The Big Bang Theory was once one of the most popular shows on TV. Now into its eleventh season, it seems that the show could be beginning to wind down as the cast has now paired off into romantic couples. Two of these couples are now married and with Sheldon and Amy set to marry soon as well, it seems that the show could finally be wrapped up in the next few seasons. While Penny has been one of the main characters on the show ever since the very first episode, Bernadette made her entrance in season four and since then she has easily become a firm fan favourite on the show.
Penny is obviously beautiful and there is a reason why she has been able to carry the show for the past few years, but Bernadette brings something much better to the format in a way that Penny's ditzy character never could. Amy has obviously brought her own quirks to the show too, but it seems that when it comes to the most popular female character, the competition has only ever been between Penny and Bernadette.
There are a number of reasons why Bernadette could be considered a much better character than Penny at this precise moment in time and the following list looks at just 15 of these reasons. Penny and Bernadette may well be the best of friends on screen, but off screen many fans of the show have already decided who the better character is and the following are some of the reasons that support the argument for Bernadette.
15 Bernadette Is Beautiful And Smart
It's a mix that many TV series fail to get right; either there is a smart woman or there's a beautiful woman. There is rarely a person who is able to be both. When Penny was first introduced in The Big Bang Theory, she was the stereotypical blonde that Howard, Raj and Leonard were attracted to, while Sheldon was still confused as to what his feelings actually were.
Bernadette was never like this. She was never someone who flaunted her body. She wanted to be taken seriously as a scientist and as a woman and was able to find the middle ground between them. This probably doesn't make her better than Penny in the eyes of many fans of the show, but it does make her a much better role model for many of the younger generation who are watching the show and thinking of having a career rather than looking good.
14 Bernadette Doesn't Think Alcohol Will Solve Everything
Many fans of The Big Bang Theory have picked up on the fact that Penny is seemingly addicted to wine when she's having a bad day. Much of the time this will include her drinking in the middle of the day rather than trying to fix her problems.
While Bernadette does enjoy the occasional drink with her friends, it seems that she isn't as reliant on alcohol as Penny is because she is open to fixing her problems head-on. Bernie has the same kinds of issues as Penny and most of the time she feels like grabbing a bottle of wine and dwelling on them too, but she doesn't because she is educated enough to know that alcohol will only make her problems worse and she will still have to fix them in the morning. Hopefully, in the coming seasons, Bernie will teach Penny how to handle her problems without having to drink a bottle of wine.
13 Bernie Never Hooked Up With Any Of Howard's Friends
Bernadette has only ever had eyes for Howard, even though Raj once thought he was supposed to be with Bernadette, which never materialized. It seems that unlike Penny, Bernie has always been able to remain loyal to her boyfriend and later her husband.
Penny and Leonard have been one of the main pairings on the show since the beginning, but Penny hasn't always been so sure about her relationship with the man from across the hall and instead has embarked on a number of relationships with men who are nowhere near as smart as Leonard, except for the time when she slept with Raj. It was a drunken mistake and Raj was still unable to speak to her at the time, but it seems that she's OK with forcing Leonard to live with the fact that she has slept with one of his best friends as well.
12 Penny Thought She Was Better Than Leonard In The Beginning
When Penny was first introduced to the show in the very first episode, she thought that she was better than Leonard. She was aware that both Leonard and Howard were attracted to her, but she did nothing about it, as she thought that she was so much better than them because they were nerds.
Bernadette never did this. She has always thought that she was on the same wavelength as Howard and even though the audience has been made to feel slightly awkward by some of the inappropriate things that Howard has done over the past few years, Bernadette has always stood by him and his overbearing mother. Bernadette always knew that Howard was the man for her. She never had to think twice, unlike Penny, who had to think numerous times about her relationship with Leonard before they finally made it down the aisle after almost a decade of issues.
11 Bernie Has A Lot Of Spunk
Many fans have noticed over the past eleven seasons that Penny's character hasn't really evolved very much. It seems that other than the fact that Penny dropped out of community college and has obvious daddy issues, there isn't a lot else that the series producers have to work with when thinking of things for Penny to do.
Bernadette, on the other hand, has a lot of potential since she bonded with Howard over the fact that they both have overbearing mothers and she has hinted a number of times that there could be a scary side to her. Her father himself has even noted a number of times that he is afraid of her, despite the fact that she is tiny. Bernadette is the actual living embodiment of a pocket rocket and someone who could do real damage in a fight, something that Penny could only dream of being.
10 Bernie Is Always Supportive Of Her Husband
Bernadette jumped at the chance to marry Howard when he proposed to her and ever since she has been the most supportive force in his life. There is no one who has stood up to Howard in the ways that Bernie has, with her even managing to stand up to his mother for him, something that he has never been able to do throughout the show.
Penny doesn't do this for Leonard. Much of the time she is the one causing the problems in their relationship and then starts arguments between Leonard and Sheldon. It seems that while Bernie and Howard's wedding was something that happened quite quickly, it was one that was made to last. Penny and Leonard's took so long to come together because they were busy concentrating on everything that could break them apart and now so much water has gone under the bridge that it is hard to see their marriage lasting.
9 Bernie Proves That It's OK To Be Female And Accomplished
It's 2017 and it still is seemingly not acceptable for a woman to be able to earn more than her husband or to be much smarter than him. Bernadette and Howard are both accomplished but Bernadette is the one with the PhD and the one who earns more money.
This isn't something that she tries to throw in her husband's face; she's supportive of him as well, but she's happy to be able to support herself. Penny is happy to work at the Cheesecake Factory or continue to leach of Leonard and Sheldon without ever thinking about her future. She randomly quit her job and put Leonard and herself in a tough financial spot in the later seasons because she never sees the bigger picture. At least Bernadette is the sort of person who thinks before she makes rash decisions because she takes her children and husband into account as well.
8 Bernadette Isn't Afraid To Dress Up And Look Silly
Bernadette has never allowed her character to be about what she looks like. You will never see Penny looking less than perfect, which is the way her character is supposed to be. Penny is always the one in the tight-fitting black dress and heels that is turning heads on a night out, while Bernadette doesn't actually care about looking beautiful all the time because she has an air of natural beauty about her, which means that she never looks like she's trying too hard.
In many episodes, Bernadette hasn't been scared to dress up and act like a fool, something that Penny would never do because she seems to have an image that she wants to remain intact. Bernadette will literally do anything for Howard, which includes dressing up as Cinderella and even a Smurf. She doesn't take herself too seriously, which is why she is a breath of fresh air to many fans of the show.
7 Bernie Will Literally Always Say It Like It Is
There have been a number of episodes where Penny has been scared to say exactly what she thinks about someone so instead she decides to talk to everyone else about it behind their back. There was even the famous time when she forced Sheldon to keep a secret from his best friend, just because she was scared to tell him.
Bernie isn't like that; if she has a problem with anyone, usually she will speak up. She isn't afraid of anyone and even though she is a caring mother and wife she seems to thrive on confrontation. She also isn't like Amy and doesn't blindly follow everything Penny wants and says just because she's happy to be her friend. Bernadette has her own mind and she tries to think for herself most of the time, unless her friend really needs her help and then she is forced to be the supportive member of the group.
6 She Isn't Afraid To Admit When She Needs Help
Bernie is a strong woman who has been raised to be independent by her parents. She has always had a strong support network behind her, which has allowed her to become the strong-willed person that she is. Despite this, it seems that sometimes Bernie has been forced to admit that she needs help and it's something that she doesn't actually mind doing.
When she was pregnant and she thought that she was going to be a bad mother, Bernie knew that she needed to talk to someone and not bottle up her feelings, which is why she was able to overcome this fear after talking to Raj's father. It seems that Penny only ever needs help when it's something financial. Her character doesn't have enough depth to be able to have real problems that she needs to be supported through, which is sad because she is seemingly opening up to Leonard much more now, but it shouldn't have taken eleven seasons.
5 Bernie Is A Strong Independent Woman
Penny moved to Los Angeles in the hopes of becoming a famous actress, something that many women dream of when they're younger. However, they usually have a Plan B, so that they don't end up working at the Cheesecake Factory for a number of years.
Bernadette was only working at the restaurant to pay for her PhD, which is why she was able to leave the job after only a few months because she had completed her education and moved on to a much better job. Bernadette always put solid foundations down for herself so that she didn't have to rely on anyone else to fix her problems for her, while Penny has always made her problems into something that the rest of the cast have to help her through. There is nothing strong or independent about Penny because she has never been forced to do anything for herself.
4 Every Now And Then Bernadette Shows That She Has A Soft Side
Bernadette was raised by her father, who was a police officer, so he always taught her to be strong and put on a strong face regardless of how tough things are. This could be why Bernadette comes across as quite an emotionless character at times. Despite this, Bernie has shown that she also has a soft side as well, like when she was able to help Stuart out and how she treats Raj's relationship with Howard.
Penny has never tried to get along with Sheldon for her boyfriend's sake, with the two always butting heads in the earlier seasons, because Penny thought it would be funny to test the fact that Sheldon had obvious social problems. She never thought about adapting to the fact that Sheldon was always going to be in Leonard's life until much later in the show, something that took Bernie only a number of weeks to figure out.
3 Bernadette Manages To Juggle Working And Being A Mother
Bernadette was the first woman on the show to get married and the first woman to give birth when Hallie arrived in the last season. Even though Hallie has never actually been seen on TV since she arrived (which is exactly as the producers wanted it), Bernadette is still managing to juggle being a mother, a wife and a scientist.
Bernie never wanted to give up work. She wanted to be the kind of woman who could have it all, while Penny has already revealed that her character isn't set to have any children. Leonard and Penny finally made it down the aisle in the last season but Kaley Cuoco revealed that she doesn't like working with children on set, so it's highly unlikely that the main couple on the show will be following in their footsteps. It seems that Bernadette's character is now mirroring her in real life, since she recently welcomed a daughter and will now also be forced to juggle work and being a mother.
2 The Way That Bernie Shares Raj With Howard
When Bernadette met Howard she was well aware that many of their friends thought that Raj and Howard were more than just best friends. Rather than attempt to come between them like many women would have done, Bernie has managed to reach a point where she is now also friends with Raj and allowed him to help her and support her while she was pregnant.
One of the cutest moments was when Raj and Bernie were left to support each other when Howard went to space and they both seemed to be there for each other. This is the relationship that Penny should have created with Sheldon from the beginning, but as already stated, it took her a long time to stop playing childish games and coming between Sheldon and Leonard, which is why many fans have always had a sour taste in their mouth when it comes to Penny.
1 She Has An Iconic Voice
One of the things that allowed Bernadette to stand out is her iconic voice. It's a voice that the actress Melissa Rauch created for her character and it seems to mimic the one that Howard was used to growing up with his mother. Bernie's voice is something that makes her iconic because both Penny and Amy's voices don't change, and they aren't able to keep Howard in line either.
Penny is beautiful. That seems to be the thing that many fans will point out about her. She's a beautiful woman who knows how attractive she is, which is why she has a huge ego and thinks that she is better than Leonard for the first few episodes. Bernie was never like that. She bonds with Howard over their parental situation and despite her voice being different, was always able to blend in and accept the other members of the group.