An attentive fan of The Big Bang Theory has spotted a plot hole that contradicts an essential element of the show’s premise.
The fan pointed out the discrepancy, which has to do with the Leonard-Sheldon pairing, in a recent Reddit post.
A flashback in the season three episode “The Staircase Implementation” reveals that the two characters met when Leonard applied to be Sheldon’s roommate.
That moment, we are told, was “seven years ago”, and the episode aired in 2010, meaning that Sheldon and Leonard presumably met in 2003.
This is confirmed in the season nine episode “The 2003 Approximation”, in which a distressed Sheldon expresses the wish to restore his life ”to the last stable version, which was in 2003, the day before I met Leonard”.
But a line in “The 21-Second Excitation”, the eighth episode in the sitcom’s fourth season, suggests the two characters might have met much earlier than that.
Sheldon, frustrated that his friends don’t want to start lining up at 5pm for a midnight movie, asks Leonard: ”What happened to the Leonard Hofstadter who waited in line with me for 14 hours to see the midnight premiere of Star Trek: Nemesis?”
Star Trek: Nemesis, fans might recall, came out in December 2002 in the US, meaning that it’s impossible for Sheldon and Leonard to have met in time to see it together on the day of its release (let alone bonded sufficiently to wait 14 hours in line together).
The Big Bang Theory wrapped up in May This year after 12 seasons, but fans are still revisiting some of the show’s earlier episodes.
Another fan recently spotted a plot hole in the sitcom’s first season concerning Howard’s parents.