Dr. Sheldon Cooper, a Prepper

Sheldon Lee Cooper is a character from the famous sitcom The Big Bang Theory. He is a theoretical physicist who works at CalTech. He lives with his friend and colleague Leonard Hostadter.

The Big Bang Theory is my most favourite show ever. Here I would like to talk about how Sheldon is a great prepper.

First of all, let’s define what prepping/survivalism is:

Survivalism is a social movement of individuals or groups (called survivalists or preppers) who proactively prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters, as well as disruptions to social, political, or economic order. (Source: Survivalism – WikipediaCC BY_SA 3.0)

There are many occasions where Sheldon is shown to be preparing for uncertain or unsafe events:

Emergency provisions

In season 3 episode 21 ‘The Plimpton Stimulation’, Sheldon has guest, Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton. He gives her an orientation about his emergency provisions:

  • Sheldon: “In here, you’ll find emergency provisions: an eight-day supply of food and water, a crossbow, season two of Star Trek: The Original Series on a high-density flash drive.
  • Elizabeth: What if there’s a disaster that destroys all the USB ports?
  • Sheldon: Then there’s really no reason to live, is there?

Backup emergency supply kit, Escape route

In the same episode mentioned above, Sheldon remembers that he needs to take his backup emergency supply kit and that the escape route diagram is present in Elizabeth’s welcome packet.

  • Sheldon: “Let me just get one thing. It’s my backup emergency supply kit. The living-room escape route doesn’t pass through here. Good night. And if there’s an apocalypse, good luck.”

PRK (Public Restroom Kit)

In season 8 episode 19 ‘The Skywalker Incursion’, Sheldon and Leonard prepare for their lecture at a university and Sheldon mentions his PRK:

  • Sheldon: I just restocked the old PRK.
  • Penny: “PRK”?
  • Leonard: Public restroom kit. Everything a boy needs for making pee pee in new and strange places.
  • Sheldon: I don’t see what’s crazy about bringing a backpack with your own toilet paper and Purell.
  • Leonard: Keep going.
  • Sheldon: And rubber gloves, uh, air freshener. Um, noise-cancelling headphones. Oh, danger whistle. Um… pepper spray. Ooh, a multi-language “occupied” sign. Oh, let’s see. We have seat protectors, uh, booties for my shoes, a clothespin for my nose. Oh, and a mirror on a stick, so I can make sure the person in the stall next to me isn’t some kind of weirdo.

Emergency preparedness drill

In season 5 episode 15 ‘The Friendship Contraction’, Sheldon wakes Leonard up in the middle of the night for an emergency-preparedness drill by sounding a hazard alarm:

  • Leonard: What the hell?
  • Sheldon: Emergency-preparedness drill.
  • Leonard: Oh, no. Come on.
  • Sheldon: Yeah, you know how it works. Once a quarter, keep our readiness up. Now, rise and shine, sleepy head. Half the town is probably dead.
  • Leonard: I have to get a lock for my door.
  • Sheldon: I think you’ll like the drill tonight. I’ve tried to make it fun. Each of these cards contains a detailed scenario of a possible apocalyptic event. Everything from wildfires to a surprise invasion by Canada. Pick a catastrophe, any catastrophe.
  • Leonard: Sheldon, Canada is not going to invade California.
  • Sheldon: Yeah, really? You think those hippies in Washington and Oregon can stop them? Alrighty. An 8.2-magnitude earthquake devastates Pasadena…reducing mighty edifices to dust, engulfing the city in flames…the streets flow with blood and echo with the cries of the wounded. Oh, excellent choice. Now, put on your hard hat and safety vest.
  • Leonard: Oh, fun. I get to spend another night in front of our apartment…dressed like one of the Village People.
  • Sheldon: What are you doing? Look around you, there’s hypothetical broken glass everywhere.Really? You’re going to face Armageddon without your orthotics? Your choice. Uh-oh! Hypothetical aftershock.[Pushes Leonard]And that’s why we wear hard hats.

These examples show us the level of prepping Sheldon does. Some of his ways might seem as too extreme, but he serves as a strong example for preppers.