For 12 seasons, Jim Parsons starred in CBS’s beloved sitcom The Big Bang Theory as Dr. Sheldon Cooper, a genius and incredibly eccentric theoretical physicist — here are the best Sheldon Cooper quotes. Parsons’ work as the neurotic physicist earned him countless awards and even more nominations. While it could be easy to make the case that The Big Bang Theory was intended to be Leonard’s show, it’s plain to see that the series became all about Sheldon. Sheldon’s peculiar routines, obsessive interests in all things science and fiction, and often hilariously intelligent quotes are perfectly woven together to create a character who became an instant pop culture icon.
The character was so popular, in fact, that he spawned his own spinoff series, Young Sheldon, which chronicles his experiences as a child prodigy. The best Sheldon Cooper quotes are some of the most famous lines from The Big Bang Theory, not to mention some of the funniest ones as well. Sheldon was someone who demanded attention, but as fans know, his group of friends put him in his place often, which only brought on funnier moments. The Big Bang Theory’s quotes were just part of what made the sitcom special, and while other characters were just as amusing, fans have a soft spot for Sheldon Cooper.
15 “While I Subscribe To The Many Worlds Theory, Which Posits The Existence Of An Infinite Number Of Sheldons… I Assure You That In None Of Them Am I Dancing.”
Season 3, Episode 3, “The Gothowitz Deviation”
An unmistakable highlight of the series’ earlier seasons and a dynamic that spawned the best Sheldon Cooper quotes was the back-and-forth rapport between Sheldon and Penny. Season 3, episode 3 opens with Sheldon waking up in the morning to find a barely dressed Penny making pancakes and dancing around the kitchen to Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like A Woman.”
Penny, clearly relishing in Sheldon’s confusion, invited him to dance along with her, which leads to the hilarious moment quoted above. Sheldon may not think of himself as much of a social animal, and he very well may be right about that. But his friendship with Penny became one of TBBT’s best.
14 “Good Morning, Everyone, And Welcome To ‘Science and Society.’ I’m Dr. Sheldon Cooper, BS, MS, MA, Ph.D., And ScD. OMG, Right?”
Season 4, Episode 13, “The Love Car Displacement”
One of Sheldon’s best episodes was “The Love Car Displacement,” in turn, giving audiences one of the best Sheldon Cooper quotes. In the episode, the gang split into two cars and hit the road for a science conference. Penny tagged along because Amy mentioned they were staying at a spa.
At the conference, Sheldon introduced himself to the crowd with this hilarious opening line and one of the funniest Sheldon Cooper quotes. Fans were impressed by his usage of “OMG” since he wasn’t always up to date on current trends, and it was hilarious to see his version of a joke for a new audience.
13 “So, Just To Clarify, When You Say Three, Do We Stand Up Or Do We Pee?”
Season 3, Episode 17, “The Precious Fragmentation”
When the gang believed they had one of the lost rings from the making of The Lord of the Rings, they couldn’t decide on who should keep the ring. With all four men intensely invested and touching the ring, they decided to make a wager: whoever stopped touching the ring last would get to keep it. The aftermath of this wager resulted in one of the funniest Sheldon Cooper quotes.
While holding on to the ring as a unit, it was agreed upon that they all had to go to the restroom and would go after counting to three. Instead of counting down and going to the bathroom, Sheldon had to hilariously clarify if they could leave after counting to three or if they peed their pants on three.
12 “I’m Sorry, Coffee’s Out Of The Question. When I Moved To California I Promised My Mother That I Wouldn’t Start Doing Drugs.”
Season 2, Episode 18, “The Work Song Nanocluster”
Although Sheldon knew how to serve hot beverages and make guests feel at home in his apartment, he didn’t always partake in said beverages. On numerous occasions, Sheldon was offered coffee and he continuously turned it down, giving audiences one of the funniest Sheldon Cooper quotes.
It came to be that Sheldon viewed caffeine as a drug, and he promised his mother (played by Laurie Metcalf in TBBT and Zoe Perry in Young Sheldon) he’d never get into drugs when he moved to California. While Sheldon did eventually try coffee, he made it a point to stay away long-term because of his mission to be “drug-free.”
11 “Yes! She’s Like The Dryer Sheets Of My Heart!”
Season 9, Episode 10, “The Earworm Reverberation”
When Amy broke up with Sheldon because she was frustrated with the way their relationship was turning out, it took Sheldon far longer than he expected to feel whole again. However, the nearly-season-long arc was wholly necessary for his character, and resulted in one of the best Sheldon Cooper quotes.
In season 9, episode 10, Sheldon had a song stuck in his head and didn’t understand why. When he eventually found out what the song was, he realized the song reminded him of Amy and that he wanted to get back together. With Penny by his side, Sheldon told her that Amy softened his life and was the “dryer sheets” to his heart.
10 “You Have As Much Of A Chance Of Having A Sexual Relationship With Penny As The Hubble Telescope Does…”
Season 1, Episode 3, “The Fuzzy Boots Corollary”
From the very beginning, Sheldon was a big naysayer of the prospect of a relationship between Penny and Leonard, bringing out a ton of hysterical Sheldon Cooper quotes. This is a situation comedy at best, but it was also clear from the moment these characters met that Leonard and Penny would become the series’ central will-they-or-won’t-they relationship.
But that didn’t stop Sheldon from offering his honest thoughts about the possibility of their eventual coupling. And most of the time, the scathing remarks were paired with wonderfully nerdy scientific jokes, such as this amazing one about the Hubble Telescope and black holes. His quick one-liners made him one of the more likable characters on TBBT.
9 “You Catch Even More With Manure, What’s Your Point?”
Season 3, Episode 3, “The Gothowitz Deviation”
When Penny and Leonard first started dating, Sheldon had to get used to having Penny around more often, a situation that provided audiences with plenty of hysterical Sheldon Cooper quotes. He wasn’t sure if he could handle Penny’s social nature but Leonard reminded him that “catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” — meaning he would get better results from her if he treated her kindly.
Hilariously, Sheldon didn’t understand the analogy and mentioned that manure was stronger than honey or vinegar. Although Sheldon was brilliant, he didn’t always understand small talk or cliches, a hallmark of his characterization.
8 “I Found The Grinch To Be A Relatable, Engaging Character, And I Was Really With Him…”
Season 3, Episode 11, “The Maternal Congruence”
Sheldon hasn’t always been the merriest fellow when it came to having holiday spirit. An early episode of the series’ found Sheldon decrying the social protocol of buying Christmas presents for other people and discussing the history of the celebration known as Saturnalia. But in season 3’s holiday-themed episode, viewers got a better look at how the genius’s mind worked.
Sheldon revealed in one of the funniest Sheldon Cooper quotes that he considered the Grinch to be a truly relatable, even inspirational character. Leonard went on to mention that whenever the group watched Frosty the Snowman that Sheldon would root for the sun. And while some holiday loves would say this quote made Sheldon the worst, it just made him more unique.
7 “Hard As This May Be To Believe, It’s Possible That I’m Not Boyfriend Material.”
Season 5, Episode 12, “The Shiny Trinket Maneuver”
One of the main storylines that The Big Bang Theory has chronicled has been Sheldon’s slow transformation from a romantically disinclined individual to a boyfriend, fiance, and eventual husband to Amy Farrah Fowler. Early in their relationship, Sheldon struggled greatly with knowing how to appear invested in Amy’s life, and especially her line of work, which he always felt was inferior to his own.
Sheldon’s thoughts on biology haven’t changed much over the years, but he got a little bit better about biting his tongue and keeping his disinterest and snide comments to himself, despite these things sometimes leading to the funniest Sheldon Cooper quotes. But in season 5, he and Amy got into an argument about his rude behavior, leading to him making the above remark to Leonard about his shocking lack of boyfriend appeal.
6 “Scissors Cuts Paper. Paper Covers Rock. Rock Crushes Lizard.”
Season 2, Episode 8, “The Lizard-Spock Expansion”
Sometimes, there are certain quotes from characters that give way to entire pop culture trends. Season 2’s “The Lizard-Spock Expansion” gave one of the most bizarre Sheldon Cooper quotes one of these such moments. The episode introduced viewers to the game known as Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock — the gang’s apparent method of choice when they had decisions to make that none of them wanted to make.
An expansion of the traditional Rock, Paper, Scissors, the game perfectly incorporated aspects of science fiction that appealed to the primary gang of friends. No character could ever explain things as hilariously, or as succinctly, as Sheldon did. For those that wish to play, the rules between the Rock, Paper, and Scissors remain the same, however: Rock crushes Lizard, Lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes Scissors, Scissors decapitates Lizard, Lizard eats Paper, Paper disproves Spock, and Spock vaporizes Rock.
5 “I Graduated College At 14. While My Brother Was Getting An STD, I Was Getting A Ph.D. Penicillin Can’t Take This Away.”
Season 8, Episode 17, “The Colonization Application”
Long before Young Sheldon existed to introduce viewers to the hilarious and heartwarming dynamics of the Cooper family, The Big Bang Theory still managed to occasionally drop hints along the way as to the nature of Sheldon’s family, resulting in plenty of memorable Sheldon Cooper quotes. One of such gems came in season 8 when Sheldon was applying to be chosen to travel to Mars.
During his video application, Sheldon immediately got way too personal about himself, lauding his successes as he always does – while also shedding light on some incredibly TMI details about his brother’s adolescence. Sheldon was a good friend, but he wasn’t always the best brother and was often disparaging of his family.
4 “Robert Oppenheimer Was Lonely.”
Season 4, Episode 3, “The Zazzy Substitution”
Sheldon Cooper probably didn’t strike most people as a cat person. It also didn’t help matters or make sense that Sheldon claimed he was allergic to cats in an earlier episode. Early in season 4, however, viewers got to see what it would be like if Sheldon Cooper became the male scientist equivalent of a cat lady, and the results were some of the funniest Sheldon Cooper quotes.
After temporarily breaking things off with Amy, Sheldon decided he needed to get not one, not two, but six cats — almost all named after scientists who took part in the Manhattan Project. Except, of course, for the lovably zazzy little Zazzles. The whole debacle sees Leonard getting Sheldon’s mother involved and in the end, he ends up giving his small tribe of cats away.
3 “I’m Not Crazy. My Mother Had Me Tested.”
Season 3, Episode 13, “The Bozeman Reaction”
It’d be impossible to count the number of times that characters in the series refer to Sheldon as crazy, or some variation thereof. And it also doesn’t help that there is, famously, a fine line between what society thinks of as genius and insanity. When others insisted that Sheldon was crazy, he was quick to correct them with one of the most memorable Sheldon Cooper quotes.
As he once famously stated, “I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested.” And knowing Mary Cooper as fans do now, this probably happened often. Mary Cooper had some of the best quotes in the series when defending or explaining her “Shelly.” The first time Sheldon says it is after their apartment is robbed and he suggests it could’ve been an inside job. The police officer on the scene offered to put him in a psychiatric hold, and his rebuttal was this iconic line.
2 “That’s No Reason To Cry. One Cries Because One Is Sad. For Example, I Cry Because Others Are Stupid And It Makes Me Sad.”
Season 3, Episode 10, “The Gorilla Experiment”
Sheldon has never been anything other than unflinchingly confident in his intellect, especially when compared to almost anyone else. But poor Penny was often the brunt of his judgment, especially when the two of them were working together, but on no occasion more than when he attempted to teach her the history of physics.
When Penny started crying because she felt stupid since Sheldon’s physics lessons weren’t sticking with her, Sheldon was incredulous and delivered one of the most memorable Sheldon Cooper quotes. He didn’t understand why being stupid would make her cry. On the other hand, his reasoning for crying because other people are stupid is perfectly valid. Sometimes, there’s just no point in arguing with Sheldon’s way of thinking.
Season 2, Episode 23, “The Monopolar Expedition”
If any of the most memorable Sheldon Cooper quotes over the years could come closer to being thought of as a catchphrase, it would undoubtedly be this one-word zinger he uttered whenever he thought he’s been hilarious, first said in the season 2 finale. Whenever new fans ask what the catchphrase of Sheldon Cooper was in TBBT, it’s the one and only “Bazinga.” His self-satisfaction, paired with the undeniably goofy little exclamation, makes “Bazinga!” such a real winner of a catchphrase.
Young Sheldon even doubled down on the significance of the utterance, revealing that it was a word Sheldon learned from a series of practical jokes, and therefore, remains one of the few behavioral things that he has carried over from his formative years into his adulthood in The Big Bang Theory.