The lovable goofy geek Stuart Bloom, in The Big Bang Theory, who runs the comic book store, keeps generally depressed and often runs into financial problems, is not part of the main gang. However, he becomes almost an inseparable part of their lives when he begins living in Howard and Bernadette’s house, first to attend to Howard’s mother and then as a nanny to their kids.
If there is someone the audience has loved almost just as much as the core gang, over the years, it’s Stuart. Let’s see why Stuart never makes it as one of the gang in the beloved sitcom.
Stuart Is A Bit Of An Outcast
A common thread that runs through the gang of friends on TBBT is science. Apart from Penny, all the others are science geeks and experts in their fields. This is one of the things that binds them together and serves as a basis for their friendship. Stuart turns out to be a bit of an outcast here, since, although talented in his own field, he is not a science guy and doesn’t share the same vocabulary. Of course, the complex scientific terminologies are one of the basic premises of the show and a running gag is Penny’s complete ignorance and lack of interest in most of what the guys say or do. However, somehow, Stuart never fit in with the gang in that sense, although he does share the boys’ enthusiasm for comic books, something the girls never fully appreciate.
Stuart Starts Out As ‘The Fake Wolowitz’
In season 6, Stuart is shown to be replacing Howard Wolowitz who has gone to space as an aerospace engineer. Raj becomes close friends with Stuart when Howard leaves for space and he is left alone without a bosom friend of his own.
While Howard is away, Stuart starts attending the nightly sojourns at the apartment where the gang meets up, but again because Raj needs someone to hang out with. He gets cast out when Howard returns from space. Actor Kevin Sussman was upgraded to the main cast during this season but goes back to being a recurring character afterward.
Stuart Is The Creepy Guy Around The House
Stuart once again becomes a series regular and a part of the gang’s life when his comic book store is gutted to the ground in season 7 and he ends up homeless and bankrupt. At this time, Howard and Bernadette, who had been suffering relentlessly until then, give him a job to look after Mrs. Wolowitz. Stuart now becomes the creepy guy who might or might not be having an inappropriate relationship with Howard’s mother. He is kind and helpful around the house, but never really a close friend. He does move out eventually, although he never really leaves them alone and once again returns to live with them when he gets evicted from his apartment. At this time, he is seen more as an annoyance around the house, although he cooks for Howard and Bernadette and helps out with the baby.
The Gang Doesn’t Respect Stuart
Although Stuart is a perfectly nice guy and the gang likes him, he is depicted as someone who wallows in self-pity and is at least as socially awkward as the nerdy physicists. Although he is always ready to offer a helping hand, he seems to command neither attention nor respect.
In season 9, ‘The Celebration Experimentation’, Stuart helps out with the arrangements for Sheldon’s birthday party. However, he soon gets upset on learning that Barry Kripke, a much-hated colleague of the boys at Caltech, has learned of Bernadette’s pregnancy before he has. This indicates that he thinks of himself as close to the gang but the feeling is not necessarily mutual. Then, when he starts toasting Sheldon, he is interrupted by Amy.
The Gang Forgets To Invite Stuart
A running gag in Stuart’s storyline is that he is perpetually forgotten by everyone in the gang, especially when it comes to parties or invitations to participate in games. In season 9, ‘The Empathy Optimization’, Stuart is nowhere in the picture when the gang plans a trip to Vegas, to take a break from Sheldon for a few days. He comes to know of it by chance and then joins Sheldon when the latter surprises the others in the party bus. However, he is again left behind when Sheldon is invited back into the bus. Shown as a pathetic little man, Stuart never quite makes it as a member of the gang.
Stuart Is The Lab Rat
Not only is Stuart often left out and disrespected, but he is also treated as a guinea pig at times. It’s as if the friends treat each other as real people and see him as somebody whose feelings don’t really matter.
In season 10, episode 6, Sheldon invites three people to his and Amy’s apartment, as a practice round before he entertains his real friends. Apart from Bert, the geologist, and a Romanian neighbor who is learning to speak English, he invites Stuart. It is soon revealed that Sheldon was simply treating these guests as lab rats before he invited his friends over. Stuart, understandably, is deeply offended.
Stuart Seeks Company And Approval
Stuart is the guy that wants to be part of the group but never quite makes it. He is the pathetic friend who is constantly in need of approval and validation, even from a gang of friends who are themselves socially awkward. As the lonely creep, Stuart is somewhat like Raj Koothrapalli, but at least Raj is a core member of the group and Stuart is always at the periphery. He is someone that Leonard, Penny, Howard, Bernadette, Raj, and Amy seem to pity a little; Sheldon, of course, is probably least bothered about him, or anybody.
Stuart Depends On The Others
Stuart is a warm-hearted but little hapless man and somehow, he clings to the group, both for monetary reasons and to enrich his non-existent social life. Although Stuart is sometimes shown to be more sensible than, say, Raj or Sheldon, he depends on the gang.
When Stuart’s store had burnt down, Howard and Bernadette appointed him to tend to Mrs. Wolowitz when no-one else could. Stuart also lived with them at the time, and then again later when he looked after their baby. While he is willing to help around as much as he can, he does rely on the gang for home, shelter, and company.
Stuart Is The Gang’s Last Resort
Before Sheldon and Amy’s wedding, Sheldon, in his inimitable style, pissed off all his friends, including Leonard who was supposed to be the best man. To be honest, even Amy was in the wrong here for she colluded with Sheldon in running an experiment on their friends. Justifiably, the others rebel. At this time, for a very brief time, Stuart is Sheldon’s best man, since he couldn’t have Leonard, Howard or Raj. Of course, once the friends make up and Leonard agrees to be the best man again, Stuart is kicked off unceremoniously.
Stuart Is Not Part Of The Daily Sojourns
Of course, the main reason why Stuart is not a true friend of the gang is that he is not really somebody they want to hang out with daily. He is uninteresting and doesn’t fit into the group. Although Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj were rather like Stuart themselves before the first three met their female counterparts and became more mature, Stuart is never shown to be a part of the dinnertime tete-a-tete at the apartment where everyone meets up after a busy day. Briefly, he joins the friends, in the absence of Howard as mentioned earlier, but is instantly forgotten once Howard returns. He is a friend, no doubt, and someone the gang can trust completely. But he never really gets closer.