For twelve years, The Big Bang Theory was one of, it not the most popular show on TV. But sometimes it’s lonely at the top. There have been countless in-depth articles and research about the show. Research calling out its blatant sexism, treatment of people in general, stereotypes, and the fact that show just isn’t funny. Comedy is a very subjective thing. Even though the world is changing and ideas of what is okay to say and okay to joke about change just about every day. It’s almost as if everyone who says something they think is funny better be prepared to put their foot in their mouth and apologize.
One day, it will be for the better, but right now it’s leading to a sanitized look at everything that’s come before. As far as this show is concerned though – it doesn’t make any of those articles wrong. As evidenced by lasting for so long, plenty of people did find the show endearing, but let’s take a closer look at some of the jokes and stereotypes of this show. Here are 10 Jokes That Have Already Aged Poorly on The Big Bang Theory.
Updated on May 15, 2020, by Richard Keller: Despite leaving the TV landscape in 2019, The Big Bang Theory still has a following through YouTube clips, DVDs, and streaming on HBOMax. Though loved by many, some of the cast’s characteristics and episode plots have lost their charm. Here are a few more Big Bang Theory jokes that have already aged poorly.
Penny Drinks Too Much
With so many stories about teenagers and young adults dying due to binge drinking, adding that element to Penny’s past and present was always uncomfortable. Be it the amount of wine and beer she drank or the stories she told about her teenage years.
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It was similar to what Max Black did in 2 Broke Girls. Every chance the writers got, Kat Denning’s character would discuss all the drugs she took. As the fight for women’s equality and recognition grew through the 2010s, Penny’s constant discussions about alcohol weren’t a good influence.
Nerds Are Not Accepted
The term ‘nerd’ is placed on those who are different than everyone else. Fonzie called people nerds if they weren’t cool. In Revenge of the Nerds, the Tri Lambda members were constantly harassed for their intelligence and quirks.
This continued into the Big Bang Theory, even though, by 2007, nerdiness was on the verge of becoming normal. By the time the show ended, everybody became a nerd, so the topic was a moot point.
Comic Con Is Only For Geeks
In the season five episode “The Stag Convergence,” Raj reveals Howard’s previous sexual experiences. One of these is a moment with a heavyset Sailor Moon cosplay girl at the San Diego Comic Con. This implies the annual event is filled with people who would rather portray characters than live in the real world.
The fact that the first panel the BBT cast attended in 2008 was filled with very few people in costume should have diffused this belief. Comic Con has become more than comic books. It’s a star-studded multi-media event that fans of all ilk visit to see their favorite writers and actors in person.
Smart Guys Can’t Get Good Looking Girls
In one of the show’s later episodes, Leonard attends Penny’s autograph signing. Numerous people come to their table and discover the pair are married. The response from the autograph seekers is something on par of, “How did you get her to marry you?”
Love isn’t preordained for like-minded people to get married. The fact is, having a few differences is good for a couple. It helps them to grow and share what they love. Even Penny began to enjoy some of Leonard’s favorite things as they grew closer.
Stuart Is Always Down On Himself
Throughout the show, comic shop owner Stuart is the group’s sad sack. He’s always under-confident, lonely, and feels sorry for himself. He wants to be part of the action is rarely asked to join the gang.
Two things that didn’t age well with Stuart’s personality. One, the “Woe is me” attitude started to grate on viewers. Two, his depression should have been addressed years before. They constantly repeated the joke about Sheldon being on the Autism spectrum, so why not help Stuart?
Girls Aren’t Geeks
There has been a long-standing joke on the series that the girls have little to no interest in any of the “nerd” stuff that Sheldon and company are into.
In “The Bakersfield Expedition,” not only do the girls decide to read some comics but then have a stereotypical girl conversation about Thor’s body. Not only are there plenty of true geek girls out there, but they actually are interested in things like video games, cosplay, and comics. You’d think these three would have at least feigned interest.
Sheldon’s Egg Salad Line
In “The Egg Salad Equivalency,” Sheldon makes a wildly inappropriate comment towards his lab assistant and winds up having to go to Human Resources. In the real world, comments like this would land Sheldon out of a job and potentially blackballed.
But on this show, we all laugh at the smart guy who doesn’t understand what he said was wrong and he gets away with a slap on the wrist, instead of a real punishment to teach him a lesson. It took a whole episode to get him to realize what he said was wrong, and the next week, he was at it again.