"The 43 Peculiarity" is the eighth episode of the sixth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Thursday, November 15, 2012.[1]


Sheldon has a daily 20-minute time period between 2:45 and 3:05, during which he spends locked in a Caltech basement room. Howard and Raj are determined to find out what he is doing. Meanwhile, Leonard is jealous over Penny's (male) college class partner, forcing Penny to accidentally admit something very important.

Extended Plot


Howard and Raj spying on Sheldon in the Caltech basement.

Sheldon mentions one day in the cafeteria that he could, in theory, build a containment field to open a wormhole to another dimension the size of a Frisbee. When Sheldon leaves, he hands the napkin, on which he has been doodling some thought on a wormhole generator, to Howard. Howard wants to know if he wants to build it. Sheldon says that he wants him to wipe his chin; he has food on it. After Sheldon leaves, Howard notices that Sheldon's pristine schedule has a lapse of 20 minutes every afternoon where no one knows where he goes or what he does. Raj guesses that he heads to the men's room, while Leonard corrects him since that is not on Sheldon’s pristine schedule. Raj and Howard corner him in the hallway by his office, and Sheldon denies that anything is unusual. They then ask his assistant Alex, and she reveals that even she doesn't know where he goes.

Hanging in Penny's apartment.

Later, Penny and Leonard are hanging out in her apartment. Penny is texting a fellow English student named Cole, who's working with her on an oral class project. Jealous, Leonard asks if he and Penny are still dating and is convinced that Cole is flirting with Penny, but Penny denies it and says that he's just being nice. Leonard begins chatting with Alex in the Cafeteria about it, and she mentions that it is probably nothing. She then coyly adds that Leonard might even be flirted with without really knowing it. He the walks out with his coffee laughing hysterically while Alex looks disappointed. Elsewhere at Caltech, Raj and Howard follow Sheldon down to an old storage room in the basement. Unable to hear what he's doing, Howard and Raj break in later that night and find an almost empty room with a blackboard that has the number 43 written on it. Given Sheldon's apparent obsession with order and numbers, Raj and Howard spend all night trying to figure out what the significance of the number 43 is. Howard's mom has 43 inches of neck fat.

Penny catches Leonard trying to scare off her study partner.

Later, when Cole comes over to Penny's to work on the project, Leonard spies on him from his apartment. Leonard follows him down the stairs and tells him to watch out for "Penny's boyfriend", saying that he was a gang member. When Cole says that Penny told him that her boyfriend was a scientist, Leonard makes the excuse that "The Scientists" was the name of his gang. Penny

Penny realizes she just told Leonard "I love you".

witnessed his stunt and is upset with Leonard and the two later meet in the hallway and have an argument. Penny tells him that she cannot believe that he cannot trust her and that he embarrassed her in front of Cole who knew who he was since his picture is on her refrigerator. Penny continues to tell him that he is the one she is with and accidentally mentions that he knows that she loves him. Leonard is stunned and tells her that that is the first she ever said that. Penny rushes off to work to avoid crying in front of him. Leonard gets a text from Alex, inviting him for coffee sometime, and Leonard smiles, mentioning that she is such a friendly girl.
7Eating my face

It's eating my face!

Unable to solve what 43 means, Howard installs a spare camera from the Mars rover project so they can spy on Sheldon in the storage room. The next day, Howard and Raj watch the video feed, and are stunned when they see Sheldon use an unknown machine to create a small wormhole in the room. Sheldon mentions aloud into a recorder that he hasn't found life in 43 parallel universes, and thrusts his head through the wormhole. Sheldon backs out, screaming as a reptilian creature eats his face. Raj and Howard scream as Sheldon's prop for the creature is dropped on their laptop from behind them. Sheldon had found the camera and created a phony video to cover up what he was really doing. Sheldon explains that what he did with his spare time was none of their business, but was centered around giving his mind a break from his struggles with understanding social behavior and the mental bombardment caused by his work. Later, Sheldon is seen in the storeroom playing with a Hacky Sack, telling himself that he'll never reach 43 consecutive hits again.



  • The TV Critic: "The Leonard and Penny story had a very pleasant conclusion which rather justified yet another story about Leonard’s inadequacy. It wasn't just that she finally said I love you. It was also that he was able to admit the source of his jealousy (guys constantly hitting on her) in a way which made sense and then did the mature thing of admitting that it was all in his head and that it wasn't her fault...Sheldon having a secret room was always going to be a fun bit of intrigue. The success of that story was always going to be about how much you enjoy Howard and Raj bantering...This was pleasant but no more."[2]
  • The A.V. Club gave this episode a D+.[3]
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: The title refers to the number written on Sheldon's blackboard in his secret basement hiding spot.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
  • This episode was watched by 17.63 million people with a rating of 5.7 (adults 18-49).[4]
  • Total viewers including DVR users 21.54 million.
  • This episode aired in Canada on November 15, 2012 with 3.86 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.[5]
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on January 10, 2013 with 2.754 million total viewers.[6]
  • Episode transcript [1]

Costume Notes



Leonard: Hi.
Penny: Hey. Shouldn't you be out with your gang spray-painting equations on the side of buildings?
Leonard: Come on, I’m sorry.
Penny: I just can’t believe you don’t trust me.
Leonard: I feel... Of course I do.
Penny: Then why did you embarrass me in front of my friend who, by the way, knew exactly who you were?!
Leonard: Really?
Penny: Your picture’s on my refrigerator!
Leonard: Oh. You know, I’m really starting to not like this guy.
Penny: What is your problem? Do you use up all your thinking at work and then have none left over for when you get home?
Leonard: I don’t know. It’s hard sometimes. Everywhere you go guys hit on you, even if I’m standing right there. And they are all taller than me. Why is everyone always taller than me?! You know what? This is all in my head. It’s my problem, not yours.
Penny: Leonard. Why do you always do this? Listen to me. You are the one I’m with. You know I love you. So would you please relax--because you are driving me crazy!
Leonard: You know that’s the first time you ever said that you love me.
Penny: Yeah...
Leonard: We’re supposed to pretend it’s not a big deal?
Penny: That’s exactly what we’re going to do... because you’re about to make me cry and we both know that if I start crying, you’re going to start crying.
Leonard: You’re right, you should go.
Penny: Fine! [Runs away downstairs]
Leonard: [Enters apartment] She loves me.

Alex: Oh hi, Dr. Hofstadter.
Leonard: Oh, hey, Alex. And call me Leonard. Dr. Hofstadter is my father. And my mother. And my sister. And our cat. Although I’m pretty sure that Dr. “Boots” Hofstadter’s degree is honorary.
Alex: May I join you, Leonard?
Leonard: Sure. Um, let me ask you something. My girlfriend knows this guy at school. He’s got an English accent.
Alex: Ooh, I love English accents.
Leonard: Yeah, you all do. Anyway, I feel like he’s hitting on her. She says he’s just being nice and I should trust her.
Alex: It’s probably harmless. You know how it is. I’m sure you get hit on all the time.
Leonard: Right. Because girls are always like: Ooo, that guy owns two Star Trek uniforms and gets lots of ear infections. "I got to get me some of that."
Alex: You know, I bet it happens more than you realize.
Leonard: Trust me. It doesn't.
Alex: You sure? You’re cute. You’re funny. Maybe you’re getting hit on and you don’t even know it.
Leonard: Really?
Alex: Yep, pretty sure.
Leonard: (Laughs) I have to get back to work. Thanks for listening.
Alex: No problem.
Leonard: Hope no girls rip my clothes off along the way.

Alex: All I know is corduroy makes too much noise and I have to go find quieter pants.

Sheldon (On screen): This is Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Experimental log. Wormhole generator test forty-four.
Howard: Wormhole generator test? (On screen a wormhole appears)
Sheldon: The first forty-three parallel universes I've checked proved to be empty. I see no reason to suspect universe number forty-four will be any different. (Puts his head in the wormhole)
Howard: Oh, my God!
Raj: Holy crap!
Sheldon (With an alien creature stuck to his face): Oh! It’s eating my face!


See also

Taping report by megfsc


  1. The Big Bang Theory - The 43 Peculiarity (TV Episode 2012) - IMDb
  2. The TV Critic's Review
  3. The Big Bang Theory: “The 43 Peculiarity” - TV Club - The A.V. Club
  4. Live+7 DVR Ratings: 'Modern Family' Leads Adults 18–49 Ratings and Tops Viewership Gains; 'Private Practice' Earns Biggest Percentage Gains in Week 8 - Zap2it
  5. Top Programs – Total Canada (English) November 12 – November 18, 2012 - BBM Canada
  6. BARB via Wikipedia