The Big Bang Theory

The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem

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The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem
The Big Bang Theory episode
Season 2, Episode 6
November 3, 2008
Guest star(s)
Episode guide

"The Euclid Alternative"

"The Panty Piñata Polarization"
Season guide

Season 1

Season 3

"The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem" is the sixth episode of the second season of the  sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Monday, November 3, 2008.


Everyone is confused and fascinated when a physics student develops a strong attraction for Sheldon and becomes his assistant/platonic . Sheldon is oblivious until she won't let him pursue his geeky interests.

Extended PlotEdit


Ramona and Sheldon having lunch together.


Ramona and Sheldon.

A grad student, Ramona Nowitzki, comes up to Sheldon at the cafeteria and is extremely enthused with his theoretical work. She gets herself an invitation to his apartment bringing Sheldon's favorite take-out food. After Ramona leaves from the cafeteria, Howard asks Sheldon if he knew what just happened. Sheldon replies yes, and that he is getting free take-out food. Later, at the apartment, the gang finds this turn of events fascinating watching from the couch until Ramona says that she thought she and Sheldon were going to be alone. Leonard gets everybody to leave though they beg to stay and watch this strange turn of events. Though it appears to be a date, a naive Sheldon just likes the idea of getting free food.

The gang is fascinated over this strange relationship.

Ramona begins to help Sheldon with his work and other odd tasks such as doing his toenails. She keeps pushing Sheldon to concentrate all his spare time on his scientific endeavors, telling him that he needs to keep it up if he wants that Nobel Prize. Ramona is even spending the night at his apartment sleeping on the couch, keeping him in line. The loss of his freedom and leisure}} time (Halo, comic books, paintball) upsets Sheldon, but he can’t stop her or her obession. He goes to see Penny because he realizes that he is in "some sort of " with Ramona and Penny is so good at ending them. 

Ramona is convinced that Penny is in love with Sheldon and that she has to give him up. Penny agrees to "give him up" and Ramona wants them to be sisters though she still has her eye on Penny. Finally, Sheldon gets rid of her when he makes his breakthrough and she asks if she could share credit on the paper calling it the Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem. He finally has the courage to tell her to get out. Penny sees her very upset heading down the stairs, and then she calls out to her asking if they were still sisters. Later, another student, Kathy O'Brian, is also enthused by Sheldon's work and visits the cafeteria to meet Sheldon and the gang like Ramona did, only now Kathy orders for him. After Kathy leaves, Leonard asks Sheldon the same thing as before about him knowing what just happened. Sheldon replies the same answer last time, only now he says that he is getting a free pizza.

After leaving the apartment when they first met Ramona, Penny asks the others what "his deal" is (girls, guys, s?) and they generate  a couple of possible scenarios of Sheldon reproducing using mitosis by splitting in two after eating too much Thai food or forming a  like a . She thanks them for the nightmares, though Leonard is the one who has the nightmare of Sheldon eating too much Thai food and splitting in two.


  • "Another well written and focused episode. It’s not particularly funny and I fear it is a worrying sign of certain things to come. But for now I give all concerned credit for creating something genuinely different to most other contemporary comedies." - The TV Critic's Review
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: The title refers the theorem name suggested by Ramona at the end of the episode.
  • This episode was watched by 9.67 million people with a rating of 3.8 (adults 18-49).
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1].
  • Episode transcript [2]

Costume NotesEdit

Because the action of this episode takes place over an extended period of time, this episode ranks among the busiest in terms of number of costume changes for all characters:


Prime Stripes


Tron Damn 2.0


Brown & blue polo


Toxic Stripes

Sheldon lectures in a typical bad suit. When Ramona comes over for dinner, he sports the "Prime Stripes" shirt from RedBubble. As he works and Ramona gives him a pedicure, he wears his Ames Brothers  Damn 2.0 shirt (from the movie Tron). He wears his Penrose Triangles shirt when busted reading a Batman comic while pretending to study. After an attempt to sneak out to play paintball, he's wearing red socks with a white lightning bolt. He goes to Penny for help wearing a brown and blue striped polo (discontinued from Urban Outfitters). As he makes his breakthrough and throws Ramona out, he wears "Toxic Stripes" (discontinued from Urban Outfitters). Later his burgundy tee with cyan waves (unknown source, but probably Urban Outfitters), and in the final scene where he splits into two Sheldons, his light blue "pool lanes" tee (unknown source).



APS shirt



After his brown corduroy suit, Leonard wears an unknown blue shirt featuring doves and other birds. The next day at the cafeteria, he wears an unknown brain-looking shirt. As Sheldon makes his breakthrough he wears the APS shirt, then is seen in a shirt reminiscent of a 70's brain diagram, his blue "wise" shirt featuring owls, and finally his salmon colored "insect" shirt.

Red slip on vans


Billiard table


Orange Vans

Howard wears red slip on checkered Vans, a green billiard table belt buckle, and neon orange Vans with white laces. Leslie wears a Domo t-shirt.

Set Notes/PropsEdit

S02e06 batman680

Ramona spends a lot of time trying to keep Sheldon on track with his work, when Sheldon really wants some time to relax and play.

At the university, she takes away his comic book (Batman #680 January 2008 issue) which he is trying to conceal within a book.

At home, Sheldon tries to hide in the shower to play on his PlayStation Portable, but Ramona finds him hiding in the shower and makes him hand it over.


  • Sheldon doesn't eat at unknown restaurants, for fear they would try to pass off a "" as a fork (three tines, versus four).
  • Sheldon and Leonard apparently have several clauses in their Roommate Agreement that they will help each other if one discovers (or causes) a world-ending event similar to those found in movies, including a clause, clause, and clause.
  • Sheldon has a hammer-toe that Ramona works on and freaks out Penny.
  • Sheldon stumbles into a relationship.
  • Both Ramona Nowitzki and Kathy O'Brien have red hair.


Penny: Holy crap on a cracker! (twice)

[Sheldon has just accepted a graduate student's request for dinner in his place]

Sheldon Cooper: What a nice girl.


Ramona and the gang!

Howard Wolowitz: Sheldon, do you have any idea what just happened?

Sheldon Cooper: Yes, apparently I'm getting a free dinner.

Penny: I know this is none of my business, but I just... I have to ask - what's Sheldon's deal?

Leonard Hofstadter: What do you mean, "deal"?

Penny: You know, like, what's his deal? Is it girls...? Guys...? Sock puppets...?

Leonard Hofstadter: Honestly, we've been operating under the assumption that he has no deal.

Penny: Come on, everyone has a deal.

Howard Wolowitz: Not Sheldon. Over the years, we've formulated many theories about how he might reproduce. I'm an advocate of mitosis.

Penny: I'm sorry?

Howard Wolowitz: I believe one day Sheldon will eat an enormous amount of Thai food and split into two Sheldon's.

Leonard Hofstadter: On the other hand, I think Sheldon might be the larval form of his species. Someday he'll spin a cocoon and emerge two months later with moth wings and an exoskeleton.

Penny: Okay, well, thanks for the nightmares.

Ramona Nowitzki: Oh, sorry I’m late. I just got so caught up reading the draft of your latest paper.

Sheldon Cooper: Did you enjoy the humorous footnote where I illustrate mirror-symmetry by likening it to the Flash playing tennis with himself?

Ramona Nowitzki: So funny. But the idea that you might be able to incorporate gravity, I have to tell you, I found it physically exhilarating.

Sheldon Cooper: My hypotheses tend to have that effect.

(After Ramona quotes Sheldon)

Sheldon Cooper: (To Leonard) You heard her. How can I argue with myself?

Penny: Don't go in there.

Leonard Hofstadter: Why? What are they doing in there?

Penny: I can only explain it in a therapist's office with dolls.

Sheldon Cooper: How can I ever repay you?

Ramona Nowitzki: Would you consider naming it the Cooper-Nowitzki theorem?

Sheldon Cooper: Who's Nowitzki?

Ramona Nowitzki: I'm Nowitzki.

Sheldon Cooper: You want me to share credit?

Ramona Nowitzki: Uh-huh.

Sheldon Cooper: Get out!


  • Ramona doing Sheldon's toe nails.
  • Ramona doing Sheldon's toe nails.
  • Leonard's nightmare. Sheldon splits in two.
  • Get out!!
  • Unpacking their dinner.
  • Howard hitting on Ramona.
  • Ramona Nowitzi hitting on Sheldon.
  • The gang fascinated by this girl that is interested in Sheldon.
  • Talking over breakfast.
  • The cast as anima with Ramona.
  • Adoring Sheldon.
  • You have to help me get rid of Ramona.
  • Fascinated by Sheldon's date.
  • Working on Sheldon's foot.
  • Ramona jousting with Leslie.
  • Help me, Penny.
  • You know how to end relationships.
  • Penny.
  • Thanking Ramona for all her help.
  • Sisters!
  • Penny discussing Sheldon's preferences.
  • Ramona getting Sheldon's breakfast.
  • Sheldon and Ramona.
  • Chuck Lorre Productions, #223.
  • Let us stay. We'll be good.
  • Ramona adores Sheldon.
  • Ramona just wants to support his work.
  • Sisters?
  • She thinks Penny is in love with Sheldon. Hello Shenny fans!
  • Howard disgusts her.
  • You're so funny!
  • I thought we were going to be alone.
  • Ramona catches Sheldon reading a comic book.
  • Watching a strange situation.
  • Penny surprised tha a girl is visiting Sheldon.
  • Sheldon caught by Ramona.
  • Howard hitting on Ramona.
  • Trying to negotiate with his girlfriend.
  • Holy crap on a cracker.
  • I already have your address.
  • Ramona catches him trying to have fun again.
  • Adoring fan.
  • Sheldon has a girl sleeping over?

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