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Recap / The Big Bang Theory S 1 E 1 Pilot

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Plot

A young woman moves in across the hall from two socially awkward genius scientists.

Tropes

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Sheldon doesn't think he can "perform" at the sperm bank. Leonard scoffs, saying Sheldon is "practically an expert."
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Kurt, Penny's Jerkass ex-boyfriend.
  • Burger Fool: Sheldon complains that he's ashamed of having a Fuddruckers hostess for a sister.
    • Penny admits she's one as well but instead of Fuddruckers it's Cheesecake Factory.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Leonard and Sheldon come back from Kurt without their pants.
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  • Defector from Commie Land: Parodied. Joyce Kim defected back to North Korea, supposedly in response to Leonard being such a terrible boyfriend. In "The Staircase Implementation", she is Retconned into having been a Fake Defector who was Honey Trapping Leonard.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Most of the guy's reactions upon meeting Penny. Especially when they see fresh from the shower in just a towel.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Sheldon is slightly more socially adept, seems to flirt with Penny at one point (along with recognizing Leonard's attraction to her), and masturbates, unlike the asexual, awkward character he becomes later in the series.
    • Penny is much more of a Dumb Blonde and Brainless Beauty in the pilot. Future episodes would show her having normal levels of intelligence and being much more socially adept, being only Book Dumb when compared to the guys. She's also much less of a Deadpan Snarker here than in later episodes, though this at least can be explained away as her just wanting to be polite to her new neighbors (and spending years dealing with Sheldon Cooper would turn anyone into a snarker.)
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  • Establishing Character Moment: Several, which would be developed as the series progressed.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Both Leonard and Sheldon.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction:
    Penny: I’m a vegetarian, oh, except for fish, and the occasional steak, I love steak.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Penny wearing only a Modesty Towel in Leonard's apartment. Fan Disservice is discussed when Leonard points out the last woman to take off her clothes in the apartment was his grandmother.
  • Sassy Black Woman: A mild example in the sperm bank receptionist.
  • This Is My Chair: Sheldon's "spot" on the couch is first established here, with Sheldon giving a thorough rationale for it.
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