Sheldon Cooper’s “Spot” Computation
Sheldon Cooper has many quirky behaviors that make him entertaining to fans. His bathroom schedules, the roommate agreement, Halo night, his tendency to label things, and his spot. A lot of these tendencies are fueled by his OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder. His OCD makes him think about things that most people tend to look over. One of these things is where he sits in a room.
All fans of The Big Bang Theory are familiar with Sheldon’s spot. His spot resides on the leftmost cushion of the couch in his apartment. This is not only his spot when he is sitting there, it is also his spot when he is not sitting there. He goes out of his way to scold people who dare sit in his spot, and Leonard even says that Sheldon can tell when sitting in his spot if someone else has been.
One particular “spot” crisis happened in The Cushion Saturation (S2EP16). Penny accidentally shoots Sheldon’s spot with a paintball gun. Sheldon almost goes into a coma when he finds out, and even after it is dry-cleaned, he dislikes it. Later when the gang is playing paintball, Sheldon “kills” Penny in retribution for his spot.
Qualifications for the spot
Sheldon not only has a spot in his apartment but pretty much anywhere he goes. He even has a parking spot. His spot is not determined by random chance, rather there are a number of things that determine optimal sitting position.
We get a look at Sheldon’s process several times over the course of the series. One particularly enjoyable moment is when he is looking for a seat in a movie theater and moves around making noise until he finds his optimal space. And then he kicks someone out of the seat he desires.
Sheldon reveals he likes to sit facing the television directly so as not to open himself up to any conversation. The density of the cushion is also a contributing factor. The flow of the air across a particular point in the room is important to Sheldon as well.
We see an instance in Season 10 where Sheldon has to decide which side of the bed to sleep on when he and Amy move into Penny’s apartment. He looks at things such as easy escape from a fire, the safest place from a burglar, and people seeing him through the window. Respect the spot.