106 - The Middle-Earth Paradigm
Aired October 29, 2007

The Middle-Earth Paradigm

The whole gang attends Penny's Halloween party, where Leonard's feelings for Penny come to the fore when her ex-boyfriend Kurt shows up. Leonard's attempts to impress Penny by standing up to Kurt lead to humiliation for Leonard.

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Guest Stars: Erin Allin O'Reilly as Cheryl, Brian Patrick Wade as Kurt, Rachel Cannon as Patty, Kimberly Kevon Williams as Vicki, Cynthia Holloway as Roberta

Writers: Dave Goetsch (Story), David Litt (Teleplay), Robert Cohen (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 8.4 million Households Rating: 5.3/8 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.4/9

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Episode Notes

  • 'Middle Earth' is a reference to the Lord of the Rings universe as Leonard dressed up as Frodo Baggins on Halloween.
  • The Halloween costumes were: Sheldon as the doppler effect, Leonard as Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings, Penny as a cat, Howard as Robin Hood (not to be confused as Peter Pan), Raj as Thor - the Norse God of Thunder.
  • Penny kisses Leonard for the first time in this episode.
  • During Penny's halloween party, people can be seen through the window dancing on a balcony outside her apartment. This balcony is never featured again.

Quotes (25)

Leonard: What's that?
Sheldon: Tea. When people are upset, the cultural convention is to bring them hot beverages. ... There, there. ... You wanna talk about it?
Leonard: No.
Sheldon: Good! "There there" was really all I had.

Leonard: Homo habilis discovering his opposable thumbs says what?
Kurt: What?

Leonard: I call Frodo!
Sheldon, Raj, and Howard: Damn!

Sheldon: I don't care if anybody gets it. I'm going as the Doppler effect. If I have to, I can demonstrate. NYEEEOOOOM

Sheldon: Given the reaction to my costume, this party is a scathing indictment of the American educational system.
Kurt: You're a zebra, right?
Sheldon: (to Leonard) Yet another child left behind.


When the guys return home following a dismal performance at paintball, Penny invites them to her Halloween party. The gang is excited to go to a costume party, though they're disappointed when they all dress up as the Flash. The guys agree to change their costumes and Leonard chooses Frodo, who was everybody's second choice.

The gang arrives at Penny's apartment promptly on time, unaware that people don't usually turn up right on time. When the party gets going, the guys are just sitting on Penny's couch. Howard tries to hit on one of Penny's friends, while Leonard is afraid to talk to anybody. Sheldon acts as Leonard's wingman when he approaches one of Penny's friends.

Later that evening, Penny's ex-boyfriend Kurt turns up at the party. In a bid to impress Penny, Leonard tries to show up Kurt. When Kurt realizes that Leonard's calling him less evolved, he forcibly picks Leonard up and intimidates him. Leonard and Sheldon quickly leave the party.

Feeling bad about what happened to Leonard, Penny comes by his apartment to apologize for Kurt's behavior. When Penny is upset and emotional about letting Kurt back in her life, she kisses Leonard. When he realizes she is drunk and doesn't want to take advantage of her, Leonard stops Penny's advances. Penny wonders why all guys couldn't be like Leonard and kisses him again, in full view of Kurt, as she leaves Leonard's apartment.

Comments (8)

Augie United States, 20:20 Jan 10 2015.
What is The exchange between Leonard ad Kurt when Leonard says something about Kurt's _____ puffery and Kurt responds with "are you calling me a puffy______". ?
John Australia, 19:27 Jan 8 2015.
Unfortunately, the subliminal racism in The Middle Earth Paradigm ruined it for me. I happened to just catch it on a re-run. I won't be watching the Big Bang again. And I'll be giving American productions the flick because many do the same thing. In this episode you'll notice Sheldon giving some insight on the dynamics of the party by referring to "observation of apes". Note what the camera does here. After this comment it focuses on a black girl. Sheldon later comments "total wreckage" once again the camera brings our attention to the black girl. Why aren't the directors, producers or editors etc responsible for doing this ever brought to account? This subliminal dehumanisation is disturbing and we'd be up in arms if it was done to any other group.
Rusty United States, 23:13 Aug 10 2013.
Please does anyone know the name of the son that plays right after mamas room by under the influince. I have tried listening to all of UTIOG stuff and and can not find it.
Keef United Kingdom, 09:25 Nov 27 2012.
YES BLAD! in the house of dons and Famalans.
Glenn Canada, 16:46 Sep 2 2012.
Man, I felt liked the guys when they went to that party. Sometimes I get shy around people at parties and I have never really liked being around people who get drunk all the time. I am not a big drinker. Since I was a kid, I have been to a few parties where family and others got completely waisted and it never ended well, I have been a little drunk a handful of times, but I wasn't mean spirited, I had enough of that stuff when I was in my early 20s. I think I rather hang out with Sheldon's friends than Penny's friends and I have partied out with both kinds. I like hanging out with comedians.
szfvbdxgh United Kingdom, 13:10 Apr 4 2012.
its all awsomee
super j United States, 15:36 Mar 24 2010.
they were both UTIOG, Mama's Room and Got Nothing
noamy Hungary, 13:27 Oct 29 2009.
does anyone know the name of the song that's playing during the party? not the 2nd one by Under The Influence Of Giants, but the other one!

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