The Big Bang Theory fans are a force of nature. When it comes to having over 270 episodes in the span of 12 seasons, fans are bound to have their favorites (and least favorites). According to IMDb, fans have rated every episode from season 1 all the way to season 12 using a star rating. The first episode of the iconic series received an 8.3-star rating, and the series continued to get better.
With the help of Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Howard, Raj, Amy, and Bernadette, The Big Bang Theory has been nominated for countless awards and made these stars big names in Hollywood. But what are the best Big Bang Theory episodes?
Updated on January 4th, 2022, by Lynn Gibbs: When it comes to the best Big Bang Theory episodes, fans are passionate about rewatching and sharing their love for it on sites like IMDb. The best TBBT episodes are rated highly due to the storylines or big moments shared. After 12 seasons, there’s a lot of episodes for fans to comb through, but the funniest Big Bang Theory episodes stand out among the rest. For fans who looking to rewatch a few episodes instead of the entire series, checking out the highest-rated episodes on IMDb is a great start.
17 The Roommate Transmogrification – 8.6
The final episode of season 4, ‘The Roommate Transmogrification,’ saw Raj and Leonard swapping places so that Leonard can spend more time with Priya in Raj’s apartment. Meanwhile, Bernadette gets her Ph.D., resulting in the group ridiculing Howard for being the only non-doctor.
Howard struggles with the fact his girlfriend has become the breadwinner and now earns more money than him. After a night of drinking in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment, Raj and Penny wake up to find themselves in the same bed after apparently hooking up. It was one of the worst things Raj and Penny had done. It wasn’t until the following episode that fans found out they didn’t actually sleep together. Due to the drama between Penny, Leonard, and now Raj, this was a high-rating episode.
16 Lunar Excitation – 8.6
Fans couldn’t help but rate ‘The Lunar Excitation’ highly because it was the first time fans saw Sheldon entertain a romantic relationship. In the episode, Raj and Howard searched the Internet to see if they could find Sheldon’s dream woman. Lo and behold, they found Amy Farrah Fowler. Amy and Sheldon’s first interaction was hilarious because they were far more alike than different.
Meanwhile, Leonard is sorting his feelings after a drunken Penny seduced him in the middle of the night. Considering they were broken up, he wondered what their one-night-stand meant to her. Between Leonard and Penny’s confusion and Sheldon and Amy’s blossoming friendship, it’s no wonder why fans have ranked it as one of the best Big Bang Theory episodes.
15 The Countdown Reflection – 8.6
The season 5 finale saw the much-anticipated wedding of Bernadette and Howard, but the episode is styled with flashbacks as Howard prepares to shoot off into space. In the flashbacks, fans see his wedding to Bernadette and the events leading up to it.
After Bernadette decides that she wants to marry Howard before he goes to space, the group rushes around to make sure the couple has the best impromptu wedding possible. The episode ends with a touching moment of the gang all holding hands while they watch Howard’s rocket take off on TV, meanwhile, it cuts to Howard screaming as he ascends into space. Between Howard & Bernadette’s wedding and Howard’s space expedition, Howard was the main character of season 5’s ending.
14 The Justice League Recombination – 8.7
In season 4’s ‘The Justice League Recombination,’ the guys prepared for a costume contest at the comic book store for New Year’s Eve. At this time, Penny was dating Zack but was having second thoughts the more she stayed friends with Leonard. It was clear that she still had feelings for him and was sad he was moving on with life.
Zack somehow invited himself and Penny to the party and Penny wasn’t too thrilled about going because of her wavering feelings. Everyone else, however, had a fantastic time at the party because they won the contest! Seeing everyone dressed up, paired with Penny’s confusion, making this a great episode at the comic book store.
13 The Panty Piñata Polarization – 8.7
In the second season, ‘The Panty Piñata Polarization’ showed Penny and Sheldon going head-to-head. After Penny reaches for one of Sheldon’s onion rings, he grows distraught and was fed up with her barging into his life and stealing his food and Wi-fi.
He gives her three strikes and bans her from coming into his home again. From there, the two do everything they can to interfere with each other’s lives, while Howard and Raj are busy trying to break into the America’s Next Top Model house. Penny and Sheldon had one of the best friendships in the series, so this tit-for-tat nonsense they pulled was entertaining to watch.
12 The Robotic Manipulation – 8.8
Season 4’s premiere, ‘The Robotic Manipulation,’ was a great episode, earning an 8.8. In this hilarious episode, Sheldon and Amy’s relationship timeline began when they went on their first date goes on his first date. Penny tags along to make sure they even knew what a date is.
Back home, fans find Howard in a pickle as he used a robotic hand to satisfy himself and the robotic hand got stuck. In a ton of pain, Howard calls his friends to help out, and they ended up taking him to the hospital to find relief. The sheer hilarity of both storylines made this a popular episode with fans.
11 The Scavenger Vortex – 8.8
The third episode of season 7 was titled ‘The Scavenger Vortex’ and follows the group as they finally give in to one of Raj’s activities. After giving up on his planned murder mystery evening, Raj instead plans a scavenger hunt and paired everyone in teams of two.
After some initial tension of who would be teamed up with who, teams are chosen by the drawing of straws, resulting in some unusual pairings. The unlikely duo of Howard and Amy bond over their love of Neil Diamond, while Leonard gets to see the more competitive side of Bernadette. Bernadette’s competitive edge showed that she wasn’t as close of friends Raj and co. as she may have thought. Meanwhile, Sheldon and Penny work together, with Penny aiming to prove that she’s not as stupid as the rest think. The awkward duos are what made this episode a standout as one of the all-time best Big Bang Theory episodes.
10 The Barbarian Sublimation – 8.8
As the third episode in season 2, ‘The Barbarian Sublimation’ deserved a higher rating strictly based on Penny’s change of lifestyle. In this episode, Penny is introduced to the world of online gaming, where she becomes so obsessed that she forgets to go to work, shower, and even date.
Since Sheldon is the person who got her into the world of online gaming, he tries his best to break her out of the spell by setting her up on a date. This, of course, doesn’t work because Penny was too far gone, she even had Cheetos in her hair. Penny’s quick understanding of the game flipped the dynamic of the show to great effect and helped make this one of the funniest Big Bang Theory episodes ever for fans.
9 The Maternal Capacitance – 8.9
Season 2 gave viewers the absolute gem of an episode titled ‘The Maternal Capacitance’ where fans were finally introduced to Leonard’s mother, Beverly Hofstadter. As a psychiatrist, Beverly analyzes everyone in the episode and it drives many of the characters crazy, giving Penny and Leonard the opportunity to bond over common ground, and a few drinks, and get a little close under the sheets.
Sheldon, on the other hand, finds Beverly delightful and both he and Leonard’s mother do their own bonding during her stay. Their bond, however, didn’t hide the fact that Beverly was the worst in Leonard’s eyes. Beverly’s introduction added a unique dynamic to the group, hence the high rating.
8 The Thanksgiving Decoupling – 8.9
In this episode, the gang decides to have Thanksgiving at Mrs. Wolowitz’s house. What was supposed to be a big day of eating and fun turns into a bloodbath after Leonard finds out Penny was unknowingly legally married to her ex-boyfriend Zack for years.
Penny explains the blunder by insisting that getting married in Las Vegas is a “joke,” but everyone assures her those marriages are, in fact, real. Stunned, Penny invites Zack to Thanksgiving dinner while Leonard is too busy shading the entire situation, making Penny mad at him even more. Fans couldn’t help but think maybe Penny should date someone else if Leonard was going to be that resentful. This realization was highly rated because it threw a curveball at Leonard and Penny’s relationship.
7 The Bow Tie Asymmetry – 9.0
In the 24th episode of season 11, fans find out that Wil Wheaton would be officiating the ceremony until Mark Hamill gets involved when Howard meets him unexpectedly after finding his dog. The rest of the gang is left doing last-minute wedding details, and of course, Shamy ties the knot!
It’s been a long time coming for this couple, and although they both had their faults throughout the seasons, they are one of the best couples in the show. This romantic moment was huge for the series, giving it a high rating.
6 The Adhesive Duck Deficiency – 9.0
In the third season of The Big Bang Theory, Leonard, Raj, and Howard are on a camping trip. Fans discover that Sheldon isn’t a camper, so he hangs behind. Excited to have a night to himself, Sheldon is ordering food when he hears Penny cry for help across the hall.
As it turns out, she slipped in the tub and injured her shoulder; Sheldon assumes it’s because she didn’t have adhesive ducks in her bathtub. Nevertheless, Sheldon dresses and takes care of Penny before taking her to the hospital. It’s a moment where these two become closer, which was sweet for fans. This hilarity of Sheldon taking care of another person made this episode legendary and fans have ranked it as one of the funniest Big Bang Theory episodes ever.
5 The Opening Night Excitation – 9.1
Reaching the 11th episode of the ninth season, ‘The Opening Night Excitation’ received a 9.1-star rating on IMDb. This episode was a real doozy because, after five years of dating, Sheldon finally decides that he and Amy can sleep together.
This was right after the two broke up briefly, and since it was her birthday, Sheldon really had little room for error. It was a big night for her and the one thing she wanted more than anything for her birthday, was him. Shamy fans couldn’t help but rate this episode highly because of the progression of their relationship.
4 The Staircase Implementation – 9.1
Towards the end of the third season, fans finally get to know how this group came to be. Leonard takes Penny on a walk back in time, as he notes exactly what happened. After needing a roommate, Leonard applied to meet Sheldon face-to-face in the apartment, where Sheldon then quizzed him. The more Leonard answered correctly (according to Sheldon), the more likely he was to live there.
After being an acceptable roommate for Sheldon, Leonard makes himself at home by buying furniture for the apartment and having friends over. While Sheldon was furious at first, he’s come a long way. Now the thing that Sheldon loves most in his apartment is his “spot.”
3 The Change Constant – 9.2
The penultimate episode of the entire series, “The Change Constant,” starts with the cast eagerly awaiting to hear of any news as to whether Sheldon and Amy have won the Nobel Prize. Of course, the couple does end up winning making it one of the more emotional scenes. However, it leaves Sheldon struggling with the consequences of fame and success.
Amy gets a brand new make-over with Raj’s help, but this just adds another change for Sheldon to deal with. To top it off, the elevator is finally fixed during this episode, but Penny helps Sheldon deal with his issues. Between the couple’s win, the elevator getting fixed, and Amy’s makeover — fans loved this episode.
2 The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis – 9.2
As the 11th episode in season 2, ‘The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis’ is a relatively early smash hit for the show and has remained a highly-ranked contender for the best Big Bang Theory episode. At this point in the show, Penny is finally buds with the gang across the hall when she meets Leonard’s new, attractive “friend” David. Penny and David hit it off immediately, with Penny showing a sudden “interest” in science.
This of course upsets Leonard, but all he can do is sit on the sidelines and watch them blow up. Meanwhile, Sheldon is in a tizzy because Penny gave him an awesome Christmas gift, and now he must follow suit and get one for her as well. Watching Sheldon, Raj, and Howard figure out an equally amazing gift for Penny was rather humorous.
1 The Stockholm Syndrome – 9.5
It should come as no surprise that fans ranked Season 12, Episode 24, ‘The Stockholm Syndrom’ as the best Big Bang Theory episode since it was the series finale.
In this episode, everyone’s getting ready for Amy and Sheldon’s Nobel Prize ceremony. Bernadette and Howard are preparing to leave their two kids for the first time, Leonard and Penny find out she’s pregnant, and Raj brings Sarah Michelle Gellar as his date. The episode was dramatic, comical, and of course, heartfelt. As the final episode after 12 seasons, it has the highest rating.
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