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Dark 'Big Bang Theory' Fan Theories That Will Mess With Your Head

Updated September 23, 2021 106.8k votes 23.2k voters 1.9m views15 items

List RulesVote up the most twisted theories about 'The Big Bang Theory.'

Weird TV fan theories can be extremely entertaining - maybe Saved by the Bell is Zack Morris's dream, or That '70s Show is a sequel to Happy Days. While some of these theories are fun, others are seriously dark, such as these Big Bang Theory fan theories. While not all are terrifying, most are at least peculiar. Some of these theories try to explain Big Bang Theory characters, such as why Raj seems to have selective mutism or why Bernadette's character grew angrier with each passing season.

Whatever the theory - and based on how messed up some of these hypotheses are - there must be a lot of fans out there who think The Big Bang Theory is super creepy. Here are some of the weirdest and darkest fan theories about the hit show.

  • 1. Sheldon Is In A Mental Institution, And The Show Only Takes Place In His Head

    Photo: CBS

    Redditor /u/thetheoryguys claims Sheldon is in a mental institution, perhaps even for offing his father and his father's mistress. They go on to say that both Sheldon and Leonard are in this Los Angeles facility - Leonard was admitted there after being lobotomized by the government for giving up secrets to North Korea. The show's other characters are also residents or doctors there.

    According to the theory, Penny is a failed actress who turned to substance use and sex work before ultimately landing in the facility; Amy is a neurologist who works at the institution, and she feeds into her obsession with Sheldon by studying his brain; Raj is a doctor there instead of an astrophysicist, at the behest of his parents; and Howard is the facility's "caretaker" who occasionally engages in intimate activities with Raj because he can't seduce women.

    Does this theory disturb you?
  • 2. Howard's Mom Doesn't Exist

    Photo: CBS

    Redditor /u/Pick234 claims that Howard's mother doesn't actually exist: "Howard [is] just crazy and lonely and uses ventriloquism to speak for her. Also, all of his friends like him so much and either A, believe him or B, don't want to break it to him that she isn't there, either out of love, or fear that he would snap."

    Does this theory disturb you?
  • 3. Bernadette Is Actually A Series Of Clones

    Photo: CBS

    Redditor /u/ConspirOC believes that Bernadette has grown angrier and more disrespectful throughout the course of the show. Rather than attributing this change to her stressful marriage, the theorist claims the Bernadette seen on the show is actually a series of Bernadette clones, created after her immoral research organization experimented on her. The Redditor stated: 

    Every time she is regenerated, she remembers that she is a clone and is spliced with the memories of the old Bernadette, but part of her remembers and resents Howard for entrapping her in a marriage she didn't want and knowing she won't live long enough to grow to love him before she is [eliminated], despite him being kind of an *ss. She always remembers that she loves him but can't... feel it.

    Does this theory disturb you?
  • 4. Penny Is A Spy

    Photo: CBS

    Redditor /u/numbertheory argues that Penny is a spy, citing a number of facts about her life that don't quite add up. Firstly, Penny merely maintaining a cover of "struggling actress," which is why she never makes a concerted effort to further her acting career. Secondly, she isn't really struggling financially, evidenced by the fact that she can afford to live alone in a nice Pasadena apartment while only working as a restaurant server for income.

    The theorist also argues that Penny is technologically adept - as evidenced when she steals Leonard and Sheldon's WiFi - and uses gaming dependency as cover to spy on Sheldon remotely. She also doesn't seem to have a social life outside of her neighbors. The theory argues she only engaged in her previous romantic entanglements to lure Leonard, and this lack of real connections is further proof of her secret identity. 

    The Redditor believes she is spying on her neighbors because the infamous elevator incident alerted authorities to two potentially dangerous scientists living in Pasadena. These scientists let missile secrets slip to a North Korean spy, so Penny - an American agent - was sent to monitor the situation.

    Does this theory disturb you?