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Season 2 - Episode 01 - The Bad Fish Paradigm
The Bad Fish Paradigm 10

Good night, Penny.


Scene The stairwell.
Leonard So you see, what you're eating is not technically yoghurt, because it doesn't have enough live acidophilus cultures. It's really just iced milk with carragenin added for thickness.
Penny Oh, that's very interesting.
Leonard It's also not pink and has no berries.
Penny Yeah, but it doesn't really answer my question.
Leonard What was your question again?
Penny Do you want some.
Leonard Oh, right, no, I'm lactose intolerant.
Penny Right.
Leonard So, gas.
Penny Got it.
Leonard Well, good night. (They kiss. Camera cuts away to a wall mounted security cam above the lift. Leonard spots its movement and shuffles Penny away.)
Penny What are you doing?
Leonard There was a draft.
Penny I didn't feel a draft.
Leonard Why don't we just go into your....
Penny Oh, yeah, you know what, maybe we should just slow things down a little.
Leonard No, no, I didn't mean to go into your apartment to... go fast.
Penny No, I know, I... I know what you meant, it's just... it's only our first date.
Leonard Yeah, okay, sure, no problem, why don't we just figure out where we’re going, and when we want to get there, and then rate of speed equals distance over time. Solve for R.
Penny Or we could just wing it.
Leonard That might work too.
Penny Goodnight Leonard.
Leonard Goodnight. (He throws the camera a dirty look.)
Cut to inside the apartment.
Raj He's coming. Screen saver.
Howard Oh, hey, Leonard, how was your date?
Leonard Bite me. Sheldon, how could you just sit there and let them spy on me?
Sheldon They were clever, Leonard. They exploited my complete lack of interest in what you were doing.
Howard You should thank us. When future generations try to determine why your relationship with Penny crashed and burned, this right here is the black box.
Leonard What are you talking about, the date went fine.
Raj Dude, she said she wants to slow things down.
Leonard Okay, so, she said she wants to slow things down. It's like saying “I’m really enjoying this meal, I’m going to slow down and savour it.”
Howard No, it's like “this fish tastes bad, so I’m going to slow down and spit it out.”
Raj You being the fish.
Leonard I'm not the fish.
Howard Oh really, did you make a second date.
Leonard Well, we sort of decided to wing it.
Sheldon Oh, even I know that's lame.
Leonard Okay, alright, let's assume your hypothesis. We went to dinner, we talked, we laughed, we kissed, where could I have possibly gone wrong.
Howard Think back, Leonard, the littlest things can set women off. Like, hey, the waitress is hot, I bet we could get her to come home with us. Or, how much does your mom weigh, I want to know what I'm getting into.
Leonard I didn't say anything like that.
Howard Good, ‘cos they don't work.
Raj They also don't care for it if you stare at them and hyperventilate. Sadly, that's my home run swing.
Leonard Look, everything went fine. I didn't even have to refer to my impromptu conversation starters. The woman across the hall is into me.
Howard Let's go to the tape. Look at her reaction to the goodnight kiss, no change in respiration, pupils un-dilated, no flushing of the chest.
Raj Nice close up, by the way.
Sheldon Interesting, her jaws are clenched, no tongue access, clearly a bad sign amongst mating humans.
Leonard That's not a bad sign.
Sheldon Please, you might as well have been two iguana with no dewlap enlargement.
Raj And the worst sign of all is, you're here and not there.
Leonard I'm not there because I'm taking things slow. Which, by the way, compared to you guys approaches warp speed. And take down that camera.
Raj He was a lot more fun when he had no hope.
Howard Give him time.
Credits sequence
Scene The laundry room. Sheldon is folding shirts.
Penny (Entering) Hi.
Sheldon Oh, hi Penny. FYI, the hot water is inadequate on machine 2 so colors only, and 4 is still releasing the fabric softener too early in the cycle so I'd avoid using that for your delicates.
Penny (Tipping all her laundry into one machine at once) Thanks.
Sheldon Oh, good Lord. Why don't you just take your clothes down to the river and beat them with a rock?
Penny Sheldon, may I ask you a question?
Sheldon I would prefer that you not, but I won't go so far as to forbid it.
Penny Alright, I heard yes, so... okay, here's my question, has Leonard ever dated, you know, a regular girl.
Sheldon Well I assume you're not referring to digestive regularity? Because I’ve come to learn that such inquiries are inappropriate.
Penny No, I meant has he ever been involved with someone who wasn't a braniac?
Sheldon Oh. Well, a few years ago he did go out with a woman who had a PhD in French Literature.
Penny How is that not a braniac?
Sheldon Well, for one thing, she was French. For another, it was literature.
Penny So, do you think that if Leonard and I keep dating he'll eventually get bored with me.
Sheldon That depends.
Penny On what?
Sheldon Do you have a working knowledge of quantum physics?
Penny No.
Sheldon Do you speak Klingon?
Penny No.
Sheldon Do you know any card tricks?
Penny Okay, okay, you know, I get it, Leonard has no business being involved with a waitress slash actress who felt so insecure that she lied to him about finishing community college.
Sheldon Why would you lie about that?
Penny Well, he was going on and on about this college and that grad school and I didn't want him to think I was some stupid loser.
Sheldon You thought the opposite of stupid loser was community college graduate?
Penny You know, there are a lot of successful people in this country who are community college graduates.
Sheldon Yeah, but you were neither.
Penny Right, okay look, this is between you and me, you cannot tell Leonard any of this.
Sheldon You're asking me to keep a secret?
Penny Yeah.
Sheldon Well I'm sorry, but you would have had to express that desire before revealing the secret, so that I could choose whether or not I wanted to accept the covenant of secret keeping. You can't impose a secret on an ex post facto basis.
Penny What?
Sheldon Secret keeping is a complicated endeavour. One has to be concerned not only about what one says, but about facial expression, autonomic reflexes, when I try to deceive, I myself have more nervous tics than a lyme disease research facility. (Long pause.) It's a joke. It relies on the homonymic relationship between “tick”, the blood-sucking arachnid, and “tic”, the involuntary muscular contraction. I made it up myself.
Penny Okay, look, if Leonard finds out that I lied, I will absolutely die of embarrassment.
Sheldon Physiologically impossible.
Penny Oh Sheldon, please, look, I'm asking you as a friend.
Sheldon So you're saying that friendship contains within it an inherent obligation to maintain confidences?
Penny Well, yeah.
Sheldon Interesting. See, one more question, and perhaps I should have led with this, when did we become friends?
Scene The stairwell.
Sheldon I.e, I couldn't become Green Lantern unless I was chosen by the guardians of Oa, but given enough start-up capital and an adequate research facility, I could be Batman.
Leonard You could be Batman?
Sheldon Sure. (In a gravelly voice) I'm Batman. See.
Penny (Arriving) Hi guys.
Leonard Hey.
Sheldon (Looking the other way uncomfortably) Hi Penny.
Leonard Hey, Penny, if you're not doing anything Friday night I thought maybe we could go and see a movie.
Penny Oh, um, you know, I think I have the dinner shift on Friday.
Leonard What about Saturday?
Penny You know, I'm not sure, the manager hasn't posted the schedule yet, how about I let you know.
Leonard Great. So you just let me know when you know. So... (she leaves) Oh God, I am the bad fish! What did I do wrong?
Sheldon Why are you asking me, I have no information about your interactions with Penny other than what you provided me, nor do I have any method of learning such things. (Runs away.)
Leonard (Chasing him) What does that mean?
Sheldon Nothing. You seem to be implying an informational back channel between me and Penny where obviously none exists.
Leonard No I didn't.
Sheldon I just think you need to be careful how you phrase things, sir.
Leonard What's going on with you?
Sheldon Well I might ask you the same question. Why do you insist on attempting to drag me into matters which have nothing to do with me? But exist between you and Penny. A person to whom I barely speak. (His eye begins to twitch.)
Leonard What's wrong with your face?
Sheldon There's no reason to bring my looks into this. Good day, Leonard.
Leonard What?
Sheldon I said Good Day! (He leaves)
Leonard Good day?
Scene The Cheesecake Factory
Penny Also today we have a fresh caught Alaska salmon, and that's served with a teriyaki glaze and sticky rice. Our soup of the day...
Sheldon (Appearing behind her) You must release me from my oath.
Penny Sheldon, I'm working.
Sheldon Why don't you take a minute to decide (leads her away) I can't keep your secret Penny. I'm going to fold like an energy based anobo protein in conformational space. Like a renaissance triptych. Like a cheap suit.
Penny Oh, look, why is it so hard for you to keep one little secret?
Sheldon I'm constitutionally incapable. That's why I was refused clearance for a very prestigious government research fellowship at a secret military supercollider, located beneath a fake agricultural station 12.5 miles south east of Travers City, Michigan. Which you did not hear about from me.
Penny Look, just forget I told you about me not graduating from community college. Okay?
Sheldon Forget! You want me to forget? This mind does not forget. I haven't forgotten a single thing since the day my mother stopped breast feeding me. It was a drizzly Tuesday.
Penny Okay, look, you promised me you would keep my secret so you're just going to have to figure out a way to do it.
Scene Apartment 4A
Sheldon (Entering) Leonard, I'm moving out.
Leonard What do you mean, you're moving out? Why?
Sheldon There doesn't have to be a reason.
Leonard Yeah, there kind of does.
Sheldon Not necessarily. This is a classic example of munchausen's trilemma. Either the reason is predicated on a series of sub-reasons leading to an infinite regression, or it tracks back to arbitrary axiomatic statements, or it's ultimately circular, i.e., I'm moving out because I'm moving out.
Leonard I'm still confused.
Sheldon Leonard, I don't see how I could have made it any simpler.
Howard (Entering) Hey, qu’est q’was up?
Raj We just got back from that exhibit of those plasticised human cadavers.
Howard And some of those skinless chicks were hot.
Sheldon If you'll excuse me, I'm going to pack.
Howard That's kind of an overreaction to a little harmless necrophilia.
Leonard It's not you, Howard, he says he's moving out.
Raj What did you do? Did you change the contrast or brightness settings on the television?
Leonard No.
Raj Did you take a band aid off in front of him?
Leonard No.
Howard Did you buy generic ketchup, forget to rinse the sink, talk to him through the bathroom door?
Raj Adjust the thermostat, cook with cilantro, pronounce the T in often?
Leonard No.
Howard Did you make fun of trains?
Leonard I didn't do anything, he's just gone insane.
Raj Well, we all knew this day was coming.
Leonard That was fast.
Sheldon It's my pre-packed disaster evacuation bag. Recommended by the department of homeland security. And Sarah Connor.
Leonard Where are you gonna live?
Sheldon Until I find a permanent place I will stay with friends.
Howard Bye (runs out.)
Raj Well you can't stay with me, I have a teeny tiny apartment.
Sheldon Excuse me, but isn't hosting guests an aspect of Menushya Yajna, one of the five central religious duties or sacrifices of the Hindu householder?
Raj I hate trains.
Sheldon Don't be ridiculous, you love trains.
Raj Yes I do, come on. See you later Leonard. (Sheldon drops keys in bowl and leaves without a word.)
Leonard This could work.
Scene Raj's apartment.
Sheldon This is a very old building.
Raj Sixty years. Used to be a watch factory.
Sheldon Uh-oh.
Raj What?
Sheldon Don't you worry about the residual radium from the luminous dials?
Raj Not until now.
Sheldon I can't believe I didn't bring my gieger counter. You know, I had it on my bed and I didn't pack it.
Raj Well, if you're not comfortable staying here, Sheldon...
Sheldon I'm kidding, I packed it. It was a joke, I was subverting the conversational expectations. I believe they call that the, um, old switcheroo.
Raj Terrific.
Sheldon (Referring to Bollywood singing on television) Is that woman Aishwarya Rai?
Raj Yes, isn't she an amazing actress.
Sheldon Actually, I'd say she's a poor man's Madhuri Dixit.
Raj How dare you. Aishwarya Rai is a Goddess. By comparison Madhuri Dixit is a leprous prostitute.
Sheldon Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you. Obviously you're not that familiar with Indian cinema.
Scene Howard's house. The door rings.
Howard Who is it?
Voice Strippergram. (Howard opens door. Outside are Raj and Sheldon.)
Raj Tag. You're it. (Runs away.)
Howard Shouldn't you have put him in a brown paper bag and set him on fire?
Scene Howard’s bedroom. Howard is in bed, Sheldon is on a blow up mattress on the floor.
Sheldon I’ve never slept on an air mattress before. No lumbar support whatsoever.
Howard Maybe you'd be happier on a park bench?
Sheldon I don't see any way to get a park bench in here.
Howard Do you want to switch?
Sheldon No, that's fine. I'm perfectly comfortable sleeping on a bouncy castle.
Howard Get out of bed, we’re switching.
Sheldon Now, only if you want to.
Howard Just get in the bed!
Mrs. Wolowitz (Off) What's going on? Are you boys roughhousing?
Howard We’re just talking ma.
Mrs. Wolowitz If you don't settle down right now, I'm not going to let you have any more sleepovers.
Howard For God's sake, ma, I'm 27 years old. It's not even a school night! (To Sheldon) Comfy now?
Sheldon Meh. That poster of Halle Berry's a little unnerving.
Howard So don't look at it.
Sheldon She's like my fourth favorite catwoman.
Howard No kidding?
Sheldon Yeah, Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfieffer, Eartha Kitt and then her.
Howard What about Lee Meriwether?
Sheldon Oh, I forgot about Lee Meriwether.
Howard Well I'm glad that's settled.
Sheldon That makes Halle Berry my fifth favorite catwoman. There's Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfieffer, Eartha Kitt, Lee Meriwether...
Howard Please, I'm begging you, go to sleep.
Sheldon I'm trying, I'm counting catwomen. She did make a fine mutant in the X-Men movies though.
Howard Oh for God's sake.
Sheldon But she's not my favorite of the X-Men, in order that would be Wolverine, Cyclops, oh wait, I forgot Professor X. Professor X, Wolverine, Cyclops, Iceman, then Storm, Angel, the Beast, oh wait, Nightcrawler. Professor X, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Cyclops, Iceman, then Storm, Angel....
Scene Apartment 4A. There is an urgent rapping at the door.
Leonard I'm coming! (Opens the door. Sheldon falls inside, wearing his pajamas. Howard is outside.)
Sheldon Hey, there he is, there's my old buddy-bud-bud.
Leonard What's with him?
Howard Koothrappali dumped him on me, and he couldn't get to sleep, so I gave him a glass of warm milk with a handful of my mom's valium in it. But he still wouldn't shut up, so, tag, you're it.
Sheldon I'm ba-ack!
Leonard I still don't know why you left.
Sheldon I can't tell you.
Leonard Why not.
Sheldon I promised Penny.
Leonard You promised Penny what?
Sheldon That I wouldn't tell you the secret. Shhhhh!
Leonard What secret. Tell me the secret.
Sheldon Mom smokes in the car. Jesus is okay with it, but we can't tell Dad.
Leonard Not that secret, the other secret.
Sheldon I'm Batman. Shhhhh!
Leonard Dammit, Sheldon! You said Penny told you a secret, what was the secret.
Sheldon Okay, I'll tell you, but you can't tell Leonard.
Leonard I promise.
Sheldon Penny lied about graduating from community college because she is afraid she's not smart enough for Leonard.
Leonard So it's nothing I did? It's her problem?
Sheldon I drank milk that tasted funny.
Leonard Penny thinks I'm too smart for her, that's ridiculous.
Sheldon I know, most of your work is extremely derivative. Don't worry, that's not a secret. Everybody knows.
Scene The hallway. Leonard is outside Penny’s door.
Penny (Opening door) Hi.
Leonard Yeah, hi, listen, I know what's been bothering you about us, and I have the answer.
Penny What are you talking about.
Leonard First I want to say that it's not Sheldon's fault, he tried very hard to keep your secret, if Howard hadn't drugged him he would have taken it to his grave.
Penny He told you?
Leonard Yes, but it's okay. Now that we know what the problem is, there's a simple solution. (Hands her a brochure.)
Penny Pasadena city college?
Leonard A place for fun, a place for knowledge. See, this man here's playing hacky sack, and this girl's going to be a paralegal.
Penny Wow, I get it, because Dr Leonard Hofstadter can't date a girl without a fancy college degree.
Leonard Well, it's really not that fancy, it's just a city college.
Penny Right, but I have to have some sort of degree to date you?
Leonard That doesn't matter to me at all.
Penny So, it's fine with you if I'm not smart.
Leonard Absolutely. (She slams the door in his face.) Okay, this time I know where I went wrong. (Looking up and seeing the camera) Oh bite me!

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