- Leonard finally getting the courage to ask Penny out in the Season 1 finale. It's done as such an offhand thing, but it's one of the most victorious moments in the show.
- Penny blackmailing Sheldon into throwing Leonard a surprise birthday party. It was the first time she was "one of the guys" and not just the cute neighbor who had take-out with them once a week.
- In "The Nerdvanna Annihilation" after Penny's comments about his toys depresses Leonard into giving them away, Sheldon gives her one of her few well-deserved "The Reason You Suck" Speeches throughout the series:
Penny: What the hell's going on?Sheldon: (With genuine anger) You hypocrite!Penny: What?
- When Penny kisses Leonard in the Halloween episode while she's drunk, Leonard makes sure it doesn't go any further, Penny kisses him good night at his door while he's still dressed as Frodo. When Penny's ex-boyfriend Kurt sees this after him and Leonard were arguing, Leonard delivers this gem right before he shuts the door.
Leonard: That's right, you saw what you saw, that's how we roll in the Shire.
- Sheldon taking on Leonard, Howard, Raj and Leslie Winkle in the physics bowl and fighting them to a draw. Although he was portrayed as the villain of the episode, it's one of the few times he shows that he is every bit as intelligent as he's made out to be.
- Even more impressive is the Russian janitor who wasn't really paying attention figuring out the answer to the question that left all five of them speechless after a simple glance.
- In the "Panty Piñata Polarization", Sheldon "bans" Penny from their apartment for getting "three strikes." Leonard, Raj, and Howard are too chicken to speak up for her, and the thing soon escalates into a full blown war between Sheldon and Penny, which is when this awesome exchange takes place.
Sheldon: Woman, you're playing with forces beyond your ken.Penny: Yeah, well, your Ken can kiss my Barbie.
- Penny giving Sheldon Leonard Nimoy's Napkin. It's autographed, but she apologized because Leonard (Nimoy, that is) "wiped his mouth with it", prompting Sheldon to give her about 20 different baskets of fancy toiletries. When she says "SHELDON...!", he can only say, "I know, it's not enough is it?"
- Penny's scathing verbal comeback at Howard (after he's being his perverted and shallow self) is Awesome despite looking bad by episode standards, she is standing up for herself. She also then later tells him that he has his charms but needs to stop overcompensating, which leads to some Character Development for Howard.
Penny: I know you think you’re some sort of smooth-talking ladies' man, but the truth is, you are just pathetic and creepy.Howard: Um, so what are you saying?Penny: I am saying it is not a compliment to call me doable. It's not sexy to stare at my ass and say, "Ooh, it must be jelly 'cause jam don't shake like that." And most important, we are not dancing a tango, we're not to-ing and fro-ing. Nothing is ever going to happen between us. Ever.Howard: Wait a minute. This isn't flirting, you're serious.Penny: Flirting? You think I'm flirting with you? I am not flirting with you, no woman is ever gonna flirt with you, you're just gonna grow old and die alone.
- Remember the episode where the university student Ramona becomes obsessed with Sheldon?
Leslie Winkle (to Sheldon): Preparing your papers for the International Museum of Dumbassery?Ramona: There won't be any room until they get rid of the permanent Leslie Winkle Exhibit.
- Despite the others abandoning him, Leonard goes to convince Penny's ex to pay back the money he owes her. At first, it seems that he was only humiliated for his trouble, but later it turns out he actually succeeded.
- When Leonard miscalculates some rocket fuel about to explode and tries to take it outside via elevator, Sheldon, quickly deducing that it was about to explode, walks briskly to the elevator, grabs the container out of Leonard's hands and sets it on the floor, pushes Leonard out and closes the elevator door behind him in one efficient movement. The rocket fuel destroys the elevator two seconds later.
- Raj and Sheldon have a montage of "doing physics" with 'Eye of the Tiger' as the background music.
- Raj buying himself a large desk for Sheldon's office.
- After the Sheldon and his friends fail to get back the items stolen from his World of Warcraft account, Penny, showing, in her words, "how we finish a quest in Nebraska", goes to the perpetrator's door, and says this: "Congratulations. Today's the day a girl is gonna touch you in your special place." Groin Attack ensues.
- Pryia beating Sheldon at his own game by finding loopholes in the Roommate Agreement.
Leonard: Top of her class in Cambridge University. Licensed to practice law in three countries and your face!
- SCHOOLED! SUPERSEDED!
- Sheldon's final retort was just as good.
Sheldon: You may have gone to Cambridge, but I'm an honorary graduate of Starfleet Academy!
- Not to mention how he beat her. At Amy's suggestion, Sheldon showed he was willing to cross the Moral Event Horizon (and he would've blown up the apartment, too) and made her sign another agreement. This man is unstoppable!
- Leonard was having a really fun time pretending to be with Penny while her dad was in town, a situation she requested because he was the only guy her dad approved of her dating. Once her dad was asleep, she snuck over to Leonard's apartment to try and chew him out, but using basic logic, Leonard managed to turn the entire conversation around.
Penny: Why are you making this so difficult!?
Leonard: It's not difficult for me, I'm having fun.
Penny: (pleading) Leonard...
Leonard: What do you want me to do? You started this, you want to tell him we're broken up?
Leonard: Well what do you want?
Penny: I don't know!
Leonard: Don't you think that is something you should have thought about BEFORE you stomped over here?
- Penny calling Sheldon out on his refusing to go to the hospital to support Howard after his mother suffers a suspected heart attack, pointing out that he constantly wears superhero t-shirts, but refuses to go to the hospital to support a friend.
- The entire cast dressing up as the Justice League of America for a New Years party. It summarizes everything that makes this show awesome in one episode.
- In "The Skank Reflex Hypothesis", Sheldon runs out and pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to inspire Leonard, Howard, and Raj while dramatic music plays. They actually run out and butcher the geology department, winning them the paintball trophy.
- Also a Funny Moment, as Sheldon, who is more or less agnostic, pulls out a parody of the Crucified Hero Shot and after he "dies" says, "If there is ever going to be a Church of Sheldon, this is where it started".
- Bernadette realizing she was in the wrong and trying to make it up to Howard.
- Howard himself deserves a lot of credit for actually kicking her out of the house when she "tattled" to his mom about the issue because she had crossed the line, and freely admitted to the others they might break up over the whole thing. Coming from a guy who normally lets women walk all over him so long as they have sex with him, that showed a great deal of personal integrity.
- Even his friends are suitably impressed.
Raj: Not only are you the first one of us to get married, you're also the only one of us to kick a woman out of bed. You're like a rock star!
- Sheldon successfully pranking Leonard in such a awesome and hilarious way after getting pranked by Howard, Raj, and Leonard repeatedly throughout the Halloween episode.
Sheldon: Bazinga, punk. Now we're even.
- In "The Ornithophobia Diffusion", Leonard hanging out with Penny and showing a spine by: making her pay her fair share and choosing the movie and not backing down.
- Amy coerces Leonard to be her date to a wedding, which he agrees to but is clearly not enthusiastic about it. Amy actually ends up being quite a charming conversationalist and Leonard is the wet blanket cause the wedding reminds him that he "has a kinda-sorta girlfriend 9,000 miles away." Amy calls him out on it by saying "I have a kinda-sorta boyfriend who is at home playing with model trains and you don't hear me bitching about it." Surprising enough, that actually works and they have a nice time dancing the rest of the night.
- Leonard finally standing up to his high school bully after letting him sleep the night at his place out of misguided good intentions.
- Earlier, Sheldon named the bully's sins to Leonard to the Man's face in his Sheldon like manner.
- Leonard: "You call that a glow stick?" Even Penny looks proud.
- Stephen Hawking.
- Stephen Hawking giving Sheldon a derisive smirk.
Hawking: Are you saying I make mathematical errors?
- Stephen Hawking giving Sheldon a derisive smirk.
- "The Recombination Hypothesis" is about Leonard trying to figure out his feelings for Penny and whether or not they were just too different to have a future together. The entire episode is an extended Imagine Spot where he asks her out again but they start bickering and covering up their problems with sex. Just before being snapped out of his head, dream!Penny told him that he always overthinks things, and the first thing he does exiting the dream is ask her out despite the "Bad Ending" he conceived. Penny even asks if he thought this through and he replies with an exasperated nod "Yes, and I think we should go, anyways."
- Relatedly, one of the ideas brought up in his daydream was that he and Penny try a "Relationship Beta Test" where they actively communicate their frustrations with each other. He later suggests the same thing to the real Penny and she is intrigued. After a rocky start with the reporting system, they actually do end up communicating better and it working almost exactly as intended.
- Leonard's opening lines in his imagined date with Penny are awesome in their own way - he's confident, charming, and even flirts a little, showing just how much of an impact Penny has made on his social skills:
Leonard: So, Polly, tell me about yourself.Penny: It's Penny.Leonard: Oh sorry, yeah, awkward...Penny: Okay, uh, let's see, I'm from Nebraska, and ever since I was little girl I dreamed of moving to L.A. and becoming a movie star. Anyway, after four years of acting lessons and waiting tables, I've done a hemorrhoid commercial and a production of Anne Frank above a bowling alley. So, you know, dreams do come true! Your turn!Leonard: Ah, let's see. I am an experimental physicist at Caltech. Most of my research is with high-powered lasers and, oh, I've just gotten a big government grant to see if they can be used to knock out incoming ballistic missiles.Penny: Wow! Can they?Leonard: Oh, God no! The money's pretty good. And I use the equipment to make my own Bat Signal.Penny: Bat Signal? What are you, some kind of nerd?Leonard: Not "some kind of nerd." I am the king of nerds!Penny: What does that mean?Leonard: Well, it means if anyone displeases me, I don't help them set up their printer.Penny: [laughs] You are so funny!Leonard: [grins] Good! Remember that when I take my shirt off.
- In "The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition" Amy calls Sheldon lame for liking comic book's he responds "A) comic books employ storytelling through sequential art, a medium that dates back 17000 years to the cave paintings of Lascaux and B) you play the harp, like that's cool.
- Amy standing up to Sheldon and telling him that his behavior on date night — inviting Raj and generally being a Jerkass, is "Not okay."
- Sheldon telling off Howard and Raj, who were trying to find out what Sheldon does for an unscheduled twenty minutes each day behind Sheldon's back.
- He pranks them by using CGI to fake owning an interdimensional portal in a storage cupboard, pretends to be attacked by a tentacled monster, then sneaks up behind them while they're watching a CCTV recording of this on a laptop and throwing said monster puppet at them.
- Made even more awesome that Sheldon correctly surmised that the two would actually believe he could pull off the "wormhole generator" he was discussing at the beginning of the episode. Basically, in order for them to believe the CGI thing, they would have to think Sheldon might actually be capable of creating a device that teleports people to other universes! That they did shows how much stock they put in his skills.
- Game night that turned into a battle of the sexes, one in which the girls handily trounce the guys. Not only does Penny waste Sheldon in a wrestling match (with a Take-That Kiss leaving heavy lipstick on his nose), but it also may be the only time Penny could beat Sheldon in a math-based game.
- Sheldon, in "The Bakersfield Expedition", agreeing to go back home after the whole ordeal he and his friends went through. He showed remarkable self-awareness and maturity for his standards.
- A little throwaway line in "The Closet Reconfiguration", but when Howard says that he's in no mood for sex that night, it really hammers home that the guy Wolowitz used to be is really gone for good.
- For once, Leonard shows some spine and calls out Penny for ruining their Valentine dinner. His final joke at her expense was a great turnaround from their typical roles.
Penny: Will you be my Valentine?
Leonard: Sorry. Maybe next year. (gets up to leave with Penny shocked, after a moment he turns around) I'm just kidding! Romance ninja!
- Howard calling out Lucy on causing Raj to have a Heroic B.S.O.D..
- Raj finally overcoming his selective mutism, as soon as Lucy broke up with him.
Raj: What is wrong with me? I'm unlovable!
Penny: Oh, sweetie, that's just the booze talking.
Raj: No, it's not. I haven't had a drink since last night!
- In "The Contractual Obligation Implementation", Sheldon answers Leonard's challenge to spend five seconds thinking of an idea for their project, to get more women into science. Sheldon spends less than two seconds and, instead of offering an idea, points out the fundamental flaw in everything Leonard's suggested so far — all Leonard's ideas target women who are at university level and by then, it's far too late to get them into science. For once, it's nice to see Sheldon showing that yes, he really is that smart.
- Another where he points out it's more helpful for girls to hear from actual women scientists, than from bumbling male scientists about the need for women in the field
- Leonard pointing out to Sheldon about the flaws in his "People should help themselves" philosophy (the man that needed a ride from Leonard) and that Star Trek wasn't a gender-blind society due to "the black lady answering the space phone".
- Amy and Bernadette's on-phone lecture to middle school girls about how the world of science needs more women but unfortunately girls are more encouraged to worry about their looks rather than cultivate their minds and that everyone of them has the capacity to be anything they want to be. One can call this Narm, but sadly it's something still too many girls need to be told.
- Leonard having fun ''on his own'' in the season premiere.
- Sheldon figuring out the riddle in the comic store first, despite being the last one to arrive and read it. To make clear the scale of this, he figured out the correct answer in ten seconds flat, getting it long before every one else, even Amy. Once again, it's nice to see him showing, that yes, he really is that smart. Compounded when he reads the map coordinates for a few moments, says "got it", and then actually GETS TO USE the bowling ball he had brought along.
- Amy telling off Sheldon for embarrassing her in front of her colleagues. Then, Leonard and Penny explicitly saying that Amy is right and Sheldon is wrong.
- In "The Romance Resonance", Howard plans out an event to celebrate the anniversary of his and Bernadette's first date, recruiting everyone to help out with an elaborate musical number he wrote himself. When their plans went sideways because Bernadette was quarantined over a mishap at work (exposure to a raccoon virus), he didn't miss a beat and they migrated over to the hospital, with him singing to her playing a keyboard and the rest providing back-up as she watched and listened through a window. The song ends up being awesome, heartwarming, and hilarious all at the same time.
- Penny gives Lucy her long overdue "The Reason You Suck" Speech, calling her out for treating Raj like shit. She even explicitly calls her "a bad person" to her face.
- Regardless of how cruel he was, Sheldon's plan to teach Leonard a lesson in what its like to have OCD was awesome. He managed to manipulate his best friend into torturing himself and drove him to brink of the edge, all while barely lifting a finger. For a guy whose villainous roles are generally somewhere between a petty prankster and Egomaniac control freak, watching him play a Magnificent Bastard was awesome, and finally proved Leonard was right when he claimed he was just one "Lab Accident away from becoming a supervillain."
- Leonard outsmarting Sheldon and forcing him to admit that change is good by pointing out that the only reason Sheldon has his spot, which he loves, is because Leonard bought the couch and changed the apartment. Sheldon had no come back for that.
- Sheldon also gets one at the end of the same episode by managing to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. After they've already bought the table and are sitting around it about to eat (except him and Amy, who are still in their regular places), he manages to successfully get them to all come back, simply by playing on the girls' sympathy and subtly guilt tripping them by reminiscing over happy memories that they will never have again.
- Howard proves, finally proves, that he's just as smart as any one of the guys despite not having a doctorate.
- Him trolling Sheldon in the classroom was pretty amazing. As was his one-in-a-million shot. That was almost Luke's proton torpedo going in the exhaust port good.
- Sheldon also gets one for his response to Howard's challenge that he doesn't know anything about engineering. When the dynamic is reversed, he easily manages to answer Howards questions to him, proving that yes he really is that smart. The guy maybe a snobbish Jerkass, but he does live up to his own standards.
- Not the last one, mind you, about poisetti's equation, proving that sheldon doesn't know everything. Then again, he may have been coughing up the spitball instead of actually answering.
- Raj chews out Sheldon for abandoning him in the steam tunnel, calling Sheldon a physical and moral coward. Notably Sheldon doesn't disagree with him.
- The same episode, the girls decide to take a trip to Vegas. While you'd expect Penny to get drunk (as usual), but she refuses to take one sip of booze. Even when the girls go to a strip club, Penny just spends the time studying. For the resident party girl, that's impressive.
- In "The Intimacy Acceleration," Leonard, Amy, Raj, and Emily buy tickets to a "real escape game" (an actual type of entertainment that are basically real-life versions of online room escape games). The quartet is locked in a faux-scientific laboratory (complete with a zombie!) and told that they must solve challenging puzzles to find the key and escape. They proceed to do this in six minutes flat. It just goes to show that for as nerdy as these characters are, they're all extremely smart.
- It's also notable for being one of the first episodes where Emily gets to join the group in an activity that shows off her own intelligence, proving that she fits right in with them.
- The zombie's desperation really corks it. He's never seen anyone escape so quickly, and throughout the puzzle is begging them to slow down, trying to deceive them into thinking they're wrong, and as they leave is reduced to pleading that they remember their advanced degrees before they write a negative critique of the game.
- The first (and probably last) meeting of Mary Cooper and Beverly Hoffstadter. Leonard's mother has ever been a source of dread to the core group, save Sheldon, and can, at will, reduce most individuals to a blubbering mess of emotion. By contrast, Mary Cooper, though Innocently Insensitive at times, is much beloved by the group, and was not only able to hold her own in an argument with Beverly Hoffstadter, but caused the career psychologist to reevaluate her approach to parenting, while all she managed to do to Mrs. Cooper in return was cause her to lament that she hadn't been a better Christian.
- Though very sad, Amy's decision to take a break from her and Sheldon's relationship can count as one total for her growth. It's been mostly all take and no give on the part of Sheldon and Amy makes it clear that his actions and behavior really hurt her and that she's not letting him get away with that.
- In "The Troll Acceleration", Leonard and Sheldon's theory has been released online to general acclaim, bar a single Troll who ridicules them on a personal level as well as academically. They work up the courage to confront the troll, who calls them up on Skype... turns out it's Stephen Hawking, in his second onscreen appearance in the show after appearing only in "voiceover" on a few occasions, who was just messing with them and thinks their theory is great. The greatest mind on the planet thinks that Leonard and Sheldon are onto something—it doesn't get more awesome than that.
- The first episode has Amy deliver "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Sheldon before breaking up with him after he asserts she shouldn't keep being single and childless at her age. This is enough to upset him and shock him.
- Wil's audacity in dressing up like Spock at opening night of The Force Awakens. On another level, the fact that he sees it as just a movie, reminding the guys that the world will keep on turning whether the movie is good or bad.
- In the end, the awesomeness of the movie reduces Leonard, Howard, and Raj to puddles.
- Let us not forget the massive and epic Shout-Out to Star Wars with THIS opening.
- For a first-timer, Sheldon is apparently very, very proficient in bed, as Amy's expression can only be described as grinning ear to ear in stunned silence.
- Well he did have Penny tell him what girls like. And "that book" they bought him...
- While it's completely Played for Laughs, when Raj visits Howard and Bernadette late at night by sneaking into their bedroom and waking them up, they understandably scream. Stuart bursts through the door with a barbed wire-covered baseball bat in case they're in danger.
Stuart: NOT ON MY WATCH!!!
- What does Sheldon do when Ramona Nowitzki kisses him? Leaves the building, grabs a cab, catches a red-eye to New Jersey and proposes on the spot to Amy.
- Also he called a cab himself and took a plane (not a train) without relying on his friends to transport him. He has come a long way.
- Anytime Penny takes a bad role seriously it's brilliant to watch notably her and Sheldon doing a dramatic reading of Sheldon's Star Trek fan-fiction or her scene in the "Serial Apeist" with Wil Wheaton.
- Cuoco actually getting the cast and crew to do a freaking Flash Mob, twice. Jim Parsons doing his "Bazinga" at the end sells it for the first one.
- Now all I need is a healthy ovum and I can grow my own Leonard Nimoy!