The Big Bang Theory

The Pork Chop Indeterminacy - S1-E15

Character mistake: In his conversation with Missy Sheldon makes it clear that his superior intelligence is a result of a random, mutated gene. Since Missy isn't similarly intelligent she obviously isn't carrying this mutated gene (which would be a billion to one shot anyway) so her offspring wouldn't inherit it. Sheldon would know this - his offspring would carry the mutated gene for superior intelligence, Missy's would not. Anyone knowing enough about genetics to use the term 'randomly mutated gene' understands enough to know that the mutated gene would only be expressed in a direct line from the carrier - Sheldon. Also bear in mind he has a model of the DNA molecule in his living room - it is obviously an interest.

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Suggested correction: Genes can be dormant. Which allows them to skip generations. Therefor Missy's children could actually get the "mutated" gene. This is especially true since Sheldon and Missy are twins. Also, since the episode is about who out of Leonard, Howard or Raj, Sheldon would allow to "mate" with his sister, there is the added "insurance" of getting any smart genes from any of the 3 Lothario's mentioned above.

If you are going to try to argue with a geneticist about genetics, please use the correct terms. Sheldon is not referring to a recessive gene - there is no such thing as a dormant gene - he is speaking of a randomly mutated gene. Those are the words he used. If he had inherited a homozygous recessive karotype - one recessive gene from each of his parents - then somewhere in his family tree there would similarly gifted people, in which case he would use the correct term - a recessive gene. If Missy is a heterozygotic dominant karotype possessing the recessive gene for super-genius and the dominant for ordinary intelligence then mating her with Howard, Raj or Leonard would be a waste of time as their dominant genius gene would prevent the recessive super-genius gene from being expressed in the phenotype of the resulting child. The child would be highly intelligent but not on Sheldon's standards. It doesn't matter if Sheldon does not know any of this as he refers several times to a randomly mutated gene, not a recessive one. Missy does not carry the super-genius gene. The posting is correct.

Sheldon is prone to magical thinking when necessary to preserve his obsessive need to control his environment. He may have simply ignored the flaw in his reasoning, as even the most intelligent humans do when venturing outside their ares of expertise. He may be interested in the science of genetics, but his Ph.D. in physics doesn't qualify him as an expert in that field.

The Big Bran Hypothesis - S1-E2

Character mistake: In his argument with Leonard regarding Superman's ability to fly, Sheldon states that in Superman 1, Lois Lane is two feet off the ground when Superman catches her as she falls from the helicopter. Not so. Superman catches Lois at least ten stories up. Additionally, both Penny and Sheldon say Superman "swoops down" to save Lois. Penny can be forgiven, but Sheldon would know better: Superman flies UP from ground level to catch Lois. (00:02:30)


The Bad Fish Paradigm - S2-E1

Character mistake: At the very beginning of the episode Leonard says "So you see what you're eating is not technically yogurt because it doesn't have enough live active acidophilus cultures." He is implying this is a scientific fact (he's not just giving his opinion on yogurt.) But to meet the U.S. standards for yogurt, only the starter cultures Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are required, not Lactobacillus acidophilus. The presence or absence of L. acidophilus does NOT determine a food's identity as yogurt (which Leonard's line is implying). (00:00:05)


The Excelsior Acquisition - S3-E16

Character mistake: When Howard finds the stack of paychecks in Sheldon's drawer and wonders why Sheldon hasn't cashed them, Sheldon explains that he's saving them to purchase items that have yet to be invented and he doesn't trust banks. But just keeping them in his drawer doesn't do anything, because checks are voided after a set period of time and they would eventually become worthless.

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The Codpiece Topology - S2-E2

Character mistake: When Sheldon arrives at the apartment with his Nintendo 64 in the box, he tells Leonard that they can play Super Mario 64. He then proceeds to say, upon finding a memory card, that they can pick up where he left off. Super Mario 64 does not make use of the memory card for progression, all of that data was saved on the cartridge. (00:07:25)


The Nerdvana Annihilation - S1-E14

Character mistake: Being the first to play in the "time machine," Leonard says he will set the date for March 10, 1876. Howard says "Good choice. Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone and calls out for Doctor Watson." Bell's assistant, Thomas A. Watson, was an experienced electrical designer and mechanic, but he did not hold an advanced degree. It is well documented that the first words transmitted over the telephone identified him as Mister Watson.


The Junior Professor Solution - S8-E2

Character mistake: When Howard is asking Sheldon engineering questions, the first question is "How do you quantify the strength of materials?" Sheldon answers "Young's Modulus," and Howard admits that is correct. But it's not correct - Young's Modulus quantifies a material's elasticity, not strength. (00:17:10)

The Gothowitz Deviation - S3-E3

Character mistake: Sheldon refers to using the spray bottle as negative reinforcement when it is in fact positive punishment. Reinforcement involves encouraging a behaviour by either adding or removing a stimulus whereas punishment involves discouraging a behaviour by adding or removing a stimulus. Sheldon would know the difference.


The Vacation Solution - S5-E16

Character mistake: In Amy's lab, when she is complaining to Sheldon how she gave him the simplest tasks, and that they're still not done, Sheldon replies with how Einstein failed math because he wasn't challenged, and that it is the same case with him. Einstein never failed math. Sheldon of all characters should know that.

The Bad Fish Paradigm - S2-E1

Factual error: Raj and Sheldon are watching TV in Raj's apartment and we hear music playing. Sheldon asks if the woman on TV was Aishwarya Rai to which Raj says yes and then they argue about her and Madhuri Dixit. The song playing was from the Bollywood movie Kaho Na Pyar Hai, but neither of them are in the movie - the lead actress was Ameesha Patel. (00:14:50)

Aditi Gupta

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Chosen answer: The song is called "Dark as a Dungeon" and was written and first performed by singer-songwriter Merle Travis in 1946. It has been performed by a wide array of artists, including Tennessee Ernie Ford, Harry Belafonte, Dolly Parton, Queens of the Stone Age, Kathy Mattea and Amy Grant. But it was made most famous when it was performed and recorded by Johnny Cash during his concert at Folsom Prison in 1968. According to Wikipedia: "It is a lament about the danger and drudgery of being a coal miner in an Appalachian shaft mine. It has become a rallying song among miners seeking improved working conditions."

Michael Albert

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