The Big Bang Theory

The Good Guy Fluctuation

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The Good Guy Fluctuation
Big Bang Theory episode
Season 5, Episode 7
October 27, 2011
Guest star(s)
Episode guide

"The Rhinitis Revelation"

"The Isolation Permutation"
Season guide

Season 4

Season 6

"The Good Guy Fluctuation" is the seventh episode of the fifth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on October 27, 2011.[1]


Leonard finds himself drawn towards a pretty comic book enthusiast. Meanwhile, Sheldon tries to scare the gang after they pulled a Halloween prank on him.

Extended PlotEdit

Leonard admires the artwork of amateur comic book artist named Alice.
Sheldon is scared by a skeleton.

Stuart spots a good-looking girl entering the comic book store, tries to speak to her, and fails. She picks up a comic book that Leonard wants and tries to flirt with him to get it. He says that she would be using her superpowers for evil which she kids that her Kryptonian father forbids her from doing that. She introduces herself as Alice (Courtney Ford), another comic book enthusiast. She thinks he is cute and gives him her phone number to discuss trading for the rare comic book.

"Bazinga, punk! Now we're even!"

At the apartment, she shows him a comic she made based on her life which includes her making love with a guy dressed in a Chewbacca costume. Afterwards they end up making out. Leonard finds himself in a dilemma: he can either be a "good guy" and stay loyal to Priya, or a "bad guy" and have an affair with Alice. A discussion with Penny doesn't help but, after Sheldon offers him some advice from Friedrich Nietzsche, Leonard decides to go to Alice's apartment. They begin kissing as she begins to undress herself and Leonard is not stopping her. Then he winds up changing his mind and confesses to Alice that he has a girlfriend overseas. She says that she "doesn't believe this" and that she thought he was different than other guys (and not just another jerk). Leonard asks if they can still be friends and that his superpower is being a good guy. He immediately gets thrown out of Alice's apartment.

Scaring Sheldon.

At Caltech, a successful Halloween prank from the group enrages Sheldon, who starts working on ways to get revenge. However, his efforts always backfire: Leonard reverses his airbag prank on him, Raj thinks the snake Sheldon hid in his top desk drawer is a present, and when he attempts to trick Howard with an electric handshake, Howard and Bernadette pretend he has a heart condition and scare Sheldon further.

At the end, Leonard Skypes Priya and confesses to his actions. Priya is seemingly okay with it, but then reveals she has also cheated, and had sex with her ex-boyfriend a couple of weeks ago. Priya tells Leonard that it is not a competition, which Leonard disgrees with and tells her that she won. Leonard is upset, and ends the call early. At that moment, Sheldon leaps out from under the couch cushions in zombie face paint, scaring Leonard successfully. He triumphantly shouts "Bazinga, punk! Now we're even!"


  • The TV Critic: "This was very enjoyable. The two plots were set up early on, both were clear and easy to get into with clear motivations for all involved. The Sheldon story played to his strengths. His inability to be subtle and hide his real motives make pranks ideal comedy... Leonard's story was really good. It was a simple moral dilemma that anyone and particularly guys could relate to... This was such a simple episode and it was really effective. It drove the plot while making use of the season and the characters."[2]
  • The A.V. Club gave this episode C[3]
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: Leonard describes his superpower as being a good guy.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
  • This episode was watched by 14.54 million people with a rating of 4.6 (adults 18-49).[4]
  • This episode aired in Canada on October 27, 2011 with 3.751 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #1.[5]
  • In England, this episode aired on December 8, 2011 with 1.395 million total viewers and a weekly ranking of #7.[6]
  • In Australia, it aired on November 7, 2011 with 1.346 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #6.[7]


Sheldon corrects the spin of an antiproton on his office whiteboard in an application of CPT symmetry.
Leonard with his drawing at the comic book store.
  • The mask Leonard uses to frighten Sheldon is a mask of the character "Balok" from the Star Trek original series episode "The Corbomite Maneuver". The character was actually a mask or audio animatronic dummy used by a "not-so-scary" alien life form.
  • Like Raj, Sheldon urinates himself, among other things, when he is scared, just as Raj voted. In "The Bozeman Reaction", he utters for the second time, "I am the master of my own bladder," as a frightened Sheldon crawls across a window ledge. The first mention in that episode is simply because he is too scared to go to the restroom, on the other hand.
  • Sheldon aptly says, "It's not suspicious that I'm fixating; it's consistent with my personality." Leonard points this out in "The Infestation Hypothesis", revealing, "Sheldon, you do this all the time; you fixate on some crazy idea and then blow it way out of proportion."
  • Leonard finally connects a beautiful girl who shares his interests and who could give Penny trouble.
  • Alice is played by Courtney Ford, who is married to Brandon Routh, an actor known for his role as Superman in Superman Returns. Superman is Leonard's favorite superhero as seen in "The Big Bran Hypothesis", "The White Asparagus Triangulation", and "The Justice League Recombination". Alice even makes a reference to Superman: "I'm forbidden by my Kryptonian father to do so."
  • As Leonard asks Sheldon what he is doing, Sheldon responds, "Science. You wouldn't understand." He similarly mocks Leonard in "The Monopolar Expedition" when he says, "Perhaps you mean a different thing than I do when you say science."
  • Sheldon uses a screwdriver, but can't even open a tool box in "The Killer Robot Instability".
  • Oddly, Sheldon does not say anything about Leonard sitting in his spot at the end of the episode. However, Leonard still has it coming when Sheldon scares him.
  • Last appearance of Priya in the show.
  • Third episode where Sheldon screams. The first was "The Nerdvana Annihilation" and "The Euclid Alternative".


(Raj and Howard attempt to scare Sheldon, but he is unfazed.)
Sheldon: Please, fright depends on an element of surprise. The simple fact is, because I am much smarter than you, and able to anticipate your actions, it is highly unlikely that you two rubes could ever surprise me.
(Unnoticed by Sheldon, Leonard emerges from a closet wearing a mask of Balok from Star Trek.)
Raj: He’s probably right.
Howard: We can’t beat him. He’s just too smart.
Sheldon: (dismissively) Gentlemen. (Turns and sees Leonard in the Balok mask; then screams and faints.)
Howard: (as the trio survey an unconscious Sheldon) Who had money on faints?
Raj: (disappointingly) I had pee his pants.
Leonard: Hang on. (peers closely at Sheldon) Looks like everyone’s a winner.

Sheldon: You think you've poked fun at a milquetoast academic. Well, you've forgotten one thing. I am also a son of the Lone Star State. I’m Texas through and through. And we know how to settle scores down there. If you doubt me, ask Mexico.

Penny: It's a rough month when Halloween and PMS hit at the same time.

Leonard: No, no, I messed up a little, you messed up a lot.
Priya: Well it's not a competition!
Leonard: Oh yeah it is, and you won.

Sheldon: Bazinga, punk! Now we're even.

Alice: I'm forbidden by my Kryptonian father to do so.

Sheldon: I tried to scare an Indian with a snake. Come on, Cooper, you're better than this!

Leonard: Damn it, I can’t. I can’t, I can’t do this.
Alice: Uh, is it my tongue stud? ‘Cause if that freaks you out, you’re in for a real surprise later on.
Leonard: No, no, no. I, I can’t do this. Believe me, I really want to.
Alice: But?
Leonard: But I kind of have a girlfriend.
Alice: Are you kidding?
Leonard: You’re cool with you and me just being friends, right?
Alice: I don’t believe this.
Leonard: Wait, I don’t, which part?
Alice: I’m so stupid. I thought for once I’d met a good guy, but you’re just another jackass.
Leonard: Oh, no, no, you have it wrong. No. I, I was going to be a jackass, but I stopped myself. I stayed a good guy, so, I’m gonna pass on the sex. But you should know, that’s not a comment on your hotness but on my goodness. That’s kind of my superpower. I’m, like, Captain Good Guy.

Leonard: It's okay. Did the right thing. You idiot!



  • Scaring Sheldon with a Halloween prank.
  • Looking at Alice's handmade comic.
  • Leonard about to scare Sheldon.
  • Sheldon working a this whiteboard.
  • I don't believe this.
  • Orginial artwork of Leonard.
  • You're just another jackass.
  • Alice and Leonard connect.
  • Sheldon working on a prank.
  • Sheldon wants Leonard to get the mail.
  • Raj and Sheldon.
  • Leonard meets Alice.
  • Raj, Howard and Sheldon.
  • Alice, the comic book geek.
  • Is it my tongue stud?
  • Sheldon gets pranked.
  • Looking at the comic book she made.
  • Priya explaining how she strayed.
  • You're very cute Leonard.
  • Looking over Alice's handmade comic about herself.
  • Chuck Lorre Productions, #363


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