The Precious Fragmentation Season 3, Episode 17 -  Aired March 8, 2010

The Precious Fragmentation

When the guys find an authentic ring from "The Lord of the Rings" at a garage sale, their individual desire to have The Precious puts their friendship at risk.

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Guest Stars: Frank Maharajh as Venkatesh

Writers: Lee Aronsohn (Story), Eric Kaplan (Story), Maria Ferrari (Story), Bill Prady (Teleplay), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Richard Rosenstock (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 16.32 million Households Rating: 9.7/15 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5.9/15

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to the possible fragmentation of the group when they find the Lord of the Rings ring, refered to by Gollum as his "precious".

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: One ring to rule them all.
Rajesh: One ring to find them.
Wolowitz: One ring to bring them all.
Leonard: And in the darkness bind them.
Rajesh: Holy crap are we nerdy!

Sheldon: So, just to clarify, when you say three, do we stand up or do we pee?

Leonard: What was that?
Penny: Sheldon tried to steal the ring so I punched him.
Leonard: That's my girl!

Sheldon: Where's the ring?
Leonard: It's in a Fedex box on its way back to where it came from.
Raj: The fires of Mount Doom?

Penny: Who's Adam West?
Sheldon: Who's Adam West!? Leonard, what do the two of you talk about after the coitus?

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 3.17 Ratings March 9, 2010

The Big Bang Theory finishes first in slot, matching Two and a Half Men in adults 18-49.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 3.17 February 25, 2010

When the guys find a ring from "The Lord of the Rings" at a garage sale, it threatens to tear them apart. Airs Monday, March 8.  Full story


The guys return home with a large box of memorabilia they bought at a garage sale. Alongside a Ghostbusters II script, an Alf doll, Mr. T's head on a Mr. Spock doll, they find a Lord of the Rings ring. Howard checks with a guy who says it's authentic and could be worth $15,000 on the black market. Leonard insists they return it to Peter Jackson, but the guys disagree. Leonard gives it to Penny for safe keeping until they can decide what to do.

While Leonard and Penny sleep, Sheldon sneaks up and attempts to take the ring from Penny. Penny wakes up and, out of reflex, punches Sheldon in the face. After the guys argue yet again about what to do with the ring, they decide that the last person who can hold onto the ring will get to keep it. The four guys, all clutching the ring, walk up the stairs to the apartment. When Penny flaunts a bag containing sexy underwear she just bought, Leonard is the first to let go off the ring.

Howard, Raj and Sheldon try various tactics to make each other let go of the ring, though they eventually fall asleep together holding the ring. When they wake up, the ring is nowhere to be found. Leonard explains that he found it on the floor and sent it back to Peter Jackson. He thought the ring would tear their friendships apart. However, back in his room, Leonard pulls the ring out from under the bed, exclaiming "Hello, my precious!". Sheldon sneaks in on Leonard and Penny to retrieve the ring. After Sheldon and Leonard start fighting, Penny leaves, saying she should "go back to dating dumb guys from the gym".