How could Leonard put up with Sheldon's antics? Because he's lived with somebody worse: His mother.
Upon first glance, it may seem odd that Sheldon, who is asexual and seemingly aromantic, would give better dating advice than Leonard, who is often successful with women. However, it makes sense since Sheldon's work is Theoretical and Leonard's is Experimental. Much like in physics, Sheldon creates the theory, and Leonard proves it.
Sheldon telling that FBI agent about Howard crashing the Mars rover in "The Apology Insufficiently" wasn't a complete accident and was perhaps a subconscious attempt to sabotage him as Sheldon doesn't like anyone overshadowing him. Sheldon exclaiming that didn't involve him, unlike his other gripes about Howard such as Howard damaging his Lord of the Rings Blu-Ray case, supports this.
For a while, I wondered why Leonard did that awkward thing where he tilts his head back a bit and looks up when talking to people, but then I realized Leonard has always been shorter than most other people, so he probably had to spend a lot of time looking up to talk to them. It would only make sense that it became a habit, and still does it even when talking to people who aren't much taller than him. (I say this because I grew faster than many of my peers and so was always a bit taller than most of my friends. I always had to hunch over a bit, or look down, to be on-level with them. Now that I've more-or-less stopped growing and I am about the same height as everyone else, I still hunch over a bit and tend to look at people's necks or chests rather than their faces.)
Also, the hipster glasses. Does Johnny Galecki really need glasses? Even if there are just plain lenses in the frames (or empty frames), he may be pulling back from them because they feel awkward.
After Sheldon forms his own team for the Physics Bowl, the other guys try to find a replacement. A rather inane conversation about replacing her with the "chick who played Blossom" ensues. After the idea is rejected, Winnie from The Wonder Years is suggested in a throw-away reference. The joke is that Danica McKellar (aka Winnie) is now a mathematician and Mayim Bialik (aka Blossom) has a PhD in neurobiology. Oh, and to make this even better? Both actresses show up in incredibly geeky guest parts in the third season— with Bialik having an even more permanent role in the fourth.
The reason Amy's more blunt and socially awkward than Sheldon? Its shown that until Penny, she never had a "Leonard" to help with socialising.
In the second season finale Penny appears to get unusually emotional with the prospect of Leonard leaving for a whole summer, which Leonard picks up on and (for whatever reason) asks Sheldon for his thoughts on the matter. Leonard was worrying that if he did leave, Penny would eventually get over him and find someone else while at that moment he might have a chance with renewing their relationship. Sheldon says that if those feelings are happening because of the simple prospect of him leaving then he must go because truthfully nothing has actually happened yet (Basically, Leonards impressions are simple theory and Sheldon is suggesting the most effective method of experimentation). When he does return she practically throws herself at him, having the summer to muse about their relationship. Considering it was his advice that got them there, Sheldon is indirectly responsible for Leonard and Penny finally hooking up.
Made nicely ironic that in their professions it's Leonard who experiments and Sheldon who theorizes.
In the episode where the gang are playing World of Warcraft, Sheldon does not help the raid obtain the "Sword of Azeroth", instead grabbing the sword and fleeing, to sell it on eBay, resulting in the other three's characters having to fight a desperate battle (until Howard buys the sword). At first, Sheldon just comes off as a Jerk Ass, betraying the others for money. But consider: Sheldon does not need money. He is contemptuous of attempts to obtain it. He has several thousand dollar's worth of un-cashed paychecks in his drawer, and lends freely and without interest. Then consider his justification: "I'm a rogue Night Elf". Sheldon wasn't screwing the others over for money, he was simply (in his eyes) conforming to character descriptions and adding to the game dynamic!
Oh, gee, we RPG players have never heard somebody use their character's sociopathic personality traits as a justification for grabbing power and glory away from their teammates.note For those of you who've never played an RPG: Yes we have.
In "The Justice League Recombination", the superheroes the gang end up dressing as actually represent the dynamic within the group.
Sheldon is the Flash, who is Green Lantern's best friend and is 'faster' than all the rest (in Sheldon's case being mentally). Leonard is the Green Lantern who's the Flash's best friend and often acts without thinking (if you take Green Lantern as Hal Jordan). Howard comes as Batman, who has parent-related issues, and while part of the group is still an outsider (Howard's Masters degree). Raj comes as Aquaman who's the token foreigner.
Add in the fact that Raj would be more powerful in India like Aquaman in the water and the Penny and Zach (Wonder Woman and Superman); The group's beefy amazon and the alien, respectivly.
Parallels can be drawn to the boys' lines of work as well -
Howard is an engineer and the only one of them without a doctorate. Batman is the only of the superheroes who doesn't have access to actual superpowers.
Sheldon is a theoretical physicist, which has a lot to do with both light and speed.
Leonard is an experimental physicist, and tries out ideas and theories in "reality".
It makes total sense that Sheldon would be a big fan of Wil Wheaton's character Wesley. They both excel in whatever science they apply themselves to. This also because Hilarious in Hindsight, as, in Sheldon's fan-script for the Original Star Trek series, would probably become a Creator's Pet if he were an actual character (Spock comments on how much of a genius he is, totally adored by his mother, yadda yadda).
There is also the fact that Sheldon felt a connection to Wesley. Saying that how much Wesley was smart for a kid and growing up around adults. Like how Sheldon felt growing around older kids for skipping grades.
Which is, BTW, unrealistic. I worked in public schools. Social maturity is a criterion for skipping grades. Kids who are working ahead of grade level, but lack the social skills to be with older kids don't just get plopped into higher grades. They get aides to do extra work, while going to gym, recess, and social programs, with kids their own age, or they go to Gifted & Talented programs with other same-aged G&T kids, or their parents get help finding private schools and the financial aid and scholarships to pay for them.
In The Big Bang Theory, after Leonard and Sheldon's flat is burgled, Sheldon's reaction is to run into his room, coming back to proclaim with relief "It's alright! They didn't take my comic books!" This strikes as simple nerdishness at first glance, but then you take into account that his collection is extensive enough that he recently lost The Flash (vol. 1) #123 in a bet with Wolowitz, and that a copy of this comic was sold for $24,000 and it seems a far more valid concern -Some Sort Of Troper
Except Sheldon kept Flash 123 (and other unnamed-but-assumed-rare) comics in a bank safety-deposit box.
In another episode, Leonard stands up Raj's sister Priya to go on a World of Warcraft mission. He asks Raj (who's against the relationship) to cover for him. Raj tells Priya she'll "have to accept whatever cockamamie excuse that white devil tries to give you." It comes off as Raj just trying to sabotage the relationship, but then I realized, Priya is a very smart woman. If Raj suddenly started covering for Leonard, she'd know something was up. What Raj said was the best possible way to throw off suspicion. Leonard does owe him one.
Howard has revealed that he is a student of "The Mystery Method", a guide to pulling women, when he shows off his eyepatch, a technique called "peacocking". One of his frequent cringeworthy ways of trying to succeed with women seen throughout the show is the use of magic- such as having several hankies up his sleeve. This seems like one of his awful ideas, but the author of said book, "Mystery", is a professional magician who gives several tips for using magic to get girls.
One episode has Sheldon state that he has a fear of nets. This seems like a pretty silly fear, but then you remember the electricuted net that fell on him when they tried to give their apartment a security system.
Sheldon's mother drilled manners into him, including the fact that you always give up your bed for a guest if there isn't a spare. Hence why he offered his bed in The Psychic Vortex, and assumed that Penny would give up hers for him in The Bozeman Reaction.
Which is consistent with Sheldon's broader character. He comes off as incredibly rude simply because normal rules for social interaction don't occur to him naturally. When a social convention is explained to him, he almost always follows it... and expects others to do the same.
Backed up by the episode where Howard tells Penny to explain gift-giving to Sheldon as "a non-optional social obligation". Sheldon immediately answers "Fair enough". This likely fits into his idea of logic... if he can argue logically about something he will, but if it fits into the "illogical" nature of social interaction he understands that it simply has to be acquiesced to.
"It's a non-optional social obligation" is likely what someone once told Sheldon about offering people hot beverages when they're feeling bad. (This may be how Howard learned that trick.) Whenever he offers tea and is politely declined, he replies "Sorry, it's not optional."
In "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver", Sheldon reveals that he has a Mexican peso in his skull, and that it takes him 45 minutes to get though airport security... would explain why he prefers Trains.
Or another theory: Sheldon claims that growing up in rural Texas was "hell." Seeing as he seemed to live in a relative backwater, presumably there were no or few airports nearby, but, probably, some rail links. Therefore, trains, to Sheldon, represent an escape from the hidebound and humdrum days of his childhood.
In "The Lunar Excitation", Raj and Howard are trying to set Sheldon on what will be his first "date" with Amy Farrah Fowler. Howard suggests that Sheldon take Amy out for coffee (which Sheldon doesn't drink) then hot chocolate. Sheldon informs Howard that he only drinks hot cocoa in months that have an 'r' in them, because "What's life without whimsy?". By limiting himself to drinking hot chocolate in months with an 'r', it means that the only months where he abstains from hot chocolate are May, June, July, and August. (i.e. late Spring and all of Summer)
A few hours after reading this, I figured out why he does this. It's a safeguard against being forced to drink hot chocolate during warm months. Social protocol dictates that a hot beverage be offered to anyone who enters a home, which Sheldon himself has called "not optional". It follows that accepting the beverage is mandatory as well. Sheldon does not want to drink a hot beverage during warm months, and as he already does not drink coffee, that leaves only hot chocolate and tea. Sheldon likes tea enough to drink it during the summer, but the same cannot be said for hot chocolate. His limit on hot chocolate means that only tea will be offered and accepted during the summer months.
There may have been some kind of folk rule about hot chocolate (or anything) with milk in hot months, because it went bad easily. I've been in Maine in June, and it didn't get above 62'F. One the other hand, I was in Dallas in April once (supposedly hot chocolate weather), and I was in shorts and T-shirts the whole week.
As Amy's character develops, we see that, unlike Sheldon, she has at least a normal sex drive and her aversion to both sex and romantic love are a result of years of repression and poor socialization (implied to result from her upbringing). Then it occurred to me, their whole relationship follows the same pattern. Where Sheldon is literally unable to understand normal interactions, Amy actively wants a normal social life and is just scared off by bad experiences and undeveloped social skills. Hence she understands Sheldon because her personality is similar to his, but she's better able to understand "normal" people. She's not just his first girlfriend, she's his Rosetta stone for understanding the rest of humanity.
Also, as Amy socializes with Penny and Bernadette, she more or less goes through normal social development stages: she's like a little child in her first season, then a "tween," then a teen, then a twentysomething. Maybe she will eventually catch up.
Why does Sheldon have nightmares about Goofy but is fine with Pluto? Sheldon shows an aversion to inconsistency, and even small Continuity Snarls and Logic Bombs can greatly upset him. Pluto is a dog who acts more or less like a regular dog. Goofy, however, has a dog-like appearance but acts like a normal person. The Furry Confusion is too much for his logical mind to handle! He may not exhibit this problem with other Disney characters (Mickey, Donald, etc.) because they are less egregious examples within the Disney canon ("normal" mice and ducks appear far less regularly, and certainly not in as important a role, as Pluto).
In "The Precious Fragmentation," all four men are torn between the One Ring, but at the end, it is Leonard who successfully keeps the Ring for himself (Until Sheldon snoops around). The brilliance comes in when you remember what he dressed as in Season 1 for Penny's Halloween party, not to mention that he is the most Hobbit-like of the four.
In the beginning of season six, Stuart fills in for Howard while the latter is in space, even becoming nicknamed "fake Wolowitz" by Sheldon. Stuart's actor, Kevin Sussman, was actually a runner-up for the role of Howard in the first place.
Sheldon's favoritism towards the Flash was jokingly explained by the writers that since Sheldon ran away from bullies, chickens, and dogs in his childhood, he'd identify with the Flash, the fastest man alive, easily. Another way to look at it is that the Flash is the only Justice League member that cannot fly (Superman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter), does not operate underwater (Aquaman), nor does he use height as an advantage (Batman), which fits Sheldon because he has a fear of heights and water.
It doesn't make sense at first that Wil Wheaton would do a 180 in personality when inviting Sheldon to his party and giving him the action figure he wanted, until you realize that all of the antagonism in previous episodes happened after Sheldon instigated it.
Bernadette's insistence on being Cinderella when she, Amy and Penny went to Disneyland? Imagine a girl that had to basically be a mother to many younger siblings, do all the cooking and cleaning and you can see why.
Lactose intolerance does have somewhat of a genetic basis, but it's something anyone can develop. Almost everyone is born with the ability to digest milk sugars, but the less milk we drink as children, the more likely we are to lose this ability and develop lactose intolerance as we grow up. It's possible that Leonard became lactose intolerant because his cold, logical mother never breastfed him.
Logic overrode cold, and his mother did breastfeed him. And wrote an article about his preference for "lefty" that still haunts him. She may not have given him any dairy products after she stopped breastfeeding, though, and given that, cheese aside, you find dairy in a lot of "fun" foods, like ice cream, and chocolate. The reason humans usually retain the ability to process lactose is because they continue to eat it without a break. Even domestic dogs, and occasionally cats, can retain the ability to process lactose if they are continually fed it. None of my dogs has ever been lactose intolerant, and I have several cats who can eat cheese, and it's not even from deliberately feeding them the stuff, mainly from them filching it now and then, and from them being exposed to it environmentally, because we cook from scratch a lot.
Sheldon's secret in the Season 7 premiere, about YouTube's rating system, may seem odd at first, especially how much it affected Sheldon. But remember that the smallest change can affect Sheldon greatly, and that keeping secrets is incredibly difficult for him, it makes a lot more sense.
Only a fridge thing because it wasn't spelled out on the show, but the "leave no stone unturned" clue in the scavenger hunt was solved by Penny... she looked under the Rolling STONES poster.
In the episode where Sheldon becomes enemies with Leslie Winkle, Sheldon comments "Yes, the Dr. Doom to my Mr. Fantastic. The Dr. Octopus to my Spider-Man. The Dr. Sivana to my Captain Marvel... You know, it's amazing how many supervillains have advanced degrees. Graduate schools should do a better job of screening those people out." It's a funny one off line, but later when he's playing Mario he says "Oh, Mario. If only I could control the rest of the world like I control you. Hop, you little plumber! Hop! Hop!" Basically, he's one radiation accident away from becoming a supervillain.
In one episode Leonard actually said "Sheldon is one lab accident away from being a supervillain".
And in another, Sheldon admits that if he had a Death Ray, he wouldn't be living in an apartment, he'd be living in his lair enjoying the money the people of Earth gave him for not using his Death Ray.
On the other hand, as a theoretical physicist, he would view actually designing and building a Death Ray would be beneath him, and would need "lesser" minds to carry it out, such as a particle astrophysicist, an experimental physicist, and an engineer to actually build the thing!
In one episode, after Raj denies being jealous of Howard and everyone looks at him, he said he would kill a hobo if it would get him laid. It seems funny, but it takes a darker meaning you realize that at this point, only Leonard and Howard had girlfriends, Sheldon hadn't met Amy, and Howard and Bernadette weren't married, and already he was willing to KILL AN INNOCENT PERSON just to have sex. Now, Leonard and Penny are back together, Sheldon and Amy are together, and Howard and Bernadette are married. Raj? He still hasn't gotten laid. If he was willing to commit murder to have sex before the events of Seasons 4 and 5, just imagine what he is willing to do now just to have sex...
He was kidding, maybe? Would murder really be consistent with his character?
The fact that she has "weaponized smallpox" implies that, in the Big Bang universe, the US Government is in breach of both the Geneva Protocol and the Biological Weapons Convention.
Or (possibly worse) perhaps her company isn't working for the US government, but is developing bioweapons for some other reason.
Two incidents in the series got me thinking. The first is when Sheldon, down in the dumps after Kwipke humiliates him, briefly considers stealing neurotoxins and murdering him. The second is, after Wolowitz drives the Mars Rover into a ditch, the gang are able to destroy all evidence of their being there, to the point that the Government's investigators are totally baffled. Both incidents are played for laughs, until one realizes that the Bang gang would be scarily good terrorists/murderers if they applied their skills elsewhere.
Leonard did say that Sheldon was one lab accident away from becoming a supervillain.
Raj cannot talk to women without alcohol. He'll either be forever alone or dead by kidney failure.
I think you mean liver failure.
Yeah, that. It seems funny on TV, but your life sucks majorly if you can't speak with women.
In a few episodes Raj takes medication to help his social anxiety disorder so he may get better.
He's okay talking to guys so if it turns out he's gay (not surprising), he'll be fine.
Although his fear may be with people he's attracted to (ruling out relatives), so if he is revealed to be gay, he might be unable to talk to guys. In the episode "The Middle Earth Paradigm", Raj admits to occasionally being unable to talk to effeminate men.
Wasn't there a recent episode where he finally managed to talk to a woman sober?
The amount of alcohol Raj needs is minimal (and apparently a placebo works, as in the episode with Summer Glau - The Terminator something or other), so he's not at risk of liver failiure for that reason.
Remember that episode where at the end, Leonard has a dream that Sheldon eats an enormous amount of Thai Food and splits into two Sheldons? Think about it: Leonard's life already seems to be hell with ONE Sheldon. Imagine what his life would be like with TWO Sheldons. That might not seem horrific to us, since for us, that would mean more humor... but it would be horrific to the other characters. See, one Sheldon is not funny to them... two Sheldons would be an absolute nightmare for the other characters.
Not to mention each other. After all, who would get Sheldon's spot? They're both Sheldon, but there's only enough room for one of them on the couch (not to mention Halo, the washing, the division of the Chinese meals, etc). One of them would have to alter his routine. And both Sheldons would end up hating the other one for it.
Yeah... that makes it more horrific for them, especially Leonard. He would want to move out, but the Sheldons wouldn't let him because they need him. Leonard's life would become a living hell, and his previous status as the Woobie (I don't think he's become the Scrappy, just less sympathetic) would be restored big time. I think a scene where they argue over which Sheldon gets "the spot" would be hilarious, though.
They'd be fine. The Sheldons would eventually begin attempting to devise a series of scientific tests to determine which of them was the original and thus entitled to the original's spot and routine. This would take up so much of their time and effort that they wouldn't have nearly as much free time to bother the others with.
When Howard mentions that his ancestors were once neighbours with Bernadette's ancestors back in Europe. Considering that his family fled during the War, Leonard's reaction to the news shows he's clearly wondering if they might have sold them out.
The guys were literally planning to kill Sheldon in the arctic. Imagine if they hadn't supplied him with false data.
In "The Barbarian Sublimation" Sheldon tried just about everything to make Penny stop playing the MMO, and it doesn't work. Then Howard offers to hang out at a tavern and she cowers in fear from her laptop. She must (have) utterly despise(d) Howard (back then).
There's one off-hand joke where Amy claims that she always uses feminine hygiene products at all times to " avoid unpleasant surprises" (ie being caught off guard when having a period). This would be fine if she only used pads, but what if she used tampons? Using tampons while not menstruating can seriously increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome.
A lot of women wear panty liners all the time, because their periods are irregular, but they don't start bleeding heavily all at once; other women have heavy discharge when they ovulate; and some women who have had c-sections or episiotomies need a year or more to recover before they stop peeing just a little if they cough or sneeze. I suppose that could happen after other abdominal surgeries as well. Amy isn't alone. Her reasoning may be a little overly cautious, but the behavior isn't unusual, and no, she doesn't wear tampons. Without the lubrication of endometrium, they are painful to insert.
In "The 43 Curiosity", Raj and Howard set up a camera in a storage room to see what Sheldon does there every afternoon. Sheldon finds out and changes the feed to a video he prepared, where he appears to create an interdimensional portal, look inside, and get attacked by an alien. Now, considering the camera was set up less than 24 hours before Howard and Raj view the clip, there was no way Sheldon could have made the fake video in so little time. The special effects, cheap though they might be, would still have taken more than one day to create, not to mention all the preparation needed to set up the action as it appears. Plus Sheldon, perfectionist that he is, would likely do multiple takes. All in all, the video would have taken two days at least to prepare.
But then again this is Sheldon we're talking about here. It's not inconceivable to think that he made the video in advance in case anybody tried something like what Howard and Raj did.
In that case he'd have either had to make the video sometime after he hit 43, or he'd have had to make the video every time he beat his record. He'd also have to know ahead of time exactly where the camera would be placed in order to film from the proper angle. More likely, he went to the room sometime between the camera being placed there and the time he did his practice. I could have gone down there for another reason.
The special effects can be made in advance and separately and then overlayed on the video.
If Sheldon doesn't own a car and doesn't drive, why was he issued a parking spot?
He's a senior theoretical physicist, I'm guessing that it would warrant having your own car space.
It might be protocal for parking spots to be offered, and Sheldon probably accepted because it made him feel important, and just in case as it was the perfect spot for him if he did drive.
But it was reassigned to Howard. If it could be reassigned that easily, why wasn't it reassigned years earlier?
Bureaucracy. No one's constantly monitoring the parking spots to make sure they're parked in, so the status quo stays in place until either someone complains or someone happens to notice that a prime spot is going unused. When Howard suddenly became a big deal for going into space, someone took a closer look at the best spots and realized there was one that was effectively available.
In "The Staircase Implementation", it is implied Sheldon is or was ashamed of his inability to drive, so it is possible he was offered the spot and accepted it rather than admit he can't drive.
The full version of the theme song (not used on the show) includes the line "the oceans and Pangaea, see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya...". But this doesn't make sense: at the time of Pangaea there was only one ocean (Panthalassa). I realize that there are other more obvious errors in the song (autotrophs don't drool, FYI) and that it's not meant to be an accurate "history of everything" but this just occurred to me and I thought it was funny. Still love the song, though.