Sheldon becomes so intent on demonstrating his intellectual superiority over the other guys that they kick him off the Physics Bowl team and replace him with his nemesis, Leslie.

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Storyline

With the perennial winning team not participating this year, Leonard, Howard and Raj feel that their foursome are the sure winners of this year's edition of the university's physics bowl. They have to talk a reluctant Sheldon into entering with them, which they do manage to do. They regret doing so after Sheldon takes control of everything and as such has taken any fun out of the process. After the threesome kick Sheldon off their team, Sheldon vows revenge by forming his own team. Despite Leonard's discomfort with the idea, they decide to ask Leslie Winkle to be Sheldon's replacement, she who declines until she learns that they are planning on destroying Sheldon in the process. During their match, Sheldon, who believes he is basically fielding a one man team (his teammates are a janitor, the lunch floor monitor and her son), has to decide what is the most important goal. Written by Huggo

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Comedy

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21 April 2008 (USA)  »

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16:9
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Queen's We Are The Champions plays during Howard's triumphant moment at the 29th Annual Physics Bowl. Fittingly, the lead guitarist for that song, Brian May, is an astrophysicist. See more »

Goofs

Howard mentions that the team would have to face Sheldon "man to man to man" with only three members on their team, but later Sheldon states that the rules state there must be four members of a team. See more »

Quotes

Leonard: Sheldon, is proving that you are single-handedly smarter than everyone else so important that you would rather lose by yourself than win as part of a team?
Sheldon: I don't understand the question.
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Crazy Credits

In the opening scroll of the time line when it gets to 91,000 there is a mistake the dates read 93,000BC 92,000BC 91,0009C 90,000BC for some reason 91,000 is a 9c not a BC. See more »

Connections

References Blossom (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

The Big Bang Theory Theme (Instrumental)
Composed and Performed by Barenaked Ladies
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User Reviews

 
A solid episode, but with some inconsistencies that cannot be easily forgiven
25 January 2016 | by See all my reviews

After the major slump in TBBT over the last few years, it feels good to come back to a time when TBBT was new, fresh and exciting. "The Bat Jar Conjecture" is a fine example of what this once great sitcom could accomplish, before it had to demote itself into the standard, sitcom garbage.

When it comes to watching the newer episodes, I find myself angry and lost for words. The episodes get everything wrong, from script to direction, character to acting, that re-watching earlier episodes only confirms for myself the problems I face with later seasons. "The Bat Jar Conjecture" is certainly well acted, especially by Jim Parsons as the then fascinating Sheldon and Simon Helberg as the hormonal driven Howard.

The script for the most part is quite solid, allowing for plenty of chuckles during the scenes where Sheldon pits himself against his friends for the Physics Bowl. Although I would normally find myself rooting for Sheldon (again, in earlier seasons), I surprisingly find myself on the side of Leonard with this one. As great a character as Sheldon was, his level of ego is perhaps a tad too high in this episode for me to want to root for him here. The episode certainly has a message about arrogance and co-operation, as obvious as that message is, but it also denies one of Sheldon's assumptions: that he, in himself, is smarter than all his friends put together. Whilst this may be true if it were not for the character of Leslie, the point remains the point. Sheldon needs to accept and understand it, and is something the character often has trouble deciphering.

Arguably the best moment of the episode is the final scene, which starts off 'meh' but soon advances into great! Penny returns to Sheldon's apartment, keen to conclude who is the smarter - Sheldon or Leonard - by asking questions of cultural significance. Amusingly enough, the two have no idea how to answer any of the questions. My personal favourite response was to the question: "Which actor holds the record of being named People Magazine's sexiest man?", to which Sheldon replies, "William Shatner" and Leonard reasons that it could not be him, but rather Patrick Stewart. This was a brilliant moment that sort of manages to sum up "The Big Bang Theory" in a nutshell.

However, "The Bat Jar Conjecture" has some inconsistencies with the "lore" established in this series. Early in the episode, during a trial run of the Physics Bowl, Sheldon is seated on a wooden chair next to Howard. This is clearly not his usual seating place, and I was baffled at how the writers could not keep this consistent with most episodes of the series. I also refuse to buy the poor justification for why Raj would be able to talk in front of women during the Physics Bowl, especially considering that he is seated right next to Leslie Winkle. It does not make much sense, but this aspect probably cannot be improved upon. Although I would usually be careful as to how I nitpick something like "The Big Bang Theory", I was shocked when the writers abandoned two key character traits that have been well established at this point: Sheldon's obsession with his seat, and Raj's inability to talk in front of women. At the very least, he should have been very slightly drunk!

In spite of all this, "The Bat Jar Conjecture" is a solid episode of the first season. Nothing truly outstanding, and nothing truly terrible, it manages to entertain for its duration.


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Another potentially great episode... drewstewartcolumbia
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