TBBT: Meaning of "Stephanie throws a digital sheep"

In an old episode of TBBT, Sheldon warns Leonard that the girl he’s dating, Stephanie, has just thrown “a digital sheep at some guy named Mike” via her Facebook account. What does this mean?

It means she threw a sheep at Mike on Facebook, simple as that.

Throwing sheep at people is, or was, a Facebook thing. Which Stephanie did to Mike.

Back in the early days of Facebook, it was a way of poking your friends and letting them know you were thinking of them. You threw a sheep at them.

No, I can’t explain it. I don’t do Facebook.

I’ve never heard of this. Was it a Farmville thing?

I thought it meant the guy had posted he was turning in for the night (counting sheep) and this was a way of saying goodnight.

No, it was either a separate FB app or built into FB like poking.

According to this 2007 CNN article, it was an app called SuperPoke.

Weird. I wonder if the show’s writers realize how ephemeral some of their jokes and references will be. More likely, they don’t care; they’re writing the show for the present-day audience and don’t think about the people who will be watching the show five, ten or more years in the future. (Even Seinfeld, which seems very recent, is almost 25 years old for the earliest episodes.)

good comedy shows have jokes on the surface and jokes buried deep.

Bullwinkle, Simpsons both were/are masterpieces for that.

TBBT is ripe for that too.

I heard Aerosmith’s song “Sweet Emotion” and I reflected that a young listener might not understand what the line “Can’t catch me cause the rabbit done died” meant.

I understand what you’re saying but I disagree that it applies to The Big Bang Theory or any other Chuck Lorre show. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Lorre shows are all surface and have no hidden depths.

Big T, thank you for the CNN link. That mostly explains it, although I still don’t really get the rationale for an ovine projectile.

Unless, as Epbrown01 suggests, it’s to wish someone a good night’s sleep.

I’ve never seen this done on Facebook, or even knew it was a thing, but I was still able to pick up on it as one of those silly things people do on Facebook.

It was early on apparently. I signed up in 2009 and it was not really done anymore. It was an app fad. “Pillow fights” were just dying down when I came on. It was like that.

I definitely remember when throwing sheep at people was a huge thing on Facebook, just about the time I first joined it. It was just a variant on “poking” people (which I also don’t see a lot of anymore). Just a quick way to tell someone you were thinking about them.

Even at the time, I thought it was pretty silly. Basically what happened was you just got a notification that said “So-and-so has thrown a sheep at you.” That was it. I had a friend who was constantly throwing me sheep, and always seemed very upset that I would never throw any at her. To me, it was the equivalent of sending someone a message absolutely devoid of any content. She thought it was a fun little thing to do. I can remember saying something like, “What’s fun about it? Point to the fun part.”

It should be noted that it is not beyond the realm of possibility that I am a crabby old stick-in-the-mud. :slight_smile:

MrAtoz, thank you from the OP. That’s exactly what I wanted to know. :wink:

What am I, invisible? That’s what I said in Post #3!!


Silenus, I’m sorry you’re upset - I never meant to slight you. Yes, you did state that sheep-hurling was a type of poke. It’s just that MrAtoz put the practice into context and described it rather more fully than you did. As you yourself stated in #3, “No, I can’t explain it. I don’t do Facebook.” MrAtoz does do Facebook and explained the subtleties.

No hard feelings, okay?

Next up: explaining to people the “I have 212 friends on MySpace.” line in the pilot.

Hopefully we’ll never get to the point where the line “The photo of the cat who wants to “haz cheezeburger”?” has to be explained.

I thought I was a late facebook adopter, but I guess I’ve been on a long time. That was totally a thing when I first signed up.