Season 1 - Episode 17 - The Tangerine Factor


First date kiss.

Scene Living room of Apartment 4A
Sheldon Wo de zhing shi Sheldon.
Howard No, it’s Wo de ming zi shi Sheldon. (Makes a hand movement with every syllable.)
Sheldon Wo de ming zi shi Sheldon. (Copies hand movements.)
Howard What’s this? (Repeats hand movements.)
Sheldon That’s what you did. I assumed as in a number of languages that the gesture was part of the phrase.
Howard Well it’s not.
Sheldon How am I supposed to know that? As the teacher it’s your obligation to separate your personal idiosyncrasies from the subject matter.
Howard You know, I’m really glad you decided to learn Mandarin.
Sheldon Why?
Howard Once you’re fluent you’ll have a billion more people to annoy instead of me.
Leonard (Entering) Hey!
Sheldon Mai du lui tsa.
Howard You just called Leonard a syphilitic donkey.
Sheldon My apologies Leonard, I’m only as good as my teacher.
Leonard Why are you learning Chinese?
Sheldon I believe the Szechuan Palace has been passing off orange chicken as tangerine chicken and I intend to confront them.
Leonard If I were you, I’d be more concerned by what they’re passing off as chicken.
Penny (Storming in) I need to use your window.
Leonard Oh, yeah, no, sure, go ahead.
Penny (Opening window) Hey Jerkface, you forgot your iPod! (Throws it out the window.)
Leonard What’s going on?
Penny Oh, I’ll tell you what’s going on, that stupid self-centered bastard wrote about our sex life in his blog. (Out of window) Drop dead, you stupid self-centered bastard! (To Leonard) Thank you. (exit)
Sheldon Okay, where were we?
Howard Not now, I have a blog to find.
Credits sequence
Scene Leonard approaches Penny’s door and knocks.
Leonard Penny, are you okay?
Penny (Voice off) I’m fine, Leonard, just go away.
Leonard Look, I understand that breaking up with someone can be very painful….
Penny GO AWAY!
Leonard Okay, feel better, bye. (Goes back to apartment) She doesn’t want to talk.
Sheldon Not surprising. Penny’s emotional responses originate from the primitive portion of the brain known as the Amygdala, while speech is centered in the much more recently developed Neocortex. The former can easily overpower the latter giving scientific credence to the notion of being rendered speechless. (Leonard stares at him.) Or maybe she just doesn’t want to talk.
Raj (Entering) Hey, look, I found an iPod.
Howard It’s smashed beyond repair, what are you going to do with it?
Raj What else? Sell it on ebay as slightly used.
Leonard It was Penny’s boyfriend’s, they broke up.
Howard Apparently he posted intimate details of their physical relationship on his blog, which I cannot find anywhere.
Leonard You know what, I’m going to go back and try talking to her again.
Howard Good idea. Sit with her, hold her, comfort her, and if the moment feels right, see if you can cop a feel.
Leonard I’m not going to do that, Howard.
Sheldon I’m not aware of any social convention that requires you to intervene at all.
Leonard What about “damsel in distress?”
Sheldon Twelfth century code of chivalry, not exactly current. You’d also have to be knighted for that to apply.
Leonard I don’t care. She’s upset, I’m going over there.
Howard Remember to sit on your hands a bit so they’re warm.
Leonard I’m her friend, I’m not going to take advantage of her vulnerability.
Howard What, so you’re saying that if in the depths of despair she throws herself at you and demands you take her, right there, right now, you’ll just walk away?
Leonard I said I’m her friend. Not her gay friend.
Scene Apartment 4B. Penny is eating ice cream from the tub.
Leonard (Knocking and entering) Hey, listen, I know you said that you didn’t want to talk…
Penny I don’t.
Leonard (Leaving) Sorry.
Penny Wait.
Leonard Wait, did you say wait?
Penny Tell me the truth. Am I just an idiot who picks giant losers?
Leonard No. No.
Penny Okay, so I pick good guys, but turn them into losers.
Leonard Of course not.
Penny Well, it’s got to be one or the other, which is it?
Leonard I’m sorry, what were the choices again?
Penny I really thought Mike was different, I thought he was sensitive and smart. I mean, not you smart, normal non-freaky smart.
Leonard Yeah, no, sure.
Penny You know, and then he just goes and has to humiliate me by writing about me on his blog so the entire world can read it.
Leonard Actually it’s not all that easy to find.
Penny Yeah, really, well my friends at work found it, my sister found it, judging by my email a number of prisoners at the Michigan State Penitentiary found it.
Leonard Okay, well, what exactly did this guy write, not that I need to know the details of your sex life, I just thought…. never mind.
Penny Nope, you know what, you might as well read it, everybody else has, go ahead. Oh God, I just feel so betrayed and embarrassed. I just want to crawl into a hole and die.
Leonard Okay, well, you know, this isn’t that bad. It just paints the picture of a very affectionate woman who’s open to expressing her affection in non traditional locales.
Penny Oh God!
Leonard Elevators, parks, movie theaters, out of curiosity, is this subway the transportation system or subway the sandwich shop?
Penny Sandwich shop.
Leonard Doesn’t that violate the health code?
Penny No, at the sub shop we were only making out.
Leonard Huh. Okay. But my point is that you have absolutely no reason to be embarrassed.
Penny Really, do you think I overreacted?
Leonard Maybe a little.
Penny ‘Cause I do that, I do overreact. Maybe I should call Mike and apologize.
Leonard No. No, no, that, that would be underreacting. He did break the implied confidentiality of the bedroom and, in your case, the elevator, parks, and fast food franchise.
Penny Yes. You’re right. I should just say I’m done with him.
Leonard Yes, you should, go ahead, say it.
Penny But I never gave the man a chance to explain.
Leonard What is there to explain, it’s all right here, it’s a betrayal.
Penny No, you were right the first time, this is a man who loves me, but in his own stupid way he was just trying to show people how he feels.
Leonard I’m pretty sure I never said that.
Penny No, you did better than that, you helped me see it on my own.
Leonard Aw, good for me. Where are you going?
Penny I’m going over to Mike’s. Leonard, thank you so much.
Leonard Oh, sure. Huh, maybe I am her gay friend.
Scene Apartment 4A. The guys are playing a board game and eating Chinese food.
Sheldon Howard, I’m going to need another Mandarin lesson. I obviously didn’t make my point with those people.
Howard For God’s sake, Sheldon, if you don’t like the tangerine chicken, don’t order the tangerine chicken.
Sheldon I like tangerine chicken, I’m just not getting tangerine chicken.
Leonard Can we please change the subject.
Raj Sure. Tell us again how you screwed up and got Penny back together with her old boyfriend.
Leonard Just roll the dice.
Raj (Rolls and moves) Enslaved by warlocks, stay here till you roll two, four or six-
Leonard (Blurts oiut) She was mad at him! She was done with him, the relationship was broken beyond repair, and I walked over there and I fixed it!
Howard Boy, that story gets better every time you hear it.
Sheldon Actually, I thought the first two renditions were far more compelling; previously I felt sympathy for the Leonard character, now I just find him to be whiny and annoying.
Leonard Just... eat your tangerine chicken.
Sheldon I’d love to, but I don’t have tangerine chicken.
Penny (Storming in) Thank you so much for your stupid advice. (Slams door again.)
Raj Incredible. You managed to screw up the screw-up.
Scene Apartment 4B
Leonard (Knocking and entering) I’m back.
Penny I’m sorry I yelled at you. It’s not your fault.
Leonard What happened?
Penny Well, I went over to Mike’s to make up with him.
Leonard Yeah, I know, I know that part.
Penny But he had already moved on.
Leonard Already, that was quick.
Penny That’s what I said to the woman who had her legs wrapped around his neck.
Leonard Oh, Penny, I am so sorry.
Penny How could he do that.
Leonard Oh, well, you know, you did throw an 8 gig iPod… yeah, no, how could he do that.
Penny I swear to God, I am done with guys like that. You know, macho, with the perfect body and the hair, and the money.
Leonard Yeah, that must get old quick.
Penny You know, just once, I would like to go out with someone who is nice, and honest, and who actually cares about me.
Leonard What about me?
Penny What about you what?
Leonard What about if you went out with me?
Penny Are you asking me out?
Leonard Um… yes… I am… asking you out.
Penny Wow.
Leonard I was just going off your comment about the nice guy…
Penny No, I know, I got that. Yeah, totally.
Leonard (Continuing through Penny) …thing and honest but, it’s no big deal…
Penny Yes.
Leonard Yes what?
Penny Yes, I will go out with you.
Leonard Really?
Penny Yeah. Why not, I mean, what do I have to lose?
Leonard Yeah. That’s the spirit.
Scene The lobby. Sheldon is listening to an iPod.
Sheldon Show me your citrus peels. Gei wo kan, ni jud di zi pei. Show me your citrus peels. Gei wo kan, ni jud di zi pei. Show me your…
Penny (Tapping him on the shoulder) Sheldon.
(Jumping in panic) Aieee ya! Xia si wo le.
Penny I’m sorry. Look, do you have a second.
Sheldon A second what? Pair of underwear?
Penny I was just wondering if I could talk to you? It’s about Leonard.
Sheldon Why me? Why not Koothrappali or Wolowitz?
Penny Well, Raj can’t talk to me unless he’s drunk, and Wolowitz is, you know, disgusting.
Sheldon Yes, I suppose he is.
Penny All I’m saying is, you know Leonard the best.
Sheldon Not necessarily. I’m often surprised by my lack of familiarity with Leonard. Just the other day I discovered, he not only has a loofah, he hides it. Why do you suppose a man would be ashamed of having a loofah? I myself prefer to have my excess epithelial cells slough off naturally, but I don’t condemn those who seek to accelerate the process.  (Time shift) And until recently I had no idea that despite his lactose intolerance, he can tolerate small amounts of non-fat ice cream without producing a noxious gas that I maintain in the right concentration could be weaponized. (Begins to unlock apartment door.)
Penny Leonard might come home, can we talk in my apartment.
Sheldon We’re not done?
Penny No.
Sheldon Ach, why not? We’re already through the looking glass anyway.
Penny Okay, so, here’s the thing. I guess you’re aware that Leonard asked me out.
Sheldon Well, he didn’t actually say anything, but when he came back to the apartment he was doing a dance that brought to mind the happy hippos in Fantasia.
Penny Oh, that’s nice. Anyhow, the thing I wanted to talk to you about is, you know, since Leonard and I have become friends, I was just… want to sit down?
Sheldon Oh, I wish it were that simple. You see, I don’t spend much time here and so I’ve never really chosen a place to sit.
Penny Well, choose.
Sheldon There are a number of options and, I’m really not familiar enough with the cushion densities, air flow patterns and dispersion of sunlight to make an informed choice.
Penny Alright, why don’t you just pick one at random, and then if you don’t like it you can sit somewhere else next time.
Sheldon No, no, that’s crazy. You go ahead and talk while I figure it out.
Penny Okay. Um, here’s the thing. So, I’ve known for a while now that Leonard has had a little crush on me…
Sheldon A little crush? Well I suppose so, in the same way Menelaus had a little crush on Helen of Troy.
Penny Alright, yeah, I don’t really know who they are…
Sheldon Well Menelaus was the brother of Agamemnon…
Penny Yeah, I don’t care, I don’t care. The point is Leonard isn’t the kind of guy I usually go out with.
Sheldon Leonard isn’t the kind of guy anyone usually goes out with. Would you be open to rotating the couch clockwise thirty degrees?
Penny No. What I’m saying is, Leonard might be different in a good way. Obviously my usual choices have not worked out so well.
Sheldon The last one worked out well for Koothrappali. He got a free iPod. Oh, glare!
Penny But on the other hand, if things don’t go well with Leonard, I risk losing a really good friend. I mean, I guess he’s not looking for a fling, he’s the kind of guy that gets into a relationship for, I don’t know, like you would say light years.
Sheldon I would not say that. No-one would say that, a light year is a unit of distance, not time.
Penny Thank you for the clarification.
Sheldon Draft. You see people hear the word year and they think duration. Foot pound has the same problem, that’s a unit of work, not of weight.
Penny Right, thanks.
Sheldon It’s a common mistake.
Penny Not the first one I’ve made today.
Sheldon Okay. I think this will be my seat.
Penny Sheldon, do you have anything to say that has anything to do with, you know, what I’m talking about.
Sheldon Well, let’s see. We might consider Schrodinger’s Cat.
Penny Schrodinger? Is that the woman in 2A?
Sheldon No. That’s Mrs Grossinger. And she doesn’t have a cat, she has a Mexican hairless, annoying little animal, yip yip yip yip…
Penny Sheldon!
Sheldon Sorry, you diverted me. Anyway, in 1935, Erwin Schrodinger, in an attempt to explain the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics, he proposed an experiment where a cat is placed in a box with a sealed vial of poison that will break open at a random time. Now, since no-one knows when or if the poison has been released, until the box is opened, the cat can be thought of as both alive and dead.
Penny I’m sorry, I don’t get the point.
Sheldon Well of course you don’t get it, I haven’t made it yet. You’d have to be psychic to get it, and there’s no such thing as psychic.
Penny Sheldon, what’s the point?
Sheldon Just like Schrodinger’s Cat, your potential relationship with Leonard right now can be thought of as both good and bad. It is only by opening the box that you’ll find out which it is.
Penny Okay, so you’re saying I should go out with Leonard.
Sheldon No, no, no, no, no, no. Let me start again. In 1935, Erwin Schrodinger…
Scene Caltech cafeteria.
Leonard (Pointing) Two seats right there.
Sheldon (To two oriental-looking people occupying the other seats) Chong sho sha pwe. (Caption translates to “Long Live Concrete”.) Xie xie. (Thank you)
Leonard Sheldon, I think I’ve made a mistake.
Sheldon I can see that. Unless you’re planning on running a marathon, choosing both stuffing and mashed potatoes is a starch filled redundancy.
Leonard No, it’s about Penny.
Sheldon A mistake involving Penny? Okay, you’ll have to narrow it down.
Leonard I don’t think I can go out with her tonight.
Sheldon Then don’t.
Leonard Other people would say “why not?”
Sheldon Other people might be interested.
Leonard I’m going to talk anyway.
Sheldon I assumed you would.
Leonard Now that I’m actually about to go out with Penny, I’m not excited, I’m nauseous.
Sheldon Ah, then your meal choice is appropriate. Starch absorbs fluid which reduces the amount of vomit available for violent expulsion.
Leonard Right.
Sheldon You also made a common grammatical mistake, you said nauseous when you meant nauseated. But go on.
Leonard Sheldon, this date is probably my one chance with Penny, what happens if I blow it.
Sheldon Well, if we accept your premise, and also accept the highly improbable assumption that Penny is the only woman in the world for you then we can logically conclude that the result of blowing it would be that you end up a lonely, bitter old man with no progeny. The image of any number of evil lighthouse keepers from Scooby Doo cartoons comes to mind.
Leonard You’re not helping.
Sheldon Alright, what response on my part would bring this conversation to a speedy conclusion?
Leonard Tell me whether or not to go through with the date.
Sheldon Schrodinger’s Cat.
Leonard Wow, that’s brilliant.
Sheldon You sound surprised. Mmm, hou zi shui zai li du. (Your monkey sleeps inside me.)
Scene Leonard approaches Penny’s door. He is wearing a suit. He knocks. Penny answers.
Penny Hi.
Leonard Hi.
Penny Come on in.
Leonard Thank you. You look very nice.
Penny Thank you. So do you.
Leonard I made an eight o’clock reservation.
Penny Okay, great, listen, um, maybe we should talk first.
Leonard Oh. Okay. But before you say anything, have you ever heard of Schrodinger’s Cat?
Penny Actually, I’ve heard far too much about Schrodinger’s Cat.
Leonard Good. (He grabs her and kisses her.)
Penny Alright, the cat’s alive. Let’s go to dinner.
Scene The Szechuan Palace.
Sheldon (In Mandarin) Show me your mucus! Your mucus!
Owner (In Mandarin) Blow your own nose and go away.
Sheldon (In Mandarin) This is not a tangerine bicycle.
Owner (In English) Crazy man. Call the police.
Sheldon (In Mandarin) No. Don’t call the library. Show me your mucus. (Leonard and Penny are seen entering, and then leaving again quickly.) Oxen are in my bed! Many, many oxen! Oy Vey!

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