The Big Bang Theory

Season 4 Episode 1

The Robotic Manipulation

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Sep 23, 2010 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
576 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Howard uses a robotic arm for his own pleasure. Penny assists Sheldon with his first date.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • IT Crowd

    I really wanted more of the date and less of Howard's getting to know the robot hand. It wasn't the best episode, but it did get a decent number of laughs. Keep trying, give me more Amy!
  • Great episode

    This was a great episode, slap stick with a great story and flow. My only question is how did Howard get the robot arm on his scooter...
  • I only rated it lower because of the Howard plotline.

    I love Mayim and her character Amy. She mirrors Sheldon and I think she can be the one to allow him out of his shell a little of bring some insight on how his character treats his friends. The date (plus Penny) was hilarious but kind of cold toward Penny "Are you a slut?" The whole Howard Robotic masterbating plot was absolutely the wrong way to go. They could've done it in a more colorful family suited way or use the robot in a completely different direction. This is not Married With Children or Two and A Half Men. Don't go there. This show is better than stooping down to the level of mediocre comedy. TPTB don't be so lazy!moreless
  • Amy: Penny are you a slut? Penny: No!

    Once again, the cast is split in 2 storylines so I'll review each story separetely.

    Sheldon-Penny-amy plot: Here Penny tells Sheldon that beofre they consider having an offspring, they should talk more in person, so he goes on a date with her and asks Penny to come help him. This plot offered a lot of jokes, most about Penny, like if she was lesbian or how many men has she slept with and if she was a slut.

    Howard-Raj & Leorand plot: So Howard stole this robotic arm and at first used it to serve dinner, but then he got the idea of masturbatikgn with it, but it got stuck on his penis After some mocking from Leonard & Raj, they take him to the hospital were the nurse fixes it but usign the emergency off button. The episode ends with Howard calling Leonard telling him it happened again.

    Title Reference: Ovbiously, the robotic arm.

    Overall: Great episode, both plots offered a lot of laughs. My favourite moment was in the beginning were Howard tries to give Sheldon the finger with the robotic arm but he gives him the peace sign instead. 8.5/10.moreless
  • Season 4 Premiere

    So I was a little afraid that Big Bang Theory had lost it's touch after Leonard & Penny got together and broke up, and Howard & Raj both had had girlfriends for a period in time. Now Sheldon has a girlfriend, and this show has finally returned. With this season premiere, it let me know that Big Bang is still capable of delivering a superb episode.

    The Penny & Sheldon interactions were fantastic, and I loved the idea that Penny has had sex with 31 men, the way that Amy & Sheldon cornered Penny in the restaurant over that was absolutely hysterical. Howard and a robot arm? Now I really didn't expect to like this story line, but man, was it funny.

    The scene in the hospital was just hysterical and I love how they keep on bringing back that recurring doctor, she's hilarious. Overall, a promising premiere for this show.moreless
Vernee Watson-Johnson

Vernee Watson-Johnson


Guest Star

Carol Ann Susi

Carol Ann Susi

Mrs. Wolowitz

Recurring Role

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik

Amy Farrah Fowler

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Nitpick: The characters repeatedly state that Winnie the Pooh was stuck in a honey tree. He wasn't. He was actually stuck in a rabbit hole.

    • In this episode Sheldon has his first date, since going square-dancing with his sister at a Teens for Jesus Fourth of July Hoe down did not count as one. He forgets that he did double date with Raj in "The Psychic Vortex".

    • In the Season 2 Episode "The Barbarian Sublimation", Penny states that she hasn't had sex in 6 months. Therefore, Sheldon's estimated numbers regarding Penny's sexual partners would have to be lower. Although Penny says to Sheldon that she didn't have sex with 31 men, where Sheldon says that he'll be happy to check the math, even though he says the numbers don't lie. He also didn't take into account that she was with Kurt for four years, and moved into the building as she broke up with him. Figures may not lie, however the underlying assumptions must be correct.

    • The Princess Leia Sideshow Premium Format Figure makes its first appearance on Howard's shelf over his bed in his room.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Nurse: (about the robot arm) 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?

    • Penny: Oh, honey, did your mom not have the talk with you, you know, when your private parts started growing?
      Sheldon: I'm quite 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.

    • Penny: Sheldon, if you try to make a baby with Amy in a Petri dish, I'm going to tell your mother on you!

    • Sheldon: You realize, Penny, that the technology that went into this robotic arm will one day make unskilled food servers, such as yourself, obsolete.
      Penny: Really? They're going to make a robot that spits on your hamburger?

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode's end titles has Chuck Lorre's Vanity Card #291.

    • International Airdates: Australia: October 20, 2010 on Channel 9; United Kingdom: November 4, 2010 on E4; Germany: September 6, 2011 on ProSieben; Turkey: September 13, 2011 on CNBC-e; Czech Republic: November 3, 2011 on Prima COOL; Slovakia: November 21, 2011 on Markiza