The Big Bang Theory

The Pork Chop Indeterminacy - S1-E15

Character mistake: In his conversation with Missy Sheldon makes it clear that his superior intelligence is a result of a random, mutated gene. Since Missy isn't similarly intelligent she obviously isn't carrying this mutated gene (which would be a billion to one shot anyway) so her offspring wouldn't inherit it. Sheldon would know this - his offspring would carry the mutated gene for superior intelligence, Missy's would not. Anyone knowing enough about genetics to use the term 'randomly mutated gene' understands enough to know that the mutated gene would only be expressed in a direct line from the carrier - Sheldon. Also bear in mind he has a model of the DNA molecule in his living room - it is obviously an interest.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Genes can be dormant. Which allows them to skip generations. Therefor Missy's children could actually get the "mutated" gene. This is especially true since Sheldon and Missy are twins. Also, since the episode is about who out of Leonard, Howard or Raj, Sheldon would allow to "mate" with his sister, there is the added "insurance" of getting any smart genes from any of the 3 Lothario's mentioned above.

If you are going to try to argue with a geneticist about genetics, please use the correct terms. Sheldon is not referring to a recessive gene - there is no such thing as a dormant gene - he is speaking of a randomly mutated gene. Those are the words he used. If he had inherited a homozygous recessive karotype - one recessive gene from each of his parents - then somewhere in his family tree there would similarly gifted people, in which case he would use the correct term - a recessive gene. If Missy is a heterozygotic dominant karotype possessing the recessive gene for super-genius and the dominant for ordinary intelligence then mating her with Howard, Raj or Leonard would be a waste of time as their dominant genius gene would prevent the recessive super-genius gene from being expressed in the phenotype of the resulting child. The child would be highly intelligent but not on Sheldon's standards. It doesn't matter if Sheldon does not know any of this as he refers several times to a randomly mutated gene, not a recessive one. Missy does not carry the super-genius gene. The posting is correct.

Sheldon is prone to magical thinking when necessary to preserve his obsessive need to control his environment. He may have simply ignored the flaw in his reasoning, as even the most intelligent humans do when venturing outside their ares of expertise. He may be interested in the science of genetics, but his Ph.D. in physics doesn't qualify him as an expert in that field.

The Excelsior Acquisition - S3-E16

Plot hole: In Series 1, Episode 7, "The Dumpling Paradox, " Sheldon makes an oblique reference to his financial status: "Frankly, if I could afford the rent, I'd ask you [Leonard] to leave, " meaning he cannot pay the rent on his two bedroom apartment by himself - not that he doesn't want to, he can't. However, in "The Execlsior Acquisition, " we find that he does not even cash his pay cheques. He doesn't even deposit them into a bank account - he leaves them in a drawer in his desk. In Series 2 Episode 14 "The Financial Permeability", he lends Penny a large amount of money from a huge bankroll he just happens to have lying about - again, without cashing his pay cheques! He is obviously independently wealthy. Either he doesn't have enough money to afford the rent or he has enough to work without being paid while practically giving large amounts of cash away. Can't be both.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Not being able to afford doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have the money, especially a man like Sheldon. He works with a budget and he sticks to it. In his budget he has a certain amount set aside for rent, anything more than that and he can't afford it alone.

Nonsense. If he was sticking to a "rigid budget" he wouldn't have even thought of lending a hopeless credit risk like Penny a single cent. Instead he throws a huge bankroll at her without even discussing a repayment plan.

He might have different budgets for different things. People could get a higher margin because they could be of more use to the scientific mind of Sheldon.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: He never specified his level of proficiency. By saying he never learned it, he may simply be saying he's not fluent in it. He knows some basic words/phrases and that's it and saying he "never learned it" is simply that he never completed education in the language beyond the basic level.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Not obvious at any point in the show.

LordKelvin

The Big Bran Hypothesis - S1-E2

Character mistake: Sheldon is wrong about the physics of pushing the furniture up the stairs. This is not just a question of work (energy) but also of power (energy/time). Since he and Leonard cannot produce an unlimited amount of energy per second, they may need to push it slowly, contrary to what he asserts. This is a very serious and very basic error for Sheldon considering he has a PhD in Physics.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: This is wrong. Not only does he not mention energy anywhere, the commenter is not correct. This is not a mistake, just a different way of saying it (even though he didn't, rewatch the episode and find anything about work there).

The Platonic Permutation - S9-E9

Continuity mistake: In episode 16 of season 1, Penny is talking about making a cake for Leonard's birthday and states she knows his birthday because she was checking a horoscope for him. But in this episode she does not know when his birthday is, which leads to Leonard revealing he was secretly reading Penny's diary. (00:40:00)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: It's certainly possible to forget something you knew eight years ago.

LorgSkyegon

This is perhaps true for two people who rarely have contact, but I would list this as a character mistake. Penny and Leonard are in a serious relationship and are married at this point.

Bishop73

I forgot my wife's birthday on a number of occasions. It's one of the reasons she is now my ex-wife.

There's a difference between forgetting and not knowing.

Bishop73

This is also a couple who BOTH forgot it was their anniversary.

LorgSkyegon

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

That I beleive is the first episode with the triple knock.

Ssiscool Premium member

First time he knocks 3 times is in Episode 2 of Season 1. First time knocking 3 times followed by saying the name is episode 10 of Season 1. The ritual of 3 knocks and 3 times saying the name and then stopping is Episode 5 of season 2.

lionhead

My mistake. It's been several years since I've seen the early seasons. I was going off memory.

Ssiscool Premium member

Suggested correction: A one-time lapse in someone's usual behavior does not count as a "character mistake", even in the case of someone given to ritualistic behavior as Sheldon is.

zendaddy621

Ah, but in an episode he explains he had developed this particular ritual at age 13 after walking into his parent's bedroom without knocking and seeing his father having sex with another woman. He says he started knocking 3 times since then and would never forget. So its not consistent and a mistake as this is not the only example one can name.

lionhead

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The figure he's holding is a genuine Star Trek figure in the correct packaging. It was produced by Playmates Toys and marketed in the Star Trek The Next Generation packaging as "Lieutenant Commander Geordie Laforge Movie Uniform"

Suggested correction: The figure in the episode is specifically a 'movie uniform' outfit, as labeled on the packaging. Many of these made their way into the standard 'Next Generation' line of figures. This is not an error.

The Benefactor Factor - S4-E15

Continuity mistake: When Sheldon and Leonard are in the kitchen discussing Leonard's upcoming night out with Mrs. Latham, there's a plastic bottle of orange juice on the table that keeps disappearing and reappearing as the camera switches between Sheldon and Leonard.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The bottle is there every time, a few times because of the camera angle it is hidden by Sheldon.

Bowling255 Premium member

The bottle of OJ is right next to a container of Coffee Mate, both items always visible when the bottle of OJ is present. When the OJ is not present, only the Coffee Mate is there, near enough the center of the table to not possibly be blocked out by either Sheldon nor Leonard.

No it is not right next to the coffee Mate, there is some distance with a phone in between. You can sometimes see the bottle behind Sheldon when he moves.

Bowling255 Premium member

The Beta Test Initiation - S5-E14

Character mistake: Sheldon says (during Fun With Flags) "But like the flag over Fort Sumter, I'm still here." The Sumter flag was lowered when the fort surrendered to the Confederates. The flag over Fort McHenry was never taken down despite the British bombardment and inspired Francis Scott Key to write the National Anthem about it. Whouldn't a vexologist know that?

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Sheldon is referring to the actual Fort Sumter flag, which still exists and is on display at the Fort Sumter museum.

LorgSkyegon

Sheldon is not referring the actual flag (especially since if the actual flag is in a museum it's not still over Fort Sumter). Sheldon is referencing the line from The Star-Spangled Banner "our flag was still there." Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner after seeing the flag over Fort McHenry was still there. The writers simply made a mistake and Sheldon the character would know which flag inspired the line. Incidentally, the actual Fort McHenry flag also still exists.

Bishop73

The Rhinitis Revelation - S5-E6

Other mistake: When Mary is rubbing VapoRub on Sheldon's chest, she makes a comment that last time she saw that there was no hair, to which Sheldon replies "Yeah it filled in last year." In Season 1, Episode 11, Penny rubs VapoRub on Sheldon's chest and a very clear remark about chest hair was made. Season 1 for the show was 4 years ago.

Ashish_Agrawal

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Sheldon is probably joking when he tells Mary his chest hair filled in the previous year.

He doesn't understand sarcasm, hence, doesn't know when to be sarcastic.

ckbyers

If Sheldon didn't make jokes, the term "Bazinga" would have never came into play. Ever.

ckbyers

And nearly all instances of Bazinga are not used in a funny circumstance. Indicating poor judgement and lack of knowledge regarding jokes.

Ssiscool Premium member

They were funny to him. And to the audience.

lionhead

Google "how many times has Sheldon said "Bazinga" " - and it'll explain that he does, indeed - joke.

ckbyers

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Lying to Penny but not to his sister, not inconsistent with the characters and his relationships.

LordKelvin

Yes and no. If you consider S1 E7 I think it is where he creates a very elaborate situation to avoid telling Penny she's a terrible singer. That takes a good amount skill to establish all that. But as you say, there are episodes where he can't.

Ssiscool Premium member

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: There is a moment when he puts his hand there. So nothing wrong here.

Show generally

Factual error: Characters sometimes talk to one another on video calls, and a character (A) often watches these from an angle rather than face on, allowing the viewer to see both character A and the character on the call (B). When this happens, character B is shown turned a little to one side, to give the impression that they are looking directly at character A (as they would be if they were present in the same room). In reality, this means that character B is looking off to one side of their monitor and not at the image of character A, something that it makes no sense to do. No matter what angle the laptop is shown from, provided character B is visible, they should appear to be facing the viewer.

paolog

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Since we almost always see these video calls using full-screen, people sitting side-by-side would be on different sides of the screen. You wouldn't look into the webcam itself to see them. You would look at the screen, and move your head slightly to look at the left part versus the right.

LorgSkyegon

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: That type of sling is the best for preventing movement of the shoulder joint. It is the proper one.

LorgSkyegon

The Vengeance Formulation - S3-E9

Factual error: The foam Sheldon used on Kripke consists of mixing ordinary dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and saturated potassium iodide. That kind of exothermic reaction is dangerously flammable, so it should have severely burned Kripke and the members of the university board when it fell on them.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Correct, but I think you're confusing 'flammable' with hot. Without a source of ignition, the flammable foam would not ignite and generate heat from combustion. However, this reaction is sufficiently exothermic that the falling goop would not have had time to cool, and would likely have burned the individuals underneath. You can see this during the test in the apartment when the reaction generates copious clouds of steam.

The Proton Regeneration - S11-E6

Character mistake: While bedridden after his vasectomy, Howard asks Bernadette to grill up a couple steaks instead of picking up Chinese for dinner. She gives him a disapproving look and he says "Kung Pao Chicken, please." A major ingredient of Kung Pao Chicken is peanuts. A major allergy for Howard is peanuts. (00:09:04)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Since they are both quite well aware of it, they likely have either found a Chinese restaurant that doesn't use them, or they get it without peanuts.

LorgSkyegon

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: This isn't really so much a mistake as it was a character tweaking, which happens often in TV series.

zendaddy621

Show generally

Continuity mistake: In the early episodes, Leonard is depressed and buys cat stuff. He comments that he has taken in to account Sheldon's asthma with a hyper allergenic cat. Later in the series it is Leonard with asthma and Sheldon who gets all the cats.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

The Robotic Manipulation - S4-E1

Character mistake: While driving towards the restaurant, Amy mentions she uses dandruff shampoo for her "dry" scalp. Dandruff and dry scalp have the same main symptoms, which are falling flakes and an itchy scalp, but they are two different conditions. In dry scalp, the skin gets irritated and flakes off. With dandruff, the cause is too much oil on the scalp. That excess oil causes skin cells to build up and then shed. Therefore dandruff shampoo should be used for an oily scalp, not a dry scalp. (00:11:19)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Except there are dandruff shampoos that specifically treat dry scalp. In addition, dry scalp is commonly caused by dandruff.

Bishop73

The Bad Fish Paradigm - S2-E1

Factual error: Raj and Sheldon are watching TV in Raj's apartment and we hear music playing. Sheldon asks if the woman on TV was Aishwarya Rai to which Raj says yes and then they argue about her and Madhuri Dixit. The song playing was from the Bollywood movie Kaho Na Pyar Hai, but neither of them are in the movie - the lead actress was Ameesha Patel. (00:14:50)

Aditi Gupta

More mistakes in The Big Bang Theory
More quotes from The Big Bang Theory
More trivia for The Big Bang Theory

Show generally

Question: How come Raj has no problem speaking to his mother, but, when around other women, such as Penny, he immediately stops talking? Also, why does he have to whisper in someone's ear if he wants to ask Penny something?

Answer: Because Raj's selective mutism seems to be caused by women that Raj sees (on some sort of conscious or subconscious level) as a potential sexual partner. An attribute that wouldn't apply to either his sister or mother.

More questions & answers from The Big Bang Theory

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.