"The Adhesive Duck Deficiency" is the eighth episode of the third season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. The episode aired on Monday, November 16, 2009.
Penny dislocates her shoulder in the bathtub and is forced to turn to Sheldon to get her to the hospital. Meanwhile, the guys accidentally get stoned by some cookies in the desert while waiting for the Leonid Meteor Shower.
Leonard, Howard, and Raj are camping out in the desert to observe the Leonid Meteor Shower. Raj is just entering map coordinates into the computer, and with Howard’s help they now have free HBO. They are trying to choose between "Real Sex” and “Dune”. "Real Sex" wins. And the best part is that Sheldon is not with them. Meanwhile, back in apartment 4A, Sheldon is writing in his log that he is completing his paper on Decays of Highly-Excited Massive String States and misses the warmth of human companionship...the second statement being untrue. BAZINGA!
As Sheldon is on his own, he tries to order 1/4 of the appetizer plate and one half of the Golden Treasure for Two, which really is meant for two people; however, the Thai restaurant isn't cooperating. Sheldon hears Penny screaming for help from her apartment, warns the Thai restaurant that his sharply worded comments on Yelp took down a local muffin store, and then runs off to assist Penny. Sheldon as usual knocks on her apartment door and Penny yells at him to come in. He finds her bedroom door closed, and knocks again. Penny yells that she is in the bathroom so Sheldon asks if he should come back at a better time. Penny replies that he has to get in there and then tells him not to dare knock on the bathroom door. Sheldon finds her lying in the bathtub naked and wrapped in her shower curtain. Penny has slipped in the shower and dislocated her shoulder. Sheldon commented that she did not have a shower mat or any adhesive duck stickers (like Sheldon has) on the floor of the tub to prevent slipping. The ducks are whimsical because they even have umbrellas though they have neither the need for, nor the ability to use, umbrellas. Penny tells him that she has to go to the emergency room and that Sheldon will have to drive her since she can’t. Sheldon eventually declares, "Never let it be said that Sheldon Lee Cooper ignored the pleas of a "damsel in distress". His final observation is: "It seems ironic that for a lack of 99-cent adhesive ducks, we might die in fiery car crash".
In the desert, Howard is searching for women for him and Raj. Nearby are several groups of nerds and couple of 50-something middle school teachers "reeking of desperation." The ladies give Howard a batch of cookies to share with the guys. They were camping in a VW Microbus and were wearing tie-dye Grateful Dead t-shirts too. The guys don't know it, but the ladies have been really hiding illegal narcotics in the cookies, which the guys proceed to eat.
Penny has made it to her bedroom and tells Sheldon that she needs clothes. Sheldon sees no organizational system in her underwear drawer. He asks her which panties she wears on Mondays. Penny tells her that she just needs shorts and a top. Sheldon has to show her four combinations before she finds something that looks cute together. She then tells Sheldon to close his eyes since she doesn't want him to see her naked. Sheldon starts to help, giving her an account of those in heroic mythology who were not allowed to look either. He gets the top over her head and then Penny tells him that he has to get her hurt arm into the sleeve. Reaching around, Sheldon grabs Penny’s breast to which she asks him if that was her arm. Sheldon replies that it doesn't feel like an arm. Penny says rather sarcastically that maybe he should let it go. He does so, somewhat embarrassed, replying “All righty.”
Under the stars, the guys are under the effect of the drug-stashed cookies. They feel really good watching the star twinkle. Howard recites: "Up above the world so high, like little diamonds in the sky." Raj tells him that is beautiful and he should write it down before someone else does. Raj tells them that the meteors will appear after the earth moves into their path. Leonard claims that he can feel the earth moving, and that it is moving too fast. Raj "slows" it down for him. Leonard again says how pretty the stars are, and Raj thinks that everything his friends say sounds funny with their American accents.
Penny has trouble getting Sheldon to even start the car. He has had several hours of practice in a driving simulator, but it didn't work out well for him. To Penny’s irritation, he spends a very long time adjusting the driver’s seat and the side mirrors, one of which Penny had left behind in Hollywood parking lot.
Back in the desert, Raj is dreaming about being able to communicate with rabbits and then rule them. Leonard is angry that his name has "nerd" in it and wants to be known as Angelo because it has both "Angel" and Jello" in it. Howard reveals that he lost his virginity to his cousin, Jeanie: it all started when he attended the funeral of his Uncle Murray and went to Aunt Barbara's house for some pickled herring, reflecting that they "never meant for it to happen"; nowadays, he can't look at pickled herring without getting horny and guilty all over again.
Sheldon is driving Penny to the hospital very slowly, diligently over-obeying all the traffic regulations. Penny is complaining about his slow speed, while Sheldon is complaining about the knocking engine and the lit check engine light. “Warp speed ahead, Mr. Spock,” orders Penny. Sheldon insists that Mr. Spock is the Science Officer and does not pilot the USS Enterprise, though he would pull it over if the check engine light were on. At a stop light, Sheldon wonders why Penny has the Chinese character for "soup" on her right buttock. She says that the word is "courage", but Sheldon does admit it takes courage to tattoo the symbol for soup on your butt. He knows about the tattoo since, like a true hero, he did actually peek.
Back at camp, everyone is famished as Howard goes through all the pudding cups, and Raj uses the Slim Jims to eat his. All that is left are blue ice packs, which look like big yummy Otter Pops! Then they go back to search for more pudding cups.
At the hospital emergency room, Sheldon fills out Penny's medical form. She says no to diabetes and kidney disease, though she is quickly getting a migraine. She's not pregnant ("Are you sure? You look a bit puffy"), she has no skin lesions except for the soup tattoo, and her menstrual period is "in progress". Penny then tells Sheldon that she is scared and in a lot of pain. She wants Sheldon to be more comforting. Sheldon then apologizes, contorting quite a bit before patting her and saying, “There, there. Sheldon is here.”
The guys have run out of food and plan to raid the other campsites. Howard saves the day. His mother has sent an "I love you" care package consisting of a brisket, which they tear into without forks or knives. The potatoes and carrots that accompany it are so good that they forget why they are there. The meteor shower is visible in the background, but the starving geeks are oblivious to it.
Sheldon gets Penny home, although she could have floated home from all of the pain medication she was on. Sheldon gets ready to leave; however, Penny wants him to take her to her bed. Due to the pain medication, she laughs that he’d never thought he hear her say that. Penny then drones on that everyone thinks that he is just this annoying robot man, but underneath it all, just like the character in the Wall-E movie, he is full of love and can save the plants and get the fat people out of their floating chairs. Sheldon says he appreciates the labored metaphor. Then she wants him to sing “Soft Kitty” to her. He protests, saying the song is only for singing when one is sick. But Penny replies that injured and drugged are a kind of sick. After Sheldon starts singing, Penny interrupts him and gets him to sing it in a round. Sheldon resisted at first, but Penny informs him that she has all night. He then reluctantly started singing "Soft Kitty" in a round. Penny is very happy after they finish the song.
Around the campfire, Howard is being teased by Leonard and Raj about sleeping with his cousin who turned out to be his second cousin.