The Big Bang Theory: Character, Ranked by Funniness

The Big Bang Theory eventually settled at seven main characters, but who was the funniest of the bunch? Was it Sheldon, Leonard, or perhaps Penny?

The Big Bang Theory may have centered around some of the smartest and funniest characters to ever hit the small screen, but nevertheless, it was a comedy – a comedy that ran for 12 years and is one of only 5 shows to have a stage named after it at the renowned Warner Bros Studio lot.

For a sitcom that earned CBS and creator, Chuck Lorre, dozens of coveted awards. There were times when the geniuses from CalTech should’ve stuck to books and left the jokes to the professionals. To be fair, the show ran for nearly 300 episodes. Not every line can be a (ba)zinger (like that one); nevertheless, some of the main cast definitely had fans laughing more than others. Take a look at our list for the Big Bang cast ranked in order of how many times they had us drowning out the laugh-track.



With a show like Big Bang, it’s understandable that who the characters are at the beginning of the show, or even in the middle of the show, isn’t who they’re going to be at the end of the show. For some characters, and if a show does it correctly, that is a good thing. For Penny, the literal girl-next-door, that was not the case.

Had the show run for only 6 or 7 seasons: Penny would’ve been a little higher on this list since the early-Penny at least had an optimistic, if not naive, outlook on moving to and living in L.A. But as soon as she let that dream go and settled down with Leonard; she always had an arid feeling to her. Her character became whiny, and despite making more money and having the “picture-perfect” life, she was clearly bored with it. While her brass Nebraska attitude had us all hooked in the beginning; she became the epitome of what every working-class person is running from. It was a little too close to home to be funny.



Unfortunately, Raj was another character that faced the consequences of the show running too long. Honestly, by the time the show ended; there was no point for him to be around at all, other than racial diversity for the cast. During the earlier episodes, Raj’s cultural jokes and constant use of ‘white-guilt’ to manipulate his friends were hilarious, not to mention that his inability to speak to women other than while drunk somehow remained funny for a number of seasons.

But once Raj lost that part of his unique personality and the cultural jests became more about including Indian culture rather than making jokes about it, his presence felt as though he was simply ‘there,’ not adding to nor taking anything away from the show. That said, Raj’s sweater-vests were always on point.



Her character may have been introduced in season 3, but Bernadette quickly established herself as a series regular when she started dating the goofy Howard Wolowitz. While certainly the source for a few laughs throughout the show, Bernadette’s rank matches her height; simply put, she’s more adorable than funny.

It may not be actress Melissa Rauch’s real voice, but the character’s squeaky high-pitched tone can attract dogs from 5 miles away and often leads to the audience not being able to take her seriously. Season 3 Bernadette was a tad timid and had fans wondering how long she would stick around, but the character picked up a little sass that was more often cute than intimidating in the coming seasons that led to her getting a permanent spot on the guy’s couch – just not Sheldon’s spot.



The lone character who actually benefited from the longevity of the show, Amy Farrah Fowler was easily the most reprehensible character of the series when she was introduced in the season 3 finale. She was a less-funny, female version of Sheldon and often made the audience exhausted whenever they had to deal with her social ignorance.

However, once Amy became best-friends with Penny and Bernadette and started getting a handle on sufficient social interactions, she became a character that was not only bearable but actually rather funny. Not to mention that her struggled relationship with Sheldon made her a more relatable character and her reactions to his quirky mannerisms had us all sympathizing with her. We’re glad you stuck around, Amy; sorry that meant you had to deal with Sheldon.



One of the most funniest and consistent characters on the show when it comes to producing laughs, Leonard’s source of comedy was more-or-less the same throughout the entirety of the series. He’d make fun of Sheldon’s quirkiness, squint his eyes when Sheldon said something confusing, and roll them when Sheldon said something condescending.

Add in a few dark jokes about how much he hated his mother and a few sappy romantic cliches about Penny and voila! You’ve got Leonard Hofstader. He may not have been a particularly complex character, but these consistent mannerisms made Leonard a comedic staple of the show from the very beginning to the very end.



The true underdog of the show, Howard is much like Leonard in the fact that he’s consistently funny throughout the entire series, but the only difference is that Howard is the funniest of all. While Leonard was arguably the Robin to Sheldon’s Batman, Howard could have been described as the show’s Joker, often causing trouble for Sheldon at the expense of his lack of social norms and not caring how his inappropriate jokes may be taken.

The first couple of seasons portray Howard as a slightly annoying horn-dog who frequently tries to reach for stars beyond his reach. However, once he found his match in the pint-sized microbiologist and the show itself stopped fixating on his lack of a doctorate, Howard became a true joker in his own right.



The funniest character gets the spin-off. That may not be an official rule, but when it comes to comedy shows, it’s pretty spot-on. Regardless, the rule certainly applies here as Sheldon was the true foothold that cemented The Big Bang Theory’s place in television history. What else can you expect from a character who earned the actor portraying him, Jim Parsons, four Primetime Emmys?

In case you weren’t aware, that’s tied for the most ever. Despite the fact that the character lost a little bit of his edge seemingly every season, as Sheldon Cooper slowly gained a group of friends and learned how to become an active member of society, it didn’t stop the genius theoretical physicist from becoming one of the most iconic and hilarious characters to ever walk across our television sets. The physics he worked with may have been theoretical, but his humor was very real.

Comment down below about your favorite funniest character.

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