The Big Bang Theory: Season 3, Episode 17

The Precious Fragmentation (8 Mar. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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The guys' friendship is threatened when they find a ring from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.



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Episode cast overview:
Penny (as Kaley Cuoco)


Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj jointly purchase a box, whose contents are unknown, for $60 at a garage sale. While sorting through it, they find that it contains primarily pop culture related items. They are happy with some of the contents, and less so with others. But when one of Howard's friends verifies the authenticity of one of the items, the guys think they've won the lottery when in their possession is the missing (stolen) one of only nine in total rings used in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Being a stolen item, the ring has no open market value, but they determine its black market value is in the range of $10,000 to $15,000. The four argue about to who among the four the ring rightly belongs, and thus who decides what to do with it. They agree to let Penny hold onto it until they decide. After an incident with Sheldon, Penny doesn't want to be the keeper of the ring anymore. Howard comes up with what all four agree is an amenable solution as to who gets to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Release Date:

8 March 2010 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


Title reference: Gollum (who covets the ring in Lord of the Rings) is known for saying, "My precious", and how the relationships of Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj start to break up because of the ring. See more »


When we see Sheldon with his plastered nose and black eyes after Penny hits him, Howard asks 'So Sheldon, how's it feel to be beaten up by a girl?' but in 'The Killer Robot Instability', Penny punched Howard after he tried to kiss her and he ended up with the same injury. See more »


[first lines]
Leonard Hofstadter: Why do I always have to carry the heavy stuff?
Sheldon Cooper: Well it's very simple. In our ragtag band of scientists with nothing to lose, I am the smart one, Wolowitz is the funny one, and Koothrappali is the loveable foreigner who struggles to understand our ways and fails. That leaves you, by default, as the muscle.
Leonard Hofstadter: One more floor and I'd be the pulled muscle.
See more »

Crazy Credits

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #280 You know you're getting old when... You throw your back out on the toilet. You shave your ears. Your second wife calls your first wife "ma'am." You're genuinely excited when your prescriptions arrive in the mail. You read the obits in the newspaper to check the ages of the dead people. You read a newspaper. You're bummed out that the smokin' hot chick from Body Heat now looks like William Shatner in drag. You say "bummed out." Women your age have real breasts and artificial hips. Masturbation leaves you winded. You try to amuse the kid hooking up your Blu-ray player by telling him about Betamax. You pee in morse code -- dots and dashes -- and have to look down to see when you're done. Your car radio is set to "classic rock" so you have something to switch to during NPR pledge drives. Your doctor says things like, "that's normal for a man your age" and "consider yourself lucky." Beneath your chin is what appears to be a neck skin hammock. Beneath your penis is what appears to be two ping pong balls hanging from a flesh-colored bolo tie. You choose your new car because it offers great lumbar support and convenient cup holders. Watching "The Who" perform at the Superbowl made you inconsolably sad. You wonder if the orgasm you're about to have will actually end your life. Your doctor tells you a new medication will reduce the amount of semen in your body and your only response is, "so what." Your car radio is set to "classic rock" so you have something to...oh, wait, I already did that one. See more »


References Star Trek (1966) See more »


Big Bang Theory Theme
Composed and Performed by Barenaked Ladies
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User Reviews

"The Precious Fragmentation" makes worthy jokes out of many nerdy pop-culture references on "The Big Bang Theory"
22 March 2011 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

In this last season episode of "The Big Bang Theory": Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard are coming back from a garage sale that has many cool stuff to admire in a big box they're bringing from it like a Ghostbusters script with actual slime on it (actuall, it's the sequel), an ALF doll that Howard holds lovingly because he used to think that character would one day bring his divorced dad back from Melmac, and the stolen prop ring from the Lord of the Rings movies. Because they're all nerds, they fight for ownership and trade value (Raj especially wants to trade it for a jet ski since all the cool fictional movie characters ride them) so Leonard gives it to Penny to wear until they decide what to do with it. Of course, Sheldon being himself isn't above trying to steal it off of her neck when she's sleeping...This was another hilarious ep of the show that makes many witty and gut-busting comments among all the characters. As always, Sheldon gets most of the worthy laughs whether making noises or using some kind of item used for grabbing things. So on that note, "The Precious Fragmentation" is another fine ep of "The Big Bang Theory"

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