Series 03 Episode 01 – The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation

Scene: Opening shows some scenes from the final episode of the previous season, followed by the caption “Three months later.” Scene then opens in lobby, with the guys arriving home from the North Pole. All have long hair and bushy beards except Sheldon, whose hair is slightly longer and who has a goatee.

Leonard: Oh, thank God we’re home.

Howard: I can’t believe we spent three months in that frozen hell.

Raj: It was like a snowy nightmare from which there was no awakening.

Sheldon: I don’t know what Arctic expedition you guys were on, but I thought it was a hoot and a half.

Scene: The apartment door. Sheldon is on the phone.

Sheldon: Oh, hi mom. No, I told you I’d call you when I got home, I’m not home yet. (Walks through door) Alright, I’m home. The Arctic expedition was a remarkable success, I’m all but certain there’s a Nobel Prize in my future. Actually, I shouldn’t say that. I’m entirely certain. No, mother, I could not feel your church group praying for my safety. The fact that I’m home safe is not proof that it worked, that logic is Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc. No, I’m not sassing you in Eskimo talk.

Leonard: I’m going to go let Penny know we’re back.

Sheldon: Mother, I have to go. Yeah, love you. Bye. (To his spot) Hello, old friend. (Sits) Daddy’s home.

Scene: Penny’s door.

Penny: Leonard, you’re back.

Leonard: Yeah, I just stopped by to say… (she grabs him and kisses him) Yeah, so, hi!

Penny: Hi! (They stumble, kissing, into her apartment and slam the door shut)

Howard: Dammit, I should have gone over and told her we were back.

Raj: Yeah, it was first come, first served.

Credits sequence.

Scene: A moment later.

Sheldon: I just want you both to know, when I publish my findings, I won’t forget your contributions.

Howard: Great.

Raj: Thanks.

Sheldon: Of course, I can’t mention you in my Nobel acceptance speech, but when I get round to writing my memoirs you can expect a very effusive footnote, and perhaps a signed copy.

Raj: We have to tell him.

Sheldon: Tell me what?

Howard: Damn his Vulcan hearing.

Sheldon: You fellows are planning a party for me, aren’t you?

Howard: Okay, Sheldon, sit down.

Sheldon: If there’s going to be a theme, I should let you know that I don’t care for luau, toga or under the sea.

Howard: Yeah, we’ll keep that in mind, look, we need to talk to you about something that happened at the North Pole.

Sheldon: If this is about the night the heat went out, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

Raj: It’s not about that.

Howard: And we agreed to never speak of it again.

Sheldon: So we slept together naked. It was only to keep our core body temperatures from plummeting.

Howard: He’s speaking about it.

Raj: For me, it was a bonding moment.

Howard: Sheldon, you remember the first few weeks we were looking for magnetic monopoles and not finding anything and you were acting like an obnoxious, giant dictator?

Raj: I thought we were going to be gentle with him.

Howard: That’s why I added the tator. And then when we found our first positive data, you were so happy.

Sheldon: Oh, yes. In the world of emoticons, I was colon, capital D.

Howard: Well, in actuality, what your equipment detected wasn’t so much evidence of paradigm-shifting monopoles as it was… static from the electric can opener we were turning on and off.

Raj: He just went colon, capital O.

Sheldon: You tampered with my experiment?

Howard: We had to.

Raj: It was the only way to keep you from being such a huge Dickensian. You see that? I added the ensian.

Sheldon: Did Leonard know about this? Leonard’s my best friend in the world. Surely Leonard didn’t know.

Howard: Actually, it was his idea.

Sheldon: Of course it was. The whole plan reeks of Leonard.

Scene: Penny’s apartment.

Penny: I missed you so much.

Leonard: I missed you, too.

Penny: I couldn’t even think of anyone else while you were gone.

Leonard: Me, neither. Except for one night when the heat went out. Long story, it’s… don’t ask.

Sheldon: (Knock, knock, knock) Leonard. (Knock, knock, knock) Leonard. (Knock, knock, knock) Leonard.

Leonard (whispering): Do not make a sound.

Sheldon: Whispering do not make a sound is a sound.

Leonard: Damn his Vulcan hearing. Not a good time, Sheldon.

Sheldon: (Knock, knock, knock) Penny. (Knock, knock, knock) Penny. (Knock, knock, knock) Penny.

Penny: Oh, this is ridiculous. What?

Sheldon: Hello, Penny. I realize you’re currently at the mercy of your primitive biological urges, but as you have an entire lifetime of poor decisions ahead of you, may I interrupt this one?

Penny: It’s great to see you too. Come on in.

Sheldon: Wolowitz has informed me of your grand deception. Do you have anything to say for yourself?

Leonard: Yes, I feel terrible about it. I will never forgive myself, I don’t expect you to either, and I would really appreciate it if you would leave me with Penny for a session of self-criticism and repentance.

Penny: Okay, can someone please tell me what’s going on here?

Sheldon: What’s going on is I was led to believe I was making groundbreaking strides in science, when in fact, I was being fed false data at the hands of Wolowitz, Koothrappali and your furry little boy toy.

Penny: Is that true?

Leonard: It was the only way to make him happy.

Penny: Why did you have to make him happy?

Leonard: Because when he wasn’t happy, we wanted to kill him. There was even a plan. We were going to throw his Kindle outside, and when he went to get it, lock the door and let him freeze to death.

Sheldon: That seems like a bit of an overreaction.

Leonard: No, the overreaction was the plan to tie your limbs to four different sled dog teams and yell mush. Look, we kept the original data. You can still publish the actual results.

Sheldon: Yes, but the actual results are unsuccessful and I’ve already sent an e-mail to everyone at the university explaining that I have confirmed string theory and forever changed man’s understanding of the universe.

Leonard: Aw, see, yeah, you probably shouldn’t have done that. So write another e-mail, set the record straight, it’s no big deal.

Sheldon: You’re right, Leonard, it’s not a big deal. All you did was lie to me destroy my dream and humiliate me in front of the whole university. That, FYI, was sarcasm. I, in fact, believe it is a big deal

Penny: Oh, the poor thing.

Leonard: Yeah, I feel terrible.

Penny: Wait, wait. Aren’t you going to go talk to him?

Leonard: What? Uh, he’ll be fine, the guy’s a trouper, come here.

Penny: No, you’re right, you shouldn’t talk to him. I will.

Leonard: Man, I cannot catch a break.

Scene: Sheldon’s bedroom. Penny knocks and enters.

Penny: Hey. Do you want to talk?

Sheldon: About what? Being betrayed by my friends? Spending three months at the North Pole for nothing? And I didn’t even get to go to Comic-Con!

Penny: Oh, hon… Uh… (singing) Soft kitty, warm kitty…

Sheldon: That’s for when I’m sick. Sad is not sick.

Penny: Oh. Sorry. I don’t know your sad song.

Sheldon: I don’t have a sad song. I’m not a child.

Penny: Well, you know, I do understand what you’re going through.

Sheldon: Really? Did you just have the Nobel Prize in waitressing stolen from you?

Penny: Well, no, but when I was a senior in high school, one of my friends heard I was going to be named head cheerleader. Oh, I was so excited. My mom even made me a celebration pie. Then they named stupid Valerie Mossbacher head cheerleader. Big ol’ slutbag.

Sheldon: Are you saying that you think a celebration pie is even remotely comparable to a Nobel Prize?

Penny: Well, they’re pretty tasty.

Sheldon: And on a different, but not unrelated topic, based on your current efforts to buoy my spirits, do you truly believe that you were ever fit to be a cheer leader?

Penny: Look, Sheldon, I just don’t think that the guys and Leonard really meant to hurt you. You know? They just told an unfortunate lie to deal with a difficult situation. Okay, you know what it’s like? Remember that scene in the new Star Trek movie when Kirk has to take over the ship, so he tells Spock all that stuff he knew wasn’t true, like saying Spock didn’t care his mom died?

Sheldon: I missed Comic-Con and the new Star Trek movie!

Scene: The university cafeteria. The guys have shaved and had haircuts. Howard has kept his moustache.

Raj: I like the new look.

Howard: Thanks. I call it the Clooney.

Raj: I call it the Mario and Luigi, but whatever. Hey, how’s Sheldon doing?

Leonard: Well, he came out of his room this morning wearing his Darth Vader helmet and tried to choke me to death with the Force, so I’d say, a little better.

Howard: If I may abruptly change the subject, did you and Penny finally… you know.

Leonard: Howard…

Howard: Personally, I don’t care, but my genitals wanted me to ask.

Leonard: Well, tell your genitals what I do with Penny is none of their business.

Howard (to his genitals): He says they didn’t do it.

Leonard (to Sheldon, entering): Sheldon, over here. (Sheldon sits at another table and tries to choke all three to death with the force. Raj pretends he is choking.)

Howard: What are you doing?

Raj: I feel bad for the guy.

Leonard: Sheldon, why are you sitting by yourself?

Sheldon: Because I am without friends. Like the proverbial cheese, I stand alone. Even while seated.

Leonard: Come on. We said we were sorry.

Sheldon: It’s going to take more than I’m sorry and a store-bought apology pie from Penny to make up for what you’ve done to me.

Kripke (arriving): Hey, Cooper. Wead your wetwaction e-mail. Way to destroy your weputation.

Sheldon: You see? People have been pointing and laughing at me all morning.

Kripke: That’s not twue. People have been pointing and waughing at you your whole wife.

Sheldon: All right, I’ve had enough. Attention, everyone. I’ m Dr. Sheldon Cooper. As many of you in the physics department might know, my career trajectory has taken a minor detour.

Kripke: Off a cwiff.

Sheldon: My credibility may have been damaged…

Kripke: Compwetely wecked.

Sheldon: But I would like to remind you that in science, there’s no such thing as failure. There once was a man who referred to his prediction of a cosmological constant as the single biggest blunder of his career. That man’s name was, surprise, surprise, Albert Einstein.

Kripke: Yeah, but wesearch into Dark Energy pwoved that Einstein’s cosmowogical constant was actually wight all along, so you’re still, surpwise, surpwise, a woser.

Sheldon: Oh, you think you’re so clever. Well, let me just tell you, while I do not currently have a scathing retort, you check your e-mail periodically for a doozy.

Leonard: So much for our friendship with Sheldon.

Raj: Well, we’ll always have the night the heat went out.

Scene: Penny’s apartment.

Penny: Hi.

Leonard: Hey. Listen, since we got, you know, interrupted last night, I didn’t have a chance to give you this.

Penny: Oh, Leonard, you shouldn’t have. Oh, boy! What is it?

Leonard: It’s a snowflake. From the North Pole.

Penny: Are you serious?

Leonard: Uh-huh. It’ll last forever. I preserved it in a one percent solution of polyvinyl acetal resin.

Penny: Oh, my God. That’s the most romantic thing anyone’s ever said to me that I didn’t understand.

Leonard: It’s actually a pretty simple process. You see, cyanoacrylate are monomers which polymerize on… (she kisses him)

Howard (arriving): Red alert, Leonard. Sheldon ran away.

Leonard: Man, I can not catch a break.

Penny: So, how do you know he ran away?

Howard: Well, he’s not answering his phone, he handed in his resignation at the university and he sent me a text that said, I’m running away.

Leonard: Okay, well, thanks for letting me know.

Penny: Well, Leonard, aren’t you going to do something?

Leonard: Of course I’m going to do something. Uh, Howard, you check the comic book store. Raj, go to the Thai restaurant. I’ll stay here with Penny in her apartment. (His phone rings) Oh, damn it. It’s Sheldon’s mother. A break cannot be caught. Hi, Mrs. Cooper. He is? Sheldon went home to Texas. Yeah, no, I know he resigned. Yes, I guess it kind of is our fault. No, no, no, you, you’re right, someone needs to come talk to him. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it. Yeah. All right. New plan. Howard, you and Raj go to Texas. I’ll stay here with Penny in her apartment.

Penny: Well, you’re not gonna go with them?

Leonard: Well, you know, I gave you the snowflake and we were kissing and… Oh, come on, I don’t want to go to Texas!

Howard: Oh, right, and I do? My people already crossed a desert once, we’re done.

Leonard: Trust me, you’ll be fine. See ya.

Penny: Well, wait a second, Leonard, come on, how can you not go? He’s your best friend.

Leonard: Yeah, but I already saw him naked. Just come here.

Penny: No. I promise I will be here when you get back. Just go help Sheldon.

Leonard: Really?

Penny: Yeah. We waited a few months. We can wait a few more days.

Leonard: Maybe you can.

Penny: Go.

Raj: Boy, you cannot catch a break, can you?

Scene: Sheldon’s mother’s kitchen.


Mrs Cooper: Here you go, Shelly.

Sheldon: Thanks, Mom.

Mrs Cooper: Hold your horses, young man. Here in Texas, we pray before we eat.

Sheldon: Aw, Mom.

Mrs Cooper: This is not California, land of the heathen. Gimme. By His hand we are all…

Sheldon: Fed.

Mrs Cooper: Give us, Lord, our daily…

Sheldon: Bread.

Mrs Cooper: Please know that we are truly…

Sheldon: Grateful.

Mrs Cooper: For every cup and every…

Sheldon: Plateful.

Mrs Cooper: Amen. Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Sheldon: My objection was based on considerations other than difficulty.

Mrs Cooper: Whatever. Jesus still loves you.

Sheldon: Thank you for carving a smiley face in my grilled cheese sandwich.

Mrs Cooper: Oh, I know how to take care of my baby. His eyes came out a little thin, but you can just pretend he’s Chinese. So, do you want to talk about what happened with you and your little friends?

Sheldon: They’re not my friends.

Mrs Cooper: All right. If you recall, when you were little, we sat right here at this very spot and we talked about some of the problems you had getting along with the neighbour kids.

Sheldon: That was different. They were threatened by my intelligence and too stupid to know that’s why they hated me.

Mrs Cooper: Oh baby, they knew very well why they hated you.

Scene: A rental car.


Leonard: I can’t believe you bought a red cowboy hat.

Howard: Hello? I’m wearing a red turtleneck. Plus, it was the only boys’ large they had.

Raj: I’m sorry, this does not look like Texas. Where’s the tumbleweeds? Where’s the saloons?

Leonard: Saloons?

Raj: Yeah, like in the movies I saw growing up in India. You know, uh, Four for Texas, Yellow Rose of Texas.

Howard: This neighbourhood is more Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Raj: I was really hoping to see a cattle drive.

Leonard: What can I tell you? They probably have steaks on sale at that big-ass Costco over there.

Scene: Sheldon’s mother’s house.

Leonard: Will you please take that stupid hat off?

Howard: No, I want to blend in.

Raj: To what? Toy Story?

Mrs Cooper: Hi, boys.

Howard: Howdy, ma’am.

Mrs Cooper: Howdy to you, too. You got here quick.

Leonard: – We took the red-eye.

Mrs Cooper: Well, come on in.

Howard: Thank you kindly.

Mrs Cooper: Can I… Can I get you something to drink?

Leonard: Uh, no, thank you.

Howard: If y’all don’t mind, I got a hankerin’ for a Lone Star beer.

Mrs Cooper: There’s no alcohol in this household. Stop talking like that and lose the hat.

Howard: Sorry. I’ll take a diet Yoo-Hoo if you have it.

Mrs Cooper: You’ll take a Cola.* What about you? Radge, isn’t it? Oh, you still having trouble talking to the ladies? Because, you know, at our church we have a woman who’s an amazing healer. Mostly she does, uh, crutch and wheelchair people, but I bet she’d be willing to take a shot at whatever Third World demon is running around inside of you.

Leonard: Uh, if you don’t mind, Mrs. Cooper, there’s a 3:05 nonstop back to Los Angeles, and you have no idea how much I want to be on it.

Mrs Cooper: A girl?

Leonard: Uh, yes, ma’am.

Mrs Cooper: Oh, good. I’ve been praying for you. Oh, Sheldon.

Sheldon: What are they doing here?

Leonard: We came to apologize.

Howard: Again.

Leonard: And bring you home. So, why don’t you pack up your stuff and we’ll head back.

Leonard: No, this is my home now. Thanks to you, my career is over and I will spend the rest of my life here in Texas trying to teach evolution to creationists.

Mrs Cooper: You watch your mouth, Shelly. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.

Sheldon: Evolution isn’t an opinion, it’s fact.

Mrs Cooper: And that is your opinion.

Sheldon: I forgive you. Let’s go home.

Mrs Cooper: Don’t tell me prayer doesn’t work.

Scene: In Penny’s bed.

Leonard: How about that? I finally caught a break.

Penny: Uh-huh.

Leonard: You know how they say when friends have sex it can get weird?

Penny: Sure.

Leonard: Why does it have to get weird?

Penny: I don’t know.

Leonard: I mean, we were friends, and now we’re more than friends. We’re whatever this is. But why label it, right? I mean, it is what it is and…

Penny: Leonard?

Leonard: Yeah?

Penny: It’s weird.

Leonard: Totally.

(* This scene was originally filmed using the word “coke” but it was overdubbed for television purposes. On the DVD version, the original is used.)

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