The relationship between Sheldon and Leonard is one that has grown over the course of 12 seasons. From complete strangers to roommates and colleagues, these two have overcome the odds and became very best friends.
However, now that The Big Bang Theory has run its course, we’re taking a closer look at the friendship between Leonard and Sheldon. Were these two former roommates really best friends because they had commonalities and mutual respect for each other or was it out convenience? Let’s take a closer look.
SHELDON USES LEONARD ALL THE TIME
A shorter list would be explaining all the things Sheldon doesn’t use Leonard for… Due to Sheldon’s genius, he doesn’t always have the common sense or common courtesy for social protocols or conventions.
If Sheldon could afford his rent himself, he claims he wouldn’t have a roommate. However, without Leonard, Sheldon would live a very sheltered life. He uses Leonard for transportation (to and from work, to the comic book store, to the dentist — you name it) and for security.
AND DOESN’T SHOW EMPATHY FOR LEONARD’S ISSUES
Over time, Sheldon becomes a more compassionate human being in his own way but it took a long time to get there. Like any adult, Leonard has been through his fair share of issues.
When Howard or Raj aren’t around, Sheldon is Leonard’s go-to guy. Sadly, Sheldon listens but doesn’t respond. He typically responds in a sarcastic and non-helpful manner or heads off to bed. When the shoe is on the other foot, Leonard has the compassion to listen and help Sheldon in his time of need. Even when Leonard is annoyed by Sheldon and his problems, he tries his best to help.
LEONARD IS ALWAYS IRRITATED BY SHELDON’S BEHAVIOR
Is there a time when Leonard isn’t annoyed by Sheldon? One of the most glaring moments in this odd friendship is when the group went to the North Pole to assist Sheldon with his string theory research. After three months doing tests in the dead of winter, the group comes back to Pasadena once Sheldon believes he has proven his theory.
Sadly, it turns out Leonard and co. messed with Sheldon’s results because he was being a pain in the you know what. The sooner Sheldon’s research was proven, the sooner he would be less of a crazy person and everyone could go home. If Leonard was truly Sheldon’s best buddy, he wouldn’t even think about embarrassing him like that.
AND LIES TO SHELDON OFTEN
It’s obvious Leonard has a soft spot for Sheldon and their life together but he also has zero problems with lying to him. If it gets Sheldon off his back, Leonard doesn’t mind saying a few lies to his benefit. One instance where Leonard blatantly lied to Sheldon is with the Athenaeum Club at Caltech. You had to be a member to enjoy lunch and other amenities there, yet Leonard told Sheldon they were on a waiting list.
In reality, Leonard was already a member and lied to Sheldon just so he could have a place to go without him. He lied to him again when he was working nights in the lab and couldn’t drive Sheldon to work (even when he actually could).
SHELDON SIDES WITH LEONARD’S COLD MOTHER KNOWING IT MAKES LEONARD UPSET
It’s obvious that Leonard and Sheldon’s mothers are very different. As are Leonard and Sheldon. Leonard’s mother, Beverly, is a neuroscientist, psychiatrist, and author. She doesn’t believe in praising children or making them feel taken care of. She believes in science-based forms of raising a child and never gave Leonard a safe space to call home.
Funny enough, a genius like Sheldon grew up with Mary Cooper — a diehard church-goer who gave Sheldon hugs whenever he needed one. The two should theoretically swap moms. In fact, Sheldon is so fond of Leonard’s mom that she becomes a close friend of his, which really upsets Leonard.
LEONARD BLAMES SHELDON FOR MANY OF HIS RELATIONSHIP WOES
Sheldon can be so invasive that his quirks interfere with Leonard’s social life. He may joke around about not being able to pick up women but he gets more girls than Howard and Raj. Due to living with Sheldon, women can’t come and around as freely and anything Leonard had planned with Penny needs to include Sheldon, too. Remember when Leonard got invited to go to Switzerland over Valentine’s Day and invited Penny?
Sheldon refused to believe his choice and fought Leonard until he ruined his plans. He also had some strong thoughts against Priya and was quite forceful in his relationship with Dr. Stephanie. Sheldon isn’t the cause of all of Leonard’s problems but he certainly doesn’t help.
SHELDON CAN NEVER TAKE THE BACKSEAT IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP
It doesn’t matter if Sheldon is with Leonard, Howard, Raj, or Amy — he has to be number one. Whether it’s deciding where to eat for dinner, a theory for a paper, or what the group of friends were doing that weekend, Sheldon always has the final say.
In one poor moment, Sheldon even took a majority of the credit for one of Leonard’s papers. The two wrote the paper together but the lead scientist was Leonard. When a journalist asked Sheldon if he was the lead scientist for the paper, Sheldon never corrected him. Coming behind Leonard (or anyone for that fact) was never a choice, and that’s not something a best friend does.
LEONARD DOESN’T TRULY CARE ABOUT SHELDON’S WELLBEING
Leonard may have soft spot for Sheldon at times but his well-being isn’t a priority of his. Sheldon dating Amy was actually a huge relief for Leonard because he wouldn’t need to take care of him all the time.
One example of this is when Sheldon falls down with the flu. He’s in bed all day and needed help and yet Leonard did his best to stay out all day with Howard and Raj to hide from him. Luckily, Penny was able to help Sheldon during his illness.
SHELDON THROWS LEONARD UNDER THE BUS MULTIPLE TIMES
To be fair, Sheldon throws his friends under the bus without intentionally meaning to. He doesn’t even necessarily understand when he does it. His lack of remorse is a trigger for Leonard and tends to cause rifts between the two.
Even when Sheldon gets in trouble with human resources, he unintentionally throws Leonard under the bus for something silly or small. So, it’s no longer just Sheldon’s job that’s at stake, it’s Leonard’s as well.
THE CASE OF THE BEST MAN
It was comical when Sheldon was deciding who his best man would be in his wedding. Leonard has gone far and beyond in terms of friendship with Sheldon and obviously deserved the best man title.
If the two were truly best friends, that would never even be a conversation. The same can be said for Leonard. He and Penny may have eloped the first time around but he didn’t seem to care if his “best friend” Shelly was there or not.