Follow TV Tropes


Recap / The Big Bang Theory S 2 E 7 The Panty Pinata Polarization

Go To
Penny stealing Sheldon's onion ring.
The Panty Piñata Polarization is the 7th episode of the 2nd season of The Big Bang Theory.

The premise follows Sheldon and Penny waging war on each other with childish pranks (or at least Penny's are childish, Sheldon's are cleverly astute) when they have had enough of each others' insolence. Meanwhille, Howard and Raj try to find the house where the America's Next Top Model contestants are staying.

This is how the prank war between Penny and Sheldon goes:

  • Penny committed the first offense: she tried to eat Sheldon's onion ring. Her excuse? She's hungry. And when Sheldon calls her out on it, Penny tries to rationalize "Look, I didn't know." or that it was only one ring.
  • Penny then sits in Sheldon's spot. Then she refuses to budge.
  • Sheldon bans Penny from the room.
  • Penny tries refusing service to Sheldon at Cheesecake Factory, then brings him a badly-prepared cheeseburger.
  • Sheldon cuts off Penny's access to his room's Wi-Fi.
  • Advertisement:
  • Penny takes up all the laundry machines to spite Sheldon.
  • While Penny isn't looking and goes off-guard on her laundry, Sheldon hangs them all on the telephone wire.


  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Penny declares "No shoes, no shirt, no Sheldon".
  • Anything but That!: When Sheldon hangs Penny's underwear on a telephone wire, she tells Leonard that her war with Sheldon is not just "on", but "junior rodeo on", to which Leonard groans, "Oh, not junior rodeo."
  • At Least I Admit It: Penny tries to admit she's done some stupid things to spite Sheldon so that she can end the childish prank war between her and Sheldon. However, Penny doesn't admit she started the war by touching his onion ring, and so Sheldon refuses to end the prank war. Not to mention it's too late for her to admit that by now, and it's so blatantly obvious how stupid her actions were: trying to poison Sheldon's cheeseburger, stealing his onion ring, taking up all the laundry machines, being verbally abrasive to him.
  • Advertisement:
  • Boring, but Practical: One of Penny's pranks for revenge on Sheldon is simply using all the washing machines at once so he can't do his laundry on laundry night. While this would be just a simple inconvenience for anyone else, Penny knows how obsessed Sheldon is with his habits and even a small thing like this makes him extremely uncomfortable.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Penny's the bully, Sheldon's the dragon.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase:
    Penny: (knock knock) SHELDON! (knock knock) SHELDON! (knock knock) SHELDON!
  • Crazy-Prepared: Sheldon anticipated the guys would try to restore Penny's wi-fi after he sanctioned it, apparently since he can visibly tell both Leonard and Howard are deeply in love with her.
    Sheldon: HELLO PUNY INSECTS! As a consequence of your efforts to circumvent my will, everyone is awarded one additional strike!
  • Escalating War: Between Sheldon and Penny, although Sheldon's tactics are far stronger than Penny's.
    Penny: (to Leonard) Oh, no no no no, it is on! I'm going to introduce your friend to a world of hurt!
  • Everyone Has Standards: Though Penny says she will make Sheldon pay, even she is hesitant to resort to telling his mother on him when Leonard says she is his "Kryptonite", only doing so when Leonard says it will end the war and "save millions of lives".
  • Evil Laugh: Sheldon says "Mwa-ha-ha".
  • Evil vs. Evil: Penny and Sheldon both act like jerks to each other in this episode and drag the rest of the gang into their squabbles against each other. Sheldon kicks Penny out of the apartment for stealing his onion ring and sitting in his spot, and Penny finally has enough of his childish Jerkass treatment of her and always making a big deal of stuff nobody else cares about. Though they are both equally in the wrong for their pettiness and immaturity, Sheldon apparently accepts his role as the villain in the situation, giving off a mock Evil Laugh, perhaps aware of the opinion he is "one lab accident away from becoming a supervillain". Penny is the ultimate winner of their conflict when she tells Sheldon's mom on him and she forces him to apologize to Penny.
  • For Want of an Onion Ring: Leonard already bought her her own plate of food and Penny still wanted Sheldon's onion rings. The onion ring touching causes the Escalating War between Sheldon and Penny.
  • Freak Lab Accident: Sarcastically invoked by Leonard.
    Leonard: Penny, you don't want to get into it with Sheldon. The guy is one lab accident away from becoming a supervillain.
  • Godzilla Threshold: To stop the prank war once and for all, Leonard clues Penny to "Sheldon's Kryptonite" - telling on him to his mother.
    Penny: Look, I said I wanted to hurt him, but... this?
    Leonard: It'll shorten the war by five years and save millions of lives.
  • Hypocrite: Penny for claiming Sheldon is being rude to her. She's the jerk who stole his onion ring in the first place and then belittled him by sitting in his couch spot (which is Sheldon's own couch in his own room that he's paying rent for, Penny's not even paying rent for her own room).
  • Idiot Ball: Penny for leaving her laundry unattended right after taunting Sheldon she's the one who took up all the laundry machines out of spite.
  • Innocent Bystander: Leonard becomes this in Sheldon and Penny's war.
  • The Internet Is for Cats: Penny once sent Sheldon a picture of a cat who wants to "haz cheezburger". He did not care for it. Matter of fact, he despised it.
    Penny: Oh, come on, everyone loves LOLCats. They're cute, and they can't spell, 'cause they're cats.
  • It's All About Me: Both Sheldon and Penny. Though Penny's more selfish because she's the one who stole Sheldon's onion ring, which started the war between her and Sheldon. Penny's rebuttal that she only wanted one onion ring which still isn't justifiable because it's still stealing.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Sheldon complains Penny's really done some stupid things.
    • His actions, until the underwear incident, were also within his rights as all he did was rescind Penny's access to his apartment and then his Wi-Fi, neither of which she actually has any legal rights to. They were at the most only privileges that the true residents (Leonard and Sheldon) granted her. Penny acts like she is entitled to those privileges and has the nerve to lash out at Sheldon for taking away both those privileges ("I'm BANISHED?! What the hell kind of crap is that?!"). Aside from the Wi-Fi piggybacking, Penny only wants to come into their apartment to watch their TV (she didn't pay her own cable bill), and take some free portions out of the male protagonists' meals.
  • Momma's Boy:
    • Sheldon wouldn't suffer any serious consequences just for disobeying his mother now that he's a grown independent man though he's psychologically wired to still listen to her.
    • Invoked when Howard talks about the America's Top Model contestants being "the future Mrs. Wolowitz", which inevitably leads to a joke about his mother being "the current Mrs. Wolowitz."
  • Nerds Speak Klingon: The episode opens with the guys playing "Klingon Boggle".
  • Nice to the Waitress: Penny tries to make Sheldon regret being aggressive towards her by being a really malicious waitress (or slightly more malicious than she usually is) when Sheldon comes to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. When she is forced to give him his order anyway she dares him to eat his food, implying she did something to it (or just to psych him out with paranoia, either way works for her).
  • Only Sane Man: Leonard, as usual when he is caught in the middle of the war between Penny and Sheldon.
  • Ordered Apology: Sheldon has to give one to Penny because of his mother Mary.
  • Pretty Freeloaders: Penny knows that the onion rings are Sheldon's, and yet she tried to eat one without even asking for permission. That's a very selfish and criminal thing to do. This can tell us that Penny is a corrupt freeloader who likes to steal and eat other people's foods just because she's hungry and can't afford to eat with her meager waitress salary. (Though other episodes show Penny squander money on fancy shoes)
  • Shout-Out: Howard references the 1932 movie Freaks when chanting "One of us, one of us!" after Leonard says, "You're officially one of us" to Penny.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Howard says of a woman at the America's Next Top Model house that "she's taller than all of the women in my family combined."
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: We don't know what Penny did to Sheldon's barbecue bacon cheeseburger, but it was apparently something real bad.
    • Sheldon also considers Penny touching his onion ring horribly unsanitary.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Penny, who after trying to eat Sheldon's onion ring becomes retaliatory when Sheldon forbids her from mooching off of his couch and food any longer.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Sheldon proves that he can be far more annoying and heinous than he usually is when you make him angry.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: