The best episode from each season of The Big Bang Theory

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The Big Bang Theory is a great show but season four was its best season. Photo illustration by Marivn Espinoza/ el Don

Young Sheldon is one of my favorite shows of all time, and its series finale airs on May 16. I want to show some love to the show it is spinning off of. “The Big Bang Theory”, another of my favorite shows, has brought me so much joy and laughter for many years. I have been rewatching most of TBBT to prepare for the “Young Sheldon” series finale.

The series is available to watch on Max.

The Loobenfeld Decay (Season 1, Episode 10)

Lying to get out of an event you don’t want to attend is something people do often, but never the way Sheldon does it. It’s impressive how much effort he puts into a fake cousin profile to get Leonard out of a “Rent” production featuring Penny. Hearing how she sings, Dr. Sheldon Cooper is saving his friend’s eardrums.

I relate to Sheldon whenever he overthinks about small mistakes in his lie. He goes as far as hiring a co-worker to play his fake drug-addicted cousin. At this point, I’d just go and hear Penny sing, then buy some Aspirin. Nonetheless, It feels nice whenever Sheldon goes through much trouble to save Leonard’s friendship with Penny.

The Panty Pinata Polarization (Season 2, Episode 7)

Sheldon may be the most popular character in the series, but sometimes it’s a thrill to see him get put in his place. He is a major control freak who insists he is right even when he’s not. In this episode, the CalTech theoretical physicist heavily enforces petty rules like who could sit in his spot on the couch and who could touch his food. When Penny finally stands up to him, it’s incredibly satisfying. 

Penny rolls up her sleeves and fights for her right to watch Sheldon’s TV and eat food with the guys for free. She is even able to stop Sheldon from hogging all the washing machines on laundry night. Sheldon may be more brainy than her, but she has a different type of intelligence, one that he can’t handle.

The most memorable line occurs when Penny tells Sheldon: “Your Ken can kiss my Barbie.” Of course, the saying has a double meaning: ken also means intelligence, which makes it a perfect diss to Sheldon. 

Sheldon and Penny have the best arguments in the show and this episode is where it all starts.  

The Staircase Implementation (Season 3, Episode 22)

If I ever got a roommate, I’d make sure it isn’t someone who forces me to use the bathroom at an exact time every morning. Sheldon is a stickler for rules, but hearing him guide a curly-haired Leonard through the roommate agreement gets pretty entertaining. I too would have a clause on watching a specific show every Friday, but instead of “Firefly”, it would be “Friday Night Smackdown”

Seeing Leonard, Howard and Raj with retro hairstyles makes it hard to take them seriously, but easy to laugh at. With all the retro pop culture references, Sheldon saving Leonard’s life and the reveal of how the elevator broke, this origin episode is like “Firefly”. It’s fun to watch, but it didn’t last long.

The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification (Season 4, Episode 2)

This is my favorite episode from the series. Whenever someone asks me why this show is my favorite, I pull up this episode on my phone. This is my most rewatched episode, all because of Shelbot. I understand wanting to live longer for future scientific breakthroughs and inventions, but making a virtual presence device is the most ridiculous yet brilliant thing Sheldon has ever made.

Sheldon as a robot is one of the most entertaining plots in the series. Seeing him wheeling around slowly and telling Leonard to “Halt” never gets old. Neither does the car ride to work when Leonard turns off Sheldon’s monitor, then it turns back on and yells “Bazinga!”. It was the best “Bazinga” ever.

The Hawking Excitation (Season 5, Episode 21)

Sheldon believes he is smarter than everyone else, but Sheldon has nothing on Stephen Hawking. He is one of the best guest stars in this series with his surprising sense of humor. Hawking’s ability to make Sheldon faint by proving him wrong was sensational. Hawking only appears in the short final scene, but it was an honor to see him appear in the show.

I love Sheldon, but I also love seeing Howard take advantage of him when he is desperate to meet his hero. Seeing Sheldon in a maid outfit even for 10 seconds was enough to make me cover my mouth, laughing hard. I almost feel bad for Sheldon as he humiliates himself in this episode, but Howard deserves to feel some pleasure after all of Sheldon’s teasing.

The Parking Lot Escalation (Season 6, Episode 9)

I love how protective Sheldon gets over the specific side of a couch. A spot on his couch is all he should get though, and not a parking spot when he can’t even drive.

Sheldon is in the wrong when he keeps protecting his former parking spot from Howard. But it is amusing nonetheless. I was not expecting how this war would go: starting with Sheldon stealing Howard’s Iron Man helmet, and Howard sitting on Sheldon’s couch spot, naked. That was enough to make my stomach hurt from laughter. 

This battle for the parking space even gets Amy and Bernadette to participate, which adds more excitement to this episode. What I find thrilling is hearing the two trade verbal blows over deciding which of their loved ones deserves that parking space, especially when Bernadette revealed that she scratched Amy’s car and had it towed. It’s a shame I never saw more episodes of those two girls arguing.

The Thanksgiving Decoupling (Season 7, Episode 9)

This season had episodes that were laugh-inducing, but what made this episode the best was seeing an unexpected bond between Sheldon and Bernadette’s father, Mike. Hearing Sheldon talk about his father’s death was a bit heartbreaking, especially when George, Sheldon’s dad, is my favorite character in Young Sheldon.

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What’s more shocking is they bonded while drinking beer and Sheldon drinking alcohol is such a rarity. I never complain when he does because he had a few of his funniest moments while drunk. He does lots of things that I never expected to see from him while he was under the influence. Apologizing to someone is one thing, but then slapping Amy’s bottom?! I never knew he had that in him, and it cracked me up

The Skywalker Incursion (Season 8, Episode 19)

The best parts of this episode don’t even include Sheldon, but there is no way I can leave out his attempt to meet Star Wars creator George Lucas. He tried to claim that he was Master Yoda’s voice actor at first and it was hilarious when he later said to the security guard, “Oooh grumpy, you are.” I love how Leonard just wanted to meet Lucas at Skywalker Ranch in a polite way only for it all to be ruined by Sheldon’s impatience. But at least it ends with him being tazed, so I’m sure he learned his lesson.

The best plot of this episode was the rest of the gang playing ping-pong over the tardis from Doctor Who. Amy and Raj played without skill as none of them could hit the ball after a serve, but they still played better than I do. They gave each other immature yet humorous insults, like Raj using the b-word in his insult, which I never thought he would use. I’m not surprised that Amy won just as Bernadette mentioned bringing the tardis into her home. What she says is true, if that doesn’t get him into her bedroom, nothing will.

The Earworm Reverberation (Season 9, Episode 10)

Before I knew Shazam existed, I hated it whenever a song I like gets stuck in my head and I don’t even know the name or the lyrics. This is why this episode with Sheldon going insane over an earworm lives rent-free in my mind. Hearing him playing piano and the tuba to try and remember the song never gets old. He may have an eidetic memory, but I can never blame him for going crazy from sticky music

I praise the writing in this episode for turning a simple earworm situation into a way for Sheldon to get back together with Amy. The shot of the two geniuses kissing with the earworm song, “Darlin’” by The Beach Boys, playing in the background is amazing. I’m also glad this entry introduced me to that catchy song.

The Long Distance Dissonance (Season 10, Episode 24)

All the best episodes for the last three seasons are the final episodes. The last three seasons are not the best. They don’t have many memorable moments, except for a wedding, a Nobel prize ceremony, and Sheldon’s proposal to Amy. 

I couldn’t believe that all it took for Sheldon to realize he loved Amy was a kiss from his co-worker. Despite that moment, I jumped from my chair and covered my mouth from shock when he finally proposed to Amy. She did not give her answer till the next season, but it was a delightful ending to the season.

The Bow Tie Asymmetry (Season 11, Episode 24)

Jumping straight from the proposal, I have patiently waited through a mediocre season to see the wedding between two geniuses. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. This is the best wedding in the series compared to the other two weddings had very little to no crowd and one took place in Las Vegas, which tells you all you need to know. 

After seeing Young Sheldon, It felt so nice to see the Cooper family reunite for the wedding. The participants started to look even more promising once Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, stepped in to congratulate Sheldon on his wedding. I never got to see George Lucas in this show, but Hamill made up for it.

Hearing their beautiful vows, knowing they will be together for hopefully a long time, almost got me. Sheldon and Amy are an amazing couple because of their similarities, their ability to compromise, and the love they share. 

The Stockholm Syndrome (Season 12, Episode 24) final episode

I have seen many sitcoms and cartoons throughout my life, but the only one that could make me cry through the ending is The Big Bang Theory. I may have shown my immense love for Sheldon, but I was invested in each character from the group. 

I was worried this would be a poor ending to the show because Sheldon was selfish and self-centered, which is the worst side of him. But if there is one thing he does best other than physics and anything else, it’s speeches. His Nobel Prize acceptance speech was very touching, tear-inducing, and best of all, selfless. 

I assumed he would always consider himself the best and smartest due to his accomplishments. Hearing him thank all his friends and family, giving them credit for all his work, proved me wrong.

The last scene of this show touched my heart, seeing the gang have one last take-out dinner. As I saw this scene fade away, I thought of all the times they bonded like this throughout the series. It makes me miss their conversations about geek culture and their future. This was the perfect ending to the show, and I wish for the same result for Young Sheldon.

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