The Big Bang Theory (2007– )
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The Empathy Optimization 

After being forced to deal with a sick Sheldon, the rest of the gang try to treat themselves to a Sheldon-free weekend.



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Episode complete credited cast:
... Leonard Hofstadter
... Sheldon Cooper
... Penny Hofstadter
... Howard Wolowitz
... Raj Koothrappali
... Amy Farrah Fowler
... Bernadette Rostenkowski
... Stuart Bloom
... Emily Sweeney


Leonard, Penny, Howard, Bernadette, Raj and Emily are all mad at Sheldon because while they all tried to help and comfort him when he had the flu, he treated them all insensitively. Not knowing what he did wrong, Sheldon doesn't understand why they aren't all happy that he is now well. Still angered because of Sheldon's attitude, the six believe they need some away time from him and decide to rent a party bus for a trip to Las Vegas without him. When Sheldon finds out, he wants to go on the trip despite not liking Vegas, yet he still doesn't understand why they haven't invited him. In Skyping to Amy who is still in Detroit on her conference, Sheldon may begin truly to understand from her that he needs to show some true empathy in apologizing to their friends. Although he believes he has worked out scientifically how to be truly empathetic and mean it, he has to convince all six of them that he is being genuine in his apology for them to forgive him and perhaps let him join the party, ... Written by Huggo

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Comedy | Romance


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 January 2016 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Title Reference: Sheldon learning about the best way to be empathetic. See more »


[first lines]
Penny Hofstadter: Hey, so I saw a movie trailer the other day. How could Batman possibly fight Superman? Isn't that dumb!
Bernadette Rostenkowski: Maybe he uses kryptonite.
Emily Sweeney: Well, Batman's got a lot of money; maybe he builds a suit that can do everything Superman can do.
Penny Hofstadter: No no no no no, I've seen that movie. It's called "Iron Man".
[the guys are stupefied]
Leonard Hofstadter: What is happening?
Howard Wolowitz: I don't know.
Raj Koothrappali: But it's beautiful.
Penny Hofstadter: Now Ben Affleck as Batman.
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Crazy Credits


President Roosevelt famously said, "...the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." Now, let's take a moment and ask ourselves, which presidential candidates and cable news networks are actively promoting fear? Which one of these people and corporate entities are determined to scare your pants off, in the hope that you'll either vote for them or stay tuned? Or let's approach this from a different angle. After millions of years of evolution, or six days of divine creation, it doesn't really matter which, our brains are wired to seek out danger and respond accordingly. Fight or flight or, if it's not trying to eat you, negotiate. It makes sense then, that presenting a threat to our survival is a time-tested way to get the brain's attention. And let's be clear about one thing; attention is the most valuable commodity in the world. Once you have someone's attention you can sell them something, or, if you're the kind of person who is frightened of self-determined people, control them - while reassuring them that your only concern is their right to be self-determined. (This is not to say that there aren't people who have ample reason to be afraid. I'm just gonna go out on a limb and say you're probably not one of them.) So the real question to ask yourself is not who or what should you be afraid of, it's how are you doing right now. Go ahead. Ask yourself. Are you in jeopardy right now? Of course not. You're squinting at this vanity card and perhaps wondering if there's a clever joke at the end of it. (Spoiler alert: there is not.) This means that whatever you're afraid of, or being encouraged to be afraid of, is in your mind. It is not in your living room, or just outside your door. You're thinking it. Which is good news. That's the one thing you have control over. At any moment, you can take a break from thinking scary thoughts, or, if you're like me and have a mind run amuck, you can choose to ignore them. Even better news, once you're free of self-imposed fear, you're much less likely to seek out an old, white guy to protect you. (Well, maybe there is.) See more »


References Shakespeare in Love (1998) See more »


History of Everything
Written by Barenaked Ladies
Performed by Barenaked Ladies
[Series theme song played during the opening titles]
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User Reviews

They should really stop at the end of this season..
29 January 2016 | by See all my reviews

This series started out great, evolved and then died.. and still continues to burden it's fans (3-4 years after the sad passing..) with mindless filler episodes that border on actual crap.

Besides the Star Wars/SAMY episode which was actually great everything before and after is simply boring. Everyone seems to want to be someplace else.. For people taking so much money for each episode you should expect at least some effort to not show such boredom in their expressions and acting.

I feel the actors, producers and whoever is responsible for the continuation of this travesty should take a gun and put it out of it's misery.


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