Our recent article The Big Bang Theory: How a Comedy Show Explained 7 Big Scientific Problems delved into the science behind the hit TV show, highlighting the ways in which the show’s creators accurately portrayed various scientific concepts and principles. But, as any avid viewer knows, the show wasn’t just about science – it was also filled with Easter eggs, references, and nods to pop culture. In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the show to uncover 10 Easter eggs that you may have missed while watching. From subtle nods to classic films and TV shows, to references to famous songs and books, these Easter eggs add an extra layer of enjoyment to the already hilarious show. So, whether you’re a casual viewer or a die-hard fan, read on to discover the hidden gems that The Big Bang Theory has to offer.
1. The “Soft Kitty” Song
Many fans of The Big Bang Theory will recognize the “Soft Kitty” song, which is featured in several episodes and even has its own merchandise. But did you know that the song was actually written in the 1930s by a Massachusetts schoolteacher named Edith Newlin? The song was later popularized by a children’s book and animated series in the 1970s. In The Big Bang Theory, the song is used as a lullaby for Sheldon, who has it as his ringtone and even gets a tattoo of the kitty on his arm. But the origins of the song and the reason for Sheldon’s attachment to it are never fully explained in the show.
The image of the cute, fluffy cat can be seen on Sheldon’s shirt throughout the series. This cat is from a children’s song called “Soft Kitty” and is a reference to Sheldon’s love for the song. The song is played in the background in one of the episodes when Sheldon is feeling ill. This is a subtle nod to Sheldon’s childlike nature and love for cute and fluffy things. The Soft Kitty song is a traditional nursery rhyme and Sheldon’s love for it is a recurring theme throughout the series. It can be seen as a way for the writers to showcase Sheldon’s softer side, and his love for things that are innocent and pure.
Superman is one of the most iconic and recognizable superheroes of all time, and it’s no surprise that The Big Bang Theory paid homage to the Man of Steel in several episodes. In fact, the show’s creators, Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, are both huge Superman fans, and they included several references to the character throughout the series.
One of the most prominent examples of Superman in The Big Bang Theory is in the episode “The Justice League Recombination,” where the gang dresses up as their favorite Justice League characters for a New Year’s Eve costume party. Leonard dresses up as Superman, complete with a blue suit, red cape, and the iconic “S” shield on his chest. He even goes as far as to wear a pair of red underwear over his pants, just like Superman does in the comics. The episode also features several references to Superman’s origin story, with Leonard mentioning that he was “born on the planet Krypton” and that he has “super strength, super speed, and super breath.”
Another example of Superman in The Big Bang Theory is in the episode “The Kryptonite Factor,” where Leonard and Sheldon are discussing the various weaknesses of Superman. Sheldon mentions that Superman is vulnerable to kryptonite, a fictional element from Superman’s home planet of Krypton that weakens him when he comes into contact with it. Leonard then reveals that he has a piece of kryptonite in his lab, which he had acquired from a geologist friend. The episode also features a reference to Superman’s secret identity, Clark Kent, with Sheldon mentioning that he “would never suspect mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent of being Superman.”
In “The Batman Reconcilation”, Howard dressed up as Batman and Sheldon as Superman, they also mentioned Superman’s weakness, kryptonite, and Superman’s arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor.
Superman’s presence in The Big Bang Theory serves not only as a nod to the character’s enduring popularity but also as a way for the show’s creators to inject some comic book-inspired humor into the series. The references to Superman’s abilities, weaknesses, and iconic costume serve as a reminder of the character’s enduring legacy and the impact he has had on pop culture.
3. Star Trek
Science fiction and geek culture are a big part of The Big Bang Theory, and nowhere is this more evident than in the numerous references to the legendary series “Star Trek”. From the characters’ use of Star Trek catchphrases to their love for the show, it’s clear that the writers wanted to pay homage to the genre and to the characters’ love for it. In one episode, the gang even gets to meet actor Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and it’s clear that they are all huge fans. What’s more, the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre, is also a huge Star Trek fan and has even written for the series in the past.
In the episode “The Gothowitz Deviation,” Sheldon becomes obsessed with the idea of creating a “smart” building. He even goes so far as to name it “The Sheldon Cooper Complex.” This is a nod to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Quality of Life,” in which the crew of the USS Enterprise discovers a “smart” building called the “Exocomplex.”
“The Quality of Life” is the 18th episode of the sixth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and originally aired in 1993. The episode was written by Ronald D. Moore, who would later go on to become a writer and producer on the acclaimed series Battlestar Galactica, also referenced in multiple Big Bang episodes. The episode explores the ethics of artificial intelligence and the concept of a machine having a consciousness.
4. Battlestar Galactica
The Big Bang Theory is known for its numerous references and nods to other popular shows and movies, and one show that is referenced multiple times is Battlestar Galactica.
One example of a reference to Battlestar Galactica can be found in the season 3 episode “The Jiminy Conjecture,” in which Sheldon and Howard argue over who would win in a fight between a Cylon and a Dalek (two fictional alien races from different science fiction franchises). This reference not only showcases the characters’ nerdy interests but also adds a touch of humor to the scene.
Another example of a reference to Battlestar Galactica can be found in the season 4 episode “The Prestidigitation Approximation,” in which Howard is shown to be dressed in a Colonial Warrior uniform, a nod to the main characters in Battlestar Galactica. This reference not only adds a layer of humor to the scene but also showcases Howard’s love for the show.
A more subtle reference to Battlestar Galactica can be found in the season 5 episode “The Russian Rocket Reaction”, where the characters are seen playing a game of Risk and one of the territories is named “New Caprica,” a nod to the planet where the main characters of Battlestar Galactica take refuge for a period of time in the show.
The references to Battlestar Galactica in The Big Bang Theory not only adds an extra layer of humor and fun for fans of the show who spot the references but also showcases the characters’ shared love for science fiction and the show’s attention to detail.
Additionally, Battlestar Galactica’s creator, Ron Moore, had a cameo in the final season episode “The Gates Optimization” where he is seen in a comic book store discussing the finale of the show with Howard and Raj. This further solidifies the connection between the two shows and adds a touch of meta-humor for fans.
5. Hidden mathematical equations
Throughout the series, the creators have hidden mathematical equations in various episodes, often in the background or as part of the set design. These equations range from simple algebraic expressions to complex geometric theorems, and they serve as a nod to the show’s love of all things geeky.
One example of a hidden mathematical equation can be found in the season 3 episode “The Einstein Approximation,” in which Sheldon works on a difficult physics problem involving a partial differential equation. In the background, viewers can see Sheldon’s whiteboard covered in scribbles and equations, including the famous Schrödinger equation, which describes the behavior of quantum mechanical systems.
Another example can be found in the season 5 episode “The Russian Rocket Reaction,” in which Howard is working on a project to design a new propulsion system for a Russian rocket. In the background, viewers can see a blackboard filled with equations and diagrams, including the Navier-Stokes equations, which describe the motion of fluids.
In the season 8 episode “The Locomotion Interruption” Howard and Bernadette’s living room wall is covered with equations and calculations for the train he is working on. The equation on the wall is Euler’s equation which is used in fluid dynamics and aerodynamics.
These hidden equations serve as a nod to the show’s love of science and mathematics and adds an extra layer of humor and enjoyment for viewers with a background in those fields. But even for those who may not understand the equations themselves, they add a sense of authenticity to the show’s portrayal of the characters as scientists and engineers.
6. The Evolution of the Apartment
The apartment shared by Leonard and Sheldon underwent several changes throughout the series, and these changes were not always explained on the show. For example, in the early seasons, the apartment had a spiral staircase leading to the roof, but in later seasons, the staircase was replaced by a regular set of stairs. Additionally, the apartment number changed from 4A to 5A.
Another example of the evolution of the apartment can be seen in Howard’s apartment. In earlier seasons, Howard’s apartment is shown to be cluttered and messy, reflecting Howard’s irresponsible and carefree nature. But in later seasons, Howard’s apartment becomes more clean and organized, reflecting his growth as a person and his maturing after getting married and becoming a father.
The evolution of the apartments in the show not only reflects the characters’ growth but also adds an extra layer of realism and depth to the show, making it more relatable to the viewers. It also serves as a subtle reminder of how much time has passed for the characters, and how much they have changed over the course of the series.
7. Harry Potter
The Harry Potter Easter egg in The Big Bang Theory is one that may have flown under the radar for many viewers, but it is a subtle nod to the beloved series that is sure to delight fans. The reference appears in the episode “The Herb Garden Germination,” in which Howard Wolowitz is tasked with creating a wizard-themed backyard for his new neighbor, who is a huge fan of Harry Potter.
As Howard sets to work creating the backyard, he can be seen wearing a robe and holding a wand, a clear nod to the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Additionally, when Howard unveils the finished backyard to his neighbor, we can see that he has created a replica of Hagrid’s hut, complete with a sign that reads “Hagrid’s Hut.” This is a clever nod to the character of Hagrid from the Harry Potter series, who is known for his love of magical creatures and for being the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.
But Howard’s Harry Potter references don’t stop there. In the episode “The Wiggly Finger Catalyst,” Howard is seen wearing a T-shirt that bears the logo of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And in “The Proton Resurgence,” Howard can be seen wearing a shirt that features a picture of the Golden Snitch, a small, golden ball that is used in the wizarding game of Quidditch.
This Easter egg is not only a clever nod to the Harry Potter series, but it also showcases Howard’s love for the franchise. As fans of the series know, Harry Potter has a huge following and its popularity continues to endure even after all these years. This Easter egg is a small but delightful nod to the series that fans are sure to appreciate.
It’s worth mentioning that Harry Potter series creator J.K. Rowling has been vocal about her appreciation for the show and has even tweeted about it. The show creators have also been vocal about their love for the series and how it influenced the show. They even had a guest appearance of actor John Larroquette who played the role of Professor Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
In conclusion, The Big Bang Theory was not just a comedy show, but also a treasure trove of Easter eggs and references to popular culture. From hidden mathematical equations to subtle nods to beloved films, shows, and books, the show’s creators kept audiences on their toes with their clever Easter eggs. The show’s attention to detail and clever nods to science and pop culture made it a beloved classic among fans.
It’s worth noting that this article is a follow-up to my previous article “The Big Bang Theory: How a Comedy Show Explained 7 Big Scientific Problems” which delves into the scientific accuracy of the show. It’s clear that not only was the show able to make science accessible and entertaining, but it also paid attention to the little details that made it stand out from other comedy shows.
As fans of The Big Bang Theory, we can look forward to many more Easter eggs and hidden references to be discovered in the show. Keep an eye out for more exciting trivia and Easter eggs from The Big Bang Theory in the future. And if you haven’t read The Big Bang Theory: How a Comedy Show Explained 7 Big Scientific Problems be sure to check it out!