The Bus Pants Utilization Season 4, Episode 12 -  Aired January 6, 2011

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Leonard has an idea for a smartphone app, so the gang work together to start developing it. When Sheldon starts to take over the project, his and Leonard's friendship is put at risk after Leonard fires him.

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

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 13.98 million Households Rating: 8.2/14 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.4/13

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Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Sheldon's admission he wears a special pair of pants over his regular pants when travelling on a bus.

Episode Quotes

Sheldon: I'm not saying that all senior citizens that can't master technology should be publicly flogged. But, if we made an example of one or two it might give the others incentive to try harder.

Raj: Ooh, Leonard is going all alpha nerd on Sheldon's ass.

Leonard: I had a great idea. Do you know how we're always having to stop and solve differential equations, like when you're doing Fourier equations or using the Schroedinger equation?
Sheldon: Howard doesn't, he's only an engineer.

Raj: Last night I had a dream we got so rich from the app, you and I bought matching side by side mansions, but there was a secret tunnel connecting your front yard to my back yard. What do you think that means?

Sheldon: Hear me out. The atomic bomb was the Manhattan project, Windows 95 was Project Chicago, for our app I humbly suggest Project Nodlehs.

News Stories

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Episode 4.12 Ratings January 7, 2011

The ratings for the first Big Bang Theory episode of 2011 are out.   Full story

CBS Announces Episode 4.12 December 20, 2010

CBS has announced the details for the first Big Bang Theory episode of 2011.  Full story


As Sheldon, Howard and Raj eat lunch in the university cafeteria, Leonard arrives to tell them about his idea for a smartphone app that helps users solve differential equations. The guys agree to join Leonard's project after he mentions they could earn a little money from the app.

When the guys discuss the app in the apartment, Sheldon is worried that Penny will steal their idea, even though she has no idea what they're talking about. After Penny leaves the guys alone, Sheldon takes control of the project. Leonard insists he's in charge as it was his idea, but Sheldon continues to nitpick his proposal. Eventually, Leonard's patience runs out and he kicks Sheldon off the team.

The next morning, Leonard wakes up to find Sheldon has kept working on the project as an "independent contractor". Leonard points out he has no connection whatsoever to the project. After Sheldon says he'll go put on his "bus pants", Leonard insists he's still happy to drive him to work. That changes when Sheldon accuses Leonard of being a "little man with a big Napoleon complex".

At work, Sheldon unsuccessfully tries to recruit Howard and Raj to his rival project. That evening, Sheldon is kicked out of the apartment when he decides to play his theremin as the guys work on the app. After Penny finds Sheldon playing the theremin on the steps of the apartment building, he explains he was kicked off Leonard's development team. Penny invites him to develop an app with her which helps people shop for shoes online, but Sheldon is unimpressed.

Penny goes over to Leonard's apartment to ask them to take Sheldon back. Despite failing to make headway with the guys, Penny returns to her apartment to tell Sheldon they want him back. Penny wants Sheldon to say sorry, but he insists his mother didn't raise her no liars. Penny encourages him to experiment with sarcasm. When Sheldon returns to the team, he "apologizes" for his earlier behavior. Sheldon proceeds to take control and tell them to scrap everything they've done so far.

In Penny's apartment, Sheldon is grumpy as he helps her photograph pairs of shoes to train the algorithm for the shoe shopping app.