The comic book store.
SheldonSmell that? That's the smell of new comic books. Oh, yes.
HowardThey're on me today, boys.
RajYou're paying? Have you been selling your sperm again?
HowardNo, I'm celebrating. As we speak, the space shuttle is docking at the International Space Station where it will deploy the Wolowitz zero-gravity Waste Disposal System.
RajOh, get over yourself. It's a high-tech toilet.
LeonardJust think, thanks to your hard work, an international crew of astronauts will boldly go where no man has gone before.
Howardls that supposed to be funny?
SheldonI believe it is. The combination of Star Trek reference and the play on words involving the double meaning of the verb "to go" suggests that Leonard is humorously mocking your efforts in space plumbing.
HowardOkay, make your little jokes. But of the four of us, I'm the only one making any real-world contribution to science and technology.
RajHe's right. This is an important achievement for two reasons: Number one, and of course, number two.
SheldonOh, clever. Playing on the use of cardinal numbers as euphemisms for bodily functions.
StuartHere, Sheldon. I pulled the new Hellboy for you. It's mind-blowing.
SheldonExcuse me, spoiler alert.
StuartBut I didn't spoil anything.
SheldonYou told me it's mind-blowing, so my mind is going into it pre-blown. And once a mind is pre-blown, it cannot be re-blown.
SheldonSend the Grinch to Christmas.
StuartUh, hey, Leonard, can I talk to you about something?
LeonardSure. What's up?
StuartRemember when I went out with your friend Penny a couple weeks ago?
RajSure, you remember. That was the night you went to the bar and made a fool of yourself trying to pick up strange women.
LeonardWhat about it?
StuartWell uh, the thing is, the date didn't go that well.
LeonardOh. Too bad. You know what, I guess the thing to do now is just seem, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, forget it, and move on.
StuartI can't do that.
LeonardWhy the hell not?
Stuart'Cause we're going out again tomorrow.
SheldonExcuse me, Stuart? Have you read the new Flash?
SheldonWell, I have, and it will knock your socks off. Good luck getting them back on.
StuartUh. Anyway, yeah, I figure this is probably my last shot with Penny and I don't wanna screw it up.
LeonardOh, nobody wants that.
StuartSo here's my question: It's the second date. You think she'll be expecting things to get physical?
LeonardOh, gee. Um, my initial reaction is "no". But, you know, let me think about it and get back to you, okay?
StuartOkay. So, you'll give me a call?
LeonardYeah, or you call me.
LeonardOr nobody calls anyone.
RajInteresting, Penny's current suitor asking advice from her former suitor.
LeonardYeah, thanks for closed-captioning my pain, Raj.
HowardHey, you wanna make sure he gets nowhere with Penny without jeopardizing your friendship with either of them?
HowardJust tell him to do everything you've done with her for the last two years.
First floor of the buidling.
PennyHow's it going?
LeonardGood, good. You?
PennyFine. Oh, yeah, hey, can I ask you something?
PennyYou know your friend Stuart?
PennyWell, he asked me out again and I said yes. And then I started thinking maybe I should talk to you first.
PennyWell, does it bother you? Me going out with one of your friends? 'Cause, you know, you and me-
LeonardNo. No, that's the past. I'm really more of a right now kinda guy. You know, living in the moment. Although I do have to live a little in the future 'cause, well, that's my job. Of course, my fondness for classic science fiction does draw my attention backwards, but those stories often take place in the future, so- In conclusion, no, it doesn't bother me.
PennyOkay, well, that's really cool of you.
LeonardYeah? Well, I wouldn't say cool. I'd just say, "That's Leonard."
PennyWell, in that case, do you mind giving me some advice?
LeonardAbout Stuart? Love to.
PennyHe's very shy. How do I make him feel more comfortable around me?
LeonardWell, first of all, don't underestimate the value of discomfort.
LeonardWell, yeah. Stuart thrives under pressure. That's why he works in a comic-book store.
The cafeteria. Phone ringing.
LeonardOh. It's Stuart. (Phone ringing)
SheldonYou're not going to answer it?
LeonardHe wants to talk about Penny. I don't wanna talk about Penny.
SheldonYou're making an assumption. Perhaps the comic book store is on fire. And he needs your assistance.
LeonardWhy would he call me?
SheldonWe don't know. And if you don't answer the phone, we can't know.
LeonardI'm not answering the phone, Sheldon.
SheldonAnswer the phone, Leonard.
LeonardNo. (Phone chiming) There. It went to voicemail.
SheldonAren't you going to check your messages?
SheldonYou have to check your messages, Leonard. The leaving of a message is one half of a social contract, which is completed by the checking of the message. If that contract breaks down, then all social contracts break down. And we descend into anarchy.
LeonardIt must be hell inside your head.
HowardGuys, we have a code red.
SheldonYou mean code red, the hospital emergency alert? code red the computer worm, or code red the cherry-flavored soft drink from the makers of Mountain Dew?
HowardI was going over the schematics on my Zero-G Toilet and I made a teeny-tiny mistake on the specifications for the diverter valve.
HowardIt's gonna fail after about ten flushes.
SheldonBut the mission is for six months.
HowardYeah, see, that's the code red. It's kind of like a jack-in-the-box. No one knows exactly when, but at some point, something way worse than a puppet is gonna pop out of that box.
SheldonHave you notified NASA?
HowardNo! Are you crazy? What am I gonna say? I screwed up your toilet and pretty soon there's gonna be crap floating all over your nice shiny space station?
LeonardSo what are you gonna do?
HowardI'm gonna figure out how to fix it, then I'll tell them.
LeonardSo, what do you need us for?
RajHe can't figure out how to fix it.
HowardYou said you were gonna be supportive.
RajI'm trying. But you have to admit, this is pretty damn funny.
SheldonI agree. It's a juxtaposition of the high-tech nature of space exploration against the banality of a malfunctioning toilet that provides the comic fodder here. (Laughs. To Leonard) Check your messages.
The living room.
HowardAll right, this is an exact duplicate of the Wolowitz zero-gravity Human Waste Disposal System as deployed on the International Space Station.
RajDon't you mean the Wolowitz zero-gravity Human Waste Distribution System?
LeonardGood one, yeah.
HowardIt's hilarious. Now. Here's an approximation of the spare parts available on the space station. We gotta find a way, using nothing but this, to reinforce this, so the waste material avoids the spinning turbine.
RajYou mean, so it doesn't hit the fan?
SheldonYeah, I have to say I thought the toilet humor would get less funny with repetition. Apparently, there is no law of diminishing comedic returns with space poop.
(Someone knocks on the door and Leonard answers it)
LeonardYeah, it's a regular Manhattan Project.
StuartWell, tonight's my date with Penny. And since we haven't been able to connect by phone-
LeonardYeah, I'm sorry. It's been broken.
LeonardYeah, that's broken too. Everything's broken.
StuartAnyway, I was just wondering if you had any last-minute advice.
LeonardAll right. Well, off the top of my head, you know, I think the most important thing with Penny is to go really slow. I mean, glacial.
LeonardYou know, guys come on to her all the time, so you need to, like, set yourself apart, you know? Be a little shy. Don't make too much eye contact. And you know, treat her with, like, cool detachment. And-and, you know, fear.
LeonardYeah. Like you're afraid that if you touch her, she'll break.
StuartWell, that plays right into my wheelhouse.
LeonardGood, good. Well, you-you kids have fun tonight.
StuartThanks, Leonard. (Points at Howard's thing) What is that thing anyway?
HowardYou don't know what this is?
HowardGood, get out. (Closes the door)
RajBe afraid of Penny. Nice, very crafty.
LeonardIt wasn't bad advice. It just wasn't particularly helpful.
SheldonFor what it's worth, my mother says that when we deceive for personal gain, we make Jesus cry.
[Continued from earlier.]
SheldonAll right, what if we use this two-inch PVC to reinforce the center cross-support?
HowardNo good. I mean, it might work for the Japanese and the Americans, but have you seen the size of the Russians they got up there? This thing has to hold up against a hearty potato-based diet.
LeonardI feel terrible.
HowardMaybe if you were helping, you'd feel better about yourself.
LeonardI deliberately tried to sabotage Stuart's date with Penny.
RajOf course you feel terrible. You completely screwed up your karma, dude.
SheldonYou don't really believe in that superstition, do you?
RajIt's not superstition, it's practically Newtonian. For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. Leonard pretends to be a friend, and acts like a two-faced bitch. Therefore, he is reborn as a banana slug. It's actually a very elegant system. You know, what goes around comes around.
HowardSpeaking of what goes around comes around (Motions him to the thing)
RajOkay, look. Instead of trying to reinforce this structure here, what if we just ran another line, bypassed it entirely?
SheldonIt won't work. The diameter of the tubing is insufficient.
RajWhat if we reposition the collection tank?
SheldonIt won't work. No way to mount it.
HowardOkay, here's an idea. What if I change my name and go live with my cousin and her husband, Avi, in Israel?
SheldonThat could work.
The hallway. Leonard knocks on Penny's door.
PennyMorning. What's up?
LeonardNothing. We just pulled an all-nighter trying to fix a zero-gravity pasta maker. I'm gonna make a coffee run. Do you want any?
PennyOh, no, thanks. I have coffee.
LeonardGreat, so how'd it go with Stuart last night?
PennyOh, I really don't wanna talk about it.
LeonardYeah. Right. Sure. But, you know, the thing is, before you guys went out, I spoke to him and I-
PennyI said I don't wanna talk about it.
LeonardYeah. Okay, I just, I kinda feel responsible-
PennyLook, Leonard. What goes on between me and Stuart is none of your business. So just leave it alone, okay?
RajIf you really want to clean up your karma, go get my freaking latte.
The living room.
HowardHang on, I think I've got this. Help me see if we can wedge this little piece of PVC behind the support rod.
SheldonI think you're overestimating the tensile strength of the substructure you're building.
HowardSheldon, I know what I'm doing.
SheldonIf you knew what you were doing, there wouldn't be a space toilet where my coffee table should be.
RajHoward, wait. Why don't you use this instead of the PVC to keep the transverse filter assembly in place?
HowardBecause this is not a spare part from the space station. This is the thing from the pizza box that keeps the lid from touching the cheese.
RajIs that what that's for? In India, the lid just touches the cheese. Of course we also have rampant poverty and periodic outbreaks of cholera so a little cardboard in our cheese is no biggie.
HowardWhere you going?
LeonardComic book store.
SheldonOh, an excellent idea. I could certainly use a break.
HowardHold on, you guys can go to the comic book store when man can once again safely poop in space.
SheldonWhy does Leonard get to go?
Howard'Cause he's upset over his situation with Penny. And if I have to hear about it again, I'm gonna kick him in his ovaries.
LeonardThanks for understanding, Howard.
HowardI got your back, sister. All right, I think we've got a prototype ready to test. Hand me that Tupperware.
RajWow, that's heavy.
HowardDamn right, it's heavy. It's my mother's meatloaf. It's been testing toilets for generations.
SheldonI must say, Howard, I think a detailed letter to MIT describing your current circumstances might entitle you to a refund on your Master's degree.
HowardOkay, simulated zero-gravity human waste disposal test with meatloaf analog. In three, two, one. (It jumps out of the toilet)
RajWhat do you think the problem is?
HowardNot enough bread crumbs.
The comic book store.
LeonardHey, Stuart, I need to talk to you.
StuartSure, what's up?
LeonardI think I gave you some bad advice about Penny and I want to apologize.
StuartNo, your advice was great.
StuartOh, yeah, going slow really worked.
LeonardYou're kidding. Never worked for me.
StuartYeah, last night at dinner I did what you told me. I went really slow, I kept my distance, and two bottles of wine later, we were making out in my car.
LeonardWine? I didn't say to give her wine.
StuartIt doesn't matter. 'Cause that's where it all went to hell.
LeonardDuring the kissing? What did you do, sneeze in her mouth? I did that to a girl once.
StuartNo, everything was good and really hot. And I said, oh, Penny, and right where she was supposed to say, "Oh, Stuart" she said, your name.
StuartThat is your name, right?
LeonardYeah. No, yeah. Wow, I'm sorry. That must've been the last thing you wanted to hear.
StuartWell, it beats "You know I'm a dude", right? Yeah, it was pretty bad.
LeonardNo doubt, no doubt. Okay, well, I'm sorry it didn't work out.
StuartNot your fault.
LeonardYeah, how about that? See you soon.
StuartYep, sure. (Leonard "dances" right after he leaves the store.)
The living room.
Howard(On phone) Yes sir, I understand. Classified. We'll keep it all classified. No one has to know anything about this but you and me.
LeonardHoward's space toilet. I'll tell you later.
HowardWell, they've deployed our solution. Let's just all hope it works.
SheldonI don't see why I have to worry. My career's not hanging in the balance. (Smiles) That was a joke. It's funny because it's true.
PennyLeonard, could you pass the soy sauce, please?
LeonardI'm sorry, were you talking to me?
PennyYeah, I said Leonard.
LeonardYes, you did, didn't you?
PennyWhat the hell is that?
LeonardWhat was it doing on the ceiling?
International Space Station.
AstronautHouston, uh, International Space Station. We have a little situation up here. We'd like to make an unscheduled space walk.
ManI.S.S, Houston, which crew members would be involved in this E. V.A?
AstronautHouston, uh, we all like to step outside for a few minutes.
ManI.S.S, I'm afraid we can't authorize that.
AstronautUh, Houston, uh, this is more of an FYI call. We are basically out the dock.