“The Big Bang Theory” is currently my favorite television show. It ranks on my list of top shows all-time. I watch it so often and am starting to consider addiction as being involved here.
I know there are countless message boards for the show, and lists showing mistakes like an empty glass suddenly being filled or other filming faux pas. Those are fun, but fairly common to any show. However, I am limiting this post to one basic subject – the architectural impossibilities of the building at 2311 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, California, and the various inconsistences within the building.
1. Why the building is architecturally impossible: Where is Penny’s apartment? We know the front door in the lobby is just to the right of the stairs, coming down. The stairway wraps around the elevator. Based on this, Penny’s apartment has to be in the exact location the front door in the lobby is located. We also know that just outside the front door is a sidewalk and then the street. Therefore, Penny’s apartment has to be hanging directly over the sidewalk and the street. And, the small window in her kitchen, which is generally blocked off by something, but I believe reveals a brick wall at times (Hence, Penny putting various designs there to replace the visual of the wall), can’t exist where it is shown. That window would have to be in the middle of the street, and what on earth is a brick wall doing in the middle of a street in Pasadena?!
2. What kind of amoeba-shaped building do they live in? Look at this thing!!
3. To take #2 one step further, as is often pointed out, there are 16 mailboxes in the lobby. There cannot be any apartments on the first floor (See #5).Therefore, my assumption is there are 4 apartments on the second, third, fourth, and fifth floors. We are never led to believe there are more than five floors, though it is possible. But that would make the mailbox layout even more bizarre. In Season 1, Episode 2, I have noticed, just to the right of Sheldon and Leonard’s door (facing into the apartment), there is a cornering of the wall and the glimpse of a hallway. It would make sense that two more apartments are down this hallway. However, I believe this viewpoint becomes altered in later seasons, and may no longer exist, dismissing these other apartments into oblivion. If they do exist, though, the building becomes even weirder looking.
4. Going back to the mailboxes in the lobby, it is a 4 x 4 layout. Sheldon and Leonard always take their mail from the upper left box. However, in at least one episode, I have noticed Penny taking mail from the upper right box. Shouldn’t she be the box right next to Sheldon’s and Leonard’s? Again, not violating the laws of physics, but clearly odd. Also, if I am correct that people live on floors 2 – 5, why does Leonard once mention getting the couch from the guys on the first floor? And shouldn’t Sheldon’s and Leonard’s and Penny’s mailboxes be on the second row from the top?
5. Why aren’t there apartments on the first floor? For starters, the front door to the lobby is where Penny’s apartment would be. No apartment is just outside the front door. The mailboxes are exactly where Sheldon’s and Leonard’s apartment, and all those below and the fifth floor above, are located. No apartment behind the mailboxes then. To the right of the elevator (facing it), is a small corridor. All indications are the door that can be seen there either goes directly into the laundry room or leads to stairs going down to it. If we walk into the lobby from the front door and turn right, small plants can sometimes be seen. Why would they be in front of any apartments or blocking the approach to a hallway? Also, we see in Season 3, Episode 20, that there is a light store directly adjacent to the apartment at street level. Sheldon and Howard walk past it before Howard departs and Sheldon is then chased by a big dog for his hot dogs. Clearly, no apartments over there. So, no people are living on the first floor.
6. Another building oddity I have noticed is the window in Leonard’s and Sheldon’s kitchen. We see it repeatedly in earlier seasons. It faces a brick wall, which is a bit strange, given the layout of where the bedrooms would have to be, since it does not appear to be angled at all. This window is important to Sheldon, as he has chosen his seat on the couch, in part, based upon the cross breeze between this window and the larger window in the main room. However, in later seasons, there is a large erase board fully blocking where this window would be. Did the window disappear? Why would Sheldon allow such a large obstruction to be altering his much-needed cross breeze?
Now back to re-runs!!