The Big Bang Theory (2007– )
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The Benefactor Factor 

To secure needed funding for the university, Sheldon convinces Leonard to get friendly with a wealthy benefactor.


Mark Cendrowski


Chuck Lorre (created by), Bill Prady (created by) | 6 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Johnny Galecki ... Leonard Hofstadter
Jim Parsons ... Sheldon Cooper
Kaley Cuoco ... Penny
Simon Helberg ... Howard Wolowitz
Kunal Nayyar ... Raj Koothrappali
Mayim Bialik ... Amy Farrah Fowler
Jessica Walter ... Mrs. Latham
Joshua Malina ... President Siebert


The university's President Siebert orders the guys to attend a fundraising party. Leonard, Howard and Raj are more than happy to go for the free food and drinks and the promise of a few pretty girls in attendance. Sheldon, however, refuses, believing such fundraising practices demeaning. Amy makes Sheldon reconsider by telling him that his future research funding is dependent upon others, such as Leonard and Raj, making a credible argument to the donors on his behalf. At the party, the guys come across wealthy Mrs. Latham, a formidable older woman who they later learn enjoys making smart people feel ill at ease - which she did with Leonard, Howard and Raj - just for the fun of it. Believing he made a terrible impression, Leonard is surprised to learn that Mrs. Latham wants to speak to him further about his research. But that's not all Mrs. Latham wants from Leonard. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


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Release Date:

10 February 2011 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


When Sheldon shows Leonard a picture of a 25-yr old Mrs Latham, it is a still from the movie Grand Prix made in 1966. In 1966, actress Jessica Walter who plays Mrs Latham, was 25. See more »


For cryogenic centrifugal pump and molecular sieves are not high dollar items for a university. Cryogenic centrifugal pumps can be had for between $1000 and $5000. And molecular sieves can be had for between $300 and $1500. Fundraisers are usually for much more expensive items. But the writers probably thought they sounded expensive. See more »


[first lines]
Raj Koothrappali: Here's what I wonder about zombies:
[the others groan]
Raj Koothrappali: What happens if they can't get any human flesh to eat? They can't starve to death, they're already dead.
Howard Wolowitz: You take this one. I spent an hour last night on "How do vampires shave when they can't see themselves in the mirror?"
Sheldon Cooper: Well-groomed vampires meet in pairs and shave each other. Case closed.
Raj Koothrappali: Yeah, okay. So, zombies.
Leonard Hofstadter: Uh, I guess it depends on the zombies, Raj. Are we talking slow zombies, fast zombies? Like in '28 Days', if ...
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Crazy Credits


They weren't not in love. It's just that the subject, as such, never really came up. It kind of loomed over them like a blissfully stupid cloud. The love cloud.

Guaranteed to rain on your brain, 'til you're moanin' with seratonin.

Maybe what was happening was that they were in love with the idea of being in love. But that's still love, right? Instead of loving each other, they loved an idea. An aspiration. A wish. The other person was more or less of an afterthought. Somewhat expendable, or at the very least, interchangeable.

I love that you make me feel like I'm in love. You, on the other hand, I can take or leave.

Of course, it was just a matter of time before the truth of each other, the hard fact of their unique selfness, their one-of-a-kind snow-flakiness, became unavoidable.

I may be a broken toy, but you are a Chinese crib factory that uses lead paint.

Saying goodbye in these circumstances is always very awkward.

"I just had your car towed."

"That's okay, those Flip videos I said I erased are now on the internet." See more »


References Hindenburg Disaster Newsreel Footage (1937) See more »


History of Everything (Instrumental version)
Written by Barenaked Ladies
Performed by Barenaked Ladies
[Instrumental version of series theme song played over the closing credits]
See more »

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User Reviews

"The Benefactor Factor" is another funny ep of "The Big Bang Theory"
11 October 2011 | by tavmSee all my reviews

In a nutshell of this last season ep of "The Big Bang Theory": University president Siebert (Joshua Malina) sees the boys in the cafeteria and invites them to a party at his house to help get the school some funding. Only Sheldon refuses considering the e-mails he constantly writes to Siebert complaining about various things. At the party, a benefactor named Mrs. Latham (Jessica Walters) takes an interest in a project Leonard's doing and invites him to ride in her limousine. Turns out she may also want something else of Leonard...Another funny ep of "The Big Bang Theory" especially when Sheldon and Penny chime in about Leonard's situation. Jim Parsons, as usual, has the best lines as Sheldon and his delivery is perfect here. So on that note, "The Benefactor Factor" really cooks in more ways than one.

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