The Big Bang Theory

Season 2 Episode 1

The Bad Fish Paradigm

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Sep 22, 2008 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
552 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Penny opens up to a reluctant Sheldon after a less-than-stellar first date with Leonard, placing him in the uncomfortable position of having to keep a secret.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Sheldon Shuffle

    A little rocky and still relying far too heavily on Sheldon, but a good episode overall. It was interesting to see Raj's apartment for the first time and to see that Penny's got insecurities just like Leonard. However, I forgot during the Sheldon shuffle why we were doing the Sheldon shuffle, which is a sign of bad storytelling. It's great to be a comedy, but not if you get so caught up in the joke that you forget the story that got you there. Keep trying.moreless
  • Life after Leonard and Penny's first date.

    This was my second experience with "The Big Bang Theory," and to be honest, the first episode of the show never enthralled me that much. Besides Sheldon, I wasn't impressed with the rest of the cast. However, seeing as my girlfriend bought Season 2 and 3 without us having seen Season 1, I have to catch myself up. And I must say, while it's much funnier than the first episode I saw, it still has a supporting cast and one lead actor that's sort of lackluster.

    In this episode, Leonard and Penny face their first night after their first date, and Leonard comes to realize that there's an awkwardness hanging between that can't exactly be defined. Enter Sheldon, who attempts to figure out what the issue is between the two lovebirds. Sheldon soon learns that Penny lied about graduating from community college, and she's worried that Leonard's going to be embarrassed.

    As a result, Sheldon gets very awkward and decides to move out to avoid telling Leonard her secret. It's a pretty weak plot to make Leonard and Penny, but it allows Sheldon, the center of the show, to shine. The scenes where he jumps from apartment to apartment, whether it's Howard, Raj or back to Leonard is pretty good. Everything else was "meh."

    I think the problem, for me, lies in the fact that Leonard isn't the most exciting lead actor to be paired with Sheldon. I even enjoy Penny more than Leonard.. Leonard just seems like this sad-sack. However, I have to admit that I enjoyed this episode much more than I expected to.moreless
  • Season 2 Premiere

    Great premiere from The Big Bang Theory here. We've got Penny & Leonard dating and the show picking up right where it left off, the episode starts with Penny & Leonard coming back from their date. Sheldon was the one that stole the show here though, the whole episode is focused on Sheldon trying to keep Penny's secret.

    Penny & Sheldon interactions are always enjoyable and they were enjoyable here. From the way Sheldon folded his clothes to his interactions with the whole cast, not just Penny. We got great one on one scenes between Sheldon & Howard, Raj, Penny, and Leonard. I was worried at first that this show would lose it's touch after Penny & Leonard got together, but I stand corrected, this continues to be one of the funniest comedies on television right now, and I can finally say it's one of my favorite shows. Very strong premiere, and I love how Penny & Leonard's relationship is still in the air.moreless
  • Sheldon attempts to keep a secret.

    This episode started off a little slow but soon picked up right where The Big Bang Theory left off last year. Jim Parsons gave an Emmy-worthy performance here as Sheldon with non-stop laughs throughout the half-hour episode. From his arguments with Kuthrapali, to trying to stay at Howard's house we saw Sheldon's great chemistry with the entire cast. I thought the actual secret was a little weak, but the acting from the main cast made up for that. The Big Bang Theory is one of the best written shows on television and this was yet another example proving that to be the case. Some were worried of the show hitting a sophomore slump but we can now safely say that is not the case.moreless
  • Second Season Premiere.

    This episode was so funny. It blew my mind away! To be honest I really didn't watch the first season regularly, I liked Kaley Cuoco from 8 Simple Rules and thought I should give this show a shot. So, anyways, I didn't really watch season one. So, I tuned into the premiere and let me tell you. I am HOOKED! on this show. It's amazing, funny, and just great!

    Kaley Cuoco still has the funny charm. She is an awesome actress. This episode was fantastic. Penny and Leonard come back from their date. Penny doesn't really want to go on a second date. So, she keeps telling Leonard that she is busy or working. HAHA.

    So. I can't wait to see the rest of this season and I will defintely buy the first season DVD very soon,l so I can catch up! I can't wait till next week!!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • In one scene, Sheldon tells Penny that he cannot keep her secret any longer. She tells him to forget she told him, which he responds to by saying "Forget? This mind does not forget!" Later in the same episode, Sheldon stays the night at Wolowitz's house, and to fall asleep he reads his list of his favorite catwomen and X-Men characters out loud. At least twice he forgets people in the lists that Wolowitz corrects him on. So Sheldon's mind does indeed forget.

    • Penny eventually did take Leonard's advice and enrolled in Pasadena City College in the sixth season.

    • Unusually, Sheldon does not seem to mind that at the start of the episode Raj is in 'his spot'.

    • We discover these things upset Sheldon: changing the contrast or brightness settings on the TV, taking a band-aid off in front of him, buying generic ketchup, forgetting to rinse the sink, talking to him through the bathroom door, adjusting the thermostat, cooking with cilantro, pronouncing the T in "often", making fun of trains.

    • When Sheldon and Raj are watching the Indian movie, which is called Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai, Sheldon asks if that is Aishwarya Rai. She is not actually in that movie as many Bollywood fans will figure out from hearing the music.

    • When folding laundry in the laundry room, Sheldon places a blue T-shirt on his folding device. Then when he folds the device and opens it, it's a pair of socks inside. Then Sheldon proceeds to pick up the same blue T-Shirt again and starts to fold it again in the device.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Sheldon: You thought the opposite of "stupid loser" was "community college graduate"?

    • Sheldon: So, you're saying that friendship contains within it an inherent obligation to maintain confidences?
      Penny: Well, yeah.
      Sheldon: Interesting. One more question—and perhaps I should have led with this—when did we become friends?

    • Leonard: How could you just sit there and let them spy on me?
      Sheldon: They were clever, Leonard. They exploited my complete lack of interest in what you were doing.

    • Leonard: [Sheldon] says he's moving out.
      Koothrappali: What did you do? Did you change the contrast or brightness settings on the television?
      Leonard: No.
      Koothrappali: Did you take a Band-Aid off in front of him?
      Leonard: No.
      Wolowitz: Did you buy generic ketchup? Forget to rinse the sink? Talk to him through the bathroom door?

    • Sheldon: I couldn't become Green Lantern unless I was chosen by the guardians of OA, but given enough startup capital and adequate research facilities I could be Batman.
      Leonard: You could be Batman?
      Sheldon: Sure (imitating Michael Keaton's performance) I'm Batman! (normal voice) See?

    • Penny: Has [Leonard] ever been involved with someone who wasn't a brainiac?
      Sheldon: Oh, well, a few years ago, he did go out with someone who had a Ph.D. in French Literature.
      Penny: How is that not a brainiac?
      Sheldon: Well, for one thing, she was French. For another, it was literature.

    • Penny: So it's fine with you if I'm not smart.
      Leonard: Absolutely. (Penny closes the door on him) Okay, this time I know where I went wrong.

    • Leonard: What do you mean, you're moving out? Why?
      Sheldon: There doesn't have to be a reason.
      Leonard: Yeah, there kinda does.
      Sheldon: Not necessarily. This is a classic example of Münchhausen's Trilemma. Either the reason is predicated on a series of sub-reasons leading to an infinite regression, or it tracks back to arbitrary axiomatic statements, or it's ultimately circular, i.e. I'm moving out because I'm moving out.
      Leonard: I'm still confused.
      Sheldon: Leonard, I don't see how I could have made it any simpler.

    • Sheldon: You're asking me to keep a secret?
      Penny: Yeah.
      Sheldon: Well, I'm sorry, but you would have had to express that desire before revealing the secret, so that I could choose whether or not I wanted to accept the covenant of secret-keeping. You can't impose a secret on an ex post facto basis.
      Penny: What?
      Sheldon: Secret-keeping is a complicated endeavor. One has to be concerned not only about what one says, but about facial expressions, autonomic reflexes. When I try to deceive, I myself have more nervous tics then a Lyme disease research facility. (long pause waiting for Penny to get it) It's a joke. It relies on the homonymic relationship between "tick", the bloodsucking arachnid, and "tic", the involuntary muscular contraction. (a little, genuine chuckle) I made it up myself.

  • NOTES (4)

    • This episode's end titles has Chuck Lorre's Vanity Card #215.

    • The German episode title is "Milch mit Valium", meaning "Milk with Valium". The French title is "Un secret bien gardé", meaning "A Well-Kept Secret". The Italian title is "Il paradigma del pesce guasto", the Spanish title is "El paradigma del pescado malo", and the Mexican title is "El paradigma del pez malo", all exact translations.

    • Even though the opening presentation is the same, they changed the last shot (where the gang is eating) for an updated one.

    • International Airdates: Latin America: November 3, 2008 on Warner Channel; Turkey: September 7, 2009 on CNBC-e; Finland: October 12, 2009 on Sub; Czech Republic: October 21, 2010 on Prima COOL; Slovakia: September 13, 2011 on Markiza


    • When Leonard first realizes that he may be the "bad fish" and Sheldon is getting flustered he says "Good day Leonard". Leonard says "What?" and Sheldon says "I said good day", which may be a reference to Fez's "catchphrase" from That 70's Show.

    • Sheldon comments his pre-packed emergency bag is, "recommended by the Department of Homeland Security... and Sarah Connor," referring to the heroine of the Terminator film and TV franchise.