The Pants Alternative Season 3, Episode 18 -  Aired March 22, 2010

The Pants Alternative

When Sheldon receives a coveted award, his fear of public speaking threatens to stop him collecting the achievement. After his friends try to help him work through his fears, a surprisingly uninhibited Sheldon takes the stage.

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Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Bill Prady (Story), Steve Holland (Story), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay), Richard Rosenstock (Teleplay), Jim Reynolds (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 13.42 million Households Rating: 8/12 Adults 18-49 Rating: 5.12/13

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title references Sheldon taking his pants off at the award dinner.
  • This episode was originally titled "The Medal Resistance".
  • Jim Parsons won his first Best Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy after submitting this episode.

> Bazinga

While under the influence of alcohol as he gives his acceptance speech, Sheldon tells a science joke: "Why did the chicken cross the Mobius strip? To get to the same side, Bazinga!"

Episode Quotes

Penny: So what do you say Sheldon, are we your X-men?
Sheldon: No, the X-men were named for the X in Charles Xavier. Since I am Sheldon Cooper, you will be my C-men.

Sheldon: I see. I assume since the rest of you have set the bar so low, you're saving the most impressive contribution for last. Go on Howard, dazzle me.
Howard: Well, my power is the ability to pretend like I give a damn about your piddly-ass problem. And that's 24/7 buddy.

Sheldon: A neutron walks into a bar and asks how much for a drink. The bartender replies "for you, no charge".

Wolowitz: Well no, you're mistaken. You give speeches all the time. What you can't do is shut up.

Sheldon: I recently had a dream that I was a giant. But everything around me was to scale so it all looked normal.
Leonard: Well, how did you know you were a giant if everything was to scale?
Sheldon: I was wearing size a million pants.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 3.18 Ratings March 23, 2010

The Big Bang Theory remains strong in spite of tough competition from Dancing with the Stars.  Full story

CBS Announces Episode 3.18 March 1, 2010

Sheldon's friends come to his aid when his fear of public speaking stands between him and a coveted award. Airs March 22 on CBS.  Full story


While the guys discuss movies over lunch at the university cafeteria, Leonard arrives to tell them the winner of this year's Chancellor's Award - Sheldon. Sheldon is pleased to receive the accolade, but is unnerved when he is told they expect him to make a speech. After a phone call from his mother encouraging him to give the speech, Sheldon's friends set out to help him overcome his fear of public speaking. Penny will help him find a new suit, Leonard will give him a therapy session, while Raj will help Sheldon with meditation.

Raj tries to calm Sheldon's fears through meditation, but Raj leaves when Sheldon visits his imaginary "SimCity", Sheldonopolis, and freaks out as the town is attacked by a Godzilla-like monster. Penny goes with Sheldon to buy a new suit, though his choices are unrelentingly hideous. Later, Leonard's psychiatry session for Sheldon ends with Leonard obsessing over his own childhood memories.

At the banquet, Leonard introduces Sheldon to the audience, but then starts talking about his own problems with his mother. Penny gives a nervous Sheldon alcohol to calm his nerves, which Sheldon desperately downs. By the time Sheldon gets on stage, he is completely drunk and starts telling jokes to the audience. Sheldon then starts singing "The Elements" song by Tom Lehrer. The next morning, a hung-over Sheldon wonders where his pants have gone. Penny and Leonard show him a video on YouTube titled "Physicist Melts Down", in which Sheldon removes his pants and moons the audience.