The Big Bang Theory

Season 1 Episode 9

The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Mar 17, 2008 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
543 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When they're invited to present at a physics conference, Sheldon's reluctance to share the credit leads to a tiff between him and Leonard, and Penny's intervention only exacerbates the situation.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Blow Your Mind

    They left the biggest question and best chance for characterization unanswered and unexplored: WHY didn't Sheldon want to present the research? Sure, he doesn't feel the need to validate his genius to lesser minds, but when you have an ego like his, that can't be true. There has to be some desire to gloat and revel in the limelight. Beyond that, this was a decently set-up episode. The closet scene was a bit stereotypical for my taste, but at this point I have to admit that it's within Penny's character, so I guess I have to let it slide. Still bugs me, though (especially since I think a lot of the things she had him throw out were nice).moreless
  • 109

    An amazing episode of TBBT, and it's the best by far. There was absolutely no flaws with this episode and I literally laughed all the way through. From Sheldon and trying to blow up Leonard's mind to just about everything that Penny said, this was a hilarious episode. Lets face it, Kaley Cuoco isn't the BEST thing about this show, but she was really good here. From basically throwing out all of Leonard's closet to her reactions to Sheldon and Leonard fighting, it was hilarious. Wolowitz is usually intolerable for me but he was good here too. Taking a picture of Penny sleeping on his shoulder was absolutely hysterical, just so many things about this episode made me burst out in to laughter. And unlike Kayley Cuoco, Jim Parsons is the best thing about this show, and his talents were well displayed here, and we also have a great tie in to the cold opening with the nerds in China.

    Flawless episode of TBBT this week, can't wait for next week!moreless
  • Nerds. ♥

    When they're invited to present at a physics conference, Sheldon's reluctance to share the credit leads to a tiff between him and Leonard, and Penny's intervention only exacerbates the situation. I love The Big Bang Theory too much. I love the start as always, I love the way they get so excited over the nerdiest things. I love the scene when Penny walks in on them all jumping around and being excited. I do love the way they talk about anything and everything. I love the whole storyline between Sheldon and Leonard - makes me laugh, especially the fighting scene in the actual place and then the arguing. I adore Sheldon too much, I do think I'm in love. I love the way Sheldon tries to blow up Leonards brain. I also love the way Penny is with them all, getting confused, bored and sarcastic/ I love the way Howard takes a picture of Penny slepping on his shoulder and put it on Facebook. And then, when Penny finds out she tries to blow his brain up too. Awesome ending.moreless
  • Omg I love it. I LOVE IT.

    i want them as friends. i seriously want them.

    The first scene with them dancing. I want that scene in my life, right now. Brilliant episode!

    Another awesome tee shirt by Sheldon again.

    I don't like seeing Sheldon and Leonard fighting D:! Makes me sad! Even though it's obviously going to work out!

    Penny's jacket is exactly the same as one I had and I had shoes to match. It makes me miss it loads.

    That suit is just... unfortunate! really really bad! The video on you tube was absolutely hilarious!

    I liked this episode a lot because it got more emotional and deeper but there isn't really that much I can say on it because it didn't really have as much going on..moreless
  • Leonard is uspet when finding out he and Sheldon are supposed to present a presentation on their paper

    the guys are controlling their stereo, remote control cars and their lights with their computer and sheldon is discovered to have thrown away a letter about him and leonard presenting their paper. Leonard goes (much to the objection of Sheldon) and presents the paper, but Sheldon interrupts at the end of it and has a silly fight with leonard. Harold (i think thats his name) records the fight and puts it on youtube where it becomes a hit. He also put a picture of Penny on his facebook page, saying that shes his girlfriend. that was a hilarious episode! i just absolutely loved it!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • The last sentence of the English translation of the conversation between the two chinese geeks is not correct.
      At the question "who is doing that" the 'chinese Sheldon' answers: "ige ren jiao Pasadena california zong Wolowizard" which means "a guy called Pasadena, California from Wolowizard".

    • In this episode Leonard reveals he got his doctorate at age 24, while Sheldon got his at age 16.

    • The video of Sheldon and Leonard fighting that the guys watch on YouTube is different than what actually happened. When it actually happened Sheldon said "heads up, you people in the front row, this is a splash zone." On the video, Sheldon says "you people in the front row, heads up, this is a splash zone." Also on the video, right after Sheldon's line Raj looks at Howard's camera even though when it actually happened he clearly did not look at the camera.

    • Leonard states to Penny while going through his closet that he had only one tie, the reversable one, but in "The Hamburger Postulate", a different tie hangs on Leonard's door knob with a completely different pattern.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Leonard: You are not Isaac Newton.
      Sheldon: No, no, that's true. Gravity would have been apparent to me without the apple.

    • Leonard: Sheldon, why is this letter in the trash?
      Sheldon: Well, there's always the possibility that a trash can spontaneously formed around the letter, but Occam's Razor would suggest that someone threw it out.

    • Leonard: (watching their fight on YouTube) Oh, geez, does this suit really look that bad?
      Sheldon: Forget your suit. Look at my arms flailing. I'm like a flamingo on Ritalin.

    • (at the mailboxes)
      Penny: Get anything good?
      Sheldon: Just the latest copy of Applied Particle Physics Quarterly.
      Penny: Oh, you know, that is so weird that yours came, and mine didn't.

    • Leonard: Are there any other honors that I've gotten that I don't know about? Did UPS drop off a Nobel Prize with my name on it?
      Sheldon: Leonard, please don't take this the wrong way, but the day you win a Nobel Prize is the day I begin my research on the drag co-efficient of tassles on flying carpets.

    • Koothrappali: I don't want to be in a jar. I want my brain in an android body—8' tall and ripped.
      Wolowitz: I'm with you, I just have to make sure if I'm a synthetic human, I'd still be Jewish. (Sheldon and Koothrappali stare) I promised my mother.

    • Penny: Howard, would you like to explain to me why your Facebook page has a photo of me sleeping on your shoulder captioned, "Me and My Girlfriend"?

    • Penny: So, you know, isn't there maybe some way you and Sheldon could compromise on this whole presentation thing?
      Leonard: No. Scientists do not compromise. Our minds are trained to synthesize facts and come to inarguable conclusions. Not to mention Sheldon is bat-crap crazy.

    • Leonard: My name is Dr. Leonard Hoftstadter, and I could never please my parents so I need to get all my self-esteem from strangers like you. (points to Sheldon) But he's worse!

    • Penny: So, you and Leonard.
      Sheldon: Oh, dear God.
      Penny: Little misunderstanding, huh?
      Sheldon: A "little misunderstand—?" Galileo and the Pope had a "little misunderstanding".

    • Wolowitz: I just checked the house. There's probably 20, 25 people in there.
      Leonard: You're kidding!
      Penny: Is that all?
      Leonard: "All?" In particle physics, 25 is Woodstock.

    • Leonard: Sheldon, we have to do this.
      Sheldon: No, we don't. We have to take in nourishment, expel waste, and inhale enough oxygen to keep our cells from dying. Everything else is optional.

  • NOTES (6)

    • The German episode title is "Der Cooper-Hofstadter-Antagonismus". The French title is "La Polarisation Cooper-Hofstadter". The Italian title is "La polarizzazione di Cooper e Hofstadter". The Spanish and Mexican title is "La polarización de Cooper-Hofstadter".

    • International Airdates: Turkey: November 11, 2008 on CNBC-e; Czech Republic: June 2, 2009 on Prima COOL; Germany: August 29, 2009 on ProSieben; Slovakia: August 30, 2011 on Markiza

    • The video that Wolowitz posts to YouTube in this episode was, in fact, posted on March, 11 2008 by the user 'Wolowizard', and is available to view.

    • This episode's end titles has Chuck Lorre's Vanity Card #196.

    • Beginning with this episode, the series moves to 8:00, trading time slots with How I Met Your Mother.

    • Originally scheduled for November 19, 2007, this episode was delayed by the WGA strike that started two weeks prior.


    • When Penny asks Sheldon how he feels and he responds, "I don't understand the question," is a play on Spock's interplay with a Vulcan examination computer and his mother in Leonard Nimoy's 1986 film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

    • The imagery of the guys beating their chests as Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra plays is an homage to Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    • The "little misunderstanding" Sheldon refers to the Pope and Galileo having involves Galileo championing Copernicus' theory that the earth circled the sun, in direct opposition to the Catholic Church's official teaching that the earth was the centre of the universe.