Series 3 Episode 18 – The Pants Alternative
Scene: The university cafeteria.
Raj: Okay in Avatar when they have sex in Pandora they hook up their ponytails, so we know their ponytails are like their junk.
Howard: Yeah, so?
Raj: So, when they ride horses and fly on the birds, they also use their ponytails.
Howard: What’s your point?
Raj: My point is, if I were a horse or a bird, I’d be very nervous around James Cameron.
Sheldon: It amazes me how you constantly obsess over fictional details when there are more important things in the real world to worry about. For example, why wasn’t William Shatner in the new Star Trek movie?
Leonard: Hey, Sheldon, I was up in the administration office, and I happened to overhear the name of the winner of this year’s Chancellor’s Award for Science.
Sheldon: And you want to rub my nose in the fact that my contributions are being overlooked again? I am the William Shatner of theoretical physics. All right, I’ll play. What self-important, preening fraud are they honouring this year?
Leonard: Oh, I’m so glad you asked it like that. You.
Sheldon: I won?
Leonard: You won.
Sheldon: I won! This is astonishing. Not that I won the award, no one deserves it more. Actually, I guess I misspoke. It’s not astonishing, more like inevitable. I’m not sure what to do first. Maybe I should call my mother. Wait! I know, I’m going to conduct an interview with myself and post it online.
Raj: Well, good for him.
Howard: Yeah, the one thing the William Shatner of theoretical physics needed was an ego boost.
Scene: The apartment. The guys are watching Avatar in 3D. All are wearing 3D glasses except Raj.
Howard: Didn’t it look like that spear was going to go right through your skull?
Leonard: Hey, you didn’t want a Slurpee at 7-Eleven, you don’t get glasses.
Sheldon (phone rings): Oh, that will be another congratulatory call for me. Uh, mute, please.
Howard: Uh, hang on, flaming arrow.
Sheldon: Hello? Oh, Chancellor Morton, how are you, sir? Yes, I was expecting your call (aside) three years ago. I see. Wait. What happens if I choose not to give a speech? Uh-huh. And if I don’t want to forfeit the award? Well, you’ve got that tied up in a neat little bow. All right. Thank you. (Hangs up) Problem.
Sheldon: They expect me to give a speech at the banquet. I can’t give a speech.
Howard: Well, no, you’re mistaken. You give speeches all the time. What you can’t do is shut up.
Raj: Yeah, before the movie, you did 20 minutes on why guacamole turns brown. It turned brown while you were talking.
Sheldon: I am perfectly comfortable speaking to small groups. I cannot speak to large crowds.
Leonard: What, to you, is a large crowd?
Sheldon: Any group big enough to trample me to death. General rule of thumb is 36 adults or 70 children.
Penny: Sheldon, congratulations. Brought you cheesecake from work. You know, ’cause of your award, not because a busboy sneezed on it.
Sheldon: I’m not accepting the award.
Penny: Why not?
Howard: Turns out the great Sheldon Cooper has stage fright.
Penny: That’s no reason to back out. You know, I once got a pretty big honour in high school, and I was terrified about appearing in front of a big crowd, but I went through with it, and you know what? The world looked pretty darn good sitting on a haystack in the back of a Ford F-150 as a member of the Corn Queen’s court.
Sheldon: Thank you. Yeah, I’ll bear that in mind if I’m ever nominated for the Hillbilly Peace Prize.
Leonard: Sheldon, you’re being ridiculous.
Sheldon: Am I? Let me tell you a story.
Howard: Where’s 70 children when you need ‘em?
Sheldon: I was 14 and graduating summa cum laude from college. Summa cum laude is Latin for with highest honours.
Penny: I just love how you always skip over the part where no one asks.
Sheldon: I was valedictorian and expected to give an address. Even now, I can remember that moment when I walked up to the podium and looked out at the crowd. There must have been thousands of people. My heart started pounding in my chest. I began to hyperventilate. My vision became blurry, and before I knew it… oh, dear. (He faints.)
Penny: Oh, my God.
Leonard: Sheldon? Sheldon, are you okay?
Sheldon: Don’t trample me.
Scene: The stairwell. Sheldon is on the phone.
Sheldon: Come on, Mother, you know why I can’t accept the award. With all due respect, I don’t think praying will help. No, I have not heard the song, Jesus, Take the Wheel. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, you don’t need to start singing it. Yes, I’ll buy it on the iTunes, Mother. Good-bye, Mother. (Enters apartment. The others are sitting as if waiting for him.) Hello.
Leonard: Sit down, we want to talk to you.
Sheldon: Am I in trouble? Did my mother call you?
Penny: Just sit.
Leonard: We think we can help you with your stage fright.
Sheldon: Oh, I doubt that. I haven’t figured out a way, and I’m much smarter than all of you.
Penny: Yes, but you’re not smarter than all of us put together.
Sheldon: Oh, I’m sorry, that is what I meant.
Penny: Okay, your problem is, you’re trying to do this all by yourself.
Leonard: We can help you. We can be your team. Like, uh, Professor Xavier and his X-Men.
Sheldon: I do like the X-Men.
Penny: Did I see X-Men?
Leonard: Yeah, we watched it last week. You said you liked it.
Penny: Oh. I say a lot of things, sweetie. So, how about it, Sheldon?
Sheldon: I don’t know. If you’re my X-Men, what are your powers?
Penny: Okay. Well, I am going to take you shopping, get you a nice suit. Might give you more confidence.
Sheldon: That’s not exactly a mutation that would get you into Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, but go on. Leonard?
Leonard: I thought I could try to analyze you and get to the root of your anxiety.
Sheldon: What qualifies you to attempt to understand my mind?
Leonard: My mother is a highly regarded psychiatrist, and I’ve been in therapy ever since she accused me of breast-feeding co-dependently.
Howard: Raj says he can teach you, what did you call it? I don’t know, some Indian meditation crap.
Sheldon: I see. Well, I assume, since the rest of you have set the bar so low, you’re saving the most impressive contribution for last. Go ahead, Howard. Dazzle me.
Howard: My power is the ability to pretend like I give a damn about your piddly-ass problems. And that’s 24-7, buddy.
Sheldon: And I appreciate the pretence.
Penny: So, what do you say, Sheldon? Are we your X-Men?
Sheldon: No. The X-Men were named for the X in Charles Xavier. Since I am Sheldon Cooper, you will be my C-Men.
Howard: Oh, that’s not a good name.
Scene: The apartment. Raj is lighting candles. Indian music is playing.
Raj: Okay, Sheldon. I’m going to be leading you through a series of meditation exercises. These methods come from the ancient gurus of India and have helped me overcome my own fears.
Sheldon: And yet, you can’t speak to women.
Raj: True, but thanks to meditation, I am able to stay in the same room with them without urinating. Now, close your eyes.
Sheldon: Okay, but don’t punch me.
Sheldon: When I was little, my sister would say to me, close your eyes, you’ll get a surprise, and then she’d punch me.
Raj: I’m not going to punch you.
Sheldon: That’s what my sister used to say.
Raj: Do you want to do this or not?
Sheldon: I’m sorry. Proceed.
Raj: All right. Imagine yourself in the one place you feel most at home. Where is that?
Sheldon: Sim City. More specifically, the Sim City I designed, Sheldonopolis.
Raj: Okay, you’re in Sheldonopolis.
Sheldon: Where exactly? Sheldon Square? Sheldon Towers? Sheldon Stadium, home of the Fighting Sheldons?
Raj: Whatever you like.
Sheldon: I thought this was supposed to be a guided meditation.
Raj: Fine. You’re in Sheldon Square.
Sheldon: Really? This time of year? It’s a bit nippy.
Raj: Then, put on a sweater.
Sheldon: Suppose I could run downtown and pick up something at Shel-Mart.
Raj: Yeah, whatever. Just go buy a sweater.
Sheldon: You know, the nice thing about Shel-Mart is I own it, so I get a 15% discount.
Raj: You own the damn thing. Just take a freaking sweater!
Sheldon: Look, I didn’t turn a profit last quarter by taking product off the shelves willy-nilly.
Raj: All right. You’ve paid for a sweater, and you’re in Sheldon Square.
Sheldon: Hang on. It’s a cardigan. I have to button it. Oh, no.
Raj: What now?
Sheldon: A Godzilla-like monster is approaching the city. I have to get my people to safety. People of Sheldonopolis, this is your mayor. Follow me. If the children can’t run, leave them behind. Oh, the simulated horror! (Sound of door slamming) Raj? Just as I suspected. Meditation is nothing but hokum.
Scene: A clothing store.
Sheldon: I question your premise. How is a new suit going to prevent me from passing out in front of a ballroom full of people?
Penny: It’ll give you confidence. You know, sometimes when I’m feeling all stressed out about something, I go out and buy a cute top or a fun skirt and I have a whole new outlook on life.
Sheldon: Don’t you eventually realize you’re just the same stressed out person in a cute top or a fun skirt?
Penny: Yeah, that’s when I buy shoes. Now, let’s see what we’ve got. Ooh! This is nice.
Sheldon: It’s only one colour.
Penny: Yeah, so?
Sheldon: That’s a lot of money for only one colour.
Penny: Fine. Why don’t you pick out what you like.
Sheldon: Hmm. (Cut to Sheldon exiting changing room in a loud check suit). This is pretty sharp.
Penny: No, you’re wrong.
Sheldon (now in a sparkly green suit with rhinestones): This is great. I had a suit like this when I was six. (Cut to Sheldon exiting in a white dinner suit with tails) Okay, I think we have a winner.
Penny: Where the hell d’you find that?
Sheldon: In the prom department.
Penny: It’s ridiculous.
Sheldon: Says the former member of the Corn Queen’s Court.
Penny: Please just try this one on.
Sheldon: Okay. But anything I put on now is only going to suffer in comparison. (Goes into changing room. Comes out in black suit looking terrific.) This is absurd. I look like a clown.
Scene: The apartment.
Leonard: So, Sheldon, how you doing?
Sheldon: That’s how you start a psychotherapy session? How am I doing? I was promised a riverboat journey into the jungles of my subconscious. Instead, I get the same question I hear from the lady who slices my bologna at Ralph’s.
Leonard: I’m sorry, I’ll start again.
Sheldon: Would it be helpful to you if I told you about my dreams?
Leonard: Um, I don’t know, maybe.
Sheldon: I recently had a dream that I was a giant. But everything around me was to scale, so it all looked normal.
Leonard: How did you know you were a giant if everything was to scale?
Sheldon: I was wearing size a million pants.
Leonard: Why don’t we just talk?
Sheldon: Ah, the talking cure. Classical Freudian, good choice. If it will help speed things along, uh, my answers to the standard Rorschach ink blot test are A, a bat, B, a bat, C, a bat, and D, my father killing my mother with a hypodermic needle.
Leonard: Why don’t I just start? Sometimes people have trouble accepting accolades if, on a subconscious level, they don’t feel they deserve them. Do you think maybe that’s what’s happening here?
Sheldon: Really, Leonard? You’re just going to try to recycle Adler’s doctrine of the inferiority complex? I could probably get that from the woman at Ralph’s. And she’d let me taste some pieces of cheese for free.
Leonard: But it could be part of your problem. Let me give you an example. When I was eight, I won a ribbon at the science fair for my project, “Do Lima Beans Grow Better to Classical Music.” But my mother pointed out that it was just a rehash of my brother’s earlier “Do Lima Beans Grow Worse to Rock ‘n’ Roll.” I felt so guilty, I gave the ribbon back.
Sheldon: And how did that make you feel?
Leonard: Terrible. I worked really hard on that project. I stayed up all night singing the clown’s aria from Pagliacci to a lima bean sprout.
Sheldon: Go on.
Leonard: It wasn’t my fault. I had never seen my brother’s project. And my mother could’ve told me before instead of at the ceremony in front of everyone.
Sheldon: So, I hear you saying you’re angry with your mother.
Leonard: Damn right, I’m angry with my mother. For God’s sake, I was eight years old. She humiliated me. That’s when the bed-wetting started again.
Sheldon: Thank you, Leonard.
Leonard: For what?
Sheldon: If someone as damaged as you can find his way to crawl out of bed each morning, I think I can face a simple award ceremony.
Leonard: Wait, that’s it? I thought we had a whole hour!
Scene: The award ceremony.
Leonard: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Dr. Leonard Hofstadter, and it is my very great honour to introduce the winner of this year’s Chancellor’s award for Science and my good friend, Dr. Sheldon Cooper. But before I do, I’d like to share with you a letter from Sheldon’s mother, who couldn’t be here tonight. Isn’t that nice? His mother sent him a letter. She’s proud of him. I wonder what that feels like. Dear Shelly. That’s what she calls him. Shelly, it’s a pet name. You know what my mother’s pet name for me is? Leonard. But I digress. Dear Shelly. I am so proud of… (continues as background noise)
Sheldon: Oh, dear.
Penny: What’s the matter?
Sheldon: I’m getting dizzy.
Raj: Don’t worry. You’re surrounded by your C-Men.
Sheldon: I can’t do this. I’m going to faint.
Penny: Here, drink this. It’ll relax you.
Sheldon: Alcohol? I don’t drink alcohol.
Penny: Fine, faint.
Sheldon: I don’t feel different, this alcohol’s defective.
Penny: Here, see if this one works.
Leonard (still talking): First of all, the projects were totally different. I was showing that classical music nurtures lima beans and makes them grow, but my mother didn’t hear me. If you’d like to look at the relationship between nurturing and growth, I’d like to point out that my brother is eight inches taller than me.
Sheldon: I’m ready.
Leonard: Oh, right. Ladies and gentlemen, our guest of honour, Dr. Sheldon Cooper.
Sheldon: Thanks, shorty,I’ll take it from here. All right, you people ready to have some fun? You have a basic understanding of differential calculus and at least one year of algebraic topology? Well, then here come the jokes. Why did the chicken cross the Mobius strip? To get to the same side, bazinga! All right, a neutron walks into a bar and asks, how much for a drink? The bartender says, for you, no charge. Hello? I know you’re out there. I can hear you metabolizing oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. Looks like we have some academic dignitaries in the audience. Dr. Randall from the geology department, only man who’s happy when they take his work for granite. Ba-da cha! I kid the geologists, of course, but it’s only ’cause I have no respect for the field. Let’s get serious for a moment. Why are we all here? ‘Cause we’re scientists. And what do scientists study? The universe. And what’s the universe made of? I am so glad you asked. (Singing) There’s antimony, arsenic, aluminium, selenium, and hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and rhenium, and nickel, neodymium,
neptunium, germanium… Everybody! And iron, americium, ruthenium, uranium, europium, zirconium, lutetium, vanadium… Just the Asians! And lanthanum and osmium, and astatine and radium…
Scene: The apartment.
Sheldon: Penny, Leonard. Would you be able to answer some questions I’m having about the events of last night?
Sheldon: Question one, where are my pants?
Leonard: You might want to check YouTube.
Sheldon: What do I search?
Leonard: It’s already loaded. Just hit play.
On-screen Sheldon: All right, people, let’s get down to the math. It is only three dimensional thinking that limits our imagination. Can I take my pants off over my head? Of course not. My body’s in the way. But if we had access to higher dimensions, we could move our pants around our bodies through the fourth dimension and our days of dropping trousers would be over.
Sheldon: Oh, Lord, this couldn’t be any more humiliating.
Leonard: Uh-uh, give it a minute.
On-screen Sheldon: Now, for the astronomers in the audience, get ready to see the dark side of the moon. And here’s Uranus.