How long will a partnership between Sheldon and Howard last?
Credit: Michael Yarish/CBS
In truth, just about everyone on The Big Bang Theory is an adorable geek — even comparative regular girl Penny (Kaley Cuoco). But Sheldon (Jim…

Remember when Howard came up with a brilliant money-making idea inspired by Sheldon getting drunk in a bar? Our favorite four scientists throw the words “vortices” and “gyroscope” around at lunch like an all-male, all-geek version of Sex in the City, figuring out ways to patent this idea. Mr. Big would be so proud.

Sheldon, Leonard, and Howard arrive at the patent office, excited to hear that the attorney thinks their invention is solid. Leonard plans to spend his first paycheck on a new sinus irrigator. Penny is one lucky lady, isn’t she? I hope Sheldon buys more bow ties. Why hasn’t he been wearing them all season?

The attorney asks the friends to sign the dotted line. They must verify that they understand the university owns 75 percent of their patent. At this point, three very confused faces look up from three life-changing documents. Cries of, “That’s so unfair!” are met with, “It’s the university’s policy.” Caltech has been paying their salaries for a decade. What did they expect? Plus, Howard is technically on loan from NASA. He’s not entitled to any ownership, even though it’s his invention. But he’s sure to get a nifty plaque he can hang on his wall!

It’s all for one and one for all. Sorry, Caltech. No deal. Howard tries to find a way around the rule, but it’s very clear that the university has a controlling ownership of anything they invent while they work there. This includes Sheldon’s super cool idea for a T-shirt: “Dumb as a Bag of Geologists.” Leonard suggests that they sign the document and any money that he and Sheldon make, they split three ways with Howard. Sheldon is a little too enthusiastic about drawing up the contract. Of course, this enthusiasm makes complete sense when we learn that he created his own font. Raise your hand if you secretly wish you could download Shelvetica? Is that just me?

Over at Penny’s place, Raj gathers the girls to help him decipher a message from his ex-girlfriend Emily. She left a package at his door. Penny inspects the unopened gift. Is it anthrax? A voodoo doll with a fork stuck in his junk? A severed hand? Emily is weird. There’s no telling.

With one sniff, Bernadette’s sensitive olfactory nerves (thank you, baby Wolowitz) determine that there is something metal on the inside. Raj rips open the package to find an antique sextant. I know it sounds like a dirty toy, but it’s not. A sextant is an instrument sailors used to find their position by the stars. It’s a sweet gift for an astrophysicist. A quick Google search helps Amy report that the belated Valentine’s Day gift set Emily back $500.

Is Emily trying to drop hints that she wants to get back together? Or is she really being nice? Before the girls can debate the answer, Emily calls. Raj puts her on speaker so everyone can hear the pain in her voice. The tears flow. She wants to meet for coffee. Raj looks at Penny, Amy, and Bernadette for advice and all agree that he should not meet her. It’s time to cut the cord. Who cares that she “lost her best friend”? Raj lets her down easy in front of the girls…and then drives straight to her house.

NEXT: Does Howard really want to be business partners with Sheldon?

Naturally, Claire calls while he’s en route to console Emily. Guess what? She broke up with her boyfriend! Hooray! She wants to hang out, too. Raj wisely tells her the truth. He would love to meet up, but he’s on his way to Emily’s house because she’s so sad. Claire laughs. Emily is playing Raj like a violin. That’s Ex-Girlfriend 101. Raj swears he’s just going over there because he’s a nice, compassionate person. And he does console her. Right after coitus. Does this mean Raj is going to juggle two women? Is he the Samantha of the group?

Back at Penny’s, the girls migrate across the hall, and Bernadette expresses her concern that Howard is about to sign a document without a lawyer’s consent. Howard defends his friends. Bernadette points out that it was Howard’s invention. Amy points out that it was Sheldon’s math. Leonard points out that it was his theory while his wife picks at a hangnail. I’m with you, Penny. The world “quantum” has been used one too many times for me to follow.

Bernadette takes Howard into the hall. Does he really want to sign a contract and enter into an agreement with Sheldon Cooper of all people? Point taken. Howard raises his concerns with his soon-to-be business partner. It’s frustrating that Sheldon thinks Howard is beneath him. Penny comes up with the brilliant idea (there’s more to her than a hangnail, people) to put a clause into the contract stating Sheldon can’t make fun of Howard. This will be enforced by Sheldon’s own personal code of ethics and his incredibly annoying OCD habits. It’s addendum time!

Everyone pores over the new documents and agrees that the clause is sufficient. Then Bernadette notices another line item: “Twenty-five percent of profits due to Sheldon Cooper will be allocated to a scholarship fund for the first-born child of Howard and Bernadette Wolowitz.”

Bow ties and scholarship funds? Sheldon is, and will always be, my favorite. Especially when he notes that this clause will help rescue Howard’s future spawn from the menial life of an engineer. And THEN he signs the document. Bazinga.

Theoretical Laughter

Bernadette: You’re about to form a legal partnership with Sheldon Cooper.

Howard: If you’re going to calmly make excellent points, then I don’t know if I want to talk to you.

Bernadette: I don’t want to go through this pregnancy listening to you complain about Sheldon driving you crazy more than you already do.

Howard: Here we go with the ironclad logic again.

Episode Recaps

In truth, just about everyone on The Big Bang Theory is an adorable geek — even comparative regular girl Penny (Kaley Cuoco). But Sheldon (Jim…
The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Raj, and Wolowitz, Amy, Bernadette—the gang keeps growing. Bazinga!

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