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     Just intriguing, really. 
  • not really a Headscratcher... but. A question from Britain. The American Accents page says there is such a thing as a distinct Pasadena accent. does that come out anywhere on this show? Thanks!
    • Listen to Sheldon's mother. Hers is very distinct.
      • Sheldon's mother lives in Texas, so wouldn't she would have a Texan accent?
      • Yes, Sheldon's mother has a rural Texas accent.
  • It's worth pointing out that none of the characters in the show actually grew up in Pasadena; the closest is Amy, who comes from Glendale. (This troper lives in LA and has never heard of the 'Pasadena accent' either, but that's another issue.) As a result, none of them have it.

     Is Sheldon Coming Back? 
  • I was just wondering.
    • He'll be back, he's just gone cause he needs sometime to clear his head and make some important choices about his life.
    • Sheldon is the linchpin of the entire show. They might have him leave and ever come back if they were ending the show, but they've got at least two more seasons coming down the pipe.
    • Apparently Series 8 is scheduled to begin screening in the USA on 22nd September 2014. We shall see!

    Series Six-Seven cliffhanger: Icebergs? In the North Sea? 
  • Leonard is depicted on board the research ship in the North Sea, at a late rowdy party. Somebody calls "Iceberg!" He explains to a worried Penny over the Internet link that there's no danger - every time somebody spots an iceberg, they have to take a drink. It must be a dry ship or a very teetotal party, then. Icebergs as good as never enter the North Sea. This is a body of water in northern Europe with only two ways of entering it from the Atlantic: the northern gap between Scotland and Norway, or else via the English Channel to the south. The Gulf Stream surges up the coast of Britain and Ireland drawing warm water from the Caribbean: while icebergs calved in Arctic waters do drift this south, this is where they come to die. They have melted in the Gulf Stream long before they can get into the North Sea. Bit of a fail here! I've taken ferries from Britain to Norway and Denmark in winter - never seen an iceberg, not even once.

    • Alternatively, someone yells out "Iceberg!" and everyone takes a drink. The iceberg in question need not be real, as the point of drinking games is to drink, so they just make up any excuse they can get their hands on.

    • Ah. The Rule of Funny thing!

    Where is Sheldon's railway set? 
  • One issue that bugs me. Sheldon is depicted as a train buff who visits model railway stores. I don't think I've seen every episode yet - scheduling in Britain is erratic and definitely not in sequence. But it's axiomatic that model railway buffs have layouts which are as big and sophisticated as time and space allow. I've met railway buffs, I've seen their layouts, I've heard them described, very pointedly, as "permanent way" - emphasis on the word "permanent". One railway addict I know, told a baby was on the way (and where did he find the time to conceive? Or even marry??) elected to move to a bigger house - rather than surrender the spare bedroom where he'd installed his permanent way to the needs of a child. I'm pretty sure if his wife gets pregnant again he'll insist they move to a house with another spare room. Somebody as ubernerd as Sheldon must have a permanent layout somewhere that he is continually adding to, refining, and updating. It would be out of character for him not to. So - where is it?
    • It's axiomatic that anything described as axiomatic is not axiomatic and very much a case by case (Irony!). Sheldon is not the people you've met. Never has been, never will be. So no, it's not out of character for him to not have a permanent setup. :)
    • Interesting point. Thinking about it, model railway fans, whilst not being complete obsessives, allow it to take over all aspects of their life to the point where devoting attention to anything else is done reluctantly and resentfully. If Sheldon had a dedicated railway room (and here I wonder - why waste a spare bedroom on a pesky Room Mate?) he'd be in there 'all the time'' and nothing else would get done, not even the physics... which screws the show. I've also caught up with an orphaned episode where he buys a disappointingly minimalist train set that just chugs around in a circle on a table-top. I gather before this, he was hooked on what we in Europe would call 0-gauge, which is big-scale: this is where you start thinking about having permanent way outdoors in a garden, or a small field. It's at the big end of indoor. In this episode, Sheldon is persuaded to step down to the smaller 00-gauge (about 1:87). He then steps beyond this to N-gauge (1:144) in a passion of miniaturization.
      • I'm sorry, what? "allow it to take over all aspects of their life to the point where devoting attention to anything else is done reluctantly and resentfully"? As a model railroader myself, and someone who knows quite a few others, I must ask where you got this information? Because it's completely inaccurate and insulting. Model railroading is a hobby, nothing more, just like golf or fishing.
      • Just a couple of corrections. American models are made to HO scale (1:87). 00 Scale is 1:76, using the same gauge of track as HO, and is only used for British models. In the same vein, 1:144 is British N scale only, with N scale models in other countries built to a scale of 1:160. Again, both scales use the same track gauge. This is due to the fact that real-life British engines are built to a smaller loading gauge than those in other countries. As such, they originally had to be built to a slightly larger scale to accommodate the large, crude electric motors of the 1950s/1960s. Technology Marches On, however, and now British modelers are stuck with these different scales.
    • But I do question whether a train buff would take a delicate and expensive N-gauge loco and put it in his mouth just to prove a point...
      • It would depend on the brand. Some trains (especially those in starter sets) are more toy-like than models, with molded-on details that aren't that breakable. Then again, there's a question of grease...
    • Maybe he uses a spare room at the university, like the one he was using for Hacky Sacking. Or rents a storage unit or something. Frankly I'm surprised that they didn't do a "Penny accidentally steps on/insults Sheldon's train set, he gets mad and reveals that trains have some psychological childhood nostalgia for him, and she has to find a way to make it up to him" episode.

    Why do the guys have money issues? 

  • A couple plot points centre on money issues for the guys (the time machine episode, for example). The thing is, they live in a very small apartment in a very crappy apartment building (or with their mother), yet are science professors at a university whose income should exceed $100,000 a year. That they are having financial troubles is rather hard to believe, especially considering Penny can somehow afford to stay in the same building.
    • They're researchers, not professors. And researchers make crap money (unless you're Brian Greene or Stephen Hawking). The money that research gets in most universities goes into their projects, not their pockets. From my post-collegiate years (admittedly as a mathematician, not a physicist, but they're pretty much the same thing when it comes to product) I lived like a pauper. I'm shocked that they have as much disposable income as they do. The episodes where Raj gets mentioned in People, and the Korean kid pretty much epitomizes how the academic research world works. It's bragging rights for the institute and they'll pay to keep you around.
    • My father who is now deceased was also a university professor in LA County working on a cure for colorectal cancer. He only made middle-income while working on machines that cost $500,000 each and his university's vice president only promised him money in the 7 figures if he successfully materialized said cure. After he died, the vice president donated to me a good amount of money.
    • I can confirm this - Researchers get almost no money.
    • Bernadette claims that while as a microbiologist she makes plenty of money, her husband Howard does not as an aeronautics engineer.
    • Penny is abusing some rent thing or other, mooches a number of things off the guys (like their internet connection), and still can't make rent on a lot of months (with low tipping at the Cheesecake Factory, no acting jobs, or both). At least Leonard, Sheldon, and Raj are researchers that just work for the university (Raj's research being on a shoestring budget even before it was cancelled and he had to be hired on as an assistant for Sheldon), not actually professors, and all of them spend quite a bit of money on games, consoles, PC upgrades, comics, and collectibles. I don't know what Howard's excuse is, but does it ever mention whether or not his mom is employed? He might be paying for the mortgage, food, and utilities himself. And even though Sheldon is on a pretty high-ranking assignment, and probably gets one of the comparatively highest researcher salaries in the university, he has been known to say You Never Asked a time or two hundred. And since the guys order Chinese or Thai food four to six nights a week (and that's usually one of the things Penny just joins in on since it's been shown that she at least sometimes doesn't chip in for the cost of the order), that really adds up.
    • Sheldon has been shown a few times to have more money than he needs. He simply didn't care about money until Season 11's "The Monetary Insufficiency".
    • In one episode it was shown that Sheldon doesn't cash all of his paychecks. He keeps them in a desk drawer.
    • Side issue - do researchers at prestigious American universities really get paid by checks/cheques that they have to pay in to the bank? Don't you have automated direct deposit facilities over there?
    • We do, but most employers still give you the option of direct deposit or a physical paycheck. Sheldon being Sheldon, he probably has some neurotic reason that only makes sense to himself for not using direct deposit.
    • In another, he loans Penny a wad of cash that he keeps in a novelty can of snakes (not to mention "a couple of fifties in Green Lantern's ass" as Leonard puts it to Howard). He explains that he makes more money than he spends and just has extra thousands lying around that she's welcome to. That brought the question to mind of why he would want a roommate, since he seems to be so annoyed by people and doesn't need any help paying the rent, which seems more glaring than why there are occasionally money worries in the cast.
    • In the same episode that he lends Penny money Sheldon also says that his expenses only take up 49% of his earnings. Assuming that he means things like rent, cable, and utilities and not entertainment like comics, then if he didn't have a roommate his expenses would claim somewhere around 98% of his pay.
    • Sheldon needs a roommate to deal with certain things he refuses to do, most prominently, driving.
    • Lets face it, Sheldon needs a room-mate in the same way a blind person needs a seeing-eye dog. He would be completely lost without him.
    • I always thought Sheldon was just a miser. He probably had so much money saved up from his past jobs that he has a healthy pillow fund, on top of having nobody to spend said money on like children. I've met a lot of people like that who had a rather low salary, yet were rolling in disposable income because they saved almost everything up from the past and/or had a trust fund that they were hesitant to withdraw from.
    • In the time machine episode, Leonard says that he doesn't have that kind of money to spend on a time machine; maybe he just sets a certain amount of disposable income per month and is hesitant to exceed that. As for Howard, it's never said that he lives with his mother for financial reasons; Howard is occasionally frustrated with his mother, but as a whole he enjoys being taken care of. As stated above, he may indeed be paying the bills, but either way it fits his "30-year-old teenager" persona. Raj has his own reasonably-well-furnished apartment, despite he and Howard taking turns as the workplace Butt Monkey.
    • Actually did some research on the whole topic when discussing this topic on another forum. Sheldon and Leonard have likely already finished their post-doc work and are on their Tenure Track. Sheldon, being older and acquired his doctorate earlier, may already be an Assistant Professor. According to this bell curve the average income for a Assistant Professor is $56,000, with anything above $80,000 being rare. Even Associate Professors only average $67,000. While certainly a very stable job it wouldn't make them extremely wealthy but would still leave a lot of disposable income for two single guys living in an apartment.
    • They also have a **load of expensive modern electronics and technical equipment lying around, which is, all things considered, probably their first financial priority.
    • It is true that they are researchers, not professors (except for Wolowitz, who is an engineer). That said, they work at Caltech, one of the premier universities for physics research and appear to be highly accomplished (although not enough to get a Nobel Prize as of yet). They should be comfortable, but not rich. Given their lifestyle (eating out every day, tons of collectibles such as trading card games, video games and systems, comic books, DVDs, memorabilia, and their tendency to build crazy electronic devices in their spare time) it is not surprising they don't have a lot of extra income, even given that their monthly bills shouldn't be that high given that Sheldon and Leonard share the apartment, Wolowitz lives with his mother, and Raj has rich parents. As a side note on Wolowitz, it is a bit confusing when Bernadette gets her new microbiology research position (in industry, so she should make more than Sheldon/Leonard/Raj) and everyone acts like she will now be the breadwinner for Wolowitz. Except Wolowitz is an Aerospace Engineer who has worked on several distinguished projects including the international space station and has even been offered a chance to go into space. He should easily be the most well off among them (besides Raj obviously).
    • (Speaking as a non-faculty academic with two masters) Wolowitz is likely making far less than a standard engineer's salary, precisely because he's working on cool stuff. A place like Cal Tech will be a place where people take a hit to work at. I'd bet that somebody like him would be pulling down $60K or so (USD). And he's paying off an MIT master's degree on that. If he was willing to work on cars rather than Space Stuff, he'd probably add $40-30K.
    • It's never been suggested that Howard is wanting for money, just that Bernadette will be making more than he will. This on its own could just come down to variance between the application of their fields or the money available from their specific employers. Maybe it would not be such in the real world, but it's not shown that Howard is poor or even that the difference between their salaries is very significant. It's also very likely that a large reason Bernadette's parents push her to get a pre-nup is because they don't like Howard very much. From Howard and Bernadette's conversation about potentially having children in the future, it appears that either of them could support the family financially if the other chose to stay home with the children.
    • Howard does have at least one expense the others don't, too. Unlike Leonard and Sheldon, Howard obviously has a massive wardrobe and both he and Raj are interested in (though not adept at) fashion. One of the bonus features included in the DVD sets shows that while there is one wardrobe room for the characters of Raj, Sheldon and Leonard, there is a completely separate room for Howard's wardrobe. On top of his many pants, shirts, jackets, shoes, etc, he also has hundreds of belt buckles and a fairly large collection of miscellaneous pins and accessories (which tend to be pretty expensive to collect). It's reasonable to assume that a significant portion of his salary is going toward these things, whereas Leonard and Sheldon seem to have a much more reasonable rotation of t-shirts, pants and jackets.
    • That isn't the point, though. How is Penny affording this apartment with a job at the CHEESECAKE FACTORY?
    • Probably the same way other people afford apartments, with her PAYCHECK.
    • Penny's borrowed money from both Leonard and Sheldon to pay rent. It wouldn't be shocking if it turns out that Penny has been borrowing money from other men with false, empty promises of ever paying them back. And we've been told that Penny likes to sleep with other men for money, which could explain why she keeps inviting a long list of men into her apartment.
    • As Penny puts it, "I'm cute! I get by!" (Season 4's "The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification")
    • She may also be getting financial help from her parents. She's only 22 years old when the first season starts. Even though she is trying to be completely self-sufficient, it's not unreasonable to think that when she mismanages her money or gets in a serious bind, her parents loan her a little bit of money to get by until her next paycheck. Obviously they aren't giving her enough to completely live off of (or she wouldn't have had a few instances of thinking she would have to move), but that doesn't mean she's not getting any help at all from them.
    • As explained in the "Friends" Rent Control page, they live in Pasadena, where apartments tend to be a bit cheaper, and Penny lives in a one bedroom as opposed to Leonard and Sheldon's two bedroom, so her rent is going to be cheaper than theirs, so it's not a stretch that she could just get by as a waitress. She wouldn't exactly have money to burn, but she wouldn't be homeless, either, and she would still run into months when people aren't tipping as much and she runs into a bit of financial trouble.
    • A lot of apartment buildings in big cities have apartments on one side that have a view, and on the other side, overlook the alley— or are just feet from the next building. In those sorts of buildings, the apartments with the view may cost almost twice as much as the ones that overlook the alley. They're usually constructed to reflect the fact that the view costs more. The apartments with the view have full windows, terraces, full kitchens, large livings rooms, two or three bedrooms, and wood floors. The ones without are one bedroom efficiencies with carpeting (unless they're old), or studios. There might be one two-bedroom per floor on the alley side.
  • They spend money on stupid things. Raj spends on fancy foods, self-care products, alcohol, and his dog. Howard...well, look at his room in his mom's house! Satin sheets, huge figurines, light-up lightsabers, models upon models (though not the kind he'd like best of all), etc. Leonard splurges on things like time machines, probably has to pay extra for gas since he drives Sheldon everywhere, and has massive piles of collectible comics. Sheldon is an avid video game consumer and he actually buys DVD boxsets for his favorite movies and TV shows that could definitely cost hundreds to thousands of dollars (but most likely that's CBS telling us the viewers not to do Internet piracy). The guys are often seen at the comic book store, so that just exacerbates their spending.
    • To be precise, they almost never buy something from the comic book store, they just read the comics there and put them back in the shelves when done. "Santa Stimulation" even proves that Leonard (and most likely so do the rest of the guys) does most of his shopping on Amazon instead of at Stuart's store.

    How did Leslie heat the noodles up that way? 
  • In the second episode, how did Leslie heat up the cup of noodles from the side with a laser without melting or burning a hole in the Styrofoam cup? I thought that the cup had simply been set aside, and I simply was not noticing the container in which she was heating it (particularly since Leonard mentioned that he had also used the same type of laser to heat minestrone, which usually comes in a can), but then the end of the scene shows her with the cup of noodles, and that... makes no sense.
    • Well, there are surgical lasers which can be calibrated to only burn at a certain point. They are typically used for tumor removal in hard-to-reach/dangerous-to-operate-on areas, like the brain. If the laser was calibrated to heat the direct center of the cup, you wouldn't have to worry about melting the container.
    • Am I the only one who noticed the mirrors/prisms that redirected the laser into the top of the cup?
    • Apparently. Thank you!
    • Umm, since lasers don't really stop, wouldn't that just punch a hole through the bottom of the cup?
    • It's a liquid. Reflection, refraction, diffusion and a bunch of other things happen when you run light through a liquid medium, particularly one that has stuff in it and that you happen to be heating.
    • Also remember they're not movie lasers, they're meant to be more realistic. Remember when Leonard mentions that he's being funded to see if he can use lasers to shoot down missiles, Penny asks him if that's possible and he gives a merry "Oh hell no!" The lasers in the Caltech lab are basically equivalent to a really good magnifying glass and the noonday sun (as seen when they're again being used recreationally, this time for Leonard to blow off steam by setting action figures on fire with them).

    Why was Sheldon the one who got his reputation destroyed? 
  • In the first episode of Season Three, it is revealed that the data Sheldon gathered about magnetic monopoles (the entire reason they went to Antarctica) was falsified (if that's the proper term) by Leonard, Howard and Raj. Why is it Sheldon is the one who gets his career ruined, when it isn't his fault in the first place?
    • The most pertinent details are that first, it wasn't ruined. Sheldon was just wrong, and has a reputation for being an insufferable superior ass, and overreacted like a tool. This was exacerbated by the fact that he found time once they were in contact with society again to brag to everyone that he'd proven string theory, and was due a Nobel prize, etc etc. Basically, it wasn't as bad as Sheldon made it out to be (scientists get negative results all the time, that's part of the point), and it was only really bad at all because it was his fault.
    • This was the Base Breaker on the show for me - nobody deserves to have their life crapped on like that - nobody forced the other three to go with Sheldon, and nobody forced them to play that trick on him, either. We never saw what he did to annoy them, and they have all known him for six years anyway, it wasn't like he came as a horrible surprise. And I really couldn't deal with the fact that it was reset quite as easily - I'm fairly sure both Caltech and the NSF would have wanted to know the truth of events. You do not have two contradictory sets of results in quick succession, and then quit abruptly. I went from mild dislike of Leonard to utter hatred in the space of an episode here - he destroys his best friend's life (because how many friends does Sheldon have?) and then brushes it off because he's trying to get laid.
    • It's a miracle Sheldon isn't the target of this kind of retaliation...well constantly. Sheldon doesn't lack friends because "other people are just mean". He lacks friends because he's insufferably pompous, insulting, pedantic, holier than thou and has spectacularly poor social skills. We absolutely see what he did to annoy them - right from the first episode of the series and constantly throughout. Any annoyance I have with Leonard's actions usually stem from the fact that he doesn't just slap the shit out of Sheldon each time he slings a veiled insult or otherwise meddles self-righteously (with usually detrimental results)in his life.
    • He's all but explicitly stated to not even realize how much of an ass he is. He doesn't try to, he just practically doesn't have a choice. Also, is that how Leonard should treat the man who saved his life, and prevented him from selling off nuclear secrets, as well as declined to turn him in on charges of treason?
    • Firstly, despite what a good many people on this page say, Sheldon isn't unilaterally an ass because he doesn't get people. Sometimes that's true, but sometimes he just thinks he knows better than everyone else and sometimes he's being deliberately insulting. Those are the traits of a regular run of the mill jackass and they feature at least as often as the clueless reason. Secondly, saving Leonard's life etc doesn't give him carte blanche to make every waking moment of it a living nightmare. If we're sitting here talking about how all the other characters should be more mature, then Sheldon with no documented medical reason for his behavior and the biggest brain in the group, should damned well figure out how to be less of a jerk as well.
    • The whole experiment was ruined because they constantly tampered with the results. They knew how difficult Sheldon was and still decided to go. The end of story.
    • On the other hand they have spent 3 months in closed environment in limited group. The tensions do get up and there are similar problems (it is considered one of the problems with space travel - the people traveling on Mars in a closed environment could just start fighting).
    • On that note, in that same episode, Sheldon holds up the fact that Einstein got something wrong as proof that even the greatest minds make mistakes - and Kripke rejoinders that Einstein wasn't, in fact, wrong. It bugs the hell out of me that Sheldon didn't either point out that Einstein also thought that quantum physics were nonsense.
    • How is it not his fault? He was the one who was being an (more than usual) insufferable ass because the data he was getting wasn't the data he wanted (as pointed out above, proves he's not cut out for science). But most of all he was the boss in that situation, and he was dealing with his employees in an unacceptable manner. If you're working in a field where you are in charge of other people, then your skills as a boss are related to your job performance, and there is absolutely every reason that this should hurt Sheldon's career. Especially because it wouldn't have blown up in his face had he not been in such a hurry to get known. Sheldon was bad at his job and that is really something that SHOULD hurt his career.
    • The whole experiment was ruined because they constantly tampered with the results. They knew how difficult Sheldon was and still decided to go. The end of story.
And what about other guys? Have you forgot about Joyce Kim, Mars rover, Howard's space toilet etc. Those are far worse and dangerous mistakes.
  • So, this justifies a bunch of other scientists acting like immature a-holes? Instead of manning up and telling the guy to calm down, they conspire long term to scramble data? The issue isn't Sheldon being a loon, which everybody is aware of, it's THE OTHER PEOPLE REACTING TO HIM that is the problem. I sure as hell would not want to work with a scientist who messed with an experiment's results because he was feeling narked. I think the plot-line was poorly handled - If Sheldon had just had a tantrum because things went wrong naturally, I don't think there would be an issue, and Leonard would have some sympathy if he had to put his life on hold to talk Sheldon down. But because he caused the damage in the first place by being a whiny underhanded little creep, I just wanted to squash him, and all my sympathy swung firmly behind Sheldon. (I don't think I'm alone in that view, either.)
  • The fact is that Sheldon got a job dealing with two things: subordinates and data, and proved himself incompetent at both of them. As for telling Sheldon to calm down, what about Sheldon and the show for the first two seasons makes you think that would be possible or even slightly productive? Sheldon is responsible for how people react to him, just like everyone else in the world, and he has dictated that people need to handle him with kid gloves and underhandedness.
  • But we never saw this being played out. I am talking about a Bad Writing Decision that harmed perception of certain characters long-term for a proportion of the audience. Either you perceive Leonard as a put-upon Nice Guy with a weird room-mate, or you see him as a manipulative little jerk who never confronts the issue and adopts the coward's way out. Add to that, the fact that his criteria for a woman seems to be 'she let me' , and he'll jump through any hoop for that end... I'm not seeing a sympathetic protagonist here. That nasty little smirk on his face when he manipulates Sheldon over Missy sums him up.
  • In my opinion, the scene where 'she let him' does seem to be pointing out that Leonard isn't perfect and that he isn't always a sympathetic protagonist.
  • The 'she let me' scene says nothing about Leonard beyond the fact that he's willing to sleep with a consenting woman (who he's been crushing on and whose work he's admired for some time). In fact, that scene says more about Penny than it does Leonard. You don't get to break up with a guy because he says "I love you" and because Wil Wheaton spins you a flimsy story to win a bowling tournament - then QQ because he isn't spending all his time heartbroken.
  • We never saw that small portion that takes place in the north pole, but we saw over and over and over again on the show how Sheldon deals with people, to where it really comes as no surprise that people don't confront the issue with him. Every time Penny does, it results in nothing but a huge fight and a temper tantrum from Sheldon. And it doesn't matter what you think of Leonard's taste in women where the issue is Sheldon and how he dictates people deal with him. If Leonard were to, as you suggest, confront the issue instead of adopting "the coward's way out" with Sheldon, what makes you think it would go any better than it does when Penny does it? Sheldon wouldn't change, he'd keep on throwing tantrums until Leonard stops or moves out. We've seen this, multiple times, with Penny. And in the real world, they always have the chance to just walk away. Not so at the North Pole.
  • Sheldon backs down when his mother tells him to, and Leonard manipulates him quite clearly over Missy. He does try to modify his behaviour when Penny tells him he's doing something wrong - and she was just as much into the vengeance in The Panty Pinata. My point is that people shouldn't back down from Sheldon, they should set him straight, but they don't, they whine and go behind his back. If you want me to believe in Leonard as a decent protagonist and a decent human being, he'd have to act like one. And not like the kind of scumbag that would repeatedly humiliate a friend, and then laugh at him about it.
  • You don't have to believe that Leonard is a decent human being to recognize that Sheldon is a jackass that wants people to treat him with kid gloves. They can both be scumbags who treat their friends like crap. Quite frankly, I totally fail to see how you can believe that Sheldon has any chance of being "set straight" when you saw his reaction to finding out that a store he liked to eat at went out of business. Or the Physics Bowl episode in the first season, where he refused to compromise on a team name and decided he's rather lose than let someone else give the right answer to a question.
  • To be perfect honest none of you live with Sheldon. You only get to see him for a half hour every week where his antics seem funny and charming due to the strengths and skills of the actor playing him. If you had to live with the guy 24/7 you'd eventually get sick of it and probably start acting a bit like Leonard and the other guys too.
  • And nobody lives with Leonard, Howard or Raj in real life either. I agree that Sheldon was wrong, but please let's not use "if it were a real life" argument. 
  • Right. It Just Bugs ME that so many people forgive Sheldon anything because the character is so popular, but any questionable thing Leonard does is because he is a Terrible Person. The fact is this is a sitcom, and everything on it is played for laughs. It's a mistake to judge it by real-word standards. No one bats an eye at the sarcastic snark that flies back and forth with every line, but when you talk that way in real life you get your face smashed in, or at least really hurt your friends' feelings. It's one thing to expect the writing to be reasonably realistic, but it's unfair to apply a microscope to Leonard's character for the purpose of discrediting him while ignoring the traces of Comedic Sociopathy that are inherent in the form.
  • Sheldon legitimately doesn't understand proper human behavior and despite the fact that he thinks he's superior, he seems to legitimately TRY to be a decent person. I mean, I've only seen season 1 so far, so maybe his characterization's been derailed since then, but when he saw that Penny's apartment was a mess, he legitimately seemed to want to help her out, despite not understanding how creepy that behavior was. Likewise, when he thought Daniel Kim was going to replace him, despite his lack of understanding of normal human behavior, he honestly seemed like he wanted to help his friends. Perhaps the best example is that when Penny told him that buying a present for Leonard's birthday was a "non-optional social convention", he seemed more than happy with doing so, and then was glad to help fellow customers with their electronics. Does that sound like a bad person to you in the slightest? Me neither. I can think of numerous other examples, but the basic point is: Sheldon may be a bit of a dick a lot of the time, but he legitimately DOESN'T KNOW BETTER, meanwhile, Leonard, Raj, Howard, and Penny all know that Sheldon's a genuinely decent if heavily flawed person and should be more conscientious of his lack of understanding. It doesn't matter that Comedic Sociopathy is common in sitcoms or not, despite the fact that it's never been specifically stated onscreen, Sheldon has all the textbook symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome, or some similar disorder and it's like picking on a mentally challenged person when they act shitty towards him. Or, to put it in simpler terms: it's not cool in the slightest.
  • No, he doesn't. I have worked with people who have different kinds of autism for the last 14 years. Sheldon does not act like a "textbook" case of Asperger's, and no psychiatrist or neurologist would ever diagnose him with that. If he acts like he has anything in the DSM, it is obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, but he doesn't have all the markers for that, either. What he acts like is someone who has been improperly socialized. From what we know of his childhood, it sounds like his father tried to force him to act like a "regular" boy and his mother was a little overprotective. They should have tried to find him a peer group of kids who were like him, even if it meant a private school. Anyway, he is still rebelling against the normalcy his father tried to force on him, while expecting other people to coddle him the way his mother did.
  • He legitimatelylegitimatelylegitimately does know that some of the things he does are offensive. The most recent episode revealed that he was grinding up insects into Leonard's food for an 'experiment'. There's no way to argue he didn't know that was an inappropriate thing to do, because he DID keep Leonard from knowing about it. There's also no way to argue that knowing when food begins to taste 'mothy' would have any real-life applications or be something Sheldon would consider an important contribution to science.
  • Plus, all those examples of him being a "good person" like helping Penny clean her room and helping his friends when he was being replaced? That was all just for himself. He didn't want to clean Penny's apartment to help her out, he wanted to clean it because it bothered him that her apartment was messy. Not "she must be unhappy living in a mess" but rather "I don't like mess, I will clean it up so I will feel better." Any lip service towards helping Penny was just an excuse. The same with helping out his friends — he was never interested in helping them before he found out about Dennis Kim, and in fact had never so much as visited Howard's office before then. But when he realized that he might not be the Golden Boy of the university any more, he went looking for something else to be the best at, and thought that his friends' careers were simple enough for him to excel in so he could be the best again. And when they turned down his offer of help, remember how he assumed that they would all be willing to drop their careers to work on his project? He wasn't helping his friends there; he was using them.
  • Actually, he did some selfless things. He lent Penny money, drove Penny to the hospital, even saved Leonard's life once. In newer episodes, he comforted Howard after Emily had made fun of him and comforted him [*spoilers after his mother's death*]. Although the North Pole Incident was mostly his fault, the statement above is factually incorrect.
  • There is a very good reason to keep Leonard from knowing about the experiment - giving a blind taste trial. The whole point was to see when Leonard would notice, which is kind of undermined if you tell him right from the start.
  • And how would Sheldon react to being on the receiving end of that experiment? Sheldon freaks out when other people touch his food, let alone crushing up bugs in it.
  • Not only would Sheldon react in the extreme (to put it mildly) if the situation were reversed (and if the situation were reversed we would be instead talking about what a horrifically terrible person Leonard is for doing something so horrible to poor innocent baby Sheldon), but the implication is that this experiment took place some time ago. Regardless of doing a 'blind taste test' (again, for no scientific gain at all but perhaps personal amusement), once he finished the experiment he STILL didn't tell Leonard what he'd been doing. Considering how rarely Sheldon withholds anything that might suggest he's outsmarted one of the others, the only reason he would have not told Leonard about it afterward is because he knew it was a wrong, underhanded thing to do.
  • This revelation was actually a little bit of a wall banger to me due to the inconsistency. There is really no way Sheldon would have been able to conceal such an experiment for so long to Leonard without going insane in attempts to hide the secret. Leonard is supposed to be smart and would have seen Sheldon's puny attempts at hiding something miles away...
  • I agree with that. I also find it shockingly unlikely that Sheldon would have been able to do this without Leonard catching on. However, there are rare moments before this where his inability to deceive has been given a temporary break, like when Sheldon tries to get Penny off of Age of Conan by setting up an online dating profile for her AND actually arranged at least one date without her realizing what he was doing.
  • On that topic, how about The hot troll deviation. Sheldon finally gives up and lets Raj get a desktop, what does Raj do? He buys a giant desktop! Why make Raj such a douche in this episode, really why? I mean, Sheldon is crazy, unsympathetic and just plain infuriating sometimes, but he is Raj's boss, and he gave him the job at a time in which Raj was just about to be deported. So, Raj could just have been happy he got Sheldon to make some sense and allow him to get a desk...
  • I'm guessing that's easier to do in theory than in practice... having Sheldon as a boss would be stressful at the best of times. We've also seen how much he disrespects Raj and immediately dismisses Raj's contributions (which he was hired to do) when they don't align with what Sheldon has already figured out. Plus, Sheldon isn't just his boss — he's also his friend — which means they'll take liberties there that most people probably wouldn't with their employers. And Sheldon is so anxiety-ridden at the idea of even interviewing more qualified people to take to the north pole with him — something that may have actually risked his life — that it's likely he wouldn't fire Raj no matter what he did, because he'd rather keep the 'safe' choice he already knows than hire someone else to help him. And while Sheldon is certainly unsympathetic and a huge douche most of the time, I think he does still consider Raj a friend and probably has a few criteria for how to treat 'friends' that don't include having him be deported. Gratitude is something Raj would have felt to start with, but that quickly fades when faced with the day-to-day struggle of working with Sheldon that would have followed for the next several months.
  • The big thing is that faking his results was a prank they pulled long after the data they had been gathering proved to be inconclusive, Sheldon was the only one who was ignorant of the fact. They didn't ruin the whole damn experiment based on spite, even though the prank itself was (Experience has told me to never underestimate people. Such things, including ruining the actual experiment, have likely happened in the actual field). They meant to let him in on the joke before he reported his findings, but they underestimated how fast Sheldon likes to move.
  • Pretty much, this entire conversation just applied a special kind of Fridge Horror to The Big Bang Theory for me that I'm unlikely to get rid of for a while. Hooray.
  • To try and answer the main topic of this headscratcher, I always assumed that the reason Sheldon was the only one who got his reputation tarnished and not the other guys who were there was because he was trying to take credit for the discovery. I don't recall him ever saying in the episode that "we" proved string theory; it's likely that as leader of the expedition he decided to send out an email boasting about "his" discovery without mentioning his friends and coworkers. It fits his characterization; he's always been pretty self-centered and kind of a credit hog. While I'm sure that eventually he would have admitted that the rest of the group provided important contributions, it's likely that he put off crediting them in the original, self-congratulatory email. By trying to claim the lion's share of the credit, he also inadvertently claimed the lion's share of the fallout when the truth came to light.
  • Here's a question how come no one is mentioning the time that Sheldon intentionally ruined Howard's career?
  • That was unintentional.
  • The guys did know how difficult Sheldon was and still decided to go.
  • Sheldon shouldn't have announced his "discovery" that soon. But it wouldn't have made much difference if he hadn't. He would have been sparred the embarrassment, but the whole research would have still been ruined because the experiment had been tampered with. As far as the guys had known, the monopoles could have been present at the time they used the can opener to tamper with the results. Keeping an original data means nothing. You don't ruin an important and expensive research because you can't handle the authority. Especially if you already have a bad track record with the equipment (almost revealing secrets to a North Korean spy, messing with Mars rover...)  Heck, Leonard would have been dead or in prison if it weren't for Sheldon. But Leonard having to put up with Sheldon's behavior (which he had witnessed and agreed to before signing the Roommate Agreement) is outrageous. Double standards of the highest caliber. It seems to me that some people can't like Leonard or other guys unless they argue he can do no wrong and have to portray Sheldon as the worst possible human being in order to do so.
  • They were all wrong. Sheldon has problems, understandable, but should have tried to treat his friends better. Howard, Leonard and Raj should have behaved like adults. This makes none of them bad people. It makes them flawed. Also, it's a comedy. The prank was most likely meant to make the audience laugh, not to be hyperanalysed for all the ways X character is terrible and evil.
  • Going back to the original point, instead of debating Sheldon's morality, never mind their reputations, how the hell did those three keep their jobs? I don't know how much an arctic expedition costs but I assume it is quite a lot, and they deliberately sabotage it. And if they, or anyone, tries the "Sheldon was an annoying A-hole" defense; They know him, Leonard has lived with him for several years, and Howard and Raj have spent much of their free time with them since he moved in, They know how difficult he can be, particularly when things don't go his way, and they know how much he annoys them, in the episode before the expedition they debate the possibility that they would struggle to deal with 3 months in isolation with Sheldon and decide to go with him anyway. Ultimately if they had refused Sheldon would've had to either pick a new team or decline, they weren't being forced into this and then they sabotaged the whole expedition. Frankly, for all the debatable morality of Sheldon as a character, the only way I can see that they weren't fired, is that Sheldon must've covered for them.
    • Depends on how it was reported, really. The electric can opener which caused the interference was a standard piece of expedition equipment so Sheldon ought to have accounted for that. The other guys may just have recognised a pattern from when they were opening cans of food, one that Sheldon too ought to have noticed, and that doesn't really rise to malfeasance levels. It could be reported as unintended overlooked consequences of normal expedition life just as easily as being deliberately done to screw with Sheldon. So it all depends on how the incident is written up, and the University would probably much rather it be seen as a screw up rather than their scientists out to get each other. The latter is a far more embarrassing and damaging to the institution's reputation than a whoopsie screw up is. Also, Rule of Funny as per page note.

    Why does Howard have a problem with Bernadette's ex-boyfriend? 
  • In one episode, I believe it was The Love Car Displacement, Howard meets one of Bernadette's ex boyfriends and is intimidated because he is tall and handsome and presumably has a large penis. He has a fight with Bernadette later because he says that he didn't think "someone like her" would have dated a guy like that. What I don't understand is why he felt that way — Bernadette is a beautiful woman, it stands to reason that she would have dated handsome men. What did he mean by "a girl like her"? Because she's short, or something? Because he really doesn't have a leg to stand on there.
    • B/c he thought she's a standard nerd girl, and nerd girl should go for nerd boy and not sucks up to the jocks.
    • Yeah, never mind that he chased after every hot chick that came along before he met Bernadette - she's supposed to look past a guy's face and body simply because she's a chick. Way to go with the Double Standard.
    • Complaining that Howard is exercising gender based and chauvinistic double standards is Completely Missing the Point rather thoroughly since that's his character.
    • I couldn't disagree more. To me, Bernadette was completely in the wrong in that episode. Howard was feeling hugely insecure about himself and it had only just occurred to him that his girlfriend might have been with guys more attractive than him. She didn't do anywhere near enough to comfort him and instead made everything about her based on a rather innocuous comment. In my opinion, Howard turning things around on her when asking how she would feel if one of his ex-girlfriends looked like Angelina Jolie should've been a Moment of Awesome for him but instead Bernadette wasn't given the opportunity to answer because a drunken Raj interrupted. The one line we did hear out of her was "oh Howard, be realistic". And just to be clear, that got a huge laugh from the audience while "a girl like you", in reference to Bernadette, received mild gasps. Talk about a Double Standard and The Unfair Sex (a trope that, annoyingly, The Big Bang Theory seems to be built on).
    • I'm not going to argue with the fact that TBBT is built on stereotypes and double standards. But I have to disagree with you on the Crowning Moment thing. First off, it WAS all about Bernadette. The argument was about HER past sex life, how much more about her can it be. And while Howard has a right to feel insecure at the thought of her past boyfriends, it isn't Bernadette's job to "comfort" him or apologize for having a life before she met him. The argument shows how wildly entitled Howard is at that point in their relationship, when he has slept with strippers and didn't want to date Bernadette at first because she wasn't Megan Fox, but just the thought of her being in a relationship with someone more attractive then him immediately leads to soul-crushing insecurity. And I think 'be realistic' is an entirely appropriate thing to tell him when he asks how she'd feel if he'd dated Angelina Jolie in the past — to be perfectly frank, Howard isn't that great of a catch. I'm not even talking about his appearance, I'm talking about his life. He's a thirty year old man who lives with his mother and is incapable of taking care of himself like an adult without her, he only has three close friends (one of whom he actually can't stand), he has "geeky" hobbies which the show constantly derides as being lame and a really dumb sense of humour, and that's just the stuff Bernadette knows about. She has no idea what a sexist creep he was, a "self-taught expert" on sexual harassment law. Gee, what a swell guy.
    • He was wrong to get upset about it and Bernadette was just as much wrong to get upset over learning about his past experiences. To answer the question, he was obviously feeling insecure due to a low self esteem, not being able to see why would Bernadette want to be with him after being with Glenn (taller and more attractive). And Bernadette isn't much better than him. Most of her "friends" are afraid of her by this point. And being geeky doesn't make him a loser. 
    • It could be a blow to Howard's self-confidence. He suddenly realizes that he's not such a great catch after all. Everything he's ever thought about himself has just been proven wrong. It's not the ex-boyfriend himself, it's the idea that he's not who he thinks he is. Previously, the only indications that he wasn't as great as he thought he was came from the mocking associated from not having a Ph.D like his friends, which is not that much considering a Masters from MIT in Engineering means Howard is actually more qualified in his respective field (Engineering) than Sheldon, Leonard, and Raj are in theirs. (Various types of physicists) On top of that, Howard is the only one who makes an immediate contribution to the world.
    • I do think there's a Double Standard at play when it comes to this situation, because Howard's insecurities are treated as him being a total wimp whereas anytime Bernadette expresses insecurities or doubts about their relationship (for example, when she does find out about Howard being with prostitutes after his bachelor party) they're treated as completely justified. The idea is that the fact that Howard is feeling insecure means he's not a proper man. But we don't know anything about Bernadette's past relationships, because the show is set up in such a way that we are already prepared to mock Howard's past sexual experiences and Bernadette's previous partners are almost never touched upon. The ONLY past relationship we know any detail about is the one that causes Howard's crisis (and even then, the only details we have are seeing his physical appearance). This is again played as a way to tease Howard. And I generally don't treat any relationships on this show as if they're meant to be realistic because of the established broadcast sitcom format, so I'm not expecting more than lighthearted poking at societal constructs. But if you're going to argue that he shouldn't dare feel upset or insecure at being faced with Bernadette's ex because he's not 'that great of a catch', you're abandoning any realistic idea of how a relationship works. No, the things that people feel upset or insecure about aren't always accurate to their objective desirability (though obviously desirability ISN'T objective...) but in the relationship, both parties need to feel safe and wanted. Bernadette has chosen to be with Howard, and she WANTS to be with him. So there's no reason she couldn't have addressed his feelings and resolved the issue. Saying 'be realistic' is saying 'I'm out of your league' and by extension, at least within the context of the episode, 'feel lucky I'm with you'. This isn't uncommon in the show, because the girlfriends often have this attitude toward the male cast. But that isn't the way a relationship really works and it's unfair to expect anyone to be in a relationship where every insecurity they feel is dismissed outright because one party feels the other should just be grateful they're together at all.
    • It was completely rational of Howard to feel insecure, what made Bernadette mad was the fact that he said a "girl like her" is not likely to date a "guy like that". He was implying (and not subtly) that Bernadette is not hot enough for Glenn, and she had the full right to be mad at that.

    Raj didn't have to dress up as Aquaman 
  • Why didn't Raj dress up as Martian Manhunter instead of Aquaman in "The Justice League Recombination"? It just seems strange that he would be willing to dress up as Wonder Woman to avoid his Aquaman outfit, but not consider Martian Manhunter. Also, these are exactly the type of people that would know who Martian Manhunter is. And that is just the original seven. There are plenty of other heroes who joined the league later (Plastic Man, The Atom, Red Tornado, Steel, Green Arrow...). Raj had plenty of alternatives if he did not want to dress up as Aquaman.
    • To be fair, Raj seems to enjoy dressing up as female characters. In the episode where their bowling team lost the game (and therefore the bet) to Stuart and Wil Wheaton, the group had to dress up as female superheroes and go to the comic book store. Unlike the others, who were embarrassed, Raj was pleased as punch and said "I feel empowered!" He also once said "just asking, dude. it happens." in reference to trying to titillate a girl by putting on a pair of her panties and jumping around which "wound up just creeping her out". It seems he has some cross-dressing tendencies and in this episode it sure didn't seem like he felt he was being forced into being Wonder Woman, rather he smiled happily at the prospect while being miserable as Aquaman. It may not be a 'last option' for him to be Wonder Woman. In another episode his cross dressing tendencies are further illustrated when Leonard mentions he has access to a Lt. Uhura uniform only for Priya to cut him off stating that it is "a source of great shame for her family that my brother owns that uniform."
    • Good point, but that makes it worse. There are plenty of female JLA/JLI members he could have dressed as (Fire, Ice, Black Canary, Vixen, Zatanna, Hawkgirl...).
    • Well, now, if we're down to asking why somebody dressed as Wonder Woman instead of the many other female superheroes in the JLA... It's Wonder Woman! Asking why he didn't dress as any other female superhero instead of Wonder Woman is like asking "Why would Raj (or any of the others) dress as Spock instead of any other character from The Original Series. The answer is: Because it's Spock! (Or in this case:) Because it's Wonder Woman!
    • Sure, Raj's first or second choices may not have been available, but isn't your fourth or fifth choice better than your last choice?
    • It could have been more the Aquaman costume he was forced to wear, which was purposefully as stupid as anything could be. And while Aquaman is of course quite badass in his own comics, among the Justice League he is hopelessly specialized. It's the Superfriends meme they were working with and Martian Manhunter wasn't ever a part of that.
    • Rule of Funny Goddamit! Rule of Funny!

    What exactly is the card game? 
  • While the first Wheaton episode (involving the card games) was excellent, I didn't really care for how the card game was treated. It was specifically called a "customizable card game" but if it's so "customizable" how can Sheldon predict what other people put into their decks? Granted it could work if absolutely everybody in the tournament was netdecking perfectly, but not everybody does that and in just about every CCG people tend to include cards for"shock value" i.e. cards that don't show up enough to be counted on. The only way I could see Sheldon knowing what people have in their decks is to have either looked at each and every one of them before hand or looked at the deck sheet.
    • I don't recall it being a customizable card game, and considering they were playing on a pile it's unlikely they would mix cards around if it was. There are several card games that a surprisingly complicated where everyone has to play from the same set.
    • It's entirely possible that one of the rules of this game is you must allow your opponent to inspect your deck before the round begins so they can be prepared for any cards you might bring out, i.e. I have a remove a monster from play cards so knowing you have a super dragon I may want to save that card for when it appears
    • Sheldon wouldn't need to inspect Wheaton's deck. He has an eidetic memory and was paying more attention to Wheaton's matches than he was paying to his own. He basically used a combination of memory and counting cards to guess Wheaton's hand when it came down to the final showdown.
    • Trying to analyse the rules might be a little bit pointless. To a British viewer, it's all a little bit like an American version of Mornington Crescent. (If you think there are rules that can be worked out with a little bit of effort, you haven't got the joke and you're outside the loop).


    Coffee and cola 

  • Sheldon won't drink coffee because he promised his mother he wouldn't "do drugs", and on the rare occasions he's unknowingly consumed it has had a comically out of proportion reaction to the caffeine. Yet he regularly consumes Coke and Mountain Dew (a soft drink that's actually popular because of its high caffeine content) with no effects whatsoever.
    • That could be the Placebo effect, or him just being affected differently by coffee.
    • He also says his mother has a "slight Dr. Pepper addiction", so maybe soda isn't considered the "hard" stuff.
    • This appears to be a continuity issue. Most direct references to soda that Sheldon is drinking are done in the earlier episodes, while the comment about caffeine being a 'drug' comes later. But it does appear to be one of the rules about Sheldon that can be taken or left depending on the joke the writers are trying to get across.
    • Could be the same reason why Americans won't bat an eye at a child drinking a can of Coke, but react negatively when a child wants a cup of coffee.
    • Don't forget that even with the higher amount of caffeine in Mountain Dew, the same amount of coffee has almost three times the amount of caffeine.

    Why'd Penny change her mind about matching up Howard so quickly? 
  • In the third season Penny's refuse to hook Howard with some friend of hers looked rather odd since in season one she herself offered him to introduce him to some of her easy friends. What exactly changed her views on the matter so radically?
    • She got to know him better? Maybe she thought of him as a charity case to start with, then saw him as a creeper that even her easy friends shouldn't get close to. Now she actually sees him as a friend.
    • In the first season she was under pressure, and really needed him to stay focused.
    • There's a difference between trading for a favor, and pimping your friends to the leech just because he wants you to.
    • She may have thought that, even if she introduced Howard to her friends, they would still reject him.
    • Or, she might have been more comfortable with the idea of a friend sleeping with Howard than the idea of them actually dating or entering a relationship together.
    • It's different to introduce two people at a party than it is to set them up on a date together. Her role in matchmaking could cause problems between her and her friend if she set them up and it turned out to be a horrible experience for everyone involved, which she seems to be worried about. She doesn't want to lose a friend over a pact that Leonard mad
    • Speaking of Howard and Penny, does anyone else find Penny's attitude causes "The Killer Robot Instability" to come off as a Broken Aesop? Basically, Penny upset Howard by calling him out on his perverse nature, which caused him to retreat to his bedroom for two days ... and he only returned, completely back to normal, after she punched him in the face when he tried to kiss her, after which Penny folded her arms arrogantly and said "now Howard knows what [women] can do if you don't respect them". However, it wasn't like Howard being upset was an act and it seemed like he tried to kiss Penny because he thought it was appropriate/she might pity him because he was feeling so down, so it comes across as Disproportionate Retribution. Not because he was being a Jerkass. So basically, the Aesop is "don't comfort someone if they're feeling depressed" combined with "if someone is feeling down, punch them in the face and they'll be right back to normal". But only if they're male, obviously. I'm surprised Howard didn't tell Penny to fuck off.
    • She punched him because she yelled at him in the first place for always hitting on her. Then he gets all depressed so she goes to comfort him, only for him to try to kiss her, basically demonstrating that he didn't actually listen to what she said at all. I think that maybe hitting him was a bit out of line but not out of character-wouldn't you be seriously annoyed if you told someone not to do something, it seemed like they had taken it on board and then when you believed them they did it again anyway?
    • Although she wouldn't have had that problem in the first place if she knew how to control her temper. She never even tried to show that she isn't interested in him or his advances in a polite way. And only because he tried to kiss her does not mean that he wasn't listening to her. He was in emotionally fragile state at the time, maybe he thought that she may secretly like him because she seemed to understand him and cared enough to go comfort him and he had a crush on her before? Also, it should be noted that Penny can get pretty mad at guys over trivial things while she herself refuses to take responsibility for any wrong things that she gets called out on, on rare occasions when she does.
    • Penny has tried polite. She has tried serious. She has tried mean. None of them made Howard stop hitting on her. She had to go full force. Remember also that Howard filmed up her skirt with the car camera and gave her a teddy bear with a webcam in it to spy on her in her bedroom. The first thing he did after meeting her was look up her nude scene in that B-movie. Nothing stopped his behavior until she threw all niceties aside and went nuclear on him. And it worked.
    • Bringing up him looking up her nude scene as an example of Howard's improper behavior is ridiculous. After all, since Penny agreed to do it in the first place, she did gave her permission for everyone to watch it.
    • And the punch wasn't "little over the line". In many countries, it would have been considered an assault. She could have easily push him away.
    • And in many countries, Howard's unwanted sexual advances are considered sexual harassment, and attempting to kiss an unwilling and resisting person is sexual assault.
    • Penny wasn't resisting at the moment Howard tried to kiss her. Also, she could have easily make her point without telling him that he would do die alone. The fact that it worked doesn't mean that it was a right thing to do. But again Penny also showed many times that she doesn't care much about guys anyway (except Leonard).
    • As stated above, Howard put a webcam in a teddy bear so he could spy on her and tried to film up her skirt on another occasion. If Penny had called the police he would have absolutely gone to jail. The fact that you have a problem with Penny telling someone that has repeatedly engaged in immoral and illegal behavior that they're going to "die alone" is very disturbing. Howard describes himself as a "self-taught expert on sexual harassment law", meaning he knows his behavior is illegal/wrong and yet he still does it. If multiple trips to HR hasn't fixed his behavior what makes you think Penny gently talking to him will do anything.
    • my interpretation of the scene (and I could easily be wrong) is that Howard was faking sadness/self pity to get penny to feel sorry for him and maybe change her mind about him. Due to this I feel her anger (and subsequent punch) was lots more understandable (I'm not excusing her assaulting Howard, just saying it's understandable) as it is now the anger of someone who has been lied to and emotionally manipulated in addition to the other things Howard has done to her,
    • Well, if you think that his past actions justify such treatment, what about Penny? As later revealed, she tied up an underaged girl in the cornfield and left her there overnight because she was jealous of her grades. If she were an adult, she could have gotten a frikkein life sentence.  And about I think that early seasons had many throwaway lines that weren't supposed to be taken seriously, such as Sheldon thinking about poisoning Barry's tea. The same with the teddy bear with the webcam. If they were to be taken seriously, they wouldn't have been included in the sitcom in the first place. They weren't even a big part of the episode and didn't provoke much of an emotional reaction, unlike Penny's behavior towards Howard in The Killer Robot Instability. But that is just me.
    • To clarify, the teddy bear with the webcam was much later on (though it was mentioned in passing, so it could have been before), and gained a more "gasp + laugh" reaction from the audience than the typical laughter. The filming up her skirt was actually in The Killer Robot Instability. Also, going nuclear on him did not work. It actually had the opposite effect than intended. It reversed Howard's funk and made him think he was halfway to pity sex. So the status quo is restored, and Howard goes right back to making sexual come-ons every episode. Talk about a missed moral.

     Why did the guys dislike Penny's app idea? 
  • In the episode where the guys create a phone app, their app is that you take a picture of an equation and you're given an answer. Penny comes in part way through the episode and says she has an idea for an app, which is that you take a picture of a pair or shoes and it tells you what kind they are. Her idea is considered stupid. But they're basically the same thing except one has math and the other has shoes. So why is hers' considered stupid?
    • First, hers didn't JUST tell you what kind of shoes they were, it also told you where you could buy them online, making it more useful in daily life than an equation-solving app. Second, hers is considered stupid because, well, they're guys, anything fashion-oriented is probably stupid in their eyes. And third, I think that's the joke: they are dismissive of Penny's app, but in reality a shoe-shopping app is much more useful than an equation-solving app would be, and loads more people would probably want to use it. They mention in the episode that theirs wouldn't have many people other than their coworkers looking to buy it, whereas how many people would love Penny's app? I know I would.
    • The show was overly dismissive of the buyer base for the app the guys were making. While their coworkers would be the people who wanted to use it legitimately (as in, they're not being judged on how they solve the equations but how they apply the equations), there would be thousands of students across the world studying physics or maths who would buy such an app to use on their homework or to cheat on their exams. In reality those guys would probably have made a good amount of money on the app they created.
    • I'm pretty sure Sheldon is the only one who thinks her idea is stupid. It's never revealed to the other guys, so they don't weigh in. Hopefully there's no need to explain (to anyone familiar with Sheldon) why he would unilaterally think and idea from Penny is stupid.
    • I did get the impression that Sheldon thought the app was stupid (the way he treats every time people talk about clothing or shoes - which, because of the stereotypes the show plays upon, are always women...), but the others didn't really have any particular response to it. They just didn't have the knowledge or interest to help her put it into practice. And to be fair, compiling a database of different types and brands shoes might take much more personal labor than combining handwriting recognition to mathematics that calculators and the like already have a huge amount of information to contribute toward)
    • Add in that Howard and Raj are the only ones who seem to care at all about fashion and they still fail miserably at it.

     Why all the hate on Aquaman? 
  • Why do the guys think Aquaman sucks? All four of them are huge comic book nerds and should be more than aware that Aquaman is crazy powerful.
    • Judging by what this wiki says he's apparently only powerful underwater. And compared to the other cool heroes everyone else got, it's pretty obvious why Raj didn't want to be him.
    • Er, no. Arthur is just EVEN MORE POWERFUL in, near or touching Water. Outside of it, he can handle a fight with Superman pretty easily. Hell, Deathstroke, a man who beat Batman on a few occasions and is more or less a gray morality Cap America, nearly broke his hand on Aquaman's chest. It's just bad writers and their 'lol, Aquaman is lame because of a bad cartoon from a by gone era'
    • Let's not forget that having the ability to command sea creatures means something entirely different in a world where the oceans are filled with Eldritch Abominations.
    • Raj might just not like Aquaman. Ever consider that?
    • Or that how powerful a character is, and who they can or cannot beat up, may not be the best measure of whether or not they are cool?
    • Exactly. Did you not see the Aquaman costume? It looked ridiculous.
    • Yes, the issue isn’t how powerful Aquaman can potentially be, the issue is whether he is a cool superhero or a lame superhero. If Raj thought Aquaman was a cool superhero, he been glad to play him regardless of whether he was a low-powered adventurer or a cosmic Superman. If Raj thinks Aquaman is a dork, the fact that he was given massive power-ups don’t make him cool, they make him a Creator's Pet. Imagine if they were going as supervillains, and Raj got stuck as Bat-Mite. Sure, he’s nigh-omnipotent, but who cares? It’s embarassing!
    • Aquaman hasn't received any powerup bigger than other Superheroes as old as him. Wuperman went from faster than a speeding bullet to many times faster than light. It doesn't make him a creators pet. The point is that, like him or not... the real comic book fans would give a rational argument for why he sucks. Instead they're catering to the Pop Culture image of Aquaman as a loser. It would be like having them say Batman sucks, and leaving it at that.
    • Unfortunately most writers, and by extension the general audience, know Aquaman best from his incarnation on Superfriends where his powers were notoriously poorly handled. A big example of research failure since has been pointed out other incarnations like Justice League Unlimited and Batman: The Brave and the Bold he is much more of a badass.
    • In a lot of ways Aquaman is just plain more fun as the ultimate loser of the superhero world than he is as a competent character. Powerful and badass superheroes are plentiful, but a superhero so pathetic that normal humans look down on him? That has comedic value.
    • How is it that you are writing that question on the internet, while being simultaneously ignorant of the "Aquaman sucks" meme that's so rampant it's been referenced on Family Guy? Is it not conceivable that they were going for Rule of Funny in this scenario rather than the exhaustive dissection (above) of how he's really Superawesome?
    • Yes, because a reference on Family Guy proves how rampant the meme is, that show is always on the cutting edge of cultural references. The problem is, the guys aren't bagging on Aquaman in a joking way, they (especially Raj) are treating him like a legitimate joke. And since they're comic nerds, this makes no sense. At the very least, Sheldon should have set them straight, given that he's a compulsive correcter and over-thinker he should be aware of how powerful Aquaman is even assuming he doesn't read Aquaman comics.
      • Even Sheldon's enjoyment of correcting mistakes could probably be overridden by a strong dislike of Aquaman.

     Why didn't they distinguish between the multiple G Ls? 
  • The depictions of fandom on the show are largely done well and get the little details right. So there's no real point in harping on the few exceptions. On that sticks in my mind is when Stuart tells Sheldon about a new statue of Green Lantern he has in stock. Surely no one would ever say "Green Lantern" — they would specify the Green Lantern.
    • Considering how common it is for fans to say things such as "The only true Bond is..." or "The only true doctor is...", I think it's easily assumable that Stuart may have already established a belief in one true 'Green Lantern'.
    • The salient point is that there's only one Bond or Doctor at once, where multiple Green Lanterns has been a fact since 1959.
    • Yet in his capacity as a store owner/operator, would not a desire for precision win out?
    • You are wondering if a man who got a date from a customer, who was the interest of the closest thing he had to a friend, by drawing her and trying to sell her an adult comic book to give to her preteen cousin, has any professionalism?
    • I'm not sure what one has to do with the other...
    • For the record, it was adult as in The Punisher (or something similar), not adult as in pornographic. Penny seemed to understand why it was rated for older readers, and expected her cousin to enjoy it, so there's not technically anything unforofessional about recommending it, as lng as he knew Penny knew why it might not be an appropriate gift. For that matter, some people would consider censorship of perfectly legal suggestions to be indicative of a lack of integrity and therefore possibly professionalism.
    • If I'm not mistaken the title in question was Hellblazer, which is an occult horror comic. It contains about as much sex as a James Bond movie, which is to say not zero but it's not the main thrust of the title either.
    • Firstly, from an out-of-universe perspective, because the point of the show is "use nerdy things as a vehicle to produce humor", not "give the muggles a lecture on comic book knowledge". Most non-comic fans know who Green Lantern is, at least vaguely, they probably don't know who Kyle Rayner is and if Stuart said he'd ordered a statue of John Stewart most people would think Sheldon was a Daily Show fan. Secondly, from an in-universe perspective, Stuart probably just saw "Green Lantern statue" in one of his merchandise books and ordered some. He may not know or care which Green Lantern it is, as long as it sells.
    • Since he was talking to Sheldon we can probably presume that Sheldon has an opinion on which of the Lanterns is the one true Lantern (because, c'mon when has Sheldon not got an opinion?), which he has shared at great length, and is offering Sheldon a statue of that Green Lantern and avoiding yet another Sheldon-esque rant on comparing the Lanterns. That sort of personalized service is the sort of professional level service you'd expect from someone who knows his patrons.
      • On the other hand, Sheldon being Sheldon, he'd probably feel the need to confirm that it was Hal (it's Sheldon...his One True GL would certainly be Hal)...but the writers probably couldn't come up with a funny way to do that.

     Shouldn't Sheldon have gone to the Renaissance Fair as the Doctor? 
  • Wouldn't it make much more sense for Sheldon to go to the Renaissance Faire as The Doctor instead of Spock?
    • Not necessarily. I've seen people dressed as Klingons at Ren Fests. Also, as a meta reason, Doctor Who is not nearly as well known in the United States as Spock is, so would be much less recognizable to the less geeky audience members. Also, if you wish to dress as the Doctor, which one do you dress as? 11 different actors, with 11 different styles of clothing. And the 3 from the new version dress in pretty normal, if distinctive, clothes. Even your modern geek might not immediately recognize someone as being dressed as Doctor Who just because they were wearing a stalk of celery.
    • Well, if he was wearing a fez.....
    • The Fourth Doctor is fairly well-known, at least to Gen X-ers and older. THE SCARF!
    • He was annoyed by historical inaccuracies at the renaissance faire, but the others convinced him to go as a Starfleet officer investigating a planet that was similar to renaissance England. That's much more of a Star Trek style plot than a Doctor Who one.
    • Not to mention that Spock is emotionally repressed, highly intelligent, and a scientist, whereas the Doctor is humanistic, romantic, and describes time and space as a "wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey ball". Which character would appeal to Sheldon, do you think?
    • Time Travel. It exists in Star Trek, just not as prominantly as it does in Doctor Who.
    • Canonically, Spock is Sheldon's favorite character, so, you know....duh.
    • And he probably already has the costume.
    • As said earlier, the whole point is that the historical inaccuracies ARE what have Sheldon upset. Going to a DIFFERENT planet with SIMILAR history means Sheldon can forgive the inaccuracies as though he's learning a new history for a different planet. Spock would be capable of doing this. The Doctor, if on Earth, would be bound by Earth's histories and would therefore have no explanation for the inaccuracies that the Renaissance Fair has Sheldon so worked up over.
    • What about the Prime Directive? This is clearly a pre-warp culture, and Spock would NOT travel there in uniform, and using a visible tricorder. Given Sheldon's devotion to the character, he wouldn't either!
    • There is an issue, in that he spent the time complaining about anachronisms, instead of examining it like a new species encountered.

     Is Wil Wheaton really as hated as this site says he is? 
  • As all of my knowledge of Wesley Crusher comes from the trope (formerly) named after him on this wiki, I always assumed the reason for Sheldon's hatred of Wil Wheaton was that he played such a hated character. When I saw the episode explaining the origin of the enmity I was genuinely shocked to find out that Wesley Crusher was Sheldon's favourite character. (I watch the episodes out of order.) Was the character actually as universally despised as I seem to believe, or does anybody share my alternate theory that Sheldon might have identified with a character who was 'saving the Enterprise-D every other episode' at a young age, since he has such a high opinion of himself, and lacks the grasp of people in general to find it annoying?
    • Yes, he identified with Crusher. I don't know why his lack of grasp of people should be the reason for his being able to like Wesley, since Creator's Pet is an Externally Subjective Trope for a reason.
    • 90% of sane Star Trek fans hate Wesley the character and like or don't care about Wheaton the actor. Sheldon is the exact opposite for reasons set out in the Magic: The Gathering episode.
    • Wesley basically is Sheldon, being a child prodigy who is full of himself and rather annoying. The difference is that everyone treated Wesley the way Sheldon thinks he should be treated, as some sort of special wunderkid. Because of this many people found Wesley insufferably annoying and hated the character, but Sheldon identified with him. Nobody really hates Wil Wheaton, who is a fairly competent actor that actually did a good job in those episodes where the writers saw fit not to make him an insufferable ass (there were a handful of good Wesley episodes) and, I've heard, a pretty nice guy.
    • And, to be fair, Wesley isn't as universally despised as this wiki would have you believe. We exaggerate it for humor.
    • Indeed. My irritation with Wesley story lines had more to do with the willful Agent Scully - ing of the other characters when he'd try to explain his latest day-saving idea. Jesus people, he's already saved the day 12 times this season, d'ya think you could at least hear the kid out?
    • Wesley Crusher is a common target for being The Scrappy and/or Creator's Pet . But as far as Wil himself is concerned, people seem to have a much better opinion - in particular because he also hates the tropes that came to represent his character on Star Trek. Aside from that he's proven to be a nice guy with a good sense of humor and the ability to laugh at himself (and, as seen on this show, play an evil twin version of himself without reservation)

     Why was Leonard so willing to cheat on Priya? 
  • Why the flipping fuck was Leonard so willing to cheat on Priya with the comic book artist!?!!? He's not supposed to be this much of a douche, he was supposed to be the show's nice guy. They could it made the ep a bit more harrowing and an examination of their relationship, but no. This is aiming for Seasonal Rot.
    • He was weak, and he eventually couldn't go through with it because he isn't "one of those guys". It's happened before, and he's been an off-and-on tool (with a consistent heart of gold) since Season 1.
    • The idea straight from Bill Prady is that they are putting Leonard in a situation he has never been in before, basically he is in a committed relationship but gains no physical benefits from it (sexual or otherwise just affection from someone else) calling it "two women and no sex." Leonard meets someone he would totally be interested in if he wasn't taken and he is only human, he is trying to figure a way to have everything he wants and when the time came he couldn't be "one of those guys."
    • Yes but that still makes him a tool. He made out with the girl and suddenly decided he was a nice guy all the time with the smuggest voice and attitude the whole time.
    • Smug? Sounded to me more like he was saying he was a nice guy in more like a "begging" way for the girl to not go. While he cares about Priya, she didn't get Leonard the way the new girl did. And Priya is on the other side of the world...any person who is a Long distance relationship can tell you how hard that is, and how uncertain it is that you will ever see each other again, or if the relationship will work out. Leonard meets this great girl who is in the here and now, she's cute, and she gets him. He was weak and in need of that physical relationship as well as the emotional one, this girl was essentially a dream come true. He was afraid of losing her forever. Even if they couldn't be together, he hoped they could still hang out as friends because he did genuinely like her. He even said that he worried he was going to regret something. A missed opportunity. Should he break it off with the new girl or Priya? Which is better in the long run, uncertain questions he was trying to run away from. But in the end he did the right thing. He broke it off before it ever got to serious, but his tone like, "I'm a nice guy" sounded more like a lonely kid begging for someone to not go. He didn't want to loose at least friendship with the girl, because she was nice and cool. And let's not forget how hypocritical calling out Leonard for cheating on Priya is. Apparently kissing one girl makes Leonard a dick. But Priya outright goes and has sex with her old boyfriend, and and yet I don't see anyone harping on her like they are on Leonard. Kissing a girl while you have a girlfriend is apparently WORSE than having sex with another boy while you have a boyfriend.
    • Orignal Poster: Yeah that is true (Which btw they never said why Priya suddenly wanted to go back to India in the first place and gave her no What the Hell, Hero? moment which bugs me), but since it was a largely Leonard centered episode and to me, it felt like he bogged down the ep. I hope they have him dump Priya though.
    • I don't think anyone is arguing that Leonard didn't make a mistake. But he spends the entire episode angsting over a moral dilemma, ultimately makes the right choice (it didn't get out of hand) and tries to make things right with both parties, yet according to the complaints he is a tool, douche and/or prick because he made a mistake at all. He has also never been good at explaining himself, his whole "I'm a good guy" speech was in response to Alice's upset remark that she was looking for a good guy. He was trying to say "I was tempted because I like you but I couldn't go through with it" and it merely came out as "I'm a good guy and you're hot." It just seems the Fandom loves to villainize Leonard when he has never been portrayed as a perfect individual. I've seen in several other forums where he is attacked for laughing at Kripke's helium prank on Sheldon, when he not only admitted it to Sheldon but encouraged him to get revenge. From my point of view it feels like the writers are trying to develop Rounded Characters and fans are attacking them for being human.
    • ^This SO MUCH! I'm tired of people ripping Leonard apart for being HUMAN and he did the right thing in the end and his haters STILL rip him apart no matter what he does. Also to the original poster I agree, Priya never mentions why she needs to go back to India and they haven't given her a WTH-Hero at all yet for having sex with an ex while still daring to call Leonard her boyfriend, so I hope Leonard does dump her. Look at it this way. Leonard panicked, and his words came out wrong with Alice, Priya literally WAS trying to make excuses and get off scot-free despite doing worse than what he did when she doesn't deserve to get off easy. And yet the haters NEVER mention that when they bash Leonard about the recent episode...I really hate the Double Standard Leonard is subject too because his haters take every chance they can to paint him in a negative light. Now I'm not calling you one of these haters OP, we're just pointing out the doublestandard and unfair treatment of Leonard by parts of the fandom.
    • Call it what you will, but this isn't about being a good guy in relative to Priya. From a writing point of view, it is apparent that Priya cheating was thrown in to make him look better in comparison, and thus justifying his Good Guy title. This isn't new either, Leonard almost triumphantly admitted to having lied to Penny about his personality throughout their relationship and for no other reason than wanting sex from her - but that's okay, because Penny meets a new guy and lies about her interests too. This happens two episodes after his breakup with Priya. And even that's not a coincidence, because the same thing happened to Alan over and over again when he was supposed to be the good guy. And you know what the worst part is? It doesn't work, because the women are different each time which means that while he may share flaws with some women, he still has all of the flaws for himself, and then some.
    • From a writing point of view Priya's cheating was the catalyst to break them up, Leonard's story was just a way of revealing that information. The whole episode was of Leonard being tempted to do something wrong and coming close to doing so before backing down. Wanting to be "that kind of guy" is to show how tempted he was. He also didn't admit to "lying about his personality" to Penny, he stated he put up with some things with Penny because they were dating/having sex and that is almost the definition of being in a relationship (you have companionship and share each others activities in exchange for some drama). The scene where they use activities they did together as conversation pieces was to show that both have evolved by being together and don't know it, Leonard has experienced some spontaneous social activities and Penny is appreciative of higher learning/thinking.
    • Also, lets not start arguing "from a writing point of view" as claiming "well they just put that in to make X look better" is a very good way to interpret anyone on the show as either the hero or the villain as the mood fits.
    • It makes it easier for haters of Leonard to demonize him of course to argue it that way, does this surprise you? Everyone else can be a flawed human being but not no, if he has flaws we'll start labeling him a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing (and they did before people thankfully removed that oh so wrong label).
    • Personally I found his actions to be very realistic. Long-distance relationships are hard, and absence only makes the heart grow fonder when the absence is in moderation. Priya was basically gone from Leonard's life for a long time, and not everyone is able to handle that sort of relationship. And as another troper pointed out, at the very same time he was being deprived of his girlfriend along comes this other girl who seems like his ideal match. She's smart, she's funny, she seemingly shares all his geeky interests, and she likes him back. If Leonard had met the new girl first he never would have noticed Priya (and probably not Penny either). They took a guy who has been insecure with women his whole life and threw the ultimate temptation at him. Frankly, if he hadn't jumped at the chance to sleep with Alice I'd have been howling bullshit.

     Did Leonard and Priya break up? 
  • did Leonard and Priya break up? I just watched the episode on Thurs. which I can only assume to be a new episode (Where Amy gets upset because Penny and Bernadette go bridesmaid dress shopping without her). Leonard makes an offhand comment that he is single. So...did him and Priya break up? This is never really explained? Granted she deserves to get dumped after what she did (see above), never is really addressed, at all. Kind of feels weird and awkward. I would understand if Leonard not wanting to talk about it. But none of the characters seem to bring this up at all!
    • Probably right after Good Guy Fluctuation (the episode right before). In the last scene (the one with Sheldon bursting out of the couch cushions), Priya admits to Leonard that she cheated on him as well. Overwhelmed, Leonard hangs up rather abruptly. It's assumed they never talked after that.
    • Yes I am aware of the cheating (hence why I think she deserves it), but what I mean is, was it EVER brought up? The break up? I mean if Leonard doesn't want to talk about it, that's understandable, but seriously, you'd think him or Raj or one of the other characters would bring it up. She was his girlfriend for a while, and she was Raj's sister, information like that is KINDA important. And it's never brought up once???
    • Maybe the writers were also sick of the Priya character existing as a transparent excuse for Leonard and Penny "not to get together yet" and are trying to pretend the whole thing never happened?
    • Well that's a pretty flimsy reason to cover up the "Transparent excuse" I don't care if they didn't want to pretend it didn't happen. The fact of the matter is, I want to know if they for certain are off for good or if he'll forgive her or whatever. Priya was an important side character because she had connections to two of the main cast (Raj and Leonard) to cast that aside just because you wish you never thought it up in the first place is BAD writing.
    • In addition to being "Transparent excuse", Priya was such an unlikable, wretched character, that I'm willing to accept this instance of BAD writing without complaint so long as they promise never to so much as mention her name again during the series.
    • In the following episode "Isolation Permutation" Leonard says, "I'm single, I don't need this crap." Priya is a classic Romantic False Lead, so they juggled making her likeable with "Trying to change Leonard" and "Doesn't understand his hobbies." The instant Priya went back to India they were clearly on their last legs. The show in general doesn't like to dwell on the drama, and I can't think of how they could make Leonard and Priya breaking up to be funny without being disrespectful. Notice how once Leonard learned of Priya's infidelity they had Sheldon burst out of the couch, it kept things from being too serious.
    • Simple, any fans that were pro Penny/Leonard and/or pro Sheldon disliked her, so when a plausible breakup reason came up they figured that was enough to just get rid of her.
     What's up with all the Prenup hate? 
  • Why, for the love of god WHY, does every single character on the show think that a pre-nup is the worstest most very-awful quite bad thing to ever exist? I guess I can see Howard being offended at the thought of it, since he's a self-centred douche, but literally every other character feeling the same way? Nobody else thinks that it shouldn't matter? That it's a pretty reasonable idea, unless you are planning from the get-go to divorce and fight over money? I don't understand why the writers think that a pre-nup is so terrible they don't feel that any of the characters would even once consider that it's anything less than offensive to sign one.
    • Ok, that's a little harsh to call Howard that. Yes he use to be one, but ever since he became official with Bernadette he started to become a better man. And when it comes to her, he always has his reasons for why he does things, and you know what that is? For all the crazy, and stupid things? It's because he actually loves her. So the reason agreeing to a pre-nup offends him, is because, he loves Bernadette, and is horrified at the thought that she would think they could get a divorce some day. Yes love is blind, but it shows that Howard does truly love her and wants this good thing to last...the old Howard would of agreed to a pre-nup. Because then he could be free to be a lech and hit on other women when things go south and he wouldn't have to deal with the hassle that most divorce battles do, because he would be thinking of himself in that situation and only him. But he found a woman he cares about, and wants to stay with her forever...he doesn't even want to THINK of a possibility that they could separate. And maybe the other characters are just as optimistic about Howard and Bernadette's future too...and find that offering a pre-nup kinda seems cynical. Plus what is a pre-nup? It treats the marriage as a contract or like a business deal basically...when things go south, they have an settlement...yes it's a fair thing to offer, but in Howard's mind, "why would she ever want one unless she thinks that we might divorce someday". It's fear. He doesn't want to lose her, and the other characters obviously sympathize with him.
    • I don't think it's harsh to call him that at all. He still acts like a selfish douche. Like how he expects his mom and Bernadette to do everything for him, or how he was pressuring Bernadette about having kids but seemed really unenthusiastic at the idea of him staying home from work to take care of them instead of Bernadette when she made it clear she didn't want to do it. He's done nothing to show that he is any less self-centred or douchey than he was back in the old days, at least not in my opinion. Besides, it's pretty clear that Bernadette doesn't think it's necessary, just that her dad wants it. If he really loved her, he wouldn't be making a big fuss and putting her in a stressful situation just because he's too selfish to think of anything other than what he wants, which is to not sign a piece of paper. And even if his friends sympathize with him, that they all instinctively think that a pre-nup is Bad News is ridiculous. Most of his friends are scientists, who have been established to be skeptical, rational-minded folk with a good grasp of math and statistics. The most common statistic about marriage is that fifty percent of them end in divorce. While I could get them supporting him out of loyalty, I don't get why they would ignore that and immediately go "but they're in love! HOW B DIS POSSIBL" when a pre-nup is a reasonable thing to expect in a modern marriage. Not to mention that since the general consensus is that Bernadette is way out of his league anyway and they can't see why she's with him in the first place, so divorce isn't as impossible as you seem to think.
    • So, you judge his entire character by a single action four seasons ago? Also, Bernadette isn't out of his league. She is abusive.
    • The bigger problem is that it contradicts the idea of him being a devout Catholic. Now Catholic clergy may okay a wedding between a Catholic and a Jew, but they will NEVER consent to perform a wedding if a pre-nup was signed, because a prenup invalidates a marriage by making a mockery of the vows. Why not just come out and say that he doesn't want the two of them to get married? It's so much better than acting subversively.
    • Wait, who's the devout Catholic? Howard is Jewish. Do you mean Bernadette's dad? I don't remember him ever being described as devout Catholic. Her mom, yes, but there are lots of people who are married to somebody more or less religious than they are. And as for the clergy consent stuff, a quick glance at Wikipedia indicates that the problem is not with "a mockery of the vows" per se, but something to do with the church laws, and even then it really depends on exactly what it is that the pre-nup says. So that doesn't mean that the clergy won't consent to perform a wedding, it means that the pre-nup can't have anything that's illegal concerning the church's law. And looking at Wikipedia, it now makes even less sense that Howard is so against signing a pre-nup, because apparently a prenuptual contract called a ketubah is an integral part of a Jewish marriage ceremony. So Howard has no reason to be so upset at the idea that he might have to sign a pre-nup, it would be something he's known all his life.
    • Howard and Bernadette did not have a Jewish wedding, so he probably never had to sign a ketubah. Also, ketubah is nothing like a pre-nup. The only thing about it that is sort of similar to a pre-nup is that the husband is required to specify an amount of money he'd have to pay to the wife if he kicks her out. Doesn't work both ways, by the way. I can tell you as a Jew that if I were Bernadette I would appreciate him for not signing a ketubah.
    • There's also the fact that the person suggesting a pre-nup is generally (perceived as) the one with the most to lose. Bernadette wanting a pre-nup is essentially saying that he's the weaker one in the relationship (or in more sexist terms, Bernadette is "The Man" and Howard is "The Woman") which is a blow to his machismo.
    • Which would explain why Howard would be against it, yes — we all know what an ass he is. But it doesn't really explain why every other character also thinks it's bad. Sure, they might feel bad for him because they know he'll react poorly to it, but it's kind of ridiculous that everybody objects to the idea of a prenup automatically. It's a pretty reasonable idea when one partner earns way more money, and the other partner has a long history of, well, everything Howard has done up to this point in the show. Nobody wants Howard and Bernadette to get divorced, no, but they'd have to be idiots to think it's not even a small possibility, as bad as that sounds. It would be much more realistic if the group discussed, away from Howard, how sad it would be if they split but the reasons a prenup would be a not-entirely-bad idea, then when Howard is around they show him the support he deserves as a friend. Instead, they're all against it from the start and treat it as if suggesting a prenup is some total disaster. I believe that
    • Pre-nuptial agreement hate is pretty common out there in the real world, whether it's rational or not. A lot of people have views such as "It's expecting the marriage to fail", "It's unfair to the other person", "A good lawyer will rip it apart anyway", "They're unfair to (one gender or the other)", etc. The characters having a bad view of pre-nups is pretty mainstream.
    • Where mixed marriages between Jews and Roman Catholics have happened, they tend to need extensive agreements and sometimes downright horse-trading over whose religion gets the kids. Religious sitcom Bless Me Father did an episode about this, where a shrewd Irish priest and the equally savvy local Rabbi get together over a bottle of something strong and two glasses, agreeing that the oldest daughter and at least two other daughters - Jewish. (so as to preserve the matrilinear line and ensure her daughters count). They agreed it wasn't vitally necessary for the oldest son to be Jewish, but at least one son should be. Any other children - Roman Catholic. After getting two-thirds of the way down the bottle, they then told the happy couple what had been decided and that it wasn't open for negotiation. According to insiders, this was a pretty accurate portrayal. With Bernadette being the Catholic, it could be assumed it wasn't so critical - Jewish identity passes down through the mother - but I'm betting Mrs Wolowitz got a deal like this so that at least one grand-daughter would be of the righr faith!
    • I believe that he wasn't sure about signing a pre nup because he felt like that meant that her parents didn't believe that their relationship would work out. After all, Bernadette's father is the one who forced the issue, when it was none of his business anyway. So I think that other guys agreed with his opinion because of how signing a pre nup made him feel, not because they hated the whole idea of a pre nup And yes, it is pretty harsh to call Howard a self centered douche because of that. But again, people also constantly bash Leonard, Sheldon etc. on this page too and feminsists keep calling Howard a vile excuse for human being all over the Internet so why bother pointing out that they missed the obvious?
    • Also, I can't believe that any reasonable person would think that Howard didn't change at all since earlier seasons and concentrate on ONE EPISODE where he does something wrong and ignore all the good things that he did.

    ''The Contractual Obligation Implentation 
  • This episode bugged me in a few ways. first, Leonard claims him parents pushed him into science, since they were both scientists. However, his mother is in biology and his father anthropology, so why would they push him towards physics? Moreover, his brother's a lawyer, and Leonard's mother suopported him, so clearly science wasn't the issue. Maybe she just thought the chances of a short white kid from Jersey being a rapper was unlikely? On top of that, why did the presentation focus only on Howard's trip to space, with no mention of engineering whatsoever? I'm pretty sure that would have helped, seeing as engineering was what got him to space in the first place
    • Maybe they didn't push him towards physics in particular, but instil an interest in science in general? Most people don't specialise in a particular field until their late teens, so when he was a kid they probably pushed him towards scientific subjects at school over others such as English Lit, History, languages, etc and by the time he came to go to university to get a degree or even selecting classes in the last few years prior to starting his degree he'd decided that he preferred/was more adept at physics than other branches. As for his brother being a lawyer, maybe his parents put emphasis on the sciences for all their children, but his brother decided to study law instead; Leonard (who it's regularly established has parental issues/maternal related neuroses) may have then felt even more obligated to follow their wishes (or even that it might finally earn his mother's love). And speaking of his mother issues, it's also possible that he's just making excuses. And yet another alternate explanation stemming from this is it could have been part of an experiment by his mother (remember she's written multiple papers and books with Leonard as a case study so she's not above using her own children as lab rats). Also, I forget what it's been stated that Leonard's sister does, but iirc it's established that she also has a high paid career, so maybe their parents pushed each of them to a different field?
    • As for Howard and the presentation, maybe they were planning on it but got blindsided by the girls they were giving the presentation to? Maybe the plan was to go "hey girls, being an astronaught is cool right? Well I'm an astronaught and do you know how I got to be one? Engineering!" But they were cut off at the "you didn't fly the ship and you didn't go to the moon, lame!" comment one of the girls made. That and astronaught sounds better than 'space plumber' as he's been called when he's told people about how he designed the ISS's waste disposal system.

  • Am I the only one who finds it odd that Anime watcher and general "Here's an interesting fact" guy Sheldon apparently doesn't know what a tanuki is? In "The Friendship Algorithm" he tells Leonard that Howard drew "a raccoon with enlarged testicles" on his Sheldon Friend Test paper instead of saying something like "Howard drew a Japanese tanuki - a raccoon with enlarged testicles". Seems like every other time Sheldon identifies everything by name, even if other people such as Leonard already know the name.
    • Tanuki aren't raccoons. They're raccoon dogs, which look sort of similar but aren't related.
    • True, but most Western versions of Manga and Anime - most notably Pom Poko - depicts them as such. And I'm sure Sheldon would have inserted that fact into his explanation as well.
    • Who says it was a tanuki at all? Maybe he did draw a Western raccoon with enlarged testacles. In which case there is no reason to bring up Japanese tanuki, because it's not what he drew. Besides, Sheldon usually gives out his "interesting facts" when he's in a good mood, like over dinner conversation or in the car. In that scene he was irritated that his friends didn't take his test seriously, so he's more interested in calling Leonard out on that than on dispensing random, barely-related facts.

     What about Raj's apartment? 
  • In The Pancake Batter Anomaly, when Sheldon gets sick, Howard and Leonard have to plan what to do to avoid Sheldon for the next 18 to 24 hours and couldn't go to Howard's house, why didn't they just go to Raj's apartment?
    • Because there was a Planet of the Apes marathon playing nearby.
    • Perhaps his apartment was being painted or there was some pest elimination in progress. Or more likely, the show did not have a set for Raj's apartment just yet.

     Sheldon has an MA? 
  • In "The Love Car Displacement", Sheldon says he has a BSc, MSc, MA, PhD, and ScD. (I think so, I might have heard it wrong.) It's already been established that he looks down upon the Humanities and Arts, so why does he have an MA?
    • Arts refers to the classical liberal arts which include mathematics and astronomy.
    • Also, if he ever attended Oxford or Cambridge (as we know Raj did), all their degrees are BA, MA or DPHil, whatever the subject.

     Why didn't the guys use "Paper" or "Lizard"? 
  • In "The Lizard-Spock Expansion" (also Season Two), the guys are shown to draw repeatedly playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock by all choosing Spock, when any of them is smart enough to know to immediately switch to Lizard or Paper and thus win against the remaining Spocks. Are they all such psychotic Star Trek fans that none of them can do this?
    • Yes. Sheldon always chooses Spock in Twenty Questions as well.
    • The most common opener in traditional Rock-Paper-Scissors is Rock. People know that, so they play paper to cover rock. Other people also know that so they throw scissors first. Which causes people to throw rock, etc etc. The entire game (even with the extra options) is one vicious, um, triangle.
    • Not a triangle - a pentacle. A pictorial representation of all sets of two within a set of five... oh, never mind.
    • Poor, Predictable Rock
    • Poor Predictable Spock

     Stuart only makes $1. 65 per hour? 
  • In "the Justice League Recombination", Stuart says he works 70 hours per week and earns $1.65 per hour. How does he live on $6000 per year?
    • He owns the store, so he might be oversimplifying something.
    • In a more recent episode, he mentions that he's currently living in the comic book store for 'financial reasons'.
    • We've seen Stuart leech off Howard's mother by living in her house and eating the food she provided. It could be that Stuart is a freeloader much like Penny is.

     How was Raj talking to Bernadette 
  • In last night's (2/3/2011, "The Thespian Catalyst) Raj was talking to Bernadette. Did I miss an episode? Because he still has trouble talking to Penny, but he's talking normally to her.
    • He was drinking a beer at the time. Raj is only able to speak to women when he has consumed alcohol.
    • No, he was imagining the whole scene in his head.
    • Ah, that makes sense. I guess I didn't expect the Cheesecake Factory to serve alcohol.
    • It probably depends on the location. The one near me has suggested alcohol accompaniments next to menu items.
    • In one scene where he speaks to her, he's drinking a beer. Since he's shown several times that the placebo effect is enough to get rid of his shyness (non-alcoholic beer and rumcake will do the trick), it doesn't really matter how much he's had. In another scene, which is the first in the series of his fantasies, it's his imagination and as such he's not limited by his usual pathology (I remember because I had the same thought as soon as the scene started, then it was revealed to be fantasy and it made sense).

     What the hell is that apartment building's layout? 
  • Considering the layout of the apartment building Leonard, Penny and Sheldon live in, isn't Penny's apartment at least partly suspended over the road?
    • We never spend any time in the outside entrance of the building, usually just in the foyer. Penny's apartment also appears to be parallel to the stairway, as well as on the third floor. They don't really show much in the way of the actual floorplan of the building or the other tenants.
    • While trying to replicate the apartment building in The Sims, I was unable to figure out how this building is set up. Looking online at fansites and the BBT wiki, I've discovered that no one seems able to figure out the layout of their apartment. It seems to defy real-world physics, especially with the way the stairwell is positioned in relation to the two apartments. Probably this is best written off as a complication of being filmed on sets rather than in a real apartment building.
    • Is this a REALLY deeply embedded science joke? A sort of Easter Egg for scientifically minded viewers to discover? There's —And He Built a Crooked House—, a classic science-fiction stor about a house that "implodes" through an additional dimension and becomes a tesseract, a four-dimensional cube: which like a Tardis is both bigger on the inside and occupies a set of dimensions which are utterly impossible in normal three-dimensional space, but perfectly feasible in four and five dimensional space. Hell's bells, Heinlein's story is even 'set'' in Los Angeles. Is this the (tamed) Crooked House?
    • Also, in my experience with living in apartment buildings, each individual dwelling within an apartment building is usually more or less similar in size and design layout. However despite living right across the hall from one another, Penny's apartment is noticeably much smaller than Sheldon and Leonard's apartment.
    • I used to live in an old apartment building where each apartment had the same floorplan as the one directly above/below it, but was different from all the others on the same floor. On a given floor, there weren't even apartments that were mirror images of each other. I assume their building could be like that. Of course, that doesn't explain what's above the ground-floor entrance.
    • [[*ggpht*com|-rsR_V3PajUg|U Dee MY 7 Jq XI|AAAAAAAAJ 7 M|Oj Io Z F1aw TM|Television-Series-Apartments-Floor-Plans-Big-Bang-Theory_thumb%255B1%255D*jpg~imgmax=800/sinemabirmucizedir*blogspot*com|2012_08_01_archive*html/ This site]] has a good mock up of it. It gives an odd shape of building, but there are ways to handwave it, and there is just about enough room for Penny's apartment if you assume that second floor and above do project over street level with their kitchens being where a projecting balcony could have gone in a more expensive property.

     Sheldon using a Mac 
  • Why in the newest season is Sheldon using a Mac of all things. Considering that he has repeatedly bashed Apple geniuses, and considers Windows 7 "too user-friendly" for his taste. It just smacks of the writers/producers not being bothered to avoid Everyone Owns A Mac anymore.
    • Sheldon dislikes Apple stores because he feels they are undermining the word "genius". Also that he wanted Zune to win over iPods.
    • OSX Macs are *nix based, this includes a good deal of support for mathematical expression making it a good platform to put together the sort of short scripts that would be advantageous to a physicist testing a new theory. Of course the same support would be available on a Linux system, but then he couldn't play world of warcraft.
    • WoW works fine using WINE last I checked. And really, a geek like Sheldon would most likely dual boot Windows and Linux, the former for application compatibility and the later for advanced functionality. Geeks aren't typically big Apple fans, although the world is wide enough that there are plenty of geeks who use Macs. Moreover, given that the university probably uses either Linux or another Posix compliant system, it would make sense for them to have it on their home computers in order to more easily work from home.
    • What really bugs me is that it appears they all use Internet Explorer!

     What happened to Penny's acting career? 
  • Whatever happened to Penny's acting career? It's rarely mentioned in the show now, even though the whole reason she moved to L.A. was to pursue an acting career. Yeah, we know she's a failed actor, but it feels like she isn't even trying to look for roles.
    • If anyone needed further evidence that the show is not very interested in Penny as a person, this ought to provide it.
    • She ISN'T trying to look for those roles, for the most part. But season 5 resolves this small issue.
    • Every few episodes they bring up the fact she is an actress, but a Running Gag is the fact she did not land any paying jobs until the beginning of the 5th season (she was even ready to quit and move back home). If she wasn't landing any roles what would be the point of bringing up failed auditions? They did that once in "The Cohabitation Formulation" where she mistakenly auditioned for porn.
    • In the seventh series, she is ecstatic about landing a small part in a big networked show opposite the leading man - then is reduced to tears when her appearance is edited out of the final screening. Penny just can't catch a break...
    • Later, in season eight or nine, after she gets the sales job at Bernadette's company, she does go to one audition and quickly realizes she doesn't enjoy it anymore.

     Three-person chess already exists! 
  • In the latest episode, Sheldon said he figured out a three-person chessboard. Now, I`m not a scientist or anything, I went to college for carpentry, not physics or advanced maths. So I have no idea what he was talking about when he went on about how he solved setting up the middle of the board or something. But I distinctly remember having a three-person chess/checkerboard when I was a kid, so I don't know what the deal is. It's already been invented. It's not the big thing he's treating it as.
    • I've one three-person chessboard too. It's probable that Sheldon thinks he devised a better chessboard.
    • Besides, the joke's not that he invented a three-person chessboard. It's that he then proceeded to start turning chess into a three-person Chess and Magic: The Gathering hybrid.

     Why didn't Wheaton go to the convention? 
  • In the first episode with Will Wheaton, Sheldon says he wants revenge because he waited 5 hours for him to show up at a Star Trek convention, and he never showed up. Wheaton tells Sheldon it was because his grandmother died. At the end, he reveals he lied just so he could win the card game. But we never find out what was the true reason for Wheaton not showing up at the convention was, and suprisingly, Sheldon doesn't ask this.
    • What would be the point of asking? Either it was something small and unforgivable, like he didn't care about it or just wanted to laugh at his fans, or it was a genuine reason that Sheldon wouldn't believe anyway, since he was already lying about his grandmother dying. Hell, he probably doesn't even remember, it was years ago and I imagine he's been to and skipped off from a ton of conventions.
    • Maybe the real reason is Wheaton is the Joker to Sheldon's Batman and his past is traditionally a mystery
    • Sheldon at some point mentions that "apparently it was cooler to be the bottom left corner on Hollywood Squares" than to go to the convention, though Sheldon may have said this in a later episode. Either way, it seems that Sheldon already knew where Wheaton was that day instead of at the Star Trek convention.
    • It seems likely to me that after Wil lied to Sheldon in order to win the card game, Sheldon went home and researched the real reason that Wil never showed at the convention. It would simply be a matter of Googling "Wil Wheaton" along with the date of the convention.

     About the game they play... 
  • Regarding that fantasy card game they play (the one where the Fluffy Bunny always loses). What kind of game is that? It's either nonsensical or extremely simple. Apparently there is a single deck, and everybody gets a hand of cards. Then each player takes turns placing a card on the stack in the middle. Once everybody has played a card, then the player with the "highest" value card wins the hand. Nobody has a sideboard, draw deck, dedicated playing area, or a set of counters, and there appears to be no customization or really any strategy beyond "play a higher card". Or am I just overthinking this?
    • It could be fantasy-themed UNO
    • We'll find out soon enough. The producers are working on a real-life version of Mystic Warlords of Ka'a; it was supposed to have been unveiled at Comic-Con 2011.
    • It could be one of those games where you have to try to lose big and win small (since a win and a loss each count as one win or loss, and no points are kept regarding by how much you won or lost), so you can get rid of your lower cards when they don't matter and save your higher cards for when you need them and nothing weaker. Something must be the lowest card, or hands would too easily end in ties.
    • You are overthinking this.
    • Don't they just say -almost- everything beats Enchanted Bunny? There could be highly specific circumstances where it would be ideal, like against "Lettuce of Doom" or "Carrot Creature".
    • Yeah, the show actually admits there's a card for it; someone says that everything beats Enchanted Bunny, and Howard says, "Unless you have the Carrot of Power." Presumably using that card makes Enchanted Bunny much more effective.
    • So... Enchanted Bunny is the game's version of Magikarp?
    • It's just a riff on ultracommon/really weak cards in those sorts of card games. Basically crap cards they can stuff booster packs with to keep people buying them because "Oh crap not another enchanted bunny!" And like the troper above said it probably has a few combos where it's theoretically powerful. If Mystic Warlords of Ka'a is anything like the game it most obviously parodies ( Magic: The Gathering ) I guarantee you someone out there has an Enchanted Bunny Deck that obliterates other decks just to prove it can be done.

     A minor inconsistency... 
  • In that episode when Howard's mom goes to the hospital, a big part of the episode is Sheldon's germ phobia and his fear of hospitals. His fear of hospitals which had never been heard of before, even though he spent quite a bit of time in hospitals growing up and we see him in one when Leonard is dating Stephanie, the doctor. It's a pretty minor inconsistancy, I suppose, but it still bugs me.
    • He's always been a bit of a germaphobe, and the more recent "contaminations" probably exacerbated an underlying fear. People have developed phobias in much the same way, sometimes just by watching tv.
    • Sheldon is a hypochondriac, it's been established that he is one since the first two seasons.

    Suit and swinging door 
  • How is it possible that the hospital put someone contagious enough for a full body pressure suit in a room with a swinging door? According to the CDC, those suits are only necessary for things on the threat level of Hanta, Marburg, and Ebola. And it's in a room that someone could literally stumble into.
    • I think that is either a plot hole or a statement on hospital funding issues, or possibly there really was some kind of outbreak going on that they didn't bring up and the hospital was out of secure rooms.

     Was Amy and Sheldon's lie exposed? 
  • Did the gang ever find out that Amy and Sheldon were lying about having sex and Amy being pregnant?
    • They probably figured it out when she never got big or, you know, had a child.
    • Faster than that. Penny and Leonard were obviously pretty freaked out, they probably immediately confronted Sheldon, Amy, or both of them. Sheldon's inability to lie quickly would have pretty quickly sunk their little experiment.
    • "We were experimenting with Meme Theory" is such a Sheldon thing to do that I'm sure the rest of the gang just rolled their eyes and let it all go.

     In the knowledge bowl episode, why were Sheldon and Leonard helping each other at the end? 
  • In the episode in which the knowledge bowl (or whatever it was called) at the end of the episode Penny says she's going to figure out who the smartest is. They're obviously supposed to be against each other, so why are they helping each other with answers and high fiving when they think they get an answer right?
    • Friendship trumps competition in some cases.
    • Neither one had a clue about anything she asked, so they teamed up in hopes of getting one question right.
    • But that still doesn't make sense, because in the episode Sheldon very explicitly stated he'd rather get a question wrong than be right with somebody else's help.
    • Sheldon felt that way when he was able to get a lot of questions right by himself. When he couldn't get even a single one of Penny's questions right his opinion may have "evolved" very quickly. Also, people are inconsistent sometimes, it happens.

     How is Sheldon unfamiliar with drywall? 
  • Sheldon is a genius, correct? He basically knows how almost anything works (except pop culture), so... How does he not know what drywall is?!
    • Brain fart?
    • They call it 'sheetrock' on the show, which is possibly a term he isn't familiar with because people more commonly call it 'drywall' and I'm sure he has no real interest in construction, so would have no reason to think it had any other name. Also, he's a genius in terms of his IQ but he doesn't know how 'almost anything' works, he knows how physics works as well as a lot about other sciences. He has shown multiple times, though, to have a higher estimation of his own expertise than he should - he assumes he knows everything about everything, but the things he says about other fields of work are incorrect fairly often.

     Were they being careless here? 
  • In 'The Wiggly Finger Catalyst', there are a couple of headbangers for anyone who uses sign language. The one that sticks out the most is that Howard claims 'not to know how to spell'. In Emily's introductory scene, he spells Raj's name. Most proper nouns are fingerspelt. In any class where you would learn any form of sign, fingerspelling is the first thing covered. Rule of Funny or carelessness?
    • Watch the scene again; he says that he doesn't know how to spell the word "opalescent," not that he doesn't know how to spell in general.
    • Whoops, you're right. Being deaf myself, I must have failed a Listen check on that.

     Why didn't Raj tell Penny the truth behind their sex sooner? 
  • Why didn't Raj tell Penny about the stuff in the fourth season finale sooner?
    • He was sober. — Plus they didn't actually talk about what happened until the fifth season premiere, it looked like Penny got dressed really quickly and then ran out.
    • Plus he was embarrassed. Plus he was hoping that if Penny thought they had sex they'd be in a relationship.
    • Plus wasn't it within the same day that he met up with her? He did have work and "My friend thinks she slept with me." isn't a good excuse for a day off.

     What was the revelation? 
  • What exactly was the "revelation" in "The Rhinitis Revelation"?
    • Based on context, it was that Sheldon is in fact only human, and subject to the same flaws and weaknesses felt by everyone else; this was symbolized most concretely by him developing rhinitis (i.e. a stuffy nose). To him, at least, this would certainly qualify as a "revelation."

     What's up with Sheldon's contradictions? 
  • Though I'm usually happy to put it down to Rule of Funny, specifically Hypocritical Humour, the contradictions in Sheldon's character bother me. For example, his scepticism holds for things like psychics but not telepathy. Also, sometimes it is stressed that he Cannot Tell a Lie, but at other times the plot demands that he can. (Though as the channel I usually watch the show on plays the episodes out of order, that could possibly be character development instead - can anyone who's seen them all in order help there?)
    • He had issues with Leonard's lie to avoid Penny's performance because he felt it too easy to prove a lie. So he went and created his own lie which, as shown, worked like a charm.
    • He has trouble keeping secrets confided to him but is perfectly capable of deception of his own accord. That's the basic premise of his own character, the most outlandish things he does makes sense from his own internal logic.
    • Essentially, Sheldon has trouble coming up with lies quickly. If he's given enough time to sit down and work out an internally consistent story and plant some fake evidence, he does okay.

     What happened to Sheldon and Penny's friendship? 
  • I know that Leonard/Penny was intended to be the One True Pairing from the beginning, but the derailing / outright destruction of Sheldon and Penny's friendship in the later seasons irks me to no end. These were two people that while very different and sometimes insulting to each other, were actually friends and at times went out of the way to help one another. Remember when Sheldon loaned money to Penny when she needed it, or when he looked after her when she slipped in the shower and broke her arm, or when he helped her with her business? Remember when Penny was able to hold a single conversation with Sheldon without having almost utter contempt, or did such ridiculous things to make him happy like singing 'Soft Kitty' or getting him Leonard Nimoy's DNA? The writers sure don't. Quite simply, they most likely noticed viewers preferring the possibility of Sheldon and Penny and decided to sink it by removing all the positive aspects between them and keeping only the negative. Now, all they do is insult each other, and any scenes where Sheldon would have confided in Penny for any problems he is having have been replaced by Amy Farrah Fowler (whose character I do like, but there's no denying that she was brought in to be Sheldon's perfect match). It's just sad.
    • Exactly. Glad to know I'm not the only who likes Sheldon and Penny as delusional and unlikely it is.
    • "The Robotic Hand Manipulation," "The Apology Insufficiency," "The Thespian Catalyst" and "The Agreement Dissection" of the fourth season all feature significant Penny/Sheldon interaction, two of which have little to no Amy in them (so you can't argue they are trying to discourage the Ship Tease). The whole point of their dynamic is that 90 percent of the time they annoy the hell out of each other, and somewhere in between you see a glimmer of what makes them friends at all.
    • We have a trope for that. Add in that it's been established that Penny respects all the guys for their intelligence (with Sheldon being the smartest). Sheldon also admires Penny's ability to read people. They have also been very helpful to each other over the years.

     Um, I have a question about Sheldon... 
  • Sheldon not knowing about Theophrastus Geisel's adult publications in the Halloween 2011 episode is odd but understandable. However, I don't see any reason for "Friedrich Neetch-ya", especially considering I'm pretty sure Sheldon's actor has pronounced that name correctly in the past.
    • It refers to that one 1 Million B.C. film where the Caveman word for "dinosaur" was "neetchya". Sheldon referring to an obscure Sci-Fi movie fits. But Sheldon did not go on and on and on about Dinosaurs and Humans being in totally different time periods. So the explanation raises more questions than it resolves.
    • I don't remember that episode, how does he pronounce it? The correct German pronunciation is /'niːtʃə/ (the ː doesn't appear right...), Neetch-ya would be pretty close. English speakers often say /'niːtʃi/, both are acceptable.

     What kind of experimental scientists do that? 
  • Season 1 episode 3: Leonard tries kissing Leslie only once. What kind of experimental scientist agrees to wrap up the experiment with one data point, when it would clearly be in his own interest to establish an adequate sample size? Artistic License I guess, but you'd think they'd know how many people like me would be watching.
    • It was tongue-in-cheek.
    • You might as well ask why Leslie didn't insist on kissing five or six guys in rapid sequence to determine an 'average' physiological response as a baseline before kissing Leonard. Also, as a control group, you'd need to have an additional Leonard for her to not kiss.

     About the Physics Bowl... 
  • Physics Bowl: the final question was a negatively charged electron repulsing a negatively charged muon by gamma emission. The Russian physics Professor/ Janitor said "1 over 24 PI alpha." which within the context of the episode was the right answer.
    • If the diagram had stated the velocities and angles of the particles, Janitor's answer might have been correct.
    • Diagram did not state any numbers. The question was invalid.
    • Thaht is da johke. Sheldon would rather get the question wrong than admit that anyone, especially a janitor, knew something he didn't. The only reason he teamed up with the janitor at all is that he wanted to answer all the questions himself... it was basically the whole point of the episode.

     In the Season 3 premiere, why didn't Leonard, Raj, and Howard go to Texas by plane? 
  • The Gang went to a Scientific Congress, they could get there in 4 hours by plane or 11 hours by train, Sheldon voted Train. After the Arctic expedition, the Gang visited Sheldon in Texas by "Red Eye". Sheldon was not there to skew the vote. Why did they not fly?
    • Actually, they did fly. They took a "red eye" flight, which is a flight that leaves late at night and arrives early in the morning.
    • I think the original question came about because they were driving up to Mrs. Cooper's house. It's fair to assume they rented a car at the airport, rather than take a cab.

     Why are Howard and Raj called by their last names? 
  • Why do they often address Howard and Raj by their last names, they even do it to each other despite being Heterosexual Life-Partners?
    • If you have an interesting enough name even close friends will refer to you by that name from time to time. Cooper is the most normal last name and Hofstader is a little clumsy as a nickname. Wolowitz is kind of catchy and Koothrappali is very exotic.
    • It's a guy thing.
    • In my group 4 guys share the same (Boring) first name, But one his last name is rather bad ass. So of course you use that instead of the first name he shares with 5 other people. Especially since it's been likened to a Dungeons & Dragons deity style name.
    • It's not that uncommon of a practice, perhaps a bit less common in the U.S. when compared to other countries. However when I was in high school I had a few friends who were usually referred to only by their last name and had a few friends refer to me by my last name was well (I'm female).
    • Guy thing. My boyfriend refers to one of his closest friends by his last name only, to the point that the first time he used his friend's first name I thought he was talking about a completely different friend.

     So about the Marvel references 
  • While rare, the Marvel references tend to suffer from Geek Reference Pool. When Sheldon lists off his favorite X-Men in the Season 2 episode "Euclid Alternative", he only names the "public" A-Listers, as in those only known to people who are not familiar with the comics at all (either via Popcultural Osmosis or being the leads in the movies and the animated series). Given his geek cred, he's supposed to loathe anyone with Wolverine Publicity, which is pretty much every one of themnote . Which would have ruined the joke about Halle Berry being his four— no, wait, fifth favorite Catwoman, yes, but would it have killed anyone to have him name at least one B, C, D or Z-lister? He's the kind of guy who's supposed to debate endlessly - even with himself - the legitimacy of Deadpool's claim to being an X-Man or whether you should consider Magneto an honorary one who's spent more time on an X-team, although him even listing Cyclops at all is perfectly in tune with his opinion of the trope The Wesley
    • "Given his geek cred, he's supposed to loathe"...Really. Maybe he just happens to like who he named. No need to throw around alleged stereotypes like "he should hate Wolverine because he's popular". He's a geek, not a hipster.
    • This feels like Opinion Myopia. The writers have admitted they try to give the characters their own idiosyncratic geek appeals, Sheldon is much more of a DC fan and may only be a casual Marvel reader while it seems that both Raj and Howard are bigger Marvel fans.

     It seems Doctor Stephanie had more chemistry with Leonard 
  • Anyone else think that Doctor Stephanie had more chemistry with Leonard than Penny? Until the writers derailed her I really liked her. Also before they made Priya a bitch I thought they were good together. It pisses me off that the show pushes Penny and Leonard when Leonard had more chemistry with them than Penny. BTW I'm the same guy from above with the complaint of the bird episode.
    • In all honesty I didn't like Priya with Leonard. She wasn't that interesting, plus she didn't get Leonard the way Penny had. And some people see the chemistry with Penny and Leonard. Also, personally, I think he had great chemistry with that oneshot girl Alice. And wish she'd come back. I think Leonard and Penny are cute, but Penny sometimes annoys me with her double standard and her (sometimes mind you) blown out of proportion rage against Leonard and his friends. (again, this is sometimes, because the rest of the time her anger is justified). But Leonard and Penny are growing as characters. Eventually they'll get to a point that they see what they need to do to make things work. Which is what they are trying to do right now. And I enjoy that. They're trying to communicate more and make things work out. Much more refreshing than Leonard's past relationships and Penny's, as well as their own previous interactions. Plus it's good to show people, that relationships, even when they sometimes seem to hit a roadblock, can be worked out...if both people are willing to try.
    • The major problem with Stephanie was that she basically seemed imported from a "normal" sitcom. She handled Sheldon's neuroses with aplomb and wit, explained relationships calmly and rationally to Leonard, and dealt with his other crazy friends with some quips and bemusement. The closest she came to having a negative quirk of her own was when she stealth moved in on Leonard, and even that was played more like a standard sitcom "men are afraid of commitment" plot than the usual humor of BBT. She didn't fit in very well with the dysfunctional outsider cast, so I like to imagine she wandered off back to whatever other sitcom she came from to deal with a goofball husband and some mouthy kids.
    • Given Sara Rue was in two movies and a series the next year (2009), it's possible she just wasn't available to continue with the character.

     Sheldon vs Sarcasm continuity 
  • For at least the first two or three seasons, Sheldon admits many times that he has trouble getting the hang of sarcasm, however I recall Sheldon expertly making a handful of condescending/sarcastic remarks during the first handful of episodes of season 1; he would even point out his blatant use of sarcasm by adding his catchphrase "Bazinga!" Throughout at least the first 3 or 4 seasons, Sheldon appears to jump back and forth between using/understanding sarcasm, and then becoming totally clueless about when someone is being sarcastic. (Maybe in his own special way he is only capable of understanding his own sarcasm, but not anyone else's?)
    • It's kind of like Bloo in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends who has trouble with grasping sarcasm but often uses it without his knowing (as Mac and Frankie pointed out when teaching it to him). Also, it was to add some consistency to series continuity. Sheldon if you remember in episode one (and to a lesser extent, episode two) was the Deadpan Snarker of the series. Its reappearance in later episodes is a classic case of Forgot Flanders Could Do That.

     What the hell was up with that Alternate History game Amy and Sheldon played? 
  • It's relatively minor, but in one episode, Sheldon and Amy are playing a game where they posit some change in the past and then explain the one difference it would make in the future. The change is that the sea level was slightly higher, the result was that the danish would never have been invented because Denmark would be submerged by water. On the one hand, it's clearly a joke, since not all of Denmark would be submerged (at least I highly doubt it) and clearly there would be other consequences on the world. But even as a joke it does not work, the danish is not Danish, it's Viennese and both of the know-it-alls in the game should know this.
    • The entire thing is nonsensical, especially their expectation that everyone should come up with the exact same answer, which shouldn't be the case even if their alternate history made sense, which it didn't.
    • Didn't they specify that Copenhagen was flooded? And that that one disaster was enough to traumatize the rest of Denmark so they never invented the cheese danish? And, BTW, they were asking about one specific difference in a wildly divergent history, and the reasoning behind it. Given that it's Shamy playing the game, of course, said quote-unquote "reasoning" is more like Insane Troll Logic.
    • More egregious is the basic science failure. Dams would prevent rivers from flowing into the sea, causing the oceans to recede, not rise.

     No lactose-free dairy products in California? 
  • Are there no lactose-free dairy products (or Lactaid pills) in California? Half my family is lactose-intolerant and we cook with lactose-free milk and cheeses all the time.
    • Because farts are funny. Not to the lactose-intolerant, obviously, because it's painful and embarrassing, but to the rest of us.
    • Leonard clearly does use lactose-free products sometimes, since he eats cereal and whatnot, and there have been several "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" jokes. It's just that Leonard eating a soy ice cream cone and being perfectly fine isn't funny.

     Where's Howard's engineer ring? 
  • The show takes place in America. Howard is American. Presumably, he went to engineer school in America. Where is his Engineer's ring? Or is it not a required thing to wear it?
    • Not all engineers join the Order of the Engineer and even then it's not like they check to see if you wear the ring.
    • Maybe he wears it on a chain around his neck. I've seen it done with wedding rings and the like, mainly because whatever metal the ring in question is made of reacts with the person's skin in some way or, because they work with their hands alot (carpenters, HVAC, etc.) wearing it on a chain means its less likely to get lost, but they can still keep it on their person.

     In the time machine episode, why was Penny mad when she was the one late? 
  • A Time-Share Time Machine Penny Gets Mad at the guys for blocking the stairs making her late for work EXCEPT SHE WAS ALREADY LATE FOR WORK SO MAYBE SHE SHOULD WAKE THE HELL UP ON TIME AND SHE'D HAVE BEEN TO WORK BEFORE THEY WERE BRING IT UP THE STAIRS
    • She was already late, but the delay made her even more late. She got annoyed about that.
    • You're complaining that they made Penny a realistic person who would get angry that she lost her shift because the guys blocked the stairwell, and the show even acknowledges that her outburst was over stress and frustration? She may have been running late but it took the guys a good long time to get it up the stairs, she could have left 10 minutes earlier and they would have still been blocking the stairwell. (Though on a slightly related note there really wasn't any reason she couldn't climb over it and go down the stairs, it obviously would have been less of a hassle than doing what amounts to Roof Hopping)

     How did Howard become an astronaut? 
  • I know this is suppose to be a comedy,and MST3K Mantra is the likely answer, but how is Howard even in the running to be an astronaut? He has idiopathic heart arrhythmia, severe asthma, and by his own admittance the physical and emotional strength of a twelve year old.
    • Because the concept of Howard being an astronaut despite all that is hilarious.
    • It also establishes a reference to Red Dwarf - it dawns on Howard that he is only there to do the equivalent of servicing the chicken soup dispensers. Everybody else makes jokes about "the space plumber". Howard becomes a less hip Dave Lister with overtones of Rimmer's quirkiness. Besides, Rimmer killed an entire ship's crew by cocking up a simple engineering job on a malfunctioning drive plate. Howard makes life in space even harsher by installing a malfunctioning toilet, thus getting the crew to merely wish they were dead...

     What are the dimensions of Raj's inability to speak to woman without alcohol? 
  • I struggle with the dimensions of Raj’s inability to speak (sans alcohol) to women. I’ve been under the impression that it is just attractive women that render him mute, or at least women that Raj personally finds attractive, but in the 3rd season opener Sheldon’s Mom has the effect on him when the guys go to Texas to retrieve Sheldon. Does this imply that Raj is attracted to Mrs. Cooper? Sure, I can see her having a MILF-ish appeal to some men, but it does show that it is not strictly conventional "hotties" that cripple Raj’s tongue. How does he function in day-to-day life when half the human race is female? Yes, physics is a very male-dominated field, but he must have at least a few female colleagues (Leslie Winkle comes to mind), and many of the staff and service personnel he deals with on a daily basis at Caltech must be women. What about off-campus encounters? What if a cable installer, sales associate, etc. happens to be female – does he just retreat, or try to arrange for a male substitute? How about authority figures – what if he gets pulled over for speeding, and the cop is a woman? (Hardly a situation in which a quick surreptitious tongue-loosening swig of booze would be wise!) His handicap is humorously depicted, but when you think about it, it would be seriously inconvenient in many real life situations!
    • Of course it would be inconvenient in many life situations, that's what makes it a disorder. It would be crippling in almost any social situation, including work. Many of the staff at Caltech are women, but this is probably also one of the reasons he depends so much on Howard, who is willing to "translate" for him so that he can communicate. The disorder he has prevents him from speaking to all women who aren't his relatives. Howard suggests a few times that it is related to sexual attractiveness, but this may just be part of his own "hit on every woman ever" spiel. Leonard also says at some point that Raj is fine speaking to groups as a whole, even if there are women among them, it's the one-on-one interaction that he is incapable of functioning in. I'm guessing that the people he works with are aware of his selective mutism and have made accommodations for him so that his job itself does not suffer, but the show does represent his personal life as being seriously impacted by his disorder.

     How is Sheldon controlling the characters? 
  • Likewise I struggle with the reality of Sheldon's hold over the lives of the characters. I really don't see why they don't threaten or just punch him everytime he gets dic(tator)ish or even go to his mother. It really strains the suspension of disbelief for everything they let fly by. It kinda feels like stockholm syndrome.
    • Even if they all moved away from him and removed him from their lives, Sheldon would track them down and reinsert himself into their lives and they wouldn't get rid of him.
    • What's hilarious, is that the other characters already exhibit the patience of Job when dealing with him. (In many cases simply rolling their eyes and chalking his behavior up to "Just being Sheldon") and there are still people on this very page who are outraged each time one of them has had enough and do exactly as you describe.
    • Leonard put it fairly well in one episode, when someone flat out asked why he puts up with Sheldon. And the answer he gives is that although Sheldon is a giant pain in the ass, he doesn't act the way he does to intentionally aggravate people. We've seen that he is actually pretty well meaning and kind hearted, however his lack of understanding of social norms and conventions means that he doesn't realise he's being irritating when he corrects people or goes off on a rant about something. He genuinely thinks that he is being helpful by imparting his superior knowledge and correcting people's errors for them.
    • Agreed. I have ADHD and Asperger-like traits, and I would NEVER act like he does (and none of my friends/family would be nearly as tolerant of me as Sheldon's are of him). Sheldon drives me mad - it's like his characterization has gone backwards over the years, to where he's now nothing more than a caricature of a spoiled, arrogant, rude Manchild. There are moments, granted, when he's barely tolerable (like the last scene of the fifth season finale), but overall I just wish someone would bring him down a peg or two.
    • I think the other guys allow him a lot of latitude because they can identify with some of the life factors that made Sheldon Sheldon (advanced IQ, fast-track education leaving them younger and less mature than their peers, dysfunctional families, social ineptitude, not being able to identify with "normals," etc.). They all have experienced the same factors, but Sheldon experienced them to a much greater degree, and then some. So while they don't excuse his boorish behavior, they understand it. And they are, in spite of it all, friends, and friendship can be very forgiving, overlooking a multitude of sins. (It's kind of like, "Yeah, he's a jerkass, but he's our jerkass.")
    • Note: all points above are sound, but then you all have to remember that Sheldon is not so harmless. If he's pissed off enough he can majorly fuck anyone over. Remember when Penny blocks his laundry night? He hangs all her clothes on lampposts. Or when Leonard and Priya turn their roommate agreement against him? He threatens to reveal their relationship to Priya's xenophobic parents. You kick him in his balls, God knows what physic vortex supernova hole he's going to open in yours.
    • I also have issues with how Penny's gone from being a Genki Girl to a Hard-Drinking Party Girl, Raj's character is now pretty much a walking gay joke (where he used to have some depth in earlier seasons), and Amy (although she can be bearable) was incredibly grating over the wedding arc. Have the writers really given up and just gone for cheap laughs?
    • Why yes, yes they have. Also like Raj I despise the "Amy is gay" jokes. She's pretty unsubtle of her attraction for Penny but Penny can't notice egregious invasion of personal space for her lust? In general the gay jokes are really annoying and insensitive towards gay people imho.
      • Penny does notice and seems to be put off by it, though she usually lets it go without comment.
    • As far as Penny is concerned, it might be less that she is becoming a Hard-Drinking Party Girl, but her Character Development has included a significant change in her social circles. In the earlier seasons, Penny was still integrating into the guys' social group while maintaining involvement in her own, completely separate circle. Her original friend group seems to have done a lot of social drinking, it just happened off-camera. Her social group shifted after the second or third season when she became closer friends with the guys and started spending much more time with Bernadette and later Amy, largely because she embraced her own intelligence to the point that she "lost her ability to tolerate idiots". However, her new posse doesn't drink nearly so much as her previous one, which has opened the door for the other characters to comment on the amount of drinking she does. Objectively, it doesn't seem like she is drinking very much more than she did from the beginning - she just surrounds herself with people who are more likely to confront her about it.
    • It's like the old gag about hanging out with fat people to look thinner: they remain friends with Sheldon because he makes them look socially well-adjusted.
    • So many reasons for them to keep Sheldon. They're all jerks too, Sheldon does have a very few redeeming traits, Sheldon's attachment to Leonard (stated as the most prominent in-universe reason he's still part of the group), but probably most of all, this happens in real life. Plenty of groups of friends have someone that they actually kind of can't stand... he's often called the That Guy of the group. You can't kick him out because you feel bad for him, or you think he's actually not such a bad guy on the inside, or one of the people you do like knew him when he wasn't such a dick and has been friends with him for twenty years, or something like that. A combination of all these factors kept someone in my own circle of friends who was much worse to be around than Sheldon (imagine, instead of an awkward somewhat arrogant child who occasionally acts petulant and sulks, he acted like a self-centered child prone to literal screaming tantrums) until he eventually extracted himself because he felt we were being unfair to him.
    • He's taller, stronger (winning the "brawn" portion of tresling), smarter, and wealthier than all the other guys. He's the classic alpha male, in just an unusual presentation.
    • The reason Sheldon gets his way in everything is quite simple. He acts like a giant, spoiled brat when he doesn't. Most of the others aren't very good at confrontation, so while Penny is willing to stand up to Sheldon, the others don't back her up. That whole thing pissed me off, when Penny got banished from the apartment. Also, when Sheldon blackmailed Leonard into a new roommate agreement. I would not honor that agreement, but Leonard just knuckles under because he fears Sheldon's tantrums. They deserve what they get for continuing to enable him.
      • Yeah, really. That roommate agreement cannot possibly be enforceable, not even the original one, and while Sheldon's name is apparently on the lease, Leonard still has rights. Come to that, he ought to have been able to get his name on the lease. Hell, if I were Leonard, I would have gone to the landlord, who has likely had to put up with Sheldon's lunacy more than once, and said, "Hey, you let his lease lapse, and I'll pick it up."

     Two problems I have with Sheldon 
  • Okay, I like Sheldon. He is one of my all-time fictional characters. But there are two major problems I have with him. For one, in one episode, Penny tells him to come dance with him, and he says "While I subscribe to the Many Worlds Theory, which places an infinite amount of Sheldons in an infinite amount of universes, I assure you in none of them do I dance". There are two major flaws in that quote: One, if there is a multiverse, then there are an infinite amount of possibilities, so it's possible that in many of them he DOES dance. And two, since there can't be an infinite amount of Sheldons, because it's possible that in many of them, he doesn't exist. Also, it bugs me how what he considers a hippie is actually a normal person, like in "The Staircase Implentation", when Leonard says he voids his bladder when he has to, Sheldon says "When you have to-I'm sorry, I don't rent to hippies". How does that make him a hippie? And how does being able to sit wherever you want and telling some how you feel make you a hippie? So I wonder what an ACTUAL hippie would be like to him.
    • The first is a joke. It's not intended to be accurate. Although you could say he subscribes to Terry Pratchett's version of the many world theory. Also, there would so be an infinite number so Sheldons.
    • Yeah...INFINITE amount of possibilities!!! It's possible that in many universes, he doesn't exist. It's possible there is a universe exactly like the Big Bang Theory universe we know...except he doesn't exist, it's possible in one, there is no life on Earth, therefore no Sheldon there, it's possible there is a universe where his PARENTS never existed, and thus no Sheldon, and so on.
    • Half of infinity is still infinity.
    • And the hippie thing is just another joke. He thinks normal people are hippies because he's so anal about scheduling and planning every little thing, anybody who doesn't track their bowel movements or whatever is (to him) the same as an unwashed long-haired druggie nonconformist, because in case you haven't noticed, Sheldon is nuts.

     Why doesn't Raj talk to women using a computer? 
  • See this video. Now, why the fuck can't Raj use the computer to talk with Penny?
    • Sheldon probably never thought Raj could use something like that and probably deleted the file/sound bites after his voice came back. There's also the chance he simply never told Raj, as "You never asked."

     In the episode with Summer Glau... 
  • Why did the guys recognize Summer Glau from the The Sarah Connor Chronicles instead of Firefly?
    • They clearly recognized her from both. The Sarah Connor Chronicles references probably came first because that show was much more recent than Firefly or Serenity.
    • Agreed. When the episode aired, The Sarah Connor Chronicles was currently on the air as well.
    • Because nobody from Firefly would let River Tam go anywhere on her own. Now, if Summer had been accompanied by one of her co-stars, they might have made that joke. Although I shudder to imagine how Howard would have acted if Jewel Staite or Morena Baccarin had been there, too...
    • I'm going to go with "four minutes of total paralysis, followed by a cut-scene in which a judge is imposing a restraining order." Thanks for the mental image.

     Why can't the guys throw Penny a bone with her acting career? 
  • Has one of the guys ever asked Will Wheaton to talk to someone he knows in Hollywood in order to throw Penny a bone and get her a line in a made for TV B movie or something? I mean I know he's a jerkass, but considering he knows the guys well enough to bother to show up to Howard's bachelor party, they might as well at least try. It's not like they don't owe it to her a bit (as of the end of the latest season she introduced Howard to his wife, is the girlfriend of Leonard, is one of the few girls Raj is actually comfortable around,and gave Sheldon Leonard Nimoy's DNA, not to mention Sheldon can hold it over Wheaton's head that it's Wheaton's fault she and Leonard went through that first break up).
    • Somehow I don't think BBT's version of Will Wheaton would do Sheldon any favors... unless he could bring him even greater pain by it. Remember: Sitcom Arch-Nemesis here.
    • Didn't Wil apologise to Sheldon and ask to bury the hatchet?
    • Wil and Sheldon are indeed friends now, but remember that in the BBT universe it's played for laughs that the alumni of Star Trek are washed-up has-beens (LeVar Burton is shown as willing to drive across town for gas money and lunch). This obviously isn't true in the real world, but in the humor-based BBT world, Wheaton probably has no power to recommend Penny for much of anything. Plus it's possible that Sheldon got the idea into his head from reading some website or seeing some TV show that you're not supposed to ask your famous friends for favors like that.
    • In a recent episode Wheaton was apparently forced to take a role as a bikini-wearing mutant orangutan in Serial Ape-ist 2. If his career (at least in the universe of this show) is that pathetic, he probably isn't in any position to be hooking Penny up with acting jobs.
    • This is actually one of the most accurate parts of the show. Wil Wheaton really is a washed-up has-been, recently admitting in a blog post that he quite literally can't remember the last time he got a role that wasn't preemptively offered to him. (While raging at and insulting all the casting directors that didn't hire him, which might help to explain it.) His career is actually worse off than it is in the show because he apparently couldn't even nail an audition for a bikini-wearing mutant orangutan even if he wanted to.

     In "The Einstein Approximation", why was Sheldon in the room of balls if he is deathly afraid of germs? 
  • In "The Einstein Approximation" We see Sheldon playing around in a room full of balls like children play in. If he's such a germiphobe, why on Earth would he go near this? They're well known to be dens of colds, flu, head lice, etc.
    • He had gone without sleep while trying to solve a difficult equation for days and was rapidly losing his grip on reality.

     Why don't they discuss "true" geek stuff? 
  • I realized the other day that when you really think about it, nothing truly "geeky" is discussed on the show at any point. I mean, in the early days, geeks and nerds were people who liked things that weren't mainstream, and that other people probably never heard of. The cast's interests, on the other hand, couldn't possibly be more mainstream. Batman, Star Trek, Star Wars, World of Warcraft... all things that everyone knows about.
    • Small Reference Pools. When it comes right drown to it, this is an exceedingly mainstream product that does not wish to bring up anything too obscure for its audience.
    • The network wouldn't want to risk advertising for or denigrating current creators and other companies' products.
    • The network needs BBT to play in syndication for years. Star Trek, Batman, and Star Wars are brands with longevity. If the references are too current, they'll sound dated later.
    • What you two fail to realize is that it also matters HOW obsessed someone is with those stuff. Batman - Most people only know him from the MOVIES!!!!!They don't read the comics because they think comics are for...geeks. Star Wars - Most people don't know the Expanded Universe and all that, because it is not the six movies. Star Trek - Yeah, most people don't know Star Trek the way these guys do. World of Warcraft - Yeah, there you have a point. But MY point is, it also matters how obsessed someone is with this stuff, and they are very obsessed, and therefore they are still geeky.
    • I love it when a person uses the word "fail to realize" and then says something that should be obvious to anyone. Of course there are geeky depths to which one can pursue a relatively mainstream subject (just as one can memorize the stats of every player in the NFL, or just enjoy watching the game with beer in you hand). The show not only favours relatively high-profile subjects, its engagement with them is generally shallow — true, the characters buy new issues of Batman comics, but how often do they discuss, say, the relative merits of Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison and Tony Daniels?
    • sure wasn't obvious to the original troper. The show's engagement with Batman is shallow, yes, but it's engagement with Star Trek is pretty deep.
    • The show continually references very recent developments in both geekdom and science, it has almost never made intricate details of those stuff as being a major plot point or anything other than for a quick joke. Sheldon made a reference to the fact that Nathan Fillion was a fan choice for Hal Jordan, that's obviously more than a superficial pass-by.
    • This argument is silly, as it tries to argue that 'true' geeks only discuss certain topics while... what, 'fake' geeks discuss others? There is no 'geek' subject which can be definitively said to exist on one side of the "true geek" line or not. The point of the show is that the characters within it rely on their fandoms as their main social support, not mainstream social avenues. That's what makes them geeks. And it doesn't necessarily have to do with the subject of their fandoms, either, it's how they relate to the rest of the world as an outsider. The subjects they gravitate to can be caused by any number of factors, from their ages and the regions they're from, or even the specific neighborhoods they grew up in. On top of this, the fact that a movie exists about a certain comic book series does not negate its geekiness - those films are quite recent in terms of success (the comic book films of the 90's and earlier were total disasters financially) and were made in an effort to get a mainstream audience interested in the series. Some of them are successful, but that has no bearing on the fact that the characters are interested in the source material above all, which mainstream audiences continue to ignore. And like people have already said, anything can become geeky if the person in question is obsessed enough. Ghostbusters succeeded in mainstream pop-culture, but if you meet a guy who collects all the action figures, you'll probably consider him geeky. There is absolutely no point in trying to argue that the characters on this show aren't "true" geeks. It can't be proven or even defended.
    • You can be a geek about anything. It's like how whenever someone says they are a nerd, and are in a field like social science, are told "lol you're not a nerd" but someone in Physics or Engineering is.
    • A silly argument. Stereotypes do exist for a reason. I belonged to a wargaming club in college and it was full of nerds and geeks. Comic books, card games, Star Wars/Trek, WoW, and the like were discussed almost daily among the members.

     Okay, why would Howard take a dehumidifier all the way to Palm Springs? 
  • In "The Cohabitation Formulation" Howard is excited to tell Bernadette his mother is going to Palm Springs for two nights, therefore they can spend two nights together unless "His mother's sinuses get dried out by the desert air in which case he'd need to schlep out there with the dehumidifier... Okay, dehumidifiers are used to dry out humid air, and would only exacerbate dried out sinuses. Why didn't he say a humidifier or swamp cooler? Also, Howard rides a scooter. How's he going to negotiate the freeway on his scooter for the 3 hour trip to Palm Springs while carrying a dehumidifier?
    • I just saw that episode and I think he said "... Then I'll have to schlep out with the big humidifier." That's how it sounded to me.
    • I watched it five times in a row. He says "big humidifier".
    • What they said. The joke is it's not just "the humidifier", it's "the big humidifier", implying that Mrs. Wolowitz is so dependent on these sorts of things that she has a collection. As for the scooter, he would probably strap it to the seat behind him with bungee straps or something. Which just adds to the humor value... picture skinny little Howard, in his uncool helmet and his peacock clothes, putt-putt-putting his way up the highway with this ridiculously oversized humidifier strapped to the back of his silly little scooter.

     Why do the guys wear casual clothes at work? 
  • I was in college in The '90s so maybe things have changed but, tenured professors are expected to wear at least business casual dress. The guys are never seen in collared shirts, ties or suits unless they have to give a paper or go to a dinner or something. Even grad students wear polo shirts so what gives? Cal Tech must be the most casual school around.
    • Above discussion states they're researchers, not profs, and we really only see them at the university once in a while, not every single day. When Sheldon teaches a class, he dresses up. And don't forget Leonard's brown corduroy suit. More to the point, Raj and Howard seem to wear collared shirts for the most part, and Leonard varies. It's really just Sheldon who dresses in t-shirts (and that's probably so the wardrobe department can show off all the nerdy-cool shirts).

     What happened to that drug Raj was taking? 
  • In one episode, Raj takes an experimental drug for his selective mutism. It obviously works, because he can talk to Penny and Missy until the drug wears off. Why do we never see it mentioned again? We don't even see a scene where Raj tells the guys the drug wasn't approved for X reason (at least, not to my knowledge).
    • The drug did produce bizarre side effects, and Raj may well have deemed them not worth the benefits he obtained. Plus, clinical trials go on for years before a drug is approved or rejected, whereas Raj's participation would have lasted perhaps a few weeks at best, leaving him with no more access to the experimental med. It's probably not been mentioned again because it's a moot point until the drug comes on the market, if ever.
    • For what it's worth, Raj says a friend got it for him.

     What presentation were they giving? 
  • At the end of The Love Car Displacement, what the hell presentation were they giving? Their group consisted of a theoretical physicist, an experimental physicist, an astrophysicist, an engineer, a microbiologist and a neurobiologist. Unless they were presenting a talk on how to repel an imminent alien invasion, I can't imagine what such a disparate group was going to discuss. "We Are Scientists Who Are Also All Friends"?
    • They were discussing scientific ethics with emphasis on danger avoidance.

     Priya should've been called out on 
  • Why did no one in the group think Priya was out of bounds by making Leonard stay away from Penny? Firstly, they've been friends with Penny for four or so years before. Secondly, its not like he was driving across town to see her, he lives next door. Thirdly, Penny and her have no discussion about this in "The Engagement Reaction" and act like nothing happened. What is up with this? What's wrong with character study and interaction? Do they think we forgot? Also one about the fourth season finale; Why did Raj not stay in the bedroom and instead follow Penny to the door? Did he think no one would question him walking to the door in nothing but a blanket with a half dressed Penny?
    • They thought the room would be empty. Leonard was supposed to be with Priya, Howard shouldn't have been there at all since it isn't his home and it's early in the morning, and while Sheldon might have been up he probably wouldn't care or notice the implications.
    • It is a social convention that not everyone abides by, but then again how often do couples break up and remain so close as friends afterward (let alone friends at all)? Once Leonard brought out Priya's issues Penny understood instantly and from then on (until her and Leonard broke up) she would only visit the group in general and not Leonard specifically. Whether you agree with it is irrelevant, but it is a common request.
    • Hell, I agree completely. Especially since Priya basically took Penny's usual spot in their apartment and no one acted like anything was out of place, even though Penny had been friends with them for years. The thing that bothered me the most was that Bernadette, Penny's good friend, was proposed to in that room and Howard said something along the lines of "I wanted to do it in the presence of my friends." What the heck?! Penny missed her own friend's engagement.
    • It's even worse than that. As the above troper says, Penny is Bernadette's good friend, she's also good friends with Amy, Sheldon, Howard and Raj. Penny has spent the last few years eating with them and spending a lot of her time with them. Priya effectively makes Penny a social outcast from the entire group, with the only other option being the group having to choose between Leonard/Priya and Penny.
    • It's also worth remembering how the incident started. Leonard and Priya walked into the apartment from having been shopping, and Penny was already there. She was socialising with friends that weren't Leonard.

     Why hasn't Leonard's mother been called out? 
  • That woman is an infernal excuse of human being. Yet whenever she visits, somehow our heroes always seek for her approval.
    • Sheldon majorly looks up to her, and as for the others, Leonard obviously wants to get her approval because she's his mom, Penny ends up a wreck the first time she visits and Howard and Raj don't actually interact with her all that much.
    • Well, then, when would Leonard understand that his mother is a horrible person unworthy of his love? Understand, not even Sheldon is at her level. For all his mistakes, Sheldon is a respectful host toward his guests, willing to provide his friends with quick money, and, though it takes some pressure, able to show common etiquette and courtesy. On the other hand, Beverly just deconstructs everyone she meets.
    • People don't just turn off their emotions for their parents because their parents are jerks. Children who are abused much more viciously than Leonard was are, in fact, even more traumatized by the fact that they can't separate their fear of their abuser from the love of their parent. Leonard's mother is cold and distant, but she's not deliberately trying to hurt Leonard or, really, anyone. She's cold, true, and the way she treated him was definitely abuse, but it's not like she was beating him or deliberately trying to make him feel worthless, which some parents sadly do. To you it may seem "logical" for Leonard to just turn off his feelings for his mother and cut her completely out of his life, but he doesn't because he's Leonard, and not Sheldon. (And even Sheldon isn't that much of a logic-driven robot, as the scene with his and Penny's "acting lessons" shows.)
    • Forget calling her out for being a shitty person, why hasn't anybody called her out for being a shitty child psychiatrist/neurologist? Or whatever her job is. I mean, she's clearly not actually very good at understanding how kid's thought patterns work or how kids should be treated, since she raised Leonard to know, Leonard. He had to build a hugbox when he was a kid, for goodness sakes. But she's somehow a respected psychiatrist. There's no way her research would be anything less than wildly controversial, considering how unemotional she is and what a bad job she did as a parent to Leonard. But in the show she's set up like some supreme expert in her field — nobody even mentions anybody disagreeing with her research.
    • ^Agreed. Wouldn't being a expert with multiple books out cause everyone to be looking at our own child to see how the techniques work first hand? I'm pretty sure that a journalist would LEAP onto the information that such a famous psychologist's son was such a neurotic mess...
    • If they were to discover this information. Unless someone actually interacted with Leonard, they might not realize how messed up he is. But his fact sheet goes something like "Ph.D. in experimental physics, researcher at prestigious university, maintains apartment, social relationships and (depending on when they ask) a romantic relationship." And he has two siblings with even more impressive accomplishments. It would and should bring up a red flag to anyone who spent half an hour in his actual company, but it probably didn't.
    • Okay, forget about interacting with Leonard. What about interacting with her? Leonard's mother is an ice-cold emotionless robot who brutally deconstructs everyone she meets. Five minutes of talking with her ought to clue anyone in on how emotionally unavailable and psychologically abusive she can be. And personally that would also lead me to track down her children to find out just how well she raised them.
    • Actually, Beverly apparently wrote at least one book insulting and demeaning Leonard ("The Disappointing Child") so someone somewhere must know she's not mother of the year.
    • It's not like "children need human contact and affection to develop properly" is some crackpot theory or anything.
    • The construction of this mother/son relationship is probably an allusion on the now-debunked legend that psychologist B.F. Skinner raised his daughter in a "Skinner box," a designer crib that was supposed to deliver basic needs to a baby with a minimum of parental involvement (and more generally treated her more as a case subject than a daughter).
    • It doesn't help that she emotionally destroyed Penny in her intro episode, Leonard is desperate for her approval, Sheldon idolises her and Raj and Howard are really uncomfortable around her. They're all powerless against her without meaning to be.
    • My suspicion is that she (deliberately) has a lot on common with Lilith Crane in Frasier. Beverley Hofstadter is Lilith taken Up to Eleven - cold, unfeeling, robotic, over-analytical. Lilith, though, is relatively sucessful as a mother in that Frederick is not a complete basket case - although with parents like that, you do wonder if Frederick Crane is another Leonard in the making...
    • Except with Lilith, it's really a front. She's emotional and human with more beneath the surface, whereas Beverly is... not. Beverly has no emotion, can never pass for human, and has nothing more to her.
    • Sheldon's mother did call out Leonard's mother in their single meeting, leading Leonard's mother to experiment with giving praise and affection at random. It's exactly as awkward as it sounds.
    • I may be wrong, but I think that the only source that says that Beverly is a world famous child psychiatrics is Leonard, so is an unreliable source that might be overestimating his mother’s career. I’m a psychologist and, yes, in real life that women will be probably an outcast among the mental health community. Just writing a book like The Disappointing Child, come on, even if she doesn’t say in the book that is base on his son (something very unethical for the starts), just the title will be very inappropriate.

     No geek games? 
  • So the guys have a game night, in their apartment, and the best game they can find is Pictionary? After which they are so hard pressed to find another game that they spin around on light sabers or wrestle? No Catan? No Ascension? They don't own a single geeky board game? (Or for that matter any other game at all?) Not to mention that Sheldon with his eidetic memory should have memorized all of the Pictionary cards and known not to guess all of the stuff he did.
    • It was a montage of games and thus they could have done something like that in between what we saw. And given that Penny banned knowledge specific games like Sheldons made-up "Physics Fiesta" they had to choose something that gave everyone an even shot like long division (with work shown) and Where's Waldo.
    • Settlers of Catan is pretty much a geek staple at this point, Sheldon or Leonard would definitely own it, and it requires no "specific knowledge." They've also previously been showing the Warlords of Kaa game, which Penny probably wouldn't have agreed to, but it at least should have been mentioned, as should have any other geeky game they could get the license to (or use Suspiciously Similar Substitute.)
      • They have been seen playing Settlers, Talisman, 3D chess, D&D and Elder Sign - in geekiness order :)
    • Why do they need to name-check any of those games? The premise is a battle of the sexes game night and they played a bunch of games and scenarios that would be funny and interesting to watch. Good writing isn't justifying what you chose not to use and using exactly what the audience expects.
    • No, the premise was just a game night, it ended up being guys vs girls due to a random suggestion. Good writing is also staying true to characters, and Sheldon not bringing out a stack of geeky games is out of character.
    • The argument is that they couldn't find anything else to play, when that is not what is stated in the episode at all. Just because there wasn't a throwaway line justifying not seeing the use of other board games doesn't make it out of character. They very well might have played some other games and we are only privy to some funny improvised challenges. Don't forget that is has been established that if Penny is interested in winning she is The Ace at games.
    • It's been a while since I've seen the episode, but I seem to recall that one of the rules for the game night was that they would only play "normal" games, since the guys would have the upper hand in any "geeky" games they played. So they probably do have all those geeky board games, it's just that the girls wouldn't play them so they settled for Pictionary and pie-eating.

     How did pre-Bernadette Howard expect to get girls with his choices of fashion? 
  • If Howard is so obsessed with women and is constantly hitting on them and has likely even read up on the subject, why hasn't he figured out that women are not attracted to guys who wear star trek belts, sweatpants, have their hair in a moppet, etc.? In short, Howard dresses respulsively. Why?
    • Maybe he's peacocking?
    • Maybe he just likes wearing that stuff.
    • Thaht is da johke. Howard thinks he's a fashion plate and is wrong because he looks ridiculous. There's also probably something to the first reply since other people have pointed out that a lot of Howard's behaviors are out of lame "how to get girls" technique books (negging, faking subculture, magic tricks, etc.).
    • Beats me why he doesn't attend Bootleg Beatles' or other tribute band gigs, Sixties retro discos and re-enactments: dressed like that and with that hairstyle, he'd be one hell of a hit with the ladies, wouldn't look out of place or odd, and with his nose could claim a relationship to Ringo Starr! He'd be fighting off a certain type of girl...
    • Or Howard's mom bought all his clothes (For the most part. He probably buys his own belt buckles.), and she may be still stuck in the The '70s. Even though he's now married and no longer under Mommy's thumb he's just gotten used to dressing that way so he hasn't bothered to update his look.

     Why a sudden change of heart? 
  • I can't remember the exact episode where this happened, but an apartment in Sheldon and Leonard's building opened up and Howard was going to move in. And his mother was outright begging him to move out, but Howard decided to keep living with his mother anyway, much to her annoyance. Now, in 'The Date Night Variable' when Howard mentions moving in with Bernadette, Howard's mother more or less acts like a huge bitch and tries to guilt Howard to keep him at home. Why the sudden change of heart?
    • There's a trope for that.
    • More specifically, the key words in the second scenario were, "Howard mentions moving in WITH BERNADETTE..." Something tells me Howard's mom was a lot more comfortable with Howard moving out on his own than in with some girl who's taking him away from her.

     Why didn't Amy and Sheldon consider Star Trek outfits for the Halloween party? 
  • From the Halloween episode: When Amy and Sheldon are choosing matching costumes, why was not anything from the Star Trek Franchise at least considered, if not chosen? Amy looked very cute as a Vulcan doctor that one time she was tricking Sheldon into intimacy. Sheldon loves Star Trek, no questions about that, and surely it must have meant something for Amy, which was her requirement for the costume. Their final look wasn't even that funny. I would have much rather watched their arguing about which characters or which alien race they should choose. They would have looked great as Starfleet officers.
    • Amy hates Star Trek. She dressed up as a character once to score points with Sheldon, but that's not what she's looking for at Stuart's Halloween party. She wants to have her own likes and interests to be worth the same consideration as Sheldon's likes and interests always are instead of just caving to what he wants because it's easier.
      • Also, Amy may not have minded dressing up in a Star Trek uniform in the privacy of Sheldon's apartment, but refused to be seen wearing it in public.

    Pro-robot and Skynet 

  • Okay, so in "Terminator Decoupling" Sheldon expressed his intention to desperately try to surrender to Summer Glau by claiming to be pro-robot. This means that either he actually is pro-robot or he has a plan to lie to the Terminators about it. Either way, wouldn't having a notarized contract requiring Leonard to help him destroy Skynet really hurt his case? Sheldon's usually better at thinking these things through.
    • Summer Glau played a good terminator, and thus was also on a mission to destroy Skynet. Surrendering to her would still be apt because she kills those that get in her way.


  • Where on Earth did they get the handbells in "The Santa Simulation" other than Rule of Funny?
    • Leonard obviously planned the entire scenario well in advanced.

     Howard and Stuart could've saved throws 
  • Also in "The Santa Simulation", Sheldon's character casts a paralysis spell on Stuart and Howard's characters and then begins his Evil Gloating at Santa. Howard and Stuart's characters should be entitled to saving throws to avoid the paralysis!
    • They were probably too busy WTF'ing to respond to Sheldon's sudden need to let out his irritation on Santa!Leonard.
    • Raj's insta-death is also against D&D rules. Like anything else, they're playing a stylized version of the game that operates on Rule of Funny to allow them to tell jokes. The purpose of them playing D&D at all in the episode is so that they can use it as a setup for humor, not to just show people playing accurate D&D.

     About Howard being called to HR so many times 
  • If Howard has been called to human resources as often as he says he was before he got married - how on earth was HE chosen to become an astronaut with a record like that?
    • Likely his records are sealed by the HR.
    • Screw being an astronaut, if he was called to HR that often how did he manage to keep his job at all? You would think the university would realize he's a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen.
    • Because he is a damn good engineer.
    • The projects we've seen him working on are a shelf, and a toilet that failed catastrophically as soon as it went up. He's not THAT good.
    • Also in "The Cooper/Kripke Inversion" we learn that he's making peanuts compared to his wife - despite being an astronaut, and being such an asset to the university he got Sheldon's parking spot.
    • Being called to Human Resources a lot doesn't necessarily mean they found against him, and the college may not have any sort of "X visits to HR and you're gone" policy (which would be sane of them). He actually seems friendly with the head of HR and she acts bemused to see him again rather than like she hates him, so she probably understands that he's a decent guy who has trouble with boundaries and not running his mouth. He probably issued a lot of written and verbal apologies and attended a lot of lectures and seminars as his penance, and his offenses probably rolled off his record after a certain amount of time.
    • They are faculty at a major university. If you've attended a major university, you will be aware that universities compete for prestige, both nationally and internationally. One way of getting that prestige is to have world-renowned genius professors, or ones who are potentially so. And very hyper-intelligent people tend to be asocial or even sociopathic - we've all met them. Therefore universities are prepared to put up with a lot rather than sack anybody - who rival universities are very likely to hire and add to their own brain-pools. My old uni retained a world-renowned genius - now deceased - despite an unsavoury personality and allegations of improper sexual conduct. It was informally understood that he'd never change his ways, so we might as well keep his brains in OUR brain-pool and OUR name on anything he publishes, and any alleged groping of undergraduates should be hushed up and if possible mitigated, "So what, he's a Professor and they're merely undergrads, et c et c. Just get HR to give him a little chat for the record, so we've got something on paper in case of any negligience suit." The intellectual stars having tenure also helps.
    • Maybe Howard exaggerated his HR record so Raj wouldn't be as nervous about being sent to HR

     Major problem with the parking spot episode 
  • When Sheldon's parking spot (glossing over the fact we never once heard about in it for the past six years) is given to Howard, why was the (very legitimate) fact that Sheldon doesn't drive or own a car get mentioned twice then dropped completely? He has a spot, yet since he doesn't drive, it goes unused, thus removing a spot from a lot that, if it's anything like real university parking lots, probably gets filled up quickly, so with that in mind, why wasn't it reassigned years ago? So, instead of talking about a realistic issue, it turns into an intellecutal pissing contest about importance to the university. For that matter, he's a researcher, not a professor. I have never seen parking spots given to even professors (since they typically arrive before students anyway, they get their choice of spots).
    • It was brought up throughout the episode, and it was repeatedly stated and shown that he was being unreasonable. The fact was that Sheldon wouldn't give in because he's too petty, Howard knew this so he decided to just give in, which resulted in Sheldon deciding that he should be the bigger man (which, while partially to stop Howard having this claim, was also minor character growth). Sheldon was the one in the wrong here, it was why in the end Howard gets the spot.
    • No, it was mentioned once by Howard and once by Bernadette, then dropped completely. That's a legitimate issue, and just raises the question of why he has a parking spot if he doesn't own a car or even drive.
    • I thought this was clear throughout the episode. The whole premise was that Sheldon knew he had no use for the parking spot, but being Sheldon, he decided he didn’t want it taken from him and given to Howard, and that was that. The administration, when notified, agreed that it made no sense for him to have a parking spot he didn’t use, and gave it to Howard. Everybody knew throughout the episode that it was stupid for Sheldon to have a parking spot he didn’t use, it was established early on and then went without saying, and nobody ever changed their mind about that. There was no reason to keep bringing it up since the only person who disagreed was Sheldon (and Amy simply by virtue of supporting him), and Sheldon is never going to change his mind.
    • Wild Mass Guess: Sheldon hasn't owned that parking spot in years. The university saw that it was always empty because he carpooled with Leonard, who presumably has an equally good or better spot, so they gave Sheldon's spot away without telling him and he just never noticed, since he doesn't use it. Whoever's had it these past few years might have retired or quit or something, so the spot freed up just in time for Howard to luck into it. If Sheldon and Howard weren't friends, Sheldon still wouldn't know that his spot had been given away.
    • I always thought it would just be easier for Howard to say "If/When you get a car, you can have the spot back." Since Sheldon's only objection was to the fact the university would give him a different spot if he did get a car, and he wanted that particular spot (for all the zany reasons he then lists)
    • US institutions I have worked for can't seem to grasp that someone doesn't have a car. I don't drive. I won 'employee of the month' three times when working for IBM. The single biggest 'perk' was a parking spot right in front of the main entrance. Caltech might just never have noticed that Sheldon doesn't drive

     Raj and Howard buying personalized dolls of themselves isn't that outrageous 
  • When Raj and Howard bought personalized dolls of themselves, Leonard makes a big deal over how much they spent on them. But while five hundred dollars might be a lot of money for a doll, it's really not that outrageous considering how much they spend on geeky stuff anyway. They've all got tons of figurines and collectibles and shit, they all must have spent thousands of dollars on their hobbies. It's not surprising that the two comparatively well-off characters will drop a few hundred bucks on personalized, one-of-a-kind figurines. Why does Leonard make such a big deal out of it?
    • Maybe because they had nothing to do with pop/geek culture. I can't see Leonard making a big deal if they had been, say, limited edition Star Trek figurines or something.
    • Thousands of dollars yes, over many years and many many figures/toys. Most of which are likely to go up in value. Not a one time purchase of a novelty item for $500, it's a bit different. He was clearly tempted though and decided not to just because of Penny.
    • Plus, when we see them, they're just dolls half-assedly altered with no collector value, and not worth $500 in the slightest.
    • Leonard made noise about the price way before they actually saw the dolls. Yeah, five hundred bucks for those crappy things is a ripoff, but I'd accept it for the nice ones they made with the 3d printer. this Batman figurine costs more than that, so again, it's not crazy to drop a load of cash on a figurine. And as for the "they don't go up in value" argument, none of the guys seem particularly interested in selling off their collections, and act shocked when Leonard almost sells his stuff in one of the early seasons, so I can't see that being a huge factor. They find more value in the sentimental aspect than the monetary aspects of their possessions.
    • Or maybe Leonard doesn't think he's vain enough to buy a doll of himself, or maybe he realized it was a scam?

     Has Raj considered therapy? 
  • Why has Raj not considered getting therapy for his selective mutism? It causes him grief not being able to talk to women (who he's not related to) and it clearly seems to be an anxiety problem as he's fine with placebos like alcohol, or drugs. Therapy would be a much better solution than perpetually drinking when around women or drugs with nasty side-effects.
    • He did try meditation. He said that while it failed to cure his inability to speak to women, it does prevent him from pissing his pants around them. Maybe it's just too deep a trauma that no therapy can cure it. Course, more likely the writers just want to keep Rule of Funny.
    • He may attend therapy offscreen, or may have attended therapy for many years with not seeing any progress, and finally decided to just do his best to deal with it rather than wasting his time. Rule of Funny is probably the explanation, though, even if not just because they want to keep using the joke... showing Raj attending therapy, gradually making small steps forward, and overcoming his issue might be inspiring, but probably wouldn't be very funny.

    • Actually, I always thought it would be easier to continue to use Alcohol as a placebo, rather than taking the time to visit the therapist regularly (and the cost of a therapist) .Keeping in mind, he isn't 'perpetually drinking', in fact he doesn't neseccarily have to consume alcohol at all ( Rumcake and non- alcoholic beer have both worked.) He just has to believe he's had even a tiny bit of alcohol. As in the case with the Rumcake, he only needed a bite, and was able to talk instantly (not waiting around for the 'alcohol' to be absorbed.) So in any case, a tiny amount of alcohol would be safer than the side-effect inducing medication. I thought one of those alcoholic chocolate truffles would work well, without getting him drunk to the point of being obnoxious. A little alcohol candy piece would be very quick to use in emergency situations when confronted, and would be easy enough to eat without too much attention.

     Okay, here's a continuity error... 
  • In an early episode, Leonard wanted to get a cat when he was depressed over Penny and about being lonely. He considered some special allergies-free breed of cats, for Sheldon was supposedly allergic. However, when Sheldon was getting over Amy, he got himself twenty-five cats. Not there wasn't even a single sneeze! Was he deliberately trying to trick Leonard? Or is this just something the authors forget about?
    • Maybe Sheldon somehow managed to find 25 hypoallergenic cats?
    • Maybe Sheldon took some allergy medication? If his allergies aren't that severe, it's no big deal. I know a couple of people who have a cat or two and just take allergy pills to deal with the sniffles.
    • It wasn't allergies but asthma, which is a lot more unpredictable than allergies. Leonard might have been worried about long-term issues (getting a sudden asthma attack when your cat is next to you in bed would not be fun) while Sheldon was obviously not thinking clearly.

     Amy and Sheldon could've came up with more ideas for matching outfits in the Halloween episode 
  • There is this episode in which Sheldon and Amy disagree over the question concerning what kind couple-costumes for Halloween to wear. Amy obviously wants something romantic (e.g. Romeo and Juliet), while Sheldon has only extremely nerdy costume ideas (e.g. R2D2 and C3-PO). They eventually have a compromise in the form of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy C3-PO. But I wonder why another - very obvious - idea for a compromise wasn't even mentioned: Namely Pierre & Marie Curie, a married couple who were also both very important scientists. Amy even once compared herself and Sheldon with the Curies in an earlier episode, so it's not as if they are unknown to them (Which would be very hard to believe anyway.) And mentioning the Curies as costume idea wouldn't necessarily have meant to sacrifice the final gag - just let Amy come up with the idea and let Sheldon immediately shoot it down with some weird Sheldon-typical reason why this isn't an option.
    • Because they didn't think of it. I don't get why so many people have a hard time with characters not thinking of some specific example. They both seemed to be focused on fictional characters as costumes, so it didn't occur to them to go as a real-life science couple. And if it had occurred to them, there's nothing particularly amusing about "Let's go as this science couple!" "No, that's boring." So when it finally does occur to them, they don't talk about it on camera because there's only twenty minutes in the show, why waste time on a boring line instead of a joke?

     Penny's career 
  • Just what's wrong with it? It's not her talent; even Sheldon approves of her acting. It's not her portfolio either; she once appeared in TV as one of the co-stars in that ad thing. So what's been holding her?
    • Yeah, after all, it's soooo easy to become a successful actress. Her portfolio's not impressive at all: she did one commercial and a couple of poorly-attended amateur plays. To succeed in an acting career you need more than talent (which, judging from the commercial she was in, is only a recent skill for Penny), you need luck and determination and contacts and a LOT of luck and then some more luck. There are a million pretty blond waitresses in LA trying to make it as actresses, Penny's in direct compitition with all of them. She doesn't have a SAG card, so she's gonna have a hard time getting a job any better than that commercial until she gets one. And from what we can tell, Penny's not actually all that determined to get an acting job any more. She doesn't talk about going to auditions any more, the only acting she's mentioned is in the play her class put on. Face it, somebody "making" it as an actor is the exception, not the rule. It's a hard career to break into, it's not surprising that Penny's not having any luck.
    • You just made an interesting point—after appearing in the commercial, Penny SHOULD be eligible for a SAG card. It worked for James Dean.

     Moving in 
  • In The Spoiler Alert Segmentation, why does Leonard seem to completely forget about his ordeal with Stephanie in season...two, I think? He just declares he's gonna move in with Penny and doesn't seem to realize that she's really uncomfortable with it, and even tells Sheldon something along the lines of "if you're not happy about Amy moving in you should just talk about it!" He seems to have completely forgotten about being in a similar situation with Stephanie, and how uncomfortable he was talking about it with her. He even asked Penny to ask Stephanie to move out for him, and ended up telling her via text message because he couldn't do it to her face. He should know more than anyone how awkward it is to tell someone that you don't want them to live with you, so why's he so shocked that Sheldon can't tell Amy to her face that he doesn't want her living with him, or when he finds out that Penny didn't want to live with him — even when she had been clearly uncomfortable with the idea to begin with. I wouldn't have such a hard time understanding his reasoning here if it wasn't for his relationship with Stephanie and going through this exact problem himself.
    • The issue with Dr. Stephanie is that they had been a couple for only a couple of weeks and dating for a month tops, which makes it a different situation than with Leonard and Penny who had been back together nearly a year in addition to dating for about 6 months several years prior. As well Stephanie had effectively moved in without Leonard realizing it. With regards to the more recent situation, while Leonard was a little pushy about it he didn't say "I'm moving in with you." but after she asked where he was going to go he said "I was thinking here with you." and used that as an opening to try and discuss things. The BEST way to have said it would be "What are your feelings about moving in together?" but the way he said it caught Penny by surprise and she had a hard time verbalizing her feelings, eventually trying to deflect it by talking about Sheldon. Leonard was a little pushy and insistent but he did at least try to establish a conversation on the matter.

     How is Shamy thing going so far? 
  • In Cooper/Kripke Inversion, Sheldon finally admits that one day he could get physical with Amy. One episode later, in Spoiler Alert Segmentation, Amy has had enough of Sheldon's unwillingness to move forward in their relationship. Then in Tangible Affection Proof, Sheldon hires her assistant to find a perfect Valentine gift for Amy, while Amy gives up her Valentine dinner so that Sheldon could stay home watching TV. Furthermore, in Closest Reconfiguration, Amy is back worshipping his quirkiness. What is going on?
    • Amy likes Sheldon's quirkiness, but only to an extent, and has to obey a Girlfriend Agreement or something which restricts her advances or affection, which she must get fed up with somtimes. As for Sheldon, well, it took a long time for him to able to be hold hands with her, let alone sleep with her, explaining the lack of progress.
    • Amy's got a multi-year plan which seems to be working, but it doesn't stop her from wishing it was working faster. Sheldon is undergoing Character Development in the right direction, but it's going to take him a while.

     The Gang's reaction to Zach 
  • In the episode where Penny's boyfriend Zack dresses as Superman (I just call it "the one with the Milk Duds"), the main cast sans Penny insult Zack's intellegence. So far, what he'd said was not really all that inaccurate. Dolphins are highly intelligent organisms. While starfish don't "come back to life if you kill them" they do regenerate upon being cut in half. As for mistaking an atom for a planet, the majority of scientists ought to be aware that there's no real telling what every planet in the universe looks like. There could have been at least one that looks like an atom (albeit, notably larger than most atoms). And then it is supposed to be treated as stupidity when he claims that science has no "one right answer", yet can the gang answer whether light is a particle or a wave? It just seems like they were bashing his intelligence without any evidence and nobody calls them out on how accurate Zack actually was.
    • You have a point. While he wasn't good with the details, he was definitely interested in science and seemed to understand the logic well. Compared to Penny, who displays little interest, he seems like he would gel well with the cast.
    • Note that once they started being friendly with him they all got along fairly well, they just had to wade through the stupid. In addition their last encounter with the guy had him discussing the concerns about the moon blowing up because of their laser. It is a real thing that you can get off-put when someone claims to be knowledgeable in a subject when all they have is a very passing understanding. These guys get into heated arguments over details of comic books and sci-fi shows and are scientists on top of that, proper terminology is going to be a big issue for them. It's implied that is why Penny doesn't have much of an interest, she knows she is going to come up short and feel stupid next to them regardless.
    • Also note that Penny called them out on their treatment of them and flat out called them bullies. They were definitely not shown as being in the right in that situation.
    • OP here. Yes, Penny did call them out on their behaviour, but that was more about general Jerkass ness. What I was wondering is why nobody called them out on the fact that Zach was technically right.
    • Even if you can call Zach's statement "technically right" (personally I don't agree he was) that wasn't the important thing. The important thing is that Leonard and company were acting like jerks for no good reason, after years of complaining about the cruel bullying they endured throughout their childhoods.
    • Sheldon actually seems to like Zach fairly well, he's one of the people he tries to recruit for his group of replacement friends. Sheldon at one point tells Stuart that Stuart his his ninth favorite friend/acquaintance (recently moved up from tenth)... including all his regular friends and his mother, there's at least two spots there, implying Zach might even be ahead of Stuart. The others seem to like him just fine too, it's just that "really really dumb but nice guy who hangs out with a bunch of super-smart guys" was probably a joke that would wear out too quickly for them to make him a regular.
    • Dolphins might be intelligent, but they're hardly intelligible. Sheldon was probably thinking "I know he's trying to communicate here, but I have no idea what he's saying." Zach is pretty much a whole other order of life as far as Sheldon is concerned.
    • OP again. Right character, wrong episode. You're refering to the episode where Amy gets an alien parasite, in which there is a scene of Sheldon contacting Zach on the phone and, at one point, exasperatingly muttering that this conversation is "like talking to a dolphin". I was talking about a different episode, in which Zack opts to "talk science with the science guys" and one of the things he says is that dolphins might be smarter than people. Leonard then comments they might be smarter than some people (read: Zack) and Sheldon devises an experiment involving a tub of water, a plastic hoop, and Zack's favorite treats.
    • Zack is not completely stupid, but all of his science related knowledge seems to derive from television, and as such are superficial, a fact that the resident genii recognized and found amusing. Knowing that a starfish can regenerate without knowing how it happens must seem foolish to four guys that spent half their waking life studing. I've been on both sides of "Look how sweet, he thinks he can relate with us on (argument)!", and I can assure that people likes to think they are an exclusive tribe of cool people, while others are drooling morons because they can't name all Sailor Stars in age order.
    • OP again. That is a satisfactory answer. Thank you.
    • I'd like to weigh in on that whole "There's no one right answer" thing. This is, in fact, a stupid thing to say about science. The answer may be up for debate. But there is a right one.

     The crossbreeze on Sheldon's spot 
  • A bit more mundane than a lot of these... questions... but this has literally made me scratch my head once or twice. Every time Sheldon does an explanation about his spot, he says it's in "a crossbreeze created by opening windows there and there". On the second "there" it seems like he points towards the kitchen, opposite of the window, which makes sense for a crossbreeze. But... there don't seem to be any windows in the kitchen? And even if there were, wouldn't there be a hallway or another apartment on the other side of it, not something that would really create a crossbreeze? Yeah, I know, probably super nitpicky, it's just that the explanation gets used so often I can't help but think about it.
    • Those windows are on the fourth wall.
    • there is a window in the kitchen, see

     Screwed up Buffy info 
  • In The Closure Alternative, Leonard shows Penny the pilot to Buffy, expecting her to become enamored with it (as every other troper can relate). She enjoys it, but casually. Leonard says she'll like the next episode ("Witch") better as it involves "cheerleaders who are cursed." Here's my problem: that's not what happens in that episode. The evil, witch mother of one girl switches bodies with her daughter and starts killing off the competition to make the cheer squad. There's no curse. Come on, guys. Even just reading an episode summary on wikipedia (or here) could have given the writers the correct plot. Maybe this is just complaining, but this is TV Tropes, damn it! We were built on Buffy!
    • It is seriously just complaining. It involves cheerleaders and black magic, "cheerleaders that are cursed" is close enough for any normal person.
    • Actually it's about a possessed cheerleader would be just as understandable to a normal person with the added bonus of not being needlessly wrong.
    • Okay, let's put it this way: a normal person wouldn't care.
    • It wasn't "killing off the competition" but actually casting hexes and other spells to make them screw up. In some ways that's better because the fact the one responsible was a mother possessing her teenage daughters body is the twist of the episode. (lastly, the fact the episode was about cheerleaders shows they did do the research and chose a simplified description of the episode in conjunction with what kind of jokes they could implement)
    • It'd be a bit of a spoiler to reveal what was going on with Amy. Saying the cheerleaders are "cursed" would be the best way to summarize the plot in just a couple words.

     So, what is the story with Bernadette and children? 
  • In "The Einstein Approximation", Bernadette curtly tells Sheldon, who was attempting to build one of his molecular models on the floor of his apartment with marbles, to go to bed, and he complies. She then explains to the others that she 'has experience dealing with difficult children', or something to that effect, from when she helped her mother run an illegal daycare in her younger days. However, while acting as Howard's assistant while he puts on a magic act at a birthday party in "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver", she begins snapping at several kids when they make demystifying comments about their act. She then later explains to Howard that she's 'not good with kids', stemming from her experience of having to raise several of her younger siblings while she herself was young, her parents often being preoccupied with their careers. It is self-evidently contradictory that she would be able to deal with difficult children, and then claim that she's not good around them period. It also presents a contradiction in terms of what happened during her childhood. Did her mother run a daycare out of their home, or did she work long hours away from home at another career? Was there anything in between or has there been anything since to clarify this?
    • Perhaps these both occured fairly close to each other. Bernadette's mother ran a daycare from home for a while before deciding to focus on her career, or vise versa. As far as Bernadette goes, the only things she tried to do to Sheldon was try to convince him to go to sleep before having to discipline him. It's possible that her experience with kids only goes so far as being the authority figure as opposed to playing with them or similar interaction.
    • Having experience dealing with difficult children could make one not good around kids, or just not want to have kids. Note that what she did with Sheldon essentially WAS snapping, it just happened to work.
    • Simple. She had to work in the daycare and raise her siblings, all at a young age, and she got so burnt out on kids she decided she didn't want any. That doesn't mean she didn't gain some vital knowledge while working with them, such as how to get them to go to bed.

     Why was Bernadette thinking of breaking up with Howard back in season 4? 
  • It's in the "The Herb Garden Germination", we never hear why Bernadette was considering breaking up with him. Was it because of not having an engagement ring? I figure thats why it never comes up again but why did we never hear her side of the story?
    • Amy said she heard it as a rumor. And rumors, as we all know, tend not to be be perfectly lined up with the truth. The thought of breaking up with Howard could have very well never crossed her mind in the first place.
    • Also, keep in mind where the rumor came from: Penny, who wasn't exactly fond of Howard at the time, and who was also the only single one at the time (Leonard was with Priya). Bernadette could have just been venting about Howard, and Penny, whose state of mind wasn't in a pleasant place, could have just made an erroneous assumption.
    • Well, as she stated in "The Stag Convergence", the more sleazy aspects of Howard's character went by completely unbeknownst to her, and she though he was just a sweet, somewhat shy guy who lived with his mother, just as she was sweet and somewhat shy. Just four episodes prior to "The Herb Garden Germination", she found out just how unnatural that bit of Howard is, with him expecting her to be his mother's replacement, and it kind of just ends with him going back to his mother. It actually fits well with the engagement; just as she was about to end things for a reason, Howard proved the exact opposite of said reason was true and that he was willing to make this lifelong commitment with her. It makes sense why she changed her mind; we did see her side of the story and much more that she didn't know.

     Bernadette's father 
  • Why, in season five when Howard was going to meet him, when she listed off all of her father's prejudices and anger issues, did she have a smile? She just told her fiance that his future father in law has an explosive temper and has a prejudice against jews? I figure she just isn't that good an actress or just the writers not knowing what to make of her parents.
    • Given her upbringing, it's not unlikely that she was taught to smile as much as she could. It was probably just force of habit and didn't mean anything.
    • Alternately, Bernadette's kind of a bitch. She seems to rather enjoy it when other people are uncomfortable or upset. She always seems gleeful at the idea of others suffering. Everyone on the cast has something that makes them a jerk, Bernie's is a schadenfreude addiction.
    • Alternatively, she was just trying to make that conversation less awkward, or grimacing.
    • It was intentional, it's not a failing on the part of the actress. She's a Stepford Smiler, sweet and saccharine no matter what. It's why she has that voice; it's not the actress's natural voice, it's an intentional inflection intended to show that part of her character. If you don't like it, blame the writers.

  • It's been mentioned several times that Sheldon grew up in Galveston, and when Leonard, Raj, and Howard visited, that was consistent with it. However, the place where Sheldon grew up, based on the anecdotes, is much more of a backwater than a moderately-sized city in close proximity to other large cities.
    • It's probably a cross between television writers' prejudices and small reference pools (many of them think the entire state of Texas is a backwater, with its few major cities surrounded by featureless dirt plains), and Sheldon making it out to be much worse than it is because he's a snob.
    • Galveston is pretty rural once you get out on the island, and if you take the ferry across the bay to the Bolivar peninsula, it's downright boonies. Apart from a huge refinery, there's really not a whole lot of "there" there. As for being "close", the nearest city, Houston, is nearly an hour drive away (though that does count as close in Texas).

  • In the season 6 episode where Leonard and Sheldon argues over spoilers, how did Leonard, as a nerd, not possibly know that Dumbledore eventually dies in the Harry Potter series? Even for someone who's never been a HP fan, everyone on the internet from what I saw and with people around me with even the tiniest interest in HP instantly talked of his death when the movie was out, making it a pretty common knowledge in the nerd culture, not to mention it's been several years since it was out now, making it even harder to believe Leonard never heard of it. I know the gang has never been show with a particular interest in HP, but again, being one of the most famous fantasy stories it's common nerd culture knowlegde, at least I always got the impression it was.
    • Fan Myopia. It may just never have happened. He did say he avoided them, so maybe anything to do with HP he instantly steered clear from because HP had a Hype Aversion effect on him until he decided to try them out.
    • I had a bigger problem with the fact that Sheldon was previously shown to absolutely abhor spoilers, even saying something like "it was mindblowing" about an issue he hadn't read was considered an offense to him, so he should be the last person that would spoil something that big for his friend.
    • Sheldon's rude, egotistical, and self-absorbed, not to mention kind of a shitty friend. It's been pretty established so far that he expects the people around him to bend over backwards for him, but doesn't see any reason to do anything to reciprocate. Alternately, he's so arrogant and conceited that he considers the bare minimum that he does for others (such as asking how Leonard's day went while admitting that he doesn't care) is equal to the unreasonable demands he puts on his friends, because he doesn't see them as equals. It's bad to spoil him, because he's important and his feelings matter. It's ok to spoil others, because they are not important and what they want does not matter if he wants to do something else instead. See also the Physics Bowl episode, when he refused to listen to anyone else's ideas for team names because he wanted to be the Army Ants, and when they put it to a vote he said he would just ruin everything and make them miss out on the whole game rather than go with someone else's name. It's pretty much the same thing; they should use his name because he wants it rather than their name because what they want doesn't matter. People should avoid spoiling him because he doesn't want to be spoiled, but their feelings on spoilers don't matter because he was making conversation.
    • But his response to be being spoiled was to pickup a comic issue Stewart hadn't read and say "it will knock your socks off, good luck enjoying it now" so clearly he sees spoiling something for someone as a punishment. He doesn't see them as intellectual equals, but he does see them as friends (and one acquaintance.)
    • Doesn't that kind of make it worse, though? If someone spoils him he retaliates with another spoiler. But he has such low regard for his friends he still doesn't care if he spoils them for stuff or not. That just shows that he is absolutely aware of how shitty spoilers are and that nice people try to avoid them, but he still can't be bothered to be even the slightest bit considerate.
    • Not to mention the spoiler he dropped on Leonard was completely unprovoked. Leonard mentions he's reading the book and Sheldon just randomly spoils the ending. If spoilers are a punishment than he just verbally punched Leonard in the face for no reason.
    • Maybe Sheldon, like the original poster, assumed that Dumbledore's death was common knowledge, hence he would not even consider that to be a spoiler. The most likely scenario however is simply that writers are inconsistent with their portrayals of Sheldon's code of conduct.
    • Then wouldn't he have said something to the effect of "The book has been out for X years so the spoiler is past its expiration date"? Instead, he claimed to be making conversation, then turned the whole thing into support for his incredibly twisted worldview in which Leonard throws "hissy fits" for no reason. He didn't even dispute that he would have been upset had he been on the receiving end; he simply does not care if he ruins someone else's reading experience.
    • Yeah, I don't buy that Sheldon thought Leonard was unaware of Dumbledore's death. Sheldon said, "Dumbledore dies in that one," as if he was stating a fact that Leonard didn't already know.

     Bernadette's waitress job 
  • Why didn't she work in a lab during grad school like... every other grad student in that field? Did she have financial issues and needed to take a second job to help fund Grad School? And if so, how did she find time to study?
    • Depends on availability of jobs, cost of tuition and wages. She left the Cheesecake Factory once she graduated and got a lucrative pharmaceutical job at the end of the fourth season, it's possible she had the job for years and stuck with it for the same reason as Penny, decent money and flexible hours.
    • Grad students in the sciences normally get fellowships or assistantships (research or teaching). What generally comes along with those is mostly paid tuition and a living wage, so a grad student would be able to concentrate on working on their research and studying for what classes they have. It's very uncommon to find a grad student working to support themselves, because it's hard. I think that's what the OP is getting at here.
    • I can attest to this - Grad school is a lot of work. In between writing your dissertation, all the experiments you have to do (Which depends a lot on the science you're in - but Bernadette was in microbiology so chances are a lot of the work she had to do was at the university itself.) Given the workload graduate students have, either Bernadette was screwed by her university or that was one cushy graduate school program. Depending on what field of the sciences you are in, chances are you don't have time to work a part time job. (To be fair, again, Microbiology - if she were in say, environmental sciences she would ahve had to do a lot of traveling!)
    • A friend of mine has a good job as a paralegal, but still works in the same coffee shop she's worked in since high school on weekends for a bit of extra pocket money and to keep in touch with the friends she has there. It's never said on the show how often Bernadette was working at the restaurant; it's possible that she was sticking around there for the same reasons my friend stayed at the coffee shop.
    • May not entirely be the same as Bernadette - When does your friend also work in the coffee shop? Do they work a few hours every day after their job, or do they come in during off days? Because working as a paralegal isn't exactly the same as a grad school student. Grad school students rarely get "days off" (When my mom was in grad school she would be in on Saturdays and Sundays to oversee experiments and research, as well as study for classes or work on grading papers for classes she had to teach - because otherwise she'd have no time to do those during the rest of the week.) and in the sciences, you're pretty much stuck teaching classes or conducting research that pretty much eats up all of your time.
    • When the character is introduced, Penny says Bernadette is "part-time." That could be just one or two days a week, for (as another poster put it) "extra pocket money." It's also not stated if Bernadette lives at home or with roommates or what her situation is prior to her relationship with Howard, but even a fully funded grad program is pretty tight financially. They recommend you don't work more than 12 hours a week, though, so you may devote your time to the program.

    Sheldon dating 
  • Why did Sheldon refer to Amy as his first date? I get the Teens for Jesus hoedown didn't count, but didn't he and Raj have a double date (actually two) in an earlier episode (the one with Danica Mc Keller)? And before anyone says "that doesn't count as a date", Sheldon even said, when Raj bribed him with Hulk Hands "Hulk agree to second date with puny humans". Therefore, Sheldon had at least two dates before Amy, and considering his idetic memory and failure with dishonesty, I doubt he lied or forgot.
    • Perhaps it's a sign of the significance Amy has to him: The previous girl wasn't a "date" in the same way as he views Amy.
    • I'm pretty sure that Sheldon was talking about a "second date" for Raj; on both occasions, he was merely there to act as wingman, so it wouldn't count as him going on a date. From start-to-finish, he was completely oblivious to the fact that the other girl was romantically/sexually interested in him.

    Sheldon and the puppy order 
  • So in The Occupation Recalibration, Leonard is able to force Sheldon to stay just by giving him an order. Wtf has he not used that all these years?
    • We have a trope for this: Plot-Induced Stupidity.
    • Because it would only work a couple of times until Sheldon finds a way to justify to himself not doing it.
    • Sheldon's a very unpredictable man, exactly how he reacts to situations is sometimes very difficult to predict, he can react completely differently to the same stimulus depending on his mood, what's happened recently and who he's with. Just cause it worked once, it doesn't mean it would ever work again. Plus of the two Sheldon's the more strong willed and dominant, while Leonard's the more weaker willed and submissive, so he rarely gives orders (and in the situations he does there normally both so worked up it just makes things worst). Plus there is the fact if he tried to doing it to often Sheldon would eventually get sick of it and push back, which just make Leonard's life miserable. All in all, Leonard got a amount of good luck, if he tried to push it, he could open a whole can of worms he would have to live with.

    Name Brand Soda 
  • Every time anyone's drinking a soda, it's made to look like a brand name, but it's not ('Cola' instead of Coke, 'Lime' instead of Sprite, etc). Why do they only do this with sodas and not with other products?
    • Maybe they're more afraid of lawsuits from Coke and Pepsi than other companies.
    • Or conversely, maybe Coke, Pepsi, and other beverages didn't pay for any Product Placement unlike the comics etc.

    The One Ring 
  • So...whatever did happen to the One Ring movie prop that they found at a garage sale? Does Leonard still have it? Does he take it out at night and creepily play with it like Gollum?
    • Since Sheldon found out Leonard kept the ring, I don't think any of them have it now. Otherwise either Sheldon would be throwing tantrums over not getting to keep it for himself, or he'd be lording it over Leonard and the gang. My guess is that Leonard had to actually do what he said he would, and mail it back to Peter Jackson — or else he's keeping it locked up in a safe deposit box somewhere where he can't take it out to look at like he wants to, but at least Sheldon doesn't have it either.

    Sheldon's stage fright 
  • In "The Pants Alternative" Sheldon wins the Chancellor's Award for Science, but the Chancellor says he has to give a speech or forfeit the award. How can it possibly be a rule that if a scientist refuses to give a speech he must forfeit a prestigious scientific award?
    • Maybe it's not a real rule, and the Chancellor only said it because Sheldon was pissing him off. Or it is a real rule, and the idea behind it is to make the science that wins the award accessible to people; you have to educate the crowd on the experiment or theory that is being rewarded.
    • I may be mistaken, but a condition for receiving a Nobel is that you have to accept it in person, so it wouldn't be impossible for the Chancellor's Award to have a similar condition. Also, wasn't it an internal award from the university Sheldon works at? If so they can make whatever rules they want over the award.

     Why is Sheldon's comic collection not sorted correctly? 
  • In multiple episodes, you can see that Sheldon's bookcase contains Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus. A fine part of his comic collection. However, you can clearly tell that they aren't put in the right order, that is to say, volume 1-2-3-4. Why would an obsessive-compulsive person like Sheldon place his comics in the wrong order?
    • Maybe he has his own ineffable filing system. He sorts them according to their atomic mass or something.

     Wot no otaku? 
  • This is a series about geeks and despite its reputation in the West as a somewhat geeky niche interest, none of the characters are interested in manga and/or anime? Not to mention that most of the comics the guys are interested in are the typical Marvel/DC superhero variety, when other (albeit perhaps less popular) publishers and genres exist. Is anime and manga so niche that it would be too obscure for a general audience, or would such an audience perhaps be wierded out by it or something?
    • The Big Bang Theory is about what the Lowest Common Denominator in the 1980s THINKS a "nerd" or a "Geek" is - not what a "nerd" or a "Geek" actually is. Even referencing something like Sailor Moon or Pokémon would risk stepping out of their Small Reference Pools. (I bet you ANYTHING they'd never reference Guardians of the Galaxy had a movie not made millions at the box office.) And when you step outside of the Small Reference Pools of what the public thinks is geeky then they won't laugh and be confused. Why do you think they never mention Image or Mirage, and why any Star Trek references are Kirk or Picard and never Janeway? Given that they can't even conduct all the research about what "Geeky" things they're supposed to be doing, they obviously can't be trusted to research any anime or manga without half-assing it. (Sword of Azeroth.)
    • TL;DR This series is about the pop-culture conception of nerds, not actual modern-day nerds. By necessity they have to confine themselves to the most mainstream definition of nerdery, or risk losing their non-nerd viewers. While the general public is aware of the existence of anime and manga, it's only in the vaguest sense of "those weird cartoons from Japan". Aside from Pokemon there are precious few animes that are considered household names, and even that would be pushing it.
    • They are mentioned as watching anime in several episodes, as well as both Leonard and Howard as having animated porn which is likely anime as well. As for manga, some just don't like the genre. Of my own geek circle, quite a few are comic book fans but don't read manga, including myself.
    • Sheldon mentions the Pokemon anime via Ash, Pikachu, and Ash's catchphrase "I choose you!" and one episode has Penny mentioning Leonard having the cards. So that's at least one anime that has been referenced.

     What happened to the egg? 
  • At the end of "The Ornithophobia Diffusion", Sheldon intends to hatch a bird egg inside a makeshift incubator. That egg is never seen or heard from again.
    • It probably hatched and flew out the window like the mama bird.
    • More likely, it didn't hatch and got thrown out.

     Bernadette's Reputation 
  • When Penny goes on a job interview, the guy interviewing her dislikes her and doesn't want to hire her until Penny admits that Bernadette kind of scares her, at which point the interviewing guy says something like "I thought it was just me!!" The dialogue implied that Bernadette being scary was something nobody else noticed because she's cute and sweet otherwise, and Penny got hired because the interviewing guy bonded with her over this personal revelation of sweet little Bernadette having a scary side. But then just a few episodes later Penny, Bernadette and the dude who did the interview are all at a work party and it comes out that everyone is scared of Bernadette and thinks she's a bully. What's up with the sudden change?
    • Maybe bonding with Penny inspired him to ask around the office and that's how he found out everyone else was scared of Bernadette too.
    • We saw a different Bernadette in The Scavenger Hunt: screechy, over-competitive, domineering, hyper-combative. If these are the traits she manifests at work, no wonder colleagues are scared of her.

     Sheldon and Geology 
  • What is Sheldon's beef with geology, exactly? His disdain for social sciences I can understand but geology is a hard science that informs or complements many other scientific disciplines, including physics.
    • Sheldon's an Insufferable Genius who thinks every other scientific field is beneath his. Why Geology is number one? Who knows? Maybe there was someone that he hated/bullied him who was a Geologist.
    • One of the insults he uses for geologists is 'dirt people'. It may be in part because he sees it as 'unclean', similar to how he's expressed distaste for biology for similar reasons.
    • Sheldon is a theoretical physicist, and his bread and butter is figuring out the vastness of space. To him, geology is pointless because there's basically nothing left to discover until someone literally hits pay dirt. It's too concrete and doesn't leave him enough room to speculate or solve equations or show off his intelligence, therefore, it's pointless. In other words, geology bores Sheldon out of his mind, and he just dismisses the "dirt people" as idiots because he doesn't think there's any point in it.
    • Young Sheldon finally explains that it was, of all things, to do with a girl.

     Mrs. Wolowitz' Death 

  • Why was Mrs. Wolowitz, who's supposed to be Jewish, cremated?
    • Likely because she was morbidly obese (stated in a previous episode by Raj), and simply would not fit in any coffins the family could afford. On top of that, Airlines charge HEAVY for things like that.
    • She was shown briefly in one episode, she's not that fat. She might not have had health insurance and cremation is much cheaper than a burial. This happened with my uncle who died recently. Funerals usually cost a minimum of $10,000. I'm not sure what she did for a living before she retired but she might not have been smart with her money when she was young. My family's too poor to afford a funeral but Howard and Bernadette could have raised the money, why they didn't, I'm unsure.
    • Interesting responses, and it makes a certain amount of sense. However, Jewish law forbids cremation. Why would Howard allow his mother to be cremated (without some explanation) if he wore fake tattoos expressly so he could "still be buried in a Jewish cemetery."
    • It's even more puzzling, given that in "The Vacation Solution" we learn that Howard and his mother own "a double-plot at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery"
    • In all honesty, I think it was just a way for the writers to get out of writing a funeral episode, which sounds like a pussy thing to do if you ask me.
    • It isn't cheap to fly a body home, maybe her life insurance didn't cover it. Seriously, not all life insurance policies will cover transport of body if you die away from your home locale; check the fine print guys.
    • Researched this aspect for the TBBT Wikia: to copy my notes from there: Rule Of Funny? It makes it easier for the airline to lose her mortal remains, for one thing. And considerably cheaper for Howard to have them airfrieghted - can you imagine what flying a coffin with a thirty-stone woman in would cost from Florida to California? EDIT - sorry, used British weights and measures there. Thirty stone UK = 400 pounds American. How large was Debbie Wolowitz? At least 275, maybe 300? Still a huge excess baggage charge there, even discounting weight of a coffin.
    • See here. Apparently air-freighting a coffin plus corpse can cost up to $10,000. Debbie Wolowitz would have been towards the top end of this scale - taking a very large morbidly obese corpse (literally "morbid") practically as far as you can go in the USA, from Florida to California. Lots of documentation and red-tape, too: add on costs of certtifying death, documentation to accompany the corpse, et c. But cremation plus airfreighting of cremated remains is apparently only about $1,000. Having said that, maybe Howard should have forked out for "Repatriation of Remains Insurance".....
  • That makes sense, but traditionally, Jewish funerals have to take place by sundown the following day (they're not embalmed, either, usually). She wouldn't have been flown back to California. She would have been buried in Florida, if they'd done it correctly.

     When Did Sheldon's Father Die? 

  • In the episode where Mrs. Wolowitz dies, Sheldon comforts Howard by assuring him that he has friends to help him, something that Sheldon didn't have when his father passed away. In Season 1, however, Missy is visiting Sheldon at the University with papers regarding their father's estate. At that point in time, despite having known Leonard and the guys for six years (based on the timeline of Firefly, a show that premiered in 2002 being part of their weekly viewing schedule when Leonard first moved in, and the episode presumably being set in 2008, when it aired), did Sheldon still not consider them "friends" or did his father's estate just take an incredibly long time to settle?
    • In the Thanksgiving episode, Sheldon told Mike Rostenkowski that he was 14 when his dad died. As for the above issue, I'm sensing a Continuity Snarl.
    • However, in Season One's "The Grasshopper Experiment", Leonard wonders aloud in regard to Sheldon, "I wonder who's going to tell his parents that their not going to have grandchildren". (possibly not verbatim). If Sheldon's father has been dead that long, surely Leonard would have said, "his mother".
    • The stuff with his father's estate may have been something that required different assets dolled out after certain periods of time after his death or when his children reached certain ages. That does bring up its own set of questions, as it seems that he and Mary were still married when he died, and so typically anything regarding his estate would default under Mary's control until her death, unless the assets were abnormally large and subdivided outside of Mary's control (which seems unlikely, as the Coopers seem middle-class all around). The episode by itself does imply that Sheldon's dad passed away shortly before the series began rather than upwards of 15 years. Also, Mary first appeared in the fourth episode and it was stated that George Cooper had died some time prior.
  • We may find out later; I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up happening in Young Sheldon at some point.

     Howard's Attitude to Religion 

  • In "The Space Probe Disintegration" Howard makes several comments about Raj's faith that lean into Straw Atheist territory, chiding him for believing in "superstitions" as a scientist but in, like every other episode Howard seems to be the most religious out of the four guys, so what the Hell?
    • Hypocritical Humor?
    • Also, it's not clear how religious Howard really is. He clearly has no problem breaking the dietary restrictions.
    • Howard's belief or lack thereof, may not have anything to do with it. Even the most devout believers often openly mock other religions, while taking great offense from others doing the same to them.
    • There's also the fact that Howard is Jewish. I'm not an expert and could very well be wrong, but I've heard that a lot of Jewish people consider Judaism not so much a religion as a culture. He might seem the most religious because he follows the laws and traditions of his culture while not actually putting much stock into the religious aspect of it.
    • This makes sense, since a lot of Jewish people consider themselves ethnic Jews but do not believe in God or practice the religion. However, it has been made clear in certain episodes (can't recall the names) that Howard does believe in God and refused to pray in a Christian church for fear of bursting into flames.

     What's up with Wil Wheaton's character? 

  • Is it explained anywhere why Wil Wheaton in the show changed his personality between episodes, going from a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing to a genuine Nice Guy? I know there's a trope for it, but still, some explanation would be nice. It gets especially weird in the season 7 episode where Leonard and Penny are having a nice chat with him after the guy basically broke them up some seasons earlier in order to win a bowling match.
    • Wil was only mean to Sheldon. I was under the impression that Wil breaking up Leonard and Penny was an a happy accident and he was trying to genuinely help her out. Sure, he hinted to Sheldon that he did it on purpose, but he may have just been saying that to piss him off.
    • The guy was lying about his grandmother being dead so he could beat Sheldon at the card game. I don't buy "trying to help her out" thing. But it is possible that Leonard and Penny didn't believe Sheldon's theory.

     Why did Alex get away with hitting on Leonard? 
  • In both the workplace and outside of work, she hit on Leonard, knowing full well he has a girlfriend. Yet, neither she got in trouble at work, nor did Penny retaliate against her, even though Penny has retaliated against Alicia through fighting and Priya through spy tactics. To add insult to injury in "The Egg Salad Equivalency." She got all the boys in trouble for misconduct simply, because her hitting on Leonard caused a chain reaction which caused him to brag, Sheldon to confront her, her sending a Sexual Harassment complaint and Sheldon throwing the rest under the bus so he could get out of it with a reduced punishment.
    • Man, Sheldon bashers will have a field day with this one... To be fair, she didn't break any rules by hitting on Leonard. She had every right to do so. I don't think that she even knew for sure that Leonard and Penny were dating. But Sheldon's "lecture" can be viewed as a sexual harassment, and he didn't really have a right to "teach" her that. There is no way that she could have predicted that events. But no, that is not a proof that he is the Villain of this show, Draco in Leather Pants or anything.
    • This is from the original poster. It's not so much a rule breaking thing, otherwise I wouldn't mention Penny's lack of retaliation. This was more or less Alex being a Karma Houdini. She never received any comeuppance while everyone else both in and out of work pretty much suffered as the result of it. Now this troper wouldn't mind if it was Rule of Funny, but this is the same show where Sheldon, even with his own occasional Karma Houdini lapses has often faced times where he had to take responsibility for his actions. The only thing close to a consequence she faces, is putting up with Sheldon's many trademarks, but since his friends do it all the time, it's not really much of a consequence.
    • I would strongly disagree that any "comeuppance" was required here. Alex was smitten with Leonard and engaged in some very light flirting. Her actions hadn't even made Leonard uncomfortable. The only thing she really deserved (if she deserved anything at all) was a gentle but firm talking to. It's not her fault that Sheldon is so pathetically clueless about what is or isn't appropriate. HE was the one at fault for getting all the boys in trouble, not Alex.
    • Penny probably didn't want to complicate her life since Alex was Sheldon's assistant. Or maybe she learned her lesson since Alicia kicked her ass and spying on Priya backfired.
    • Add in that Priya didn't hit on Leonard when they were dating - they dated after Penny broke up with him. And Alicia wasn't trying to get together with any of the guys - she was just using flirtation to manipulate them into doing things for her and Penny was trying to protect her friends. Both are entirely different situations.
    • To the second poster, Alex definitely knew Leonard and Penny were together. I just saw this episode today, and Leonard made it clear he and Penny were in a relationship. That said, while hitting on someone else's boyfriend isn't good, it really isn't Sheldon's business, or the university's. Alex can certainly ask a person on a date, and as pointed out above, she didn't make Leonard uncomfortable by doing so. The uni getting involved in such a private matter would be way out of line.
    • At the end of the episode, Sheldon makes Alex go through the seminar(?) on sexual harassment that he was supposed to have, so she really did get a comeuppance. Also, yes, Leonard did state that he and Penny were in a relationship.
    • Okay, I (kind of) misremembered, Alex knows that Leonard HAS a girlfriend and tried to hit on him when he was talking about his problems. But she doesn't know that it's PENNY. Still doesn't change anything.
    • It's worth noting that to my knowledge this was her last episode, so she did face the consequence that presumably Sheldon did dismiss her from her position as intern, wither that or she quit.

    Fake video 

  • In "The 43 Curiosity", Raj and Howard set up a camera in a storage room to see what Sheldon does there every afternoon. Sheldon finds out and changes the feed to a video he prepared, where he appears to create an interdimensional portal, look inside, and get attacked by an alien. Now, considering the camera was set up less than 24 hours before Howard and Raj view the clip, there was no way Sheldon could have made the fake video in so little time. The special effects, cheap though they might be, would still have taken more than one day to create, not to mention all the preparation needed to set up the action as it appears. Plus Sheldon, perfectionist that he is, would likely do multiple takes. All in all, the video would have taken two days at least to prepare.
    • But then again this is Sheldon we're talking about here. It's not inconceivable to think that he made the video in advance in case anybody tried something like what Howard and Raj did.
    • In that case he'd have either had to make the video sometime after he hit 43, or he'd have had to make the video every time he beat his record. He'd also have to know ahead of time exactly where the camera would be placed in order to film from the proper angle. More likely, he went to the room sometime between the camera being placed there and the time he did his practice. I could have gone down there for another reason.
    • The special effects can be made in advance and separately and then overlayed on the video.
    • He probably enlisted Amy's help. Between the two of them, they have at least a basic working knowledge of video editing techniques, they're both capable of pushing themselves past what normal people would consider to be a "reasonable" amount of effort, and Sheldon has buckets of money he can spend on commissioning video effects on the internet.

    New Star Trek Movie 

  • In the Electric Can Opener Fluctuation Penny trys to comfort Sheldon by comparing the situation to one that involved Spock in the new Star Trek movie. Since the guys just came back from a three month expedition in the the north pole, wouldn't this mean that she went out to see the movie without anyone pressuring her to do so?
    • She could have seen it because it was unusually popular for a Star Trek movie. Another possibility is, since it's established she missed Leonard, she may have seen it because it reminded her of him.
    • Penny's not completely ignorant towards any and all geeky topics, she just doesn't obsess over it like the guys. In the second episode she remembers some events from Superman movies but not specifically which one it was.
    • Star Trek movies are mainstream. Super, super mainstream. Tons of "normies" watch them without thinking they're nerdy in the slightest. (Especially the new ones, which were full of hot young actors and tons of action.) Lots of non-nerds even watch the show. Socially, you only turn into "one of those weird obsessed Trek nerds" if you can rattle off episode numbers (which some people can do even without realizing they're one of those weird obsessed Trek nerds), launch into random deep lore, or dress up and go to conventions.

    Parking Spot 

  • If Sheldon doesn't own a car and doesn't drive, why was he issued a parking spot?
    • He's a senior theoretical physicist, I'm guessing that it would warrant having your own car space.
    • It might be protocal for parking spots to be offered, and Sheldon probably accepted because it made him feel important, and just in case as it was the perfect spot for him if he did drive.
    • But it was reassigned to Howard. If it could be reassigned that easily, why wasn't it reassigned years earlier?
    • Bureaucracy. No one's constantly monitoring the parking spots to make sure they're parked in, so the status quo stays in place until either someone complains or someone happens to notice that a prime spot is going unused. When Howard suddenly became a big deal for going into space, someone took a closer look at the best spots and realized there was one that was effectively available.
    • In "The Staircase Implementation", it is implied Sheldon is or was ashamed of his inability to drive, so it is possible he was offered the spot and accepted it rather than admit he can't drive.
    • Surely a better question would be why doesn't Leonard use Sheldon's parking spot considering they car pool, or does he have one of his own? As for why it went unnoticed for so long that Sheldon wasn't using the spot, maybe it's a combination of slow beauocracy/red tape and people noticed it was going unused so parked there and whoever was checking to see if the spaces were being used saw it being used and didn't realise for a long time that it wasn't Sheldon parking there?
    • US institutions I have worked for can't seem to grasp that someone doesn't have a car. I don't drive. I won 'employee of the month' three times when working for IBM. The single biggest 'perk' was a parking spot right in front of the main entrance. Caltech might just never have noticed that Sheldon doesn't drive

    Full Theme Song 

  • The full version of the theme song (not used on the show) includes the line "the oceans and Pangaea, see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya...". But this doesn't make sense: at the time of Pangaea there was only one ocean (Panthalassa). I realize that there are other more obvious errors in the song (autotrophs don't drool, FYI) and that it's not meant to be an accurate "history of everything" but this just occurred to me and I thought it was funny. Still love the song, though.
    • The autotrophs thing was a pretty obvious example of figurative speech. Monocellular autotrophic organisms eventually evolved heterotrophic monocellular organisms which begat multicellular heterotrophic organisms, which can often drool. I mean, there are some errors, for sure, but I don't think that one counts as a mistake.

    Online Comics 

  • Why don’t the guys read their comics online?
    • Possibly for similar reasons some people just don't like Nooks and Kindles - same content, but they just like the paper pages better.
    • To quote Sheldon "I can buy all these things online, I come here for the personal service." They likely enjoy the experience of going to a comic book store. In the pre-internet days, those stores were the social nexus of geek culture, one of the few places nerds could find like-minded people and avoid bullies. Plus, they've all likely been reading comics since they were little and going to a comic book shop is nostalgic.

    Watching in room 

  • It’s been mentioned that Leonard and Sheldon have televisions in their rooms; plus, they have laptops and computers, so why doesn’t Leonard just watch those instead of agreeing to watch only what Sheldon wants to watch.
    • Roommate Agreement. He HAS to watch what Sheldon wants to watch on the TV.
    • Leonard perhaps secretly watches programs Sheldon doesn't approve of such as Babylon V on his laptop in his room.
    • Sheldon and Leonard both enjoy some to many of the same sci-fi and action entertainment, such as Star Trek and Indiana Jones. In spite of their differences, they still see each other as friends and so they would agree it's more fun to watch something together than individually.
      • And if Leonard can't get Sheldon to watch it, he might just watch it with Penny instead as Penny usually doesn't object to the type of entertainment Leonard shows her.


  • If Sheldon has a Photographic Memory as he claims, why would he need to see any movie/read any book/etc. more than once? Like the card game, he'd know what's going to happen and have a perfect memory of how it got that way.
    • For the same reason that anyone would rewatch or reread something, even knowing the outcome, because he finds the experience enjoyable. Sure, Sheldon knows every detail, but he's assigned particular emotional responses to the experience, and rewatching or rereading material can stimulate additional memories associated with the viewing experience, like conversations he and his friends might have had.


  • In "The Mommy Observation", Sheldon asks Howard if he knows what it's like to see his mother "ravaging" someone. While that is a common misuse of the word, Sheldon is both smart enough to know that the correct word is ravishing, and pedantic enough to correct that mistake if anyone else were to make it.
    • Or maybe he really DID mean "ravaging," as in destroying. Don't forget how much Sheldon is opposed to sex.

     Leonard Nimoy's napkin 

  • Am I the only one who suspects that Penny just faked that napkin? After all, what would Leonard Nimoy do in a Cheese Cake Factory in Pasadena?
    • Eat.
    • Okay. Maybe he was there, but still. There's no legit proof that the napkin was used by him. The message could have been made by anyone, I doubt Sheldon knows Nimoy's handwriting.
    • This is Sheldon we're talking about, a mega Spock and Leonard Nimoy fan; he almost certainly seen examples of Nimoy's handwriting (autographs, memorabilia, etc) and with his obsessiveness and eidetic memory it'd be more surprising if he didn't know what Nimoy's handwriting looks like.
    • Yes, she could have faked the napkin. But why? If all she wanted was to give Sheldon a gift he'd enjoy there are any number of stores she could hit up for nerdy gifts that would have pleased him well enough. It just seems unnecessarily conspiratorial to suggest that she'd do something like this.
    • Why? Because it was free (important for Penny on her relatively low income) and it made Sheldon 1000 times happier than anything Penny could have chosen at a store. Penny might not be as bright as the rest of the gang but she’s smart enough to work that out.

     What Raj's resident status? 
  • What kind of visa is Raj on? Even by Season 9, people still refer to his visa status, which means he hasn't yet applied for residence/green card. He also made mention early on that his visa, and therefore, his stay in the country, is dependent on his continuous employment at the university, which wouldn't be an issue with a green card. Yet, research and skilled worker visas have a maximum duration of six years: a mandatory maximum of five for J-1, and a renewable three years for H1, but it can only be renewed once. Have six years not passed yet "in real-time" in the show?
    • Universities often have indefinite-length visas that they can give to people they offer jobs to (as opposed to the individual applying for a visa to come and look for work in the US based on being skilled). So if the university was the one to offer him his position, they would be the sole determining factory of his residency, and if his employment there was terminated he would have had to apply for some other sort of visa, and immigration might want him to return to India until that application was processed.

     What version of D&D are they even playing? 
  • Did I remember this correctly? I remember that they were playing D&D, get the girls in, and try to hook Sheldon and Amy's character up - so they go play it out and Amy mentions her character is an orc and has Multi Boobage. What version of D&D are they playing where orcs have that? Did I remember this incorrectly or did the writers just not do the research?
    • Lots of games use home made settings, so the orcs have it because they wanted them to have that.

     properties of sulphur hexafluoride gas? 
  • In The Launch Acceleration, Leonard demonstrates the potential of a gas used in lasers that has the opposite effect to helium if breathed in. Problem: sulphur hexafluoride weighs six times heavier than air (explaining why after Penny breathes it in she starts to talk like Barry White). When Leonard fills a balloon with the stuff and lets go, it should fall like a brick in normal air. Instead it is seen to zoom UP, as if it were helium.... the effect of gas under pressure leaving a balloon should not have done that in this case. Also the gas is a suffocant and carries a warning that it should ''not'' be breathed in. (no such advisory on the show?) Maybe they played safe and used something else, dubbing the Barry White voices on in post-production?
    • we inhale helium for a laugh, but it is also a suffocant, so we inhale alil SH 6 then we go all James Earl Jones for a laugh, also i think they adjusted the pitch of their voices according to sources.
    • Adam Savage of Mythbusters inhaled sulfur hexafluoride on the show to demonstrate the deep voice effect before using it for it's intended purpose. I would tend to believe the actors on Big Bang Theory really did inhale the gas before speaking their lines. Like helium, you will only suffocate if you continually breathe it in, as opposed to filling your lungs one time and then taking a few breaths of air.
    • The gas is safe to inhale so long as done in small amounts, the danger is in it replacing too much of the oxygen you need in your lungs. For actor safety and easier post-production they likely were not actually breathing that stuff on set and through multiple takes. As for the way a balloon moves after being release, the movement of the balloon is due to the pressure force escaping through the opening, the sulfur hexafluoride may be heavier than the outside air but is effectively operating like a rocket.

     Sheldon's utter cluelessness about a fandom gift. 
  • In The Tangible Affection Proof, Sheldon asks his assistant, Alex, to find a birthday gift for Amy, for Valentine's Day. He turns down the first gift of a harp-shaped music box that can play Amy's favourite tunes on the basis that she has a real harp. He then turns down the second gift of a framed map of the journey taken by the characters in Canterbury Tales because 'Amy has Google Maps, why would she need one like this?'. No. Why would a geek like Sheldon not understand the attraction of having a gift like that? Doesn't he have a map of Middle Earth?
    • Except you can't see Middle-earth on Google Earth. While there have been major changes to the part of England that the route taken by the characters in the Canterbury Tales passes through in the nearly 1000 years since it was written, that distinction might be enough to make Sheldon oblivious to it. Also, remember Sheldon has expressed derision for the humanities, which English Litrature studies, and thus by extension Chauset, are part of, so to him a map of the Canterbury Tales or of a Shakespearean play is worthless while a map of Middle-earth or Westeros isn't even though there's no real difference to anyone else. Plus don't forget Sheldon has a tendency to be hypocritical, denouncing others perceived slights against him even though he'd do the very same thing towards them without a second thought or remorse, so this is just an extension of that attitude.

     The New Living Arrangement 
  • In 'The Cohabitation Experimentation', Amy proposes that she & Sheldon experiment with living together. They move into Penny's apartment & Penny moves to the main apartment with Leonard. Why?
    • One of the things that worries Sheldon is that he'll only be comfortable living with Amy because he'll be living with her in a familiar environment, namely his and Leonard's apartment. So he wants to try living with Amy on what he considers 'neutral grounds', which is when they decide to take Penny's apartment instead.

     Priya Got Married? 
  • Not really a "headscratcher," but a buried reference in what is almost a "throwaway" the episode in which Raj's father cuts him off financially, he mentions during their Skype chat that 5 of his 6 children have married, Raj being the exception. The implication, of course, is that since returning to India and breaking up with Leonard, Priya has apparently married. One wonders if Leonard is aware of this (did Raj tell him, or would he?). Sure, Priya is long since "water under the bridge" and Leonard is now happily married to Penny, but if he's aware of this, he certainly might have a moment of pause, thinking about what might have been. (It's only human to wonder what would have happened had prior romantic relationships worked out better.)
    • We know that she did sleep with her ex, it might be that they got hitched.
     Why would anyone be Sheldon's friend? 
  • It bugs me a lot that Sheldon is neither bullied, beaten up or at the very least at the bottom of the social ladder. Nothing about him or his behavior is remotely likeable.
    • Normally I'll agree with you he is an ass but there is explanations for the relationships in the series, and it's not only because all 3 of the other guys are spineless. According to Sheldon himself he has 3 friends, Penny Raj and Leonard (not including Amy at the time). It's established early on that Sheldon is very similar to Leonard's mother, which might explain why Leonard hasn't left the apartment years ago, since he really craves for her approval and is used to this kind of treatment. Howard and Raj said that they hang out with Sheldon because "they like Leonard". Also Leonard might feel he owes Sheldon since shortly after he moved in Sheldon saved his life (The story of how the elevator broke). Raj has the least regular conflicts with Sheldon, and actually worked with him. Howard has more than once showed his willingness to establish friendship between them, and really only "hate" him because of Sheldon's disrespect to his work and profession. Penny had her problems with him but her mooching off them, and later her relationship with Leonard forced her to be around him and it is hinted that Sheldon kept "training" her to be less annoying to him and behaving more to his liking even after the episode he explicitly did it. Essentially it boils down to necessity and habits - so no normal person with any other options would
    • Also while not physically, the gang have bullied Sheldon before, there are many throwaway gags or even plot points where they do stuff deliberately to mess with him.
      • Take the episode where Leonard gets contacts. Howard, Raj and Penny taunt Sheldon with a magic trick, and how his OCD means he becomes obsessed with figuring it out and in the end we learn that the secret to the trick was lying about which card it was. Who's the bad friend in that episode?
    Passage of time in the show? 
  • Does this show run on Webcomic Time? This partially relates to a question about Raj's visa status further up the page. I don't think this show has Comic-Book Time. What's the actual passage of time on the show??
    • It doesn't appear to have a "trope" application to it; Penny refers to 11 years of the story passing by in the current season (well, "current" in that it's finishing right now). Which is how many years since the show began in 2007.
    What would have happened if Leonard got 3 strikes? 
  • Back in season 2 (I think) we saw Sheldon and Penny come to blows over his 3 strikes policy, which the episode does confirm applies to Leonard. Now the punishment for strike 3 was that Penny was banned from the apartment, presumably Howard and Raj would suffer the same fate. But what about Leonard? Though ostensibly Leonard's guests not Sheldon's they are guests in Sheldon's apartment (at least at the time) so he was entitled to ban them, but it is Leonard's home as well, so what punishment would Leonard suffer if he had gotten 3 strikes?
    Why a table? 
  • In one episode, I forget the name and season, the plot revolves around Leonard getting a table, to Sheldon/s frustration. But aside from to great the conflict for the episode, why a table? The reason it is suggested is that Penny showed up last that day and had to sit on the floor (something Raj has to do all the time, as he mentions repeatedly, without anyone complaining). But why get a table? If the issue is that one person doesn't have a place to sit why not buy a chair? I mean they could even get a folding chair to put away when it's not needed? Aside from being cheaper, though I don't think the show ever looks that much at any issues Leonard and Sheldon have with money, adding an extra chair allows them to continue pretty much the same dinner rituals and requires only minimal change to the apartment as opposed to the table which was a larger change and far more likely to get pushback from Sheldon?
     How did Leonerd, Raj and Howard keep their jobs. 
  • Okay I've put my speculation on this in the WMG tab but how did the guys, sans Sheldon, keep their jobs after the season 3 premier? They confessed to sabotaging the experiment on the arctic expedition. I don't know for sure but I would assume a great deal of money was spent getting them there, money they threw down the drain. It's not like Sheldon being an Antisocial individual with an annoying personality is a secret at the university, nor could it be said that the guys, Sheldon's closest (read; only) friends, wouldn't know this, how on earth did any of them avoid being fired immediately?
     That really doesn't make sense 
  • Why did it take 16 years to get the elevator fixed?
    • I think the bigger question is, why did no one complain to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for a tenant/landlord dispute and/or the Department of Justice for the building violating the Americans with Disabilities act. Bad landlords exist everywhere, if no one complained the landlord of the building may have taken his sweet time repairing it cause it's expensive.
      • Assuming nobody in the building is on Section 8 (and maybe still) it's a matter for local code enforcement, not federal HUD.
      • The point still stands. The landlord probably wouldn't be in any hurry to get it fixed if no one complained, and those that may have had problems with it probably moved out and he replaced them with people that didn't care about the elevator.

     How do the writer's justify Howard's wardrobe 
  • For someone as sexually obsessed as Howard and who didn't go after girls who were nerds, why did he put himself at a disadvantage by wearing such unattractive clothes.
    • Howard thinks his style is sexy and attractive. He does take a lot of care in dressing himself, and has flirted with other styles (like when he and Raj tried to go goth), but one of his blindspots is thinking that his turtlenecks and belt buckles are sexy and attractive.

     Fast food loving cast always stay slim? 
  • We see Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, Howard and Penny eating junk food all the time. They eat lots of unhealthy cuisine such as pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, Chicken Nuggets and Chinese take-out food. Doesn't it seem odd that they never gain any weight from eating foods that aren't good for you? Having pizza on a weekly basis is okay, but every time the TBBT cast are eating, their meals are rich in carbs and meat. Even Sheldon seems to lampshade in "The Tenant Disassociation" that the kinds of foods his friends like to eat isn't very healthy.
    • Presumably because if they had gone up to the actors and said "Okay, for realism's sake you guys are gonna need to put on weight over the course of the series" then they would all have turned down the show and it'd probably have been a stillborn.

     The other apartment residents 
  • Why are the other people living in the apartment building and the landlord rarely, if at all, annoyed or even react to the things the main characters are doing? Like Sheldon playing bongos at 3 a.m. only Leonard and Penny show annoyance. Or when the guys are moving a time machine prop into Leonard and Sheldon's apartment, its only shown inconveniencing Penny.

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