Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory: 10 Most Overdone Storylines

Fans loved the antics of Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, and the gang on The Big Bang Theory, but the sitcom relied on tired plots and tropes too much.

For 12 seasons, The Big Bang Theory was beloved by millions of viewers and has won countless awards. The sitcom showcased off the beauty of science and the importance of women in STEM. Sheldon wowed the world with his quirks and Penny made viewers giggle with her realism.

However, there are storylines throughout The Big Bang Theory that continued for far too long and are picked apart by viewers online. These include storylines that lost their humor or were dubbed as too stereotypical. As breathtaking of a sitcom as The Big Theory is, some aspects grew rather stale.

Leonard Didn’t Wear Penny Down

Big Bang Theory - Penny Leonard talking in front of the elevator

When Penny and Leonard become more permanent in their relationship, many newcomers and colleagues are confused by their connection. On more than one occasion, Penny has told new friends that she and Leonard were together because he wore her down. The couple said this at her autograph signing for Serial Ape-Ist and to Bert at his house party.

However, Leonard did not wear Penny down in the slightest. It was she who also longed for him. After the two broke up the first time around, Penny was devastated when he moved on with Priya and desperately wanted him back. She was not forced into anything. Their relationship was entirely consensual.

Stuart’s Sorry Life

Closeup of Stuart Bloom in his comic book shop

Stuart started out brave and independent. In his first episode, Stuart was confident showing off his comics to his friends and was brazen enough to ask Penny out. But somewhere down the line, Stuart lost his power. He became timid, self-conscious, and suddenly broke.

RELATED: The Big Bang Theory: 10 Of The Saddest Things About Stuart

Stuart’s woe-is-me persona became a long-lasting storyline that was more upsetting than funny. In the 10+ years he knew the gang, Stuart didn’t get his life on track until the last two seasons. And even then, he was still borrowing money and staying with friends when he could.

The “Hot Girl With The Nerd” Trope

Penny and Leonard Hofstadter in The Big Bang Theory

The idea that someone as beautiful as Penny could be with someone as “nerdy” as Leonard was comical at first, but after a while, it grew tiresome. It became something the couple practically promoted. They even noted this while they were engaged and were nervous to take the plunge because of how different they were.

After 12 seasons of hearing the same jokes about their differing looks and interests, it became annoying. If their differences bothered them that much, then why continue with the relationship?

We Get It, Raj Is Lonely

raj sulking in the big bang theory

Raj is the biggest romantic in the group and yet he’s the only one who didn’t end up with someone. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with someone ending a series without a love interest. Raj had a lot of growing up to do and it was imperative that he stood on his own two feet (living without his parents’ money) before finding a forever partner.

RELATED: The Big Bang Theory: Raj’s 10 Biggest Mistakes (That We Can Learn From)

However, Raj constantly whined and cried about being alone while his best friends had partners. And while viewers feel compassion for Raj, he came off as whiny and annoying.

Doesn’t Howard Resent His Mother?

Wolverine - Simon Helberg as Howard and Melissa Rauch as Bernadette in The Big Bang Theory

Before Mrs. Wolowitz’s death, Howard had an extremely constricting relationship with her. As much as Howard loved his mother, he also resented her for being so invasive and needy.

Knowing this, it’s odd that Bernadette slowly transformed into Mrs. Wolowitz. From her voice to her dominating every aspect of his life, how did Howard not get into an argument with his wife over bullying him into submission? It was an odd choice to have Howard marry his mother.

Howard’s The Only One Without His Doctorate

When Bernadette announced that she was getting her doctorate, Penny made the joke that everyone at The Cheesecake Factory table had their doctorate except for Howard. This was hardly the first time he was teased about “only” having his Master’s Degree.

It’s ridiculous that Howard’s educational accomplishments were not deemed worthy by Sheldon and co. because he never went all the way to become a doctor of his field. And while the joke was funny at first, it grew tired.

That Sheldon’s Incapable Of Acting Human Because He’s Smart

sheldons blunder - the big bang theory

The stereotype that extremely smart people aren’t able to be dubbed as “normal” in society was heavily implied throughout The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon was, hands down, the smartest in the group and yet had no real concept of life outside of science. He proved himself incapable of being emotional, caring about his friends in their time of need, communicating thoroughly, and respecting those outside his field of study. Just because someone is brilliant doesn’t mean they’re unable to connect with others.

One Can’t Be Brilliant And Have Sex Appeal…

Sheldon and Amy sitting on a sofa

The topic of sexuality and brilliance came about when Bernadette was chosen as one of the sexiest scientists in California. Amy thought the award was shameful. Women in science should be taken seriously and praised for their minds instead of their physique. Bernadette argued that women in science should be seen as both smart and beautiful — it’s not one or the other. But when it comes to Amy, the writers made her out to be just that: smart but lacking the charm of Penny or Bernadette.

When Amy gets to a point where she does want to be seen as a sexual being (with Sheldon), the show’s laugh track presumes and it’s brushed under the rug. But why shouldn’t Amy’s desires be heard and respected? Why are they funny?

The Stereotypes Against Raj

Raj sitting on the couch at Leonard and Sheldon's apartment in The Big Bang Theory

As the only main character who’s a person of color, it’s shameful that Raj’s culture is made into a joke. Jokes have been made about his country being crowded, his religion, his culture’s cuisine, etc. Furthermore, Raj appears to entertain the stereotypes by claiming he loathes Indian food and doesn’t know much about his culture’s religion. Raj and his culture deserved more respect.

The View Of Nerd Culture

Sheldon teaches Raj how to play Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock

Nerd culture is a huge theme in The Big Bang Theory. Some would say the show normalized nerd culture while others would say it made it worse. The show insinuates that if you play video games, collect comic books, and are smart, then finding an appropriate partner is difficult and bullying is inevitable. The characters joke about their youth and being bullied in school but it’s not all that funny. It’s actually quite serious and it’s sad that these grown adults are made to feel like this treatment is acceptable because of their high IQs and interests.

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