The Monopolar Expedition Season 2, Episode 23 -  Aired May 11, 2009

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When Sheldon is offered the opportunity to conduct research at the North Pole, he invites the rest of the guys along with him. The impending three-month expedition forces Penny & Leonard to reconsider their feelings for each other.

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Guest Stars: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz, Brian George as Dr. Koothrappali, Alice Amter as Mrs. Koothrappli

Writers: Eric Kaplan, Richard Rosenstock

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 9.76 million Households Rating: 5.9/10 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.7/11

Available on iTunes

Episode Lists

  • Leonard & Penny: Key Episodes Leonard & Penny: Key Episodes

    The key moments in Leonard and Penny's relationship including the first time they saw each other across the hall, their first kiss, their first date, breaking up and getting back together, the first time Penny says "I love you", a couple of proposals, their engagement, two wedding ceremonies, and finally Penny getting pregnant.

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the guys' impending expedition to the magnetic North Pole to study monopoles.

> Bazinga

This episode features the first mention of Bazinga. Sheldon first uses it when he tricks Leonard into believing there was something wrong with his equations. Sheldon then pulls another of his "classic pranks" on Leonard by telling him that Penny secretly wants Leonard in her life in a "very intimate and carnal fashion". Finally, in the Arctic, Sheldon tricks Leonard into believing he forget to bring the flash-frozen brown rice.

> Sheldon's Spot

At the cabin in the Arctic, Sheldon chooses the same spot on the couch as he does in his apartment.

> Sheldon's Knock

Sheldon uses his knock twice in this episode. Once on Leonard's bedroom door during the middle of the night. When Sheldon knocks on Penny's door, she interjects "(knock) (knock) (knock) Sheldon" between each "(knock) (knock) (knock) Penny". Sheldon, unable to handle the change to his knocking ritual, keeps going until Penny eventually gives up and opens the door.

Episode Quotes

Raj: Well, I'm a Hindu. My religion teaches that if we suffer in this life we are rewarded in the next. Three months at the North Pole with Sheldon and I'm reborn as a well-hung billionaire with wings.

Leonard: Howard, this is big science. You could be the engineer who builds the equipment that puts us on the cover of magazines.
Howard: I could also be the engineer who builds the crossbow that kills Sheldon.

Sheldon: Leonard, you may be right. It appears that Penny secretly wants you in her life in a very intimate and carnal fashion.
Leonard: You really think so?
Sheldon: Of course not. Even in my sleep-deprived state, I've managed to pull off another one of my classic pranks. Bazinga!

Mrs. Koothrappali: I told you no. Why don't you believe me?
Mrs. Wolowitz Cause it doesn't make sense to me. How can it be that in the entire country of India, there isn't one Outback Steakhouse?

Howard: Easy. Instead of saying; 'No we don't wanna go on an NSF expedition,' say; 'No we don't wanna spend three months stuck in a cabin in the Arctic Circle with an anal nutbag!'


When Sheldon receives an email from the President of the University, he wonders what his boss wants. After bothering the President out of hours, Sheldon finds out he's been selected for an expedition to the magnetic North Pole to research monopoles.

Leonard, Howard and Raj look forward to three Sheldon-free months, but Sheldon informs them he has other plans and wants them to accompany him as support staff. The guys are concerned about spending three months working under Sheldon in difficult conditions, with Howard worrying he could become the "engineer who builds the crossbow that kills Sheldon". The guys finally decide to join the expedition, recognizing how important the contribution to science could be.

Later, Sheldon goes to Penny to ask for a favor: he'd like to use the freezer at the Cheesecake Factory so they can practice acclimating to the conditions at the North Pole. Penny is surprised to learn that Leonard will be gone for three months on the expedition, so she goes to talk to him. Penny asks why Leonard hadn't told her yet, and he tells her he was busy getting prepared. Leonard wonders whether Penny is upset that's he's going.

At the Cheesecake Factory freezer, Sheldon and the guys are trying to practice using tools in the extreme cold. Sheldon has had to improvise their tools so Leonard is using an old calculator, Raj must paint sideburns and a Van Dyke beard on an action figure, Howard must play with a vintage Operation game. After none of the guys is successful at their task, they realize they would be able to assemble their tools in the warm cabin before taking them out into the cold.

Raj argues with his parents over Skype about going to the North Pole. When Howard calls in Mrs. Wolowitz to help Raj's case, she objects when she realizes they're going to the Arctic - not Arkansas as she thought. Meanwhile, Penny arrives with a present for Leonard, a Snuggie to keep him warm in the cabin. After they hug, Leonard is confused about Penny's feelings for him.

The next morning, Leonard knocks on Penny's door to say good by. When Penny says she'll miss him, he wonders what she means. When he asks her, she says that it means he'll be gone and she'll miss him. But after Penny closes the door, she says it means "I wish you weren't going".

At the North Pole, the guys are preparing their reconstituted Thai food. The guys settle in to watch a movie and, after Sheldon pulls another "classic" prank, Howard tells Raj to forget the crossbow and find him an icicle.