The key to a good sitcom, is the interplay between the cast. Most of our time with these shows is spent in the company of a small band of recurring characters, so they’d better be an interesting bunch. Otherwise, we’re just watching a super boring Big Brother-esque affair, where everyone’s just sitting around on couches scratching their butts and talking about the stock market.
Typically, the group dynamic will be a little screwy, with some fundamental differences between everybody. That’s where a lot of the comedic potential comes from. In the case of the Big Bang Theory, a lot of the jokes come courtesy of Sheldon, and how his ways make him so different from, well, everyone else. Believe it or not, as uniquely eccentric as this genius is, though, there are times when we are all Sheldon Cooper. Check these memes out.
17 When You’re Afraid Of Catching Stupid
Now, I’m fully prepared to admit that I’m no genius. Very few of us are. The word is bandied about far too much these days; it has all lost its meaning. I once heard Timbaland being called a musical genius. Timbaland, the writer of such lyrics as, “Bounce, like your a*s had the hiccups. Bounce, like we was ridin’ in my pickup.” Yeah... a real lyrical genius over here...
I do like to credit myself with a reasonable amount of intelligence, though. Like a lot of us, I’ve got the smarts to look at the latest Facebook trend, the flaming chainsaw juggling challenge or whatever we’re doing these days, and weep for the future of humanity. The Internet is a hotbed of super dumb, dangerous, and attention seeking ideas, and Sheldon himself would hate the state of social media if he ever deigned to sign up.
16 When You Don’t Quite Get The Joke
Remember that one Friends episode where Joey wants to buy the encyclopedias from the salesman, but can only afford one volume of the A-Z? For a brief while, he reveals in his newfound knowledge of any subject beginning with V, and enjoys making smart contributions to the conversation (whenever it turns to the vas deferens, that is).
Naturally, this is Joey Tribbiani we’re talking about, and he doesn’t get to enjoy this feeling for long. Point being, the whole idea of nodding along as to avoid admitting that you have no darn clue what we’re all talking about is nothing unusual. Most of the time, that’s what adulthood is. Even geniuses like the great Sheldon himself, are completely oblivious to the concept of sarcasm. He's not alone.
15 All The Single Sheldons
As all 20-somethings know all too darn well, society puts a lot of pressure on us to be coupled up, loved up, and married. You can’t scroll down your Facebook feeds anymore without seeing 17 photos of smiling, happy couples, 10 shots of ever-expanding baby bumps, and five hands freshly adorned with spangly new engagement rings. Don't get me wrong, those are all wonderfully happy things! But when someone has none of the above going for them, it can be a little daunting.
It’s a singleton’s nightmare. But it really needn’t be. Why do we feel the impulse to compare ourselves with these people? Why try to compete with people from school we haven’t spoken to since 2003 or from that crappy job we happily left a lifetime ago? As someone wise probably said at some point or another (Justin Bieber or whoever, I forget), you’ve got to love yourself before you can love another. But for our favorite physicist, loving himself was quite enough.
14 You Should Never Meet Your Heroes
When it comes to our favorite TV shows and movies, our minds have a way of freezing the cast in their roles. We’ll see our beloved Game of Thrones bae in a different role, and be utterly thrown by the fact that they aren’t carrying a broadsword around in chainmail. We’ll see Matt LeBlanc in Top Gear after a lifetime of Friends reruns and somehow think that he aged those 20 years all at once.
As traumatizing as it is to come to terms with, these actors and actresses have ACTUAL REAL HUMAN LIVES OF THEIR OWN. They exist independently outside the parts we’re accustomed to watching them play. Doctor Cooper’s alter ego, Jim Parsons, isn’t actually a super nerdly physics genius, and we’ve all got to somehow deal with that knowledge.
13 When Your BFF Makes Poor Life Decisions
I guess you could say this is more of a parent thing, really, but the same still applies. Sometimes, even when you know better, you’ve got to allow your protegée to screw things up and make their own mistakes. Not in a 'I know there’s poison in that cup but I’m going to let you drink it anyway' sort of way, but in a tough love and essential life lesson sort of way.
We do it because we care. And we care far too damn much. To make this whole thing work, though, we can’t let on. We can’t just lay it on the line and say, Are you sure? That’s some dumbly dumb stuff you’re doing, right there. That’s how you blow the whole operation. Instead, you’re subtle, careful, and you don’t interfere. These are delicate situations for sure.
12 Physical Contact, The Final Frontier
Sheldon Cooper is a man who knows what he likes and he knows what he wants. These are the things that he knows inside out, upside down, and side to side. On the other hand, if you’re not one of the things on Sheldon’s pre-approved list (which includes model trains, real trains, science, and, of course, the Roommate Agreement), he’s going to fear and loathe you, or fail to acknowledge your existence entirely.
If I'm being honest, we’re all a little goofy in that way. With the power of fandoms for TV shows and movies these days, you’re going to come across people who try to force their love for certain things on you. As irritating as this can be, it can also be liberating to open your mind to new things. If the super-rigid Sheldon can do it, we all can.
11 Keyboard Warriors Everywhere
Internet anonymity lends itself to rampant a-holery. The complete lack of accountability lets people say all kinds of things they’d never dare say in real life. Safe and snug behind your username, EliteFrankTheDestroyer87 can talk all kinds of smack to all manner of unfortunates without fear of getting the beating they so richly deserve.
Here on the Internet, ‘discussions’ turn much more volatile than they’d tend to in person. A whole new breed of person, the keyboard warrior, has been born as a result. Most of us have encountered one of these sorry souls; there’s a little of them in all of us, truthfully. Stubbornness, principles, whatever it is that makes the forum conversation drag on until 3am, this is so very Sheldon and so very relatable.
10 What Else Are Friends For?
My favorite comedian, Dylan Moran, performed a sketch once that really stuck with me. He was speaking about love, in his snarky Irish way, and said that it is those we love who we give the greatest power to wound us. He wasn’t quite as poetic as that, but this is really the gist of what he was saying anyway.
By this, he meant that these are the people who know us the best. They know our dreams, our fears, our likes, and dislikes, and they’re not afraid to use them. Parts of friendship is, of course, the occasional ruthless roasting session, and your closest friends will know your emotional jugular and go for it with pinpoint accuracy. We are all Sheldon in this meme, and it’s futile to try and deny it.
9 He WILL Have The Last Word
Speaking of our BFFs and the intimate knowledge we have of them, here’s another crucial aspect to consider. In just about every friendship group, there’s that one person. You know the one. This is the person who thinks of themselves as an expert in every topic that happens to come up, and will not back down if somebody else happens to be "better" informed.
They’re not used to losing. They don’t like the feeling, and they won’t accept it. When it seems that another participant in the argument is getting the upper hand, they won’t admit defeat. They’ll change the rules, or slyly try to ricochet the conversation in a different direction. They're pretty much the stubborn a*s of the group, essentially. We all either know them, or we are them.
7 Because We All Secretly Fear The Smart Friend
We’ve already spoken about sitcoms, and how their character dynamics work. They thrive on those crucial differences, which they can exploit for comedic effect. The skinny guy and the fat guy can trade one-liners at each others’ expense, Frasier and Niles can make fun of their dad’s uncultured ways, and vice versa for his sons’ pompous behavior. The Big Bang Theory has the everywoman Penny, the little slice of average-intelligence normality in a sea of quirky geniuses. One of whom, of course, is a little too smart and quirky for even his fellow scientists to really understand.
For me, our old friend Sheldon Cooper represents every friend group’s smart one. These are the people that you’re low-key a little wary of, because they’re going to come out with something brilliantly insulting at your expense if you cross them.
6 When You’re Just Too Darn Comfortable In Bed
Now, anybody who says they haven’t been in this exact situation at least a 1 ,000 times in their lives is a filthy, filthy liar. I already know that I’m going to do this tonight, at least once. I’m powerless to stop it, and I’ve resigned myself to it.
Our beds have an odd, magnetic hold on us. Oftentimes, they’re a little cold and uncomfortable when we first get in, but once were curled up and settled, it’d take an atomic blast (or one of our howling children, which is the same thing really) to budge us. How hard do we try to convince ourselves that we’re the masters of our own bladders? How many times will we hit snooze on our alarms before finally hauling our grumbling butts out of the pit?
4 Smile (Or Don’t)
As a lifelong sufferer of Resting B*tch Face myself, I can most certainly sympathize with this one. I seem to have inherited it from my dad. In family photos, we both look like we’ve just been told we’re in for a full-body cavity search at the airport. Or, more accurately, like we’re mid cavity search at the airport.
The saddest thing about this is, simply being told to smile solves nothing. A forced smile usually looks utterly horrifying. If you’ve ever seen John Connor trying to teach the cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger how to smile in Terminator 2, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Sure, you’ll sometimes get a lucky shot that’s nice, but usually, smiles must be natural. Most of you lucky people will never know our struggle.
3 Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
But never mind all of that. Resting b*tch face or no resting b*tch face, we all have our problems. We have our stresses, our worries, our night terrors, whatever they happen to be. It’s all part of life’s rich, crazy tapestry. What really matters is how you deal with it, how you approach the metric crap-ton of grief that life likes to throw at all of us.
Is the glass half full, or is it half empty? That’s the question we all have to answer. You might think that Sheldon would be in the latter camp, with the way that he flies way off of the handle at the slightest amount of hardship. And by hardship I mean somebody touching one of his onion rings, thus compromising the integrity of all the other onion rings. Even so, as we see here, he still knows that there’s always a silver lining.
2 Everyone Has Their Off Days
Continuing with the same theme, it’s also crucial to remember that, however positive and super-sunny your outlook is, some day just end up being utterly craptacular. That’s inevitable. Any number of the things from Alanis Morissette’s "Ironic" might happen to you. Perhaps all of them in the same day.
So what do we do? We accept it, that’s what. We embrace it. We remember that not every day will suck with the combined force of an entire Dyson showroom. Just look at our man here. He’s been attacked by his own high-tech security system, caught by an electrified net and shocked until he peed himself. Did he let it bring him down? Well, sure he did. Who the hell wouldn’t? Not for long, though. He was back to his snarky, insufferable best in the very next scene. A lesson for us all.
1 Stop With The Updates Already
Once again, we might not like to admit it, but this is so many of us. This is all kinds of relatable, even if we’d never dare say it allowed as Sheldon is here.
Here’s the thing about the technological wonderland that is 2017: we’re so beholden to programs and updates. The old slogan, "there’s an app for that," is so powerful because it’s true. There’s an app for freaking everything. They need a nigh-constant stream of updates. Our tech is being updated so fast that we can buy a cell phone and the model’s been superseded twice before we’ve even opened the box.
The problem is, when updating in either of these senses, people don’t like change. They don’t often know when something is good for them. Granted, some of these changes will screw things around and make problems worse, but a lot of changes are for the better.