The whole reason The Big Bang Theory can keep their shtick is because they make so many present-day fandom references. Fandom, some of you might ask? I shouldn’t divulge the lingo, but fandom means merely a group of fans. Nearly every culture reference has a fandom (can you say Star Trek?), but The Big Bang Theory works because they draw in all of them at once—sometimes a few per episode! Let’s take a look at some of the culture references the sitcom made over the last six seasons:
In alphabetical order,
Sheldon watches the broadcast of BBC America every Saturday morning; when he isn’t saying “yes to all!” things Star Trek, of course. He tunes in mainly for the Doctor Who episodes.
Sheldon rises at 6:15 AM on Saturday morning for these episode premieres. Talk about morning-cartoon-loyalty. More than once the friends critique the sci-fi show, usually alongside lamenting date nights and costume ideas. In season 4, Stuart dressed as the main character (in his fourth regeneration) during the New Years Eve party. In season 6, Raj and Stuart’s Halloween party photo booth replicated the TV show’s iconic “T.A.R.D.I.S.”
Sheldon states the only happy memories of his childhood he has were those playing the Super Mario videogames. Sad day for Shelly.
Spock easily becomes Sheldon’s source for logical and emotionally-devoid inspiration in the show. Besides earning Leonard Nimoy’s autograph on a napkin from Penny, Sheldon receives advice from Spock in a dream from season 5, voiced by Leonard Nimoy.
Star Trek earns the credit of being the most-mentioned fandom in the entire series. That being said, I’m sure any BBT fan can think of at least one reference off the top of their heads. The most notable include season 7, when the scientists tried hitchhiking in complete Star Trek cosplays, and the bonus of them all being able to recite Spock’s dying words.
The Lord of the Rings
Can you say, “The Precious Fragmentation?” The four scientists find a prop ring from the Lord of the Rings franchise and spend the entire episode going Gollum over it. They’re all just a little enthusiastic over the trilogy and book series.