The Big Bang Theory

The Tangerine Factor

Season 1, Ep 17, Aired 5/19/08
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  • Episode Description
  • Penny's break-up spurs Leonard to summon the courage to ask her out, and each goes to Sheldon for advice on their upcoming date.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Jim Parsons

    Sheldon Cooper

  • Johnny Galecki

    Leonard Hofstadter

  • Kaley Cuoco


  • Kunal Nayyar

    Rajesh Koothrappali

  • Simon Helberg

    Howard Wolowitz

  • Fan Reviews (13)
  • Cat's Dead

    By AriSky, Sep 23, 2013

  • A bit awkward...

    By Kadodian, Apr 20, 2012

  • Season 1 Finale

    By Canogaparkcindy, Nov 09, 2010

  • Nerds. ♥

    By Sarah_LOST, Jul 27, 2010

  • Penny broke up with her boyfriend so Leonard takes his chance!

    By Pucktweety, Dec 26, 2009

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (14)

    • Leonard: I don't think I can go out with [Penny] tonight. Sheldon: Then don't. Leonard: Other people would say, "Why not?" Sheldon: Other people might be interested.

    • Raj: Hey, look, I found an iPod! Howard: Smashed beyond repair—what are you going to do with it? Raj: What else? Sell it on eBay as 'slightly used'.

    • Leonard: I'm her friend, I'm not going to take advantage of her vulnerability. Wolowitz: Wait, 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.

    • Leonard: (reading ex's blog about he and Penny's sex life) 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 curiousity, is this "subway" the transportation system or "Subway" the sandwich shop?

    • Penny: Maybe we should talk first. Leonard: Okay, but before you say anything, have you ever heard of Schrödinger's cat? Penny: Actually, I've heard far too much about Schrödinger's cat. Leonard: Good. (he kisses Penny) Penny: Alright, the cat's alive. Let's go to dinner.

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    Notes (3)

    • This episode's end titles has Chuck Lorre's Vanity Card #212.

    • The German episode title is "Schrödingers Katze", meaning "Schrödinger's Cat". The French title is "La Rupture", meaning "The Break-Up". The Italian title is "Il fattore mandarino", and the Spanish and Mexican title is "El factor mandarina", both exact translations.

    • International Airdates: Turkey: January 6, 2009 on CNBC-e; Germany: September 26, 2009 on ProSieben; Slovakia: September 12, 2011 on Markiza

    Trivia (3)

    • Sheldon says he has Eidetic memory, so he shouldn't be having this hard a time learning Chinese since he would be able to flawlessly recall what he heard from Howard and what he read.

    • Sheldon asks Howard to help him learn to speak Chinese, though in "The Dumpling Paradox" Chen inquires about Howard by asking "Where is your annoying little friend who thinks he speaks Mandarin?"

    • Penny dispenses an enormous amount of Hershey's Syrup into the ice cream container she's eating from, yet the subsequent shot shows her eating ice cream without even the tiniest hint of syrup. Also, when Penny was saying that a number of prisoners found her boyfriend's blog, she only ate a small amount of the ice cream from her spoon. The camera then switch angle where we can see that her spoon has no more ice cream and she started scooping more.

    Allusions (2)

    • Sheldon responds to Penny's knowing Leonard has a "little crush" on her with, "A little crush? I suppose so, same way Menelaus had a little crush on Helen of Troy." This refers to events from Homer's The Iliad.

    • Sheldon mentions being, "through the looking glass anyway," referring to Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There Lewis Carroll's 1871 follow-up to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

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