For the past 12 seasons, the CBS hit comedy series The Big Bang Theory has delighted audiences across the country. The lives of Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, and the rest of the crew have made us all laugh as they took us on their intellectual yet all-too-human misgivings and playful scenario.
And after this season wraps, it goes away forever.
The show revolves around physicists and roommates Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter, who work at Caltech along with their neighbor Penny, who is an aspiring actress who works at the Cheesecake Factory as a waitress. Their lives are immediately intertwined when Leonard falls head over heels in love with Penny at first sight (it takes a few seasons for Penny to reciprocate the feelings, however).
While the premise of the show is charming and original, fans have noticed some things in the show don’t seem to make any sense. As more than a few Reddit users have pointed out, producers, directors, and writers on the show seem to slip up… A LOT… when it comes to certain plotlines.
Sure, showrunners get more right than they do wrong, but some of the slip-ups and plot holes are downright noticeable. Here are 25 things that the show got wrong that some eagle-eyed Reddit users caught.
25 All That Take-Out Food, Yet No Heartburn?
If you’re a fan of the show, you’ve noticed that the main characters ALWAYS have take-out food (sometimes they cook and eat in but when they do, the characters always go big). Whether it’s Chinese food or Italian, they always seem to order enough food to feed an entire elementary school.
Number one: how on EARTH do they afford to eat take out almost every night? Reddit users also pointed out that with all the heavy food they’re consuming, NO ONE seems to get heartburn or need some antacids. What gives?
24 Sheldon’s Personality
If you haven’t noticed, the character of Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is a little quirky. He has a photographic memory, is highly intelligent, and is not really one to show emotion too well. One Reddit user pointed out that most people use Sheldon as an example when talking about people with High Functioning Autism, and even the show has addressed it, but they shouldn’t since he actually doesn’t have ASD.
People with ASD are “slightly off, not one to show emotions, obsessed with one thing in particular, one for protocol, and structure etc,” Reddit pointed out. While Sheldon exhibits some of these traits, the producers usually make it look too cartoony and overdone.
23 Penny’s Disappearing Friends
Once upon a time, Penny (Kaley Cuoco) had friends outside her neighbors and their friends and girlfriends. Once upon a time, Penny had a friend group mainly composed of jocks and party girls. After she started seeing Leonard more seriously, those people just up and disappeared.
Sure, she’s brought an ex or two back a couple of times, but other than that, Reddit users have pointed out that her life suddenly became just about Leonard’s friends. Did her friends all get abducted by aliens? We shall probably never know.
22 Sheldon’s “Spot” On The Couch
If you haven’t noticed before or heard him YELL it, Sheldon has a particular spot on the couch that’s in his and Leonard’s apartment living room. If anyone sits in that spot, Sheldon tends to flip out a little. Over time, all the other characters knew that to be his spot and no one sat in it.
However, some eagle-eyed Reddit users have noticed that Sheldon has sat in other areas that AREN’T his spot in the living room while someone else occupied the space. Given, it was briefly, but it sometimes happened, which is inconsistent with Sheldon’s OCD.
21 Wait… How Can Penny Afford Her Apartment Again?
This was pointed out by a lot more people other than Reddit users: Penny has a pretty big one bedroom, one bath, apartment for someone who can’t even afford 10 bucks to eat some takeout food. Penny is always complaining about her finances at the beginning of the show and has a great deal of money trouble.
Considering her rather large Los Angeles apartment, it’s no wonder. In the real world, no one would be able to afford that sort of housing on a waitress's salary when the job doesn't pay enough for her to eat where she works!
20 People Let Howard Get Away With Being Icky
Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), an engineer who is a close member of the gang, is often seen as somewhat of a creep when it comes to him attempting to get a date. He more often than not says uncomfortable things and makes crude jokes in order to make himself feel better, and while it’s off-putting to everyone around him, he has yet to stop, EVEN WHEN HE GETS MARRIED.
Reddit users noticed that no one in the group, other than Penny, has ever attempted to right Howard’s behavior and instead, most of them ignore it a great deal, which is pretty problematic.
19 Sheldon’s Famous Disappearing, Reappearing Phobia Of Germs
If you’re familiar with the show, you know that Sheldon not only suffers from OCD, but he’s also apparently highly germophobic as well. The thing is, Reddit users have noticed that some of the things he does actually directly contradict that fact.
Even though he claims he can’t be around sick people, he spent an entire episode taking care of his girlfriend Amy (Mayim Bialik) when she was apparently seriously sick. So you want us to believe that the guy who once banned Penny from the apartment for even TOUCHING his onion ring is okay with rubbing Vicks on a contagious human? Nope.
18 Also, Wasn’t He Allergic To Cats?
You’re also telling us that a man whose germaphobia is so bad that he has disinfected every surface of his apartment five times if a sick person even so much as passes by would get 20 cats and BE OKAY WITH IT? This is what happened when Amy broke up with Sheldon early on in their relationship and Sheldon was attempting to mask his depression by getting a bunch of cats.
His mother (Laurie Metcalf) is called in to aid Sheldon, and even she seems perplexed by this development. Thing is, Sheldon is allergic to nearly everything under the sun, INCLUDING cats according to Reddit users, yet is perfectly okay when locked in a room with almost two dozen of them.
17 Penny’s Missing Last Name
Even the most casual viewers of The Big Bang Theory know that Penny’s last name is never dropped. Literally almost all the characters either call each other by their last names, or, as in Sheldon’s case with his girlfriend Amy, prefer to refer to each other by their entire full name. But Penny? Nope.
It’s not that the characters don’t know her last name, it’s just that the creators never once have said what it is. Was this deliberate? Was it an accident that they just decided to run with? It doesn’t make sense that none of her friends have felt the need to say it, even when they’re greeting her parents. Seems off.
16 Does Anyone Really Know What Exactly Is Going On With The Elevator?
Short answer? No. At least, according to Reddit users. If you’re a fan of the show, you know that for the entire length of the series, the elevator that is in the characters’ apartment building has always been out of commission. And, but of course, the characters live on the third floor. In one episode, they reminisce about how the elevator came to be out of order, which happened when Sheldon and Leonard met seven years prior.
Both Howard and Raj were there when it happened, yet in another episode, Howard tried to figure out HOW it happened even though he witnessed it.
15 Amy’s Sudden Change
When she first appeared on the show, Amy Farrah Fowler was the spitting image of Sheldon, just in a female form. And as the show progressed, she started, well, changing without any sort of warning. While she has progressed over the course of her run on the show, Reddit users have noticed it and, frankly, aren’t happy.
“I liked Amy more in the beginning, when she was just as robotic as Sheldon,” one Reddit user expressed. Perhaps the producers figured fans wouldn’t really notice that she’s nothing like the original character personality-wise?
14 For Someone With A Eidetic Memory, Sheldon Gets His Facts Mixed Up
All fans of the show know that Sheldon has an eidetic memory (he never goes two seconds without reminding everyone) which means he literally remembers everything. However, some clever Reddit users believe that he truly doesn’t have an eidetic memory.
CuddlePirate420 writes: “In the episode The Work Song Nanocluster (season 2, episode 18) Sheldon doesn’t know that Radiohead is a band. Sheldon is supposed to have an eidetic memory... I find it troubling that not once in his life has Sheldon ever seen a headline on Yahoo, or CNN, or Reddit along the lines of “Radiohead releases a new album” indicating they are a band. Would someone with an eidetic memory just space on things they don’t care about?” They make a valid point.
13 Sheldon’s Father Actually Was Leonard’s High School Bully
If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory, you know that there’s a prequel revolving around Sheldon’s childhood called Young Sheldon. In that series, Sheldon’s father, George Cooper Sr. is portrayed by actor Lance Barber, who ACTUALLY starred as a former high school classmate of Leonard who was less than nice than him.
Some Reddit users actually pointed out this fact once Young Sheldon began to air. While it was a great casting choice on Barber (who is excellent as Sheldon’s pop), it’s still amusing to watch the Big Bang episode and see Barber interact with his supposed “son.”
12 Is Penny Actually The Creepy One?
A couple of years ago, Reddit user SeraniumFilledClock wrote a long post about how it’s Penny that is actually the odd one out of the bunch (which is a pretty hefty accusation). The user noticed that over the years, Penny starts to become more detached and develops particular social problems that often involve her circle of friends.
The theory is that the reason why Penny became detached from her formerly active social life and became so dependent on Leonard and Sheldon was because of her addictive personality and loneliness.
11 Leonard’s Childhood Is Actually Pretty Problematic
In the same post as listed above, the Reddit user also talks about how not only is Penny’s background pretty dark but so is Leonard’s, which is why they connect so easily and are extremely compatible.
As most fans know, Leonard came from a family of overachievers and he always resented the fact that his mother, a brilliant doctor herself, was so cold and unemotional with him growing up. SeraniumFilledClock looked at this as a reason why Leonard and Penny got together and not simply because Penny is pretty.
10 The Creators Know Nothing Of Nerd Culture
One of the major quirks that watchers of the show on Reddit have is actually pretty logical: that they overdramatize what’s known as nerd culture. Reddit user Seevian pointed out that the show is “A caricature of nerd culture written by people that seem (to) have a very basic understanding of nerd culture: enough to fool the general population but not enough to impress nerds.”
A lot of people who watch the show who are extremely fluent in nerd culture have called out the series before over this.
9 The Decline Of Raj And Howard
In the beginning of the show, each character had their own distinct style. But like all television series, a character progresses and evolves over time with growth and as the actor themselves intertwine with the character.
But, as some Reddit users pointed out, Howard and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) have gone through more of a de-evolution in terms of their characters. They used to be more independent from each other, but now it’s all about how much the writers can pair them up without pushing the envelope.
8 Ever Try Watching It Without The Laugh Track?
Laugh tracks were often used when a TV sitcom was filmed in front of a live studio audience. Usually, the audience is prompted to laugh by flashing signs and cues from some of the crew (that’s to ensure there’s enough laughter whenever a joke is dropped).
But one Reddit user managed to cut an episode so the laugh track was deleted and a lot of the jokes seem to fall flat that way. It’s not a shock that it looks this way since most people have said that the laugh track is what makes the show so humorous.
7 How The Show Doesn’t Line Up With Its Prequel, Young Sheldon
There are so many things that the prequel gets right about lining up the timelines from The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon, but there are some things that simply don’t add up if you ask some Reddit users.
For example, how Sheldon’s dad is spoken about in Big Bang Theory doesn’t line up with the way his father actually is in Young Sheldon. In the prequel, he is a hard-working, dedicated family man who is extremely in love with his wife. In Big, however, he’s painted in a very negative light.
6 Is Penny Actually A Spy For The CIA?
This was actually one of the longest Reddit reflections regarding the show. This user believes that Penny is actually a CIA agent working for the government to spy on her physicist friends.
Reddit user Numbertheory actually analyzes Penny’s lifestyle: how she always going “nowhere” in her job yet never thinks about a return investment, how she never has any “real” money problems because she’s always taken care of by other people, her disappearing friends, and more. It actually makes sense, but we’re guessing that the producers got this one right and Penny is exactly how she seems: loveable.
5 And If She Is, It Would Explain The Famous “Joyce Kim” Theory
This theory actually brings up the “Joyce Kim” incident (which ties in with the elevator breaking). Leonard was working on a classified rocket fuel for the government and what he didn’t know at the time was that his girlfriend, Joyce Kim, was actually a spy who was attempting to get information out of Leonard.
After Joyce Kim flubbed her mission, was Penny actually sent in to take her place and gain information about the scientists for the government? It makes more sense if you think about it since the characters have had more than enough run-ins with the government over their work.
4 Why Do Sheldon And Leonard Live Together In The First Place?
This question was actually answered in the Joyce Kim episode (Sheldon had saved Leonard numerous times with his eccentric ways) but that doesn’t explain why Leonard would stick around. A lot of Reddit users point out that Leonard was miserable living with Sheldon thanks to all of the strict rules.
Sure, Sheldon managed to grow on viewers, but that was because of the people surrounding him who brought out his human side. But Leonard was the first one to interact with Sheldon in Los Angeles who actually became a friend, so he had to put up with him for a while on his own, and NO ONE would have done that for a long period of time.
3 Like NASA Would Have Sent Howard To Space
There are so many problems with Howard becoming an astronaut and going into space, one being that NASA would never send the man who crashed the Mars Rover on a mission.
Reddit users pointed out that the government never actually figured out that Howard really DID crash the rover (government property that’s worth, oh, a billion or so dollars), but the fact that he was even under investigation for it should cause concern and prompt them not to work with Howard again, let alone send him into space.
2 Stuart Really Didn’t Start Out That Strange
We’re introduced to the character of Stuart (Kevin Sussman) when it’s revealed that the lovable geek owns the comic book store that the gang frequents. This Stuart is confident and flirts openly with Penny in a funny way. But as time went on, he became more anti-social, awkward, and even creepy.
Reddit users believe that this is because Leonard and Penny turned him that way with some mind games (unintentional, of course). Bring back the confident Stuart we all actually thought was a worthwhile character!
1 Sheldon Should Have Zero Friends
As we’ve pointed out before, Sheldon is downright hard to handle, and the patience of his friends seems to actually be infinite. He can be downright rude to people he considers his close friends, even sometimes saying they AREN’T his friends, thanks to his lack of filter.
Why would anyone stand that? Reddit users have pointed out that maybe Sheldon really isn’t a good person at heart? He constantly belittles them and their intelligence and their personalities, so it makes no sense why anyone would hang around him on a nightly basis.
Sources: Reddit, Huff Post, What Culture