When it first started, we really didn’t watch CBS’s long-running sitcom The Big Bang Theory for the coupling. Sure, we were interested in that whole Leonard/Penny (Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco) and when Amy (Mayim Bialik) came around and started dating Sheldon (Jim Parsons), we became REALLY curious to see where it would go, but it wasn’t what really drove the heart of the show. The heart of the show was the friendships.
That being said, there WERE some pretty interesting (and not so interesting) coupling going on in the show itself. Some were amazing (like Sheldon and Amy) and some were just downright…well, weird (why on earth would anyone think that putting together Sheldon and Leonard’s parents would be romantic?).
Here are some of the best (and worst) couples on the hit show.
Such Cute Couples...
20 Sheldon and Amy
At first, Amy Farrah Fowler was a little TOO much like a female version of Sheldon, but when she started developing her own personality, this particular couple became a fan favorite over Penny and Leonard. It was amazing to see someone as anti-social as Sheldon fall in love with this lovable and quirky woman. They were a perfect match.
19 Stuart and Denise
Poor Stuart (Kevin Sussman) always seemed to get the raw end of the stick on the show. He wanted to desperately to be accepted by anyone, so when Denise (Lauren Lapkus) came along, we were happy that he found someone. Denise got a job at the comic book store, so we knew right away that she would be a perfect match for the desperate Stuart.
18 Penny and Zack
In between dating Leonard for years, Penny was paired up with the wonderfully aloof Zack (Brian Thomas Smith). Like most of her boyfriends prior to Leonard, Zack was a bit of a dummy, but unlike them, he had a huge heart. So much so that the group even learned to like and appreciate him even though he was a male bimbo.
17 Raj and Emily
While she didn’t always get along with the core of the group, red-headed Emily (Laura Spencer) was pretty dang good for Raj… even if she did weird him out with her extreme like of anything and everything frightening. She had her quarks, but she brought out some good in Raj that other girlfriends hadn’t done.
16 Leonard and Penny
Leonard and Penny were what drove the show and was its heart for most of the show (but not its soul). He was in love with her from the second he saw her standing across the hall during the pilot, and while it took her a few seasons to fall in love with him, their chemistry was always extremely stellar on the show.
15 Howard and Bernadette
Sure, we all weren’t really too sure how we felt about the woman-hungry Howard (Simon Helberg) and his creepy ways, but when Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) entered the picture and fell for him…we still weren’t really sure and thought she was too good for him. But that’s what drove this couple and made you fall in love with them together.
14 Raj and Lucy
As we all know, Raj had some major social issues during the show – like not being physically able to talk to women unless he had been drinking (he got over it, though). Lucy (Kate Micucci) was also socially awkward, so their match was perfect…until Lucy couldn’t handle the pressure of being around anyone other than Raj, so she eventually left.
13 Leonard and Leslie
Leslie (Sara Gilbert – Galecki’s former real-life girlfriend and co-star on Roseanne) was bossy, overconfident, super-intelligent, and downright condescending, but she was perfect for Leonard, who actually needed someone like her at the time. Unfortunately for him, she wasn’t looking for anything long term and ended things before they really even started.
12 Leonard and Stephanie
Dr. Stephanie Barnett (Sarah Rue) was actually good for Leonard after that whole first Penny debacle. Even though Howard was after her first, she ended up falling for Leonard and the two dated briefly before she became rather clingy and rushed the relationship a little too quickly for Leonard’s standards.
11 Raj and Claire
While Raj has dated some pretty strong women, Claire (Alessandra Torresani) was the most assertive with good intentions. She was smart, funny, and didn’t take any sort of crud from anyone. Though at the time, Raj was still struggling with his feelings for Emily, who he was sort of seeing at the same time, so the relationship didn’t work out.
10 Howard and Raj
Okay, they weren’t a real couple, but come on, their closeness was always the elephant in the room. Everyone around them always joked that the real couple wasn’t Bernadette and Howard, but Howard and Raj – even Bernadette. They were as close as close could be, and some would even argue that their love was the strongest on the show.
9 Stuart and Mrs. Wolowitz
Like the Raj and Howard paragraph, these two never really dated (or so we think?), but their relationship was relevant because it caused a rift between Howard and his mother, Mrs. Wolowitz (voiced by the late Carol Ann Susi). Mrs. Wolowitz took Stuart in, much to her son’s horror, and the two became close enough to make Howard jealous.
Not so much….
8 Penny and David
Brilliant physicist David Underhill (Edward Michael Trucco) rode in on his motorcycle and tried to steal Penny right from under Leonard (even though the two weren’t together at the time) with his charming and handsome ways. Though he proved too good to be true and Penny ended up dumping him after discovering he was married.
7 Sheldon and Beverly
I have no idea who thought it would be interesting to try to pair up Sheldon with Beverly (Christine Baranski) who was Leonard’s mother, since the two had a bunch in common – which just meant they were basically both unemotional creatures of science. Sure, there was a strange flirtation on Beverly’s end, which ended in her kissing him just “to see what it felt like.”
6 Raj and Penny
After Leonard and Penny broke up the first time around, Penny sort of spiraled out and started dating everyone, and even had a brief encounter with Raj, which almost split up the group since Penny was contemplating leaving LA afterward. Luckily, that didn’t happen and both Penny and Raj were able to get past it.
5 Howard and Leslie
While Leslie never entered into a serious relationship with Leonard, she decided to enter one with…HOWARD? How is this even possible? She did though and used him as a boy toy or as she called him “arm candy” (wait, what?). Though when he turned out to be not-so-very docile, she ended up calling it quits. Thankfully.
4 Mary and Alfred
This was a weird pairing…given, it wasn’t as weird as trying to pair Leonard’s mom up with Sheldon, but it still ranks high up there. When Sheldon’s church-loving, southern mother Mary (Laurie Metcalf) met Leonard’s doctor father Alfred (Judd Hirsch) while at Penny and Leonard’s second wedding. They hit it off, which unnerved everyone, especially Sheldon.
3 Sheldon and Ramona
For a bit, Sheldon had an assistant who was a graduate student named Ramona (Riki Lindhome) who kept him on his toes. Eventually, he fired her but she came back around in later episodes and started working for him again. Only this time, she kissed him and sent him running back to Amy (thankfully).
2 Leonard and Priya
Once upon a time, Leonard got into a series relationship with Raj’s lawyer sister Priya (Aarti Mann) and they gave long distance a shot. Only, not only did her unwillingness to tell her parents about Leonard get in their way, but Priya tried to control who Leonard hung out with – mainly Penny. The relationship fizzled out thanks to that.
1 Stuart and Penny
For a single date (and make out session) Penny went out with a much more confident Stuart (before his character was crippled with self-pity), but he ended up breaking it off when she accidentally said Leonard’s name while kissing. Truth be told, she only really went out with him to help her get over her attraction to Leonard, which didn’t work.
References: imdb.com, cbs.com, bustle.com, ew.com