Top 10 Big Bang Theory Moments That Gave Us Secondhand Cringe
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Top 10 Big Bang Theory Moments That Gave Us Secondhand Cringe

VOICE OVER: Samantha Clinch WRITTEN BY: Jesse Singer
These "Big Bang Theory" moments gave us secondhand cringe. For twelve seasons “The Big Bang Theory” made us laugh, made us cry and, for this list, we'll be looking at the times it made us cringe! Our countdown includes Sheldon makes a friend, Raj's Bernadette dreams, Howard's pick-up techniques, and more!
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Top 10 Bing Bang Theory Moments That Gave Us Secondhand Cringe


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 “Big Bang Theory” Moments That Gave Us Secondhand Cringe

For twelve seasons “The Big Bang Theory” made us laugh, made us cry and, for this list, we’ll be looking at the times it made us cringe! Those awkward, embarrassing, did-they-just-say-that? moments.

Which of these cringeable moments stands out for you? Leave us a wonderfully awkward message in the comments.

#10: Are You Ready for Some Football?
“The Cornhusker Vortex”


When Penny doesn’t invite Leonard over to watch football with her and her friends, he feels left out and decides to learn about the game in order to fit in with her sports-loving gang at the next gathering. And we have to give him credit because he does learn about football in a relatively short amount of time. The problem is Leonard’s knowledge is all very technical and rulebook-based, which, when spouted aloud, can sound embarrassingly awkward. Penny even has to confirm to all her friends that her boyfriend is “really smart!”

#9: Sheldon Makes a Friend
“The Friendship Algorithm”


In an attempt to befriend Kripke so he can get time on a computer at the university, Sheldon dives head first into the ins and outs of making friends. Unfortunately, while there are self-help books for pretty much everything, the only ones he finds on making friends are in the children’s section in the bookstore. There, Sheldon runs into a child that he innocently starts to befriend, oblivious to the outward appearance of what he’s doing. Thankfully, Leonard takes note of the situation and gets him out of there as fast as possible.

#8: Penny & Leonard Pretend Dating
“The Boyfriend Complexity”


The first time Leoanrd meets Penny’s father is when they’re technically broken up. However, her dad doesn’t know that because Penny told him they got back together to make him feel better about her love life; Penny now needs Leonard to keep up the ruse until he leaves. Now, we totally recognize that Penny was the one who created the whole predicament in the first place. But with that being said, watching Leoanrd take full advantage of the situation with such gusto - especially by laying long, extensive kisses on his ex than necessary - can be a little uncomfortable to watch.

#7: Amy’s First Slumber Party
“The 21-Second Excitation”


Over the course of the series, Amy Farrah Fowler wonderfully comes out of her shell. But in her early appearances, she’s just as static, abrupt and socially awkward as Sheldon - maybe even more so. In this Season 4 episode, Amy experiences her first ever girls night / slumber party with Penny and Bernadette. While Bernie appreciates Amy’s recounting of Chaucer, the evening gets pretty uncomfortable when Amy tries to join in on girl talk, goes too hard in a pillow fight, pushes Penny to talk about Leonard and tries to kiss her.

#6: Alex & an Egg Salad Sandwich
“The Egg Salad Equivalency”


When Sheldon’s assistant Alex flirts with Leonard, Sheldon feels the need to sit down with her and express his disapproval with her actions. This would probably be an awkward conversation to have for most people, but for Sheldon the awkward ante is raised by a factor of ten. Sheldon’s inability to completely grasp the situation or empathize with Alex at all leads him to quote his father. And while his father may have provided him with some words of wisdom when he was a child, these ones are anything but. Sheldon might be surprised that he gets called into HR, but we sure aren’t.

#5: Howard & the Robot Hand
“The Robotic Manipulation”


Howard is a brilliant engineer, but - as he himself has said - he’s also a horny one. And it’s those two aspects of his persona that gets a robot hand stuck while wrapped around his… well, you know. In a supremely awkward moment, Howard has to call Leonard and Raj to come help him with his experiment that had gotten out of hand (actually in hand, but you know what we mean). But because things need to get more awkward, they take a little trip to the emergency room. We know doctors and nurses have pretty much seen it all, but that doesn’t make Howard walking into the hospital half-naked being gripped by a robot hand any less embarrassing.

#4: Raj’s Bernadette Dreams
“The Thespian Catalyst”


It’s bad enough that Raj writes poetry about Howard’s girlfriend, rhyming “Bernadette” with “clarinet.” But it doesn’t stop there. Raj has some fairly elaborate dreams involving him and his best friend’s girl. Not only does he end up with Bernadette in them, but his fantasies involve Howard going away or outright dying in order for that to happen. It’s sad knowing Raj wants to have a girlfriend so much that he has to conjure up elaborate scenarios, including a Bollywood-style dance number. Bernadette definitely doesn’t want to play Raj’s clarinet.

#3: Howard’s Pick-up Techniques
Various


The show’s resident horny engineer seems to spend all his time thinking about girls, and yet his ability to woo them is a combination of awful, laughable, awkward and inappropriate. Penny gets the worst of it given she’s around all the time. And eventually - after one especially embarrassing flirtation - she has to burst his bubble and hurt his feelings. We’re also not sure who cringes more, the audience watching him flirt with Summer Glau or Glau herself. Maybe the worst of all is when he keeps leaving messages on Stephanie’s machine inviting her to dinner, not knowing she’s more interested in Leonard than him. Signing off each message with “it’s Howard” adds even more feel-sorry-for-him cringe to the situation.

#2: Howard & His Second Cousin
“The Adhesive Duck Deficiency”


One night out in the desert, Howard, Raj and Leonard unknowingly eat some psychedelic cookies and end up sharing some very personal thoughts and secrets with each other. Turns out Raj wants to rule over a land of rabbits and Leonard hates his name. But maybe the biggest reveal of the night is the fact that Howard lost his virginity to his second cousin. The “second” aspect of it might knock the cringe-level down a point or two, but that “cousin” part is still there front and center, and his two best buds can’t stop bringing it up.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Leonard Hits on an FBI Agent, “The Apology Insufficiency”
His New Flirting Technique Is More Awkward Than Confident

30 Under 30 Jerk, “The Griffin Equivalency”
When Celebrity & Alcohol Both Go to Raj’s Head

C-Men, “The Pants Alternative”
Made Cringier & Funnier Because Sheldon Doesn’t Realize What He Said

“I Love You.” “Thank You,” “The Wheaton Recurrence”
Maybe the Worst Time to Hear Those Two Little Words

Miss California Quiznos 1999, “The Troll Manifestation”
We Want to Look Away, but We Really, Really Can’t

#1: Raj & Penny: The Morning After
“The Roommate Transmogrification”


Waking up after a night of drinking naked in your ex’s bed with one his best friends is, shall we say, uncomfortable? At that point all you want to do is just get up and quietly get out without anyone noticing. Unfortunately for Penny, that doesn’t happen after her night with Raj. Instead, the hungover pair walk out of the bedroom and right into the bright lights of the living room as they come face-to-face with Leonard, Howard and Sheldon. The loud gasp you hear from the studio audience is the pure manifestation of cringe.
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