Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki
Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki

"The Financial Permeability" is the fourteenth episode of the second season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on Monday, February 2, 2009.

In this episode, Penny has financial troubles and Sheldon is happy to loan her some money he isn't using.


The guys are planning their dinner and movie night using a map defining the theater and restaurant locations and the movie schedules, but none of them meet Sheldon’s conditions. Even Raj's suggestion of sneaking in a Slurpee from 7-Eleven is not sufficient for Sheldon by requesting an "emergency ad-hoc Slurpee/Icee equivalency." Their only option is for them to go to the movies without him. Sheldon agrees that it is the only logical option.

Sheldon enters his apartment with Penny rushing in ahead of him. She is hiding from the building manager landlord to whom she owes one month’s rent. She has lost hours at the restaurant and her car needs repairs. Sheldon again mentions that her "Check Engine light” was on.

Sheldon observes, "You know, it occurs to me you could solve all your problems by obtaining more money."

Sheldon then offers to loan Penny some from his a trick peanut brittle can (complete with snakes). He tells Penny to pay him back when she can. Sheldon only need 46.9% of his post-tax income and is saving up for when science develops an affordable technology to fuse his skeleton with adamantium like Wolverine. He also discloses that the rest is split up between a savings account, the snake can, and the hollowed out buttocks of "a superhero action figure who shall remain nameless for his own protection....or HER own protection". (Leonard later discloses that Sheldon has cash in Green Lantern's butt.) Penny reaches for some cash, takes it, puts some back, does some mental math and then takes a lot more. She just doesn't want things to be weird between them. Sheldon says that he would find it weirder to say hello to Penny every day on the way to work while she's living in a refrigerator box and washing her hair with rainwater.

The next day, Sheldon and Leonard pick up Penny’s mail and deliver a box to her. It is her new beret which she quickly explains she paid for more than a month ago and was just on back order. Neither Sheldon nor Leonard asked about it. "I ordered it a month ago and it just arrived, now get off my case!" Leonard is stumped by Penny's defensive reaction.

At dinner, Howard laments that the rising cost of moo shu pork makes it tougher for him to be a bad Jew. Leonard agrees to pay for Penny’s who defensively demands to pay him back. Penny also snipes at Raj for his free meals comment and then jumps on Sheldon. Penny complains that she has eaten restaurant leftovers for four days and wanted something new. She pleads with Sheldon that she will pay him back to which Sheldon offers to loan her more money. Penny yells at Sheldon and runs out. "Oh, you would just love that, wouldn't you? Yeah, you would just love to open up your little snake can and throw some money at the girl who couldn't pay her bills."

Leonard goes over to see what was troubling Penny. She is having dinner by candle light since she couldn't pay the electric company. Leonard comments that Sheldon really doesn't care when he gets paid back. It's one of the few idiosyncrasies that doesn't make you want to kill him. Penny laments not being able to make a living as a movie star or a TV star. Leonard suggests getting rid of her cable TV or her acting classes. She can’t get rid of her classes because she is a professional (though never earned any money). Besides her car breaking down, she also paid a fine for her old boyfriend Kurt for urinating on a cop car whilst drunk. She's reluctant to go to him and ask for the money. She thinks she has to find a cheaper place to live. Leonard suggests getting a roommate, like himself. Penny replies with a sultry voice, "Oh, Leonard, honey. If we started living together, I wouldn't be able to keep my hands off of you." "R-R-Really?" he asks. "And you thought my acting classes were a waste of money!"

Back in the apartment, the guys are on a quest through the Valley of Fire. Leonard wants them to join him in a real quest to get Penny's money back. The guys aren't enthusiastic to help him and Sheldon mentions losing their pants the last time they went to get Penny’s television.

Leonard convinces them to help him and Howard proposes a plan where "Koothrappali's gonna wet himself, I'm going to throw up, Sheldon's going to run away, and you're going to die."

Leonard tells Kurt that Penny's in a bad financial jam, and the money Kurt owes her would go a long way to helping her. Kurt asks if Penny sent them, and Leonard insists that he came to him on his own. Kurt slams the door in his face. As the gang left, Leonard stays behind and begins to pound on the door and demands Kurt to pay up.

In the car Leonard is driving back without the money, however Kurt did acknowledge the debt. Leonard has "I owe Penny $1,800- Kurt" written on his forehead in permanent ink. The guys are really impressed. Howard even suggests having Leonard's head notarizes, and Raj still begs for anyone to let him pee.

Penny visits the guys. Leonard is wearing a stocking cap to hide his forehead. Penny pays Sheldon back and mentions that Kurt surprised her by repaying the money he owes her because he felt guilty. Leonard wants to know what led to this "moral epiphany." She doesn't know, but she is convinced Kurt has changed and will meet him for dinner tomorrow night. Sheldon is further impressed, saying that Leonard should wear that ink as a badge of honor, his "warrior's wound." Sheldon states that Minstrels will write songs about Leonard:

"There once was a brave lad named Leonard. With a fi-fi fiddle dee-dee. He faced a fearsome giant. While Raj just wanted to pee."


  • Title Reference: Penny's financial troubles.
  • When the guys first face Kurt in this episode, Howard, who is a Jew, inexplicably makes the sign of the Cross, a Roman Catholic devotion. There is no precedent in the series, no explanation and no further instance of this happening.
  • Kurt now has longer hair since The Middle-Earth Paradigm.
  • This is the last on-screen appearance of Kurt.
  • Sheldon's minstrel song for Leonard is similar to "Bravely Bold Sir Robin" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

v - e - d
2000px-TBBT logo svg.png
The Big Bang TheoryYoung SheldonVideo
Main Characters: Leonard HofstadterSheldon CooperPenny HofstadterHoward WolowitzRajesh KoothrappaliAmy Farrah FowlerBernadette Rostenkowski-WolowitzStuart BloomEmily SweeneyLeslie Winkle

Recurring Characters: Barry KripkeWil WheatonAltheaKurtEric GablehauserMary CooperDebbie WolowitzV.M. KoothrappaliMrs. KoothrappaliMikeStephanie BarnettBeverley HofstadterPresident SiebertZack JohnsonPriya KoothrappaliWyattMike RostenkowskiMrs. RostenkowskiAlex JensenJanine DavisLucyProfessor ProtonDavid GibbsClaireStephen HawkingAlfred HofstadterColonel Richard WilliamsDenise
Minor Characters: ChristyLalita GuptaToby LoobenfeldDennis KimDimitriMissy CooperBlainTomOctaviaMariaLourdesRamona NowitzkiKathy O'BrianDavid UnderhillAliciaMikaylaCaptain SweatpantsLonely LarryDr. CrawleyBethanySarahSkeeterProfessor LaughlinAbbyMarthaOfficer HackettSandyGlenVenkatesh KoothrappaliSebastianLouie/LouiseJoyce KimMrs. GundersonJoyMrs. FowlerAngela PageProfessor GlennMrs. LathamTodd ZarneckiSusanRandallColonel Richard Williams

Season 1: PilotThe Big Bran HypothesisThe Fuzzy Boots CorollaryThe Luminous Fish EffectThe Hamburger PostulateThe Middle-Earth ParadigmThe Dumpling ParadoxThe Grasshopper ExperimentThe Cooper-Hofstadter PolarizationThe Loobenfeld DecayThe Pancake Batter AnomalyThe Jerusalem DualityThe Bat Jar ConjectureThe Nerdvana AnnihilationThe Porkchop IndeterminacyThe Peanut ReactionThe Tangerine Factor

Season 2: The Bad Fish ParadigmThe Codpiece TopologyThe Barbarian SublimationThe Griffin EquivalencyThe Euclid AlternativeThe Cooper-Nowitzki TheoremThe Panty Piñata PolarizationThe Lizard-Spock ExpansionThe White Asparagus TriangulationThe Vartabedian ConundrumThe Bath Item Gift HypothesisThe Killer Robot InstabilityThe Friendship AlgorithmThe Financial PermeabilityThe Maternal CapacitanceThe Cushion SaturationThe Terminator DecouplingThe Work Song NanoclusterThe Dead Hooker JuxtapositionThe Hofstadter IsotopeThe Vegas RenormalizationThe Classified Materials TurbulenceThe Monopolar Expedition
Season 3: The Electric Can Opener FluctuationThe Jiminy ConjectureThe Gothowitz DeviationThe Pirate SolutionThe Creepy Candy Coating CorollaryThe Cornhusker VortexThe Guitarist AmplificationThe Adhesive Duck DeficiencyThe Vengeance FormulationThe Gorilla ExperimentThe Maternal CongruenceThe Psychic VortexThe Bozeman ReactionThe Einstein ApproximationThe Large Hadron CollisionThe Excelsior AcquisitionThe Precious FragmentationThe Pants AlternativeThe Wheaton RecurrenceThe Spaghetti CatalystThe Plimpton StimulationThe Staircase ImplementationThe Lunar Excitation
Season 4: The Robotic ManipulationThe Cruciferous Vegetable AmplificationThe Zazzy SubstitutionThe Hot Troll DeviationThe Desperation EmanationThe Irish Pub FormulationThe Apology InsufficiencyThe 21-Second ExcitationThe Boyfriend ComplexityThe Alien Parasite HypothesisThe Justice League RecombinationThe Bus Pants UtilizationThe Love Car DisplacementThe Thespian CatalystThe Benefactor FactorThe Cohabitation FormulationThe Toast DerivationThe Prestidigitation ApproximationThe Zarnecki IncursionThe Herb Garden GerminationThe Agreement DissectionThe Wildebeest ImplementationThe Engagement ReactionThe Roommate Transmogrification
Season 5: The Skank Reflex AnalysisThe Infestation HypothesisThe Pulled Groin ExtrapolationThe Wiggly Finger CatalystThe Russian Rocket ReactionThe Rhinitis RevelationThe Good Guy FluctuationThe Isolation PermutationThe Ornithophobia DiffusionThe Flaming Spittoon AcquisitionThe Speckerman RecurrenceThe Shiny Trinket ManeuverThe Recombination HypothesisThe Beta Test InitiationThe Friendship ContractionThe Vacation SolutionThe Rothman DisintegrationThe Werewolf TransformationThe Weekend VortexThe Transporter MalfunctionThe Hawking ExcitationThe Stag ConvergenceThe Launch AccelerationThe Countdown Reflection
Season 6: The Date Night VariableThe Decoupling FluctuationThe Higgs Boson ObservationThe Re-Entry MinimizationThe Holographic ExcitationThe Extract ObliterationThe Habitation ConfigurationThe 43 PeculiarityThe Parking Lot EscalationThe Fish Guts DisplacementThe Santa SimulationThe Egg Salad EquivalencyThe Bakersfield ExpeditionThe Cooper/Kripke InversionThe Spoiler Alert SegmentationThe Tangible Affection ProofThe Monster IsolationThe Contractual Obligation ImplementationThe Closet ReconfigurationThe Tenure TurbulenceThe Closure AlternativeThe Proton ResurgenceThe Love Spell PotentialThe Bon Voyage Reaction
Season 7: The Hofstadter InsufficiencyThe Deception VerificationThe Scavenger VortexThe Raiders MinimizationThe Workplace ProximityThe Romance ResonanceThe Proton DisplacementThe Itchy Brain SimulationThe Thanksgiving DecouplingThe Discovery DissipationThe Cooper ExtractionThe Hesitation RamificationThe Occupation RecalibrationThe Convention ConundrumThe Locomotive ManipulationThe Table PolarizationThe Friendship TurbulenceThe Mommy ObservationThe Indecision AmalgamationThe Relationship DiremptionThe Anything Can Happen RecurrenceThe Proton TransmogrificationThe Gorilla DissolutionThe Status Quo Combustion
Season 8: The Locomotion InterruptionThe Junior Professor SolutionThe First Pitch InsufficiencyThe Hook-up ReverberationThe Focus AttenuationThe Expedition ApproximationThe Misinterpretation AgitationThe Prom EquivalencyThe Septum DeviationThe Champagne ReflectionThe Clean Room InfiltrationThe Space Probe DisintegrationThe Anxiety OptimizationThe Troll ManifestationThe Comic Book Store RegenerationThe Intimacy AccelerationThe Colonization ApplicationThe Leftover ThermalizationThe Skywalker IncursionThe Fortification ImplementationThe Communication DeteriorationThe Graduation TransmissionThe Maternal CombustionThe Commitment Determination
Season 9: The Matrimony MomentumThe Separation OscillationThe Bachelor Party CorrosionThe 2003 ApproximationThe Perspiration ImplementationThe Helium InsufficiencyThe Spock ResonanceThe Mystery Date ObservationThe Platonic PermutationThe Earworm ReverberationThe Opening Night ExcitationThe Sales Call SublimationThe Empathy OptimizationThe Meemaw MaterializationThe Valentino SubmergenceThe Positive Negative ReactionThe Celebration ExperimentationThe Application DeteriorationThe Solder Excursion DiversionThe Big Bear PrecipitationThe Viewing Party CombustionThe Fermentation BifurcationThe Line Substitution SolutionThe Convergence-Convergence
Season 10: The Conjugal ConjectureThe Military MiniaturizationThe Dependence TranscendenceThe Cohabitation ExperimentationThe Hot Tub ContaminationThe Fetal Kick CatalystThe Veracity ElasticityThe Brain Bowl IncubationThe Geology ElevationThe Property Division CollisionThe Birthday SynchronicityThe Holiday SummationThe Romance RecalibrationThe Emotion Detection AutomationThe Locomotion ReverberationThe Allowance EvaporationThe Comic-Con ConundrumThe Escape Hatch IdentificationThe Collaboration FluctuationThe Recollection DissipationThe Separation AgitationThe Cognition RegenerationThe Gyroscopic CollapseThe Long Distance Dissonance
Season 11: The Proposal ProposalThe Retraction ReactionThe Relaxation IntegrationThe Explosion ImplosionThe Collaboration ContaminationThe Proton RegenerationThe Geology MethodologyThe Tesla RecoilThe Bitcoin EntanglementThe Confidence ErosionThe Celebration ReverberationThe Matrimonial MetricThe Solo OscillationThe Separation TriangulationThe Novelization CorrelationThe Neonatal NomenclatureThe Athenaeum AllocationThe Gates ExcitationThe Tenant DisassociationThe Reclusive PotentialThe Comet PolarizationThe Monetary InsufficiencyThe Sibling RealignmentThe Bow Tie Asymmetry
Season 12: The Conjugal ConfigurationThe Wedding Gift WormholeThe Procreation CalculationThe Tam TurbulenceThe Planetarium CollisionThe Imitation PerturbationThe Grant Allocation DerivationThe Consummation DeviationThe Citation NegationThe VCR IlluminationThe Paintball ScatteringThe Propagation PropositionThe Confirmation PolarizationThe Meteorite ManifestationThe Donation OscillationThe D & D VortexThe Conference ValuationThe Laureate AccumulationThe Inspiration DeprivationThe Decision ReverberationThe Plagiarism SchismThe Maternal ConclusionThe Change ConstantThe Stockholm Syndrome

The Apartment BuildingApartment 4AApartment 4BThe ElevatorCalifornia Institute of TechnologyWolowitz HouseThe Comic Center of PasadenaPasadenaThe Cheesecake FactoryRaj's ApartmentAmy's ApartmentHoward and Bernadette's ApartmentThe StairsSheldon's Old OfficeRaj's Old OfficeSheldon's New OfficeHoward's LabThe University CafeteriaKripke's Plasma LabInternational Space StationThe Kinetics Lab
See Also
Unaired Pilot