The Big Bang Theory is a pop classic of the 2000s which had a long 12 season run, premiering on CBS on September 24, 2007, and concluding on May 16, 2019. It was a gigantic stunt as it was about the lives of a bunch of nerds. And believe it or not, being a nerd back then was not a cool thing. The show worked wonders and it reflected on the salaries of The Big Bang Theory cast. The Big Three of the show were even able to earn one million per episode (in the last 5 seasons).
Let’s start this list with characters with much smaller roles who managed to GO big.
10. WIL WHEATON- $20,000
Wil Wheaton has been a recurring character in the series, appearing in 17 episodes across the 12-season run. He started as an arch-nemesis of Sheldon but soon worked his way up one of his close friends. He was the only guest star who had a role this big! Plus, since he was a part of one of the biggest franchises of nerd culture, his role in the show makes sense. For one of the least likable characters in the show, making $20,000 per episode is a big deal.
9. JOHN ROSS BOWIE- $50,000
His character, too, started as a nemesis but he didn’t have much character development. Even though he was one of the smartest supporting characters on the show, he was a bit of a tool. Barry Kripke, or he might call himself, Bawwy Kwipke, is one of the most iconic sitcom characters. Yet, he didn’t get much bank from the show. He appeared for 25 episodes throughout the show and got $50,000 per episode, without much increment.
8. KEVIN SUSSMAN- $50,000
Kevin Sussman’s Stuart was never the most interesting character but fans sure did love him. From no appearance in the first season, his character went on to become a pretty prominent character in Howard and Bernadette’s lives. He appeared in 84 episodes and got $50,000 for each one of them. It would seem shocking but the actor never received a raise even in the later seasons when TBBT was at its peak.
7. MAYIM BIALIK- $45,000 TO $425,000
Mayim Bialik was supposed to be in the show from the pilot but the creators wanted to leave some room for Sheldon’s development. She joined the show near the finale of season 3 and got a fair salary from the beginning. For most of the series, she received $45,000 per episode but by the later seasons, this increased up to $425,000. Out of all the actors, only she was the one with an actual PhD, but that wasn’t a factor.
6. MELISSA RAUCH- $45,000 TO $425,000
Much like Bialik, Melissa Rauch joined the main cast much later in season 3. She was introduced as a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory and unlike Penny, she was a good one. She started with a small amount of $45,000 and ended the series with $425,000 per episode, much like Bialik. Like their salaries and time of appearances, the creators liked to pair Amy and Bernadette together. Even their character developments went hand-in-hand.
*Some sources state that the reason behind their low salaries was the delay in their introduction to the show.
5. KUNAL NAYYAR- $45,000 TO $1,000,000
Like Rauch and Bialik, Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg were often paired up. Kunal’s agency notified him of a vacant position in a CBS sitcom and Nayyar bagged the role in a single try. He too, like his co-stars, started with a salary of $45,000 per episode in the earlier seasons. As the show started to gain fame, this number increased to $150,000 by season 2. By the 8th season, Nayyar was going home with $600,000 for each episode. By the last season, he raked in $1,000,000 per episode. Thanks to this show, Nayyar has a net worth of $45 million.
4. SIMON HELBERG- $45,000 TO $1,000,000
Simon Helberg’s Howard was the Lightbringer of the show who could make any scene funny with his impressions and mimicry. The Big Bang Theory creators wanted to minimize disparities among the cast members of the same level. Since both Raj and Howard were the best of friends on-screen, the creators kept their salaries the same. His salary increments went up in a similar way as Nayyar’s. These two actors were earning $20 million a year and were even included in the list of highest-earning actors.
3. KALEY CUOCO- $60,000 TO $1,000,000
It is now time for the main star of the show. She has been a part of the show from the pilot and went from a struggling actress-cum-waitress to a well-reputed pharmaceutical salesperson. Without her presence in the lives of Sheldon and Leonard, the show would not have moved further. Even so, no character development would have taken place. For such an important character, the salary was not going to be less. she started with a $60,000 cheque per episode which increased every season to finally reach $1,000,000 by the last few seasons. Following this, she became the second-highest-paid actress in the whole world.
2. JOHNNY GALECKI- $60,000 TO $1,000,000
As one of the Big Three of the show, his salary was the same as Cuoco and Parsons. Being one of the highest-paid actors of the greatest sitcom of the 2000s, his paycheque made him join his co-stars in the highest-earners list. He was one of the funniest characters of the show and his paycheques reflected that.
1. JIM PARSONS- $60,000 TO $1,000,000
Jim Parsons has made himself immortal in the minds of anyone who watches this sitcom. The way he portrayed the most annoying character of all time and making us fall in love with him is truly breathtaking. Like his co-stars, he, too, started with a $60,000 per episode but that ramped up to $300,000 by the middle season and finally touching that one million mark by the 8th season. Earning a million dollars per episode for 5 seasons made him the highest-paid actor of his time.
So these were the salaries of The Big Bang Theory Cast members.