|The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis|
Season 2, Episode 11
December 15, 2008
"The Vartabedian Conundrum"
"The Killer Robot Instability"
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Wizard physicist and all around hunk David Underhill starts working with Leonard. Leonard tries bonding with Mark by riding motorcycles with him though his bike falls on his leg. David meets and asks Penny out, much to Leonard's distress. Penny gushes over him by lying that she loves science and is really a geek at heart. Leonard confronts Penny that she wouldn't go out with him because he was smarter than her and yet David Underhill is ten times as smart as him. Penny is very upset because she discovers David was married when she finds nude pictures of his wife on his phone when he was trying to take nude pictures of her. Leonard and Penny have some cross words, but they reconcile, she kisses him and ends up in his arms.
Earlier Penny came over with some Christmas presents and finds out they have no tree nor do Sheldon or Leonard really celebrate Christmas. Growing up Leonard's family wrote papers studying the neurological and anthropological implications of Christmas, while Sheldon was incomfortable with the notion and reciprocity requirements of gift giving. Sheldon heads to the mall to find a Christmas present which can adequately reciprocate whatever gift Penny gives him. He ends up buying a range of gift baskets so all his options are covered. Penny gives him a napkin signed by Leonard Nimoy and that he wiped his mouth on. Sheldon is extremely excited that he possesses the DNA of Leonard Nimoy, and that with a healthy ovum, he could clone his own Leonard Nimoy. Sheldon then gives her all the gift baskets (instead of choosing just one from the range of gift baskets that he had purchased) and, at a loss on how to reciprocate such a wonderful gift, gives Penny a hug. Leonard exclaims, "It's a Saturnalia miracle!" (Sheldon's pagan term for Christmas)
"As a Christmas episode this definitely contains the feel good factor but more than that it is the best episode this season. Combining character development and humour in a blend which this show can do really well." - The TV Critic's Review
Penny: (Penny gets several gift baskets.) Sheldon, what did you do?
Sheldon Cooper: (Worried) I know! It's not enough, is it? Here... (Hugs Penny)
Penny: Leonard, look! Sheldon's hugging me!
Leonard Hofstadter: It's a Saturnalia miracle!
Sheldon Cooper: Oh, a napkin...
Penny: Turn it over.
Sheldon Cooper: "To Sheldon: Live long and prosper... Leonard Nimoy!"
Penny: He came into the restaurant. Sorry the napkin's dirty - he wiped his mouth with it.
Sheldon Cooper: I possess the DNA of Leonard Nimoy?
Penny: Yeah, I guess, but look, he signed it.
Sheldon Cooper: [Very excited] Do you realize what this means? All I need is a healthy ovum and I could grow my own Leonard Nimoy!
Penny: Okay, all I'm giving you is the napkin, Sheldon.
Penny: Hey Sheldon, are you and Leonard putting up a Christmas tress?
Sheldon Cooper: No, because we don't celebrate the ancient pagan festival of Saturnalia.
Howard Wolowitz: Gather round, kids, it's time for Sheldon's beloved Christmas special.
Sheldon Cooper: In the pre-Christian era, as the winter solstice approached and the plants died, pagans brought evergreen boughs into their homes as an act of sympathetic magic, intended to guard the life essences of the plants until spring. This custom was later appropriated by Northern Europeans and eventually it becomes the so-called Christmas tree.
Howard Wolowitz: And that, Charlie Brown, is what boredom is all about.
- Title Reference: The title refers to Sheldon's present and strategy for his Christmas present to Penny.
- Chuck Lorre's vanity card 
- This episode was watched by 11.42 million people.
- Howard says, "Okay, he’s invited for dinner in the Bottle City of Kandor. He miniaturizes himself, enters the city where he loses his superpowers. Now, before dinner, his host says, 'who’s up for a little Kryptonian tetherball?' Superman says 'sure,' works up a sweat, comes back to Earth, his uniform now stained with indestructible Kryptonian perspiration." Sheldon suggests, "Superman would have taken his uniform to a Kandorian dry cleaner before he left the Bottle." In The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization, Leonard revealed the following, as Penny held the DC Direct Bottle City of Kandor Prop, "You see, Kandor was the capital city of the planet Krypton, it was miniaturized by Brainiac before Krypton exploded and then rescued by Superman." Superman keeps the bottled city safe in his Fortress of Solitude.
- David Underhill won the MacArthur genius grant in 2007.
- In claims of intellectual superiority, David Underhill is to Leonard as Dennis Kim is to Sheldon.