"You're in my spot" ~ Sheldon's response to someone sitting on the left side of the couch.
Sheldon's Spot is a place in Sheldon and Leonard's apartment which Sheldon has claimed as his own. In his own words, Sheldon has placed this location "in a state of eternal dibs", and has little tolerance for anybody who tries to sit there. Specifically, the spot is the left side of the couch, but was also seen as his spot in the flashback episode "The Staircase Implementation", in which the first furniture seen in the living room are simple lawn chairs.
Attachment to his spot
Sheldon defines his seat as "It is the singular location in space around which revolves my entire universe." Sheldon's attachment to his spot is well known to other characters, to the point that they're shocked when he gives his spot to Howard in the episode "The Apology Insufficiency". He did this because he accidentally botched Howard's opportunity to get a government job when Sheldon was being interviewed by an FBI agent asking Howard's friends about his conduct, although when the gang returned to their apartment, Sheldon claimed the spot back after only 94 seconds of not sitting on it.
Sheldon relates his spot to himself in mathematical terms in "The Cushion Saturation":
- "In an ever-changing world it is a single point of consistency. If my life were expressed as a function on a 4-space|four-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system, that spot, at the moment I first sat on it, would be (0,0,0,0).
Sheldon also has a tendency to move in similar spots in order to subsidize with being out of his spot of the couch, such as the left side of a bench in jail in "The Excelsior Acquisition", a urinal in The Rothman Disintegration, and a space in the CalTech parking lot in "The Parking Spot Escalation".
In "The Staircase Implementation" (when Leonard talks to Penny about when he first met Sheldon), it is learned that Sheldon had a spot where he always sits far before the acquisition of the couch. Of this spot (a lawn chair), Sheldon says "...I have placed [the seat] in a state of eternal dibs". While his justification for the positioning of this seat is similar to that of his future self, Sheldon was less socially inclined, thus the seat "...[facing] the television at a direct angle...[to avoid] being subjected to conversation...".
When Leonard questions him, he says: "Cathedra mea, regulae meae. That's Latin for 'my chair, my rules'". However, once Sheldon finds that Leonard bought a couch for $100 from some people moving out of the apartment, he sits in each spot on the couch until he finds the one he likes best. Though this would become Sheldon's famous seat which he says is still not comfortable when he sits in it for the first time, but quickly joked that his discomfort was caused by the fact that there were too many people present.
When Leonard, Raj, and Howard leave, Sheldon smiles and says, "Oh yes. This is definitely going to be my spot", and thus, "Sheldon's Spot" was created. Penny questions how Leonard knows this, as he left the apartment, to which Leonard replies, "Do you want me to finish working on your man feet or not?"
In the pilot, Sheldon tells Penny, "In the winter that seat is close enough to the radiator to remain warm, and yet not so close as to cause perspiration. In the summer it’s directly in the path of a cross breeze created by open windows there, and there. It faces the television at an angle that is neither direct, thus discouraging conversation, nor so far wide to create a parallax distortion, I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point."
"The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation" develops Sheldon's relationship with "Sheldon's Spot" whereupon after his return to Apartment 4A after their three-month scientific expedition to the North Pole, Sheldon addresses Sheldon's Spot saying, "hello, old friend," and upon settling into it, he contentedly sighs, "Daddy's home."' In the previous episode "The Monopolar Expedition", their furniture in the expedition hut is set up like in the apartment 4A with Sheldon sitting in the same relative location.
In ”The Scavenger Vortex" (S7E03), in the scavenger hunt (that no one won) that Raj planned, "Sheldon's Spot" is the answer to the final riddle, and is supposed to be the final hidden location of the award, a coin.As one would expect, Sheldon is shown sitting in his spot while eating take-out with the rest of the group in the very last scene of the show ("The Stockholm Syndrome").
- In the unaired pilot, the concept of Sheldon's Spot was originally used for a table in a restaurant.
- Due to Sheldon living in Apartment 4B, it's assumed that he won't be using his spot as often anymore; however, in future episodes when he visits, he does indeed continue to sit in his spot as he even claims that will "always be his spot".
- Sheldon's grandmother is the only person Sheldon lets to sit in his spot.
- However, when Sheldon is not present, many characters were seen sitting in his spot.
- On rare cases, Sheldon doesn't complain when others sit in his spot.