The Hamburger Postulate Season 1, Episode 5 -  Aired October 22, 2007

The Hamburger Postulate

Leonard is seduced by Leslie Winkle but she only wants a one night stand. Leonard is concerned his dalliance with Leslie will affect his chances with Penny.

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Guest Stars: Sara Gilbert as Leslie Winkle

Writers: Jennifer Glickman (Story), Dave Goetsch (Teleplay), Steven Molaro (Teleplay)

Director: Andrew D. Weyman

Viewers: 8.8 million Households Rating: 5.5/8 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.5/9

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title references Sheldon's unwillingness to try one of the Cheesecake Factory hamburgers instead of the Big Boy he usually eats on Tuesdays.

> Weekly Calendar

Sheldon decides that Tuesday nights will no longer be Big Boy night and instead they will eat at the Cheesecake Factory. As a result, Sheldon decides Thursdays should be Big Boy night, knocking Souplantation off the schedule.

> Sheldon's Beverage Protocols

After Sheldon takes Penny to help him decode the semiotics of a neck tie on Leonard's door, Sheldon is unsure what the social protocol is for when his roommate is engaged in coitus. "Sheldon: I don't know what the protocol is here. Do I stay, do I leave? Do I wait to greet them with a refreshing beverage?"

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: Who do I speak to about permanently reserving this table?
Penny: I don't know, a psychiatrist?

Leonard: If Penny didn't know that Leslie had already turned me down then that would unambiguously mean that she, Penny, thought I should ask her, Leslie, out, indicating that she, Penny, had no interest in me asking her, Penny, out but because she did know that I had asked Leslie out and that she, Leslie, had turned me down then she, Penny, could be offering me consolation. "That's too bad, you would have made a cute couple" but while thinking "good, Leonard remains available."
Sheldon: You're a lucky man Leonard.
Leonard: How so?
Sheldon: You're talking to one of three men in the western hemisphere capable of following that train of thought.
Leonard: Well, what do you think?
Sheldon: I said I could follow it, I didn't say I cared.

Sheldon: I don't know what the protocol is here. Do I stay, do I leave? Do I wait to greet them with a refreshing beverage?
Penny: Gee, Sheldon, you're asking the wrong girl. I'm usually on the other side of the tie.

Leonard: Leslie, this is Penny, she lives across the hall from Sheldon and me.
Howard: ... And walks in quiet beauty like the night.
Penny: Howard, I asked you not to do that.

Sheldon: I need your help in a matter of semiotics.
Penny: What?
Sheldon: Semiotics, the study of signs and symbols as a branch of the philosophy related to linguistics.
Penny: Okay, honey, I know you think you are explaining yourself, but you're really not.


In a change to their normal schedule, the guys are at the Cheesecake Factory where Penny works. Sheldon has trouble deciding what to eat, wishing they had just gone to Big Boy as they normally do. Leonard runs into Leslie Winkle who suggests Leonard joins her string quartet as their new cellist, though her true intentions seem to be of a more adult nature. Returning home, Leonard ponders whether Penny has feeling for him. After the string quartet practices in Leonard's apartment, Leslie seduces Leonard. Sheldon comes home to find a neck tie on Leonard's doorknob and, unable to decode out the meaning, asks for Penny's assistance with semiotics.

The following morning, Sheldon wakes up to a horrible surprise: somebody has altered the equations on his board. Although the alternations solved the problem Sheldon was having, he's still infuriated that somebody defaced his work. When Leslie gets up, she tells Sheldon that she corrected his mistake. As Leonard leaves the apartment, Penny congratulates him on his dalliance, but Leonard wonders whether she means it. At work, Leonard discovers that Leslie only used him for sex and isn't interested in a relationship.

Back at the Cheesecake Factory, Sheldon alters the Sheldonian calendar by declaring that they will now make this their regular Tuesday night haunt. Penny consoles Leonard on his failed relationship with Leslie, leaving Leonard wondering once again whether there's anything between him and Penny.