The Bad Fish Paradigm Season 2, Episode 1 -  Aired September 22, 2008

The Bad Fish Paradigm

When her first date with Leonard doesn't go to plan, Penny finds an unwilling confidant in Sheldon. Sheldon can not handle the stress of keeping Penny's secret, so he decides to move out of the apartment.

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Guest Stars: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 9.36 million Households Rating: 5.6/9 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.6/10

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title references Howard's suggestion that rather than Leonard & Penny's relation being like a dinner that she wants to enjoy slowly, it's like a fish that tastes bad that she wants to slow down and spit out.

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: I wouldn't tell you the secret. Sssh!
Leonard: What secret? Tell me the secret.
Sheldon: Mom smokes in the car. Jesus is okay with it, but we can't tell dad.
Leonard: Not that secret, the other secret.
Sheldon: I'm Batman! Ssssh!

Penny: Sheldon, could I ask you a question?
Sheldon: I would prefer that you not, but I wouldn't go so far as to forbid it.

Leonard: How could you just sit there and let them spy on me?
Sheldon: They were very smart. They used my complete lack of interest in what you are doing.

Mrs. Wolowitz What's going on? Are you boys roughhousing?
Howard: We're just talking, ma.
Mrs. Wolowitz If you don't settle down right now, I'm not going to let you have any more sleepovers.

Sheldon: I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.


After Penny and Leonard return from their first date, they are kissing and saying goodnight in the apartment building's hallway when Leonard notices they are being watched by a security camera. Leonard returns to his apartment to find Howard and Raj watching the camera's feed. After hearing Leonard's account of the evening and seeing him and Penny in the hallway, Howard and Raj label Leonard's date a failure, which he unconvincingly denies.

Sheldon is doing laundry when Penny approaches him to talk about her relationship with Leonard. Penny tells Sheldon that she lied to Leonard about finishing community college, explaining she felt uncomfortable being significantly less well-educated than Leonard. Sheldon hesitates when Penny asks him not to tell Leonard as he is uncomfortable keeping secrets.

When Sheldon witnesses an awkward exchange between Penny and Leonard, who asked her out again, Sheldon realizes he can not keep this secret from Leonard. Sheldon later goes and asks Penny to release him from his social contract. After Penny refuses to let Sheldon reveal the secret, Sheldon comes to the conclusion he must move out of the apartment. Sheldon convinces Raj to take him in, but he soon wares out his welcome after lecturing Raj on Indian cinema. Raj dumps Sheldon at Howard's house. When Sheldon won't go to sleep and is keeping Howard up, Howard slips a valium in his milk and drops him back off at his and Leonard's apartment.

Feeling unusually talkative in his drug-addled state, Sheldon unwittingly reveals Penny's secret to Leonard. Leonard visits Penny and gives her college information booklets so she could educate herself. Penny is understandably offended and slams the door on him, though at least this time Leonard knows where he went wrong.