In the high school cafeteria, Mary and George Sr. watch as Sheldon eats alone at a table. When Mary wonders why his brother can’t eat at the same table, George points out that nobody in high school would want to eat with a nine-year-old. Mary wants to go sit with Sheldon, but her husband doesn’t think it would end well for Sheldon to be seen sitting with his mommy. George tells Mary to give it time and it’ll work itself out. Adult Sheldon says he enjoyed being alone as it gave him time to think about the important things.
At home, Mary is peeling potatoes while Missy does her homework in the kitchen. When Missy sighs, Mary asks what’s wrong. Missy wants to know why math is easy for Sheldon, but hard for her. Mary says Missy has her own gifts, like her beautiful hair. When Georgie arrives home, Mary asks him to do her a favor and sit with Sheldon at lunch tomorrow. After Missy warns him not to it could wreck his social life, Georgie says he can’t do it. Mary admits to Missy that she is worried about Sheldon not having a friend in the world. Later, Missy goes to see Sheldon as he works on a model rocket in the garage. When Missy tells him he’s making their mom a nervous wreck by not having any friends, Sheldon insists he’s fine without friends.
At school the next day, Sheldon struggles to get through the throngs of bigger students in the hallway as he heads to the library. When Sheldon arrives at the library, he mentions to the librarian how he needs to make a friend. After she recommends Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends And Influence People”, Sheldon starts reading the book.
Back at home, as George reads the paper, Sheldon attempts to use the Carnegie techniques he’s learned on his father; Sheldon keeps repeating George’s name and compliments him on his full head of hair. When George asks what’s going on, Sheldon explains he borrowed the book as he knew his mother is worried about his lack of friends. Following that successful beta test, Sheldon decides to practice the Carnegie principles on someone his own age: Billy Sparks. When Sheldon goes to Billy’s shed where he keeps his pet chicken, Billy Sparks appreciates Sheldon’s effort to communicate with him, but he is not very talkative.
The next day at school, Sheldon tries to befriend a cheerleader by her locker, two teenagers smoking in the school lavatories, and a group of jocks by the vending machines. That night in their bedroom, Missy is combing her hair as Sheldon reads the Dale Carnegie book. When Missy asks why Sheldon is reading the book again, he says he must have missed something the first time as it hasn’t helped him find a friend. Missy asks if he checked the card inside, which would give him the names of the other desperate people who’ve borrowed the book to make friends.
As Mary drives Sheldon to school the next day, she tells him his dad told her about the new book. After Sheldon explains it’s about how to make new friends, Sheldon admits it’s not something that interests him, but he knows how much it’s worrying her. Mary tells him he doesn’t need to go to any trouble for her, but Sheldon admits he likes doing things for her. Sheldon tells Mary about Missy’s idea to check out the other people who’ve borrowed the book.
At school, Sheldon goes to Ms. Ingram’s classroom during recess to ask her if she’s the one who checked the book out. When she starts talking about her break-up with an unnamed man, Adult Sheldon admits the list turned out to be a double-edged sword as a self-help book from 1936 was only of interest to adults. Sheldon then goes to Ms. MacElroy, who talks about borrowing the book to try get a promotion which ultimately went to a man. Finally, Sheldon visits Mr. Givens, who reveals his own anguish about breaking up with a colleague he dated.
When Sheldon goes to the library to return the Dale Carnegie book, a fellow student asks him if it’s good as he has trouble making friends, too. When Sheldon notices the boy is reading a book on rocket development, he says he’s read it too and it’s excellent. Sheldon wishes him well on his search for a friend and then leaves the library. Sheldon quickly returns to say if the boy hasn’t yet made a friend, he’s in luck.
On the drive home, Sheldon asks his mother what she knows about the drug Prozac as he thinks his teachers could benefit from it. Sheldon then informs Mary that he made a new friend. Later, in their bedroom, Mary is ecstatic as she tells George that Sheldon made a friend. After Sheldon knocks and asks to come in, he asks when he will be allowed to continue his rocketry. George says he has already explained that Sheldon can build them, just not launch them, but Sheldon says launching is the fun part. After hearing it was something Sheldon wanted to do with his new friend, Mary gives in and says he start launching rockets again despite previously burning down the garage. Mary suggests Sheldon invite his new buddy over for dinner.
At school, Sheldon tells the boy his mother wanted to invite him for dinner. Later, the boy arrives at the Cooper household. At the dinner table, the awkward silence is broken when George Sr. asks Tam about his name. After Tam explains it’s a Vietnamese name, George Sr. talks about his time with the army in Vietnam, while Georgie talks about the movie Rambo. When Mary comes out with “a real Texas dinner”, she insensitively suggests that Tam must be fed up of food wriggling about on his plate. As Mary says grace, she tells Tam to feel free to say “Buddha” in his mind when she says Jesus. Mary is surprised, if not pleased, to learn Tam is actually Catholic. When Mary asks Tam about his family, he starts to tell them the story of how his family moved from Vietnam. There is silence when Tam finishes, until Sheldon declares “That was depressing.”
In the garage, Sheldon and Tam are looking at a model rocket, unsure why it did not launch. Back in the house, Mary answers the door to two FBI agents who say they are looking for Sheldon Lee Cooper. George thinks it must be a mistake, until the agents explain that somebody by that name recently contacted a Canadian mining operation to try buy uranium. After Mary realizes it might not be a mistake, they invite the agents in so they can see Sheldon is just a harmless, nine-year-old. As the agents enter the house, Sheldon’s rocket finally launches and flies through the house.