The Intimacy Acceleration Season 8, Episode 16 -  Aired February 26, 2015

The Intimacy Acceleration

After Amy mentions an experiment which aimed to see whether people could fall in love in just a few hours, Sheldon and Penny volunteer to perform the experiment themselves. Sheldon and Penny spend the evening sharing intimate details about themselves.

Meanwhile, Leonard, Amy, Raj and Emily visit an "escape room" where they are tormented by a zombie, but their intellect threatens to ruin their fun. Meanwhile, Howard and Bernadette encounter trouble as they fly back from Mrs. Wolowitz's funeral.

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Guest Stars: Laura Spencer as Emily, Stephanie Escajeda as Cindy, Molly Morgan as Hostess, Max Alder as Zombie

Writers: Dave Goetsch (Story), Eric Kaplan (Story), Tara Hernandez (Story), Steven Molaro (Teleplay), Jim Reynolds (Teleplay), Steve Holland (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Sheldon and Penny's experiment to see whether it's possible to fall in love in a matter of hours.
  • When Leonard, Amy, Raj and Emily visited the "zombie escape room", the dead professor whose spirit haunts the room was named David Saltzberg. David Saltzberg is The Big Bang Theory's science consultant.

Episode Quotes

Howard: I'm sorry I didn't take you to the airport. I just want you to know I'll never forgive myself for being so selfish. And I promise to keep you close for the rest of my life.
Bernadette: Oh, no, that thing's gonna end up in my bedroom.

Bernadette: You better find my husband's mother, 'cause one way or another we're walking out of this airport with a dead woman.

Penny: Do you want to stop? I know you have trouble with eye contact.
Sheldon: Well, you have a brown fleck in your right iris that looks like a Formula 1 race car, so I'm just concentrating on that. Plus it's easier around people I'm comfortable with.
Penny: Oh, sweetie, I'm comfortable around you, too.
Sheldon: Of course you are. I'm warm and soothing. I'm like a human bowl of tomato soup.

Amy: I just read about an experiment designed to see if you can make two people fall in love in a matter of hours.
Leonard: That doesn't sound right. My research has shown it takes three to five years of shameless begging.
Penny: Honey, neither of us comes off good in that story.

Sheldon: Oh, I know, the person I'd most like to have dinner with is myself.
Penny: You sure that's your choice, because I've had that dinner.
Sheldon: Well, I haven't. And although they say never meet your heroes, I just don't see how I could disappoint.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
816 'The Intimacy Acceleration' Ratings February 28, 2015

Last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory dominated the ratings to rank as the night's most-watched and highest-rated show.  Full story

816 ' The Intimacy Acceleration' Pictures February 24, 2015

Pictures from the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Intimacy Acceleration", have been added to our site. In the episode, Sheldon and Penny test a theory which suggests people fall in love within a few hours by asking intimate questions of each other. Meanwhile, Leonard and Amy spend the night with Raj and Emily at an "escape room", while Howard and Bernadette encounter a problem as they fly back from Mrs. Wolowitz's funeral.  Full story

816 'The Intimacy Acceleration' Press Release February 17, 2015

CBS has put out the press release for next week's episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Intimacy Acceleration". Laura Spencer returns as Emily, Raj's girlfriend.  Full story


As the gang eat dinner in the apartment, Amy mentions an experiment which aimed to see whether people could fall in love in a matter of hours by sharing intimate details and staring into each other's eyes. Sheldon thinks the research is nonsense, but his scientific curiosity leads him to volunteer to test it out. Penny, who is surprised that Sheldon would be comfortable opening up to somebody, offers to do it with him.

After Sheldon and Penny go to her apartment for the experiment, Raj is surprised Leonard and Amy are so calm about their partners testing whether they can fall in love with each other. Leonard offers to do the experiment with Amy, but her rude response to one of his answers puts an end to that. In search of something else to do, Raj, Amy and Leonard agree to meet up with Emily. Elsewhere, after landing in Los Angeles following Mrs. Wolowitz's funeral, Howard and Bernadette are horrified to find the airline may have lost the suitcase containing his mom's ashes.

After Leonard, Amy and Raj pick up Emily, she suggests they spend the night in an "escape room" where they must quickly complete a series of puzzles to escape a "zombie". Back at Penny's apartment, she and Sheldon continue the relationship test. After telling each other their ideal dinner date guest (Sheldon's being Sheldon and Penny's being Robert Downey, Jr.), they move on to describing their perfect day. They both notice each other's perfect day doesn't seem to include their partners, Leonard or Amy. Meanwhile, Howard is told that his missing suitcase did arrive in Los Angeles, but could now be anywhere in the world.

As they continue their relationship test, Penny tells Sheldon she wishes she could be as smart as the others are. Sheldon admits she has intelligence he is envious of, telling her how he struggles to read people properly and doesn't know when they're laughing with him or at him, or when they're having a bad day or they're mad at him. Penny says she wishes she could make things better for Sheldon. At the airport, Howard refuses to leave until they track down his mother's ashes. Howard reveals that he feels guilty for not driving his mom to the airport for her trip, telling her he was too busy. Seeing her husband upset, a scary Bernadette approaches the airline staff to insist they find the suitcase.

Leonard, Amy, Raj and Emily are disappointed that they completed the puzzles so quickly after spending $200 dollars to visit the escape room. Elsewhere, as Sheldon and Penny continue their test over some food, Penny asks Sheldon what he would regret not having said if he were to die today without being able to communicate with anyone. Sheldon tells her there would be something satisfying about dying on his birthday. Penny is surprised to learn it's Sheldon's birthday, which has remained a secret as he hates presents and surprise parties. Penny promises not to tell anyone about his secret.

Back at the airport, the airline has finally found Howard's suitcase. When Howard gets hold of his mother's urn, he apologizes to his mom for not driving her to the airport, promising he'll keep her close to him from now on. Meanwhile, after finishing their test, Sheldon and Penny try to stare into each other's eyes for four minutes. As they do, Penny asks Sheldon if he wants to stop as she knows he has trouble with eye contact. When Sheldon tells Penny he's comfortable around her, Penny says she feels he's like a younger brother to him. Penny is amazed it's been almost eight years since she first met Sheldon and Leonard, and she can't remember her life without them.

After the timer goes off and they stop gazing into each other's eyes, Sheldon and Penny both agree they are not in love following their experiment. After Penny walks Sheldon back to his apartment, he is taken by surprise as his friends jump out to wish him a happy birthday.