Despite The Big Bang Theory being the most watched sitcom in the last decade, it was still more of a taste suited to a particular niche of people in the mainstream audience. The show’s fans generally were kept satisfied with what they got, and The Big Bang Theory’s IMDb rating is among the best out there.
All the episodes in the series have respectable scores, but there are some the fans didn’t embrace as well as the others. We agree with the ratings on the IMDb page and have compiled the 10 worst-rated episodes according to the website in case you want to be aware of those episodes you’d like to avoid.
10 Season 11, Episode 3 - The Relaxation Integration (7.1 Rating)
Eleven seasons in, watching Sheldon do some of his usual crazed antics seemed to have run their course, as this episode featured Sheldon struggling to place the wedding date with Amy; resulting in Sheldon going crazy.
The Big Bang Theory had achieved Seinfeld levels of episodic content earlier on, where a story about nothing was stretched for the entire episode. However, fans weren’t so accustomed to this lack of storytelling over a decade later and it didn’t resonate with viewers. The B-story had Stuart and Raj vying for the affections of Bernadette’s co-worker. Like with Sheldon, we’d seen these two be unlucky in love too much for it to feel fresh.
9 Season 12, Episode 17 - The Conference Valuation (7.1 Rating)
Bernadette is easily the worst character on the show, and her constant bullying of those around her was only funny the first time we saw it. Since then, though, The Big Bang Theory ended up making her exclusively a terrible person and this episode once again had her trying to bully Penny and her competitor.
On the other end, this episode focuses on another unpopular long-running story from the show in the shape of Leonard's insecurity about his mother, when he realized he had been an experiment for his mother all his life. This angle was done to death on the show, with this not even being the final time we saw it – his mother’s arc came to an end near the conclusion of the series.
8 Season 12, Episode 4 - The Tam Turbulence (7.1 Rating)
The characters really can be very terrible people, with Penny and Bernadette being usually the ones guilty of this. Again, these two displayed unlikable traits as they tell Raj’s love interest embarrassing stories from his past. The main story had Sheldon confront his childhood best friend.
Young Sheldon’s rise in popularity gave way to a character from that show, Tam, showing up here, but fans weren’t happy that the eventuality from Tam and Sheldon’s friendship was that Sheldon cut Tam off from his life for almost three decades. In this episode, Sheldon was rather insufferable, as he looked to make Tam pay for doing nothing to him.
7 Season 8, Episode 10 - The Champagne Reflection (7.0 Rating)
Perhaps why fans didn’t like this episode was because of its boring promise. The main story had the boys find a champagne bottle of a deceased colleague, and realize they can’t all be successful scientists, leading to them saving the champagne for the occasion one of them makes a breakthrough; only for Sheldon to open it to commemorate the revival of “Fun with Flags”.
The secondary story was completely lousy, as Bernadette’s bullying nature became apparent to her. Rather than confronting the fact that she’s an unlikable person, Bernadette instead changed her course by manipulating others to feel sorry for her so she could still get what she wants.
6 Season 10, Episode 13 - The Romance Recalibration (7.0 Rating)
It was believed by most fans that Penny and Leonard would get divorced by some point due to the two constantly bickering and Penny treating Leonard like an afterthought. This episode only fueled those beliefs further by having the couple argue about who the better spouse was. The Relationship Agreement had to be drafted for these two, which was more sad than funny.
Elsewhere Raj and Howard’s antics over handling Halley’s things contributed to most of the episode’s laughs, but it was still more about Raj being such a loser that he had to hang out with Howard’s family all the time than being about an actual story.
5 Season 12, Episode 19 - The Inspiration Deprivation (7.0 Rating)
It’s a surprise this episode didn’t get any love from the fan base since it was really quite funny. Most likely, it was because the series was ending and we were still getting episodes that weren’t leading to anything. The story saw Amy being wracked with worry about being left out of the Nobel Prize and her failed attempts at cooling down; a process where Sheldon did remarkably well.
The B-story was nothing to write home about, although it wasn’t too bad either, with Howard missing the days he felt like a man (did those days exist, though?) and purchasing a scooter to remind himself of simpler times.
4 Season 11, Episode 17 - The Athenaeum Allocation (6.9 Rating)
Notice that most of the least-liked episodes of The Big Bang Theory have Bernadette being a jerk? Here, we have another case of just that happening, with the story seeing Bernadette reluctant to leave her job despite having said before that she wanted to quit to be with her children. No resolution is reached by the end either, making it all a moot point.
Sheldon and Amy can’t lock in the wedding venue for their day, mainly because Leonard and Penny were seen at the exact location because they lied about it being unavailable to get away from Sheldon.
3 Season 10, Episode 22 - The Cognition Regeneration (6.8 Rating)
With season finales approaching, fans want to see stories that have a bearing on the season we’ve been through. In The Big Bang Theory’s case, though, that doesn’t seem to be a requirement, as this episode didn’t have anything to do with a story or recurring plots.
The chief angle has Sheldon trying to stay on top of his game by trying out several things he didn’t before, with predictably comedic results. Zack, the only one of the characters’ exes who was an awesome character, returned to offer Penny a job. Zack’s always a delight, but the episode didn’t feature him enough.
2 Season 12, Episode 5 - The Planetarium Collision (6.8 Rating)
After over a decade of Sheldon’s insensitive acts, it was quite a lot to take in when he got his own wife removed from a project she was anticipating. Although the episode predictably ended with Sheldon making up for it, it was still too much to digest for fans to see Sheldon treating his wife so horribly.
Raj and Howard’s bromance has always been one of The Big Bang Theory’s finer points, and they continued with this here as the two ended up being rather romantic with one another by the episode’s end. However, it may be that fans just aren’t into the same thing happening again and again.
1 Season 9, Episode 1 - The Matrimonial Momentum (6.8 Rating)
Nobody wanted to see Sheldon and Amy break up, which is why this episode being the worst of The Big Bang Theory is a majority decision. We saw Sheldon being very hurtful toward her and Amy just couldn’t take it anymore. Leonard and Penny’s story was also a lousy affair, as Penny couldn’t look past Leonard kissing another woman years ago even after they got married.
Being a sitcom, fans wanted to have a story that was funny, especially this being the premiere of the season, but its rather heavy-handed setting put off everyone who watched it. Thankfully, the angles we saw here were ditched soon after.