19 Reasons The Big Bang Theory Stars Are The Best

As The Big Bang Theory says farewell, Watch! takes usĀ back through some of our greatest moments with this ensemble of beloved nerds.

Television's super smart geek squad will be majorly missed

Television's super smart geek squad will be majorly missed

"Each cast member is very skilled, a consummate pro, who brings a lot of heart and compassion to the work, and they have a real bond off-camera," says veteran producer and creator of The Big Bang Theory Chuck Lorre. "That combination is not only rare and priceless but also clearly visible when you watch the show. The end result is an incredibly funny and smooth-working ensemble."

At the core, that's what brought The Big Bang Theory to the heights of network comedy. Watch! takes us back through some of our greatest moments with this ensemble of beloved nerds.

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2009.

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They put kindness first

They put kindness first

According to Kunal Nayyar, who plays the shrinking violet immigrant Raj Koothrappali, part of The Big Bang Theory's appeal is that the show's four male characters "are very innocent, without any trace of malice."

That fact is so central to The Big Bang Theory that creator Chuck Lorre had shelved an earlier version of the pilot because the characters' fundamental goodness wasn't quite shining through.

Photography by Cliff Lipson. Exclusive to CBS.com.

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They're dream collaborators

They're dream collaborators

Latecomer Mayim Bialik, who plays neuroscientistst Amy Farrah Fowler (now Cooper!) had no trouble fitting right into the tight-knit cast of The Big Bang Theory. But don't just take her word for it. "Working on any scene with Mayim is a joy," fellow star Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) told us in 2014. “It's this feeling of great freedom because you know that you're working with someone who's on the same page with you as far as what 'needs to happen’ to get the story told."

"I can honestly say that," continues Parsons, "I find Mayim infinitely delightful. She's entertaining with a big heart."

Photography by Gilles-Marie Zimmermann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, February 2014.

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They believe in each other

They believe in each other

For Jim Parsons, who plays the lovably antisocial genius Sheldon Cooper, the attraction of The Big Bang Theory's characters lies in what they don't feel. "They all have what we might laugh at and call social shortcomings, and yet they don't live their lives at all depressed about that."

"Instead," Parsons continues, "they have a firm belief, and strong hope, that they will achieve greatness."

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2009.

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They keep in touch

They keep in touch

The Hollywood hustle can take its toll, but Kaley Cuoco (who plays Penny—now Penny Hofstadter!) told Watch! in 2011 that she holds on to strong connections with her castmates.

"Now that everyone is so successful, we hang out much less. But we still take our moment after each show, the five of us, and it's very special. They're my whole life."

Photography by Jeff Lipsky. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, August 2010.

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They're proud to be smart

They're proud to be smart

Early on, "the critics assumed that Big Bang would be about cheap shots at intelligent people," said Johnny Galecki, who plays arch-nerd Leonard Hofstadter, in a 2009 interview with Watch!. "If anything, I think the show defends intelligent people."

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2009.

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They're real scientists

They're real scientists

While her Big Bang castmates don the guise of scientists every day, Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) doesn't bother. The reason? She's a neuroscientist herself.

In a 2014, interview, Bialik told Watch! about the importance of teaching science to girls. "My mom's parents didn’t finish junior high. I come from an uneducated immigrant family, so I was expected to go to college. I wasn't good at science at school—it didn't come naturally to me—but I had a tutor. Having a female role model who took the time to teach me was important, and that’s what gave me the confidence."

Photography by Gilles-Marie Zimmermann. Exclusive to CBS.com.

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They know nerds are cool

They know nerds are cool

Kaley Cuoco might not be a nerd in real life, but she's happily accepted the mantle.

"There was just one time," Cuoco told Watch! in 2009, "when we had really good seats at a Lakers game, and some jock was jealous. He yelled, 'NERDS!' And [we] were like, 'Whatever! We're the nerds on the FLOOR!'"

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2009.

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They're each other's biggest fans

They're each other's biggest fans

Though they've hobnobbed together on the cast of The Big Bang Theory since Season 3, Melissa Rauch admits she's admired Mayim Bialik from afar since Bialik's role on Blossom in the early nineties.

"I have been a fan of Mayim's from the time I was a kid." Growing up, Rauch and her brother "would re-create episodes of our favorite shows in the living room. I think there just might be a video of me in a [Blossom-like] floppy hat and tights. I might have to dig through some footage—but then again, I think Mayim might be scared to talk to me after that."

Photography by Cliff Lipson. Exclusive to CBS.com.

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They make smart look stylish

They make smart look stylish

Asked in 2009 if The Big Bang Theory was making smart sexy, Kunal Nayyar had one thing to say: "Just look at this cast!"

We couldn't agree more.

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2009.

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They get the laughs

They get the laughs

"There was a distinct moment, in shooting the pilot, when I knew the show would work," remembers Simon Helberg, who plays the reformed skirt-chaser Howard Wolowitz, in a 2009 Watch! interview.

During a scene in which Sheldon and Leonard were at a sperm bank, "I was offstage and heard the audience's reaction, which went on for so long that the director, Jim Burrows, said, 'There's too much laughter. We have to go back and do it again.'"

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2009.

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They're every flavor of nerd

They're every flavor of nerd

Late-arrival Melissa Rauch, who plays the perky pharmaceutical whiz (and later wife to Howard!) Bernadette Rostenkowski, told Watch! in 2011 that she finds plenty in common with her character—even without an advanced degree.

"Bernadette's a neurobiologist, and I barely passed Introduction to Earth Science," says Rauch. "I'm a nerd, but I'm a different kind of a nerd. I'm a literature nerd."

Photography by Cliff Lipson. Exclusive to CBS.com.

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They're icons for the misfits

They're icons for the misfits

Kunal Nayyar has been proud to have become an icon for those struggling with rejection. "We also have many fans in the high school theater community," he told Watch! in 2009. "For a lot of people who maybe have felt like misfits, or haven't fit in with the cool crowd, we sort of become rock stars."

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2009.

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They're role models

They're role models

In addition to being a neuroscientist like her on-screen counterpart, Mayim Bialik advocates for the rights and education of young women. She's even written a book on the subject: Girling Up: How to be Strong, Smart, and Spectacular.

When Watch! asked in 2017 why she wrote it, Bialik explained, "Because I used to be a girl and I am a woman. This is about the process of becoming a woman. But I dedicated the book to my sons because I hope they encounter strong, smart, and spectacular women—and men—in their lives."

Photography by Gilles-Marie Zimmermann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, April 2017.

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They've got passion

They've got passion

"One of the things I've learned from this show," Johnny Galecki told Watch! in 2009, "is that people who are sometimes called 'nerds' are really just people who are passionate about something."

"And ultimately, passion is appealing, even if the subject is something you're personally not passionate about."

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2009.

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They stick up for the team

They stick up for the team

An every-woman among geniuses, Kaley Cuoco's character Penny has trouble understanding them. But she's always there to stand up for them when someone tries to take advantage of their guileless ways.

"When I stuck up for them and said, 'These are my guys,'" Cuoco recalls, "the crowd screamed. And I kept thinking, 'Don't cry! Don't cry!' Because I was so touched. We're all so protective of these characters, I could cry right now thinking about it."

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2009.

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They're fantastic parents

They're fantastic parents

As if her advocacy for girls and young women wasn't enough, Mayim Bialik also used her unique expertise to advocate for attachment parenting in her guidebook/memoir Beyond the Sling.

"I wrote it from a neuroscience perspective," Bialik told Watch! in 2014. "Like why natural labor matters—not that you have to do it, but why people choose it and why breastfeeding makes sense."

Photography by Gilles-Marie Zimmermann. Exclusive to CBS.com.

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They've got faith in humanity

They've got faith in humanity

Johnny Galecki understands how important it is for us to trust each other.

"When you read the news and you see all this bad stuff happening," he told Watch! in a 2013 interview, "there's a tendency to lose faith in humanity. But I meet so many people who restore it and realize that actually, 99 percent of people are great."

Photography by Kieron O'Connor. Exclusive to CBS.com.

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They beat the critics

They beat the critics

Early on, critics weren't high on The Big Bang Theory's chances. "They said we were going to fail two episodes in," recalls Kaley Cuoco in 2009. "Before they even saw the show, they were not fans."

Just look at them now.

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2009.

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They're just like us

They're just like us

"I think The Big Bang Theory reflects a shift in the cultural landscape," noted then-CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler in a 2009 interview with Watch! Magazine.

"Groups of friends like this, with their type of 'geek chic,' have blossomed into a very familiar and relatable demographic. We're seeing it in film, in literature, and I think it's a fresh way to access comedy."

Photography by Mark Mann. Originally published in Watch! Magazine, October 2009.

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