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Nerd Culture in The Big Bang Theory

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

Hello everyone! I recently rewatched The Big Bang Theory and I can not seem to get over it so I thought why not review it here.


Synopsis: The lives of four socially awkward friends, Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj, take a wild turn when they meet the beautiful and free-spirited Penny.



One of the reasons I love this show is that it normalises the nerd culture. Much of the series focuses on science and in particular physics. The four main male characters are employed at Caltech and have science-related occupations, as do Bernadette and Amy. The characters frequently banter about scientific theories or news, and make science-related jokes. Science has also interfered with the characters' romantic lives. One such example is when Leonard joins Sheldon, Raj, and Howard on a three-month Arctic research trip, it separates Leonard and Penny at a time when their relationship is budding. Throughout the series there are several references to Star Trek and Star Wars, which the gang identifies strongly to.


One thing that the show got wrong for me was the self-loathing nature of the nerds. They were portrayed as frustrated people who are ashamed of how much they know; they want be mainstream and simply get laid. Being a nerd is to to make room for creativity and imagination, staying in touch with one’s childhood and actually connecting with like-minded people. Nothing about this is disgraceful, and the fact that their reason of self-loathing was because they can’t seem to get a girl is ridiculous.


What do you guys think is the Nerd culture portrayed accurately in this show?




Author: Kanza Nadeem

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4 Comments


I love watching this show. However, there are some aspects that are problematic and reinforce some stereotypes. While it normalises nerd culture, it also reinforces the idea that anyone who's highly intelligent is also socially inept. Also, the role of women was long “reduced to tokenism” on the show before they added two new scientists- Bernadette and Amy. Even Bernadette and Amy are presented as socially inept scientists. The show also reinforces some racial stereotypes.”The Big Bang Theory's treatment of Raj is best summed up by MTV India when they described the character as being the stereotypical brown guy with an exotic accent, crippled by his inability to speak to women and trying to escape the arranged marriages foisted o…


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Neha Ramchand
Neha Ramchand
Dec 08, 2020

I agree!! This show is so entertaining and actually gives a lot of people something to relate to. You should definitely watch Young Sheldon. It is so fun and the same themes are persistent there.

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Momina Moazam
Momina Moazam
Dec 07, 2020

TBBT is one of my go to feel good shows but I do agree that the self hating nerd trope was a tad overdone but I do think that Sheldon's blissful ignorance to this was a great response. Maybe they highlighted the self-loathing of the other three guys to showcase Sheldon's eccentricities and absolute refusal to mold himself according to the mainstream expectations.

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Ali Roman 23110148
Ali Roman 23110148
Dec 07, 2020

Hahah I literally just finished season 7 yesterday. I love this show and its witty up-to-date humor but I do feel like they went a little overboard with the stereotype of "nerds being sexually frustrated virgins". Like it's used as a comedy trope and its funny at first but gets a little old quite quickly. Asides from that though, Jim parson's portrayal of Sheldon absolutely makes this shows one of my favorite sitcoms hands down xD

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