The Big Bang Theory

Season 3 Episode 1

The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Sep 21, 2009 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • When Sheldon and his mom are sitting down to eat their grilled cheese, the camera shot right before Sheldon tells his mom Leonard, Raj and Howard are not his friends, the sandwich is burned side out, smiley face side towards him.  In the next shot it's the other way around.

    • 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.

  • Quotes

    • 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.

    • Leonard: If you don't mind, Mrs. Cooper, there's a 3:05 nonstop back to Los Angeles, and you have no idea how much I want to be on it.
      Mary: A girl?
      Leonard: Yes, ma'am.
      Mary: Oh, good, I've been praying for you.

    • Howard: Sheldon, you remember the first few weeks we were looking for magnetic monopoles and not finding anything, and you were acting like an obnoxious, giant dictator?
      Raj: I thought we were going to be gentle with him.
      Howard: That's why I added the '-tator'.

  • Notes

    • 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

  • Allusions

    • 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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