The Big Bang Theory

Transcripts/The Luminous Fish Effect

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Season 1 - Episode 04 - The Luminous Fish Effect


Fish night lights.

Scene Apartment 4A
Sheldon You know, I’ve been thinking about time travel again.
Leonard Why, did you hit a roadblock with invisibility?
Sheldon Put it on the back burner. Anyway, it occurs to me, if I ever did perfect a time machine, I’d just go into the past and give it to myself, thus eliminating the need for me to invent it in the first place.
Leonard Interesting.
Sheldon Yeah, it really takes the pressure off.
Leonard Sounds like a breakthrough, should I call the science magazines and tell them to hold the front cover? (Exiting the apartment.)
Sheldon It’s time travel, Leonard, I will have already done that.
Leonard Then I guess congratulations are in order.
Sheldon No, congratulations will have been in order. You know, I’m not going to enjoy this party.
Leonard I know, I’m familiar with you.
Sheldon At the last department party, Professor Finkleday cornered me and talked about spelunking for 45 minutes.
Leonard Yes, I was there.
Sheldon You know what’s interesting about caves, Leonard?
Leonard What?
Sheldon Nothing.
Leonard Well then we’ll avoid Finkleday, we’ll meet the new department head, congratulate him, shake his hand and go.
Sheldon How’s this? Pleased to meet you, Dr. Gablehouser. How fortunate for you that the University has chosen to hire you, despite the fact that you’ve done no original research in 25 years, and instead have written a series of popular books that reduce the great concepts of science to a series of anecdotes, each one dumbed down to accommodate the duration of an average bowel movement. Mahalo.
Leonard Mahalo’s a nice touch.
Sheldon Do you know there are only eight consonants in the Hawaiian language.
Leonard Interesting, you should lead with that.
Scene The department party. Sheldon, Raj and Leonard are at the buffet table.
Raj Oh, God, Look at this buffet. I love America.
Leonard You don’t have buffets in India?
Raj Of course, but it’s all Indian food. You can’t find a bagel in Mumbai to save your life. Schmear me.
Sheldon Well here’s an interesting turn of events.
Leonard What. (Sees Howard entering with a statuesque blonde) Howard brought a date?
Sheldon A more plausible explanation is that his work in robotics has made an amazing leap forward.
Howard Hey, what up, science bitches? May I introduce my special lady friend, Summer. (Puts arm around her.)
Summer I already told you, touching’s extra.
Howard Right. Sorry.
Leonard (To Sheldon) Here comes our new boss, be polite.
Gablehouser Hi fellas, Eric Gablehouser.
Howard Howard Wolowitz.
Gablehouser Howard, nice to meet you, and you are?
Sheldon An actual real scientist. (To Leonard) How was that?
Scene The stairwell of the apartment building. Sheldon is carrying a box of his things.
Sheldon I can’t believe he fired me.
Leonard Well, you did call him a glorified high-school science teacher whose last successful experiment was lighting his own farts.
Sheldon In my defence, I prefaced that by saying “with all due respect.”
Scene The apartment, Sheldon is in the kitchen cooking, Leonard enters.
Leonard Morning
Sheldon Morning.
Leonard You’re making eggs for breakfast?
Sheldon This isn’t breakfast, it’s an experiment.
Leonard Huh? Cos it looks a lot like breakfast.
Sheldon I finally have the time to test my hypothesis, about the separation of the water molecules from the egg proteins, and its impact vis-a-vis taste.
Leonard Sounds yummy. I look forward to your work with bacon.
Sheldon As do I.
Leonard You know, I’m sure if you just apologized to Gablehouser he would give you your job back.
Sheldon I don’t want my job back. I’ve spent the last three and a half years staring at grease boards full of equations. Before that I spent four years working on my thesis. Before that I was in college, and before that, I was in the fifth grade. This is my first day off in decades, and I’m going to savour it.
Leonard Okay. I’ll let you get back to fixing your eggs.
Sheldon I’m not just fixing my eggs, I’m fixing everyone’s eggs.
Leonard And we all thank you.
Sheldon Use new eggs. (There is a knock on the door).
Penny (Popping her head round) Hi, hey. I’m running out to the market, do you guys need anything?
Sheldon Oh, well this would be one of those circumstances that people unfamiliar with the law of large numbers would call a coincidence.
Penny I’m sorry?
Sheldon I need eggs. Four dozen should suffice.
Penny Four dozen?
Sheldon Yes, and evenly distributed amongst brown, white, free range, large, extra-large and jumbo.
Penny Okay, one more time?
Sheldon Never mind, you won’t get it right, I’d better come with you.
Penny Oh, yay!
Scene Penny’s car
Penny How come you didn’t go into work today.
Sheldon I’m taking a sabbatical, because I won’t kow-tow to mediocre minds.
Penny So you got canned, huh?
Sheldon Theoretical physicists do not get canned. But yeah.
Penny Well, maybe it’s all for the best, you know I always say, when one door closes, another one opens.
Sheldon No it doesn’t. Not unless the two doors are connected by relays, or there are motion sensors involved.
Penny No, no, I meant…
Sheldon Or the first door closing causes a change of air pressure that acts upon the second door.
Penny Never mind.
Sheldon Slow down. Slow down, please slow down.
Penny We’re fine.
Sheldon Look, you’re not leaving yourself enough space between cars.
Penny Oh, sure I am.
Sheldon No, no. Let me do the math for you, this car weighs let’s say 4,000lb, now add say 140 for me, 120 for you.
Penny 120?
Sheldon Oh, I’m sorry, did I insult you? Is your body mass somehow tied into your self worth?
Penny Well, yeah.
Sheldon Interesting. Anyway, that gives us a total weight of, let’s say, 4,400lb.
Penny Let’s say 4,390.
Sheldon Fine. We’re travelling forward at, good Lord, 51 miles an hour. Now let’s assume that your brakes are new and the callipers are aligned, still, by the time we come to a stop, we’ll be occupying the same space as that Buick in front of us, an impossibility that nature will quickly resolve into death, mutilation and… oh look, they built a new put-put course.
Scene The supermarket.
Sheldon This is great. Look at me, out in the real world of ordinary people, just living their ordinary, colourless, workaday lives.
Penny Thank you.
Sheldon No, thank you. And thank you, ordinary person. Hey, you want to hear an interesting thing about tomatoes.
Penny Uh, no, no not really. Listen, didn’t you say you needed some eggs.
Sheldon Uh, yes, but anyone who knows anything about the dynamics of bacterial growth knows to pick up their refrigerated foods on the way out of the supermarket.
Penny Oh, okay, well maybe you should start heading on out then.
Sheldon No, this is fun. Oh, the thing about tomatoes, and I think you’ll really enjoy this, is, they’re shelved with the vegetables, but they’re technically a fruit.
Penny Interesting.
Sheldon Isn’t it?
Penny No, I mean what you find enjoyable.
Sheldon (As Penny selects vitamin supplements) Oh boy.
Penny What now?
Sheldon Well, there’s some value to taking a multivitamin, but the human body can only absorb so much, what you’re buying here are the ingredients for very expensive urine.
Penny Well, maybe that’s what I was going for.
Sheldon Well then you’ll want some manganese.
Scene On the stairwell of the apartment building.
Sheldon That was fun. Maybe tomorrow we can go to one of those big warehouse stores.
Penny Oh, I don’t know Sheldon, it’s going to take me a while to recover from all the fun I had today.
Sheldon Are you sure? There are a lot of advantages to buying in bulk. For example, I noticed that you purchase your tampons one month’s supply at a time.
Penny What?
Sheldon Well think about it, it’s a product that doesn’t spoil, and you’re going to be needing them for at least the next thirty years.
Penny You want me to buy thirty years worth of tampons?
Sheldon Well, thirty, thirty five, hey, when did your mother go into menopause?
Penny Okay, I’m not talking about this with you.
Sheldon Oh, Penny, this is a natural human process, and we’re talking about statistically significant savings. Now, if you assume 15 tampons per cycle and a 28 day cycle, are you fairly regular? (Penny shuts door in his face.) Okay, no warehouse store, but we’re still on for put-put golf, right?
Scene The apartment, Sheldon has several bowls containing goldfish.
Leonard (Entering) Hey, I just ran into Penny, she seemed upset about something.
Sheldon I think it’s her time of the month. I marked the calendar for future reference.
Leonard What’s with the fish?
Sheldon It’s an experiment.
Leonard What happened to your scrambled egg research?
Sheldon Oh, that was a dead end. Scrambled eggs are as good as they’re ever going to be.
Leonard So… fish.
Sheldon I read an article about Japanese scientists, who inserted DNA from luminous jellyfish into other animals, and I thought hey, fish nightlights.
Leonard Fish nightlights.
Sheldon It’s a billion dollar idea. Shhhhh!
Leonard Mum’s the word. Sheldon, are you sure you don’t want to just apologize to Gablehouser and get your job back.
Sheldon Oh, no, no, no. No, I’ve too much to do.
Leonard Like luminous fish.
Sheldon Shhhhh!
Leonard Right… I didn’t….
Sheldon That’s just the beginning. I also have an idea for a bulk mail-order feminine hygiene company. Oh, glow in the dark tampons! Leonard, we’re going to be rich.
Scene The stairwell of the apartment building.
Leonard Thanks for coming on such short notice.
Mary Cooper You did the right thing calling.
Leonard I didn’t know what else to do, he’s lost all focus, every day he’s got a new obsession. (They enter the apartment. Sheldon is weaving on a loom. He is wrapped in a poncho.) This is a particularly disturbing one.
Sheldon (Looking round) Mommy.
Mary Cooper Hi baby.
Sheldon (Mouths) You called my mother?
Mary Cooper Oh, you got yourself a loom, how nice.
Sheldon Thank you.
Mary Cooper Honey, why did you get a loom?
Sheldon I was working with luminous fish, and I thought, hey, loom! Mom, what are you doing here?
Mary Cooper Leonard called me.
Sheldon I know, but why?
Leonard Because one of the great minds of the twenty-first century is raising glow-in-the-dark fish and weaving sarapes.
Sheldon This is not a sarape. This is a poncho. A sarape is open at the sides, a poncho is closed, this is a poncho, and neither is a reason to call someone’s mother.
Leonard Really, when was the last time you left the house.
Sheldon I went to the market with Penny.
Leonard That was three weeks ago.
Sheldon Well then buckle up, in the next four to eight days she’s going to get very crabby.
Mary Cooper Sweetheart, your little friend is concerned about you.
Sheldon Yes, well I’m not a child, I’m a grown man capable of living my life as I see fit. And I certainly don’t need someone telling on me to my mother.
Leonard Where are you going?
Sheldon To my room, and no-one’s allowed in.
Mary Cooper He gets his temper from his daddy.
Leonard Oh.
Mary Cooper He’s got my eyes.
Leonard I see.
Mary Cooper All that science stuff, that comes from Jesus.
Scene Everyone but Sheldon is in the kitchen of the apartment.
Leonard Sheldon? Your mom made dinner.
Sheldon (Off) I’m not hungry.
Mary Cooper Oh, Leonard, don’t trouble yourself, he’s stubborn. He may stay in there ‘til the Rapture.
Penny Are we so sure that’s a bad thing?
Mary Cooper I’ll tell ya, I love the boy to death, but he has been difficult since he fell out of me at the K-Mart.
Howard Excuse me for being so bold, but I now see where Sheldon gets his smouldering good looks.
Mary Cooper Oh, honey that ain’t going to work, but you keep trying. (To Raj) I made chicken, I hope that isn’t one of the animals that you people think is magic? You know, we have an Indian gentleman at our church, a Dr Patel, it’s a beautiful story, the lord spoke to him, and moved him to give us all 20% off on lasic, you know, those that needed it.
Leonard That is a lovely story, um, are we going to do anything about Sheldon?
Mary Cooper Oh, we will, you have to take your time with Sheldon. His father, God rest his soul, used to say to me, Mary, you have to take your time with Sheldon.
Leonard Sounds like a wise man.
Mary Cooper Oh, not so wise, he was trying to fight a bobcat for some liquorish. So, everybody grab a plate, and a pretty place mat that Shelly wove.
Penny Has Shelly ever freaked out like this before.
Mary Cooper Oh, all the time, I remember one summer when he was thirteen, he built a small nuclear reactor in the shed and told everybody he was going to provide free electricity for the whole town, well the only problem was he had no, whatchacall, fissionable materials. Anyway, when he went on the internets to get some, a man from the government came by and sat him down real gentle and told him it’s against the law to have yellow cake uranium in a shed.
Penny What happened?
Mary Cooper Well, the poor boy had a fit, locked himself in his room and built a sonic death ray.
Leonard A death ray?
Mary Cooper Well, that’s what he called it, didn’t even slow down the neighbour kids. It pissed our dog off to no end. You know, you two make a cute couple.
Leonard No, we’re not, we’re not, not a couple, singles, two singles, like those individually wrapped slices of cheese that…. are friends.
Mary Cooper Did I pluck a nerve there?
Howard Oh yeah.
Mary Cooper Okay. Alright everybody, it’s time to eat. (Everybody begins to do so) Oh Lord, we thank you for this meal, all your bounty, and we pray that you help Sheldon get back on his rocker. (To Raj and Howard) Now after a moment of silent meditation I’m going to end with “In Jesus’ Name” but you two don’t feel any obligation to join in. Unless, of course, the holy spirit moves you.
Penny Oh my God, this is the best cobbler I’ve ever had.
Mary Cooper It was always Sheldon’ s favorite. You know what the secret ingredient is?
Penny Love?
Mary Cooper Lard.
Howard Hey, look who’s come out….
Mary Cooper Shhh! You’ll spook him. He’s like a baby deer, you gotta let him come to you.
Leonard This is ridiculous. Dammit, Sheldon, snap out of it. You’re a physicist, you belong at the University doing research, not hiding in your room. (Sheldon scuttles away)
Mary Cooper You don’t hunt, do you?
Scene Sheldon’s bedroom. He is building a model of some kind of double helix. There is a knock on the door.
Mary Cooper (Entering) Good morning, snicker-doodle.
Sheldon Morning.
Mary Cooper Oh, well that looks awful fancy, what is that?
Sheldon It’s my idea of what DNA would look like in a silicon based life form.
Mary Cooper But intelligently designed by a creator, right?
Sheldon What do you want, mom?
Mary Cooper You know how your daddy used to say that you can only fish for so long before you got to throw a stick of dynamite in the water?
Sheldon Yeah.
Mary Cooper Well, I’m done fishing. (Throwing a pair of trousers on the bed) You put those on.
Sheldon What for?
Mary Cooper Because you’re going to go down to your office, you’re going to apologize to your boss, and get your job back.
Sheldon No.
Mary Cooper I’m sorry, did I start that sentence with the words “if it please your highness?”
Sheldon I’m not going to apologize, I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true.
Mary Cooper Now you listen here, I have been telling you since you were four years old, it’s okay to be smarter than everybody but you can’t go around pointing it out.
Sheldon Why not?
Mary Cooper Because people don’t like it. Remember all the ass-kickings you got from the neighbuor kids? Now let’s get cracking. Shower, shirt, shoes, and let’s shove off. (Exits)
Sheldon Wouldn’t have been any ass-kickings if that stupid death ray had worked.
Scene The kitchen
Mary Cooper Problem solved.
Leonard Really? That’s impressive.
Mary Cooper Leonard, the Lord never gives us more than we can handle. Thankfully he blessed me with two other children who are dumb as soup.
Scene Dr. Gablehouser’s office
Mary Cooper Excuse me, Dr Gablehouser, are you busy?
Gablehouser Well, actually….
Mary Cooper Sheldon, he’s just doodling, get in here.
Sheldon Dr Gablehouser.
Gablehouser Dr Cooper.
Mary Cooper Let’s go, baby, we’re losing daylight.
Sheldon Um, as you know, several weeks ago in our first encounter we may have gotten off on the wrong foot, when I called you an idiot. And I just wanted to say that I was wrong. To point it out.
Gablehouser (To Mary Cooper) I’m sorry, we haven’t been introduced. Dr Eric Gablehouser.
Mary Cooper Mary Cooper, Sheldon’s mom.
Gablehouser Now that’s impossible, you must have had him when you were a teenager.
Mary Cooper Oh, aren’t you sweet, his father’s dead.
Gablehouser Recently?
Mary Cooper Long enough.
Gablehouser (Indicating chair) Please. Sheldon, shouldn’t you be working?
Sheldon (Leaving) Okay.
Leonard Hey, how did it go?
Sheldon I got my job back.
Leonard Really? What happened?
Sheldon I’m not quite sure. It involves a part of the human experience that has always eluded me.
Leonard That narrows it down.
Scene Sheldon’s bedroom. Mary Cooper is tucking him in.
Mary Cooper I’m very proud of you honey, you showed a lot of courage today.
Sheldon Thanks, mom. Mom?
Mary Cooper Mmm-hmm?
Sheldon Is Dr Gablehouser going to be my new daddy?
Mary Cooper We’ll see. Sleep tight.

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