Sheldon, Penny, Leonard and Bernadette stand in the laundry room going through a pile of clothing.

My Top Ten Episodes of The Big Bang Theory

16th May 2021:
It’s almost 2 years since the final episode of
The Big Bang Theory aired, so I thought now would be a good time to re-share an old post!

When I first wrote this post on the 23rd May 2019, the final ever episodes of The Big Bang Theory were airing in the US. While we wouldn’t see it in the UK until a few days later, seeing the casts’ BTS photos on Instagram got me feeling emotional. I mentioned a few posts ago that TBBT is one of my go to shows when I’m not feeling great, and to see it end was pretty difficult. So, in the spirit of reminiscing on one of my favourite shows, I put together my list of The Big Bang Theory episodes that made me laugh the most over the years.

Now, if you’ve not seen the show before, or you’re currently in the middle of watching it, I’ll drop a warning up front that there may be a spoiler or two! I’ve done my best to keep them to a minimum!

S3E8: The Adhesive Duck Deficiency

Sheldon and Penny sit in a hospital waiting room. Sheldon is filling out a form while Penny clutches her dislocated shoulder.
Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Sheldon is forced to drive Penny to the hospital after she falls in the shower and dislocates her shoulder, but he can’t drive and he’s not the most comforting of friends for her to be stuck with. Meanwhile Leonard, Howard and Raj go on a camping trip and end up getting stoned after eating a very special batch of cookies. Of course, hilarity ensues. This is one of my favourites because it really shows off Sheldon and Penny’s friendship that develops further over the series, and it’s also got a highly amusing subplot involving the rest of the cast.

S2E11: The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis

Howard, Sheldon and Raj are in a health and beauty type store. Howard is holding a gift basket.
Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

The main plot of this episode revolves around Leonard’s disappointment at Penny dating a hot new physicist at the university, but what makes this episode one of my favourites is the subplot involving Sheldon. The episode is set at Christmas and when Penny gives him a gift he struggles to find a suitable gift to give her in return. Sheldon being Sheldon, he prepares for every eventuality, but the sweetest and funniest scene comes at the end of the episode when he actually discovers what the gift is. While the episode is overly festive themed, it still has to be one of my favourite Christmas TV episodes there is!

S9E11: The Opening Night Excitation

Penny and Bernadette stand in Penny's kitchen talking to Sheldon.
Photo: Michael Yarish/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

For all Shamy fans this episode is definitely a must-see. The guys prepare to catch the new Star Wars movie, aside from Sheldon, who decides to spend the evening with Amy for her birthday. I don’t want to give too much away for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but what I will say is that this episode marks a huge turning point for their relationship, and if you’ve followed the show from the start, you’ll know how much of a big deal it is.

S2E15: The Maternal Capacitance

Raj, Howard, Leonard, and Sheldon are sat in the university cafeteria having lunch. They are joined by Leonard's mother, Beverley, who sits between Leonard and Sheldon.

This episodes marks the first appearance of Leonard’s psychiatrist mother, Beverley, played by Christine Baranski. While Sheldon adores her, the same can’t be said for everyone else – especially Leonard and Penny, who end up bonding over a hefty amount of wine and tequila. Leonard’s mother is one of my favourite characters, purely for her witty comments and hilarious analyses of the rest of the group. My personal favourite line being “[To Leonard about Penny] If you want to have intercourse with that woman, I suggest you find out what cologne her father wears.”

S7E3: The Scavenger Vortex

Sheldon, Penny, Leonard and Bernadette are in the laundry room of their building investigating a pile of clothes on the table for clues to their scavenger hunt.
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This is one of my favourites because it really shows off the dynamic between the entire cast. Raj plans a scavenger hunt for the gang, and instead of the usual couples’ pairings, we get to see something a little different. While we get to see some classic Penny and Sheldon moments, we also see Leonard discover Bernadette’s extremely competitive side, and Howard and Amy bonding over their mutual love for Neil Diamond.

S11E24: The Bow Tie Asymmetry

Amy and Sheldon are stood at the alter on their wedding day. Mark Hamill is performing the ceremony while Penny is maid of honour and Leonard is best man.

This definitely goes down as one of my favourite sitcom weddings. I think I speak for all Shamy fans when I say this was the episode we were all waiting for since Amy first appeared at the end of Season 3. In addition to the main event, there’s a whole array of fab guest stars, including Teller, Kathy Bates and Mark Hamill.

S5E13: The Recombination Hypothesis

Leonard and Penny sit opposite each other in a restaurant.

Sitcoms love to come out with something special for their 100th episode, and The Big Bang Theory did not disappoint. Leonard decides to ask Penny out on a date for the first time since their breakup 2 years earlier in the hope of getting back together, but of course, things are never quite that easy. It has a great will they-won’t they story line for two much loved characters and there’s plenty of laughs along the way.

S3E15: The Large Hadron Collision

Sheldon and Leonard are in the car together. Leonard is driving.

This definitely has to be one of the best episodes when it comes to Sheldon stopping at nothing to get what he wants. Leonard is offered the chance to go to Switzerland to see the Large Hadron Collider, and decides to take Penny with him for Valentine’s Day. This doesn’t set well with Sheldon, who is determined to be the one that goes with him instead. It’s a classic example of Sheldon interfering with Leonard and Penny’s relationship to get his own way, with highly amusing consequences.

S3E11: The Maternal Congruence

It's Christmas in Leonard and Sheldon's apartment. Raj, Howard, Sheldon and Leonard are all eating, and Leonard's mother, Beverley is sat between him and Sheldon.
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Christine Baranski never disappoints when she guest stars as Leonard’s mother, but this is my absolute favourite episode that features her. Leonard is less than pleased when his mother visits for Christmas, and Penny is shocked to learn that Leonard still hasn’t told his mother about their relationship. While the whole episode itself is hilarious, nothing will beat the scene where Penny and Beverley get drunk and decide to confront Leonard about the situation.

S1E11: The Pancake Batter Anomaly

A sick Sheldon lies in bed while a reluctant Penny rubs vapour rib on his chest.

This is another episode that showcases the whole group dynamic. Sheldon comes down with the flu and the guys stop at nothing to avoid him, leaving Penny to take care of him. Hilarity ensues from the moment Sheldon starts freaking out that he’s getting sick, and continues right up until the very last scene. I think a lot of us have all been sick Sheldon at some point or another too, which makes him incredibly relatable.

Update: We managed to watch the final episodes online the day after they aired in the US. I think from what I’ve read online, there were a few mixed reviews, but in my opinion, I loved it. There were plenty of laughs, and it was a great way to end the series. I’m genuinely sad to see The Big Bang Theory go. It’s definitely one of the best sitcoms I’ve watched over the years and it has cheered me up on countless occasions. If you haven’t seen it, crack on and start – you won’t be sorry!

The Big Bang Theory Seasons 1 to 12 are available to watch on Netflix, and reruns are regularly aired on E4 in the UK. Images courtesy of IMDB.

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