BBT Laughtrack

BBT Laughtrack

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As it is probably well known, Big Bang Theory is not one of the funniest sitcoms out there. Humour is taken directly from the “nerdy” comments made during the show by the “nerdy” characters, Sheldon in particular. It is often speculated that Big Bang Theory (over)uses a laughtrack in order to make the audience at home actually think that the things being said on the show are hilarious. In one instance, Sheldon states on the show that he just got Windows 7, to which the audience begins laughing uncontrollably. For another example, Penny asks Sheldon what he is doing, to which Sheldon responds with “Playing Super Mario on a poorly coded Nintendo 64 emulator” which causes laughter from the audience. The “humour” is that they are nerdy, and that the audience either believes that they themselves are nerdy as well and laugh because they think they can relate, or the audience laughs because they usually laugh at nerds as an evening pass-time.

The meme here is the laughtrack. On the Video Games board of 4chan, people began posting Big Bang Theory threads to discuss how awful of a show it is. People then began exaggerating the audience laughter to rather normal comments made by the characters on the show. A perfect example of this would be:

Penny: Hey, Sheldon!
(the audience chuckles)
Sheldon: Oh, hello, Penny!
(the audience begins getting excited, laughing without even knowing they are laughing or what they are laughing at)
Penny: What are you doing?
(nervous giggles are heard from all around the room)
Sheldon: Playing on a poorly coded Nintendo 64 emulator
(6 people die instantly. A shockwave with the force of 10 Hiroshima bombings erupts from the studio, causing billions of dollars worth of damage. The surviving audience members begin urinating and vomiting on each other, all while laughing uncontrollably from the funniest joke ever told)

This began being posted numerous times in every thread, getting more and more extreme as time went on. Eventually, Sheldon would turn into black holes, the audience would explode into a mist, and many many others.

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