10 Hidden Details About Sheldon And Leonard's Apartment
The Big Bang Theory is full of Easter Eggs and Hidden Details, and we’re sure even the most ardent fans have missed lots of them.
Did you notice at least two Easter eggs on Sheldon and Leonard’s fridge? Did Sheldon always sit on his spot? And what prop from the apartment proved to be very important in the finale? We’re going to tell you about the tiniest little details that you totally missed in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment!
The apartment number
Do you remember the apartment number where our favorite gang of nerds hung out most of the time? If you’re a real fan, you should have noticed that it was apartment 4A. But you probably never thought about any connections with it. After all, it’s not as obvious as Amy’s apartment number, for example, which is 314, you know the first 3 digits of Pi.
But in Sheldon and Leonard’s case, it’s just 4A… What could it possibly mean? According to the Big Bang Theory fandom, it’s an Easter egg! When you say 4-A, it sounds like the word “foray”, which, according to the Cambridge dictionary means “a short period of time being involved in an activity that is different from a usual set of activities.”
Does that mean that everyone in the apartment kinda gets to take a step out of their comfort zone...? When you think about it, the answer is yes! Penny is challenged by a group of scientists who talk about stuff she doesn’t understand. Leonard is forced to cope with Sheldon’s quirks, which is no picnic in the park. And Sheldon changes a lot, and learns to become more emotional and understanding… Or, according to the same fandom, the “foray” could also be a reference to June Foray, a voice actress who’s known for voicing Rocky the Flying Squirrel!
The building's address
Now when we realized how important the apartment number could have been, we decided to take a closer look at the building's address! Devoted fans know that Sheldon and Leonard’s official address is 2311 North Los Robles, Pasadena, California.
But it seems to have changed at least once. At the end of the episode The Countdown Reflection, when Howard and Bernadette get married on the roof, the speedy zoom shows us a Google Earth shot of the location. And it’s 215 South Madison Avenue!
It’s no wonder they couldn’t show the North Los Robles location at that point. After all, it’s totally fictional and even the view from the apartment window is nothing but a photo taken in Pasadena. Well, sure, 2311 North Los Robles exists, but if you look at it on Google Maps, there are no apartment buildings there. Funnily enough, Los Robles and Madison Avenue are located minutes away from each other.
An apartment flag
Even though the apartment’s location is fictional, it still has some perks that no other apartment will ever have - an apartment flag! A gold lion rampant in a field of azure… is how Sheldon would describe it. The flag appeared in the show quite a few times.
Sheldon was holding it while Leonard and he were signing the roommate agreement. We also saw the full-size version of it in Sheldon’s Fun with Flags, where it was placed next to the flag of the United States. The brightest moment we all remember was probably when Leonard was doing his laundry while wearing it… and only it.
But if you were attentive enough, you would have noticed the flag even more often! It was featured as a magnet on Sheldon and Leonard’s fridge and it would always showed the current state of affairs.
If the apartment was in distress, for example, it would be turned upside down. Just look closer at the fridge and you will see that Sheldon strictly followed this rule. Whenever Leonard and Sheldon were going through tough times, the flag always showed it!
Other easter eggs on the fridge
But it isn’t the only Easter egg that you could spot on the fridge in apartment 4A. When Penny finally moved in with Leonard, she took all the photos from her fridge to their apartment. By the way, if you missed this detail, we’re here to tell you that the photos on Penny’s fridge featured herself, her co-stars and those people who worked behind the scenes on The Big Bang Theory.
It was a nice tribute to everyone who made the show so popular. But an even nicer “blink-and-you-miss-it” tribute appeared after the death of one of the actresses. We never saw her on the show, but we’d recognize her voice anywhere. We’re talking about Carol Ann Susi, who was the unforgettable voice of Howard’s mother.
After she passed in real life (and Mrs. Wolowitz passed on the show), her small photo appeared on the fridge in Penny and Leonard’s apartment. It meant a lot mostly for the crew because, unlike them, most fans didn’t even know how Susi looked.
The nerd heaven
But let’s move on and take a closer look at other parts of this apartment. Since nerds lived there for so long, it’s obvious that it was studded with nerdy stuff. There was so much of everything, from collectibles to artwork, that Howard even called the apartment NERDvana in season 1’s episode “The Nerdvana Annihilation”.
Obviously, Sheldon and Leonard loved everything about Doctor Who, DC Comics, Star Trek, Star Wars, and other geeky masterpieces. It’s almost impossible to see every tiny memorabilia in their apartment because there are so many of them!
In an interview with CNN, for example, Will Wheaton revealed that Sheldon and Leonard had an Aquaman action figure that was holding the Vulcan "Live long and prosper" salute! Have you seen it?
Mayim Bialik also disclosed in the same interview that one of her actual textbooks on genetics was in the apartment. There was also a Batman cookie jar, Game of Thrones sword, game starter sets on bookshelves, nebula posters, the Smeagol figurine from Lord of the Rings… Doesn't that sound like nerd heaven? And what about this huge DNA model? Most of the viewers didn’t even pay attention to it until the series finale, where it played a small but important role. But we’ll get back to that later!
The whiteboards with equations
There’s a lot of science talk in The Big Bang Theory and in many scenes in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment, we can see whiteboards with equations written all over them. Most of us don’t really pay attention to them because we aren’t physicists and we have no idea whether these equations are accurate. But in fact, they are!
Since day 1, the show employed UCLA professor David Saltzberg who would help them avoid any kinds of mistakes and who would also check the equations for them. And then, another scientist, Mayim Bialik, joined the show as a regular and she also verified this sort of stuff. We can only praise this level of adherence to accuracy, but…
In the episode “The Raiders Minimization”, the whiteboards featured the equations from Raiders of the Lost Ark and they were completely… wrong. But, we can assume that the crew used them on purpose because it was the same episode where Amy ruined the Indiana Jones movie for Sheldon, the whole gang, and… heck!... for all of us too. So, perhaps, it was another nod to the inaccuracy of the renowned film. What do you think?
The carcinogenic arrows
Moving on! Do you remember how Sheldon never joked about safety? Remember how he lived with Raj for some time in season 4 and introduced him to the apartment safety measures? These measures included luminous glow-in-the-dark arrows on the floor that pointed to a number of emergency exits.
An attentive fan would ask the question, “If these arrows glow in the dark and we’ve seen the apartment with no lights on a number of times… how was that the only time we saw them?” Let us explain. No, actually, let Sheldon explain. Because he revealed in one of the episodes of season 5 that he removed the arrows because he found out that they were extremely carcinogenic. But he never shared an alternative way of directing the inhabitants in case of emergency. Did he just refuse to find a replacement and… let it be? That's not like Sheldon at all!
Sheldon’s spot on the couch
What also isn’t like Sheldon, was him sitting at random spots in the apartment. Right from the very first episode, we knew how much he loved his spot on the couch, how much he hated to sit elsewhere, and how much he didn’t want others to sit on it… well, except for his Meemaw.
But, a few times, he surprisingly seemed to be okay with letting others take his spot. For example, in Bat Jar Conjecture, Leonard sat there and Sheldon just took the chair. In another instance, the spot was taken by Raj and Sheldon also didn’t seem to mind at all. It’s unclear how no one noticed this kind of inconsistency on set, especially since Jim Parsons himself held the spot dear.
In an interview with CNN, the actor revealed: “I do have a unique relationship with [Sheldon's spot] on the couch.”
Apparently, it’s because it helps him figure out where he should start a scene! “Nine times out of 10, I start on the spot on that couch. It's as close as I think I'll ever get to Archie Bunker's chair,” Parsons added.
An extra wall
But we should let Sheldon’s sudden flexibility remain a mystery and move on to the next detail. In sitcoms, we usually only see three walls on sets because the fourth wall serves as a view into the apartment and episodes are filmed from there. But did you notice that we actually saw the fourth wall twice on The Big Bang Theory?
The first time, it was shown in the second season’s episode "The Euclid Alternative", when Sheldon was looking at the gang hanging out in the living room from the hallway that led to their bedrooms. And the second time, we saw it in "The Colonization Application" in season 8 on Sheldon’s Mars application video, where he threw a cake in Leonard’s face to demonstrate his questionable sense of humor. Well, The Big Bang Theory did break the fourth wall, right?
And here’s the final Easter egg from apartment 4A that was dropped in the last episode of the show. Remember how Leonard tried to move the DNA model that was standing in the corner and it disintegrated into multiple pieces, and he finally realized why Sheldon never wanted him to even touch it?
The guy had his reasons! Leonard and Sheldon spent a lot of time reconstructing it. The first line in the series finale was Leonard saying: “This might be the glue talking, but that was a very pleasurable 139½ hours.” This number didn’t come out of nowhere.
As Johnny Galecki later revealed, “That is the amount of hours of television we’ve made here collectively on the stage.” And he added that these 139½ hours weren’t only pleasurable for him in real life.
“They were … a dream come true for all of us here, and it’s not ever lost on us," Galecki said.
Oh, Johnny, it was a dream come true for all of us, too. Thank you for these 139½ hours! Did you, eagle-eyed fans, notice any of these details? And what else would you like to know about your favorite show?