The Big Bang Theory: 13 Great Examples of Foreshadowing That Some Fans Didn’t Realize
Foreshadowing and symbolism are strewn throughout The Big Bang Theory. With 12 seasons to their name, characters like Sheldon, Leonard, and Penny have dreams they’ve all wanted to achieve since season one. It wasn’t until fans rewatched the series that they noticed small instances of foreshadowing; the inclinations that something the characters say or do will eventually become in later episodes.
While some plot lines seemed confusing or far-fetched, it all made sense in the end thanks to some of these foreshadowing moments. From Amy and Sheldon’s marriage to Leonard and Penny’s children, the writers of The Big Bang Theory set up the characters perfectly.
Updated August 29, 2022 by Lynn Gibbs: The Big Bang Theory had a lot of foreshadowing over the course of 12 seasons. Characters like Sheldon, Leonard and Penny grew up throughout the series, eventually becoming best friends. Along the way, the show’s writers foreshadowed some things fans weren’t expecting. From relationships to job changes, the writers of TBBT were smart to bring these stories back to the series.
Sheldon was sure a Nobel Prize was in his future
At the beginning of season 3, Sheldon, Howard, Raj and Leonard returned home after spending three months at the North Pole. The group focused on an experiment on string theory, to which Sheldon told his mother that a Nobel Prize was in his future for the success of the experiment.
Viewers learned that Leonard kept a big secret from Sheldon that derailed his experiment, but this moment still foreshadowed the future. At the end of the series, Sheldon did in fact win a Nobel Prize that had no manipulation by Leonard.
Raj’s parents’ divorce was hinted at
Raj had many clever quotes TBBT. After all, he was just as witty and intelligent as his friends. However, when it came to her parents’ relationship, she missed a hint from her father that their marriage was never meant to last.
In Season 5, his father became angry with Raj for how he handled a breakup. He told Raj, “You’re an idiot. Love doesn’t last.” Awkwardly, his wife was sitting next to him when he said it. This may have foreshadowed things to come because in Season 8, Raj was shocked to learn that his parents were getting divorced. In this case, the love did not last.
Howard listened to Bernadette and didn’t let her nickname stop her
In Season 5, Howard had the opportunity to go into space. Although he wanted his astronaut nickname to be something cool, like Rocket Man, he ended up being called Froot Loops.
Howard hated his nickname and felt bullied by his fellow astronauts. Bernadette tried to get Howard to see the power of his new name and told him to lean into it – be proud of it. He didn’t seem too keen on Bernadette’s idea, but in ‘The Sales Call Sublimation’ a screen shot of Howard proved otherwise. As it turned out, his Fortnite screen name was Fr00tL00ps511. Bernadette’s advice foreshadowed Howard’s future potential.
Sheldon hinted that Amy was “the one” early on
Sheldon and Amy’s romantic moments weren’t always strange. Most of his gestures were subtle and different from Leonard and Penny’s. A good example of this was in ‘The Hook-up Reverberation’ when the men wanted to invest in Stuart’s comic book store.
Sheldon thought it was foolish of men to invest in the store without discussing the financial aspect with their partners. He told them, “I know if I had a wife or a fiancee, I’d ask her out first before investing money in a comic book store.” A few scenes later, Sheldon was seen asking Amy if she should invest money in the store. Considering the two didn’t get engaged until Season 11, this foreshadowed that he saw Amy as “the one.”
A psychic prediction
The real-life friendship between Kaley Cuoco (Penny) and Jim Parsons (Sheldon) made the bond between Penny and Sheldon stand out on screen. The two friends were complete opposites, and yet they got along better than most TBBT.
In Season 7’s ‘The Anything Can Happen Recurrence’, Penny took Sheldon to a psychic where the psychic told him that once he turned himself in to Amy, his scientific pursuits would take off. This foreshadowed Sheldon and Amy’s scientific breakthrough because once they were engaged and married, the Nobel Prize came calling.
In fact, Amy married Sheldon within four years
Sheldon and Amy’s relationship timeline was long and dramatic, just like Penny and Leonard’s. But in Season 6, Amy saw a light at the end of the tunnel for her complicated, but frustrating, union with Sheldon.
While at Penny’s, Amy said she saw herself marrying Sheldon in “exactly four years”. Interestingly, Amy and Sheldon got married in season 10. If seasons go by years, then Amy foreshadowed her wedding to Sheldon while fans didn’t take it seriously.
Penny is dating a ‘dumb man’
Penny wasn’t always smarter than the boys, but she was brilliant in social settings. In Season 3, she was embarrassed by Leonard’s geeky side when his obsession with a support ring from lord of the rings the franchise went global. She whispered to herself, “I have to go out with silly boys from the gym again.”
Little did the fans know, this foreshadowed the future. A few episodes later, Penny broke up with Leonard because they were moving too fast. And soon after, she started dating a stereotypical dumb guy named Zack.
Penny and Leonard’s relationship
Before Penny dropped a hint about dating a “dumb guy,” she dropped even more hints about her unhappiness in her relationship with Leonard.
During this part of the timeline of Penny and Leonard’s relationship, he was happily dating Penny, unaware that she wasn’t as happy as he was. However, he joked about it, hinting at his true feelings. In “Einstein’s Approach”, Penny made a joke about needing to break up with Leonard because of her roommate. Three episodes later, Penny hinted at a breakup again when she joked, ‘There’s a new girlfriend over there because maybe you need one?'” Leonard shouldn’t have been surprised by Penny’s distance from him when she said she didn’t.love him and break up with him soon after.
Penny knew their IQ differences would be the undoing of the relationship
In Season 2, Penny and Leonard went on their first date. Penny wasn’t sure how the relationship would go because she had never dated someone as smart as Leonard before. She asked Sheldon if Leonard had ever dated someone like her because she was worried he would get bored with her.
Fast forward four seasons and Penny’s worries about their compatibility came true when Leonard met Sheldon’s assistant Alex. Alex was as smart as Leonard and had a crush on him. He enjoyed the attention, which scared Penny because it foreshadowed this problem in their future relationship.
The bunny symbolized a baby
In one of the most obvious acts of foreshadowing, Bernadette and Howard’s relationship timeline ramped up in Season 9. The two showed they were ready to be parents when they found a drowning bunny in their bathtub hydromassage The couple were scared when they saw the bunny, but Bernadette’s motherly instincts kicked in and they knew what to do.
Before Bernadette could even tell she was pregnant, their teamwork to save and care for the bunny was a great deal for their future as parents.
Amy’s love for Little House on the Prairie
In “The Raiders Minimization”, Amy said to Sheldon Little house on the prairie it was her favorite TV show and as a child she acted like she was a character on the show. Little did fans know, it foreshadowed scenes to come.
In ‘The Troll Manifestation’, things came full circle when Amy wrote Little house on the prairie fan fiction to make up for her loneliness in her relationship. As much as she respected Sheldon’s personal space, Amy wished he wanted a physical relationship, which was one of the saddest things in Amy’s history. Later, when Amy and Sheldon live together, Sheldon threw one at her Little House on the Prairie –themed birthday dinner. This connected with Amy’s original point of wanting to be transported to that time period.
Leonard and Penny’s children would be smart and beautiful
When Penny moved into the apartment across the hall from Sheldon and Leonard, Leonard was in a trance over her beauty. She told Sheldon that if they got together romantically, their babies would be “smart and beautiful.”
Little did fans know, this was foreshadowing because, in season 12, Penny and Leonard found out they were expecting. And in Sheldon’s Nobel Prize speech, he told the audience that his baby would be “smart and beautiful,” harkening back to Leonard’s statement in Season 1.
The impasse of string theory
In the early seasons, Sheldon made it known that his true passion was studying and experimenting with string theory. In “The Duality of Jerusalem”, however, Sheldon was perplexed when a child prodigy, Dennis Kim, told him that his work was theoretical and a “dead end”. Sheldon went back to Dennis because he felt different.
This moment, however, foreshadowed Sheldon’s future problems with string theory. In ‘The Relationship Diremption’, Sheldon discovered that his research was going nowhere (just as Dennis Kim said years before) and thought it was time to refocus his attention on a new area of physics.
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