“The Big Bang Theory” On‑Set Romance That Came From Unconditional Love to Deep Respect and Unbreakable Friendship
On-screen, Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki’s characters ultimately got married and even had one child together. In real life, they had a chance to do the same. The 2 years they spent together were driven by the love and respect they shared in real life. And they’ve managed to develop a friendship that runs deep and is as tight as ever, even long after their breakup.
Kaley Cuoco had a crush on Galecki early on.
The actors didn’t know each other before shooting The Big Bang Theory. But when they met, they felt an immediate connection. Cuoco admits that she had a big crush on Galecki early on and wasn’t even hiding it. When she found out he had eyes for her, too, she was like, “Uh‑oh, this is going to be trouble.”
Their on-screen kiss was their actual first kiss in real life too.
In the sixth episode of the series, Penny kisses Leonard at her Halloween party after her ex-boyfriend shows up. And technically speaking, it was their first kiss in real life too. It was apparent there was some chemistry between them. But it took them the whole first season until they finally got together.
Galecki even joked about it, asking Cuoco whether he kisses differently in character. She says she was very nervous about the on-screen and real-life first kisses. It felt weird to kiss a man she loved as an actress before they even started dating.
When Cuoco broke up with her boyfriend, Galecki behaved like a real gentleman.
Cuoco was the youngest in the main cast. Maybe she didn’t hang out with them often because of that. But one day, Galecki left a voicemail inviting her to play board games with them and have fun. And she called him right back, saying she had just broken up with her boyfriend.
Nevertheless, she packed a bag, hopped in her car, and drove to Montecito, where the cast lived. It was pretty late. Her cabin was next to Galecki, and she wanted him to be around during this moment of her life. So she could think of nothing better than to call him and say there was a bug in her room, so he’d come to the rescue and kill it.
Galecki didn’t buy it. It felt a little bit premature. Though Cuoco still swears there was a bug in her room. And yes, she was flirting with him too! At that time, she thought it could be an excellent way to get him into her cabin to hang out with her.
Galecki was a real gentleman, so he did not go to her cabin. Though still, to this day, he doesn’t know if this story was just a trick or not or if she was flirting with him because she had just broken up with her boyfriend. Cuoco herself swears there was definitely a bug in her room... And yes, she was flirting with him.
Galecki made the first move long after her breakup.
Galecki decided not to make the first move until the dust from Cuoco’s breakup settled. He texted her, inviting her to a restaurant. And she texted back, saying yes. She was there in like 20 minutes, which Galecki found pretty cute. He was like, “Oh, okay, there’s some mutual sharing of feelings here.”
There they had their first kiss as a couple. That kiss continued in the parking lot and then at Cuoco’s place. She disappeared for a moment, took a shower, came back, sat, and Galecki said, “Okay, I guess we’re dating! We can’t tell anyone!” So they kept it a secret.
They started dating even before Leonard and Penny began dating in the series.
Though their first kiss was on set, they started dating in real life before their characters. But they didn’t want to worry anyone, especially their fans, so they started to hide like kids hiding from their parents: both on set and in real life.
Galecki was very protective of what the fans would think. He wanted Leonard and Penny together so much that they felt it would ruin the fantasy if they saw them together in real life. He thought that would affect their acceptance of the characters. Cuoco was respectful and totally supported Galecki in his decision to keep it all quiet.
Jim Parsons was the first person they told.
They didn’t tell anyone about their relationship for a long time. They don’t even remember how many months later they decided to tell the cast everything. They were in New York when Galecki said he would call Parsons and tell him first.
They called him on speaker, and Galecki said something like, “I’m in love with Kaley,” or “I really want to be with Kaley.” Parsons’ reaction was the cutest thing they’d ever heard — he asked, “Ah! Does she know?!” Kayley started laughing and said, “Yes, I know!”
They’ve split up but never stopped to support each other.
They dated for nearly 2 years and even considered getting married at one point. But after all, they decided they were better off as friends. They adored each other, and there was nothing wrong with their relationship. It just ended.
Of course, it hurt, but they’ve supported each other ever since. They continue to love one another, says Galecki, in different ways. No matter what, they always had each other’s backs, and they didn’t want to lose that. Galecki was even front row at both Cuoco’s weddings.
It took time to get through their breakup, but a work commitment helped speed up the healing process. They got very close through the show and all they’ve gone through. They always felt pretty comfortable with each other and finished each other’s sentences.
They knew their characters so well that Galecki became a steadfast person in her life, on that show, on that set. She was sure that even if things weren’t going well on set and someone didn’t like something, they were both always 99.99% on the same page.
That was quite an incredible journey for them both! What do you think? And what part do friendship and support play in your life and relationship? Please share with us in the comments below.