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After Howard makes the latest in a long string of inappropriate comments to Penny in what he considers their courting ritual, Penny in return tells Howard in no uncertain terms that they are not dating nor ever will date. She makes a hurtful comment back to him. Depressed by Penny's comment, Howard retreats, not wanting to see or speak to anyone. This is bad timing for Leonard, Sheldon and Raj, who along with Howard, are entered into a killer robot competition. Being the engineer, Howard is the chief designer and builder of their entry, named MONTE (the mobile omnidirectional neutralization & termination eradicator). The stakes are even higher with a pre-competition "robot to the death" challenge by fellow nerd, Barry Kripke. Leonard pleads with Penny to apologize to Howard to get him out of his funk.