One of the highlights of any sitcom is the wedding episode – the moments where fans get to see their favorite characters tie the knot, and (in grand sitcom tradition) see everything go wrong along the way. In The Big Bang Theory, there are only three main couples who get married (Sheldon and Amy, Leonard and Penny, and Howard and Bernadette), but there are multiple episodes that deal with weddings.
Some of these include stag nights, vow renewals, and double-episodes where only one included a ceremony… but not all of them are as satisfyingly hilarious and romantic as others. Of course, every wedding episode still scores high on IMDb, but some really struck a chord with audiences, and some fell a little flat.
The Matrimonial Momentum – 6.8
Although Leonard and Penny are the central couple of the series, it seems that their official wedding is the least-popular of the wedding episodes… probably because it misses out all the pomp and circumstance that make these episodes so great. The first episode of season nine, ‘The Matrimonial Momentum’ sees the couple elope to Vegas for a private ceremony. They do stream it so that the gang can watch, and it has some sweet moments (Leonard’s nerdy vows, Penny’s vows from Toy Story), but overall, it’s a bit of a letdown (which is part of the joke). To top it off, they have a big fight immediately after the wedding, and end up coming back to the apartment building and storming off into separate apartments, and there’s a side-plot where Sheldon and Amy break up. All in all, a bit of a depressing wedding episode.
The Pulled Groin Extrapolation – 7.8
The third episode of season 5 may be a great episode, but it doesn’t focus on the wedding of a main character. Instead, this makes the list purely because it sees Leonard and Amy attending a wedding together. Amy asks Leonard because she says that the last time she took Sheldon to a wedding, he behaved badly. Leonard agrees, and the two end up having a surprisingly fun night together. They dance the chicken dance and bond over the states of their respective ‘sort of’ relationships (Leonard with Priya, and Amy with Sheldon), and the episode ends with some classic sitcom confusion, as Amy thinks Leonard’s friendliness is flirting, and his comment to Sheldon about a sore groin (from dancing) leads to him becoming jealous, assuming he hurt his groin in some other way.
The Stag Convergence – 7.8
This episode doesn’t focus on a wedding, but on Howard’s bachelor party. The twenty-second episode of season five, ‘The Stag Convergence’ sees everything go a bit wrong (like all good sitcom parties do). Howard and the boys go out for dinner before his marriage to Bernadette, and unfortunately, Raj gets wasted and starts spilling all kinds of secrets… which ends up being filmed and posted online.
This leads to a big fight with Bernadette, and the obligatory sweet make-up after. It’s a solid episode with a focus on their relationship and wedding, and one that addresses an issue that many fans had with Howard’s previous behavior, but it’s far from the best.
The Convergence-Convergence – 7.8
The season nine finale is the first of a two-parter wedding special for Leonard and Penny. Although they are already technically married, they decide to do a proper vow ceremony, with a nice dress and friends and family present – and in this episode, it’s all about the friends and family getting together. Of course, most of the hilarity isn’t wedding-related, but is to do with the various family clashes that take place at a night-before dinner. And the big question that the season ends on is if Sheldon and Leonard may end up step-brothers after it seems that Sheldon’s mother and Leonard’s father went home together. It’s sweet, funny, and nice to see this couple get a two-parter after the Vegas-wedding letdown.
The Conjugal Conjecture – 7.8
The final of the three Leonard/Penny wedding ceremonies (and the first episode of the tenth season) is one of the sweetest in the series. After the chaos of the night before, there are some typical sitcom shenanigans leading up to the big moment, but the highlight of this episode is the very heartfelt ceremony itself.
Penny wears a gorgeous (and simple) dress, they share their sweet vows, and all the family drama calms down (briefly) to allow true love to shine through. It’s definitely a very typical wedding episode for this kind of show, but it’s a sweet one too, and worth it after almost a decade’s build-up.
The Countdown Reflection – 8.6
The second-best rated wedding on the show is that of Howard and Bernadette, which ends up being an impromptu wedding (another sitcom staple). Originally, the pair were planning a big shindig, but when Howard ends up finding out that his launch was pushed forward, and he will be in space on their date, they decide to get married in a hurry before he launches. It ends up being a very emotional day, with everyone on the roof of the apartment building, and Bernadette in an absolutely incredible gown. There’s also a great aerial shot of the wedding party, showing white fabric creating a heart around them from above.
The Bow Tie Asymmetry – 9.0
Unsurprisingly, the biggest wedding episode of the series is that of Sheldon and Amy. Although Leonard and Penny are the real central couple of the show, Sheldon and Amy end up being much cuter and more popular with the fans – and it’s easy to see why. When they finally get married at the end of season eleven, it’s a huge moment – in both their personal and their professional lives.
Of all the couples in the show, these two get the really big splashy wedding, including a huge white dress that is absolutely perfect for Amy (and probably for very few other people). But the really charming part is when something that Sheldon’s mother says to him while fixing his bow tie leads him to have a moment of clarity about the work he and Amy are doing… and while everyone else is doing their best to get the wedding to go perfectly, they end up in their wedding clothes working on their theories. It’s absolutely perfect for these two, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular episode for the show.