With 12 seasons under The Big Bang Theory’s belt, there are plenty of standalone episodes that viewers can watch that don’t require watching the entire series from start to finish. These episodes are independent and easy to follow for viewers who aren’t necessarily familiar with the show’s premise.
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The show centers itself around four brilliant friends and their partners. With Sheldon Cooper being the hardest to get along with, he’s often at the center of group’s issues, but the episodes always end with love and friendship. These standalone episodes can be enjoyed in any order whether fans have seen previous episodes or not due to its independent content.
10 “The Cooper Extraction” (S7; E11)
In season 7’s “The Cooper Extraction,” Sheldon is away in Texas helping his sister give birth while everyone else is back in apartment 4a decorating for the holidays. In case any new viewer isn’t aware of Sheldon’s impact on the group of friends’ lives, this episode is perfect.
Each person gives their own version of how they met Sheldon and what their lives could potentially be like without Sheldon’s influence. The walk down memory lane in this standalone Big Bang Theory episode will have viewers watching it again and again and can fill in some questions new viewers may have.
9 “The Scavenger Vortex” (S7; E3)
If viewers wanted to know more about the group’s dynamic, “The Scavenger Vortex” is the perfect standalone episode. In the episode, Raj keeps a secret from his friends and creates a scavenger hunt for the group, pairing everyone up with someone they’re typically not with.
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New viewers will see the unique dynamic between Sheldon and Penny, the competitive edge of Bernadette, and how awkward Amy and Howard can be before finding things in common. It’s a fun episode that touches base on every corner of the episode
8 “The Re-Entry Minimization” (S6; E4)
New viewers will quickly realize that Sheldon and Amy are dating and that Leonard and Penny are married when this foursome takes part in a friendly game of battle of the sexes in “The Re-Entry Minimization.” With the girls facing the boys, viewers will be in a fit of giggles seeing how different both groups operate.
At the same time, Howard wants to spend time with Bernadette after landing from outer space, but when she falls sick, he decides to surprise his friends instead. His surprise doesn’t go as planned, but the entire ordeal is comical TV.
7 “The Staircase Implementation” (S3; E22)
For those who want a bit of background on the friends of TBBT, “The Staircase Implementation” is a great episode to catch. After Leonard gets in an argument with Sheldon, he storms across the hall to vent to Penny. At this point, if fans didn’t know that Amy and Bernadette were Penny’s best friends, they’d find out quickly that Leonard is as well.
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Leonard tells Penny the tale of how he met Leonard and how their friendship came to be. Visually, the show takes viewers down old times, showing hilarious throwbacks of the gang when they first met each other. It’s a fun episode for current and potential fans.
6 “The Barbarian Sublimation” (S2; E3)
Penny used to poke fun of Leonard and co. for their “nerdy” tendencies, but in “The Barbarian Sublimation,” it was Penny’s turn to fall in love with the same nerdy things she made fun of, as Sheldon taught Penny how to play Age of Conan, and she slowly saw the appeal in the game.
Little by little Penny began playing the game and became as addicted as her friends were. She skipped work, said no to dates, and became a zombie dedicated to this alternate universe. Her behavior and the reactions of others make this standalone episode one of the best.
5 “The Precious Fragmentation” (S3; E17)
Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj all became low-key villains when they find an original Lord of the Rings prop in “The Precious Fragmentation.” They all turn on each other and decide to make a bet: whoever took a hand off the ring, lost the ring.
The four men did their best to derail the other for the chance of becoming owners of an original ring from the monumental movie. Anyone would appreciate this episode who has a close circle of friends and a love for movie props.
4 “The Pants Alternative” (S3; E18)
In the third season, viewers learn that Sheldon is the recipient of a prestigious award, but he’s only able to receive it if he made a public speech. Sheldon, however, is terrified of public speaking and needed help.
Therefore, his friends step up to the plate in “The Pants Alternative” and each try helping him in their own way. For new viewers, they get to see the characters’ strengths and weaknesses with Sheldon, not to mention a scene Sheldon strips down to his skivvies.
3 “Adhesive Duck Deficiency” (S3; E8)
Things would be totally different for Penny and Sheldon today if they never met each other through being neighbors. As new viewers find out in “Adhesive Duck Deficiency,” Sheldon and Penny bond when Leonard is out of town.
She slipped in the shower and needed urgent care, and the first thing she thought of doing was calling Sheldon from the tub. The two then go on an adventure from the tub to the hospital and back again. Seeing these two opposites come together for one night makes it a great standalone episiode.
2 “The Werewolf Transformation” (S5; E18)
In “The Warewolf Transformation,” viewers quickly find out how particular Sheldon is when it comes to his hair. His go-to barber was no longer working, which made Sheldon uncomfortable because it meant he’d have to find someone new.
Trusting new people was not easy for Sheldon. This episode had some of the best Sheldon Cooper quotes, however, because he eventually allowed Penny to cut it for him. Sheldon’s quirks are shown brightly in this episode, as are his relationships with his girlfriend and friends.
1 “The Psychic Vortex” (S3; E12)
When Howard and Leonard are busy in the episode “The Psychic Vortex,” Raj begs Sheldon to be his wingman for the evening. Viewers quickly learn that Raj is lonely and that Sheldon couldn’t care less about dating.
The two hit the town, nonetheless, and the ride from their only continues to get funnier. Watching Sheldon completely ignore someone flirting with him was a hilarious storyline.
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Lynn is a nomad who travels the globe on the hunt for her next adventure with her husband. A lover of being outside (and finding the best latte in town), Lynn is typically hiking, walking, or jogging when she’s not focusing on her love of writing. When it comes to shows streaming on Netflix or anything Bravo-related, Lynn’s your gal.
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