As one of the most successful shows on television during almost its entire run, there is absolutely no doubt that The Big Bang Theory was able to find a dedicated audience. However, that is not to say that every aspect of TBBT worked for its fan base as some elements of the show were less than popular among its viewers.
Definitely a show that introduced more and more cast members over time, The Big Bang Theory succeeded in large part because viewers cared about its characters. Unfortunately, the opposite also could be true at times as certain TBBT characters actually took away from the show’s appeal. With that in mind, it is time to take a look at this list of 7 characters who hurt The Big Bang Theory and 8 who saved it.
15 Hurt: Claire
Every so often, a show’s writers introduce a character and it is hard to decipher what they were thinking. For example, when Claire made her The Big Bang Theory debut and she briefly got involved with Raj, it was pretty baffling. After all, she seemed so far beyond him, both in terms of relationship maturity and confidence, that their scenes clearly were a waste.
14 Saved: Wil Wheaton
By the time The Big Bang Theory came to an end, Wil Wheaton was friends with the main characters and it was great that he clearly liked them all even though their antics often exasperated him. As much as we loved him in the end, for us, Wheaton was even more entertaining when he first appeared on the show as Sheldon’s mortal enemy who relished upsetting him.
13 Hurt: Ramona Nowitzki
Back when Ramona Nowitzki first appeared on The Big Bang Theory, she was irritating but at least it was amusing that Sheldon had no idea that she was romantically interested in him. However, when she kissed Sheldon knowing full well he was involved with Amy, it was unforgivable even if it led to a magical moment that didn’t involve her.
12 Saved: Leonard Hofstadter
When you really think about it, Leonard Hofstadter is a pretty incredible character. After all, he has managed to seem relatable even though he has loads of issues, both mental and physical, and he is a brilliant guy. In fact, due to the strength of Johnny Galecki’s performance, Leonard was the character from this show that we rooted for the most.
11 Hurt: Kenneth Fitzgerald
When it comes to the actor Michael Rapaport, he is the kind of performer who has been great in a number of things but it also is true that when cast in the wrong role, things go awry for him quickly. A perfect example of the latter, when he appeared in TBBT as Kenneth Fitzgerald, his take on the character was really broad which made his scenes hard to watch.
10 Saved: Zack Johnson
As the polar opposite of TBBT’s male main characters, when Zack Johnson started dating Penny it was a bad sign for fans that wanted to see her end up with Leonard. However, he was such a genuinely sweet character who really liked the guys that it was impossible to dislike him. As such, each time he showed up in the later seasons it was a joy to see him again.
9 Hurt: Emily Sweeney
Right from the start, it was obvious that Emily Sweeney wasn’t a good match for Raj. Very interested in horror movies and the more macabre things in life, Emily dating a hopeless romantic like Raj could have worked but neither of them understood one another. As such, all Emily’s time on the show meant was Raj was thrust into things he was uncomfortable with which viewers didn’t enjoy.
8 Saved: Penny
Since she was TBBT’s sole female lead when the show began, that alone put a lot of pressure on Penny’s character. On top of that, it needed to seem believable that a popular and beautiful young woman would hang out with a group of socially awkward scientists. Thankfully, not only did Penny pull off that feat but her character made her new friends better, especially Sheldon who became like a bother to her.
7 Hurt: Lucy
Incredibly enough, when Lucy first debuted on this show it was exciting. After all, she seemed like a good match for Raj and her social anxiety was relatable to a degree. However, once it became clear that Raj was never going to be understanding enough for her and she couldn’t give him what he needed, her continued presence on the show over several episodes served no purpose.
6 Saved: Arthur Jeffries
Portrayed by comedy legend Bob Newhart, Arthur Jeffries may just be The Big Bang Theory’s single funniest character. Blessed with incredible comedic timing, Newhart was never afraid to let a moment breath in order to elicit a greater laugh from his audience. On top of that, his sarcastic wit didn’t take away from his character’s ability to impart wisdom to Sheldon whenever it was needed.
5 Hurt: Oliver Lorvis
Right from the start, it was clear that TBBT’s writers thought it was funny to include a creepy guy in the show. After all, Howard Wolowitz is one of the main characters. Sadly, years later they played into that trope again when Oliver Lorvis, a nerdy doctor who stalked Penny, was introduced. Portrayed by Billy Bob Thornton who didn’t seem to be in on the joke, Lorvis’ one-time appearance was off-putting.
4 Saved: Sheldon Cooper
Clearly The Big Bang Theory’s breakout star, right off the hop there is no doubt that the show owes a great deal of its popularity to Sheldon Cooper catching on with viewers. If that weren’t reason enough for him to appear on the saved side of this list, there also is the fact that it many of TBBT’s best moments were focused on him growing as a human being.
3 Hurt: Priya Koothrappali
The first of several The Big Bang Theory characters who were introduced in order to keep Leonard and Penny apart, it was bad enough that Priya stopped fans from getting the couple they wanted. On top of that, she insisted on trying to change Leonard in a number of ways that were annoying for fans of his character.
2 Saved: Amy Farrah Fowler
Back when Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler made her debut, she was an extremely cartoonish character that seemed out of place even on a show like TBBT. However, by the time the series came to an end, it could be argued she was the show’s heart and soul. After all, she remained a total sweetheart in a show full of characters that became increasingly bitter over time.
1 Hurt: Dr. Pemberton and Dr. Campbell
A pair of “scientists” who accidentally proved Sheldon and Amy’s theory, Dr. Pemberton and Dr. Campbell were idiots who insisted they deserved a noble peace prize. Since it was obvious that in the end Pemberton and Campbell’s effort would fail, all they did was serve as a distraction during TBBT’s final season. Worse yet, these characters made us dislike having Sean Astin and Kal Penn on our screens, which is unforgivable.