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Dumb Things In The Big Bang Theory That Everyone Ignores

Only a few shows have aired long enough to get their own studio named after them on the Burbank Warner Bros. lot, and "The Big Bang Theory" is one of them. Starring Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons, and Johnny Galecki, the series follows a group of socially-awkward friends whose lives change forever when they meet a beautiful and free-spirited woman. Largely set in the same apartment building, their friendships, romances, and squabbles are examined through scientific and geeky humor. The series gained so much popularity over its 12-year run that it eventually inspired the prequel spinoff series "Young Sheldon," which looks back at Sheldon's childhood.

Though the program was a big hit at the time, it's come under fire in recent years for derogatory content and questionable remarks. Fans still hotly debate whether "The Big Bang Theory" is overhyped or overly hated, with plenty of its humor still landing how it should. As the years have passed and more viewers have rewatched the show, some have noticed some pretty dumb things that everyone has managed to ignore. Here's a breakdown of those moments in "TBBT" that still have never been fully explained.

Penny's friends disappear

When "The Big Bang Theory" first started out, Penny was that girl. Across the show's earliest seasons, she had a noticeably healthy group of best friends who existed outside of the core regular characters. If nothing else, it was a great glimpse into Penny's life outside of the apartment walls, with fans often seeing her attend a football game or go out dancing. When Amy and Bernadette took over the role of Penny's best friends, the original group of girls was never seen again. What's even more strange is there was never an explanation for where they went.

Friends fight and make up all the time, so it would have been easy for "The Big Bang Theory" creators to have written Penny's friends out in a more considered way. Some fans have made it clear that this disappearance still bugs them, stating that it doesn't make sense for a girl like Penny not to have a bunch of friends. The fact the change happened so suddenly rather than a gradual phasing out certainly deserved an explanation.

How Sheldon's dad is remembered

Thanks to "The Big Bang Theory" spinoff series "Young Sheldon," the theory-verse has been able to expand into the backstory of Sheldon's life. Though the show is an undeniable asset and a great watch, it does cause some clashes with the original. The best example of this is how each show chooses to remember Sheldon's dad. At first glance, George Cooper Sr. is treated pretty differently in "Young Sheldon" than he is in "The Big Bang Theory." Flashbacks in the former show him as a dedicated family man, enjoying food at the dining room table with his young family.

However, the same can't be said for "The Big Bang Theory." In this show, George Cooper Sr. is remembered in a much more negative way, with Sheldon mentioning his extreme drinking habits and one instance of seeing his father sleeping with another woman. Some Reddit users have suggested that viewers could actually be seeing the "real" George in "Young Sheldon," factoring in Sheldon's personal habit of overdramatizing and the fact that children's perceptions are often not completely accurate. Considering that George Cooper Sr.'s character is so well-written, it feels odd not to have Sheldon's memories of his dad somehow addressed.

Apartment rent

Thanks to endless renting TikToks and those of us that have a habit of browning on real estate websites, rent is well-known to be all over the place. In the case of "The Big Bang Theory," it's difficult to guess how the group could afford to live as they did. For most of the show's run, Penny lives by herself while her across-the-hall neighbors Leonard and Sheldon live together. Considering that two scientists would need to split the costs, it indicates that the rent for the building would be pretty expensive. If that is the case, it doesn't make sense that Penny can afford an apartment by herself given her questionable employment status.

This is a detail that would probably be easy to pass off outside of the show if it wasn't for the fact that Leonard and Sheldon reference that they have to live with each other in order to afford rent. Penny is a waitress and struggling actress who mostly doesn't get very many roles, meaning that her monthly income must be unsustainable at best. Unless there is some mysterious benefactor behind the scenes that takes care of costs for her, Penny's ability to afford her apartment is nothing short of mind-boggling.

Sheldon is pretty inconsistent

As characters go, Sheldon is a guy who you can dissect and charter with pinpoint precision. Set in both his ways and his routine, his unique characteristics and quirks are things that he often makes perfectly clear multiple times in "The Big Bang Theory." Having said that, it doesn't mean the show's creators nailed everything about him. At various points in the show, it's established that Sheldon isn't interested in intimate relationships, perhaps to the point of being grossed out by them. It's something that adds a light-hearted yet opposing element to his eventual relationship with Amy, proving just how much he actively fights the instinct.

However, if viewers go back to the show's pilot episode, Sheldon and Leonard go to a sperm bank in order to try and make some money. It's not a setting where most people can just walk in and feel comfortable enough to do what needs to be done, which makes this action completely contrast with Sheldon's personality. Considering it was a pilot, it's likely that the writers were still trying to figure out what made Sheldon such a standout. Even so, it's an incredibly annoying detail to look back on, though it possibly says more about the quality of the pilot as some fans have suggested.

Howard's creepy behavior

Though the dynamics behind "The Big Bang Theory" are what make the show so special, the off-the-cuff comments sometimes went too far. For many of the show's earlier seasons, Penny was seen fending off Howard's unusual behavior. He's guilty of making plenty of misogynistic remarks and also went on to do some pretty creepy things. One episode sees Howard gift Penny a teddy bear that has a secret webcam in it, adding to behaviors that clearly make Penny uncomfortable. Though she has moments of sharing her disgust, Penny continues to tolerate his presence for the remainder of the show.

Because Penny likes spending so much time with Leonard, it makes a certain amount of sense that she'd put up with Howard. At the same time, because she spends such long periods around him, we might expect her to become less tolerant as the years went by. Not only is it something that Howard is never really held accountable for, it mostly just gets swept under the metaphorical carpet. Though he arguably dialed things down in later seasons, Howard's creepy behavior still acts as the comedic punchline.

Stuart's personality transplant

First introduced in the Season 2 episode "The Hofstadter Isotope," Stuart comes across as confidently nerdy with an air of coolness. Running the local comic book store, he's a guy who seems to be pretty happy and comfortable with the life he has made for himself. There was even a little bit of a flirtatious nature to his personality, cooly winning the attention — and number — of Penny fairly quickly. However, after Penny invites him back to her apartment, Stuart's character completely changes. He becomes overly morose and awkward, shuffling into the shadows of his former self.

With the likes of Sheldon, Leonard, and Howard having such a big presence in "The Big Bang Theory," it could be said that Stuart's change of character was made to help lift up the main cast members. It's certainly something that makes Penny and Leonard's relationship more plausible, effectively eliminating the competition. Stuart's downward spiral is never given a solid explanation, but according to Reddit user ll_Maurice_ll, changes can be inferred from his social context. Given that his business started to decline and money became tight, it's enough of a reason to prompt an abrupt shift in persona without any other factors.

Where did Tam go?

Once again, "Young Sheldon" has caused a fair few problems for the plausibility of "The Big Bang Theory." Viewers of the former show will learn that Sheldon's closest friend at school was a young boy named Tam, with the pair finding they equally felt like outsiders. The boys were able to bond over their love of shared interest, with comic books in particular the cornerstone of their time together. Tam's gentle nature makes him one of the most supportive and empathetic people in Sheldon's young life, with him clearly not having any other connections with people his age.

Considering that "Young Sheldon" is set years before Sheldon meets Leonard and Penny, it's strange to think that Tam doesn't even get a mention in the first 11 seasons of "The Big Bang Theory." This could be down to the fact that Sheldon's character development is essentially happening backward, with the release of "Young Sheldon" after "The Big Bang Theory" meaning his backstory is fleshed out much later down the line. He's finally introduced in the Season 12 episode "The Tam Turbulence," which feels like a rushed afterthought for continuity's sake.

The Justice League

Keeping track of superheroes is tough at the best of times, but it's something that shouldn't be a problem for the cast of "The Big Bang Theory." When Stuart hosts a themed costume party for New Year's Eve at his comic book store, Raj is visibly upset at the realization that he has to dress up as Aquaman. Given that the core gang are comic book aficionados, Raj should have known that he had far more options than just the man the in the sea. Though the script is written as if Aquaman was Raj's only choice, the Justice League has been comprised of different members over the course of time.

Any superhero fan knows that Raj could have easily been Cyborg, Hawkman, or Martian Manhunter with his tantrum over Aquaman feeling like drama for drama's sake. It's a weird discrepancy that Raj's comic book knowledge would be that flawed, with none of the other characters ever commenting on it. If he was really unsure — or that unhappy — his costume could have been solved with the click of a button on the World Wide Web. How hard could it be?

Leonard and Harry Potter

Even if you have lived under a rock for the last two decades, you're bound to know at least something about the "Harry Potter" franchise. When Leonard begins to read the books, he's annoyed when Sheldon reveals to him that Dumbledore dies during "The Half-Blood Prince." Leonard's quite right to be annoyed, but given the overwhelming success of both the books and the films, but it's difficult to imagine that he wouldn't have known about this already. "The Big Bang Theory" has well established that its core cast is a group of out and proud nerds, while it's also well-known that "Harry Potter" is a franchise that's much beloved by that community.

Dumbledore's death is considered to be a spoiler that is widely talked about, with theories concerning why he died still in frequent discussion. Not only does this make Leonard's lack of knowledge about the franchise inconceivable, but it also highlights how weird it is that neither Sheldon nor Amy has ever read the books. Given Sheldon's personality, it feels unlikely that plot points and characters wouldn't have been discussed at length, even if nothing will ever live up to the likes of "Star Trek."

Sheldon being allergic to cats

Aw, cats. Who doesn't love them? According to Season 1 of "The Big Bang Theory," Sheldon definitely shouldn't. It's mentioned in passing by Leonard that Sheldon has an asthmatic allergy to cats in "The Fuzzy Boots Corollary" – yet it's a part of his character that's later challenged in Season 4. Sheldon is seen to adopt a large number of cats while enjoying their company in "The Zazzy Substitution," with no allergic reactions to be found. As Sheldon grew closer to the cats, he even entertained the idea of petting them and keeping them in his room. If Sheldon really did have an allergy, he definitely wouldn't have been sleeping through the night.

It could be a simple case of Leonard being incorrect about what's wrong with his friend, but it feels unlikely. With the two living in such close proximity, it's more likely that the pair know everything there is to know about each other, which is proved right over many points in the show's run. The combination of Leonard being forced to remember so much about Sheldon and needing to keep track of multiple conditions means that Sheldon's sudden tolerance for felines is left unexplained.

Leonard's school bully

It's unsurprising that anyone would have a crystal clear image of their school bully, but in the case of "The Big Bang Theory," Leonard's former tormentor looks familiar for all the wrong reasons. When the casting for "Young Sheldon" was announced, actor Lance Barber was set to play Sheldon's potentially alcoholic yet approachable father, George Cooper Sr. However, Barber had already appeared on "The Big Bang Theory" as Leonard's high school bully, Jimmy Speckerman. Not only did the choice cause confusion, but it seemed to suggest that an unseen connection might be hiding under the surface — yet there never was one.

Reddit user goth695150 suggests that any actor that has proved their worth in a minor TV role is likely to be considered for a major role later down the line, which could easily be the case with Barber. The fact that fans have realized this hasn't gone unnoticed either, with Barber commenting on the crossover during an interview with ET: "It was fun for me because when that happened and I got that job, it was apparent to me that that was going to be noticed, especially from how deep the fans are of those shows."

Sheldon and The Clone Wars

With "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" getting rebooted in 2020, it would be safe to assume that the series was a fairly popular hit with audiences. The same can't be said for the "Clone Wars" movie, which has a rating of 5.9 on IMDB. Sheldon, on the other hand, doesn't seem too fond of either, which fans learn when Leonard asks if he wants to join him in watching the series. Sheldon answers by saying he'd prefer to watch the movie because "I prefer to let George Lucas disappoint me in the order he intended." From a guy that loves a sci-fi fantasy franchise, his scathing views come as an unexpectedly low blow.

Sheldon's disdain for "The Clone Wars" could possibly link back to what viewers see in "Young Sheldon." Though no reasoning is ever given, fans have noticed that Sheldon never takes an interest in the "Star Wars" franchise as a whole, even though his childhood timeline suggests that the series would have been incredibly popular. Perhaps it's just a case of "Star Trek" taking precedence, but there's no obvious reason why Sheldon has such a grudge against George Lucas.

The broken elevator

If fans of "The Big Bang Theory" were asked for one image of the show that sticks in their heads, it would probably be the perpetual sight of the broken elevator. It's a running joke for the series, making sure that the characters trek up and down the stairs in a whole host of hilarious situations. Though it works for what it needs to, it's a stumbling block that wouldn't make complete sense in the real world. It's highly unlikely that an apartment building would let its main elevator stay broken for the best part of a decade, regardless of how useless its maintenance team is.

Not only would the broken elevator put new people off of moving into the building, but the story of how it originally broke is also conflicting. Leonard is the first to say that it broke back in the show's earliest seasons, with the year it happened appearing to be inconsistent with the year shown in one of Sheldon's flashbacks. According to him, the elevator broke at a different point in time when the group threw a volatile science experiment into the shaft for the greater good. Even if most fans agree that Sheldon's version of events is correct, the pair being too good for their own building is the only answer viewers can find for the elevator still being broken.

The wasted female characters

If one thing is for sure, Sheldon, Leonard, and Howard don't really know how to behave around women. The same can almost be said for the creators of "The Big Bang Theory," who have consistently treated their female characters badly despite them appearing as confident and strong-minded. Even after Amy and Bernadette were introduced in later seasons, the playing field between the boys and girls wasn't exactly level. Penny spends much of the course of the show being told she's smart, while simultaneously being shown that she isn't. It stands to reason that the only worth that any of the female characters have is through offering character development for their boyfriends.

While some fans feel as though the women of "The Big Bang Theory," are the problem, others recognize that they might be being set up to fail. Not only are Penny, Amy, and Bernadette not that well supported, but their men are terrible romantic partners. Fights are typically not resolved, with the dynamic between Amy and Sheldon being particularly toxic. It's safe to say that if one of the guys has been a jerk to one of the girls, there's a laugh track right after.