The Big Bang Theory (2007–…): Season 8, Episode 13 - The Anxiety Optimization - full transcript

When Sheldon becomes stuck in a rut with his work, the gang try to help him by raising his stress levels. Howard teases Raj with a game called "Emily or Cinnamon."

Okay, we're headed out--
See you later.

Before you leave,

could you test these
noise-cancelling headphones?

Yeah, sure.


Go ahead.

Hello, can you
hear me?

Sheldon, I haven't changed
the filter

in the water pitcher
in two years.

Uh, Bernadette's nickname for
you is the virgin piña colada.

Your George Lucas autograph
is really a “me” autograph.

Yeah, well, once I was too lazy
to walk across the hall,

so I used your toothbrush.

Ooh, and one time
when you were asleep,

Amy totally
took off her...

And that's why
you're the best roommate ever.


Now I'm sad I didn't hear it.

So what do you need
the headphones for?

Well, I've been
struggling for months

to come up with
a theory of dark matter

that doesn't
make protons decay.

I'm hoping to
finally tackle it

by optimizing my
work environment.

See, I've got, uh, my tea is at
the perfect sipping temperature.

Uh, I have fleece-lined
boxer shorts

to keep my tushie toasty.

And then, oh,
last but not least,

this inspirational cat poster,

improved with
the reassuring face

of physics renegade
Richard Feynman.

Is that why you had to take him
to Office Depot last night?

I don't want to talk about it.

There, the place is all yours.

Yeah, have fun.

Oh, I will--
nothing more fun

than a paradigm-shifting
evening of science.


And you thought it was
soaping me up in the shower.




Here we go.

Proton decay.

Proton decay.

Proton decay.

Proton decay.

Proton decay.

Proton decay.

Hey, we're home.


Any progress?

How could there be?!

With these constant

I love him, but if he's broken,
let's not get a new one.

♪ Our whole universe
was in a hot, dense state ♪

♪ Then nearly 14 billion years
ago expansion started... Wait! ♪

♪ The Earth began to cool ♪

♪ The autotrophs began to drool,
Neanderthals developed tools ♪

♪ We built the Wall ♪
♪ We built the pyramids ♪

♪ Math, Science, History,
unraveling the mystery ♪

♪ That all started
with a big bang ♪

♪ Bang! ♪

♪ The Big Bang Theory 8x13 ♪
The Anxiety Optimization
Original Air Date on January 29,

== sync, corrected by elderman ==

What are you doing?

It's time to go.

I'm not going to work today.

And would you like
to know why?

Ah, you're upset because you
spent the whole night working

on dark matter
and didn't make a breakthrough,

and now you're worried you made
a huge mistake switching fields,

and you're gonna sit around
and sulk all day?

Like a big old baby.

Call me
if you need anything.

(Sheldon sighs, door closes)

I've been cooped up
in here too long.

Maybe I need some fresh air.

(inhales, exhales)

(Penny groans,






Ugh, what?

You sounded in distress.

I was worried something
unpleasant was happening to you.

Like a murder.

Or spontaneous coitus
with Leonard.

Oh, I'm just doing
this awful workout.

I hate it.

Well, if you hate it,
then why are you doing it?

Although I could ask
the same question

about coitus with Leonard.

I don't know-- I guess
I like that I hate it.

It makes me work harder.

And to clarify...

The exercise, Sheldon.

Shouldn't you be getting
ready for work?

I'm not going.

Would you like to know why?

Uh, you're sad about not getting
anything done last night,

so you're gonna sit around
and pout about it?

Boy, I'm not nearly as
mysterious as I think I am.

I invented a game.

You want to play?

It's called
“Emily or Cinnamon”"

I give you actual quotes
I've heard Raj say,

and you guess if he was talking
to his girlfriend or his dog.

Go ahead, make fun.

You can't embarrass .

I've got a beautiful

and a dog who loves me so much
she drinks my bathwater.

Okay, who was he talking to,
Emily or Cinnamon:

“I want you to know,
the bed feels so lonely

when you're not in it.”

I may not be liking
this game so much.

Give me another one.

Okay, Emily or Cinnamon:

“Check it out,
I got us matching sweaters!”

We all got the Christmas card--

You know, a man can care deeply
about a woman and a pet.

It's not strange.

Ooh, Emily.

I heard him say that
to Emily.

Hey, I thought
you were staying home.

Yeah, I was, but after
talking to Penny,

I realized something.

I... first, she's trying much
harder to stay attractive

in this relationship
than you are.

And second...

the reason I may not be
progressing in my research is

I've created too pleasant
of an environment for myself.

What do you me?

According to a classic
psychological experiment

by Yerkes and Dodson, in order
to maximize performance,

one must create a state
of productive anxiety.

So I'd like to ask you all
to do something for me.

Keep me on my toes.

Just throw me off my game.

E-Essentially, go out of your
way to make my life miserable.

Hold on.

What's in it for us?

Well, I suppose...
Okay, we'll do it!


33 seconds.

Okay, that'll be
our baseline.

You know, I don't
want to tell you

how to do your job, but when
a mouse completes a maze,

it gets a food pellet.

It also gets its brain
plucked out with tweezers.

And his last meal was
a food pellet?

You're a monster.

All right, next,
we're gonna introduce

an anxiety-inducing stimulus,
measure your stress levels

and see how it affects
your problem-solving rate.

Very well.

And good luck--
I'm a pretty laid-back guy.



(squeezes balloon)

Why'd you pop it?

I'm sorry, I was aiming
for your heart.

Look, I know you
don't like it'

but that's the point
of the experiment.

I need to irritate you

to find your optimal
anxiety zone.

And you said no to
tickling, polka music

or watching me
eat a banana.

Who eats them

My mother said that's
how good girls do it.

Perhaps this was
a waste of time.


you're a remarkable scientist.

Just be patient-- I'm sure
you'll find the breakthrough

you've been looking for.

Thank you.

And if you only
do solid research

instead of making
a groundbreaking discovery,

what does it matter?

“Only do solid research”?!

Uh... I come to you for help,
and you insult me?!

I thought the least that
you would do would be...

Look, your anxiety levels
are right in the zone.


Oh, that's fantastic.

N-Now, wait,
they're dropping.

Why are they dropping?

Because you're happy
they're elevated.

Oh, that is infuriating!

Ooh, look, they went
back up again.


Oh, no, they went
back down!

All right, guys, what game
do you want to play?

Let's see.

How about
“Emily or Cinnamon”"

You know what? I think
it's a little weird

that you remember me
saying all these things.E'

Maybe the truth is-- you're
jealous of all my relationships.

Oh, maybe I am.

Who wouldn't want
to be the girl,

or possibly dog,
to hear the words:

“You're so lucky.

You have the
shiniest hair”.

That is a tough one.

Uh, I-I know he brushes
both of them.


I have figured out the perfect
way for you to irritate me.

I'd like you to be my
intellectual sparring partners.

From now on,
when I make an assertion,

I need you to challenge it.

So you just want us to disagree
with whatever you say?


And you think that's going to help?

Well, I don't think
that's gonna help at all.

Oh, no, it will.

See, by keeping my mind engaged,
I'll become more focused.

Howard's right--
that'll never work.

Stop fighting me on the premise.

It's scientifically valid.

I'm going to advance

I just want you to challenge me.

I don't think that's
what you want at all.

Why, of course it's what I want.

Why would I say it's what I want
if it's not what I want?

Because it is what you want,
and it's not what you said.

I ask you for one simple thing,
and you can't even do it.

Yes, we can.
Yeah, well, then do it.


You guys are the worst.

Thank you,
I think that was helpful.

So, whichever rep has
the best sales for the quarter

gets a trip for two to Hawaii.

That would be so romantic
for you and Leonard.

Yeah, clearly you haven't
seen him on the beach

walking around
with his metal detector.

If I were going to Hawaii,

I'd spend all my time
at the Keck Observatory.

Did you know that
the telescopes there have

better resolution
than the Hubble?


Want to go to Hawaii?

(knocking on door)
SHELDON: Ladies?

(knocks on door)

(knocks on door)

Come in.


What's up?

As you may know,
I've been experimenting

with elevated anxiety levels,

and I thought,

what better way
to increase my discomfort

than to subject myself
to an evening

of tasteless
uncensored crotch talk?

What exactly do you think
goes on here?


conversations that you wouldn't
be comfortable having

in front of the opposite sex.

You know, who has
the best cervix.

Which sanitary napkin
is all the rage right now.

Men's buttocks, and how you want
to pat and squeeze them.

We were talking
about Penny's job.

And how difficult it is to do

when she's bloated,
cranky and crampy?


Sheldon, we are just people.

We talk about the same things
you guys talk about.

You talk about
if werewolves can swim?

See, Leonard says yes,

but I say it depends on
if the human could swim

before he was bitten.

What do you think?

Let's just talk
about our periods.

No, hold on.

All canines instinctively know
how to swim.

Why wouldn't a werewolf have
the same abilities?

Well, they're not
a hundred percent wolf.

They're a werewolf--
that's only part wolf.

It's like comparing
apples to oranges.

Thank you.

Oh, and technically, it's apples
that turn into were-oranges

when the moon is full.

Hey, this is fun.

We should do it sometime
when you aren't all PMS'ing.


(Darth Vader breathes, the Joker
laughs, Godzilla roars)

What is going on?


Uh, I need to keep my anxiety
at the right level,

so I'm using Darth Vader,
the Joker, and Godzilla's roar

to keep me in that sweet spot.

Uh, I tried including
Taylor Swift in the mix,

but turns out I love her.

Well, at least listen to it
through headphones.

I'm trying to sleep.
Good night.


Taylor was right-- haters gonna
hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.

You've been working
so much lately,

I'm glad you didn't forget
about date night.

Of course.



Maybe you want to put the
notebook away and talk to me.

I can do both.

No, my brain is working
at optimal capacity.

No, I can have
a conversation with you

and solve the dark matter proton
decay problem at the same time.

How was your day?

Oh, you said it.


Sheldon, I'm
worried about you.

You're not eating,

you haven't
slept in days,

and, to be honest, that
cap is starting to smell.

I know.

It's replaced Godzilla as
my principle source of anxiety.

Okay, so it's one vote Emily,
one vote Cinnamon.

Penny, you're
the tiebreaker.

Say the quote again.

“It's just so perfect
that we're both Libras.”

Wow, this is hard.

I'm gonna say

Yes! Yes!
Come on!

That was the last one,
I promise.

We won't play anymore.

Thank you.

'Cause if she ever found out,
it would hurt her feelings.

Emily's feelings?

Yes, Emily.

Nice! - Yay!
Good job!

Where's Sheldon?

Date night.

Mmm, that can't be
much fun for Amy.

You know, at work today,
he tried his first Red Bull.

What happened?

He chased a squirrel

around the quad
for a while and...

...then threw up in my car.

Don't you think you should
make him stop all this?

I don't know-- he's not
really hurting anybody.

You didn't have to scoop vomit
out of your glove compartment.

He is getting
a lot of work done.

He had a pretty interesting
take on proton decay.

Wow, if he cracks that,
it's a game changer, guys.

It'll completely redefine
our understanding

of the physical universe.

Hmm, it would.

Okay, back to
“Emily or Cinnamon”"

“How can such a little girl
eat such a big steak”"


I want you to take
that cap off.

That nagging tone is
helping my anxiety, yeah.

But if you could maybe just go
ten percent less shrill,

that'd really put the zip-a-Dee
in my doo-dah.

I'm sorry, but
you know we agreed

not to bring work
to date night.

There you go, perfect.

Sheldon, stop it,
I'm not kidding.

Take the cap off, and
put the notebook away.

But after months of struggling,
I'm finally making progress.

You don't need to drive yourself
crazy in order to be productive.

Or do I, hmm?

Sir Isaac Newton wrote
his Principia

while convinced he was
an armadillo.

That's not true.

Yeah, well, maybe it is,
maybe it isn't.

I have been
hallucinating lately.

Sheldon, this has to stop.

You need to get some sleep
and take care of yourself.

Amy, I have gotten more done
in the last few days

than I have since I made
the switch to dark matter.

What if I stop doing this,
and it all goes away?

Your thoughts and ideas come
from you, not from your anxiety.

Hmm, perhaps.

But I'm not taking
the cap off.

It's one thing to make
yourself miserable,

but you're making everyone
around you miserable, too.

Now, I'm telling you for the
last time-- take the cap off.



What if I don't?

And before you answer that,
can I have my dessert?

And then she
threw me out.

Me, her very
own boyfriend.

When all I've done is try
to help humanity reach

a more profound understanding
of the world we live in.

Yeah, well, women--

what are you gonna do?

I knew you'd understand,
Armadillo Isaac Newton.


Here we are.


What are you trying to pull?

The president of
science isn't in here.

You lie down, he'll be here
in a minute.


Hey, I thought you were
trying to trick me.

Now, you just
get comfortable.

No, no, comfort is the enemy.

You know what's comfortable?

Slippers and blankets
and panda bears.

Imagine a panda bear with
Richard Feynman's face on it.

Warm up the car, Leonard,
it's poster time.

Maybe in the morning.

Yeah, you get
some sleep.

No, I don't want to go
to sleep-- you can't make me.

You're right, we can't.

Yeah, darn straight, you can't.

Try to tell a grown man
to go to sleep...

♪ Soft kitty ♪

♪ Warm kitty ♪

♪ Little ball of fur... ♪

That's not gonna work.

♪ Happy kitty,
sleepy kitty ♪

♪ Purr ♪

♪ Purr, purr. ♪

You know, he can be
a lot of trouble,

but when I see him lying
here asleep like this,

I just think...

how easy it would be to
hold a pillow over his face.

Wow, you look like
you got some rest.

Oh, I'm feeling
much better.

And I've also been
continuing to make progress

without artificially
raising my anxiety levels.

I turned on the heat in my car
and some vomit came out,

so my levels--
right up there.

Hey, guys.

Mind if Emily
joins us for lunch?

Yeah, sure. Yeah, no problem.
Of course not.

So I hear you guys have been
playing a little game.

Well, um, we were
just kidding around.

Well, you may think it's funny
that Raj is sweet and sensitive,

but I think it's sexy.

Ugh, why is there dog hair
in your mouth?

== sync, corrected by elderman ==