The Big Bang Theory

“Kaley Cuoco Reveals Major Crush on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Co-Star”

The Big Bang Theory, the show that made nerds hip, remains a top choice for binge-watchers everywhere, making behind-the-scenes gossip every now and then a delightful treat for the fans. One such tidbit is Kaley Cuoco, aka Penny, harboring a huge crush on her on-screen beau, Johnny Galecki.

Kaley Cuoco as Penny
Kaley Cuoco in The Big Bang Theory | CBS

Their romance sparked on the set of the show, eventually led to a two-year relationship. Even after parting ways romantically, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki kept their on-screen love alive as their characters tied the knot in The Big Bang Theory‘s season 9. Their real-life breakup didn’t dim their on-screen chemistry or their enduring friendship. Beyond the set, they moved on to new relationships but managed to preserve a remarkably tight bond over the years.

Kaley Cuoco Had a Major Crush on Her On-Screen Beau Johnny Galecki

When they first started filming, Kaley Cuoco couldn’t help but swoon over Johnny Galecki, igniting a real-life romance that lasted from 2008 to 2010. Although their personal relationship didn’t last, Penny and Leonard’s on-screen journey flourished, culminating in marriage and even a fictional child.

The authenticity they brought to their roles was unmatched, thanks to their off-screen connection. In a Vanity Fair interview, celebrating the launch of the book, The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story, on the show’s 15th anniversary. Cuoco revealed,

I had a very big crush on Johnny early on. I was so not even hiding it. He has such swagger. We were both dating people at the time, but I only had eyes for Johnny. Then, when I found out he had eyes for me too, I was like, Uh‑oh, this is going to be trouble.

Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki as Penny and Leonard
Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki as Penny and Leonard in The Big Bang Theory | CBS

As the years passed, that initial crush blossomed into a beautiful romantic relationship. Even in truth, this dynamic helped shape their characters and their on-screen dating, as Cuoco pointed out,

I think a lot of what made Leonard and Penny work so well was my relationship with Johnny off camera, which turned into such sarcastic banter that bled into Penny and Leonard. Johnny and I’s relationship, in a way, was mimicking Penny and Leonard. They were always giving each other shit, and Johnny and I have a similar relationship—which you do after years of being together. We’ve always had each other’s backs, and you can’t lose that. And I do think it happened on-screen. It made our relationship funny and endearing.

Despite their romantic relationship not working out in real life, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki have maintained a close and enduring friendship. Their bond, forged on and off-screen during their time together on The Big Bang Theory, continues to thrive to this day.

Why Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki Broke Up?

Despite their seemingly perfect relationship, the show itself played a role in their breakup just as it brought them together initially, as Johnny Galecki explained in The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series (via People),

It was a lot of fun to teach one another different things, but then when I came to wanting different things, that made things more complicated. We just had very different interests in what I think we wanted from our experience of life.

Jim Parsons had a difficult time learning the scientific jargons
A still from The Big Bang Theory. Credits: CBS Entertainment

Cuoco reflected on the evolution of their relationship, noting that their conversations often revolved around work, leaving little room for mystery or spontaneity outside of their professional lives.

She explained that their breakup was mutual and devoid of any drama or negativity, simply marking the end of a chapter that had naturally run its course. As she explained,

Johnny and I also ran out of things to talk about, because we’d be at work all day, and then we’d go back to one of our places together, and say, ‘So how was your day? Simon was funny today, right?’ And we’d laugh because we had no mystery. But we were together for a long time. We really adored each other, and we were lucky because as our breakup was happening, there was no foul play, there was nothing bad about our relationship … it just ended

While there was initial hurt, she emphasized that their bond quickly reverted to the strong friendship they had before they started dating, and they remain best of friends to this day!

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