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The Big Bang Theory's Bernadette Was Not Meant To Be A Recurring Character

As "The Big Bang Theory" goes on, the main cast grows beyond just Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Penny Teller (Kaley Cuoco), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), and Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar). Two of the most noteworthy additions are Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) and Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch), who become main cast members during Season 4, embarking on stories of their own and eventually marrying Sheldon and Howard, respectively. However, it turns out that initial plans didn't call for Bernadette specifically to become a recurring character on the now-famous sitcom.

In June 2015, Rauch spoke with Gold Derby, discussing her time on "The Big Bang Theory" above all else. During the chat, she revealed that when she first joined the show, the minds behind it didn't have any long-term plans for the Bernadette character. "It was supposed to be just a one-time, one-shot episode," she revealed, and at the time, she was just fine with that. Rauch had grown accustomed to one-off gigs, so she was more than happy to briefly work on a show she and her father loved. She later found out after filming her first and supposedly only episode that the "Big Bang Theory" team had her penciled in for more appearances, and the rest is history.

As a main player on "The Big Bang Theory," Bernadette grows and evolves throughout the series — something Rauch absolutely adored about portraying the character.

Melissa Rauch loved getting to flesh out Bernadette's character

Despite only being brought on for a single episode, Melissa Rauch went on to have a great run as Bernadette on "The Big Bang Theory." In no time at all, she goes from a one-note supporting presence to a full-on character whose development rivals that of Sheldon and Penny. This extensive exploration of a character who was never intended to get much of a shot is one of the things that Rauch came to love the most about playing Bernadette from "The Big Bang Theory" Season 3 to Season 12.

"I think the best part of playing Bernadette has been how we've had the ability to let the character evolve over time. She started out living with her mother and very sheltered, and over the years, she's sort of found her big girl voice," Rauch told Today of her experience in the role of Bernadette. She also points to Bernadette going from someone who has no interest in being a parent to a caring mother as something that was especially enjoyable to explore. This narrative and others like it allowed Rauch to dive deep into Bernadette's emotions, which she loved doing.

The folks in charge of "The Big Bang Theory" made the right call keeping Melissa Rauch around. Not only did it give her a steady job on TV and allow her to become a pop culture icon, but the series benefitted from her consistent presence tremendously.