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The Panty Piñata Polarization 24

Penny with Sheldon's onion ring.

"The Panty Piñata Polarization" is the seventh episode of the second season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Monday, November 10, 2008.


Penny and Sheldon go to war with each other after Sheldon bans her from the apartment. Meanwhile, Howard and Raj decide to track down the house where the super-models from America's Next Top Model are staying.

Extended Plot[]

The boys are playing Klingon Boggle when Penny barges in to watch America's Next Top Model because she didn't pay her cable bill, resulting in her TV being cut off. Sheldon continues to play, whilst everyone else watches the show, but Penny ends up returning to her apartment, announcing she will be paying her cable bill as she cannot stand Howard's remarks about the women on her show.

The Panty Piñata Polarization 09

A disgruntled Sheldon after Penny messes up laundry night.

Leonard comes back with everyone's food to watch America's Next Top Model, while Howard and Raj mark the star positions and landmarks to track down the house of the models. Despite her earlier announcement of not watching with Howard, Penny comes over to watch TV as well. Penny, in a fit of hunger and unknowingly at the time, attempts to eat one of Sheldon's onion rings, but she conforms with the others' desperate advice to put back the onion ring. Sheldon sees right through it and the guys rat Penny out. Sheldon then announces that she has two strikes. After she takes a stand metaphorically against Sheldon by sitting in his spot, Penny earns her third strike and is consequently "banished" from the apartment.

The following day, the boys are at The Cheesecake Factory and Penny comes to take everyone's order, excluding Sheldon. When inquired, Penny explained he has been barred from the Cheesecake Factory because he has three strikes; coming in, sitting down, and Penny disliking his attitude, calling it the new "no shirt, no shoes, no Sheldon" policy. But after complaining to Penny's manager, Sheldon gets his order. Penny dares Sheldon to eat it, implying she has done something disagreeable to it (it is implied later that she either touched or spat in his burger).

The Panty Pinata Polarization Penny and Sheldon

Where are my clothes?

Howard and Raj announce they have succeeded in locating the house that hosts the models for America's Next Top Model. Penny, who can't piggy-back on Leonard and Sheldon's Wi-Fi due to her banishment, shows the boys a message of Sheldon that tells Penny "she can either set up her own wi-fi or apologize to him". Howard tries to help her, but is intercepted by another message from Sheldon and the boys are awarded an additional strike.

The Panty Piñata Polarization 02

*** Sheldon! *** Sheldon! *** Sheldon!

Sheldon goes out of the apartment and bumps into Penny, who is waiting for him. She then hints that he may be unable to do his laundry today even though it's Laundry Day for him. When Sheldon gets to the Laundry room, every washing machine is being used and he feels frustrated. Soon, Penny comes knocking, aggressively imitating his knock and asks where is her laundry. Sheldon then asks if she has left her laundry unattended, despite the sign warning her against it. He then shows Penny out the window, that her laundry is on the telephone wires. If she wants her laundry back, she'll have to play "Panty Pinata".

The Panty Piñata Polarization 19 - Here to fix the cable

We're here to fix the cable

Leonard, who had witnessed the whole incident, decides to put an end to this war by giving Penny what he describes as Sheldon's Kryptonite: his mom's phone number. Howard and Raj have confirmed that they are in possession of the address of the models' house. Mary calls Sheldon to scold him. Sheldon apologizes to Penny, returns her laundry, rescinds her strikes, and allows her to go into his apartment again.

Finally, Howard and Raj have made their way to the house of the models, disguised as TV repairmen and managed to bluff their way in, with Howard identifying several "future Mrs. Wolowitz'"s.



  • "Episodes like this speak to you as a viewer. They tell you that the premise of the episode was to have Penny and Sheldon argue. It wasn't about their respective characters or their relationship; the writers just thought it would be funny. That’s fine on occasion but much of this season has felt like that. “What can we make Sheldon do this week?” It's frustrating because episodes like this have no real purpose and when they aren't very funny they irritate." - The TV Critic's Review
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: The title refers to a sarcastic remark made by Sheldon as to how Penny can retrieve her laundry from the telephone wires across the street.
  • Chuck Lorre vanity card [1]
  • This episode was watched by 10.01 million people with a rating of 3.9 (adults 18-49).
  • Episode transcript [2]

Costume Notes[]

The Panty Piñata Polarization 34 - S02E07AVClub

AV Club

The Panty Piñata Polarization 35 - S02E07Kablaam

Kablaam Computer!

The Panty Piñata Polarization 37 - S02e07 blue superman



Sheldon starts out in his green AV Club t-shirt, then wears his Kablaam Computer shirt and finally his blue shirt featuring a maroon Superman logo. 

The Panty Piñata Polarization 36 - S02E22RedAlienSkull

Alien head

The Panty Piñata Polarization 33 - S02E06Shark

Unknown shark

The Panty Piñata Polarization 32 - S02E06BrownUnknown



Leonard plays Klingon Boggle in his red alien head shirt. As the gang watches Top Model, he's wearing a blue shirt featuring a large Jaws-like shark. At the Cheesecake Factory he sports an unknown image on a brown shirt.

Howard wears a pair of purple slip on Vans.

Set/Props Notes[]

Klingon Dictionary

Klingon dictionary



Camel Plush

Camel throw

A Klingon dictionary and a Boggle game gives us Klingon Boggle. The blue tasseled throw blanket on the couch as been replaced with a camel colored throw by Simple Deluxe.


  • When Howard sarcastically chants, "One of us, one of us" after Leonard says, "You're officially one of us!" This is a homage to the controversial 1932 black-and-white film Freaks where deformed humans are joyfully chanting for the female protagonist Cleopatra (whom Penny is being compared to) "Gooble gobble! We accept her! One of us! One of us!"
  • Klingon words used in this episode, and their English translations:
    • poH - period of time
    • potlh - something important
    • puchpa' - washroom (Note: mispronounced as puHpa')
    • chor - belly
    • neHmaH - Star Trek (neutral zone)| neutral zone
    • bIlughbe' - meaning "you are wrong". Sheldon's reaction to Howard's "kreplach".
    • Qapla' - literally "success"; Sheldon uses this word to announce the starting of a game, probably meaning "(wish you) success".
    • Qochbe' - to agree
    • loH - administration
    • maH - ten
    • chergh - to tolerate
(The Klingon Dictionary)
  • The group gets introduced to the television show America's Next Top Model. This episode, though based on the fact that people mention both "Anaïs" and "Giselle" as models on the show. Cycle 4 of America's Next Top Model had a guest star of Anaïs Lombard, and Cycle 1 had a model named Giselle Samson, but no season of that show seems to have both together, meaning The Big Bang Theory was not actually referencing a particular season of that show.
  • The final scene with Howard and Raj visit the models' house is similar to the scene in the 2003 remake of The Italian Job, where the gang attempt to rob Steve Frazelli's house as revenge for murdering Stella Bridger's father John, where she plays the role of cable girl.
  • Lio Tipton returns to The Big Bang Theory, appearing in "The Mystery Date Observation" (S9E8) as the beautiful woman who shares Sheldon's interests. She meets him after answering a dating ad and successfully answering a series of hard puzzles to meet him. Unfortunately she is a few minutes past the deadline so Sheldon rejects her.
  • After Sheldon returns Penny's clothes and tells her that calling his mother was "well played," he reminds her that "with great power comes great responsibility." This is from the origin of Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man, wisdom that is imparted to Peter Parker by his Uncle Ben, whose death inspires him to use his powers as Spider-Man for good instead of selfish reasons.
  • Penny gets easily angry that Sheldon won't let her eat his onion rings, despite how she didn't buy those onion rings herself and it's stealing from someone if you eat another person's food.
  • "It'll shorten the war by five years and save millions of lives" appears to refer to various justifications for the United States dropping atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, which forced Japan to surrender and ended World War II.


  • Why a group of computer savvy guys have to use transparent paper over the TV screen to mark star positions and physical landmarks? Couldn't they hook on the digital signal or record the show and capture any desired scene? Even a photo with some of the mobile phones at the time would do the job.
  • In the real world, reality shows are filmed, edited and then broadcast. Those models would no longer be at the same location when Howard and Raj watched them on TV.


Penny: What was my first strike?
Sheldon Cooper: March 18. You violated my rule about e-mailing me Internet humor.
Penny: What?
Sheldon Cooper: That picture of a cat who wants to "haz cheezburger"?
Penny: But everyone loves LOLcats. They're cute, and they can't spell, because they're cats.

Sheldon Cooper: You can't do that. Not only is it in violation of California State law, it also flies in the face of Cheesecake Factory policy.
Penny: Well, there's a new policy: No shoes, no shirt, no Sheldon.
Howard Wolowitz: I bet we can sell that sign all over Pasadena.

Penny: [to Sheldon] Oh, honey, the buses don't go where you live, do they?

[Sheldon comes through the door of the apartment, with a basket of laundry. Penny is waiting next to the elevator.]
Sheldon: [startled at seeing Penny] Oh! Hello.
Penny: Time to do your laundry, huh?
Sheldon: [spreads his left arm] Saturday night. Saturday is laundry night. [starts going downstairs]
Penny: I know. [starts following Sheldon] Every Saturday at 8:15. Easy to anticipate.
Sheldon: [looks at Penny, crosses behind elevator, appears on floor 3] What are you implying?
Penny: I'm implying that you're a creature of habit. [as Sheldon leaves the floor 3-4 staircase] And if something were to prevent you from doing your laundry on Saturday at 8:15, [closes up on Sheldon] you might find it...[mimics thinking for a moment] unpleasant.
[Sheldon pauses, looks at his laundry, looks around, realises what's happening, and runs downstairs.]
Penny [after letting Sheldon run; to herself] "Knuckle under", my ass.
[Cut to inside the laundry room. Sheldon is standing in the middle of the room, rooted to the spot, as all four laundry machines against the wall are churning away, meaning he can't use them.]
Penny: [appears at the doorway; with mock sympathy] Oh, no, are all the machines taken? What are you gonna do?
Sheldon: [anxious but trying not to show it] No problem, I’ll just do my laundry another night.
Penny: Another night? Well, I guess you can try, but, deep inside your heart, you’ll know that laundry night is always Saturday night.
Sheldon: [glaring at Penny, his right eye flickering] Woman, you are playing with forces beyond your ken.
Penny: Yeah, well, your "ken" can kiss my Barbie.

[Penny (with her empty laundry basket) comes storming up the stairs to Sheldon and Leonard's apartment door. She is furious and she slams on the door three times with her hand]
Penny[three bangs] Sheldon. [three bangs] Sheldon! [three bangs] SHELDON!
[Sheldon opens the door feeling guilty for a couple of seconds and Penny glares angrily at Sheldon for a few seconds. Sheldon now speaks innocently].
Sheldon: Yes?
Penny: [angrily] Where are my clothes?!
Sheldon: Your clothes?
Penny: Yes, I left them in the washers and when I went down to get them, they were gone!
Sheldon: Really? Despite the sign that says “Do not leave laundry unattended”?
Penny: [she repeats the question loudly] Sheldon, where are my clothes?
Sheldon: [he walks a pace whilst Penny follows] You know, I do recall seeing some female undergarments. Where was that? [he stops walking for one second] Oh, yes, earlier this evening, [He walks Penny to the desk window] I happened to gaze out the window and a brassiere caught my eye. [he points to where he had put Penny's laundry] Do those look familiar?
Penny: [she's referring to her underwear; astounded] How the hell did you get them up on the telephone wire?!
Sheldon: When you understand the laws of physics, Penny, anything is possible. And may I add, mwah-ha-ha!
Penny: Get them down.
Sheldon: Apologize.
Penny: Never.
Sheldon: Well, then may I suggest you get a very long stick and play panty piñata. (Title Reference).
Penny: [tiredly] Look, wait, Sheldon, this has gotten out of hand, okay? I’ve done some stupid things, you’ve done some stupid things, how about we just call it even and move on with our lives?
Sheldon: I’ve done no stupid things.
Penny: Look, you’ve got to meet me halfway here.
Sheldon: I am meeting you halfway, I’m willing to concede that you’ve done some stupid things.
[Penny shrugs angrily at Sheldon just as Leonard has entered the room].

Sheldon Cooper: [in a computer message after Howard tries hacking into Sheldon's WiFi] Hello, puny insects. As a consequence of your efforts to circumvent my will, everyone is awarded one additional strike.
Leonard Hofstadter: Thanks a lot, Howard.
Howard Wolowitz: What are you complaining about? I'm the one who has to take the class again.

Penny: [after Leonard gives her Sheldon's "kryptonite", which makes even her uneasy] I know I said I wanted to hurt him, but this?
Leonard Hofstadter: It'll shorten the war by five years and save millions of lives.

Leonard Hofstadter: Penny, you don't want to get into it with Sheldon. The guy is one lab accident away from being a super villain.
Penny: I don't care. I was in Junior Rodeo. I can hogtie and castrate him in sixty seconds.
Howard Wolowitz: No need to neuter the nerd, I can get you back online.

Penny: Leonard, remember when I said it was on? Well, now, it's Junior Rodeo on.
Leonard: Awww, not Junior Rodeo!