The living room. Howard and Sheldon are playing [Red Hot Chili Peppers]' [Under the Bridge]. Raj is singing along, and "dancing". RajI don't ever wanna feel / Like I did that day / Take me to the place I love / Take me all the way / I don't wanna feel (Penny enters without being noticed) / Like I did that day / Take me to place I love (Sees Penny and stops)
HowardFellas, please. (Motions them to turn it down)
HowardHoney, come on. We were just finding our sound.
PennyYou found it. It's the sound of a cat being run over by a lawn mower.
Leonard(Appears, on phone) I'm really very busy. Is there any way that we can put this off until I have more time to prepare? Of course, but, uh, you understand my trepidation.
PennyWhat's that about?
HowardNot a clue.
LeonardCan't we just postpone it till this spring? Maybe next summer?
SheldonThis should be fairly easy to deduce. He's holding the phone to his left ear. Ears do not cross hemispheres. So he's using the analytical, rather than emotional side of the brain, suggesting that he has no personal relationship with the caller.
LeonardNo, I didn't realize it had been so long. Sure. I guess there's no other choice but to just go ahead and do it.
SheldonHe's referring to an activity he has done before. It's unpleasant and needs to be repeated. This suggests some sort of invasive medical test, like perhaps a colonoscopy.
LeonardAren't there any other options? There's not a lot of room. It's gonna be uncomfortable.
SheldonYes, yes. I'm definitely going with colonoscopy.
LeonardOkay, bye. My mother's coming to visit.
Howard(To Sheldon) How about that? You were right. The staircase. A woman is waiting for the elevator when Penny passes by, carrying her laundry. PennyIt's out of order.
WomanYes, I can read the sign. I'm just pondering the implications.
PennyI think it implies that the elevator doesn't work.
WomanAgain, I can read the sign. But the sign and tape are covered with a layer of dust which indicates that the elevator has been nonfunctional for a significant amount of time, which suggests either a remarkable passivity among the, I assume 24 to 36 residents of this building based on the number of mailboxes and given typical urban population density, or a shared delusion of functionality.
PennyYou must be Leonard's mother.
WomanOh, I don't know if I must be, but yes.
PennyUh, I'm Penny, I'm his neighbor.
Dr. HofstadterOh, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter.
PennyOh, nice to meet you. (Reaches out her hand)
Dr. HofstadterOh, you're a hand shaker. Interesting. (They shake hands)
PennyOh, why don't you come with me, I'll walk you to the apartment.
Dr. HofstadterOh, all right. Would you like to exchange pleasantries on the way?
PennyYeah, sure, I guess.
Dr. HofstadterAll right, you start.
PennyOk. You know I've always been curious. What was Leonard like when he was little?
Dr. HofstadterOh, I think you mean young. He's always been little.
PennyRight. Ok, what was he like when he was young?
Dr. HofstadterYou'll have to be more specific.
PennyOh, um, okay, like five or six. (Dr. Hofstadter stares at her) Five.
Dr. HofstadterOh, well, at that age, he was enmeshed in what Freud would call the phallic stage of psychosexual development. An outmoded theory, of course. But the boy did spend most of his waking hours with a tight grasp on his penis.
PennyOh, yeah, Leonard mentioned you were a psychiatrist.
Dr. HofstadterWell, that is one of my degrees. My primary field is neuroscience.
PennyOh. Well, I'm an actress. (Giggles)
Dr. Hofstadter(Stares at her for a while) Why?
PennyHa. What-what do you mean, why?
Dr. HofstadterThere were studies that suggest that many who go into the performing arts suffer from an external locus of identity.
PennyYeah, I don't know what that means.
Dr. HofstadterWell, it means you value yourself only as others value you, which is often the result of unmet childhood emotional needs.
PennyOh, well, I had a wonderful childhood.
Dr. HofstadterTell me about it.
(After a while)
Penny(Sobbing) I know my dad wanted a boy. I- I just- I tried being good at sports, but I hated getting dirty.
Dr. HofstadterAnd then, I'm assuming you entered adolescence.
PennyUh-huh. He called me slugger until I got my first training bra and then he just stopped playing catch with me. I wasn't slugger anymore. (Knocks on Leonard's door) Your mother's here.
Dr. HofstadterIf you want to have intercourse with that girl, find out what cologne her father wore. [Electra complex]
LeonardGood to see you, mother. The living room. LeonardHere's your tea, mother.
Dr. HofstadterOolong?
LeonardYes.
Dr. HofstadterLoose, not bagged?
LeonardYes.
Dr. HofstadterSteeped three minutes?
LeonardYes.
Dr. HofstadterTwo-percent milk?
LeonardYes.
Dr. HofstadterWarmed separately?
LeonardYes.
Dr. HofstadterOne teaspoon sugar?
LeonardYes.
LeonardRaw sugar?
LeonardYes.
Dr. HofstadterIt's cold. (Tastes it)
LeonardI'll start again.
SheldonI have the same problem with him. My theory is that his lack of focus stems from an over-developed sex drive.
Dr. HofstadterOh, I don't know where he would've gotten that. Aside from a pro forma consummation of our marriage, his father and I only had intercourse for the purposes of reproduction.
SheldonThat seems a fairly efficient arrangement.
Dr. HofstadterYes, we think so. We've both done papers on it. Mine from a neuroscientific point of view and his from an anthropological. Mine, of course, was the only one worth reading.
SheldonOf course. I would very much like to read about your sex life.
Dr. HofstadterWell, it's all online or you can order it from the Princeton University Press.
LeonardHere's your tea, mother. So, what are you guys talking about?
SheldonThe frequency with which your parents had intercourse.
LeonardSwell. If you're lucky, maybe she'll show you the PowerPoint presentation. (Sheldon is intrigued)
Dr. HofstadterI'm sorry, it's on my other laptop. (He groans in disappointment)
LeonardSo, mother, what's new?
Dr. HofstadterYou'll have to be more specific.
LeonardAll right. Uh, what's new with you?
Dr. HofstadterOh, well, I've been having some fascinating menopausal symptoms recently.
LeonardMaybe something less personal?
Dr. HofstadterOh. Your uncle Floyd died.
LeonardOh, my God. What happened?
Dr. HofstadterHis heart stopped beating. I have to urinate. (Goes to the bathroom)
SheldonWhat a remarkable woman.
LeonardYeah, I- I thought you guys might hit it off.
SheldonI envy you your childhood.
LeonardI hate to tell you, but the only warm memories I have of my childhood are of my uncle Floyd.
Dr. HofstadterYou're clearly misremembering. Your mother is brilliant, analytical, insightful. And I'm betting she never hit you with a Bible because you wouldn't eat Brussels sprouts.
LeonardSheldon, you don't give your mother enough credit. She's warm, she's loving, she doesn't glue electrodes to your head to measure your brain waves while potty training.
SheldonYou were lucky. When I was a kid, if I wanted an EEG, I had to attach my own electrodes. The cafeteria. HowardSo, Dr. Hofstadter, Leonard rarely talks about his incredibly successful brother and sister.
LeonardPlease don't go there, Howard.
HowardYou know, I understand that unlike Leonard, they're at the top of their respective fields.
LeonardBoy, you suck.
Dr. HofstadterWell, Leonard's younger brother, Michael, is a tenured law professor at Harvard and his sister just successfully grew a human pancreas in an adolescent gibbon.
HowardSo she's close to curing diabetes?
Dr. HofstadterWhy else would you grow a pancreas in a teenaged gibbon?
HowardWow, you must be very proud.
Dr. HofstadterWhy? They're not my accomplishments. I have to urinate. (Leaves)
LeonardWhy are you doing this?
HowardYou know the rules. You brought your mom to work. You must suffer.
SheldonLeonard, I had no idea your siblings were so much more successful than you.
RajYeah, you're like the Jar Jar Binks of the Hofstadter family.
HowardOh, meesa think yousa looking so, so sad.
LeonardYou know, rather than mock me, my friends might realize this is difficult and try to help me through it.
RajNope, I think mocking you is more fun.
HowardNext time, don't yousa bring mama to work. Okee-day? (Dr. Hofstadter returns)
LeonardThat was fast.
Dr. HofstadterOh, the middle stall was occupied. I'll have to try again later.
SheldonIt's totally understandable. In bladder voiding, as in real estate, it's location, location, location.
Dr. HofstadterSo where were we?
LeonardHoward lives with his mother and Raj can't speak to women unless he's drunk. Go.
Dr. HofstadterOh, that's fascinating. Selective mutism is quite rare. On the other hand, an adult Jewish male living with his mother is so common, it borders on sociological cliché.
HowardIt's just temporary. I pay rent.
LeonardHe lives in the same room where his bassinet was.
Dr. HofstadterYou know, both selective mutism and an inability to separate from one's mother can stem from a pathological fear of women. It might explain why the two of you have created an ersatz homosexual marriage to satisfy your need for intimacy.
(The two are stunned, and Lenoard smirks)
HowardSay what? (Raj whispers something in his ear) That's basically what I just said.
LeonardYou brought your husband to work, you know the rules. Meesa thinking yousa looking pretty sad now too, betcha, betcha.
Dr. HofstadterLeonard, it's 1:00. Weren't you going to show me your laboratory at 1:00?
LeonardYeah, there's no hurry, mother. Tell them more about their secret love for each other.
Dr. HofstadterBut it's 1:00. You were going to show me your laboratory at 1:00.
SheldonHer reasoning is unassailable. It is 1:00. (Points at his watch)
LeonardFine. Let's go. I think you'll find my work pretty interesting. I'm attempting to replicate the dark matter signal found in sodium-iodide crystals by the Italians.
Dr. HofstadterSo no original research?
LeonardNo.
Dr. HofstadterWhat's the point of my seeing it? I could just read the paper the Italians wrote. (They leave)
Howard(to Sheldon) Just for the record, we're not in an ersatz homosexual relationship.
RajWell, then, why didn't you say that to her?
HowardWhy is it always my responsibility?
RajIt's not always your responsibility. I swear, this is the same thing you did at the comic book store last week.
HowardI can't believe you're bringing that up.
RajI didn't bring it up. You did.
HowardWe'll talk about this later. (Signal him that they're not alone)
RajWell, you always say that, but we never do.
SheldonYou went to the comic book store without me. The hallway. Leonard knocks at Penny's door. PennyHey.
LeonardYou got alcohol?
PennyYour mom still here?
LeonardYep.
PennyCome on in. Wait-wait, she's not gonna come here looking for you, is she?
Dr. HofstadterOh, relax. She took Sheldon to the hospital to get a brain scan.
PennyOh my God. What happened?
LeonardNothing. Mother likes looking at brains and Sheldon likes getting his brain scanned.
PennyJeez, what a fun couple.
LeonardUgh. She's only been here a day and a half and I'm seriously considering alcoholism as a new career path.
PennyI talked to her for five minutes yesterday and I've been half bombed ever since.
LeonardYou can't let her get into your head.
PennyMy head, what about yours?
LeonardIt's too late for me. My head is her summer house.
PennyShe was right, you know. The locus of my identity is totally exterior to me.
LeonardOh, yeah, there she is. Hi, mom.
PennyI mean, do you know where I was all morning? Auditioning with 50 other blondes for some stupid antidepressant commercial. And for what? So I'll finally get my daddy's approval?
LeonardDid you get the part?
PennyNo, they said I was too perky.
LeonardYou wanna talk about not getting love from a parent? You know what I used to do when I was little to have some sensation of human contact?
PennyYeah, you grabbed your penis and wouldn't let it go. Your mother told me.
LeonardOf course she did. That's not what I was gonna say. Uh, when I was 10 years old, I built a hugging machine.
PennyA hugging machine?
LeonardYeah. I got a dressmaker's mannequin, I stuffed it with an electric blanket so it'd be warm and I built two radio-controlled arms that would hug me and pat my back.
PennyOh, that is so sad.
LeonardKnow what the saddest part was?
PennyWhat?
LeonardMy father used to borrow it. The staircase. Dr. HofstadterYour scan data will be very helpful to my research. You have a remarkable brain.
SheldonI know. Although I've always hated how my right frontal lobe looks in pictures.
Dr. HofstadterCommon complaint among men. Nothing's ever big enough. Except when they get a tumor. Then you never hear the end of it.
SheldonYeah, I'd love to see a scan of your brain sometime.
Dr. HofstadterOh, I'll send you a link, but its physiology is fairly unimpressive.
SheldonOh, I can't believe that.
Dr. HofstadterYour unwillingness to accept empirical evidence suggests an attempt at flattery.
SheldonMy apologies. I've been living with your son too long. Gotten into some bad habits.
Dr. HofstadterUnderstandable.
SheldonCan I make you a cup of tea?
Dr. HofstadterI doubt it, but if anyone has a chance, it's probably you.
SheldonI feel very comfortable around you.
Dr. HofstadterI feel very comfortable around you too.
SheldonIt's surprising because I generally don't feel comfortable around- Well, anyone.
Dr. HofstadterNor I.
SheldonWhat are the odds that two individuals as unique as ourselves would be connected by someone as comparatively workaday as your son?
Dr. HofstadterIs that a rhetorical point or would you like to do the math?
SheldonI'd like to do the math.
Dr. HofstadterI'd like that too. Penny's apartment. Penny and Leonard are drinking. PennyMm. Oh.
LeonardHeh-heh-heh.
PennyOkay, now this time-
LeonardUh-huh.
PennyYou're gonna lick the salt... off my neck (Scatters salt on her neck) do the shot. Whoops. And then, bite the lime.
LeonardI'm sorry, I didn't hear anything after "lick."
PennyNeck. Shot. Lime. (Leonard licks her neck) Okay, shot, lime.
LeonardRight. Dah! Where's the lime? (Penny shows that It's in her mouth) Okay, we're sharing. (They kiss. Leonard get the lime and spit it away) Leonard's apartment. Dr. Hofstadter and Sheldon are sitting on the couch. SheldonSo, what do you think?
Dr. HofstadterI'm very tempted. I'm just not sure it's appropriate with my son's roommate.
SheldonNormally, I'd feel the same way. But based on everything I've observed about us, I can't help but speculate we'd be very good together.
Dr. HofstadterTrue. I've had a similar observation. It's certainly something I could never do with my husband.
SheldonI was hesitant the first time I tried it, but I experienced an unanticipated and remarkable release of endorphins. It's quite satisfying.
Dr. HofstadterMm. I see what you're doing. You're appealing to the neuroscientific researcher in me.
SheldonYou see right through me, don't you?
Dr. HofstadterOnly when you're in a CAT scanner. (Snorts then laughs) Penny's bedroom. She and Leonard are in bed. LeonardThis is actually gonna happen.
PennyHoney. Shush, shush, shush.
LeonardYou shush. I'm happy. I wanna talk about it. You know what my mother would say about this? She would say because you were not loved by your father and I was not loved by my mother, that having sex is our way of making up for intimacy we didn't get as children.
Penny(Upset) Why would you bring that up right now?
LeonardI don't know. Foreplay?
PennySo, you're saying you're not having sex with me, you're having sex with your mother?
LeonardUm, I'm gonna go with no.
PennyThat is the sickest thing I have ever heard.
LeonardUh, come on, you're trying to have sex with your father, and I'm okay with that.
PennyGet out!
Leonard(Thrown out of her apartment and without pants on) She said shush. I should have shushed.
[Cut to his apartment. dr. hofstadter and sheldon are singing Journey's "Any Way You Want It".]
Oh all night / Oh all night / all night / all night / Oh, every night / every night / Hold tight / Hold tight / Hold tight / Baby, hold tight / Anyway you want it / That's the way you need it
[Time lapse. The hallway. Dr. Hofstadter's leaving.]
LeonardAll right, mother. Um, have a nice flight.
Dr. HofstadterThat's not really in my control, is it? Oh, uh, yes. (Awkwardly lets him hug her. After a while, pats him on the head and pushes him away. Penny appears.)
PennyOh, good morning.
LeonardMorning.
PennyLook, I was just coming over to talk to you-
LeonardYou don't have to. Ever.
PennyGotcha.
LeonardGoodbye, mother.
Dr. HofstadterGoodbye, Leonard. (To Penny) So, slugger, shall we pick up where we left off last time?
Penny(Sobbing) I mean, my mom could've just said, "Bob, get over it, she's a girl, move on." But she didn't. Not one word.
Dr. HofstadterInteresting. Would you be willing to fly to New Jersey and discuss your relationship with your parents during a brain scan?
PennyWould it help?
Dr. HofstadterWell, it would help me.