Origin Of ‘Big Bang Theory’ Catchphrase ‘Bazinga!’ Explained By Jim Parsons

We’re at Season 9 of hit comedy series The Big Bang Theory, and one of the classic catchphrases already associated with the Big Bang Theory series is Sheldon Cooper’s classic “Bazinga!” But where did The Big Bang Theory’s “Bazinga!” really come from and how did it start to frequent its episodes?

The Huffington Post looked into the origin of The Big Bang Theory’s classic catchphrase, and they found out that Sheldon’s “Bazinga!” was not really planned as one of The Big Bang Theory’s trademarks. Actually, it was behind the scenes that the catchphrase really started.

“Bazinga” was one of the favorite words that Big Bang Theory writer Stephen Engel used when he was pranking a fellow writer or staff. The Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady recalls one incident that Engel used the term on the set when Engel gave him an apparently fake grapefruit that when he goes to eat, Engel shouts, “Bazinga!” to cue that “he got him.”

On the show, the first time the word came out was only on the finale of The Big Bang Theory Season 2, “The Monopolar Expedition,” where Sheldon said “Bazinga!” at least three times. The first of which is on the show’s opening scene where Leonard (played by Johnny Galecki) works on a mathematical problem on his whiteboard at the living room and Sheldon (played by actor Jim Parsons) calls out a mistake Leonard has made.

Leonard, of course, looks for the mistake and when he can’t find it, Sheldon playfully tells him, “You actually had it right in the first place. Once again, you’ve fallen for one of my classic pranks. Bazinga!”

In an interview with AOL.com, Jim Parsons also acknowledges that at the start, “Bazinga!” was just there to convey some kind of energy into dialogue, not even appearing in the original Big Bang Theory script. Parsons goes on to recall that it was only in an episode run-through with the Big Bang Theory producers and writers that the word was suggested.

It was one of those moments where we’d work on a scene and then you’d go and take notes from the producers and writers. If I’m correct, it was inserted right before a taping basically. It was like ‘That would work in here. What if he said ‘bazinga’ after that?’ The writers liked it but they knew what it meant. But I knew what it meant the moment they said it. It’s like ‘gotcha’, you know, it’s just in that energy. There’s just something about it. I like it because it’s not plain English in a lot of ways and that’s very handy.”

Did The Big Bang Theory coin the term “Bazinga?” Apparently not. The term predates The Big Bang Theory and has appeared in two various forms as “Buzzinga” in one episode the The X-Files in 2000 and as “Bazing” in a 2001 episode of Family Guy where Stewie Griffin punctuates his pranks with the word.

As of date, “Bazinga” has already been registered by Warner Bros. as a trademark and has officially licensed several Big Bang Theory merchandise bearing the word.

Watch Sheldon Cooper use the word “Bazinga!” in Seasons 1 to 4 of The Big Bang Theory below.

The Big Bang Theory Season 9 will premiere on Monday, September 21 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

[Image by Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images Entertainment]