Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory: The 10 Best Cafeteria Scenes, Ranked

On The Big Bang Theory, Leonard, Sheldon, and co. spend a lot of time at the Caltech cafeteria, where many hilarious sitcom moments take place.

Food is one of the things that brings together everyone’s favorite friend group in The Big Bang Theory. If Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj aren’t eating lunch together at Caltech then they’re probably eating takeout in apartment 4A. With all the men working at the same university, meeting for lunch in the school’s cafeteria is their break for the day to talk about everything that’s going on in their lives.

What’s better is that Penny, Bernadette, and Amy have all made appearances at the cafeteria once or twice, bringing everyone together in a new setting. Throughout 279 episodes and 12 seasons, the Caltech cafeteria has had some of the best moments in the show.

When Alex Hit On Leonard

Sheldon's assistant Alex talks to Leonard at Caltech in The Big Bang Theory

When Sheldon hired an assistant named Alex, it was obvious that she was beautiful, smart, the whole package. After meeting Leonard, it became apparent that Alex had a small crush on him.

While Leonard was in the cafeteria contemplating his relationship with Penny, Alex assured him that things would be fine and that girls probably hit on him all the time. Leonard didn’t realize that Alex was ironically hitting on him while complimenting him. The more she complimented him — hinting that she liked him — the more unaware Leonard became, which was hilarious.

Penny Visited Caltech With David

Penny visits caltech with dave - tbbt

In season 2, Dr. David Underhill came to Caltech and was excited to work with Leonard on upcoming projects. Everyone had a subtle crush on David because not only was he intelligent and a Macarthur winner, but he was attractive and charming.

David took Leonard for a spin on his motorcycle, and that’s how he met Penny. David and Penny started dating after this, which is when he brought her to Caltech’s cafeteria for lunch one day. The two were flirting the entire time, which annoyed Lenoard. Leonard subtly tried calling Penny out for never visiting before (or even caring about science) but Penny ignored him to impress David. Watching Leonard vs. Penny while she was trying to impress David was one of the best moments in the cafeteria.

Sheldon & Ramona’s Dining Moments

Sheldon and Ramona eating at Caltech on TBBT

Sheldon met Ramona Nowitzki in season 2 when she was attending Caltech for graduate school. Sheldon loved that she was so interested in his work but didn’t realize that she was flirting with him. She pushed him to focus on his studies so that they would benefit her as well.

The two met when Ramona tracked him down in the cafeteria where she told him she’d bring him dinner and that she already knew where she lived. Hilariously, Ramona comes back in season 10 where she continues to have her way with Sheldon. The two have lunch together as she lures Sheldon away from his friends with candy.

Sheldon And Amy Mutually Ended Their Relationship

When Sheldon and Amy first started their relationship, they weren’t sure how to define it. They were friends who enjoyed spending time together but were afraid of the boyfriend/girlfriend title. Nevertheless, Sheldon brought his “friend” Amy to Caltech to see the work they were working on but it didn’t impress Amy in the slightest.

She made quips about their theoretical work being “cute.” The insult and differences on scientific views drove them apart where they agreed to end their relationship right there at the Caltech cafeteria lunch table. Watching them say “Good day” to each other as she left the table was iconic.

When Raj Found Out About Leonard & Priya

leonard tells raj about priya - tbbt

When Raj’s sister Priya came into town, she and Leonard had an instant attraction. They secretly kissed in the Caltech hallway and went on to spend the night together without anyone knowing. Unfortunately for them, Sheldon saw Priya leaving their apartment early in the morning, which gave the whole thing away.

Sheldon knew how bad this could be if Raj found out, so he created a fake backstory to cover Leonard’s whereabouts. He gave Leonard an entire story about having too much to drink the night before at “Pasadena’s watering hole,” Lucky Baldwins. While there, Leonard fell for an Irish woman and spent the night with her. But as Leonard told Raj and Howard his fictional story in the cafeteria, he cracked and blew his cover.

Amy’s First Day At Caltech

amys first day at caltech - tbbt

When Amy signed a contract to work at Caltech for research, Sheldon admitted it would be fine as long as they kept their relationship professional on Caltech’s grounds. Amy obliged happily. However, on her first day at Caltech, Amy ate lunch with new coworkers, which upset Sheldon.

Even though he wanted to keep his distance from her, he was annoyed that Amy was making friends and having a great time. He ended up interrupting Amy’s lunch and embarrassing himself in the most humorous of ways. He compared Amy to a moth and a “cute lump of wool.” It was evident Sheldon thought he was the cool kid at school and wanted to help Amy fit in but she didn’t need his help.

Raj’s Dance Scene

Raj and Bernadette do a Bollywood dance in his dream on The Big Bang Theory

In “The Thespian Catalyst,” Raj realized he had a crush on Bernadette and couldn’t stop daydreaming about the two of them becoming a couple. At this point, Howard didn’t know about Raj’s crush, so he kept his thoughts to himself.

In one scene, Raj was daydreaming about Bernadette and the scene quickly became a Bollywood-style music video. Raj and Bernadette started singing and dancing with the rest of those in the cafeteria, giving TBBT its first musical breakout. Sadly for Raj, his relationship with Bernadette never flourished.

When Beverly Comes To Visit

beverly visits caltech - tbbt

Viewers finally met Dr. Beverly Hofstadter in season 2. Due to her own love of science, she visited Leonard at work where she learned more about Raj, Howard, and Sheldon at lunch. It was in the cafeteria where viewers got to see how honest and dry she was. She called Howard out for living with his mother and assumed that Howard and Raj were in a relationship together based on their behavior. It was easy to see why Leonard didn’t like being around his mother in this scene but it was still hilarious.

The “Emily Or Cinnamon” Game

emily and cinnamon game - the big bang theory

When Raj and Emily became more serious, Howard couldn’t help but make fun of Raj from time to time. Raj finally had a girlfriend but he still acted like the number one lady in his life was his dog, Cinnamon. It got to a point where Howard created a game called “Emily or Cinnamon” and would quiz others on things Raj has said and if he was talking about his girlfriend, Emily, or his dog, Cinnamon. Raj hated the game but it was hilarious for everyone else.


howard dresses as sheldon on halloween

In season 12’s “The Imitation Perturbation,” it’s Halloween and the guys wore their costumes to work. Everyone had amazing costumes but heads turned when Howard walked into the cafeteria. He was so clearly dressed as Sheldon but Sheldon had no idea. He didn’t realize why Raj and Leonard loved Howard’s costume so much or why they were laughing so hard.

Sheldon eventually found out that Howard was mimicking him, which he found offensive. But fans can’t deny how on-point Howard’s imitation was.

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