10 Strict Rules The Big Bang Theory Cast Have to Follow

Oct 19, 2020Aly T

The Big Bang Theory is one of the most popular TV shows of all time. It definitely takes a lot of effort to make it that great, and there are certain rules the cast members have to follow on the set. Why did Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg nearly leave the show after the 7th season? How did the cast eat that much food during the filming? 

And why does Johnny Galecki refuse to comment on his relationship with Kaley Cuoco? In this article, we will reveal all the details about the strict rules which the actors of The Big Bang Theory had to follow on the set.

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1. Hide your relationship!

We all know that there was a time when Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki were dating. These two were together for nearly two years and no one even suspected what was going on between them! Everyone found out the truth only after Kaley and Johnny broke up, and yet they managed to stay good friends.

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Usually, it's good for a TV show when actors who play a couple on-screen have feelings for each other. Many fans want their favorite on-screen couples to take their relationship off-screen, and quite often that's what happens. When you play lovers and your partner is attractive, sometimes it's hard to conceal your feelings.

Away from the filming set, feelings like these only increase interest for the show, which is good for the show's ratings. It's bad though, when these couples break-up, especially if they do so on a sour note. It's unlikely that the audience will enjoy watching a couple that hates each other in real life, right?

Happily, Kaley and Johnny didn't have this problem - these two still get along well even after the end of the show. But even in this case, there were some challenges. Johnny Galecki doesn't like giving interviews about his relationship with Kaley Cuoco. In an interview with CBS Watch! he revealed that he is afraid that what he says might change the audience's relationship with Penny and Leonard.

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2. Learn some eating tricks

You probably noticed that the actors on The Big Bang Theory eat a lot. Throughout all the seasons there hasn't been a single episode without food! Actors often had to go around for hours with plates of cold food before the scene was shot.

Although, the actors often didn't actually eat. Kunal Nayyar said in an interview with Conan that to correctly imitate swallowing food, there are several tricks one has to master. "It's tricky... you have to time your bites with the joke. Sometimes you choke," Kunal said.

Nayyar explained that oftentimes the scene starts with the characters sitting in the living room and eating, just so that the actor who enters the room wouldn't walk into a room of characters doing nothing:

"You can't come onto a scene with people just sitting there doing nothing because that's not reality."

Kunal also said that they would often take tiny bits of food, chew it on camera, and when the camera turned to a different actor, they discreetly spat it out. A bit disgusting, isn't it?

3. It's all about money

If you pay attention in the first few seasons of the show, you will notice one crucial detail. Most plotlines spin around Penny, Sheldon, and Leonard, while Raj and Howard just complement their storylines. Which is not surprising, considering that even the original name for the show, Lenny, Penny, and Kenny suggested their characters were the main ones.

More so, Raj and Howard didn't even make it on the first season's DVD cover! Which also explains why Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, and Jim Parsons earned the highest salaries! Even when Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg entered the main cast, their salary still remained lower.

This lasted all the way up to the 11th season, when the actors finally received the same salary as the main trio. But at the time when the main five were earning a million per episode (just think about this number), Melissa and Mayim received a lot less. 

Both of them first appeared on the show in season four, and joined the regular cast only in season five, so they earned much less. Producers offered them 175 thousand per episode, which is considerably less compared to the rest of the actors. But, for us, this is still a lot!

4. Promote the show!

If you are paid a million per episode, you have to happily agree to appear on numerous talk shows. Did you notice how much more often stars of TV shows appear on talk shows compared to movie actors? Movie actors are more likely to appear on the Ellen show, Jimmy Kimmel, and other hosts to promote their new movies.

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But a TV show needs much more advertising than a movie. Because if the whole promo campaign is focused on having the audience see the movie once, a TV-show audience has to keep on watching their product. For this exact reason, the cast of The Big Bang Theory constantly appeared on one show and then the next.

And of course, this makes us happy, because such interviews are usually very funny and cute, and they allow the audience to get to know the actors a bit better. Jim Parsons, who has no idea what the terms he uses mean, or Mayim Bialik and Johnny Galecki, who kissed for the first time since Blossom, all of this is very adorable!

Beside visiting shows, most actors of TV series lead very active Instagram pages. Open any of their pages on Instagram and you will see numerous photos from their shootings, previews of episodes, and encouragements to watch episodes together with them. 

The only exception is Simon Helberg, who doesn't use Instagram and Kunal Nayyar who mainly posts selfies. We don't think that these are necessary requirements for actors, but it's for their own benefit for the show to continue, right?

5. Listen to how the audience is laughing!

The Big Bang Theory is a multi-cam sitcom and for this very reason, you often hear canned laughter. Not all audiences like being told when to laugh... But, many jokes don't sound as funny without the canned laughter. Although the majority of people soon stop noticing the canned laughter and just accept it as a necessary part of the sitcom.

Everyone can have their own opinion about this trick, but it's worth remembering that actors are being filmed in front of a real audience. Each word or action will be seen by people, which complicates the task they are faced with. The actors have to really make their audience laugh, otherwise, the episode will be filmed in awkward silence.

And the TV audiences won't enjoy the episode either if the actors aren't delivering the jokes well. People behind the cameras act as a test audience which demonstrates whether the audience will like the episode or not. If they are silent, the episode won't be saved by canned laughter, don't you think?

6. Prepare to be fired!

Did you know that Laura Spencer and Sara Gilbert were in the main cast of the show? You may have not noticed this, since in the second season, where she played the main role, Sara appeared less often than in the first, where she was just a recurring character. In the second season, Sara Gilbert not only began appearing more rarely, but she also left after it.

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Her character was just taken out of the show and nothing was ever said about it! Why this happened, no one knows. However, it happened again with Laura Spencer, except we still don't understand why she was given a main role for the ninth season.

Perhaps they wanted her to join the gang as Raj's girlfriend, however, the audience didn't really like her. It's unlikely we will ever know for sure though. Although the departure of these two actresses raises many questions, there was a time when the audience was close to losing Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg too.

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We already said that before season eleven, Kunal and Simon's salaries were significantly lower than the main trio's. In 2014, their lawyers began having discussions with the studio to ask for higher wages for the actors. The thing is, for the seventh season they were getting around 100 thousand dollars an episode, while their colleagues were getting a million each.

All of this got so serious that the scripts for the eighth season did not include Kunal Nayyar or Simon Helberg. Happily, the negotiations ended successfully, and the actors signed contracts for 500 thousand dollars an episode. And in the 11th season, they were getting one million too.

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7. Learn science jargon!

As you know, out of the whole Big Bang Theory cast, pretty much only Mayim Bialik understands what she is talking about. For the past twelve years, the audience heard so much scientific terminology, that they got used to the language. Except in real life, the actors understood very little about what they were talking about.

Even after so many years of the show where the actors learned to speak like real scientists, in real life they know very little about science. For example, Jim Parsons is known for his smart talk, however, in real life, he has little in common with his famous character.

In The Late Late Show with James Corden, Jim was asked to recall and write down a scientific formula, and the audience thoroughly enjoyed seeing him struggle - he even named a formula a "square rooty thing".

8. Get used to your new lifestyle!

If you take a look at the actors' profiles more carefully, you will notice that in their off-seasons, the actors grew out their beards. For example, in real life, Johnny Galecki looks much rougher than his character. However, the guys in the show are always freshly shaven, which reflects their character's personalities.

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Just imagine a bearded Leonard writing Penny a thank-you letter for their first date! The men on the show not only have to be smoothly-shaven but also wear particular clothes! Throughout the years of the show, the main characters' style barely changed.

Simon Helberg always wore ridiculous turtlenecks and belts, while Jim Parsons had an endless collection of nerdy T-shirts. Not much changed, except Kunal Nayyar, who by the 12th season started looking like himself in real life.

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9. Don't promote Marvel!

The Big Bang Theory was produced by Warner Bros studio, which also sells DC comics merch. Although the characters always talk about comics, including Marvel comics, they never wore costumes from the Marvel galaxy. This decision is quite logical, as DC competes with Marvel, so it wouldn't make sense for the studio to advertise them. On the other hand, they released a cameo with Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel comics? 

10. Kaley, Johnny, and Jim establish rules!

No matter how much we talk about the importance of the other characters, everything began with Penny, Leonard, and Sheldon. The show began when Penny appeared and turned her neighbors' lives upside down. The Big Bang Theory changed a lot throughout the years, which caused a lot of criticism from their fans.

At one point, a sitcom about geeks turned into something similar to a romcom. Honestly speaking, we didn't stop loving the show, it just changed a lot, which had its impact on the audience. Nevertheless, when the 12th season aired, the show's ratings were still high, and it could have kept going for more and more seasons.

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However even if the TV show changes, our favorite characters have to stay with it until the end. It's hard to imagine The Big Bang Theory without Sheldon, right? It's not surprising that when Jim Parsons decided that he wanted to leave, the TV show came to an end.

The actors grew up and began looking slightly awkward in their geeky outfits, and more and more often, it seemed like the plot was not progressing anywhere. But despite all that, we are still happy to re-watch all 12 seasons again and again and laugh at their jokes.

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