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The Big Bang Theory finally reveals the psychology behind Sheldon’s behavior

The 200th episode of The Big Bang Theory last February was amazing and made us love those science geeks we just can’t get enough of that much more.

While the nerd jokes did not disappoint in the 200th installment (and the episode wouldn’t have been complete without Adam West poking fun at Ben Affleck), there was a bigger message at play — and we were just reminded of the deeper meaning after learning the heartbreaking reason why Sheldon always knocks three times in the Oct. 17 ep.

The 200th episode was all about the psychology behind Sheldon’s behavior, and how he was tortured by bullies as a child. The show dug deep into the mind of a bullied child, and how horrible bullying is because no kid ever deserves it.

I still remember the kid in my elementary school who everyone picked on. Kevin. He had chapped lips and was simply too different for people to accept. He was tattled on, bullied in the worst ways and the butt of every joke. Twenty years later, I still wonder how that has followed him through the years.

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So when Sheldon confessed why he hates his birthday in the 200th episode — because his twin sister and her friends would tell him Batman was coming to his party and then tease and torture him when he never showed — I thought of Kevin and the emotional scars he’s probably still carrying with him. Sheldon tries to be strong and lets the clan throw him a party. Leonard even gets Batman to finally show up (enter Adam West), but Sheldon immediately retreats to the “facilities” after having a minor PTSD flashback to his previous birthdays.

Of all people, guess who was the one to boost his spirits? The one person who probably would have bullied Sheldon the same way his sister did. Penny.

Big Bang Thoery's Penny and Sheldon hug
Image: Monty Brinton/CBS

“I hate that if I was there I would had tortured you, too,” she tells Sheldon. “There was a time I never would have been friends with someone like you and now you’re one of my favorite people. So if what you need is to spend it in the bathroom then I’m happy to do it with you.”

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And the next part is key.

“But everyone will think I’m weird,” Sheldon responds.

Penny aptly points out, “Sweetie, you are weird. Everyone knows you’re weird but they’re all still here.”

And that’s what we all need to remember when we feel like life is one big “bazinga” and the joke’s on us. We’re all weird and we’re all a little different. The key is to find people who choose to be your friend anyway and forget the rest.

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If you’re a Kevin or a Sheldon, a Leonard or a Wolowitz, for that matter, try really hard to remember that no person (no Penny) and no dream is too good for you.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

penny big bang theory quotes
Image: CBS

Originally published Feb. 2015. Updated Oct. 2016.

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