Let’s be honest, Sheldon Cooper might have been the breakout star of The Big Bang Theory. For 12 seasons, fans latched onto Sheldon’s quirky personality and the strange ways he interacted with the world and the people around him. Sure, he was brilliant. Sure, he was funny and goofy. Some people even think Sheldon would be a great person to be around, but there is one thing he wasn’t; a good friend. Over 12 seasons, there are countless moments when Sheldon was an absolute awful friend. We’ve collected just three reasons, though.
Sheldon diminishes people’s accomplishments
Howard Wolowitz and Sheldon weren’t great friends. Anyone who has seen more than a few episodes of the famed series by Chuck Lorre knows that. In fact, Sheldon even refers to Howard as an acquaintance at one point. Even if they weren’t close friends, Sheldon does way too much time diminishing his accomplishments.
Sure, Howard didn’t have A Ph.D. like the rest of his core group of pals, but he did graduate from a pretty prestigious school. He even went on to NASA and traveled to the International Space Station. Those are pretty massive accomplishments, but Sheldon continues to poke fun at his lack of a doctorate. He also diminished Amy Farrah Fowler’s accomplishments, suggesting her field of neurobiology was nowhere near as prestigious as theoretical physics. Sheldon is a total education snob and he never missed a chance to remind his friends how they didn’t stack up.
Let’s be honest, Sheldon uses people all the time
It’s pretty much a given that Sheldon didn’t actually need a roommate to swing the rent on his spacious abode. He could have afforded it on his own, and it became pretty evident that Sheldon had a stockpile of cash just lying around his home. So why did he take on a roommate? Because he needed one for reasons other than financial necessity.
Sheldon used people pretty much all the time. He rented the room to Leonard knowing full well that he would be using him for a ride too and from work. Over time, he added more and more tasks to Leonard’s to-do list, but he never really seemed to reciprocate. Sure, he hung out with Leonard and was clearly a part of the group, but he absolutely didn’t offer any sort of reciprocation for everything Leonard, and the rest of the gang by proxy, did for him.
Sheldon doesn’t have empathy for other people’s problems
When Sheldon isn’t asking his friends to do things for him, or diminishing their educational pursuits, he spends his time indulging in his interests. For someone who is absolutely brilliant, Sheldon has absolutely no interest in the people around him, and because of this, he appears to lack empathy for them almost entirely.
Leonard is, by all accounts, Sheldon’s very best friend. That doesn’t stop him from regularly throwing him under the bus, and doing things that he knows will upset Leonard. For example, Sheldon purposefully forged a relationship with Beverly Hofstadter, Leonard’s mom, knowing how complicated that relationship is for Leonard, according to Screenrant. He also failed to recognize how he places undue stress on Leonard’s relationships with other people.
He did grow and change though, suggesting that maybe Sheldon isn’t a lost cause
While Sheldon wasn’t the best friend in the world, he did grow and change throughout the show’s 12 seasons. In fact, Sheldon did show moments where he had genuine concern and care for the people around him. Sure, more often than not, he showed care because it is what social convention required, but it is still something.
Sheldon may not have been as socially adept as his friends, but weirdly, they needed him as much as he needed them. Sheldon wasn’t a great friend to his core group, but he brought something unique to the table, and that’s partially what made him such a breakout character.