The Big Bang Theory began as a cult hit series that focused on the nerd subculture, lovingly paying tribute and parodying it in equal measure. Somehow, almost overnight, the series skyrocketed to become one of the most-watched series on television. With nearly 300 episodes under its belt before the series wraps, The Big Bang Theory has had some truly timeless classic episodes, but there have been some real stinkers mixed in too.
“The Romance Resonance”
The Big Bang Theory is almost always at its best when it focuses on the relationships between its core group. When it adds an extra emotional punch that nobody sees coming, it’s even better. Episode Six of the series’ seventh season, entitled “The Romance Resonance,” does all of that and more. The main plot of the episode consists of Howard’s plans for a romantic evening and celebration of the anniversary of his first date with his wife, Bernadette.
When a chemical accident at Bernadette’s work results in her being forced into isolation; the entire night seems like it’s going to be a bust, until Howard and the gang show up and serenade her with a truly touching song. While most of the song consists of Howard detailing how he wouldn’t be complete without Bernadette, the general emotional thrust of the song finds the entire gang observing that they “couldn’t have imagined how good our lives would get from the moment that we met you, Bernadette.”
“The Work Song Nanocluster”
One of the hidden gems of the entire series has unarguably been the relationship between scientific genius Dr. Sheldon Cooper and well-meaning airhead Penny. While the series sadly lost track of their friendship in later seasons, earlier seasons featured many episodes that detailed their unlikely adventures and the advancement of their friendship. One of the best such episodes was the Season Two entry “The Work Song Nanocluster.”
After Penny starts an online business selling hair clips called Penny Blossoms, Sheldon gets roped into helping her mass produce orders for her online store. An absolutely hilarious adventure featuring sea shanties, far too much caffeine, and Sheldon in a Flash costume follows, securing the episode a spot on the list of the best of the best.
“The Scavenger Vortex”
Adventures that feature the entire gang are usually a guaranteed hit in the series’ catalogue. But these adventures are even better when they find characters pairing off into unconventional combinations. “The Scavenger Vortex,” the third episode of the series’ seventh season; finds the friendship group tasked with a scavenger hunt put together by resident creative party thrower, Raj.
During the scavenger hunt, the group breaks off into three pairs; Leonard is paired with the fiercely competitive Bernadette and Sheldon and Penny get to resume some of their always-hilarious banter. Howard and Amy find unlikely common ground as they bond over their mutual love of the music of Neil Diamond. The twist at the end of the episode only makes everything all the more hilarious. Ensuring that future viewings will be even more enjoyable.
“The Convention Conundrum”
Other episodes of The Big Bang Theory celebrate what it means to be a nerd, and praise the lives of nerds in all their many forms. One of the most notable examples of these celebratory episodes is the seventh season episode “The Convention Conundrum”. Dissatisfied with the schedule and offerings of that year’s San Diego Comic Con; Sheldon sets out to form his own comic fan convention. Of course, nothing goes as planned.
The result is one of the most absurd adventures the series has ever chronicled. Sheldon quickly hits it off with Darth Vader himself, James Earl Jones, and the duo spend the day together. They’re seen pranking Carrie Fisher, eating ice cream, riding a Ferris wheel, relaxing in a steam sauna, and singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” at karaoke. It’s something straight out of every nerd’s dream – but it was so very, very real.
“The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis”
Sheldon Cooper has never been gifted at reading social cues or following social protocols. It’s what makes the second season Christmas episode “The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis” so immediately charming from the very beginning, as he frets over what sort of gift to get for his frenemy and neighbor, Penny. Leonard and Sheldon’s related debates about the Christmas holiday and Saturnalia also provide the episode with some of the series’ strongest nerd credential material.
It’s the episode’s final act that seals its status as among the best of the best. Penny, then a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory, surprises Sheldon with a one-of-a-kind gift: a napkin autographed by Leonard Nimoy. Sheldon, in turn, is more thrilled about the prospect of possessing Nimoy’s DNA than anything else. What follows is the moment that makes the episode so absolutely great; in his sheer delight, Sheldon becomes like a child, throwing countless gift baskets at Penny and – to her utter shock and glee – embracing her in a hug.
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