is a new television classic. The show about a group of loveable nerds and their much cooler next-door neighbor quickly became a sensation, launching its cast into stardom and eventually turning into one of modern tv's most successful and influential series.
With twelve seasons and a whopping 279 episodes, gave fans an embarrassment of riches. However, with so much quality content to choose from, it's obvious that a few episodes will fly under the radar. Still, these underrated chapters are just as hilarious and deserve more love from the show's loyal audiences.
Dr. Stephanie Barnett is one of Leonard's early love interests. She's a doctor who genuinely cares for Leonard, although their relationship is somewhat strange. The season episode "The White Asparagus Triangulation" sees Sheldon meddle in Leonard and Stephanie's relationship because he wants her to become a permanent part of their group -- after all, she's a doctor who can be at his disposal 24/7.
, and this episode is a showcase of his talents. The entire half-hour is devoted to the storyline, with Penny, Raj, and Howard playing supporting characters in Sheldon's efforts to keep Leonard from "ruining" things with Stephanie.
Sheldon doesn't know how to make friends, but he does know science; thus, he develops a "friendship algorithm" to make friends with Barry Kripke and secure his favor at work. His methodic approach to befriending Barry is surprisingly successful, but Barry has no power over who gets access to a coveted computer, making him useless to Sheldon.
, "The Friendship Algorithm" is a showcase for Parsons. Every other main cast member is a supporting player in this episode, with Parsons taking the spotlight through his chaotic but surprisingly endearing attempts to befriend Kripke.
The Leonard/Penny relationship is one of the show's most divisive aspects. Their initial romance happens in season three, with most storylines focusing on how different their personalities are. "The Guitarist Amplification" finds them fighting after Penny lets an ex-boyfriend crash at her place without asking Leonard.
While the relationship drama is weird, Sheldon's reaction to seeing them fight is hilarious. A child from a broken home, Sheldon has a visceral reaction to a couple fighting, causing him to regress to a childhood persona, with Penny and Leonard taking on parental roles. Parson, Kaley Cuoco, and Johnny Galecki have a great dynamic, with Cuoco's mothering approach to Penny making the episode an absurd yet pleasing entry into the show's lore.
, but Eliza Dushku is among the most underrated. The actress plays Angela Page, an FBI agent sent to do a background check for Howard. She conducts interviews with Leonard, who clumsily attempts to hit on her; Raj, who drinks a bit too much in his efforts to talk to her; and Sheldon, who lets it slip that Howard crashed the Mars Rover.
Dushku is a great straight man to the group's antics, with Galecki, Parsons, and Kunal Nayyar making the best of their interactions with her. "The Apology Insufficiency" also includes one of the rare instances where Sheldon humbles himself before Howard, making the episode all the more entertaining.
Mayim Bialik was a great addition to the show. Amy Farrah Fowler was chaotic enough to disrupt the group's well-oiled dynamic, with her early appearances highlighting her desperation for love. The season five episode "The Pulled Groin Extrapolation" sees her attending a wedding with Leonard after Sheldon refuses to accompany her. After a hilarious Chicken Dance, Amy becomes convinced Leonard fell in love with her.
Bialik and Galecki are a perfect duo, at it's a shame the show never explored their dynamic more. Amy owns the episode through her interactions with Leonard, Penny, and Sheldon, who experiences something akin to jealousy after discovering Leonard's supposed love for Amy.
had on television. The show's best episodes made full use of every major player, integrating them into a single storyline and giving them each a chance to shine. Such is the case with "The Closet Reconfiguration," arguably one of the show's all-time best episodes.
The storyline focuses on a letter from Howard's father that Sheldon finds in Howard's closet. He reads it and reveals its contents to everyone but Howard, whose resentment for his father trumps his curiosity. The group then tells him a version of the letter, telling him they can all co-exist in his head, thus giving him some semblance of peace. "The Closet Reconfiguration" is at its best, finding the right balance between humor and emotion to deliver a compelling, sweet, and endlessly entertaining story.
Like "The Closet Reconfiguration," "The Love Spell Potential" brings the show's ensemble together to tell a powerful story about love and intimacy. The main story sees the group, minus Raj, playing a game of D&D that eventually turns into one of Sheldon and Amy's first moments of true intimacy. The storyline represents the perfect combination of the show's nerdy roots with a more emotional story to great success.
The B-story finds Raj on a date with Lucy, where they step out of their comfort zones. It's less engaging than the D&D game, but Raj is at his best when he is away from the group, and he seldom has an individual story in the show, making the episode even more special.
Sheldon and Howard were 's best and oddest pairing. Both characters were opposites, sharing a confrontational yet endearing dynamic that usually brought out the worst in them. "The Junior Professor Solution" follows Howard as he enrolls in Sheldon's class. The physicist doesn't think the engineer is clever enough to follow his teachings, and chaos ensues.
With Sheldon at his most egotistical and Howard at his most immature, "The Junior Professor Solution" is the perfect episode. For once, the show doesn't laugh at Howard, and his ongoing fight with Sheldon makes for excellent tv. The episode's ending is also a showcase of the guys' friendship, which became increasingly rearer in later seasons.
Amy and Sheldon move in together after her apartment gets flooded. With the renovations done, she refuses to tell Sheldon but tells Amy and Bernadette. However, nothing stays a secret in such a tight friend group.
"The Veracity Elasticity" is late perfection. The episode includes a particularly memorable scene where Sheldon and Leonard speak Klingon to prevent Penny and Amy from understanding; in return, the girls speak Ubbi Dubbi to the guys' confusion. The scene is perfect content: absurd, geeky, and hilarious, elevated by the talents of the show's wonderful cast.
. Their long romance eventually leads to marriage, with the couple spending most of season eleven planning their upcoming nuptials. In typical Shamy fashion, they conduct an elaborate experiment to see which of their friends is best suited for the Best Man and Maid of Honor positions.
"The Matrimonial Metric" combines everything that makes the show great, delivering a clever, funny, and fast-paced episode. It expertly uses the show's ensemble, giving every character a chance to shine while providing some of the best lines in the show's later seasons. More tv episodes should be as great as this one.