Big Bang Theory - Episode 2.2 - "The Codpiece Topology"

The season two DVD set of CBS' brainy physics-based The Big Bang Theory. Chuck Lorre Production/CBS

The Bottom Line

It's a bit strange for Leonard to have so few romantic relationships and then run through two of them in two episodes. I'd like to have seen the relationship with Leslie drawn out at least a bit longer, but the way they handled the break-up was very entertaining.


  • Hilarious dialogue.
  • Dynamic characters.
  • Some great play with current conflicts within the theoretical physics community.


    • Another relationship that ends very quickly, making things monotonous at this point in the series.


    • 21 minutes
    • Available on Disk 1 of The Big Bang Theory's Season Two DVD collection.
    • Starring Jim Parsons (Sheldon), Johnny Galecki (Leonard), Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Simon Helberg (Howard), and Kunal Nayyar (Raj)
    • Created by Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady

    Guide Review - Big Bang Theory - Episode 2.2 - "The Codpiece Topology"

    Penny begins dating someone new, sparking a depressed Leonard to seek out a rebound relationship in the arms of his colleague, physicist Leslie Winkle, much to Sheldon's frustration. The relationship ends when it becomes clear that Leonard does not completely agree with Leslie on the fundamental compositional elements of the universe's fabric.

    Physics in This Episode

    • The String Wars - Sheldon Cooper is a brilliant theoretical physicist focusing on research in string theory. Leslie Winkle's research focuses on loop quantum gravity, one of string theory's biggest competitors to unite quantum physics and general relativity. The animosity shown by the two characters toward the views of the other is an exaggeration of the extreme passions the quantum gravity debate can elicit among those in the thick of it.
    • Schroedinger's Cat - At one point, Penny attempts to explain the classic quantum physics thought experiment to her new boyfriend. The actual physics involved isn't actually included in the dialogue, just his clear confusion over what they're talking about.

    Notable Quotes

    Raj: What about Leslie Winkle [as a prospective rebound for Leonard]?

    Sheldon: No.
    Raj: Why?
    Sheldon: Her research methodology is sloppy, she's unjustifiably arrogant about loop quantum gravity, and, to make matters worse, she's often mean to me.

    Sheldon: If you're having trouble deciding where to sit, may I suggest "One Potato, Two Potato." Or, as I call it, the Leslie Winkle experimental methodology.

    Sheldon: I will graciously overlook the fact that she is an arrogant, sub-par scientist who actually believes loop quantum gravity better unites quantum mechanics with general relativity than does string theory. You kids have fun.
    Leslie: Hang on a second. Loop quantum gravity clearly offers more testable predictions than string theory.
    Sheldon: I'm listening. Amuse me.
    Leslie: Okay, well, for one thing, we expect quantized spacetime to manifest itself as minute differences in the speed of light for different colors.
    Sheldon: Balderdash. Matter clearly consists of tiny strings.
    Leslie: [to Leonard] Are you going to let him talk to me like that?
    Leonard: Yeah, well, there's a lot of merit to both theories.
    Leslie: No there isn't. Only loop quantum gravity calculates the entropy of black holes.
    Sheldon: [snort]
    Leonard: Sheldon, don't make that noise. It's disrespectful.

    Sheldon: I should hope so. It was a snort of derision.
    Leslie: You agree with me, right? Loop quantum gravity is the future of physics.
    Leonard: Sorry, Leslie, I guess I prefer my space stringy, not loopy.
    Leslie: Well, I'm glad I found out the truth about you before this went any further.
    Leonard: What truth? We're talking about untested hypotheses. Look, it isn't any big deal.
    Leslie: Oh, it isn't, really? Tell me, Leonard, how will we raise the children?
    Leonard:I guess we wait until they're old enough and let them choose their own theory.
    Leslie: We can't let them choose, Leonard, they're children!