Richie, Potsie and Ralph emerge from a movie theatre, having just seen a James Dean double feature. Richie spots Carol Lipton, a girl he is fond of, but cannot bring himself to ask her out. He consults Fonzie for advice.
FONZIE: You sprout feathers every time you try to talk to a new chick, Cunningham.
RICHIE: So what’s a guy supposed to do about that anyway?
FONZIE: You gotta ask me that after you have just seen two James Dean movies? You know how Dean gets chicks? I’ll tell ya how Dean gets chicks: ’cause he acts nutsy.
RICHIE: Acting nutsy gets chicks?
FONZIE: That’s right. Chicks go for troubled guys. That’s how Dean got Natalie Wood.
Fonzie follows with a demonstration. He acts ‘troubled’ inside Arnolds and, sure enough, in quick time a ‘chick’ comes running to console him.
Richie tries the same routine the next day with Carol Lipton but the plan backfires. She calls him ‘strange’ and hands Richie a study book she is holding, ABNORMAL PYSCHOLOGY, advising him to read it.
Richie soon becomes engrossed in the book and starts believing he is abnormal. “This book has illuminated the dark recesses of my mind and I see a lot of trouble in there.” he observes.
Ralph tries to convince Richie he is no crazier than anyone else. However, soon after Richie makes an appointment to see a psychiatrist (at the College Free Clinic).
Richie tries to convince the psychiatrist he is there as part of research he is doing for a project about problems faced by teenagers. It soon becomes clear that the problems with ‘shyness’ he is describing are his own.
Richie arrives home from seeing the psychiatrist. He announces to his parents that, as part of the whole-family model of treatment, they too have an appointment to see him. Howard comments, “The only thing bothering Richard is adolescence.”
Richie returns to Fonzie for fresh ideas. Fonzie advises him to ‘Be yourself’, admitting the ‘Act like Dean‘ advice was ‘dumb’. Fonzie advises Richie to face his fears. For Richie, this means going up to the first girl he sees and ”planting a kiss right on her lips”.
Richie tries it, with good results. Marion and Howard return home from the psychiatrist’s office and tell Richie the psychiatrist has diagnosed him as perfectly normal. “I know” replies Richie, back to his old self after the ‘kiss-a-stranger’ therapy technique has cleared his head.