* TakeThat: Quite a few, largely to non-geeky movies.
-->'''Bernadette:''' "So we are just going to sit here and wait for something to happen?"\\
'''Howard:''' "I did that with you when we watched ''Film/TheNotebook''..."
** There are several examples of "geeky" movies and series taking a slam too:
--->'''Sheldon:''' ...and after breakfast, I thought we'd watch the final season of ''Series/BabylonFive'' with director's commentary\\
'''Leonard:''' But you HATE ''Babylon 5''!\\
'''Sheldon:''' I do; it fails as science fiction, drama, and is hopelessly derivative, but you like it and you're my friend.
** "The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition" takes a jab at card battle games with the guys being initially disgusted with "Mystic Warlords of Ka'a'"s latest expansion adding Wild West characters to a fantasy-themed world, but find themselves unable to resist buying and playing it.
** After a long episode of slagging off ''Film/StarTrekVTheFinalFrontier'' ("Dude, ''Star Trek V'' is the standard by which all badness is measured!"), the VanityPlate included the following, after the main text: "Oh, and Creator/WilliamShatner, director of ''Star Trek V''? Go ahead. Sue us." In the same episode, Sheldon insists ''The Motion Picture'' is worse than V, and the same vanity card includes a shot at George Lucas.
** ''Series/{{Heroes}}''.
--->'''Sheldon:''' They can't just cancel a show like ''Alphas''. They have to help the viewers let go. ''Firefly'' did a movie to wrap things up, ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' continued on as a comic book, ''Heroes'' gradually lowered the quality season by season, til we were grateful it ended.
** ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull''
*** Leonard mentions the fourth film in a FranchiseKiller movie marathon.
*** In "The Raiders Minimization", Sheldon says that Amy and the fourth film ruined Indiana Jones for him.
* TakeOurWordForIt: Sheldon running a red light while driving Penny to the hospital in "The Adhesive Duck Deficiency", as revealed in "The Excelsior Acquisition". [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtRcuBJBWKc The scene]] of him driving her ends with him stopping at a red light, without taking Penny's advice to even go the speed limit.
* ThanksForTheMammary: Sheldon, to Penny. He didn't bump into her, though; he was [[NotWhatItLooksLike helping her get dressed]] when she dislocated her shoulder in the bathtub -- with his eyes closed.
** Although he later admits that he was ''lying'' when he said he hadn't looked.
** Amy was constantly wanting more physical contact with Sheldon, even coercing him to snuggle . Later Sheldon and Leonard went to pick her up from a liquor store parking lot Leonard helped her to her feet and walked her to the car and she happily exclaimed "Looks like someone finally found 'Second Base!'"
* ThatCameOutWrong: In "The Roommate Transmogrification" when Raj proves himself to be a better roommate than Leonard, Sheldon compares Leonard to Homo Erectus saying that he, like Homo Erectus, has been replaced by something better. Raj then makes a comment he regrets.
-->'''Raj''': I'm the new homo in town... that came out wrong.
** Sheldon would often say {{Double Entendre}}s and not recognize what he was saying as sounding weird or odd, with everyone explaining why. When the group offered to help Sheldon overcome his stage fright, they suggested that they name them after the ComicBook/XMen. Sheldon appreciated the sentiment but suggested that since the X-Men were named after Charles Xavier, his team should be named after Sheldon Cooper and be called the C-Men.
--->'''Howard''': Oh, no... that's not a good name.
** Penny when she's doped up on painkillers and she asks Sheldon to help her get into bed.
---> '''Penny''': *''laughs''* Sheldon has to get me into bed!
** Bernadette has an argument with Amy, stemming from a feud between Howard and Sheldon over a parking spot, and ends up storming out after taking a shot at Amy and Sheldon's celibate relationship.
-->'''Bernadette''': I'm going home and I'm going to have SEX with my husband! Maybe I'll even let him do it to me in the parking spot! ''(beat while she realizes what she said)'' ...which sounds dirty but I didn't mean it that way!
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: Sheldon is not good at reading people's emotions at all, so about the only way to tell they are upset or uncomfortable at all is for them to tell him outright.
-->'''Penny:''' Of course this makes me uncomfortable, can't you tell?\\
'''Sheldon:''' I really have no idea, I don't really excel at reading facial expression and body lang...\\
'''Sheldon:''' ...thank you. That's very helpful.
* TheTheTitle: With the exception of the pilot, all episode titles are in this form. In general mimicking the names of scientific principles and making a reference to the events or dialogue of the episode. Starting with ''The Big Bran Hypothesis'' (episode 2), and continuing with ''The Fuzzy Boots Corollary'' (episode 3), etc.
* ThemeTuneCameo: Subverted. Howard's ringtone is the theme that was only used in the unbroadcast pilot.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Penny to pre-CharacterDevelopment Howard, after enduring two seasons of his unwelcome advances:
-->'''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.
* ThereAreNoGirlsOnTheInternet: Played with. When Penny walks into Stuarts comic book shop with the guys, all the other patrons - and there are only guys - stop and stare. In the early seasons it happens almost every time Penny or the other girls go into the comic book shop, with Stuart sometimes asking them to give a signal if they are being coerced, but given how long the show has gone on it gradually became semi-common. A number of guest characters are women who meet the guys in the store (Alice, Lucy, Claire), and a rival store had the atmosphere of a nightclub or trendy coffee shop. Eventually Stuart admits that women DO go to comic book stores, but his shop was less female friendly than it could be (some of the artwork on display were {{Stripperific}} women in [[BoobsAndButtPose degrading positions]]) and asked the girls for advice there.
* TheresNoBInMovie: Penny has had roles in the (fictional) B-movies ''[[http://bigbangtheory.wikia.com/wiki/Serial_Ape-ist Serial Ape-ist]]'' and [[http://bigbangtheory.wikia.com/wiki/Serial_Ape-ist_2:_Monkey_See,_Monkey_Kill Serial Ape-ist 2: Monkey See, Monkey Kill]]''. Howard found and watched the first film, probably enjoying Penny's ShowerScene. Amy and Bernadette found and watched the second film, where Penny had a more substantial role. By their reactions, the film was SoBadItsGood.
* ThereIsOnlyOneBed: Played with, Penny couldn't sleep in her hotel room due to Amy's night terrors and asked Leonard to stay with him and Sheldon, who was already asleep. 's bed (and his idiosyncratic method of sleeping, described as "Like getting into Dracula's coffin") and Penny knew she couldn't share his bed. So she and Leonard tried sharing a bed as platonic friends, with awkward enough results.
* ThinkHappyThoughts:
-->'''Sheldon''': Look on the bright side.\\
'''Leonard''': What bright side?\\
'''Sheldon''': Only nine more months until Comic-Con.\\
'''Leonard''': ''[smiling]'' Oh yeah!
* ThisIsGoingToBeHuge: In the flashback episode at the end of Season 3. While making out the roommate agreement, Leonard asks if Friday night being ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' night needs to be in the agreement. Sheldon responds that they might as well decide now, because the show [[FridayNightDeathSlot is going to be on for years]].
* ThisIsMyChair: Sheldon's spot on the couch.
* ThisLoserIsYou: At least if you're a {{nerd}}. Or [[JerkJock if]] you're [[TheDitz not]] a [[DumbBlonde nerd]].
* ThoseTwoGuys: Howard and Raj, and their "ersatz homosexual marriage". Although they aren't as directly connected to Sheldon, Leonard and Penny (by virtue of not being neighbors or roommates), they do manage to do activities separate from each other and the others but do play up the HoYay undertones in certain episodes.
** Raj becomes this with Stuart in Season 6 after Howard gets married.
* AThreesomeIsManly: Raj drunkenly reveals during Howard's bachelor party that they once had a threesome with a overweight Franchise/SailorMoon cosplayer;
--> '''Raj''': "Don't worry, there was no funny business between us, not with two hundred pounds of Franchise/SailorMoon between us!"
* TimeMachine: Amy's ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie'' {{Fanfic}} includes a ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture''-type machine. Cooper uses it to travel from the 21st century to the 19th century. The machine comes with him and is damaged. He manages to repair it with some ease.
** In the episode "The Nerdvanna Annihilation", Leonard buys the ''original'' time machine used in the film ''[[{{Film/TheTimeMachine1960}} The Time Machine]]''. [-(He thought he was buying a miniature replica, but it turned out to be the actual movie prop.)-]
* TimeTravelRomance: In "The Troll Manifestation", Penny, Bernadette, and Leonard read a ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie'' {{Fanfic}} written by Amy. It uses this trope as its main theme. The protagonist, Amelia, is a 19th century woman who discovers an unconscious time traveler from the 21st century. His name is Cooper and when he wakes up, he talks to her about "the strange and incredible things that the future would hold". She finds him fascinating and falls hard for him. Cooper attempts to return to his own time period, and she is saddened by the loss. He has a last minute change of heart, realizing that he is attracted to her. He stays in the past and they become a couple. All three characters reading the story find it very interesting, though they stop reading when a sex scene is about to begin.
* ToiletHumour: Toilet Humour [[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE]] to be specific, in "The Classified Materials Turbulence", where the gang has to fix a malfunctioning zero-gravity toilet. To quote Sheldon: "Apparently there is no law of diminishing comedic returns with space poop".
-->'''Howard''': All right, this is an exact duplicate of the Wolowitz zero-gravity human waste disposal system as deployed on the international space station.\\
'''Raj''': Don't you mean the Wolowitz zero-gravity human waste ''[[ExpospeakGag distribution]]'' system?
** Sheldon had some flatulence problems after eating Brussels sprouts in an episode where he becomes hyper health-conscious.
---> ''Sheldon:''' "Thursday night will no longer be cruciferous vegetables night."
** Sheldon insists on having a specific time to use the bathroom and is proud to say that he is "as regular as a German train schedule."
*** Sheldon also kept a journal of his bowel movements since childhood.
--->'''Penny:''' That's disgusting!\\
'''Leonard:''' No, what's disgusting is that he still keeps track.
** There are many jokes referencing Leonard's lactose intolerance too, which makes him flatulent; although, this is never shown on-screen.
---> '''Sheldon:''' "Leonard, if you can eat this piece of cheese without farting you can sleep with my sister."
** Almost every scene containing the sound of a flushing toilet is, for some reason, followed immediately by uproarious laughter, whether from the {{studio audience}} or [[LaughTrack otherwise]].
* ToiletSeatDivorce: During Leonard's brief "official" relationship with Leslie, she broke up with him over the fact he had a preference towards String Theory (which Sheldon brought up) while she is on the Loop Quantum Gravity. To the average viewer this is ridiculous, but to these super-geniuses it is SeriousBusiness.
** Also played as DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything:
---> '''Leslie:''' How can we have a relationship if we don't believe the same thing? How are we going to raise the children?\\
'''Leonard:''' I guess we'll wait until they're old enough and let them decide what theory they would like for themselves.\\
'''Leslie:''' You can't let them decide, Leonard; THEY'RE CHILDREN!
* TooMuchInformation: Usually involving Amy Farrah Fowler.
* TookALevelInBadass: For a certain qualification of "badass." Leonard started off the series being painfully shy and uncertain of himself, it took him the entirety of the first season to officially ask Penny out. It's implied that interacting with Penny has helped boost his sense of self-worth and he progressed from being a [[NiceGuy nice]], [[TheGenericGuy generic guy]] to becoming scathing {{Deadpan Snarker}}s and having more of a potential love life than just with Penny. Just with his interactions with Penny he is much more comfortable being assertive and teasing her than he was before, no longer feeling he has to be submissive to stay on her good side.
** In parallel CharacterDevelopment, we've also seen Penny Take A Level In Nerd. (The first [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKXBqs]] with a DoubleTake ''at herself'', while the studio audience applauds.) In addition to random science-fiction analogies, she has quite a bit more patience and higher standards when it comes to dating.
** In ''The Werewolf Transformation", after missing a haircut, Sheldon "enters a world of chaos" and becomes about as badass as he could be.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood:
** Whenever the gang is eating together at Sheldon & Leonard's apartment, it's Chinese food. Although it's not so much trademarked for Sheldon as it is ISO.
--> '''Sheldon''': Did you get the chicken shredded?\\
'''Leonard''': Yup.\\
'''Sheldon''': Even though the menu says it's cubed, not shredded?\\
'''Leonard''': Yup.\\
'''Sheldon''': Did you get the low-sodium soy sauce?\\
'''Leonard''': Yup.\\
'''Sheldon''': Did you get the good spicy mustard?\\
'''Leonard''': Yup.\\
'''Sheldon''': Excellent. (beat) What took you so long?
** When the gang eats out, they go to various restaurants, including the Cheesecake Factory where Penny is a waitress. Also, at work they have generic cafeteria food together in some cafeteria presumably on the Caltech campus.
** Sheldon has a strict menu that he eats per day, for all days, and presumably snacks as well. The Chinese food ''has'' to be from Szechuan Palace. (Unfortunately for Sheldon, they closed years ago. Now his cashew chicken comes from Golden Dragon.) He's similarly disappointed to see that they've got Mumbai Palace, not their usual Tandoori Palace. When Penny makes french toast for breakfast, he complains that it's "oatmeal day". When Leonard and Penny leave, he comments that the food does smell good, then finishes with "too bad it's not french toast day" and dumps it into the trash. He also seems quite fond of milk and tends to drink it more often than expected, ''especially'' if the other diners have wine or champagne.
** Inverted with Raj, who has expressed his distaste of Indian food many times.
** And then there was the time Sheldon was alone and ordered Kadai Paneer. Consider: He can only order it when the others are away, because of Raj's distaste for Indian food, Howard's peanut allergy, and Leonard's lactose intolerance. His meals are usually very regimented, but in this instance he was willing to ''break the pattern'' to order it. No wonder he called it "a symbol of my independence."
* TrainingMontage: Parodied when Sheldon and Raj intently study a whiteboard... complete with fast cuts and "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background to a bunch of different camera angle cuts. ''Twice.''
* TrollFic: [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8408595/1/ Carolina and Penni]] MST [[http://theficcritic.blogspot.com/2012/08/hello-im-fic-criticbecause-someone-had.html here]] is a fic written by an author who is apparently very interested in MyImmortal (they wrote a startical sequel and favorited a MST of it). The first lines are "Heyyyy! I am Carolina Watson and first off Im waaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy hawter then that bitch Penni. I'm 17 and syuper dyuoper hawt! Yeah, I'm tan and blonde and I'm 17 year old! I'm sexi and Im dating Sheldin. I'm also syuper smart and I'm Byeseckshyoowell!" It gets worse from there. The author's note at the end of the second chapter claiming it is *not* a parody did nothing but convince even the doubters it's a parody.
* TrollingTranslator:
** In one episode, Howard would "translate" for the selectively-mute-around-girls Raj via Raj whispering in his ear. At one point Penny and Bernadette ask the guys how Amy found out they went bridesmaid dress shopping without her. Howard immediately blames Raj. When Raj angrily whispers his protest to Howard, Howard takes the opportunity to put more words in Raj's mouth. It's this trope and not quite TranslationWithAnAgenda because everyone knew Howard was being ridiculous.
** In another, Raj whispers to Howard to suggest Sheldon start jogging with Penny. Penny asks how he knows she jogs. Howard says "He watches you from his car through high powered binoculars". Penny is naturally horrified so Raj whispers something else in Howard's ear. Howard says "And he says he isn't going to ''stop''!"
* TrueLoveIsBoring[=/=]TrueLoveIsExceptional: Ultimately runs the gauntlet of both tropes with Leonard and Penny. Penny's "type" at the beginning was the [[DumbMuscle dimwitted, muscular]], JerkJock kind of guy and gave Leonard a shot because he was so different and interesting. They enjoy being together but Penny was attracted to the other guys because [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys they seemed a little dangerous]] and doesn't feel that kind of excitement with Leonard. Because he and the guys she used to date were both boring and exceptional in different ways her dating life crashed in season four.
** Season six plays both ends, as Penny teased the idea of breaking up with him (again) because while she loved him it was a "different, boring kind of love," ultimately backing off only because of his PuppyDogEyes. But when encouraged by the girls to visit him at work she was awestruck over seeing him in his comfort zone playing with lasers and holograms, finding the exceptional part of him again. A few episodes later in "The 43 Peculiarity" [[spoiler: she said "you know I love you...", which was the first time she said it to him,]] and that manages to stabilize their relationship on both ends remarkably well.
* TruthTellingSession: On "The Irish Pub Formulation", Leonard's confession of [[spoiler:having slept with Raj's sister Priya]] snowballs into one of these.
* TVGenius: Parodied in , where Sheldon and Raj have a HardWorkMontage to ''Eye of the Tiger''. It's literally just them staring at a whiteboard of equations.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: In "The Mommy Observation", Leonard, Penny, Amy, Bernadette, Raj, and Stuart make a pact. Per Leonard: "Whether we’re friends, not friends, scattered around the world, no matter what, let’s all promise to meet in front of this building exactly 20 years from tonight at 8:00 p.m. and have dinner like we always do." Everyone enters the date in their phone, except Stuart who writes it on his hand. The scene shifts to 20 years in the future in front of Leonard, Sheldon, and Penny's apartment building. Stuart is the only one who remembered the pact and came to the meeting. He is disappointed that no one is coming. The scene includes a brief glimpse of a futuristic car.
* TwoWordsICantCount: Raj suggests a way out of a jam to Howard, but gets confused because "3-D" is an acronym for three-dimensional.
-->Two words. 3-D printer. (beat) Wait. Or is that three words?

* UglyGuyHotWife: Downplayed, as Leonard is considered to be handsome and looks good together with Penny but he is ever aware that she is normally out of his league. The trope is deconstructed in the sixth season when he explains that it is hard to have guys far more attractive than him (at the least taller) hit on her when they are out together.
* UltimateJobSecurity: Lots of characters get away with all kinds of crap at their respective jobs:
** Sheldon seems to become rude and insulting to pretty much everyone he comes across, drives a robot through the hallways (and closed doors) in the university in "The Killer Robot Instability", and covers the university president and board of directors with foam and keeps his job without apparent consequence.
** In the early seasons, before he got serious with Bernadette, Howard hit on pretty much every woman he met, even at work (in "The Egg Salad Equivalency", he says he practically lived at the H.R. office) and was never even reprimanded on screen.
** Penny is, by her own admission, bad at her work (this is especially apparent in the later seasons), forgetting orders, sampling liquor behind the counter and neglecting customers, and yet only leaves The Cheesecake Factory when she quits by her own will.
* UnclePennybags: Sheldon, surprisingly. When Penny falls behind on her rent and her car breaks down, he freely gives her enough money to pay for both of them. Despite her assumption that Sheldon's obsessive tendencies would lead him to hound her, it turns out that he's incredibly lax when it comes to lending his money. He honestly doesn't care ''when'' it's paid back, as long as it ''eventually'' is.
* UncomfortableElevatorMoment: The elevator's been broken for the entire series, so instead, awkwardness occurs while climbing the stairs. Penny and Raj's sister Priya share (intentionally drawn out to make the audience uncomfortable) in Season 4.
* {{Understatement}}: After he worked up the nerve to ask her out in the first season finale, Penny admitted to Sheldon that she knew Leonard had "a little crush" on her. Sheldon responded with "A ''little'' crush. I suppose so, like how Menelaus [[UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar had "a little crush" on Helen of Troy]]."
* UndisclosedFunds: Raj's parents are apparently "ComicBook/RichieRich"-rich, according to Sheldon. When asked how much that is, he just says that it's somewhere between "[[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bruce Wayne]]"-rich and "[[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse Scrooge McDuck]]"-rich.
* UnEvilLaugh: Raj, in the ''Bat Jar Hypothesis'', contemplating Sheldon's impending humiliation when he takes on Leslie Winkle in a Physics Bowl general knowledge quiz.
* TheUnfairSex: The show zigzags this. Especially in the early seasons the point of view was on the guys and it was them who needed to change while the women rightfully scorned them. The show evolved when Leonard and Penny get together in the third season, as now Penny would make mistakes as Leonard is proven to be in the right or at least with a valid opinion. In the third season finale, after breaking up a drunken Penny came home after a bad date and took Leonard to bed. He thought it was a move to get back together and Penny insisted otherwise. He is LIVID over being used for cheap sex, and attempts a similar move on her a few days later (getting drunk and propositioning sex). She kicks him out of her apartment and he makes note of the DoubleStandard.
** The Howard and Bernadette relationship uses a lot of ParentingTheHusband, where she is mature and responsible while he is a kid with a chore list and gold stars to be awarded. But a few times she recognizes that she talks down to him and he can't grow if she treats him that way. In one episode it was a full HeelRealization, with Amy and Penny nodding along until she realized how badly she acted.
*** This is especially apparent when it comes to money. Bernadette takes the position that since she makes more money, she should have primary power over their finances. When she (understandably) gets upset over Howard buying an expensive 3D printer without discussing it with her first, she takes his name off their joint account and institutes an allowance. Try flipping the genders and see who sides with the husband treating his wife that way.
** With Amy and Sheldon, most of the humor comes from Amy wanting more affection from him while he is only willing to offer tiny steps along the way. At worst she might be needy or even manipulative to get what she wants from him, but everyone else is amazed by her patience.
*** However, the trope is played straight in ''The Habitation Configuration''. Amy is directing a special episode of 'Fun with Flags', with Wil Wheaton appearing as a guest star. She's incredibly rude and condescending to him, calling him out on faults that ''don't even exist'' and generally being extremely difficult. Wheaton takes her jibes good naturedly, but eventually bites back. Sheldon, quite rightly, sides with Wheaton, but is later informed by Leonard that he should have sided with Amy, no matter what. Amy is never called out on her awful behavior, and goes on to repeat it with [=LeVar=] Burton at the end of the episode.
** In Priya and Leonard's relationship, she slowly started twisting his life to what she wanted including not being friends with Penny anymore and [[IWantMyBelovedToBeFashionable changing his wardrobe]]. He went along with it, even [[LongDistanceRelationship sticking with her]] as she moved back to India, but when he confessed a (relatively) minor infidelity, she admitted to sleeping with an ex-boyfriend, trying to pass it off as the same thing and he had none of it.
** This is both played straight and averted with Raj in "The Romance Recalibration" where he invites his ex-girlfriends Emily Sweeney, Claire, Lucy and the other Emily over to give him dating advice. Each woman gave valid reasons for why they left him. He would often try to get Lucy to do things she was uncomfortable with (such as the discussion), and he attempted to date Claire and Emily at the same time. Ultimately they conclude he is too needy, too pushy, a Mama's boy and they wonder why he didn't get together with Howard. However there was never any mention of the fact that the other Emily was a GoldDigger who broke up with him after his parents cut him off. With Lucy, it also come across as pulling a NeverMyFault, because she said herself that she was trying to do things that made her uncomfortable to try and get over her social anxiety, yet she just kept running away and completely disregarding Raj's feelings, and when she tried to get back together with him, he had already met Emily.
* TheUnfavorite: In "The Itchy Brain Simulation" Leonard reveals he was this to his aunt as well. When he went to college, he got an itchy sweater that made him break out. His brother got a car.
* UngratefulBastard: Downplayed. Amy's TimeTravelRomance character, Cooper, never says "thank you" to his love interest Amelia, no matter how hard she works to please him. The story in set in a 19th century prairie house and there is no indoor plumbing. To prepare a bath for him, Amelia has to do a lot of hard work.
--->Amelia: "Is the water warm enough?"
--->Cooper: "“Given the fact you took the time to build a wood fire, draw the water from the well and heat it, it would be rude to complain. But since you asked, it is a little nippy."
* {{Unishment}}: Amy pretends to be sick far longer than she's actually ill because Sheldon takes it upon himself to treat her illness, including rubbing Vaporub on her chest and bathing her. When he finds out she's been lying, he regretfully informs he has to spank her. She can't believe her luck.
---> (After the first spank which causes Amy to just giggle excitedly) Sheldon: "Excuse me! You're not supposed to enjoy this!"
---> Amy: "... Then maybe you should spank me harder...?"
---> Sheldon: "...Maybe I will!"
* UnlimitedWardrobe: Partially averted. While the characters have a very extensive wardrobe, they do repeat outfits from time to time, mostly the guys.
* UnitsNotToScale: An American space probe sent to Mars failed and crashed because two sets of engineers confused Imperial and Metric measurements in critical components. The confusion between inches and centimeters was not noticed by quality control and the mission became a multi-million dollar embarrassing failure. Lampshaded by Amy Farrah-Fowler when both Sheldon and Howard perpetrate similar lapses of detail.
-->''it demonstrates that Americans have problems with the metric system, huh?''
* UnrequitedLoveSwitcheroo: Leonard/Penny/Priya
* UnrevealAngle: Howard's mother is the comedic version of TheVoice, but some episode tease the viewers by having her in situations where she could appear, like her son's wedding. She once appeared in "The Spoiler Alert Segmentation" in the background, but her face was hidden. It confirmed that she's obese.
* TheUnsmile: Sheldon provides the current page image in the episode "The Griffin Equivalency":
--> ''"We're here to see Koothrappali, not kill Batman!"''
** In "The Tenant Disassociation", Stuart shows Howard a new flirty smile he's been using on girls.
-->'''Howard:''' Now, I don't use the word "ghoulish" a lot, but... I-I just can't think of another word.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Sheldon's self-centered egotism and condescending behavior make him the source of conflict for any given episode, even just by being sick and asking for help (his obnoxious neediness at that stage is dreaded by everyone). Howard's CasanovaWannabe and outright pervy behavior of the earlier seasons were also not meant to be endearing, although he gradually grew out of it. That said, the show is based on every character being unfairly humiliated at some point, which has occasionally made them [[DracoInLeatherPants more sympathetic than intended]].
* UnusualEuphemism: "Frickity Frack, not this again!"
* UnwantedGiftPlot: Amy gives Penny a bad painting of the "The Rothman Disintegration".
* UnwantedAssistance: In the second episode Leonard and Sheldon got a spare key to Penny's apartment, which Sheldon used to ''clean'' her apartment in the middle of the night (with Leonard begrudgingly helping), [[TooDumbToLive leaving a note confessing to the act and offering advice on further organization]]. When she understandably freaks out, Leonard demands Sheldon apologize, to which he tells Penny, "I would like to apologize for what happened and I take full responsibility... [[ComicallyMissingThePoint and I hope this doesn't color your perception of Leonard...who I hear is a gentle and thorough lover."]]

* ValleyGirl: Penny falls into this from time to time, even though she's originally from Nebraska.
* VanityPlate: The Chuck Lorre Production notes which give you a split second to read a long paragraph. Even the short ones with a picture and a caption usually takes a FreezeFrameBonus to appreciate.
* VerbalTic: Penny likes to call people "Sweetie." In a bout of confusion Sheldon used it as evidence that she has feelings for him.
-->'''Penny:''' "I call everyone sweetie."\\
'''Sheldon:''' "You tramp."
* VisualPun: Coupled with StealthPun. Raj enters the comic book store with a [[http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/a]] playing [[StarWars the Imperial March]]...which of course means he's wearing a loud shirt. Leonard even tells him to turn his shirt off.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Sheldon with everyone.
* VocalDissonance: Bernadette normally has a fairly high pitched, squeaky voice. But there are times when she yells and sounds ''exactly'' like Howard's mom. Which he finds to be ''[[OedipusComplex hot]].''
** Howard being the stereotypical television Jewish man will never be rid of his mother, ''in any form.''
* VocalEvolution: Melissa Rauch's voice for Bernadette was always pitched higher than her own natural voice, but her first few episodes it was still fairly natural sounding. Later episodes it is quite higher, almost to HeliumSpeech. Funny enough, when Bernadette gets angry her voice ''lowers'' in pitch.
** Carol Ann Susi as the voice of Mrs. Wolowitz has always had NoIndoorVoice, but was slightly more muted and with less enunciation in her earlier "appearances."
* TheVoice: Howard's mother, Mrs. Wolowitz, [[HeWhoMustNotBeSeen She Who Must Not Be Seen]].
* TheVoiceless: Rajesh, whenever he's with a woman -- unless he's drunk.
** VoiceForTheVoiceless: Howard, who usually just relays what Raj whispers into his ear (though sometimes Howard's annoyed comebacks imply what Raj said well enough). There are also times when Howard will lie about Raj said in order to deflect blame to Raj. Since Raj can't talk, he has no way of refuting the comments.
* VolleyingInsults: Sheldon hates Leslie Winkle for being the only woman able to be actually more deliberately unpleasant and insulting to him than he could be to anybody else. Cue their constant rows when both meet.
%% Wallbangers go on the wallbangers page, not here.

* WackyMarriageProposal: Howard pulls this on Bernadette when she asks where their relationship is going.
** His [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-i proposal]] is both cringeworthy and utterly hilarious. Subverted in that Bernadette sees it as the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for her.
* WalkAndTalk: The central hallway set is redecorated to represent characters consistently have to climb (usually OnceAnEpisode). They use it for a WalkAndTalk in addition to a couple of {{Uncomfortable Elevator Moment}}s. The creators are actually quite proud of this, as it is a unique piece of set design that no other show can claim. Similar shows only get away with an "L" shaped hallway.
* WantsAPrizeForBasicDecency:
** Leonard when he stops himself from having sex with a woman while his girlfriend is in India. After making out with her. Twice.
** Sheldon, any time he does anything even slightly decent.
* UsefulNotes/TheWestCountry: Stephen Merchant, as Amy Farrah Fowler's English admirer, brings a slightly surreal note when he speaks in his native Bristolian accent. British viewers, used to seeing [[Series/{{Frasier}} British people in American TV shows played by actors who put on unconvincing accents]], were pleasantly surprised.
* WetTShirtContest: Penny has won several wet t-shirt contests she never even entered, or at least ''knew'' she'd entered. As she explains to Leonard Hofstadter, it was usually when she was drunk enough to have spilt a lot of drinks over herself.
* WeWantOurJerkBack: In a variation Sheldon balked at switching up his regimented dinner plans and refused to go to Raj's place with his friends. The rest of the group spent the Sheldon-free evening talking about how annoying he could be, only to realize the group felt empty without him around.
-->'''Sheldon''' (knocking on the door): [[RuleOfThree "All my friends." "All my friends." "All my friends."]]
-->'''Howard''': I think it's like ''Film/{{Beetlejuice}}''...we mentioned his name too many times!
* WhamLine:
** From "The Grasshopper Experiment": "Where did my life go, Penny?" Context? Raj was [[DrowningMySorrows drowning his sorrows]] and that was technically ''his first spoken words to Penny'', establishing that being drunk counteracts his selective mutism.
** When Raj behaved obnoxiously while drunk with Penny as his date to a People Magazine function, he tried to apologize while sober via handwrit. Penny refused to read the letter and demanded something verbal, after a few seconds of mustering up the courage he squeaked out "Sorry." which was the first words he has consciously spoken to her without alcohol.
** After Leonard wondered what Penny's feelings were towards him, they had an argument over his neurotic, jealous behavior and she says "You're too hard on yourself, [[TheILoveYouStigma you know I love you]] so can you please relax because you are driving me crazy." Both are stunned almost to the point of tears.
** When Sheldon permits a rumor that he and Amy are having sex (to distract from his subpar work) Penny asked him straight up if they will ever have sex. [[spoiler: After a short monologue about his struggles in dealing with emotional and physical intimacy he concludes with "It's a possibility."]] Once he turns his back Penny silently starts freaking out, clawing Leonard's arm.
** [[spoiler: In the sixth season finale, Raj's female friend Lucy breaks up with him and he has a tearful conversation with Penny the next day. When Penny says that it's just the booze talking, Raj responds "No, it's not... I haven't had a drink since last night..." [[ExplainExplainOhCrap Pause]] as they both realize that he's been conversing with her TOTALLY SOBER.]]
** [[spoiler: In season eight, Amy goes through the motions of telling Sheldon she loves him, reassuring him that he doesn't have to say it himself and especially not if he just thinks that social convention dictates it...but he stuns her by responding "I love you too".]]
*** Given more impact because he said it first.
** Two in the Season 8 finale:
*** After a discussion with Sheldon over Leonard & Penny's hesitation on choosing a wedding date, Penny turns to Leonard...
--->[[spoiler: '''Penny''': I'm free tonight...]]
*** At the end of the episode (which featured a lot of relationship turmoil between Sheldon and Amy), Amy tells Sheldon via Skype that she wants a break. After ending the conversation, Shelton turns to his Gollum action figure...
--->[[spoiler: '''Sheldon''': Well, Gollum...you're an expert on rings...*gets engagement ring out of drawer*...what do I do with this one?]]
** In "The Valentino Submergence", Howard and Bernadette are nursing a rabbit they found drowning in their hot tub back to health. Howard gets bitten by the rabbit and freaks out, and as he goes to the hospital, Bernadette tells the rabbit [[spoiler:"We'll find another time to tell him I'm pregnant."]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** Season 2 episode arc where Leonard dates a medical doctor, Stephanie, who sort of stealth-moves into his apartment. He spends that whole third episode [[CanNotSpitItOut trying to find a way]] to get her to move back out, but being diverted because she keeps jumping his bones. She isn't explicitly stated to have broken up with him (when he finally ''does'' spit it out, her response is to, well, jump his bones)... but by the next episode Leonard appears to be single again, with no mention of Stephanie.
** This was also played with in an episode where Penny decides to stay in Leonard and Sheldon's apartment for the night. Raj walks out of the shot right before she walks into the room and asks to stay. Leonard, Penny, and Sheldon all have the whole argument about her staying there and then, once that's all over and it's decided that Penny stays, they turn out the lights and all go to bed. Cut to Raj, who was in the middle of eating a sandwich in the kitchen. He quietly leaves the room, looking like he has no idea what just happened.
** In "The Psychic Vortex" Raj and Sheldon managed to acquire dates with intelligent and slightly geeky girls (one being played by [[Series/TheWonderYears Danica McKeller]]) named Abby and Martha, and even got a second date shortly after. What made these girls really unique was that the ice-breaker was Sheldon carrying Franchise/GreenLantern's power battery at a party and ''they [[GeekyTurnOn fully knew what it was]];'' they ended up playing ''VideoGame/RockBand'' back at Sheldon's apartment. Not to mention that Sheldon even appeared to enjoy talking with Martha (discussing ''Literature/{{Flatland}}'' among other things) with Raj and Abby making out on the chair. It can be assumed that Sheldon's {{asexual}} nature really disappointed Martha, and that took Abby away from Raj. But these were girls who could relate to them in interests, intelligence and were attracted to them ''because'' of it (not even Penny can really claim that with Leonard), so with no follow up episode it almost seems to be a waste.
* WhatIf: In "The Cooper Extraction", the gang is considering what their lives would have been like if Sheldon weren't in them. The premise is that none of them would know Amy, Bernadette would never have met Howard, and Leonard would not have been dating Penny. Scenarios depicted in the episode include:
** Leonard tries to pick up Penny and [[CannotSpitItOut fails to say anything other than asking for directions to the restroom.]] He is intimidated enough by her presence to piss himself.
** Bernadette meets Howard at the Cheesecake Factory and finds him cute. However she notices Howard having an overly affectionate moment with Raj, and [[MistakenForGay figures they are a gay couple]]. She does not even speak to them.
** Penny ends up with [[DumbIsGood nice but dimwitted]] Zack Johnson. They live together in Penny's apartment. Zack is so naive that he spends their rent money to buy magic beans, in a ShoutOut to ''Literature/JackAndTheBeanstalk''.
** Penny and Sheldon end up neighbours. Penny tries to seduce him in the laundry room. Sheldon is not interested as he is saving himself for someone special.
** Howard never moves out of his mother's home. We hear Debbie Wolowitz shouting for food, claiming that she is starving. Howard brings her food. [[PeekABooCorpse The face of Debbie is revealed to be that of a mummified corpse.]] We hear "Mother" say: "You’re a good boy, Howard, such a good boy." Howard has simply gone insane, treating his dead mother as still living, and having conversations with her. Howard, who narrates this scenario, leaves ambiguous if his mother died of natural causes, starved to death, or if he killed her. The entire scenario is a ShoutOut to ''Film/{{Psycho}}''.
** Leonard moves in with Raj. Giving up on ever having a girlfriend, Leonard no longer cares about the way he looks. He keeps eating Raj's delicious cooking and ends up [[FormerlyFit morbidly obese]]. Raj remains his usual slim self.
** Leonard moves in with Raj. They both let themselves go, ending up morbidly obese.
** Amy remains friendless and has a OnePersonBirthdayParty. She tearfuly sings the "Happy Birthday" song to herself:
-->Happy birthday to me
-->Happy birthday to me
-->There are tears in the frosting
-->Happy birthday to me.
** A morbidly obese Leonard meets Penny at the Cheesecake factory. He tries to pick her up, and Penny tells him that she already has a boyfriend. Said boyfriend then arrives, revealed to be a swave-looking Stuart.
* WhatTheHellHero: In "The Justice League Recombination," Penny and Zack stop by Leonard and Sheldon's apartment. Zack is eager to "talk science with the science dudes," prompting Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj to make fun of him with snide questions and remarks. He doesn't catch on, which only leads to further insults. When Zack eventually does figure it out, he leaves, hurt, and Penny points out that, despite the guys' constant talk of being bullied and mocked, they're acting like complete jerks.
* WhatTheHellIsThatAccent: When Barry Kripke is first introduced with his strange speech impediment (reminiscent of Elmer Fudd), Raj asks "What part of America is that accent from?", but his question is summarily ignored. For the record, it's called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhotacism rhotacism]].
* WithDueRespect: In the episode "The Luminous Fish Effect", Sheldon uses the phrase before delivering an insulting comment to his superior:
--> '''Sheldon:''' I can't believe [the new department head] fired me.
--> '''Leonard:''' Well, you did call him a glorified high school teacher whose last successful experiment was lighting his own farts.
--> '''Sheldon:''' In my defense, I did preface it by saying "with all due respect".
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: The episode "The Staircase Implementation" has Leonard narrating to Penny his first meeting with Sheldon and the events occurring after they moved in together. All happening years before the start of the series. The present-day scenes are only used as a framing device.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Louie/Louise, the previous occupant of Penny's apartment, was a transvestite. Mentioned in the pilot and "The Big Bran Hypothesis" (Season 1, episode 2), seen in the episode "The Staircase Implementation" , a WholeEpisodeFlashback. He/she was a physically imposing African American, presented in a neutral way. Sheldon at least appreciated his/her orderliness: "Because it was immaculate, I mean, you open that man’s closet, it was left to right, evening gowns, cocktail dresses, then his police uniforms."
* WhosOnFirst: "The Alien Parasite Hypothesis" with Amy telling Sheldon about her reaction to Penny's ex, Zack. "Hoo."
** Played with in "The Bozeman Reaction", where Raj ends it quickly.
--> '''Sheldon''': General Tso’s Chicken is no longer listed under specialties. It’s now under chicken.
--> '''Raj''': So?
--> '''Sheldon''': Yes, General Tso.
--> '''Raj''': Not Tso the chicken, so the question. So?
** After Sheldon has explained to Penny that "AFK" stands for "away from keyboard":
--> '''Penny:''' Oh, I see.
--> '''Sheldon:''' What does that stand for?
--> '''Penny:''' Oh, I see?
--> '''Sheldon:''' Yes, but what does it stand for?
* WillTheyOrWontThey: For the first season, Leonard and Penny. [[spoiler:In the first episode of season 3, they do, although they break up at the end of the season. They get back together in season 5, for the 100th episode.]]
* WimpFight: Leonard and Sheldon get into a fight at a seminar in the first season, which is largely a push, shove and slap fight. They are subsequently shown on Website/YouTube and are clearly embarrassed over how silly they look:
--> '''Leonard''': Oh geez. Does this suit really look that bad?
--> '''Sheldon''': Forget your suit, look at my arms waving. I'm like a flamingo on Ritalin.
** The wrestling match between Howard and Raj also counts, the fight being which of the two would be the superhero and which would be sidekick in their imaginary hero team. It consisted of over a half-hour of circling each other on the mat. Leonard fell asleep waiting for something resembling a fight to happen, though their "superhero banter" was above average.
** Also the time Sheldon and Barry played one-on-one basketball for a vacant office. (They chose sports so that they would have a level playing field, since it's they're both equally bad at.) They go forty shots without sinking a single basket. Even Leonard comments that he now understands why they were bullied in high school.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: It's not entirely clear on why Leonard, Howard and Raj are friends with Sheldon and vice-versa. They see him as a source of irritation and make fun of him behind his back. Sheldon meanwhile shows them no respect, ridicules Leonard and Howard's work, and is so stubborn, selfish and demanding that the gang agrees with whatever he wants to do because it's easier than arguing with him.
** Penny once questioned how {{Jerkass}} Sheldon got any friends to begin with. The answer: "We liked Leonard." Sheldon managed to save Leonard's life and kept Leonard out of prison, so he's indebted to Sheldon, but Howard and Raj fall back to "We liked Leonard".
** Although a scene in begin with cheerfully toasting having effectively driven Sheldon out of their lives, it ends with them all lamenting that they actually ''miss him''. Apparently despite his personality faults and aggravation, they actually do like him... they're usually just distracted from doing so by how annoying he is.
** Despite the fact that Raj's friends feel sorry to his face over his inability to keep ([[{{Flanderization}} or nowadays, even get]]) a girlfriend, they constantly run him down as being a pathetic loser for the same reason as soon as he's out of sight. Particularly Howard and Bernadette, who are ''supposed to be his best friends'', and Bernadette refuses to set up or even mention Raj to any of her female friends because she's so embarrassed and disgusted by him. It's apparent that Howard has changed and moved on with his life and hardly cares about Raj anymore (while Raj is still stuck in the same place he was ten years ago, if not worse), and Bernadette only puts up with Raj for Howard's sake. Again, why are these people even supposed to be friends?
** Howard and Sheldon in particular tended to be closer to being enemies in the earlier seasons but this was toned down considerably later.
* WomenAreWiser: Played with. Usually Penny or another female character is the common sense of the group, but sometime Leonard or others, including Sheldon are the ones to point out things the others never seen.
* WomenPreferStrongMen: All of Penny's ex-boyfriends are [[DumbMuscle muscular and dumb]].
* WorthlessForeignDegree: The episode "The Bat Jar Conjecture" features Dmitri, a physicist from the former Soviet Union. His degree is worthless in the United States, forcing him to work as a janitor. He is still more knowledgeable in quantum electrodynamics than both Sheldon and Leslie Winkle.

* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: An in-universe example. Sheldon complains that a renaissance fair gets away with any inaccuracies simply by writing "Ye Olde" in front of everything.
** In another episode he complains that Christmas brings with it overuse of the words "tis" and "twas".
* YouAnsweredYourOwnQuestion: When Penny tells Leonard that everything goes wrong with their relationship when they talk, she adds that she had a relationship with a guy named T.J. and they never talked.
--> '''Leonard''': "Wait, if you guys never talked, what did you... Never mind. Stupid question."
* YouLookFamiliar: In ''The Intimacy Application'', the hostess who shows Emily, Raj, Amy and Leonard into the "[[Series/TheCrystalMaze escape room]]" (where they have to solve a puzzle to get out) appeared in an earlier series[[note]] Series three episode three, ''The Gothowitz Deviation''[[/note]] as one of two Goth girls picked up by Raj and Howard.[[note]] For real TBBT nerds: She was Bethany, played by Molly Morgan[[/note]]
* YouNeverDidThatForMe: Penny mentions Leonard hasn't let her talk him into [[IWantMyBelovedToBeFashionable cooler dressing/hobbies]] as much as he let Priya.
* YourFavorite: For Sheldon - Strawberry Quik
--> '''Sheldon''': "Strawberry Quik!!! My favorite pink beverage! Just beating out Pepto-Bismo!
** When Amy decides it's time their relationship moved ahead (much to Sheldon's protests), she decides to get him to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_conditioning associate all his favorite things with her]]. In addition to the above [[ThroughHisStomach strawberry Quik and spaghetti with little hot dogs cut up in it]], she played the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' theme song and played doctor ''Franchise/StarTrek'' style, uniform and all. [[spoiler:It worked, despite Sheldon's constant insistence that it would not.]]
** For Leonard - German Chocolate Cake.
** Sheldon's favorite Muppet is Swedish Chef.
* YourMom: Invoked by Raj in order to try to get Howard to let go of "The One Ring". Then Sheldon gleefully notes that if they turn on each other, he will get The Ring by default, Raj and Howard to decide to [[EnemyMine team up]] against him. Sheldon lists his mother's faults before they get a chance to, leaving them to bring out the big guns.
--> '''Raj''': All right, not your mother. How about... your ''grandmother''.
--> '''Sheldon''': [[AnythingButThat No!]] I call no Mee-maws!
** Howard's mother is a ''living'' YourMom. It's implied that every single thing said about Mrs. Wolowitz is true, but since [[HeWhoMustNotBeSeen she's never visible on-screen]], the audience simply must [[TakeOurWordForIt Take Their Word For It]] per RuleOfFunny.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZNflEUQeUQ Sheldon]] has his own take on the insult. In "The Pulled Groin Extrapolation", both Penny and Sheldon covet the last dumpling left. Sheldon gives a rather lengthy explanation of why he should have it. Penny replies by simply grabbing the dumpling and eating it. While she still chews, Sheldon says: "I’ve seen pictures of your mother, keep eating." The implication being that Penny's mother is fat and this will be Penny's fate if she keeps eating.
** Brought up by the gang while fighting about who should get tenure.
* YoureNotMyType: In "The Cooper Extraction", several WhatIf scenarios are depicted. In one of them, Penny tries to seduce Sheldon. It doesn't work even when she strips off most of her clothing. Sheldon is simply not attracted to her, and says that he is saving himself for someone special. He suggests his type is "a cute bespectacled neuroscientist with hair the color of mud." In other words Amy, who he doesn't know in this scenario. Naturally, this entire scenario is narrated by Amy.