One Thing That Still Sticks With Melissa Rauch About How The Big Bang Theory Handled Bernadette

Melissa Rauch in pregnancy still from The Big Bang Theory
(Image credit: CBS)

Melissa Rauch had appeared in projects like Kath and Kim and True Blood before landing The Big Bang Theory, but it was when she landed a prominent gig in the sitcom that she became a household name. Her character’s introduction on TBBT was a notable addition, helping to even out the male-to-female ratio on the show. Though it has ended, the actress has been speaking out about her time on the show, revealing there was one thing about how Bernadette was handled during the CBS sitcom’s run that sticks with her in particular these days. 

Bernadette Rostenkowski was introduced early in Season 3, with Mayim Bialik’s Amy Farrah Fowler joining the series late in the same season. The addition of both women helped the men on the series to move into different phases of their lives: first as men who could have serious, long-term relationships, and later men who could take on roles as husbands and fathers. But it wasn't just the men who saw growth during the comedy's run.  While the show started about four men (and Kaley Cuoco’s character Penny), the female characters also went through serious growth during the show’s 12 -season run. 

For Melissa Rauch’s character, that meant struggling with the idea of motherhood. In an interview with Cafe Mom, she candidly spoke about the sitcom doing a “wonderful job” with that particular plot when the show was on the air. It’s a storyline that should connect with mothers everywhere, as she noted in the interview:

I thought that Big Bang did such a wonderful job with the Bernadette motherhood storyline. Starting with just her struggle not knowing if she wanted to be a mom, when she was pregnant if she would be a good mom, had those maternal instincts. And then the push and pull of loving her job and knowing that she was going to go back to it and also the struggle of knowing she had this family at home that her heart was with. And I love that it just opened up the conversation because [sic] as every human being is different every mom is different -- there’s no one size fits all motherhood vibe we all feel.

She connected to the topic personally, even though she wasn’t a mother at the time, and says she is “grateful” the show gave her character the opportunity to go through this process on the small screen. These days, Melissa Rauch now has two children with husband Winston Beigel, but she says playing Bernadette helped her to work through struggles before she became a mother in her own right. 

So being able to start the conversation and say, ‘You know what? We’re all going to struggle in our own ways, but let’s just make it OK for us to all share our own experiences.’ I was so grateful they did that with Big Bang. Bernadette became a mother before I did, so in some ways it was nice because it was like having a big sister who navigated those waters before I did.

The Big Bang Theory ultimately wrapped its run back in 2019, and Melissa Rauch has previously said she will “miss” how Bernadette was always just a few steps ahead of her in life. She may have had to move on from TBBT thanks to Jim Parsons wanting to exit, but the good news is that she’s landed another big TV role in the wake of the series. That project, a sequel to Night Court, has already landed a pilot order ahead of next TV season. We’ll keep you updated if it moves forward, and for now keep an eye on what’s headed to the TV schedule in 2022

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.