“The Cooper Extraction” episode opens with Penny and Amy playing a video game, while Leonard is icing an injured ankle. Leonard says he doesn’t want to have to go to the hospital and tell them he had another video game injury.
Sheldon walks in and announces that he’s going to Texas, because his sister’s uterus came down with a baby. Sheldon says he’s filling in for her husband who is recovering from a horrible motorcycle accident. Amy offers to give Sheldon a ride to the airport, but Sheldon says he doesn’t want to be an inconvenience. Then, Sheldon tells Leonard, “Chop, chop, we leave in ten minutes.”
Leonard, Penny, Raj, Howard, Bernadette, and Amy are decorating the apartment for the holidays. Leonard announces that because Sheldon is gone the tree decorating rules are out the window. Raj is excited that Star Wars and Star Trek characters can now go on the same branch. Penny tells Leonard that she’s a little strapped for cash, so she’s giving Leonard herself for Christmas. Leonard says that’s great, but points out that was what she gave him last year and last night.
Sheldon calls in through video conferencing. Sheldon reveals that his sister is having a home birth.
After Sheldon hangs up, Bernadette says she brought over “It’s A Wonderful Life” for them to watch, which leads the conversation to what life would be like if various people had never been born, like Sheldon.
Amy says that they make jokes about Sheldon, but that their lives would have been very different without him. Leonard insists that he could have picked Penny up at the Cheesecake Factory without Sheldon. However, Penny imagines the way it would really have gone done.
In Penny’s vision, Leonard is nervous about talking to her, before finally working up the courage to try to ask her out. However, instead of asking her out, Leonard asks her where the restroom is, and Penny looks down and tells him that it’s too late.
Without Penny and Leonard together, Amy points out that Howard would have never been introduced to Bernadette at the Cheesecake Factory. Bernadette imagines seeing Raj and Howard having lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. At first, she thinks Howard is cute, but then she sees Raj feeding him and loses interest.
Leonard points out that even though he might not have been with Penny without Sheldon that he knows who Penny would have wound up with. In Leonard’s vision, Penny is with her ex-boyfriend Zack, and they both pee themselves.
Sheldon calls in all upset, because he’s seen lady’s things. Amy assures Sheldon that is not the way things usually look.
Leonard gets an email from Sheldon and tells everyone that there are pictures. Then, Leonard yells at everyone not to open them. Penny thinks she can handle it, but then she looks and says it’s like someone sawed a cow in half.
Amy imagines what would have happened between Penny and Sheldon with Leonard out of the picture. Penny comes into the laundry room and starts to flirt with Sheldon. Penny says that she has to wash her clothes because they are almost as dirty as the dirty girl who is wearing them. A shirtless Penny in a bra tries to kiss Sheldon.
Amy is creating a chart of how things would be different without Sheldon. Amy tells Penny that if it wasn’t for Sheldon that she would have never met comic book legend Stan Lee. Without having met Bernadette, Howard is imagining still waiting on his mother. However, when Howard turns his mother’s chair around, she is all bones.
In Raj’s vision, Leonard is all fat. Then, Leonard imagines Raj as being fat as well. Stuart shows up, and he’s fat as well. If Amy had never met Sheldon, she imagines herself sitting alone and singing happy birthday to herself. Suddenly, Stuart inserts himself into the vision as well.
Sheldon calls in and says the baby is a boy. Sheldon says he wasn’t sure he was going to make it through the birth, but he said to himself, “If you can make it through the Green Lantern movie, you can make it through this.” Sheldon doesn’t want to go back in to see the baby, but Amy says he should go see his nephew because he always complained that he himself never had an intelligent role model while growing up.
Amy is expressing doubts about how much Sheldon cares about her. Leonard tells Amy that he wants to show her something. Leonard shows Amy that Sheldon made her his screensaver. Then, Amy’s picture fades to Swamp Thing. Leonard explains the screensaver is actually her, Swamp Thing, Steven Hawking, and Spider-Man, but at least she’s in the mix.
Sheldon is back, and Amy says that she missed him. Sheldon says to quote Han Solo, “I know.” Amy asks is Sheldon missed her, and Sheldon says he would have preferred to have her there with him…or instead of him.
Fat Leonard and Fay Raj are talking to Howard at The Cheesecake Factory. Fat Leonard asks Penny for her phone number, but Penny says she has a boyfriend. Her boyfriend walks in, and it’s Stuart. Of course, the whole scene turns out to be a figment of Stuart’s imagination, as he sits alone by himself.