The Scavenger Vortex
Season 7 / Episode 3
After failing to get his friends to attend a murder mystery dinner Raj uses his party planning skills to arrange a scavenger hunt instead. The final prize a shiny gold c-c-coin! This excites the group but pairing up into teams becomes a problem when Bernadette suggests couples. Even though it's Howard who has the most to lose from this arrangement Leonard shows reluctance at being paried with Penny.
Deeply offended, Penny choses the one person she believes will give her best chance of beating him. But Sheldon is less than thrilled with this arrangement, "Do you know what the odds are I'd pick your name? It's not hard, one in five. Now you know why I'm pouting," he complains. It soon appears as though picking her OCD neighbor might not have been such a great idea after all, when the first clue is a jigsaw and Sheldon simply must complete every last piece.
Meanwhile, Howard employs the same technique he used to get to know his wife on teammate, Amy. With Bernadette it took several attempts to find common ground in their overbearing mothers. With Amy, it's far more simple. They share a love of Neil Diamond and we see them happily crooning away for the rest of the episode. Leonard is far less content with his choice when he quickly learns that Bernadette is pathologically competitive to an almost terrifying degree and spends the episode shouting insults at him.
Penny and Sheldon are last to make it to the Comic Book Store but he soon makes up for impeding their progress by solving the second clue in a heartbeat, putting "Team Community College" in the lead. Determined to restore her dignity, Penny becomes unstoppable. Sheldon gets them to the correct location and she is able to solve this one herself. So as Howard and Amy are happy to let the competition slip by, Penny and Sheldon find themselves neck-and-neck in the laundry room, with Leonard and his cutthroat comrade. But it's the opposing team who realize the final destination is Sheldon's spot a fraction ahead and they clamber up the stairs with Penny seconds behind.
Tempers rise when Raj appears in a smoking jacket to smugily declare they had the coins in their pockets all along. His friends are not amused by this life lesson and he flees with Penny in pursuit. Sheldon, having found his coin happily strolls in to announce "I won!"
by Informal Protest