The Big Bang Theory Secrets: What You Don’t Know About This Geeky Show

Amy Farrah-Fowler: I want you to kiss me where I’ve never been kissed before.

Sheldon: Like Salt Lake City?

Do you watch The Big Bang Theory? I didn’t. For a long time. I tend to avoid ‘noisy shows’ – not because ‘they are so loud,’ but more because of all the hype. Which is why I still don’t watch Modern Family (though my daughter loves it). Oh, relax. I got sucked in.

I could say it’s the brilliant writing, acting, set and production values, or maybe just the Chinese food they always seem to be eating. Or I could tell you the truth: it’s what we don’t know about the show that intrigues me. All those little Easter eggs they hint at but never reveal – it’s a geek’s dream, right? Come on, admit it, you’ll have a party the day they reveal Penny’s last name.

Want more ‘wink-wink’ moments? Okay.

  • Who makes up their live audience? Frequently Caltech students.
  • The actress who plays Penny, Kaley Cuoco, was not the original Penny. In fact, the character was named Katie and was written as much tougher.
  • The original song was not the current one sung by Bare Naked Ladies. It was ‘She Blinded Me With Science’ by Thomas Dolby (one of my fav ‘80s songs).
  • It pains me to write this, but even though Dr. Sheldon Cooper is a ginormous fan of Star Trek, and Spock specifically, actor Jim Parsons has never seen the show!
  • Nimoy does the voice of Parson’s ‘Spock’ collectible mint in-box 1975 Star Trek Transporter toy.
  • The theme song uses the line “Autotrophs began to drool.” This is a science joke. The word “autotroph” means “self-nourishing” and refers to life forms (plants and algae) that create their own food internally and don’t need to eat. (Source: IMDb database)
  • The floors outside the elevator are actually the same set. They just redress it for each shot they film there.
  • Sheldon almost always wears two t-shirts: a long sleeved under a short sleeved one (usually a superhero shirt). What’s cool is that the color of the shirt he wears in an episode is often indicative of the mood of this character for that show.
  • Leonard is always in a hoodie. Raj, a sweatpants jacket. Howard – the character I find the most annoying which goes to show you how well the actor portrays him – in tight, colorful pants and usually a matching turtleneck.
  • While Penny is the typical stereotype of the blonde bimbo actress/waitress, I like that she can bait a hook, kick someone’s ass, and drink all the guys under the table. Maybe not so typical after all?
  • The creator of The Big Bang Theory, Chuck Lorre, is often the target of feminists for what they say is his portrayal (across all his shows) of women as purely sex objects. I disagree: Amy Farrah-Fowler and Bernadette are both doctors in the show, as is Leonard’s mother, a neuro-psychiatrist (played with deadpan brilliance by Christine Baranski). If anyone is looking for sex, it’s Fowler (played hilariously by real-life PhD Mayim Bialik).

Raj: I don’t like bugs, okay? They freak me out.

Sheldon: Interesting. You’re afraid of insects and women. Ladybugs must render you catatonic.

It took me awhile to finally watch The Big Bang Theory (nominated for over 60 awards at this point and winner of eight). Now I rarely miss it, except when I’m writing articles about it and trying to understand Schrodinger’s Cat. (Is it alive? Is it dead? Head. Hurting.)

That’s when I realize my career as a writer and not a theoretical physicist is clearly the right choice. (For a complete list of guests and cameos, see the Wikipedia page or IMDb page.)

The Big Bang Theory

(Click Images To Enlarge)



Image Credits: [Mobile Wallpaper] [Star Trek]


  • comment-avatar
    Thor Lising 9 years

    The Big Bang Theory Season 3 Episode 22:

    Sheldon: And I said yes. And I settle all ties. Change seats with me.
    Howard: Why?
    Sheldon: There’s a draft on my neck over here.
    Howard: So, I get the draft?
    Sheldon: You’re protected by your turtleneck.
    Howard: Fine. And it’s a dickey.

    This is a LOL.

  • comment-avatar

    That’s a great line. Honestly, even my kids are obsessed with the show, and we often quite lines to each other on road trips.

    Pop culture rocks! LOL.

  • comment-avatar

    Two comments: Tne, Howard doesn’t wear bonafide turtlenecks. He frequently reveals that it’s just a dickie. Two, regarding the redress of the elevator landing set, this factoid is frequently made apparent because there are scuff marks on the baseboards that are always the same no matter what floor they’re on.

  • comment-avatar

    Quite true, Lee. I myself had never looked close enough to notice that (about the baseboards)!

    My husband and I go round and round: is it a dickie, is it a turtleneck? Howard has said it’s both at various points in the show. Either way, I love that he never varies. It’s a wonderful character quirk.

    Thanks fo reading and commenting!

  • comment-avatar
    George Hilbert 9 years

    Excellent analysis. I thoroughly enjoyed it….See you on Twitter…..

  • comment-avatar

    Thank you, George! It’s such a great show. There is so much about it I love, it was hard to stop. Maybe I’ll do a part two!


  • comment-avatar

    Great insights and fun facts! Thanks.

    I love this show for so many reasons. First, it really celebrates being smart, and addresses issues that revolve around that in such a funny way. Like when Penny goes to school and Leonard rewrites her paper, “little elves did it!” Funny episode that ends with Penny cheating her way, with the girls!

    It also focuses on relationships, from the awkward Howard and Leonard picking up girls in bar, to Amy and Sheldon with a “relationship agreement” to Raj and his loneliness, and now Howard and Bernie figuring out their marriage (he spends $2500 on a 3-d printer w/o asking!) All based on real emotion, yet insightful and laugh out loud funny.

    I think one of the reasons for their monster success is that we can all see a little bit of ourselves in these characters. The scripts are so good, and of course, the acting is spot on.

    I’ll stop now.

  • comment-avatar

    Too much fun. I never get to see it (schedule conflicts) and I’m not a physicist so I can’t figure out how to TiVo it. But when I do catch it, it’s consistently brilliant. Thanks for the behind-the-scenes!