Leonard Hofstadter was one of the primary characters in the phenomenally hit American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. He was a geeky experimental physicist trying hard to navigate the humdrum of socially accepted human interactions along with his best friend, Sheldon Cooper.
Leonard was by far one of the most genial, easy-going, and rational members in the gang of friends around whom the sitcom revolves. Compared to Sheldon, Howard, or Raj, all of whom had their own distinct quirks, Leonard was the most normal, as such. However, that didn’t absolve his character of its inherently annoying qualities at times, although he was, in general, one of the sweetest and most sensitive of the lot.
Annoying: Excessively Clingy At Times
One of Leonard’s more annoying qualities was his clingy, needy attitude. He never got over the lack of motherly affection he had suffered all his life, and maybe for that very reason, he had a desperate need for approval.
So he badgered women constantly and annoyingly, be it Leslie Winkle, or Penny until he finally got some attention. While he did it in his own sweet, soft-spoken manner, it was still annoying nonetheless.
Sweetest: Agreed To Get Stuff For Penny On The Very First Day
In spite of the flaws in his character, Leonard was inherently sweet, a bit too much in fact, to the point that he was exploited a lot, by Penny herself, Sheldon, as well as others.
In the pilot itself, Penny had literally just met her new nerdy neighbors, and she immediately asked Leonard to do her a favor and get her television set from her ex. Of course, she was a sexy, beautiful young woman, and not many men might have said no to her request. But Leonard was way too sweet to disagree anyway.
Annoying: Tried To Get Penny To Study Further
Leonard’s soft-spoken geniality hid underneath it certain elements of toxicity, which started breaking out to the surface more often once he got together with Penny.
For instance, he tried to get Penny to enroll in community college without realizing that the latter would take it as confirmation that he really considered her less smart and educated than her. Since Penny already suffered from insecurities regarding what she perceived to be an intellectual gap between her and Leonard, it was frustrating that Leonard should behave like a jerk.
Sweetest: Drove Sheldon Everywhere
Even though Leonard and Sheldon were best friends, the latter was an incredibly difficult man to live with, and Leonard suffered him for years.
One of the sweetest things Leonard did was to drive Sheldon not just to the university, but wherever he wanted to go. Sheldon, in his inimitable style, was scared stiff of learning to drive, although he eventually did. But even then he managed to pester everyone into driving him around. And the two people who most commonly fell victim to his constant badgering were Amy and Leonard. However, although he didn’t enjoy it after a while, it was rather sweet of Leonard to agree to act chauffeur to Sheldon in the first place.
Annoying: Judged Penny For Wanting To Quit Her Job
One of the most annoying things Leonard did was to judge Penny when she wasn’t satisfied with her sales job. True, Penny had had some crisis when her acting career failed to take off and she stayed a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory for far too long, before finally giving up on her dreams.
But if she was unfulfilled by her sales job, it was clearly her choice whether or not she wanted to try something that excited her more. Leonard had every right to be worried for her, but not to force her into doing something she wasn’t happy about.
Sweetest: Tried To Help His Friends Move On
When Leonard did something sweet, it was usually pretty amazing, for he was one of the most good-hearted of the entire gang.
In season 12, Sheldon and Amy realized that their super asymmetry theory might not be valid after all–it was Leonard himself who found this out when he was, very sweetly, once again, helping them track down citations for their works. But once Leonard realized that his friends were deeply saddened by the news, he went to the extent of contacting his own mother, Beverly, with whom he wasn’t close at all, as fans know very well. But to help his friends move on, he didn’t mind getting in touch with her which was very decent of him.
Annoying: Became Less Dynamic By The Day
As the series progressed, Leonard lost his way a little, becoming less and less dynamic by the day as a person, as the focus shifted rather too much on Sheldon Cooper.
Leonard’s main storyline after a point of time was almost solely centered around him and Penny and the ups and downs in their relationship, and even then Leonard was definitely the weaker link.
Sweetest: Stood Up For Shamy
Another very decent thing that Leonard did was when he gathered information to discredit the two physicists from Fermilab, Pemberton, and Campbell, who were Sheldon and Amy’s rivals in the run for the Nobel, and had been stealing their thunder.
Although the idea might have been a bit underhand, it came from a place of love as Leonard felt that his friends deserved better, and in order to get them justice, he didn’t think twice before obtaining the information from their mutual colleague Barry Kripke.
Annoying: Jealousy & Insecurity
Leonard became obsessively jealous at times when Penny’s old flames showed up, for instance when Zack showed up and told them he had sold his company for a truckload of money.
Leonard’s insecurities were rooted in his loveless childhood but he carried them over into adulthood. His lack of confidence in himself and his inability to say no to the most unjust of demands simply made him frustrating to fans. In fact, there was an entire episode dedicated to his utter gullibility.
Sweetest: The Wedding Hug
One of the most memorable moments between Leonard and Sheldon was their hug right before Sheldon’s wedding in season 11.
Sheldon might have infuriated Leonard more times than he cared to admit, but nevertheless their friendship was one of the cornerstones of both their lives and of course one of the main underlining themes of the series. To see Leonard fondly hug Sheldon before his wedding and the latter acknowledge it without making any snide remarks, was beautiful indeed.