In this episode, Penny has financial troubles and Sheldon is happy to loan her some money he isn't using.
The guys are planning their dinner and movie night using a map defining the theater and restaurant locations and the movie schedules, but none of them meet Sheldon’s conditions. Even Raj's suggestion of sneaking in a Slurpee from 7-Eleven is not sufficient for Sheldon by requesting an "emergency ad-hoc Slurpee/Icee equivalency." Their only option is for them to go to the movies without him. Sheldon agrees that it is the only logical option.
Sheldon enters his apartment with Penny rushing in ahead of him. She is hiding from the building manager landlord to whom she owes one month’s rent. She has lost hours at the restaurant and her car needs repairs. Sheldon again mentions that her "Check Engine light” was on.
Sheldon observes, "You know, it occurs to me you could solve all your problems by obtaining more money."
Sheldon then offers to loan Penny some from his a trick peanut brittle can (complete with snakes). He tells Penny to pay him back when she can. Sheldon only need 46.9% of his post-tax income and is saving up for when science develops an affordable technology to fuse his skeleton with adamantium like Wolverine. He also discloses that the rest is split up between a savings account, the snake can, and the hollowed out buttocks of "a superhero action figure who shall remain nameless for his own protection....or HER own protection". (Leonard later discloses that Sheldon has cash in Green Lantern's butt.) Penny reaches for some cash, takes it, puts some back, does some mental math and then takes a lot more. She just doesn't want things to be weird between them. Sheldon says that he would find it weirder to say hello to Penny every day on the way to work while she's living in a refrigerator box and washing her hair with rainwater.
The next day, Sheldon and Leonard pick up Penny’s mail and deliver a box to her. It is her new beret which she quickly explains she paid for more than a month ago and was just on back order. Neither Sheldon nor Leonard asked about it. "I ordered it a month ago and it just arrived, now get off my case!" Leonard is stumped by Penny's defensive reaction.
At dinner, Howard laments that the rising cost of moo shu pork makes it tougher for him to be a bad Jew. Leonard agrees to pay for Penny’s who defensively demands to pay him back. Penny also snipes at Raj for his free meals comment and then jumps on Sheldon. Penny complains that she has eaten restaurant leftovers for four days and wanted something new. She pleads with Sheldon that she will pay him back to which Sheldon offers to loan her more money. Penny yells at Sheldon and runs out. "Oh, you would just love that, wouldn't you? Yeah, you would just love to open up your little snake can and throw some money at the girl who couldn't pay her bills."
Leonard goes over to see what was troubling Penny. She is having dinner by candle light since she couldn't pay the electric company. Leonard comments that Sheldon really doesn't care when he gets paid back. It's one of the few idiosyncrasies that doesn't make you want to kill him. Penny laments not being able to make a living as a movie star or a TV star. Leonard suggests getting rid of her cable TV or her acting classes. She can’t get rid of her classes because she is a professional (though never earned any money). Besides her car breaking down, she also paid a fine for her old boyfriend Kurt for urinating on a cop car whilst drunk. She's reluctant to go to him and ask for the money. She thinks she has to find a cheaper place to live. Leonard suggests getting a roommate, like himself. Penny replies with a sultry voice, "Oh, Leonard, honey. If we started living together, I wouldn't be able to keep my hands off of you." "R-R-Really?" he asks. "And you thought my acting classes were a waste of money!"
Back in the apartment, the guys are on a quest through the Valley of Fire. Leonard wants them to join him in a real quest to get Penny's money back. The guys aren't enthusiastic to help him and Sheldon mentions losing their pants the last time they went to get Penny’s television.
Leonard convinces them to help him and Howard proposes a plan where "Koothrappali's gonna wet himself, I'm going to throw up, Sheldon's going to run away, and you're going to die."
Leonard tells Kurt that Penny's in a bad financial jam, and the money Kurt owes her would go a long way to helping her. Kurt asks if Penny sent them, and Leonard insists that he came to him on his own. Kurt slams the door in his face. As the gang left, Leonard stays behind and begins to pound on the door and demands Kurt to pay up.
In the car Leonard is driving back without the money, however Kurt did acknowledge the debt. Leonard has "I owe Penny $1,800- Kurt" written on his forehead in permanent ink. The guys are really impressed. Howard even suggests having Leonard's head notarizes, and Raj still begs for anyone to let him pee.
Penny visits the guys. Leonard is wearing a stocking cap to hide his forehead. Penny pays Sheldon back and mentions that Kurt surprised her by repaying the money he owes her because he felt guilty. Leonard wants to know what led to this "moral epiphany." She doesn't know, but she is convinced Kurt has changed and will meet him for dinner tomorrow night. Sheldon is further impressed, saying that Leonard should wear that ink as a badge of honor, his "warrior's wound." Sheldon states that Minstrels will write songs about Leonard:
"There once was a brave lad named Leonard. With a fi-fi fiddle dee-dee. He faced a fearsome giant. While Raj just wanted to pee."
- Title Reference: Penny's financial troubles.
- When the guys first face Kurt in this episode, Howard, who is a Jew, inexplicably makes the sign of the Cross, a Roman Catholic devotion. There is no precedent in the series, no explanation and no further instance of this happening.
- Kurt now has longer hair since The Middle-Earth Paradigm.
- This is the last on-screen appearance of Kurt.
- Sheldon's minstrel song for Leonard is similar to "Bravely Bold Sir Robin" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.