303 - The Gothowitz Deviation Aired October 5, 2009

The Gothowitz Deviation

Howard and Raj try to meet women at a Goth nightclub. Meanwhile, Leonard is disturbed when Sheldon attempts to retrain Penny with chocolate-based positive reinforcement to eliminate what he considers her annoying traits.

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Guest Stars: Molly Morgan as Bethany, Sarah Buehler as Sarah, Andy Mackenzie as Skeeter

Writers: Lee Aronsohn (Story), Richard Rosenstock (Story), Bill Prady (Teleplay), Maria Ferrari (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 12.5 million Households Rating: 7.8/12 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.7/11

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Episode Notes

  • The title references Howard's temporary change to being a Goth in a bid to pick up women.
  • The TV show Sheldon, Leonard & Penny were watching, "Oshikuru", is a callback to an episode of Two and a Half Men, in which Charlie has to produce a theme-song for the Japanese cartoon.

> Bazinga

Sheldon says Bazinga three times in this episode. First, Sheldon says it after telling Howard he's always wanted to go to a goth nightclub. Secondly, Sheldon says the Bazinga was implied when he suggested that with positive reinforcement he could have Penny "jumping out of a pool, balancing a beach ball on her nose".  Finally, when Leonard wonders what Penny has been talking about on the phone for such a long time, Sheldon says waitressing at the Cheescake Factory is obviously a "complex socioeconomic activity that requires a great deal of analysis and planning", followed by a Bazinga.

> Weekly Calendar

When Penny makes French Toast on a Monday, Sheldon tells her Monday is Oatmeal day.

Episode Quotes

Penny: I give up. He's impossible.
Sheldon: I can't be impossible; I exist. I think what you meant to say is, 'I give up; he's improbable'.

Girl: What are you gonna get, Raj?
Raj: With my luck, hepatitis.

Leonard: I know what you're doing.
Sheldon: You do?
Leonard: You're using chocolate as a positive reinforcement for what you consider is a correct behavior!
Sheldon: Very good. Chocolate?

Leonard: I'm just saying, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Sheldon: You catch even more with manure, what's your point?

Sheldon: Interesting. Sex works even better than chocolate to modify behavior. I wonder if anyone else has stumbled onto that.

Recap

With Penny now spending more time with Leonard in his apartment, Sheldon grows annoyed by some of Penny's more irritating behaviors. After Leonard suggests Sheldon find a way to deal with Penny without constantly criticizing her, Sheldon has the idea of using science to condition out her bad habits. He starts handing Penny chocolates every time she does something which meets his approval. 

Elsewhere, Howard and Raj dress up as Goths to pick up women at Goth clubs. While at the Goth club, Howard and Raj meet two ladies. Back at the apartment, Sheldon continues to reward Penny with chocolates and Leonard realizes Sheldon's attempting to train Penny with positive reinforcement. Back at the club, the ladies suggest Howard and Raj go somewhere else and have some fun so they go to a tatoo parlour. One of the ladies, Bethany, is getting a new tatoo while Howard and Raj watch on nervously.

As Howard looks through the tatoo catalog, he can't decide between a skull or Kermit the Frog. His decision to get the skull proves meaningless when the alcohol swab alone is enough to scare Howard away from getting a tatoo. After Howard and Raj reveal that they're not really Goths, the women leave them behind.

Back at the apartment, Sheldon asks that any amorous activities between Leonard & Penny be kept at an appropriate volume. Penny suggests to Leonard that he should go assemble the new bed in her apartment. Leonard is initially resistant to such an arduous task this late at night, but Penny convinces him by pointing out they wouldn't have to keep quiet if they were sleeping in her apartment. Sheldon wonders whether anybody's realized that sex works even better than chocolate as a behavior modifier.