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As a Fridge subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

Fridge Brilliance
  • In "The Pork Chop Indeterminacy" Missy tells Sheldon that's she's "...always telling people about my brother, the rocket scientist." and Shelodn gets seriously offended. At first it seems like it's just Sheldon insisting on exact terminology, but think about it. What is a "rocket scientist?" It's a type of aerospace engineer, which is what Howard is. And Sheldon is constantly making fun of Howard and engineers, so being referred to as one would be a major insult to him.
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  • In a certain episode of the show Sheldon has Wil Wheaton appear on his show "Fun with Flags." At first it seems odd as Amy, who's behind the camera, would comment that Wil Wheaton is a horrible actor especially as he is being compared to Sheldon who is stif and boring but then again think about it. What does Amy hate more than Sheldon ignoring her? Sheldon ignoring her for something Sci-fi related that she absolutely hates. In fact it may explain why she also called Levar Burton a bad actor as well. You could even say that Amy is trying to convince Sheldon that Star Trek is a bad series and so he would pay more attention to her.
  • How could Leonard put up with Sheldon's antics? Because he's lived with somebody worse: His mother. This also puts a rather Freudian spin on Leonard and Sheldon's relationship. Leonard moved away from his mother, only to move in with his mother. If you buy into one of Freud's most (in)famous theories, it could also put a Ho Yay spin on their relationship.
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  • 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.
  • Where did Sheldon pick up his complete insensitivity on race issues? His mother. And both are mostly innocent about how offensive they're being.
  • Leonard does an awkward thing where he tilts his head back a bit and looks up when talking to people. But 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.
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  • 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 different episodes) 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? It's 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 WoW, 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 Jerkass, betraying the others for money. But consider: Sheldon does not need money. He is contemptuous of attempts to obtain it. He has several thousand dollars 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. It's not uncommon for RPG players to use this as an excuse—but Sheldon is so Literal-Minded it wasn't just an excuse for him.
  • 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, respectively.
    • Parallels can be drawn to the boys' lines of work as well:
      • Raj is a particle astrophysicist — the sea can be likened to space.
      • 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.
  • 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 electrified net that fell on him when they tried to give their apartment a security system.
  • Sheldon's manners:
    • Sheldon's mother drilled manners into him,d 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 convention." 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 convention" 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."
    • Social interaction is to him, as to many people with autism/Aspergers, impenetrable. But being a theoretical physicist, once he understands the rules, he can make sense of how things work, even if he doesn't understand why they work that way.
  • Trains:
    • 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 lived in a smaller town, 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.
    • Sheldon may be Ambiguous Disorder, but a train obsession is pretty stereotypical of Asperger Syndrome.
  • Hot chocolate:
    • 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).
    • 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.
  • 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). 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.
    • Why she named her electric toothbrush "Gerard" took several years to click. Butler is a pretty famous maker of oral hygiene products.
  • 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.
    • There is also a train of logic as to why she reacts like this, unlike Sheldon who, as the spin-off shows, actively chose not to pursue friendships, the snippets that Amy has given about her past imply that conversely she was actively ostracized by her peers as a child despite wanting friends, and as a result for her the blunt, antisocial aloof persona she had at the start of her run on the show was in fact a protective shell, meaning that, as previously stated, she had never had a chance to develop social skills until she starts to open up with Penny and Bernadette, even Sheldon wouldn't help in that regard as her previous persona is almost identical to his own.
  • 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 who 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 6, 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.
  • Wheaton:
    • 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. That episode is literally the first time Wil interacts with Sheldon before Sheldon says something rude to him.
    • This is supported in the episode where he stars on Fun with Flags, as he was perfectly reasonable until Amy began pushing his buttons, and then he snapped and fought back. Maybe Wil Wheaton is just a nice guy who snaps a little too easily to evil whenever people make fun of him?
    • The above theory is more or less proven in The Discovery Dissipation when he reveals to Sheldon how depressed he was over being utterly reviled for playing Wesley Crusher. Considering that he's dealt with people hating him for irrational reasons since he was a young man, it makes sense that being randomly mocked is a huge trigger for him. Acting like a Magnificent Bastard was probably just a defense mechanism for him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When Lucy returns, she's improved emotionally since her breakup with Raj, and is confident enough to request a different waitress when Penny harasses her about how she broke up with Raj. Later, when Raj talks to her, she mentions she's seeing someone. Now, assuming she didn't make him up (which is quite possible), her improved behaviour makes sense. The reason she broke up with Raj was because he was pushing her too quickly for her to handle, because Raj was too desperate for romance. Assuming her new boyfriend didn't have Raj's issues, and pushed her at a healthier pace, she'd be able to deal with her issues much easier and thus, her improved behaviour. Alternatively, she could've been talking bout a therapist rather than a boyfriend.
  • In "The Agreement Dissection", the episode when Priya uses her legal acumen to pick apart the roommate agreement, the boys employ a loophole to order Greek takeout on pizza night. They order Sheldon the lamb kebab, which he tries valiantly to eat but ultimately fails, describing it as "little cubes of charred meat that taste like sweat". On the face of it this seems like a simple Take That! at Greek food. But the thing is, a kebab is meant to be eaten on the spot right after it's pulled off the grill, and if you let them cool down they lose their flavor and texture. Given that the boys specifically went out for Greek food to annoy Sheldon, it's possible, nay, probable, that they intentionally got him the lamb kebab and let it cool off so it would taste bad to him.
  • In "The 21-Second Excitation" Penny prank calls Sheldon. I always wondered why he didn't know it was her since they were both on cell phones and he would have seen her name/number. Then I noticed that after the call Penny tosses the phone to Bernadette, the one person in the group Sheldon might not have listed in his phone.
  • The obvious main reason why Penny doesn't like Priya is jealousy over Leonard, but it runs deeper than that. Priya is, in many ways, her complete opposite: she's highly educated and very intelligent, she comes from a rich academic family, and because she's Raj's sister and Leonard's girlfriend, she was immediately welcomed into the group while Penny had to get to know them all over a long time. That's reason enough for her to be insecure, but pay attention to how Priya actually treats Leonard: she doesn't let him hang out with Penny, she buys him clothes to match her level of sophistication, she criticizes his nerdy paraphernalia, and when pressed, she throws him under the bus to keep her parents from finding out about them. Priya wasn't just dating Leonard, she was trying to change him. Either she really did plan to introduce him to her parents and wanted him to make a good impression, or she just plain didn't think he was good enough for her and set out to improve him. And to top it all off, she ended up cheating on him anyway! Penny, on the other hand, may have cracked jokes like everybody else, but she never tried to stop any of the boys from being their terminally-nerdy selves. Penny loves Leonard just the way he is, and more importantly, she's extremely protective of them, especially where it concerns beautiful women who use sex to manipulate men.
    • Not only that, but as noted, she's highly educated, from a rich family, and has stable, excellent job prospects-all guaranteed to make Penny, who feels very insecure about those things, feel even worse.
  • In the Season Eight finale, when Sheldon asks Amy if he should watch The Flash (2014). It seems like he's just being his usual nerdy self, but he's leading to a bigger question by starting with something small. Well done, writers, not just in the noted Bait-and-Switch but in having Sheldon do things "his way" all the time!
  • When Penny asked Leonard to pretend that they were back together in front of her father, she was conflicted at first, and even annoyed by Leonard's eagerness to help. However, she was unwilling to tell her father the truth until she called him while he was hanging out with Leonard. What made her finally confess? Simple: Leonard said "I love you" to her on the phone. Even fake confessions of love bring out Penny's fear of commitment.
  • In the episode where the gang finds a ring from Lord Of the Rings, and argue over what to do with it, each represent a different character from the movie.
    • Howard wants to use it to bribe Peter Jackson, so that he got a role in an other movie. Gaining advantage from the original owner is a motive I can imagine for Saruman.
    • Raj wants to use it to get money, much like Boromir who wanted to restore Gondor's glory, probably extending it to rule Middle Earth.
    • Sheldon just wants the ring for himself: definitely Gollum.
    • Leonard is about to return the ring: He is Frodo.
  • In "The Ear Worm Reverberation", Bernadette asks Amy if she really wants to be intimate with Dave, who is 6'7". At first, it just seems like Bernadette thinks this way because she's so small. But think back to "The Love Car Displacement," where we met one of her exes, Glenn. Who is played by Rick Fox...who is almost 6'7".
  • "The Opening Night Excitation":
    • It does seem strange that Sheldon was perfectly fine with giving his virginity to Amy. However, Sheldon is a man who prides himself on logic. To him, it made logical sense that the next step in his relationship with her would be sex.
    • The nervousness that Amy displayed over it was paralleled to the nervousness that Leonard, Raj and Howard showed over whether or not the new Star Wars film would be good. The title of the episode fits here: Opening night is basically the first time a movie is being shown. So, the first time for Amy was also the first time for the guys with the new film. Both were satisfied.
  • In a previous season four episode, a rumor spread that Bernadette was going to break up with Howard. Odd, considering how Bernie spends most of the episode not acting like someone considering a breakup. This rumor makes sense once you consider who started it: Penny, who was totally alone at the time. Like Raj, the thought of those two breaking up probably made her happy, since she wouldn't be the only miserable one anymore. She probably heard Bernie complaining about something Howard did, and jumped to the wrong conclusion.
    • A similar case may have occurred in the season four finale. Bernadette gets her PH.D., and Howard barely has a few seconds to congratulate her before Penny leads the charge in teasing him for his lack of a doctorate. Again, she was feeling crappy about herself at the time, which may have led to her affair with Raj, and wanted someone else to feel bad for a while.
  • It has frequently been mentioned on the show that Wednesday is comic book night. Now, those not that immersed in geek culture might figure this is more of Sheldon's pedantic insistence on a schedule. However, as anyone who frequents a comic store can tell you, Wednesday IS when new issues are delivered to the stores, and our boys would want to read the fresh material before anyone else had a chance to put out any spoilers.
  • The 2015 Valentine's Day episode where it's revealed (to the audience; not Howard) that Bernadette is pregnant. Howard and Bernadette's plot involved them being unable to use their hot tubs because a rabbit was found nearly drowning in it. It's struck me as strange that Bernadette was about to get into a hot tub, despite knowing she was pregnant. In the very next episode she even tells Penny and Amy she can't use hot tubs until after she gives birth. It finally hit me: Bernadette had planned on using the hot tubs as a way of revealing to Howard that she was pregnant (it's just the drowning rabbit threw a kink in that plan). And, now I feel stupid.
  • Why dose Beverly Hofstadter keep appearing in spite of being The Scrappy? Because her entire character is one giant Take That, Audience!. You don't have to look further than this very site to see that fans like to use Insane Troll Logic to excuse Sheldon of his Jerkass behavior and blame all the problems on the others (especially Leonard), so they introduced Beverly who takes all of Sheldon's negative traits Up to Eleven, and still brings out the worst in him, with no Refuge in Audacity. Much like how fans will make any excuse to make Sheldon come off as the good guy and Leonard the bad guy Beverly insists that all the problems with their relationship are Leonard's fault and everyone just goes along with it to spite the fact that she's clearly a terrible mother and yet she still maintains a career as a child psychiatrist. Basically This Jerkass is you.
  • It makes sense that the baby would react positively to Stewart; her parents talk in loud and panicked voices when she cries. Stewart talks with a monotone AKA a calmer voice which lets her know things are okay.
  • In "The Griffin Equivalency", Leonard and the others are annoyed with Raj's ego, but they are willing to put up with it for the time being. What makes them stop is simple: Raj asks Penny to attend a party in his honor, and then brags about it to Leonard.
  • Penny struggling with her acting career in season seven was presented as a sad storyline, especially when her cameo in NCIS was cut. However, there may be a reason for that happening: at the beginning of the episode, when she excitedly informs everyone of the part, she doesn't seem to even remember the name of the show. She acted like she cared more about acting against Mark Harmon than the actual part. That attitude may have come across in her scene.
    • Another reason may be that she lacks the passion needed for it. In a season six episode, she complains to Bernadette that Leonard is passionate for things in a way that she can never be. Bernadette suggests making a list of things that she cares about to see what she was passionate about. Penny's response: "That's gonna be a lot of work!" One would think that an aspiring actress would list ACTING as something she was passionate about. She even moved from her hometown in Nebreska to pursue it, and later quit her waitressing job to commit to it more. However, it could be that as time went on, and her struggles persisted, she became more jaded and less passionate about her career choices. It was already showing in her work as a waitress; maybe it began to show in her work as an actress. It could be the real reason why she was cut from the NCIS episode, as well as what led to her eventually giving up acting.
  • In season nine, Sheldon pissed off just about everyone with his behavior during a time when he was sick. He then apologized to them, and they all forgave him except Raj's girlfriend Emily, who was even more insulted by his apology (he insulted her job). This is due to the fact that she wasn't used to Sheldon's typical behavior, even after nearly two years of dating Raj. However, she never really had the chance to do so since she didn't really spend that much time with the group: the few times she hung out with Howard, she only saw him in a negative way (attacking Stewart, not wanting to help the homeless at Thanksgiving, ruining her toilet), she hated Penny for her past hookup with Raj, she and Amy stopped hanging out after the episode where she was introduced, she had little to no interaction with Leonard but did walk in him dressed in Penny's underwear (to prove a point, but still), and while she and Bernadette didn't have any negative interactions, she probably didn't think too highly of someone who willingly married Howard. Heck, she and Raj even struggled from time to time. So, unlike Amy and Bernadette, who were immediately integrated into the group once they started dating Sheldon and Howard, Emily spent most of the time separated from them. In hindsight, this foreshadowed the end of her relationship with Raj.
  • Bernadette has been getting more annoyed with Howard's geeky hobbies, as of late. It happens even when it shouldn't be a problem for her at all. This makes no sense until you consider who she hangs out with: Penny, who has never liked any of those things in the first place, and Amy, who resents anything that takes away Sheldon's attention to her and has also been influenced by her friendship with Penny (Penny probably mentioned many times that having geeky hobbies like what Leonard and co have is dumb, and Amy has been following her lead since).
  • In one episode Lenard, Howard and Raj go to Texas to pick up Sheldon from his mothers house, Howard feel he needs to blend in so he buys a cowboy hat and starts taking with a fake accent, Mary is at first amused by this but when she asked the boys if they wanted a drink and he requested a "Lone Star beer" she snapped at him that they didn't keep beer in her house and ordered him to take off the hat. Considering Sheldon's late father was said to be The Alcoholic (Lone Star, in fact, appears to have been his preferred brand) and the way their marriage was always described it makes sense that this would be her Berserk Button.
  • "The Opening Night Excitation" has Sheldon giving away his ticket for the movie. He gives it to Leonard, only to take it back when Leonard suggests giving it to Penny. It comes off as petty until you remember that Penny HATES Star Wars. Sheldon could have done this so that someone who would actually have a good time at the showing could go instead.
  • In "The Jiminy Conjecture", Howard pits his Fantastic Four issue against Sheldon's Flash issue in a wager to see who was right about the cricket. While it makes sense why Sheldon would pick the Flash, one has to wonder why Howard would choose the Fantastic Four. Think about it: The Fantastic Four are called the First Family of Marvel Comics, and two of its members are happily married with two children. Now, between Howard, Raj, Leonard and Sheldon, which one of them was not only the first one to get married, but is now a father with a second child on the way? Howard's future was being foreshadowed with that reference!
  • After Sheldon and Bert had a falling out, Leonard teamed up with Bert for the very petty reason of wanting to learn how to stand up to Sheldon. What Leonard doesn't realize is that it was very easy for Bert: He wasn't really friends with Sheldon to begin with, and he actually has a healthy level of self-esteem. Therefore, he was able to reject Sheldon without a second thought.
  • In "The Solo Oscillation", Sheldon returned to string theory with Penny's help. This happened because Penny, while not a scientist, managed to give him a new perspective on the subject. Apparently, all Sheldon needed was some fresh eyes.
  • Sheldon often states that he doesn't think Penny and Leonard would be a good couple. Why? Here's the thing: Leonard and Penny, as it's often heavily implied, act as his Parental Substitutes. They bicker Like an Old Married Couple, take care of him, more or less indulge his temper tantrums but also put their feet down when he goes too far, give him advice, etc. OK, so why does that mean that Sheldon isn't a Shipper on Deck? Because his parents did not have a good relationship! His dad cheated on his mom, and the three of them often did not have what could be called a healthy, understanding relationship before that. When Sheldon sees Leonard and Penny interacting, he's thinking of his own parents' relationship and how it worked out.
  • In "The Prestidigitation Approximation", Sheldon's inability to figure out Howard's card trick reflects a real-life flaw of many scientists who investigate paranormal claims that skeptics like James Randi (former professional magician) have pointed out: scientists sometimes don't take into account the possibility of people who claim paranormal abilities are simply lying.
  • For years, Sheldon has expressed a hatred of Geology that no one has ever understood. Thanks to Young Sheldon, we know why: Sheldon had his first experience with heartbreak on the show, and the girl he liked happened to be a Geology fan. Anyone who has had a bad/painful experience tends to dislike/fear anything associated with it.
  • In season nine, Sheldon and Leonard had an argument during which Leonard called him out for not letting him move out and live with Penny. Later on, Leonard and Penny went to bed in Penny's apartment...only to be told to keep it down by Sheldon, who was sleeping on the couch. At first, this looks like Sheldon was still being Sheldon. However, not only was he letting Leonard and Penny be together in her apartment like they were supposed to, he was actually on the couch as opposed to her bed, like he usually does whenever he stays over at her place. Growth for Sheldon has occurred; he heard what Leonard said and took it to heart as best as he could.
  • Sheldon spent the whole of one episode trying to befriend Barry Kripke in order to have access to a lab. However, that friendship ended when Barry revealed that he doesn't control who gets access to the lab. Notice that as soon as he said that, the camera panned to a nervous Leonard. That is because Leonard was the one who told Sheldon the bad information about Barry and the lab. He was probably worried that Sheldon would blame him!
  • In "The Holiday Summation, Bernadette calms down considerably once she finally figures out that her staying with Halley in the crib makes her stop crying. Not only does this mean she now has a way to keep the baby from crying all night and keeping her awake, but it also effectively squashes her fear that she can't calm her baby because Halley hates her; Halley may have been crying at least partly because she wanted her mommy.
  • A Meta one, why does Word of God refuse to admit that Sheldon is on the autistic spectrum? Well people on the spectrum behave differently, not by choice but because they are wired differently (please note that this Troper is autistic, and can identify with Sheldon sometimes), so a lot of Sheldon's more Jerkass personality traits as well as his obsessive dedication to routine and order aren't his fault. So how would that reflect on the gang, who frequently make fun of ''exactly those traits''? Admitting Sheldon is autistic would be possibly the largest mass-"Funny Aneurysm" Moment in the history of sit-coms.
  • In the YMMV page someone paints Leonard as the victim of the episode where Priya deconstructed the roommate agreement, and sure he does end up worse off for it, but I'd say it's Laser-Guided Karma. Because while yes, Sheldon used the roommate agreement to make Leonard do his bidding, but we all ignore several things. 1; Sheldon explained the roommate agreement when Leonard was negotiating moving in. He could have refused, or asked for a lawyer, but instead he signed it. He agreed to a legal contract, knowing what it would entail and then constantly complained about it, as opposed to say, not agreeing to move in. Furthermore in the episode, he and Pryia don't just make life easier for Leonard, no they use the loopholes she finds to torment Sheldon, making life in his apartment unbearable, going so far as to get food Leonard dislikes, just to punish Sheldon, particularly if you regard the above bit of fridge, and suddenly Leonard comes off as a real Jerkass. Also Sheldon's 'threat' is to tell Pryia's parents she's in a relationship, something she already should have done; the fact is that comparatively, Sheldon could've done a lot worse to them, and fighting dirty wasn't even his idea, it was Amy's.
  • In "The Intimacy Acceleration", Amy, Leonard and Raj hang out while Sheldon and Penny do the test. Raj starts asking the other two the same questions that Sheldon and Penny have to answer. When Leonard is asked who he wants to have dinner with, he answers "Penny". Amy then sarcastically responds that she wants a mop because she is about to throw up! This is uncharacteristic angry behavior from Amy at first, until it becomes clear that she has to heard that type of answer from Leonard, who is engaged to Penny at the time, while knowing that Sheldon would never answer "Amy" if asked the same question. Indeed, when Sheldon is asked this by Penny, he answers "Myself". This may actually be a case of Foreshadowing, for later on Amy gets fed up and dumps Sheldon. It's also ironic, seeing as how Penny and Leonard start having problems around the same time.
  • The latest episode had Wil Wheaton invite Stuart to a D&D game with all of his celebrity friends and not the other guys. While Wil Wheaton stated that the others just wanted to use him to meet the others, it's also because Stuart was already friends with Wil from the beginning, going back to the third season. He has probably already met them before!
  • When Howard sings his romantic song for Bernadette while she's stuck in quarantine, one of the first lines is "I'd be Doctor Who without the TARDIS". Howard is established as a big fan of the series and so he of all the cast should know that the main character is called "The Doctor" and not "Doctor Who". While is probably just a mistake by the writers to have Howard sing it that way, the Fridge Brilliance comes in that there is a way to reconcile it. Howard could be saying that he'd be the TV Show without it's iconic spaceship, so in effect it would be similar to saying "I'd be Star Trek without the Enterprise" or "I'd be Star Wars without the Millennium Falcon".

Fridge Horror

  • Supervillain:
    • 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.
      • An issue of Batman lampshades this in the same way, remarking on how despite Gotham's a poor and dreary city, its criminals seem to be the most well-educated in the world.
  • Bernadette seems to have taken part in many bio-terrorism activities she just splurts out in conversation.
  • When Sheldon, down in the dumps after Kripke 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.
  • When Howard mentions that his ancestors were once neighbors 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.
  • Leonard's mother:
    • Leonard's mother picks on him about "going left" during breastfeeding to the point that she ended up lopsided, but normally, a baby breastfeeds on whichever side they're facing when their mother holds them. She was so averse to holding Leonard and compromising her research that she refused to pick him up even to feed him. It might be even more callous. Beverly obviously knows that breast feeding is best for the baby, but always puts him to her left breast - leaving her right hand free to write.
    • Not only was she a poor parent to little Leonard, but a poor scientist in her research. She callously mocks him for things he did as a child AND submits fraudulent research. And I only say the later because she limited her interactions with HER OWN SON to ways that were most convenient for her, therefore compromising her experiments before they could even begin.
  • Sheldon revealed to Penny the reason why he always knocks three times: It's to give people "time to put their pants on", because he caught his father having sex with another woman and was so hurt that he never spoke to him again. Since his father died when Sheldon was still young, we might see this entire scenario actually happen at some point on "Young Sheldon". It's especially harsh because part of the first episode of that series was Sheldon bonding with his father, and eventually that will all be lost and he'll never get it back.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Leonard has changed a lot due to Penny's influence, like standing up to Sheldon more. The old Leonard was never as open or bold as he is now. However, the old Leonard would have never even thought of doing things like cheating on her. How much of his cheating on her while on a boat two years prior to their wedding is a result of her influence? Also, how much of his cheating on her is some form of karma for all of the times she has admitted to stealing other girls' boyfriends and cheating on men she was dating?
  • In one of her first appearances, Sheldon's mother makes an off-hand comment about how her other two children are "dumber than soup". Young Sheldon makes clear that Missy always felt stupid compared to Sheldon, despite being exceptionally perceptive and emotionally intelligent. Later seasons reveal that George basically took responsibility for the household after his father's death, and ultimately built a very successful business from the ground up. Even after all of this, both Sheldon and Mary basically dismiss their accomplishments. Both George and Missy clearly got ignored, and likely internalized the narrative that they weren't smart enough. As sweet and doting as Mary Cooper appears from Sheldon's perspective, she more or less neglected her other two children and never gave them the validation or approval they needed.
    • Though possibly, part of it is just that, as Leonard will tell you, no matter how smart you are, when you live in the same household as Sheldon Cooper, you're inevitably going to get Overshadowed by Awesome, even without your mom not giving you much credit.

Fridge Logic

On the headscratchers page.


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