The Big Bang Theory (2007–…): Season 3, Episode 14 - The Einstein Approximation - full transcript

Sheldon wreaks havoc when he is stumped by a difficult physics question.

Whatcha doing?

I'm attempting to view my work
as a fleeting peripheral image

so as to engage the superior
colliculus of my brain.


I usually just have coffee.

You've been up all night?

Is it morning?


Then I've been up all night.

And you're stuck?

Why else would a person
try to engage

their superior colliculus?

Oh, sorry, sweetie, I can't help
you till I've had my coffee.

Penny, I told you if you don't
put him in his crate at night

he just runs around
the apartment.

What is he doing now?

LEONARD: Hmm, he's
either isolating the terms

of his formula and examining
them individually,


looking for the alligator
that swallowed his hand

after Peter Pan cut it off.

Captain Hook's hand was eaten
by a crocodile,

not an alligator.

If you're going to mock me, at
least get your facts straight.

Aye, aye, Captain.

I can't see it!

It just won't coalesce.

Maybe you need
a fresh start.

You're right.

(tires squealing
and car horns honking)

It's a great idea, Leonard.
Thank you.

Our whole universe
was in a hot, dense state

Then nearly 14 billion years
ago expansion started... Wait!

The Earth began to cool

The autotrophs began to drool,
Neanderthals developed tools

We built the Wall
We built the pyramids

Math, Science, History,
unraveling the mystery

That all started
with a big bang


Electrons move
through graphene...

act as if they
have no mass...

How long has
he been stuck?

Hmm, Intellectually about 30 hours.

Emotionally about 29 years.

Unit cell contains
two carbon atoms...

Interior angle
of a hexagon is 120 degrees.

Have you tried
rebooting him?



Nah, I think it's
a firmware problem.

Hey, it's Disco Night
at the Moonlight Roller Rink

in Glendale tonight.

Who's up for getting down?

That's perfect.

Bernadette's been hocking me
to take her roller skating.

I think Penny likes to skate.

The four of us could double.

What could be better?
We're in.

Great. It's not like I brought
it up because I wanted to go.

You can come with us.

No, it's okay.
I don't have to go.

I'm happy just to guide
you and your ladies

to suitable
entertainment choices.

Structure, constant
structure. One atom...

Boy, he's really gone,
isn't he?

Yeah, this morning he used
a stick of butter as deodorant.

I thought I smelled popcorn.

Pattern is the same
as fermions...

Travels on
the pathways...

It's always hexagonal...

I haven't seen him this stuck
since he tried to figure out

the third Matrix movie.


Hey, those are my lima beans!

Not lima beans, carbon atoms.

But if I don't eat
my lima beans,

I can't have my cookie.

Here, you want my peas?

The peas- perfect.

They can be electrons.

Want my corn?

Don't be ridiculous.

What would I do with corn?

So roller skating
- should we all grab a bite to eat first?

Good. P.F. Chang's?
My mon has coupons


Your mom's not
coming, right?

Not this time, I promise.

Okay, just to be clear,
roller skating was my idea,

and I'm very unhappy that you
turned it into a double date,

and I hope you both fall
on your asses

and break your coccyxes.

The plural of coccyx
is coccyges.

Screw you.
Give me back my lima beans.

Oh, my God.

Have you ever
been so embarrassed?

Not recently.

I don't know
which was lamer:

their roller-skating
or their disco dancing.

For me, the worst part

was when people
saw us leave with them.

You had some nice moves
out there, Howard.

Thanks. You, too.

Did you notice all the
people looking at us?

Not really. I was
in my boogie zone.

When Howard tried
to do the splits...


Sorry. I'm moving
a little slow.

I think I bruised
my coccyx.

Oh, poor baby.

Don't tell Koothrappali.

After you.

Oh, what a gentleman.

Hey, Sheldon.

(screams) LEONARD: Oh, my God!

Are you...

Good Lord!

You're ruining everything!

Oh, damn.

Are you okay?

Do I look okay?

Don't bark at me.
I fell, too.

Oh, you've been falling
all night. You're used to it.

Sheldon, what the
hell are you doing?

The same thing I've been doing
for three days.

Trying to figure out
why electrons

behave as if they have no mass

when traveling
through a graphene sheet.

With marbles?

Well, I needed something bigger

than peas, now, didn't I?

Sheldon, when was the last time
you got any sleep?

I don't know- two, three days.

Not important.

I don't need sleep.
I need answers.

I need to determine where

in this swamp
of unbalanced formulas

squatteth the toad of truth.

Toad of truth?

Is that a physics thing?

No, that's a
crazy thing.

Okay, Sheldon.

What happens
to our neuroreceptors

when we don't get
enough REM sleep?

They lose their sensitivity
to serotonin and norepinephrine.

Which leads to...?

Impaired cognitive function.

Right, so march in there,
brush your teeth and go to bed.

But I don't want to go to bed.

I'm going to count
to three. One...

Oh, all right.

That was amazing
how you handled him.

I know how to deal
with stubborn children.

My mother used to run an illegal
day care center in our basement.

(evil laughter)

Leonard, you're... you're
giggling in your sleep.

It's not me.

It's my new ringtone.

The Joker from Batman.

Well, it creeps me out.

Me, too, but I paid
three bucks for it.

Just answer the phone.



Yeah, I'm Leonard Hofstadter.

Yeah, yeah, he's my roommate.

Oh, God, is he okay?

Yeah, all-all right.
I'll be right there.

What happened?

Sheldon's escaped
and is terrorizing the village.

Okay. Have fun.

Hi. I'm Dr. Hofstadter.

Where is he?
Ball pit.

Thanks for not
calling the cops.

Oh, hey, it's
no big deal.

My sister's got a kid
who's special.

Yeah, well,
he's extra special.

Hey, Shelly.

Whatcha doin'?

Size ratio was all wrong.

Couldn't visualize it.

Needed bigger carbon atoms.

Sure, sure.

How did you get
into this place?

Back door has a five-pin
tumbler system,

single-circuit alarm.
Child's play.

You can start sorting protons
and neutrons

while I build carbon atoms.

No, I don't think so.

We need to go home now.

But I'm still working.

If you don't come out of there,

I'm going to have
to drag you out.

You can try,
but you'll never catch me.

For God's sakes.

Sheldon, come here!






Leonard and Penny.

Leonard and Penny.

What, what, what?

Leonard and Penny.


I have good news.
LEONARD: And you had

to barge in here
and wake us up

in the middle
of the night?

Your cell phone was off.

Because we didn't want
to be disturbed.

Well, that didn't work out,
did it?

Sheldon, what
do you want?

I came to tell you
I've got the answer.


You figured out
the graphene problem?

No, no, I'm still
hopelessly stuck on that,

but I figured out
how to figure it out.

Okay, you know what,
Leonard, I know I said

I could handle your roommate,
but I was wrong.

We're going to
have to break up.

What are you
talking about?

(clears throat)
Oh. (sighs)


Yeah, I'm going to need
a little more.

Albert Einstein.

Keep going.

When Albert Einstein came up
with special relativity,

he was working at
the patent office.

So, you're going to go work
at the patent office?

Don't be absurd.

That's in Washington.

You know I could never live
in a city whose streets

are laid out in a
wheel-and-spoke pattern.

No. I'm going to find

a similarly menial job

where my basal ganglia are
occupied with a routine task,

freeing my prefrontal cortex

to work quietly in the
background on my problem.

Sounds like a great plan.

Of course it is.

Even talking to you is

sufficiently menial
that I can feel

the proverbial juices
starting to flow.

Okay, well, thanks
for sharing with us.

Good night.
You're welcome.

And good night to you, too.


Oh, by the way, I was
watching you sleep for a moment,

and I noticed that your snoring

seems to be worse
when you're on your back.

Leonard doesn't snore.

No, I wasn't talking to Leonard.

I told you.

So, Mr. Cooper, you're
looking for a job.

A menial job.

Like yours.

Why, thank you for noticing.

I'm "Menial Employee
of the Month."

Do you have
a particular field in mind?

I do.

For thousands of years,

the lowest classes
of the human race

have spent their lives laboring
to erect monuments

under the lash of their betters,

until finally,

they dropped down

and became one with the dust
through which they trudged.

Do you have anything like that?


Shouldn't you check
your database?


You didn't really type?

I didn't really have to.

So, how about

Oh, that would be good!

Sawing, hammering,
eating out of a lunch pail

as my working-class
fellows and I

high above the metropolis.

No, no. This is
putting up sheetrock

at a housing project
in Rosemead.

I could do that.

One question.

What's sheetrock?

Moving on.

How about

doing deliveries for a florist?

That seems acceptable.

Do you have your own car?
I don't drive.

Of course you don't.

Mr. Cooper, let me
just ask you a question.

What was your last job?

Senior theoretical
particle physicist at CalTech,

focusing on M theory, or, in
layman's terms, string theory.

I see.

Just give me a second.


Okay, I'll get those drinks
started for you.

Behind you.

Sheldon, what the hell
are you doing?

I'm trying to get
these tables cleared.

We're slammed.

No, wait, wait,
no, wait.

Wh-What are you
doing here?

A reasonable question.

I asked myself, what is
the most mind-numbing,

pedestrian job conceivable,

and three answers came to mind:

uh, toll booth attendant,
Apple Store genius...

...and what Penny does.


since I don't like

touching other people's coins,

and I refuse to contribute

to the devaluation
of the word "genius,"

here I am.

You just, you just walked in
and they hired you,

just like that?

Oh, heavens, no.

Since I don't need to be paid,
I didn't need to be hired.

I simply came in,
picked up a tray,

and started
"working for the man."

Let me get that plate
out of your way.


this is ridiculous.

Is it?

Just a moment ago,
I had a minor epiphany

regarding the polymer
degradation phenomenon

while scraping
congealed nachos off a plate.

Bernadette, table 10
wants their check.

Thanks, Sheldon.


wait, this isn't even what I do.

I'm a waitress, not a busboy.

You're right.
That is more menial.

Hello, I'm Sheldon.
I'll be your server today.

I don't recommend the salmon.

I saw it in the kitchen.

Now...All right,
one bacon cheeseburger,

breaking two Jewish dietary
restrictions simultaneously-


fish and chips.

Now, here's your
tartar sauce.

I also brought you salsa.

It's a little unconventional,
but I think you'll like it.

It's zingy.

And for you, Factory
Burrito Grande-

no cheese,
no sour cream,

no ugly consequences
from your lactose intolerance.

Bon app?tit.

Hang on.

Black beans, not pinto beans?


Double guacamole?
Of course.

No cilantro?

Lettuce shredded,
not chopped? Yep.

You understand
why I'm doing this to you?

I do.
That'll be all.

That was fun.


How long can he keep this up?

I heard about this
professor at MIT

who melted down,
bought a van,

and spent the rest of his life
as a mobile dog groomer.

He never went back
to the university?

Only to shampoo Professor
Shamburg's shih tzu.


I bet if we all chipped in,
we could buy Sheldon a van.

But he's afraid of dogs.

Yeah, that's the only thing
wrong with that plan.

Hey, guys, sorry you had
to wait, but we are swamped.

What's this?

Sheldon took our order.

Sheldon doesn't work here.

Well, honey, not to complain,

but we were starting
to think you didn't either.


Is that really necessary?

Good Lord.

The interference pattern
in the fracture.

The motion
of the wave

through the molecular structure.

I've been looking
at it all wrong.

I can't consider
the electrons as particles.

They move through the graphene
as a wave.

It's a wave!

The moment to applaud
would be now.


Sheldon... where are you going?

Aren't you going
to clean this up?

I'm sorry. I don't work here.

Happy now?
I'm on a cloud.

Swing me.

Sheldon, come here.