212 - The Killer Robot Instability Aired January 12, 2009
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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Director: Mark Cendrowski
Viewers: 11.8 million Households Rating: 7.1/11 Adults 18-49 Rating: 4.4/11
- 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.
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.