'The Big Bang Theory': Unexpected Fan Theories That Change Everything We Thought We Knew

Jordan Claes
The cast of 'The Big Bang Theory' eating take-out in Sheldon and Leonard's apartment.

The Big Bang Theory is a polarizing show, to say the least, as those who love it, tend to love it a lot. And those who don't, tend to hate it with every ounce of their being.

Now that the show has been off the air for some time, a variety of fan theories have begun to surface. Have a look below and check out these incredible theories that change everything we thought we knew.

Few Shows In TV History Are As Polarizing As 'The Big Bang Theory.'

The sitcom debuted in 2007 to a mixed reception.

'TBBT' Ran For 12 Emmy Award-Winning Seasons.

The show amassed a cult-like following.

Although Plenty Of Critics Despised The Series.

Many felt TBBT implored bully tactics.

There Was A Heavy Reliance On Harmful Stereotypes.

Sheldon pointing at Amy and laughing in 'The Big Bang Theory'.
Giphy | CBS

While perpetuating outdated ideals of toxic masculinity.

Several Fan Theories Have Been Brought To Light.

These fun theories help rectify some troublesome aspects of the show.

For Example, Some People Believe That Sheldon And Spock From 'Star Trek' Are One And The Same.

Mr. Spok saying "Live long and prosper," in 'Star Trek'.

Diehard TBBT fans know that there's no one on earth whom Sheldon adores more than Leonard Nimoy, aka Spock.

One Of The More Memorable 'TBBT' Episodes Involves Penny Gifting Sheldon Nimoy's Autograph.

Nimoy signed his name on a used napkin, which compels Sheldon to exclaim "I possess the DNA of Leonard Nimoy!?"

The Reasons For This Theory Are Threefold:

First of all, Sheldon often hears Spock's voice. Secondly, they both share a lack of emotion, and, thirdly, love everything to do with outer space.

There's No Denying Sheldon Appears To Be Not Of This World.

Sheldon attempting to use mind control in 'The Big Bang Theory'.
Giphy | The Big Bang Theory

So what if he isn't? It's not the craziest thing to assume he's a Vulcan, is it?

Jim Parsons Addressed The Theory While Making An Appearance On 'The Late Late Show With James Corden.'

Unfortunately, Jim all but debunked this clever explanation for Sheldon's lack of humanity.

Then There Are Those Who Assert That Sheldon Is Actually Barney Stinson From 'HIMYM.'

Barney Stinson winking to the camera in 'How I Met your Mother'.

The only difference between the two is that they are living in alternate dimensions.

Ironically, Jim Parsons Auditioned To Play Barney Before He Was Cast In 'The Big Bang Theory.'

"Maybe I'm giving that vibe off," Parsons reasoned. "Maybe underneath this character is a raging horndog and a womanizer."

Moving On From Sheldon Momentarily, Could Bernadette Be A Clone?

A Reddit post describing ho Bernadette from 'TBBT' is actually a clone.
reddit | u/ConspirOC

The Redditor further explains that with each regeneration, Bernadette loses a small part of herself.

However, She Comes To The Realization That She's A Clone Right Before Being Killed Off.

Thus making her grow more angry and resentful towards Howard.

"Everyone At Work Is Afraid Of Her, To The Extent Where They Let Her Have A Bathroom All To Herself," One Redditor Argued.

Bernadette and Amy listening to Penny talk in 'The Big Bang Theory'.
Giphy | Crave

It is a little strange that sweet Bernadette could imbue so much fear into her co-workers.

"And Yet Her Parents Don't Appear To Think She's Particularly Aggressive[sic], Or Give Her Any Special Treatment Due To Her Temper."

It's almost as if she's another person entirely from the daughter they knew!

If You Don't Believe Bernadette Is A Clone, Could She Possibly Be A Cyborg Built By Howard?

Howard is a masterful engineer, after all, and, historically, he's had zero luck with women.

Howard Has Even Spoken About His Desire To Build A Robot Girlfriend On Several Occasions.

Howard Wolowitz dancing in the car in 'The Big Bang Theory'.
Giphy | The Big Bang Theory

So what if he actually did it? What if Penny introducing Bernadette to Howard was part of his masterful plan all along?

He Could've Applied To The Cheesecake Factory For Bernadette And Designed Her To Be Compatible With Penny.

Therefore, he ensures that Penny and Bernadette eventually become friends and simply manipulates Penny into "introducing" them.

It Seems Highly Unlikely, But Howard Does Possess Several Qualities Of A Megalomaniac Supervillain.

You simply can't put anything past him.

Moving On, What If All The Guys Are In A Coma?

Man making the mind-blown hand signal.
Giphy | Aminé

Hear me out: Sheldon, Raj, Leonard, and Howard set off a rocket that destroys the elevator — while still inside it.

As A Result, The Four Of Them Fall Into A Deep Coma.

Therefore, the show takes place in their combined unconscious minds.

It's Also Possible That All Four Are In A State Of Limbo.

This would explain why the elevator is "out of order" for the entire series.

And Why It Only Starts Working Again During The Series Finale.

The cast of 'The Big Bang Theory' behind the scenes.
instagram | @thebigbangtheory

The theory argues that the show actually ends with all four of the guys dying.

The Elevator, Therefore, Is A Metaphor For Their Ascension To The Heavens.

Ted from 'Schitt's Creek saying, "That makes sense."
Giphy | CBC

It even explains why we only see the gang in the same repeated locations.

"It Explains Why There Are No Establishing Shots Between Locations," One Redditor Asserted.

"Because the[sic] can never go outside the four walls they know, The Cheesecake Factory, the university, and their homes."

Moving On, Have You Ever Thought Howard Could Be A Beloved Character From Marvel Comics?

Howard the Duck making a shaky hand signal in 'Howard The Duck'.

One fan theory suggests that he may be Howard the Duck.

Like Howard Wolowitz, Howard The Duck Also Believes He Is A Gift To Women.

Although there is little else to connect the dots.

Another Theory Claims 'TBBT' Showcases A Marxist Ideology.

A statue of Karl Marx.
Unsplash | Hennie Stander

The Marxist ideology focuses on the struggles between the upper and lower rungs in capitalist society.

Its Main Goal Of Marxism Is A Classless Society.

Woody Harrelson in 'The Triangle Of Sadness'.
Giphy | NEON

The theory posits that the show is actually a tragedy unfolding before the audience's very eyes.

A Fan-Favorite Theory Is That Penny Is A CIA Agent.

She has been sent by the US government to keep a close eye on the guys.

There Is, However, Another Theory That Involves The Show '8 Simple Rules.'

Penny wearing a blue shirt sitting on the couch in 'The Big Bang Theory'.
Giphy | Crave

As many fans know, Kaley Cuoco also played Bridget Hennessy before being cast as Penny.

Many Will Likely Recall That Bridget's Dad, Paul, Dies On The Show.

This TV death corresponded to the real-life passing of actor John Ritter.

"After Paul Dies, A Huge Secret Gets Uncovered And Forces The Hennesy Family Into The Witness Protection Program," A Redditor Explained.

John Ritter saying "Just say no," in '8 Simple Rules'.

The Hennessy family goes into witness protection and moves to Omaha Nebraska.

Bridget Becomes A CIA Spy And Takes On The Alias Of Penny.

Penny then seeks to follow Bridget's dream of becoming a famous actress.

"Her Brother Rory Becomes Randall, And Her Mom Is Still Played By[sic] Katey Sagal."

Her father is yet another CIA spy sent to help her complete her mission.

This Could Explain Why Penny's Father Is Played By Two Different Actors.

Ron Burgundy saying, "That doesn't make sense," in 'Anchor Man'.
Giphy | Ben L

And why the audience never actually learns her last name.

One Of The More Interesting Fan Theories Reveals Howard, Raj, Leonard, And Sheldon Cause An Apocalypse.

The proof of this can be found in the show's opening credits.

The Theme Song And Credits Show The Chronology Of The Universe.

It builds to a final shot of the gang in their apartment before coming to an abrupt end.

The Guys Are Easily The Greatest Minds Of Their Generation.

Yet, instead of furthering human advancement, they play video games, eat Thai food, and chase girls.

This Blatant Irresponsibility Eventually Leads To An Apocalyptic Event.

A view of the earth from space.
Unsplash | NASA

Science argues that the universe's infinite expansion could inevitably lead to something called The Big Crunch.

This Will Result In The Universe Collapsing In On Itself, Causing Another Big Bang.

A cosmic explosion.

Then the whole thing simply starts all over again.

It Certainly Seems Within The Realm Of Possibility For Howard Or Sheldon To End The World.

Although I'm not so certain about Leonard and Raj.

Getting Back To The Topic Of Robotics, Yet Again.

Sheldon Cooper as a robot in 'The Big Bang Theory'.
Giphy | Canal TNT

What If Sheldon Cooper Was A Robot? Sheldon certainly possesses several android-like qualities

There's Sheldon's Total Lack Of Empathy And Total Ignorance Of All Human Emotions.

He's about as robotic as a person can be, without having nuts and bolts attached to their neck.

This Fan Theory Reveals That Sheldon Is A Creation Of Professor Proton.

Sheldon pretending he is Professor Proton in 'The Big Bang Theory'.
Giphy | CBS

In the series, Professor Proton is a childhood hero of Leonard and Sheldon.

This Would Help To Rectify Sheldon's Love Of Professor Proton.

He is the one who created him, so it only makes sense that Sheldon would worship him.

Yet Another Tie-In Theory Involves Joseph Cooper From 'Interstellar.'

Matthew McConaughey crying in 'Interstellar'.
Giphy | Legendary Entertainment

Certain fans believe that the character, played by Matthew McConaughey, is Sheldon's son.

Like Sheldon, Joseph Is Also A Talented Scientist Obsessed With String Theory.

The cast of 'The Big Bang Theory' backstage.
instagram | @bigbangtheory

Joseph's father is notably absent in the movie, forcing Joseph to trust in his father-in-law.

The Parallels Are Hard To Ignore.

Clearly, Joseph and Sheldon have more in common than a shared last name. Perhaps, this one actually holds water.

Switching Things Up, Let's Focus On Sheldon's Mom For A Moment.

Jackie and Roseanne watching TV on the couch in 'Roseanne'.
Giphy | Roseanne

Those who grew up in the '90s recognize actress Laurie Metcalf from her time as Aunt Jacie in Roseanne.

Laurie Is Just One Of Several Actors Who Appeared In 'Roseanne' And 'TBBT.'

Laurie Metcalf smacking her forehead in 'The Big Bang Theory'.
CBS | CBS via YouTube

The others are Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene Conner/Leslie Winkle, and Johnny Galecki, who played Leonard Hofstadter/David Healy.

What If Aunt Jacky Was Also in Witness Protection?

Darryl Philbin saying "What, really?" in 'The Office'.
Giphy | The Office

Perhaps she witnessed something that forced her into hiding with her son, Andy, aka Sheldon Cooper.

There Is Another Theory Involving Sheldon's Love Interest, Amy.

Some have argued that Amy isn't actually in love with Sheldon. Rather, she's experimenting on him.

Their Romance Is A Complete Ruse And Amy Is Studying Their Relationship For Science.

Amy has often taken a pragmatic approach to their relationship progression, including the decision to hold hands and be more social.

Here's A Real Doozy — What If Howard's Mother Never Existed?

In fairness, she was really never there in the first place. All fans ever heard of Mrs. Wolowitz was her voice.

All Fans Ever Heard Of Mrs. Wolowitz Was Her Voice.

A chimpanzee wearing a tuxedo smoking a cigarette.

And what a voice it was! Mrs. Wolowitz talked as if she had a two-pack-a-day smoking habit.

This Theory Is Eerily Reminiscent Of Norman Bates In 'Psycho.'

In Psycho, Norman kills his mother and continues to dress her body as if she were still alive.

Norman Even Gives Voice To His Mother.

Norman Bates stabbing a hotel guest in 'Psycho'.
Giphy | hoppip

Like some sort of demented, terrifying ventriloquist's act. I get the shivers just thinking about it.

The Theory Surrounding Howard's Mother Suggests The Very Same Thing.

Mainly, Mrs. Wolowitz was a projection of one of Howard's fractured personalities.

Whenever We Hear Her Speak, It's Simply Howard Throwing His Voice.

This could work; albeit it would come at the cost of one of the show's most beloved characters.

This Theory Seeks To Explain One Of The Biggest Questions Regarding 'TBBT.'

Why was it that Raj had such a crippling and paralyzing fear of talking to women?

After All, On paper, Raj Is Everything A Woman Would Want In A Romantic Partner.

Raj dancing with Howard in 'The Big Bang Theory'.
Giphy | Showmax

He's kind, considerate, and successful. Beyond that, he's loyal to a fault.

Therefore, It Only Makes Sense His Fear Stems From Trauma.

Fans understand that Raj's parents don't have the perfect marriage — far from it.

It Stands To Reason That Raj's Father Wasn't Around Much When He Was A Kid.

Therefore, he was left in the care of his overbearing, yet sweet, mother.

Since She's So Controlling, Raj Views All Women As An Extension Of His Mother.

Raj giving the double thumbs-up in 'The Big Bang Theory'.
Giphy | Crave

This continues to manifest as he ages and embeds itself deep in his psyche.

Raj Becomes So Fearful Of Disappointing A Woman (I.E. His Mother).

Mark Hamill and Kunal Nayar taking a selfie together.
instagram | @thebigbangtheory

So, in order to avoid the risk entirely, he decides to cut all ties with them.

This One Shouldn't Come As A Shock — Sheldon Is A Sociopath.

Sheldon saying, "I'm not insane, my mother had me tested," in 'The Big Bang Theory'.

This isn't so much of a theory as it is an observation.

Sheldon Is Constantly Showcasing His Lack Of Empathy Toward Others.

He understands the difference between proper and improper human interaction, yet he constantly goes against the grain.

This One Went Over My Head At First

Brace yourself: the characters are the butt of a giant cosmic joke.

"My Theory Is That The Theme Song And Title Are There To Remind Us Every Week That The Universe Is A Vast, Grandiose Place," Reddit User NewLeaf37 Said.

That's not hard to understand, given the lyrics written by the Barenaked Ladies.

"By Contrast, The Cast Of The Show Is Busying Themselves With The Latest Issue Of Green Lantern, A Super-Rare Collectible Item, Or How To Get Laid."

Contestant on 'Bachelor In Paradise' saying, "What a joke."
Giphy | BachelorInParadiseAU

In the big picture, everything the gang holds dear is empty and meaningless. "They become the cosmic joke."