212 - The Killer Robot Instability
Aired January 12, 2009

The Killer Robot Instability

When another one of Howard's unwanted advances on Penny leads her to spurn him, Howard falls into a depressed funk. Wolowitz's absence deprives the guys of their star engineer as they work on their robot for an upcoming killer robot contest.

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Guest Stars: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz, John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke

Writers: Bill Prady (Story), Richard Rosenstock (Story), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Daley Haggar (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 11.8 million Households Rating: 7.1/11 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.4/11

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Episode Notes

  • The title of course refers to the the guys' killer robot, M.O.N.T.E, while 'instability' likely refers to Howard's personal crisis and also the effect it has on the guys' chances in the killer robot contest.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke.

Quotes (27)

Barry Kripke: We're all pathetic and creepy, and can't get girls. That's why we fight robots.

Mrs. Wolowitz: Want me to get you a popsicle?
Howard: Cherry, please!
Mrs. Wolowitz: I ate the cherry. All that's left is green.
Howard: You make me wanna kill myself!

Mrs. Wolowitz Should I ask Leonard to bring over your homework?
Howard: I don't have homework. I'm a grown man with a master's degree in engineering.
Mrs. Wolowitz Excuse me, Mr. Fancy Pants. Want me to get you a popsicle?

Wolowitz: The way I see it, I'm halfway to pity sex.

Wolowitz: As delicious as the appetizer may be, sooner or later we will have to succumb and eat the entre while its still ... hot.


The gang has built a killer robot to enter into a robot fighting tournament. Penny gets the fright of her life when their killer robot, M.O.N.T.E. (Mobile Omnidirectional Neutralization & Termination Eradicator), smashes through the apartment door just as she walks up the stairs. After Howard hits on Penny yet again, she responds angrily labelling him "pathetic and creepy". When Penny tells Howard he will grow old and die alone, he leaves.

Leonard visits a depressed Howard's house to check on him and see why he didn't come to work. Leonard explains that the guys need Howard's expertise if M.O.N.T.E. is going to stand a chance in the tournament. At the cafeteria, the guys are worried when Kripke challenges them to a one-on-one fight with his robot, the Kripke Crippler. Sheldon agrees, though the other guys don't think they should do this without Howard.

Concerned for his friend and his robot, Leonard goes to Penny to try get her to apologize to Howard. Penny visits Howard's house to apologize, but Howard at first claims he's not upset. When Howard bursts into tears, Penny goes back to comfort him. Meanwhile, the guys watch a video of Kripke's robot destroying a Chevy Cavalier. Leonard and Raj consider calling the match off, but Sheldon refuses to back down to Kripke.

When Penny shows Howard some sympathy over his failing love life, Howard misconstrues this. Howard tries to kiss Penny and she punches him in the face. Back at the university, M.O.N.T.E. is obliterated by Kripke's robot. The guys return to the apartment with the wreck of their robot. Howard arrives with a bruised face, which Penny explains by saying he fell in the shower. Sheldon apologizes for his hubris that led to M.O.N.T.E's destruction and plans a funeral service for their fallen robot.

Comments (23)

Leonard (um... this is akward) United States, 01:19 Jun 1 2014.
I know it's probably pointless responding to a 5-year old comment but it looks like Barry is about as good a psychic as Penny he claimed that the other Barry (Kripke)'s speech impediment was cheap and unfunny and yet mr. Kripke's gone on to become a beloved recurring character and Penny told Howard he would "grow old and die alone" (still would like to punch her for that one!) and yet he's the first one married (suck it Penny!)
lynn United States, 13:45 Aug 7 2013.
what was the name of the closing song on this episode? I think it is from the 70s maybe
OpalwoodE50 United States, 10:50 Mar 28 2013.
Heh, Penny screaming when the robot suddenly came out breaking the door, I bet the guys wanted to use Penny as a tested object. Yep, she got daled.
Louis United Kingdom, 09:23 Apr 8 2012.
Biggest fan on the planet u know nothing
laura medina Dominican Republic, 08:57 Mar 3 2011.
i love the big bang theory, its my favorite show!!! when i am sad, i see the show and later im so happy!!!! thank you!!!!
Sarah Australia, 04:41 Jul 13 2010.
So this question is abit diffrent but were does pennys orange top come from? It pops up every now and then and I love it!
Photonwave United States, 15:26 Jan 23 2009.
Hey, does anyone have any idea who's picture hangs in Howards room? It's on the right side of the bed and looks like a pencil drawing of ??? (I think maybe Christina Applegate??)
Lord_Branius Mexico, 22:27 Jan 13 2009.
Good episode but something is missing,i don't maybe more star wars jokes LOL
Barry United States, 14:12 Jan 13 2009.
What was with the lisp? It felt very cheap, not funny at all.
A. Einstein Sweden, 12:26 Jan 13 2009.
I think it's the least fun episode so far. But still good.

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