The Big Bang Theory

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Big Bang Theory TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Geeky sitcom plays with stereotypes and innuendo.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 90 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 221 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Highlights positive friendships and the value of intelligence, but much of the humor revolves around stereotypical representations of science geniuses and pretty women.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The guys are exaggeratedly geeky, some are pompous, and all are awkward socially; some may find that the show elevates geeky guys to role-model status. Women range from being ditzy to geeky. Some ethnic diversity.

Violence

Contains occasional arguments. There are some comical references to physical violence, but actual confrontations are never shown. Bullying is discussed.  

Sex

Some strong sexual innuendo, including subtle or geeky references to sex acts. Characters are shown in their underwear or in bed together. Some episodes revolve around a character trying to get the other one to have sex.

Language

 "Bitch," "bastard," "hell," "damn," "crap" infrequently.

Consumerism

Lots of iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. Penny works at the Cheesecake Factory; constant references are made to sci-fi shows, comics, and superheroes. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional drinking (beer, wine, cocktails) and, on rare occasion, smoking cigarettes. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Big Bang Theory is fun but has a fair amount of sexual innuendo (hints about sex acts, people in their underwear or in bed together), and lots of stereotyping (mainly about "geeky men" and "dumb blondes"). Frequent strong vocabulary ("bitch," "crap," "bastard," "hell") is mixed in with lots of jargon that science fans will enjoy. There are a lot of pop culture references, ranging from Snoopy to Star Trekand lots of iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. Characters occasionally drink and smoke. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4-year-old Written byMr. K4077 December 11, 2010

Do you EVER update your reviews?

This is a terrific show.

Do you people ever update your reviews? You say things like "Penny occasionally appears in a towel." So that happened once... Continue reading
Parent Written byHelenK 1 December 18, 2015

It's a Laugh

My daughter and I watch it every thursday and we love it! A must watch, always leaves us laughing and in tears. Not for young audiences, I recommend that child... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byPhoenixfire12003 June 23, 2014

Great show, for mature 11-year olds and up.

This show is hilarious. However, there is heavy sexual stuff I must discuss. Around season 3, Penny and Leonard are often seen in bed together, (the sheets cove... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old November 24, 2008

Awesome show!

I'm a VERY mature 5th grade girl (as my mum says) so i watch alot of TV shows like this.(Family guy,scrubs,etc.)Let me tell you i ALWAYS laugh my head off... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE BIG BANG THEORY is a sitcom about a group of Caltech physicists who can unlock the mysteries of the universe but are too socially inept to connect with most people here on Earth. Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) are roommates who spend their free time with fellow scientists Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar), playing board games in Klingon and watching recorded Stephen Hawking lectures. But the planets start shifting when they meet Penny (Kaley Cuoco), a pretty blonde waitress/aspiring screenwriter who's moved in next door. Even though she doesn't always appear to have a terribly high IQ or an affinity for quantum physics, Penny's looks and willingness to befriend them has the geeky guys trying their best to charm her with their limited social skills. As the series progresses, additional female characters are introduced (played by folks such as Sara Gilbert and Mayim Bialik), who match Leonard and Sheldon's braininess.

Is it any good?

This lighthearted, well-written series features an endearing cast who provide viewers with lots of humorous moments. Leonard, Sheldon, and their friends fully embrace their genius and recognize their social shortcomings. They also understand the value of friendship, loyalty, and staying true to themselves, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks about them.

Still, although the show is definitely funny, its story lines about camaraderie and romance aren't exactly original. It also promotes all the expected clichés about people in the sciences: They have a passion for sci-fi characters and can't sell a pickup line to save their lives, for example. But in the end, this show is about a group of nice guys basically having fun and looking for love.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the characteristics typically associated with intelligent people, particularly in the media. What do terms such as "geek" and "nerd" really mean? Are they intended to be insulting or are they a recognition of someone's intelligence?

  • Are stereotypes ever appropriate? Although sitcom writers often use stereotypes to create humor (and sometimes call attention to intolerance), do they ever go too far?

  • How has Big Bang Theory changed over time? What characters have developed into more positive figures? Less positive?

  • Big Bang Theory is one of the most popular shows on TV; why do you think that is?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love to laugh

Themes & Topics

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