After 12-seasons and 279 episodes, The Big Bang Theory wrapped up its run, proving to be mega-hit. The show will be known for a brilliant ensemble case, intelligible science gags, and great comedic writing. More than anything, The Big Bang Theory will always be revered for normalizing nerd culture. Sure, it heavily rested on stereotyping: a ditzy beautiful girl/wannabe actress (Penny), a germaphobic haughty scientist with a social anxiety disorder (Sheldon), and so forth. Every single castmate began as a cliche. But every one of them was given a character development like no other. By the end of TBBT, a Nobel Prize laureate accepted the positive impact of friendship and the ditzy beautiful girl became a highly successful marketer.
The fact that all of this was portrayed in a comedic-setting, subtle and not so subtle, makes us miss the show more. So, we thought we’d bring you the top ten jokes that may have slipped through the cracks.
UNLESS THE HOLY SPIRIT MOVES YOU
Sheldon’s mother, Mary Cooper deserves a series of her own. The woman didn’t know how to dial it down when it came to religious talk and sarcasm. In this instance, Mary is called to intervene since Sheldon has been hiding in his room for being disrespectful to his new boss and getting fired in the process.
Mary prepares dinner for the whole gang. As they gather to eat, Mary says grace. She then turns to the only non-Christians (Raj and Howard) in the room and says, “I’m gonna end with, in Jesus’ name, but you two don’t feel the obligation to join in. Unless of course, the holy spirit moves you.”
DIE SHELDON, DIE
One of the biggest mysteries of The Big Bang Theory until season 3 was what happened to the broken building elevator, and how Leonard actually ended up being Sheldon’s roommate. In “The Staircase Implementation”, Leonard begins to recall this story to Penny. During Leonard’s first visit to the apartment, he sees an odd goodbye note from his ex-roommate. It’s difficult to miss the writing on the wall.
THE DOPPLER EFFECT
You’d be kidding yourself if you said Sheldon’s doppler effect doesn’t crack you up. In “The Middle Earth Paradigm”, Penny hosts a Halloween party and the boys are invited. Sheldon being Sheldon, decides to come as “the most accurate visualization of a scientific principle,” the Doppler effect.
Sheldon (explaining his dress to people by making an odd noise): “Neeeowwww, the Doppler Effect.”
Woman: “If that’s some sort of learning disability, I think it’s very insensitive.”
PERFECTLY GOOD CHICKEN LEG
This compilation would be incomplete without an ode to Howard’s mother, Mrs. Wolowitz. The show makers didn’t show her, but for a voice actor, she made a pretty big impact on the show. So, here’s one from “The Habitation Configuration.” Mrs. Wolowitz calls for Howard’s help to free her hand stuck in the garbage disposal.
Howard: “Let go of whatever piece of food you’re holding.”
Mrs. Wolowitz: “Are you kidding? It’s a perfectly good chicken leg.”
BOLLYWOOD BREAK DANCE
In “The Zazzy Substitution”, the gang is hanging out in Penny’s apartment to save themselves from Shamy (Sheldon and Amy), across the hall. It is here that Raj gets reasonably drunk on beer, and loses his inhibition. “Penny, get a satellite TV.. run a vacuum in this place.”
The highlight of the episode is Howard imitating Raj’s drunk iteration of Bollywood breakdance to “Digi Ding Dan Dan.”
CUT THE FOREIGNER IN HALF
The Big Bang Theory set up a hilarious premise with season 1. It had some of the greatest comedic writing ever. In “The Dumpling Paradox” Howard Wolowitz ditched his friends to go see Penny’s girlfriend from Omaha. As a result, the Halo game night is disrupted. Leonard, Raj, and Sheldon need another mate to form two teams. Leonard suggests they cut Raj into two to even out the team distribution.
Raj replies by saying, “Oh sure, cut the foreigner into two. There’s a billion more where he came from.” They designed this as a joke about India’s population explosion.
GRANDMA, IT’S DOOGIE TIME
In”The Grasshopper Experiment,” Raj’s parents’ Doctor and missus Koothrappalli are “live from New Delhi.” That’s Raj’s way of saying he’s on a video call with his parents and Howard’s moment of going, “Guess, whose parents just got broadband?”
A true comedy of errors takes place in the scenes to come. The Koothrappallis force Raj into marrying a woman, hell, they even set up a spring wedding. Before Raj could begin to say no, Missus Koothrappalli hangs up by saying, “I’m sorry darling but we have to go. Doogie Howser is on. Grandma, it’s Doogie time.”
You could see Wolowitz’ jaw drop on the floor. “Doogie Howser has been off the air for like 20 years!”
SO, WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?
One thing that the show established quickly was how great a wing-man Howard Wolowitz was. In Season 1 episode “The Grasshopper Experiment,” Raj faced quite a predicament when his parents set him up with his childhood best friend, Lalita Gupta. It was ironic since Raj was unable to talk to his childhood best friend. Being the loyal friend that Wolowitz is, he swooped in as Raj (in a thick Indian accent) and called Lalita. After exchanging pleasantries, Wolowitz goes: “So, what are you wearing?”
It’s hilarious how Wolowitz won Raj a date by ending on the note, “In the meantime, keep it real babe.”
HONORARY GRADUATE OF THE STARFLEET ACADEMY
What do you say when you blackmail a Cambridge-read lawyer to get her boyfriend (and your roommate) to sign a new, self-serving roommate agreement? If it is Sheldon, you say, “You may have gone to Cambridge but I’m an honorary graduate of the Starfleet Academy.” Mic drop
OUR BABIES WOULD BE SMART AND BEAUTIFUL
This iconic quote comes from the pilot. While showering at the boys’ place, Penny asks a favor of Leonard. Needless to say, the smitten-kitten agrees to it without even hearing it in the first place. Turns out, she’s sent them across town to get her ex-boyfriend Kurt to return her TV.
As Leonard and Sheldon return home pantless, Penny feels guilty and offers to buy them dinner.
Sheldon: “You are not done with her, are you?”
Leonard: “Our babies will be smart and beautiful.”