Amy and Penny are playing a skiing-oriented video game and Penny is impressed with her nerdy counterpart's skills. Leonard on the other hand has a bag of ice on his foot and wants to avoid having to go to the hospital for yet another video-game related injury. Just then, Sheldon walks by and announces he has to take a trip to Texas in order to help his twin sister, Missy, give birth to her baby, since her husband was in a motorcycle accident. He prepares to set up something on his laptop before he leaves. Amy offers to drive him to the airport, but he claims he doesn't want to inconvenience her, then demands that Leonard takes him there despite his injury.
With Sheldon gone, the rest of Apartment 4A throws a Christmas party, any way they want. That means no need for an ornament spacing device that he invented, and Star Trek and Star Wars related Christmas ornaments on the same branch. Since Penny is short on funds, she decides to place a green bow on her Santa cap and offers her body as Leonard's present. Though he is grateful, he reminds her that she got him the same gift last Christmas, not to mention the previous night. Stuart from the comic book store then arrives at the party, when suddenly Amy's laptop notifies her of an incoming video chat from Sheldon. As he notices that his friends threw a Christmas party without him, he appreciates their effort not to involve him, since he's not into Christmas. He then tells his friends that Missy decided to have a home birth. Suddenly he gets called away by his mother because she wants a picture of her cervical dilation.
Bernadette offers her own DVD copy of It's a Wonderful Life, which Stuart has never seen. But when Amy explains the plot to him, he decides to pass on it, since he already feels suicidal enough. Nevertheless, this starts a discussion over what life would be like if some members of the group hadn't been born, and Leonard reminds Penny of the benefit of not having to deal with Sheldon's knock. Amy tries to convince the rest of the crew that without Sheldon many of them wouldn't have met one another. Leonard disagrees because he would still have gone to the local Cheesecake Factory that Penny worked in.
Penny starts by telling Leonard and the rest of the crew that Leonard would try to ask her out, but would lack the confidence to do so. He would've stuttered and stammered and then as he finally approached her to do so, would start urinating in his pants. Bernadette's fantasy involves her talking to Penny about how a guy in a turtleneck sweater (Howard) who she finds attractive. Unfortunately, this all changes when he notices Raj feeding him at their table in a homoerotic manner. Leonard in return tells Penny that the kinds of men she would go out with are idiots like Zack Johnson, who instead of paying the rent would blow money on what he thinks are magic beans. Penny interrupts him and defends Zack, claiming that despite his idiocy, at least he wouldn't soil himself. But Leonard not only ends the story with him doing just that, but her doing the same.
Sheldon pops in with another video chat, horrified over seeing Missy's vagina and the overall process of her giving birth, describing it as "a dirty magic show." Amy tries to sooth his fears by telling him they don't all look like that. Off screen, his mother shouts demanding a mop to wipe up the blood and embryotic fluid. Now he's even more disgusted by being reduced to a janitor for Missy's vagina despite having two PHd's.
Later, Sheldon sends an e-mail containing an attachment of Missy giving birth, which nauseates Leonard, and then Penny. Even Raj, who's the son of a gynecologist, can't handle looking as Missy's baby coming out of her. The discussion at the party returns to the It's a Wonderful Life type scenarios, where Amy brings up the fact that Penny and Sheldon would still live in apartments across from one another. She also insists that Penny would have been very flirtatious with Sheldon, but he'd resist her advances, because he was saving himself for a different kind of girl, specifically "a bespectacled neurobiologist who has hair the color of mud" (yes, Amy!).
Leonard, Raj, and Bernadette make fun of Howard believing that he would be unable to break away from his mother. But Raj offers a slightly different scenario; According to him, he would arrive home annoyed by his mother's nagging demands for more food. Once he finally arrives in her room, she seems to be complimenting him, but he turns her swivel chair around revealing her decomposing corpse, reminiscent from the near climactic scene from Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller Psycho. Bernadette inquires about the idea of them living together. Leonard claims that Raj wanted a place of his own because he thought he'd be a ladies' man. Despite realizing he was wrong; he has his own ideas about things would've worked. Leonard and Raj are at their apartment and Leonard is excessively overweight, as Raj cooks for him. Since he had no girlfriend, he compensated by overeating, so Raj deep fried some food. Then Leonard makes Raj realize that he too would be fat. For some reason, Stuart decides to place himself in their storyline, and he too is fat. Unfortunately, he has no reason why he would be involved with them.
Penny and Howard as Amy how she thinks her life would've been different without Sheldon, but she's hesitant to reveal the answer. The scene is cut to a despondent Amy sitting on the couch in her apartment, sobbing as she's singing "Happy Birthday" to herself, while holding a cupcake with one candle on top. Suddenly out of nowhere, Stuart blows a party whistle at her, including himself in yet another storyline.
One last video chat from Sheldon rings in and he announces that Missy had a boy. Exhausted from having to help her, he wants nothing further to do with the process of child-rearing. Amy reminds him that he once claimed he wanted to be an intelligent role model for him, and he agrees to stay slightly longer. Raj and Leonard suddenly realizes that in spite of all her talk about him influencing the rest of their friends, she has also influenced him. She disagrees, believing if this were true, she wouldn't have to substitute a 50-pound bag of rice with one of his T-shirts, in lieu of them living together. To convince her, he shows her Sheldon's laptop which has a picture of her as a screensaver. It also changes to Swamp Thing, Stephen Hawking, Spider-Man, and Marie Curie.
As Sheldon arrives home, Amy stares at him in delight. She tells him she missed him and asked if he missed her. He seems to have. She asked if he held his brand-new nephew, and said it was like looking into the blank, innocent eyes of a creature that couldn't begin to comprehend anything he was saying. For him, this was just another day at the office.
The episode ends with one last fantasy sequence at the Cheesecake Factory Penny works at. Fat Leonard and fat Raj are sitting at a table with skinny Howard, and Leonard once again dares to ask Penny out on a date. Once he does so, she turns him down, revealing that she's going out with the now cool Stuart Bloom. They leave for their date and he throws his napkin down in frustration. Suddenly the scene snaps back to reality, and Stuart is eating all alone at the Cheesecake Factory, with few if any other customers or staff. A caption on the screen wishes the viewers Happy Holidays from the cast and crew of the show.
The episode was made available on The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh Season DVD and Blu-ray sets, released by Warner Home Video on September 16, 2014. It was also included on iTunes on an extended version of The Big Bang Theory Holiday Collection which includes episodes from the f.y.e. DVD in 2013, as well as some Thanksgiving episodes.
|Jim Parsons||Sheldon Cooper|
|Johnny Galecki||Leonard Hofstadter|
|Simon Helberg||Howard Wolowitz|
|Kunal Nayyar||Rajesh Koothrapalli|
|Mayim Bialik||Amy Farrah Fowler|
|Melissa Rauch||Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz|
|Brian Smith||Zack Johnson|
|Kevin Sussman||Stuart Bloom|
|Laurie Metcalf (voice only)||Mary Cooper|
|Courtney Henggeler (presumed; scream only)||Missy Cooper|
|Carol Ann Susi (voice only)||Mrs. Wolowitz|
- "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis"
- "The Maternal Congruence"
- "The Santa Simulation"
- "The Clean Room Infiltration"