8 things about Bernadette that have aged badly

The arrival of Bernadette Rostenkowski at The Big Bang Theory signaled a change of tone in the show. Along with Penny and Amy, she formed a distinct boy group, Penny’s Posse, providing much-needed contrast and creating a nice balance that would help the series last nine more seasons.

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Initially gentle and slightly dizzy, Bernadette moved beyond her initial characterization, becoming more and more mean with each season and almost becoming an entirely different character by the end of the series. And while she has always remained entertaining and hilarious, several of her behaviors have aged rather badly, especially by 2021 standards.


Her volatile parenting style


Before Halley’s arrival, Bernadette clarifies that she does not want children. She even lies to her intimidating father to allay his anger, telling him that Howard is the one who doesn’t want kids.

Things change after the arrival of her first child. And although she is a devoted mother, she also becomes slightly possessive and even more intense than before. Some fans think she shouldn’t have had children because she never really wanted them and didn’t have the “mother” instinct. It’s a controversial opinion for sure, but it might have some truth to it, especially when you think back to her very chaotic parenting style.

His mistreatment of Raj and Stuart

Big Bang Theory Stuart, Howard, Bernadette

Throughout the show, Bernadette becomes more petty. Nowhere is this change more evident than in his treatment of his friends, especially Howard and Stuart. Raj could indeed be a boring character at times, but he was otherwise harmless. However, Bernadette is often cruel, poking fun at her over-sensitivity, feminine behaviors, lack of success in the realm of love, and her close relationship with Cinnamon.

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She also despises Stuart’s feelings, openly insults him, and constantly makes passive-aggressive comments about his extended stay with her.

His general arrogance

Bernadette Job TBBT

Bernadette thinks very highly of herself. She is also ridiculously competitive and bossy and refuses to take responsibility for her actions most of the time. This behavior becomes especially toxic whenever someone tries to tell her that she might be wrong, which causes her to lash out at them.

Due to her high profile work, Bernadette also earns a lot more than Howard and is one of the highest paid characters in The Big Bang Theory. However, she uses the money in her favor, often making sarcastic comments about Howard’s low income.

His lack of personal boundaries

As mentioned before, Bernadette is very competitive, to the point of absurdity. During one of the The Big Bang TheoryIn the classic episodes of, Raj sets up a scavenger hunt, and Bernadette is paired up with Leonard. She manipulates and berates him, even physically injuring him to make sure they win.

Bernadette does not hesitate to hunt down others either. She convinces Penny to spy on Amy during her date with Dave, revealing that she has a whole set of spy equipment, including binoculars and a satellite dish microphone. She also confesses that she followed her ex-boyfriends before marrying Howard, revealing a new and unsettling side to her personality.

Her dynamic with Penny and Amy

Bernadette and Amy - Disney Princess - The Big Bang Theory

When Bernadette and Penny first arrive at the show, they become friends with Penny. As they spend more time with each other, they grow closer, eventually forming their own separate group of guys. Known collectively as “Penny’s Posse”, the trio features some of the most iconic scenes from The Big Bang Theory, but their dynamics are far from perfect.

Bernadette’s general meanness makes Amy and Penny slightly uncomfortable. During their trip to Disney, she threatens to kick them out of her car unless they let her be Cinderella. Bernadette and Amy often make sarcastic comments about Penny’s alleged alcoholism; on the other hand, Penny and Bernadette often make fun of Amy’s clothes and her relationship with Sheldon.

His relationship with Howard

Bernadette and Howard crying on their couch in The Big Bang Theory

Howard and Bernadette’s relationship is full of delightful moments. However, their dynamic is also unmistakably frightening. Once they start living together, it becomes clear that Bernadette looks more and more like Howard’s mother. At one point, she even starts talking like herself, which others find disturbing as well.

There is also a feeling of imbalance in their relationship. Bernadette makes considerably more money than Howard and uses it to her advantage to control the momentum. She even gives him household chores in exchange for an “allowance” and treats him like a child whenever he doesn’t like him. big Bang uses all of these details as a source of comedy, but it becomes clear that these two have a very dysfunctional marriage when the laugh track is removed.

His transformation into a tyrant

Bernadette angrily watches Penny in TBBT

Among all the characters of big Bang, Bernadette is the one who undergoes the most extreme change over the seasons. She starts off as a nice Catholic girl but becomes a real bully by the end of the series. She intimidates her husband, her friends and even her employees.

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The show plays its toxic ways for a laugh, but as the seasons go by, its meanness becomes more and more blatant. Bernadette is also slightly sinister; for example, she claims that she got into microbiology because it was “a whole other universe” that she could “erase with (her) thumb, like a god”. On another occasion, she reveals that she is often hungry while watching flesh-eating bacteria skeleton small rodents.

His horrible leadership style

Bernadette is a terrible boss. She has no respect for her subordinates, yelling at them and humiliating them to exercise her authority. Many people in her office actively fear her; in fact, her boss is so terrified of her that he agrees to meet and later hire Penny because he’s too scared to say no to Bernadette.

Looking back, it is not clear how Bernadette was not fired from her job. Toxicity in the work environment is a real and sensitive problem that many employees endure, and The Big Bang Theory Treating it as a source of entertainment is one of the show’s most problematic legacies.

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