Learn English with The Big Bang Theory


In today’s blog post, you can learn English while having fun watching a scene from the popular TV series The Big Bang Theory.

In today’s scene, Howard is a little depressed and talks to Penny about his bad experiences with women he has had so far. At the end of their conversation, Howard has yet another bad experience with a woman, as Penny punches him in the face. You will know the reason for it by watching the video. 🙂

To get the most out of today’s lesson, please follow each of these steps:

  1. Watch the whole scene with subtitles and try to understand as much as possible.
  2. Read the full transcript of the scene. By doing so, you will again understand a lot more as you can take your time reading it.
  3. Learn the vocabulary and phrases used by Penny and Howard (including the example sentences I give).
  4. Now, watch the whole scene again, this time without subtitles.
  5. Finally, test yourself by taking the multiple-choice test I have prepared for you.

Have fun!

Step 1: Watch with Subtitles

Step 2: Read the Transcript

Howard: And then, when I was 14, I met Marcy Grossman. She was so beautiful. She just got her braces off, but they left a little of the overbite. It was so hot, like a sexy little chipmunk. I didn’t have the courage to ask her out, but I dedicated a song to her at the ninth-grade talent show.

Penny: Aw, that sounds sweet.

Howard: Marcy Grossman is sunshine, on a cloudy day, when it’s cold outside; Marcy Grossman is the month of May …

Penny: Oh, it’s cute.

Howard: I guess you’d say, what can make me feel this way, Marcy Grossman, Marcy Grossman, Marcy Grossman, Talkin’ ’bout Marcy.

Penny: That’s great.

Howard: Grossman.

Penny: Oh, it’s fun.

Howard: Then she came up with that sexy little chipmunk mouth and spit in my hair. Which brings us to tenth grade.

Penny: Howard, do you think maybe sometimes you try too hard?

Howard: Look at me. What chance do I have if I don’t try too hard?

Penny: Well, you’d have a terrific chance. I mean, you’re smart, you’re funny, you have a cool job. You build stuff that goes into outer space.

Howard: I guess.

Penny: Look, I’m telling you, I’ve known you for, like, a year and a half, and this is the first time I feel like I’m talking to a real person. And you know what? I like him. He’s a nice guy.

Howard: You really think so?

Penny: Yes.

Howard: I don’t know.

Penny: I do.

Step 3: Learn the Vocabulary

braces = a set of wires attached to a person‘s teeth in order to straighten them over time

Example: I had to wear braces for my crooked teeth as a teenager. (crooked = not forming a straight line)

overbite = the position of the teeth in which the upper teeth go over the lower teeth when a person bites them together

The opposite of an overbite would be an underbite, where the lower teeth go over the upper teeth.

chipmunk = a small North American animal with fur and dark stripes along its back

One characteristic of a chipmunk is that these animals have an obvious overbite.

talkin’ ’bout = short for “talking about“

Howard omits the “g” in talking and the “a” in about. This is typical of conversational English in informal contexts and in songs in particular. However, you wouldn’t do that in written English.

terrific = very good

You use terrific when you want to emphasize something. So, it’s even more than good. It’s terrific.

Example: It’s a terrific opportunity.

outer space = the universe beyond the earth‘s atmosphere

Example: In 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik 1 into outer space.

I guess. = used when you believe something is true or likely but you are not certain

Howard said, “I guess,” because he was not really convinced that Penny was right, as a lot of Howard’s experiences with women have shown otherwise.

Sometimes, you also hear “I guess so” instead of “I guess”, which means exactly the same.

Example: “Do you like sushi?” – “I guess? I’ve only had it once.”

Step 4: Watch without Subtitles

Step 5: Take the Test


1 / 5

What attracted Howard to Marcy Grossman?

2 / 5

Howard said, "What chance do I have if I don't try to hard?" How did Penny respond to this question?

3 / 5

Do you know the correct spelling of a small North American animal with fur and dark stripes along its back?

4 / 5

Do you know the opposite of an overbite?

5 / 5

Please complete the following sentence: Is there life in .... ?

Your score is


Scene taken from Season 2, Episode 12 of The Big Bang Theory: The Killer Robot Instability | Definitions and example sentences are partly taken from the Cambridge and Collins Dictionary.

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By Martin

Martin is the main contributor to this website. He loves to watch funny English sitcoms and inspirational videos and to read English books of different genres. Now, he wants to share his experience with you by posting funny and meaningful English lessons based on the sitcoms, videos, and books he loves so much.

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