The Big Bang Theory Wiki

21st Century Germany

German is the official language of Germany, and one of the official languages of the countries of Austria and Switzerland.

Appearances on The Big Bang Theory[]

Howard and Sheldon can cite or use German words or short phrases.

  • In "The Hamburger Postulate" (S1E05) Howard describes Leonard's and Leslie's sex as "eine kleine bang-bang Musik" :
  • Howard: The blogospheres are buzzin' with news of you and Leslie Winkle making "Eine kleine bang-bang Musik".
Literally, this phrase means "a little bang-bang music". It's probably a humorous wordplay on the German  "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" (usually translated as "a little serenade" in English while it literally means "a little night music"), the widely known name of Serenade No. 13 by Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
  • In "The Pancake Batter Anomaly" (S1E11), it is shown that Sheldon did not know German well at the age of 15, but he can remember and recite short German phrases. He tells Penny about him becoming sick in the German city Heidelberg:
  • Sheldon: Anyway, the housekeeper in the faculty residence didn't speak any English. When I finally managed to convince her I was sick, she said, "Möchtest du eine Darmspülung?"
  • Penny: What does that mean?
  • Sheldon: Based on what happened next, I assume it means, "Would you like an enema?"
  • Penny: Fritz, I need you at my side. I don't know German. Flanken Sie, flanken Sie!
    (Note: "Sie" is German for "you" formally, and to correctly say "Flank!" she should have said "Flankieren Sie!". "Flankieren" in German is the verb used if you attack from the side in fighting or warfare situations such as game and ' Flanken'is passing a high and long ball in soccer)
  • Sheldon: The Germans have a term for what you're feeling: Weltschmerz. It means the depression that arises from comparing the world as it is to a hypothetical, idealized world.
  • In "The Terminator Decoupling' (S2E17), when Howard tries to hit on Summer Glau, he mentions source of the word "pumpernickel" is from German words, to which Summer Glau has no interest at all:
  • Howard: And did you know the word "pumpernickel" comes from the German words "pumper" and "nickel", which loosely translates to "fart goblin"?
  • Summer Glau: No, I didn't.
  • Sheldon: Guten Tag, das YouTube. Ich bin ein Bavarian.
  • Amy: Und ich bin eine Pretzel.
  • Sheldon: Und dis is Sheldon Cooper Presents: Fun ...
  • Amy: mit...
  • Sheldon: Flags!
  • (Note: These phrases are not well translated. Correct is:)
  • Sheldon: Guten Tag, YouTube. (The article can be omitted.) Ich bin ein Bayer. (Bayer is the translation of Bavarian)
  • Amy: Und ich bin eine Bretzel. (Bretzel is the translation of pretzel)
  • Sheldon: Und dies ist Sheldon Cooper präsentiert: Spaß...
  • Amy: mit...
  • Sheldon: Flaggen!
  • In "The Re-Entry Minimization" (S6E04), When Bernadette sneezes, Howard responds with "Gesundheit, you OK?" "Gesundheit" is of German origin, literally means "bless you". And the straight translation is "health".
  • In "The Holographic Excitation" (S6E05), When Leonard dressed himself as Albert Einstein at the Halloween Party, he speaks with "German accent":
  • Leonard: Ja, und later she's going to arrest me for goink fashter zen da shpeed of light.
"Ja" is the German for "yes" and "und" is for "and". Also, Leonard pronounces the words "going" (as "goink"), "faster" (as "fashter"), "than" (as "zen"), "the" (as "da") and "speed" (as "shpeed") with pronunciation style of German.
  • In "The Weekend Vortex" (S5E19), nearly at the end of the episode, when Howard, Sheldon, Leonard and Raj are sleeping after a wasted weekend, filled with playing the online version of "Star Wars", Howard's mother knocks at the door and shouting that she has searched him everywhere and mentions the German word "verkackte" to describe her anger.

Mrs. Wolowitz: ..."I have been to the morgue and the hospital and I have spent the last half hour walking up these "verkackte" stairs!"

The German word "verkackt" means literally that shit is laid on something and can be appropriately translated with "fucking". It is a strong swear word, but can also be seen as funny. The intention here may have been to use the Yiddish word "farkakte" (פֿאַרקאַקטע).

Appearances on Young Sheldon[]

In "A Secret Letter and a Lowly Disc of Processed Meat", Mary tells George that Sheldon got an offer from a university in Germany.

In the episode "A German Folk Song and an Actual Adult", Sheldon sings the titular folk song in a mixture of German and English lyrics: "My thoughts will not cater / To duke or dictator / No man can deny / Die Gedanken sind frei."

There were several seemingly gratuitous uses of German towards the end of the show's sixth season, but in hindsight these can be seen as foreshadowing Sheldon's eventual study abroad in Germany.

That study abroad has already been established on the parent show and which the episode "A New Weather Girl and a Stay-at-Home Coddler" strongly suggests will happen on this show. In that episode, Professor Linkletter promises to help Sheldon pack, saying it first in German and then in English.

In the following episode, "German for Beginners and a Crazy Old Man with a Bat", Sheldon admires how well-suited German is to expressing negativity. The boy genius enthusiastically studies beginning German through a course on audiocassettes, but halts the course after George and Mary tell him they can't afford his travel expenses.

Missy finds the German course in the tape player and just takes it as yet more evidence that her brother is weird. But she changes her tune when she realizes the significance to her of Sheldon going away to Germany.