The Big Bang Theory: The Characters’ 11 Most Impractical Outfit Choices, Ranked

Except for Penny, fashion wasn't important to most of the group on The Big Bang Theory, but when they did mix up their looks, it was often a disaster.

It’s not often that the tight-knit group of The Big Bang Theory does something outlandish enough to be considered impractical. Everyone but Penny is a scientist and is a logical thinker before making a decision. Sheldon, Leonard, and the gang wore versions of the same outfit every day with layers and symbols from their favorite fandoms. For the women, Penny loved wearing color and had styles fans wanted from her closet, Amy adored her knee-length skirts, and Bernadette enjoyed a cute cardigan and dress combo.


On the rare occasion that this group did find themselves in an impractical outfit choice, it’s easy to spot because it was so out-of-character for them, making the scene all the funnier. Seeing this group of friends commit hilarious fashion faux-pas only added to the show’s charm.

Updated on May 13th, 2022, by Lynn Gibbs: The main characters on The Big Bang Theory weren’t necessarily known for their fashion moments as much as they were for their brains. Similar to cartoons, the men of the group wore similar clothes in every episode, with subtle changes here and there. The women were similar with their fashion choices except for Penny. Penny’s outfits on TBBT reflected what she was doing and who she was with. That wasn’t the case with the others. However, there were a few moments where TV’s favorite group of friends wore outfits that were out of place and impractical. 

Amy Wore A Gown To City Hall

One of the saddest things about Amy was how badly she wanted the traditional married life that her friends had but she was with a challenging man who went at a different pace than her. If she wasn’t going to get a sex life, a roommate, or a husband out of Sheldon, she was going to live her life to the fullest to make herself happy.

When Bernadette and Howard decided to marry at the courthouse on a whim, Amy couldn’t imagine dressing as she normally would so she wore the bright pink bridesmaid’s dress and tiara that she planned on wearing to their actual wedding. While everyone else was in casual clothing, Amy’s gown was impractical (but hilarious).

Penny’s Outfit Choices For Her 2.0 Date

After years of playing cat-and-mouse with Leonard and ignoring their romantic feelings for each other, Leonard decided to give it another try and asked Penny out on a date years after breaking up. Their ups and downs with each other made Leonard and Penny a relatable couple. Penny was nervous about their date and had Amy and Bernadette help her pick out the perfect dress.

The oddest part about the episode was the outfits Penny chose. She was one of the more stylish characters on the show and yet she chose an impractical olive green gown and a drab outfit that was more of Amy’s speed. For a casual dinner with a close friend and former boyfriend, none of those outfits were right.

Howard Had To Know What His Halloween Costume Would Start

The Big Bang Theory had some great holiday episodes and ‘The Imitation Perturbation’ was one of them. In the episode, Howard started a feud when he dressed up as Sheldon for Halloween. It was childish of Howard to think he could get away with impersonating Sheldon and face no repercussions due to their tense relationship.

Although Howard’s impersonation of Sheldon was spot-on and hilarious, Sheldon was embarrassed. Leonard and Raj weren’t laughing at Howard, they were really laughing at Sheldon. This outfit was impossible to pull off without some kind of argument, thus making it an impractical and poor decision.

Their Star Trek Costumes Started Practical…

When the Bakersfield Comic-Con popped up, the gang dressed up as their favorite Star Trek characters and hit the road for a day of fun. Being pumped about Comic-Con was one of the gang’s nerdiest (but exciting) moments. They looked perfect for a day surrounded by like-minded comic fans. Things turned impractical, however, when they stopped for pictures in the sweltering desert.

While they were busy posing for the camera, their car was stolen, leaving them no way to get home. The foursome walked for miles until they found a diner, but they never once took off an item of clothing to cool off on their journey. Overheating in the hot California sun was in no way practical.

Leonard’s “Fire Ant” Pants

In season 2, Leonard started dating Dr. Stephanie Barnett. Looking back at all of Leonard’s exes Stephanie was the most compatible with him. She was brilliant and she didn’t mind Sheldon. Fans rooted for this relationship, that is until she slowly tried changing Leonard through his wardrobe.

She bought him new pants, which Leonard described as a “wool-fire ant blend.” They were itchy beyond belief and he was uncomfortable when he wore them. And yet, he continued to do so because they were a gift from his girlfriend. While his priorities were sweet, they were also irrational.

Penny’s Moving Outfit

In ‘The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition,’ a beautiful young woman named Alicia moved into the apartment upstairs. Leonard, Howard, and Raj become obsessed with her and did everything for her in her new apartment. Penny got envious of all the attention Alicia received and decided to help out to show that she too was a team player.

To show off to Alicia and Leonard, Penny showed up in a cute cocktail dress and heels. Knowing that Penny came from farm life and knew what moving entailed, this outfit was cute but impractical.

Howard’s Eye Patch

Before Howard fell in love with Bernadette, there was nothing he wouldn’t try to take a lady home with him. Howard’s inappropriate pickup lines were humorous because they were so bad.

In ‘The Lizard-Spock Expansion,’ Howard realized that he needed to distinguish himself from the other men at the bar so he wore an eye patch. The eye patch was impractical because eventually, his hypothetical lady friend would find out it was all a weird ploy to get her to go home with him, which would have blown up in his face.

Sheldon’s Jogging Attire

Penny claimed to go jogging often but viewers didn’t see her doing it much. Funny enough, she said the only reason why she ran was that so when she got tired, she’d stop for a bear claw and walk home. This was a small detail about Penny that some fans missed.

In ‘The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification,’ Sheldon wanted to get in shape and asked to join Penny on her jog. Sheldon wasn’t much of a runner so he wasn’t sure what to expect. As the two stretched in the hallway, it was clear Sheldon had no idea what he was getting himself into. He wore casual shorts, shin-high socks, and two shirts that were bound to make him too hot on his run. While he could have run happily in his outfit, he would have been far more comfortable in something breezier.

Leonard’s Itchy Sweater

In ‘The Itchy Brain Simulation,’ Leonard promised to do everything he could to return a DVD that he rented on Sheldon’s credit card seven years prior. Leonard knew Sheldon was going to flip over his laziness so Sheldon promised not to nag him about the DVD as long as Leonard wore his old itchy sweater until he returned it.

Shockingly, the video store they rented the DVD from went out of business years before so Leonard wore the sweater for much longer than he wanted to. This small deal Leonard and Sheldon had went against their usual bromance. Similar to his itchy pants, what made this sweater impractical was how itchy the wool was on his skin. Despite breaking out into rashes and being uncomfortable, Leonard wore the sweater to prove a point.

Amy’s Spa Day Ensamble

When Penny and Leonard got into an argument, she and Amy booked a spa weekend getaway. The ladies chatted in their hotel room before their massages when Amy asked if Penny was completely naked under her robe. Penny confirmed that she was because that’s typically the best way for a massage.

Amy, on the other hand, had a full outfit on under the robe. Getting a massage with multiple layers and a robe on is a bit impractical, not to mention uncomfortable.

Goth Night








Wearing fake tattoo sleeves was one of the more impractical things Raj and Howard ever did in their friendship. When the two prepped for a night out on the town for “goth night,” Howard and Raj wanted to fit in. Aside from wearing eyeliner and all-black, they added fake tattoos as well.

What was impractical was there was going to be a point where a woman would find out those tattoos were fake. Whether it was a slight tug on the arm or going to a tattoo parlor, the tattoo sleeves were going to lead to an awkward conversation.

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