Ranking [The Big Bang Theory](series:200751) characters is a lot like ranking your favorite children. It's not easy, but deep down you know. I'm going to give you what I believe to be the definitive ranking and I need to go ahead and preface this off the bat. Humor is key but it's not ALL that matters. I think there are a few factors that go into this:
- 1. Humor (it's a comedy after all)
- 2. Likability (a lot of characters can be hysterical but not super likable. We may not actually care about them and how they develop as characters)
- 3. Acting range (less important, but still a factor)
- 4. Uniqueness (do they bring something different to the table?)
So, without further ado, let's go into it.
I know, I know, really going out on a limb here. No, but seriously, Sheldon is the best actor of the bunch, arguably the best comedian, and the reason this show works. I can't say I didn't consider putting him at #2, but I just couldn't get myself to do it. So, I sort of got lame and did a 1a and 1b thing, here.
Also, Jim Parsons was absolutely stellar in [The Normal Heart](movie:885778) which puts him over the top here for me (ie the range category). When this show ends, don't expect Parsons to disappear from the Hollywood scene.
Like I said earlier, I nearly put Sheldon at #2. Which would've meant that I would put Penny at #1. So I did this whole 1a and 1b thing, giving Sheldon a slight slight edge. It's simply unfair to say one is more valuable to the show because they both are the two most important. The whole premise doesn't work without Penny, but the show simply isn't as funny without Sheldon.
Penny, from pilot to season 8 has been possibly the most consistent, and definitely the most attractive. I hate to say it, but people like seeing beautiful people on TV. And yeah, she's beautiful but she still does this:
Leonard is a man's man. A nerd's nerd. While Sheldon comes with the best jokes, Leonard is the underdog. You want him to succeed because, if you're like me, you see a little bit of yourself in him. His seemingly impossible relationship with Penny is also a huge draw to the show.
In every sitcom there's the on and off relationship it seems. However, this one is much funnier than most because the guy is a huge huge mega-nerd and the girl is gorgeous. It's different and I like it.
If I know other fans of this show well, I know that this could be the first potentially controversial pick. Raj and Howard, without the knowledge of Sheldon, originally found Amy through an online dating service and even Sheldon admits, she is possibly quick and intelligent enough to be a suitable mate for him.
She off-sets his quirkiness with her own. I personally think she's the funniest female character on the show and possibly the second funniest character period.
Raj is probably the wackiest character, and while I had trouble deciding between him and Howard for this spot, I truly believe he brings more to the table. This is mostly due to his selective mutism, bizarre habits, and random dislike of his own Indian culture.
He's lovably hilarious and adds a new dimension to the show.
Howard is the smartest dumb person you'll ever know. Like all of the characters, he's a misfit. This entire show works because they didn't make all of the characters basically nerdy. They are each their own brand of nerd and Howard's is great.
I think Howard and Raj are a great comedic duo, but I had to round out this list with Howard because it would be unfair not to. Besides being very funny with his lingo, he's also a great physical comedian.