If anyone ever thought that sitcoms are an outdated genre that is slowly headed towards an imminent death – they’re wrong. On the contrary, this decade has brought to the small screens some of the biggest names in recent sitcom history, the likes of How I Met Your Mother and the subject of our article, The Big Bang Theory.
Having smashed records by receiving a historical three-season renewal in 2014, this Chuck Lorre production has been drawing in viewers for nine seasons with its geeky tone and quirky characters. With so much material to work with, can we really determine The Ultimate 5 Funniest Big Bang Theory Episodes? We like to think we can.
#1 The Dumpling Paradox
Season 1, Episode 7
In this episode, Penny’s friend Christy travels all the way from Nebraska and pays Penny a visit. Since you definitely can’t have Penny without the rest of the cast of Big Bang Theory, she ends up hanging out with them too. Surprisingly, she and Howard quickly start showing interest in each other and it doesn’t take them too long before they actually become an item. This obviously doesn’t please Sheldon, who realizes that he has trouble functioning with a missing fourth member of his group of friends.
This draws in plenty of problems, including Sheldon’s incapacity to properly share Chinese food ratios and his frustration at the fact that he can’t play Halo without a fourth member. Penny volunteers to replace Howard and she turns out to be quite naturally skilled, something that leaves Sheldon believing that she’s cheating. When the gang turns to Penny once more and asks her to join them on Halo Night, all hope seems lost when she turns it down because of dancing. However, Halo Night is ultimately saved when Christy imminently breaks up with Howard after a big argument with his mother.
The Dumpling Paradox is definitely one of the better Big Bang Theory episodes, if only for the fact that it provides a fairly relatable feeling to anyone who’s ever been part of a very close group of friends. Sometimes, the mere lack of presence of one of our friends can completely throw off the balance of the gang.
#2 The Proton Transmogrification
Season 7, Episode 22
Sometimes even sitcoms render episodes with a profound meaning that can give us something worthwhile to ponder over. Big Bang Theory season 7 episode The Proton Transmogrification tackles down, albeit in the typical tone you expect when you watch The Big Bang Theory, the issue of death. Most episodes that feature Dr. Proton tend to excel, and even though there aren’t really that many episodes to begin with, this one is easily one of the most memorable.
The episode gives us an insight into our favorite characters’ reactions when faced with the prospect of death. For the most part, Sheldon faces the passing away of his childhood mentor with stubborn denial, even going as far as to claim that mourning is a time-wasting activity. But we know better – the death is all the more tragic as it happens right on the day the boys are meant to have their Star Wars Day celebrations.
In this episode, we learn that Penny has never known the pain of losing someone close to her and that Leonard is pondering the inevitability of his own mortality, admitting to being filled with many regrets. It’s more than just light comedy. It’s an ingenious mix of humor and a delicate complex that proves to us, once more, that these characters are three-dimensional and multi-layered.
#3 The Troll Manifestation
Season 8, Episode 14
Meta episodes have become increasingly popular these days and are understandably appreciated by fans since, most of the time, they mean that the writers have paid some attention to reviews and viewer opinions. The main issue that many people have with The Big Bang Theory is the fact that it tends to get a little bit out of hand with relationship drama, sometimes losing focus of the “geekiness” aspect that gave the show its identity.
In this episode, we return to their roots by having the girls focus on issues of their own while Sheldon and Leonard combine their efforts to get a scientific paper published. Sheldon is pretty difficult to deal with, so it’s always nice to see him collaborate with his friends for a change. The spice of this episode, however, is represented by the Internet troll that causes trouble for the two by harshly bashing their publication. That’s a real form of meta-humor if I ever saw one.
Meanwhile, the girls’ side of the story brings into the picture another element in contemporary fanbases: fan-fiction. In this case, it’s a hilarious fan-fiction written by Amy which involves herself and Sheldon. To end the episode on a high note, we also get a juicy reenactment of this literary piece.
#4 The Table Polarization
Season 7, Episode 16
A recurring theme in The Big Bang Theory is Sheldon’s hilarious incapacity to properly adapt to any form of change. In this episode, Leonard decides he wants to put an end to the gatherings around the coffee table by getting the gang an actual dining table. Naturally, this frustrates Sheldon to the point where he deems it as a serious crisis that must be terminated.
This episode made for a fantastic occasion to bring the cast together and exhibit all the various changes the characters have gone through. More relevantly, it was only weeks prior to the episode where Amy and Sheldon shared their first kiss and it was about time we saw what effects this had on them. Even though some people choose to complain about the relationship drama, this episode truly made effective use of it and excellently integrated this element into the story.
#5 The Love Spell Potential
Season 6, Episode 23
Essentially the premise of The Big Bang Theory in a nutshell, this episode blends the previously mentioned relationship drama with the (also previously mentioned) “geeky tone.” When the girls’ intended trip to Las Vegas is canceled, they decide to trade a night of gambling for a game of Dungeons & Dragons with the boys.
This way, all three main couples are brought together in one place. Through board games, dice rolling, and fantastic dungeon exploration, Amy finally manages to confront Sheldon about the lack of intimacy in their relationship. It’s a big step forward for the two of them, well paired with the developing romance between Raj and Lucy.
I know this is an unfair thing to ask, but what are your personal Ultimate 5 Funniest Big Bang Theory Episodes? There are definitely many aspects to consider, but think of it this way: when you consider the essence and premise of The Big Bang Theory, what’s the first episode that comes to mind?