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"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.

Extended Plot[]

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".

The Adhesive Duck Deficiency 09

Is that my arm?

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.”

The Adhesive Duck Deficiency 07

High on the stoners' cookies.

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 feeling horny and ashamed 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.

The Adhesive Duck Deficiency - Open Cooler

Looking for food.

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.

Shenny Sing Soft Kitty To Me Gif

Sing "Soft Kitty".

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, Raj tells a “story” that resembles Howard and his incident with his cousin, after the “cousin reveal” in the story, Raj and Leonard laughs while Howard is annoyed, Howard tries to help his case by saying that it was his second cousin, but it doesn't help as Raj just mocks his accent and the two of them laugh even harder while Howard is still annoyed.



  • "The comic pairings work well here as they always have. Raj, Howard and Leonard find ways to put a new spin on being high...Sheldon and Penny have had the same conversation about her warning light before. Not to mention her intimate experience with his attempts to learn how to drive. They really had plenty of time to call a cab...I like Coke and I like McDonalds. I appreciate their reliability. But never do I suspect that either was lovingly prepared to give me the best, most authentic meal possible." - The TV Critic's Review
  • IMDb user reviews


  • Title Reference: The title refers to the lack of the "whimsical" adhesive duck appliqués in Penny's bathtub like the ones Sheldon uses.
  • Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
  • This episode was watched by 13.23 million people with a rating of 5.0 (adults 18–49).
  • This episode aired in Canada on November 16, 2009.
  • Episode transcript [2]

Costume Notes[]

The Adhesive Duck Deficiency 15 - Bat Question

Bat Question

The Adhesive Duck Deficiency 16 Red Alien

Red alien head



  • There is no guest appearance by Melissa Rauch as Bernadette in this episode until the next episode "The Vengeance Formulation". (S3E9).
  • Penny states that the 'check engine' light has been on since she bought the car; however Sheldon did not notice this in "The Luminous Fish Effect" (S1E4).
  • The real name of the song is actually "Warm Kitty" - Patsy Biscoe.
  • The stardate Sheldon uses places him at May 7, 2386, the time is 00:49:40.
  • Sheldon's paper on "the decays of highly excited massive string states" may have been based on the 2008 paper "Study of highly excited string states at the Large Hadron Collider", published in Physical Review D, also available on ArXiv.
  • Sheldon mentions his full name "Sheldon Lee Cooper" for the first time in this episode.
  • The writers goofed Sheldon's fear of germs - in the fourth season episode "The Engagement Reaction" (S4E23) when he goes to the hospital and complains all the time; however in this episode he did not, even though they were most likely in the E.R. He also did not care in the "Pilot" (S1E1) or "The Werewolf Transformation" (S5E18).
  • Although not shown, Sheldon drove past a red light (revealed to be on Marengo Avenue at 9:30 p.m. on November 16; the date of this episode). This resulted in Sheldon going to court in "The Excelsior Acquisition" (S3E16), and missing his chance to see Stan Lee. Despite this fact, Sheldon drove very cautiously, and even said "Oh, oh, red light, releaseaccelerator and slowly apply the brake. Nailed it."
  • Trying to get Sheldon to drive faster, Penny says, "Warp speed ahead, Mr. Spock", to which Sheldon replies that order would never be given to the Science Officer, but to the Navigator/Helmsman instead. However, in a few of the very early Star Trek episodes Captain James T. Kirk DID give Spock the orders for warp speed and course changes before the writers established that he should give them to the Navigator/Helmsman.
  • Sheldon peeks and sees Penny naked. Penny uses this fact in "The Werewolf Transformation" (S5E18) to convince Sheldon to let her cut his hair, which bothers Leonard.
  • Penny has a tattoo of the Chinese character for "courage" on her right butt cheek (Sheldon peeks at Penny and thinks that the Chinese character means "soup").
  • In "The Hamburger Postulate" (S1E5), Leonard said, "Yeah, my parents felt that naming me Leonard and putting me in advanced placement classes wasn't getting me beaten up enough." This admission implies that he does not like his own name. In this episode he confirms this and gives an explanation.
  • Howard losing his virginity to his second cousin, when they were 15, would later be referenced by Raj (in his drunken toast to Howard) in Season 5's "The Stag Convergence" (S5E22). Jeanie, Howard's cousin, appears in Season 8's "The Prom Equivalency" (S8E8) as Stuart's date to the prom organized by Amy and Bernadette.
  • After this episode, Penny's shoulder seems to be fully healed.
  • First time Soft Kitty had been sung to anyone other than Sheldon.
  • The geo-location for their desert viewing of the meteor shower was given by Raj as 34.48 N, 118.31 W placing them within the Vasquez Rocks Park, the location of several Star Trek episodes including the one where Captain James T. Kirk rolls a rock onto the reptilian Gorn. A Gorn later make appearances in two of Sheldon's dreams (once in "The Apology Insufficiency" [S4E7] in Season 4, and again in "The Transporter Malfunction" [S5E20] in Season 5). Also the gang makes one more visit to Vasquez Rocks Park in Season 6's "The Bakersfield Expedition" (S6E13) where Leonard gets his car stolen while the gang were taking pictures acting out scenes from "Star Trek: The Next Generation".
  • By the end of the series, Howard is the only guy who hasn't seen Penny naked, though he saw her topless when viewing her movie "Serial Ape-ist".
  • According to Google translator, 勇气 are the Chinese characters for courage, and 汤 is the Chinese character of soup. Google translator showing characters for Courage and Soup.
  • By the end of the episode, Sheldon was the only character who was not affected by any drugs, as the other guys ate the weed cookies while Penny took painkillers offscreen after the visit to the hospital.


(Sheldon opens Penny's bathroom door.)

Sheldon: Hello.

Penny: (Sits in the bathtub with her right shoulder dislocated) I slipped in the shower and I think I dislocated my shoulder.

Sheldon: Not surprising. You have no safety mat or adhesive stickers to allow for purchase on a surface with a low coefficient of static friction.

Penny: What??

Sheldon: Tubs are slippery.

Penny: I know, I slipped.

Sheldon: I have a series of whimsical duck stickers on the bottom of my tub.

Penny: Yeah. Whatever. Can you just turn the water off and help me up?

Sheldon: (Turns the water off) They're holding umbrellas.

Penny: (sits up) What???

Sheldon: (helps Penny up) The ducks in my tub.

Penny: Uh-Huh!

Sheldon: They're whimsical because ducks have neither the need nor the ability to use umbrellas.

Penny: Oh my gosh, I need to go to the emergency room.

Sheldon:  Well, assuming you're correct that your right humerus is no longer seated in the glenoid socket, I would certainly think so.

Penny: OK, Can you drive me?

Sheldon: I don't drive.


Sheldon: Well, it seems we've reached an impasse.

Penny: OW!!! (right shoulder hurting)

Sheldon: (stuttering) Uh... But I could call you a cab or an ambulance.

Penny: No no, I can't wait that long, you have to help me, Please?

Sheldon(sniffles) Alright, let it never be said that Sheldon Lee Cooper ignored the pleas of a  damsel in distress.

Penny: No one is saying that.  Let's go (Walks to bedroom)

Sheldon: But it seems rather ironic that for want of 99 cent adhesive ducks we both might die in a fiery car crash.

(Sheldon is helping Penny get dressed to go to the hospital, Sheldon has his eyes closed at Penny's request so that he cannot see her naked.)

Penny: Okay, now you've gotta help me get my arm into the sleeve.

Sheldon: Okay.

(Sheldon grabs what he thinks is Penny's arm, but is actually her breast.)

Penny: Is that my arm?

Sheldon: Doesn't feel like an arm...

Penny: Then maybe you should let it go...

Sheldon: All righty... (He lets go and clasps his hands to his chest.)

Sheldon: The "Check Engine" light is on; we need to find a service station.

Penny: No, the light's been on since I bought the car.

Sheldon: All the more reason to consult with a mechanic before it explodes!

Penny: It's not gonna explode, just keep driving. Warp speed ahead, Mr. Spock.

Sheldon: Mr. Spock did not pilot the Enterprise, he was a science officer, and I guarantee you that if he ever saw the Enterprise's "Check Engine" light blinking, he would pull the ship over immediately!

Penny: Oh, God. I'm gonna lose the arm.

(At the hospital)

Sheldon: All right, there's no need to bark at me.

(Back to his seat with Penny)

Sheldon: According to the inexplicably nurse irritable nurse behind the desk, you'll be seen after the man who claims to be having a heart attack, but appears well enough to play Doodle Jump on his iPhone.

(Filling up the form)

Sheldon: We have to fill these out. Describe illness or injury.

Penny: I dislocated my shoulder.

Sheldon: All right. And how did the accident occur?

Penny: You already know that.

Sheldon: (Filling it up). Cause of accident: lack of adhesive ducks. Okay, medical history. Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?

Penny: No.

Sheldon: Kidney disease?

Penny: No.

Sheldon: Migraines?

Penny: Getting one.

Sheldon: Are you currently pregnant?

Penny: No.

Sheldon: Are you sure? You look a bit puffy

Penny: (Giving him the look) Change migraine to yes.

Sheldon: When was your last menstrual period?

Penny: Oh. Next question!

Sheldon: I'll put "In Progress." Okay, moving to psychiatric disorders. List all major behavioral diagnoses, e.g. depression, anxiety, etc.

Penny: Oh my God, what the hell does this have to do with my stupid shoulder?!

Sheldon: Episodes of sub-psychotic rage.

Penny: Ass.

Sheldon: Possible Tourette's

(Leonard, Raj and Howard are watching Dune.)

Leonard: Too bad Sheldon couldn't come with us.

Raj: Yeah, it's just not the same without him.

(Silence for a second and then the three guys start laughing).

(Leonard and Raj sitting alone.)

Leonard: I wish Penny didn't have to work, she loves camping.

Raj: Yeah, that would be great: you and Penny having sex in the tent while I sit out here and watch Howard hump a cactus.

(Leonard, Raj, and Howard wait for the meteor shower already stoned by the cookies.)

Leonard: Stars are pretty, aren't they?

Howard: Up above the world so high. Like little diamonds in the sky.

Raj: Ooh..That's beautiful, dude. You should write that one down before someone steals it.

Howard: So when do the meteors get here?

Raj: The meteors don't get here, the Earth is moving into their path.

Leonard: I can feel it. I can feel the Earth moving...It's moving too fast, Raj slow it down.

Raj: (makes a weird face while facing the sky and holds it for a few seconds) How's that?

Leonard: Better...


Leonard: Stars are pretty, aren't they?

Raj: (chuckles)

Leonard: What's so funny?

Raj: Because with your American accent everything you say sounds stupid. (Laughs a little and impersonates Leonard). Stars are pretty, aren't they? (He and Howard laugh hysterically and Leonard joins in a few seconds later).

(The guys are sitting on a bunch of rocks, looking at the sky.)

Raj: If I could speak the language of rabbits, they would be amazed and I would be their king.

Leonard: I hate my name. It has "nerd" in it. LEN-"NERD."

Howard: I lost my virginity to my cousin Jeanie.

Raj: I would be kind to my rabbit subjects. At first...

Leonard: You know what a cool name is? Angelo. That has "angel" and "Jello" in it.

Howard: It was my Uncle Murray's funeral, we were all back at my Aunt Barbara's house, our eyes locked over the pickled herring, we never meant for it to happen.

Raj: One day, I hold a great ball for the President of France. But the rabbits, they all hate me and don't come. I'm embarrassed, so I eat all the lettuce in the world and make them watch.

Leonard: People could call me Angie. "Yo Angie, how's it going?"

Howard: To this day, I can't look at pickled herring without being aroused and ashamed. (sighs) Cousin Jeannie...

(Howard's eating pudding while Leonard searching the cooler.)

Howard: Anything?

Leonard: No, that was the last pudding cup.

Howard: No...what about Slim Jim's?

Leonard: (Looks up at Howard and points at Raj). That's what he used to eat his pudding, remember?

Raj: Right, that was so good... sweetie and meaty at the same time.

Howard: So what your saying is, we're out of food?

Leonard: The only things in here are these blue ice packs. (passes one to Raj)

Raj: I know they're poison but they look like big, yummy otter pops!

Leonard: Oh, I'm so hungry.

Howard: Me too. (Gets an idea). Let's see if we have anymore pudding.

Leonard: (Looks at Howard for a few seconds). Okay.

(The guys are sitting at the campfire hungry and Howard is drawing a plan in the dirt.)

Raj: Oh, I'm soooooo hungry.

Leonard: Will you shut up; we're all hungry!

Howard: (finishes drawing the plan) Okay, our objective is the Boy Scout camp to the east, big doughy scout masters, couple cubs, mostly Webelos.

Leonard: What kind of score are we looking at?

Howard: Hot dogs, buns, s'mores, I mean it's a freakin' 7–11.

Leonard: Okay, everyone grab flashlights.

(They all go to their backpacks to get their flashlights, but Howard finds something even better).

Howard: Oh my God, can it be? Yes! My mother put an "I love you brisket" in my backpack!

(Leonard and Raj run over to Howard).

Leonard: Quick, get forks!

Howard: Ya don't need forks; it's so tender it falls apart in your hand.

Raj: (Grabs a piece). He's right!

(They all eat the brisket but then stop and stare. Meanwhile, the meteor shower is occurring).

Leonard: I feel like we're forgetting something important.

Raj: Me too, but what?

Howard: (Checks his backpack again and pulls out a Tupperware). Maybe, a Tupperware full of roasted potatoes and carrots!

All 3: Yeeeessss!!!! (They eat happily away at the potatoes and carrots.)

(Raj is telling a story in front of the campfire. Only Leonard is paying attention while Howard isn't.)

Raj: And the next morning... when he woke up... he rolled over and realized... dun dun dun... she was his cousin.

(Raj and Leonard laugh while pointing at Howard.)

Howard: That's still not funny.

Raj: (impersonating Howard's American accent) That's still not funny. (He and Leonard laugh harder.)

Howard: She was my second cousin.

Raj: (still impersonating Howard) And she was my second cousin. (He and Leonard laugh hysterically.)

Howard: (to Raj) You're a real douche.

Raj: Who cares, you slept with your cousin!

(Raj and Leonard roll around laughing.)