When I have trouble sleeping at night, I often put on an old show, preferably one that’s dialog heavy, and leave it running in the background. I find that it helps me sleep, and more importantly, it satisfies my OCD need to know exactly how long it took me to fall asleep. I’d usually wake up the next day and roughly remember what were the last few lines I heard, and that’d give me a good estimate.
In S01E10 of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon retrieves his lunch back from the trash after Leonard binned it in an attempt to make his deception to Penny more believable. When I first watched it years ago, no red flags were raised.
However, after watching five seasons of the show and getting to know Sheldon’s character intimately well, Sheldon’s obsession with cleanliness, especially when it comes to food, the scene seems wrong. The Sheldon we know wouldn’t have even reached into the bin without screaming for disinfectants, much less retrieve his lunch from it. Sheldon freaked out in S02E07, when Penny touched one of his onion rings, and threw away the rest as a result.
In S03E04, Sheldon came into contact a little ink from a whiteboard marker and ran for the nearest baby wipes. Then, in S05E02, Sheldon reacted strongly on hygiene grounds when he discovered Penny had retrieved a chair that was originally discarded. This all reinforces that point that Sheldon’s actions in S01E10 seems completely contrary to his character.
Of course, none of this any fault of the authors. In any long running series, be it a book, game, or television, there are bound to inconsistencies that only arise when you look at the whole thing in retrospect. The authors, while writing for season 1, probably didn’t have all the episodes for season 5 planned out, and it would be silly to considering how TV shows might get axed any time.
Much like history, we often look back and blame individuals or groups of people for failing to see what to us now, in retrospect, feels incredibly obvious. The truth is, in prospect, none of them could have possibly have conceived the every possible chain of results from their action, or inaction.