After binging 12 seasons and 279 episodes, fans are sure to want more shows like The Big Bang Theory. When it first premiered, The Big Bang Theory was met with rave reviews that praised pretty much all of its characters, as well as its brilliant writing and unique setting. It’s impossible to deny that the show had some all-time great sitcom characters and a few really heartfelt moments.

Incredibly gifted academics building their lives alongside a struggling actress isn’t a concept that is going to be found in every show like The Big Bang Theory. There are aspects of the sitcom that can be found in numerous other shows though, including its prequel series Young Sheldon. If fans want something to watch that is similar, there are plenty of other television shows that are up to the task.



15 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-2020)

Ellie Kemper smiling while wearing a blue and red outfit in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

The Big Bang Theory was about a group of friends who barely knew how to communicate with people outside their own geeky social circle. For a more extreme version of that, the Netflix original series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is about a woman who has no idea how to interact with regular people at all.

For the always likable Kimmy, the reason was much worse than just being an awkward geek as she was held captive by a cult minister for 15 years, and never had a chance to live her childhood normally, now released into the real world that she doesn’t know. What connects the two is that, deep down, this is about decent people trying to make it in the world their own way.

14 The Good Place (2016-2020)

Michael and Eleanor sitting on a couch in The Good Place.

  • Streaming now on Netflix.

While The Big Bang Theory was about a group of college friends, and their attractive neighbor, The Good Place had a very different combination of people. This show was about a group of people who were in the afterlife together, and all were trying to prove they deserved a spot in Heaven. In The Good Place, Ted Danson played architect Michael, as he pretended that the deceased made it to Heaven and then watched as they tried to be better people than they were on Earth. If there is one thing about shows like The Big Bang Theory that remains constant, it was that the characters all made mistakes and remain loved despite them.

13 Rick & Morty (2013-Present)

Rick and Morty could solve their darkest unanswered question.

  • Streaming now on Hulu and HBO Max.

The biggest source of comedy from The Big Bang Theory was nerdy jokes, where the smartest people in the show often used their high intelligence to make puns or otherwise hilarious commentary that lived in the realm of pop culture. From science fiction to comic books to science itself, nothing was off-limits. If there is one animated show that the characters of The Big Bang Theory could probably relate to the most, it is Rick and Morty. There is a good chance that Rick might be a role model for someone like Sheldon at the end of the day.

12 The Orville (2017-Present)

Seth McFarlane and Adrianne Palicki seated on the bridge in The Orville

The guys on The Big Bang Theory have an unhealthy obsession with science fiction and space in general. There was even an episode where a lifelong dream came true with a trip to outer space. With so much mention of Star Trek, it is a great idea for fans of the show to check out The Orville if they haven’t. Created by Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame, the show is a loving comic homage to Star Trek and offers some stories that are even better than recent output by the iconic sci-fi series itself. It’s as close to the series as other shows like The Big Bang Theory, but it’s definitely something the sitcom characters would appreciate.

11 That 70s Show (1998-2006)

Kelso is surpised in That '70s Show

  • Streaming now on Peacock.

One interesting thing about The Big Bang Theory is that it almost takes place in its own time capsule that is not like the current world. A similar show is the 1990’s classic That 70s Show. The series was based in the world of the 1970s, or at least what people remember that era to look like. Much like shows like The Big Bang Theory, the characters in That 7’0s Show are unlike anyone around them, and they seem almost unable to communicate with those outside their circle. There is also a sequel series streaming on Netflix with several returning characters and their children, That 90s Show.

10 Young Sheldon (2017-Present)

Sheldon laying on the couch in Young Sheldon season 6

  • Streaming now on HBO Max and Paramount+.

Possibly the most obvious choice is the direct prequel to The Big Bang Theory. It might be set many years earlier and not involve any of the cast fans know and love (except Jim Parsons, who provides voiceover as an older Sheldon) but it does provide a lot of the same humor and, technically, younger versions of characters the audience is all familiar with. It doesn’t seem like the sort of show that would do well, but thanks to some great writing and acting from Ian Armitage in the lead role, it has been an unexpected critical success.

9 The IT Crowd (2006-2013)

The three main characters in the IT Crowd sit side by side

  • Available to buy on Amazon and AppleTV

One of the finest sitcoms to come out of the UK in the 2000s was The IT Crowd. The show, in essence, has a Sheldon-Leonard-Penny trio of its own. Richard Ayoade plays Maurice, the Sheldon of the group: a socially inept, very strange man who happens to be obsessed with nerd culture. Chris O’Dowd plays Roy, the Leonard: a slightly more normal person, but still very weird and confused in a lot of social situations. Katherine Parkinson is the Jen, the Penny of the show: much less intelligent than the other two and uninterested in all the things they like, but still very much a good friend.

8 Two And A Half Men (2003-2015)

Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in Two And A Half Me

  • Streaming now on Peacock.

It might not be the pinnacle of quality programming to critics, but Two And A Half Men did come from the mind of Chuck Lorre, the exact same mind that created shows like The Big Bang Theory. As such, there is quite a lot of overlap between the style of production and comedy on the two shows, even if their overarching setting is quite different. Charlie Sheen stars in seasons 1 to 8, but he doesn’t appear in seasons 9 or beyond, giving the show a different feel when Ashton Kutcher joins the series.

7 How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)

The main cast of How I Met Your mother squeezed into a cab with the driver and Jorge Garcia

How I Met Your Mother is a very strange anomaly in the world of American sitcoms. Typically, a show depends on the group dynamic for its success, but it is nearly universally agreed that this show runs almost exclusively off of the limitless petrol tank that is Neil Patrick Harris. The first few seasons are, mostly thanks to Harris’ Barney Stinson, brilliant, and he is on hand to save the latter few as well. Compare this to shows like Big Bang Theory: where would those latter seasons be without Sheldon?

6 Friends (1994-2004)

Phoebe, Chandler, and Joey sitting on the couch at Monica's living room in Friends

  • Streaming now on HBO Max.

The definitive sitcom, possibly of all time, is iconic. After airing for a decade during the era of “must-see TV,” Friends is comfort food for TV lovers in much the same way The Big Bang Theory is for modern-day sitcom fans. What Friends has in common with shows like The Big Bang Theory is the central group of friends. No matter how often work or relationships pull the group away from one another, they always find time to hang out in each other’s apartments. The bonds formed between the characters are the same.

5 Stranger Things (2016-Present)

Lucas, Steve, and Dustin on the couch in Stranger Things season 4

  • Streaming now on Netflix.

While Stranger Things focuses on a group of children, their dynamic is often hilarious. The show’s ’80s setting also allows for absorption into the overly-camp world of nerd culture and fantasy references that many fans of shows like Big Bang Theory will surely enjoy. It might not be a comedy at its core, but there is certainly enough overlap in content and style for fans to find enjoyment in both. The characters in The Big Bang Theory would also love Dustin’s (Gaten Matarazzo) quest for knowledge and satisfying his curiosity at every science-fiction-like event he encounters.

4 Mom (2013-2021)

The three main characters sit on the couch eating snacks in the sitcom Mom

Another American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre; Mom finished after eight seasons. It never caught the same level of fire as shows like Big Bang Theory, but there are unquestionable similarities between the existences of both shows in the production style and humorous tone. Anna Faris shines in the lead role and the show has been praised for touching on tougher subjects that Lorre’s other shows went out of their way to avoid.

3 The Flash (2014-2023)

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen in The Flash Season 5

  • Streaming now on Netflix.

The Big Bang Theory and The Flash might not have much in common when it comes to their style, presentation, or characters, but The Flash is Sheldon’s favorite superhero, and he’s an important character to understand when looking into the mind of Sheldon Cooper. Comic book fans watching shows like Big Bang Theory for their superhero franchise references will definitely want to give this one a try.

2 Futurama (1999-2023)

Bender celebrating in Futurama

The reason The Simpsons doesn’t compare to shows like The Big Bang Theory is because of its normalcy. The Simpsons manage to use very clever humor to turn ordinary situations into clever, hilarious, and often touching ones. Futurama is like a version of The Simpsons, set in space, and, full of much more complex and intelligent (in terms of plot and setting) storyline devices. As such, it’s pretty much perfect for those wanting the intelligent style of The Big Bang Theory combined with more laid-back humor. It’s certainly something Raj and Howard would get a kick out of when discussing space.

1 Silicon Valley (2014-2019)

The Silicon Valley cast directly facing the camera

  • Streaming now on HBO Max.

Silicon Valley may have come to a conclusion in 2019, but while it lasted, it was loved. It centers on a group of intelligent young men who found a start-up. The comedy style and intelligence of its central characters certainly overlap, but exploring the world of Silicon Valley shouldn’t seem derivative of shows like Big Bang Theory. In fact, some critics have described it as, effectively, what The Big Bang Theory should have been.

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