The Big Bang Theory Wiki
The Big Bang Theory Wiki

"The Codpiece Topology" is the second episode of the second season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Monday, September 29, 2008.


Penny is dating a new guy, so Leonard jumps at the chance to dating|date Leslie Winkle again. Sheldon hates Leslie and resents being exiled to the staircase to play Mario alone. Eventually, he confronts Leslie about her scientific beliefs and when Leonard doesn't agree with her, she leaves.

Extended Plot

Leonard and Sheldon in their medieval garments

Leslie and Leonard on their date.

The guys return home from the Renaissance Fair, and as usual, Sheldon is complaining about historical inaccuracies, including the Bavarian Purity Laws, polypropaline flagons, even modern underwear. They pass Penny with a new boyfriend in the hall, which leads to Leonard wondering (with a little advice from Howard) if he should start dating someone again. His previous dating history consisted of North Korean spy Joyce Kim, one date with Penny and a one night stand with Leslie Winkle.

The next day, after Leslie fights with Sheldon, Leonard asks her out for a full relationship. Leslie agrees because she's reached "a time in every woman's life where she's tired of waking up on a strange futon with a bunch of people she doesn't know". Leslie wants to slow things down, and who better to slow down with than Leonard. She suggests Chinese food, an art movie and no coitus though he should plan the date since he was the man.

That night, as Leonard prepares for the date, Sheldon reveals that his mother sent him his old Nintendo 64 with three controllers, a memory card and some games and is assuming Leonard is with him to "rock Mario old-school!"; however, Leonard tells Sheldon about the date, forcing him to play Super Mario 64 on a Nintendo 64 emulator on his laptop in the stairwell. Penny runs into him and talks with him about going to a movie or a coffeehouse and about Leonard and Leslie being the same kind of personalities. Sheldon feels that the only Leslie can contribute to science is if they start sending chimps into space again.

Leonard and Leslie's date goes well. Leslie inquires about how many kids Leonard wants and what genetic weaknesses are in his family. Sheldon interrupts them twice. As Leslie leaves, they arrange to have another date as Penny and Eric are climbing the stairs with Penny explaining Schrödinger's Cat to him. After an awkward hello, both kiss their dates good-night. Leslie reacting to Leonard's affection returns his kiss passionately. Penny and Leonard then get in a kissing contest. Leslie is impressed with Leonard, while Penny sends her turned-on date packing.

At the Caltech cafeteria, the guys try to get Sheldon to return to the Renaissance Fair. He does not want to return due to their historical flaws. They suggest that he dress as a Starfleet Officer checking on the historical anomalies of an unexplored planet. Also he refuses to sit with the gang when Leslie joins them.

Sheldon with Penny on the stairs while playing Mario.

The next night, Leonard and Leslie are having another date, and Sheldon is slightly miffed he has to play Mario on the staircase. After asking Penny to give her relationship with Leonard "the old community college try", Penny says that he should be Leonard's friend and support the relationship. Sheldon goes back into the apartment, tries to be positive, but gets into an argument Leslie about String theory vs. Loop Quantum Gravity. After Leonard sides with Sheldon, Leslie breaks up with him. She could take his genetic quirks; however, their children could not be raised believing in String Theory. Sheldon tells Leonard to look on the bright side and that it's only another nine months until Comic-Con.

At the ending scene, the guys return to the Renaissance Fair with Sheldon dressed as Spock pretending to explore a planet similar to Earth in the 1500's, though with contradictions and anomalies.



  • "The Big Bang Theory has good comedy writers. This episode sparkles with fun one-liners, insults and gags. But those writers need to focus on stories and characters which will hook a loyal audience. Sheldon dominating every scene will eventually become tiresome and the wealth needs to be shared around the group. But for now this is a fun episode." - The TV Critic's Review
  • IMDb user reviews.


  • Title Reference: The title comes from the quote Sheldon says about the Renaissance Fair being inaccurate to the time period and says it is only held as an excuse to wear a codpiece.
  • This episode was watched by 8.76 million people with a rating of 3.3 (adults 18-49).
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • Episode transcript [2].

Costume Notes

Green Lantern

Philips/Stooble test pattern

BDG MultiStripe

APS Member shirt

Sheldon wears three main t-shirts in this episode, starting with one of his favorites, the Green Lantern logo in light green on a green shirt.  When he comes home ready to "rock Mario, old school", he's sporting the purple shirt with the Philips/Stooble test pattern.  While confronting Leonard and Leslie, he's seen in a BDG multi-colored horizontal striped tee (discontinued at Urban Outfitters). Leonard wears his APS shirt and his "Brown Sound Fly Lower" shirt (also discontinued from Urban Outfitters - this shirt is the green shirt that has a tree trunk and roots on it).

Set Notes

Batman and Robin - Justice League "Build a Scene"
On the shelves behind the couch, to the right of the plasma ball, we can see a figurine statue set featuring Batman and Robin (from the DC Direct: Justice League Build-A-Scene series ). On the kitchen counter (right side), we see a Rubik's cube cookie jar for the first time. If anyone has a source for these, please note it in the comments.

At the end of the episode, as Sheldon plays Spock at the renaissance fair, he wears pointed ears, a Star Trek science officer uniform, and carries a science-model Star Trek tri-corder from Diamond Select


  • Sheldon appears to be an expert on historical undergarments. Perhaps he's read Unmentionables: A Brief History of Underwear by Elaine Benson.
  • Sheldon won't go to the movies alone, since no one would be readily available to give him the Heimlich maneuver should he choke on his popcorn.
  • Sheldon doesn't drink coffee (nor eat bear claws), so he finds no lure in coffee shops.
  • Raj once kissed a man named Richard, believing he was a slave-girl named Kimberly.
  • When talking to Penny, Sheldon appears to be genuinely playing Super Mario 64 on an emulator, as he occasionally appears to press a key to 'pause' to talk to Penny, and at that time you can hear the 'pause/unpause' Super Mario 64 sound effect playing from his laptop.
  • Sheldon doesn't like dining alone, because if he has to go to the restroom, there's no one to ensure that no one is touching his food while he's away (which is a grievous offense, and earns one strike with Sheldon).
  • Apparently the multiple attempts to get Penny to understand Schrödinger's Cat in "The Tangerine Factor" did stick at least somewhat; she's overheard trying to explain the concept to her new date in this episode.
  • Several comic book super-villains apparently have doctorate|doctoral degrees, as Sheldon suddenly realizes after naming Dr. Doom, Dr. Octopus, and Dr. Sivana.
  • Sheldon uses the phrase 'the more the merrier' in this episode; however, in "The Gorilla Experiment", he says that more does not equal merry, conflicting his statement in the first case.
  • When Leslie said that only Loop Quantum Gravity calculates the entropy of black holes this is inaccurate, as string theory has its own predictions for the black hole entropy problem.
  • The deal breaker for Leslie is that Leonard believes string theory better unites quantum mechanics with general relativity than loop quantum gravity, which she doesn't, so they can't reconcile which theory they will raise their children to accept. Interestingly, four seasons later, in "The Parking Lot Escalation", Sheldon claims that he is "solely responsible for this university’s six loop quantum gravity".
  • Amy in "The Launch Acceleration" (S5E23) also wore a StarFleet Science/Medical uniform as Sheldon did in the last scene; however, her uniform was the female version.
  • It is ironic that Sheldon dressed up as a Christian friar despite the fact that he does not believe in God.
  • According to Sheldon, there are nine months until San Diego Comic Con around the time of this episode, and since San Diego Comic Con always takes place in July, that would place the events of this episode sometime in October, 2008.
  • Leonard tells Sheldon that he can have the apartment to himself "science ever discovers a second member of your species and you two would like some privacy I would be more than happy to get out of your way." In twenty months Howard and Raj will find Amy Farrah Fowler who according to Sheldon "is more similar to me than anyone I’ve ever met." She seems to be another member of his species.


  • Leonard says he has only gone out with Joyce Kim, Leslie Winkle and Penny although in the previous episode Sheldon said that he went out with a woman with a PH.D in French Literature.
  • Sheldon states in the beginning that the "Reinheitsgebot" would have severely limited the availability of mead in 1487. This statement is wrong for two reasons, the first being that the most commonly known version of this law wasn't introduced until 1516, and secondly, this law only defined the price and the ingredients of beer and had therefore nothing to do with other alcoholic beverages like mead. Also, considering he holds himself as "familiar with everything", he gravely mispronounces the word, wrongly stressing the second syllable ("ReinHEITSgebot") instead of the first ("REINheitsgebot").
  • While the Nintendo 64 did, in fact, have a memory card, the error is in the card he's holding, as it was not an actual Nintendo 64 memory card.
    • An additional error was that Super Mario 64 never required a memory card, as the saves were stored on the cartridge directly.
    • Sheldon also says, after Leonard says he has a guest coming over, "Grab an extra controller" when Super Mario 64 didn't have a multiplayer mode


Sheldon: Everybody has a date. Even you, Mario, going after Princess Peach. And what am I doing? I'm just enabling you.

Raj: What happens in costume at Comic-Con stays at Comic-Con...

Sheldon: Oh, Mario, if only I could control everyone the way I control you, now hop, you little plumber, hop, hop!

Sheldon: Captain, I'm getting an unusual reading.
Leonard: Yeah, that's great. Who wants corn dogs?
Sheldon: That's a temporal anomaly! (To himself) Corn dogs didn't come into existence until the first half of the 20th century.