The Big Bang Theory: 5 characters who were smarter than they looked (and 5 vice versa)


Big Bang Theory featured a cast of characters who stood out for their high intellect. For example, Sheldon, Bernadette, and Amy were at the top of their respective fields, something that never went unnoticed.

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While the show liked its characters to be smart in the most obvious way, some of them were quite brilliant even though they were never given any real credit. And while they were definitely less conventionally intellectual than the other doctors, they still had praiseworthy intelligence. Similarly, some of the most gifted characters often had trouble dealing with the most basic things, indicating how sometimes the intelligence of books is not the most important thing in life.

10 Dumber than they look: Stuart Bloom

Big Bang Theory's Stuart Comic Store Fire

As the show progresses, Stuart not only gets creepier, but dumber as well. Admittedly, he doesn’t have a business degree of any kind, but the fact that he can’t turn around his failed comic book store is telling, especially as the number of loyal customers he has suggests there’s potential there.

Stuart also becomes more conformist in later seasons, going so far as to abuse Howard and Bernadette’s hospitality. Your needy tendencies also mean that you don’t mind becoming mute more to attract others, to appear less threatening.

9 Smarter Than They Look: Howard Wolowitz

Big Bang Theory Howard and Bernadette Baby Halley

Because the rest of the characters often tease him for his lack of a Ph.D., it’s easy to forget that Howard is actually a space engineer whose work is not only used but vital to the proper functioning of the space station. Howard may not be as academically competent as his other friends, but he is no less skilled.

Howard also has a lot more emotional intelligence than some of his other friends, once he gets past his borderline stalker tendencies, of course. His journey from creepy jerk to loving husband and father is one of the show’s greatest accomplishments.

8 Dumber than they look: Beverly Hofstadter

Beverly Hofstadter In The Big Bang Theory

A renowned neuroscientist and award-winning psychiatrist and author, Beverly is Leonard’s mother and Sheldon’s closest confidante. Despite its apparent fame and respected status among the scientific community, the show makes numerous points about how its theories are not only wrong, but are often ridiculous.

Their poor parenting skills would be proof enough, but other characters really talk about how ridiculous some of their ideas are and how poorly they translate into real life. Like her son and his friends, Beverly seems to think that life can only be guided by theory, a sentiment that is completely wrong.

7 Smarter Than They Look: Arthur Jeffries

Professor Proton, as the characters affectionately knew him as children, was a former science show host who changed Sheldon and Leonard’s childhoods. As adults, the two roommates manage to connect with Jeffries and even become close friends with him.

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Due to his reputation as a host for children’s shows, Arthur’s contributions are often dismissed. He receives no real respect from the scientific community, even though he is a Ph.D. with many, as Sheldon puts it, “inspired” ideas. Sadly, he passes away in season seven, but he still comes across as a figment of Sheldon’s imagination.

6 Dumber than they look: Bert Kibbler

The Big Bang Bert theory

The sweet but modest Bert is often portrayed as the butt of the joke. His tall stature, odd personality, and bad luck with women are played for laughs, and the show goes to great lengths to exacerbate his most peculiar qualities. Bert, a geologist, wins the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, which includes a $ 500,000 award.

In reality, Bert is never portrayed as being too smart before his award. In fact, Sheldon makes fun of him and his department, although that has more to do with the idiosyncrasy of the physique. Still, Bert hardly seems to have a defined personality and is generally portrayed as a prototype of a gentle giant.

5 Smarter Than They Look: Mary Cooper

Laurie Metcalf as Mary Cooper in The Big Bang Theory

Sheldon’s close-minded and deeply religious mother is definitely not the smartest character on the show. Her stubbornness and excessively narrow worldview prevent her from becoming more cultured. This is a choice she makes, however, as she has been shown several times to be quite sharp and perceptive.

She knows exactly how to handle and even manipulate Sheldon, which suggests that she has a high degree of emotional intelligence. He has also been shown to use it with other characters, succeeding at all times. The fact that you are well aware of this means that you know that you are quite intelligent, but you are content to appear and remain ignorant about things outside of religion.

4 Dumber than they look: Leonard Hofstadter

Big Bang Theory

While not at the height of his profession, Leonard Hofstadter remains highly regarded within the Caltech community. He participates in some very high profile projects for the duration of the show and is generally one of the most successful characters.

Leonard is still quite ignorant on many subjects, either by will or by circumstance. He is unable to understand other people and is deeply marked by the events of his childhood. However, he is never interested in seeking help and working on these issues, but is content to continue to indulge them. This suggests a surprising lack of understanding about the importance of emotional and mental health, which together with his traditional and rather closed worldview makes him quite a static and stunted character.

3 Smarter Than They Look: Barry Kripke

John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke in The Big Bang Theory

Barry is another character who is almost completely defined by his obnoxious personality. Barry, loud, rude, brutal, and even more stalking than Howard, is annoying and the show makes no effort to hide it. However, unlike Bert, Barry has proven to be very smart.

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He is able to switch fields easily and be quite successful in both. He also seems to have a good grasp of engineering, which even Sheldon doesn’t have (although this may be due to his lack of respect for the field). Barry is often shown to be able to work at Sheldon’s level, but his own priorities lie elsewhere. In fact, he once hints that he is performing at his job, suggesting that his potential might be even greater.

two Dumber than they look: Sheldon Cooper

Big Bang Theory

With an IQ of 187, Sheldon is definitely the smartest character on the show. Described as possessing the mind of a generation, he is a brilliant theoretical physicist with a complex understanding of the universe. However, Sheldon is also quite naive, gullible, narrow-minded, and deliberately ignorant of many things.

He is also unable to function on his own and is completely dependent on those around him to perform simple, everyday tasks, such as driving. His childlike innocence and selfish views also leave him vulnerable to some of the harshest aspects of life. Sheldon is quite brilliant, but his lack of understanding of the basics and his tendency to take everything literally means that he is neither as sharp nor exemplary as you would like to think.

1 Smarter Than They Look: Penny

Big Bang Theory

Throughout the show, Penny’s intellect is portrayed inconsistently. Sometimes she goes out of her way to prove that she is just a silly blonde who is incapable of understanding even the simplest scientific concepts, such as when she thinks the world’s energy crisis can be solved with potatoes after Arthur lights a clock using a . Others, she has proven to be quite brilliant and cunning, as in the treasure hunt, when she can understand Raj’s reference to the Rolling Stones.

Most of the time though, Penny is the true embodiment of street smarts. She is capable of successfully transitioning into a sales career, which means that she not only has great people skills, but is also assertive, compelling, and enthusiastic. The show may play a joke with her intelligence, but in reality, Penny is much brighter than everyone thinks.

NEXT: The Big Bang Theory: Why Penny Is Actually The Main Character Of The Show

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