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Why Bernadette Was The Worst In The Big Bang Theory

CBS hosted the iconic yet questionable "Big Bang Theory" from September of 2007 to the show's conclusion in May of 2019, bringing the television-viewing masses a new spin on the traditional sitcom. Instead of focusing on families or co-workers, Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady's series put the spotlight on folks that rarely get a say in most big-budget productions: nerds. In doing so, "Big Bang" made it cool to be a geek and embrace whatever aspects of science, pop culture, and general entertainment spoke to you via an ensemble cast of unforgettable characters.

The arguable star of "The Big Bang Theory" was Sheldon Cooper, portrayed by Jim Parsons, accompanied by Johnny Galecki's Leonard Hofstadter. Alongside them were Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), Rajesh "Raj" Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar), and Leonard's eventual wife, Penny Teller (Kaley Cuoco). Later additions to the cast included Mayim Bialik's Amy Farrah Fowler, who went on to engage in an unconventional yet happy relationship with Sheldon, and Melissa Rauch's Bernadette Rostenkowski. The latter married and started a family with Howard, having two children: Halley and Neil.

As we saw time and time again on "The Big Bang Theory," Bernadette was a good friend, spouse, scientist, and mother. However, there was one major negative element about her personality that was never shy about rearing its ugly head.

No one was safe from Bernadette's temper

At her very core, Bernadette was a mild-mannered, kind woman who wanted to see those around her live their best lives just as much as she wanted to do so herself. She didn't always display these attributes, though, especially when she found herself in competitive situations, no matter how inconsequential. She'd transform into a determined and unapologetically harsh person — oftentimes slinging insults left and right regardless as to who was around her. Even Howard wasn't immune to her wrath, finding himself on the receiving end of his wife's rage more times than he surely wanted to be.

Despite all of this, Bernadette's short fuse didn't always end up putting just her friends in her crosshairs. She could also use her fiery spirit in such a way that would actually protect the people she cares about, driving off anyone who unjustly dared disrespect them in front of her. As Screen Rant notes, she showed no hesitation when standing up to Sheldon for picking on Howard and even defended Stuart (Kevin Sussman) from a rival comic book store owner's bullying. Given her presentation as a quiet, easy-going young lady, they never see it coming, hence the hilarity of these particular scenes.

When provoked, Bernadette could become a terrifying entity that didn't discriminate when it came to verbally attacking other people. This is obviously not the best character trait to have, but it's aided by the fact that she tends to use it in defense of the ones she loves more often than not. It only ever really became a problem when her loved ones were on the wrong side of her scorn ...

Bernadette knew how to go for the jugular

A feisty attitude is one thing. It's another thing entirely to become obsessive to the point where you demean the person you love most in the world.

If there were a single episode that best encapsulated Bernadette's competitive nature, it would be Season 12, Episode 9, "The Citation Negation." This episode sees Howard and Raj becoming obsessed with the video game sensation "Fortnite." Bernadette wants to get in on the fun, but there's just one problem — she's not very good at the game. She enlists the help of Denise (Lauren Lapkus) to teach her the ways of "Fortnite," but no matter how much she practices, she still can't get better than her husband. When Howard kills Bernadette's character quickly, she responds by exclaiming, "I make more money than you!"

The thing is that Howard never made fun of her for being bad at Fortnite. He also had no problem letting her play for a little bit to see what the game was like for herself. Her competitive side wouldn't allow Howard and Raj to have a fun activity for the two of them to share. She had to become the best at it, and when she failed, she had to find another way to demonstrate her superiority over her husband.

Granted, we're probably looking too deeply into this personality trait. It's all meant for laughs, and regardless of how you feel about Bernadette, you have to admit Melissa Rauch's performance is second-to-none, even if it made the character a bit unlikeable at times.