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The Hofstadter Isotope

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The Hofstadter Isotope
Hofstadteriso
The Big Bang Theory episode
Chronology
Season 2, Episode 20
Airdate
April 13, 2009
Guest star(s)
Teleplay
Story
Director
Episode guide

"The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition"

"The Vegas Renormalization"
Season guide

Season 2

Season 3

"The Hofstadter Isotope" is the twentieth episode of the second season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Monday, April 13, 2009.

SummaryEdit

Penny needs a present for her nephew's birthday, so she accompanies the guys to the comic book store. There she meets the owner, Stuart, who manages to ask her out on a date. Feeling jealous about the situation, Leonard demands that Howard and Raj "take (him) to a bar with women."

Extended PlotEdit

During Anything can happen Thursday, Sheldon suggests they go to the the comic book store even though they only went to it yesterday, prompting Howard to suggest going to a bar to meet hot women. Leonard and Raj decide it's a good idea, but go in favor of finishing their Thai food and then going to the comic book store.

Iso1

In the hallway.

As the boys are leaving for the comic book store, Penny runs into them and asks if they can pick up a few comics for her nephew's birthday. After much pestering by Sheldon, Penny goes with them. Once at the comic book store, Penny meets Stuart, the guy who owns the store. Meanwhile, Sheldon and Howard get into a fight over a comic book (All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #8 variant), (Sheldon needing it for his Robin collection and Howard needing it for his Batman collection). After Howard is distracted by Penny talking to Stuart, Sheldon wins and gets the comic book. Penny agrees to go out with Stuart once, as long as Stuart gives Penny the sketch he just drew of her.

The following night, Leonard sees Stuart and Penny leaving for Stuart's opening at a local gallery and immediately becomes jealous, while they are about to embark on "Friday night the way it was meant to be" featuring the buggy beta version of Zork (much to Sheldon's pleasure). Leonard tells Howard to take him to a bar to meet women.

Iso4

Raj and his friend.

Once they arrive at the bar, Raj annoys Howard by ordering drinks that Howard considers unmanly, including a Chocolate Martini, a Brandy Alexander, and his signature Grasshopper. Howard leaves Raj at the bar, and he and Leonard strike out by themselves. Leonard quickly learns that Howard isn't the ladies' man he claims he is. He insists on letting the "important men" (lawyers, jocks, etc.) thin the herd so they can pick at whoever is left. He also tries to pick up women with silly party gags, instead of just talking to them. Not surprisingly, no women want to talk to them. When Leonard questions Howard about it, Howard states that Leonard is weighing him down. Leonard doesn't believe it. Howard decides they should give up and go, when they spot Raj making out with an overweight woman. Both are stunned, and Howard is especially baffled, unable to understand how Raj got a woman and he couldn't.

Meanwhile, as Stuart and Penny return to her apartment for a cup of coffee. Stuart thinks that a "cup of coffee" means the beverage and not making out together. Sheldon runs into them in the hallway. Sheldon and Stuart get into a slightly heated debate over rather Dick Grayson or Jason Todd would be Batman II if the original Batman's death proved permanent. Sheldon wins after Stuart gets tired and they find Penny has fallen asleep on the couch.

Sketch

Stuart's sketch of Penny.

In the last scene, Raj wakes up in the bed of the woman he was making out with at the bar the previous night looking very pleased with himself.

CriticsEdit

NotesEdit

  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • This episode was watched by 10.13 million people with a rating of 3.9 (adults 18-49).

TriviaEdit

  • S02e20 br8

    All-Star Batman & Robin #8 Variant A

    Howard says his name is Sanjay Wolowitz, possibly based on Raj's cousin who is named Sanjay.
  • At the comic store, Sheldon and Howard argue over a comic they both want for their collections. The comic is All-Star Batman and Robin, Issue #8 , from January 2008. The issue they hold in the episode is actually a "variant" (Variant A, to be exact, there were several for this issue), an alternative cover to the one published in the regular run of the issue. 

QuotesEdit

Howard: Yeah, that one. You can modify it to calculate our chances of having sex by changing the formula to use the number of single women in Los Angeles, the number of those who might find us attractive, and what I call the Wolowitz Coefficient.
Raj: The Wolowitz Coefficient?
Howard: Neediness times dress size squared. Crunching the numbers, I come up with a conservative 5,812 potential sex partners within a 40-mile radius.

Sheldon: Well, I’ve spent the last three hours in an online debate in the DC Comics Batman chat room, and I need your help.
Stuart: Oh yeah. Those guys can be very stubborn. What’s the topic?
Sheldon: I am asserting, in the event that Batman’s death proves permanent, that original Robin, Dick Grayson, is the logical successor to the Bat Cowl.
Stuart: Ooh, Sheldon, I’m afraid you couldn’t be more wrong.
Sheldon: More wrong? Wrong is an absolute state and not subject to gradation.
Stuart: Of course it is. It’s a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable, it’s very wrong to say it’s a suspension bridge. But returning to the original issue, Dick Grayson became Nightwing, a superhero in his own right. Batman 2 has to be the second Robin, Jason Todd.
Sheldon: Has to be? Has to be? I hope you’re being deliberately provocative

Penny: Hi. What would you recommend as a present for a 13-year-old boy?
Stuart: A 13-year-old girl. But if you’re dead set on a comic book, try this.
Penny: Oh, Hellblazer. What’s this about?
Stuart: A morally ambiguous confidence man who smokes, has lung cancer and is tormented by the spirits of the undead.
Penny: Well, if that doesn’t make me the favorite aunt, I don’t know what will. Is this me?

GalleryEdit

  • Raj and friend.
  • Penny and Stuart.
  • Penny looks at Stuart's portrait of her.
  • The guys in the hallway.
  • Leonard, Penny and Stuart at the comic book store.
  • Captain Sweatpants.
  • Penny.
  • Sheldon and Stuart.
  • Penny on her date with Stuart.
  • Meeting in the hallway.
  • Sheldon and Penny descend the stairs.
  • Sheldon and Penny.
  • Penny on a date with Stuart.
  • Sheldon.
  • Sheldon is perplexed.
  • Chuck Lorre Productions, #248.
  • Howard showing his moves unsuccessfully.
  • A nerdish debate puts Penny to sleep.
  • The sketch made of Penny.

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