One of my favorite things about The Big Bang Theory — the thing, in fact, that got me officially hooked on the show in the first place — is the way on occasion it casually breaks certain steadfast sitcom rules. Exhibit A: Sitcom characters are never supposed to laugh at a funny situation, even when the natural response for most human beings would be to break down in hysterics. But every so often, Penny will actually laugh at something Sheldon or Leonard has done that’s genuinely funny, and not one of those forced sitcom-y laughs, either. (This example is as it happens the aforementioned catalyst for my now rather serious Big Bang addiction.)
Exhibit B: Last night, Wolowitz actually called Sheldon on one of his countless mini-lectures on arcane scientific trivia, i.e. Sheldon’s insistence that the cricket chirping within earshot was, due to the length between chirps and the ambient temperature in the room, a snowy tree cricket. Instead of letting it pass by as a rote character tic used as a throwaway punchline, Wolowitz insisted instead that the insect had to be your run-of-the-mill field cricket. So with respective rare copies of Fantastic Four (#48, first appearance of the Silver Surfer) and Flash (#123, the classic Two Worlds issue) on the line, Wolowitz and Sheldon spent the rest of the episode hilariously trying to prove the other wrong and/or distract us from the milquetoast romantic fumblings of Penny and Leonard.