The Most Important Cultural Events In The Last 50 Years… According To ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Geek sitcom ‘The Big Bang Theory’ might be the most popular thing on TV right now, but there’s one part of the show that still leaves viewers baffled. The intro montage.

It’s a collection of historical images cut together at a breakneck, dizzying speed that’s liable to have you reaching for a sickbag. On theme song duties are Canadian slacker-rock band Barenaked Ladies’ with ‘The History Of Everything’.

The thing is, there are so many pictures (121 at last count) and they flick across the screen at such a rate, that not even the ultra-intelligent Sheldon Cooper could make out what the hell is going on.

So it’s lucky the Internet has, once again, provided the answer. One dedicated Big Bang fan has separated each of the iconic images into a 121-strong picture gallery and breaking it down tells us a fair bit about what the show thinks are the most important cultural moments over the last fifty years. We explain…

Space travel

What really? On a sitcom about scientists? Well whad’ya know… Sarcasm aside, this picture documents the take-off of the Space Shuttle Challenger on NASA’s April 1984 repair mission.

Martin Luther King

The only actual person from the last 50 years to get his own slot is civil rights icon MLK. Not an actual photo though, the creators obviously didn’t love him enough to shell out for image rights…


Here we go, something musical we can get on board with. The emergence of disco is the only music genre Warner Bros. seem bothered enough with to slip into their TV show. Seems about right though, we can just imagine Sheldon and Leonard throwing some shapes to a bit of early Jacko or the Bee Gees. They’ve got the trousers for it…


“Where it goes, nobody knows” was how this mystery action robot was sold to the public back in the mid-’80s. We know where Mystabot goes though – straight onto Ebay, where the discerning retro-toy collector can pick one up for between £20 to £50. Bargain?

The Walkman

Remember these? Specifically the AIWA XP-560 CD-Player but hey, Sony didn’t have a monopoly on face-smackingly awful playback did they? Skipping was for everyone.


Actually invented in the 1970s on the streets of the South Bronx, New York City, but boy did it kick off in the early noughties over here. Set to the sounds of hip-hop luminaries like Tupac and Nas, we’re not complaining. Hey, the clothes were comfy too.

Motorola MicraTAC

This would make a handy doorstop wouldn’t it? But in fact, it was 1986’s bet selling mobile telephone, introducing the then revolutionary ‘flip’ design where the mouthpiece folded over the keypad. Still, we’re not sure “Micra” is the right name for a device that wouldn’t do a bad job supporting your house…

The Berlin Wall

The most impassable barrier in cultural history, apart from the emotional ones Sheldon erects between himself and the world (poor Amy), the Berlin Wall has inspired some of our favourite music. From Bowie to Madonna, very few cultural icons have failed to be impressed. We can’t argue with you on this one Big Bang.

Sony Playstation

Cultural catalyst or black hole of procrastination? We’re inclined to go for the former. Brought out amid a storm of excitement back in 1994, Sony’s Playstation revolutionised the gaming industry, and gave Sheldon and his friends something to do besides getting picked on by bullies…

Digital cameras

That’s right, the ability to take breathtaking digital shots of the world’s natural wonders is one of the 20th century’s greatest inventions. Snapping your mate flecked in his own vomit on the dance floor of South London’s grimiest EDM club? Not so much.