The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019)
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The Loobenfeld Decay 

Leonard lies to Penny so that he and Sheldon can get out of watching her perform. However, Sheldon believes that the lie has too many loose ends, so he comes up with a new, unnecessarily complex one to replace it.

Director:

Mark Cendrowski

Writers:

Chuck Lorre (created by), Bill Prady (created by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Johnny Galecki ... Leonard Hofstadter
Jim Parsons ... Sheldon Cooper
Kaley Cuoco ... Penny
Simon Helberg ... Howard Wolowitz
Kunal Nayyar ... Raj Koothrappali
DJ Qualls ... Toby Loobenfeld (as D.J. Qualls)
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Storyline

Penny has the role of Mimi in a one-day workshop stage production of Rent, and asks Leonard and Sheldon if they want to go see her perform. Based on hearing Penny sing badly, Leonard and Sheldon decline, with Leonard even lying to her to get out of it. Sheldon is feeling uncomfortable in being a part of Leonard's lie, so he takes proactive measures to get out of that lie. Sheldon's actions don't hurt Penny but rather confuse Leonard. But Sheldon takes his proactive measure to the extreme, utilizing the hidden talents of Toby Loobenfeld, a research assistant in the particle physics lab. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 2008 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Title Reference: Toby Loobenfeld, played by DJ Qualls, is a research assistant who was cast to play Sheldon (Jim Parsons)'s drug addled cousin. See more »

Goofs

Sheldon is a mysophobe, so he would not have taken the packed chicken he threw in the garbage bin for consumption later. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Leonard: No, see, the liquid metal terminators were created in the future by Skynet, and Skynet was developed by Miles Dyson but that future no longer exists due to Dyson's death in Terminator 2.
Sheldon Cooper: Okay. Then riddle me this: assuming all the good Terminators were originally evil Terminators created by Skynet but then reprogrammed by the future John Connor, why would Skynet, an artificial computer intelligence, bother to create a petite, hot, 17-year old killer robot?
Leonard: Skynet is kinky? I dunno.
Sheldon Cooper:
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Crazy Credits

CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #198 Censored! Well, wouldn't ya' know it. Just two episodes back from the strike and I've already managed to write a vanity card that is completely unacceptable to the good folks at CBS. I wasn't trying to offend. Honest. I just saw an opportunity to poke some proverbial fun, to knosh on the hand that feeds, if you will. They were not amused. If you would like to read my latest exercise in poor judgment, I'm sure you can find it somewhere on that thing we writers were striking to claim dominion over. Just to be on the safe side, I apologize in advance. Please know that my aim was only to provoke a bit of gaiety through the judicious use of a little thing I like to call "the truth." Unfortunately, in the television business, the truth rarely sets anyone free. More often than not, it just pisses them off. See more »

Connections

References Cinderella (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

History of Everything
(uncredited)
Written by Barenaked Ladies
Performed by Barenaked Ladies
[Series theme song played during the opening titles]
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User Reviews

 
The Best Episode ....?
17 March 2016 | by MotoMikeSee all my reviews

Well, to start with, imagine these lines (delivered at 120 mph by Sheldon, Leonard and Howard: Sheldon: Well, uh, Penny is on her way to perform in a one night showcase production of Rent, which we are unable to attend because we are going to a symposium on molecular positronium, given by Dr Emile Farminfarmian.

Howard: Wait a minute, Farminfarmian is speaking and you're Bogarding the symposium.

Leonard: Howard, I'm sorry… we're… we're

Howard: No, no, you're quark-blocking us.

Leonard: I don't know what to say.

Howard: Wow.

Leonard: Howard, listen…

Howard: No, it's okay, it's your Millennium Falcon, you and Chewbacca do whatever you want to do. Me and Princess Leia here will find some other way to spend the evening.

This is all part of one of those things that start as a cover-up for a little white lie and ends up with an enormous production to keep a whole fictional situation intact. But it's so well done that, watching it, you start to get one of those feelings you usually only get in a horror movie: "I can't see how this is going to end well", while waiting for the house of cards to come tumbling down. I won't (because I can't!) summarize the plot of this maze that poor Leonard gets into - all in an effort to avoid hurting Penny's feelings with his opinion of her horrible singing. I'll just skip to the end to note that when "Toby" goes off-script ("Toby: Damn you, Chaplain Horrigan! ") in the final deception, it's one of the best moments of the episode. I've seen a lot of TBBT episodes; many are good, all are funny, but this has my vote as the best episode ever.


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