The Big Bang Theory: Season 3, Episode 18

The Pants Alternative (22 Mar. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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Sheldon seeks help from the rest of the gang in overcoming his fear of public speaking when he receives an award.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Penny (as Kaley Cuoco)


Sheldon is this year's recipient of the college's Chancellor's Award for Science. He is surprised at being named the winner, but he believes he has been the deserving recipient every year he's been there. He changes his mind about accepting the award when he learns he has to make a speech at the awards dinner. Unbeknown to the others, Sheldon has stage fright. His four friends vow to help him overcome this fear, each playing a different but what they see as an integral part, so that he can accept the award. But Sheldon instead stumbles across a more old fashioned technique at the awards dinner to be able to make the speech. Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

22 March 2010 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The title refers to Sheldon dropping his pants during his acceptance speech. See more »


At the start of the episode when Leonard, Sheldon and Howard are wearing anaglyph 3D glasses they are all wearing the glasses inside out. The glasses are designed to be used with the red filter over the left eye and the cyan over the right, the characters have them the other way around. See more »


[first lines]
Raj Koothrappali: OK, in Avatar when they have sex on Pandora they hook up their ponytails, so we know their ponytails are like their junk.
Howard Wolowitz: Yeah, so?
Raj Koothrappali: So, when they ride horses and fly on their birds, they also use their ponytails.
Howard Wolowitz: What's your point?
Raj Koothrappali: My point is if I were a horse or a bird I'd be very nervous around James Cameron.
See more »

Crazy Credits

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #282 We are often accused of using a 'laugh machine' on The Big Bang Theory. [Image of audience members] This is our laugh machine. See more »


References X-Men (2000) See more »


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

"The Pants Alternative" is another very funny episode of "The Big Bang Theory"
27 March 2011 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

In this last season ep of "The Big Bang Theory": Sheldon has been accepted for an award and he's thrilled. Then he finds out he has to make a speech and he's terrified. It all has to do from when he graduated from college at 14 and when he had to stand up to the podium, he started to feel nauseous and then...well, just as he does when reenacting it-faints. So Raj, Penny, and Leonard (Howard doesn't give a damn) resolve to be Sheldon's X-(or C-since his last name is Cooper and not Xavier)Men and try to make his next public speaking engagement more comfortable. Raj tries to get Sheldon to imagine his comfort zone which he does by thinking of his own city with his own store that he gets 15% off any item. Then he imagines Godzilla wreaking havoc...Okay, next Penny takes him to a store to try on a suit though Shel keeps picking the wrong one before thinking opposite of the right one. Finally, Leonard tries to find the source of his roommate's stage fright by first mentioning his own humiliation when his mother made him give his science fair prize back because of a similar project his older brother did that got him the prize. Because of Leonard's returning bedwetting problem, Sheldon finally is ready to make his speech. At the banquet, he becomes nervous again so Penny gives him some alcoholic drinks which Sheldon rarely partakes in. Perhaps he takes one too many as evidenced when his performance ends up on YouTube...This was another very funny episode of "The Big Bang Theory" and once again, Sheldon is the reason why (No wonder Jim Parsons won both the Emmy and Golden Globe for this season). His speech is the highlight of this particular episode and if you read this far and still don't understand what he did, I highly recommend "The Pants Alternative" for viewing. By the way, on Chuck Lorre's vanity card, he addresses the accusation of this show using a "laugh machine" on the soundtrack by showing a picture of a massive audience laughing and saying that's the laugh machine. Personally, I never doubted it for one minute...

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