Ever since it debuted back in 2007, The Big Bang Theory has been a show celebrating geek culture. More than that, it contributed in helping many elements from pop culture, like comic books and board games, reach new heights of popularity in the cultural zeitgeist. But the series didn't just highlight all things Marvel, DC, Star Trek, Star Wars and everything in-between. As much as it laughed along with its characters, it also wanted you to laugh at them, for their social awkwardness or their quirky characteristics. For those reasons, some characters from the series aren't exactly the most endearing.
Such is the case for The Big Bang Theory's lead character, Jim Parsons' Sheldon Cooper. Sheldon is undoubtedly the most important character on the series, and a big reason for the CBS sitcom's massive success. Sheldon's annoying traits and qualities have painted him as a unique character on television, but he also isn't exactly one who should lead by example. Many fans agree that he is a beloved character, but he is far from being the nicest or warmest person out there. Today, CBR revisits 11 years of The Big Bang Theory to list 15 secrets that will make you despise Sheldon Cooper.
15 THE “GREEN LANTERN LANTERN” CONFUSION
Sheldon Cooper has been reading comic books for a very long time. He has an extensive collection, and he even has many statues and collectibles to prove that he has earned his stripes as a comic book connoisseur. And yet, for the sake of a joke, the character's knowledge was reduced. When talking about a Green Lantern's power battery replica, Sheldon annoyingly calls it a “Green Lantern Lantern.”
He says it with a straight face, eliciting laughter from an audience that doesn't know any better. But the truth of the matter is that any DC fan worth his or her salt would never refer to a Green Lantern power battery as a Green Lantern Lantern. Real comic book fans know what the Lantern is called, and they wouldn't make such a blatant goof. It would be the equivalent of calling the Batmobile “Batman's bat-car.”
14 THE SPOCK REPLACEMENT ABHORRENCE
Being a Star Trek fan is tricky business. You have to know the correct order of the multiple series, stretching all the way from the original series to Star Trek: Discovery, you have to agree that Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a terrible film and that Wrath of Khan is an absolute classic. It means sticking with the franchise through good and bad. But it also means recognizing all of its strengths.
But Sheldon Cooper drew a line at the new Star Trek films, and at a particular performance almost everyone agreed was great: Zachary Quinto's portrayal of Spock. Sheldon's favorite Star Trek character is Leonard Nimoy's Spock, whom he idolizes, which means that he will always view his successor in a lesser light. In the series' 100th episode, "The Recombination Hypothesis," he even told a life-size cardboard of Quinto to “live long and suck it.”
13 THE WIL WHEATON DEFAMATION
Over many seasons of The Big Bang Theory, viewers have come to learn that Sheldon Cooper has many, many enemies. But few can come close to pop culture darling Wil Wheaton, against whom Sheldon Cooper had a vitriolic vendetta for quite a long time. In fact, during those years, Sheldon may have been the only person on the planet to hate the popular Star Trek actor.
This vitriol towards Wheaton started years ago, when a young Sheldon was denied an autograph from his then-idol Wil Wheaton during a convention. Wheaton appeared many times on the show, and was always the subject of ridicule from Sheldon – although he never once let it get to him. Instead, Wheaton reveled in Sheldon's hate, making the Big Bang Theory lead all the more furious.
12 THE WALKING DEAD SPOILER REVELATION
The Big Bang Theory was caught in a bit of controversy when it aired an episode that divulged a recent spoiler regarding AMC's The Walking Dead television series. What's more, the reveal actually came during an episode that dealt with a Sheldon revealing Harry Potter spoilers to Leonard, something that resulted in a big fight between the two.
The Season 6 episode “The Spoiler Alert Segmentation” aired a few months after the cable-bound The Walking Dead aired a shocking episode that featured the death of Rick Grimes' wife Lori. Sheldon revealed the spoiler to Leonard as a last minute joke, but some members of The Big Bang Theory's audiences hadn't caught up with the zombie series yet, meaning that a large chunk of audience members had been spoiled by Sheldon Cooper.
11 THE INDIANA JONES PREVENTION
When Sheldon Cooper and his friends discovered that a theater was showing a new cut of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark that featured a few seconds of new footage for one night only, they didn't hesitate to camp out in advance to ensure they would get in. However, the line was longer than they expected, and they didn't end up being able to get into the special screening.
Furious at this turn of events, and at the fact that his nemesis Will Wheaton was able to get into the screening, Sheldon decided to sneak into the theater and, rather than stealth-watch the movie, he stole the film from the projector's booth. Followed by an angry mob of Indiana Jones fans, Sheldon Cooper thus prevented many devoted fans from seeing an extended cut of their favorite film.
10 THE BOARD GAME TRICKERY
Everyone who is familiar with Sheldon Cooper knows that he is all about rules. He follows social conventions to a tee (even though he doesn't particularly understand them), he writes up roommate agreements and evacuation protocols; and that's just scratching the surface. Therefore, you'd think that he would be a fair player when it comes to playing board games and card games with his friends.
Apparently, this is not the case. When it comes to games, Sheldon apparently throws the rule book out the window and makes up his own. In fact, Sheldon has been known to invent his own cards, that he then uses when playing against his friends. What's worse, his friends actually have to sort of accept that his card is valid, because if there is one thing Sheldon knows how to do, it's to get his way, friendships and relationships be damned.
9 THE STAN LEE INVASION
As a fan of comic books, Sheldon Cooper knows the importance of Stan Lee to the medium. He knows him to be a legend, and would love nothing more than to meet him. The character got just that chance when Lee was at Sheldon's local comic store to sign autographs in the Season 3 episode "The Excelsior Acquisition." However, Sheldon was regretfully unable to attend and, thanks to Penny, Sheldon was taken to the Marvel comics creator's private home instead.
There, Sheldon had a chance to meet his hero – but Stan Lee obviously didn't feel like being disturbed in his private residence. Unable to detect Lee's sarcastic remarks, Sheldon walked into his home. It's not enough that Sheldon bothered one of the most beloved comic book creators in the world, he also managed to get a restraining order out of it.
8 THE AQUAMAN DERISION
Before the Justice League movie would revamp Aquaman as a cool and gritty character, almost all of pop culture agreed that Aquaman was a lame character. Ever since his days on the Super Friends cartoon, no one seemed to take him seriously – a trend that The Big Bang Theory contributed to. However, true comic book fans, the kind the cast of this series are purported to be, should know that Aquaman is a great character.
While Sheldon rarely agrees with his friends, their opinion of Aquaman is one of the rare times where they are all on the same wavelength. The characters have all voiced ridicule towards the character of Aquaman, and readers of his comics, like Sheldon, should know that he is nowhere near the lame “talks to fish” character he is popularly known as.
7 THE PRICELESS COLLECTIBLE DESTRUCTION
Sheldon Cooper is not only a bad toy collector, he's also not that great of a friend. In the Season 5 episode “The Transporter Malfunction,” when his neighbor Penny gave Sheldon and his roommate Leonard the same vintage Star Trek collectible as a thank you gift, Sheldon is torn with the age-old dilemma of keeping the toy transporter mint in box, or to unbox it and play with it.
After a talk with a Leonard Nemoy-voiced Spock doll, Sheldon eventually takes the transporter out of its packaging and starts playing with it. However, it isn't long before he breaks his toy. Then, he puts his broken toy back in the box and switches it with his roommate's still intact, still unboxed transporter. His ruse would later come to light, but it doesn't change the fact that Sheldon can't be trusted with priceless collectibles... or friendships.
6 THE “FLASH OF TWO WORLDS” WAGER
In the Season 3 episode “The Jiminy Conjecture,” Sheldon and Howard disagreed on the type of species of a singing cricket. To settle their dispute, the two comic book fans decided to wager his classic “Flash of Two Worlds” comic book, The Flash #123. While this was a good old-fashioned bet, a real comic book fan would never willingly bet such a priceless comic book, no matter how certain he or she would be of the outcome.
The Flash #123 is too important, and too big a milestone to casually bet off. Sheldon is aware of that fact, seeing as how he keeps the actual comic in a safety deposit box. What's worse is that it turned out that Sheldon was actually wrong, and that he lost his precious comic book to Howard. It was a big loss for Sheldon, who knows the monetary and symbolic value of the comic.
5 THE NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON ANIMOSITY
Sheldon Cooper isn't only a devoted geek with a passion for comic books and Star Trek, he is also an accomplished scientist. The Big Bang Theory is as much a science show as it can be a pop culture one, and nowhere is this more apparent than with its special cameos that have included Stephen Hawking, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. But Sheldon didn't greet Tyson with a whole bunch of respect.
While everyone from scientists to the casual science enthusiast seems to be a fan of the famed astrophysicist and author, Sheldon Cooper actually found the time to scold Tyson for his role in helping Pluto get demoted from the rank of planet. Even when Tyson regretfully apologized, Sheldon wasn't even gracious enough to accept – and Neil deGrasse Tyson should never have to apologize. To anyone.
4 THE HAWKEYE DISAPPOINTMENT
As much as Sheldon is a fan of Marvel's comic book and movies, apparently he isn't too fond of Hawkeye outside of his presence on the Avengers roster. During a dinner conversation in the Season 7 episode “The Friendship Turbulence,” Sheldon likens his friend Howard's failed career to the Marvel archer. In one fell swoop, he insults both his friend, and fans of the Marvel character.
According to Sheldon, Hawkeye has no value as a solo superhero. He believes that no citizen would require the help of Hawkeye, and only Hawkeye, when they could instead be saved by Iron Man or Spider-Man, for example. A real Marvel fan would recognize Hawkeye's importance, whether in the comic book or the Avengers movies. There is simply no reason for Sheldon to believe that Hawkeye is useless.
3 THE SKYWALKER RANCH BANISHMENT
In the Season 8 episode “The Skywalker Incursion,” Sheldon and Leonard decided to try and visit George Lucas' famed Skywalker Ranch while they were out to give a lecture nearby. Thanks to happenstance, they were able to make it past the main gate, but quickly found themselves face-to-face with a security guard. When he realized that he wouldn't be able to get in, Sheldon made a run for it.
However, he didn't get very far. Security was quick to taser him, and next he and Leonard were in a holding room. While the guards eventually let them off with a warning, they were effectively banned from ever returning. Not only did Sheldon's attempted break-in prevent him from ever stepping foot inside Skywalker Ranch, he also got his best friend the same fate.
2 THE PRIZED COLLECTIBLE BRIBERY
Sheldon Cooper may have close friends in his life that cater to his needs and demands, but he isn't exactly one to reciprocate such feelings. In fact, he is often depicted as a terrible friend – and nowhere was this clearer than in the Season 3 episode “The Psychic Vortex,” where Raj convinced Sheldon to join him on a double date. However, Sheldon isn't one for dates.
In order to convince him, Raj offered to give Sheldon a prized possession: a pair of toy Hulk hands signed by Stan Lee, a collectible that Sheldon says he has “admired for years.” Sheldon accepted the bribe, joining Raj on his date. Instead of simply being a good friend and agreeing to go on the date out of goodness, Sheldon depraved his friend of an irreplaceable collectible.
1 THE MOVIE PREMIERE DEPRIVATION
As a tied and true geek, Sheldon Cooper is a big fan of both Star Trek and Star Wars. Like most fans, he has complicated feelings for the respective series' low points, but he is always excited about the prospect of a new entry in the franchise, whether that is a television series, a video game or a brand new movie. But, as big a fan as he is, he also managed to miss some pretty big milestones.
While he considers himself one of the biggest fans of both properties, Sheldon somehow managed to miss the cinematic rebirths of both of his favorite sci-fi franchises. Yes, Sheldon missed the cinematic run of J.J. Abrams Star Trek ('09) movie as well as the director's new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. While fans worth their salts wouldn't miss these premieres for anything, Sheldon somehow missed both.