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222 - A Swedish Science Thing and the Equation for Toast

Aired Thursday, May 16, 2019
A Swedish Science Thing and the Equation for Toast

As the Nobel Prize announcements approach, Sheldon decides to host a party and invite the entire school to listen to the event unfold. Dr. Sturgis is distressed to realize his dream of winning a Nobel prize may not come true. Meanwhile, Georgie infuriates his father when he decides to pay for cable out of his own pocket.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "A Swedish Science Thing" refers to George's comment to Coach Wilkins after Sheldon invited the entire school to attend his party for the Nobel Prize announcements, and "the Equation for Toast" refers to the formula John scribbled on Meemaw's bathroom wall.
  • This episode aired the same night as the hour-long series finale of The Big Bang Theory, in which Sheldon did win a Nobel Prize. [1224]
  • Sheldon told his father in this episode that when he wins a Nobel Prize, he might just thank him in his speech. In The Big Bang Theory's series finale, Sheldon said "I wouldn't be up here if it weren't for some very important people in my life. Beginning with my mother, father, meemaw, brother and sister." [1224]


Quote from Adult Sheldon

Adult Sheldon: A primary feature of quarks is that they're always bonded together, but in that moment, I felt like a neutrino, destined to be alone forever.
[Montage of young Leonard, Penny, Raj, Howard, Bernadette and Amy at that moment]
Adult Sheldon: Thankfully, I was wrong.

Quote from Dr. John Sturgis

Meemaw: John?
Dr. John Sturgis: Hello.
Meemaw: What- What're you doing?
Dr. John Sturgis: I was doing tai chi and then I realized that I was continually being bombarded by subatomic particles and it behooves me, perhaps, to pay slightly closer attention to them. Maybe "chi" is the ancient Chinese word for the subatomic universe.
Meemaw: You're scaring me, John.
Dr. John Sturgis: Well, there's nothing to be scared of. Tomorrow, somebody will win the Nobel Prize about these particles not me. But I'm experiencing them firsthand [LAUGHS] which could be better.
Meemaw: Why don't you come down and experience them on the floor?
Dr. John Sturgis: I think I just felt a neutrino. [LAUGHING] You know, neutrinos are interesting. They never bond with anything, they're always alone. I think that one went right through my pants.
Meemaw: All right, why don't we go downstairs, and I'll fix us both a nice cup of hot tea and you can tell me all about it. Please?
Dr. John Sturgis: Okay. It was my dream to win the Nobel, and I'm not going to. I bet Sheldon will.
Meemaw: That'll be something.
Dr. John Sturgis: Yeah.

Quote from George Sr.

George Jr.: A bill? Really?
George Sr.: Room and board, buddy.
George Jr.: $50 a month for food?
George Sr.: The way you eat, I should've gone $50 a week.
George Jr.: Laundry services?
George Sr.: Your poor mother has to touch your underwear.
George Jr.: What's the $10 a month "peema" charge?
George Sr.: Oh, P-I-M-A, that's a "Pain in My Ass" tax. My way of getting compensated for you taking years off my life.

Quote from Dr. John Sturgis

Sheldon: Which scientists are you rooting for?
Dr. John Sturgis: Oh, I don't have a favorite. There's so much good work being done.
Sheldon: I think it's time Frederick Reines finally gets his due for the neutrino.
Dr. John Sturgis: I suppose he has a shot.
Sheldon: I should think so, he confirmed the neutrino's existence 35 years ago. What the heck are they waiting for?
Dr. John Sturgis: Lots of talented people don't get recognized.

Quote from Sheldon

George Sr.: So you want me to put that thing on that roof?
Sheldon: Yes.
George Sr.: So you can hear who won a science prize?
Sheldon: The Nobel Prize.
George Sr.: Why can't you read who won in the newspaper?
Sheldon: I could say the same thing about the Super Bowl, but you still watch it.
Missy: He got you there.

View more quotes from this episode

Featured Music

Episode Trivia

  • How much was George's "pain in my ass" charge for Georgie?
    • $15
    • $20
    • $5
    • $10
  • Which breakfast cereal did Sheldon choose for his party?
    • Boo-Berry
    • Golden Grahams
    • Trix
    • Cheerios
  • Why did Sheldon rule out Froot Loops, Cocoa Puffs and Corn Flakes?
    • Fiber Content
    • Food Allergy
    • Bird Mascots
    • Sugar Content

Episode Recap

When Mary returns home, she finds Sheldon and Dr. Sturgis tinkering with a large shortwave radio. Sheldon explains that Dr. Sturgis is letting him use his shortwave radio to pick up international broadcasts so he can listen to the announcement of Nobel Prize winners in Sweden on Wednesday morning. After Mary notices the antenna, Sheldon says it has to go up on the roof. Mary tells Sheldon he’s not going on the roof, but John says that’s not a problem as he was going to do it. Meemaw doesn’t want him going up there either, but John points to his tai chi experience. Meemaw is unmoved.

Out in the yard, Sheldon asks his father to put the the antenna on the roof so he can hear who wins the Nobel Prize. George wonders why he doesn’t just read about it in the paper, but Sheldon points out he could ask the same thing about the Super Bowl. Sheldon says it’s the most prestigious award in physics, and he might just thank his dad in his speech when he wins one. After George puts a ladder up the side of the house and looks up at the roof, he calls Georgie to come do a chore for him.

In the garage, John is helping Sheldon tune the radio to Radio Sweden International. After Sheldon asks him which scientists he’s rooting for, John says he doesn’t have a favorite. Sheldon hopes Frederick Reines is finally recognised for his work on the neutrino. John glumly notes that a lot of talented people don’t get recognised. Meanwhile, as Georgie flicks through the TV channels, he tells his father they could have sixty channels if they got cable. When George insists he’s not paying for cable, Georgie accuses him of being cheap. George tells him that if he wants it so bad, he can pay for it himself or, better yet, read a book.

That evening, Dr. Sturgis is kneeled down on Meemaw’s lawn singing a song as he picks weeds from her garden when she comes out to see what he’s doing. After John explains he’s weeding out the goosegrass, Meemaw points out it’s kind of dark out. John argues that goosegrass doesn’t sleep. Meemaw offers to get him a flashlight, but John would prefer a headlamp such as one would use for spelunking. Meemaw leaves him out there to go check her spelunking supplies.

At school, Class President Sheldon Cooper gives the morning announcement. He tells the whole school he will be hosting a party in his garage for the announcement of the Nobel prize winners on Wednesday morning at 5am. Sheldon says they are all invited to attend and refreshments will be served. In their office, Assistant Coach Wilkins asks George if he’s worried that his son just invited the whole school. At 5:00 in the morning for a Swedish science thing, George isn’t worried at all.

In her kitchen, Meemaw gets a phone call from Dr. Linkletter, who works with John in the physics department. He tells Connie that Dr. Sturgis is fine, but there was a bit of an incident at the school today. John had broken into the mainframe computer lab, where he set off an alarm and was then chased by security. He’s now in the dean’s office. Dr. Linkletter explains that John had her listed as his emergency contact, so he thought he should reach out. After Meemaw thanks him for calling, Dr. Linkletter says she should reach out if there’s anything he can do for her. When he proceeds to try ask her out, Meemaw tells him it’s not working.

In the school library, Sheldon asks Tam what kind of snacks he should serve at his Nobel Prize gathering. Tam suggests Swedish meatballs, but Sheldon points out it’s at 5am. Sheldon settles on an assortment of breakfast cereals.

After Meemaw goes over to Dr. Sturgis’s apartment, he wonders what she’s doing there. Meemaw tells John she got a call from Dr. Linkletter about his scuffle with campus security. John insists there was no scuffle, saying he was using the university’s mainframe and they asked him to leave. Still, John admits he was startled and did what any normal person would do: climb out of a window and run like the dickens.

Back home, George finds Georgie watching MTV and wonders when they got the station. When Georgie explains he called up the cable company to ask for cable, George says he’s not paying for that. Georgie tells him he’s paying for it with the money he saved from his job. When Mary goes across the street to Meemaw’s, Meemaw takes her up to her bathroom to show her something. Meemaw points to bathroom wall, where John has scribbled a lot of science stuff, including the equation for toast. Meemaw lifts up the toilet seat to reveal an equation scribbled on the bottom of the lid.

At the grocery store, Sheldon tells the checkout operator about his party for the Nobel prize announcements. After he explains why he chose Cheerios after careful consideration, Sheldon invites the operator and the bag boy to the party. Back home, George can’t resist checking out the new cable service. After he turns it on and it requests a parental PIN, George goes to ask Georgie know how he takes it off. Georgie tells his father he doesn’t take it off, as it’s his cable that he bought with his own money. George is outraged, particularly when Georgie suggests he goes and reads a book instead.

As Sheldon stores his cereal boxes in the garage in preparation for his party, Missy comes to talk to him. Missy tells Sheldon that what she likes about him is that although he’s incredibly smart, he’s also really dumb. Missy questions whether he really thinks people are going to come and hang out with him, to hear about science, on the radio, at 5:00 in the morning. doesn’t think anyone is going to come and hang out with him to hear about science on the radio at 5am. When Sheldon declares that he does, Missy thinks she has made her case.

As Meemaw waits on her porch for John to arrive, she checks her watch and gets worried. She goes inside to phone Dr. Linkletter to say she’s worried about John, who hasn’t showed up for dinner. Dr. Linkletter tells her John also missed two of his classes today. After Meemaw asks if he has any idea where John might be, Dr. Linkletter says it’s hard to say if John is having another episode. Meemaw wonders what he means by episode. Dr. Linkletter thought she knew that John has struggled with his grip on reality and has had to be hospitalized in the past. Meemaw had no idea as John never mentioned it. She asks Dr. Linkletter to let her know if he hears from John or sees him. As the hours tick by, Meemaw decides to go out in her car to look for John.

As Georgie watches his cable TV, George comes in with a letter for him. Georgie follows his dad into the kitchen to ask about the bill he was just handed. George explains it’s for room and board, the food he eats, and the laundry services. There’s also a “pain-in-my-ass” tax.

When Meemaw arrives at John’s apartment and knocks on the door, there’s no answer. She takes a key from under the doormat and opens the apartment door. John’s bike is there, but there’s no sign of him. When Meemaw looks around, she notices a door in the hallway with access to the roof is open. Back home, George is captivated by an adult channel on the TV. Unfortunately for him, Missy is also intrigued by what George is watching. After George changes the channel and tells her to get out of there, Missy says she’s telling mom. After his daughter has gone, George flips the channel back.

On the roof of his building, Meemaw finds John practicing his tai chi, barefoot and in sweatpants, up on a vent. John explains he was doing his tai chi and was continually being bombarded by subatomic particles. As John rambles on, Meemaw tells him he’s scaring her. John says there’s nothing to be scared of. Tomorrow, somebody will win the Nobel prize about these particles, but not him. Meemaw asks him to come down and experience them on the floor, but John keeps talking about physics, saying neutrinos are interesting as they never bond with anything. An emotional Meemaw suggests he come down, so she can make them a cup of hot tea and he can tell her all about it. When John doesn’t respond, Meemaw holds out her hand and says please. John looks at her and decides to lower his hand into hers. As they walk back to the stairs, John says it was his dream to win the Nobel and he’s not going to. After John bets that Sheldon will, Meemaw remarks that that’ll be something.

In the garage early in the morning, Sheldon tunes his radio to get the news from Sweden. He laid out seats, and is ready with plastic bowls, spoons and bottles of milk ready for people to enjoy the breakfast. When Mary comes to ask Sheldon how it’s going, a dejected Sheldon says he doesn’t think anyone’s showing up, not even Tam. Mary says she’s there, but Sheldon points out she’s his mom and she lives on the premises. When Sheldon remarks that at least Dr. Sturgis should be there any minute, Mary breaks the news that John won’t be coming as he isn’t feeling well.

As the announcements begin, Mary asks Sheldon if he wants her to stay. Sheldon shakes his head. Sheldon turns the radio up and sits down alone. Sheldon roots for the neutrino team as the winners of the physics prize are announced. As a team of scientists win for their work on quarks, Sheldon starts crying. Adult Sheldon says that a primary feature of quarks is that they’re always bonded together, but in that moment he felt like a neutrino destined to be alone forever.

Elsewhere, Leonard is listening to the radio in his bedroom as his mother, Beverly, tells him to go to bed. Penny is sprawled across her bed with her mouth wide open as she sleeps. Next to his telescope, Raj is diligently studying. Howard is playing video games as Mrs. Wolowitz yells for him to go to sleep. With her beauty pageant trophies on her nightstand, Bernadette is fast asleep in bed. By the glow of a flashlight, Sheldon’s future wife, Amy, is reading a “Little House on the Prairie” book in bed. Adult Sheldon admits he was, thankfully wrong.

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