Hit series The Big Bang Theory is more than a show about a group of scientists who try to blend in. It’s a sitcom about relationships. The friendship between Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard is so deep that they’ve become a part of each other’s families. And when they all began dating, their girlfriends (and later, wives) are part of that magic as well.
Over 12 long seasons, there have been quite a few first dates but not every date was a major success. In some cases, two first dates were needed to make sure the relationship was worth it.
Penny & Leonard’s First Date (Season 2)
Penny and Leonard didn’t just go on one first date; they went on three. In season 1’s “The Fuzzy Boots Corollary,” Leonard asked Penny out to dinner and was excited when she said yes. But as it turned out, she thought the gang was joining them; she never saw it as a date — but it was for Leonard.
In the season 1 finale, “The Tangerine Factor,” Leonard asks Penny out on an official date and she accepts yet again. Sadly, Leonard was full of nerves and Penny didn’t feel the connection as strongly as he did. Howard even compared their kiss to bad fish… Sorry, Leonard.
Penny & Stuart (Season 2)
After Penny and Leonard didn’t work out as a couple, the two went their separate ways and began dating other people. But in a shocking twist, Stuart had the confidence to ask Penny out and she said yes! Leonard was annoyed that Stuart was able to land a date with Penny and gave him bad advice for his date. Unfortunately for Leonard, their first date started out well.
In fact, it went so well that Penny invited Stuart into her apartment for “coffee.” But that’s when things went downhill. Sheldon heard Stuart’s voice and invited himself in. The two men got into a heated discussion over comic books and Penny was completely ignored.
Howard & Bernadette (Season 3)
When Leonard and Penny started dating, Howard reminded Leonard about their pact. If one of them got a girlfriend, they would have to set the other one up with their girlfriend’s friend. In this case, Penny hooked Howard up with her friend and co-worker at the Cheesecake Factory, Bernadette.
At first, the date was boring and uneventful. Bernadette didn’t understand any of Howard’s jokes and seemed put off by his sense of humor. They didn’t say much at dinner, which led to Penny and Leonard feeling awkward. The only reason why these two worked after this date is because they had a mutual disdain for their overbearing parents.
Amy & Sheldon (Season 4)
At the end of season 3, Raj and Howard found Sheldon’s perfect match on a dating website: Amy Farrah Fowler. Sheldon went along with the idea but hated it until he spoke to Amy. The two had their first unofficial date at a cafe and he bought her water after she said “coitus” was off the table.
The two stayed in touch after that uncomfortable meeting at the cafe and later went on their first official date in season 4 with Penny as their chaperone. Since neither Sheldon nor Amy had ever been on a date before, Penny was their mediator. It took a turn, however, when the attention was turned to Penny’s sex life.
Penny & Leonard’s Second First Date (Season 5)
Leonard and Penny broke up in season 3 after Leonard told her he loved her and she couldn’t say it back. The two decided to remain friends and work on their friendship for the sake of Sheldon. But after years of loyalty and devotion for each other, Leonard asks Penny out on another first date in season 5.
Penny loves Leonard deep down but was reluctant to go on a date with him because of the pain that could happen if they broke up. However, she went along with it anyway. The date started out well but ended horribly when Leonard starts talking about their future together. The dinner ended in an argument and was not what either of them expected.
Raj & Emily (Season 5)
In season 5 Raj is lonely yet again but feels better when Penny introduces him to a woman at her gym. With Raj’s selective mutism making it hard for him to talk to women, Penny thought her friend Emily would be his perfect match because she was deaf.
Sadly, Raj didn’t know American Sign Language and had to bring Howard on his date to translate the conversation. Howard’s addition to the date was weird as it is, but things became uncomfortable when Raj acted as if Emily couldn’t read his lips or emotions throughout the evening. For whatever reason, Emily agreed to a second date with Raj, but he acted horribly.
Stuart & Amy (Season 5)
By season 5, Amy and Sheldon acted like a couple but never put a title on their relationship due to Sheldon’s ignorance of all things romance. Although Amy liked Sheldon, she agreed to go on a date with Stuart because she technically didn’t have a boyfriend.
As soon as Sheldon realized his true feelings for Amy, he crashed their date and asked her to be his girlfriend in the middle of Amy and Stuart’s movie. Amy agreed to be his girlfriend but continued the date with Stuart out of respect. It was one of Stuart’s worse dates by far.
Raj & Lucy (Season 6)
Raj and Lucy met in season 6 at a Valentine’s Day party at the comic book store. The two left the party to go on a coffee date and all seemed well. Raj was his charming self and was excited a woman asked him out.
But when Lucy excused herself to the bathroom and never came back, Raj was crestfallen. He sat in his apartment and refused to leave as he ate comfort food and drank away his sorrows. Lucy would later return and apologize for her actions but this first date was one of the worst in the series.
Raj & Emily (Season 7)
In the seventh season, Raj meets Emily online with Amy’s help. He thinks Emily is perfect for him but she’s not so sure. She was turned off that Raj didn’t ask her out himself and declined to go on a date with him.
The two ran into each other later where Raj asked her — himself this time — and this time she accepted. However, Raj messed it up yet again when he talked about his ex-girlfriend on the date. Emily was weirded out at first but rolled with the punches because she had no choice. Luckily for Raj, his awkward honesty worked for Emily.
Amy & Dave (Season 9)
When Amy and Sheldon officially broke up, she joined a dating app and met Dave Gibbs. Dave is tall, British, and incredibly quirky. He’s also very intelligent.
But as perfect as Dave was on paper, one of their first dates was a disaster. Dave found out that Amy’s ex-boyfriend was the one and only Sheldon Cooper, which appealed to Dave because he was a fan of Sheldon’s work. He then proceeded to quiz Amy on her relationship with Sheldon and wanted to know everything about him. Amy couldn’t have gotten out of there fast enough.