The Big Bang Theory stayed at the top of the charts in terms of popularity throughout its twelve seasons. That's an incredibly difficult feat to achieve, and a lot of it has to do with the slew of interesting side characters that interacted with the show's main cast over the years.
But not every supporting character became a darling of the audience. In fact, some of them were downright despised. Here are 10 such side characters from the show that viewers loved to hate:
Raj has never had much luck in the romance department, and that has led to a lot of comedy on the show, often at Raj's expense. That is because Raj often tends to be directly responsible for driving women away. In the case of Emily, however, audiences were firmly on Raj's side.
There were two Emilys on the show. The first one was a deaf girl who went out with Raj so long as he showered her with gifts. But as soon as Raj's parents cut off his allowance because Raj refused to break up with Emily to marry a girl of their choice, she dumped Raj, leaving him an inconsolable mess.
9 Beverly Hofstadter
It was only in later seasons that Leonard's mother's more infuriating qualities were toned down, and her nicer qualities emerged. In the beginning, Leonard thoroughly disliked spending time with his mother, and audiences could understand why. Beverly was just as self-absorbed and insensitive as Sheldon, but while he often made an effort to be pleasant to others, Beverly considered everyone around her to be slow, dim-witted specimens to be studied from a cold distance, even her own son.
Plus, the things she used to do to Leonard as a child, from deliberately withholding affection to making him the subject of various studies, is downright disturbing.
8 Todd Zarnecki
Todd Zarnecki was a classic bad guy from the show. First, he hacked into Sheldon's gaming account and looted his stuff. Then when the gang went to his house to confront him, he stole the Batleth Sheldon had brought along and used his massive size to intimidate the gang into abandoning their plans to bring him to justice.
Fortunately, despite having had a falling out with Leonard recently, Penny had tagged along, and she had experience in dealing with guys like Zarnecki.
7 Ramona Nowitzki
Ramona was a student who was enamored with Sheldon, which can be difficult to fathom, but still within the realm of acceptable behavior. What was not acceptable was how she used to bully Sheldon relentlessly, playing on his massive ego to turn him away from his friends, his toys, and everything else he held dear.
When Ramona played a return date in future seasons, she tried to steal Sheldon away from Amy, confirming that she was just straight up an awful person.
6 Mrs. Fowler
Amy's mom, in her first appearance early on in the show, was a mild old lady who only wanted what was best for Amy. In later seasons, Mrs. Fowler was played by a celebrity actor, Kathy Bates, who changed the character's personality into something much more unpleasant. She was now a possessive, controlling, suspicious woman who tried to stop Amy from marrying Sheldon.
Plus, all the stories Amy told of her mom's behavior during her childhood makes it clear that her mother is responsible for Amy's warped attitude towards sex and relationships.
Penny is used to being the queen bee of her group of nerds, which is why she felt distinctly threatened when a hot young actress Alicia moved into the building, and the guys immediately went frantic over her.
What made Alicia so detestable was that she was a blatant user, lightly flirting with the guys and leading them on in return for getting them to do everything for her. Penny finally confronted Alicia for her manipulative behavior, leading to a memorable catfight on the stairs of the building.
In a show filled with frankly pathetic characters, Stuart, the comic book store owner, was possibly the most pathetic of all.
That was why it felt even more awful when Jesse, a rival and much more successful comic store owner, relentlessly made fun of Stuart using everything from her failing business to his personal appearance as ammunition. Jesse only showed up a couple of times, but even that was a couple of times too many for audiences.
3 Jimmy Speckerman
Speckerman was Leonard's childhood bully, which is strange to consider since the actor who played him later went on to play Sheldon's father on the spinoff show.
It is a testament to his acting that we were able to root for Sheldon's father even though we remembered watching him bully and make fun of Leonard and the rest of the gang during his first appearance on The Big Bang Theory.
2 Dr. Pemberton and Dr. Campbell
Pemberton and Campbell were possibly the biggest villains on the show's history, even though they only showed up in the final few episodes. They were the scientist duo who very nearly stole credit and the Nobel prize for Sheldon and Amy's crowning achievement in their field.
Despite admitting in private that the research they had conducted confirming Amy and Sheldon's theory had been accidental, and they were not even sure what they had discovered. They were more than happy to hog all the credit and cheat Amy and Sheldon out of a Nobel.
1 Amy Farrah Fowler
For those who only remember Amy from her later season appearances, it might be strange to consider that she started out on the show as a supporting character being portrayed in a very poor light. She was basically as weird and infuriating as Sheldon, only without any of the redeeming qualities.
Everyone other than Sheldon hated her, including Penny, who likes everyone, and the rift caused by her appearance almost cost Sheldon his friendship with everyone else. Fortunately, Amy later went on to have her own character arc where audiences got a sympathetic reason for why she was the way she was. We also got to see her become a kinder, gentler and happier person.