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216 - A Loaf of Bread and a Grand Old Flag

Aired Thursday, February 21, 2019
A Loaf of Bread and a Grand Old Flag

When Sheldon learns that the recipe of his favorite bread has been altered, he campaigns to reverse the change and unintentionally winds up at the center of a political storm. Meanwhile, Georgie tries to just be friends with Veronica after her boyfriend dumps her.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "A Loaf of Bread" refers to Sheldon's unhappiness about a recipe change, and "a Grand Old Flag" refers to Meemaw's exaggerated display of patriotism.

Quotes

Tam: Are the goggles necessary?
Sheldon: No, but they really set the mood.

Mary: Shelly, it's probably just your taste buds changing as you get older.
Sheldon: But I don't like change.
Missy: Then you're gonna hate puberty.

Mary: Sheldon, hang up the phone. It's dinner time.
Sheldon: Be right there, Mom.I'm do ing battle with corporate America.

Veronica: I thought Dustin was different. I thought he wanted to live a Christian life like me. But all he wanted is what every guy wants.
George Jr.: [SCOFFS] Guys.
Veronica: Oh, please, you're all the same.
George Jr.: Hey. You rejected me, you punched me in the face, and I'm still here. Happy eating waffles with you.
Veronica: Georgie, do you really think you're capable of just being my friend?
George Jr.: That's a good question. My brain says yes.
Veronica: What about the rest of you?
George Jr.: Honestly, I wouldn't trust it.

Sheldon: I was shocked to learn that the Happy Hearth Home Bakeries had been bought out by the Domestic Food Corporation, and they started making their bread faster and cheaper.
Anchor: And you don't like that, do you?
Sheldon: No.
Anchor: And you're collecting signatures to make them stop.
Sheldon: I am. Corporations shouldn't be allowed to make these decisions on their own.
Anchor: Well, who should?
Sheldon: The people who eat the bread. This wouldn't happen if there were centralized control over all these big corporations.
Anchor: Are you suggesting a communist form of government in Texas?
Sheldon: I suppose I am.
Meemaw: Hang on a sec-
Anchor: There you have it. Local boy Sheldon Cooper says communism is what Texas needs.
George Sr.: Oh, dear God.

Episode Trivia

  • What snack food did Missy trade her sandwich for?
    • Ho Hos
    • Ding Dong
    • Moon pie
    • Twinkie
  • What TV station did Sheldon invite to his protest?
    • Channel 7
    • Channel 9
    • Channel 5
    • Channel 13

Episode Recap

Adult Sheldon says he would like to tell the story about an incident that began with a loaf of bread and ended with he and his family almost being kicked out of the country. From the Happy Hearth Home Bakeries factory, we see a delivery truck arrive at the local supermarket, and a loaf of their bread being placed on the shelf. At home, Mary picks up an identical loaf to prepare a PB&J sandwich for Sheldon.

In the school library, Sheldon bites into his PB&J sandwich and instantly realizes that something is different. When Mary gets a phone call at the church from Sheldon, she worries what’s wrong. Sheldon explains his sandwich tastes different. After he asks his mom what she changed, Mary insists she didn’t change anything and the sandwich is made with the same ingredients. After Sheldon gets off the phone, he returns to Tam and says his mother didn’t change anything. Sheldon decides not to eat the sandwich, but to do science on it. Later, Tam joins Sheldon in the science lab as he dissects the sandwich. Sheldon tastes each individual component to see where the difference lays. After he determines the jelly and peanut butter are the same, he realizes it must be the bread.

After Georgie puts up a picture of the professional wrestler Hacksaw in his locker, he sees Veronica crying across the hall. Georgie goes over to her and learns that Dustin broke up with her, claiming she was too immature. Georgie thinks he’s crazy.

Back home, Mary shows Sheldon she used the same Happy Hearth bread as always. Mary insists Sheldon’s sandwich was exactly the same, but he is adamant the bread is different. Mary is disappointed when George takes a bite of and says Sheldon might be right. Mary assures Sheldon that his taste buds are probably just changing as he’s getting older.

In the school library at lunch time, Sheldon tells Tam that his mother was right as studies support that one’s sense of taste changes over time. When Tam asks Sheldon if that means the bread is the same but his tastes are different, he thinks so. Sheldon takes a bite of his sandwich and once again can not eat it. After he spits it out, Sheldon is sure the problem is the bread.

Georgie keeps peeking around the stairs. When Veronica walks by, he strolls up beside her and asks if she wants to grab a bite to eat at the Waffle House as friends. Georgie says that as someone who has recently had his heart broken he might be able to help her, reminding her that she very publicly shot him down.

As Sheldon and Tam walk down the bread aisle at the supermarket, Tam is amazed by the low prices compared to his family’s convenience store. Sheldon asks an employee if anything’s changed with the bread from the Happy Hearth Home Bakeries, but the low-paid worker does not know or care. Sheldon notices a difference between two loaves of the bread, with one mentioning being a subsidiary of the Domestic Food Corporation and the older one not. As Sheldon tastes the old bread and realizes it’s the one he likes, Tam wonders about taking his parents to court for only paying him $5 a week to stack shelves at their store.

When Sheldon phones up the Happy Hearth Home Bakeries, he talks to Pete and asks what’s changed in their white sandwich loaf to make it taste different. Pete asks if the bread Sheldon tasted was expired, but he replies it was brand new. After Sheldon mentions that he noticed a change to the label saying the company is now a subsidiary of the Domestic Food Corporation, Pete reads a boilerplate statement saying the recent takeover has not affected the quality in anyway. After Sheldon persists and asks again why it tastes different, a weary Pete says because they now make everything really cheap and fast.

At the Waffle House, Veronica tells Georgie she thought Dustin was different and wanted to live a Christian lifestyle, but it turns out he just wanted what all guys want. Georgie sympathises, but Veronica insists guys are all the same. When Veronica asks if he really thinks he’s capable of just being her friend, he says his brain says yes. Veronica wonders about the rest of him, Georgie says he honestly wouldn’t trust it.

Outside the supermarket, Sheldon asks shoppers whether they would like to sign his petition against the Happy Hearth Home Bakeries. They all answer “Maybe on the way out.” Meemaw notes that they all seem to go out through the other set of doors. When Mr. Givens walks by, he tries to avoid being seen by Sheldon. After Sheldon spots him, he asks Mr. Givens if he would like to sign his petition. Mr. Givens says he would, on his way out.

As George heads to the bathroom with a newspaper, he sees the phone cable leading in there and knocks on the door. When Georgie says he’s busy in there, his father reminds him there’s only one bathroom in the house and it’s not for phone calls. When Georgie comes out, George asks if he was talking to that Veronica girl. After Georgie insists they’re just friends, George tells him if he ever wants to run any of this stuff by him, he’s there. George says he was once a fifteen-year-old with strong feelings for a girl. Georgie is freaked out by the idea of talking with his dad about that sort of stuff.

Back at the supermarket, Sheldon thanks a woman for signing his petition. Now he’s up to thirteen signatures, Meemaw wants to know if it’s time to pack up and head out of there. Sheldon says no as he’s waiting for the Channel 7 news truck. He explains he called them this morning and told them there was a human interest story at the supermarket. As Meemaw tries to breaks the news to him that Channel 7 is not coming, the station’s OB van pulls up.

When Sheldon and Meemaw return home, Mary asks how it went. Sheldon says great and tells them to turn to Channel 7. When they turn the channel, Sheldon is being interviewed complaining about the recent takeover of the Happy Hearth Home Bakery. Mary and George are initially proud to see their son taking a stand on TV. Sheldon says that corporations shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions like that by themselves and the people who eat bread should have a say. When he goes onto propose centralized control over the big corporations, the anchor questions whether he’s suggesting a communist government for Texas. As Sheldon says he guesses he is, Meemaw tries to stop him. The TV report cuts back to the studio where the anchor finishes her report with “Local boy Sheldon Cooper says communism is what Texas needs.”

In the living room, an anxious George is pacing as he struggles to understand why Sheldon would say that on TV. Mary tells him to calm down, saying it was just the four o’clock news and maybe no one saw it. After Sheldon says he hopes plenty of people saw it and the Happy Hearth is forced to give their country good bread again, George wants Sheldon to stop talking about bread and country. After Meemaw excuses herself to put up an American flag outside her house, George thinks that’s a great idea and goes looking for their flag.  Sheldon wonders if something is wrong as Mary rushes to answer the front door. Brenda Sparks tells Mary she doesn’t want Sheldon filling Billy’s head with communist ideas. When George returns inside with an American flag, he finds Sheldon on the phone talking to a reporter from Time Magazine. George hangs up the phone, although not before saying “God Bless America”.

As George and Sheldon walk through the hallways at school, the other pupils stare and call them traitors. Sheldon tells Georgie to have a great day, but he doesn’t see how that’s possible given what Sheldon’s done. Elsewhere, Meemaw waves her American flag and sings patriotic songs on her front lawn.

In the school library, Tam opens his lunch to find a note from his mother, “Don’t talk to Sheldon. Mom.” Meanwhile, Georgie sits alone in the cafeteria as other kids give him evil looks. When Veronica asks if she can sit with him, Georgie questions whether she really wants to be seen with him. Veronica knows he’s not a commie and doubts whether he even knows what a communist is. Georgie knows about communists from Rocky IV and Rambo.

George goes to see Principal Petersen, who says he’s been getting a lot of calls today. Petersen says he can’t have a suspected commie coaching their boys, George argues he loves his country and this is just Sheldon getting bent out of shape over a loaf of bread. After Petersen warns George he could lose his job over this, George asks for a chance to fix this. Petersen agrees so long as he doesn’t hear from one more angry parent. When the phone rings, George picks it up and tells them Petersen’s not there. Meanwhile, at the church, Pastor Jeff warns Mary that communists are atheists. She knows all that and she says the communists are not her people. Mary wonders why nobody understands this was all just about Sheldon wanting a better loaf of bread.

When George and Sheldon, who is dressed in an Uncle Sam outfit, join the news anchor in the  Channel 7 studio, George thanks her for having him on to set the record straight about his son’s communism. George says Sheldon’s not a communist, he’s only ten years old. George tells the audience that he fought for and loves this country, and so do his kids. Sheldon agrees with his father. After Sheldon starts to talk about social security, George cuts him off and makes him repeat that he loves this country.

At dinner, Sheldon says he has something important he’d like to say, even though nobody seems to be a mood to listen. Sheldon explains he’s been trying the new Happy Hearth bread over the past few days and it’s not too bad. He takes that as a sign of personal growth on his part. After he realizes they’re still not talking to him, Sheldon says he’ll check back in tomorrow.

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