The Grasshopper Experiment Season 1, Episode 8 -  Aired November 12, 2007

The Grasshopper Experiment

When Raj is set up on a blind date by his parents, he worries he won't be able to talk to his date. Meanwhile, Penny practices her bar tending skills, resulting in the discovery that Raj can talk to women with the help of alcohol.

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Guest Stars: Sarayu Rao as Lalita, Brian George as Dr. Koothrappali, Alice Amter as Mrs. Koothrappli

Writers: Lee Aronsohn (Teleplay), Robert Cohen (Teleplay), Dave Goetsch (Story), Steven Molaro (Story)

Director: Tedd Wass

Viewers: 9.32 million Households Rating: 5.8/8 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.8/9

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title references the Grasshoper drink Penny mixes for Raj.
  • The guys reference the TV series Scrubs, saying Raj's parents would probably love Scrubs since they also like Doogie Howser, M.D. Scrubs returned the favor in a 2010 episode (Season 9, Episode 12 - "Our Driving Issues") when the character Dr. Cox said "Set my DVR to record The Big Bang Theory. The whole world is watching this thing and I need to know why."
  • The guys also reference The Simpsons for the first time when Raj claims Howard's impression of him made him sound like a character from The SimpsonsThe Simpsons has mentioned The Big Bang Theory in two episodes: In Season 27, Episode 12 "Much Apu About Something", Apu plays a scatch card which features The Big Bang Theory characters. Three Sheldons would win the jackpot, but Apu gets two Sheldons and a Howard. Later, in Season 28, Episode 20 "Looking for Mr. Goodbart", a couch gag telling the history of The Simpsons parodied the opening credits of The Big Bang Theory.

> The Simpsons

After Howard affected an Indian accent to phone Lalita Gupta on Raj's behalf, Howard told Raj he could now thank him. Raj asked, "For what, making me sound like a Simpsons character?"

Episode Quotes

Leonard: I don't believe it. What's gotten into him?
Penny: Oh, maybe a couple of virgin Cuba Libres that turned out to be kinda slutty.
Leonard: You didn't.
Penny: Hey, you do your experiments, I do mine.

Raj: How can I be a gynaecologist? I can barely look a woman in the eye!

Sheldon: How often does one see a beloved fictional character come to life?
Wolowitz: Every year at ComiCon. Every day at Disneyland. You can hire Snow White to come to your house. Of course they prefer if you have a kid.

Penny: I finally convinced the restaurant to give me a bar-tending shift, so I need to practice mixing drinks.
Leonard: That's Great! The key to acquiring proficiency in any task is repetition.
Sheldon: With certain obvious exceptions. ... Suicide, for example.

Sheldon: I'll have a diet Coke.
Penny: Can you please order a cocktail? I need to practice mixing drinks.
Sheldon: Fine. I'll have a virgin Cuba Libre.
Penny: That's rum and Coke, without the rum?
Sheldon: Yes, and would you make it diet?


Raj's parents have set him up on a blind date. When Raj is unable to call her to arrange the details, Howard impersonates Rajs and sets a date for Friday. Penny comes over to the apartment and tells the guys she needs to practice mixing drinks, so she wonders if they would like to serve as her "guinea pigs". As Penny mixes drinks for the guys, they discover that Raj can talk to women under the influence of alcohol.

When Raj uses his new-found ability to talk to women, he ends up drunk and obnoxious on his date with Lalita Gupta. Sheldon turns up at the restaurant and describes Lalita as the embodiment of his beloved children's character "Princess Panchali" from the "Princess & the Monkey" book. Lalita is charmed by Sheldon's description of her and leaves Raj to have dinner with Sheldon.

Back in Sheldon and Leonard's apartment, Raj tries to explain to his parents via video chat why his date went wrong, blaming Sheldon. When Sheldon returns home, he can not see how he ruined Raj's date. Later, Sheldon is singing at the Cheesecake Factory under the influence of a Virgin Cuba Libre that turned out to be a little slutty.