Why doesn't Sheldon Cooper like whistling?

Sheldon says "Strike one" after Leonard whistles in one of the episode. In another episode, when Raj whistles while Sheldon went to steal the reel from theater, Sheldon says "Who whistled?".

Why doesn't Sheldon like whistling. I've watched all episodes of TBBT many times but there is no explanation for this.

  • 5
    It's because Sheldon is Sheldon. No further explanation is either needed or especially funny. It's like asking why does one person like sarsaparilla but another hate it. Mar 30, 2017 at 8:28
  • 5
    ...or why he like flags
    – Paulie_D
    Mar 30, 2017 at 8:31
  • 4
    I might be mistaken, but somehow I seem to remember that the reason for this is because Sheldon claims to have "perfect hearing" or "fine tuned hearing". And whistling usually deviates from the original tune of a melody...
    – Bojan B
    Mar 30, 2017 at 9:17
  • It could be related to his fear of birds. Or it might just be because whistling is annoying. ;) Mar 30, 2017 at 14:10
  • Wasn't it once mentioned that Sheldon can't whistle? Although it's possible I'm totally misremembering that, it's been 10 seasons after all.
    – Oliver_C
    Mar 30, 2017 at 20:15

3 Answers 3


While they never directly address it, Sheldon has a lot of OCD and Autism Spectrum (ASD) behaviors. Whistling is something that can be problematic for some measure of people with an ASD.

Note that the writers have said they consider him "Sheldony" and that their "feeling is that Sheldon's mother never got a diagnosis, so we don't have one." There have been some conflicting statements about their intention, but the behaviors certainly are there in strong enough measure that many ASD spectrum individuals identify him as such.


Very possible that someone with his propensity towards semi-Autistic behavior has some sort of disphonia. I'm a Misophonic, meaning I have extreme reactions (anger/rage) at certain sounds, to include chewing/smacking, tapping, bubble popping, etc. This also encompasses things that are related to the trigger sounds, like seeing someone chewing or someone tapping their foot.

Whistling drives me to the point of irrationality. Generally I let out a "Who the @#!& woke up thinking they were a @#!*& bird today!?" before I can help myself. There are 10 levels of recognized Misophonia, with irritation being a 1 and being so enraged you physically accost someone at level 10.


I didn't find any evidence or clue for why Sheldon don't like whistling. However, most of peculiar habits from Sheldon goes back to his childhood and bullying. So we can assume that children from his neighbourhood or school or even some colleague might be used to irritate him by whistling.

It might be possible, it is related to Freeman–Sheldon syndrome which is also known as Whistling-face syndrome.


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