At the heart of The Big Bang Theory, which ended last year after 12 seasons, is a story about a group of nerdy friends, Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj, who meet a beautiful aspiring actor next door, Penny, along with two more ladies in later seasons, Bernadette and Amy. They hang out together for dinners and game nights, some of them work together, and the guys share a mutual love of comic books, sci-fi, and anything and everything in nerd culture. But what about the women? All three are in relationships with, and eventually get married to, three of the guys. And they share ladies’ gatherings where they gossip, drink wine, and spill their souls.
But are they all really friends? Here are 10 reasons why we don’t really think Amy and Bernadette are.
They Compete For Penny’s Friendship
It seems like both girls aspire, in some ways, to be more like Penny. While Amy does it more openly, Bernadette is more subtle. Penny is the tall, slim, blonde, wannabe actor who had a wild and crazy youth and was always popular.
Meanwhile, Amy was the nerdy kid whose parents sheltered her and Bernadette is now a mom of two with a career who feels like she is being run ragged all the time. So they sometimes compete for Penny’s affections, with Amy even once giving Penny a horrid, oversized painting of the two of them to push herself as the “best friend.”
They Are Competitive When It Comes To Intelligence
When it comes to intelligence, they are both super smart. Amy is a Ph.D. and neurobiologist who studied at Harvard and is arguably the most book smart of the two, with her even rivaling Sheldon in smarts.
Bernadette, meanwhile, is no slouch herself. Also a Ph.D., she studied microbiology and has a job at a pharmaceuticals company that makes her the top earner in her family. They studied in different fields but don’t really have much to discuss with one another on the work front and sometimes it feels like all they do is try to out-smart one another.
Bernadette Isn’t Very Fond of Sheldon
While the group all hangs out together, there are always a few people in every group that aren’t as close with one another as they are with the others. In their case, one of those pairings is Bernadette and Sheldon.
Sheldon irritates everyone in the group, but Bernadette seems to have little patience for him. And with Amy being Sheldon’s girlfriend and later wife, there likely won’t be any double dates in their future unless Leonard and Penny are there as buffers as well.
Amy Isn’t Very Fond of Howard
Similarly to the lack of relationship between Sheldon and Bernadette, Amy isn’t exactly very close to Howard, Bernadette’s husband, either. The two don’t ever really spend time with one another alone and probably wouldn’t have much to talk about if they did.
Howard, an engineer. Is the only one who doesn’t have a doctoral degree. He is often mocked by the group for being the least smart one of the pack. We get the impression that Amy might not respect him in the way she respects the others because of their superior intellect. Howard’s goofball nature and penchant for making fun of Sheldon doesn’t help either.
They Don’t Hang Out Together Without Penny
If you really think about it, Penny and Amy hang out and Penny and Bernadette hang out, but there’s rarely a time when Bernadette and Amy will hang out without Penny. Penny is the common denominator in the friendship and the glue that holds them together.
This could also be said for Leonard who is the glue between Sheldon and Howard, as well as Raj. Would Amy and Bernadette hang out if Penny wasn’t around? They don’t seem to be as close with one another as they each are with Penny, making them her friends but not necessarily friends with one another.
Bernadette Is Generally Unfriendly
On the whole, Bernadette isn’t always the most pleasant person to be around. She is often angry or stressed, yells at Howard, or makes fun of someone. She might be small and have a very squeaky voice, but she is feisty.
This is contrasted by Amy’s timid, quieter nature. She prefers to avoid conflict while Bernadette thrives on it. Chances are that if they won’t both part of a larger group of friends, they wouldn’t get along well because of how different they are in personalities.
Amy Doesn’t Really Understand Friendship
Growing up, Amy’s parents sheltered her from pretty much everything which means she didn’t have a social life. She didn’t have friends and didn’t really know how to make them or what being a friend meant.
Because of this, Amy was not able to form a true bond with Bernadette. She eventually did with Penny because Penny had a lot of practice already having dealt with Sheldon for so many years, and had more patience than Bernadette. But Bernadette never really took the time to help Amy along – Penny did that and was the real friend to her.
They Are Both Too Focused On Their Careers and Relationships
Both women are very career and research-focused and don’t have much time for social relationships. Outside of work, Bernadette is busy with her husband Howard and their two kids while Amy is busy with Sheldon. And Sheldon is a lot to handle on his own!
Amy works hard at Caltech with her research projects as well as taking on different research project collaborations with Sheldon. Meanwhile, Bernadette is a microbiologist who appears to lead a big team at the pharmaceuticals company where she works. It doesn’t feel like friendship is really a priority.
They Don’t Have Anything In Common
Aside from both being super smart and hanging out with the same group of friends, the two ladies don’t really have a lot in common. Amy is a strong, feisty woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. While she isn’t focused as much on fashion as their mutual friend Penny, she is far trendier than Amy and wears form-fitting clothing and make-up.
Amy doesn’t really wear make-up and chooses to dress in frumpy clothing, not really interested in doing her hair or going shopping. They are very different people.
Amy Is Jealous Of Bernadette
Amy can have a jealous streak. She gets jealous of Bernadette and her friendship with Penny. Amy really wants to be considered Penny’s best friend over anyone else, and thus she sees Bernadette more as a rival than a friend.
She might also be secretly jealous of Bernadette’s personal life, including having a loving husband who isn’t as much of a chore to handle as Sheldon, her active sex life, and her two children. Amy wants marriage, kids, and intimacy, though luckily by the end of the series, it seems she might get all three.