Hidden DETAILS in THE BIG BANG THEORY
One of the most popular Easter customs is finding the eggs and gifts hidden by the Easter Bunny in the house, apartment, or garden. Dear kids, I have wonderful news for you. You don’t have to eagerly await the next holiday to search for Easter eggs again. All you need to do is start your favorite TV series, such as The Big Bang Theory, which is filled with Easter eggs, and you can start hunting for them at any time. With 279 episodes created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, you’ll have entertainment for the entire year. To entice you, I’ll provide some hidden details from this popular comedy series in this compilation.
314 and 1701
The main characters of The Big Bang Theory are physicists for whom the exact sciences seem to hold no secrets. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the series features numerous numbers. Some of them are part of complex mathematical equations solved by the characters, while others evoke interesting associations. One of them is the number displayed on the door of Amy Farrah Fowler’s apartment (Mayim Bialik). The number 314, which is being mentioned here, refers to the approximate value of pi. On the other hand, another Easter egg, the number 1701, has less to do with mathematics and more with pop culture. 1701 is the apartment number of Wil Wheaton, who plays himself in the series. This number is a reference to the numerical designation of the starship USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994), in which Wheaton played the character Wesley Crusher.
The most significant hidden mathematical detail in The Big Bang Theory is the number 73. It’s Sheldon Cooper’s (Jim Parsons) favorite number. In his own unique way, Sheldon explained its significance in the 73rd episode of the series. He declared that 73 is Chuck Norris among numbers because it is the 21st prime number. Its mirror, 37, is the 12th prime number. Furthermore, multiplying 7 and 3 gives you 21. Additionally, when you convert 73 to binary, you get 1001001, a palindromic (symmetrical) number. Interestingly, mathematicians from Dartmouth and Morningside College became intrigued by the phenomenon of 73 and proved that there is no other number as unique. Their calculations were written on Sheldon’s whiteboard and appeared in one of the subsequent episodes of the Lorre and Prady production. As if that weren’t enough, the actor portraying Sheldon was born in 1973.
Consequences of Cheating
I mentioned earlier that The Big Bang Theory features a lot of mathematical and physical equations on whiteboards. To ensure the authenticity and correctness of these equations, the show employed David Saltzberg, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles, as a consultant. His work was noticed and appreciated by mathematicians and physicists among the viewers. Despite Saltzberg’s meticulousness, there was a mathematical error in the show. However, this error didn’t originate on the set of The Big Bang Theory but during the production of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). The creators of The Big Bang Theory copied the equation from Indiana Jones and thus replicated “his” mistake. It’s another proof that cheating doesn’t pay off.
Sheldon Cooper's T-Shirts
There’s a theory that suggests the color of Sheldon Cooper’s T-shirt relates to his mood and emotions at the moment. Red signifies anger, green stands for courage, yellow represents fear, and blue symbolizes hope. This theory is said to be connected to the comic book Lantern Corps. Sheldon’s clothing is also tied to another interesting detail. As you may know, Sheldon has an unusual habit of doing his laundry every week at the same time (Saturdays at 8:15 PM). What’s surprising is that in laundry scenes, Sheldon always wears clothes in the colors he wore in previous episodes. This either shows the creators’ attention to detail or their desire to save on wardrobe.
Since we’re in the realm of the DC Universe, it’s worth noting that when it comes to the rivalry between DC and Marvel superheroes, Sheldon and his friends always side with the Justice League. This choice is straightforward because The Big Bang Theory is a Warner Bros. production, just like the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) films. So, it’s no surprise that on most of their comic book store visits, characters from TBBT appear in costumes of Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, or Aquaman.
It’s a well-known fact that Leonard wears glasses. It’s practically his trademark. However, what many viewers don’t realize is that Johnny Galecki, the actor who portrays Leonard, doesn’t actually need glasses. What’s even more surprising is that it was Johnny Galecki himself who suggested to the show’s creators that his character should wear glasses. However, what he wears are just frames without any lenses, not even plain ones.
Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch) is a character known for her high-pitched voice. However, it wasn’t always like that. Melissa Rauch first appeared as Bernadette in The Big Bang Theory in the third season when Penny set her up on a date with Howard. At that time, the actress used her normal voice. I say “normal” because it significantly differs from the voice we hear in the later seasons of the show. Rauch developed a higher-pitched tone for her character to make her even funnier.
Let’s move from Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment, which even has its own flag (it also appears as a fridge magnet and is flipped when there’s a dispute in the apartment), to Howard’s bedroom. The décor of Howard’s “man cave” is a clear reflection of his fascination with beautiful women. The walls of Howard’s room are adorned with posters of women, and you won’t find any male figurines on the shelves. It’s all a bit quirky but perfectly fits Wolowitz’s character.
Penny and Her Fridge
Staying on the topic of interior design, Penny’s fridge is quite distinctive. Penny, being a poor waitress/actress, mostly relies on takeout and the fridge serves her mainly when mixing drinks. However, she also uses it as a makeshift bulletin board, with pictures of the cast and crew of the show attached to it with magnets.
Not many people remember that Penny’s last name is never revealed throughout the 12 seasons of the show. Based on the package address that Sheldon receives for her in the second season, fans speculate that her last name is Teller. However, this was never confirmed in the series. Chuck Lorre suggested that her full name is Penny Barrington, but this was never mentioned in the show.
The names of the main characters, Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter, were inspired by three important figures in the worlds of science and television. Sheldon’s last name is a tribute to Nobel laureate Leon Cooper, who discovered the existence of electron pairs known as Cooper pairs. Leonard’s last name was inspired by Robert Hofstadter, a physicist who received a Nobel Prize for his pioneering work in electron scattering in atomic nuclei. The first names of the show’s physicists were given in honor of Sheldon Leonard Bershade, an American actor, producer, screenwriter, and director.
Up until the end of the sixth season of The Big Bang Theory, Rajesh Koothrappali suffers from an inability to overcome his fear of talking to women. To overcome his fear, he turns to alcohol. Raj’s disorder, known as selective mutism, was inspired by the experiences of a former colleague of the show’s creators.
Few people remember that Amy’s mother appeared in The Big Bang Theory as early as the fourth season. This may be because from the tenth season onwards, the fantastic Kathy Bates played the role, completely overshadowing the previous actress who portrayed Sheldon’s girlfriend’s mother, Annie O’Donnell. It’s also true that the latter actress was not given the material that Kathy Bates had. Nevertheless, in terms of Amy’s mother, there is a certain inconsistency in the storyline. However, very few viewers noticed this, so the mistake went unnoticed by the creators.
Bonus: Laurie Metcalf and Zoe Perry
Let’s conclude this compilation of hidden details in The Big Bang Theory with a bonus fact related to the theme of mothers and the successful spin-off series, Young Sheldon. Laurie Metcalf, who plays Mary Cooper in “TBBT,” is, in fact, the real-life mother of Zoe Perry, who portrays Sheldon’s mother in Young Sheldon. It’s an interesting family connection between the two series.
Are there any hidden details in The Big Bang Theory that I missed? Do you like the Easter eggs I mentioned above? Let me know in the comments!