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"The Application Deterioration" is the eighteenth episode of the ninth season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Thursday, March 10, 2016.


The boys want to patent their idea from "The Positive Negative Reaction" and Sheldon begins to draw up a contract where they are going to split their share three ways since Howard was not entitled to any.  Raj hears from both Emily and Claire and again must make a decision, so he consults the girls. Bernadette objects to Howard signing a contract with Sheldon.

Extended Plot[]


Now you can make your own milk for your cookies.

Sheldon, Leonard, and Howard are patiently waiting to talk to the patent attorney to get a patent on their gyroscope idea from “The Positive Negative Reaction.” Howard wonders why Sheldon is wearing a bow tie. He wants to make a good impression. The guys are invited in. All their paperwork in is order and the legal team needs to look for other overlapping patents. They start musing about what they are going to do with their royalties and they learn that the university will get 75% of the total proceeds from their idea.  On top of that, since Howard is a federal employee on loan from NASA, he'll get nothing. The lawyer tells him that he might get a plaque. Sheldon exclaims that that isn't fair. They should all get plaques. Leonard thanks him for his time and they leave the office without applying. Sheldon still wants to know about the plaque. The girls are hanging out at Leonard and Penny's apartment talking about Bernadette’s pregnancy. She has had a little morning sickness and an increased sense of smell. She found where Howard hid the Girl Scout cookies.  Raj shows up with a gift he received from Emily sent to him after Valentine's Day. The girls think that she is trying to manipulate him. He's unsure if he should open it especially if it's something vindictive or dangerous. Penny has Bernadette sniff it and she detects some machine oil. In the box Raj finds an antique sextant used by sailors to navigate by the stars.  Bernadette thinks that it is the perfect gift for an astrophysicist. Raj replies that he has too much self-esteem to let her get him back through a guilt trip. Amy quips that she doesn't have to be pregnant to smell that load of crap.


Emily's expensive gift.

Howard looks at the university's website and finds out that they can't patent it themselves. The university has rights to anything they develop as long as they are employed there. Sheldon is bummed that they get a part of his T-shirt and mug ideas. Leonard offers to at least split their 25% three ways.  Sheldon gets very excited about getting to writeup their deal in a contract. Leonard once found a stash of contracts under Sheldon's bed found the whole situation weird.

Examining the sextant, Amy checks the Internet and finds that may have cost at least $500. Penny is sure that she is trying to get back together with him. Raj admits that he is easy to manipulate. Emily then calls him. The posse tells him to be strong. Emily wonders if he got the gift and if they could still be friends. Then Emily asks him to get meet her for coffee. Raj hesitates as the girls do a lot of whispering between themselves. Emily ups the level by saying that she misses hanging out with him and that he lost her best friend. She wants him to come over as the girls shake their heads no. She also is having a really hard time which causes Penny to gag. They say goodbye and the girls tell him that he showed strength. As Raj leaves Penny tells him to say "hi" to Emily. "Will do" he says.

Howard is reviewing Sheldon's contract and is happy with it. The girls come over to Sheldon and Leonard's, because Bernadette is tired and wants to go home. They learn about the contract and how the guys want to split up the royalties. Bernadette wants a lawyer to look it over. Howard is just happy that they found a way not to leave him out. Leonard mentions that everyone did contribute. Bernie tells him to go ahead and sign it if he wants to. The Wolowitzes adjourn to the hallway. Bernadette explains to Howard that he is about sign a legal partnership with Sheldon Cooper. She doesn't want to spend the rest of her gestation hearing her husband complain how Sheldon is driving him even more crazy than usual. Anything they ever worked on together did not come out well.


Sheldon wants to write up the contract.

Raj is driving to Emily's when he got a call from Claire.  She says that she broke up with her boyfriend. Raj is interested, but admits that he's going to see Emily. Claire then asks if Emily said that she feels like she lost her best friend. Claire states "That is page one of the girl's playbook". Raj wants her to send him a copy of it.

Returning, Howard explains that they are concern about the partnership, so Sheldon suggests a limited liability corporation. Howard is more concerned with how Sheldon treats him. Penny suggests that they include a clause that Sheldon cannot make fun of Howard. That was fine with Sheldon who will follow the clause to the letter of the law. Amy adds and also because of his obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Wolwoitzes agree. Sheldon gets excited that now he gets to write an addendum.

Emily calls and Raj tells her that its not he best time to come over. He explains he's being manipulated.  Raj calls Emily to say he isn't coming. Emily breaks into tears, so Raj calls Claire to change his plans. She again quotes Emily's line. He calls back Emily who again changes his mind and Claire tells him that she is manipulating him.

The whole gang is reviewing the contract. Sheldon agrees to not mock Howard and his profession, hair cut, clothing or his love of the "Ghost Rider" movie. Also Sheldon donates one quarter of his profits to a college fund for the baby. Sheldon has always valued education over money and he realized how dismissive he had been of Howard's contribution. And he hope that his efforts will rescue the child from the subpar profession of being an engineer. Amy yells at Sheldon for his comment; however, Sheldon had not yet signed the contract.

Finally, Claire is telling him that she knows how this is going to play out and to have a good life. Raj insists that they are just going to talk. They end up in bed together with Raj exclaiming, "Good talk."


Good talk!



  • Title Reference: The breakdown of the patent application being filed for the guy's guidance system idea.
  • Taping date: February 23, 2016
  • This episode was watched by 14.68 million people with a rating of 3.5 (adults 18–49).
  • Total viewers including DVR users 19.49 million.
  • The Big Bang Theory was ranked #1 for the week ending March 13, 2016.
  • This episode aired in Canada on March 10, 2016.
  • In Australia, it aired on March 15, 2016.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • Episode transcript [2]


  • Jesse Schedeen of IGN - The last few episodes of The Big Bang Theory have been fairly eventful, with Howard and Bernadette announcing their pregnancy, Howard desperately searching for a way to provide for his growing family and Raj managing to screw up his relationships with both his steady girlfriend Emily and his new crush Claire. All of those conflicts fed into "The Application Deterioration" this week. It made for a solid episode, even if Raj's subplot threatened to derail the whole train at times...Instead of using [the contract] as a catalyst to bring the partnership crashing down, the three men behaved like adults and adjusted their already massive contract accordingly. This was another chance for Sheldon to prove he can be a decent, thoughtful person...Raj's subplot also suffered from the fact that neither Emily nor Claire have been developed much as characters. What do we know about Claire other than the fact that she's a no-nonsense bartender/aspiring screenwriter? The show has done absolutely nothing to explain why she likes Raj or why she would bother to put up with his back-and-forth nonsense. Emily is even worse...considering how poorly the show has handled Emily up till now, I'm not overly optimistic about what's next. [3]
  • IMDb user reviews [4]


  • Sheldon wants to set up a scholarship fund for Howard and Bernadette's baby.
  • Raj hooks up with Emily.
  • Alessandra Torresani makes her 3rd appearance this season as Claire.
  • The "Previously on the Big Bang Theory" segment in this episode summarizes Raj's curiosity about Emily from "The Valentino Submergence" (S9E15) and the guy's conversation about money in the tiki bar scene of "The Positive Negative Reaction" (S9E16) and it is announced by Kaley Cuoco.
  • The first time Raj and Emily are seen naked in bed together.
  • According to their contract Sheldon can no longer ridicule Howard.
  • Another Game of Thrones reference is made, about when Balon Greyjoy receives a package containing the severed penis of his son, Theon Greyjoy, who has been castrated by Ramsay Snow, in the episode "Mhysa".
  • Raj shares no scenes with Howard, Sheldon and Leonard in this episode (apart from the tiki bar flashback scene from "The Positive Negative Reaction"-S9E16).
  • As of this episode, every member of the main cast has been seen supposedly topless/naked.
  • Amy claims the sextant gift that Emily bought for Raj is worth $500+. In reality, it is sold for $14+ on Amazon.
  • Sheldon doesn't just put down Howard. He puts everyone done and thinking he is better than everyone else.


Howard: Okay, I gotta ask-- why are you wearing a bow tie?
Sheldon: I've never applied for a patent before. I wanted to make a good impression.
Howard: Oh. Is the impression that your first name is Pee-Wee?
(Leonard chuckles)
Sheldon: Yeah, well, you're an engineer. End of joke, burn.
Tim: Come on in, fellas.
Leonard: See, he's not wearing a tie.
Sheldon: Well, he's a patent attorney. Maybe his tie is pending.
Tim: So, I've reviewed your paperwork, and it seems like we've got everything we need to file a patent for your infinite persistence gyroscope.
That's great! Excellent.
Leonard: So what happens next?
Tim: Well, the legal team needs to review existing patents to avoid overlap.
Howard: Oh, I don't think there will be.
Leonard: Yes, we did our own search.
Tim: That's nice, but I think ours might be a bit more thorough. (chuckles)
Sheldon: Get a load of this guy.
Howard: Can you imagine if we make money with this?
Leonard: If we do, I am splurging on the best sinus irrigator money can buy.
Howard: That old sad story-- guy gets a little money, goes straight up his nose.
Tim: Just need you to review and sign this document acknowledging that you understand the university will own 75% of the patent.
Howard: 75%?
Sheldon: That's outrageous. This is our idea based on our research. How can you possibly justify owning a majority share?
Tim: It's university policy.
Sheldon: I know when I'm beat.
Leonard: Hold on, hold on. So the three of us do all the work and only end up with 25%?
Tim: 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.
Tim: And as far as Mr. Wolowitz is concerned, I'm afraid as a federal employee on loan from NASA, your name can be on the patent, but you're not entitled to an ownership share.
Howard: Wait, so this can turn out to be a financial success, and I get nothing?
Tim: Well, sometimes they give you a plaque.
Sheldon: Well, that's not fair. We should all get plaques.
Leonard: Sorry, but we can't sign this.
Howard: Come on, let's go.
Leonard: Thank you for your time.
Sheldon: Couple of questions about the plaque...
(Leonard grabs Sheldon out of Tim's office by the arm juist as the intro theme of 'The Big Bang Theory' begins)

Amy: So, have you been having any morning sickness?
Bernadette: A little. And it doesn't help that I've got this heightened sense of smell.
Penny: Is that a pregnancy thing?
Bernadette: Yeah. The other day I sniffed out where Howie hid the Girl Scout cookies. No more Tagalongs, my ass.
Penny: But now you'll be able to make your own milk to eat the cookies with.
Raj: Hey, guys. Hey, Penny. I really appreciate you helping me with this. I don't know what to do.
Penny: Oh, sure. Let me see it.
Amy: See what?
Raj: I hadn't spoken to Emily since I broke up with her, and she left this on my doorstep with a note.
Penny: “Raj, I got you this before we split up, but couldn't return it and thought you'd like to have it. Happy belated Valentine's Day, Emily”.
Bernadette: (she isn't too happy) That's nice.
Penny: Nice, or is she trying to manipulate him?
Raj: I know. I mean, do I open it? Do I return it?
Amy: Why wouldn't you open it?
Raj: Well, she was pretty mad. For all I know it's a voodoo doll of me with a fork stuck in my junk.
Bernadette: (she's asking crossly) You don't think she'd actually send you something gross or dangerous, do you?
Penny: I know one way to find out-- sniff this.
Amy: She's pregnant, she's not a bloodhound.
Bernadette: Although I am getting a little machine oil. I think it's metal.
Penny: (she yells to Raj angrily) Come on, just open it.
Raj: (he sighs for a bit) You know, on Game of Thrones, Balon Greyjoy received his son's genitals in a box.
(Raj starts to tear the paper of his parcel)
Penny: Well, never hurts to have a spare.
Bernadette: (she asks Raj off-screen) What is that?
Raj: Wow. It's an antique sextant. Sailors used these to find their position by the stars.
Amy: What a nice gift for an astrophysicist.
Raj: I know, she's so thoughtful.
Penny: (she is now very cross) See, she's trying to get you back. Now, that is exactly what I would've gotten you if I had any idea what it is or what you do.
Raj: You know, I have too much self-esteem to let this girl guilt me into getting back together with her.
Amy: You don't need to be pregnant to smell that load of crap.

Leonard: Well, what if we go around the university and just get the patent ourselves?
Howard: We can't. It says on their Web site, as long as we work there, they have a controlling ownership of anything we come up with.
Sheldon: Great, so they own my idea for a T-shirt that says “Dumb as a Bag of Geologists.”
Leonard: Well, our choices are we do this with the university or we don't do it at all.
Howard: Either way, I get nothing.
Leonard: Or, if we ended up making money from this, Sheldon and I could split our shares with you.
Sheldon: To be clear, Leonard is referring to the gyroscope, not the T-shirt and mugs. Oh! Now they own the mugs.
Howard: I guess that is a way around this. You guys would be cool doing it like that?
Leonard: Of course, we can split any profits three ways.
Sheldon: I'm fine with that.
Howard: Okay, great.
Sheldon: It sounds like a, uh, contract might be in order.
Leonard: Sure, we could write something up.
Sheldon: But which one of us should be the party who...
Howard: You can do it, Sheldon.
Sheldon: So stipulated!
Leonard: Once I found a stash of contracts under his bed. It was weird.

Bernadette: I wonder how much she spent on this.
Amy: Ooh, let's find out.
Raj: It doesn't matter. It's the thought that counts.
Penny: Yeah, yeah, and beauty's on the inside, size doesn't matter-- how much she spend?
Raj: Seriously, guys, I don't want to know.
Amy: Oh, my.
Raj: Oh, come on, you can't say “Oh, my,” and then not tell me!
Amy: These things go for $500 and up.
(Raj reacts to Bernadette saying "Damn!" in the background)
Bernadette: (she is now very cross) All I got for Valentine's Day was a postcard saying my Vermont Teddy Bear was back-ordered.
Penny: Okay, so, she drops off a $500 gift and she's not trying to get back together with you?
Raj: Maybe you're right.
Bernadette: Or she's telling the truth and just being nice.
Raj: Maybe you're right. Wow, I am easy to manipulate. (phone chiming) Oh, guys, it's Emily. What should I do?
Penny: Okay, answer it. Just be strong. And if she starts to cry, don't make any promises. And most importantly, put it on speaker so we can hear.
Raj: Hello?
Emily: Hey, it's Emily. Is this a good time?
Raj: Yeah, yeah. Sure. What's up?
Emily: Was it okay I left that gift? I'm really hoping we can be friends.
Raj: Maybe, maybe.
Emily: Um, you think you'd want to grab a cup of coffee? {Waits while the girls whisper.} Hello?
Raj: I'm sorry, I seem to be taking an annoying amount of time deciding how I feel about this! I just... I miss hanging out with you.
Emily: It's not like I lost a friend, it's like I lost my best friend. (choking up): Is there any chance you'd want to come over? (Raj looks up at the three girls; Penny, Amy, and Bernadette all gesture "no")
Raj: I'm sorry, I don't think that's a good idea.
Emily: Okay. I'm just... (crying). I'm having a really hard time, but that's not your problem, that's mine. I-I won't bother you again, but please know that you'll always have a place in my heart. (Penny gags and sticks her finger in her mouth; Amy and Bernadette feel sick) Bye, Raj. You're a good guy.
Raj: Good-bye, Emily. (sighs). 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. Thank you.
Penny: Say hi to Emily for us.
Raj: Will do.

Howard: This contract looks good to me.
Sheldon: I'll say it looks good. It's in my proprietary font, Shelvetica.
Leonard: I want to say something obnoxious, but it is easy on the eyes.
Bernadette: I'm a little tired, Howie. You ready to go?
Howard: Yeah, one sec. I just need to sign this contract.
Bernadette: What is it?
Howard: Well, we ran into a problem about my share of the patent, so we're forming a partnership to split anything we make equally.
Penny: Sheldon, did you draft the contract?
Sheldon: You bet I did.
Penny: Ooh. You're gonna make out so hard tonight.
Bernadette: So, you're just gonna sign this without having a lawyer look at it?
Sheldon: Excuse me. I've been drafting contracts since kindergarten. Didn't need a lawyer to get me out of finger painting. Don't need one now.
Bernadette: I know, but...
Howard Bernie, the guys were nice enough to find a way to keep me from being cut out.
Bernadette: Well, I should hope so. The whole thing was your idea.
Amy: Well, to be fair, Howard's idea was based on Sheldon's math.
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?
Howard: Honey, this is fine.
Bernadette: (she is now very cross) If you want to sign a contract that Sheldon whipped up, go ahead.
Howard: Can I talk to you in the hall?
Bernadette: (she answers Howard crossly) Sure.
Howard: Excuse us.
Sheldon: Hey, Leonard.
Leonard: What?
Sheldon: If she doesn't think that we should apply for this patent, she's being patently absurd.
Leonard: Good one.
Sheldon: Okay, you got it. See, I was afraid it was a thinker.

Howard: (he's asking his wife aggressively) What are you doing?
Bernadette: I just want to make sure you've thought this through.
Howard: What's to think about? We have an invention and want to move forward.
Bernadette: (she really is very cross by this) Howie, you're about to form a legal partnership with Sheldon Cooper.
Howard: All right, if you're gonna calmly make excellent points, then I don't know if I want to talk to you. Okay. I get it. And it's sweet that you're worried about me, but I can take care of myself.
Bernadette: I'm not worried about you. I'm worried about me. I don't want to go through this pregnancy listening to you complain about Sheldon driving you crazy more than you already do.
Howard: (he shouts in violent fury) Here we go with the ironclad logic again.
Bernadette: You've tried to work with him before. It hasn't gone well. Why is this time gonna be any different?
Howard: Is the fetus helping you? 'Cause that's cheating.

Raj:(phone rings) Hello?
Claire: Hey, Raj. It's Claire.
Raj: How are you? Hi.
Raj: I'm good. Really good. Well, I don't know why I said “really good.” I'm just regular good. I really just wanted to sound confident. And that “really” was a real “really,” not a fake “really” like the first “really.”
Claire: Really?
Raj: I don't know. I lost track and I missed my exit. So, uh... so what's up?
Claire: Well, last time we talked, I had just gotten back together with my boyfriend, and I wanted to let you know that things didn't work out.
Raj: Really? I'm sorry. I swear I know other words.
Claire: So if you were still interested...
Raj: Yes! Indeed! Absolutely! Indubitably! I'm not even sure what the last one means, but it's another word, and I know it.
Claire: So, uh, when do you want to meet up? Uh, I'm almost off work. What are you doing now?
Raj: R-Right now, well... Well, actually, to-to be completely honest, I'm stopping by to see my ex-girlfriend because she's having a tough time. But... it's not like we're getting back together or anything.
Claire: Let me guess, the worst part about breaking up is that she doesn't have her best friend to talk to anymore?
Raj: That's exactly what she said! How do you know that?
Claire: I'm a girl. It's, like, page one out of the playbook.
Raj: Any chance you could send me a PDF of that playbook?

Leonard: They've been out there a while.
Amy: I hope everything's okay.
Sheldon: I wonder what they're talking about.
Penny: (she's enormously cross) If you guys would shut up, I could tell you. Oh. Be cool, be cool, be cool.
Howard: Hey.
Amy, Sheldon and Penny: Hello.
Leonard: Hey. You guys all right?
Howard: Yeah. But, um, we were talking, and... I'm a little concerned about the three of us forming a partnership.
Sheldon: Are you suggesting a limited liability corporation? (Howard mutters 'Hm?') 'Cause I did not L-L-see that coming.
Howard: Sheldon, my concern is not with the money or anything. It's-it's with how you treat me.
Sheldon: Well, I believe I'm treating you generously. That's why I've stipulated in the contract that your contributions to our invention are as valuable as my own.
Bernadette: (she's asking Sheldon crossly) Are you saying that his contributions aren't as valuable as yours?
Sheldon: No, I am not saying that, because I kept saying that this morning and Leonard said, “Stop saying that”
Howard: See? This is what happens every time we work together.
Penny: You know what, hang on. What if Sheldon had no choice but to be respectful?
Leonard: Is there a switch on the back of his neck we don't know about?
Penny: No. What I'm saying is you could add a clause to the contract that he can't make fun of Howard.
Bernadette: How would you enforce it?
Sheldon: Oh, please. Any contract I sign is enforced by my own personal code of ethics.
Amy: And his obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Sheldon: Yeah, that, too. And scoot over. Part of your shadow's on my spot.
Leonard: Howard, what do you think?
Howard: I'm on board.
Sheldon: I'll add it right now. Oh, baby, it's addendum time!

Raj: (line ringing)
Emily: Hello?
Raj: Hey, Emily, listen, I've been thinking, and I'm not sure it's a good idea that I come over.
Emily:Oh. (crying): Okay. I understand.
Raj: No, no. Please don't cry.
Emily:Okay, I'll stop! (Crying harder.)

Raj: Hello? Hey, so, listen, Claire, change of plans...
Claire: Fine. Do what you want, but she's playing you.
Raj:I don't think so. She sounded pretty upset.
Claire: You mean like... “I was just really looking forward to seeing you. I'm having such a rough day.”

Raj: Emily, listen... I'm sorry, but I can't come by.
Emily: Why not?
Raj: I think we both know if I come over, we're gonna get back together and...
Emily: I told you I needed a friend. What do you think is happening here?
Raj:Call you right back.

Sheldon: The-the revisions I made start on page four.
Penny: Wow. That is a lot of “whereupons”.
Amy: You should see the Valentine's Day card he gave me.
Howard: “Article three: As it pertains to this project, Dr. Sheldon Cooper promises to abstain from all insulting or disrespectful language directed toward Howard Wolowitz, including but not limited to: mockery of engineering, his height, his hair, his wardrobe, and his insane belief that the Ghost Rider movie was, quote, 'not that bad.'”
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: All right, let's sign this.
Penny: Wait, wait, wait. What are these changes on page six?
Amy: Sheldon, what did you do?
Howard: I should've known.
Bernadette: “25% of profits due to Sheldon Cooper will be allocated to a scholarship fund for the firstborn child of Howard and Bernadette Wolowitz” Sheldon, that's so nice.
Leonard That beats the onesie I was gonna get them from Baby Gap.
Howard: That's very generous, Sheldon.
Sheldon: Oh, I've always valued education over money. And the very fact that you needed a written guarantee of respect made me realize how dismissive I've been of your contributions.
Howard: I appreciate that.
Sheldon: And I just hope that this scholarship can rescue your child from the subpar education and menial life of an engineer.
Amy: Sheldon.
Sheldon: What? I didn't sign it yet.

Raj: I hear what you're saying, but I've known Emily a long time, and I think she deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Claire: All right, it's your life. But you know how this is gonna end.
Raj: As a matter of fact, I do. I'm gonna comfort her, because I'm a caring and decent friend who's happy to be there when she needs someone to talk to.

(The last shot of Raj and Emily naked in bed together)
Raj: Good talk.
(Raj and Emily smile indistinctly)