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"The Proton Resurgence" is the twenty-second episode of the sixth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode first aired on Thursday, May 2, 2013.[1]


Leonard and Sheldon hire their favorite childhood television star to make an appearance. Bernadette and Howard offer to watch Raj's dog and live to regret it.[1]

Extended Plot[]


I hired Professor Proton.

Leonard is teaching Penny how to launch a toy foam rocket using his computer. Her first shot hits Sheldon in the head, who tells her that she is lucky that he is out of silly string. Sheldon discovers that Professor Proton, the Mr. Wizard of his youth, is alive. Penny then hits Leonard in the head. Leonard tells Penny that he was pretty cool. Penny quips that it's cute when he uses the word "cool" wrong. He is now available to perform at children's birthday parties. Sheldon wants to hire him so he can do experiments for them, hang out with them, and maybe even take twelve photos with them to make their own calendar. Leonard thinks that it would be awesome to hang out with him and then remarks to Penny that he must have misused the word "awesome". Sheldon emails him as Leonard and Sheldon sing his theme song: "Grab your goggles, put your lab coat on. Here he comes, Professor Proton."

At the Caltech cafeteria, Raj asks Howard to watch his dog over the weekend while he spends time in the telescope lab. Howard asks him why he doesn't just put her in a kennel. Raj snaps asking why he doesn't put his mother in a home. Howard feels that she would probably be better off in the kennel. Howard says that he'll talk to his wife about sitting Raj's dog. Sheldon comes running in to announce that Professor Proton will be coming to their place. Leonard is excited, while Howard calls it a "lame kid's" show which gets him uninvited. Howard wonders how Sheldon got him to come. Sheldon then quotes Professor Proton, "There is no problem you can't solve if you use your brain|noggin." and later says that he wrote him a big check.

Raj shows up at Howard and Bernadette's Apartment with his Yorkie, Cinnamon in a fancy stroller telling the dog that she is going to have a sleepover at Uncle Howard's place. Howard tells Raj that if he had a stroke, his dog would feed on him. Her diet consists of people food including veal chops and scampi, though Raj is watching her weight. He also has to close the toilet seat since she drinks out of it. Howard talks to Cinnamon telling her he knows what it's like to have psychotic mother.

That night Sheldon calls Leonard through the wall because he can't get to sleep due to Professor Proton's visit the next day. In less than nine hours Arthur Jeffries a.k.a. Professor Proton will be visiting. Leonard tells him that if he doesn't get enough sleep, he is going to be cranky though he concludes that a cranky Sheldon is a regular Sheldon. He tells Leonard that he is planning on wearing a tuxedo and asks Leonard if he has any cuff links which Leonard does not. Sheldon then starts practicing how he is going to greet him when Leonard gets up, goes into Sheldon's room and smacks him. Leonard gets back into bed looking proud when Sheldon again calls through the wall telling him that he still can't sleep.

When Howard and Bernadette return from the park with Raj's dog, Bernadette tells him that it was great seeing him throw a ball to Cinnamon. Howard enjoyed it since no one was laughing at him while he threw the ball for a dog instead of to himself. Bernadette admits that there were a few minutes that she felt like they were a real family. She had never felt like a real mom until then and maybe someday she could be one which makes Howard very happy. Checking on the dog, they find the stroller empty. Each of them tells the other that it was their job to put her back in the stroller. Bernadette runs out telling Howard that he throws like a girl.

Professor Proton 3

Sheldon meets his childhood hero.

Sheldon is staring out the peephole because Professor Proton is late. Penny tells him to relax since he was only a few minutes late. Sheldon counters that when he was on television he was never late unless tornadoes were tearing apart east Texas which meant that they would join his show "already in progress". Professor Proton calls Sheldon to say that he is stuck on the third floor building landing having to walk up three flights of stairs taking half an hour to do so. All three of them find Professor Proton sitting on his suitcase with Sheldon exclaiming, "It's really you!" Leonard apologizes that they should have told him about the broken elevator. Exhausted, the Professor agrees. Sheldon tells him that it is an honor to meet him. The Professor says to just call him Arthur. Sheldon is thrilled that it means that they are now friends. Arthur remarks that a friend would have told him about the elevator. Sheldon then gets as close to him as he wants without his mother telling him that it is going to ruin his eyes. Arthur asks Leonard whether Sheldon is dangerous. Leonard replies that he is a genius, which doesn't answer the Professor's question. Leonard introduces himself and Penny whom the Professor obviously likes. Arthur apologizes that he hopes he hasn't kept the kids waiting too long, but he is confused when he learns that there is no children's birthday party. As they climb the final stairs, he says that since the blonde} girl is really his girlfriend that Leonard is the true genius.

Professor Proton is having tea while Sheldon is staring at him. Penny asks him if he does a lot of "this", while Arthur is still trying to figure out what "this" is. Leonard tells him that they just wanted to hang out with him and learn about his life. Arthur explains that after his show ended, birthday parties were the only work he could get. None of his fellow scientists would take him seriously. Working with kids, he gets bit a lot. He then asks if he has it straight, that they are two physicists who want him to do a children's science show for them. Sheldon agrees and adds that if he has time they'll take twelve pictures together in seasonal clothing for his calendar. Arthur tells them that he is a real scientist with a PhD from Cornell University. Sheldon then asks if he brought his puppet. The Professor says that he didn't and that he hated that puppet, though Sheldon got a "Gino the Neutrino" puppet off of eBay. Arthur turns to Penny and asks if he is awake and if all of this craziness is happening.

Howard and Bernadette are driving around calling out for Cinnamon. Bernadette wonders if she is not coming because of Raj's accent, so they both start calling for Cinnamon in Raj's accent. Howard wants Bernadette to do her accent later because it is a turn on. Bernie wonders why and Howard goes back to yelling for Cinnamon without the accent.


Professor Proton meets his fans.

Back in Apartment 4A, Arthur is doing an experiment where he puts on an egg on top of a flask with a candle burring in it and asks what is going to happen as the air pressure decreases. Penny thinks she knows; however, Sheldon interrupts her saying that the egg will be sucked in. Penny then admits that she doesn't know. The egg then falls into the flask. Penny tells him that she isn't a scientist like the others, which Arthur had already figured out. Sheldon then wants him to do the potato clock where he powers the clock using the potato as a battery. Penny is impressed and says that that could solve the world's energy crisis, which Arthur denies. The Professor then tells them to keep their money because he is done. Sheldon asks him that if Penny has upset him, he can tell her to go away. Arthur comments that she is the only reason he has stayed as long as he has which pleases Penny. Arthur tells them that he is tired of being Professor Proton whom Sheldon tells him is "the best." Arthur tells them that he is an 83-year-old man with potatoes in his suitcase; other scientists think he is a joke, and his puppeteer slept with his wife. Sheldon goes off to get something while Penny asks how the potato clock worked. (Is it a trick clock or a trick potato?) He then asks Leonard what the two of them talk about. Sheldon has an autographed picture of Professor Proton from when he was a kid and asks him if he remembers sending it to him. Arthur replies that he has a bracelet on his arm with his address on it. Sheldon explains that he didn't have any friends growing up and every day at 4 PM Professor Proton would come to his house and they would do science experiments together. Otherwise Sheldon might have ended up as a hobo or a surgeon. Leonard adds that science in making advances every day because Professor Proton inspired millions of kids to become scientists and all these discoveries are in part his work too. Arthur tells them that it means a lot to him and they agree that he means a lot to them. Arthur then sits down thinking that he is having a problem with is pacemaker. Penny asks if they can plug it into the potato.

In the telescope lab, Raj gets a call from someone who found his dog. Raj thanks him and heads to pick her up and telling him to not give her anything starchy.

Arthur is now strapped to a gurney under the care of two paramedics. His vitals are stable; however, he is being taken to the hospital for some tests. Sheldon volunteers to ride with him to the hospital in the ambulance. Arthur asks if he has to be a relative, which is not true and that thrills Sheldon. Arthur says that he can't catch a break today. Penny tells him that they'll back up his stuff and meet him at the hospital. Leonard apologizes that everything turned out this way to which Arthur replies that he is just glad to be carried down the stairs. Sheldon tells Leonard and Penny that he got to meet his childhood hero and ride in an ambulance. If they get to make the calendar, he will be the best day ever.

Professor Proton, Jr.


While Howard is printing out a lost dog poster, Bernadette thinks that since they lost the dog, she'd be a terrible mother. Howard got the picture of her by Googling "foo-foo little dog". Raj video calls Howard and Bernadette. Howard tells him that Bernadette just took her out for a walk. Raj says that that is interesting and asks if they walking down Liars Lane. A lane frequented by liars as he holds up Cinnamon. Bernadette asks if she is O.K. and Raj replies that she has been shaking for hours. Bernadette is angry that he has had her for hours while they both had massages to calm down. She asks him why he couldn't have picked up a phone and called since they were worrying themselves sick about her. Raj changes his tone and tells her that he is sorry. She continues that sorry is not good enough and that he should take some time and think about what he has done. She closes the laptop. Due to her guilt trip on Raj, Howard thinks that she'll will make a great mother. She smiles and they kiss.

At the hospital, Sheldon sings Professor Proton "Soft Kitty". Arthur thanks him and tells him that the fourth time is the charm. Sheldon asks him if he can get him some apple juice or Jello. He declines, but does ask him for a favor. Arthur tells Sheldon that he is not feeling up to doing his act scheduled for the next day, so he asks Sheldon to be Professor Proton. Sheldon considers that an honor like ascending Mt. Olympus to dine with the gods. Realizing that they will know he is not the real Professor Proton, Sheldon asks Arthur if it is all right with him if he goes by Professor Proton Jr. Arthur agrees. Sheldon then tells him that it's like being his son. "Whatever," Arthur replies. Sheldon hugs Professor Proton and calls him father. Arthur replies "Sure, what the hell."



  • The TV Critic: "...The performances were fine but the script was understandably basic. Newhart is 83 years old and I suspect that played into asking little of him, but to react with surprise and confusion to Sheldon's eccentricities. The problem was though that that same sideways look was used about twenty times. It was the only joke and it was repeated again and again and again. It would have been better to use Newhart in a smaller role and not build the episode around him..."[2]
  • The DR Club gave this episode a B-.[3]
  • The A.V. Club gave this episode a C+.[4]
  • IGN gave this episode 7.9/10.[5]
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: The title refers to the return to Sheldon's life of his childhood hero Professor Proton who hosted a children's science show.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
  • This episode was watched by 16.29 million people with a rating of 4.9 (adults 18–49).[6]
  • Total viewers including DVR users 21.31 million.
  • This episode aired in Canada on May 2, 2013, with 3.119 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.[7]
  • Episode transcript [1]

Costume Notes[]

  • Sheldon wears his orange Space Invaders t-shirt, and his Atmospheric CO2 t-shirt.

    Atmospheric CO2


  • The "toy" being used by Penny is the Dream Cheeky 908 Thunder Missile Launcher NR Electronic Reference Device, a USB powered foam missile delivery system.

    Thunder Missile Launcher

  • Professor Proton was a childhood hero of both Sheldon and Leonard. Sheldon claims that he was his only friend when he was little. Howard was not impressed by him.
  • Chuck Lorre has said he's been pursuing Bob Newhart to appear on one of his shows for a long time. He suggested "The Big Bang Theory" to Mr. Newhart, who accepted under two conditions: (1) his scenes had to be taped live and (2) he wanted it to be a semi-recurring role. Lorre was fine with both and later called him with the story of Professor Proton. It's a recurring part; therefore, he did do two more episodes in the Season 7. After Professor Proton died, he became Sheldon' Jedi adviser.
  • Penny acts very out of character for most of the episode, coming across as actively stupid. Her part in this episode is much more in line with a generic 'dumb blonde', a role her character is supposed to be a pastiche of. Ironically, Professor Proton notices this, asking what she and Leonard talk about, but the conversation is cut off before Leonard can answer.
  • Soft Kitty is sung in this episode when Sheldon sings it in the hospital to Professor Proton.
  • Second episode Mayim Bialik is absent from in the sixth season. This is the last episode that Mayim missed throughout the rest of the series.
  • Bernadette starts feeling good about possibility being a mother after telling Howard that she doesn't want any children.
  • The name of Raj's Yorkshire Terrier, Cinnamon, is revealed in this episode.
  • Professor Proton is very impressed by Leonard's girlfriend Penny.
  • The Astronomy Remote Observing Room or "telescope lab" makes its second appearance, following its premiere in "The Boyfriend Complexity".
  • One of the few episodes where somebody sits in Sheldon's spot and he doesn't notice or complain about it. Also he doesn't mind being in a hospital, as he is normally afraid of catching germs.
  • Bob Newhart is known for remaining sane among a cast of crazies like on his previous TV shows.
  • Bob Newhart was 83 when he did this episode.
  • After 51 years, 7 nominations and all of his own successful sitcoms, Bob won his first and only Emmy award for this episode, taking home the 2013 award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, an award that much of the world felt was long overdue.
  • The next Valentine's Day, Leonard and Penny watch Cinnamon and she ends up at the veterinarian.
  • On Star Trek: Voyager, a holo-novel is used several times that details the adventures of Captain Proton, a 1930s Buck Rogers-type character.
  • Bernadette, Howard and Raj share no scenes with Penny in this episode.
  • Bernadette also doesn't share any scenes with Sheldon and Leonard in this episode either.


  • It seems that Leonard became a scientist because he grew up on Professor Proton's show which inspired him and made him do so, as Leonard says to Professor Proton that he may have inspired many children to pursue science. If it is true, this creates an error when Leonard says in "The Contractual Obligation Implementation" (S6E18) that he became a scientist because his mother and father pushed him into science, though both aspects may have contributed to his career decision.


Bernadette: Cinnamon!
Howard: Cinnamon!
Bernadette: You know, maybe she doesn’t recognize her name because of Raj’s accent.
Howard: Good thinking. (In a bad Indian accent) Cinnamon, come to Daddy!
Bernadette (likewise): Cinnamon! Where are you, my little lamb chop?
Howard: Nice.
Bernadette: Thanks.
Howard: When this all blows over, remember that voice. It’s kind of a turn-on.
Bernadette: It turns you on when I sound like Raj?
Howard: (awkward pause) ... Cinnamon!

Sheldon: You may find this hard to believe, but I didn't have any friends growing up.
Arthur: No, I get that.
Sheldon: But, I did have you. And every day at 4 o’clock you’d come to my house on channel 68 and we’d do science together. If it hadn't been for you, who knows what would have become of me. You know, instead of a world class physicist I could have wound up as a hobo … or a surgeon.
Leonard: I bet there are important discoveries made every day because you inspired millions of kids to pursue science. In a way their discoveries are your discoveries.
Sheldon: It’s true. A generation of young scientists are standing on your shoulders.
Arthur: Well thanks, thanks, you guys. That means a lot.
Leonard: It’s important you know how much you mean to us.

Sheldon: Professor Proton it is an honor to meet you.
Arthur: Just call me Arthur.
Sheldon: Leonard. Did you hear that? Professor Proton said that I should call me Arthur. That means we’re friends.
Arthur: No. A friend would have told me about the elevator.
Sheldon: Look at me. I can get as close to you as I want without my Mom saying it's going to ruin my eyes.
Arthur: Is he dangerous?
Leonard: Actually he’s a genius.
Sheldon: I am.
Arthur: That doesn't answer my question.

Arthur: Is the blonde girl really your girlfriend?
Leonard: Yes, sir.
Arthur: You’re the genius.

Sheldon: Soft Kitty, warm, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr.
Arthur: Thank you Sheldon. That was very nice.
Sheldon: Do you want me to sing it again?
Arthur: No! The fourth time was the charm.

Sheldon: I met my childhood hero, now I get to ride in an ambulance. If we get him to do that calendar, it will be the best day ever.

Howard: She really tuckered herself out at the park, huh?
Bernadette: Yeah, you two were so cute playing together.
Howard: It was kind of fun throwing a ball and not having anyone laugh at me.
Bernadette: And you were sweet not to throw it too far so she didn’t wear out her tiny legs.
Howard: Yeah, that’s what I was doing.
Bernadette: You know, there were a few moments today when I almost felt like we were a little family.
Howard: Really?
Bernadette: Yeah. I never thought of myself as a mom, but when the three of us were out there having fun, I felt like maybe someday we could do it.
Howard: Of course we can. Especially if our baby’s as calm and quiet as little Cinna… (shouts very loud when he sees that the stroller-seat is empty) Son of a bitch, she’s gone!
Bernadette: (asking crossly) Wh-where’d she go?!
Howard: (He is so really cross) I don’t know, she didn’t leave a note!
Bernadette: (She is so really cross too) Well, you were the one who was supposed to put her back in the stroller!
Howard: (argues loudly to her) No, I wasn’t. You were!
Bernadette: (argues back to him loudly) No, I wasn’t!
Howard: (argues loudly to her again) Yes, you were!
Bernadette: (biggest burst of anger) Yeah, well, you throw like a girl!
(Bernadette now throws her bottle of water on the couch in a rage and both she and Howard start exiting from the apartment with enormous fury together)

(The scene of Raj's mobile phone ringing in the telescope lab)
Raj: Hello? What do you mean, you found my dog? She’s with my friends. Is she okay? Oh, thank you. Uh, just text me your address, I’m on my way. Oh, and if she’s hungry, go ahead and feed her. But do not give her anything starchy. She’s having risotto for dinner.
(Raj now exits)

Bernadette: Can’t believe we lost her. What was I thinking? I’d be a terrible mom.
Howard: Well, maybe with the first one. But kids are like pancakes. The first one’s always a throwaway. How’s this look?
Bernadette: Its fine. Where’d you get that picture of her?
Howard: Its not her. I just googled foo-foo little dogs. (Skype tone) It’s Raj. Stay quiet. Hey, bad timing. Bernadette just took Cinnamon out for a walk.
Raj: Hmm. Interesting. Did they take a walk down Liars’ Lane?
Howard: What?
Raj: A lane frequented by liars, like you, you big liar!
Howard: You have her?
Bernadette: (smiling crossly to Raj) Oh, thank God she’s okay.
Raj: Well, I trusted you, and you let me down. The poor thing’s been shaking for hours.
Howard: I’m really sorry.
Bernadette: (asking Raj crossly) Hang on, you’ve had her for hours?
Raj: Yes. I picked her up, and then we both went for massages to try and calm down. And then we got Pinkberry.
Bernadette: (asking Raj crossly again) So you knew she was okay, and you couldn’t pick up the phone to tell us?
Raj: Well, I, I thought about…
Bernadette: (she is now enormously cross) Don’t well me, mister! We’ve been worried sick! She could have been dead for all we knew! You should be ashamed of yourself!
Raj: Sorry. I, I just…
Bernadette: (enormously cross for the final time) Sorry’s not good enough! Maybe you need to take some time and think about what you’ve done!
(Bernadette slams the laptop screen down in a gigantic rage of anger and she now starts to finish her angry mood for the last few seconds. Howard now cheers her up straight away)
Howard: Nice guilt trip. (snorts happily) You are gonna be an amazing mom.
(Bernadette now smiles and giggles by this. Howard now kisses her and Bernadette now giggles again)


See also[]


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