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Marvel has spent years developing a wildly intersecting cinematic universe. The company has worked hard to establish which superheroes exist in its universe and which do not, but what about television shows and pop culture? Eagle-eyed fans have pointed out that one television show might exist within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s a series that you’d least expect. There is reason to believe that The Big Bang Theory exists inside the MCU.

Peter Parker wore a shirt that seems to be inspired by Sheldon’s game

During Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker is spied wearing a quirky t-shirt. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise. The teenager Spider-Man was known for his unconventional clothing choices, just like The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper. The connection between The Big Bang Theory and Spider-Man: Homecoming might be deeper than that, though.

A Reddit user noticed that in one scene of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter is wearing a shirt that reads, “The physics is theoretical, but the fun is real”. The quote seems linked to an episode of The Big Bang Theory, where Sheldon creates a board game with the same tagline. The board game, Research Lab, was featured in the season 3 episode, “The Guitarist Amplification”. The episode, which aired in 2009, premiered eight years before Spider-Man: Homecoming was released. 

What was Sheldon’s board game about?

Sheldon’s board game was a basic board game that had players roll dice to move spaces. The game board, according to Fandom, was based on the Bohr model of an Atom. Each player was a researcher tasked with succeeding in their field of study. Players could also draw cards that would cause harm to themselves or their opponents.

The game was only one of Sheldon’s quirky ideas during the show’s 12-season run. Sheldon and Amy Farrah Fowler also developed and produced a show, “Fun With Flags”, that turned into a running joke on the show. Research Lab, along with “Fun With Flags,” was mocked by Leonard Hofstadter, Howard Wolowitz, and Raj Koothrappali.

So, does that mean The Big Bang Theory exists in the MCU?

It would certainly seem like Peter’s shirt is paying homage to the wildly popular sitcom, but Peter never outwardly mentions the show. There might be a good reason for that, though. The Big Bang Theory is owned by Warner Bros., which also owns DC comics. Spider-man was created for Marvel. While there has been some crossover between the two comic worlds, Marvel and Warner Bros. have been embroiled in a bitter battle over the use of superheroes in movies for years.

Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler in 'The Big Bang Theory'
Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler in ‘The Big Bang Theory’ | Richard Cartwright/CBS via Getty Images

Was Morbius Hiding in Plain Sight in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’?

The Big Bang Theory made it clear that Marvel is persona non grata while it was on the air. Marvel characters were rarely mentioned in the show, and the main characters focused their comic interests on DC entities. Sheldon seldom donned a Marvel t-shirt, and even the comic bookstore owned by Stuart rarely featured characters from the MCU. That may have been a matter of business, though. At the very least, the MCU seems to suggest The Big Bang Theory existed in its universe, albeit subtly.