In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon is seen wearing a graphic t-shirt in nearly every scene (that he's not in pajamas, a suit, or a tango outfit).

Most of these t-shirts can be seen as a statement for the esteem that Sheldon holds for the image. Most usually they are comic book logos or homages to science.

One shirt that I can't figure out why he would be proud to wear, the television test pattern associated with the old cathode ray sets, and signing off in the middle of the night.

What about this seems particularly compelling to want to wear it on a t-shirt - especially considering the feelings he expresses for the subjects of the other shirts?

  • 4
    Sometimes a t-shirt is just a t-shirt.
    – Darren
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 7:34
  • 3
    popculture reference! So quriky, we're all in this small secret club where we know what this is and spot each other! BAM! $19,99 on amazon! Get it while it's bazinga. Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 11:56
  • screenshot would be nice
    – Vishwa
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


As mentioned in the link that you shared, having a brief description of the t-shirt,

On this light blue t-shirt is a television test pattern; also known as a text card. Others might call, what is on this shirt, TV color bars or SMPTE color bars. I am sure most people in North America have seen these color bars on their TV screens at one point or another, accompanied by a 1khz sine wave audio signal.

and the fact that Sheldon was very much attached to some of his favorite TV shows from the 90s (when he was a kid), for instance, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Professor Proton and hence would have seen these patterns too (most probably before the show used to start and after it ends*) , it is reasonable to assume that this t-shirt is a sign of his attachment to those moments of his childhood that he cherishes till date.

*If I'm not wrong then these patterns are meant to check the color display on TV ensuring that the colors from the source are okay and look consistent across different types of monitors.

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