The Peanut Reaction Season 1, Episode 16 -  Aired May 12, 2008

The Peanut Reaction

When Penny finds out that Leonard has never celebrated his birthday, she sets out to throw him a surprise party. However, a quick trip to an electronics store with Sheldon for a birthday present takes longer than she expected, forcing Howard to take drastic action to stall Leonard.

Rate this episode

Guest Stars: Vernee Watson as Althea, Judith Moreland as Jan, Ronald Hunter as Dan, Chuck Carter as Stan

Writers: Bill Prady (Story), Dave Goetsch (Teleplay), Steven Molaro (Story)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 7.79 million Households Rating: 5/8 Adults 18-49 Rating: 2.9/9

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title references the allergic reaction Howard has to a peanut bar as he attempts to stall Leonard.

Episode Quotes

Howard: Try telling him it's a non-optional social convention.
Penny: What?
Howard: Just do it!
Penny: It's a non-optional social convention.
Sheldon: Oh, fair enough.
Howard: He came with a manual.

Sheldon: What computer do you have? And please don't say a white one.

Store Clerk: Excuse me, Sir, you don't work here.
Sheldon: Yes, well apparently neither does anyone else.

Howard: Okay, I get it. I know how the world works. How about if I were to introduce you to the man who freed your people.
Nurse: Unless my people were freed by Benjamin Franklin and his five twin brothers, you are wasting your time.

Penny: You keep him there a little longer, and when you get to the party, I'll point out which of my friends are easy.
Howard: Don't toy with me, woman.
Penny: I got a hot former fat girl with no self-esteem. I got a girl who punishes her father by sleeping around, and an alcoholic who's 2 tequila shots away from letting you wear her like a hat.
Howard: Thy will be done.


After Penny finds out that Leonard has never had a birthday party, she decides to throw him a surprise party with the help of Howard and Raj. Sheldon finally gets on board with the idea when Penny threatens his comic books.

On the day of the party, Penny finds out Sheldon hasn't got a present for Leonard as he doesn't believe in gift-giving. Howard is tasked with getting Leonard out of the apartment, but struggles to tear Leonard away from the "Halo battle of his life". Penny takes Sheldon to the electronics store where he struggles to find a suitable gift for his friend. Meanwhile, in a bid to get Leonard out of the apartment, Howard pretends to eat a muesli bar containing peanuts so Leonard will take him to the hospital.

At the hospital, Howard asks the receptionist to play along with his ruse, though she rejects. Back at the electronics store, Sheldon and Penny get held up when Sheldon starts giving technical advice to shoppers. With Penny running late, she asks Howard to keep stalling Leonard with the promise of introducing Howard to her more promiscuous party guests. Penny gets the help of store security to finally get Sheldon out of the store. At the hospital, in a desperate stalling technique, Howard eats the muesli bar and has a terrible allergic reaction.

As Leonard returns home after a long night at the hospital, he suspects Howard was stalling him as there's a surprise party planned, which Howard confirms. When Leonard finally gets to the party, everybody has already left, leaving Penny and Sheldon asleep, while Raj is half naked, drunk and singing.