418 - The Prestidigitation Approximation
Aired March 10, 2011

The Prestidigitation Approximation

Priya feels threatened by Leonard spending time with Penny and demands he cut her out of his life. Leonard struggles to choose between his girlfriend and Penny. Meanwhile, Howard plays mind games with Sheldon by performing a magic trick the great scientist can not figure out.

Rate this episode

Guest Stars: Aarti Mann as Priya

Writers: Bill Prady (Story), Steve Holland (Story), Eddie Gorodetsky (Story), Chuck Lorre (Teleplay), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 12.06 million Households Rating: 7.3/12 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.8/11

Download from Amazon.comDownload on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the magic trick which Howard performed on Sheldon.

> Sheldon's Knock

Sheldon uses his knock when he goes to Leonard's bedroom, while Leonard is with Priya, to perform a card trick. Leonard refuses to answer the door so Sheldon shows the cards underneath the door.

Quotes (29)

Penny: Oh, big deal. Not knowing is part of the fun.
Sheldon: "Not knowing is part of the fun." Was that the motto of your community college?

Rajesh: Why so glum, chum?
Sheldon: Apparently you can't hack into a government supercomputer and then try to buy uranium without the Department of Homeland Security tattling to your mother.

Sheldon: So, you're saying this is a regulation deck?
Howard: I'm saying believe in magic, you muggle.

Sheldon: If you plan on having children I suggest you switch from briefs to boxers. Your testicles look a tad warm.

Leonard: Okay, uh, how do I put this? Um, are you familiar with Darwin's observation of the finches in the Galapagos Islands?
Penny: Did they make a movie about it?
Leonard: No.
Penny: Then no.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 4.18 Ratings March 11, 2011

The ratings for the March 10th episode of The Big Bang Theory are out.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 4.18 February 17, 2011

CBS has announced the details for the March 10th episode (4.18) of The Big Bang Theory.  Full story


Leonard and Priya are in bed when she suggests he should get contact lenses as she thinks he has beautiful eyes. Later, in the university cafeteria, Howard offers to perform a magic trick for Raj. Sheldon interrupts to tell them how magic is a trivial waste of time. Howard performs the card trick for Raj anyway, mystifying Sheldon who needs to know how it was done. Leonard causes a scene when he arrives wearing his new contact lenses, crashing into the tables and several people.

Back in the apartment, Penny is impressed when Howard performs his magic trick for her, as Sheldon watches carefully trying to understand the workings behind the trick. Leonard arrives back from shopping with Priya and has a new wardrobe of "more grown-up" clothes. When Leonard and Priya head to his bedroom, Priya talks to Leonard about how she's uncomfortable with the amount of time Leonard spends with Penny. Meanwhile, Sheldon is still struggling to understand Howard's trick and is even more perturbed when even Penny understands Howard's magical secret.

When Leonard and Penny run into each other doing laundry, Leonard backs out of fulyl explaining to Penny that he can't spend time with her any more. Back in the bedroom with Priya, Leonard assures her he talked to Penny. Meanwhile, Sheldon's obsession with Howard's trick has grown, leading him to hack a supercomputer to analyze shuffling patterns. Sheldon wonders if Howard used a radioactive tracker and thus attempts to secure uranium off Craigslist.

Leonard and Priya are eating dinner at an Indian restaurant when she reveals her company offered her a job in Los Angeles. Leonard is thrilled at the news but the couple's moment together is interrupted when Penny walks by the restaurant. After tapping at the window to get their attention, Penny comes into the restaurant and starts chatting with Leonard and Priya, while sampling Leonard's food. Elsewhere, Sheldon claims to have figured out Howard's magic trick and offers to perform it for him. When Sheldon hands Howard a card he, not so subtly, swipes it with a barcode scanner.

After their encounter at the restaurant, Leonard finally talks to Penny about how they can't be so close any more. Penny promises Leonard she will keep her distance now. At the university cafeteria, Sheldon arrives in a sullen mood, after the Department of Homeland Security tattled to his mother about his attempts to buy uranium. Feeling bad for him, Howard offers to tell him how the trick works, but Sheldon wants to work it out himself. Howard offers to perform the trick again, but Sheldon insists he perform it on him so he knows there's no monkey business. When Sheldon picks a card, Raj looks at the card and signals it to Howard. Sheldon is deflated at yet again not knowing the trick works.

Comments (96)

R.M. Belgium, 15:53 Jun 4 2013.
Howard fooled Sheldon with a magic trick
Glenn Canada, 18:31 Sep 29 2012.
A writer and producer for BBT is Eddie Gorodestky, who at one time, 30 years ago was a writer for SCTV. In a book written by Dave Thomas about SCTV, Eddie was known for peering his head around the corner before entering a room. Dave also did an impression of him on SCTV in a sketch called Revenge, he uused part of his name in the sketch. I really don't like Raj's sister much, I find her to be a little cold. I kind of liked it when Sheldon got back at her. Even with Sheldon in his faults, I rather hang out with him than her.
:) Australia, 05:32 Jul 30 2012.
How does Howard do that card trick?
megan United States, 17:10 Jun 18 2012.
what is this episode about
AL United Arab Emirates, 17:46 Jun 6 2012.
why is this thing so damn funny...love it...:)
Gayan Sri Lanka, 14:24 May 27 2011.
Guy's I love this TV series can't wait till the next episodes are out !
Manu Germany, 18:55 Apr 27 2011.
@Shelly Fan: You`re so damn right...
Shelly fan Botswana, 01:14 Mar 28 2011.
People, please hv faith in Chuck Lorre. He's brought us this far - he's not gona let us down. For the record, I hate it when someone gets the better of Sheldon, but if he always had his way, it wouldn't be as much fun, now would it? It's funny when "non-geniuses" get the better of him once in a while.
nighthawk Canada, 23:08 Mar 27 2011.
I think with the addition of Priya (and sometimes Amy) the group dynamic of the original 5 has started to fizzle...especially if Leonard is no longer going to hang out with Penny. Whatever happened to Leonard not giving up on Penny like he promised her father!? I do like Bernadette though - she fit in well!
Yashi India, 11:58 Mar 25 2011.
I hv been watchin dis series lately.......nd have watched all the episodes......with jus 2 episodes left for d season, i guess m so gonna miss the series till next season....

Leave a comment

Information The comment service will be retired on March 31, 2017.

  • This small check can help us identify automated spam.