The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory is an American TV series about a group of intelligent but socially awkward friends from around the world.
One of the main characters is Sheldon Cooper. Although Sheldon clearly has autistic features, feeling
the writers aren’t comfortable giving him that label.
Sheldon Cooper is a theortical physicist working at a technical university. He’s had his
obtained a doctorate and an IQ of 187, but finds social situations and practical things difficult.
Sheldon shares his apartment with Leonard, an experimental physicist with an IQ of 137. Leonard is
in love with Penny, who lives opposite them.
Penny is a blonde-haired waitress who didn’t finish high school and wants to become an actress. She
often visits the boys for free food, WiFi and help with paying the rent.
In Season 4, Sheldon gets a relationship with Amy Fowler. Amy has a PhD in neurobiology. She admires
Penny and wants to be friends with her. Penny doesn’t share that desire right away.
cast & crew
* Jim Parsons. (Sheldon)
* Johny Galdck. (Leonard)
* Kaley Cuoco (Penny)
* Mayim Bialik (Amy)
* Chuck Lorre (inventor)
* Bill Prady (creator)
positive reviews season 1
All the characters are very funny, but Sheldon jumps out anyway. He’s really super funny. You can
really laugh from the first episode. The series always remains funny, from the first to the last minute.
Sometimes I have to press pause to take a break from laughing.
Every time I watch, I think, “I know these people. I know people exactly like them’. You might think that this one
perosnages are exaggerated, but the world of these guys really exists. I see myself, my friends and my
colleagues in these characters.
The series is touching. You’re really gonna care about the characters. The best thing about the series is that the characters grow
and change, Sheldon especially after season four when Amy joins.
The characters have too little humanity and too much eccentricity. Sheldon is so bizarre in his beliefs,
behavior and language that he seems to come from another planet. He’s narcissistic, childish, selfish,
hurtful, rude and unenforceable. How can anyone stand to be around him? I want him
just so eager to sell a punch!
Sheldon is a caricature of every nerdy character who’s ever been on TV. All clichés are confirmed, both
in terms of the stupidity of the blonde as well as the contact disorder of the autistic person.
The series has a high content of sexually suggestive and other cheap humour. Nerds who put girls to bed
trying to get and treat each other badly all the time. I don’t think that’s funny.
Does Sheldon Cooper have Asperger Syndrome or not? This is a frequently asked question in interviews and online discussions.
in America. This question is asked for more fictional characters, but in Sheldon’s case, the
ask for a special twist. This section is about that twist.
Sheldon shows clear signs of autism
In an interview, Bill Prady, creator of the series, says that Sheldon clearly “shares characteristics with people with
Asperger”. In another interview, actor Jim Parsons says, “Johnny Galecki read the book Look Me In somewhere while traveling.
The Eyevan Augusten Burroughs’ brother, who wrote about his life with Asperger. When he finished, he said to
me, “You have to read this. You’re killing it. “The similarities to Sheldon. I bought the book right away and the
similarities were undeniable. “The majority of what I read in that book touched on aspects of Sheldon.”
Viewers with Asperger also recognize themselves in Sheldon. “I have Asperger and I have many of the same characteristics as
Sheldon,” writes one. “I’ve got Asperger and I’m behaving that way,” writes another.
Features specifically mentioned include his attention to detail, lack of social understanding, sensitivity to
noise (whistling), difficulty being interrupted when he talks, lack of understanding of sarcasm, stubbornness,
inability to lie and pretend otherwise than he is and lack of expression in his face (laughs
The writers possibly had an Aspie in mind
Although writer Bill Prady says he didn’t have Asperger Syndrome in mind when he came up with the series, he mentions
he was a computer programmer he knew personally as his source of inspiration for the character of Sheldon.
This person looked a lot like Sheldon, and since Sheldon looks a lot like people with Asperger, it isn’t
unlikely that this man had Asperger – even though Prady didn’t consciously have this syndrome in mind.
Actor Jim Parsons believes that “one of the writers has a relative with Asperger”, which may also be one of
influenced the characters.
Writers and actors avoid the label Asperger
Prady says, “We don’t feel comfortable labelling Sheldon as someone with Aspeger. Our feeling is
that his mother never diagnosed him, so we’re not giving him one either.” Parsons confirms this,
“When I asked the writers if Sheldon had Asperger, they said, ‘No, he hasn’t. That’s not what we’re wearing
“do it. Actress Mayim Bialik, who has a PhD in neuroscience, says in an interview. “I
don’t really think I’d give him the diagnosis of Asperger’s, more like OCD.”
Writers and actors don’t deny that Sheldon is autistic.
Although on websites like IMDB.com it is said that the writers “persistently deny that Sheldon Asperger’s
is not necessarily the case. Prady just says that he feels “not comfortable” labeling
Sheldon as someone with Aspeger and that he didn’t and won’t give that label to Sheldon himself.
This is also understandable, because otherwise he would indeed be restricted in his creative freedom and the
more or less get the details right. And, of course, it’s true that the writers don’t “someone with Asperger”
writing. Yeah, that’s not what they’re doing. They’re making a comedy series.
Bialik doesn’t deny Sheldon’s autistic either. All she’s saying is that she would personally diagnose OSD
not only “pure Asperger” or even worse diagnosis of OSD than ASD.
That she says that is also understandable. It is most likely prompted by the makers’ interest to
Don’t label Sheldon as Aspie. Sheldon also shows signs of other disorders
Bialik’s (the actress who plays Amy) did her PhD on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. In a
interview she says, “I’d give Sheldon the diagnosis Obsessive-Compulsive, maybe Generalized
Anxiety Disorder or Social Anxiety Disorder, but not pure Asperger.”
Others point to behavior characteristic of Narcissistic, Borderline and Paraoist Personality Disorders.
Sheldon feels intellectually superior to Penny and Howard. He feels threatened by people
who are as intelligent as him and hide it by belittling them. He himself believes that he has been awarded the Nobel Prize
deserves. He’s got an all or nothing attitude. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he’s gonna swoop in and do it.
he’s not coming anymore.
All these disorders are common misdiagnoses or side effects of autism.
If Sheldon’s autistic, so is Amy.
Bialik thinks Amy’s a “female version of Sheldon.” “I’d say Amy and Sheldon are pretty much the same
psychatric classification. Clinically, the same diagnosis would probably apply.” Amy
however, it’s more difficult because she has a stronger desire to appear ‘normal’. That’s why she tries to make friends
to become with neurotypical women like Penny, while female friendship is much more complex socially than
In a Wrong Planet discussion about fictional female characters with Asperger, no one there – in
unlike other characters – objection to calling Amy autistic. The consensus among these people is
that Amy’s autistic.
An autistic woman rightly notes, “What I find interesting is that although Sheldon is labeled autistic
by viewers, Amy apparently doesn’t feel the same need for giving a diagnosis, even though
she’s essentially a female version of Sheldon. I’d say she’s autistic, too, but because she’s a
is a woman, she’s learned better by necessity to survive in social situations than he has. This is customary
in autistic women, including myself, but that doesn’t make us any less autistic.”
Autistic people think Sheldon exaggerates
Not all autistic viewers recognize themselves in Sheldon’s behavior. “I have Asperger and I hate Sheldon
Cooper. How he behaves is not how I behave, or other people with Asperger I know. The characteristics
are greatly exaggerated,” writes a critic. “Sheldon is my favorite character in the series,” writes a
different. “But he doesn’t always show autistic behavior. He has few sensory processing problems and
is not over-stimulated, does not engage in self-stimulation (stimulation) and has no problem with constant
other people around him. Also, his character is greatly exaggerated.”
Sheldon’s not the only stereotype in the series.
In a discussion about the effect of The Big Bang Theory on the way people with Aspeger are treated by others
be seen, negative or positive, writes a viewer, “I think we should remember that each of the
characters in the series represent a kind of streotype. I mean, how many neurotypical women would
want you to think they’re all really like Penny?”
Sheldon and Amy are a role model, too.
“He’s exaggerated, that’s true, but that doesn’t make it a stereotype. Sometimes TV makers exaggerate
something to make their point, and that’s what’s happening here. The series shows that autism is not backwardness. Here
we see Sheldon with a high IQ and a successful career,” writes one.
Bialik explains, “What we’re trying to show with the series is that this is a group of people who are socially and socially responsible.
is unconventional, but in the series we’re not talking about sticking labels or administering
drugs. We’ll find ways to work around that. This is a group of people who have been bullied in the past and
have been laughed at, but now live a fulfilled life with an active social life and intimate relationships.”
What Bialik seems to be saying – and what the series seems to be showing – is that it’s not dianoses and drugs that
make people better, but relationships. In the course of the series, Sheldon, Amy and the other characters develop
through their relationships with each other.
At the beginning of his relationship with Amy, which may not even be called a relationship, is “any form of physical contact”.
of the table” for Sheldon and he’s virtually incapable of giving or asking for emotional support. But within
the context of the relationship he learns more and more to experience his love for Amy inside and verbally and physically