The Big Bang Theory

The Toast Derivation

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The Toast Derivation
TBBT 417
Sheldon's new social group performing karaoke.
The Big Bang Theory episode
Season 4, Episode 17
February 24, 2011
Guest star(s)
Episode guide

"The Cohabitation Formulation"

"The Prestidigitation Approximation"
Season guide

Season 3

Season 5

"The Toast Derivation" is the seventeenth episode of the fourth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Thursday, February 24, 2011.[1]


Sheldon realizes he is not the center of his group, thus he attempts to form a different social group where he can be the center. Meanwhile, Penny tries to get over Leonard who just got into a new relationship with Priya, Raj's sister.

Extended PlotEdit


Sheldon's new social group.


Getting ready to go dancing.

Leonard is going over to Raj's apartment for dinner with the gang; however, Sheldon insists he stays because of their Thursday tradition of eating at their apartment. Leonard is still going so Sheldon tags along. After a brief unsatisfactory experience at Raj's, Sheldon heads to The Cheesecake Factory's bar alone and tries to get Penny to empathize with him. Amy video calls him and points out that Leonard is the "" of their .

Later, back at apartment 4A, Sheldon prepares some snacks for his forthcoming guests Stuart (who came to take a hot because he's living in his comic book store), Kripke (who came for a ), Zack (who isn't sure what he is or why he's there), and LeVar Burton (whom he invited via ); he invites everyone to form a new social group where he is the "nucleus". At Sheldon's event, he announces that it seems LeVar Burton will not be attending, and kicks off the gathering with some introductory activities, in which all of the guests receive a containing a free copy of the fictitious The Journal of .

Amy and Bernadette come over to Penny's to "kidnap" her for a night out dancing to get over Leonard. She agrees, if the two agree not to pester her about Leonard any further. They try to get Penny to go to a place where she can get a young guy to have sex with. She refuses, but then Amy and Bernadette discover the preserved from the which Leonard gave her (in "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation") on her bedside table. She holds it in her hands and stares at it pensively for a moment before changing her mind.

Back at Sheldon's event, Zack impresses the gang (except Sheldon) with his racy story. Next, Sheldon asks the gang to choose between an array of vintage video games (', ' and Zork, which Sheldon emphasizes over the others by exclaiming, "Pick me! Pick me!") which the others find boring so Kripke decides to bring up his instead. Zack leaves to get some beer.

Back at Raj's, the gang is reminiscing about their experiences with Sheldon. Sheldon is suddenly at the door and he is greeted with a warm welcome. Sheldon asks if anyone knows why a salute is called a toast and Priya knows the answer. He thinks she is something of a .

In the final scene, in the apartment building outside apartment 4A, LeVar Burton ends up making an appearance to join them, but swiftly changes his mind after seeing Stuart, Kripke, and Zack singing "", with Stuart in a towel. And says that he is so through with Twitter (with which Sheldon had invited him to the party).


  • The TV Critic: "There was a lot to like about this episode. The producers seem to have embraced the idea that the show needs more characters and the results have been solid. Although there wasn't much depth we managed to explore Penny's feelings for Leonard, Leonard's relationship with Priya, and Sheldon's attitude to friendship all in one go... None of the three stories exactly took off but they were all adequate. The writers still try a little too hard with Amy."[2]
  • The A.V. Club gave this episode a C-.[3]
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: The origination of the word "".
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card.
  • This episode was watched by 12.35 million people with a rating of 3.8 (adults 18-49).[4]
  • This episode aired in Canada on February 24, 2011 with 3.447 million viewers and a weekly ranking of #2.[5]
  • In the United Kingdom, this episode aired on July 28, 2011 with 1.308 million total viewers and a weekly ranking of #11.[6]
  • Episode transcript [1]


  • Raj's flat screen HD has 2% dead in the upper left corner.
  • Bernadette only features in two scenes with Penny and Amy in this episode. She shares no scenes with Priya and the men in this episode and she has no background appearance as the Cheesecake Factory waitress in the Cheesecake Factory scene of this episode (when Sheldon met Penny at the Cheesecake Factory bar alone before Amy video called him). This might not be the day of Bernadette and her Cheesecake Factory shift.
  • Kripke is fond of s.
  • Priya ponders Sheldon buying a and weaving, while Leonard and Raj mention their s that Sheldon made; this is a reference to "The Luminous Fish Effect" (S1E04). Also, Priya talks about Sheldon adopting 25 cats, which occurred in "The Zazzy Substitution" (S4E03).
  • Sheldon once got punched by after telling him that maybe if he weren't so distracted by sick children in , he could have put a little more thought into '.
  • Sheldon hates  and .
  • Sheldon shows his love for the vintage text adventure game again after The Hofstadter Isotope (S2E20) and The Irish Pub Formulation (S4E06).
  • The preserved snowflake from the North Pole that Leonard gave Penny in "The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation" (S3E01) appears in this episode again.
  • The storylines of this episode do not show Penny putting her black heels on before exiting the apartment with Bernadette and Amy to wherever they go to and the place they go to does not get shown in the storylines of this episode either.
  • Stuart didn't bring a spare change of clothes for after his shower at Sheldon's apartment to which was why he wore a couple of towels over him in the first place.
  • Amy has an  which she calls "Gerard" used for .
  • When Sheldon goes to Raj's Apartment and knocks, he says, "all my friends" 3 times between knocks.
  • Amy listens to "I'm Walking on Sunshine" while Sheldon takes care of her in "The Fish Guts Displacement" (S6E10).
  • In this episode, Zack is seen eating Milk Duds which he previously showed a liking for in "The Justice League Recombination" (S4E11).


Howard: Hey, Raj, did you ever tell your sister about the time Sheldon got punched by ?
Priya: Oh God, you're kidding!
Raj: (laughing) No. Gates gave a speech at the university. Sheldon went up to him afterwards and said "Maybe if you weren't so distracted by sick children in Africa you could have put a little more thought into '."
Leonard: Bam! Right in the nose! Made me proud to own a .

Sheldon: Well, no, sir, and do you know why? In a word "tradition". Every Thursday night for the last eight years, you and I and our friends have gathered here in this very spot to break bread covered with cheese and sauce, discuss the issues of the day, and yes, share a laugh or two. But I guess our rich heritage means nothing to you.

Howard: I think it’s like . We said his name too many times.

LeVar Burton: Oh, I don't think so. (Closes door and walks downstairs) I am so done with Twitter.

Sheldon: When he finished, he shouted "".
Zack: No, I always shout "Holy Moly". Don't know why, just do.


  • Sheldon and his new gang.
  • Going out with the girls.
  • Priya made chili.
  • Leonard and Sheldon.
  • Going out with the girls.
  • Stuart borrows the shower.
  • Priya made chili.
  • The new gang singing together.
  • Howard and Sheldon at Raj's apartment.
  • Sheldon at the bar.
  • Levar Burton in shock at the party going on in 4A.
  • Sheldon.
  • Stuart and Sheldon.
  • Sheldon visiting the Cheesecake Factory bar.
  • Chuck Lorre Productions, #333.

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