While the core of The Big Bang Theory cast hasn't changed much over the years, many recurring characters have come and gone. When the series revolves around a set cast (and expands for their significant others and other major players in their lives), that's bound to happen. Because of this, you don't want too many characters to stick around for too long since their storylines will just take away from the main characters'. Time spent on them could be better used to explore different aspects of the main characters.
However, sometimes a character's exit hurts the series, whether this is because of who they were or how they left. Maybe the character is related to one of the core group memebers and it just doesn't make sense the way they left and why they haven't been seen since. Then there's the fact that The Big Bang Theory is ending with its 12th season. With the end approaching, the time left is better served being dedicated to the main characters.
The presence of other characters, even in minor roles, could hurt the series, especially if those characters are pretty much the same every time they appear. Changing this up would require too much time and story to be spent on them rather than the characters fans have gotten to know over these 12 years and whose stories deserve to be wrapped up in the right way.
Here are the 9 Character Exits That Hurt The Big Bang Theory (And 11 That Need To Go).
20 Needs to Go: Anu
On the one hand, Raj needs to find love, just like the other characters have. On the other hand, though, if the series wasn't ending, would he have really decided to go through with an arranged marriage?
Anu herself isn't the problem here. She's a nice person, she gets along with the others, and she and Raj at least like each other. However, her presence and her role in Raj's life feel like The Big Bang Theory's attempt to put Raj in a relationship (and marriage) while it still can. Would it have been the worst thing for Raj to end the series single or perhaps meeting someone (on his own, not arranged) he could marry one day?
19 Hurt: Eric Gablehauser
For all of the time that the guys spend at work on The Big Bang Theory, it's surprising that Eric Gablehauser, the head of the physics department at the California Institute of Technology, didn't appear more often. His last appearance came in season 2.
Like many other characters, he didn't like Sheldon (nor did Sheldon like him). Their dynamic was nothing new and that could only be played so many times, but it still doesn't explain his sudden disappearance. It would be interesting to see how he'd react to Sheldon's latest scientific projects in season 12 — and to see how Sheldon reacted to that. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that fans are ever going to get that chance before the series ends.
18 Needs to Go: Beverly
This is a tough one because Christine Baranski is good in the role and it's always a treat to see her. However, enough is enough when it comes to Beverly. The fact that she isn't the best mother to Leonard is a repetitive, unamusing joke, and it's not going to change before the series ends, so let's leave it in the past.
Viewers don't need to constantly see Beverly be better to or praise others around Leonard. Even times when it seems like Leonard and Beverly have nice mother-son moments are ruined by her desire to ignore emotions, like when she was proud of him for marrying Penny, especially compared to her other in-laws.
17 Hurt: Dan
The funniest parts of Dan's appearances were how much Bernadette scared him and how easily she could manipulate him. It's an ongoing joke that despite her very small stature, Bernadette can terrify everyone around her. Through Dan, fans also got to see more of Bernadette and Penny's work life. Since most of the other recurring characters revolve around the male character, this was a nice change of pace.
While only so much could be done with him being scared of Bernadette, the series did manage to find a new way to keep their dynamic in his second appearance. She cried to get him to do what she wanted. It's too bad that he never returned after that.
16 Needs to Go: Halley
First of all, saying The Big Bang Theory needs to let Halley go isn't the same as saying anything should happen to her. However, right now, it seems like her off-screen presence is trying to replace Mrs. Wolowitz's. Her crying sounds very similar to Howard's mother's voice.
While it's great that the comedy series pays tribute to her and her voice actor, enough is enough. Halley is almost two years old now, and no child should grow up with that voice. Since she's only appeared off-screen, it's hard to imagine that changing, even with the series ending. The series has explored enough aspects of Howard and Bernadette's lives as parents, so it may be time to move on from Halley and Neil. They can still be mentioned from time to time.
15 Hurt: Priya
Priya might have been Leonard's girlfriend for a brief period of time, but she's also Raj's sister. However, she's only really appeared on the show as the former. No one expected her and Leonard's relationship to last, but that didn't mean she had to disappear entirely. However, once Leonard and Penny got back together, that was it.
The series really should have remembered who Priya was in relation to Raj, especially since he's shown video-chatting with his parents often enough. Why not have them stay in touch that way? They could have avoided any awkwardness around Leonard and Penny by keeping her appearances to scenes with Raj, even if it didn't happen in person. She's only been mentioned twice since she last appeared. That should change, especially with Raj's wedding coming up.
14 Needs to Go: Larry Fowler
This is a hard one because Teller is quite good in the role. However, that doesn't mean his character should stick around. While it took eight years from Amy's introduction to meet her father, some characters are better in small doses. Larry Fowler is one of them.
Now that he's appeared for Amy's wedding and for Leonard and Penny to see similarities between themselves and the Fowlers, enough is enough. It's likely any future appearances would just feature more of the same. With the series wrapping up, there's not much time left to show growth for minor characters, and Larry falls into that category. The series managed to make it eight years without Amy's parents. They can make it the rest of season 12 without them, too.
13 Hurt: Meemaw
Meemaw has only appeared in one episode, but she's been mentioned enough times over the years that one is not enough. Sheldon's grandmother has been entertaining fans from off-screen for most of the series. Everyone knows how important she is to him. Because of this and her sole appearance, it's a shame that she didn't appear prior to season 9 or after the one episode.
Just imagine the comedy gold fans would have been treated to if there had been an episode with Sheldon's mother and Meemaw. Yes, there is still time for that to happen, but with the series wrapping up this season, the chances of it still happening seem slim.
12 Needs to Go: Denise
It's strange because Denise could have easily been accepted into the group of friends as Stuart's girlfriend, but she hasn't been. Even Raj's fianceée has spent time with the other women. This is due to the fact that Stuart is on the fringe of the group. So, because of this, he and Denise can disappear from the series without having much impact on the show.
This is a sign that it may be time to trim the cast of recurring characters, especially in a final season, in order to focus on the main group. Unfortunately, Denise should be one of the first to go. Now that she and Stuart are dating, this could easily be the end of her story and she doesn't necessarily need to appear on-screen anymore. The show just hasn't bothered to develop her character past that, and now is not the time to fix it.
11 Hurt: Mike Rostenkowski
Bernadette's father is quite the character — and one that needs to return. It wasn't just that seeing him and getting insight into his relationship with Bernadette and who she is made him entertaining. Fans also saw how the others reacted to Mike Rostenkowski as well. He and Sheldon bonded over football at Thanksgiving dinner, which surprised everyone.
Mike and Howard haven't had the easiest relationship, but that has just led to more comedic moments. The series really should bring Mike back before it ends for just that reason. Plus, Bernadette and Howard's son is named after him (Neil Michael). Why not bring Mike back to meet him on-screen? It is strange that he hasn't appeared since they had kids, though he has been mentioned.
10 Needs to Go: Mrs. Koothrappali
While Raj's mother has to appear for his upcoming wedding, that doesn't mean she needs to be a significant part of his life on-screen moving forward. Raj has been reliant on his parents enough over the years. Their appearances, for the most part, have always been about him. With Raj becoming independent and getting married, though, this needs to stop.
The series shouldn't end with him in a similar place to where he was when The Big Bang Theory first introduced him. He can now talk to women and he's not taking his parents' money anymore. The other characters aren't constantly checking in with their parents, so let's not have Raj continue that once he's married (assuming the wedding happens).
9 Hurt: Missy Cooper
Sheldon's sister has only appeared twice, but it is the gap between those appearances that's the problem. Her first appearance came in season 1 and showed just how different the siblings were. After that, she only appeared for Sheldon's wedding in season 11. However, she has been mentioned enough times over the years that she should have appeared — and her absence was very obvious to fans.
The rest of Sheldon's family has appeared more often. Sheldon even went to Texas when Missy was giving birth, but she was heard off-screen the entire time. Missy is a funny character and someone who brings out a different side of Sheldon, so she should have appeared more over the years.
8 Needs to Go: Bert
There's only so much The Big Bang Theory can do with geology. The series has made it clear how Sheldon feels about it and there are only so many jokes you can make about rocks. A couple of times, Bert's appearances have included his own storylines, whether he won grant money or he collaborated with one of the guys on a project, which is great.
However, more often than not, he's exactly the same every time he appears for a special event. It would be different if he appeared to be even semi-friends with any of them outside of these appearances, but he doesn't. It's to late to add him to the group of friends now, so Bert's out of luck.
7 Hurt: Siebert
The Big Bang Theory needs characters that can stand up to Sheldon, especially at work. However, after season 5, Siebert didn't appear on-screen until season 11. Joshua Malina was a series regular on Scandal during that period of time.
Still, the comedy suffered for it. Siebert is exactly what you'd expect from the leader of the California Institute of Technology, especially since he has to deal with people like Sheldon. He's honest and he doesn't care to get involved when he doesn't need to. His interactions with Sheldon are always a highlight of an episode, and with the series winding down, he's something that the show could use more of right now.
6 Needs to Go: Barry Kripke
Barry Kripke's appearances tend to amount to the same thing over and over. He's sort of friends with the guys, but he and Sheldon, of course, don't get along. Whether he appears at work or at one of the special events for the main group of friends, it's always the same. He's awkward, he doesn't really fit in, and he doesn't seem to understand when something goes too far (like sending Amy an inappropriate photo after she turns him down when he asks her out).
When he appears at work, there's usually some competition involved and some attempt from the men to one-up each other. This already happened in season 12, so there's no need to do it again. He also appeared at Sheldon and Amy's wedding, so that takes care of personal events. Now it's time to let the character go.
5 Hurt: Mrs. Wolowitz
This is a tough one because the show had to write Mrs. Wolowitz out after her voice actor passed away. No one else could've done the role justice. However, that wasn't the problem.
The problem is that the series just isn't the same without Howard's mother. Yes, Howard had to grow up. He was married and he was going to one day become a parent himself (he and Bernadette have since had children). However, since Howard and Bernadette now live in that house, there's a constant reminder of who's missing. The series can't really move on from her, nor should it. Unfortunately there's nothing that the show can do about this, as her loss will always be felt.
4 Needs to Go: Dr. Koothrappali
On the one hand, with Raj's wedding coming up, it would be strange if his father isn't there. On the other hand, that should be the only time he shows up — and in person. There have been enough of those video chats, especially since Raj is now independent from his family. He's not taking his father's money anymore and he's even getting married. Since the rest of the gang's parents aren't always keeping tabs on their children, Raj's father doesn't need to either.
The last thing The Big Bang Theory needs to do next is show Raj video-chatting with his father about life as a married man and perhaps about finances again. Let's leave that in the past.
3 Hurt: Claire
Now, the problem isn't that Claire is gone and no longer part of Raj's life. Instead, it's the way she left and the fact that she wasn't a bad character -- he was just present during a bad part of Raj's life. In season 9, Raj attempted to date two women at the same time, Claire and Emily. Needless to say, this did not work out for him. Then, in the following season, Raj's ex-girlfriends all showed up to give him advice on his love life.
Claire was a fun character on her own. She was honest and she used her experience with Raj to inform her future relationships. It was just stupid that The Big Bang Theory didn't do something more with her character before she left. She wouldn't have been the worst recurring character to have around.
2 Needs to Go: Arthur Jeffries
On the one hand, seeing Bob Newhart on television is always a treat. So, it's hard to not want him to continue to appear. On the other hand, though, it's just so strange for The Big Bang Theory to have a recurring deceased character. Yes, he only shows up in Sheldon's dreams, but he does so in a way that just doesn't seem to work for the comedy.
He's there in order to offer Sheldon advice, but he's still a figment of his imagination. It worked the first couple of times, but it shouldn't happen again. Sheldon needs to be able to move on from Professor Proton. To do that, Arthur Jeffries needs to stop appearing, at least from the "afterlife."
1 Needs to Go: Stuart
Stuart is the owner of the comic book shop, and he first appeared in season 2. Considering how much time the guys spend in the store, it makes sense for him to be part of the cast. However, he's always been an outsider to the main group of friends. While this worked initially, now, years later, nothing has changed. It's also too late to fix this now, since the series is ending.
Also, until season 12, it felt very much like Stuart's scenes were very similar. There wasn't anything new about his character. Yes, he's now asked Denise out, but their relationship is never going to be fully explored on-screen. Why not leave him to the side and focus on the main group of characters for the remaining episodes?
Are there any other character exits that hurt The Big Bang Theory? Are there any others that need to go? Let us know in the comments!