Pilot (The Big Bang Theory)

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The Big Bang Theory episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 1
Directed by James Burrows
Written by Chuck Lorre
Bill Prady
Production code 276023
Original air date September 24, 2007
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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The first episode of The Big Bang Theory originally aired on CBS in the United States on September 24, 2007. It was written by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, and directed by James Burrows. It marks the first appearance of all five main characters in the series, and also guest stars Brian Patrick Wade as Kurt.

Plot summary[edit]

Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper are two intelligent young physicists who have a combined IQ of 360 and claim to have "beautiful minds" that understand how the universe works. However, they are socially awkward, especially around women. After an unsuccessful visit to the high-IQ sperm bank, they return home and meet Penny, an aspiring actress who moves in next door. When Leonard and Sheldon meet Penny, Leonard is immediately infatuated and hopes to date her, which Sheldon finds unlikely to happen.

Sheldon is quite content spending his nights playing Klingon Boggle with their socially dysfunctional friends, fellow geeks Howard Wolowitz, a wannabe ladies man, and Rajesh Koothrappali, who suffers from selective mutism, in particular when Penny is around. However, Leonard sees in Penny a whole new universe of possibilities. He is so infatuated with her that after letting her use their shower on account of hers being broken, he agrees to try and retrieve her TV from her ex-boyfriend, a tall kid aptly named Kurt. However, Kurt de-pants Leonard and Sheldon, and they are unable to retrieve the TV. Feeling bad, Penny offers to buy the guys dinner. Sheldon realizes Leonard will continue pursuing Penny when Leonard says "Our babies will be smart and beautiful" to which Sheldon adds, "Not to mention, imaginary."

Unaired pilot[edit]

An earlier pilot was produced which did not include Penny, Howard, or Raj. It instead included the characters Katie (Amanda Walsh) and Gilda (Iris Bahr).[1] Katie, like Penny, is a street-smart foil to book-smart Leonard and Sheldon; however, she is meaner than Penny.[1][2] She claimed to have slept with her stepfather before her mother married him.[3] Moreover, in the original pilot the character of Sheldon is more sexual and libidinous.[1][4] In fact, Sheldon is explicitly stated to have had sex with Gilda, his and Leonard's friend, at a Star Trek convention.[5] CBS passed on the original pilot but liked the show enough to ask Lorre and Prady to produce a second one.[1]


Jim Chamberlin of IGN praised the episode, calling it "a great start for the series", and stating that the writing was "some of the best we've seen in a standard sitcom in some time".[6] Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe, however, gave a negative review, saying that the show is "one of those laugh-track sitcoms that has exactly one comedy routine and just keeps hammering it home".[7]



External links[edit]