Young Sheldon Revealed the Origins of The Big Bang Theory Bazinga

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The Big Bang Theory doesn’t do “bazinga” anymore. The word Sheldon (Jim Parsons) used to signify he was telling a joke was introduced at the end of Season 2 and became the catchphrase associated with the character and the show. But the joke got old, and the show abandoned it by Season 8. It’s been alluded to from time to time since then, most recently in the current and final season of the CBS comedy in a fantasy sequence where Leonard (Johnny Galecki) was imagining what his life would be like if Tam (Robert Wu), not Sheldon, was his best friend. But the joke hasn’t been worn out on spin-off Young Sheldon, and Thursday’s episode, “A Stunted Childhood and a Can of Fancy Mixed Nuts,” showed the first “bazinga,” another example of the prequel creating origin stories for where Big Bang bits came from.

In the episode, Sheldon (Iain Armitage) was worried that being a precocious, serious child was going to make him grow up to be a maladjusted adult. (We know how that turned out!) So he went to the comic book store to purchase some practical joke paraphernalia. The brand name of the gag company? Bazinga.

So Sheldon did some bazingas. He got his dad (Lance Barber) with the fake stick of gum that snaps your finger. He tried to get his brother (Montana Jordan) with the can full of snakes, but Georgie knew what was coming and Sheldon ended up getting got himself. He got his neighbor with the ol’ “is your refrigerator running?” bazinga. He tried to prank call his meemaw (Annie Potts) but had to do an answering machine bazinga. And he got his sister (Raegan Revord) with a genuinely good bazinga. He tricked her into thinking he was sad about being such an odd kid, and when she sat down next to him to console him, she sat on a whoopee cushion. Bazinga.

“And that’s how I became the madcap prankster all my friends know and love,” adult Sheldon narrated.

It was fun to see the return of bazinga for just one night. And that’s not a bazinga. I mean it.

Young Sheldon airs Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)

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