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"The Bat Jar Conjecture" is the thirteenth episode of the first season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Monday, April 21, 2008.

## Summary

For the annual Physics Bowl, the gang forms a team, but ends up throwing the obnoxious controlling Sheldon off the team. They recruit Leslie Winkle because she is good at physics and Sheldon takes them all on with his team of stand-ins.

## Extended Plot

The boys are discussing the new Star Trek movie which is supposed to show Spock's birth. They ponder about Spock's conception and generally alien to human copulation and impregnation. Penny shows up, having spilled diet Coke, yogurt, and nail polish on her laptop, causing the A key to stick. Howard discovers that one of the regular teams in the annual physics competition will not be participating in this year's Physics Bowl because they formed a barbershop quartet. Joy ensues as the boys contemplate victory in the contest. Sheldon feels participating is beneath him. His participation to asking Picasso to play Pictionary, or Noah Webster to play Boggle, or asking Jacques Cousteau to play "Go Fish". In Sheldon's view this would be inviting these famous people to trivialize their area of expertise, suggesting that he feels participating in the quizwould be 'beneath his station' When Leonard reminds Sheldon of Spock's dying words; that the needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few or the one, he relents.

Howard suggests they should name their team the Perpetual-Motion Squad (PMS), although Sheldon suggests the Army Ant, as it is the most powerful animal gram for gram. Leonard tries to point out to Sheldon that some people might misinterpret AA for something else (Alcoholics Anonymous), but he ignores Leonard. Because Sheldon threatens to quit if he doesn't get his way, the team is named Army Ants (AA). Later, during team practice, Sheldon takes it upon himself to answer every question regardless of who buzzes in first. Eventually, he even promotes himself to team captain by adhering their dress code to Star Trek uniforms - the only ranks are that everyone will wear support red, bar Sheldon, who would wear command gold. Sheldon's self-righteous and insufferably sanctimonious attitude is becoming too much for the team to handle, and as a result, they kick him off the team with a consolation Batman cookie jar. Devastated, Sheldon decides to form his own team. Meanwhile, Leonard, Howard and Raj now need a fourth member for their team and decide to recruit Leslie Winkle, who initially refuses. Upon hearing they will be competing against Sheldon, she agrees, as she bears a grudge against him.

On the day of the Physics Bowl, Sheldon arrives with his team, which is comprised of poorly educated people (presumably) who only serve to qualify him, as the rules state that each team must consist of four people. Both teams rapidly increase their points and, when the final question arrives, the score stands at 1150 for AA (Sheldon's team) and 1175 for PMS (Leonard's team). The last question proves too difficult for PMS, and, in the end, Leonard panics and incorrectly guesses 8.4. However, they soon notice that Sheldon doesn't have an answer either, when suddenly the third floor janitor (one of his teammates) turns out to be a former Soviet physicist (credited as Dimitri and portrayed by Adam Gregor) from St. Petersburg Leningrad Polytechnika and states the correct answer. In disbelief, Sheldon's pride gets in the way and denies that answer to be AA's official answer and declines to provide one after his childish demand for a different question is denied. Before the winner is announced, Leonard offers Sheldon a chance at redemption, asking if he'd rather lose by himself or win as part of a team. Sheldon simply replies that he doesn't understand the question. PMS is declared the winner, and the team celebrates (Howard tearing off his T-shirt in the process) to Queen's "We are the Champions". Penny is still asleep in the audience.

In the final scene, Penny quizzes both Leonard and Sheldon about Pop Culture, in which neither of them can answer a single question unless the incorrect answer is from Star Trek.

## Notes

• Title Reference: The reason why Leonard gave Sheldon a Batman cookie jar, which was to soften the blow of kicking him off the team.
• Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
• This episode was watched by 7.51 million people with a rating of 2.9 (adults 18-49).
• Episode transcript [2].

## Costume Notes

 Muted Earth Green Lantern Robot Evolution Toxic Stripe Sheldon starts with a Muted Earth plaid tee (discontinued from Kirra). The next day he's in a green on green Green Lantern logo t-shirt. Back at the university, he sports the Robot Evolution shirt. During the Physics Bowl contest, Sheldon wears a Star Trek replica style of uniform, featuring his "AA" logo for "Army Ants". Sheldon wears command gold, while the rest of Sheldon's motley crew wears support red. After losing the Physics Bowl, he mopes at the apartment in a tee matching his mood; blue with dark red stripes (aka "Toxic Stripes" by BDG). Unknown blue mole Red Cassette Out of This World Will Fix Computer For Brains Leonard starts the episode in a "mole" t-shirt. The next day he's in a red "cassette tapes" tee - sometimes available at RedBubble.com (search for term "Leonard's cassette"). At the cafeteria, he wears the "Out of This World" green galaxy shirt; in the Physics Bowl, Leonard's team sports blue t-shirts bearing the abbreviation P.M.S. (for Perpetual Motion Squad) and in the final scene at the apartment, he's sporting a geeky Walking Dead shirt, stating "Will Fix Computer For Brains" from Jinx Clothing (discontinued). Detail of Leonard's "Will Fix Computer For Brains" tee: Checkered belt Checker buckle Checkerboard Vans Star buckle Howard's theme this episode is checkerboards. He wears a black and white checkerboard belt with matching buckle, as well as Vans shoes in blue and white checks and in rainbow checks. This episode also features the first appearance of his tar belt buckle.

## Penny's Quiz

Penny brings in what looks to be cards from a Trivial Pursuit game, to settle once and for all, who's smarter between Sheldon and Leonard. She asks them:

After her questions, it turns out that Leonard and Sheldon have trouble understanding pop culture and seem to be mainly smart in their comfort zone of science and other general knowledge. Like, when Penny asks the Tweety Bird question, Sheldon struggles to know the answer and comes up with Romulan, which Penny with her attitude of sarcasm says "yes". However, when Leonard hooks up with Penny in the third season, he has a much better understanding of it.

## Quotes

[After the Physics Bowl, Penny is making Leonard and Sheldon answer Trivial Pursuit questions]
Penny: Tweety Bird tawt he taw a what?
Sheldon: [thinks for a second] Romulan?
Penny: Yes.... he tawt he taw a Romulan.

Leslie: Hello, Sheldon.
Sheldon: [looking terrified] Leslie Winkle!
Leslie: Yeah, Leslie Winkle! The answer to the question, "Who made Sheldon Cooper cry like a little girl?".
Sheldon: Yes, well, I'm polymerized tree sap and you're an inorganic adhesive, so whatever verbal projectile you launch in my direction is reflected off of me, returns on its original trajectory and adheres to you.
Leslie: [sarcastically] Ooooh... ouch.

Penny: Good afternoon, and welcome to today’s physics bowl practice round. I’m Penny, and I’ll be your host, because apparently I didn't have anything else to do on a Saturday afternoon, and isn't that just a little sad? Gentlemen, are you ready?

Howard: Okay, we’re going to need a strong fourth for our team.
Raj: You know who’s apparently very smart, is the girl who played TV’s "Blossom". She got a PhD in neuroscience or something.
Leonard: Raj, we’re not getting TV’s Blossom to join our physics bowl team.
Raj: How about the girl from "The Wonder Years"?
Howard: Gentlemen, I believe I've found the solution to all our problems.
Leonard: We can’t ask Leslie Winkle.
Raj: Why? Because you slept together and when she was done with you she discarded you like last night’s chutney?
Leonard: Yes.

Dimitri: The answer is minus eight pi alpha.
Sheldon: Hang on, hang on a second, that's not our answer. What are you doing?
Dimitri: Answering question. Winning physics bowl.
Sheldon: How do you know anything about physics?
Dimitri: Here, I am janitor. In former Soviet Union, I am physicist. Leningrad Politechnika. Go, polar bears.
Sheldon: Well, that's a delightful little story, but our arrangement was that you sit here and not say anything, I answer the questions.
Sheldon: Hey, look, now maybe you have democracy now in your beloved Russia, but on this physics bowl team, I rule with an iron fist. (makes fist in the air) Ow!

Sheldon: Gentlemen.
Leonard: Sheldon.
Howard: Sheldon.
Raj: Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee.
Penny: Sheldon.

Leonard: This is our year! With those guys out, the entire physics bowl will kneel before Zod.
Penny: Zod?
Howard: Kryptonian villain. Long story.
Raj: Good story. (clasps hands to mouth in shock that he spoke in front of Penny)

Leonard: Do I need to quote Spock's dying words to you?
Sheldon: No, don't.
Leonard: The needs of the many...
Howard: Outweigh the needs of the few...
Sheldon: Or the one. Damn it, I'll do it. (does a Vulcan salute)

Leonard: This is our year! With those guys out, the entire physics bowl will kneel before Zod.
Penny: Zod?
Howard: Kryptonian villain. Long story.
Raj: Good story. (clasps his hands over his mouth in shock, from talking around Penny while sober)

Leslie: Wait, you're going up against Sheldon Cooper?
Howard: Yes.
Leslie: That arrogant, misogynistic, East-Texas doorknob that told me I should abandon my work with high energy particles for laundry, and child bearing?
Leonard: She's in.