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What Is The Big Bang Theory's Best Running Gag? Here's What Fans Say - Looper Survey

Is your wi-fi password Pennyisabigfreeloader? Are you aware that Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) doesn't have a Ph.D.? That Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) is completely unable to speak to attractive women unless he's soused? Fond of Penny's (Kaley Cuoco) habit of calling others 'sweetie?' Then you're probably a fan of "The Big Bang Theory," and you're definitely aware of the multitude of repeated catchphrases and running gags that fuel the program and have launched a thousand t-shirts. 

They might be something as simple as Amy Farrah Fowler's (Mayim Bialik) obsession with "Little House on the Prairie" or as long-running as Sheldon Cooper's (Jim Parsons) belief that there's nothing "wrong" with him because "his mom had him tested," but they perfume the show's long run and make it a memorable experience to binge your way through the entire program. They also make committing to the show's long run definitely worth your while. They help give the characters personality and allow the viewer to understand how they see the world.

But which of these repeated rib ticklers make our readers chortle the most? Looper conducted a survey of 607 people around the country and asked our fans which "The Big Bang Theory" running gag gets them giggling harder than the rest.

Knocking on doors and singing Soft Kitty

Sheldon Cooper has a tendency toward comfortable routines that ground him in reality and protect him from the world's uncertainty. His tendency to knock on a person's door — usually Penny's — three times, followed by him uttering the name of the person he's looking for in a monotone, begins during Episode 10 of Season 1, "The Loobenfield Decay." During Season 10's "The Hot Tub Contamination," Sheldon confesses that he knocks on doors this way because of the fact that he caught his father cheating on his mother after coming home from college unexpectedly one day; he commits to his triple knock out of sheer courtesy for anyone who might be nude on the other side. This is our reader's favorite running gag and got 23.56% of the poll.

Our next most popular answer is a musical one that reached memetic levels for "The Big Bang Theory" fans. A comforting song Sheldon likes having sung to him when he's sick (and a song he sings to others when they fall ill), "Soft Kitty" first shows up in Season 1's "The Pancake Batter Anomaly" and comes up eight more times during the show's run. It was popular enough to be pasted on everything from t-shirts to air fresheners by CBS — and controversial enough to embroil CBS in a lawsuit over the song's origin point. "Soft Kitty" purrs its way over the finish line with 22.57%.

While "Soft Kitty" is a simple ditty, Sheldon and Leonard Hofstadter's (Johnny Galecki) labyrinthian roommate agreement is as hard to dissect as the two men who struck the bargain. Sheldon often tries to hold Leonard to the rites and clauses of the agreement, which are frequently revealed to be strikingly complex. 19.11% of our readers love it.

Of broken elevators and worn in spots

Next up on our hit parade is all things related to the gang's building's broken elevator, which remains sealed with yellow caution tape throughout the majority of the show's run. The elevator's doors are only pried open four times before the device is fixed during "The Change Constant" in Season 12. Fans learn how the elevator ended up out of service during "The Staircase Implementation" in Season 3 — it was a victim of Sheldon Cooper's experimental rocket fuel. 13.67% of our readers loved how the elevator tracked the gang's journey through life.

Any fan of "The Big Bang Theory" knows that there is one specific spot that one must not touch or sit upon. Sheldon's vaunted spot, the leftmost couch cushion (rightmost to the viewer) in his apartment with Leonard, is so beloved to him that he refers to it as "the sovereign soil of my bottom." It is his favorite place in the pilot and continues to be so throughout the series. This specific spot comes up a lot in the series, and Sheldon even claims other 'spots' for himself in other locations. This running reference pleased 11.70% of our readers.

And in last place is Sheldon's catchphrase, "Bazinga!" Sheldon utters this word for the first time during Season 2's "The Monopolar Expedition" and uses it 15 more times throughout the show's long run. The catchphrase hit such a strong cultural cord that biologist André Nemésio named a type of orchid bee euglossa bazinga (per Radio Times). 9.39% of our readers found Sheldon's triumphant remark just as enchanting.