The Big Bang Theory

The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation

Season 3, Ep 1, Aired 9/21/09
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586 votes
  • Episode Description
  • Discovering that Leonard, Raj, and Howard fudged the results of his Arctic research expedition, a disgraced Sheldon heads home to Texas.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Steven Molaro

  • Mark Cendrowski

  • Johnny Galecki

    Leonard Hofstadter

  • Jim Parsons

    Sheldon Cooper

  • Kaley Cuoco


  • Photos (9)
  • Fan Reviews (13)
  • It Was Weird

    By AriSky, Nov 29, 2013

  • Season 3 Premiere

    By Canogaparkcindy, Jan 04, 2011

  • Season Premiere.

    By thefanof, Sep 22, 2009

  • rather lazy, mildly entertaining, the show can do much better

    By Kazmere, Sep 23, 2009

  • Back and still funny

    By Chuck_Off, Jan 23, 2010

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (7)

    • Penny: You know, I do understand what you're going through. Sheldon: Really? Did you just have the Nobel Prize in Waitressing stolen from you?

    • Sheldon: Hello, Penny. I realize you are currently at mercy of your primitive biological urges, but as you have an entire lifetime of poor decisions ahead of you, may I interrupt this one?

    • Sheldon: No, mother, I cannot feel your church group praying for my safety. The fact that I'm home safe does not prove that it worked. That logic is post hoc, ergo propter hoc. (lowers his voice) No, I'm not sassing you in Eskimo talk.

    • (Leonard is kissing Penny as Sheldon knocks on her door) Leonard: (whispering) Do not make a sound! Sheldon: Whispering, "do not make a sound," is a sound!

    • Sheldon: What are they doing here? Leonard: We came to apologize again and bring you home. So why don't you pack up your stuff, and we'll head back? Sheldon: No, this is my home now. Thanks to you, my career is over, and I will spend the rest of my life here in Texas trying to teach evolution to creationists. Mary: You watch your mouth, Shelly. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Sheldon: Evolution isn't an opinion, it's fact. Mary: And that is your opinion. Sheldon: (to the guys) I forgive you, let's go home.

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    Notes (4)

    • This episode's end titles has Chuck Lorre's Vanity Card #256, a picture of the audience at, and a thank you to, Comic-Con, where the show presented over the summer.

    • The Italian episode title is "La fluttuazione dell'apriscatole elettrico", the Spanish and Mexican title is "La fluctuación del abrelatas eléctrico", and the French title is "La Fluctuation de l'ouvre-boîte électrique", all exact translations. The German title is "Der Nordpol-Plan", meaning "The North Pole Plan".

    • With this episode, the show moved to a 9:30 timeslot.

    • International Airdates: Latin America: October 27, 2009 on Warner Channel; Australia: November 2, 2009 on Channel 9; Turkey: September 27, 2010 on CNBC-e; Finland: October 25, 2010 on Sub; Czech Republic: December 1, 2010 on Prima COOL; Slovakia: October 17, 2011 on Markiza

    Trivia (2)

    • In the TV version of this episode Mary tells Howard "you'll take a cola" but in the DVD versions she says "you'll take a coke".

    • Sheldon comments, "The fact that I'm home safe does not prove that [his mother's prayers] worked; that logic is post hoc, ergo propter hoc," using a Latin phrase which means "After this, therefore because of this." This is called the theory of coincidental correlation or the "post hoc" fallacy, which holds that it's incorrect to assume that if one event follows another, the first event caused the second event to occur.

    Allusions (3)

    • Raj comments on Howard's mustache as the "Mario and Luigi", a reference to the popular Italian plumbers, Mario and Luigi, from the popular "Mario" game series.

    • Sheldon says "Like the proverbial cheese, I stand alone." This is a reference to the classic children's song "Farmer in the Dell", where at the end of the song, after the farmer takes the wife, wife takes the child, and so on until the mouse takes the cheese, the cheese stands alone.

    • Raj comments that Howard looks like Sheriff Woody from Toy Story at Sheldon's mom house. Sheldon's mom is played by Laurie Metcalf who was the voice of Andy's mom in Toy Story.

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