|The White Asparagus Triangulation|
Season 2, Episode 9
November 24, 2008
Keith Peterman &
Peter P. Nicolakakos
Dan Fogelman &
"The Lizard-Spock Expansion"
"The Vartabedian Conundrum"
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Sheldon freaks Penny out when they ascend the stairs together and he tries to have a normal conversation with her using urban slang. Sheldon is concerned that Stephanie is the only girl Leonard has dated that he "finds tolerable" including Penny. Sheldon also requests that Stephanie not see Penny as a sexual rival. Sheldon proposes a scenario where Penny's "hypothalamus is swimming in a soup of estrogen and progesterone that even Leonard seems like a viable sexual candidate." He asks her to suppress her libido to which she remarked that she could think about him.
On their next date, Sheldon finds the movie theater that they are at by hacking into Leonard's computer and checking his movie searches. Then he proceeds to make noises are various places in the theater to find the acoustic sweet spot which just happens to turn out to be where Leonard and Stephanie sat anyway. He even moves in front of Leonard to get the full THX-feel of the sound in the theater.That night Sheldon wakes up Leonard with the disturbing news that he feels that they're losing Stephanie. She does not state that she is in a relationship on her Facebook page and she is throwing digital sheep at another guy. Sheldon feels that Leonard is not running his relationship properly so he says, "Pursuant to Starfleet General Order 104, Section A, you are deemed unfit and I am relieving you of command." Leonard gets mad and replies that General Order 104 does not apply because this world isn't Star Trek.
Befuddled, Sheldon runs to Penny for advice. Sheldon asks why her and Leonard's relationship went south, so she gives him the plot to "The Lake House" movie. Sheldon runs to Wolowitz and Koothrappali, but all they give is, in Sheldon's words, either "apocalyptic genocide" or "go easy on the cologne". Sheldon once again runs to Penny, but she refuses to talk.
Sheldon attempts to prove Leonard's physical superiority to Stephanie during another date by having him open a jar of white asparagus. Leonard shatters the jar by accident ending up getting some stitches at the hospital. Wondering why Leonard can't supposedly keep a girl, Sheldon, remarks, "You seem like a perfectly pleasant person. I can't understand why women have such a hard time loving you."
Later, Penny announces to Leonard that his Facebook status has been changed to "In a relationship". Penny says that his move is bold; Howard thinks that he looks needy and Leonard had never made the change. Sheldon has hacked his Facebook account. At first Leonard yells at Sheldon that he is going to destroy his relationship. All of the sudden, Stephanie has updated her own status to mirror Leonard's. Leonard comments that he now has a girlfriend. Sheldon closes the episode by bragging "If I am permitted to speak again, Dr. Sheldon Cooper for the win."
- "The Big Bang Theory is like a state-of-the-art ship being sailed in the wrong direction. The cast is strong, the writing can be excellent and is certainly creative. And yet the show’s priorities are all wrong and they are producing television which is a lot less good than it could be." - The TV Critic's Review
- Title Reference: The contents of the jar that Leonard breaks, as well as to the dysfunctional relationship "triangle" (Leonard -> Stephanie -> Sheldon) that features prominently throughout the episode.
- Chuck Lorre's vanity card 
- This episode was watched by 10.19 million people with a rating of 3.9 (adults 18-49).
- Episode transcript 
|Sheldon wears his dark tee with white chevron (available at RedBubble) , his purple shirt with bugs and spiders, his ManBot t-shirt, arguably his favorite as it is the one he has worn in more episodes than any other - and in more colors (green, blue, and purple), and finally his "Launch" tee, discontinued from Urban Outfitters.|
|Leonard wears a light blue shirt with unknown design (best view is in the movie theatre), and his red tiger's head shirt from Zazzle.|
New on the set: a black and white closeup of train wheels is seen in the hallway outside Leonard's bedroom. (Sheldon is a confirmed train fanatic.)
(Leonard left for the movies with Stephanie, leaving Sheldon with a note that he was going to the movies)
Sheldon: If you were trying to make it impossible to locate you, you couldn't have done a better job.
Leonard: Oh, clearly I could have.
Sheldon: So, the only advice you got for me is "apocalyptic genocide" and "Go easy on the cologne."
(After Leonard got stitches from Stephanie)
Sheldon: You seem like a perfectly pleasant person. I can't understand why women have such a hard time loving you.
Sheldon: If I am permitted to speak again, Dr. Sheldon Cooper for the win.
Stephanie: Hey! How's my big crybaby?
Leonard: I didn't cry.
Stephanie: I'm just teasing you, but yeah you did.
- Sheldon is right that a strawberry is not technically a fruit (derived from the ovary of a plant), but is rather an accessory fruit (derived from some tissue around the plant's ovary).
- Sheldon attempts to invoke "Starfleet General Order 104 Section A" to relieve Leonard of his command of his own relationship with Stephanie. This section has not been clearly spelled out in a Star Trek episode, though the two sections that follow it (B and C) have.
- The best resource for compiled Star Fleet/Federation General Orders, rules, regulations, etc. is at Memory-Alpha.org.
- Leonard's time periods have become a geometric progression expressible as . When substituted in, this shows that Howard's estimation of 20 minutes was correct (22 minutes, 30 seconds).
- When Sheldon brings bread to Penny for a second time, Penny opens her apartment door after only two rounds of Sheldon's signature knocks. Sheldon, due to his OCD behavior, performs a subtle third round to complete his traditional set of three.
- Leonard frequently uses the password "Kal-El" which is Superman's real name and a favorite superhero of Leonard.
- Sheldon says he was born at the same hospital where Stephanie did her internship. However, in "The Luminous Fish Effect", his mother states he 'fell out of [her] at the K-Mart'.
- Second episode where Leonard considers punching Sheldon, only for Sheldon to stop him for a reason other than to avoid pain. First was "The Nerdvana Annihilation".
- Penny compares her date with Leonard to "The Lake House" movie.
- Sheldon's love plan has decent foundation; his attempt to display Leonard as the alpha male serves not to merely impress Dr. Stephanie but to incite the release of oxytocin – a hormone that acts as a neuromodulator. With the addition of intercourse the hormones would continue flowing which would then create the biochemical reaction known as “falling in love.” Oxytocin is known as the “bonding” hormone due to the role it plays in forming relationships. This ties it directly to coupling sexually active individuals. Read more at