Why You Should Rewatch ‘The Big Bang Theory’s Series Premiere

The Big Bang Theory Jim Parsons Kaley Cuoco Johnny Galecki
Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images (3)

The Big Bang Theory premiered on September 24, 2007, so it’s a perfect time to relive the episode that started it all — before the show went on to become TV’s No. 1 sitcom.

The premise of the episode, which turns 15 this week, is simple — geeky roommates and socially awkward physicists Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) and Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) befriend their hot new neighbor, Penny (Kaley Cuoco, above, with Parsons and Galecki) — but the jokes are sharp.

As our critic Matt Roush wrote: “Equal parts smart and silly, and refreshingly short on smarminess, The Big Bang Theory is the season’s one great new classic comedy.”

The pilot sets up many of the bits that recur throughout the show’s run: Sheldon sharing random facts and always needing to sit in “his spot” on the couch; the apartment building’s broken elevator; the inability of their shy friend Raj (Kunal Nayyar) to talk to girls without being drunk (until Season 6). It also references the Nobel Prize, which Sheldon would go on to win in the series finale (sharing it with his then-wife, Mayim Bialik’s Amy).

Perhaps most telling, though, is one of Sheldon’s final lines to his smitten roommate about Penny. “You’re not done with her, are you?” he asks Leonard, setting up one of broadcast TV’s best, and funniest, romances.

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'The Big Bang Theory' Cast Reflects on Their 12-Year Run Ahead of the Big Farewell

Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, and more talk the series' beginnings, fandom, catchphrases, guest stars, and more.