401 - The Robotic Manipulation
Aired September 23, 2010

The Robotic Manipulation

When Penny finds out that Sheldon has been talking to a girl, Amy Farrah Fowler, for months, she urges him to go out on a date with her. Penny soon finds herself going along for the ride as she accompanies Sheldon on his first ever date.

Meanwhile, Howard lands himself in an uncomfortable situation when he "borrows" a robotic hand from NASA and finds a creepy new use for the device.

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Guest Stars: Carol Ann Susi as Mrs. Wolowitz, Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler, Vernee Watson as Althea

Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Lee Aronsohn (Story), Dave Goetsch (Story), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Eric Kaplan (Teleplay), Steve Holland (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 14.04 million Households Rating: 8.4/14 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.9/16

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  • The title refers to the robotic hand Howard "borrowed" and found various uses for.

Quotes (24)

Nurse: What is this?
Howard: It's a robot arm.
Nurse: Where's the rest of the robot?
Howard: I only built the arm.
Nurse: Because that's all you needed, right?

Rajesh: You know there's something I've always wondered about Aquaman
Leonard: Yeah?
Rajesh: Where does he poop?
Leonard: What?
Rajesh: What do the toilet look like in Atlantis? How would you flush it? And when you did flush it, where would the poop go?

Sheldon: I am aware of the way humans usually reproduce which is messy, unsanitary and based on living next to you for three years, involves loud and unnecessary appeals to a deity.
Penny: Oh, God.
Sheldon: Yes, exactly.

Wolowitz: Winnie-the-Pooh is out of the honey tree.

Raj: When Winnie-the-Pooh got his head stuck in the honey tree, his friends all grabbed onto him and pulled and pulled.
Leonard: You do what you want I'm not touching another man's honey tree.

Episode Pictures (3)

News Stories

Title Date Posted
Episode 4.01 Ratings September 24 2010

The ratings for the season 4 premiere are out. The Big Bang Theory was a huge hit on Thursday night.  Full story

Episode 4.01 Ratings: First Look September 24 2010

The initial ratings data for the fourth season premiere is out  Full story

CBS Announces Season 4 Premiere August 23 2010

CBS has announced the details of the fourth season premiere of The Big Bang Theory.  Full story


The guys are eating Chinese food for dinner and are using Wolowitz's robot hand to unpack the food. When Penny joins them for dinner, she is surprised to hear Sheldon has been texting with a girl, Amy Farrah Fowler, all summer long. To everyone's surprise, Sheldon announces their plans to conceive a child through in-vitro fertilization. After Penny suggests Sheldon go on a date with Amy to better know the future mother of his child, she is tasked with driving him to the date. Elsewhere, Howard is using the robot hand to massage himself when he thinks of another use for the device.

Driving Sheldon to pick up Amy, Penny figures out that this is Sheldon's first ever date. Back at the apartment, Raj and Leonard are looking through comic books when they get a call from Howard asking for help with an embarrassing problem. When they arrive at Howard's place, they find him with the robot hand stuck grasping his private parts. Leonard and Raj are too busy laughing to offer much assistance. Back in Penny's car, she tries to get a conversation going between Sheldon and Amy. 

At the restaurant, Penny is sticking around for Sheldon and Amy's dates. Her attempts get the conversation going fail, until Sheldon starts calculating the number of partners Penny's had. Sheldon works out that Penny has had 193 dates, while Amy wonders whether Penny has slept with all of those guys. Penny is deeply uncomfortable with the conversation, but at least she finally got them talking. Elsewhere, Leonard and Raj take Howard to the hospital emergency room. The nurse, Althea, tries turning the computer which controls the robot on and off again, causing it to release its hold on Howard's nether regions.

As Penny and Sheldon return from his date with Amy, Penny stops Sheldon from having a baby with Amy by threatening to call his mother. Back in the apartment, Sheldon announces he won't be procreating with Amy, while Leonard gets another phone call from Howard.

Comments (382)

sarah Germany, 08:30 Feb 12 2015.
hey, I love penny sooo much!please could somebody tell me where to get this pink shirt with black and white leopard dots that she's wearing?thaanks
harshith  Norway, 13:45 Aug 3 2014.
I love this TV show.. All characters are awesome.... Love u all from India
Pranav India, 02:08 Dec 5 2013.
I just love Simon Helberg's character Howard. Sometimes he just trumps Jim Parson's character Sheldon. That is why I have hard time choosing my favorite character between Howard and Sheldon. Love you guys, from India!!
Juicestor United Arab Emirates, 11:10 May 29 2013.
Sheldon is awsome
Evie United Kingdom, 04:29 Jan 19 2013.
i loove TBBT i know the whole 1.46 big bang song its awsome!
SLC India, 13:07 Aug 26 2012.
BBt rock....one of the best show ever
Tyler Sheldon  United States, 09:41 May 13 2012.
The Big Bang Thoery rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shravan varma United Arab Emirates, 13:40 Mar 5 2012.
I jus Love BBT .... You rockssssssss
tbiboz Philippines, 09:55 Dec 25 2011.
I liked sheldon doing the math on penny....:)
liz Australia, 02:07 Dec 16 2011.
i love big bang coz its da best lolol ^.^ just love em cant find a show as best as this mofo lololol

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