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Bazinga is a catchphrase used on the American television sitcom The Big Bang Theory by the character Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons. In the show, Cooper uses the term as a follow-up to pranks or jokes he orchestrates. Online, the phrase is used in a similar manner by fans of the show. However, the anti-fandom has co-opted the phrase via parody in poorly drawn MS Paint comics.
The phrase first appeared in the Season 2 finale “The Monopolar Expedition,” which originally aired on May 11th, 2009. During the episode, Cooper says the phrase a total of three times (shown below), each time as a follow up to a joke meant to impress his cleverness upon his victims.
As chemistry jokes play a large role in the series, the term comes from combining the chemical symbols for Barium (Ba); the fictional element from the Timber Wolf comics Zuunium (Z), Iodine (I), Nitrogen (N) and Gallium (Ga). This lead to fans believing that Bazinga is Sheldon’s variation of “Zing”, a term coined in the early 20th century used to emphasize a situation when someone has been hit with a striking remark known as a “zinger.”
The Big Bang Theory Wikia has accumulated dozens of canon uses of the phrase. By April 2012, fifteen definitions for Bazinga were submitted to Urban Dictionary, with one definition earning more than 7700 upvotes as of December 27th, 2012. Similarly the phrase has also been defined on Wikitionary and the Word Reference.com forums. A Facebook page for the phrase has accumulated more than 339,000 likes as of December 27th, 2012. On January 4th, 2011, a trademark registration (shown below) was filed for Bazinga by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the production company of the Big Bang Theory, which was later granted. The phrase has since appeared on a variety of merchandise at pop culture retailer Hot Topic.
Parody Comics and Reaction Images
As early as 2011, The Big Bang Theory has been criticized online in places like 4chan and geek culture blog Ugo for its misrepresentation of geek culture. However, parodies of the term “bazinga” did not begin appearing on 4chan until December 25th, in a thread on the /tv/ (Television and Film) board. After the first poster asked why people did not enjoy The Big Bang Theory, the first four responses consisted of nonsense words “bazoopie,” “bazonkers,” “cowabazunga” and “bazopple.” Also on the 25th, an instance of these comics (shown below, left) was shared on Tumblr, attributing it to 4chan. The following day, a second, larger /tv/ thread was posted, with low-resolution comics using comic sans and purposefully unfunny science jokes.
On the 27th, Tumblr user zebeckblogs posted a compilation of parody Bazinga reaction images (shown below), gaining more than 2000 notes within hours. The same day, a compilation of the comics from /tv/ was shared on the 4chan subreddit, earning more than 9574 upvotes and 480 comments within the first day.
Foolz Archive – Is it true that you guys don’t like this show? How come?