The Big Bang Theory

Season 2 Episode 11

The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Dec 15, 2008 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (24)

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out of 10
837 votes

    This episode centered around one of the founding blocks of the series: Leonard watching Penny date a good looking boyfriend, who happens to be a scientist like Leonard. Little did viewers know that these type of episodes that were so funny would give way to the writers linking Penny and Leonard, which would yield numerous unfunny episodes.
  • Napkins

    That was the first time I've really felt this show do something because it finally made Sheldon a human being. There were plenty of interpersonal moments, but when it comes to Sheldon and Penny, they're the ones I really want to see interact and the writers completely nailed it with this episode. There wasn't really all that much reliance on Sheldon until the very end, too, which made it work all the better. Absolutely amazing episode, keep 'em coming!
  • One of the best TV moments for me

    The ending was one of the best scenes I have seen on television and will stick with me for a long time. Seeing Sheldon open his gift from Penny was absolute gold and the reaction there after was a perfect touch. Loved it and have watched it several times already.
  • One of the best ever episodes of Big Bang. The 'Bath Item' has it all. Leonard gets closer to Penny and Sheldon gets his best ever Christmas pressie.

    This will probably prove to be the most popular episode of all time of this series, it has it all, I was in tears at the end - tears of joy mixed with tears of compassion all washed down with tears of laughter as they all swap presents. And at least one unforgettable line with - 'you put no thought into that whatsoever'.
    Brilliant writing and performance come together in the second half of this show in fantastic style and although this is best seen with a good background knowledge of the characters it stands alone too as a fantastic comedy show in it's own right.

    I noticed that this review has received many negative votes so I decided to edit it. Then I notice that all reviews for this episode have been knobbled so someone is fooling around with the site. And this is still the best episode so far!!!!!!!!!
  • The last 3 minutes make the entire episode worth watching.

    Without doubt this was the sweetest episode of The Big Bang Theory ever. While Leonard once more faces his feelings for Penny as she starts dating his handsome colleague, Sheldon frets over reciprocating Penny's Christmas present.

    But there's no way Sheldon - or the viewer - will see coming what the episode ends with. Penny's incredibly thoughtful present, and Sheldon's priceless (and totally unexpected) reaction, had me simultaneously in fits of laughter and tears of happiness - and I'm normally very emotionally distanced from the shows I watch.

    This episode is one of those rare modern reminders of the endearing power of a sitcom - how the simplest of actions can bring joy to even the greatest Scrooge. I'm willing to overlook the episode's major plothole (did the writers completely forget Leonard's currently in a relationship?) and once more appreciate the comic and emotional genius of The Big Bang Theory.
  • Sheldon has trouble deciding what to buy Penny.

    The Leonard, Penny and David storyline was not exactly my cup of tea, but I did like the recurring gag of "my leg is killing me, thanks for asking." Leonard is best when put in awkward situations, not driving the comedy himself and that's why he was actually tolerable here.

    Of course it was Sheldon who stole the show yet again. From his awkward conversation with the employee at the Bath and Bodyworks-esque store to buying a truckload of gifts and then exchanging whichever was closest in value we just got some great material here from the superior of the two roommates.

    This was not The Big Bang Theory's best offering this season, but it was fun for a Christmas special because it did not deviate too far from the show's premise, yet it still had a unique one-time only feel to it.
  • The true meaning of the holidays...

    This show has had its ups and downs but its always managed to keep me interested with a very catchy theme song, quirky characters and moments that just keep me in stitches pass the audience laugh track. The greats of this episode range from a great guest appearance by Michael trucco, refrences to charlie brown and an often ignored truth about gift giving. our society has become so cynical that people have forgotten that the true joy is just giving. But it really does come down to the last 3 minutes of this episode which are priceless. Even my sister who didn't get the reference (i know but then again not everyone is a trekkie like the guys on the show) almost welled up in geeky tears.
  • Christmas episode.

    With holiday season up in the horizon, most TV shows try their best to integrate a good storyline with the spirit of Christmas. We had 30 Rock do a decent job, and Big Bang Theory has put up one awesome episode.

    Leonard meets a scientist more brainier than him and he is hot too. We see Penny going out with him only to realize he is married and a pervert as well. Not wholly funny though, this sequence did enable a good storyline for the rest of the cast. Leonard does a good job whining about his leg injury. The show runner Sheldon does it again. With the Christmas gift storyline, he just blows your mind off. Overall, a worthwhile 30 minutes.
  • Leonard's coworker hook up with Penny, which bothers him a lot. On the other side, Sheldon hesitates what gift he should buy for repaying Penny's courtesy.

    It's an "Christmas episode" for sure, just like there are "Christmas movies", but the ending is so powerful that makes it not only Christmas taste, but also special and nice and glowing. At first everything goes ordinarily. You know how Sheldon can be bugging when things impact his cognition; Leonard is verbally emulous but inwardly expects to get noticed by someone he appreciates, and Penny can be two-face when she wants to go out with the guy she's interested in. They all think they get what they want or having situation controlled. However, things aren't perfect as they thought. Leonard sees how he is a loser when David can effortlessly win the woman he only dates once; Penny get cheated again, and, Sheldon receives a gift he never dreamt of...beyond what he can pay back. Things start to warm up there. They surprise each other with thoughtful gifts, console each other with warm hearts and wit. When I saw Sheldon giving his hug to Penny, I feel a warm stream flowing through my heart, making me want to laugh, want to cry. This guy does has his cute side, if only you amaze him accidentally.
  • One of the best episodes they made.

    The scene at the end where they exchange gifts alone would have done it for me. This episode rocked. All the David Underhill scenes aside it was a very special christmas episode. Sheldon all excited about his gift of a napkin not only signed but used by Leonard Nimoy is awesome. And then Penny being as gorgeous as always and with a big nautral smile, specially during the hugging scene. Too sweet. It was touching and made me laugh hard at the same time. And beside that, I like where the relationaship with Penny and Leonard is going. It looks like it is becoming some great deep friendship.

    The only moment that is still above this is the age of conan episode when sheldon names himself Sheldor the Conqueror. That one is almost unbeatable in my opinion.
  • By far the best episode ever!!!

    That was so fantastic that I had to come on and write a review for it!

    The last scene was pure genius. The only time I have laughed that hard at a programme (apart from only fools' iconic chandelier or del-boy through the bar) Even if you look at Penny's face, you can see that is genuine laughter at Sheldon's reaction. It must be hard for the actors to still continue with the script when its that funny.

    Jim Parsons is utterly brilliant in this episode!! Why have we not seen him before??

    This episode made me re-rate the whole series it was that good! Classic Sheldon!!
  • The last 3 minutes of this episode are superb. The characters are settling comfortably into their roles and it shows. Kaley Cuoco is entirely genuine.

    The last three minutes of this episode are the best of the entire series so far, and make this episode the best of the lot. It is more than a little difficult to make the caricature of the geek believable, and Jim Parsons has a difficult role to fill. Kaley Cuoco is settling well into her role, and in the last three minutes of the episode, the comfortable interaction she has with Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons is reminiscent of the old black & white comedy shows of fifty years ago, not a bad comparison at all.

    Simon Helberg (playing Howard Wolowitz) remains the strongest and most convincing smarmy sidekick, and he never disappoints.
  • Big Bang is comedy gold

    This was a great Christmas episode and probably one of the overall best Big Bang Theory episodes yet. Sheldon's reaction to Penny's gift was absolutely priceless. You gotta love all the characters on this show! This show just keeps getting better and I really hope it continues to get support so that we can have this show for several more seasons. This and HIMYM are now easily two of my all time favorite comedy shows. Each week is a real treat and I wonder how they continue to have such great writing. This show and episode get a perfect 10 from me!
  • Oh my! How I loved the end of this episode !

    Oh my goodness ! This episode was a blast ! And the Leonard Nimoy's napkin scene, I just can't stop watching it over and over again ! Sheldon is my favourite character because he seems so out of this world and totally clueless, but when he read the autograph, I was just overwhelmed by his emotion ! That robot can *actually* feel something ! And the facial expressions, and when he got all the baskets to give to Penny... and finally, finally... the hug ! Oh how I loved that hug ! It really showed how much he appreciated the gift and it's priceless !
    I am so in love with that show !!
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  • This was a classic

    By far my favorite episode of this year. It was simple but at the same time it was classic Sheldon. When he brought out all of those gift baskets I had not laughed so hard in a long time. It had the right mix of all of the personalties and a very funny premise. It might even be my favorite overall episode of the entire series. Off I go now to build a bear..... but I can be quite certain that I won't find Sheldon there. (I just needed to say that to get to my 100 words...along with this)
  • The best moment in Big Bang Theory episodes.

    This episode is only extremely good because of Sheldon. Penny and Leonard's storyline isn't the funniest, almost a serious note. It reveals Leonard's continual feelings towards Penny.
    On the other hand, Sheldon's explanation to Penny on how she's not given him "a gift" but given him "an obligation" was very laughable. Then when Sheldon goes to the Bath Item store to buy a gift basket for Penny, it just got even funnier, especially when he pretends to give a basket to the clerk and ends up confusing and scaring her. I have not laughed hard lately, but the final scene of this episode was just that funny, I think I lost five pounds from laughing. When Penny gives Sheldon the Leonard Nimoy napkin, I started laughing and couldn't stop. His reaction is so funny, and so true to his character. I found out that people believe that the guy portraying Sheldon is a geek in real life, and from what I've read, he is nothing like that. This guy deserves an Emmy just for this scene. It was so funny that after I was finished recording the show that followed this episode I had to take it over to my friends' and have them watch it. Again, we were all laughing at Sheldon's reaction to the napkin.
  • Much better

    Sheldon irks the gangs with his obession with proper Christmas gift protocol. Lenoard's crushed when Penny dates a colleague of his. This episode was a massive improvement compared to the last three episodes, The greatest part of the episode "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis" was the final scene where Sheldon tottally freaked out the he has Lenerd Nimoy's tissue. He even hugged Penny it was a really funny scene. The episode centered a lot around Lenoard which was good becuase he kept doing funny things like complaining about his sore leg. overal this gets a 9 put of 10 from me.
  • The Big Bang Theory is for real. Christmas episodes of television series are a true bellwether of the strength of writing and character depth. This episode reveals that TBBT is not a fad and will be around for years.

    The first (and hopefully not the last) The Big Bang Theory Christmas episode succeeds where other shows often fail by avoiding the overly forced sentiment usually found on television every Christmas. The simple act of a gift exchange between Penny and Sheldon is actually a cleverly written major character development. Sheldon's angst in picking out Penny's gift is completely forgotten when his gift is revealed in a classic surpise turn. The final moments of this episode are perhaps some of best aired on television in quite some time and harken back to some of the classic sit-com christmas episodes. Stay Tuned.
  • Sheldon hugs Penny!!! he actually has feeling hahaha

    one of the best episodes of the big bang theory in season 2 xD
    Leonard by mistake get Penny a Boy friend, and it seems at the end that he still having feelings for her "of course we already know that", and the cool physician seems to be married, and he took pictures of nude girls lol poor Penny.
    but about Sheldon haaha i luv this guy, i mean he is hilarious, he bought 10 baskets, and the end he was overwhelmed by Penny's gift that he actaully gave her all the baskets not only one like he wanted the cheep ass, and he hugged Penny !!!!!! i was shocked . I mean Sheldon became emotional hahahaha AWESOME xD
  • The dilemma of Christmas shopping...

    Penny buys Leonard and Sheldon Christmas presents which means in turn Sheldon will have to buy Penny a present and becomes obsessed with proper Christmas gift protocol. Meanwhile, Leonard is crushed when Penny begins dating a handsome and smart colleague of his. It's when the gifts are exchanged that we get a memorable moment between Sheldon and Penny. Penny gives Sheldon a napkin that was used and autographed by Lenerd Nimoy. She unintentionally gives Sheldon Nimoy's DNA. Sheldon is so overwhelmed by Penny's gift that he gives her all the baskets he bought and still feels that it's not enough and ends up hugging Penny.

    This is one of the best episodes. I loved it.
  • Pure genius

    Over a year later nothing on TV has come close to the hug moment. It was the day Sheldon cracked. the day our world became his in accepting that a normal person can give him more than he can ever expect.

    We still watch this to cheer us both up.

    brilliantly written, superb funny acting. Every house should have a Sheldon. every friend should be a Leonard and every pain in the backside has to be a Wolowitz.Koothrappali reminds me of the puppy who you keep kicking and still comes back!! ans Please please please let me have Penny next door! Oh I dear I feel a divorce coming on!
  • I loved it. Absolutely loved it

    Its not often that we get to watch an episode where both Sheldon and Leonard are equally funny and this one allows both leads to do what they can do best. Once again Sheldon takes a social construct we take for granted and turns it into a grand experiment with many twists and turns in order to get penny the perfect gift.

    Leonard becomes jealous when Penny begins dating a colleague of his. Its funny watching Leonard's jealousy and the repeated mentions to the pain in his foot.

    Voted by tv giude as one of the top 100 hundred episodes of all time, this episode takes legendary status due to its hilarious final scene. Never has Sheldon been funnier.
    'I possess the DNA of Leonard Nemoy..Do you realise what this means (as he begins to break down) all I need is a healthy ovum and I can grow my own Leonard Nemoy'
    Unbelievably hilarious

    And to top it all off he hugs Penny.
    I love it when the show focuses on the Leonard/ Penny relationship and gives Sheldon 10 minutes to flex his muscles. Hopefully season 4 will return to that now that they've broken up. Classic
  • 211

    A superb episode of The Big Bang Theory tonight and we all know why. Yes, of course, it had to be because of Sheldon.

    The Big Bang Theory has proved to be one of the funniest comedies on prime time, and things were no different here. The Penny & Sheldon interactions were quite amazing, as were the Penny & Leonard reactions. Penny & Leonard's past relationship is rehashed here as Penny starts liking one of Leonard's attractive smart friends, Dave.

    Leonard wonders why Penny liked him even though she broke up with Leonard because he was too smart for her. The eggnog was the funniest scene of the episode. Some genuine laughs here. The hug at the end, I'm sure got most fans cheering for Sheldon when he hugged Penny.

    His reaction to Penny's present was just classic Sheldon. Is anyone else glad that Stephanie was absent here? I know I was.