The Big Bang Theory Wiki

"The Griffin Equivalency" is the fourth episode of the second season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Monday, October 13, 2008.


Raj becomes so obnoxious after he is in People Magazine that no one will go with him to the People magazine reception except Penny, who he thinks is his date.

Extended Plot[]

The Griffin Equivalency 06

And FYI. You'd be lucky to have me as a daughter-in-law.

The Griffin Equivalency 15

Take-out dinner..

Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Penny are having Chinese food and getting a lecture on the hygiene cleanliness of paper towels vs. hot air hand blowers. Raj enters and announces that he is included in People Magazine's "30 visionaries under 30 years to watch" list for his discovery of the trans-Neptunian object 2008 NQ17, sparking jealousy from his friends. Raj describes his rise from his humble beginning in India, though father is a wealthy gynecologist that drives a rented Bentley. Howard is disturbed that he didn't get mentioned since he designed Raj's telescope mount that helped him make the discovery.

Leonard's comments that they need to be supportive; since this award may be the high point of Raj's career. Sheldon tries his best to smile instead of making comments; however, he looks like the Joker getting ready to kill Batman. The guys go to invite Raj to dinner, while Dr. Gablehauser (Mark Harelik) invites him to lunch at the executive dining room.

His fame soon goes to Raj's head. He receives star treatment, gets an assistant, and even invites Penny to People's reception. Because Raj is being too obnoxious, none of the rest of the gang wants to attend. Penny tells them "shame on you" for not supporting their friend, and accepts Raj's invitation, oblivious to his inflated ego and his belief that he has a date with her.

Raj shows up at Penny's door full of champagne and bragging about his limo. He also wants Penny to go change her outfit to look more sexy. Penny goes with him, but already regrets it as the guys are hanging out at the apartment. After the party, a very intoxicated Raj returns home with Penny wanting to make-out with her, and via webcam introduces her to his parents as his girlfriend. Penny tells them that they are not together, while Raj's parents insist that he find an Indian girl. After Raj leaves feeling ill from drinking too much, Penny respectfully says goodbye and then adds that they would be lucky to have her as a daughter-in-law.

The following morning, a sober and shy Raj tries to apologize to Penny for his behavior. Although Raj tries to leave a written note, Penny forces him to verbally utter a barely audible "Sorry", at which point she forgave him. Leonard sees Raj hugging Penny dressed in her robe the morning after her date with Raj and looks confused. Sheldon enters the scene and simply smiles, clueless to what's going on.



  • "The writers clearly aren't interested in giving Raj (or Howard for that matter) a well established character that might steal focus from Sheldon and that is sad. It means we have to sit through bargain basement episodes like this one." - The TV Critic's Review


  • Title Reference:  Sheldon describes to his friends the perfect pet, a Griffin- half-lion and half-eagle mythological beast.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • This episode was watched by 9.36 million people with a rating of 3.6 (adults 18–49).
  • Episode transcript [2].


The Griffin Equivalency 20

Charlie Sheen before the fall.

  • Sheldon holds that hot-air dryers are less sanitary than paper towels by a long shot ("It would be more sanitary to have a plague-infested gibbon sneeze my hands dry").
  • Raj's planetary object, 2008-NQ17, is fictitious, though its (provisional_designation_in_astronomy) planets designation implies that it was the 441st minor planet discovered during the first fifteen days of July 2008; although analysis of old photographs can result in late additions, considerably fewer than 441 discoveries have been made over that period and it is highly unlikely that number will ever be assigned.
  • When contemplating replacing Raj in their Social Group, the other three guys realize their ideal friend (someone they could trust, someone who always has their back, has money, live in a cool house by the beach for throwing parties, loves technology, and knows a lot of women), is Iron Man.
  • The sound when Raj's parents "Call" is the same sound as when you are being hailed in video game Dead Rising 1 on the walkie-talkie, as well as being the default sound for outgoing Apple FaceTime calls.
  • Charlie Sheen was a guest star and at the time was starring in Chuck Lorre's other production "Two and a Half Men" as Charlie Harper. Sheen's appearance led to widespread speculation that Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory were set in the same continuity, but later episodes of Two and a Half Men proved otherwise.
  • First episode in which Sheldon explains that his mother had him tested for insanity.
  • When leaving on his date, Raj, already drunk, sings Get this party started from Pink. And when they return from the date to the "Raj Mahal", he's still singing the first verse.
  • Raj's parents' wealth is mentioned: his father drives a Bentley, although it is apparently leased. It should be noted that the simple fact that Mr. Koothrappali is a physician does not guarantee his family's affluence; while doctors in the USA habitually make significant amounts of money, this does not generalize to the whole world, or even the whole developed world. In particular, countries where the health system is run as a fully or nearly free public service (e.g., a single mandatory insurance rate covering all medical care in any establishment, public or private) tend to have relatively (compared to the US at least) low salaries for doctors in the public sector. Then again, the Koothrappalis may have inherited wealth from older generations of their families.
  • It was pointed out on the TvTropes discussion board that Kooprathali senior may well have worked in Britain for a long time, as many Indian doctors do. In the United Kingdom's National Health Service, a consultant (very senior doctor) is on a six-figure basic salary expressed in pounds sterling, and is still free to see private patients on the side. This is good, but not exceptional, pay in the UK, and many Indian nationals work and live frugally here so as to be able to return to India after ten to twenty years, with savings enabling them to love like rupee millionaires at home, or else to establish a private practice serving other well-heeled Indians. This would also tie in with Raj having done postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge - like Howard, living at home with his parents? (Cambridge, with its university ties, has some of the very best hospitals in Britain.)


  • In The Dumpling Paradox, Sheldon asserts that Penny eats Chinese food with a fork but, in the opening scene, Penny is clearly shown using chop sticks to eat her dumplings.


Raj (Drunk, to Leonard): Look at that; I got a date with Penny! I can't believe it took you a whole year.

Leonard: Let’s see, Raj was the Kung Pao Chicken.
Penny: I’m the dumplings.
Howard: Yes, you are.
Penny: (she's instantly very cross) Creepy, Howard.
Howard: Creepy good or creepy bad?
Leonard: Who was the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce?
Howard: That would be me. Come to Poppa, you un-kosher delight. (To Penny) I’m not necessarily talking to the food.
Penny: Sit over there.
Sheldon (entering, to Penny who is in his spot): Sit over there.

Gablehauser: (all in Raj's office when Dr. Gablehauser walks in) Hello, boys.
Raj: Dr. Gablehauser.
Gablehauser: Dr. Koothrappali.
Leonard: Dr. Gablehauser.
Gablehauser: Dr. Hofstadter.
Sheldon: Dr. Gablehauser.
Gablehauser: Dr. Cooper.
Howard: Dr. Gablehauser.
Gablehauser: Mr. Wolowitz.

The Griffin Equivalency 18

Sheldon smiling like the Joker.

Howard (On Sheldon's smile): Oh, crap, that's terrifying.
(Sheldon's smile makes him look like the Joker from Batman.)
Leonard: We're here to see Koothrappali, not kill Batman.

(Raj has been named one of People magazine's "30 Under 30 to Watch")
Howard: Do I get an honorable mention for designing the telescope camera mounting bracket you used?
Rajesh: Sorry; it's not part of my heart-warming and personal narrative, in which a humble boy from New Delhi overcame poverty and prejudice and journeyed to America to reach for the stars.
Howard: Poverty? Your father's a gynecologist. He drives a Bentley.
Rajesh: It's a lease!

(Leonard, Sheldon and Howard are talking about getting a new friend after Raj has gone.)
Howard: Sheldon, don't take this the wrong way, but you're insane.
Leonard: That may well be, but the fact is it couldn't kill us to meet some new people.
Sheldon: For the record, it could kill us to meet new people. They could be murderers, the carriers of unusual pathogens. (To Howard) And I'm not insane. My mother had me tested. (Howard has a "WTF" look.)

Leonard: If we do get a new friend, he should be a guy you can trust. A guy who has your back.
Howard: And he should have a lot of money and live in a cool place down by the beach where we could throw parties.
Sheldon: He should share our love of technology.
Howard: And he should know a lot of women.
Leonard: Let's see: money, women, technology. Okay, we're agreed. Our new friend is going to be... Iron Man.
(While Leonard is only joking, Sheldon and Howard take it seriously and are fond of the idea.)

(Raj sees two men sitting at the table behind him. He talks to the guy with his back to Raj.)
Raj: Hey, buddy, I'm going to be in People magazine.
(The guy turns around and it is revealed to be Charlie Sheen.)
Charlie Sheen: (he is not amused) Yeah, call me when you're on the cover.

(The scene during the opening clip where Sheldon is wiping his hand with a baby wipe, despite one finger at a time. he now holds the baby wipe packet to Penny)
Sheldon: Baby wipe?
Penny: Why do you have….
Leonard and Howard together: Don’t! Don’t! Don’t!
Sheldon: I’ll tell you why.
Leonard and Howard: O-o-o-oh!
Sheldon: I had to sanitize my hands because the university replaced the paper towels in the rest rooms with hot air blowers.
Penny: I thought the blowers were more sanitary?
Leonard and Howard: Why? Don’t!
Sheldon: Hot air blowers are incubators and spewers of bacteria and pestilence. Frankly it would be more hygienic if they just had a plague infested gibbon sneeze my hands dry.
Raj (entering excitedly): Hey guys, I just got the most amazing new… (spots Penny) ew-ew-ew
Penny: (she's asking Raj with frustration) Gosh, Raj, do you think you’ll ever be able to talk in front of me without being drunk? (Shakes head.) Okay, well, I’ll just, um, go eat by myself.
Leonard: Penny, you don’t have to do that.
Penny: No, it’s okay, between (indicates Raj) him not talking, (indicates Sheldon) him talking and… (indicates Howard) him, I’m better off alone, so, (to Raj) goodbye you poor strange little man (gives him a kiss and exits.)

Raj: Remember that little planetary object I spotted beyond the Kuiper belt?

(Raj's parents are Skyping with him)

Raj: (inhales deeply, picks up laptop, presses a button. His mother and father appear on the screen) Hello mummy and daddy, good to see you. How are you? I’m not drunk.
Mrs. Koothrappali: Why would you say that?
Raj: Oh, just making conversation. Mummy, daddy, I want you to meet my new squeeze, Penny.
Penny: (to Raj) I am not your squeeze. (to his parents) There is no squeezing.
Dr. V.M. Koothrappali: I can’t see her, center her in the frame.
Raj: (turns the laptop webcam to face her) Here you go, cute huh?
Mrs. Koothrappali: She’s not Indian.
Dr. V.M. Koothrappali: So, she’s not Indian. The boy’s just sowing some wild oats.
Penny: No, no, there’s no sowing, no squeezing, (turns to Raj) and no sucking face.
Mrs. Koothrappali: What if he gets her pregnant? Is this little hotsy-totsy who you want as the mother of your grandchildren?
Raj: (offended) What right do you have to pick with whom I can have children with?!
Dr. V.M. Koothrappali: Look, Rajesh, I understand, you’re in America, you want to try the "local cuisine". But trust me, you don’t want it for a steady diet!
Raj: (furious) Now you listen to me, I am no longer a child, and I will not be spoken to like one! (suddenly feels sick) Now if you’d excuse me, I have to go throw up.
Mrs. Koothrappali: What’s wrong with him?
Penny: I don’t know, maybe it’s the "local cuisine". Okay, well, it’s nice to meet you, just gonna set you on down over here, and I’m going to leave so, Namaste. (Leaves, then almost immediately returns) And FYI, you’d be lucky to have me as a daughter-in-law. (exits Raj's apartment)
Dr. V.M. Koothrappali: She's feisty. (smiles) I like that.