There are plenty of reasons for the success of Chuck Lorre’s The Big Bang Theory. The show is unique in that the majority of humor is based on science, academia, or science fiction rather than toilet humor. Not that there is anything wrong with toilet humor, but it isn’t for everyone. While the comedic aspects of the show are witty and clever, the content is still vastly more down-to-Earth than previous “intellectual humor” sitcoms like Frasier.
While most of the main cast are nerdy, awkward, male scientists, the women have become fan favorites as well, with Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), Amy (Mayim Bialik), and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) all portraying very different women who get along regardless of their contrasting personalities.
Aside from the main cast, however, the show has had an array of guest stars from the worlds of science and entertainment. These include Steve Wozniak, Wil Wheaton, and of course, Stephen Hawking, just to name a few among the dozens of entertainers and scientists that have been featured.
But again, because it is show business, there always needs to be some eye candy, and the Penny and Bernadette duo isn’t always enough; and whether they are seducing one of the main cast or are on the show for some nefarious purpose, there have been some amazing and gorgeous actresses whose time on the show has been brief and, in many cases, forgotten. Here are fifteen of the hottest ladies you likely forgot were on The Big Bang Theory.
15 Danica McKeller
Older fans may remember Danica McKellar from her first major role, which was as Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years back in the late 1980’s and early ‘90s. Those who followed the show How I Met Your Mother may recall when she played Trudy, one of the women with whom Ted Mosby may have “ridden the tricycle.” She’s had plenty of other roles throughout the ‘90s and 2000’s, but she has also dedicated her time to advocating for children’s education in math, having written five books on the topic.
She had a role on The Big Bang Theory in the twelfth episode of the third season, “The Psychic Vortex.” She and her friend, Martha, end up playing Rock Band with Raj and Sheldon after they meet at a party at the university. It was unknown whether Abby and Martha were students or employed at the university, but the hilarious part of this episode was Raj trying to seduce Abby while she insisted that Martha should come along with them, necessitating Sheldon to act as wingman, a duty he performed abysmally.
14 Sara Rue
Sara Rue played Dr. Stephanie Barnett back in season two of the show. Howard picked up Stephanie one night by offering her the chance to drive the Mars Rover, but the two of them end up getting it stuck, so Leonard drives Stephanie home. They end up fooling around and then go on a few dates before going their separate ways. A medical doctor, Sheldon was intrigued by having someone around who could diagnose his many non-conditions (he’s a hypochondriac, to say the very least). Of course, she used his reverence of her profession to get him to stop talking briefly.
Sara was cute when she was playing Stephanie. But in recent years, she has lost a considerable amount of weight. This isn’t to say that she wasn’t attractive before, but she used a lot of her own tricks, along with a specialized Jenny Craig diet, to drop about 50 lbs back in 2010 and 2011. Like we said, when she was Stephanie Barnett, she was cute, and she played the character well. But these days, she’s drop-dead gorgeous.
13 Aarti Mann
As he and Penny are now married on the show, many fans have likely forgotten about Leonard’s former girlfriends. Among them was Raj’s younger sister, Priya, played by Aarti Mann. A gorgeous successful corporate lawyer for an Indian car company, Priya and Leonard first hook up before the start of the show, having spent a night together when she first visited the gang back in 2005. Howard and Leonard pinky-swore that neither would pursue her, but Leonard broke that oath. She and Leonard rekindled their romance in season four and continued their long-distance relationship for part of season five.
Like several of Leonard’s girlfriends, she and Sheldon didn’t see eye to eye for obvious reasons, and as a highly skilled lawyer, she was able to come up with loopholes for the infamous roommate agreement.
In terms of the gorgeous actress herself, Aarti Mann has had other acting jobs, including Heroes, Scandal, and most recently Grey’s Anatomy, but playing Priya on Big Bang has been her largest role yet.
12 Laura Spencer
What is a list of hot women without a redhead or two? “Incomplete” is the answer to that question. While Laura Spencer is still on the show from time to time, we decided to include her anyway, as she never became a regular member of the main cast. Laura played Emily in a few recent seasons, and has been one of the more intriguing women on the show given her...let’s call it...unique s*xual preferences (getting turned on by horror films) and obsession with cemeteries. She also mentioned how the idea of cutting people is part of what made her want to become a doctor.
She and Raj had an eventful relationship, but at this point in the series, she has been all but completely written out.
Outside of this show, you’ve likely seen this stunning redhead playing Jessica on Bones, where she was one of the lab assistants working as a sharp scientist, but also one who got into a great deal of conflict with certain co-workers.
11 Judy Greer
If you’re not familiar with the work of Judy Greer, then you’re missing out. She is one of those actresses who has that rare and awesome combination of being very cute, talented, and almost always funny, bringing a great blend of genuine wit along with great delivery of comedic lines. She’s played a crazy wife on Two and a Half Men, worked on a few episodes of Californication, Arrested Development, and of course, possibly everyone’s favorite, Archer as Cheryl, or Carol, or Cristal.
On The Big Bang Theory, she played Dr. Elizabeth Plimpton, the guest star in The Plimpton Stimulation back in season three. While Leonard and the gang hosted her as a speaker at the university, they quickly became objects of her s*xual desires. She seduced Leonard first, and then wanted a four-way with Leonard, Raj, and Howard, but ended up with just Raj, leaving Howard the only one who didn’t get to enjoy her “attention.”
10 Jodi Lyn O’Keefe
Her career started out in modeling, which she started back in her youth. Throughout the mid to late 1990’s she started acting, first on TV, with a significant role on Nash Bridges and then with a couple of roles in terrible films in the late ‘90s and early 2000’s. Jodi Lyn O’Keefe’s single-episode part on The Big Bang Theory took place late in the second season when Leonard, Raj, and Howard went to Las Vegas for the weekend in “The Vegas Renormalization.”
Howard had been turned away by Leslie Winkle, with whom he briefly had a “friends with benefits” relationship. Feeling miserable, Raj and Leonard decided on the trip to Vegas to get him back to his old self. O’Keefe, playing Mikayla, first tries to get some “business” from Raj and Leonard, but gets denied and moves back to the bar. Seeing Howard getting increasingly miserable, the two decide to pay Mikayla for the “Jewish girlfriend experience,” a role she plays very well, speaking some Yiddish and mentioning eating bacon on the Sabbath.
9 Katie Leclerc
For a few seasons, one of the funniest gags the show had was Raj’s pathetic inability to speak to women. Penny, who manages to often prove herself to be the sharpest member of the group despite a lack of formal education, decided to hook Raj up with a deaf girl from her spin class, rendering his selective mutism as a non-issue. This was Emily, who was played by Katie Leclerc. While she’s stunning, there is something very interesting about her acting career. Most of her significant roles, including starring on Switched at Birth, have had her playing deaf characters. She isn’t completely deaf, but suffers from Ménière’s disease, which affects the inner ear. The condition can cause vertigo, but also temporary hearing loss. Knowing sign language and having spent periods of her life dealing with hearing loss have been factors for her being ideal for certain roles, including playing Emily.
8 Briana Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco’s younger sister, Briana, was in one episode of the show and said just one line, accepting a marriage proposal. But if you blinked, you might have missed it. It was back in the sixth season, and Leonard, Penny, Howard, and Bernadette were out on a double-date. All of a sudden, Penny’s mood changed to fury as she saw an ex-boyfriend who had cheated on her, sitting down to dinner across from the woman with whom he cheated, Gretchen. She was played by Briana Cuoco, and while she’s had a few acting jobs, her greatest asset may be her singing, as she made it onto The Voice a couple of years ago. She has worked as Kaley’s personal assistant for a while, and the two are apparently best friends. While we love Penny and everything else the elder of the two Cuoco sisters has done, Briana is absurdly beautiful and we have to be honest, we aren’t sure which of these girls is more attractive.
7 Brooke D’Orsay
Brooke D’Orsay is one of those stunning, gorgeous ladies who has not received nearly enough screen time in our humble opinion. The Canadian actress has been working since the early 2000’s, but has yet to star in any show worth mentioning. She was a recurring character, Kate, in the second last season of Two and a Half Men. She was essentially the perfect girl for Walden (Ashton Kutcher as Charlie Sheen’s replacement), but caught him in a lie and left him.
Years before she was Kate, however, she played Christy on TBBT, a friend of Penny who visits from Nebraska and ends up shacking up with Howard, her “first Jew.” She ended up just being a single-episode character, and ends her involvement with Howard after a nasty argument with his overbearing mother. This was all the way back in the first season and Brooke was definitely one of the sexiest guest star ladies of the first couple of seasons.
6 Valerie Azlynn
Recall what we said about Brooke D’Orsay being gorgeous but not having a whole lot in terms of starring roles in her career? We can say much of the same about Valerie Azlynn. She did have one of the main roles on TBS’ Sullivan and Son from 2012 until 2014, but other than that, most of her work has been single-episode appearances.
In season two of The Big Bang Theory, she played Alicia, a beautiful actress who has moved into the gang’s building. Leonard, Howard, and Raj are all smitten, and even Sheldon, after some interrogation, comes to like her. Penny, however, sees her as a competition and thinks that Alicia is taking advantage of the guys’ good natures (getting them to carry her things and install her electronics), and while Penny does enjoy having technologically-inclined gents around, genuinely likes them and isn’t using them for these skills. She and Penny eventually fight, and Alicia is never seen again. It is left ambiguous whether or not she moved out or still lives upstairs.
5 Analeigh Tipton And Samantha Potter
The main plot of the second season episode “The Panty Pinata Polarization” was a fight between Penny and Sheldon, in which they had banned each other from the apartment and The Cheesecake Factory, respectively. The story on the side, which was actually more entertaining, involved Howard and Raj using visible landmarks and star positions to find the house in which the girls on America’s Next Top Model lived while on the show. Upon finding the house, Raj and Howard dress up in cable company uniforms and claim they’re there to fix the system, gaining access to the house, while Howard repeats the phrase “future Mrs. Wolowitz.”
While a few gorgeous gals are seen in this part of the episode, the two who are featured most prominently are Analeigh Tipton and Samantha Potter. While Potter hasn’t done much since her time on the show, Tipton’s acting career has taken off. She has appeared in a few movies, other TV shows, and even in another episode of The Big Bang Theory playing Vanessa, a possible girlfriend for Sheldon while he and Amy were briefly broken up in season nine.
4 Courtney Henggeler
Nobody knew what to expect when meeting Sheldon’s sister. We all knew she existed and, given the entire nature of sitcoms on TV, it could have gone either way. She was either going to be the polar opposite of Sheldon or completely like him. Either way, it would have been entertaining. Of course, as we all know, the writers went with a character about as far from Sheldon Cooper as possible. Her name is Missy and when we met her in season one, she was beautiful, friendly, and socially...well...normal. She and Sheldon have an interesting and hilarious relationship, and while they clearly care for each other as siblings, they have next to nothing in common.
An actress, singer, and model, Courtney Henggeler looked absolutely magical in that low-cut purple flowery dress and did a great job playing Sheldon’s twin sister.
3 Alessandra Torresani (Claire)
Claire is an aspiring screenwriter and bartender in the ninth and current seasons of TBBT. She first got introduced to the group back in the episode “The Meemaw Materialization” in which we first met Sheldon’s legendary Meemaw (grandmother), who gives Amy a hard time. Claire meets Raj and Howard in Stuart’s comic book store, and they strike up a conversation about science fiction. Then, she mentions that she is working on a screenplay. She would date Raj for a few episodes, but as of season ten, she’s an occasional character. She is portrayed as Alessandra Torresani, who has been acting since around age ten. She’s now thirty, and aside from playing Claire, this gorgeous young woman has been featured on American Horror Story, Two and a Half Men, and Caprica. While she does a good job with this character, we think she looks even better off the show.
2 Eliza Dushku
While her professional acting career got underway back in the early 1990’s, most of us became familiar with the beautiful Eliza Dushku in 1998, when she scored the role of Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While she was still in her teens when she earned that part, she looks about as beautiful today as she did back then.
Among her numerous roles since the end of Buffy was a single episode on Big Bang in which she played an FBI agent. In season four, during the episode “The Apology Insufficiency,” Howard is trying to get high level security clearance to work on a government project and his friends are interviewed by FBI agent Angela Page (Dushku). Leonard awkwardly hits on her, Raj is terrified of her as he thinks any wrong answers to her questions will get him deported, and Sheldon ends up mentioning some events that cause Howard to not get his clearance.
1 Summer Glau
In the second season, Sheldon was called to San Francisco to present a research paper and nags the entire gang to take the train with him. He spends much of the episode on the phone with Penny, as he forgot the report, and needs her to send it to him. The other three were free to get up to shenanigans during the trip. Then, they notice a celebrity in their train car, Summer Glau, of Serenity, Firefly, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Leonard declines the idea of hitting on her, but Raj and Howard decide they’ll give it a shot. Raj heads off for some alcohol so he can actually speak to her, and Howard pours on what he thinks is charm. Raj has some success, but notices he’s drinking non-alcoholic beer and clams right up. Howard is as creepy as usual and terrifies her. Leonard finally decides to give it a shot, but Summer exits the train as he seems to be on the cusp of charming her.