For more than 12 years, fans have watched four socially awkward scientists and a street-smart blonde make friends, lose friends, fall in love, and date some pretty awful individuals in The Big Bang Theory. The original gang — Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj — seemed like they were destined for a life of takeout Chinese and video games without any women companionship. That is, however, until Penny cautiously waltzed into their lives and managed to bring each one out of their shell.
Over time, each character managed to embrace who they are and go after what they want, and this resulted in a long line of new friendships and several romantic relationships. Still, there are some pairings that did not get the attention they deserved. Check out the best underrated relationships in The Big Bang Theory that fans feel were worthy of more screen time.
Sheldon and Penny
Though it took nearly a decade for the two to grow on one another, the friendship that evolved between Sheldon and Penny had fans smitten. Originally, Sheldon saw Penny as an uneducated moocher who spent too much time in his apartment. Penny, in turn, believed Sheldon was a selfish genius who lacked the ability to be compassionate. Happily, through some changes in perspective, they were both wrong. Penny’s annoyance with Sheldon’s quirky habits turned into eye-rolls with a smile. Once she and Leonard were officially together (for the last time), she started to see Sheldon as a “practice child” who simply needed things explained to him in his own terms.
Sheldon, on the other hand, started to take a liking to Penny when he realized she was becoming a fixed part of his life. However, he would not admit that he saw Penny as a friend until much later in the series. They fought like brother and sister, each had their own snappy comebacks towards the other, and Penny made sure to keep Sheldon in line when it came to him having his first and only love, Amy. Sheldon and Penny are the true definition of a platonic relationship.
Emily and Raj
Emily was by far the most interesting woman Raj dated. She looked sweet and kind on the outside, but she often had some dark and twisted things to say. If he wanted a relationship full of mystery (and let’s face it, Raj was just ecstatic to be in a relationship with a woman), Emily was the perfect partner. She forgave him for having a wing-man speak to her at first rather than himself. She got along well with almost all of his friends. Most importantly, she did not find his quirks — his piercings, insecurities, relationship with his dog — to be a turn off. Emily’s biggest downfall that made fans question her was the fact that she openly did not like Penny. Granted, it is understandable to not like someone your boyfriend previously slept with while drunk.
Raj and Emily’s relationship was one for the books as far as the group is concerned. She accepted him for who he was; sometimes his friends didn’t even accept Raj for his strange personality. In the end, Emily proved to be too good for Raj during that time in his life.
Penny and Dr. Beverly Hofstadter
When Penny and Dr. Beverly Hofstadter first met, the young waitress was in tears by the time they parted ways. Leonard’s mother has a way with identifying one’s insecurities and deepest secrets and exploring them for her own pleasure. To Beverly, everyone’s mind is like a puzzle that she feels compelled to help solve, and she certainly does not waste time.
When Leonard and Penny become a serious item, Beverly openly voices her opinion that she does not imagine the two will last. Contrary to her prediction, the two become a strong couple, and Beverly’s perspective changes. She takes a liking to Penny because she does not have any girl friends, and Penny is always ready for trash talk and gossip. The two end up having a good relationship, and through Penny’s encouragement of both, Beverly and Leonard are able to strengthen their own bond as mother and son.
Stuart and Denise
Absolutely no one saw Stuart, the lonely, awkward, and slightly perverted comic book store owner, ever getting into a relationship, let alone one with an attractive and smart woman. When Denise is hired as the assistant manager of the store, fans expected her to have chemistry with one of the main guys. However, for Stuart to find the courage to ask her out, her say yes, and his attraction be reciprocated was never a thought.
During a conversation with Bernadette, Denise comments that her parents owned a mortuary. From that statement on, Stuart’s relationship with Denise begins to make more sense. Denise challenges Stuart to be more outgoing, and she even asks him to move in with her. With her in the picture, Stuart is more involved with his friends (which is what he always wanted), and he seems hopeful for a future rather than depressed and questionably suicidal.
Mary Cooper and Alfred Hofstadter
The fireworks that sparked between Sheldon’s mother and Leonard’s father after Leonard and Penny’s “redo wedding” were enough to set the place on fire. Mary Cooper had appeared in the show enough for fans to understand her personality and interests, and from the way Leonard always talked about his parents, it seemed like Alfred was a decent man who spent much too long married to a cold-hearted and emasculating woman.
Mary and Alfred immediately bond over making fun of their ex-partners, and this leads to chemistry pulsing between the two. Though nothing physical happens after they leave the restaurant together for a nightcap (or so they say), fans cannot help but root for the unusual pair. Mary has long needed a companion who can challenge her devote ways, and Alfred’s friendly demeanor suggests he would be great company for anyone aside from his ex-wife. Fans hope that the two keep their promise to visit one another in the future, even if it is to just annoy Beverly.
Stuart and Mrs. Wolowitz
Though she was never seen, yet her voice could be heard around the world, Mrs. Wolowitz was a kind and considerate mother. When Stuart had nowhere else to go due to his lack of living situation and his comic book store burning down, Mrs. Wolowitz took him in. This bothered Howard to no end to see his mother cooking for someone else and calling another man the pet names she once called him. Stuart, who rarely ever receives affection, truly enjoys his living situation with “Deb-Deb” (a pet name Howard also cannot stand).
The two individuals are perfect for one another. Mrs. Wolowitz needs someone to do things for her, and Stuart needs real human contact. Deb-Deb even gives Stuart money to rebuild his comic book store, but before she can see the results of her investment, she passes away. Stuart, along with Howard and the rest of the group, are devastated by the news. They reflect on how much of a mother she was to them all when they needed it, and Howard learns to be appreciative of the time Stuart spent with his mother.
Stuart, Howard, and Bernadette
After the passing of Debbie Wolowitz, Howard and Bernadette move into her home, and Stuart eventually moves out to his own apartment. Due to some semi-expected circumstances, Stuart moves back into the house to live with his friends. With Bernadette’s pregnancy and Howard’s laziness, Howard sees loads of benefits coming from Stuart living with them. Stuart is handy with chores, and he enjoys any human interaction he can get. Howard essentially sees him as a live-in nanny. What more could a guy want?
Bernadette would gladly answer that question with, “a husband who takes care of things.” Though Stuart helps quite a bit around the house, Bernadette remains hesitant on his involvement in their home. Eventually, the three seem like they have a great system worked out, but it comes with quite a few kinks and conversations.
Howard and Amy
On the outside, Howard and Amy could not be any more opposite. She is uptight and in love with Sheldon, and Howard is goofy and loves to make fun of his friend. During a scavenger hunt, put together by Rajesh, Amy and Howard are partnered up. Amy comments that they have never really been alone together, and this sparks a bit of expected awkwardness. However, once Howard tells Amy to find some music for their car ride to drown out the silence, they realize how much the other loves Neil Diamond.
Over the course of the hunt, they act like old friends jamming on a road trip and singing at the top of their lungs. When they supposed to be looking for a clue at the lab, Amy finds a Neil Diamond concert happening next month, and the two are ecstatic to go. By the end of the scavenger hunt, the two do not make it to the last location, Instead, they go to the Cheesecake Factory to sing karaoke. Their friendship was short-lived, but it left a lasting impact that had fans wanting more.