The Application Deterioration Season 9, Episode 18 -  Aired March 10, 2016

The Application Deterioration

Leonard, Sheldon, and Wolowitz run into problems when they file for a patent for their infinite persistence gyroscope. Also, Penny, Amy and Bernadette give Koothrappali dating advice when Emily reaches out to him after their breakup.

Rate this episode

Guest Stars: Laura Spencer as Emily, Alessandra Torresani as Claire, Jim Holmes as Tim

Writers: Steven Molaro (Story), Eric Kaplan (Story), Adam Faberman (Story), Steve Holland (Teleplay), Jim Reynolds (Teleplay), Maria Ferrari (Teleplay)

Director: Mark Cendrowski

Viewers: 14.68 million Households Rating: 9.6/16 Adults 18-49 Rating: 3.5/13

Available on iTunes

Episode Notes

  • The title refers to Leonard, Sheldon and Howard's application for a patent which goes badly when they realize the university will own their work.

> Sheldon's Spot

When Penny suggests Sheldon add a clause to his contract preventing him from making fun of Howard, Bernadette wonders how such a clause would be enforced. Sheldon says it would be enforced by his own personal code of ethics, but Amy points out there's also his obsessive-compulsive disorder. Sheldon agrees with Amy and then asks her to scoot over as part of her shadow's on his spot.

Episode Quotes

Leonard: Hang on. Maybe there should be a "no insult" clause about me, too.
Sheldon: Do you still like cilantro?
Leonard: Yeah.
Sheldon: You're tying my hands here.

Howard: See, he's not wearing a tie.
Leonard: Well, he's a patent attorney. Maybe his tie is pending.

Leonard: Guys, everyone is involved in this, okay? Howard's invention, Sheldon's math, my original theory that space-time was like a supercooled liquid. Which I'm sure Penny would've mentioned if she wasn't working on that hangnail right now.
Penny: What?

Raj: That was rough, you guys.
Penny: I know, but you did it. I'm so proud of you.
Raj: Well, anyway, I'll leave you to your girls' night.
Amy: Are you sure you don't want to stay here with us?
Raj: No, I kind of feel like being alone right now.
Bernadette: Well, if you change your mind, we'll be here.
Raj: Thank you.
Penny: Say hi to Emily for us.
Raj: Will do!

Leonard: Hold on, hold on. So the three of us do all the work and only end up with 25%? Patent Attorney: Dr. Hofstadter, this university has been paying your salaries for over ten years. Did you think we do that out of the goodness of our hearts?
Leonard: Well, until you just said that mean thing, kinda.

News Stories

Title Date Posted
918 'The Application Deterioration' Press Release March 4, 2016

CBS has issued the press release for the next episode of The Big Bang Theory, "The Application Deterioration", which airs Thursday, March 10. Laura Spencer reprises her role as Emily in the episode.  Full story


As Sheldon, Leonard and Howard sit in waiting room, Howard wonders why Sheldon is wearing a bow-tie. He explains he’s never applied for a patent before and wanted to make a good impression. After the patent attorney invites them into his office, he says he has reviewed their paperwork and they have everything they need to file for a patent. He asks them to review and sign a document acknowledging the university will own 75% of the patent. The guys are stunned that they would lose such a huge portion of their profits, but he points out the university has been paying their salaries for over 10 years. The attorney also breaks the news that Howard, as a federal employee on loan from NASA, isn’t entitled to an ownership share. The guys refuse to sign the document and quickly leave the attorney’s office.

In Penny’s apartment, she and Amy ask Bernadette how she’s coping with her pregnancy. Bernadette says she’s been experiencing morning sickness and has a heightened sense of smell. Raj comes to talk to them about a gift that Emily left on his doorstep after they broke up. In a note, Emily explained she bought it before they broke up and couldn’t return it. Bernadette thinks it’s a nice gesture, but Penny wonders whether Emily’s trying to manipulate him into getting back together. When Raj opens the gift, it’s an antique sextant which sailors use to find their position by the stars. Amy thinks it’s a great gift for Raj, which further convinces Penny that Emily is trying to win him back.

Over in the apartment, the guys are still down about their patent news. Leonard suggests going around the university, but Howard says the university would still have a controlling interest in anything they come up with. When Leonard realizes their choices are to do it with the university or not do it all, Howard says either way he gets nothing. After Leonard proposes that he and Sheldon split their profits with Howard, Sheldon is excited to draw up a contract.

Back in Penny’s apartment, Amy looks how much the sextant cost and finds out they go for $500 and up. Penny sees it as further proof that Emily was just trying to get back with Raj, Bernadette thinks she might be telling the truth and was just trying to be nice. When Raj gets a phone call from Emily, Penny tells him to answer it but urges him to be strong. After he answers the call and puts it on speaker phone, Raj looks to the girls for guidance but they have mixed opinions. When Emily asks Raj whether they could grab a cup of coffee, Raj waits for the girls’ decision. As Emily sobs and asks him to come over, the girls signal that she should not do it. Raj feels bad but tells Emily he doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Raj decides to go, saying he wants to be alone now. As he leaves, Penny asks him to say hi to Emily for them.

In the apartment’s kitchen, Howard and Leonard review the contract that Sheldon drew up. When the girls come over, Bernadette says she is a little tired and wonders whether he wants to go. Howard asks for a minute to sign the contract, explaining their patent issue and how they’re forming a partnership to split the profits equally. After Bernadette urges Howard to have a lawyer look at it, Howard argues the guys were nice enough to find a way to share the money with him. Bernadette points out it was his idea, but Amy argues Howard’s idea built Sheldon’s math. As Penny works on a hangnail, Leonard comes to his own defence and says they all worked on the project.

After Howard asks to speak to Bernadette in the hallway, he questions what she is doing. Bernadette wants to make sure he’s thought this through, but Howard doesn’t see what there is to think about. After Bernadette warns him he is about to form a legal partnership with Sheldon Cooper, Howard recognises Bernadette is making an excellent point. Howard gets it and tells her he’s pleased she is worrying about him. Bernadette argues she’s not worried about him, she just doesn’t want to spend the whole pregnancy listening to Howard complain about working with Sheldon.

As Raj drives to Emily’s, he gets a phone call from Claire, who admits things didn’t work out with her boyfriend. Claire says if he’s still interested they could meet up. When she asks what he’s doing now, Raj explains he was stopping by his ex-girlfriend’s because she’s having a tough time. Claire guesses exactly what Emily said to try win Raj back, claiming it’s page one of the playbook.

As Sheldon, Leonard and Amy wait in the apartment, Penny is stood by the door trying to listen to what Howard and Bernadette are talking about. After they return, Howard tells the guys he is concerned about the three of them forming a partnership. Howard explains his concern is not about the money, but how Sheldon treats him. When Sheldon points out that the contract stipulates that Howard’s contributions are as valuable as his own, Bernadette wonders if he’s saying Howard’s contributions aren’t as valuable. Howard argues this is what happens every time they work together. Penny wonders what would happen if Sheldon had no choice but to be respectful. She proposes adding a clause to the contract that says Sheldon cannot make fun of Howard.

As Raj drives in his car, he calls Emily to explain he doesn’t think it would be a good idea for him to come over. Emily gets upset and starts crying. Later, Raj calls Claire to tell her about the change of plans. She warns Raj that Emily is playing him. Later still, Raj tells Emily he can’t come by as he worries they would get back together. Emily insists she just needs a friend and asks what he think will happen, so Raj asks if he can call her right back.

Back in the apartment, Sheldon has handed out copies of the revised contract to the Penny, Howard and Amy. After Howard reads the addendum that would prevent Sheldon from insulting him, Leonard wonders whether there should be a no-insult clause about him, too. When Penny notices changes on page six, Amy worries about what Sheldon has done now. Bernadette reads the change that stipulates that 25% of Sheldon’s profits will be put in a scholarship fund for Howard and Bernadette’s baby. Bernadette and Howard are touched by his generosity. Sheldon admits that Howard needing a written guarantee of respect has made him realize how dismissive he was of his contributions.

Raj is still driving around, unsure where to go. When he calls Claire to say he thinks Emily deserves the benefit of the doubt, she warns him how things will end if he goes over to see Emily. Raj claims he will just be a comforting friend, there when she needs someone to talk to. Later, Raj and Emily lay in bed together after a “good talk.”