Leslie Winkle is one of the most underrated secondary characters on The Big Bang Theory, and is sadly largely phased out after the first few seasons. She starts out as a potential romantic interest for Leonard, later dates Howard, and is something of a nemesis to Sheldon, but after these early series adventures, she essentially disappears. Leslie does get a couple of appearances later on (including giving a toast for Sheldon’s birthday), but her character is never fully explored.
That’s one of the reasons that a The Big Bang Theory spin-off about Leslie could be a fantastic move for the series, if another spin-off was being considered. Leslie is the kind of character that has a whole lot of room to grow, and could definitely carry her own show: here’s why.
Female-Fronted Alternative To TBBT
Although the original series did make something of an effort to balance things out in later seasons with the addition of Amy and Bernadette, it’s still a very male-dominated series. A Leslie spin-off would be a great way to flip this on its head, and challenge some of the stereotypes of the original – that science is a ‘male’ field, or that nerd culture is male-dominated. Seeing Leslie excel in her field, and also looking at some of the challenges she faces, would make for a fantastic new show.
She Has A More Interesting Love Life
For the most part, the guys in the original series didn’t have the most interesting love lives – because they didn’t really have love lives! Part of the premise was that they were terrible with women (or uninterested in romance, in Sheldon’s case), so most of the humor was based on how terrible they were at dating. Leslie, on the other hand, seems to be wildly more successful (and sex positive), and it would be great to see a spin-off where the main character isn’t either a child or someone struggling to get a date, but a woman who is capable of finding and pursuing relationships like an adult.
Room For Growth
Leslie doesn’t really get a ‘happy ending’ the way that most of the other main characters do. In fact, it’s not really established exactly what her ‘ending’ is, as she just pops up for a scene or two in the later seasons.
This means that there is plenty of room to explore where she is in life, and what she is looking for now, because her future is wide open.
Would Introduce A Whole New Cast
Because most of the group is so insular, it would be difficult to create a spin-off with a whole new cast – instead, it would seem likely that a spin-off of most other characters would have to see the return of the original gang. However, as Leslie is never really part of the core group and has a life of her own, this would be a show that is just connected enough to have draw for fans of the original, but has the space to introduce an entirely new main cast.
Could Explore More Careers In Science
Leslie works in high energy physics, and it is obvious that she is doing well in her career (especially as she is able to reward Howard with work perks when they are sleeping together). Having seen Sheldon and Amy win a Nobel prize, Raj discover a star, and Howard go to space, it would be great to explore some more potential career paths in the sciences, and Leslie would be a great character to do this.
Learn Her Backstory…
As such a minor character, Leslie’s backstory isn’t really established on the original series, and fans would love to know her story. She is an accomplished scientist and musician, with a busy social life – but what else is she into, and how did she get where she is in life? There are so many questions that fans have about Leslie, and anyone would love to see some college Leslie flashbacks, and see if she was always so casually confident as she is as an adult.
…And What Happened When She Wasn’t On The Show
As previously mentioned, Leslie was largely absent for the show for multiple seasons at a time – so what happened here? Did she transfer to work elsewhere (as she was originally a colleague for Sheldon and Leonard)?
Did she actively just avoid them? What was she doing with her life that led to her not seeing them anymore, but still staying in touch?
A Better Version Of Nerd Culture
One of the biggest criticisms of the original show is that it is an inaccurate portrayal of scientists and nerd culture, and a spin-off show about some of the gang’s colleagues could be a great way to address this. Focusing on Leslie, a woman who doesn’t seem to fit the same stereotypes as most of the original gang, would be a fantastic way to refocus – and think about creating some more nuanced and less stereotyped characters for this expanded sitcom world.
Opportunities For Original Cast Cameos
Leslie is separate enough from the original group that she would be able to be the star of a show with a whole new cast – but just close enough to provide ample opportunity for some original cast cameos that would make fans happy. Seeing her and Sheldon, in particular, start to smooth things over (especially with her ‘dumbass’ birthday toast) would be amazing, without stealing the limelight from new characters.
She’s Funnier Than Most Of The Main TBBT Characters
Thanks to Leslie’s confidence, and her casual way of showing Sheldon that she is just as smart as he is (and was even able to correct some of his work), Leslie has a uniquely harsh and hilarious sense of humor. Her lines are often some of the best in the show, and it would be amazing to see more of this – especially around a whole new cast of characters to balance out her particularly vicious sense of humor. At the end of the day, fans just want to see her take down more of the people who think that she can’t be as capable as they are.