The Big Bang Theory (2007–…): Season 1, Episode 17 - The Tangerine Factor - full transcript

After a bad breakup, Penny finally agrees to go out on a date with Leonard, however they both develop doubts and turn to Sheldon for advice.

Wo de zing shi Sheldon.

No, it's...

Wo de ming zi shi Sheldon.

Wo de ming zi shi Sheldon.

What's this?

That's what you did.

I assumed, as in a number of languages,
that the gesture was part of the phrase.

Well, it's not.

How am I supposed to know that?
As the teacher, it's your obligation

to separate your personal idiosyncrasies
from the subject matter.

You know, I'm really glad
you decided to learn Mandarin.

- Why?
- Once you're fluent,

you'll have a billion more people
to annoy instead of me.

Mei du lui zi.

You just called Leonard
a syphilitic donkey.

My apologies,

I'm only as good as my teacher.

Why are you learning Chinese?

I believe the Szechuan Palace
has been passing off

orange chicken as tangerine chicken
and I intend to confront them.

If I were you, I'd be more concerned

about what they are passing off
as chicken.

- I need to use your window.
- Sure, go ahead.

Hey, jerk face, you forgot your iPod!

- What's going on?
- I'll tell you what's going on.

That stupid self-centered bastar
wrote about our sex life in his blog.

Drop dead,
you stupid self-centered bastard!

Thank you.

Okay, where were we?

Not now, I have a blog to find.

Episode 117: The Tangerine Factor

Penny, are you okay?

I'm fine, Leonard. Just go away!

I understand that breaking up
with someone can be very painful...

- Go away!
- Okay, feel better! Bye!

She doesn't want to talk.

Not surprising.
Penny's emotional response is originated

in the primitive portion of the brain,
known as the amygdala.

While speech is centered in the much
more recently developed neo-cortex.

The former can easily
overpower the latter,

giving scientific credence to the notion
of being "rendered speechless."

Or maybe she just doesn't want to talk.

Look, I found an iPod!

It's smashed beyond repair.
What are you gonna do with it?

What else?
Sell it on eBay as "slightly used."

It was Penny's boyfriend's,
they broke up.

Apparently, he posted intimate details
of their physical relationship

on his blog
which I cannot find anywhere.

I'm gonna go back
and try talking to her again.

Good idea, sit with her.

Hold her, comfort her.

And if the moment feels right,

see if you can cop a feel.

I'm not going to do that, Howard.

I'm not aware of a new social convention
that requires you to intervene at all.

What about damsel in distress?

Twelfth century code of chivalry?
Not exactly current.

You'd also have to be knighted
for that to apply.

I don't care.
She's upset, I'm going over there.

Remember to sit on your hands a bit,
so they're warm.

I'm her friend. I'm not going
to take advantage of her vulnerability.

So you're saying,
if in the depths of despair,

she throws herself at you
and demands you take her,

right there, right now,
you'll just walk away?

I said I'm her friend,
not her gay friend.

Listen, I know you said
you didn't want to talk...

- I don't.
- Sorry.

- Wait!
- Wait? Did you say "wait"?

Tell me the truth.

Am I just an idiot
who picks giant losers?

So I pick good guys
but turn them into losers.

- Of course not.
- Well,

it's gotta be one or the other.
Which is it?

I'm sorry, what were the choices again?

I really thought Mike was different.

I thought he was...

sensitive and smart,

I mean, not you smart,
normal non-freaky smart.

Yeah, no, sure.

And then he just goes
and has to humiliate me

by writing about me on his blog
so the entire world can read it.

I tell you, it's not all
that easy to find.

Really? My friends at work found it,
my sister found it.

Judging by my email,
a number of prisoners

at the Michigan State
Penitentiary found it.

What exactly did this guy write?

Not that I need to know the details
of your sex life. I just thought...

Never mind.

No, you know what?

You might as well read it.
Everybody else has. Go ahead.

Oh, God, I just feel
so betrayed and embarrassed!

I just want to crawl
into a hole and die!

Okay. Well, you know,
this isn't that bad.

It just paints the picture

of a very affectionate woman,

who's open to expressing her affection

in non-traditional locales.

Oh, God!

Elevators, parks,

movie theaters.

Out of curiosity,

is this "subway"
the transportation system

or Subway the sandwich shop?

Sandwich shop.

Doesn't that violate the health code?

No, at the sub shop
we were only making out.

But my point is that

you have absolutely no reason
to be embarrassed.

Do you think I overreacted?

- Maybe a little.
- Because I do that. I do overreact.

Maybe I should call Mike and apologize.

That would be under-reacting.

He did break the implied
confidentiality of the bedroom.

And in your case, the elevator,
parks and fast food franchise.

You're right.
I should just say "I am done with him."

Yes, you should.
Go ahead, say it.

But I never gave the man
a chance to explain.

What is there to explain?
It's all right here.

The betrayal!

No, you were right
the first time.

This is a man who loves me,
but in his own stupid way,

which is trying to show people
how he feels.

I'm pretty sure I never said that.

You did better than that.
You helped me see it on my own.

Oh, good for me.

Where are you going?

I'm going over to Mike's.
Leonard, thank you so much.

Oh, sure.

Maybe I am her gay friend.

I'm going to need
another Mandarin lesson.

I obviously didn't make
my point with those people.

For God's sake,

if you don't like the tangerine chicken,
don't order the tangerine chicken.

I like tangerine chicken,
I'm just not getting tangerine chicken.

- Can we please change the subject?
- Sure.

Tell us again how you screwed up and got
Penny back together with her boyfriend.

Just roll the dice.

"Enslaved by warlocks. Stay here
until you roll two, four or six."

She was mad at him!

She was done with him! The relationship
was broken beyond repair,

and I walked over there,
and I fixed it.

Boy, that story gets better
every time you hear it.

Actually, I thought the first
two renditions were far more compelling.

Previously, I felt sympathy
for the Leonard character,

now I just find him
to be whiny and annoying.

Eat your tangerine chicken.

I'd love to, but I don't
have tangerine chicken.

Thank you so much
for your stupid advice!


You managed to screw up the screw-up.

I'm back.

I'm sorry I yelled at you.

It's not your fault.

What happened?

I went over to Mike's
to make up with him.

Yeah. No, I know that part.

But he had already moved on.

Already? That was quick.

That's what I said to the woman
who had her legs around his neck.

- Penny, I am so sorry.
- How could he do that?!

You know, you did
throw an 80-gig iPod...

Yeah, no, how could he do that?

I swear to God I am done
with guys like that.

You know, macho with the perfect body
and the hair and the money.

Yeah, that must get old quick.

You know, just once

I would like to go out with someone

who is nice and honest

and who actually cares about me.

What about me?

What about you what?

What about if you went out with me?

Are you asking me out?

Yes, I am...

asking you out.

I was just going off
your comment about the nice guy.

- No, I got that.
- And honest.

- Totally.
- It's not a big deal.

Yes what?

Yes, I will go out with you.


Why not? I mean...
What do I have to lose?

That's the spirit.

Show me your citrus peels.

Gay wo kan ni de jud zi pee.

Show me your citrus peels.

Gay wo kan ni de jud zi pee.


I'm sorry.

Look, do you have a second?

A second what, pair of underwear?

I was just wondering if I could
talk to you. It's about Leonard.

Why me?

Why not Koothrappali or Wolowitz?

Well, Raj can't talk to me
unless he's drunk,

and Wolowitz is, you know, disgusting.

Yes, I suppose he is.

All I'm saying is,
you know Leonard the best.

Not necessarily.

I'm often surprised
by my lack of familiarity with Leonard.

Just the other day I discovered
he not only has a loofah,

he hides it.

Why do you suppose a man would
be ashamed of having a loofah?

I, myself, prefer to have my excess
epithelial cells slough off naturally,

but I don't condemn those who seek
to accelerate the process.

And until recently,

I had no idea that
despite his lactose intolerance,

he can tolerate small amounts
of non-fat ice cream

without producing a noxious
gas that I maintain,

in the right concentration,
could be weaponized.

Leonard might come home.
Can we talk in my apartment?

We're not done?


Why not? We're already through
the looking glass anyway.

Okay, so here's the thing...

I guess you're aware
that Leonard asked me out.

He didn't actually say anything,
but when he came back to the apartment

he was doing a dance that brought
to mind the happy hippos in Fantasia.

That's nice.

Anyhow, the thing I wanted
to talk to you about

is, since Leonard and I
have become friends... I was just...

Wanna sit down?

I wish it were that simple.

I don't spend much time here, and so
I've never really chosena place to sit.

Well, choose.

There are a number of options and...

I'm really not familiar enough
with the cushion densities,

air flow patterns
and dispersion of unlight

to make an informed choice.

Why don't you just pick one at random
and if you don't like it

- you can sit somewhere else next time.
- No. That's crazy.

You go ahead and talk
while I figure it out.

Here's the thing.

So I've known for a while now
that Leonard has had

- a little crush on me...
- A little crush?

I suppose so... in the same way Menelaus
had a "little crush" on Helen of Troy.

I don't really know who they are...

- Menelaus was the brother of Agamemnon.
- I don't care.

The point is,

Leonard isn't the kind of guy
I usually go out with.

Leonard isn't the kind of guy
anyone usually goes out with.

Would you be open to rotating
the couch clockwise 30 degrees?

No. What I'm saying is

Leonard might be
different in a good way.

Obviously, my usual choices
have not worked out so well.

Your last one worked
out well for Koothrappali.

He got a free iPod.


On the other hand,
if things don't go well with Leonard,

I risk losing a really good friend.

I'm guessing he's not looking
for a fling.

He's the kind of guy that gets
into a relationship for...

- like you would say, light years.
- I would not say that.

No one would say that. A light year
is a unit of distance not time.

Thank you for the clarification.


People hear the word "year"
and they think duration.

"Foot-pound" has the same problem,
that's a unit of work, not of weight.

Right. Thanks.

- It's a common mistake.
- Not the first one I've made today.

I think this will be my seat.

Do you have anything to say
that has anything to do with

what I'm talking about?

Well, let's see...

We might consider Schrodinger's cat.

Is that the woman in 2A?

That's Mrs. Grossinger.

She doesn't have a cat,
she has a Mexican hairless.

- Annoying little animal.
- Sheldon.

Sorry, you diverted me.

Anyway, in 1935, Erwin Schrodinger,

in an attempt to explain the Copenhagen
interpretation of quantum physics,

he proposed an experiment

where a cat is placed in a box
with a sealed vial of poison

that will break open at a random time.

Now, since no one knows

when or if the poison has been released,
until the box is opened,

the cat can be thought of
as both alive and dead.

Sorry. I don't get the point.

Of course you don't get it.
I haven't made it yet.

You'd have to be psychic to get it,
and there's no such thing as "psychic."

Sheldon, what's the point?!

Just like Schrodinger's cat,

your potential relationship
with Leonard right now

can be thought of as both good and bad.

It is only by opening the box
that you'll find out which it is.

Okay, so you're saying I should
go out with Leonard.

Let me start again.
In 1935, Erwin Schrodinger...

Two seats right there.

- Sheldon, I think I've made a mistake.
- I can see that.

Unless you're planning on running
a marathon, choosing both stuffing

and mashed potatoes
is a starch-filled redundancy.

No, it's about Penny.

A mistake involving Penny.

You'll have to narrow it down.

I don't think
I can go out with her tonight.

Then don't.

Other people would say "Why not?"

Other people might be interested.

- I'm going to talk anyway.
- I assumed you would.

Now that I'm actually about
to go out with Penny,

I'm not excited, I'm nauseous.

Then your meal choice is appropriate.

Starch absorbs fluid
which reduces the amount of vomit

available for violent expulsion.


You also made a common
grammatical mistake.

You said "nauseous,"
when you meant "nauseated."

But go on.

Sheldon, this date is probably
my one chance with Penny.

What happens if I blow it?

Well, if we accept your premise

and also accept the highly
improbable assumption

that Penny is the only woman
in the world for you,

then we can logically conclude
that the result of blowing it

would be that you end up a lonely,
bitter old man with no progeny.

The image of any number
of evil lighthouse keepers

from Scooby-Doo cartoons comes to mind.

You're not helping.

What response on my part

would bring this conversation
to a speedy conclusion?

Tell me whether or not
to go through with the date.

Schrodinger's cat.

That's brilliant.

You sound surprised.

- Come on in.
- Thank you.

You look very nice.

Thank you. So do you.

I made an 8:00 reservation.

Okay, yeah, great. Listen...

Maybe we should talk first.

But before you say anything, have you
ever heard of Schrodinger's cat?

Actually, I've heard far too much
about Schrodinger's cat.


All right, the cat's alive.
Let's go to dinner.

Crazy man. Call the police!