The Emotion Detection Automation Season 10, Episode 14 -  Aired February 2, 2017

The Emotion Detection Automation

When Sheldon unintentionally offends Raj, he is keen to get hold of a new MIT invention that detects human emotions so he won't be in the dark about people's feelings. Meanwhile, Leonard and Penny argue when she wants to invite her brother to stay with them temporarily.

When his latest relationship comes to an end, Raj convenes a meeting of his ex-girlfriends to try understand why they broke up with him.

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Guest Stars: Laura Spencer as Emily Sweeney, Kate Micucci as Lucy, Alessandra Torresani as Claire, Katie LeClerc as Emily

Writers: Chuck Lorre (Story), Steven Molaro (Story), Eric Kaplan (Story), Steve Holland (Teleplay), Jim Reynolds (Teleplay), Saladin K. Patterson (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 14.66 million Households Rating: 9.7/16 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.1/12

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Sheldon using a device to understand people's emotions.

Episode Quotes

Leonard: He really worked with the Drug Enforcement Agency?
Penny: He didn't know it 'til he was cuffed, but yeah.

Leonard: Penny's gonna call her dad and tell him it's not a good time for Randall to visit.
Penny: Hopefully, he won't be too upset.
Leonard: Oh, you're his little girl. He can't stay mad at you.
Penny: He won't be mad at me. I mean, you're the one who doesn't want my brother to come, so-
Leonard: So you're gonna throw me under the bus?
Penny: Oh, I'm gonna throw you so hard, I might actually win a stuffed animal.

Amy: Well, everybody has things that they need help with. Like me. I can't see without my glasses. And right now you're just a cute, pink smudge wearing a childish green smudge.

Bernadette: You know, I just read that a team at MIT developed a device that helps people read human emotions.
Leonard: And you think we can get those guys to reprogram Sheldon? Cool.

Lucy: Can I just say something? Going out with Raj was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Raj: Yes, I'll take you back.
Lucy: It's like I needed to go through that experience to know what exactly I don't want in a man.
Raj: That's hard to hear, but I'll still take you back.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
1014 'The Emotion Detection Automation' Press Release January 27, 2017

CBS has released the synopsis for the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Emotion Detection Automation", which airs this Thursday, February 2.  Full story


As the guys climb the stairs of the apartment building with their dinner, Leonard asks Raj about the woman he’s dating. After Raj explains she broke up with him and didn’t even tell him why, Sheldon wants to figure out why women don’t like Raj. Raj insists he’s fine, but Sheldon starts to compare Raj to that famous virgin Isaac Newton. Leonard and Howard point out how offensive Sheldon is being to Raj. 

When the guys enter the apartment, Penny and Bernadette are setting the table. After Sheldon tells them was apparently being offensive, the girls want to know what Sheldon did. Sheldon explains how they were talking about Raj’s latest break-up and how he compared him to a dead virgin. With Sheldon still going on about it, Raj tells him that “I’m fine” meant “I don’t want to talk about it”. Sheldon can’t figure out why Raj didn’t just say that. As they sit down to eat, Bernadette mentions she just read that a team at MIT made a device that detects people’s emotions. Howard offers to make calls to get Sheldon a prototype of the device. 

At the comic book store, Raj asks Leonard about his plans for Sheldon’s old room. Howard gets off the phone with the guys at MIT, and tells Sheldon they’re sending him a beta version of the device to test. When Raj thinks he could use it to figure out why women keep dumping him, Howard jokingly suggests he send round a survey to his ex-girlfriends. Raj thinks it’s not a bad idea to get them together in a sort of focus group. 

When Leonard comes out of Sheldon’s old room with a measuring tape and ideas about turning it into a game room, Penny asks Leonard to hold off redoing the room as her brother might be coming to stay with them for a while. Penny explains that she’s trying to get him a job interview at her pharmaceutical company. Leonard seems concerned at the idea of her brother staying with them for an indefinite amount of time, but he assures Penny’s he’s fine with it. 

In Sheldon’s office, Howard demonstrates the emotion detecting device for him and Amy. When Sheldon tests it on Amy, who’s looking at pictures on her laptop to trigger emotions, the machine seems to work well. Meanwhile, Raj is with Howard and Bernadette in their kitchen. He gets off the phone with Emily, who’s agreed to join his “focus group”. Howard can’t believe Raj went through with the idea. Bernadette warns him that he’s just going to get criticism that hurts his feeling. 

In the apartment, Penny wants Leonard to look at her brother’s résumé. When Sheldon and Amy arrives with the emotion detector, Sheldon starts pointing it at Leonard and Penny. His machine reveals that Leonard is angry about helping Randall get a job. Penny can’t believe Leonard is upset about Randall staying with them and that he didn’t tell her how he felt.  

As Leonard and Penny argue, Sheldon uses his machine to detect that they’re both angry. Amy thinks Sheldon should stop enjoying their fight, but Sheldon uses the device to confirm that Amy is enjoying the fight as well. When Leonard says that if Penny helped get Randall a job he’d be staying there forever, Penny claims he’d get his own place, even though he’s never lived alone - except in prison. After Leonard tells Sheldon to take his machine and go away, Sheldon storms off with Amy. 

Raj is joined by Howard and a group of his ex-girlfriends: Emily #1, Claire, Lucy, and Emily #2. Howard is there to interpret for Emily #1, who is deaf and mute. Raj gets things started by asking them to each say why they broke up with him. When Lucy says he kept pushing her into uncomfortable situations, Raj realizes he can be insensitive to people’s boundaries. Claire says she broke up with him because was really needy and vain, while Emily #2 wants to talk about problems in the bedroom. 

In their apartment, Amy calls Sheldon to dinner. When he doesn’t come, she finds him laying on his bed upset. When Sheldon tells her he wishes he never tried the machine, Amy says she’s sorry Leonard and Penny hurt his feelings. Sheldon says it’s not just that; the machine made him realize how much he struggles to understand other people’s feelings. When Sheldon says he thought he was getting better about it, Amy tells him he is because there have been days where he was able to tell she was sad. When Sheldon insults Amy, he immediately knows he shouldn’t have and apologizes. Amy tells him to get rid of the machine if he doesn’t like it, because she loves him exactly the way he is. 

Back in Raj’s apartment, Emily #1 tells Howard how Raj was dominated by his parents, which bothered his other ex-girlfriends, too. Lucy says going out with Raj was one of the best things that ever happened to her, because it helped her know what she didn’t want in a man. It seems all his ex-girlfriends went onto better relationships after him. Disheartened, Raj wants to call the evening to a close, but Howard points out that Raj is going to great lengths to better himself even at risk of humiliation. Emily admits she’s surprised that Howard and Raj didn’t wind up together. 

When Sheldon answers the door to Leonard and Penny, they say they’ve come to apologize. They’re sorry Sheldon got caught in the middle of their fight. They say they’ve resolved their conflict. When Leonard says Penny will call her dad and say it’s not a good time for Randall to visit, Penny makes it clear she will be telling her dad that Leonard is the reason why Randall can’t stay with them. After Sheldon says it sounds like they’re getting angry again, Leonard and Penny confirm that’s true. Sheldon is delighted that he doesn't need an emotion machine - he is one. 

After Howard says goodbye to Raj’s ex-girlfriends, Raj concedes that the night was a waste of time. To try cheer him up, Howard suggests that in thirty years, if things don’t work out with him and Bernadette, he and Raj could give it a go. When Raj tries to imagine their theoretical gay relationship, they start bickering like an old married couple. 

When the gang gathers in the apartment for dinner, Penny asks Sheldon if he sent the machine back. He says he did and that he wasn’t even sure how accurate it was. When Bernadette comes out to say she got Halley to sleep, Raj mentions a study that new mothers are better at sensing emotions. Sheldon has Bernadette try detect what he’s feeling, with impressive results.