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"The Big Bang Theory" The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation (TV Episode 2009) Poster

Trivia

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Sheldon's Van Dyke is identical to that worn by a parallel-universe Mr. Spock from the 1960s, and contrasts starkly with the barbarian-like - or Klingon-like? - beards and hair on Howard, Leonard and Raj. Also, Howard and Leonard are compelled to curse Sheldon's "Vulcan hearing".
The movie Toy Story is mentioned by Raj just before he, Leonard and Howard approach Mary Cooper's house. Mary Cooper is played by Laurie Metcalf, who did the voice of Andy's mother in Toy Story and its sequels.
Just before the first shot of Sheldon with his mother in Texas, there is one of the shots of atoms used to separate scenes. One of the electrons orbiting the nucleus is decorated with the Texan flag.
When Sheldon's mother claims that her prayer group kept him safe, he criticizes her logic as being "post hoc ergo propter hoc." The Latin translates as "after this, therefore because of this." Sheldon is pointing out that the group's praying for him and his safety cannot be taken as cause and effect.
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In both the original broadcast version and the DVD version, Sheldon's mother is clearly drinking a can of Pepsi. In the original broadcast version she later tells Howard "You'll take a cola!" But in the DVD version she says "You'll take a Coke!"
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The title refers to the appliance that the gang uses to give Sheldon false data and to keep them from killing him.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The episode title may also be a scientific way to define the change, or variation, of the friendship variants in the relationships between Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, Howard and Penny. The fluctuation being Sheldon's feelings towards the others as friends.
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