As brilliant as Sheldon Cooper is on The Big Bang Theory, he’s also incredibly relatable. Most of Sheldon’s storylines revolve around his friends and colleagues being confused over his way of life or the things he says, but he does have relatable moments woven throughout his brilliant ones.
Sheldon can be awkward and insensitive, but fans found relatability in his fear of germs, his issues with closure, and his heartbreak over Amy. Sheldon is a complex man who matured as the series went on, but that doesn’t mean that his loved ones can’t understand or relate to some of his idiosyncrasies.
His Fear Of Germs
In ‘The Pancake Batter Anomaly,’ Sheldon is disturbed when Penny mentions that the family she just visited in Nebraska were all sick with the flu. Sheldon became cautious of Penny and panicked at the thought of getting sick.
As someone who has a fear of physical contact and is a hypochondriac, his worries were relatable. What’s worse is that when Sheldon eventually got sick, he needed someone to take care of him, but that’s hard to find when everyone is an adult with a full-time job and busy life.
His Issues With Closure
In ‘The Closure Alternative,’ Amy realizes that Sheldon has a huge issue with closure and tries to get help with it. Sheldon, however, was disinterested and didn’t want to face a trait of his that was hard to manage.
Amy made sure Sheldon couldn’t finish a game of Tick-Tac-Toe, the song “Happy Birthday,” and a game of Dominoes. Every attempt made Sheldon uncomfortable, but he’s not the only one. While there are quite a few things that don’t make sense about Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, this trait of his is relatable. Not being able to finish a series, a song, or a game can be incredibly hard or annoying.
His Love Of “Nerdy” Franchises
Some of Sheldon’s best scenes are when he nerds out over his favorite franchise, show, game, or character. The gang loves their comic books and anything related to the characters within them.
Although his love for comics and different franchises was relatable, it was the moment when Penny gave him a used napkin from Leonard Nimoy (the original Spock) that made fans feel closer to him (especially Star Trek fans). Jumping for joy over an autograph — or in this case, a used napkin — from a celebrity was relatable.
His Issues With His Brother & Tam
The Big Bang Theory fans love Sheldon’s relationship with his super religious mom in Texas because of how different they are. The two couldn’t be more separate and yet their love for each other outweighs their interests and outlooks.
It wasn’t until Sheldon was about to get married that his friends realized how bad his relationship with his brother Georgie was. Sheldon didn’t want to make amends out of pride, but the two eventually came to an understanding. Fans with similar family issues empathized with Sheldon and Georgie. They felt the same empathy when Sheldon described the fallout from his former best friend, Tam, and how that affected him into adulthood.
His Heartbreak Over Amy & The Awkwardness In A Friend Group
Amy and Sheldon’s relationship timeline on The Big Bang Theory was a complex one because their friends weren’t sure what to make of them. Sheldon feared physical intimacy, whereas Amy craved it. Amy also craved a “normal” relationship that wasn’t confined to a relationship contract.
After five years together, Amy broke up with Sheldon because the relationship wasn’t going anywhere. It was then that he realized how much he loved and needed her. He tried getting her back without actually doing the work, but it made Amy separate herself from him more. His heartache and confusion over the future were relatable for viewers who also suffered similar scenarios.
When You Have Coffee For The First Time
Penny and Sheldon had some of the best moments in The Big Bang Theory. Like Sheldon and his mom, Sheldon and Penny were also complete opposites with only one thing in common: Leonard.
Penny offered Sheldon coffee before, which upset Sheldon because he viewed caffeine as a drug. He eventually had a cup and went haywire with energy, which was hilarious to see. Sheldon had another date with caffeine when he had an energy drink at Caltech and crashed before he could finish his work. His love/hate relationship with something that millions of people drink every day is comical yet relatable.
Moving On From A Longtime Roommate Can Be Difficult
In ‘The Space Probe Disintegration,’ Leonard and Sheldon get roped into going shopping with Penny and Amy. While waiting for the women in the changing rooms, Sheldon and Leonard began talking about their life as roommates and all of the sacrifices they’ve made to benefit the other person.
This conversation went south because Leonard felt like he did way more to appease Sheldon than vice versa. In the end, the real issue between the pair was that they were upset about the changes in their life. With Penny and Leonard being married, they were presumably going to live in Penny’s apartment, which frightened both men. The relatability of leaving the comfort of home or a roommate is strong because change can be hard.
His Jealousy Over A Colleague
Outside of the main cast, there was also a good group of secondary characters on TBBT. Bert Kibbler and Barry Kripke were the two main ones. As colleagues at Caltech, Sheldon did his best to ignore them because he felt his work was above theirs. But that all changed when Bert won a grant for his research.
Sheldon thought Bert’s area of geology was a joke and that he didn’t deserve any accolades. It was easy to see that Sheldon was jealous of Bert, because even when Sheldon read a paper of Bert’s he was pleasantly surprised. However, jealousy in the workplace can be relatable — especially when it’s competitive.
His Inability To Lie
One of Sheldon’s best traits is his inability to lie. It’s what makes him so pure. When Leonard or Penny asked Sheldon to lie for them, Sheldon has a meltdown. He ethically doesn’t think it’s appropriate to lie, he also doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
He found it hard to lie to Leonard when he had spaghetti and hot dogs with Penny, he hated lying for Leonard when he started seeing Priya behind Raj’s back, and he couldn’t contain himself when he lied about breaking his special action figure from Penny. Hating lying or lying for someone else was one of Sheldon’s more relatable moments.
When Someone Else Eats Off Your Plate
Penny knew Sheldon very well after season 1, so it confused fans why she thought Sheldon wouldn’t care when she ate off his plate or touched his food.
In one episode, Penny stole an onion ring off Sheldon’s plate, which he noticed right away. Penny didn’t think it was a big deal but Sheldon felt like Penny ignored his boundaries. And while it may not have been a big deal in Penny’s eyes, Sheldon’s disdain for other people touching his food or his plate was relatable to many.