12 Times Sheldon Cooper Was Actually Wrong

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Vote up the most satisfying moments when Sheldon Cooper got out-nerded.

The idea that Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory can be wrong usually isn't broached in the series, as he's established as the smartest character among the cast. However, he's been wrong more than several times due to a combination of his arrogance, lack of pop-culture knowledge, and tendency to overlook small details that ultimately result in his entire project going up in flames. Still, these moments carry with them quite a lot of comedy, so it's worth checking them out.

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  • 1
    1,227 VOTES

    When Stuart Proves To Him That Being Wrong Is Not An Absolute

    When Stuart Proves To Him That Being Wrong Is Not An Absolute
    Photo: CBS

    In Season 2, episode 20, "The Hofstadter Isotope," Sheldon begins arguing with Stuart over who would be the successor to Bruce Wayne for the mantle of Batman and is annoyed Stuart doesn't agree with his answer.

    He then states that Stuart is incorrect in saying Sheldon "couldn't be more wrong," as being wrong is an absolute. To this, Stuart counters that "it's a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable, but very wrong to say it is a suspension bridge." This leaves Sheldon baffled, as it turns out Stuart has proven his claim wrong altogether.

    1,227 votes
  • 2
    1,337 VOTES

    When He Admits That Raj's Math On Their Research Is Right

    When He Admits That Raj's Math On Their Research Is Right
    Photo: CBS

    In Season 3, episode 4, "The Pirate Solution," Raj starts working for Sheldon, and the two attempt to solve an equation to look for the annihilation spectra resulting from dark matter collisions in space. After much time spent simply staring at the formula, they reach a disagreement over the math, and Raj tries to erase Sheldon's work by calling it incorrect.

    Raj then quits after Sheldon's condescending behavior becomes too much to handle. Later on, Sheldon arrives at Raj's place and admits he looked over the work and realized Raj's calculations were indeed right. When Raj points out that it means Sheldon was wrong, the latter refuses to acknowledge it despite it being clear that he was in fact wrong.

    1,337 votes
  • 3
    1,695 VOTES

    When His Problem Is Fixed By Leslie Winkle

    When His Problem Is Fixed By Leslie Winkle
    Photo: CBS

    In Season 1, episode 5, "The Hamburger Postulate," Leonard hooks up with Leslie Winkle and Sheldon finds his equations tampered with the following morning. However, it turns out his numbers had been wrong, and Leslie had fixed them in passing during the night.

    Rather than acknowledge her part, Sheldon angrily retorts that he doesn't go to Leslie's house to change her work, to which she responds she doesn't have any incorrect work at her place. 

    1,695 votes
  • 4
    1,430 VOTES

    When He Makes A Mistake And Shows It To Stephen Hawking

    In Season 5, episode 21, "The Hawking Excitation," Sheldon spends the entire story doing Howard's chores as the latter has a way for Sheldon to meet Stephen Hawking.

    When Sheldon finally does get to meet Hawking at the end, the physicist tells him that the research paper he sent him wasn't bad, but it was rendered incorrect due to an arithmetic error. After Sheldon initially argues with him, he realizes his error and is so aghast at sending a paper with an error to Stephen Hawking that he ends up fainting.

    1,430 votes
  • 5
    943 VOTES

    When He Loses His Bet To Wolowitz Over The Species Of Cricket

    When He Loses His Bet To Wolowitz Over The Species Of Cricket
    Photo: CBS

    In Season 3, episode 2, "The Jiminy Conjecture," Sheldon and Howard argue over the species of the cricket they've caught. Howard claims it is a common field cricket while Sheldon is certain it's a snowy tree cricket.

    The two stake their most valuable comics as part of their bet and ask the university's entomologist to settle it. It turns out Howard is right in his assumption, forcing Sheldon to hand over his treasured Flash of Two Worlds comic after his defeat.

    943 votes
  • 6
    1,020 VOTES

    When He Has No Clue What The Last Answer To The Physics Bowl Is

    When He Has No Clue What The Last Answer To The Physics Bowl Is
    Photo: CBS

    In Season 1, episode 13, "The Bat Jar Conjecture," Sheldon gets kicked out of the guys' physics bowl team after he dominates them in their practices. Intending to prove that he's smarter than all of them collectively, he gathers another team comprised entirely of work staff. 

    On the last question, neither of the teams has any idea what the answer to an extremely difficult equation is. Here, Sheldon is shown absolutely gobsmacked and is left speechless. When his teammate, who's a janitor but was once a physicist in the Soviet Union, gives an answer, Sheldon refuses to officially enter it as he doesn't want anyone else to answer but him.

    Upon being pushed to give his official answer, Sheldon skirts around the fact that he doesn't know and tries to protest for a different question. In the end, his silence is interpreted as the wrong answer while the janitor's response is confirmed to have been correct. Due to this, Sheldon's team loses the physics bowl.

    1,020 votes