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The Real Reason Charlie Sheen Hated His Cameo On The Big Bang Theory

During its run from 2007 to 2019, "The Big Bang Theory" earned some notoriety among habitual TV watchers for a variety of reasons. On one hand, the show's outward embrace of nerd culture separated it from many of its contemporaries. Furthermore, in typical sitcom fashion, it boasts an ensemble cast of characters — each with their own fleshed-out personalities and quirks — many of whom have left their mark on fans who find them relatable. Plus, from time to time, "The Big Bang Theory" tosses in an odd celebrity cameo to spice things up.

Throughout their show's tenure, creators Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady would add a guest star to the mix, introducing a wrench into its ensemble cast's usual dynamic. One of its most frequent was Wil Wheaton of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Stand By Me" fame, who served as Sheldon Cooper's (Jim Parsons) enemy-turned-friend, but his longevity was more of an exception than a general rule. Most others like Mark Hamill and Brent Spiner opted for one-offs instead, as did Hollywood icon and longtime star of fellow CBS hit "Two and a Half Men," Charlie Sheen.

Despite setting aside some time to pop up on "The Big Bang Theory," Sheen hasn't minced words when describing how he felt about appearing on the show, which by all accounts, he didn't enjoy in the slightest.

Sheen doesn't care for the show or one of its creators

For those who might be curious, viewers can find Charlie Sheen's "Big Bang Theory" cameo in the Season 2 episode "The Griffin Equivalency." While at a Cheesecake Factory restaurant, Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) boasts that he's going to appear in People Magazine, prompting Sheen to appear and dismissively tell him to get ahold of him once he's on the cover. Sheen's cameo effectively amounts to a simple punchline that doesn't carry much weight in the overall story, so it's understandable that some viewers might not remember this moment. However, Sheen certainly hasn't let it go, as evidenced by some 2013 comments.

"I'm sorry, but 'Big Bang Theory' is a piece of s***," Sheen told The Guardian, referring to the show as "stupid" and "lame." He added that he supports the overall cast (even though he called their characters "lame people") but didn't feel "Big Bang Theory" had what it took to hold its own without a proper lead-in, referring to "Anger Management," which is another series in which he starred. Furthermore, Sheen didn't hold back from expressing his disdain for one of the creative minds behind the show, describing Chuck Lorre as "a bad man" and expressing his surprise that the "Big Bang Theory" cast could work with him.

Chuck Lorre has forgiven Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen's "Big Bang Theory" cameo episode premiered in 2008, when he was still a central cast member on "Two and a Half Men." In 2011, showrunner Chuck Lorre shut down production on "Two and a Half Men" after Sheen notoriously shared some scathing comments about the show (via Hollywood Reporter), kickstarting the feud that Sheen propagated years later with his comments about his "Big Bang Theory" role.

For what it's worth, Lorre no longer holds any ill will toward the former "Two and a Half Men" star. This came to light in a June 2022 interview with Variety, in which Lorre revealed that he re-watches and enjoys episodes from Sheen's "Two and a Half Men" run. "There were a couple of years there where I couldn't watch it. It was too hurtful. I can enjoy them all now. You know, he did a brilliant job," Lorre said.

At the end of the day, Sheen is a small part of the "Big Bang Theory" legacy, regardless of his feelings toward the show and one of its creators in particular. Thankfully for Sheen, his presence on the program began and ended with a single line of dialogue.