After 12 impressive seasons, The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) ran its course on May 16, 2019. Throughout its glorious 279 episodes, the show earned itself millions upon millions of viewers. Now, three years later, fans still continue to rewatch a few episodes once in a while to fill the dark hole in their watching schedules. But there are only so many times a person can watch reruns of their favorite show.
While multimedia has an enormous array of shows, there may never be a comedy series as big as The Big Bang Theory again. Thankfully, the increase in viewing content also means there are numerous similar shows you can watch whenever you miss The Big Bang Theory.
‘The Good Place’ (2016 – 2020)
The Good Place follows four dead people as they attempt to settle into the ostensibly ideal afterlives they find themselves in until one confesses that her selection in “The Good Place” was a blunder. Then, as they try to prove how they belong in heaven, they discover that The Good Place is, indeed, their worst nightmare.
While substantially different from The Big Bang Theory, The Good Place tells a story where every character’s intelligence is needed, from science and philosophy to social skills and simple intuition. The feel-good show also celebrates heartfelt friendships, making the hole of loneliness smaller.
‘Rick and Morty’ (2013 – )
A nerdy sitcom, Rick and Morty follows the story of a misanthropic and cynical mad scientist, Rick Sanchez, and his sci-fi adventures with his neurotic 14-year-old grandson, Morty. As the duo transit the infinite universes, they stumble into a wide range of thought-provoking and sidesplitting shenanigans.
If there was one thing that fans related to most in The Big Bang Theory, it had to be the creative humor. From science fiction to comic books to science itself, nothing was off-limits. Rick and Morty follow a similar theme, making hilarious jokes on existing movies, TV shows, and scientific concepts.
‘New Girl’ (2011 – 2018)
One of the best sitcoms like Big Bang Theory, New Girl tells the story of Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel) as she moves into an apartment in Downtown LA’s Arts District with three men after finding her boyfriend with another woman and breaking up with him. What follows is a hilarious and chaotic apartment-sharing arrangement and an amusing will-they won’t-they between Nick Miller (Jake Johnson) and Jess.
Similar to The Big Bang Theory, New Girl features the ‘single male friends’ lives are changed forever after meeting a lively, newly single woman’ trope.
‘Community’ (2009 – 2015)
A single-camera series airing from 2009 to 2014, Community depicts what becomes of an astonishingly random group of students at the Greendale Community College. Across its 110 episodes spread over six magnificent seasons, Community was full of fantastic pop-culture references and jokes, making it the kind of TV show The Big Bang Theory group would’ve enjoyed.
After being canceled by NBC after five seasons, Community was renewed for a final season and a Christmas special by Yahoo!, giving fans a last chance at goodbye. Much like The Big Bang Theory, the beloved show includes many scenes that take place at college.
‘The IT Crowd’ (2006 – 2013)
While it lasted only 25 episodes over four seasons, The IT Crowd enjoyed a long life of TV reruns before finally descending on Netflix. One of the best shows similar to Big Bang Theory, The IT Crowd follows the IT department of the international conglomerate Reynholm Industries, consisting of socially inept ultra-geek Moss (Richard Ayoade), somewhat normal but ultra-nerdy Roy (Chris O’Dowd), and their less intelligent, tech-clueless manager, Jen (Katherine Parkinson).
The show centers on a trio of friends, which is eerily similar to Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Leonard (Johnny Galecki), and Penny (Kaley Cuoco). The IT Crowd is more tolerant of nerdiness and is written by people who care about the same things as the characters – a stark contrast to The Big Bang Theory, where nerdiness was a mere distraction to be made fun of.
‘Silicon Valley’ (2014 – 2019)
Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) is an engineer trying to build his own tech corporation, Pied Piper in Silicon Valley. As Richard and his friends work on developing a new technology giant, they manage to reveal how erratic and crooked the industry can be.
Attempting to steer through the cutthroat business world of California’s Big Tech, the socially-conscious geeks depicted in Silicon Valley are fully up-to-date and way more stylish. With 52 episodes spread over six seasons, Silicon Valley isn’t derivative of shows like The Big Bang Theory. Still, it accurately represents what The Big Bang Theory should have been.
‘How I Met Your Mother’ (2005 – 2014)
From 2005 to 2014, The Big Bang Theory shared space on the CBS schedule with How I Met Your Mother, another sitcom that featured a group of single friends as they fell in and out of love. With a series of flashbacks and flashforwards, the show tells the story of the long-lasting couple Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel) and Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan), playboy Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), Canadian news reporter Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders), and Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), as he narrates it to his children.
Like The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother highlights stories and incidents that change people’s lives. There are jokes, gags, and even life lessons from HIMYM that are firmly part of pop culture today, highlighting the series’ enduring legacy.
‘Stranger Things’ (2016 – )
In 1980s Indiana, a group of youthful friends finds themselves witnessing supernatural forces and secret government exploits. They may unravel a series of extraordinary mysteries, searching for possible answers.
‘Young Sheldon’ (2017 – )
While there is no news of a revival or reboot of The Big Bang Theory, its spinoff, Young Sheldon, is the closest to a continuation of the show. If you like Big Bang Theory, chances are you’ve checked out the prequel, which follows its most popular character, Sheldon Cooper’s (Iain Armitage) strange childhood in Texas, as he deals with a family who doesn’t understand or relate to him and attends high school several years early.
While it doesn’t involve any of the casts, except Jim Parsons’ narration, the show still touches on many of the same themes and provides similar humor. Plus, it provides insight into the fan-favorite character’s upbringing in a hilarious way.