches him and sticks him with Sheldon. As he tries to escape, he runs into a wall and nearly knocks himself out. In the end, Leonard and Sheldon sit injured and sick on the couch respectively.

Recurring character: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz
Note: Jim Parsons selected this episode as a Primetime Emmy Award submission for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, but ended up not receiving a nomination.[13] This is the first episode where Penny sings "Soft Kitty" to a sick Sheldon.

Title reference: Sheldon's urine sample measuring cup, which turned out to be the same cup Leonard uses to mix pancake batter.
12 12 "The Jerusalem Duality" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Jennifer Glickman & Stephen Engel
Teleplay by: Dave Goetsch & Steven Molaro
April 14, 2008 (2008-04-14) 3T6611 7.69[21]

Sheldon becomes envious when he meets 15-year-old child prodigy Dennis Kim, who was invited to work at the university, and soon realizes that not only is Kim like Sheldon himself (a child prodigy, obnoxious, and arrogant), but is even smarter than he is. Losing faith in his research, Sheldon annoys his friends by criticizing their work more than usual and contributing to their work. Deciding his work in physics is useless, he aims for the Nobel Peace Prize by attempting to solve the Middle East conflicts: he proposes the creation of an exact replica of Jerusalem in the Mexican desert, which ends up in a giant failure.

The others, tired of Sheldon's behavior, decide to distract Dennis with girls of his age. At his welcome party, their plan works unexpectedly and Dennis leaves with a blonde 15-year-old, using money to get her with him. Sheldon resumes his research while the others are perplexed at how easily Dennis was able to get a girl. The guys spot Dennis drinking heavily and making out in a park and feel sorry for him, but Sheldon mocks Dennis in victory.

Recurring character: Mark Harelik as Dr. Eric Gablehauser
Guest star: Austin Lee as Dennis Kim

Title reference: Sheldon's proposed duplication of Jerusalem.
13 13 "The Bat Jar Conjecture" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Stephen Engel & Jennifer Glickman
Teleplay by: Bill Prady & Robert Cohen
April 21, 2008 (2008-04-21) 3T6612 7.51[22]

The guys decide to compete in a physics bowl after finding out that the strong competitors have dropped out, but find Sheldon's showboating too much and kick him off the team. Sheldon, upset, vows to form his own team and compete against them. The guys, in need of a fourth member, ask Leslie; she rejects at first, but agrees after finding out they are going against Sheldon, who has often criticized her research and gender.

The guys name themselves PMS (Perpetual Motion Squad, an unintentional pun on premenstrual syndrome), while Sheldon's team is named AA (Army ants, an unintentional pun on Alcoholics Anonymous) and is composed of himself, the 3rd floor janitor, the lunch lady, and her son (or possibly her butcher). PMS win when Sheldon, unable to answer the last question, refuses to accept the janitor's answer, which turns out to be correct. The janitor explains that despite working in America as a janitor, he was a physicist in the former Soviet Union.

Recurring characters: Sara Gilbert as Leslie Winkle and Mark Harelik as Dr. Eric Gablehauser
Note: When attempting to find a replacement for Sheldon on their Physics Bowl team, Raj suggests 'TV's 'Blossom' (Mayim Bialik), citing her PhD. Bialik would later join the cast of the series as Amy Farrah Fowler in the show's fourth season. Raj also suggests "That girl from The Wonder Years" (Danica McKellar), coauthor of scientific papers and best-selling math-based books, who would appear in the Season 3 episode "The Psychic Vortex".

Title reference: The Batman cookie jar ("Bat Jar") given to Sheldon when he is kicked out of the original team.
14 14 "The Nerdvana Annihilation" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Bill Prady
Teleplay by: Stephen Engel & Steven Molaro
April 28, 2008 (2008-04-28) 3T6613 8.07[23]

Leonard buys a time machine online from the 1960 film, The Time Machine, believing it to be a miniature, though it turns out to be the full-sized original. Because the men's efforts to move the cumbersome object into the apartment cause Penny to lose much of her day's time, including a shift at work, she furiously lashes out at them for their childlike preoccupation with various genre memorabilia. Leonard, upset at possibly losing the respect and attention he craves from Penny, decides to get rid of all his collectibles (which Howard refers to as "Nerdvana"), while his friends try to convince him not to, leading to a conflict among the other men over the collectibles of his that they want.

Later, Sheldon turns the tables in Leonard's favor, accusing Penny of being a hypocrite by pointing out her own love of things such as Hello Kitty, Care Bears, Beanie Babies and My Little Pony. Penny, realizing his point, apologizes to Leonard, and encourages him not to give up the things he loves before her new boyfriend Mike shows up. His hope of a relationship with Penny renewed, Leonard decides to keep his belongings. Sheldon ends up having a nightmare where he travels to the future and is attacked by Morlocks. He then "wakes up" sat in the time machine and tells Leonard they need to get rid of it. Leonard agrees that the time machine is too big for the living room and has hired some guys to help move it; the Morlocks, who attack Sheldon again.

Guest Star: Andrew Walker as Mike
Note: In this episode, Leonard says that the elevator has been broken for two years, implying that the incident happened in 2006; however, in the season three episode, "The Staircase Implementation," it is revealed that the elevator was destroyed in 2003.

Title reference: Leonard getting rid of his collectibles, which Howard refers to as "Nerdvana".
15 15 "The Shiksa Indeterminacy"[24]
"The Pork Chop Indeterminacy"[25]
Mark Cendrowski Story by: Chuck Lorre
Teleplay by: Lee Aronsohn & Bill Prady
May 5, 2008 (2008-05-05) 3T6614 7.38[26]

Sheldon introduces the guys to his twin sister, Missy, who all become attracted to her. Raj decides to take part in a drug trial to cure his inability to talk to women, and Leonard insists she stay with them at the apartment. The men predictably begin awkwardly flirting with her, causing Penny to come to her rescue.

Leonard convinces Sheldon to be protective of Missy so that he is more likely to win her heart over Howard and Raj, but Sheldon deems all three unsuitable to be with Missy. Upon learning about Sheldon's plan to find a suitable mate for her, Missy confronts her brother, and Sheldon agrees to let Missy date whoever she wants after she kicks him in the groin. Missy turns Leonard and Howard down. Finally, Raj goes to talk to Missy, and she seems interested in him, but the drug wears off and he is unable to speak to her, forcing Raj to leave defeated.

Guest star: Courtney Henggeler as Missy Cooper
Note: This episode was originally aired as "The Shiksa Indeterminacy",[24] but CBS now refers to this episode as "The Pork Chop Indeterminacy" on its website.[25]

Title reference: Howard saying he would kill his rabbi with a pork chop to be with Missy, who was not Jewish (hence a shiksa).
16 16 "The Peanut Reaction" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Bill Prady & Lee Aronsohn
Teleplay by: Dave Goetsch & Steven Molaro
May 12, 2008 (2008-05-12) 3T6615 7.79[27]

Penny learns that Leonard has never had a birthday party, as his parents did not believe in celebrating anything but achievements. She decides to throw him a surprise party, and blackmails Sheldon to join her by threatening to draw a smiley face on one of his mint condition comic books. However, when the day of the party arrives, Penny finds Sheldon did not buy a present, so she has to drive him to a computer store to pick one up.

Meanwhile, Howard is in charge of keeping Leonard out of his apartment until the party. Howard pretends to eat a peanut bar, to which he is allergic, so Leonard can drive him to the emergency room. However, due to Sheldon's absent-mindedness in the computer store, Howard has to keep Leonard distracted even longer and is eventually forced to actually eat the peanut bar, causing him to swell up in a severe allergic reaction.

After being at the hospital for several hours, Howard and Leonard arrive back at the apartment to find the party has ended, though Penny does kiss Leonard.

Recurring character: Vernee Watson as Althea

Title reference: Howard's serious peanut allergy.
17 17 "The Tangerine Factor" Mark Cendrowski Story by: Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady
Teleplay by: Lee Aronsohn & Steven Molaro
May 19, 2008 (2008-05-19) 3T6616 7.34[28]

Penny furiously breaks up with Mike after he posts details about their sex life on his blog, while Sheldon, determined to prove that the Chinese restaurant uses oranges instead of tangerines in their "Tangerine chicken", asks Howard to teach him Mandarin.

As Penny laments her choices in men, Leonard awkwardly asks her out. A few days pass and both become worried that this relationship could ruin their friendship, so both seek Sheldon's advice. Sheldon uses the "Schrödinger's cat" thought experiment to explain that the date has both "good" and "bad" possible outcomes, and the only way to find out is to go on the date and find which outcome it is. When Leonard arrives to pick Penny up, he mentions the experiment and passionately kisses her. She concludes that "the cat is alive" and they leave for dinner.

Leonard and Penny go to the Chinese restaurant, but they leave before entering as they see Sheldon fighting with the owner in Mandarin, and doing it very badly, disturbing the patrons.

Guest star: James Hong as Chen

Title reference: The Chinese Tangerine chicken which Sheldon believed was actually prepared with oranges.

References

  1. "'Big Bang Theory': 'We didn't anticipate how protective the audience would feel about our guys'". Variety. May 5, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2010. Q. Are Sheldon and Leonard named after the brilliant (producer) Sheldon Leonard of "The Andy Griffith Show," "The Danny Thomas Show," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "My Favorite Martian" and "I Spy?" (Binnie) A. Yep. Chuck and I are both fans. Chuck's idea.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "TV Legends Revealed | 'Big Bang Theory's' Sheldon Originally Had a Sex Drive". Comic Book Resources. Nov 20, 2013. Retrieved Dec 3, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Breaking News — Development Update: May 22–26 (Weekly Round-Up)". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved May 16, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  5. "Breaking News — Cbs Gives Freshman Comedy "The Big Bang Theory" And Drama "The Unit" Full Season Orders" (Press release). CBS. October 19, 2007. Retrieved May 16, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. ""The Big Bang Theory" And "How I Met Your Mother" to Swap Time Periods" (Press release). The Futon Critic. February 20, 2008. Retrieved May 16, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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General references

External links