Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory: Why Leonard Is Actually The Show’s Main Character

Could Leonard Hofstadter be considered the main character of The Big Bang Theory? There are plenty of reasons that could back this up.

When many fans think of The Big Bang Theory, they often associate the series with Sheldon Cooper. When the show was on the air, initially, the viewers had believed the physicist was the main character since he was involved in plenty of engaging storylines and provide a lot of memorable moments. However, as fans have begun rewatching the episodes, they have noticed that this might not have been the case. In fact, some fans have argued that Leonard could be considered the main lead.

It’s not like it is totally illogical either. Like Sheldon, Leonard was also seen to be involved in a lot of the main storylines and was integral to the show’s structure for the first couple of seasons. He, too, underwent an amazing character growth and arc with the others. Leonard was definitely just as important to the show as Sheldon was.

He Was Funny And He Knew It

Big Bang Theory - Johnny Galecki as Leonard

Even though many fans would say that Sheldon brought the most comedy to the show since most of the central plotlines centered around him, some might not realize they wouldn’t have worked without Leonard. The comedy naturally flowed between them. Where Sheldon’s humor arose from his bluntness, Leonard’s was filled with witty and sarcastic comments. If the writers placed them together, fans would often get comedy gold. Many episodes wouldn’t be the same if Leonard hadn’t been in them.

He’s More Mature Than His Friends

Leonard Hoftstadter flirts with Penny in The Big Bang Theory

Howard didn’t have the best luck with women, given his inappropriate behavior and various attempts at flirting going hilariously wrong. Sheldon could also be quite childish when he didn’t get his own way. Even Raj was shown to be petty now and again.

While Leonard could have his moments, most fans will agree that he was more mature and responsible than the other guys in the group. He was the one who often played the mediator between them all if they got into a fight and most of the group would seek him out if they needed advice. He was also the first person everyone called when they were stuck in an awkward situation. They might not have noticed but Leonard was just as integral to the group as Sheldon.

He’s Practically The Leader Of His Friend Group

Leonard making a funny face in The Big Bang Theory

Since Leonard is always there for his friends, making the best decisions for the group, many fans have also begun to see him as the leader of the group. Take “The Work Song Nanocluster” for example. Here, the viewers saw Leonard take charge and come up with a way to help Penny reach her target goal. The fans learned that he was the one to make decision to get the gang home from the North Pole after the excursion became unbearable (“The Electric Can Opener Fluctuation”).

Leonard may have his insecurities, especially when it comes to his relationship with his parents or his own image, but he was a strong candidate for leadership just by being himself for the Big Bang Theory gang.

His And Sheldon’s Apartment Was The Main Hangout For The Group

sheldon and leonard talk to a cop after being robbed on the big bang theory

How many times did the gang, including Penny who lived across the hall, gather around and play games and eat meals in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment? The gang hung out at work and in the comic book store, of course, but not as often as they did in the guys’ apartment.

Like Monica and Rachel’s apartment on Friends, Sheldon’s and Leonard’s place was a welcome space where everyone relaxed and talked. Sheldon had his rules, like not sitting in his spot, but Leonard was the calming presence that made hanging out more lighthearted than it would’ve been had it only just been Sheldon’s apartment.

Leonard Is More Socially Adept Than His Friends

Leonard has his fair share of awkward moments, but he does better in social situations than most of the other characters. For one, Leonard was one of the few characters in the group who managed to forge several friendships outside of the core seven. Leonard was also better at reading certain situations and handling them. He wasn’t street smart like Penny, but he could hold his own when need be.

Leonard Is Independent

Raj gets an allowance from his father. Howard lived with his mother when the series began, and later with Bernadette. Sheldon is dependent on everyone, especially Leonard, and Penny struggled financially when the series began.

Leonard was more independent than his friends in certain ways. He took care of his roommate constantly, he didn’t really receive help from his family, he had a solid career, and he pretty much took care of himself. His independence is part of what made him a good leader for the group. His independence benefited others, and Leonard, though he complained about caring for Sheldon every so often, is a good guy and does it anyway.

He Was Willing To Go Outside Of His Comfort Zone

Leonard sitting down and smiling in TBBT.

Audiences certainly remember when Leonard took on an amazing opportunity to join an expedition sponsored by Stephen Hawking out in the open sea. That’s just one of the things he did that was generally outside his comfort zone. He was more willing than his friends to try new things, and to have new experiences, even if it took him outside his circle of friends. It didn’t make him care for his friends any less, but it gave him the opportunity to grow and learn more about himself.

He Knows How To Deal With Sheldon

Leonard and Sheldon talking in The Big Bang Theory

Leonard often acts as a buffer for Sheldon when they are among their friends, or even out in public. Leonard is a good mediator; Sheldon is blunt and brutally honest, and that often leads to awkward or tense moments, in which Leonard steps in and clears the air to prevent major misunderstandings or otherwise soften Sheldon’s blows.

After living with him for years and knowing all of Sheldon’s attributes, Leonard knows how to deal with Sheldon and how to translate his words and actions to those who don’t know him.

Leonard Was Sheldon’s Best Friend

Leonard congratulates Sheldon at his wedding

Leonard may have signed the roommate agreement which bound him to take care of Sheldon, but he really did go above and beyond the call of duty.

He drove Sheldon everywhere and he helped guide him onto the right path, which Sheldon needed every so often. Leonard didn’t always love Sheldon’s behavior, but he stuck by him and he never abandoned him, which really meant a lot in their friendship.

Leonard’s And Penny’s Relationship Was A Big Deal

Leonard takes Penny to professor Tupperman's funeral.

From the very first moment, it was clear how much Leonard cared for Penny. He helped her out several times and their relationship was on and off for years, up until they got married. Before there was Sheldon and Amy, there was Leonard and Penny, and their relationship was certainly the source of many storylines for both Leonard and Penny. It took a while, but in the end, they were meant to be together.

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